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Bernie Sanders: Still Progressive Except for Palestine

Opinion
on 45 Comments

A text message appeared on my phone a few days ago from the newly-minted Bernie Sanders campaign. The message reported the “HUGE NEWS” that Sanders “JUST” announced he is running, and asking me if I’m ‘in.’  I texted back, asking about his position on Palestine, and was told where I could donate to the Sanders campaign. For whatever reason, I wasted my time with a few more texts, and got responses such as “I understand, have a great day!” Eventually, the question was answered, and it was the same tired refrain we hear from any PEP politician. That response is included here in its entirety:

“In response to you (sic) first message, he supports diplomatic efforts to end the occupation and broker a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine which allows both peoples to coexist in peace, security and dignity. He also supports steps to put pressure on both sides in response to policies that undermine that goal.”

I will break down this tired old statement into its component parts, and highlight the nonsense of each.

‘Diplomatic efforts to end the occupation.’ Just what would these be? More negotiations? Israel, in its oh-so-magnanimous way, is forever saying it is willing to negotiate without preconditions, as it has done for decades. This means that, while negotiations are ongoing, Israel will continue to occupy the West Bank, bulldozing Palestinians homes to make room for more illegal Israeli settlers; continue blockading the Gaza Strip, periodically bombing residences, hospitals, press vehicles and United Nations refugee centers and have the IDF protect illegal settlers as they harass and kill innocent, unarmed Palestinians.

And we must keep in mind the very basic fact that negotiations can only be successful when each party has something the other wants, that it can only obtain by surrendering something it has. Israel takes whatever it wants from Palestine with complete impunity. Why would Israel not want to ‘negotiate’? It has been doing it for years, and getting everything it wants, as it surrenders nothing.

Another important reason that negotiations are not necessary, is because international law clearly states that the occupation and blockade are illegal. If someone robs a bank, the police don’t work with the robber and the bank manager to determine how much of the money will be returned to the bank, and how much the robber will keep. There is no need for Palestine to negotiate with anyone.

‘Broker a two-state solution.’ And just how would the illustrious senator from Vermont accomplish this? To ‘broker’ implies negotiations, and we’ve just discussed how pointless and unnecessary those are. And with the Israeli government saying there will never be a two-state solution, how is such a dream to be realized?

‘Both peoples to coexist in peace, security and dignity.’ Lofty goals, indeed, but how will they be achieved? Most PEP politicians discuss a ‘disarmed’ Palestine. Assuming there is a two-state solution, is it reasonable for one of those states to be completely unarmed when it borders its mortal enemy, one that has spent over seventy years trying to destroy it? Why should the Palestinians be deprived of the ability to defend themselves from foreign aggression?

‘Put pressure on both sides in response to policies that undermine that goal (both peoples coexisting in peace, security and dignity).’ This implies that there is fault on both sides, which shows Sanders either lacks any understanding of the situation, or would prefer to kowtow to Israel than support justice. Israel has a powerful military, including nuclear weapons, and is backed by the most powerful nation on the planet. Palestine has no army, no navy and no air force. The Gaza Strip is blockaded by land, sea and air, and the West Bank is occupied. Israel deprives the people of Palestine of clean water, and grants them only minimal food requirements. The Israeli army shoots to death unarmed Palestinian men, women and children, some of whom may have thrown stones at them, but many of whom were clearly-marked as medics or members of the press.

My final text in this rather pointless stream was to express my regret that Sanders doesn’t respect international law. Only a few relative points, among many, will be included herein:

Lastly, let us all remember that the occupation of Palestine by Israel has been declared illegal by the United Nations.

So as Bernie Sanders rides his populist wave across the dismal political landscape of the United States, he will continue to burnish his PEP credentials. He will decry income inequality (as he should); he will condemn usurious lending practices that exploit students (again, very commendable).  He will remove the unearned tarnish that socialism has in many corners in the U.S. (up to and including this point, I support him). But he will cravenly talk about negotiations between Israel and Palestine, blaming both sides for the decades-long situation, and not dare to speak of true solutions.

In case he doesn’t know what they are, I am happy to inform him. All that is required is an end to U.S. financial aid to Israel; the recognition of Palestine with borders as decreed (however unjustly) by the United Nations in 1947; the establishment of the Palestinian capital as Jerusalem and vast amounts of financial aid to Palestine to rebuild its infrastructure and provide much-needed medical and other treatment for the Palestinians. This would be in keeping with both international law and the U.S.’s oft-stated but never meant ‘humanitarian relief.’ Finally, the right of return, guaranteed to all refugees by international law, must be granted to the Palestinians.

Will this happen? Will the senator from Vermont ever take such a principled stand? I do not suggest holding one’s breath in anticipation of such a move. And for me, a candidate who is PEP is not one I will ever vote for.

About Robert Fantina

Robert Fantina is an author and activist for peace and international human rights. A U.S. citizen, he moved to Canada following the 2004 presidential election. His writing appears regularly on Counterpunch.org, Warisacrime.org, and other sites. Mr. Fantina resides near Toronto, Ontario.

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45 Responses

  1. VQTilley
    VQTilley on March 8, 2019, 5:14 pm

    I was punching the air in support reading this until the *hey, what?* reference to the 1947 partition plan. This might have been meant as a tad facetious, but I don’t think the 1947 partition plan is helpful to invoke, even in its purported importance to a “principle of partition” (an Israeli argument). The “Arab state” that the plan carved out of Mandate Palestine was a gerrymandered travesty, not viable even then and certainly nonsensical now. The only good reason to mention this plan (appended in UNGA Resolution 181) is to recognize afresh what the Arab states members argued at the time – that it illegally divided a state that was established and designed to be one nation-state, violating the trust obligations established by the League of Nations. And to recall that the 1947 resolution didn’t call simply for two states but for “two states in economic union” – a condition Israel can never accept because it would imperil Jewish statehood. The more we look at the situation in Mandate Palestine the more we have to admit that partition is and always was a chimera and a lie.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on March 9, 2019, 11:20 am

      @VQTilley

      Well said.

      Also, for the record re UNGA Res. 181, the Partition Plan:

      Indigenous Palestinian Arabs, who then made up 69% of the population, rejected the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181, Nov. 29/47) for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% were of foreign origin,* thousands were illegal immigrants) and privately owned only between 6% and 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal foundation, contrary to the British Class A Mandate and the 1941 Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they receive 56% of Palestine, including its most fertile areas. (*10% of Palestine’s Jewish population consisted of native Palestinian/Arab Jews who were vehemently anti-Zionist.)

      In 1947, 48% of the total land area of Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. (As noted above, total Jewish privately owned land was only between 6% and 7%.) About 45% of the total land area was state owned, i.e. by citizens of Palestine and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) Importantly, only 30% of the Jewish immigrants had taken out citizenship. (The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry and the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area.)

      Rubbing salt into the wound, the United States quashed a proposal based on international law put forth by Arab delegates at the UN that a referendum be conducted in Palestine to determine the wishes of the majority regarding the Partition Plan. The United States also thwarted their request to have the matter referred to the International Court of Justice.

      Land ownership by Sub-district in all of mandated Palestine, 1947: Acre: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian Arab owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian Arab owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian Arab owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian Arab owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisan: 44% Palestinian Arab owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% Palestinian Arab owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian Arab owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian Arab owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian Arab owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian Arab owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba (Negev): 15% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      No wonder Palestinians rejected the recommendatory only Partition Plan. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel effective 15 May 1948, after Jewish forces had already dispossessed and expelled 400,000 Palestinians (e.g., 30,000 from West Jerusalem in March and a further 30,000 in May, 60,000 from Haifa in April, 75,000 from Jaffa in late April and early May), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship.

      When war erupted due to necessary intervention by reluctant outnumbered/outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

      In 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Haaretz, January 9, 2004)

      During the war Israel seized 78% of Palestine (22% more than proposed by the
      UNGA Partition Plan, including large portions of the proposed Palestinian state, e.g., Jaffa and Acre.) After driving out about 400,000 between late 1947 and 15 May 1948, Jewish Zionists of foreign origin expelled 400,000 more Palestinians for a total of about 800,000 (according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) and went on to destroy over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. It was only the beginning of the Zionist’s conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of its indigenous Arab inhabitants. By June, 1967, about 1,200,000 were dispossessed and driven out.

      • gamal
        gamal on March 9, 2019, 12:27 pm

        “Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), ”

        In the Levant and much of North Africa pretty much the whole of the Public Sector was funded by Awqaf, hospitals, schools, libraries, parks, zawiya and all sorts of institutions and amenities freely available to all, mostly, by the people for the people in theory at least if not always in practise.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on March 10, 2019, 8:01 am

        Misterioso,

        Even if property status were different, it remains irrelevant. Property has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty, and invasion by a horde that has declared from the start its intent to subvert national sovereignty may not later acquire a say in the disposition of territorial sovereignty, meaning that even the Palestinian citizenship bestowed on a minority of Zionists by the colonialist, abusive British Mandate, i.e. after 1897, is illegitimate.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 10, 2019, 10:10 am

        I must correct some legal aspects of statements asserted about land.

        Land of awqaf is private land just as the lands of religious endowments are private property in the US.

        When the GOI took these lands under its control, that action was theft.

        Communal land of Ottoman Islamic law is comparable to private land held in a private trust in perpetuity and inalienably. When loans were made against such trust, the collateral was usufruct and not real property.

        Thus Palestinian ownership of real property should be considered larger than usually described while Zionist ownership of real property was practically nonexistent before the 1947-8 genocide on which SOI is founded.

        It is completely proper to consider the white racist European Zionist colonial-settlers to be invaders, interlopers, thieves, and genocidaires. No other designation should be used.

        Because the IDF and the GOI routinely engage in genocidal acts, the vast majority of adult colonial-settlers must be considered genocidaires. The minority of colonial-settlers that do not participate in acts of genocide are beneficiaries of genocide.

        US citizens and residents that support the SOI violate 18 U.S. Code § 1091 (Genocide) — usually (c) & (d). An American that serves in the IDF violates (a) and is potentially subject to execution — a harsher punishment than can be received under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 10, 2019, 12:01 pm

        I have to add to Morris’ observation. Zionist militias in 47-8 should be considered rape and murder gangs.

        In a sane world the more Americans learn about IDF and pre-state militia actions the more disgusted Americans should be.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 10, 2019, 12:15 pm

        One last comment for today. I have some real legal work to do.

        Opposing the abolition of SOI today is as evil as opposing abolition of US slavery before the US Civil War.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on March 10, 2019, 12:22 pm

        “US citizens and residents that support the SOI violate 18 U.S. Code § 1091 (Genocide) — usually (c) & (d).”

        This would apply to those “that support” in material and financial ways, I would think.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 11, 2019, 10:40 am

        Incitement, conspiracy, and attempt are potentially extremely broad and can encompass many activities. One could possibly argue unconstitutional vagueness as a defense, but that particular defense probably would not be effective.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on March 11, 2019, 12:09 pm

        “Incitement, conspiracy, and attempt are potentially extremely broad and can encompass many activities.”

        Yes, but it might be best to restrict prosecution to the kinds of activities which produce receipts or records.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on March 11, 2019, 2:10 pm

        Yoni Fallic: “Thus Palestinian ownership of real property should be considered larger than usually described while Zionist ownership of real property was practically nonexistent before the 1947-8 genocide on which SOI is founded.”

        The British Mandatory acknowleged these special property rights and concluded in its Village Statistics of 1945 that Arabs owned about 49% of Palestine. Jewishs property less than 6% and public (state) land also less than 6% and the rest was non cultivable land in the Negev desert. The British Mandatory also knowlegded Bedouin grazing rights.

        That was before the grand Zionist theft and its mass dispossesion, confiscations and lootings.

  2. Keith
    Keith on March 8, 2019, 5:22 pm

    ROBERT FANTINA- “Bernie Sanders: Still Progressive Except for Palestine”

    You have low standards for what constitutes “progressive.” Bernie Sanders is an imperialist and a militarist who verbally supports a handful of progressive causes. The Democratic Party is the graveyard of progressive movements, serving to co-opt any and all resistance to militarism and neoliberalism. Both of the major parties are agents of global corporate/financial domination and control, as is the entire political system which is completely subservient to private power.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak on March 8, 2019, 10:27 pm

      Ilhan Omar Backtracks After Calling Obama a “Pretty Face” Who “Got Away with Murder”

      … the freshman congresswoman ignited another controversy Friday when Politico published part of an interview in which Omar appeared to bash Barack Obama, the patron saint of the Democratic Party, as some sort of war-mongering, neoliberal shill.

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/ilhan-omar-barack-obama-pretty-face

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 9, 2019, 12:00 am

        When is Ilhan going to learn not to tell the truth?

      • Keith
        Keith on March 9, 2019, 1:12 am

        SIBIRIAK- “…Omar appeared to bash Barack Obama, the patron saint of the Democratic Party, as some sort of war-mongering, neoliberal shill.”

        To anyone even remotely in touch with reality, her comment was obviously true. The question remains why anyone in touch with reality would become a Democrat and then besmirch Obama? Is she Sanders on steroids? A sheep dog on steroids? A lot of talk to convince those who long to be convinced that the Democratic Party is anything other than the graveyard of progressive movements? Talk is cheap and, in my view, highly suspect. Besides, the power in our capitalist society is primarily outside government, politics a distraction from the actions of those who rule.

      • eljay
        eljay on March 9, 2019, 8:43 am

        || RoHa: When is Ilhan going to learn not to tell the truth? ||

        She’s dangerous. It would be tragic and horribly wrong – but not at all surprising – if she were to suffer a fatal “accident” in the near future.

    • CHUCKMAN
      CHUCKMAN on March 9, 2019, 6:50 am

      Absolutely right.

      Bernie is just the Imperial Lite brand.

      https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/

  3. VQTilley
    VQTilley on March 8, 2019, 5:22 pm

    P. S. That said, Bernie’s hogwash statement is a terrible disappointment. I don’t see how we’re supposed to vote for anyone who supports racist policies crushing millions of people. AIPAC crony Pelosi may be uneducable on this, but the other Dems, and Bernie, had better take heed.

  4. kylebisme
    kylebisme on March 8, 2019, 5:43 pm

    Palestine with borders as decreed (however unjustly) by the United Nations in 1947

    The UN never decreed any borders in 1947 or otherwise, rather though UNGA 181 they merely recommended borders for partitioning Palestine into two separate states. Furthermore, the idea of implementing a two state solution on the basis of those proposed borders is even more farcical now than it was back then, as much has changed in the many decades since that proposal. If there is ever to be peace established through a two state solution then the only reasonable means to that end is through negotiations on the basis of pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps in which at least most of the refugees voluntarily cede their right to return in favor of reparations and resettlement, as has long been the global consensus expressed though the UNGA’s annual Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resolution. Absent that the only reasonable alternative is a single state with equal rights for all, returning refugees included. Obviously most Israelis have no interest in either option though, and unfortunately that’s unlikely to change as long as the US remains committed to vetoing any actionable UNSC resolution which could persuade Israelis to start respecting international law.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on March 9, 2019, 5:51 am

      “… with mutually agreed land swaps in which at least most of the refugees voluntarily cede their right to return in favor of reparations and resettlement, as has long been the global consensus expressed though the UNGA’s annual Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resolution.”

      “Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, […]

      22. Calls for:
      (a) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem;
      b) The realization of the INALIABLE RIGHTS of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State;
      23. Stresses the need for a just resolution of the problem of Palestine refugees IN CONFORMITY with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948”

      I also want to remind that Israel has been violating this Security Council resolution for nearly 40 years:
      “5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

      6. Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to DISMANTLE THE EXISTING SETTLEMENTS and in particular to CEASE, on an urgent basis, THE ESTABLISHMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND PLANNING [!] OF SETTLEMENTS in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;”

      • kylebisme
        kylebisme on March 9, 2019, 1:09 pm

        It seems you imagine you’re arguing against what I wrote, but you’re not. Yes the settlements are illegal, which is why only mutually agreed land swaps are acceptable. And yes a just resolution for the refugees is necessary to archiving peace, which is why reparations an resettlement for the refugees in the context of a two state solution is only acceptable if it’s voluntary. Understood?

      • annie
        annie on March 9, 2019, 2:26 pm

        can you gives us an example of resolution by mutual agreement of something blatantly illegal? i’m trying to think of a model that doesn’t include sanctions, pressure or threats and i’m drawing a blank.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on March 10, 2019, 7:07 am

        No kylebisme,

        you claimed that “mutually agreed land swaps in which at least most of the refugees voluntarily cede their right to return in favor of reparations and resettlement, has long been the global consensus expressed though the UNGA’s annual Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resolution”

        But there is nothing in the resolution that indicates what you are saying. To the contrary. The resolution doesn’t call for mutually agreed land swaps, but for a full withdrawal. And it doesn’t call for refugees to voluntarily cede their right in favor of reparations and resettlement, but for a just refuge solution in conformity with resolution 194 which allows the refugees to choose between repatriation or compensation.

        That’s the global consensus expressed in this resolution, not what you are saying.

        And the only reason I quoted the Security Council resolution was not (only) to prove that settlements are illegal, but that it calls for their dismantlement.

        So don’t confuse international law and resolutions with the demands of the oppressor which he modifies into being even more unacceptable as soon as they Palestinians are willing to accept them.

      • kylebisme
        kylebisme on March 12, 2019, 3:18 am

        @annie

        If you stole my bicycle from me that would be blatantly illegal. If I suggested you can keep my bicycle if you give me your lawnmower and you agreed to that and did so, then that bicycle would be legally yours. Understood?

        @Talkback

        You implore me no to “confuse international law and resolutions with the demands of the oppressor” but you’re the one who is confused here as I’ve most certainly done nothing of the sort.

        The possibility of mutually agreed land swaps is acknowledged in the portion of the resolution which reads “Calls upon all States . . . Not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders . . . other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”, and also in the endorsement to the road map for peace which called for a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements”. That’s not to say Palestinians are under any obligation to agree to any land swaps, only that the option is there to do so. The same goes for the refugees, they are under no obligation to accept reparations and resettlement, but the option is there for them to do so, or it least it would be if Israelis ever muster the decency to make such an offer.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on March 9, 2019, 9:28 am

      @ kylebisme

      I forgot to clarify that what I quoted from the resolution was contradicting your claims:
      “… with mutually agreed land swaps in which at least most of the refugees voluntarily cede their right to return in favor of reparations and resettlement, as has long been the global consensus expressed though the UNGA’s annual Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resolution.”

  5. Kay24
    Kay24 on March 9, 2019, 12:00 am

    No great leader, politician, or president, can go against the brick wall carefully built, and cemented, by the zionists, in this great country. No bulldozer, even Caterpillar, can even make a dent, in a system so foolproof, that when any American brings the attention of the country to this enormous wall, fellow Americans put the US Constitution aside to attack them. The layers and layers of bricks are part of the master plan put in place by Israel’s lobbies, that have inserted themselves into the workings of Congress, the media, think tanks, and every place they can think of, to make sure no one speaks against this, and will always speak up or protect, an occupier.
    When it comes to Israel, it seems the world’s greatest superpower, is powerless.

    Bernie Sanders like many others know this, to win elections one must be willing to remain silent and not criticize that wall, be willing to ignore it, and pretend it is not really there.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on March 10, 2019, 8:10 am

      Kay,

      That democrat bull is way past its swallow-by date. If a politician is “willing to remain silent and not criticize that wall, be willing to ignore it, and pretend it is not really there”, he agrees 100% with said wall and that’s it. Because the only useful feature of a politician is his expressed position. Shame on that imperialist mountebank Sanders, and shame on his supporters, too.

  6. CHUCKMAN
    CHUCKMAN on March 9, 2019, 6:46 am

    “Bernie Sanders: Still Progressive Except for Palestine”

    I don’t really see that.

    He’s not my idea of progressive in lots of things.

    His record on the military and the security state is not all that different than the main political mob.

    Ditto, America’s empire.

    And, of course, Israel is a key part of that, America’s pied-a-terre in the Middle East, a special kind of colony.

    Sanders has some domestic policies he advocates that are indisputably progressive – in healthcare and education – but it is important to understand that these are literally impossible to implement in the United States.

    And that’s especially true given the empire-military-security establishment burning through money.

    So, they are effectively little more than nice-sounding slogans. Rather safe.

    Also, despite his attractive rhetoric, he would be a terribly ineffective President.

    His dealings with Hillary Clinton conclusively proved that he does not have the capacity to deal appropriately with a truly hard-nosed member of the power establishment.

    She literally cheated him out of the nomination, he said virtually nothing and went away with his tail between his legs… to campaign for her.

    Well, when it comes the imperial-military-security establishment, all the big oak tables at meetings are surrounded by such figures.

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/

  7. Richard Baldwin Cook
    Richard Baldwin Cook on March 9, 2019, 8:56 am

    Bernie should just draw the map, and then announce the names of the organizations in Israel and Palestine that agree with his map – that agree with the forced population transfer that must accompany any two State solution.

    Alternatively Bernie and everybody else should endorse representation elections, which is what the UN was asked to do in 1947.

    The only equitable solution is a merged government. The only real issue is how to enforce this upon intransigent Zionist Israel.

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen on March 9, 2019, 8:56 am

    ok Sanders stance is “milquetoast” at best. However at this point does not get any better. Sad but true.

  9. captADKer
    captADKer on March 9, 2019, 9:20 am

    [[…the right of return, guaranteed to all refugees by international law, must be granted to the Palestinians.]]

    a was waiting for the punchline to this thoroughly enumerated farce.
    the timing and delivery was perfect- cracked me up.
    well done, indeed.

  10. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on March 9, 2019, 11:52 am

    And with Ilham Omar present he ain’t gona make it.

  11. genesto
    genesto on March 9, 2019, 4:50 pm

    I’m about as anti-Zionist as a non Palestinian who hasn’t suffered under the Occupation can possibly be. Nevertheless, I believe (or, at least, want to believe) that Bernie is essentially a decent man with more integrity than most anyone in Congress. He is a liberal Zionist, but he has recognized publicly, as he did in his campaign debate in NY with HRC, that the Palestinians need to be treated with respect, their needs taken seriously, if a real peace is ever to be realized.

    I see Bernie as as liberal Zionist on his way to becoming an anti-Zionist, as I have seen many do during my 15 years as an activist in this movement. Setting labels aside, though, I trust that Bernie would be true to his word and treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity should he assume office and take on the issue as President. And that, really, is all we can ever hope for.

  12. echinococcus
    echinococcus on March 10, 2019, 8:23 am

    “He will decry income inequality (as he should); he will condemn usurious lending practices that exploit students (again, very commendable). ”

    In other words, he’ll continue asking for slightly larger crumbs to fall from the imperialist owners’ table where they are eating up colonial meat, into the mouth of their “middle class” butcher flunkeys.

    “He will remove the unearned tarnish that socialism has in many corners in the U.S.”
    Au contraire, he’ll give an even worse fame to Socialism. Not very different from other impostors calling themselves “Socialist”, like Zionists and other colonial mass murderers.

  13. eljay
    eljay on March 10, 2019, 3:03 pm

    … In case he doesn’t know what they are, I am happy to inform him. All that is required is an end to U.S. financial aid to Israel; the recognition of Palestine with borders as decreed (however unjustly) by the United Nations in 1947; the establishment of the Palestinian capital as Jerusalem …

    The U.N. decreed two states plus Jerusalem as a Free City. IMO that should be the starting point for negotiations on how to alter borders and divvy up Jerusalem.

    (My preference is: Adjust the borders of the secular and democratic states through sincere negotiations but leave Jerusalem’s “Free City” status alone.)

    … and vast amounts of financial aid to Palestine to rebuild its infrastructure and provide much-needed medical and other treatment for the Palestinians. …

    Yup. More financial support – and political, military and economic support – to Palestine and less to Israel. (And don’t worry about Israel: Zionists frequently boast that the “Jewish State” doesn’t need any help from anyone.)

    … Finally, the right of return, guaranteed to all refugees by international law, must be granted to the Palestinians. …

    Or compensation in lieu, with offers of citizenship from countries currently hosting refugees.

    • RoHa
      RoHa on March 10, 2019, 8:24 pm

      “through sincere negotiations”

      For that you need sincere negotiators. None evident on the Israeli side.

  14. klm90046
    klm90046 on March 11, 2019, 12:41 am

    I have said it before, and I say it now: These liberal Zionists like Bernie Sanders are more dangerous than the Likud variety. The latter you can criticize, attack, wage war against. What do you do with these soft-spoken, mealy mouthed, love-spouting supporters of colonialism?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on March 12, 2019, 6:37 am

      “What do you do with these soft-spoken, mealy mouthed, love-spouting supporters of colonialism?”

      Their followers (essentially the Liberals) aren’t necessarily stupid. There is often (middle-class) material gain or mental tranquillity to be obtained by not making the effort to see through the transparent veil of imperial warmongers of the Sanders variety.

  15. JLWarner
    JLWarner on March 11, 2019, 2:14 am

    Robert Fantina

    “And for me, a candidate who is PEP is not one I will ever vote for.”

    OK, who in the field will you vote for? And who did you vote for in 2016, and what were the consequences of that vote?

  16. JLWarner
    JLWarner on March 11, 2019, 2:25 am

    Robert Fantina

    Your exchange with Sanders campaign never touched on what policy you want Sanders to adopt. Your exchange had 2 parts: First you rightly insisted on a statement on the Israel-Palestine situation. Second, you correctly lecture the campaign that Israel violates international law.

    But what policy do you want Sanders to embrace?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on March 12, 2019, 6:09 am

      Irrelevant nonsense.
      You don’t need to know Fantina’s shoe size to know for sure that Sanders is obviously a warmongering Imperialist, Zionist mountebank, in the business of gathering back to the fold the people who have finally decided to stop supporting the Democrat impostors.

  17. punterweger
    punterweger on March 12, 2019, 4:19 pm

    @ ecchi – you, Fantina, and most of the commentators on Bernie, Omar and others of the new class of progressives are terminally irrelevant to the political process. We all know these people are not perfect or represent “the” solution to US imperialism or Zionist supremacy, but they are certainly making a bigger contribution to fighting it than all your rhetorical militancy.

    • Keith
      Keith on March 12, 2019, 6:32 pm

      PUNTERWEGER- “… but they are certainly making a bigger contribution to fighting it than all your rhetorical militancy.”

      Fighting what? When you vote for a neoliberal militaristic imperialist in the so called democratic process, you are, in fact, bestowing legitimacy upon militaristic imperialism and neoliberalism. The nature of our capitalist political system is such that except for an occasional fluke, politicians essentially work for the rich and the corporations which provide the funding to get elected. I vote Third party as a protest vote knowing that they will probably not be elected, but that a strong protest can be more effective than supporting a back-stabbing liar. The major emphasis should be outside the political system. In this regard, it should be recognized that the Green Party effectively destroyed the Green social movement.

  18. Kris
    Kris on March 13, 2019, 1:29 am

    Thousands of volunteers are “Texting for Bernie.” These are the people who send out the texts, and they are also the people who reply to you when you text back.

    These volunteers are not Bernie Sanders’ staff or spokespeople. Next time you write about a politician, Robert Fantina, at least talk to the politician or a member of their staff, instead of exchanging texts with some random, anonymous volunteer.

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