Virtually the entire establishment has lined up behind him, Obama aides are quietly cheering, Anne-Marie Slaughter finally got what she wanted, Brian Williams found the images of war “beautiful,” and the few Democrats who have challenged Trump, notably Chris Murphy of Connecticut, are hedging by the second, under the glare of Chris Matthews.
Category Archives: US Politics
Palestinian activist Yazan Khader writes, “IfNotNow is a very effective group. It has managed to ignite a stagnant conversation within the American Jewish community. For myself and many other Palestinians, their work is a cause for refreshing optimism. But it would be wrong to assume that they are without blemish. To succeed, and to succeed well, IfNotNow should begin talking to Palestinians, not in a way that takes away from their potency as an anti-occupation group working within the Jewish community, but in a manner that guides it.”
Trump strike on Syria leads Chuck Schumer and Netanyahu to cheer him, neocon Elliott Abrams to liken him to Kennedy and Reagan, while Steve Walt says air strikes are “easy way to look tough w/o fixing anything.”
Jewish Israelis maintain the occupation because they know they will only lose under a one-state or two-state outcome, and so they have elected the perfect choice in Netanyahu to maintain that immoral system of complete control over Palestinians, depriving them of rights, Noam Sheizaf said at a Bay Area synagogue last week. And they may get away with it.
“I believe there is no weapon more powerful in the fight against BDS than for Israel to develop technologies that the world cannot live without,” Alan Dershowitz says, but the air-to-water technology he touts is being developed in many places in the world.
Liz Rose reflects on the 2017 JVP membership meeting in Chicago: “Stefanie Fox, Deputy Director at JVP, also critiqued the power structures that drive Israeli politics in her opening remarks at Saturday’s plenary. Fox talked about her own process of getting ‘past the layers of denial,’ and moving to the place where she could ‘acknowledge what had been stolen.’ Quoting from Adrienne Rich’s poem, ‘Diving into the Wreck,’ Fox read, ‘I came to explore the wreck,’ and she beautifully connected Rich’s poem to her own ‘understanding the wreck of Zionism.'”
“Liberals who for years on end warn Israel about the future are just afraid to admit that the future has long since arrived.” Larry Derfner, a prominent American-turned-Israeli journalist, has written a brave and compelling new memoir that indicts liberal Zionism.
In the last week there have been four momentous events in the Jewish political world, two of them soul-crushing, two of them uplifting. The events signal a major change in Jewish political culture that is likely to leave many of us speechless in months and years to come, and signal that a revolution in Jewish community definition is coming. The radicalization of liberals by Trump is accelerated inside the Jewish community by Israel’s failures, supported by the Jewish establishment.
StandWithUs, an Israel-advocacy group, is sponsoring a pinkwashing event in Seattle, this time with a trans soldier who “advises youth, soldiers, and professionals on how to better integrate trans* people into the armed forces.” The Seattle LGBTQ Commission has invited its own commissioners, as well as a handful of local queer activists, to a roundtable discussion with the Israeli military officer. Nada Elia asks, “Will the Seattle LGBTQ commission do the right thing, and completely dissociate itself from the event, by refusing to participate in the roundtable discussion, or will it knowingly acquiesce to being a tool of propaganda for a foreign regime widely denounced as engaging in the worst forms of brutal settler-colonialism and apartheid?”
Kamal Nayfeh, 55, was an out-of-towner waiting to hug goodbye his daughter who lives in Washington DC, in the moments before he was beaten by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), outside of a policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Nayfeh and his daughter, who witnessed the attack, talk to Mondoweiss’s Allison Deger about the event and its aftermath. “I’ve been seeing a trend towards violence and all of those violent group are re-emerging. The country is so divided, and all of those groups that never had a voice are popping out and showing their hate,” Nayfeh says.
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue says that speaker after speaker at AIPAC said that Israel is not an apartheid state, but his own daughter squirmed and pointed out, If Palestinians can’t vote, doesn’t that make it an apartheid state?
US politicians swearing fealty to Israel at AIPAC know there are cracks in US support. “When people sometimes say to me, the United States is so overwhelmingly partial to Israel in this discussion, I say Yes of course. We have been friends for a long time,” Nancy Pelosi admits.
VP Mike Pence was introduced at AIPAC as an enemy of BDS and told the group that Trump is seriously considering moving embassy to Jerusalem. Meanwhile,, young Jewish protesters outside call the occupation a moral crisis in the Jewish community.
“Senator Hatfield said– and I will never forget these words as long as I live– ‘In this great distinguished institution of the United States Senate, when the Israel lobby says jump, 90 plus of my colleagues say how high. They never ask why.'” Khalil Jahshan at the annual Israel lobby conference in Washington, D.C.
Yesterday the Senate confirmed the president of a settler financing group, who called left-wing Jews ‘kapos’ and accused Barack Obama of “blatant ani-Semitism” (on more than one occasion), as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.
The Rasmea Defense Committee announced yesterday Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, “has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.”
Robert Silvers, the late editor of the New York Review of Books, ran Tony Judt’s great piece imagining a one-state democracy in Israel and Palestine in 2003, and then he ran away from it. Silvers could take on the establishment over Vietnam, Iraq, and Freud; but he couldn’t really go after Israel.
The creation of the new DNC deputy chair position and appointment of Keith Ellison to this never-before-existing post was an attempt to dress-up another ugly smear campaign against an African American Muslim candidate to protect Israel’s influence over the Democratic Party.