Progressive Democrats vote against Palestinian rights

I appeared on Pushback, Aaron Maté’s new show at The Grayzone to talk about the vote in Congress last week to condemn BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.

Many were disappointed that among the 398 representatives who backed the bill were several prominent Democratic progressives and antiwar figures, including Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, California’s Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman who is running for president.

On Monday, I wrote about how Gabbard and Pressley have tried, amid outrage at their votes, to defend their decisions.

In the interview, Maté and I talk about these developments as well as why the Democratic Party leadership is so eager to attack and smear Palestinians.

The resolution condemning BDS had the full backing of top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House.

I point out how the party is being set up by Donald Trump and the right, who are attacking them for supposedly being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.

I ask if the Democrats will learn from the experience of the Labour Party in the UK, which has responded ineffectually to a similar smear campaign and witchhunt by Israel and its lobby in Britain.

Watch the interview above.

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Excellent, Ali. Here in the UK the accusers of Corbyn and his supporters are mainly within the Labour Party. The principal ones are Zionists or Zionist apologists. You're right, Corbyn has tried to appease. He has taken the line that continually asserting that Labour is opposed to all racism will suffice. His message to all members of his party was part of this. But the Zionists will not give up. The best response, in my view, is to come out fighting and the way to do that is to present the uncontroversial evidence of long-standing Zionist antisemitism. I don't tire of quoting Theordore Herzl: "The Jew is a hideous distortion of the human character, something unspeakably low and repulsive...We'll breathe more easily having rid ourselves, once and for all, of these people who, with furtive shame, we were obluged to treat as our fellow tribesman.." and "No true Jew can be an anti-Zionist, only Mauschel is one." What could be more antisemitic than that? In December 1938, after Kristallnacht, Ben-Gurion said that if he had to choose between saving all the Jewish children in Germany by sending them to England or half by sending them to Palestine, he would choose the latter. Jewish lives didn't matter, the Zionist State did. The evidence of Zionist abuse, manipulation, brainwashing and murder of Jews who refused their project is overwhelming. This is what we must throw back into the faces of those who accuse us of antisemitism because we support Palestinian self-determination and refuse to accept Israeli apartheid, flouting of international law, refusal to define its borders, and its claim to Palestine on the grounds of genetic entitlement. Pelosi and the Democrats who voted against BDS are a disgrace. The common folk must stand up for justice.

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The lesson from the U.K. is that whatever concessions are made to the Zionists, they always come back for more. They get away with vile abuse aimed at decent Labour supporters of Palestine without challenge from mainstream media while conciliatory statements from the Labour leadership are never good enough. The smears go on......

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It seems the Democrats are not learning from their previous mistakes!
The "Old Guard" is still "conspiring" against the young members to deprive them a clear, ethical ID
Pleasing the pro-zionist will neither swing "neutral" votes nor build any trust amongst Milenia generations
Pelosi, once again, will be the GREATEST contributor to Trump's coming re-election!
Losing trust in the Dem Leadership will prevent voters from participating and that's what Trump is looking for
Standing by principles (against the oppression of Palestinians & Jews) is the way to go. Kissing AIPAC asses will get you nowhere!

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Ali Abunimah

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.