A report published last year documented that Beto O’Rourke and Tulsi Gabbard, two candidates campaigning to become the Democratic presidential candidate, signed on a petition authored by a Congressman after he met with members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized terrorist organization.
It was reported in FrontPage.Mag in August 2018, that 69 House Democrats signed a petition calling for the U.S. to send funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza. This petition came as the Trump administration cut off funding for UNRWA, claiming the organization was an obstacle to establishing peaceful relations between Israel and the Palestinians.
UNRWA has been accused by Israel of having Hamas members on staff and independent studies showed that the textbooks used in UNRWA schools disseminate hatred for Israel.
The Democratic support of Gaza is especially troubling in the light of a recent call by a Hamas leader in Gaza for Palestinians around the world to “slaughter” all of the Jews. Though Hamas later released a statement claiming they do not support that call, the original Hamas charter made the killing of all Jews one of the founding principles of the organization.
The report revealed that two of the signers of the petition were Democratic congressmen Beto O’Rourke, who was representing Texas’s 16th congressional district, and Tulsi Gabbard, who has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.
The letter was authored by Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). In 2016, Pocan and Johnson took part in a junket to Israel organized by The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy (MIFTAH), a non-governmental organization run by Hanan Ashrawi, a politician in the Palestinian Authority who was a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). MIFTAH has been criticized for disseminating anti-Semitic material. As part of the junket, the two met with Shawan Jabarin, who has alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized terrorist organization.
Freshmen Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who has made several anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist comments, organized a similar junket for freshmen congressmen for next month that is also under the auspices of MIFTAH.
More recently, Pocan led the fight within the Democratic Party opposing legislation condemning the boycott movement against Israel. He has also been an outspoken defender of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar after they were criticized for anti-Semitic remarks.
Johnson has come under fire for a speech he made in 2016 in which he likened Jews who live in Judea and Samaria to “termites.” In January, he made light of the Holocaust when he compared the political success of President Trump to the rise of Hitler.
Given her combat background, many would think Gabbard is hawkish in matters of foreign policy and in some respects she most certainly is, affirming that the U.S. must take the battle to Islamic extremism. Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009. But Gabbard has been criticized for visiting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2016. Assad stands accused of killing thousands of his own citizens, allegedly using chemical weapons in over 300 such attacks. Gabbard has stated that Assad is not an enemy of the U.S. Gabbard justifies this by claiming she objects to the U.S. initiating regime changes in foreign governments. Though Gabbard advocates for strong ties with Israel, she has said that the “settlements” are an obstacle to peace.
Beto O’Rourke is more ambiguous in his policies including his views on Israel. When Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the Israeli national elections in April, O’Rourke congratulated the Israeli prime minister and, in the same statement, labeled Netanyahu a racist.