Boston, MA – Massachusetts State House Representative Jamie Belsito (D-Essex 4th) has described Israel as an “apartheid,” “terrorist” state committing “genocide” in a series of recent social media posts about Israel.
“The US must acknowledge that the Israel administration is an apartheid run thuggery terrorist regime on a mission to kill Palestinians. Killing and land taking has nothing to do with antisemitism. It is genocide,” Belsito tweeted on 29 Dec.
The US must acknowledge that the @Israel administration is an apartheid run thuggery terrorist regime on a mission to kill Palestinians. Killing and land taking has nothing to do with anti-semitism. It is genocide.— Jamie Zahlaway Belsito 🇺🇦🇵🇸🇸🇾 (@JamieBelsito) December 30, 2022
Belsito, who was first elected in 2021 and did not seek re-election in 2022 following redistricting, will conclude her term on Wednesday. Belsito’s official biography on the Massachusetts legislature website says that she is the granddaughter of a Syrian immigrant and she has described herself as the only Arab-American woman ever elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
“The United States has ZERO understanding of what the Nakba is,” Belsito said on 11 Dec., using an Arabic word meaning ‘catastrophe’ that refers to the founding of Israel in 1948. “The truth cannot be silenced. 1948 European British Zionists created a hell on earth.”
My family sat together to watch this film. The United States has ZERO understanding of what the #Nakba is. The truth cannot be silenced. 1948 European British Zionists created a hell on earth. This movie is about visceral hate, ethnic cleansing, terrorism and apartheid. #Farha https://t.co/8kasEpBKpx— Jamie Zahlaway Belsito 🇺🇦🇵🇸🇸🇾 (@JamieBelsito) December 11, 2022
Of the new Israeli government, Belsito wrote on 22 Dec. that the Biden administration needed to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The world cannot allow a 60+ decade [sic] genocide to continue as they continue to kill Palestinians, bulldoze their homes and take over their land.”
It is imperative that the @POTUS administration challenge this alt right incoming @IsraeliPM administration. The world cannot allow a 60+ decade genocide to continue as they continue to kill Palestinians, bulldoze their homes and take over their land. #Palestine— Jamie Zahlaway Belsito 🇺🇦🇵🇸🇸🇾 (@JamieBelsito) December 22, 2022
Jeremy Burton, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston, told The Algemeiner that Belsito’s comments come “dangerously close to invoking antisemitism rather than offering legitimate criticisms.”
“As Rep. Belsito concludes her very brief tenure on Beacon Hill, we vociferously reject and denounce her comments regarding the state of Israel,” Burton added. “Criticism, even harsh criticism, of any duly elected government and its policies, or of the ongoing relationship of occupation between Israelis and Palestinians, is legitimate, even when it is painful to hear. Characterizing Israel, an American ally and itself the target of an enduring antisemitic campaign of elimination since its founding – as a “terrorist regime” engaging in “genocide” is both unacceptable and repugnant.”
Rep. Belsito did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.