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.
Category Archives: Media Analysis
Numerous voices on the left responded, “apartheid” after Sen. Amy Klobuchar described Israel as a “beacon of democracy” in the Democratic debate. The first reference to Israel in four debates shows that the issue is truly divisive inside the Democratic Party.
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, 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.
US and Israeli foreign policy experts can’t stop talking about a war with Iran as if there’s sense in it. Their required reading should be a thriller by Gil Maguire, a former intelligence analyst, who lays out the scenario of a well-prepared Israeli attack: staggering losses, a global nightmare and near-world-war.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Francine Klagsbrun writes in the New York Times that the Palestinian refugee problem was created by Palestinians who decided to leave “of their own accord” in 1948. This is Nakba denial. With the choice of rightwing Zionists Klagsbrun and Hillel Halkin to review books on Israel lately, the New York Times is demonstrating its commitment to support Israel in ideological battle.
The success of the Palestinian Joint List in the Israeli election has given hope to liberal Zionist groups for a post-Netanyahu era of non-discrimination and a better international image. Though there is little in Israeli Jewish politicians’ conduct to support the hope, Ayman Odeh of the Joint List will be speaking to J Street next month.
The current political paralysis in Israel should not be mistaken for an equal split between the center-left and the right, as the media would have its audiences believe. Rather, Israeli elections are a contest over which brand of Israeli ultra-nationalism will triumph.
Palestinians in Israel are far more liberal than Jews. Nearly 90 percent say they would support a Palestinian party being part of the government, while Israeli Jews reject that idea overwhelmingly. So the one group that doesn’t buy into Zionism is the only hope to save Israel from its rightwing intolerance; and it is time that American Jews understand that reality.
The New York Times wants Netanyahu out because “elements of the Democratic Party have grown increasingly suspicious of Israel, if not hostile,” and replacing Netanyahu “may halt this dangerous shift.” Palestinian human rights are no account here. Though Israel’s politics have only shifted right, Israel-watchers say.
Bari Weiss has written a book about how to fight anti-Semitism, but during an interview with Bill Maher where he was telling anti-Semitic jokes non-stop she just laughed. Jonathan Ofir says this is because they agree on Israel and Zionism.
Watching the election results on Israeli TV this week was to see Zionism in all its racist glory. The Palestinian parties were big winners Tuesday, finishing third with 13 seats, and the experts all declare, No governing coalition can include Arabs!
On the basis of alleged “anti-Semitic tropes,” numerous critics of Israel, many of them writers of color, have been accused of bigotry for their criticisms of Israel. The latest is Ali Abunimah, accused by Matt Seaton of NYRB. Meantime, you can say anything you like to dehumanize Palestinians and no one in the mainstream will call you out.
When Donald Trump race-baits minorities, the New York Times offers his targets space to respond. But the Times published Netanyahu’s smears of Palestinian political parties as terrorists without giving them space to respond and repeatedly diminished their achievement in the election, in which they finished behind the two leading Jewish parties.
The Iran/Saudi Arabia/Yemen crisis may break into war and damage the global economy, but U.S. mainstream media leaves out Israel’s deep involvement.
Bari Weiss’s book argues that if you embrace Zionism you will suffer ostracism and career reputational damage. But the last week she’s gotten treatment other authors only dream about, from cable networks to the 92d Street Y to a big-media party where everyone bewailed social media (because the leftwing dares to advocate for Palestinian human rights).
The successful Yemeni rebel drone attack shows that the disastrous Trump-Israel-Saudi Arabia alliance could trigger a global economic crisis. The New York Times report was more concerned with the impact on the global oil price than with the human cost of the Saudi-led war against Yemen, which is a root cause of the attack.
Following outrage over a message on his official Facebook page telling voters “Arabs want to annihilate us all,” Facebook has suspended the chatbot feature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s page.
After a visit to the Ofra settlement in the West Bank, Haaretz culture editor Benny Ziffer wrote on his Facebook page : “En route I looked at the Palestinian villages alongside the Jewish communities, and I thought of how for the Palestinians murder is a type of sport or enjoyment, perhaps a substitute for erotica. From that perspective we will never have anything culturally in common with them.”