Trending Topics:

Clintonites knocked out platform references to ‘occupation’ and ‘settlements’ in fear of Adelson, Zogby says

on 32 Comments

Clintonites on the Democratic Party platform committee knocked out condemnations of Israeli “settlements” and “occupation” from the platform out of fear of Sheldon Adelson, a Sanders rep on that committee said today in Philadelphia.

James Zogby of the Arab American Institute spoke at a panel convened by the US Campaign to End the Occupation and the American Friends Service Committee alongside the Democratic convention. He said that he and other Sanders delegates to the platform committee had a simple plan going into the platform debates: to remove a reference in the platform to Jerusalem being the undivided “capital of Israel” and also strike the platform’s opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

But they lost on those points, and their strategy was off.  The fight was instead to knock out Sanders-sponsored language opposing “occupation” and “settlements,” and the Sanders side lost.


Frankly we wanted to strike the BDS line out, strike out the line on Jerusalem, I thought that would be the fight. I had no idea the fight would end up being over occupation and settlements. And what occurred to me was that, as I looked around the table at the folks who were there, some of whom are good people, and smart policy people– is that something happens in this game where they take their policy brain out and put it some place, I ain’t telling you where. and they substitute their politics brain, which they think is a smart brain. “We can’t do it because it’s–” Here’s what they told me. “We can’t do it because Sheldon Adelson will come out against us.” Jesus he’s going to come out against you no matter what you do. And the people who like Sheldon Adelson, they’re not going to vote for you.

Sheldon Adelson is an 82-year-old Republican who is supporting Trump in this election, and who supported Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in the last cycle.

These members of the platform committee were speaking of the Jewish politics of the issue. They know that Jews give a “gigantic” and “shocking” amount of the money that Democratic candidates rely on, according to a J Street panel of experts this spring, and that Sheldon Adelson, who called on President Obama to nuke Iran, is little different from a lot of other older Jews who regard Israel as a great thing. Indeed, Adelson has teamed up with Clinton megadonor Haim Saban in support of Israel. So the Clintonites were afraid that older Jews will not give money to the Democratic Party, and withdraw their votes too, if the platform didn’t grovel to Israel. That’s what went down.

Zogby said the irony is that Bernie Sanders was “was actually playing to his base by talking about Palestine.” Young people, liberals, people of color — they all increasingly support Palestine.

On Wednesday, the Arab American Institute will release polling, Zogby said, that shows how much the American public has changed on the issue and how much it approves of boycott.

On the boycott issue– “Is boycotting Israel a legitimate tool to use to stop them from building settlements?” — Democrats say yes overwhelmingly, 47 to 14, and the rest are unsure.

The numbers aren’t bad on the Republican side either: 42-24.

The poll also showed that a majority of Americans “for the first time have an opinion that too much foreign aid goes to Israel, that’s something that we never saw before,” he said to applause.

And Zogby spoke of Sanders’s achievement in changing the discourse of Palestine:

It took the work of a mass movement and a courageous person like Bernie Sanders. Because remember if Bernie hadn’t elevated it, it wouldn’t have happeend…

He gave us a qualitative boost forward. Now the question is, What do we do? And my feeling is, That we don’t let it go. The conversation is beginning again… and it cannot end. It cannot be where we put it back on hold again for another 20 years. The lives of people in the region cannot tolerate that. I think American interests– America’s ability to function in the world–  When we fight for Palestine, we make America better, we make America smart, we make America save itself. We’re going to help America save itself whether it wants to or not! …

I refuse to let the Palestinian people take a back seat again to any other conflict. It’s happened way too many times. We heard that shit during the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. “Can’t talk about it because we have to fight this war. After the war we’ll get to it.” “After the– after the–” Never get to it. This issue must be dealt with!


Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .

Posted In:

32 Responses

  1. hophmi on July 25, 2016, 1:05 pm

    Once again, a poll on whether a boycott is a legitimate tool is not at all the same thing as a poll supporting a boycott. According to the last poll like this, where you played up the result that a third of Americans saw a boycott as a legitimate tool, you ignored, of course, the finding that the vast majority of Americans found the idea of boycotting Israel to be antisemitic.

    • Mooser on July 25, 2016, 1:28 pm

      “Once again…/…Israel to be antisemitic.” “Hophmi”

      This analysis is nothing new.
      It is typical of “Hophmi’s” writing, which suggests, as it always does, the “Hophmi” has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, “Hophmi” adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater. – See more at:

      • Steve Grover on July 26, 2016, 10:20 am

        No Mooser, Hophmi doesn’t internalize the anti-Jewish hatred. Instead he fights MW for spewing it on a daily basis and you of course are a happy collaborator.

      • Mooser on July 26, 2016, 1:17 pm

        “No Mooser, Hophmi doesn’t internalize the anti-Jewish hatred.”

        Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And “Hophmi” is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.

    • inbound39 on July 25, 2016, 4:36 pm

      Given Arabs are semitic Hophmi then Israel’s actions of ethnic cleansing and forced transfer of Arabs, house demolitions,collective punishment in Gaza and extrajudicial killings of Palestinians is all anti semitic on Israel’s part is it not? Or would you call it Israel’s way of showing the light unto the Arab World.

    • Emory Riddle on July 25, 2016, 4:50 pm

      “Clintonites on the Democratic Party platform committee knocked out condemnations of Israeli “settlements” and “occupation” from the platform out of fear of Sheldon Adelson, a Sanders rep on that committee said today in Philadelphia.”

      I don’t doubt that they told Zogby that but its pure BS. They did it themselves and not out of fear of anyone but because they are Zionists.

    • Emory Riddle on July 25, 2016, 4:52 pm

      Let me see if I have this right, hophmi.

      Americans see boycotts as a legit tool…unless used against Israel at which point it becomes racist.

      The Old Israel Double Standard.

      • Jon66 on July 25, 2016, 11:19 pm

        From the US Dept of Commerce

        “Anti boycott Laws:

        During the mid-1970’s the United States adopted two laws that seek to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation’s economic boycotts or embargoes. These “antiboycott” laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). While these laws share a common purpose, there are distinctions in their administration.


        The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.

        Primary Impact:

        The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.

        Who Is Covered by the Laws?

        The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term “U.S. person” includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for “controlled in fact” is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.

        The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

        What do the Laws Prohibit?

        Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

        Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
        Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality.
        Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
        Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person.
        Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.

        The TRA does not “prohibit” conduct, but denies tax benefits (“penalizes”) for certain types of boycott-related agreements.”

    • K Renner on July 26, 2016, 1:23 am


      Yawn. The “vast majority of Americans”, my ass.

      In reality, the problem is apathy, and that goes for a number of issues– Palestine just being one of them.

      The Americans who think that the peaceful resistance of the BDS movement is “anti-Semitic” also think that the Palestinians existing is “anti-Semitic”.

      The point being, that your friends very often are ethnocidal lunatics that shouldn’t matter when it comes to serious debate around Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people and issues like the 100% illegal, illegitimate, conflict-perpetuating occupation.

      So sling your whiny propaganda all you like. What I said is the actual truth of the matter. You feel me?

  2. Mooser on July 25, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Weren’t the Republicans looking for money from Adelson just a week or two ago?
    Popular man, that Adelson.

  3. JLewisDickerson on July 25, 2016, 3:31 pm

    RE: “We can’t do it because Sheldon Adelson will come out against us.” – Democrats opposed to mentioning the occupation and/or settlements in the platform (per Zogby)

    Christie’s apology to Adelson on “occupied territories” is a shift
    Mar 31, 2014 – It was clarifying indeed to watch the rush by Chris Christie over the weekend to make up for the sin of using the term “occupied territories” in his in his speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, where Christie and three other 2016 contenders had assembled to court billionaire casino magnate and profligate political donor Sheldon Adelson. Never mind that Christie’s comments were couched in a strongly pro-Israel riff, or that the term “occupied territories” has been used, at various points, by the U.S. government, then-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Supreme Court. No, Christie was harshly scolded for his language and issued an apology for his transgression to Adelson. . .
    LINK –

  4. inbound39 on July 25, 2016, 4:43 pm

    If Democrats lose funding from a patron who wishes to pervert the course of Justice,surely that is a good thing. If America is no longer led by its nose by a pip squeak foreign Nation surely that is a good thing and to be commended….or am I missing something here. Dems are only getting further down the list through illegitimacy. Or is it a contest to see who can be the worst Fascist.

  5. Frankie P on July 25, 2016, 9:51 pm

    I can only say that if I turned off the light at night or closed my eyes and was confronted by that visage, I would feel great fear, too. The horror!

    • echinococcus on July 25, 2016, 11:23 pm

      I’d say that considering his very highly valuable services to Zionism, his face should be made into the symbol of the Zionist State, replacing the menorah that anyway has no business at all with it.

  6. scott9854958 on July 25, 2016, 11:34 pm

    I didn’t really follow the Democrat race that closely, but my recollection is that Bernie only turned up the heat on Israel as a Hail Mary move. He was behind late and needed something big to shake things up, and this was it. Guy deserves credit, but still, it seemed to me like political calculus. I’m not sure his heart is really in it.

  7. Qualtrough on July 26, 2016, 12:56 am

    Using Hopfmi’s definition most of use here are anti-semites. If that’s the way he wants to define it then I have no problem being labeled an anti-semite. I am a Hopfmi anti-semite and proud of it. Just one more nail in the coffin of a word that once meant hatred of Jews but now usually means dislike of Israel or Israeli policies/actions.

    • Ellen on July 27, 2016, 11:15 am

      The irony is that expression was first coined by a bilge spewing Judeophobe and promptly adopted by the early Zionist movement for self description as Semites. LOL. Semitism has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with European Jews Willhelm Marr was writing about.

      But hey, if the propagandist wanted to call them that, they would wear that mantle. Now that is self hatred.

      • wondering jew on July 27, 2016, 3:17 pm

        Ellen- The idea that it was strictly Zionists rather than any other group of Jews who referred to Judeophobia as antiSemitism is an interesting one, and one without any historical merit, unless you can link to some source that indicates that this is anything but the product of your own mind.

      • annie on July 27, 2016, 3:45 pm

        strawman #Fail yonah. ellen didn’t express the idea you coined “strictly Zionists rather than any other group of Jews who referred to Judeophobia as antiSemitism”

        hence, your statement is a product of your own mind.

      • wondering jew on July 27, 2016, 3:55 pm

        i will now proceed to carefully study the statement by Ellen and discover other reasons why it is stupid and ridiculous.

        The Zionists ended up calling themselves Hebrews or Ivri, to differentiate themselves from Yehudim or Jews. The search for a different name to call themselves is indicative of a rejection of the status quo of the Jews to the point that we must act so differently from how we have in the past and thus come up with a new name for ourselves.

        The study of any group suffering from discrimination will reveal multiple strands of self hatred and pride interwoven. The Jews are condemned for their pride and now by Ellen for their self hatred.

      • annie on July 27, 2016, 4:17 pm

        i will now proceed to carefully study the statement by Ellen and discover other reasons why it is stupid and ridiculous.

        The Zionists ended up calling themselves Hebrews or Ivri, to differentiate themselves from Yehudim or Jews. The search for a …

        i think the expression to which ellen is referring, as well as the subject matter in the she responded to, was “anti-semite”. so if your goal is to discover why the term anti-semite “was first coined by a bilge spewing Judeophobe” is stupid and ridiculous — just go for it. or the claim the term was picked up the early Zionist movement for self description as Semites (which it was) was stupid and ridiculous — just go for it. or deny altogether there’s any irony going on there. for god forbid you actually agree with anything ellen stated.

      • Mooser on July 27, 2016, 4:06 pm

        “But hey, if the propagandist wanted to call them that, they would wear that mantle. Now that is self hatred.”

        I thought the “Semites” are ‘sons of Shem’ the eldest of Noah’s three sons.
        And after the Flood, once the world was dry enough for the women to wear skirts and men to chase those skirts, Shem didn’t waste any time. Whilst some was setting, Shem got busy begetting.

      • Mooser on July 27, 2016, 4:13 pm

        “Ellen- The idea…/…of your own mind.”

        That’s it, “Yonah”! You keep an eye on us, and make sure we don’t descend to ad hominem, or worse yet, pilpul!

        Our own little proctor.

      • Talkback on July 27, 2016, 7:32 pm

        Ellen: A Judephobe coined the expression “anti-Semitism”. Then early Zionists called themselves Semites.
        yonah fredman’s paraphrase: Only Zionists referred to Judeophobia as antiSemitism.
        yonah fredman’s interpretation: Jews are condemned for their self hatred by Ellen.

        I have never seen such a huge diffraction of light when it crossed from a clear medium into a very dense one. What an anomaly. This can’t be explained rationally.

      • annie on July 27, 2016, 8:13 pm

        This can’t be explained rationally.

        let me give it a shot. he’s a professional purposely contorting the meaning of ellen’s statement to defame her. heaven forbid! it’s probably more likely he plays the kevin bacon game with his friends all the time and as a result uses the same pattern to collect and organize thoughts and ideas.

        The game, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, requires players to link celebrities to Bacon, in as few steps as possible, via the movies they have in common. The more odd or random the celebrity, the better. For example, O.J. Simpson was in “The Naked Gun 33⅓” with Olympia Dukakis, who was in “Picture Perfect” with Kevin Bacon.

        now, replace kevin bacon with “anti semitism” and instead of movies replace that with “ideas”. then you can literally hopscotch yourself through life connecting practically every thought and idea to anti semitism — eventually.

        think about it — deeply, but not too deeply.

      • Mooser on July 28, 2016, 5:12 pm

        “he’s a professional purposely contorting the meaning of ellen’s statement to defame her”

        A “professional”. For this he went to college!

      • otc on July 28, 2016, 9:52 pm

        I’m aware the early Zionists identified as Hebrews – I haven’t read they identified as Semites
        Do you have any sources on that?

        If you are correct, and Zionists did self describe as Semites, why is that self hatred.

        There is nothing offensive about the term Semite. The early Zionists did see themselves as people of ME origin. (Hence the use of the term Hebrew). Whether others agreed or not is a separate issue.

        What is offensive is what Willhem Marr thought about those he called Semites, not the word itself. Also, I don’t believe Marr was the first to refer to Jews as Semites – I think August Schlözer may have been in the late 1700’s – not positive about that

      • silamcuz on July 28, 2016, 11:22 pm

        I’m aware the early Zionists identified as Hebrews – I haven’t read they identified as Semites Do you have any sources on that?

        Begin, the ultra right-wing Zionist fundamentalist ex-PM of Israel actually believed that he, a European Jew was the descendant of the Hebrew slaves of Egypt as he stated to President Carter on live TV. These people were absolutely nuts but at least they were the honest kind of crazy. I don’t think Netanyahu gives a damn about his Jewish ancestry or how he got where he is, he is driven purely for the pursuit of power and if it entails pissing on the Torah for him, that’s exactly what he would do.

      • Talkback on July 29, 2016, 2:51 am

        @ Ellen

        Marr has not coined the expression “antisemitism”, but made it popular. It was coined by Moritz Steinschneider who described Ernest Renan’s view about the inferiority of the Semitic race to Aryan race as antisemitic prejudism. Renan’s definition of Semites was based on linguistic criterias.

  8. K Renner on July 26, 2016, 1:24 am

    HFS. Is that what he actually looks like? Or did you guys have fun with his photo?

    Troll under the bridge doesn’t even begin to cut it!

    And it’s natural. He’s hideously ugly on the inside and on the outside.

  9. hellsbells on July 26, 2016, 4:15 am

    When I saw the photo I thought it was a new Frankenstein movie.

  10. wondering jew on July 26, 2016, 5:31 am

    Just watched keith ellison’s speech to the convention. Unlike the true revolutionaries here at mw, who wish the democratic party to implode or break itself up over Palestinian rights and Israeli wrongs, Congressman Ellison stepped up and urged a vote for Hillary against Trump, as he introduced Bernie Sanders.

    Sanders has wider appeal than Elizabeth Warren, in my opinion. He has a long fought veracity and authenticity (to use a word) that will be hard to duplicate. Of course the age of the Bernie supporters is often cited, but his age is relevant too. He is old and I do not know what his political future will look like as he gets closer to 80.

    If Trump is elected, firstly odds are high that it would only be an electoral college victory. (People in states that backed Hillary should take to the street demanding an amendment to the constitution, under the banner one man/one vote.) the divisiveness of a trump presidency should be self evident to anyone with eyes in their head, but his victory through the electoral college and defeat in the popular vote will help create action in the streets against his presidency. at that point, bernie who will be young enough in four years can really start planning bernie 2020 on november 9th. elizabeth warren will also start planning warren 2020 on that same day. the competition between them will be interesting.

    but if hillary wins, elizabeth warren will be coopted and bernie should sit on the sidelines waiting for the issue of his choosing on which to base his bernie 2020 campaign. probably that will be two years down the line.

    presidential campaigns are more exciting than any other political event in america, and if hillary wins on november 8th, we, the majority of americans who will vote for her, will breathe a sigh of relief, but also a sigh of disappointment, because the next presidential race will be so far off and the letdown of the end of the baseball season after the last out in the world series, will also be present.

    the steady drumbeat of shootings by Muslims in Germany this past week or so, should also be noted and I worry about how many nutjobs with roots in the Muslim immigrant community will take to American venues to express their emotional unhappiness this fall. certainly if any of them will be watching tv and mister trump’s inevitable provocative language, that will be enough to send some of them to their guns and so i fear that this will be a feature of this fall presidential campaign.

    One other note: if hillary wins, she will still lose the white vote badly. we live in a democracy, but face it, not the color blind society MLK spoke of, and in fact the rebellion by white people against candidates that they, the “true americans” voted against, will be a factor of grave instability for america with a president hillary, who will win based upon overwhelming support from nonwhite voters.

Leave a Reply