The 1967 war was not an existential crisis, Israeli scholar Guy Laron tells Wilson Center. “The Israeli general staff quietly knew that they’re going to win the war big.” And the CIA told LBJ the same thing: “If Israel is attacked, it will win in a week.”
Category Archives: Media
Yakov Rabkin’s book “What Is Modern Israel?” is one of the most important critiques of Zionism ever published. Zionism is opposed to Jewish tradition and to liberalism, and it has fostered a deep sense of insecurity in Israeli Jews and made American Jewish leaders into “vassals” of Israel. Critics must overcome the “climate of intellectual terror” to condemn the Zionist ideology.
A new study titled, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship” by an American Zionist group says that Israeli PR (or hasbara) isn’t working, and the more Americans learn about Israel, the less favorably they feel about the country. The report says that Americans have learned a lot more about Israel since 2010, but that knowledge has fostered the country’s unfavorable reputation, and fed the “delegitimization” campaign, because Americans increasingly feel that Israel does not share their values.
Memoirs by American Jews reveal that the 1967 war revolutionized Jewish life: even leftwingers like Joel Kovel were initially swept up in the fear for Israel and excitement over its victory, but those fears helped produce the most powerful force in American Jewish life since: the neoconservatives who, inflamed by memories of the Holocaust, vowed to support Israel in the face of an indifferent world.
“We had both written plays about Israel and Palestine that were deemed too political, biased, left wing, angry, anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic. Artistic directors said they would lose half their boards if they produced our shows and to be fair they probably would.” –Ismail Khalidi and David Zellnik announce a new project for theater pieces on Palestine.
Tony Judt’s disillusionment with Israel as an “anachronism” began when he volunteered during the Six Day War: “For the first time I met Israelis who were chauvinistic in every meaning of the word: anti-Arab in a sense bordering upon racism; quite undisturbed at the prospect of killing Arabs wherever possible, frequently regretting that they had not been allowed to fight their way through to Damascus and beat down the Arabs for good and all.”
Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike called off the strike this weekend after achieving many demands in 41 days of self-imposed starvation. One thing for sure about the historic strike: it didn’t get a lot of coverage in the U.S. press. A cartoon by Katie Miranda.
Back in 1990 director Barry Levinson gave us “Avalon”, his epic masterpiece on the American Jewish community. In that classic film Levinson skillfully examined the Eastern European Jewish immigrants and their often tumultuous encounter with the complexities of American culture and the assimilation process. It is this debilitating process which becomes the underlying subject of Levinson’s chilling examination of the Bernie Madoff story. In “The Wizard of Lies” we see the pitfalls of ‘making it’ in America and how the Jewish community has reconfigured itself at the end of a very tumultuous century.
In 1953, Joel Kovel had an epiphany as a Yale freshman that would ultimately determine his life’s course, against the US war machine and Zionism. He was tempted to return to Yale for his 60th reunion but thought better of it in light of the ordeal of Rev. Bruce Shipman.
Leaving aside the question that should strike any reasonable citizen — Isn’t the “secret” Trump gave the Russians a bit obvious? (gee, laptops; who would have thought)– the story is roiling the chambers of state-and-spycraft in Washington and Israel.
Haaretz newspaper in Israel gets death threats for its unblinking reports on Palestinian conditions, but the New York Times, once again moving mountains to support Israel, describes it as juvenile, antagonistic and contrarian, in a column by Shmuel Rosner.
“You should never describe BDS as a movement,” Alan Dershowitz said in Scarsdale May 10. But in a 2014 screed against BDS, Dersh repeatedly refers to the “BDS movement.” I guess he hadn’t gotten the memo he hadn’t yet written.
Palestinian hunger strikers entered their 25th day of strike on Thursday. While the protest for improved conditions inside of Israeli prisons for Palestinian detainees kicked off with an op-ed in the New York Times by strike leader and Palestinian prisoner, Marwan Barghouti, Jewish Voice for Peace says the Times has not kept up with the story. In the weeks since 1,500 Palestinian detainees announced they were on strike, multiple solidarity campaigns have launched and a Palestinian cartoonist is touring the U.S. speaking about the plight of prisoners.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Post conference, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said the Jewish Diaspora serves as a global intelligence asset to Israel: “the worldwide relationships because of the Jewish Diaspora gives Israel some advantages that virtually no other country or institution anywhere else in the world has.”
Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Saba’aneh, now on a book tour in the US, spent five months in an Israeli prison, so he knows why 1600 prisoners are staging a hunger strike, and how much their families are suffering. Saba’aneh threw himself into documenting prison conditions during his solitary confinement.
Roger Waters on BDS: “Palestinians… should have equal rights. And that is my only beef. Just as all the people living in the US should have equal rights, all of them, regardless of their color, creed, race or religion– that is what I want for the Palestinians. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not trying to destroy Israel.”
The PEN World Voices festival is taking place in New York this week, without the sponsorship of the Israeli government, for once; and Patti Smith honored Rachel Corrie last night there.
We must admit we are living in the golden age of Jewish anti-Zionism. A young Maine director, Eric Axelman, is doing a film about the American Jewish responsibility for the occupation. US Jews have the “magic stick” to change Israel, a Palestinian tells him.
There is no proportionality applied to the question of foreign interference in U.S. politics. If there were, we would have a far more substantive investigation of Israel than Russia. But if anyone mentions the truth about Israel’s clout, the person is immediately smeared as “anti-Semitic” and targeted by Israel’s extraordinarily sophisticated lobby and its many media/political allies for vilification and marginalization.
When Israeli soldiers carried her novel in one hand and a gun in the other into Gaza in 2014, trying to kill “bad guys,” that was all that a writer could ask for her work, Israeli writer Dorit Rabinyan says in New York, in a tour sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Marking Marwan Barghouti as a ‘terrorist’ is very important for Israel and the New York Times, too. The Times did not impose such standards when it was celebrating Nelson Mandela.
Amith Gupta writes a double standard was at play when the New York Times decided to amend an op-ed written by imprisoned Palestinian Marwan Barghouti by adding in his conviction when the crimes and biases of other contributors are defended or ignored, “While the New York Times decided to poison the well for Marwan Barghouti, it has taken the opposite position in disclosing the backgrounds of many of its pro-Israel commentators. In 2014, the New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan responded to concerns about the Times’ failure to disclose that one of its contract writers, Isabel Kershner, was married to pro-Israel lobbyist Hirsh Goodman when the former wrote extensive puff pieces sanitizing Israel. Omitted from the response was the additional fact that Kershner’s son was actively serving in the Israeli army during its 2014 Gaza massacre. But according to the public editor, such background details about a writer of the Times’ primary coverage–rather than its opinion pieces–was ‘unnecessary.'”
The coverage of the Palestinian issue in the New York Times is getting better, as reflected by the Marwan Barghouti op-ed calling Israel a “moral failure,” and new Jerusalem bureau chief Ian Fisher’s straightforward reports. Yes the Times hired neocon crank Bret Stephens; but the paper of record is in play.