Israeli Flag Burned Outside DNC -- Anti-Semitism And Incitement To Violence In The Democratic Party?

Sheri Oz

The Israeli flag was burned in a small bonfire at 10 p.m. Tuesday night by pro-Bernie Sanders protesters outside the security fence surrounding the Democratic National Convention (DNC) venue. A woman whose face was covered with a black bandana held the flag over the fire before dropping it in. Some of those in the crowd chanted "Intifada" repeatedly. Toward the end of the video in the following tweet, you can even hear someone shouting "Death to the USA" and someone else asking for an American flag.

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 27, 2016

According to TheInquisitr, Bernie Sanders' supporters were furious when the WikiLeaks #DNCLeaks dump exposed the behind-the-scenes manipulation that secured Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Democratic Party candidate in the presidential race. In spite of Sanders' attempt to promote party unity at the DNC, his supporters staged a walk-out, and protesters outside the convention venue vented their anger. It culminated in the Israeli flag burning amid shouts supporting intifada.

— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) July 27, 2016

The Israeli flag burning outside the DNC site elicited responses that were mostly matter-of-fact reporting of the incident. Some tweets expressed dismay. One tweet noted that the burning of the Israeli flag will likely not receive much media attention.

— FREE PALESTINE! (@wbgazafree) July 27, 2016

While there are many anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the United States, this is the first time that such an incident has been associated with an official party event.

Until recently, it has been taken for granted that support for Israel is bipartisan given the many areas in which the United States and Israel cooperate. Is that about to change? Is the Israeli flag burning at the DNC a sign of serious deterioration in support for Israel in the Democratic Party?

The Israeli flag burning at the DNC is perhaps only the ultimate expression of deteriorating support for Israel on the part of the Democrats. Observer reports that a Pew Survey showed a decline in support for Israel among Democratic Party general membership; the opinion among representatives is also shifting toward a more openly critical relationship with the Jewish state.

Some Democrats have used strong language to express their distaste for Israel. For example, at an event in support of boycotting Israel, Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson referred to Jewish residents in communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) as "termites." While he later apologized, there was no official condemnation of his speech by the Democratic Party. It is not clear whether or not the party objected to the very fact that he addressed a BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel) conference.

The committee, made up of the 15 people who will craft the platform of the Democratic party, is a mix of the overtly anti-Israel and the Israel-tolerant. Only former-Rep. Howard Berman is a stalwart supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship, but he'll have to contend with an unprecedented anti-Israel cohort of Dr. Cornel West, Dr. James Zogby, Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Keith Ellison.