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I was wrong about anti-Semitism going away

Philip Weiss on

For the past 25 years or so I have had a running debate with Jewish friends, Is anti-Semitism over? I’ve argued that it is, given the incredible Jewish inclusion. I was wrong. Anti-semitism remains an abiding hatred, and Poway shows it’s recurrent.

In my childhood kibbutz, I reflect on the absence of Palestinians

Jonathan Ofir on

On a trip to a kibbutz where he was born, Jonathan Ofir reflects on the utter denial of the Palestinian presence in Israel. He moves on to the wondrous village of Lifta, a monument to Palestinian life that Israel doesn’t want visitors to see.

The UAE’s seedy influence operations are a footnote in the Mueller Report

Helena Cobban on
Mohammed Bin Zayed in front of a painting of his father. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration was focused on Russian interference in U.S. politics, but his findings highlight some highly questionable contacts that people close to Trump’s transition team had with representatives of another government that has intervened massively in U.S. policymaking in recent years: the United Arab Emirates.

Falling off the edge: Iraqi and Syrian refugees

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”

Why I’m glad Netanyahu won

James Zogby on
Netanyahu and Trump meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. (Photo: (AP/Evan Vucci)

James Zogby writes a Netanyahu victory is good: “we will now finally be able to have an honest debate about the dreadful situation created by American complicity in enabling Israel’s continued oppression of Palestinians. This debate might have been aborted for a time had Gantz won.”

As the Israel lobby in the US weakens, its UK counterpart grows more fearsome

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook writes that while there are signs politicians in the U.S. are finally ready to shine a light onto the pro-Israel lobby, the opposite is taking place in United Kingdom. He says this is due to the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in British politics – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode due to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and the end of the international two-state consensus.

The problem with apology

Steven Salaita on

When should anti-Zionists apologize to apologists for Israeli war crimes? Steven Salaita writes, “we know enough about Zionist rituals of forced atonement to understand that they don’t belong to the category of détente, but coercion.  Apology is merely a pretext, a simulation of penance that reinforces the primacy of Israeli life.  If Palestinians cannot verbalize sensibilities fundamental to their identity, then it means Zionists have effectively severed them from the insuppressible proclivities that comprise a human being.”

One senseless death in Turkey: a reflection of the fate of Palestinian refugees

Issam Adwan on
Mohammed Shamla, 25, died in Turkey on April 12, 2019 after falling from a balcony while evading police who were raiding the hotel room of asylum seekers and migrants. Shamla fled Gaza earlier this year year and was living in Turkey on an expired tourist via. (Photo: Facebook)

Mohammed Shamla, 25, used to call Gaza the “grave of dreams.” Luck was his only hope. Earlier this year he paid a bribe to exit Gaza through Egypt an traveled on to Turkey where he died on April 12 after falling from a balcony while police chased him for allegedly not possessing paperwork to legally be in the country.

Algeria’s ‘Revolution of Smiles’: Where will it lead?

Helena Cobban on
Algerians gather for a demonstration in Algiers, Friday, March 8, 2019

Every Friday since February 22, the cities and towns of Algeria have seen massive demonstrations that have brought women, men, children, and old people pouring into the streets, often in high spirits but always voicing pointed political demands. Helena Cobban talks to William B. Quandt about what has been going on in this large North African country of 42 million people—and what resonance might the events there have for the rest of the Middle East.

Cultural confusion/cultural imperialism

Alice Rothchild on
Petra, Jordan. (Photo: Alice Rothchild)

Alice Rothchild travels to Jordan on a trip to report on refugee conditions and is struck by the lack of omnipresent security that she experiences in Israel. She wants to yell out to security, “I’m over here guys, in Jordan. On the east side of the Jordan River!!! It’s me!”

For Palestinians, it doesn’t matter who wins the Israeli elections

Mohamed Mohamed on
Then-IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, left, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Navy ceremony on September 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

It is time that Americans recognize the true nature of the Israeli Jewish polity, Mohamed Mohamed of the Jerusalem Fund writes. Regardless who wins Israeli elections, the daily lives and political situation of Palestinians are unlikely to improve. As for the two-state solution, a tiny minority of Israeli Jews actually support real Palestinian sovereignty.

Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism if they really want to build an Arab-Jewish political partnership

Philip Weiss on
Liberal Zionists discuss Israeli election, on April 10. From left to right, Yael Patir of J Street Israel, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, and Israeli journalist/pollster Dahlia Scheindlin.

The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.

Deborah Lipstadt, you’re wrong to say Jewish BDS supporters are enabling antisemitism

Robert Cohen on
Deborah Lipstadt, from her twitter feed.

In her new book, Deborah Lipstadt says, “Zionism is the national liberation movement of Jews,” and therefore those who oppose the idea of a Jewish state are anti-Semitic. She distorts the values of anti-Zionists, who are for democracy not ethnic states, and offers an ideological justification for the displacement of Palestinians.

Trump’s support of Israel’s annexation of the Golan

Helena Cobban on
President Donald Trump holds up an executive proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the White House in Washington DC, Monday, March 25, 2019. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

On March 25, Donald Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force– a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. Washington’s new policy on Golan may well now allow the US company Genie Energy to go ahead and plunder the oil and gas reserves that its Israeli subsidiary discovered in Golan in 2015, and Trump’s step changes the political dynamic within Syria, too.

Rasmea Odeh banned from International Women’s Day event in Berlin following Israeli pressure

Mondoweiss Editors on
Logo for the Rasmea Spricht (Rasmea Speaks) campaign.

Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh was banned from speaking at an event marking International Women’s Day in Berlin and faces the imminent threat of deportation. Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs, claimed credit for the decision taken by German authorities to revoke Odeh’s visa. The Rasmea Spricht campaign says, “Once again, Israeli officials have exerted their influence on Germany in order to prevent public criticism of its human rights abuses.”

Pitzer College battle over suspending Israel study program shows divide on the left over BDS

Philip Weiss on

Pitzer’s College Council took a historic and overwhelming vote to suspend a study-abroad program in Israel following years of organizing by progressive faculty and students. President Melvin Oliver’s swift veto of the resolution shows the discomfort that the mainstream left is feeling about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and also the growing moral importance of the issue on the left.

‘A shoulder to shoulder struggle against state-sanctioned violence at home and abroad’: Statement of solidarity with the refugee movement in Greece

Palestinian Youth Movement on

The Palestinian Youth Movement, the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists and Southwest Asian & North Afrikan – Los Angeles, stand in solidarity with the growing Refugee Movement in Greece, who are self-organizing against the violences of the European Union and Greek state, the ineptitude of the International Non-Governmental Organization system and against vigilante violence by growing European right wing-ultra nationalist formations such as the Golden Dawn Party.

Bernie Sanders: Still Progressive Except for Palestine

Robert Fantina on
Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally

Robert Fantina asked the Bernie Sanders campaign for his position on Palestine and was told the candidate supports “diplomatic efforts to end the occupation and broker a two-state solution.” Fantina says that as Sanders continues to ride his populist wave across the dismal political landscape of the United States, he will continue to burnish his credentials as being progressive except on Palestine.