Young Israel criticizes congressional candidate for denying Israel is a democracy

October 23, 2018

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today condemned Antonio Delgado, a Democratic congressional candidate in New York’s 19th Congressional District, after he questioned Israel’s status as a democracy and was critical of Israeli “settlements.”

During a debate yesterday with Rep. John Faso, the Republican incumbent, Delgado stated, “Being pro-Israel and being pro-peace is critical, but I’m also pro-democracy, and as currently constructed, Israel is not a Jewish democracy. Those settlements make it so that it can’t be.”

“Mr. Delgado’s inexplicable denial of Israel’s democratic status is deeply disturbing and smacks of an ominous attack on Israel and its policies,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “Characterizing Israel as anything other than a democracy belies the truth and is incongruous with reality. Israel’s standing as the United States’ sole democratic ally in the Middle East is well-known, and Mr. Delgado’s comments raise a red flag about his position vis-a-vis Israel.”

“Mr. Delgado cannot claim to be pro-Israel, while simultaneously casting aspersions on Israel,” added Weiss. “If you are pro-Israel, it means that you support the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem and it means that you do not question Israel as a democracy when it is truly a shining beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent Middle East.”

“We are also concerned about Mr. Delgado’s remarks regarding ‘settlements’ in Israel,” concluded Weiss. “The notion that Jews should be precluded from residing in certain parts of their homeland and in areas that were settled by the forefathers of the Jewish people and then regained by the State of Israel in a defensive war against Jordan in 1967 is farcical. Jews should have the absolute right to build homes and raise their families in every corner of the State of Israel.”