Israeli consul general Dani Dayan warns American Jews that recent differences with Israel must not lead to a divorce from that country. “We may be Jewish but our marriage is Catholic, there is no divorce in our marriage. We may need a lot and apparently we do need a lot of marital counseling, but– no divorce in our marriage,” he said.
Category Archives: US Politics
In this moment of nuclear proliferation, police brutality, resurgent Nazism, and stunning inequality, Zionists have managed to find the real enemy: a children’s book. The offending title is ‘P is for Palestine’, and Zionists have reacted as if it’s the Hamas charter. Why? Simply put, nothing threatens Israel more than the survival of Palestinian identity through successive generations, which is exactly what ‘P is for Palestine’ tries to accomplish.
Israel can expect more understanding from Donald Trump’s negotiating team because they are all observant Jews, Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency said Tuesday night. Netanyahu will come forward with a ‘serious’ proposal for peace, Sharansky says, and Arab countries will put pressure on Palestinian leadership to accept it.
Liberal Zionists are in crisis. Alon Ben-Meir says the left is alive and strong in Israel, and it will revive the two-state solution. While Danny Seidemann of Peace Now warns that Netanyahu has approved a “Doomsday settlement” that would cut off Bethlehem from Jerusalem for Palestinians, meaning the dream of a Palestinian state is dead.
Palestinian leadership has been told that the U.S. government is on the verge of decertifying their right to maintain an office in Washington because they had the audacity to complain to the International Criminal Court about Israel’s land theft and settlement activity in the occupied territories. James Zogby writes, “Imagine that you are a victim of a violent crime or theft but are forbidden from reporting it because Congress has passed a law that not only prohibits you from reporting the crime, but threatens punishment if you dare to do it. This is the situation in which the Palestinians find themselves today.”
David Harris of the American Jewish Committee is pained that young Jews don’t feel “a sense of unbridled joy and pride and thrill” in the creation of Israel, but in fact some feel hostility. “What are we doing wrong in our homes? What are we doing wrong in our schools?” he asked at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, N.Y.
David Harris of the American Jewish Committee says Israel has greater legitimacy than the United States, because the U.S. doesn’t have the bible or the Balfour Declaration to affirm the connection of Americans to the land. The bible talks about Zion and Jerusalem, not New York and Washington. And Harris praises colonialism in the Americas and Australia/NZ in justifying Zionist claims.
The Trump presidency as hateful and unpleasant and regrettable as it has been, has created great openings for the left. We are now living in a radical age, and the left is getting to offer its answers, on such matters as capitalism and the patriarchy. If Clinton had won, the sexual harassment wave wouldn’t have happened.
Nasser al-Qudwa, spokesperson for the Palestinian party Fatah, said that if the Trump administration follows through on the congressional effort to shut down the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., “there will be a serious repercussion” — possibly the collapse of the efforts by Trump’s negotiating team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
David Harris of the American Jewish Committee says it’s his “Jewish duty” to put aside political differences with Trump and advocate for Israel. Speaking to a liberal Westchester synagogue, Harris also took a shot at the president. Asked, “Has Jared Kushner sought your counsel?” he shot back: “You’d have to ask Moscow.”
Open Hillel, IfNotNow, and Jewish Voice for Peace, have all decentralized Zionism from Jewish political life, and the Zionist Organization of America’s gala honoring Steve Bannon is assisting that process. The drama of Zionist donors, cozying up to figures of Christian nationalism and regressive nostalgia, brings to mind Theodor Herzl’s attempt at collaboration with Russian anti-Semitic Interior Minister von Plehve.
Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s nominee to head the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, actively works to pass and enforce legislation that suppresses civil and human rights and criminalizes constitutionally protected free speech. His nomination points to the increasing convergences of white supremacy, fascism, and Zionism.
On Nov. 28, the New School in New York is to host a panel on the use of the anti-Semitism charge to protect Israel from criticism. It features two activists who support boycotting Israel, Linda Sarsour and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. The New School is under attack from pro-Israel groups; some fear that the panel could be shut down, as the Anti Defamation League accuse Sarsour and Vilkomerson of fomenting anti-Semitism. Just what the panel is about!
In an important new piece in the New York Review of Books, David Shulman says that the “heroic myth” of Israel as a savior of the Jews has been eclipsed by an awareness of the “terrible violence” inflicted on Palestinians and the need to give equal rights to all between the river and the sea. The anti-apartheid-style struggle for basic rights has begun, and “at whatever cost, we will win.”
The State Department threatened Friday to close the Palestinians’ Washington office unless they enter into direct negotiations with Israel. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians have run afoul of a condition in the law that allows their mission to the U.S. to function which prohibits the Palestinians from requesting the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.
The domestic political fight that is Russiagate takes up all the media’s attention, while civilians killed by US bombs are like ants on the sidewalk. That’s because U.S. crimes against humanity are never seen as scandals, except maybe a century later. At most we just treat war crimes as policy disputes. Nobody expects a bipartisan investigation into our ties with the Saudis.
The signature moments of the Clinton scandals involve threats against people who were going to talk about his sex life. When Lindsey Graham asked in the House, Is this Peyton Place or Watergate? we said, Watergate. It wasn’t just about a blowjob.
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens says that Jewish Voice for Peace is as anti-Semitic as white nationalists like Richard Spencer because it undermines “Israel’s right to exist.” This is a clever feat of propaganda for Israel: Stephens is saying that Israel has a right to discriminate against Palestinians. People need to call it out as racist claptrap.
The tag team of Benjamin Netanyahu and former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro springs into action on Iranian earthquake. “Our humanity is greater than their hatred,” Netanyahu says of Iran. And Shapiro echoes, “Sadly, Iran hates Israel more than it wants to find earthquake victims.”
Ron Brummer of the Israeli Ministry for Strategic Affairs says there’s no point in just boycotting the settlements because there’s only one economy between the river and the sea. “If you want to divest from the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, you have to divest from Israel, which means you boycott Israel completely.”
Steven Salaita visits Hawaii to learn more about Kanaka Maoli resistance and to converse with local activists and intellectuals about Palestine. He writes, “Enough commonalities exist among the two nations for a shared political project: both suffer military occupation, land theft, foreign settlement, and structural racism. In fact, they contest the same colonial apparatus. This point may seem counterintuitive, but these days the United States and Israel differ only according to technicalities of nomenclature and color scheme. Collusion between the US and Israel is by now axiomatic. People needn’t be identical to know that it is foolish to oppose one of those powers while ignoring the other.”
United States Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced on Tuesday a bill to the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to bar U.S. government aid and funding from supporting Israeli military detentions of Palestinian children and their prosecution under Israel’s military court system. The legislation is said to be the first time a bill on Palestinian human rights has ever been introduced to U.S. Congress.
On November 7, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings over the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bill that would broaden the definition of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel. Dr. Barry Trachtenberg, the Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, argued that the act’s definition of antisemitism was deeply flawed because it defines all accusations of American Jewish dual-loyalty as inherently antisemitic. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center accused Trachtenberg of providing ”cannon fodder for antisemites”. In many ways, the exchange between Cooper and Trachtenberg mirrored the debate the American Jewish community has been having about dual loyalty since the establishment of Israel.
David Brooks does a limited confession of his mistake in supporting the Iraq war. He was naive. “People like me used to advocate for spreading democracy around the world. Sometimes we were naive. And Iraq was Iraq and it didn’t work out. But at least it was a belief in essential progress.”
No individual had as large a role in Israel’s shift from an embattled settler state to a regional power as James Angleton, the head of counterintelligence at the CIA in the 50s-70s, who relied on Israeli intelligence in his battle against communism. Angleton overlooked Israel’s acquisition of nukes, Jefferson Morley relates in his new biography of Angleton, The Ghost.