Friday, July 10, 2015

Her Master's Voice

Former Labor PM Paul Keating was moved to say of his late mother Minnie Keating that "At the core  of [her forthrightness] was a manic commitment to honesty and truth and her utter contempt for humbug and sleight of hand. Her guiding light was that which was true and right and she instilled those values into each of us as children and as adults." (Keating farewells his mother and guiding light, Andrew Hornery, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/7/15)

I very much doubt that this could be said of the author of the following letter (2/7/15), Hillary Clinton. The letter is essentially a shameless pitch for funds from the Israeli-American billionaire and mega-donor to the Democratic Party, Haim Saban, who said in 2004 that "I'm a one issue guy, and my issue is Israel."

"Dear Haim:

"I am writing to express my alarm over the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction [sic] movement, or 'BDS', a global effort to isolate the State of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges."

No, you're not. You're merely parroting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, specifically his 2014 AIPAC speech, where he refers to "the so-called BDS," and tells his American agents that it's "morally wrong" and "simply the latest chapter in the long and dark history of anti-Semitism."

"I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority. I am seeking your advice on how we can work together - across party lines and with a diverse array of voices - to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel."

Which is just another way of repeating these Netanyahu tropes:

"Today the singling out of the Jewish people has turned into the singling out of the Jewish state."

"But the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It's about making Israel illegitimate."

"As you know, BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace. I remain convinced that Israel's long-term security and future as a Jewish state depends on having two states for two peoples. But that outcome can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians - it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions."


"BDS sets back peace because it hardens Palestinian positions and it makes mutual compromise less likely."

"I am also very concerned by attempts to compare Israel to South African apartheid. Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world - especially in Europe - we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. After all, it was only six months ago that four Jews were targeted and killed in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as they did their Sabbath shopping."

Ah yes, the anti-Semitism card. Netanyahu again:

"We have a boisterous democracy where everyone has an opinion... Those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot."

"BDS is the latest attempt to single out Israel on the world stage, but we've seen this sort of attack before, at the UN and elsewhere. As Senator and Secretary of State, I saw how crucial it is for America to defend Israel at every turn. I have opposed dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the Human Rights Council, and other international organizations. I condemned the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country. And I made sure the United States blocked Palestinian attempts at the UN to unilaterally declare statehood. Time after time, no matter the venue, I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel - and that's what I'll always do as President."

Hillary or no Hillary, Democrat or Republican, covering Israel's nakedness in the UN Security Council with its veto, or voting NO in the General Assembly or other UN body, is simply what we've come to expect from USrael.

Most recently, at the 29th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, the US was the only country to vote NO against a resolution 'ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in' the Occupied Palestinian territories, a vote which followed the release of the UN Human Rights report on the 2014 massacres in Gaza.

"Now I am seeking your thoughts and recommendations on how leaders and communities across America can work together to counter BDS. From Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike."

And classrooms???!!! 

"I hope you will work with me on this priority. It was more than three decades ago when Bill and I took our first trip to Israel...

Do you remember our first rambamming, Bill?

Did the earth move for you too, Bill?

"... walked the ancient streets of Jerusalem's Old City, and fell in love with the country and its people. Israel became a special place for us, and I'm lucky to have had many opportunities to return and to make many dear friends there over the years. The Jewish state is a modern day miracle - a vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert. We must nurture and protect it."

Israel's a plant alright, a poisonous settler-colonial implant which continues to blight every inch of occupied Palestine:

"'When I arrived on my farm on Wednesday morning. I was surprised when I saw an Israeli farming plane crossing the border towards farms inside Gaza,' farmer Ahmed Badawi said. 'The plane started to spray unidentified chemicals. My farm is 400 metres from the border and I planted several kinds of vegetables. Two days [later] negative effects started to appear on the plants.' Mahmoud Dalloul, another farmer in a different area near the border, said that this was not the first time..." (Israel sprays Gaza farms with poisonous gases, again,, 20/4/15)

"I will be speaking out publicly on this issue in the weeks ahead, so I am eager to hear your perspective and advice. 

"With warm regards, I am 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Hilary Rodham Clinton."

And Hillary has written in her own hand:

"Look forward to working with you on this."

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