Category Archives:
US Politics

The real reasons Trump is quitting Unesco

Jonathan Cook on

Trump’s confected indignation at Unesco, and his shrugging off of its vital global programs, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realization.

Trump’s speech on Iran deal is an orgy for Israel and its US friends

Philip Weiss on

Decertifying the Iran deal is all about Israel, as usual. Susan Rice calls bullshit on AIPAC over the Iran deal — now that she’s not in power. While Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies cribs Netanyahu’s line on the deal — Fix it or nix it — without crediting the prime minister of a foreign country. And even Rob Malley has to cite Israel’s claims in supporting the deal.

Wichita teacher sues Kansas for denying her work because she boycotts Israel

Philip Weiss on

Esther Koontz, a Wichita public school curriculum coach and wife of a Mennonite pastor, endorsed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel because she came to believe through her church that it will end the occupation, in the same way that boycott ended apartheid in South Africa. Now she is suing the state of Kansas over a law prohibiting contractors from boycotting Israel, saying it violates her First Amendment protection of political beliefs and associations.

‘The Siege’ gets US premiere at last, in blow to ‘Israeli propaganda machine’

Philip Weiss on

After being censored for a year, “The Siege” by the Jenin Freedom Theatre premiered at the Skirball Center at NYU. Phil Weiss reviews the production: “For an hour and a half you are transported entirely inside the Palestinian narrative. There is no coerced attempt at balance, there are just Palestinians, joking, swearing, fearful, resisting, wondering at their fate. It’s all that anyone seeks to do in a work of art: to tell their truth. I have not seen this consciousness conveyed so genuinely before in a mainstream cultural space.”

Speakers censored by Jewish Historical Society vow to stage events elsewhere

Philip Weiss on

Two victims of censorship by the American Jewish Historical Society say they’ll mount their events anyway. Dan Fishback is raising money for his play on rifts in the Jewish community. Lawyer Jonathan Kuttab says, “If we fold and play dead then they will get away with it without paying any political price.”

Jewish Historical Society channels Joe McCarthy, and cancels JVP event on Balfour

Philip Weiss on

The American Jewish Historical Society in New York was set to host a discussion later this month of the Balfour Declaration by civil rights lawyer Robert Herbst, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, and Palestinian lawyer Jonathan Kuttab. Then the event came under attack from far-right pro-Israel supporters and the history organization folded, canceling the discussion as well as a play reading on the US relationship to Israel.

Leading journalists call 2nd Amendment an anachronism — but spare Zionism

Philip Weiss on

The nefarious gun lobby is open for criticism. In the New York Times, Bret Stephens says the Second Amendment is an anachronism and should be repealed. Well that is true of Zionism, too, but Stephens is in the tank for that ideology. And David Brooks describes the ingrained political culture of gun-rights but he can never turn that lens on American Jewish cultural/political support for an ethnocratic state in historical Palestine.

In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?

James North and Philip Weiss on

Supporters of the embattled Iran deal in the U.S. will not win if they cannot identify the foreign country that along with its domestic lobby is still trying to undermine President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement: Israel. Thankfully, the lobby itself is split over the deal.

Media criticism of gun lobby after Vegas massacre would make the Israel lobby blush

Philip Weiss on

Steve Israel and other Democratic politicians are rightly slamming the gun lobby for preventing commonsense measures that might have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. But these same politicians get their policy on Israel from AIPAC, the Israel lobby, and the media never talk about that form of corruption.

Feel-good Gaza poster in NY window draws feel-bad response from neighbor

Philip Weiss on

A New Yorker has a feel-good poster with the word GAZA on it in their window. A neighbor tapes an anonymous letter to the door saying they are showing support for people who “would have me and my family and my friends mutilated to a cheering crowd.” Yet another sign of paranoia among Jewish Israel supporters.

‘Forward’ finally publishes Stephen Walt — ten years too late

Philip Weiss on

How pathetic: The Jewish newspaper the Forward finally allows Stephen Walt to state his argument about the Israel lobby’s power, 10 years after he published a book on the subject. Till now Walt was redlined as an alleged anti-Semite– which was a travesty of intellectual honesty inside the Jewish community. And now Walt’s warnings about apartheid in Palestine are too late.

Video: Senator Chris Van Hollen announces opposition to Israel Anti-Boycott Act

Saqib Ali on

At an event at the University of Maryland, Senator Chris Van Hollen told Professor Shibley Telhami that he does not support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act which could jail boycotters of Israel for up to 20 years: “I don’t think any American for example should be threatened with fines or imprisonment for expressing their views in the form of participating in economic actions with respect to Israel.” His statement could give other legislators on the fence cover to also oppose the bill.

Vietnam documentary leaves out context, America’s global war on communism

Donald Johnson on

The Ken Burns Vietnam documentary on PBS left out what the U.S. did during the Cold War era in numerous other places including Iran, Guatemala, Latin America in general, Indonesia, and sub-Saharan Africa, both during and after the Vietnam War.  It is not a pretty story. 

Watch the cathartic Vietnam documentary

Philip Weiss on

The left is trashing the Vietnam documentary by Ken Burns on PBS. Though it is didactic and middle-brow and America-centric, the documentary is majestic in its depiction of murderous arrogance, and should educate millions to the horrors of occupation and the ferocity of a subjugated people’s resistance.

Support for Israel is tumbling– even among young Orthodox Jews

Philip Weiss on

“While 71 percent of Modern Orthodox Jews 55 and older actively support the Jewish state, less than half — 43 percent — of Jews 18 to 34 do the same”– says a new survey. So decline in Jewish support for Israel is happening in all segments of the community.

US bans Palestinian runner from Chicago Marathon days before race

Sheren Khalel on

The United States denied entry this week to a well-known runner from the occupied West Bank, shattering his dream of competing in the Chicago Marathon. “They’ve really ruined this dream by stopping me from having the chance to run in the US,” Mohammad Alqadi tells Mondoweiss.

Three megadonors (who just happen to love Israel) are pushing Trump against Iran deal

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s policy on Iran may be driven by three Israel-loving donors, Adelson, Singer, and Marcus, but it is verboten in Washington to identify the Israel lobby as the main adversary of the Iran deal, especially in the wake of the Phil Giraldi/Valerie Plame uproar, which has fueled the neoconservative claim that the antiwar left is anti-semitic.

Balfour Declaration, now 100, was ‘gun pointed at heads’ of Palestinians — Khalidi

Philip Weiss on

At NYU, Rashid Khalidi says four Arab countries have been destroyed and ISIS would cut the throats of a quarter of the Syrian population, so he can’t blame Arabs for worrying about other issues more than Palestine. The historian also says that Palestinians faced a unique colonial problem because Zionism had 3 sources of support, international legitimacy at a time of decolonization, British backing, and a “river” of money from international Zionist movement.

Samuel Freedman extols Jewish ‘love affair’ with Jewish state– while decrying ‘dogma of white supremacy’

Philip Weiss on

Author Samuel Freedman is blind to Palestinian conditions in an article in the Forward celebrating the U.S. Jewish “love affair” with “the Jewish state.” And meantime he decries the “ideology of white supremacy” in the New York Times and praises the civil rights movement for ending Jim Crow. After 50 years of occupation and apartheid in Palestine, you can’t have it both ways.