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Biden and Harris pal around with a politician called ‘racist’ by Sanders and O’Rourke

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Joe Biden has been stumbling since Senator Kamala Harris upbraided him at the debate June 27 for expressing nostalgia for the “civility” he had in the 1970s with segregationist southern senators whom he was able to work with despite political differences. Biden has now apologized for the comment.

It must be noted that Biden has many times expressed far greater warmth toward Israeli racist politicians, and not been called out: former prime minister Golda Meir, who said that Palestinians don’t exist, and who reportedly said, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us”; and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rallied supporters by saying that Arabs were coming to the polls “in droves” in 2015 and who this year “built his re-election campaign on racism [and] fearmongering” (according to the pro-Israel group J Street).

Both Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders have denounced Netanyahu as a racist.

Harris has been strongly supportive of Israel and she has gotten along fine with Netanyahu. The prime minister says they’ve discussed partnering in many ways. She has lately praised Israel’s human rights record, despite the fact that Netanyahu championed the law that declares Israel to be the “nation state of the Jewish people,” says Palestinians do not have a right to self-determination, and says Jewish land claims are superior to Palestinian ones, and Arabic has lower status than Hebrew.

Biden and Harris surely represent the traditional solid support of Democratic Party leaders for Israel’s rightwing leaders.

“Send a message to Bibi, I love him!” Biden told a Jewish group in 2014. He extolled his friendship with Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has… been my friend for over 30 years. We drive each other crazy. But he has truly been a personal friend for well over 30 years…. I said, Bibi, I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say, but I love you. (Laughter.) I agree with a lot he has to say. But if friends can’t acknowledge — if friends can’t acknowledge the very things that are acknowledged in each of our countries vis-à-vis one another, then it’s not much of a friendship.

Sen. Kamala Harris with Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. November 2017, from twitter.

Harris has kept right up with Biden by giving speeches at the rightwing Israel lobby group AIPAC, and bragging that she raised money for Israel as a girl. In one of those speeches she linked her support for Israel to the U.S. civil rights struggle and the famous attack on civil rights marchers in Selma in 1965. She said of her feelings for Israel,

it’s almost like saying when did you first realize you loved your family, or love your country, it just was always there.

If Biden’s forgiving attitude toward the southern senators he worked with in the 70’s is a problem, his fondness for the late Golda Meir ought to be a liability too. He has often related an anecdote about Meir during his visit to Israel in 1973 when he was 30 and a freshly-elected senator (surely a political necessity for fundraising purposes). He met Meir at her office and she explained that Israel’s secret weapon is that Jews have nowhere to go. Biden has told the story to Jewish audiences with Golda Meir as a hero.

History books are very clear that Meir was intolerant of Palestinians in terms that surely exceeded those southern senators. Meir denied their very existence, as quoted by Avi Shlaim in The Iron Wall.

“It is not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

These assertions are factually inaccurate not to say demeaning. Palestinian historians have shown that Palestinian identity arose around the turn of the last century, under Ottoman rule.

Meir regarded Arabs as implacable enemies. “She could not come to terms with the thought that maybe the Arabs felt than an injustice had been committed against them,” her own biographer wrote (per Shlaim). “She also rejected absolutely the possibility that some of the Arab demands might be justified. She refused to recognize that the Arabs felt humiliated.” Meir’s response to the ’67 war, when Israel took territory containing more than 1 million Palestinians, was that the Palestinians should end up with Jordanian citizenship, so as not to threaten Israel’s Jewish majority.

She was enraged by the emergence of dovish critics of the occupation, including Amos Oz and Yizhar Smilansky (Benny Morris relates in Righteous Victims). Jews have the “supreme morality,” she contended.

Meir’s most famous formulation was: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” That is a quotation from her oral autobiography, as edited by her close friend Marie Syrkin. Meir reportedly made the statement in different forms. She was even blunter in an Anti-Defamation League advertisement that ran in the Hollywood Reporter, as quoted by Ali Abunimah:

We can forgive [them] for killing our children. We cannot forgive them from forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with [them] when they love their children more than they hate us.

(One scholar has said that the quotes are impossible to verify in a primary source. But one did appear in a biography prepared by her close friend, and the ideas are surely consistent with Meir’s anti-Palestinian racism.)

I don’t expect Biden to apologize for his love for Netanyahu and his fondness for Golda Meir. Both those Israeli politicians are popular among many big donors to the Democratic Party. But who knows– maybe a progressive opponent in the presidential race will bring that racism up and follow Harris’s path to glory. Well, for some Democratic voters, it’s glory…

Philip Weiss

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

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22 Responses

  1. CigarGod on July 8, 2019, 8:36 am

    “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby.”

  2. GusCall on July 8, 2019, 9:30 am

    Thanks for the continuing and thorough coverage of the views of the Democratic candidates. Please keep it coming.
    (That said, I didn’t get the part about Harris’s path to glory. (?))

  3. Misterioso on July 8, 2019, 10:29 am

    A brief look at Golda Meir, born in the Ukraine, whose real name was Golda Mabovitch:

    Once they arrived in Israel, Mizrachim (Arab Jews) were treated little better than animals. Those from Yemen were shorn of their side locks and sprayed with DDT to “disinfect” and “delouse” them and crammed into unsanitary overcrowded camps. After a short while the Mizrachi immigrants were ordered to leave the camps and earn their keep by working at menial tasks in nearby large Ashkenazi settlements. Ben-Gurion compared them to the Africans who were brought to America as slaves. (Segev, 1949: The First Israelis …, p. 157)

    The fair-skinned Ashkenazi immigrants, however, were welcomed with open arms as equals and housed in the homes of dispossessed and expelled indigenous Christian and Muslim Palestinian Arabs. When Soviet immigrants arrived during 1969-70 Prime Minister Golda Meir greeted them at the airport declaring: “You are the real Jews. We have been waiting for you for twenty-five years…. You are a superior breed – you will provide us with heroes.” (Quoted by Joseph Massad, Zionism’s Others…, Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1996, pp. 61-62)

    Rabbi/Professor Henry Siegman, former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America: “Nothing more profoundly expresses the dishonesty of the dominant Israeli narrative and its perverseness than the statement directed at the Palestinians by Israel’s former prime minister Golda Meir: ‘We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we cannot forgive you for making us kill yours.’” (London Review of Books,Vol. 40 No. 10 · 24 May 2018 “The Two-State Solution: An Autopsy” by Henry Siegman.

    BTW, the first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was ordered by Prime Minister Golda Meir. Lost over the Israeli occupied Sinai and off course due to bad weather and a malfunctioning radio, Libyan airliner, flight 114, was deliberately shot down by Israeli jet fighters on February 21, 1973 on the orders of Prime Minister Golda Meir, killing 108 of its passengers and its entire French crew.

    • Kay24 on July 8, 2019, 12:49 pm

      What an evil bunch of humans, who have caused so much of anguish and pain, but still manages to appear as victims, from the time they were dumped into territories. that did not belong to them. President after President, keeps ignoring these human rights abuses, and keep sending billions of dollars in aid, so that they can keep committing their crimes, with the latest weaponry, and be protected from the boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, they truly deserve. The media continues to ignore Israel’s endless crimes against humanity, so shamefully.

    • JWalters on July 9, 2019, 6:46 pm

      Thanks for this very relevant information.

  4. edwardm on July 9, 2019, 1:51 pm

    Kamala Harris’ hypocrisy is breathtaking. Is she really anti segregationist? She doesn’t seem to have a problem with Israeli Apartheid.
    (South African English: /əˈpɑːrteɪd/; Afrikaans: [aˈpartɦəit], segregation; lit. “separateness”)

    Nation State Law.
    She is full of BS.

  5. JWalters on July 9, 2019, 6:44 pm

    Kamala Harris is practiced at providing the kind of “justice” that would fit well with Israel’s need to cover up crimes.
    “Kamala Harris Is No Progressive Prosecutor”
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/kamala-harris-is-no-progressive-prosecutor/

    Another great pretender.

  6. Jasonius Maximus on July 10, 2019, 10:40 am

    These are two of my least favorite Democratic candidates right now. Only marginally behind the likes of Cory “bought and paid for” Booker.

    Biden is nothing more than a relic of the very old white Democratic guard, that did nothing but hold back our nation when they had the power and numbers to push us forward. And have had to be dragged kicking, screaming and protesting with every last breath into the 21st century. Biden himself has to almost literally be beaten with a stick to show even the slightest bit of support for equal rights, gay marriage, Medicare for all, preexisting condition, access to abortion, green energy, you name it. He disagrees with almost every progressive idea and value of the modern era and was only on Obama’s ticket for the exact same reason he will put someone like Booker, or Harris, or Abrams on his ticket should he win the primaries. So why would he fight or push us forward as a nation on any of these core issues, if he doesn’t even believe or or actively support 90% of the Democratic platform? He has no place in Washington anymore, let alone the White House in the 21st century.

    Harris is nothing but a big donor and corporate stooge! She’s as as slimy, two-faced, and flawed as Hillary and would be a lame duck candidate. Even if she won the presidency, it would be because of American distaste for Trump and not the love of her policies, positions or track record. Which is what worries me most about 80% of the current Democratic candidates. She’d do nothing to push the nation forward, because the heads she’d have stomped on along the way to get there and the kind of people, corporations and PACs she would have taken money from would all but make her a lame duck. She is all talk and no action. None of her policies match up with her political, prosecutorial or social justice history, so why would any of that change, once she’s neck deep in the pockets of Saban, Singer, Soros, AIPAC, the Saudis, and all the other usual suspects that pour money and influence behind their chosen Democrat puppets in Washington?

    Neither of these two have any backbone, nor an ounce of integrity, nor moral compass that doesn’t point directly to acquiring more power and the next pay check from a big donor. Which effectively means that their foreign policy in regard to Israel/Palestine will be no different to the status quo of the last 50 years. They will NEVER stand up for Palestinian human rights, let alone act beyond have “strong words” and the occasional “condemnation” of Israel’s “regrettable actions”, all delivered by third parties or their press secretary, and will almost certainly do exactly what their donors tell them.

  7. edthespark on July 12, 2019, 3:42 am

    Just got back from canada.Canmore was the highlight as many interesting people live there including over 100 writers.I had several encounters with people who were knowledgeable about the ongoing conflict in israel but one person made the standout comment for me when he stated that the 2 state solution is the only path to peace with jordan becoming the new Palestinian state.

    • eljay on July 12, 2019, 9:15 am

      || edthespark: … one person made the standout comment for me when he stated that the 2 state solution is the only path to peace with jordan becoming the new Palestinian state. ||

      That is a truly unexceptional Zionist solution to I-P. What exactly did you find outstanding about it?

      • oldgeezer on July 13, 2019, 12:16 am

        @eljay

        Isn’t amazing how zionist solutions to the problem and crime of Israel is to perpetrate further crimes against humanity?

        I suspect this is the person he was talking to in Canmore (which is a nice looking place but best for passing through)

      • eljay on July 13, 2019, 8:51 am

        || oldgeezer: @eljay

        Isn’t amazing how zionist solutions to the problem and crime of Israel is to perpetrate further crimes against humanity? … ||

        As long as a Zionist considers it “necessary evil” he has no qualms about advocating, committing, justifying and/or defending it.

        || … I suspect this is the person he was talking to in Canmore … ||

        Good one…   :-)

    • RoHa on July 12, 2019, 9:50 am

      Jordan is not Palestine. How can it become a Palestinian state?

    • Talkback on July 12, 2019, 1:34 pm

      edthespark: “… but one person made the standout comment for me when he stated that the 2 state solution is the only path to peace with jordan becoming the new Palestinian state.”

      Yes, yes. How about a solution that is based on your understanding of morality and human rights:

      Send every Jewish colonist and their descendants who were not natives of Palestine after 1919 back to where they came from as the only path to peace and restore the peace between native Jews and Nonjews in Palestine that existed before the Zionist infiltration and belligerent takeover of Palestine.

      I’m sure that you will find this outstanding, too.

    • edthespark on July 12, 2019, 7:13 pm

      Eljay – unexceptional comment.typical non solution

      Roha-https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinians_in_Jordan

      Talkback-send everyone back.how far back in history should one go.typical non solution

      Should all visit canmore,you never know who you could unexpectedly meet there

      • eljay on July 12, 2019, 9:25 pm

        || edthespark: Eljay – unexceptional comment.typical non solution … ||

        That’s a terrific non-answer. So I’ll try my question again:

        || edthespark: … one person made the standout comment for me when he stated that the 2 state solution is the only path to peace with jordan becoming the new Palestinian state. ||

        That is a truly unexceptional Zionist solution to I-P. What exactly did you find outstanding about it?

      • Keith on July 13, 2019, 12:22 am

        ED THE SPARK- “Should all visit canmore….”

        For what it is worth, I love Canmore!

      • RoHa on July 13, 2019, 2:42 am

        Yes, I know a lot of people of Palestinian origin live in Jordan. That does not make Jordan Palestinian.

        This idea of either carving up Jordan or turning the whole place into a state to dump Palestinians in simply adds more injustice to the initial injustice. It will be unjust to the Jordanians, and unjust to the Palestinians.

        The Palestinians want, and entitled to, Palestine. They do not want, and are not entitled to, Jordan.

        Israeli apologists want the Palestinians to pay for what the Germans did to European Jews, and they want the Jordanians to pay for what the Israeli Jews did to the Palestinians.

      • RoHa on July 13, 2019, 3:50 am

        The Palestinians want, and are entitled to, Palestine.

      • Talkback on July 13, 2019, 6:03 am

        edthespark: “Talkback-send everyone back.how far back in history should one go.typical non solution.”

        edthespark-back to 1919 before Zionist colonization.same immorality and inhumanity as your non solution. typical racist inhumane Zionist hypocracy.

      • Talkback on July 13, 2019, 12:14 pm

        RoHa: “Yes, I know a lot of people of Palestinian origin live in Jordan. That does not make Jordan Palestinian.”

        They are of Palestinian origin, because Israel keeps them expelled as part of its genocidal policy in Palestine. To claim that the “solution” would be to keep them expelled forever is nothing else than supporting a crime against humanity and genocidal policy.

        But these shmocks only understand what they are supporting if you propose a similar “solution” for Jews. And sometimes they are even to stupid to understand this, too,.

  8. edthespark on July 13, 2019, 3:27 am

    The key to the i/p peace process is the stabilization of jordan and the absorption of some 2 million Palestinian refugees who reside there.Land from surrounding countries must be made available including the development of infastucture.This will eventually lead to a eu type amalgamation of states with a common currency and armed forces.So essentially israel along with jordan syria saudi arabia egypt iraq and so on will become a European union type bloc.Call it a middle eastern union or MEU.
    Obviously for strategic reasons there will be opposition to this forming especially from special interest groups that use israel as a tool to further there own aims.
    Jewish power or unity will not come from serving these groups but from fulfilling the moral obligations that jews have to there fellow man.
    Prime minister b.netanyahu stated only the strong survive and i agree with him but it is relegion that provides the will and intent to survive.Belief is a powerful force that is easily weakened by doubt brought on by being confronted by one’s immoral actions.This applies not only to jews but to moslems and christians as well.

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