The California Democratic primary race for former Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat is being upended by the conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to Politico.
California Democratic representatives running to succeed Feinstein include Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, but so far Lee is the only candidate to endorse a ceasefire in Gaza amid Israel’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. Angry pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted a convention of the California Democratic Party on Saturday, according to Politico, forcing the party to cancel planned caucuses and underscoring the deep divisions within the party.
“We need to make sure to stand up to genocide and colonization and it’s what I feel like we were doing,” delegate and lawyer Magali Kincaid, who was with protesters, told the Los Angeles Times.
The protests and disruptions angered some Jewish delegates, some of whom said the state’s Democratic Party leader, Rusty Hicks, is not doing enough to protect members, according to the Times.
“Many were shaken from the disruptive and violent acts they saw,” Andrew Lachman, Jewish delegate and president of Democrats for Israel California, told the Times.
“We can’t win Michigan or Virginia without Muslim votes. You can’t win Nevada or Pennsylvania without the Jewish community,” Lachman told the Times. “So anyone who thinks that they can shout the other one out of the room is hurting the Democratic Party.”
Hicks condemned the protesters Sunday and said, “any delegate who actively participated in or aided in the furtherance of those activities and events … will be held accountable,” according to the Times.
Porter’s take on the Israel-Palestinian conflict has been described as more hawkish than her opponent Lee, according to Politico.
“There are lost lives in Gaza and there are lost lives in Israel,” Porter said October at a forum alongside Lee and Schiff. “And it’s because the United States has allowed terrorism to flourish, and it’s refused to take a strong enough stance against Iran, who is backing Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Lee won a plurality of the convention votes, just ahead of Schiff, but no candidate secured the required 60% to gain the party’s official endorsement.
Schiff came out in support of Israel one day after the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel Oct. 7, according to a press release.
“I stand strongly with Israel in the face of this terrorist attack by Hamas and declaration of war on the people of Israel,” Schiff said in the press release.
Top federal Democratic lawmakers released a statement Nov. 16 that did not condemn violent pro-Palestinian protesters who got aggressive with police outside of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters the night before. The Israel-Gaza conflict has led to active conflict within the Democrat party, leading some more moderate Democrats to condemn positions further to the left.
“We fully support the right to protest loudly and vociferously. But storming through security and shutting down a democratic process — particularly with chants calling for the destruction of Israel and appearing to justify the Hamas attack — is completely unacceptable,” the California Legislative Jewish Caucus told Politico.
Lee, Porter and Schiff did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.Republished with permission from The Daily Caller News Foundation.