Some leftwing commentators are pointing out that maybe the biggest scandal isn’t Weiner’s sexual proclivities, it’s his debased comments about the West Bank.
Two nights back, Chris Hayes on MSNBC said that the real scandal is Weiner’s lack of a progressive and legislative record, including– Hayes gets in the jab at the very end of the segment– “saying the West Bank is not occupied.”
Richard Kim at the Nation fills that picture in:
He was one of eighty-two Democrats who voted for the Iraq War, and he continued to support its funding long after its flimsy rationale had evaporated. But it’s on the subject of Israel/Palestine that Weiner truly distinguishes himself. At least twice in public, he has insisted that the West Bank is not occupied, denying a fact that even right-wing former Israeli Prime Minister and settler movement architect Ariel Sharon admitted a decade ago (for a complete account and video of Weiner’s statements, see Ali Gharib’s report for The Daily Beast). He has also claimed that there is no Israeli military presence in the West Bank, which would be news to the IDF soldiers stationed there. As Stephen Zunes points out, Weiner’s denial fits squarely in a disturbing pattern of squelching criticism of the Israeli state and of making patently untrue statements to do so, including claiming that the United States recognizes the PLO as a “terrorist organization” twenty years after it ceased using that designation. These statements reveal Weiner to be a knowing liar or a willfully ignorant ideologue, either of which should disqualify him from holding public office.
Oh and last week Weiner told Alex Kane that Israel is an oasis surrounded by terrorist states.
And Max Blumenthal reported here that Weiner spoke at a 1993 rally for Israel at which some of those participating called for Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Some progressive!