Progressive Democratic politicians and organizations are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban and starting to be openly critical of Israel. Few Democrats have defended Israel’s actions at the Gaza border, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace points out. While 13 senators have been critical.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Progressive Mal Hyman, in a South Carolina runoff for a Congressional nomination, has been outspoken about Israeli human rights violations. He blames the U.S. for supporting colonialism and sees U.S. failure in the Middle East as giving progressives an opening to bring in humane ideas. AIPAC has asked for a meeting and Hyman says, “Wonderful,” but we’ll disagree. His boldness on these issues is a sign of things to come in Democratic races.
Liberal Zionist scholar Shaul Magid served in the Israeli army but he has had enough of Israel. Ben-Gurion miscalculated the nature of Jewish relations to the world, and that’s why Israelis are now flocking to Berlin and L.A. Magid left for Indiana and says if he had to live in Israel now, “It would actually drive me insane.”
Most of the big Democratic donors featured in a NYT article on presidential hopefuls raising money in NY are pro-Israel. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren need $30 million for a campaign war chest, so they are unlikely to say anything critical of Israel. Both progressives have demonstrated as much during the Gaza massacre.
“There is no Judaism without Zionism,” Yossi Klein Halevi states flatly in his new book; and Jewish Voice for Peace and anti-Zionists are not part of the Jewish community. This intolerance has not stopped many liberal Zionists from embracing him, including J Street, Jodi Rudoren, David Gregory and Cokie Roberts.
Both houses of the California state legislature passed resolutions applauding Israeli democracy on its 70th anniversary and overlooking the carnage in Gaza. Despite these victories, pro-Israel forces are facing greater and greater resistance from progressive voices in California politics.
The New York Times echoes Israeli propaganda about slain Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar, saying she was “more complex” than the innocent woman described in reports. If Russians issued such a cynical slander of a protester, the Times would be the first to denounce it. But it’s Israel, and the Times collaborates in blaming the victim.
From Tom Friedman to Bari Weiss to Bret Stephens to Shmuel Rosner, New York Times opinion writers have supported Israel’s massacre at the Gaza border. Only Michelle Goldberg has condemned it outright, while David Brooks and Roger Cohen have equivocated, and blamed Hamas.
Netanyahu’s famous lecture to President Obama in 2011, warning him not to have “illusions” about making peace, worked. It galvanized the leadership of the American Jewish community against the president, former Obama aide Ben Rhodes says in his new book. After the lecture, Rhodes was “given a list of leading Jewish donors to call, to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.”’
Congressional candidates Leslie Cockburn in Virginia, Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania and Mal Hyman in South Carolina have all been critical of Israel or supported Israel critics. And the progressive Democratic base wants to hear that criticism. Aaron David Miller fights back, saying that supporting Israel is mom and apple pie, and Israel support must stay bipartisan.
NPR promoted the Israeli occupation TV show “Fauda” on Saturday and when Scott Simon suggested that Palestinians killed in Gaza were “innocent,” Lior Raz retorted that 60 had been killed — a lie — and that almost all were members of a terror group– the Israeli government line. Simon failed to mention the killing the day before of a Palestinian medic.
Trump once laughed at the efforts of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rightwing supporters of the Netanyahu government, to “control” politicians. But 2-and-1/2 years later the group has emerged as a hub for fundraising for Trump and for setting his foreign policy agenda on Middle East issues. A former board member, Elliott Broidy, shows up in the Mueller probe, working with Israel lobby groups and the UAE to punish Hamas.
Tom Friedman of the Times says that Palestinians in Gaza are responsible for their own suffering because they have not marched to demand a two-state solution that preserves the Jewish state. He’s been giving Palestinians that advice for 7 years and ignoring their suffering under blockade.
The generational break among Jews that is happening in the US has moved to Britain. About 50 mostly young people called ‘Jews against the killing in Gaza’ have slammed British Jewish leadership for blindness to Israeli human rights violations. The next step is recognizing that Zionism is a morally defunct ideology.
Organized Jewish groups have offered mealymouthed statements on the slaughter of more than 100 Gazans at the border; but the horrific events have shaken loose a segment of the Jewish community in outright criticism of Israel. Debra Shusahn of Peace Now, the non-Zionist group IfNotNow, and the foreign policy writer David Rothkopf are among those who call the killings immoral.
The NYT has no one to the left of Michelle Goldberg on Israel and meantime it publishes Shmuel Rosner saying that Israel’s shooting of civilians at the Gaza border was good for Palestinians, because the killings make Israel feel more secure. You really would have to publish a defense of suicide bombing to balance this. Rosner should just wear a sheet over his head and burn crosses.
Two leading figures on the American left, Rob Malley and Chris Hayes, cannot openly discuss the role of Israel in foreign policy-making, specifically Sheldon Adelson’s influence over Donald Trump’s historic and tragic decision to scrap the Iran deal, a landmark of international diplomacy.
Phil Weiss reports from Jerusalem that the Republicans love Israel and Israel loves Trump. Two toxic brands are having a merger. But the Israel lobby’s oath, that Israel must remain a bipartisan issue is broken. The Republicans own Israel but it’s going to be a hot potato among Democrats. The massacre has done that.
The upside of Trump’s destruction of the Iran deal is that he has isolated the United States and Israel in world opinion, and made it clear to Democrats that if they are going to avenge this foreign policy outrage, they must take on Israel’s influence in our politics. Because that influence was so transparent.
When Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa published a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer urging the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel a trip to Israel because the country is slaughtering unarmed protesters in Gaza, Jewish leaders in the city flew into action, demanding that the paper publish a rebuttal and that editors take a training against BDS. The Israel lobby in action.
The Council on International Relations, a Gaza-based NGO, issued an invitation yesterday to Senator Chuck Schumer to come to Gaza so that he can see that he and the Palestinian community share many attributes, from humble origins to a high value for education. Schumer has had nothing to say about Israel’s killings in Gaza, despite pressure from young Jewish progressives.
The good news from Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Iran’s “secret atomic archive” yesterday is that it was so cheaply theatrical that it is being widely dismissed as vaudeville. He used the word secret 15 times, and in the encore pulled back a black curtain on his evidence. The bad news is that the world doesn’t matter; Netanyahu is pushing war against Iran in Syria to one person, Donald Trump, who loves cheap theatrics.
Peter Beinart is a leader in the Jewish discourse of Israel. He says that when young American progressives call for a one-state solution, this will become a “very, very powerful” force in U.S. politics, and that these young people will not mourn “the end of the Zionist dream.” And offering the Palestinians a state without Jerusalem is like “creating a country in Westchester that can’t get into Manhattan.”
Once again, the New York Times has turned over its coverage of the ongoing Gaza protests to Hasbara Central, Israel’s propaganda apparatus. Its article, on the fifth Friday of the Great March of Return, should be regarded not as a “report,” but as a prior justification for the full-scale massacre Israel is surely planning as the Gaza marches lead toward the May 15 culmination on Land Day.
Just when Emmanuel Macron arrives in Washington to try and save the Iran deal, another county heard from! Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defense minister, and commander of the Gaza snipers, flew to the U.S. to meet with John Bolton, the national security adviser and ardent supporter of Israel, to counter the European push for peace with Iran.