The radicalism of Raphael Warnock

A more troubling sign of Warnock’s radicalism is his clear record of anti-Israeli rhetoric. Warnock, a Baptist pastor in Atlanta, issued a joint statement with other religious leaders in 2019 likening America’s ally Israel to “apartheid South Africa” and Communist East Germany. “We saw the patterns that seem to have been borrowed and perfected from other previous oppressive regimes,” read the statement signed by Warnock and others following a trip to Israel. “The ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians in a political wall reminiscent of the Berlin Wall. . . . The heavy militarization of the West Bank, reminiscent of the military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa.”

Now that he’s running for the U.S. Senate, Warnock has issued a new statement asserting he does not believe Israel is an apartheid state, but the new statement doesn’t offer any explanation for signing his name to a statement that plainly said Israel borrows practices from “oppressive regimes” such as apartheid South Africa…

The Democratic candidate’s 2020 campaign promise is impossible to reconcile with his anti-Israeli rhetoric that goes beyond the 2019 letter. “We saw the government of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey,” Warnock said in a 2018 sermon. “It is wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all.” Warnock issued that denunciation of Israel after Hamas led a mass incursion of the Israeli border, and the Israeli military responded with the justifiable use of lethal force. But in Warnock’s telling, Israelis are “birds of prey” who viciously kill innocent Palestinians, who are “brothers and sisters.”