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Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence ‘in the public narrative’

US Politics
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Election campaigns serve a lot of purposes, and it is increasingly obvious that Israel supporters on whom Hillary Clinton is dependent are using her campaign to put the knife in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. You will recall that Bernie Sanders’ loyalists on the Democratic platform committee spoke up for Palestinian rights and even BDS at an early meeting of that body, and Cornel West said the party was “beholden to AIPAC”, the leading Israel lobby group.

West was on to something. Today Jewish Insider reports that an AIPAC board member sees the Clinton campaign as a vehicle to stifle BDS:

Prominent attorney Norm Brownstein told us he was with Hillary Clinton in Denver yesterday where she spoke to him at length about how Israel doesn’t need third party intervention via the U.N. and that she will oppose the BDS movement and any other effort to delegitimize Israel in the international arena.

Norman Brownstein

Norman Brownstein

Brownstein opposed the Iran deal. He is a big financial supporter of Democratic political campaigns.

Meantime, a leading advocate for Hillary Clinton in the African-American community, former South Carolina legislator Bakari Sellers, has published a letter urging the Democratic Party to stick by its 2012 platform language on Israel and Palestine — no reference to occupation or settlements, and Jerusalem is forever the capital of the Jewish state, etc.– and to oppose BDS. The letter is reportedly co-signed by 60 black Democrats. We’re waiting for the list.

Excerpts from the letter here. Let’s stick with the status quo:

I believe that the Mideast planks of the previous platform were carefully crafted and have served us well as a party and a country. As Democrats…we would be well served to stick closely to our previous platform language and ensure that any changes…do nothing to undermine the principles that have given such strength and clarity to our previous platforms.

BDS is anti-Semitic.

…Anti-Semitism has been on the rise and it has taken a new form — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS. The BDS movement is an effort to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and, instead, use economic and political pressure to force unilateral Israeli action on issues that must be resolved through talks.

CNN says that the letter is aimed at staunching a “public narrative” about Israel on the left:

“Concerned that [Sanders surrogate James] Zogby and West’s viewpoint may be gaining traction at least in the public narrative, Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina representative and now a CNN commentator, sent a letter signed by 60 African American politicians around the country to the co-chairs of the platform committee last week urging them to stick to the traditional language on Israel,” CNN reported.

Rania Khalek of Electronic Intifada writes that the effort is a cynical way of trying to defuse progressive sympathy for Palestinians, flowing from the Bernie Sanders advocates on the platform committee:

West’s and Zogby’s advocacy for Palestinian rights has been so insistent that the Clinton wing of the party has attempted to neutralize them through the most cynical form of identity politicking.

Here’s the letter:

B1

B2

 

B3

 

Sellers spoke to the AIPAC conference this spring, alongside several other Clintonites, and he has been a vital asset to AIPAC in its efforts to foster relationships in liberal communities. The Forward reported three years ago:

Bakari Sellers is one of AIPAC’s key presenters when it comes to approaching the liberal community. The 28-year-old African-American Democrat was the youngest member of South Carolina’s state legislature. He first engaged with AIPAC as a student leader at Morehouse College, a historic black institute, and has since visited Israel and spoken at many of the lobby’s events.

“The values we care about, such as human rights, women’s rights and gay rights, are important to Israel,” Sellers said in an interview on the sidelines of the AIPAC conference. “We can hope these values duplicate themselves throughout the Middle East.”

Sellers was cultivated by the Israel lobby when he was president of the student government at Morehouse College. The Israel lobby group AIPAC brought him to Washington for its annual conference. Ten years later, Sellers described being dazzled by that conference.

“There might have been ten black people at the whole conference, of 7500… I remember that they had the rollcall. I was just so enthralled. Every member of Congress, or at least 75 percent of them were there…. I got a chance to see Condoleezza Rice and I got a chance to see George Bush…

He said he challenges the Israel lobby over settlements:

I challenge them on issues. I challenge them on issues dealing with Palestine, and the way that they treat the Palestinian government, and their aggressiveness… in terms of some of their settlements and things of that nature….

But I also go back and I think Jewish community was there most times, many times, hand in hand with the African-American community during the Civil Rights movement.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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20 Responses

  1. Boomer
    Boomer
    June 29, 2016, 1:58 pm

    re: “Election campaigns serve a lot of purposes, and it is increasingly obvious that Israel supporters on whom Hillary Clinton is dependent are using her campaign to put the knife in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

    Thanks for reporting this. I wonder if any of those “personal” emails Mrs. Clinton deleted traded our national interest for political support.

  2. annie
    annie
    June 29, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Bakari gave up his congressional seat in 2014 to run for lieutenant gov of south carolina and lost that election. meanwhile, the person who replaced him in congress (Justin Bamberg) made headlines by switching from clinton to sanders. so i’m sure the lobby will be going after bramberg’s seat — but i think he’s fairly popular given he was the attorney for the family of Walter Scott — gunned down after a traffic stop for being black.

    anyway, bakari is probably bummed he lost his seat and wants it back. too bad he’s doing it by throwing palestinians under a bus. he should be ashamed.

  3. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    June 29, 2016, 2:25 pm

    If you are a self serving attention whore there is no better way then “Sellers” your soul to the lobby. A quick Google search shows a failed politician trying to stay visible in the media by getting attention ( reality tv ) Even a DUI. Nothing easier a than being a black wash for the lobby too easy

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      June 29, 2016, 11:34 pm

      @Ba

      Should be flagged as racist but won’t , naturally

      • amigo
        amigo
        June 30, 2016, 12:11 pm

        “Nothing easier a than being a black wash for the lobby too easy ” BA.

        “Should be flagged as racist but won’t , naturally”.Duhbaker

        Hogwash.

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 29, 2016, 2:53 pm

    “But I also go back and I think Jewish community was there most times, many times, hand in hand with the African-American community during the Civil Rights movement”

    What a nauseating hypocrite. The Civil Rights movement was about the suppression of the human rights and the daily humiliation and degradation of a people simply because of their race and I would hope the children and grandchildren of the Jews of conscience to which he refers will have inherited this conscience when it comes to their judgement and actions with regards to Zionist crimes against the native Palestinians.

    All`s well in Gaza and the occupied territories and the Palestinians have nothing to fear from the QuasiNazis as far as Mr Sellers is concerned because African-Americans like him have “challenged” some of JSIL`s actions ! !

    BOYCOTT UGLY APARTHEID ISRAEL
    SUPPORT BDS
    TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT BDS

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 29, 2016, 5:47 pm

      Agreed. This amounts to Israel’s “African Americans for apartheid” PR campaign. A great many people are not as stupid as this craven idiot thinks they are. But it probably does pay well.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        June 29, 2016, 6:42 pm

        This amounts to Israel’s “African Americans for apartheid” PR campaign.
        ————————–

        Well-stated!

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        June 29, 2016, 8:05 pm

        Brilliant JWalters! Tweeted using that as the lede. Sums it up perfectly.

        (Hope you don’t mind.)

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        June 30, 2016, 3:31 am

        ritzl, don’t mind at all; glad you felt it useful. Whatever helps get the truth past the Israeli fact barricade is a top priority.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 2, 2016, 11:48 pm

        Great, #blackwashIsrael tweet text linking to MW

  5. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    June 29, 2016, 3:56 pm

    RE: “…Anti-Semitism has been on the rise and it has taken a new form — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS. The BDS movement is an effort to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and, instead, use economic and political pressure to force unilateral Israeli action on issues that must be resolved through talks.~ Bakari Sellers’ letter (reportedly co-signed by 60 black Democrats) urging the Democratic Party to stick by its 2012 platform language on Israel and Palestine — no reference to occupation or settlements, and Jerusalem is forever the capital of the Jewish state, etc.

    IN CONTRAST, SEE: “Israel’s security figures take aim at hard-line Netanyahu” | By Dan Perry and Josef Federman | Associated Press | June 28, 2016

    [EXCERPTS]
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a potentially formidable challenge to his hard-line rule — not from Israel’s civilian politicians but instead from its revered security establishment.

    An extraordinary array of former top commanders are criticizing Netanyahu in increasingly urgent terms, accusing him of mishandling the Palestinian issue and allying with extremists bent on dismantling Israel’s democracy.

    On Tuesday, a group representing more than 200 retired leaders in Israel’s military, police, Mossad spy service and Shin Bet security agency presented a plan to help end the half-century occupation of the Palestinians through unilateral steps, including disavowing claims to over 90 percent of the West Bank and freezing Jewish settlement construction in such areas. . .

    . . . The criticism of Netanyahu is not necessarily driven by the idea he is missing an opportunity for peace. After years of failed negotiations, there is little hope left among Israelis that they can come to an amicable divorce by agreement. The Palestinians’ demands — including a division of Jerusalem and the “right of return” to Israel of Palestinian refugees and their descendants — are too much for Israel and not about to change.

    That realization has shifted the discourse in Israel away from peace and instead to finding another way to impose a partition. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://finance.yahoo.com/news/israels-security-figures-aim-hard-line-netanyahu-173740389.html

  6. chocopie
    chocopie
    June 29, 2016, 5:20 pm

    They can’t put the cat back in the bag. The word is out about BDS and this is heading only in one direction, no matter what Israel does. Gawker, of all places, has a post up today about the Park Slope Food Co-op BDS controversy. I hope the Zionists keep whining about BDS so the whole world finds out about it.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 29, 2016, 5:50 pm

      Agreed. They can’t hide history forever. A bunch of bought people are going to have Israeli sh*t all over their faces.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        June 30, 2016, 7:06 am

        re: “They can’t hide history forever.”

        True, but they haven’t hidden sinking the Liberty forever, or for that matter the campaign of terrorism that created Israel. As long as the people with power ignore such events, they don’t need to be hidden. Ignore such events until everyone alive at the time is dead, and they become moot, “ancient history,” safe and suitable for inclusion in history books that are read by a few specialists.

  7. Neil Schipper
    Neil Schipper
    June 30, 2016, 4:37 am

    … and Cornel West said the party was “beholden to AIPAC …”

    If Cornel West believes AIPAC wants Iran to receive many tens of billions of dollars, and the further weaponization of Iran’s proxies on Israel’s doorstep, he’s not smart enough to listen to.

    Either that, or he’s not honest enough to listen to.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      June 30, 2016, 12:55 pm

      That’s a seriously dumb comment. The party being beholden to AIPAC does not mean that AIPAC will get its way with everything, especially when the policy is an objectively great one, as the Iran deal was. (Great even for the Apartheid state AIPAC represents.)

  8. eljay
    eljay
    June 30, 2016, 9:36 am

    BDS is anti-Semitic.

    …Anti-Semitism has been on the rise and it has taken a new form — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS. The BDS movement is an effort to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and, instead, use economic and political pressure to force unilateral Israeli action on issues that must be resolved through talks.

    This makes BDS anti-Israeli, in the same way that sanctions against Iran were anti-Iranian.

    Since the latter were deemed acceptable, there’s no reason the former shouldn’t be as well.

  9. klm90046
    klm90046
    June 30, 2016, 10:53 pm

    Who’s this guy, Bakari “Sellout” Sellers?

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