The Obama administration was hard on Israel from start to finish, in perception of US Jews. Donald Trump’s messaging is better “out of the gate,” says leading liberal Zionist rabbi Elliot Cosgrove.
Category Archives: Neocons
The New York Times sounds like a newspaper opining about the Negro Problem in the 1950s, says Adam Shatz in the London Review of Books, in its pieties about Israeli choices re Palestinians. And Tom Friedman is even worse.
The Republican Jewish Coalition and J Street are at odds over nomination of David Friedman as ambassador to Israel. With Senate hearing on Thursday, Holocaust scholars publish letter vehemently opposing Friedman’s use of the word “kapos” to describe liberal Zionists.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blocked John Bolton’s naming to be Number 2 at State. Now he’s going after Elliott Abrams, and the neocons. They believe in “perpetual war” and they will “scurry in by the hundreds” if Abrams gets the job, he says. Bill Kristol says that’s anti-Semitic.
So who got neoconservative Elliott Abrams a meeting with Trump, and likely appointment as number two at State? The obvious answer is there is a segment of opinion that Trump wants to mollify. The Israel lobby, which even US nationalist Steve Bannon has made peace with.
“As long as Israel is under threat, as long as Israel is not secure,” there will not be a divorce between American and Israeli Jews, says Abe Foxman. “If there is peace– that’s when you are going to deal with the issue of divorce.” So is that why Israel is always at war?
Obama failed to establish a Palestinian state but his success against Netanyahu on the Iran deal and last minute abstention on the UN Security Council resolution against settlements have fostered the international campaign for equal rights in Israel and Palestine.
Donald Trump has now named his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior adviser, notably on Middle East and Israel issues. Ten years ago, Kushner fired Philip Weiss from the New York Observer after Weiss started reporting on the Israeli occupation. Weiss reflects on his experience with Kushner and what it could mean for his upcoming White House role.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu three or four times as often as to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to former State Dep’t aide David Makovsky
Journalist Eli Lake has been unhinged by the UN resolution against Israeli settlements that Obama allowed to go through, and has been accusing Obama of cowardice and hatred, invoking biblical claims to Jerusalem and attacking writers who disagree with him as terrorists
Donald Trump is giving ISIS a recruiting tool by nominating an extremist supporter of settlers as ambassador to Israel in David Friedman. Hatred of the U.S. will increase if the Arab world comes to believe that the U.S. is abandoning the Palestinians.
Kingmakers Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are suddenly reduced to begging for crumbs from their respective political parties. This is the message of John Bolton’s failed candidacy for the State Department, Keith Ellison’s survival as frontrunner for the Democratic Party chair, and Trump’s elevation of extremist David Friedman as his ambassador to Israel. These are all signs of the new nationalism we are going to be seeing in the Trump administration: Jews can have Israel and Palestine, but America is for Americans.
Speaking to an audience at Central Synagogue in New York City, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says BDS is a threat because there are a rising number of minority students on US campuses who think Israel stole the land from Palestinians, and if anti-Semitism worsens, American Jews will expect Benjamin Netanyahu as “the leader of all Jews” to speak out against it in the U.S.
Peter Beinart says Steve Bannon can be accused of misogyny, racism and Islamophobia, not anti-Semitism during an open argument among pro-Israel Jews on CNN, a signal of more and more public disagreement.
Chemi Shalev and Jeremy Ben-Ami say that if Keith Ellison is defeated for Democratic Party chair, there will be a backlash against the organized Jewish community that has opposed a rising star; and that is bad for Jews. Ellison is shaking up the discussion of US policy.
David Brooks is angry about the non-interventionists who have taken over the Republican Party. These populists “hate journalists,” he says. He ought to reflect on his support for the Iraq war, which paved the way for the political revolution on the right.