Sanders’s leftwing base made him take on Netanyahu

US Politics
on 65 Comments

The world is still reeling from the fact that last Thursday night, Bernie Sanders said on a New York stage, ahead of tomorrow’s New York primary, that the United States must be evenhanded in the Israel/Palestine conflict and that Benjamin Netanyahu is not always right and that Israel attacked Gaza with disproportionate force. These stunning revelations (irony alert) have already transformed the US discourse. It is suddenly OK to criticize the special relationship. And maybe you noticed Hillary Clinton edging away from her support for Netanyahu on that New York stage. She mumbled about the fact that she had been critical of certain foreign leaders in her writings. A reference to the fact that, because President Obama twisted her arm to do it, she had to upbraid Netanyahu once over illegal settlement construction.

Sanders has transformed the mainstream discourse because he has suddenly made it OK to say these things publicly–things everyone knew. The immediate reaction last week was that Sanders punted the New York primary in his remarks, that he doesn’t want to win. But there has been wide respect for Sanders’s comments on emperor’s new clothes grounds; and last night in Washington journalists Mara Liasson of NPR and JJ Goldberg of the Forward said that Sanders will not suffer in the New York vote for his remarks.

Liasson asserted that Jewish public opinion had changed because of the disgraceful Netanyahu intervention in our politics last year and she noted that Sanders was cheered “wildly” for his remarks– an observation Goldberg echoed when he said that Sanders’s base made him do it.

“I think he had to do it because of his base, because so much of his base is on the left,” Goldberg said, a truth echoed by Malcolm Hoenlein, a pro-Israel boss, who is quoted today grumbling that the Democratic left is weak on Israel.

His base made him do it. This belief is a reflection of the power of the pro-Palestine movement inside the Democratic Party and among American youth. We’ve been saying this for months, and the weekend has proved that prediction to be right. Sanders knows that if he had said nothing about Netanyahu and Israeli human rights atrocities in Gaza when Wolf Blitzer asked him about it, his base would have gotten angry and restless, and wondered where their leader is.

Look back at Sanders’s fumbling and angry performance at a town hall during Gaza in August 2014. He seemed protective of Israel then, and piped talking points about ISIS. He has grown since that time; the movement has led him.

JJ Goldberg also asserted last night (at a J Street panel at the 6th and I Synagogue) that Sanders was only saying what Barack Obama and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said before him, except that he had the temerity to say it before January 20th not after. While Roger Cohen of the New York Times said, to laughter, that what Sanders said would not even make the newspapers in Europe, the ideas are so commonplace.

Maybe those things are true, but credit where credit is due. President Obama said a lot of this in Cairo in June 2009, but he walked it back over the next three years, under the kind offices of Hillary Clinton and the Israel lobby surrogate she brought into the administration to train Obama in orthodox foreign policymaking, Dennis Ross. In Cairo, Obama did not say that the Israeli massacre of just six months before in Gaza was “disproportionate,” nor did he describe the depths of destruction there, as Bernie Sanders did on Thursday. No, Obama helped to demolish  the Goldstone Report a year later.

The great thing about Sanders’s statements is that they have not killed him instantly. Jewish Insider reports that Sanders expanded his comments on the Sunday talk shows to say that Netanyahu often gets things wrong, and, this just in, his older brother Larry says that “Bernard” is not a self-hating Jew.

So the discourse is changed because Sanders decided to change it; and because his base is giving him wild support to say these things. He has demonstrated that officialdom is a sniveling mob and if one brave person stands up to challenge that mob, public opinion will change in an instant. Sanders’s bravery just shows how many other politicians have run around for years with their tails between their legs. The biggest surprise of last night’s panel in DC was Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress. She repeatedly slammed Netanyahu and the right in Israel, saying that that Israeli political culture is too far gone now for anyone to make any progress on peace talks. Bernie Sanders has liberated her. Just a few months after she sucked up pathetically to Netanyahu.

Yes, I’m optimistic. But isn’t that the spirit of American progressives? Something got shattered last Thursday night. An edifice of public lies and hypocrisy about the special relationship and Israel’s conduct. Bernie Sanders attained an iconic status by rising to the occasion.

And his base made him do it. Sisters and brothers, keep up the struggle.

About Philip Weiss

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

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65 Responses

  1. Kay24
    April 18, 2016, 11:38 am

    This is a great article. It is an interesting perspective to what Bernie Sanders may have unleashed.

    Criticism of Israel was always the elephant in the room, and no one dared to even speak out against it’s policies, or the disproportionate attacks on unarmed civilians using Hamas as an excuse. Entire families were wiped out by precision bombs, and despite the UN constantly condemning Israel for using such excessive force, and for targeting civilians structures, the bombing got worse, and WE kept handing them more ammunition.

    Bernie Sanders has opened that door that the zionists made sure was shut in the US. Now fair minded journalist can question our support, and the sending of aid to such a brutal occupier, and those not drinking that zio koolaid can not only refer to what Bernie Sanders said, but a recent lengthy report criticizing Israel’s excessive force, torture and the many horrible war crimes totally not befitting a so called “democracy”. The big question is, WHAT THE HECK WILL THE US DO ABOUT IT? Would our congress stay MUM about this yet again, and if this was Iran, wouldn’t the outrage be deafening?

    U.S. acknowledges Israel’s unlawful killings, excessive force, torture, discrimination against Palestinians
    Summary of lengthy U.S. State Department report detailing human rights violations in Israel & occupied territories

    http://www.salon.com/2016/04/18/u_s_acknowledges_israels_unlawful_killings_excessive_force_torture_discrimination_against_palestinians/

    • bryan
      April 19, 2016, 4:23 am

      WOW – and this from Israel’s closest ally! Why doesn’t Israel explain its policies better? What is the point of spending all that money in attempting to crush the BDS movement if even institutions of the American state believe that Israel is stealing, thieving, torturing, murdering, discriminating against its own citizens, and suppressing democratic debate?

    • inbound39
      April 19, 2016, 9:59 pm

      What the heck will the US do about it? This is the operative point Kay24. The Snivelling Mob of officialdom AKA The American Government and its Administration have spent the past crawling on its knees behind Netanyahu happy with the crumbs he has allowed them to have. Netanyahu runs a Criminal State that has created more refugees than Syria or any other war has in Modern history since WW2. It openly commits Human Rights Attrocities in plain sight against Palestinians these days and has no intention of complying with International Law in any way shape or form. Biden said the other day he blames the Palestinian administration for not commenting on the stabbings etc in recent times against innocent Israeli’s(Settlers innocent?) and that Israel does not ask to be attacked with knives and rockets. Laughable! Israel instigates the problem by occupying and stealing Palestinian Land and demolishing their homes and plundering their resources. Would Biden just standby and let Israeli’s demolish his home and put up with what Palestinians have for decades? Not bloody likely. What use was Hilarious Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. She did nothing re the Peace Process and got a lot of American employees killed and injured in Libya. She was rejected as President last time she ran. If Americans vote for her as President now then they are, in fact, voting in a Presidential Reject and nothing will change other than Americas position becoming worse. Its status,integrity and standing in the International Community will further be eroded and America will never get it back. The Special Relationship is a cop out. The conflict will end when someone in the American Government with clout shuts the open check book for Israel. It is American taxpayer money that funds the occupation and illegal settlements and the weapons and ammunition Israel uses to maintain the subjugation and attrocities upon Palestinians. America is therefore complicit in ALL Palestinian deaths,thefts and attrocities. America needs to clean its act up and get on the right side of history. Sanders is by far the sanest option for President at this point….even trump is better than Clinton. Clinton is a sellout and a figurehead to be manipulated by Israel.

      • Kay24
        April 20, 2016, 7:15 am

        I agree to all you have said. The US is playing a game of “good cop/bad cop”, where it puts a false front pretending to be stern in public with Israel and its many crimes, and keeps giving them the wink and nod when it comes to being complicit in its crimes, pretending they do not know, or encouraging their brutal crimes, by handing them MORE aid and weapons. The US keeps insulting the intelligence of the people of the world. I have met people from around the world, and they ALL keep saying the same thing – that the US is controlled by the zionists, and is complicit in all its crimes. We look like a nation of idiots for believing the zionist narrative and keep supporting that disgusting occupier.

        Clinton the candidate has always kissed up to that large posterior, for many personal reasons I am sure, one being the filthy shekels that come her way to win the Presidency, and we know she will never do the honest thing and reject the support and help, because she may be even thinking that one day dear Chelsea and her zionist hubby may one day be the power couple like her parents are, and need that zionist support to get there. So she will continue to allow an alien nation interfere in, and dominate, our politics (and poisoning our country). Unfortunate.

        I am sick and tired of hearing the WH/State Dept criticize the illegal occupation, or refer to the brutal and excessive violence against civilians and do NOTHING about it. We see report after report criticizing Israel’s crimes, and then it all fizzles out, and the fascists in zio land keep getting away with murder, the occupation, and stealing lands by force or wars, and we keep giving the moola and weapons to keep doing so.

        All this and we keep condemning other nations who resort to similar crime!

  2. lysias
    April 18, 2016, 11:39 am

    I wonder if Sanders’s remarks about Israel/Palestine and his meeting with the Pope may upend the polls.

  3. yonah fredman
    April 18, 2016, 12:10 pm

    Bernie Sanders will in all probability not be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, but his candidacy will be cited in the next phase of left activism in the us. (Just as occupy wall Street must be mentioned when discussing the Sanders campaign.) Since Sanders is right wing on Israel compared to most of the Democratic left, his stance on Israel is relevant and a precursor of the next stages when an anti Israel stance will not be as moderate as Sanders’.

    • Theo
      April 18, 2016, 12:24 pm

      Yes, and I welcome the day when the US government, politicians and press threat Israel as it really is, the last bloody colonist on this Earth, that with wars, killing of innocent civilians and immens amount of financial and political support of the USA is able to get away with methods contrary to international laws and ethic. Great percentage of the present and past israeli leaders and IDF senior officers should end up in front of the ICC as war criminals.

      • pabelmont
        April 18, 2016, 5:02 pm

        Alert: People are openly questioning USA’s friendship with Saudi Arabia (because of the terrorism, including 9/11/2001) flowing from S-A’s Wahabbism) (and not, I think, because to Yemen-today). Well, we are over a barrel, I imagine since S-A owns so much of America (they invested lots of oil money here over the years) (gives “Buy America[n]” a new meaning).

        OK, and Israel has us over a barrel since they have nukes and are crazy enough to use them, maybe even against us, if one of their ridiculous “red lines” is crossed (you know, “existential threats” get out of hand).

        Maybe neither of them has us over a barrel. and who can say if Sanders’s “base” moved him on I/P or if the debates/campaign forced him to do something he didn’t start out doing, namely, talk foreign policy. I think he had a learning curve, and I’m delighted where he came out. Also, off-point a bit, I’m delighted he spoke at the Vatican conference so eloquently about ethical governance and wealth inequality:

        https://portside.org/2016-04-15/bernie-sanders-stresses-common-good-vatican-attack-capitalism

    • eljay
      April 18, 2016, 12:51 pm

      || yonah fredman: Bernie Sanders will in all probability not be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016 … ||

      And that, IMO, is a shame.

    • yonah fredman
      April 18, 2016, 4:56 pm

      Meanwhile Democrats control neither the house nor the senate. On the state level they are getting creamed by the GOP. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/13/us/politics/obama-legacy-in-state-offices-a-shrinking-democratic-share.html?_r=0
      My point: building a movement is tested at the polls (although certain types of change occur culturally and judicially, the legislatures both national and state play a major role.) and that test is being failed by the democrats. Yes, the occupy wall street, black lives matter and the Bernie Sanders campaign prepare the way, but this self congratulation, as if the revolution is here already is certainly premature and immature. The hard work of winning the legislatures has not even begun.
      One other point: this recent change in democratic predominance of presidential elections, reflects demography rather than the winning of hearts and minds. That is: whites are a dwindling percentage of this country’s population and they consistently vote for the republican candidate for president. immigration and maternity wards are where the democratic strength derives from.

      • Boo
        April 19, 2016, 9:27 am

        “immigration and maternity wards are where the democratic strength derives from”

        To rephrase, then, the Democratic Party is the party of America’s future. I won’t quibble.

        Just don’t leave out the universities — when I say “future”, I’m not speaking of the distant future.

  4. MRW
    April 18, 2016, 1:29 pm

    Israeli ambassador briefed Trump’s son-in-law ahead of AIPAC speech
    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page//.premium-1.714796

    Israeli ambassador briefed Trump’s son-in-law ahead of AIPAC speech

    Netanyahu’s confidant Ron Dermer discussed diplomatic and security policy with Jared Kushner, who wrote Trump’s speech, ahead of the conference.
    By Barak Ravid | Apr. 17, 2016 | 12:51 PM | 7

    Those listening to U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s speech at the AIPAC conference in March may have found themselves puzzled as to the identity of the speaker. Large portions of the speech, especially those having to do with Iran and the Palestinians, sounded like they were taken verbatim from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talking point sheet.

    An article published by Reuters recently may have revealed why that is. It turns out that a few days before the conference Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, spoke on the phone with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who wrote that speech. In their telephone conversation, Dermer briefed Kushner on the Netanyahu government’s stance on current diplomatic and security issues.

    A source at the Israeli embassy in Washington confirmed that this phone call did in fact take place, adding that “The ambassador spoke to the people of all the leading presidential candidates.”

    Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. He has been involved with the Trump campaign’s connection to Israel even before writing the speech. It was he who worked on organizing Trumps visit in Israel, which was supposed to take place in December. The visit was canceled last minute after the candidate’s comments on Muslim immigration to the U.S. were harshly criticized in Jerusalem, including a critical statement issued by the prime minister.

    On Thursday, during a question-and-answer session with Jewish journalists in New york, Trump commented on the incident, saying that he was “disappointed” with Netanyahu’s response. According to the Jewish Insider Trump said that Netanyahu’s response was less positive than what he hoped and he decided to cancel the visit.

    “I like him. I have always liked him,” Trump said on Netanyahu. “I was disappointed in his statement. He didn’t say, ‘Don’t come.’ In fact, it was the opposite. But I didn’t like his statement. That wasn’t necessarily the reason I didn’t go, but I didn’t like his statement.”

  5. hophmi
    April 18, 2016, 1:40 pm

    Here we go with the “he-was-brave” comment, written in the same sentence as “he’s-getting-votes-out-of-it comment.

    Plenty of Jews, particularly the liberal Zionists who lay the best claim to Bernie Sanders’s views on Israel (and whose views you now co-opt), were happy to hear Sanders criticize Netanyahu, who is a very easy target, and to repeat what Paul Wolfowitz said 14 years ago about having sympathy for the Palestinians.

    As you can also see, Sanders isn’t a BDS fan, and the reason he suspended Simone Zimmerman (which almost seems like a plan to promote her more than it does to hurt her, since hiring her as Jewish Outreach Coordinator made no sense in the first place), is probably because she’s widely perceived as a BDS advocate (even though she does not advocate BDS).

    • Elliot
      April 18, 2016, 8:00 pm

      Krauss,
      Wow. The EMILY prez’ comments on how potential political candidates had to get an AIPAC-approved paper on Israel before hiring a campaign staff. Just a few years ago that would have been pure anti-Semitism. A non-Jew from Montana saying that Jewish money serves Israel by blocking by only supporting candidates who tow the line.
      We’ve come a long way since then.

  6. Krauss
    April 18, 2016, 1:53 pm

    The chief fundraiser of Emily’s list, who has a long history of seeking money from Jewish donors, spoke about this political glasnost here as well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnJrYrBhR9s&feature=youtu.be&t=1h10m51s

    It’s just 4-5 minutes, but it’s worth a listen. She says, as the room falls silent, that the Orthodoxy on Israel was never about votes; it was about money. Though she stops at contrasting AIPAC to J Street, its another stepping stone to BDS.

    Soon every democrat will recoil at the sight of AIPAC like they are at the sight of the NRA. Then inevitably J Street will be exposed as the conservative organisation it is, working to support an Apartheid state, and the true democratic debate will come out.

    The Zionist organisations fear this, because they believe they will not win such a debate if it is conducted fairly and even-handedly. They’re right.

    • John Douglas
      April 18, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Krauss, That’s a really interesting and link. I gives a view of how the Lobby works at a local level with detail that I never knew about about. Before someone even has a campaign manager they need their AIPAC talking points. Thanks.

    • hophmi
      April 19, 2016, 11:47 am

      “Soon every democrat will recoil at the sight of AIPAC like they are at the sight of the NRA. ”

      Soon, the Bolshevik revolution will reign Supreme!

      It’s not gonna happen, Krauss. Most Americans support Israel, not the Palestinians, and the most left-wing member of Congress criticizing Bibi Netanyahu (and did we suddenly forget the other Democrats that did so, like Jan Schakowsky, last March? ) isn’t going to change that.

      ” Then inevitably J Street will be exposed as the conservative organisation it is, working to support an Apartheid state, and the true democratic debate will come out.”

      R-i-i-i-g-h-t. Fortunately, America is not an uber-radical college campus, so I wouldn’t count on this either.

      “The Zionist organisations fear this, because they believe they will not win such a debate if it is conducted fairly and even-handedly. They’re right.”

      I think that most Zionist organizations are quite confident of their ability to win that debate, pal. It’s Palestinian activists who are trying to censor Zionist voices in the public square, not the other way around. And that’s because when the debate is even-handed, instead of one in which one side gets to exclude the other while claiming the mantle of human rights on behalf of a people who show no inclination toward it in their society and hurling false accusations of racism at everyone who disagrees with them, Israel wins hands down every time.

    • hophmi
      April 19, 2016, 12:04 pm

      “She says, as the room falls silent, that the Orthodoxy on Israel was never about votes; it was about money. ”

      Sorry for organizing. Are you not for holding candidates accountable for their views? I think that’s part of being an American.

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2016, 1:05 pm

        “Sorry for organizing.”

        Uh, “Hophmi” the agents of a foreign power in the US are, although free to do a lot, do have some restrictions. It’s not like investing in a business. Or boosting your home (US) state for Federal projects. Whole different thing. It’s part of being an American.

  7. echinococcus
    April 18, 2016, 2:31 pm

    Very smart move on the part of Sanders, of course, and in glaring contrast to all the earlier months of his, ehm, criminal, candidacy. Sure.
    But the limits of what he is doing are so clearly traced that the title needs editing.
    Goldberg is wrongity wrong (of course, he needs to cover his traces if that is the ex-AIPAC Goldberg.)

    Yes, BS will get a lot more votes thanks to this smart move –he sees much clearer than our own tribal writers and commenters on MW, too. But whatever he has said and done until now, including his sacking of an outreach person offensive to “Israel”, all fits perfectly in the party line of “Zionist Bloc”, aka Labor Zionism, and JStreet. Not his undefined supporters’. Check it.

  8. Steve Grover
    April 18, 2016, 3:06 pm

    What is funny is that Phil Weiss and his ilk will cost Sanders the nomination.

    • James North
      April 18, 2016, 4:54 pm

      Mooser: You’ve gone too far now. Give up that dummy account and that sock-puppet persona, “Grober.” No real person could make a statement like that just above.

      • Mooser
        April 18, 2016, 5:52 pm

        “No real person could make a statement like that just above.”

        I don’t think “Grober” is real either.

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 18, 2016, 5:20 pm

      RE: “What is funny is that Phil Weiss and his ilk will cost Sanders the nomination.” ~ Steve Grover

      MY COMMENT: LOL! Phil Weiss is all powerful!!!

      • MHughes976
        April 18, 2016, 5:43 pm

        My guess would be that Sanders has done a little better than he would otherwise have done because there is a small but no longer quite insignificant block of voters who don’t like the ME situation and Clinton’s up to the neck involvement in it. Still, it does look, unless the polls are wildly wrong, that New York is about to clinch matters for Clinton and Trump. O mi God.

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 20, 2016, 12:40 am

        MY SNARKCASM : We desperately need strong leaders like Hillary and Bill Clinton to save us from the super-predators! ! !

        P.S. If she wins, I think I’m going to try to get the fu*k out of this God forsaken country. Otherwise I’m going to completely disengage – think the aged Howard Hughes without the billions, or the Unabomber without the explosives.

  9. ritzl
    April 18, 2016, 3:44 pm

    Relating this and Annie’s CA anti-BDS article, I believe that the political base that enables Sanders to break new political ground is broader and deeper than just the “leftwing.” It extends to [some?/latent?] business interests as well. The left is probably the vocal component of that shift in interest/support.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/anti-bds-legislation-faces-crucial-hearing-tomorrow-in-california-judiciary-committee/#comment-835490

  10. WH
    April 18, 2016, 4:53 pm

    Bernie’s brother is something of an anti-Zionist, I believe.

  11. JLewisDickerson
    April 18, 2016, 5:17 pm

    RE: “I think he had to do it because of his base, because so much of his base is on the left,” Goldberg [of The Forward] said, a truth echoed by Malcolm Hoenlein, a pro-Israel boss, who is quoted today grumbling that the Democratic left is weak on Israel.“ ~ Weiss

    SEE: “The ‘Israel First’ Industry and CEO Profiteering” | by James Petras | dissidentvoice.org | January 16th, 2014

    [EXCERPTS] During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles, and dues by working and lower middle class supporters. Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants, and families in need. . .

    . . . Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies. Currently, Jewish leaders have converted charities, social aid-societies and overseas programs for working class Jews into money machines for self-enrichment; converted charities funding health programs for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism into the funding of colonial settlements for armed Zionist zealots intent on uprooting Palestinians; and organized a powerful political machine which buys US Congress people and penetrates the Executive in order to serve Israeli military aims. From defending human rights and fighting fascism, the leaders of the principle Jewish organizations defend each and every Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights – from arbitrary arrests of non-violent dissidents to the detention of children in ‘cages.’ Israel’s Kafkaesque prolonged administration detention without trial is approved by contemporary leaders. In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.

    In the past Jewish leaders of social aid organizations received modest salaries . . .

    . . . The moderately social liberal Jewish weekly, The Forward, recently completed a survey of the salaries of Jewish “not-for profits” leaders, with the aid of a professor from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). Among the leading profiteers was Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) earning $688,280, Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — $556,232, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — $504,445, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) — $435,050, Janice Weinman of Hadassah — $410,000, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) — $400,815, Mark Helfield of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society — $268,834 and Ann Toback of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring — $185,712. These salaries and perks put the Jewish leaders of non-profits in the upper 10% of US incomes — a far cry from the not-too-distant past. According to the analysis by the Forward and the Wharton team, ‘most leaders (CEOs) are vastly overpaid – earning more than twice what the head of an organization of their size would be expected to make”. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/the-israel-first-industry-and-ceo-profiteering/

  12. Pixel
    April 18, 2016, 11:57 pm

    .
    Courage is contagious.

  13. Annie Robbins
    April 19, 2016, 1:29 am

    great article

  14. Dan Crowther
    April 19, 2016, 7:19 am

    I’m not buying it, I think this is how he feels and if you don’t like it, oh well. He’s been a pretty persistent critic of Israel’s. I think folks are coming around to his pov and not the other way around….

  15. yourstruly
    April 19, 2016, 7:37 am

    The significance of this election is that it’s mobilizing both right and the left, with rightists responding to appeals to their racist, xenophobic and violent tendencies, whereas leftists are drawn to visions of a just and peaceful world. Should the right prevail in November’s election and the mobilization of the left collapse, goodbye life on earth (what with perpetual war + global warming = doomsday). But regardless of the outcome in November, the left must remain mobilized, being that it is the only force that can save planet earth.

    • Kay24
      April 19, 2016, 8:01 am

      Most probably the left will end up voting for the lesser of two evils. If we thought Bush was a disaster, chances are Dangerous Drumpf will be far worse. At least with Bush he did not promote bigotry, hatred, or set one American against another.

      The last Democratic debate made some cringe to see Hillary, who when cornered, or desperate, becomes something unpleasant, like we all saw in 2008 against Obama. Her habit of pointing linked fingers on both hands and throwing it in both directions makes her look angry and ready for war. I wish the people had much better choices.

      • yourstruly
        April 19, 2016, 6:49 pm

        @Kay24
        for purposes of clarification –

        mobilization on the left = unity among the various liberation movements in pursuit of liberty, justice & equality

        mobilization on the right = the joining together of hate-peddling organizations and followers who seek a fascist world

        as for the election itself, it is relevant only to the extent that it contributes towards advancing the core values and goals of the left

        which means that despite whatever progressive positions she holds on domestic issues, on account of her position on P-I as well as her track record as a war-maker, Hillary Clinton is
        neither on the left nor progressive.

        Bernie Sanders, however, should be accepted as a man of the left, not only for his positions om domestic issues, but for his recent shift to the left on I-P and other matters of war & peace. Yes, he needs to move further in this direction, but here the left can be of assistance.

        So long as Sanders stays on course us leftists have an opportunity to advance our causes, not only by supporting him in the collective struggle, but by alerting him to whatever influences blur his vision.

        But if for whatever reason Sanders decides to separate himself from the movement, the left shouldn’t hesitate to say something like “so long it’s been good to know you” and be ready to carry on without him – towards that just and peaceful world that we all seek.

  16. IsraelShamir
    April 19, 2016, 8:19 am

    I quoted you )) http://www.unz.com/ishamir/sanders-changes-the-rules/
    Bernie Sanders did a few unthinkable things, in the short course of his campaign. He refused to go to the AIPAC convention, where the high and mighty are supposed to come and lick the Jewish boot. Not even Donald the Terrible dared to stay away, but Bernie did. He appointed the brave Simone Zimmerman as his Jewish outreach coordinator, the girl who wrote ‘Fuck you, Bibi,’ and called the Israeli PM a ‘manipulative asshole’. The same Bibi Netanyahu whom the Senate and the Congress received with standing ovations unheard since Josef Stalin’s speaking to his Party Conference. Yes, he suspended her, but the deed was done.

    • yonah fredman
      April 19, 2016, 9:11 am

      Obviously you mean the Zionist boot and not the Jewish boot, mister shamir.

      • eljay
        April 19, 2016, 11:17 am

        || yonah fredman: Obviously you mean the Zionist boot and not the Jewish boot, mister shamir. ||

        +1. One should not conflate all Jews with Zionists / Zionism / Israel and vice-versa. Leave that the Zio-supremacists.

      • Sibiriak
        April 19, 2016, 11:51 am

        No, it’s not obvious .

    • Mooser
      April 19, 2016, 12:00 pm

      “Obviously you mean the Zionist boot and not the Jewish boot, mister shamir.”

      Of course, I should be saying this in Hebrew, but anyway: ‘Next Year in Jerusalem,’ “Yonah”. See you there!

  17. oneangrycomic
    April 19, 2016, 8:36 am

    Just another crack in the Hasbara dam that will eventually cause a flood of truth to flush AIPAC, etc. into the cesspool they crawled out of!

    In the past any public criticism of Israel would have been unheard of, let alone coming from a presidential candidate on national TV. Many Americans are seeing the monster behind the curtain for the first time. Neocons, Hasbara Trolls, AIPAC and a host of other Israel Firster psychopaths are scattering like cockroaches. Organizations like BDS, JVP and SJP have been given a big boost from Sanders’ public honesty.

    The McCarthyism-like label of anti-Semitism has lost its power to silence the truth about Apartheid Israel and Terrorist NuttyYahoo! It’s not a question of IF Americans will retake their country from Zionists but WHEN! Put the champagne on ice but continue the war on REAL terrorism! The enemy is losing and that is making them desperate – which makes them dangerous!

  18. Kathleen
    April 19, 2016, 8:51 am

    Long time coming. Bernie does it in New York right before an election. The earth moved under our feet a bit even though Carole King knocking on doors in New York for war hawk Clinton. Such a shame.

    Was too bad illegal settlements did not come up …at all.

  19. Kathleen
    April 19, 2016, 8:55 am

    Let’s hope the polls are wrong just like they were in Michigan. If all of the folks who have come to hear Bernie speak vote and get others to vote…..we could be in for a wonderful surprise

    I figure this will be the last time a candidate of Bernie’s caliber will get this close to the Presidency in my life time.. The man has his soul intact. ..Go Bernie and New York team.

    • Mooser
      April 19, 2016, 11:06 am

      “I figure this will be the last time a candidate of Bernie’s caliber will get this close to the Presidency in my life time.”

      I can’t help but feel that Sanders has the politics of a much younger man. And I wish that man would show up.

  20. Kay24
    April 19, 2016, 9:49 am

    Looks like O and B are getting tired of, and frustrated with Israel, the settlements ,and its policies.

    Someone quickly tell them there is no point whining about it, hold the rascals accountable, and
    threaten to cut their aid and weapons, and to NOT increase the charity they keep begging for.

    The Israelis should know what a threat is, they have been threatening everyone else to get their way, so it is time we gave them a taste of their own nasty medicine.

    Joe Biden: U.S. Feels ‘Overwhelming Frustration’ With Israeli Government
    “The trust that is necessary to take risks for peace is fractured on both sides.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joe-biden-israel_us_571631d7e4b06f35cb7092ab

  21. genesto
    April 19, 2016, 11:59 am

    Hate to say I told you so, but, I told you so! Bernie’s cousin, Carol, who resides in Berkeley, told me quite some time ago that Bernie was, essentially, quite ignorant of the Palestinian narrative until recently, which explains his unwavering support for Israel in the past. Carol and friends, along with Bernie’s progressive base, have finally begun to open his eyes to the real story behind the I/P conflict. He still has a ways to go. But, what you are seeing is a more enlightened Bernie – one whose opinions on I/P are becoming much more closely aligned with his core principles and general worldview. Let’s pray that he continues to grow, and brings the country along with him.

    • Mooser
      April 19, 2016, 1:00 pm

      ” told me quite some time ago that Bernie was, essentially, quite ignorant of the Palestinian narrative until recently,”

      Whoa, talk about just a few degrees of separation! Thanks for that very interesting comment. So he might be waking up to the situation as the Pres. race is happening, and trying to reconcile all this.

      Let’s pray that he continues to grow, and brings the country along with him.”

      I’m with you on that.

      • genesto
        April 19, 2016, 6:18 pm

        Thanks, Mooser, for dredging up my earlier comments. Like Echinococcus, I tend to be pretty cynical when it comes to national politics, especially Presidential campaigns. But, Bernie seems like the real deal. I can see why so many young people love him and are working so hard in his campaign. I just wish the old farts like me, that are resigned to voting for Clinton, would cast off their own cynicism and ‘Feel the Bern”!

    • echinococcus
      April 19, 2016, 2:21 pm

      Genesto,

      That is pure, undiluted BS.
      Either Sanders is a shrewd politician, aware as a minimum of questions influencing (at least) US policy, and in that case this cannot be but a blatant, self-serving lie –see his goddam record of support to Zionism over twenty-plus years.

      Or then, he is a total simpleton who could not keep up with information about the world, still has no idea of international law (see his “right to defend itself” for invaders and “right to exist” for illegitimate state entities), which definitely exclude him from any candidacy reserved to compos mentis applicants.

      I won’t believe the latter, in the light of his isolated Zionist-lite, or “liberal-or-Labor Zionist” statements back then in the days, that show his acute awareness of Zionism –as a Zionist.

      As for “growing”, check out what that kind of “growth” to fish the voter unawares at the last moment gives once the candidate gets elected. Like Obama and his small-print promises…

      • genesto
        April 19, 2016, 6:14 pm

        If it was anyone else running, I’d tend to agree with you but, as crazy as it might seem, I do believe that Bernie has been painfully ignorant on this issue for the greater part of his life, and that he is really just beginning his awakening. Unfortunately, I’ve run into a number of people in my activist travels who are otherwise very intelligent, world-wise individuals but that have a bind spot on this issue. This includes my two stepchildren, a son and a daughter from my Jewish wife. Both are very bright, quite successful attorneys that can carry on thoughtful and intelligent conversations on many subjects, but are like ignorant little children when it comes to this one. Fear, I suppose, of facing a serious identity crisis should they begin to question what they were taught as children is what keeps them ignorant – despite the fact that one is 40 and the other 53.

      • echinococcus
        April 20, 2016, 10:08 am

        Genesto,

        Of course! We all, every day, come across those cripples, emotionally blocked from logic and ethics. In fact, those of us who don’t have this block wrt to Zionism likely have one elsewhere. This, not limited to emotional block, is exactly what I mean by:

        Or then, he is a total simpleton who could not keep up with information about the world, still has no idea of international law (see his “right to defend itself” for invaders and “right to exist” for illegitimate state entities), which definitely exclude him from any candidacy reserved to compos mentis applicants.

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2016, 11:04 am

        “Fear, I suppose, of facing a serious identity crisis should they begin to question what they were taught as children is what keeps them ignorant – despite the fact that one is 40 and the other 53.”

        Go easy on them, “Genesto”. I can tell you it is quite a blow, quite a shock, to think about it and realize you just like most anybody else.

        And then to accept that you were wrong and that we really screwed up, just like most anybody else? Ouch!

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2016, 2:49 pm

        ” which definitely exclude him from any candidacy reserved to compos mentis applicants.”

        No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.”

        Of course, we all like to think there’s a Sanity Clause, I guess.

      • echinococcus
        April 21, 2016, 11:05 pm

        Mooser,

        Real good catch. Thanks.
        Figures.

    • yonah fredman
      April 20, 2016, 2:03 am

      Bernie is not an idiot, nor do I believe him to be ignorant re: the Israel vs Palestinians conflict. He is smart and picks his battles wisely. You can disagree with his selections (as ta nehesi Coates disagrees with Sanders reticence regarding reparations. )

      • genesto
        April 20, 2016, 12:07 pm

        Thanks for the advice, Mooser. I do believe I can sympathize with their torment over this issue as much as a non Jew possibly can at this point. I don’t bring the subject up when I’m around them, preferring to continue to live with the proverbial elephant in the drawing room. But, I also continue to hope that, one day, they will see the light and free themselves of the terrible burden of having to defend Israel at all costs.

  22. kalithea
    April 19, 2016, 12:00 pm

    If you live in New York or have family and friends there – GET OUT THE VOTE FOR BERNIE. Call them, ask them to drive other family and friends – go early; don’t risk going late. Make a massive effort because this is a critical moment; we won’t have this opportunity to make a dent in Israel policy for YEARS. This is a critical moment. Every other candidate including Hillary represents disastrous foreign policy.

    Please move everyone to vote for Bernie. It’s now or never; and the future is very bleak if he doesn’t make it to the nomination. Act now!

    • echinococcus
      April 19, 2016, 2:14 pm

      Kallithea,

      Sorry for having to call you on your electoral propaganda. Your internal “Democrat” spats belong in “Democrat” discussion forums. They are offensive and provocatory to most anyone outside. At the very least, they call for detailed rebuttals. The reason for so much (largely deserved) “Bernie-bashing” on this site is not our presence but posters who, like yourself, provoke responses by taking their internal electoral propaganda to a general-interest site where everyone supporting Palestinian resistance is supposed to be. If you guys want to be among yourselves, i.e. only “Democrats”, like so many other sites, just say so.

      The owners of this site could declare it to be reserved to followers of a given US party or political tendency, or then acknowledge that it is open to anyone with an interest in supporting (or killing) Palestinian resistance.

  23. hophmi
    April 19, 2016, 12:23 pm

    ” she noted that Sanders was cheered “wildly” for his remarks”

    I wouldn’t say that. It was clear that the applause was not uniform throughout the auditorium. It sounded like one section of activists who were sitting together. There was much louder applause at several other moments in the debate.

  24. John Fearey
    April 19, 2016, 12:56 pm

    Check out some of the comments tothe Huffington post. Not bad.

  25. Kay24
    April 19, 2016, 7:00 pm

    According to David Sheen there seem to be some vicious people in Tel Aviv. They were celebrating their hero, the soldier who executed a wounded man, and they were calling for the killing of all Arabs. Some blood thirsty people over there. Some had apparently attacked David Sheen. They remind me of nazis, same evil intent of killing people not of their own.

    https://twitter.com/davidsheen?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

  26. kalithea
    April 19, 2016, 11:46 pm

    Voter purge and voter suppression in New York shuts out many Sanders’ supporters. Finally I agree with Trump on something!

    The system is rigged! And it’s rigged in Hillary’s favor!

    http://www.inquisitr.com/3012582/new-york-primary-lawsuit-update-voters-wrongly-purged-from-democratic-party-rolls-may-still-be-able-to-vote-judge-declares/

    http://usuncut.com/politics/nyc-mayor-responds-to-brooklyn-voter-purge/

    Bernie probably lost 150,000 votes or more that could have pushed him over the mid-point and at worst resulted in a virtual tie!!!

  27. kalithea
    April 20, 2016, 12:24 am

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/votersuppression?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Ehashtag

    So this is what democracy looks like in America? Two-party monopoly and rigging the vote.

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