Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

Dispatch from Gaza: Trump’s trip will bring ‘less than zero’ to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Ahmad Kabariti on

As Donald Trump wrapped his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory yesterday, Gazans said they felt ignored. They do not expect the president’s travels will improve or lift the decade-long Israeli siege imposed on the coastal Mediterranean strip. Many noted Trump’s pro-Israel rhetoric during the later part of his campaign and first months of the presidency as a signal that their well-being is not on his agenda. Some cynically referred to the president as on an “elegant businessman’s” trip to Saudi Arabia, followed by less important stops to Israel and the West Bank.

Trump’s Jerusalem

Philip Weiss on

Phil Weiss shares a photo essay from when Donald Trump visited Jerusalem and the Old City. Israeli security wrapped sites he was visiting with white sheets ala Christo, to keep anyone from seeing him, or disrupting events. There were armed checkpoints for Jewish Israelis, and a surveillance balloon in the sky.

On not going to one’s 60th reunion at Yale

Joel Kovel on

In 1953, Joel Kovel had an epiphany as a Yale freshman that would ultimately determine his life’s course, against the US war machine and Zionism. He was tempted to return to Yale for his 60th reunion but thought better of it in light of the ordeal of Rev. Bruce Shipman.

Here we go again! Netanyahu disputes Trump administration, urges him to ‘shatter Palestinian fantasy’ about Jerusalem

Allison Deger on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his harshest statement yet to the Trump administration yesterday suggesting the president was duped by “the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

Netanyahu’s remarks were made after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Donald Trump is still considering the effects of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Tillerson questioned if the move is “helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”

Senator on Intelligence Committee says Jews in Diaspora are spies for Israel

Philip Weiss on

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post conference, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said the Jewish Diaspora serves as a global intelligence asset to Israel: “the worldwide relationships because of the Jewish Diaspora gives Israel some advantages that virtually no other country or institution anywhere else in the world has.”

Jews made America great so ‘we deserve our influence’ on Israel policy, Dershowitz tells Scarsdale synagogue

Philip Weiss on

Alan Dershowitz gave a pep talk on Jewish influence to an orthodox audience in Scarsdale Tuesday night. His theme? Jews earned their influence in the U.S. by contributing more to its success than others, so now use your influence: “We have contributed disproportionately to the success of this country. We have done so much for this country. When you think of how much better this country has become since our grandparents and great grandparents took the risk of coming, here, we have not only the right we have the obligation to speak out, and use every piece, every bit of power available in support of Israel.”

Jake Sullivan seeks to rebrand ‘American exceptionalism’

Jesse Rubin on

In an appearance at Columbia University, former Clinton foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan characterized Donald Trump as “a person who does not look at America’s role in the world as having a special positive-sum nature.” But what’s so great about America’s role in the world!

On ‘NYT’ stage, Roger Waters calls BDS ‘valid and legitimate picket line’

Philip Weiss on

Roger Waters on BDS: “Palestinians… should have equal rights. And that is my only beef. Just as all the people living in the US should have equal rights, all of them, regardless of their color, creed, race or religion– that is what I want for the Palestinians. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not trying to destroy Israel.”

At PEN festival, Patti Smith honors Rachel Corrie

Philip Weiss on

The PEN World Voices festival is taking place in New York this week, without the sponsorship of the Israeli government, for once; and Patti Smith honored Rachel Corrie last night there.

Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel

Philip Weiss on

We must admit we are living in the golden age of Jewish anti-Zionism. A young Maine director, Eric Axelman, is doing a film about the American Jewish responsibility for the occupation. US Jews have the “magic stick” to change Israel, a Palestinian tells him.

Once I was lit by moonbeams

Liz Rose on

“No one in our family was ever as passionate about Israel as me, and now I’m the most critical.” Liz Rose meditates on her summer in 1986, at the Alexander Muss High School, when she fell in love with Jerusalem.

Why not a probe of Israel-gate?

Robert Parry on

There is no proportionality applied to the question of foreign interference in U.S. politics. If there were, we would have a far more substantive investigation of Israel than Russia. But if anyone mentions the truth about Israel’s clout, the person is immediately smeared as “anti-Semitic” and targeted by Israel’s extraordinarily sophisticated lobby and its many media/political allies for vilification and marginalization.

US body on religious freedom rebuffed Palestinian Christians– and Zogby says group was ‘bullied’

Allison Deger on

A religious freedom watchdog mandated by Congress rebuffed repeated appeals from Christian Palestinians to investigate Israel and “bullied” sympathetic officials into dropping their cause, said outgoing member to the committee for religious liberties James Zogby on Wednesday.

Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute and was appointed eight years ago to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) by President Obama. With less than three weeks left in his term, Zogby went public with his dissenting opinion to the religious committee’s decision to excuse Israel from an investigation.