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The politics of coronavirus: A timeline of public health actions in Israel/Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council on
Shops are shuttered in an outdoor market after Palestinians are ordered to stay at home as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 25, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

Coronavirus entered the West Bank in early February, but political decisions have interfered with response, from apartheid water restrictions on Palestinians to the Netanyahu government’s refusal to quarantine Israelis returning from AIPAC conference in Washington. –A report from JVP’s Health Advisory Council.

An AIPAC Loss in Illinois

Michael Arria on

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) was arguably the most conservative Democrat in the House and certainly one of AIPAC’s favorite lawmakers. Progressives threw him out.

‘A big loss and embarrassment’: one of the House’s most pro-Israel Democrats just lost to a progressive challenger

Michael Arria on
Dan Lipinski (Photo: Twitter)

Israel emerged as a hot topic in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district fight. In the race Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) lost a tight race to progressive challenger Marie Newman, who has indicated that she is open to the idea of conditioning aid to Israel. “The U.S. has a responsibility to examine how aid to Israel is used and that we should ensure that this aid is not used to support actions and policies that undercut our values,” Newman has said. 

Where’s the outrage over Netanyahu trying to interfere in the US election?

Michael Arria on
Speaking via satellite feed from Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the AIPAC policy conference in Washington, March 26, 2019. KEVIN LAMARQUE/ REUTERS

Concerns about Russia’s impact on U.S. elections have generated countless articles and wall-to-wall cable news coverage, however blatant election interference from other countries is certainly not treated in the same way. This contradiction was on display over the weekend, when Benjamin Netanyahu bashed Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders during AIPAC’s annual policy conference.

AIPAC and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Winter

Michael Arria on
The Shift, a weekly politics newsletter from Mondoweiss that takes you the front lines in the battle over Palestine in U.S. politics.

The Shift is a weekly politics newsletter from Michael Arria taking you to the front lines in the battle Palestine in the United States. Got a tip? Send them to [email protected] Sign up for The Shift and other Mondoweiss newsletters here. Let’s Reminisce About the Time Betty McCollum Kicked AIPAC Lobbyists Out of her Office […]

AIPAC is making Israel a political football, so BDS supporters may finally get off the bench

Philip Weiss on

The pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC once prided itself on doing its business in the dark. But today loving Israel too much is being politicized in the age of Trump. The battle between the liberal Israel lobby and the rightwing Israel lobby portends a day when leftwingers who support boycotting Israel will not be railroaded instantly from US politics.

Will Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren attend the AIPAC conference?

Michael Arria on
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in Jan. 14, 2019. screenshot.

“Well if I do go — I don’t think I am, I don’t think it’s going to be on my schedule — but you know, I have no objection to going, but the question is what I say when I get there. That’s the point. And what I will say is something that I have said for years, and I speak as somebody who’s Jewish, and that is we need a foreign policy in this country, we need a Mideast policy which absolutely protects the integrity and the independence and safety of Israel, but also understands that the Palestinian people have needs and they have got to be treated with respect and dignity. And that is not the case right now. So that is my view. We will treat all people with respect and dignity.”

Democratic Party draws a line in the sand on Israel in naming platform committee

Philip Weiss on

The DNC’s list of nominees to the platform committee ahead of the 2020 convention is stacked with pro-Israel advocates, including rightwingers with AIPAC connections. The DNC is planning to battle against the progressive wing on Israel, opposing BDS and with all its guns a-blazin. If you wonder why Buttigieg and Warren seem to have tempered their criticisms of Israel, this is why.

Liberal Zionists are ‘terrified’ (yet again) by Israel’s rightward shift

Philip Weiss on
Avigdor Lieberman meets with Benny Gantz, Sept. 23, 2019. From Gantz's twitter feed.

Benny Gantz support for annexing the Jordan Valley shows that the left is completely feckless in Israeli politics, and the only liberal hope is in Palestinian politicians. American liberal Zionists should accept that the two state solution is dead, and they should abandon the ideology that created apartheid: Zionism.

Israeli Jews are ‘equivalent of Seminoles deciding to take over Florida’ and Palestinians are the cowboys — Jeffrey Goldberg reemerges

Philip Weiss on

Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg derides American political culture as ignorant and ahistorical and says he is a “misanthrope”, while extolling Zionism. “All of Judaism is Zionism because we are a universal religion focused on a very particular place.” Anti-Zionism is essentially murderous, he said, aimed at the “soul” of the Jewish people.

Ali Abunimah’s prophecy of Israel’s loss of legitimacy, 10 years after

Mondoweiss Editors on

“I am convinced that the loss of legitimacy of the Zionist idea, of the idea of a special state for a special people, is irreversible, that that cannot be resurrected in the 21st century, a time when we at least preach if not practice universal rights and equality,” the writer Ali Abunimah said in a landmark speech ten years ago, and his remarks have proved to be prophetic in describing the anti-Zionist movement inside progressive life.

The root cause of the conflict is the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

Israel would have reached a deal with the Palestinians and allowed a Palestinian state years ago if it did not have blind American support to go on taking more and more Palestinian land. The Israel lobby, which has prevented criticism in both parties in the U.S., is the root cause of the conflict, and the lobby’s role as Israel’s supporter in western capitals is a fundamental principle of Zionism.

‘NYT’ says Netanyahu influences White House because he can ‘sway US public opinion’ (and never mentions Adelsons)

Philip Weiss on

A long NYT Magazine article on Netanyahu’s influence on the White House buys the Israeli premiere’s line that his power comes from “the ability to sway public opinion in the United States against the regime in Iran,” and leaves out the millions that Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu’s friend, has given to Trump and Republican causes. Leaves out AIPAC too, though author Ronen Bergman has spoken to the Israel lobby group and lavished praise on it.

Anti-Semitism and white supremacy

Alice Rothchild on

If we do not distinguish between valid critiques of the policies of the Israeli state and anti-Semitism, we are allowing rightwing forces to weaponize anti-Semitism, suppressing freedom of speech and open debate, and making the term anti-Semitism meaningless at a time when it is critical to identify and oppose it.