Pro-Palestian Protest

8 Mar 2024

Beginning of marchBeginning of march
Fridays at Fetterman's enhances its usual protests in front of Senator Fetterman's office by adding a teach-in at the local Friends Center and by then making a march to his office. We boosted our usual attendaence by many times our usual number. 

peace sign
We used the sidewalk most of the way.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a speech on the 14th of March where he was very highly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Schumer said that Netanyahu "has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows.” There's a mathematical law of "diminishing returns" which holds that it often takes progressively greater efforts to achieve the same results. At some point, the gains are no longer worth the cost. It is the assessment of The Annual Threat Assessment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that

Israel probably will face lingering armed resistance from HAMAS for years to come, and the military will struggle to neutralize HAMAS’s underground infrastructure, which allows insurgents to hide, regain strength, and surprise Israeli forces.

Meaning yes, Israel can continue to attack Palestinians in Gaza, but the cost in public, world reaction (And, of course, as Schumer and Biden are fully aware, with US voters) of ever-increasing numbers of dead and wounded Palestinians is only going to get worse and there will never be an end to Hamas, regardless of how much blood and devastation Israel is willing to cause.   

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Not at all surprisingly, the Republican Jewish Coalition is very upset over Schumer's speech.

"As Israel continues to righteously fight to defend itself from barbaric terrorists, the most powerful Democrat in Congress knifed the Jewish state in the back," RJC CEO Matt Brooks said in a statement.

From the Democratic side:

Meanwhile, Jewish Democratic Council of America CEO Halie Soifer praised Schumer's remarks. "Jewish Dems commend Senator Schumer’s leadership as demonstrated by his speech today on the Senate floor."

So yes, as Brooks says: "Today’s events serve as a clarion call to take back the White House and US Senate from this radical Democrat leadership..."  Republicans have no choice. They either defend Israel's current leadership as the majority in the House, Senate and from the Presidency or watch as Netanyahu is sidelined and Israel is compelled to adopt a more sensible policy.

crossing street

Vice-President Harris talks as though Netanyahu's government is the outlier and that the Biden Administraton better represents the will of the Israeli public as fa as the treatment of Palestinian residents of Gaza go. Erm, not quite. According to a poll taken by the Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI), while the Biden Administration is moving to be more in line with American public opinion, Netanyahu's government is accurately representing Israeli public opinion.

Take a moment and consider that response. By stipulating that Hamas would not be involved in the transfer and distribution of aid, the question makes it clear that it is asking whether civilians in Gaza should get humanitarian aid. And 68% of Israeli Jews answered “no.” Even among the dwindling Israeli Jewish “left,” nearly 40% want to keep aid out of the hands of Gaza’s civilian population.

New York Magazine says that liberal Zionists like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are between two hard-core partisan sides,"the bloody and unstrategic Israeli military campaign in Gaza has alienated liberal Zionists," versus pro-Palestians who, in Chicago “tried to block people from entering a Monday night screening of Nova, a documentary about the October 7 Hamas massacre..." It's hard to say that your side should enjoy free speech, but the other side shouldn't.  

facing street

Signs of hope in US aid for Ukraine. The "discharge petition" that would get a bill to aid Ukraine onto the floor of the House got 177 signatures. It needs 218 though, and many Democrats aren't signing because the same bill also sends military aid to Israel.

Republicans for Ukraine is trying to persuade both anti-Israel Democrats (the bill being blocked by Speaker Johnson also contains aid to Israel) and Trump-loyal Republicans to sign on to the petition.

"Double Tap" is an aerial bombing strategy that has unfortunately been used by the US as well as by Russia in Ukraine. It "involves bombing a target, waiting a period of five to twenty minutes, often during which first responders arrive, and then bombing the target a second or even third time." It is a truly barbaric strategy. Russia just used it in Odesa. 

Poems and speech.

How do Russians feel about peace negotiations? Hmm, this seems promising. "Putin is ready for talks on Ukraine, but on his own terms" What are the terms that Russia is offering? Judging by his interview with US commenter Tucker Carlson

Putin appears to see the history of his relationship with Western and Ukrainian leaders as a succession of insults and betrayals, to which he has responded in his trademark heavy-handed manner: Not an eye for eye, but a punishment that grows exponentially each time the opponent shows perceived intransigence.
... each crucial point in history, Ukraine had a choice of sparing itself all the further trouble and that it still has this choice now.
"[Putin apparently seeks] all the territories which Russia occupied and formally annexed..."

By which Putin means not just Crimea, which Russia's occupied since 2014, but the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.

Ukraine says it's fully prepared to produce as many weapons and other war materials in Ukraine as is possible. They have a skilled and dedicated work force. They'll need steady supplies of raw materials, of course and money to build factories, but their being more independent would be good.

Greece, along with many other European nations, is working hard to replace the US weapons and ammunition that are on hold now.

peace flag'

Presiden Biden's State of the Union Address pretty much blew away all of the right-wing and mainstream media criticism of Biden as old and feeble and confused. Over 60% of the public came away with a favorable impression of Biden. The GOP response by Senator Britt was so awful that it immediately inspired a Saturday Night Live parody (clip includes extensive commentary from The View).


lining up for march