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Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence ‘in the public narrative’

Election campaigns serve a lot of purposes, and it is increasingly obvious that Israel supporters on whom Hillary Clinton is dependent are using her campaign to put the knife in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. You will recall that Bernie Sanders’ loyalists on the Democratic platform committee spoke up for Palestinian rights and even BDS at an early meeting of that body, and Cornel West said the party was “beholden to AIPAC”, the leading Israel lobby group.

West was on to something. Today Jewish Insider reports that an AIPAC board member sees the Clinton campaign as a vehicle to stifle BDS:

Prominent attorney Norm Brownstein told us he was with Hillary Clinton in Denver yesterday where she spoke to him at length about how Israel doesn’t need third party intervention via the U.N. and that she will oppose the BDS movement and any other effort to delegitimize Israel in the international arena.

Norman Brownstein

Brownstein opposed the Iran deal. He is a big financial supporter of Democratic political campaigns.

Meantime, a leading advocate for Hillary Clinton in the African-American community, former South Carolina legislator Bakari Sellers, has published a letter urging the Democratic Party to stick by its 2012 platform language on Israel and Palestine — no reference to occupation or settlements, and Jerusalem is forever the capital of the Jewish state, etc.– and to oppose BDS. The letter is reportedly co-signed by 60 black Democrats. We’re waiting for the list.

Excerpts from the letter here. Let’s stick with the status quo:

I believe that the Mideast planks of the previous platform were carefully crafted and have served us well as a party and a country. As Democrats…we would be well served to stick closely to our previous platform language and ensure that any changes…do nothing to undermine the principles that have given such strength and clarity to our previous platforms.

BDS is anti-Semitic.

…Anti-Semitism has been on the rise and it has taken a new form — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS. The BDS movement is an effort to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and, instead, use economic and political pressure to force unilateral Israeli action on issues that must be resolved through talks.

CNN says that the letter is aimed at staunching a “public narrative” about Israel on the left:

“Concerned that [Sanders surrogate James] Zogby and West’s viewpoint may be gaining traction at least in the public narrative, Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina representative and now a CNN commentator, sent a letter signed by 60 African American politicians around the country to the co-chairs of the platform committee last week urging them to stick to the traditional language on Israel,” CNN reported.

Rania Khalek of Electronic Intifada writes that the effort is a cynical way of trying to defuse progressive sympathy for Palestinians, flowing from the Bernie Sanders advocates on the platform committee:

West’s and Zogby’s advocacy for Palestinian rights has been so insistent that the Clinton wing of the party has attempted to neutralize them through the most cynical form of identity politicking.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/surrogates-palestinian-narrative/#sthash.XFAYZarD.dpufSchermata 2016 06 30 alle 20.34.35

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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