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Obama officials confess their sins on human rights at J Street | Mondoweiss |

This spirit is in sharp contrast to years in which Democrats waffled on these issues, and J Street helped them waffle.

In fact, the most interesting moments at the conference came when Democratic officials had human rights epiphanies, expressing regrets about what they had not done when they had power to oppose those violations.

Former Obama foreign policy guru Ben Rhodes said he regretted not doing more about the awful conditions in Gaza.

    I'm glad you [Mayor Pete Buttigieg] brought up Gaza. Obviously, when we were in government in the Obama administration, the security challenge is well known, the threat posed by Hamas- well established- the Iron Dome system- very important I think in protecting Israelis against rockets fired from Gaza. At the same time, I look back on regret at the intolerable humanitarian situation in Gaza. Really just horrific conditions that people are living under. As you kind of alluded to.

Let's reflect that Rhodes helped kill the Goldstone Report that criticized Israel for human rights crimes in 2008-2009 in Gaza, and formulated policy for an administration that expressed only mild criticisms of the Israeli blockade of the strip even as international bodies were telling us that conditions there are unlivable.

Tommy Vietor, a former Obama spokesman who now does a podcast with Rhodes, said that Obama was wrong to throw the country into the Yemen war in 2015. Vietor offered that confession in the midst of criticizing politicians and businessmen who visit Saudi Arabia and send the message that money is more important than values.

    I say this with considerable humility given that President Obama went to Saudi Arabia multiple times. He initially supported the civil war in Yemen, which was wrong and has proven to be a humanitarian disaster.

The most poignant confession of all came when NY City Councilman Brad Lander, a tiger for Israel in New York, apologized for not having been where he "should have been." as J Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami put it, on the Israel Palestine question.

Obama's War of Choice: Supporting the Saudi-led Air War in Yemen | CFR - Sept. 2015 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 08:41:58 PM EST

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