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Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: ‘Not my problem’

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“I’m voting for Hillary,” said Mark, a 24-year-old Democratic Party consultant outside the Marriott International Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, just hours after Clinton had accepted her party’s nomination to challenge Donald Trump in November.

“Why is Hillary the best choice?”

“Is that a question?” he asked.  “It’s Trump or Hillary.”

“The thing I’ve heard from a lot of people in FDR Park” — the sight of a week of camped out protests accompanying the DNC — “is that they feel coerced, there’s lots of problems in this country that are unrecognized.”

As we spoke a person who appeared homeless wandered around the entrance to the hotel, listlessly waving an American flag he’d found. Mark continued:

“Well every election is coerced. We have a two party system. Every election is coerced, unfortunately. That’s the way it is. We have problems that need to be address, but it’s up to us, the voters, to make sure that these problems get addressed.”

“They would say, ‘no, I’m not comfortable with being coerced,’” I offered.

“So opt out of it,” Mark said. “Or move to another country where they don’t have a two party system.”

From Utah, the young man, Mark, wouldn’t give his last name or reveal much about what he was doing at the convention, except that he was “working.” He said that people are happy to complain, but they rarely vote. And so forth.

“We have so many privileges as American citizens, but we don’t want any of the responsibilities that come along with them,” he said.

One of those responsibilities, you could argue, is to the Palestinian people. American voters’ tax dollars have gone for decades to continuing the Israeli occupation. Clinton as a candidate has said she’d only hew tighter to the demands of Benjamin Netanyahu to squeeze the Palestinian people harder.

Then, as I do, I turned the question about boring old American party politics to the exciting Apocalyptic stakes of Israel/Palestine.

“I mean, that’s a fuckin’ issue like…yeah…we should take that up,” Mark said. “But before we deal with Palestinian rights we should fucking deal with our problems.”

So I brought up an American domestic issue, the Black Lives Matter movement, as having a confluence with Palestine.

“There’s a confluence with anything you would want to draw a confluence to. Like Palestinian rights…totally fucked up. What the Israelis are doing to Palestinians: Totally fucked up. But I think that there are oppressed groups all over the world..If you want to draw a parallel between Black Lives Matter you could draw a parallel to any oppressed group around the world…”

“It’s more solid than that. There were lots of Palestinian flags in the Black Lives Matter march. How does Clinton respond to this constituency?”

“I think you have to look at AIPAC,” he said, without extrapolating.

Then he said that “We have a government that’s supposed to by the people, for the people but we don’t give a fuck.”

“For Palestinian Americans who were drawn to Bernie Sanders in the campaign now…”

He cut me off: “Again, I feel for them. Palestinian Americans, great. They’re Americans. But Palestinians not my problem. We have things to deal with here.”

What Mark was saying reveals something disturbing about the Clinton campaign and its operatives. Some who even recognize the unfairness of the Israeli occupation and the assault on Gaza will relegate the issue to the back burner because, eh fuck it. Not their problem. More than that, Palestinian Americans who put their shoulder in the Sanders campaign are somehow totally divorced from the experience of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and Israel.

Of course, many Palestinian American families maintain close ties with their relatives in the region, and worry for their safety. For many Arab and Muslim Americans, new immigrants and ones born in the U.S., Clinton presents a bleak choice between fear of Trump’s racism and the indifference of Clinton-style party politics to issues that aren’t urgent because they don’t swing elections. But that’s a grim way of being a public servant.

This is the kind of logic that has led to a sharp split in the Democratic Party, between a politics of principles and a party of “What have you done for me lately?” But what can we expect? The Democratic Party that we know today descends from 20th century organized crime just as birds do from dinosaurs, and still abides by certain mafia codes: Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.

“What’s your last name,” I asked Mark.

“I’d rather not say.”

Wise guy.

Wilson Dizard

Wilson Dizard is a freelance reporter and photojournalist covering politics, civil rights, drug policy and everything else. He lives in Brooklyn with his bicycle, camera and drum set.

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64 Responses

  1. silamcuz on July 29, 2016, 12:24 pm

    Wilson, the Democratic Party is a hugely diverse coalition of political representatives of various communities within the US. One Democratic consultant’s off hand quote on the issue of Palestinian liberation means absolutely nothing in the larger scheme of the Party, which is shifting towards a more inclusive, more justice-minded agenda.

    You are being unethical in writing these hit-pieces towards the only party that is standing against the threat of white supremacist fascism in the nation. We are at war, and in war, there will be all kind of lies and half-truths flying around but we must keep our aim at winning the war first and foremost.

    • Mooser on July 29, 2016, 1:57 pm

      “Palestinian liberation means absolutely nothing in the larger scheme of the Party, which is shifting towards a more inclusive, more justice-minded agenda.”

      Ah, yes, one can plainly see that the “more inclusive, more justice minded agenda” can only be achieved by excluding Palestinians.

      After all, the Zionist Jews need that inclusion and justice, much more badly than Palestinians.

    • inbound39 on July 29, 2016, 3:29 pm

      For Evil to prosper, Good men and women need do nothing.

      If America wonders why it continues to track downward Global Status wise it is because it stands with no gap alongside the Criminal State of Israel. It is because its current two clowns standing as Presidential Nominees are funded by Pro Israel supporters and because its Government is peppered with similar Politicians. It is because its politicians is swayed and bribed by the likes of AIPAC and the above people in those groups are solely self centered and focused on money and their own well being and financial gains. This is why anyone globally looking in who hears Hilary Clinton talk about the “WE” aspect see it as a total lie……she cares only about herself. It’s why National Security to her is an imposition….she is immature in her stance of she wants what she wants when she wants it. The Sanders Brigade needs to start organizing street marches and disrupt the traffic flow like the Vietnam protesters did or America is going nowhere but down.

    • joemowrey on July 29, 2016, 6:42 pm

      “…the Party, which is shifting towards a more inclusive, more justice-minded agenda.

      In which alternate universe is the Democratic party becoming more inclusive and justice-minded? Maybe by inclusive you mean inclusive of the wealthy corporate power elite, and by justice-minded you mean justice exclusively for Americans. Certainly the justice-mindedness of the Dems isn’t being felt by those we are bombing in seven-plus (that we know of) countries around the globe, or by those whose governments we destabilize and/or overthrow in order to make the world more user friendly for our corporations.

      And if you think the Party overall (or Americans in general for that matter) gives a rats ass about Palestinian liberation, or liberation of anything other than capital investment opportunities for the rich, you must really be living in another dimension.

      • RoHa on July 29, 2016, 10:55 pm

        As far as I can tell, the bombing itself seems pretty inclusive in those area where it is being done. (Except, of course, for the armed forces of ISIS, etc. It would hardly be right to bomb those. That’s the sort of thing Russians do.)

        And while it is only seven countries right now, I’m sure more and more countries will be included in the future. No, not everyone is being bombed yet, but you can tell they are trying to be more inclusive.

  2. Donald on July 29, 2016, 12:49 pm

    It obviously is our problem since our politicians treat Israel as the 51st state and we fund a lot of this crap.

  3. JWalters on July 29, 2016, 6:02 pm

    Mark is incredibly ignorant to be consulting on American politics.

    He is evidently unaware that Israel manipulated the U.S. to spend its blood and treasure in Iraq, and is trying to manipulate the U.S. to spend vast amounts more blood and treasure to “clean up” the mess created by the Iraq invasion.

    He is also evidently unaware that Israel shuts down honest discussion of these issues in America, sabotaging its “free” press and thereby its very democracy.

    Or perhaps he is another Israeli agent.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on July 30, 2016, 1:40 am

      Now THIS is what could end the special relationship, showing Americans that Israel has manipulated the US to fight its wars, whether in Iraq, or Syria. Waiting for Americans to care about Palestinians will NEVER work. How many years of failure do we have to see before we change strategy?

      • JWalters on July 30, 2016, 6:29 pm

        Thanks for adding this strategy point. I bet many Americans would find the story of the USS Liberty quite fascinating. And the ship’s name is so symbolically appropriate.

  4. Kay24 on July 29, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Israel is not our problem either, so why do these politicians act like they HAVE to send billions over there, as if it is a matter of life or death? Mark is off his mark, obviously.

    • RoHa on July 29, 2016, 7:28 pm

      It is a matter of re-election, which is much more important than life and death.

      • Kay24 on July 29, 2016, 9:48 pm

        This is a typical case of pandering to a disliked, devious occupying nation, and as a result making this country infested with mentally challenged minions, who allow an alien nation to control and interfere in many important offices in this country. It is time the US refused to make Israel our problem, because it has become a problem within this country.

      • RoHa on July 29, 2016, 10:09 pm

        Support Israel, and you get campaign funds and nice mentions in the media. Ignore or (horrors!) criticize Israel and you are tossed out. So a couple thousand Arabs get fried with white phosphorous? They weren’t going to vote for you anyway.

      • JWalters on July 30, 2016, 6:28 am

        If Hillary follows up on her enthusiastic commitment to “get money out of politics”, that would necessarily include AIPAC money! Which would free a lot of Israeli slaves in Congress to be rational. She could also use Tim Kaine’s vaunted experience with civil rights to help Palestinians with their severe civil rights problems.

      • RoHa on July 30, 2016, 9:47 pm

        As far as I can tell, both the Clintons have already got plenty of money out of politics. Politics has made them both very rich.

    • inbound39 on July 29, 2016, 8:08 pm

      America is a trillion in debt and America has given Israel around a trillion since 1948. Coincidence? You can begin to see why manufacturers and small businesses are shutting down in America. The money they need is going to Israel and Clinton is there to make sure they get more as is Trump.

      • Jon66 on July 29, 2016, 10:03 pm

        Do you have a source for that figure. I think it sounds widly high for Israel and is widely low for the US.

      • Atlantaiconoclast on July 30, 2016, 1:41 am

        Amen, except the US is 20 Trillion in debt, so whether Israel has taken a trillion or not doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be giving it or any other nation any money, unless we are talking private charity. But your post provides another point that could actually cause Americans to push for an end to the special relationship.

      • amigo on July 30, 2016, 11:06 am

        Inbound 39

        Depending on which report you choose –it ranges from 100 to 130 billion in ” direct aid ” 1949 — 2013 .Add another 10 billion for the period 2014 –2016 .Try this link which also includes figures on all the other costs to the US taxpayer –such as loan guarantees on which no interest is paid .WMREA places the overall cost of being Israel,s social welfare provider at 3 trillion.$130-billion.html

      • Jon66 on July 30, 2016, 2:33 pm

        Your numbers are wrong

        The direct costs in your article come to 140 billion. The loan guarantees are not the same thing as loans. As the article you linked to says they cost the US nothing. The “loss” of taxes and other indirect costs would have to be over 2.85 trillion to get the number you quote. Do you have evidence of this?

      • amigo on July 30, 2016, 4:37 pm

        “The “loss” of taxes and other indirect costs would have to be over 2.85 trillion to get the number you quote. Do you have evidence of this? “jon66$3-trillion.html

        Take solace in one fact though, You were right –Inbounds numbers are wrong . They are off by a mere 2 trillion.

      • Jon66 on July 30, 2016, 10:24 pm

        I take no joy in the mistakes of others.

  5. wondering jew on July 29, 2016, 7:42 pm

    There is no way that someone whose issue is Palestine (or foreign policy, as in reducing American military activism abroad) is going to see eye to eye with someone whose issues are centered on domestic American concerns. The Democratic urge towards unity is most difficult after an 8 year stint in the White House, and George W Bush was not enough to convince some to vote for Gore rather than refuse to play the game of the lesser of the two evils and today there are those who are unconvinced that choosing Hillary over Trump is a worthwhile effort.

    The Palestine effort is not in the forefront of the mind of the American people right now and this web site feels that there is no moment like now and now demands Jill Stein. But the American people have a bigger problem, as they see it, and its name is Donald Trump. And November 9th if we defeat Donald Trump, then will be your moment. I understand that you don’t want to wait and who can deny your impatience. But really, Donald Trump is not your run of the mill threat and it really is understandable for the fear of Trump to win out over the wider perspective of the Middle East or the specifics of the wrongs done to the Palestinians for quite some time and the wrongs done on the West Bank and regarding Gaza to this day. Nonetheless Donald Trump is a present danger and trying to keep the democrats’ eye off the goal of defeating Trump seems like a losing proposition.

    Hillary I hope will win the white house, but she lacks the political acumen to win more than one term and the left needs to be prepared for November 9th, because the republican will win in 2020, unless the left can pull the vote away from clinton in 2020 and run as something really different from clinton. but that won’t happen because clinton will have the solid black vote like this time. but in 2024 the field is wide open, because the republican president Rubio will be very vulnerable because of gridlock government, rubio will be a one termer as well and 2024 is the year that a mcgovern democrat will be elected as president.

    how large a role Palestine israel will play in 2024 is difficult to know. trump’s best hope is for 2 Orlandos and a San Bernardino in October. will terrorism recede as a threat in the next 8 years? Will the partitioning of Syria happen or will the blood letting never cease? Will the losing side of the Iraq war of 2003 be given enough power or land so that the motivation for violence will be mitigated thus leading to the end of Daesh? Can chaos in Iraq and syria be the dominant theme for another 8 years? How will Europe react to immigration and terrorism?

    in 8 years do you think this mcgovern democrat will be sufficiently anti Israel to satisfy the Palestine advocates? but the democratic party will still be dependent on jewish contributors, so how can a presidential candidate not worry about congress, and if money is still the lifeblood of politics, how far can a presidential candidate wander from the mainstream of the party. as the grass roots becomes less supportive of israel, how will this split between big donors and the grass roots play out.

    • Mooser on July 29, 2016, 9:55 pm

      And “Yonah” sends in another one for the lost archives.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on July 30, 2016, 1:45 am

      Yonah, the Democrats will only show concern for issues like Palestine and War once they no longer have one of their fools in the White House. Should Trump win, the anti War Left just might wake from its coma.

    • Donald on July 30, 2016, 10:31 am

      Personally I think we can do more than one thing at a time. I hope Trump loses and will vote accordingly, but will continue to point out Clinton’s flaws. ( I could put it much more harshly, but am trying not to go into full rant mode.)

      One problem with politics is that people often think you have to toss rationality out , join a team, and engage in nothing but propaganda for the team until victory is won. I’m not sure how well this works with people who aren’t yet on one side or the other. It seems more like a way of rousing the faithful.

      There are at least some people who get turned off by this behavior. They don’t trust the cheerleaders because they know the cheerleaders are only telling as much of the truth as helps their side. It might actually be more effective to say one supports a candidate because of issues A,B, and C, but the candidate is bad on these other issues. Others could urge voting for a third party and give those reasons. The point being that it would be better if as many people as possible were as honest as they can manage to be and acknowledged the flaws in whatever candidate they choose to support.

      A few people do this to some degree, but mostly what we have is a lot of what I am politely calling cheerleading. And consequently we all have our favorite sources of information and we automatically dismiss what others are saying. This election worries me because I think the country as a whole is getting more and more tribal. The Trump side is worse, IMO, but the Clintonites scares me too ( centrist liberals are not nearly as connected to reality as they seem to think) and I don’t think third party voting does much good, though given where I live I might do a protest vote, depending on what the polls say.

      • echinococcus on July 30, 2016, 11:31 am


        I hope Trump loses and will vote accordingly, but will continue to point out Clinton’s flaws. ( I could put it much more harshly, but am trying not to go into full rant mode.)

        Ah yes. After you have elected and crowned the dynastic Democrat Empress. Once you have brought her to reign over us, pointing out flaws with a harsh forefinger will make her and her merry band of eminently respectable and truthful murderers recoil, see the error of their ways and become law-abiding peacemakers.

      • Donald on July 30, 2016, 1:02 pm

        All choices are bad here. Trump is a maniac. Stein can’t win, not without an army of magic voters transported to the polls by chariots pulled by unicorns.

        I’m snarking here because you have said precisely nothing useful. You are ranting online under an anonymous name, which should bring the evil empire down any day.

        This is fun. Useless, but fun.

      • Donald on July 30, 2016, 1:14 pm

        Actually, I don’t want to make fun of Stein voters. I was just annoyed by echino. People should vote in whatever way they think will do the most good or least harm.

      • Keith on July 30, 2016, 2:04 pm

        DONALD- “I hope Trump loses and will vote accordingly, but will continue to point out Clinton’s flaws.”

        Has it come to this? Our best hope for the future that Hillary will read comments like this and die laughing?

      • echinococcus on July 30, 2016, 7:19 pm


        Of course all choices are bad. Duh.

        One thing to make the choice slightly less bad is not to become a heinous criminal yourself.
        You know for sure that to bring upon us the Dims and their Harpy means even more atrocious war and whoever helps bring her is a knowing accomplice. No amount of handwringing and post hoc demurring will change that. You vote Clinton or Trump, you are a willing participant, an accessory.

        And I don’t mean that in a metaphoric or abstract sense.

        Even if you intended to minimize the damage you do but want to go ahead because of a mania of obtaining immediate relief, this very electoral cycle (who is now the realist here?) how the hell can you assume the Dims, with the evidence of the last 8 years, could be less criminal than Trump? At least he is only talking, while the others have been doing it non-stop and promise even more. At least, he is an isolationist.

        Here is something “useful”: at the very least, don’t become a murderer yourself.

      • Mooser on July 30, 2016, 9:06 pm

        “People should vote…”

        There’s gonna be a lot of crazy before the election is over. I can feel it making me crazy.
        “Go ahead, go nuts!” everything seems to be saying. “Crazy is the new orange!”

    • annie on August 1, 2016, 2:21 am

      November 9th if we defeat Donald Trump, then will be your moment….. the left needs to be prepared for November 9th, because the republican will win in 2020, unless the left can pull the vote away from clinton in 2020 and run as something really different from clinton. but that won’t happen because clinton will have the solid black vote like this time. but in 2024 the field is wide open…..

      so, nov 9th will be our moment to be prepared for 2024? yonah — please. seriously, telling people they might have a chance in 8 years isn’t messaging anyone will listen too. even if you’re right, it’s not going to inspire anyone to not vote for stein. some people are just sick of voting for the lessor of 2 evils. me, i won’t be complicit in neocon wars decimating the ME. it will happen — but i won’t vote for it to happen.

      • wondering jew on August 1, 2016, 8:20 am

        annie robbins- given all that i have read that you have written regarding Israel Palestine and foreign policy in general, I would have been shocked had you chosen to vote for Hillary in this election.

        Personally I have never laid my eyes on a major party candidate in America as unusual as Trump, and I mean that in an entirely negative way. History books also reveal scant evidence of precedent for a major party candidate as “unusual” as Trump.

        I assume Hillary will win and I assume that the opposition to her across the country will be vociferous from day one and even before day one. And the opposition to her will be from the majority of the white voters in this country and I feel that a realistic assessment of who her opposition is, is key to understanding the next phase that America will experience.

        The downsizing of the American middle class has been proceeding for decades now, since the ’70’s. The Clinton years were a respite from that trend, but that has been the overwhelming trend. Trump and Sanders reveal that Network’s “we’re not going to take it anymore” is quite near to the surface and there is no reason to believe that domestic tranquility lies around the corner. Both the right and the left will be called into action and hopefully into expressing plans of action and not just closing down streets in protests.

        On the topic of the stealing of the primaries of 2016, it is a serious accusation and would require someone who really knows something about polling for me to believe. the accusation that bush stole Ohio in 2004 was the first time that this type of accusation was made and popular culture in the tv show “scandal” has added to the fear that elections can be stolen. I do not think that exit polls are as accurate as all that, but I think that belief in the nonhackability of our ballots is key to our democracy and if you subtract that and add street protests the end result is not democracy but rule by mob. if our elections are straight then our elected officials must deal with those who protest the untrained or poorly trained cop or out of control police force and protests play a role in moving society to face up to the need for the electorate to pay attention to this problem. but subtract elections from the mix and the answer is chaos.

        the RT tv guy that you linked to is equivalent to bill maher, in terms of how seriously I take him as an individual, intelligent, but not an expert in elections.

        But I must emphasize: Undermining belief in the electoral system is serious.

        (I have to add, that for someone who has so much faith in Iranian election results and Syrian election results, that suddenly this cynicism regarding election results is very convenient.)

      • Mooser on August 1, 2016, 11:54 am

        Funny, “Yonah” seems much more concerned about “the solid black vote” than the Jewish vote.
        I wonder why that is?

      • Mooser on August 1, 2016, 1:32 pm

        “Yonah” all this stuff about the comment archives being truncated or inaccessible is worrying me.
        Just to save me a lot of anxiety, please tell me you do copy and file ,all of your comments on your own computer, right?

  6. Spring Renouncer on July 30, 2016, 12:27 am

    Mark sounds like a dumb, boring person not worth interviewing. He uses a sort of ‘America First’ excuse to avoid addressing Palestine without realizing that the candidate he supports loves tinkering with countries around the world, often militarily.

  7. Mikhael on July 30, 2016, 7:43 am

    The so-called “Jesus” (assuming that this was not a fictional character) may or may not have been brown-skinned. As there are no contemporary physical descriptions of him and certainly no photographic or other depictions from the time period in which he is alleged to have lived, one wonders how the good reverend knows what complexion he had. According to all accounts, he was supposedly Jewish. But one thing is certain (assuming he existed), he couldn’t have been”Palestinian” as nobody conceived of such a group during the period in which this quasi-mythic figure wupposedly was living.

    • wondering jew on July 30, 2016, 9:22 am

      We don’t know what color Jesus was, but I’m betting his skin color was closer to that of Sirhan Sirhan and/or Yigal Amir than it was to that of Lee Harvey Oswald or Richard Speck.

      There are those who read Revelations 1:15 as descriptive not merely of the apparition/vision of Jesus, but also of his actual physical attributes and thus the color of his skin, (bronze) describes to them a brown skinned man.

      • Mikhael on July 30, 2016, 10:17 pm

        yonah fredman July 30, 2016, 9:22 am

        We don’t know what color Jesus was, but I’m betting his skin color was closer to that of Sirhan Sirhan and/or Yigal Amir than it was to that of Lee Harvey Oswald or Richard Speck.

        There’s no way of knowing which of the murderers you mentioned had the closest skin color to Jesus (assuming he existed) or any of the Jews who lived in Judea at the time.

        It’s likely that an “olive” complexion was the default , but just as today’s Israeli Jews and the Levantine-speaking Arabic populations who are their neighbors have a range of skin colors, range from very fair “white” to dark “black” skin, it’s reasonable to assume that in the 1st century CE there was a similar variety.

    • RoHa on July 30, 2016, 9:53 am

      Jesus may well be a fictional character, but the traditional accounts tell us that he was born in Palestine. That makes him a Palestinian, even if he did not call himself that.

      • Mikhael on July 30, 2016, 10:03 pm

        RoHa July 30, 2016, 9:53 am

        Jesus may well be a fictional character, but the traditional accounts tell us that he was born in Palestine. That makes him a Palestinian, even if he did not call himself that.

        If by “traditional account,” you are referring to what the Jesuscultists consider to be the “New Testament” there are no references in any of that source material to “Palestine” or “Palestinians”.

        But “Judea” and “Israel” appear often in said texts. Describing “Jesus” as “Palestinian” is anachronistic.

    • Misterioso on July 30, 2016, 10:49 am

      “…nobody conceived of such a group during the period in which this quasi-mythic figure supposedly was living.”


      The first known written reference to Palestinians (Peleset) was c.1150 BCE at the temple of Medinet Habut. They were among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III’s reign.

      Jewish historian Josephus’s (c.37-100 CE) The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews contains copious references to both “Palestine” and “Palestinians.”

      Contemporaries of Jesus also routinely referred to Palestine as “Palestine.” In the first decade of the 1st Century, the Roman poet Ovid mentioned Palestine in both his famed mythological poem Metamorphoses and his erotic elegy The Art of Love. He also wrote of “the waters of Palestine” in his calendrical poem Fasti. Around the same time, another Latin poet Tibullus wrote of “the crowded cities of Palestine” in a section “Messalla’s Triumph” in his poem Delia.

      The claim that the Roman emperor Hadrian officially changed the name of the region to “Syria Palaestina” or simply “Palestine,” in 135 CE is contradicted by the fact that by then, the term “Palestine” had already been in use for over 600 years.

      • MHughes976 on July 30, 2016, 12:32 pm

        I think that the geographical noun ‘Palestine’ was used freely enough by Jewish and non-Jewish writers in the first century, but for reasons very like those operative now there was no word in common use referring to all inhabitants regardless of ethnicity any more than there is now. Josephus does refer to the Philistines of old as Palestinaioi, but I’m not sure that he uses that word for any population of his own day. The Greek Bible had generally made the Palestinians into ‘allophyloi’, mixed foreigners. ‘Jesus came from Palestine’ would not have sounded strange, ‘Jesus was a Palestinian’ would have.
        I agree, Christian though I call myself, that some scepticism surrounding the historical person (persons?) underlying the Jesus of tradition is in order – same with Hillel. However, the Jesus of tradition has a meeting with a ‘Syrophoenician’ woman in Mark 7, presumably an Aramaic speaker who was not Jewish. He addresses her with racial insult and she becomes the only character in the New Testament to defeat Jesus in argument. Some might interpret the scene as Jesus’ ironic rejection of racial distinctions. However on the face of things Jesus is very firmly working on the understanding that he is Jewish and that the woman is an allophylos.
        Hiwever, if we do decide to use ‘Palestinian’ to refer to all who have ever lived in Palestine regardless of ethnicity then Jesus was, on that usage, certainly a Palestinian. So were Samuel, Saul and all those Kings and prophets. This has not been customary usage but it might help us think of things in a new way.

      • MHughes976 on July 30, 2016, 12:47 pm

        Just to add that the Assyrian King Adad-Nirari mentions Palestine nine centuries before Hadrian.

      • echinococcus on July 30, 2016, 1:23 pm

        That’s the problem, Misterioso, with the Zionists. Earlier, people used to get an education. Now with Zionism, those who want to be “Jewish” seem to skip the classics and limit themselves to bronze-age tribal elucubrations, Zionist propaganda, HolocaustTM cult, not to mention US high school fare.

      • RoHa on July 30, 2016, 10:19 pm

        If we are going to deny that Jesus was Palestinian because he didn’t call himself Palestinian, we should, according to the hobgoblin of little minds, deny that Confucius was Chinese and the Buddha was Indian.

      • Mikhael on July 30, 2016, 10:36 pm

        Misterioso July 30, 2016, 10:49 am

        The first known written reference to Palestinians (Peleset) was c.1150 BCE at the temple of Medinet Habut. They were among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III’s reign

        There’s no historical, linguistic or anthoppological revidence linking the Arabic-speaking population who currently embrace a “Palestinian” national identity to the Aegean sea peoples of “Peleshet” that you cite. It’s interesting to note that the words “Peleshet” and “Pelishtim” have the Hebrew roots “P/L/Sh” which connotes an invader, which is how these people were viwewed by the Israelites/Jews of antiquity. Indeed, the Septuagint version of the Biblical text in the Book of Samuel renders Goliath’s statement “אנוכי הפלישתי” into “”γώ εἰμι ἀλλόφυλος ” which means “I am the foreigner”

        The classical references that you mention were simply using a broad geographical term that the Greco-Romans used to refer to an area that included much of present-day Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. It wasn’t a term used in reference to any specific etnhic group, nationality or political entity.

      • MHughes976 on August 2, 2016, 6:19 pm

        Herodotus has a name not only for the area, Palestine, but for the people ‘Syrians of Palestine’. I would say that they are always distinct from the Egyptians and somewhat distinct from the core Phoenicians/Canaanites of our Lebanon and from those Syrians who were distant from the coast. Such is the language of Histories vii 89. It was their name that had by Herodotus’ time spread over the entirety of the land after the disappearance first of the kingdom internationally known as Bit-Omri and then of Judah. That name is unlikely, I think, to have come from a Semitic root or to have been imposed on them by hostile outsiders. ‘-ina’ is characteristically Indo-European, some say Hittite, and it makes good sense to derive ‘Palestine’ from phyle and hestia – ‘people of the hearth’, ‘land of hearth and home’. It is true that Jewish intellectuals in Alexandria made them into ‘assorted foreigners’, but that was a biased point of view. The name ‘Palestine’ must have receded when the Romans imposed the unfamiliar and inappropriate ‘Judaea’ on international usage to please their Hasmonean allies, who for their part were working hard to produce a Jerusalem-centred cultural uniformity, either for the first time since the United Monarchy or, if you go with scepticism about the UM, for the first time ever. I think that Palestine of old was more multicultural than that biased point of view has made it look – and even the Jewish religion in the Temple period never became just one thing. I don’t deny that the Hebrew-Greek Bible is the most important cultural product associated with Palestine.
        Not that the politics, geography, cultural achievements or name patterns of ancient times create or destroy rights now.

      • echinococcus on August 2, 2016, 8:29 pm


        I always appreciate reading you and always learn something.
        There is no need, however, to resort to folk-etymology based on the languages one is aware of now to explain ancient words. That phylé – hestia is nothing but just that, folk etymology.
        Anyway, the other point that is relevant is that the nomenclature has not changed from almost the start: Palestine was always one of the three parts of Syria –the three Syriae, if you will: Coele-Syria, the Lebanon and Palestine. So in pre-Hellenic, Hellenic and Roman times and later –including Sykes-Picot.
        Also, the names that Zionists (and others) see as replacing each other –are not. The one-horse nomad and seminomad kingdoms were of course not co-extensive with the entirety of Palestine and of course the area of different Jewish kingdoms would be names after their core constituency –none of them reigned over all of Palestine (provided that ‘reigning’ is an acceptable word for Seleucid and Roman vassals.) Short, Palestine was always Palestinian Syria (also in Herodotus as you remarked), regardless of the different internal rearrangements that required different names by the bureaucrats of Antioch or Rome, etc. for different military-administrative areas. Also, this hasn’t changed, short of a total success of Zionist dictatorship over our terminology.

      • MHughes976 on August 3, 2016, 12:29 pm

        I accept what you say, Echino. That etymology is worryingly folky. I”m too attached to it sentimentally.

  8. captADKer on July 30, 2016, 8:54 am

    There are oppressed groups all over the world..If you want to draw a parallel between Black Lives Matter you could draw a parallel to any oppressed group around the world…” –

    the propal movement is a lost cause formalized by both political parties. an effective “confluence” for BLM is to join their jewish/christian brothers and sisters to engage the fight against bds and global anti semitism. it would be so easy, natural and mutually beneficial. the palestine thing is finished- time to truly move on????????!

  9. echinococcus on July 30, 2016, 11:44 am

    The howling absurdity here is in having any expectation at all that people committed to the Democrat party (or to its counterfoil), the main administrator of US imperialism and worldwide mayhem, the in-person accomplice (and slave) of the Zionist butchers, will suddenly look friendly on the spoliated Palestinians. The very people that the Dem party (alternating with the Pukes) is currently intent on physically annihilating through US power, under its own management.
    Looks as if there is one common logic on one side, and then there’s “liberal Democrat” logic on the other. Of course to a Democrat or Republican, who by definition is a US imperialist (including St Bernard), Palestinians are roadkill. Duh.

  10. inbound39 on July 30, 2016, 12:29 pm

    No one who questioned the figure I posted made any mention of the $250 MILLION per launcher for Iron Dome that the Obama government gave Israel or the money sunk into Davids Sling etc. That money was outside the usual AID PACKAGE to Israel. Aid that Netanyahu states time and again when it suits he does not need then he states it is not enough. The whole point here is what would Americans do if they were being tipped out of their houses in the Middle of the night and given nowhere to go. Imagine four twin Tower events every two years. Israel complains about Rocket fire from Gaza but does nothing about illegal settlement of Palestinian Land. What it does do is step up public gunning down of Palestinians involved in alleged attempts to kill military personnel from Israel….the illegal Occupation Force…the illegal settlers…the illegal house demolition crew.

    There is NO legitimate reason for America or UK to supply Israel with AID to combat a conflict that Israel created of its own free will. Israeli’s arrived from Europe with the clear and motivated intent of removing Palestinians from their land and homes. Israeli’s have zero historic connection to Palestine. The majority have only historic connection to Europe. Look at the millions of refugees Israel has created in the Middle East since prior to 1948 AND IT STILL creates refugees. Israel DOES NOT deserve support for any of the mayhem it has generated. Put Brits or Americans in Palestinian shoes and they would be fighting back against Israel. There is no credible reason to support Israel’s criminal behaviour that I see…no valid justification at all. It is just plain vulgar and an insult to all that’s human.

    • Jon66 on July 30, 2016, 2:38 pm

      According to CNN each battery is $50,000,0000. Where do you get your numbers from?

  11. inbound39 on July 30, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Amigo says the figure is three trillion….three trillion to Israel that could have been spent on creating American jobs and American opportunities instead of spending it on the commission of crimes against humanity that only drags the World view of America into disrepute and creates enemies for America….no logic to that.

  12. LeeMort1 on July 30, 2016, 11:12 pm

    I’m confident Clinton can beat Trump, but I hope it will be by the smallest margin possible. I want it made clear just how much she needs to do to gain the confidence of a citizenry that would have judged her only marginally preferable to the most unqualified and ill-suited opponent ever to run for president. To advance that possibility, I will be supporting Jill Stein, who has met the requirements to be a certified write-in candidate in my state of North Carolina.

    One other possibility I saw on Facebook today. It proposed an online “vote swap” plan, as initiated very late in the 2000 campaign between supporters of Ralph Nader and Al Gore. As in the Nader-Gore scenario, websites would “pair” Stein supporters in battleground states with Clinton supporters in blue states. A Stein supporter, in say Ohio or Colorado, would pledge to vote for Clinton, while the counterpart Clinton supporter, in say Illinois or California, would agree to vote for Stein.

    The strategy would avoid Stein tipping the balance from Clinton to Trump in swing states, while allowing Stein’s vote to build up in states where Clinton already has an unchallenged lead over Trump. In red states where Clinton expects to lose, supporters could cast their vote for Stein with no fear of aiding Trump. The other likely result would be to lower Clinton’s overall popular vote margin while having no effect on the electoral college outcome.

  13. inbound39 on July 31, 2016, 4:59 pm

    For Jon66…….. Each Iron Dome battery costs about $100 million; Israel currently has nine batteries.

    And each Iron Dome Tamir missile that Israel fires — and usually two are sent up to intercept each descending rocket — costs at least $50,000.

    Each rocket Hamas fires costs $500 to $1,000 to produce. Hamas had 9,000 rockets at its disposal at the start of the recent conflict. Hezbollah reportedly has 100,000 rockets, including long-range Scuds. Do the math. How Israel might cope economically, not to mention militarily, with such a rocket deluge in a future clash is a very real problem.

    So far, Israel has coped thanks to the generous financial support of the U.S., which has given Israel over the last decade or so more than $1 billion to cover Iron Dome. Indeed, this month President Obama signed off on an additional $225 million for the program.

    • Jon66 on July 31, 2016, 8:43 pm

      First you say, “…$250 MILLION per launcher for Iron Dome that the Obama government gave Israel…”- See more at:

      Now you say $100,000,000.

      Then you say America is 1 trillion in debt when it’s actually more like 20 trillion.

      It might be better if you stuck to qualitative opinion rather than quantitative analysis.

      • inbound39 on August 1, 2016, 9:49 am

        so what you are saying Jon 66 is when I recall roughly the figure Obama stated you get your nose out of joint and when I have the decency to post the actual figure in the LA TIMES you still get your nose out of joint. I note none of your figures stated were factual nor were they supported by any actual links or articles….that’s hasbrats for you.

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