Roland Nikles


In their defense of the Israeli military’s recent actions in Gaza, Israeli political leaders and pro-Israel commentators have articulated a belief that guides Israeli thinking: the existence of the Jewish state requires that Palestinians remain locked in their Gaza prison, with all the violence this entails. The sooner Palestinians accept that, the closer we will come to peace.

Jewish identity is fluid, writes Yaacov Yagdar. It went from being public, political and communal in ancient days to a private matter of religious belief during the Enlightenment to being based entirely today on a commitment to the Jewish people and their nation-state Israel. The last is a perversion of the modern state and an offense to traditional Judaism in its treatment of its non-Jewish citizens.

Roland Nikles sends a Christmas message to US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley: “On this Christmas Day, we recall that near Bethlehem, there were shepherds out in the field, ‘and an angel of the Lord appeared to them. . . and the angel said. . . I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.’  And we behold: the angel did not say ‘America First!'”

Leon Wieseltier’s justification for Israel as a Jewish state is very similar to that of Richard Spencer, the White Nationalist who claims to be “a white Zionist” and wants “to have a secure homeland that’s for us and ourselves just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.” Roland Nikles says Wieseltier’s argument “provides inadvertent cover for these demons of the White European radical right which are trying to make a come-back in our politics today.”

When white nationalist Richard Spencer said there was a lot to admire in Zionism, he held up a mirror to Jewish nationalism’s contempt for Palestinian rights. Naomi Dann of Jewish Voice for Peace was right to seize on the affinity as a reflection on Zionism, as lived. While Jane Eisner of the Forward and Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL are in denial about what their ideology has become.

Rashid Khalidi

How much does the Israel lobby explain why negotiations have failed to bear fruit for the past 25 years? Rashid Khalidi says it’s beyond the lobby: Israeli and American politicians get funding from the same people. Important industries, like high tech and defense, are integrated in the U.S. and in Israel at the highest levels. As a result the U.S. and American political systems are on the same page, to the point that it is more accurate to think of them as one integrated political system than in terms of allies, he explains.