Category Archives: US Policy in the Middle East

The threat of sanctions worked against Israel in 1956 — and it can work again

During the Suez crisis in 1956 U.S. President Eisenhower threatened sanctions against Israel which forced Israel to withdraw. We should learn from history, and impose military sanctions on Israel until it complies with its international obligations. It worked before, and it can work now.

Posted in BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | 46 Comments

Slaughter is not self-defense: The assault on Gaza and the corruption of language

The twisted, vicious moralizing used to justify Israel’s assault is cloaked in the song of self-defense, a term frequently heard in the United States and seconded by all the former colonial and settler colonial powers that Europe spawned. For if colonial expansion and military intervention against subjugated populations were not named defense, how could the United States continue to slaughter whole Pakistani or Yemeni families with drone attacks?

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Leave a comment

Assault on Gaza fuels surge of civil disobedience in protest of Israeli actions

A wave of civil disobedience actions has spread around the U.S. in recent weeks as Israel’s pummeling of Gaza continues apace. The activists, many of them young people, including Jews, are putting their bodies on the line in an attempt to draw attention to how the U.S. is implicated in the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 12 Comments

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel’s assault on Gaza is ‘state terrorism’ and should be referred to the International Criminal Court

Israel’s assault on Gaza is “state terrorism” and the state should be referred to the International Criminal Court over its war crimes, Palestine Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi told Mondoweiss in an interview Friday. “When you target civilians, this is terrorism,” Ashrawi charged. The PLO executive committee member and prominent spokeswoman for the Palestinian cause also reiterated that the PLO backs a key cease-fire demand of Hamas: that Israel lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has decimated the territory’s economy and cut it off from the outside world. Above, an emotional interview Ashrawi gave ABC News this past week, in which she said Israel was carrying out a “deliberate massacre” in the Gaza Strip.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 98 Comments

In photos: Over 1,000 New Yorkers protest Israel’s attack on Gaza

Over 1,000 New Yorkers took to the streets on Thursday in a protest meant to call attention to U.S. complicity in Israel’s attack on Gaza. Organized by a wide coalition of Palestine solidarity groups, it was the latest action in New York City to call attention to the Israeli assault on Gaza. Here’s a collection of photos from the rally.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 37 Comments

U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza

The U.S. cast the sole vote yesterday against establishing an investigation by the United Nations into war crimes committed in Gaza. The United Nations Human Rights Council voted 29-1, with 17 abstentions, to establish an inquiry. The European nations on the council all abstained.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 73 Comments

Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office

Nine Jewish activists protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza were arrested today after occupying the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) office in midtown Manhattan. The protesters, members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Jews Say No! (JSN), stood in the office for an hour, holding a banner, singing songs in Hebrew and English and reading the names of the more than 600 dead who have been killed as a result of the Israeli attack. The act of civil disobedience came amidst a wave of global protests against the Israeli attack.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 31 Comments

Video: ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation’ — John Kerry caught criticizing Israel on hot mic during Sunday news show

John Kerry made the rounds of the Sunday morning news shows today following the Israeli massacre in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iyeh which killed 63 Palestinians. Although Kerry defended Israel’s actions on air, he was caught with a hot mic off air telling an aide, ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” Fox host Chris Wallace asks Kerry about the apparent criticism of the Israeli onslaught, but Kerry sticks to the talking points. The difference between what Kerry says on air and off is mind numbing.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 58 Comments

Senator Rand Paul pens over-the-top pander to pro-Israel crowd

Senator Rand Paul is trying to burnish his pro-Israel credentials before the 2016 presidential election. His latest attempt is an over-the-top column this week in the National Review calling on the U.S. to stop calling for Israeli “restraint” and to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The article is a call for the army to go wild, and has little grounding in facts. It’s all about ingratiating himself to a crowd that has money–the Sheldon Adelson crowd.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Comments Off

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

The Office of Legal Counsel memo justifying the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaki claims that federal statutes prohibiting murder do not apply to CIA officers, who operated the drone that killed Aulaki. To bolster the claim, the memo cites a Cold War-era Justice Department memo that argues for the legality of CIA actions in the context of one of the most controversial acts of the Reagan years: the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors in April 1984, which killed several people.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 4 Comments

Evolution of the Bibi-Barack relationship

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Katie Miranda outlines the changes over the years in the relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. While Netanyahu’s approach hasn’t changed much, it seems Obama’s response has.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged | 14 Comments

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

We protesters against the Iraq war were wrong: we did not see just how bad it would be. But Israel’s American neocon boosters got exactly what they wanted– a “clean break” from the historic power struggle in the region, through destabilization of Arab capitals.

Posted in Iraq, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 59 Comments

Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq

Here is how history might have unfolded in an alternate universe in which the U.S. never invaded Iraq. Historians would later record how Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. “What if the U.N. inspections have actually worked, Mr. President?” he asked. “It would be a disaster if we invade and then can’t find anything.”

Posted in Iraq, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East | 25 Comments

BDS lays the basis for a true peace process

The recent collapse of the “Kerry Plan” to revive the two-state solution has once again exposed the peace process as a cynical travesty devoid of justice. Half a century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded the world there can be no peace without the “presence of justice.” By insisting on liberation and full equality throughout historic Palestine, the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel embodies this self-evident principle. Any genuine peace process must do no less.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Modern Language Association resolution criticizing Israel sparks raging debate

A leaked internal discussion over a Modern Language Association resolution critical of Israel has revealed an intense, often vitriolic, debate over Israel, Palestine and the role of the MLA in talking about the conflict. The raging debate comes as MLA members vote on whether to condemn Israel for denying entry to academics traveling to West Bank universities.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 33 Comments

Watch Palestinian-Americans discuss how Israel discriminates against U.S. travelers

A Capitol Hill briefing last week examined Israel’s practice of denying entry to Palestinian- and Arab-Americans. The event came as Congress continues to consider granting Israel entry into the visa-waiver program, which would give Israeli citizens the right to travel to the U.S. without a visa.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 20 Comments

Circular logic: Israel agrees not to discriminate against Palestinian-American travelers — not that it ever did

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed to change discriminatory practices against Palestinian-Americans coming to Israeli borders, a key issue in negotiations aimed at allowing Israel to join the U.S. visa waiver program. But when asked if it discriminates? “No, of course not.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged , | 27 Comments

Israel’s unending settlements ‘mortally wound idea of a Jewish state’ — Indyk

Martin Indyk spoke at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy yesterday and placed most of the blame on the Israelis for the breakdown in talks and echoed Palestinian frustration. He said in essence that the Israelis aren’t serious about negotiations. They can’t even stop settlements for three months; and those unending settlements are acting to bring on a binational state and “mortally wound the idea of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Settlers/Colonists, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 73 Comments

Newsweek: Extensive Israeli spying in the US kept quiet due to pressure from the lobby

Jeff Stein has followed up on his Newsweek report from Tuesday on how Israel spies on the U.S. more than any other ally. Today he writes the reason this is not more widely known is because it is hushed up by the Israel lobby.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 32 Comments

Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last

It’s about time the Obama administration answered Israel’s many rebukes to the vaunted peace process. The anonymous officials who blames the Israelis for the failure of talks — and Haaretz is saying it’s Martin Indyk — were serving as the president’s proxies.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft

U.S. officials blamed Israel’s land theft to build colonies on the territory meant for a Palestinian state as the reason for the talks’ failure. And one told Ynet, “I guess we need another intifada,” to change the power dynamics that allow Israel to get away with expropriating land

Posted in Israel/Palestine, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 88 Comments

Kerry’s Last Ditch Effort

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In a last ditch effort to remain politically relevant John Kerry is pulling out all the stops to keep Benjamin Netanyahu at the negotiating table. Katie Miranda imagines some of Kerry’s more imaginative proposals.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 65 Comments

Welcome to the post-peace process era: A review of Ali Abunimah’s ‘The Battle for Justice in Palestine’

As Secretary of State John Kerry’s April 29 deadline looms for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, it is clear the peace process is at a dead end. Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, has arrived at the most opportune time, offering readers compelling deconstructions of Israel’s claims to a “right” to maintain itself as an exclusivist, discriminatory state, in-depth reportage of the Israel lobby’s desperate, and often risible, efforts to prop up the country’s eroding image, and a reframing of the debate away from Palestinian sovereignty toward self-determination as the post-“peace process” paradigm to be embraced.

Posted in Activism, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 15 Comments

Kerry says that Israel could wind up being ‘an apartheid state’

Speaking to world leaders, John Kerry said if there isn’t a two-state solution soon Israel could become “an apartheid state.” How long can world leaders continue to say that Israel risks an apartheid future when a system of two laws for two different ethnicities, with one on top, has been in place for 47 years of occupation?

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 85 Comments

Five reasons the breakdown of peace talks is a good thing

The U.S.-led peace process is in tatters following Israel’s suspension of talks. While it’s not yet clear the talks will permanently break down, the trend is in that direction. Rather than view these events as a setback for a peaceful resolution in Israel/Palestine, there are several reasons why this turn of events should be understood as a positive step forward.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 68 Comments