No surprises below – “Polk County Progressive Democratic Caucus invited two organizers with the Florida Palestine Network to speak at a recent virtual meeting.”
The Democrat Party in Polk County is aligned in every respect with the Democrat Socialists of America and their anti-American agenda.
Democrats in Polk County are no different than those in power in D.C. – they are lawless; anti-American; anti-Israel; anti-nuclear family; pro-LGBTQ agenda and anti-Liberty as defined by our Constitution and our God granted Rights!
Those of us who have attended PCPS School Board meetings know this all too well.
The answer lies in electing local, state and federal officials who are truly conservative and love our country and its God given rights under our Constitution. This includes meeting the goals of Project 17 locally; primarying out establishment RINOs at state level and re-electing POTUS Trump in 2024!
Gary White Lakeland Ledger | USA TODAY NETWORK
At a time when elected officials almost uniformly support Israel’s military action in Gaza, advocates for Palestinians recently addressed a group affiliated with the Polk County Democratic Party.
The Polk County Progressive Democratic Caucus invited two organizers with the Florida Palestine Network to speak at a recent virtual meeting. Lamia Moukaddam and Tamara Yousef shared a presentation titled “What’s Happening in Palestine and How To Be an Ally” for about a dozen participants.
The Polk County Progressive Democratic Caucus is one of at least six affiliated with the local Democratic Party. Another is the Polk County Democratic Party Jewish Caucus. Veysel Dokur, president of the Progressive Democratic Caucus, unsuccessfully ran against Sen. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, in the 2022 election.
The appearance by Moukaddam and Yousef came amid Israel’s continued military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in response to a coordinated raid into Israel on Oct. 7 by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group based in Gaza. That assault largely targeted civilians, including children.
Hamas attackers reportedly killed about 1,200 Israelis and took about 240 hostages.
The Israel Defense Forces have repeatedly bombed Gaza, destroying many of its structures and leaving more than half the population internally displaced, according to media reports. The Hamas-run health ministry claims that the military campaign has killed more than 13,000 in Gaza, including at least 5,600 children, while Israel disputes those figures.
Moukaddam and Yousef described the current conflict as a continuation of the Nakba — or displacement of Palestinians — that began with the creation of Israel in 1948. More than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled their homes or were expelled by Zionist forces during the 1948 Palestine war.
Gaza, a strip of 141 square miles with a population of about 2 million, is an autonomous region bordered by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The political division of Hamas has governed the region since 2006.
In an interview before the meeting and during the presentation, Moukaddam, a Lebanese-American who identifies as nonbinary, labeled Israel’s military action a genocide and said its leaders are engaged in ethnic cleansing.
Yousef, a Palestinian-America, told those on the Zoom call that more than 7 million Palestinian refugees are scattered across the globe, making them the world’s largest refugee population.
Israel is a long-established American ally, and President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed support for the country, though his administration has called for humanitarian pauses in the military mission to allow aid to reach Gaza residents. Members of Congress and the Florida Legislature have shown almost undivided solidarity with Israel.
“A lot of folks are talking about what happened on Oct. 7 and since then, but this history goes far, far beyond that,” Moukaddam said during the presentation. “And so, we really want to discuss the root causes of the ongoing genocide and kind of how we got here today.”
Moukaddam declared that Zionism — the movement for the creation and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel — is “the equivalent of colonialism and, frankly, an ethno-state as well.”
That term refers to a sovereign state in which only members of a particular racial or ethnic group have full citizenship.
Yousef described Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7 as “a resistance movement to obtain liberation from the Israeli occupation” and called the Israeli military response as “a U.S.-funded genocide.”
“It’s not a war,” Yousef said. “It’s a genocide and ethnic cleansing and an apartheid. Vocabulary matters. What we call this matters — it’s a genocide. And simply put, anti-Zionism is not antisemitic or anti-Jewish.”
Some politicians have suggested that expressions of support for Palestinians amount to condoning terrorism or that any criticism of Israel’s military action equates to antisemitism. Interviewed before the meeting, Dokur said that the Polk County Progressive Democratic Caucus does not support Hamas, the group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State, a description he also used.
“This is not support for Hamas,” Dokur said. “This is support for humanity and calling out our human side. The Palestinian people are not Hamas; they are the Palestinian people. Hamas is not the Palestinian people; they are separate.”
Dokur noted that some Israelis, including the group Jews for Peace, have protested the military action and called for a ceasefire. Jewish groups in the United States have also demonstrated against the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Dokur said he denounces both antisemitism and “anti-Muslim hatred.” Identifying himself as part of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Dokur stressed that some religious organizations have demanded a ceasefire in Gaza.
After Israeli forces struck two schools over the weekend affiliated with the United Nations, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” and repeated his call for “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.”
In an interview, Moukaddam did not explicitly condemn Hamas for the Oct. 7 attack.
“Everyone is so focused on Oct. 7, and they’re not looking at the fact that this has been a 75-year-long genocide and illegal occupation,” they said. “And every time the oppressed fight back, every time brown or Black communities fight back, they’re considered the terrorists, versus the oppressed. And so, when people ask me to condemn Hamas or the (taking of) — what was it, 190 hostages? — what about the over 2 million hostages in Gaza right now?”
Demonstrations in support of Palestinians have occurred throughout the world in recent weeks. Police clashed with protesters gathered Nov. 15 outside the offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. In Florida, a group rallied outside the state Capitol in Tallahassee to demand a ceasefire.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican candidate for president, has called for disbanding pro-Palestinian student organizations at two state universities, prompting a lawsuit claiming violations of free-speech rights.
Moukaddam was arrested Nov. 9 during a protest organized by the Florida Palestine Network outside the C4 Advanced Tactical Systems warehouse in Orlando. They joined about 40 demonstrators who chanted in criticism of the company for supplying explosives used by the Israeli military.
Moukaddam said they were peacefully protesting while standing in a crosswalk when five sheriff’s deputies slammed them to the ground, causing injuries. Moukaddam was charged with resisting an officer without violence, a misdemeanor, after they refused an order not to block a roadway, according to the arrest affidavit.
Gary White can be reached at gary. email@example.com or 863-8027518. Follow on X @garywhite13.
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