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On ‘retaliatory strikes’ and ‘Israeli fear’

Denijal Jegić on
A photo from the Haaretz article 'Sunny With a Chance of Rockets: No Casualties but Plenty of Confused Tourists in Tel Aviv' with the caption: "The beachfront in Tel Aviv, November 12, 2019. Other than a few tourists, the area was relatively deserted — despite Tel Avivians getting an unexpected day off." (Photo: Daniel Bar-On/Haaretz)

Western media has rationalized the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza by focusing on on Israel’s fears. Denijal Jegic writes these “fears” are a reflection of the structure that underlies the relationship between the settler-colonial state and the indigenous population.

U.S. must save Israel ‘morally’ so as to save the U.S. — liberal Zionists’ circular argument

Philip Weiss on

Dan Shapiro and Michael Koplow say the U.S. made a “moral commitment” to Israel as a democracy against countless threats 71 years ago and the U.S. has a strategic interest in preserving Israel as a democracy, or the morality of the relationship will be undermined. The possibility that we should distance ourselves from Israel because it’s persecuting Palestinians is simply off the table for these liberal Zionists. Though progressive Democrats increasingly feel that way.

‘NY Times’ report on killing of Gaza family is part damage control for Israel’s military

James North on

While the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the killing of an entire family in Gaza was a “mistake,” the New York Times allows the Israeli military to explain that “civilian casualties are unavoidable in Gaza’s teeming neighborhoods.” And, hammering home the propaganda point, the paper says Israel “takes numerous precautions to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.”

Despite Trump’s Syrian withdrawal, the sun still never sets on the American empire

Nick Turse on
5th Special Forces Group (A) Operation Detachment Bravo 5310 at the Landing Zone at base camp Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria, November 22, 2017. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor/Wikimedia)

The abandonment of about a dozen outposts across northeastern Syria hardly constitutes a substantial drawdown of U.S. forces in the region. With the president either reshuffling troops in Syria or merely relocating them elsewhere in the Middle East and a new contingent of American forces deploying to Saudi Arabia, there will actually be a net gain in U.S. troops in the region at this moment of supposed reduction.

‘Coffins off the plane’ — Dems split on Forever Wars

Philip Weiss on

We are actually having a debate about anti-war policy in the Democratic Party. Pete Buttigieg is soaring in fundraising in part due to strongly interventionist stances in last debate, while Sanders and Warren are getting slammed by establishment voices for alleged isolationism. And Tulsi Gabbard is smeared as a Russian asset for condemning “regime change” in Syria.

‘Forward’ opinion editor has nothing more to say, and doesn’t want to hear you

Jonathan Ofir on
Batya Ungar-Sargon (via Twitter)

Forward opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon’s claims of anti-Semitism at Bard college have been widely refuted. Yet she has doubled down on them – saying the response only confirms the truth of her allegation. This is dishonest, and also strategic, aimed at limiting criticism of Israel inside leftwing circles.

Trump’s Syria withdrawal is ‘disaster’ for Israel, leaving it on its own against Iran, supporters say

Philip Weiss on

Donald Trump’s decision to abandon former Kurdish allies in Syria has been a shock to Israel and its US lobby. Israel thought it had a very special place in Trump’s worldview, but the withdrawal appears to gives Iran far more leeway. We are on our own against Iran, several Israeli officials and Israel supporters conclude fearfully. War is more likely than ever, one expert concludes.

Norman Finkelstein counters anti-Semitism ‘libel’ over harsh comments on Gaza

Mondoweiss Editors on

Speaking at Princeton, Norman Finkelstein said a former Israeli soldier should be ashamed of having been a “concentration camp guard” for having served on the Gaza border. The Princetonian termed his remarks anti-Semitic. Finkelstein says reporters don’t want to address the central fact: Gaza’s martyrdom.

Batya Ungar-Sargon links anti-Zionists to David Duke and synagogue murders

Philip Weiss on
Batya Ungar-Sargon reads speech at Bard College, Oct. 11, 2019. Screenshot from video.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of the Forward, issues extraordinary claims: 97 percent of Jews are Zionists, anti-Zionists in the Jewish community are as anomalous as Trump supporters who are black; she is the “number one publisher of Palestinian voices in America”; and intellectuals who cheered demonstrators at a pro-Israel panel bear responsibility for the spike in anti-semitism and even synagogue murders. 

‘Broad’ post-Netanyahu coalition means, No Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

Some commentators are predicting Netanyahu is about to be betrayed by a “broad” coalition of Israeli centrists. But the race-baiting against Palestinian legislators continue unabated. And one likely replacement says Netanyahu has been soft on Gaza and Israel must speed up “targeted killings” of Palestinian leaders.

Lose Netanyahu and Dems will love Israel again — liberal Zionist mantra

Philip Weiss on

A liberal Zionist group promotes the view of Israeli professor Jonathan Rynhold that progressive Democrats will support Israel once Netanyahu is gone. His argument would be more persuasive if he even mentioned the human rights violations and Gaza massacres that are at the heart of progressive disaffection with Israel.

Anti-Zionist Jews are like Jews who reversed circumcision to fit in with ‘cool group’ — Bari Weiss

Philip Weiss on

Bari Weiss has been everywhere lately promoting her book that says that anti-Zionism is dangerous anti-Semitism, and oh by the way, white nationalism is also a threat to Jews. She says anti-Zionist Jews are just trying to blend in with the “cool group,” when they should be celebrating Jewish specialness, and our “radical ideas” that still “drive people crazy.”

Israelis were ‘saddened’ to have to kill Gaza protesters, to avert ‘bloodbath’

Philip Weiss on

American Jews who condemned Israel’s slaughter of Gaza protesters don’t understand that Judaism is now the Jewish state and it won’t survive if Palestinian refugees are allowed to return, which is why no Israeli Jews questioned the slaughter, Daniel Gordis writes, urging American Jews to stick by Israel to stay Jewish.

Cory Booker likened Gilad Shalit to Nelson Mandela

Philip Weiss on
Cory Booker and Gilad Shalit (c) at Yale in 2012. Screenshot from video posted by Shabtai. Man on right is not identified.

Half of Americans believe politicians use Israel as a “political tool,” a new poll says. A video of Cory Booker likening Gilad Shalit, a former Israeli prisoner of Hamas, to Nelson Mandela would seem to fulfill that cynicism.

We endorsed Gantz to block Trump’s deal — Ayman Odeh of Joint List

James North and Philip Weiss on

Benny Gantz is “bad,” but Netanyahu is “the worst,” says Ayman Odeh of the Palestinian Joint List in Israel. But Odeh told Time magazine that 10 Palestinian legislators endorsed Gantz because they want to stop Trump’s deal of the century and the annexation by Israel of West Bank lands.