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Forum Post: bernie sanders vote on israel

Posted 3 months ago on July 23, 2014, 12:48 p.m. EST by flip (7174)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Blinded by Israel, Visionless in Gaza

By Tariq Ali Source: Counterpunch.org

The US Senate votes unanimously to defend Israel including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. I don’t think he did it for the money. He is a paid-up member of POEEI (‘Progressive on Everything Except Israel’ and pronounced pooee) the liberal segment of US society, which is not progressive on many things, including Israel.

Take, as one example, the case of ‘Colonel’ Sanders. I thought my late friend Alexander Cockburn was sometimes too harsh on Sanders, but I was wrong. Sanders has been arselickin bad for a long time now as Thomas Naylor informed us while exploding the myths surrounding the Senator in a CounterPunch piece in September 2011:

“Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.. Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont.

Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return. If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.”

A unanimous Senate vote is rare, so what explains being more loyal to Israel than quite a few critical Jewish Israelis in that country itself? An important factor is undoubtedly money. In 2006 when the London Review of Books published an article (commissioned and rejected by theAtlantic Monthly) by Professors Walt and Mearsheimer on the Israel Lobby, there was the usual brouhaha from the usual suspects. Not the late Tony Judt, who publicly defended publication of the text and was himself subjected to violent threats and hate mail by we know who.

The New York Review of Books, perhaps shamed by its own gutlessness on this issue among others, commissioned a text by Michael Massing which pointed out some mistakes in the Mearsheimer/Walt essay but went on to provide some interesting figures himself. His articledeserves to be read on its own but the following extract helps to explain the unanimous votes for Israeli actions:

“AIPAC’s defenders like to argue that its success is explained by its ability to exploit the organizing opportunities available in democratic America. To some extent, this is true. AIPAC has a formidable network of supporters throughout the US. Its 100,000 members—up 60 percent from five years ago—are guided by AIPAC’s nine regional offices, its ten satellite offices, and its one-hundred-person-plus Washington staff, a highly professional group that includes lobbyists, researchers, analysts, organizers, and publicists, backed by an enormous $47 million annual budget…. Such an account, however, overlooks a key element in AIPAC’s success: money. AIPAC itself is not a political action committee. Rather, by assessing voting records and public statements, it provides information to such committees, which donate money to candidates; AIPAC helps them to decide who Israel’s friends are according to AIPAC’s criteria. The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that analyzes political contributions, lists a total of thirty-six pro-Israel PACs, which together contributed $3.14 million to candidates in the 2004 election cycle. Pro-Israel donors give many millions more. Over the last five years, for instance, Robert Asher, together with his various relatives (a common device used to maximize contributions), has donated $148,000, mostly in sums of $1,000 or $2,000 to individual candidates.

A former AIPAC staff member described for me how the system works. A candidate will contact AIPAC and express strong sympathies with Israel. AIPAC will point out that it doesn’t endorse candidates but will offer to introduce him to people who do. Someone affiliated with AIPAC will be assigned to the candidate to act as a contact person. Checks for $500 or $1,000 from pro-Israel donors will be bundled together and provided to the candidate with a clear indication of the donors’ political views. (All of this is perfectly legal.) In addition, meetings to raise funds will be organized in various cities. Often, the candidates are from states with negligible Jewish populations.

One congressional staff member told me of the case of a Democratic candidate from a mountain state who, eager to tap into pro-Israel money, got in touch with AIPAC, which assigned him to a Manhattan software executive eager to move up in AIPAC’s organization. The executive held a fund-raising reception in his apartment on the Upper West Side, and the candidate left with $15,000. In his state’s small market for press and televised ads, that sum proved an important factor in a race he narrowly won. The congressman thus became one of hundreds of members who could be relied upon to vote AIPAC’s way. (The staffer told me the name of the congressman but asked that I withhold it in order to spare him embarrassment.)”

65 Comments

65 Comments


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[-] 6 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

You aren't going to find Sanders voting against Israel any time soon.

[-] 5 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

so much for progressive principles

[-] 4 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Everyone has their loyalties, and at the end of the day someone that has been in there a long time has to decide how much do they want to rock the boat vs how much does their lifestyle now depend on the perks.

[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

seems to me that dead children require some boat rocking. i do understand what you are saying but i know what i thought of wayne morse in 1964 - he had guts!

[-] 2 points by mayda (57) 3 months ago

i agree

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[-] 5 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

If you don't care why to you keep responding? And the yes or no question. Can't answer it. Figures. Sad and BORING!

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[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

agreed - but that is not the question - do i need to ask it again - it is a yes or no question. you cannot answer it and everyone here knows why.

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

i will answer your question when you answer mine - but you cannot so we should be done. and i never said anything about bernie - i simply posted an article about his vote

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[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

as for rocks growing hair - i assume you have some hair left on your head so.............

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[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

your assumptions are incorrect

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Here's some more assumptions, debunked, of which the internet neocons will undoubtedly deny:

http://m.thenation.com/article/180783-five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

nice job here but as we know for too many - and too many on this site - facts and rational argument are not allowed to get in the way of belief. very disturbing that many here cling to their positions despite logic and evidence. anyway - thanks - i will send this along to my wife who has trouble seeing the truth sometimes!

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Just a testament to the brainwashing of America in terms of financial elitists, and the shit educational system that leads to the indoctrination.

[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

aint that the truth

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[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Israel exists. Deal with it! Spoken like a true hard core, elderly Republican statesman, too funny considering how you see yourself!

fuckintowelheadssaywhat?

Excuse me sir, your Bush is showing.

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[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Oh, so now anyone who thinks that Israel marching in and creating a state on top of the people that already live there is wrong, is a Nazi?

A new level of stupidity in the debate has been reached. Courtesy, of course, of internet trolls.

Troll on my friend, troll on.

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[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

can't answer the question can you? can't say it since it blows up everything you say - protesting american policy in vietnam or iraq does not make one anti american or pro saddam but you cannot say that. child

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[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

can't say it can you - do the voices in your head tell you not to?

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[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (24955) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 months ago

since I am not paid to be here

I can say pretty much whatever the fuk I want.

And not being paid to be here you can say what "you" want to say and so be completely honest about it - as it is what you want to say and then do say.

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

not sure what to make of your response - are you questioning Bernie's vote? i don't like billy at all - are those my choices - Bernie or billie. well for sure I take Bernie but he fucked up on this vote no? and what did you say - that is my question exactly

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[-] 5 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

A plan for the Jews? That sounds weird,but actually,the plan in the US for Mormons seems to work well for Mormons,at least.So Israelis should be granted American Citizen status.Then they could pack up,sell,destroy or abandon everything they have in Palestine,load everybody up in planes-Tel Aviv-Miami.Deplane the Israelis so they can fan out over Florida buying all commercial and residential properties.Anybody that does not want to sell can be gently persuaded to do so eventually.All questionable or known non Jews can be "encouraged" to be "resettled" in the Florida Panhandle.The ocean is conveniently located close by to dispose of African Americans who don't want to relocate.As long as the JAMI's-Jewish American Israelis-can reach some kind of coexistential agreement with the Cuban Americans and refrain from bothering wealthy people who are already in situ,nobody would have any chance at all of stopping Israelis from taking over the state and setting up a theocracy as the Mormons have in Utah.Even raising objections to the scheme would be dangerous.The problem of World Jewry not wanting to live in Palestine would turn into World Jewry moving entirely into Florida,USA.The list of problems that would go away is endless.There would be some problem-again-with people who don't wanna go,but all of it would eventually stand up in court and be unassailable in Congress.There would be no violence comparable to what goes on now,and the Displaced Floridians in the Panhandle could be brutally repressed by expert,well trained American police.The Senate has voted unanimous unconditional support for Israel,so-"If the US Senate loves Israel so much,why don't they just get married?"

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

interesting idea - I think you should write the screenplay and see if Hollywood bites. I would like to see how 3rd generation American jews (like my wife!) get along with the Russian/Israelis as neighbors. lots of funny (and not so funny) possibilities

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

There would be lots of hilarious odd couple possibilities-like the wild and wooly newcomer Ziofacsists bumping up against the lovable,laid back old protofascist elements in the Cuban community.

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[-] 2 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

LOL-the Israelis really should consider doing Florida.They could not have done it in the 1930's but what could stop them now? I think they would get along fine with the Cubans.

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[-] 3 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

Most of the "Cuban Exiles" are so far to the right it beggars description.The Cryptofascist white people in Arizona are no slouches,but one of the most important parts of their ideology is total xenophobia.Although they seem to love out of control real estate developers,who would be well represented in any kind of mass movement of Israelis.Maybe there would be some common ground there.

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[-] 3 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

Capitalists will always do everything they can to promote Fascism of all kinds because it enables them to establish monopolies,crush dissenters,psychologically manipulate populations,commit grotesque crimes & cover them up,and generally put profit before people in any and all contexts.So opposition to Fascism=opposition to Corporatism=opposition to Capitalism-IMHO.A perfect illustration of a Fascistic Death Spiral can be seen in the case of Israel right now.The whole country is one big Murderboner,and it does not have to be that way.

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[-] 2 points by trashyharry (2896) from Waterville, NY 3 months ago

No,I didn't miss the religion thing.You are right,though.When politicians and other opportunistic types manipulate people in all ways and include appeals to extremist religiosity,the results are ugly to the max.In fact,there may be no other way to reliably whip up a genocidal frenzy.Anyhow,no matter what situation exists,profiteers rush in to take advantage.Disgusting,IMHO.

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

the plan for that region is the international consensus - un 242. Israel will never agree unless the u.s. forces them into it. and we can do it easily. you can read the documentary record - Israel has been trying to create "facts on the ground" that will eliminate the possibility of implementing 242. as to the Christians I know too much - but I did not know that stat - thanks for it - I like that kind of info! very useful in debates. they have been killing jews for 1000 years and now they await the rapture. nice to speak with you shooz - and I mean that.

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

seems to me that one side - the u.s. and israel are blocking the international consensus and have been since henry k won out over rogers in 1973. we do not have to debate it - as i have told you before my wife mostly agrees with your thinking. she is still banned from this site i think - not sure since she has given up trying - if you could fix that i would be happy! her user name is mayda

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[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

how nice of you - if this is winning i will take it. thanks! she has no time to post just now - busy working on our solar business! will do it tomorrow - i am beginning to like this conversation with you. i may even start attacking shadz - just kidding - i agree with him mostly

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

we see it very differently

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[-] 5 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

i do not like to see anyone killed - even bad guys although i do believe in self defense. i also have a strange pleasurable feeling when bullies get their nose bloodied. and further more i know a bully when i see one - how about you? let's take a look at the forces arrayed on both sides and see what we think - let's take a look at the destruction on both sides and see what we think. or better yet what a normal unbiased person would think - that would not be you on either count

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

not looking for anything from you - you have already made it clear that you have no business here and seem to be proud of it - should i go through some of your own postings? i am not a libertarian or anti semite but say what you want - just so you know if you did not despise me i would wonder what i am doing wrong so thanks for that

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[-] 5 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

you are sad and what is worse - stupid - but the worst is that you are boring

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

ok, much better but that is not saying much. also do not need your obscenity - once again it is not an ows attitude but you don't care about that do you? the main problem here is that your only real statement is factually inaccurate. i am sending you some info - again! let me know what is factually incorrect in these - if you cannot do that you will show yourself to be just another ideologue unworthy of a response (that would be my guess) -..

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, before I do, I’m going to just briefly comment on the ceasefire. The ceasefire, first of all, says nothing about the rampages by Israel against Hamas in the West Bank. And it was those rampages which caused the current conflict to escalate. It gives Israel a green light to continue arresting Hamas members, blowing up homes in the West Bank, ransacking homes and killing Palestinians, which was the prelude to the current fighting. Secondly, if you look at the ceasefire, it’s exactly what was agreed on in June—excuse me, June 2008 and the same ceasefire that was agreed to in November 2012. Namely, in both cases, it was said that there would be a relaxing of the illegal blockade of Gaza. In both cases, after the ceasefire was signed, the blockade was maintained, and in fact the blockade was escalated. So now, in the current version of the ceasefire, it said the blockade will be lifted after there has been calm restored and the security situation has been established. But if Israel says Hamas is a terrorist organization, then the security situation can never be calm in the Gaza, and therefore there will be never a lifting of the blockade of Gaza. So we’re right back to where we were in June 2008, November 2012. Of course Hamas is going to reject that kind of agreement. It means it legalizes, it legitimizes the brutal, merciless, heartless, illegal blockade of Gaza. As to how we got to where we are, the general context is perfectly obvious for anyone who wants to see it. A unity government was formed between the PA and Hamas. Netanyahu was enraged at this unity government. It called on the U.S., it called on the EU, to break relations with the Palestinian Authority. Surprisingly, the United States said, "No, we’re going to give this unity government time. We’ll see whether it works or not." Then the EU came in and said it will also give the unity government time. "Let’s see. Let’s see what happens."

At this point, Netanyahu virtually went berserk, and he was determined to break up the unity government. When there was the abduction of the three Israeli teenagers, he found his pretext. There isn’t a scratch of evidence, not a jot of evidence, that Hamas had anything to do with the kidnappings and the killings. Nobody even knows what the motive was, to this point. Even if you look at the July 3rd report of Human Rights Watch, they said nobody knows who was behind the abductions. Even the U.S. State Department, on July 7th, there was a news conference, and the U.S. State Department said, "We don’t have hard evidence about who was responsible." But that had nothing to do with it. It was just a pretext. The pretext was to go into the West Bank, attack Hamas, arrest 700 members of Hamas, blow up two homes, carry on these rampages, these ransackings, and to try to evoke a reaction from Hamas. This is what Israel always does. Anybody who knows the history, it’s what the Israeli political scientist, the mainstream political scientist—name was Avner Yaniv—he said it’s these Palestinian "peace offensives." Whenever the Palestinians seem like they are trying to reach a settlement of the conflict, which the unity government was, at that point Israel does everything it can to provoke a violent reaction—in this case, from Hamas—break up the unity government, and Israel has its pretext. "We can’t negotiate with the Palestinian Authority because they only represent some of the Palestinian people; they don’t represent all of the Palestinian people." And so Netanyahu does what he always does—excuse me, what Israeli governments always do: You keep pounding the Palestinians, in this case pounding Hamas, pounding Hamas, trying to evoke a reaction, and when the reaction comes—well, when the reaction comes, he said, "We can’t deal with these people. They’re terrorists."……………………………………………………….....

ALI ABUNIMAH: Let’s talk about the false claims that J.J. Goldberg made about the ceasefire and Hamas. You know, you can only make those claims, J.J., if you ignore the fact that after the November 2012 ceasefire not one rocket came out of Gaza for three months. Who did violate the ceasefire, J.J.? It was Israel. It bombed Gaza dozens of times. It killed and injured dozens of people. It fired on farmers and fishermen. Even The New York Times had to admit Israel’s frequent ceasefire violations. J.J., the answer, if you want to stop rockets, is time-tested and easy: Israel can stop attacking and killing people in Gaza; it can lift the siege. Also, let’s talk about—you know, it’s not just having Palestinians bleed on television that’s the point of coverage. Where are the Palestinian voices? Yesterday, The Electronic Intifada published astatement by 91 civil society leaders in Gaza, people from the Red Crescent, from the universities, from the media, Supreme Court judges—91 members of civil society—and they said, "We do not want a ceasefire without justice, because going back to the status quo is a living death." The choice we’re being given is between being blown to bits or dying slowly without the world listening. You know, when there’s a ceasefire, J.J. Goldberg isn’t agitating in The Nation — excuse me, in The Forward, for an end to the siege. What we have is this liberal Zionist navel gazing about how to preserve Israel as a so-called Jewish and democratic state. Enough Palestinian babies have been blown to pieces for this insanity. Enough of lecturing Palestinians that their resistance is illegitimate or futile.............

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[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

ows should know where bernie stands on all issues. many here realize that the facts do not bear out what you say and thus are unhappy with the great senator - who is really good on many issues - not this one

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1491) 3 months ago

Bernie is a pro, he knows when to rock the boat and when to shut up and fall in line.

Make real noise against Israel in the US government and see what happens. AIPAC stooges abound.

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

if i understand your answer correctly - you refuse to answer - right? am i anti american for opposing bushes war - am i a saddam supporter for opposing bushes war - it is a yes or no question in case you didn't notice

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[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 3 months ago

no you did not ask for info - i will not make that mistake again- how about a question - can you answer one - if i am opposed to the bush policy of invading iraq in 2003 does that mean i am anti american? does it mean that i am a lover of saddam and his murderous regime? that is a tough one no?

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