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To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s critics: This is no time for sloganeering

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s announced support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict has drawn fire from elements of her base. Many activists believe that the two-state solution is dead, and view support for it as a betrayal of Palestinian rights. They would prefer that Ocasio-Cortez advocate a one-state solution to the conflict instead. But this would position her at the fringes of political discourse, beyond the horizon of even progressive public opinion.

In the UN General Assembly, not a single country has endorsed a one-state solution. The European Union, Non-Aligned Movement, League of Arab States and Organization of the Islamic Conference all support two-states. The International Court of Justice has called for “the establishment of a Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel.” This is also the formal policy of the Palestinian Authority and the de facto position of the Hamas administration in Gaza.

In 2014, a succession of parliaments in Europe—where support for Palestinian rights is greater than in the United States—deliberated whether or not to recognize the State of Palestine. A one-state solution did not feature in this pan-continental debate. Indeed, a two-state consensus prevailed even at its most radical, most “pro-Palestinian” pole. Across seven national parliaments, just two MPs advocated an alternative to two-states.

In the UK—reputedly a “hub” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement—Labour Party leader and veteran Palestine solidarity campaigner Jeremy Corbyn calls for “a safe and viable Palestinian State alongside a safe and viable Israel” and affirms “the right of the State of Israel to exist.” The UK Green Party, Scottish National Party and Sinn Féin have all backed formal recognition of the State of Palestine and/or a boycott of Israel—in the service of two-states.

In the United States, a transformation in progressive opinion on Palestine enabled Bernie Sanders to break with decades of bipartisan support for Israel’s policies, for instance by condemning Israel’s settlements as “a flagrant violation of international law.” But Sanders carefully framed this criticism as deriving from his support for a “two-state solution” that would secure Israel’s “right to exist.” To do otherwise would have isolated even him.

Ocasio-Cortez is the first candidate for national office to represent a real possibility for a radical voice. She offers the left a precious opportunity to influence public debate and ultimately to shape policy in a truly progressive direction. Before demanding that she commit political suicide, activists have a responsibility to soberly examine the evidence. It is premature to seek to impose upon Ocasio-Cortez a position that has not even been debated by her constituency, especially one that is based more on group-think and posturing than on the facts.

The feasibility of a two-state solution is, in the first place, a technical question. In my edited volume Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions, nearly 60 experts from across the political spectrum, and including Israel’s fiercest critics, debated the prospects for ending Israel’s occupation. Authoritative assessments were presented on most of the conflict’s core issues, and then subjected to equally informed critique. A review of this evidence does not support a categorical affirmation that two-states is either alive or dead. Rather, scope remains for legitimate disagreement on this question.

The most commonly cited obstacles to a two-state solution are Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank settlements, the Palestinian refugee problem, and seemingly unwavering US support for Israeli intransigence. But as the following survey of select contributions to the book demonstrates, an informed case can be made that none of these challenges is insurmountable.

Has Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem precluded a partition of the city?

Since it incorporated an expanded East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has sought to integrate the territory into West Jerusalem so as to render a future partition impossible. But according to Daniel Seidemann, founder of the Israeli NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem and a respected authority on the city, this policy has achieved only limited success. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem “is reversible and a viable border achievable.”

Israel propagandizes about a “united Jerusalem,” but the city’s two halves are de facto separate entities. Partitioning Jerusalem in the context of a two-state solution would consecrate into law a division that already exists on the ground: where Jews now live would be annexed by Israel, and where Palestinians now live would become the capital of the State of Palestine. In such a scenario, “almost 210,000 of the roughly 212,000 Israeli Jews currently residing in East Jerusalem would cease to be settlers,” while “none of the 316,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty.” Vital infrastructures, such as electricity and water services, are either separate already or would not require separation in the context of an agreement.

Michael Dumper, an academic expert on Jerusalem based at the University of Exeter, agrees with Seidemann that “the annexation of the city is still reversible.” Rami Nasrallah, who ran the Jerusalem Affairs Department of the Palestinian Prime Minister’s office, likewise argues that Israel’s “extensive infrastructure investment” in East Jerusalem, far from precluding partition, has “exacerbated rather than eroded the divisions within the city.” Nasrallah also notes that Jerusalem’s partition is not necessarily required for a two-state solution. The late Faisal Husseini, a prominent Palestinian political figure and Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, advocated an “open-city” model that would see Jerusalem “united physically even as it is divided politically.” Jerusalem researcher Lior Lehrs reports that this “remains the official position of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” and recommends that future negotiations “examine various models along the spectrum between ‘open city’ and ‘closed’.”

Have the settlements made a two-state solution impossible?

It is often imagined that Israel’s illegal settlements have consumed most of the West Bank, and furthermore that a two-state solution would require that every one of Israel’s 600,000 settlers be evacuated. But an important exchange between Shaul Arieli and Jan de Jong—expert advisers on the settlements issue to successive Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, respectively—refutes both these premises.

The vast majority of Israel’s settlers are concentrated in a handful of large settlements located close to the pre-June 1967 border. These settlement blocs take up just 4-5 percent of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Arieli argues that a reciprocal exchange of territory between Israel and Palestine amounting to 3-4 percent of the OPT would permit the establishment of a Palestinian state on territory equivalent in size to 100 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, while enabling Israel to annex more than four-fifths of its settlers.

Arieli’s land swap percentages may sound trivial. Justice is measured not in abstract percentages, however, but in concrete implications for Palestinian self-determination. Thus, whereas East Jerusalem comprises less than 1 percent of the OPT, a Palestinian state is inconceivable without it. De Jong criticizes Arieli’s proposal as entailing excessive harm to Palestinian contiguity and socioeconomic viability. He favours a land swap of no more than 2 percent of the OPT, along the lines proposed by Palestinian negotiators in 2008.

Establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state would therefore require the evacuation of Israeli settlers from all but 2-4 percent of the West Bank. In this scenario, between 125,000 (Arieli) and 250,000 (de Jong) illegal Israeli settlers would have to be uprooted. This is doubtless a formidable obstacle to overcome. But Arieli points to evidence that settler resistance is likely to be minimal, while, if few Israelis would now support a mass evacuation, this might simply reflect the current absence of a Palestinian movement able to impose significant costs on Israel’s occupation.

The upshot is, Israel’s illegal settlements have not rendered a two-state solution physically impossible, while the political options for inducing Israel to evacuate the required 20-40 percent of its settler population have yet to be exhausted.

Are Palestinian refugee rights incompatible with a two-state solution?

The refugees’ internationally validated right of return is a central component of the Palestinian struggle, which any resolution of the conflict will need to address. But the book does not include a chapter on it, because little concrete debate has unfolded about its practical implementation. Pending the formulation of a detailed proposal for realising Palestinian refugee rights, it would seem reasonable for Ocasio-Cortez to withhold judgement.

Is the United States an insuperable obstacle?

The United States has consistently shielded Israel’s occupation from international sanction. Securing Israel’s agreement to a two-state solution would require that the US exert serious pressure to overcome Israel’s recalcitrance or, at the very least, that it allow others to do so. A chapter by leading Israel-Palestine scholar Norman G. Finkelstein considers what conditions might induce such a policy shift. On the basis of President Jimmy Carter’s brokering of Israel-Egypt peace in 1979, Finkelstein concludes that “the amount of force a US administration will bring to bear on Israel is the resultant of two vectors: (1) How vital is the US interest at stake, and (2) How legitimate is Israel’s demurral, for that will determine how effective a public campaign the administration can mount in the face of the lobby’s opposition.” In the case at hand, “Washington will only force Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Palestinian Territory if and when a vital US interest is at stake.”

As the Gulf states align with Israel against Iran, and when the “Palestinian cause no longer reverberates in the Arab world,” this finding poses a daunting challenge to the Palestinians. William B. Quandt, an eminent professor who also served on Carter’s National Security Council, observes in response to Finkelstein that, “it is unlikely that any future president will follow Carter’s example” in pressuring Israel to relinquish occupied territory. But Finkelstein espies a sliver of hope in the Palestinian struggle’s continued global resonance. “If Palestinians can organize mass nonviolent resistance, and mobilize their reserves of support abroad, around a platform firmly anchored in international law and indefeasible principles of justice,” he predicts, “it can capture the imagination of public opinion and galvanize it into action, make life unbearable for the illegal Jewish settlers, and compel the US—shamed in its isolation, outed in its hypocrisy—to either lay down the law with Israel or abstain from sabotaging international action to budge it.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unprecedented victory has inspired a new generation of young people who demand radical change, if only because their future is now so bleak. She will also be in a position to give voice to the victims of US foreign policy, not least the Palestinian people. It would verge on criminal to saddle her with a position that dooms her to political irrelevance, especially as it’s not born of necessity (sometimes principled isolation is the only conscionable option) but instead of ill-informed sloganeering. Close scrutiny of the facts suggests that Ocasio-Cortez can join such stalwarts of Palestinian rights as the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn in fighting the good fight while still reaching broad swaths of actual or potential public opinion.

Jamie Stern-Weiner
About Jamie Stern-Weiner

Jamie Stern-Weiner is the editor of Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions (OR Books, 2018). He is a founding co-editor of New Left Project, and can be followed on Twitter at @jsternweiner.

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32 Responses

  1. joemowrey
    joemowrey
    July 24, 2018, 2:45 pm

    It’s a sad commentary on our political culture when acknowledging the truth is considered committing political suicide. Even sadder is the refusal of so many on the left to realize that jumping in bed with the Democratic Party is beyond useless.

    Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez talk a good line, but the fact that they choose to align themselves with war criminals and corporatists, and are so readily willing to toe the line to con artists and racketeers says it all. This is the same old wine in a not-so-brand-new bottle. Their “progressive” voices will be used to shepherd willfully ignorant “progressives” back into the fold for the upcoming election cycle. Then they will be marginalized and ignored.

    As pointed out in this article by David Swanson, she removed “peace” from her website within days of her victory. No big surprise there. https://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-It-Matters-That-Peace-by-David-Swanson-Peace_Peace_Peace-Activism-180630-857.html. I’ve not investigated whether or not she has since replaced the comments referenced in Swanson’s article, but the fact that she allowed the deletion to happen in the first place doesn’t bode well for her future as a “radical voice.” Notice, too, how quick she was to walk back her comments on Palestine.

    Spouting grand rhetoric is easy. Taking principled, moral stands on the issues and maintaining those stands after being elected is the real test. Ocasio-Cortez is tossing her convenient ideals aside before she even takes her place at the public trough. So far, her actions have been predictable and unimpressive.

    • brwencino
      brwencino
      July 25, 2018, 12:13 pm

      Who says “democratic socialists” are any better than most when it comes to equal human rights for Palestinians? For example, it seems to me that the “democratic socialists” in Israel were in charge of slaughtering, expelling and subjugating Palestinians at the formation of Israel and throughout most of its history, including Cast Lead in Gaza. Furthermore, this article is not so much a defense of the political candidate as it is another liberal Zionist diatribe to justify a two state solution. I guess I harken back to Woody Allen’s comment in Annie Hall: something like “I thought Commentary and Dissent [the DSA publication] merged and formed ‘Dysentery.'” Sorry, but this is what came to mind when I read this overly long defense of Zionism.

    • pjdude
      pjdude
      July 26, 2018, 1:18 am

      a battleship doesn’t turn on a dime

  2. Donald
    Donald
    July 24, 2018, 10:15 pm

    I am enthusiastic about AOC and if I lived in her district I would vote for her. But this piece is all over the place. AOC is not going to lose because a small number of people want her to adopt a 1ss and there was no reason to frame the piece around this.

    Rather, the writer appears to be yet another person who thinks politicians are delicate creatures who can’t or shouldn’t be criticized if we disagree with them on a given issue. And he also appears to be a proponent of a 2ss and along with Finkelstein, he hates the fact that 1ss supporters have any voice at all.

    Perhaps Palestinians should be allowed to decide whether they wish to push for a 1ss or a 2ss. Maybe they can make this choice by discussing it amongst themselves, without the help of outside experts

  3. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    July 24, 2018, 10:34 pm

    In the UN General Assembly, not a single country has endorsed a one-state solution. The European Union, Non-Aligned Movement, League of Arab States and Organization of the Islamic Conference all support two-states. The International Court of Justice has called for “the establishment of a Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel.” This is also the formal policy of the Palestinian Authority and the de facto position of the Hamas administration in Gaza.
    In 2014, a succession of parliaments in Europe—where support for Palestinian rights is greater than in the United States—deliberated whether or not to recognize the State of Palestine. A one-state solution did not feature in this pan-continental debate.

    I was moved to return to Tony Greenstein –

    Lessons from Finkelstein: a response to Seth Anderson
    https://mondoweiss.net/2017/09/finkelstein-response-anderson/

    I am a great admirer of Dr. Finkelstein, who has spent his life struggling for justice in Palestine.

    Nevertheless, the two-state solution was and is a chimera, a cover for the Zionist’s true intent; a Jewish-only state in all of Palestine. A chimera, because Israel NEVER intended/intends to allow it to happen.

    It was and is a brilliant (hasbara) achievement that the solution premised on justice for all in Palestine (one state for all its inhabitants, ROR etc.) is now considered too radical for discussion in polite company.
    The Zionists have established the parameters of acceptable discourse. What is acceptable is that which has proved to be a total failure for the Palestinians.
    Decades-long international consensus for the two-state solution has done nothing to advance justice and peace. It only confirms the desire/indifference for the destruction and eventual disappearance of Palestine and the Palestinians.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 25, 2018, 2:51 am

      lonely rico: “The Zionists have established the parameters of acceptable discourse.”

      Same goes for the Golan Hights. Israel is not asked to withdraw its forces as demanded by resolution 242. Instead Syria is asked to “to abide by all the provisions of the 1974 agreement”.

  4. JWalters
    JWalters
    July 25, 2018, 1:12 am

    “Before demanding that she commit political suicide”

    George Washington navigated through an overwhelming military opposition by a strategic mix of attacks and retreats, mostly retreats. His occasional victories encouraged new supporters. Finally the French were impressed enough to come in and tipped the balance decisively.

    The Zionist forces cannot be underestimated. They control the press and the congress, and they have deep pockets. e.g. http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    Many progressives have criticized Bernie for his post-defeat tactics. But he was the only mainstream candidate to openly criticize Netanyahu, and now he’s back, stronger than before and with a bunch of congressional candidates in alignment. His strategy and tactics have been to grow a movement, rather than try to ignite the public in one media fireworks display, which would most likely would have been buried by the subservient media.

  5. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    July 25, 2018, 5:26 am

    What a monumental diversion!

    As if 1-state or 2-state were a significant part of the problem with candidates like Ocasio or Sanders. The problem is that, while they do make noises that appeal to this or that section of the progressive electorate, no matter if in support of either of these “solutions”, they are running for the Party of US Imperialism and war of aggression.
    Their job is to bring back to the Democrat fold the sheeple who start seeing through it and personally oppose Zionism.

    That Ocasio makes better noises than Sanders with a 30-year record of support to all US wars (save some insignificant theatrical grandstanding) was to be expected: the latter’s warmongering, openly Zionist record stuck out like a sore thumb even though a lot of people never bothered to check. This new version of Dim shepherd-dog has no record to check and could say practically anything.

    That she doesn’t even dare defend her initial trial balloon of a couple statements made in opposition to a goddam obvious massacre of the innocents, even before starting on a guaranteed post in this sheepdogging career, should have been more than enough for even the most corny liberal to wake up. But no, it seems that their needy masochism is so boundless that they can sorta forget getting screwed, only the year before last, by the latest model of the same vote-pimping operation. They didn’t wake up when Sanders walked back his progressive statements re foreign policy and won’t wake up with the new, improved version of the same.

    So the problem with Ocasio is not Single State or 2 States: it’s Single Party posing as 2 Parties, nothing else. And the author here is trying to make us look away.

  6. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    July 25, 2018, 5:54 am

    And Ocasio still hasn’t, as of a few minutes earlier, put back a single word on foreign policy on her Spanish-language website. The couple paragraphs on foreign policy had been reinstated, in the “Peace Economy” section, but on the English version only, after an outcry following her primaries win. Still doesn’t tell you anything?

  7. joemowrey
    joemowrey
    July 25, 2018, 9:44 am

    “That she doesn’t even dare defend her initial trial balloon of a couple statements made in opposition to a goddam obvious massacre of the innocents, even before starting on a guaranteed post in this sheepdogging career, should have been more than enough for even the most corny liberal to wake up. But no, it seems that their needy masochism is so boundless that they can sorta forget getting screwed, only the year before last, by the latest model of the same vote-pimping operation. ”

    Well said, echinococcus. Bernie Sanders is the poster boy for this scam. Fake left, then pivot to the center. It’s a sure ticket for admission to the Corporate Democrats’ Carnival of Smoke and Mirrors Club. It’s been Sander’s stock and trade his entire career.

  8. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 25, 2018, 2:19 pm

    Bravo, Jamie Stern-Weiner. Great piece.

  9. punterweger
    punterweger
    July 25, 2018, 4:16 pm

    I don’t know what cool-aid James Canning has been drinking, or sources of news he’s consulting, but this article is a ludicrous attempt to resurrect the 2 state solution, which is as dead as a doornail according to virtually all knowledgeable observers inside as well as outside of Israel – Finkelstein and Chomsky not withstanding.

    Netanyahu and others in Israel’s right-wing government have made it very clear that they will never accept a truly sovereign Palestinian state. The US, which has the muscle, has no geopolitical interest in pressuring Israel, and other influential players such as the EU have wafffled for decades on this issue. It will be up to civil society movements internationally and resistance in Palestine to bring progress. And, speaking as a Sanders and AOC supporter, it is up to us to continue to push them to more principled support for Palestinian rights and denunciation of Israel’s colonial apartheid regime. Mr. Stern-Weiner’s article does not help.

    • catalan
      catalan
      July 25, 2018, 4:50 pm

      “It will be up to civil society movements internationally and resistance in Palestine to bring progress. “
      Why not resettle Gaza’s population to Ireland,Norway, Finland and Sweden? This is a win win – these are rich countries, with ample land and very pro-Palestinian. The Palestinian populations would thrive in these places. Then Israel would get back in Gaza, and then it could hold Jerusalem and the Jordan valley and the rest of the West Bank could be a Palestinian state.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        July 25, 2018, 5:22 pm

        Why not proscribe Judaism as a terrorist organisation?
        Any organisation that relies on terrorism to survive needs help and this would be ideal.

      • annie
        annie
        July 25, 2018, 5:47 pm

        Why not resettle Gaza’s population to Ireland,Norway, Finland and Sweden

        Why not resettle Israel’s population to her district? the bronx or queens? throw in brooklyn (jews “thrive in these places”) and some areas of the state rife with apartheid supporters. but she might be able to really make a difference in her own district. think of it as a sort of moving up, ali’ny’ah, going up to new york.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        July 25, 2018, 6:08 pm

        @Maghlawatan

        If zionism is Judaism then declaring it a terrorist organization is a completely valid response.

        The political movement being entwined with a religious belief is a dangerous move.

        @catalan

        Why move the Palestinians anywhere but back to their homes. The zionist criminals have rights in other countries for the most part. Let them return to their home. Those that don’t have other homes should be allowed to remain in a single democratic state for all peoples of the region.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 26, 2018, 9:57 am

        catalan: “Why not resettle Gaza’s population to Ireland,Norway, Finland and Sweden?”

        Yes, yes. Another Nazi question would be. Why not “resettle” Jews to other countries?

        Like I said before. Sooner or later Zionists end up whitewashing Nazi crimes.

      • catalan
        catalan
        July 26, 2018, 12:50 pm

        “Another Nazi question would be. Why not “resettle” Jews to other countries?”
        It’s not Nazi at all – I am not proposing setting up a Chelmno or Sobibor type of camp where all Gazans can be swiftly killed and then cremated. I think that the Jews of Poland and the Baltics and so on would have loved to go to Norway. Not to mention that Norway is very pro Palestinian and provides fantastic benefits. Moving Jews from Israel is not feasible because Israel has the ability to destroy about 80 percent of humanity with its nuclear weapons plus an Air Force capable of major damage.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 26, 2018, 2:43 pm

        Catalan: “It’s not Nazi at all – I am not proposing setting up a Chelmno or Sobibor type of camp where all Gazans can be swiftly killed and then cremated. ”

        That was not the first Nazi solution for the Jews. The first solution was similar to yours. Just “resettle” Jews. Read the Nazi’s Haavara agreement.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 26, 2018, 4:47 pm

        It’s always a “resettlement”, Talkback. The genocide of the Armenians was a “resettlement” march to Syria, well, with 90% resettled to heaven or hell, the Greeks were “resettled” to today’s Greece and to heaven, the Native Americans were “resettled” to deserts and reservation but mostly to heavenly hunting grounds, and so on.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 26, 2018, 8:03 pm

        echi: “It’s always a “resettlement”, Talkback.”

        It takes the likes of racists like “Catalan” to propose uprooting people.

      • annie
        annie
        July 26, 2018, 10:06 pm

        Moving Jews from Israel is not feasible because Israel has the ability to destroy about 80 percent of humanity with its nuclear weapons plus an Air Force capable of major damage.

        if israel has the ability to destroy about 80 percent of humanity with its nuclear weapons plus an Air Force capable of major damage, what is the point of not giving them anything they want whenever they want it? what if they want to rule the world? why stop at a plan to ethnically cleanse palestinians from the region? why not add iran or the entirety of the middle east? for the purpose of expanding israel’s borders. seriously, if this is your reasoning, what possible scenario do you think anyone could say no them? oh,the neighborhood bully could wipe out 80% of humanity so we should all kiss their feet — like forever.

    • annie
      annie
      July 25, 2018, 5:16 pm

      one state is not “sloganeering”, i believe it’s the current reality on the ground, one apartheid state ruled by one government. furthermore, i understand there are people who still believe in a two state solution, which is certainly stern-weiner’s prerogative although it’s not my belief. but i resent the idea that those who don’t agree do it because it is “fashionable” as he suggested here: https://twitter.com/jsternweiner/status/1021841856605429760

      you can’t bully people out of their opinion. it’s just insulting to imply an activist’s opinion is as interchangeable as a pair of shoes or that people have them to be cool.

      this would position her at the fringes of political discourse, beyond the horizon of even progressive public opinion.

      stern-weiner is not alone in positioning himself at the center of public opinion (common debate tactic), but claiming a one state solution as a “fringe” position doesn’t make it so. political discourse in congress maybe, but one state is not “beyond the horizon” of progressive public opinion, at all. like single payer health care and gay marriage, it sometimes takes awhile for political discourse of those in power to catch up with what the masses are discussing, but it’s what a lot of people want. and like both those same issues once it started gathering steam, political discourse of the elite changed fairly fast. so excuse me if “The European Union, Non-Aligned Movement, League of Arab States and Organization of the Islamic Conference” do not agree, it still doesn’t make the concept fringe.

      there’s simply no reason why AOC should not be exposed to the full range of views. characterizing advocating for one state as “demanding that she commit political suicide” is, in itself, sloganeering. and it makes journalistic sense, at a minimum, to give examples of palestinian rights activists “impos[ing] upon Ocasio-Cortez a position” if you’re going to argue against it. everyone already knows the tactics the israel lobby uses to impose their position on politicians, but implying we have that same sort of power or will is irresponsible. when she starts mouthing aipac talking points everyone has heard 1000 times, she will lose a decent portion of the progressive base in her district. so it works both ways. she’s no different than any other PEP politician in my eyes if she folds on palestine. i don’t wear that as a fashion, or a threat, it’s just my opinion.

      • gamal
        gamal
        July 25, 2018, 5:44 pm

        “one state is not “sloganeering” ” Annie

        “does not support a categorical affirmation that two-states is either alive or dead” Mr. Stern-Weiner

        At some point Jamie you have to accept that no one whatever their power has the right to tell Palestinians how these crimes against them can be set right.

        1stly what kind of lives are Palestinians supposed to lead without land, they need back all the stolen land

        2ndly we the people of the region as a whole reject European Settler Colonialism as a whole in toto…no stolen land will remain in the hands of the the thieves…nor will we surrender our rights to our oppressors.

        the “international community” is complicit in the crimes of Zionism we think they should be tried

        we do not except that power buys you exemption from law, if your power lasts forever, fine because our commitment to the fundamentals of justice is eternal.

        one state one citizen one vote

      • Spring Renouncer
        Spring Renouncer
        July 25, 2018, 8:46 pm

        You are totally right Annie, and the reason it is “at the fringes of political discourse” is because we have been made afraid to utter otherwise. It has become a groupthink commandment to support the two state solution no matter what, to keep our thoughts confined in the oppressive status quo.

  10. Spring Renouncer
    Spring Renouncer
    July 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

    No. The two-state solution is so far from the reality on the ground, the trends and the Israeli political awareness that to just parrot it again and again as a goal is dangerous. It just re-enforces the unjust status-quo. 1948 was unfair in itself. Palestinian leaders are coerced and bought…. corrupt. The whole plan – supported by the Saudis, Jordanians Emiratis and others – is to torture and cajole the Palestinians until their bad leaders accept a puny, noncontinuous, demilitarized, poor rump-state and forfeit all of their peoples’ rights, and Israel goes on as if nothing ever happened. This would constitute a “two state solution” that would be acceptable to may outside players, it would also be terribly unjust and not better than the status quo. There is no plausibility of an authentic even semi-fair two state solution anywhere on the horizon, considering American and Israeli positions. So, as a result, what we must go forward on is justice plain and simple, regardless of how you want to label the solution: no justice no peace. One person one vote, equality under the law, freedom of movement between river and sea. The individual rights of all Palestinians – whether in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel or refugee camps abroad – must be recognized and restored: the “two state” rhetoric erases and distracts from their rights and the wrongs committed against them.

  11. Danaa
    Danaa
    July 26, 2018, 6:03 am

    I look at things a bit differently.

    Asking a candidate for office – who has not yet been elected! – to weigh in on one vs two-state solution is ludicrous. What kind of an expectation is that, when the Palestinians themselves have still not come out in force one way or another, and when we – who unlike AOC – know quite well what’s really going on – are still arguing about this or that version of whatever? and when someone like Finkelstein is on the record as saying – nah, the only international consensus is on some 2-state illusion….

    Someone earlier pointed out that the 2 -state “solution” is a chimera, and that it is. The Israelis have no intention of going through with any “sensible” solution along these lines. On the contrary, the israelis have every intention of annexing Area C in the near future (ie, as soon as they judge they can get away with it, politically speaking). That as the power wielding Jewish donors in the US have every intention of keeping the charade of some ephemeral “2-state” up for as long as possible. Of course, not so for the up and coming and the wide awake other Jewish Americans, some of whom are younger and some just prey to reason and sanity. But this later cohort does not hold the purse strings, and opine as much as they want to, ultimately it is the donors that make whatever political reality they want to. just as donors do in every other area that’s ever been brought up for political debate in the great US of A.

    AOC, like Bernie, needs to walk this tight rope carefully to survive politically. She just got a rude introduction to the”facts of life” of a US politician. Much like the Palestinians, the American politician – even a new fresh face – ARE NOT the masters of their own fate, or their publicly stated opinions. Doesn’t matter AOC did not avail herself of corporate monies. The pressure of the lobbies is exerted with or without it. There are ways, as anyone familiar with the mafia knows to get “action” on the political front. Which in the US is every bit as corrupt as the mafia ever was, except that unlike the mafia it pretends there is actually a Democracy somewhere. Whatever. . Poor AOC, I almost feel for her, because I/P is just the beginning of her true political education, which includes, unfortunately for her, learning to swim in the swamp, while holding one’s nose. It’s kind of a bargain with the devil, but heck, what’s the alternative, some would say (some who are not me + a few other poor souls)?

    Soon she’ll find out that she better come out with the “Mah Russia” line. At best she can “finness” it, though this may not be enough. And that, of course, it just wouldn’t do to mention Yemen. Neither would it be so ‘smart” to point to the monstrous military budget (with all its tentacles) is the very one to cough up the dough for eg, medicare for All. No other place, as it’s all been cut to the bone already.

    One can go on, but for her sake and for the sake of future progressive candidates, I can only hope she’ll l;earn the tricks of the rope tight walk, or else she might have to join in on that rope-a-dope, known as “American Politics”.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      July 26, 2018, 8:41 am

      Progressives have to ass lick Tammany Hall until there are enough of them to strangle Tammany Hall.
      The important thing is to get into power with a focus on the big prize. Neoliberalism is dying .

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 26, 2018, 10:53 am

        So what? The original Tammany Hall is gone, big hairy deal, but the dictatorship of the Dimopuke party is stronger than ever, with stringers like Jackson, Kucinich, Sanders, Ocasio… Party still owned by the same class.
        If anyone running for them is “progressive” it’s only in their wrongheaded heads, nowhere else.

        Tammany Hall is “gone” only because it wasn’t any longer in the interests of the Owners of the Country, not for any other reason.

        Also, one should always be much, much more pessimistic about good subjective intentions, too. They’re the stuff used to pave Hell.

    • Keith
      Keith
      July 26, 2018, 10:50 am

      DANAA- “Asking a candidate for office – who has not yet been elected! – to weigh in on one vs two-state solution is ludicrous.”

      Danaa, you are a breath of fresh air and common sense! Actions speak louder than words and although words can be important we should never overemphasize rhetoric over actual policy. Treating Ocasio-Cortez like the messiah because she says what you want to hear and then turning on her when political reality results in different phraseology is nuts. Personally, I don’t have much hope for her making a significant difference because the system won’t allow it. I wish her well but don’t expect much. Our current political economy is so completely out of balance that the political system is totally subservient to the economic system. The financiers, the corporations, and the oligarchs are calling the shots and Ocasio-Cortez is a tiny drop in a corrupt 50,000 gallon storage tank.

  12. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    July 26, 2018, 9:39 am

    Tammany Hall was the epitome of political power once. Nobody got anywhere without it. Journalists were afraid of it. Nobody dared cross it.

    Fiorello la Guardia was an airport who ran on the Republican ticket. He finally broke the power of Tammany Hall in a progressive wave when the people trashed capital.

    We are close to another such moment where capital cedes power to the people. The modern incarnation of Tammany Hall is the Zionist lobby.
    Nobody gets anywhere without it. Journalists are afraid of it. Nobody dares cross it.

    The collapse of the Zionist lobby will make things very interesting for Israel. Most politicians could not care less about Zion. There will be no veto either.

  13. David Letwin
    David Letwin
    July 26, 2018, 10:00 am

    If you disagree with Jamie Stern-Weiner’s apology for Zionist apartheid, please join with more than 1700 others in signing this petition, initiated by Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, calling on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to stand up for Palestine. Text is below.

    Petition link: tinyurl.com/AOCPetition

    Petition text:

    Tell Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Stand By Your Principles — Stand With Palestine!

    Supporters of justice around the world were heartened when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently won the Queens Democratic congressional primaries with a grassroots campaign that included a forceful condemnation of the ongoing Israeli massacre of Palestinian Great Return March protesters in Gaza.

    Now, under intense Zionist backlash, she has “walked back” her stand, saying she had not used “the right words” in calling out Israeli occupation, and endorsing Israel’s “right to exist.”

    We fully embrace Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ original defense of Palestinian rights, and reiterate these essential facts:

    • From day one, Israel has been a settler-colonial regime of occupation on stolen Palestinian land, a status it recently formalized. It has no more “right to exist” than Jim Crow or apartheid South Africa!

    • The Great Return March demands an end to Israel’s genocidal siege on Gaza, as well as refugees’ right, enshrined in UN Resolution 194, to return to homes from which they were expelled during the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe)that created that Israeli state.

    • Since the Gaza protests began in March, Israel has murdered at least 146 Palestinians (including children, reporters, and first responders), while wounding another 16,496. Unconscionably, this massacre is made possible by $3.8 billion a year in bipartisan U.S. military aid to Israel.

    • The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), of which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a member, endorses the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel.

    Alexandria, your campaign is only as strong as its principles. Just as you speak truth to power for Abolish ICE, Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and Puerto Rico, stand firm with justice for Palestine!

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