Our presidential candidates are neglecting the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. Instead, they favor Israel, a state with Palestinian blood on its hands. We must pressure the candidates to engage with this subject, and to come out on the side of justice.
Our investigation showed that not one of the candidates fully and unequivocally called for justice and equality for the Palestinian people. While Bernie Sanders is head and shoulders above the rest in his position on Palestine, even he can do better.
It is alarming that one candidate stands out from the rest simply because he does not deny the truth.
The facts in a nutshell:
Israel is known for systematically detaining and torturing Palestinian children.
Israel uses disproportionate force on a daily basis.
Israel has been defying the United Nations for decades.
Israel has a well-documented, shameful human rights record.
Yet our candidates call Israel “an ally” and “a great democracy”; they make few if any demands for improvement; they put the onus for change on the occupied, oppressed Palestinian population. And they support $3.8 billion a year in military aid for Israel. Israel currently receives 57% of the US’s total military aid budget. Many voters question the wisdom and/or morality of this support.
No progressive presidential candidate would refuse to acknowledge the apartheid of South Africa in 1976, yet our political leaders, our would-be Presidents of the United States, are doing essentially that – ignoring reports in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2007, 2002, and even as early as 1961 labelling Israel as an apartheid state.
Many candidates of both parties are indoctrinated by visits to Israel and mainstream media reporting. The vast majority of Congress members have no input from sources that are not pro-Israel. We need to fill that vacuum.
Below is a run-down of the Democratic candidates, along with a few quotes and their contact info. Please email and/or tweet one or more of them – let them know there are plenty of voters who care about justice for Palestinians! (You can copy and paste statements from above, or write your own – they need the facts!)
Candidate Joe Biden
- BIDEN has personally allied himself with the settler colonial enterprise and its racist (former) leader, Benjamin Netanyahu: “Send a message to Bibi. I love him.”
- BIDEN said, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”
- BIDEN said, “The conditions under which the Israeli people live, the sense of vulnerability, the constant fear of attack is real…And the people of Israel have lived under siege since the beginning.”
If Joe Biden’s statements sound wrong to you, tell him! Because Palestine matters!
contact Joe Biden: https://go.joebiden.com/page/s/contact-us
tweet Joe Biden: @JoeBiden
Candidate Cory Booker
- BOOKER said, “We support Israel’s right to defend itself, full stop.”
- BOOKER said, “Unequivocally 100 percent absolutely [yes] to the 3.3 billion [a year in military aid]…I even pushed for more funding.”
- BOOKER said, “I do not support BDS. Never have, never will.”
- BOOKER said If [ending the occupation is] your issue, I would understand if you want to support somebody else.”
- BOOKER said, “Israel is not political to me…If I forget thee, O Israel, may I cut off my right hand.” (Is this a dual loyalty issue?)
If you think Cory Booker’s positions are not appropriate for an American president, tell him! Because Palestine matters!
contact Cory Booker: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
tweet Cory Booker: @CoryBooker
Candidate Kamala Harris
- HARRIS said, “Israel, is a beautiful home to democracy and justice,”
- HARRIS said, “Overall, yes” [Israel meets international human rights standards]
- HARRIS said, Israeli ingenuity that has truly made a desert bloom.”
If you want to give Kamala Harris a reality check, do it! Because Palestine matters!
contact Kamala Harris: https://www.harris.senate.gov/contact/email
tweet Kamala Harris: @KamalaHarris
call Kamala Harris: DC office (202)224-3553, other offices (559)497-5109, (415)981-9369, (916)448-2787, (310)231-4494, (619)239-3884
Candidate Amy Klobuchar
- KLOBUCHAR said, “Israel is our beacon of democracy in the Mideast”
- KLOBUCHAR said, “Wherever forces of intolerance gather to endanger [Israel’s] safety or security, the United States will stand beside them in defying and defeating those foes…”
- KLOBUCHAR said, “Yes [Israel meets international human rights standards].
If Amy Klobuchar’s positions sound uninformed to you, tell her! Because Palestine matters!
email Amy Klobuchar: email@example.com
tweet Amy Klobuchar: @amyklobuchar
call Amy Klobuchar: DC office (202)224-3244, other offices (612)727-5220, (888)224-9043, (507)288-5321, (218)287-2219, (218)741-9690, (888)224-9043
Candidate Andrew Yang
- YANG said, “In terms of the money we’re giving to an ally like Israel, my first instinct would be, why would we reduce it?
- YANG said, “I’d be hesitant to say [Israel is] in violation of [international human rights] standards.”
- YANG said, “Israel is a very, very important ally.”
If Andrew Yang’s comments don’t seem reasonable to you, tell him! Because Palestine matters!
email Andrew Yang: firstname.lastname@example.org
tweet Andrew Yang: @AndrewYang
Candidate Tulsi Gabbard
- GABBARD stated, “I know how important our enduring alliance with Israel is.”
- GABBARD said, “[T]here are some challenges with Israel that need to be addressed…The conflict [is] complicated.”
- GABBARD said, “Israel needs to stop using live ammunition in its response to unarmed protesters in Gaza.
If you think Tulsi Gabbard needs to check her priorities, tell her! Because Palestine matters!
contact Tulsi Gabbard: https://www.tulsi2020.com/contact
tweet Tulsi Gabbard: @TulsiGabbard
call Tulsi Gabbard: Campaign: 808-861-0793 [DC Congressional office (202) 225-4906, Honolulu office (808)541-1986]
Candidate Beto O’Rourke
- O’ROURKE called Israel an “exemplary democracy that shares our values” and said, “[The US-Israel relationship] must transcend partisanship in the United States.”
- O’ROURKE said, “Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement [is a manifestation of anti-Israel bias].”
- O’Rourke traveled to Israel, where he reportedly visited only Israeli sites and people.
If you think Beto O’Rourke needs to tweak his platform, tell him! Because Palestine matters!
email Beto O’Rourke: email@example.com
tweet Beto O’Rourke: @BetoORourke
Candidate Pete Buttigieg
- BUTTIGIEG said, “Israel’s human rights record is problematic.”
- BUTTIGIEG said, “The occupation has to end…you can care about Israel’s future and believe in the US relationship and alliance with Israel, without being on board with right-wing policies by the Netanyahu government.”
- BUTTIGIEG said, “[I saw] the way that a country can be…very intentional, very serious, and very effective when it comes to security…I think that’s a very important lesson that hopefully Americans can look to..”
If you think Pete Buttigieg could do better, tell him! Because Palestine matters!
email Pete Buttigieg: firstname.lastname@example.org
tweet Pete Buttigieg: @PeteButtigieg
Candidate Julian Castro
- JULIAN CASTRO said, “Support Israel, remain strong allies, but recognize the value of Palestinians…”
- CASTRO said, “I believe that Israel, like a lot of countries, wants to do the right thing, that they can get better.”
- CASTRO said, “Israel has to choose: it’s going to be a Jewish state or a democratic state.”
If you want to set Julian Castro straight, go for it! Because Palestine matters!
email Julian Castro: email@example.com
tweet Julian Castro: @JulianCastro
call Julian Castro: DC office (202)225-3236, San Antonio office (210)348-8216
Candidate Elizabeth Warren
- WARREN said, “I think that Israel is in a really tough neighborhood…”
- WARREN said, “I am deeply concerned about the deaths and injuries in Gaza. As additional protests are planned for the coming days, the Israel Defense Forces should exercise restraint and respect the rights of Palestinians to peacefully protest.”
- WARREN said [to the statement “we would really love it if you would push the Israeli government to end the occupation”], “Yes. So I’m there.”
If you think Elizabeth Warren could do better, tell her! Because Palestine matters!
email Elizabeth Warren: firstname.lastname@example.org
tweet Elizabeth Warren: @SenWarren
call Elizabeth Warren: DC office (202) 224-4543, other offices (413)788-2690, (617)565-3170
Candidate Bernie Sanders
- SANDERS said, “The United States and the State of Israel have a strong bond…we must recognize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its daily restrictions on the political and civil liberties of the Palestinian people runs contrary to fundamental American values.”
- SANDERS said, “Israel is not, cannot, just simply expand when it wants to expand.”
- SANDERS said, “If Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country to get a firsthand look at what’s going on…maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.”
- SANDERS said, “the United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel.”
- SANDERS said, “I would sit down with Israel and say, look … if you want military aid from the United States, you’re going to have to treat the Palestinian people and that region with respect.”
- SANDERS said, “Instead of applauding Israel for [killing nearly 60 unarmed Palestinians], Israel should be condemned,” and “I don’t think that any objective person can disagree that Israel has massively overreacted to these demonstrations.”
- SANDERS said, “Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 people were made refugees. To acknowledge this painful historical fact does not ‘delegitimize’ Israel, any more than acknowledging the Trail of Tears delegitimizes the United States of America.”
If you want to commend Bernie Sanders for his position and encourage him to stay strong in it, do it! Because Palestine matters!
contact Bernie Sanders: https://berniesanders.com/contact-us/
tweet Bernie Sanders: @BernieSanders
call Bernie Sanders: DC office (202)224-5141, Burlington office (800)339-9834
TOM STEYER has apparently said little to nothing so far about the Israel/Palestine issue. His statement on Trump’s meddling in Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Tlaib and Omar from visiting Palestine – that it was part of a “bigoted and destructive agenda” – and his pre-campaign comment on the timing of the embassy move and departure from the Iran deal – which were followed closely by a massive donation from Sheldon Adelson – indicates Steyer’s possible willingness to step on the toes of the powerful. He is an “issue advocate,” recently focused on climate change, Dreamers, and getting out the vote among young people.
If you want to encourage Tom Steyer to take a courageous stand for Palestine, go for it! Because Palestine matters!
contact Tom Steyer: https://www.tomsteyer.com/contact/
tweet Tom Steyer: @TomSteyer