Category Archives: US Politics

Video: Diane Sawyer misrepresents photo of Gazans in aftermath of Israeli bombing as Israeli victims of Palestinian missiles (Updated)

Major media fail: Diane Sawyer shows two photos of Palestinians in the aftermath of Israeli bombing of Gaza but says the first is a photo of Israelis who have been bombed.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 111 Comments

Deaths of five teenagers in the West Bank expose mainstream indifference to Palestinian life

Mainstream media around the world have broadcast the names and faces of the three Israeli youths killed in the West Bank. In stark contrast, the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Palestinian barely registered in the media. The difference in news coverage highlights international perceptions of Israeli and Palestinian lives, and reflects the unequal social and political order in which Israeli Jewish citizens are prioritised above Palestinians.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 8 Comments

Contradicting Israeli officials, family of Tarek Abu Khdeir says he was attacked while in uncle’s Jerusalem backyard

The family of Tarek Abu Khdeir, the 15-year-old Palestinian-American brutally beaten by Israeli forces, held a press conference today in Florida organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). They say he was standing in his uncle’s backyard when he was ambushed in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem–and did not attack the police, as Israeli officials have claimed. The family, who have been in contact with Tariq’s parents in Jerusalem, is also demanding that Israel pay the costs of medical treatment for the head wounds Tariq suffered.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 95 Comments

Arizona rabbis who stood for LGBT rights at home refuse comment on Israeli rabbi who bars renting to lesbians

In May, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, the municipal rabbi of Ramat Gan, Israel, made a statement against renting property to lesbians on a popular online forum. Dan Cohen approached liberal rabbis in Phoenix, Arizona, Ramat Gan’s sister city, for comment. Even though each of the rabbis had worked to defeat Arizona SB 1062 which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT citizens, none were willing to comment on Rabbi Ariel.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 5 Comments

Caught in a lie: E-mails prove right-wing pro-Israel donor Adam Milstein gave money to California student candidates

Last week, philanthropist Adam Milstein denied that he gave money to student government candidates at UCLA to help the election campaigns of those who were pro-Israel. But documents published by a student news outlet reveal that Milstein, contrary to his denials, did fund the elections of members of the Bruins United slate at UCLA–proving that outside pro-Israel money is being injected into student politics. The revelations have sparked a controversy that threatens to derail the appointment of Avi Oved, one of the student government members aligned with Milstein, to a seat on the powerful UC Regents, which oversees the UC system.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 60 Comments

Senator Rand Paul pens over-the-top pander to pro-Israel crowd

Senator Rand Paul is trying to burnish his pro-Israel credentials before the 2016 presidential election. His latest attempt is an over-the-top column this week in the National Review calling on the U.S. to stop calling for Israeli “restraint” and to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The article is a call for the army to go wild, and has little grounding in facts. It’s all about ingratiating himself to a crowd that has money–the Sheldon Adelson crowd.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Pro-Israel Muslim-basher Adam Milstein at center of storm over funding of California student elections

Right-wing philanthropist Adam Milstein is not a particularly well-known advocate for Israel in the U.S. But the Israeli-American has found himself at the center of a storm over an e-mail sent to him by a student government candidate at UCLA thanking Milstein for his “generous donation” to his election campaign. The disclosure of the e-mail has kicked up controversy, with students across the UC system calling for an investigation into the candidate’s relationship with Milstein, who has repeatedly derided Muslims and Islam. Above, Adam Milstein (far-right) with his wife (far-left) and Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 11 Comments

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

The Office of Legal Counsel memo justifying the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaki claims that federal statutes prohibiting murder do not apply to CIA officers, who operated the drone that killed Aulaki. To bolster the claim, the memo cites a Cold War-era Justice Department memo that argues for the legality of CIA actions in the context of one of the most controversial acts of the Reagan years: the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors in April 1984, which killed several people.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 4 Comments

Hewlett-Packard’s complicity in occupation makes headlines

The lead article in Sunday’s business section of the San Francisco Chronicle warns HP’s role in Israel could lead to political pressure. Although never mentioning the Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement directly, the Chronicle informs its readers Hewlett-Packard, a local Bay Area company, is the target of “an international campaign” that has “emerged to pressure Israel by persuading investors to dump shares of companies that do business with the government or operate in the disputed territories.”

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine, Media | 22 Comments

Can a neocon change his spots (and come back as a liberal interventionist for Hillary Clinton)?

The neoconservatives are on the run. The latest upheaval in Iraq has further discredited them for destabilizing the country in the first place; and they are being called out in the mainstream media. But the neoconservatives’ partners in crime have gone largely blameless: American liberal interventionists and the Israeli right. When will they come in for criticism? Until they do, it seems that the neoconservative agenda is alive and well.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Comments Off

‘J Street has to change or die’: Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists

The Presbyterian Church’s decision to divest from three corporations linked to the Israeli military has highlighted a growing rift between two-state solution advocates who see divestment as a legitimate tool and J Street, the leading liberal Zionist group who lobbied against the church measure. The divestment resolution comes at a time of growing frustration among those who believe in a two-state solution. Increasingly, those desperate to end the occupation are looking to the tactics BDS is pushing for salvation. And those same people, J Street’s natural constituency, are starting to voice criticism of the group for its ardent opposition to BDS.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 65 Comments

Jeffrey Goldberg leads the charge on latest BDS smear: Presbyterian Church divestment is anti-Semitic because David Duke supports it

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Never before have so many pro-Israel Jews and mainstream Jewish organizations excitedly promoted the website of David Duke and wanted to know: “What does former Klansman and white supremacist David Duke think?” What’s the cause of this turn of events? Duke recently issued a statement in support of the Presbyterian Church USA’s move for divestment. The insinuation—rarely spelled out—is that if someone as anti-Semitic as Duke agrees with an action, the action itself is anti-Semitic. The tactic of using Duke to smear progressive movements is an old one, and this time the charge is being led by none other than Jeffrey Goldberg.

Posted in BDS, Media | Tagged | 120 Comments

In life and death, some are more equal than others at the ‘NYT’

Have you heard? Three Israeli teenagers have gone missing. Three settlers – one of whom may have been a soldier – have disappeared from an area patrolled by their army, the ultimate enforcer of apartheid. According to Jodi Rudoren and Benjamin Netanyahu, they’ve been kidnapped. A Palestinian did it, they say. Forget the evidence – they just know. The King of the Jews made a proclamation and it’s suddenly news that’s fit to print – by a journalist who’s evidently incapable of asking questions.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 20 Comments

West Bank refugee children tell Governor Deval Patrick: ‘Don’t be a partner with Israel in killing us’

Palestinian refugee children have written to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick describing the struggles of their families to get sufficient water to meet their basic needs after Patrick led a large trade delegation to Israel last month with water as a key focus.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 7 Comments

‘AMCHA aims to suppress scholarship honestly discussing Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights’: Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi responds to Israel lobby smear campaign

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi responds to the false allegations made by the AMCHA Initiative in its latest escalation of the McCarthyist repression campaign to silence discussion of Palestinian rights on campus.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 2 Comments

Observations on the Met’s cancelation of the ‘Klinghoffer’ simulcast

New York’s Metropolitan Opera has decided to pull the plug on its worldwide simulcast of a live performance of The Death of Klinghoffer. David Samel offers some observations.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 28 Comments

Reform Jewish leader offers alternative to Presbyterian divestment: meet Netanyahu

Liberal Zionists lobbying against the divestment measure at the Presbyterian General Assembly in Detroit have a new strategy: saying it is part of the BDS agenda, aimed at ending a Jewish state. Reform Judaism head Rabbi Rick Jacobs warned the Presbyterians that they would alienate Jews and offered another plan: “if we are truly partners and you disapprove this divestment overture I look forward to sitting with your leadership in the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem.” Jewish proponents of divestment say the liberal Zionists are employing threats.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 47 Comments

Documents open window into how Israel lobby courts student government members

Documents published by UCLA’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter offer an unvarnished look at the thousands of dollars spent to cultivate the next generation of pro-Israel advocates who are currently college student leaders. Itineraries of the Anti-Defamation League’s and American Jewish Committee’s free jaunts to Israel show that the vast majority of these trips are devoted to meetings with prominent Israeli Jews, some of whom are Israeli military leaders. Above, two students on an Anti-Defamation League trip sit on top of an Israeli tank.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

Evolution of the Bibi-Barack relationship

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Katie Miranda outlines the changes over the years in the relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. While Netanyahu’s approach hasn’t changed much, it seems Obama’s response has.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged | 14 Comments

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

We protesters against the Iraq war were wrong: we did not see just how bad it would be. But Israel’s American neocon boosters got exactly what they wanted– a “clean break” from the historic power struggle in the region, through destabilization of Arab capitals.

Posted in Iraq, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 59 Comments

Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq

Here is how history might have unfolded in an alternate universe in which the U.S. never invaded Iraq. Historians would later record how Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “What if the U.N. inspections have actually worked, Mr. President?” he asked. “It would be a disaster if we invade and then can’t find anything.”

Posted in Iraq, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East | 25 Comments

What the MLA vote showed: Israel is losing the battle for liberal support

Last week, Modern Language Association members voted to condemn Israel’s denials of entry to the Palestinian West Bank. The academics who voted for the resolution recognized that Israel, the United States’ closest ally and a state that so often pretends to be the only democracy in the Middle East, fails to meet the most fundamental standards of political and legal equality. The façade of openness and normality that Israel has tried to present to the world continues to crack.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 16 Comments

BDS activists slam art groups for taking tour to IDF-linked Technion

Two art groups–Creative Time and Independent Curators International–have come under criticism from supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for taking a traveling exhibition to the Technion, an Israeli university with strong ties to the Israeli military and its occupation. Some art collectives involved in the show have pulled out in protest, and an open letter signed by intellectuals and artists criticized the show for violating the BDS call.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 16 Comments

Israeli leader justifies force-feeding bill by pointing to Guantanamo Bay

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the Knesset to pass legislation authorizing the force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers. “In Guantanamo the Americans are using the method of force-feeding too,” Netanyahu reportedly said. The law is being pushed in response to a Palestinian hunger strike that started in April in protest of administrative detention, the practice of holding prisoners without charge or trial.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Politics | 30 Comments

Anti-Cantor coalition included Tea Partiers, Independents, Democrats

Annie Robbins talks to a good friend who lives in Virginia’s 7th district and explains the “unfrigginbelievable” forces that came together to bring down Eric Cantor.

Posted in US Politics | 44 Comments