Warnock Compares Netanyahu to Southern Segregationist, Warns Israel at Risk of ‘Apartheid’

·3 min read

As Democratic Senate Candidate Raphael Warnock tries to assure Jews that he is a friend, new video has surfaced of the Georgia Baptist preacher again linking Israel to apartheid.

In the video, purportedly from a Palm Sunday sermon in 2015, Warnock also likened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to former segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.

Warnock made the statements shortly after the 2015 Israeli elections, won by Netanyahu’s Likud Party. On the final day of the campaign, Netanyahu announced his opposition to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, walking back previous support.

In his sermon, Warnock described the Israeli and Palestinian region as “a land of violence and bloodshed and occupation,” and said he heard a “very clever politician running for re-election as prime minister suddenly announce ‘No two-state solution,’” he said.

“That’s tantamount to saying, ‘occupation today, occupation tomorrow, occupation forever,’” Warnock said, using phrasing mirroring Wallace’s racist call in 1963 for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Warnock urges his parishioners to consider the Middle East demographics. There are more Arabs in the region than Jews, he said. Without a two-state solution, the Jews in the region would need undemocratic apartheid-like policies, or risk being overwhelmed at the polls.

“The state will either be Jewish, or it will be a democracy,” he said. “It can’t be both if you don’t have a Palestinian state. You would have to have apartheid in Israel that denies other citizens, sisters and brothers, citizenship.”

Warnock also took aim at a statement Netanyahu made in the lead-up to voting when he warned that his right-wing government was in danger, and urged his supporters to vote because “Arab voters are heading to polling stations in droves.” Warnock described Netanyahu’s statement as “kind of racist and vicious language.”

Warnock is one of two Democrats in Georgia trying to defeat Republican incumbents in a January runoff election. If both win, Democrats will take over the Senate.

This wasn’t the first time Warnock’s past statements about Israel have come back to haunt him. Last year, Warnock was part of a group of African American church leaders who toured the Middle East and released a statement accusing Israel of engaging in tactics similar to those previously used by apartheid South Africa and communist East Germany – “patterns that seem to have been borrowed and perfected from other previous repressive regimes.”

In a 2018 sermon, after a Hamas terrorists stormed the Israeli border, Warnock accused the Israeli government of shooting down “unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey … like they don’t matter at all.”

As a Senate candidate, Warnock has attempted to walk back his apartheid allegations, and released a position paper asserting that he is a “friend of Israel.”

“I will stand with Israel and the Jewish people to protect their interests, advocate for the human dignity of the Palestinian people and their position in the world, promote peace, and ensure the U.S. remains economically strong, safe, and secure.”

More from National Review