If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for ‘violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent’, why not Israel?

Josh Ruebner writing for TheHill.com:

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is admirably legislating against U.S. arms sales to Bahrain, the autocratic Gulf kingdom which has killed at least 30 protesters during the Arab Spring. To suppress protests, Bahrain has arrested more than 1,600 protesters, has fired 2,500 from their jobs, and is handing down harsh jail terms to medical personnel who treated injured protesters. This brutal repression of Bahraini human rights led Wyden to introduce a resolution to prohibit U.S. weapons sales to Bahrain until it meets stringent human rights criteria, helping to generate enough political pressure so that the Obama Administration has delayed implementation of its shameful decision last month to sell $53 million of weapons to Bahrain.

“Selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to our foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all that the U.S. has worked hard to promote,” Wyden argued.

While this principle should apply to all U.S. weapons sales, it should be even more strictly adhered to when U.S. taxpayers are funding weapons sales through military aid. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid, scheduled to receive $30 billion in taxpayer-financed weapons between 2009 and 2018, and also violently suppresses nonviolent Palestinian protest and commits grave human rights violations against Palestinians living under its illegal 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip .
 . .

Given Wyden’s professed commitment to U.S. weapons not being misused to further human rights violations, the Senator should be outraged as well by U.S. military aid to Israel, for which his Oregon constituents are expected to pay more than $285 million between 2009 and 2018. Yet, instead, Wyden praises Israel as “a stable democracy and a stalwart ally” and keynotes at fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an outfit that lobbies for more U.S. aid to Israel to the detriment of unmet needs at home. 



Wyden should not hold Israel to a different standard. If U.S. weapons should not support Bahrain’s human rights abuses, then neither should they support Israel’s denial of Palestinian freedom and self-determination.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 48 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. pabelmont says:

    Bahrain, I believe, hosts a major USA military installation, and the USA’s military empire would like to remain on friendly terms there. selling arms would appear to help with that.

    Why Sen. Wyden is unconcerned with this matter of empire is curious. Perhaps he knows that his pro-human-rights move will bring him votes locally and he is, perhaps, also an enemy of empire.

    Israel, I believe, doesn’t do a darn thing for the USA but for domestic political reasons, the entire USA political system would like to keep friends with Israel. Perhaps Sen. Wyden is enough of a political realist to realize that and for that reason he keeps mum on Palestine.

  2. Dan Crowther says:

    Wyden’s been doing Israel’s bidding for a long time

    link to counterpunch.org

    link to counterpunch.org

    Only….umm….democracy…….uhh…..stable…….ally……dangerous neigborhood……umm……HAMAS!!!

    • Charon says:

      HAMAS!!!! Every time I see Hamas in all caps (which it technically should be because it’s an acronym) I envision a Zionist shouting it like William Shatner saying “KAHN!!”

      Mainly because I saw a video of somebody at an AIPAC conference actually doing that

    • Taxi says:

      Surely you mean KHAMAS KHAMAS KHKHKHKHAMAS!!!

  3. Charon says:

    Because they have to sign a pledge of support for Israel. That’s what Cynthia McKinney says anyway. She lost me over supporting Gaddaffi as a saint though. Then again, who knows what was going on over there with the conflicting reports even in ‘alternative’ media and celebration photos from years ago in India.

    If such a pledge exists, it wouldn’t be surprising. I would like a scan of one though

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Yeah, I do think she made a big mistake over supporting Qaddaffi. It’s possible to condemn both Qaddaffi and disapprove of the extent that NATO is (almost certainly) going to intervene. What, did some of you think NATO was done with Libya now that Qaddaffi is gone? And how many years have we been in Iraq?

  4. Potsherd2 says:

    The boots on the ground who did the violent suppressing were Saudi. Why not go to the source and cut off arms sales to them?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      In Bahrain too? I thought that was just in Yemen.

    • Am_America says:

      the boots on the ground who started the uprising were Iranian.

      • Avi_G. says:

        Am_America October 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

        the boots on the ground who started the uprising were Iranian.

        You seem to like conspiratorial slogans based on 0% evidence and 100% propaganda. So, here’s another you can add to your collection: “The Jews control the world’s banking system and they brought about the financial collapse.”

        • James says:

          avi – i generally always respect and appreciate hearing your perspective on these threads.. why do you think this particular conspiratorial slogan continues to have life? might the fact that the rothchilds had much to do with the start of the bank of england, or the federal reserve? do you think that might be a small part of the reasoning behind your quoted slogan?

      • Potsherd2 says:

        This is a particularly foolish new hasbarist. The quality keeps diminishing.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        For give my coarse brevity, but: ROFL! Right, and Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al-Qaeda too and that’s why we’re in Iraq now, huh?

        • annie says:

          and Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al-Qaeda too and that’s why we’re in Iraq now, huh?

          that so like..2002-3..but we’ve toppled them now dude..iran is the new boogieman sleeping under our mattresses..or is that russia..no, wrong century.

      • annie says:

        the boots on the ground who started the uprising were Iranian.

        lol. it doesn’t get better than this folks. hasbara at it’s finest.

      • Charon says:

        Iranian, eh? I’ll never understand why you Zionists will take made-up non-evidence regarding Iranian responsibility for anything yet laugh off circumstantial yet damning evidence linking Israelis to 9/11.

        Neocons are essentially calling for war with Iran for what practically is extremely far less incriminating than Dominick Suter and Co (Mossad Cocaine and Henna Tats @Waves in Myrtle Beach, etc.) ties to 9/11

  5. RoHa says:

    “If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for ‘violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent’, why not Israel?”

    Israel has got that video.

  6. asherpat says:

    Q: “If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for ‘violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent’, why not Israel?”

    A: How about – “Because Palestinian dissent is overwhelmingly non-peaceful and non civil.”?

    • Charon says:

      asherpat, troll la la la la elsewhere. Overwhelmingly, eh? Israel is responsible for murdering 10x the number of CIVILIANS as any Palestinians do and that’s if Palestinians were responsible to begin with. Israel has a history of faking attacks in order to retaliate so such statistics are unreliable.

      In 1982 there were rooms of dead Lebanese and Palestinian refugee children with their genitalia and limbs missing as a result of Begin’s orders to treat civilians no different than the ‘enemies’ due to the fact that he was a vile blood-thirsty terrorist monster.

      This was censored in Western media but well known in the ME. The few Zionists who acknowledge this fact refer to a 1967 incident regarding Syrian soldiers killing IDF troops in Golan Heights, removing their genitals, and putting it in their mouths. I have no idea why children from a neighboring country should pay for that over a decade later, especially when the Israelis deserved such a fate considering Golan Heights is occupied Syrian territory.

      The crimes committed by “Israel” over the past 63 years will someday be acknowledged in the history books alongside national socialism.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Because if I’m going to HAVE to repeat myself anyway, I might as well economize:

      124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,463 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

      link to ifamericansknew.org

      I know you don’t care how many children are slaughtered and who’s really “overwhelmingly non-peaceful and non-civil,” but I’m willing to bet the vast majority of young American Jews who are getting steered to this place do care. And will do something about you.

      • asherpat says:

        @Chaos, so the side with more bodies is the just one?

        1:11.78 – the ratio of dead Israeli children to Palestinian children, therfore, the Palestinians are 11.78 times righter (or juster) than the Israelis.

        • annie says:

          the way it reads to me is the side who has slaughtered the vast majority of people (and it is vast) cannot claim to be the bigger victim.

        • MHughes976 says:

          And can’t deny that it is the greater victimiser. This does not entirely prove that it should be condemned as the greater wrongdoer. But the only way to avoid that condemnation would be to say either ‘we victimise them much but we benefit them more’ or ‘they are in fact remarkable among the nations and peoples in that so many of them deserve to die; we have to enforce the moral law with appropriate sternness’. The first is the idea behind the ‘civilising missions’ of imperial powers, the second the idea- of Kurtz, famously, in ‘The Heart of Darkness’ – when the attempt to civilise has failed and the attempt to destroy taken its place.
          Perhaps situations arise in which reasonable people, and not only people like Kurtz who was himself falling apart physically and morally, may think in one of these ways. But I’d like to see the argument either that the Palestinians are gaining as much as they’re losing or that they are part of the heart of darkness.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          One side is a child murderer more than ten times over, asherpat. That’s not even a subjective statement, that’s a fact.

        • asherpat says:

          @Chaos,

          your statement that “One side is a child murderer…” is not a “fact” as you say.

          The definition of “murder” is “the unlawful killing of another being with [malicious intent]“. Israel, as a country and a society, does not condone killing of children (and adults) that falls under this definition. Goldstone himself said so. Admittedly, there are exceptions, but these are criminals and Israel’s courts punish them, but there is no “poilicy” of “murder” and the vast majority of Israelis as a society oppose to intentional targetting of civilians, least of all children.

          On the other side of the conflict, virtually all polls of the Palestinian society reveal substantial support for attacks against civilians that wud fall under the above definition of murder. Streets and squares in Plaestinian (and other Muslim) cities are named after people who intentionally killed Israeli civilians and these “martyrs” are reveared.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel, as a country and a society, does not condone killing of children (and adults) that falls under this definition.

          What a stupid argument! The same could be said of any state, but the reality is a different story. IDF soldiders shoot Palestinains children with impunity and even boast about it.

          Israel does not punish them for doing so.

          I’m sure Nazi Gemrnay had “laws” that prohibited murder.

          On the other side of the conflict, virtually all polls of the Palestinian society reveal substantial support for attacks against civilians that wud fall under the above definition of murder.

          So you don’t cite polls of Israeli society (90% of whom suported the massacre in Gaza), but you refer to Israeli laws. Care to cite any Palestinians laws that condone murder?

          Streets and squares in Plaestinian (and other Muslim) cities are named after people who intentionally killed Israeli civilians and these “martyrs” are reveared.

          Streets, parks, community and squares in Israel are named after people who intentionally killed Palestinian civilians and these “soldiers” are reveared. Israel even issues ribbons named in honor of terrorist groups.

          Seriosly asherpat, who gives you your talking points? Forrest Gump?

    • Shingo says:

      A: How about – “Because Palestinian dissent is overwhelmingly non-peaceful and non civil.”?

      A: How about – False because Palestinian dissent is overwhelmingly peaceful and non violent?

      • eljay says:

        A: How about – “Because Palestinian dissent is overwhelmingly non-peaceful and non civil.”?

        Lest she be considered an “aggressor” by “common sense”-wielding “humanists”, it’s important for the victim to peacefully and civilly dissent against the rapist who has raped her, who continues to rape her and who, with the help and encouragement of his uncle, Sam, has no intention of ever halting his rape.

      • asherpat says:

        @Shingo,

        perhaps we need to argue about the definition of “overwhelmingly”, but wud u argue that murdering a family of 5 and beheading a 3 month old baby is “peaceful and non-violent”?

        • Taxi says:

          Asherpat,
          You really don’t want to be talking about dead babies cuz I could link you to sites with THOUSANDS of dead Palestinian and Lebanese babies (some of them headless infants) that would haunt you for the rest of your life.

        • Shingo says:

          perhaps we need to argue about the definition of “overwhelmingly” …

          Before we get to that, you
          might want to address your definition of dissent vs murder.  

          The murder of the Fogel family was condemned by the PA and was not part of any plot by the PA or Hamas….unless you want to argue that Baruch Goldstein’s actions were state policy.

  7. Mayhem says:

    Everything the US does must be linked to Zionists and Israel. There is this inane propensity to take any news item and twist it into a barb about the ‘evil’ empire. This sounds to me like rabid thinking that is driven by venomous motives.
    Why not a word on Mondoweiss about the significant admission from Abbas about the mistake made by the Palestinians to have not accepted a state in 1947? Nobody is willing to take the blame for a decision that has led to this insane on-running conflict. Better not to talk about things that undermine your position, I suppose.

    • Shingo says:

      Everything the US does must be linked to Zionists and Israel.

      It’s you idiots that keep telling us that the US and Israel share common values.

    • Charon says:

      Mayhem, you must be a sock for one of the usual Hasbarists

      Maybe not, you’re resorting to meaningless rhetorical questions which is part of an attempt to divert rational discussion. This is not a good place for such amateur Zionist tricks.

      Of course not ‘everything’ the US does must be linked to Zionists and Israel but they do have an ironclad stranglehold upon our foreign policy. You should be the one to talk about venomous motives considering the POV you defend

      “Significant” is a weasel word you used and gave an insignificant example. Abbas was a child when partition was proposed over 63 years ago so who cares? You only brought it up because of the usual “Israel accepted, Arabs rejected and started a war” BS propaganda line which ignores the irrationality of Euro colonists with 5% of the land getting the upper hand of Palestine and also selectively forgets the Zionist rejection of the earlier Peel Commission partition.

      The decisions leading to this conflict have their roots in the Rothschild-funded aliyahs of the late 19th century. The thing about I/P is it is so easy to understand the problem and 100% of that problem is the Zionists and their immorality and lies. You are complacent in this responsibility and everything you say is illegitimate and irrelevant. Smear and troll away, nobody cares.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      I mean, I guess you’re right, it’s not as if the US is cutting funding to whole UN organizations, just because they give Palestinians the same rights as Israelis and Israel won’t stand for that… right?

    • Charon says:

      And another thing….

      There is nothing more disgusting than a Zionist shill blogging for a pro-Israel narrative given everything the Zionists have done for the past 7+ decades. When the Israeli press released pics of the Fogel’s crime scene, as a human being I personally felt bad, but at the same time I was saying “serves them right”

      What do you expect? You just cannot blame the reaction for the action. Unless you are insane or just some psychopath lacking a conscious blogging out of a think tank. And not surprising, this is likely your case as with all of you Zionists (except Witty). Nobody else would waste their time being passionate about a BS narrative,

      • asherpat says:

        Charon, when I saw the photos of Baruch Goldstein massacre I was NOT saying “serves them right”.
        when I heard about the three daughters of the Gaza doctors that were probably killed by mistake by an Israeli tank shell, I was NOT saying “serves them right”.
        Even when I saw the pictures of the dead Gaza activists (eg Corrie), I did not say “serves them right”.
        And the Israeli public did not say “serves them right”.

        but when you saw the pictures of a room where a three month old baby was beheaded, you said “serves them right”.

        i have nothing more to say.

        • Shingo says:

          i have nothing more to say

          About bloody time becasue you sound lke a bloody idiot.

          What is it with Zionists stooges thinking they are spokesmen for the Israeli public. Baruch Goldstein has a serious following in Israel and his tomb became a shrine to the settler community. Many in Hebron did say, “serves them right”.

    • Potsherd2 says:

      What’s “significant” about Abbas’s remark? Many Palestinians AT THE TIME thought it might be more prudent to accept the partition plan in 1947, fearing correctly that they might end up with no country instead of half of one. Anwar Nusseibeh did. So the statement is nothing new, only that Zionist shills have to play “gotcha” every time they think it will give them some imaginary advantage.

  8. piotr says:

    asherpat: The definition of “murder” is “the unlawful killing of another being with [malicious intent]“. Israel, as a country and a society, does not condone killing of children (and adults) that falls under this definition.

    It was explained more fully by Harvard Professor Derschowitz in his discourse of “civilianality”. How civilian are Lebanese (or Gazan) victims? Not much, according to esteemed Professor. While Israelis are civilian to the core, and innocent to the man (and woman). (Except for some Leftist traitors, but this is going to minutiae). Thus intentions of Dahiya doctrine are benign.

    Hasbarah celebrates “culture of life” which seems to mean “we kill, they are killed”.