Green Party, Libertarian presidential candidates on Israel-Palestine

Green Party, Libertarian presidential candidates on Israel-Palestine

Howie Hawkins and Jo Jorgensen are also on the ballot – and unlike Trump and Biden, they and their running mates appear to be remarkably independent of the Israel lobby… 

By Alison Weir

We have posted numerous articles on the Democratic and Republican candidates’ stances on Israel-Palestine.

However, candidates from two other parties are also contenders for president. According to Ballotpedia, both “have qualified to appear on enough state ballots to win a majority—at least 270 electoral votes—in the Electoral College.”

The Libertarian Party candidate is on the ballot in all 50 states; the Green Party candidate is on the ballot in 42 states, and can be written in on the remainder.

Below is information about their views on Israel-Palestine:

Green Party

Howie Hawkins & Angela Walker
Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and vice presidential candidate Angela Walker.

Presidential candidate Howie Hawkins

Hawkins is on the ballot in 42 states (list here).

HAWKINS SUPPORTS BDS MOVEMENT AGAINST ISRAEL, CALLS FOR NEW RELATIONSHIP:

Last month the US House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming 398 to 17 margin to pass a resolution condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.

BDS is nonviolent pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian rights and to enter into negotiations to settle the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

As a veteran of the anti-apartheid boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement in the 1970s and 1980s, I feel strongly that the sanctions imposed on apartheid South Africa by the US in 1986, which led to a democratic transition over the next several years, shows that this kind of nonviolent economic pressure can work. In both countries there was broad support among the oppressed group for the call for economic sanctions to promote equal rights and democracy.

The US should use escalating BDS to pressure Israel to end the blockade of Gaza, stop expanding West Bank settlements, and respect Palestinian human rights and equality under the law. The first step should be a comprehensive military embargo against Israel.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee calls for “immediate international action towards a mandatory comprehensive military embargo against Israel similar to that imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past.” The military embargo should cover governments, companies, and research centers that cooperate with and support Israel’s military and security industry.

Israel acts with impunity because the United States has given Israel a blank check diplomatically and militarily for more than 30 years during the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. The United States must end its unconditional support for Israel by stopping aid to Israel as long as it continues to violate international law and the human rights of Palestinians.

I have long supported BDS pressure on Israel. In 2002, as the Green candidate for New York Comptroller, I called for divestment of state pension funds from companies involved in the occupation of Palestinian territories as Israel began constructing its Separation Barrier, dubbed the “Apartheid Wall” and the “Berlin Wall” by Palestinians. In 2005, as a Green Party national committee member, I voted in favor of the BDS policy adopted by the Green Party of the United States. In my 2006 campaign for US Senate against Hillary Clinton, I called for a cut-off US military and economic aid to Israel after its military attacks on Gaza. In my three campaigns against Governor Andrew Cuomo, I called for BDS in criticizing Cuomo’s unconditional support for Israel as it again and again bombed the Gaza Strip, already besieged by the Israeli embargo, during each of my campaigns in 2010, 2014, and 2018.

Israel is currently arresting immigrants and their children and holding them in prisons. Trump’s policy of imprisoning immigrant children is now being copied by Israel, and I am strongly opposed to both.

With the passage of the Nation State Law last year, Israel has further codified its nature as an “apartheid state.” The US will never play a positive role as a neutral broker in negotiating an Israeli/Palestinian settlement until it ends its unreserved support for Israeli government violations of international law and Palestinian rights.

US policy in the past was not always as submissive to Israeli demands as it has been in the last 30 years. For instance, President Eisenhower threatened military and economic sanctions against Israel, France, and the UK when the three countries invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal in 1956. The three countries withdrew after Eisenhower’s threat. In 1991, President Bush delayed $11 billion in loan guarantees to Israel until it halted its settlement building in the West Bank and Gaza and entered a peace conference with the Palestinians.

It is a sad commentary on American politics today that almost all the Democrats and Republicans today are far less willing to challenge Israeli wars and human rights abuses than were Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush, both of whom were traditional imperialists who presided over US-led coups and military interventions in several countries during their administrations. That’s another reason why we need the Green Party.

OPPOSE THE ISRAELI ANNEXATION OF WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS

It is time for the United States to end its bipartisan unconditional support for Israeli policies that violate the human rights of Palestinians. At this critical moment, when Israel has announced its intention to annex Israeli settlements on the West Bank with the support of the Trump administration, we must speak out and resist this blatant violation of international law and the right of Palestinians to self-government.

Friday, May 15 is the anniversary of the Nakba, which Palestinians commemorate as The Day of Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their own lands, homes, and businesses preceding and following the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 people out of a total Palestinian population of 1.9 million became refugees. 530 Palestinian villages and cities were destroyed and about 15,000 Palestinians were killed. 78 percent of Palestine was claimed by the State of Israel. Since 1967, Israel has militarily controlled the remaining 22% and expanded Jewish settlements into these occupied territories.

This year a new phase of land theft from the Palestinians is developing with the Israeli plan, backed by the Trump administration, to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to the State of Israel. This annexation is illegal under international law and opposed by all the members of the UN Security Council, except the United States. It is opposed nearly unanimously in the UN General Assembly and unanimously across the Palestinian political spectrum.

Democratic Party leaders nominally oppose the annexation, but the Biden wing refuses to call for measures to pressure Israel to drop its ambitions. Bernie Sanders has called for a cut-off of US military aid to Israel if the annexation goes forward, but Joe Biden along with other Democratic Party leaders have called Sanders’ position “outrageous.”

The new coalition government led by a partnership between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz says it could announce the annexation plan to the Knesset after July. It may be timed to come right before or after the Republican Convention.

The United States should stop giving Israel blanket support no matter how much it violates Palestinian rights and expands the illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

The growth of illegal settlements and the annexation of Palestinian land, as well as Jewish-only roads and hundreds of checkpoints already dominating the occupied West Bank, is making the two-state solution, supported by international law, increasingly untenable. The two-state solution calls for an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River, based on the pre-1967 borders. As a result of the constant expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, Palestinians and pro-justice Israelis are increasingly turning to the one-democratic-state solution as the only just solution that is possible now.

The One Democratic State solution respects the multicultural character and the collective rights of the peoples living in the country, Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews among others. It calls for a constitutional democracy in which all citizens enjoy a common citizenship, a common government, and equal civil rights. Constitutional protection will prohibit laws that discriminate against any ethnic or religious community, which addresses the key concern Israeli Jews that their religious and cultural rights will be protected in a country in which they will be a minority.

Regarding the Gaza Strip, which has become a large open-air prison, the Israeli blockade of Gaza must be lifted so that food, construction equipment, and the essentials for healthcare and other humanitarian aid are allowed into the area. The repeated bombings by Israel of Gaza must come to an end. The 715,000 people of Gaza must be given democratic rights and their human rights protected.

The US should be putting pressure on Israel to change its policies by no longer providing Israel with political protection in the UN and no longer providing $3 billion in annual funding and military aid without any conditions that require Israel to respect Palestinian human rights and negotiate with the Palestinians for a just solution.

I support an escalating program of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to put pressure on Israel to respect human rights and negotiate a just settlement, starting with cuts to US military aid to Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee with broad support across Palestinian society. I oppose laws in the United States that criminalize individuals and businesses that take their own BDS actions. These laws violate our constitutional rights to organize, speak out, and take political action.

If the US is going to play a positive role diplomatically in promoting a just solution, it has to end its unquestioning support for Israel in whatever it chooses to do and instead become a neutral broker helping both sides to negotiate their differences. The political solution is up to the Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate because self-determination means they decide their solution, not us.

US SHOULD RESIST ISRAEL’S ANNEXATION OF THE JORDAN VALLEY WITH BDS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement on Tuesday that he intends to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank to Israel if he wins next week’s Israeli elections would simply legalize an annexation that happened in reality after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

After that Six Day War in 1967, Israel occupied 60% of the Jordan Valley as a military zone and no-go area for Palestinians. Under Oslo accords in 1995, 90% of the Jordan Valley was to come under full Israeli control. Since 1967, the Palestinian population in the Jordan Valley has been reduced from 320,000 in 1967 to 60,000 today as Israeli settlements have grown.

This annexation of the Jordan Valley is not only the policy of the Israeli right under Netanyahu. It has been the policy of the government of Israel under center-left Labor as well as conservative Likud governments since 1967. The main opposition to Netanyahu in next week’s Israeli elections, the centrist Blue and White party, responded to Netanyahu’s announcement by saying he had adopted their policy for the Jordan Valley. In short, Netanyahu’s announcement was more an election ploy than a change in Israeli policy.

The Jordan Valley annexation covers nearly a third of the occupied West Bank. By encompassing the entire eastern border of the west bank, Israel has encircled what remains of the Palestinian west bank like a Bantustan under apartheid South Africa. The Jordan River is the main source of water in the region, which is an agricultural breadbasket. Israeli control of the water and the best agricultural lands is another means of dominating the Palestinian people.

Netanyahu’s announcement was condemned by the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union, and many other of the world’s nations. While the United States was silent, Netanyahu said in his announcement that the US peace plan to be unveiled after the Israeli election will provide for Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley. If true, it would be consistent with Trump’s approval of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights in Syria right before the last Israeli election in April.

The United States could have used Netanyahu’s announcement as an occasion to change its policy toward Israel. But that won’t happen as long as “Israel, right or wrong” is the policy of the Democrats and Republicans in control the federal government.

What the US does matters. Israel has received more U.S. foreign assistance since World War II than any other nation, a total of $142.3 billion, mostly in the form of military assistance. Israel received economic assistance from 1971 to 2007 from the US, but the aid is now entirely military. Under the terms of a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on military aid signed toward the end of the Obama administration in 2016, the US pledged $38 billion in military aid from FY 2019 to FY 2028, up from $30 billion in the previous 10-year agreement.

What the US should do is adopt of policy of escalating Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to stop the continuing annexation of the West Bank, end the blockade of Gaza, and respect Palestinian human rights and equality under the law. The first step should be a comprehensive military embargo against Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

BDS is nonviolent pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian rights and to enter into negotiations to settle the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is time for the US to end support for Israeli apartheid, support Palestinian human rights, and apply nonviolent BDS pressure on Israel to respect human rights and negotiate with the Palestinians for a just resolution of the conflict.

HAWKINS SAYS STOP THE US WAR ON IRAN! US OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST NOW!

We all need to take to the streets tomorrow, Saturday, January 4, to demand that the US stop its war on Iran and that the US military get out of the Middle East now – out of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Demonstrations are planned for dozens of cities. If you don’t find a protest near you on the Popular Resistance website, organize one.

Demonstrations demanding US TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ and NO WAR/NO SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ were called earlier in the week for Saturday. Now we must demand: STOP THE US WAR ON IRAN.

With Trump’s targeted assassination of the second most powerful government figure in Iran, its military leader Qassem Soleimani, the US has started a hot war with Iran. Iran is a country of 80 million people, a major military power allied with Russia and China, with whom last week Iran conducted joint naval exercises. Iran can respond asymmetrically against US military deployments and American citizens anywhere in the world, but this war could well escalate into a nuclear world war.

Saturday’s demonstrations cannot be one-off. They must be the start of a sustained movement demanding that the US stop its war on Iran and get its military out of the whole Middle East.

Given Trump’s record of one-off military and diplomatic actions, his hollowing out of the State Department, and his firing of general after general in his administration, we must assume that Trump has no strategy for de-escalation and diplomacy after his assassination of Soleimani and welcomes a big war.

Trump may be “wagging the dog” to rally Americans around the flag in order to boost his support in an election year. He has never reached more than 45% favorability. He faces impeachment and the prospect of a rocky general election, as well as many criminal indictments if he loses the presidency. He may see war as his way out.

One can’t overstate how provocative Trump’s assassination is. It’s as if Iran had taken out Dick Cheney during the Bush/Cheney administration. The whole Middle East sees this as starting a war with Iran.

War will certainly serve to rally Iranians and Iraqis around their flags. In both countries there were popular movements against inequality and corruption. But wars derail popular democratic movements. In Iraq, the movement was multi-confessional but dominated by Shia youth who were also demanding an end to Iranian interference in Iraqi politics. It was Shia militias under the control of Soleimani that were responsible for deaths of hundreds of Iraqi protesters. Now these Iraqi youth will be joining with their government to demand the US military get out now and stop making their country a battleground.

Some Democrats are now condemning Trump’s assassination strike, but the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats just voted for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that told Trump he had unlimited authority to launch a war with Iran after it deleted a bipartisan provision requiring the president to get explicit congressional authorization for military action against Iran. None of the Democratic presidential candidates is calling for the withdrawal of US military forces from the whole Middle East.

The only way we are going to stop this war and end US imperialism across the Middle East is with a massive and sustained movement. Come out to protest Saturday and then organize your next steps in your community, from lobbying your congressional delegation to running Greens for Congress on antiwar platforms and returning to the streets again and again with more and more people.

Vice Presidential candidate Angela Walker

Walker seems in full accord with the above statements. She has tweeted:

“It is time for the US to end support for Israeli apartheid, support Palestinian human rights, and apply nonviolent BDS pressure on Israel to respect human rights and negotiate with the Palestinians for a just resolution of the conflict.”

The Green Party Platform on Foreign Policy is here.

Libertarian Party

Presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen

Jo Jorgensen

Jorgensen is on the ballot in all 50 states.

In a Q&A on her website she stated:

Q: Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?
A: No, we should not give aid to any foreign nations

Q: Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel?
A: No

Q: Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel?
A: It’s none of our business

Related statements:

Q: Should the U.S. go to war with Iran?
A: No

Q: Do you support the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani?
A: No

Q: Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists?
A: No

Q: Should the U.S. provide military aid to Saudi Arabia during its conflict with Yemen?
A: No

Q: Should the government increase or decrease military spending?
A: Decrease

Q: Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria?
A: Yes

Q: Should the U.S. send ground troops into Syria to fight ISIS?
A: No

Q: Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists?
A: No

Q: Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?
A: Yes, give them a fair trial and shut down Guantanamo Bay

Q: Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan?
A: Yes

Q: Should the U.S. formally declare war on ISIS?
A: NO

Vice Presidential candidate Jeremy “Spike” Cohen

In an interview in the Times of Israel, Cohen said:

Question: Would a Jorgensen Administration end military aid to Israel?

Cohen: The Jorgensen administration would end all foreign aid, and also stop interfering in the matters of other nations.

Question: How would a Jorgensen Administration handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Would annexation of parts of the West Bank be opposed?

Cohen: The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is only being made worse by US government interventionism. Not just through our direct involvement in the “peace process” that has largely gone nowhere, but also through the endless “war on terror” which has been an incredible recruiting tool for terrorist groups throughout the region, and for the blowback it has engendered against the US (and by extension, Israel).

A Jorgensen administration will end the wars, stop interfering in the business of other nations, and open up America to trade and voluntary cooperation with the entire world, including the Middle East. The vast, vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians just want to live in peace and build a safe, stable future for themselves, their families and their communities. The Jorgensen administration’s plans will go a long way in helping with that.

Libertarian Platform:

The 2020 Libertarian platform does not address Israel-Palestine. However, it has a short section on International Affairs:

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or political or revolutionary groups.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

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