Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and their staff members, render honors during the playing of the national anthem during an honor arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 24, 2011. Defense Department photo by Cherie Cullen (released)
Virginia Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is touting the endorsement of an anti-Israel group.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe welcomed an endorsement from an activist group that staunchly defends the anti-Israel boycott movement, calling into question his past opposition to the campaign.
In a June tweet, McAuliffe said he was “tremendously grateful” to have “the support and endorsement” of Emgage Action, a Muslim-American advocacy group that has described Israel as an “apartheid” state and routinely lobbies in favor of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). According to the group’s website, Emgage asks “every candidate” seeking an endorsement “questions related to Palestine, settlements, and the right to boycott,” which make up a “key part” of its “endorsement process.”
The endorsement could signal a flip-flop on Israel policy for McAuliffe. In 2017, the Democrat joined a “Governors United Against BDS” initiative, which condemned the boycott movement as “incompatible with the values of our states and our country.” The Virginia General Assembly also passed a resolution condemning BDS during McAuliffe’s tenure, and the Democrat in 2016 joined the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board on a trade mission to Tel Aviv in an attempt to attract Israeli companies to the state.
Neither McAuliffe nor Emgage responded to requests for comment on whether the Democrat made concessions regarding Israel and BDS to land the group’s endorsement. Emgage touted the endorsement in a June tweet but did not release a candidate questionnaire. The group’s 2020 endorsement survey asked respondents if they support “efforts to criminalize Americans who engage in political, social, and economic boycotts of foreign countries,” increased foreign aid to the Palestinian territories, and “the Trump Administration’s position equating criticism of the actions of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism.”
Pro-Israel groups have called McAuliffe’s embrace of the organization “intolerable.”