To: President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Bernie, Tell Hillary: West Bank Settlements Are Not Israel

We urge Bernie Sanders to stand with the Obama Administration, J Street, and Americans for Peace Now in making clear that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not “Israel.”

Why is this important?

On July 2, Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Haim Saban, a major Clinton donor and fundraiser, expressing her “alarm” over the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement,” which she called “a global effort to isolate the state of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges.” Clinton asserted that “we need to make countering BDS a priority.” Clinton’s letter failed to make any distinction between Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. [1]

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is campaigning to erase the distinction in U.S. policy between Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank, under the guise of “combatting the global BDS movement.” As part of this campaign, AIPAC recently pushed language through Congress that defines the “global BDS” which the U.S. should oppose as including boycott, divestment, and sanctions against enterprises in “Israeli-controlled territories” – that is, enterprises in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. J Street and Americans for Peace Now opposed the AIPAC provision. [2]

The Obama Administration denounced the provision, saying, “by conflating Israel and 'Israeli-controlled territories,' a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity…The U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.” [3]

By condemning “BDS” without distinguishing between Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Clinton is supporting – whether intentionally or not – the AIPAC campaign to erase the distinction between Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

It is unlikely that major media will successfully press Hillary to clarify her position unless the issue is raised by another candidate. A recent study found that 45% of Democratic “opinion leaders” said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who criticized the Israeli occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians, while only 23% said they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. [4]

Urge Bernie Sanders to say that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not Israel by signing our petition.

References:
1. “Clinton 'alarmed' over calls for Israel boycott, urges bi-partisan action,” Barak Ravid, Haaretz, July 6, 2015, http://www.haaretz.com/1.664694
2. “Inside AIPAC's Quiet Campaign To Blur Israeli Settlement Lines,” Jessica Schulberg, Huffington Post, 5/28/2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/28/aipac-israel-settlements_n_7461038.html
3. “White House Blasts Trade Bill Provision That Aims To Protect Israeli Settlements,” Jessica Schulberg, Huffington Post, 6/30/2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/30/trade-bill-israel-settlements_n_7700814.html
4. “Israel losing Democrats, ‘can’t claim bipartisan US support,’ top pollster warns,” David Horowitz, Times of Israel, July 5, 2015, http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-losing-democrats-cant-claim-bipartisan-us-support-top-pollster-warns/

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Reasons for signing

  • We ushered the oligarchy in when we ignored Bush's cheated win like we were powerless. The elite decided we were. That's why our Congress for the past decade openly defied our wishes, our instructions, to instead extort gifts for their owners through government shut downs, lowered credit ratings that literally cost us billions but rewarded the elite. That's why they constantly to this day threaten to do it all again, repeatedly threatening with every new budget deal, because each time they ex...
  • I'd also like Bernie to completely and utterly denounce AIPAC, Zionism and the criminal state of Israel, but denouncing the West Bank Settlements as not being Israel is a start.
  • Dear Bernie I do hope you are able to out Hilary Clinton on illegal Israeli settlements.