James Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now, criticizes Zionism in context of Netanyahu’s annexation plans: “It would be remiss if I didn’t say this unilateralism wasn’t actually rooted in the history of the Zionist movement. From the very begining we had our Jabotinskys and I think they were pretty singleminded in their purpose of a greater Israel, which included all that territory.” Now American Jews have to “weigh” their relationship to Israel and say firmly, “No to any form of annexation. Not a scintilla of property.”
Pompeo’s lightning visit to Israel shows that Republicans have a lot to gain by making Israel a political football, possibly gaining Jewish votes in Florida.
Former Obama ambassador Daniel Shapiro explains a very reasonable Palestinian position: “if two states is impossible, Here’s an alternative, where everyone would have the right to vote and representation in a parliament, one democratic state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.” But that’s a huge threat to the Zionist vision!
The Israel Policy Forum in a report bearing Ambassador Dan Shapiro’s name says Palestinian birth rate “jeopardizes” Israel’s Jewish character. This explicitly racial argument is also put forward by the American Jewish Committee. Shouldn’t they be ashamed?
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.
Trump has a political calculation in embracing Netanyahu’s annexation of the West Bank. He wants to get 40 percent of the Jewish vote, as Reagan did in 1980. And in a warning to Democrats, Haim Saban, Hillary’s big supporter, said he likes the plan.
Liberal and centrist American Zionists regard Trump’s plan as an existential threat to “the Jewish democracy.” These Israel supporters say the plan will move Israel toward annexing much of the West Bank, thereby ending any possibility of a two-state solution and leading to a binational state in which Palestinians will demand equal rights.
Dan Shapiro and Michael Koplow say the U.S. made a “moral commitment” to Israel as a democracy against countless threats 71 years ago and the U.S. has a strategic interest in preserving Israel as a democracy, or the morality of the relationship will be undermined. The possibility that we should distance ourselves from Israel because it’s persecuting Palestinians is simply off the table for these liberal Zionists. Though progressive Democrats increasingly feel that way.
Democratic Party lobbyists for Israel worry that Trump isn’t consulting with Israeli leaders and won’t take on Iran. There have been no phone calls between the two recently, says former ambassador Daniel Shapiro. While Michael Koplow says Israel used to have the sense that there was a “larger US umbrella that will prevent things from getting too far out of hand” in Lebanon and Syria, but they don’t feel that way now.
After White House officials joined a grotesque settlers’ celebration in occupied Jerusalem, Zionists have raised an issue rarely raised in the U.S.: Why are there so many religious Zionist Jews on the Trump negotiation team? Palestinians feel “under assault” and “surrounded” by Trump’s team, says Yaakov Katz, editor of the Jerusalem Post.