Michael Moore says Palestinians have gotten a ‘raw deal’

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

Here is another sign that last week’s floor eruption at the Democratic Convention over the party leadership’s move to stuff Jerusalem back into the platform is indicative of a groundswell inside the center-left in favor of human rights in the occupied territories. Palestine is mentioned only in passing by Michael Moore at alternet, but he didn’t have to mention it at all. The fact that he did may suggest that the issue has gained some weight in left-liberal circles… 

The Republicans know this: that we, the majority, will have sex when we want and with whom we want, will read and watch whatever we want when we want, will use marijuana if we want and if we don’t want to then we certainly don’t want our friends who do to be throw into prison. We are sick and tired of being poisoned, by chemicals or propaganda, we think the Palestinians have been given a raw deal and we want our friggin’ jobs back! The Christian Right (and their Wall Street funders) know this all too well – America has turned, and there’s no going back to not loving someone because of the color of their skin or expecting women to cede control of their bodies to a bunch of Neanderthals.

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39 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    September 11, 2012, 10:36 am

    The man is a true sage.

    • Krauss
      September 11, 2012, 1:43 pm

      He’s wrong on abortion though.

      The amount of pro-life sentiment is at multi-decade highs. It’s coming very strongly from hispanics and blacks are generally quite socially conservative. They are going with the social program because that’s the cost to get the economic benefits.

      Before Obama took the pro-gay marriage stance, blacks were the crucial demographic which voted down gay marriage laws, like prop 8 in California.
      If Obama leaves, we’ll see a reversal to the mean.

      Also, on racism, racism will always exist. It’s naive to think it can only go one way.
      I think it has gotten a lot better and things will improve. But it will always be a significant factor. And the left has too one-dimensional views on racism.

      Nonetheless, progress continues for the most part.
      Americans are out of jobs, and the debt is increasing all the time.

      Last thing we need now is another Middle Eastern war.
      AIPAC’s gonna lose.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Before Obama took the pro-gay marriage stance, blacks were the crucial demographic which voted down gay marriage laws, like prop 8 in California.

        do you have a link for this?

        They are going with the social program because that’s the cost to get the economic benefits.

        iow, you don’t think issues of racial tolerance matter to blacks when they align themselves with political parties?

        The amount of pro-life sentiment is at multi-decade highs. It’s coming very strongly from hispanics and blacks are generally quite socially conservative.

        your information is contradicted by these studies
        https://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/05/09-4

        http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/births_deaths_marriages_divorces/family_planning_abortions.html

      • lysias
        September 11, 2012, 5:00 pm

        The opposition to the gay-marriage law here in Maryland (it’s up for a popular vote in November) is led by a bunch of black ministers.

      • German Lefty
        September 11, 2012, 5:59 pm

        do you have a link for this?

        Here, Annie:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/06/AR2008110603880.html
        “Seven in 10 African Americans who went to the polls voted yes on Prop 8”

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2012, 11:12 pm

        thanks GL. when i read ‘the crucial’ demographic , i thought you meant crucial to it passing. because african americans in california are only 6-7% of the population whereas hispanics are almost 40%. seems like a lot to rest on their vote but since it barely passed i suppose it could be viewed like that.

      • ColinWright
        September 12, 2012, 12:48 am

        Annie says: ‘Before Obama took the pro-gay marriage stance, blacks were the crucial demographic which voted down gay marriage laws, like prop 8 in California.

        do you have a link for this?’

        I don’t have a link for it myself…but as I recall, Blacks voted 70% against permitting Gay marriage the last time we voted on it in California.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 11, 2012, 6:08 pm

        “He’s wrong on abortion though.”

        No, the people who want to dictate to women about their health are wrong. And most often because of their twisted religious ideas.

      • ColinWright
        September 12, 2012, 12:54 am

        Woody Tanaka says: ““He’s wrong on abortion though.”

        No, the people who want to dictate to women about their health are wrong. And most often because of their twisted religious ideas.”

        They would see it as a matter of prohibiting infanticide.

        …and they’ve got a point. A new-born baby isn’t morally or physically much different from a fetus in an advanced stage of development. It can’t even intelligently understand what its eyes are telling it. So how can it be the most horrible crime imaginable to terminate a life ten months after conception but quite alright if you do it eight months after conception?

        I’m not going to argue against a woman’s right to have an abortion — but the best efforts of propagandists on both sides notwithstanding, it’s not a cut-and-dried issue.

        It does indeed depend upon how you look at it. For myself, I tend to go with the position that ‘if you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one,’ — but I’ll be damned if I’ll buy into the argument that abortion is the moral equivalent of deciding to have a nose job.

        You can’t just say ‘it’s a woman’s right to choose’ and think you’ve washed all the moral ambiguities away down the drain along with the fetus itself. That’s not the case.

      • MLE
        September 12, 2012, 3:11 am

        Yes it is. There are many restrictions on late term abortions when the fetus could possibly survive outside the woman, but in the early weeks, when most abortions take place, it’s a mass of cells. Anti abortionist shock photos arent abortions, they’re mostly photos of miscarriages where the baby was already dead or severely deformed. And forcing a woman to carry a dead fetus in her womb until she expels is naturally is cruel.

        Also the greatest preventer of abortion is contraception, so people against abortion should be handing out condoms and vouchers for birth control to passers by and making it so easy to prevent pregnancy in the first place that abortions are truly a last resort. No people who oppose abortion view babies as punishment for women who are sexually active and unmarried. Its also why they want to cut social safety nets for single mother.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 12, 2012, 10:41 am

        Colin, I would find your position more persuasive if there were a large number of late-term abortions of otherwise viable fetuses. From everything I’ve read, they are usually only used where the life of the mother is in danger and/or where the fetus is horribly deformed and any live birth child would life a short, pain filled life. (I can see why Christians wouldn’t have a problem with that, given their odd ideas about suffering being sanctifying or redemptive. I find such ideas inhumane.)

        Further, the argument might be more persuasive if the anti-abortion folks were only interested in limiting those very late-term abortions. They’re not. They’re by and large interested in preventing any abortion, from fertilized ovum onward, based on unscientific religious dogma about when “life begins.” Some are interested in going even further and affecting contraception. And these people believe that a fertilized ovum, an embryo, a fetus and a newborn baby all have the same moral weight. That’s insane.

        No, it’s not the moral equivalent of deciding to have a nose job. So what? That doesn’t mean that anyone else should have any say in how the person whose concern the decision primarily is should resolve that moral issue.

        Because where I believe your position is ultimately misguided in arguing that there are “moral ambiguities” is by conflating the two question of: (1) what is the morality of having an abortion, and (2) who gets to decide the answer to question (1).

        The pro-choice position simply answers (2) by saying that no one but the woman whose body we are talking about has the right to speak on this issue. And that is morally unambiguous (as the alternative is to strip personal autonomy from half of the population for reasons of religious dogma), even if question (1) can be argued to be ambiguous.

  2. Philip Munger
    September 11, 2012, 10:43 am

    Moore’s 2003 book, “Dude, Where’s My Country,” published soon after Rachel Corrie was killed, was dedicated to her. He commented on the recent Corrie civil suit verdict. He attended the US premiere of My Name Is Rachel Corrie, being photographed afterward with Megan Dodds, who played Corrie in the monodrama.

    http://www.broadway.com/shows/my-name-is-rachel-corrie-off-broadway/photos/remember-her-name-rachel-corrie-opens-off-broadway/53615/photo-op-rachel-corrie-opening-megan-dodds-michael-moore

    His criticism of Israel over the years has always been understated, yet present.

    • iamuglow
      September 11, 2012, 12:37 pm

      I was about to post a uninformed comment about never hearing Moore talk about I/P. Thanks for saving me. Can’t believe I’ve missed that. Thanks.

    • Kathleen
      September 11, 2012, 3:09 pm

      I have always found Kucinich and Micheal Moore’s stances on the I/P issue similar. Out there not hammered upon but out there. Difference was that Kucinich went on the record voting against anti palestinian legislation

  3. gloopygal
    September 11, 2012, 11:12 am

    I was disappointed when “Fahrenheit 9/11” didn’t mention Israel at all. I guess this is a start.

    • chinese box
      September 11, 2012, 12:53 pm

      @gloopygal

      I think Gaza was mentioned briefly in that film. Although he could and should have gone a lot farther than he did, obviously.

    • David Nelson
      September 11, 2012, 2:32 pm

      After watching the incomplete documentary, i distinctly remember thinking to myself “How can anyone discuss the modern Middle East without considering Israel’s role?”

      The pressures are real. Standing up for human rights in Palestine will cost liberals many of their dear friends.

      These liberals should be so much more pissed off than they are. But what can you do, Moore is just another victim of Israel’s emotional blackmail.

      • MLE
        September 12, 2012, 3:15 am

        I think his main concern was getting bush out of the white house and he needed the progressive except Palestine votes so he kept israel out of it. My mom would have a whole different take on that movie if Israel was brought up.

    • American
      September 12, 2012, 12:19 am

      @ glooygal

      Not surprised he didn’t hit Israel in Faherenheit 9/11…he would have been blackballed out of the film world and not been able to ever get out a message that way again.
      We all rail about people not going far enough but the truth is even those not concerned about their careers have had to consider how far they can go and still keep their channels to the public open. It’s not as bad as it was, but the net is still the only place you can really let it all out and not be shut down.

  4. Sumud
    September 11, 2012, 11:30 am

    Still waiting for Michael Moore to stand up on this issue. Very disappointing.
    He spent time in Palestine many years ago with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. He knows about Palestine but he has been silent on the issue to date except for the occasional murmur. Hope this is the start of something.

    • sardelapasti
      September 11, 2012, 1:01 pm

      It isn’t the start of anything: Moore has already expressed himself repeatedly on the question, as observed by others.
      On the other hand, do not expect anything positive from him. Let’s face it: as a “Democrat”, when it is time to do something he will by definition end up becoming an accessory to all US-Israeli crimes in Palestine. Every time.

    • MRW
      September 11, 2012, 2:26 pm

      He’s testing the waters with that remark because if he’s traveling the heartland, he knows things have changed. America has turned; rather, it’s just turning now.

  5. PeaceThroughJustice
    September 11, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I know Moore’s job is not to think. He’s a “persuader,” and a highly skilled one. But if that paragraph of his is any indication of left political thought in this country, then we’re in deep trouble. It’s infantile.

    • Ellen
      September 11, 2012, 5:38 pm

      Yes, it is and that is why is is not taken too seriously beyond the over 25 set.

  6. David from California
    September 11, 2012, 1:30 pm

    I’ll take his minimal mention of Palestine rather than staying entirely mum. It would be awesome if he made a movie on the I/P issue because of the significant impact it has to the average US citizen, once they find out they are being lied to by the MSM.

  7. joemowrey
    September 11, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Michael Moore will occasionally mention the injustices in Palestine, but he will never take a strong stand on any issue which may threaten in any meaningful way the control the Democrats has over so-called progressives. He is, first and foremost, a shill for the Democratic party. From his support for Wesley Clark in 2004 to his current campaigning for a President who claims the right to assassinate U.S. Citizens, no war criminal is too bloodthirsty for Moore, as long as that criminal is a Democrat.

    Over the past 40 years, it’s not the Right which has brought us to where we are. What rational, progressive-minded person would support the extremist policies of our current government, unless, of course, those policies were implemented by a Democrat? It took a Democratic administration to turn us into the Assassination Nation. It’s faux-liberals like Moore with their lesser-of-two-evils blind loyalty to the Democratic branch of our war-mongering corporatist government which has facilitated our decline into madness.

    Tens of millions of so-called liberals who claim to be believers in human rights and social justice will go to the polls in November and cast their vote for one of the most secretive, pro-corporate, militarist Presidents in our history, with guys like Moore cheering them on. The Right could never have accomplished this. And yet, the illusion is that only Republicans vote against their own interests. Wow.

    • Linda J
      September 11, 2012, 5:53 pm

      Thank you. Well said.

    • Keith
      September 13, 2012, 4:01 pm

      JOEMOWREY- As Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report says, Obama is the more effective of two evils!

  8. MRW
    September 11, 2012, 2:44 pm

    @Phil,

    You wrote: indicative of a groundswell inside the center-left in favor of human rights in the occupied territories.

    It’s not there yet in the great in-between of NYC and LA. Instead, it’s being fed-up with not being able to watch a Fox News pundit show without everything calibrated against Israel. It’s because every Sunday News show brings up Israel wanting more war, and with a country that has never threatened….well, you know the rest. It’s the subconscious effect of presidential candidate Romney swearing allegiance to Netanyahu over his own President; I hear loyal Republicans at the bar muttering about it under their breath while they watch the news crawling on the screen. Ad infinitum. Israel has become a guest that’s worn out its welcome. Now, now, they will be able to read about the Palestinian plight with some equanimity and detachment.

    It’s because as Moore said, We want our friggin’ jobs back. The Republicans have concentrated on nothing but getting Obama out of office since he became Prez and passing unanimous laws for Israel. People want jobs, not all Israel all the time.

    Also, what is lost to the east coast media–they are off-the-wall blind to it–is the net effect of the ordinary Christian churches, not the evangelical ones, quietly appalled at the plight of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, the recent 1933-style desecration of churches and mosques. And for Canadians, there is going to be a consequence to ousting the Iranian Ambassador that will bite Israel in the ass (that will take a couple of years to see, led by the Americans telling Netanyahu to put a sock on it).

    • Annie Robbins
      September 11, 2012, 3:40 pm

      It’s because every Sunday News show brings up Israel wanting more war, and with a country that has never threatened….well, you know the rest. It’s the subconscious effect of presidential candidate Romney swearing allegiance to Netanyahu over his own President; I hear loyal Republicans at the bar muttering about it under their breath while they watch the news crawling on the screen.

      i completely agree wrt the middle of the country. i recently heard this from someone in texas.

      • ritzl
        September 11, 2012, 11:24 pm

        Me too. A good ole country boy friend from western KY that I follow on twitter just tweeted the Haaretz story about Obama’s [temporary?] snub of Netanyahoo. Right out of the blue.

        I’m not sure whether his take was pro or con, but it shows he’s thinking about something other than fishing.

    • Ellen
      September 11, 2012, 5:36 pm

      I have been hearing the same mutterings in central Missouri. Their children sent to the ME (few jobs in that part of the country) and Bibi Netanyahu said 9-11 was good for Israel. Increasing questions on the Israel worship as more and more Americans are suffering and the country falls into ever greater debt.

      Well, it is making some folks rich — the fear and conflict, that is.

  9. valency
    September 11, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Moore was vociferously pro-Palestinian in his youth. One of the editorial differences that led to him being canned so quickly from “Mother Jones” was that he wanted to do more on Palestianian rights. Since then he’s kept his sympathies very close to his chest, which is cowardly or prudent depending on perspective.

    • sardelapasti
      September 11, 2012, 5:33 pm

      “which is cowardly or prudent depending on perspective”
      Not enough possibilities.
      Or criminal.

    • MRW
      September 11, 2012, 7:18 pm

      One of the editorial differences that led to him being canned so quickly from “Mother Jones” was that he wanted to do more on Palestianian rights obviously objected to by the meritocracy.

  10. munro
    September 11, 2012, 4:29 pm
  11. DICKERSON3870
    September 11, 2012, 4:55 pm

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  12. Polly
    September 11, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Good to hear.
    Any public condemnation of Israel’s bullshit is always undertaken with a good deal of trepidation and is of course, ALWAYS noted by the lobby. I don’t think Michael Moore or anybody else should be judged on how often or to what degree they are critical – as long as it is there.
    If Obama is considered a threat to Israels existence and has never suggested anything more harsh than keeping an open dialog with Iran, whilst simultaneously supporting crippling sanctions against them and proclaiming the US undying love for the special bloody relationship etc etc, then Moore’s handful of words about a raw deal should be seen as pretty substantial.

  13. geofgray
    September 11, 2012, 7:05 pm

    small point–michael moore’s agent is i believe rahm emmanuel’s brother. getting a film produced means not getting blackballed by an almost fanatically pro-israel hollywood crowd. the guy’s got enough problems–he has to have full time security because he has been attacked by rabid right wingers. i think his caution is due to 1) his interest in continuing to stay alive; and 2) his interest in continuing to make movies. so i take his small contribution with a great thank you.

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