Category Archives:
Israel Lobby

It’s junket season again in Massachusetts

Nancy Murray on
Hannah Kane, State Representative for  Massachusetts's 11th District, visiting the Knesset with the Jewish Community Relations Council. (Photo: Twitter/ @HannahEKaneMA)

The time of year when Massachusetts legislators enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel is again upon us. Once again a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), is planning the itinerary. Soon after they return, the 12 state legislators participating in the current JCRC junket may vote on anti-BDS legislation the JCRC has said it intends to introduce in the new legislative section, beginning in January.

Saban calls Ellison ‘clearly an anti-Semite’ (and not on Wikileaks)

Philip Weiss on
Haim Saban

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison pretends to be “more of a Zionist than Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin combined,” but if you go back to his record, “he is clearly an anti-Semite, an anti-Israel individual.” Haim Saban smears the DNC chair candidate at a fancy Washington dinner.

The lynching of Dwight Bullard

Leslie Wimes on
Former Florida State Sen. Dwight Bullard

Former FL state senator Dwight Bullard, who was defeated partly because of his stance on Israel, is running for Democratic state party chair, but faces the same pressure from pro-Israel forces. Democratic African American Women Caucus president Leslie Wimes warns that there will be rage in the black political community if Bullard is further humiliated and degraded.

David Brooks’s drumbeat: an ‘expansive foreign policy’

Philip Weiss on
David Brooks, courtesy of Josh Haner, NYT

David Brooks is angry about the non-interventionists who have taken over the Republican Party. These populists “hate journalists,” he says. He ought to reflect on his support for the Iraq war, which paved the way for the political revolution on the right.

Rally marks the rebirth of the New York Jewish left

Rob Bryan on
Shalom motherfucker: IfNotNow demonstrators gather at NY Public Library with message to Steve Bannon, from IfNotNow twitter feed

Sunday night demonstration in NY was a time to reclaim Judaism from the crotchety bastards who have taken up space at the head of the dinner table for too long, plugging their ears with their fingers and yelling “self-hating Jew” at any critic of Israel until they ended up so out of touch that they thought it was okay to give a guy like Steve Bannon a pass.

Leading pro-Israel groups dare not criticize Trump lest they lose access to White House

James North and Philip Weiss on
Josh Block, the head of the Israel Project. (Photo: TIP/CC)

Only Israel: Leading Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC, and the Jewish Federations, have not criticized Trump’s appointments of men who have promoted bigotry, because they do not want to alienate the president-elect on the only issue they really care about: supporting Israel. Though some Zionist groups have stood up for human rights in America.

If American universities ignore attacks on Muslim students, who will defend them?

Alex Shams on
University of Chicago SJP's divestment launch last Spring

Alex Shams writes, “The failure of the University of Chicago – and other universities like it – to vocally defend the rights of its students to free speech, political activism, and to live in an environment free of racial and religious hatred is particularly disconcerting given the wave of Islamophobia that has overtaken the country in the last year, particularly in light of Donald Trump’s electoral victory.”

Trump aide blows off Zionist gala, and Dershowitz warns that politicizing Israel means ‘we could lose’

Philip Weiss on
Demonstrators outside Zionist Organization of America, Nov. 20. Photo by Shima @amiyarz

The Israel lobby seems to losing power before our eyes. Trump aide Steve Bannon blew off the Zionist Organization of America despite its patron Sheldon Adelson giving $25 million to the Trump campaign; and Alan Dershowitz warned that if Jewish supporters of Israel divide and allow an American election to become a referendum on Israel, “we could lose.”

I’m not worried about anti-Semitism

Philip Weiss on
Isaac Babel

Phil Weiss says that Jewish status is changing with the Trump election, but comparisons to the Holocaust are overblown and self-involved: “I can’t diminish that reaction, but no one with any influence is talking about a registry for Jewish names, as they are for Muslims. Or restrictions on Jewish emigration, as they do for Muslims. Or talking about the problems in the Jewish religion– as the new national security adviser and top strategist Bannon do. We misread history if we think that is coming to the US. Other dangers are much closer.”

Why was the Clinton campaign obsessed with fighting BDS?

Philip Weiss on
Image of an apartheid wall posted by the Princeton Committee on Palestine, which was being scrutinized by the Clinton campaign as it put together a letter against BDS.

The day after the election Wikileaks published an email from Stu Eizenstat, an ambassador to the Jewish community, to Clinton’s foreign policy wunderkind Jake Sullivan scrutinizing activism in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) at Princeton. Why did top figures in the Clinton campaign spend energy looking into how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was engaging this “sleepy campus?” Because it was trying to please donors in 2015, rather than wrestling with progressive causes.

Trump is fostering breakup of US Jewish consensus in favor of Israel

Philip Weiss on
Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America

Trump’s combination of rightwing extremism and love for Israel will cause American Jews to come out against the Israeli government and its policies, observers say, thereby accelerating the divide between liberal American Jews and the Jewish state, which is practicing apartheid.

AIPAC removes two-state solution talking point from its website

Ben Norton on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 2015 AIPAC policy conference.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected on the promise that Palestinians would never have their own independent state, and now even the most powerful pro-Israel organization in the U.S. appears to be changing its rhetoric on the two-state solution. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, scrubbed a reference to the two-state solution from talking points on its website.

Epic battle looms over accused anti-Semite entering White House, and ‘NYT’ graywashes the moment

(((James North))) on
Steve Bannon

The rightwing Israel supporters have redefined anti-Semitism to be criticism of Israel. Now an accused anti-Semite, Steve Bannon, is set to enter the White House as a Trump adviser and many Israel supporters have nothing to say, and the New York Times downplays the appointment, because Trump has said that he is pro-Israel. The Israel lobby is swallowing its own medicine.