October, 2016 |Â International Solidarity Movement (ISM) | al-Khalil Team
One week ago, the United States and much of the world turned on their televisions to tune into the 2016 Presidential debate.
(photo credit: Brian Snyder â€“ Reuters)
Advertised as the most anticipated debate in a generation, millions watched as Democrat Hillary Clinton sparred off against Republican Donald Trump on US economics, foreign policy, and who would be the most well suited candidate to sit in the White House.Â On the critical side, much has been said on Trumpâ€™s abrasiveness and Clintonâ€™s inability to reconcile her and her husbandâ€™s failed policies in the past.Â There is also much talk from the â€śprogressiveâ€ť side of US politics (those originally seeking the nomination of socialist Bernie Sanders) of voting for neo-liberal Clinton as the â€ślesser evilâ€ťÂ against neo-fascist Trump.
While much can be said and argued about which of these candidates might be the best (or least worse) choice for the American people, the debate failed to take into consideration a very important demographic â€“ everyone else in the world!Â US domestic policy has forever been tied to its foreign policy, a foreign policy that has left countless bloodied bodies around the world from Argentina to the Philippines while Americans sit and contemplate their next big investment.
As an American citizen currently residing in Israeli occupied Palestine,
I viewed this debate in a much different light.Â Since the US gives more aid money to Israel than any other country through its governmentÂ and countless Zionist charities, the political course of the US is the number one factor determining the future of the occupation.
Trump and Clinton thus used the debate to showcase their complete disregard for the people of West Asia â€“ what we, in the US, refer to as the Middle East.Â Despite their many disagreements, both candidates hold the same mantra regarding this rich and complex region: Go after terrorism, no matter the cost!
Trump used this point to attack Clinton, saying that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which Clinton indeed supported, â€ścreated the power vacuumâ€ť that Isis (known in this part of the world as Daesh) filled.Â This is very true, yet Trumpâ€™s surprisingly seeming anti-imperialist analysis came crashing down when he added his own two cents to the solution â€“ we never should have pulled out the troops in the first place!Â If the US occupation had just continued, ISISÂ would never have existed, says this logic.
Many would expect such imperialist rhetoric from Trump, though many have seemed incapable of recognizing the same tendencies within Clintonâ€™s talking points.Â Clinton fired back at Trump, saying that US occupying forces were pulled from Iraq because â€śthe new Iraqi government would not have protected themâ€ť.Â This colonial apologist language was backed up by her praising of NATO forces for supporting the occupation of Afghanistan, an occupation that has existed in different forms up to the present day.Â In order to attack Trump for claiming that â€śAmericaâ€™s allies need to pay their fair shareâ€ť in terms of military alliances, Clinton finished by saying that she would work with â€śAmericaâ€™s alliesâ€ť until the end.
These â€śalliesâ€ť Clinton and Trump speak of join the US in being some of the most oppressive, militaristic nation states that exist on the map.Â Top among them is Israel.Â During Trumpâ€™s speech to the American-Israeli Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he praised â€ś[Americaâ€™s] cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the state of Israelâ€ť, and vowed to â€śveto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish stateâ€ť.Â Anyone looking for a less hawkish alternative would find no ally in ClintonÂ who claimed to â€śensure Israel maintains its qualitative military edgeâ€ť while expressing, â€śFor the security of Israel and the world, we need America to remain a respected global leader, committed to defending and advancing the international orderâ€ť.Â She even went as far as to encourage the young people present to â€śoppose the alarming Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement known as BDSâ€ť.
Search IMEMC: “boycott”
What both of these Presidential candidates have proven, through their rhetoric, is that, no matter who wins the Presidency, Zionism has already won, in the United States.Â When politicians speak of Israelâ€™s â€śsecurityâ€ť, it is code speak for the racist and militarized occupation of the Palestinian people.Â When President Obama signed the recent $38 billion dollar weapons deal with Israel, he signed it in Palestinian blood.
American bullets pierce the skin of Palestinians standing up for their rights.Â American guns are used to intimidate Palestinian shop owners as settlers parade through their market places.Â American tanks and jets rain death upon Palestinian communities.Â And American bulldozers destroy Palestinian homes to make way for illegal Israeli settlements.Â Both Trump and Clinton have shown that â€śbusiness as usualâ€ť will be taken to far more dangerous levels.Â Palestine has already lost the US Presidential election.
If you stand with Palestine, the time has come to admit that the election is nothing more than a distraction from the solidarity work that must be done.Â To support the Palestinian people is to act not with your ballet but with your body.Â Join Palestinian solidarity groups and take to the streets of every major city demanding an end to this support of apartheid.Â Proudly take up Clintonâ€™s mantle of â€śbullyâ€ť and actively take part in theÂ BDS movementÂ to call out and cut off the corporations that profit from land grabs and state violence in Palestine.Â And, of course, come to Palestine and bear witness to the brutality of the Israeli occupation and the undying resiliency and wonderful hospitality of the Palestinian people.
The people of Palestine have asked for our unconditional and uncompromising solidarity.Â It is time we answered their call.
Edited for the IMEMC by chris @ imemc.org
Also from ISM: 10/01/16Â Remembering Muhammad al-Durrah and the Stolen Dreams of Palestine (VIDEO)
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.