Monthly Archives:
July 2006

I’m Heading to Israel and Palestine

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A couple years back a publisher who signed my (meager) checks asked me how I could justify being so critical of American policy in the Middle East and Israel when I’d never been to Israel. I’d traveled all over creation,…

Who Does the Israel Lobby Represent?

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I got some great comment on a post I did on the taboo liberal journalists experience when tempted to talk about Israel. Anonymous grapples smartly (if casuistically) on to the point that the lobby has actually worked against Israel’s best…

A Denunciation of the Muslim World, Apparently on al-Jazeera

Philip Weiss on

Today I was sent this powerful speech denouncing the Muslim world as primitive, by an avowedly-secular woman speaking Arabic. It aired purportedly on al-Jazeera. My friend John Coyne says, “The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles.”…

NBC’s Richard Engel Continues to Distinguish Himself

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Bad news is good news for journalists, and a Middle East in flames has launched a network star: Richard Engel of NBC. Never one to pontificate or editorialize, the Arabic speaker and BBC veteran lets human beings tell the story…

Times Poll Shows Isolationism, and Wariness of Israel

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If you ever needed a reminder of how important the realist intellectuals’ spring assault on the Israel lobby is, today’s Times bore it out. Its polls show that most Americans feel that Israel’s indiscriminate destruction in Lebanon will lead to…

Sagacious Lieberman Cites Rabbi Hillel

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Joe Lieberman thinks Jewishly; note his lovely comment to Jason Horowitz re his support for Israel as an underlying issue in the Dem. primary— Mr. Lieberman paused, stepped toward the blue sedan that would speed him to a meeting outside…

Iraq and Lebanon: Israel Imitates Us

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So many of us, leftleaners, were confused through the first week of the Lebanon fighting. It was obvious that Nasrallah was provoking something, wrongly; it is obvious that Iran is not a good actor; those rockets were targeting civilians in…

Be Like Van Gogh: Eat Strawberries in the Spring

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Several times in the 1880s, Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo about his efforts to eat “strawberries in the spring.” He was talking about learning to enjoy things in the moment, also of not trying to rush something…

Tom Hayden on the Israel Lobby’s “Certification” Process

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On truthdig, antiwar activist Tom Hayden offers his experience of being certified by pro-Israel forces, including the Berman machine in Los Angeles, back when he was running for state office: Twenty-five years ago I stared into the eyes of Michael…

Kevin Drum on the Taboo for Liberals Speaking Up on Israel

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Addressing the issue of why liberals don’t speak up about Israel, Kevin Drum, the Political Animal, justifies silence by saying the issues are “complex” and because “posts that display any sense of sympathy for the Palestinians run the risk of…

NYT’s Bob Herbert Runs for the Moral Daylight

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Bob Herbert had a breathtaking column in the Times today, condemning Israel for going overboard in its (just) retaliation for the Hezbollah strike, and faulting the U.S. for allowing it. “Neither Israel nor the United States can kill enough Muslims…

Daniel Pipes Raises the Issue of Dual Loyalty

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In a recent column, neocon Daniel Pipes openly questions the loyalties of British Muslims. Polling indicates that a majority of Muslims perceive a conflict between their British and Muslim identities. Two polls show that only a small proportion identifies itself…

Marty Peretz Was Right

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I bashed The New Republic’s Martin Peretz for hinting ominously that Harvard Pres. Larry Summers’s departure would result in the loss of $100 million gifts to the school. Oops. Turns out he was right.

Career-Limiting Moves: The Honest Usher

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Pierpaolo Barbieri has a funny lead in his review of a Genet play: Walking into Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theatre’s “The Maids,” I mentioned to the usher that some problems, in addition to the oppressive heat, had made my day heavy. When…

Yale Prof Knocks Lieberman for “Lost Ideals”

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In yesterday’s New Haven Register, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a leading management professor at Yale, shows how disaffection with Lieberman isn’t some narrow obsession, as David Brooks would have it, but goes to the heart of the misconduct of our foreign policy:…

Memo to Nadler: This Is No “Existential” War for Israel

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An article in this week’s Observer about the unanimity among New York politicians in supporting Israel’s bombing of Lebanon (surprise) contains an important statement by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (who was a brave opponent of the Iraq war): [Nadler] equated support…

Where Is the Jewish Money in Democratic Politics?

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Reporting on Lamont-Lieberman, the JTA gets at the crucial question of Jewish money in the race: “Jewish fund-raisers canvassed by JTA said they favored Lieberman — even those who profoundly disagree with him on Iraq.” Amazingly, even Steve Grossman, a…

Brzezinski Likens Hamas to Likud

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Tonight on the PBS NewsHour (yes I lead a boring life), Zbigniew Brzezinski made a brilliant analogy. He said that when the Carter Administration came to power, Brzezinski, national security adviser, dealt with the new Likud government and its Prime…

Collective Punishment in the Old Testament

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From The Holocaust in American Life, by Peter Novick (1999): “In the Jewish tradition, some memories are very long lasting… Some memories, once functional, become dysfunctional. The concluding chapters of the Book of Esther tell of the queen’s soliciting permission…

A Yankee-Hater Reflects on the Sweep of the White Sox

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I am a Yankee hater (I grew up in Baltimore). My friend Dan Swanson is also a Yankee-hater, of the Chicago White Sox variety. I polled him on his feelings following the Yankees sweep of the world champions this past…

Lamont Supports Israel’s Actions

Philip Weiss on

The Forward has some good reporting on the antiwar insurgent’s position re vis-a-vis Lebanon. And Jonathan Tasini’s, too, the man challenging Hillary Clinton.

My Jewish Orientalist Streak

Philip Weiss on

Commenter Rowan Berkeley has accused me of “Jewish Orientalism.” It’s not the first time; my friend Dan Swanson (author James North) has accused me of orientalism on a number of occasions. What do I cop to: I think there’s a…

Neocon-a-ding-dong

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This is about the power of ideas. The neocons were on the outs for a long time after Reagan left office. To their credit, they lived quietly in their cells exchanging crazily logical ideas about the Middle East—and were well…

Cutting Off Hizbullah From Syria

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Syria Comment has as usual a clear eye on matters Middle East. Joshua Landis says the Israeli attacks on Lebanon are an effort to cut Lebanon off from Syria so that Hizbullah will be isolated and unable to resupply itself….