Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony is a blow to Israeli pride. But her statements of support for Israel reflect liberal Zionist convictions. Will she go further with her critique?
Category Archives: US Politics
Leanne Gale, a Yale law student, came out of the heart of the Jewish community to all-but support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) at the J Street conference. She said BDS is the most important nonviolent Palestinian movement in the world, that anti-Zionism is a living tradition in the Jewish community as a response to anti-Semitism, and that Jews should not seek to marginalize or suppress or seek an alternative to BDS, but should engage it in an effort to make Israel a liberal democracy.
Liberal pro-Israel conference in DC featured hawkish statements on Syria. Susan Rice said Trump should have been “demonstrably unpredictable” with Assad to gain advantage. “For all our handwringing about President Trump’s temperament, he could have played those concerns to our advantage.” While Nancy Soderberg, a Clinton security aide running for Congress, said Trump had handed Syria to Iran “on a silver platter.”
The shame of the Jewish establishment: Rep. Jan Schakowsky says she never used the word “occupation” before last year, while Jeremy Burton of a leading Boston Jewish organization brags of a policy of refusing to debate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), even with other Jews. These people have their heads in the sand (or worse) and young Jews want none of it.
The Great Return March has already made a difference. This time around, not a single Democrat has actually come out to shield Israel. Nada Elia says this is the turning point we have been looking for, when Israel is finally viewed as a liability, not an asset. And now, then, she writes, is the time to break the Zionist hold on our political representatives, and make it very clear to them that they do not have our support while they profess “joint values” with Israel.
Late Monday evening, Durham voted unanimously to become the first city in the U.S. to prohibit police exchanges with Israel, after broad community pressure and popular petition by the Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine coalition, an affiliate of the Deadly Exchange Campaign. The policy, which states that, “the Council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training,” was voted into official policy of the City of Durham during heated debate at City Council.
Israel’s propaganda machine, Hasbara Central, is forcing the ‘New York Times’ to revert to biased reporting of the Gaza demonstrations, as Times Jerusalem bureau chief leaps to amend a story.
As several liberal Democratic politicians finally object to Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence, a report in al-Monitor suggests that Israel targeted Palestinian journalists last week because it was concerned by the international criticism of its actions.
Alan Dershowitz has become an advocate for Donald Trump on the airwaves at a time when the president has few legal chums. And Israel’s interests are close behind. Dersh is a conduit to Israeli PM Netanyahu, and the EPA set up a research agreement with an Israeli water company of which Dersh is a board member– at the prodding of Trump donor Sheldon Adelson.
The killing by an Israeli sniper of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja on April 7 at the Gaza fence is drawing mounting international outrage. The New York Times editorialized sternly about Murtaja’s killing, the General Federation of Arab Journalists wants the case prosecuted at the International Criminal Court, and Michael Moore calls on documentary filmmakers around the world to speak out against the crime.
The Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister have painted slain Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja as a “terrorist,” but the amazing thing about this round of Israeli atrocities is that international press is ignoring the absurd claims. The Gaza killings are thus a landmark in Israel’s growing international isolation.
“Nobody wants a big war,” says Amb. Ryan Crocker, but the old foreign policy duopoly of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists certainly wants some kind of war with Iran in Syria. In tones reminiscent of the Iraq war runup, liberals call for bombing in the NYT op-ed page, while neocons call for joint operations with Israel that would bring “hellish consequences” to Syria’s Assad, as well as to Russia and Iran.
Liberal Zionist Michael Koplow has condemned Israeli actions at the Gaza fence but called on the left for “balance” in acknowledging the terrorist threat to Israel in the protests. Robert Herbst says the power differential is so unbalanced in Palestine that it is unfair to state “that 30,000 unarmed protesters cannot march and expect to return home alive and uninjured unless they are prepared to take on the impossible task of identifying and removing the few ‘troublemakers’ who may also show up.”
So far, ‘NY Times’ coverage of Gaza has been awful. But today’s improved article suggests the newspaper is listening to its critics.
A mental health professional in Gaza once said, “We live in a cage, you can see that plainly. But the Israelis, they have a cage in their mind. They are more imprisoned than we are.” Jews need to deal with their historical trauma, in order to stop massacring Palestinians.
The ‘NY Times’ just cannot stop trying to downplay and whitewash Israel’s massacre of Gazans.
The silence of Jeffrey Goldberg, Bill Kristol, and Jennifer Rubin over Israel’s indefensible slaughter of Palestinian protesters on March 30, and the outspokenness against the atrocity of Bernie Sanders, David Rothkopf, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Chris Hayes, shows that the center has at last shifted in US discourse. American Jews have had it holding the bag for Israeli massacres.
Learning of 18 Palestinians killed over the Passover holiday gutted Robert Herbst. He felt shame. But when he looked around, he could only find a scant few voices also condemning the shooting of the demonstrators at the border with Gaza. The indifference struct him as an act that could be worse than pulling the trigger on one of those sniper guns.
Democratic Congresspeople Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and 9 others met with Israeli leaders even as Israel announced it was sending “dozens of snipers” to Gaza border. Four days later they shot hundreds of Palestinians, killing 17. Pelosi and Schiff and the others have issued no criticism of the shootings. Did they give Netanyahu the OK?
A video posted by a Gaza journalist today appears to show the moment that Mohammed Khalil, a young Palestinian football player, was shot in the leg, destroying his knee, and his career, evidently by an Israeli sniper while the young man was merely video’ing himself near the Israeli border last Friday. Israel killed 17 Palestinian protesters and wounded hundreds more.
Another datapoint in the discourse’s march to the left. On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera says that the Israel Palestine conflict is the “original sin” of the United States, from which “a lot of our problems stem”. And his big regret is that he did not back the oppressed Palestinians during the Second Intifada.
The New York Times is using a new tactic to downplay Israel’s March 31 murderous assault on Gazan demonstrators: dueling narratives. Today’s article can be summarized as: ‘Israel says “X.” Palestinians say “Y.” Who really knows the truth?” But the article continues to ignore a central fact: Israel killed 15 Palestinians, and injured as many as 1000 more, but not a single Israeli soldier got as much as a scratch.
The battle over Israel that has roiled the Labour Party in Britain is going to come to the Democratic Party here before long. And Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss of the New York Times are all set for it, smearing critics of Israel as anti-Semites. Stephens goes after John Mearsheimer, Weiss after Jean-Luc Melenchon. The Times is a vital political ally for Israel.
A New York Times editorial expresses unconscious racist privilege and prissy, selective moral outrage when it says the West “should unite in fury” against Russia’s alleged targeting of individuals in a “peaceful English town”– when such concern is never conveyed for the targets of US drone attacks and Israeli snipers in peaceful Muslim villages.
The astonishing dishonesty in the Times continues in today’s paper coverage of the Great March of Return in Gaza. The article headlined “Confrontations at Gaza Fence Leave 15 Dead,” waits until the 21st paragraph to add that another 1000 Palestinians were injured, but insinuates right away that the Gazans are to blame for starting the violence.