Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

In Iraq and Syria the US sanctions its allies while its friends back its enemies (got that?)

Ted Snider on
A U.S. flag waves while displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Syria-Iraq border on Feeshkhabour bridge over Tigris River at Feeshkhabour border point, northern Iraq. (Photo: Khalid Mohammed/AP)

The war in Syria and Iraq has so many sides it’s hard to keep track of the teams. In Syria, we’re fighting the Assad government, but we’re also fighting the rebels who are fighting the Assad government, putting us on both sides of that civil war. But when you throw in the other countries that are taking sides, the program becomes even harder to follow. Recently, it seems that allies are on our enemy’s side while our enemies are on our side. To be on our side, it seems, you first have to let us sanction you.

US feels the heat on Palestine vote at UN

Jonathan Cook on
US Secretary of State John Kerry walks past American (back) and Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on January 6, 2014. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The floodgates have begun to open across Europe on recognition of Palestinian statehood. On Friday the Portuguese parliament became the latest European legislature to call on its government to back statehood, joining Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France and Spain. But while Europe is tentatively finding a voice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, silence reigns across the Atlantic. The White House appears paralysed, afraid to appear out of sync with world opinion but more afraid still of upsetting Israel and its powerful allies in the US Congress.

Deconstructing John Kerry’s address to the Gaza Donors Conference

Marc H. Ellis on
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 12, 2014. (Photo: AP)

John Kerry’s address to the Gaza Donors Conference in Cairo on Sunday was remarkably vacant, if not disingenuous. Reading through Kerry’s address paragraph by paragraph is an exercise in futility. Yet the political ramifications are extreme. Everyone knows that after the Gaza war a profound reckoning is needed. Yet John Kerry – and the Gaza Donors Conference – isn’t even close

It looks like Obama is checking out on Israel

Philip Weiss on
Obama in 2012

Martin Indyk says Democratic politicians are having less to do with Israel because the party base doesn’t support the country, and Obama’s recent indifference to Israel suggests he wants nothing to do with the country. He told Israel what it had to do years ago and Israelis ignored him.

Jewish New Yorkers to Schumer and Gillibrand: Enact the Leahy Law and stop US military aid to Israel

Jews Say NO! and Jewish Voice for Peace/NY on
New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. (Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP)

Jews Say NO! and Jewish Voice for Peace/NY write a letter to New York Senators Charles Schumer
and Kirsten Gillibrand asking them to to enforce provisions of federal law that require the termination of aid to any unit of a foreign military for which there is credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.

Can Schumer evolve? Finally, some pressure

Philip Weiss on
Schumer, official portrait

Did Chuck Schumer just say, ‘My opinions on Palestine are evolving’? That is the aim of a new campaign aimed at the senator’s assertion that he is Israel’s guardian in the U.S. It’s time to talk about Israeli human rights violations. Demo on Monday at his NY office.

Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship

Philip Weiss on
David Brooks

Glenn Greenwald’s latest revelation, that three former Treasury officials are involved in a neoconservative Zionist lobbying outfit, combined with David Brooks’s apparent belief that he’s an Israeli parent, shows how commingled the Israel interest is in our political culture, the type of sinister influence Lincoln and Burke both warned their democracies against