Category Archives: US Politics

How Israel militarized social media

Is Israel losing the media war? In the last few days, as Israel continues its bombardment of the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian death tools continues to mount, this question has consumed the global media. And most have agreed: in the age of social media, with abundant mobile technologies in the hands of Gaza Palestinians and their global supporters, the Israeli state-sponsored media strategy has failed. What’s been lost in this coverage – in this story of surprise — is the history of the Israel’s army presence on social media.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media | Leave a comment

U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza

The U.S. cast the sole vote yesterday against establishing an investigation by the United Nations into war crimes committed in Gaza. The United Nations Human Rights Council voted 29-1, with 17 abstentions, to establish an inquiry. The European nations on the council all abstained.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 10 Comments

Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office

Nine Jewish activists protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza were arrested today after occupying the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) office in midtown Manhattan. The protesters, members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Jews Say No! (JSN), stood in the office for an hour, holding a banner, singing songs in Hebrew and English and reading the names of the more than 600 dead who have been killed as a result of the Israeli attack. The act of civil disobedience came amidst a wave of global protests against the Israeli attack.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 31 Comments

‘Telegenically Dead’: Israel’s crumbling media war

Israeli propaganda has hit a new low. While the world was still trying to come to terms with the mass deaths in Shuja’iyeh, Benjamin Netanyahu went on CNN to state that Hamas uses the “telegenically dead” to further “their cause.” But something new has been happening in the establishment media, particularly since the July 16th tragedy. For the first time, perhaps, Americans are witnessing the suffering of Palestinian people in the establishment press. Even while the framework of “Blame Hamas” dominates mainstream media coverage, the humanity of Palestinian people is cracking through the decades long, well established façade of pro-Israeli propaganda.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 83 Comments

Dear American media, I’m asking you to simply tell what’s happening in Gaza

An open letter to the American media asking for more accurate coverage of the Israeli assault on Gaza.

Posted in Gaza, Media | Comments Off

CNN headline: “100 people killed today in Israel, Gaza fighting”

Is the CNN headline “100 people killed today in Israel, Gaza fighting” the result of bias or incompetence?

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 34 Comments

Democrat Eliot Engel appears at pro-Israel rally featuring anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller

Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller spoke at a pro-Israel rally Sunday in New York City. Appearing at the same event was Eliot Engel, a Congressional Democrat. While Geller is a far-right anti-Muslim blogger who has said that President Obama is a Muslim and Engel is a liberal Democrat, those political differences melt away when it comes to showing up to support Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 35 Comments

Video: ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation’ — John Kerry caught criticizing Israel on hot mic during Sunday news show

John Kerry made the rounds of the Sunday morning news shows today following the Israeli massacre in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iyeh which killed 63 Palestinians. Although Kerry defended Israel’s actions on air, he was caught with a hot mic off air telling an aide, ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” Fox host Chris Wallace asks Kerry about the apparent criticism of the Israeli onslaught, but Kerry sticks to the talking points. The difference between what Kerry says on air and off is mind numbing.

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

Israel warns media they are at risk of ‘injury or death’ because Hamas ‘exploits journalists as human shields’

The Israel Government Press Office sent a memo to international journalists saying: “We wish to stress that Gaza and its vicinity are a battleground. Covering the hostilities exposes journalists to life-threatening danger (and involves risk to equipment). As part of Hamas’ strategy of hiding behind the civilian population it has frequently exploited journalists as human shields, deliberately putting them at risk of injury or death. Israel is not in any way responsible for injury or damage that may occur as a result of field reporting.”

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Media | 34 Comments

Video: Outraged constituents confront CT Senator Chris Murphy over support for Gaza attack

When Senator Chris Murphy invited his Connecticut constituents to a hike up East Rock Park this morning, he did not expect to be met by activists from the Middle East Crisis Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace. The activists had gathered to express outrage at Murphy’s support for Israel’s ongoing massacre of over 300 Gazans. Captured on video, Senator Murphy denied knowledge of the Senate’s recent Resolution 498–a greenlight for Israel’s war–despite the fact that Murphy himself co-sponsored it.

Posted in Activism, Gaza, Reports/Video, US Politics | 27 Comments

Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing ‘massive self-genocide’

Two days ago, after four boys were killed by the Israeli military on a Gaza beach in front of the world’s media, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett went on CNN to blame Hamas for their deaths.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Media | Comments Off

Why I, a Palestinian-American Muslim, went to the White House Iftar and what I learned

Tarik Takkesh writes about attending the controversial White House Iftar. He writes: “Monday’s Iftar was a discourteous gesture on behalf of the host, when he symbolically slapped his Muslim guests not once, but twice, in the face. The invitation of the Israeli ambassador to the Iftar (unbeknownst to me until my arrival) was a strike, but the President’s reiteration of support of Israel during his speech was two. My blood boiled, yet I waited to hear the completion of the despicably scripted commentary so I could respond. As soon as the President’s speech came to an end, however, it was clear that this Iftar was not an event aimed at fostering real dialogue. Instead, it was a one-sided narrative, and the President left the room quickly after the dinner.”

Posted in US Politics | Tagged | 29 Comments

Obama humiliates Muslim guests at White House Ramadan event, endorses Israel’s Gaza assault and NSA surveillance

At the annual White House Iftar dinner commemorating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, President Barack Obama endorsed Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip and defended government spying on Muslim-Americans. Alongside dozens of Muslim-American community activists and Muslim diplomats, the White House welcomed Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, an outspoken advocate of Israel’s settlement enterprise who has claimed Muslim and Arab culture is endemically violent.

Posted in US Politics | 27 Comments

And now a word from our Democratic Party standard bearer

Video: Elizabeth Warren runs from a question about the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Posted in Gaza, US Politics | Comments Off

To my fellow American Jews

Beth Miller writes an open letter to the American Jewish community: “Because of you, I am loud and I shout. But I’ve noticed you are growing quiet – almost silent – as an injustice is taking place in Palestine. I think that I know why. I think that as Operation Protective Edge marches onward, you feel your convictions clashing. You, more so than me, were raised to believe that Israel is something it is not: a democracy, with values just like yours, amidst a sea of aggressors. But with each passing day, it becomes harder and harder to close your eyes to a glaring reality.”

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 44 Comments

Rachel Maddow ignores the story in Israel/Palestine

Michael Arria, author of Medium Blue: The Politics of MSNBC, writes about how the network’s star Rachel Maddow has refused to cover news from Israel/Palestine over the past three weeks even as it has dominated headlines .

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Watch: New Yorkers pierce through pro-war gathering with chants of ‘stop bombing Gaza now’

New Yorkers fed up with the political class’ support for Israeli assaults on Gaza protested outside City Hall this week. Their target was a press conference featuring New York politicians who support Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge,” which has killed over 200 people, the vast majority of them civilians.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 27 Comments

Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)

A violent incident that took place in Paris on Sunday is being widely described as an antisemitic attack but a firsthand report and amateur video indicate it was a street fight initiated by the Jewish Defense League against pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Posted in American Jewish Community | 76 Comments

Not In Our Name: The Jewish duty to stand with the people of Gaza

Sally Kantar writes: “In the wake of over 150 reported deaths in Operation Protective Edge, I feel ashamed by the persistent disregard for justice by a state supposedly founded on Jewish principles. Lobbies like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have been appealing to American Jews for support by classifying the extraordinary violence perpetrated in Gaza as acts of “self-defense” in protection of the Jewish state, and thereby, the safeguarding of the Jewish faith. Why must we remain silent when confronted with this manipulation of our identity?”

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

Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent

On July 10, Democratic Representative Kathy Castor of Florida’s Tampa Bay area issued an impassioned plea for the protection of endangered manatee whales. At the same time, she remained conspicuously silent about the brutal beating and ongoing detention of one of her constituents by a foreign government. Tarek Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old Palestinian-American high school student from Tampa, was brutally beaten in a videotaped July 3 incident in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli border police. Abu Khdeir’s family has beseeched their congressional representative, Castor, to publicly call for his release and immediate return to the United States. Though her staff has met repeatedly with the family, she has said and done nothing of substance to assist them.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 71 Comments

Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer gives pro-war pep talk to Christian Zionists

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer defended Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza Thursday night to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Dermer said that every civilian death in Gaza is an “operational failure”–making for a lot of such failures, since at least 58 civilians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes. The ambassador also sought to link Hamas to the radical Sunni jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), though the groups have wildly divergent ideologies and goals.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 18 Comments

Sawyer blunder indicative of noxious bias against Palestinians in American journalism

The dehumanization of Palestinians, the denial of their positions as victims — as the occupied, as the underclass in an apartheid system — is the standard narrative parroted by mainstream media. Palestinians are routinely portrayed as the aggressors, as seeking death and initiating violence. Such an attitude has become so embedded in our collective media psyches that even someone of Diane Sawyer’s caliber did not even flinch when reading copy obviously disparate from the reality at hand. Sawyer’s blunder is indicative of a far more noxious bias that stealthily creeps into all reporting on the Palestinian people.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 7 Comments

U.S. neoconservatives also share blame for Central America child refugee crisis

The same kind of ignorant and violent policies that U.S. neoconservatives have carried out in the Middle East are also a reason for the exodus of children from Central America. They endorsed policies there in the 1980s that have repercussions today

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Video: Diane Sawyer misrepresents photo of Gazans in aftermath of Israeli bombing as Israeli victims of Palestinian missiles (Updated)

Major media fail: Diane Sawyer shows two photos of Palestinians in the aftermath of Israeli bombing of Gaza but says the first is a photo of Israelis who have been bombed.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 111 Comments

Deaths of five teenagers in the West Bank expose mainstream indifference to Palestinian life

Mainstream media around the world have broadcast the names and faces of the three Israeli youths killed in the West Bank. In stark contrast, the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Palestinian barely registered in the media. The difference in news coverage highlights international perceptions of Israeli and Palestinian lives, and reflects the unequal social and political order in which Israeli Jewish citizens are prioritised above Palestinians.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | Comments Off