Category Archives:
American Jewish Community

Why the split inside the Democratic Party over BDS needs to happen

Philip Weiss on

For 50 years the Democratic Party establishment has been able to stifle pro-Palestinian efforts as too radical for US politics. That red line is breaking down today though, as the permanent occupation marked its 50th anniversary, BDS gains adherents among young Dems, and the Jewish monolith supporting Israel fractures. It’s about time.

Is Yiddish the language of the Jewish soul?

Abba Solomon on

Abba Solomon see the film, The Golden Age of Second Avenue, a documentary love poem for Yiddish theater in NYC, from 1890s-1930s, as part of an effort to save the Yiddish legacy of New York’s Lower East Side and observes, “The weight of memory, and the histories Jews tell of themselves, the tradition and experience we imagine we are heir to, shape the way the creation and conduct of the State of Israel is considered.”

‘Regime instability’ in Iran is aim of leading Israel advocate’s memo to White House

Philip Weiss on

A young operative from the heart of the pro-Israel community, Richard Goldberg, is pushing “regime instability” in Iran in a document circulating at the White House and in the Republican Congress. Goldberg has has worked with Stand With Us and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The document calls on the president to threaten a “global economic embargo” of Iran so as to undermine the regime.

Deja vu: Israeli Labor pol urges U.S. to take on ‘axis of evil’

Philip Weiss on

North Korea is helping Iran to become a threshold nuclear state, and Syria too, so “there needs to be an alliance against the axis of evil” between Israel and the U.S., says Israel Labor pol Erel Margalit speaking at Columbia University. Haven’t we heard that before?

Nathan Englander, author of new Israel thriller, wants ‘as many passports as I can get’

Philip Weiss on

Novelist Nathan Englander has a new political thriller called “Dinner at the Center of the World,” based on his efforts to imagine peace between Israel and Palestine, but asked if Israel should give up its character as a Jewish state and be a democracy, he says, “I’m a fiction writer… I have never even thought about having to take a personal stand like that as being imperative upon me.”

Democratic candidate for Illinois gov’r fires his running mate over BDS

Philip Weiss on

This is an incredible story about the power of the Israel lobby inside Democratic Party politics, and in Chicago. Daniel Biss, a progressive state senator contending for the Democratic nomination to be governor of Illinois, has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over Israel issues — two days after Illinois congressman Brad Schneider revoked his endorsement of Biss, because Ramirez-Rosa had supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Two Chicago pols break over BDS, as U.S. Jews divide over Israel

Philip Weiss on

Brad Schneider, Illinois congressman who once worked for AIPAC, rescinds endorsement of State Senator Dan Biss for Illinois governor because his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, supports BDS. Biss is Jewish, and the news is evidence of the growing American Jewish divide over rightwing Israel.

Eisner and Greenblatt refuse to see Israel’s face in Richard Spencer’s mirror

Roland Nikles on

When white nationalist Richard Spencer said there was a lot to admire in Zionism, he held up a mirror to Jewish nationalism’s contempt for Palestinian rights. Naomi Dann of Jewish Voice for Peace was right to seize on the affinity as a reflection on Zionism, as lived. While Jane Eisner of the Forward and Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL are in denial about what their ideology has become.

Blunt references to Israeli apartheid are published by ‘Peace Now’ and ‘The New Yorker’

Philip Weiss on

Eleven years after Jimmy Carter was excommunicated for using the word “apartheid” to describe Palestine, the description is showing up in more mainstream places. The Israeli human rights organization Peace Now says that Hebron has an “apartheid system,” and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff says in the New Yorker that it’s only a matter of time before Europe says “No more apartheid!” to Israel.

American Legion calls on Congress to finally investigate ‘USS Liberty’ attack, 50 years after

Philip Weiss on

“The American Legion has looked at us with disdain and dishonor for years,” says Ernest Gallo, president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, but last week pushed by its grassroots, the Legion’s convention voted to call on Congress to investigate the June 8, 1967 attack on the Liberty by Israel that killed 34 sailors. There has never been a U.S. government investigation of the matter.

Netanyahu declares West Bank is Israel ‘forever,’ as liberal Zionists cry out for ‘make-believe peace process’

Philip Weiss on

The never-ending deathbed vigil for the two-state solution has reached a new stage. The Trump administration’s refusal to commit to the two-state solution is horrifying liberal Zionists who fear threats to the Jewish state, but Netanyahu is overjoyed. He celebrated the settlements this week: “This is the inheritance of our forefathers, this is our country… We came back here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the Land of Israel.”

The US Jewish debate over white Jewish privilege in Israel

Robert Herbst on

Forward editor Jane Eisner argues that Israel, and the Jewish people, have a right “to maintain the hegemony of the dominant class” – privileging Jews over Palestinians, at the same time she decries the discrimination and occupation that resulted from such hegemony. The rest of us have a right to label such an order exclusionary and racist.

As many as 1 million Israelis have left for the U.S.

Philip Weiss on

A minority of Jews ruling over a Palestinian majority would seal the “apartheid” label; and the latest numbers on Israeli expats suggest that’s now the case in Israel and Palestine. But US media are not picking up on a story that shows Israelis are leaving the country.

Jews argue whether Zionism is racism — in the Forward!

Philip Weiss on

In a breakthrough, the Forward runs Naomi Dann’s piece saying that Zionism is racist. While Forward editor Jane Eisner promptly denounced the article as untrue, the debate in the liberal newspaper is a sign that the U.S. Jewish monolith in favor of Israel is crumbling, and open debate about how safe Jews are in the west, and how unsafe Zionism has made Palestinians, has begun.

Charlottesville is moment of truth for empowered U.S. Zionists (who name their children after Israeli generals)

Philip Weiss on

Wolf Blitzer and Josh Marshall are strong voices against white nationalist violence. Yet Blitzer once wrote that the Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine was a “spurious myth.” And Josh Marshall named his son after an Israeli general who committed ethnic cleansing. Charlottesville is a moment of truth. If you’re going to stand up for liberal values here, you need to criticize Jewish nationalism there.

On Charlottesville and Jewish memory

Marc H. Ellis on

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.