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Mal Hyman’s outspokenness on Gaza massacre is a sign of things to come in Democratic races

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Next week, South Carolina progressive Mal Hyman faces a runoff with South Carolina State Rep. Robert Williams to decide who will be the Democratic nominee for Congress in the state’s 7th District. And amazingly, Hyman is not mincing words about Israel’s slaughter of Gaza protesters.

“The Fourth Geneva Convention seems to have been broken, and if I was a member of Congress, I would be calling for the International Criminal Court to investigate not only the 2014 massacre but this current one,” Hyman told me.

The college prof has been just as outspoken on social media, offering condolences to the family of a slain Palestinian journalist, denouncing the “Shooting Spree at the Gaza Border,” and calling on the U.S. to abandon its “colonial mentality” and hold Israel to account.

You’d think that someone would have told Hyman to tone it down, but while the Israel lobby group AIPAC phoned to have a meeting, Hyman isn’t shaking in his boots. “Wonderful. We’ll meet; I’m sure they’re going to strongly disagree with me,” he says.

The would-be congressman’s sangfroid is surely a sign of things to come in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

“What Israel is doing…. is colonialism and it infuriates and humiliates Palestinians and it will never be a path to peace,” he says. “What Israel’s starting to do in Gaza– these are things that at the beginning of the Warsaw ghetto were done. That’s not the whole story of the Warsaw ghetto, but this is a ghetto and we’re doing things that do not stand the light of day and the American government is not allowing the international criminal court to do what it wants to do to expand an investigation there.”

He cites his own Jewish education: “I don’t think [what Israel is doing] is going to bring them security and I think they’ve betrayed Judaism with it,” he says. “I was frustrated and angry that Israel didn’t let congresspeople into Gaza to see what was going on.”

Few people ask Hyman about foreign policy on the campaign trail. Progressive Dems in South Carolina care more about kitchen table issues and social justice questions, like prison reform and health care. And though Hyman faces an uphill battle next week (Williams outpolled him 41 to 29 in the primary June 12), he brings up the Gaza massacre himself, and keeps at it in the face of pushback.

Mal Hyman, candidate for Congress in South Carolina’s 7th District, and outspoken about Palestinian human rights.

“I’ve had some people who write emails to me, and then I had one from one who said I’m an older Jew who escaped the Holocaust, you’re saying what a lot of us want to say, keep up the good work,” he relates. “And that’s all I needed, and I thought the other dozen were mistaken. I told them they should visit the region with an open mind. And when their rabbis start to visit the region, it will move more quickly toward peace.”

Hyman is clearly not alone. In a House district in Queens, New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is primarying an incumbent Democrat, Joseph Crowley, and she says her community was “in shock” last night when Crowley’s surrogate defended Donald Trump’s embassy move.

Last year, you’ll remember, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand backed away from support for legislation targeting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) after supporters of BDS challenged her repeatedly at a town hall, leaving her baffled. Last month Sanders and a dozen other senators sent a letter to the Secretary of State urging that the siege on Gaza be relieved in some ways.

Even this mild recommendation drew a sharp rebuke from Clintonite megadonor Haim Saban.

The battle over Israel is at last breaking out in the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Jim Zogby has called on progressive Dems to defy the Israel lobby; and Hyman’s fearlessness is surely a sign of things to come.

 

The public policy professor comes out of a grassroots spiritual background. He taught in prisons as a young man, he has helped monitor elections in Central America for the U.N., he promotes a day of prayer and fasting on the steps of the South Carolina statehouse next April on behalf of children’s rights.

When he lost a congressional race in 2016, he met Bernie Sanders, and the two exchanged notes on Jewish socialism.

“I heard he had been to a kibbutz. He said yeah in 1961, and it had an impact on him and his ideas about cooperation and democratic decision making. It did with me. I was on one in ’73 and I came back and I wanted to be a teacher. That sense of community inspired me,” Hyman says.

“Today I don’t see many people talking about that element of Judaism that was there as a stream of the Zionist movement. I see Zionism more as colonialism.”

Hyman went back to Israel during the first intifada and prepared affidavits for Palestinian human rights cases. The experience was an epiphany. As he wrote last month:

Having done human rights work in Gaza during the first Intifada, I am deeply troubled by these unconscionable conditions. Recent statements made by Israeli government officials imply that shooting civilians is deliberate and pre-planned.

Today he supports the two-state solution as a compromise that would forestall apartheid. And he sees foreign policy positioning as an important role for progressives, because everyone knows the U.S. has lost its way.

“The policy in the middle east has been a series of failures, and that’s opened the door to be more critical about where we want foreign policy to go,” Hyman says. “Things that used to be seen as really bold, now if you frame them well and your tone is more low key, you can get a hearing… People know we’ve lost our moral compass and the empire is sputtering.”

What a breath of fresh air. I can’t remember the last time I got an interview with a serious congressional contender. Seems like it’s going to be happening more and more.

About Philip Weiss

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

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35 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    June 20, 2018, 12:12 pm

    This is a good tweet from Ted Lieu that also relates to rabid Israel.

    @tedlieu

    “Extremists Corey Lewandowski, Stephen Miller & @realDonaldTrump are now the face of the Republican party. But nature abhors a vacuum. Democrats don’t just represent progressive values, we also represent the middle & even the middle right because of how far the #GOP has shifted. ”

    Israel is even more extremist than the GOP. Jewish plutocracy is driving both vehicles in the direction of the cliff.

    The GOP and Israel are in a danse macabre choreographed by Nikki Haley

    • echinococcus
      June 20, 2018, 2:56 pm

      Maghlawatan,

      Your continuous Dim propaganda is getting a bit crude. More so than even Kay’s. Rather incompatible with a fight against Zionism, don’t you think?

      • Maghlawatan
        June 20, 2018, 4:15 pm

        What continuous Dem propaganda? Throw up the most recent 20 in the last month when you get a minute.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 20, 2018, 4:20 pm

        hey mag, when i read your tweet earlier, i posted it w/commentary https://twitter.com/anniefofani/status/1009475002427629568

        thanks. did you read “DEMOCRATIC MEGADONOR HAIM SABAN ATTACKS SENATORS FOR URGING HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA STRIP” ? both parties are thoroughly infiltrated. https://theintercept.com/2018/06/20/haim-saban-bernie-sanders-israel-gaza-letter/

      • Mooser
        June 20, 2018, 4:24 pm

        “Your continuous Dim propaganda is getting a bit crude.”

        “Echin” you are so uncompromising.

      • echinococcus
        June 20, 2018, 5:36 pm

        Watan,

        I looked and I owe you an apology; it’s not continuous (I know exactly what in your stuff creates that impression for me, but that’s neither here nor there.) But then, this last one is so egregious it almost deserves a court-martial.

      • Mooser
        June 20, 2018, 6:40 pm

        ” so egregious it almost deserves a court-martial.”

        Unlike Zionist Hasbara, message discipline at Mondo is strict.

      • Maghlawatan
        June 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

        No worries Echi. The Dems are Augean imo. There is some decent stuff beneath all the crap

      • echinococcus
        June 21, 2018, 4:48 pm

        Watan,

        Of course I worry when I see inexpressibly naive onlookers who still believe that there can be any ” decent stuff” in the main organization administering and managing US imperialism on behalf of the owners of the country. But that’s not our discussion –as I said, your egregious propaganda was occasional only, not continuous. I apologized for that (but was it crude, oh boy!)

      • Mooser
        June 21, 2018, 6:12 pm

        “I said, your egregious propaganda was occasional only, not continuous. I apologized for that (but was it crude, oh boy!)” “Echin”

        See? That political commissar job you took on is not as easy as it seems.

      • Kay24
        June 22, 2018, 8:45 am

        Can dish out but can’t take it eh? This from a commenter who spews Zio propaganda.

  2. Keith
    June 20, 2018, 5:51 pm

    PHIL- “What Israel is doing…. is colonialism and it infuriates and humiliates Palestinians and it will never be a path to peace,” he says.”

    True enough, but to ignore US imperialism is to ignore the larger problem as well as to pretend that Israel’s behavior deviates from the imperial agenda. Remember, the imperial agenda advances the perceived interests of the imperial elites of which Jewish Zionists are a very significant element. Israel is now an integral part of empire and the imperial power structure has to a significant degree been Zionized. Ignoring empire and militarism may benefit Hyman politically, but it will achieve nothing of substance. The empire is on a rampage and isn’t taking prisoners.

    • Mooser
      June 20, 2018, 6:33 pm

      ” Israel is now an integral part of empire and the imperial power structure has to a significant degree been Zionized”

      So how can you possibly say that Zionist Jews in the US haven’t assimilated? Sure seems like they got right in the swing of things after WW2.

      • Keith
        June 21, 2018, 11:17 am

        MOOSER- “So how can you possibly say that Zionist Jews in the US haven’t assimilated? Sure seems like they got right in the swing of things after WW2.”

        Their success was facilitated by NOT fully assimilating. Kinship solidarity and de facto nepotism focused on obtaining power to support Israel. You think AIPAC was formed to promote American values? Struggling for power vis-a-vis non-Jews is hardly an indication of assimilation. But I take your point that struggling for power is as American as apple pie, and that after WW2 Zionist Jews were in an enhanced position to do so.

      • Mooser
        June 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

        “and that after WW2 Zionist Jews were in an enhanced position to do so.”

        ‘And if that ain’t assimilation, Judge, gimme the chair.’

  3. LHunter
    June 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    Go MAL Go!!!

    Hopefully he and others will one day form a true progressive party to challenge the corporatists in the Dem party

  4. Nathan
    June 21, 2018, 4:27 am

    Phil – Since you claim that the interview with Mr Hyman was “a breath of fresh air”, and since you mentioned that “he supports the two-state solution – are you now on record as one who envisions the end of conflict through the two-state compromise? I assume that one of those two states will be Israel, that very state founded by Jews in 1948.

    • genesto
      June 21, 2018, 5:05 pm

      Since he supports the two-state ‘solution’, which put him in the liberal Zionist camp, I’d say he is more of a sniff than a breath of fresh air.

    • Marnie
      June 25, 2018, 8:53 am

      Wow, I’m days out from your posting Nathan but was struck by this – ‘one of those two states will be Israel, that very state founded by Jews in 1948.’

      Jews ‘found’ it? That is as ridiculous as the ‘discovery’ of america! the jews officially stole it in 1948; the british stole ‘america’ in 1607 from the indigenous, the ‘americans’ stole it from the british in 1776 and finished what the british started. Neither place were lost in need of finding. They were both inhabited, then had their habitat stolen/destroyed and people run off, murdered, raped, etc.

      • Sibiriak
        June 25, 2018, 9:15 am

        Marnie : Jews ‘found’ it?
        ——————————————

        No, they “founded” it.

      • eljay
        June 25, 2018, 9:50 am

        || Marnie: Wow, I’m days out from your posting Nathan but was struck by this – ‘one of those two states will be Israel, that very state founded by Jews in 1948.’

        Jews ‘found’ it? … ||

        FWIW: “founded” = “established”

        || Nathan: Phil … are you now on record as one who envisions the end of conflict through the two-state compromise? I assume that one of those two states will be Israel, that very state founded by Jews in 1948. ||

        IMO a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict should (perhaps too obviously) include Israel.

        What it shouldn’t include is any type of supremacist state, including religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • RoHa
        June 25, 2018, 10:07 am

        Marnie, Nathan wrote “founded” (past tense of “found”, = “establish”), not “found” (past tense of “find”). Israel was, indeed, founded by Jews.

        And you are right. The inhabitants were run off, murdered, raped, etc.

        (We don’t know when people first discovered the Americas. We do know that Colombus seems to have discovered the geographical relationship between the Americas and Europe.)

  5. JWalters
    June 21, 2018, 4:46 am

    “Things that used to be seen as really bold, now if you frame them well and your tone is more low key, you can get a hearing… People know we’ve lost our moral compass and the empire is sputtering.”

    Thanks for your very realistic approach, Mr. Hyman. I’d suggest a key thing your constituents need to learn is that they’ve been duped. Israeli-born, Jewish therapist Avigail Abarbanel has written,
    “It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/american-recognize-duped
    And American Christians have been duped right along with them. Recognizing a deception is the key to re-examining a whole area.

    So much of what Americans think about Israel is incorrect. For example, the terrorism in Israel’s foundation is generally unknown.
    “Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state
    A basic survey of relevant history is at
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com
    A deep dive into the details of establishing Israel is at
    “If Americans Knew”
    http://ifamericansknew.org

    Your constituents need to know the truth so they and their children won’t be roped into more needless war.

    America is supposed to show the world the freedom to have an open mind.

  6. tamarque
    June 21, 2018, 8:39 am

    Good to read of a real progressive, one who speaks some truth to power. I would imagine AIPAC want to ‘talk’ with Hyman in order to threaten him. He must remember how they killed the political career of a Black progressive woman.

    What concerns me in the interview is the lack of understanding that focusing on human rights ignores the 1% hegemonic efforts to control the region. It does not even imply the real role of Israel in this region as a wedge State, one designed to be in the midst of the big oil nations, one designed to develop a major spying operation which Israel has, one that can be used as a base for military operations if needed and certainly a big testing ground for new weapons as well as tactic for mass social control.

    I will never forget when Israel limited the diet of Gazans to 400 calories a day!!! Barely enough to keep them alive, and absolutely an amount to destroy growing brains and other body systems which result in healthy, functioning adults. This was so genocidal with barely any mention of this cruel aspect of Israel’s brutality. It was the absolute essence of the Codex Alimentarius with its cynical goal of ensuring just enough food for the world’s population; i.e., barely enough to keep slave labor alive but dysfunctional.

    To talk about Israel without the its global nefarious role is to avoid the real problem while allowing oneself to get caught up in the tragic effects of apartheid and genocidal colonialism/racism. So, wonderful that Hyman is speaking out critically, but he needs to broaden his understanding and begin to educate the public to the real game plan.

  7. captADKer
    June 21, 2018, 9:01 am

    why is there no mention of this on mel’s “why i am running” political web page?

    https://www.malhyman.com/#AboutMal

    is this self loather a tiger without stripes? or strategically too damaging to let “this pussy out of the bag” in very pro israel south carolina?

  8. Kay24
    June 21, 2018, 9:16 am

    OT but interesting…Sara Netanyahu charged with fraud.
    How about charging her husband with the latest massacre and war crimes? The Congress and the media, keep supporting these crooks.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/middleeast/sara-netanyahu-indicted-intl/index.html

    • Citizen
      June 21, 2018, 1:25 pm

      SHe’s always in hot water for fraud on the government; she’s a real chintzy grifter.

  9. Ossinev
    June 21, 2018, 9:36 am

    @CaptCadaver
    “is this self loather a tiger without stripes?”
    Still haven`t (fully) found what you are looking for then old son = heinous self loathing jewish bigots.

    Mr Hyman will be delighted that you haven`t filed him under your 5 star Heinous/Bigot category.

    Do please carry on with your self flagellating.

    • Mooser
      June 21, 2018, 4:39 pm

      “Do please carry on…”

      After all, how can he lose? If his facts don’t pan out, his implacable fanaticism and threatening allusions will scare the Gentiles, and make younger Jews say: “I want to be just like “Capt.ADKer” when I grow up.”

  10. hophmi
    June 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

    LOL, he’s not a serious contender. He’s a second-place finisher in a five-way primary in a district that is +9 Republican.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2018, 12:59 pm

      “This self loather…” “CaptADKer”

      “Hophmi”, what’s wrong with a Jew making his own guitar?

  11. Citizen
    June 21, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Zionist Smear campaign against Scott Wallace in PA as being “anti-Semitic” because he supports BDS movement critical of #Israel’s rogue conduct: https://youtu.be/sFLJavekgX8 via @YouTube

    His Twitter timeline is strong on support for Palestinians and BDS, but in last few days he’s switched his tune, is now against BDS, and LOVES Israel more than God himself.

  12. Krendall Mist
    June 26, 2018, 10:39 pm

    “What Israel’s starting to do in Gaza– these are things that at the beginning of the Warsaw ghetto were done.”

    “Starting to do?” Good Jesus H Christ.

    And, of course, no Israeli crime against humanity may be mentioned with reference, no matter how flagrantly incongruous, to some Holocaust story.

    At least not but a small “z” zionist who just cannot let go of the basis enterprise, “Israel,” the last of the settler colonial usurpers. Proclaim you “progressivism” while denouncing the “settlements”–without mentioning the greatest criminal settlement of all–post 1947 “Israel.”

    The ideal “Mondoweiss progressive.”

    Every colonial empire that did not deracinate the natives ended up in the slag heap of history.

    The question is whether the world will let “Israel” do what is essential for its survival–mass genocide.

    • echinococcus
      June 27, 2018, 2:15 am

      Mist,

      Incredible but true: the Palestinian resistance needs every ally, even the liberals.

      One reason for this is of course the current international wave of fascism and war of aggression, announcing another glacial (or infernal) period like the 30s and some. The other is the horrible success of US/Zionists+PLO Quislings in murdering the organized resistance, down to a handful of people who have to stay holed up just to live on –a success halfway to completed genocide. And of course “the world” will let Azrael do it unless the US is suddenly and improbably taken out, any doubts on that account?

      So yes, that’s almost all there is around these days: liberal quasi-Zios and disgruntled ex-Zios with solid moral principles. We got to make do.

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