Category Archives: US Politics

Palestinian youth say the talks with Israel are futile

Allison Deger talks with youth activists in Ramallah who took to the streets in the past to protest Palestinian negotiations with Israel, but now are sitting it out as they do not believe their representatives will listen to their grievances. Bassel from al-Walaja says, “We are not objecting to just the negotiations and their failures and their success. We’re against the whole thing: recognizing Israel, the two-state solution. We’re against all of it in principle.” Above, Palestinian security forces beat youth protesters with batons at a demonstration in 2013.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East | 3 Comments

Resurrecting Passover?

Jews need Passover today like Christians need salvation – to be diverted from the injustice we are enabling. Has Passover become a faux prophetic trope to banish the unstable Jewish prophetic?

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 15 Comments

Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect

Before journalist and author Max Blumenthal turned his eye towards Israel/Palestine, he was a dogged investigator of the seedy world of neo-Nazism and white supremacism in the U.S. But now, liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz has joined right-leaning Israel advocates in trying to turn the tables on him by linking the journalist to Frazier Glenn Miller, the suspect in Sunday’s deadly shooting at two Jewish centers in Kansas City.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, Neocons, US Politics | Tagged | 162 Comments

Cornell student government puts the kibosh on divestment debate

The Cornell student government last week voted to table a resolution calling for divestment from companies profiting off the Israeli occupation. Students in favor of divestment reacted in anger at the decision to table the vote.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 3 Comments

American citizen, translator and student—Mariam Barghouti arrested and detained in West Bank

Mariam Barghouti, a 20 year-old university student and translator was arrested last Friday in Nabi Saleh and six days later is still locked in an Israeli jail cell. Despite being an American citizen she is facing trumped up charges of stone throwing that can carry a three-month sentence in jail.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, On the ground reports, US Politics | Tagged | 14 Comments

NY Times profile of Gazan long distance runner reveals reality of occupation

Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief, has been remiss in her Gaza coverage so Ira Glunts was surprised by her article titled, “Mideast Tensions Sideline a Gazan Marathon Runner.” It featured the video at the top on The Times’ web site and was mostly free of the “balancing” Israeli government point-of-view which always seems to be prominent in the newspaper’s articles about Palestinians.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 7 Comments

Handling holy hypocrisy at holiday season

If Passover cannot really be celebrated without Palestinians being free – and since Palestinian freedom isn’t on the immediate or even long-range horizon and ironically Passover has become a time for punishing Palestinians for asserting their right to be free – should we suspend our celebration of Passover?

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 13 Comments

Passover for Palestine

The Passover experience for Jews has been distorted beyond recognition. While the New York Times debates whether mobile phones should be used to enhance the Passover experience, it ignores the obvious question: How can Jews celebrate Passover when we are oppressing another people? The plaintive cry – “Next year in Jerusalem” – has already occurred. The results are devastating for Palestinians. In the long run, are they less disastrous for Jews?

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 17 Comments

It’s time to reveal the Israeli role in the US surveillance machine

A 2008 document obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden states that “one of the NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel. There are parameters on what NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes share more than we intended.” Is there anything we can we do to force a discussion of Israeli’s role in the national security surveillance state onto the public agenda here in the US?

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements

Earlier this year, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft condemned the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel as “antithetical to the core values of academic freedom.” Now, critics of the president are pointing to her extensive ties to Israel and financial interests in the country. Genshaft’s family foundation accrues interest from corporate bonds from the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, which is co-owned by two banks that are deeply invested in illegal West Bank settlements.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | Tagged | 41 Comments

Simon Schama’s Israel whitewash

Jerome Slater reviews Simon Schama’s PBS documentary “The Story of the Jews,” and says Schama’s emotionalism, strong but not necessarily persuasive beliefs, and tendency to oversimplify or, worse, ignore inconvenient facts, creates serious problem when he takes on Zionism, the establishment of Israel, and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 158 Comments

American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call

The American Studies Association says the onslaught of attacks it has faced since voting to endorse an academic boycott of Israel has only accomplished in strengthening the group. They report “over the past several months, the ASA has welcomed more than 700 new members. The ASA has also collected more membership revenue in the past three months than in any other three-month period over the past quarter-century.”

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center

Jordan Elgrably argues for the creation of a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center in Los Angeles.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 8 Comments

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel have a new book out that explores the intersection of Islamophobia and Israel—and the ways that the U.S. “war on terror” impacts both.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 5 Comments

Brandeis retracts plan to honor anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Last week, Brandeis University announced it would give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an activist and writer who has called Islam a “destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” Amidst the growing controversy, Brandeis announced yesterday it was withdrawing the honor.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 58 Comments

Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op

On Monday the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the anti-BDS lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op. The suit had been filed by five Co-op members in 2011 to force the Co-op to rescind its boycott of Israeli goods. Several pro-Israel interests became involved in the case as well, ranging from the multimillion-dollar Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most recently the Lawfare Project.

Posted in BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 30 Comments

‘Poof’ — Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)

This is all over the wires, and it might be historic. John Kerry, Secretary of State, blamed the Israelis for the breakdown of peace talks during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Israel failed to release prisoners on time according to a deal it had with Palestinians, then announced 700 settlement units– “poof!”– causing the latest breakdown in the talks, Kerry said.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 144 Comments

‘The struggle for Palestinian liberation has become a mainstream global civil rights movement of our time’: CUNY panel discusses the BDS movement

Jenn Nina reports from “BDS and Academic Freedom” a panel held at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) discussing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and academic freedom both within CUNY and in universities throughout the U.S.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

Maryland legislature passes toned down anti-BDS language

The Maryland legislature has become the first state body to officially condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. But the criticism of boycotters was significantly toned down from the original effort, which would have cut some funding from any public university that subsidized travel to conventions held by the pro-boycott American Studies Association.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 18 Comments

In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests

As U.S. brokered negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders nearly fell apart last week, in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority was busy cracking down on a Salafi group attempting to stage protests against the talks. Two weekends in a row, after evening prayers at a central Ramallah mosque dozens of Palestinian Authority riot police and undercover security services conducted mass arrests of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a marginal Islamic group that seeks the ouster of both the PA and Israel.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, Occupation, On the ground reports, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Bill de Blasio gives Avigdor Lieberman the Big Apple

New York mayor Bill de Blasio met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and gave him a “Big Apple” memento.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Politics | 28 Comments

Distracted by the peace process: What really happened during the talks

Both the US and Israel have come to rely on the endless theatrics of the two-decade peace process. Settlement freezes, prisoner releases, rows about Palestinian Authority funding and, of course, intermittent negotiations have served as useful distractions from the main developments on the ground.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, US Policy in the Middle East | 29 Comments

Why the ‘Forward’s’ support for SodaStream is antithetical to progressive values

The Jewish Daily Forward’s coverage of the Scarlett Johansson-SodaStream affair betrayed Jewish and progressive values, write activists Donna Nevel and Rebecca Vilkomerson. It was deeply dissapointing hat the Forward’s coverage of this issue was inaccurate, sloppy, and unprincipled.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics | 9 Comments

‘A Painful Price’: The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond

Max Blumenthal attended the University of Michigan divestment debate last week and was able to witness firsthand the tactics pro-Israel students and organizations are using to defeat BDS by any means necessary. Blumenthal writes, “Under the influence of a zealous cast of communal elders and with a powerful, astroturfed political apparatus at their disposal, pro-Israel forces on campus initiated a campaign of subterfuge and manufactured persecution designed to intimidate and silence students inclined toward Palestine solidarity activism. It was a disturbing spectacle to behold, especially at such an intimate distance.”

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 266 Comments

Desmond Tutu: Maryland legislature’s anti-boycott effort designed to ‘punish and intimidate’

The battle to officially condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Maryland is coming down to the wire. A Maryland delegate has inserted language into the state budget that implies the academic boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic. But Palestine solidarity and civil liberties groups are waging a campaign to erase the language from the budget. And they have an influential figure on their side: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 13 Comments