American politicians are responsible for are crimes against humanity, but those are never seen as scandals, except maybe a century later. At most we just treat war crimes as policy disputes. Nobody expects a bipartisan investigation into our ties with the Saudis. So a domestic political competition– Russiagate– takes up all the media’s attention, while civilians killed by US bombs are like ants on the sidewalk.
Category Archives: Election 2016
The press is obsessed with the claim that absurd ads planted by Russians on Facebook bashing Hillary Clinton actually swayed the election. This is a form of propaganda about “our democracy,” exposed by the fact that our press fails to report on Saudi and Israeli meddling in our politics, a real factor in Washington. And though quick to seize on Russian war crimes, it has almost nothing to say about Saudi atrocities in Yemen, backed by the U.S. government.
Kenneth Marcus heads a lawfare organization that targets the Boycott Israel movement on campus as allegedly anti-Semitic and thereby violating federal laws against racial discrimination. Last week he was named to the top civil rights job at the Dep’t of Education, stirring fears that he will attempt to silence advocates for Palestinians.
Paul Singer, the megadonor hedge fund manager, funded the group that uncovered dirt on Trump in Russia, then turned around to help pay for Trump’s inauguration and visit the White House regularly. Why would Singer flipflop? His main issue is Israel, and he wants to influence the White House. And he already has, on the Iran Deal.
Susan Rice repeatedly groveled to the Israel lobby group AIPAC when she was in the Obama administration and trying to get its support for the Iran deal. Now when she is out of power she calls Bullshit on the group. A cynical-making glimpse of the Israel lobby’s power, and of its growing partisan divide.
The nefarious gun lobby is open for criticism. In the New York Times, Bret Stephens says the Second Amendment is an anachronism and should be repealed. Well that is true of Zionism, too, but Stephens is in the tank for that ideology. And David Brooks describes the ingrained political culture of gun-rights but he can never turn that lens on American Jewish cultural/political support for an ethnocratic state in historical Palestine.
Supporters of the embattled Iran deal in the U.S. will not win if they cannot identify the foreign country that along with its domestic lobby is still trying to undermine President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement: Israel. Thankfully, the lobby itself is split over the deal.
Steve Israel and other Democratic politicians are rightly slamming the gun lobby for preventing commonsense measures that might have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. But these same politicians get their policy on Israel from AIPAC, the Israel lobby, and the media never talk about that form of corruption.
One of the largest holders of Puerto Rican debt is Seth Klarman of Boston. He gives money to tons of liberal causes but also funds many groups that provide propaganda for Israel, including the Israel Project, Birthright, and the Times of Israel.
Trump’s policy on Iran may be driven by three Israel-loving donors, Adelson, Singer, and Marcus, but it is verboten in Washington to identify the Israel lobby as the main adversary of the Iran deal, especially in the wake of the Phil Giraldi/Valerie Plame uproar, which has fueled the neoconservative claim that the antiwar left is anti-semitic.
Author Samuel Freedman is blind to Palestinian conditions in an article in the Forward celebrating the U.S. Jewish “love affair” with “the Jewish state.” And meantime he decries the “ideology of white supremacy” in the New York Times and praises the civil rights movement for ending Jim Crow. After 50 years of occupation and apartheid in Palestine, you can’t have it both ways.
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.
Israeli PM Netanyahu was seen nodding during Donald Trump’s speech to the UN, and he later praised it to the skies. “I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: none were bolder, none more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump.” Netanyahu went on to offer red meat rhetoric of his own on Iran. He referred to the country by name 37 times and likened it to North Korea, saying it was conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and threatens the world with ballistic weapons.
The Netanyahu-Trump meeting in a hotel at the sidelines of the United Nations in New York today was marked by Trump’s blather about the “fantastic” two-state solution and fulsome praise by Netanyahu of Trump clearly intended to show that the Obama days are past and gone. The relationship between the two countries has never been “stronger” or “deeper,” and some of that closeness has been behind closed doors.
Trump’s ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, refers to an “alleged occupation” in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, and says settlements pose no real obstacle to peace but Palestinians’ “culture of hate” does. Once again, the White House acts as Israel’s lawyer.
Israel is “always in a state of war,” and that’s why the people elect generals, the late rightwing political guru Arthur Finkelstein said in 2011. Famed for cynical, negative campaigning, Finkelstein foresaw the rise of Trump on a wave of intolerance and said his own work was based on voters’ ignorance and not on his boyhood principles of freedom. “I wanted to change the world, and I did; I made it worse.”
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.
President Donald Trump endorses neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged through Charlottesvile.
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.
The power of the Israel lobby is in the news. AIPAC overplayed its hand with anti-boycott legislation that Democrats are stepping away from. While Sheldon Adelson is trying to get Trump’s National Security Adviser fired for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. We have a long way before the lobby is openly addressed, though.
Israel supporters such as Caroline Glick are demanding that Trump fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster because he has fired pro-Israel analysts and supports the Iran deal and considers Israel an occupying power. But realists are still the adults in the Trump administration.
Defenses of Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist attacked as an anti-Zionist by the New York Times, are popping up everywhere. Bob Bland, co-organizer with Sarsour of the Women’s March, writes: “As a cis-heterosexual white woman new to feminist activism, I found that there were times in planning the January march that were uncomfortable.” But she says coalitions of the oppressed and marginalized are essential to taking on Trump.
In an interview with the conservative National Review, neoconservative Bari Weiss, who works at the New York Times, says that her goal in castigating Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour as a “strident anti-Zionist” is to make the Democratic establishment of Schumer, Gillibrand and Pelosi “disavow” her. Will Weiss succeed? Neocons have long exercised power in the Democratic Party.
Victoria Coates is the latest Trump hire to join the team tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coates worked under Ted Cruz when he introduced legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And her social media footprint endorses a plan for “Expelling Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel.”
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times and longtime pro-Israel advocate, smears Linda Sarsour as a purveyor of “hate” because she is anti-Zionist. Weiss is in a rich tradition of pro-Zionist advocacy at America’s leading newspaper, but Sarsour’s prominence is endangering that entitlement.