ONTD Political

The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that takes the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions, and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state, diplomats said.

The United States and its fellow Mideast mediators also will chastise Palestinian leaders for failing to rein in anti-Israeli violence. But the diplomats involved in drafting the document said its primary focus will be a surge of construction in Jewish housing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Washington has traditionally tempered statements by the so-called Quartet of mediators with careful diplomatic language, but the diplomats said the United States in this case will align itself closer to the positions of the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, who emphasize Israel’s role in the Mideast impasse.

The report’s release is sure to infuriate Israel, where officials are already bracing for expected criticism. And on the other side, although the mediators will endorse some longstanding Palestinian complaints, the Palestinians are likely to complain the report does not go far enough.

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The row was prompted by the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah over comments she made about Israel on social media four years ago, including suggesting that Israel should be moved to the US. She has since apologised for the remarks.

Mr Livingstone appeared on BBC Radio London defending her and said he had never heard anyone in the Labour Party say anything anti-Semitic. Mr Livingstone said Naz Shah was "not anti-Semitic - she was completely over the top, what she said was rude".

He added: "I've heard a lot of people being critical of Israel, but if I was to denounce the South African government, you wouldn't say I was racist.

"And one of my worries is this confusion with anti-Semitism and criticising the Israeli government policy undermines the importance is tackling real anti-Semitism."

He added: "When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."

His remarks blew up when Labour MP John Mann then accused Mr Livingstone of being a "Nazi apologist" in front of a media scrum as he arrived at Westminster's media studios.

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Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "quite clear the Labour Party has got a problem with anti-Semitism" adding: "They've got to deal with it."
By Hillary Clinton/JNS.org

I didn’t grow up celebrating Pesach. But over the years, I’ve attended seders where I was inspired by the remarkable story told in the haggadah—a tale of a people who, sustained by fortitude and faith, escaped slavery and reached their freedom.

As Jewish people around the world prepare for this festival, I wanted to offer a few of my own thoughts on ancient lessons that still hold wisdom for today’s world.

The first is the importance of religious freedom. The Book of Exodus recalls how the Pharaoh denied the Israelites the right to worship as they chose. Today, there are new threats to religious liberty and an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. In many parts of Europe, we’ve seen synagogues vandalized and gravesites desecrated. International efforts to malign and isolate the Jewish people—like the alarming “BDS” movement—are gaining steam.

We must confront these forces of intolerance. As New York’s U.S. senator, I sponsored laws to support restitution for victims of the Holocaust. And I joined with the Helsinki Commission to help protect and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe. As secretary of state, I stood up for oppressed religious minorities in China, Iran, and around the world. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected president, I would ensure that America continues to call out and stand up to anti-Semitism. And just as Jews have always stood up for other communities, we must push back on the rising trend of anti-religious sentiment in any form.

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An Israeli solder faces a charge of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a wounded Palestinian man suspected in a knife attack in Hebron, the Israeli military said Friday.

Initially, the soldier, whose identity has not been released, could have faced a murder charge after video appeared to show him shooting the Palestinian suspect in the head as he lay on the ground, already subdued. The soldier, who was being held in a military prison, has been released to confinement on a military base, despite the objection of the prosecution.

In a court hearing Thursday, military prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that the soldier shot the suspect on the ground, according to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

In dispute is the motive and the reasoning behind the shooting. Defense attorneys say the soldier felt his life was in danger.

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During a campaign event in Harlem on Saturday night, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed race and politics, and, of course, the issue of Zionist Jews.

An attendee at the event at the Apollo Theater posed a blatantly anti-Semitic question to the Vermont Senator, who is Jewish:

“As you know, the Zionist Jews–and I don’t mean to offend anybody–they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.”
Identified by The New York Times as John Prince, the man went on to ask, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.”

Sanders replied, “That’s not what you’re asking,” before defending Israel and saying that Palestinians deserve protection, too.

Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering

Clinton had an opportunity to show some political courage. She decided to alienate the left instead.

Any presidential candidate speaking to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, during an election year is going to bow to the hawkish elements of the Israel lobby. .Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech at AIPAC’s annual meeting Monday, however, was more debased than it needed to be, promising that under her administration, Israel will be spared even the mild rebukes it has suffered under President Obama. A symphony of pandering, it attempted to outflank Donald Trump on the right and will end up outraging a large chunk of the left.

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The Israel/Palestine conflict has always frustrated me. Israel's human rights abuse has reached a boiling point and the fact that they get the green light to continue is disgusting. I know Palestine's hands aren't exactly clean either but they have no resources, power or support the way Israel does. There is no easy solution for this but to basically cheerlead genocide and say that the US will stand by you no matter what is horrifying. That speech terrified me.
Hillary Clinton on Monday attacked Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has taken heat in pro-Israel circles for arguing that he would be "neutral" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Without naming him, Clinton repeatedly knocked Trump for his position on Israel and other issues during a speech in front of nearly 18,000 people at the annual Washington gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

"We need steady hands, not a president who says he's neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows on Wednesday," Clinton said to applause. "Israel's security is non-negotiable."

She continued, "We can't be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. Some things aren't negotiable, and anyone who doesn't understand that has no business being our president."

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I can't believe she's going to make me side with Trump on this one. Clinton's foreign policy is why I find voting for her so difficult, and this is one piece of it. How can anyone talk about standing up to bullies and bigotry in one breath, and in the next talk about protecting Israel, maintaining its military, and building up its illegal settlements?

Also, first post to the comm!
In today's Bernie news; Draws big crowds in Salt Lake City, says 'No Thanks' to Israel, and draws a focus to Native American rights.

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Bernie Sanders turns down invitation to address AIPAC confab

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Citing his campaign schedule, Bernie Sanders said he would not address AIPAC’s conference next week, making him the only presidential candidate that will not attend the large annual pro-Israel gathering this year.

“I would very much have enjoyed speaking at the AIPAC conference,” Sanders said in a letter Friday to Robert Cohen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee president.

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Sanders speaks out for Native American rights at Flagstaff rally

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Win or lose, I just can't get rid of the Bern.

BDS in the US: Boycott Israel movement gains support

The United Methodist church joins BDS movement amid growing global campaign from activists to boycott Israel.

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement active in numerous countries aims to put pressure on Israel to end its engagement in the Palestinian territories [Abed Al Haslhamoun/EPA]

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OP: Sorry for the many sources, but it astonishes and frightens me to see that laws created to protect against hate speech can be used to stifle legitimate political dissent. Also, exactly how is it anti-semitic to say that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is shameful? And how is it anti-semitic to engage in nonviolent protest of a government's policies? (Answer: it isn't. While I realize and recognize that horrible anti-semites can and have used this issue to try to push forth their own agendas, I (1) highly doubt they really give a damn about the Palestinian people and (2) feel this (and other cases of anti-semitism) has been used to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel's policies and human rights record, which in and of itself is NOT discriminatory.)

Resources on Israel's human rights abuses:
-Amnesty International:
-B'Tselem: http://www.btselem.org/
Donald Trump’s runaway success in the GOP primaries so far is setting off alarm bells among neoconservatives who are worried he will not pursue the same bellicose foreign policy that has dominated Republican thinking for decades.

Neoconservative historian Robert Kagan — one of the prime intellectual backers of the Iraq war and an advocate for Syrian intervention — announced in the Washington Post last week that if Trump secures the nomination “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Max Boot, an unrepentant supporter of the Iraq war, wrote in the Weekly Standard that a “Trump presidency would represent the death knell of America as a great power,” citing, among other things, Trump’s objection to a large American troop presence in South Korea.

Trump has done much to trigger the scorn of neocon pundits. He denounced the Iraq war as a mistake based on Bush administration lies, just prior to scoring a sizable victory in the South Carolina GOP primary. In last week’s contentious GOP presidential debate, he defended the concept of neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is utterly taboo on the neocon right.

“It serves no purpose to say you have a good guy and a bad guy,” he said, pledging to take a neutral position in negotiating peace.

This set off his rival Marco Rubio, who replied, “The position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position…Because you cannot be an honest broker in a dispute between two sides in which one of the sides is constantly acting in bad faith.”
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