Bernie Sanders Is Moving the Democratic Party toward the Anti-Israel Left

Although Bernie Sanders is unlikely to win the Democratic nomination, the relative success of his candidacy, argues Ron Radosh, will nonetheless have the effect of moving his party leftward—with results that bode ill for U.S.-Israel relations. The evidence can be seen in Sanders’s appointments to the fifteen-member committee responsible for writing the party’s platform:

Worried about keeping the support of Bernie’s people after her nomination is wrapped up, [Hillary] Clinton is being forced to tilt further to the left than she would like, making it much harder for her to shift back to the center in the general election campaign. . . .

[Furthermore], let us look at the five members [of the platform committee] that Bernie Sanders has appointed. What stands out is their well-known animosity to Israel, and support of not only the Palestinians but of Hamas. The most prominent name is that of the African-American professor, philosopher, and radical Cornel West. West has toured with Sanders and opened up rallies for him. West, moreover, is a leading BDS activist, who has said that the Gaza Strip is “the ’hood on steroids,’” and in 2014 wrote that the crimes of Hamas “pale in the face of the U.S.-supported Israeli slaughters of innocent civilians.” . . .

The second person appointed by Sanders is the American pro-Palestinian activist James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. . . . In 1996, . . . his group sponsored a rally at which protestors held signs saying “Peres and Hitler are the same—the only difference is the name.” . . . Sanders also put on the platform committee Representative Keith Ellison, who is also . . . a major critic of Israel, and will undoubtedly stand with Zogby and West. All three will work, probably successfully, to create a strong anti-Israel stance as the official platform to be implemented should a Democratic nominee become president. . . . Clinton’s choices for the platform committee likewise reflect her leftward tilt.

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More about: BDS, Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism, US-Israel relations

Palestinian Acceptance of Israel as the Jewish State Must Be a Prerequisite to Further Negotiations

Oct. 19 2018

In 1993, in the early days of the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat accepted the “right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security.” But neither it nor its heir, the Palestinians Authority, has ever accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. Robert Barnidge explains why this distinction matters:

A Jewish state for the Jewish people, after all, was exactly what the [UN] General Assembly intended in November 1947 when it called for the partition of the Palestine Mandate into “the Arab state, the Jewish state, and the city of Jerusalem.”

Although the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state does not stand or fall on this resolution—in declaring the independence of Israel on the eve of the Sabbath on May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council, [the precursor to the Israeli government], also stressed the Jewish people’s natural and historic rights—it reaffirms the legitimacy of Jewish national rights in (what was to become) the state of Israel.

The Palestinians have steadfastly refused to recognize Jewish self-determination. [Instead], the PLO [has been] playing a double game. . . . It is not simply that the PLO supported the General Assembly’s determination in 1975, rescinded in 1991, that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It is that that the PLO leadership continues to speak of Jews as a religious community rather than a people, and of Zionism as a colonial usurper rather than the national liberation movement that it is.

The U.S. government, Barnidge concludes, “should demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish state” and refuse to “press Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians unless and until that happens.”

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, PLO, US-Israel relations, Yasir Arafat