Pew Research Center released a new survey of American attitudes toward the world yesterday, and on Israel the news is clear: the Democratic Party is split, and Bernie Sanders represents the Palestinian-sympathizing camp and Hillary Clinton the Israel-sympathizing one. Key excerpt (my emphasis): By more than two-to-one (53% vs. 19%) conservative and moderate Democrats sympathize […]
Category Archives: US Politics
What seems to unite all Trump supporters, terrifyingly enough, is their shared fear of Muslim infiltration into American life. Trump has proposed measures that include the tracking and surveillance of American Muslims, and has received standing ovations for it. In the coming weeks Trump will attempt to suture together his party with Islamophobia and Wilson Dizard says we should expect Trump to push anti-Muslim rhetoric very hard, knowing that it is central to uniting disparate communities in his campaign.
When it comes to the Israel/Palestine subject, the elephant in the room is that the only form of bigotry that is ever noticed is antisemitism. No other human rights movement– besides Palestinian solidarity– is automatically accused of being racist. The underlying assumption is that Palestinians just don’t matter that much, so anyone who expresses moral outrage or uses the normal tools of protest, like boycotts, can’t possibly be motivated by human rights concerns.
Indiana’s vote for Bernie Sanders notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton’s path to the Democratic nomination remains all but guaranteed. For the defenders of Palestinian rights who have flocked to Sanders, this is grim news. But in terms of actual U.S. policy in the Holy Land, does it really matter? Is there really a fundamental difference between Clinton and Sanders on this issue? Sandy Tolan says yes. And no. And maybe. In that order.
Hillary Clinton was “swayed” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in seeking to set back the Iran negotiations in 2012 when Secretary of State John Kerry was willing to take risks to achieve the deal, according to a New York Times investigation by Mark Landler, published too late for most Democratic voters.
Harvard conference on science and politics, sponsored by The Israel Institute and Tel-Aviv University, turns blind eye to Palestinians and Israeli occupation.
It was a tragedy that “in place of Jewish prophetic vision, Israel should launch an Orwellian nightmare of double talk, racism, fifth-rate sociological jargon, aimed at proving its racial superiority to the people it has crushed,” Daniel Berrigan said prophetically in 1973; and was denounced by Jewish organizations for saying so.
Legendary investigative journalist Sy Hersh says that Bernie Sanders’s freedom from having to go to pro-Israel NY Jews to raise money to mount a presidential race may allow the United States to finally get a peace deal in the Middle East. “A forbidden statement,” he tells Amy Goodman
Wilson Dizard reports from Washington DC where Donald Trump gave a speech this week outlining his foreign policy: “The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony,” Trump said. That was kind of the scariest thing he said, and also the most indicative of his white, christian-ness trumping the constitution, a document designed in a secular spirit to defuse the deep religious rivalries between Europeans in the New World. It specifically prohibits religious tests, but one of Trump’s main platforms is the banning of Muslims from entering the country. Trump embraces Western values, but all the worst ones. The ones that put Westerners first and everyone else second.”
A Vice News report claiming to expose a “leaked” Israeli military investigation into last month’s execution of a Palestinian man in Hebron is actually a regurgitation of the official Israeli government line disseminated shortly after the killing, and part of an effort to portray the killer as a bad apple, rather than a soldier following orders.
If Sheldon Adelson would buy the world, then Jeffrey Goldberg would be alright. But his troubles are beginning. He is a ruthless propagandist for Israel at a time when young American Jews don’t think it’s cool to shoot wounded Palestinians dead in the name of ethnic solidarity.
Peter Beinart shows how Zionism puts Jews in a double bind: raised to oppose injustice but required to support Israel.
Sandy Tolan analyses the remaining Republican presidential candidate’s views on Israel/Palestine. Donald Trump, despite his wish to be “sort of a neutral guy” on the issue, has adopted the standard Likudnik call to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. John Kasich, for all his “likeable guy” rhetoric, offers up a standard blame-the-victim narrative driven largely by hard right Reagan-era advisers and neocon engineers of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While Ted Cruz, as virulently pro-Israel as any candidate, it is not about the traditional AIPAC alliance. Of course, he loves AIPAC, but for Cruz, Christian Zionism is the key.
Why is the New York Times touting Matti Friedman, who has said critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, as “temperate and careful” while ignoring authors such as Max Blumenthal, Ilan Pappe, and Anna Baltzer?
MD Rep. Chris Van Hollen got into office opposing the Iraq war and in 2006 said Israel’s disproportionate response in Lebanon was hurting the United States. Then AIPAC got him over its knee! And today Van Hollen is the Democratic Senate nominee for Maryland, with the Israel lobby’s support.
In a wide-ranging interview, Norman Finkelstein says the Palestinians are, at this moment, a defeated people, they should recall the success of the first intifada, and “I used to live for my teaching” but has not had a job in ten years.
In Tuesday’s Maryland primary, out-going U.S. Representative Donna Edwards lost her insurgent bid against establishment Democrat Christopher Van Hollen for the party’s nomination for senate. Edwards has been one of the few lawmakers to take a stand for Palestinian rights, and would have been only the second African-American woman to serve in the senate. In her concession speech Tuesday night Edwards slammed economic inequality, racial inequality and pay disparities for women. “It is time for us to have our seat the table as women and workers, as black and brown people, as communities of color. We are no longer content to have you make the decisions for us,” she said, after announcing it was time for Democrats to ask where marginalized communities fit in its “big tent.”
Hillary Clinton’s views of Israel are dictated by AIPAC and have nothing to do with the “mythology” of shared values, says Miko Peled; but a grassroots movement of Palestinian solidarity and BDS activists is changing the US conversation and in the end will force politicians to adopt more evenhanded views.
The New York Times says that Dima al-Wawi, a 12-year-old Palestinian girl, “tried” to stab a security guard at an illegal settlement; in fact she was charged with the intention of doing so. The Times does hasbara for Israel yet again.
“I have seen bad things in my own country, America,” says novelist Michael Chabon, but the Israeli occupation “is the worst thing I have ever seen, just purely in terms of injustice,” and he says he is “culpable” for giving money to the Jewish National Fund.
In the season finale of the hit Comedy Central show ‘Broad City’ Ilana and Abby go on Birthright Israel and in the process make a powerful challenge to Israel’s claim to be the be-all and end-all of Jewish identity. Alex Shams says, “It’s hard to imagine a Birthright episode of this fabulous, feminist stoner comedy going any better.”
Liberals are snickering over the explosion of the Republican Party, but why they think the Democratic Party is so stable? It’s not. Everyone in the establishment is worrying what Bernie Sanders is going to do now. His populist base is bound to become more and more voluble in months to come, amplified by social media. And of course Palestine is helping to destabilize the Democratic power structure. These tensions are evident in the electrifying, seesaw race between two Democratic Maryland congresspeople, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, to win the Democratic nomination this Tuesday to the Senate to replace Barbara Mikulski.
In Bay Ridge Brooklyn, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump found supporters who justly regard the political parties with the same feeling they have about organized crime syndicates. And a lot of Arab Americans backed Sanders, fear Islamophobia, and mistrust Hillary Clinton
How utterly cynical of the New York Times to reveal the fact that Hillary Clinton has a “greater appetite for military engagement” than any other candidate after she has the Democratic nomination virtually sewn up. Shouldn’t voters have been told this much sooner?
As she wooed the New York vote, Hillary Clinton chose to pen a Passover address to Jewish communities globally. In her piece Clinton claims to impart wisdom drawn from parallels she sees between the lessons from the Book of Exodus with current challenges being faced by Israel, and yet for all her worldly wisdom, it is the Former Secretary of State’s willful ignorance of the realities of life for Palestinians and the direct implications of Israeli policies fostering this reality, that shines through strongest.