Saban and Clinton, on an earlier occasion
Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, June 27, 2016
Have you had an espresso yet today? Have you had a drink? Make that a double! Brace yourself for the news over the weekend from the Democratic Platform Committee. The platform this year will be even worse than previous platforms on Palestine. That’s how things look, despite the insurgent anti-Benjamin-Netanyahu campaign of Bernie Sanders: there is no occupation, and no settlements either. Jerusalem forever, and death to BDS. The party belongs to Hillary Clinton. Those on the committee appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have been lobbying for reference to Israel’s "occupation" and its "settlement activity" in the West Bank. Neither term ultimately made it into the language, although future negotiations are possible in Orlando and in Philadelphia, where the convention will be held later in July. This is the Jerusalem Post’s report:
The Democratic Party plans to declare in its platform opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement [BDS], a top priority for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
In a detailed briefing on the platform’s language exclusive to the Post, the Democrats would declare that Palestinians “should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and in dignity.”…
Those on the committee appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have been lobbying for reference to Israel’s “occupation” and its “settlement activity” in the West Bank. Neither term ultimately made it into the language, although future negotiations are possible in Orlando and in Philadelphia, where the convention will be held later in July.
Remember that Hillary Clinton has pledged two or three times now, last year in a letter to Haim Saban, one of her biggest donors, and in a slavish performance channeling Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel lobby group AIPAC this spring, and at the Saban Forum last December too, to fight BDS tooth and nail. This is evidently essential work to raising money on the Dem side and also recruiting neoconservative establishment support.
Oh and the plank that so divided the convention in 2012 leading to uproar on the floor, and a smashdown from President Obama:
Utilizing similar language from its 2008 and 2012 platforms, the party once again recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and states that, while the city should remain undivided, its final status should be left to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Common Dreams says the platform as drafted is a broad betrayal of progressives. Though it will be revisited by the committee next month in Orlando and then again at the convention in Philadelphia, it is conservative on climate change, fracking and trade.
During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, members of the DNC’s platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have come out against the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At the same time, proposals to support a carbon tax, Single Payer healthcare, and a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation were also disregarded….
Common Dreams cites the AP report of the meeting, in which the final discussion “centered on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”
“The committee defeated an amendment by Sanders supporter James Zogby that would have called for providing Palestinians with ‘an end to occupation and illegal settlements’ and urged an international effort to rebuild Gaza,” AP reports, measures which Zogby said Sanders helped craft.
Instead, AP reports, the adopted draft “advocates working toward a ‘two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict’ that guarantees Israel’s security with recognized borders ‘and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.’”
Citing these “moral failures” of the platform draft, [Sanders surrogate Cornel] West abstained during the final vote to send the document to review by the full Platform Committee next month in Orlando, Florida.
So Bernie Sanders was a flash in the pan. And what will his legions of young supporters, many of whom are very progressive on Palestine, and were actually shocked by the AIPAC speech, by its grim grasping algorithm of policy/donations, have to say about this in Philadelphia? It appears the Clinton knows she can get away with this, and is prepared to live with some muffled stifled drowned cries at the convention as she sails toward the general.
Thanks to Adam Horowitz.