SINCE 1964, THE NEWS WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
Israel & Palestine Undernews
Glenn Greenwald, Intercept - The last time Elizabeth Warren was asked about her views on the Israeli attack on Gaza on July 17 she, as Rania Khalek put it, literally ran away without answering. But last week, the liberal Senator appeared for one of her regularly scheduled office hours with her Massachusetts constituents, this one in Hyannis, and, as a local paper reported, she had nowhere to run.
One voter who identified himself as a Warren supporter, John Bangert, stood up and objected to her recent vote, in the middle of the horrific attack on Gaza, to send yet another $225 million of American taxpayer money to Israel for its Iron Dome system. Banger told his Senator: We are disagreeing with Israel using their guns against innocents. Its true in Ferguson, Missouri, and its true in Israel . . . The vote was wrong, I believe. To crowd applause, Bangert told Warren that the money could have been spent on infrastructure or helping immigrants fleeing Central America.
But Warren steadfastly defended her pro-Israel vote, invoking the politicians platitude: Were going to have to agree to disagree on this one. According to the account in the Cape Cod Times by reporter C. Ryan Barber, flagged by Zaid Jilani, Warren was also asked about her Israel position by other voters who were at the gathering, and she went on to explain:
I think the vote was right, and Ill tell you why I think the vote was right. America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there arent many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.
Warren said Hamas has attacked Israel indiscriminately, but with the Iron Dome defense system, the missiles have not had the terrorist effect Hamas hoped for. When pressed by another member of the crowd about civilian casualties from Israels attacks, Warren said she believes those casualties are the last thing Israel wants.
But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, theyre using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself, Warren said, drawing applause.
Warren even rejected a different voters suggestion that the U.S. force Israel to at least cease building illegal settlements by withholding further aid: Noreen Thompsen, of Eastham, proposed that Israel should be prevented from building any more settlements as a condition of future U.S. funding, but Warren said, I think theres a question of whether we should go that far.'
In her defense, Warren has long been clear that this is what she would do. Her Senate campaign website still contains statements such as it is a moral imperative to support and defend Israel and as a United States Senator, I will work to ensure Israels security and success.
During her time in the national spotlight, Warren has focused overwhelmingly on domestic issues, rarely venturing into foreign policy discussions. Many of those domestic views, particularly her strident-for-D.C. opposition to banks, have been admirable, elevating her to hero status for many progressives.
But when Warren has spoken on national security, she has invariably spouted warmed-over, banal Democratic hawk tripe of the kind that she just recited about Israel and Gaza. During her Senate campaign, for instance, she issued wildly militaristic and in some cases clearly false statements about Iran and its nuclear program that would have been comfortable on the pages of The Weekly Standard.
Guardian - Israel killed more Palestinian civilians in 2014 than in any other year since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967, a UN report has said.
Israels activities in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem resulted in the deaths of 2,314 Palestinians and 17,125 injuries, compared with 39 deaths and 3,964 injuries in 2013, according to the annual report by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
More than 11,000 people were injured and about 500,000 Palestinians were internally displaced at the height of the conflict. About 100,000 remain so.
Daniel Kurtzer, Foreign Affairs - Bnnjamin Netanyahu's victory in Israels election last week has been declared a triumph of security over economics. Netanyahu exploited Israelis fears about terrorism and regional instability, virtually ignoring the growing economic and social problems in the country. His opponent, Isaac Herzog, fashioned himself as the candidate who would bring economic and social change. Although his message resonated with a part of the electorateHerzogs party increased its strength from 15 to 24 seats in the Knessetthe largest segment of the electorate (about 25 percent) ultimately opted for Netanyahu, seeing in him a leader who would keep the country safe.
But the election was about more than just Netanyahu. The ultimate victory belongs to the Israeli right wing, demonstrating that it has become something of a permanent majoritya strength that comes regardless of who leads it.
Several factors account for the rights entrenchment in Israeli politics. First, the right has become synonymous with security. In a way, this evolution defies common sense, since a growing chorus of former military and security leaders are speaking out against Netanyahu and the rights policies. But the Israeli right has been buoyed by the fact that the peace processlong identified with the lefthas ground almost to a halt, undermining Israelis faith that the left can ever broker a peace agreement. The voters have responded by rationalizing: if no peace from the left, then at least security from the right.
The right has also benefited by exploiting long-standing contempt for the left among the Sephardim (Jews of Middle Eastern background), especially among those of North African ancestryan animosity that stems from long-simmering resentment over past discrimination. In addition, by unequivocally supporting settlers, right-wing parties have acquired a reliable strong support base.
And finally, the Israeli right has taken advantage of the fact that a large part of the electorate has perceived coolness toward Israel from U.S. President Barack Obama. The right has translated this distancing into accusations that the United States is abandoning Israel. Differences of view over how to stop the Iranian nuclear program, for example, have been hyped by Netanyahu and right-wing leaders, further feeding the perception that Obama is not committed to the relationship.
The resultant toxic mix of factors have driven the Israeli electorate firmly to the right, making it extremely difficult for anyone on the leftno matter how compellingto break through.
NPR - Through his chief of staff, President Obama is strongly countering rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a two-state, Israeli-Palestinian solution.
"An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state," Denis McDonough, President Obama's chief of staff, said Monday at the annual conference of J Street, a left-leaning pro-Israel group.
He added, "President Obama still firmly believes what he said in Jerusalem two years ago that peace is necessary, just and possible. Peace is necessary because it is the only way to ensure that a secure state of Israel is both Jewish and democratic. Israel cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. That's the truth."
It's not the first time the word "occupation" has been used by an Obama official. In fact, in 2013, President Obama used it himself.
"The Palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it," Obama said in Ramallah during a joint appearance with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
McDonough's remarks continued the White House's pushback against Netanyahu's comments before his re-election that a two-state solution was off the table. Netanyahu has since walked back the remarks.
The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a bill to call Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people, a measure that critics say could further strain the states frayed relationship with its Palestinian population.
This is equivalent to the US cabinet declaring America a white state
Carter criicizes Netanyahu, Obama
Israeli police torture handcuffed Palestinian
Road to Apartheid: a new documentary by a South African and a Jewish Israeli
Budrus is an award-winning documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israels Separation Barrier.
END THE OCCUPATION
God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America's Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist." - John le Carr, London Times, 2003