US Congress: ‘We Stand With Genocide’

U.S. lawmakers, in the last quarter of 2023, approved a series of resolutions smearing pro-Palestine activism as anti-Semitic and giving Israel PR cover for its open-ended killing spree, writes Corinna Barnard.

Chanukah for Ceasefire celebration/vigil in front of the White House on Dec. 11. (Diane Krauthamer, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) (Diane Krauthamer, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Corinna Barnard
Special to Consortium News

The Biden administration in the last three months of 2023 asked Congress to give Israel an additional $14 billion in military assistance on top of the $3.8 billion the U.S. allots every year; vetoed a ceasefire in Gaza at the U.N.;  circumvented Congress to sell weapons to Israel  and deployed warships to the waters off Gaza to prevent anyone from interfering with the Israeli regime’s campaign of atrocities there. 

Congress did not quite match the White House effort to comfort a genocidal Israel. The House approved a $14.3 billion package for the Netanyahu regime, but hinged it on off-setting cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and the bill was blocked in the Senate

But lawmakers did give Israel heavy-duty backup by stonewalling calls for a ceasefire. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the sole Palestinian-American in Congress, and a few other lawmakers — all people of color— introduced a “Ceasefire Now” resolution on Oct. 16 that is only slowly gaining co-sponsors. A Data for Progress poll shows that while the majority of Americans support a ceasefire, that position has only marginal support in Congress.  

And lawmakers used a series of resolutions — expressions of sentiment — to make grand political gestures on behalf of Israel; providing heavy PR cover to the open-ended killing spree.  

While blotting out any reference to the Palestinian cause, or the immense suffering of the Palestinian people, these resolutions lathered the marauding government with approval. Looking back on them, in the pause before Congress resumes in January, they read like so many decrees of an imperial court intent on generating its own version of events, at complete odds with external reality beyond their chambers. 

‘Standing With Israel’ 

Senate Resolution No. 417, sponsored by Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, affirmed Israel’s “right to defend itself” and condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on civilians.

This was on Oct. 19, 10 days after Israel had imposed a complete siege of the Gaza Strip and made it clear that it was committed to a campaign of slaughter. The Gaza Health Ministry was reporting that at least 3,785 Palestinians had been killed and 12,493 wounded by Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7. 

Massive street demonstrations in cities around the world were raising a hue and cry for a ceasefire and charging the U.S. president with genocide as senators approved the resolution 97-0. 

A considerable portion of the opening of the resolution is spent on a reminder of Hamas’ designation as a terrorist organization and harping on the “heinous” crimes the indigenous resistance group committed on Oct. 7.  

[Related: Evidence Missing in ‘Mass Rape’ Charge Against Hamas]

This set the keynote for all the resolutions that followed. From No. 417 on, condemnation of Hamas was obligatory, repeated over and over; crowding out any possible criticism of Israeli atrocities before or after Oct. 7.  

Schumer visiting Israel on Oct. 15. (US Embassy Jerusalem, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The House, which had been mired in GOP in-fighting over who would replace their fallen leader, Kevin McCarthy, rushed to issue a matching “standing with Israel as it commits genocide” resolution. 

On Oct. 25, the same day Republicans catapulted Mike Johnson — a MAGA legal activist and friend of Christian nationalists — into the speaker post, reps approved, with overwhelming bipartisan support,  House Resolution  771, “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

The lone Republican in the House to vote against No. 771 was Thomas Massie of Kentucky, also the only white person to vote no.  All of the nine Democrats in the House who voted “no” were people of color.

[Related: The ‘Genocide Moment’]

Johnson delivering remarks after his election as speaker of the House on Oct. 25. (Office of Speaker Mike Johnson, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Another resolution followed in the Senate on Oct. 26, when lawmakers issued another obligatory condemnation of Hamas along with “antisemitic student activities on college campuses in the United States.” This resolution, sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley,

“… denounces the rhetoric of anti-Israel, pro-Hamas student groups as antisemitic, repugnant, and morally contemptible for sympathizing with genocidal violence against the State of Israel and risking the physical safety of Jewish Americans in the United States.”

The House followed suit with a similar resolution on Nov. 2.  

With these two strokes, Congress declared open season on student protests against Israel’s campaign of carnage.

Censuring Tlaib

On Nov. 7, congressional representatives moved to censure Rep. Tlaib for “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.” (The charges against Tlaib were far from credible as Robin Abcarian lays out in her Los Angeles Times column “Censuring the House’s only Palestinian American is a cynical ploy to silence opposition to Israel.”) 

By the time congressional representatives had ganged up on the Michigan Democrat — for what amounted to Tlaib’s refusal to disavow the movement to liberate her ancestral land and people — Israeli forces had killed at least 10,328 Palestinians in Gaza since Oct. 7.  

Since resolutions are expressions of sentiment, with no funding attached, they can be used to just vent political hot air. But these resolutions, during rising political opposition to Israel, signaled a congressional counter-attack.

Lawmakers were going after the protest movement that had been energized in opposition to what the Palestinians were going through; a second full-scale Catastrophe, 75 years after the original Nakba.  

On Nov. 28 — as Israel was doing all it could to pound Gaza out of existence — House legislators, with near unanimity, once again showed their solidarity with war crimes, affirming Israel’s right to exist. In a separate, fully unanimous resolution that same day, Hamas was called upon to free the hostages, with no mention of the political prisoners held by Israel.

Condemning Hamas, standing with Israel, censuring Tlaib, completely ignoring the Palestinian viewpoint — by this point, Congress had perfected its three-ingredient recipe for a giant batch of Islamophobia:

1) ignore Israeli culpability 2) scapegoat Palestinians and their allies for Israel’s crimes and 3) give the silent treatment to the pain and agonies of people in Gaza as they are being killed, wounded, driven from their homes and deprived in almost every conceivable way. 

Representatives, by the end of November — almost two months into the barbaric slaughter — had gone far beyond treating Palestinians as “lesser victims.” They had suppressed any recognition of Palestinians whatsoever; lowering the blinds, institutionally speaking, on the war criminality of both Israel and the U.S. 

The rhetorical, psychic effort to disappear Palestinians in the halls of Congress was sickeningly like what Israel was intent on doing to real people, in real life and death. 

Intensifying Attack on Demonstrators  

On Dec. 5, the House approved Resolution 894, “strongly condemning and denouncing the drastic rise of antisemitism in the United States and around the world.” 

While opening with a broad statement against ethnic bias, the resolution focused exclusively on a grab-bag of incidents of anti-Semitism since Oct. 7. Some look like serious matters, some marginal and some possibly not anti-Semitic incidents at all. It’s hard to say from the way they are written up. 

But lawmakers undermined any serious consideration of these incidents by associating them with an ostensible statement about bias-crime that omitted any mention of victimized Palestinian people in the U.S.

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In late October the Department of Justice opened a hate-crimes investigation of the murder of Wadea Al Fayoume, a 6-year-old American boy in Illinois whose parents are from a village in the West Bank. The killer stabbed Wadea multiple times. He also stabbed Wadea’s mother, Hanaan Shahin, who was hospitalized with wounds after the attack.

As CNN reported, the family’s landlord was arrested and charged with committing the crimes “allegedly because the tenants are Muslim.”

Joe Biden condemned the murder during a nationwide TV address, but an uncle of Wadea criticized the U.S. president for inciting hatred by repeating false Israeli claims — most notoriously allegations of Hamas beheading babies — and not publicly correcting them.

About a week before the House approved the anti-Semitism resolution, a man in Burlington, Vermont, shot three college students of Palestinian descent. Hisham Awartani of Brown University, the most seriously wounded of the three victims was left paralyzed with a bullet lodged in his spine that surgeons could not remove.

The Real Purpose of No. 894 

Signs at a Gaza ceasefire rally and march in Washington, D.C., on Oct 28. (Diane Krauthamer, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From the get-go, No. 894 was an obvious political decoy. Any sincere effort at reducing ethnic tension would not only take a broad view of bias crimes, it would begin by calling for a ceasefire to end the cause of those tensions: Israel’s violence in Gaza. The tribal approach of this resolution was clearly up to no good. Something else was at work here. 

The real intent of Resolution No. 894 becomes clear in its closing declaration that “the House of Representatives clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” 

That phrasing caused Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York City, to lead over 100 Democrats to withhold “yeah” votes and vote simply “present.”  

Nadler said the resolution “ignores nuanced examples such as the Satmar sect, a Hasidic Jewish movement, which remains staunchly anti-Zionist and quite obviously is not antisemitic.” Nadler represents a New York City district that includes Borough Park, Brooklyn, home to many Hasidic Jews. 

The conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel brings up the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a group of countries led by Sweden that has been working to preserve and bolster public awareness of the atrocities Jews suffered under in Nazi Germany. 

The IHRA set itself the task of defining anti-Semitism and as part of that produced a list of illustrative examples. Among them: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

“The rhetorical, psychic effort to disappear Palestinians in the halls of Congress was sickeningly like what Israel was intent on doing to real people, in real life and death.” 

The IHRA’s decision to make criticism of Israel an example of anti-Semitism has drawn valid controversy for inoculating Israel from legitimate criticism. This objection is extremely consequential now.

At any time in the past several years, Israel’s apologists reflexively denounced criticism of the country as anti-Semitic, giving the Netanyahu regime space, in that time, to become increasingly hateful and extreme.

Had criticism of Israel been more permissible, it might have helped steer the nation off its current, genocidal course. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv on Nov. 30. (State Department, Chuck Kennedy)

Last May, the State Department put the IHRA’s controversial definition at the center of its hefty plan for combating anti-Semitism; a decision that historian Lawrence Davidson criticized in his article “Misdirecting the Fight Against Anti-Semitism.”  

By embracing the IHRA’s definition, Davidson wrote, the Biden State Department had complicated “the fight against anti-Semitism by publicly announcing that the administration was willing to ignore the prima facie fact that Israel has been documented to in fact be ‘a racist endeavor.’ ”

U.S. lawmakers turned Congress into their own “racist endeavor” by issuing an outcry against ethnic-bias crimes that overlooked the murder in Illinois of Wadea Al-Fayoume; the serious injuring of Hanaan Shahin, Wadea’s mother; and the shooting of Hisham Awartani and his two friends in Vermont.

In late December a few legislators introduced a resolution to “memorialize” 6-year-old Wadea. The wording includes opposition to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia — both, together.

The bill is co-sponsored by Democrats Delia Ramirez of Illinois, Lauren Underwood of Illinois Sara Jacobs of California and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, all of whom joined Nadler in voting against No. 894. We will see how it fares in the new year. 

Virginia Foxx’s Hearing

Rep. Virginia Foxx opening a hearing on anti-Semitism on college campuses on Dec. 5. (C-Span still)

On Dec. 5, as lawmakers were condemning the rise of anti-Semitism, the congressional attack on student demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine was heating up. That same day, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Republican from North Carolina, opened a congressional hearing on “anti-Semitism on college campuses.”  

Three university presidents had been called for questioning about pro-Palestinian demonstrations on their campuses that members of Congress had decided to construe as involving anti-Semitic speech.

The three witnesses were Harvard’s Claudine Gay, M.I.T.’s Sally Kornbluth and the University of Pennsylvania’s Elizabeth Magill. They gave a lukewarm defense of students’ constitutional right to protest which, despite its timidity, outraged  one of their inquisitors, in particular.     

[See: Outrage as US Congress Slams University Chiefs Over Supposed ‘Anti-Semitism’ on Campuses]

As widely reported, Rep. Elise Stefanik made headlines when a clip from the hearing of her aggressive attack on Penn President Magill went viral. 

“They failed on a global stage,” Stefanik gloated afterwards, in reference to the trio of presidents. “What will go down in congressional history as the most-viewed congressional testimony in the history of the United States Congress.”

A couple of days after her infamous run-in with Stefanik, Magill resigned. That left blood in the water for the sharks to circle, as they are doing now at Harvard.  It will be a purge if the Republican representative from New York has her way.

Harvard’s Claudine Gay during the Dec. 5 congressional hearing. (C-Span)

[Related: US Students for Palestine Under Attack]

On Dec. 13, a triumphant Stefanik sponsored House resolution No. 927. This one condemned “anti-Semitism on university campuses and the previous week’s testimony by university presidents to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.” It passed a roll call vote with 303 “yeas.”

Stefanik may have stolen the show in the committee hearing, but Foxx also deserves a star turn for the way she opened her political-persecution hearing on Dec. 5. 

“Today,” Fox told Gay, Kornbluth and Magill, “each of you will have a chance to answer to and atone for the many specific instances of vitriolic, hate filled, anti-Semitism on your respective campuses.” 

That was how she greeted three university presidents — by giving them a chance to atone.  

[See: Zionist Suppression in Congress]

After laying out the atonement welcome mat, Foxx went on to quote some pearl-clutching comments by Sen. Schumer concerning demonstrators who chant slogans such as  “intifada,” an Arabic word for uprising.  

“Many of the people who express these sentiments in America aren’t neo-Nazis or card carrying Klan members or Islamist extremists,” Schumer said, according to Foxx’s quoting. “They are in many cases, people that most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers. Not long ago, many of us marched together for Black and Brown lives.” 

By the time Schumer was trying to make a Fifth Column out of people saying words and slogans in protests, the U.S.-backed Israeli military had since Oct. 7 killed more than 15,900 Palestinians in Gaza.  

After instructing the three university presidents to prepare for atonement, after amplifying Schumer’s alarmist rhetoric, Foxx introduced video clips of student demonstrations at the three campuses of the three presidents. It was clear from her manner that the room was about to witness something of grave concern.

All the videos revealed were students engaging in peaceful protest; calling for the liberation of Palestine, the survival of Gaza. “Intifada Revolution; Intifada Revolution,” they chanted. That was it.

The video clips were shown in a surreal, sanitized void; with no reference to the massive crime wave Israel was committing against humanity in Gaza.  There were no dead bodies to see; no bombed hospitals; no streams of refugees, no lists of dead journalists; no piles of white shrouds, no names of dead poets.

There was nothing to explain why students might be calling for an uprising.

The production crew for Foxx’s videos had arranged ominous closing music. As that soundtrack faded, the chair of the Committee on Education and the Workforce looked meaningfully around the room, as though some point had been made about the scenes shown in those videos. 

It was a Rorschach test, in which, for some apparently, the very sight of students demonstrating on behalf of Palestinians had become evidence of heresy. 

Trail of Tears

Map of the expulsion process of Indigenous people, 1830–1838. Oklahoma is depicted in light yellow-green. (Nikater, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Members of the U.S. Congress have been supporting Israel unconditionally for so long that it is almost automatic, no matter what Israel does. The core of this support is the demonstrated power of the Israel Lobby to fund a politician’s opponents, jeopardizing their careers.

On a more philosophical level, the kinship between the stories of two settler colonial nations may make it too difficult for members of Congress to face this history.

Think of the way the U.S. government encouraged white colonialist settlers in the 19th century to dehumanize the way they thought of the Indigenous people in order to force them off their homelands. Virulent racism is required to commit an ethnic cleansing.

“What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms … “ President Andrew Jackson said in an 1830 address on behalf of his Indian Removal Act. 

In that address, Jackson rested his argument for occupying and annexing land in part on the great sacrifices of the white settlers’ forebears; an argument that resonates today in Israeli justifications for its takeover of Palestine. 

“Doubtless it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers,” Jackson said, “but what do they [sic] more than our ancestors did or than our children are now doing? To better their condition in an unknown land our forefathers left all that was dear in earthly objects.” 

Catharine Beecher, an early American women’s rights activist and sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was an ardent opponent of Jackson’s plan to force indigenous people off their land. In 1829 and 1830, the women’s movement Beecher sparked to protest Jackson’s Indian Removal Bill is known as the first national campaign on the part of women in the United States. 

In a petition, Beecher wrote: 

“it has become almost a certainty, that these people are to have their lands torn from them, and to be driven into western wilds and to final annihilation, unless the feelings of a humane and Christian nation shall be aroused to prevent the unhallowed sacrifice….”

The feelings of a humane and Christian nation were not sufficiently aroused. The U.S. Army force-marched  members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Muscogee/Creek and Cherokee nations off rich, arable land east of the Mississippi River over a vast distance to the dry soil of Oklahoma in what the Cherokee called their Trail of Tears.

For the kinds of agony they suffered, the world has only to look at Gaza now.

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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37 comments for “US Congress: ‘We Stand With Genocide’

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    January 2, 2024 at 04:39

    Why surprised? America has ALWAYS stood on the side of the ‘big’ ones – never on the side of the little ones. For shame, America…FOR SHAME.

  2. TDillon
    January 1, 2024 at 19:09

    Thanks for this honest article.

  3. Daryl
    January 1, 2024 at 15:58

    We have to be the sickest country that ever existed. Sociopaths all, to spend on killing and war, without limit, without reflection.

    • Arch Stanton
      January 2, 2024 at 19:19

      The US & UK, like two peas in the same pod.
      No difference.
      Heinous countries

  4. CaseyG
    January 1, 2024 at 15:08

    There is that poem: “The time has come the walrus said to speak of many things.”

    But sadly, Congress is not standing up for Palestinians—and it probably never will. I suppose that this is just the result of the US being one of the last ones standing after WW 2. They seem to truly believe that America will exist forever—but I no longer understand what America thinks it is standing for.

    And Congress— who are you and what is your purpose? There seems to be no one to vote for as President—as I only see men and women greedy for power—but with such little purpose. As the climate warms and heats. and
    as the ice melts and floods —war is never the answer—-But the said to be leaders –are willing to implode their own planet, their only home for no real reason at all. : (

  5. Joy
    January 1, 2024 at 13:35

    While we abhor what is happening, we must do what we can to stop this genocidal attack. South Africa has taken the lead to bring Israel before the ICJ, imagine how powerful would it be, for different reasons, for both the Vatican and Armenia to follow that lead in invoking the Genocide Convention to bring their own complaint before the ICJ.

    In the meantime, please consider signing my petition calling on Pope Francis to go to Gaza.


    • SH
      January 1, 2024 at 16:50

      Could not find your petition when I copied and pasted your url onto my search engine ….

  6. Joy
    January 1, 2024 at 13:28

    There must be a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, not with Palestinians suffering under oppressive conditions, but as a place where all live with peace and equality. It is time for Pope Francis to do more than talk. He must go to Gaza and make a stand for peace and freedom.

    Please sign the petition and share widely.


    Other petitions, including

    Ceasefire Now:


    Signing petitions is one small thing we can do. If we can do more, let us do more.

  7. Ghoulstery
    January 1, 2024 at 12:53

    Beware of Ghostery, a German corporation based in Munich who originally developed extensions of Firefox such as add blockers of the same name ‘ Ghostery’.
    They also created a search engine and they pretend that they respect people’s privacy, don’t track you and use and resell your data.

    Their search engine is quite average, it actually gives the same results as Duckduckgo (that is results from Microsoft Bing, so much for ‘privacy’).

    The problem with Ghostery is that they recently started to block Tor users from using their search engine. One of the main reasons why people use Tor is obviously for privacy and anonymity.

    Why would a company pretending they are different, respect your privacy, confidentiality and data do that ?

    The only reason we could think of is because they are lying, with Tor, they can’t track you, they can’t violate your privacy/anonymity and they also can’t do with YOUR data whatever they want to do with them.

    In short, what we have here is a world in sheep clothes pretending to be what they are not.

    Ghoul stery…

  8. Eddie S
    January 1, 2024 at 12:11

    Very good, depressing article. The genocidal over-reaction of the Zionist Israelis is too reminiscent of the Nazis obliteration of at least 2 villages and reprisal killings of at least 5000 people in 1942 after Czech resistance assassinated Reinhard Heydrich. Another example in ancient history was the utter destruction of Carthage by the Romans, and I’m sure there are other horrible instances, all of which to me demonstrate that the human species is not as culturally advanced as we like to believe.

  9. Chris G
    January 1, 2024 at 12:09

    You have to wonder how is it that nearly the entire Congress marches in lock-step support with whatever Israel does: an ethno-religious exclusionary state that practices apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and now genocide. Israel has spied on the US, stolen US nuclear material to covertly build nuclear weapons, deliberately attacked a US navy ship killing over 30 sailors, constantly interferes in our elections, lobbies legislatures to restrict our free speech rights by declaring support for BDS unlawful, pushed to have the US invade Iraq and now pushes the US to invade Iran…..

    What blackmail material must they have gotten from the likes of Jeffrey Epstein and other Israeli fifth columnists in the US that enables them to so easily manipulate the US Congress. Surely there is much more to this toxic relationship with Israel than we are currently aware of.

  10. Genocide Joe
    December 31, 2023 at 19:17

    The US and Israel will eventually start a nuclear war.

    And the US / EU media / Evangelists will cheer it.

    • Susan Siens
      January 1, 2024 at 13:33

      My fear as well, Genocide Joe. Israel will use its nuclear weapons in its quest for the Greater Israel, will attack all the countries around it, and who knows what will happen next? As far as the U.S. goes, there will be a (more?) major false flag event and the Democrats will declare martial law.

  11. Obseever
    December 31, 2023 at 18:06

    I don’t know what may have happened in this respect in earlier “Red scares” — but at the height of the Vietnam War, Congresscritters tried to pressure the presidents of leading universities (who were men) to expel peace protesters. They refused — admittedly not with principled free-speech arguments, but saying these were their best students. The current products of the CIA feminist movement apparently caved in right away ….

    • Eddie S
      January 1, 2024 at 22:11

      Observer – thanks for the interesting contrast you bring up between the 1960/70’s campus protests vs the current ones. Having lived through that previous era, my 2-cents is that 1.) the 60’s was not that far away from the McCarthy era and college leaders were ‘rebounding’ from that, 2.) there was more general interest in international politics because many of ’our boys’ were coming home from ‘Nam in boxes 3.) there was a little more respect for intellectual institutions back then because — if nothing else — we needed them to build better bombs to hold the commies at bay

      January 2, 2024 at 00:05

      Obseever, thanks for that info.
      I didn’t know that the 1960s and 1970s university officers refused to expel anti-war protesters because “they were the best students”.
      Based on my experience in that era, I agree with the “best students” assessment.

  12. lester
    December 31, 2023 at 18:06

    Are our Congressmen aware that Palestinians are Semites?

  13. robert e williamson jr
    December 31, 2023 at 16:38

    Let Congress do as it wishes, everyone sees the results of their actions, or in the case of Gaza, their inaction.

    News for you congressional idiots, it’s not a good look.

    • Selina Sweet
      January 1, 2024 at 16:56

      Inaction, indeed. Senators Murray and Cantwell (WA) have received probably 60plus emails and a little fewer telephone calls from me relaying messages to speak up and demand the end of USA support of provisions of all kinds to the genocidal intent and deeds of Bibi and insist he declare a ceasefire immediately, a permanent ceasefire. Zero response. Zero. Silent as a lamb drugged on sleeping pills.
      Recently I actually got a real staff person on the line. I asked her to please explain to me the reasons for Murray’s silence. The staff member said she doesn’t know why Murray is silent. “Isn’t Senator Murray, as my representative, supposed to inform her constituents for the rationale of her votes and activities? ” “I don’t know what she’s thinking,” the staff member replied. Our government shows that it is estranged from us, or vice versa. It acts independently of its citizens. It separates itself from us. We are unimportant except at voting times. There are some representatives faithful to their responsibility to us. I surmise it’s a very small minority. Boeing, I hunch, figures greatly into my Senators calculations; and AIPAC, and weapons tech.

  14. DW Bartoo
    December 31, 2023 at 16:07

    It is not merely the Executive and Congress who are fully on board with genocide.

    To date, 37 U$ states have effectively criminalized BDS, that is 74% of U$ states are on board with protecting Israel and its behavior, however appalling, arrogant, and merciless that behavior might be or become.

    It is heartening to see at least one comment which mentions the efforts of the Israeli “lobby”, in the U$, as being most definitely involved in creating the consensus “reality” around Israel’s “right” to kill with impunity, even to the undeniable level of genocide.

    There is more to say.

    However, at the moment I must spend some time dealing with the death of John Pilger and what his absence must call forth from the rest of us.

  15. Lois Gagnon
    December 31, 2023 at 14:46

    Thank you for this excellent piece. Congress doesn’t conduct hearings anymore. They are engaging in a second iteration of the House Un-American Activities Committee. They do inquisitions that shut down dialogue rather than engaging in it. They must on some level know what they are doing. Washington has become such a treacherous place for any politician to speak the truth that most go along for personal survival. As someone else pointed out, it’s the money that maintains control of the system.

    The comparison with the Trail of Tears is most apt. This is the same outcome of every settler colonialist state. Genocide is the inevitable result. This system must be repudiated and outlawed internationally. We have no choice.

    • Susan Siens
      January 1, 2024 at 13:39

      Yes, just another instance of EUROPEANS doing what they do best: murder / rape / pillage to remove indigenous people from their lands. Reading about the Israeli settlers’ coziness with the Nazi regime in Weaponising Anti-Semitism lets us know what sort of people created Israel.

  16. Janet
    December 31, 2023 at 13:55

    For several decades we have see the growth of Identity Politics and the total obliteration of any talk, even on the left, about class dominance. Then along comes the war in Gaza and the West Bank, and voila’, the class divisions are clearer than ever. Decades of identity distraction could not completely erase the fundamental fact that the main cleavage in human society isn’t race or gender, but class. Western elites are standing behind their Frankenstein monster in the ME, despite the fact that much of their populations are marching in the streets to end the genocide. Western elites are calling for genocide (under cover of “Israel defending itself for as long as it takes”) while the people are shouting its condemnation. The class struggle continues.

      January 2, 2024 at 00:08

      Yes. The best and the brightest of our times agree with you.

  17. Cara MariAnna
    December 31, 2023 at 11:58

    Thank you CN and Corinna Barnard, for this is excellent analysis and comprehensive summary of events.

  18. hetro
    December 31, 2023 at 11:41

    “Had criticism of Israel been more permissible, it might have helped steer the nation off its current, genocidal course. ”

    Excellent, if saddening, review. We must at least try to keep learning and pushing back against ignorance.

    • Susan Siens
      January 1, 2024 at 13:40

      Read Norman Finkelstein to realize that allowing more criticism of Israel would not have made the slightest difference.

  19. December 31, 2023 at 11:22

    This is a wonderful piece of of work. Thank you. As many have said for some time, the corrupting power of money is the root of our dilemma. Using its vast money resources, AIPAC and its Hasbara arm have infiltrated and undermined both Congress and the media. Its propaganda and shaming tactics have prevented clear thinking everywhere, including our citizenry. Citizens United alone has enabled this by design. Aipac behaves like an agency of a foreign government, but since its members are also Americans, it seems unlikely that they can be quarantined. Meanwhile, many have said that adding new members to the Supreme Court would be legal, not prevented by the constitution. If that is true, then Biden would be able to stack the Court, had he the desire. But he doesn’t, and current Democrat silence on the importance of stacking the court suggests that they have made their peace with guaranteed cash support for campaings–thanks again to Citizens United. Quid pro quo: recipients must support their donor’s wishes and policies…or else! There’s the duopoly for you. I would love to see you walk us through that topic–how do we remove money from our politics? I fear that unless we can do that, we are approaching the cliff at the end of the road. There will be no turning back.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 31, 2023 at 13:16

      Excellent comment, but at your last sentence you capitulate to despair There will be a turning, but it will be to socialism. We live in revolutionary times. The world is changing rapidly and this change will not be stopped. Capitalism has outlived any revolutionary qualities it had as a revolution against feudalism and monarchy. It was not supposed to continue into its rotten and poisonous extreme. We are overdue for a revolution. I may not live to see it my lifetime, but like Martin Luther King, Jr., said (to paraphrase) it will come.

  20. December 31, 2023 at 09:51

    As correct an analysis as this presentation is, I fear it is just one more act in this bit of theater before we, the audience, move on to have our evening libations and discuss ‘the play’ from a comfortable distance. The impunity of power is dangerously approaching some absolute level that always ends badly for everyone; and this time, ‘everyone’ takes on a new and biophysical meaning. It staggers the mind that the existential crises, bounded by biological and physical law, that we face, we choose to ignore by creating/allowing immediate deadly crises of utterly inexplicable human suffering.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 31, 2023 at 13:20

      Speak for yourself. I am not, and the majority of my friends are not, a part of that flabby, bourgeois, TV-worshipping clutch of fools. Today we lost another magnificent human being, journalist and fighter John Pilger. Your comment flies in the face of truly courageous people like John and those of us who emulate him who refuse to sit back and have another drinkie while the world burns.

      • January 1, 2024 at 11:00

        Your reply seems an odd reading of my comment.

      • SH
        January 1, 2024 at 16:58

        So what ARE you doing ….

    • Susan Siens
      January 1, 2024 at 13:42

      I fully concur, James. I am too old and have lived through too much to engage in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm political thinking.

      EVERY empire ever has collapsed, and nothing was ever done to avoid collapse.

        January 2, 2024 at 00:18

        Susan, you say that “EVERY empire has collapsed”; and yet, humanity and civilization have survived the collapse of past empires.
        The demise of the modern Washington empire could be a positive evolution. The question is what will replace it?

  21. Drew Hunkins
    December 31, 2023 at 07:34

    The great John Pilger just passed.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 31, 2023 at 13:21

      I know and I am grieving along with all of his other admirers and supporters. See my comment above.

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