Zionist Suppression in Congress

It isn’t enough for U.S. legislators that Palestinians are suffering genocidal violence, writes Corinna Barnard. Last week lawmakers went after the freedom to protest in support of Palestinians as well.

Stand With Israel event in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11. (Utah Reps, Wikimedia Commons, PDM-owner)

By Corinna Barnard
Special to Consortium News

The U.S. is currently in the chokehold of a monstrous effort to fixate the nation on fears of an entirely hypothetical genocide when a real one is taking place.

Last week a House committee redolent of the McCarthyist days of the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee conducted an inquisition of three university presidents about their toleration of terms such as “intifada,”  which The New York Times,  in its coverage, described as “an Arabic word that means uprising and that many Jews hear as a call for violence against them.” 

The key phrase in that sentence is “that many Jews hear,” a concession to the hearing being a confrontation over terminology and viewpoint. In this Zionist slapdown, legislators — with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York displaying particular ferocity — made it clear which viewpoint could prevail, politically speaking, in their house. 

While fending off calls to punish their students’ political outcry during the hearing, two university leaders backtracked afterwards under growing political pressure.

They caved to the distorted notion that the speech in question called for the “genocide of the Jews,” as The New York Times laid it out, in an article entirely devoid of any examples of blatantly genocidal language. 

The meeting created a sinkhole for the principle of free speech, in which words used to express the cause of Palestinian resistance were twisted into an evil intention towards Jews, at the exact time when the Israel military is perpetrating genocide. 

This was more than a side show about semantics. It was a lesson in who runs Congress and whose speech is free and whose isn’t.  

By Saturday the Zionists had scored a victory with news that both the University of Pennsylvania’s President Elizabeth Magill and its board chairman, Scott L. Bok, were leaving those posts under what The New York Times called “intense pressure from donors, politicians and alumni.” Magill will remain at the university as a faculty member of the law school. 

News of the victory left Stafanik hungry for more heads to roll. “One down. Two to go,” she wrote, insatiably, on Twitter/X.

Palestinians may be suffering ruthless violence, but for U.S. legislators that isn’t enough. They also have to als target the supporters of Palestine and try to extinguish their power to freely speak, shout and wave placards. It’s a suppression familiar to many who have worked in major U.S. news media. 

Smearing Legitimate Criticism

Last week also found the U.S. Congress — at a time when legislators ought properly to have been considering action to stop Israel’s assault on Palestinians — instead passing a resolution conflating political opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism, the generalized antagonism towards Jewish people. 

Given the atrocities being committed by Israel — and the justified anger that provokes — this congressional resolution boggles the mind.  

First off, the political opposition currently raging against Israel is not focused on Judaism. The opposition is that of an occupied people against a brutal occupier.

For Palestinians, the religion of this present-day occupier can be no more pertinent than was the Christianity of U.S. President Andrew Jackson for the Indigenous people he forced onto The Trail of Tears in the 19th century. What matters is the actions of the occupier, not their religion. 

Secondly, Judaism is an ancient religion while Zionism is a relatively recent political project with far-right Christian supporters that has proven itself to be genocidal. None of that has to do with Jews in general and it’s highly problematic to suggest it does.  

[See: Chris Hedges: The Israel Lobby’s Useful Idiot]

Jewish historians and intellectuals — Norman Finkelstein’s name springs to mind along with that of the Israeli historian and author Ilan Pappé have been long-standing and courageous champions of Palestinian rights. Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voices for Peace and If Not Now have been actively promoting a ceasefire since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7. 

Dangerous Triumph  

The extent to which media attention has minimized such individuals and groups and instead given U.S. Zionists the big platform to speak on behalf of Jews in general — at a time when thousands upon thousands of Palestinians are getting slaughtered — is a triumph of the Israel lobby’s influence and propaganda. 

That achievement comes with the potentially dire consequence, however, of associating Jewish people and American citizens, generally, with the Israeli government’s genocidal violence. Numerous enemies can be created by such a devious process.  

And as Cara MariAnna recently warned in her article Israel Lobby’s Disastrous Domination,

“U.S. security and standing in the world are suddenly more precarious than they have been the whole of its history. The U.S. is being damaged — is seriously damaging itself — by its continued unwavering support of a nation that is so clearly out of control and that has been recognized by many human rights organizations as an apartheid state. Supporting Israel is no longer in the best interest of the United States, if ever it was, and is becoming an increasing liability.

The hand of the Israel lobby can also be assumed to be at work in the crackdown on people of conscience, who are speaking up and doing what they can to alter the evil course of events. They are in the streets shouting about the liberation of Palestine “from the river to the sea;” they are throwing paint on the buildings of weapons makers, they are confronting politicians with their inaction while children are getting killed.

These are all our everyday heroes, displaying a dedication to justice and compassion. These are the citizens we should be proud to join and know. Instead they are getting vilified, arrested, intimidated and, inevitably now it seems, cast as anti-Semites. 

Historical Void

Convoy of trucks and cars led by white U.N. jeeps travel through Gaza desert carrying Arab refugees from Gaza to Hebron, Transjordan, for repatriation. (UN Photo)

Americans are often encouraged to consider the situation in Israel too complicated to understand. It can be viewed as “that situation over there,” where they “just hate one another” to be dismissed with a fed-up gesture of the hand. Zionists rush in to fill this void with Hasbara versions — drawn from Israel’s “public diplomacy” or propaganda — of history. 

Even though it doesn’t take a deep knowledge of the region to grasp the great wrong being done, a few bullet points might help create a general context: 

–Israel was not created on a land without people for a people without a land. There was a thriving Palestinian society and Israel was established in 1948 by destroying hundreds of villages, killing thousands of Arabs, driving 750,000 Palestinians from their country and not allowing them to return as documented by Israel’s “new historians,” particularly by Pappé in his The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

—Israel’s status among human rights groups today is that of an apartheid state since Palestinians occupied illegally on the West Bank and Gaza by Israel since 1967 (in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions) have no rights;

West Bank Israeli settlers attack Palestinians and drive them out of their homes and off their land in a slow continuation of the cleansing begun in 1947-8, now sped up in Gaza;

Israel’s military justice system holds Palestinians in detention for years, without ever charging them with a crime; many of them children;  

—Gaza is widely known as an open-air prison

Against this basic backdrop comes the daily overload of atrocities in Gaza, which provide plenty of moral clarity, for any who are willing to follow them. Just some of the painful realities exposed daily now:

—Thousands of civilians, many of them women and children, are getting slaughtered by constant bombing. 

—Israeli doctors providing  written support for their military to bomb hospitals in Gaza. (Doctors gave the OK to bomb hospitals, it’s worth repeating since it’s so shocking.) 

—Conditions so harsh that the rampant outbreak of disease could become an even bigger killer than all the bombing. 

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A video has recently surfaced showing about a hundred Palestinian men — the total number of civilians among them not yet known —  stripped and kneeling in front of gun-wielding captors.  An Al Jazeera reporter said the images of those Palestinian men, photographed kneeling and naked, “echo the history of the region, where stripped men are taken to unknown locations.”

Experts on the region could rattle off a much longer litany of Israeli crimes. But the point is that this list has gotten longer every day since Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Any American can take a position at this point, without holding an advanced degree in history. 

Questions About Oct 7

There is the question of what Hamas did and didn’t do on Oct. 7, when its militants broke out of Gaza and went on the offensive. Some of the worst initial reports of atrocities against civilians have been debunked. 

Other allegations are held at arms’ length until further verification is provided. 

There is a live information war now over Oct 7 and it’s safe to assume that as journalists and investigators slowly settle at least some more facts, public attention will move on. 

[Related: Caitlin Johnstone: The Official Story of Oct 7]

While the horrified reaction to the reports of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on civilians is understandable, Israel’s military reaction to them is not justified. Nor is it acceptable to start and end the story on Oct. 7. Before that date and on almost every single day since, Israel has been committing collective punishment on Palestinians, which is a war crime. Amid all this, an occupied people’s right to resist must be kept in clear sight. 

The extent to which Israeli crimes are being reported is shrinking as the death toll among journalists rises. More than 60 journalists and media workers in Gaza have been killed so far. 

Over the Thanksgiving break three college students of Palestinian descent — two of them reportedly wearing the keffiyeh, the black-and-white scarf that can symbolize Palestinian solidarity — were shot while in the state of Vermont. Last week the last of them was released from hospital, paralyzed from the waist down, and heading to rehab.  

“The shooting came as threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities have increased across the U.S. in the weeks since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in early October,” local press reported. 

Surely this increase in threats is a problem to solve — most effectively and obviously by working to stop Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people, which arouses understandable passions along with plenty of misunderstandings. 

No one in their right mind should feel safe while this atrocity is grinding on, day after day, without any end in sight. The unhinged, vengeful violence, based on openly genocidal intentions, should freeze all our blood. So should the behavior of U.S. lawmakers last week. 

Sunday, Dec. 10, by macabre timing, is United Nations’ Human Rights Day. What better time to reflect on the extent to which the U.S. and Israel violate the enormous humanitarian effort made after World War II to steer the world away from the horrors of further war. In a recent ranking of nations’ compliance with the U.N. Charter, Israel and the U.S. come last. 

[See: US & Israel Dead-Last in Following UN Charter]

For human rights to be restored in Palestine, the people of Israel and Palestine need to be given the chance to live in one civil society together, sustained by international law and some means of protection to rebuild. But before anything so ambitious and hopeful can be attempted, the urgency now is to stop the bloodshed, insist on a ceasefire and attend to the wounds and suffering. 

American popular pressure is required to achieve an end to the killing and to overcome the mind games of war-crime apologists. Don’t be “Good Germans,” who are condemned by history for secretly disagreeing with the Nazis, but averting their gaze and doing nothing to stop their atrocities. 

Corinna Barnard, deputy editor of Consortium News, formerly worked in editing capacities for Women’s eNews, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. At the start of her career she was managing editor for the magazine Nuclear Times, which covered the antinuclear war movement.  

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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30 comments for “Zionist Suppression in Congress

  1. Curmudgeon
    December 12, 2023 at 12:09

    Thanks for the article, but I have one gripe. People need to understand that the entire anti-Semitism narrative is a hoax. From etymononline :
    Semite (n.)
    1847, “a Jew, Arab, Assyrian, or Aramaean” (an apparently isolated use from 1797 refers to the Semitic language group), back-formation from Semitic or else from French Sémite (1845), from Modern Latin Semita, from Late Latin Sem, Greek S?m “Shem,” one of the three sons of Noah (Genesis x.21-30), regarded as the ancestor of the Semites in Bible-based anthropology, from Hebrew Shem. In this modern sense it is said to have been introduced by German historian August Schlözer in 1781.

    The credit, if such it be, of having originated the name “Semitic” (from Noah’s son Sem or Shem) for the Hebrew group, is to be given either to Schlözer or to Eichhorn, — to which of the two is doubtful. The first known use of the term is in Schlözer’s article on the Chaldæans, in Eichhorn’s Repertorium, 8, 161 (1781), and he seems to claim the honor of its invention ; but a similar claim is made by Eichhorn himself, without mention of Schlözer, in his Allgemeine Bibliothek, 6, 772 (1794). [Philip Schaff, ed., “Religious Encyclopedia,” 1889]

    Zionists have corrupted the meaning of the Semitic after “anti-Semitic” was first used in the late 1800s when Zionism was becoming popular, which is why I refer to it as Auntie Shem-itic. Palestinians are Semites.

  2. Mike
    December 12, 2023 at 05:31

    Great article! We need more truthful reporting out there to the American people about Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. the best way to help the Palestians is to boycott EVERYTHING made in Israel and as boycotting those American companies which support Israel. Here’s a list you can review: hxxps://theislamicinformation.com/news/list-of-brands-supporting-israel/

  3. John V. Walsh
    December 12, 2023 at 03:14

    Great piece!!
    It is good to see someone question the official narrative on the events of Oct. 7.
    The more we learn, the more we see the official Israeli-American account is a lie.

  4. Drew Hunkins
    December 11, 2023 at 18:01

    Make no mistake: the Jewish supremacists and Jewish billionaire class are orchestrating the most vicious attack on academic freedom in our nation’s history.

    That cushy millionaire Ivy League presidents are being ensnared in the Zionist smears, assaults and harassment is truly frightening. This is something that must, must, must be fought against!

  5. robert e williamson jr
    December 11, 2023 at 17:09

    I see here too often calls for individuals to be proactive and to do more that mouth service, “talking about”, to these issues or writing comment after comment here and at other sites

    I urge every0ne who comments here to visit hXXps://israellobby.org. Once on the page scroll down until you reach the photo of Thomas xxxx, Martin xxxxx, Douglas xxxxxxxxx, and Steve xxxxx. SELECT The very next blue high lighted heading – the FBI INVESTIGATES AMERICAN ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE FOR ESPIONAGE AND THEFT OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. View the selection of documents there and suit yourself on selections. Don’t get caught up in being thorough just yet, move on.

    Down further is THE JEWISH AGENCY AND US FOREIGN AGENTS, select that and note the title banner at the top of this page. You will later wish to review these files also, see my comment on being too thorough too early here. So before you do so, select the fifth highlighted entry “Document Archives” once there review dates listed on the left margin of the page. Especially those early dates in 1962, 8/27/62 and the last date 10/17/63, JFK was murdered 11/22/63. review these documents thoroughly. Take special notice to the banner at the top of the page and the names listed under Document at the top, you will get the drift.

    We Must educate each other on the history here that has been neglected, white-washed and covered up if we are enable ourselves to make informed, fact based reasoning with which we can identify legitimate claims and generate relevant questions to further the national interests in dealing with our Israel issues.

    Now, after this, I will once again send a communication to my U.S. Senator requesting a comment on his views of the recent misbehavior of Israel in regards to the genocide taking place in Gaza.

    Joe and his crew at CN continue to provide a sounding board for this and so many other life and death issues world wide and my latest contribution will be made to CN later this evening.

    Once again to the memory of Robert Parry and to the aid of his extremely loyal crew.

    Thank you all.

  6. Charles E. Carroll
    December 11, 2023 at 17:06

    Free Palestine and Congress!

  7. CaseyG
    December 11, 2023 at 13:26

    Israelis have been murdering Palestinians and stealing land since 1948. That is 75 fricking years of murder and land theft. And I find it hard to believe that Jewish people do not see the horror that Palestinians are living wITH
    And yet, many Jewish people in Congress and in America act as if Israel has never harmed anyone—–OMG, you people have turned into the 21st century Nazis yourselves.

  8. anon
    December 10, 2023 at 18:01

    If you wish to know who really rules over you, ask who you are on no account allowed to criticise.

  9. Susan Siens
    December 10, 2023 at 16:49

    I want those who have seen a little bit of the McCarthyist venom spewed by Stefanik in Congress to think about these three women who head “prestigious” universities. These are women in powerful positions but you do not gain a powerful position unless you know whose ass to kiss. And ass-kissing does not prepare you to stand up to street trash such as Stefanik.

    The woman who headed the University of Pennsylvania is a lawyer and I did not hear her ask 1) for an example of calling for Jewish genocide or 2) an example of a Jewish student who was seriously injured by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. A lawyer! The only people who can stand up to the genocidal gangsters who fill the halls of our government are people who do not bow down, do not kowtow, to the likes of Stefanik or my personal POS Jared Golden.

    • Paula
      December 11, 2023 at 13:21

      Yes, and keep posting truth speech.

    • Annie MCSTRAVICK
      December 11, 2023 at 17:54

      The performance of the Harvard president was just as pathetic, if not more so.

  10. Eddie S
    December 10, 2023 at 15:15

    Where are all ‘Russia-gaters’ who were SO ooo excited about a foreign country supposedly interfering with US politics??

    And where are the campus conservatives who are perennially concerned about the ‘PC culture’ supposedly dominating our colleges and suppressing free speech?

    Et tu, hypocrisy?

    • Lois Gagnon
      December 10, 2023 at 18:32

      The lot of them should be made to walk around in public with a big “H” stuck to their foreheads.

  11. ray Peterson
    December 10, 2023 at 14:21

    Harold Pinter’s last speech before his death captures the propaganda
    purpose of a militarized established media: “It didn’t happen even
    while it was happening” and so it goes with the US/Israeli genocide
    against the Palestinians.
    But “moral clarity” requires a human conscience and Israeli
    doctors calling for the bombing of hospitals in Gaza prove
    themselves loyal Zionists not pious Jews.

    • Julia
      December 11, 2023 at 11:03

      I was curious as to whether Jewish doctors take an oath similar to the Hypocratic oath, this is what I found :

      “Almighty God! Thou hast chosen me in Thy mercy to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures. I now apply myself to my profession. Support me in this great task so that it may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.”

      The ones quoted here are certainly ‘watching over the death of Thy creatures’. Shameful.

    • paula
      December 11, 2023 at 13:24

      Agree. Any American can take a position at this point, without holding an advanced degree in history.


    • Paula
      December 11, 2023 at 13:57

      Yes indeed. I confronted a politician on the street, Kim Schrier, a doctor of pediatrics in our state of WA and couldn’t help myself from yelling at her while she was on her phone crossing the street as was I with my elderly friend who was shocked by my “screaming”.

      Not bragging, just saying the shame Kim Schrier should feel as a pediatrician supporting what is happening in Gaza. Three is a number of some significance, and I yelled “shame on you” three times and also reminded her in my little time to do so that she is in fact a doctor with a license to treat our children and what the fuck was wrong with her. I cannot regret what fell out of my mouth due to my knowledge, the momentous opportunity to say directly to a politician not listening, and fortunately included an 82 year old witness to corroborate my simple narrative and outburst.

  12. Rudy Haugeneder
    December 10, 2023 at 14:15

    Ultimately, when you look at Sapiens history, truth doesn’t matter. Not even the Internet can change that.

    • Paula
      December 11, 2023 at 13:37

      maybe you are right but we have had leaders who are continually assassinated advocating for something different than continual violence over world resources and the control of central banks who fund, aid, the downfall of countries seeking the control of their resources for the benefit of their people. America could be such as nation, tried to be such a nation but five presidents and a congressman were assassinated for attempting monetary reform. Since 1919 and beyond, most do not know how finances control the world. The publication of a book which few dumbed down Americans get introduced to, The Creature from Jekyll Island and more recent history of financial control like A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind, we do not know how we are controlled or why. Very sad.

    • Paula
      December 11, 2023 at 14:06

      Truth does matter even if is is a single drop of water in a great pond of deceit. It has an effect whether you are standing in line at a grocery outlet or in front of your city council. Truth is something that resonates within the human collective.

  13. Cara
    December 10, 2023 at 12:22

    Thank you, Corinna and CN! Thank you for offering your readers such a powerful, clear-sighted analysis, and condemnation of all that is unfolding in the U.S. as the slaughter in Gaza continues. Thank you for reminding us of our moral duty and for calling us to action.

    • Eric Foor
      December 11, 2023 at 12:56

      I agree with you Cara, The Israeli genocide of the Palestinian People has become the greatest test of our national morality. Our elected leadership deserves a great big red “F”. Not surprising since everyone of them are vetted by AIPAC…or they are removed from office. We are now completely unmoored from our founding principals. This hasn’t happened overnight. Since May 14th, 1948 the Zionists amongst us have been stealthy and steadily confusing our sense of right and wrong….and corrupting our souls.

  14. Lois Gagnon
    December 10, 2023 at 10:10

    Congress has proven beyond any doubt who pulls their strings and it ain’t us. What a pathetic display of cowardess. What remains of this government is a total charade. They endanger everyone on the planet. It falls to us to remove them from power.

    Free Palestine!

    • JonnyJames
      December 10, 2023 at 13:48

      Indeed, and it’s not just the Israel Lobby. After Citizens United, the US formally became “an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery”. Money is “free speech” legally defined by SCOTUS.

      The converging interests of the Military/Security/Weapons/Surveillance complex, BigOil, and Big Finance all benefit from this. I have seen articles in Bloomberg and the Financial Times that outline this. Congress members should have Exxon-Mobil, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup etc. tattoos on their foreheads.

      The lack of democracy and the fact that Congress is bought-and-paid for by the oligarchy is the underlying problem. But still millions of people still believe in Santa Claus – we can “vote” for a different narcissistic sociopath and things will be different this time. Don’t like JB? We can “vote” for another geriatric Zionist freak DT.

    • Valerie
      December 11, 2023 at 15:09

      It’s not just the US Lois. Look at these european countries who believe sanctions will cure everything:

      “ROME, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Italy, France and Germany called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three nations wrote in a joint letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

      “We express our full support for the … proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” said the letter seen by Reuters.

      “The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union’s commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel,” the letter said.”

  15. Paul Citro
    December 10, 2023 at 08:46

    The genocide in Gaza is forcing many people to make the most important moral decision of their lives. No more posturing. If you actually believe the morality you claim to espouse you are going to have to pay a price for it.

  16. Tara
    December 10, 2023 at 08:46

    Indeed, 10 December is Human Rights Day – to mark the date in 1948, when the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

    And the theme for Human Rights Day 2023? Freedom, Equality and Justice for All.

    “If there was ever a moment to rekindle the hope of human rights for every person, it is now.
    And this moment will last throughout 2023 and beyond – a year of commemoration of one of
    the world’s most ground-breaking international commitments. In 2023, we reinvigorate the
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showing the ways it meets the needs of our time,
    and advancing its promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all.” (hxxps://xxx.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/hr75-what-it-is.pdf)

    “[A] year of commemoration of one of the world’s most ground-breaking international commitments.” Wait, wasn’t that international commitment to prevent further genocides? Something about “never again”?

    I find that I am unable to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UDHR. Not when another holocaust is taking place, right at this very moment; and not at a time when so-called champions of ‘democracy and free speech’ are silencing their own citizens.

    • Rebecca
      December 11, 2023 at 10:16

      That Universal Declaration of Human Rights was largely an invention for the benefit of Western, imperialist governments and business interests. It pointedly omitted economic rights, for example, such as the right to democracy in the workplace, leaving workers to the tender mercies of our class enemy: employers. Let’s not romanticise the UDHR.

      • Tara
        December 11, 2023 at 22:01

        Especially considering Israel is violating almost all of the articles of the UDHR.

        And not to forget, the ongoing brutal oppression of Palestinian people is as old as the UDHR – 75 years…

        So, you are right, Rebecca, there’s nothing to romanticise!

  17. QED
    December 10, 2023 at 00:13

    The “conspiracy” theorists have been right all along.

Comments are closed.