Further evidence of role of Israel lobby in Democratic Party: DNC chair Wasserman Schultz found Bernie Sanders’s criticisms of Israel “disturbing,” while Hillary Clinton campaign sought to use his stance to “marginalize” him, according to DNC emails published by Wikileaks.
Category Archives: US Policy in the Middle East
Donald Trump has taken heretical positions on countless issues, from a border wall to John McCain’s heroism to barring Muslim immigrants, and not backed down. Except for Israel. He said he’d be neutral on the conflict in February, but dropped that stance entirely. Such is the power of the Israel lobby.
Hillary Clinton has gained the support of major neoconservative donor Seth Klarman. Klarman’s family foundation supports rightwing Zionist groups, including the David Project and the Israel Project, and has supported several Islamophobic groups, including one that “applauded” an Oklahoma law later struck down as unconstitutional, that would have discriminated against Muslim religious practices. A Democratic Party think tank has said that the organizations Klarman supports have put out “anti-Islam messages polluting our national discourse.”
Reflecting on life after neoconservatism, Scott McConnell says he demonstrated against the Iraq war with Code Pink but that the alliance between national interest types and leftwingers may be coming apart because fears of another US war have ebbed and the two groups split over immigration and identity politics.
The Iran deal is still assailed by US hardliners, who don’t even hide their efforts: Adam Szubin, Obama’s under secretary of the treasury for Iranian sanctions, parrots Netanyahu’s claim that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terror in the world and speaks at neoconservative thinktanks without any consequences.
The Israel lobby is alive and well. As the Republicans beg Sheldon Adelson to help pay for the convention, Hillary Clinton is said to be vetting retired admiral James Stavridis as a possible veep. Now a dean at Tufts, he opposed the Iran deal.
Cornel West likened Palestine to Vietnam as the issue of our time for young Americans, but the Democratic Party platform committee turned a deaf ear, in refusing to put the words occupation and settlements in the platform.
A gushing interview of Netanyahu in the New York Times repairs a relationship hurt 3 years ago by the Times publishing gossip about his wife; but it is a serious dereliction in its refusal to raise Israeli officials’ charges that the government is fascistic.
In light of the Democratic National Committee’s voting down of amendment to end Israeli occupation and building of settlements, Palestinian organizer Laila Abdelaziz reflects on the unrecognized intersectionalities between Native Americans and Palestinians; two indigenous peoples tied with a shared struggle against colonialism.
The Democratic Party platform committee voted down an amendment opposing “settlements” and “occupation” in Palestine, as the Clinton establishment elicited the largest boos of the day in Orlando. Bernie Sanders surrogate Cornel West ascribed the vote to racism.
Last week’s Aspen Ideas Festival often seemed like a rightwing Jewish event and it reeked of entitlement. Leon Wieseltier of the Atlantic joked that eventually “there won’t be any goyim” on the Supreme Court. The Jewish and pro-Israel character of the establishment was on display, even if no one wants to talk about it.
Hillary Clinton’s deal with the devil: she thinks that by crushing the progressive wing that supports Palestinian rights, and smearing Max Blumenthal as “hateful” for his smart criticisms of Elie Wiesel, she will gain the Israel lobby and neoconservatives’ support, which is vital for a win in November.
The report is that Bernie Sanders just won a string of concessions from the Hillary Clinton camp on the 2016 party platform. Wall Street reform, banking reform, regulations on hedge funds, criminal justice reform, greater opposition to the death penalty, and let’s fight for a $15 minimum wage. Sanders is “winning some big victories,” says Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, but guess what’s not in the concessions? Where are Clinton’s redlines? You guessed it. Vox says the sticking points are Trans Pacific Partnership, stronger measures to slow global warming, and Israel Palestine.
It’s about time American Jews talked about the problem of dual loyalty inherent in Zionism; and a pro-Israel publication, the Jewish Week, encouraged that discussion by running a column on how “Israel Firsters,” those who vote on the basis of what is best for Israel, are approaching this election.
Three writers on the left, David Bromwich, Eli Clifton and Donald Johnson, fault Hillary Clinton’s essentially-neoconservative approach to foreign policy. She never vigorously opposed the Vietnam War and called that war, like the Iraq war she supported, a “mistake.” Shouldn’t there be more accountability?
Israel advocates are using the Clinton campaign to try and stifle BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel) in the public square. Norman Brownstein, a board member of AIPAC, says Clinton has promised; while Bakari Sellers circulates an anti-BDS letter signed by 60 other African American Democrats.
What does Hillary Clinton mean by taking the Israel relationship to the “next level”? Maybe what Robert Danin, former State Department official at Harvard, says: a formal treaty between the countries, and do it fast, because young people and Democrats have lost their romance about Israel. (Don’t they have a good reason?)
Hillary Clinton is gaining the support of the neoconservative establishment. Alan Dershowitz is for her “muscular foreign policy.” Robert Kagan is holding a fundraiser for her. And even possible veep-nominee Sen. Elizabeth Warren emerges as a “surprising Israel hawk,” says the Forward.
Michael Gordon piped neoconservative and Israeli objections to the Iran deal in the New York Times a year ago and also helped foment the Iraq war with the bogus aluminum-tubes story. Now he lands at a neoconservative thinktank that opposed the Iran deal as a writer-in-residence for the summer.
Brace yourself for the news from the Democratic Platform Committee. The platform this year will be even worse than previous platforms on Palestine. That’s how things look, despite the insurgent anti-Benjamin-Netanyahu campaign of Bernie Sanders: there is no occupation, and no settlements either. Jerusalem forever, and death to BDS. The party belongs to Hillary Clinton.
Netanyahu’s only goal is to control the news cycle and the New York Times gave him two solid victories last week by playing up a misstatement by Palestinian president Abbas in Brussels. And the construction of Abbas’s line as anti-Semitic reflects the power in our discourse of a tribal Jewish fantasy: non-Jews are always thinking anti-Jewish thoughts.
Clintonite Henry Waxman warns against including “contentious” language on Israel in the Democratic platform, as J Street suggests words about “settlements” entrenching the “occupation” will make both Clinton and Sanders forces happy. Nothing about Jerusalem, and nothing about BDS.
Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai has said bravely that murders in Israel will continue as long as the occupation does; but US publications are loath to make such an assertion. Ben Ehrenreich changed that trend, by publishing a devastating critique of the occupation in Politico this week.
Longtime peace processor Dennis Ross drops all pretense to being an honest broker, telling an off-the-record meeting of American Jews, “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel,” because Palestinians have “plenty” of advocates already.
Media marginalize critics of US Israel policy. Chris Matthews says the Democratic Party platform is riven by “red hot” Cornel West and James Zogby, but censors their concern about Israel. And Foreign Affairs publishes a navel-gazing issue all about Israel that leaves out the depths of extremism in Israel, let alone Palestinian conditions.