NM Dem Backs Sanctions Against Israel After Hamas Attacks

Members of the Ezz-Al Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, parade on trucks with rockets in a street in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 27, 2021. / Getty Images
May 28, 2021

A New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate says she supports sanctions against Israel—a position she adopted after Hamas fired thousands of rockets at the Jewish state.

"[I] would support divestment or sanctions initiatives that work towards the goal of a two-state solution," Melanie Stansbury, who is running in a special election for the House seat vacated by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, told Jewish Insider this week. The New Mexico state representative also said she supports conditioning aid for Israel to ensure it is never used "for actions against Palestine," a position popular among left-wing Democrats such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.).

Stansbury's newfound support for sanctions marks a growing anti-Israel shift among Democrats: In a March interview—before Israel's latest conflict with Hamas—the candidate said she hadn't yet "dove into this issue" and declined to comment on Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

The New Mexico Democrat has received the backing of prominent Democratic donors, such as the left-wing lobbying group J Street, which has called Stansbury an "ideal" candidate for the race. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff also hit the campaign trail in New Mexico to support Stansbury in her race against Republican state senator Mark Moores.

In a statement, Moores said he supports Israel's right to defend itself and hopes to build on the "unique relationship" between Israel and the United States, which is "very important to us as a democracy."

The special election will take place on June 1.