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Senate is unlikely to debate BDS — so long as gov’t remains shut down

on 66 Comments

Update: Earlier today we reported that the Senate will be debating the boycott of Israel tomorrow when a Senate bill comes to the floor containing “Middle East Security” provisions including a measure to punish those who call for boycotting Israel. That debate would divide Democrats, many of whom object to the legislation as a curb on free speech.

But reports from a couple of sources tonight indicate that the bill may not come to the Senate floor. Too many Democrats have indicated that they will block its progress until the first order of business, the government shutdown, is addressed. Jeff Stein of the Washington Post reports the names of 17 Democratic Senators who will stand in the way of the bill. That list includes at least two key supporters of the Israel boycott legislation, Chuck Schumer and Cory Booker, and one sponsor of it, Maryland’s Ben Cardin.

The Washington Post reports widespread support among Democrats to block the legislation.

Democrats are coalescing behind a plan to block any legislation on the floor that doesn’t reopen the federal government.

Privately, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) has told the rest of his caucus that he would vote against advancing the first bill on the Senate floor this year, a measure that would authorize security assistance to Israel and includes provisions aimed at promoting security in the Middle East.

Jeff Stein reported that even though it may hurt his pro-Israel credentials, Schumer is against the bill because of the optics of the shutdown, and under pressure from liberal groups.

“Minority Leader (D-NY) has started telling the caucus he will vote against the BDS sanctions bill because the government shutdown remains unresolved , , and a number of others pushed this strategy over the weekend.”

Original post: 

Something that has never happened before is about to happen in the U.S. Senate: there’s going to be a wide-open battle over Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), as part of efforts to end the government shutdown, no less!

Tomorrow the Senate is due to debate S.1, the first Senate bill of the new session, and it contains legislation to limit advocacy for BDS. And everyone is letting down their hair. Republicans are seeking to portray the Democrats as the party that is abandoning Israel, while many Democrats are already lining up against the bill as counter to American freedoms. They know the Democratic base is plainly against this bill, with Ayman Mohyeldin saying it violates our civil rights on MSNBC.

Bill sponsor Marco Rubio tweets today that “a significant #” of Democrats are for BDS:

The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to Middle East Security Bill.

A huge argument broke out at Senate Dem meeting last week over BDS. A significant # of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that.

Rubio is right that establishment Dems don’t want this battle. NY Senator Chuck Schumer is reportedly out there working for the legislation, and Cory Booker is alone among Dem presidential likelys in being for it too. The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman has slammed Booker as cynical for using the Pittsburgh massacre as his justification for seeking to crimp U.S. civil rights.

Bernie Sanders is leading opposition to the bill–though contrary to Rubio’s suggestion, he had never supported BDS:

It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity. Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government. Let’s get our priorities right.

Chris van Hollen of Maryland is clearly referring to Israel in this tweet:

Senate Democrats should block consideration of any bills unrelated to opening the government until Sen. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans allow a vote on the bipartisan bills the House passed to open the government…

And as for Democrats who actually support BDS, the new congresswoman from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, says the Senate is thinking of Israel’s interests first.

They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.

The Intercept’s report on the legislation says the same thing. The Israel lobby wants this law:

according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for AIPAC.

The JTA says more about the Middle East Security bill:

[I]ncluded in Rubio’s bill is a version of a bill that languished in the last Congress that would establish federal legal protections for states passing laws divesting pension funds from groups that boycott Israel.

Last month Sanders and Dianne Feinstein wrote to the Senate leadership denouncing similar legislation of the last session.

While we do not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we remain resolved to our constitutional oath to defend the right of every American to express their views peacefully without fear of or actual punishment by the government

Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights says that tomorrow will see “the first substantive debate on the Senate floor on the right to boycott,” with Rubio attempting to paint the Republican Party as the “saviors of Israel” and the Democrats as the party of boycott. In an email to followers today Ruebner reported on how this battle is shaping up, in statehouses and courthouses across the country:

Last Thursday, the Senate’s first bill of the new Congress – S.1 – was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and it encourages states to punish people for boycotting for Palestinian rights…

Sen. Rubio’s new bill incorporates language from the Combating BDS Act, his unconstitutional bill which we defeated in the last Congress.

The Combating BDS Act calls upon states and cities to enact laws that curtail our constitutional freedoms by denying government contracts to people who boycott for Palestinian rights. In response to lawsuits filed by the ACLU, these types of laws have already been stopped by federal judges in Kansas and Arizona on constitutional grounds, and there are three additional lawsuits currently challenging similar laws in Texas and Arkansas.

(Ruebner urges friends to call the Senate, with this message.)

The Intercept’s Ryan Grim and Glenn Greenwald reported the sudden urgency of the Israel Anti-Boycott legislation on Saturday:

That the newly elected United States Congress would choose to prioritize protection of this foreign nation — at the expense of the Constitutional rights of American citizens and over countless bills that would help Americans — was only one of the stinging criticisms voiced to the Intercept by ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kathleen Ruane: “In the midst of a partial government shutdown, Democratic and Republican senators have decided that one of their first orders of business next week should be to sneak through a bill that would weaken Americans’ First Amendment protections.”

So tune in tomorrow. We’ve always said that the issue of Palestinian human rights needs to be discussed in the central forums of US politics. Now it’s finally happening!

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About Philip Weiss

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66 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen on January 7, 2019, 1:47 pm

    Gee, nothing about this on the news channels…

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger on January 7, 2019, 2:33 pm

      That will probably change over the next three days.

      The GOP sees this as a wedge issue they can use against the Democrats. Rubio might see this as the issue that gives him a face in the news at the same time Trump is being further diminished, without Rubio being tied to that diminution. Rubio craves the Presidency.

      • genesto
        genesto on January 8, 2019, 3:56 pm

        Never thought I’d see the day I’d be rooting for Little Ricky, but the day is nigh! Go ahead, Mr Rubio and make our days by making this a prime political issue.

        Let’s see now, Mr. and Mrs. America, do you want your First Amendment rights protected, or would you rather forsake them in the interests of a PIA, troublemaker, foreign nation like Israel?

        Looks like an easy choice to me!

  2. Citizen
    Citizen on January 7, 2019, 2:36 pm

    I contacted Rubio’s office and told a woman named Gabby why I wanted him to vote NO on the Combatting BDS Act, which was snuck into the Senate Bill #1. When I called Scott on the number given, I was told he does not have a number as a senator as he won’t be officially a senator until tomorrow. I called his governor office. When I asked when can I contact him in his new capacity, they said not until tomorrow; sometime after he will vote on the same day.

  3. ckg
    ckg on January 7, 2019, 2:43 pm

    Besides Cory Booker, cosponsor of S 720 (115th Congress), a couple of less known Democratic 2020 hopefuls have anti-BDS records. Maryland Congressman John Delaney is listed as a cosponsor of HR 1697, the House companion bill of S 720. And in March Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed HB 16-1284 which requires the state pension fund to create a blacklist of for-profit entities that boycott Israel. Both Delaney and Hickenlooper are in the CNN Poll list of potential 2020 candidates.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen on January 7, 2019, 2:51 pm

    Phil, please tell Ruebner we can’t reach Florida governor Scott on the phone number he gives because if you call that number, they will tell you it is the number of a federal surgeon’s office. If you call Scott at his governor’s number, they won’t take any message about what he may do as a senator. He won’t officially be a senator until tomorrow. There’s no phone number existing now to reach him on his vote tomorrow on the anti-BDS Act voted on then.

  5. Jasonius Maximus
    Jasonius Maximus on January 7, 2019, 3:49 pm

    Sen. Booker is a day late and a dollar short if he thinks supporting this bill against the overwhelming majority of the Democratic Senate and House instead of reopening the government is going to get him closer to the White House.

    It won’t. He and his bought and paid for GOP friends are choosing the wrong hill to die on. They have no idea how badly this is going to backfire on their Presidential bids, and Israel, if they go to bat for this terrible bill. The media won’t be able to “conveniently” ignore this fight when it’s dragged into headline news across the nation or when it goes all the way to the Supreme Court and gets knocked down. Americans simply won’t be able to ignore that their elected leaders are so openly willing to literally keep the government shutdown and Americans without pay checks for nothing more than the wishes and interests of a foreign nation and lobby group.

    Add to this the simple fact that Israel and numerous dubious (probably illegal) ties to Israel WILL surface out of the Meuller report in the coming months and the likes of Booker and Schumer can all but kiss their seats goodbye.

    Then it’s good luck to any 2020 Democrat hopefuls that show their face at the next two AIPAC conventions…

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 8, 2019, 8:31 am

      JM: “Sen. Booker is a day late and a dollar short if he thinks supporting this bill against the overwhelming majority of the Democratic Senate and House instead of reopening the government is going to get him closer to the White House.”

      It’s obvious, what his real goals are:
      “However, [Booker’s] decision to back the Iran nuclear deal framework[151] damaged his long-term relationship with Jewish voters and supporters.[152] In an attempt to reduce the damage, Booker initiated an emergency summit for Jewish leaders, which some of his longstanding supporters did not attend.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Booker

      What a sycophant.

    • genesto
      genesto on January 8, 2019, 4:00 pm

      Excellent, Jasonius! You’ve made my day!

  6. Tom Callaghan
    Tom Callaghan on January 7, 2019, 6:49 pm

    Nothing makes American politicians look stupider than competing with each other over who loves Israel the most. My favorites to win that competition (in order) are. 1. Sen Cotton; 2. Rubio; 3. Cruz; 4. Cardin; 5 Menendez.

    http://www.wednesdayswars.com

  7. Kay24
    Kay24 on January 7, 2019, 7:20 pm

    Looks like the zionists will have to spend our money sending lobbyists to coax, and urge, our spineless politicians into putting Israel first over America. The last time there was a possibility of their aid being stopped, they apparently sent thousands of lobbyists to beg them not to.

    Cory Booker and Chuck Schumer have gone to the dark side.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on January 8, 2019, 2:35 am

      Kay,

      Complaining that “Cory Booker and Chuck Schumer have gone to the dark side.”

      That’s where they’ve always been: they are Democrats.

  8. Kay24
    Kay24 on January 8, 2019, 4:37 am

    The Intercept’s Mehdi Hassen on the BDS movement, and how unfair it is to call it “anti’semitism”.
    Take a look at the Americans, including Gov. Cuomo, who protect Israel.

    The Truth about Israel, Boycotts, and BDS

    • annie
      annie on January 8, 2019, 10:26 am

      kay, hassen says “they don’t say a word about jews or the jewish state, they’re all about human rights. Maybe the rights of humans you don’t like, but human rights nevertheless.”

      i cracked up. the rights of humans you don’t like

      • genesto
        genesto on January 8, 2019, 4:01 pm

        The Zionist definition of an anti-Semite: a person whom Jews don’t like.

  9. Citizen
    Citizen on January 8, 2019, 5:54 am

    Twitter war going on between Rubio & Talib–Fox News just flashed the first tweet exchange without any significant opinion. Meanwhile thread developing & vote is today?

    Talib says anti-BDS bill violates our 1st Amendment rights & Rubio et al forget which country they represent. Rubio replies she’s making the old anti-semitic dual loyalty canard & BDS seeks to kill Israel & he has right to boycott the boycotters. He ignores any legal distinction between the actor being the government or an indvidual or private protest group.

    • genesto
      genesto on January 8, 2019, 6:03 pm

      Rubio is right. He DOES have a right to boycott the boycotters. But this isn’t about that. It’s about the right to boycott without your free speech rights being jeopardized by threats of heavy fines or prison if you do boycott.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 8, 2019, 7:35 pm

        Can the government tell you that you must boycott a specific country? That is-is it constitutional for the govt to prohibit you from buying products from country X even though you want to support the views of country X but the US govt does not?

        If the govt can prohibit your corporate economic activity with country X for political reasons can they prohibit your refusal to engage in economic activity with country Y for the same?

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 9, 2019, 10:02 am

      Citizen: “Rubio replies she’s making the old anti-semitic dual loyalty canard & BDS seeks to kill Israel & he has right to boycott the boycotters.”

      And she responded that she was not talking about Jews, but about senators like Rubio.

      Rubio doesn’t understand that the constitution protects the citizens from the goverment and not the other way around. He’s a fascist, whether he knows it or not.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on January 10, 2019, 6:20 am

        Yes, that’s the salient point. Rubio thinks the US government has the same individual rights as a private American citizen. He posits “We the State.” instead of “We the People.”

  10. Citizen
    Citizen on January 8, 2019, 6:27 am

    First Senate Bill of 2019 Would Give Endless Billions to #Israel, Undermine free speech critical of Israel, embed Israel in NASA & More Indirect Aid & Sanctions Beneficial to Israel https://www.mintpressnews.com/first-senate-bill-of-2019-would-give-billions-more-to-israel-undermine-bds/253561/#.XDSHsr-s4R0.twitter

  11. Misterioso
    Misterioso on January 8, 2019, 9:08 am

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-auschwitz-survivor-esther-bejarano-supports-bds/26191

    “Why Auschwitz survivor Esther Bejarano supports BDS” Electronic Intifada, Dec. 7/18
    by Adri Nieuwhof

    “Esther Bejarano learned to love music from her father Rudolf Loewy, a cantor in the Jewish community of the southwest German town of Saarlouis, where she was born in 1924.

    “That was lucky for her, because music literally saved her life.

    “Bejarano recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada at her home in Hamburg.

    “When she was 15, Bejarano’s parents sent her to a Zionist camp to prepare for emigration to Palestine. But in 1941, all the teachers and students were arrested by the SS and moved to a work camp near Berlin.

    “Bejarano was sent to Auschwitz, in German-occupied Poland, where the Nazis allowed her to play in the women’s orchestra as an alternative to the hard labor that quickly killed many.

    “Then she was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp in northern Germany. In April 1945 she escaped from a forced death march, and a few weeks later played music as allied troops liberating Germany from the Nazis burned an image of Hitler.

    “After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but her aversion to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians eventually led her to return to Germany.

    “She says she has been called an anti-Semite for speaking out against Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians.

    “But Bejarano knows no fear and continues to raise her voice, calling Israel’s government ‘fascist’ and saying she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.”

    “Nazi persecution”
    “It was after the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews in November 1938 that Bejarano’s parents sent her to the Zionist training center to prepare to go to Palestine.

    “For some Jews it was an option to flee Nazi persecution, but the outbreak of the war blocked her emigration.

    “On 20 April 1943, Bejarano arrived at Auschwitz after a horrific five-day journey in a cattle car. She was assigned to gather large rocks, grueling and potentially lethal work.

    “Her talent for music opened the door to the first Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz where she played the accordion.

    “Bejarano says that she had no idea how to play the instrument but she knew piano and considered the accordion keyboard to be the same – quickly learning it was a matter of life and death.

    “The orchestra had to play marches for the female prisoners as they went to and from their forced labor, and also as trains arrived bringing new victims of the Nazis to the camp.

    “As long as the camp commanders were satisfied, the orchestra’s members could avoid a certain death in the gas chambers.

    “When Bejarano was in Auschwitz, the International Red Cross searched for mischling prisoners. Because she had a Christian paternal grandmother, the Nazis considered Bejarano a mischling – a person of mixed Jewish-Aryan ancestry. Therefore she should not have been deported to an extermination camp, according to Nazi law.

    “Her friends convinced her to report to the Red Cross as a mischling because it offered a chance to get out of Auschwitz. If she survived, ‘you can tell people later what we’ve been through,’ she recalls them saying.

    “Bejarano was accepted and transferred to Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp in September 1943.

    “Bejarano survived the hardships of Ravensbrück where she had do forced labor for German industrial giant Siemens.

    “Sadly, the mischling status offered no protection for her parents, Rudolf and Margarethe Loewy.

    “They were both shot by the Nazis in the woods of Kovno, Lithuania, in November 1941.

    “Not long ago, Bejarano learned that her sister Ruth was murdered in Auschwitz on 1 December 1942

    “’This is so fateful because I came to Auschwitz in April 1943 and if she had lived I would have met her there,’ she says.

    “Emigration to Palestine”
    “After liberation by American and Soviet troops in 1945, Bejarano went to Palestine where her sister Tosca – at the wish of their parents – had settled before the war.

    “Bejarano was part of a group that traveled by boat from Marseille to Palestine. ‘We wanted to develop the country together with the Palestinians,’ she recalls. ‘In general, the Palestinians helped us. Not only us, but also the first Jews who came to the country.’

    “’We wanted to develop the land together. But it was different with David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir,’ she says, referring to Israel’s founding Zionist leaders. ‘They turned Zionism upside down and then the Zionists said ‘we are the ones who own the land.’ That was not our idea.’

    “Still, Bejarano spent 15 years in Israel, where she married Nissim Bejarano, a truck driver born in the country to a family that had come to Palestine from Bulgaria.

    “’My husband and I could not stand Israeli politics. It was a catastrophe,’ she says. ‘Life was difficult because we did not agree with the terrible things that were done to the Palestinians.’

    “Israel ‘fought against them, threw the Palestinians out. They didn’t leave on their own, they were forced to leave. We just could not stand that.’

    “’I was a soldier in the war for independence against the British. I felt it was justified to fight,’ she says. ‘I did not touch a gun. I gave many concerts.’

    “Her husband Nissim was a pacifist and after participating in two wars he couldn’t do it anymore, Bejarano adds. ‘He had seen what the Israelis had done to the Palestinians and he could not stand it.’

    “Refusing military service was also difficult. ‘He would have ended up in prison so we had no other choice than to leave,’ Bejarano says.

    “’I had German citizenship and I spoke German,’ she says, so they moved back to the country of her birth.

    “’It was very difficult because it was the country of the perpetrators.’

    “Protecting Israel’s ‘fascist government’”
    “In Germany, Bejarano still had to grapple with the reality in Israel. She says many people in Germany oppose Israel’s policies but those who speak out are often accused of anti-Semitism.

    “They also have called me an anti-Semite,” Bejarano says. ‘I always say I am against the inhuman policies towards the Palestinians, and against war. With war you cannot achieve peace. Then they frame me as an anti-Semite.’

    “In Germany it is almost impossible to criticize Israel for the simple reason that ‘they feel responsible for the Jews that were left and then founded this Jewish state,’ Bejarano explains. ‘They protect them and see it as their duty to do so. When someone speaks against Israel then it is a big theater, they [pro-Israel groups] absolutely don’t want that.’

    “As a result, people who want to organize events in Germany about Israeli policies, such as confiscation and settlement of Palestinian land, face constant attempts to stop them.

    “’It is a scandal because the terrible policies of Israel need to be clarified,’ says Bejarano.

    “’If our government – for once – would state, ‘We are friends of Israel but its policies must change because that is not the way to go,’ then nobody would try to block events,” she asserts.

    “The only option is that you enlighten the people, and you say, ‘Listen, that is not how it is.’”

    “Referring to present-day Israeli leaders, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, Bejarano says, ‘They are fascists. It is a fascist government. I have no other name for it.’

    “The space to debate BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – activism is very limited in Germany.

    “’Whether it [BDS] helps, that’s another issue. For many people here it is out of the question,’ Bejarano observes. ‘But I say, if it helps to put anything in the way of the terrible [Israeli] policies, then I am for it. Because I have experienced what fascism is.’

    “Palestinian state”
    “Bejarano adheres to the mainstream view that peace is achievable with a two-state solution.

    “The only way to make peace possible is that a second [Palestinian] state emerges and that someday they have economic relationships with each other,” she says. ‘Then you can talk about friendship.’

    “When asked if this is possible with some 600,000 Israeli settlers residing in the occupied West Bank, she replies, ‘They have no business there. Nothing at all, and you know who these settlers are? These are Americans and Russians, Ukrainians. They were not born there. Absolutely not.’

    “She adds that the idea that the land ‘belongs to the Jews because they lived there 2,000 years ago is the biggest nonsense there can be.’

    “’There were so many Turks and Arabs who have always lived there. The Jews came later,’ she states, insisting that all the settlers in the West Bank should leave.

    “Anti-Semitism was not invented by Hitler.”
    “Bejarano speaks an important truth that few dare say: ‘In Germany, and many other countries, one does not distinguish between Judaism and Zionism. They think Israel, Zionism and Judaism are all the same.’

    ‘It’s all lumped together and that’s where anti-Semitism comes from,’ she adds. ‘And the harshest thing is that the Germans now, to cleanse themselves so to speak, say the new anti-Semitism comes from the Muslims.’

    “That is how ‘they want to protect themselves from the new anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism has existed since the Middle Ages,’ Bejarano states. ‘Anti-Semitism was not invented by Hitler but by the Catholic Church.’

    “She says the phenomenon continues to exist among Germans, as it does in other countries.
    “Right to resist”

    ‘The situation in Gaza is really bad,’ says Bejarano. ‘You have to see how the people live there and how the Israelis act against them.’

    “She is appalled that when young Palestinians protest near the boundary fence – as they have been doing regularly as part of the Great March of Return rallies since last March, ‘they are simply shot’ by Israeli snipers.

    “’But in my opinion Palestinians have a right to oppose what the Israelis do to them. They have a right to do that,’ she asserts. ‘Or should they just be killed by the Israelis?’

    “’They say ‘Hamas sent its rockets to Israel and they are responsible for the war,’” Bejarano states, recalling Israel’s excuses. ‘But who started it? Not the Palestinians. It’s the Israelis who sent all the Palestinians out of the country.’

    “Her message to young Palestinians is, ‘I want you to keep it up and I hope that you will soon have your own country. But I cannot do anything about it.’

    “She hopes Palestinians ‘try to come to terms with their lives and not become racist. Every human being is worth something. And you have to accept if someone does a good thing and you have to reject the bad things people do.’

    “’I wish the same for young Israelis. A lot of them left Israel because they have no way to live there,’ she adds, referring to the high cost of housing and how many young Israelis don’t want to be conscripted into the army.

    “’They simply cannot live in Israel anymore. That is why so many have moved to Berlin.’”

  12. hophmi
    hophmi on January 8, 2019, 10:52 am

    It’s typically dishonest of you to repeat Rubio’s transparent lie that Democratic Senators support BDS. He’s clearly conflating support for BDS with opposition to the bill.

    It’s also stupid of you to celebrate Rashida Tlaib monumentally stupid and offensive comment. A person who came into office promising to be the voice of the Palestinian people (and wearing the national clothing of another country) should not be accusing others of dual loyalty. I celebrate her right to express her identity and would never question her loyalty over her support for a different US policy on the Middle East. I only ask the same in return.

    • bcg
      bcg on January 8, 2019, 11:59 am

      @Hophmi: “Bill sponsor Marco Rubio tweets today that “a significant #” of Democrats are for BDS:… The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to Middle East Security Bill…. A huge argument broke out at Senate Dem meeting last week over BDS. A significant # of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that.”

      It’s something Rubio tweeted. What, no one is supposed to report it? How is it ‘dishonest’ to report something a member of congress actually said?

      • annie
        annie on January 8, 2019, 12:10 pm

        bcg, notice hops doesn’t accuse rubio of being “typically dishonest” for lying. no, he calls the lie “transparent” and says he’s “clearly conflating support for BDS with opposition to the bill” (iow, no big deal).

        then he claims Rashida Tlaib “accusing” others of “dual loyalty”, which is rubio’s wording, not hers. (clearly hops is being typically dishonest, lying)

      • annie
        annie on January 8, 2019, 12:13 pm

      • hophmi
        hophmi on January 9, 2019, 3:10 pm

        “It’s something Rubio tweeted. What, no one is supposed to report it? How is it ‘dishonest’ to report something a member of congress actually said?”

        Phil knows it’s false. Give me a break. You’re either kidding or you think Phil is dumb.

        “notice hops doesn’t accuse rubio of being “typically dishonest” for lying”

        Is there something wrong with your reading comprehension, Annie? The entire premise of my statement is that he’s lying. And it is typical of him, in case that wasn’t obvious.

        “then he claims Rashida Tlaib “accusing” others of “dual loyalty””

        Actually, it’s how most of the Jewish community read her statement. How typical of you to tell us what we should think and feel, Annie. And besides, why would you suggest that she’s not making an accusation of dual loyalty? Similar accusations are made at Mondoweiss every day. Are you now admitting that they’re per se antisemitic?

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 8, 2019, 2:18 pm

      hophmi: “A person who came into office promising to be the voice of the Palestinian people (and wearing the national clothing of another country) should not be accusing others of dual loyalty”

      Just you wait, Mr. hophmi, just you wait.
      You’ll be sorry but your tears ‘ll be to late

      Democrats push to allow religious headwear within U.S. Congress
      https://www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Democrats-push-to-allow-religious-headwear-within-US-Congress-572210

      • annie
        annie on January 8, 2019, 2:34 pm

        should not be accusing others of dual loyalty.

        It’s typically dishonest of hophmi to repeat Rubio’s transparent lie that Rashida accused others of “Dual Loyalty”. Rubio even put quotemarks around the term implying she used the term, when i fact she did not. the remark wasn’t even directed at jewish members of congress.

        They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.

        rubio doubles down and calls it anti semitic and even after Rashida responded to rubio the comment was about members like him (‘forgetting’) hops repeats the “loyalty” smear again .

        the smearing slandering hasbara is so thick one could cut it with a knife.

      • amigo
        amigo on January 8, 2019, 3:17 pm

        “the smearing slandering hasbara is so thick one could cut it with a knife.” Annie R.

        Uh uh, but a very powerful chainsaw might make a start.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on January 9, 2019, 3:15 pm

        Hey Annie, cut the BS. Members of my community have been slaughtered because of a perception that they were more loyal to their own than to the countries they inhabited. So maybe stop being a callous moron when people like me point out that there’s a invidious canard here.

        Ah, what’s the point. You’re just a gutter antisemite who regularly dismisses antisemitism as a fabricated problem. Can’t expect better from the likes of you.

      • Keith
        Keith on January 9, 2019, 6:06 pm

        HOPHMI- ” Members of my community have been slaughtered….”

        Where do you live, partner? Why don’t you take ten years worth of data from New York and compare the murder rate per 100,000 Jews versus the murder rate per 100,000 non-Jews so that we can compare the relative safety of Jews versus non-Jews? You are not in danger and Jews, relatively speaking, are in no more danger than non-Jewish whites of comparable income. That is, less than the general population. Your victimhood claims are a manifestation of anti-Gentilism which you wear on your sleeve, your hostility radiating for all to see.

      • annie
        annie on January 9, 2019, 7:13 pm

        Why don’t you take ten years worth of data from New York and compare the murder rate per 100,000 Jews versus the murder rate per 100,000 non-Jews so that we can compare the relative safety of Jews versus non-Jews?

        keith, i wouldn’t even know where to start finding this data. but i was just curious, have you ever tried looking into it? i asked because you’ve brought it up several times, and as i recall (tho i could be wrong) always in the form of a question. do you know if anyone has ever looked at this? it seems like it would be a lot of work to find this data.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 9, 2019, 6:10 pm

        “Members of my community have been slaughtered because of a perception that they were more loyal to their own than to the countries they inhabited.” “Hophmi”

        Oh, “Hophmi”, if that loyalty split doesn’t seem to bother Zionism, I wouldn’t let it bother you. After all, has Zionism, in all it’s political machinations in the US (let alone other countries) ever thought that a perception dual-loyalty was worth worrying about? So don’t let it trouble your beautiful mind.

      • Keith
        Keith on January 9, 2019, 9:44 pm

        ANNIE- “…have you ever tried looking into it?”

        No. I am not aware that this information is available to the public. It is, however, intuitively obvious that if Jews were experiencing more deadly violence than non-Jews, this would be made well known. Most of the data on Jews that I have referred to in the past is compiled by Jewish authors. I suspect that the ADL may informally keep track of this, but doesn’t want to contradict the meme of deadly Jewish victimhood. In any event, it would be the person making the claim (Hophmi in this case) who should provide supporting empirical evidence to back up his claims.

      • annie
        annie on January 9, 2019, 11:21 pm

        thanks keith, i was just curious.

        oh hops, what do you mean “cut the BS?”, she wasn’t talking to jews, she was talking to rubio and every other senator. unless you’re claiming that every single one of your so called “tropes” also applies to any person. like it’s racist to accuse anyone of dual loyalty (something every child of divorced parents is quite familiar with btw). it’s our job to keep congress in check, and while it may be israel’s job to get the congress to serve their best interest and aipac’s job to “strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel” it’s our representatives responsibility to protect the constitution and political speech and expression, including boycotts, are protected under the first amendment.

        so cut your BS and take your anti semitism accusations (#548372) and shove *m where the sun don’t shine.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on January 10, 2019, 12:25 am

        Here’s an interesting story about racism and anti-Semitism.

        https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-08/how-bbc-manufactured-hate-insiders-story

      • Keith
        Keith on January 10, 2019, 1:12 am

        ANNIE- “thanks keith, i was just curious.”

        Unfortunately, the crime statistics do not list Jews as a category. Usually, it is White versus Black versus Hispanic, with “other” sometimes included. I located a chart which showed a 2015 murder rate of 2.6/ 100,000 for whites, 4.9/100,000 for Hispanics, and 20.9/100,000 for Blacks for an overall average of 5.7/100,000. Since Ashkenazi are white, it is reasonable to expect that the Askenazi murder rate per 100,000 is below the overall non-Jewish murder rate per 100,000. And that does not factor in the murder rate per income level. So, contrary to Jewish paranoia, Jews seem to me to be relatively safe. It is much more dangerous to be Black than Jewish. https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/08/10/african-american-homicide-rate-nearly-quadruple-national-average-11680

      • RoHa
        RoHa on January 10, 2019, 2:38 am

        “It is much more dangerous to be Black than Jewish. ”

        Then the sensible thing to do is stop.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 10, 2019, 7:54 am

        Keith,
        Those are not statistically valid assumptions. If the Jewish population is about 5% of the White population the murder rate amongst the Jewish population could be higher than the black rate. I don’t think it is. But without an answer to the breakdown within the white murder victims your conclusions are invalid.

        From 1950-1968 there were 9 lynchings of African Americans in the US. Those numbers do not have a significant effect on the murder rate of black Americans. But that doesn’t mean that racism didn’t exist or African Americans were not afraid of lynching.

      • Keith
        Keith on January 10, 2019, 11:29 am

        JON66- “If the Jewish population is about 5% of the White population the murder rate amongst the Jewish population could be higher than the black rate.”

        And what, our anti-Semitic media is suppressing this information even as the ADL hunts down every little hint of anti-Semitism it can find? Your assertion is so preposterous that I am surprised that you made it. It isn’t up to me to “prove” that Jewish life in the US isn’t one continuous pogrom, if you have actual empirical data let us see it. And I don’t mean any of the ADL’s bogus “hate crimes,” a special category designed to misrepresent the situation. Speaking of lynchings, in US history how many Blacks versus how many Jews? How many unarmed Blacks killed by police versus how many Jews? Your contention that the murder rate for Jews “could” be comparable to Blacks is offensive. And you wonder why Blacks take umbrage? Adjusting for race and economic data, I suspect that Jews are the safest ethno-religious group in the US, and nothing I have seen suggests otherwise.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 10, 2019, 5:11 pm

        hophmi: “You’re just a gutter antisemite who regularly dismisses antisemitism as a fabricated problem.”

        Isn’t it telling how “most of the Jewish community” (your words) fabricated antisemitism this time?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 10, 2019, 6:23 pm

        “Then the sensible thing to do is stop.” “RoHa”

        You really must tell us, one day, how that is done.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 10, 2019, 6:23 pm

        Keith,
        Once again. We don’t know. The only assertion I make is that your statistical assumptions are wrong. You don’t know. Your math is off. There is a statistical possibility that rate is higher for Jews than blacks. I think it is improbable but if you are going to cite stats than they should be accurate.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 10, 2019, 6:36 pm

        “Jon66”, please, stop embarrassing yourself.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 10, 2019, 6:44 pm

        “20.9/100,000 for Blacks”

        So that rate would mean 209 Jewish victims yearly for each million Jews, and about 940 murder victims per year for the 4.5 million Jews in the US.

        Granted, the police may not always know exactly what religion a victim is, but…

      • Keith
        Keith on January 10, 2019, 7:46 pm

        JON66- “Once again. We don’t know.”

        We most certainly can draw logical conclusions from logical inferences. You are the one with no data and no logical basis for your outlandish assertions. If the Jewish murder rate per 100,000 was the same as for Blacks (20.9), then the murder rate for non-Jewish whites would be 1.9. Thus the murder rate for Ashkenazi Jews would be over 4 times that of Hispanics and over 10 times that of non-Jewish whites, a ridiculous assertion on your part. What is the basis for your assertion, other than it is statistically possible if we ignore obvious reality? You Zionists engage in pilpul to defend ludicrous assertions of American Jewish victimhood to justify your ideology. Your commenter profile claims that you are a surgeon. Hard to believe what with your stubborn refusal to deal with reality. Or are you really a troll, seeing how long you can get me to respond to your nonsense? A sorry example of some of the garbage which has found its way onto the Mondoweiss comments section.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on January 10, 2019, 9:26 pm

        “You really must tell us, one day, how that is done.”

        I really don’t know, but I suspect it is a bit trickier than stopping being Jewish.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 10, 2019, 11:02 pm

        Keith,
        Once again. Not an assertion. A possibility.
        Not obvious reality if we have NO real data regarding the population you wish to measure.
        I have no idea of the murder rate comparison amongst people of different religions, but neither do you.
        If your hypothesis can’t be statistically proven it’s pointless.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 11, 2019, 11:38 am

        “I really don’t know, but I suspect it is a bit trickier than stopping being Jewish.” “RoHa”

        And don’t forget, a Jewish person also has a much greater choice in how much and which aspects of his “identity” he wishes to invoke, and how they are interpreted and represented. Something denied many other people.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 11, 2019, 11:57 am

        “I have no idea of the murder rate comparison amongst people of different religions, but neither do you.” “Jon66”

        Great! So you can stop all those unsubstantiated complaints about “increased anti-semitism” now?

  13. James Canning
    James Canning on January 8, 2019, 12:20 pm

    Chuck Schumer is willing to help suppress free speech in the US, to enable Israel to continue its endless occupation of the West Bank and its program of illegal settlements in that territory. What a surprise.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 8, 2019, 2:40 pm

      Yes, first they disenfranchise Palestinians and now US Americans. And the latter without firing a single bullet or act of terrorism, because the enemy is within. What are the US actually protecting with their “homeland security”?

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 8, 2019, 4:48 pm

        Talk,
        When were they enfranchised?

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 8, 2019, 6:00 pm

        Enfranchised? When Palestine became a state under mandate and Ottomans habitually living in this area became citizens of this state.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 8, 2019, 6:29 pm

        Talk.
        What elections were held in the mandate state? What body did they vote for? Were women allowed to vote as well? I couldn’t find any info?

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 9, 2019, 9:42 am

        Jon66: “What elections were held in the mandate state? What body did they vote for? Were women allowed to vote as well? I couldn’t find any info?”

        No elections were held, because self goverment and especially majority ruling was denied by the mandatory on behalf of the Zionists and their colonialization of Palestine which was enforced upon the people of Palestine.

        You should know the basics by now, Jon66.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on January 9, 2019, 6:08 pm

        Talk,
        If there were no elections or votes, then they never were enfranchised. Therefore not disenfranchised.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 9, 2019, 6:23 pm

        “When were they (the Palestinians) enfranchised?” “Jon66”

        When George Washington wrote:

        “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 10, 2019, 4:53 pm

        Jon66: “Talk, If there were no elections or votes, then they never were enfranchised. Therefore not disenfranchised.”

        To disenfranchise does not necesseraly only mean to take away someone’s right to vote, but also to deprive someone of power, rights or privileges in general.

    • genesto
      genesto on January 8, 2019, 4:26 pm

      Schumer is Israel’s ‘shomer’ (guardian) in the Congress, as he has so publicly, and proudly, announced in the past.

      He and Sheldon ‘I wish I had served in the Israeli Army instead’ Adelson should pack their bags and move to Tel Aviv!

  14. hophmi
    hophmi on January 9, 2019, 3:15 pm

    Typical of the comment section here to be overtly antisemitic.

    • amigo
      amigo on January 9, 2019, 5:05 pm

      “Typical of the comment section here to be overtly antisemitic.” hopknee

      Could you expand somewhat hoppy.

      Or does asking you to be more substantive make me an Antisemite also.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on January 9, 2019, 6:16 pm

      “Typical of the comment section here to be overtly antisemitic.”

      “Hophmi”, try and remember what “wondering Jew” says, and stop getting all famished:

      “Unfortunately Hitler gave antisemitism a bad name. and the word jew hatred is only worse. i think that viewing the jews as a distinct national or economic class that is antagonistic to other national or economic groups (particularly if one puts it in historical perspective without painting with too wide a brush)is a viable argument.” “WJ”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on January 9, 2019, 8:28 pm

        hophmi- on the question of rashida tlaib’s tweeting here is my thought: unless one can point to another example of the congress legislating against boycotts this seems to be a highly unusual act and as such deserves special scrutiny. Legal scrutiny with a legal scholar explaining examples of other such circumstances and how legislatures might deal with a battle of this nature, but not this specific battle, then we might get an idea about whether anti BDS legislation should be considered or not.

        but i did not come here to say that. I am dragged here against my will by mooser quoting me. i am flattered that he quotes me at will, when i know how difficult it is to find an old comment these days on this web site’s archived comments, unless one has filed them away for a rainy day, which apparently he has.

        the phrase “hitler has given antisemitism a bad name” is another attempt at dry humor.

        but it contains some truth: as in:

        the idea that the jews as a group have specific interests that are contrary to the interests of other groups at any given moment is certainly feasible. For example: advocacy of a policy that promotes the interests of the nonJews in Poland (for example) and considers policies against the interests of Jews to make sure they/we don’t get too many seats in the law schools (you know that training in pilpul somehow improves our LSAT’s) unless special measures are taken against them, is at the very least something that can be discussed. (At least those who advocated that were proud of the phrase: I am against the Jews, unlike those who hang out here, who pillory the Jews left and right and then tell us that we are somehow misinterpreting their animus due to our predilection for paranoia. Disgusting they are.) Thus, advocacy of policies against the Jews in and of itself is certainly contrary to the color blind society envisioned by MLK, but nonetheless is something that might conceivably be discussed without getting apoplectic. And indeed it is the advent of Hitler and his advocacy getting out of hand until it culminated in that famous bit of “unfriendliness” towards the Jews that has made it difficult to discuss history in a calm fashion.

        I hope you don’t mind, hophmi, that I addressed you rather than the archivist himself.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 10, 2019, 6:31 pm

        “but it contains some truth: as in:”

        I knew I could count on you, “Yonah”. Keep it up!

        “I am dragged here against my will by mooser quoting me.”

        Must have been quite a struggle!

        There’s an easy work-around for searching comment archives. Keep pressing “more comments” until the entire archive (or the portion of it you need) is on the page, and then use your browser’s find-on-page feature.

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