North Carolina Democrats Push for State To Mourn 'Catastrophe' of Israel's Creation

Party's anti-Israel resolution would commemorate Nakba Day, endorse 'right of return' for Palestinians to Israel

Palestinian youth burn an Israeli flag (Photo by Majdi Fathi/AP)
May 31, 2023

The North Carolina Democratic Party is considering a resolution that would commemorate Nakba Day, a Palestinian holiday that mourns the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation.

If passed, the resolution would establish May 15 in North Carolina as Nakba Day, a reference to the Arabic term for "catastrophe" that Palestinians use to mourn Israel's independence day. In addition to the Nakba provision, the party's resolution also endorses the "right of return" for Palestinians to Israel, which would end the nation's status as a Jewish state. The party plans to take up the proposal in June, according to Jewish Insider.

The resolution aligns the party with the far-left "Squad." Michigan Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib earlier this month hosted a congressional Nakba event alongside an array of anti-Israel groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, which has glorified Palestinian terrorism. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) moved to block the event after the Washington Free Beacon reported on its anti-Israel sponsors, prompting Tlaib to move the gathering to the Senate, where socialist Vermont senator Bernie Sanders allowed Tlaib to take over a committee room.

"It's wrong for members of Congress to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Israel," McCarthy told the Free Beacon in early May. "As long as I'm speaker, we are going to support Israel's right to self-determination and self-defense, unequivocally and in a bipartisan fashion."

The North Carolina Democratic Party did not return a request for comment. The party's resolution comes as the state approaches a crucial election year—North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, cannot seek reelection in 2024 due to term limits, making the Tar Heel State a top target for Republicans as they look to reclaim the governor's mansion.

The anti-Israel resolution, some Democrats say, could jeopardize the party's success come 2024.

The Democratic Party "has long supported a two-state solution and strengthening of our strategic relationship with our democratic ally Israel," North Carolina Democratic congresswoman Kathy Manning said in a statement. "The 2024 election will be critical to determining the future of our state and our nation. Instead of driving a wedge between our party, it's time we come together with renewed focus on our shared values."

Ryan Jenkins, president of the state's Progressive Caucus, echoed Manning, telling Jewish Insider that some of the anti-Israel measures "were written very deliberately to insult people."

In addition to the North Carolina Democratic Party's Nakba Day commemoration, the party proposed a resolution calling on lawmakers to "reject contributions" from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to Jewish Insider. That resolution said the group is "actively hostile to the democratic process in the United States and abroad" and supports "the right-wing ruling coalition in Israel and their attempts to destroy any judicial oversight of or restraint on their power." The resolution was eventually rewritten to say the party "ought to divorce itself from groups" that support "right-wing extremism."

Tension over Israel is not new to North Carolina politics. Last year, the state's Democratic Party at its annual convention in Durham adopted a series of similarly controversial resolutions, which accused Israel of "apartheid" and called for "targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes," against Israelis.