Warren and Sanders stand firmly behind Trump officials — on guess what issue?

US Politics
on 19 Comments

This Senate letter of last Thursday, signed by all hundred senators, berates the UN Secretary General over criticism of Israel at the U.N. and supports Ambassador Nikki Haley’s determination to root out “anti-Israel bias” and “anti-Semitism in all its forms” — which means undue focus of Israel. The U.N.’s actions on Israel, the senators say,

have at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism.

All 100 Senators line up behind two Trump officials. First, Nikki Haley:

We commend the words of our nation’s ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, who recently stated, “It is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change.”

Haley made that comment in a February 17 appearance at which she characterized the UN Security Council resolution against settlements of last December, which the Obama administration allowed to pass, as a “terrible mistake.” Is this really the sort of policy that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar, the valiant progressives of the Democratic Party, wish to endorse? Dianne Feinstein was one of the few senators to praise Obama for the settlements resolution. Couldn’t she have just said no when this letter came to her desk from Marco Rubio?

Erin Barclay

The senators also laud Erin Barclay, a deputy assistant secretary of State, who recently trashed the UN Human Rights Council for focusing on Israel not Syria:

The obsession with Israel …is the largest threat to the Council’s credibility.  It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this Council.

The senators actually echo Barclay on “obsession/mockery.”

Somebody noticed!

The letter was first reported by the Washington Post, with a bit of jaundice from Anne Gearan, who points out how unusual the letter is:

The unusual unanimity expands on the fierce denunciation of U.N. treatment of Israel mounted by Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, this year. The letter praises Haley for that effort, which she has said is intended to show that the United States will not “put up with” the bashing of its close ally.

The letter hails UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for quashing the recent report stating that Israel is practicing apartheid (prepared by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia). And in turn, the Senate letter is saluted in the Post by Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, and by a spokesperson for AIPAC, too. What a crowd. You’d think in the 50th year of occupation, and the 100 days of Trump, there would be a bit of dissent in US public life. No.

About Philip Weiss

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

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19 Responses

  1. Paranam Kid
    May 1, 2017, 12:28 pm

    The objective of the letter is totally understandable: israel must be left undisturbed to keep expanding the settlements, then annex the West Bank & the rest of the Palestinian territories, and continue with its incremental extermination of the Palestinians.

  2. eljay
    May 1, 2017, 1:09 pm

    The senators and Ms. Barclay are engaging in typical Zionist hypocrisy and whataboutery:
    – they don’t want Israel to be “singled out” for special treatment, but they don’t want Israel to be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes; and
    – as long as murderers exist, it’s okay to rape.

    Ms. Barclay’s speech, in particular, is amusing. She refers to Syria, Iran and North Korea without mentioning…
    – the political, financial, military and/or economic actions that continue to be taken against those countries; or
    – the generous political, financial, military and economic support being given to Israel even as it continues to commit (war) crimes deliberately and with impunity.

  3. jd65
    May 1, 2017, 1:37 pm

    Please see today’s earlier MW article, Fake Progressives.

  4. Danaa
    May 1, 2017, 3:58 pm

    The fact that both sanders and warren signed this sad little letter, and the unanimity of ALL 100 senators, highlights better than anything the reasons the progressive wing in this country is toothless and powerless. If someone like sanders, feels obliged to go along with giving israel a free pass for its horrendous and inhumane treatment of palestinians, AND for it pushing for the destruction of countries such as Iraq and Syria, shows just how marginalized progressive policy advocates are.

    I have said this in many comments over the past many years, that ultimately, foreign policy is a lithmus test of the truth of progressivism (particularly in the economic sphere). Ultimately, Sanders and warren, whatever else they believe in, are still at one with the Empire. And unfortunately, with the culture of lobbies pervading the soul of the Empire, it is not surprising that they, like almost anyone else who managed to get elected to national office, must pay homage to the most powerful lobby of them all, AIPAC (yes, it is the most powerful, IMO, though I use my own yardsticks to define “most”). Signing such an egregious letter is the price that must be paid to maintain what little platform the so-called progressives have to push some domestic agenda. That’s what politics is like in the US and has been for a very long time.

    Support the israeli settlements (in deed if not words) and may be, just may be, we’ll let you wax poetic on some minimum wage or medicare-for-all or some illegal alien rights (as long as they are referred to by the new terminology of “immigrants” – heaven forbid using the European version of “migrants”).

  5. JosephA
    May 1, 2017, 6:12 pm

    I believe it was Jon Stewart who described the criminal Netanyahu’s speech to the US joint house as “the longest blowjob a Jewish man has ever received”… http://www.salon.com/2015/03/04/jon_stewart_destroys_netanyahu_over_speech_to_congress/

  6. JLewisDickerson
    May 2, 2017, 4:33 am

    RE: “This Senate letter of last Thursday, signed by all hundred senators, berates the UN Secretary General over criticism of Israel at the U.N. and supports Ambassador Nikki Haley’s determination to root out ‘anti-Israel bias’ and ‘anti-Semitism in all its forms’ — which means undue focus of Israel.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Über cynic that I am, I assume Netanyahu arranged for the issuance of this letter by his “yo-yos”* in the U.S. Senate as part of his ongoing campaign to avoid being indicted for corruption (by demonstrating how valuable he is as Israel’s prime minister).

    * SEE: “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 05/26/11

    [EXCERPT] It was all rather disgusting.

    There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

    It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.

    What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?

    The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.

    The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? . . . [ANSWER: Yes, it is; and there are many other “occupiers”. Like the military-industrial complex. And, the NRA. And, Big Pharma. And, the too-big-to-fail banks. And, Wall Street. And, the Chamber of Commerce. And . . . (continued ad nauseam) ~ J.L.D.]

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2011/05/25/bibi-and-the-yo-yos/

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 2, 2017, 5:22 am

      P.S. “Bibi And The Yo-Yos”

      Hey kids, shake it loose together
      The spotlight’s hitting something
      That’s been known to change the weather
      We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
      So stick around
      You’re gonna hear electric music
      Solid walls of sound

      Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
      But they’re so spaced out, Bibi and the Yo-Yos
      Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
      Oh Bibi he’s really keen
      He’s got electric boots a mohair suit
      You know I read it in a magazine
      Bibi and the Yo-Yos

      Hey kids, plug into the faithless
      Maybe they’re blinded
      But Bibi makes them ageless
      We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
      Where we fight our parents out in the streets
      To find who’s right and who’s wrong . . .

      [Instrumental]

      . . . Bibi, Bibi, Bibi and the Yo-Yos
      Bibi, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi and the Yo-Yos
      Bibi, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi and the Yo-Yos
      Bibi, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi and the Yo-Yos
      Bibi, Bibi, Bibi and the Yo-Yos

  7. James Canning
    May 2, 2017, 1:12 pm

    Is it possible Nikki Haley thinks Israel should be encouraged to continue growing illegal colonies of Jews in the occupied West Bank? Contrary to international law. Year after year after year.

  8. Boomer
    May 3, 2017, 6:45 am

    Truly depressing, though not surprising. Not a single senator eligible for a “profile in courage.” The U.S. government continues and confirms its complicity. As do its MSM. At the same time pro-Israelites orchestrated this action by the Senate, NYT hires Bret Stephens and WaPo starts carrying things like this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-united-nations-campaign-against-business-in-israel-makes-no-sense/2017/05/02/1760b634-2094-11e7-be2a-3a1fb24d4671_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    NYT and WaPo have been pushing for new subscribers, saying that in the Trump era, more than ever, we need “honest” journalism. Evidently that doesn’t apply to Israel and Palestine.

  9. Ossinev
    May 3, 2017, 8:53 am

    “Haley’s determination to root out “anti-Israel bias” and “anti-Semitism in all its forms”

    The now familiar straightforward conflation ploy which of course is the standard AIPAC script feed to its bought and bent US Senators and Congressmen.

    The writing is on the wall however as more and more of the younger generation in America and specifically the younger generation of American Jews will be recognising this as straightforward nonsense as in if I criticise the actions of a foreign country how does that make me anti the religion of the majority of the people in that country eg if I criticise Italy does that make me anti – Catholic or if I criticise Pakistan does that make me anti – Muslim. And as for the young American Jew – how can he or she be categorised as anti – semitic for criticising Israel.It simply defies logic.

    But then almost everything about Zionism is illogical and frankly hilarious. In many ways it will be a shame to witness its upcoming demise.

  10. Boo
    May 3, 2017, 12:27 pm

    Speaking of conflation, it’s simplistic in the extreme to conclude that because “all 100 Senators” participate in these admittedly craven actions, they all take precisely the same position on IP and will all argue and vote precisely the same.

    I’m sure every one of that hundred wears a flag pin on his or her lapel too. This kind of behavior is simply part of the public optics of Congresscritter politics, and similarly, this show of “unanimous support for Israel” should not be taken as determinative of their actual inner feelings and judgments on IP. That would be a naive conclusion, and one unworthy of MondoWeiss readers.

    • Citizen
      May 4, 2017, 4:17 am

      Hey, Boo–their inner feelings and judgments on IP don’t matter. They can’t accomplish anything they really desire in public office without optical pledging of allegiance to Israel.

      Israel has 100 senators, while the rest of the US states have 2 each.

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2017, 7:19 pm

        Optical pledging? As in:
        “Drink to me only with thine eyes
        And I will pledge with mine…” ?

      • Mooser
        May 5, 2017, 10:58 am

        “Or leave some weed within the cup,
        And I’ll not ask for wine.”

      • gamal
        May 5, 2017, 5:47 pm

        “some weed”

        lets be clear Mooser we’ve a had a chat and they don’t want you to know about marijuana and this is not a marijuana song its in the title but who knows

        https://youtu.be/d6vNi6dasfg

      • talknic
        May 6, 2017, 3:13 am

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