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.
Category Archives: Media Analysis
Helena Cobban discusses the deep anti-Palestinian bias in the New York Times and Washington Post’s recent reporting, and what you can do about it.
Senior advisor to the President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, Katrina Pierson posted a video of rockets fired into a dimly lit sky to social media on Sunday in a tweet about escalation in Gaza, yet the clip was not from the Middle East. The video was of confrontations in Ukraine in 2015.
As the Trump administration moves dangerously toward war with Iran, U.S. mainstream media ignores a major reason: Israel wants America to attack.
The New York Times asserts that Gaza forces initiated the latest violence, and Israelis merely responded, leaving out earlier Israeli strikes. The Times characteristically leaves the reader with the impression that Hamas is simply a bloodthirsty, terrorist movement that attacks at every opportunity without provocation.
On “60 Minutes,” Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive and dismissed leftwing congresswomen as a mere “five people,” and Lesley Stahl never challenged her about the fissure in the party over Israel. Though more and more commentators are saying that Israel support has become the battleground among Democrats, and Pelosi is busy catering to AIPAC and Netanyahu.
Anti-Palestinian racism is at last moving the needle in US politics. The demotion by leadership of NY City Councilman Kalman Yeger for his anti-Palestinian comments this week sends a message to the Democratic Party nationwide, that the profound political shifts that the left is generating on a host of issues, from sexual harassment to economic inequity, will include Palestine, too.
Last summer, Trump’s moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem opened the floodgates for a new era of Israeli provocations on the city’s Palestinians. Helena Cobban outlines the decades-long Zionist assault on the Palestinian presence and institutions in the holy city, and says that this new period will likely see greater government support for projects to extend the extremist settlers’ matrix of control over all parts of the Old City.
Rising Democratic star Pete Buttigieg went to Israel at the height of Gaza killings last May on an Israel-lobby-sponsored trip and came home praising the country for its “clear-eyed” decisions on security. He faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments of the country based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”
Sajed Mezher, a paramedic volunteer of 18, was killed by Israeli fire, Wednesday morning, during violent confrontations that broke out in Deheisheh refugee camp, in the south of Bethlehem. He was wearing his medical relief uniform when he was shot. The World Health Organization condemned the killing.
The New York Times parrots claims by Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo that Israel owns the Golan Heights because it was taken in a “defensive war” in 1967, ignoring the historical record. Israel launched the war, the Arab states did not want war. “We chose to attack them,” former premier Menachem Begin said.
How do Gazans respond to missile attacks? “I was peacefully mixing my Nutella brownie batter when Israel decided to bomb the shit outta Gaza, I didn’t flinch,” Omar Ghraib wrote. “I was watching a Korean TV series and didn’t check Facebook for hours,” writes Besan Aljadili. We Are Not Numbers surveyed responses.
In May 2017, Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall. Now other international officials are following suit– despite the fact that it is illegally-annexed territory. A report from Raphael Ahren of the Times of Israel.
A New York Times travel piece about Jaffa describing it as an “ancient neighborhood” of Tel Aviv now revived by Israeli chefs so erased Palestinian history that the paper had to issue a correction about its lapses. But the Debra Kamin article still says there are “accusations” that the city’s Palestinian history is being erased, an implicit denial of the Nakba.
At Israel’s Checkpoint 300 in occupied Bethlehem, thousands of Palestinian workers queue for hours, starting at 3 am. The frantic clamouring has resulted in suffocation and broken ribs, and conditions have gotten worse in recent months, Al Jazeera reports.
Progressive activists in North America have been inundated for weeks now with analysis and commentary about what happened to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. But one voice that consistently seems to be missing from most of this debate is the voice of Zionism’s primary victims, the Palestinians.
The mayor of Hebron, Taysir Abu Sneina, held the Israeli army responsible for the death of a brother and sister, aged four years and 18 months, who died in a fire in their home, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after the military delayed Palestinian fire trucks and Red Crescent ambulances, at two roadblocks in the city.
Amid attacks from Democratic colleagues in the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar says that she finds it “problematic” that “I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel.” And she knows many Americans agree with her. “I just happen to be willing to speak up.” The progressive base of the party is behind her, in a sign that the party is dividing on Israel.
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.
Saudi’s Prince Turki bin Faisal says Netanyahu is deceiving Israelis about warming relations with Arab monarchies. “Israeli public opinion should not be deceived into believing that the Palestinian issue is a dead issue. From the Israeli point of view, Mr Netanyahu would like us to have a relationship and then we can fix the Palestinian issue. From the Saudi point of view it’s the other way around.”
A new documentary called WitchHunt points out the narrow room for debate over alleged antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Zionist Jews are excluded as unrepresentative of British Jews. And why is it okay to talk about antisemitism and Zionism in Britain without asking a Palestinian what their direct experience of Zionism has looked and felt like?
The underground excavations carried out by Israeli settlers beneath Palestinian buildings in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan have caused landslides following the last winter storm. One slide has undermined a wall on a playground, and could be life-threatening.
The United Nations Human Rights Council just issued a damning report that said Israel may have committed crimes against humanity during the Great March of Return in Gaza last year. Although U.N. investigators charged Israel with far worse crimes than anything that the government of Venezuela has been accused of, the New York Times coverage of the South American nation has been considerably more extensive.
Ilhan Omar is accused of antisemitism in fostering a “hoary myth of dual loyalty” to Israel. But Jews from Joe Klein to Eric Alterman to Melissa Weintraub to MJ Rosenberg say that allegiance to Israel is actually an important factor in the support for Israel in the United States, to the point that some support Israel’s interests over America’s.
Jewish Broadcasting Service hosts a hot-tub of xenophobia and Islamophobia, as Jonathan Mark of the Jewish Week says immigration is the “nurtured baby issue” of the Democratic Party and Tlaib, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez host districts of “new” people who come from “anti-semitic” countries, and Thane Rosenbaum of NYU says that 70 to 90 percent of Muslim Arabs believe in sharia law and therefore don’t belong in a pluralistic, constitutional democracy.