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Liberal Zionists say that Israel and the U.S. are in the same struggle against rightwing forces

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A liberal Zionist leader is touring these days with a talk on the “Shared Struggle” faced by progressives in Israel and America. Our two societies face the same problem, Naomi Chazan says. “As the Jewish American community mobilizes against policies that strike at the heart of American democratic values, what can we learn from the ongoing struggle to uphold Israel’s democracy?”

The claim that the U.S. and Israel are in the same boat, liberal democracies that just need to be saved from an authoritarian rightwing leader, was also the theme at the J Street conference in April. Speaker after speaker rose to say, What Israel is facing, we in the U.S. are facing. I didn’t get round to writing about this at the time. But the claim is central to liberal Zionism. Both countries are in crisis now, and both can be redeemed.

Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers was the most vociferous in her J Street speech.

[W]e must fight the anti democratic, racist, nativistic, incompetent, oligarchical authoritarianism and cruel instincts and actions of a president and his cronies and associates who simply want an intolerant divisive society and a return to the gilded age… [I]n large part the fight in America is the fight in Israel. And while the words I just said may be different, the sentiment is similar to everyone who is engaged in J Street. We believe in America, and we believe in Israel.  But democratic norms and institutions are under fierce attack in both countries we love….

Weingarten conceded that Netanyahu preceded Trump, but they’re two peas in a pod.

We are here to call out and to change a rightwing populist government with a leader who thrives on hatred and division, who mocks and attacks the press, who sees the strangers among us as a danger to be feared and mistreated, not as fellow humans. Hmmm–which country am I speaking about? The truth is Israel beat us to it with a rightwing leaderhsip years before we had Donald Trump…

But here we are. And the similarities are abundant. And frankly I’m not sure when it comes to Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump, I don’t know who’s imitating who.

Jeremy Ben-Ami also made the comparison at the conference. He broadened it to Palestine: it too is saddled with leaders who support terror.

We couldn’t be clearer in warning of the dangers that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu pose to their respective countries… We must offer a vision for tomorrow. For Israel our vision is of a thriving secure state that hasn’t had to choose between being Jewish and democratic, precisely because it has ended occupation [and established a two-state solution]…

We have a vision as well for the United States…. It’s of a United States that is a strong and respected world leader… not causing conflicts… We understand in our bones the importance of offering safety to those in danger and of guaranteeing  equality for all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. That’s why we fight for immigrants and against racism… That’s how we’re going to block an irrational and incompetent president from leading this country to disaster….

Our partners in Israel and Palestine– they too must work to bring in new leaders who will show the courage of those who have ended conflicts, like Sadat and Begin, like Mandela and de Klerk and like the signatories of the Good Friday accord…. Only when there are leaders who are ready to take the tough steps necessary to end their conflict will there be an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, and an end to the threat of terror and violence.

An Israeli leftwinger issued a similar challenge. Tamar Zandberg of Meretz said the U.S. feels like Israel to her. Charlottesville is like the occupied West Bank.

Coming to the U..S….at this time feels like home in another not so pleasant way. In both our countries we see these days the same contempt for civil rights, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism and politics of fear all starting at the highest level of government.

There is a clear alliance between the rightwing camps in the Israel and in the US. They sponsor and legitimize one another… it’s an alliance that has had and continues to have ever more dangerous consequences for both our countries…

There is a battle between the ideas of democracy, civil rights and liberalism and democracy and civil rights versus a new form of authoritarian thinking fueled by populist anger. All over the world the idea of liberal democracy is under challenge, sometimes under attack. It’s a struggle that takes place in Tel Aviv and in Charlottesville, in Washington DC and the West Bank, and none of us can win it on our own…

Today we are standing together. Today we are in an unprecedented political moment when the very things that we need to change about Israel have become the same ones you resist and fight for here in the U.S. Today it’s clear that the battle against occupation and the battle for racial equality are the same fight…. Today it’s clear that equality for people of color in America and for Palestinian citizens and Mizrahi Jews in Israel derives from the same principles.

Zandberg’s crescendo:

The fight for democracy in Washington and in Jerusalem is the same fight. Netanyahu and Trump they both try to call us un-patriotic… There is nothing more patriotic than a joint struggle for our democracies, and this is what we are doing here tonight together.

Dahlia Scheindlin, the American-Israeli pollster and political analyst, urged Israeli progressives to connect with American progressives on a “package of values” so as to revive the Israeli left:

There’s so much that the US and Israel share in common right now in terms of the progressive and liberal struggle for society against rightwing populism [in the U.S.] that people on the center and the center left in Israel can connect to. The worldview should be a cosmopolitan,  open approach to the world rather than an Israel that’s isolated and stuck within itself. I think those various themes need to be part of how to rally the center left in Israel.

Paul Scham, a professor at the University of Maryland and leader of Partners for Progressive Israel, warned the J Street crowd not to give up on Israel. (I’m not sure what idealistic Israeli left he’s speaking about).

I think we have to be able to seize the moment now, to recognize that our situation here, the people working against the populist wave here, are doing the same things that our friends in Israel are doing.

I think one of the most dangerous things that is repeated as a cliché very often, is that the Israeli left is dead. They are not dead… How do we make American Jews who already share values with the Israeli moderate left, how do we make them aware of all the things and the currents that are going on? That they’re not only not dead but very alive.

[We need to] try to make American Jews who are already anti-Trump, who share our values, who want to do something against the current wave– that the struggle in Israel is the same. And one day the only thing I can promise and guarantee, is something will happen that will upset this wave, this hegemony in Israel. Whether it’s an election surprise, whether it’s a war, whether it’s some sort of event that couldn’t be foreseen comparable to Sadat coming to Jerusalem, something will happen and we need to be ready to receive that and realize that those in Israel who have been working on this for so many years need our help, our support and perhaps most of all our awareness and something we share with people who share our views on many things but think that Israel is somehow beyond the pale of criticism.

Scham said that if American Jews lose touch with Israelis, their Jewish identity is at stake:

I conclude by saying… if we forget what is going on in Israel, we cut away an essential part of our own identity. Identifying with the Israeli left is something that is now whether we like it or not part of our Judaism. And that has to be kept in mind. And worked on.

Finally, here’s Daniel Sokatch of the New Israel Fund in a message last week on a new bill approved by the Israeli Cabinet and sure to get a majority in the Knesset too, “that establishes penalties, including a jail term of up to ten years, for anyone who records or distributes video or audio footage of IDF soldiers.” Notice how Sokatch stitches this Israeli threat to Israeli and Palestinian civil rights directly into U.S. politics, as if the authoritarian threat is the same here.

“In Israel, as elsewhere in the world, video footage of police and military activity has become an important tool for human rights groups and the media. It’s part of how citizens can blow the whistle on wrongdoing by authorities. We’ve seen that from Abu Ghraib to the case of Philando Castile. Tyrants restrict the rights of people to record what happens around them; democracies don’t.”

My former editor Gerry Marzorati used to talk about the “contrast gainer”– the comparison that made you look good. No liberal Zionist supports Trump; but Trumpism has been a gift to liberal Zionists: it makes Israel looks a lot better.

Update: Dahlia Scheindlin responded to this post on twitter: “Not sure why I’m now LibZi, but whatevs…fair argument here, tho I disagree: Trump doesn’t make Isrl look better, BB-DT do not create false liberal paradise now lost. Just makes it urgent 4 all prog 2 empower each other where they have common cause.”

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30 Responses

  1. Helena Cobban
    Helena Cobban
    June 28, 2018, 1:55 pm

    I have huge respect (and affection) for Naomi Chazan. But like all liberal Zionists she is sadly looking more and more out of touch these days. The crucial difference between the US left and the tiny morsel that still remains of the “Peace Now”-type Israeli peace movement is the difference over refugee rights. And the more that Trumpian brutality against Central American asylum seekers or refugees becomes raised as an issue in the US, the sharper that contrast becomes. In Israel, *some* liberal Zionists have rallied to protest Netanyahu’s mistreatment and expulsion of African refugees– but how many have ever given any support to the Palestinian refugees’ internationally recognized right of return??

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      June 28, 2018, 3:27 pm

      I saw Naomi Chazan speak in West Quds in 2000. She was Meretz. Very sound. Saw the big picture.
      Netanyahu and the settlers won though and Israel is goosed.
      She should move out. There is nothing illiberal about justice. The project failed.
       Hillel saw a skull floating in water and he said because you drowned others you were drowned and they too will be drowned. Even bronze age tribespeople understood that violence is for losers and similar to the hotel California.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        July 2, 2018, 3:54 pm

        Where is “West Quds”?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 2, 2018, 4:38 pm

        Hophmi,

        It’s the western part of the city of Quds, western part of the corpus separatum in Palestine as per UN consensus, now illegally invaded and being destroyed and ethnically cleansed by your Zionist hordes.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    June 28, 2018, 2:07 pm

    Whether they’re doing it to fool others or to fool themselves – or a bit of both – the “kinder, gentler” Jewish supremacism (Zionism) of “liberal Zionists” is a bad joke.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 28, 2018, 7:17 pm

      An estimate – if there were not big “donors” behind it, this movement would completely collapse within six months.

      • genesto
        genesto
        June 29, 2018, 12:49 pm

        I assume you mean that Zionism itself would die if it ran out of money. If so, I’m in total agreement.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        June 29, 2018, 8:43 pm

        genesto, thanks. You expanded my meaning, absolutely accurately.

  3. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 28, 2018, 3:39 pm

    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/10/12/svetlana-alexievich-truth-many-voices/

    ”  She also very quickly explained that the fault lay not with one man but with the experiences of Soviet generations, now reworked for new wars. When she listed the fake descriptions of events in Ukraine in the Russian media, she spoke of Russian society as a “collective Putin.” As she put it, “Putin placed his bet on the basest instincts and won. Even if he disappeared tomorrow, we would remain as we are.”

    Trauma is illiberal. Israelis are traumatised. The people are sick.
    Bibi is a reflection of this. The guy is an asshole who wouldn’t be elected to run a dog pound in Sweden.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      June 28, 2018, 5:21 pm

      I think he might have a flourishing career in the Sweden of today. The seemingly awful Sweden Democrats had 28% in the last opinion poll I saw, with the Social Democrats, who created the prosperous and liberal Sweden that we thought we knew, fully 6 points behind.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 29, 2018, 1:59 am

        Unfortunately, the Sossernas also allowed in the flood of immigrants who are destroying the prosperous and liberal Sweden that I used to know, and are still pretending it isn’t happening.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        June 29, 2018, 11:57 am

        Top Swedish politician takes heat for claiming Jews, minorities ‘not Swedes’

        https://www.rt.com/news/430096-sweden-jews-minorities-soder/

  4. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    June 28, 2018, 5:40 pm

    “warned the J Street crowd not to give up on Israel.”

    Never trust a junkie

  5. John O
    John O
    June 28, 2018, 5:45 pm

    Weingarten: “We believe in America, and we believe in Israel. ”

    Huh?

    Gibberish, pure gibberish. Full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.

  6. JWalters
    JWalters
    June 28, 2018, 7:13 pm

    Given her role as president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten is amazingly ignorant. I’d inform her that the Old Testament was similarly used to justify slavery in the Old South. Eventually American students will have classes in which the parallel racist claims and arguments of Israel and the Old South will be examined in detail.

    This will help promote the ideals enshrined in America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They are the very ideals, based upon equal justice for all human beings, which Israel tries at every twist and turn to subvert and destroy. I suggest Ms. Weingarten take some classes in the history of civil rights. And resign her post until she does so.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      June 29, 2018, 10:23 am

      Randi Weingarten: “‘As the Jewish American community mobilizes against policies that strike at the heart of American democratic values, what can we learn from the ongoing struggle to uphold Israel’s democracy?’”

      Huh?

      The entity known as “Israel,” i.e., west of the green line, is not and has never been a democracy. It is and has always has been an ethnocracy, i.e., a political structure in which the state apparatus is appropriated by a dominant ethnic group to further its interests, power and resources. In short, apartheid.

      To wit:
      Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

      Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid. (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
      https://www.youtube.com/wat

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, published in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.”

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      The entity known as “Israel” also differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

      The effect of its blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi: “…dutifully defining the state as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        June 29, 2018, 7:44 pm

        Thanks for that battering ram of facts. I hope Ms. Weingarten is having a teachable moment.

  7. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    June 28, 2018, 7:27 pm

    RE: “A liberal Zionist leader is touring these days with a talk on the ‘Shared Struggle’ faced by progressives in Israel and America. Our two societies face the same problem, Naomi Chazan says. “As the Jewish American community mobilizes against policies that strike at the heart of American democratic values, what can we learn from the ongoing struggle to uphold Israel’s democracy?'” ~ Weiss

    SHARIA-LIKE LAW COMES TO THE US:
    “Israel gives rabbinical courts unprecedented jurisdiction over Diaspora Jews”
    By Jonathan Lis | Haaretz.com | Jun. 26, 2018 | 11:08 AM
    Knesset passes controversial law permitting rabbinical courts to handle cases in which Jewish men refuse to divorce Jewish women – even if neither of the two is Israeli

    The Knesset passed a bill into law on Monday that permits Israel’s rabbinical courts to handle certain cases in which Jewish women seek to divorce their Jewish husbands, even if neither spouse is an Israeli citizen.

    The controversial bill was approved as emergency legislation, to remain in effect for three years, during which the Knesset will monitor its application.

    The new law sets out a series of criteria according to which the rabbinical court can hear such claims. The couple must be married according to traditional Jewish religious law, halakha, and must live in a location abroad where there is no rabbinical court that could arrange a “get,” a Jewish bill of divorce.

    Otherwise, a hearing in Israel can take place only in cases in which the husband did not respond for a period of four months to summonses by a rabbinic court outside Israel, or in cases in which a court outside of Israel ruled that a husband must give his wife a divorce, but the order could not be enforced. According to halakha, a Jewish divorce order is not valid until the husband himself grants the bill of divorce to his wife.

    Up to now, Israeli law allowed Israeli rabbinical courts to handle divorces of Jews who weren’t Israeli citizens but only if one spouse had some connection to Israel, for example, having lived in the country for some time. The new law was advanced after the Conference of European Rabbis and other groups had discussions with the Israeli Rabbinical Courts Administration regarding situations in which men married according to halakha refused to grant their wives a get, rendering them “agunot,” chained women in Hebrew, who cannot remarry. The bill’s explanatory notes state that in some cases, men ignore rulings by their local rabbinical courts abroad and those courts have no authority to impose sanctions on the husbands that might persuade them to grant a get.

    MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) slammed the new law. “This bill actually gives the rabbinical court international powers. This is a new invention, an international rabbinical court for Jews. We have great difficulty with the fact that in Israel almost half a million citizens, whether by choice or because they cannot marry under Jewish law, end up getting married abroad. Let the rabbinical court solve the problems of those refused [marriage] here in Israel before it seeks to solve the problems of agunot abroad.” There is no civil marriage in Israel and marriage between Jews in Israel is governed by halakha, although civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

    Nissan Slomiansky, the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, rejected criticism of the law, saying that it will allow Israel rabbinical courts to relieve the distress of women whose husbands have refused them a divorce, prevailing on them to do so.

    SOURCE – https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-gives-rabbinical-courts-unprecedented-control-over-diaspora-jew-1.6216340

    P.S.
    JUSTICE LOUIS BRANDEIS: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      June 28, 2018, 8:00 pm

      P.P.S. THE US EFFORT TO IMPOSE ITS SHARIA-LIKE LAW ON OTHER NATIONS:
      “Turkey, Iraq and China defy Trump on new Iran Sanctions, Act to Hold Tehran Harmless”, By Juan Cole, 06/28/2018

      [EXCERPTS] Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The Trump administration is unlikely to have the same success in getting other countries to boycott Iranian petroleum as did the Obama administration in 2012-2015, though its officials are making a full court press in that regard.

      Proof came in the form of statements from the Turkish, Iraqi and Chinese governments yesterday. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci was scathing on Trump’s aggressive moves against Iran. Turkey, he said, is not bound by the new US sanctions, which are unilateral. Reuters reports him saying in Ankara, “The decisions that the United States makes are not binding on us. We would be bound by any decisions taken by the United Nations,” . . .

      . . . Iraq also says that the change in Washington policy toward Iran will not affect its plans for economic cooperation with Tehran. The logistics of oil transport are such that it makes sense for Iraq to send Kirkuk oil to a refinery in Kermanshah for Iranian consumers, and to accept refined Iranian petroleum into south Iraq at the other end of the country. Baghdad expects the arrangement and the extensive Iraqi economic interaction with Iran to remain in place.

      Russia had plans to invest $50 bn. in the Iranian hydrocarbon sector, and while some of those plans may now be shelved, Washington should not count on much cooperation from Vladimir Putin, who has an active battlefield alliance with Iran in Syria.

      Most important of all, China’s massive Sinopec oil company says it needs Iranian oil for its new provincial refineries and has no plans to cut back.

      While India’s government is telling Indian firms to look around for other sources of supply and to remain flexible in the face of the American demands and threats, at the same time New Delhi is exploring starting back up its rupee trade with Iran, sidestepping the dollar and US-dominated bank exchanges.

      The Obama administration had two things going for it that Trump does not. The first was the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran, the authority of which other countries recognized. Those sanctions were abolished in January, 2016 . . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – https://www.juancole.com/2018/06/turkey-sanctions-harmless.html

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      June 29, 2018, 11:02 am

      @JLewisDickerson, et al

      ABSOLUTE MUST READ REGARDING THE PRESENT STATE OF AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY!!

      http://www.tothepointanalyses.com/

      “America’s Moral Angst—An Analysis” (29 June 2018) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

      EXCERPTS:
      “Part I – Evidence of Moral Degeneracy

      “For all those who in 2016 closed their eyes, held their noses and took a leap into the unknown by voting for Donald Trump, it is time to pry open those eyelids, gaze upon what they have wrought, and smell the decay pervading the country’s public sphere. And indeed, it seems that growing numbers have, rather belatedly, noticed the signs of moral degeneracy coming from the Oval Office. What took them so long?”

      “Even before 8 November 2016, Trump’s ethical shortcomings were pretty obvious. All that bullying, slander and racial innuendo at his campaign rallies was spontaneous Trump—the real Trump—and not the product of some miscreant speechwriter or sleazy campaign director. The notion that gaining power would somehow breed a sense of responsibility in such a personality, if this happened to occur to anyone, is just rubbish. We have known this to be so ever since a certain German election in July of 1932.

      “Nonetheless, it should be noted that a president of Donald Trump’s temperament is not new in U.S. history. He is not the first man with anger control problems and a stark disregard for the rule of law to hit the White House. However, he is certainly the most blatant. Not that history is a guide for the average voter—the majority of Americans are not historically aware. The national history they are taught often does not go beyond what is needed to uphold an unquestioning pledge of allegiance. Put that ignorance together with prevailing inattention and you have an explanation of why it took so long for many U.S. citizens to realize that their president is a moral idiot.

      “From his first day in office Trump has, consistently and without embarrassment, packed the higher offices of government with unqualified fanatics, incompetent ideologues, and people who had as their goal the destruction of the departments they ‘ran.’ That is, with reflections of himself. He has also been bombarding us with moronic tweets (which are often indicators of forthcoming moronic policies), and lying like a cheap rug. Indeed, the only time the man is not lying is when he is in the grip of a temper tantrum or identifying with white supremacists, as after the Charlottesville debacle.”

      “…in Trump’s eyes the aliens are less than human. They are not worthy of legal due process or any sort of human rights considerations. The snatching of their children was an expression of this attitude. And, when the First Lady recently went to inspect the resulting kiddy concentration camps, she let every one know how she, and no doubt the rest of the Trump tribe, felt about the plight of these stolen children. It was right there on her jacket: ‘I really don’t care.’ Trump said the sentiment referred to the couple’s attitude toward ‘fake news,’ but really that was just a fake excuse. It was stupid callousness on Melania’s part. It was one of those ‘how low can you go’ situations.

      “Part II – Corroborating Evidence

      “The misrepresented refugees along the southern border of the United States are not the only ones for whom Trump has disdain. Connections with organizations that defend the rights and contribute to the needs of the poor and oppressed are now, seemingly, held hostage to the dictates of Israel—an ally of the U.S. that regards its indigenous Palestinians much as Trump regards the ‘illegal aliens’ on the Mexican border. Thus, the Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 12 October 2017 citing alleged ‘anti-Israel bias.’ One of the goals of UNESCO is ‘promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack.’ Given these ends and Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians, what Washington calls ‘bias’ is in fact logical and necessary criticism on UNESCO’s part.

      “The same maneuver was repeated on 20 June 2018 when the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Council is the world’s premier human rights body that reviews and brings to light abuses on a country-by-country basis. Lo and behold, the Trump administration accused the UNHRC of ‘chronic bias’ against Israel. What is a human rights organization to do when confronted by a chronic human rights abusing state? Not be biased? Nor does the appearance of the occasional abuser state on its membership list negate the council’s mission. Membership is rotating and has not prevented the council from doing its job.”

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        June 30, 2018, 10:47 pm

        THANKS!

        “. . . Histories of ages past
        Unenlightened shadows cast
        Down through all eternity
        The crying of humanity

        “It is then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
        Comes singing songs of love . . .”
        ~ DONOVAN (1968)
        LINK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMVzA4xoS-c

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        June 30, 2018, 11:33 pm

        “The Longing” – Patty Gurdy (Storm Seeker Song, Hurdy Gurdy Version)

  8. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    June 29, 2018, 10:16 am

    “Scham said that if American Jews lose touch with Israelis, their Jewish identity is at stake:”

    The sooner the better.

  9. Avigail
    Avigail
    June 29, 2018, 10:39 am

    Liberal settler-colonisers (aka Zionists) should be an oxymoron methinks…

    1) If you are a Zionist or support Zionism you support settler colonialism.
    2) Settler-colonialism is a crime against humanity.
    Therefore: those so-called ‘Liberals’ support the removal of indigenous people from their home in order to settler their own people there…

    And this mob are worried about illiberal developments… Give me a break…

    If you want an example of mind [email protected]£ing, this is a spectacular one. Give me a non-liberal/total fascist Zionist and at least I would think the title is consistent with itself and I know what to expect.

    These so-called ‘Liberal Zionists’ worry me more than the nutters. They are the ones that take us further away from any kind of ending to Israeli settler-colonialism because they — quite possibly deliberately — mislead everyone about what’s going on in Palestine. They would like to appear Western and enlightened and in their own mind they think they are. So I want them to explain how they can be so ‘enlightened’ and humanistic and at the same time support a settler-colonial project… As far as i am concerned they have no leg to stand on and should hang their head in shame for being intellectually dishonest and fraudulent.

    A brief guide to the confused:
    Zionism = settler-colonialism in Palestine —> in this particular case of settler-colonialism, Zionism is a programme of creating an exclusively Jewish state at the expense of the indigenous people and *replacing* the indigenous people with Jews from all over the world on all of the land of historic Palestine.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      June 29, 2018, 8:06 pm

      Beautifully succinct, clear, and central.

      “explain how they can be so ‘enlightened’ and humanistic and at the same time support a settler-colonial project”

      They never even attempt to explain this key part of their picture. Instead, they follow the example of their leader at the financial wellspring of Israel, “Lord” Jacob Rothschild. He explained that his family bank financed Israel for “that sacred goal, the return of Israel to its ancestral homeland” (8:50 in video).

      As per strategy, his “explanation” never mentions the Palestinian human sacrifices made in pursuit of his “sacred goal”. He asks us all to ignore the question you ask.

  10. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 29, 2018, 11:14 am

    In the extended analogy drawn by the article’s content that is the subject of this line of reader comments, which group or class of people in Israel are the USA’s base 40% of Trump fans, those who began as the tax-protesting Tea Party, evolved into the economically left out white working class, and castigated by Hillary as “the deplorables.”?

  11. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 29, 2018, 2:39 pm

    Meanwhile there appears to be a sense of panic around Kushner and Greenblatt`s piss proposal. They and their Zioland puppet masters are desperate to get back to the same old same old tried and trusted maintain the status quo at all costs negotiations about negotiations about negotiations about negotiations. Yawn. And it appears that even Petain Abbas and his buddy Erekat are for once being really awkward. I wonder how long that will last ?

    https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Trump-team-sees-distortion-in-their-messages-to-Palestinian-leaders-561192

  12. captADKer
    captADKer
    June 29, 2018, 6:53 pm

    why not a word from tzipi? be she too “illiberal”(whatever that means) or irrelevant?
    for any oxymoron “progressive zionist” out there wondering allow this fill in-
    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/politics/livni-delivers-ultimatum-to-faction-appoint-her-as-opposition-chair-or-dissolve-the-partnership/2018/06/26/

  13. JimMichie
    JimMichie
    June 30, 2018, 7:58 pm

    Encouraging that there are a few voices of true practitioners of Judaism taking issue with “Israel”, but apparently are willing to accept the Zionist propaganda claiming that Zionist Israel is a “democracy”, when it most certainly is not and never was in its longstanding persecution of their “neighbors”, the Palestinians.

    I am also perplexed over use of the term “liberal Zionist”. As a native of Deep South Louisiana, “liberal Zionist” brings to my mind a “liberal Klansman”. Nonetheless and as a journalist by schooling and experience, I do hope that true practitioners of Judaism around the world will realize that much, if not most, of any news concerning those in Israel who oppose the rule of brutal, racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing, land stealing, fascist, terrorist Zionist regime over both Israel and Palestine is not reported; and that major print and broadcast media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News, etc., must be confronted with this shameful news blackout.

    Permit me to suggest that Mondoweiss needs to focus more on highlighting and criticizing the longstanding news blackout on the human rights crisis in Palestine at the hands of the Zionist Israel theocracy.

  14. Keith
    Keith
    July 2, 2018, 7:43 pm

    PHIL- “A liberal Zionist leader is touring these days with a talk on the “Shared Struggle” faced by progressives in Israel and America.”

    The “Shared Struggle” is that of “liberal” American Zionist imperialists versus faux populist American Zionist imperialists over who gets the power to screw the American people in service to the global elites. All of the rhetoric nothing more than propaganda. None of these people are to be believed or trusted. It is all about power.

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