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.
Category Archives: Media
A new documentary on the conflict, In the Land of Pomegranates, suggests that Israelis and Palestinians only need to understand the other’s narratives of victimization to overcome their differences and get along. But its portraits of young Palestinians and Israelis scarred by violence shows that only outside pressure and structural political change will allow the two peoples to get along, and the film’s politics are meaningless.
Sarah Helm in the New York Review of Books joins David Halbfinger and Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times by honestly reporting on the discussion of one state with equal rights as an alternative to Israel’s neverending segregationist occupation. These pieces could initiate a real discussion of one state among US elites and put pressure on Israel at last to end apartheid.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
Richard Plepler, the CEO of HBO, said he got his start in media humanizing the Israelis in a documentary during the First Intifada, when they were getting drubbed in the international press. He’s like a lot of other media execs and high-flyers, from Gary Ginsberg of Time Warner to David Cohen of Comcast, whose careers have included hasbara.
Cartoonist Eli Valley reduces all evangelicals to the very worst attitudes of some of them– racism and ignorance — and uses religious imagery to do it. When people do this to Muslims over support for Islamist terrorists or Jews over parasitical financiers, we call it Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.
When Bret Stephens, the new super-Zionist columnist at the New York Times, states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the “ancestral Jewish homeland,” who can take him seriously? Joseph Levine states, “My roots can be traced back to Eastern Europe, and earlier than that is all speculation and conjecture, nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.”
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.
On Friday, Israel commenced yet another bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip. The corporate media tried to absolve Israel by deploying the language of reprisal, such as the BBC headline “Israel strikes Gaza Hamas sites after rocket attacks”. Steven Salaita writes that efforts to render Israel perpetually embattled aren’t simply tricks of perspective; they also reinforce tendentious discourses: “What first looks like standard reportage—a delivery of apparent facts, complete with views from both sides—is actually stock dissimulation that (intentionally or not) confers responsibility for harming children not on the Israeli bombers, but on the people who endured their detonation.”
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 Trump presidency as hateful and unpleasant and regrettable as it has been, has created great openings for the left. We are now living in a radical age, and the left is getting to offer its answers, on such matters as capitalism and the patriarchy. If Clinton had won, the sexual harassment wave wouldn’t have happened.
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.”
The domestic political fight that is Russiagate takes up all the media’s attention, while civilians killed by US bombs are like ants on the sidewalk. That’s because U.S. crimes against humanity 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.
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.