The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.
As most readers of The Duran are painfully aware of, the United States has executed a policy toward Israel that has been painted as “a great relationship with our closest Middle East ally”, but which often in reality exposes the US as something of a proxy to the wishes of the Israeli leadership. The actions of notably anti-Israel Democrat House Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are actually trying to fracture this slavish relationship between the two countries.
It is no secret that the US policy toward Israel has been almost uniformly supported over the years, regardless of party. Sometimes the Palestinian people seem to get a better bit of representation for their grievances, and sometimes not. It is actually very difficult to know what is going on in the “official” purview about Israel and Palestine, but this can also be seen as an effort to maintain the status quo, to the frustration of many Palestinians who left their country to live in the US and elsewhere in the world. For them, the ties to their relatives and friends who are not doing very well in their homeland is a source of great bitterness and resentment, though, to be sure, the lives of the Palestinians in the United States is often very much the success story.
Rashida Tlaib, the US representative from Michigan’s 13th district, encompassing a large part of Detroit, and Ilhan Omar, Minnesota’s 5th district representative, encompassing Minneapolis and its suburbs, share a great deal of animus towards Israel, albeit in different ways. Both women are Muslims, however, neither appear to be really ‘orthodox’ in the sense of what passes for Islam. Rashida believes her God is a woman, and Ilhan Omar and Tlaib both support policy views that are utterly anathema to Islam, such as support for LGBT+ rights, homosexual marriage and so on.
However, these two women both share a real resentment against Israel. In Tlaib’s case, the attitude is borne of family upbringing as the child of Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, so there is some personal family connection to the situation. Omar hails from Somalia, and her approach to the matter is definitely as an outsider, though she is the more venomous in her fairly blunt attacks on Israel and US policy. For her, the issue appears much more ideological in terms of Islam’s overall views about Jewish people and the Jewish state in its present form; further, Omar really does appear to hold the set of resentments that cross the line from being merely “anti-Israel” to “anti-Semitic”, given some of the tropes she has employed in her rhetoric.
Both of these firebrands were recently refused permission to enter Israael, based on the rhetoric that they constantly spew about the Israeli state. This move appears to be deliberate, and if so, it may actually be brilliant, oddly enough both on the parts of Tlaib and Omar as well as the counter-reaction by President Trump. However, do not expect this activity to do much to actually address the problem in Palestine.
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
President Trump actually urged Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent these two from entering Israel. A report on Fox News indicates that the activities Tlaib intended to pursue while in Palestine were radically anti-Israel in the worst way.
When the Israeli government refused entry to these two women, the Democrat Party of Congress rallied behind its two firebrands. This again appears to be a calculated move on the part of the US President, who has done a remarkably consistent job of getting the Democrats to portray themselves as a thoroughly radical, anti-American (as founded) party.
Beyond revealing just how important Trump’s continued friendship and happiness is to the Israeli leader, the entire episode also underscores just what a complication the US-Israel relationship has become for Democrats.
Poll after poll has shown that liberal Democratic primary voters are less sympathetic to Israel than they were in previous years. Likely as a result, most Democratic presidential campaigns for 2020 have bucked tradition and openly expressed their criticisms of the tiny Middle Eastern nation.
It’s why more progressive Democrats running for president, like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have spoken more critically of Israel writ large and Netanyahu’s policies in particular.
Other more moderate campaigners, like former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have been slightly more steadfast in support of the Israel relationship. None, though, has been quick to back Netanyahu’s leadership.
But the decision to keep out Omar and Tlaib could hurt already strained ties between congressional Democrats and Israel. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who just came back from a trip sponsored by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, is asking Israeli officials to reconsider banning the two members of Congress.
Now that Netanyahu has followed through on blocking the women, his decision could potentially widen the rift among Democrats on Israel. Democratic leaders in Congress were forced to stand by the two banned representatives — if they hadn’t, the progressive wing would likely have revolted. Yet by speaking out in support of Omar and Tlaib, senior Democrats have potentially exposed themselves to accusations that they support the BDS movement.
Which means Israel may once again become one of the key foreign policy issues tearing Democrats apart — and potentially exposing a bigger rift between the party and the Jewish state.
As a political move for the view of people in the United States, this is likely to be seen as a win. It is almost a stated fact for many Americans, and many conservative and evangelical Americans, that a close and supportive relationship with Israel is in their best interests; indeed that this is desired by God himself, according to many of these religious groups.
This obviously is a major wall of opinion that Palestinians have as yet been unable to break through in the US, to expose a very real humanitarian crisis, and indeed, cruelty perpetuated upon the Palestinian people by the immense power of the Jewish state.
For this reason, many Palestinians may see a light of hope in rhetoric from Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar. And to be sure, sometimes what they say is very accurate. To give these two ladies credit, especially Ilhan Omar, never has the nature of what is going on in Israel with regard to Palestine been as baldly exposed as it has in her fiery comments.
Nevertheless – and this is likely to be very aggravating for pro-Palestinian folks – these two women are probably the worst possible choices to idolize and support with regards to this situation. Here is why:
- There are several factions operating at once in the Palestinian struggle and they occasionally use each other in an uneasy alliance that must eventually fail. In particular, Palestinian Christians are often quietly complicit with their Muslim counterparts in Palestine, who want not just liberation of the Palestinian people, they want Israel wiped out. Additionally, their vision of Palestine is of an Islamic Palestine. No Christians, folks. After the Jews are pushed into the sea, Christians are next to go. Once their usefulness to the Islamic-led drive pays off, then they will likely find their own heads on the chopping block.
- Tlaib and Omar are both pressing liberation on standards that are not Christian, and are expressly modes used by Muslims bent on conquest. A book about St Charles de Foucauld of Morocco and France, a recently sainted Roman Catholic monk from the early 20th century, notes that the people who eventually killed him knew that deception was a useful tool in Islam to defeat the infidels. Similarly, the 9-11 hijackers also engaged in very wild living as was allowed by Islam for two reasons – justification against their coming “martyrdom”, and this also served the purpose of deception, making these men appear to be just some wild and crazy guys having fun in Paterson, New Jersey. Their drive was for the advancement of jihad, and nothing more. To be sure, Rashida Tlaib is perhaps too loopy to get a real idea of what and who she is allying herself with, but Omar knows exactly what she is doing. The end result of their drive will not be the free Palestine so many of us truly desire.
- While Israel does have a beastly record against Palestinian civilians, leaders of the opposition groups in Palestine have an equally beastly record against Israeli civilians. There is no way that taking out civilian people in acts of oppression (Israel) or terror (Palestine) are justified. There are only two real ways to go – all-out war between the two countries, or honest and humble diplomacy from both sides. Tlaib and Omar intended to throw their weight behind the violent arms of the intifadeh, a move that would only fall into the Israeli purview as “justification” to go all out against the Palestinians yet again, and with full US support. This again means at best, a tightening of the oppression against the Palestinian people, all the more “justified” because they cannot be trusted by Israel and the US. Despite the UN support for Palestine, like it or not, the US plays by its own rules in the region, and provocation will only play into the narrative that the Americans firmly believe is true about this region.
In other words, there are some very unpalatable truths that for some reason, the opposition groups in Palestine refuse to acknowledge. Tyranny of the sort that the Palestinian people face has been defeated before, but all-out-war as an option to achieve this is impossible for the Palestinian people and their allies. It is a further unfortunate fact that although many nations in the Middle East express verbal support for Palestine, no one is really willing to put everything on the line to fight for them against Israel and the US.
It would in fact seem that whether Tlaib and Omar know this or not, their actions serve to keep the turmoil going, rather than to solve the problem.
It is very simple – Israel, love it or hate it – is not going away. Its alliances are far too powerful for this to happen.
But, there is a way for Palestine to break free – it may not work, but it is probably the only path that can work. It worked in two other places in history against another empire. The two nations that engaged in it utterly won their struggle against the tyrants too, all without firing a shot.
For Palestine to be free, it is going to have to do the hardest task it ever faced – to show the world it is worthy of being free. To beat the Israelis in the US court of opinion, the Palestinians must show that they are truly better and more noble people than the Israelis.
This of course probably has many who read this with their teeth on edge in anger, but consider the facts that have just been laid out. The narratives and established opinions by great powers is set in place and it is too strong to beat in the way that has been attempted for over fifty years. Israel cries victim at the drop of a hat, and the most powerful nation in the world is in their pocket, so they will win every time they are attacked. That is not going to change as long as the image of the Palestinian people is that of a bunch of zealots and terrorists. Even with the liberal press often more supportive of Palestinian oppression, there is no effect on the image problem of suicide bombings and rocket attacks that appear largely unprovoked and pure manifestations of Palestinian rage. There has to be a different path.
The only way out of this is the road the Indians and the South Africans took against the tyranny of the British Empire. That way was nonviolent, and it was absolutely victorious, with the only problems happening after some of the parties involved reverted to type after securing their independence.
This means that Christians and Jewish people must be treated as equals in all Palestinian regions, just as much as it demands that Israel treat Muslims and Christians as equals – something they do not always do.
After Israeli elections take place on September 17th, a peace plan that has been gradually assembled by the efforts of Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, is expected to be fully unveiled. So far, the Palestinian response to various aspects of that plan have not done their cause any credit – the news is that they flatly refused to even look at it. This is not negotiating from a position of strength for the Palestinians because of their surrounding reputation for violence. This makes them look untrustworthy.
For anyone who is reading this article to this point and who supports the liberation and normalization of Palestinian rights and the establishment of a truly sovereign state or agreement to be equal citizens with Israel (one state or two-state, take your pick), this analysis is probably not what you wanted to see. However, fifty-plus years points to the fact that nothing has changed as it was done before, and history shows that nonviolent opposition to a tyrannical power defeats the tyrannical power. The man who developed this strategy, Moandas K. Gandhi said that it is a provocative fight, and one that will hurt.
But he also wisely noted, “but we cannot lose.”
Maybe it is time to think about the truth of this leader’s words.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.
Cosmopolitical-induced opposition to Israel and Western Zionist foreign policy won’t succeed; because it’s fundamentally based on hypocrisy with regard to nation states and borders.
To support the brutalization of the Palestinians and the theft of their land is akin to supporting the German government of 1933/45
The German government had found a money system that was equity based and threw out the Wiemar Jewish bankers. It lifted all of Germany from poverty and all Germans prospered greatly, compared to the abject poverty forced upon them since WW1. That resulted in the March 24, 1933 headline of the London Daily Express that reads “JUDEA DECLARES WAR AGAINST GERMANY” subhead “JEWS OF ALL THE WORLD UNITE”. They have been victims ever sense they declared war on Germany…to this day.
Here is an article that looks at how Israel is slowly but surely annexing the West Bank:
Israel’s moves in the West Bank have sent one very clear message to Palestinians; the two-state solution is dead. A one-state reality for Israel and Palestine is now firmly in place.
shhhh….! Don’t mention that Trump recognizing the Israeli annexation of the Golan is illegal according to article 25 of the UN Charter. .. and don’t mention Jared Kushner’s “peace plan” — even Trump is keeping quiet on that!
Have you read the Oded Yinon plan? That plan is a plan to force Jews to move to Israel. It essentially became the “plan to attack 7 countries in 5 years” that went to the top of the US government while we all watched the Israel honey trap unfold with Bill Clinton and his predictable lying about it. That was a Hillary-Epstein Moosod Maxwell thing the Jewess Monica as the bait….which they knew would be swallowed completely…Bill Clinton got 26 to Israel’s extortion island with Jeff…how many did Hillary take to arrange Bills honey trap?. You have to understand the… Read more »
“… they want Israel wiped out”. Just as with similar statements coming from members of the Iranian government, this has been deliberately phrased to confuse or deceive. The Iranians and Palestinians do not want Israel “wiped out” in the sense that anyone should be killed or harmed. What they want is for Palestine to revert to its condition before the “state of Israel” was founded in 1948. A country where all kinds of people could live tolerantly side by side – like Lebanon or Syria – or Iran for that matter – today. A country that was not ruled by… Read more »
Tom, this is a very important point you made and if you have some references to show that this attitude is historically accurate and verified, it will make the center of my next piece on this matter. However, consider this thought: To revert to the condition before the State of Israel was founded would mean… being back under the Brits, wouldn’t it? This link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#Zionism_and_British_Mandate seems to indicate that things were not going so well before 1948, either. So, are we being a bit idealistic? Further, how do we GET to “before 1948”? What has to leave? A lot of… Read more »
From an accurate, historical perspective it is only necessary to enforce International Law and U.N. (to whom the Brits had ceded control) declarations to bring some justice to Palestine. The Balfour Declaration, whilst not “Law” in any formal sense, is crucial to understanding the British intent. It states: “…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….”. Israel claims Balfour legitimized the establishment of a Jewish State but ignores this vital clause which is incompatible with any transfer of proprietary rights. Churchill also made it clear… Read more »
Seraphim, the British Mandate was a mere interlude. What existed before was the rather peaceful Ottoman Empire, where all ethnicities and religions lived side by side, and which the Great Powers but chiefly the British, destroyed in steps in the years leading up to and after WW1. The British goal was control of the oil fields (threatened by Germany’s Baghdad railway & identical aim), continued control of Suez and the creation in Palestine of a ‘homeland’ for the jewish people which Lord Balfour had promised to Jacob Rothschild in return for his promise to bring the United States into the… Read more »
re: “if you have some references to show that this attitude is historically accurate” — Professor Juan Cole noted that the threat/phrase attributed to Iran, i.e., “wipe Israel off the map”, does not even exist in Persian. Google up this piece from the Washington Post: Did Ahmadinejad really say Israel should be ‘wiped off the map’? The article notes that: “…specialists such as Juan Cole of the University of Michigan and Arash Norouzi of the Mossadegh Project pointed out that the original statement in Persian did not say that Israel should be wiped from the map, but instead that it… Read more »
re: “for many Americans, and many conservative and evangelical Americans…a close and supportive relationship with Israel is in their best interests…this is desired by God himself, according to many of these religious groups.” — Of course, Israel plays to these Christian fundamentalist rubes belief that somehow modern-day Israel and modern-day Jews are directly related to the Israel of biblical times. This claim of lineage is central to Israeli identity — and it is a complete fiction. Israeli Emeritus Professor of History at Tel Aviv University Shlomo Sand’s book ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ shows that the Jews of Europe,… Read more »
Great comment, Ed, but here’s the rub: “You know that; I know that, but now, what?” How does one change such a solid narrative? I have been watching this issue play out for as long as I can remember and the narrative has been only reinforced, if anything. Religious views are usually VERY strongly held by religious people because they matter. The only way to address incorrect theology is when the person addressed is actually interested in learning. And by the very nature of religious viewpoints, we tend not to want to question what we understand to be the doctrine.
Watch “The Family” series on Netflix for some great enlightenment and then come back to this discussion.
Actually, although slow, the publication of accurate history books surrounding this much propagandised subject – such as Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People’ and ‘The Invention of the Land of Israel’ and most especially in America ‘If Only Americans Knew’ by Alison Weir (including her website and you tube lectures) have made enormous strides in educating people, especially the hitherto misinformed American public, to the real facts and actuality. These facts have not been hidden from Europeans (nor the rest of the world) who have understood the state of affairs throughout Israel’s short violent history but… Read more »
That Omar and Tlaib may be harming the Palestinian cause may be an interesting subject… however I don’t see that addressed at all in this article. There are so many red herrings, false characterizations, half-truths, preconceived notions, fallacies, and even propaganda statements in Hanisch’s article, I can’t count them all. And that is in no way to support the “firebrands” critical of the “jewish state” — and its brutal and genocidal policies toward Palestinians — that Hanisch attempts to address. At least the Duran is showing their media operation to be open to all views, even if publishing such blatant… Read more »
Hi, Steve! “Blatant poppycock” is sometimes my business to report. But you are right in a way. Look – this is not just my opinion, it is my opinion based on what actually goes on in terms of media narratives and religious views when it comes to pro-Israel policy in the US. I did not make that stuff up. I am only observing it. And to the extent that the Palestinian people verify the narrative against their nation when they act in violent ways – well, they reinforce the same poppycock. You are right, in a big way – this… Read more »
Seraphim, while I often appreciate your articles I agree 100% with Steve Brown’s comments. This essay is a disgrace and at least 30 years out of date propaganda-wise. In reply you say: “Probably the first thing to do is accept that what has been promulgated in that time [lies] has given us what we presently have [wars based on lies, threat of more war, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, censorship, criminalisation of criticism].” Why? What for? And for whose gratification? Real journalists do not deal in lies – their mission is to reveal lies and deal in facts. Accepting (thus promulgating)… Read more »
I also think the lies being told about these women is shameful, cowardly, in a country that is not supposed to favor one religion over another. 4 of 435 reps are not taking over…they are putting inconvenient truths up into the light…and I respect them for that. Too bad you are so bias and cannot have real discussions about what they actually said and the context.
Here is a challenge to anyone reading this and Seraphim….watch a Netflix series (5 episodes) called “The Family” and come back for some honest discussion.
You must be prepared to die like a soldier, Ghandi. Worth noting the freedom of speech side story. Questioning, or speaking about a foreign nations policies results in this. Another example was the anti BDS laws proposed in many nations during the past few years. Example; US congress voted 3 times in cloture during a government shut down to pass anti-BDS legislation. From that perspective, everyone’s right to freedom of speech, has become a casualty added to the list of Egregious human rights violations in occupied Palestine. A Palestinians human rights, no less than anyone’s rights directly effects everyone’s standard… Read more »
Gandhi noted that he would die for his cause, but he would not kill for it. Then he lived it in India, twice. It worked.
Gandhi was only one small part of Indian independence, highly propagandised.
Gandhi threatened to commit suicide if the caste system would be subjected to a national referendum.
The oligarchic Indian establishment loved him. Gandhi also said that the Jews should have committed self immolation, in order to draw attention to the crimes of Hitler’s regime… 😛
Gandhi’s opinions of the Blacks in South Africa would be considered heresy today.
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.
“The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion”.—Cornell Law
“To beat the Israelis in the US court of opinion”….like that will happen with Jew owned media
Self Serving Bull Shit!
Who wrote this clap trap?
Research has shown the Palestinians to be the Jews who never left, and the Zionists to be Slavs that converted to Judaism.
I expected better of the Duran.
“Similarly, the 9-11 hijackers also engaged in very wild living as was allowed by Islam for two reasons…” This statement alone gives your analysis no credibility. Francesco Cossiga, former President of Italy stated in 2007, that the CIA and Mossad did 9-11. Alan Sabrosky, former professor at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Military Academy, who is a Jew, stated he believed that September 11 is a “classical operation orchestrated by Mossad” carried out with accomplices within the United States”. Anyone paying attention knows that the official conspiracy theory of the 19 Arabs and the destruction of 3… Read more »