How the Israel-Hamas War on October 7 Created Division Within the Democratic Party



The Jewish Voice for Peace has grown its online mailing list to more than 343,000 from 43,000, and has more than 23,000 dues-paying members. It aims to shift the Democratic Party further left and end its support for Israel, promoting specific candidates through its separate PAC, Jewish Voice for Peace Action. Another pro-Palestinian group, the Democratic Socialists of America, has added at least 2,400 new dues-paying members since October, bringing its total membership to about 78,000; it has also endorsed candidates in Democratic primaries this year who pass its B.D.S. litmus test.

Activist Group Challenges Shift Democratic Support Away from Israel

House members sympathetic to pro-Palestinian left are battling for seats. Activists are channeling their national political energy to support electable candidates and influence the Democratic Party. Among these is the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace, a disciplined and professional organization that established its separate PAC, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, to promote specific candidates.

Jewish Voice for Peace has grown its online mailing list from 43,000 to over 343,000 since October, with over 23,000 dues-paying members, according to Beth Miller, its political director. Miller insists that being a progressive and a Zionist is incompatible but will defend members like Bowman who don’t identify as anti-Zionist.

Democratic Socialists of America Adopt Anti-Zionist Stance

The largest volunteer-run, electoral organization championing the anti-Zionist cause is the Democratic Socialists of America (D.S.A). It’s one of the few groups to openly endorse candidates in the Democratic primaries this year, despite facing internal resistance for its criticism of Israel. The group, now enjoying an increase in membership, has, in the last decade, used support for B.D.S. as a litmus test for candidates.

Different Strategies among Anti-Zionist Organizations

It’s important not to conflate D.S.A. and Jewish Voice for Peace with Palestinian-led organizations like Within Our Lifetime and Palestinian Youth Movement. The latter two make no attempt to work within the Democratic Party, unlike D.S.A. and Jewish Voice for Peace. The Palestinian Youth Movement’s Munir Marwan emphasizes that they’re \”not a solidarity movement\” and don’t feel represented by elected officials.

Pro-Palestinian Advocacy and Controversy

Within Our Lifetime, which organized a recent march, sees no issue with challenging institutions like medical ones funded by Israel supporters. They also stir controversy by suggesting the legitimacy of Hamas terrorist attacks within a context of colonial rule. Organizer Abdullah Akl expresses skepticism about the reported Israeli death toll.

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