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Memo to Sen. Warren: More young Dems want US to side with Palestine than Israel

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In recent days, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has offered herself as the great progressive hope of the Democratic Party by calling out Citigroup on the Senate floor and saying that the government is setting itself up for more bailouts of big banks that will rob the middle class. Lionized by MSNBC and TPM and NPR, while refusing to rule out a presidential run, Warren has plainly made the calculation that she has a lot to gain by alienating a key donor class, the financial industry; Chris Matthews says she has set herself up to run for the party’s progressive base against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Here at this site we have often expressed frustration at Warren’s distinct absence of progressivism on the Israel/Palestine question: refusing to criticize the Gaza slaughter, saying that killing Palestinians “is the last thing Israel wants to do,” refusing to come down hard against settlements, saying Israel lives in a terrible neighborhood and is right to attack Hamas, indeed, positioning herself to the right on these questions. And she does so out of a similar political calculus to her Wall Street reckoning: she needs Israel lobby money to run for higher office.

Well, here’s some encouragement to Warren to move left on the question. The Democratic Party base is shifting as we speak, and young Democrats are actually progressive. The explosive news is buried in a long story from Shibley Telhami in the Washington Post: the “core constituents of the Democratic Party” are not being represented by their leaders on the Israel question. And young Democrats (18-29), when asked which side the US should lean to, say Palestine over Israel by 12 to 10.

The report is by Telhami, the leading scholar of these questions, at Brookings and the University of Maryland, along with grad student Katayoun Kishi. We covered the one-state findings in the poll, already. But here are the findings about the Democratic grass roots:

The core constituents of the Democratic Party — women, African Americans, Hispanics and younger Americans — take positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that diverge not only from the positions of Republicans but also from the positions of their elected leaders. This gap is likely to widen given that the two segments that diverge the most, Hispanics and young Americans, are likely to play an even bigger role in the future of the party. Whether they will care enough about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to influence politics remains to be seen, but the fact that even those who care most deeply about the issue within the Democratic Party diverge on important issues from their leaders is telling.

Bringing the Debate to You

The Washington Post sells the story blandly, “Widening Democratic Party divisions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” And Telhami and Kishi lead off by noting the cleavages:

while Republican political leaders are in harmony with their grass roots when it comes to their policy stances toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Democratic leaders are not. This begs the question: What is driving this gap, and how much is due to changing American demographics? Could Democratic leaders start to feel some of the heat from their publics on this issue? Findings among two segments of the public that are important for the future of the Democratic Party – Hispanics and young people – indicate that this gap may grow further.

The two political scientists say the party split is explained in part by the large number of evangelicals in the Republican Party:

[Pro-Israel] attitudes of this group tend to be even stronger than those of Jewish Americans. Nearly half of evangelicals favor the “Jewishness” of Israel more than its democracy, compared to only about one-third of Jewish American respondents.

They offer an insight into the composition of the grass-roots Israel lobby, more Christian right than Jewish right:

When asked why they would want the United States to lean toward Israel, 38 percent of evangelicals said they felt it was their “religious or ethnic duty to support Israel,” while only 24 percent of Jewish Americans responded this way.

Of course, 24 percent is a lot, for a largely Democratic constituency, which is why we say that the older conservative Israel-loving portion of the Jewish population dominates the question, inside the Democratic Party. They are the donors, not something that Telhami and Kishi get into.

But on to progressives. Women and African Americans are progressive leaders on the question, we learn. Look at the way African Americans get the problem:

Among various ethnicities, African Americans had the highest proportion (78 percent) of those who favor Israel’s democracy rather than its Jewishness.

But it’s the young and Hispanics who are the biggest surprise. First, Hispanic Democrats take the issue more seriously than others.

Hispanic Americans have become increasingly central to U.S. electoral politics… Twelve percent of Hispanic respondents rank the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the single most important issue for U.S. interests, compared with 4 percent of non-Hispanics. This contrast is even more pronounced among Democrats, with 17 percent of Hispanic Democrats ranking it as the top issue versus only four percent of non-Hispanic Democrats.

In general, Hispanic Americans want the United States to remain neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more than the rest of the population. Even more telling: Among Hispanic respondents who want the United States to take a side, the ratio of those who want it to lean toward Israel versus the Palestinians is much closer than among the rest of the population. In fact, among Hispanic Democrats, the ratio is roughly 1:1, with those who want the United States to lean toward either Israel or the Palestinians each making up 13 percent of the Hispanic population.

The same trend is visible among young Dems. Here comes the news, Senator Warren:

Generally, younger adults (ages 18 to 29) tend much more to want the United States to lean toward neither side. But among young Democratic respondents, the results are more striking: Among those who want the United States to lean toward one side or the other, more young people want the United States to lean toward the Palestinians than toward the Israelis (12 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively). This attitude is unique among this age group, as only 5 percent or less of Democrats in each older age group want the United States to lean toward the Palestinians. This contrasts sharply even with female and African-American respondents within the Democratic Party.

That’s a stunner. Young Democrats are more favorable to the Palestinians than the Israelis. A stunner.

As a friend writes to me: Telhami may be pointing to an eventual showdown in the Democratic party’s grassroots. Those views are barely represented in Congress today. And recall how Antonio Villaraigosa ran roughshod over the popular outcry at the Democratic convention in Charlotte in 2012. Telhami’s shift was already signalled more broadly demographically in this summer’s Gallup polls. If this stuff ever does come to the fore it may well be explosive. Will it be like the Republicans’ Southern strategy or will most Jewish voters buck the take of establishment organizations such as the ADL and AIPAC? And, of course, what will the larger donors do?

Thanks to Adam Horowitz.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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64 Responses

  1. a blah chick on December 16, 2014, 12:18 pm

    We all remember how Warren “literally” ran from questions about Gaza last summer, and nothing she has said or done indicates that she cares any more about the issue. Still maybe it’s good that she and Bernie Sanders seem (at least to me) somewhat uncomfortable with their positions and I’m sure they know it goes against their “progressive” images. So just keep staking them at their rallies and hurling those “uncomfortable” questions. Sooner or later something’s gotta give.

    • Ellen on December 16, 2014, 2:20 pm

      WRren, will not venture there. While she might be a quick study, she remains a one trick pony — her speech stump is on the financial and related bankruptcy industry. She understands that the system had gorged out the center of the middle class — a middle class essential to protect the uber class from the very lower class .

      The conflict industry supporting colonialism in Israel is a creature of the uber class . She might not have yet connected that dot.

      But fighting that battle will be her rapid death knell.

      It is not just the money, but the machine, the blob of DC that will
      crush her should she go there with an honest heart.

      • Ellen on December 16, 2014, 2:22 pm

        The pop up frames in this site prevent a complete view of any post, in addition to no edit. Oh well….

      • annie on December 16, 2014, 3:25 pm

        ellen, thank you for saying something about that pop up (that doesn’t go away !!! ). i wrote adam and phil about it and adam wrote back and said “i didn’t realize that” and that he would look into it. i also inquired about the edit function and his response was “the edit function is coming back, i believe the programmers are working on it now. ”


      • Ellen on December 17, 2014, 2:53 pm

        Thanks for the feedback, Annie. If Phil needs a fast and highly skilled and economical Word Press and web developer, let me know!

      • Ellen on December 17, 2014, 2:54 pm

        Those fixes are fast and not rocket science in today’s world.

      • annie on December 17, 2014, 3:03 pm

        ellen, it’s supposed to be up today. i won’t be able to see it because my access doesn’t show me what you see, so i can’t check it. but from what we know on our end it should be up. so give it a couple hours. sorry again.

    • on December 17, 2014, 8:20 am

      Sanders was hardly uncomfortable with his Israel uber alles stance. He told the people in Vermont to shut up last summer when they protested his support for Israel’s slaughter of the Gazans. He is a true believer, been raised to be so from birth. He can never change his mind.

  2. MHughes976 on December 16, 2014, 12:50 pm

    This must be the result of information (Zionists would have another word for it, I know) circulating with ever increasing force at the student level. However, I’m sure it would still be total career suicide for some like Warren, presenting herself as a reformer but of course a safe and moderate one, to come out for the Palestinians – that situation will persist, unless there are some unexpected shocks to the system, for another decade at very least.

    • ritzl on December 16, 2014, 2:27 pm

      Agree. OTOH support for Palestine/Palestinians is starting, to me anyway, to be positioned as the “Master Switch” for any politician wanting to signal to voters that they are an ACTUAL agent of change. That they will actually FIGHT for the best interests of the people who voted for them. An anti-Obama. More Teddy Roosevelt-ish (fitting, as we’re in another “Guilded Age”). The “switch” is close but still just out of reach.

      The Ferguson – Palestine connection is one example of how that positioning is being realized.

    • JWalters on December 17, 2014, 7:54 pm

      Agree. No one can get into national politics while talking realistically about Israel. Donor money. On the other hand, taking down the banks could ultimately take down Israel, because Israel is a creation of war profiteering bankers, using Jewish religious supremacists as boots on the ground.

  3. CloakAndDagger on December 16, 2014, 1:15 pm

    The tragedy is that we need to wait for the old-guard of aging Israel-supporters to die off and the young to seize the reins of power before we see the picture changing. It will be a painfully long wait.

    • ckg on December 16, 2014, 6:52 pm

      Thomas Kuhn quoting Max Planck:

      A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

      It’s probably as true of social revolutions as scientific revolutions.

  4. peterfeld on December 16, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Warren is useless to anyone hoping for an antiwar Hillary challenger. Somebody who has to be dragged can’t lead.

    • Ellen on December 16, 2014, 2:25 pm

      She has chosen not to do battle with the Clintonistas. Timing is everything.

  5. hophmi on December 16, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Memo to Senator Warren: the vast majority of young Dems want you to favor neither side.

    • ckg on December 16, 2014, 7:09 pm

      Yes indeed, hophmi. No more aid to Israel than we give the Palestinian people. No more diplomatic cover to Israel than we give the Palestinian people. Let’s care equally about the human, civil and political rights of the Palestinians and Israelis. If America did that, I’d be spending my time reading the sports pages instead of Mondoweiss.

  6. pabelmont on December 16, 2014, 2:06 pm

    The shift toward Palestine among young Americans cannot create “heat” to be felt by DEMS unless candidates “run” on Palestine in primaries. If they don’t there will be no “heat”. And none of the pols wants to have BIG-ZION funding opponents (whether other DEMs or REPs).

    So, yes, I’ll tell her (, but I cannot expect her to listen.

    OTOH, on-going events on the international stage may create possibilities for synergy with the shift among DEMs.

  7. mcohen. on December 16, 2014, 2:13 pm

    what are young dems…….were they those guys who protested at ferguson or occupy wall street,not sure no info in newsweek or time magazine…i read about something in national geographic…? are young dems readership people…..

  8. Steve Macklevore on December 16, 2014, 2:46 pm

    How on earth is Senator Elizabeth Warren supposed to get elected without Jewish money?

    Even worse, if she comes out as remotely pro-Palestinian, not only will she be starved of Jewish money, but Jewish money will flood in to her opponents.

    That’s the reality of Jewish power in American politics.

    Without campaign finance reform and the registration and exposure of Zionist organisations such as AIPAC, there is no hope of a pro-Palestinian American President.


    • ritzl on December 16, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Howard Dean cracked the code on the money. He got destroyed for it, but the next person will do it better and be more prepared for the backslash (as will their supporters).

      John MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine, explaining it on Moyers (@16:00, but the full show is worth a look).

      10M people give $20 each until some candidate gets it right and wins using the new mechanism. I’d subscribe to that process for the long haul.

      I think it’s more doable than not, but success would require more than a suspension of disbelief. It would require actual belief. After Obama belief may be hard to come by, but “pre-belief,” in the form of need, is thriving.

      • JeffB on December 17, 2014, 10:25 am


        That’s not close to enough. First off when I did this stuff 2 decades ago the rule of thumb was that donors under $35/yr cost more to recruit than the $35. The purpose of the donation was to fund the awareness that the donation gathering generated and to increase their level of commitment, behavior changes belief.

        Today with higher costs of fundraising it’s probably the case that you need to be a donor at around $200 to be throwing off any substantial percentage for the campaign to use for its own needs.

        But even if that weren’t the case. In 2012 the general election, forgetting the primary was:
        Committee to elect Barack Obama: $738m
        Committee to elect Mitt Romney: $625m
        That doesn’t include either party’s general fund nor super packs which gets the figure up around $2.6b.

        2016 is going to be way more expensive in the same way that 2014 was way more expensive than 2010. $20x10m people is both unrealistic and still falls far short even if it were possible. A campaign that has 10m people committed enough to donate wouldn’t need money, they just win. 10m willing to donate probably represents at least 100m people who would be willing to vote for Money is needed to influence low interest and uncommitted voters. Money shifts things a few percentage points. A huge money discrepancy can do 8-10%.

        So you don’t have a solution to the money problem. But it isn’t all about money. The fundamental problem is that hard left views are unpopular with voters and when they have a chance to vote on them they generally reject them. Campaign commercials aren’t the problem. Rather to get someone to agree with a left candidate you need to reorient a person’s entire political philosophy. And that takes years if not decades. The reason Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders are rare and there is no one to their left in the senate is because people to their left can’t win a statewide race. I doubt they could win a national race. We might see a good example of that in reverse if someone like Ted Cruz gets the Republican nomination.

        The issue with Palestine / Israel is not Jewish money. AIPAC et al is around 10-20th place in terms of money and influence, important but nowhere near the influence of groups like the NRA or the Agriculture lobby. The issue with Israel / Palestine is the American public favors the Israelis by 45-50 percentage points. The voter’s political opinion, not the money is the difficult to overcome problem you face. The 1950s State Department with their “screw the Jews, get the oil” lost to the “a reliable ally in the middle east” coalition. Israel comes in 2nd to Canada in terms of most voters affection towards the country. The voters like countries that are “on our side”. European Social Democracies are iffy allies, as Iraq showed. The Arab countries are seen by most voters as just as likely to be opposed to USA interests as in favor. The Palestinians have a 100 year history of mainly being on the opposite side of the USA.

        Once you move beyond liberals arguments based on anti-colonial dialogue are going to carry 0 weight. Sure many Americans object to Israel treating the Palestinians badly though mostly they see the Palestinians as kinda obnoxious and sort of deserving it. Sure if they could wave a magic wand many Americans would rather Israel be a secular democracy than an ethnocracy (and even on that question Israel’s current setup Israel can mostly get a majority in its favor). But if you ask the question “do you want the USA government to take actions which will cause Israel to become an enemy of the United States so as possible benefit the Palestinians” that polls in the single digits. Most Americans consider advancing human rights to be a secondary foreign policy objective not a primary one. Your argument against Israel is based on assumptions the voters do not share.

        Even if you had a magic source of money it wouldn’t fix that much bigger problem. Politicians don’t support your policies because voters don’t support your policies. Voters don’t support your policies because they are based on a moral / political philosophy they don’t share.

    • on December 17, 2014, 8:22 am

      It goes far beyond campaign money

    • Elisabeth on December 19, 2014, 3:16 am

      Jewish money, Jewish power… Give me a break.
      Not even the Israel lobby is all Jewish, and American politics as a whole is infested with lobby groups, Jewish or not.

  9. ritzl on December 16, 2014, 2:51 pm

    Looks like MJ Rosenberg’s theory that human rights/justice/fairness (Dems, in theory) are more important than Israel (Repubs, unequivocally) to Jewish voters is about to get a field test.

    • JeffB on December 16, 2014, 3:59 pm


      It was field tested in the 1960s during the Black riots. Human rights / justice / fairness lost to their own parochial interests. Jewish voters flipped like a dime once on their position regarding civil rights once the movement attacked Jewish interests and not just the WASP power structure. Jewish voters are just like everyone else they support those things in the abstract and tend to be much more more circumspect in the particular.

      Look at the Pew report regarding support for torture:
      51-29% support the torture program
      56-28% think it provided valuable information
      The only political group in America that opposes torture is liberals and even they are 25-65%
      once you get to moderate Dems you already are at 48-32% and by the time you get to Republican voters 76-12%.

      • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 12:51 pm

        That’s right JeffB, it’s so meet, and so petite! As goes approval for torture, so goes approval for Zionism.

        “Jewish voters flipped like a dime once on their position regarding civil rights once the movement attacked Jewish interests and not just the WASP power structure.”

        Good old JeffB, always sticking up for the integrity and intelligence of Jewish voters! “The (civil rights)movement attacked Jewish interests”? When did that happen, pray tell?

      • Keith on December 17, 2014, 5:32 pm

        MOOSER- ““The (civil rights)movement attacked Jewish interests”?

        Come on, Moose, surely you are aware that once affirmative action had broken down the doors to Jewish advancement, the big Jewish civil rights groups did an about face and decided that affirmative action was now reverse discrimination. They are the ones that pushed these law suites against college affirmative action programs using white Gentiles the way they once used Black litigants. I got into this with Hophmi a several years back.

      • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 9:46 pm

        “Come on, Moose, surely you are aware that once affirmative action had broken down the doors to Jewish advancement, the big Jewish civil rights groups did an about face and decided that affirmative action was now reverse discrimination. They are the ones that pushed these law suites against college affirmative action programs using white Gentiles the way they once used Black litigants”

        “once affirmative action had broken down the doors to Jewish advancement,”? Can you find me an an example of affirmative action programs being used on behalf of Jews? I think the doors for Jews were broken down a bit earlier.

        “Affirmative action had broken down the doors to Jewish advancement”? Yup, “affirmative action” was all about the Jews. Wow!
        So which employment and professions were the Jews systematically excluded from which needed to be fixed and were fixed by “affirmative action” programs? Love to know.
        But anyway, that’s an example of the civil rights movement attacking Jewish interests? Uh, okay.

      • Keith on December 17, 2014, 11:43 pm

        MOOSER- “Yup, “affirmative action” was all about the Jews. Wow!”

        Listen Jerk, that isn’t what I said and I resent you implying that it was. Perhaps you have more in common with Hophmi than either of you would care to admit.

        Perhaps you are unaware that there used to be descrimination against Jews in housing, education and certain types of employment. If memory serves, Chomsky went to MIT because of anti-Semitism at Harvard.

        “The black-Jewish alliance has been a mariage of convenience….From the beginning, both groups had a deep interest in civil rights legislation. Blacks were denied rights, but so were Jews.” (p316, “Jewish Power,” J.J. Goldberg)

        “The apparent enthusiasm displayed by American rabbis or by the Jewish organizations in the USA during the 1950s and the 1960s in support of the Blacks in the South, was motivated only by consideration of Jewish self-interest….” (p103, Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

        “Individual Jews had been prominent among supporters of black civil rights throughout the century….In retrospect, the romantic image of these idealistic volunteers has obscured the very pragmatic nature of the black-Jewish alliance…..Like everything else in black-Jewish relations, pinpointing the moment when the alliance began to unravel depends on where you stand….’My belief is that it really began with the Bakke case in 1978,’ says former NAACP national chair William Gibson.”

        “The case involved Allan Bakke, a white Christian from Minnesota who was rejected by the medical school at the University of California at Davis in 1974. Bakke sued, charging that the school had admitted less qualified applicants under the university’s minority admissions program….”

        “When the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978, all of the major black civil rights organizations filed amicus briefs supporting the university’s affirmative action program. The Big Three Jewish defense agencies all filed briefs supporting Bakke. It was the first direct, public, head-on confrontation between the black and Jewish communities over a basic civil rights issue. The blacks lost.” (all quotes from JEWISH POWER: INSIDE THE AMERICAN JEWISH ESTABLISHMENT, by J.J. Goldberg)

      • Mooser on December 18, 2014, 10:49 am

        “Listen Jerk, that isn’t what I said and I resent you implying that it was. Perhaps you have more in common with Hophmi than either of you would care to admit.”

        Look Keith, I can’t help my DNA! I was born with it, and so far, although it is possible (or so I have read) to get your foreskin replaced, I’m stuck with the Jewish DNA, not that I mind.

        And if Hophmi was ever short, and needed a DNA transfusion I would volunteer. We don’t agree on stuff, but I won’t see him wither and die for lack of Jewish DNA.

  10. JeffB on December 16, 2014, 3:52 pm


    Young hispanics Democrats are ethnic minorities and Catholic. It is not surprising they dislike Israel. They are way to the right on Israel of where people are mostly in the countries their parents / grandparents / great-grandparents came from.

    The question is not in some abstract sense would they like to see the Zionist entity dissolved. The question is how much do they care? Tthe question as it is likely to be asked in 20+ years when that age group steps into power: “Do you want to pick a fight with Jewish American over Israel that might drive them into the Republican party and will likely cause them to support anti-Hispanic measures in exchange for flipping the Democratic party to a formal anti-Zionist position”. That is going they need to answer meaningfully and their answer will be “hell no”.

    The reason American Jews are liberal is because they are Jewish. Take away Jewish and they are just a predominantly upper middle class group of white voters i.e. Republicans. The Republican party would love a big fight over Israel in the Democratic party. The Hispanic leadership when they are in their 40s and working for broader coalitions on issues like education, housing, income equality… will know that as much as their elders do.

    You have never addressed the basic question in your vision. Jews today are vastly less liberal than they were 50 years ago and those vastly less liberal than those 100 years ago. What percentage of American Jews are today active in communist or anarchists movement, is it greater than 1%? 100 years ago was it lower than 30% anywhere?

    Jews are becoming less liberal more quickly than they are having qualms over Israel. Frankly I don’t see the current qualms as being all that much different than the anti-israeli sentiment as Jews distanced themselves from the massacres in Lebanon 30 years ago, so I don’t think they are functionally less Zionist at all. But even if I’m wrong and they are, that’s happening very slowly much more slowly than they are losing their attachment to the Democratic party. No Jews are alive today who remember the strong Irish / Jewish alliance that brought the Jews into the Democratic party. The last time the Republican party was openly anti-semitic at all was when Jews in their 70s were becoming politically aware.

    How do you keep Jews in a Democratic party that has become anti-Zionist? Why doesn’t the French or British experience of Jews shifting hard to the right in the face of BDS repeat here? Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi (who probably in her heart agrees with you far more than me on Israel) kissing off 10% of her donation base, 20% over any issue much less a foreign policy issue? Can you imagine Harry Reid kissing off 10% of his activists, 20% over any issue much less a foreign policy issue? Why do you think Hispanic party leaders when faced with the real consequences will make a different choice?

    Political parties are coalitions of people with diverse interests. Trample on each other’s interests and they fragment.

    • Mooser on December 19, 2014, 2:34 pm

      Shorter JeffB: ‘Palestinian lives and land is the price for Jewish votes and money in US elections’

      You just keep pushing that line, JeffyB. I don’t see how it can lose.

  11. JLewisDickerson on December 16, 2014, 6:32 pm

    RE: “When asked why they would want the United States to lean toward Israel, 38 percent of evangelicals said they felt it was their ‘religious or ethnic duty to support Israel’, . . .” ~ Weiss


    I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.” ~ Michele Bachman, 5/20/11

    SOURCE –

    • ckg on December 16, 2014, 9:00 pm

      Being a habitual reader of comments on news web sites, I read many during the 2014 slaughter of Gaza that began (paraphrasing), “As a Christian I know I’m supposed to support Israel, but…” It makes me wonder what is being preached by the preachers.

    • ziusudra on December 17, 2014, 4:11 am

      Me hearts bleedsf or the mental breakdown of Michele Bachman, who doesn’t even realize that any name with the EL Suffix is a Canaanite Deity name MichELe in the Lord of Canaan.
      Even IsraEL still sports the name of the Religion that they worshipped from 2750BC to 536BC before they started calling it Judaism!

  12. JLewisDickerson on December 16, 2014, 7:19 pm

    RE: “In general, Hispanic Americans want the United States to remain neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more than the rest of the population. Even more telling: Among Hispanic respondents who want the United States to take a side, the ratio of those who want it to lean toward Israel versus the Palestinians is much closer than among the rest of the population. In fact, among Hispanic Democrats, the ratio is roughly 1:1, with those who want the United States to lean toward either Israel or the Palestinians each making up 13 percent of the Hispanic population.” ~ Telhami & Kishi

    “Univision goes neoconservative”, by Charles Davis, Electronic Intifada, 2/17/12

    [EXCERPTS] Washington, DC – It’s not often that Univision, the leading Spanish-language television network in the United States, releases its content in languages other than Spanish. It is, after all, a Spanish-language television network. But earlier this month the broadcaster did something out of the ordinary, screening an English version of a recent report on Iran that’s received a rapturous reception from neoconservatives in Washington. And it at least appears to have done so at the behest of its hawkish new fan club.
    Why would a network best known for sappy telenovelas shift to producing sloppy war propaganda – and English-language propaganda at that? Perhaps, as is usually the case with the corporate press, Univision’s bias and peculiar programming choices are best explained by simply noting who owns it: Israeli-American businessman Haim Saban, a self-described “one-issue guy” – that issue being Israel – who has been up front about purchasing media outlets to promote his own political views.
    While those views are well-known if you look for them – hint: his public statements on Iran have invoked the Holocaust – they’re also not hard to gather from the right-wing-infused investigative reports Univision has been airing since he took over.
    Originally broadcast in Spanish late last year, the ever-so-subtly titled report that’s driving the neoconservative community wild – “La Amenaza Iraní”, or “The Iranian Threat” – received an unusual February 8 screening, in English, at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank that counts former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, convicted felon Lewis “Scooter” Libby, as one of its top scholars. Focussed on Iran’s relations with Latin America, the hour-long piece regurgitates all the pro-war right’s by now familiar talking points about nefarious Islamists acting in concert with leftist Bolivarians to bring Terror to the US’ doorstep, complete with all the ominous music and images of swarthy foreigners one would expect from a Hollywood movie or a corporate news report.
    “Iran is looking for all the support that it can get to fight back against its fiercest enemies, Israel and the United States,” declares reporter Vytenis Didziulis in the opening minute of the piece. “Latin America, because of its geographical and cultural proximity, may present the most direct way for Iran to challenge – or even attack – the US.”
    What follows is a string of allegations about Iran’s dealings with Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other Latin American countries notable mostly for how little there is to them. A former Ecuadorian intelligence official, for instance, fired by President Rafael Correa for insubordination amid charges that he was a CIA asset, is given time to claim – without so much as an incriminating Word file – that his former boss is “sending intelligence agents to secret Iranian training facilities” in South America. Viewers are also presented with the information that the Venezuelan military, as part of efforts to prepare for a feared US invasion back in 2005, reportedly distributed a manual on asymmetric warfare written based on the tactics employed by the Lebanese group Hezbollah – tactics the US military has itself studied.
    The “exclusive!” meat of the report is video footage from 2007 purporting to show the Iranian ambassador to Mexico at the time, Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, discussing a plot to launch cyber-attacks against the US government with a group of Mexican college students who were posing as hackers. Nowhere in the footage, though, is there any evidence to dispute Ghadiri’s claim he was merely entertaining a group of kids he suspected, not without cause, were actually CIA agents.
    During a panel discussion following the screening, Didziulis – seemingly unconcerned with what an appearance at a far-right think tank would say about the objectivity of his reporting – acknowledged that his network was the only one to run with the story; every other media outlet that received the footage declined to run it. Such are Univision’s standards. . .


    • JLewisDickerson on December 16, 2014, 7:23 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Latino stars explore Israel, stun Dominican fans”, By Leeror Bronis, Times Of Israel, 6/10/13

      [EXCERPT] A group of tourists visiting from the Dominican Republic got the shock of their lives Sunday when they bumped into two of Latin media’s most iconic faces while walking in the Ein Kerem village in Jerusalem. The tourists screamed in disbelief as famed Univision TV hosts, Don Francisco and Raul De Molina, posed for pictures with them. [Univision
      “Just imagine all these people posting pictures to Facebook saying they met these guys in Israel,” said Irwin Katsof, director of America’s Voices in Israel, the organization responsible for bringing the stars here. “That’s why this is so important.”
      AVI, a division of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is dedicated to bringing stars to visit Israel in an effort to help boost tourism. Previous participants included cast members from “Scandal,” “Once Upon A Time,” “House,” “Twilight,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
      This time, the sponsors, who are primarily AVI board members, paid an estimated $40,000 each to send five major names in Latin media to Israel. Among them was Don Francisco, the Chilean host of Univision’s “Sábado Gigante,” the longest-running entertainment program in history. Other members included famous TV host Raul “El Gordo” De Molina; Daniel Coronell, senior vice president of Univision; Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; and Ramón J. Pineda, the general manager of Univision. . .
      . . . In Israel until Thursday, the TV stars and executives will visit all the major tourist spots in Israel while paying special attention to the Christian sites that are significant to Hispanic culture. They will also have briefings with several governmental figures in order to gain a fuller understanding of Israel from a political and diplomatic perspective.
      Katsof said he hopes De Molina will spread the word about his travels to his nearly 950,000 followers on Twitter, most of whom are Hispanic.
      “That’s an audience that would be very difficult to reach through traditional media,” he said. “Their ability to impact tens of thousands of people is just so incremental that it’s a tremendous use for us.” . . .


  13. ckg on December 16, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Elizabeth Warren battles the fat cats on Wall Street who buy homes in the Hamptons. But she never says anything about the fat cats, Adelson and Saban, who buy the presidency and congress. She champions the consumer rights of America’s economically downtrodden. But she says nothing about the human rights of the world’s downtrodden. She knows Dodd-Frank defends America’s stability. But somehow she thinks pulverizing Gaza defends Israel’s stability.

    • seafoid on December 17, 2014, 9:25 am

      She’s afraid. Anyone who defies them is destroyed.

      She needs to look her fear in the eye and let it go while singing “the bots never bothered me anyway”

  14. Keith on December 16, 2014, 8:45 pm

    MEMO TO PHIL WEISS- You are a die hard Democrat and will likely never change no matter how bad they have become, or how much worse they are sure to be. So, how did Warren vote on that war mongering, anti-Russia resolution?

  15. radkelt on December 16, 2014, 9:19 pm

    I have been wildly enthusiastic about Alan Grayson, Russell
    Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Elizibeth Warren, who all (to my
    knowledge) have failed to condem Israel for its horrendus
    violations of international law and (an affront to Judiasim as
    I understand it) basic human rights. The most inspiring exception to the above is Green Party candidate, Dr.Jill Stein. I’m told that voting for her is throwing your vote away, I see it as throwing flowers at an enduring vision of what we might become.

  16. radii on December 16, 2014, 9:56 pm

    the israeli lobby got her some time ago … it must be good because she tows the line rigidly

    only she knows what would let her wriggle free from their control

  17. radkelt on December 16, 2014, 10:45 pm

    I have been wildly enthusiastic about Alan Grayson, Russell
    Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Elizibeth Warren, who all (to my
    knowledge) have failed to condem Israel for its horrendus
    violations of international law and (an affront to Judiasim as
    I understand it) basic human rights. The most inspiring exception to the above is Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. I’m told that voting for her is throwing your vote away, I see it as throwing flowers at an enduring vision of what we might become.

  18. mcohen. on December 17, 2014, 6:02 am

    oh man my imagination really ran riot today…i was sitting on a bench in this park,shirt off,sun shining…..and my mind started to wander and i began thinking about this eagle that i called,and then i started to dance with it in a circle …sort of flapped it wings and took off the ground like a hop and moved sideways and on and on it went till i fell into a rhythm with the eagle ….round and round……then i imagined i went to a village and the same thing happened again except more people joined in a circle……anyway i got up and started walking back to my car….the park is big and natural bushland.when the words …”choose life and peace ” came to me someone had spoken the words to my mind

    i got home and decided to check out the words eagle dance and came across this on wikipedia

    pretty weird stuff if you ask me……..

    • annie on December 17, 2014, 10:22 am

      ;) enjoy!

      • just on December 17, 2014, 11:08 am


        Thank you Annie.

      • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 1:02 pm

        Rare film of moose-mating ritual.

    • oldgeezer on December 17, 2014, 1:14 pm

      If dancing was the key to my mating then the mating would be rare indeed.

    • RoHa on December 17, 2014, 5:47 pm

      Please, Mooser!.

      This is a family website.

      • annie on December 17, 2014, 5:59 pm

        i can’t stop laughing!

      • just on December 17, 2014, 9:22 pm


        Thanks to all.

      • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 9:59 pm

        A guy’s gotta do something to get out of the same old rut.

  19. mariapalestina on December 17, 2014, 2:32 pm

    The worst president money can buy.

    • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 10:04 pm

      “They are selling drugs we did alcohol, prostitution and gambling.”

      And anybody, of course, can see which of those are glat and which , trefe.

      Yeah, yeah, JeffyB you got a Negro problem. You and Jeff Podhertz.

      • Mooser on December 17, 2014, 10:06 pm

        “Normally I don’t respond to you because I don’t like obnoxious.”

        Good, keep it that way. I have no desire to “dialog” with a self-caricature, and an extremely embarrassing one.

      • Mooser on December 18, 2014, 10:34 am

        Gee, the comment I was responding too is gone! I look pretty stupid, don’t I?

        Don’t worry, JeffB, I made several copies and backed them up.
        As a testimony to Jewish suffering at the hands of minorities in America, it stands alone.
        Well, almost alone, you can still find Podhoretz’z “My Negro Problem- And Yours” on the web.

        Gosh what a classic JeffB’s comment was!
        Edit: I apologize, I keep on referring to “Norman Podhoretz” as “Jeff Podhoretz” my mistake. “Norman” is his first name

  20. mcohen. on December 18, 2014, 6:08 am

    thank you …great video of those eagles ….like the way they hook up…the intent

  21. ldq1997 on December 18, 2014, 7:44 pm

    With respect to the complaints about interference from pop-ups, assuming they are ads, there is free software called ad-block plus which does a wonderful job in eliminating them. You cn find ad-block plus by Googling it to get to the screeb where you can order it.

  22. Ismail on December 20, 2014, 9:41 am

    I have to agree with those who’ve pointed out that the sympathy for Palestinians evinced by a majority of young Democrats will not mean a pinch of shit to Warren since those young Dems don’t have the bucks. They will vote for her anyway, since a majority of Dems, young or old, believe that showing some spine and voting for a true progressive is “throwing away your vote”. And the money will flow to her, too, b/c she shuts her mouth re Palestine.

    The Dems have moved steadily to the right over the years – I’m talking to you, Barack – b/c the left will not penalize them for their perfidy to progressive principles.

    There is one issue in US politics now. One. Not health care, not Palestine/Israel….campaign finance. That’s it. Nearly every outrageous turn in our political life may be placed at its door.

    Progressive, educated types idealize the notion of nuance – “well, it’s not so simple, you’ve got to look at the other side…” etc etc. This is helpful on a case by case basis, but not as a universal prescription.

    In this case, it is simple. People who pay the provider typically get what they pay for.

    As I say, one issue….

    • annie on December 20, 2014, 4:05 pm

      majority of young Democrats will not mean a pinch of shit to Warren since those young Dems don’t have the bucks. They will vote for her anyway

      couple things about this logic. one is that you’re dismissing the central importances of the grassroots (imho), it is not in how much money they raise, it is the mobilization of boots on the ground. it’s often the grassroots out there pounding the pavement. granted they do give money (and we saw that with both howard dean and obama, big online campaigns that raised funds) but it pales in comparison to the big funders.

      the other thing is i think you are wrong to assume “They will vote for her anyway”. some perhaps, but definitely not all. and i say that primarily because i know i won’t and i am not an unusual voter. i am one of the people that flew across the country to get out the vote in the inner city of a swing state and also flew to the iowa caucus to do the same think in an earlier election. even tho i considered my self more progressive than either of those candidates at the time i still was part of an army of progressives doing the legwork.

      i do not believe warren is going to be able to mobilize that kind of grassroots support.

      In this case, it is simple. People who pay the provider typically get what they pay for.

      but can she get out the vote? i predict many progressives will abandon the dems if they do not distance themselves from israel. i’m not giving them any money or any support anymore til they kick the habit.

  23. Ismail on December 20, 2014, 11:37 pm

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Annie. But here’s why I’m not convinced:

    1. I agree that grassroots mobilization is important, but I also believe what has become a steady drumbeat of a meme here at Mondoweiss, one which I imagine you endorse, namely, that our politics is corrupted by the influence of money. From the national level to the municipal, from college campuses to cultural institutions. I dream of the moment that the political will of progressives may counterbalance this, but I’m not holding my breath.

    2. “Progressive” covers a wide spectrum. I’ll bet that virtually everyone who voted for Fauxbama described him or herself as a progressive, this despite his voting for funding the war, being in the pocket of the finance (particularly credit card) industry, pushing nuclear power, etc etc. His lack of progressive bona fides was far outweighed by the elation most of us felt at the cultural touchstones he represented. Which is to say, smart progressives are no less influenced by image than dumb old conservatives; we just go for the “cool urban basketball guy” more than the “porkrind-eatin’ brush clearing cowboy” one.

    3. I’m not sure why you believe that the progressive community will abandon Warren if she falls short on the mideast (who am I kidding? If? She’s already done so). I haven’t seen a coordinated message to Dem candidates that “THIS is where we draw the line” from liberals on virtually any issue. Fer chrissake, Clinton threw women off welfare and bombed the shit out of country after country and his picture’s hanging in the living rooms of liberals alongside the pix of JFK and MLK. Obama’s rendered more people, committed more drone murders than Bush, and liberals are “disappointed”.

    The best trick Dems have up their sleeves is “if you don’t vote for us, they’re gonna be hanging gynecologists and branding our kids with crucifixes by next Thursday”. So, the Dems feel no pressure to move leftwards and, ineluctably, the conversation moves rightward, so center-right neoliberal interventionists like Clinton and Obama now count as leftists.

    4. You do yourself a disservice by saying you’re not an unusual voter. Flying across the country, going to Iowa….you’re freaking spectacular. Ordinary? Puhleeeze.
    You may be right about Warren not being able to mobilize the troops. I fear her role will be to fire up the leftish wing of the party, then close ranks and urge her supporters to get behind the Mediocrity of the Moment. Sorta like Kucinich did with Edwards and Obama.

    5. I am with you re withholding support from the Dems if there isn’t a robust swing away from the mideast status quo, but I promise you there won’t be, not from the Dems. And I think you’re just as non-ordinary re this as you are re your commitment to travelling in the service of mobilizing folks. That is, I don’t think Israel/Palestine will figure highly enough in most liberal Americans’ electoral calculus to swing them away from whatever bum the Dems throw at them. Would that it were so.

    This is why I feel that election reform, proportional voting and multiple parties must precede any meaningful change in substantive issues. I know, I said there’s only one issue -finance reform. Sue me (it’s still the most important one, though).

    • annie on December 21, 2014, 12:05 am

      i agree w/you finance reform is huge, but…i don’t believe she can do much about that anytime soon.

      I don’t think Israel/Palestine will figure highly enough in most liberal Americans’ electoral calculus to swing them away

      yep. that’s what they’ve been banking on for years now. and both parties toe the line. but i don’t believe that can go on forever, at all. will it be this election? i don’t know. but it’s often a tight race in this country between gop and dems. i think the dems need the grassroots, not another lobby pushover and warren is doing nothing to relieve this impression.

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