Raimondo writes: “Israel represents a danger to the national security of this country: this is an incontrovertible fact.”
… and a lot of commenters here seem to agree.
Excuse me, but since when are purported progressives so concerned for “the national security of this country”?
First, full disclosure: Unlike Bernie, I am a dual citizen — I wanted to check out Israel 40-some years ago as a curious 23-year-old and stayed 10 years when I found I was able to do journalism and legal work that seemed meaningful and connected to my involvement in radical left opposition politics there (starting when Labor ruled, to be clear). So, being Jewish, citizenship was kind of inevitable. I suppose I could renounce it, but that would be merely symbolic, and the way things are going, it could prevent me from getting in when there’s a good reason to do so.
But am I more “loyal” to Israel or to the U.S.? Wrong question altogether! I’m an internationalist, a socialist, an anti-imperialist. OK, all that is subject to interpretation — some other time. But the basic idea is that the nation-state, to which we supposedly pledge our supreme fealty by virtue of the accident of our birth, is a blip in human history, and the sooner it passes, the better. It has begat (begotten?) more extreme violence and other nonsense than anything else I can think of during its existence, including fundamentalism and racism — and that’s a lot.
As far as I’m concerned, the more dual citizens of whatever countries, the better, if it can help overcome narrow nationalist thinking. Heck, get three or four passports if you can. I visited Poland last year, and I haven’t looked into it, but since both my grandfathers escaped persecution there, I hear, I might be eligible. Jews whose ancestors were expelled 500+ years ago can apply for Spanish citizenship. (Muslims should be invited too, but don’t hold your breath.)
I digress some. So back to Sanders and dual loyalty: It’s correct that the Internet “list” of powerful dual Israeli-U.S. citizens is a canard of far, far right origin, and Rehm should be ashamed for swallowing it. But it also makes me wonder that so many writers here seem to have swallowed the part of that canard that considers “dual loyalty” as a real and major problem best addressed by demanding that we should be loyal to “America,” and not Israel. Since when is that a progressive world view?
How about let’s be loyal to the people of all countries, the 99 percent, if you will, and work to unite their struggles against oppression of all sorts?