Trending Topics:

Guess who sent me this letter

US Politics
on 20 Comments

You might think AIPAC sent me this letter. But the envelope contains a map and a fundraising letter from the liberal Zionist group New Israel Fund, a group that is fighting to preserve democratic and human rights for all citizens of Israel in the face of “polarization, racism and extremism.”

I like the New Israel Fund. Good people work for the group and they support some excellent causes, including ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel), the human rights group B’Tselem, and Breaking the Silence. NIF has been viciously attacked by the right inside Israel and out.

But this messaging shows the limitations of the organization. It is obviously operating inside a Jewish Zionist space, and the map that it encloses indicates the Occupied Territories with a lighter shade of green, but says nothing about conditions in the occupation — except for its concern for Women of the Wall, and the rights of Jewish women to pray at the western wall in occupied Jerusalem. While a couple of hundred yards away Palestinians are being forced out of their houses to make way for Jewish colonists. But NIF doesn’t regard that as its business.Reporting on the Ground

NIF knows its community; and the older American Jewish community is still attached to Israel in a deep and proprietary manner. “Your map of Israel is enclosed.” Before there was Revisionist Zionism or liberal Zionism, there was gut Zionism; and many older Jews are Zionists in their guts; they feel the west will always be unsafe and we need a Jewish state. “We believe in an Israel where the Jewish people achieve self-determination in their homeland,” NIF says. I wonder how many young American Jews share that belief. And how many of them are getting this letter.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

20 Responses

  1. just
    June 27, 2015, 11:44 am

    It’s a crying shame, Phil.

  2. ritzl
    June 27, 2015, 1:13 pm

    “It [NIF]is obviously operating inside a Jewish Zionist space, and the map that it encloses indicates the Occupied Territories with a lighter shade of green,…”

    “Occupied Territories” being Judea and Samaria? “Zionist space” indeed.

    • rhkroell
      June 29, 2015, 11:23 pm

      I’m wondering if Phil or any of his many politically progressive readers are finding FBI cookies on their laptops, having problems calling anyone, at times, problems using FaceTime — quite often — sending iMessages, etc.? Am I being targeted by pro-Zionist trolls, for some reason, you think . . . . or . . . . am I just being paranoid?

  3. echinococcus
    June 27, 2015, 2:18 pm

    I like the New Israel Fund

    How long will you be able to maintain the fiction of a “war of ideas”?

    • Citizen
      June 27, 2015, 3:16 pm

      You like their map, their omission of Palestinian rights, existence even?

    • Shingo
      June 27, 2015, 8:39 pm

      How long will you be able to maintain the fiction that you are remotely interested in any “war of ideas”?

      All you want is war.

      • echinococcus
        June 28, 2015, 1:05 am

        I have in fact no interest, even remote, in a “war of ideas”. That’s Mr. Weiss’ shingle. Let’s not be absurd, Shingo, you know there has been nothing but war, boom boom you’re dead war, since even before November 1947. “Liking” Zio-Lites and whatever “liberal” things they are doing to patch up the enemy’s rep is not likely to help any.

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2015, 11:41 am

        Whoa! PW seems to have a policy of being unfailingly gracious, where he can. Of urging an organization to recognize its better self, rather than heaping contumely on it. Same towards writers. A damned good and sensible policy. Let them hurl the insults and accusations, but he’ll be damned if he will start it.

      • echinococcus
        June 28, 2015, 1:33 pm

        Mooser, you have a point, of course, when looking at it as if all that counted were newspaper articles. But maintaining friendly confusion allows them to get into Palestine solidarity organizations, kick out the consistent antizionists, change the bylaws by night, limit the boycott movement, etc. etc.

  4. PeaceThroughJustice
    June 27, 2015, 5:47 pm

    “many older Jews are Zionists in their guts; they feel the west will always be unsafe and we need a Jewish state”

    Saying it’s “the west” that makes Jewish Zionists uncomfortable makes it sound as if we’re dealing with a political or institutional problem, that could be resolved by continually adapting new more liberal laws. But if the real problem is that it’s gentiles that make them uncomfortable, then this problem is never going to go away.

    The reason that nearly one-half of all Jews still will not allow themselves to marry a non-jew is not that they fear for their safety.

    • Mooser
      June 30, 2015, 3:14 pm

      “many older Jews are Zionists in their guts; they feel the west will always be unsafe and we need a Jewish state”

      Well, If they are a Jewish American, I might timidly suggest to them that they find an African-American person and ask them how they get through the day. But they probably wouldn’t know what the hell I meant.

      Gee, these days I guess they could even ask a Moslem. And a lot of other people, too.

  5. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 12:23 am

    They call what they want “continuity.” Intermarriage breaks this up.

    • Mooser
      June 28, 2015, 11:50 am

      “They call what they want “continuity.” Intermarriage breaks this up.”

      Don’t I know it! Wouldn’t surprise me at all if I ended up incontinent. Oh well, with the latest Supreme Court decision, my wife is already threatening to leave me and marry a man!

  6. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 1:25 pm

    CNN Fareed Zakarua GPS on now, Sunday 120PM EST on friction between Obama regime & Bibi Regime.

  7. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Interview of Indyk v Oren

  8. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Oren says Israelis repond to kisses as they are insecure. Indyk didn’t kiss enough.

  9. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Oren doesn’t think the settlements are illegal. So Indyk was unfair in yelling about them.

  10. Citizen
    June 28, 2015, 1:36 pm

    Indyk: Oren is damaging Israel-US relationship, not helping it.

  11. just
    June 28, 2015, 2:37 pm

    Since you mentioned B’Tselem in your article:

    “In order to maintain democracy

    Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel, who is also responsible for civilian national service, recently announced his decision to cancel the national service positions made available for B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel because they cooperated with the investigative commission appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council and testified about the Israel Defense Forces’ conduct during Operation Protective Edge.

    This decision is the latest in a series of such moves made by government ministers seeking to limit freedom of speech in Israel. Freedom of speech for these organizations, as far as these ministers are concerned, depends on their toeing the government’s political party line.

    From what I gather, according to ACRI’s response to Ariel’s accusations, neither it nor B’Tselem “cooperated” with the investigative commission, but rather the commission’s report – which suggested that some soldiers, commanders and Israeli politicians committed war crimes – mentioned criticisms from these organizations against certain IDF activities during the fighting, as well as their requests to the attorney general that they be investigated.

    Even if these organizations conspired with the commission, either by providing testimony or by forwarding materials, it would not have been against the law. …

    Ariel’s decision is clearly connected to similar decisions recently announced by Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. They each sought, in the name of Israel, to limit freedom of speech and government support for cultural or human rights groups.

    Human rights groups are the “watchdogs” of human rights in this county. There is no such thing as real democratic rule without human rights organizations that examine the government’s actions and deter any threats of violation. Withholding budgets or service positions from human rights organizations amid claims of “unpatriotic” behavior is unacceptable, and reminiscent of evil regimes to which we wish to bear no resemblance. …

    … Ministers must internalize the importance of free speech, and the great importance of upholding human rights. The fact that they were elected into office does not give them the right or the power to trample these two values, especially not for the “good of the country,” or in the name of patriotism.

    The writer is a specialist in criminal law at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law.”

    Mr. Gross~ Israel has one of those “evil regimes”. The majority of the state voted it in… I’m sorry for folks like you.

  12. rhkroell
    July 1, 2015, 11:38 pm

    Any way I could persuade you (or your great team at Mondoweiss) to delete all my previous comments on your website? I’m being hassled by the govt. and pro-Israel trolls, apparently, so I’d prefer to not participate in most social media discussions in the future for some (unspecified) period of time.

Leave a Reply