Leanne Gale, a Yale law student, came out of the heart of the Jewish community to all-but support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) at the J Street conference. She said BDS is the most important nonviolent Palestinian movement in the world, that anti-Zionism is a living tradition in the Jewish community as a response to anti-Semitism, and that Jews should not seek to marginalize or suppress or seek an alternative to BDS, but should engage it in an effort to make Israel a liberal democracy.
Category Archives: US Aid to Israel
The shame of the Jewish establishment: Rep. Jan Schakowsky says she never used the word “occupation” before last year, while Jeremy Burton of a leading Boston Jewish organization brags of a policy of refusing to debate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), even with other Jews. These people have their heads in the sand (or worse) and young Jews want none of it.
The silence of Jeffrey Goldberg, Bill Kristol, and Jennifer Rubin over Israel’s indefensible slaughter of Palestinian protesters on March 30, and the outspokenness against the atrocity of Bernie Sanders, David Rothkopf, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Chris Hayes, shows that the center has at last shifted in US discourse. American Jews have had it holding the bag for Israeli massacres.
Democratic Congresspeople Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and 9 others met with Israeli leaders even as Israel announced it was sending “dozens of snipers” to Gaza border. Four days later they shot hundreds of Palestinians, killing 17. Pelosi and Schiff and the others have issued no criticism of the shootings. Did they give Netanyahu the OK?
Professor of philosophy Joseph Levine takes apart the argument that BDS is anti-Semitic because it establishes a “double standard” for Israel. There are many reasons to single out Israel as a target for boycotts, rather than other oppressive nations. Because Palestinians have issued such a call as part of their struggle. And because of western complicity in the history of colonialism.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow does not mention Palestinians in his very political Freedom Seder, he says, because he was focused on the “big empire,” the United States, not the “little empire,” Israel. But he said that many Jews are guilty of idolatry in their inability to criticize Israel.
A conversation about Israel at a dinner party of liberal media folks reflects conventional wisdom: support for the existence of a Jewish state and concern about women’s rights in Arab societies.
The simple truth about John Bolton’s appointment to national security adviser is that the Republicans need Sheldon Adelson’s money in order to be competitive in the coming midterms, and John Bolton is a tool of Sheldon Adelson. And Adelson cares about one thing, Israel. But only alternative media will connect these rather obvious dots.
Trump’s next national security adviser, the Islamophobic warmonger John Bolton, is realistic in declaring that the two-state solution is dead. Though his solution to the Israel Palestine conflict is not. It is for pieces of the West Bank to be deeded to Jordan and Gaza to be deeded to Egypt, on the theory that Palestine is “bits and pieces” of the former Ottoman Empire.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Trump is especially threatening to Jews with his “blood and soil” ethno-nationalism. He reminds her of Hitler. “The Germans thought that they could use Hitler as well. We’ll control him. He’ll get us what we want. The other stuff he’s not serious about.”
Ronald Lauder, a stalwart of the Israel lobby as head of the World Jewish Congress, has published a landmark essay in the New York Times attacking Israel’s settlement program and intolerant political culture as threats to its existence, and to Jews worldwide. The tide is turning against Israel.
“The greatest threat to Israel in the short term is Iran, we know that. That’s why I opposed the agreement, because Iran is such a danger,” Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer told the the Council of Jewish Organizations of Brooklyn yesterday. He also said he met for an hour alone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the greatest long term threat to the Jewish state: young Americans’ “support for Israel is declining, in every part of the country.”
In a sign of growing establishment distrust of the Israel lobby group AIPAC, several writers liken it to the NRA, and the Washington Post publishes an important article by Doug Rossinow saying that the lobby originated in American Jews rallying to promote Israeli “lies” about “awful knowledge”: the massacre of more than 60 Palestinians in Qibya in the West Bank in 1953.
Pro-Israel activism gave journalist Bari Weiss quite a career. As a youth she bagged one Zionist fellowship after another, leading to opinion editing at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times in her early 30s. Which is no surprise, given the Times’s employment of several pro-Israel columnists.
Neoconservative godfather Paul Singer explains why he gives to pro-Israel causes: “Israel may be the only insurance policy all Jews, everywhere, can rely upon for …safety.” He echoes Daniel Gordis and Roger Cohen, who say Jewish sovereignty has transformed Jews from victims to historical agents. An important argument. Is it right?
California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at AIPAC this year for the second year running, in an indication that she intends to cultivate elites and alienate the leftwing base for political ambition. She bragged to the Israel lobby about helping to build forests on Palestinian lands. “As a child, I never sold Girl Scout cookies, I went around with a [Jewish National Fund] box collecting funds to plant trees in Israel.”
Gideon Levy says that Israeli idealists dreamed of the day when Israeli soldiers would tell their society about the occupation. Then Breaking the Silence came forward, and it was crushed, with the media’s help. Israelis live in denial. “No question marks.” Only outside pressure will force them to end the tyranny over half the population, the Palestinians.
Israeli leftwing legislator Stav Shaffir’s appeals for the two-state solution at AIPAC sounded a lot like rightwing nationalist appeals. She said a Palestinian majority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is a “danger” to Israel, that Trump made all Israelis happy by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and that young American progressives are mistakenly falling for the “Palestinian narrative.”
The AIPAC policy conference has featured one prominent Democrat after another seeking to outflank the Trump administration in expressions of love for Israel. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer took the prize by slinging mud at Palestinians and Arabs as the reason there is no end to the conflict. Schumer said the problem is the Palestinians “don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace.”
The Israel lobby group AIPAC kicked off its annual policy conference in Washington on the weekend, and speaker after speaker expressed fears that progressive Democrats are abandoning Israel. The speakers urged progressives to stay in the bipartisan fold of support for the Jewish state; they insisted that Israel is a progressive cause. But many also embraced Donald Trump and Nikki Haley– evidence of the rightwing character of Israel support, which is driving the partisan divide in our country.
The press is reporting that Jared Kushner’s days as a White House power may come to an end, due to a flurry of reports about his meetings as a Trump adviser with foreign officials and corporate execs who are in a position to help out his family’s troubled real estate company — as well as Kushner’s considerable innocence when it comes to foreign policy. The knives are out, and the latest reports are that Donald Trump himself wants his son-in-law to disappear.
Leftwing Israeli author Avraham Burg called for one state in Israel and Palestine and described some of his cousins as “literally speaking racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, OK, a few other phobias”, and he got a less than hearty welcome for his remarks at B’nai Jeshurun, a progressive NY synagogue. The sad state of American Jewry.
The premier Israel lobby group AIPAC fulfills its mission of guaranteeing bipartisan support for Israel by having many liberal Democratic speakers this weekend: Rep. Adam Schiff, Jake Sullivan, and Tamara Cofman Wittes. Even as the progressive Democratic base grows alienated from Israel, establishment Dems need to show support for the rightwing country so as to preserve their careers.
On a tour of the Muslim holy site, the Haram-al-Sharif, in the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday, a Colorado congressman’s wife advised messianic Jews that “seizure” of the site might be the best option. “Why not tomorrow– say it’s ours!” Jean Tipton said to zealots on the occupied site.
New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Roger Cohen repeatedly bashed the left for not tolerating dissent at a JCC panel about Israel in New York last week. Cohen called for “unsafe” speech and “open discussions, fierce debate” so as to fend off a “monolithic” McCarthyist “mob” on campuses. But the panel itself embodied Jewish intolerance of dissent: All three speakers on stage were ardent Zionists, introduced by a JCC official as people who could reinforce “our commitment to Israel.”