Which Democrats Endorse Israel's Apartheid in Palestine?

At AIPAC’s annual conference in 2018, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “[i]t’s sure not the settlements that are the blockage to peace” in Palestine. (Keep in mind that these are the same settlements whose state sponsored expansion, for seventy years, has placed “members of one ethnic group under military government while it confiscated their land,” as Nathan Thrall puts it.) Rather, “the fact of the matter,” according to Schumer, “is that too many Palestinians and too many Arabs do not want any Jewish state in the Middle East.” Could it not be the case, Chuck, that many Palestinians do not want an apartheid state in the Middle East?

At the Israeli American Council’s 2018 summit, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that, “if this Capitol crumbles to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to ... our cooperation with Israel.” Before she and a delegation of House Democrats left for Israel that March, Pelosi wrote in a press release that “[t]here is no greater political accomplishment in the 20th Century than the establishment of the State of Israel,” which goes to show how much she admires justice and democracy. As for annexation, last year she said that it “undermines U.S. national security interests.” Never mind the U.S., Speaker Pelosi — what about Palestinians’ interests, security, and nationhood?

Last June, Antony Blinken, now secretary of state, said that then candidate Joe Biden “would not tie military assistance to Israel to things like annexation or other decisions by the Israeli government with which we might disagree.” In other words, the Biden administration will turn a blind eye as it arms and abets the oppressive military government occupying the West Bank . To date, according to Thrall, the U.S. “has granted more than $110 billion to the occupying military force and spent hundreds of millions on upgrading the infrastructure of apartheid.” Blinken reaffirmed that thoroughly amoral position in early March, declaring that the U.S. “firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed” by the International Criminal Court’s opening an investigation into war crimes in occupied Palestine.

Diplomats and well-meaning anti-occupation groups greet every new act of Israeli expansion with dire warnings that it will be a 'fatal blow' to the two-state solution, that 'the window is closing' for Palestinian statehood and that now, on the eve of this latest takeover, it is 'five minutes to midnight' for the prospect of peace. Countless alarms of this kind have been rung during the past two decades. Each was supposed to convince Israel, the US, Europe and the rest of the world of the need to stop or at least slow Israel's de facto annexation. But they have had the opposite effect: demonstrating that it will always be five minutes to midnight. European and American policymakers, together with the liberal Zionist groups that lobby them, can thus maintain that the two-state solution isn't dead but merely embattled - and, therefore, permanently 'alive'. In the meantime, millions of Palestinians continue to be deprived of basic civil rights and subjected to military rule. With the exception of those six months in 1966-67, this has been the reality for the majority of Palestinians living under Israeli control for the entire history of the state. South Africa's apartheid lasted 46 years. Israeli's is at 72, and counting.

-- from The Annexation Delusion by Nathan Thrall in the London Review of Books

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