Category Archives:
US Politics

Chancellor Wise, why not accept the scholarly inquiry of your colleagues over the politicized judgment of Salaita’s critics?

Natalie Zemon Davis on
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise (Photo: L. Brian Stauffer)

26 August 2014 Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise University of Illinois Dear Chancellor Wise, As a long-time participant in the university world, I implore you to reverse your decision in regard to Professor Steven Salaita and now to recommend the approval of his appointment to the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I write

‘New Yorker’ limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC

Philip Weiss on
New Yorker writer Connie Bruck and her husband former Congressman Mel Levine. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/ Getty Images)

Connie Bruck has a big piece on AIPAC in the New Yorker that includes some good Capitol Hill reporting on AIPAC’s corrupting influence over the Congress. Friends are passing the piece along to me as an expose, and several are thrilled by it. The article is titled, “Are American Jews Turning Against AIPAC?” and suggests that AIPAC

Leading Jewish organization celebrates Israeli settlement products

Philip Weiss on
B'nai B'rith

Adam sent me this photo today from a doctor’s waiting room. The article is all about wine from the Judean Hills around Jerusalem. At least one of the vineyards is in the West Bank, in the illegal settlement of Psagot (and others vaguely alluded to are in the Golan); but the article doesn’t refer to

Gaza goyim jailbreak

Philip Weiss on
Bardem

Last weekend I joined my wife’s extended family on a mountain lake; and every time Gaza came up, my ears pricked up. For instance, someone grabbed The New York Times business section with Bloomberg’s picture on the front and said “What’s Bloomberg up to?” and someone else said snarkily, “Going to Israel.” The article was

‘NYT’ journey to Israel/Palestine to be led by Israeli ‘expert’ who called on countrymen to ‘kill and kill’ Palestinians

Patrick Connors on
Nytimes_hq

Over the last two months, as Israel first cracked down on the West Bank and then launched a massive attack decimating the Gaza Strip, The New York Times has come under repeated and justified criticism, notwithstanding some occasional good reporting from Gaza. That criticism has focused on The Times bias and double standards, downplaying of Israeli attacks, and tendency

Salaita’s hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor

Philip Weiss on
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise (Photo: L. Brian Stauffer)

Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jascik today reports a disturbing development in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Phyllis Wise, the university’s chancellor, was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita’s comments on twitter about Gaza. The school’s fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with

‘NO DISCUSSION of Gaza’ — new Zionist etiquette

Philip Weiss on
Susan Talve, one of the rabbis who invited congregants to the Muslim-Jewish gathering without political conversation

It’s been observed that people are avoiding the Gaza conversation because they are afraid that the dinner party will explode. I’ve seen it in my friends, walking on eggshells for fear that an Israel supporter will get upset. “[M]any of my Jewish friends cannot debate this… without extreme emotional investment in it, and that’s a very hard

As Salaita’s case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on ‘civility’

Philip Weiss on
Steven Salaita with his son

There have been several developments in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university is obviously concerned that Salaita is becoming a cause celebre. Yesterday it issued two long statements describing Salaita’s alleged infraction as a violation of “civility.” Salaita is now without a job, a home, and health insurance.

Watch: Huge pro-BDS Palestinian flag unfurled on Manhattan Bridge

Alex Kane on

Hundreds of New Yorkers marched over the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday in a rally for Gaza. Demonstrators called for boycotting Israel and chanted for a free Palestine. The video above was shot by the MTL Collective. It shows that as demonstrators streamed over the bridge, a huge Palestinian flag with the words “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” and

No justice, no peace — in Gaza or Ferguson

Shireen Tawil on

In response to the masses of Americans protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson’s streets, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently pronounced, “If we are going to have justice, we must first have, and maintain peace. This is a test.”  Like so many other leaders who have uttered this phrase—Nixon fails to realize that a

Anti-occupation activists in New York blast United Jewish Appeal for supporting attacks on Gaza

Alex Kane on
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Members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) gathered outside the offices of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York today, criticizing the group’s support for Israel’s policy towards Gaza, including the blockade of the coastal territory and the ongoing military assault. The action was one of many across the country that Jewish

NY Times describes Israel’s June rampage in the West Bank as a “clampdown”

David Samel on

Today’s New York Times article by Isabel Kershner about the (now aborted) extension of the cease fire in Gaza offers a brief history of the recent events, including this line: An Israeli clampdown in the West Bank during the search for the [three Israeli] teenagers prompted increased rocket fire from Gaza and an escalation that

More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times

James North on

Orientalism is more cunning and subtle than just simple prejudice against Arabs and Muslims.  The other day, the New York Times offered another nice specimen of Orientalist technique. A “news analysis” by Steven Erlanger included the following paragraph: “Unlike Fatah, Hamas claims the whole of the British mandate of Palestine as land granted by Allah,

Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt

Alex Kane on

When tear-gas was first fired into the streets of Ferguson, Missouri at people angry at the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Palestinian activists sent out messages on Twitter giving people tips for how to deal with tear gas’ effects. And there was another direct connection between events in Missouri and the West Bank, as Palestinian activist Mariam

Witnessing Gaza

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. As we approach the endgame of this phase of Gaza’s tribulations – for rest assured, Gaza’s tribulations will continue – reporters on the ground are writing and photographing the disaster. Like all

Hillary Clinton’s 11th-hour diplomacy

Ed Moloney on

Imagine you are Benjamin Netanyahu and you have just really, really messed up. You started a war with Hamas with a lie about the murder of three Israeli teenagers and got caught out; the real motive, an attempt to sabotage a Hamas-Fatah alliance,  soon became clear and it exposed you as someone more interested in

With ‘anger grounded in law,’ Muslim group sues US gov’t over arbitrary ‘terror watchlist’

Annie Robbins on

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a lawsuit against the US government yesterday (pdf) on behalf of several Muslim-Americans challenging the legality of government policy regarding the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), also known as the “Terrorist Watchlist” of “known or suspected terrorists,” arguing that they have been wrongly ensnared in a federal system that is free

Top legal scholars decry ‘chilling’ effect of dehiring scholar Salaita

Corey Robin on

Editor’s note: The following piece about reactions in the academic world to the dehiring of Steven Salaita over his criticism of Israel is a combination of two posts on Corey Robin’s blog.  Scholars from law schools at Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, Georgetown, and other universities have come out with a very strong letter condemning the decision

Israel and its advocates have a new target in sight: Head of UN inquiry William Schabas

Alex Kane on

A permanent cease fire with Palestinian fighters has yet to be signed, but Israel and its supporters have already begun to pivot to their next adversary: the United Nations Human Rights Council. It’s Goldstone Redux and Israel’s supporters are coming out swinging. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has already issued the following ad going after William Schabas, a