“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.
Category Archives: Media
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.
The power of the Israel lobby is in the news. AIPAC overplayed its hand with anti-boycott legislation that Democrats are stepping away from. While Sheldon Adelson is trying to get Trump’s National Security Adviser fired for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. We have a long way before the lobby is openly addressed, though.
In town hall at a Portland high school, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is put on the defensive by questions and heckling over his support for Anti-Israel Boycott Act, and says law is necessary because boycott movement has “grown” and the law could apply to boycotts recommended by the United Nations. The pushback is further evidence of decreasing support for Israel inside the Democratic Party base.
Israel supporters such as Caroline Glick are demanding that Trump fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster because he has fired pro-Israel analysts and supports the Iran deal and considers Israel an occupying power. But realists are still the adults in the Trump administration.
Defenses of Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist attacked as an anti-Zionist by the New York Times, are popping up everywhere. Bob Bland, co-organizer with Sarsour of the Women’s March, writes: “As a cis-heterosexual white woman new to feminist activism, I found that there were times in planning the January march that were uncomfortable.” But she says coalitions of the oppressed and marginalized are essential to taking on Trump.
“You know, you look at Israel – Israel has a wall and everyone said do not build a wall, walls do not work,” Trump tells Mexico’s president in bid to convince him to pay for a similar barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In an interview with the conservative National Review, neoconservative Bari Weiss, who works at the New York Times, says that her goal in castigating Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour as a “strident anti-Zionist” is to make the Democratic establishment of Schumer, Gillibrand and Pelosi “disavow” her. Will Weiss succeed? Neocons have long exercised power in the Democratic Party.
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times and longtime pro-Israel advocate, smears Linda Sarsour as a purveyor of “hate” because she is anti-Zionist. Weiss is in a rich tradition of pro-Zionist advocacy at America’s leading newspaper, but Sarsour’s prominence is endangering that entitlement.
In remarks to congressional interns leaked to the press, Middle East envoy Jared Kushner is pessimistic about any peace deal. “Not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this… There may be no solution,” he says.
In John Lyons’s new memoir, Balcony Over Jerusalem, ex-New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren tells Lyons that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians looks “a lot like apartheid.” The book describes the aggressive attacks Lyons and others suffered at the hands of the Israel lobby, and the Rudoren interview raises the obvious question: why are we learning about Rudoren’s surprising views about Israel and apartheid in an interview with Lyons rather than prominently in the pages of the New York Times, the world’s most influential newspaper? The answer indicates that the lobby’s strategy has been paying handsome dividends.
Times columnist David Brooks says what’s “disturbing” about an interview with President Trump is his confused train of thought: “Spasms about what Napoleon was doing, then we go off to some other issue and some other issue. I thought – and especially compared to the transcripts of Donald Trump 15 years ago, there’s a totally different conversational style, the explanation for which I do not have.”
Jodi Rudoren promoted the Israeli Zionist narrative as bureau chief for the New York Times in Jerusalem. Now she’s the newspaper’s guide in Israel to wealthy visitors for three days during a first-class round the world tour in a private jet next year, 26 days and 9 countries for $135,000.
Veteran Australian journalist John Lyons says that reporters from the New York Times, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters told him that they censor themselves in reporting from Israel lest they be “savagely targeted” by Israel. Reuters even has a list of special words that won’t “upset” Israeli authorities, he said. These pressures are levied by Israel’s friends overseas, to the point that they tie up reporters “for months” when they write critical investigations of Israel.