Cornel West speaks at a rally for Bernie Sanders.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
PHILADELPHIA – Efforts to further the Palestinian cause were defeated by surrogates of Hillary Clinton in Democratic Party Platform negotiations, Prof. Cornel West, a platform committee member, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
West appeared at a rally at City Hall here in Philadelphia, on the periphery of the Democratic National Convention, where protesters were rallying against Clinton, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
“I don’t feel like we lost – we did lose,” West said, on the sidelines of the rally.
“We got defeated. But we’ll bounce back, though.”
West, who self-identifies as a democratic socialist, was appointed to the platform committee by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He has declared support in the general election for Jill Stein of the Green Party.
While West was lobbying for the platform to recognize Israel’s “occupation” and “settlement activity,” neither term was adopted by the committee. The party did, however, add language on the need for the establishment of a sovereign new state allowing Palestinians to live in “dignity.”
“The Palestinians will be free, brother,” West told the Post. “Ain’t no doubt about that.”
Meanwhile, a George Democratic congressman apologized for calling West Bank settlers “termites” at an event near the convention on Monday.
“There has been a steady [stream] – almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself – there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming,” Rep. Hank Johnson said at a Philadelphia event organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
The Anti-Defamation League called on Johnson to apologize.
“Poor choice of words – apologies for offense,” Johnson said. “Point is, settlement activity continues, [and] slowly undermines a two-state solution.”
The ADL replied that it “appreciated” the clarification, but the National Jewish Democratic Council said it fell short.
“To refer to Jews as ‘termites’ is deeply offensive and dehumanizing, not just a ‘poor choice of words,’” the council wrote on Twitter. “It’s dangerous.”