Senator Warren’s progressive supporters demand accountability for her rightwing pro-Israel positioning

US Politics
on 64 Comments

When Elizabeth Warren came to Tufts University in Medford on Monday she was met by anti-war and Palestinian rights activists who asked why the popular senator and national Democratic Party celebrity seemed to echo Israeli talking points about the recent Israel attack on Gaza.

Warren had appeared as the keynote speaker at the Netroots Nation in July. She proudly identified herself a progressive and stirred the crowd with these words:

We know that this economy grows when hard-working families have the opportunity to improve their lives. We know that this country gets stronger when we invest in helping people succeed. We know that our lives improve when we care for our neighbors and we help build a future—not just for some of our kids, but for all of our kids. That’s what we believe in. These are progressive ideas. These are progressive values. These are America’s values. And these are the values we are willing to fight for.

 201409_EWarren at Tufts_5MedLoWM_pwj-0039A dozen activists met Warren at Tufts with signs and banners, distributing a flyer with the headline: “It’s Not ‘Progressive’ to Justify Israeli War Crimes in Gaza!”

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The protest and the Gaza-related questions to Warren after her talk at Tufts received some attention locally and nationally – but the media coverage largely centered on the “controversy” after a blogger at the rightist Weekly Standard claimed that Warren was “comparing  
Israel’s Actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.”  Some local media was more serious, noting that the activists had spotlighted the Israel-Palestine issue and compelled Warren to respond.

Warren has focused her legislative work and public speaking almost exclusively on consumer protection, finance and other economic issues that have struck a populist chord with Democrats and independents, many of whom are enthusiastic fans of the freshman senator from Massachusetts.  By political calculation she has been almost silent on international issues and has rarely spoken out on questions of war and peace that are also important to her progressive base. As MW has reported, she literally ran away from commenting on the Israeli attack on Gaza.

However, Senator Warren was put on the spot with questions about Gaza when she appeared at a constituent meeting last month on Cape Cod and her response was reported by the local media and then spread widely on the Web.  When questioned by a local resident about her support for additional military aid to Israel in the middle of the Gaza attack, Warren responded with these remarks:

“I think the vote was right, and I’ll tell you why I think the vote was right,” she said. “America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

Warren said Hamas has attacked Israel “indiscriminately,” but with the Iron Dome defense system, the missiles have “not had the terrorist effect Hamas hoped for.” When pressed by another member of the crowd about civilian casualties from Israel’s attacks, Warren said she believes those casualties are the “last thing Israel wants.”

“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” Warren said, drawing applause.

Noreen Thompsen, of Eastham, proposed that Israel should be prevented from building any more settlements as a condition of future U.S. funding, but Warren said, “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far.”

Many of Warren’s progressive supporters, who had been urging the senator to speak out on war and peace issues, were shocked.  Remaining silent was one thing, but repeating Likud talking points was worse.  Many of us wrote to Warren or called her office to express disagreement and ask for meetings to discuss her statements and legislative record on Israel-Palestine issues.  What they received in return were boilerplate responses asserting her advocacy of a peaceful solution and special support for Israel.

Aside from concurring in Congressional cheerleading for the attack on Gaza and appropriating more funds for Israel in the midst of the slaughter, Warren also recently signed on (tardily, to be sure) as a co-sponsor of the US-ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ACT (S.2673) and justified her stance in letters to constituents.  Earlier, in June, she joined 87 other Senators in signing on to an AIPAC-written letter to President Obama expressing “concerns” over the new Palestinian unity pact and threatening a possible cutoff of US funding to the Palestine Authority.

The week before Warren’s Tufts appearance, members of Massachusetts Peace Action wrote to Warren, expressing frustration with her stance and requesting (for the umpteenth time) a meeting with the Senator:

Dear Senator Warren,

It is safe to say that nearly all our members voted for you in the last election – and more than a few worked actively on your campaign. We very much appreciate your outspokenness as a progressive voice in the Senate on behalf of ordinary citizens over banking interests and we welcomed your support for the Budget for All campaign.

However, we were very disturbed to read about your recent statements regarding Israel and its attack on Gaza.  We strongly urge you to rethink the positions you expressed, which are at variance with the facts and do not advance the goals of a just peace.

To interpret Israeli actions as merely “the right to defend itself” ignores the long history of occupation and siege imposed on the people of Gaza.  It belittles the killing of more than 2100 Palestinians —  the majority of them civilians, as the UN and respected human rights organizations have documented.

Moreover, a careful review of the chronology of this latest conflict reveals that it was instigated by Israeli actions, not “indiscriminate” attacks by Hamas.  And the charge that the Palestinians use “human shields” has been debunked by serious investigators. In fact, the Israeli use of this practice has been amply documented.

In our view, it is not “progressive” to justify the slaughter of civilians in Gaza.  It is not “progressive” to remain silent when Israel seizes more and more Palestinian land for settlements that are universally regarded as illegal under international law.  It is not “progressive” to enable on-going human rights violations and war crimes through the continued uncritical appropriations of more military aid to Israel.

The time is long overdue to re-examine our policy of supplying billions of dollars of arms to Israel every year. We believe that your co-sponsorship of the US-ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ACT (S.2673) sends exactly the wrong message to Israel in the light of its recent attack on Gaza and the on-going siege it maintains.

We ask that you speak up for Israeli accountability, adherence to international law and compliance with existing statutes regarding the permissible uses of exported US weapons.  We also ask that you vocally support Secretary of State Kerry’s objections to the latest Israeli land grab in the West Bank.

We respectfully request a meeting at the earliest possible date to elaborate on these concerns.

At Tufts on Monday, the standout was organized principally by Mass Peace Action, with support from Boston Jewish Voice for Peace, along with some Tufts students and faculty.  Warren was appearing as part of a “Distinguished Speaker Series” organized at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. She was introduced by Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont, formerly a Clinton-appointed ambassador and a serious Democratic Party rainmaker as National Finance Chairman of the DNC.

In response to Solomont’s softball questions, Warren stuck to her folksy populist message: she retold stories of her family struggles, stressed themes of opportunity, civic engagement and reform of the student loan program.  Those topics were further elaborated in response to the first questions from the audience.

Then three questioners in a row asked about Gaza and Palestine. First was a Palestinian-American whose family had been exiled from Haifa in 1948 asking why Warren could not be more even-handed in advocating for Palestinians as well as Israel. She was followed by Mass Peace Action board member Eva S. Moseley, who said she was “concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them” and asked whether Palestinians as well as Jews had “a right to self-defense?” (Eva identified herself carefully as a Jewish Holocaust refugee, since her family fled Vienna after the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, but this did not hinder the vile FrontPage Magazine web site from a calling her a “Fake Holocaust Survivor” who “support[s] terrorists.”)  The third question was from a Tufts student charging that Warren was an apologist “for Israeli attacks on schools and hospitals” and had an “AIPAC alignment.”  The questioners mentioned that they had supported Warren’s bid for election to the Senate.

Warren responded to each question almost identically:  She was against violence; both the Israeli and Palestinian families should be able to live free from fear and secure in their own states. “I don’t want to see anyone kill more people.”

After these exchanges Dean Solomont said he wanted to “lower the temperature a bit” and closed by asking Warren about her grandchildren, and  “the big question of the day”. . . Not the expected “Are you running for President” but What was her favorite movie? (If you’re wondering: Casablanca)

Outside, near the back entrance to the auditorium, the protesters gathered to be visible to Warren as she departed from the campus.  One of her staffers was furious, oddly chastising the activists for not telling the Warren staff ahead of time what they were planning.  We said we had been trying to see Warren for years. The staffer claimed, rather implausibly, that Warren had never met with AIPAC or any Israel lobby organization. He claimed that the senator was taken by surprise at the Cape Cod meeting and that she spoke “off message” as a result.

Warren, who is a possible presidential contender and the dream candidate for the progressive blogosphere, was very much “on message” on Monday. She was carefully even-handed, pro-peace and for two states in Israel-Palestine.  In a brief interview after talk (with Alan Solomont at her side) she repeated the mantra that “the parties themselves are the ones who will have to negotiate” and “it is not up to the United States to impose it.” And: “At the end of the day it’s got to be what the Israelis and Palestinians negotiate, what they can live with.”  No mention of one-sided US military and diplomatic support for Israel, or the asymmetrical power of the occupied and the occupier, of course.

As she exited the auditorium, Warren — an irrepressible campaigner — approached the activists, shook their hands and warmly thanked each of them for being there. We handed her a flyer as she entered her car to leave.  The aide promised a meeting soon. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, speculations about a possible Warren presidential bid continue.  Warren has announced that after November she will make her first trip abroad since entering the Senate – to Israel.

About Jeff Klein

Jeff Klein, is a retired local union president, a long-time Palestine solidarity activist and a board member of Mass Peace Action. He has a blog: http://atmyangle.blogspot.com/

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64 Responses

  1. lysias
    September 18, 2014, 10:16 am

    Methinks the staffer was most intested in advancing his own career.

    • ziusudra
      September 21, 2014, 4:41 am

      Greetings lyias,
      … Apolitical carreer….
      If you wanted a carreer in the 40s & eraly 50s, you had to sidekick with J Edgar Hoover & McCarty. Today since Pres.Johnson, you throw in with the US Evangelicals & US Zionists.
      As long as we only go on talking, politicians of both parties will talk taking us around the flagpole on a donkey fulfilled with the piling up of ox paddies praising the glory of under all odds victorious Zionistan . It doesn’t matter if one is allowed to question any politician, they give their ever so mindless answers & that’s that! We hear it daily from O’Bloomers & Kerry: now let me get this clear……….
      ziusudra
      PS We must suffer fools.
      John Quincy Adams 1767-1848, was quoted falsely saying that he believed that the earth was hollow & that monsters dwelled within. He planned an expedition after his next election. He lost and Andrew Jackson 1767- 1845, cancelled it quipping that he wasn’t so smart, he should have known that the earth is not hollow, but flat!

      • lysias
        September 22, 2014, 10:51 am

        I’m currently working through a course on mineralogy on DVD’s. Turns out — says the lecturer — that the inside of the earth contains many times as much water (inside the rocks) as do the oceans. So, in a sense, the earth does turn out to be hollow.

  2. just
    September 18, 2014, 10:20 am

    S.O.S. PEP

    Thanks Jeff & thanks to the activists and good people of MA.

  3. eljay
    September 18, 2014, 10:25 am

    >> Warren responded with these remarks …

    Not surprisingly, none of her remarks included any mention of the fact that Israel:
    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – was born of Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    – remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

  4. MHughes976
    September 18, 2014, 10:27 am

    I would interpret this as a politician trying to sense what pressure is coming from the constituency. At Cape Cod she simply made the conventional remarks in support of Israel, presumably expecting that her mainstream audience would entirely sympathise. The response was enough to warn her that a university audience would not be quite so sympathetic to the same ideas, let’s hope enough to prick her conscience. The remark by an assistant that she had been taken by surprise at Cape Cod is rather pathetic and frustrating, suggesting that she had scarcely thought about what is after all one of the world’s most important problems and was not just expecting audience sympathy but expressing views that seem to her natural and beyond challenge. The tepid change is not enough to justify any hope. We are still in the wilderness. Some forces of public opinion are gathering but they will always melt away if no one gives a lead.
    Pew research reports, which I was looking at in connection with poor Mr. Shipman, seem to indicate no real change in American sympathies for Israel or Palestine – except perhaps for a bit of a shift towards being sorry for everyone – from April to August. Which would mean that the movement caused by the brutality of recent events in Gaza has melted almost literally like snow in summer.

  5. seafoid
    September 18, 2014, 11:29 am

    “Warren responded to each question almost identically: She was against violence; both the Israeli and Palestinian families should be able to live free from fear and secure in their own states. “I don’t want to see anyone kill more people.”

    Typical waffly politician’s answer. If you don’t want to see more people being killed you have to address the nature of the system that drives the killing. She will never go there.
    “I love apple pie” is great but why are so many apple pickers being killed ?

  6. American
    September 18, 2014, 11:32 am

    Warren just another I-W****
    Dump her.

    Has Israel’ illegally’ (according to all Inter Law invaded, occupied and
    confiscated/settled on Palestine land?
    Has Israel committed war crimes as defined by Inter law?
    Has the US aided and abetted Israeli crimes financially and diplomatically?

    The correct answers are Yes, Yes and Yes.
    No ‘debate’ necessary.

    BWTTGASO

  7. joemowrey
    September 18, 2014, 12:09 pm

    “Remaining silent was one thing, but repeating Likud talking points was worse.”

    This notion that it’s kind of okay to be silent on issues of war and peace is part of the problem with so-called Progressives. “Many of Warren’s progressive supporters, who had been urging the senator to speak out on war and peace issues, were shocked.” There are only two possible reasons why they could possibly be “shocked” by Warren’s statements, or by her continued support for U.S. wars of aggression around the globe. One is because they haven’t been paying attention; Warren has been giddily pro-war and pro-Zionist from the get-go. The other (and more likely reason in my opinion) is that they are too willing to compromise their core values just to get these kind of faux-liberal candidates into office. It’s a familiar “Don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy on the part of Progressives which has brought us the likes of Barack Obama.

    Bernie Sander is another example of a heartily pro-war, pro-Zionist politician who continually gets a pass from “liberals” because they buy into his sham populist rhetoric. Even a cursory look at Warren’s or Sanders’ voting records makes it clear that neither of them is a Progressive. The same could be said of Obama (well before Progressives elected him, not once, but twice).

    Looking the other way when it comes to war, just to make what they perceive to be “gains” on a few Progressive wedge issues, is a tried and true tradition for many on the Left. Of course, as history has proven, they wind up losing on all fronts because they are supporting con artists who have no principles in the first place. It’s a failed strategy that will be repeated this coming election cycle.

    • seafoid
      September 18, 2014, 1:47 pm

      If Warren folds so easily on Palestinian rights she will be a pushover for Wall St. And pandering to oligarchs is really dangerous for the US. The next crash will be far worse than 08 was.

      • Citizen
        September 18, 2014, 4:36 pm

        The stock market will suddenly plummet drastically in a day, surprising all the pundits. Anybody with their money in a big bank will get really screwed. The depression will last for twenty years.

      • seafoid
        September 19, 2014, 3:04 am

        Citizen

        I think that’ll be the end of this gilded age too. When the people see a second crash and there are no bailouts (Dodd Frank outlawed them) the economic and political damage will be massive.
        It’s also going to be bad for Israel when a lot of the artificial wealth that props up Zionism collapses in value.

    • peterfeld
      September 19, 2014, 12:30 am

      Warren is done for 2016. She is not a leader on peace issues, beyond Palestine, and that’s where the need for a Hillary challenger is. Moving to a better or more “even-handed” position won’t do it. Even if she has any antiwar instincts, it’s not her passion and wouldn’t be her reason for running. There will be no brake on the war lobby and war caucus without an aggressive peace-based challenge to Hillary and others, until we can demonstrate adverse consequences for supporting war. That won’t be Warren and it won’t be Bernie Sanders.

    • Linda J
      September 20, 2014, 10:39 pm

      Re Sanders: It’s not just liberals apparently. Max Blumenthal tweeted from the climate march panel in NY that Kshama Sawant, socialist city councilor from Seattle, is talking up Bernie as a presidential candidate. Faux socialist.

      • catporn
        September 23, 2014, 6:26 am

        I’m not American, but I do keep an eye on US politics as it does effect (adversely most of the time) the rest of us. I like Kshama Sawant (she did have the courage to speak out against Israel this summer) and suppose she sees Sanders as the best of a bad bunch.
        Is there any Senator or Congressperson in America that would dare displease AIPAC? This article http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/friends-israel regardless of the title, suggests Netanyahu has more clout than the hallowed President of the United States.

        “In May, 2011, Obama gave a speech about the Arab Spring, and, hoping to break the stalemate in the peace talks, he said, “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” The 1967 borders, with some adjustments, had long been recognized as the foundation for a peace agreement, but Obama was the first President to utter the words so explicitly. The next day, Netanyahu arrived in Washington and rebuked him in the Oval Office, saying, “We can’t go back to those indefensible lines.”

        A veteran Israeli politician was aghast at Netanyahu’s performance. “This is the President of the United States of America, and you are the head of a client state—let’s not forget that!” he said. “AIPAC should have come to Bibi and said, ‘You don’t talk to the President the way you do! This is not done, you have to stop it!’ Instead of reflecting almost automatically everything the Israeli government is doing and pushing in that direction.”

        AIPAC officially supports a two-state solution, but many of its members, and many of the speakers at its conferences, loudly oppose such an agreement. Tom Dine has said that the lobby’s tacit position is “We’ll work against it until it happens.” After Obama endorsed the 1967 borders, AIPAC members called Congress to express outrage. “They wanted the President to feel the heat from Israel’s friends on the Hill,” a former Israeli official recalled. “They were saying to the Administration, ‘You must rephrase, you must correct!’ ” When Obama appeared at an AIPAC policy conference three days later, he was conciliatory: “The parties themselves—Israelis and Palestinians—will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That’s what ‘mutually agreed-upon swaps’ means.” AIPAC had e-mailed videos to attendees, urging them not to boo the President; they complied, offering occasional wan applause. The next day, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress and received twenty-nine standing ovations.”

  8. hophmi
    September 18, 2014, 12:21 pm

    I’m sure American progressives appreciate the anti-Israel fanatics holding their agenda hostage to the Palestinian cause, much like Arab states have done for years at UN conferences on matters completely unrelated to Israel.

    • joemowrey
      September 18, 2014, 12:42 pm

      Hophmi, those of us who support human rights for everyone are not “anti-Israel fanatics.” We are human rights and social justice fanatics!

      Also, when we hrasjf’s hold so-called Progressive politicians to account for supporting U.S. war crimes and the crimes of the Zionist regime in Israel , it’s because these types of candidates generally accomplish little or no advancement of liberal agendas anyway. If their support for death and destruction can be so easily bought and paid for, how can we possible expect them to have enough integrity to support any real Progressive agenda? History has proven that we can’t.

      • eljay
        September 18, 2014, 5:06 pm

        >> joemowrey @ Hophmi, those of us who support human rights for everyone are not “anti-Israel fanatics.” We are human rights and social justice fanatics!

        Zio-supremacists talk about “peace”, but they never demonstrate any interest in justice, accountability or equality.

    • seafoid
      September 18, 2014, 2:52 pm

      Anti israel fanatics ffs. Since when has justice been extremist? For Zionism I guess Dietrich Bonhoffer would have been a Nazi.

    • Walker
      September 18, 2014, 6:47 pm

      You’re right, hophmi. Why can’t everyone simply ignore Israel’s grinding of Palestinian faces into the dirt, with your help? Things would be much more serene if they did.

  9. HarryLaw
    September 18, 2014, 1:10 pm

    Warren should say, hey you guys, being progressive on Israel/Palestine i.e, follow International law is all very well, but it ain’t going to get me elected, I need lots of campaign cash. Unfortunately those are the rules of the game, until those rules are changed Politicians like Warren will toe line.

  10. EliStern
    September 18, 2014, 2:08 pm

    I just sent Warren a small donation and a note.

  11. Annie Robbins
    September 18, 2014, 2:31 pm

    if all dems have to offer in the next election are likud candidates they’ll loose the election and it will serve them right. i never would have voted for obama had he used warren’s pro israel talking pts. if she’s to cowardly to run to the left of hillary on foreign policy what’s the point? and if it’s not cowardice then she’s inhumane. either way, won’t get my vote. i’d rather have a george bush supporting these war crimes than a ‘left progressive’ any day. if she represents the left in this country it demonstrates how diseased we are. i’m completely repulsed and my instincts are that i am not alone.

    and if warren cares about the economy of the country she should realize foreign wars sunk our economy (it’s expensive trying to gain control over the entire middle east) . you just can’t shove trillions of tax payer dollars that come back via the 1% war profiters and expect the middle class not to sink like a stone. warmongers suck, and ‘i’m against violence’ means nothing if you, inadvertently, support and empower war crimes and the criminals who commit them.

    • seafoid
      September 18, 2014, 2:53 pm

      Great post, Annie. The problem with the 2 party system is who funds it.

      • just
        September 18, 2014, 3:07 pm

        What Annie said, and seafoid too!

        Exactly!

      • Citizen
        September 18, 2014, 4:59 pm

        Those who have the big bucks fund it. And there’s always a quid pro quo. On Monday city council members in Atlanta overwhelmingly passed a resolution (12-2) in support of the Democracy for All amendment, joining the list of more than 550 towns and cities across the country that have called on Congress to address our broken campaign finance system. Last week 54 senators voted in support of the proposed amendment, which would overturn decisions like Citizens United and allow legislators to set reasonable limits on money in election. One additional cosponsor of the bill was unable to attend the vote, so the total number of U.S. Senate supporters is 55.

        The recent votes in Washington and in Atlanta indicate a clear trend: people are tired of big money buying influence in our elections. Local and state victories are a key step toward the passage of a 28th amendment, which requires approval of 2/3 of Congress and ¾ of the states. A growing coalition of organizations are mobilizing their members around this issue, with groups now working together on the local, state and national level.

        Passing a constitutional amendment is no easy feat, though with concerted effort and determination history has proven it can happen, as it has 27 times thus far. In less than five years since the Citizens United v. FEC decision was handed down, the progress that has been made in enacting a solution is substantial: 3.2 million people, 55 senators, 16 states and over 550 municipalities have all called for a constitutional amendment.

      • Citizen
        September 18, 2014, 5:07 pm

        Dark money is pouring into the primary races with only signs it will keep growing like Topsy: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/08/dark-money-hits-50-million-most-still-to-come/

    • Mooser
      September 19, 2014, 11:39 am

      Poor Elizabeth Warren. Such a nice-looking woman, and she can’t get no love nowhere:

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/elizabeth-warren-holocaust-gaza

      She’d better learn to duck!

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2014, 11:42 am

        Sorry, no edit. Ms. Warren is getting it from the Zionists, too, for not being zealous enough, or condemning Israel, or something. See the link.

    • can of worms
      September 19, 2014, 12:53 pm

      @ ‘foreign wars sunk our economy’ — our economy would have surely sunk too had Iraq, Libya etc. been allowed to dump the U.S.D. And is there any way to forestall the abandonment of the dollar except by gunpoint??? Not a rhetorical question. (And is there any way to wage this global currency war except by cultivating stupid anti-Islamism??? And isn’t Zionism helpful in cultivating this stupidity?)

      And so the story goes on, and so the progressive class keeps benefiting from these wars-for-the-dollar that they detest so much because on the other hand the wealth gaps widen… and so the oligarchs keep protecting the ‘Jewish State’ (ethno-military-industrial complex). And the ‘Jewish State’ paves its inroads into U.S. policy. And yet you speak of ‘elections’ and ‘candidates’.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 19, 2014, 10:09 pm

        our economy would have surely sunk too had Iraq, Libya etc. been allowed to dump the U.S.D.

        same difference. the first thing bush did on day 1 in iraq was switch back tot he dollar, some opec thing. the two are not mutually exclusive they are glued to the hip, same w/iran. as you pointed out is there any way to forestall the abandonment of the dollar except by gunpoint???

        not that i know of.

      • catporn
        September 23, 2014, 7:07 am

        “is there any way to forestall the abandonment of the dollar except by gunpoint???”

        The dollar is doomed, and pointing guns wont stop it either.

        “all paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value: zero.” – Voltaire.

  12. lysias
    September 18, 2014, 2:35 pm

    I heard on RT (I think it was RT) yesterday Poroshenko got 12 standing ovations in the joint session of Congress that he was addressing. At least that’s fewer than half what Netanyahu got, but still. . .

    I wonder if Sen. Warren was one of those applauding.

    • lysias
      September 18, 2014, 4:13 pm

      Oops, turns out that joint session of Congress was this morning, not yesterday.

    • catporn
      September 23, 2014, 7:19 am

      I wonder if Netanyahu got 29 (17 more than Poroshenko) because he’s killed so many more civilians? to be fair, the Ukrainian chocolate magnate is just getting started and has nowhere near the same amount of fire power, though he does have, as the ovations showed, the tacit support of the American political establishment.

  13. seafoid
    September 18, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Someone should ask Warren about how her progressive attitude fits with the Israeli idea of “sh’khol” – the grief at the dead of young men. It drives a lot of bloodlust in Israel. It feeds the cult of the Israeli Army ” In every generation they try to kill us, so we kill them first and sacrifice some of our young men.”

    And she should be able to answer how this fits in with tikun olam and progressive dudeness.
    Money is the answer, of course. Always is with these frauds.

    • just
      September 18, 2014, 4:30 pm

      Sadly, you are correct seafoid.

      I love ‘progressive dudeness’.

      • seafoid
        September 18, 2014, 4:37 pm

        Values are so cool until they come up against political money.

      • bintbiba
        September 19, 2014, 8:08 am

        Seafoid has an amazing, inspiring way with words, just. It’s the poet in him.

      • seafoid
        September 19, 2014, 3:30 pm

        Hey Bintbiba

        I hope you are feeling okay again. I was thinking about what you said during the assault on Gaza. Must be so hard to see the cruelty against your own people repeated another time in another generation. So many good people there who deserve a decent life, not to live under the boot of Jews who never got over the trauma of ww2.

        I put all the docs I read on the aggression into 2 folders. Very interesting to read them now. Something serious happened to Israel’s image even if we can’t see the effects of it yet.

    • MRW
      September 18, 2014, 7:46 pm

      I thought I read somewhere that her Harvard professor husband, Bruce Mann, was heavily involved with Israel, but I can’t find a link.

  14. biorabbi
    September 18, 2014, 3:59 pm

    Instead of the endless, leftist, faux pouting over the “Likud” democratic pols like Warren and Obama, why aren’t the progressive base trying to find an actual politician who shares your view?

    If Phil Weiss and say Ron Paul ran together on an explicitly anti-Israel ticket. Instead of whining against the ticket, why not work against the ticket?

    1. If a dem. politician is pro-Israel, why not vote against him, work for his defeat?
    2. Maybe the organizers here can organize a viable green ticket.
    3. Threaten as Annie is hinting at sitting out the election.

    Bottom line, have some pride in your viewpoints. Did anybody force you by gunpoint to vote for Obama? Is there some danger I’m missing if you vote against Warren/or Hillary?

    I approach it from a right wing perspective. I don’t get the carping about this ‘progressive except for Israel’ meme. Maybe support the socialist party or communist party; are you married to the democrat party?

    • Mooser
      September 19, 2014, 11:45 am

      “I approach it from a right wing perspective.”

      Biorabbi, you really don’t need to tell us that. Believe me, we get it. No one has ever called an ethnic theocracy “left wing”

    • Annie Robbins
      September 19, 2014, 10:19 pm

      Weiss and say Ron Paul

      did you just pull this out of a hat or is there something i am missing. has phil ever said anything that would give anyone the impression he aspired to public office? what if he won and didn’t want to be president?

      why aren’t the progressive base trying to find an actual politician who shares your view?

      they probably are.

  15. amigo
    September 18, 2014, 4:35 pm

    I have come to the conclusion , contrary to my earlier opinion of Irish politicians , that we have a fairly decent lot on the whole, when compared to Warren , Clinton,Cruz,Biden, Feisnstein,Boxer,Graham,Pelosi, Schumer and all the rest of the blood sucking parasites.

    No AIPAC in Ireland —-yet.

    • MRW
      September 18, 2014, 7:51 pm

      That’s because the Irish read, amigo. Americans don’t read history unless it’s a university course. Irish high school education is university level here. You wouldn’t believe what we’re pumping out now.

    • Kay24
      September 19, 2014, 7:30 am

      If Ireland does not have lobbies (IIPAC perhaps) they must consider themselves very lucky.

      But knowing how that serpent works, it will not be long before their politicians and media get corrupted. Unlike the US at least the Irish are free!

  16. Sulphurdunn
    September 18, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Warren did not get where she is by being a fool. She knows that no American politician has a chance in hell of bucking both Wall Street and the Zionist lobby and survive. That’s just the way the US is right now.

  17. tommy
    September 18, 2014, 9:34 pm

    Sent. Warren not only supports militant Israeli policies, she supports the strategy expanding US hegemony.

  18. DICKERSON3870
    September 18, 2014, 9:46 pm

    RE: “But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” Warren said, drawing applause.

    MY COMMENT: Just because the Ebola virus doesn’t have a lobby, and is not represented by a PR firm here in the U.S., doesn’t mean that the Ebola virus does not have a right to defend itself.
    The Ebola virus is one of G_d’s many children, and it has a perfect right to defend itsel in this-dog-eat dog world!

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 18, 2014, 9:55 pm

      P.S. Can anyone identify my new ico/avatar? – http://mondoweiss.net/profile/dickerson3870
      The man certainly knew how to strike a pose!

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 18, 2014, 9:58 pm

        P.P.S. “ico/avatar” should have been ‘icon/avatar’

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 18, 2014, 10:01 pm

      P.P.P.S. “this-dog-eat dog world” should have been ‘this dog-eat-dog world’

      • Mooser
        September 19, 2014, 11:48 am

        Thanks, Dickerson! You have discovered my doggie’s Native American name! Henceforth, and from now on, she shall be known as “This-dog-eats”.
        Makes me want to listen to some Lolly and Cholly Vegas.

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 20, 2014, 3:51 am

        I have heard some buzz about“The Big Bang Theory”; I think from either Sam Seder or John Fugelsang (two of my favorite people). I don’t have cable TV (only AT&T DSL and Charter Broadband for the internet), but I did put an good antenna in the attic and the local Turner broadcast station has reruns from 7-8 PM. I watched it for the first time last week. It’s very clever/witty, and quite hilarious. I may have actually laughed aloud!
        Shelly, I am. I am Shelly! I am! (I am Sheldon without the über-geek affectation.)
        Also, Netflix has 7 seasons on DVDs.

  19. Accentitude
    September 19, 2014, 12:18 am

    There’s a term for people like her: Progressive Except Palestine (PEP). Unfortunately it’s not very progressive at all. There are many in Washington like her.

  20. RobertB
    September 19, 2014, 11:15 am

    Rewards and Punishments for Gaza
    How the Israel Lobby Reshapes its Message

    By Philip Giraldi
    September 18, 2014

    “Those of us who believe that the Israeli government has finally gone too far in its slaughter of Gazan civilians because the whole world, including most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it, should be aware that pushback has arrived. Israel and its powerful friends in both the US and international media as well as in government circles are energetically rewriting the story, not only regarding Gaza, to restore Israel’s status as the beleaguered little democracy in the Middle East and America’s only true friend and ally.

    The reconstructed narrative is backed up by a not so subtle system of punishments and rewards for those who either deviate from or support the new orthodoxy. Indeed, politicians in general are leading the charge because they have the most to benefit from being perceived as friends of Israel, particularly if they are ambitious. Criminalization of criticism of Israel is also on the agenda in a number of countries. A current bipartisan congressional resolution with 93 co-sponsors is seeking to limit what might or might not be said regarding actions undertaken by the Israeli government. It “decries and condemns the comparison of Israel to Nazis perpetrating a Holocaust or genocides as an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.” The bill is one of a number that have been floated in several countries, including Canada, to make any criticism of Israel a hate crime.

    Republicans are lined up solidly in support of Israel. Senator Ted Cruz even felt compelled to sing the praises of Israel during a dinner hosted by Middle Eastern Christians, who have been victimized by Tel Aviv, before he was booed off the stage. Senator Rand Paul, who occasionally and unsuccessfully tries to talk like his principled non-interventionist father, thinks that Israel’s regular military interventions into the shrinking Palestinians territories are just fine because they are “defense.” Five hundred dead Palestinian children are apparently just a footnote for the eye doctor from Kentucky and the lawyer from Texas.

    And it is also notable how professional “bleeding heart” advocates of protecting suffering humanity worldwide routinely make an exception for the Middle East. Reliably liberal Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, always “progressive except for Palestine,” has felt compelled to describe Israel’s shelling of schools and hospitals as a response to Hamas’s alleged use of those buildings to launch rockets, justifying Israel’s “right…to defend itself.” Per Warren, killing civilians is the “last thing Israel wants.” It might be noted that Warren, like Paul, just might be harboring presidential ambitions….con’t

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39714.htm

  21. tarheelnm
    September 19, 2014, 12:31 pm

    My phone message to Senator Warren this morning: “I want to express my dismay at Senator Warren’s recent comments about Israel, because they repudiate everything she says she stands for. How can one speak about progressive values of fairness and justice and not stand up for justice in Palestine? This speaks directly to her character, and she has lost my support.” Yes, hard to get elected without Zionist support and money, but what if a politician of Warren’s stature actually followed her conscience and told the truth? She might just get elected anyway, and break the Zionist hold on our government. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.

  22. gitelsura
    September 19, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Bernie Sanders gave the same Hasbara 101 response at a Vermont town hall meeting when angry constituents questioned his sign-on to the “Israel’s right to defend itself” senate resolution. Here’s the link to video. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2014/08/20/answering-question-on-israel-bernie-sanders-tells-townhall-hecklers-to-shut-up/

    He framed the issue as Israel under siege by (inexplicable) Palestinian violence. 47 years of the violence of military occupation is not so much as mentioned. The senator who deconstructed the mystique of American capitalism pleads that when it comes to Israel-Palestine “it’s too complicated” to unravel. He evokes Islamophobic tropes for his analysis – for example, that militants in occupied and besieged Gaza are to be identified with the fanaticism and brutality of ISIS

    As far as I know, he’s stayed under the radar on Israel-Palestine for most if not all of his political life. Many of his admirers (like me) have assumed he had to steer clear to deal with his bold progressive domestic agenda.

    Is Sanders just decades behind on any cogent analysis and clueless about the shift in public perception of Israel, or is he (as he appears in this clip) emotionally a true believer?

    And have we arrived at the point where fidelity to Israel comes with its own real political risks — especially for those with a progressive base?

  23. lysias
    September 19, 2014, 3:58 pm

    Congressional Quarterly: Bill to Aid Israel Passes Senate:

    Bill to Aid Israel Passes Senate

    By Sarah Chacko, CQ Roll Call

    An embattled measure to strengthen ties between the United States and Israel passed the Senate Thursday.

    The bill (S 2673), which senators backed by unanimous consent, would extend authority to transfer certain obsolete or surplus Defense Department items to Israel and make additions to foreign-based defense stockpiles for use as war reserve stocks through fiscal 2015.

    The measure would increase the value of pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel by $200 million to a total of $1.8 billion. Under an agreement with the United States, Israel is allowed to use the equipment if needed.

    Bill sponsor Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., sought unanimous consent to pass the legislation before the August recess but was stopped by Bob Corker of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. Corker said that while he supported the measure, the cancelation of a scheduled markup prevented his GOP colleagues from offering a number of amendments.

    Before passing the measure Thursday, the Senate adopted a Boxer amendment that would admit Israel into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of 38 member nations to enter the United States and remain for 90 days without first obtaining a visa.

    The amendment replaces softer language urging the Obama administration to admit Israel into the program, which was included over concerns from the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community about Israeli espionage if the country were admitted into the program.

    Jonathan Broder contributed to this report.

    The House is out on recess until after the November election. Let’s see what they do when they are in session again.

  24. Krendall Mist
    September 19, 2014, 5:10 pm

    How quickly they forget.

    Remember how proud Warren was of her putative indigenous American heritage (as minimal and phony as it may have been) when she first weaseled her way into the limelight?

    I wonder if Warren would have endorsed the cavalry’s right to defend itself when it surrounded some small village of her great great great auntie and blasted it to bits with cannon and Winchesters in response to a couple of arrows landing in the dust?

  25. Kathleen
    September 20, 2014, 10:47 am

    Great piece Jeff. Warren lined up behind the I lobby and Israel immediately when she entered into the national spotlight. Clearly she supports justice in the U.S. but not for Palestinians…..This is racism. She continually repeats the unsubstantiated claims about Iran .

    I love Bernie Sanders on domestic issues but the spotlight needs to be turned on Bernie and his votes for the 2006 (Senate 2370 Palestinian anti terror legislation) that I believe passed unanimously in the Senate. He did vote no on the 2002 Iraq war resolution (so this differed from Clinton) but his voting record on foreign policy needs to be examined carefully.

  26. kalithea
    September 20, 2014, 9:48 pm

    The American political system is the most Zionist-rigged political system in the world. No matter how you shuffle the cards, the Zionist card always comes out at the top of the deck.

    There should be a study done on how the American people have been bamboozled into believing they’re actually voting for something different in every election. There are layers upon layers of Zionist manipulation involved in this massive deception and the mainstream media is in there doing the bidding for Zionism and so are many Judaic-inspired organized religions some pretending at Christianity preaching on behalf of this brainwashing scam.

    The Obama Presidency should have driven this fact home by now; but unfortunately there are still many gullible left who need a Sen. Warren to disappoint and disillusion them all over again before they finally get it.

    Blind mice, it’s going to take something more like a Revolution to break free of the Zionist maze.

    • Mooser
      September 21, 2014, 11:40 am

      And I keep on telling you the Zionists are blasting Warren for being insufficiently zealous on Israel. Link above.

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