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Clintonites oppose ‘occupation’ mention in platform– as Cornel West says party is ‘beholden to AIPAC’

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Last week the Democratic Party Platform drafting committee had a public hearing in Washington in which the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a source of great dispute. Bernie Sanders’ surrogates said that the platform must include references to the occupation and settlements. Hillary Clinton surrogates said they did not want a divisive platform, and one said that settlements and “what you refer to as occupation” shouldn’t be in there.

For those who think this issue ought to divide the Democratic Party, there was encouragement in Sanders proxy Cornel West’s declaration that the country is at a “turning point” on this issue. He advocated for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to alleviate the misery of Palestinians, even as Clinton surrogate Robert Wexler said that BDS is anti-Semitic. And West said that “for too long the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC,” a reference to the Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

There was also obvious division in Wexler’s repeated recommendation of drawing Israel’s borders so it will be a Jewish majority state, a type of religious gerrymandering that in the United States would be seen as offensive.

C-Span has the June 9 debate here, at about 1:05.

Robert Wexler, the former Florida congressman, now an advocate for Israel, speaks first and states the importance of the United States standing by Israel as a Jewish-majority state now and forever.

Yesterday’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv was yet another painful reminder of the threats Israel faces including from Hamas and of the importance of the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel. We must unequivocally support Israel’s right to defend herself.

He then praised the proposed ten year bigger-than-ever military aid package for Israel and urged that the platform commit itself to “a negotiated two state solution that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state” and that provides “justice, sovereignty and dignity for Palestinians… They deserve to govern themselves in their own contiguous and viable state.”

No reference to settlements, only to alleged Palestinian misdeeds: “Both sides must implement confidence building measures and avoid unhelpful actions. Incitement is dangerous and undermines the two state outcome.”

And Wexler took a swipe at the BDS movement:

BDS may hope that pressuring Israel will lead to peace, the truth is that outside forces will not resolve the I P conflict, particularly when anti-semitism is rising throughtout the world, Democrats must condemn efforts to isolate and delegitimze Israel. Delegitimization must stop immediately.

Wexler was cheered and booed as he wrapped up.

Then Sanders surrogate Cornel West said he has “very deep disagreement” with Wexler and stated that Palestinian and Jewish babies are equally precious.

The real question is going to be that a commitment to security for our precious Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel can never be predicated on an occupation of precious Palestinians. We’re going to have to talk seriously about occupation.

I don’t know if you’d allow a use of the word occupation, West said, when the New York Times can’t even state it directly.

But he said the Palestinians have been “demeaned devalued dominated exploited” for over 50 years. And “for too long the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC.”

“We’re at a turning point now,” West said. It will go slowly inside the Democratic Party and more quickly outside it, which is “why I support the BDS.”

But the Party must downplay “the unbelievable misery we see in Gaza, the West Bank and other places.”


No I would not support and would in fact oppose the use of the word occupation for the very reason that it undermines our common objective. The objective of the Democratic Party is to achieve a negotiated two-state outcome.

Once you have borders under a negotiated solution, Wexler assured West, “what you refer to as occupation, will be resolved.”

James Zogby, another Sanders surrogate, said that Wexler opposes unilateral actions. “Are settlements unilateral actions?” And, echoing Sanders at the April 14 Democratic debate: “Would you agree or disagree that that [Israeli] self-defense has been disproportionate?”

“On the question of occupation,” Zogby said, “it has been recognized by every American administration that there is an occupation.”

Wexler said the platform should no sooner refer to occupation than to refugees, and the party leadership’s position that many Palestinian refugees will have to give up their right to return to Israel.

He announced the Clinton position generally, “We should not litigate the Israel Palestine conflict.”

“Except for the issues you want to litigate,” Zogby threw in.

Former congressman Howard Berman echoed Wexler, saying that the platform must not be a source of division. Israel “can be both a Jewish homeland and a democracy,” he said and the main objective is “we should number one make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States.”

He was followed by former State Department negotiator Wendy Sherman, who made no reference to occupation, but said the chief foreign policy beams in the platform must be defeating ISIS and stamping out terrorism, and promoting democracy and peace in the Middle East.

Sherman said that Hillary Clinton had laid out the best approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict in her Saban Forum speech last year. In that speech, Clinton only touched on settlements briefly, but vowed to fight BDS and promised to invite Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in her first month in office.

Wexler then echoed Sherman: “Yes Secretary Clinton’s speech at Saban was the ultimate statement of American policy and where we should go as a nation and a party.”

Former congressman Anthony Weiner wants the battle to end: he writes in yesterday’s Daily News that the Sanders forces should drop the Israel talk now, and Clinton “should not give an inch.” I.e., do not say a word to alienate the lobby. This from a man who has denied that there is an occupation. 

During my days as Sanders’ colleague in Congress, I recall him being a solid “yes” vote on the many votes that reinforced our strong relationship with the Jewish state.

But his representatives to the convention’s platform committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, signal that he wants to challenge the Democratic Party’s long and deep commitment to our sole true ally in the Middle East.

He should drop this effort, and Hillary should not give an inch. This year the Republicans have a nominee who has declared that the United States should be neutral [here’s Trump’s statement] in the region, a wrongheaded and dangerous posture that further reveals Trump to be ignorant and dangerous.

So another signal, that Clinton will run to Trump’s right on Israel and Palestine.

The platform drafters also heard from Matt Duss of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, who said that while the US is Israel’s close friend, the occupation runs counter to US values and damages our interests, too; it is fostering resentment and extremism across the region.

We must recognize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its daily restrictions on the most basic political and civil liberties of the Palestinian people run contrary to fundamental American values. We must reject the idea that we have to sacrifice our values in order to stand with our allies.

The special relationship also “hinders” the U.S. relationships in the region, creating a “deep well of resentment from which extremists draw freely and profitably.”

We’ll be following this battle closely as it unfolds in coming weeks.

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41 Responses

  1. Emory Riddle
    Emory Riddle on June 14, 2016, 11:09 am

    What the Hell is an advocate for a foreign nation doing on the Dem platform committee drafting committee?

    Must not be a source of division means, of course, shut up and let us run things.

    Time to blow up the Democratic Party.

    • hophmi
      hophmi on June 14, 2016, 11:50 am

      “What the Hell is an advocate for a foreign nation doing on the Dem platform committee drafting committee? ”

      Right, because calling for a two state solution makes someone an advocate for a foreign country.

      It’s not antisemitism, folks. It’s anti-Zionism. #bdsfail

      • annie
        annie on June 14, 2016, 12:09 pm

        calling for a two state solution makes someone an advocate for a foreign country.

        they did more than call for a 2 state solution

        the importance of the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel. We must unequivocally support Israel’s right to defend herself.

        don’t pretend clinton is not an advocate for israel — a foreign country. you’re diverting because you don’t want to answer the question “What the Hell is an advocate for a foreign nation doing on the Dem platform committee drafting committee?”

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on June 14, 2016, 4:43 pm

        Did you lose your eyeglasses Hoppy? The headlines clearly said the Clintonintes don’t want the word “occupation” mentioned in the Democrat’s platform. Anyone with half a brain will know that they do not want that rather descriptive word mentioned because Clinton’s zionist donors who are quite generous with their campaign donations, will be quite irritated with her, and she cannot afford that. She IS an advocate for an occupier and land grabber, in the ME, a parasitic nation called Israel. This must be news to you.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on June 15, 2016, 5:53 am

        Look, if you disagree with the policy, that’s fine. Claiming that it’s the same as advocating for a foreign nation is antisemitic. You’d not be making this claim if the last name was something other than Wexler.

      • annie
        annie on June 15, 2016, 12:13 pm

        You’d not be making this claim if the last name was something other than Wexler.

        what are you talking about? i just wrote “don’t pretend clinton is not an advocate for israel — a foreign country.” clinton is not jewish.

        everyone knows you don’t have to be jewish to do the donkey. what do you think is going on right now? :

        The administration has criticized the bill for budgetary sleight of hand, complaining that it redirects funds from the overseas operations war chest … In the letter, the administration said the legislation “fails to provide our troops with the resources needed to keep our nation safe.”

        the Senate Tuesday authorized a total of $600.8 million in anti-missile defense programs for Israel, more than quadrupling the administration’s requested funding for Israeli missile defense.

        Unlike the House version, the Senate version, which enjoyed broad enough Democratic support to defeat a presidential veto, did not subsidize additional spending through the Overseas Contingency Operations war account.

        The House and Senate will now take their different versions of the defense spending measures to conference, where they will hammer out a final compromise version of each bill. The process this year is expected to be time-consuming given the gaps in the way that the House and Senate versions propose to fund defense spending.

        don’t tell us it’s anti semitic to claim all this israel advocacy is not “advocating for a foreign nation” — because that is exactly what israel is, a foreign nation.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on June 15, 2016, 12:18 pm

        hophmi: “Claiming that it’s the same as advocating for a foreign nation is antisemitic.”

        I agree! Jews as such are to noble to advocate for Israel.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on June 15, 2016, 12:41 pm

        “everyone knows you don’t have to be jewish to do the donkey.”

        Part SNL, and part old Levy’s Rye Bread spot. I like it.

      • Blownaway
        Blownaway on June 15, 2016, 9:33 pm

        If you want to know Hillarys position just read what was just released from her computer…all Israel centric

        Ensure a strong U.S.-Israel partnership
        • First and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.
        o “[A]s President I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.”
        • Support foreign assistance to Israel, including the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to Israel. Advocate for increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met.
        • Ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat – from Gaza to Tehran.
        o Sustain the unique U.S.-Israel defense relationship by fully funding military assistance and continuing cooperative work on missile defense programs, such as the Arrow.
        o Implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade – investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation.
        o Approve the foreign aid request for 2009.
        o Export military equipment to our ally Israel under the same guidelines as NATO.
        • Barack Obama cosponsored the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act. This bill would establish a grant program to support joint U.S.-Israeli research and development efforts in the areas of alternative and renewable energy sources – a key step toward energy independence, which is very much in the national security interests of the U.S. and Israel.
        • Mean what we say when we speak the words: “never again.”

        • Never recognize Hamas unless it renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel.
        • Isolate Hamas until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist, abandons violence, and abides by previous agreements made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
        o Cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 — outlaws direct assistance to any entity of the Palestinian Authority controlled by Hamas until it meets the conditions of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations to renounce violence, recognize Israel, and agree to abide by all agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority.

        Palestinian Politics
        • Stand by Palestinians who are committed to cracking down on terror and carrying the burden of peacemaking.
        • Obama signed a letter urging President Bush to make it clear to Palestinian leaders that terrorist groups must either disarm or be barred from the political process.
        • Opposed holding elections in 2006 with Hamas on the ballot.
        • Since the elections, Obama has stated that Israelis must have a true Palestinian partner for peace. He has sought to encourage Palestinian moderates who seek peace and to isolate Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction.

        • Obama signed a letter to the European Union pressing the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
        • Call for the end of Syrian and Iranian support of Hezbollah via arms shipments and funding.
        • Urged the enforcement of UN Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution that Syria and Iran continue to disregard.
        • Long before the July 2006 conflict, Barack Obama worked to limit Hezbollah’s influence in the region, signing a letter urging President Bush to place al-Manar, the official television station of Hezbollah, on the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity list and to aggressively target organizations that aid in its broadcast.

        Israel’s Right to Self-Defense
        • Support Israel’s right to self-defense.
        • Stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself in the United Nations and around the world.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on June 16, 2016, 3:49 am

        Israel is a US ally. Advocating for strong relationships between the US and Israel is not advocating for Israel anymore than advocating for a strong US-UK relationship is advocating for the UK.

      • Emory Riddle
        Emory Riddle on June 16, 2016, 2:23 pm

        “Robert Wexler, the former Florida congressman, now an advocate for Israel”.

  2. hophmi
    hophmi on June 14, 2016, 11:45 am

    Wexler, who leads the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, which has long worked for a two-state solution, also called for a contiguous Palestinian state. You seem to have missed that.

    There was one person who booed, and it was the same guy who loudly yelled out when West claimed that the Democratic Party had been beholden to AIPAC for too long.

    Also interesting how you did not mention West’s understanding of the preoccupation of Jews with security after 2000 years of persecution and hatred. Or his acknowledgement that antisemitism went “hand-in-hand” with most Christian and Islamic civilizations.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on June 15, 2016, 12:23 pm

      “Wexler defended the United States cutting its funding to UNESCO, based upon a statute that prohibits funding of organizations which recognize Palestinian statehood.”

      Who are you trying to fool, Hophmi? There’s no way that one can support the two state solution without recognizing both states.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on June 15, 2016, 3:14 pm

        Bingo Talkback!

        The contradictions are always so glaringly obvious yet they don’t ever seem to realize that they are contradicting themselves. Or maybe they do and it’s always worked so they don’t care.

        I suppose people who argue like Wexler rationalize their constant discontinuous blather by assuming that Israel alone has the right to make such determinations on the status of its subjugated people/captive population of 50 years. That Palestinians simply don’t matter…at all…not the least little bit. That Palestinians are less than zoo animals (dolphins in current events) where their keepers decide when to release them back into the wild.

        It’s one or the other. Both possibilities (scary delusional or flat out racist) should be openly and unapologetically discussed until Wexler-types start to own up to which it is.

        There’s just no other explanation.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on June 16, 2016, 3:48 am

        US policy is that the conflict is to be resolved between the parties, not through international organizations. That’s the policy. So weird that agreement with long-standing policy is cast here as advocacy for another country. So, so weird.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on June 19, 2016, 4:51 am

        Again. Hophmi, who are you trying to fool? Whether it’s the US or Wexler. Someone who doesn’t call for the recognition of Palestine is not supporting the two state solution, but supporting Israel’s continous denial of Paletinian’s right to self determination. This in itself has become a crime agasinst humanity after nearly half a century.

  3. plimespo
    plimespo on June 14, 2016, 1:03 pm

    I guess the addition of any call for balanced, fair treatment of the Palestinians and action against Israel’s policies and actions in the Democratic Party platform would be symbolic of something. But if experience is any teacher, it would be because it represents what is unlikely to be pursued by a Clinton administration, an administration with administrators who have been bought and paid for many times over by AIPAC and the Israel Lobby.

    Mr. Wexler is probably right that outside forces will not resolve the I-P conflict, but not for the reason he states. The reason is no outside force, certainly not the U.S., is willing yet to do what would be necessary to get results, and that is to bring leverage to the table, the stick as well as the carrot. Israel is feasting on carrots to the tune of billions from the U.S. and unlimited government, lobbying and media support. They have no incentive to negotiate and never will unless we threaten (and I don’t mean bluff) to cut off all monetary aid, weapons sales, trade and other things unless they end the occupation, give the Palestinians their rightful land, including pulling back the settlements. If we did that we could also insist on respecting the will of the Palestinian people, who then wouldn’t be a problem. We could then guarantee both sides reasonable security.

    Israel might elect to go it alone. But that would benefit us, because we could then start to bring home some of the billions being spent in the Middle East, including in and for Israel, to start to work on our myriad problems here in the good ole U.S of A.

  4. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast on June 14, 2016, 2:30 pm

    Most Zionists are still in denial about the occupation. They tenaciously dispute that there is an occupation. They would scream “anti Semite” if anyone dared question any part of the Holocaust narrative, but they feel free to deny the Palestinian occupation narrative at every turn without any threat of consequence.

    And this Jewish supremacist Wexler truly takes the cake with the meme that IRAN is destabilizing the Middle East. WE are the ones with our fingers all over the Middle East and WE and our Israeli/Gulf and other Western partners have been supporting Al Qaeada in Syria. And our policies in the ME intentionally destabilize the ME, in favor of Israeli hegomony. How is Hezbollah destabilizing Syria? It, not Israel, is fighting ISIS.

  5. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast on June 14, 2016, 2:50 pm

    Hezbollah is actually fighting both ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria.

  6. ritzl
    ritzl on June 14, 2016, 3:23 pm

    Great article.

    On “divisiveness” (or accusations in general):

    Jesus: “Let you who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Operative establishment/Clinton corollary: “S/he who casts the first stone usually knocks the other guy out.”


    Advocates for change have never really found an effective/resonating proactive tactic to counter that establishment corollary, imho. Or maybe they have, but are not willing to use it. Something along the lines of Lloyd Benson’s, “…and you are no Jack Kennedy.”

    Sanders’ folks are getting defined by their opponents.

    I understand what PW means when he says, “there *ought* to be division…”, but my devil’s advocate quibble is there ought NOT to be division. The party should just agree (be able to agree) on simple facts that it IS occupation and settlements are illegal. The make-or-break political power play/threat of “…if you want the votes (and $27×10,000,000) in November [you’ll have to make this gesture of good faith that across-the-board change is actually even remotely conceivable]…” is there to be used as leverage — should someone choose to use it. Throw the risk calculation back on the establishment. Or better, LEAD with that threat. Let “them” know what’s at stake right up front.

    Money or votes. Decisions, decisions.

  7. amigo
    amigo on June 14, 2016, 3:56 pm

    I wonder how long before waxler and his fellow 5th columnists will demand that the following appear in the platform !!! , “God gave Israel ,(sans frontiere) to the Jews and it,s off to jail for anyone who dares to disagree.That will be followed by a demand that we goyim recognise the superiority of Jews over us .

    Where does it end with some of these morons.Should we all hop on a spaceship and leave the whole world to them.

    Tedious tiresome toads.

    • hophmi
      hophmi on June 16, 2016, 3:50 am

      “That will be followed by a demand that we goyim recognise the superiority of Jews over us . ”

      More overt antisemitism at Mondoweiss.

      • RobertHenryEller
        RobertHenryEller on June 17, 2016, 12:49 am

        “More overt antisemitism at Mondoweiss.”

        The most anti-semitic writer on Mondoweiss is you, hopmi. You and your fellow zombie Zionist psychos are doing everything you can to destroy Israel, Judaism, and make the world ever more dangerous for real Jews, with your sanctimonious snotty smarmy juvenile crap.

        The intelligent response to the Holocaust is not the facist Israeli regime, is not facist collective punishment of Palestinians for the “crime” being in a place you psychotically coveted, is not creating your own racist ghetto.

        You’re the anti-semite here, hopmi. And you’re too much of a brain-washed puppet to even realize it.

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen on June 14, 2016, 6:07 pm

    thanks for this Phil. Going to watch whole platform meeting.

    Did you see this one. A caller brings up Israel’s nuclear weapons undeclared and uninspected. Flavin while acknowledges Israel’s weapons then goes into why they will never agree to declare, be inspected etc.

    Washington Journal Barbara Slavin Iran Nuclear | Video |…iran..

  9. gamal
    gamal on June 14, 2016, 6:13 pm

    Report on Israel lobby in Brussels by Cronin, Marusek and Miller

    Contents of this report
    We start this report by examining, the two main ‘Friends of Israel’ groups in chapter one. European
    Friends of Israel, in particular, has become a focal point for pro-Israel activities in Brussels. We look
    at its neoconservative politics and at those of the Friends of Israel Initiative, as well as their less
    than transparent finances.
    The second chapter deals with organisations that have recently established branches in Brussels,
    such as the American Jewish Committee and Christian Zionist groups like the Israeli Allies
    Foundation and European Coalition for Israel. We also examine the activities of some of the lesser-
    known pro-Israel and Zionist organisations in Brussels, including those that represent themselves
    as experts on terrorism.
    The EU’s close relationship with Israel is the focus of the third chapter, beginning with their growing
    trade relations. We then look at the announcement of new EU guidelines in 2013 restricting business
    with the settlements and the subsequent political fallout.
    Chapter four details the Israel lobby’s campaign to encourage the West to isolate, and at times
    even militarily attack, groups and states that resist Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
    And finally, in chapter five, we focus on the lobby’s recent attempts to silence any criticism of Israel
    by claiming that its critics represent ‘the new anti-Semitism’. ”

  10. Kathleen
    Kathleen on June 14, 2016, 6:15 pm

    Cornell “would you allow/argue for using the word occupation in the platform?”

    Wexler “no”

  11. inbound39
    inbound39 on June 14, 2016, 8:49 pm

    The Clintonites and AIPAC Lackies are missing the whole point. Israel declared its borders in 1948 as being those defined by the Partition Plan. Ever since those are the ONLY legitimate borders Israel has been recognised on globally. Israel signed and ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention which in a nutshell makes settlements illegal. What Clinton and Aipackers are supporting is Israel illegally operating outside its borders. What Clintonites and AIPACKERS support is complicity in Israels illegal actions and all its crimes in violation of its agreements internationally. How can Americans vote for Clinton knowing she is openly collaborating with a criminal state? How can they expect this stance to have a positive effect on Americas global status and integrity? It is time to clear Clinton and AIPAC’s smokescreen aside and demand America acts according to law.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      Atlantaiconoclast on June 15, 2016, 9:58 pm

      This is a very salient point which completely overturns the narrative that poor little Israel was attacked by its Arab neighbors. I find it bizarre though that so few Palestinian activists ever point this out when they are discussing the conflict in the media.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev on June 15, 2016, 2:34 pm

    “Where does it end with some of these morons.Should we all hop on a spaceship and leave the whole world to them”

    I can`t at the moment see “an end for these morons” in the US.

    We have a couple of appropriate sayings in the UK which can be applied whenever a Wexler is spouting this sort of Zionist crap and in particular the ludicrous denial of the reality of occupation as not being a “unilateral” action which undermines the fantasy 2SS.

    1) “Do you think I came up the river in a bubble ?”
    2)”You are pulling my plonker”

    What is needed particularly when debating with these loathsome JSIL Firsters is for someone , ideally high profile politicians particularly in the Democratic Party , being seen take the gloves off and regularly challenge these creeps with the American versions of 1) or 2). Unfortunately Bernie has kept the gloves on and has simply been playing pat a cake.

    One can only hope.

  13. Theo
    Theo on June 16, 2016, 8:25 am

    Since my youth I preferred the Democratic Party, during 1958-1959 I even worked for the candidacy of John Kennedy in Boston. He wanted to improve the country and not the power of zionists.
    However, since Johnson the influance of the zionists was year after year greater, or why did he ignore the israeli attack on our ship SS Liberty, where US 74 sailors were killed and well over 150 injured. Not even a protest against this hideous crime.
    The Clintons turned the party into a stooge of zionism and big Finance/big Business, not much left of the old socialist thinking, today one cannot see much difference between the GOP and the Democrats, they all are in the service of the top 10% of the country. The Clintons already collected well over 100 millions through their trust, great part of that money came from foreign sources, illegal under US laws. Why does nobody ever mention this fact?
    Facit: you may vote for the GOP or Hillary, however you get the same zionist stew dished out.

    • plimespo
      plimespo on June 16, 2016, 9:39 am

      Exactly right, and well-said, Theo.

      And the zionist stew is also being directly dished out to us by the 10 percent themselves — monolithic enablers of the GOP and Hillary, such as AIPAC, the Israel Lobby, other major donors, the mainstream media, think tanks, academic institutions, and other “progressive” and “conservative” voices.

      But there is hope. More minds and voices are coming to their senses, connecting the dots, and speaking out against the 10 %’s demonstrably false, misleading, one-sided and harmful rhetoric.

      One reason is because there is an increasing awareness that we cannot begin to address the problems and concerns of the 90% without turning our attentions and resources inward to America.

      For example, Stephen Walt has argued, with a reference which includes what America is doing in and for Israel in the Middle East: “…. for a return to a more humble and pragmatic American policy. “Global leadership is not an end in itself; it is desirable only if it benefits the United States directly,” he stated. ‘By focusing on vital interests and avoiding costly quagmires, offshore balancing would allow the United States to invest more in the long-term foundations of national power—education, infrastructure, research and development.”

  14. Boris
    Boris on June 16, 2016, 1:19 pm

    “Occupation” is a very loaded word. For most in anti-Israel group this means the entire Israel.

    So, one has to be specific – is it “Occupation ’67” or “Occupation ’48”?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on June 16, 2016, 9:36 pm

      Bravo, Boris! Very good.

      So you know it’s all illegitimate occupation.
      All of Palestine.

      In fact, a lot of anti-Zionists ignore this, or try to convince themselves that giving a right to the Zionists to be anywhere in Palestine will make them into baa-lambs and convince them to compromise.
      You seem to know better, though.

      BTW, don’t forget Occupation 11/47. The first bastard.

      Also “occupation” is not a loaded word. It’s a crime against humanity, it gives the right to the occupied population to resist legitimately by any means available and denies the occupier any right to be there or do anything.

      • Boris
        Boris on June 17, 2016, 12:28 am

        I know what I know.

        And you just confirmed it.

        Because most of you are lying that your movement is not about the destruction of Israel.

        Thanks for the honest answer!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on June 17, 2016, 9:26 pm

        But Boris, you yourself agree that your presence consists of occupation ONLY.

        I congratulated you for that admission that shows much clearer vision than many a so-called anti-Zionist. Surely you wouldn’t want to reward invasion, theft and genocide? Or even leave it unpunished?

        You should also know better than talking about “your movement” when you see that so many outside Palestine seem to be in fact agreeing with your Mafia that the Zionists may own something in the Orient…

      • Boris
        Boris on June 22, 2016, 10:58 pm

        hocus-pocus: Why don’t you get your head examined?

        I did not agree to anything. I just wanted to clarify the definition of the word you all love to use.

  15. RobertHenryEller
    RobertHenryEller on June 17, 2016, 12:42 am

    Former congressman Anthony Weiner wants the battle to end: he writes in yesterday’s Daily News that the Sanders forces should drop the Israel talk now, and Clinton “should not give an inch.”

    If anyone should not be telling others to “not give an inch,” is Anthony Weiner.

  16. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on June 17, 2016, 5:09 am

    RE: Sherman said that Hillary Clinton had laid out the best approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict in her Saban Forum speech last year. In that speech, Clinton only touched on settlements briefly, but vowed to fight BDS and promised to invite Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in her first month in office. Wexler then echoed Sherman: “Yes Secretary Clinton’s speech at Saban was the ultimate statement of American policy and where we should go as a nation and a party.” ~ Weiss


    I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
    I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
    In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
    I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
    And when it was all over I said to myself,
    “Is that all there is to a fire?”

    Is that all there is?
    Is that all there is?
    If that’s all there is my friends
    Then let’s keep dancing
    Let’s break out the booze carrot stew* and have a ball
    If that’s all there is . . .

    * ● FROM “South Africa: Why Constructive Engagement Failed”, By Sanford J. Ungar and Peter Vale, Winter 1985/86

    Article Summary
    Ronald Reagan’s imposition of limited economic sanctions against the South African regime in September was a tacit admission that his policy of “constructive engagement”–encouraging change in the apartheid system through a quiet dialogue with that country’s white minority leaders–had failed. Having been offered many carrots by the United States over a period of four-and-a-half years as incentives to institute meaningful reforms, the South African authorities had simply made a carrot stew and eaten it. Under the combined pressures of the seemingly cataclysmic events in South Africa since September 1984 and the dramatic surge of anti-apartheid protest and political activism in the United States, the Reagan Administration was finally embarrassed into brandishing some small sticks as an element of American policy.
    [We’re sorry, but Foreign Affairs does not have the copyright to display this article online.]

    SOURCE –

    Peggy Lee – Is That All There Is?

    Is That All There Is?, by Peggy Lee

    FROM WIKIPEDIA (Is That All There Is?):

    “Is That All There Is?” is a song written by American songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller during the 1960s. It became a hit for American singer Peggy Lee and an award winner from her album in November 1969. . .
    The lyrics of this song are written from the point of view of a person who is disillusioned with events in life that are supposedly unique experiences. The singer tells of witnessing her family’s house on fire when she was a little girl, seeing the circus, and falling in love for the first time. After each recital she expresses her disappointment in the experience. She suggests that we “break out the booze and have a ball—if that’s all there is”, instead of worrying about life. She explains that she’ll never kill herself either because she knows that death will be a disappointment as well. The verses of the song are spoken, rather than sung. Only the refrain of the song is sung.
    The song was inspired by the 1896 story Disillusionment (Enttäuschung) by Thomas Mann. Jerry Leiber’s wife Gaby Rodgers (née Gabrielle Rosenberg) was born in Germany, lived in the Netherlands. She escaped ahead of the Nazis, and settled in Hollywood where she had a brief film career in films noir. Gaby introduced Leiber to the works of Thomas Mann.[4] The narrator in Mann’s story tells the same stories of when he was a child. A dramatic adaptation of Mann’s story was recorded by Erik Bauserfeld and Bernard Mayes; it was broadcast on San Francisco radio station KPFA in 1964.[5]
    One difference between the story and the song is that the narrator in Mann’s story finally feels free when he sees the sea for the first time and laments for a sea without a horizon. Most of the words used in the song’s chorus are taken verbatim from the narrator’s words in Mann’s story. . .

    5. ^ Dramatic adaptation of Mann’s Disillusionment broadcast on KPFA in 1964. –

    ● PDF: Disillusionment, by Thomas Mann

  17. pabelmont
    pabelmont on June 20, 2016, 7:12 pm


    James Zogby, another Sanders surrogate, said that Wexler opposes unilateral actions. “Are settlements unilateral actions?” And, echoing Sanders at the April 14 Democratic debate: “Would you agree or disagree that that [Israeli] self-defense has been disproportionate?”

    “On the question of occupation,” Zogby said, “it has been recognized by every American administration that there is an occupation.”

    << Yes, not only are settlement unilatral as hell (and offensive as hell) but they are universally (outside Israel and parts of USA) as illegal, as several UNSC resolutions attest (or prove).

    Do these hypocritical Dem-Clinton-AIPAC Quizlings think that they would themselves accept someone who wishes to buy their house to jam into their house and occupy room after room of that house, all the while calling for free negotiations?

    (And note: as in parts of NYC, the police who should enforce the laws have been bought off.) see:


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