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Democrats are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban

Philip Weiss on

Progressive Democratic politicians and organizations are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban and starting to be openly critical of Israel. Few Democrats have defended Israel’s actions at the Gaza border, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace points out. While 13 senators have been critical.

The dangers of conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

Donna Nevel on

In an article criticizing the intersectional left at the Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon continuously reinforces the false and dangerous notion that to oppose Zionism is to be against Jews: “Jews feel that when they do show up, there’s always something wrong with them.” Zionism is an ideology, Donna Nevel asserts; and even if Jews adhere to it, it is not “anti-Jewish” to oppose it.

Don’t expect Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris to be critical of Israel

Philip Weiss on

Most of the big Democratic donors featured in a NYT article on presidential hopefuls raising money in NY are pro-Israel. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren need $30 million for a campaign war chest, so they are unlikely to say anything critical of Israel. Both progressives have demonstrated as much during the Gaza massacre.

Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren’t Jewish

Philip Weiss on

“There is no Judaism without Zionism,” Yossi Klein Halevi states flatly in his new book; and Jewish Voice for Peace and anti-Zionists are not part of the Jewish community. This intolerance has not stopped many liberal Zionists from embracing him, including J Street, Jodi Rudoren, David Gregory and Cokie Roberts.

Netanyahu used ‘leadership of American Jewish community’ to block Obama policy — Ben Rhodes

Philip Weiss on

Netanyahu’s famous lecture to President Obama in 2011, warning him not to have “illusions” about making peace, worked. It galvanized the leadership of the American Jewish community against the president, former Obama aide Ben Rhodes says in his new book. After the lecture, Rhodes was “given a list of leading Jewish donors to call, to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.”’

Roseanne Barr talked trash about Palestinians and Muslims for years, without regrets

Mondoweiss Editors on

Comedian Roseanne Barr lost her show for racism in a tweet this week, but she has a long history of hateful speech about Palestinians and Muslims, and of likening supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to Nazis. In one case she impersonated Adolf Hitler in a photo meant as a joke, putting human-shaped cookies in an oven, and said the victims were Palestinians. She did not suffer career-wise for those comments.

Republican Jewish Coalition emerges as Trump’s hub for raising money, and making foreign policy

Philip Weiss on

Trump once laughed at the efforts of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rightwing supporters of the Netanyahu government, to “control” politicians. But 2-and-1/2 years later the group has emerged as a hub for fundraising for Trump and for setting his foreign policy agenda on Middle East issues. A former board member, Elliott Broidy, shows up in the Mueller probe, working with Israel lobby groups and the UAE to punish Hamas.

Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism

Liz Rose on

Tom Friedman of the Times says that Palestinians in Gaza are responsible for their own suffering because they have not marched to demand a two-state solution that preserves the Jewish state. He’s been giving Palestinians that advice for 7 years and ignoring their suffering under blockade.

‘NYT’ columnist says killing Palestinian civilians is… good for Palestinians

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on

The NYT has no one to the left of Michelle Goldberg on Israel and meantime it publishes Shmuel Rosner saying that Israel’s shooting of civilians at the Gaza border was good for Palestinians, because the killings make Israel feel more secure. You really would have to publish a defense of suicide bombing to balance this. Rosner should just wear a sheet over his head and burn crosses.

Donald Trump is a hero to Jewish Israelis

Philip Weiss on

Adoration of Donald Trump is nearly universal among Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem. “Trump is an amazing president. What he promises he makes to happen,” says Rami, 45. “He doesn’t’ care about the opinion of other people. This is how the president of the biggest country in the world needs to act.”

By wrecking Iran deal, Trump politicized Israel

Philip Weiss on

The upside of Trump’s destruction of the Iran deal is that he has isolated the United States and Israel in world opinion, and made it clear to Democrats that if they are going to avenge this foreign policy outrage, they must take on Israel’s influence in our politics. Because that influence was so transparent.

The ‘fake news’ story is fake news

Philip Weiss on

The mainstream media’s obsession with the “fake news” story of the 2016 election is itself fake news. We’ve never had more good information than we have now; people are as well-informed as they want to be. There have always been outlets purveying lies. And the insistence on the story is an effort to assign Trump’s victory not to those who brought it to us (the electorate, and Hillary Clinton) but on some nefarious agents.

Philadelphia Jewish groups try to stop publication of article critical of Israel, insist on BDS training for Inquirer editors

Philip Weiss on

When Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa published a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer urging the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel a trip to Israel because the country is slaughtering unarmed protesters in Gaza, Jewish leaders in the city flew into action, demanding that the paper publish a rebuttal and that editors take a training against BDS. The Israel lobby in action.

Palestinian group challenges Schumer to visit Gaza and call for end to blockade

Mondoweiss Editors on

The Council on International Relations, a Gaza-based NGO, issued an invitation yesterday to Senator Chuck Schumer to come to Gaza so that he can see that he and the Palestinian community share many attributes, from humble origins to a high value for education. Schumer has had nothing to say about Israel’s killings in Gaza, despite pressure from young Jewish progressives.  

Remembering Joel Kovel, a restless explorer

Philip Weiss on

Joel Kovel died April 30 at age 81 after a life of incomparable intellectual freedom. His restless spirit and brilliant mind produced groundbreaking works on white racism, climate change, and Zionism.

Netanyahu’s cheap theatrics fall flat, but alas, he has an audience of one — Trump

Philip Weiss on

The good news from Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Iran’s “secret atomic archive” yesterday is that it was so cheaply theatrical that it is being widely dismissed as vaudeville. He used the word secret 15 times, and in the encore pulled back a black curtain on his evidence. The bad news is that the world doesn’t matter; Netanyahu is pushing war against Iran in Syria to one person, Donald Trump, who loves cheap theatrics.

Young Jews won’t cry over the end of the Zionist dream, Beinart says

Philip Weiss on

Peter Beinart is a leader in the Jewish discourse of Israel. He says that when young American progressives call for a one-state solution, this will become a “very, very powerful” force in U.S. politics, and that these young people will not mourn “the end of the Zionist dream.” And offering the Palestinians a state without Jerusalem is like “creating a country in Westchester that can’t get into Manhattan.” 

Israel needs Palestinian violence to shift world opinion — and ‘The New York Times’ helps out!

James North on

Once again, the New York Times has turned over its coverage of the ongoing Gaza protests to Hasbara Central, Israel’s propaganda apparatus. Its article, on the fifth Friday of the Great March of Return, should be regarded not as a “report,” but as a prior justification for the full-scale massacre Israel is surely planning as the Gaza marches lead toward the May 15 culmination on Land Day.

Lieberman, commander of Gaza snipers, arrives in D.C. to take on Iran Deal

Mondoweiss Editors on

Just when Emmanuel Macron arrives in Washington to try and save the Iran deal, another county heard from! Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defense minister, and commander of the Gaza snipers, flew to the U.S. to meet with John Bolton, the national security adviser and ardent supporter of Israel, to counter the European push for peace with Iran.

Portman’s move puts pressure on liberal Zionists to take a stand

Philip Weiss on

Natalie Portman’s decision to boycott an awards ceremony in Israel is putting pressure on other liberal Zionists to take real action to try and end the occupation, and scaring other liberal Zionists who fear that she is fostering the BDS campaign.

Leanne Gale’s bold challenge to the Jewish community on BDS and anti-Zionism

Philip Weiss on

Leanne Gale, a Yale law student, came out of the heart of the Jewish community to all-but support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) at the J Street conference. She said BDS is the most important nonviolent Palestinian movement in the world, that anti-Zionism is a living tradition in the Jewish community as a response to anti-Semitism, and that Jews should not seek to marginalize or suppress or seek an alternative to BDS, but should engage it in an effort to make Israel a liberal democracy.

Jewish leader refuses to debate BDS with young Jew, at J Street conference

Philip Weiss on

The shame of the Jewish establishment: Rep. Jan Schakowsky says she never used the word “occupation” before last year, while Jeremy Burton of a leading Boston Jewish organization brags of a policy of refusing to debate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), even with other Jews. These people have their heads in the sand (or worse) and young Jews want none of it.

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.