Category Archives: US Politics
The report is that Bernie Sanders just won a string of concessions from the Hillary Clinton camp on the 2016 party platform. Wall Street reform, banking reform, regulations on hedge funds, criminal justice reform, greater opposition to the death penalty, and let’s fight for a $15 minimum wage. Sanders is “winning some big victories,” says Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, but guess what’s not in the concessions? Where are Clinton’s redlines? You guessed it. Vox says the sticking points are Trans Pacific Partnership, stronger measures to slow global warming, and Israel Palestine.
It’s about time American Jews talked about the problem of dual loyalty inherent in Zionism; and a pro-Israel publication, the Jewish Week, encouraged that discussion by running a column on how “Israel Firsters,” those who vote on the basis of what is best for Israel, are approaching this election.
Three writers on the left, David Bromwich, Eli Clifton and Donald Johnson, fault Hillary Clinton’s essentially-neoconservative approach to foreign policy. She never vigorously opposed the Vietnam War and called that war, like the Iraq war she supported, a “mistake.” Shouldn’t there be more accountability?
Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says the Congress would expel a member for doing what Knesset member Hanin Zoabi did yesterday; but the historian has his facts wrong. Congress has only expelled 5 members, none for dissent.
New Jersey became the 11th state to pass legislation against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The law to prohibit pension fund investment in pro-boycott companies now goes to Governor Chris Christie, who is expected to sign the bill. The move by the State Assembly is a defeat for for opponents of the bill who say the measure is an attack on the First Amendment right to boycott Israel.
Hillary Clinton is gaining the support of the neoconservative establishment. Alan Dershowitz is for her “muscular foreign policy.” Robert Kagan is holding a fundraiser for her. And even possible veep-nominee Sen. Elizabeth Warren emerges as a “surprising Israel hawk,” says the Forward.
Michael Gordon piped neoconservative and Israeli objections to the Iran deal in the New York Times a year ago and also helped foment the Iraq war with the bogus aluminum-tubes story. Now he lands at a neoconservative thinktank that opposed the Iran deal as a writer-in-residence for the summer.
Netanyahu’s only goal is to control the news cycle and the New York Times gave him two solid victories last week by playing up a misstatement by Palestinian president Abbas in Brussels. And the construction of Abbas’s line as anti-Semitic reflects the power in our discourse of a tribal Jewish fantasy: non-Jews are always thinking anti-Jewish thoughts.
Cynthia Ozick has expressed racist views of Palestinians loving hatred more than bread — “they have reared children unlike any other children, removed from ordinary norms and behaviors” — but extolling the novelist at 88 in the NY Times Magazine Giles Harvey does her a great blessing, by leaving ’em out!
We’re closely following the reception of Ben Ehrenreich’s big new book, The Way to the Spring, because he is offering American media a fresh opportunity to discover the simple truths of occupation: that overwhelming military enforcement of apartheid and dispossession in occupied territories will spark resistance, including (horrors!) the throwing of stones by young men. […]
Susie Day imagines a series of satirical letters from Hillary Clinton’s most ardent admirer: “As Senator, you masterfully voted for the war in Iraq, and have for years expertly supported just about every U.S. military intervention – without losing an ounce of your femininity. As Secretary of State, you deftly orchestrated the bombing of Libya. And when Muammar Gaddafi died, sodomized with a bayonet blade, you wittily quipped on TV news: “We came, we saw, he died.” You even got the State Department to approve $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation. Take THAT, sexism!”
Following the massacre carried out by Omar Mateen in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, the subject of homosexuality in the lives of American Muslims has been brought front and center. Katie Miranda discusses her own conversion to Islam and her challenges with homophobia in the Muslim community: “People are free to believe what they want to believe about homosexuality. The problem is the homophobic rhetoric in the Muslim community which is as vile as the Islamophobic rhetoric coming from Pam, Donald and the mainstream media. Let’s not keep our heads in the sand about this anymore.”
A frontpage article in the New York Times says that 30-60,000 Palestinians a year go illegally across the “security barrier” to work in Israel, along with 55,000 legal workers; thus making clear that the wall hasn’t stopped attacks on Israelis, Palestinians have chosen not to use violence by and large.
PEN American Center released a statement last Friday expressing concern over Israel’s arrest of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was arrested in October 2015 over a poem and two Facebook posts. The PEN American Center statement is welcome because it uses the organization’s credibility to draw attention to the injustice of Tatour’s detention, yet it denies Tatour’s very self-identification as a Palestinian, denies the existence of Israeli military occupation, and fails to call for Tatour’s release.