New York City’s Democratic Socialists of America chapter ignited a firestorm Friday for drawing up a survey asking City Council candidates if they will pledge to not visit Israel and support a boycott of the Jewish state.
The questions about Israel come at the end of the 12-page questionnaire, which was sent out late last month and was obtained by The Post.
“Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation,” asked the left-wing group, which has scored some major wins in recent local political races.
That question was immediately followed by the only other foreign policy query on the document — about the controversial efforts to mount an economic blockade of Israel to punish the country for its annexations of Palestinian territories in the West Bank.
“Do you support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement? If not, why,” it asks.
Both allies and opponents of the group quickly lept to Twitter to condemn the queries that some labeled anti-Semitic, pointing out that the only foreign policy questions asked were about the Jewish State.
“Respect much of what DSA stands for. I’m also a Jew and Zionist opposed to annexation and disagree w/Israeli gov’t’s treatment of Palestinians,” tweeted powerful longtime state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). “But singling out Israel for special condemnation, among all questionable regimes we deal with, is anti-Semitism, and must be called out.”
Another liberal Manhattan Democrat, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, wrote: “This is repugnant and should be withdrawn.”
Former Councilman David Greenfield, who now runs the Met Council, the biggest Jewish charity in the Big Apple, called questions: “Antisemitism. Plain and simple.”
“So let me get this straight. Per this questionnaire it would be ok for me to travel to Iran, the country of my birth, which hangs men for being gay and may stone women for adultery, but not to Israel,” wrote 2021 Manhattan district attorney candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor and a one-time top lawyer in the Brooklyn DA’s office.
It was unclear how many candidates the NYC DSA has sent the document to so far.
The NYC DSA told The Post in a statement also posted on Twitter that the query was related to expense-paid trips that city politicians receive.
“Members of the City Council are regularly taken on an expenses-paid trip to Israel that functions primarily as a political junket to foster ties between local officials and the Israeli state,” said a representative for the group. “It is the only country that Council Members are regularly taken on delegations to visit for this purpose.”
The group added: “Given that there has been an explicit call from Palestinians to not go on such government junkets and to put pressure on Israel to end the occupation and discrimination through boycott, divestment, and sanctions, we asked prospective candidates whether they would respect that call.”
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