City Councilman Charles Barron’s position on Israel was apparently misstated in a previous column here. Barron says he favors a two-state solution between the Palestinians and Israelis, and supports the right for Israel to exist.
Barron, 61, who is running for Congress against 30-year incumbent Ed Towns, 77, and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, 41, says Israel is not a major part of his political platform. He says the economy and helping people in the African-American, Latino, and Caribbean communities improve their lives will be the focus of his campaign.
Last month, during a 45-minute phone interview, Barron said, “I think Israel should go back to the 1967 borders. The land should be given back to the Palestinian people. You can’t justify it because we had a war. You weren’t supposed to be at war. There should definitely be a Palestinian state governed by the people of Palestine. I just think that the United States should not fall back on those positions and allow for Israel to dictate to them what the policy will be in the Middle East. We just go-along and get-along in the Middle East and we say that you can continue to take more land. You can’t continue to do what you’re doing in the Gaza Strip and bombing and killing innocent people. I think we should be against all forms of terrorism, whether it’s sponsored by a state or an organization.”
Barron continued, “The Palestinians have a right to that land (Jerusalem). I think that the Palestinians should define what their boundaries should be and the Palestinians should define what their state should be. They are being occupied. People came to that land and took land, whether it was in the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip. The history of the Middle East is very interesting. We have to go all the way back to the Balfour Declaration in 1917. If you look at the history of that, you will see that since the early 1900s the Palestinians’ land was taken from them and they have a right to return to their land and to determine what their state should be and what their capitol should be.”
In 2002, Barron introduced a resolution in the City Council that he says remains his official position today. The conclusion is the most salient point for this article: “ … just as the Council supports Israel’s right to exist with safe and secure borders, so too must the Council support Palestinian self-determination and the creation of a Palestinian state.”
It is not clear whether this 2002 resolution passed the City Council but it remains Barron’s official position on Israel, according to the councilman.
While the Congressional candidate did not directly state to the Canarsie Courier that Israel should not exist, as was reported, he has made similar statements in the past. A review of Barron’s remarks regarding the Jewish state deserves further scrutiny.
In 2009 and 2010, Barron was quoted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as saying the following:
“ … you want to discuss Israel becoming a state in 1948 when it should not have?” (House of the Lord Church, Brooklyn, June 17, 2010)
“The young children of Gaza are dying at the hands of the Israeli army and the Israeli government and the United States is accomplice in this murder.”
“Well you want to stop terrorism? The biggest terrorist in the world is the government of Israel.”
“Israel has been an enemy to Africa. Israel has been an enemy to the people of Palestine and we no longer want this nation to support the enemy of human rights. We say stop the weapons to Israel and build the nation of Gaza.” (Rally outside the Israeli Consulate, Manhattan, June 1, 2010)
“Gaza is a virtual death camp, the same kind of conditions the Nazis imposed on the Jews,” (Interview with the Amsterdam News, July 23-29, 2009)
Barron would not confirm or deny whether the statements made in 2009 and 2010 were accurate, taken out of context or absolutely false. He refuses to acknowledge the ADL and gets most upset when asked about these statements.
The ADL has these statements posted on their website.