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Democratic Party leadership lines up against BDS — and the ‘nuts’ who support it

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How intentional was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order aimed at BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) on Sunday? Very intentional. The Democratic Party leadership is lining up behind Israel and against BDS in the weeks leading up to the Democratic convention next month and a platform fight over the party’s positions on Israel.

Of all that separates Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’s bases, the Israel issue is now the clearest, and BDS could be the embattled ground. The Green Party nominee’s endorsement of BDS surely resonates for many of Bernie Sanders youthful supporters.

While on the establishment side, J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami, who says he speaks for most American Jews– and surely does speak for the older generation– is trying to head off a “messy” convention by getting the Democratic Party to crush BDS now. Ben-Ami urges the adoption of a “consensus” platform that supports the creation of a Palestinian state and opposes Israeli settlements but opposes any punishment on Israel for its unending occupation — BDS. Times of Israel:

“[T]he truth is that American Jews overwhelmingly favor the two-state solution, they oppose unlimited settlement expansion, and want American leadership to end the conflict.” [Ben-Ami said]

Despite [Sanders platform committee member Cornel] West’s vocal support for the BDS movement, Ben-Ami said that the Democratic platform should also “express a very broad-based American opposition to the global BDS movement.”

“The movement fails to recognize Israel’s right to exist, to support a two-state solution, to differentiate between the occupation and opposition to Israel itself,” Ben-Ami complained.

Ben-Ami can say that he speaks for Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old Jew who himself has opposed BDS. But will Sanders supporters go quietly into the night on the BDS issue? I’m not so sure about that.

The party is surely divided on BDS. On the public radio station WNYC this morning, Jesse McKinley, Albany bureau chief for the New York Times, said that Cuomo was moved by Jews who regard BDS as an “economic danger” to Israel, but said there “is a lot of traction for this movement… it is out there and it is certainly popular in some quarters, to be sure.”

Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin says smartly that the Cuomo took a controversial stand on BDS, because the leftwing base is pro-BDS. Tobin encourages more governors to take such a stand, but he expresses a clear understanding of the movement inside the party:

With the left wing of his party drifting farther and farther away from a position of support for Israel, a trend accelerated by the success of the Bernie Sanders presidential candidacy, Cuomo was to some extent sticking his neck out. That it came in the same week as an anti-BDS bill was eviscerated by Democrats in the California legislature, and following the failure of the Democrat-dominated New York State Assembly to pass a similar measure to his order, illustrates just how stark the divide in his party has become…

The fact that an anti-BDS law is stalled in the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly is a turn of events that shows the ability of the party’s ascendant left wing to thwart the intentions of more centrist members. It is also an indication that the pro-Israel consensus that once prevailed in Cuomo’s party is out the window.

Many of us on the left seek a battle over BDS not for any symbolic reason, but because Palestinian oppression is such an important American interest question and also human-rights question, one that is front and center in the wake of a Gaza slaughter killing 500 children and recent statements by leading Israelis that the country’s political leadership is fascistic.

Yesterday, an establishment Jewish congressman from Long Island, Steve Israel (formerly the head of the fundraising committee that backs Democratic candidates for the House) described BDS supporters in the party as “nuts,” according to Jewish Insider. Jacob Kornbluh reported on a debate at the American Jewish Committee’s global forum between Rep. Israel and Dan Senor, a lead promoter of the Jewish state, over which party is better for Israel.

Senor smeared Sanders’s leftwing base and adherents as “anti-Semitic.”

Senor suggested that the appointment of Dr. Cornel West and James Zogby to the Democratic platform committee is proof that the future of the Democratic Party is being shaped by the progressive energy that believes in standing against Israel and that party leaders are being intimidated by them. “The issue of Israel is the one issue where the Jewish community historically stood shoulder to shoulder with one another and with Israel across party lines,” he said. “The platform committee — that is the most anti-Semitic committee put forward by a national party in the history of this country, and not a single elected Democrat has spoken out against it. Not a single elected official has said these officials who’ve been appointed should step down.”

Rep. Israel, for his part, insisted that the anti-Israel and pro-BDS voices within his party are “nuts” and are not the face of the Democratic Party. “If you have some nuts, some crazies, to suggest that the Democratic Party’s energy is behind them is tantamount to suggesting that Republican Party energy is behind the use of concentration camps symbols to vilify American-Jewish journalists.”

“You got your nuts, we have our nuts; but the mainstream is holding steady on Israel and on the broad range of other critical Jewish values,” Israel summed up the debate. “On things that matter to Israel’s survival as a Jewish State, there’s no weakening in support among Democrats.”

Senor noted that polls show that Democrats are distancing themselves from Israel “in large numbers,” but Rep. Israel shot back that Donald Trump is going to be “neutral” on Israel. Reports  Kornbluh: “Israel pointed to Trump’s questioning Israel’s commitment to peace, his comments about remaining ‘neutral’ on the conflict, and implying Jewish stereotypes in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition.”

Rep. Israel is leaving Congress after this year, but his comments are yet another signal from the party establishment that Hillary Clinton will run to the right of Donald Trump on Israel, as she indicated in her speech to AIPAC, the Israel lobby group, at which she said that Trump has “no business” being president because of his wishywashy positions on Israel. Clinton also said she will take the US Israel relationship to “the next level” and bring Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in her first month of office.

Sanders supporters saw that pandering AIPAC speech, along with Clinton’s letter promising to join with Republicans to fight BDS, which she wrote to Haim Saban, the largest donor to her Super PAC, as patent evidence that she is corrupted on this question by big money. And when Ben-Ami urges the establishment to crush BDS in the name of Jewish voters, his power also derives from money: political experts at a Ben-Ami-convened event this spring said that the amount of Jewish money Democrats need to run credible races is “gigantic” and “shocking.”

More nuts. Rep. Israel said that he didn’t vote against the Iran deal last year for political reasons, but because he’s Jewish. Kornbluh reports:

“…I voted against the Iran deal,” the Long Island Congressman said. “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my DNA. And I said that to the president during a 25-minute phone conversation.”

NY Senator Chuck Schumer made a similar type of statement last summer when, speaking to the “mishpocheh” or Jewish family, he said that the American interest and the Jewish interest were at odds over the Iran deal. He also voted against the Iran deal.

P.S. Rep. Israel’s comments reveal just how disingenuous his op-ed was in the NY Times in January saying he looked forward to being “liberated from a fund-raising regime that’s never been more dangerous to our democracy.” Israel never mentioned the state of Israel, nor the Israel lobby in that article; never identified the groups he had to go to to get money; but reaching out to Israel supporters for Democratic funds is obviously central to Rep. Israel’s activities. The Times did its readers a disservice by allowing him to get away with such a vague account. “This is your democracy. But as the bidding grows higher, your voice gets lower. You’re simply priced out of the marketplace of ideas. That is, unless you are one of the ultra wealthy,” Israel wrote. Yes, and Bernie Sanders short-circuited that corruption by raising money at $27 a pop, and now Steve Israel is denouncing him because that very process has allowed him to be independent on the congressman’s favorite foreign country.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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53 Responses

  1. hophmi
    hophmi
    June 8, 2016, 12:53 pm

    “Rep. Israel said that he didn’t vote against the Iran deal last year for political reasons, but because he’s Jewish ”

    I don’t believe that this was the gist of what he said. But even if it were, you’d be engaging in usual antisemitic double standard. Have you interviewed Christian members of Congress about whether their Christianity played a role in their votes on Iran? Have you asked Keith Ellison whether his vote in favor of the JCPOA had anything to do with the fact that he’s a Muslim?

    Thanks for any help you can give me in illustrating how you’ve done either.

    • annie
      annie
      June 8, 2016, 1:41 pm

      he stated “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my DNA

      and it’s anti semitic to report ““Rep. Israel said that he didn’t vote against the Iran deal last year for political reasons, but because he’s Jewish” ?

      he volunteered the information to explain why he “bucked” obama on the iran deal. no one asked him whether his religion played a role in his votes on the Iran deal no one is required to run around interviewing christian or muslim legislators for counter opinions to deflect from possible future charges of anti semitism. (In fact, if someone asked him, or others, if their religion played a part in their votes, they would likely be accused of racism or anti semitism just like the huge upset at the UCLA senate hearing that absurdly landed on the front page of the nyt!) — get it? damned if you do damned if you don’t.

      before jumping for top comment, which we understand is a priority for you (and trolls in general), try opening the embeds and reading the context regarding what you’re opining on — before you opine — otherwise you’re just hogging top spot and perpetuating the notion anything, everything and anyone can be called anti semitic at some whim of thought police or gatekeepers.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 8, 2016, 2:25 pm

        “and it’s anti semitic to report ““Rep. Israel said that he didn’t vote against the Iran deal last year for political reasons, but because he’s Jewish” ?”

        Well, first of all, that’s NOT WHAT HE SAID. He said that it was in his DNA, not that he voted against the JCPOA because he’s Jewish.

        “no one is required to run around interviewing christian or muslim legislators for counter opinions to deflect from possible future charges of anti semitism. ”

        This site has made dual loyalty-type accusations about Jewish members of Congress dozens of times. It is the kind of thing that is only ever directed at a minority group. No one asks whether white legislators vote a certain way because they’re white, but people ask this about African-American legislators all the time, particularly when it’s on an issue of importance to the African-American community. No one ever asks whether Southern Baptist members of Congress vote the way that they do because they’re Southern Baptists, but if a Congressperson is a Jew, and he votes a certain way on an issue of concern to the Jewish community, it must be because he’s Jewish. And of course, if he suggests that he was motivated in any way by religion, bigots seize on that to suggest that Jews put their own before everyone else. It’s pretty classic antisemitism.

        “before jumping for top comment, which we understand is a priority for you (and trolls in general), try opening the embeds and reading the context regarding what you’re opining on”

        You must be kidding. Phil is basing his conclusion on Jacob Kornbluh’s tweet. There’s no transcript that I know of, and the webcast isn’t up yet. So it’s beyond ironic that you’re telling ME that I should “read the context” of what I’m opining on. How about you people wait a hot second for the transcript or the webcast before you (predictably) suggest that Steve Israel’s Jewishness is the main reason that he voted against the JCPOA?

        What makes you look like a bigger idiot is that I was actually there, so I can tell you that that’s not the impression that Steve Israel gave.

        “Out of my DNA” is not quite the same thing as saying “because I’m Jewish.” It can mean a lot of things. It can be “in your DNA” not to vote for agreements with countries you deem hostile to the United States.

        Israel said one of his main reasons for voting against the deal was that it didn’t address Iran’s ballistic missile stockpile. He didn’t just say that it was because of his DNA, and he certainly didn’t say: “I voted against the JCPOA because I’m Jewish.”

        There should be a webcast of his speech up in a day or so, so we can check to see exactly what he said in context. As usual, the notion that Israel’s Jewishness is the main reason that he voted the way that he did is deeply antisemitic, and it’s the kind of thing that you’d never analyze for any of the hundreds of non-Jewish members of Congress of both parties that voted against the JCPOA, and frankly, Annie, you damn well know it.

        As I said, many non-Jewish members of Congress voted against the JCPOA. I’m not aware of any effort made by this site to ascertain whether their religion was the reason that they voted the way that they did. As I’ve said many times, examining whether members of minority groups took certain policy positions because they were members of those groups has a long and sordid history in the United States, and the practice is per se bigotry as far as I’m concerned.

      • annie
        annie
        June 8, 2016, 3:23 pm

        You must be kidding. Phil is basing his conclusion on Jacob Kornbluh’s tweet.

        that’s as far as i got. hops, please scroll up to the article above, find the embed phil used in the reference we’re discussing, and open it. there’s a whole article there. read it. then let’s have this discussion. thanks!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 8, 2016, 6:47 pm

        Read the article. No support for Phil’s claim in it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 8, 2016, 11:36 pm

        The night they invented Champagne was nothing compared to the celebration when Zionist figured out that nobody, ever, would ever find a way to criticize or advocate against Zionism, because in order to do so, they would almost invariably have to talk about Jews, and of course, it’s easy to make sure they have to talk about Judaism, too.

        So Zionism will be completely immune from criticism!

      • gamal
        gamal
        June 9, 2016, 9:48 pm

        “everything and anyone can be called anti semitic at some whim of thought police or gatekeepers.”

        have you seen what the Labour Party is doing to Tony Greenstein, transcript of hearing not by Kafka

        https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HyyaL5n7l_ReK4Aou7wf5TzC0CNa_CxttSSPhdN6ZTg/mobilebasic?pli=1

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        June 12, 2016, 3:21 pm

        Here is the context of Israel’s comment.

        Rep. Israel, for his part, insisted that the anti-Israel and pro-BDS voices within his party are “nuts” and are not the face of the Democratic Party. “If you have some nuts, some crazies, to suggest that the Democratic Party’s energy is behind them is tantamount to suggesting that Republican Party energy is behind the use of concentration camps symbols to vilify American-Jewish journalists.”

        “You got your nuts, we have our nuts; but the mainstream is holding steady on Israel and on the broad range of other critical Jewish values,” Israel summed up the debate. “On things that matter to Israel’s survival as a Jewish State, there’s no weakening in support among Democrats.”

        Israel also drew equivalence between Senor bucking his party’s presumptive nominee and his vote against the Iran deal last year. “Here I feel Dan’s pain as being someone who bucks his presidential nominee because I bucked my president – I voted against the Iran deal,” the Long Island Congressman said. “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my DNA. And I said that to the president during a 25-minute phone conversation.”

        Before the 1943 Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment the equivalent expression would have been:

        “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my race [or genes]. And I said that to the president during a 25-minute phone conversation.”

        It would be hard to make a stronger assertion of putting Jewish tribalism over US national interest.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 8, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Christian faith has 0 to do with one’s DNA. It’s only a religion, not a tribe. No self-referential MOT ever sprang from the lips of a Christian.

      ‘JTA’ reported that 2/3 of Democratic money comes from Jewish donors–#Bernie’s fans changed this http://mondoweiss.net/2011/06/jta-reports-that-as-much-as-23-of-democratic-money-comes-from-jewish-donors/ via @sharethis

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 8, 2016, 6:54 pm

        ROTFLMFAO,Citizen. Proving my point as usual. Ignorance, white privilege, and bigotry all rolled up in your comment.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      June 8, 2016, 2:34 pm

      During the Iran nuclear deal fiasco, so many in Congress sided with the warmonger NuttyYahoo, invited him to speak in Congress to defy the President, and helped Nutty sell his lies to the American people, because they were bought by AIPAC and Israel’s many agents here.
      Names like Wasserman Schultz, Schumer, Israel, Ros -Lehtinen, and others have always protected and defended Israel for most probably DNA reasons.
      For them it is Israel first and the US is simply an afterthought.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 8, 2016, 4:27 pm

        “examining whether members of minority groups took certain policy positions” “Hophmi” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/democratic-leadership-against/#comment-842458

        “Don”, please also note “Hophmi’s” very self-serving, and wrong use of the word “minority” and phrase “minority group”.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        June 8, 2016, 8:40 pm

        Kay24,
        But it was that “Jewish” guy John Boehner who invited the esteemed Prime Minister of Israel to speak before the U.S. Congress.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 9, 2016, 11:28 am

        “Ros -Lehtinen, and others have always protected and defended Israel for most probably DNA reasons.”

        It couldn’t possibly be that Israel is our only ally in the region, and that Iran is a theocratic dictatorship that murder people all over the world through financing of terrorism. (Ros-Lehtinen isn’t Jewish, by the way, so I guess it’s in the Cuban DNA to support Israel. #BDSfail).

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 9, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Grover, we all know that AIPACs contribution makes these spineless Congress members imagine they must support Israel because it is the victim in every event going over there. You don’t have to have the DNA, but those contributions makes you act as if you do.

        Hoppy, Oh Hoppy, you learn something new every day:

        “Ros-Lehtinen was raised Catholic and is now an Episcopalian.[6][7] Ros-Lehtinen’s maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews, originally from the Ottoman Empire, who had been active in Cuba’s Jewish community.[8]”

        She is also the recipient of AIPACs generous contributions and has bought her loyalties too.

    • Don
      Don
      June 8, 2016, 3:06 pm

      hophmi “…you’d be engaging in usual antisemitic double standard.”

      Thank you hophmi, as usual your insight is almost perfect…

      ”It’s so obvious for me,” Sand told the journal. “Some people, historians and even scientists, turn a blind eye to the truth. Once, to say Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say they’re not a race is anti-Semitic. It’s crazy how history plays with us.”

      http://forward.com/news/israel/175912/jews-a-race-genetic-theory-comes-under-fierce-atta/

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      June 8, 2016, 6:06 pm

      @hophmi

      ““I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics”

      He was elected and being paid to represent people politically. Not to vote according to his dna or anything else.

    • eljay
      eljay
      June 8, 2016, 6:33 pm

      || hophmi: I don’t believe that this was the gist of what he said. … ||

      Please explain what exactly is the gist of “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my DNA.” Don’t be shy. Thanks.

      || … But even if it were, you’d be engaging in usual antisemitic double standard. Have you interviewed Christian members of Congress about whether their Christianity played a role in their votes on Iran? Have you asked Keith Ellison whether his vote in favor of the JCPOA had anything to do with the fact that he’s a Muslim? … ||

      Are you engaging in your usual Zio-supremacist double-standard or have Christian members of Congress or Mr. Ellison actually declared that they voted for or against something “not out of politics but out of their DNA”?

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      June 8, 2016, 8:57 pm

      DNA – Donations (non-accountable)

      • annie
        annie
        June 8, 2016, 11:59 pm

        bingo

    • Sulphurdunn
      Sulphurdunn
      June 9, 2016, 8:06 pm

      Everyone who works for the American government or represents it as a public servant takes an oath of allegiance to support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic. It is an oath of honor taken willing before G-d. It means that in your capacity as a servant of ALL the American people you have no higher loyalty. If being a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim or fealty to a foreign power or institution takes precedence over that allegiance then you are an oath breather and unfit to hold any position of power or authority in the United States.

      • Doubtom
        Doubtom
        June 10, 2016, 4:05 am

        My point exactly! This “dual-citizenship” business is pure crap and shouldn’t be allowed! It is contradictory on its face! No one can have allegiance to two nations at the same time.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 10, 2016, 8:08 am

        || Doubtom: … No one can have allegiance to two nations at the same time. ||

        And yet Jewish-American Zio-supremacists will tell you they have simultaneous allegiances to three nations:
        – their homeland nation of America;
        – the religion-based “Jewish nation”; and
        – the foreign nation of Israel.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 11, 2016, 9:39 am

        This raises some problems for me, at least on the assumption that the public servants who take this oath believe in God in the standard sense of supreme authority on right and wrong and protector of right and good, perhaps punishing those who go wrong or do evil. At that rate, do they say ‘God, we affirm before you that if we encounter something which seems to be commanded by you we will disregard and break that command, however well our teachers or our consciences validate it as indeed yours, if it runs contrary to the basic law of the land and we understand that you may punish us if we obey you rather than it’. Does that make sense?

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      June 10, 2016, 9:06 am

      There you go again, using Christians and Muslims as human shields.

  2. ritzl
    ritzl
    June 8, 2016, 1:26 pm

    The raw expectation of absolute followership for racist/colonial policies by 21.C political leaders on this issue is well beyond astounding. It’s fricken’ paranormal activity.

    How do human beings, fundamentally conflicted as a part of being human, develop (and espouse) this level of certitude for something so obviously contrary to ALL the lessons of US genocidal and racist history, and maybe more importantly, the correcting acknowledgements, accepted common wisdom, and/or actions made to compensate for that ugly history?

    Anyway, I’m glad that most reasonably-aware normal people don’t suffer from the same bag-over-head-since-birth syndrome that these leaders apparently do. It’ll be interesting to see how funded political zealots react to an upwelling of political reason, morality, and sense – on the Dem side at least.

    Thanks for the article. Tough to get through.

  3. weiss
    weiss
    June 8, 2016, 1:38 pm

    Why was the Schumer rant REMOVED about all BDS supporters being anti-Semites even if you are Jewish???

    And the picture of Schumer with an Israeli flag and sash “stand behind Israel” … Poof…gone down the memory hole…

    And 81 comments went poof ???

    From one Weiss to another Phil, what gives???

    • annie
      annie
      June 8, 2016, 1:45 pm

      weiss, we’ve got many articles up concerning cuomo and the anti bds legislation. this one was published this morning 11:46 EST, and i can assure you it has not gotten 81 comments yet. check our front page. here’s Schumer with an Israeli flag article: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/flanked-israeli-consul/

      • weiss
        weiss
        June 8, 2016, 2:02 pm

        Thanx for the heads up Annie and thanks for all the excellent work you do for the movement!
        I was very curious after the article disappeared from the front page of the site.

      • annie
        annie
        June 8, 2016, 2:25 pm

        weiss, very unfortunately imho many many articles get shoved off the front page fast when the news gets rolling. we only have so many feature spots and often times great articles get buried too fast. there have been stories i have worked on for 3 days that have gotten shoved down in an hour and off the front page in a half a day. there’s little we can do about it sometimes. had adam and phil decided to “feature” this article it may have been up longer but they frequently do not feature their own articles.

        anyway, if it happens in the future check the 5 category options at the top of every mondo page directly under our blue mondowiess logo that read:

        “Israel/Palestine”, “Middle East”, “US Politics”, “Activism”, “Features”

        the article you queried about is tagged under “activism” here (scroll): http://mondoweiss.net/activism/

        also, many people do not access the site through the home page. but if you do, one can recall which column an article is placed when it’s first published — there’s also a tag above each category near the base of the page, you can click on the column you remember seeing it in originally.

        as a general rule, once an article is published we don’t make major changes to them unless we update w/more info. and if we eliminate info because it’s incorrect, we make a note of that at the base (a correction). without exception, once published, all of our articles are archived in one of the 5 categories and by date at the “archives” dropdown on top of every page.

        good luck!

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      June 10, 2016, 4:08 am

      Yes, I would guess that EVERYONE would appreciate an answer to that question!

      • annie
        annie
        June 10, 2016, 4:12 am

        huh, i’m sensing a disconnect. scroll up.

  4. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    June 8, 2016, 3:21 pm

    The idea that Jewish Israelis, because they are Jewish, have a right to engage in apartheid and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians is as thoroughly racist as any other idea I could imagine. To claim that Jewish Israelis should pay no price, however nonviolent, for that behavior, and thus pave the way for them to continue it, is thoroughly racist as well. While politicians, including Sen. Schumer, Rep. Israel and Gov. Cuomo, wail about Trump’s racist statements, their opposition to BDS places them as far into the dark cavern of racists as anything Trump has ever spouted.

    To prohibit a person from doing business with the state or federal government because he or she refuses business to Israel out of protest against Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing, is a gross violation of first amendment rights of protest and so is unAmerican as well as racist.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 8, 2016, 11:34 pm

      Clear, succinct, and worth repeating until this messed is cleaned up.

    • Doubtom
      Doubtom
      June 10, 2016, 4:15 am

      Well said John Douglas! Cuomo is clearly kowtowing to the Israeli interests ahead of his own constituents. He’s the governor of New York not Tel Aviv! We have way too many sniveling clowns like Cuomo within our government structure. Time to get rid of the Cuomo dynasty!

  5. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 8, 2016, 3:27 pm

    Rep. Israel (he and I look quite remarkably alike) is surely saying that pro-Israel sentiment of somewhat visceral, rather than rationally argued, nature makes him regard Iran with invincible suspicion. Perhaps I resemble him in brain as well as face – I might say ‘I’m very English’ in discussing what I do, though I’d like to think I wouldn’t regard that as a reasonable explanation if I had political responsibility. But I think many people would regard his remarks as human, acceptable, even lovably loyal to his group. That is why he has no compunction in making them in public. The likes of us have a long road ahead.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    June 8, 2016, 3:35 pm

    Breaking news on CNN, mass shooting at mall in Tel Aviv. Three shot dead.

    I guess time will tell who is responsible.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      Lillian Rosengarten
      June 9, 2016, 12:21 pm

      I don’t support killing but The Palestinians are defending themselves. The occupation must end or the violence will destroy the whole country. As far as BDS, the anti-BDS supporters are Zionists. Cuomo, out of his self interest does not have the guts to resist. He panders to the money and a blind support of the brutal Zionist regime. They are all complicit in war crimes as were those in the US who silently supported Hitler’s agenda, became rich from it and pretended it did not happen.The US has always supported brutal dictatorships.Why should this be different?.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 9, 2016, 12:36 pm

        Anyone informed and intelligence knows that the Palestinians must throw stones, send home made rockets, and resist even violently because they live under inhumane conditions due to Israel’s endless occupation and land grabs, and the nations like the US and others in Europe, who pretend to buy Israel’s excuses and idiotic claims of being a victim, should be held accountable for sending endless aid and weapons to empower Israel ,and being complicit with its crimes.

        No human being can take decades of suffering, have their families killed, lands stolen, and live without any hope of being free from the crimes of its tormenter, and keep smiling and showering said tormenter with love and roses. Although by Israel’s propaganda that is exactly how they must react.

      • annie
        annie
        June 9, 2016, 1:01 pm

        Tel Aviv mayor says the occupation is a cause of Palestinian terror http://972mag.com/tel-aviv-mayor-says-the-occupation-is-a-cause-of-palestinian-terror/119936/

        Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel’s occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is “perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights.”

        ……“There is no way to hold people in a situation of occupation and think that they will reach the conclusion that every thing is okay and they will continue to live like that,” Huldai added.

  7. Bill in Maryland
    Bill in Maryland
    June 8, 2016, 4:37 pm

    Phil writes:

    Many of us on the left seek a battle over BDS not for any symbolic reason, but because Palestinian oppression is such an important American interest question and also human-rights question…

    Another reason to seek a battle over BDS is to weaken and expose the Israel lobby, a lobby so strong that it corrupted, confused, and misdirected American foreign policy, breaking apart Iraq and by consequence the Muslim Middle East. The Israel lobby grew to its current hypertrophied state out of Israel’s existential need to hide from the American public the injustice associated with Israel’s creation and the ongoing Nakba, injustice the BDS movement very effectively brings to light.

  8. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    June 8, 2016, 5:42 pm

    Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post today, a story headlined

    “Israeii minister wants to annex half of West Bank, and kick out the Palestinians”

    The story can be found here >

    Of course, the WaPo is just as much a member of the media Establishment as the NYTimes.

    Even at the WaPo, whose editorial page is full of neoconservative hawks, the times may be changing. How much credibility do the Israelis and their supporters have in their alleged struggle against anti-Semitism when even the WaPo occasionally blurts out the truth?

    Check out the comments by readers on the piece!!,

    Do you think

  9. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 8, 2016, 6:01 pm

    The appointment of Cornel West to the platform committee is troubling. Accusing him of antisemitism is a stretch (as in whether his criticism of Israel is in fact an expression of anti zionism and whether his anti zionism is an expression of antisemitism), but including a man who called Obama “a Rockefeller Republican in black face” is totally inappropriate and indicative of the sanders’ camp’s disregard for party norms and civil discourse.

    The equation of the Democratic party’s left wing support for bds and the nazi tweets of trump supporters is absurd. No nazis will be appointed to the Republican platform committee and support for bds is a widespread left wing Democratic position.

    Jeremy Ben ami’s attempt to keep the Democratic platform kosher for liberal democrat jews who oppose bds is interesting.

    Currently it seems like there is no suspense regarding the Democratic convention other than this fight over the platform regarding israel and the trouble making tendency of the sanders’ camp seems to have no other issue upon which to display its independence.

    Hillary’s choice of a veep is the real headline story for the rest of the Democratic party and the American electorate. If she chooses Elizabeth Warren (probably the most exciting choice possible: two women on the ticket), Warren might be expected to use her influence on the Democratic left wing to keep the convention bland and keep this bds fight from coming to the floor of the convention.

  10. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 8, 2016, 6:04 pm

    The BBC is saying four dead with some further critical injuries. The police are quoted as saying that there were two attackers, both from a Palestinian village called Yatta, that there were nine casualties and the mall operators saying that their security prevented the attackers from entering the ‘market’ area. No doubt this is only the beginning, will lead to many revenges, and may even affect the mood around Governor Cuomo.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      June 8, 2016, 6:34 pm

      Collective punishment perhaps, more lands stolen perhaps, who knows.

      I watched Jake Tapper milk this on behalf of his fatherland. He referred to the suspects as “terrorists “while the story was breaking, at this stage of the game usually they call them “persons of interest” at least in the US, and clearly reported the story in such a biased way, then he interviewed a so called expert, who looked mournful, and started by first conveying his sympathies to the families of those killed. I wish they were so considerate when Israel bombed Gaza and entire families were wiped out. Maybe I missed the compassion and sympathy for the people of Gaza by CNN and it’s zionist reporters.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        June 8, 2016, 10:15 pm

        “I watched Jake Tapper milk this on behalf of his fatherland. ”

        Absolutely despicable, Kay24.

        Jake is an American and the implied dual loyalty charge here is a disgusting canard with no basis.

        If you knew anything about him, by the way, you would know about his commitment to US troops, while deployed and after.

        I don’t doubt, by the way, that language including his here is biased towards Israel. But that is a very different kind of statement than yours.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 8, 2016, 11:18 pm

        “Absolutely despicable, Kay24.”

        “tokyobk”, I think you are being very unfair! How can “Kay24” know what she should or shouldn’t say nor how she should say it, if you just swoop in and start throwing around “despicable” and “absolutely” all over?

        Why not simply explain the rules to us? Give us the guidelines we should follow when talking about Zionism, Israel and perceived Zionist bias in the media.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 9, 2016, 12:52 am

        “If you knew anything about him…”

        Went to “Jack M Barrack Hebrew Academy” didn’t he?

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 9, 2016, 12:27 pm

        It seems I hit a raw nerve with you Tokyobk, referring to Tapper, you seem to know him very well.
        I am not questioning whether he is a good American, I am questioning his rather biased reporting, which has been noticed by many I know.

        Talking about being despicable, it depends on who you ask. Brutal occupations and land grabs for illegal settlement are despicable too, but I am sure you will not agree to that narrative.

        Thanks Mooser it seems pro Israeli minions are trying to intimidate us and demanding we walk on eggshells. :)) The are too thin skinned perhaps.

  11. Michael Lesher
    Michael Lesher
    June 9, 2016, 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the analysis, Phil.

    I think you are dead right. Hillary Clinton staked out a pro-war, imperialist position long ago, and her AIPAC address clearly showed that her support for Israel’s occupation is probably stronger than ever.

    I suspect she’ll use her attacks on Trump’s more outlandish comments as cover for her swing to his right on foreign policy issues: war, the spread of American power, more weapons for “allies.” And the Democratic Party will try to demonize all criticism of Israel — with methods probably even uglier than those used by Republicans.

    I hope as many people as possible will support a vigorous platform battle over the issue of Israel’s occupation. I think this is likely to be one of the most important issues to arise at the convention. Not because of what it means for the Democratic Party, which we should trust as far as we would the Gotti family — but for what it could mean for a popular movement in support of basic human rights. I think they’re afraid of exactly that, and we should try to keep them afraid.

  12. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    June 9, 2016, 10:40 pm

    Hopfmi – “No one asks whether white legislators vote a certain way because they’re white”

    Seriously?

    The Excessive Political Power Of White Men In The United States, In One Chart

    Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/10/10/3578399/survey-finds-white-men-have-eight-times-as-much-political-power-as-women-of-color/

    Wikipedia page on stereotypes of white people in the USA:

    In the United States, white people make up the majority of the nation’s politicians, military leaders and corporate executives, while most minority groups have a smaller presence. Stereotypes of white people include the idea that they are “extremely self-involved, uneducated about people other than themselves, and are unable to understand the complicated ways in which people who are not white survive.”[4] Stemming from that is “white people problems,” a concept similar to First World problems, where stereotypically self-involved white people obsess over trivialities.
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_white_people_in_the_United_States#Negative_portrayals_of_specific_groups_of_white_people

    Why American politicians are obsessed with white women

    Source: http://qz.com/291542/why-american-politicians-are-obsessed-with-white-women/

  13. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    June 11, 2016, 5:33 pm

    D Wexler ex Florida Congressman on CSPAN with Zames Jogby and C West on Democratic Convention Platform

    Interesting remarks,suggestion,and beliefs and prescription from a man who once wanted to prosecute Bush for Iraq war . Wrexler sees Iranian foot prints on each and on all ME conflicts, he supports sanctions against Iran , he thinks Hizbullah is a terror outfit and Basher Assad should do .

    This is why I believe these people Liberman and Wrexler are nothing but 2 sides of the same coin .They are place holders .They show up to occupy the default position of the Zionist game plans. once he is gone somebody else would show up and criticize him for ill fated ,illegal,and destructive attack on Syria or Iran and then would demand for an attack (,in due course of time ,but which is enough time to confuse the nature of the continuity of the debate within the Zionist game plan ,)on another Muslim country

    He also says about BDS,that it is not right and outside forces cant help the peace process

    But about threat a to Israel he says America can help and America should . He says Hizbulalh and Iran are problem So is antisemitism in the world which is rising per him. In one sentence he finds threat to Israel could be addressed,modified and challenged by outside forces ( US and then through US the rest of the West ) but threat To Palestine cant be helped by BDS .

    He also says America should not disengage from ME but again America should not discuss the relevance or necessity or reason of BDS but should ignore it,should not support it (and by extension of same attitude some one will call it illegal but that doesnt occur to him )

    So he suggests America should do what Israel want – finish off Syria,keep sanctions and pressure on Iran ignore and don’t support BDS and he still thinks outside forces cant help the peace and negotiation . But to him outside forces can help war and war like situation ( it doeskin occur to him that removing this type of intervention or engagement can actually promote peace )

    This is why Wrexlr is nothing but another Zionist in a different garb .

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