Wolf Blitzer and Josh Marshall are strong voices against white nationalist violence. Yet Blitzer once wrote that the Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine was a “spurious myth.” And Josh Marshall named his son after an Israeli general who committed ethnic cleansing. Charlottesville is a moment of truth. If you’re going to stand up for liberal values here, you need to criticize Jewish nationalism there.
Category Archives: US Policy in the Middle East
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand may want to run for president in 2020 and she is on the defensive from Israel lobby groups for withdrawing her name from anti-boycott bill. She pushes back, saying it is an “important part” of her oath to defend the Constitution that she protects the alliance with Israel. Sen. Cory Booker is under similar pressure.
If you know what Israel’s plan for Gaza is, you must give up on erudite chit-chats with even the finest Israelis. But Noam Chomsky is still caught up in a romance of what Israel could have been, so he opposes the only thing that can change it, BDS.
The power of the Israel lobby is in the news. AIPAC overplayed its hand with anti-boycott legislation that Democrats are stepping away from. While Sheldon Adelson is trying to get Trump’s National Security Adviser fired for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. We have a long way before the lobby is openly addressed, though.
The Democratic groundswell against the Israel Anti Boycott bill continues to build, and progressive party leaders are falling into line. Senator Elizabeth Warren tells a town hall she does not support the Anti-Israel Boycott Act that is roiling the Democratic base.
Noam Chomsky says advocating for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel is “not a moral position” because while it makes the BDS campaigners feel good, they create false hope, return will never happen, and Israel would respond with nuclear weapons if the world were to support the right of return.
In town hall at a Portland high school, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is put on the defensive by questions and heckling over his support for Anti-Israel Boycott Act, and says law is necessary because boycott movement has “grown” and the law could apply to boycotts recommended by the United Nations. The pushback is further evidence of decreasing support for Israel inside the Democratic Party base.
Alan Dershowitz and Noam Chomsky agree on almost nothing politically but both say that anti-Semitism was deeply rooted at Harvard in the 30s through the 60s. Chomsky says it is a reason that MIT emerged as a major university, because it hired people like Norbert Wiener, when Harvard discriminated against Jewish faculty.
Israel supporters such as Caroline Glick are demanding that Trump fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster because he has fired pro-Israel analysts and supports the Iran deal and considers Israel an occupying power. But realists are still the adults in the Trump administration.
Defenses of Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist attacked as an anti-Zionist by the New York Times, are popping up everywhere. Bob Bland, co-organizer with Sarsour of the Women’s March, writes: “As a cis-heterosexual white woman new to feminist activism, I found that there were times in planning the January march that were uncomfortable.” But she says coalitions of the oppressed and marginalized are essential to taking on Trump.
“You know, you look at Israel – Israel has a wall and everyone said do not build a wall, walls do not work,” Trump tells Mexico’s president in bid to convince him to pay for a similar barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In an interview with the conservative National Review, neoconservative Bari Weiss, who works at the New York Times, says that her goal in castigating Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour as a “strident anti-Zionist” is to make the Democratic establishment of Schumer, Gillibrand and Pelosi “disavow” her. Will Weiss succeed? Neocons have long exercised power in the Democratic Party.
Victoria Coates is the latest Trump hire to join the team tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coates worked under Ted Cruz when he introduced legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And her social media footprint endorses a plan for “Expelling Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel.”
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times and longtime pro-Israel advocate, smears Linda Sarsour as a purveyor of “hate” because she is anti-Zionist. Weiss is in a rich tradition of pro-Zionist advocacy at America’s leading newspaper, but Sarsour’s prominence is endangering that entitlement.
In remarks to congressional interns leaked to the press, Middle East envoy Jared Kushner is pessimistic about any peace deal. “Not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this… There may be no solution,” he says.
Yuval Steinitz, a minister in the Netanyahu government, says that David Harris, of the American Jewish Committee, serves “a little bit as the foreign minister of the Jewish state.” Thus Harris defends everything Israel does and tried to stop the Iran deal, alongside Netanyahu. But don’t call him a foreign agent!
Netanyahu has reportedly adopted Lieberman’s ugly idea of stripping Palestinians in Israel of citizenship and transferring them to Palestinian sovereignty under a peace deal. American Jews have been outraged by this ethnic-religious citizenship proposal in the past. Will they speak up now?
The State Department’s terrorism report for 2016 says Palestinians “lack of hope” in achieving statehood has fostered terrorism, and pro-Israel groups have pushed back against the statement calling it “anti-Semitic” and “pro-Palestinian.”
Senator Lindsey Graham wonders if AIPAC should be a foreign agent: “They come up here in droves lobbying Congress to do things in their view good for the US Israel relationship. I know they have a lot of contacts in Israel. Should somebody like that be a foreign agent?” But no, the AIPAC model is a “good thing,” he concludes.
Jodi Rudoren promoted the Israeli Zionist narrative as bureau chief for the New York Times in Jerusalem. Now she’s the newspaper’s guide in Israel to wealthy visitors for three days during a first-class round the world tour in a private jet next year, 26 days and 9 countries for $135,000.
Veteran Australian journalist John Lyons says that reporters from the New York Times, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters told him that they censor themselves in reporting from Israel lest they be “savagely targeted” by Israel. Reuters even has a list of special words that won’t “upset” Israeli authorities, he said. These pressures are levied by Israel’s friends overseas, to the point that they tie up reporters “for months” when they write critical investigations of Israel.
The investigation of Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics dominates the liberal press. Phil Weiss writes that he believes the suspicions about Donald Trump and the Russians, but what stands out to him is that conduct that is Watergate-worthy when it comes to Russia is hunky-dory when it comes to Israel. Just in the last week there have been two other expressions of Israel’s active interests in our politics that the liberal media have failed to say boo about.
The “grip” of AIPAC is so complete that writers who challenge it are smeared as “anti-Semites” and politicians who buck it “see their careers suddenly stalled,” Andrew Sullivan says in denouncing Schumer for leading the charge on the “creeping authoritarianism” of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act before Congress.
“Hitler’s secret weapon was coercing Jews to destroy themselves,” Shmuley Boteach writes, and we might do so again he warns. He says that Jews are now collaborating in the destruction of Israel, and by this he means they support a Palestinian state!
Olav Fykse Tveit of the World Council of Churches urges church leaders to pray for a just solution of the troubles in Jerusalem. Marc Ellis writes, “The WCC is now on record here urging a reestablishment of the status quo at Al Aqsa and in Jerusalem, a status quo that affirms Israeli occupation.”