Democratic National Convention

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Biden’s Campain and the DNC Make a Mockery of Jews, Israel, and of Course, Joe Biden

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 29/08/2020 - 6:29am in

Joe Biden still carries his support for Israel as though it was a badge of honor. Reading through his campaign’s website, one wonders if the leader of the Democratic Party is in touch with the rest of the country, not to mention the rest of the world. We are fast approaching a world where support for Israel is viewed as shameful. Being recognized as a supporter of the violent, apartheid regime known as Israel, should no longer be a source of pride, but rather seen as an accusation. “Israel Supporter” is synonymous with narrow-minded politicians who stick to the archaic notions of legitimizing and supporting the so-called “Jewish State.”

 

Joe Biden

Under the title of “Joe Biden’s record of unstinting support for Israel,” Bide’s campaign website features a list of policies and actions that represent his, “stalwart support for Israel.” Other statements that can be found regarding this issue on the site include, “Vice President Joe Biden has consistently made solidarity with Israel.”

He made what with Israel? How does one make solidarity with another country?

The site goes on to say that, “As President, Joe Biden will continue to ensure that the Jewish State, the Jewish people, and Jewish values have the unbreakable support of the United States.”

Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who can explain what this sentence means?

For starters, the so-called “Jewish State” is not Jewish and hard as Israel may try to hide it, being “Jewish” is not a nationality but a religion. Most Jewish people live in other countries and the majority of the people who are governed by the State of Israel are not Jewish but Palestinian Muslims. Under the Israeli apartheid system Jewish people do enjoy privileges that others do not, so one could say it is a state that provides privilege to Jewish people at the expense of others. That hardly qualifies it as a “Jewish State.”

Someone in the Democratic Party might also want to explain the “Jewish values” that are referenced here. There are no values that are uniformly espoused by all Jewish people. Some Jewish people are religious, others are not. Some are racists and support Zionism and others are not. Some Jewish people are fine people, some are not. And finally, it would be nice to know who the ignorant fool is who wrote this stuff for the Biden campaign.

 

Democratic National Convention

As one reads through the Democratic National Convention platform under the section titled, “RENEWING AMERICAN LEADERSHIP,” and the sub-section titled “The Middle East,” there is an entire segment on Iran. Iran, which certainly has influence in the Middle East, is not even part of the Middle East.

This reminds me of the Israeli police officer who questioned me after the Israeli authorities learned of my visit to Iran. The questioning began with:

“Have you visited any hostile Arab countries lately?” When I replied “no,” the officer angrily asked, “Don’t you consider Iran to be a hostile Arab country?” Again I replied, “no.” Can it be that both the Israeli authorities and the Dems don’t know where Iran is located geographically? It is neither Arab nor is it in the Middle East.

When it comes to Israel, the DNC platform is full of contradictions. Following Biden’s personal commitment to Israel, the platform says, “Our commitment to Israel’s security, its qualitative military edge, its right to defend itself, and the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding is ironclad.” The “Memorandum” is the foreign aid agreement signed in 2016 which promises Israel an unprecedented $38 billion over ten years.

The platform then goes on to say, “Democrats recognize the worth of every Israeli and every Palestinian.” As the past one hundred years in Palestine have shown, support for Israel comes at the expense of Palestinian lives. No one can honestly care for the lives of Palestinians and support Israel’s “qualitative military edge.” It is that very military that is used by Israel to kill Palestinians. The Israeli military is part of a larger “security” apparatus that is devoted to the oppression of the Palestinian people and the protection of the apartheid regime.

What is perhaps the most foolish statement made in the platform, and the one the Dems will likely come to regret more than anything is the following: “We oppose any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.” Opposing the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the State of Israel is a mistake of historic proportions.

Rejecting BDS will be remembered as not only cowardly but also as an unwillingness on the part of the Democratic Party to stand for justice and freedom in Palestine. It is reactionary, short-sighted, and likely to have serious political repercussions. For generations to come, the Democratic Party of 2020 will be remembered as weak on human rights and its blind support for Israel will be used as an accusation both against the Biden-Harris ticket and the Democratic Party as a whole.

 

A difficult choice

The argument made by those who feel that progressives should vote for the Biden-Harris ticket is that they are “pushable.” In other words, if activists on the ground and within the Democratic Party work to bring about change from within, Joe Biden as president will listen. This argument makes the claim that while Biden’s record is clear, and while his entire career demonstrates he always supported crimes committed against Palestinians, as president, if pressured he may change.

Before every election, Americans are told that they face a tough choice. Before every election, Americans are told that the stakes are high, that the results will be close, and that they need to vote wisely. It may well be that this time it is more true than ever. Particularly for progressives, the choice between a far-Right neo-fascist and a middle of the road uninspiring centrist career politician isn’t easy.

Good luck to us all!

Feature photo | Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a memorial service for former Israel Prime Minister Shimon Peres at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, Oct 6, 2016. Zach Gibson | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post Biden’s Campain and the DNC Make a Mockery of Jews, Israel, and of Course, Joe Biden appeared first on MintPress News.

Carefully Choreographed Convention Confirms Progressive Policies Not Central to Biden Bid

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/08/2020 - 2:33am in

The Democratic National Convention continued for a fourth night last night, as the party coronates former vice president Joe Biden as its nomination for November. Originally scheduled to be held in Milwaukee, the current pandemic meant that it is mostly taking place virtually, allowing the DNC to hold a more carefully choreographed celebration than would otherwise have been possible.

One key message from the proceedings is the emphasis the Biden campaign is putting on reaching out to so-called “moderate Republicans,” presenting Trump as an aberration and himself as the cure (Biden himself floated picking a Republican as a running mate). The convention features a number of GOP speakers, chief among them John Kasich, who Donald Trump asked to become his vice-president in 2016, offering him substantial control over both domestic and foreign policy. “I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Kasich said. “We’re being taken down the wrong road by a president who has pitted one against the other.” George W. Bush’s secretary of state Colin Powell made a similar plea to voters to “restore [decent] values to the White House” by electing the former Delaware senator. Other Republicans featured included former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. There were fewer progressives speaking, undermining Trump’s claim that “Sleepy Joe” is a pawn of the “radical left.”

Perhaps the star of Thursday evening’s events was a 13-year-old boy with a stutter that Biden, who formerly suffered from the same condition, had helped. “Without Joe Biden I wouldn’t be talking to you today,” said Brayden Harrington, to the delight of journalists and political commentators. Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, spoke from an empty classroom, where she displayed the letters “BLM” prominently behind her — clearly a symbolic message. However, breaking convention, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was not invited to speak, despite winning more delegates than Biden’s VP pick Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was given just one minute to speak.

 

Progressive policies or platitudes?

Biden was able to overcome the progressive challenge and beat out Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the nomination. But Sanders’ and other progressives’ marks are clearly seen in the party’s platform, formally adopted on Tuesday. The platform calls for universal free COVID testing, treatment and vaccination, making state and community college tuition-free for most people, comprehensive criminal justice reform, including decriminalizing marijuana usage, a $15 minimum wage, and an end to what it calls the “race to war with Iran.” However, it did not adopt Medicare-For-All nor a Green New Deal, leading many on the party’s left-wing to vote against it. The embarrassing visual shot of large numbers of voters on the convention floor voting against it was spared due to the pandemic.

Progressive as it is, the platform is in no way binding and represents only a symbolic “wishlist” of party proposals. Even if the Democrats championed all the legislation, it is far from clear whether it would survive negotiations with Republicans, and could potentially be filibustered even if they had a majority in both house and senate. Moreover, Biden himself refused to say he would lift sanctions on Iran if president, and insisted that “nothing would fundamentally change” under his administration. Furthermore, the platform also includes the line “Democrats believe the Western Hemisphere is America’s strategic home base,” and promises to continue to “rescue” — i.e. “overthrow” — Venezuela, a section which sounds eerily familiar to the Reagan era of dirty wars in Latin America. John Negroponte, the Republican diplomat infamous for his role in the region’s genocides of the 1980s, recently endorsed Biden, stating that he was, “just not sure the country can withstand another four years of the presidency with a man who has shown such disregard to the office.”

The Democratic establishment has also assiduously avoided discussing its progressive platform, focusing on Biden’s values and Trump’s lack of them, Biden’s wife Jill asking, “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding. And with small acts of kindness. With bravery and with faith.” While poll aggregators show Biden with a relatively healthy lead, this time in 2016 Hillary Clinton also ran on a policy-light ticket and presented Trump as an aberration, not a symptom of a wider problem in American society. Clinton had a larger lead than Biden does and lost decisively. Furthermore, Biden is suffering from an enthusiasm gap, with most Democratic voters viewing their ballot as one purely against Trump, with less passion for President Obama’s former running mate. And with Trump actively trying to undermine the postal voting process, determination might be a prerequisite just to cast a ballot in November. The race is on.

Feature photo | Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Andrew Harnik | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Carefully Choreographed Convention Confirms Progressive Policies Not Central to Biden Bid appeared first on MintPress News.

Sheesh. What a Day.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 9:50pm in

cy landing, meeting medics who raced Navalny to the hospital, where he is gravely ill. The poisoning is a chilling reminder of Putin’s tactics just days after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election established that the Trump campaign invited his influence into our affairs.

Then, today, federal prosecutors in New York acting for a grand jury indicted Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, and two others for fraud and money laundering in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $25 million to build a wall on the US southern border with Mexico. Continue reading

The post Sheesh. What a Day. appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

MAGA Hats, QAnon, the Postal Service War…and the DNC

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 4:14am in

In a somber speech, former President Barack Obama warned that, in this election, American democracy is at stake. Continue reading

The post MAGA Hats, QAnon, the Postal Service War…and the DNC appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

The Virtual Convention

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 1:01am in

The DNC programming was designed to feel inclusive. The theme was “We the People,” and the evening began with the voices and pictures of young Americans from all walks of life singing. Soon they were replaced by a video of Americans working together, set to Bruce Springsteen’s  “The Rising.” The evening’s events focused on America’s youth and its people of color. Continue reading

The post The Virtual Convention appeared first on BillMoyers.com.