As you likely know, Israel and just about everything it relates to has become rather controversial in recent years, thanks to growing sentiments in Washington that the Jewish-led state is committing numerous forms of humanitarian abuses. And so when Vice President Kamala Harris chose to not only host a Passover seder dinner in her home but also serve an Israeli wine, there was quite a fuss made about it.
As the Washington Free Beacon noted, the Friday dinner was the first of its kind for the Vice-Presidential family and one that was supposed to mark our continued support and alliance with Israel.
As Kamala Harris tweeted, “This evening the @SecondGentleman and I hosted a Passover Seder at our home and recounted one of humankind’s most inspiring stories. By retelling the Israelites’ journey from oppression to freedom, we remind ourselves that we must always keep the faith and fight for others.”
Of course, those positive attributes are not what several on the political left took from the event.
Instead, those like Michael Bueckert, the vice president for Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, says the event as well as the fact that a “wine from Psagot… “demonstrates serious contempt for Palestinians and int’l law.” In his words, a “huge yikes.”
If you hadn’t guessed, Bueckert’s organization is one that heavily critiques all things Israeli, believing that the nation has “occupied” the West Bank and the Palestinians’ ancestral homeland for far too long. They also say that the country actively discriminates against and harms those of Palestinian descent.
And so they are pushing the boycott, divestment, sanctions, or BDS movement, which essentially desires to ruin Israel financially by placing sanctions and boycotts on any and all things anti-Israel groups want.
It just so happens that the Psagot winery is one of those things that Bueckert believes should be boycotted. And he’s none too happy that a leftist such as Harris is buying from it.
But he’s not the only one.
Others noted that it was a foolish decision, one that would be similar to choosing Russian vodka right now. One Twitter user even called the move a “contradiction and hypocrisy,” particularly since it was paired with a holiday event that is supposed to celebrate freedom.
Of course, Harris’ office’s response didn’t help mitigate the controversy.
Instead of staying silent on the matter, letting it blow over without much fanfare, one of Harris’ top advisers posted, “The wine served at the Seder was in no way intended to be an expression of policy.”
But it didn’t have the intended soothing effect.
This is partly because the White House has been more than a bit contradictory on the whole issue.
As The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo noted in his article, the White House has made several statements about opposing the BDS movement as a whole, saying that Israel is and always will be our greatest ally. However, at the same time, Biden’s State Department has made a number of hires as of late that suggest it actually likes the idea of boycotting Israel or at the least is “critical of the Jewish state.”
In addition, in March, nearly $1 million in grant money was given to groups “to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip,” as Kredo wrote. Clearly, moves like this send a message that Israel is or may be doing something wrong and, therefore, that the US shouldn’t be so supportive of her.
And yet, the White House still says it isn’t in agreement with the BDS movement or its willingness to ruin Israel.
It’s confusing, to say the least. And as Texas Senator Ted Cruz says, rather “disgraceful.” In his mind, we should either fully trade with Israel or fully not. We can’t do it in pieces. And even those on the far left, such as Bueckert, seem to agree.
You can’t “investigate” Israel for supposed crimes and then make a show of the Passover Seder and an Israeli wine in the same breath. But that seems to be exactly what the Biden/Harris administration plans to keep doing.