Category Archives:
US Politics

Sanders-backed candidate in FL says Wasserman Schultz won’t ‘protect’ Israel

Philip Weiss on
Tim Canova

This is a bizarre political story that highlights the fact that older American Jews don’t want to hear One Bad Word about Israel: A progressive Democrat who has gotten Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in a challenge to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an August 30 primary in Miami, is running to her right on Israel! Law […]

Lawsuit aims to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel as clandestine nuclear power

Mondoweiss Editors on
Countries scaled to the economic aid they receive from the U.S. –
Graphic: howmuch.net

Israel’s nuclear program and the US policy of “ambiguity” on that program violate the foreign assistance act, which was amended in the 70s to bar federal assistance to clandestine nuclear nations. The US is set to provide unprecedented aid to Israel. IRMEP has sued to stop the aid.

When the language of genocide offends us more than ghettoizing another people

Marc H. Ellis on
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, who responded to the Black Lives Matter platform by saying, "Anti-Israel rhetoric like that found in the Movement for Black Lives policy platform is especially troubling because it falsely suggests American Jews – both of color and white – must choose between their commitment to combatting racism in the United States and their Zionism."

Marc Ellis says that following the release of the Movement for Black Lives platform the Jewish establishments have taken out their chalkboard to lecture African Americans on their place in society and global discourse. The accusation, with a long tradition, is that African Americans should stick with Black issues – as defined by the Jewish establishment. Ellis doubts it will work this time. “The Movement for Black Lives has placed Jews on notice that we have arrived at the end of ethical Jewish history,” Ellis writes.

Libertarian candidates say US policy has only made Middle East more dangerous

Wilson Dizard on
Gary Johnson speaking at the 2016 CPAC in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia)

For many people with strong opinions about Israel/Palestine, the 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates don’t offer much in the way of new ideas. With that in mind, a voter might wonder what the Libertarian Party has to offer concerning Israel/Palestine. The Libertarians argue, as they do across the board, for disentangling the U.S. from onerous aid arrangements, but their reasons have less to do with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and more to do with its promise to make government smaller in general. There isn’t a plank for Israel in the Libertarian platform, but in speaking with a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Alex Merced, it appears that the party is the most open to new ideas, for better or worse, of all the parties running this year.

Jewish organizations’ response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel

Julia Carmel on
A member of the Adgluni family watching his house being demolished by Israeli authorities in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem on January 27, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

The Movement for Black Lives has been receiving both widespread praise and criticism over the content of their new platform, particularly in response to their use of the word “genocide” to describe the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. Some of the movement’s critics, including some of the largest Jewish communal organizations in the United States, have even condemned The Movement for Black Lives’ language “in the strongest possible terms.” Their harsh responses are indicative of skewed priorities regarding the struggle for social justice, both in the U.S. and in Israel.

The ‘NYT’ fails to recognize that anti-Palestinian statements can express bigotry

Donald Johnson on
Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed who wrote a recent piece on the Middle East conflict for the New York Times

The New York Times thinks it’s being balanced in a big article on the Middle East conflict on campus, but its chief concern is whether activists are anti-Semitic or not. The possibility that students who support Israeli brutalization of Palestinians might also be guilty of bias never crosses reporter Linda K. Wertheimer’s mind.

Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending ‘oppressive’ settlements

Philip Weiss on
New construction in the Ofra settlement (Photo: Philip Weiss)

The 50th anniversary of the occupation is freeing criticism. Greg Slabodkin, a former AIPAC official, comes for conditioning US aid to Israel on that country agreeing to freeze its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He forthrightly says that Israel’s “oppressive and discriminatory settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem continue unabated.”

Sam Harris and the politics of ‘good intentions’

Shaukat Ansari on
Sam Harris

Prominent “New Atheist” author Sam Harris argues against professor Noam Chomsky that noble intentions of US interventionism morally exonerates any civilian death as ‘collateral damage’. Chomsky maintains that casualties of wars waged by the United States are not by-products of intervention, but are at the very essence of American strategy.

The ‘New York Times’ is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism

Philip Weiss on
Hasia Diner

The New York Times has pointedly refused to cover an important and explosive news story, the rise of Jewish anti-Zionism. Its news columns characterize Palestinian solidarity activists as anti-Semites and it ignores leading voices, from Hasia Diner to Gideon Levy to Max Blumenthal, who are putting Zionism behind them.

Who has ever succeeded in taming patriotism?

Ilene Cohen on
Ghazala and Khizr Khan address the DNC with a"USA" sign in the background. (Photo: Getty)

Ilene Cohen writes: “How curious is it that it took Ghazala and Khizr Khan to make a devastating dent in the nativist, Islamophobic Trump juggernaut and expose the emperor’s ugly nakedness? Admittedly, the success of this effort took an earnest embrace of patriotism and American exceptionalism, plus (inevitably) some embrace of the nobility of war. I hope it doesn’t turn around to bite us. But for the moment, this seems to be the only language that works. Still, it’s worrisome: who, after all, has ever succeeded in taming patriotism?”

Democratic platform is more militant against Iran than it was before Iran deal

Philip Weiss on
Ilya Sheyman

In contrast to a 2012 party platform that emphasized diplomacy with Iran, the new Democratic Party platform threatens military action and sanctions against Iran, and channels Netanyahu in saying Iran denies the Holocaust, supports Hamas, vows to eliminate Israel, and “has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East.”

Sanders delegates recount ‘Orwellian’ message control by Clinton supporters during DNC

Wilson Dizard on
Photo on Twitter from the Democratic National Convention - "We are #ProgressiveforPalestine. We support #Palestinian human rights! #DemsInPhilly #DNCinPHL" tweeted @tamarghabin. (Photo: @tamarghabin/Twitter)

Bernie Sanders delegates to the DNC tell Wilson Dizard how Hillary Clinton supporters orchestrated the systematic suppression of any posters and signs considered critical of the candidate, and even ones dedicated to Palestinian human rights. Sitina Gutierrez, 38, a Bernie delegate from Texas tells him, “Somebody, a Clinton supporter, told me to take my sign down because it’s offensive. I asked her why are Palestinian rights offensive to her and she said ‘because I am for American rights.'”

Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: ‘Not my problem’

Wilson Dizard on
In his speech on the last night of the DNC Reverend William Barber III said, ""Jesus, a brown-skin Palestinian Jew, called us to preach good news to the poor, the broken and the bruised and all those who are made to feel unaccepted." (Image: Carlos Latuff)

Wilson Dizard talks to Mark, a Democratic Party consultant in Philadelphia for the DNC, about U.S. responsibility to the Palestinian people given decades of support for the Israeli occupation. “I feel for them. Palestinian Americans, great. They’re Americans. But Palestinians not my problem. We have things to deal with here,” Mark explains.

Bill Clinton attacked all Muslim Americans during his speech to the DNC

Imraan Siddiqi on
Bill Clinton addresses the DNC.

During his speech to the DNC Bill Clinton said, “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you.” Imraan Siddiqi responds: “The DNC is presenting itself as a more tolerant, open option in comparison to what the RNC has to offer. If we look a little deeper, however – it seems as though there is still much work to do. Bill Clinton’s comments were just a glimpse of this looming beneath the surface.”

Democrats big tent shrinking as Clinton ties up nomination

Wilson Dizard on
(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Wilson Dizard reports from Philadelphia on day three of the Democratic National Convention: “The Academy Awards of Democratic Party politics continued into its fourth day on Thursday after Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination from the party of the people on Tuesday. Protests outside the Wells Fargo Center continue, and sometimes include dissident Bernie Sanders’ delegates who have come to feel the Democratic party doesn’t want them around, and that security confiscates their signs. ‘The DNC has its reps ripping up signs that support Palestinian rights so ppl can’t take them out of the trash,’ tweeted journalist Rania Khalek.”

On Jewishness and criticism of Israel

Joseph Grim Feinberg on
S. An-sky, May 1910. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Joseph Grim Feinberg reflects on Jewishness in contemporary political discourse: “Yes, I am troubled by persistent anti-Semitism in the world. But I am also troubled by the damage done to Jewishness when Jewish identity is collapsed into support for Israeli policy, and when accusations of anti-Semitism are wielded as a tool for silencing debate. What I found so compelling about Jewish history is the wealth of ideas that have emerged surrounding what Jewishness can be. That wealth is lost when name-calling replaces debate, and when a single, tendentious version of Jewishness renders itself impervious to criticism.”