Cornell West Confronted Clinton Surrogate on Israel-Palestine at DNC Platform Drafting Committee Meeting
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have divergent views on Palestinian freedom and Israel. And the Democratic candidates' strongest supporters clashed on the issue at the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee Hearing this June.
Sanders’ supporters urged Clinton's to acknowledge Israel’s military occupation and rally behind the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Meanwhile, Clintons' supporters stuck to their script on Israel’s security, and denied Israeli military occupation even existed.
“[Democrats] have a long-standing record of friendship with Israel [and] Clinton will continue that commitment,” Robert Wexler, president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, a nonprofit pro-Israel advocacy group, said.
The 15-member drafting committee includes members chosen by both Sanders (5) and Clinton (10). Sanders' allies are grassroots activists, while Clinton's are lobbyists, establishment insiders and persons appointed by the Democratic National Committee.
“While some proponents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement may hope that pressuring Israel will lead to peace, the truth is outside forces will not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Wexler added. “Particularly when anti-Semitism is rising throughout the world, Democrats must condemn efforts to isolate and delegetimize Israel … The delegetimization of Israel must stop immediately,” Wexler explained.
However, Sanders' picks for the committee felt it necessary to address the Palestinians' misery, particularly Cornel West, a supporter of BDS.
West called for equality and justice on both sides.
"[Israel’s security] can never be predicated on an occupation of precious Palestinians... wrestling with occupation for 50-some years, demeaned, devalued, dominated, exploited,” West said. “For too long the Democratic Party’s been beholden to AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) that didn’t take seriously the humanity of Palestinian brothers and sisters,” West added.
West also stressed the need to both condemn anti-Semitism and the bigotry faced by Palestinians. The Sanders supporter warned that "antisemitism," “cannot be the excuse of in any way downplaying the unbelievable misery that we see in Gaza and West Bank and other places.”
h/t: Rania Khalek