Monthly Archives:
March 2010

Klein on Berkeley divestment: ‘when our governments fail to apply sanctions for defiant illegality, other forms of pressure must come into play’

Adam Horowitz on

From Naomi Klein’s Open Letter to Berkeley Students on their Historic Israeli Divestment Bill: Your recent divestment bill opposing Israeli war crimes stands to have this same kind of global impact, helping to build a grassroots, non-violent movement to end Israel’s violations of international law. And this is precisely what your opponents–by spreading deliberate lies

At D.C. conference, Goldstone has a defender at the top of his game

Chase Madar on

The panel on the Goldstone Report was, as expected, one of the highlights of the 104th conference of the American Society of International Law held last week in the basement of the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC. (The other highlights? Harold Koh, the State Department’s top lawyer, unveiled the legal rationale for targeted killings via drone

Why is this president worse than all other presidents?

Jeffrey Blankfort on

Rarely do we see a supporter of Israel acknowledge that previous presidents (although he failed to include Nixon with the Rogers’ Plan) have tried to induce Israel into negotiating a peace plan and that all have failed because they pushed for Israel’s "acceptance of unpalatable concessions." Moreover, that this article was written for the Jerusalem

15-year-old killed by Israeli troops– no story

Barnabe Geisweiller on

In journalism, “if it bleeds, it leads” is the axiom. When it comes to Israel-Palestine, though, stories tend to lead when the bleeding is done by Israelis, not Palestinians. Take, for example, the killing today of a Palestinian teenager and the wounding of several others near the Gaza-Israel border when Israeli troops opened fire on

Duke beats Baylor, by somewhere between 5 and 15 points

Philip Weiss on

Earlier today I said that the Washington Post once said that half the money in Democratic politics comes from Jews, and now the Hill says that 25-50 percent of the party’s "major contributors" are Jewish. What a range. Ali Gharib pointed out to me that the Post actually said 60 percent of the money in

Petraeus is holding his ground on linkage

Philip Weiss on

A Vanity Fair profile of David Petraeus repeats Mark Perry’s reporting — which has been publicly denied– that Petraeus sought to have Israel/Palestine brought into his Centcom responsibility: In addition to these two major wars, Petraeus is responsible for the politically delicate security-assistance efforts in Pakistan and Yemen. He is responsible for preparing military options

Matthews demands accountability of the Catholic hierarchy

Philip Weiss on

Chris Matthews is taking the latest child-abuse scandal in the Catholic church hard. He loves the church, this story shakes him to his unreconstructed core. He gathered his kinsmen, Pat Buchanan and Joan Walsh, on Hardball tonight to talk the scandal over. They were all good, though Buchanan struck a slightly parochial note, saying that

Status quo is not OK

Michael Desch on

There is an interesting symmetry between Tom Friedman’s NYT column saying the Peace movement died in Israel in part because the status quo is “ok” and the Israeli press reporting that Syria’s Bashir al-Assad is telling the PA that that they are making a mistake in having renounced violence.  Friedman, of course, would have a

Palm Sunday protest in Bethlehem–and only the Palestinians are still detained

Matthew Walleser on

This past weekend, after Palm Sunday mass at the Nativity church in Bethlehem a large group of people from all faiths, Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists alike, marched from the church toward the Israeli checkpoint that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem. They were protesting the restrictions that have been placed on worship in and accessibility to

The creed of objectivity and ‘The New York Times’

Barnabe Geisweiller on

Many have recently questioned just how objective the New York Times’ correspondent in Israel and Palestine, Ethan Bronner, can be when he has a son serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the Israeli army. In an article published March 28, Bronner showed readers there was cause for concern. Bronner refers to illegal settlement expansion in

This is not a phony crisis

Jeffrey Blankfort on

This is not a phony crisis, as a number of critics have been saying. I think the Obama administration has gotten the word from Petraeus and Mullen that Israel has become a liability and it is not about to let Israel’s government of right wing crazies continue to harm US interests in the Middle East.

‘Hill’ says that Obama may be alienating Jewish ‘donors’

Philip Weiss on

The Hill says that "Jewish donors" may be "chilled" by Obama’s criticism of Israel. Privately, these Democrats say that the administration’s criticism of Netanyahu was excessive and will embolden Israel’s enemies. Jewish Democratic fundraisers and donors say Obama could lose significant financial support and votes, although they caution it is too early to say with

It’s complicated

Ibn Tufayl on

At Harvard Law School tomorrow, "The Indeterminacy of International Humanitarian Law: Difficult Questions for Military Practitioners," a lunchtime conversation featuring Israeli Defense Forces lawyer Gabriella Blum

Mohammed Omer is coming to Texas

Philip Weiss on

The brave Gazan journalist will be speaking at the University of Houston on April 7, at noon. Facebook notice her

Why there is no mainstream investigative journalism about the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

Today on my drive back to NY from PA I listened to some fine journalism about religion and politics, and it highlighted everything that is wrong with our coverage of Israel/Palestine. The piece I listened to was an hour’s conversation on Radio Times (WHYY Philadelphia) about the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church. I don’t

Cutting aid to Israel is quickly becoming conventional wisdom

Adam Horowitz on

Business Week writer Celestine Bohlen makes a case for cutting US financial ties with Israel: The advantages for the U.S. are obvious: It would save money at a time when the federal debt is zooming out of sight. The sums aren’t great — a drop compared with the $1.4 trillion budget deficit in fiscal 2009

It’s really complicated

Philip Weiss on

Three straight weeks in April, speakers at NYU are Walter Russell Mead on, Does Israel need a lobby in the US? a question that suggests ignorance about the very nature of Zionism/Israel (it has always depended on a superpower, going back to Herzl offering to relieve the Sultan’s European debt in exchange for Palestine); Aaron

Linkage– ‘iron-clad’

Philip Weiss on

Former Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler was kidnaped by Al Qaeda for four months in Africa. Now he’s trying to talk sense about Israel/Palestine to the Canadian liberal party at a "thinkers" retreat with Michael Ignatieff listening: Fowler charged the Liberals in the room with standing for little or nothing when it comes to foreign policy.

Amazing headline

Philip Weiss on

 Maan news: "After two year delay, clothing to enter Gaza"&nbs

Saying no to ‘next year in Jerusalem’

Emily Ratner on

As Jews around the world lock up their leavened bread and Jews in the Israeli army lock down the West Bank, I take far too long to pack a small bag for my annual trip to Cleveland to celebrate Passover. Come Tuesday night I’ll be surrounded by dozens of people who share my blood and

How’s life on the planet of Israeli hasbara, Thomas Friedman?

Alex Kane on

Thomas Friedman lives on a different planet, that of Israeli hasbara. In an Op-Ed piece today for the New York Times about Israeli-American relations and different perceptions on the “peace process,” Friedman repeats standard Israeli talking points. Let’s take a look. Friedman writes:   The collapse of the Oslo peace process, combined with the unilateral

sea change?

Philip Weiss on

The BBC says that the U.S. may not veto a Security Council resolution that is critical of Israel’s expansion in East Jerusalem: During their talks, [Qatar Foreign Minister] Sheikh Hamad asked the US official whether Washington would guarantee not to veto a UN Security Council resolution that was critical of Israel’s ongoing settlement construction in

Happy Passover, Palestine!

Philip Weiss on

"Israeli army closes West Bank for Passover"–JTA. And do you worry about women wearing headscarves in the West? Have you ever experienced the cattle-station checkpoints for Palestinians and Israelis-only roads of the occupied West Bank? Have you been yelled at by a young soldier from a different ethnicity from your own

Why can’t we do this?

Susie Kneedler on

Guardian: The UK’s ‘special relationship’ with US is over, recommends a British foreign affairs committee. Churchill’s phrase is now out of step with reality