Bernie Sanders - Enough Already


US Senator Bernie Sanders writes it's time for America (and, by implication, Canada) to stop being an apologist for Benjamin Netanyahu.

No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel? ...We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.

Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been living under the threat of eviction for many years, navigating a legal system designed to facilitate their forced displacement. And over the past weeks, extremist settlers have intensified their efforts to evict them.

And, tragically, those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression. For years we have seen a deepening Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a continuing blockade on Gaza that make life increasingly intolerable for Palestinians. In Gaza, which has about two million inhabitants, 70 percent of young people are unemployed and have little hope for the future.

Further, we have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections. But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. In his frantic effort to stay in power and avoid prosecution for corruption, Mr. Netanyahu has legitimized these forces, including Itamar Ben Gvir and his extremist Jewish Power party, by bringing them into the government. It is shocking and saddening that racist mobs that attack Palestinians on the streets of Jerusalem now have representation in its Knesset.

In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.

This approach must recognize that Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians. 

It'd be great if the Trudeau government had half the spine of Bernie Sanders but that's wishful thinking.


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    1. Sorry, TB. I hit the wrong button just as I was about to respond to your comment. Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu, that's quite a rogues' gallery, isn't it. We need to remember how easily Mr. Trudeau condemned the BDS or Boycott Divest Sanction movement, writing off all of its supporters as anti-Semites. That was as opportunistic as it was disgraceful but such is the state of the Liberal Party these days.

      There used to be a blog, Alison at Creekside. She kept accurate records of Canada's voting record on motions pertaining to Israel and Palestine at the General Assembly. Anyone who doubts that Trudeau is in the bag for Netanyahu need only review that record.

  2. Trudeau gov't foreign policy is 100% Freeland. Supporting Bibi is just one thing that's got Lester B. rolling in the grave.

    Last week the Gov't lost again in court. (3rd appeal) Court ruled their argument was nonsense.
    WTO rules state that wine made in West Bank/Palestine cannot be labeled Made in Israel. (Big global implications in the days of BDS,)
    But the judge stayed his own order to give them yet another chance to concoct some case.
    FFS even Mulroney was better on this file.??

    BTW, Dershowitz (who is surely an example of a 'self-hating human') calls Bernie 'a self-hating Jew'.

    i differ with the Bern on this part.

    "None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas"

    The legal means is failing, (current evictions, Oslo, Camp David, Wine story above etc) so
    The poor wage war on the rich with any available resources.

    "Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly."

    1. There was a large pro-Gaza march today in Montreal. The turnout was impressive.

      Trudeau, not Freeland, is prime minister. He has to wear this.

      Erdogan recently conferred with Putin over establishing a buffer zone between Arab and Israeli lands. That would give the Americans fits but half a century and counting they've neither reined in the Israelis nor advanced the peace process in any manner beyond gaudy window dressing.

      Imagine what that region might look like but for that goddamned book shared by these Abrahamic zealots - Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

    2. not absolving Jr ... just pointing out who is calling the shots
      the person the media has set up as next PM

  3. Imagine what that region might look like but for that goddamned book shared by these Abrahamic zealots - Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

    I cry.


  4. The case that Dershowitz relies on in "The Case for Israel" is 99 and 44/100% "might-is-right".

    Justin doesn't have a clue on any of this stuff. There are no stylish costumes involved.

    1. I've heard it referred to as "facts on the ground," John. That's a thinly veiled term for "boots on the ground." Israeli forces control almost the entirety of what had been the West Bank and, through a military cordon, all of Gaza. There are people born into captivity that now have very grey hair, people who know they will probably die in captivity. Many already have.

      Netanyahu, dependent on coalitions with the far right, has created an Apartheid state. It's one of those things that only grows increasingly grotesque with each passing year. Canada looks the other way.

      Israel's 50-year old unresolved paradox is that it can't accept a one-state solution. The Arabs might breed themselves into a majority and that's an unbearable prospect. At the same time it cannot return the occupied territories, reverting to the '67 borders, because it has already swallowed up most of the West Bank and turned Gaza into a wasteland.

      I ask Canadians how, in similar circumstances, they would react to being dispossessed and subjugated by force of arms. Would we not fight?


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