51 Comments
Dec 8, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Thank you for this clear and powerful statement. I am neither Muslim nor young. I am an 80 year-old white male who has always voted Democratic, with one exception: I did not vote for Hubert Humphrey in 1968 after the debacle of the Chicago Democratic Party convention and the failure to respect the wishes of the people for an end to the American War in Vietnam. Now you have explained for all why I will not vote for Joe Biden. The Democratic Party voters do not support the genocidal war that Bide and Blinken have embraced. If the party does not respect our demand for a cease fire and an end to the supplying of bombs to kill civilians, they will deserve their fate.

Expand full comment
Dec 8, 2023·edited Dec 8, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I've been wating for people younger than I am to put such extreme pressure on the Dem machine that they will select another viable candidate; but of course that needs to happen now! As a pundit said, Biden does not have the advantage of his incumbency and his only electoral strength is to count on legitimate fear of facism. I feel manipulated by that. In order to vote for him, I will go to the polls nauseated. For me, his inability to respond with moral clarity re:Gaza is all about entrenched cognitive dissonance. Thank you Hamilton. We need your voice.

Expand full comment

Thanks Hamilton. You may not like my comment, but you are forgetting a consitent american pattern of supporting war and interventions around the planet. US is a terrorist country mate under Biden or Trump or anyone. It is like a scorpion, it is in its nature. Here few of the recent victims; Palestine, Irak, Afghanistan, Cuba, Argentine, Chile, Venezuela, Etc, etc, etc and a very long etc.

Take care mate. Keep on fighting.

Expand full comment
Dec 8, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Mr. Nolan, your powerful words are fuelled with emotion and go straight to the heart. The atrocities happening in Gaza break my heart. I understand that the people of Israel will never feel save if Hamas is not annihilated. Imagine IS having a stronghold right next to Texas. For peace to have a chance, Hamas must go. Yet every child killed is one too much, and Palestinians can’t continue to live a marginalised life without any perspective on a better life. This conflict must end.

However, it seems to me that your critique points to a deeper flaw in the US itself, the democratic deficit in your country. How can it be that two despicable 80-year olds are the only options in the ballot box? I genuinely ask you, why is that? And is there a way out? Democracy is in coma in the US, and as a result the world suffers.

Expand full comment
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

For all intents and purposes on the issues I care the most about Biden has continued the same policies that Trump had but without the protests regarding them. Immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are caged and deported, the wall is being built, children and families are separated and now genocide. It's a bridge too far. The DNC spits in the face of it's voters. No I wouldn't vote for a fascist but isn't Biden one as well?

Expand full comment
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

"Joe Biden's recklessness is risking a return of Trump." Absolutely right. Absolutely inexcusable. Of course we have evidence that Trump during his first term did more damage US and world wide than killing one person on Fifth Avenue, and would do so again in a second term. So the comparison is really between two people who have been and will be responsible for the senseless brutal deaths of innocent people around the globe and in the US. I likely won't vote for Joe in a state where he'll win anyway, but definitely would in a swing state. Yes, Gaza is awful; yes Trump would be worse.

Expand full comment
Dec 10, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I suggest that with the election 11 months out we not stress too much about making this choice now.

Whatever one thinks of Biden's policy re: Palestine/Israel, the fact remains that this Administration's economic policies are the most progressive in 50 years, much more so than Obama or Clinton's. More needs to happen - rescinding the 2017 tax "reform," re-regulation of the financial system, reigning in private equity firms, etc., etc. But, when was the last time a president walked a striking union's picket line (ever?)? The NLRB is more balanced between labor/capital. The Inflation Reduction Act (stupid title, positive policy). Some startling things have largely passed under the radar, such as the appointment of Lina Khan (check her out if not familiar with her) as the Chair of the Federal Trade Commision which has just sued Amazon for illegally maintaining monopoly power.

One does not have to lavish praise on Biden to support these policies., which can be articulated concurrently with condemnation of the Administration's support for Israel's crimes against Palestinians. We focus too much on electoral campaigns. It seems the US is always in electoral mode and receives the bulk of the MSM media's attention. But we know that change starts at the bottom and percolates upward. Let's put the 2024 election aside for the moment, focus on building the movement in support of Palestine and pressuring the Administration to make aid to Israel contingent upon ceasing its war on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. And, at the same time let's do what we can to convince more of the public that this Administration's economic policies are pro working class and deserving of support. There need be no contradiction here.

Expand full comment
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Thanks for writing this Hamilton, it spoke to the feelings of despair and powerlessness that I and I’m sure a lot of other people feel right now. I agree with the comment that the only way Biden could be forced off the ticket is through massive public pressure, carrying the 1968 analogy a little further Johnson wasn’t convinced not to run again until he nearly lost the New Hampshire primary and was polling portly for subsequent ones. Given that nobody seems to be willing to play the role of Eugene McCarthy this time around, I was curious what your thoughts are on what could act as a similar focal point for pressure against Biden?

Expand full comment
Dec 8, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Sadly, all too true. I would love to hear the solution to this horror show. If it exists. The dead children and adults in Gaza and the Israelis murdered by Hamas will never know.

Expand full comment
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Totally disgusted with the inability of the Americans to see the right side of this. As a young man I left my country for the sins of my parents generation. Why is it so hard to act for young Americans now? Do the right thing? I will never set foot in your country again.

Expand full comment

Nobody deserves to suffer under a dictatorship. And nobody deserves to be crammed into an open air prison for their entire lives and then have bombs dropped on them. You can't hang a potential return of Trump on anyone who chooses not to vote for Biden just because he is doing his damage more in Palestine than in the US. If Biden loses the election because he refuses to stop facilitating genocide, that's on him, not on anyone whose conscience won't abide voting for him.

Expand full comment

The story is not much better in New Zealand.

Our new Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, urged "all parties involved in the conflict — as well as countries with influence in the region — to take urgent steps towards establishing a ceasefire".

Our new Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon, said “We would all like to see a sustainable ceasefire, but it actually requires all parties to actually make the conditions to make that happen”.

The opposition parties — Labour, the Greens, and Te Pati Māori — have called for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire”.

With New Zealand’s National/Act/New Zealand First Coalition government watching from the sidelines, Israel’s war on Gaza continues.

It’s like watching a gang of thugs beating someone to death in broad daylight and saying (quietly, under your breath) “Hey, guys, it would be really nice if you decided to stop when you’re finished what you’re doing there”.

https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/12/07/pm-says-gaza-ceasefire-call-comes-with-conditions/

Expand full comment
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Well (and horrifyingly) said. I wish someone would organize a quick and massive boycott to get Biden's attention, to show that people are that upset and organized. In order to feel like I am doing *something*, I am buying Christmas presents mainly from small local stores. Of course I boycott the companies BDS suggests: HP, Puma, SodaStream, AHAVA, Israeli fruits and vegetables, and Sabra hummus. I'm avoiding Amazon as well.

Expand full comment

Thank you for saying this. I feel that a lot of Americans don't want to hear this, because picking the 'good side' is as much work as they're willing to put into their morals.

Expand full comment

Your columns consistently reflect powerful bias against Israel, which you justify by means of rationalizing or distorting its history, the threats against it and the atrocities inflicted by Hamas on October 7. Whether this reflects ignorance, bias and/or a core antisemitism I can't say. None of those possibilities qualifies you to speak with authority.

Israel is dealing with a mortal threat in the form of Hamas, whose leaders subjugate and regularly murder their own people. Their explicit plan for October 7 was to provoke from Israel precisely the response they are getting. In their evil vision for extreme Islamic domination of Israel and, indeed, the entire world, incurring massive civilian casualties is not a byproduct but a feature, to be used as cynical political leverage. Witness Hamas's having erected roadblocks and shooting at crowds of Gazan civilians attempting to flee from the north to the south. Or their well-established practice of locating rocket launchers, weapons caches and command centers in, beneath and/or around hospitals, schools, residential complexes and the like.

Writing from your (currently) safe remove in US, possibly sipping a cappuccino, you may have noted, though apparently are untroubled by, Hamas' leaders repeated promises to repeat October 7 "again and again and again" until Israel is "annihilated."

It is certainly reasonable to question some of Israel's tactics and to grieve for civilian deaths and suffering. But you acknowledge not at all the almost impossible choices left to Israel by Hamas.

While you're at it, have you written with similar umbrage about the mass slaughter of up to 400,000 civilians in each of Yemen and Darfur, or of over 200,000 in Syria, 25,000 of whom were children? Unlike in Gaza, the slaughter of civilians in these countries has been deliberate. If you have not deplored these genocidal events, might it have anything to do with the fact that the perpetrators are Arabs and Africans rather than Jews?

Expand full comment

Actually, it’s less Biden to blame for the serial war crimes than the Blob,the military-industrial-congressional* complex, the GOP, the media and politics generally that ties Biden’s hands. And if you want to go back in history -- actually necessary -- add Britain to the list. Putting all the blame on one person is a little too Green Lantern for me. What’s going on is, with an exception, not a situation one man can fix. And the exception is Netanyahu but, you know...

(*That’s the term Eisenhower originally coined but was talked into dropping the congressional for obvious reasons.)

Expand full comment