Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib . . . and Peter Beinart: same struggle!
On today's Morning Joe, commenting on the violence in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin, liberal columnist and former editor of the New Republic Peter Beinart approvingly cited sources denouncing Israel as an "apartheid state." In doing so, Beinart joins forces with Omar and Tlaib, who have used the same poisonous rhetoric of racism to condemn Israel.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which Beinart approvingly cited as having accused Israel of being an apartheid state, have a documented history of thinly-veiled antisemitism. And B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization which Beinart alluded to as also calling Israel an apartheid state, is closely affiliated with a number of far-left Israeli political parties.
BEINART: The fundamental problem is that Palestinians lack the most basic rights. This is a country, Israel now, that has been called an apartheid state by its own leading human rights organization, and by the leading human rights organization in the world, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, because it holds millions of people without the most basic rights
Beinart also suggested that the US pressure Israel by threatening to withhold aid, and stop protecting it from condemnation at the UN and prosecution at the International Criminal Court.
What's next for Beinart? Will he join with Tlaib's goal of "from the river to the sea"—effectively a call for the complete destruction of Israel?
Peter Beinart: observant Jew . . . and useful idiot.
Note: Democrat ex-senator Claire McCaskill, now an MSNBC analyst, is apparently no big advocate of Israel's right to defend itself. She chalked up Israel's Jenin incursion as "Netanyahu doing this for his own political purposes."
On Morning Joe, liberal columnist Peter Beinart approvingly citing organizations condemning Israel as an "apartheid state" was sponsored in part by DirecTV.
Here's the transcript.
6:33 am EDT
WILLIE GEIST: Peter, good morning to you. I'll start with you. What do you make of what you've seen lately, this latest in generations of escalating violence here?
PETER BEINART: The fundamental problem is that Palestinians lack the most basic rights. This is a country, Israel now, that has been called an apartheid state by its own leading human rights organization, and by the leading human rights organization in the world, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, because it holds millions of people without the most basic rights. The right to be a citizen in the country in which they live, the right to vote for the government that controls their lives. And when people are desperate like that, they will take desperate measures. Immoral, violent measures, but desperate measures because they see no hope. And unless there is hope that people can have the basic rights that we take for granted, this violence will continue.
. . .
JAMES STAVRIDIS: Last point, the U.S. does not have a lot of cards to play here of real significance. We're very close to Israel, obviously, but the Israelis, fiercely independent minded in dealing with this issue. They will go their own way here.
. . .
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: We've seen some efforts by Saudi and by UAE to try to really knit together what is as close to a peace as we've seen in the Middle East.
It seems that this would really set this back. What is, what do you sense the reaction is going to be in the rest in the Arab world to Netanyahu doing this for his own political purposes?
BEINART: Yes. And if I can just respectfully disagree with the idea that the U.S. has no cards to play. We fund this. We give the Israelis $3.8 billion in virtually, essentially unconditional military aid a year. We protect Israel at the United Nations from any meaningful condemnation. We protect Israel from international, from prosecution at the International Criminal Court. And so, the U.S. has a tremendous amount of leverage here. It's just the Biden administration has chosen not to do it to protect Palestinian rights.