Category Archives:
American Jewish Community

Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football

Philip Weiss on
football-in-air

The stunning invitation to Netanyahu to address the Congress in March against Obama may at last politicize the “special relationship,” forcing Democrats to side with the president over Israel and unleashing a debate over our Israeli policy, including the damage to the U.S. from the unending occupation

The ‘hasbara’ tweeps who brought down Jim Clancy, and their ties to Israel and the Israel lobby

Allison Deger on
Jim Clancy.

Veteran CNN journalist Jim Clancy’s resignation this week is one of the odder media fallouts from the Charlie Hebdo Paris attack. On January 7, 2015 Clancy got into a late night Twitter spat regarding the French satirical magazine with online adversaries. He told them they were ganging up on him and practicing “hasbara,” the Hebrew word for “explaining” that describes pro-Israel advocacy. As it turns out, Clancy was not off base. Some that spared with him have worked for the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobby groups.

Eric Fingerhut, head of Hillel, says JVP is ‘frustrating’ and that Open Hillel movement has no legs

Alex Kane on
Eric Fingerhut, the head of Hillel International. (Photo: Shahar Azran for Hillel)

On January 8, Eric Fingerhut, the head of Hillel International, spoke to an audience of over 100 people at Temple Sinai in Roslyn, Long Island. He packed a lot into his speaking engagement. Fingerhut said that Jewish Voice for Peace is “frustrating,” the Open Hillel movement has no legs, Christians United for Israel is an “amazing” organization and progressive causes are becoming “infected” with anti-Israel sentiment.

The ‘bait & switch’ politics of liberal Zionism

Liz Rose on
J Street activists in Philadelphia, February 2012. (Photo: J Street)

Kai Bird’s New York Times Op-Ed “Israel, a Jewish Republic” is another piece for readers who choose to believe the mythology of Israel over the reality of Israel. It is representative of the bait-and-switch that is occurring in liberal Zionist thought. The reader is initially enticed with the progressive rhetoric, but once you’re deeper inside the writing, the author stops short and unveils potentially colonialist rhetoric.

David Brooks says ‘people from around the world’ can serve in Israeli military

James North and Philip Weiss on
David Brooks

In a column extolling the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, David Brooks says ‘people from around the world’ can serve in Israeli military (n but the IDF says you have to be Jewish. Brooks is simply misleading New York Times readers because he loves Israel and knows ethnic discrimination would be offensive to American readers.

Meet the Falics: West Bank settlement funders, Netanyahu backers, and owners of Duty Free America

Alex Kane on
Simon Falic, chairman of Duty Free Americas, introducing Senator Kelly Ayotte at a ceremoney giving former Israeli President Shimon Peres the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014. (Photo: Shmuel Lenchevsky/Dov Lenchevsky)

You know the name Sheldon Adelson. But how about the Falic family? Members of the Falic family have donated millions of dollars to pro-Israel U.S. politicians from both parties and to pro-Israel causes, including West Bank settlements. The family made their money through Duty Free America, which operates stores in airports around the U.S and the world where consumers buy tax-free products.

‘Peace Now’ plays the Borscht Belt

Philip Weiss on
Sara Ehrman, from the S Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace

The center in the Israel Palestine discourse is collapsing — witness Peace Now’s latest letter, a plea for irrelevance that channels Henny Youngman and makes no reference at all to Israel’s political crisis or the settlements, lest folks should start to argue

Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center — after staging Nakba play

Philip Weiss on
Ari Roth

McCarthyism is alive and the battle is on inside the Jewish community: The Washington DC Jewish Community Center has come down squarely against free speech, firing longtime theater director Ari Roth because he staged works that focused on the Nakba, the dispossession of Palestinians during Israel’s creation in 1948. The Jewish community is going to have to decide — Are you for free speech or donor-controlled speech?

Memo to Sen. Warren: More young Dems want US to side with Palestine than Israel

Philip Weiss on
Sen. Elizabeth Warren

In recent days, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has offered herself as the great progressive hope of the Democratic Party but remains silence on the Israeli occupation. Well, here’s some encouragement to Warren to move left on the question. Shibley Telhami reports Democratic Party politicians are out of touch with their grass roots on Israel/Palestine. Women, African-Americans, Hispanics and young Dems all want the U.S. to show less favoritism to Israel than it does now.