FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Elizabeth Warren and Israel

by

During her “Office Hours” town hall on August 22, 2014, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren responded to a constituent’s criticism of her support for Congress’ $225 million aid bill to Israel amid the hellfire it was raining down on Gaza, saying:

“[W]hen Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself.”

This is pure Washington sophistry. “Defending itself,” in this case, included massively bombing Palestinian civilian infrastructure with the certain knowledge that thousands of innocents would suffer. Amid such ghastly certainty, Israeli officials’ insistence that they don’t target civilians (or blaming the victims for failing to heed warnings to flee) are the rationalizations of sociopathic killers, and Israel’s so-called moral intentions are simply rubble in its collateral damage.

Senator Warren ought to stand next to one of those hospitals, schools, homes, water, power, or sewage treatment plants under an Israeli bombardment and proclaim Israel’s “right to defend itself.”

Israel doesn’t have to explain its actions to its war financier and supplier, the United States, because no one, including darling of the left Elizabeth Warren, dares to ask even the screamingly obvious questions, like: What legitimate strategic reason could Israel have for obliterating thousands of buildings when most of them did not contain hidden missile launchers, and Israel gives any combatants holed up there a chance to flee first anyway?

If Senator Warren really believes the Israeli military has the right to murder and maim thousands of innocents caught between warring parties, she lacks basic compassion. And if she is just reciting the party line to assuage AIPAC and preempt her critics, she lacks basic integrity. In either case, she becomes just another calloused presidential hopeful unworthy of progressive support. If instead she wants to rally disillusioned voters on the left and set the table for transformative discussion, she should distinguish herself from Washington’s blind sycophancy toward Israel.

Senator Warren need not side with the far left to condemn Israel’s atrocities; she need only side with fundamental international and human rights law. If she can’t do that much, even circumspectly, there’s nothing new or refreshing about her.

Ben Rosenfield is a San Francisco civil rights attorney.

Ben Rosenfeld is a civil rights attorney in San Francisco, and a Board Member of the Civil Liberties Defense Center based in Eugene, Oregon.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
Eoin Higgins
Did OJ Simpson Suffer Brain Trauma from Football?
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail