Friday, April 23, 2010

Inaugural post

(Update)


There is no one better to introduce you to Israel Firsters than Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). Years after years, he can be counted on to put interests of Israel in front of America's, and blatantly so if I may add. Sen. Schumer pretty much defines what an Israel Firster is, one who has never ever put the interests of our great country ahead when it comes to Israel.

So it is not a shocker to me when i recently found out that he had publicly criticized President Obama over its slight change in policy in dealing with Israel's intransigence in building Jewish housing in the occupied East Jerusalem. In addition to signing an AIPAC-sponsored letter that suggested the Obama administration to keep its spat with Israel private, Sen. Schumer went on the conservative Jewish Nachum Segal Show and said the following:
"...I talked to Rahm Emanuel about, and the President about this week. I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk. Palestinians don’t really believe in a state of Israel, they, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a 2-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there."
That is strange, so it is OK for us to do the negotiating for Israel, to give Israel almost $3 billions each year even though more than one in ten of us are unemployed, to provide classified intelligence that no other countries receive and to use our diplomatic currency in vetoing resolutions after resolutions against Israel at the UN, but it is not OK for us to "give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them"? So what gives Sen. Schumer the impression that the United States will be doing the negotiation for the Palestinians? Is it the fact after years of saying yes to Israel and turning a blind eye to whatever it is doing to its neighbors, we finally have the guts to say no and to do so publicly?

Some Palestinians may not believe in a state of Israel, just like most Israelis have never entertained the idea of an independent Palestinian state right next to them. It was not until recently that a Prime Minister of Israel has begrudgingly accepted a Palestinian state, one that was envisioned to have no control over its border, its airspace and with large portion of its land permanently off-limit to its citizens. If Sen. Schumer is a Palestinian, is this the kind of state that he can imagine himself living in?


Update:
Over at Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald pointed out Sen. Schumer - "one of the most Party-loyal Democrats in Congress" who "for the first time ever, temporarily abandoned his role as Prime Defender of Wall Street ... in order not to impede the White House's financial reform package" - also threatened the Obama administration:
And right now there is a battle going on inside the administration, one side agrees with us, one side doesn’t, and we’re pushing hard to make sure the right side wins and if not we’ll have to take it to the next step.
Schumer didn't specify who the "us" there is, though this United States Senator did reference "the thing we should most be concerned about, of course, the threat to Israel."  Of course.  Schumer also spouted numerous ugly platitudes about the Palestinians, including expressing support for the despicable, inhumane blockade of Gaza on the ground that "when they vote for Hamas they are going to have to suffer the consequences."  As Steve Clemons notes, Schumer previously attempted to play a key role in building support for the Israel-revering John Bolton as Bush's U.N. ambassador, and Clemons asks rhetorically: "Has Chuck Schumer EVER Criticized Israel or its Leadership in the Way He Just Unloaded on Obama?

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