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How Big A Deal Is "Genocide" For Progressive Groups? Are They All Afraid Of The Pro-Genocide Lobby?

Pretty small group! Where's everyone else?

Democrats are still celebrating a much bigger win by Tom Suozzi than any poll or any pundit came close to predicting. The respected Siena poll— don’t ask me why anyone respects it— ended the campaign nose counting with a skimpy, even tentative, 48-44% win for Suozzi. Instead, he won 53.9% to 46.1%— a 7.8 point robust margin of victory. Hurray for our team! Um… except for, maybe, this from his website:

Tom has been called Congress’s “most reliable non-Jewish Democrat in support of Israel.”
Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to strengthening the US-Israel relationship, bolstering Israel’s security, and combating anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism.
After Hamas’ barbaric terrorist attacks on October 7, Tom stood in solidarity with the people of Israel and Jewish people around the world. In no uncertain terms, he made clear that the US must redouble its commitment to Israel as it employs every means necessary to end Hamas’ reign of terror. That includes boosting funding for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow missile defense systems. The US must support Israel as it does whatever it takes to stop these murderous, heartless criminals once and for all.
In Congress, Tom used his first ever floor speech in 2017 to condemn an anti-Israel UN Resolution. He also supported moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as well as the Abraham Accords. He has traveled to Israel and has spoken at dozens of rallies supporting Israel and condemning anti-Semitism. Perhaps most importantly, Tom has not been afraid to call people out by name, including members of his own party, when they have used anti-Semitic tropes. Tom will never waver in his support of Israel and the Jewish people.

Well, OK... it's a pretty Jewish district and his opponent was a former IDF enlistee. Here in California, we have primaries coming right up, just two weeks from Tuesday. The clear front-runner in the Senate race is Adam Schiff. The most recent public polling (USC) shows Schiff far ahead of the other candidates among likely voters:

  • Adam Schiff- 25%

  • Katie Porter- 15%

  • Steve Garvey- 15%

  • Barbara Lee- 7%

Among the 3 Democrats, Schiff is opposed to holding Israel accountable in terms of a ceasefire in Gaza, Barbara Lee is the candidate pushing hard for a ceasefire and Katie Porter is somewhere in between. “Schiff is holding fast to his original position. He supports Israel’s right to defend itself and the Biden administration’s urging that Israel limit Palestinian civilian deaths. Instead of a cease-fire he calls for humanitarian pauses for hostage release and aid delivery. ‘With Hamas promising to attack Israel again and again, he has not supported calls for a permanent cease-fire that would preserve Hamas terrorist governance in Gaza and the continued detention of over a hundred hostages, including Americans,’ campaign spokesperson Marisol Samayoa said. Schiff’s consistency will certainly play well with stalwart supporters of Israel… Lee hoped her early call to stop military action would jump-start her under-resourced bid, and it certainly won her loyalty with progressive activists.”

In my own district, the only front-runner supporting a ceasefire is Maebe A. Girl. Progressive groups— even a group calling itself Democratic Socialists, along with L.A. Democrats for Israel— have tended to endorse one of the establishment corporate liberals, Laura Friedman (she’s pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, pro-environment... so am L.A. Democrat) who has been financed by the charter school billionaires and who is the anti-ceasefire candidate in the race least likely to back getting tough with Israel’s genocidal Likud Party.

From Maebe’s website: “As a Jewish person, I know that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. ‘Never Again’ means never again for anyone. I demand the release of all hostages, call for an immediate ceasefire, and I condemn the disproportionate, military response by the State of Israel that has resulted in the civilian deaths of more than 11,000 Palestinians, including thousands of Palestinian children. Apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and collective punishment are inexcusable anywhere. I unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia everywhere.

Apparently, being in favor of a ceasefire is not a requirement to get an endorsement from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Some of the candidates who they endorsed so far this year are running as pro-Israel fanatics and some are in primaries against pro-ceasefire candidates! The Democratic establishment machine candidate in the San Fernando Valley, Luz Rivas, got two big endorsements recently— the AIPAC-adjacent, anti-ceasefire DMFI (Democratic Majority for Israel) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Angélica Dueñas, the actual progressive in that race, told us that “We are witnessing a massacre right in front of our very eyes in Palestine. The footage doesn't lie; our tax dollars are being used to kill women, children and innocent people. The Israeli government is participating in genocide against Palestinian people and the US Government is supplying the military equipment and funding to make it possible. We need a voice unafraid to stand up against the war machine to stop the massacre in Palestine. It's Time for Peace. Our community is tired of watching our government fund other countries and wars. We want our money to go to our community— jobs, education, healthcare, housing, child care and elder care; that's what we need.” Please consider backing Angélica and Maebe here.

Despite growing public support, only 68 members of Congress have signed a letter to the White House calling for a ceasefire. Is there any reason to wonder why pro-peace groups aren’t getting much traction in Washington? On Friday, Kate Kelly  reported that everyone is afraid of AIPAC. “Going up against the many forces backing Israel,” wrote Kelly, “is a challenge for any group. But the clash is especially striking when it comes to the Friends Committee, whose antiwar positions are in sync with much of the left of the Democratic Party but run counter to Biden administration policy in the wake of the Hamas terror attack and face intense opposition on the right. AIPAC, founded about 70 years ago to promote Israel’s interests in the U.S., is a juggernaut. Last year, its nonprofit arm reported more than $73 million in revenue. Last month, its political action committee, which supports candidates who embrace its policy priorities, reported record fund-raising— bolstering a $40 million war chest that could be spent trying to defeat political opponents in Washington. It has the ear of congressional leaders in both parties. The Friends Committee, which was founded during World War II, is part of what amounts to Washington’s peace lobby. It does not run a political action committee. It reports about $3 million in annual revenue. Its lobbying approach involves looking for ‘the divine in the people that we’re meeting with,’ Sarah Freeman-Woolpert, the Quaker group’s deputy director of strategic advocacy, says in a video.”

Let me stop here for a moment and remind everyone reading this: Give AIPAC The Finger. AIPAC is the pro-genocide lobbying group.

Kelly noted that “while polling suggests that American support for Israel’s tactics in Gaza is weakening as the civilian death toll there grows, groups like the Friends Committee and its coalition of more than 80 like-minded groups, including American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Episcopal Church, are struggling to get traction for their message in Washington. As Congress grapples with providing more aid to Israel, the Friends Committee and its political allies are pushing for an immediate cease-fire, more humanitarian aid for Gazans, continued funding for the U.N. aid group UNRWA and a cleareyed assessment of Israel’s human rights record.

AIPAC, which is supporting scores of Democrats and Republicans for re-election this cycle, is well known— and feared— in Washington. ‘Members of both parties worried about crossing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,’ former President Barack Obama wrote in his 2020 memoir, echoing a refrain heard from lawmakers today.”

[T]he Friends Committee and other peace and faith groups urged support for a resolution introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, to examine Israel’s human rights record before providing the additional defense funding now under discussion. The measure was rejected by the Senate last month when it drew just 11 backers, almost entirely Democrats. (The sole Republican on board was Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.)
“They’re all, I think, very mobilized voices and have had an impact,” said Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, who called for a cease-fire in November after initially hesitating. “They’ve had constituents reach out to different members of Congress, they’ve organized a lot of demonstrations in districts, they’ve done a lot on social media, they’ve raised a lot of awareness.”
Khanna said he and his staff meet with groups like the Friends Committee “all the time.”
The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, has been lobbying since its founding in the 1600s in England, said Jordan Landes, a Quaker historian at Swarthmore College. Quaker lobbying centers on a handful of themes, referred to as “testimonies,” including peace, equality and stewardship, Landes said.

3 comentarios

19 feb

My senator, Tammy Baldwin (D -WI) was goaded by World Beyond War into making a BOGUS cease fire statement. Proof that it was bogus: She isn't on the list of congress people, that you link to, having signed a letter to the White House !! More proof that she doesn't deserve to be called a progressive, she also refused to vote for Bernie Sanders resolution for a State Dept. accounting whether Israel is committing human rights abuses (because it is).

Then she voted for the bill to keep funding Israel with more weapons!!

She also refuses to send me a written explanation for why she didnt vote for Bernie's resolution. That's how much contempt she has for her constituency.


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Biden & Blinken Back Bibi because they want to crush Hamas. They'd prefer for the IDF to kill fewer civilians along the way, but that's a question of means, not a question of goals.

A large chunk of Hill Dems don't necessarily back Bibi, but, for political reasons, they have no interest in opposing him. I don't often quote Obama, but the quote from his memoirs remains sadly on point:

‘Members of both parties worried about crossing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,’ former President Barack Obama wrote in his 2020 memoir,

I recall Obama's widely shared dismay and disgust when 20 little kids were literally blown to pieces in Sandy Hook, CT. Little kids in Gaza get literally blow…

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18 feb
Contestando a

interesting you and I said much the same thing, but mine was censored.

WRT the Sandy Hook snuffings, your hero obamanation did wrinkle his nose at it... but DID absofuckinglutely NOTHING to prevent future mass snuffings. So there are at least two ways that your party "supports" the slaughter of kids:

  1. pay for it and/or supply the weapons to accomplish it

  2. sit on their thumbs and do nothing while such things are being done

Was it easy to support your donkey after they did NOTHING about guns here EVER? So, I guess everything between the UT clock tower to Columbine to Sandy Hook was not worth mentioning? Is your line in the sand, if you even have one, crossed on…

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