The investigation of Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics dominates the liberal press. Phil Weiss writes that he believes the suspicions about Donald Trump and the Russians, but what stands out to him is that conduct that is Watergate-worthy when it comes to Russia is hunky-dory when it comes to Israel. Just in the last week there have been two other expressions of Israel’s active interests in our politics that the liberal media have failed to say boo about.
Category Archives: US Aid to Israel
The “grip” of AIPAC is so complete that writers who challenge it are smeared as “anti-Semites” and politicians who buck it “see their careers suddenly stalled,” Andrew Sullivan says in denouncing Schumer for leading the charge on the “creeping authoritarianism” of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act before Congress.
Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim’s report at the Intercept on new legislation in the Congress that would criminalize support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Yes, criminalize. The bill is such a crude example of overreach by the Israel lobby that it is sure to backfire on its supporters as Greenwald and Grim’s report ricochets around the Democratic Party
After demonstrators torched two European embassies in Damascus in 2006 in rage over Muhammad cartoons in the western press, then-President George W. Bush told Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, “We need to cut their heads off,” she recalls at an American Jewish Committee conference. And she seems to approve of the idea.
June 8 marked the 50th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, killing 34 American sailors. The case remains a mystery that is the subject of a Haaretz investigation in Israel and a new book, but U.S. media won’t even address the controversy, leaving the case entirely to Letters to the Editor.
“If you can have equal rights for all your citizens as a Jewish state, then great, go for it, show us how.” — Leading Palestinian thinker Nadia Hijab dares Israel.
America has been at war for 15 years but few Americans notice, because overall it is rural communities that have suffered the highest casualty rates, Francis Shen and Douglas Kriner argue in an important new paper. And it was those communities, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, that gave Donald Trump his victory over Hillary Clinton, who was seen as pro-war.
“Perhaps instead of the Taylor Force Act, Congress should bring some other bills to the floor—bills that would begin to address the real problems in Israel/Palestine,” writes Kathryn Shihadah.
The double standard of American Jewish political power for Zionists: American Jews should back the Israeli occupation unquestioningly and fight the boycott movement against Israel over Palestinian human rights, but when it comes to freedom of Jewish worship in Jerusalem, US Jews should use that boycott power to bring the Netanyahu government to its knees.
Recent days have dashed any thought that Donald Trump would be neutral or an honest broker. Negotiator Jason Greenblatt spent all his time echoing the Israeli message about the conflict, while envoy Jared Kushner reportedly angered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by carrying Netanyahu’s talking points to Ramallah.
If Peace Now is so opposed to the Israeli occupation, why does it help pay the salary of a man who promotes it nonstop: Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents. Young Jews who are resisting the occupation would never do such a thing.
In yet another sign that the Democratic left is determined to stand up for Palestinian human rights, 34 congresspeople have signed letters supportive of Issa Amro, the courageous and non-violent leader of protest actions in occupied Hebron who has been accused by Israel of a series of absurd charges going back to 2010, including “insulting a soldier,” “assault” and demonstrating without a permit.
In a speech to visiting young Jews, Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel’s “hand is outstretched to peace,” but he twice makes a fist as he says it.
The 1967 war was not an existential crisis, Israeli scholar Guy Laron tells Wilson Center. “The Israeli general staff quietly knew that they’re going to win the war big.” And the CIA told LBJ the same thing: “If Israel is attacked, it will win in a week.”
Yakov Rabkin’s book “What Is Modern Israel?” is one of the most important critiques of Zionism ever published. Zionism is opposed to Jewish tradition and to liberalism, and it has fostered a deep sense of insecurity in Israeli Jews and made American Jewish leaders into “vassals” of Israel. Critics must overcome the “climate of intellectual terror” to condemn the Zionist ideology.
Among the general US population, the number of those “unreachable” by Israel is 9 percent, but among Jewish college students the number is much higher 13 percent. And that is a “national security issue” for Israel’s future, says Fern Oppenheim of the Brand Israel Group.
A new study by a Zionist organization brings the “devastating” news that young Americans are turning against Israel, including Jews, people of color, and Democrats. So why doesn’t the Democratic Party reflect these changes?
Speakers contradict one another at a Zionist conference on future of Israel in New York. Israeli ambassador says Jews have a right to the West Bank because “winner takes all,” while Israeli rabbi pleads with American Jews to stop backing up rightwingers in Israel.
Israelis live in fear of Palestinians, and speak of a hundred years war. These conditions have produced a militaristic majoritarian culture where everyone admires Trump and even leftwingers dismiss Palestinian human rights concerns. “They have plenty to eat.” Phil Weiss’s observations from a tour on the 50th anniversary of occupation.
Memoirs by American Jews reveal that the 1967 war revolutionized Jewish life: even leftwingers like Joel Kovel were initially swept up in the fear for Israel and excitement over its victory, but those fears helped produce the most powerful force in American Jewish life since: the neoconservatives who, inflamed by memories of the Holocaust, vowed to support Israel in the face of an indifferent world.
“We had both written plays about Israel and Palestine that were deemed too political, biased, left wing, angry, anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic. Artistic directors said they would lose half their boards if they produced our shows and to be fair they probably would.” –Ismail Khalidi and David Zellnik announce a new project for theater pieces on Palestine.
Only a brave, progressive international movement can end the Israeli occupation, Bernie Sanders says, in a video on its 50th anniversary calling for “equality, security, democracy and justice.”
The White House announced that Donald Trump will not move the embassy to Jerusalem at this time so as to advance peace talks. AIPAC and Netanyahu were disappointed by the news. Obama’s former ambassador Dan Shapiro calls for the embassy move later this year, so as to “shatter Pal myth” that Jews don’t have a connection to Jerusalem.
Nathan Thrall has a book out called The Only Force They Understand, arguing that Israel will only end the occupation when it is subject to “severe pressure” from the U.S., but that the U.S. is capable of applying that pressure. Thrall sees a two-state solution as the optimal outcome and says that violence on both sides has actually led Palestinians and Israelis to take steps toward such an outcome.
Phil Weiss shares a photo essay from when Donald Trump visited Jerusalem and the Old City. Israeli security wrapped sites he was visiting with white sheets ala Christo, to keep anyone from seeing him, or disrupting events. There were armed checkpoints for Jewish Israelis, and a surveillance balloon in the sky.