(JNS) A Democrat running in Texas for the U.S. House of Representatives next year has compared the situation of the Palestinians to that of African-Americans under segregation during the 19th and 20th centuries. “Palestinians currently live under conditions analogous to Black Americans under Jim Crow – they deserve better,” states the campaign website of Heidi Sloan, who is running for the Democratic nomination in the state’s 25th Congressional District. Sloan calls for ending U.S. assistance to Israel.
The term “occupation” initially applied to Palestinian areas the Israelis oversaw after gaining land (eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and much of the Sinai) in the 1967 Six-Day War – land the Arabs refused to negotiate as part of the Khartoum Conference in 1968, signified by “Three No’s” in reference to Israel: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. Yet as with most terminology used in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, no clear definition exists, even after the Palestinian Authority has overseen Arab-majority sections of the West Bank since 1994 and Hamas has run Gaza since 2007 (taking it away from the P.A. after Israelis withdrew in 2005). Egypt negotiated with Israel to get the Sinai back in 1982 as part of direct negotiations with Israel. Still, some consider all of Israel to be “occupied” territory.
“We call for the removal of illegal settlements in the West Bank, an end to the blockade of Gaza, freedom of movement for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, and that Palestinians living in Israel are guaranteed full rights under the law,” states Sloan on her website. Sloan is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports BDS.