There are many parallels between Martin Luther King Jr’s call for “direct political action” leading to a crisis for the Jim Crow South, in his letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, and Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slap of a soldier after her cousin was maimed in occupied Nabi Saleh last month, leading to her imprisonment for nearly a month already.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Vic Mensa bears witness to Israeli “oppression and abuse” in an essay in Time. He saw elderly women being “punched in the face” by Israeli soldiers, and children being harassed and detained. He was enraged by fetid water tank for refugees alongside a swimming pool for Israeli settlers. Yet Time obviously forced him to begin his article by swearing that he is “not anti-Semitic” and his words are not an attack on those “of the Jewish faith.”
J Street, the liberal Zionist group, has issued two statements expressing anguish about Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her family property in Nabi Saleh. Neither mentions the fact that hours before the slapping an Israeli soldier shot her cousin in the face, apparently maiming him.
James Klutznick, chairman of Americans for Peace Now, dismissed the idea that Palestinians are now seeking equal rights in one democratic state by saying, that Israeli Jews will never allow there “to be civil rights for everybody and an equal vote.” So maybe Peace Now is advocating for the wrong side?
NYT columnist Roger Cohen justifies Israel’s human rights violations by saying,”If I, as a Jew, have lived a privileged life in the diaspora, it is in part because of the pride and strength that the new Jew of Israel forged.”He’s wrong. The era of Jewish exceptionalism is over.
Pro-Israel groups are working to save the Hebrew program at Evanston Township High School, north of Chicago, where enrollment has slipped in recent years to only 34 students. “The message of these Hebrew programs are clear: If you’re going to learn Hebrew, you’re going to learn to love Israel. No room exists for students to master the language while disagreeing with Israel’s policies”–writes Liz Rose, former Hebrew teacher in a Chicago area public school, who lost her job when she attempted to show students the Palestinian side of the story.
The Trump campaign’s friendliness with the Russians in the 2016 campaign suggests that the administration is “working to advance the interests of a foreign power” and against the “interests of the American people,” says David Leonhardt of the Times. Leonhardt leaves out the fact that the Russian collusion has been shown to have involved one foreign power’s interests: Israel, at the U.N., in 2016, in defiance of the Obama administration.
In a New York Times column suggesting that the dream of liberal Zionism is dead, Michelle Goldberg has the temerity not to quote any Jewish or Israeli leader. Only Mustafa Barghouti, talking about equal rights for Palestinians. What a breakthrough!
David Halbfinger does his job for the New York Times by reporting Palestinian leaders’ discussion of a one-state outcome, and Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations and Nick Kristof of the New York Times jump in to suppress the report by saying one state is not in Israel’s interests, thereby denying the 70 years of erasure and discrimination Zionism has meant for Palestinians.
The State Department denies knowledge of 300 Palestinian children being detained by Israel, though that fact is well-established. Heather Nauert of State was questioned by Said Arikat over the double standard the U.S. has for free speech and protest in Iran — where the U.S. is monitoring security forces’ response — and Palestine, where the U.S. doesn’t seem to care about protesters’ rights.
In 2016, Trump adviser Steve Bannon said that Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson were “all-in” on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and letting Jordan take over the West Bank, according to Michael Wolff’s new book. So who is setting U.S. foreign policy– but a foreign leader, backed by a billionaire who gave $25 million to the Trump campaign. But the media keep talking about Russia.
“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions,” Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says after Donald Trump says he took Jerusalem “off the table” and will now strip Palestinians of 100s of millions in U.S. aid for refusing to negotiate.
The divergent western reactions to Ahed Tamimi’s slapping occupying soldiers– of celebration or condemnation– show there is no middle ground left in the discourse of the conflict; but the progressive side is gaining some new adherents. Lisa Goldman was moved by the case to state that she lost her Zionism observing the violence in Nabi Saleh.
In a full-page ad in the Washington Post, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an ally of rightwing nationalist Steve Bannon, has printed an all-out verbal assault on Lorde, the New Zealand singer who recently cancelled a show in Tel Aviv out of concern that she would be legitimating Israel’s occupation. The ad will only help the boycott movement, BDS, by causing other celebrities to steer completely clear of Israel gigs.
The fact that Israel kicked out 750,000 Palestinians and then occupied the West Bank for 50 years “was not inevitable and is still not irreparable,” Roger Cohen writes in the New York Times. But given the actual history, was it possible for Zionism not to be anti-Palestinian racism. The burden of proof is on Cohen.
The New York Times ran a piece on the very different ways that Israelis and Palestinians see the slapping incident involving 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and an Israeli soldier. It treats an occupying soldier and a 16-year-old girl as equals and does not quote a single member of the Tamimi family, whose land the soldier was on when the incident took place.
Talia Sasson, a liberal Zionist, says that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has fostered Palestinian “terror” but it can’t kill the peace process ’cause there’s no alternative to a Palestinian state. If Palestinians could vote, “Israel won’t be ever more the home nation of the Jewish people” and “Israelis will never accept that.”
Here we go again. The neoconservatives are on the march for a war with Iran, and Trump’s delivery on the Jerusalem promise, raises the fear that he may also attack Iran. A reported cabinet shuffle would elevate militarists Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton, giving power to the neocons, and even Bill Kristol has had a nice word for the president recently.
The largest Jewish denomination in the US, Reform Jewry, showcased a leader of the dispossession of Palestinian lands at its biennial last week: the head of the Jewish National Fund. So the Union for Reform Jewry has embraced the violence inherent in Zionism, the group that covers up the Nakba with forests. Shouldn’t Jews debate this?
NYT columnist Max Fisher is realistic when he says in the wake of Trump’s Jerusalem decision that Israel must choose apartheid or granting “Palestinians full rights, establishing a pluralistic democracy that is no longer officially Jewish.” More journalists should be so honest about the death of the two-state solution.
Trump’s Jerusalem announcement has created a great opportunity for those working for justice. It has exposed the failure of the British Jewish establishment, which supported occupation and abdicated political and ethical responsibility to lobby for 2-States. Now it will find itself defending apartheid and injustice without the cover of a peace process to protect its reputation.
Political analysts Mark Shields and E.J. Dionne say Trump decided to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital to sway evangelical voters in Alabama to vote for Roy Moore on Tuesday. Both leave out the name Sheldon Adelson. But there is endless evidence that Trump’s biggest donor pushed for the move. These reporters are dishonest about the role of the Israel lobby.
No one is pushing Trump to move the Embassy to Jerusalem, so he’s doing it so he can blame someone else — an Arab explosion — for the failure of his peace initiative in Israel and Palestine, says Shibley Telhami. But Telhami leaves out the fact that Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, wants the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A New York Times story on the history of Jerusalem says that violence began in May 1948 after Israel’s creation and that “huge numbers of Jews and Arabs were displaced.” These are all lies that function as “hasbara,” explanations of the conflict that serve the Israeli claims to greater Israel.
The late Arthur Finkelstein converted Israeli society to identity politics by having politicians pose two simple questions, says Ehud Barak. Are you an Israeli first, or a Jew first? Do you love Arabs or do you hate Arabs? If you think of yourself as an Israeli and you love Arabs, you are left. If you hate Arabs, you are right.