WATCH

Elizabeth Warren Agrees to Help ‘End Occupation’ and Republican Jews Pounce

Jewish left-wing activists asked Warren, ‘We’d really love it if you’d also pushed the Israeli government to end occupation.’ She answered, ‘Yes. So I’m there!’ and then quickly posed for a photo

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall at the Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S., July 8, 2019
REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

The Republican Jewish Coalition attacked 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her agreement when left-wing Jewish activists asked her to “push the Israeli government to end the occupation.” 

The incident that raised the ire of the Republican Jewish lobby took place in New Hampshire as Warren was taking photographs with supporters after a town hall meeting. The IfNotNow activists told Warren, “Hi, we’re American Jews, we really love the way you are fighting corruption. We’d really love it if you’d also pushed the Israeli government to end occupation.”

Warren answered, “Yes. So I’m there!” and then quickly shook their hands and posed with them for a photo. 

Read more: A look at Elizabeth Warren's positions on Israel

Following the brief encounter, IfNotNow released a statement praising Warren for her “firm” agreement and observing that “while in the past, Warren has regularly spoken of Israel as a strong ally in a tough neighborhood and has appeared at AIPAC events,” that more recently, “her views on the issue have grown to be farther in line with her progressive values.”  

In response, the RJC “condemned” Warren’s comments, in a statement charging that the Massachusetts Democrat had “aligned herself with the rapidly growing left-wing anti-Israel base of her party” and predicted that “her comments will not win her points with voters who support a strong and secure Israel and a stable Middle East.” 

IfNotNow shrugged off the RJC statements, tweeting that "The @RJC is a fringe organization, openly backing the pro-settler, pro-annexation Trump administration while providing cover for those inciting some of the worst anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history. There is no reason for any Democratic candidate to ever listen to them."

The conversation with Warren — who is rising in the polls, and just announced a fundraising haul of $19 million from small donors — is part of a new effort by IfNotNow focusing on the 2020 Democratic primaries, moving beyond its original mission of raising awareness of the occupation in the organizational Jewish community.

The group has said that six full-time fellows are in New Hampshire to spend the summer publicly confronting candidates during their events. It comes two weeks after the group scored its first PR triumph, getting candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders to pose with activists holding a “Jews Against the Occupation” sign.