Bernie Sanders: “I am 100% Pro-Israel”
Unpacking his support for Israel exposes dirty linen he’d prefer to hide. In the same address, saying “Israel is run by a racist government” isn’t good enough.
Being “100%” for Israel means supporting its wars of aggression, its land theft, ethnic cleansing, targeted killings, mass arrests, torture, gulag imprisonment, Gaza’s suffocating blockade, its assault on free expression, assembly and movement, its bulldozed homes, and neighborhood incursions, terrorizing Palestinian families, traumatizing young children.
It means endorsing its human and civil rights abuses (what Edward Said called “refined viciousness”), its militarized occupation harshness, its oppressing Palestinians for praying to the wrong God, its roadblocks, checkpoints, separation walls, electric fences, and other barriers.
It’s also overt or implied support for it’s economic strangulation, treating Jews one way, Palestinians another, persecuting Arab citizens as fifth column threats, treating Palestinian Knesset members as potted plants, and slow-motion genocide against an entire population for not being Jewish.
It means endorsement of separate and unequal treatment of Jews and Arabs, of going along with attacking Palestinian fishermen at sea, farmers in their fields, and children at play.
It means turning a blind eye to violence and vandalism by settlers, protected by Israeli security forces, aiding and abetting their crimes.
It’s pretending military injustice for Palestinians v. civil justice for Jews is OK. It’s turning a blind eye to the worst of police state harshness against an entire population for not being Jewish.
It’s endorsing collective punishment, pretending Israel state terror doesn’t exist, ignoring imprisonment of Palestinian MPs for belonging to the wrong party.
It’s failing to publicly acknowledge that Israel persecutes Arabs the way Nazi Germany mistreated Jews. The difference between earlier and now is industrial-scale genocide v. slow-motion.
When one people are treated less equal than another, horrendous abuses follow. Israel mistreats Palestinians as subhumans, forcing them to endure virtually every type indignity, degradation and crime against humanity imaginable.
Israeli viciousness combines the worst of colonialism, occupation harshness and apartheid. Sanders largely ignores its high crimes.
State terror separates Palestinians from their land, heritage and culture. Apartheid is the worst form of racism, militarized occupation the worst form of apartheid, ghettoizing an entire population in isolated cantons and refugee camps.
Legislation absolves Israel for denying Palestinians fundamental human and civil rights, inflicting enormous harm, preventing them from claiming just compensation, including for stolen resources.
The Nabka was and remains one of history’s great crimes, a reality Sanders ignores.
According to the feelthebern website, he says “Israel has a right to exist in security, and at the same time the Palestinians have a state of their own.”
The statement ignores reality. A two-state solution no longer is possible with Israel controlling all valued West Bank land and Jerusalem — ignoring international law, denying Palestinians the right to East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital.
Sanders supports US leadership to broker conflict resolution. Throughout Israel’s existence, the US was never an honest broker under Republicans and undemocratic Dems — for sure not now under the most extremist hardline rule in US history, one-sidedly supporting Israel more than ever, rejecting peace, equity and justice.
Sanders: “We must work with those Israeli and Palestinian leaders who are committed to peace, security and statehood rather than to empty rhetoric and violence.”
Except for democratically elected Hamas, none exist in Israel or Occupied Palestine.
Sanders: “The Palestinians must fulfill their responsibilities to end terrorism against Israel and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
Self-defense is an inviolable right, how Palestinians respond to Israeli state terrorism and other type violence — what the Jewish state does daily against long-suffering Palestinians, what Sanders and vast majority of others in Washington refuse to acknowledge and condemn.
Sanders rhetorically supports funding a so-called Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Reconciliation and Democracy Fund to “promot(e) democracy, human rights, freedom of the press, and non-violence among Palestinians, and peaceful coexistence and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.”
None of the above exists to support, nor is there any chance to achieve it.
The US and Israel partner in seeking unchallenged regional dominance by endless wars and other hostile actions — ignoring the rights of Palestinians and the Arab street.
All the promoting and lofty rhetoric in the world won’t change reality on the ground.
As in the US and other Western countries, the only solution for Palestinians is popular revolution, resisting tyranny, a universal right.
Nothing else can work. It hasn’t for over 70 years — nor will it ahead. The US and Israel don’t negotiate. They demand.
The only effective strategy is toughness, a taste of their own harshness, staying the course longterm, the only way to achieve liberation one day.
The alternative is permanent subjugation in the West and Occupied Palestine — freedom or brutalizing fascism. There’s no in between.
Like nearly the entire US and Israeli political class, Sanders is part of the problem, not the solution, not now, not ever. His disturbing record speaks for itself.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”