Pro-Israel activism gave journalist Bari Weiss quite a career. As a youth she bagged one Zionist fellowship after another, leading to opinion editing at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times in her early 30s. Which is no surprise, given the Times’s employment of several pro-Israel columnists.
Category Archives: Media
The nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State means that Donald Trump has adopted an interventionist foreign policy and may kill the Iran deal. Neoconservatives are exulting. While Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares, who pushed the deal, says, “It’s almost as if someone is paying Trump to do it.” That would be Trump’s biggest backer, Sheldon Adelson, who also got the embassy.
California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at AIPAC this year for the second year running, in an indication that she intends to cultivate elites and alienate the leftwing base for political ambition. She bragged to the Israel lobby about helping to build forests on Palestinian lands. “As a child, I never sold Girl Scout cookies, I went around with a [Jewish National Fund] box collecting funds to plant trees in Israel.”
Gideon Levy says that Israeli idealists dreamed of the day when Israeli soldiers would tell their society about the occupation. Then Breaking the Silence came forward, and it was crushed, with the media’s help. Israelis live in denial. “No question marks.” Only outside pressure will force them to end the tyranny over half the population, the Palestinians.
Former dean of Columbia’s school of international affairs Lisa Anderson left her position in 2008 after 12 years on the job in part because of a campaign by pro-Israel rabble rouser Bari Weiss, then a Columbia student, to hold her accountable for inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the school, says a tweeter identifying himself as Anderson’s son. Weiss is now a free speech advocate at the New York Times.
The AIPAC policy conference has featured one prominent Democrat after another seeking to outflank the Trump administration in expressions of love for Israel. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer took the prize by slinging mud at Palestinians and Arabs as the reason there is no end to the conflict. Schumer said the problem is the Palestinians “don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”
War with Iran could “perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become,” Col. Lawrence Wilkerson warns, but Israel is trying to “suck” America in to such a conflict, with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware providing militarist propaganda worthy of the Nazi Joseph Goebbels.
There was no political opposition to Avraham Burg’s message of equal rights in Israel and Palestine at Temple Israel in Brookline, and that’s bad news. The political winds are blowing in such an opposite direction in the U.S. and Israel right now that those who object to his message don’t believe he is even worth pushing back at.
The press is reporting that Jared Kushner’s days as a White House power may come to an end, due to a flurry of reports about his meetings as a Trump adviser with foreign officials and corporate execs who are in a position to help out his family’s troubled real estate company — as well as Kushner’s considerable innocence when it comes to foreign policy. The knives are out, and the latest reports are that Donald Trump himself wants his son-in-law to disappear.
After 75,000 views, Youtube removed a cover version of Lorde’s hit song “Royals” that exalted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) “due to a copyright claim by Kobalt Music Productions.” Youtube let stand many other parodies of the song, often savage toward the artist. There is always an exception for pro-Palestinian creations.
The premier Israel lobby group AIPAC fulfills its mission of guaranteeing bipartisan support for Israel by having many liberal Democratic speakers this weekend: Rep. Adam Schiff, Jake Sullivan, and Tamara Cofman Wittes. Even as the progressive Democratic base grows alienated from Israel, establishment Dems need to show support for the rightwing country so as to preserve their careers.
Adrian Chen’s piece on Russiagate in the New Yorker has an important subtext: There is a narrative to be narrated, dammit, and facts can get in the way. And if you naively choose the facts, you might find yourself demonized as a pro-Putin propagandist. When the truth is that leftwing skeptics of Russiagate are opposed to the MSM’s neverending warmongering.
Ambassador David Friedman’s assertion that uprooting 100s of 1000s of settlers would “cause a civil war” is echoed by many on the left. Both sides imagine a one-state outcome, even as liberal Zionists attack Friedman for suggesting that Israeli society is not resilient and that the two-state solution is right around the corner.
New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Roger Cohen repeatedly bashed the left for not tolerating dissent at a JCC panel about Israel in New York last week. Cohen called for “unsafe” speech and “open discussions, fierce debate” so as to fend off a “monolithic” McCarthyist “mob” on campuses. But the panel itself embodied Jewish intolerance of dissent: All three speakers on stage were ardent Zionists, introduced by a JCC official as people who could reinforce “our commitment to Israel.”
After comedian Sarah Silverman called last week for people “to stand up” for imprisoned Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, she quickly encountered a barrage of feedback that lasted through the weekend. She was labelled a supporter of terrorism, but she stood her ground.
Everyone has heard of Bethlehem, but most Americans know very little about the city. Bshara Nassar’s curated exhibition “Bethlehem: Beyond the Wall” is hitting the road, on view next week at Manhattan College in the Bronx. “I saw how proudly Americans tell their stories to museums. I saw that many immigrants who came to this country have told their stories to these museums,” Nassar told Mondoweiss, “but I couldn’t find a place to tell my story as a Palestinian.”
The running sideshow to the Russian interference story has been Israel’s presence in our politics, witness Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s efforts to punish Al Jazeera for investigating the Israel lobby, and Sheldon Adelson’s gifts to Democrat Bob Menendez. But of course Israeli interference is not a scandal worthy of investigation; and it never draws the wrath of the liberal press.
The New York Times has published an exhaustive front-page article about Gaza’s misery that is a manifesto from Hasbara Central– the Israeli propaganda arm– explaining the worsening tragedy as the product of Palestinian infighting. An Israeli general is quoted at length by reporter David Halbfinger, U.N. and human rights officials not at all. Hamas is alleged to have started three wars, when Israel initiated them.
Amos Schocken, publisher of Haaretz, bashes US ambassador David Friedman for perpetuating “apartheid” in the West Bank, and meantime former Israeli security official Charles Freilich says that Jewish “intermarriage” in the U.S. is threatening Israel’s support because assimilating Jews don’t see the “supreme ideological importance” of the settlements as an “existential” issue for Israel.
Nathan Englander is a superb storyteller in his new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth. And the spiritual portrait of the Israelis is grim. It’s not a happy country. Everyone is narcotized or unconscious or belligerent. The book’s central character is a young American who was deluded by his beautiful Hebrew school teacher to believe that Israel was his birthright, and so he made aliyah, and became a black-ops warrior, only to find that Israel was committing indiscriminate massacres.
Rabbi Susan Silverman describes Israel as a place of refuge in a NYT piece denouncing plans to deport thousands of African refugees. But the piece never mentions Palestinian refugees. “We are the people who expelled over three quarters of a million people in our war of conquest in 1948,” Joseph Levine writes.
Two weeks ago, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen entered my life and that of several Palestinians I introduced him to in the West Bank by having us believe that he sincerely wanted to hear our stories and know our reality. But the column that came out of it, “It’s Time for Mahmoud Abbas to Go,” intentionally ignores the Palestinian reality.
The Ronen Bergman Israeli secret history show went to NPR’s Fresh Air, and it was shooting and crying from beginning to end. Bergman and interviewer Dave Davies practically gush over how clever the killers are and yes, also how moral they are. It’s “unheard of” to kill civilians, Bergman says.
Media redlines on the Israel lobby are still in force: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson publishes an op-ed in the NYT saying that the runup to a war with Iran reminds him of the falsehoods that paved the way for the Iraq war, but he never mentions “Israel’s security” as a motive for neoconservative analysts — points that are at the top of his mind when he is interviewed by the Real News about his op-ed.
Controversy has arisen in recent weeks over the 2017 film, The Insult, Ziad Doueiri’s film and Lebanon’s submission to the 2018 Academy Awards. In a review, film scholar Terri Ginsberg says the movie is a vehicle for pro-Israel propaganda.