Bernie Sanders’ record on Palestine

US Politics
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Bernie Sanders surprised many when he recently declined to attend the AIPAC meeting in Washington D.C. He did send a letter to AIPAC President Robert Cohen expressing his interest in addressing the meeting via video link, but his offer was rejected. Instead, he gave his foreign policy speech in Utah on March 21st where he addressed critical issues such as the settlements, Palestinian water rights, the Gaza blockade, poverty and unemployment. In addition, he continued his criticism of the Netanyahu government (he had refused to attend his speech when he came to Congress), calling it “absurd […] to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence”, and “unacceptable […] to withhold hundreds of millions of Shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians”. This is not the first time that Sanders has criticized Israel. Indeed, as far back as 1988, at the height of the first Intifada, Sanders condemned “Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs”, calling it “reprehensible”, while adding that it was “an absolute disgrace” that there wasn’t more criticism of Israel in Washington.

Bernie Sanders is clearly more progressive on the Palestinian issue than any other major candidate for the Presidency including Hillary Clinton. Still, when viewed from a Palestinian perspective, a review of his record on key issues in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice falls well short.

Sanders on the Gaza Wars

Sanders’ framing of the “conflict” from a perspective that insists on a false sense of “balance” between two parties seemingly at war is problematic. In reality, this is a “conflict” between a people that has been ethnically cleansed, dispossessed, made refugees and occupied, resisting an oppressor who continues to insist on defining the victim as victimizer. Sanders either rejects this narrative or seems oblivious to it. This is no more evident than when Sanders talks about the Israeli assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, which resulted in the killing of 2251 Palestinians per the U.N., including 1462 civilians (vs. 5 Israeli civilians killed). On his website, Sanders “strongly condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza as disproportionate and the widespread killing of civilians as completely unacceptable”, but insists that “Israel has the right to defend itself”. In his Utah speech, Sanders criticizes Israel’s “disproportionate responses to being attacked”, and maintains that the “Israeli offensive came after weeks of indiscriminate rocket-fire into its territory and kidnapping of Israeli citizens”. In an infamous video recorded at a town hall in Cabot, VT, Sanders acknowledges that Israel went “too far” when it bombed schools and U.N. shelters, but unwittingly excuses it by essentially blaming Hamas for firing rockets from civilian neighborhoods.

Perhaps more important than his rhetoric is his voting record on this issue. During the 2014 assault on Gaza, blatantly biased Senate resolutions S. Res 498 and S. Res 526 that fully condoned the Israeli assault and characterized it as “self-defense” were passed by unanimous consent. Although Sanders did not co-sponsor either resolution, he failed to register any formal objection (a resolution passes by unanimous consent if no objection is raised; as such, no vote is taken). To be clear, this is not the first time Sanders failed to speak up in Congress against Israel’s brutal assault of Gaza. In 2012, Sanders failed to register any objection against biased Senate resolution S. Res 599 that couched Israel’s bombing of Gaza as “self-defense” and that passed by unanimous consent; according to Human Rights organization B’Tselem, 167 Palestinians were killed, including at least 87 civilians (vs. 4 Israeli civilians). In 2009, biased Senate resolution S. Res 10 backed Israel’s assault on Gaza and yet again justified it as Israel’s “right to defend itself” without garnering any objection from Sanders (it passed by unanimous consent); according to B’Tselem, 1387 Palestinians were killed, including at least 773 civilians (vs. 3 Israeli civilians). In 2006, Sanders actually supported the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza and Lebanon during the war that killed 1191 Lebanese civilians per Amnesty International (vs. 43 Israeli civilians killed) when he voted Yea to House resolution H. Res 921.

As such, Sanders’ track record on this issue is quite problematic, and his framing of the conflict is totally divorced from the historical context needed to understand why this “conflict” persists.

Sanders on a Resolution to the “Conflict”

Sanders’ position on “resolving the conflict” is well ensconced within the parameters of the Oslo “Peace Process” (the so-called two-state solution). In his Utah speech, Sanders make clears that it is “unacceptable for President Abbas to call for the abrogation of the Oslo Agreement when the goal should be the ending of violence”. On his website, he states that he “has long supported a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future. […] The Palestinians must unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and hold accountable those who have committed terrorist acts. The Israelis must end the blockade of Gaza, and cease developing settlements on Palestinian land”.

Sanders’ support for the Oslo process or a “negotiated Peace” is further buttressed by his opposition to any unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. In 2011, Sanders failed to register any objection to Senate resolution S. Res 185 which passed by unanimous consent and that “supports the opposition of the President to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and the veto by the United States on Feb 18, 2011, of the most recent United Nations Security Council resolution”. In 2000, Sanders voted Yea to House resolution H. Res 5272 that stated that it “shall be the policy of the United States to oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, to withhold diplomatic recognition of any Palestinian state that is unilaterally declared, and to encourage other countries and international organizations to withhold diplomatic recognition of any Palestinian state that is unilaterally declared”.

It is unclear how a “Peace Process” that has been ongoing for over 20 years and that has led to the immiseration of the Palestinian people will bring about a viable Palestinian state. Indeed, Oslo was never meant to end the conflict, but simply to transfer responsibility of the occupation to a newly created and pliant Palestinian Authority. As such, Sanders’ continued insistence on staying the course with this failed approach is disastrous.

Sanders on Settlements

In his Utah speech, Sanders highlighted that “peace will mean an end to what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza”. This is positive from Sanders. In fact, this is the first time Sanders has called for pulling back existing settlements, as he has historically only criticized the expansion of settlements. Indeed, on his website, Sanders says that Israel must “cease developing settlements on Palestinian land”, but is silent on existing settlements. In an interview with Playboy in 2013, within the context of addressing a question on how he would negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict”, Sanders responds that “in return, the Israelis must end their policy of targeted killings, prevent further Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes, businesses and infrastructure”. In 1991, he voted Aye on H.Amdt. 173 to H.R. 2508, which was “an amendment to withhold $82.5 million of the amount earmarked for Israel (that would only be) restored if the President certifies that the Israeli government has demonstrated that it is not investing in new and expanded settlements in the West Bank and Gaza”.

However, despite his progress on this issue, it’s not clear from his Utah speech whether Sanders believes that all settlements should be removed from the West Bank, or only some. All settlements are illegal under International Law, and Sanders’ talk of “mutually agreed upon borders” and his voting record unfortunately suggest the “some, not all” narrative. Indeed, in 2004, Sanders voted Yea to H.Con.Res. 460, whose main purpose was to “strongly endorse the principles articulated by President Bush in his letter dated Apr 14, 2004, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon”, which amongst other things, stated “that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities”. This is well-understood language that implies that large settlement blocs that cross the armistice line well into the West Bank would be kept in Israel in any final status negotiations.

As such, until Bernie Sanders clearly repudiates his vote on this issue, one must assume that he still supports the “some, not all” narrative on settlements.

Sanders on Jerusalem

Although Sanders has not explicitly discussed Jerusalem in his speeches or interviews, we can rely on Sanders’ voting record to deduce his position. In 1995, Sanders voted Nay to S. 1322, which sought to recognize that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city […]; Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999” (though this resolution passed, a clause in the resolution allows the President of the United States to suspend the move for 6 months for national security reasons, a clause that every President has exercised since the passage of the law). However, two years later in 1997, Sanders seems to have reversed himself, as he co-sponsored (and voted Yea) to H.Con.Res. 60 that “calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to affirm publicly, as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel; and urges United States officials to refrain from any actions that contradict this policy”.

As such, until Bernie Sanders clearly repudiates his co-sponsorship of this resolution, one must assume that Sanders doesn’t even support the mainstream notion (within the context of the failed 2-state solution paradigm) that East Jerusalem should be part of a future Palestinian state.

Sanders on the Right of Return

Although Sanders has been silent on the Right of Return in his speeches, Sanders voted Yea to H.Con.Res. 460, whose main purpose was to “strongly endorse the principles articulated by President Bush in his letter dated Apr 14, 2004, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon”, which amongst other things, stated that “It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel” (in fact, in the text of the resolution, the word “Palestinian State” does not even appear, and is instead replaced by the phrase “the establishment of a permanent alternative”).

As such, until Bernie Sanders clearly repudiates his vote on this issue, one must assume that Sanders believes that Palestinians’ inalienable right to return to their homes, as stipulated by UNGA Res 194, is expendable.

Sanders on “Symbolic” Issues

In 2013, Sanders failed to register any formal objection to S. Res 1456 which passed by unanimous consent and sought to award the Gold medal to war-criminal Shimon Peres (the Gold medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. congress).

In 2008, Sanders co-sponsored S. Res 522 that celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary. To Palestinians, that same day is known as Yawm an-Nakba (meaning “day of the catastrophe”), aptly named to reflect the suffering that Palestinians have experienced since the birth of the State of Israel.

In 2001, Sanders voted Yea to H. Res 34 which “congratulates Ariel Sharon on his election as Prime Minister, and extends to him the best wishes of the people of the United States”. The war-criminal Ariel Sharon, well known as the “Butcher of Beirut”, was responsible for triggering the Al-Aqsa Intifada on September 28th 2000 after his visit to Haram Al Sharif, surrounded by hundreds of Israeli riot police.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

In the interest of completeness, I list below Bernie Sander’s voting record on Palestine-specific resolutions over the course of his 25 years in Congress (both in the House and the Senate). Although this list is not meant to be comprehensive, it captures the vast majority of important resolutions on Palestine. Note that this excludes Palestine-specific resolutions that were voted on through a voice vote (where there is no record of an individual congressman’s position), or resolutions that contain Palestine “content” within a broader (non-Palestine specific) scope.

S. Res. 302 (114th) – Expressing the sense of the Senate in support of Israel and in condemnation of Palestinian terror attacks

Date Introduced: Nov 3 2015

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Richard Blumenthal (68 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] Whereas Jerusalem is an undivided city, eternal capital of Israel, holiest city for the Jewish people, central to the worship of three monotheistic religions, and unique in the Middle East region as a city of religious tolerance where Israel guarantees access, security, and respect for the three monotheistic religions to worship in peace at holy sites; […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Nov 10 2015

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Nay to S Res 1356 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016)

S.Res. 526 (113th): A resolution supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, and for other purposes

Date Introduced: Jul 29 2014

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Harry Reid (7 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate—

(1) laments all loss of innocent civilian life;

(2) condemns the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution on Jul 23, 2014, which calls for yet another prejudged investigation of Israel while making no mention of Hamas’s continued assault against Israel, and also calls for an investigation into potential human rights violations by Israel in the current Gaza conflict without mentioning Hamas’s assault against innocent civilians and its use of civilian shields;

(3) supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s unrelenting and indiscriminate rocket assault into Israel and Israel’s right to destroy Hamas’s elaborate tunnel system into Israel’s territory;

(4) condemns Hamas’s terrorist actions and use of civilians as human shields;

(5) supports United States mediation efforts for a durable ceasefire agreement that immediately ends Hamas’s rocket assault and leads to the demilitarization of Gaza; and

(6) supports additional funding the Government of Israel needs to replenish Iron Dome missiles and enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. […]

Outcome: Passed by unanimous consent Jul 29 2014

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Nay to S.Amdt. 3584 (Lee) to H.R. 5021: To empower States with authority for most taxing and spending for highway programs and mass transit programs)

S. 2673 (113th): United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014

Date Introduced: Jul 28 2014

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Barbara Boxer (80 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] It is the policy of the United States—

(1) to reaffirm the unwavering support of the people and the Government of the United States for the security of Israel as a Jewish state;

(2) to reaffirm the principles and objectives enshrined in the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 ( Public Law 112–150 ) and ensure its implementation to the fullest extent;

(3) to reaffirm the importance of the 2007 United States-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on United States assistance to Israel and the semi-annual Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Israel;

(4) to pursue every opportunity to deepen cooperation with Israel on a range of critical issues including defense, homeland security, energy, and cybersecurity;

(5) to continue to provide Israel with robust security assistance, including for the procurement of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System; and

(6) to support the Government of Israel in its ongoing efforts to reach a negotiated political settlement with the Palestinian people that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security. […]

Outcome: Passed Senate by Unanimous Consent on Sept 18 2014

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Nay to H.J.Res. 124: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015)

S.Res. 498 (113th) – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization

Date Introduced: Jul 10 2014

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Lindsey Graham (79 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate—

(1) reaffirms its support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel;

(2) condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel;

(3) calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; and

(4) calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel. […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Jul 17 2014

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Yea on S.Amdt. 3551 (Flake) to S. 2244: To establish the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms)

S. 1456 (113th) – A bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Shimon Peres

Date Introduced: Aug 1 2013

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Kelly Ayotte (81 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] By presenting the Congressional Gold Medal to Shimon Peres, the first to be awarded to a sitting President of Israel, Congress proclaims its unbreakable bond with Israel and reaffirms its continual support for Israel as we commemorate the 65th anniversary of the independence of Israel and the 90th birthday of Shimon Peres, which are both significant milestones in Israeli history. […]

Outcome: Passed Senate by Unanimous Consent on Mar 13 2014

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Yea for S. 1086: Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014)

S.Res. 599 (112th): A resolution expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.

Date Introduced: Nov 15 2012

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Kirsten Gillibrand (66 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate—

(1) expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism; […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Nov 15 2012

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Yea On the Cloture Motion S. 3525)

S.Res. 185 (112th) – A resolution reaffirming the commitment of the United States to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, reaffirming opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity government unless it is willing to accept peace with Israel and renounce violence, and declaring that Palestinian efforts to gain recognition of a state outside direct negotiations demonstrates absence of a good faith commitment to peace negotiations, and will have implications for continued United States aid

Date Introduced: May 16 2011

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Benjamin Cardin (90 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate— […]

(5) supports the opposition of the President to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and the veto by the United States on Feb 18, 2011, of the most recent United Nations Security Council resolution regarding a key issue of the Israeli-Palestinian process;

(6) calls upon the President to announce that the United States will veto any resolution on Palestinian statehood that comes before the United Nations Security Council which is not a result of agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestinians;

(7) calls upon the President to lead a diplomatic effort to oppose a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state by other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinians; […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Jun 28 2011

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Yea On the Nomination PN49: James Michael Cole, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Attorney General)

S.Res. 138 (112th) – A resolution calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report, and for other purposes

Date Introduced: Apr 8 2011

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Kirsten Gillibrand (34 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate— […]

(5) urges the United States to take a leadership role in getting the United Nations and its bodies to prevent any further action on the report’s findings and limit the damage that this libelous report has caused to our close ally Israel and to the reputation of the United Nations. […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Apr 14 2011

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. We know Sanders was present on that day in the Senate because he voted for another resolution, so essentially, Sanders did not object to this resolution (Sanders voted Nay to H.Con.Res. 36: Directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make a correction in the enrollment of H.R.)

S.Res. 10 (111th): A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Date Introduced: Jan 8 2009

Sponsors with co-sponsors: Harry Reid (34 co-sponsors; Sanders was not a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate—

(1) expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism; […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Jan 8 2009

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. This also implies that no objections were raised to the language in or content of the resolution. Sanders was very likely present on that day in the Senate because there is no track record of him missing a vote in this period)

S.Res. 522 (110th) – A resolution recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel

Date Introduced: Apr 17 2008

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Harry Reid (99 co-sponsors; Sanders was a co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the Senate—

(1) recognizes the historic significance of the 60th anniversary of the reestablishment of the sovereign and independent State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people;

(2) reaffirms the bonds of friendship and cooperation which have existed between the United States and Israel for the past 60 years, and commits to strengthening those bonds;

(3) commends the people of Israel for their remarkable achievements in building a new state and a pluralistic, democratic society in the face of terrorism, as well as hostility, ostracism, and belligerence from many of their neighbors;

(4) reaffirms its support for Israel’s right to defend itself against threats to its security and existence; […]

Outcome: Passed by Unanimous Consent on Apr 22 2008

Sanders Vote: Given that the resolution passed by unanimous consent, no vote was taken. However, Bernie Sanders clearly supported this resolution as he was a co-sponsor.

H.Res. 921 (109th): Condemning the recent attacks against the State of Israel, holding terrorists and their state-sponsors accountable for such attacks, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, and for other purposes.

Date Introduced: Jul 18 2006

Sponsor with co-sponsors: John Boehner (2 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] That the House of Representatives—

(1) reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;

(2) condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for engaging in unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel on undisputed Israeli territory, for taking hostages, for killing Israeli soldiers, and for continuing to indiscriminately target Israeli civilian populations with their rockets and missiles;

(3) further condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields, locating their equipment and bases of operation, including their rockets and other armaments, amidst civilian populations, including in homes and mosques;

(4) recognizes Israel’s longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel’s continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties;

(5) demands the Governments of Iran and Syria to direct Hamas and Hezbollah to immediately and unconditionally release Israeli soldiers which they hold captive;

(6) affirms that all governments that have provided continued support to Hamas or Hezbollah share responsibility for the hostage-taking and attacks against Israel and, as such, should be held accountable for their actions;

(7) condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas in their armed attacks against Israelis and their other terrorist activities;

(8) supports Israel’s right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it, which is in accordance with international law, including Article 51 of the United Nations Charter;

(9) commends the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel as it responds to these armed attacks by terrorist organizations and their state sponsors;

(10) urges the President of the United States to bring the full force of political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the Governments of Syria and Iran;

(11) demands the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in the territory of Lebanon;

(12) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to take action to ensure full and immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council 1559 (2004), which requires Hezbollah to be dismantled and the departure of all Syrian personnel and Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon;

(13) expresses its condolences to all families of innocent victims of recent violence; and

(14) declares its continued commitment to working with Israel and other United States allies in combating terrorism worldwide.

Outcome: Passed 410-8 on Jul 20 2006

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.R. 4681 (109th): Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006

Date Introduced: Feb 1 2006

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Ileana Ross-Lehtinen (294 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] It is the sense of Congress that, during any period for which a certification described in section 620K(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 2(b)(2) of this Act) is not in effect with respect to the Palestinian Authority, the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority should be deemed to be in use as a sanctuary for terrorists or terrorist organizations for purposes of section 6(j)(5) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(5)) and section 140 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f). […]

Outcome: Passed 361-37 on May 23 2006

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.Res. 575 (109th): Asserting that Hamas and other terrorist organizations should not participate in elections held by the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes.

Date Introduced: Nov 18 2005

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Tom DeLay (3 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] “Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) reaffirms its commitment to the safety and security of the democratic State of Israel;

(2) asserts that terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, should not be permitted to participate in Palestinian elections until such organizations recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, cease incitement, condemn terrorism, and permanently disarm and dismantle their terrorist infrastructure” […]

Outcome: Passed 397-17 on Dec 16 2005

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.Res. 713 (108th): Deploring the misuse of the International Court of Justice by a plurality of the United Nations General Assembly for a narrow political purpose

Date Introduced: Jul 13 2004

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Mike Pence (62 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(4) deplores–

(A) the misuse of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by a plurality of member nations of the United Nations General Assembly for the narrow political purpose of advancing the Palestinian position on matters Palestinian authorities have said should be the subject of negotiations between the parties; and

(B) the Jul 9, 2004 advisory judgment of the ICJ, which seeks to infringe upon Israel’s right to self-defense, including under Article 51;

Outcome: Passed 361-45 on Jul 15 2004

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Nay to this House resolution

H.Con.Res. 460 (108th): Regarding the security of Israel and the principles of peace in the Middle East.

Date Introduced: Jun 22 2004

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Tom DeLay (3 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: “ […] Whereas in the Apr 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities;

Whereas the President acknowledged that any agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a permanent alternative and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than in Israel;

Whereas the principles expressed in President Bush’s letter will enhance the security of Israel and advance the cause of peace in the Middle East; […]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–

(1) strongly endorses the principles articulated by President Bush in his letter dated Apr 14, 2004, to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which will strengthen the security and well-being of the State of Israel; […]

Outcome: Passed 407-9 on Jun 23 2004

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.Con.Res. 280 (107th): Expressing solidarity with Israel in the fight against terrorism

Date Introduced: Dec 4 2001

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Henry Hyde (65 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress-

(1) condemns the vicious terrorist attacks resulting in the death of 26 and the wounding of at least 175 innocent people in Israelwithin 14 hours during Dec 1-2, 2001, and extends its deepest sympathies to the Israeli nation and to the families of the victims;

(2) expresses outrage at the ongoing Palestinian terrorist campaign and insists that the Palestinian Authority take all steps necessary to end it;

(3) demands, specifically, that the Palestinian Authority take action immediately to–

(A) destroy the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorist groups;

(B) pursue and arrest terrorists whose incarceration has been called for by Israel; and

(C) either–

(i) prosecute such terrorists, provide convicted terrorists with the stiffest possible punishment, and ensure that those convicted remain in custody for the full duration of their sentences; or

(ii) render all arrested terrorists to the Government of Israel for prosecution;

(4) urges the President to take any and all necessary steps to ensure that the Palestinian Authority takes the actions described in paragraph (3), including, if necessary, suspending all relations with Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority;

(5) further urges the President to insist that all countries harboring, materially supporting, or acquiescing in the private support of Palestinian terrorist groups end all such support, dismantle the infrastructure of such groups, and bring all terrorists within their borders to justice;

(6) commends the President for his strong leadership against international terrorism, his forthright response to this most recent outrage, and his swift action to freeze additional sources of terrorist funds; and

(7) expresses the solidarity of the United States with Israel in our common struggle against the scourge of terrorism.

Outcome: Passed 384-11 on Dec 5 2001

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Present to this House Resolution

H.Res. 34 (107th): Congratulating the Prime Minister-elect of Israel, Ariel Sharon, calling for an end to violence in the Middle East, reaffirming the friendship between the Governments of the United States and Israel, and for other purposes.

Date Introduced: Feb 8 2001

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Henry Hyde (99 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] “Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) congratulates Ariel Sharon on his election as Prime Minister, and extends to him the best wishes of the people of the United States” […]

Outcome: Passed 410-1 on Feb 13 2001

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.Con.Res. 426 (106th): Concerning the violence in the Middle East.

Date Introduced: Oct 12 2000

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Benjamin Gilman (163 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress–

(1) expresses its solidarity with the state and people of Israel at this time of crisis;

(2) condemns the Palestinian leadership for encouraging the violence and doing so little for so long to stop it, resulting in the senseless loss of life;

(3) calls upon the Palestinian leadership to refrain from any exhortations to public incitement, urges the Palestinian leadership to vigorously use its security forces to act immediately to stop all violence, to show respect for all holy sites, and to settle all grievances through negotiations;

(4) commends successive Administrations on their continuing efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East;

(5) urges the current Administration to use its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to ensure that the Security Council does not again adopt unbalanced resolutions addressing the uncontrolled violence in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority; and

(6) calls on all parties involved in the Middle East conflict to make all possible efforts to reinvigorate the peace process in order to prevent further senseless loss of life by all sides. […]

Outcome: The resolution was passed 365-30 in a vote in the House on Oct 25 2000.

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Present to this House resolution

H.R. 5272 (106th): Peace Through Negotiations Act of 2000

Date Introduced: Sep 25 2000

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Benjamin Gilman (8 co-sponsors; Sanders did not co-sponsor)

Excerpt: […] “It shall be the policy of the United States to oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, to withhold diplomatic recognition of any Palestinian state that is unilaterally declared, and to encourage other countries and international organizations to withhold diplomatic recognition of any Palestinian state that is unilaterally declared.

Measures to be applied if a Palestinian state is unilaterally declared:

(1) downgrade in status of Palestinian office in the united states-

(2) prohibition on United States assistance to a unilaterally declared Palestinian state

(3) prohibition on United States assistance to the West bank and Gaza

(4) authority to withhold payment of United States contributions to international organizations that recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state

(5) opposition to lending by international financial institutions

(6) limitation on use of funds to extend United States recognition” […]

Outcome: The resolution was passed 385-27 in a vote in the House on Sep 27 2000.

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Yea to this House resolution

H.Con.Res. 60 (105th): Relating to the 30th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem.

Date Introduced: Apr 10 1997

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Charles Schumer (185 co-sponsors; Sanders co-sponsored)

Excerpt: […] “Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress–

(1) congratulates the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Israel on the 30th anniversary of the reunification of that historic city;

(2) strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel during the past 30 years;

(3) calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to affirm publicly as a matter of United States policy that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the State of Israel; and

(4) urges United States officials to refrain from any actions that contradict this policy”. […]

Outcome: The resolution was passed 406-17 in a vote in the House on Jun 10 1997.

Sanders Vote: Sanders co-sponsored the bill and voted Yea to this House resolution

S. 1322 (104th): Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

Date Introduced: Oct 13 1995

Sponsor with co-sponsors: Robert Dole (76 co-sponsors in Senate; Sanders could not sponsor)

Excerpt: […] (a) Statement of the policy of the United States-

(1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

(3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. […]

Outcome: The resolution was passed 374-37 in a vote in the House on Oct 24 1995.

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Nay to this House resolution

H.Amdt. 173 to H.R. 2508 (102nd)

Date Introduced: Jun 19 1991

Sponsor with co-sponsors: John Bryant

Excerpt: “An amendment to withhold $82.5 million of the amount earmarked for Israel in FY 1992 from the Economic Support Fund. Funds withheld under the amendment would be restored if the President certifies that the Israeli government has demonstrated that it is not investing in new and expanded settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The amendment also requires the State Dept. to report to Congress on the Israeli government’s investment in new and expanded settlements in the occupied territories during Israeli fiscal years 1991 and 1992”.

Outcome: The amendment failed 44-378 in a vote in the House on Jun 19 1991.

Sanders Vote: Sanders voted Aye to this amendment

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed by the author are solely his and do not reflect in any way the positions of ExxonMobil, BDS Houston, or any other organization the author is affiliated with. 

About Nicolas Sawaya

Nicolas Sawaya strongly supports the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice and has been a member of various Palestinian solidarity groups for over 15 years. He lives in Houston, TX, and works for ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing. He is a member of the BDS Houston Collective, and blogs at notesfromunderground.me.

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32 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    April 8, 2016, 10:47 am

    Amazing research. Disappointing result. Sanders still seems less “abject” than the alternatives.

    For me, the importance of issues is this: [1] fighting against Global Warming [2] fighting against (so much/any) BigMoney in politics, [3] Justice for Palestine.

    [[1] and [2] are perhaps in the wrong order, since getting [2] is probably necessary to get [1]. but if we could get to [1] without doing [2] that’d be better than vice-versa.

    I’ve been staunchly pro-Palestine since 1980, but if the world must end, solving I/P becomes rather unimportant. Or so I see it. I know, many people think Global Warming has no urgency or even no reality; I think it is a “The End Of The Wold Is Nigh” sort of thing.

    • jackal
      April 10, 2016, 12:21 am

      Excellent rationale!
      Very few people see it in your light, and that is the problem. We must do everything we can to elect people to office, not only in the US, but everywhere else in the world who see the problem of Global Warming as a priority. Everything else, including peace in the Middle East is secondary.

    • bryan
      April 10, 2016, 2:33 pm

      But, Pabelmont, once you realise that all these Issues (i.e. global warming, environmental destruction, American imperialism, and its European and Israeli offshoots, the power of the global corporations, the privatisation of everything from water to colleges to prisons, the influence of corrupt money in politics, a taxation regime that benefits the 0.1% or even less, the control of politics by these folks, etc., etc) are so intimately connected, where can you begin to counteract this vicious virtual (not virtuous) circle? By all means take up arms against the melting of the icecaps (absolutely essential) but there are many other legitimate targets for the anger of ordinary people, that are equally relevant and more immediate in their impacts. Yes global warming is already displaying immediate impacts, and affecting weather and butterfly migration, but the related factors are already destroying the lives and well-being of ordinary people; not their children and grandchildren.

  2. ritzl
    April 8, 2016, 10:53 am

    Super informative. Thanks.

    Sanders does seem to be evolving somewhat in the right direction in real [campaign] time.

    I will never understand, though, how someone who supports even the notional (as opposed to realistic, whatever that might be) concept of two states can oppose a “unilateral” declaration of Palestinian statehood. It would seem that such a declaration, and subsequent recognition would place Palestine on more even negotiating footing and make a 2SS MORE likely.

    That level of cognitive dissonance probably limits both the extent and durability of his evolution considerably, as his inconsistent voting record underscores.

    Still, he is different from all the other major party on this issue. More consistent across his professed moral spectrum. He could win the nomination if would become explicitly and/or bluntly consistent. It would hhighlight that he truly believes in what he is saying on everything else — and is capable of acting on that collective belief system.

  3. US Citizen
    April 8, 2016, 3:13 pm

    Please, let us take a moment to give Bernie some credit for bringing or maybe pushing this issue into at least the semi-mainstream. How often has a presidential candidate uttered the words Palestinian or Occupation? His stance may be lukewarm to some but for others a breath of much needed fresh air. It is about time and long overdue.

    Every article written anywhere gives us the chance to rebut the hasbara, red herrings, accusations, attempted smears and lies that have been fomented for decades. Even if he does not make the nomination, and I hope he does, he has pushed this forward in a positive way and my hat is off to him for that.

    • JWalters
      April 8, 2016, 7:53 pm

      Very true. Sanders has indisputably advanced the discussion progressively. Lincoln’s movement toward the abolition of slavery took place in many steps, eventually culminating in the Emancipation Proclamation and finally a Constitutional amendment.

    • RockyMissouri
      April 9, 2016, 10:14 am

      Thank you for speaking the truth..IMO.

  4. JWalters
    April 8, 2016, 7:48 pm

    “In fact, this is the first time Sanders has called for pulling back existing settlements”

    I think we’d see a lot of firsts with a President Sanders. Sanders demonstrated with the Black Lives Matter incident that he is willing to genuinely listen to others.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      April 9, 2016, 10:35 am

      I find it really odd that you progressives keep praising him for giving the mic up to those barbarians. Those “young ladies” were screaming hateful epithets at the crowd of White liberals who consistently support groups like BLM. You can listen to others without having to relinquish your paid for mic. The love for BLM is not found outside some elements of the Black community and the ivory towers of White progressives.

      • Mooser
        April 9, 2016, 1:00 pm

        “screaming hateful epithets at the crowd of White liberals”

        I’m glad to see you are trying to get a little of our dignity and identity back by using an upper-case “W” in “White”.

      • JWalters
        April 9, 2016, 8:12 pm

        The oppressed always seem like barbarians to the overlords.

  5. echinococcus
    April 8, 2016, 7:55 pm

    Thank you, Sawaya. Excellent job, hard to find fault with any part of it.
    I would suggest that the parts where you marked “until Bernie Sanders clearly repudiates his vote on this issue” should be considered as adjudicated as per his past voting record: politicians with a long established habit are not reliable when they pretend to change. Especially Zionist ones. Witness Sanders’ Imperial competitor who announced the unlikeliest overnight changes in her economic views under Sanders’ pressure.

  6. Citizen
    April 8, 2016, 9:04 pm

    Seems so.

  7. just
    April 9, 2016, 6:06 am

    A very good piece and mighty effort, Nicholas. Thank you very much~ I’ve already shared it with others.

    I found this from Asher Schechter in Haaretz today:

    “Bernie Sanders’ Candor on Israel Shows American Voters Are Changing Their Tune

    Gaffes aside, Sanders’ embarrassing New York Daily News interview actually illuminates one of the underrated strengths of his campaign.

    Bernie Sanders has been getting a lot of flack for his excruciating interview with the New York Daily News, in which, among other things, he made the mistake of claiming that Israel killed over 10,000 Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war, when in fact that number is closer to 1,500.

    Presumably, Sanders mixed up the number of fatalities (a horrific number in itself) with the number of people who were injured — which, according to the UN, is over 11,000. Regardless, it is an embarrassing error.

    But while Sanders has been slammed for his apparent lack of knowledge on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and while he’s been accused of being a foreign policy lightweight more generally, the thrust of what he had to say to the Daily News about Israel was actually pretty sensible.

    During the interview, Sanders spoke about the need for Israel to withdraw from some West Bank settlements, stating, “I think withdrawal from those territories is appropriate”. He also criticized Israel for its disproportionate response to terrorist rocket attacks: “I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”

    Actually, much of what Sanders says had to say about Israel echoes the positions of the current administration. (Obama in 2011: “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”) The rest is just common sense. That any of this is controversial in a presidential election in 2016 speaks volumes about the American discourse on Israel and serves to illuminate one of the underrated strengths of Sanders’ candidacy: the way he is changing the conversation about Israel … .

    For evidence of how shallow the debate over Israel has become, just look at some of the questions asked by the New York Daily News during the Sanders interview. Sanders was asked “who makes the call” about the illegality of the “so-called settlements” that he thinks Israel should pull out of. This is a strange question, since under international law every Israeli settlement is considered illegal, and since dozens of so called “outposts” in the West Bank are considered illegal even by Israeli standards. Israel Itself, by the way, has acknowledged the murky legal status of West Bank settlements by never officially annexing them.

    Indeed, over the past several weeks, after staying noticeably silent on the subject of Israel for a long time, Sanders has spoken about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a candor that’s been sorely missing from the statements made by other presidential hopefuls. He has been challenging the unwritten rules of how candidates should approach the Israeli issue, and renegotiating the limits of what serious presidential prospects can say about Israel, by daring to acknowledge Israel’s contributions to its own security crises, its disregard for civilian casualties and the illegality of Israelis settlements in the West Bank — subjects that no other presidential candidates dare discuss.

    Last month’s AIPAC conference was a fitting example of how constrained the “debate” about Israel has become in recent years. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, four very different candidates with very different world views, gave largely identical speeches, recycling the same old cliches about Israel being “a light unto the nations” and Palestinians fostering a “culture of hatred and death.” None, by the way, offered any policy recipes for helping Israelis and Palestinians move forward, and settled for promises to “not be neutral” and vague declarations about “unbreakable bonds.” 

    At the same time, Sanders — who skipped AIPAC — was in Utah giving a speech that touched on Palestinian suffering, the “absurd” suggestions of some Israeli ministers that building more settlements is an appropriate response to Palestinian violence, and the brutal reality of Israeli occupation. While his rivals were pandering to Jewish conservatives in Washington, Sanders spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the shortage of water Palestinians face in the West Bank. (It’s worth noting, by the way, that during this speech Sanders cited the correct civilian death toll of the latest Gaza war, suggesting that his Daily News error may have been no more than a slip). 

    Such positions are consistent with statements Sanders, who lived in Israel for a short time during the 1960s, has made in the past. In 1988, for instance, while still mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he said that that “the sight of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs is reprehensible” and that “the idea of Israel closing down towns and sealing them off is unacceptable.”

    What’s changed is that he’s now saying them while running for president of the United States, in a manner befitting his status as the anti-establishment candidate.

    Partly, Sanders’ willingness to express a more critical stance on Israel than other candidates reflects the shifting sensibilities of Sanders’ base, young voters who are critical of Israeli policies — among them, young Jews who don’t support Israel blindly as many of their parents did. With the rest of the presidential field too busy in AIPAC’s panderpalooza, that leaves Sanders as the voice of nuance. 

    Criticizing Israel has long been considered political poison, but perhaps Sanders’ campaign is an indication that that is beginning to change. Most likely, Sanders won’t win the Democratic nomination or the presidency, but in regards to Israel, his candor is paving the way for a conversation that is very different than the kind of shallow talk we’d been previously willing to accept from presidential candidates.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/.premium-1.713505

    The twitter headline for this article is “While the others are too busy in AIPAC’s panderpalooza, Sanders is the voice of nuance”

    https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/718649680230350852

  8. James Michie
    April 9, 2016, 9:43 am

    You’ve done exhaustive research, Nicolas, to show that Bernie Sanders is by far not your perfect idealist in solving the Palestinian crisis. Yes, Nicolas, it is a crisis, not a “conflict”. But not a word about Hillary, a bosom pal of madman Benjamin Netanyahu, who has declared repeatedly that she will be “Israel’s best friend ever!” My advice: be careful of what you wish for. This piece would have been far better if you had contrasted “the Hillary” with Bernie and their positions on Zionist Israel and its victim, Palestine.

    • echinococcus
      April 9, 2016, 11:53 am

      Don’t be absurd, Michie. Not everyone goes along with your “lesser evil” nonsense.

      • Sibiriak
        April 9, 2016, 2:07 pm

        echinococcus: Not everyone goes along with your “lesser evil” nonsense.
        —————-

        Yes, we know, you prefer the Greater Evil. The Greater Evil will bring on the “regional conflagration”, which is the Palestinians’ only hope, or so you tell us, repeatedly, without explanation.

        Hillary’s the one for you then. The Greater Evil. Follow the logic. The Lesser Evil is more dangerous. The Lesser Evil evil risks something less than perfect justice. And that can’t be risked. Hillary 2016!!

      • echinococcus
        April 9, 2016, 7:44 pm

        Sibiriak,

        Don’t be ridiculous. Everyone sets the bar somewhere for what’s acceptable. If accepting to choose the better solution, as the famous Turkish saying goes, between being trampled by forty mules or chopped by forty meat-cleavers gives you a sense of agency, of being in control of your fate, enjoy. This has nothing to do with “perfect justice”. I’ll take a Buchanan or a Ron Paul, of whom I despise every single word not relative to foreign policy but who are respectful of international law any day over any “progressive” warmonger, so our red lines are not at the same place. A Zionist for is me is a mortal enemy in the fullest sense of the word, while I imagine things may be different for you, and so on. Your judgment seems a bit rusty.

        Differences between, say, the Dowager Empress Clinton and Sanders happen beyond my red line. Both are therefore unacceptable and a longish life tells me that any substantial difference is unlikely in practice. Besides, it’s hard to judge from outside how much American lesser evil voting has contributed to establishing the single party dictatorship we are living under.

      • Sibiriak
        April 10, 2016, 12:52 am

        echinococcus: I’ll take a Buchanan or a Ron Paul, of whom I despise every single word not relative to foreign policy but who are respectful of international law any day over any “progressive” warmonger, so our red lines are not at the same place.
        ————————

        You missed the point entirely. Namely, the well-known “revolutionary” logic: worse before better , which flows directly from your moral purist position. A warmonger is exactly what you want! Not someone “respectful of international law”.

        Follow the logic:

        You tell us there’s no hope in BDS:

        [echinococcus:] […]the BDS movement is Zionist-infested, partly Zionist-led…

        *****

        BDS is being used for the intended purpose of saving the Zionist entity, by the “liberal” Zionists and the tribals of JVP,

        The last thing we want to do is save the Zionist entity!

        You tell us there is no hope for a peaceful solution:

        [echinococcus:] But anyway. let’s again forget the absurd delusions of a peaceful transition.

        *****
        […] a peaceful transition like, say, South Africa or the USSR has less chance than a snowball in hell. Not gonna happen. Same for the chances of the Resistance to force any change by itself.

        ———————–

        You tell us that a “regional conflagration” is the key to Palestinian justice:

        [echinococcus:] A regional conflagration in the ME may well lead to occupation and liquidation of the Zionist state and the establishment of an equal-rights Palestine.

        *****

        What will probably reshape it all is a regional conflagration provoked by Israel and the US.

        ——————————

        So, you have to ask yourself, what kind of president is likely to get the U.S. and Israel to provoke a regional conflagration?

        A neocon, warmonger type! Surely not a kindler, gentler type Zionist like Sanders.

        Follow the logic:

        You’ve told us repeatedly that a Sander’s – style Zionism–Zionism with a human face–is far more dangerous than undisguised AIPAC/Likud- style Zionism. The deceptively reasonable-sounding Sanders is far more dangerous than the openly belligerent and unreasonable Hillary.
        —————————

        [echinococcus:]Zionism was started and did the most damage to the world under Labor! With the “liberal” Zionists. With the likes of Sanders and now J Street.

        These guys are more determined and more dangerous, because they may look human at times.

        *****

        “Have we seen Bernie in any of Netanyahu’s campaign ads? Has Bernie appeared at the Aipac conferences?”, your Bernie is a “Labor / Zionist Bloc” Zionist –he’ll follow J-Street. They are much more dangerous.

        ——————————–

        And the biggest danger from a Sanders type Zionist is that he just might push things toward a unjust 2S settlement that leaves the Palestinians screwed and, for the time being, the Jewish state intact.

        In any case, he would not likely pursue the kind of aggressive neo-con- style foreign policy that would provoke the needed “regional conflagration”. That makes him very dangerous indeed!

        Follow the logic:

        If you see a “regional conflagration”–WAR– as the only solution, as you do, then you want — a WARMONGER! Your choice is clear: Hillary 2016!!!

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2016, 2:41 am

        great comment Sibiriak.

      • echinococcus
        April 10, 2016, 9:38 am

        Sibiriak,

        You continue thinking within a box (at least ostensibly.) The fault is in your belief that any change among “Democratic” or “Republican” administrations is likely to effect any change in the entirely Zionist-driven US foreign policy, or that an extension of the war in the ME can be avoided by leaving everything exactly as it is while mouthing flowery words (enthusiastic Democrats seem beyond the point of realizing that this is not any different than the latest Hopium by Obama.)

        It is also a question of goals. As you say (intending it ironically),

        The last thing we want to do is save the Zionist entity!

        So yes, all that “liberal” yakking without any concrete step to end slavery and submission is intended to save the Zionist entity. Or, in your words,

        the biggest danger from a Sanders type Zionist is that he just might push things toward a unjust 2S settlement that leaves the Palestinians screwed

        Exactly; making no difference at all for the Palestinians, those experiencing the tip of the Zionist knife.

        and, for the time being, the Jewish state intact

        meaning continuing, all-out war against a disarmed population, no change but in your forked-tongue words.

        The rest of your sophistry is plain ridiculous: we already are in all-out war, not a goddam “war of ideas”, since November 1947 that cost people their entire country and livelihood, the devastation of several other nations, and tens of thousands of murders (in addition to the ongoing million-plus claimed by the US arm of Zionism), or perhaps you didn’t notice. Every “liberal” effort you mentioned is geared at continuing it with a minimum amount of public opinion reaction.

      • echinococcus
        April 11, 2016, 1:18 am

        Sibiriak,

        That’s sophistry at work, again.
        When someone addresses the beliefs or principles that are necessarily underlying your statements, you don’t ask for direct quotes of the underlying assumptions but for their expression.

        The Lesser Evil evil risks something less than perfect justice.

        Obviously, in order to attack a statement of the total unlikeliness of effective change with your supposed “lesser evil”, you have to first believe that such a change (albeit not far-reaching, as you say) must be likely.
        To be able to say:

        You missed the point entirely. Namely, the well-known “revolutionary” logic: worse before better , which flows directly from your moral purist position.

        you necessarily believe that things can be any worse, or that some kind of compromise is possible in order to mitigate the conditions.

        how is it that you can claim repeatedly that Sanders’ kind of Zionism is “much more dangerous ” than the more belligerent, neo-con, AIPAC style Zionism yet also claim that there is no practical difference between the two?
        How can something be “much more dangerous” while not involving any policy change at all ?

        Elementary, my dear Watson: there is practically no difference between the two from the viewpoint of their Palestinian victim, as documented many times. No policy change, but different-sounding actors; the Labor crew speaking enough like make-believe humans to be used as a pretext by the Western powers to scale back any measures against the Zionists and for propaganda in our countries to be able to convince public opinion. This is undoubtedly a circumstance that would further encourage the Zionists to continue and intensify their theft and genocide.

        If you see a “regional conflagration”–WAR– as the only solution, as you do, then you want — a WARMONGER!

        That’s where you somehow forget something I just tried to underline, again:
        “we already are in all-out war, not a goddam ‘war of ideas’, since November 1947 that cost people their entire country and livelihood, the devastation of several other nations, and tens of thousands of murders (in addition to the ongoing million-plus claimed by the US arm of Zionism)”
        To be able to pretend that some war situation is being invoked while sotosay peace is currently being waged.

    • Sibiriak
      April 10, 2016, 11:01 pm

      echinococcus: Sibiriak, […]The fault is in your belief that any change among “Democratic” or “Republican” administrations is likely to effect any change in the entirely Zionist-driven US foreign policy.
      —————–

      What “belief” of mine are you referring to? Please quote me.

      And btw, how is it that you can claim repeatedly that Sanders’ kind of Zionism is “much more dangerous ” than the more belligerent, neo-con, AIPAC style Zionism yet also claim that there is no practical difference between the two?

      How can something be “much more dangerous” while not involving any policy change at all ?

      ———————-

      or [your belief that] an extension of the war in the ME can be avoided by leaving everything exactly as it is while mouthing flowery words.

      Where have I ever stated such a ridiculous belief? Please quote me.

      (enthusiastic Democrats seem beyond the point of realizing that this is not any different than the latest Hopium by Obama

      Where have I ever written enthusiastically about Democrats or expressed hopeful expectations about Obama? Please quote me.

      You know, I would think resorting to blatant straw man arguments rugal-style would be beneath you, If you’ve got me confused with someone else, fine. But please, either quote me or retract those ridiculous characterizations of my beliefs.

  9. Ossinev
    April 9, 2016, 10:09 am

    Sanders is at best the least Zio – sycophantic of all of the current and ex current Presidential candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties. The usual litmus test should be applied – have any of the main JSIL First Institutions or any of his rivals yet accused him of throwing their beloved JSIL under a bus/train/jumbo jet ?

  10. Atlantaiconoclast
    April 9, 2016, 10:31 am

    What I find most striking about Bernie is the contrast between his characterization of Trump’s immigration policy relative to his silence on the immigration policies of Israel. Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Israel does not allow non Jews to immigrate there, except for a few temporary workers. Trump has called for a truly enforced border, and for a wall. Israel really does enforce its border now, and has a wall going through another people’s land. Yet Bernie seems to only have a problem with Trump’s policies on immigration. Hmmmmm.

  11. joemowrey
    April 9, 2016, 11:25 am

    Seems as though he has carefully crafted his rhetoric to conform to typical “liberal” Zionist views, for the most part. Oh, those poor Palestinians, but Jews still have a right to maintain a racist, exclusivist state.

    This, is combination with Sanders pro-interventionist/pro-empire voting record should give any true progressive pause.

    • just
      April 9, 2016, 12:25 pm

      I have plenty of “pause”.

      We don’t have an alternative, though.

      ( There never has been one left alive or allowed to be successful in my lifetime.)

      Until the American people (yes, the unwashed masses and others) yell and scream and stamp their feet about the sickeningly bloated blank check and criminal support to this rogue state, a change ain’t gonna come. The US has to start somewhere, and only Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have seemed to honestly mean to do better. They tried and have only been vilified for trying to right a teensy fraction of the vast wrongs perpetrated on the Palestinian people and on Palestine.

      JMHO.

      • Eric
        April 10, 2016, 9:07 am

        Just, let’s moderate our reverence for Obama a tad, shall we? Jimmy Carter tried his best and is still trying, under heavy and ongoing assault from the lobby. Obama, except for the Cairo speech and the nomination of Chas Freeman (whom he instantly abandoned) has done sweet bugger-all to press for justice and bring the Zionists to heel.

      • echinococcus
        April 10, 2016, 9:53 am

        Sure you have an alternative, Just: start by negating any support to the single-party dictatorship. That’s the compulsory first step to pulling the rug from under it. The very job for which BS the Democrat was trotted out.

    • jackal
      April 10, 2016, 12:44 am

      I think, if I may express it a little more bluntly, Sander’s appears to be more pro-Israeli than he is pro-Palestinian. It appears to me that a lot of his information comes from newspaper clippings, rather than having read the books by people like Pappe, Sand, Finklestein, Chomsky, Peled and the many others who have lived in modern “Israel” and who are more aware of the real situation there than he does. Having spent a few months long, long ago in a kibbutz does not give him any kind of a realistic picture of what is going on there now. To put it even more bluntly, his suggestions for peace in that area are never going to happen unless, as president, he totally negates his pro-Israeli stance, and sees the Israeli administration, and the 75% of its people that support it, in light of their aggressive policies.

      • echinococcus
        April 10, 2016, 9:50 am

        Best comment on this page, Jackal.

        his suggestions for peace in that area are never going to happen unless, as president, he totally negates his pro-Israeli stance, and sees the Israeli administration, and the 75% of its people that support it, in light of their aggressive policies.

        Let’s see who has any argument to suggest otherwise.

        Also, “unless… as president, he totally negates his pro-Israeli stance” is an absolute non-starter: in a country in which no elected official is ever punished or non-reelected for defecating on his electoral promises, we cannot ask people to believe bare words (which were not uttered, by the way) to take precedence over a solid, official record of over 50 years.

  12. Ian Berman
    April 9, 2016, 7:53 pm

    If you are an advocate for Palestine, consider that Sanders has come light years farther than any American candidate for President, including the current crop of hawkish sociopaths.

    Given his character and positions, which hasn’t changed through his entire career, he is far and away the best hope in the White House the Palestinians have seen. Until he reaches that position, he can only say or do so much before he gets into a position to actually make a real effect.

    So tear him down in the typical purist way liberals do. Good luck with Clinton, Trump or Cruz.

    I’d rather have a man of principle in the White House that can we can reach.

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