Donald Trump has taken heretical positions on countless issues, from a border wall to John McCain’s heroism to barring Muslim immigrants, and not backed down. Except for Israel. He said he’d be neutral on the conflict in February, but dropped that stance entirely. Such is the power of the Israel lobby.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Hillary Clinton has gained the support of major neoconservative donor Seth Klarman. Klarman’s family foundation supports rightwing Zionist groups, including the David Project and the Israel Project, and has supported several Islamophobic groups, including one that “applauded” an Oklahoma law later struck down as unconstitutional, that would have discriminated against Muslim religious practices. A Democratic Party think tank has said that the organizations Klarman supports have put out “anti-Islam messages polluting our national discourse.”
The grubby underside of US electoral politics is on show once again as the Democratic and Republican candidates prepare to fight it out for the presidency. And it doesn’t get seamier than the battle to prove how loyal each candidate is to Israel. New depths are likely to be plumbed this week at the Republican convention in Cleveland, as Donald Trump is crowned the party’s nominee. His platform breaks with decades of United States policy to effectively deny the Palestinians any hope of statehood. The question now is whether the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, who positions herself as Israel’s greatest ally, will try to outbid Trump in cravenly submitting to the Israeli right.
Israelis have “seen it all” when it comes to terror, the New York Times says, in publishing a lecture from Jerusalem for the French on how to secure the country from “enemies.” There is no mention of occupation or dispossession or conditions that have produced violent Palestinian resistance.
Reflecting on life after neoconservatism, Scott McConnell says he demonstrated against the Iraq war with Code Pink but that the alliance between national interest types and leftwingers may be coming apart because fears of another US war have ebbed and the two groups split over immigration and identity politics.
After 10 days in his beloved Israel, Eric Alterman diminishes the crisis: he leaves out ‘fascism’ charges made by leading politicians and only notices Palestinian attacks on Israelis, not the other way round.
A gushing interview of Netanyahu in the New York Times repairs a relationship hurt 3 years ago by the Times publishing gossip about his wife; but it is a serious dereliction in its refusal to raise Israeli officials’ charges that the government is fascistic.
The Democratic Party platform committee voted down an amendment opposing “settlements” and “occupation” in Palestine, as the Clinton establishment elicited the largest boos of the day in Orlando. Bernie Sanders surrogate Cornel West ascribed the vote to racism.
An Israeli leader once promised the UN that the existence of so many “Jewish hostages throughout the world” would be a guarantee of the good behavior of the “Jewish” state towards Arabs. As it turned out, Israel has caused Diaspora Jews to be responsible for its conduct, and Jewish organizations deny that responsibility by playing the anti-Semitism card.
Last week’s Aspen Ideas Festival often seemed like a rightwing Jewish event and it reeked of entitlement. Leon Wieseltier of the Atlantic joked that eventually “there won’t be any goyim” on the Supreme Court. The Jewish and pro-Israel character of the establishment was on display, even if no one wants to talk about it.
Hillary Clinton’s deal with the devil: she thinks that by crushing the progressive wing that supports Palestinian rights, and smearing Max Blumenthal as “hateful” for his smart criticisms of Elie Wiesel, she will gain the Israel lobby and neoconservatives’ support, which is vital for a win in November.
Haaretz and Foreign Policy run pieces saying that Elie Wiesel was an ethnocentric religious nationalist who turned his back on Palestinians. But those are the exceptions. The New York Times says his only detractors were literary, and WNYC says Wiesel cared about Palestinian “suffering,” but urged Palestinians not to give way to the victimization narrative.
Zack Beauchamp of Vox grandly explains that many British statements critical of Israel cross the line into anti-Semitism. It never crosses liberal Zionists’ minds that the indifference to Palestinian human rights is evidence of racism.
The report is that Bernie Sanders just won a string of concessions from the Hillary Clinton camp on the 2016 party platform. Wall Street reform, banking reform, regulations on hedge funds, criminal justice reform, greater opposition to the death penalty, and let’s fight for a $15 minimum wage. Sanders is “winning some big victories,” says Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, but guess what’s not in the concessions? Where are Clinton’s redlines? You guessed it. Vox says the sticking points are Trans Pacific Partnership, stronger measures to slow global warming, and Israel Palestine.
It’s about time American Jews talked about the problem of dual loyalty inherent in Zionism; and a pro-Israel publication, the Jewish Week, encouraged that discussion by running a column on how “Israel Firsters,” those who vote on the basis of what is best for Israel, are approaching this election.
Activists will march from the Mt Kisco train station to Gov. Cuomo’s house next Wednesday night, July 6, to demand that he rescind his executive order barring state business with organizations that support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Looks like fun!
Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says the Congress would expel a member for doing what Knesset member Hanin Zoabi did yesterday; but the historian has his facts wrong. Congress has only expelled 5 members, none for dissent.
Israel advocates are using the Clinton campaign to try and stifle BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel) in the public square. Norman Brownstein, a board member of AIPAC, says Clinton has promised; while Bakari Sellers circulates an anti-BDS letter signed by 60 other African American Democrats.
What does Hillary Clinton mean by taking the Israel relationship to the “next level”? Maybe what Robert Danin, former State Department official at Harvard, says: a formal treaty between the countries, and do it fast, because young people and Democrats have lost their romance about Israel. (Don’t they have a good reason?)
Israeli Jewish views from right to far right are given, in a NY Times account of the Israeli-Turkish deal ending the impasse over Israel’s killing of 10 men on the Turkish aid boat the “Mavi Marmara” in 2010. The article justifies the Israeli blockade on Gaza and parrots an Israeli version of the attack, leaving out human rights’ groups’ reports that it was brutal and included summary executions.
Hillary Clinton is gaining the support of the neoconservative establishment. Alan Dershowitz is for her “muscular foreign policy.” Robert Kagan is holding a fundraiser for her. And even possible veep-nominee Sen. Elizabeth Warren emerges as a “surprising Israel hawk,” says the Forward.