Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

Let’s talk about Russian influence

Philip Weiss on
Neera Tanden and Netanyahu at Center for American Progress

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager says the “hand of the Kremlin” has been working in US elections, but no one talks about the hand of Israel, which is on everything from pushing the Iraq war to censoring any reference to the “occupation” in the Democratic Party platform. The system is rigged by the Israel lobby, and everyone knows it, even if they can’t talk about it.

The omnipresent hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration

James North and Philip Weiss on
Retired admiral James Stavridis is now a dean of international school at Tufts and a neoconservative darling

Stephen Cohen and Juan Cole say that Russia and Iran are trying to defeat ISIS with attacks in eastern Syria. A. Trevor Thrall says US attacks on Assad would lead to another endless war. But the media are ignoring leftwing, realist and libertarian voices in favor of the hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration.

The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism

Yakov Hirsch on
Bret Stephens (Photo: Jason Smith)

How can Bret Stephens, who is so sensitive to any slight he perceives against Jews, use the phrase “disease of the Arab mind” when writing about an Egyptian Olympian, and hundreds of millions of other people, in the Wall Street Journal no less? The answer is that a group of ethnocentric spokesmen for the Jewish people, including Jeffrey Goldberg and Benjamin Netanyahu, exercise an Orwellian influence over what can and cannot be said out loud.

‘NYT’ and Sen. Murphy have a double standard on Yemen and Gaza slaughters

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
New York Times headquarters

A New York Times editorial calls for cutting off military aid to Saudi Arabia because of indiscriminate civilian killings in Yemen that have the U.S.’s “imprint”. Israel did the same thing in Gaza with the U.S.’s imprint, without a peep from the Times. This is a glaring double standard, which is evident to average Americans. That is why we see such burgeoning grassroots support for the idea of boycotting Israel and ending military aid to the country.

Hundreds of Jews march for ‘Black Lives Matter’ in New York

Wilson Dizard on
Julia Carmel, back to police, is arrested ahead of April Baskin, in white top, and Jason Salmon, in white tshirt. Photo by Wilson Dizard

Led by Jews of color and their allies, and by the organization Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, nearly 300 marchers calling for greater police accountability wound their way through downtown New York on Thursday night, ending in the arrest of seven activists for civil disobedience.

Sanders-backed candidate in FL says Wasserman Schultz won’t ‘protect’ Israel

Philip Weiss on
Tim Canova

This is a bizarre political story that highlights the fact that older American Jews don’t want to hear One Bad Word about Israel: A progressive Democrat who has gotten Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in a challenge to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in an August 30 primary in Miami, is running to her right on Israel! Law […]

Lawsuit aims to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel as clandestine nuclear power

Mondoweiss Editors on
Countries scaled to the economic aid they receive from the U.S. –

Israel’s nuclear program and the US policy of “ambiguity” on that program violate the foreign assistance act, which was amended in the 70s to bar federal assistance to clandestine nuclear nations. The US is set to provide unprecedented aid to Israel. IRMEP has sued to stop the aid.

Libertarian candidates say US policy has only made Middle East more dangerous

Wilson Dizard on
Gary Johnson speaking at the 2016 CPAC in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia)

For many people with strong opinions about Israel/Palestine, the 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates don’t offer much in the way of new ideas. With that in mind, a voter might wonder what the Libertarian Party has to offer concerning Israel/Palestine. The Libertarians argue, as they do across the board, for disentangling the U.S. from onerous aid arrangements, but their reasons have less to do with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and more to do with its promise to make government smaller in general. There isn’t a plank for Israel in the Libertarian platform, but in speaking with a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Alex Merced, it appears that the party is the most open to new ideas, for better or worse, of all the parties running this year.

Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending ‘oppressive’ settlements

Philip Weiss on
New construction in the Ofra settlement (Photo: Philip Weiss)

The 50th anniversary of the occupation is freeing criticism. Greg Slabodkin, a former AIPAC official, comes for conditioning US aid to Israel on that country agreeing to freeze its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He forthrightly says that Israel’s “oppressive and discriminatory settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem continue unabated.”

Democratic platform is more militant against Iran than it was before Iran deal

Philip Weiss on
Ilya Sheyman

In contrast to a 2012 party platform that emphasized diplomacy with Iran, the new Democratic Party platform threatens military action and sanctions against Iran, and channels Netanyahu in saying Iran denies the Holocaust, supports Hamas, vows to eliminate Israel, and “has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East.”

‘Does he believe in a God’? — DNC leaders wanted to undermine Sanders

Philip Weiss on
Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Further evidence of role of Israel lobby in Democratic Party: DNC chair Wasserman Schultz found Bernie Sanders’s criticisms of Israel “disturbing,” while Hillary Clinton campaign sought to use his stance to “marginalize” him, according to DNC emails published by Wikileaks.

Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one

James North and Philip Weiss on
Trump with Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, photo from Andy Aboud in Vegas, undated

Donald Trump has taken heretical positions on countless issues, from a border wall to John McCain’s heroism to barring Muslim immigrants, and not backed down. Except for Israel. He said he’d be neutral on the conflict in February, but dropped that stance entirely. Such is the power of the Israel lobby.

Hillary Clinton gains backing of neocon megadonor who funds Islamophobic groups

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Seth Klarman

Hillary Clinton has gained the support of major neoconservative donor Seth Klarman. Klarman’s family foundation supports rightwing Zionist groups, including the David Project and the Israel Project, and has supported several Islamophobic groups, including one that “applauded” an Oklahoma law later struck down as unconstitutional, that would have discriminated against Muslim religious practices. A Democratic Party think tank has said that the organizations Klarman supports have put out “anti-Islam messages polluting our national discourse.”

‘Ex-Neocon’ — Scott McConnell looks back on 20 years of ideological tumult

Philip Weiss on
Scott McConnell

Reflecting on life after neoconservatism, Scott McConnell says he demonstrated against the Iraq war with Code Pink but that the alliance between national interest types and leftwingers may be coming apart because fears of another US war have ebbed and the two groups split over immigration and identity politics.

Democrats and GOP are in a race to the bottom on Israel

Philip Weiss on
Retired admiral James Stavridis is now a dean of international school at Tufts and a neoconservative darling

The Israel lobby is alive and well. As the Republicans beg Sheldon Adelson to help pay for the convention, Hillary Clinton is said to be vetting retired admiral James Stavridis as a possible veep. Now a dean at Tufts, he opposed the Iran deal.