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Israel Lobby

Roger Cohen scares his readers: ‘the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state’

Joseph Levine on

Roger Cohen argues in the New York Times that the right of return is code for pushing Jews into the sea. Joseph Levine issues a challenge to Cohen and other liberal Zionists: “It’s time to stop the scare tactics, stop using loaded language about “destruction” and “throwing into the sea” and face the consequences: either defend liberal democracy consistently or admit that one is willing to sacrifice it for ethnic nationalism.”

Come in, Natalie, the water’s fine

Jonathan Ofir on

Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony is a blow to Israeli pride. But her statements of support for Israel reflect liberal Zionist convictions. Will she go further with her critique?

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.

Israel and its Democratic Party friends complain — Trump gave Syria to Russia ‘on a silver platter’

Philip Weiss on

Liberal pro-Israel conference in DC featured hawkish statements on Syria. Susan Rice said Trump should have been “demonstrably unpredictable” with Assad to gain advantage. “For all our handwringing about President Trump’s temperament, he could have played those concerns to our advantage.” While Nancy Soderberg, a Clinton security aide running for Congress, said Trump had handed Syria to Iran “on a silver platter.”

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.

Global outrage mounts over Israeli killing of Yaser Murtaja, from ‘NYT’ to Federation of Arab Journalists

Philip Weiss on

The killing by an Israeli sniper of Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja on April 7 at the Gaza fence is drawing mounting international outrage. The New York Times editorialized sternly about Murtaja’s killing, the General Federation of Arab Journalists wants the case prosecuted at the International Criminal Court, and Michael Moore calls on documentary filmmakers around the world to speak out against the crime.

Neocons and liberal interventionists are back in the saddle again — though ‘nobody wants a big war’!

Philip Weiss on

“Nobody wants a big war,” says Amb. Ryan Crocker, but the old foreign policy duopoly of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists certainly wants some kind of war with Iran in Syria. In tones reminiscent of the Iraq war runup, liberals call for bombing in the NYT op-ed page, while neocons call for joint operations with Israel that would bring “hellish consequences” to Syria’s Assad, as well as to Russia and Iran.

The search for ‘balance’ in the Gaza shootings

Robert Herbst on

Liberal Zionist Michael Koplow has condemned Israeli actions at the Gaza fence but called on the left for “balance” in acknowledging the terrorist threat to Israel in the protests. Robert Herbst says the power differential is so unbalanced in Palestine that it is unfair to state “that 30,000 unarmed protesters cannot march and expect to return home alive and uninjured unless they are prepared to take on the impossible task of identifying and removing the few ‘troublemakers’ who may also show up.”

Jews and trauma

Philip Weiss on

A mental health professional in Gaza once said, “We live in a cage, you can see that plainly. But the Israelis, they have a cage in their mind. They are more imprisoned than we are.” Jews need to deal with their historical trauma, in order to stop massacring Palestinians.

Israel just lost American Jews

Philip Weiss on

The silence of Jeffrey Goldberg, Bill Kristol, and Jennifer Rubin over Israel’s indefensible slaughter of Palestinian protesters on March 30, and the outspokenness against the atrocity of Bernie Sanders, David Rothkopf, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Chris Hayes, shows that the center has at last shifted in US discourse. American Jews have had it holding the bag for Israeli massacres.

Geraldo Rivera regrets not backing Palestinians in Second Intifada

Philip Weiss on

Another datapoint in the discourse’s march to the left. On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera says that the Israel Palestine conflict is the “original sin” of the United States, from which “a lot of our problems stem”. And his big regret is that he did not back the oppressed Palestinians during the Second Intifada.

Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss can’t wait to call you an anti-Semite in ‘The New York Times’

Philip Weiss on

The battle over Israel that has roiled the Labour Party in Britain is going to come to the Democratic Party here before long. And Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss of the New York Times are all set for it, smearing critics of Israel as anti-Semites. Stephens goes after John Mearsheimer, Weiss after Jean-Luc Melenchon. The Times is a vital political ally for Israel.

Videos of Palestinians shot walking, running and praying appear on social media, but US cables keep mum

Philip Weiss on

There was growing proof on social media over night that the Israeli shootings of Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border yesterday were arbitrary and criminal. Videos of Palestinians shot walking, running and praying were posted on Twitter, but the US State Department and PBS News Hour blamed Palestinians for the violence, and the most progressive MSNBC host, Chris Hayes, had nothing to say.

Older Jews are officially terrified of young Jews’ views of Israel

Philip Weiss on

Chuck Schumer, Ron Lauder, and David Harris all seem terrified of what young non-Zionist Jews will do to undermine the work of the Israel lobby. They characterize the young as an existential threat to Israel. These young Jews are exercising the same generational power as the high school gun-control movement and #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

Trump appointed Bolton because Republicans desperately need Adelson’s money

Philip Weiss on

The simple truth about John Bolton’s appointment to national security adviser is that the Republicans need Sheldon Adelson’s money in order to be competitive in the coming midterms, and John Bolton is a tool of Sheldon Adelson. And Adelson cares about one thing, Israel. But only alternative media will connect these rather obvious dots.

War-loving, Muslim-hating John Bolton wants to give ‘pieces’ of Palestine to Jordan and Egypt

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s next national security adviser, the Islamophobic warmonger John Bolton, is realistic in declaring that the two-state solution is dead. Though his solution to the Israel Palestine conflict is not. It is for pieces of the West Bank to be deeded to Jordan and Gaza to be deeded to Egypt, on the theory that Palestine is “bits and pieces” of the former Ottoman Empire.

Ron Lauder’s two-state epiphany elicits rage and condescension in Israel

Philip Weiss on

After Jewish leader Ron Lauder wrote an op-ed in the New York Times saying Israeli settlement policy and “semi-theocratic” leadership are delegitimizing the country and fostering the assimilation of young American Jews, he was confronted in Jerusalem by rightwing minister Naftali Bennett. “What are you doing? What are you doing, Man?” the 45-year-old said condescendingly to the 74-year-old.

Dear Senator Harris, You have been drinking the pro-Israel Kool-Aid

Alice Diane Kisch on

Bay Area activist Alice Diane Kisch pans Senator Kamala Harris over her AIPAC speech: “Your support for Israel is the diametric opposite of a path to peace in the Middle East.  I am so sorry that you are not the politician that I was hoping you’d be.”