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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/23/16

Hillary, Bernie, AIPAC: A Stone Cries Out

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Reprinted from Wallwritings

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were among the invitees to the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting, which this year happened to coincide with the start of Holy Week.

I do not know if candidate Clinton attended a worship service on Passion/Palm Sunday, the day before she gave her keynote address. If so, she might have heard a reading from the Gospel of Luke, which records that the authorities said to Jesus: "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

The authorities were complaining about the shouts of praise which greeted Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

Stones cry out to deliver a message when others remain silent. Stones cry out with messages of last resort in the hope the words will penetrate the shields surrounding those who remain stubbornly oblivious to reality.

Candidate Bernie Stone did not attend the AIPAC conference. He sent his eponymous message which he also delivered at a campaign event.

One sample: "to be successful, we have got to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people, where in Gaza unemployment today is 44 percent and we have there a poverty rate which is almost as high."

Candidate Clinton did attend, delivering her customary anodyne praise, described by Juan Cole as the speech she always gives on Israel:

"I once heard Hillary Clinton give her AIPAC speech at a university. It doesn't change much, just as US policy toward the Mideast doesn't change much. She was still a senator then. Much of the audience was Middle East experts, who could barely keep themselves from gagging.

"Clinton used her speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting, the gathering of some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, to lambaste Donald Trump for saying he'd try to be neutral in heading up negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Donald Trump should be lambasted. He is wrong on everything most of every day. But, like a clock, he is right twice a day and this [is] a point on which he is correct. The US cannot be an honest broker in the Mideast conflict if it is more Israeli than the Israelis, which it typically is."

Clinton's speech was also blasted by Palestinian supporters.

Yourself Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, noted that Clinton's speech "could well have been written by an Israeli government public relations firm." He added that her speech "took pandering to a new level."

A news clip highlights a moment where she criticizes her opponents.

In contrast to the Clinton embrace of all things Israeli, Bernie Sanders' message to AIPAC sounds less like a lover and more like a friend admonishing a friend:

"It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of Shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf."

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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