Bernie Sanders’s call for reciprocity for Palestinians and Israelis in understanding the others’ narrative actually erases the Palestinian experience of Zionism and imposes a Zionist frame on the history of the conflict, Joseph Levine writes. Sanders’s concern for the “just claims” of Israeli Jews turns the moral and historical facts of the case upside down and show the incompatibility of his democratic Socialism and his Zionism.
Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders’ editorial, “How to Fight Antisemitism,” strikes many right notes with today’s progressives, but Nada Elia says his shockingly anachronistic understanding of Israel shows the two-state delusion is a hard one to give up.
Insofar as the subject of conditioning Israel’s aid has permeated mainstream political discourse, it’s remained largely hypothetical. Now activists are calling on progressive Senators who have voiced support for conditioning aid to Israel to get behind a policy with actual teeth.
We are actually having a debate about anti-war policy in the Democratic Party. Pete Buttigieg is soaring in fundraising in part due to strongly interventionist stances in last debate, while Sanders and Warren are getting slammed by establishment voices for alleged isolationism. And Tulsi Gabbard is smeared as a Russian asset for condemning “regime change” in Syria.
A liberal Zionist group promotes the view of Israeli professor Jonathan Rynhold that progressive Democrats will support Israel once Netanyahu is gone. His argument would be more persuasive if he even mentioned the human rights violations and Gaza massacres that are at the heart of progressive disaffection with Israel.
Elizabeth Warren’s plan for Palestine is boilerplate two-state rhetoric that includes restoring the U.S. role as “credible mediator.” That’s a reference to the Obama administration, which only increased aid to Israel while refusing to hold it accountable for settlements and massacres. The Democratic base has moved on.
Democratic candidates for president love to criticize Netanyahu, but they don’t offer specifics on stopping him. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to hold Israel accountable for barring congresswomen from visiting, Bernie Sanders wants to leverage US aid “to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel,” and Elizabeth Warren says, “Push hard.” But none of them has a plan.
In a response to a recent question inquiring whether or not Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is racist, New Jersey Senator and presidential hopeful Cory Booker said he entered the Senate to stand up for the state of Israel. Booker was asked about Netanyahu at the Iowa State Fair on August 10 by Jewish Insider’s […]
The NYT’s initial strategy was to starve Tulsi Gabbard out – no coverage, no candidacy. Now, because she’s still in and lately told a truth that weakened the Times choice Kamala Harris, they are giving her the Bernie 2016 treatment: i.e. this candidate is outlandish, absurd, unaccountably heartless, mystical, a tool of the wicked (she points out that Syria never went to war against the US) – and possibly a Russian agent.
White progressives in the Democratic Party are turning against Israel. They snapped during the 2014 assault on Gaza, and they are joining what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls a “generational” shift for progressives to criticize Israel. “Young Jews are sick of this.”
In an interview on July 26, Vermont Senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he would “absolutely” consider cutting military aid to Israel as leverage to change their government’s actions.
The young Jews of IfNotNow are making Israel’s occupation an issue in the Democratic race, and the group Democratic Majority for Israel is fighting back, calling IfNotNow anti-Israel and advising candidates to avoid answering IfNotNow’s questions. IfNotNow says the Democratic Majority group is a front for AIPAC, the Israel lobby, which has long had a home in the Democratic Party.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Israeli-American media producer and Democratic mega-donor Haim Saban declares that he loves every Trump challenger besides Bernie Sanders and blames the Vermont Senator for stoking anti-Israel within the Democratic Party.
Joe Biden has praised racist Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Golda Meir on many occasions, but don’t expect Kamala Harris to score points off him for it, as she did over his fondness for southern racists. She has had a warm meeting with Netanyahu, refused to criticize Israel’s human rights record, and told the rightwing pro-Israel group AIPAC that she raised money for Israel as a girl and Israel’s story reminds her of the civil rights struggle in the U.S.
Senate Republicans were able to stop an amendment that would have required President Trump to seek congressional approval for an attack on Iran, despite the fact that the majority of votes were cast in support of the measure. Then Republicans passed a measure assuring that Trump’s hands would not be tied, as Sen. Mitt Romney put it, in taking on Iran.
Democratic candidates assail Trump’s Iran policy, while Miriam Adelson hails it in biblical terms at an Israeli conference alongside Netanyahu. But journalists never ask Trump whether his biggest donors, the Adelsons, are pushing war because they fear it will stoke anti-Semitism.
During a appearance on CBS, Bernie Sanders implied that military aid to Israel might only come with conditions if he’s elected president. Combined with recent comments by Pete Buttigieg, and legislation introduced by Betty McCollum, Sanders’ comments are the latest indication that there may be a shift in how Democrats are viewing Israel heading into the 2020 election.
Pete Buttigieg is the most critical of Israel in a NYT forum, saying, “Israel’s human rights record is problematic and moving in the wrong direction under the current right-wing government.” Most Dems bend over backwards not to criticize Israel. Elizabeth Warren is surprisingly supportive: “Israel is in a really tough neighborhood.”
As Trump escalates the confrontation with Iran, we must remember the Vietnam war was based on a lie, so was the Iraq war, Bernie Sanders says, joining a wide array of voices from Rand Paul to Elizabeth Warren to J Street that are trying to stave off a calamity in the Middle East.
Israel’s threat of annexation is a crisis for liberal Zionists because it makes them confront a reality: There is not going to be a two-state solution. Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street warned supporters: “Members of the Trump administration are opening the door to a one-state scenario where Palestinians will live as second-class citizens.” But that scenario exists right now, and liberal Zionists have done precious little to oppose it.
When J Street advocates for “Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish homeland,” it is supporting a concept that has been a contradiction-in-terms since Israel’s establishment. Abba Solomon argues that J Street and Bernie Sanders too cannot face the fact that political Zionism means perpetual Jewish domination, or at best custody, of Palestinian lives.
“Antisemitism is not some abstract idea to me. It is very personal. It destroyed a good part of my family,” Bernie Sanders tells the American Jewish Committee, and says that history leads him to fight Israel’s military occupation, which has “crushed” Palestinans for over 50 years in pain and humiliation and denies them freedom of movement.
Israelis are the innocents, while Gaza militants are “terrorists” in countless statements about the weekend’s violence from U.S. Democrats and liberal Zionist groups. That makes Bernie Sanders’s call for an “evenhanded” policy and concern about human rights violations in Gaza remarkable for political courage. Sanders says he has been “criticized over and over again” for his stance.
Asked, “will you actually hold Israel accountable for its continued human rights violations?” Senator Elizabeth Warren affirmed the two-state solution and criticized Netanyahu. A leftwinger on economic justice issues, Warren is echoing a safe Democratic Party consensus, clearly fearful that the issue could divide the party’s base.
At a recent CNN town hall, Bernie Sanders courageously asserted that “Israel is run by a racist government” and called for “a level playing field” between Israel and the Palestinians. Hamzah Reza writes that while such rhetoric is a breath of fresh air, the reality is that Sanders has refused to take the tangible actions that a plurality of rank-and-file Democratic voters want him to take.