Loeffler attacks Palestinian rights, Warnock silent

A woman and man side by side on a TV screen

Senator Kelly Loeffler and Reverend Raphael Warnock, candidates in the January runoff election for one of Georgia’s US Senate seats, face off in a televised debate, 6 December.

The Georgia runoff election between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, along with the one between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator David Perdue, will determine whether Democrats control not just the executive of the US government but the legislative branch as well.

Republicans will retain control of the Senate if either Loeffler or Perdue is victorious in Georgia on 5 January.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the man who once called Palestinians an “invented people,” is now saying “Republicans simply have to turn out more votes than Stacey Abrams can steal.”

This is a grotesque and upside-down charge to level against Abrams. She was the victim of then Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s efforts to suppress Democratic and Black turnout in Abrams’ unsuccessful bid to become governor in 2018. Kemp, despite his clear conflict of interest as secretary of state, sought to limit parts of the Georgia vote during their tight race to secure the position of governor.

Sunday’s debate between Warnock and Loeffler saw Loeffler go on the offensive regarding Israel while Warnock failed to say a word in defense of Palestinian freedom and equal rights.

Loeffler initiated her pro-Israel offensive when she declared, “You’ve just heard more lies from radical liberal Raphael Warnock, who wants to distract from his own words, calling police officers gangsters, thugs, bullies, and a threat to our children, saying that you can’t serve God in the military, for his attacks on Israel.”

Warnock stayed silent regarding Israel and its anti-Palestinian actions.

Shortly thereafter, Loeffler employed still stronger rhetoric when she stated, “He’s called on Americans to repent for their worship of whiteness. He’s called Israel an apartheid state and said that we should end military assistance. He’s compared Israelis defending themselves against Palestinians, he’s compared them to birds of prey.”

Warnock kept silent yet again.

The candidate and his advisers presumably regard silence as smart strategy. It is not. And, worse, it allows oppressive Israeli policies to be normalized with no pushback.

If the aspiring senator believes in freedom and equal rights for Palestinians then he can’t stand by silently under an anti-Palestinian barrage from Loeffler. Sadly, as I’ve previously made clear, Warnock has dropped his support for Palestinian rights in the belief that doing so may advance his Senate bid.

Instead, it simply raises serious questions about what he really believes and which groups he might drop next.

Meanwhile, Perdue didn’t even bother to show up for his debate against his Democratic challenger after getting eviscerated on corruption and healthcare issues by Ossoff in a prior debate.

The 33-year-old Democrat also took the incumbent Republican senator to task in that debate for an anti-Semitic ad run by Perdue’s campaign that lengthened Ossoff’s nose to, as Ossoff said, “remind everybody that I’m Jewish.”

The Georgia Senate races remain painful to watch. Loeffler and Perdue are far-right Republicans who will do their utmost to assist Israeli dominance and set back Palestinian rights. Warnock and Ossoff are apt to reject the worst of Israeli policies – while going along with far too much – but have shown so far that they are unwilling to make a powerful case for Palestinian freedom.

Grassroots Democrats want candidates they can believe in, not machine politicians willing to drop strongly held beliefs – as Warnock has done – because an adviser tells them it will help their campaigns.

Warnock is a reverend. For him to abandon oppressed and subjugated Palestinians before Loeffler’s verbal onslaught is to effectively leave the ministry for a new profession: politician without principle.




Rev. Warnock has made his decision- or had it made for him- and if he's elected I see no reason for him to turn around and do all he can to defend Palestinian rights. In the curious world of politics, that would count as an act of betrayal. Kicking Palestinians in the stomach, calling them racist for issuing the non-violent call to boycott, divest and sanction Israel- that's a gesture embodying the highest of profitable ideals. It's always interesting to see this kind of opportunism dressed up as follows- "If he can't get elected, he can't bring about change." I've never yet seen one of these candidates who suddenly abandoning a cause that's unpopular with their handlers and donors, do anything once elected for the people they threw under the campaign bus. And why should they? The path to high office is one that involves a whole new set of commitments. If the reverend makes it first past the post, we certainly won't be reading in his daily office bulletin anything about Israeli war crimes or the need to withhold funds from the apartheid state. And his one-time association with such issues will become a thing of the scarcely remembered past.

There's a free trip to Israel awaiting every incoming member of Congress. Like those who have boarded that flight before him, he will have "evolved".


As a Black man is the South, Warnock knows a bit more about where you can and cannot go than this journalist appears to comprehend. You don't get uppity with a rich white woman and you don't alienate your second most important base of support.


In the U.S. there are no "true" leftists in politics any longer. Furthermore, there is negligible difference between the "Republicans" and the "Democrats". We have here in the U.S. a one party system with two names, period. As an example, the difference between Ms. Kelly Loeffler and "minister" Raphael Warnock is the difference between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum!


Every election cycle ideologues seize the moment to villainize the politicians closest to their cause but fail the purity test. It's like they sense their vulnerability and view it as an opportunity. Warnock is one such case. I don't know where Michael Brown lives but it sure as heck ain't on Warnock's side of the tracks, otherwise he'd have some appreciation for the position he's in. So here we go again, I don't think it can dent the armor of class privilege, which is what we're talking about here but one can always hope. https://www.haaretz.com/us-new...


In my opinion it is indeed smart to leave Israel/Palestine on the sidelines during this campaign for a democrat win in this runoff election.
“ Sunday’s debate between Warnock and Loeffler saw Loeffler go on the offensive regarding Israel while Warnock failed to say a word in defense of Palestinian freedom and equal rights.”
Warnock knows that the attack dogs are just waiting for him to criticise Israel and defend Palestinians.


You know Michael, you could have written this article from the perspective of Warnock getting a reminder of what Georgia was like for his father, who had to hear evil and see evil but keep his trap shut of be done evil. But considering it's Georgia's Jewish religious community that's sending the reminder, it's a sensitive issue right? Warnock could really be labeled anti-Semitic then. So you see, he doesn't have much choice and neither does his Party.


John, Sean, et al;
The fact that Raphael Warnock caved in to the Occupied Palestine (Israel) Lobby distinctly sets a terrible precedent. Even if he were to win the Senatorial race in Georgia, he will no longer stand up for the Palestinian people, or for that matter black African Ethiopian and Sudanese, Arabs, Christians, Druze, or Muslims that reside in Occupied Palestine (Israel). Mr. Warnock has clearly shown he can be intimidated--and that, I believe, will not change elected or not.
As far as being black in the South, if the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the late Medgar Evers, the late Dr. Ralph Abernathy, the late Mr. Julian Bond, the late John Lewis, and so forth were more concerned about the smears leveled against them, or their safety, there would have been no Civil Rights Movement. In the 1950's and 1960's it was far, far more dangerous for blacks in the South than it is today. They courageously spoke up and demonstrated because it was for the rights, equality, and justice of blacks that mattered most to them.
If the people of Georgia can be duped by the fallacious and ludicrous smears that Ms. Kelly Loeffler and the Occupied Palestine (Israel) Lobby have leveled against Mr. Warnock than they certainly deserve either, or both candidates to represent them.
Alexis De Tocqueville, I think, said it best, "People get the government they deserve."


There is nothing smart about upholding injustice. It will rebound on you. Better to stand for justice and fail to get elected than to compromise with oppression for the sake of an office in which your hands are tied. As David Hume argued, morality rests on taking the wide view and the wise man must "proportion his belief to the evidence." What does the evidence show? Israel was brought into existence by violence. It is kept in existence by violence or the threat of violence. It was founded on racism and racism remains its creed. Weizmann expressed in baldly: "There is a qualitative difference between a Jew and an Arab." Warnock should ask Leoffler if she believes that. Weizmann also wanted the Balfour Declaration to include "the Jewish race" rather than "the Jewish people". He should ask her whether she believes there is such a thing as "the Jewish race". The evidence is compelling: the Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed, murdered, raped, imprisoned, humiliated, abused, made homeless by people with a messianic belief in their right to the whole of Palestine. Evidence on the one hand, fantasy on the other. Warnock should attend to Hume and proportion his belief to the evidence. There is no evidence that Abraham existed. No evidence that god gave Palestine to him. No evidence that the Jews has a divine right to Palestine. Evidence only that out of arrogant assumption they deny the humanity of the Palestinians. Fear of offending rich, southern, white women should not stop anyone with a gram of courage from saying so.


Raphael Warnock understands everything you both have charged, bank on it. You both assume too much has changed in Georgia. Just because there’s no lynchings or color bars, don’t think a black man (or woman) can be elected to the Senate there if they overstep. Getting too aggressive with responses to the rich white woman and losing the support of the state’s small but influential Jewish community WILL likely spell the difference in an election already gravely in doubt.
So Frank, you’re really right back there with Stefano, Hume included. You think it’s all about taking the long view and being morally and ethically “perfect”. If that view prevented the deaths of a million Iraqis and the election of someone who would do more to undermine any chance for the survival of impossible to replace international institutions of law and order and relief of human suffering, vital steps toward addressing climate change and a successful resolution of Israel’s rape of Palestine, I’d be there.
But I’m afraid for this country. I’m not sure we’ll make it. Our Senate didn’t stand up for US and our law. I want to take care of business. I want to win the Senate and have a chance. And I get that the chance has so far been a mirage but relying on the human animal I’ve come to know too well, to advance as a body, soon enough to your vantage point, doesn’t seem an option to me.

Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.