Many ‘Peace Activists’ Are Really Anti-Israel and Use ‘Same Tactics’ as January 6

US

On Friday’s “CNN Newsnight,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) discussed the vandalism of his home and stated that “We’ve seen these types of protests all over the country and all over the world. And essentially, they call themselves peace activists, but I think that’s the wrong word for it. They are on the other side of the conflict. You didn’t see these people protesting what Hamas did or any number of other terrorist attacks.” And tactics like this “are an attempt to shut down democracy and civil society as it should function. These are the same tactics that we saw in their most extreme form on January 6.”

Host Abby Phillip asked, “You’ve said previously that you’re personally strongly supportive of Israel’s goal of eliminating Hamas, but you have also called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting. And you’ve said that Israel should work to minimize civilian casualties. Do you think that it is because you are a strong supporter of Israel that this happened to you?”

Smith responded, “100%. There’s really no question about it. We’ve seen these types of protests all over the country and all over the world. And essentially, they call themselves peace activists, but I think that’s the wrong word for it. They are on the other side of the conflict. You didn’t see these people protesting what Hamas did or any number of other terrorist attacks. So, they’re attempting to use that intimidation to push an anti-Israel, and in many cases — not all — but in many cases, frankly, a very antisemitic approach. We’ve had similar vandalism occur at synagogues in a number of places in my district in the last couple of weeks. And I think it’s really important that we all stand up against this. Regardless of where you’re at on the issue, we have the opportunity to talk about this. I have met with pro-Palestinian and other left-wing activists on a wide variety of issues. I even met with them a week ago to have this conversation. I will never silence people. I’m open to the dialogue. But you have to have respect for people who disagree with you if you’re going to have a functioning representative democracy.”

Phillip then asked, “We’ve had some — we’ve had a pro-Palestinian protester who was at the DNC a couple of weeks ago, and there were some protests there. What I hear from some of them is that there is too much focus on the protest tactics and not what they are protesting about. When you hear that, after experiencing what you did, what would you say to them?”

Smith responded, “I think they’re 1,000% wrong. I think the tactics are very damaging. They are an attempt to shut down democracy and civil society as it should function. These are the same tactics that we saw in their most extreme form on January 6. The tactic was, we don’t care what the outcome was, we are going to use threats, intimidation, and violence, if necessary, to get what we want. It goes at the very heart of representative democracy.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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