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.
Category Archives: Media
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 In the New York Times, Bret Stephens says the Second Amendment is an anachronism and should be repealed.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.
“In the age of the internet, this article just ricocheted all over the world very very quickly. Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University told me that the morning after the piece had hit the internet, 14 different people had sent him a link for the piece” — John Mearsheimer reflects on the article The Israel Lobby, 10 years after its publication as a book.
If you are going to make a list of crazy UN speeches, you really have to twist yourself into a pretzel not to mention Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrics. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC does the pretzel: she overlooks Netanyahu’s cartoon bomb and 44 seconds of silence, then cites Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, wearing a gun to the General Assembly in 1974.
Amanda Taub’s smart piece in the NYT on ethnic cleansing as an inevitable consequence of national “self-determination” cites examples of Rohingya, Roma, Jews and Muslims. The glaring omission is the Nakba, the expulsion of 700,000+ Palestinians during the creation of Israel. The Nakba is an American issue; Bernie Sanders and historian David Myers agree on that. But the Times can’t address Palestinian conditions.
A young operative from the heart of the pro-Israel community, Richard Goldberg, is pushing “regime instability” in Iran in a document circulating at the White House and in the Republican Congress. Goldberg has has worked with Stand With Us and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The document calls on the president to threaten a “global economic embargo” of Iran so as to undermine the regime.
Liberal Zionists in the media set red lines on what can’t be covered. So the rejection of BDS in the Chicago governor’s race, or Steven Salaita’s career destruction, or Gary Ginsberg’s speechwriting for Netanyahu are all non-stories for the mainstream press.
Novelist Nathan Englander has a new political thriller called “Dinner at the Center of the World,” based on his efforts to imagine peace between Israel and Palestine, but asked if Israel should give up its character as a Jewish state and be a democracy, he says, “I’m a fiction writer… I have never even thought about having to take a personal stand like that as being imperative upon me.”
This is an incredible story about the power of the Israel lobby inside Democratic Party politics, and in Chicago. Daniel Biss, a progressive state senator contending for the Democratic nomination to be governor of Illinois, has dropped his running mate, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, over Israel issues — two days after Illinois congressman Brad Schneider revoked his endorsement of Biss, because Ramirez-Rosa had supported Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
Conan O’Brien didn’t just flout the calls on artists to boycott Israel, he mock-trained with the Israeli army, making light of their deadly arms, and hung out with Benjamin Netanyahu, doing dog jokes at the Prime Minister’s house. “Conan in Israel” will air in September, but the damage to O’Brien’s brand is already happening, on social media.
Eleven years after Jimmy Carter was excommunicated for using the word “apartheid” to describe Palestine, the description is showing up in more mainstream places. The Israeli human rights organization Peace Now says that Hebron has an “apartheid system,” and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff says in the New Yorker that it’s only a matter of time before Europe says “No more apartheid!” to Israel.
The New Yorker runs a long article about an Israeli TV series involving an Israeli military unit in the West Bank, and it’s filled with the usual shooting-and-crying theme — the oh so sensitive but tough Israelis telling an American journalist about the occupation.
In a breakthrough, the Forward runs Naomi Dann’s piece saying that Zionism is racist. While Forward editor Jane Eisner promptly denounced the article as untrue, the debate in the liberal newspaper is a sign that the U.S. Jewish monolith in favor of Israel is crumbling, and open debate about how safe Jews are in the west, and how unsafe Zionism has made Palestinians, has begun.
The New York Times once again opens its op-ed pages to a militant Zionist, Daniel Gordis, to argue that Jews in Israel are safer than in America because they have overcome their fears by handling guns. He never says what they do with those guns: Oppress Palestinians without rights in the occupation.
Wolf Blitzer and Josh Marshall are strong voices against white nationalist violence. Yet Blitzer once wrote that the Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine was a “spurious myth.” And Josh Marshall named his son after an Israeli general who committed ethnic cleansing. Charlottesville is a moment of truth. If you’re going to stand up for liberal values here, you need to criticize Jewish nationalism there.