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Ilhan Omar’s case for foreign influence is more convincing than Mueller’s

Philip Weiss on

Imagine the Russians having the power over Congress the Israel lobby has. Imagine a wildly lopsided Congressional vote condemning a grassroots campaign for human rights in Russia. Trump, contrary to liberal fantasies, has done things that Putin doesn’t want, including opposing a pipeline to Germany from Russia. He has given Israel almost everything it wants except an actual US war against Iran.

Progressive Reps defend anti-BDS vote: Khanna cites Lincoln, Pressley ‘solidarity with Jewish families’

Michael Arria on
Ayanna Pressley at a rally for Elizabeth Warren in Cambridge, MA (Photo: Flickr)

Notable progressives backed the House resolution condemning BDS, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). Both faced intense criticism on Twitter for their votes. Khanna responded, Lincoln was not an abolitionist “early in his career”. While Pressley said, “Voting yes on this resolution affirmed to my constituents raised in the Jewish faith Israel’s right to exist.”

House overwhelmingly passes bill opposing BDS, but the Israel boycott fight is just beginning

Michael Arria on
Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

Despite the overwhelming passage by the House of a resolution condemning BDS, many Democratic politicians are torn about how much to support Israel. Rep. John Lewis voted for the resolution but also supports a bill that affirms the right to boycott. Go figure! And two leading presidential candidates have said that Israel should suffer reductions in aid for human rights violations.

Israeli government minister takes credit for 27 U.S. states passing anti-BDS laws

Philip Weiss on

Gilad Erdan, Israeli minister of strategic affairs under Netanyahu, says his government campaign against BDS has produced laws in U.S. “Our efforts are producing results. 27 US states now have counter-BDS legislation.” He vows to “promote” even tougher laws against advocacy for boycott. And you worry about Russian interference in U.S. politics?

Sports-washing and the Toronto Raptors

Marion Kawas on

NBA champions have refused to go to the White House for the last two years, and the Toronto Raptors should reject part-owner Larry Tanenbaum’s notion that the team will visit Israel. There has been silence about the plan for 3 weeks. But activists have been rallying opposition to the trip, and Marion Kawas hopes it is in the dustbin of history.

Chuck Schumer says he supports Senate resolution that denounces the BDS movement

Michael Arria on

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is scheduled to announce his support for a new resolution that targets the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement today. “I have long believed that the BDS effort is a profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel, and I look forward to Congress passing the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Schumer told the online publication Jewish Insider.

Palestinian human rights orgs slam Israeli gov’t minister for ‘libelous’ smears

Yumna Patel on

Last week, the news broke in Israeli media that Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs had launched a “stealthy campaign” that resulted in the shuttering of some 30 bank accounts affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Ramallah-based human rights NGO, Al-Haq, slammed Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s smear campaign against Palestinian rights groups as “spurious, unsubstantiated and libelous,” constituting what it called an “illegal interference” with Palestinian civil society under the Hague Regulations.

Robert Kraft pledges $20 million to set up foundation that will fight BDS

Michael Arria on

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pledged $20 million to establish a foundation that will fight anti-Semitism and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Kraft made the announcement while in Israel accepting The Genesis Prize, a $1 million award that Time Magazine has called “the Jewish Nobel.”

Congressional candidate Andom Ghebreghiorgis wants to end the occupation of Palestine. He’s running against one of Israel’s biggest defenders

Michael Arria on
Andom Ghebreghiorgis

Andom Ghebreghiorgis is challenging Israel lobby-stalwart Eliot Engel in the his upcoming Democratic primary. “Whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad, I believe in equal rights and freedom for all. We therefore must commit to a political solution that centers those values for Israelis and for Palestinians. Sadly, Eliot Engel has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right wing policies,” Ghebreghiorgis tells Mondoweiss.

Liberal Zionists worry: Annexation will make Israel a political issue in presidential campaign

Philip Weiss on
Pete Buttigieg, on keyboards. From his Facebook page, June 11.

Israel’s threat of annexation is a crisis for liberal Zionists because it makes them confront a reality: There is not going to be a two-state solution. Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street warned supporters: “Members of the Trump administration are opening the door to a one-state scenario where Palestinians will live as second-class citizens.” But that scenario exists right now, and liberal Zionists have done precious little to oppose it.

Florida’s sweeping definition of anti-Semitism limits teachers’ freedom to discuss Palestine

Katie Miranda on

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called Florida the most Israel-friendly state in the country and he demonstrated the friendship lately by going to the US embassy in Jerusalem to ceremonially sign a new law that prohibits expressions of anti-Semitism in Florida schools. (On that trip DeSantis also endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu for reelection, said Netanyahu could […]

Israel-Palestine conflict ‘drives turmoil in the Middle East’ — Seth Moulton

Philip Weiss on

MA Rep. Seth Moulton has taken progressive stances on Israel, supporting a bill against funding Israel’s detention of Palestinian children and standing up for BDS advocates’ right of free speech. But he appears to have flipflopped on both positions now that he is running for president and the blob hit him.

Why Palestinians are calling for a boycott of Puma

Aubrey Bloomfield on
Palestinian amputees who were injured by Israeli forces stand in front a sand castle in a protest calling to boycott sportswear retailer Puma, on the beach of Gaza City on May 29, 2019. Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in Israel’i settlements. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

Palestinians activists are protesting this weekend at storefronts and offices for the German athletic wear manufacturer Puma. The reason? Puma sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes six teams in settlements in the West Bank.

On equating BDS and anti-Semitism: a letter to the German government

Sara Roy on

Sara Roy challenges the German parliament over its resolution equating boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism: “I lost a large extended family to fascism and racism. By endorsing the motion that alleges that BDS is anti-Semitic, you are criminalizing the right to free speech and dissent and those who choose to exercise it, which is exactly how fascism takes root.”

What can you say at NYU?

Amith Gupta on
Steven William Thrasher

Amith Gupta comments on the controversy over NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s undermining of campus free speech when he censured Steven Thrasher’s NYU commencement speech celebrating BDS. He says lost in the discussion is any meaningful discussion about which ideas are being suppressed at NYU in the first place — and which ideas are being promoted.

Germany has lost the right to act as a referee on anti-Semitism

Hatim Kanaaneh on

Last week, the German Parliament passed a resolution that demonizes the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Hatim Kanaaneh writes to German politicians, “you dare to pass judgement on us for peacefully demanding our rights under international law. Now you have the audacity to ascribe to me your predecessors’ innermost ugly sentiments in order to aid and abet our continued victimization as surrogate Germans and anti-Semites.”

Israel launches global initiative to protect its image from BDS activists

Kate on

Middle East Monitor reports that Israel has embarked on a massive recruitment drive to support the country’s online propaganda campaign one day after its companies were exposed for spreading disinformation on Facebook and meddling in the elections of several African, Asian and Latin American countries.