“I am not a person who breaks promises,” incoming President Donald Trump said this week about his plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, but the move is sparking angry protest around the world. “His plan would legitimize theft of Palestinian land,” says Institute for Middle East Understanding. “Madness,” says Tom Friedman.
Category Archives: Election 2016
Donald Trump is set to become the 45th president of the United States of America. The world waits.
Obama failed to establish a Palestinian state but his success against Netanyahu on the Iran deal and last minute abstention on the UN Security Council resolution against settlements have fostered the international campaign for equal rights in Israel and Palestine.
UN resolution against settlements will lead to ‘mass boycotts and sanctions’ of Israel, Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum tells Park Ave synagogue, as liberal Zionists panic over the dangers posed to their dream by Netanyahu and Trump.
A new Pew Research Center poll from January 4-9 of American views on foreign policy shows that Democratic Party sympathies for Israel are crashing, down ten points in the last 9 months, from 43 percent to 33 percent. That’s a 23 percent crash. If this was the stock market, Israel would be considered a tanking stock.
Donald Trump has now named his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior adviser, notably on Middle East and Israel issues. Ten years ago, Kushner fired Philip Weiss from the New York Observer after Weiss started reporting on the Israeli occupation. Weiss reflects on his experience with Kushner and what it could mean for his upcoming White House role.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu three or four times as often as to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to former State Dep’t aide David Makovsky
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gotten a “promise” from Donald Trump that he will be the second foreign leader invited to the White House, maybe early next month, says David Makovsky, who just returned to the U.S. from meetings with Netanyahu aides.
‘Netanyahu is moving us to extremes so we eventually go off a cliff into chaos’ Rep Lloyd Doggett of Texas said, in stressing Israel’s isolation in the world, and unsuccessfully opposing a Congressional resolution to attack the UN Security Council over settlements.
Senator Cory Booker and Democratic megadonor Haim Saban may have a marriage made in 2020: Both have slammed President Obama’s decision to allow a UN Security Council resolution against settlements. Booker calls it anti-Israel and joins 11 other Democrats in sponsoring a resolution hammering the UN vote, while Israeli-American Saban says it’s against the “national interest.”
Jews opposed the UN Resolution against settlements by 47-42 percent, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll. But other members of the Democratic Party coalition were for it by large margins, African Americans, Hispanics, and Religious nones. And Republicans are also against the resolution.
Norman Finkelstein says the UN resolution against settlements was very strong, making them a war crime, and Obama allowed it to pass, in a major shift from his previous stance, because he wanted a legacy on Israel/Palestine and wanted to turn the tables on Netanyahu. Now the question is what Palestinians will do to enforce the latest in a long line of historical documents damming the settlements.
Donald Trump is terrifying but there’s one big upside. Thanks to his extremism, a long-delayed reckoning is coming on Israel/Palestine. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) will take off as never before.
John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem, Israeli settlements, that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. The bitter failure of the Obama administration to take on Netanyahu untill the last minute is proof of the power of the Israel lobby inside American liberalism. The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks. That means the Israel lobby. You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it.
Israel’s vehement response to Resolution 2334 speaks volumes. It will not “exchange land for peace,” it will not help create a Palestinian state, it will not stop settlements, it will not end the occupation. And in 23 days it will get a new American administration that will sign off on the end of the idea of a Palestinian state.
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Donald Trump tweeted today in anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s much-ballyhooed speech on Middle East peace this morning. But Steny Hoyer joins forces with Trump in telling the Obama administration to leave Israel alone.
President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. Israel supporters always said that the country would not move toward peace if the U.S. was tough on it. But the UN Security Council resolution against settlements shows the opposite to be true: a little distance is already causing huge positive developments, isolating the country in world opinion and licensing criticism of PM Netanyahu. Obama has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state.
More cries of betrayal from the pampered nation. Benjamin Netanyahu says President Obama “initiated” the resolution against settlements at the United Nations, betraying his “explicit commitment” to Israel not to support such action. Education Minister Naftali Bennett says it was all planned in the Cairo speech 7 years ago. Israel’s situation is naked in the wake of the Security Council resolution to condemn the settlements.
‘We tried everything,’ White House aide Ben Rhodes says, in explaining Obama decision to allow UN Security Council resolution against settlements. He says Obama and John Kerry repeatedly warned Netanyahu about Israel’s “international isolation” but Netanyahu chose to ignore the warnings.
When it learned President Obama intended to allow a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements to go through yesterday, Israel called on Donald Trump to intervene, and he called Egyptian president al-Sisi, and Egypt withdrew the resolution. And you thought we had one president at a time!
The Obama administration was going to abstain from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements today, according to reports; but Egyptians withdrew the measure at the last minute under international pressure from Israel and Donald Trump.
If a newspaper had produced the documentation of political corruption that Wikileaks provided in the last year, it would be up for a Pulitzer Prize. The media should stop demonizing Wikileaks and the Russians and focus on what we learned from the records.
Donald Trump is giving ISIS a recruiting tool by nominating an extremist supporter of settlers as ambassador to Israel in David Friedman. Hatred of the U.S. will increase if the Arab world comes to believe that the U.S. is abandoning the Palestinians.
A landmark piece in the New York Times: Omri Boehm of the New School says Trump era will force liberal Zionists to choose Zionism or liberalism, because Zionism is “a political agenda rooted in the denial of liberal politics” and the privileging of one ethnic group over another.
The good news of Trump’s nomination of an extremist to be the US ambassador to Israel is that the American Jewish monolith in favor of Israel will shatter publicly and liberal Zionists will have to throw in the towel on the failed dream of partitioning the land so as to preserve a “Jewish democracy.”