Democratic politicians want no part of Obama’s courage at the U.N.

US Politics
on 44 Comments

A largely-overlooked aspect of President Obama’s decision to allow a denunciation of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council ten days ago is the criticism he has gotten from his own party. Only three congressional Democrats have been outspoken in his support, so far as I can determine, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, as well as Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky.

Meanwhile there has been a chorus of denunciation of Obama’s decision coming from the likes of even good liberals, Jerrold Nadler, Richard Blumenthal, Hakeem Jeffries, Adam Schiff, Sherrod Brown, and Ron Wyden.

And what about the heroes of the left in the party? Elizabeth Warren was active on twitter on December 23, but has had nothing to say that I can find about the UN Resolution. The same for Bernie Sanders.

This pattern is important because it demonstrates how politically brave President Obama was in abstaining from a resolution the world is behind him on. Of course he should have demonstrated such bravery years ago. But make no mistake, this is what he is up against: the Democratic Party wants no part of his political courage here. And that’s because of money. The donor class of the Democratic Party is, as even Jeffrey Goldberg says, “delicately,” made up of Jews; and those older Jews skew much more pro-Israel than American Jews overall. In fact, an article in the rightwing National Post in Canada attacks Obama for taking the money from big Jews and then turning against them on this resolution.

Let’s dip into the record of defection from Obama over this resolution.

Jerry Nadler, leading liberal Dem, supported Obama on the Iran Deal. Not this time. He faults the “narrative” Obama created and the opening for Israel’s delegitimization. Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

“I am deeply disappointed by today’s events at the United Nations Security Council, particularly the United States’ abstention, damaging any hope for, or progress on, an eventual peace agreement. Rather than bringing a peaceful accord nearer, the United Nations Security Council’s approval of today’s one-sided resolution pushes both sides further apart. The resolution seeks to create an irresponsible and inaccurate narrative, making no mention of Palestinian responsibility, either for their incitement of violence or their refusal to return to talks with the Israelis, and only serves the purpose of seeking to delegitimize Israel on the world stage. The only way there can ever be an Israeli-Palestinian peace is through direct negotiations between the parties, not with imposed solutions.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio also expressed disappointment over the vote. From a spokesperson:

Mayor de Blasio said clearly that the U.N.’s role in the peace process has never been helpful. Like many at home and abroad, the Mayor also acknowledged that the ultimate consequences of the U.N.’s resolution cannot be predicted and that the effect of the U.S.’s abstention is unclear. What is clear is that the U.N.’s anti-Israel positioning in the Middle East does nothing to advance the peace process. In the Mayor’s view, the pathway to peace does not run through Geneva but through direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Senator Dan Murphy of Connecticut said Obama doesn’t know what he is doing:

[T]his, in the end, may have the very opposite effect that Obama and Kerry hope.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, so outspoken on other justice issues, is all for Israel here (NY1):

“Israel is still our closest ally in the Middle East and from my perspective, the United States should continue to play the role of diplomatic shield before the United Nations… “I would have advised the president and his UN ambassador to veto that particular Security Council resolution.”

Younger liberals Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Adam Schiff aren’t so liberal here. JTA:

The junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, also a Democrat, wrote in a statement: “I call on the Administration to do everything in its power to make sure this resolution is not put forward or passed.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., wrote in a statement sent out by his office: “Unilateral resolutions of this kind do not advance the cause of peace, and I would urge the Administration to make every effort to oppose its being brought forward and make it clear that it will veto the measure if necessary.”

No surprise, Ben Cardin of Maryland faulted the rushed, one-sided resolution, and so did Chuck Schumer:

Extremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution.

Didn’t we expect more from Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal?

“Consistent with past policy, this Administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process,” Blumenthal said. “The draft United Nations resolution directly contradicts the Senate resolution I authored – and passed unanimously last year – condemning Palestinian terrorism and calling on all parties to return to the negotiating table immediately and without preconditions…. This United Nations resolution would undermine, if not undo, the chances for productive discussions between the two sides.”

Not a surprise, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was over the top:

“I condemn in the strongest of terms the United Nations Security Council’s passage of this one-sided, anti-Israel resolution, as well as the United States’ reckless abstention. As a Member of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I opposed this resolution because our nation has consistently supported direct, bilateral negotiations as the only viable method to achieve a lasting peace. In fact, this irresponsible action moves us further away from peace and hastens the likelihood that we lose the trust of our allies around the world.

“Let me be clear: the only way to resolve this conflict is – and will always be – through direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.  It is baffling and unacceptable that the Obama Administration would abstain on this blatant attempt to internationalize this conflict and perpetuate the UN’s atrocious and biased record against our only true and dependable ally in the Middle East, the State of Israel. Simply put, today’s vote did nothing to bring us any closer to a lasting peace. Instead, it has accomplished just the opposite.”

Brad Sherman was disappointed, and this is unfortunate, Oregon’s Ron Wyden was also deeply disappointed.

“I am deeply disappointed that the administration set aside longstanding U.S. policy to allow such a one-sided resolution to pass,” Wyden said. “Actions like this will only take us further from the peace we all want to see.”

Progressive favorite Sherrod Brown was not so progressive:

“Earlier this fall I joined Senate colleagues urging the Administration to uphold its position opposing one-sided resolutions at the U.N. Security Council regarding Israel. Any lasting peace must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, not imposed by the international community. My hope is that a new year will bring a new commitment by both sides to earnestly work towards a peace agreement.”

Eliot Engel of course was against it, but Mark Warner of Virginia echoed the talking points: “one-sided resolutions” at the UN are counterproductive to the peace process and “achieving a two-state solution.”

“I am dismayed that the administration departed from decades of U.S. policy by not vetoing the UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements,” Warner said.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against the Iran deal, so his opposition is not surprising. Though he makes settlement building sound like a great thing:

“I urge the Obama administration to veto the United Nations resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building.”

A lot of Dems just stayed away. Keith Ellison wants to be party chair. He surely regards the resolution as a great thing (given his stance on settlements in the party platform last June) but has the wisdom to keep his mouth shut.  Ditto Obama’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who is also in contention for the job. Howard Dean has had nothing to say. Reports are that Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar, and Al Franken have also run for cover.

The National Jewish Democratic Coalition is also silent on the matter, per this inquiry. Though the NJDC has been outspoken against Trump’s pick for Israel ambassador, because he is so rightwing.

Here are the bright spots. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s support for Obama was full-throated, calling the measure an “absolute necessity”–

“I’ve watched with growing concern the increase in Israeli settlements over the years, where approximately 400,0000 individuals now live. I believe the expansion of settlements has but one goal: to undermine the viability of a two-state solution.”

Pat Leahy had the president’s back, but wasn’t vociferous.

Throughout these years, U.S. military aid to Israel has increased, even as prospects for a two state solution, which Israeli leaders have consistently claimed to want, have steadily diminished.  And even as the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict has itself become a threat to the national security of the United States.

“I commend President Obama and Ambassador Power for making clear that while we deplore the failure of the Palestinian leadership to condemn violence and will defend Israel against any foe, we will do so in a manner that says we must also defend America’s interests as Ambassador Power did

J Street tweeted a number of Democratic congresspeople supporting John Kerry’s speech in which he defended the U.S. decision at the U.N., including Steve Cohen of Tennessee and David Price of North Carolina. But on MSNBC Steve Cohen seemed to dodge the UN question, not endorsing the resolution as such, though he praised Obama’s policy. Price was also careful not to mention the U.N. resolution, while praising John Kerry’s speech on the matter.

Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky was a profile in courage: “I strongly endorse… the decision to allow the U.N. Security Council to pass the resolution.”

Again, I’d emphasize this is all about money. The extent of Democratic dependence on Jews for funding campaigns is “gigantic” and “shocking,” per this panel of experts convened by J Street, which has supported the president. As the Hill said in 2013:

The Iran nuclear deal has put new strains on President Obama’s relationship with Jewish donors, a pillar of Democratic fundraising.

Rightwinger Lawrence Solomon in the National Post in Canada explicitly praises Jewish financial pressure, and accuses Obama of betraying those powerful donors. In the last minute, when he didn’t have to run again.

Winning Jewish support wasn’t especially important to Obama and other Democrats in terms of votes — Jews represent just two per cent of the U.S. electorate, generally making their numbers inconsequential at the ballot box. But Jews are hugely important — even decisive — in their political giving. The Jewish two per cent — which is overwhelmingly liberal — accounts for about two-thirds of all donations received by the Democratic Party. Put another way, the Jewish two per cent donates twice as much to Democrats as the non-Jewish 98 per cent.

The importance of Jewish money to Democratic fortunes explains why Obama waited to make his moves against Israel until after his two presidential campaigns and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, whom he hoped would preserve his legacy. If Jews understood his real intentions toward Israel, Obama knew, many would withdraw their financial support.

Obama’s prudent course — his only viable course — in realizing his desire to strip Israel of its paramount possessions, embodiments of its heritage, was to keep his intentions secret, all the while upping his rhetoric that “no president has ever done more for Israel.” Obama also needed to maintain this public pretence to keep his fellow Democrats in the dark, most of whom would blanche at the thought of offending, and losing, their Jewish backers.

The dependence of Israel on rich Jews in the U.S. is becoming an issue for young Jews, who don’t like that type of politics. #IfNotNow has slammed “the Jewish establishment,” and I’d note that Eva Illouz’s important piece about “an earthquake in the Jewish world” in Haaretz ends with a swipe at the spiritual hollowness of values based on material gain:

 a part of the Jewish organizational world today resembles the state of the Church before it was challenged by Martin Luther. It displays the same mixture of fundamentalism, politics and money, a mixture that nowhere in the history of mankind has elicited respect or elevated the spirit.

Somehow I doubt all those Democratic pols are reading that.

I may be missing some statements. I’ll update if I have left supporters out.

Update: Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois supported the Obama abstention at the U.N. in this New Year’s Eve Facebook post.

About Philip Weiss

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

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44 Responses

  1. mcohen.
    January 2, 2017, 3:01 pm

    Obama was neither brave nor foolish.he simply allowed the Saudi rulers there well paid for airtime.probably can include Qatar in that equation.what has changed the dynamic is the war in Yemen and Saudi loses.once fighters begin to crossover from Africa into Yemen the Saudi army will be facing a bigger threat than previously.

    • amigo
      January 2, 2017, 3:52 pm

      cohen , why are you trying to kill off the very few allies Israel has left. Since when did you sign up with the BDS program.

      • mcohen.
        January 2, 2017, 8:03 pm

        Amigo

        Why would you assume that I support killing anyone.i merely comment on what is a possible outcome from studying patterns.people cannot change there behaviour and repeat the same patterns over and over whether it be 1 day or 1 century.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      January 3, 2017, 1:00 pm

      Thank you Phil for this. Obama took an important step and this must be acknowledged. For the rest of the deniers and political cowards who most likely are paid off by the lobby, I have lost confidence and label you insincere and and only concerned with your re-elections. To Warren and Bernie I say you are blatant disappointments and I expected more from you.

    • Ellen
      January 3, 2017, 4:19 pm

      M Cohen that is such an ignorant comment on so many levels, filled with so much baseless projection one does not know where to begin.

  2. amigo
    January 2, 2017, 3:02 pm

    Money can,t buy me love but it sure buy,s me influence and besides , who wants to go back to the hum drum of ordinary life among people who have no influence.

  3. zaid
    January 2, 2017, 3:17 pm

    “Let me be clear: the only way to resolve this conflict is – and will always be – through direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”

    Then why do you condemn Palestinians for rejecting the Partition plan which was imposed on Palestinians without any form of direct negotiations .

    • JWalters
      January 2, 2017, 7:00 pm

      EXCELLENT point. The hypocrisy and dishonesty meters are maxed out. This absurd insanity would be impossible without Israel’s stranglehold on the mainstream media.

    • Citizen
      January 3, 2017, 5:39 am

      That was in the days of the good UN; now, the bad UN dominates. Let’s make the UN great again! Mainstream media is doing its best, constantly bringing in guest “experts” telling us the UN is bogus, should be defunded as it gangs up on poor little Israel, why, it’s just obsessed with Israel due to jew-hatred.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      January 3, 2017, 7:35 pm

      Direct negotiations cannot begin until the occupation is lifted.

  4. Sulphurdunn
    January 2, 2017, 3:46 pm

    I object to the use of the word liberal to describe members of the Democratic Party now serving in congress. Most of them wouldn’t amount to a pimple on a real liberal’s ass.

    • lysias
      January 2, 2017, 4:42 pm

      One can of course question to what extent Obama himself is “liberal,” given all this current Russophobic nonsense.

      • echinococcus
        January 2, 2017, 6:35 pm

        “Liberals” in its street sense means exactly that, at least since 1998 or so, i.e. warmongers who do some minimal amount of handwringing before falling in line with the dominant nonsense (which right now is Neocon.) Those who do try to resist the dominant nonsense are the most illuded and most aligned, as they subscribe to the “2-party” dictatorship.

  5. lysias
    January 2, 2017, 4:40 pm

    Are “big Jews” really all so devoted to Israel and even to its current right-wing government? If they are, why are they? What explains it?

    • AddictionMyth
      January 2, 2017, 5:00 pm

      Money from industries combating ‘terrorism’ and exploiting the ultra-orthodox cults (for sex and labor).

      I haven’t read it but this book seems like it might answer some of your question:
      Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe – Antony Loewenstein

      Also Shulem Deen – All Who Go Do Not Return

      • Citizen
        January 3, 2017, 5:47 am

        Two examples: Saban and Adelson. I think both are on record as to their motive for their 100% support of Israel at all times. They also have both stated publicly their sole issue is helping Israel.

      • lysias
        January 7, 2017, 6:19 pm

        Saban and Adelson have given their motive for their 100% support of Israel? What motive did they give?

  6. AddictionMyth
    January 2, 2017, 4:57 pm

    USA-Russia-Israel – axis of the alt-Righteous. Dems will be forced to reconsider their support for Israel when they realize what TrumPutin has planned for them.

  7. joemowrey
    January 2, 2017, 6:45 pm

    “Obama’s courage?” Seriously? Courage has nothing to do with Obama’s actions. This was a cynical last-minute con to make himself look like some kind of hero, while in classic Obama fashion, the real slight of hand here was the actual weakening of the U.N. position on settlements (http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/resolution-settlements-palestinians/).

    Language is too important to be tossed around so casually. The true definition of courage has absolutely no relation to any action by Barack Obama. He is incapable of this type of “quality of mind or spirit.”

    courage
    noun
    1.
    the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      January 3, 2017, 1:03 pm

      Joe: Where is hope?

    • Don
      January 3, 2017, 1:52 pm

      Agree…Obama has the courage of the non-combatant.

      And money? Bernie demonstrated quite definitively that money does not have to come from billionaires? His failure in this matter has other causes.

  8. JWalters
    January 2, 2017, 7:20 pm

    Pretty hard to call Diane Feinstein anti-Semitic. Maybe she found out the CIA group that hacked her Senate Intelligence Committee computers was an Israeli cell? These other Democrats are probably under intense financial pressure from their “donors”.

    More ominously, we now know the Israelis have a history of false flag operations and planting agents in various organizations to sabotage their goals.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state/

    So now I’m wondering if Sherrod Brown is an Israeli agent pretending he wants to “get money out of politics” so he can sabotage that effort from inside. EXTREMELY disappointed in Brown.

    (And how do we know the alleged Russian hacking, currently the main topic in America’s Israeli-controlled media, was not an Israeli false flag operation?)

  9. Shingo
    January 2, 2017, 7:23 pm

    And so continues the match towards irrelevance by the leadership if the out of touch democratic party

  10. JWalters
    January 2, 2017, 7:33 pm

    “This pattern is important because it demonstrates how politically brave President Obama was in abstaining from a resolution the world is behind him on.”

    Ironically, rightwinger Lawrence Solomon gives a very accurate assessment (in article quote above) of why Obama had to act with so much caution. In that vein, a prescient article from 2010 “What Obama Is Up Against” also discussed the massive, corrupt power Obama would face.
    http://whowhatwhy.org/2010/03/10/what-obama-is-up-against/

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      January 2, 2017, 11:41 pm

      You could make the same argument regarding Trump. He HAD to adopt an Israel first set of talking points to please the Christian Zionists and the hardcore Jewish Zionists like Adelson. It is not an excuse! Obama was a hoax, at least Trump hasn’t claimed to care about justice in Palestine.

  11. Kay24
    January 2, 2017, 7:53 pm

    Somehow I don’t think President Obama will be surprised at this reaction. He knows fully well that the names above (with obvious exceptions) are those who have been either purchased at a high price by AIPAC, or have strong loyalties to that miserable occupier. In any case, they are all Israel firsters, who prefers to kiss up to a foreign interfering leader (who is investigated for corruption right now) than their own President. Shameless lot.

  12. Citizen
    January 3, 2017, 6:21 am

    An additional reason for Obama growing a spine in the last moments of his office may be awareness that he has actually confronted Israel and its lobby here less than any former POTUS for a long time, and this harms his image and Democratic Party image as the progressive honcho and party of record, somewhat off-setting the facts he has given the largest aid to Israel, the largest dose of all time with that latest $38Bn, and did zilch to pursue his Cairo Speech, but instead vetoed the same resolution in 201l. Of course, they chose not to put any enforcement teeth in the latest resolution.

    Hard to balance the juggling pins, looking forward to a progressive legacy, with lots of lucrative book sales and speeches, a nice library with your name on it, and relaxed fun on the best golfing lawns.

    • captADKer
      January 3, 2017, 1:27 pm

      “An additional reason for Obama growing a spine in the last moments of his office “-

      maybe its because all that can be seen of him is his back running out of town

      • captADKer
        January 3, 2017, 1:55 pm

        when all there is to see of this coward on the run is his back, i guess it does finally look like he has grown one- spine that is.

  13. iResistDe4iAm
    January 3, 2017, 8:28 am

    “The Jewish two per cent — which is overwhelmingly liberal — accounts for about two-thirds of all donations received by the Democratic Party. Put another way, the Jewish two per cent donates twice as much to Democrats as the non-Jewish 98 per cent.” ~ Lawrence Solomon

    Isn’t drawing attention to disproportionate “Jewish money” trying to influence U.S. politicians supposed to be anti-Semitic? What if Russian-American lobbies accounted “for about two-thirds of all donations received by the Democratic Republican Party”? How long will it take before the Russian-Americans are labelled as agents of a foreign government, their lobbies deregistered, and their political donations rejected as bribes/foreign interference?

    But massive political donations aren’t really that important or decisive in U.S. politics, are they? …

    “But Jews are hugely important — even decisive — in their political giving.”

    “…and that through his endorsements of Obama, Dershowitz in turn duped many American Jews, helping to secure Obama’s election and re-election.”

    “The importance of Jewish money to Democratic fortunes explains why Obama waited to make his moves against Israel until after his two presidential campaigns and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton…”

    But surely the massive political donations are aimed at influencing many of the domestic progressive policies that the Democrats support, aren’t they? …

    “If Jews understood his real intentions toward Israel, Obama knew, many would withdraw their financial support.”

    And doesn’t the title of Lawrence Solomon’s op-ed sound a bit anti-Semitic (as well as defamatory)? …

    “Lawrence Solomon: How Barack Obama fooled the Jews and betrayed them once he had their money”
    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/lawrence-solomon-how-barack-obama-fooled-the-jews-and-betrayed-them-once-he-had-their-money

    So why is Lawrence Solomon using anti-Semitic canards to smear Obama?
    Is it because “Jewish money” helped to “secure Obama’s election and re-election”, but was only able to influence his Middle East policy for the first 99% of his term (first 2,895 days but not the last 28 days)?
    Or is it because Obama “repeatedly duped” Dershowitz and many American Jews into donating money under false pretenses?

    Perhaps Solomon should hire Dershowitz to sue the Democratic Party for breach of contract (relating to the period from 23 December 2016 to 19 January 2017) and failure to deliver (Clinton’s 2016 campaign).

  14. pabelmont
    January 3, 2017, 9:08 am

    Some are asking, “What next for the Democrat(ic) Party or for an alternative new Progressive Party?” I wrote the following to info@pdamerica.org (self-styled and perhaps actual progressive democrats), not yet having read the (so disappointing but not surprising) outpouring of Zionist posturing reported in this post:

    PDA-ers:

    Rebuilding the DNC is going to require some kinds of compromise or shift
    of positions and allegiances.

    The old-guard (Clintons & Obama), who BELIEVED in (or hitched their
    wagons to) “oligarchy” as a method of governance will need to move over
    (somewhat or a lot) to the new Sanders/Warren progressives. The move
    will be hard on them. And the progressives may have to move toward the
    “oligarchic” folks. Hard on them.

    So how will all this be done? Dunno.

    Happily, Obama/Kerry have at long last done something (albeit timidly)
    like “reading the riot act” to the hard-line supporters of Israel’s
    settlements/colonization/1SS-occupation&apartheid-forever folks. And
    many DEMs (and many younger and a few older Americans of Jewish
    heritage) have already made the shift away from that hard-line.

    I wish us all well. Happy 2017!

  15. Kay24
    January 3, 2017, 10:36 am

    I hope all those shameless congresspeople, mostly Republicans and many Democrats, will feel proud that they may have chosen to side with (a once again under investigation) Netanyahu.
    If Netanyahu is found to be guilty, and goes down, they may wish they had not shown such devotion to this war criminal, who is a liar, and whose family seems to be enjoying ill gotten gains. How many times has this man and his family being investigated?

    “The ultimate irony, if not cruelty, is that this misfortune has fallen on Netanyahu just as he is about to realize his life-long fantasy of serving as prime minister alongside a Republican president such as Donald Trump. Not only has Netanyahu gone out of his way, more than any other foreign leader, to praise Trump – accentuating the contrast between the incoming and outgoing Presidents in the process – but he has basked in reports, true or not, that he could be the rare foreign leader who gets invited to the January 20 Presidential inauguration.
    But what could have been his moment of shining glory will now be tainted by the long shadow of his police interrogation: from now on, anything and everything that Netanyahu does will be scrutinized through a filter of whether it hurts him or helps him shift the limelight away from his legal travails. Unlike the President-elect, Netanyahu hasn’t yet reached a position that he can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still remain popular.”
    read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.762792

    • captADKer
      January 3, 2017, 12:03 pm

      Unlike the President-elect, Netanyahu hasn’t yet reached a position that he can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still remain popular.” –

      didn’t know the elor azaria verdict was in.

      • Mooser
        January 3, 2017, 1:41 pm

        “didn’t know the elor azaria verdict was in.”

        Oy Gevalt A real charmer, this one.

  16. captADKer
    January 3, 2017, 12:39 pm

    “Howard Dean has had nothing to say. Reports are that Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar, and Al Franken have also run for cover.”-

    bravehearts ELLISON/STEIN unheard from since last being seen withdrawing large amounts of cash from jew owned atm’s.
    shouldn’t we have expected some politicians, whose careers could be emphatically positioned, to coalesce behind obama’s noble “global act of courage and bravery”?( ur words not mine)

  17. genesto
    January 3, 2017, 1:04 pm

    And where was my Congressional Rep, Barbara Lee on this? This so-called leading progressive voice was AWOL, as usual, which explains why I gave up trying to enlist her help on this issue many years ago.

    The power that the Israel lobby has had for many years now is becoming ever more frightening. Progressive Dems, seeking higher office, have been given the choice of playing ball with the lobby or, if they express even the most timid of support for human rights for the Palestinian people, losing the campaign money they desperately need from this most powerful group of rich, Zionist Jewish donors. I don’t know how this is ever going to turn around in my lifetime (estimated 20 years left).

  18. James Canning
    January 3, 2017, 1:19 pm

    How truly pathetic. Too many Democrats willing to act as stooges for fanatical Zionists.

    • genesto
      January 3, 2017, 3:27 pm

      Indeed. Question is, ‘How can this be changed?’ Maybe we have to get back to pushing as hard as possible for campaign finance reform to limit the power of the lobby on this issue, as well as its negative influence on US Mideast policy. That seems like the only possible hope to correct this destructive course on which we’ve been set. Campaign finance reform, along with a major change in Americans’ understanding of, and support for, Israel’s destructive role in all of this (already underway), is our only hope.

    • Kay24
      January 3, 2017, 7:55 pm

      The bottom line is, they love money, and power, over doing what is best for their own nation, and putting their money where their mouths are and pushing for human rights and freedom for a people who have been occupied for decades.
      It is hard to believe that leaders of the world’s greatest superpower are so beholden to an evil entity.

    • Jasonius Maximus
      January 4, 2017, 11:03 am

      It goes further than just money and power. It’s a real life house of cards they’ve built for themselves.

      The vast majority of House and Senate members and most Presidents HAVE to blindly support this corrupt regime regardless of their personal feelings, because from day one of their office they are all but complicit in the atrocious behavior of Israel. In spy terms, the day they took a single cent from AIPAC and stepped on a plane to Israel on their first “junket” Hasbara Tour and got their photo taken shaking hands with Emperor Bibi, was the day they became “assets” or “agents” of the Israeli regime. Their political and public lives are then immediately and directly linked to the success or failure of Israel, so their focus becomes trained on their own self preservation, which means the preservation of the status quo. They know this all too well.

      The second Netanyahu or any other Israeli leader is dragged in front of the ICC and put on trial for war crimes, how many photos of US politicians shaking Netanyahu’s hand do you think will be burned in the dead of the night? How many tens of thousands of emails, tweets, press releases, travel logs, visitors logs and private correspondences with Israeli leaders, AIPAC, the ADL and every other Pro-Israel group will be purged en masse by these same politicians? The avalanche and blowback would be spectacular and on an unprecedented scale.

      Imagine suddenly trying to run for reelection or a higher office, when your political opponent has damning public tweets and photos of you shaking hands and visiting leaders and supporting regimes like those of Idi Amin or Charles Taylor or Saddam Hussein or Fidel Castro or Slobodan Milošević or Muammar Gaddafi? So the only thing they can do to avoid even the remotest possibility of their complicity or such terrible judgement being made public or scrutinized is to double-down on their highly vocal support for Israel.

      The levels members of Congress seem to go to to defend Israel from any and all criticism and international action might seem irrational and extreme, but the alternative for these politicians isn’t just political suicide but the political genocide of nearly all of Congress. A little power and money in the interim is just a little something to make them feel a little more like they’ve been lobbied and less like turned agents and assets for a foreign government.

  19. Talkback
    January 3, 2017, 4:21 pm

    Translation:

    “one-sided” or “biased” or “anti-Israel” means, that only Palestinians have to abide to international and humanitarian law or other obligations

    “terrorism” means that Palestinians don’t have the right to resist the occupation or defend themselves, even when they don’t attack civilians, while Jewish soldiers are allowed to attack Palestinian civilians with impunity and based upon terrorist military doctrines (like “Dahiya”) while protecting settlers who terrorize Palestinian civilians

    “incitement” means that only Israeli Jews are allowed to make maximalist territorial claims, to call more war crimes in Israel’s parliament and to insult and incite against Palestinans there, in public or in religous places

    “unilateral” means that Palestinians are not allowed to take legitimate actions to implement their rights

    “through direct negotiations between the parties, not with imposed solutions” means that Israel should be allowedby the international community to keep the Palestinans occupied as long as it takes to impose its own solution with impunity, if Palestinians don’t give up their legitimate rights and subjugate to Israel’s illegitimate demands

    “delegitimize Israel” means anything that doesn’t legitimate Israel’s violation of international and humanitarian law

  20. JLewisDickerson
    January 3, 2017, 8:42 pm

    RE: “J Street tweeted a number of Democratic congresspeople supporting John Kerry’s speech in which he defended the U.S. decision at the U.N., including Steve Cohen of Tennessee and David Price of North Carolina. But on MSNBC Steve Cohen seemed to dodge the UN question, not endorsing the resolution as such, though he praised Obama’s policy.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: It’s advisable to keep your powder good and dry when the Wicked Witch of the East is constantly nipping at your heels like a pack of rabid Chihuahuas!*

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA ( Steve Cohen ):

    In March 2015, Steve Cohen boycotted the speech of the Prime Minister of Israel to Congress . . .
    . . . In response, Israeli journalist Caroline Glick wrote in an opinion column in the Jerusalem Post: “Radical leftist representatives who happen to be Jewish, like Jan Schakowsky of suburban Chicago and Steve Cohen of Memphis, are joining Netanyahu’s boycotters in order to give the patina of Jewish legitimacy to an administration whose central foreign policy threatens the viability of the Jewish state.”[71] Rabbi Aryeh Spero[who?] told the conservative news media organization Newsmax: “I think that the administration is cleverly using Jewish officeholders like Sen. Feinstein, [Rep.] Jan Schakowsky in Chicago, [Rep.] Steve Cohen [of Tennessee] and [Rep. John] Yarmuth from Kentucky. He’s using them to give credence and legitimacy to say this is not anything that’s going to adversely affect Israel. But it will… Israel is not important to them. It’s rather secondary. Their loyalty is to the Democrat Party.”[72] . . .

    71. ^ In Israel’s hour of need By CAROLINE B. GLICK \ 02/26/2015 – http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-In-Israels-hour-of-need-392348
    72. ^ Rabbi: Obama ‘Cleverly Using’ Jewish Dems to Defend Iran Deal News Max, Monday, 06 Apr 2015 05:59 PM By Greg Richter – http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Iran-nuclear-Aryeh-Spero-Dianne-Feinstein/2015/04/06/id/636779

    P.S.
    I would think that Obama put out the word that the Democrats were free to distance themselves from both Power’s abstention and Kerry’s speech. Little purpose is served by making them ‘walk the plank’ in these circumstances.

    Apparently “radical” has been focus-grouped and it must be considered the most lethal ‘general purpose round’ they have in their arsenal at this time.
    “Islamofascist” met with considerable resistance and seems to have been dropped in favor of “radical Islam(ist)(ism)”.

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