Appearing at the Israeli American Council’s (IAC) national summit in Florida on Saturday, Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres slammed the “antisemitic double standard” Israel is held to by his cohorts on the left, and accused the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement of “inflicting” “stupidity, moral bankruptcy, and absurdity” on American politics as LGBTQ activists “defend a terrorist organization that systematically murders LGBTQ people.”
After announcing plans to travel to Israel as a New York City Council member, he described being “struck” by all the vitriol directed against him. “I was accused of betraying my race, supporting an apartheid state; I was accused of pinkwashing — which is a term I had never heard before — and there were a set of pro-BDS activists who held a rally on the steps of City Hall specifically demonizing me,” he said.
He noted witnessing an LGBTQ activist with a shirt reading “Queers for Palestine” and asking her opinion on the Hamas terrorist group. “She said, ‘I support Hamas because Hamas represents the liberation of the Palestinian people,’” he said, “and at that moment I found myself in a state of shock.”
“For a moment I thought I was hallucinating,” he continued, “but I said to myself, the fact that an LGBTQ activist could defend a terrorist organization that systematically murders LGBTQ people — that to me is as definitive a sign as any of the stupidity and moral bankruptcy and absurdity that BDS has inflicted on American politics.”
“If you’re a Republican, it’s easy to be pro-Israel; if you’re a moderate Democrat in a moderate district, it’s still easy to be pro-Israel,” he continued. “But if you are a progressive Democrat in New York City, you have to pay a heavy political price. I’ve had to face intimidation and harassment on Twitter. I’ve had to face death threats. I’m likely to face a primary challenge because of my positions,” he said, though he added, “I’m convinced I’m doing the right thing and I’m going to [continue to do so].”
Maybe Torres should consider switching parties.