Category Archives:
Israel Lobby

Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one

James North and Philip Weiss on
Trump with Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, photo from Andy Aboud in Vegas, undated

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.

Hillary Clinton gains backing of neocon megadonor who funds Islamophobic groups

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Seth Klarman

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.”

Money talks as Trump does u-turn on Israel

Jonathan Cook on
Donald Trump during his speech at the 2016 AIPAC conference. (Photo: AIPAC)

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.

‘NY Times’ offers Israeli lessons about dealing with ‘enemies’ to France

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on
Image circulating on social media blaming French victims for attack, from Dan Cohen's twitter feed @dancohen3000

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.

‘Ex-Neocon’ — Scott McConnell looks back on 20 years of ideological tumult

Philip Weiss on
Scott McConnell

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.

Eric Alterman wastes ten days in Israel

James North and Philip Weiss on
Eric Alterman

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.

Life as Israel’s hostage (or when will Palestinian dispossession be reckoned in the Diaspora?)

Abba Solomon on
American Jewish Committee ad against anti-semitism when actions are aimed at state of Israel

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.

Jewish entitlement, and Jewish populism

Philip Weiss on
Leon Wieseltier

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.

Mainstream obits for Wiesel offer barely an asterisk for his intolerant views of Palestinians

Philip Weiss on
Elie Wiesel

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.

Israel-splaining

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on
Jeremy Corbyn

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.

As occupation enters its 50th year, draft Democratic platform won’t say the word

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Hillary Clinton and Netanyahu

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.

‘NY Jewish Week’ speaks bluntly of ‘Israel firsters’ in US politics

Philip Weiss on
Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week

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.

Unlawful and brutal attack on Turkish boat improves with age in the New York Times

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on
The Mavi Marmara

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.