In scenes that would have been more befitting of Tehran or somewhere in Pakistan, a crowd of angry, baying protesters burned an Israeli flag outside the Democratic National Convention in Philidelphia. Dozens of people in their twenties chanted support for “intifada” and celebrated as the Star of David went up in flames.
The burning was the culmination of a Democratic primary campaign that has brought out many extreme leftists in favor of Bernie Sanders. At another protest around 10pm, Philly.com reported that some of these former Bernie supporters who had come to the convention to protest also burned an American flag to chants of “feel the burn”, a reference to the pro-Sanders motto “Feel the Bern.” The National Jewish Democratic Council condemned the Israel flag burning, claiming it was “disgusting and totally reprehensible.”
The burning of the Israeli flag comes after a series of scandals that have painted some Democrats as hostile to Israel and Jews. This week Representative Hank Johnson referred to Jewish settlers as “termites” in a speech to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. The Congressman apologized after for a “poor choice of words.”
In a leaked email DNC staffer Kate Houghton claimed the Democrats “aren’t going to do statements for every Jewish holiday unless [Debbie Wasserman Schultz] wants to do them for every religious holiday,” referring to a request to honour Holocaust memorial day. For some reason the Holocaust was seen as a “holiday” by this staffer, who then went on to berate colleagues in an email that unless they recognized “Darfur, or Armenia or Rwanda or Bosnia,” then it would be problematic to issue a statement for Holocaust memorial day. The tone of the emails was incredibly hostile.
It is interesting that protestors sought to burn an Israeli flag, but would never burn an ISIS flag or the flag of numerous other regimes, such as Iran, that abuse human rights. This is because the sight of a burning Star of David for some young people in America is now fashionable and a cause to celebrate. It represents a kind of moral bankruptcy taking root in the US, especially among the so-called Millenial generation. Those who are infected do not protest hate crimes or terror attacks. Their summum bonum, their highest good, is burning an Israeli flag.
Seth Frantzman is the Op-Ed Editor at The Jerusalem Post. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sfrantzman