Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

It turns out Jews are as stupid as everyone else

Philip Weiss on

At the 92d Street Y, David Makovsky says SJP has its roots in Hamas and JVP doesn’t work with SJP, and other falsehoods about the Palestinian solidarity movement; and the pity is that his opponents are never invited to rebut him. The Jewish community used to be smart. Now Zionism dumbs down everything it touches.

Jared Kushner fired me over Israel ten years ago

Philip Weiss on

Donald Trump has now named his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior adviser, notably on Middle East and Israel issues. Ten years ago, Kushner fired Philip Weiss from the New York Observer after Weiss started reporting on the Israeli occupation. Weiss reflects on his experience with Kushner and what it could mean for his upcoming White House role.

Booker slams UN resolution as ‘anti-Israel,’ while Saban says it’s anti-American

Philip Weiss on

Senator Cory Booker and Democratic megadonor Haim Saban may have a marriage made in 2020: Both have slammed President Obama’s decision to allow a UN Security Council resolution against settlements. Booker calls it anti-Israel and joins 11 other Democrats in sponsoring a resolution hammering the UN vote, while Israeli-American Saban says it’s against the “national interest.”

In ‘breathtaking’ UN vote, Obama changed his policy on Israeli settlements, making them a war crime — Finkelstein

Philip Weiss on

Norman Finkelstein says the UN resolution against settlements was very strong, making them a war crime, and Obama allowed it to pass, in a major shift from his previous stance, because he wanted a legacy on Israel/Palestine and wanted to turn the tables on Netanyahu. Now the question is what Palestinians will do to enforce the latest in a long line of historical documents damming the settlements.

Love in the age of Trump

Robert Cohen on

Donald Trump is terrifying but there’s one big upside. Thanks to his extremism, a long-delayed reckoning is coming on Israel/Palestine. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) will take off as never before.

Democratic politicians want no part of Obama’s courage at the U.N.

Philip Weiss on

Only four congressional Democrats have been outspoken in support of Obama’s decision to allow a resolution critical of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, Kentucky Rep John Yarmuth and Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky. Meanwhile there has been a chorus of denunciation from the likes of even good liberals like Jerrold Nadler, Richard Blumenthal, Hakeem Jeffries, Adam Schiff, Sherrod Brown, and Ron Wyden.

Netanyahu’s holy war, and the coming Jewish schism

Yakov Hirsch on

Netanyahu’s most impressive achievement is that he has associated his politics and even himself personally with sacred Jewish history and its hallowed lessons. That is why Jimmy Carter and now John Kerry must be vilified for pointing out the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Netanyahu’s sacred construction is about to crash to the ground. Jeffrey Goldberg has already jumped ship.

The NY Times attempts to isolate Kerry from Obama

David Bromwich on

In the NY Times lead story on the Kerry speech, writer David Sanger says Obama has distanced himself from Middle East peace negotiations, which he “doubted would succeed.” This is false and a jab at Kerry. The policy was Obama’s, and set in place with the Cairo speech of 2009.

Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu

Philip Weiss on

John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem, Israeli settlements, that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. The bitter failure of the Obama administration to take on Netanyahu untill the last minute is proof of the power of the Israel lobby inside American liberalism. The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks. That means the Israel lobby. You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it.

The formal end of the two-state solution

Roland Nikles on

Israel’s vehement response to Resolution 2334 speaks volumes. It will not “exchange land for peace,” it will not help create a Palestinian state, it will not stop settlements, it will not end the occupation. And in 23 days it will get a new American administration that will sign off on the end of the idea of a Palestinian state.

John Kerry gives the ‘separate but not equal’ speech to Israel

James North and Philip Weiss on

John Kerry’s speech on Israel/Palestine today was a eulogy for the two state solution, some commenters said; while others said he laid down new criticisms of Israel with statement about “separate but not equal” residents of West Bank and saying “The settler agenda” is defining Israel’s future.

Kerry hasn’t cleared his throat, and Trump and Hoyer are jumping down it

Philip Weiss on

“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Donald Trump tweeted today in anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s much-ballyhooed speech on Middle East peace this morning. But Steny Hoyer joins forces with Trump in telling the Obama administration to leave Israel alone.

‘Focus is on Palestinians,’ says New York Times, but it quotes only one

James North and Philip Weiss on

In extensive coverage of the UN Security Council resolution against settlements, the New York Times has quoted only four Palestinians. One article was headlined that the focus is now “back on Palestinians,” but quoted numerous Americans and Israeli voices, but only one Palestinian.

Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country’s new status, as a rogue state

Philip Weiss on

President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. Israel supporters always said that the country would not move toward peace if the U.S. was tough on it. But the UN Security Council resolution against settlements shows the opposite to be true: a little distance is already causing huge positive developments, isolating the country in world opinion and licensing criticism of PM Netanyahu. Obama has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state.

One-state solution gets fairer shake in a NY synagogue than it gets in NY Times or MSNBC

Philip Weiss on

Judah Ari Gross of the Times of Israel offers unflinching description of “ugly” Israeli occupation at a NY synagogue: Israeli police who deal with settler crimes are “terrible,” Israeli soldiers come out of service “crazy.” And it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss a one-state solution with equal rights for everyone, “call it a day and what will be will be.”

Scenes from a neoconservative meltdown

Adam Horowitz on

Journalist Eli Lake has been unhinged by the UN resolution against Israeli settlements that Obama allowed to go through, and has been accusing Obama of cowardice and hatred, invoking biblical claims to Jerusalem and attacking writers who disagree with him as terrorists

Netanyahu accuses Obama of betraying ‘commitment’ to Israel and initiating U.N. resolution

Philip Weiss on

More cries of betrayal from the pampered nation. Benjamin Netanyahu says President Obama “initiated” the resolution against settlements at the United Nations, betraying his “explicit commitment” to Israel not to support such action. Education Minister Naftali Bennett says it was all planned in the Cairo speech 7 years ago. Israel’s situation is naked in the wake of the Security Council resolution to condemn the settlements.

Obama stands up to Trump (and Israel)

Phyllis Bennis on

The Justice Department should investigate civilian Donald Trump’s intervention in US foreign policy– calling Egypt to avert an anti-settlements resolution in the UN Security Council — as a violation of the Logan Act.