The truth is painful.
In 1948, Palestine, a “free” country under British administration, was given away to and occupied by the newly-created State of Israel due to a decision made by the United Nations. The State of Israel still exists today, largely due to the funding of the U.S. government. This year, Israel is asking for their annual donation of U.S. taxpayer dollars to be raised from $3.15 BILLION a year to $5 BILLION a year. With this money, they arm themselves to the hilt, vilify the surviving Palestinians, and commit atrocities that are ignored by the main-stream media. To be dismissed and ignored like this is shocking and painful to Palestinians all over the world since few people in the West recognize their suffering.
Bernie Sanders is one of the few who has had the courage to acknowledge the suffering of the Palestinian people and who is not afraid to speak up for them and against the status quo.
— JewishVoiceForPeace (@jvplive) October 18, 2015
Update: May 4, 2016
Update: May 25, 2016
Update: May 30, 2016
Amer Zahr, a Palestinian activist, popular Palestinian/American comedian, writer and law professor who lives in Dearborn, Michigan, tweets the following in order to bring awareness of the Palestinian situation as part of a larger movement to promote justice, equality and human rights to the native inhabitants of Occupied Palestine. Amer is also a huge Bernie Sanders supporter and surrogate.
— Amer Zahr (@AmerZahr) April 16, 2016
After last night, there can be no case made for any Arab American or Muslim American support of Clinton. There are red lines. #FeelTheBern
— Amer Zahr (@AmerZahr) April 15, 2016
— Amer Zahr (@AmerZahr) April 15, 2016
— Amer Zahr (@AmerZahr) April 11, 2016
From Amer Zahr’s blog, The Civil Arab
by Laila Abdelaziz
This is a note to those who followed the AIPAC performances and read Sanders’ Middle East policy speech. The standard maintained by Clinton, Cruz, and Trump, Congress, your state legislatures, corporate media talking heads, your high school history teachers, etc. is so bizarrely inhumane, aggressive, and nihilistic that reading Sanders’ position seems hopeful.
In reality, the current paradigm in which Americans see themselves and the world, and the two together, is so dystopian that Sanders’ centrism sounds appealing. And so, in reality, it actually is appealing.
It’s appealing because it’s a welcome relief, after years of frustration, for those who understand the workings of empire. For Sanders’ to tell the 2016 version of American society, a country that has been at war for the longest period in its history (while developing no credible anti-war movement), a country that has accepted the loss of its own collective civil rights and civil liberties (extrajudicial police killings, mass incarceration, loss of voting rights, significant income inequality and class immobility, a failing education system), a country with a fascist demagogue competitively contending for the presidency, a country that has failed in its moral and human obligations not just on the global stage, but more tragically at home as well, for Sanders to tell this America that Israel has gone too far, time and time again, that Palestinians are suffering immeasurably, and that terrorism doesn’t stop terrorism, for Sanders to say these things, in one way or another, is refreshing.
But while that is refreshing, welcome, and a step towards the right direction, it does not mean that Sanders is uniformly correct in his analysis or prescriptions.
The two state solution is dead, and I agree that politicians holding on to that idea are intentionally obstructing constructive peace negotiations. Palestinians are not a violent, anti-Semitic people. They are, rather, an indigenous people who are not just being occupied by a military force, but also ethnically cleansed from their native land.
New York (CNN)–Bernie Sanders is taking a sledgehammer to the political status quo on Israel.Sanders refused to back down Thursday night from his claim that Israel in 2014 used “disproportionate” force to respond to Hamas rocket fire from Gaza while calling for the United States to stop being “one-sided” in the conflict there. In doing so, he upended a long-standing tenet of American politics: that unflinching support for Israel is non-negotiable.
From Democracy Now:
During Thursday’s debate, Bernie Sanders repeated his assertion that Israel used disproportionate force during its 2014 assault on Gaza that killed nearly 1,500 Palestinian civilians. “If we are ever going to bring peace to that region, which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity,” Sanders said. “I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people. That does not make me anti-Israel.”
The Israeli Take on Bernie’s Support for the Palestinians:
Following Bernie Sanders’ instantly notorious interview with the New York Daily News, the Vermont senator and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have been quarreling over their allegiance to Israel. Clinton emphasizes her (significant) pro-Israel credentials, while Sanders promotes a “balanced” approach that’s more critical of Israel.
Much of their wrangling revolves around the facts of 2014’s Gaza war, with Sanders accusing Israel of reacting disproportionately to rocket attacks carried out by Hamas during its 50-day military campaign. Sanders said the offensive, officially known as Operation Protective Edge, bombed “hospitals, schools and refugee camps,” killing nearly 1,500 civilians (he earlier got slammed for erroneously inflating this number in his Daily News interview) and wounding thousands while leaving Gaza “largely in ruins.”
Bernie Sanders didn’t really say anything extraordinary about the Palestinians, but his statements at the Democratic debate on Thursday were historic nonetheless, at least for them. The Vermont Senator described himself as “100 percent pro-Israel” but focused on the plight of the Palestinians and on the need to treat them with “respect and dignity.” The words would sound banal even in the Knesset, were they not being uttered by a serious presidential contender on the eve of a crucial primary vote, in, of all places, New York.
The clash over Israel and Palestine was just one round of a relentless televised bout staged by CNN at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. From the ferocity of the blows landed by Sanders and his rival Hillary Clinton, as well as the lively cheers, jeers and catcalls coming from the audience, one might have surmised that New York’s decision this week to be the last state to authorize Mixed Martial Arts matches was already being implemented by some speedy entrepreneur.
The true novelty in Sanders’ words was that they violated accepted norms. Presidential candidates usually swear on an Israeli bible before they get elected into office and discover Palestinian suffering only after they have moved into the White House: this is the road traveled by Jimmy Carter in 1976 and by Barack Obama in 2008. Sanders made headlines by breaking conventions and by criticizing Israel in New York, where the Jewish vote is highly influential, if not decisive. Some analysts said his decision might reflect his acceptance of his upcoming defeat and were therefore aimed at his greater legacy. But the explanation for Sanders’ outspokenness could be more prosaic for Sanders and more worrisome for Israel: that he believes that speaking out against Israel will pay off in the Tuesday ballot.
From Slate Magazine:
…That made it all the more surprising when, just a few hours later, Sanders made a brave, unprecedented defense of Palestinian humanity from a primary debate stage in Brooklyn.
It began with a question about Israel’s 2014 war in Gaza, which Sanders rightly called “disproportionate.” Moderator Wolf Blitzer, perhaps attempting to expose a weak spot, asked him, “What do you say to those who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?” Sanders, however, stuck to his position. Then he said, “[I]f we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.”
Last, and the winner of the “Most Stomach-Turning Award” is from the right-wing pro-Israel website The Times of Israel, as reported by Salon.com:
Hillary Clinton’s supporters have frequently, and often dishonestly, accused Bernie Sanders and his supporters of “mansplaining.”Meanwhile, the presidential candidate herself published a blog post on the right-wing pro-Israel website The Times of Israel on Sunday night doing what can only be described as “goysplaining” — or, as a non-Jew, condescendingly accusing a Jew of betraying his own people for criticizing Israel….
With hawkish right-wing rhetoric, Clinton steadfastly defended the Israeli government. She conflated the Jewish religion with the state of Israel and condemned critics of the government as anti-Semitic.
“I’ve proudly stood with the State of Israel for my entire career, making sure it always has the resources it needs to maintain its qualitative military edge,” Clinton wrote, bragging about her work to boost U.S. military funding for Israel….
Clinton implied Sanders is being derelict in his duties as a Jew and betraying his own people by criticizing Israel and its crimes.
Sanders is the only Jewish politician who has ever come close to being U.S. president. He was raised in a largely Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York and has said he is “very proud to be Jewish.” Sanders also had family members who were killed in the Holocaust.
Like Sanders, many Jewish Americans are increasingly critical of the Israeli government and its oppression of the Palestinians, who have lived under brutal, illegal Israeli military occupation for approximately [seven] decades and face intense institutional discrimination inside Israel, as the U.S. State Department itself acknowledged in a recent report.
Yeah, that is why this Independent can never vote for Hillary.