Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is ‘right all the time’

US Politics
on 87 Comments

It’s finally happened: the issue of Palestinian human rights came up in the Democratic debate tonight on national television, and Bernie Sanders repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton — for siding with Israel singlehandedly, for her support of Benjamin Netanyahu and her indifference to the plight of Palestinians.

On the same night that he caved in to rightwing fools and suspended his Jewish outreach director over her criticisms of Benjamin Netanyahu, Senator Sanders stood up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu to cheers from the Brooklyn crowd.

Toward the end of a bruising debate, the two Democratic candidates tangled over Israel and Palestine for more than six minutes, beginning when  Wolf Blitzer asked Sanders if he stood by his criticism of Israel for “disproportionate” attacks on Gaza.

Sanders said he had spent many months in Israel as a kid and has family in Israel, and the country has a right to live in peace and security.

But what you just read — I do believe that. Israel was subjected to terrorist attacks, has every right to destroy terrorists. But we had in the Gaza are, not a very large area, some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1500 who were killed… Was that a disproportionate attack? The answer is I believe it was.

Cheers.

And let me say something else.  As somebody who is 100 percent pro Israel, in the long run, and this is not going to be easy, if we are ever going to bring peace to that region that has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity. . .  One has got to say that right now in Gaza unemployment is somewhere around 40 percent. You got a lot of that area continues — it hasn’t been rebuilt, decimated. Housing decimated, health care decimated, schools decimated. I believe the United States and the rest of the world has got to work together to help the Palestinian people. That does not make me anti-Israel. That paves the way, I think, to an approach that works in the Middle East.

Clinton responded with a staunch defense of Israel, repeating talking points straight out of the Netanyahu government and its lobby here:

They do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite rockets raining down on their towns and villages. They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas, aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. And so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers, and they called and told me . . .  they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn’t find anyone to talk to to tell them to stop it. . .  I don’t know how you run a country if you are under constant threat. .

Here was the extent of Clinton’s criticism of Israel:

That doesn’t mean that you don’t take appropriate precautions, and there’s always second guessing when you have a war.

If you blinked, you missed that.

Sanders said:

You evaded the question, the question is not does Israel have a right to respond, not does Israel have a right to go after terrorists… Was their response disproportionate? I believe that it was. You haven’t answered that.

There were audible boos from the audience as Clinton said:

Even the most independent analyst will say that the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible… Remember Israel left Gaza. . . they turned the keys over to the Palestinian people. And what happened? Hamas took over. . .  We have a terrorist haven that is having more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.

Sanders then criticized Clinton sharply for the pandering speech she gave to the Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, last month:

I read Secretary Clinton’s speech before AIPAC, I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people, almost none in that speech. Here is the issue.

Of course Israel has a right to defend itself, but long term there will never be peace in that region, unless the Untied States plays a role, an evenhanded role in trying to bring people together and recognizing the serious problems that exist among the Palestinian people. That is what I believe the world wants us to do and that is the kind of leadership that we have got to exercise.

“Describing the problem is a lot easier than trying to solve it,” Clinton responded. She said she had held the last three meetings between the Palestinians and Israel aimed at a peace agreement.

Sanders gave a one-line answer:

There comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.

Clinton appeared defensive for once about her alignment with the rightwing leader: “I have spoken about and written at some length about very candid conversations I’ve had with him. No one is saying that any leader is always right.”

The issue, she said, is that “There is a terrorist group embedded in Gaza that does not want” Israel to exist.

Sanders hit back:

You gave a major speech to AIPAC, which obviously deals with the middle east crisis, and you barely mentioned the Palestinians. Again it is a complicated issue and God knows that for decades presidents including President Clinton and others, Jimmy Carter and others have tried to do the right thing. All that I am saying is that we cannot continue to be one sided, there are two sides to the issue.

Finally support for Israel is getting politicized in the Democratic Party. Let’s hope this is the beginning of an extended discussion.

Jake Tapper just said it was a historic moment, of a candidate criticizing Israel at last.

Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace says:

It was heartening to hear the beginning of a much needed conversation about Israel’s disproportionate use of force against Palestinians in Gaza during the Democratic debate tonight. Today showed that the movement for Palestinian rights is shifting the discourse at the highest political levels. However, there is still a long way to go before we see our political leaders take courageous steps not just to recognize the humanity of Palestinians but to take action to secure their rights.

 

 

 

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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87 Responses

  1. hophmi
    April 15, 2016, 1:01 am

    I think that it’s interesting that you’re getting this excited about a debate between two strongly pro-Israel Democrats who agreed that Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorist attacks, and that Hamas is a terrible, embeds itself in civilian areas, and targets Israeli civilians, over whether Israel acted disproportionately in Gaza.

    I think this is a negation of your entire program. When push comes to shove, Bernie Sanders is not going to pressure Israel. He’s not a foreign policy guy, and he’s not going to risk his other programs to bother with it.

    • dont drink the water
      April 15, 2016, 9:21 am

      I agree. This sort of cheerleading makes Mondoweiss look like controlled opposition. Hamas aren’t terrorists. Rockets don’t rain down on Israel. 500+ children were murdered while Israeli’s sat hillside and cheered, they’re the terrorists. Until these truths are acknowledged by US politicians, America will remain in an AIPAC/Israeli stranglehold.

      • Donald
        April 15, 2016, 10:02 am

        All true, but it is also true that Saders went much further than most politicians or for that matter, most pundits. Notice how little fact checking Clinton gets on this issue, yet she regularly recites the line of the Israeli government about Gaza. And you’re right about Bernie, since even he accepts the Israeli framing that Israel was defending itself.

      • Kay24
        April 15, 2016, 10:16 am

        Unfortunately, the media plays a HUGE part in keeping the American people in darkness too.
        No one EVER brings up the occupation, the land grabs, the fact that thousands of Palestinians have been killed, injured, made into refugees, and losing lands and other resources. The narrative is always about rockets falling and Israel having to fight terrorists, never, ever, questioning what exactly THEY are doing to get such violent protests.

        Take a look at this video, and you can see a young Wolf Blitzer debating Norm Finklestein, and you can see how passionately he speak up for Israel. Not surprising considering:

        “Blitzer began his career in journalism in the early 1970s, in the Tel Aviv bureau of the Reuters news agency. In 1973, he caught the eye of Jerusalem Post editor Ari Rath, who hired Blitzer as a Washington correspondent for the English language Israeli newspaper. Blitzer remained with the Jerusalem Post until 1990, covering both American politics and developments in the Middle East.[10]

        In the mid-1970s, Blitzer also contributed to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the editor of their monthly publication, the Near East Report.[11][12] While at AIPAC, Blitzer’s writing focused on Middle East affairs as they relate to United States foreign policy.”
        Wikipedia

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpZZEhPT_5g

        So who thinks Blitzer (and others in the zio controlled media) can be even mildly neutral, when it comes to zio land? Our journalists are embarrassingly biased, and have absolutely no credibility in this matter.

      • jd65
        April 15, 2016, 1:21 pm

        @ don’t drink the water: “This sort of cheerleading makes Mondoweiss look like controlled opposition.

        Unfortunately, I can’t say I totally disagree w/ this sentiment. But I think you’ve overstated it a little. And I honestly don’t really understand (or necessarily appreciate) how some folks use the term “controlled opposition” in this context; since many label people like M. Blumenthal, A. Abunimah, or Y. Munayyer with this term implying they’re some kind of Israeli IDF covert ops operatives.

        Maybe Phil is aware of this “cheerleading” thing, but writes these things anyway with the hope that it will somehow have some kind of snowball effect or something, and that it will eventually somehow “trickle up” to reach policy makers. Kinda like Lennon’s “the war is over” (if you want it) campaign. A sort of visualization, if you will. Not that I think it works, mind you. But I guess you never know…

      • CigarGod
        April 16, 2016, 9:24 am

        It looks more like the MW (and very human) tendancy to feel great hope at every thin and wispy word that might possibly lean in the direction of an awakening and equality.

      • jd65
        April 16, 2016, 5:35 pm

        @ CigarGod: It looks more like the MW (and very human) tendancy to feel great hope at every thin and wispy word…

        Yeah. I can see that. And in some cases that’s a good thing. But personally, I don’t think this is one of those cases. Color me skeptical. There’s a middle ground of healthy skepticism born out of experience that lays between wearing rose colored glasses vs. nihilistic cynicism.

        And you may be right about the “tendency” mentioned. But as far as I can tell, “human tendency” is all over the map. Is what it is…

    • Donald
      April 15, 2016, 9:25 am

      Bernie does concede way too much, but you are being disingenuous. Everyone agrees Sanders went much further than most politicians in criticizing Israel. It is truly pathetic that they pander and lie so much that the Sanders comments seem so extraordinary, but that’s how it is.

      You not only predict Sanders will do nothing– you seem to gloat over it. There really are liberal Zionists who want to see the occupation ended and would favor pressure on Israel to do it, but you are apparently in the camp that much prefers the status quo to that.

      • hophmi
        April 15, 2016, 9:46 am

        I also want the occupation to end, but I see no evidence that publicly second guessing democratically-elected Israeli leaders works. The Middle East is just not a place where you can be even-handed. You’ll be assigned a side whether you take one or not.

        And it’s also hypocritical coming from an American politician. Bernie Sanders has long criticized the decision to go to war in Iraq. But he’s never suggested, to my knowledge, that killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis was disproportionate, or that drone strikes were disproportionate. This is why American leaders stay away from condemnations like this. They know that if the US faced a similar situation, they’d react in the same way, and in fact, if Iraq and Afghanistan are examples, they’d react much more harshly.

      • kalithea
        April 15, 2016, 12:27 pm

        Kay24

        Unfortunately, the media plays a HUGE part in keeping the American people in darkness too.

        Of course Wolf is a Zionist shill therefore your above sentence should read:

        Unfortunately, the Zionist-influenced, tainted and biased media plays a HUGE part in keeping the American people in darkness too.

      • bryan
        April 18, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Donald – if you go to any country less insular and less controlled than the good ole US of A, you will find mainstream politicians far less reticent and inhibited in condemning the egregious crimes that the Zionist entity repeatedly commits. For instance Gerald Kaufman in Manchester, England. He is a real democratic socialist Jew who has no problems proclaiming Israel to be a pariah state ruled by war-criminals, wantonly killing civilians (including British activists), infested with Orthodox bigots, and indiscriminately slaughtering innocents and lying about their deaths. Bernie may be refreshing in an American context, but he has a long way to catch up with the rest of the world. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Kaufman#Criticism_of_Israel

    • JWalters
      April 15, 2016, 5:57 pm

      To say Sanders is not going to “bother with” a huge injustice, especially one that negatively impacts Americans on a huge scale, is a flippant fantasy.

    • bryan
      April 18, 2016, 2:36 pm

      What are you saying, Hophmi? Bernie’s “not a foreign policy guy, and he’s not going to risk his other programs to bother with” Israel. Are you saying that America has far bigger fish to fry, that Israel really isn’t important, that non-Israeli Americans are interested in entirely different matters, that voting for politicians who take Zionist dollars doesn’t really rock America’s boat, and that no-one with any integrity would sell their constituents down the river just to support a foreign state guilty of multiple war-crimes? Please give us a clear answer, rather than simply your usual innuendo.

  2. JWalters
    April 15, 2016, 1:32 am

    On the Israeli/Palestinian conflict Hillary said, “Describing the problem is a lot easier than finding a solution.”

    She failed abjectly in her description. It was massively, egregiously deceptive. It was so extremely deceptive the term “lie” is hard to avoid. While Clinton was 99.9% one-sided to anyone who knows the facts, Bernie said, “We cannot continue to be one-sided”. There is a Grand Canyon between Bernie’s realism and Hillary’s fantasy. If she does such a poor job of describing the problem, what chance does she have at finding a solution?

    Perhaps this massive deception is actually due to massive ignorance. Given her intelligence and experience that is not believable. The only other explanation would seem to be the huge amounts of money she gets from “Israel right or wrong” donors, such as Haim Saban. Which is to say, corruption.

    Given that, I want to know what she said to Wall Street bankers in private. Her dodge is that Republican candidates aren’t releasing their transcripts, which has NOTHING to do with the Democratic primary, as was pointed out. She expects me to trust somebody giving that answer?

    Bernie is obviously an FDR Democrat, i.e. a true Democrat. Hillary walks and quacks like a Bankster Democrat, i.e. a fake Democrat. In her closing list of barriers she will fight to overcome she neglected to mention the barrier of a wealthy oligarchy robbing and suppressing society. For Bernie, that is the barrier fostering all the others. Again, Bernie sees while Hillary appears blind.

    • Marnie
      April 15, 2016, 5:47 am

      Hillary is a republicrat. That woman is the worst thing that could happen to the american people and the palestinian people. Yep, it’ll be real interesting to see her wall street speech transcripts. I cannot stand that cow. It’s pretty exciting that she’s getting exposed for what she’s been, a rich zionist shill.

      • CigarGod
        April 16, 2016, 9:36 am

        I keep sending my repub. and TP friends every right wing, war hawk comment Hillary makes. One of these days…one of them is going to say something “nice” about her.
        When that happens, I’ll celebrate with a pre-embargo Camacho.

    • lysias
      April 15, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Of course she’s not ignorant. The fact that she retweeted emails from Sidney Blumenthal on the subject shows that she knows the facts.

  3. tokyobk
    April 15, 2016, 2:47 am

    Sander’s candidacy will be one of the things noted to explain how American Jews wedged on Israel.

    • kalithea
      April 15, 2016, 12:37 pm

      And it will finally prove that an overwhelming majority of Jews are Zionist Jews and that Zionism is so infused with power right now that they would rather reject the potential of a Jewish President who might just have turned out to be the most popular President in modern history, than risk having that Zionist power questioned with this same Presidency that would favor morality and justice – universal values that might expose the corruption needed and used through the years to sustain such power.

      • jd65
        April 15, 2016, 8:12 pm

        @ kalithea: What she (he?) said. I basically agree w/ you. And well put.

        I’m unfortunately unconvinced that, when truly pressed with the right questions, a majority of American Jews would actually reveal themselves to be anti-Zionist. I don’t necessarily think it’s an overwhelming majority like yourself, kalithea. But in my experience speaking to other American Jews on the subject, my impression is that most would side w/ “Israel Security” first, and only backing justice for Palestine second. And this equation, with that hierarchy, there can never be real justice for Palestine. It’s gotta be top of the food chain. Right of return is paramount. I’m also convinced that many Jews who initially state that they are all for true justice and equal human rights for Palestinians, even possibly referring to themselves as anti-Zionist, don’t realize what that actually means and when pressed with the hard, revealing questions would be found to be relative “Israel-Firsters.” I’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand on a number of occasions and it’s, of course, always disappointing. At least it’s becoming less surprising…

  4. bryan
    April 15, 2016, 5:35 am

    Clinton: “They do not seek this kind of attacks. The[y] do not invite rockets raining down on their towns and villages.” They have never made provocative attacks upon their neighbours. They have always been scrupulous in observing ceasefires. They have never attempted to undermine the elected government of Gaza. They have never taken pot-shots across the borders at fishermen, farmers and kids playing football, let alone against demonstrators.

    Clinton: “They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas, aided and abetted by Iran against Israel.” And let’s be utterly clear on this matter: no one has ever exacerbated the problem by inciting against Hamas and Iran.

    Clinton: “And so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers, and they called and told me… they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn’t find anyone to talk to to tell them to stop it.” Remember the Israeli government has always been desperately keen to engage in a meaningful peace process, ever eager for its politicians to talk directly to Hamas, and has never once sought to undermine unity between Hamas and Fatah. And let me just record my sincere thanks for the consideration extended to me that even in the midst of a sudden existential crisis that had followed months of careful planning and preparation, the Israeli leaders, despite their busy schedules, were so gracious as to tell little me (not consult me, or advise me) but tell me in no uncertain terms of their intentions, so that I could have time to organise the necessary diplomatic cover at the UN.

    Clinton: “…I don’t know how you run a country if you are under constant threat.” Especially if you are a perfectly normal country, that has never attempted to dominate your neighbours, nor to occupy them, nor to colonise them. If that were the case, they might have a perfectly legitimate right to resist, but of course it isn’t.

    Clinton: “Even the most independent analyst will say that the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible…” Remember its not just Fox News; the UN and the world’s leading human rights organisations have all exhaustively and meticulously documented the frequency with which Israeli attacks on UN facilities, schools and hospitals have been completely justified by the alleged presence of supposed terrorists somewhere in the rough vicinity.

    Clinton: “Remember Israel left Gaza… they turned the keys over to the Palestinian people. And what happened? Hamas took over.” Remember that Israel volunteered to liberate a land occupied primarily by refugees from Israel, not in a shady deal with George Bush that sought to intensify settlement in the West Bank, but in a wonderful honest gesture, handing over full control of land borders, air space, the coast and the off-shore reserves of oil and gas. Israel had a marvellous vision of this land becoming the Singapore of the middle east, replete with seaports and airports, but so very disappointingly, its people preferred to live in a bombed-out prison camp. Remember, with scarcely any popular support, with barely a fig-leaf of a mandate achieved via the ballot-box, in “a fair and free election”, Hamas simply took over.

    Many have questioned whether Hilary has the judgement, the necessary profound knowledge of the world, the basic honesty, and the passion even-handedly and pragmatically to address the real issues and to make America and the world a better place. To answer that you only have to listen to her own words.

    • hippocrasy
      April 15, 2016, 9:17 am

      fantastic bryan

      • oldgeezer
        April 15, 2016, 2:13 pm

        @ritzl

        According to Israeli security officials Hamas had not fired any rockets since 2012 until after Israel knocked off one of it’s leaders. And Hamas was working to arrest the members of any other group that did fire rockets.

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-fired-rockets-for-first-time-since-2012-israeli-officials-say/

        The slaughter was intentionally started by Israel. They wanted to mow the grass. Women and children included.

      • ritzl
        April 16, 2016, 4:18 am

        Thanks for the specifics oldgeezer. I knew there had been a Hamas-enforced lull in rocket fire until Israel decided it needed to slaughter some kids to make itself look good to whomever “important” those things look good to.

        Yep. Intentionally, and knowing the effect.

        Sidenote, the one and only brief Twitter exchange I had with Jodi Rudoren (God only knows why she engaged…) was where I asked her why she conformed to the/a gag order to prohibit reporting on the fact those kids were alreadefuze and had been killed by loners. I mentioned she could have helped defuze the whole rationale for “Protective Edge.”

        She responded only that there had been no gag order. Like that was the main point.

        I suppose normal people can make of that response what they will, but it physically sickened me. As you say, the slaughter of 500 children was completely orchestrated, and I had just interacted with one of the main orchestraters. Ugh. Double Ugh.

    • ritzl
      April 15, 2016, 9:26 am

      Bingo bryan. Lie after lie. Not even close. Complete psychopathic rationalization for past and future slaughter.

      What’s the difference between a delusion and a hallucination again? Can one hallucinate a delusion? If so, Clinton seems to have mastered the art.

      Just on the rocket “rain,” there were ZERO rockets for several months prior to the 2014 slaughter. There were a few AFTER the Israelis started killing innocent (16 iirc) Palestinians in the West Bank in their search for the kids that they KNEW were already dead. But even then there was a lag until after Israel had killed five or six West Bank Palestinians and made it clear they were not going to stop killing people who had absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance of those kids.

      Israel always instigates the killing and therefore the response. They NEVER attempt any peaceful method to solve their own problems. Not ever.

      Of course, all this assumes that a “rain” of rockets is actually considered a problem by the GoI. I think a compelling case can be made that it does NOT consider them a problem. As Clinton’s words show, [Israel-instigated] incoming rockets appear to be an extremely valuable political asset for Israel-the-fake-victim.

      Thanks for taking the time to pull the quotes. What a truly breathtaking divorce from reality.

      • jd65
        April 15, 2016, 9:59 pm

        Of course, all this assumes that a “rain” of rockets is actually considered a problem by the GoI. I think a compelling case can be made that it does NOT consider them a problem. As Clinton’s words show, [Israel-instigated] incoming rockets appear to be an extremely valuable political asset for Israel-the-fake-victim.

        This Î Î Î

        Your description of the rockets being used as a “political asset” by Israel and it’s unconditional supporters reminds one of Israel’s relationship to anti-Semitism. Israel needs it as its raison d’etre. So it creates it and it also creates false stories about it. At the moment, Israel and anti-Semitism crave one another and they feed off one another. And, at the moment, the main source of energy perpetuating this cycle is, of course, Israel.

    • Kay24
      April 15, 2016, 9:59 am

      Good points. Now it would have been the cherry on top, if Sanders had asked her WHY she thought Hamas was sending those rockets, and doesn’t an occupation lasting more than 60 years and land thefts warrant some kind of human reaction, even violence (quoting Ban Ki-Moon’s statement saying it is a human reaction). Too much to hope for, but Sanders could have also mentioned that those rockets from the year 2000 has killed 33 Israelis, but that one assault in Gaza in 2014 resulted in the deaths of 2500 Palestinians.

      • Antidote
        April 16, 2016, 6:24 pm

        “it would have been the cherry on top, if Sanders had asked her WHY she thought Hamas was sending those rockets, and doesn’t an occupation lasting more than 60 years and land thefts warrant some kind of human reaction, even violence (quoting Ban Ki-Moon’s statement saying it is a human reaction). ”

        It is, of course, a perfectly human reaction, and everybody knows that NOT sending rockets has never really had any positive impact on the Palestinian situation either. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. The entire Israel / Zionist project , pretty much like the American project, has been based on the premise that the Palestinians (Native Americans) in particular, and the Arabs/Muslims (British/Spanish) in general cede land to an independent Jewish (American) state they never wanted. Any resistance to this has been requited with the seizure, occupation and Jewish settlement of more land, and more or less sanctioned by Israel’s various friends abroad, also called “the international community” (US and allies).

        100% supporters of Israel (and the latter group quite clearly includes Clinton, Sanders, all other presidential candidates, and Obama) will forever insist that Israel, just like the US, or their allied countries in Europe, have a right to defend themselves against terrorist attacks, whether their actions have provoked such terrorism or not.

        This is not new, and the new Pearl Harbour essentially no different from the old one, in that respect. It was perfectly clear to Americans such as, for instance, Herbert Hoover, that FDR’s policies against Japan would sooner or later produce such an attack, wherever. Still, the attack was loudly pronounced as the ultimate “day of infamy”, just like 9/11. The provocations are spelled out clearly in Osama BL’s open letter to America, and include the unforgivable crime against the Palestinians, among other horrors launched by the US against Muslims in the ME. You can read the letter online.

        One cannot deny that OBL, or more recently ISIS, make some valid points. Terrorism in the US and Europe is blowback, not just some wholly unwarranted aggression launched by religious fanatics against innocent countries and their populations.

        However, with the possible exception of Germany, there is no country in the world that will turn the other cheek and say: “We (via our leaders/politicians/armies etc that we supported or at least tolerated at the time) did horrible things to them, and it is only natural and just that they, or some of them, strike back at us, and kill innocent people, including women and children, as we have killed theirs.”

        Do you think that’s a normal human reaction?

        Do you think Sanders would win votes in NYC or elsewhere in the US by offering this cherry?

        He can criticize the Iraq war (including Bush and Clinton), and Netanyahu, of course.

        Because there is widespread agreement that the Iraq war was a YUGE mistake a view shared by Sanders, who voted against it, but not so much by Clinton who voted for it and has to defend her judgment in order to appear as a qualified CiC. She has done so by stating that her priority was to help NYC. If voting for the war was the prerequisite for obtaining support from the federal government to do so, I don’t think she would be losing any sleep over that. I think she is perfectly genuine in defending her yes vote, and she has done the same wrt Libya: the decision was not wrong, but the lack of support from the Libyans and the Europeans turned the whole thing into the mess it has become. Besides, it was ultimately Obama’s decision. It’s called passing the buck, but along lines that are pretty mainstream and uncontroversial

        But neither Sanders, nor Clinton, or Americans in general will concede that the Iraq war was a monstrous crime along the lines of Nuremberg – “conspiracy to wage war” – that will oblige Americans to take responsibility for and suffer all consequences of that war. Likewise, Israelis are not inclined to suffer for the policies and actions of Netanyahu, or any previous PM, much less the IDF.

        I think it’s all pretty normal human behaviour, and yes, I do find it a bit bigoted, to expect other countries to act more nobly than one’s own.

        That does not mean one should just accept things as they are. I’m just saying that if you want change, and if you think it’s absolutely necessary, it would be a good idea to start with yourself/the US.

        Because if the US does not make some very major changes in how it conducts its domestic and foreign affairs, we are all doomed.

        It is not just banks and corporations that are too big to fail, and therefore perhaps too big to exist, as Sanders, among others, put it.

        Size matters.

    • jd65
      April 15, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Kudos Bryan. Perfect. Not only is this well written, funny, and consistent and appropriate in tone, I believe it highlights a main reason many suffer from exhaustion when it comes to challenging those who support Israel unconditionally (politicians, pundits, writers, family/friends, etc). The reason being this: all too often, within a single sentence of pro-Israel blather there will exist multiple fallacies/lies/distortions/manipulations that take time, energy, knowledge and practice to counter. So when it comes to FULLY responding to, let’s say an article or speech by someone like Beinart/Brooks/Clinton, it’s a MAJOR undertaking even for someone who has the experience, knowledge and time to deal with it. Your excellent post above is a great example of this phenomena. You dealt w/ just a small paragraph of what Clinton said, yet you wrote a somewhat lengthy post. And of course you could’ve written at least another 3-4 full pages (or much more of course…) debunking and ridiculing her tiny paragraph. So when it comes to the task of FULLY exposing and contextualizing the lies, distortions, and manipulations contained within an entire speech or article of this kind of trash from Clinton (or whoever), one either is in a position in their life to devote serious time to it, or there’s not really anything one can do. Yes. It’s exhausting. I often get to the point where I tell myself I need to stop following the information on the conflict because it’s merely frustrating for me since I know I don’t have the time needed to be truly involved. But i’m never able to make myself tune out. So I am, unfortunately, perpetually frustrated. But my frustration is NOTHING compared to what Palestinians must feel in the face if Israeli repression.

      • ritzl
        April 15, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Great meta comment.

      • jd65
        April 15, 2016, 9:48 pm

        @ ritzl: Meta is as meta does :)

      • bryan
        April 17, 2016, 7:34 am

        Thanks Jd65. Of course “the lies, distortions and manipulations” can be enormously frustrating, but thankfully it is not the task of ordinary citizens to expose these: we do of course have a free and independent press, immensely well-resourced, equipped with expert investigative journalists and supported by public-spirited editors and proprietors, whose major role is to shine a light on the venality, corruption and dishonesty of our politicians and other elite leaders, and who protect the public interest and enable our democracy to function so effectively!

        And frustrating as the mis-coverage of Israel / Palestine may be, it is merely of a piece with a whole host of other issues (Global warming, destruction of the environment, reproductive rights, corporate power, taxation, the provision of public services, racial equality, penal policy, gun-control, etc., etc) where extremists and ignorant fundamentalists and the rich and powerful control public policy, undermine and denigrate alternative voices, and shit on the average citizen. No reason at all to become frustrated or cynical or to retreat into our private lives and enjoy the opiates of religion, sport, consumerism, celebrity culture and all the rest.

      • jd65
        April 17, 2016, 11:25 am

        @ Bryan: “No reason at all to become frustrated or cynical or to retreat into… celebrity culture…”

        You leave my Jennifer Lawrence alone!@#$%^&

        :) :)

    • Danaa
      April 15, 2016, 2:10 pm

      Well said Bryan. Alas, even Sanders did not dare mention the word “blockade”. Much less Gaza Ghetto. But I am not complaining. In a world where the words for “neutral” and “even handed” are verboten (on the pain of eviction from the vaunted halls of Jewish life and New York Times), saying a single sentence about Palestinian unemployment in Gaza does indeed appear as if a revolution is near. That is how far down the rabbit hole the “conversation” has sunk, and how steep will the eventual climb have to be. Good for sanders that he at least had the courage to show up Clinton as deep in the hole. Like the Alice in Wonderland Queen she be with “sentence first, judgement later”. And a sense of good judgement? never.

  5. Kay24
    April 15, 2016, 8:18 am

    It was refreshing to hear an American politician finally criticize Israel, and openly state that the Palestinians have a right to freedom, and there can never be peace until the US shows concern for the Palestinian people too. Sanders also referred to the fact that there is high unemployment in Gaza, and that there was indeed a reason for the US to not side with only Israel. He also said that Netanyahu is not always right (words never used by any zionist stooge, even during the time Nutty openly tried to sabotage Obama’s Iran deal). It is a shame that Sanders may lose NY, and the nomination, but he certainly had the spine to speak the truth about Israel, knowing it will make him the target of zionist minions, who will now attack him.
    Today on Morning Joe they discussed this issue, and it was pleasantly surprising to hear Scarborough say that even though he is pro Israel, the last attack on Gaza by Israel was over excessive. The others agreed that this was the first time this issue was brought up by anyone.
    Good for Sanders.

    If anyone can link that entire segment, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  6. eljay
    April 15, 2016, 8:30 am

    Kudos to Sanders.

    … Clinton responded with a staunch defense of Israel, repeating talking points straight out of the Netanyahu government and its lobby here:

    They do not seek this kind of attacks. The do not invite rockets raining down on their towns and villages. …

    Yup. For months the rapist has been kidnapping women, chaining them in his basement and sexually assaulting them. (He prefers to call it “self-determination”.) Increasingly, the women have been lashing out at him.

    But he does not seek “this kind of attacks”. He does not invite punching and scratching and biting raining down on him.

    Why do those ungrateful women hate him for his freedoms?! :-(

    But…perhaps he could set them free, face justice and accountability for his crimes, and learn to live in equality with other law-abiding citizens?

    No, no, that makes no sense. He’s entitled to defend himself. And, anyway, sadistic murderers exist, so what he’s doing isn’t quite as bad.

    Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig. :-(

  7. ahadhaadam
    April 15, 2016, 9:09 am

    They both uphold the holy mantra that “Israel responds”. This is how you frame a debate, Zionist style.

  8. diasp0ra
    April 15, 2016, 9:44 am

    The fact that merely saying that Palestinians are human and deserve human rights and have their own needs is being represented by many in the media as a radical position is a testament to how terrible the situation in the US is for those who criticize Israel.

    • Kay24
      April 15, 2016, 9:54 am

      It is. Those (including the Drumpf) who showed neutrality in this situation, were attacked and accused of being anti Israel. This is because the media is following zionist propaganda.
      This is so illogical, but hey, that kool aid is so potent, it can make insanity look normal.

    • RockyMissouri
      April 15, 2016, 10:22 am

      Diaspora: An excellent comment IMO . Thank you.

    • chocopie
      April 16, 2016, 10:57 am

      Isn’t that the truth! Slate has a post up with a headline stating that Sanders is a “mensch” for his comments about Palestinians. How sickening. This is all it takes now for one Jewish person to be lauded as a mensch by another Jewish person. That cutesy Yiddish headline is nauseating, the self-congratulations, the assumption that Jewish people get to decide who is “good” and what anyone is allowed to say or think on the Palestine question. When will (some) “liberal” Jewish people in the US wake up and realize they sound like white southerners in the 1950s. The smugness, the misplaced sense of noblesse oblige, ugghh.

  9. David Doppler
    April 15, 2016, 10:43 am

    Operative word in the Zimmerman Affair: “suspended.” Bernie’s got one foot on the freedom boat, and one foot on the establishment pier, and he’s trying to prolong the moment before he has to choose (or take a dunking). At least until after Tuesday.

    Simone Zimmerman appears to be a young force to be reckoned with, and an unlikely candidate for Chuck Hagel style donkey play, or Samantha Powers style lessons with Schmuley. I think her story is worthy of close Mondoweiss monitoring.

    Yond Simone hath a lean and hungry look.

    • Kris
      April 15, 2016, 12:28 pm

      This is interesting: “What Jews Kvetch About When They Kvetch About Bernie Sanders.
      http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/mrblog-jews-kvetch-kvetch-bernie-sanders/

      From the article:

      Jewish establishment institutions and press outlets affiliated with them played a direct role in discrediting Simone Zimmerman in the short time she occupied her position with the Sanders campaign. The organized Jewish community in America chooses not to make room for the growing number of Jewish millennials like Ms. Zimmerman who are engaged with their Jewish identities and care deeply about the future of the Jewish people and of Israel. The way in which many Jewish millennials express their care for Israel by its very definition involves critique of Israel’s rapid slide toward nationalist-religious extremism, its discriminatory treatment of its Arab citizens and Palestinians, and its increasingly intolerant attitudes to its own civil society that chooses the path of dissent. The attack on Ms. Zimmerman reflects both the generational shift in dialogue surrounding Israel, and the failure of Jewish institutions to understand and productively embrace it.

      • David Doppler
        April 15, 2016, 1:07 pm

        Thanks, Kris, for this further coverage. The “Jewish establishment institutions and press outlets affiliated with them” appear to be eating their young, or attempting to. But the kids tend to prevail in these generation gaps, over time.

        How did Sanders deal with criticism of Israel in the debate? Very carefully. He definitely gave Hillary a shove for her cravenness at AIPAC, for treating Netanyahu as if he were “right all the time,” and for insisting that concern for the Palestinian people needs fair attention from the US, and Israel. I will say this about Netanyahu: he is far right all the time. And Hillary certainly looked like she’d taken a punch in the face, for her efforts to identify so closely with him.

        Zimmerman’s comments drew the “valuable hatred” from the powerful establishment wedded to oppression of the Palestinians, and Sanders’ couldn’t-be-more-public call for empathy for the Palestinians, accusation of disproportionate force, clear separation from Netanyahu & AIPAC, outline the position he would rally the reformers around.

        A well-thought-out position. How will New Yorkers respond?

  10. joer
    April 15, 2016, 11:36 am

    It’s an important symbolic milestone that the humanity of the Palestinians was finally recognized in a presidential contest and whether or not the candidates approve of Israeli actions against Palestinians. I wonder if Bernie will make an issue of the 4 billion in aid we will give to Israel this year. That’s more of an old time left wing meat and potatoes type issue…and it fits into the whole theme of his campaign about lobbyists bribing corrupt politicians into giving huge welfare payouts and special favorites to the super rich-and Israel is the wealthiest country in the region.

  11. a blah chick
    April 15, 2016, 11:45 am

    “Clinton appeared defensive for once about her alignment with the rightwing leader: “I have spoken about and written at some length about very candid conversations I’ve had with him. No one is saying that any leader is always right.”

    Anyone want to share where Clinton wrote “at some length” about these “very candid conversations”? I must have missed them.

  12. eljay
    April 15, 2016, 11:51 am

    Simone Zimmerman:

    Bibi Netanyahu is an arrogant, deceptive, cynical, manipulative asshole. He is the embodiment of the ugliest national hubris and the tone-deafness toward the international community. Fuck you, Bibi, for daring to insist that you legitimately represent even a fraction of the Jews in this world, for your consistent fear-mongering, for pushing Israel, in word and deed, farther and farther away from the international community, and most importantly, for trying to derail the potentially historic diplomatic deal with Iran and thus trying to distract the world from the fact that you sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people this summer, that a brutal military occupation of millions more continues under your watch, and that you are spending time and money on ridiculous campaign opportunities like this instead of actually working to address the real needs of your own people.

    Netanyahu insulted our President but also much worse. He does not speak for me as a Jew, an American, and as a thinking person. #BibiDoesntSpeakForMe

    Dead on and awesome. F*ckin’ A, Simone! :-)

    • jd65
      April 15, 2016, 8:25 pm

      And Zimmerman goes the way of Salaita. She should be damn proud of herself. Whether you’re working for the provost or the politicos, speaking aggressive truth to power is almost always forbidden on this subject. I believe I got fired from my last job for expressing my views on this subject (and other domestic U.S. political issues). If I was w/ Zimmerman right now I’d buy her a drink :)

  13. Sycamores
    April 15, 2016, 11:55 am

    not one mention of the illegal settlements, the West Bank or East Jerusalem or the treatment of Palestinians within Israel.

  14. amigo
    April 15, 2016, 11:57 am

    I wonder how large the TV audience would have been.It would have to have been in the millions , even if it was mainly dem,s watching.

    Lot,s of ears hearing what they have never before heard.

    I wonder if nutandyahoo gave Shillary a signed copy of the hasbara manual.

  15. Theo
    April 15, 2016, 12:34 pm

    I live just too far from the USA to be able to watch the daily events concerning our gladiators fighting for that prize, the keys to the WH, however I have the feeling that we expect just a bit too much from good old Bernie.
    He is an old zionist, lived in Israel, and he may changed his attitude toward the aims of zionism, however he just cannot bring himself to really face up to them. His criticism always will be half hearted, careful not to go too far, keeping the chance to go back to the tribe if he fails to get the prize.
    The idea of having Hillary as the POTUS is bad enough to keep you awake all night, however is Bernie the optimal solution? He will be 75 by the inauguration, not an age when a human being can take on the stress of what is needed to govern this huge country and all parts of the empire we built for us over the years.
    My feeling is that we just don´t have candidates in either party, where I could feel safe to go to bed in the evening, and not be wake up to the news that we have another major war. With Hillary we can bet on it, so good luck to all of us, because we are unable to produce a statesman to run the country, we have a bunch of opportunistic politicians who cannot be trusted.

    • Ellen
      April 16, 2016, 3:11 am

      Theo, that about sums it up perfectly. There are no viable choices. So what is a voter to do? Sanders may not be a good president, and there is much troubling about him — and not only his age.

      Yet the political elites and entrenched interests (which HRC represents) working against the true interests of the citizenry would face a well-deserved shake up if Sanders were to win. And for that alone he may deserve a vote .

      • Theo
        April 16, 2016, 11:10 am

        Ellen, I will not bother to vote, however if we want to elect someone who is the least corrupt and probably the most reliable, then it should be Bernie.
        It is a pity that we must chose the best of the bad and not the best of the best!

    • Antidote
      April 16, 2016, 11:06 pm

      “He will be 75 by the inauguration, not an age when a human being can take on the stress of what is needed to govern this huge country and all parts of the empire we built for us over the years. ”

      Well, at least his hair can’t turn any whiter, so the stress won’t show as much. And Clinton is not that much younger, nor Trump.

      Sanders could pick a great VP who’d take over if he collapses. As long as it is not Clinton.

      • Theo
        April 18, 2016, 12:32 pm

        Amen to your last sentence, however can you name one single democrat whom you really trust to do just that? That party became more corrupt than the Mafia, thanks to the Clintons.

      • Antidote
        April 22, 2016, 6:29 pm

        theo

        sanders warren?

  16. jd65
    April 15, 2016, 12:56 pm

    “Describing the problem is a lot easier than trying to solve it,” Clinton responded.

    This is a reasonable statement, Mrs. Clinton. Not sure I completely agree with it, but it’s a reasonable thing to say. However, you are not even willing to honestly describe the problem; which you say is “easier” to do. So how could we possibly trust you to honestly solve it?

  17. Danaa
    April 15, 2016, 2:33 pm

    I’ll note that the discussion where the notable observation “Palestinians are human” appeared, was in a context of Mid-east policy, where, again, Sanders showed himself to be a realpolik kind of guy (which is obviously not far enough for most of us, but it’s a start). Not long after the assignment of humanity to palestinians – which is something hillary equivocates on – there was mention of Syria and the ever-lasting fake issue of “no-fly” zone (a code name for regime change, as we all know). Sanders again held to his guns on this one – even though he too chose to repeat the mantra of “Assad is a horrible dictator”, which is an essential prologue to any statement by anyone in power in the US (sort of like “Saddam was a horrible dictator” and so was Ghaddafi, and “Israel has the right to defend itself”).

    I am, of course, grateful for small deviation from the propaganda lines, even if it was just a foray. I do find it interesting that Clinton doubled down on the no-fly zone – to protect the ‘refugees”, no less, from Isis AND Assad. But not a word about the inconvenient presence of Russia in that same area slated for “no fly”, which of course, Russia enforces with gusto, as we speak. presumably the Russians are not protecting ‘refugees”,and to add insult to injury, are actually upholding the government’s right to defend itself from attacks by the neocon conglomerate of CIA/saudi-Arabia/Turkey/Israel. OK, obviously no one can go down this road in a debate – that might be too, how to say it? – sensitive. After all, surely the monarch of saudi-Arabia is not a tyrant, Turkey is a paragon of democracy and israel is a shining light on the hill. The CIA? just another humanitarian organization, surely.

    Ignoring the Russians must be the new “realpolik” for the Clintonites. Kind of like ignoring wall Street in favor of the new punching bag, known as shadow banks (which are not at all connected in any way to real banks – perish the thought! Kind of like a separate mafia….).

    An aside – in the past, I did hear Sanders calling out the great Kingdom of SA. Speaking of treacherous waters!

    All in all, after this debate we can all see what a horrid disaster Clinton will be as president. Frankly I am beginning to wonder whether trump (if these two are the nominees) will not be the lesser evil. Isn’t this Hillary’s campaign platform? the lesser evil? what if she isn’t the “lesser”?

  18. Kay24
    April 15, 2016, 5:12 pm

    Blitzer the man who cries wolf, just started the Situation Room with “Breaking News” and it turns out it was what Trump had said and responded to, the statement by some ex Apprentice participants, who had denounced him….really CNN? You think this is relevant to the nation, so it becomes “Breaking News”? They are sensationalizing everything nowadays.

    I also noticed that the segment about the Palestinian/Israel issue has not been discussed much, after the debate yesterday. They show the segments about Clinton’s speeches, and Sanders releasing his tax documents, but it seems the zionists minions here must not like the media to show too much of it, because there is a lot of truth in what Sanders said that they like to keep hidden.

  19. JLewisDickerson
    April 15, 2016, 10:42 pm

    RE: “Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is ‘right all the time’”

    MY CONTRIBUTION: At first blush, the following video might seem unrelated — but in actuality, it is really very much related.
    ■ The Myth of Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies (with a heavy emphasis on Moby-Dick) – Chris Hedges (at his very best!) [BEGINS AT ABOUT 15:30]

    RE: “At first blush”

    TheFreeDictionary.com:
    blush (blŭsh)
    intr.v. blushed, blush·ing, blush·es
    1. To become red in the face, especially from modesty, embarrassment, or shame; flush.
    2. To become red or rosy.
    3. To feel embarrassed or ashamed: blushed at his own audacity.
    n.
    1. A reddening of the face, especially from modesty, embarrassment, or shame.
    2. A red or rosy color: the blush of dawn.
    3. A glance, look, or view: thought the painting genuine at first blush.
    4. Makeup used on the face and especially on the cheekbones to give a usually rosy tint. Also called blusher.
    SOURCE – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blush

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 15, 2016, 11:06 pm

      THIS IS ARGUABLY UNRELATED (SO SUE ME!)

      ■ eddie cochran c’mon everybodyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncbdW9bI27o
      ■ Eminem – Cum On Everybody (Original Version) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mlLIg4auD8

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 15, 2016, 11:32 pm

        ■ Eminem – Cum On Everybody (Lyrics) [HD & HQ] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpC4_9AN3I4

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 15, 2016, 11:55 pm

        ■ Eddie Cochran – C’mon Everybody [VIDEO 01:54] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRjlZ8x2uQM

        ■ Eddie cochran C’mon everybody [VIDEO 02:11] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qadw2rFiaJc

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 17, 2016, 9:33 pm

        I hate to bring up such a delicate question (really, I do), but what is the significance of the way the two men slide the pommel horse towards Prestly in the video C’mon Everybody, and he obligingly mounts it doing a cross between sitting astride it, and riding it sidesaddle? Might this be an admission of bisexuality?
        Enquiring minds mimes (reallly, really do) want to know!™

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2016, 10:48 am

        “I hate to bring up such a delicate question (really, I do)”

        You want gym equipment and ambivalent (male) sexuality? Let Jane Russel ask the delicate question: “Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?”

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 18, 2016, 1:33 pm

        Not bad for a “full-figured woman!”
        Though I have to admit that I think Simone Zimmerman is cuter and has a greater abundance of sine qua nons!!!

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 18, 2016, 1:48 pm

        PETITION TO THE BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN:
        #IStandWithSimone! Reinstate Simone Zimmerman now ~ Joe Catron New York, NY
        The Bernie Sanders campaign’s attempt to pander to the Israel lobby by suspending Jewish outreach director Simone Zimmerman over her impassioned criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and his government’s killings of thousands of Palestinians – both contradicts Sanders’ message of political transformation and is unacceptable to the vast majority of his supporters.
        We demand Zimmerman’s immediate reinstatement.
        ■ TO SIGN PETITION – https://www.change.org/p/bernie-sanders-istandwithsimone-reinstate-simone-zimmerman-now?recruiter=692400

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 18, 2016, 2:04 pm

        RE: “Though I have to admit that I think Simone Zimmerman is cuter and has a greater abundance of sine qua nons!!!” ~ me (from above)

        ELABORATION: Not to mention her very alluring je ne sais quoi!!!

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 18, 2016, 1:04 pm

      P.S. Collapse of Complex Societies by Dr. Joseph Tainter

      Published on Aug 6, 2012
      http://localfuture.org The collapse of complex societies of the past can inform the present on the risks of collapse. Dr. Joseph Tainter, author of the book The Collapse of Complex societies, and featured in Leonardo Dicaprio’s film The Eleventh Hour, details the factors that led to the collapse of past civilizations including the Roman Empire.

      2010 International Conference on Sustainability: Energy, Economy, and Environment organized by Local Future nonprofit and directed by Aaron Wissner.

      VIDEO DOWNLOADED FROM CHANNEL: newculture
      Category – Education
      License – Standard YouTube License

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 18, 2016, 1:47 pm
  20. Qualtrough
    April 15, 2016, 11:27 pm

    A leading US politician running a credible campaign for President 1) bashes Netanyahu, 2) recognizes that Palestinians not only exist but have wants and needs, 3) insists that the US be even-handed in this situation, 4) calls out the disproportionate slaughter in Gaza for what it was, and 5) lambastes Clinton for pandering to AIPAC and Netanyahu. Holy moly! And yet for some of you it is not enough. FFS people, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. How many of you changed your opinion of something on a dime rather than transformed over time? What Sanders did is absolutely unprecedented for a US politician of his stature and in his position. He has opened a big door that will not be shut again.

    P.S. Further evidence that this is ground breaking can be seen in the fact that Hopfmi jumped in first to pooh-pooh it. If that isn’t confirmation I don’t know what is. To me that just makes it official.

    • chocopie
      April 16, 2016, 11:40 am

      Yes, it is a step in the right direction. It is just sad (and I would even say heartbreaking for me on a personal level) that one candidate proclaiming the humanity of Palestinians while the other candidate equivocates is a step forward. But you are right that every bit helps. Hopefully some fair-minded people watching felt some shock at her response.

  21. yourstruly
    April 16, 2016, 3:33 am

    If Sander’s is a man of his words, certainly his track record as a politician suggests that he is, then his call for our government to be even-handed on Palestine/Israel should not be dismissed as a desperate gambit to keep his presidential campaign alive. Israel-firsters, of course. will say that his take on P-I shows that he’s out of touch with Jewish-Americans, if not the general public, and that his statement last night is gonna cost him the election (not that they ever believed he had a chance). Perhaps, but assuming he continues to play the same tune re: P/I, don’t be surprised if his message begins to resonate with the public. Yes, I know,
    for decades now the media has poured out so much pro-Israel propaganda that no way will his message get through, but then there’s this intrinsic sense of fairness that can be demonstrated in children as young as one year. Difficult to grasp this, considering how as we age so many of us lose interest in matters that pertain to fair play and equality, with some of us even expressing bias against certain other(s). But then along comes something like a civil rights movement, somehow rekindling that childhood sense of fairness. Here questions arise as to whether the movement for justice in Palestine can capture the imagination of the American people, whether a presidential election is the appropriate vehicle for carrying this movement forward, and whether Bernie Sanders is the right person to be in the driver’s seat. Give it a try, Bernie, there’s a presidency to be gained, a world to be saved – by changing it!

    • echinococcus
      April 16, 2016, 8:18 am

      If Sander’s is a man of his words, certainly his track record as a politician suggests that he is, then his call for our government to be even-handed on Palestine/Israel should not be dismissed as a desperate gambit to keep his presidential campaign alive

      There is like a contradiction here.
      Either the track record is believable, and that record, being wall-to-wall support to Zionist invasion, theft, racial supremacy and genocide (with lip service to a “two state solution” with a single state, common to all including Bush) indicates that last-minute feelgood statements on “evenhandedness” cannot be but “a desperate gambit to keep his presidential campaign alive”, as you say, or then the record is not to be considered and any pretty words are what we judge the candidate by.

      • yourstruly
        April 16, 2016, 9:34 am

        @echinococcus
        I agree, up to Thurs. night’s debate he was in the Zionist camp, but his words suggest to me that on P/I he’s separating himself from the rest of the candidates. What’s so surprising about someone who early in his life demonstrated a fervent commitment to the struggle against racism here in America suddenly waking up to the reality of racist Israel? Will he persevere in this is another question, but if he does he just might awaken the electorate to the fact that on this issue they’ve been had.

      • echinococcus
        April 17, 2016, 7:09 pm

        Yours Truly,

        I am touched by the extent of your goodwill.
        Whenever I need a couple quarters for booze I’ll make sure to knock on your door and ask for a donation for an unreformed drunkard who just this last moment had an epiphany and turned abstinent (right when he took notice that he had lost any chance of getting money otherwise.)

  22. Rodneywatts
    April 16, 2016, 5:04 am

    Phil, good piece and some superb comments -precisely why I was able to answer one of your survey questions, as a UK citizen, that I recommend people here to read MW. I haven’t commented for some time because I am having to prioritize the use of my time.

    Politically we have some real hot potatoes– Brexit, our National Health Service and our demands for a fairer electoral system. The latter issue arises, of course, because of the number of political parties we have, and where ‘first past the post’ is no longer democratic. (Only about 25% of the total population and 33% of those who voted, voted conservative) It has occurred to a number of us that it is a pity that Bernie has had to tie in with the Democrat nomination, and not be a focus for the formation of a new progressive (socialist) party.

    • chocopie
      April 16, 2016, 11:57 am

      That would be so wonderful to see a new progressive socialist party form in the US. What a dream that would be. The Democrats are so horrible and there’s nobody for progressives to vote for any more. Let’s move on already, the Democrats have morphed into Republicans. New party needed.

      • Rodneywatts
        April 17, 2016, 11:12 am

        Yes chocopie! What Bernie’s campaign has shown is that there are enough ordinary people willing to donate sufficient funds, and I guess volunteer time & effort, to get a new party off the ground and sustain it. All the best to you!

  23. Talkback
    April 16, 2016, 7:07 am

    Clinton: “They do not seek this kind of attacks.”

    Yes, they do. Check the stats.

    • Kay24
      April 16, 2016, 7:51 am

      Isn’t it strange a Yale educated lawyer cannot fathom that one out, and that she cannot put two and two together? It must be quite a task to realize that a brutal occupation and land grabs can result in “this kind of attack”.

    • chocopie
      April 16, 2016, 11:58 am

      The very fact that she even said it suggests some kind of subconscious awareness that it’s not true! It’s a very odd statement.

      • Talkback
        April 19, 2016, 9:36 am

        No, she’s simply reiterating Hasbara 101.

  24. HStrumm
    April 16, 2016, 7:45 am

    Note how the Washington Post covered the debate’s “most contentious” moments: no mention in print of the exchange on Israel/Palestine, and so very briefly during the 3-minute video. Honest reporting would have placed the Israel/Palestine exchange in the first para. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-sanders-brawl-in-brooklyn-ahead-of-pivotal-ny-primary/2016/04/14/7528a45c-0100-11e6-9d36-33d198ea26c5_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_politics

  25. just
    April 16, 2016, 8:11 am

    Pilkington:

    “Candidates spar over Israel and fate of Palestinians in Democratic debate

    Sanders broke the unwritten rule of presidential politics by criticizing Israel and speaking directly about plight of Palestinians before the New York primary

    The Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on Thursday night was electrified by a series of feisty exchanges, but one especially pugnacious discussion stood out as a potentially historic moment in presidential politics: the candidates’ dispute over Israel and the fate of Palestinians.

    Close observers of New York politics and the place within it of the city’s prominent Jewish population were astonished that Sanders spoke openly and directly about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza while criticizing Israel and its prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for responding disproportionately to Hamas provocations. Never before had such an outspoken pro-Palestinian message been delivered from the presidential campaign stage.

    During the debate, Sanders did not describe himself as a secular Jew but he did allude strongly to his heritage by saying that he spent “many months of my life when I was a kid in Israel”. He was also careful to describe himself as “100% pro-Israel”.

    But what was unprecedented about his intervention was that he broke the unwritten rule that has held firm in US presidential races for decades: that candidates emphasize their commitment to supporting Israel while maintaining virtual silence over the Palestinian side of the Middle Eastern equation.

    Sanders tore that convention apart by talking at length about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, where unemployment stands around 40% and where there is a landscape of “decimated houses, decimated healthcare, decimated schools. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people.”

    It was an extraordinary moment in presidential politics, said Chemi Shalev, US editor and correspondent of the Haaretz newspaper. It is extremely rare for presidential candidates to express sympathy for Palestinians, and the two individuals who came closest in recent times – Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008 – still went nowhere near where Sanders did in talking directly about it on the campaign trail.

    “Carter and Obama were much more careful, speaking about the need for peace as an imperative for Israeli security rather than as a matter of justice for the Palestinian people,” Shalev said.

    Clinton, by contrast, remained true to the presidential rulebook, refusing to engage with the Palestinian issue. Her remarks, more conventionally, stuck to expressing sympathy for Israelis living under the burden of Hamas terrorism.

    “I don’t know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist attacks, rockets coming at you. You have to defend yourself,” she said.

    The Clinton campaign clearly sees Sanders’ overt support for the Palestinians as a potential electoral bonus coming just five days before the critical New York primary on 19 April, in which she is hoping to make her lead over her rival unassailable. Before the debate, held in a former navy yard in Brooklyn, had even ended on Thursday, her press team had circulated a memo to reporters headlined: Hillary Clinton and Israel: A 30-year record of friendship, leadership and strength.

    On a national and international level, Sanders’ remarks are likely to reverberate for some time in that they arguably shifted the parameters of the public discussion. Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby group J Street, said it was an “extraordinarily important moment in American politics. There is now an honest debate for about the first time on a national political stage, and that is important for American foreign policy and for the state of Israel.”

    More immediately though is the question of how Sanders’ comments will play on next Tuesday’s vital election. It is hard to overestimate the role that Jews and the Israel-Palestine question play in New York politics: the city is after all the second largest urban collection of Jews in the world outside Tel Aviv, though its Jewish population has declined from more than 2 million people in the 1960s to about 1.2 million people today.

    On the other hand, there have been seismic movements within the American Jewish community in terms of its relationship to the Middle East over the past decade, brought about by the drawn-out nature of the conflict, disillusionment with Netanyahu’s government and a dilution of the role played by Israel as a commanding issue. A J Street poll conducted in 2014 found that Jewish support for the Democratic party remained rock solid at 69%, but Israel ranked 10th on a list of 14 issues that had motivated voters of which the economy and healthcare were supreme.

    There has also been a shift towards a younger generation of New York Jews who are more open to seeing the Middle East crisis as a double-sided conflict in which the Palestinian case should be given due prominence. It is possible that Sanders was making a play for that demographic, as well as appealing to the left wing of the Democratic party that has a strong pro-Palestinian tradition.

    But seasoned analysts of New York Jewish politics underlined the political risk that such a stance involves for Sanders. Mitchell Moss, a professor of New York University who has written extensively on the role of the Jewish community in the city’s politics, said that he expected the senator for Vermont’s remarks to give Clinton a bounce.

    “The New York primary is a closed contest that only registered Democrats can participate in. Many younger Jewish New Yorkers aren’t registered at all, and that makes Sanders’ comments self-destructive as they could drive the older Jews who will turn out to vote further into Hillary Clinton’s camp,” …

    Against that, Sanders may be calculating that New York also has a growing Muslim population that today stands at well above half a million. For Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York and a surrogate for Sanders, the candidate’s remarks on Thursday night demonstrated that America is changing.

    At 36, Sarsour, a Palestinian American, said that it was “the furthest that any presidential candidate has gone in my lifetime. To hear the Brooklyn crowd cheering in the debate room showed me that the United States is moving towards the realization that the Palestinian people must be treated with respect.””

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/15/sanders-clinton-brooklyn-debate-israel-palestine-comments

    Good people all over the world agree that the Palestinian people deserve their land, their freedom, their clean water, their homes, justice and the respect and apologies of millions and millions of the thieves and their enablers that have robbed them of everything but their sumud and dignity.

    “Hillary Clinton and Israel: A 30-year record of friendship, leadership and strength.”

    This has been an ongoing train wreck of a policy for all involved.

    • Kay24
      April 16, 2016, 9:30 am

      “Good people all over the world agree that the Palestinian people deserve their land, their freedom, their clean water, their homes, justice and the respect and apologies of millions and millions of the thieves and their enablers that have robbed them of everything but their sumud and dignity”

      Absolutely correct. This does not mean the majority of Americans who keep supporting this parasitic, apartheid, nation, are bad, they are simply kept in ignorance by the leaders of this nation together with the zio media. The subject of the occupation, massacres in Palestinian territories, the land grabs, and the inhumane treatment of the Palestinians by their occupier, is the taboo subject in the media, the elephant in the room. We are not helping the situation by always taking the side of the occupier/land thieves.

      I applaud Sanders for having the spine to speak out and give the American people something to think about. This discussion should have happened 50 years ago.

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