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.
Category Archives: Islamophobia
It used to be that Jews were cosmopolitan, people of the world. But now the organized community is as provincial as can be, focused on the Jewish nation of Israel. This is the deepest divide in Jewish life, between the Schumers and the Feinsteins, those who think what is good for the Jews and those who think of what is good for the world.
California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at AIPAC this year for the second year running, in an indication that she intends to cultivate elites and alienate the leftwing base for political ambition. She bragged to the Israel lobby about helping to build forests on Palestinian lands. “As a child, I never sold Girl Scout cookies, I went around with a [Jewish National Fund] box collecting funds to plant trees in Israel.”
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.
Former dean of Columbia’s school of international affairs Lisa Anderson left her position in 2008 after 12 years on the job in part because of a campaign by pro-Israel rabble rouser Bari Weiss, then a Columbia student, to hold her accountable for inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the school, says a tweeter identifying himself as Anderson’s son. Weiss is now a free speech advocate at the New York Times.
Israeli leftwing legislator Stav Shaffir’s appeals for the two-state solution at AIPAC sounded a lot like rightwing nationalist appeals. She said a Palestinian majority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is a “danger” to Israel, that Trump made all Israelis happy by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and that young American progressives are mistakenly falling for the “Palestinian narrative.”
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.”
War with Iran could “perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become,” Col. Lawrence Wilkerson warns, but Israel is trying to “suck” America in to such a conflict, with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware providing militarist propaganda worthy of the Nazi Joseph Goebbels.
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.
Leftwing Israeli author Avraham Burg called for one state in Israel and Palestine and described some of his cousins as “literally speaking racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, OK, a few other phobias”, and he got a less than hearty welcome for his remarks at B’nai Jeshurun, a progressive NY synagogue. The sad state of American Jewry.
After 75,000 views, Youtube removed a cover version of Lorde’s hit song “Royals” that exalted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) “due to a copyright claim by Kobalt Music Productions.” Youtube let stand many other parodies of the song, often savage toward the artist. There is always an exception for pro-Palestinian creations.
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.
On a tour of the Muslim holy site, the Haram-al-Sharif, in the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday, a Colorado congressman’s wife advised messianic Jews that “seizure” of the site might be the best option. “Why not tomorrow– say it’s ours!” Jean Tipton said to zealots on the occupied site.
New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Roger Cohen repeatedly bashed the left for not tolerating dissent at a JCC panel about Israel in New York last week. Cohen called for “unsafe” speech and “open discussions, fierce debate” so as to fend off a “monolithic” McCarthyist “mob” on campuses. But the panel itself embodied Jewish intolerance of dissent: All three speakers on stage were ardent Zionists, introduced by a JCC official as people who could reinforce “our commitment to Israel.”
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 have “a duty to restore the honor” of that most vilified word, the Zed word, Zionism, Israeli consul general Dani Dayan tells a pro-Israel group at Columbia University. He criticized U.S. foreign policy for “injustices” like Abu Ghraib and said that when Palestinians declare a day of rage over Jerusalem, it’s not as if the other days are “days of yoga.”
Tom Friedman of the New York Times ran a column justifying Israeli slaughter of civilians in neighboring countries. Israel needs to go “crazy” and pound civilian areas in which enemy combatants are “nested” “without mercy or constraint.” He is back to his days of praising Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq.
In his State of the Union speech, Donald Trump extemporized to characterize countries that receive aid from the US but voted against our recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month as “enemies of America.” That list includes France, Germany, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan.
“We have to remember, it’s a Jewish newspaper,” Israeli author Ben-Dror Yemini says of the New York Times, linking it to the “sickness” of American Jews in seeking meaning by attacking Israel. He spoke at a Reform synagogue on the Upper West Side.
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.”
As Vice President Mike Pence began his speech to the Israeli Knesset, Palestinian lawmakers disrupted the speech, protesting the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They were forcibly removed from the chamber– reportedly all 13 members of the Joint List. In his fiery speech, Pence advocated regime change in Iran.
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.
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.
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.
There are many parallels between Martin Luther King Jr’s call for “direct political action” leading to a crisis for the Jim Crow South, in his letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, and Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slap of a soldier after her cousin was maimed in occupied Nabi Saleh last month, leading to her imprisonment for nearly a month already.