Democrats head to a crossroads over Palestinian rights as primary season comes to an end

US Politics
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The Democratic party is coming to a crossroads over Palestinian rights, one that may be as important to its future as its metamorphosis from the party of segregation into the party of Obamacare. Nominee or not, there’s nothing Hillary Clinton can do about it.

At the Lost and Found Beer Garden in Oakland, California, Muslim and Jewish Californians gathered with other fellow Americans to watch Clinton defeat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Golden State’s Democratic presidential party. Fists raised in defiance, their voices reverberating through the venue, hundreds of supporters cheered Sanders as he promised to press on until the party’s convention in Philadelphia in July.

Sanders supporters I spoke to at the Lost and Found offered a recurring interpretation of Sanders’ Israel policy, even when they didn’t know much about the issue, saying that he will treat Palestinians like they are human beings. Deeper than that, the idea that a “two-state solution” is possible, or even desirable, is succumbing to the realities people learn about when they visit Israel/Palestine.

The problem with the “two-state-solution” is that it could be read as “separate-but-equal-state-solution.” Indeed, it’s whole purpose is segregation. But when one state has nuclear weapons, jet fighters and drones and the other has a motley collection of home-made-rockets and assault weapons, those two states will never be equal.

Just as liberal, Roosevelt Democrats in the North realized that segregation in the American south was a ghastly and cruel institution in need of dismantling, so too are Bernie Democrats wising up to the idea that separation and equality don’t mix.

One supporter, Daniella Saltzman, 46, had just come back from a trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Her husband, Fred Werner, 43, had gone with her to perform her Bat Mitzvah. He was there wearing a white Sanders wig and a Sanders kippa. He wore the outfit for Purim.

Rabi'a Keeble and Fred Werner became friends canvassing for Sanders, one of many comradeships forged over the course of the Sanders campaign. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Rabi’a Keeble and Fred Werner became friends canvassing for Sanders, one of many comradeships forged over the course of the Sanders campaign. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Fred expressed skepticism about the “two-state solution,” too, and lauded Palestinians for their hospitality, but deferred to his partner

“I think he needs to bring his message of social and economic and environmental justice to Israel/Palestine. For many reasons, one because of our relationship the United State relationship with Israel and because we are directly responsible for the current inequities in Israel/Palestine. Those inequities include civil rights, they include voting rights, they include rights to water.

Why is that important?” I asked

“It’s the desert.”

“Do you think American politicians understand there’s an environmental component to all this?” I asked

“I think they do, but they don’t talk about it,” Daniella said. “If they did that, it would be obvious that part of what’s happening is control over the aquifer in the occupied territories and because of that there will be no two-state-solution.”

But from the Clinton side, the question of Palestinian rights seems to be an afterthought.  A Clinton supporter I spoke to in the Bay Area, Christian Jensen, 36, summed up his take on Israelis and Palestinians. Basically, he didn’t know and he didn’t care.

“That’s so complex. I don’t think many Americans really care about it. Those people have been fighting for thousands of years,” Jensen said.

Cornel West spoke on Sanders’ behalf on Monday at a rally near the Golden Gate bridge.  Jensen was angry that West was part of the platform drafting committee, for reasons he wouldn’t really articulate.

“I don’t like him because I don’t like Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson spat in white people’s food,” Jensen said.

The connection to me wasn’t particularly clear, but whatever. Jensen denies being racist, but bringing up this unsubstantiated allegation shows what Sanders supporters are in for when they encounter Clintonistas in July. A lot of anger at the continued existence of their campaign. It’s like Occupy Wall Street protesters crashing a country club golf tournament. Who knew they liked golf anyway and why don’t they just leave?

It turns out they like golf.

Sanders supporters react with wild cheering as the candidate vows to continue his campaign into Washington D.C.''s primary, the final of the campaign. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Sanders supporters react with wild cheering as the candidate vows to continue his campaign into Washington D.C.”s primary, the final of the campaign. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Sanders has managed to bring Muslims and Arabs into the Democratic Party like never before. That includes Rusha Latif, an Egyptian-American Sanders supporter and canvasser who was born in the Bay Area.

“I think that the DNC is going to find itself at a crossroads at the convention. Bernie is really putting them on the spot to force them to think about new policies they have to choose if they are going to be a progressive party or if they are going to start towing the line of the establishment,” she said.

“Are you going to vote for Clinton?” I asked Latif.

“I don’t know, it’s going to be hard. I just don’t think she respects voters,” she sighed.

Clinton and Democrats are running a campaign whose central message relies on fear of Donald Trump. Latif, a Muslim Arab-American woman who wears hijab, would be one of the people the Democrats assume they can get out to the polls in November just out of anxiety over Donald Trump’s plans for expanding the racist police state.

“What would you tell her the reason is that she doesn’t have your vote?”

“Honestly I don’t feel like she has been authentic in reaching out to American Muslims. One gripe that I’ve had for a while is that she was willing to sideline Muslims to get the votes that she needed,” she said.

Latif was referring to a 2000 incident in which Clinton took $50,000 dollars for her senate race from a $500 a ticket fundraiser hosted by American Muslim Association (AMA), and then returned the sum when a New York Daily News columnist wrote that one of the members of the group had praised Hamas. Here, Muslims, an emerging constituency at the time without a clear party affiliation, were just trying to play the depressing, dirty game of political patronage. And what it got them was humiliation and rejection.

“What an insult! It’s a slap in the face. I found out when it happened. I remember seeing it in the news, but it stayed with me. But now, in this election she has a woman in hijab behind her in the stage. She’s using us as props,” she said.

“Why is it important to bring American Muslims into the political process?” I asked.

“We’re a big campaign issue this year, right up there with climate change and immigration. All the candidates are talking about us like we’re not there, like animals in a zoo. I’ve actually been pushing Muslims to start thinking of themselves as a voter block,” she said.

“Why does Bernie get your vote?” I asked.

“I actually got to meet him and told him you reached out to us and you’ve been really authentic,” she said,mentioning how more than a dozen Muslims were physically behind him at a Sacramento rally.

“He has Muslim surrogates,” she said. “He has engaged with us on every level of his campaign.”

The audience reacts to Sanders saying he will work with President Barack Obama. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

The audience reacts to Sanders saying he will work with President Barack Obama. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

But the grim reality is that Sanders won’t be the nominee, unless lightning strikes. Even so, the rumbling cheers and chants of “We are Bernie!” by his fans, many of them involved in politics for the first time, show that there’s still another chapter left in his campaign: Philadelphia.

“There’ll be 100,000 Bernie supporters surrounding the convention, and every time those delegates walk out and back to their hotels, we’ll be there reminding them that we are not voting for Clinton,” said Corey Collier, 30, who’d spent the last two months registering voters all along the West Coast.

There, social justice activist and Arab American James Zogby, intellectual Cornel West and Minn. Rep. Keith Ellison will be there to figure out what the Democratic party has to say about the future of Israel Palestine. West, at the Golden Gate bridge rally, put it succinctly:

“Bernie Sanders has a little Edward Said in him!”

About Wilson Dizard

Wilson Dizard is a freelance reporter and photojournalist covering politics, civil rights, drug policy and everything else. He lives in Brooklyn with his bicycle, camera and drum set.

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50 Responses

  1. hophmi
    June 8, 2016, 7:08 pm

    When are you going to be honest and admit that Bernie Sanders is pro-Israel? He supports continued US-Israel security cooperation, continued loan guarantees, and two states for two peoples.

    Your comparison of a negotiated two state solution to separate but equal is shameful. Was it separate but equal when Czechoslovakia split into Czech Republic and Slovakia? East Timor and Indonesia? Perhaps it was separate but equal when the Soviet Union broke into separate states.

    Be honest. You’re in favor of a 58th Muslim state and against the 1st Jewish state.

    • oldgeezer
      June 8, 2016, 7:47 pm

      @hophmi

      Sanders is pro Israel to my mind. Unlike other candidates he is not slavish to zionists. He actually seems to put the US first.

      Separate but unequal would be a better phrase. Zionists have stolen the land and resources. They not only intend to keep those stolen goods but are active in the knesset trying to steal more. Any Palestinian state they allow will have limitations on it’s authority and Israel will demand the right for it’s troops to operate on it’s territory. And don’t give me that security bs. We’ve seen that used as the excuse for mayhem murder and provocations more than once.

      2SS has become a cooped buzzword used by zionists to hide their illegal and immoral intentions. There is no serious 2SS offer or discussions in either the public or knesset. None.

    • eljay
      June 8, 2016, 9:09 pm

      || hophmi: … Be honest. You’re in favor of a 58th Muslim state and against the 1st Jewish state. ||

      No state should exist as a “Muslim State”, a “Jewish State” or any other form of supremacist state.

      It’s a shame that Zio-supremacists like you – along with your supremacist counterparts in other countries – strive so hard to make the world a much more unjust and immoral place.

      • oneangrycomic
        June 9, 2016, 9:01 am

        I’m surprised that the supervisor at hophead’s Hasbara troll cubicle hasn’t reassigned him after being overwhelmingly defeated and embarrassed here on a daily basis! Luckily for that despicable ZioTroll, there are MANY places he can be sent to. The truth is spawning countless venues that millions are flocking to in order to defeat ZioTerror.

        BDS is only a fragment of the spear that has pierced the protective shell of ZioTerrorism. ZioBots are scattering like cockroaches as the light of truth exposes their repulsive, dishonest agenda. They are desperately attempting to put the Truth Genie back in the bottle. It’s not a matter of if they will be defeated but when.

        As more Americans learn the truth of ZioTerror, organizations like BDS will see a flood of new members and contributors. The new form of McCarthyism displayed by Cuomo is already backfiring and shedding more light on the vile ZioAgenda!

    • hophmi
      June 9, 2016, 12:15 pm

      “I’m surprised that the supervisor at hophead’s Hasbara troll cubicle hasn’t reassigned him after being overwhelmingly defeated and embarrassed here on a daily basis!”

      LOL. The amount of vitriol directed at me makes my point every day that practitioners of BDS are a misathropic lot unable to make their point to anyone but their own.

      • Mooser
        June 9, 2016, 5:36 pm

        “that practitioners of BDS are a misathropic lot”

        I don’t like this, at all. I think “Hophmi” (guy can’t even spell his own name!) is trying to say we are cheap!

      • Mooser
        June 9, 2016, 5:43 pm

        “The amount of vitriol directed at me makes my point every day”

        Uh, ‘makes your point’ every day to who? Never seen the slightest indication of it.

  2. lonely rico
    June 8, 2016, 7:37 pm

    >Wilson Dizard

    Just as liberal, Roosevelt Democrats in the North realized that segregation in the American south was a ghastly and cruel institution in need of dismantling, so too are Bernie Democrats wising up to the idea that …
    Zionism in America/Israel is a …

    ghastly and cruel institution in need of dismantling

    Oh yeah.

  3. yonah fredman
    June 8, 2016, 8:58 pm

    The sanders movement has nothing to do with its energy except make trouble and bds or i-p is the biggest troublemaking issue available. Imagine sanders had defined one other issue to differentiate between himself and clinton- for example wall street. If there were a floor fight on a proposal (imaginary) to punish with life terms in jail at least 3 wall Street powers that were culpable in the crash of 2008, the proposal would be mocked by the press and by the party and by hillary and it would be defeated on the convention floor. But any sanders minority platform on falestin will not be mocked, despite its eventual defeat on the convention floor. It will be up to sanders to decide whether such a floor fight is his choice or not.

    About these 100,000 demonstrators that will fill the streets of Philadelphia, it seems like mischief to me, an attempt by sanders movement to do what?

    • Pixel
      June 9, 2016, 1:16 am

      mischief. lol

    • Annie Robbins
      June 9, 2016, 2:50 am

      bds or i-p is the biggest troublemaking issue ….. Imagine sanders had defined one other issue to differentiate between himself and clinton- for example wall street.

      yes, imagine if it were anything but israel. anything anything anything. americans can fight about global warming, immigration, wall street, war, you name it, anything anything .. just not that one thing we can’t talk about. and now —

      It will be up to sanders to decide whether such a floor fight is his choice or not.

      what if it’s our choice? i-p is the biggest troublemaking issue — because israel is the biggest troublemaker in our congress. why not let it all hang out yonah? are you a nightflower too? will sunlight make you shivel up?

      trouble trouble trouble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qam1fbQmA_s

      • yonah fredman
        June 9, 2016, 3:05 am

        If Sanders had made I-P the major issue of his campaign, this platform fight would be a direct consequence of his campaign. In fact it was not a major part of his campaign.

        Fact: the pro BDS platform plank that you are proposing will not be passed by a Hillary convention. Will a fight over I-P be enough to elect Donald Trump? I don’t think so.

        From what I recall you really wouldn’t mind a Trump victory over Hilllary. That is not the opinion of most Sanders supporters and it certainly will not be the opinion of the majority of delegates to the democratic convention.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 9, 2016, 5:46 am

        you really wouldn’t mind a Trump victory over Hilllary

        both of them are disastrous, so framing it as “you really wouldn’t mind” is akin to saying i “really wouldn’t mind” death by guillotine vs firing squad. i’d mind either of them very much as a matter of fact.

        If Sanders had made I-P the major issue of his campaign, this platform fight would be a direct consequence of his campaign. In fact it was not a major part of his campaign.

        in fact, it wouldn’t have to be a major issue of his campaign for this platform to be a direct consequence of his campaign. funny how life works out like that, isn’t it? once you open the floodgates (revolution), sometimes you can’t predict what will be coming down the pike.

        Fact: the pro BDS platform plank that you are proposing will not be passed by a Hillary convention.

        so what? i don’t care. whoever it was who decided to push this anti bds legislation and turn it into a major issue (like hillary making a stand to fight against it) created a huge boost in bds awareness — and i guess it’s just the chance you have to take when you make a big shpeel against something. there’s no way the bds movement could have afforded this kind of publicity on their own. just like scarlett was a gift from god — the timing of the anti bds movement (only a couple years old actually) coinciding with our national election is like mana from heaven. so really, i don’t care if it will not be passed by a Hillary convention. just like the jerusalem vote at the dem convention didn’t fail — the whole world heard the neahs.

        liberal dems are moving away from israel. supporting apartheid certainly will not be the opinion of the majority of delegates to the democratic convention — if not now, then later — but it will happen. are you ready?

      • hophmi
        June 9, 2016, 11:24 am

        “trouble trouble trouble link to youtube.com”

        The Music Man clip is a perfect metaphor for the BDS movement’s obsession with Israel. Like the Music Man, BDS fabricates a narrative that places the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the center of all things in order to sell people on a program of demonization and bigotry.

      • Mooser
        June 9, 2016, 5:46 pm

        “Like the Music Man, BDS fabricates a narrative that places the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the center of all things”

        And for a musical set in River City, Iowa, that is one heck of a stretch!

      • inbound39
        June 12, 2016, 9:25 pm

        Yes….whatever we do we must not speak about Israel. We must not talk of its violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which it signed and ratified. We must not speak of the right of return of Palestinians even though Israel agreed to implement Resolution 194 in return for Full UN Membership. We must not speak of its Apartheid policies even though there is clearly two sets of seperate systems of justice in Israel…..one for Jews and one for Arabs. We,above all must not speak the truth lest it offends the sensibilities of Jewish illegal settlers and ethnic cleansers. Nor must we speak of Americas complicity in Israel’s criminal activities in Occupied territory. With the,now what seems like,the inevitable election of Hilarious Clinton as President, wife of Billious Clinton ,we can expect a sickly new partnership between Hilarious and The Yahoo. The World humiliatingly and embarassingly and shamefully turns it back on the Palestinians lest they see and hear the truth. It is the biggest injustice ever maintained by World Governments. We cannot ever again ethnically cleanse Jewish people but its quite alright to totally wipe out Palestinians and torment and torture them in the process. How in the hell can Clinton et al sleep at night and more to the point….what manner of person votes for them. One prays for the day of reckoning to come swiftly.

      • Kay24
        June 13, 2016, 7:52 am

        Inbound, if you do mention any of those crimes, you will be called an anti-semite. Just like members of Congress, Hillary, Cuomo, and others with political ambition, you are supposed to pretend that Israel is a shining beacon of light in the ME, the only “true” democracy, our only ally (forget they spied on us and bombed our USS Liberty, and tried to sabotage the Iran deal), and is a long suffering victim that needs all the aid and weapons to keep their occupation and land grabs going.Inbound, if you do mention any of those crimes, you will be called an anti-semite. Just like members of Congress, Hillary, Cuomo, and others with political ambition, you are supposed to pretend that Israel is a shining beacon of light in the ME, the only “true” democracy, our only ally (forget they spied on us and bombed our USS Liberty, and tried to sabotage the Iran deal), and is a long suffering victim that needs all the aid and weapons to keep their occupation and land grabs going.

        Hillary and others certainly seem to sleep well at night, and have this amazing ability to ignore the plight and suffering of those under Israeli occupation and victims of its brutality. Once they agree that those rockets are ineffective and that Israel’s precision bombs are worse and ends up with more casualties, we can believe they are all for human rights.

        Hillary and others certainly seem to sleep well at night, and havthis amazing ability to ignore the plight and suffering of those under Israeli occupation and victims of its brutality. Once they agree that those rockets are ineffective and that Israel’s precision bombs are worse and ends up with more casualties, we can believe they are all for human rights.

      • Kay24
        June 13, 2016, 7:57 am

        Sorry for the repetition, something went wrong with the server. Strange.

      • Mooser
        June 13, 2016, 11:57 am

        “something went wrong with the server”

        Yes, I am getting “500” messages and “time-outs” too. Perhaps the server is reaching the limits of capacity at busy times.
        On Saturday, Mondo was nearly inaccessible.

    • Philip Munger
      June 11, 2016, 5:40 pm

      And they were such mischief makers in Chicago in 1968?

      • yonah fredman
        June 12, 2016, 2:40 am

        Philip- politically one cannot compare the role vietnam played in American political life in 1968 and any issue in today’s america. Indeed it was mayor Daley who did the true mischief in chicago and Abbie Hoffman and whatever pig the yippies nominated would have been mere entertainment if not for the cruelty and bullying that was in the heart of Daley and his cops.

        In fact the Chicago mischief led to the election of Richard Nixon and the defeat of Hubert humphrey. Do you think that was a good result. I concede that some may find hillary’s foreign policy evil enough to justify standing aside and allowing a trump presidency. I disagree.

        To me this threat to wreak havoc in Philly reminds me of reported death threats against hillary super delegates and signifies political recklessness, adolescent vandalism and childish impatience. That is not how you build a movement, which requires patience (as a law of human nature) and even compromise.

      • inbound39
        June 13, 2016, 10:09 am

        Yes Kay24…you and I ,I feel are on the same wavelength. The term anti semite has been so expanded and therefore abused by ZioTrippers that it has more or less been rendered useless. Their own behaviour in Israel toward Palestinians has rendered them defenceless against valid criticism. Heaven forbid that anyone would dare criticise Israel. I have an inbuilt rejection of pretend given my path in life. Lies of others cost me a great deal. I naturally speak honestly. Something which gets me into difficult positions sometimes but for my money it makes living with myself easier. USS Liberty,as a former sailor that has served in action, that entire affair makes me utterly sick. The fact that the survivors have been coerced into covering up for an Israeli crime by the sailors own government is totally disgusting. Those men were loyally serving their government in their defence and look at the lovely thankyou they got. It is actions like the Liberty that really makes me question where the hell the US Government is at. Israel has cost Americans far too much and given what Israel is today it is not worthy of defending…….prosecuting yes….by all means.

      • inbound39
        June 13, 2016, 10:20 am

        Philip- politically one cannot compare the role vietnam played in American political life in 1968 and any issue in today’s america.

        Excuse me Yonah…cannot be compared???? Try comparing it to Americas Special Relationship with Israel. Many American,Australian and New Zealand soldiers went to their deaths unnecessarily in Vietnam. How many American,Australian and New Zealand service personnel have died in wars encouraged by the Israel lobby like Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria will require boots on the ground to make it suitable for Israeli settlement. Take note…..nlo Israeli troops ever take part in battles where the opposition is equally armed. Note that Lebanon has been free of Israeli incursion since Hezbollah racked up quite a price against Israel….They lost a sizeable number of tanks and their brand spanking new corvette got caught with its pants down and got trashed.

  4. pabelmont
    June 8, 2016, 9:22 pm

    Bernie probably is “for” Israel, but seems NOT to be “for” continuation of the occupation or settlements. This NOT a contradiction. A person can “love Israel” (or whatever) (I don’t) but still respect international law, generally accepted human rights values, etc.

    I/P is a situation which cries out for a stern (or moral) “parent” to “Just say no” to the wayward child, Israel. This is not the same as murdering the child. This is not the same as becoming a proponent of BDS. (Saying that Americans have a free-speech right to advocate BDS is not the same as advocating it yourself.) If the whole world told Israel to get back within the pre-1967 (“green line”) borders, and declare them as its final and permanent borders, and give back East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, etc., etc., it would NOT be the same as murdering Israel. (Might, of course, feel that way to some religious nationalists.)

    • echinococcus
      June 8, 2016, 11:18 pm

      Nonsense. You should know better than using words like “murder”.

      This would be basic justice, not murder. To tranquilize you, it’s not a human being. And its very existence is outrageously illegal.

      What Zionists think or feel remains utterly irrelavant

  5. JWalters
    June 8, 2016, 11:30 pm

    If Hillary were president, and issued the same executive order as Cuomo suppressing the free speech of the BDS movement, she would and should be impeached for attempting to destroy the First Amendment, and for acting as an agent of a foreign government.

    This whole attack on BDS reeks of corrupting money. Israel is a predator with a “blame the victim” PR strategy. BDS is the anti-slavery movement of our day. Hillary is today’s version of a pro-slavery candidate, protected by corrupt money and its sycophant media. She’s on track to become the first corrupt woman president of the U.S. Glorious.

    Will the Democratic party simply let Americans know the facts in the platform debate? Will they stop hiding the Nakba, etc? Will they take steps to break free from the corrupting grip of Israel, which is trashing America’s values and foreign policies, and endangering Americans? This is historically inevitable – how long will they wait?

    And will Bernie supporters throw themselves into getting the pro-Israeli war candidate elected?

    • echinococcus
      June 9, 2016, 9:51 am

      And will Bernie supporters throw themselves into getting the pro-Israeli war candidate elected?

      That’s exactly what they have been doing at every election since WWII. So why not this time?

  6. JLewisDickerson
    June 9, 2016, 2:10 am

    RE: “But when one state has nuclear weapons, jet fighters and drones and the other has a motley collection of home-made-rockets and assault weapons, those two states will never be equal.” ~ Wilson Dizar

    MY COMMENT: The Likudnik government of Israel will do everything possible to prevent the establishment of a viable Palestinian state* anywhere in Israel’s vicinity (Guantanamo might be acceptable). In order to avert such a possibility, Israel will keep all options on the table. This includes the threat of use of a certain type of weapon “that dare not speak its name” , but can be launched, Samson-like, from Israel’s new German-supplied submarines.
    The Likudnik government’s “Plan B” is to see to it that if the naive, misguided, European do-gooders somehow manage to force a so-called Palestinian state on Israel, the resulting Palestine will have “Auschwitz borders”**, or worse.

    ** ‘US Plans Auschwitz Borders To Complete Holocaust’http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/176946#.V1j_wfkrL18

    * SEE: “Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity” | by Pierre Klochendler | Inter Press Service | December 6, 2011

    [EXCERPTS] JERUSALEM – The outer stone walls of the unused 12th century Ayyubid mosque in the Israeli center of the city carried the black scars of attempted arson and hatred. “Price tag”, the signature read.

    “Price tag” attacks are perpetrated by vengeful settlers against innocent Palestinians and their property. It involves not only the defacing and torching of mosques, prayer books, and cars, but also the uprooting of olive trees and the destruction of crops. Recently, settlers have also vented their rage at soldiers, military bases, and equipment.

    On Monday, a dozen settlers penetrated a closed military area on the Israeli-Jordanian border, barricading themselves in vacant churches located near a Christian baptism site on the Jordan River. . .

    . . . The Israeli occupation, particularly the future of wildcat settlements built by settlers without formal government approval has been a simmering issue ever since their creation during the 1990s.

    In 2005, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson published a landmark report on the question. Commissioned by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, the report found the Israeli government guilty of “institutional lawbreaking” and of the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish over a hundred “illegal outposts”. The damning irony is that the “outposts” were a 1997 initiative by none but Sharon himself, then foreign Minister under Netanyahu, who’d urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved. Repeated injunctions have since pressed successive governments to address the issue. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://original.antiwar.com/klochendler/2011/12/15/fighting-settlers-impunity-and-immunity/

    P.S. ■ Sasson Report – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasson_Report

    • JLewisDickerson
      June 9, 2016, 2:12 am

      * P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Permanent Temporariness”, by Alastair Crooke, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

      [EXCERPT] . . . The emphasis on ‘trust-building’ with Israel has coloured the evolution of the political process since 2003. The general movement towards providing ‘law and order’, security co-operation and ‘institution-building’ is well known. But the ‘state-building’ project as a whole should be understood in the context of counter-insurgency – as tangled up with Israel’s unique approach to the collective management of Palestinians – rather than as part of any genuine effort at ‘good governance’. Security action against ‘insurgents’ is only one small element of an American counter-insurgency doctrine which dates back at least to General J. Franklin Bell’s campaign of the early 1900s against Filipino ‘rebels’. Its principles include building a ruling elite to carry out the occupier’s plan; establishing security services accountable only to that elite; concentrating economic control within that elite; and setting up a generous aid policy which sustains a ‘trickle-down legitimacy’ for that elite. The underlying rationale, from the Philippines to Vietnam, has been to instil acquiescence. In the Palestinian case, the doctrine hopes to facilitate close collaboration with Israel and the dismantling of Palestinian resistance. In return, the Palestinians have been promised a depoliticised ‘state’ hardly worthy of the name and subservient to Israel. Perhaps, in such a state, a new Palestinian middle class might live more comfortably; perhaps the visible tools of occupation and control over Palestinian life would be more discreetly concealed; but such ‘statehood’ would amount to little more than a more benign occupation.

      The reason that both the West and the Ramallah leadership have embraced the ‘security first’ doctrine is that they were convinced that a two-state solution would eventually emerge, come what may, because it is in Israel’s ultimate demographic interests that it should; therefore one should first placate Israel by agreeing to its demands. The root premise is that Israel is intent on having and maintaining a Jewish majority within Israel, and that with time – and a growing Palestinian population – it would have to acquiesce to a Palestinian state simply in order to maintain its Jewish majority. But over the last 19 years – despite many opportunities – Israel has come no closer to withdrawing to the 1967 borders, the essential precondition for the creation of a Palestinian state. The question is: if the demographic logic is indeed so compelling, why hasn’t it done so? The answer, I believe, is that the premise is wrong.

      At a January 2008 negotiating session with Ahmad Qurei and Saeb Erekat which is described in the Palestine Papers, Tzipi Livni spelled out Israel’s strategy:

      Israel was established to become a national home for Jews from all over the world. The Jew gets the citizenship as soon as he steps in Israel, and therefore don’t say anything about the nature of Israel … The basis for the creation of the state of Israel is that it was created for the Jewish people.

      ‘Israel is the state of the Jewish people,’ she had stressed a couple of months earlier, ‘and I would like to emphasise the meaning of “its people” is the Jewish people, with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the Jewish people for 3007 years.’ ‘Your state,’ she said to the Palestinian negotiators, ‘will be the answer to all Palestinians, including refugees.’ Erekat interpreted her definition as a matter of linguistics and told her: ‘If you want to call yourself the Jewish state of Israel – you can call it what you want.’ He passed on to the Americans his working premise that ‘Israelis want the two-state solution … sometimes more than Palestinians themselves.’ But what Livni was saying was that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. To secure such a state in a country with very limited territory means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration. The fear is that if Israel became a Jewish majority state with fixed borders, the inevitable demand for full equal rights for minorities would herald the end of Jewish special rights and of Zionism itself.

      A two-state solution therefore does not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism, it compounds it. The size of the non-Jewish population of Israel would be reduced from 40 or 50 per cent to 20 per cent if a Palestinian state were created, but the inherent contradiction of a non-Jewish minority with equal rights would undermine it as a Jewish state. Israel’s only answer is to keep its borders undefined while holding on to scarce water and land resources, leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill.

      A decade ago, I was a member of Senator George Mitchell’s staff on his first foray into the region, after he was asked to head a ‘fact-finding committee’ into the causes of the second intifada. Even then, Livni’s vision was evident in the Israeli strategy of excluding Palestinians from the body politic while making them subject to its methods of control. The Occupied Territories assumed an elastic, shifting geography in which the rule of law was suspended under cover of the law. It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. Maintaining control of the Occupied Territories keeps open to Israel the option of displacing Palestinian citizens of Israel into the Territories by means of limited land swaps. It also ensures that Israel retains the ability to force future returning refugees to settle in their ‘homeland’, whereas a sovereign Palestinian state might decline to accept the refugees. It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence.

      Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:

      Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

  7. JLewisDickerson
    June 9, 2016, 7:12 am

    RE: A Clinton supporter I spoke to in the Bay Area, Christian Jensen, 36, summed up his take on Israelis and Palestinians. Basically, he didn’t know and he didn’t care. “That’s so complex. I don’t think many Americans really care about it. Those people have been fighting for thousands of years,” Jensen said. Cornel West spoke on Sanders’ behalf on Monday at a rally near the Golden Gate bridge. Jensen was angry that West was part of the platform drafting committee, for reasons he wouldn’t really articulate. “I don’t like him because I don’t like Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson spat in white people’s food,” Jensen said. ~ Wilson Dizard

    TO BORROW FROM THE EVER GLIB BRET STEPHENS*: “Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element” . . . And, in the case of Hagel this Christian Jensen guy , the smell is “especially ripe.”
    But then, I must admit, I don’t particularly care for the Danes (a North Germanic tribe). Because, like someone once said, there’s something very rotten in the state of Denmark!

    * Trump’s America is fascist, says Bret Stephens, but Netanyahu’s Israel smells like a rosehttp://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/america-stephens-netanyahus/

    P.S. “The rich are different from you and me.”

    • yonah fredman
      June 9, 2016, 2:05 pm

      JLDickerson- I will defend Jensen’s attack on cornel west. Tell me precisely how someone who called Obama “a Rockefeller Republican in black face” is an appropriate selection for the Democratic party platform committee. Answer: he is not. Only some kind of double standard allows a person who uses that kind of rhetoric as appropriate.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 9, 2016, 2:29 pm

        yonah, do you know why he called him that or do you think — given the charge — it’s irrelevant? btw, what do you think of this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/tavis-smiley-barack-obama-cornel-west_n_923437.html

        When Cornel West recently spoke to The Huffington Post about media coverage of African American issues, the Princeton professor argued that President Obama is avoiding journalists who’ve offered tough critiques of his administration, such as PBS host Tavis Smiley. “Obama won’t touch him with a 10-foot pole,” West said.

        On Wednesday, Smiley backed up West’s viewpoint during a C-SPAN sit-down with him to discuss their 16-city poverty tour.

        “Prior to his being elected, he came on my radio programs and TV programs with regularity,” Smiley said. “Once he got elected and my critique of him — about holding him accountable to various things didn’t sit so well with him or the people around him — he has not, at this point, come on my TV or radio programs one time since he’s been in this White House.”

        Smiley said that Obama, whom he’s known for years, “is the first president in my professional career that hasn’t invited me to the White House.”

        do you think there might be any merit in the charge Obama avoided journalists who offered tough critiques of his administration — specifically surrounding African American issues in 2011? granted, as president, obama is no more obligated to confront issues important to the african american community than he is to other constituencies. none the less, they are important issues. this critique happened before ferguson and the eruptions/explosion of racial tension that ensured, before dylann roof massacred 9 black worshipers in SC.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 9, 2016, 2:44 pm

        i recommend chris hedges “The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic”
        http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_obama_deception_why_cornel_west_went_ballistic_20110516

        quoting West:

        [I]t became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true forDennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade. I was under the impression that he might bring in the voices of brother Joseph Stiglitz ….. I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that’s probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong.”

        ……

        “This was maybe America’s last chance to fight back against the greed of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, to generate some serious discussion about public interest and common good that sustains any democratic experiment,” West laments. “We are squeezing out all of the democratic juices we have. The escalation of the class war against the poor and the working class is intense. More and more working people are beaten down. They are world-weary. They are into self-medication. They are turning on each other. They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful. It is a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe. I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out. But he lacks backbone.

        btw, what “double standard” are you referencing? the democratic party has been dependent on minority support, left support, the working class and especially the poor — for a long long time. therefore, the party platform should reflect those whom they depend on to get in power. west is a perfect choice to represent those views.

      • yonah fredman
        June 9, 2016, 3:03 pm

        If cornel west had said, Obama is a Rockefeller Republican, and we are putting up with him (and praising him) merely because he is black, the statement would be fine. He is using a denigration a street corner demagoguery with his phrasing. Tell me I’m wrong.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 9, 2016, 5:27 pm

        no, i won’t tell you you’re wrong. blackface has a specific meaning, especially when used within the black community and for sure he is using it in a denigrating fashion — for sure. but it’s my observation that infighting within cultural communities is not uncommon at all. which doesn’t excuse it, but if it were the standard for disqualifying someone from a position many many zionist rightwing jews (and liberal jews for that matter) wouldn’t hold any positions at all because they are some of the worst offenders when it comes to denigrating left wing anti zionist jews.

        you should know this yonah the way you routinely denigrate phil in an ethnic specific way — as i recall.

      • Mooser
        June 9, 2016, 6:30 pm

        “you should know this yonah the way you routinely denigrate phil in an ethnic specific way — as i recall.”

        I’ll let “Yonah” answer for himself:

        “it does not serve my emotional purposes to get into the crux of the problem and I prefer to deal with secondary issues like Phil playing hopscotch with the line between the Jew hating and Israel bashing.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profil/wondering-jew/?keyword=phil#sthash.BgrvbyQy.dpuf

        “Phil has been very clear for quite some time that he does not give more than half a shrug about the Jewish people.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/wondering-jew/?keyword=phil#sthash.BgrvbyQy.dpuf

        “Last week Phil flushed “Jew” down the drain- why shed any tears over one more disappearing language? (Yiddish. That’s Phil’s fault) But this week Phil has salvaged “Jew” from the ash heap of his story, so that he can attack Zionism from the inside, as one of the tribe.
        Spare us, white American Phil Weiss: Plead mea culpa for your fellow white Americans, and attack Zionism from the outside and not as a fake insider.”

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/wondering-jew/?keyword=phil#sthash.BgrvbyQy.dpuf

        Your recall seems pretty good, “Annie”

      • yonah fredman
        June 9, 2016, 8:41 pm

        There is no way to defend the appointment of cornel west to the platform committee of the Democratic party after he used such language in his attack on the Democratic party’s sitting president. The best way to defend the appointment is to attack me. Whataboutery never had a finer moment.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 9, 2016, 9:10 pm

        There is no way to defend the appointment of cornel west to the platform committee of the Democratic party after he used such language in his attack on the Democratic party’s sitting president.

        yonah, while i respect your right to have the opinion west should be disqualified you have not made an argument that there is no way to defend the appointment, and in fact i just did. repeating your original claim is not a rebuttal.

        you seem to think the party platform is at the behest of the president, it isn’t. although the party elite may act like it is (the way they forced jerusalem onto the platform last time) you may recall the protocol at the convention was a yeah or neah vote (which they ignored the results of!), that protocol indicates it is not the president who decides, it’s the party — first by way of the committee, and then by delegates for changes in the platform later.

        so don’t tell me there’s no way to defend something just because you disagree w/it. and no one attacked you, i simply reminded you that you yourself have done that which you find so indefensible — and have repeatedly defended yourself doing it. and i did that because you introduced “double standard” into the argument.

        btw, this is not whataboutery, it’s using your own logic against you to decimate your claims.

      • yonah fredman
        June 9, 2016, 8:46 pm

        I would never expect to be appointed to the platform committee to any party that succeeded in electing Phil weiss as president of anything.

      • oldgeezer
        June 9, 2016, 9:23 pm

        @yonah

        Why can’t it be defended yonah? He isn’t being appointed for his interpersonal skills but his supposed knowledge.

        Bottom line is that the quote you gave is disgusting and in my view racist.

        That said both the US and Israeli knesset would have a lot of empty seats if that was the criteria. I doubt a single Israeli cabinet member would be deemed fit for office in any sane or reasonable society.

        Be honest. He’s not pro Israel. That’s your only real issue. You couldn’t support the GoI if you weren’t ok with rank public racist statements.

      • gamal
        June 9, 2016, 10:19 pm

        “Bottom line is that the quote you gave is disgusting and in my view racist.”

        do you mean:

        “a Rockefeller Republican in black face”

        while i have never seen Rockefeller Republican before i can guess and disgust is a personal matter what is racist about this statement?

      • oldgeezer
        June 10, 2016, 12:10 am

        @gamal

        It brings Obama’s race into the equation. As if Obama is merely pretending to be a black man. As if Obama must behave a certain way, or hold certain beliefa, due to his skin colour. It’s not the mere words. Had he said Obama is a repub pretending to be a demo that would be fine.

        It is every bot as racist as right wing zionists who label those Jewish people who disagree with them as ‘as a jew’ and other things which are even worse.

        Granted I would love to see yonah complain about the as a jew label his cohorts are fond of.
        Not going to happen. He is at heart a supremacist like the rest.

      • Mooser
        June 10, 2016, 11:53 pm

        “btw, this is not whataboutery, it’s using your own logic against you to decimate your claims.

        “Using your own logic against you to decimate your claims”?
        Oh no, “Annie”, that isn’t “whataboutery.”
        When you do it to a Zionist, it has another name, and not a nice one!

      • Mooser
        June 11, 2016, 12:05 am

        “LDickerson- I will defend Jensen’s attack on cornel west.”

        Go ahead, Yonah. Here is Jensen:

        “I don’t like him (Cornel West) because I don’t like Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson spat in white people’s food,” Jensen said.”

  8. JLewisDickerson
    June 9, 2016, 7:38 am

    RE: “Are you going to vote for Clinton?” I asked Latif. “I don’t know, it’s going to be hard. I just don’t think she respects voters,” she sighed. ~ Wilson Dizard

    MY COMMENT: Leona Helmsley once famously said: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”
    Hillary Clinton, by her actions (i.e., using her own server for her e-mails while she was Secretary of State) essentially said: “I don’t comply with FOIA. Only the ‘little people’ comply with FOIA.” In other words, she unilaterally decided that she was “above the (FOIA) law”.
    So much for quaint notions like “open government”.

    • JLewisDickerson
      June 10, 2016, 8:12 am

      P.S. THE SAGA OF HILLARY CLINTON:

      Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
      Engines pumping and thumping in time.
      The green light flashes, the flags go up.
      Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
      They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
      Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
      Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
      Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.
      As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
      The fans get up and they get out of town.
      The arena is empty except for one woman,
      Still driving and striving as fast as she can.
      The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
      And long ago somebody left with the cup.
      But she’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
      And thinking of someone for whom she still burns.

      She’s going the distance.
      She’s going for speed.
      She’s all alone
      In her time of need.

      Because she’s racing and pacing and plotting the course,
      She’s fighting and biting and riding on her horse,
      She’s going the distance.

      No trophy, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no wine,
      She’s haunted by something she cannot define.
      Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse,
      Assail her, impale her with monster-truck force.
      In her mind, she’s still driving, still making the grade.
      She’s hoping in time that her memories will fade. . .

      ■ Cake – The Distance (Official Music Video) [VIDEO, 03:04] –

  9. TerryHeaton
    June 9, 2016, 9:16 am

    This line from the story: “That’s so complex. I don’t think many Americans really care about it. Those people have been fighting for thousands of years,” Jensen said.

    I’ve heard this many times from journalist friends as a justification for their unwillingness to report on I-P issues. It’s as though they feel they’d have to go to school to develop an understanding sufficient to allow for reporting. This is a powerful weapon of hasbara and one that’s not easily overcome. I thank God for my Palestinian family, for without them, I’d likely be in the same boat. Those who’ve dedicated their lives to justice for the Arabs of the Middle East would do well to consider this particular matter.

  10. Ossinev
    June 9, 2016, 1:25 pm

    @hophmi
    “The amount of vitriol directed at me makes my point every day that practitioners of BDS are a misathropic lot unable to make their point to anyone but their own”

    There there Hoppy little one don`t cry or fret wipe away your tears and just ignore those nasty misathropic (sic) Mondoweissers who question your right to regurgitate the concentrated Hasbara milk which you have just swallowed from the Hasbara Bible.

  11. niass2
    June 9, 2016, 11:41 pm

    The whole comment chain is irrelevant. Hophmi is a great guy. Language will change, as loving Israel in these parts where the working class live is now the same as cleaning it up so it may exist. AA comes to mind. Loving Israel and envisioning the end of this Apartheid is normal and occurring. The lame old argument is not of any use and no one cares. Israel will exist and will be kind of Jewish and Arab and whatever, without the Palestinians what fun would it be. Hophmi’s reasoning isn’t valid anymore. Its simple circular crypytical envelopement. Soon these things will happen. I saw it on the upcoming tour.

  12. Citizen
    June 13, 2016, 4:09 pm

    Re: “…whatever, without the Palestinians what fun would it be.”

    Why don’t you walk a few feet in the daily life of a Palestinian?

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