The New York Times published a splendid article today about young Jews walking off the free ten-day Birthright trips to Israel, rejecting them as propaganda, under the headline, “Birthright Trips, a Rite of Passage for Many Jews, Are Now a Target of Protests.” The article quotes young Jews saying they were fed lies about the occupation by the program, which has sent 700,000 young Jews to Israel.
Dismissing the idea of a two-state solution, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, says that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is like the U.S. occupation of Japan and Germany after World War II. The occupation was imposed at first, but the people came to understand that occupation was “good for them.” He doesn’t note that Americans did not seize lands in those countries and build exclusive roads and cities and move our population into colonies, as Israel has done.
Michael Oren hangs up on the New Yorker and accuses it of “delegitimization” when reporter Isaac Chotiner asks why he has a right as a Jew born in New York to move to the occupied West Bank. The New Yorker inches closer to the awareness that today’s Zionism is settler-colonialism.
As a US carrier steams toward Iran, Trump risks another disastrous neoconservative war in the Middle East. The pundits and pols who supported the Iraq war, from Joe Biden to Jeffrey Goldberg to Roger Cohen, still have not accounted for that tragic error; and they could clear their account nobly today by coming out against any war with Iran based on sad experience.
Anti-semitism used to mean job discrimination in universities and leading industries and stigmatization of Jews as “kikes.” Today Jews are socially included, and the definition has shifted to mean any strong criticism of Israel. That’s because Israel supporters must do anything they can to prevent support for BDS from entering the political mainstream.
Bret Stephens’s long opinion piece in the New York Times equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a boon to the anti-Zionist movement. His claims that it is anti-Semitic to see “wickedness” in unending occupation and that all American Jews are Zionists are debating points he will only lose. The piece makes anti-Zionism a topic for every dinner table and turns BDS into a household word.
Echoing the Israeli government talking points, the ADL said that the Airbnb decision to end listings in the occupied West Bank was a capitulation to the anti-Semitic BDS campaign. Peter Beinart challenges the ADL to do its job and bear witness to the 51-year-old occupation that denies millions of Palestinians any freedom.
A Netanyahu official once again shows contempt for American Jews in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Israeli consul general Dani Dayan calls out British leader Jeremy Corbyn as an “anti-Semite” because he supports Palestinian rights and Iran as a “genocidal regime.” Dayan says not a word about Trump, though 3/4 of US Jews hold Trump responsible for Pittsburgh.
With its new nation-state of the Jewish people law, Israel is now officially an apartheid state, with secondary rights for non-Jews. Liberal Zionists who have said they only boycott the occupation but not Israel are now challenged by this law to take action against discrimination inside the state of Israel (which the BDS boycott program has long targeted).