zaterdag 20 februari 2021

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Jewish Lobby asnd Democracy


Condemning BDS and promising to visit Israel are price of entry in Democratic race for NY mayor

Leading Democratic Party candidates for NY mayor all oppose BDS and Shaun Donovan panders best: "I have not visited Israel but I have visited both Dachau and Auschwitz."

The race for the Democratic nomination to be NY’s mayor is heating up, and Israel is a big part of the discussion. This makes sense because there are so many Jewish Democratic voters in New York; and support for Israel is still a reliable Jewish issue, especially among the orthodox. 

And so we see the candidates shamelessly pandering on Israel, denouncing the BDS campaign, for boycotts, divestments and sanctions targeting Israel. Sitting Mayor Bill de Blasio also weighed in, saying that “it’s incumbent on all Democrats, and particularly progressive Democrats, to denounce BDS” because “Israel is a fundamentally progressive concept” And saying “vast majority of Democrats” are against BDS. So, now you know where Dems are! 

The Forward reported a survey that most of the leading Democratic candidates for mayor are opposed to BDS, “an issue that is of great importance to the Jewish and pro-Israel communities.” That includes frontrunner/entrepreneur Andrew Yang, business exec Ray McGuire, city comptroller Scott Stringer, former Obama cabinet official Shaun Donovan, and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams. Yet Stringer and Maya Wiley, a former de Blasio aide/civil rights advocate, told the Forward that even though they don’t support BDS, the “right to boycott is essential to American democracy.” 

All these candidates would call themselves progressive, to be sure! And seven of the eight surveyed told the Forward they would consider visiting Israel if elected, with Shaun Donovan going furthest and saying he wanted to learn how Israel has done so well in its vaccination program and adding: 

“I have not visited Israel but I have visited both Dachau and Auschwitz.”

McGuire, who has raised a reported $5 million-plus since announcing his candidacy, went furthest in the Forward survey on BDS. “I absolutely condemn BDS and any other movement that seeks to exclude, delegitimize or isolate Israel.” 

And in December, McGuire got the recommendation of a real estate exec/radio show host from the Brooklyn orthodox community. “He’s very strong on Israel and he seems to understand our issues also,” Leon Goldenberg told Jewish Insider

Andrew Yang is fighting hard to get the Israel lane all to himself. Last month he said that BDS is rooted in Nazi thinking; and his political operative Chris Coffey says Israel is a big part of the campaign. 

@AndrewYang plans to fight hard for Jewish vote. Proud of his support of Israel, his commitment to go there first as Mayor, and his opposition to BDS. We can bring tech talent from Israel to NYC and vice versa. 

Yang has reportedly hired David Schwartz, a protege of far-rightwing City Councilperson Dov Hikind, as his Jewish outreach aide. In 2016, Hikind accused Bernie Sanders of a “blood libel” against the Jewish people, for daring to criticize Israel’s Gaza slaughter of 2014. But to be clear, Dov Hikind is setting the bar in NY politics, not Bernie Sanders… 

Schwartz is a Hasidic man who in 2016 at 22 became Democratic district leader in Brooklyn with Hikind’s backing. 


The New York Post explains that the Jewish vote is up for grabs in this election, with no candidate having an obvious advantage (though Stringer is Jewish): 

New York City has about 1.5 million Jewish residents, by far the largest population of Jews in the United States. While it’s impossible to say for sure how many are registered to vote, one study from PrimeNY estimated that up to 14 percent of city voters were Jewish, with more than 60 percent of them registered Democrats and thus eligible to vote in the city’s closed primary…

Many Jewish voters — particularly the more conservative-leaning Orthodox and Hasidic in Brooklyn — tend to vote in blocks, amplifying their political power.

Of course fundraising is also the reason these candidates are pandering so hard. The influence of pro-Israel Jewish donors are the “elephant in the room” of Democratic politics, even the New York Times has reported. 

As for de Blasio, political operative Howard Wolfson sent Jewish Insider an Israel answer he got from de Blasio that was edited out of a Q-and-A with de Blasio that he published at Bloomberg. Wolfson is putting down an official marker here, about the limits to criticism of Israel inside the Democratic Party. Notice Wolfson saying his “friends” are Israel supporters– that means the party establishment– and de Blasio saying all leading Democrats are for Israel. 

Wolfson: You have been very strongly pro-Israel during your political career, even friends of mine who tend to be critical of you recognize that and give you credit for it. How concerned are you, as a leading progressive, about the growth of the BDS movement on the left? How concerned should mainstream Democrats be?

Bill de Blasio: I’m concerned, but I wouldn’t overrate its growth. I think it’s incumbent on all Democrats, and particularly progressive Democrats, to denounce BDS because there’s a profound contradiction in what they are saying and doing. I respect their First Amendment rights, but that doesn’t stop me from profoundly disagreeing with what they’re doing. Israel is a fundamentally progressive concept. It is about having a homeland for a people who’ve been oppressed for millennia and who still have to wonder if they will have safety in the rest of the world. I don’t know what could be more progressive than a homeland for oppressed people… It is about our values as Democrats and progressives. I truly believe we should stand by the State of Israel, oppose BDS, and at the same time, I’m happy to say I believe in this two-state solution and I consistently disagree with Netanyahu and I look forward to the day when he’s no longer prime minister. But that’s a healthy discussion. And I honestly believe that’s where a vast majority of Democrats are, so that I would wrap it around and say, yes, it should be taken seriously as a problem, yes, people should speak up, but let’s not mistake it for a moment. If you went to every Democratic U.S. senator, representative, governor, mayor in America, you would find overwhelming support for the State of Israel and an overwhelming opposition to BDS.


Notice de Blasio hedges on his criticism of Netanyahu…

Back to the candidates, and frontrunner Andrew Yang. The Daily News reports thatYang passed up a forum last week sponsored by Muslims but did show up on a podcast with Sam Harris, who has made Islamophobic comments (“Islam at the moment is the motherlode of bad ideas”). 

Last Wednesday — the same day Yang passed on attending a virtual mayoral forum sponsored by several Muslim groups — he appeared on the Making Sense podcast, which is hosted by Sam Harris, whose remarks about Islam and race have elicited outrage in the past and continue to rankle Muslims..

“He’s one of the most renowned liberal Islamophobes out there,” [Mohammad] Khan, [president of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York] said. “It’s concerning that someone who’s seeking to hold public office in New York City would publicly associate with Sam Harris without challenging him on his Islamophobic views. Yang owes an explanation to New Yorkers on whether he agrees with the views Harris holds publicly.”


Several other candidates, including Wiley, Adams, Stringer, and Donovan, did appear on the Muslim forum. 

The Daily News says that on a previous podcast in May, Yang credited Harris with launching his “entire presidential run.”

And though Maya Wiley has a more progressive track record than other Dems — the NY Post calling her “the far left side of the spectrum” –she has aligned herself with liberal Zionists and against Netanyahu (not far off from her former boss de Blasio). Last year Wiley accepted an award at a fundraiser to fight hunger held by the National Council of Jewish Women last year; the NCJW is a liberal Zionist organization. NCJW highlighted Wiley’s progressive record; 

Maya Wiley has spent her career fighting to dismantle structural racism and win transformational change with low income communities of color. As Counsel to the Mayor she delivered for New York City on civil and immigrants’ rights, women and minority owned business contracts, universal broadband access and more…


So the politics of NY Democrats are firmly Progressive Except Palestine. These politics are all about the Israel lobby inside the Jewish community and the Democratic Party establishment. And not about the progressive base that overwhelmingly supports cutting aid to Israel over human rights violations. Don’t forget Raphael Warnock walking back his Israel-critical statements to get a key endorsement from a Jewish Zionist org ahead of the Georgia senate election. 

Some day generational forces are going to break up that Democratic Party consensus. Not today, sadly. 

vrijdag 19 februari 2021

Chris Hedges: Cancel Culture, Where Liberalism Goes to Die BY EDITOR


Chris Hedges: Cancel Culture, Where Liberalism Goes to Die

Copyright 2018 Chris Hedges 

Voetbal Commentator stan van houcke heeft dit als repost geplaatst Marcel Van Silfh...