January 18, 2020

Wasserman Schultz Warns Against Israel Becoming ‘A Political Football’

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) warned against support for Israel becoming politicized when speaking at the Israeli-American Council National Summit in Florida on Dec. 8.

Speaking with Jewish Journal Editor-In-Chief David Suissa, Wasserman Schultz said that she took part in an all-women’s congressional delegation in November to Israel, the first such trip to occur.

“It was important to take this trip so we could look at Israel and her challenges and her triumph through a distinct woman’s lens,” Wasserman Schultz said.

She also pointed out that she was the only Jewish woman on the trip, and that it was important “to help my colleagues understand the vital importance for support Israel in Congress.”

The delegation visited the Golan Heights and Israeli communities living along the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, where people live every day in “fear for their lives,” Wasserman Schultz said. Additionally, Wasserman Schultz said that people can see at the Israel-Lebanon border houses where Hezbollah missiles are being stored.

“Israel is surrounded by people who want to end her existence,” Wasserman Schultz said, later adding: “That’s why going to Israel is so important and that’s why every member of Congress needs to go to Israel at least once.” 

She proceeded to state that Iran is Israel’s biggest threat.

“When you see the influence around the country of the impact that their policies have, it is essential that we do everything we can to sanction Iran and eliminate Iran’s ability to be a threat not only Israel… but to many other [countries],” Wasserman Schultz said.

The Florida congresswoman went onto denounce the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as a worldwide movement that singles out Israel, and warned of BDS becoming institutionalized on college campuses.

Because of all the threats Israel faces, it’s important that support for Israel doesn’t become a “political football,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Israel and support for Israel in this country cannot become a contest.”

She declared that Israel has strong bipartisan support in Congress and denied that support for Israel is eroding in the Democratic Party, resulting in a series of boos from the audience. Wasserman Schultz derided those who booed as contributing to harm against Israel.

“We have to make sure Israel from generation-to-generation is able to be a Jewish and democratic state,” Wasserman Schultz said.

The Stop Antisemitism.org watchdog tweeted, “Thank you @DWStweets for your continued unwavering support of the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, and your commitment in fighting #antisemitism!”