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?
Category Archives: Media Analysis
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.
Many people have compared Palestinian conditions to the Jim Crow south, from Jimmy Carter to Condoleezza Rice to Rashida Tlaib. So it’s jarring to learn that Sen. Kamala Harris, in private comments to AIPAC last year, said the famous civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965 inspires her to build a bridge with Israel supporters.
The unprecedented criticism of an Israeli prime minister by AIPAC and the splitting of the Palestinian parties into two lists may represent Israeli centrist Benny Gantz’s only road to knocking off Benjamin Netanyahu in April elections. Netanyahu is already calling Gantz an “Arab-lover” while Gantz has criticized Netanyahu for endangering Israel’s crown jewels, its ties to the U.S. government.
Bari Weiss recycles old pro-Israel talking points. Her line, “if you were an alien that landed from outer space, you would think that the greatest oppressor in the world” is Israel sounds a lot like Alan Dershowitz in 2002: “If a visitor from a far away galaxy were to land at an American… university… he would probably come away with the conclusion that the Earth is a peaceful and fair planet with only one villainous nation.”
Israeli soldiers assaulted, on Wednesday at dawn, a blind Palestinian man who also suffers from a kidney disease, after invading his home in Doha town, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. “We first thought that they were thieves, and they started beating me up while shouting at me ‘we are the Israeli Defense Force’,” Monther Mezher said.
Elizabeth Warren echoes the racist framing of Israel’s problems with Palestinian babies: “Over time realities are bearing down on Israel, demographic realities, births and deaths.” Imagine speaking of brown babies threatening the U.S.’s character. And no, she can’t mention settlements either.
“Even a thousand films on the Nakba would not suffice,” says Ahlam Muhtaseb, co-director with Andy Trimlett of a new film, “1948: Creation & Catastrophe,” which is based in part on interviews with survivors, many of them of advanced years. The film has been subject to protests by Israel supporters, and a screening in West Hollywood was scratched under pressure in December, now rescheduled for March. Stephen Shenfield interviews the co-directors.
The essential dynamic at the core of the Israel lobby’s activities is American Jews’ belief that they are lesser than Israelis because they have easy lives and their kids don’t serve in the army in a tough neighborhood. So they must buy US political support for Israel no matter what it does. That guilt trip is finally coming to an end.
A Palestinian teen, Hassan Nabil Ahmed Nofal, 17, died on Tuesday in Gaza, four days after he was struck in the head by a teargas canister fired by Israeli soldiers during the Friday protests for the Great March of Return.
Ilhan Omar was right to point out the impact of AIPAC’s money. AIPAC is seeking now to silence criticism of the inhumane occupation by screaming about anti-semitism and claiming that nobody may ever talk about how the Israel lobby uses money — Activist Ady Barkan relates a story from the campaign trail.
The latest pro-Israel article in the ‘NY Times’ is a bizarre effort to slander Palestinian rights by making false connections to Al-Qaeda and Africa. The insinuation was clear: Palestinians and those who support them are on the same side as the evil men who killed 3000 Americans at the World Trade Center.
Palestinian teen boys Hasan Shalabi, 14, and Hamza Shteiwi, 18, were the latest victims of lethal Israeli gunfire during the weekly protest Friday, the 46th week of the Great Return March. Seventeen others were wounded by live fire, including four medics and two journalists.
Why do Americans take such a racist view of Palestinian rights without even realizing it? One reason is that New York Times writers deploy Eliot Engel and Bret Stephens as honest critics of the new congressional class of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez when they are ideologues who do not see Palestinians as equals.
In a landmark of anti-Palestinianism, the Senate voted 77-23 to punish boycotts of Israel, though almost all Dem presidential hopefuls voted against the AIPAC-sponsored law and Republican Rand Paul said “Boycotts are fundamentally American,” and said many senators are “paranoid” about the Israel lobby.
The ‘NY Times’ runs an important article on rising Jewish “settler” violence in occupied West Bank Palestine, but the report is still biased toward Israel. It characterizes Israeli violence against occupied Palestinians as “clash” and “melee” when in fact one side is delivering violence to the other.
On January 30, Israeli soldiers shot and killed, a Palestinian girl, 16, at the Zaim military roadblock, east of occupied Jerusalem, reportedly after she “attempted to stab them.” The Israeli Police claimed that the child, Samah Zoheir Mubarak, 16, was carrying her schoolbag when she “pulled a knife and attempted to stab the soldiers,” when the officers fired several live rounds at her.
A new book by former Carter aide Stu Eizenstat says that Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israel’s foreign and defense ministers, Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman, in 1978-1979 while she was covering Camp David negotiations for ABC news.
Just when anti-Zionism is becoming mainstream, Bari Weiss reads the pro-Israel hasbara playbook and says that all anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic, because they demonize the Jewish desire for a homeland and apply a double standard to 6 million Jews as opposed to the other 7 billion people on the planet. But the New York Times columnist is powerful and important.
Michelle Alexander’s excellent New York Times column on speaking out on Palestine is getting huge attention is already clearly a watershed moment, but why has Alexander prompted such a huge reaction? James North has some tentative explanations.
Much has been made of a recent New York Times piece about Rouzan al-Najjar, the Palestinian volunteer nurse who was killed while treating injured protesters at the Great March of Return. While many saw the reporting as a sympathetic portrayal of Palestinians, Eric Maddox writes, there are still shortcomings.
Perceiving Michelle Alexander’s opinion piece on Palestine and Martin Luther King in the New York Times as a huge blow to Israel’s reputation among elites, and to the traditional alliance of blacks and Jews, Israel’s cheerleaders leaped to denounce Alexander. Michael Oren says the article is a “strategic threat” to Israel, David Harris says MLK would be “appalled” that Alexander “hijacked” his legacy!