Trump’s decision to assassinate a leading Iranian official in Iraq yesterday has contributed to the split inside the Israel lobby in the United States. Republican Israel supporters celebrate the killing, and see it as destroying the last hope of saving the Iran deal. Many Democratic supporters of Israel are critical of the decision.
Conservative donors have skewed the American Jewish establishment to support the occupation, said many speakers at the J Street conference. The liberal Zionist organization is mounting a power struggle inside the Jewish community. But those efforts do not include sanctions in opposition to the occupation.
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.
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.
Trump’s claim that Jews who vote Democratic are “disloyal” is ugly and dangerous, but he is only echoing Zionist indoctrination: that American Jews must give unconditional support to Israel. New York Times columnist Bari Weiss praises the idea that “Jews should be loyal to Israel,” while Trump aide Elliott Abrams says Jews, except in Israel, “must stand apart from the nation in which they live.”
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.
Israel and its rightwing supporters wanted an attack on Iran and they did not get it, this week anyway. Though of course the media did not identify the Israel lobby and Netanyahu as cheerleaders for war American people don’t want.
The big story coming out of AIPAC is every one in the Democratic leadership dumping all over the first term Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, while having nothing to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have clearly damaged their own standing inside the progressive wing of the party, including among liberal Zionist advocates. When House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Omar should accuse him of dual loyalty for his support for Israel, he seemed to confirm what she had said.
Last Monday, Senate minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is also a major supporter of the anti-BDS legislation, diverted from his Senate speech on health care, to address anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and BDS. He equated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions with anti-Semitism.