Saturday, December 18, 2010

DREAM Act Divides Friends of Israel and Becomes Platform for Its Demonization

A very, very sad day for immigration rights activists. The DREAM Act, which would have granted a path to citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants, lost in the Senate today. Most mainstream Jewish organizations, AJC, ADL, HIAS and the federations, advocated for the bill in keeping with their liberal immigration agendas. As Nathan Guttman in the Forward says, "The DREAM Act is an easy sell to the Jewish community. Most Jewish groups dealing with domestic issues have expressed their support and are lobbying for its passage. Jewish organizations would actually want to see Congress go much further in pushing forward a comprehensive immigration reform, a goal that’s now looking harder to reach."
With the Republicans having a stronger voice in the next Congress, passing the DREAM Act will be even more difficult.

But not all friends of Israel favor a progressive approach to immigration issues and, unfortunately, some of them are tying their disapproval of the bill with their so-called fight against Muslim extremism. There are times when I want to say to some of Israel's right-wing supporters: Thanks but no thanks. Please don't muddy the waters with your fight against CAIR, problematic though this organization is.
ANSWER Coalition infiltrate pro-immigration
rallies to promote anti-Israel agenda
More worrisome, however,  is that some friends of the DREAM Act have used the immigration issue to demonize Israel. The ANSWER Coalition is busy sowing discontent among groups that have long worked together for immigration rights in states like Florida by using local events to sound off against Israel. From Andrew Rosenkrantz of ADL, "Some groups even try to manipulate mainstream issues, like the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and immigration issues, to promote their anti-Israel objectives. For example, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) recently hosted an event in Lake Worth that was promoted as a rally to stop an Arizona-like immigration law from being passed in Florida. The bait-and-switch was on, however, as several speakers instead used the platform to express their aggressive anti-Israel vitriol."

1 comment:

  1. I was disappointed to see this fail. It offered a just solution for some of the immigrant children who were brought here illegally.


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