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Buttigieg supports Israel’s missile attacks on Gaza, but condemns Palestinians when they respond

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Israel’s military campaign against Gaza has entered its second day and so far it has left 24 Palestinians dead (including a 7-year-old boy) and at least 70 injured. The current round of violence began on Tuesday after Israeli strikes killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta, his wife, and four others. The attack prompted retaliatory rocket fire from a number of Palestinian groups. Israel continues to attack the region. “They have one choice: to stop these attacks or absorb more and more blows. Their choice,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has tweeted his support for Israel’s actions and a condemnation of the rocket fire from Palestine. “I strongly condemn the rocket attacks on the citizens of southern and central Israel,” the tweet reads, “Israel has a right to defend itself against acts of terror that set back any progress towards peace and will only serve to inflame the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

Buttigieg’s tweet immediately received praise from various pro-Israel organizations. “Thank you, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for standing with the people of Israel as they come under incessant rocket fire from Gaza,” tweeted the American Jewish Committee’s account. Democratic Majority for Israel (a group that was formed to stamp out growing pro-Palestine sentiment within the Democratic party) tweeted, “Thanks to Pete Buttigieg for his strong condemnation of rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza and his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”

The Buttigieg tweet also received criticism from advocates of Palestinian self-determination. “Disgusting,” tweeted Electronic Intifada associate editor Tamara Nassar. “Not one casualty reported in Israel while over 20 Palestinians have been killed since Israel started its lethal bombardment of the Strip early Tuesday, including 3 children…Buttigieg’s position is clear: Palestinian lives don’t matter.”

“It’s ‘defending yourself’ when the overwhelmingly powerful side keeping the other population under siege surgically kill people, and ‘attacks’ when the far weaker, besieged side use less powerful and precise weapons, rarely killing anyone. Got it,” journalist Abi Wilkinson tweeted at the mayor.

Buttigieg has positioned himself as one of the most pro-Israel Democratic candidates in the race, but he’s also declared that he would condition military aid to Israel if Netanyahu follows through with announced plans to annex the West Bank. At the recent J Street conference he also implied that he’d be open to the idea of conditioning aid over the issue of settlement expansion.

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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12 Responses

  1. edwardm on November 13, 2019, 4:55 pm

    “mayor Pete” is NO progressive. He is another wolf in sheep’s clothing like Obama.

  2. mondonut on November 13, 2019, 5:52 pm

    The attack prompted retaliatory rocket fire from a number of Palestinian groups.

    Some, but not all. Strangely absent is the most powerful group in Gaza, who probably let the Israelis know where to find that bedroom.

  3. RoHa on November 13, 2019, 11:24 pm

    “Buttigieg supports Israel’s missile attacks on Gaza, but condemns Palestinians when they respond”

    Mr Butts is an American politician. What do you expect?

    • eljay on November 14, 2019, 10:44 am

      It seems like some sort of badge of honour for American politicians to best their rivals at fellating the Zionist donkey.

  4. Lillian Rosengarten on November 14, 2019, 9:54 am

    Another naive man who knows nothing about the horrors of Zionism.

  5. Misterioso on November 14, 2019, 10:41 am

    Kowtowing to the Zionist lobby and its $millions in bribery funds, another gutless American politician spews forth on behalf of fascistic “Israel,” ignores its monstrous crimes against Palestinians illegally imprisoned in the occupied Gaza Strip and proves he is unqualified to be president.

  6. genesto on November 14, 2019, 12:44 pm

    Maybe this is good news.He’s going to lose much, if not all, of the progressive base if he remains a staunch, unapologetic supporter of Israel , making it much clearer as to who really IS the progressive choice for president, i.e. Bernie Sanders.

    • echinococcus on November 14, 2019, 2:11 pm


      “… who really IS the progressive choice for president, i.e. Bernie Sanders.”

      Let me get this right: to you, does “progress” mean continued war of aggression, intervention — including support of Zionism? All that for a little crumbles that will fall from the table of the Empire war makers to the mouth of the middle-class Empire population to become a little juicier… By the way, you still haven’t produced any evidence that the guy intends to get elected, unlike what his past behavior proves.

      • genesto on November 15, 2019, 1:20 pm

        Let me rephrase. Bernie is the CLOSEST THING to a real progressive among the field of candidates who have ANY REAL CHANCE of winning the presidency. I’ve expressed my feelings about Bernie a number of times on this site. I’m not entirely satisfied with a number of his positions, including his liberal Zionist position on this issue and his still insufficient support for ending our commitment to endless war throughout the world. But, he continues to improve on these issues, and am convinced that he is basically a decent person who will continue to evolve as he has in the last 3-4 years.

        I would ask you what is the alternative – a ‘statement’ vote for the Green Party candidate, or another fringe candidate, or simply not voting at all? I think we should all recognize the danger Trump poses to our country if he’s given another 4 years in office, and do everything we can next year to help avoid that tragedy. A certain amount of pragmatism needs to be embraced now to save our nation from the scourge of Trump!

      • genesto on November 15, 2019, 1:26 pm

        Oh, and to your point of whether he ‘intends’ to get elected, I’m perplexed. Has he not shown enough of a commitment to you, spending more time and energy campaigning across the country than any other candidate, to WIN the presidency, not just advance a progressive agenda? Do you have any idea of the size of his organization that he has built since 2016? I do, since I work with it as a volunteer.

        Believe me, he wanted very much to win in 2016, and wants very much to win next year!

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 2:49 pm


        “… and to your point of whether he ‘intends’ to get elected, I’m perplexed. ”

        As you very much should be. Intentions… By their fruits ye shall judge them.

        “Believe me, he wanted very much to win in 2016, and wants very much to win next year!”
        And his fruits of 2016 were as follows: May 3, 2015: announces that he is committed to party discipline (although the most compliant Democrat, supposedly not a member) and will support and campaign for whomever is to be crowned by the owners of the party. Winkwinknudgenudge.
        Then come out authentic documents confirming that the DNC performed a huge lot of dirty tricks, also against its own bylaws, to sabotage the guy at the primaries (i.e. after his effort to railroad those disgusted by the “2-party” comedy, members and not, back to the obedient fold) are crowned with an unexpectedly huge success.
        Mr Sanders doesn’t say squat. Or rather, he says a huge lot supporting, and campaigning for, the blood-dripping Democrat Harpy, already on the record as willing to unleash WWIII. His untiring efforts to “support the Democratic nominee” are now credited with a very significant part of the vote that went to the Harpy by all well-informed non-DNC commenters. A lot of the naive, well-intentioned suckers who supported Sanders do revolt — he calls them to order and orders them to vote for “the Democratic nominee”. A lot of them obey, of course. After all, they are liberals.

        All this does not mean that Sanders didn’t realize a huge effort. He did, and that’s why he was so effective with his nauseating sabotage. No need to remind us of the size of that effort to deviate a huge people potential into supporting again the single-party dictatorship.

        All this was predicted because there is past form, as written by the much lamented Bruce Dixon already on March 7, 2015. repeat, 2015:

        Start quote—————
        ‘The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there’s no White House Democrat running for re-election.’

        Spoiler alert: we have seen the Bernie Sanders show before, and we know exactly how it ends. Bernie has zero likelihood of winning the Democratic nomination for president over Hillary Clinton. Bernie will lose, Hillary will win. When Bernie folds his tent in the summer of 2016, the money, the hopes and prayers, the year of activist zeal that folks put behind Bernie Sanders’ either vanishes into thin air, or directly benefits the Hillary Clinton campaign.

        Don’t believe us? Then believe Bernie himself interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC News “This Week” May 3.
        STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?
        SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.
        STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?
        SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.

        Bernie Sanders is this election’s Democratic sheepdog. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there’s no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.”
        End quote. Worth pondering, if you want to think a little.
        As for “lesser evil” play, that’s the best way to ensure the continuation, year in year out, of the Single War Party. Stop asking for recommendations: that’s the only thing everyone knows for sure. And stop threatening with more years of Trump: they have been just the continuation of the same Ziocon rule we’ve had for so many years. It’s just as bad as under Obama, I’ll give you that, but a threat it is not. It’s just the same.
        Who has a “realistic” chance of winning a figurehead post at the beck and call of the Alphabet Soup and the Owners of the Country is of no relevance to me. Burying your goddam party is the necessary condition for achieving anything.

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 3:03 pm


        Sorry, forgot to give the link to Dixon’s article:

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