calling out

Manning: ‘Double standard’ may be involved in some colleagues’ criticisms of Israel’s judicial reform

The North Carolina Democrat noted that she had been asked to sign onto statements criticizing Israel, but not other unpopular governments around the world

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) was added to a pro-Palestinian resolution backed by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) without her consent.

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) said on Tuesday evening that double standards may be involved in some of her colleagues’ criticisms of Israel’s judicial reform efforts.

Numerous Democrats have spoken out in recent months regarding the Netanyahu government’s judicial overhaul. One group of more than 90 members signed onto a letter urging the Biden administration “to use all diplomatic tools available” to halt the effort, a group of Jewish Democrats urged Israeli leaders to seek compromise and a far-left group called for a “shift in U.S. policy” toward Israel and reexamination of U.S. aid in response to a variety of issues, including the judicial reform project. Manning did not speak out on the issue until after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last month that he would pause the reforms and seek to negotiate a compromise, at that point praising the pause.

Manning, speaking at a Zoom event with Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania last night, told audience members that she’d been asked to sign onto several letters criticizing the judicial reform effort.

“One of the things that I think to myself is… [Indian] Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi is taking actions that I think are antidemocratic in his country; nobody’s asked me to sign on[to] a letter [telling] him what to do. There’s a lot of activity going on in France, [President Emmanuel] Macron is very unpopular right now for what he’s doing for social security; nobody’s asked me to sign on[to] a letter telling Emmanuel Macron what he should be doing in his country,” Manning said.

“So I think that the double standard is something that we have to be thinking about on a regular basis,” she continued.

Manning added that the protests against the judicial overhaul in Israel, rather than validating criticisms of the Jewish state, demonstrate it is a “remarkably thriving democracy.”

“We’ve seen, what, eight weeks of protest now? Hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the streets to maintain a democracy,” she noted. “No one has been killed. No one has been significantly injured. There is an incredible democracy in Israel, and anybody who’s calling it out — using this as an excuse to demonize Israel is using a double standard.”

The North Carolina congresswoman, who chairs the House’s antisemitism task force, also provided further details on the FBI’s recent release of supplemental hate crimes data for 2021, following an initial release missing data from major Jewish population hubs like New York, Los Angeles and Florida.

Manning said that she had heard on Tuesday from FBI officials that they had dispatched agents to “every single community that did not input data and required them to input data.”

“So I want to give credit to the FBI because they took our request seriously and then came up with a much fuller report that does show the problem that we know exists,” she said.

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