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O’Rourke says special relationship with Israel goes against US values of equality and dignity

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On Wednesday night, Beto O’Rourke spoke at the University of New Hampshire and said that Palestinian conditions don’t meet American values of “fundamental human rights and human dignity” and that the relationship with Israel is hurting America’s image in the world.

Asked if he would condemn Israeli, Saudi and Turkish human rights violation, O’Rourke said:

These truths that we hold so dear — that we are all created equal– “all of us” needs to mean, “All of us,” not relationships of convenience for short term security gains but relationships that allow us to continue to be the example for so much of the rest of the world. And we cannot be that if we do not believe in the fundamental human rights and human dignity and safety of our fellow human beings regardless of what side of the line they may stand or sit on.

The only way that I know that we can help to secure that in the Middle East specifically with the Palestinian Authority and Israel is to have two states whose people are guaranteed their security, their safety, their dignity and their political rights. Right now of course we do not have that.

O’Rourke was responding to a Palestinian-American woman. “As an American who stands for the ideals that this country was supposedly built on, dignity justice and equality, I really want those ideals to be seen in Israel and Palestine for both Palestinians and Israelis,” she said, and then went on to ask O’Rourke if he would “hold Israel accountable for its human rights and international law violations,” as well as Turkey and Saudi Arabia too. She was cheered by the crowed.

Then O’Rourke went on for a couple of minutes in this video posted to Facebook on Wednesday by the questioner.

Thank you for your questions and the way in which you posed them and the context that you provided for everyone here. You’re right, we’ve got this opportunity to live our values. And these truths that we hold so dear, that we are all created equal. All of us needs to mean, All of us, not relationships of convenience for short term security gains but relationships that allow us to continue to be the example for so much of the rest of the world. And we cannot be that if we do not believe in the fundamental human rights and human dignity and safety of our fellow human beings regardless of what side of the line they may stand or sit on.

The only way that I know that we can help to secure that in the Middle East specifically with the Palestinian Authority and Israel is to have two states whose people are guaranteed their security, their safety, their dignity and their political rights. Right now of course we do not have that. And we have problems on both sides. I don’t know that we have a willing partner on the part of the Palestinian Authority.

I know that in Prime Minister Netanyahu we have someone who has openly sided with racists in that country, someone who has warned about Arabs coming to the polls, someone who seeks to exploit division and fear and hatred, that is not somebody who is negotiating in good faith.

When I visited the West Bank and met a young woman perhaps your age… What surprised me when I was talking to her about a two state solution is that she said I don’t care. Whether it’s one state or two state, I want to be treated with dignity. I don’t want to be patted down and searched every time I go to work or try to go to school. I just want to live like everyone else just wants to live.

We are about to lose the last best chance for a two-state solution. On one side wee are changing the facts on the ground. If we continue to allow settlement construction and expansion. On the other side, we are going to fail an opportunity for good faith and good will to make sure that we can guarantee the security of the Israeli people.

So, dignity, safety and security for all concerned, that has to be our policy and our actions have to follow suit.

The questioner later wrote on her Facebook page that O’Rourke had failed to answer her questions re Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and refunding UNRWA.

While I am most definitely disappointed by Beto’s inability to answer my concise questions regarding UNRWA, BDS and accountability for our allies, I am glad that so many people in the audience during my question and after felt compelled to tell me that they also thought he didn’t answer the question and voiced their concern for the situation in Palestine as well. I am glad that the dignity and human rights is an important issue even to Americans who are disconnected from the conflict and I hope we can continue together to hold our politicians accountable and show them that we will not accept progressive politics that exclude Palestinians.

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I haven’t read his statement closely enough to parse his words and see precisely where I agree and disagree, and why the questioner was not satisfied, but that is maybe besides the point. This is crossing the Rubicon. Bernie Sanders might have been the prophet that led the way, but O’Rourke seems to be taking it to the next level. Those who supported Rabin did so out of dual purposes: to help the Palestinians and… Read more »

O’Rourke says special relationship with Israel goes against US values of equality and dignity ———————————- I didn’t hear him say that. I just heard him regurgitate carefully- crafted, well-rehearsed two-state talking points. Two states is the only answer. It’s not happening. Because: “We have problems on both sides. I don’t know that we have a willing partner on the part of the Palestinian Authority. I know that in Prime Minister Netanyahu we have someone who… Read more »

The base is forcing these people to confront the choice between money and morality. Morality is not on the side of Israel, despite its highly funded cover story, blanketing the entire continent (for now).

The applause for the questioner from those at the town hall was revealing. Beto’s focusing the issue on morality was a game-changing analysis. I haven’t encountered a better case for advancing equality to flesh out plausible two-state proposals. I look forward to reading, from any source, about game plans for advancing equality on the political agenda.

The only politician who has spoken the truth about israel is Ilhan Omar and unfortunately she isn’t running for president , nor could she. And she is being hounded mercilessly by the jackals in the pro-zionist crowd and of course undefended by her fellow democrats, demonized by republicans and others who despise her for being a black woman, a muslim and an immigrant from those shit-hole countries fearless leader spoke about. I don’t see anyone… Read more »