Roughly every two weeks, I lead a group of high school students in an after-school club meeting about the current state of the Democratic Party. I stand in the front of the room, yet I wonder how well I represent the Democratic Party. Some of my views on Israel are shared by President Trump, a man I wouldn’t dare to vote for, ever.
Though I’ve grown up in a liberal household, I find that most of my views are my own. I do not blindly follow the platform of the Democratic National Committee. As President of the Young Democrats Club at Westfield High School, I hold some positions on Israel that would make the leaders of the Democratic Party stop in their tracks.
I’m a proud Jew that has always grown up in blind support of the state of Israel. My early childhood at Hebrew school and camp are littered with blue and white frosted cupcakes, random Israeli Rishonim and the same six Hebrew pop songs. I’ve only really started to pay close attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent years as I have grown more interested in politics and current events.
My view as a Zionist Democrat is not a popular one and could be seen as incredibly contradictory. The modern-day Democratic Party is focused on the guarantee of human rights and social justice. The current narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict absolutely paints Israel as the aggressor. I fully understand why my Democratic peers quickly flock to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements and call for the United States to withdraw their support for such a hostile country that suppresses the rights of the Palestinians. Though I understand their position, it is imperative to fully analyze the facts to acknowledge that no “genocide” or “oppression” taking place under the Israeli government.
The facts are that Palestinians as a group are peaceful, and they want peace with the Israeli government. The issue of the equation is the government of the Palestinians. Hamas has widely dominated elections and taken away the liberty of the Palestinians. With their newfound power, they pursue conflict with the Israeli government resulting in international news of genocide on the behalf of Israel. If members of the Democratic Party understood that rockets are fired at Israel by the minute by Palestine, the support for the victim and for the social situation would change drastically.
Israel’s status as a leader in innovation and technology makes it a nation that makes sense for the United States to ally with. Israel is the most advanced country in its region and has become a hub for entrepreneurship and business dealings. There is an incredible amount of value for Democrats around the world to find in the nation that has been woefully misrepresented in the media. Those who search a little bit harder than the average American for the truth on Israel will be surprised to see such an impressive, young nation.
Adam Schwartz is a senior at Westfield High School in Westfield, N.J. He is a Staff Writer for Fresh Ink for Teens.
Please note that the opinions in this piece are presented solely by the author, and neither The New York Jewish Week nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.