The Crackdown on Campus Protests is a Bipartisan Strategy to Repress Pro-Palestine Speech

The Progressive, May 1, 2024: Unlike apartheid-era South Africa, many universities aren’t even recognizing Israel’s human rights abuses. A wave of sit-ins and encampments have swept college and university campuses across the country. They are being led—as in past anti-war campus protests in 1968—by Columbia University in New York. The immediate demand by most of these student groups is that their institutions divest from companies supporting Israel’s war and occupation. Calls for more ethical investment policies and an end to the bombardment of Gaza, however, are unthinkable for many university administrators and Washington officials, and the pushback has been intense… [source]

Don’t Buy the Right-wing Disinformation Campaign on “From the River to the Sea”

Truthout May 5, 2024: This phrase was never about killing Jews. It emerged in the 1960s as a call for equal rights within a democratic state The wave of pro-Palestinian protests sweeping American campuses was triggered by Columbia University President Minouche Shafik’s order to forcibly clear a peaceful encampment on April 18. Her decision came as a direct result of her grilling the previous day before a House committee in Washington investigating alleged antisemitism on U.S. campuses: At the hearing, she pledged to take action against protesters. A major focus of the interrogation was the slogan, popular among pro-Palestinian protesters, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” [source]

WRFI Human Rights Show: Amnesty International Report and U.S. Reaction

Amnesty International published the extensive research report “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians” which concluded that decades of systematic discrimination and oppression of Palestinians and violation of their rights amounts to the crime of apartheid. We discuss why the U.S. refuses to acknowledge that Israel violates a wide range of human rights of the Palestinians. Aired 18 February 2022 [FULL LINK]

Harry Reid’s Hawkish Foreign Policy Record

The death of former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid of Nevada has brought forth praise for his parliamentary skills, which helped make possible some critically important legislation, as well as preventing the passage of a number of seriously problematic bills. However, on the foreign policy front, it should be noted that Reid not only failed to challenge dangerous Republican initiatives that violated fundamental principles of international law and human rights, he was often among their most prominent supporters. [FULL LINK]

Biden and Other Democrats Helped Colin Powell Spread George W. Bush’s Iraq Lies

While the death of former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell has elicited praise-filled eulogies in the mainstream media and officials in Washington, many Americans still carry bitter feelings over Powell’s support for the illegal, unnecessary and predictably disastrous war in Iraq. In particular, critics cite his February 2003 speech before the UN Security Council in which he put forward a litany of demonstrably false statements in making the case that Iraq had compiled a dangerous arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” and was actively supporting the al-Qaeda terrorist network. [FULL LINK]

United States’ Imperial Foreign Policy Is the Deadly Enemy of Progress at Home

The US military spends trillions on death abroad that could be spent on improving life back home.

“It’s hazoy [hallucinatory] — f**king hazoy.”
So explained a well-known artist, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, as he sat in the tiny “safe room” (in fact, the bathroom) of his Jaffa apartment, chatting over WhatsApp during the latest flare-up of extreme violence in the Holy Land. Rampaging mobs of right-wing Jews marauded through the neighborhood below his window while missiles shot from Gaza screamed overhead. [FULL LINK]

One of the Democrats’ Biggest Hawks Is Now Senate Foreign Relations Chair

Now with a working majority, the Democrats have named Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This has rung alarm bells for advocates of peace, human rights and international law, given that Menendez has opposed the Iran nuclear agreement, repeatedly attacked the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, supported unconditional military aid to governments that have used the weapons in the commission of war crimes, and taken other positions far closer to those of Republicans than rank-and-file Democrats. [FULL LINK]

Pompeo Embraced Israeli Settlements, But Democrats Also Paved the Way for It

[Truthout, November 28, 2020] – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has faced widespread international condemnation for his recent assertions that illegal Israeli settlements constructed in the occupied West Bank are somehow legal and part of Israel, and that products from these colonies on confiscated Palestinian land should be labeled as “Made in Israel.” What fewer are discussing, however, is that while these proclamations are unprecedented in their scope, they are in fact the culmination of decades of bipartisan support for Israeli expansionism. The illegality of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank is clear: Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention — to which both Israel and the United States are signatories — prohibits any occupying power from transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” [FULL LINK]

Biden’s Pick for Secretary of State Has a Record of Militarism

[Truthout, Novmber 24, 2020] – President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Antony Blinken for secretary of state is a worrying sign. Despite Biden owing his election to the Democratic Party’s progressive base and left-leaning independents, he has nominated someone The Washington Post has described as having “a centrist view of the world” and who has “supported interventionist positions.” Prior to serving in the Obama administration, initially under Vice-President Biden and later in the State Department, Blinken was Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Chairman Biden during the critical months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Under their leadership, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee limited hearings to only a day and a half and stacked the witness list with war supporters… [FULL LINK]

Most Dem Voters Are to the Left of Biden on Foreign Policy. Can He Be Moved?

Truthout, November 16, 2020: While a likely Republican-controlled Senate could limit many of the progressive domestic policies President-elect Joe Biden has promised to enact, presidents have far more leeway to advance their agenda in the realm of foreign policy. As a result, Biden — who has perhaps the most extensive background in foreign affairs of any new president in U.S. history — has the ability to make a positive difference. While he will certainly be an improvement over Donald Trump, Biden’s record is well to the right of most Democratic voters. Scores of foreign policy officials from the Bush administration and allied pundits endorsed Biden. This is not surprising in light of his support for Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Arab dictatorships and the Israeli occupation… [FULL LINK]

DNC Platform Condemns BDS But Not Israel’s Occupation of Palestine

[Truthout August 7, 2020] Due to a series of decisions by the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) platform committee, progressives are concerned that the Biden-led Democratic Party’s foreign policy toward Israel and Palestine will more closely resemble that of Republicans than that of the Democratic rank-and-file… representatives on the committee were solid in their defense of continued US backing for Israel’s corrupt right-wing government, defeating proposed amendments to modify such unconditional support by a nearly 4 to 1 margin… [FULL LINK]

Congressional Democrats Supported Violent Force Against Protesters in 2010

[Truthout June 19, 2020] The use of lethal force by police, National Guard, and other security forces has come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of the George Floyd killing and resulting uprisings. Congressional Democrats have begun speaking out against police-perpetrated killings as well as the use of excessive force against protesters and journalists across the country, such as the notorious incident in Lafayette Park across from the White House late last month. Democrats have even rejected the notion that if some members of an initially nonviolent crowd fight back when attacked by security forces, it therefore legitimates the targeting of protesters or those recording the incident, much less justifying lethal force. However, 10 years ago this week, a majority of congressional Democrats went on record defending Israel’s killing of 10 passengers and crew on the Mavi Marmara sailing in international waters as part of a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for the besieged Gaza Strip. The Israelis shot and killed 10 people aboard the ship, including five not resisting… most in the head at close range. [FULL LINK]