Category Archives:
Media

Yakov Rabkin’s devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism

Philip Weiss on

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.

Israel’s P.R. campaign is failing: the more Americans know, the less favorable they are

Philip Weiss on

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.

How 1967 changed American Jews

Philip Weiss on

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.

The ’67 War called Tony Judt to Israel — where he found an ‘anachronism’ he ‘intensely disliked’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

From ‘Avalon’ to Madoff: What ‘The Wizard of Lies’ reveals about contemporary American Jewish identity

David Shasha on

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.

On not going to one’s 60th reunion at Yale

Joel Kovel on

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.

Palestinian hunger strike spreads outside prison walls, but JVP says NYT hasn’t kept pace

Allison Deger on

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.

Senator on Intelligence Committee says Jews in Diaspora are spies for Israel

Philip Weiss on

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.”

On ‘NYT’ stage, Roger Waters calls BDS ‘valid and legitimate picket line’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

At PEN festival, Patti Smith honors Rachel Corrie

Philip Weiss on

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.

Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel

Philip Weiss on

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.

Why not a probe of Israel-gate?

Robert Parry on

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.

Making Marwan Barghouti a terrorist

Jonathan Ofir on

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.

What the New York Times tells us about its Israel/Palestine contributors–and what it doesn’t

Amith Gupta on

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 war for ‘The New York Times’

Philip Weiss and (((James North))) on

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.