Selling Out Palestinian Rights

Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have led the way in abandoning principles of human rights, democracy and rule of law by pandering to Israel and its powerful lobby, explains Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

In early March, Professor Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wrote an essay explaining that American foreign policy generated by Democratic Party presidents has been much to blame for the disastrous fate of the Palestinians.

The Democrats have allowed themselves to be suborned by Zionist special interests for reasons we will explore below. It is Democratic officials who also verbally attack any American who stands up for the rights of Palestinians, and do so, if anything, more strongly than their Republican competitors.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Falk worked tirelessly from 2008 to 2014 to bring about justice for the Palestinian people – something that, if achieved, would have raised the esteem of both the U.N. and the U.S. among millions of Arabs. Officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama, including National Security Advisor Susan Rice and current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, repaid Falk for his efforts with insulting ad hominem attacks.

For instance, Power celebrated Falk’s departure from his post by asserting that, “his publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the U.N.’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council. The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.”

It is to be noted that at no time did Professor Falk issue a report, or even make a public statement, that was not based on documented fact and a clear understanding of international law. One suspects that Ambassador Power knew this to be so and that her vitriol against Falk was the act of an amoral political agent of an amoral government.

Professor Falk sees much of the U.S. government’s policy in the Middle East as a consequence of a State Department long populated by Zionists along with the power and influence of an Israeli-directed bloc of special interests.

President Obama’s own efforts at Middle East policy formulation began, according to Falk, with the rhetorical assertion that the United States is “different because we adhere to the rule of law and act in accord with our values in foreign policy.” Yet this claim has always been false, and very quickly, the President’s words lost meaning as lobby pressure bent policy (with the singular exception of the Iran nuclear deal) to the will of the Zionist cause.

Hillary Clinton

Watching the distressing kowtowing this past week to that same lobby by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has proven Richard Falk undeniably correct. In her speech to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an organization which, in truth, functions in the U.S. as the agent of a foreign power (Israel), Clinton proclaimed the following:

–That as president she will take the U.S.- Israeli relationship “to the next level,” which entails lavishing on that state most of America’s latest defensive and offensive weaponry and the negotiating of yet another defense treaty – a “ten-year defense memorandum of understanding.”

–This is allegedly necessary because, Israel “faces three evolving threats – Iran’s continued aggression, a rising tide of extremism across a wide arc of instability, and the growing effort to delegitimize Israel on the world stage.” Here she refers to the boycott or BDS movement. These threats make “the U.S.-Israel alliance more indispensable than ever.”

Juan Cole’s rebuttal to Clinton’s assertions is particularly good. He points out that when the situation is looked at soberly, Israel has no conventional security threats, including from Iran, that necessitates billions of dollars of American weapons and a binding defense memorandum. Cole accurately points out that the “rising tide of extremism” is, to a good extent, a function of the U.S. invasion of Iraq (which both Clinton and the Israelis supported), and the dissolution of Syria (which has become a national security goal of Israel). Finally, by describing BDS as a movement that must be suppressed, she is endangering U.S. constitutional rights.

–Clinton extols the U.S.-Israel alliance as one of “shared values.” She describes Israel as “a bastion of liberty.” This is de rigueur propaganda and, for the Palestinians, has no convincing connection to reality.

Clinton then qualifies her dubious assertion by asking, “will we, as Americans and as Israelis, stay true to the shared democratic values that have always been at the heart of our relationship.” She is no doubt including “America” in this question as a reference to the problematic behavior of Donald Trump and his supporters. However, her question, as it applies to Israel, has already been answered.

Gideon Levy

The well-known Israeli journalist Gideon Levy was in Washington, D.C. last week and had an interview with Max Blumenthal. In it he warned of just how far Israel has drifted from “democratic values” as well as how complicit American liberals, such as Hillary Clinton, are in the process of Israeli moral and political corruption.

Levy tells us that “American liberals should know … that they are supporting the first sign of fascism in Israel. I don’t call it yet fascism, but [the] first signs [are] very clear.And America keeps financing it. This should be known and should be recognized by any American, mainly the liberals, who care where their taxpayer money goes, and so much of it.

“I mean, there is no source of hope right now. There’s no alternative to Netanyahu. … The atmosphere, as I said, is becoming less and less tolerant, and the standing of democracy is minimal and many times very twisted.”

Levy then takes particular aim at the substantial, if unofficial, U.S. support for Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights:

“Occupation is American values? Occupation serves the American interest? Doesn’t America see that it pays a hell of a price for this automatic and blind support of Israel and of the occupation project? Is it reasonable that in the 21st century, the United States will finance an apartheid regime in the occupied territories? All those questions should be raised.”

Levy is by no means alone at raising the alarm about where Zionism has led Israeli society. For a more detailed treatment of the intolerance and nascent fascism showing its face, the reader can take a look at Israeli Professor David Schulman’s “Israel: The Broken Silence,” a review of six exposes on Israeli society and behavior. This has just been published in the April 7 edition of New York Review of Books.

Schulman concludes that “The far right in Israel very readily opts for totalitarian modes of thinking and acting, and it’s not clear who is left to stop it.” It certainly will not be Hillary Clinton.

Who raises objections to the consequences of U.S. complicity in Israel’s political disaster? People such as Richard Falk and Gideon Levy do and thereby keep alive some semblance of rational discourse about the place of democratic values in U.S. foreign policy formulation. However, despite their rhetoric, liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton have clearly abandoned those values when it comes to any reference to Israel and its behavior.

What this means is that the substance of Clinton’s speech at the AIPAC convention was mere propaganda – an effort to rationalize, or perhaps simply to cover up, deeper and more base motives. Therefore, if supporting “shared democratic values” is not what motivates Clinton’s kowtowing, what does?

The answer is naked political opportunism. Here is the formula: (1) American politics runs on domestically garnered money, and lots of it: running for office, just about any office from dog catcher to president, requires constant financial solicitation; (2) special interests, be they economic concerns, professional organizations, or ideologically motivated groups are a major source of these funds; (3) in exchange for their largesse, such interests require political support for their causes.

Here enters, among others, the Zionists, whose deep pockets, ability to shape media messages, and rally voters, both Jewish and Christian, are well known. An alliance with the Zionists is politically profitable while incurring their anger is sometimes politically fatal.

Of course, such an alliance means the abandonment of any objective or even rational consideration of U.S. policy toward Israel and much of the rest of the Middle East. And indeed, the national interest relating to this increasingly dangerous part of the world has long ago been tossed overboard. It has been replaced by the parochial interests of wealthy, well-organized and influential ideologues.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism

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7 comments for “Selling Out Palestinian Rights

  1. Joe Tedesky
    March 30, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    American politicians worry more about Israel’s security than they do the state of New Jerseys. All this for a fascist Likud political party who feels it is their duty to continually punish Palestintian people to no end. I think there are fair minded Jewish people, such as Gedeon Levy speaking out, but someone in the American media class has to turn up the volume, so as Mr Levy’s fair rational voice may be heard. This fairness would not only benefit the suffering Palestintian, but it would also in the long run benefit all people who call themselves Jewish.

    • Tristan
      March 30, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Well said Joe. But you are being too sensible, in newspeak your last sentence, “This fairness would not only benefit the suffering Palestintian, but it would also in the long run benefit all people who call themselves Jewish.”, should be rewritten to reflect the desires of the State as such, “This would not benefit the people.”

      Sorry. Now into the memory hole…

  2. Bill Bodden
    March 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have led the way in abandoning principles of human rights, democracy and rule of law by pandering to Israel and its powerful lobby,

    And, what does it say about George and Amal Clooney and others like them who claim to be advocates for human rights but are enthusiastic supporters and friends of Hillary and Bill Clinton whose long abuse of human rights is notorious and criminal? Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at their hypocrisy if we recognize that a predominant and dominant portion of eminent Americans have always been pathologically addicted to talking out of both sides of their mouths ever since the first colonists fleeing religious persecution got into the business of religious bigotry themselves. Then there were the Founding Slave Owners who declared all men have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but who had no intention of releasing their slaves from bondage.

  3. JWalters
    March 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    This story is another example of why Consortium News is needed. The Establishment Media is obviously controlled by the Israelis because the Nakba and its consequences are NEVER even mentioned there. Even in the progressive fringes of the Establishment Media there is not a hint of Israel’s many crimes, or why this improbable blanket of silence reveals Israel’s control over the media.

    An excellent article on this cover-up is at a courageous Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website here:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/a-history-of-silencing-israeli-army-whistleblowers-from-1948-until-today/

    Further central historical facts always omitted from the Establishment Media’s discussions are here:
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    America is living under a war-mongering tyranny hiding behind a mask of religion. It’s no accident that mask is an archaic, barbaric version of religion.

  4. Tristan
    March 30, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    An excellent commentary on the system which is now visibly not concerned with much more than slogans propagandistic and simplistic for the masses, as the moneyed interests of the western oligarchic financial system are firmly in control presently. Hillary Clinton and her ilk are beyond what we understand a politician to be. They have evolved into globalists, who are in service of the financial regime controlled presently, on the surface, by the United States or its proxies.

    This level of stratification is now well documented, one example http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/mike-whitney/66654/is-this-class-warfare

    The very uncomfortable facts for the most of us aren’t really a concern of those who support and are servants of the present financial system. A system which is self protecting in that it regularly seeds its regulatory bodies with employees through the “revolving door” between the public and private sector concerning important economic/financial security of the elite global oligarchs. The Clintons, and so many others who pretend to serve the interests of the nation, the U.S., and its citizens, are plainly servants and beneficiaries of the corrupt system (as it is presented and perceived to the consumer/citizen) but this isn’t a corrupt or broken system. Not if one understands that the west is in fact governed by a different lexicon. What we, people, citizens, understand as failure or corruption or economic disparity unrelenting, is only the natural outcome of the plans of people whose servants, H. Clinton for example, are more than wiling to create policies to implement the plans. Obama and the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement for example.

    It is now clearly about extracting wealth at any cost to anyone but those who are profiting from the current environment of war, fear of war, surveillance, and rentier profit seeking. That Hillary Clinton is eager to deepen these ties, via a death embrace with Netanyahu’s Israel, is indicative of the otherworldly, Davos mentality, that these globalist politicians, servants of the western financial system which relies on conflict and suffering, ought to be understood for what it is. The Business. Even if whole peoples are to be sacrificed or to risk nuclear war in the furtherance of such profit seeking is not “off the table”.

  5. Peter Loeb
    March 31, 2016 at 6:10 am

    JESUS SAID….

    “Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

    Unfortunately, I believe that Hillary Clinton (and other
    groveling candidates at AIPAC) do know what they do.
    They know it precisely. The forgiving part becomes
    at a bit tricky at this point. If they know what they do,
    is forgiveness in order? (No corrections please: I am
    quite aware that the quotation used is from Christianity.
    I have used it because it fits.)

    H. Clinton’s militarist interventionism has not only
    evidenced itself at AIPAC but also in other areas as well.
    If she is indeed not a mean person, she has all the same
    chosen to run a mean campaign for US president and
    her previous record seems to bear out her instinct
    for hatred. She is not alone among current presidential
    candidates.

    Many thanks to Professor Davidson for his contribution.
    Its primary flaw is its evasion of the brutality of
    Zionism from the beginning and its quintessential
    colonialism.

    Norman G. Finkelstein’s analyses in THE HOLOCAUST
    INDUSTRY broaden many of Davidson’s points.
    In Chapter 1, Finkelstein writes, “…Mainstream interpretations
    point to the recent emergence of ‘identity politics,’ on the
    one hand, and the ‘culture of victimization’ on the other.
    In effect each identity was grounded in a particular history
    of oppression: Jews accordingly sought their own ethnic
    identity in the Holocaust….Yet…Jews alone are not
    disadvantaged in American society…because they are
    not victims.” (p.32) Finkelstein documents this
    referring to per capita income, wealth, number of
    professors etc.

    Many American Jews who oppose AIPAC and its ilk
    remain ambivalent about their own non-victimization status
    and their material achievements (wealth, status etc.).

    The result is often (not always) an opposition to
    AIPAC and similar organizations which often seems
    to be weak at its core.

    —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  6. Norman Cantor
    April 5, 2016 at 10:21 am

    The notion that Richard Falk never deviated from documented fact is utter rubbish. For chapter and verse on Falk’s systematic distortions in violation of his UN responsibilities, see “Richard Falk: The Rapporteur Who Serves as Provocateur.” https://seekingfairness.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/richard-falk-the-provocateur/
    Samantha Power was in no way “amoral” in exposing and condemning Mr. Falk.
    Your sad resort to the canard that “Jewish money” is responsible for America’s positions regarding Israel is also deplorable.

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