The running sideshow to the Russian interference story has been Israel’s presence in our politics, witness Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s efforts to punish Al Jazeera for investigating the Israel lobby, and Sheldon Adelson’s gifts to Democrat Bob Menendez. But of course Israeli interference is not a scandal worthy of investigation; and it never draws the wrath of the liberal press.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
The New York Times has published an exhaustive front-page article about Gaza’s misery that is a manifesto from Hasbara Central– the Israeli propaganda arm– explaining the worsening tragedy as the product of Palestinian infighting. An Israeli general is quoted at length by reporter David Halbfinger, U.N. and human rights officials not at all. Hamas is alleged to have started three wars, when Israel initiated them.
Amos Schocken, publisher of Haaretz, bashes US ambassador David Friedman for perpetuating “apartheid” in the West Bank, and meantime former Israeli security official Charles Freilich says that Jewish “intermarriage” in the U.S. is threatening Israel’s support because assimilating Jews don’t see the “supreme ideological importance” of the settlements as an “existential” issue for Israel.
We have “a duty to restore the honor” of that most vilified word, the Zed word, Zionism, Israeli consul general Dani Dayan tells a pro-Israel group at Columbia University. He criticized U.S. foreign policy for “injustices” like Abu Ghraib and said that when Palestinians declare a day of rage over Jerusalem, it’s not as if the other days are “days of yoga.”
The Ronen Bergman Israeli secret history show went to NPR’s Fresh Air, and it was shooting and crying from beginning to end. Bergman and interviewer Dave Davies practically gush over how clever the killers are and yes, also how moral they are. It’s “unheard of” to kill civilians, Bergman says.
Media redlines on the Israel lobby are still in force: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson publishes an op-ed in the NYT saying that the runup to a war with Iran reminds him of the falsehoods that paved the way for the Iraq war, but he never mentions “Israel’s security” as a motive for neoconservative analysts — points that are at the top of his mind when he is interviewed by the Real News about his op-ed.
Controversy has arisen in recent weeks over the 2017 film, The Insult, Ziad Doueiri’s film and Lebanon’s submission to the 2018 Academy Awards. In a review, film scholar Terri Ginsberg says the movie is a vehicle for pro-Israel propaganda.
Israel advocates Tamara Cofman Wittes and Daniel Shapiro concede that Israel is becoming politicized, and support for the country is draining out of the Democratic Party as young Democrats, including many Hispanics and African-Americans, look at the Jewish state through the “lens of human rights,” as an occupier and discriminator.
Tom Friedman of the New York Times ran a column justifying Israeli slaughter of civilians in neighboring countries. Israel needs to go “crazy” and pound civilian areas in which enemy combatants are “nested” “without mercy or constraint.” He is back to his days of praising Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq.
In Oct. 2017, Al Jazeera said it had done an undercover investigation of the Israel lobby in the U.S. in 2016. But the documentary has never aired — and meanwhile Israel advocates Alan Dershowitz and Mort Klein have visited the monarchy and surely put pressure on the government to rein in Al Jazeera. The network should air its findings.
“We have to remember, it’s a Jewish newspaper,” Israeli author Ben-Dror Yemini says of the New York Times, linking it to the “sickness” of American Jews in seeking meaning by attacking Israel. He spoke at a Reform synagogue on the Upper West Side.
The New York Times runs a long investigative piece by Ronen Bergman praising Israeli generals for not risking the lives of civilians in their efforts to target Arafat for assassination in the ’80s. The article glances over the hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed by Israel in bombing any building it suspected Arafat of hiding out in, war crimes you will not read about in the Times.
Henry Siegman’s landmark piece in the National applauds Trump for ending illusions. The two-state solution is dead and buried, Palestinians are making the right choice, a struggle for equal rights. And this will lead to a “significant exodus of Jews” as Israel faces a future as an acknowledged apartheid state or a democracy. Siegman’s defection from Establishment “scam” on these issues shows up Barack Obama, who endorses the same old illusions in NY synagogue appearance.
Mathilde Krim, who died at 91 this month, was honored in obituaries for his courageous advocacy for AIDS victims in the 90s. The press ignored her other great cause: Moving US foreign policy on Israel in the 60s to the “no daylight” stance we’ve had since. Krim had lived in Israel and married a leading Democratic fundraiser, and she twisted Lyndon Johnson’s arm to stand by Israel’s side.
Jane Eisner of the Forward says the identification of Israel with one party, Republicans, is “terrifying,” and so Democratic Jews should support AIPAC, the Israel lobby. Liberal Zionists hate the occupation but they hate the threat to US support for Israel even more. She endorses the idea that the lobby is an instrument of Jewish influence.
Roger Cohen published a NYT column from occupied Hebron that takes a step away from Zionism– stating bluntly that the Israeli goal of sterilizing Hebron streets by emptying them of Palestinians is reminiscent of anti-semitic rhetoric, and that the occupation is neverending and it is imposed in the name of Jews, which he rejects.
The Jewish establishment threw itself into the battle against intermarriage 25 years ago with warnings about Hitler and books by Dershowitz. Now no one cares anymore; and there are countless half Jews. The same thing is going to happen to Zionism, another anachronism the establishment is angrily defending.
A theme of a New York Times article on the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to be civil rights director in the Education Department is that the BDS movement against Israel pits “Jews” on the nation’s campuses against “students of color.” But there are many Jews who support BDS, who are invisible here; while Zionism is conflated with Judaism.
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.
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.