Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leaflet, from 1967. Lyndon Johnson staked his presidency on ideology, lies, stereotypes and fear of appearing to be weak – and we got a right-wing period in US politics that began with Richard Nixon and has either been in power or constrained the United States in many different ways ever since. Surely Joe Biden knows this sad story – it’s one of the lessons he invoked when cutting short the losing US effort to run Afghanistan.
What can an embarrassed White House do about Israel?
by Eric Jackson
Horrendous things have been done that indelibly stain the Biden administration’s record. But Joe can begin to walk things back. He could, in a brief series of moves:
– Use Clinton List bans against violent settlements and members of those communities, prohibiting any US person or entity from doing any business or financial transactions with them.
– For violent settlers who are US citizens, they could come back to the USA and be surprised to be arrested pursuant to sealed terrorism indictments.
– There are all of these Israeli “security consultant” and “security guard” businesses that ought to be looked at. Certainly the ones that send out Shin Bet veterans to instruct Latin American law enforcement and presidential guards in racism ought to be proscribed as terrorist organizations and the companies and individuals involved put on Clinton List bans.
– It would be a mostly symbolic act, as there wouldn’t be two-thirds of the US senators to ratify, but he ought to sign the Treaty of Rome that created the International Criminal Court. It would strengthen the case that although a country may not be a ratified treaty signatory, there are international norms that still apply as now customary laws against war crimes and crimes against humanity.
– The United States aids the Israeli war machine in so many ways – gifts, subsidies, special discounts on arms sales and so on – and some rejections of requests for some of these are now in order.
– Biden could avoid meeting with AIPAC officers, agents or representatives and let that rejection be known to the public. Yes, they have given a lot of money to his campaigns over many years, but a show or ingratitude, a demonstration that he has not been and will not be bought, would help him at this moment.
– IDF and Israeli law enforcement commanders whose units attacked journalists or health care workers should at least be barred from entering the United States for that reason.
– He could point out multiple lies that the Netanyahu government has told Washington and the world, and lament that Bibi, the people around him and the State of Israel when it’s under their control are unreliable sources.
– He and his emissaries have been warning Netanyahu of the negative consequences of massive retaliation against noncombatant civilians. He could just jump off of that bandwagon.
Shin Bet veterans instructing Panamanian presidential guards in anti-Arab racism. Netanyahu’s global reputation is not only in shreds but it taints every country that attaches itself to it. This training session was under the Martinelli administration, but the same sort of stuff was going on here under the current Panamanian administration, until the ugliness of using Arab targets in National Police training caused Nito to order a stop to the practice. Archive photo by the Presidencia.
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