She supported the Mavi Marmara flotilla and expressed support for violent protests against the Israeli government in Judea and Samaria. Now, Huwaida Arraf of Michigan is running for the House of Representatives and, if she is elected, will join the company of the Squad.
The task that has been assigned to Mike Herzog, the new ambassador to the U.S., is harder than that imposed on his predecessors. Herzog will be among the senior officials who will have to deliberate before they answer the question: Should we damage Iran’s nuclear apparatus or cooperate with the Biden administration on the renewal of negotiations with Iran, in order to obtain an agreement that is better at restraining nuclear policy? And here is another challenge for Herzog: Should we try to revive the tradition of bipartisan support for Israel?
For these weighty issues, you need tight Israeli-American cooperation and principals who will be willing to work on improved relations between these allies, as they try to minimize the gap between them. And until these two main aims have been achieved, here is another item for the attention of Israel lovers in Washington: A few days ago, a Palestinian American political activist announced that she would run for a seat in the House of Representatives. Huwaida Arraf is a Democratic candidate from the state of Michigan. Who would have believed that a candidate for the House of Representatives would declare their support for the Palestinians to the point of justifying “violent protest” against the Israeli government in Judea and Samaria?
Arraf also has been named among the founders of the “International Solidarity Movement,” which was defined by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the prominent anti-Israel organizations in the U.S. Arraf also supported the “Free Gaza” movement, which dispatched the Marmara flotilla to the Gaza shores, before Israel Defense Forces overpowered it.
The well-known journalist Jeffrey Goldberg has already defined the International Solidarity Movement as a body that aims to destroy Israel as a Jewish homeland. And if Arraf, the new candidate for the House of Representatives, prevails against her opponent, an incumbent Republican House member, she will be able to join the group called “the Squad,” that group of delegates in Congress from the Democratic side, some of whom are Muslim. This cohesive group spreads anti-Israel propaganda, which gets a lot of coverage in the U.S. media. Its members managed to vote to deny security aid to Israel (although in a second round of voting, their initiative failed).
If Arraf is elected, it will strengthen the leftist socialist part of the Democratic Party. There was a time in the U.S. when disrespect to Israel was not a concern in the run for public office. But these days, the greatest supporter of the Palestinians is senior Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders. And we can also identify names of Jewish members of Congress from the Democratic Party who do not hide their love for the Palestinian cause.
Arraf’s positions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have not been reported beyond her declaration that she is a candidate. Soon, we will know if her opinions on the subject of the Palestinians are beneficial or harmful in the eyes of Michigan voters.
Arraf’s daring candidacy for the congressional seat (and others who hold positions like hers) is a warning sign. Perhaps a hint of what’s to come. The situation between Iran and America emphasizes the need for a bipartisan policy toward Israel. All these issues make a challenging and difficult agenda for Herzog. He will have to work hard to stop Israel from sliding toward conflict in the relationship with its ally.
Yakov Ahimeir is a life-long journalist, and a public radio and television broadcaster. He was the first network correspondent sent to Washington.