Category Archives:
Israel Lobby

Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is ‘the last thing Israel wants’

Philip Weiss on
Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Ten days ago Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders yelled at constituents to “shut up” and threatened to call the police when they got angry at him over his stance in support of Israeli massacres. Well, at least Sanders abstained on the vote to give Israel another $225 million during the Gaza onslaught. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren supported that funding, and when she also got it from constituents last week she just mouthed Israel’s talking points in response.

Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism

Philip Weiss on
Bruce Shipman, Chaplain - Episcopal Church at Yale

Everyone is talking about this. Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed by Deborah Lipstadt saying that anti-Semitism is returning to Europe in ways reminiscent of the Nazi era, in which Lipstadt blurred the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, citing protests of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Well, the Times has now run a

‘New Yorker’ limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC

Philip Weiss on
New Yorker writer Connie Bruck and her husband former Congressman Mel Levine. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/ Getty Images)

Connie Bruck has a big piece on AIPAC in the New Yorker that includes some good Capitol Hill reporting on AIPAC’s corrupting influence over the Congress. Friends are passing the piece along to me as an expose, and several are thrilled by it. The article is titled, “Are American Jews Turning Against AIPAC?” and suggests that AIPAC

Leading Jewish organization celebrates Israeli settlement products

Philip Weiss on
B'nai B'rith

Adam sent me this photo today from a doctor’s waiting room. The article is all about wine from the Judean Hills around Jerusalem. At least one of the vineyards is in the West Bank, in the illegal settlement of Psagot (and others vaguely alluded to are in the Golan); but the article doesn’t refer to

Salaita’s hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor

Philip Weiss on
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise (Photo: L. Brian Stauffer)

Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jascik today reports a disturbing development in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Phyllis Wise, the university’s chancellor, was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita’s comments on twitter about Gaza. The school’s fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with

As Salaita’s case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on ‘civility’

Philip Weiss on
Steven Salaita with his son

There have been several developments in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university is obviously concerned that Salaita is becoming a cause celebre. Yesterday it issued two long statements describing Salaita’s alleged infraction as a violation of “civility.” Salaita is now without a job, a home, and health insurance.

Top legal scholars decry ‘chilling’ effect of dehiring scholar Salaita

Corey Robin on

Editor’s note: The following piece about reactions in the academic world to the dehiring of Steven Salaita over his criticism of Israel is a combination of two posts on Corey Robin’s blog.  Scholars from law schools at Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, Georgetown, and other universities have come out with a very strong letter condemning the decision

Israel and its advocates have a new target in sight: Head of UN inquiry William Schabas

Alex Kane on

A permanent cease fire with Palestinian fighters has yet to be signed, but Israel and its supporters have already begun to pivot to their next adversary: the United Nations Human Rights Council. It’s Goldstone Redux and Israel’s supporters are coming out swinging. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has already issued the following ad going after William Schabas, a

Blaming the Victims: A night with AIPAC in St. Louis and protesters in Ferguson

Michael Berg on

Background: On July 21, during the question and answer portion of a St. Louis Jewish Federation community briefing, I was screamed at, then grabbed by security guards, for having introduced countervailing thoughts to a very one sided conversation. Then on July 29 four members of St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) interrupted Consul General of Israel to

New J Street platform parrots Likud as membership continues to shift left

Ron Smith on

Recently, J Street send out a message to its members, claiming that it had created a new platform that would better address the concerns of its members. For some time, J Street’s open secret is that its members tend to be far to the left of the political spectrum from the leadership. In the wake

Hundreds of scholars say they won’t engage with University of Illinois unless decision to block Salaita is reversed

Corey Robin on

In the last 24 hours, sociologists and scholars of composition and rhetoric have organized two new statements of refusal regarding the Steven Salaita affair. 1. The sociology statement reads as follows: Dear Chancellor Wise: We are members of Sociology departments from around the world who write, regretfully, to inform you that we will not engage

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

Alex Kane on

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer defended the Israeli military’s conduct during “Operation Protective Edge” Thursday night, telling the group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) that every civilian death in Gaza is a mistake Israel regrets. Dermer also sought to link Hamas to the radical Sunni jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and

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

Alex Kane on

For months, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the libertarian-minded son of former Representative Ron Paul, has sought to burnish his pro-Israel credentials as he paves a path towards 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

‘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 on

Dear Friends and Colleagues,  I write to provide a response to the false allegations made against me by the AMCHA Initiative in its latest escalation of the McCarthyist repression campaign to silence discussion of Palestinian rights on campus. (Editor’s Note: A memo by the AMCHA Initiative outlining its allegations is published below. For more background see here.)

Reform Jewish leader offers alternative to Presbyterian divestment: meet Netanyahu

Alex Kane on

The Jewish establishment brought out a big gun Thursday to oppose a measure that would see the Presbyterian Church divest from three corporations that contract with the Israeli military.  Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union for Reform Judaism, told Presbyterian delegates that there was something better than divestment: a meeting with Israeli Prime

Documents open window into how Israel lobby courts student government members

Alex Kane on

The student leaders visit the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. They meet Israeli military officials. And for good measure, they spend a few hours in the West Bank city of Ramallah before going back to Jerusalem. Those are some of the details contained in documents released by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Students for Justice

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

Matthew Taylor on

In most circumstances, “We told you so” is a classless statement. But in this case, it’s justified. In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions of us marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a

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

Tyler Levitan on

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