The Clinton/Trump AIPAC ‘Pander-Off’

Exclusive: While Sen. Sanders stressed the need for a nuanced approach to the Middle East, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump competed to see who could avow their love for Israel more ardently, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

At the annual AIPAC convention, the Democratic and Republican front-runners engaged in what might be called a “pander-off” as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tried to outdo the other in declaring their love and devotion to Israel.

Yet, what was perhaps most troubling about the two dueling speeches was the absence of any significant sympathy for the Palestinian people or any substantive criticism of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

By contrast, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did not attend the AIPAC convention, delivered a foreign policy speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, that struck a more balanced tone and placed part of the blame for the Mideast problems on the policies of Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

However, in Washington before thousands of cheering attendees at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention on Monday, Clinton, Trump and two other Republican candidates, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, were in full pander mode.

For instance, former Secretary of State Clinton depicted Israel as entirely an innocent victim in the Mideast conflicts. “As we gather here, three evolving threats — Iran’s continued aggression, a rising tide of extremism across a wide arc of instability, and the growing effort to de-legitimize Israel on the world stage — are converging to make the U.S.-Israel alliance more indispensable than ever,” she declared.

“The United States and Israel must be closer than ever, stronger than ever and more determined than ever to prevail against our common adversaries and to advance our shared values. … This is especially true at a time when Israel faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks at home. Parents worry about letting their children walk down the street. Families live in fear.”

Yet, Clinton made no reference to Palestinian parents who worry about their children walking down the street or playing on a beach and facing the possibility of sudden death from an Israeli drone or warplane. Instead, she scolded Palestinian adults. “Palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence, stop celebrating terrorists as martyrs and stop paying rewards to their families,” she said.

Then, Clinton promised to put her future administration at the service of the Israeli government, asking: “The first choice is this: are we prepared to take the U.S./Israel alliance to the next level?”

Clinton said, “One of the first things I’ll do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to visit the White House. And I will send a delegation from the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs to Israel for early consultations. Let’s also expand our collaboration beyond security.”

Clinton lashed out at the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which has sought to convince Israel to respect the human and political rights of Palestinians by applying economic and moral pressure on Israeli businesses. Yet, instead of a non-violent movement to achieve change in the Israeli-Palestinian dynamic, Clinton saw anti-Semitism.

“Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people,” she said, adding: “we have to be united in fighting back against BDS.”

Clinton also indirectly criticized Trump for having said earlier in the campaign that the United States should be “neutral” in its handling of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

“Yes, we need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable,” Clinton declared.

Trump’s No-Pander Pander

Speaking after Clinton’s appearance, Trump asserted that “I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That’s what politicians do: all talk, no action. Believe me.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Trump then took on the challenge of out-pandering Clinton. Trump pandered to Israel’s hatred of Iran, vowing “to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran” restraining its nuclear program. He also pandered about Iran’s role in terrorism.

“They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the Western Hemisphere, very close to home,” Trump said. “Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world. And we will work to dismantle that reach, believe me, believe me.”

However, in the real world, Iran has actually assisted the governments of Iraq and Syria in battling the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, while Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and – to a lesser degree – Israel have provided help to Sunni jihadists, especially in Syria, to counter what the Sunni-led states and Israel see as excessive Shiite influence in the Middle East.

In his pandering, Trump also exposed his ignorance about Israeli-Palestinian history. He asserted, “There is no moral equivalency [between the Israelis and the Palestinians]. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists.”

But that’s not exactly true. The most revered Israeli leader, in terms of having his name attached to streets, squares and parks, is Ze’ev Jabotinsky, founder and leader of the Irgun, a terror group that fought for the founding of Israel. Jabotinsky has some 57 sites named for him.

One of his Irgun followers, Menachem Begin, has his name commemorated in at least 43 communities. Similarly, Yitzhak Shamir, a leader of Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang), a terror group that joined with the Irgun in carrying out ethnic cleansing of Palestinians including the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, has his name attached to a Jerusalem highway.

Bodies of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra camp in Lebanon, 1982. (Photo credit: U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)

Bodies of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra camp in Lebanon, 1982. (Photo credit: U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)

But more significant than the honorific naming of public sites is the fact that Begin and Shamir were elected as Israeli prime ministers. In other words, Israel doesn’t just honor its terrorists by naming public squares after them; it gave them the power to direct military actions against Palestinians and other people in the region, including Begin’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which led to the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians.

But Trump’s pandering even extended to mentioning his and his family’s longtime devotion to Israel, including a reference to his daughter marrying an Orthodox Jew, converting to Judaism and now pregnant: “I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel. I’ve been with Israel so long in terms of I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel, my father before me, incredible. My daughter, Ivanka, is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”

Respecting the Palestinians

By contrast, Sanders, the only Jewish candidate and someone who lived on an Israeli kibbutz as a young man, did not attend the AIPAC conference, citing a scheduling conflict for his campaign which was hoping to close Clinton’s formidable delegate lead with strong showings in Utah, Idaho and Arizona.

Instead, Sanders gave a foreign policy speech that he claimed he would have given if he had addressed the AIPAC convention. While critical of Iranian and Palestinian leaders, Sanders offered a much more evenhanded assessment of the reasons for the troubled Middle East.

Sanders stressed that his overall approach to the region would be to emphasize diplomacy among the Mideast countries instead of concentrating on threats and the use of force. He also called for a recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

“To be successful, we have also got to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people, where in Gaza unemployment today is 44 percent and we have there a poverty rate which is almost as high,” the Vermont senator said. “You can’t have good policy that results in peace if you ignore one side.”

While insisting on security for Israel, Sanders said, “peace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for the Palestinian people. Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank. … It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders also touched on other sensitive issues that Clinton and Trump avoided. Sanders said, “Peace will also mean ending the economic blockade of Gaza. And it will mean a sustainable and equitable distribution of precious water resources so that Israel and Palestine can both thrive as neighbors.

“Right now, Israel controls 80 percent of the water reserves in the West Bank. Inadequate water supply has contributed to the degradation and desertification of Palestinian land. A lasting peace will have to recognize Palestinians are entitled to control their own lives and there is nothing human life needs more than water.”

Sanders continued, “Peace will require strict adherence by both sides to the tenets of international humanitarian law. This includes Israel ending disproportionate responses to being attacked – even though any attack on Israel is unacceptable.”

While condemning rocket fire from Gaza into Israel in 2014, Sanders added, “let me also be very clear: I – along with many supporters of Israel – spoke out strongly against the Israeli counter attacks that killed nearly 1,500 civilians and wounded thousands more. I condemned the bombing of hospitals, schools and refugee camps. Today, Gaza is still largely in ruins. The international community must come together to help Gaza recover.”

Regarding his earlier comments about wealthy Sunni-led oil states taking on a greater regional role in fighting jihadist extremism, such as Islamic State terrorists, Sanders clarified, “Now, I am not suggesting that Saudi Arabia or any other states in the region invade other countries, nor unilaterally intervene in conflicts driven in part by sectarian tensions.

“What I am saying is that the major powers in the region – especially the Gulf States – have to take greater responsibility for the future of the Middle East and the defeat of ISIS. … What I am also saying is that other countries in the region – like Saudi Arabia, which has the fourth largest defense budget in the world – has to dedicate itself more fully to the destruction of ISIS, instead of other military adventures like the one it is pursuing right now in Yemen.”

Sanders also distanced himself from Hillary Clinton who has urged a U.S. military bombing campaign against the Syrian government, or as she tries to sell the idea as a “safe zone” or a “no-fly zone” though U.S. military officials say either idea would require a major aerial assault on Syria’s air force and air defenses.

In contrast, Sanders said, “After five years of brutal conflict, the only solution in Syria will be, in my view, a negotiated political settlement. Those who advocate for stronger military involvement by the U.S. to oust Assad from power have not paid close enough attention to history. That would simply prolong the war and increase the chaos in Syria, not end it.”

Sanders even envisioned working with Russia and Iran to stabilize Syria, defeat ISIS and arrange a transitional government, adding:

“I applaud Secretary Kerry and the Obama administration for negotiating a partial ceasefire between the Assad regime and most opposition forces. The ceasefire shows the value of American-led diplomacy, rather than escalating violence. It may not seem like a lot, but it is. Diplomacy in this instance has had some real success.”

Overall, Sanders advocated less reliance on “regime change” strategies that require military force, saying: “In my view, the military option for a powerful nation like ours – the most powerful nation in the world – should always be on the table. That’s why we have the most powerful military in the world. But it should always be the last resort not the first resort. …

“You know it is very easy for politicians to go before the people and talk about how tough we are, and we want to wipe out everybody else. But I think if we have learned anything from history is that we pursue every diplomatic option before we resort to military intervention. And interestingly enough, more often than not, diplomacy can achieve goals that military intervention cannot achieve.”

Sanders may have waited too long to give a detailed foreign policy speech, letting Clinton mostly off the hook for her neoconservative tendencies and her support for “regime change” wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Most political analysts say he is too far behind in the delegate count to catch up even if his campaign catches on fire in the later primary states, such as California and New York.

Only now has Sanders explained in detail his more nuanced approach toward the Israel-Palestine conflict and his more dovish attitude toward using American military force, in contrast to Clinton’s one-sided attitude toward Israel and her hawkish talk about exerting U.S. power.

Indeed, Clinton’s neocon-style speech to AIPAC could be the first sign of her long-awaited “pivot to the center,” now that she has amassed such a strong lead that she feels she no longer has to worry about the Democratic Party’s liberal base.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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24 comments for “The Clinton/Trump AIPAC ‘Pander-Off’

  1. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    March 22, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    This is from an e-mail I received on Sunday from an organization called “Jewish Voice for Peace”:

    “AIPAC has peddled Islamophobic and racist stereotypes for literally decades. It is fundamental to how they’ve built power and influence. It’s who they are.

    Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism are not a byproduct of AIPAC’s policy agenda anymore than they are a byproduct of Israeli policy. They’re fundamental.

    And over and over, Jewish communal organizations have co-signed on that racism by ignoring, or just plain silencing, criticism of AIPAC’s demonization of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in order to secure unconditional U.S. support and military aid for Israel.”

    Ari Wohlfeiler
    Deputy Director

    I guess AMERICANS have nobody to blame but themselves…………….It is now official, America has become The United States of ISRAEL………….

  2. bfearn
    March 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Who to vote for seems like a no-brainer. Perhaps that is the problem?

    • Roberto
      March 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Well, there may be a third choice. Whatever brings about complete catharsis.

  3. rexw
    March 22, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    It is really becoming impossible to see the difference between a Trump and a Clinton in their grovelling subservience to Netanhayu and his nasties, sitting in Tel Aviv, rubbing his hands together in joy knowing that perhaps 65% or more of all the US politicians were in attendance, awaiting their instructions.

    As involvement (and control) by israel is so well accepted by both, I would respectfully suggest that they alternate the roles of President and Vice-President after November and make it official by their actions that Israel controls America.

    It’s there for all to see.

    How the mighty have fallen

  4. Joe Tedesky
    March 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    What more people should wonder about, is by continuing to follow such leaders as Hillary, there will be no end to this madness? Consider today with the attacks in Brussels, all eyes are on Hillary Clinton, as if she were the answer to solving any of this. What Hillary advocates for, is enforcement of the Yinon Plan, or the Clean Break Strategy, which benefits only the Zionist who wish to control the entire Middle East. Yet, not many Americans understand that this is basically what is happening through out the Middle East region, and for who’s benefit. To further on with their madness, the Hillary’s of our world want to isolate Russia, and China. What a tall order indeed. My guess is, that the neocon theory is that after we break down these larger nations, then we will run rampant over them until we subtract more of the world’s population, to make more room for us. Of course this would give the right people access to Russia and China’s mineral resources, and that will be good since it will strengthen our own chances for survival, until Jesus returns to save us from ourselves. Seriously, when will sane mines take over at the helm? Maybe Jesus should return before the November 2016 elections, and save what still maybe the good among us, because after these elections are over I’m afraid all hell may break loose, and there wouldn’t be much left to save.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 23, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      … until Jesus returns to save us from ourselves.

      When I was praying this morning for the United States to be spared from a Clinton, Trump or Cruz presidency, God told me Jesus said to Him that there is no way he is going to participate in the Second Coming at this time. The first trip was a bummer and Jesus said he is not about to go through that crap again for a bunch of Americans and Europeans who are getting all the problems they deserve.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 23, 2016 at 6:50 pm

        PS: God also told me that the rule about sins of the fathers being visited on their children is still operative, and for Americans worried about the debt that will be left to their grandchildren He told me that will be the least of their problems.

  5. Helen Marshall
    March 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Pivot to the “center?” Center of what? I can’t think of anything she has done to appease her “liberal base” except tell lies about what she might do with regard to the TPP. I would not vote for her regardless of who might be running against her…she is not the lesser evil, just a different evil.

    • Roberto
      March 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Well, that’s it. It’s either Sanders or Trump or Nukes.

  6. Brad Benson
    March 22, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    The article was long on Hillary’s Pandering and very thin on Trump’s Pandering. Neither of them did what Bernie finally did, but between the two names in the headline, one pandered big time and the other talked in bogus platitudes.

    The fact is that Trump gave them nothing but meaningless applause lines. The biggest applause lines were for his verbal attacks on Iran. He’s been saying all along that he’d “tweak” the Iran Deal. For one afternoon he tweaked his “tweak” up a little bit and that was about the only pandering he did all night.

    On the other hand, Hillary promised new weapons systems, more money, JCS assistance to help plan further aggression, a White House Invitation for Netanyahu, a total ban on any further relations with Iran and finally–to take the America/Israel Relationship to the next level, whatever that means!

    After his Iran Tirade, Trump talked about a Jewish Grandchild on the way. See the difference?

    • Darlene McKewen
      March 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Absolutely, there is a big difference between the Hillarator and Trump. 1 is her experienced foreign affairs skills; which has literally destabilized the middle East and and North Africa; since proxy wars and destruction of governments in the name of Democracy has only increased the number of terrorists. Her solution is to continue this policy in Syria by overlooking the peace initiative and once and for all getting rid of Assad (someone whose solders are defeating Isis),Somehow, in her warped brain, she thinks this old geopolitical strategy is supposed to make Israel safer by, eliminating an ally of Iran. She will never learn, seen it, been there in Iraq and Libya and don’t want to do it any more.This is especially dangerous for putting ourselves on a collision course with Russia(reset cold war), who for her own self interest, will not allow Assad to go softly into that good night.

      Trump who everyone says has no policy, so is all talk, has actually said alot about what he would do, just not to that group. He would like to make a deal between the Palestinian and Israel governments. For him and his administration, the US would have to be neutral and that neutrality does not equate to anti-antisemitism, though pundits will spin it that way (why not add anti-antisemitism to his list of hate crimes).. Also though not at the Apaic meeting, he has talked about reducing foreign aid to Israel. This aid seems like a good bargaining chip, to perhaps keep Israel from continuing to break international law by building illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Also racism, tell you the truth there are alot of Christian Palestinian people who have the same hatred for Israel as the Arab Palestinian. Though of different religions, they all share the same bad experiences.l. I’ve been to a Christian Palestinian community center in Bethlehem in 2003, and the pictures these children, 7 and 8 years old, were drawing is nothing like children here. Barbed wire, children throwing rocks and being shot at by soldiers. This is not just a radical Islamic problem, it’s a problem for all people who feel like they are not safe or free. I guess Israeli children feel the same, except they do have a wall and lots of soldiers that protects them, While people from Gaza are fenced in, I heard that Israel would like to annex the West Bank and send people who have lived thousands of years on their land, to Jordan. Now Maybe this is the answer, but not forced to go empty handed to Jordan, whose people would not be happy with this, influx of poor people, adding to their own refugee burden. But using infamous imminent domain that Cruz likes to berate, Trump can give them a generous compensation plan where Palestinans have an option to resettle anywhere they wan,t even in America (once vetted) with money in their pocket to help our economy. At this point, I think we need to think out of the old geopolitical colonial box, and look to a win and win situation. If they can’t get along then maybe it is time to separate, but voluntarily with a deal that everyone would be willing to live with for this we need a common sense conservative who believes that all people love their children and might like to visit his resort in Florida. Who knows he might give them a trip before their move…

      In my opinion, if it isn’t Donald who can broker for these things now, it will come at sometime, when Americans will get tired of watching their elected officials have to bow down to Israeli lobbyists, and to benefit their country at our expense. America took a side and the world is more dangerous because of this Palestinian problem. There will come a time when Israel will be forced to take into account that they must recognize the interests of others, and can’t depend on us to defend them when many times they cause their own problems. Trump–2016..

      • Donald Trump
        March 31, 2016 at 12:22 am

        What a load of GARBAGE you talk. If you believe Trump will do anything he says you’re a complete idiot. This man is a tool of the 1% who are using him to cause social disorder throughout America and the rest of world. All they want is WAR so they can make money and control the population until they turn us all into slaves to their money grabbing system. By the time the 1% illuminati bankers have finished anybody who speaks out will be in one the FEMA camps they are building throughout America to put them and use them as slave labour. These people are SATANISTS totally dedicated to subjugating the world to their EVIL aims. You will be lucky not to be in one unless you bend over and suck LUCIFERS for them! WAKE UP IDIOT!

      • Marcy Fleming
        April 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm

        Darlene, great points. Trump will have a much less interventionist policy than Billary. Sanders is better here but he’s so awful on domestic policy, total statism, that a vote for him is inconceivable.

  7. Pablo Diablo
    March 22, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    BDS NOW!

  8. Cal
    March 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I had previously said that if came to Hillary vs Trump I’d have to go with Trump.
    Now I have to take that back.
    I cant vote for either of them, much less the repulsive Cruz.
    Since its clear that Bernie is too far behind to take the nomination he’s out also.
    I was initially shy of Sanders because of his support for the Gaza bombing but maybe he’s had a epiphany on I/P .
    Maybe I will write in Sanders name.
    Maybe ALL Americans should write in a name since there’s no None of the Above box on the ballots.

  9. Lois Gagnon
    March 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    When will the American public demand that Israel and its lobby groups register as foreign agents? Either that or take down the Stars and Stripes and hoist the Israeli flag.

  10. Cal
    March 22, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Several years ago James Wolcott in his Vanity Fair column wrote of Hillary’s AIPAC speech that she….and I quote him….’did everything but squat and sh*t a turd for the Lobby.”

  11. Cal
    March 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Two best comments around the blogs that I’ve seen on Hillary:

    March 20, 2016, 9:10 am
    ”It is reported that Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton hosted a pre AIPAC conference dinner for special invitees during which she gave a 20 minute address to the ticket only guests regarding the race for the White House and the importance of Israel in the ongoing debate. Tickets were reported to cost from $20,000 upwards with top table tickets going for around $100,000 and all of the proceeds going to her election campaign.
    ‘During her speech Mrs Clinton launched a stinging attack on her likely Republican rival for the Presidency Mr Donald Trump. ” Donald Trump has said time and time again that if elected he will put the interests of America and the American people before all others. This is an outrageous and abhorrent position bordering on Anti – Semitism. It is not so much a question of throwing Israel under a bus. Mr Trump is proposing to throw Israel under a train. If elected I can assure you that I will rightfully put the interests of Israel and the Israeli people before all others including America and the American people. If elected from my first day in office I will pursue those interests as a priority and plan to meet my dear friend and political ally Mr Benjamin Netanyahu within a few days of my inauguration to discuss how Israel`s interests can best be served , including the question of annual American financial support for Israel and the Israeli people which at a measly $3 billion is clearly in need of a significant boost ” She is reported to have received 40 standing ovations during her 20 minute speech Satire: http://dailycurrant.com

    March 20, 2016, 2:43 pm
    Hillary will never say what’s really on her mind: power at any price even if it’s America at the beck and call of Zionism. And to the black community she’s really saying:

    ”Look only at what I’m promising and what I tell you you’ve benefitted from, but don’t look at all that I helped to deprive you of and all that I’ll fail to do for you once I get what I’ve been after since my husband left office, because I’ll exploit your desperation if I have to; to get what I’ve been after for too long and you and the Lobby are my ticket there. ”

  12. Abbybwood
    March 22, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Well, Orthodox Jews have already built their “Eruvs” all over the country:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_with_eruvin

    There is even one around The White House!:

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/eruv-awakening-6424073

    When I was living in Westhampton Beach, NY in 2008 there was a HUGE fight in the community because the majority did NOT want Eruvs being constructed in the downtown areas etc.

  13. Peter Loeb
    March 23, 2016 at 6:12 am

    OUT OF CONTEXT…

    “And if someone says to them: ‘Do not sow discord in
    the earth,’ they answer: ‘We are merely trying to bring
    people together.’ In truth, they are sowers of discord, but
    they know it not.” Qur’an 2:12 (tr. Tarif Khalidi)

    Not being a Muslim myself this is, of course, cited
    quite out of context. These words remain an eloquent
    statement of the situation in the Mideast today.

    1. I quite agree with Hamas and others that “Israel has
    no right to exist” as long as that means “as a Jewish
    state”.

    2. I do not accept any “special relationship” or “special values”
    shared by the US and Israel (formerly Palestine). I realize
    that Israel and most of its Jewish citizens now function as
    a terrorist state. For brevity, its sins of commission are
    not mentioned in detail here. (To say so produces the
    same feeling as claiming that the US and The Third Reich
    shared values. Which, of course, they did in many respects.
    My ancestors in past generations were German while
    my own parents served the anti-Hitler resistance with
    many others.)

    3. Of course, Palestine as an independent state can and
    must develop its own military. It must be able to elect
    its own government whether approved by Israel or not.
    It must be able to make its own coalitions.

    4. The depiction of Hamas as the provocoteur is simply
    inaccurate. Israel is.

    5. The description of Russia striking “anti-Assad” rebels
    is a fabrication. Russia’s intervention have been in protection
    of Syria, its partner . The so-called “rebels” have been
    close to al Quaeda. al Nusra and other militant affiliates.

    6. Of course, the dismantling of all of Israel’s weapons sites
    and any “capacity” for making nuclear weapons and weapons
    of mass destruction (eg drones etc.) is mandatory. Without
    such an agreement under international law and monitoring
    Israel will remain the greatest threat to world peace. As we know,
    such proposals have been put forth in the United Nations
    and blocked by the US on behalf of its client Israel. In H. Clinton’s
    understanding these would be considered “anti-semitic”. An embargo
    of Israel and sanctions should be automatically put in place should
    Israel fail in any compliance.

    7. There is much more to disagree with in Sanders’ speech
    while being grateful for its mostly false dreams.One has had to
    wait patiently even for crumbs!

    ————————–

    The views of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their
    attempts for funds require no comment. One can only
    remark that the acceptance of such hatred in
    our society continues to amaze.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  14. Deschutes
    March 23, 2016 at 8:35 am

    What an absolutely sickening spectacle: Hillary Clinton and Trump wedging their noses as far up between AIPAC’s collective ass crack. I watched some of Clinton’s speech: she acts as if Israel is some poor victim state, defenceless, which urgently needs the most modern weapons systems from USA, and pretty much needs EVERYTHING that America can give to Israel. All this nonsense–when Israel has far superior weapons, intelligence, even nukes–compared to its Arab neighbors. I hate, hate, hate Clinton! The thought of 8 years of that witch in the white house is even worse than GW Bush :-(((((

    Until Israel makes real peace with Palestine and the other Arab neighbors there will continue to be terrorist attacks like the one yesterday in Belgium. That is to say, Israel is to blame for ALL Middle East war and conflict. Period.

  15. March 23, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Trump is a idiot in the eyes of the Jewish religion you are only considered Jewish if your mother was Jewish his daughter isn’t Jewish therefore his grandchild is not trump will say anything to gain political favor he’s an idiot and the people who follow him are idiots also

  16. Pat
    March 23, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Bob, thank you for covering this right away. I immediately thought of you when I heard him talking about Saudi Arabia’s role, with clarification that he was not suggesting the Saudis should lead the effort against ISIS. I never thought he was, but damn if I was able to convince anyone that “getting their hands dirty” didn’t mean what they thought it did. He didn’t use that phrase this time. Maybe one of his new foreign policy advisers explained to him that it was being misinterpreted.

  17. TellTheTruth-2
    March 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Donald Trump’s pandering to the AIPAC lobby was shocking. Is it a deal breaker? I’m not sure. Hopefully it was just a ploy to remove ammunition from the “stop Trump” movement which appears to be led by neoCONs who seem to “want a reason” to vote for Hillary.

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