October 17, 2019

Congressman Tells IfNotNow the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Isn’t Black-And-White

Photo from Flickr.

An IfNotNow video posted on Aug. 26 shows Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) telling a couple of constituents during a Aug. 22 town hall that “everything is in shades of grey” when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the video, a constituent identified as Jonathan asked Schneider if he thinks “the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza is a human rights crisis.”

Schneider replied, “We’ll start with Gaza. Ariel Sharon pulled out of Gaza exactly 14 years ago, August of 2005.”

Jonathan then interjected that he “was just asking a yes or no question,” prompting Schneider to reply, “There is no yes or no here. Everything’s in shades of grey.”

The video later cuts to another constituent identified as Nathan asking Schneider how his position on United States-Israel relations differs from President Trump, given that Schneider praised Trump’s decision to move U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, his exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“If you would talk to Israelis, if they think the U.S. should move its capital to Jerusalem, they would say ‘yes’,” Schneider said, “and not just the U.S., every country should move their embassy to the capital.”

“You represent American Jews, not Israelis,” Nathan replied.

“No, I represent the United States,” Schneider responded.

Israeli writer Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll tweeted, “Thank you @RepSchneider
for your integrity & refusal to be bullied by people who try to force others to respond to simplistic questions on a conflict affecting millions of people thousands of miles away. Well done.”

Others weighed in:

IfNotNow has encouraged boycotts of the Birthright trip to Israel because they don’t think it balanced enough toward the Palestinians. Canary Mission, a watchdog against anti-Semitism, published a July report stating that IfNotNow has been partnering with Americans for Muslims in Palestine, which Canary Mission says is “rife with anti-Semitism and terror support.”