In an important new piece in the New York Review of Books, David Shulman says that the “heroic myth” of Israel as a savior of the Jews has been eclipsed by an awareness of the “terrible violence” inflicted on Palestinians and the need to give equal rights to all between the river and the sea. The anti-apartheid-style struggle for basic rights has begun, and “at whatever cost, we will win.”
Category Archives: Media
American politicians are responsible for are crimes against humanity, but those are never seen as scandals, except maybe a century later. At most we just treat war crimes as policy disputes. Nobody expects a bipartisan investigation into our ties with the Saudis. So a domestic political competition– Russiagate– takes up all the media’s attention, while civilians killed by US bombs are like ants on the sidewalk.
The signature moments of the Clinton scandals involve threats against people who were going to talk about his sex life. When Lindsey Graham asked in the House, Is this Peyton Place or Watergate? we said, Watergate. It wasn’t just about a blowjob.
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens says that Jewish Voice for Peace is as anti-Semitic as white nationalists like Richard Spencer because it undermines “Israel’s right to exist.” This is a clever feat of propaganda for Israel: Stephens is saying that Israel has a right to discriminate against Palestinians. People need to call it out as racist claptrap.
David Brooks does a limited confession of his mistake in supporting the Iraq war. He was naive. “People like me used to advocate for spreading democracy around the world. Sometimes we were naive. And Iraq was Iraq and it didn’t work out. But at least it was a belief in essential progress.”
A five-year long study published this week in Science shows that small independent news outlets can have a dramatic effect on the national conversation. Mondoweiss participated in a research project conducted by Harvard Professor Gary King that found that if just three outlets write about a particular major national policy topic – such as jobs, the environment or immigration – discussion of that topic across social media rose by as much as 62.7 percent. This study proves is that when independent news outlets work together they can have a mighty effect.
The press is obsessed with the claim that absurd ads planted by Russians on Facebook bashing Hillary Clinton actually swayed the election. This is a form of propaganda about “our democracy,” exposed by the fact that our press fails to report on Saudi and Israeli meddling in our politics, a real factor in Washington. And though quick to seize on Russian war crimes, it has almost nothing to say about Saudi atrocities in Yemen, backed by the U.S. government.
The Balfour Declaration was a wartime play by the British government to win international Jewry to its side. This meant the Russian masses in the U.S., and banker Jacob Schiff, who were against American entry into the war. The British may have exaggerated Jewish power, but Zionists lobbied successfully for the declaration by citing such power, marking the entry of the Israel lobby on the world stage.
After Alan Dershowitz spoke at the University of California on “The Liberal Case for Israel,” a cartoon by Joel Mayorga appeared in the Daily Californian, savaging Dershowitz’s claim by showing his hand dripping blood from a corpse. The school’s chancellor said the cartoon was anti-Semitic and the newspaper retracted the image. Does any of this really matter?
The Jenin Freedom Theatre production of The Siege, which featured Palestinian resistance fighters, was an unmitigated triumph in October in New York. It brought in an audience of 3500 over 10 performances; it drew scarcely any of the attacks/demonstrations/official smears that were anticipated, thereby completely vindicating NYU’s brave decision to go forward in spite of inside pressure; and it gave the Palestinian production company the thrilling realization that they were welcome at last in the American cultural scene.
Paul Singer, the megadonor hedge fund manager, funded the group that uncovered dirt on Trump in Russia, then turned around to help pay for Trump’s inauguration and visit the White House regularly. Why would Singer flipflop? His main issue is Israel, and he wants to influence the White House. And he already has, on the Iran Deal.
Anyone in America who wants hard truths about Israel/Palestine today must read Haaretz instead of the U.S. press. The New York Times acknowledged the Israeli newspaper’s supremacy with the ultimate compliment: it ran a hatchet job on the journal.
Trump gave red meat to the neocons in his Iran speech, using the word “regime” 29 times in an evident threat to change the regime. He needs their support politically, and Netanyahu and the Israel lobby are very happy with the result.
Cartoonist Eli Valley lost his job at the Forward after editor in chief Jane Eisner said “she wasn’t comfortable with a Jewish newspaper criticizing Jewish leaders,” he discloses in his new book, Diaspora Boy. And the New York Times runs a puff piece on Eisner and ignores the paper’s crisis over Zionism.
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.”
Israel has deep support among US cultural institutions, witness director Greta Gerwig removing her name from a letter critical of Israel lest it hurt her Oscar hopes, and NYU staging Israeli government propaganda to counter a Palestinian play about resistance to occupation, The Siege.
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.
Steve Israel and other Democratic politicians are rightly slamming the gun lobby for preventing commonsense measures that might have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. But these same politicians get their policy on Israel from AIPAC, the Israel lobby, and the media never talk about that form of corruption.
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.
The Ken Burns Vietnam documentary on PBS left out what the U.S. did during the Cold War era in numerous other places including Iran, Guatemala, Latin America in general, Indonesia, and sub-Saharan Africa, both during and after the Vietnam War. It is not a pretty story.
The left is trashing the Vietnam documentary by Ken Burns on PBS. Though it is didactic and middle-brow and America-centric, the documentary is majestic in its depiction of murderous arrogance, and should educate millions to the horrors of occupation and the ferocity of a subjugated people’s resistance.
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.
The New York Times headline is, “Palestinian Kills 3 Israelis, Shattering Tranquillity at West Bank Crossing.” The definition of “tranquillity” employed by the Times is one-sided; it can only apply to the Israeli point of view, inside a bubble, oblivious to Palestinian suffering.
Once again The New York Times defers to supporters of Israel. It gives the pro-Israel peace processor Dennis Ross a platform on the op-ed page to talk about anti-Semitism in the State Department back in the 80s and 90s. And Ross leaves out his marching orders to a Jewish audience, “We need to be advocates for Israel,” not for Palestinians.
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.