Cornel West rips 'vicious Israeli occupation'

Bernie Sanders adviser hits 'Jewish reactionaries' supporting Trump, calls 'struggle' against Israel 'this generation's Vietnam war'.

David Rosenberg,

Cornel West
Cornel West
Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich

Former Princeton professor and Sanders campaign adviser Cornel West spoke to reporters during a protest against the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Tuesday, praising the “struggle against Israeli occupation” and condemning “Jewish reactionaries” supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump.

West, an outspoken critic of Israel, was appointed by the Sanders campaign to the Democratic National Convention’s platform committee, where he, along with fellow Sanders-appointee James Zogby, worked to shift the Democratic Party’s agenda away from support for Israel.

Speaking on Tuesday, West demanded an end to the “Israeli occupation”, comparing the struggle to the fight against the Vietnam War by the radical left in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the campaign against apartheid-ridden South Africa in the 1980s.

“Palestinians need to know that there are Americans in this nation, including American Jewish brothers and sisters, who love them, who are committed to their struggle against Israeli occupation and are concerned about them being able to live lives of decency and dignity. And there’s a growing number of young people - the Israeli occupation today for the younger generation is what Vietnam was for my generation and what South Africa was for the 80s and that includes precious young Jewish brothers and sisters as well as blacks and others.”

West added that Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority and members of the Black Lives Matter movement could “all learn from each other”.

Describing the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as “the vicious Israeli occupation”, West prognosticated the establishment of a Palestinian state, claiming that many Americans support Palestinian statehood.

“Our young our precious Palestinian brothers and sisters need to know that there are voices here in the United States of all colors, white and black and red and yellow and brown, some of them are young Jewish voices who are concerned not just about the plight of Palestinians, but know that the day will come when the vicious Israeli occupation will be lifted. Palestinians will be able to live lives of decency and dignity and live lives of self-determination.”

“We’re raising voices, we’re changing the climate of atmospheres in that regard. And we’re doing it in the name of Martin King, Edward Said and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, of Dorothy Day, all of those in the United States who have always highlighted the plight of oppressed people and the Israeli occupation as well as the second-class citizenship of our Arabs living in the state of Israel is something the world will have to address, but it will be in the name of love and justice and not one iota of anti-Jewish hatred or anti-Jewish prejudice is done in the name of justice, across the board. And I want my Palestinian brothers and sisters to know that, because some of us are going to be faithful unto death for that struggle,” West said.

Turning to American politics, West slammed Jewish support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, claiming they were willing to “put up” with what he called “anti-Jewish prejudice” in the Trump campaign to further their policies.

“Well politics makes strange bedfellows. You got a lot of Jewish reactionary brothers and sisters who will put up with anti-Jewish prejudice among their own if they’re committed to a certain kind of policy. You know what I mean?”




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