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What if Bernie Sanders had delivered his speech at AIPAC!?

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What if Bernie Sanders had actually spoken at AIPAC, by Katie Miranda

What if Bernie Sanders had actually spoken at AIPAC, by Katie Miranda

Unlike the other four presidential candidates, Democrat Bernie Sanders declined the invitation to speak at the AIPAC– American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference– in Washington on Monday, and instead delivered a foreign policy address in Utah. The speech has gotten wide circulation because of its affirmations of Palestinian human rights.


Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda is an illustrator, jewelry designer, calligrapher, and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. Her Arabic calligraphy jewelry and apparel are favorites of people in the Palestine solidarity community. Katie runs Palbox: a quarterly subscription box containing Palestinian goods benefiting the Northern California branch of the International Solidarity Movement. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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27 Responses

  1. pabelmont on March 23, 2016, 10:26 am

    A pity that this speech was so larded with AIPAC talking points. still, refreshing to hear a USA politician speak kindly of Palestinians and their need for security, etc.

    • Landie_C on March 23, 2016, 2:54 pm

      Bernie doesn’t have to go so far as to sabotage his own campaign, which is a political movement aimed at putting an end to a rigged political system and rigged economy.

      With so much at stake, I think he got it just right. He didn’t compromise his integrity while getting the point across — no mean feat for ANY pol speaking before AIPAC.

      But the biggest news for me is this shocking line from one of Hillary’s leaked emails:

      The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.

      Classic neocon. She’s not even a neoliberal like her husband Bill. If she’s nominated (God forbid) and subsequently elected, she’ll go “Full Neocon.”

      Bernie or Bust.

  2. hophmi on March 23, 2016, 10:26 am

    Because you think everyone at AIPAC is a right-winger, and that nobody has ever talked about ending the occupation at AIPAC before. You’re incorrect and not well informed.

    • amigo on March 23, 2016, 11:33 am

      “Because you think everyone at AIPAC is a right-winger, and that nobody has ever talked about ending the occupation at AIPAC before” hopknee

      Ok , fess up , who was , He/She and how many words after “Palestinian” did He/She get to speak before being ejected from that illustrious gathering of concerned humanitarians.

      Btw , why was his speech rejected and not read out —eh hopknee.

      Note to Kate , thanks for this .I will spread it around.

    • Marnie on March 23, 2016, 11:34 am

      Instead of the insults, provide the proof to back up your claim. Otherwise you just sound like a jerk. Works for me.

    • Emory Riddle on March 23, 2016, 11:34 am

      Can we see some of those AIPAC proposals for ending the occupation? Surely you can cite some of them? I mean, you wouldn’t just make something up whole cloth to support your worldview?

      • Keith on March 23, 2016, 5:22 pm

        EMORY RIDDLE- “Can we see some of those AIPAC proposals for ending the occupation?”

        They probably were pleas for the Arabs to end their occupation of parts of Eretz Ysrael so that the peace loving Jews could make the desert bloom.

    • Fritz on March 23, 2016, 2:16 pm

      Thanks for using the term “occupation”, alone this word would disqualify You and much more Mr. Sanders from speaking to AIPAC. You know very well that You should say “Israeli entities or territory controlled by Israel” (United States-Israel trade and commercial enhancement sec.909. b 7).

  3. echinococcus on March 23, 2016, 11:26 am

    I don’t think there would have been these facial expressions. They knew they would have to expect a J-Street speech at an AIPAC venue. Not such a horrible big deal.

  4. CigarGod on March 23, 2016, 11:37 am

    Don’t know why it never happened before, but I’ve definitely got a crush on Katie now.

  5. Marnie on March 23, 2016, 11:37 am

    Katie Miranda –

  6. Citizen on March 23, 2016, 12:28 pm

    Go Katie!

  7. Henry Norr on March 23, 2016, 5:24 pm

    Don’t miss Rania Khalek’s “Video: AIPAC attendees slam Netanyahu’s racism when they think it’s Trump’s”

    from Corey Robin on Facebook:

    Rania Khalek talks to people at AIPAC: ‘Most people I spoke with energetically condemned racist statements attributed to Trump. However, when I revealed the statements had actually been made by Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, respondents immediately excused, justified or supported the rhetoric they had just condemned. One young woman said of Trump, “He’s terrible. He incites racist attitudes.” When asked, “What do you think about Trump’s comments comparing migrants to cancer?” she responded with disgust, “He’s awful. I hate Trump.” But it was Israeli culture minister Miri Regev, not Trump, who compared African refugees to “a cancer,” a statement that 52 percent of Israeli Jews agreed with in one survey. Regev later apologized, not to Africans but to cancer survivors for likening them to Black people.’

  8. Keith on March 23, 2016, 5:32 pm

    I suspect that Sanders didn’t attend the AIPAC convention because he didn’t want to be part of the ritual Goyim humiliation ritual. This year the level of debasement was so extreme that even the donkey was embarrassed.

  9. Rusty Pipes on March 23, 2016, 5:50 pm

    I’d be interested to see how his speech would go over at JStreet. Actually, it’s a little to the left of JStreet because it has some backbone. Maybe JStreet U would love it.

    • echinococcus on March 23, 2016, 6:24 pm

      I’ve already seen JStreet material with a little stiffer backbone.

    • Rusty Pipes on March 24, 2016, 9:48 pm

      From a JStreet missive, Bernie’s speech appears to have gone over well, especially hitting their crucial points:

      Monday was a big day for discussion of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as every one of the presidential candidates from the two major parties made speeches totally devoted to the issue, four of them at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. We heard a lot of hawkish platitudes and Obama-bashing — but also some support for the two-state solution and the importance of diplomacy.

      The one candidate who chose not to attend AIPAC, Senator Bernie Sanders, gave his own foreign policy speech on the campaign trail.

      In his most extensive discussion of the Middle East in the campaign to date, Sanders’ bottom line was clear: To be a true friend to Israel, the US needs to help lead the way to a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and needs to be a friend to the Palestinian people as well.

      He affirmed that peace will only come with major compromises from both sides. Palestinians must unconditionally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and refuse to countenance violence against Israelis. Israelis must agree to end the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza — and recognize Palestinians’ right to self-determination and independence in a state of their own.

      The Senator showed that he has little patience for settlement expansion and little sympathy for the arguments of the Netanyahu government:

      “I join much of the international community, including the US State Department and European Union, in voicing my concern that Israel’s recent expropriation of an additional 579 acres of land in the West Bank undermines the peace process and, ultimately, Israeli security as well. It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf.”

      In strongly defending the Iran deal, Sanders did not hesitate to stand up for the effectiveness diplomacy, and to claim his support for diplomacy as the truly pro-Israel position — citing dozens of Israeli military and security experts who supported the agreement.

      • echinococcus on March 25, 2016, 12:44 am

        Well, it’s in fact a speech that sounds as if it were written by the “Labor”-Zionist faction/JStreet (which I believe it is.) What’s not to like? You go back to total freeze, make a show of “compassion”, come down even more harshly on non-recognition and any kind of resistance. We can now mow down Palestinians with a good conscience because they failed to “recognize” us and they threw stones, instead of just because we want their land. Restart the “process” of discussing about negotiating about some negotiations on how to negotiate with your own appointed puppets, and get all of US and western opinion to be clapping because you continue the oppression without the Dracula face, no longer EU sanctions, no longer boycott of “Zionism with a Human Face”. Don’t we all love it?

  10. jd65 on March 23, 2016, 6:17 pm

    I dunno. The 2nd and 3rd quote Miranda uses in her piece above, while somewhat laudable on their face, don’t seem any different from the lip service we’ve heard from every U.S. administration for the last few decades. I can’t imagine it’d take more than 10 minutes to google similar quotes from Obama, Bush I & II, Bill Clinton, Hillary, etc… Particularly the 3rd quote, which is supposed to be the one that blows the AIPAC minds: “Pulling back settlements,” “Amounts to the occupation of…” He can’t even straight up just say it’s occupied. He has to qualify it as “amounting to” occupation. What does that even mean?“Hey honey. I need to talk w/ you for a minute. I had a doctor’s appointment today and the doctor told me my tests amounted to me being pregnant.”

    I’m somewhat of a Bernie supporter, but you can mark me down as semi-unimpressed w/ this speech if these quotes are the ones that are representative of his “challenging the status-quo”…

    • jd65 on March 24, 2016, 2:28 am

      Just read Bernie’s speech. With respect to Katie Miranda, and I do have a lot of respect for her and very much like most of her work, I think the three pull quotes below would’ve been more effective, and appropriate, in her above piece:

      Israel controls 80 percent of the water reserves in the West Bank. Inadequate water supply has contributed to the degradation and desertification of Palestinian land. A lasting peace will have to recognize Palestinians are entitled to control their own lives…

      Peace will require strict adherence by both sides to the tenets of international humanitarian law. This includes Israeli ending disproportionate responses to being attacked…

      Peace will mean ending what amounts to occupation of Palestinian Territory… and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza…

      These quotes have a bit more teeth than what most American politicians/presidents regurgitate. Miranda’s leaving out the “just as Israel did in Gaza” portion of the quote she did use seems particularly odd since it’s the only part of the quote that departs from usual rhetoric. And if you take it to mean what it reads/seems to mean, it’s actually quite a statement for an American politician, let alone a presidential hopeful, to make.

      The quotes used in her actual piece above are too similar to talking points we hear daily from “liberals” who say they’re tough on Israel but never back up their words w/ action. My two cents…

    • xanadou on March 24, 2016, 12:52 pm

      “lip service we’ve heard from every U.S. administration for the last few decades”

      The lip service is for the benefit of the American and global public who, if the charade were not kept up, would very likely have protested more vigorously the infinitely more important goal, i.e., establishing a military presence in, and control of the ME by the US and its NATO allies, that has devolved into a catastrophe of monumental proportions.

      The oft performed circus by the US and Israeli pols pretends to show such devoted friends to the tune of the endless, deafening standing ovations by the US senatorial and rep psychophants (sic).

      And then there is the US politics exercised away from prying eyes that reveals a very different reality pursuant to the recently revealed information published by The Intercept obtained from Wikileaks:

      As a US senator, Sanders may very well have known about this. The question remains: if elected, will he choose to continue the de facto duplicity of previous POTUSes, considering what he and Mrs. Clinton know, or can he be trusted to be an honest broker? Is the criticism expressed in his AIPAC speech genuine or an act? Was the peculiar stunt by AIPAC that barred Sanders from appearing in any form a clever ploy intended to create an illusion of a rift in the pro-Israeli camp, or the real thing? Will anyone dare ask the senator what and HOW he will deal with this dangerous quagmire? Would PW care to join Glenn Grunwald and invite the senator to an interview and ask the what and how questions before we are saddled with another prevaricating hypocrite of Obama proportions?

      The Israeli 1967 attack on the US spy-ship Liberty suggests that Israel has known about the distrust for tediously long decades but has elected to play along with its own duplicitous games. The price for Israel’s silence? The extra generous annual bribe known to the US taxpayer as US military aid to Israel.

      • jd65 on March 24, 2016, 4:48 pm

        @ xanadou: Nice post. This in particular is interesting to me, and is something I’ve noticed and thought about for years: Is the criticism expressed in his AIPAC speech genuine or an act? Was the peculiar stunt by AIPAC that barred Sanders from appearing in any form a clever ploy intended to create an illusion of a rift in the pro-Israeli camp, or the real thing? “Intended to create an illusion of a rift in the pro-Israel camp…” I agree w/ what you seem to be asserting. As conspiratorial, or paranoid, as it may seem, I believe this type of rift is regularly conjured in the media but is not nearly as real as how it is manufactured to look. It gives Israel and it’s staunch supporters a type of “plausible deniability,” if you will. And whether Bernie has more chutzpah than his predecessors on this issue of course remains to be seen. His rhetoric has surpassed them by a bit in this speech. But as you write, if, or HOW, he will act on this rhetoric is an open question.

        As to your suggesting of the manufactured “rift,” look at these quotes by/about Obama just after his initial inauguration:

        “[Israel] is a stalwart ally of the United States… As the only true democracy of the Middle East it is a source of admiration and inspiration for the American people… [W]hen it comes to my policies towards Israel and the Middle East, [Israel’s] security is paramount… It is in U.S. national security interests to assure that Israel’s security as an independent Jewish state is maintained.” – President Obama’s press release remarks from the Oval Office, May 18th, 2009.

        “President Obama, thank you. Thank you for your friendship to Israel and your friendship to me. [You’re] a great friend of Israel, and someone who is acutely cognizant of our security concerns. And the entire people of Israel appreciate it, and I speak on their behalf.” – Prime Minister Netanyahu’s press release remarks from the Oval Office, May 18th, 2009.

        “Obama is the most hostile sitting American president in the history of the state of Israel.” – Anne Bayefsky, advisory board member of JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Jerusalem Post), 7/19/2009

        Bayefsky’s “most hostile” talking point was repeated throughout the media echo chamber regarding Obama. And there’s the “rift”: Netanyahu and Obama talking points stating one thing, and Bayefsky and many others stating essentially the opposite. I personally don’t believe that the folks repeating/spreading the “most hostile” talking point believed it was genuine. They state it to create the illusion of danger, all the while really knowing that Obama will continue the money/arms/diplomatic support stream. So there you have it: both sides of the coin played. Kind of like the U.S. fueling both sides in many wars. Everything is covered. Or, call me crazy. They’ve got their cake and they’re eating it…

  11. Bandolero on March 23, 2016, 7:15 pm

    The only major problem I see with Bernie is that he is 300+ delegates behind.

    I’ld love to see him taking the presidency, but will he reach it given the toxic US people who love loudmouths pandering to the same groups of influential people they deeply despise?

  12. xanadou on March 23, 2016, 9:57 pm

    Reposted to my blog with the comment:

    Sen. Sanders is the only candidate who understands that the world needs asap a sensible and powerful figure, such as a POTUS, to finally shine the light on the atrocities committed in the ME by all the parties to the slaughter directed at children, women and men, and put an end to the metastatizing terror and massive exodus of people fleeing the decades old, post WW2, modern day Holocaust.

  13. genesto on March 24, 2016, 11:49 am

    Let’s not forget that Bernie is liberal Zionist, as evidenced by his call for a two-state solution and his insistence on recognizing Israel’s ‘right to exist’ – whatever the hell that REALLY means. And many of us believe that liberal Zionists, in the long run, may be worse than the hard right ideologues that control organizations like AIPAC, as well as the rest of the Presidential candidate pool.

    The best that we can hope for from a Bernie Presidency is support for a ‘kinder, gentler’ Occupation. I leave it up to the reader as to whether that, indeed, advances the cause or, like the insidious ‘peace process’, actually delays the realization of true peace and justice for the Palestinians.

    • jd65 on March 24, 2016, 6:04 pm

      Good post, genesto. Agreed on all points. This particularly: “…his insistence on recognizing Israel’s ‘right to exist’ – whatever the hell that REALLY means.” It, of course, basically means nothing. It’s purposeful gobbledygook. One of many creative, and carefully crafted phrases from Israel’s Lexicon of Intentionally Obfuscatory Language. The intention of which is a state of permanent confusion: State of Emergency, State of Denial, State of Confusion – Israel As The Jewish State.*

      *Copyright notice – this is intended as the title of my book on Israel/Palestine, if it’s ever finished. Please don’t steal it. Honor System is in effect…

  14. Citizen on March 24, 2016, 1:20 pm

    US Jewish ex-pats in Israel mostly voted for Bernie

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