Foreign meddling shutting down MassDems debate on foreign policy

Today I received the email [below] from Steve Dunn and other signatories, including Steve Grossman who was once a lobbyist for AIPAC.

The letter warns Massachusetts Democrats that any convention resolutions critical of Israel’s half-century occupation and its abysmal human rights record are not to be tolerated. Critics are painted as a small, disruptive minority. Yet, according to the Pew Research Center, many Democrats have grown weary of ignoring the very abuses in Israel that we are trying to stop here. Americans are weary of inaction on the issue, and Progressives are tired of party machine Democrats supporting right-wing Likudniks who make Trump look like a flaming Liberal in comparison.

That such an email could be sent out to every state party delegate right before the convention points out that American foreign policy intrudes into every facet of state politics. Foreign policy is something that cannot be ignored — especially when we are paying a stiff economic and civil liberties price for our inattention.

And foreign policy is most definitely something Massachusetts Democrats should have the right to weigh in on. Even at the state level.

Dunn, Grossman and company would have you believe that supporting a resolution on Israel is a trifling distraction. They want us to “avoid divisive discussions […] not related to the core issues that require our attention.” They say that by sweeping Israeli human rights abuses under the rug we can protect “our progressive values and our way of life.”

This is so wrong! We defend our progressive values by defending human rights wherever they need defending — and that includes Revere, Richmond, or Ramallah.

Dunn and Grossman write that criticisms of Israel are at odds with national party policy, and that state Democrats shouldn’t have to worry their pretty little heads about such things.

Why, then, are these state Democrats doing precisely that?

Should a resolution critical of Israel — or Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, or Russia — be proposed, I urge Massachusetts Democrats to give it a fair hearing.

Especially at a time Democrats are so concerned with Russian meddling in U.S. politics, we don’t need AIPAC and its friends telling us how to conduct our foreign policy.

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Resolution at This Weekend’s Convention
Date: Wed, 31 May 2017 13:35:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brian Dunn, Democratic State Committee Member <brianrichard.dunn@gmail.com>
Reply-To: demconvention2017@gmail.com

Dear Massachusetts Democratic State Convention Delegate:

We are writing to alert you to an issue that could arise at the Democratic State Convention on June 3rd.

For the past 9 months, there has been a campaign to have the Democratic State Committee (DSC) adopt an unbalanced and misleading resolution that was critical of the state of Israel while ignoring the role of other parties to the conflict. Many members of the DSC agreed and thought that the resolution was one-sided. Fortunately, on April 29th, the Democratic State Committee endorsed the recommendation of its Resolutions Committee and tabled it.

It is possible, however, that there will be an attempt to reintroduce this resolution either as a platform amendment or by a motion from the floor at our upcoming Convention. We believe that this would be divisive and damaging to our party. We want to explain why, in the hopes of sparing us from what has the potential to be a contentious and destructive debate.

The Democratic Party is faced with extraordinary challenges. The policies and initiatives being proposed by President Trump and the Republican Congressional majority threaten many of our core commitments concerning healthcare, global warming, consumer protection, law enforcement, immigration and so much more. In fact, many believe that we are facing a grave threat to our very system of government. This is a time when our party needs to strive for unity, so that we can effectively mobilize, protect the interests of our constituents and secure a strong future for our state and our nation.

This damaging resolution is at odds with the Democratic Party’s national platform that was adopted last July. While we respect the right of all party members to present their views, we also have the obligation to ensure that our party is not derailed by the actions of a small group. We must not let this happen.

We hope that you agree with us that at this critical moment in our nation’s history our party needs to:

  • Unite and focus on the historic challenges we face;
  • Avoid divisive discussions that are not related to the core issues that require our attention; and
  • Mobilize to defend our nation, our progressive values and our way of life.

It is with this in mind that we urge you to join us in discouraging this resolution and, if necessary, ensure that it is quickly and resoundingly defeated, whether it is introduced as a platform amendment or as a motion from the floor at our June 3rd Convention.

Respectfully,

Zachary Agush
First Middlesex & Norfolk

David Albright
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Jake Auchincloss
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Bryan Barash
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Jeanne Barghout
Norfolk & Plymouth

Jacquelyn Bonarrigo
Second Plymouth & Bristol

John Brissette
First Worcester

Dan Cahill
Third Essex

Joe Caiazzo
Fifth Middlesex

Ed Chazen
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Steve Como
Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden

Jen Creane
Plymouth & Barnstable

Julie Curtis
Second Essex

Peggy Curtis
Second Plymouth & Bristol

Mark DiSalvo
First Essex & Middlesex

Carol Donovan
Fourth Middlesex

Ray Drewnowski
Second Hampden & Hampshire

Brian Dunn
Plymouth & Barnstable

Mike Fenton
Hampden

Daniel Fishman
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Etta Goodstein
Cape & Islands

Steve Grossman
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Sherwood Guernsey
Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden

Martina Jackson
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Joe Kaplan
Bristol & Norfolk

Steve Kerrigan
Worcester & Middlesex

Hailey Klein
First Essex

Amy Kullar
Plymouth & Barnstable

Steve Leibowitz
Cape & Islands

Chris Matthews
Plymouth & Norfolk

Thomas McGrath
First Middlesex

Stacey Monahan
Norfolk & Suffolk

Kathy Pasquina
First Essex & Middlesex

David Perelman
Third Middlesex

Bob Peters
Fourth Middlesex

Lois Pines
Second Suffolk & Middlesex

Mary Richards
Worcester & Middlesex

Sally Rizzo
Cape & Islands

Keri Rodrigues
Second Middlesex

Beth Segal
Plymouth & Barnstable

Nate Segal
Plymouth & Barnstable

Bill Shaevel
Second Suffolk

Ashley Shaw
Plymouth & Barnstable

Donna Smith
Norfolk, Bristol & Plymouth

Jim Smith
Third Essex

Sharon Stout
First Middlesex & Norfolk

Jack Suslack
Third Essex

Joe Tutino
First Plymouth & Bristol

Steve Walsh
Third Essex

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