The Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, which was characterized by establishment media as a “Brooklyn brawl,” featured an extraordinary moment, where Bernie Sanders affirmed the humanity of the Palestinians in the face of Hillary Clinton. The affirmation confounded Clinton, who appeared to counter Sanders by channeling Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sanders described the assault on Gaza in 2014 as a “disproportionate attack,” and added, “If we are ever going to bring peace to that region, which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.”
While Clinton rambled through her talking point on Israel, which was one she had used in a previous debate, Sanders put her on the spot.
“You evaded the question. The question is not does Israel have a right to respond, nor does Israel have a right to go after terrorists and destroy terrorism. That’s not the debate. Was their response disproportionate?” And Clinton responded by arguing Hamas dressed up in “civilian garb” so many of the civilians found dead were probably Hamas militants, and so, by extension of this argument, Israel’s attack was not all that disproportionate.
For this week’s episode of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss what was said about Israel and Palestinians during the debate in Brooklyn, New York. The hosts also talk about Clinton’s latest laughable answer for why she cannot release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs. They also talk about the Daily News editorial board meeting Clinton did, where she defended her role in the military coup in Honduras and argued it was legal.
Unfortunately, there is no interview this week, as a result of a scheduling problem. Next week, we will feature a guest on our show.
The podcast episode is available for download on iTunes. For a link to the podcast episode (and also to download the episode), go here. A page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode.
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Below are some highlights from the episode’s discussion:
— “This is a huge shift from what Bernie Sanders was saying during the attack on Gaza. He’s really come out and stuck to his talking points. Despite the backlash, he’s totally unphased. He is saying what he is saying, and you have to recognize that a part of that is that he has—in the eyes of the American public—more credibility than most people do on this issue because he’s Jewish. To us, it doesn’t matter what you are. You can have an opinion on this, but because of the way the issue is framed as an issue of Jews versus Muslims and because of Israel being this contentious issue because of the Holocaust, the fact that he has family that died in the Holocaust and the fact that he’s Jewish makes a difference.” (Rania Khalek)
— “[Sanders] is opening up space for other politicians to push the line on Israel, to change their rhetoric on Israel, to sound a little more progressive on Israel, and that’s a big deal in terms of like politics and discourse. But it’s really important to understand that it’s also a testament to Palestine solidarity activism and the success of that kind of activism and what activists have done in really mainstreaming the issue of justice for Palestinians into progressive causes. They’ve mainstreamed it in progressive circles.” (Rania Khalek)
— “One of the things that makes the Clinton campaign a laughingstock of Democratic politics is this continued insistence that it’s an extraordinary and unreasonable thing to be outraged and want her to release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs. And she continues to have the worst answer when she is confronted on this issue. In the debate on Thursday night, her claim was that this is not something that presidential candidates have ever been expected to do is release transcripts of their speeches. Well, I mean, you’re a pretty unique case, Hillary. When I go through the history of recent elections, I can’t think of people who had such a robust record like you of going to speak to these corporate institutions and get paid hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most other politicians who have run for president don’t have the name brand recognition like the Clintons and don’t draw this sort of attention from executives who want Hillary or Bill to come speak to them.” (Kevin Gosztola)
— “The ‘Fight for 15,’ I just have to say, is not the fight for $15 in some parts of the United States, where their economies can handle a $15 minimum wage. As I understand it, the ‘Fight for 15’—and the people who had their day of action this week—their fighting for raising it to a $15 minimum wage regardless of where people live in this country. And I just want to make the point here that right now the people who are involved in this campaign are giving Hillary Clinton cover because this is a campaign that comes from SEIU. They endorsed Hillary Clinton. They are being very careful about how they criticize her because they themselves privately know she is weak on this compared to Bernie Sanders. They know that she lacks credibility compared to Bernie Sanders, but they endorsed her over Bernie Sanders so they have to undermine their own campaign by going out there and saying Hillary Clinton supports the ‘Fight for 15.'” (Kevin Gosztola)
— “The Clintons have replicated a lot of the things that were started or initiated by Henry Kissinger, where he was a State Department secretary and then afterwards he had a private consulting firm that is profiting off of the privatization of these public utilities and industries in various Central American countries, where he was responsible for overthrowing the regimes. So these privatization schemes were being implemented by the dictators that he helped put in power, and that’s like a similar thing that Hillary Clinton, the Clintons, have done is they’ve profited immensely off this sort of private philanthropy, where the policies they put in place when they’re in power—whether it’s Bill Clinton’s presidency or Hillary Clinton in the Senate and the State Department, basically pushing for these free trade deals—They’re basically profiting through their private philanthropy through the Clinton Foundation off of the disasters that they created while in office. I mean, it’s amazing. That’s what disaster capitalism is.” (Rania Khalek)
— “[Hillary Clinton] believes in regime change. It is as simple as that. She is a hawk when it comes to foreign policy, and she believes that the U.S. can successfully take out dictators; and not even [just] dictators, democratically and undemocratically elected leaders, like in Honduras. She believes that the U.S. not only has the right to do that, but it’s like a moral cause.” (Rania Khalek)
— “The takeaway from the Obama administration, what he has done, is he has put together a doctrine for how you can advance regime change policies in countries but not attract the kind of backlash that George W. Bush had when he pursued it in Iraq. So, [Clinton] very well knows this doctrine. She very well adores the kind of roadmap that is laid out for her, and she knows that she can pursue this. You can be very creative in the way that you pursue regime change in alliances. You could do it by having the Saudis do your dirty work in Yemen and bombing and massacring people. And, she’s very fond of this sort of policy.”