Representative Joe Walsh has crossed the line

May 7th, 2012

Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-IL) call in a Washington Times op-ed Friday endorsing a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a “contiguous Israeli state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” – is nothing short of a call for an end to Israel as the democratic home of the Jewish people.1

While Walsh’s views are extreme, they can no longer be dismissed as marginal and inconsequential. Left unchallenged, his efforts run the risk of eroding the bipartisan consensus that has governed this country’s policy on Israel for the last two decades.

Walsh fired the first shot across the bow last September when he introduced a resolution supporting Israel’s “annexation of Judea and Samaria.”2

And others at the highest echelons of American politics dangerously followed suit. Then-candidate Newt Gingrich asserted the Palestinians are an “invented people,”3 while a host of other presidential hopefuls jockeyed to rally behind the provocative notion that the West Bank should belong to the Jewish people. Mitt Romney regularly accused President Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus”4 for having the audacity to voice long-standing US support for an agreement based on the 1967 lines with agreed-upon land swaps. To top it off, millions of dollars in campaign contributions from a handful on the far right have poured in to bolster these reckless policies.

Rolling our eyes, shaking our heads or turning up our noses, but ultimately remaining silent when faced with these calculated attempts to pervert what it means to be pro-Israel in our community and in our country, is insufficient.

The policies endorsed by Representative Walsh are not pro-Israel and are not endorsed by the Israeli mainstream. It is time for the American Jewish community to call him out and make clear that he does not speak for us or for Israel’s democratic, Jewish future.

 


[1] – WALSH: Myth of a two-state solution, The Washington Times, 05/03/12

[2] – H.Res 392 – Sponsored by Joe Walsh

[3] – Gingrich Calls Palestinians an “Invented” People, Washington Post, 12/9/11

[4] – Romney: Obama ‘threw Israel under the bus,’ Jerusalem Post, 01/27/12