The Obama administration was hard on Israel from start to finish, in perception of US Jews. Donald Trump’s messaging is better “out of the gate,” says leading liberal Zionist rabbi Elliot Cosgrove.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue says that speaker after speaker at AIPAC said that Israel is not an apartheid state, but his own daughter squirmed and pointed out, If Palestinians can’t vote, doesn’t that make it an apartheid state?
US politicians swearing fealty to Israel at AIPAC know there are cracks in US support. “When people sometimes say to me, the United States is so overwhelmingly partial to Israel in this discussion, I say Yes of course. We have been friends for a long time,” Nancy Pelosi admits.
VP Mike Pence was introduced at AIPAC as an enemy of BDS and told the group that Trump is seriously considering moving embassy to Jerusalem. Meanwhile,, young Jewish protesters outside call the occupation a moral crisis in the Jewish community.
Donald Trump’s draft of a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians sets the peace process back 20 years by talking about a “provisional entity,” not a Palestinian state and by allowing settlement construction in Jerusalem, Khalil Jahshan of the Arab Center reports. It also assures the parties that Trump will be “personally involved in the process,” and that’s the “scariest part of the plan.”
“Senator Hatfield said– and I will never forget these words as long as I live– ‘In this great distinguished institution of the United States Senate, when the Israel lobby says jump, 90 plus of my colleagues say how high. They never ask why.'” Khalil Jahshan at the annual Israel lobby conference in Washington, D.C.
Robert Silvers, the late editor of the New York Review of Books, ran Tony Judt’s great piece imagining a one-state democracy in Israel and Palestine in 2003, and then he ran away from it. Silvers could take on the establishment over Vietnam, Iraq, and Freud; but he couldn’t really go after Israel.
Jonathan Safran Foer begins his latest novel, Here I Am, by stating that it’s about “the destruction of Israel,” but he can’t quite end the country in the telling. He does wash American Jewish hands of their relationship with the brutal arrogant nation, though.
Young Jews from IfNotNow say the Jewish community has been waiting for them to come and defeat AIPAC. But not all progressives are on their side: Neera Tanden and three other experts from the Democratic Party linked thinktank CAP are speaking at AIPAC this year, in the 50th year of occupation. That’s the fault line in the Democratic Party.
Aid to Israel is a “cutout” in the Trump budget, says the State Department. Climate change is a loser, so is aid to foreign countries. But Israel stays at the highest level, and the Republican Jewish Coalition is thrilled.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that he “will use his influence inside the Democratic Party to make sure” the party does not turn against Israel, according to Israeli ambassador Dani Dayan.
Rabbi John Rosove says that Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a “pzatza,” which is Hebrew slang for a bomb, due to his intemperate language and absence of diplomatic skills.
The American Jewish community is today roiled by divisions over Israel. These divisions are manifest in countless synagogues around the country, but are largely silent– because Israel-critics are still muzzling themselves. Rabbis are in a difficult position. They want the conversation to happen, but big donors threaten to leave the congregations if there is criticism of Israel. Yet the rabbis say there will be no choice but to have the conversation: because young Jews are abandoning the synagogues, and the community needs the next generation more than it needs money.
Israel’s neverending occupation is not just endangering Palestinians, but changing the nature of what it means to be Jewish, from a justice-loving people to one that supports injustice. Diaspora Jews must demand that Israel end its occupation, lest their own situation in the west become precarious. Tony Klug’s speech at J Street last weekend.
Bernie Sanders set the high water mark for what US pols can say about Palestine, citing 700,000 Palestinian refugees created in Israel’s establishment, in remarks to J Street Monday. He got a standing ovation from Jewish crowd when he said it is not anti-semitic or anti-Israel to criticize the Netanyahu government.
In three months the American Jewish community is going to hit an iceberg called the Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of the occupation/Six Day War. The collision is going to change the Jewish establishment. The fractures that have been developing for years over Israel are going to break out in public agony. The anniversay will change the American Jewish relationship to Israel forever, as the Six Day War did 50 years go.
The subject of Israel and Jews came up very early in last night’s debate on CNN of the eight candidates to be Democratic National Committee chairperson. The job is to be voted on by the DNC this weekend in Atlanta. During the debate one candidate after another denounced Trump on one issue after another, and put down the donor class of the Democratic Party too, in favor of the grassroots. But on the issue of Israel conservative bipartisanship is the only way, officially.