On U.S.’ unacceptable recognisement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

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“ Of all the issues at the heart of the enduring conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, none is as sensitive as the status of Jerusalem. The holy city has been at the centre of peace-making efforts for decades. Seventy years ago, when the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Jerusalem was defined as a separate entity under international supervision. In the war of 1948 it was divided, like Berlin in the cold war, into western and eastern sectors under Israeli and Jordanian control respectively. Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Israel captured the eastern side, expanded the city’s boundaries and annexed it – an act that was never recognised internationally. Israel routinely describes the city, with its Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy places, as its “united and eternal” capital. For their part, the Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state. The unequivocal international view, accepted by all previous US administrations, is that the city’s status must be addressed in peace negotiations. Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital puts the US out of step with the rest of the world, and legitimises Israeli settlement-building in the east – considered illegal under international law ”

The Guardian, ‘ Death toll rises to 12 in violence after Trump’s Jerusalem recognition ‘, The Guardian

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On how Democrats should change the fiscal policy

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“Republicans have made clear time and time again that they don’t care about the deficit. And Democrats shouldn’t either. Rather than fixating on the GOP’s shaky math, Democrats should highlight the cruelty of shoveling money to the rich at a time when inequality is soaring and millions languish in poverty ”

Josh Mound, ‘The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans’, Jacobin Magazine

On the colonial asset of the War for American independence

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“ People like to cite Washington, when he was president, on avoiding foreign entanglements. That represents what I see as a widespread fantasy that there could ever have been an independent American nation without expansion driven by a concentration of wealth and military power. That’s what nationhood meant — and that’s why, if we want a radical transformation, we have to stop seeking it somewhere in our national origins. Washington somehow managed not to see his conquest of the old Northwest in the 1790s as a foreign engagement, because the enemy was indigenous. Neat trick, but in fact many of the men who became revolutionaries, with Washington among the foremost, turned against England in the mid-1770s precisely because the mother country was blocking their expansion into Indian country, robbing the colonial speculators of their investments and of the massive potential profits to be made there. In the west, at least, the revolution was a war of American expansion ”

William Hogeland, ‘Not Our Independence Day’, Jacobin Magazine

On what a democracy should and shouldn’t protect

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“ The Constitution protects uncivil speech – hate speech, even. But it does so not because our democracy approves of such speech, but because we believe that truth will expose lies and the evil of government censorship is greater than the perils posed by untoward speakers (…) While a democracy can afford to tolerate some uncivil speech, it cannot withstand the sweeping cultivation of contempt directed against the institutions designed to keep government honest and elections safe.  This should be obvious to all public servants. And yet the present occupant of the White House has become the strident mouthpiece of uncivil speech that libels these very institutions ”

Lawrence Douglas, ‘The biggest threat to American democracy isn’t Trump’s uncivil speech’, The Guardian

On why the judiciary isn’t the antidote to Trumpism

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“ …since Trump’s election, and before that, liberals have seen the Constitution as the greatest weapon against the hard right. But long after Trump is gone, the hard right will be relying upon the judiciary — and behind that, the Constitution — to protect their gains. As was true of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Right will depend upon unelected judges interpreting the law, in defiance of the popular will. The very thing, in other words, that liberals think is the antidote to Trumpism — the Constitution — will turn out to be its long-term preservative, the elixir of life ”

Corey Robin, ‘Control the Supreme Court, Control the Republican Party’, Jacobin Magazine

On the anti-US sentiment in Yemen for its support of the Saudi-led coalition

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“ ‘USA Kills Yemeni People’, screams graffiti plastered on walls in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans: if you don’t care about the millions of suffering Yemenis, you might think about the future blowback (…) People in the region understand that until there is a serious US interest in a political solution, it won’t happen. Even if Trump is only interested in ‘putting America first’, he would do well to stop being involved in dropping bombs on Yemenis and instead use his ‘art of the deal’ to join with the United Nations in ending this catastrophic conflict ”

Medea Benjamin, ‘America will regret helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen’, The Guardian

On the decisive differences between Clinton and Obama’s campaigns

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“ In 2012, 57% of millennials said that Obama’s policies would be “good for people like me,” compared to only 38% in 2016 saying the same about Clinton’s policies. According to the same research, Democratic messaging centered too much around personality and Trump’s unfitness for office, rather than on how Democrats would improve the lives of young voters ”

Sean McElwee & Causten Rodriguez-Wollerman, ‘Democrats need to win over young voters. Here’s how they can do that’, The Guardian