Category Archives: Israel Lobby

Watch: New Yorkers pierce through pro-war gathering with chants of ‘stop bombing Gaza now’

New Yorkers fed up with the political class’ support for Israeli assaults on Gaza protested outside City Hall this week. Their target was a press conference featuring New York politicians who support Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge,” which has killed over 200 people, the vast majority of them civilians.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 27 Comments

Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer gives pro-war pep talk to Christian Zionists

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer defended Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza Thursday night to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Dermer said that every civilian death in Gaza is an “operational failure”–making for a lot of such failures, since at least 58 civilians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes. The ambassador also sought to link Hamas to the radical Sunni jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), though the groups have wildly divergent ideologies and goals.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 18 Comments

Caught in a lie: E-mails prove right-wing pro-Israel donor Adam Milstein gave money to California student candidates

Last week, philanthropist Adam Milstein denied that he gave money to student government candidates at UCLA to help the election campaigns of those who were pro-Israel. But documents published by a student news outlet reveal that Milstein, contrary to his denials, did fund the elections of members of the Bruins United slate at UCLA–proving that outside pro-Israel money is being injected into student politics. The revelations have sparked a controversy that threatens to derail the appointment of Avi Oved, one of the student government members aligned with Milstein, to a seat on the powerful UC Regents, which oversees the UC system.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 60 Comments

Senator Rand Paul pens over-the-top pander to pro-Israel crowd

Senator Rand Paul is trying to burnish his pro-Israel credentials before the 2016 presidential election. His latest attempt is an over-the-top column this week in the National Review calling on the U.S. to stop calling for Israeli “restraint” and to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The article is a call for the army to go wild, and has little grounding in facts. It’s all about ingratiating himself to a crowd that has money–the Sheldon Adelson crowd.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Pro-Israel Muslim-basher Adam Milstein at center of storm over funding of California student elections

Right-wing philanthropist Adam Milstein is not a particularly well-known advocate for Israel in the U.S. But the Israeli-American has found himself at the center of a storm over an e-mail sent to him by a student government candidate at UCLA thanking Milstein for his “generous donation” to his election campaign. The disclosure of the e-mail has kicked up controversy, with students across the UC system calling for an investigation into the candidate’s relationship with Milstein, who has repeatedly derided Muslims and Islam. Above, Adam Milstein (far-right) with his wife (far-left) and Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

‘J Street has to change or die’: Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists

The Presbyterian Church’s decision to divest from three corporations linked to the Israeli military has highlighted a growing rift between two-state solution advocates who see divestment as a legitimate tool and J Street, the leading liberal Zionist group who lobbied against the church measure. The divestment resolution comes at a time of growing frustration among those who believe in a two-state solution. Increasingly, those desperate to end the occupation are looking to the tactics BDS is pushing for salvation. And those same people, J Street’s natural constituency, are starting to voice criticism of the group for its ardent opposition to BDS.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 65 Comments

‘AMCHA aims to suppress scholarship honestly discussing Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights’: Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi responds to Israel lobby smear campaign

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi responds to the false allegations made by the AMCHA Initiative in its latest escalation of the McCarthyist repression campaign to silence discussion of Palestinian rights on campus.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 2 Comments

Reform Jewish leader offers alternative to Presbyterian divestment: meet Netanyahu

Liberal Zionists lobbying against the divestment measure at the Presbyterian General Assembly in Detroit have a new strategy: saying it is part of the BDS agenda, aimed at ending a Jewish state. Reform Judaism head Rabbi Rick Jacobs warned the Presbyterians that they would alienate Jews and offered another plan: “if we are truly partners and you disapprove this divestment overture I look forward to sitting with your leadership in the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem.” Jewish proponents of divestment say the liberal Zionists are employing threats.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 47 Comments

Documents open window into how Israel lobby courts student government members

Documents published by UCLA’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter offer an unvarnished look at the thousands of dollars spent to cultivate the next generation of pro-Israel advocates who are currently college student leaders. Itineraries of the Anti-Defamation League’s and American Jewish Committee’s free jaunts to Israel show that the vast majority of these trips are devoted to meetings with prominent Israeli Jews, some of whom are Israeli military leaders. Above, two students on an Anti-Defamation League trip sit on top of an Israeli tank.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

We protesters against the Iraq war were wrong: we did not see just how bad it would be. But Israel’s American neocon boosters got exactly what they wanted– a “clean break” from the historic power struggle in the region, through destabilization of Arab capitals.

Posted in Iraq, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 59 Comments

Head of Canada’s Israel lobby claims Israeli Apartheid Week renamed Islam Awareness Week

Shimon Fogel, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)— the primary Israel lobby group that falsely claims to represent Canada’s diverse Jewish communities— recently claimed in an article in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin that Israeli Apartheid Week has been “respectfully renamed ‘Islam Awareness Week’ at the University of Ottawa.” This, of course, is false. Israeli Apartheid Week happened to coincide with Islam Awareness Week this year on Ottawa campuses, but they have nothing to do with one another.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 11 Comments

LA City Council members denounce student activists over ethics pledge critiquing Israel lobby trips

Los Angeles City Council members led by Bob Blumenfield, above, have introduced a resolution denouncing an ethics pledge against trips for student leaders organized by groups that fuel anti-Muslim and anti-Armenian sentiment. The move is the latest chapter of a roiling controversy sparked by student activist efforts to have student government members refrain from being wined and dined by groups like AIPAC and the ADL.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 19 Comments

UC Santa Cruz student government votes for divestment from occupation-linked companies

The student government at the University of California, Santa Cruz voted this week to divest from corporations linked to the Israeli occupation. The 22-14 vote made Santa Cruz the fifth UC chapter to endorse divestment in recent years. Last year, a similar resolution failed by a vote of 17-19.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 10 Comments

Watch Palestinian-Americans discuss how Israel discriminates against U.S. travelers

A Capitol Hill briefing last week examined Israel’s practice of denying entry to Palestinian- and Arab-Americans. The event came as Congress continues to consider granting Israel entry into the visa-waiver program, which would give Israeli citizens the right to travel to the U.S. without a visa.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Iran politicking gets in the way of visa waivers for Israelis

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was supposed to vote on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act this week. But a Republican attempt to hamstring a potential U.S. diplomatic deal with Iran on its nuclear energy program unexpectedly scuttled the vote for now. The legislation has attracted attention over language providing Israel a path to join the club of countries whose citizens don’t need to possess a visa to enter the U.S.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 37 Comments

What’s wrong with the ADL survey and how it could be improved

Foxman and the vice president at ADL centennial gala last week

There has been a lot of criticism of the ADL’s worldwide survey of anti-Semitism, including the organization that commissioned the study is hardly a disinterested, unbiased observer. An ADL study on anti-Semitism should be greeted with the same skepticism as a tobacco industry study on the effects of second-hand smoke, and yet the global survey’s deeply flawed methodology could have been fixed by replacing its 11 questions with simply one — Are Jews equal to others?

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | Tagged | 145 Comments

Right-wing group’s new vendetta: Demonizing California professor critical of Israel

Over the past few months, the AMCHA Initiative has been leading a campaign against Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who recently led an academic delegation to Palestine. Sherry Gorelick pens an impassioned defense of Abdulhadi, refuting allegations she is anti-Semitic.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, US Politics | 10 Comments

Newsweek: Extensive Israeli spying in the US kept quiet due to pressure from the lobby

Jeff Stein has followed up on his Newsweek report from Tuesday on how Israel spies on the U.S. more than any other ally. Today he writes the reason this is not more widely known is because it is hushed up by the Israel lobby.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 32 Comments

Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last

It’s about time the Obama administration answered Israel’s many rebukes to the vaunted peace process. The anonymous officials who blames the Israelis for the failure of talks — and Haaretz is saying it’s Martin Indyk — were serving as the president’s proxies.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

J Street rejected from the imperial court of contemporary Jewish life

Yesterday, J Street was denied admission to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Should we care that J Street didn’t make the irrelevant Jewish establishment team? Not really – except for the fact that they wanted in. Because wanting to be in the mainstream of Jewish life at this point in history is to solidify one’s culpability in injustice. You surrender whatever dissent you proposed – if, in fact, you were dissenting in the first place. This, rather than their exclusion yesterday, is the real issue with J Street.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 13 Comments

J Street woos the lobby as Israel considers annexing the West Bank

This week there will be a vote on whether or not to admit J Street to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Meanwhile, political leaders in Israel are calling for unilateral measures against the Palestinians, including the possibility of annexing large parts of the West Bank.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | 13 Comments

Welcome to the post-peace process era: A review of Ali Abunimah’s ‘The Battle for Justice in Palestine’

As Secretary of State John Kerry’s April 29 deadline looms for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, it is clear the peace process is at a dead end. Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, has arrived at the most opportune time, offering readers compelling deconstructions of Israel’s claims to a “right” to maintain itself as an exclusivist, discriminatory state, in-depth reportage of the Israel lobby’s desperate, and often risible, efforts to prop up the country’s eroding image, and a reframing of the debate away from Palestinian sovereignty toward self-determination as the post-“peace process” paradigm to be embraced.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 15 Comments

Rap News presents ‘Israel vs Palestine’

A video by Rap News about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its relationship to settler colonialism, among other things.

Posted in BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, Occupation, US Politics | 10 Comments

Bait-and-switch anti-Semitism: NYU SJP accused of targeting Jews, or not

Thursday morning, students in two New York University dormitories woke up to find mock eviction notices slid under their doors by Students for Justice in Palestine to raise awareness of home demolitions in Palestine. The media quickly picked up a false accusation by pro-Israel groups that Jewish dorm rooms were targeted by the activists, and the only source in these reports was a single NYU student, Laura Adkins, vice president of NYU’s Israel advocacy organization, TorchPAC. Phan Nguyen talks with Adkins and reveals how this fake story is consistent with recent attempt to discredit pro-Palestinian activism.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics | Tagged | 55 Comments

Federal agencies express concerns about Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program

us israel flags

Israel has long sought to enter the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from participating countries to obtain an automatic 90 day visa to travel to the United States. Yet, Israel has not been admitted to the program because of its ongoing discrimination against Palestinian and Arab Americans. In a State Department press briefing on Friday, spokesperson Jen Psaki again acknowledged Israel’s pattern of discrimination noting the “unequal treatment of Palestinian Americans and other Arab Americans receive at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 38 Comments