Category Archives:
US Politics

Trump and the war for ‘Western Values’

Wilson Dizard on
Trump (Photo: Will Dizard)

Wilson Dizard reports from Washington DC where Donald Trump gave a speech this week outlining his foreign policy: “The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony,” Trump said. That was kind of the scariest thing he said, and also the most indicative of his white, christian-ness trumping the constitution, a document designed in a secular spirit to defuse the deep religious rivalries between Europeans in the New World. It specifically prohibits religious tests, but one of Trump’s main platforms is the banning of Muslims from entering the country. Trump embraces Western values, but all the worst ones. The ones that put Westerners first and everyone else second.”

Vice News spins Israeli army propaganda as ‘leaked report’

Dan Cohen on
(Screenshot: Vice News)

A Vice News report claiming to expose a “leaked” Israeli military investigation into last month’s execution of a Palestinian man in Hebron is actually a regurgitation of the official Israeli government line disseminated shortly after the killing, and part of an effort to portray the killer as a bad apple, rather than a soldier following orders.

‘Allies for Armegeddon’: The GOP candidates on Israel/Palestine

Sandy Tolan on
Republican candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich at a debate at the University of Miami.

Sandy Tolan analyses the remaining Republican presidential candidate’s views on Israel/Palestine. Donald Trump, despite his wish to be “sort of a neutral guy” on the issue, has adopted the standard Likudnik call to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. John Kasich, for all his “likeable guy” rhetoric, offers up a standard blame-the-victim narrative driven largely by hard right Reagan-era advisers and neocon engineers of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While Ted Cruz, as virulently pro-Israel as any candidate, it is not about the traditional AIPAC alliance. Of course, he loves AIPAC, but for Cruz, Christian Zionism is the key.

‘NYT’ touts an Israel apologist’s book

Barbara Erickson on
Matti Friedman

Why is the New York Times touting Matti Friedman, who has said critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, as “temperate and careful” while ignoring authors such as Max Blumenthal, Ilan Pappe, and Anna Baltzer?

How Chris Van Hollen learned to love Israel

Philip Weiss on
Chris Van Hollen, declaring victory Tuesday

MD Rep. Chris Van Hollen got into office opposing the Iraq war and in 2006 said Israel’s disproportionate response in Lebanon was hurting the United States. Then AIPAC got him over its knee! And today Van Hollen is the Democratic Senate nominee for Maryland, with the Israel lobby’s support.

Donna Edwards ends insurgent campaign by taking on Democratic Party orthodoxy, and supporters vow to continue the fight

Wilson Dizard on
Democrat Donna Edwards, a U.S. Representative from the 4th District of Maryland, after her concession speech to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who won his party's nomination to run for Barbara Mikulski's open senate seat this November. In her speech, she criticized Maryland for having an almost entirely male delegation on Capitol Hill, and said Democrats need to do more than pander to minority voters to deserve their support. She has been one of the few lawmakers in Washington to stand up to AIPAC and has expressed sympathy for Palestinians in Gaza, visiting the territory in 2009. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

In Tuesday’s Maryland primary, out-going U.S. Representative Donna Edwards lost her insurgent bid against establishment Democrat Christopher Van Hollen for the party’s nomination for senate. Edwards has been one of the few lawmakers to take a stand for Palestinian rights, and would have been only the second African-American woman to serve in the senate. In her concession speech Tuesday night Edwards slammed economic inequality, racial inequality and pay disparities for women. “It is time for us to have our seat the table as women and workers, as black and brown people, as communities of color. We are no longer content to have you make the decisions for us,” she said, after announcing it was time for Democrats to ask where marginalized communities fit in its “big tent.”

Donna Edwards’s campaign unsettles the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party

Philip Weiss on
Donna Edwards

Liberals are snickering over the explosion of the Republican Party, but why they think the Democratic Party is so stable? It’s not. Everyone in the establishment is worrying what Bernie Sanders is going to do now. His populist base is bound to become more and more voluble in months to come, amplified by social media. And of course Palestine is helping to destabilize the Democratic power structure. These tensions are evident in the electrifying, seesaw race between two Democratic Maryland congresspeople, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, to win the Democratic nomination this Tuesday to the Senate to replace Barbara Mikulski.

Clinton’s Passover message about ‘fighting oppression’ is highly selective

Nida Hussain on
Hillary Clinton

As she wooed the New York vote, Hillary Clinton chose to pen a Passover address to Jewish communities globally. In her piece Clinton claims to impart wisdom drawn from parallels she sees between the lessons from the Book of Exodus with current challenges being faced by Israel, and yet for all her worldly wisdom, it is the Former Secretary of State’s willful ignorance of the realities of life for Palestinians and the direct implications of Israeli policies fostering this reality, that shines through strongest.

The legacy of the Lesbian Feminist Seder for the Palestine solidarity movement

Brooke Lober on
A Lesbian Feminist Haggadah: Our 10th Seder, 1991 (Cover Art by Judith Masur)

The tradition of the social justice Passover, also called a “freedom seder” or “liberation seder,” has taken hold in grassroots social justice movement networks in the U.S. and beyond. In these movements, Jewish practice emerges as a liberatory spiritual and political force, and becomes intertwined with other traditions that are relevant to communities organized around struggles for justice and freedom—including justice in Palestine, an aspect of social justice seders that has become increasingly popular over the last 25 years.

Jewish anti-occupation activists arrested blocking ADL offices during Passover protest

Wilson Dizard on
Police bring an IfNotNow protester from the lobby of the offices of the Anti Defamation League in New York. (Photo: Wilson Dizard)

Birthright got what it wanted — American Jews who care about Israel. Encouraging young American Jews to take an interest in the affairs of the Jewish state brought 17 of them on Tuesday to walk into the lobby of the Anti-Defamation League’s offices in New York City, prepare a seder on the marble floor, start dancing and singing Hebrew songs of resistance and solidarity and then calmly, still singing, feel a police officer cinch flex cuffs around their wrists and lead them back outside, take down their names — a permanent arrest record for criminal trespass — and take them to jail.

Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv

Philip Weiss on
Saban and Clinton, on an earlier occasion

Bernie Sanders’s stand in favor of Palestinian human rights appears to have hurt him slightly in NY city Tuesday as he lost NY state primary. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has gotten huge new donations from Katzenberg, Spielberg and Saban, all Israel supporters.

Obama’s November surprise

Philip Weiss on
Morton Halperin, chairman of J Street

The dream of liberal Zionists at J Street is that in the lame duck period of his presidency, President Obama will bring resolutions to the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements and set out the parameters of a two-state solution. Do you believe it?