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What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?

Photo Source crockodile | CC BY 2.0

As the media continues to tell us what its owners think we should know, it also tells us what we should think. It is difficult, these days, to view any of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media without seeing someone gushing about Texas’ Beto O’Rourke.

Today, for example, CNN reports that O’Rourke ‘leapfrogs’ over the rest of the already crowded, anticipated field of people who will soon throw their hats into the Democratic presidential nominating ring. CNN fawningly describes his ‘energy’, and the ‘excitement’ he brings wherever he goes, sprinkling his charismatic fairy dust upon all and sundry. He has been described as ‘Kennedyesque’, brining back fond memories (for those old enough to remember, and who never looked too closely) of the few short years of Camelot, with the youthful John and glamorous Jacqueline Kennedy presiding over the nation.

The pre-anointed one, it must be remembered, was unsuccessful in his quest to defeat Senator Ted Cruz, a man who, it is said, is almost universally disliked by his fellow members within U.S. governance. Yet O’Rourke is the one, we are told, at least by CNN, that all the other potential candidates must keep an eye one.

Perhaps the angels created O’Rourke to be the Democratic savior in 2020; perhaps not. This writer will once again burst the imaginary balloon, and bring us all back down to earth.

While it wasn’t widely reported, during the discussions to create the Democratic Party platform at the 2016 convention (you recall that one: Hillary Clinton was coronated following back room maneuvering over a period of several months), there was a strong desire to remove the plank calling for the Party to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Despite overwhelming endorsement of this removal by the rank and file (who cares about them, anyway?), it remained in the platform. This seems to indicate less affection for the apartheid regime of Israel than O’Rourke has demonstrated.

In an email sent to potential voters during his failed campaign for the senate, O’Rourke said that he  “…believes that Israel is critically important to the United States, because it is the home of the Jewish people, because it is an exemplary democracy that shares our values, and because it is a crucial contributor to our national security measures in the region.” Such ‘shared values’ apparently include discrimination against anyone not Jewish; separate laws for Jewish Israelis and everyone else; violations of international law and utter disdain for human rights. All of these also contradict the idea that Israel is “an exemplary democracy”. How apartheid Israel contributes to U.S. national security, the former candidate did not bother to explain.

Why would O’Rourke say such a thing? Why praise an apartheid regime? Could it possibly have anything to do with the $408,382.00 that pro-Israel lobby groups contributed to his various campaigns over the last few years? And while he didn’t win the senate seat he coveted, certainly that sum of money represents only a small down-payment of the money such lobbies will send his way should he be the Democratic Party candidate. What importance do suffering people, living under the heavy yoke of brutal oppression, have when such monies are to be gained by furthering their suffering? What do honor, decency, duty or justice mean, if abiding by them means the money tap dries up? No, better to let people suffer and die, than risk losing some campaign contributions.

And the fact that Party regulars seem far more supportive of Palestinian struggles for self-determination and human dignity means nothing! Who do such people think they are? Constituents? Ha! O’Rourke and his peers do as the lobbies direct, not the voters.

CNN periodically ranks what it sees as the top ten potential candidates. Despite the ‘energy’ and ‘excitement’ (this writer is trying not to gag) that O’Rourke, according to CNN has, he is only ranked at number 2.

At the top of their list is Senator Kamala Harris, who CNN describes as “…an Indian-American and African-American woman with a law-and-order background [who] looks tailor-made for the 2020 Democratic electorate”.

This writer begs to differ. In doing a search on her official website, several references to ‘Israel’ are found. There is not one mention of Palestine or Gaza, although there are some for the West Bank.  The good senator has been photographed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, apparently either unaware of, or choosing to ignore, his many violations of international law and crimes against humanity.

Harris might want to look at some recent history, and remember that Democratic Party activists who were supposed to have input into the Party platform in 2016 were thwarted in their desire to support Palestine. The Democratic candidate then lost the election (we will not discuss here Hillary Clinton’s many, many flaws as a candidate; how the Party manipulated rules (see: Super Delegates) to support her; how Party leaders actively worked to sabotage the candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, or the fact that Clinton had no business being the candidate anyway). Suffice to say that one of the reasons for the Clinton defeat, which has left the world attempting to deal with an orange blowhard of a man-child, is that the candidate didn’t reflect the wishes of the Democratic citizenry.

Who might there be on the horizon to bring about salvation to the Democratic Party? This writer is gazing far into the distance, but doing so in vain. A candidate, like O’Rourke and Harris, who is simply PEP, Progressive Except for Palestine, is simply not progressive at all. Candidates who are PEP don’t care about human rights or international law; they are more interested in being sure not to alienate any powerful special interest group than fulfilling the wishes of their constituents; the concept of ‘statesmanship’ simply does not exist in their world. Such people are not qualified for any elective office.

The United States is still two years away from its next exercise in electoral futility. But for the next two years, self-righteous individuals, usually with millions of dollars of their own, and certainly with millions from special interest groups, will tour the country, denouncing what it is fashionable to denounce, as determined by the corporate-owned news media, and supporting what the lobbyists tell them to support. They will hold ‘Town Halls’ to ‘meet with the people’, about whom they care not a whit. But it’s part of the expected show, and they know what their role as ‘deeply concerned candidate’ and ‘progressive agent of change’ requires of them. And they play their roles to Academy Award winning standards.

 

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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