Marc Ellis writes: Charlottesville and White nationalism have brought the issue of monuments commemorating the fallen to the forefront. Often remembrance is a form of denial. Jews are very present in the movement to oppose white supremacy and were involved in opposing white nationalism in Charlottesville. Yet, Jews have our own history to struggle with as well. Where and how the memory of our own suffering is portrayed is crucial to the Jewish future. It is hotly contested as well.
Category Archives: US Politics
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand may want to run for president in 2020 and she is on the defensive from Israel lobby groups for withdrawing her name from anti-boycott bill. She pushes back, saying it is an “important part” of her oath to defend the Constitution that she protects the alliance with Israel. Sen. Cory Booker is under similar pressure.
Politicians from Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch to Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden have been outspoken in their condemnation of Saturday’s Unite the Right March in Charlottesville and the vicious acts of terror it spawned. Yet, the same senators are united by their ardent support for a racist regime that is no less inspired by racial supremacy.
A comparison of Donald Trump’s weak and vague statement on the Charlottesville white supremacist attack with his earlier failure to address a specific question on anti-Semitism. He doesn’t notice bigotry because he fosters it.
If you know what Israel’s plan for Gaza is, you must give up on erudite chit-chats with even the finest Israelis. But Noam Chomsky is still caught up in a romance of what Israel could have been, so he opposes the only thing that can change it, BDS.
The power of the Israel lobby is in the news. AIPAC overplayed its hand with anti-boycott legislation that Democrats are stepping away from. While Sheldon Adelson is trying to get Trump’s National Security Adviser fired for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. We have a long way before the lobby is openly addressed, though.
Swarthmore professor Sa’ed Atshan addresses the controversy surrounding a speech he was scheduled to give at a Quaker private school that was cancelled under pressure from parents: “The most difficult moment for me since the talk’s cancellation came after speaking at an American Friends Service Committee event. A Friends’ Central student approached me, sharing that she had come imagining a “monster” based on what she was told about Palestinians. She was genuinely surprised to see that was not the case and felt comfortable approaching me. It took a lot for me to restrain my tears.”
The Democratic groundswell against the Israel Anti Boycott bill continues to build, and progressive party leaders are falling into line. Senator Elizabeth Warren tells a town hall she does not support the Anti-Israel Boycott Act that is roiling the Democratic base.
Noam Chomsky says advocating for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel is “not a moral position” because while it makes the BDS campaigners feel good, they create false hope, return will never happen, and Israel would respond with nuclear weapons if the world were to support the right of return.
In town hall at a Portland high school, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is put on the defensive by questions and heckling over his support for Anti-Israel Boycott Act, and says law is necessary because boycott movement has “grown” and the law could apply to boycotts recommended by the United Nations. The pushback is further evidence of decreasing support for Israel inside the Democratic Party base.
Alan Dershowitz and Noam Chomsky agree on almost nothing politically but both say that anti-Semitism was deeply rooted at Harvard in the 30s through the 60s. Chomsky says it is a reason that MIT emerged as a major university, because it hired people like Norbert Wiener, when Harvard discriminated against Jewish faculty.
Israel supporters such as Caroline Glick are demanding that Trump fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster because he has fired pro-Israel analysts and supports the Iran deal and considers Israel an occupying power. But realists are still the adults in the Trump administration.
Defenses of Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist attacked as an anti-Zionist by the New York Times, are popping up everywhere. Bob Bland, co-organizer with Sarsour of the Women’s March, writes: “As a cis-heterosexual white woman new to feminist activism, I found that there were times in planning the January march that were uncomfortable.” But she says coalitions of the oppressed and marginalized are essential to taking on Trump.
“You know, you look at Israel – Israel has a wall and everyone said do not build a wall, walls do not work,” Trump tells Mexico’s president in bid to convince him to pay for a similar barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In an interview with the conservative National Review, neoconservative Bari Weiss, who works at the New York Times, says that her goal in castigating Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour as a “strident anti-Zionist” is to make the Democratic establishment of Schumer, Gillibrand and Pelosi “disavow” her. Will Weiss succeed? Neocons have long exercised power in the Democratic Party.
Victoria Coates is the latest Trump hire to join the team tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coates worked under Ted Cruz when he introduced legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And her social media footprint endorses a plan for “Expelling Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel.”
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times and longtime pro-Israel advocate, smears Linda Sarsour as a purveyor of “hate” because she is anti-Zionist. Weiss is in a rich tradition of pro-Zionist advocacy at America’s leading newspaper, but Sarsour’s prominence is endangering that entitlement.
The head of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, bemoaned the firing of White House communications director Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci on Monday in an interview with Haaretz. “We lost a very strong friend and supporter of Israel,” Klein told the Israeli daily, referring to Scaramucci by his nickname.
In remarks to congressional interns leaked to the press, Middle East envoy Jared Kushner is pessimistic about any peace deal. “Not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this… There may be no solution,” he says.
Yuval Steinitz, a minister in the Netanyahu government, says that David Harris, of the American Jewish Committee, serves “a little bit as the foreign minister of the Jewish state.” Thus Harris defends everything Israel does and tried to stop the Iran deal, alongside Netanyahu. But don’t call him a foreign agent!
In John Lyons’s new memoir, Balcony Over Jerusalem, ex-New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren tells Lyons that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians looks “a lot like apartheid.” The book describes the aggressive attacks Lyons and others suffered at the hands of the Israel lobby, and the Rudoren interview raises the obvious question: why are we learning about Rudoren’s surprising views about Israel and apartheid in an interview with Lyons rather than prominently in the pages of the New York Times, the world’s most influential newspaper? The answer indicates that the lobby’s strategy has been paying handsome dividends.
Is there a connection between the Israeli occupation and the rise of antisemitism? Tony Klug asks in London speech. Of course. And the identification of Jews around the world with policies so widely regarded as unjust and oppressive is making the Jewish position “increasingly precarious.” The way to normalize Jewish-non-Jewish relations is to enable Palestinian freedom.
Times columnist David Brooks says what’s “disturbing” about an interview with President Trump is his confused train of thought: “Spasms about what Napoleon was doing, then we go off to some other issue and some other issue. I thought – and especially compared to the transcripts of Donald Trump 15 years ago, there’s a totally different conversational style, the explanation for which I do not have.”
Netanyahu has reportedly adopted Lieberman’s ugly idea of stripping Palestinians in Israel of citizenship and transferring them to Palestinian sovereignty under a peace deal. American Jews have been outraged by this ethnic-religious citizenship proposal in the past. Will they speak up now?
The State Department’s terrorism report for 2016 says Palestinians “lack of hope” in achieving statehood has fostered terrorism, and pro-Israel groups have pushed back against the statement calling it “anti-Semitic” and “pro-Palestinian.”