Category Archives: US Politics

Desmond Tutu: Maryland legislature’s anti-boycott effort designed to ‘punish and intimidate’

The battle to officially condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Maryland is coming down to the wire. A Maryland delegate has inserted language into the state budget that implies the academic boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic. But Palestine solidarity and civil liberties groups are waging a campaign to erase the language from the budget. And they have an influential figure on their side: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 13 Comments

‘The Shondes’ singer Louisa Solomon endorsed BDS, so– DC JCC cancels her band’s gig

Brooklyn rock group The Shondes, whose critically-acclaimed 2013 album “The Garden” was praised by mainstream and Jewish press alike, were scheduled to headline the Washington Jewish Music Festival on June 2, but the DC Jewish Community Center (DC JCC) has now reneged on their invitation, citing lead singer Louisa Solomon’s past comments on Israel, specifically her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

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

Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit’s ‘My Promised Land’

Haaretz columnist and author Ari Shavit has gone all in on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” And if you read his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, you’ll understand why. Shavit is a devoted proponent of liberal Zionism, an ideology that pushes a peace agreement to save Israel’s Jewish character in the face of what they call “demographic threats.”

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, US Politics | 38 Comments

Both Sides: Anti-BDS concerns on campus vs. life in the occupied territories

Katie Miranda contrasts anti-BDS concerns heard on U.S. campuses versus the reality of life for Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Posted in BDS, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, US Politics | Tagged | 94 Comments

Former Israeli general: failed peace talks won’t lead to doom

Amos Yadlin is very comfortable with Israel’s regional situation. In a conversation with New York Times journalist Ethan Bronner, the former Israeli general predicted that the peace talks with the Palestinians would fail. “The chance of Kerry succeeding is like my chance to win the lottery if I didn’t buy a ticket,” he said, but dismissed predictions of doom if that came to pass, suggesting that Israel can cope with pressure and that the country should unilaterally withdraw to the line drawn by the West Bank separation barrier. Yadlin was also sanguine about the Arab Spring’s impact on Israel, saying that Arab countries are focused internally and that Egypt’s military regime is preferable to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Posted in Arab Spring, Egypt, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 43 Comments

The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs

Pro-Israel groups are laying the blueprint for an attack on Middle Eastern studies programs. At a recent panel in Washington, D.C., Israel advocates outlined their plan: use amendments to an education law to pull federal grants from Middle Eastern studies programs they deem overly critical of Israel.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged | 14 Comments

Not an April Fool’s joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is close to concluding a blockbuster deal between the U.S., Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to Haaretz. The agreement would include a limited Israeli settlement freeze, release of Palestinian prisoners, the release of the spy Jonathan Pollard, and the extension of the Kerry peace negotiations for one year. During that year the Palestinians would not any make claims against Israel before the United Nations. ‘New York Times’ commenters say the U.S. is being manipulated once again, for a sham peace process.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 88 Comments

Mahmoud Abbas vs Mohammed Dahlan: The showdown begins

Mahmoud Abbas, 79, is an aging president of an authority that has access to funds but no real sovereignty or political leverage (aside from what Israel finds acceptable); and Mohammed Dahlan, 52, is in exile in the UAE after his supporters were chased out of Gaza by Hamas in 2007, and then the West Bank by his own party in June 2011. But Dahlan, aided by some strong friends around the region – and of course, his old intelligence contacts in Israel and the US – is unmistakably plotting a comeback.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | 17 Comments

Removal of Barnard Palestine solidarity banner was discriminatory act of censorship

A banner showing a map of historic Palestine with the words “Stand for justice, stand for Palestine” on it was removed by the president of Barnard college. In response, the Center for Constitutional Rights sent a letter to the president, saying that the removal of the banner was an unjustified act of censorship.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 14 Comments

Right-wing news outlets attack U. Mich’s divestment drive

Right-wing news outlets and Israel lobby groups have mounted a concerted campaign over the past few days to attack students leading the call for divestment at the University of Michigan (UM). The latest attack smears a student over a photo, the meaning of which was distorted by a neoconservative news outlet.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Media, Neocons, US Politics | 30 Comments

Loyola student government president vetoes divestment resolution

Two votes in a row calling for divestment were not enough to convince the Loyola student government president to let the measure stand. Pedro Guerrero, the president of the Loyola United Student Government Association, vetoed a resolution calling on the school to divestment from corporations involved with the Israeli occupation. The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the school said Guerrero had “caved” under pressure.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 38 Comments

NY Times should apologize for publishing Palestinians ‘have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews’

Ira Glunts calls on readers to send a letter to Margaret Sullivan, the Public Editor of The New York Times, asking the paper to apologize for printing slanderous letter in the New York Times Book Review.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Media | 33 Comments

BDS’ big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down

Debate on divestment and Israel exploded on college campuses last night. For the second time in two weeks, Loyola University’s student government voted to call on their school to divest from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation. But in the vote that captured the most attention, the University of Michigan’s student government voted down a call for divestment. Still, students in support of the resolution said it was a victory to spark a campus-wide debate on the occupation and Palestine.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged , , , , | 149 Comments

U.S. intel analysts doubt Israeli claim that captured weapons were headed to Gaza

Remember the massive Israeli photo ops earlier this month during the grand unveiling of “advanced” weapons bound for “terrorist organizations” in Gaza? Well, Reuters is reporting some US analysts don’t think it was headed to Gaza.

Posted in Egypt, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Policy in the Middle East | 58 Comments

Avigdor Lieberman claims transferring Palestinian citizens is perfectly legal

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office has produced a legal document claiming that transferring Palestinian citizens and their land to a future Palestinian state is legal. Such a plan has already been raised with U.S. officials in the past, and Lieberman is now throwing it back into the mix as the U.S.-led peace process continues. Members of Knesset have slammed the proposal and Palestinian Officials from the Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm have called the proposal a “second Nakba”

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 48 Comments

Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a ‘neo Nazi’ for criticizing Israel

Monday morning, a student member of the Ohio State University Hillel Center made racist references to Desmond Tutu, a leader and veteran of the South African struggle against apartheid, as a “neo Nazi.”

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | 121 Comments

A movement grows in a Georgia church basement

Last night in Decatur, GA about 30 people gathered in a church basement to hear Josh Ruebner discuss his new book Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The evening was a small window into the awareness spreading across this county of the U.S. role in Israel/Palestine, and the movement growing in its wake.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Israel pays journalist $61,800 for good press during Pope’s visit

The Israeli Government Advertising Agency, known for promoting tourism, is paying a journalist $61,800 to cover Pope Francis’s upcoming visit.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media | 18 Comments

US desperate to keep futile peace process going a little longer

Obama seems committed to keeping the peace process show on the road for a while longer, however aware he is of the ultimate futility of the exercise. For the first time since the US launched the Middle East peace talks last summer, the Palestinian leadership may be sensing it has a tiny bit of leverage.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 60 Comments

Is the U.S. quietly imposing travel sanctions on Israeli officials?

As the United States begins implementing travel restrictions on Russian officials involved in the military occupation and annexation of Crimea, there are signs that the State Department has been quietly denying visas to Israeli military and intelligence officials in accordance with a separate set of U.S. laws.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 43 Comments

AIPAC’s 2-state lip-service: conference featured university in settlement

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) claims to support a two-state solution. But the lobby group’s actions tell a much different story. AIPAC invited Ariel University to show off its research at the policy conference’s “village.” The move exposed how AIPAC is, in reality, in favor of a Greater Israel.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Settlers/Colonists, US Politics | 10 Comments

Slim Peace’s slim chances for justice

In the face of growing international solidarity with the BDS call, normalization projects are on the move. Recently, a project titled Slim Peace has made its way from Israel into the United States and claims it merely wants to facilitate “nutritionally-based dialogues” between Muslim and Jewish women. While this may appear an innocent attempt to promote interfaith dialogue and nurture better eating habits, it is in reality a normalizing project that exploits the dieting insecurities of women.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 32 Comments

The battle over Palestine is raging–and Israel is losing: Ali Abunimah on his new book

Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, chronicles how Palestine solidarity activism in the U.S. is on the move, with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement growing in leaps and bounds. Mondoweiss’ Alex Kane sat down with Abunimah to discuss the state of the battle over Palestine, lessons learned from the end of South African apartheid and the potent coalitions the BDS movement is forging in the U.S.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Coming out in support of SJP, Northeastern NLG concerned school ‘unduly influenced by wealthy donors vocal in their support for Israel’

The Northeastern University School of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild supports the Northeastern chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and formally opposes the administration’s decision to suspend the group and sanction its members.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 4 Comments

D.C. Metro ads target US aid to the Israeli occupation

The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy group, is using the beloved Cherry Blossom Festival to attract attention to its message: US aid to Israel has got to stop.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | 12 Comments