A week after she resigned her Democratic National Committee seat under pressure over emails accusing Israel of running “mass concentration prison camps,” Evelyn Garcia has double-downed on her critics.
Choosing a friendly venue – a progressive, pro-Palestinian website – on which to respond to the outrage her emails spawned, the Palm Beach County Democrat digs herself an even deeper hole by reaffirming her anti-Israel views. Although she does not use the phrase itself, she even hints that her critics are guilty of a dual loyalty.
“Don’t our loyalty and patriotism belong first to our country — the United States of America?” Garcia asks rhetorically on the blog, Mondoweiss.
The dual loyalty charge is an old play that all Israel supporters will find familiar, and it will no doubt spur another round of outrage.
In light of her aggressive defense on Mondoweiss of the controversial belief that Israel is exercising “an illegal, immoral occupation of Palestinian territories” – and that U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing such behavior by supporting Israel – it certainly seems Garcia was being less than truthful when she told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday that she apologized for remarks she deemed “ugly” and “hurtful,” referring to the original emails that caused such a stir in her own party.
Garcia repeatedly calls those emails “private” in objecting to whomever decided to make them public, but suggests, “How about conducting a discussion on that topic instead of persecuting one messenger?”
She then goes about persecuting one messenger – BizPac Review, which was the first to expose the offending emails. She blames BPR for creating the firestorm now consuming her, when in fact, all we did is bring her own words into the public eye – and quote the many Democrats who expressed disgust that such sentiments would come from within their own ranks.
The “private email” objection is flimsy, too. As a member of the DNC, Garcia is, or was, an elected official, and she remains both a member of the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee and a candidate for Florida House District 88.
In Florida, members of a local DEC are considered elected officials (the same is true for Republicans), and as such, they are public figures whose views on the topics of the day are consequential. Garcia’s one-time DNC position and her aspirations for the state legislature only compound the public’s interest in her views on the world and issues important to them.
Now, thanks to a few courageous Democrats, we are having the public discussion Garcia says she wants, even as she whines about having it forced on her.
Garcia says she’s been subjected to a “barrage of hate mail and threats I’ve been receiving from places as far away from Palm Beach County as Oklahoma.” She adds:
I hold this unelected political action leadership fully responsible for unleashing the barrage of hateful and dangerous threats against me from what I hope is a very small group of extremists. Who do they think they are fooling by accusing me of anti-Semitism? I believe they and the entire world know that criticism of U.S. foreign policy vis a vis Israel is NOT anti-Semitic and saying so doesn’t make it so. It just means that some extremists will intimidate and persecute anyone who doesn’t follow the company line.
If Garcia is being threatened by anyone, I urge her to report it to the police. She has a right to her opinion, and anyone who threatens her is morally and criminally wrong to do so.
I happen to agree with Garcia when she says her views are “constitutionally protected free speech.”
But just as Garcia’s speech is protected, so is the speech of her critics. Garcia is trying to equate mainstream Democrats’ legitimate criticisms of her extreme views with anonymous hate mailers — in her own attempt to stifle free speech and intimidate those who take exception to her positions.
When I published the original post on the issue, “Democratic official’s shock emails: Israel guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’,” I did so without injecting any of my own opinion. Garcia’s emails spoke for themselves.
It was Garcia’s fellow Democrats who accused her of anti-Semitism, not BizPac Review. In our follow-up articles, we just reported what was said to us on the record by Garcia’s colleagues in the Democratic Party.
Garcia’s full response is breathtakingly confusing, illogical and hypocritical. I urge my readers to read the full text here.
These are the defensive words of a perhaps once-promising political player who is angry because she’s been exposed, and now that we’re having the debate she insists she wants, she’s afraid that instead of agreeing with her, most Democrats will probably agree with Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson when he told The Palm Beach Post:
“She can say what she wants but not as an executive of the Democratic Party. The party, locally, statewide and nationally, supports the state of Israel. I am personally offended as a Jew, as a Democrat and as a supporter of the state of Israel. The Democratic Party is better off without her.”
Don’t miss these related stories:
Palm Beach Post:
County Democratic official Garcia resigns after emails critical of Israel surface
The Washington Free Beacon:
DNC official stuns colleagues with anti-Israel ire
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