Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Steve Breyman to discuss the Green Party and its future in the United States, and also Clinton's possible presidency.
Here's the full text of the interview:
Muslim Press: How would the active role of the Green Party change US presidential election in 2016?
Steve Breyman: The Green campaign gives people on the left “someplace to go” besides voting for Hillary Clinton. Jill Stein is polling far ahead of her performance in 2012. She’s especially popular with Millennials. She’s likely to be on more state ballots than last time (most American states' election law makes it very difficult for candidates of parties other than Republican or Democratic to appear on the ballot). I reckon she’ll get twice as many votes in 2016 as she did in 2012.
MP: In your opinion, how would Bernie Sander’s supporters vote in the upcoming election? Are they likely to vote for Jill Stein?
Steve Breyman: Only a relative handful of Sanders voters (perhaps 8%) have committed to Stein at this point according to pollsters. Those in safe Blue states (sure wins for Clinton) can vote for Stein without being attacked for throwing the election to Donald Trump because of the peculiarities of the Electoral College in the US (where the winner of the popular vote might still lose the election). At present it appears Clinton may even win some traditionally Red states (those that consistently vote for Republicans) which would allow greater numbers of citizens to cast their votes for Stein without a high risk of a Trump victory.
The more votes for Stein, the greater leverage activists will have when pushing Clinton to the left (which is necessary now as well as after the election). Stein is carrying on Sanders’ “political revolution.”
MP: How would US policies in the Middle East change if Jill Stein becomes president?
Steve Breyman: Stein would radically shift US policy in the Middles East (and elsewhere). She’d put an end to the War on Terror and bring US special operators and troops home from overseas. No more support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen. No more armed intervention in Libya, Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan. US policy would move away from endless war towards support for diplomacy, human rights, and international diplomacy.
Here’s what the Green Party 2016 platform has to say about Israel/Palestine:
Our Green values oblige us to support popular movements for peace and demilitarization in Israel-Palestine, especially those that reach across the lines of conflict to engage both Palestinians and Israelis of good will.
We reaffirm the right of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis, which precludes the self-determination of one at the expense of the other. We recognize the historical and contemporary cultural diversity of Israeli-Palestinian society, including the religious heritage of Jews, Christians, Muslims and others. This is a significant part of the rich cultural legacy of all these peoples and it must be respected. To ensure this, we support equality before international law rather than appeals to religious faith as the fair basis on which claims to the land of Palestine-Israel are resolved.
We recognize that Jewish insecurity and fear of non-Jews is understandable in light of Jewish history of horrific oppression in Europe. However, we oppose as both discriminatory and ultimately self-defeating the position that Jews would be fundamentally threatened by the implementation of full rights to Palestinian-Israelis and Palestinian refugees who wish to return to their homes. As U.S. Greens, we refuse to impose our views on the people of the region. Still, we would turn the U.S. government towards a new policy, which itself recognizes the equality, humanity, and civil rights of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and all others who live in the region, and which seeks to build confidence in prospects for secular democracy.
We reaffirm the right and feasibility of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel. We acknowledge the significant challenges of equity and restitution this policy would encounter and call on the U.S. government to make resolution of these challenges a central goal of our diplomacy in the region.
We reject U.S. unbalanced financial and military support of Israel while Israel occupies Palestinian lands and maintains an apartheid-like system in both the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel toward its non-Jewish citizens. Therefore, we call on the U.S. President and Congress to suspend all military and foreign aid, including loans and grants, to Israel until Israel withdraws from the Occupied Territories, dismantles the separation wall in the Occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, ends its siege of Gaza and its apartheid-like system both within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel toward its non-Jewish citizens.
We also reject U.S. political support for Israel and demand that the U.S. government end its veto of Security Council resolutions pertaining to Israel. We urge our government to join with the U.N. to secure Israel's complete withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries and its compliance with international law.
We support a much stronger and supportive U.S. position with respect to all United Nations, European Union, and Arab League initiatives that seek a negotiated peace. We call for an immediate U.N.-sponsored, multinational peacekeeping and protection force in the Palestinian territories with the mandate to initiate a conflict-resolution commission.
We call on the foreign and military affairs committees of the U.S. House and Senate to conduct full hearings on the status of human rights and war crimes in Palestine-Israel, especially violations committed during Israel's 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza ("Operation Cast Lead") as documented in the 2009 "UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict ("The Goldstone Report") authorized by the UN Commission on Human Rights.
We recognize that despite decades of continuous diplomatic attempts by the international community, it has failed to bring about Israel's compliance with international law or respect for basic Palestinian human rights; and that, despite abundant condemnation of Israel's policies by the UN, International Court of Justice, and all relevant international conventions, the international community of nations has failed to stop Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in Israel and the OPT, while Israeli crimes continue with impunity. We recall that ending institutionalized racism (apartheid) in South Africa demanded an unusual, cooperative action by the entire international community in the form of a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid South Africa, and that BDS can become the most effective nonviolent means for achieving justice and genuine peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and for the region, through concerted international pressure as applied to apartheid South Africa; and that Palestinian resistance to ongoing dispossession has mainly been nonviolent, including its most basic form—remaining in their homes, on their land; and that while Palestinian armed resistance is legitimate under international law when directed at non-civilian targets, we believe that only nonviolent resistance will maintain the humanity of Palestinian society, elicit the greatest solidarity from others, and maximize the chance for future reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. However, we also recognize that our appeal to Palestinians to continue to resist nonviolently in the face of ongoing existential threats from Israel is hypocritical unless accompanied by substantial acts of international support. We recall that in 2005, Palestinian Civil Society appealed to the international community to support a BDS campaign against Israel, and that in response the Green Party of the US endorsed this BDS campaign in 2005. Therefore, we support the implementation of boycott and divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, which includes pressuring our government to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel; and we support maintaining these nonviolent punitive measures until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by
-Ending its occupation and colonization of all Palestinian lands and dismantling the Wall in the West Bank
-Recognizing the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
-Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
We recognize that international opinion has been committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, we view the two-state solution as neither democratic nor viable in the face of international law, material conditions and "facts on the ground" that now exist in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Given this reality, we support a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan as the national home of both peoples, with Jerusalem as its capital. We encourage a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the long process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.
We recognize that such a state might take many forms and that the eventual model chosen must be decided by the peoples themselves. We also acknowledge the enormous hostilities that now exist between the two peoples, but history tells us that these are not insurmountable among people genuinely seeking peace.
As an integral part of peace negotiations and the transition to peaceful democracy, we call for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission whose inaugurating action would be mutual acknowledgement by Israelis and Palestinians that they have the same basic rights, including the right to exist in the same, secure place.
MP: What’s your take on the latest email leaks that show DNC’s pro-Hillary agenda? Would it benefit Trump?
Steve Breyman: The DNC hack simply proved what any reasonable observer could already surmise based on the DNC’s behavior, that it was strongly pro-Clinton. The ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair is good news, and she faces a tough primary battle from a Sanders supporter. Unfortunately, she’s already been appointed to a position in the Clinton campaign, and will surely end up with some sort of job in the Clinton administration.
MP: How would a Hillary presidency change US policies towards the Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel?
Steve Breyman: Hillary is a more dangerous hawk than Barack Obama. She is a neocon in foreign policy. There is considerable risk of genuine escalation of the US role in the Syrian civil war in a Clinton administration (like the attempted establishment of a “no-fly-zone”). She’s more eager to use American military power than Obama. Her surrogates prevented language in support of Palestinian rights from making it into the party platform. Her administration would certainly continue to arm and support Israel regardless of its behavior. She’s likely to pay lip service to human rights in terms of the US-Saudi relationship, but to continue to sell arms to the Kingdom, and to support its war in Yemen (like Obama).
Steve Breyman was 2011-12 William C. Foster Visiting Scholar Fellow in the Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs Office of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the US Department of State, where he worked fruitlessly on reforming nuclear weapons policy. He is author of "Movement Genesis: Social Movement Theory and the West German Peace Movement" and "Why Movements Matter: The West German Peace Movement and US Arms Control Policy". He serves as an advisor to Jill Stein, candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination.