Roger Cohen published a NYT column from occupied Hebron that takes a step away from Zionism– stating bluntly that the Israeli goal of sterilizing Hebron streets by emptying them of Palestinians is reminiscent of anti-semitic rhetoric, and that the occupation is neverending and it is imposed in the name of Jews, which he rejects.
Category Archives: American Jewish Community
The Jewish establishment threw itself into the battle against intermarriage 25 years ago with warnings about Hitler and books by Dershowitz. Now no one cares anymore; and there are countless half Jews. The same thing is going to happen to Zionism, another anachronism the establishment is angrily defending.
A new documentary on the conflict, In the Land of Pomegranates, suggests that Israelis and Palestinians only need to understand the other’s narratives of victimization to overcome their differences and get along. But its portraits of young Palestinians and Israelis scarred by violence shows that only outside pressure and structural political change will allow the two peoples to get along, and the film’s politics are meaningless.
Vic Mensa bears witness to Israeli “oppression and abuse” in an essay in Time. He saw elderly women being “punched in the face” by Israeli soldiers, and children being harassed and detained. He was enraged by fetid water tank for refugees alongside a swimming pool for Israeli settlers. Yet Time obviously forced him to begin his article by swearing that he is “not anti-Semitic” and his words are not an attack on those “of the Jewish faith.”
J Street, the liberal Zionist group, has issued two statements expressing anguish about Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her family property in Nabi Saleh. Neither mentions the fact that hours before the slapping an Israeli soldier shot her cousin in the face, apparently maiming him.
James Klutznick, chairman of Americans for Peace Now, dismissed the idea that Palestinians are now seeking equal rights in one democratic state by saying, that Israeli Jews will never allow there “to be civil rights for everybody and an equal vote.” So maybe Peace Now is advocating for the wrong side?
NYT columnist Roger Cohen justifies Israel’s human rights violations by saying,”If I, as a Jew, have lived a privileged life in the diaspora, it is in part because of the pride and strength that the new Jew of Israel forged.”He’s wrong. The era of Jewish exceptionalism is over.
Pro-Israel groups are working to save the Hebrew program at Evanston Township High School, north of Chicago, where enrollment has slipped in recent years to only 34 students. “The message of these Hebrew programs are clear: If you’re going to learn Hebrew, you’re going to learn to love Israel. No room exists for students to master the language while disagreeing with Israel’s policies”–writes Liz Rose, former Hebrew teacher in a Chicago area public school, who lost her job when she attempted to show students the Palestinian side of the story.
In a New York Times column suggesting that the dream of liberal Zionism is dead, Michelle Goldberg has the temerity not to quote any Jewish or Israeli leader. Only Mustafa Barghouti, talking about equal rights for Palestinians. What a breakthrough!
In 2016, Trump adviser Steve Bannon said that Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson were “all-in” on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and letting Jordan take over the West Bank, according to Michael Wolff’s new book. So who is setting U.S. foreign policy– but a foreign leader, backed by a billionaire who gave $25 million to the Trump campaign. But the media keep talking about Russia.
The divergent western reactions to Ahed Tamimi’s slapping occupying soldiers– of celebration or condemnation– show there is no middle ground left in the discourse of the conflict; but the progressive side is gaining some new adherents. Lisa Goldman was moved by the case to state that she lost her Zionism observing the violence in Nabi Saleh.
In a full-page ad in the Washington Post, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an ally of rightwing nationalist Steve Bannon, has printed an all-out verbal assault on Lorde, the New Zealand singer who recently cancelled a show in Tel Aviv out of concern that she would be legitimating Israel’s occupation. The ad will only help the boycott movement, BDS, by causing other celebrities to steer completely clear of Israel gigs.
The fact that Israel kicked out 750,000 Palestinians and then occupied the West Bank for 50 years “was not inevitable and is still not irreparable,” Roger Cohen writes in the New York Times. But given the actual history, was it possible for Zionism not to be anti-Palestinian racism. The burden of proof is on Cohen.
While the world may think that Jewish Israelis are raucously celebrating Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem’s Jewish community appears split on their feelings towards not only the announcement, but also the US president himself.
Talia Sasson, a liberal Zionist, says that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has fostered Palestinian “terror” but it can’t kill the peace process ’cause there’s no alternative to a Palestinian state. If Palestinians could vote, “Israel won’t be ever more the home nation of the Jewish people” and “Israelis will never accept that.”
Richard Plepler, the CEO of HBO, said he got his start in media humanizing the Israelis in a documentary during the First Intifada, when they were getting drubbed in the international press. He’s like a lot of other media execs and high-flyers, from Gary Ginsberg of Time Warner to David Cohen of Comcast, whose careers have included hasbara.
Cartoonist Eli Valley reduces all evangelicals to the very worst attitudes of some of them– racism and ignorance — and uses religious imagery to do it. When people do this to Muslims over support for Islamist terrorists or Jews over parasitical financiers, we call it Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.
When Bret Stephens, the new super-Zionist columnist at the New York Times, states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the “ancestral Jewish homeland,” who can take him seriously? Joseph Levine states, “My roots can be traced back to Eastern Europe, and earlier than that is all speculation and conjecture, nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.”
The largest Jewish denomination in the US, Reform Jewry, showcased a leader of the dispossession of Palestinian lands at its biennial last week: the head of the Jewish National Fund. So the Union for Reform Jewry has embraced the violence inherent in Zionism, the group that covers up the Nakba with forests. Shouldn’t Jews debate this?
NYT columnist Max Fisher is realistic when he says in the wake of Trump’s Jerusalem decision that Israel must choose apartheid or granting “Palestinians full rights, establishing a pluralistic democracy that is no longer officially Jewish.” More journalists should be so honest about the death of the two-state solution.
Trump’s Jerusalem announcement has created a great opportunity for those working for justice. It has exposed the failure of the British Jewish establishment, which supported occupation and abdicated political and ethical responsibility to lobby for 2-States. Now it will find itself defending apartheid and injustice without the cover of a peace process to protect its reputation.
Political analysts Mark Shields and E.J. Dionne say Trump decided to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital to sway evangelical voters in Alabama to vote for Roy Moore on Tuesday. Both leave out the name Sheldon Adelson. But there is endless evidence that Trump’s biggest donor pushed for the move. These reporters are dishonest about the role of the Israel lobby.
By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Donald Trump gave a license to Israel to ethnically cleanse more areas of the city and finish off the peace process. Liberal Zionists of conscience understand the seriousness of this moment. It is time for liberal American Jews to come out for equal rights, and to reject the rightwing nationalism that Zionism has produced.
The late Arthur Finkelstein converted Israeli society to identity politics by having politicians pose two simple questions, says Ehud Barak. Are you an Israeli first, or a Jew first? Do you love Arabs or do you hate Arabs? If you think of yourself as an Israeli and you love Arabs, you are left. If you hate Arabs, you are right.
Netanyahu famously once said that the United States “can be easily moved.” Here are 9 examples of his seeking to move United States policy, from pushing the Iraq war to pushing war on Iran, that would make Putin blush.