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Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base

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The big news today is that the split inside the Democratic Party over Israel is at last front-page news in the New York Times. The schmattes we’ve been trying to sell on this site for the last six or seven years are suddenly in fashion. The battle we’ve predicted inside the Democratic Party in 2016 is coming to pass. Write Jason Horowitz and Maggie Haberman:

A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.

The other big news is that the Times exposed its bias, and tried to scare people about those Israel-despising radicals in the Democratic Party, by putting the word “occupation” in quotations, and then got busted for it by Adam Johnson and Annie Robbins and Max Blumenthal among others on Twitter — and the Times then took the quotation marks off “occupation” without any explanation.


James North reports that his paper-and-ink edition of the story includes those quotation marks — and he’s looking forward to the Times explaining the correction, per its own policy. It is a fact that Israel maintains an occupation, he says. Putting it in scare quotes makes it into an allegation. It’s like putting “pogroms” into quotation marks. When are we going to see a correction and explanation?

The article also casts Hillary Clinton as a moderate on the Israel question and Bernie Sanders’s platform surrogates Cornel West and James Zogby as marginal figures. The Israel lobby was given plenty space by the Times to wag its chin over Sanders’s anti-establishment approach to the issue:

In a statement on Wednesday, Jake Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser, indicated that her appointees to the platform committee would resist Mr. Sanders’s attempt to shift the center of gravity on the Israel debate.

“Hillary Clinton’s views on Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship are well documented, and she’s confident that her delegates will work to ensure that the party platform reflects them,” Mr. Sullivan said.

The reaction was less reserved among those who champion a more traditional and full-throated support for Israel. Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he found the inclusion of Dr. West on the committee “disturbing.” He said that the presence of other representatives of Mr. Sanders on the platform committee, including Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim who has supported the rights of Palestinians, raised concerns that the party could “adopt positions that could be seen as hostile to Israel.”

“For us, the concern is that it legitimizes and potentially puts into a major party platform” a point of view “that undermines the principles of the Israeli-U.S. relationship that have been bipartisan for decades,” Mr. Hoenlein said.

The Democratic Party is lost to Israel forever — that’s the news in the Times today, as interpreted by Yakov Hirsch. Some Republicans are turning against the neoconservatives, and the Democrats are finally talking about Israel support openly, and this issue is like same-sex marriage, the politics move in one direction. We are going to see a major faultline at the Philadelphia convention between big money and the grass roots, between a reactionary establishment that needs to hold the party for Israel so as to maintain its funding sources and the Sanders base, which reflects the growing constituency in the country that is sympathetic to Palestinians. The Democratic Party has fought this split for years and been able to maintain a PEP position — progressive except Palestine; but that line is at last going to collapse, as it began to at the last convention, when there was a floor demonstration against calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital, and President Obama beat the grassroots down because he was worried about fundraising.

The line has collapsed because of economic conditions: because Sanders was able to raise his money on the internet at an average of $27 a pop. Now that is revolutionary! The secret is out that Hillary Clinton adopted pro-Israel positions so as to please big Jewish Zionist donors, who exercise a “gigantic” and “shocking” level of influence over politicians’ views, according to mainstream experts.

Let’s review Clinton’s speech to AIPAC in March about taking the Israel relationship to “the next level.” Read these lines and consider how the progressive Democratic base looks on them:

The United States and Israel must be closer than ever, stronger than ever and more determined than ever to prevail against our common adversaries and to advance our shared values.

This is especially true at a time when Israel faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks at home. Parents worry about letting their children walk down the street. Families live in fear . . . .

And Palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence, stop celebrating terrorists as martyrs and stop paying rewards to their families.

Nothing about Israeli violence against Palestinians! She wants to go to the next level and give Israel even more money:

Because we understand the threat Israel faces we know we can never take for granted the strength of our alliance or the success of our efforts. Today, Americans and Israelis face momentous choices that will shape the future of our relationship and of both our nations. The first choice is this: are we prepared to take the U.S./Israel alliance to the next level?

Indeed, at a time of unprecedented chaos and conflict in the region, America needs an Israel strong enough to deter and defend against its enemies, strong enough to work with us to tackle shared challenges and strong enough to take bold steps in the pursuit of peace.

That’s why I believe we must take our alliance to the next level. I hope a new 10-year defense memorandum of understanding is concluded as soon as possible to meet Israel’s security needs far into the future.

That will also send a clear message to Israel’s enemies that the United States and Israel stand together united.

She warns about “terrorist” attacks and then promises to bring Netanyahu to the White House during her first month, and praises Israel as a startup nation:

One of the first things I’ll do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to visit the White House . . .

Let’s also expand our collaboration beyond security. Together, we can build an even more vibrant culture of innovation that tightens the links between Silicon Valley and Israeli tech companies and entrepreneurs.

There is much Americans can learn from Israel, from cybersecurity to energy security to water security and just on an everyday people- to-people level.

Here she says that BDS boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is anti-Semitic and she’s going to fight it, as she’s promised her megadonor Haim Saban:

Many of the young people here today are on the front lines of the battle to oppose the alarming boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS.

Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.

I’ve been sounding the alarm for a while now. As I wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major American Jewish organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against BDS. Many of its proponents have demonized Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students.

To all the college students who may have encountered this on campus, I hope you stay strong. Keep speaking out. Don’t let anyone silence you, bully you or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities.

Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society, not in America, not in Europe, not anywhere.

Here she talks more about the Israeli victims of terrorism — nothing about Palestinians — and says Donald Trump has no business being president because he doesn’t support Israel enough:

Yes, we need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable. Well, my friends, Israel’s security is non-negotiable.

I have sat in Israeli hospital rooms holding the hands of men and women whose bodies and lives were torn apart by terrorist bombs. I’ve listened to doctors describe the shrapnel left in a leg, an arm or even a head.

That’s why I feel so strongly that America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival. We can’t be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. Some things aren’t negotiable.

And anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business being our president.

She then goes after Iran for a while, distancing herself from the Iran deal. Then this is her only criticism of Israeli government, as a passing vague statement:

Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements.

“With respect to settlements.” I have no idea what that means.

Had enough? The Democratic base has too.



Philip Weiss

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

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67 Responses

  1. ckg on May 26, 2016, 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Phil. Glenn Greenwald writes about this today at the Intercept.

    • Emory Riddle on May 26, 2016, 3:10 pm

      “…what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.”

      I believe the accurate comment would be what “IS”, not what “they see as”.

      “occupation”. Really? They put quotation marks around the word occupation? Does anyone — not counting crazies — dispute the fact there is an ongoing occupation?

      Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim. Hmm. I don’t recall them identifying Deb W-S as a Jewess when she is referred to.

      • lysias on May 26, 2016, 5:30 pm

        The media occasionally say that Sanders is a Jew.

        But, speaking about blackouts, what about that MSM blackout on Jill Stein? They never mention her even when they are discussing what Sanders supporters will do if Hillary gets the nomination.

      • Bandolero on May 27, 2016, 9:09 am


        Interstingly, the New York Times chose to only identify the religious affiliation of Bernie Sanders (jewish – did a read the words “such a pity, we can’t label him anti-semite” between the lines?) and his representative Keith Ellison (muslim – did a read the meaning “readers beware, he belongs to the enemy” between the lines?).

        Let me help the NYT to identify other people’s religious affiliation mentioned in the NYT article.

        Cornel West, who attended baptist services in his youth …
        James Zogby, who is the son of a ctholic immigrant from Lebanon …

        Mrs Clinton, a methodist, whose daugther is married to a jewish banker and whose top four campaign donors are all rich jews…
        Jake Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser, who is jewish, indicated …
        Malcolm Hoenlein, who is jewish and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said…
        … said Robert Wexler, who is jewish, a former congressman from Florida and Clinton supporter, who heads an advocacy group financed by one of Mrs Clintons top donors, S. Daniel Abraham, who is jewish.

        And finally, of course, a disclaimer at the end of the article would have been good:

        Jason Horowitz and Maggie Haberman, who reported this story, are jewish. The publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., is the grandson of late New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, a jew. The New York Times officially endorsed Hillary Clinton for President 2016.

        I have a good idea why the New York Times only writes about religious affiliation regarding Sanders and his supporters. Would the New York Times write about the religious affiliations in the HIllary Clinton campaign and in the New York Times, the reporting of the New York Times and Hillary’s bid for president would both look like a sinister jewish cabal.

      • Mooser on May 27, 2016, 11:46 am

        “Interstingly, the New York Times chose to only identify the religious affiliation of Bernie Sanders (jewish – did a read the words “such a pity, we can’t label him anti-semite” between the lines?”

        Certainly not! After all, the self-hating, internalized-antisemitism Jewish person is a well-known and common enough quantity.

    • lysias on May 26, 2016, 5:29 pm

      I learn from a comment to that Intercept article that Jabotinsky actually used the word “Palestinians” for the Palestinians.

      We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs.

      The Iron Wall (1923)

      • pabelmont on May 26, 2016, 7:16 pm

        lysias: This use by Jabotinsky of “Palestine” etc. is strange because in the early days, the Mandate was called Palestine and everybody were called Palestinians, the symphony orchestra was the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra of, by, and for the recent Jewish emigrants from Europe.

        The Palestine Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1936 under the leadership of Bronislaw Huberman. Huberman, a violinist, at first envisioned an international center for the arts, but instead focused on developing a critically acclaimed symphony orchestra. Conditions in Europe had become such that the orchestra could serve as a haven for persecuted Jewish musicians. Many immigration certificates became available, as the orchestra could provide employment for the refugees. The new immigrants themselves provided fresh talent and energy for cultural pursuits in the yishuv.

        While Huberman continued to work on behalf of the orchestra, Arturo Toscanini agreed to become its first conductor. He was quick to help establish the orchestra’s reputation. In addition to drawing talented musicians to the orchestra itself, many other chamber orchestras and groups formed throughout the yishuv.

        In 1948, the orchestra changed its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The picture presented here is that of Huberman and Toscanini.

    • Kathleen on May 27, 2016, 11:48 pm

      The New York Times’s (and Clinton Campaign’s) Abject Cowardice on Israel

      Just how Zogby and Cornell are going to change that platform that was publicly squeezed out of a majority of no votes in 2012 is beyond me.


      6 of the committee members are Clinton choices, 5 Sanders, 4 Wasserman Schultz. Means 10 for Clinton.

  2. hophmi on May 26, 2016, 2:19 pm

    This site has been trying to sell support for the 2ss for six or seven years?

    • Boo on May 27, 2016, 10:30 am

      Sell? Au contraire, mon vieux. Offer it gratis to anyone open-minded enough to take an interest in it.

  3. Mike Hite on May 26, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Great article and great news. If only the neocons could be totally excluded from American politics and media. Bill Kristol is constantly afforded his opinion on CNN he and his ilk have caused enough damage to America.

  4. Kay24 on May 26, 2016, 2:35 pm

    They can try to put quotation marks on the word Occupation, but the entire world knows who the infamous Occupier is. It is a lame attempt by these biased writers, to make the word Occupation sound doubtful, and only idiots will buy this attempt. There is no doubt every international agency,, committee, and organization considers the Palestinians under military occupation in their own territories, and have suffered for decades because of it.

    Definition of the world Occupation:
    a : the act or process of taking possession of a place or area : seizure
    b : the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force
    c : the military force occupying a country or the policies carried out by it

    Perhaps it is time these zionist writers educated themselves on this situation, before embarrassing themselves. There is a limit to this devotion to an apartheid nation, and inserting unnecessary quotation makes them look totally biased.

    It is amusing that those quotation marks vanished without a trace.

  5. hophmi on May 26, 2016, 2:40 pm

    It’s actually completely appropriate to use quotes. It’s a legal term of art, and the question of whether Israel is a legal occupier remains controversial.

    • Blownaway on May 26, 2016, 3:24 pm

      Controversial? Only to you and a handful of wishful thinking Zionist trying to change the narrative. Ask any Palestinian they will tell you they live under a military occupation .

    • Kay24 on May 26, 2016, 3:27 pm

      “whether Israel is a legal occupier remains controversial. – ”

      The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law.[1][2][3][4][5] Israel maintains that they are consistent with international law[6] because it does not agree that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the territories occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War.[7] The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply.[8][9]

      Only mindless zionist minions are still in denial, and justifying every illegal war crime by a rogue nation. Just because Israel says it is not a illegal occupation does not mean it is NOT. Who can take the opinion or take the word of, the criminal anyway. As if they are going to admit they are occupying Illegally. There is no need for quotation marks, If the Israelis are in doubt they should check it out with the international bodies AND the rest of the world, because their minds are making them do strange things.

      • eljay on May 26, 2016, 3:37 pm

        || hophmi: It’s actually completely appropriate to use quotes. It’s a legal term of art, and the question of whether Israel is a legal occupier remains controversial. ||

        Your Zio-supremacist hypocrisy knows no bounds: If non-Jews were doing to Jews what hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists have been doing to Palestinians for almost 70 years, you wouldn’t be slinging bullshit about “legal terms of art” and whether or not the actions were “controversial”.

    • Bumblebye on May 26, 2016, 3:47 pm

      You have to be a total nincompoop to even consider making such a stupid statement!

      There’s buggerall controversial about it except to idiot zionists and the goi.

      Were it *not* occupied, the Palestinians would NOT be stateless, they would NOT be under (illegal) military rule and law, they would have RIGHTS – and that last is the main reason occupation is maintained. If people have no rights all the easier to steal every last inch of their country.

      • MHughes976 on May 26, 2016, 4:41 pm

        It’s nearly 40 years since I heard Begin proclaim that Judaea and Samaria are not occupied but liberated territories. Nothing very new here. Behind the superficial facts of a disfranchised population controlled by an army stands, they suppose, the deeper truth that this is land belonging by divine decree or some other almost equal authority to those people who are Jewsih. Another army of lawyers and theologians has been deployed to argue these points endlessly. The shocking thing is the degree to which their absurdity is overlooked or tolerated. In truth no amount of committees passing what they call laws and no amount of religious claims or exposition of ancient texts could overcome the basic rights known to reason and, say some, written in our hearts by God.

    • oldgeezer on May 26, 2016, 5:25 pm


      Another zionist pretending to be an idiot.

      Apart from the ICJ and UNSC, the Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that the West Bank is held under belligerant occupation on at least two occassions. The GoI has also argued before the courts that it holds the territory under occupation.

      The only people who find the rulings controversial are thieves and crooks.

      • hophmi on May 27, 2016, 12:01 pm

        Ok. Again, there is a legal case that it’s not technically an occupation. You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s not uncommon for journalists to avoid these judgments when the issues are controversial in nature. That’s why the Times generally didn’t refer to Darfur as a genocide.

      • oldgeezer on May 27, 2016, 12:37 pm

        If the GoI felt there was any validity to these whacko legal theories they would have made a reference to the high court for an advisory opinion. The fact they have not done so in the face of standing judgements and even their won prior petitions that it is in fact an occupation speaks volumes.

        I do not deny the possibility that some legal theory, existing or to be formulate in the future, may have some weight but the fact is the courts have ruled and there is no controversy over where the legal opinion sits.

        Everything else is just a form of denial at this stage.

      • talknic on May 27, 2016, 7:45 pm

        @ hophmi May 27, 2016, 12:01 pm

        “Again, there is a legal case that it’s not technically an occupation”

        Interesting theory. Care to outline this alleged “legal case”?

      • otc on May 28, 2016, 6:58 am

        “Again, there is a legal case that it’s not technically an occupation….it’s not uncommon for journalists to avoid these judgments when the issues are controversial in nature”

        Wouldn’t you agree that it’s an extreme outlier, in the same way that Israel Shahak and climate change skeptics are outliers. It’s not hard these days to find a real or supposed expert, here or there, to come up with an opinion that runs counter to the vast majority of experts, and then use that to claim that the whole issue is controversial.
        Internet comment boards are fueled by such things.
        Giving equal weight to the handful on one side and the many on the other, in matters like this, is misleading.

      • Mooser on May 28, 2016, 12:18 pm

        “Wouldn’t you agree that it’s an extreme outlier, in the same way that Israel Shahak and climate change skeptics are outliers.”

        Sure, makes perfect sense! One is on the ‘outs’ and the other ones are the liars.

    • joemowrey on May 26, 2016, 5:29 pm

      And the jury is also still out on whether the Sun rises in the east and sets in the West.

    • US Citizen on May 26, 2016, 8:26 pm

      Oh my, yet another misguided zionist. As a lawyer and former Sec. of State it looks like Hillary, and you hopi, need a refresher in international law:

      Reviewing a few facts of international law relating to occupation, and Israel’s blatant and constant violations of them, may be helpful:

      Law: An occupying power must not move its own citizens permanently onto the occupied nation’s land. Temporarily housing soldiers on a short-term basis there to maintain peace and the safety of the occupied people is allowed.

      Israeli violations: Israel has moved over half a million Israelis into the West Bank, and Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu has stated categorically that not one of them will be removed.

      Law: The people of the occupied lands must not be displaced permanently.

      Israeli violations: Millions of Palestinians have been forced from their homes to make room for illegal Israeli settlers.

      Law: The culture of the occupied land must be respected.

      Israeli violations: Israel has done much to destroy and obliterate the culture of Palestine. The destruction of entire towns and villages, mosques and historical sites is ongoing. In one particularly egregious example, Israel bulldozed the ancient Ma’man Allah cemetery, dating at least to the 12th century and possibly earlier, and constructed a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ on the site.

      Law: The occupying power must ensure the safety of the occupied peoples.

      Israeli violations: Bombing the Gaza Strip, breaking into the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank at all hours of the day and night, arresting men, women and children without charge, shooting peaceful protesters in the back, cannot be seen as ensuring their safety, and protesting these atrocious crimes does not make one anti-Semitic.

    • Misterioso on May 27, 2016, 6:55 pm


      Dream on.


      (A) Security Council Resolution 446 (22 March 1979) “[Affirms] once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

      “1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;..”

      (B) Security Council Resolution 465 (1 March 1980) “determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories OCCUPIED [my emphasis] since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…”

      (C) Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. The resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none.

      (D) On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Height “null and void.”

      (E) In accordance with the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, and further underscoring the illegality of the settlements, Part 2, Article 8, section B, paragraph viii of the Rome Statute of the International Court (1998) defines “the transfer directly or indirectly by the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it OCCUPIES [my emphasis]” as a War Crime, indictable by the International Criminal Court.

      (F) On 24 February 2004, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its earlier position in a report entitled Israel and the Occupied Territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: “Israel OCCUPIED [my emphasis] the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War…. The international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the OCCUPIED [my emphasis] territories.”

      (G) In its 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” The World Court denoted this principle a “corollary” of the U.N. Charter and as such “customary international law” and a “customary rule” binding on all member States of the United Nations.

      (H) In the summer of 1967, “[t]he legal counsel of the Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked [by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] whether international law allowed settlement in the newly conquered land. In a memo marked ‘Top Secret,’ Meron wrote unequivocally: ‘My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’” (New York Times, 10 March 2006)

      (I) US Secretary of State, John Kerry: “The US views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” (13 August 2013, Reuters Video)

      (J) British Foreign Secretary William Hague regarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank (5 April 2011): “This is not disputed territory. It is OCCUPIED [my emphasis] Palestinian territory and ongoing settlement expansion is illegal under international law…”

      (K) Even the Israeli Supreme Court has declared the West Bank (and Gaza Strip) to be under belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis]. In 1979, the court declared “[t]his is a situation of belligerency and the status of [Israel] with respect to the OCCUPIED [my emphasis] territory is that of an OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power.” In 2002, the court again held that the West Bank and Gaza Strip “are subject to a belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis] by the State of Israel” and in June, 2004, it proclaimed “[s]ince 1967, Israel has been holding [the Palestinian Territories] in belligerent OCCUPATION [my emphasis].”

      • talknic on May 27, 2016, 7:41 pm

        @ Misterioso May 27, 2016, 6:55 pm

        hophmi and co aren’t allowed to read that kind of stuff.

    • pjdude on May 27, 2016, 7:08 pm

      not to honest people.

  6. Don on May 26, 2016, 2:42 pm

    Hilary…nauseating beyond comprehension.

    What I will never understand is how anyone who supports Israel uncritically, and has helped shield Israel from any consequences for its often brutal behavior, is unable to see how much damage they have inflicted on Israel.

    It seems to me they bear a great deal of responsibility for the “endless conflict”. Certainly as much as Israel itself.

    Spoil a child from birth until he is 59, is it realistic to expect him to act with the wisdom of Solomon when he turns 60?

    • Yakov Hirsch on May 26, 2016, 4:35 pm

      Robert Wright agrees.

      “Still, these smears have been hugely counterproductive from a truly pro-Zionist standpoint. What you’re seeing now is one of the final desperate spasms of a group that has already helped destroy the thing it loves, and will probably destroy a few other things before finally, like Joseph McCarthy, destroying itself and receding mercifully into the pages of history.”

      • Don on May 26, 2016, 7:44 pm

        Thanks, Yakov. I was not familiar with that article.

      • Yakov Hirsch on May 27, 2016, 3:47 am

        I will be getting back to that article and that last paragraph.

  7. amigo on May 26, 2016, 2:48 pm

    How long before the goi sends demands that Cornel west and Zogby be fired on the basis , they are interfering with the internal affairs of a “sovereign nation”. These meddling Jew hating antisemitic intruders must be taught a lesson.


  8. Blownaway on May 26, 2016, 3:30 pm

    It’s going to be a battle as Hillary and Schultz have tried to stack the deck in anticipation of this. Hillacon has too much money at stake to go in any other direction. Even the Jerusalem debacle in public at the convention doesn’t shame. Another question might be why does Israel command so much attention in a US election? Congress devoted much of its agenda in May To Israel or Israel centric policy decisions… Crazy!

  9. David Doppler on May 26, 2016, 4:14 pm

    Hillary is so very conventional and forever studying the rear-view mirror.

    The potential big story in development today is the pending agreement for Trump and Sanders to debate before the California primary. She’s refused to debate Sanders, declared her victory prematurely, sought to shift to a one-on-one with Trump, pursuing her ever-conventional thinking, and is blind-sided by two much more innovative political minds. Sanders stands to gain a lot at Hillary’s expense in such a debate, which will be humiliating for her to miss. Trump will certainly gain more publicity, and an opportunity, post his own nomination wrap-up, to woo Democrats, while fighting for free markets vs socialism. He will have plenty of room to muddle in the Democratic party nomination process. I can just hear him boasting: “I don’t know whether I want to bash this guy, Crazy Bernie the Communist, or help him so he’ll beat Crooked Hillary. Only I could engineer such a choice, you see how I negotiate deals? All those pundits who a month ago thought some elite establishment conspiracy would decide the Republican nomination never imagined that I’d get to choose BOTH nominees! Unbelievable, believe me. Unbelievable.”

    Hillary stands to lose a lot to both candidates, because the stage will be dominated by two anti-establishment populists, one from the socialist left, the other from the megalomaniacal right, while the establishment will be routed, without even a voice on stage (except whoever moderates).

    • lysias on May 26, 2016, 5:34 pm

      Well, Hillary refused to debate Sanders. I wonder what would happen if Hillary said she wanted to participate in a three-way debate.

      Looks like the Trump-Sanders debate will actually take place. Trump agreed, on the condition that millions would go to charity. Sanders has now agreed to that condition.

      • David Doppler on May 26, 2016, 6:53 pm

        I think Sanders would say, sorry, you’re too late, “tables turned and now it’s your turn to cry.” Populist against populist will motivate all the Trump and Sanders folks, and leave all the Clinton supporters depressed, disengaged. Heavy turnout favors Sanders in California.

        I think Trump is unpredictable, except that he can’t resist a spectacle in which he has a starring role.

        Either way, Trump elevates himself, especially if he ever figures out what “appearing presidential” means. He’s got nailed what it means to appear bigger and more “in charge” than everyone else. [E.g., if she does want in now, she’ll have to ask his permission.]

      • lysias on May 26, 2016, 7:05 pm

        Yes, this debate, coming on top of the IG report on the emails, could be a real game-changer, not just in California, but nationwide. The audience is likely to be huge, and many people will be getting their first good look at Sanders.

      • Mooser on May 27, 2016, 10:46 am

        “Populist against populist will motivate all the Trump and Sanders folks, and leave all the Clinton supporters depressed, disengaged.”

        So what a spectacle that will be! Sanders and Trump both taking shots at Hilary Clinton! What’s Sanders supposed to do? Defend Hilary against Trump? Try to tell Trump when he’s out of bounds, getting misogynist?

        Look, I don’t like Hilary Clinton (Hell hath no fury… ) but this will be a disaster for everybody except Trump.

    • Citizen on May 26, 2016, 10:53 pm

      I’ve read some partisan opining Trump risks a lot by debating Bernie, from both sides. Nobody says Bernie is risking anything to my knowledge. One thing for sure, it will be a huge windfall for the infotainment channel sponsoring this gigantic circus Ad executives are already dialing up, out, and in oh so precious ad offers. A pizza night for America! Hats of to the producers, GRASS ROOTS, not Astroturf.

      • lysias on May 27, 2016, 11:45 am

        Sounds like the Trump-Sanders debate is a done deal. Raw Story: Bernie Sanders credits Jimmy Kimmel for Trump debate — which he sees as chance to seize nomination:

        It’s looking increasingly likely that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump will hold an unusual presidential debate — thanks to an assist by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

        Sanders suggested the debate, which he wants to be held in California ahead of the state’s June 7 Democratic primary, and Kimmel asked Trump whether he’d be willing to go for it during an appearance Wednesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

        Trump said he would do it, and Sanders appeared Thursday night on Kimmel’s talk show, where he offered some thanks to the host.

        “You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very, very differently,” Sanders told Kimmel.

        Sanders said he hoped to hold the debate at “some big stadium here in California,” and added that Kimmel’s network, ABC, had already contacted his campaign about televising the event.

      • eljay on May 27, 2016, 12:08 pm

        Sanders seems like a nice man. I’d vote for him. But I have a feeling that he just signed his campaign’s death warrant.

      • Mooser on May 28, 2016, 1:01 am

        Looks like the Trump-Sanders debate is off.

  10. on May 26, 2016, 4:38 pm

    Great article. The debate being engendered by the split among Democrats and within the Jewish community will now get even more play, and demonstrate how wrong-headed and misguided the policies of the U.S. have been, especially for the Palestinians, of course, but also for the long-term best interest of the U.S. and Israel itself.

    Opposition to unquestioned support of Israel and its proxies throughout the Middle East will grow, become more strident and more extreme, especially if people begin to connect the dots and see how cutting off support to Israel ties into the need to help the majority of people right here in America by bringing some of our resources and money home from the Middle East.

    Here the message Israel may increasingly hear. No country, even the U.S., has a right to exist. It exists because it has taken steps to protect itself. That’s what the U. S. has done. That’s what Israel should do, instead of hiding behind the U.S. and private supporters like AIPAC and the Israel Lobby.

    Here’s an actual existential threat to Israel, as opposed to the trumped (no pun intended) up threat of a few kids with knives. Let’s give them the stick in place of the carrot for a while. Let’s see if a cut off of most monetary aid, weapons sales, trade and other things until they give the Palestinians their rightful land, including pulling back the settlements, brings them to their senses and to the reality of not settling the conflict.

    So Israel goes it alone. It won’t be any worse for the Palestinians and a lo better for the U.S.

  11. irishmoses on May 26, 2016, 6:20 pm

    Per hophmi May 26, 2016, 2:40 pm:

    “It’s actually completely appropriate to use quotes. It’s a legal term of art, and the question of whether Israel is a legal occupier remains controversial.”

    Hophmi’s correct, military occupation of the captured land of an adversary, is a legal term of art. Used in that context, it is supposed to be a temporary state of control to be relinquished as soon as possible after the cessation of hostilities. In even the most extreme examples, the US military occupation of Germany, Italy, and Japan at the end of WW2 was ended in 4-6 years, not 50 and counting as in Israel’s case.

    The secret memo from now Judge Meron, commissioned by the Israeli government in 1967 made clear that attempting to extend the occupation and transfer Israeli Jewish civilians into all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories would be a war crime in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a signatory). Notwithstanding, the Israeli government went ahead with its illegal settlement program in 1967 demonstrating it had no intent to be a legal occupier of the Palestinian territories it had captured during the 67 war. Israel’s conduct in the half century since clearly demonstrates its intent to keep the territories for itself having now moved some 10 percent of its Jewish population into the occupied territories.

    Israel, of course, does everything it can to maintain the fiction that its occupation remains legal and temporary because it can only be a state of apartheid once the fiction is removed.

    As to the controversy about whether Israel remains a legal occupier, there is none as the actions and statements of the Israeli government have made abundantly clear over the past half century.

    Putting the term of art “occupation” in quotes was inappropriate as it implies that Israel’s status in the territories is arguably legal which it is not.

  12. David Doppler on May 26, 2016, 7:05 pm

    I guess it’s arguably no longer an “occupation,” but an “annexation.” Either way, the illegality seems clear.

    Moreover, quibbles over terms are just a very frequent way to stir the pot and deflect attention from the larger issue: the injustices being done to the Palestinians.

    • MHughes976 on May 27, 2016, 3:06 am

      The idea of occupation lasting 50 years with no end in sight is repugnant to common sense, as IM has mentioned. In common parlance this is conquest.

      • Sibiriak on May 27, 2016, 7:17 am

        MHughes976: The idea of occupation lasting 50 years with no end in sight is repugnant to common sense, as IM has mentioned. In common parlance this is conquest.

        Practically, it’s conquest; legally it’s still occupation. The situation is not unlike that of the Baltic states under Soviet domination.

        The occupation of the Baltic states refers to the military occupation of the three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—by the Soviet Union under the auspices of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 14 June 1940 followed by their incorporation into the USSR as constituent republics, unrecognised internationally by most countries.

        On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany attacked the USSR and within weeks occupied the Baltic territories. In July 1941, the Baltic territory was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ostland of the Third Reich. As a result of the Baltic Offensive of 1944, the Soviet Union recaptured most of the Baltic states and trapped the remaining German forces in the Courland pocket until their formal surrender in May 1945.

        The Soviet “annexation occupation” (Annexionsbesetzung or occupation sui generis) of the Baltic states lasted until August 1991, when the Baltic states regained independence.

        The Baltic states,the United States and its courts of law, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council have all stated that these three countries were invaded, occupied and illegally incorporated into the Soviet Union under provisions of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, first by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944, and again by the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1991.

        This policy of non-recognition has given rise to the principle of legal continuity , which holds that de jure, or as a matter of law, the Baltic states had remained independent states under illegal occupation throughout the period from 1940 to 1991. [emphasis added]


        The Baltic states were illegally occupied and suffered alien determination for some 51 years. There is no time limit, however, on the right of self-determination of peoples. (A right I’m well aware you do not recognize.)

      • MHughes976 on May 27, 2016, 8:05 am

        Wouldn’t you think that invasion, occupation and illegal annexation – or the sham and forced election of a new sovereign – amount to conquest?

      • Sibiriak on May 27, 2016, 8:32 am

        MHughes976 : Wouldn’t you think that invasion, occupation and illegal annexation – or the sham and forced election of a new sovereign – amounts to conquest?

        If “conquest”, in your use of the term, implies either necessary permanence or international recognition, then no.

        But if “conquest” means simply the taking control of territory by force, yes.

        In the case of Palestine, the taking of territory by force in the West Bank has led to an illegal occupation. (Gaza is “occupied” as well, according to international legal terminology.)

      • silamcuz on May 27, 2016, 8:36 am

        I don’t think conquest is the right choice of word here, it is far too positively weighted to describe the cowardly actions of the Zionists in their thievery and uncivilized behavior towards the Palestinians.

        In common parlance, this is armed robbery and militant occupation of land belonging to others.

  13. amigo on May 26, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Hillary Clinton cannot manage her campaign correctly as evidenced by this major error in judgment in failing to be a part of this debate.How could she be suitable to manage the affairs of the most powerful nation on earth. IMHO , she displayed cowardice and cognitive dissonance in failing to show up for the fight.Imagine her as the Commander in Chief when the nation truly needs to go to war and she says , hey let,s sit this one out.

  14. wondering jew on May 26, 2016, 7:18 pm

    I do not agree with placing quotation marks around “occupation”. The standard line of Likudniks is that the west bank is disputed territory rather than occupied territory, because occupied implies that the territories were under a recognized government’s authority before the occupation, as in Sinai and Golan which were under Egyptian and Syrian sovereignty. But the West bank which was under Jordanian sovereignty unrecognized by the world, is not in the category of occupied, but disputed. (Jordan’s occupation of the west bank was recognized by two countries: great britain and pakistan, I believe.) But in 1974 Jordan withdrew its claims on the west bank to make room for PLO claims on the west bank and so even jordan admits it is not Jordanian occupied territory. since a Palestinian state does not yet exist and has never existed, therefore it cannot be occupied since the sovereignty of the Palestinians was never established.

    Because Israel has not annexed the territory and certainly not annexed it with the approval of the protected peoples, and because Israel has never offered citizenship to those protected peoples, I think occupied, as in reference to resolution 242: territories to be withdrawn from in the context of negotiations and mutual recognitions, I think that occupied is an accurate term and needs no quotation marks.

    • talknic on May 27, 2016, 1:42 am

      y f does Ziodope denial 101 … so cute

      @ yonah fredman May 26, 2016, 7:18 pm

      I do not agree with placing quotation marks around “occupation”. “

      UNSC res 467 “Israel, the Occupying Power” .. “territories occupied”

      “1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem ;

      “The standard line of Likudniks is that the west bank is disputed territory rather than occupied territory, because occupied implies that the territories were under a recognized government’s authority before the occupation, as in Sinai and Golan which were under Egyptian and Syrian sovereignty. But the West bank which was under Jordanian sovereignty unrecognized by the world,”

      Uh huh. And exactly no countries recognize Israel’s annexation of any territories it has acquired by war since proclaiming its borders effective 00:01 May 1948 (ME time)

      However, the legality of annexation is not determined by recognition. It’s legality is determined by the self determination of the legitimate citizens of the territory being annexed, i.e., agreeing to to be annexed.

      ICJ on the ‘Wall’ opinion

      88. The Court also notes that the principle of self-determination of peoples has been enshrined in the United Nations Charter and reaffirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 2625 (XXV) cited above, pursuant to which “Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to [in that resolution] . . . of their right to self-determination.” Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights reaffirms the right of al1 peoples to self-determination, and lays upon the States parties the obligation to promote the realization of that right and to respect it, in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.

      The Court would recall that in 1971 it emphasized that current developments in “international law in regard to non-self-governing territories, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, made the principle of self-determination applicable to all [such territories]“. The Court went on to state that “These: developments leave little doubt that the ultimate objective of the sacred trust” referred to in Article 22, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the League of Nations “was the self-determination . . . of the peoples concerned” (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Ajrica) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, 1. C. J. Reports 1971, p. 31, paras. 52-53). The Court has referred to this principle on a number of occasions in its jurisprudence (ibid. ; see also Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. report. 1975, p. 68, para. 162). The Court indeed made it clear that the right of peoples to self-determination is today a right erga omnes (see East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), Judgment, 1. C. J. Reports 1995, p. 102, para. 29).


      115. In this regard, Annex II to the report of the Secretary-General, entitled “Summary Legal Position of the Palestine Liberation Organization”, States that “The construction of the Barrier is an attempt to annex the territory contrary to international law” and that “The de facto annexation of land interferes with the territorial sovereignty and consequently with the right of the Palestinians to self-determination.”

      The West Bank was legally annexed at the request of representatives of the majority of the legitimate citizens of the territory. Jordan’s annexation was as a trustee only by demand of the other Arab states (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950), in keeping with the UN Charter Chapt XI

      ” is not in the category of occupied, but disputed”

      Can’t find that word in any of the UNSC resolutions

      “But in 1974 Jordan withdrew its claims on the west bank to make room for PLO claims on the west bank “

      Jordan was a trustee only. It was handed back to the PLO

      “… since a Palestinian state does not yet exist and has never existed, therefore it cannot be occupied since the sovereignty of the Palestinians was never established”

      Wholly holey Hasbara crappolla. The LoN Mandate for Palestine Article 7 Article 7 The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine. “

      Palestinian Nationality Law was adopted in 1925. Palestine was a Nation State at the time of partition. Israel seceded from it.

      Under Jordanian annexation the West Bank was a part of a Sovereign State and; from the moment Jordan joined the UN the West Bank was a part of a UN Member State and; from the time Jordan ratified GC IV the West Bank was a part of a High Contracting Power. Which is why the UNSC tells us GC IV applies

      Now the majority of the International Comity of Nations has recognized Palestine as a state. All that’s required is independence from Israel’s illegal, immoral, unethical and unwarranted occupation and its ongoing theft of non-Israeli territories

      “Because Israel has not annexed the territory and certainly not annexed it with the approval of the protected peoples, and because Israel has never offered citizenship to those protected peoples, I think occupied, as in reference to resolution 242: territories to be withdrawn from in the context of negotiations and mutual recognitions,”

      There’s no mention of negotiations or mutual recognitions in UNSC res 242. The states were to have respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;”

      Read the Israel Egypt Peace Treaty, it was a successful conclusion to UNSC res 242 by those two states. It required withdrawal by Israel from all the territories sovereign to Egypt. Withdrawal for peace. Simple really. Israel needs to f*ck off out of all non-Israeli territories for once, take its illegal settlers and pay suitable reparations for 68 years of intransigence

    • Shmuel on May 27, 2016, 2:37 am

      Because Israel has not annexed the territory and certainly not annexed it with the approval of the protected peoples, and because Israel has never offered citizenship to those protected peoples, I think occupied, as in reference to resolution 242: territories to be withdrawn from in the context of negotiations and mutual recognitions, I think that occupied is an accurate term and needs no quotation marks.

      That seems to be the position taken by the Israeli supreme court in the Alfei Menashe case:

  15. pabelmont on May 26, 2016, 7:18 pm

    Article says thagt the direction (of history?) is one-way, and this (like same sex marriage) was sure to happen some day. Well, Perhaps, but there was not at all the same money opposing same-sex marraige as opposing Palestine.

  16. Citizen on May 26, 2016, 11:08 pm

    Can’t wait for Anne Coulter’s tweets during the Bernie vs Donald debate. Also to watch Blitzer & Maddow & Matthews & The FACTOR & The Five, The View, Krauthammer, Kristol, Outnumbered…

  17. mlevin on May 27, 2016, 9:35 am

    I wish you would stop saying Israel receives support because of money. Campaign contributions can’t buy opinions, and many people continue to believe Israel is an imperiled democracy bravely defending itself. This is a democracy; Hillary and Donald and Barak may not believe such claptrap, but lamentably many voters do. That is why politicians who speak as if they believe it attract support. Fans of Israel believe because they have seen Exodus too may times, and are constantly being reminded of the holocaust. Even the currently most popular criticism of Israel–that it is turning “fascist”–uses pro-Israel language (fascism led to the holocaust; we need Israel so it never happens again!). MW readers must not flatter themselves that only venal morons would disagree with them, and anyone who says he disagrees is being paid to do so.

    • Mooser on May 27, 2016, 11:49 am

      “MW readers must not flatter themselves that only venal morons would disagree with them”

      Wait a minute, I thought you just told us that…oh, never mind.

    • oldgeezer on May 27, 2016, 11:59 am


      I doubt that the only reason Israel receives support is campaign money. There is probably a number of reaaons some of which resonate with some people while others are so inclined forbother reasons.

      That said to deny the impact of money both in terms of buying support and influencing opinions is silly. The lobbying and marketing industries are both predicated on that basis.

  18. rickaicp on May 27, 2016, 11:40 pm

    NYT is not implying that the “occupation” is “alleged”, as you say. NYT realizes and acknowledges that the final agreement must be a negotiated two-state solution. What they are implying by placing “occupation” in quotes is that those lands are currently in dispute. There is no negotiated peace deal establishing a two-state solution as of yet. Some of the lands of the West Bank, also known of course as Judea and Samaria to the Israelis, will be exchanged for lands in the Galilee that are settled with Arab towns and villages inside Israel’s 1967 borders. Theoretically in a final agreement, many of those lands will be swapped 1:1. So we really don’t know at this time which lands will eventually belong to which state. Do you get it?

    • oldgeezer on May 28, 2016, 9:53 am


      And what do you propose will happen to those Arab Israeli citizens living on that land? Relocate them elsewhere in Israel? Strip them of their citizenship?

    • Misterioso on May 28, 2016, 7:25 pm



      In accordance with the UN Charter and the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” as emphasized in the Preamble to Res. 242, which governs all that follows, none of the Palestinian and other Arab lands Israel invaded during the war it launched on 5 June 1967 are “in dispute.”

      As UNSC resolutions and the US State Department have repeatedly declared, the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem are belligerently and illegally (i.e., in gross violation of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention) by Israel. Also, under international law, the Palestinian Gaza Strip is still belligerently and illegally (i.e., in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention – “Collective Punishment) occupied by Israel.

      Nor should we forget that as repeatedly declared in UNSC resolutions and by the US State Department, Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebba Farms are belligerently and illegally occupied by Israel. For the record: Approximately 150,000 Druze Syrians were expelled from their native Golan Heights by Israel during the 1967 war.

      BTW, UNSC resolutions have declared Israel’s annexations of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to be null and void.

      Granted, as part of a final peace agreement there may be mutually agreed minor land swaps, but Palestinian and other Arab lands under occupation will not be referred to as “in dispute” for the simple reason that they are not.

      Do you get it?

      • MHughes976 on May 29, 2016, 3:19 pm

        There is something grimly funny in this context about all this ‘inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force’, seeing that Israel has acquired nothing any other way, unless you say that land purchases were an acquisition of sovereign territory or that the UN partition plan was an authoritative bestowal of territory by someone who had a right to bestow it, rather than merely make recommendations.
        We have been reminded in Mondoweiss discussions of other acquisitions by force, as by the imperialist powers of the nineteenth century and as in the Yalta horrors. The Israelis are by no means alone in acquisition by force , but at least the other acquisitions that still survive, such as the United States beyond the eastern seaboard, have gained something like the common consent of humanity, which Israel never has.

  19. irishmoses on May 28, 2016, 11:48 am

    Per: rickaicp May 27, 2016, 11:40 pm

    “NYT is not implying that the “occupation” is “alleged”, as you say. NYT realizes and acknowledges that the final agreement must be a negotiated two-state solution. What they are implying by placing “occupation” in quotes is that those lands are currently in dispute.”

    The solution is to revert back to the rule of law and abandon the chimera of a negotiated solution. There is no “dispute” as to whose land it belongs to. Israel is about to enter the 50th year of an illegal occupation and has blatantly violated the laws of war regarding the duties of an occupying power since 1967 by illegally, knowingly, and intentionally moving its civilian population into the territories occupied.

    There is no reason or obligation to negotiate with a lawbreaker. All that’s required is for the members of the UNSC to decide they’ve had enough of Israel’s behavior because of the danger it poses Middle East stability and act to condemn and severely sanction that behavior.

    Impossible you say? Quite possible. The recent Iran nuclear agreement provides a template on how that might work. P5+1+EU+UN agree to impose severe sanctions on Iran to force it to agree to give up possibility of nuclear weapons creation. Iran toughs it out for a few years but after sanctions prove too burdensome, enters into negotiations and ultimately an agreement to dismantle its nuclear enrichment program.

    See, that wasn’t so hard was it?

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