For those who care about Palestine, the most exciting moment of the Democratic convention took place Monday when a young delegate jumped on to his chair on the convention floor and unfurled the Palestinian flag. He was soon surrounded by a crowd holding up Hillary Clinton signs to make his demonstration disappear. But the incident quickly went out on social media — “a very human moment in a very dark time,” as Laila Abdelaziz put it.
— Jamil Dakwar (@jdakwar) July 25, 2016
The man who raised the flag says that he was abused and knocked around by older delegates, but many young Democrats cheered him on.
“This issue is being brought to the forefront of the Democratic Party,” Ali Kurnaz, a Sanders delegate, said yesterday. “I believe that now, largely thanks to Bernie Sanders including it in his campaign platform people are starting to understand the issue for the first time. While others are coming out of the woodwork in support.”
Kurnaz is all Democrat: the Floridian is vice president of Young Democrats of Orange County, and communications director for Florida Young Democrats.
But for years, Kurnaz says he kept quiet about his support for Palestine. Born and raised in Orlando, of Turkish-American descent, Furnaz began doing Democratic Party work in 2007 when he was 17, and though Palestinian human rights were important to him, he says, “I learned very quickly it was an issue I had to suppress. Even as a college Democratic Party organizer, I would make sure that the subject was not brought up, because then there’d be a vote and the Zionists would win.
“But now it’s changing. I can tell most of the people of my age agree with me.”