Democrats and GOP are in a race to the bottom on Israel

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The Bernie Sanders campaign has gone out with a whimper not a bang on Israel/Palestine. The “revolutionary” candidate who was pushed left by his base to say some sharply critical statements about Israel says the Democratic platform is the most progressive in the party’s history, but in fact its language on Israel is more rightwing than it’s ever been, and aside from Cornel West and Maya Berry getting to jaw about that at the last platform committee meeting, Sanders appears to have spent zero political capital on the question before joining the Clinton team.

We appear to be seeing the parties dueling one another to be further right on Israel. The Republican platform is even worse on the matter than the Dems and includes these clauses:
– “We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier.”
 — “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism, and it is the responsibility of our government to advance policies that reflect Americans’ strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel.”
— “The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (‘BDS’) is anti-Semitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”
The Dems also bash the BDS movement, though they merely leave out the occupation, which is now nearly 50 years old.
Chuck Spinney at Lobelog says Clinton is in direct competition with the Republicans, and he sees a political risk.

Despite the Democratic platform committee’s stuffing of the Palestinian Question, the draft Democratic platform says nothing comparable to the Republican language.  That silence may not go far enough to placate Hillary’s neocon crossovers.  So, Ms. Clinton may come under pressure to strengthen her already strong pro-Israel stance in an effort to outbid the Republicans in the war to win the anti-Trump Republican voters.

But in so doing, Clinton may drive Sanders’ supporters into throwing up their hands in disgust and staying home in November or voting for the Green or Libertarian candidates.

How this supposed “lesser of two evils” triangulates her way out of this cul de sac will be a fascinating spectacle in the Roman circus passing for a presidential election.

I’m not so sure about that risk. If you follow the money, Clinton has a lot to gain by taking such a stance. She has already promised Haim Saban, the top donor to her superpac, that she will fight BDS right alongside Republicans.
The Israel lobby is alive and well and it depends on big donors. Clinton can hope to make inroads with some of the Republican Jewish “donor class” that is so upset with Donald Trump that it is boycotting the convention. While Politico’s Alex Isenstadt and Goldmacher report that the GOP is desperate and trying to sell its soul to Sheldon Adelson:
Millions of dollars short and running out of time, organizers of the Republican National Convention have written an urgent request for $6 million to Las Vegas billionaire couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to cover the bills for next week’s festivities.

Adelson called on the US to nuke Iran, not long ago; and Saban and Adelson have worked in concert. So Hillary Clinton has a high bar to meet. Maybe this is why word is out that James Stavridis, a retired admiral now the dean of Tufts’ school of international relations, is being vetted as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton; the Jewish Telegraphic Agency tells us that he is a neoconservative darling who was a hawk on Iran.

In 2015, writing in Foreign Policy, he called for a defense treaty with Israel, citing what he said were the weaknesses in the Iran plan.

“We have to think through the execution of the agreement and what steps we can take to mitigate the ill effects of the plan,” he wrote. “At the top of the list should be seriously considering a formal alliance with Israel.”

Israel has resisted past U.S. overtures for a defense treaty, preferring independence when it comes to making security decisions.

Last summer, at the height of the battle led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to kill the Iran deal in Congress, Stavridis was the keynote speaker at an AIPAC fundraiser in Boston.

Meantime the Republican convention will feature orthodox Jewish NY figures: Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of that Kehilath Jeshurun will give an invocation. And former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who is also associated with KJ, will be speaking.

Says a political friend, “The view in Trumpworld is Israel for the Jews, America for Americans.”
Thanks to John V. Whitbeck.
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I wonder if any 3rd party candidates have other ideas? Not that it matters: the MSM wouldn’t tell us.

Maybe if Trump wins, the Democrats will suddenly start caring about issues such as war and Palestinian rights and the sheer hell that the West, Israel, and the Sunni states have made of Syria. The current obsession with identity politics keeps the Democratic base from caring about the fact that their leaders are warmongers and enablers of occupation and destabilization in the ME. And maybe it is good that the RNC is being so crystal… Read more »

Lookstein cancelled.

“this supposed “lesser of two evils”

Who supposes that Hillary is the lesser of the two evils?

I’m voting for Hillary. The pro-Israel, Evangelicals, and Baptists etc., are a raving anti-semitic group… under the mask of Christian Zionism.