New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell speaks before attending her transition planning committee at Xavier University in New Orleans, La. Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

One thing I learned from fielding thousands of calls from listeners over the years as a radio talk show host: The hard left doesn’t think much of the nation of Israel. When the topic of the Middle East conflict came up, my hard-left listeners would call in and angrily condemn Israel as an evil, oppressive and murderous nation. And they saw the Palestinians as innocent, harmless victims just trying to survive.

I’ve also witnessed left-leaning media types award moral equivalency between the Palestinian government run by the terrorist group Hamas and the Israeli government. They do this despite the fact that Hamas has openly called for the complete annihilation of Israel. Last month alone, Hamas fired 29 rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel. Imagine the response from our government if Mexico or Canada had launched 29 rocket and mortar attacks into our country in one month.

New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell made it clear last week where she stands in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An organization calling itself the Palestinian Solidarity Committee says it met with Cantrell for several hours to draft a resolution calling for the city to avoid doing business with companies that have violated human rights. Cantrell’s spokesman denied the resolution is anti-Israel. "There is absolutely no intention on the part of the mayor-elect to be a part of any process that would be considered anti-Israel," David Winkler-Schmit said.

But a post on the Facebook page of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee contradicts Cantrell’s spokesman.

“Today's historic vote determines whether New Orleans will be the first city in the South to begin the process to divest from Israel.“

Cantrell aligning herself with a group like the Palestinian Solidarity Committee says a lot about her political leanings. To give you an idea of how radical the boycott, divest and sanction movement spearheaded by Palestinian Solidarity Committee is, since 2015, 22 governors have either issued an executive order or signed legislation prohibiting involvement with companies boycotting Israel. Even liberal states like New York and California passed such legislation. California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation requiring those who enter into contracts with state agencies must not boycott Israel. Does this mean Cantrell leans more to the left than Governor Moonbeam?

Mayor Mitch Landrieu distanced himself from Cantrell, saying the resolution is "ill-advised, gratuitous and does not reflect the policy of the city of New Orleans." U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy went even further, saying the resolution "is rooted in anti-Semitism and a hatred of Israel.”

"This measure stands in solidarity with a Palestinian government that routinely sponsors and encourages terrorism," Cassidy said. "I hope the council recognizes their error and reverses this misguided decision.”

The resolution was co-sponsored by Cantrell, along with council members Jason Williams, Jared Brossett, James Gray and Stacy Head. Nadine Ramsey and Susan Guidry were not sponsors but voted yes. After all the criticism surfaced, Guidry said she didn't have time to review the resolution and understand its implications. Head also seemed to backtrack.

”I took the resolution's language at face value without understanding its intent. My cosponsorship should not be taken as a slight to the Jewish community in New Orleans, which continues to contribute so much to our city,” Head said.

This reminds me of the time I covered a Nation of Islam rally while working as a news reporter for KATC Television in Lafayette in the early 1990s. I interviewed one of the KKK members who showed up at the rally to protest. After the interview, the KKK member told me off-camera, “I don’t agree with the Nation of Islam about much, but they are right about the Jews.”

I’m not sure why the alt-right and the hard left have such animosity toward the Jewish people. It should give us pause that the future mayor of New Orleans would align herself with the hard left and support a boycott-Israel movement so widely condemned by both Republicans and Democrats.

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