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The end is near (for Democrats and Israel)

Media Analysis
on 67 Comments

Every few months we announce that support for Israel in the Democratic Party is about to crumble and fall into the sea! Call us ahead of the curve, but here’s the latest evidence of the trend in the media. And yes I know, the Democratic presidential debate last night avoided the subject entirely. But young progressives are unhappy that the Dems weren’t forced to take a stand against the occupation.

First off, here’s star NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying on Tuesday that Israel is a “generational issue,” and young Dems are daring to criticize Israel, and “young Jews in Israel are sick of this.” She appeared on “Ebro in the Morning,” a talk show on NY’s WQHT radio:

Where we’re at in this country as far as Israel Palestine is very much a generational issue. And I think that when we start looking at it through that lens, a lot of this stuff starts to make sense… Young Jews in Israel are sick of this. The Netanyahu administration is very much like the Trump administration… The right wants to advance this notion that if you engage in critique of Israeli policy, that you are anti-semitic, but that is the furthest thing from the truth… The same way that me criticizing Trump doesn’t make me anti-American, criticizing the occupation doesn’t make you anti-Israel, frankly, it doesn’t mean that you are against the existence of a nation, it means that you believe in human rights. It’s about making sure that Palestinian human rights are equal to Israeli human rights and there are a lot of troubling things happening there.

There’s this conversation that gets started and frankly it’s advanced by the right wing, that if you engage in any critique that must mean that you are against the existence of the nation. But we don’t engage in any other country like that. We don’t talk about the UK like that, we don’t talk about China like that, we don’t talk about the United States… If you critique any other country, they don’t say, Do you believe in Britain’s right to exist? And I understand that there’s a very deep history. There’s a reason why we ask that question when it comes to Israel. Because Jewish people have been persecuted throughout all of human history.

I don’t think that by marginalizing Palestinians you create safety. I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people. Because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized–… Once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot. And it doesn’t have to be that way. And I’m not even talking about Palestinians, I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States. I’m talking about Latin America, I’m talking about all over the world. We experienced times like that in our country. We had riots in 1968 when the Bronx was burning. You know, social destabilization is what happens when people do not have a plan or feel like there’s no vision for their future.

AOC is not the threat, Democrats should be worried that Chellie Pingree, a 10-year congresswoman from Maine, has “turned against Israel,” voting against the anti-boycott bill that passed the Congress 398-17 last week, Tablet says.

Pingree is “generic,” i.e., a progressive in a predominantly-white district, and she used to be “a conventional, pro-Israel liberal,” but now feels safe criticizing Israel, Tablet’s KC Johnson reports:

Pingree [was] the only New England legislator to oppose the resolution and a sign, perhaps, of things to come. It’s likely Pingree, rather than figures such as [Ilhan] Omar and [Rashida] Tlaib, who represent the greatest looming threat to Israel in the coming years….

Pingree’s opposition to Israel… seems to be more tribal, caused by her fellow progressives coming to view the Jewish state skeptically…

Pingree’s transformation, then, illustrates how a generic legislator lacking deep concerns about Israel could shift to accommodate the newfound support for Palestinian nationalism among some quarters of the Democratic base.

White progressive Democrats are coming naturally to this Israel-critical position, because they are concerned about racism, David Brooks acknowledged last week in The New York Times. 

Racial equity has become the prism through which many in this group see a range of other issues…. For most of the 20th century, for example, white liberals consistently sympathized with Israel more than with the Palestinians. But that has reversed. White progressives are much more critical of Israel than ever before. What had once been seen as an intractable regional conflict between a democracy and a series of authoritarian regimes trying to destroy it is now seen as a conflict between a white colonialist power and the brown people it oppresses.

In this new dispensation, the concept of white privilege is on everybody’s lips. As [Zach] Goldberg points out, in 1996 and 2010 about a quarter of white liberals thought racial discrimination was a very serious problem. By 2016, 58 percent did.

Here’s more data on those white liberals. Something snapped with all those Gaza slaughters, Zach Goldberg wrote in Tablet in June.

Along with the sweeping changes on race and immigration issues is the reversal of white liberal attitudes toward Israel. Between 1978 and 2014, white liberals consistently reported sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians. Since March of 2016, this trend has turned on its face. Currently, significantly more white liberals report greater sympathy for the Palestinians than for Israel.

The sudden souring of white liberal attitudes towards Israel bears some resemblance to the rapid attitudinal changes on racial issues. Like the police shootings of unarmed blacks during this period, Israel’s 7-week bludgeoning of Gaza [in 2014] became arguably the most extensive of its military campaigns to be captured on social media. It was also the campaign that drew the least support from White liberals. Consider that 65% of White liberals felt that Israeli actions during the 2002 ‘Operation Defensive Shield’ were justified. Although this figure declined to 47% during Operation Cast Lead (2009), it largely stayed there (46%) during Operation Pillar of Defense (2012). But by the time Operation Protective Edge rolled around less than two years later, the percent viewing Israeli actions as justified dipped to a low of 30%—the lowest level of support in two decades, if not ever. At around the same time, Google searches for topics relating to ‘Anti-Zionism’ reached a high point in August of 2014—the closing month of Israeli military operations.

The left sees Israel as a bastion of privilege, Goldberg laments.

[T]he same empathic outrage over the bigoted persecution by the “privileged” against the vulnerable that informs the changing policy positions on domestic issues is extended out to the international arena where Israel is a fixture of every moral drama. A white supremacist America holds people of color down and keeps the door shut for others, while a “Zionist supremacist” Israel behaves in much the same way toward its minorities of color. It’s a narrow and warped perspective but one that’s easily assimilated into a broader worldview in which human relations are defined by categories of oppressor vs. oppressed; and where the roles are assigned based on one’s placement in the privilege hierarchy… As Jews have become beacons of whiteness in the liberal political imagination—to the point that Israel is considered a white state despite having a slight nonwhite majority—they have come to be associated with an oppressor class.

To be clear, the young progressive Jews of IfNotNow (whom AOC surely meant when she spoke of young Jews getting “sick”) do not regard this as a warped perspective. They say progressive Democrats care about Palestinian human rights, so they want a debate over Israel, and they were disappointed by last night’s debate:

Another debate without any questions on addressing the Israeli Occupation, which violates the human rights of millions of Palestinians.

We’ve spent the past month asking candidates to address the crisis bc Jews & Dems want change. And the polls back us up
Democratic voters are virtually split on this issue — but you’d never know it from how Democratic leaders act.

– 27 percent of Democrats said they sympathized more with the Israelis.
– 26 percent said they sympathized more with the Palestinians…

Only 12% of Dems have a purely favorable view of the Israeli gov

In fact, the majority of Democratic voters — 56% — are so sick of decades of Israeli policies that only build more and more settlements they want the American government to use *more* than just words to change Israeli policy.

And P.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren hired Max Berger, one of the founders of IfNotNow, to do progressive outreach.

Eric Alterman complained in the New York Times this week that in order to be a progressive, you have to be for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions targeting Israel. And the young are being “permanently turned against Israel by their professors and fellow students.” (Reefer madness!)

B.D.S. has become a purity test of sorts for progressives in certain corners of American society — a defining part of what it means to be woke. I see it every day, in my triple role as a college professor, columnist for a left-liberal magazine and father of a college-age daughter who gives me regular reports about her school’s “Israel Apartheid Day.”…

[W]hy are so many people worried about B.D.S.? Partly, concern over the movement is driven by parents — with whom I can relate — who fear that their children are being permanently turned against Israel by their professors and fellow students. The rapid growth of anti-Zionist organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, along with calls I get from my daughter, tells me that these fears are not entirely unfounded.

An important element of this trend is that Jews are not *centered* in the progressive story of Israel, to use the new word; though Jews remain centered in the Democratic Party leadership. Doug Rossinow, a scholar of Zionism, wrote in the Washington Post two days ago that it will be a while before these divisions “fracture the Democratic Party,” because Jews are still on board. 

Today’s trends may spell the eventual demise of Democratic support for Israel. But eventual does not mean imminent. In the past five presidential elections, American Jews have given the Democrat, on average, 74 percent of their votes. In light of this strong Jewish support, the Democrats are not likely to get tough on Israel anytime soon, and the party’s leaders probably calculate that Jewish liberals, who may be relatively alienated from Israel, can be taken for granted in 2020.

The Dems are a “gerontocracy” dominated by pro-Israel “elites.” Like 72-year-old Eliot Engel.

[Engel’s] Trump-like views on Israel and Palestine may make him seem contradictory to young liberals…

Engel represents what Democratic Party liberalism used to be, including a fierce partisanship for Israel. The reigning elites of his party’s gerontocracy remain rooted in that earlier formation…

While several Democrats running for president have tried to keep their distance from the most ardent pro-Israel groups for now, only Sanders seriously promises to take U.S. policy in a new direction. Israel’s advocates, sensitive to the realities of American politics, may move now to extract the maximum benefits for Israel before the window of bipartisan support narrows further.

Democratic Majority for Israel is very concerned about these trends. They’re the AIPAC-linked group that sprung up inside the Democratic Party this year, trying to keep the Dems from dividing over this issue.

From email blasts from DMfI officials yesterday and today:

Given all the recent news and efforts to paint our party as anti-Israel, we want to show the candidates that the majority of Democrats support a continued, strong alliance with Israel…

[W]hen I listen to the candidates, it’s important that each of them voices their strong support and commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship….

Our message is simple:

I believe support for Israel is a core Democratic value. I hope you’ll re-affirm your commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship during the second #demdebate! #standwithisrael

To be continued!

h/t Michael Arria and Allison Deger.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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67 Responses

  1. Citizen on July 31, 2019, 4:09 pm

    I won’t hold my breath tonight, watching the debate for a question or answer speaking out about lavish US foreign aid to Israel, or the settlement expansion, or the occupation. As far as I know, the moderators get to pick their own questions and who to direct them at. Anybody know differently?

  2. Keith on July 31, 2019, 4:11 pm

    AOC- ” Because Jewish people have been persecuted throughout all of human history.”

    So, Alexandria, can you pinpoint when the Jewish people went from being at the bottom to rapidly ascend to the top? How did they do it? Any lessons there for Blacks?

  3. Kay24 on July 31, 2019, 5:03 pm

    Meanwhile, while the world is distracted by Trump’s stupidity, the land thieves strike again, hoping no one notices:

    Israel approves thousands of new settler homes in West Bank
    ‘Not a single settlement or a single settler will ever be uprooted,’ says Benjamin Netanyahu

    The comments show exactly why Israel is disliked.

    • John O on July 31, 2019, 6:38 pm

      Thanks for the link, Kay. I caught a BBC news bulletin as I drove home today. It mentioned the 700 Palestinian homes and, to the BBC’s credit, expressed scepticism as to whether these were new homes or just retrospective acknowledgement that 700 existing homes are in fact legal.

      But of the 6,000 new settler homes – not a word. Grrrr.

      • Kay24 on August 1, 2019, 6:31 am

        The situation is out of control, and the US and the UK, that always had the power to control it, were the enablers to their disgusting crimes. It is always amusing to see these actors show outrage at other nations, like Iran, and show just how “shocked” they are that they behaving in ways that is unacceptable to the US, the UK, and the “only democracy” in the ME. The world should have imposed harsh sanctions on Israel a long time ago, for the pain and suffering it has inflicted on powerless people, the real victims, but it seem even nations like Saudi Arabia have decided that it is better for THEM to have zionists as partners in crime, and not the poor Palestinians who offer them nothing.

    • Eric on August 1, 2019, 11:36 pm

      The rapid expansion of settlements is really endangering the 2SS!! Beto O’Rourke said it himself…

      • seancbreathnach on August 2, 2019, 4:23 pm

        Eric, the two-state solution is a false flag, it is dead and buried long ago.

  4. JWalters on July 31, 2019, 6:21 pm

    The Israelis are fighting fang and claw to maintain the absurd equation of anti-Zionism with anti-Judaism. The reason is because as soon as the door opens to an honest discussion of Israel everyone will suddenly become aware that everything they have been told about “glorious” Israel is a lie. They will learn that Israel has been a cruel, criminal operation from the beginning.
    “Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won”

    They will learn that Israel has been a malicious hoax.
    “It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped”

    They will learn that Israel is run by psychopathic sadists.
    “Sadistic display of violence”

    The shock of the truth will turn Americans strongly against Israel’s criminal regime literally overnight. Suddenly even top Zionist boot-licker Nancy Pelosi will be saying, “I’m shocked! shocked! to find ethnic cleansing going on here!”

    And Israel’s numerous direct crimes against Americans will not help them either. Those will simply create additional shocks.

    • RoHa on July 31, 2019, 8:13 pm

      And when will all this happen?

      Next Wednesday?

      Next year?

      Next century?

      • JWalters on August 1, 2019, 6:24 pm

        Good question. Hard to say. It will probably happen suddenly, like a chunk of ice falling from an iceberg, or an avalanche. People will be scrambling like crazy. My sense is that the situation is definitely ripening. Amy Goodman had Israeli journalist Gideon Levy on Democracy Now recently, openly criticizing Israel’s tactic of false anti-Semitism accusations. Goodman has tended to avoid much criticism of Israel. If Gideon Levy ever makes onto the PBS Newshour, watch out. I think a lot of the reporters in the MSM are ready to pounce if they get unleashed. Political comedian Jimmy Dore replays Gideon Levy’s appearance, adding his own comments here.
        “Israeli Journalist Rips Anti-BDS Resolution Passed By House”

  5. pgtl10 on July 31, 2019, 7:01 pm

    I want Goldberg to explain how Israel has a non-white majority.

    Furthermore I want him to explain why a majority of non-whites(If that is true) allows Israel to be freed from the racism label.

    Surely, Goldberg knows that white South Africans were a minority in apartheid South Africa.

    Zionists seem to not understand that population and demographics have no bearing on whether there is systematic racism.

    • RoHa on July 31, 2019, 8:15 pm

      Does Goldberg think that only whites can be racist?

    • Mooser on July 31, 2019, 8:59 pm

      “I want Goldberg to explain how Israel has a non-white majority.”

      Oh, that’s easy. Israel has a Jewish majority, not a white majority.

      • Sibiriak on July 31, 2019, 10:12 pm

        The point was Sephardi/ Mizrahi Jews et al now outnumber “white” Ashkenazi Jews.

        Cf. Why Israel is a Jewish, not a white supremacist state by Tony Greenstein

        No, Israel isn’t a country of privileged and powerful white Europeans

      • hai_bar on August 1, 2019, 12:40 pm

        This person’s article sheds light on some of the Mizrahi history in the middle east. His personal experience reflects one post-Zionism. My question is – disregarding the idea that non-White people can also be racists, at least superficially*-:

        Would this person (living now and defending the only Jewish state in the world, aka “Israel”) be living here if it was not for the White-Europeans invading and making a land empty for new colonies? How did the number of Mizrahi and other “people of color” change over the “history of Israel”? Was not/is not the unending white-European support (esp. in Military) the sole reason why this colony still exists, the way it does now? Nambia was colonized and massacred by Germans in the past, why don’t they get the same Money? Congo from the Dutch?

        So because now the Mizrahi are outnumbering or equally inside Israel, you dismiss that there’s a white European majority in Israel, and they are powerful?

        Well from my first hand experience, I mostly see Mizrahi, African or Druze on Checkpoints and hot zones, places where they are more “in risk”, relatively at least.

        No, Israel is not a country of white and privileged, that’s why Africans go there for tourism and research any time they want, that’s why other Arabs and Lations are always in and out of Israel. Or not? I read mostly Europeans going in to study insects and birds of the desert, and fishes of the red sea, come back and brag about their exotic experience in the middle east and happily report of how convenient it is for their female-companions to be in the Israeli side, literally “like Europe” with mini skirts, but very much inconvenient in the “Pali side”.

    • Sibiriak on July 31, 2019, 9:58 pm

      Netanyahu Becomes Longest-Serving Prime Minister in Israel History

      SHIR HEVER: […] I think a lot of people compare their political parties. Ben-Gurion founded the labor movement and the Labor Party, and Netanyahu took over the Likud Party, which is considered more right-wing. I don’t think that’s the difference between them. When you look at their ideologies, there is not a big gap between the two. And I also don’t think it’s really a matter of individual personality that sets these two people so much apart. I think what really is the difference between them is who were their supporters. What kind of public did they represent?

      Ben-Gurion was a leader of a collectivist nationalist nation, which he shaped to create social classes and a very strict hierarchy. He decided that Jews originating from Arab countries, the Mizrahi, would be second-class citizens and will not have full rights. He decided that the people who will dominate this society and will be the major decision makers are the generals.

      So in many ways, it was his legacy to create the Israeli security elite, the officers who are working in the military, in the secret police, in the police, and the intelligence services who have become the ministers, the Prime Ministers of the Israeli government throughout the years.

      And I also think that Ben-Gurion had a message that he constantly repeated to the Israeli public. He said, you have to sacrifice. If you want a Jewish state according to Zionist values and so on, you don’t get anything for yourself. You get something for the collective. So that means that he called for austerity. He called for people who are not from the Ashkenazi elite, the Jews of European descent, to accept their lot in life that they will never be able to attain higher education and good jobs, but they are sacrificing for the greater good.

      Now, Netanyahu broke all of this just to pieces. Netanyahu came as an anti-elitist but as a populist, saying what is the purpose of having this colonial process, this massive project that Ben-Gurion started, if we don’t get to enjoy it? We are the Jewish Israelis who inherited, the younger generation who inherited this country from our parents who made all this sacrifice. Now it’s our turn to reap the benefits.

      So Netanyahu always appealed to the underdogs, to the Mizrahi Jews that I mentioned before, to religious Jews, to people living in the illegal colonies. All these groups that said oh we were being marginalized by the labor movement, Netanyahu is saying well now it’s your time to shine; we’re going to unite forces and crash the old elites. What he’s not saying is that he is creating a new elite. Not the security elite, but a kind of populist-right elite, which is taking over the courts and the media and reshaping the state.

  6. wdr on July 31, 2019, 7:39 pm

    Funny only 16 of them voted against the anti-BDS resolution in the H of Reps.

  7. wondering jew on August 1, 2019, 2:40 am

    “The End is Near” conjures up the cartoon of a street preacher with a sign and I’m not sure it is the most effective headline for the content.

    When Jesse Jackson’s success in the primaries in 1988 occurred simultaneous with the first intifada, I was convinced that the Democratic Party would “soon” abandon Israel. “Soon” was delayed by Clinton, Rabin, 9/11 (the Iraq War) and the second intifada, but there does not seem to be any further delays on the horizon.

    A few comments: 1. My personal political priority at this moment is defeating Trump in 2020. There are those who feel that capitalism or the status quo is the true enemy rather than Trump, but whether emotional or logical to me defeating Trump is the highest priority.

    2. i think jewish zionist israeli opposition to independence of the Palestinians is rational. given the attitude and behavior of hamas and hezbollah, maintenance of security control of the west bank (and gaza) is rational behavior.

    3. the nature of the occupation shifting from a military occupation to a settler occupation cannot be explained by the rationality of #2 and turns something that could be defensible in the court of American public opinion into something patently unfair.

    I said that there were no delays on the horizon and I think what i’m suggesting now is not a long term delay but a short term delay: a prime minister other than netanyahu announces measures (a la Micah Goodman ) designed to give the Palestinians some breathing space. I don’t think this would be sufficient and even if placed in the context of an overall strategy regarding the delayed future of the west bank i don’t think it would be sufficient, but it could be a short term delay.

    • eljay on August 1, 2019, 8:44 am

      || wondering jew: … . i think jewish zionist israeli opposition to independence of the Palestinians is rational. given the attitude and behavior of hamas and hezbollah, maintenance of security control of the west bank (and gaza) is rational behavior. ||

      Similarly, the rapist’s opposition to the liberation of the women chained in his basement is rational. Given the attitude and behaviour of those ungrateful bitches, maintenance of security control of their shackles (and chains) is rational behaviour.

      Any suggestion that there should be maintenance of security control of the rapist – who has a history of deliberately and unapologetically committing acts of physical and sexual violence against women – can only be motivated by anti-Masculinism.

      • wondering jew on August 2, 2019, 3:26 am

        eljay- If Palestinians who have been wronged and who feel wronged feel vindicated by your analogy and rhetoric, it then serves some purpose. But the purpose I have in mind is solution oriented, which is difficult at this moment in time when a solution seems so elusive. From a solution point of view there would probably have to be some compromise and as such an understanding of the mindset of your enemy would be important in figuring out what is possible and achievable. If indeed the overrunning of the enemy with tanks and airplanes is the path to a solution, then your rhetoric need not be tamed by keeping a solution in mind. but if the path is not violent based but instead diplomatic, then some consciousness of the enemy’s mindset (other than the enemy’s perfidy) will be useful in achieving a solution.

      • eljay on August 2, 2019, 9:33 am

        || wondering jew: eljay- If Palestinians who have been wronged and who feel wronged feel vindicated by your analogy and rhetoric, it then serves some purpose. But the purpose I have in mind is solution oriented, which is difficult at this moment in time when a solution seems so elusive. From a solution point of view there would probably have to be some compromise and as such an understanding of the mindset of your enemy would be important in figuring out what is possible and achievable. If indeed the overrunning of the enemy with tanks and airplanes is the path to a solution, then your rhetoric need not be tamed by keeping a solution in mind. but if the path is not violent based but instead diplomatic, then some consciousness of the enemy’s mindset (other than the enemy’s perfidy) will be useful in achieving a solution. ||

        y.f., no matter how much blather and bullshit you couch it in, the “solution-oriented” purpose you have in mind is the same unjust and immoral purpose every other Zionist has in mind:

        A Zionist “peace” that…
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – allows Israel to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law; and
        – absolves Israel of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • Mooser on August 6, 2019, 6:37 pm

        “If indeed the overrunning of the enemy with tanks and airplanes is the path to a solution, then your rhetoric need not be tamed by keeping a solution in mind.” “wj”

        Thank you for representing the Israeli view so accurately, “Yonah”!

        The Israelis are the only ones who have the bombs and airplanes.

    • Misterioso on August 1, 2019, 10:16 am

      @wondering jew

      “…given the attitude and behavior of hamas and hezbollah,…”


      By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandated Palestine.

      The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers “Israel” full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor, equal and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if “Israel” complies with international law (e.g., the UN Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute, binding on all UN members.) Fully aware of “Israel’s” demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with “Israel’s” pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees (as determined by Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…” “Israel” ignored the Arab League’s peace proposal.

      The Beirut Arab Summit Initiative was also “formally accepted by the [then] ‘supreme leader’ of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. [Furthermore, Sheikh] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that Hezbollah would not disrupt such an agreement if it is accepted by Palestinians [and] Hamas has repeatedly indicated its willingness to negotiate in these terms.” (“On the US-Israeli Invasion of Lebanon” by Professor Noam Chomsky, Znet, August 23, 2006)

      Notably, the Beirut Arab Summit Initiative has also been adopted by the Organization of Islamic States which includes Iran. (Akiva Eldar, “What will happen if Israel ‘defeats’ Obama?” – Ha’aretz, 1 June 2009)

      “…in May 2003, a conference of the member states’ foreign ministers [of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation] in Tehran ‘reaffirmed its support to, and adoption of, the Arab peace initiative for resolving the issue of Palestine and the Middle-East.’ Indeed, an information leaflet about the peace initiative posted on the Arab League’s official website shows the flags of all countries that endorse the proposal, including those of Libya, Syria — and Iran.” (“Why is Israel so afraid of the Arab Peace Initiative?, by Raphael Ahren, The Times of Israel, 18 June 2013.)

      On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that ‘If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.’

      “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from “Israel.” (By calling for a ‘resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh was in accordance with UNGA Res. 194 (agreed to by “Israel” in 1949 as a precondition for UN membership), which calls for financial compensation as a possible option for the Palestinian refugees rather than their “inalienable Right of Return.”)

      In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, “Israel” promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.…
      “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. No response from “Israel.”

      Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians, Hamas, and the Arab states, has been rapidly increasing illegal settlement construction along with escalating dispossession and violent oppression of the indigenous inhabitants in occupied Palestine and other Arab lands.

      As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that are contrary to international law and help explain why the conflict continues:
      The Likud Party Platform:
      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
      d. “Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

      • Nathan on August 2, 2019, 8:40 am

        Misterioso – You bring yet again your long list of quotes in which you try to present the supposed acceptance of the sovereignty of Israel by the PLO, and the supposed willingness of Hamas to accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. It would be more interesting to hear from you if YOU accept the sovereignty of Israel (and the acceptance of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders).

        The Palestinians have a very tricky style of politics. So, for example, they will declare that they recognized Israel in the framework of the Oslo Agreement. And it’s true – as long as the verb is in the past tense (“recognized”). However, you will never hear a Palestinian spokesman using the present tense (“we recognize Israel”), and indeed they do NOT recognize Israel. The same trickiness is part of Hamas’ style. They accept the idea of founding a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and of course you only hear praise of their new charter. However, they are not saying that the establishment of the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders would mean that the conflict has been resolved. Quite the contrary. The very same new charter is very clear that the goal is the “liberation of Palestine” in its entirety. So, obviously, they have no problem with the founding of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border and then continuing the jihad.

        It seems to me that you, too, have adopted this style of trickery. Clearly, you have read the new Hamas Charter, so you know that the goal is not just the founding of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. But the ultimate goal of Hamas is not mentioned in your very long comment. Those who have the patience to read your comment would have been able to take in one more line in which you could have clarified that Hamas has no intention of living with Israel at all.

        I read your comments, and it’s clear to me that you do not take the moderate position of recognizing Israel and of ending the conflict through the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders (the two-state solution). But, I shouldn’t put words in your mouth; hence, I’ll ask straight to the point: What is your vision of the end? Are these moderate positions that you quote (recognition of Israel, Palestinian statehood on the 1967 borders) your point of view? Or are you playing the game of trickiness, knowing that the recognition of Israel is not sincere and that the Hamas’ agreement to Palestinian statehood on the 1967 borders is not about ending the conflict?

    • oldgeezer on August 1, 2019, 11:11 am


      Another racial supremacist attempt to justify the crimes of Israel.

  8. Jackdaw on August 1, 2019, 2:58 am

    Wait one doggone minute!

    Did AOC say, “young Jews are sick of this”, in reference to young American Jew?

    Or, and I am copying her quote verbatim, ” Young Jews in Israel are sick of this.”, in reference to who knows what.

    Someone has been snipping AOC’s quote.

    *eye shift to Phil Weiss*

  9. Ossinev on August 1, 2019, 7:27 am

    Interesting and thoughtful article. No reference though to the Elephant in the Room = the Zionist Benjaminisation of American policy wrt Israel via “charities “such as AIPAC. And of course no mention whatsoever by the Dem candidates of the grotesque amounts of money which the Trump campaign has received and continues to receive from Zionist fifth columnists like Adelson. I wonder why ?When Omar merely referred to the Benjamins in general with no specification ref Jews/Zionists intended there were howls weepings wailings gnashing of teeth about “Anti-Semitism from the Republicans but also from the Democrats. Methinks they did protest too much

    And as for that freebie $3.8 billion a year to a rich successful Zioland ( that`s the way it portrays itself to the world so why the begging bowl scenario? ). Just think of how much good that could do in fixing the collapsed infrastructure in the US including a mass programme of rat de – infestation. Mr. Cumming why not ask your new nemisis Dickhead Donald to redirect the cash to American needs ?

  10. JohnSmith on August 1, 2019, 8:53 am

    I just want to point out the racist stupidity of what Sibiriak and his sources say regarding Ashkenazi / Sephardi / Mizrahi jews and whether or not Israel is “white supremacist” or not.

    Israel is famous for just how fiercely racist it is, and the way various groups even within the Jewish population are treated as inferior or lesser. But I don’t care about the relatively wealth or privilege of different groups within the Jewish population.

    The point Sibiriak et al. want to make is a racist claim that the skin color or ethnicity of descendants and practitioners of the racist Zionist state and ideology somehow inoculates them from the claim–the truth–that Israel is a racist state invented by racist Europeans practicing a racist ideology.

    And to get there he tries arguing that Spanish jews are insufficiently white or European to be considered white or European?

    What a pathetic stunt by racist Zionists to argue they aren’t racists. What are they going to do–get paint samples to test the shade of people’s skin color, or do DNA tests to prove that if only x percent of the population is Ashkenazi then racism isn’t racism?

    Why not just actually have a democratic state instead of a racist one? Then you wouldn’t have to work yourself into knots coming up with BS arguments to claim a European-born racist ideology isn’t a European-born racist ideology.

    • Donald on August 1, 2019, 11:45 am

      I didn’t interpret Sibiriak as defending Israel, but clarifying the types of bigotries and resentments that exist within the various Jewish communities against each other. As I understand it, Begin was the first to exploit the resentments against the Ashkenazi to become the Prime Minister.

      This doesn’t contradict the fact that Israel overall is an apartheid state with respect to the Palestinians

  11. RobertHenryEller on August 1, 2019, 10:03 am

    The end is not nearly near enough.

  12. tamarque on August 1, 2019, 10:12 am

    What is disturbing in this article is the multiple mentioning of college professors and other students turning young Jews away from support of Israel. This to me is pure propaganda to be noticed, called out and worried about. The worry is that this portends movement to censure progressive professors and groups that question Israeli apartheid. We are seeing this occur for several years now with well loved and professional educators like Norm Finkelstein and Joel Kovel (now deceased) being forced out of their university tenured positions.

    What is not noted in the article is that young people of all persuasions including young Jews are reading more about t he ME. They are paying attention to what is going on. When Ferguson exploded t here was a direct link between the Black community and Palestinians made for unity and mutual support as both sides saw themselves each other’s struggles. This had nothing to do with college professors.

    Personally I see censorship of the internet more threatening to our ability to know more deeply what is happening in other countries. It is this venue that informs me of much that is going on in Israel and Palestine. Social media is central to organizing anti-apartheid, pro BDS rallies and marches. Many newslists that cover the issues from many points of view. This is what needs to be protected if we are to continue learning about the issues and how they all connect to us. When did the MSM ever tell us about how our $3 billion/yr, now become $4 billion/yr is being used by Israel! This article seems to assume young Jews are isolated on campuses where they are being indoctrinated in cultist camps. Boo Hiss to that!

  13. Ottawa observer on August 1, 2019, 10:13 am

    AOC is an impressive, and courageous, woman. I admire her.
    But we all should keep in mind that while she is very strong against the occupation, and fiercely critical of Bibi, settlers, etc.. she defends Israel’s right to continue and proposes a 2SS solution.

    This makes her political position in line with that of liberal zionists who hope a 2SS will save the Jewish state of Israel.

    I have not heard/seen her say anything on the right of return. If she accepts the basic Zionist idea of the necessity of a Jewish state, i assume she opposes the right of return.

    This is not a denunciation of a brave woman under incredible pressure. But there is an inconsistency between supporting BDS and supporting the basic idea of Israel as a way to protect Jews.

    • echinococcus on August 1, 2019, 10:59 am

      “Bravery” on the part of an imperialism supporter is not something we want.

  14. Donald on August 1, 2019, 11:51 am

    I think this article reflects Phil’s overly optimistic attitude. Things might be changing. How many years will that take? Right now we have 17 Representatives who voted against the attack on BDS. And even among liberals who are tired of Israel, for most it isn’t a priority or that is my impression. If you do raise it forcefully and get angry at hypocritical politicians, they are likely to accuse you of “ purity politics”.

  15. genesto on August 1, 2019, 1:51 pm

    We should certainly have a “commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship” as long as that relationship is based on a mutual support for human rights first. That’s certainly not the case now, nor does it appear to be on the horizon. But, at least we are moving in the right direction.

  16. tony greenstein on August 1, 2019, 3:17 pm

    AOC is still very weak on Israel/Palestine. She is completely wrong when she says ‘“young Jews in Israel are sick of this’. That is projection. Every generation of Israelis is MORE racist than the last generation.

    But it’s a start

  17. DaBakr on August 1, 2019, 9:27 pm

    PW has been on the wrong side of history on Israel for decades. He admits to his exuberance and that every so often he blurts out another prediction that he is certain the end of support for Israel is near. In the closed off world of the bubble maybe it seems so but in reality, it’s so far off the mark. Tourism. Economic growth. Integration into formerly unthinkable alliances. . Civil rights progression. What few young American jews that are supposedly fed up with Israel will either go on to become the elitist anti -zionist jews that have always permeated the American discourse on I/P or will age out of the socalled progressive bubble of academia when they start to live in the actual world. PW also ignores the uptick in American jews making aliyah to Israel or strengthening their ties to Israel in other substantial ways. The pendulum is not swinging as much as PW or some. Commenters want to believe.

    • Talkback on August 2, 2019, 4:07 am

      DaBakr: “… it’s so far off the mark. Tourism. Economic growth. Integration into formerly unthinkable alliances. . Civil rights progression.”

      It is a bit off the mark.

      On the other hand. How will Israel’s economy and these “formerly unthinkable alliances” help it when it is challenged on a completely different level? Not to mention that the economy may (slowly) change because of BDS and these “alliances” may only be temporary opportunistic coordinations against Iran, etc.?

      And do you even mean with “civil rights progression”? For whom and in what way?

      • DaBakr on August 2, 2019, 2:08 pm

        Why don’t you just admit how much your in love with the Mullah regime in Iran. That would be more honest. Those mullahs really care about their own citizens as well as Syrian lebanese civil rights. Keep dreaming

      • Talkback on August 3, 2019, 4:32 am

        DaBakr: “Why don’t you just admit how much your in love with the Mullah regime in Iran. That would be more honest. Those mullahs really care about their own citizens as well as Syrian lebanese civil rights. Keep dreaming.”

        I was expecting you to not answer at all, because of your nonsense.

        But your partial ad hominem response is even more idiotic. Are you that desperate?

    • lonely rico on August 3, 2019, 2:36 pm

      > DaBakr

      Tourism. Economic growth. Integration into formerly unthinkable alliances. . Civil rights progression.

      Tourism – Many opportunities for development. Soon “Sniper Safaris” – along the fence of Gaza; ammo and targets provided free of charge.

      Economic growth – Dynamic military sector, meeting all levels of engagement: crowd control, white phosphorous, sniper equipment, drones, missiles, tanks … you want it, we’ve got it! With the $3.8 billion boost from kindly uncle Sam, the economy just keeps humming right along!

      Formerly unthinkable alliances – Realization of our shared values has made for a warm and fruitful relationship with the dear Saudis. Admittedly, be-headings are somewhat medieval; we use more modern executions methods: snipers, drones, and missiles.

      Civil rights progression – Hope you noticed how the Palestinians who had their homes razed recently were given time to vacate their houses before we blew them up. It was not always so, the new Israel a kinder gentler oppression.

  18. Ossinev on August 2, 2019, 7:54 am

    “. Civil rights progression.”

    Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha .Ha ha .Haaaaaaaghh.

    You are a hoot.

    You should have a go at stand up comedy.

    Did you hear the one about the Israel Nation State Law ?

    • DaBakr on August 2, 2019, 2:11 pm


      Did you here about the two million non jewish Israelis that work in every field from education, police, military, judiciary, medicine,etc. They can vote also. And they can sue for discrimination. That is the definition of civil rights. So keep on laughing as you obviously haven’t a clue what your laughing about

      • seancbreathnach on August 2, 2019, 5:21 pm

        Jews are first class citizens in Israel, everyone else are second class.

      • oldgeezer on August 2, 2019, 8:41 pm

        lol yeah dohbakr every field and job except those where security considerations apply which is an awfully big percentage of fields and jobs. And they can sue? In a racist court which says their racist system comes before human rights??? (Human rights are not a suicide pact). The Israeli justice system is a joke. A fraud. Just like zionism ad Israel.

        That’s not civil rights. It’s a fig leaf and and a scam

      • DaBakr on August 3, 2019, 1:32 am

        @[email protected]

        What total bullshit. I doubt either of you ever visited Israel and have no clue. You think a supreme court justice doesnt have access to security issues? Or the general of the Golani brigades? Police chiefs? What a joke. After 70yrs of struggle non Jewish Israelis lives are improving exponentially. They don’t want a Palestinian state. In fact, there was a big ‘press release’ the other day about LGBT Palestinians protesting Israeli treatment of gays. The implication was the protest was in the PA controlled territories. It was in haifa. They would have been murdered in the territories. Get your heads out of your butts. Pink washing my ass.

        Non Jewish Israelis winning in court is hardly a rare occurrence not that you would actually know, obviously.

      • Talkback on August 3, 2019, 4:49 am

        DaBakr: “Did you here about the two million non jewish Israelis that work in every field from education, police, military, judiciary, medicine,etc. They can vote also”

        What about the many millions Nonjews that Israel keeps expelled and without the right to vote? And what can these Israeli Nonjews actually vote for? That Israel should be the state for all of its citizens?

        DaBakr: “And they can sue for discrimination. That is the definition of civil rights.”

        ROFL. So you are telling us that the Nonjews in Israel can sue Israel for not being acknowleged as nationals allthough the state of Israel legally defined that they aren’t? Equality of law is not even constitutionally enshrined in Israel. It is only interpreted into one of its basic law, but can be violated if any discriminatory policy is benefitting Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. Or even in the situation where its Supreme Apartheid Court Judges think that it is better to have a discriminatory law which violates equality than having non law at all like in the case of Israel’s racist entry law.

      • Mooser on August 3, 2019, 4:14 pm

        Anyone can be a first-class citizen of Israel, race, religion doesn’t matter, as long as the person serves Zionism.

        Zionism is very ecumenical like that.

      • DaBakr on August 6, 2019, 12:35 am


        I don’t entirely disagree with your first statement.

      • Mooser on August 6, 2019, 2:00 pm

        “I don’t entirely disagree with your first statement.”

        So anybody can be a real Israeli, all that’s required is a commitment to stealing the land from the Palestinians.
        That must be why they call it “the Jewish State”.

      • Talkback on August 6, 2019, 3:28 pm

        DaBakr: “I don’t entirely disagree with your first statement.”

        That’s the right herrenvolk mentality, DaBakr! And since Zionist hallucinate about Jewish group homogeneity and that there is no difference between being Zionist and being Jews you are just step away from the more than Nazi like mentality that “Goyim were born only to serve us.”

      • DaBakr on August 9, 2019, 12:54 am


        In general, there is no difference between zionism and Jews. There is a tiny % of jews, mostly far left wing or religious extremists who disavow zionism, but your fantasizing if you think it’s anything but a drop in the bucket.

      • Talkback on August 15, 2019, 12:44 pm

        DaBakr “In general, there is no difference between zionism and Jews.”

        Yes, yes. That’s what antisemites say.

      • DaBakr on August 25, 2019, 3:36 pm


        Tell that to the non Jewish supreme court justice who locked up Israeli jew president for assault

      • Talkback on August 26, 2019, 5:40 am

        DaBakr: “Tell that to the non Jewish supreme court justice who locked up Israeli jew president for assault.”

        Tell every Nonjew in Israel that your “hatred and lack of logic” leads to hasty generalizations.

        X is true for A.
        X is true for B.
        Therefore, X is true for C, D, E, …, etc.

        And tell this non Jewish Supreme Apartheid Court justice that he still doesn’t belong to the nation of the state his serving.

      • oldgeezer on August 26, 2019, 10:58 am

        Tell that to the non Jewish supreme court justice who locked up Israeli jew president for assault”

        Tokenism. South Africa had a black judge on the supreme court during it’s apartheid era.

        Tokenism always comes in handy to pretend you aren’t a racist but it doesn’t really work outside of the gullible listener.

      • DaBakr on August 26, 2019, 11:54 pm


        Tokenism? In Israel, where security is a high priority, having a non jew be the commander of the elite Golani brigade is not Tokenism. Neither are the dozens of palestinian doctors who run hospitals that treat all people who are in need. Or non Jewish professors deciding which candidates deserve their PhD’s. I’m not saying there aren’t problems that are constantly being addressed in the courts,the military and in civil society. Otherwise…. Your talking out your b…….

      • oldgeezer on August 27, 2019, 2:08 pm


        Tokenism. Yes pure tokenism. Thanks for the laugh.

        I will take a moment to thank you for this ” In Israel, where security is a high priority, having a non jew be the commander of the elite Golani brigade is not Tokenism. ”

        Shorter dabakr – non Jews are not to be trusted as much as Jews.

        Such a vile racist statement from you by implication. But I’m not surprised one bit,

      • DaBakr on August 27, 2019, 11:36 pm


        Everybody is a racist in your view. Their are literally 100000s of ‘tokens’ in Israel. Where in the world do you get your information besides MW? You have no clue about ordinary everyday life in Israel obviously. Your name calling is meaningless

      • oldgeezer on August 28, 2019, 6:16 pm


        No, not everyone is a racist. The vast majorty of people aren’t. Virtually all zionists are racists as they adhere to a racist ideology. One must make allowances for those who haven’t thought about the implications and ramifications that a racist ideology does to even the loftiest and most noble of goals. Not saying zionism has any of those.

        You clearly don’t understand what tokenism is, how it works and what the purpose of it is. You tossing out the supreme court judge and Golani commander is textbook tokenism in action.

        By the way I don’t know anything about Israel according to you but I do know that the commander of the Golani brigade is Jewish Israeli and not a non Jew. There was a non Jewish leader a few years ago. That non Jews rank was Colonel. Since 2014 the rank has usually been colonel including the ranks of the two most recent leaders, both Israeli Jews. You can check with me anytime you want to get your facts right.

        You’re pathetic dohbaker. You’re a racist. As above you’re either ignorant of what goes on in Israel or a flat out liar.

    • DaBakr on August 15, 2019, 7:39 am


      Yes. The Arabs that have more legal rights in Israel do not want a Palestinian state. You want to refute? Go ahead,

      • Talkback on August 15, 2019, 12:54 pm

        DaBakr: “@tb

        Yes. ”

        Yes what? Now you have just changed the issue after you made some ridiculous claims.

        Now your claim is that they have “more legal rights” in Israel. Compared to what? Living under Israeli occupation?

        And you ask me to refute another of your ridiculous claims? You may not be used to this concept living in your fake democracy, but when you make a claim it’s up to you to proof it and not up to me to refute it. Fortunately I’m not living under your martial law and Kangaroo Supreme Apartheid court.

      • DaBakr on August 15, 2019, 11:55 pm


        That’s what I thought.

      • Talkback on August 23, 2019, 5:59 am

        What? That you can’t even prove your claim, because you ask from others to refute it? What’s your position on pink Elephants? Try to refute their existene, too.

      • Mooser on August 29, 2019, 4:54 pm

        “That you can’t even prove your claim, because you ask from others to refute it? “

        ‘Zionism is racism’ sums up the ideology and “Zionism is trolling” describes the commenting.
        But that’s all-right, Zionists troll Jewish people as much, if not more than anybody else.

  19. Ossinev on August 3, 2019, 10:05 am

    “Did you here about the two million non jewish Israelis that work in every field from education, police, military, judiciary, medicine,etc. They can vote also.”

    Wow. Would you Adam and Eve it. That would be the native population then and not the foreign colonists. The natives are “allowed” to do all these things in their native land just like the invading European colonisers. And OMG ! they are allowed to vote . How sweet and uplifting. Or could it just be that the colony can`t survive without their manpower and expertise. Or that the Zio Reich Cabinet just can`t come up with a “Final Solution” which is hideable or Hasbarable in the 21st Century

    On second thoughts forget the career in comedy. You and your kind are way way beyond a joke.

    • DaBakr on August 25, 2019, 1:46 am


      A lot of those ‘natives’ as you call them came from Egypt, libya, Lebanon, southern Syria and other Arab states long after the first jewish/zionist settlers came. And why did they come? To escape lousy conditions where they lived and hoped to make a better life in Palestine where they knew very well that Jewish settlers were creating economic opportunity. So, when you say “nativist” you better be a lot more specific.

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