CNN’s Van Jones Tap Dances for Israel at Pro-Zionist Rally But Still Calls for a Ceasefire

On November 14, 2023, CNN political commentator Van Jones gave a speech at the “March for Israel” rally that was run by the Jewish Federations of North America. This rally was attended by thousands of pro-Israel activists who expressed their solidarity with Israel in light of the October 7 attacks that terrorist group Hamas launched against it. 

Jones expressed his sympathy for the plight of the Israelis who were killed by Hamas on October 7 in addition to the Palestinian civilians who have been killed as a result of the Israel Defense Forces’ punitive campaign against Gaza.

“My heart breaks for all the Israeli children. My heart breaks for all the Palestinian children, and my heart breaks for all the Jewish American children who are now also living in fear,” Jones stated. He later mentioned how  Hamas took over 200 hostages. “I pray that every single hostage is released.”

The pro-Israel crowd expressed its glee with Jones’ initial remarks. They would soon chant “No ceasefire! No ceasefire!” However, its mood changed when Jones called for a halt of the IDF’s bombing campaign of Gaza. 

“I’m a peace guy. I pray for peace. No more rockets from Gaza and no more bombs falling down on the people of Gaza. God protect the children,” Jones remarked as the crowd started to boo him. “Let’s end all the horror and all the heartbreak in the Holy Land.”

Jones had difficulty finishing his speech as the crowd’s boos grew louder. “I don’t feel powerful to do something about what’s happening over there. But I do feel powerful to maybe do something about what’s happening here,” Jones said. “Let’s take a stand here against anti-Jewish bigotry. Let’s take a stand against Muslims. Let’s let’s take a stand here against hatred.”

With over 10,000 people perishing so far in the Gaza conflict, there have been growing calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. However, the right-coalition regime of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained steadfast in its opposition to such a move. 

Jones’ sentiments are typical of liberal Zionists who remain strong supporters of Israel — favoring military aid to Israel, providing diplomatic cover to it, and playing along with its geopolitical ambitions. However, there are limits to their support. Many of these Zionists are growing uncomfortable with the present military campaign against Gaza and they are also beginning to worry about Israel’s right-ward drift into fanatic Jewish supremacy. 

Thanks to alternative media, Israel can’t readily bamboozle the American public like it could in years past. In fact, its heavy-handed measures against Palestinians are now available for more of the world to see. Such a climate is perfect for America First nationalists to expound their restrained foreign policy vision. 

Now, is the time for right-wing nationalists to capitalize on the growing anti-Israel sentiment to make the case for getting out of the Middle East and stop getting the US in entangling alliances with nations that don’t advance the country’s interests.

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