Category Archives:
US Politics

‘The lobby is still as powerful as ever’ — John Mearsheimer, ten years after publishing The Israel Lobby

Philip Weiss on

“In the age of the internet, this article just ricocheted all over the world very very quickly. Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University told me that the morning after the piece had hit the internet, 14 different people had sent him a link for the piece” — John Mearsheimer reflects on the article The Israel Lobby, 10 years after its publication as a book.

Why the split inside the Democratic Party over BDS needs to happen

Philip Weiss on

For 50 years the Democratic Party establishment has been able to stifle pro-Palestinian efforts as too radical for US politics. That red line is breaking down today though, as the permanent occupation marked its 50th anniversary, BDS gains adherents among young Dems, and the Jewish monolith supporting Israel fractures. It’s about time.

Is Yiddish the language of the Jewish soul?

Abba Solomon on

Abba Solomon see the film, The Golden Age of Second Avenue, a documentary love poem for Yiddish theater in NYC, from 1890s-1930s, as part of an effort to save the Yiddish legacy of New York’s Lower East Side and observes, “The weight of memory, and the histories Jews tell of themselves, the tradition and experience we imagine we are heir to, shape the way the creation and conduct of the State of Israel is considered.”

Rachel Maddow’s lineup of crazy U.N. speeches spotlights Arafat– and leaves out Netanyahu!

Philip Weiss and Scott Roth on

If you are going to make a list of crazy UN speeches, you really have to twist yourself into a pretzel not to mention Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrics. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC does the pretzel: she overlooks Netanyahu’s cartoon bomb and 44 seconds of silence, then cites Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, wearing a gun to the General Assembly in 1974.

Read Netanyahu’s UN speech, which praises Trump to the skies and matches his North Korea hyperbole on Iran

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli PM Netanyahu was seen nodding during Donald Trump’s speech to the UN, and he later praised it to the skies. “I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: none were bolder, none more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump.” Netanyahu went on to offer red meat rhetoric of his own on Iran. He referred to the country by name 37 times and likened it to North Korea, saying it was conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and threatens the world with ballistic weapons.

‘NYT’ piece on nationalism as a cause for ethnic cleansing leaves out the Nakba

Philip Weiss on

Amanda Taub’s smart piece in the NYT on ethnic cleansing as an inevitable consequence of national “self-determination” cites examples of Rohingya, Roma, Jews and Muslims. The glaring omission is the Nakba, the expulsion of 700,000+ Palestinians during the creation of Israel. The Nakba is an American issue; Bernie Sanders and historian David Myers agree on that. But the Times can’t address Palestinian conditions.

Netanyahu slathers praise on Trump for making US-Israel relationship ‘stronger and deeper’

Philip Weiss on

The Netanyahu-Trump meeting in a hotel at the sidelines of the United Nations in New York today was marked by Trump’s blather about the “fantastic” two-state solution and fulsome praise by Netanyahu of Trump clearly intended to show that the Obama days are past and gone. The relationship between the two countries has never been “stronger” or “deeper,” and some of that closeness has been behind closed doors.

‘Regime instability’ in Iran is aim of leading Israel advocate’s memo to White House

Philip Weiss on

A young operative from the heart of the pro-Israel community, Richard Goldberg, is pushing “regime instability” in Iran in a document circulating at the White House and in the Republican Congress. Goldberg has has worked with Stand With Us and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The document calls on the president to threaten a “global economic embargo” of Iran so as to undermine the regime.

Israel lobby is never a story (for media that is in bed with the lobby)

Philip Weiss on

Liberal Zionists in the media set red lines on what can’t be covered. So the rejection of BDS in the Chicago governor’s race, or Steven Salaita’s career destruction, or Gary Ginsberg’s speechwriting for Netanyahu are all non-stories for the mainstream press.

Deja vu: Israeli Labor pol urges U.S. to take on ‘axis of evil’

Philip Weiss on

North Korea is helping Iran to become a threshold nuclear state, and Syria too, so “there needs to be an alliance against the axis of evil” between Israel and the U.S., says Israel Labor pol Erel Margalit speaking at Columbia University. Haven’t we heard that before?

‘Voice of boycott’ was heard in Montgomery and South Africa, why not Israel? Roger Waters writes in ‘NYT’

Philip Weiss on

“Boycotts have always been accepted as a legitimate form of nonviolent protest in the United States,” musician Roger Waters writes in the New York Times, from Montgomery, Alabama, buses to the North Carolina transgender restrictions. So it is perfectly legitimate to use this tool against Israel’s occupation. Waters’s 64-city tour has been marked by pro-Israel demonstrators.

Nathan Englander, author of new Israel thriller, wants ‘as many passports as I can get’

Philip Weiss on

Novelist Nathan Englander has a new political thriller called “Dinner at the Center of the World,” based on his efforts to imagine peace between Israel and Palestine, but asked if Israel should give up its character as a Jewish state and be a democracy, he says, “I’m a fiction writer… I have never even thought about having to take a personal stand like that as being imperative upon me.”

Ben Cardin, free speech, and the art of the dodge

Kim Jensen on

Kim Jensen reports on a town hall meeting with Maryland Senator Ben Cardin that was taken over by protesters opposed to his support for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act — under which businesses, organizations, and even individuals who join in the international movement to boycott and divest from the state of Israel can potentially face astronomical fines and even jail time. Jensen writes, “Senator Cardin has a clear choice before him. He can continue to dance and dodge his way down the unethical and undemocratic path of representing the interests of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby, or he can listen to his constituents and the respected lawyers of the ACLU,and kill this bill. He can’t have it both ways.”

Democratic candidate for Illinois gov’r fires his running mate over BDS

Philip Weiss on

This is an incredible story about the power of the Israel lobby inside Democratic Party politics, and in Chicago. Daniel Biss, a progressive state senator contending for the Democratic nomination to be governor of Illinois, has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over Israel issues — two days after Illinois congressman Brad Schneider revoked his endorsement of Biss, because Ramirez-Rosa had supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

The alleged peace process reaches farcical lows

Philip Weiss on

US ambassador David Friedman and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu are a tag-team in supporting settlements and denouncing Palestinians, and even UN Sec’y General Guterres is caught up in blaming Palestinians. While the press goes to a farcical level to dignify a “peace process.”

Two Chicago pols break over BDS, as U.S. Jews divide over Israel

Philip Weiss on

Brad Schneider, Illinois congressman who once worked for AIPAC, rescinds endorsement of State Senator Dan Biss for Illinois governor because his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, supports BDS. Biss is Jewish, and the news is evidence of the growing American Jewish divide over rightwing Israel.

Eisner and Greenblatt refuse to see Israel’s face in Richard Spencer’s mirror

Roland Nikles on

When white nationalist Richard Spencer said there was a lot to admire in Zionism, he held up a mirror to Jewish nationalism’s contempt for Palestinian rights. Naomi Dann of Jewish Voice for Peace was right to seize on the affinity as a reflection on Zionism, as lived. While Jane Eisner of the Forward and Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL are in denial about what their ideology has become.

Conan O’Brien frolics with Netanyahu and the Israeli army

Philip Weiss on

Conan O’Brien didn’t just flout the calls on artists to boycott Israel, he mock-trained with the Israeli army, making light of their deadly arms, and hung out with Benjamin Netanyahu, doing dog jokes at the Prime Minister’s house. “Conan in Israel” will air in September, but the damage to O’Brien’s brand is already happening, on social media.

Blunt references to Israeli apartheid are published by ‘Peace Now’ and ‘The New Yorker’

Philip Weiss on

Eleven years after Jimmy Carter was excommunicated for using the word “apartheid” to describe Palestine, the description is showing up in more mainstream places. The Israeli human rights organization Peace Now says that Hebron has an “apartheid system,” and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff says in the New Yorker that it’s only a matter of time before Europe says “No more apartheid!” to Israel.

Shooting and crying, in ‘The New Yorker’

Donald Johnson on

The New Yorker runs a long article about an Israeli TV series involving an Israeli military unit in the West Bank, and it’s filled with the usual shooting-and-crying theme — the oh so sensitive but tough Israelis telling an American journalist about the occupation.