The report is that Bernie Sanders just won a string of concessions from the Hillary Clinton camp on the 2016 party platform. Wall Street reform, banking reform, regulations on hedge funds, criminal justice reform, greater opposition to the death penalty, and let’s fight for a $15 minimum wage. Sanders is “winning some big victories,” says Greg Sargent in the Washington Post: “it looks as if this process is going better for progressives and Bernie supporters than previously suggested.”
But guess what’s not in the concessions? Where are Clinton’s redlines? You guessed it. Vox says the sticking points are Trans Pacific Partnership, stronger measures to slow global warming, and Israel Palestine.
Earlier in negotiations, the party rejected an amendment from [James] Zogby that would have called on an end to Israel’s “occupation and illegal settlements” in Palestine, according to the Associated Press. That fight symbolizes a clear divide between Sanders and Clinton, who is generally viewed as much more pro-Israel.
Here’s that draft as of July 1. Notice how supportive it is of Israel. Not a word of criticism. Jerusalem is the capital forever. And Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is wicked– and anti-democratic.
A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism. That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.
We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity. While Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.
And look at the bellicose language on Iran:
Democrats will also address the detrimental role Iran plays in the region and will robustly enforce and, if necessary, strengthen non-nuclear sanctions. Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. It violates the human rights of its population, denies the Holocaust, vows to eliminate Israel, and has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East. Democrats will push back against Iran’s destabilizing activities including its support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, counter Iran’s ballistic missile program, bolster the capabilities of our Gulf partners, and ensure that Israel always has the ability to defend itself.
Sargent says that the concessions suggest that Sanders will end up endorsing Clinton vigorously and will thus minimize discord in the party. How much do Democratic progressives care about Palestine? is the question. The party leaders want to say that Palestinian solidarity is a marginal fringe, and hint-hint, it’s anti-Semitic. And meantime, Israel and the U.S. share “common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.” That is simply a lie.
How long can a liberal American party maintain this obduracy? We have no idea; but movements are about… moving societies. Count on us.