The world’s greatest living chess player, Garry Kasparov, on Friday blasted the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America for singling out Israel in its questionnaire, asking city council candidates if they will agree to not visit and support a boycott of the Jewish state.
“A NYC Socialist questionnaire stipulating that candidates refuse to visit Israel. Repulsive. As always, the far left meets the far right when it comes to intolerance, especially anti-Semitism,” wrote Kasparov in a tweet to his over 564,000 followers on Twitter.
A NYC Socialist questionnaire stipulating that candidates refuse to visit Israel. Repulsive. As always, the far left meets the far right when it comes to intolerance, especially anti-Semitism. https://t.co/VT81sOSmnZ
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 14, 2020
“The questions about Israel come at the end of the 12-page questionnaire, which was sent out late last month,” the New York Post reported.
“Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation,” asked the Democratic Socialist, a group that advocates the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The German and Austrian parliaments declared BDS to be an antisemitic movement.
The socialist organization asked in it survey to politicians: “Do you support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement? If not, why.”
“Respect much of what DSA stands for. I’m also a Jew and Zionist opposed to annexation and disagree w/Israeli gov’t’s treatment of Palestinians,” state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) tweeted, adding: “But singling out Israel for special condemnation, among all questionable regimes we deal with, is anti-Semitism, and must be called out.”
“So let me get this straight. Per this questionnaire it would be ok for me to travel to Iran, the country of my birth, which hangs men for being gay and may stone women for adultery, but not to Israel,” wrote 2021 Manhattan district attorney candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein on Twitter. Farhadian Weinstein is a former federal prosecutor and a former senior prosecutor in in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
So let me get this straight. Per this questionnaire it would be ok for me to travel to Iran, the country of my birth, which hangs men for being gay and may stone women for adultery, but not to Israel. /1 https://t.co/AgaoRRJWou
— Tali Farhadian Weinstein (@TaliFarhadian) August 14, 2020
Farhadian Weinstein added: “This questionnaire tells Jewish people seeking public office not to travel to their spiritual and cultural homeland. Only Jews, nobody else. I urge all of the other candidates for Manhattan DA to join me in repudiating this question and refusing to answer if/when asked.”
The New York Post reported that liberal Manhattan Democrat, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, wrote: “This is repugnant and should be withdrawn.”
The New York tabloid reported that former Councilman David Greenfield, who oversees the largest Jewish charity in New York, the Met Council, termed the questions “Antisemitism. Plain and simple.”
The NY1 reporter, Zack Fink, tweeted the language of the socialist questionnaire:
This is from @nycDSA questionnaire for 2021 City Council candidates. It asks them to pledge not to travel to Israel. pic.twitter.com/ywg3TQe3yD
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) August 13, 2020
The anti-Israel socialist group tweed on Friday that “Members of the City Council are regularly taken on an expenses-paid trip to Israel that functions primarily as a political junket to foster ties between local officials and the Israeli state,” said a representative for the group. “It is the only country that Council Members are regularly taken on delegations to visit for this purpose.”
NYC-DSA Statement on NYC Council Members participating in state-sponsored trips to Israel: pic.twitter.com/0RQ9gAtrgI
— NYC-DSA #DefundNYPD (@nycDSA) August 14, 2020
The socialist organization said: “Given that there has been an explicit call from Palestinians to not go on such government junkets and to put pressure on Israel to end the occupation and discrimination through boycott, divestment, and sanctions, we asked prospective candidates whether they would respect that call.”
Israel’s acting general consul to New York, Israel Nitzan, tweeted: “Demanding elected officials pledge not to travel to Israel represents not only a shameful display of ignorance, but is antisemitic in singling out the Jewish state. Dialogue and face-to-face interactions are the way to solve and bridge any differences. “
Demanding elected officials pledge not to travel to Israel represents not only a shameful display of ignorance, but is antisemitic in singling out the Jewish state. Dialogue and face-to-face interactions are the way to solve and bridge any differences. @IsraelinNewYork https://t.co/hyXsscKQan
— Israel Nitzan (@IsraelNitzan) August 14, 2020