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Election 2016

Dershowitz’s game

Philip Weiss on

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.

Neocons and liberal interventionists are back in the saddle again — though ‘nobody wants a big war’!

Philip Weiss on

“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.

Trump appointed Bolton because Republicans desperately need Adelson’s money

Philip Weiss on

The simple truth about John Bolton’s appointment to national security adviser is that the Republicans need Sheldon Adelson’s money in order to be competitive in the coming midterms, and John Bolton is a tool of Sheldon Adelson. And Adelson cares about one thing, Israel. But only alternative media will connect these rather obvious dots.

War-loving, Muslim-hating John Bolton wants to give ‘pieces’ of Palestine to Jordan and Egypt

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s next national security adviser, the Islamophobic warmonger John Bolton, is realistic in declaring that the two-state solution is dead. Though his solution to the Israel Palestine conflict is not. It is for pieces of the West Bank to be deeded to Jordan and Gaza to be deeded to Egypt, on the theory that Palestine is “bits and pieces” of the former Ottoman Empire.

Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s nominee for civil rights, has a long history of working against them

Abed A. Ayoub, Phillip Agnew and Harper Jean Tobin on

The Senate is about to consider President Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, Kenneth Marcus. He is unfit for the job, given his extensive history of targeting constitutionally protected speech, of hostility towards affirmative action and civil rights, of anti-LGBTQ positions, and of lobbying for discrimination in university funding based on political viewpoints.

‘Someone is paying Trump to do it’ — Pompeo elevation shows neoconservative lock on foreign policy

Philip Weiss on

The nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State means that Donald Trump has adopted an interventionist foreign policy and may kill the Iran deal. Neoconservatives are exulting. While Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares, who pushed the deal, says, “It’s almost as if someone is paying Trump to do it.” That would be Trump’s biggest backer, Sheldon Adelson, who also got the embassy.

Gideon Levy on Israeli denial: ‘Anyone who raises a question is demolished’

Philip Weiss on

Gideon Levy says that Israeli idealists dreamed of the day when Israeli soldiers would tell their society about the occupation. Then Breaking the Silence came forward, and it was crushed, with the media’s help. Israelis live in denial. “No question marks.” Only outside pressure will force them to end the tyranny over half the population, the Palestinians.

Schumer and Dems outdo Trump at AIPAC– there’s no peace because ‘Palestinians don’t believe in Torah’

Philip Weiss on

The AIPAC policy conference has featured one prominent Democrat after another seeking to outflank the Trump administration in expressions of love for Israel. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer took the prize by slinging mud at Palestinians and Arabs as the reason there is no end to the conflict. Schumer said the problem is the Palestinians “don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”

AIPAC panics over progressives abandoning Israel

Philip Weiss on

The Israel lobby group AIPAC kicked off its annual policy conference in Washington on the weekend, and speaker after speaker expressed fears that progressive Democrats are abandoning Israel. The speakers urged progressives to stay in the bipartisan fold of support for the Jewish state; they insisted that Israel is a progressive cause. But many also embraced Donald Trump and Nikki Haley– evidence of the rightwing character of Israel support, which is driving the partisan divide in our country. 

Jared Kushner’s swift rise and long, long fall

Mondoweiss Editors on

The press is reporting that Jared Kushner’s days as a White House power may come to an end, due to a flurry of reports about his meetings as a Trump adviser with foreign officials and corporate execs who are in a position to help out his family’s troubled real estate company — as well as Kushner’s considerable innocence when it comes to foreign policy. The knives are out, and the latest reports are that Donald Trump himself wants his son-in-law to disappear. 

AIPAC conference will feature lots of liberal Democratic speakers

Philip Weiss on

The premier Israel lobby group AIPAC fulfills its mission of guaranteeing bipartisan support for Israel by having many liberal Democratic speakers this weekend: Rep. Adam Schiff, Jake Sullivan, and Tamara Cofman Wittes. Even as the progressive Democratic base grows alienated from Israel, establishment Dems need to show support for the rightwing country so as to preserve their careers.

Skeptics who see Russiagate as warmongering will never get respect in the press

Donald Johnson on

Adrian Chen’s piece on Russiagate in the New Yorker has an important subtext: There is a narrative to be narrated, dammit, and facts can get in the way. And if you naively choose the facts, you might find yourself demonized as a pro-Putin propagandist. When the truth is that leftwing skeptics of Russiagate are opposed to the MSM’s neverending warmongering.

Trump’s ambassador says the unspeakable: Uprooting settlers could ’cause civil war’

Philip Weiss on

Ambassador David Friedman’s assertion that uprooting 100s of 1000s of settlers would “cause a civil war” is echoed by many on the left. Both sides imagine a one-state outcome, even as liberal Zionists attack Friedman for suggesting that Israeli society is not resilient and that the two-state solution is right around the corner.

Story of Israel’s influence shadows the Russian influence story

Philip Weiss on

The running sideshow to the Russian interference story has been Israel’s presence in our politics, witness Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s efforts to punish Al Jazeera for investigating the Israel lobby, and Sheldon Adelson’s gifts to Democrat Bob Menendez. But of course Israeli interference is not a scandal worthy of investigation; and it never draws the wrath of the liberal press.

‘We’re going to have nothing to do with (peace process) any longer’ — Trump threatens Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

Trump brags that the U.S. removed the “toughest issue” from peace talks between Israel and Palestine. “We took Jerusalem off the table, so we don’t have to talk about it anymore.” He continued to threaten Palestinians with financial damage but warned that if they don’t agree to talk, but said the U.S. would have “nothing to do with it any longer.”

Netanyahu has taken a wrecking ball to Israel’s favorability ratings among Democrats

Philip Weiss on

Liberal Democrats have turned against Israel. Nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel– 35% vs. 19%– in the latest Pew survey. Just two years ago, Israel’s number was 33. We can thank Netanyahu’s ugly international image for that, as well as the attitudes of the young.

Palestinian-American businessman, 57, is arrested by ICE in Cleveland, shocking supporters

Jesse Rubin on

Palestinian-American business owner Amer Othman al Adi has been in the country nearly 40 years. Today the 57-year-old sits in the Geauga County jail awaiting deportation — the first time Adi has seen the inside of a jail cell, and a shock to his congressman and wife and family, who had been cooperating with immigration authorities.

The Times discovers ‘the best interests of the American people’ in the Russia case

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on

The Trump campaign’s friendliness with the Russians in the 2016 campaign suggests that the administration is “working to advance the interests of a foreign power” and against the “interests of the American people,” says David Leonhardt of the Times. Leonhardt leaves out the fact that the Russian collusion has been shown to have involved one foreign power’s interests: Israel, at the U.N., in 2016, in defiance of the Obama administration.

A foreign leader — Netanyahu — set Trump’s agenda in Middle East, Michael Wolff book says

Philip Weiss on

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.

‘We have taken Jerusalem off the table’ — Trump bullies Palestinians

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions,” Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says after Donald Trump says he took Jerusalem “off the table” and will now strip Palestinians of 100s of millions in U.S. aid for refusing to negotiate.

‘Trump’s a crazy man, but I like it’ — the view from Jerusalem

Rhiannon F. on

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.

Neoconservatives may finally get their war with Iran, from Donald Trump

James North and Philip Weiss on

Here we go again. The neoconservatives are on the march for a war with Iran, and Trump’s delivery on the Jerusalem promise, raises the fear that he may also attack Iran. A reported cabinet shuffle would elevate militarists Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton, giving power to the neocons, and even Bill Kristol has had a nice word for the president recently.