Wisconsin Unions, Israeli Settlement: Brief Notes

Wisconsin Unions: The destruction of public sector unions in Wisconsin will directly undermine your economic well-being in the years to come. Almost all of us who are not rich have for decades derived hidden benefits from the ability of unions to set wages at a level that makes it possible for a middle class family with two wage earners to make a decent living. Their actions have a ripple effect that goes all the way up and down the class ladder.

If the unions are smashed, don’t be surprised if your job options and pay diminish dramatically in this decade. And that’s only one of many reasons not to allow the forces that wish to take care of the needs of America’s wealthy and powerful elites first before taking care of the rest of us to get away with destroying public sector employees — and these forces are in both major political parties and demonstrably in the Obama Administration as well. There’s also the reason of pure “justice, justice shalt thou pursue.”

photo credit: CC/michaelramallah

Israeli Settlements: The decision to veto a UN resolution challenging Israel’s building of more settlements in the West Bank, building that “officially” the United States opposes, is one more way of hurting the chances for Middle East peace. It’s not such a surprise: once the Obama Administration decided to stay true to the traditions of our State Department from the Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush days, it has given priority to the wishes of the Christian Zionists and AIPAC at the expense of continued Palestinian suffering. M.J. Rosenberg analyzes it, and then the news story of the United States actually vetoing the resolution confirms it. What seems obvious (and sadly disappointing) is that the initial promise of the Obama Administration for a more balanced position in the Israel/Palestine conflict (a balance that actually would be more in Israel’s long-term interest than capitulating to the self-destructive policies of the Netanyahu government) has been abandoned. It makes no more sense in this situation for anyone concerned about peace to focus on gently nudging the Obama Administration to live up to its promise on Middle East matters. Instead, it must be publicly and unequivocally challenged.


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