Category Archives:
Israel Lobby

Trump’s speech on Iran deal is an orgy for Israel and its US friends

Philip Weiss on

Decertifying the Iran deal is all about Israel, as usual. Susan Rice calls bullshit on AIPAC over the Iran deal — now that she’s not in power. While Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies cribs Netanyahu’s line on the deal — Fix it or nix it — without crediting the prime minister of a foreign country. And even Rob Malley has to cite Israel’s claims in supporting the deal.

Wichita teacher sues Kansas for denying her work because she boycotts Israel

Philip Weiss on

Esther Koontz, a Wichita public school curriculum coach and wife of a Mennonite pastor, endorsed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel because she came to believe through her church that it will end the occupation, in the same way that boycott ended apartheid in South Africa. Now she is suing the state of Kansas over a law prohibiting contractors from boycotting Israel, saying it violates her First Amendment protection of political beliefs and associations.

‘The Siege’ gets US premiere at last, in blow to ‘Israeli propaganda machine’

Philip Weiss on

After being censored for a year, “The Siege” by the Jenin Freedom Theatre premiered at the Skirball Center at NYU. Phil Weiss reviews the production: “For an hour and a half you are transported entirely inside the Palestinian narrative. There is no coerced attempt at balance, there are just Palestinians, joking, swearing, fearful, resisting, wondering at their fate. It’s all that anyone seeks to do in a work of art: to tell their truth. I have not seen this consciousness conveyed so genuinely before in a mainstream cultural space.”

Speakers censored by Jewish Historical Society vow to stage events elsewhere

Philip Weiss on

Two victims of censorship by the American Jewish Historical Society say they’ll mount their events anyway. Dan Fishback is raising money for his play on rifts in the Jewish community. Lawyer Jonathan Kuttab says, “If we fold and play dead then they will get away with it without paying any political price.”

Jewish Historical Society channels Joe McCarthy, and cancels JVP event on Balfour

Philip Weiss on

The American Jewish Historical Society in New York was set to host a discussion later this month of the Balfour Declaration by civil rights lawyer Robert Herbst, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, and Palestinian lawyer Jonathan Kuttab. Then the event came under attack from far-right pro-Israel supporters and the history organization folded, canceling the discussion as well as a play reading on the US relationship to Israel.

Leading journalists call 2nd Amendment an anachronism — but spare Zionism

Philip Weiss on

The nefarious gun lobby is open for criticism. In the New York Times, Bret Stephens says the Second Amendment is an anachronism and should be repealed. Well that is true of Zionism, too, but Stephens is in the tank for that ideology. And David Brooks describes the ingrained political culture of gun-rights but he can never turn that lens on American Jewish cultural/political support for an ethnocratic state in historical Palestine.

In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?

James North and Philip Weiss on

Supporters of the embattled Iran deal in the U.S. will not win if they cannot identify the foreign country that along with its domestic lobby is still trying to undermine President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement: Israel. Thankfully, the lobby itself is split over the deal.

Feel-good Gaza poster in NY window draws feel-bad response from neighbor

Philip Weiss on

A New Yorker has a feel-good poster with the word GAZA on it in their window. A neighbor tapes an anonymous letter to the door saying they are showing support for people who “would have me and my family and my friends mutilated to a cheering crowd.” Yet another sign of paranoia among Jewish Israel supporters.

‘Forward’ finally publishes Stephen Walt — ten years too late

Philip Weiss on

How pathetic: The Jewish newspaper the Forward finally allows Stephen Walt to state his argument about the Israel lobby’s power, 10 years after he published a book on the subject. Till now Walt was redlined as an alleged anti-Semite– which was a travesty of intellectual honesty inside the Jewish community. And now Walt’s warnings about apartheid in Palestine are too late.

Support for Israel is tumbling– even among young Orthodox Jews

Philip Weiss on

“While 71 percent of Modern Orthodox Jews 55 and older actively support the Jewish state, less than half — 43 percent — of Jews 18 to 34 do the same”– says a new survey. So decline in Jewish support for Israel is happening in all segments of the community.

Three megadonors (who just happen to love Israel) are pushing Trump against Iran deal

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s policy on Iran may be driven by three Israel-loving donors, Adelson, Singer, and Marcus, but it is verboten in Washington to identify the Israel lobby as the main adversary of the Iran deal, especially in the wake of the Phil Giraldi/Valerie Plame uproar, which has fueled the neoconservative claim that the antiwar left is anti-semitic.

Balfour Declaration, now 100, was ‘gun pointed at heads’ of Palestinians — Khalidi

Philip Weiss on

At NYU, Rashid Khalidi says four Arab countries have been destroyed and ISIS would cut the throats of a quarter of the Syrian population, so he can’t blame Arabs for worrying about other issues more than Palestine. The historian also says that Palestinians faced a unique colonial problem because Zionism had 3 sources of support, international legitimacy at a time of decolonization, British backing, and a “river” of money from international Zionist movement.

Samuel Freedman extols Jewish ‘love affair’ with Jewish state– while decrying ‘dogma of white supremacy’

Philip Weiss on

Author Samuel Freedman is blind to Palestinian conditions in an article in the Forward celebrating the U.S. Jewish “love affair” with “the Jewish state.” And meantime he decries the “ideology of white supremacy” in the New York Times and praises the civil rights movement for ending Jim Crow. After 50 years of occupation and apartheid in Palestine, you can’t have it both ways.

After article was rejected and publishers yawned, Walt and Mearsheimer dropped ‘The Israel Lobby’ in 2005

Philip Weiss on

“In the age of the internet, this article just ricocheted all over the world very very quickly. Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University told me that the morning after the piece had hit the internet, 14 different people had sent him a link for the piece” — John Mearsheimer reflects on the article The Israel Lobby, 10 years after its publication as a book.

Why the split inside the Democratic Party over BDS needs to happen

Philip Weiss on

For 50 years the Democratic Party establishment has been able to stifle pro-Palestinian efforts as too radical for US politics. That red line is breaking down today though, as the permanent occupation marked its 50th anniversary, BDS gains adherents among young Dems, and the Jewish monolith supporting Israel fractures. It’s about time.

‘NYT’ piece on nationalism as a cause for ethnic cleansing leaves out the Nakba

Philip Weiss on

Amanda Taub’s smart piece in the NYT on ethnic cleansing as an inevitable consequence of national “self-determination” cites examples of Rohingya, Roma, Jews and Muslims. The glaring omission is the Nakba, the expulsion of 700,000+ Palestinians during the creation of Israel. The Nakba is an American issue; Bernie Sanders and historian David Myers agree on that. But the Times can’t address Palestinian conditions.

Netanyahu slathers praise on Trump for making US-Israel relationship ‘stronger and deeper’

Philip Weiss on

The Netanyahu-Trump meeting in a hotel at the sidelines of the United Nations in New York today was marked by Trump’s blather about the “fantastic” two-state solution and fulsome praise by Netanyahu of Trump clearly intended to show that the Obama days are past and gone. The relationship between the two countries has never been “stronger” or “deeper,” and some of that closeness has been behind closed doors.

‘Regime instability’ in Iran is aim of leading Israel advocate’s memo to White House

Philip Weiss on

A young operative from the heart of the pro-Israel community, Richard Goldberg, is pushing “regime instability” in Iran in a document circulating at the White House and in the Republican Congress. Goldberg has has worked with Stand With Us and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The document calls on the president to threaten a “global economic embargo” of Iran so as to undermine the regime.