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Clinton campaign is ‘nervous’ Sanders will push ‘divisive’ battle over Democratic platform on Israel

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In the Washington Post, Abby Phillip and Anne Gearan report on the concessions that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is willing to make to Bernie Sanders to try and placate his hordes at the convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. DWS wants to give Sanders “seats on a key convention platform committee,” but that might not stop Sanders from picking a fight over the party’s policy positions, including our focus:

Even with the committee assignments, Sanders plans an aggressive effort to extract platform concessions on key policies that could prompt divisive battles at a moment when front-runner Hillary Clinton will be trying to unify the party. Among other issues, he plans to push for a $15 national minimum wage and argue that the party needs a more balanced position regarding Israel and Palestinians, according to a Sanders campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

Go to the bottom of the story and you get the Israel Palestine news.

Clinton aides have said that on a slew of issues, Sanders is not far from the party. But the issue of U.S. policy toward Israel — which a Sanders adviser said “absolutely, legitimately will be a point of conversation” — has made some of Clinton’s backers nervous.

Sanders is seeking a more “even-handed” U.S. approach to Israeli occupation of land Palestinians claim for a future state. The current platform does not address the nearly five-decade occupation directly, but it endorses “a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples.”

Speaking last month during a contentious debate with Clinton, Sanders — who declared himself “100 percent pro-Israel” — said that Israel’s 2014 military assault on the Gaza Strip was “disproportionate” to the threat posed by Hamas rockets launched from the Palestinian territory into Israel.

Behind his words is a long debate among U.S. and international policymakers — one that divides the Democratic base and could pose a challenge for Clinton when she must bring her party together: how to weigh Palestinian interests when dealing with Israel, and whether resolute U.S. backing for Israel diminishes leverage to promote peace and fair treatment of Palestinians.

“On one hand there is not an enormous amount of difference between them. They are both pro-Israel, they are both pro-peace,” said one longtime Clinton supporter. “But in the context of the campaign terms like ‘even-handed’ can come to mean that the United States is signaling a shift” — and Clinton would oppose that.

Remember Hillary Clinton’s hard-right Israel positions stated again and again, including at AIPAC in March: She will invite Netanyahu to the White House in the first month; she will take Israel relationship to “the next level,” whatever that is; she will fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement hammer and tongs and working with Republicans to do so; and she said that Donald Trump has “no business being president,” because he has pledged neutrality on the Israel Palestine question, and an American president must never be neutral on Israel.

Then Bernie Sanders pulled the rug out from under her in that “contentious” April 14 debate in NY, saying that Netanyahu is not always right and that Israel used disproportionate force against Gaza in 2014, when it killed 500 children, and the audience cheered. They cheered because this is the Democratic base’s position, fairness toward Palestinians.

We’ve said again and again here that Israel can divide the Democrats, grassroots versus establishment, and it should divide the Democrats, it’s that important an issue. And the media will break up over this issue, as they should; and Dana Milbank and Jonathan Chait and Jodi Rudoren will go right with Jeffrey Goldberg and the Atlantic and New York Magazine, and Jake Tapper and David Corn will go left and bring scores with them. Looks like we’re going to meet our rendezvous with destiny before long.

Why is Clinton worried about divisive? Because of fundraising. Remember that when President Obama pushed through a platform position at the Democratic convention in 2012 saying Jerusalem was the forever capital of Israel, there was a floor demonstration by the grass roots (and this was before the 2014 Gaza slaughter) to try and defeat the plank, and the chair of the convention said that Obama was “absolutely livid” that the platform hadn’t included the language originally. Maintaining a rigid pro-Israel stance is essential to fundraising. And Clinton’s position is surely based on what Haim Saban, her megadonor, wants.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch.

Philip Weiss

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

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52 Responses

  1. pabelmont on May 20, 2016, 1:52 pm

    Quotes from the new Israeli government should provide Sanders with a lot of ammunition (and pin Clinton’s ears back) except, of course, among hard-right Zios.

  2. inbound39 on May 20, 2016, 2:31 pm

    Clinton cannot be allowed to become President. It will destroy Americas reputation globally and it will sully America’s history. The regime and actions Clinton is supporting in Israel shows us that had she been around in 1939 it is a reasonable guess she would have supported the National Socialist Party in Germany. What Netanyahu has in common with WW2 Germany is a supremacist doctrine and racist incitement coupled with ethnic cleansing and a divine right for impunity for every disgusting action he and his regime make.if this is what Clinton supports and wants to continue support for then it is goodbye America.

    • Another Dave on May 20, 2016, 5:17 pm

      At this point, the alternative to Clinton is Trump.

      If you think she’s bad, the rest of the world has already expressed our horror that Trump would get as close to the Oval Office as he has.

      I’m sorry, but if you’re a yank, hold your nose and vote for her.

      • gamal on May 20, 2016, 5:23 pm

        “the alternative to Clinton is Trump”

        you need to be flying the ensign upside down, and may God have mercy on your souls.

      • Sibiriak on May 20, 2016, 7:55 pm

        The War Machine, of course, loves Clinton, and—

        Quelle Surprise! US Big Business Prefers Clinton to Trump by 2:1 Margin

      • lysias on May 21, 2016, 11:07 am

        To vote for warmonger Hillary would be clearly immoral. To vote for potential dictator Trump only might be.

        I intend to vote for Jill Stein.

      • Citizen on May 21, 2016, 12:38 pm

        Maybe Jill Stein, although that’s a protest vote with no legs. Or Trump–Jim Webb endorsed him and Webb carries a lot to admire IMO.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on May 21, 2016, 10:10 am

      I think once Trump wins, the anti war Left might actually start to care again about this issue.

  3. hophmi on May 20, 2016, 6:06 pm

    I see that we’re still playing the disingenuous game of labeling all positions we don’t agree with as hard right. It is not hard right to support a two state solution or to hold the position that public criticism of Israel is counterproductive.

    • Donald on May 20, 2016, 10:27 pm

      It’s moronic to hold the position that public criticism of Israel is counterproductive. Unless the Israelis are such pathetic narcissists one shouldn’t say one word in public that might upset them, a rule we do not follow for other countries. And anyone who is serious about a 2ss should have been criticizing the Israelis for decades now. If, of course, someone only pretends to support a2ss as a kind of fig leaf than that’s different. You say you support it, give Israel everything it wants, and settlements continue to grow. it’s worked so far.

      • Don on May 22, 2016, 8:44 pm

        Donald, when it comes to public criticism of Israel, Hophmi is just too sensitive…

    • Doubtom on May 21, 2016, 3:19 pm

      Of what use is ‘private criticism’ of Israel or of anything for that matter? How did Israel reach this lofty position of being above criticism, a status not conferred on any other nation in the world?

    • K Renner on May 24, 2016, 10:50 am


      Yawn. You’re still playing the disingenuous and pathetic game of labelling anyone who isn’t Palestinian-hating and pro-Israel of being a “Jew-hater”.

      Public criticism of Israel is right and proper and necessary, in the context of Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon.

      Israel was, is, will be the most morally bankrupt party in those conflicts. Israel is not a strategic ally– it’s a money-sapping liability that contributes considerably to the attempts by some to demonize and dehumanize all Arabs and Muslims. It lies about the enemies it made for itself and tries to get other people to go to war for it in that regard.

      Public criticism of Israel, and the racist, religiously bigoted ideology that is Zionism is paramount when it comes to actual discourse and debate and the true meaning of “freedom of speech”.

  4. Les on May 20, 2016, 7:27 pm

    Clinton considers discussion to be just as divisive as democracy.

  5. Kay24 on May 20, 2016, 10:14 pm

    If Sanders sticks to his guns, and makes the I/P issue one of his top priorities, he can negotiate the issue with Clinton when the time comes to “unite the party”. The problem for Clinton will be trying to cooperate with Sanders means she will have to throw her favorite nation under the bus.
    So far we have seen nothing but unwavering love and devotion for Netanyahu and Israel, and it will be hard for her to cut that off to please Sanders and the party. This is going to be interesting.

    • Marnie on May 21, 2016, 4:18 am

      “The problem for Clinton will be trying to cooperate with Sanders means she will have to throw her favorite nation under the bus.” That’s the truth Kay24! I only hope that americans will see that clinton will very quickly throw her constituents and democratic values under the bus for a foreign government and will gladly grind every american man, woman and child to mortar for more illegal settlements and anything else the zionist state demands. It’s going to be very interesting indeed.

    • Doubtom on May 21, 2016, 3:32 pm

      Or alternatively, Clinton will simply lie to Sanders, as most ambitious politicians routinely do, about the I/P issue, in order to achieve her main goal and birthright, the presidency,

      Strange that we never hear much about the role of dynasties in this free country. Wonder why that is? Hmmmm…couldn’t be the work of the powers behind the scenes could it? Playing with the public’s need for ‘name recognition’ to compensate for their ignorance. Give them someone with some familiarity and the outcome is predictable. How else to explain, that in a nation of over 300 million people, we continue to bounce from the IdiotBush dynasty to that of the Clinton’s?

  6. on May 21, 2016, 9:31 am

    Finally the hint of a fundamental truth about how to negotiate and have an impact on the policies of foreign governments, like Israel, even if it isn’t realistic to think it will be employed any time soon by the U.S.

    A negotiator or policy advocate, say the U.S., has to bring leverage to the table, the stick as well as the carrot. Israel is feasting on carrots from the U.S. to the tune of billions and almost
    unlimited affirmation and media support. They have no incentive to negotiate or work out a framework for resolution of the conflict, even one which will benefit them in the long run, and
    never will, unless we threaten (and I don’t mean bluff) to cut off most monetary aid, weapons sales, trade and other things until they give the Palestinians their rightful land, including pulling back the settlements. If we could accomplish anything close to that, the Palestinians (at least the people, but maybe not Palestinian “leaders” who likely have been bought off) wouldn’t be a problem and we could guarantee both sides reasonable security. I say reasonable because we can’t promise anyone, including our own citizens, total safety.

    Maybe it wouldn’t work because Israel would make the choice to go it alone. But cutting off all or most of our aid after that choice would be better for the U.S. than the hopeless situation we have now, including the waste of our tax dollars which just prop up Israel (and other corrupt Middle East governments). and makes it less likely they will act reasonably. We would at least have more resources to deal with the many problems of all Americans right here in the good old USA, including “restoring effectiveness to self-government, providing for sustainable and equitable prosperity, and extracting from a vastly diverse culture something [worthwhile] to hold in common’, to quote Andrew Bacevich, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East”, p. 370 (2016). We’ve forgotten that charity begins at home.

  7. Atlantaiconoclast on May 21, 2016, 10:17 am

    As a huge Ron Paul supporter, I have been very disappointed with Rand Paul’s exclusion of Israel from the list of nations he wants to cut off from foreign aid. According to Rand, we need to start the cut off with nations that “hate us” and “burn our flag.” But for some reason, he doesn’t think Israel’s spying, false flag attacks and lobbying us to fight its wars is so bad. It is one of the main reasons he was rejected by his father’s followers. And I see that he introduced a bill on foreign aid in the Senate the other day, but it doesn’t look like he has learned his lesson.

    • Citizen on May 21, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Rand Paul originally favored big cuts in all foreign aid. He changed his tune as quickly as Obama threw his Cairo speech in the dumpster. It’s a pattern, as regulars here all know. FYI, when Israel came to Camp David it was the only one of the three negotiators that came with no proposal. I wonder if that delicious fact is in the play called Camp David….

    • Mooser on May 21, 2016, 9:40 pm

      “But for some reason, he (Ron Paul) doesn’t think Israel’s spying, false flag attacks and lobbying us to fight its wars is so bad.”

      Well, I know one thing. Whatever that reason is, it won’t be the same old reason everybody else does it. Not for Ron Paul! Perhaps someday we will understand this “reason”.

  8. jsj on May 21, 2016, 12:36 pm

    You know Bernie doesn’t have to carry this torch for us. Where’s our voice in demanding no more US aid to Israel until the occupation ends. And no attacks by the US government on those supporting BDS as a peaceful protest against that occupation. WE can communicate with the Dems too!

  9. genesto on May 21, 2016, 2:30 pm

    PLEASE, Democratic Party, shift to Bernie’s position, AND STAND BY IT – even to the point of critically examining the foolish ‘two-state solution’! Clinton’s stand is the worst I can ever remember a prospective US President taking on this issue, and it worries me no end.

  10. ToivoS on May 21, 2016, 5:47 pm

    I find this phrase by Phil offensive: make to Bernie Sanders to try and placate his hordes

    Hordes? Why not “supporters”. I am backing Sanders here in California. The press is referring to people like me as being part of a mob, a horde and terms calculated to denigrate Sanders backers. Why is Phil joining this thoughtless mob of reporters.

    • annie on May 21, 2016, 6:26 pm

      point taken toivo, in fact just recently i wrote “hordes” in a comment and then deleted it and used another word thinking it might be construed as derogatory. and tho the author of the article — whom phil was citing, didn’t use the term “hordes” there was that vibe coming through from the clinton camp they were worried. you can sort of sense hillary supporters and the press consider his supporters a horde. me personally, i don’t mind being considered part of his horde — partly because i am pissed. but i can’t see how it might be offensive.

      what really offended me today was joan walsh’s article in the nation, as well as her tweet. the nerve, chalking up his support to a “male cult” vs black /brown and females (all ostensibly for clinton). that really pissed me off

      and in the comments to her article were a slew of women backing sanders but she RT’s all the males who countered her and none of the women. it was outrageous.

      anyway, keep in mind phil was channeling wapo when he wrote that, but you’re right the word does have negative implications. but i am angry so it suits me to be described as part of the hordes who support him (and i happen to know phil likes him too).

    • echinococcus on May 21, 2016, 9:20 pm

      Like we didn’t have enough wallflowers taking offense at Jewish jokes, now we have to pay attention to the hurt feelings of the mob thoughtlessly supporting an outspoken “progressive”, oh yeah, imperialist running for the imperialist dictatorship party.
      No personal offense meant, mind you. If needed, I have feeling armors for sale.

  11. annie on May 21, 2016, 6:39 pm

    lots of people don’t like hillary clinton and the dnc and others are trying to blame sanders for that. even if sanders begged me i would not consider voting for clinton.

    she’s an unpopular politician the dnc is trying to pawn off on us, that’s all. sure there are people who like her and don’t find her toxic but to suggest people who don’t like her and haven’t for years are anti clinton because of sanders is just wrong.

    the dnc made a mistake by assuming the dems would unite over her, that’s my opinion. many may, but many many many will not. personally, as horrible as trump is, i think the 2 party system is more dangerous for our country right now. i think the dem party takes us for granted and we need a new party that will make more of an effort to be inclusive of the left and independents. the idea that so many people will go on year after year holding their noses and voting for the lessor of two evils is wrong. we can do better. a hillary presidency will be two terms. that’s too long and too dangerous for the country and way too dangerous for the people of the middle east.

    • Mooser on May 21, 2016, 7:31 pm

      “personally, as horrible as trump is,”

      And as inexperienced politically, and as personally unstable, and as much resentment and disunity Trump has created among Republicans, a Trump Presidency might be a period of benign impotence in foreign affairs.

      • annie on May 21, 2016, 7:51 pm

        at this stage benign impotence in foreign affairs sounds like a gift from god and almost too good to be true. but as i’ve expressed before i’d prefer the american public suffer from a trump presidency than millions suffering abroad — the likely outcome of a clinton presidency. either way, i’m over voting for the lessor of 2 evils and will vote for neither of them.

    • wondering jew on May 22, 2016, 1:32 am

      Annie robbins wrote: “as horrible as trump is, i think the 2 party system is more dangerous for our country right now. i think the dem party takes us for granted and we need a new party that will make more of an effort to be inclusive of the left and independents.” – See more at:
      Every voter must choose for themselves whether to vote for a lesser evil or to choose a protest vote. But “we need a new party…” is really pie in the sky talk. Currently the democratic party is trying to lock in its control of the white house and is fighting to regain control of the congress. This idea that a vote against Hillary is going to give a boost to the existence to an as yet unnamed third party is based on zero historical precedent as far as American history is concerned and I would wonder what 3rd party births in other western democracies give one hope that some 3rd party would be successful in America. Destroying the Democratic Party before having something (a plan, a strategy, a historical analogy) in hand is recklessness. But think about this instead: Sanders won the white vote of the democratic party. Why didn’t the blacks and latinos vote for him? (I have my theories regarding the reluctance of blacks and latinos to vote for candidates they never heard of before, but the theory is besides the point.) The point is that the democratic party is ready to move towards a more liberal, more socialistic, less militaristic point of view. But it will take careful thought and a willingness to deal with the specific voting blocs of the democratic party to prepare it to move to the left. This pie in the sky, we need a new party, reflects weak thinking.

      • annie on May 22, 2016, 2:12 am

        Why didn’t the blacks and latinos vote for him?

        lots of them did, and more will in the upcoming primaries:

        Young Latinos convert parents into supporting Bernie Sanders

        ….Their family is not alone. The clear enthusiasm among young people for the Sanders campaign is slowly having a double return within the Latino community— fired-up millennials with immigrant roots are going home to their families and convincing them to buy into Sanders’ revolution.

        “Older Latinos are already established in the political system. But the young people voting for Bernie are having an influence on how their parents vote,” said Anahi Tapia, 26.

        The dynamic factors into almost shocking results in Illinois, where according to the latest NBC News/Marist/WSJ poll out this week, Sanders is leading Clinton by 34 points with Latino voters, claiming 64 percent to her 30 percent. This, while he is still trailing overall in the state by six points [he lost by 1.3 percent in illinois].

        “It’s all because of the grassroots. It’s the young millennials that refuse to be anyone’s firewall,” Cesar Vargas, a national Latino outreach strategist for Sanders, said of the campaign’s success.

  12. Kay24 on May 21, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Time the DNC got rid of Debbie Wasserman-Scultz. She not only tried to sabotage Sander’s campaign, so that her favorite candidate Clinton can win, but she is also giving in to Islamophobes.
    Isn’t she supposed to be neutral with all Democratic candidates, and try to include minorities in this nation?

    Debbie caves to Islamophobes
    The DNC chairwoman was supposed to speak to a Muslim group this week but canceled after a right-wing smear campaign

    • Kay24 on May 21, 2016, 7:08 pm

      Sanders say he will make sure W.Schulz is out of the DNC if he is President.

      • just on May 22, 2016, 6:19 am


        “Bernie Sanders: I will not support Democratic party chair in her primary

        Senator says he would not re-appoint Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair if he were president, noting that her primary opponent’s views are closer to his own”

        Truly a breath of fresh air.

      • annie on May 22, 2016, 1:53 pm

        his campaign is raising money for her challenger, Tim Canova. i got an email, a fundraising appeal from the sanders campaign this morning asking for a donation he’ll split w/canova. i’m going to donate. i would so love it if she lost her congressional seat.

        remember when virginia voters took out cantor? pff! he was gone so fast and it caught everyone by surprise — the highest ranking aipac stooge in the gop. of course florida is not virginia and the dems are not the gop but still, it’s not impossible.

  13. Kathleen on May 21, 2016, 11:02 pm

    Remember this rumble. between Soledad O’Brien and DWS.

    • Kay24 on May 22, 2016, 8:24 am

      She is such a shameless tool of the zionists. She “takes the love of Israel with her”, and here she is pushing hard insisting Obama wants Jerusalem to be the capital of apartheid land. I really wish our pro Israel politicians felt just as strongly for their own nation, they can be so united when it comes to Israel and so divisive when it comes to passing any bills for the American people. I am sick of this “my body is here but my heart and mind is with Israel” politicians.

      I hope this woman who has abused her powers by siding with candidate who kisses up to Israel, and has been duplicitous when it comes to supporting Sanders, is kicked out of the DNC.
      We need a neutral leader in the party not a untrustworthy politician holding an important post.

      • Kathleen on May 22, 2016, 11:21 am

        Great points

  14. Kathleen on May 21, 2016, 11:09 pm
    • Kay24 on May 22, 2016, 8:33 am

      The speaker totally ignored the Nays as if he was short of hearing and favor those who most probably ignore the plight of the Palestinians. There is no neutrality in their thinking at all.
      I could see that the Nays were louder, at least equal, yet this speaker prefers to ignore the objections. The US has NOT officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of apartheid land, nor
      many, many, other countries, yet here they are shameless ramming it through for the zionists.

      • annie on May 22, 2016, 1:36 pm

        the nays were louder, otherwise they would not have vote 3 times. either way “the matter requires a 2/3 vote in the affirmative” which it definitely did not have.

      • Kay24 on May 22, 2016, 7:06 pm

        Annie, this is such a sad situation here in the US. Everything tilts towards Israel.

      • Kathleen on May 23, 2016, 2:12 pm

        Annie did you hear Soledad O’Brian say she listened 150 times. I saw this live and was so obvious. So much twisted hooey. Amazing DWS has not been booted before this.

  15. silamcuz on May 22, 2016, 2:48 am

    At the end of the day, we must acknowledge the Democrats are the American version of the Israeli Labour party. These political entities are vying for legitimacy in a fundamentally illegitimate power structure that is built on top of genocide, slavery and occupation of Native American land.

    Who does the Democrats ultimately represent? White people who pretend to be the outliers of the white supremacist system they benefit from, unlike the conservatives who embraces their true self as colonialists and their racism. Black or Hispanics are merely a tool for these folks to gain power within this oppressive, unjust political framework.

    Let me ask the moderators here, if Israel has no right to exist in Palestine, does it really matter how the politics are run by Likud or Labour? In my opinion, these two factions are essentially just arguing which way is best to occupy and continue their crime against the Palestinians. One is yelling to rape and murder them, while the other is suggesting that’s too wasteful, we should enslave and exploit them.

    Likewise for the USA, I don’t believe it has a right to exist, hence it doesn’t matter how the internal politics of the Democratic Party shapes up. They are merely a face of the white supremacist social order that is occupying Native American land and imposing their will of governance onto black, brown and white bodies they have no right to do so in the first place.

    • Mooser on May 22, 2016, 1:06 pm

      “Let me ask the moderators here…”

      Good idea! Unlimber your vouchsafer and ask away! Ask till your eyes bubble.

    • Mooser on May 22, 2016, 1:09 pm

      “Likewise for the USA, I don’t believe it has a right to exist”

      Oooh, that’s bad. That’s real bad. Couldn’t you try and believe just a little? I mean, c’mon, a huge country’s existence is predicated on it!

  16. MaxNarr on May 22, 2016, 12:30 pm

    That’s not a really hot button issue right now, the majority of American’s support Israel so Bernie would be going against his base.

    • Mooser on May 22, 2016, 3:25 pm

      “so Bernie would be going against his base.”

      Well, it’s been my impression, that Sander’s base is what is forcing him to confront the issue.

      And BTW that whole “support” thing. It’s not whether or not you support something, it’s what you are willing to do. What Israel and Zionism needs, all the “support” in the world won’t get you.

  17. JLewisDickerson on May 22, 2016, 2:18 pm

    RE: “Remember that when President Obama pushed through a platform position at the Democratic convention in 2012 saying Jerusalem was the forever capital of Israel, there was a floor demonstration by the grass roots (and this was before the 2014 Gaza slaughter) to try and defeat the plank, and the chair of the convention said that Obama was “absolutely livid” that the platform hadn’t included the language originally. Maintaining a rigid pro-Israel stance is essential to fundraising.” ~ Weiss

    LET’S DO THE TIME WARP* AGAIN: “Hillary Clinton’s Little-Noticed Israel Problem” — By Justin Elliott | | Fri May 7, 2010 8:14 PM EDT
    HRC’s position on Israel could mean a significant departure from longstanding U.S. policy. How come no one cares?

    [EXCERPT] Though Senator Barack Obama has never—neither in his Senate votes nor in his campaign literature—strayed from the conventional position of support for Israel, he has in this primary season been dogged by the issue. The flare-up last week surrounding Obama’s allegedly “anti-Jewish” campaign co-chairman, sparked by a piece in the conservative American Spectator magazine, was only the latest instance in which his foes have suggested that Obama has an “Israel problem.” Yet even as Obama has been subjected to intense scrutiny, Senator Hillary Clinton has received virtually no attention for taking an unconventional position on Israel (albeit in a direction approved by pro-Israel hardliners). Her vow of support for Israel’s claim on an “undivided Jerusalem,” if enacted, would mark a major—and problematic—break with longstanding U.S. policy.

    Under the heading “Standing with Israel against terrorism,” Clinton’s official policy paper, released last September and currently touted on her campaign website, states, “Hillary Clinton believes that Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned.” With the phrase “an undivided Jerusalem as its capital,” Clinton seems to take a hardline position on a deeply contested facet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a position like this should have garnered at least passing interest from the mainstream media. So how come nobody’s paying attention?

    The answer may lie within the long history of empty rhetoric on Jerusalem doled out by presidential candidates. Perhaps the lack of interest can be chalked up to uncertainty in how to interpret Clinton’s position. Or it may be that right-wing pronouncements that give short shrift to the Palestinian side are simply not seen as remarkable. (An exception to the media silence on Clinton’s position was the American Prospect‘s Gershom Gorenberg, an Israeli.)

    Clinton is toying with one of the few most important final-status issues that will have to be resolved as part of any two-state solution. Israel captured the eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. While Israel has declared the whole of an expanded Jerusalem its capital, the international community views east Jerusalem as occupied territory and the potential capital of any future Palestinian state. In recognition of the contested status of Jerusalem, the United States and other countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

    “Jerusalem is not only of political, religious, and emotional significance to Palestinians. It’s the cultural and economic capital of any future state of Palestine. To carve out east Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine would be to deprive of it the geographic area which traditionally has been the heart of the Palestinian economy,” said Philip Wilcox, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer who served as consul general and chief of mission in Jerusalem and is now president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a D.C. nonprofit. “It’s an absolute deal –breaker, and there will be no peace if there isn’t an agreed political division of Jerusalem.”

    If opposing a compromise on Jerusalem is a deal breaker, one would think there would be more importance attached to Clinton’s words—especially appearing in the unequivocal construction of Israel’s “right to exist” that “must never be questioned.” If Clinton did, as president, endorse Israel’s annexation of all of Jerusalem, it could mean nothing less than a repudiation of the concept of a two-state solution. And while her position mirrors that of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), it actually puts her at odds with some prominent Israeli officials, notably Vice Premier Haim Ramon, who have publicly spoken about the need to cede the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. One explanation for this incongruity, offered by all of the half-dozen experts I spoke to on the subject, is that Clinton’s statement is nothing more than election-year rhetoric. That is, her stand may tell us more about the fraught politics of Israel/Palestine in the United States than it does about how a Hillary Clinton administration would approach the conflict. . .


    * P.S. ‘Time Warp’ Scene w/ Lyrics | The Rocky Horror Picture Show [VIDEO, 03:50] –

  18. lysias on May 23, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Sanders named James Zogby to the convention’s platform committee. Washington Post: Sanders picks pro-Palestinian activist for Democratic platform committee.

  19. K Renner on May 24, 2016, 10:51 am

    Good. I hope it causes these awful people as much stress as possible. Maybe Hillary will blow a blood vessel in her brain and drop dead.

    Saban and Adelson kicking the bucket would only be good for America as well.

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