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Democratic establishment wants to make Palestinians go poof in platform

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The Democratic platform battle over Palestinian human rights continues to bubble away on the back burner; but the press contains hints that the Clinton forces are more determined than ever to cut a deal to make the issue disappear. The liberal Zionist group J Street suggests the deal that could resolve the division: including opposition to “settlements” entrenching the “occupation” in the platform and leaving it at that. No reference to Jerusalem, Gaza, let alone boycott, all of which have been a source of angry contention between Clintonites and Sandersites.

Here are some of the news-droppings. Andrew Romano at Yahoo news says that Clintonites are willing to yield on domestic issues to make Palestinians go poof:

Sanders simply doesn’t have much leverage left… If Sanders & Co. were to threaten an ugly floor flight over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and at the initial platform hearings, West and Zogby have already clashed with Clinton supporters over terms like “occupation” — it’s possible that Team Clinton might try to convince them to back down by ceding ground elsewhere.

This would be a risky move on Sanders’ part; Clinton has already rejected many of his demands, including free public-college tuition and single-payer health care, and much of the rest of the party would not look kindly on a floor fight. But who knows how far the senator is willing to go to satisfy his supporters — and to secure his progressive legacy?

David Weigel in the Washington Post also says that the Clintonites are digging in on Palestine, throwing bones to Sanders elsewhere, in his determination to have ‘‘the most progressive platform’’ in party history.

Sanders’ allies on the drafting platform committee have struggled to get the party to endorse new language on Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.

But in conversations with Clinton delegates, there have been reasons for optimism on the rest of the Sanders policy planks — Medicare for all, for example — and on reform of superdelegates.

The establishment clearly regards Palestine as a third rail, for fundraising/media-consensus/November reasons. Jewish Insider publishes a threatening email from an establishment pro-Israel figure:

Former Rep. Henry Waxman emails… “Those who litigate the particulars of a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians by fighting for controversial language in the Democratic platform are severely misguided. Make no mistake: Inserting unnecessarily contentious changes to the platform would serve only to hurt our nominee in November and undermine the prospect of a two-state solution during the next administration.”

What is unnecessarily contentious language? Evidently, occupation and Jerusalem and boycott. But J Street, the Israel lobby for the Democratic base, sees a compromise. It says the divisions will go away if only the committee will adopt a “new consensus” in the platform. “It’s time to add language noting concern about the relentless expansion of settlements, which entrench the occupation and endanger peace.” Both Sanders and Clinton will be for that, says J Street, and so will American Jews. J Street portrays Hillary Clinton as a big supporter of Palestinian rights.

Some have warned that adding language about Palestinian rights and the importance of ending the occupation will spark intraparty battles. But Hillary Clinton championed these issues as Secretary of State and Senator Bernie Sanders has raised them again and again during this campaign. Moreover, such views are completely in line with those of an overwhelming majority of American Jews and Democrats more broadly.

You and your fellow committee members have an opportunity to update the party’s platform to bring it into line with this new consensus — I sincerely hope you’ll seize it.

There is no mention of Jerusalem here, of course. Too divisive. Jerusalem divided the Democratic rank and file from the establishment at the 2012 convention. And nothing about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), on which Clinton is a hardliner, but which many Sandersites support.

In another sign that J Street is forging a consensus on the platform, it publishes a letter co-signed by platform committee members Rep. Keith Ellison, a Sandersite, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Clintonite, on the “consensus” language, which includes a nod to Palestinian conditions:

Palestinians struggle under an unjust occupation that deprives them of the rights, opportunities and independence that they deserve….

So as we and our colleagues work over the next few weeks to frame our party’s platform, we’re confident that we can seize this moment and confirm the consensus vision of peace, security and human dignity shared by our party and its supporters.

While here is evidence that the conflict wants to get politicized in the US mainstream: Nathan Guttman at the Forward says that a rightwing pro-Israel group led by an Orthodox Jew is trying to push the Republican Party to dump its platform language favoring the two-state solution so as to accommodate rightwing Israel’s desire to have all the land to itself.

the alliance will attempt to convert the Republicans into Israel’s best American friend, starting with the platform. Indeed, in the previous election cycle, a group of Republican Jews launched an unsuccessful effort to change the platform and eliminate the endorsement of a two-state solution. It was AIPAC, according to two activists involved in the talks at the time, that convinced RNC platform committee members to stick to the old language.

The leader of that group, Jeff Ballabon, shares a desire of many on the left: to politicize the issue:

“Elections after elections, the establishment groups tell us it’s a win-win situation because both [parties] are good for Israel,” Ballabon said. “We’re saying it’s not so.

Note that J Street and AIPAC want the same thing: calm, pro forma support for the two-state solution. Air your differences privately. The liberal Zionist lobby is virtually indistinguishable from the oldline rightwing lobby, AIPAC, when it comes to keeping the issue from being politicized, and thereby keeping politicians from quarreling openly with one another or with Israel.

J Street has taken a very establishment position on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which was a big flashpoint in the Democratic platform debate. Sanders proxy Cornel West endorsed it; Clinton surrogate Robert Wexler said it must be defeated and now. J Street has met lately with a rightwing Israeli official, Gilad Erdan, over how to combat BDS. J Street’s Rachel Lerner says at the Forward that the meeting was a sign of J Street’s growing importance as the representative of American Jews.

“Given our work on this issue, the Israeli government should see J Street as an important group to speak with,” she writes.

It is getting harder and harder to tell J Street and AIPAC apart. The two centrist agendas are closer than ever now that the left is supporting BDS and the right is supporting Israeli expansion.

Meanwhile, the Democratic platform battle on June 9 continues to resonate in the left-leaning press. And Rania Khalek at EI reminds us of the stakes: “In the last two years alone, support for Palestinians among liberal Democrats has nearly doubled.” Close to half of US students see Israel as an apartheid state, she says.

“Deeply rattled, pro-Israel groups are desperately pouring resources into suppressing BDS…. So when Sanders appointed West to the platform committee and signaled his intention to push the Democrats on Palestine, the political establishment went into an all-out panic.”

To be continued. It will be fascinating to see how much of the Democratic base speaks up for Palestinian rights in Philadelphia, outside the convention and on the floor.

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41 Responses

  1. amigo
    June 23, 2016, 1:30 pm

    “Make no mistake: Inserting unnecessarily contentious changes to the platform would serve only to hurt our nominee in November and undermine the prospect of a two-state solution during the next administration.”Waxman

    Does this man have wax in his ears —what 2SS is he referring to.Is he also surrounded by pro Israel Jews who feed him the myth of a “peace process ” and two states living side by side in peace and security.

    Have these people ever had a tad of decency or empathy for the oppressed or have they traded that for the financial largess that paves their road to power. What a terrible blot on humanity these morons are.

    • eljay
      June 23, 2016, 1:40 pm

      When it comes to I-P, Zio-supremacists are desperate to defend the “right” of Jews to blatantly and unapologetically:
      – do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them; and
      – undermine international laws and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford everyone, including their fellow (non-Zionist) Jews.

      Why do Zio-supremacists insist on hating Jews so much?!

      • JWalters
        June 23, 2016, 7:46 pm

        “Air your differences privately”

        Translation: “Air your war crimes privately”.

    • JWalters
      June 23, 2016, 7:29 pm

      Well put. History, and their grandchildren, will judge these people harshly.

  2. peterfeld
    June 23, 2016, 3:56 pm

    The most important thing is to have a public fight. It doesn’t matter what the fight is about — BDS, use of the word “occupation,” Jerusalem, Gaza — as long as it’s something the pro-Israel side can’t accept and as long as it’s something the Sanders side has enough votes to force onto the floor. A public fight we lose is better than winning with an off-camera compromise.

    As I’ve noted before – don’t assume all of the Hillary rank-and-file would be against something criticizing Israel. The 2012 delegates who tried to vote down moving the embassy to Jerusalem were 100% there to renominate Obama when there was no contest. Some of them might be Hillary delegates this time.

    Other great things that 1,900 Bernie delegates could do in Philly:
    — Heckle Andrew Cuomo wherever he goes. He should be made into a pariah within the party.
    — Chant “Free, Free Palestine!” when Hillary pledges undying support for Israel in her convention speech.

    • hophmi
      June 23, 2016, 7:03 pm

      Yes,act like complete assholes, pro-Palestinian people! If there’s anything that wins you friends, it’s nasty and shrill screaming.

      • Talkback
        June 24, 2016, 7:40 am

        I think that the main reason for winning friends for (pro-)Palestinians is Israeli assholes and their boot lickers, hopmi. So please continue.

      • Marnie
        June 24, 2016, 8:43 am

        What’s good for israelis and zionists is good for antizionist pro-Palestinians. Geez you’re a hypocrite. “Death to the Arabs,” “May your villages burn”, etc. Acting like complete assholes alright, waving their flags, the blue and white and black and gold.

      • hophmi
        June 24, 2016, 10:14 am

        But the pro-Israel community is not the community shutting down anti-Israel events. It’s not invading gay spaces to shut down their events as happened at A Wider Bridge’s event in Chicago. It’s not asking everyone in the international community to prioritize their issue above all others and offering nothing in return. They’re not using antisemitic language and phraseology and then using leftist Jews as a figleaf for their bigotry.

        No one likes the anti-Israel activist community. You’re seen as bullies advancing a partisan, violent, nationalist political agenda while disingenuously cloaking yourselves in the language of human rights.

      • annie
        June 24, 2016, 10:16 am

        No one likes the anti-Israel activist community.

        wow, fighting words! you’re breaking our hearts dude.

      • Talkback
        June 24, 2016, 11:44 am

        hophmi: “No one likes the anti-Israel activist community. You’re seen as bullies advancing a partisan, violent, nationalist political agenda while disingenuously cloaking yourselves in the language of human rights.”

        Another case of infantile Zionist projection.

      • Emory Riddle
        Emory Riddle
        June 24, 2016, 12:12 pm

        I thought it was bombs, white phosphorous, walls, extra -judicial executions, and calling anyone who does not go along with these a Jew hater that wins you friends?

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2016, 12:26 pm

        “Yes,act like complete assholes, pro-Palestinian people! If there’s anything that wins you friends, it’s nasty and shrill screaming.” “Hophmi” yes, that’s right, “Hophmi”!

        Some Moderators you have here! They don’t care if I choke, if my coffee ends up in my lungs, and the neighbors call Animal control and insist there must be a tubercular hyena in the vicinity!

        “Hophmi” I think you have the wrong idea. The archives are temporarily truncated, not deleted

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2016, 12:31 pm

        “Another case of infantile Zionist projection.”

        Yes, an episode of Zionist projection vomiting can have serious consequences.

      • Marnie
        June 24, 2016, 1:10 pm

        “But the pro-Israel community is not the community shutting down anti-Israel events. It’s not invading gay spaces to shut down their events as happened at A Wider Bridge’s event in Chicago.”

        You’re right! It’s not that they don’t want to, they’re just too fucking busy with hasbara patrol because the zionist enterprise won’t stop killing Palestinians and stealing their land! FFS this isn’t rocket science Hophni.

      • Talkback
        June 25, 2016, 7:11 am

        hophmi: “But the pro-Israel community is not the community shutting down anti-Israel events.”

        You are right, they are the comminity who tries to shut down free speech alltogether by implying that anything is antisemitic if it isn’t pro-Israel or is pro-Palestinian.

        (Opinion) fascists.

      • US Citizen
        US Citizen
        June 25, 2016, 1:02 pm

        Yes,act like complete assholes, pro-Palestinian people! If there’s anything that wins you friends, it’s nasty and shrill screaming.

        hophmi, you mean like the Israelis do? Labeling, crying, whining and temper trantruming all criticism against apartheid Israel, the force of instability in the Mideast, “Anti-Semitism”. Accusing its external critics of being “Nazi sympathizers”, and just dismiss its internal dissenters as “self haters”.

        Let’s revisit the wedding video shall we? – wedding video

        Not to mention Israelis nasty and shrill screaming and giving the finger to the Palestinians

        Yea, acting like complete assholes.

    • JWalters
      June 23, 2016, 7:33 pm

      Good points. Publicity is the goal.

      How about: “Settlements and home demolitions are continuing the ongoing Nakba.”

    • annie
      June 24, 2016, 2:41 pm

      A public fight we lose is better than winning with an off-camera compromise.

      i agree whole heartedly.

      • Citizen
        June 24, 2016, 11:33 pm

        I too agree that publicity is the goal–by seducing the commercial mainstream media, especially cable TV news/infotainment shows, to cover dissent by making it a show. Maybe anti-Zionists can sit-in, sit on the floor like was just done in Congress, and periscope out the breaking news at the DNC? None of this “don’t create a spectacle in front of the goys,” and “don’t wash your dirty linen in public” stuff! No more AIPACesque “night flower blooming.” I believe to create publicity is to bring needed information to voters they won’t get by keeping the issue behind closed doors.
        Transparency–informed consent or cancer. Don’t count on Bernie to help unless he is forced by shame to do so by his own true believers.

  3. Kay24
    June 23, 2016, 4:36 pm

    Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders does not have the support of the majority of Democrats. Most of them because of DNA or shekels coming their way, have put their conscience aside and decided the Palestinians cannot support their candidacies, and therefore will support the first woman nominee who has shamelessly ignored human rights violations and senseless death of poor Palestinians, to break that glass ceiling and become President (which will result in her buddy Nutty calling the shots and directing our foreign policies.

    Waxman is yet another tool of the zionists.

    [email protected]
    June 23, 2016, 6:01 pm

    Just as I know that not all Jewish people from this site support Israel, it should be clear that just because someone is Muslim, they would naturally support Palestine. The committee is 10 Clintonites to 5 for Sanders so the deck is stacked to begin with. So Ellison, not a great supporter of Palestinians decides to agree to a Pro-Israel letter that meets J-Street parameters. Hey, throw the Pals under the bus. The liberals in his district are not going to bolt and bringing in a pro-Israel lobby is going to secure benefits for him now and down the road. Politics pure and simple, and naturally the oppressed get screwed in the process.

  5. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    June 23, 2016, 6:35 pm

    If J Street can craft compromise language, Bernie would probably be thrilled to take it because the majority of his supporters are more focused on his proposed domestic policies . It would probably be closer to language that reflects the views of the majority of Democratic Jews, even if it does not reflect fully the justice concerns of Palestinians.

    It would be a coup by J Street over AIPAC, even if it upsets the more hardline of the Democrats’ Zionist donors. By the convention, the Democratic nominee will already be pretty well set for cash and will need to be more concerned about getting the base motivated to vote.

    • JWalters
      June 23, 2016, 7:38 pm

      The Democrats need to find a way to dump the Zionists while still saving face. Some momentous revelation that would let them all jump ship, or reverse course, something akin to an information Pearl Harbor.

  6. Kay24
    June 23, 2016, 8:09 pm

    The Green party candidate Jill Stein looks interesting. She has already come to the right conclusion regarding Israel, while the Democrats cannot get their act together, squabbling about how to pander to Israel versus doing the right thing.

    “Stein has been highly critical of Israel, accusing the Israeli government of “apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law.”[107]

    It is a shame the American people only focus on the two parties.

    • echinococcus
      June 23, 2016, 8:12 pm

      Absolutely. It’s such a crying shame that so many people have wasted an entire year, which could have been used to organize against the “two party” dictatorship, following a goddamn sheep dog for the same “two” parties.

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2016, 10:59 pm

        ” the same “two” parties.”

        There seems to be a difference. The Democrats are, for better or worse, a working political party.
        The Republican party is completely falling apart in this Pres race.
        Party discipline, familiarity with establishment candidates, (Cruz Rubio) the threat of upsetting big funders, a platform, the idea that maybe the Presidency of the United States isn’t an entry-level job, all meant nothing in the face of Trump.
        They just swooned for him and nothing the Republican Party could do could unite them against Trump who basically said enthusiastically, the things Repubs usually just hint at, (because they are really ridiculous) and that’s all it took.

        And what pisses me off, is thinking: “That is the Republican Party which kept the Democrats from moving left? That prevented them from accomplishing things? That bunch of screwballs? They’re politically impotent. Completely hollow!”
        While I was expounding on this to my wife, she remarked: “I think I need a hearing aid”
        Ever the concerned husband, I asked if hearing me was a problem. She said yes, it definitely was. “That’s why I need a hearing aid”, she explained sweetly, ” So I could turn it off.”
        Then she reminded me that if the Repubs in Congress could always find it in themselves to unite against Pres. Obama.

      • Kay24
        June 23, 2016, 11:11 pm

        What a waste of time and money having a Presidential election season for over 12 months. We must look crazy to the rest of the world, where some democratic nations have election season only for a couple of months or so. The ugliness, insults, and lies keep going on and on. Enough already.

      • RoHa
        June 24, 2016, 1:03 am

        “We must look crazy to the rest of the world,”

        Rest assured, you do.

        ” where some democratic nations have election season only for a couple of months or so.”

        Most keep it down to a few weeks. Right now, in Australia we are suffering a 73 day election, (40 days longer than the legal minimum) and we are sick of it.

      • echinococcus
        June 24, 2016, 1:30 am

        Oh, sure we are insane, not only look it. That is not, however, an excuse for participating in the single-party Punch-and-Judy show.

      • Kay24
        June 24, 2016, 7:01 am

        RoHa, my sister is Aussie and she says you guys eventually take the craziness of America yourselves in some things especially politics. Years ago I warned her and said that zionist poison was creeping in to your political system too, but she said that it was not. Today, her opinion has changed and it seems your political system has been unfortunately affected by zio poison too.

      • RoHa
        June 24, 2016, 11:06 am

        Kay, not only American craziness creeps in, but also (worse) American bad grammar. But both you and your sister are wrong about Zionist poison. It crept in long, long ago, well before you thought it was creeping in.

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2016, 12:27 pm

        Well, here comes Britain to give American crazy some competition.

      • MHughes976
        June 24, 2016, 3:52 pm

        Yes, indeed, Mooser, I don’t think that my poor country has ever been in a crazier position than today. I won’t press more thoughts about Brexit on you, but I’ll just note that two people who led the Conservative Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, are both exceptionally committed Zionists, so our policies on the ME are likely to get more crazy and more immoral than ever in the near future. Berkshire voted against Brexit, just saying.

      • Kay24
        June 24, 2016, 5:11 pm

        Mooser, this will be interesting for you if you have not read it already.

        Andy Borowitz on British losing right to claim Americans are better. Great article.

      • Mooser
        June 24, 2016, 5:47 pm

        “…if you haven’t read it yet”

        I haven’t read anything yet, you can count on that. I looked at the link and I’ll go and read the rest. Thanks.

        . “Berkshire voted against Brexit, just saying.”

        I don’t think this exit will be a good thing, glad Berkshire knew which way to go.

  7. JLewisDickerson
    June 24, 2016, 12:41 pm

    RE: “Those who litigate the particulars of a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians by fighting for controversial language in the Democratic platform are severely misguided. Make no mistake: Inserting unnecessarily contentious changes to the platform would serve only to hurt our nominee in November and undermine the prospect of a two-state solution during the next administration.” ~ Former Rep. Henry Waxman

    IN OTHER WORDS, AS DURING THE ‘JIM CROW’ ERA IN THE SOUTH: Submissive loyalty to “the powers that be” is absolutely mandatory. Ergo, the Democratic Party platform should contain nothing but such platitudes as everyone can agree upon (or else there will be hell to pay)!*

    * SEE: “Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel” (1938) | by C. Vann Woodward (Author) | page 57

    [EXCERPT] . . . The submissive loyalty that the [Democratic] leaders of the New Departure commanded in Georgia conformed to a pattern found in all Southern states after home rule was restored. “The ‘Solid South,’ ” wrote Henry Watterson in 1879, “is a reaction against proscription, attended by misgovernment, and a protest against the ever-recurring menace of Federal interference.” 25 Thus the new discipline was feudal rather than democratic. It was based upon fear—fear of the Negro menace [i.e.,”the super-predators” ~ J.L.D.], the scalawag menace, the Federal menace, menaces real and imaginary. As the price of protection, it demanded unquestioning allegiance. White men could not divide on lines of class interest, nor could differences over measures and candidates be expressed at the ballot box. Such matters were settled by the small clique that ran the machine. Democratic forms were observed, but their observance was entirely perfunctory. Party platforms contained nothing but such platitudes as all white men could agree upon. Incompetency and weakness in candidates had to be overlooked for the sake of white solidarity. . .

    ● SOURCE (Kindle Locations 1232-1282) –

    ● EXTENDED EXCERPT (regarding the “New Departure Democrats”, and their implementation of Jim Crow following the restoration of home rule in the South) –

    ■ P.S. Hillary Clinton is essentially a “New Departure Democrat”. No matter how flawed she (and the Democratic Party) may be, WE ABSOLUTELY MUST get together behind her, or risk being ruled by the likes of Donald Trump (i.e., a fate likely far worse than THE Apocalypse)!!!

  8. Qualtrough
    June 25, 2016, 2:49 am

    US voters now face a choice between two human centipedes labially connected to the terminus of Netanyahu’s alimentary canal. One wanting to increase military aid to Israel a lot, and the other, as announced today, wanting to increase it ‘dramatically’. It would be nice if US citizens could some day be able to vote on ISRAELEXIT.

  9. mcohen.
    June 25, 2016, 6:46 pm

    what if trump is a decoy to destroy any chance of the republicans posing a serious challenge to h.clinton
    what if that decoy bolts at the last minute and grabs the ring
    the fix is in.boeing is on.sunni got the munni but shite got the fight

    another vast conspiracy brought to you by mcsuleimon

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