The Conference of Presidents, a powerful Jewish organization, caves to Islamophobic rightwing campaign on its leadership choice and liberal constituent groups dont walk away. Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu have stuck with the pro-settler organization for years, out of pro-Israel solidarity.
“Some of the most evil name-calling and epithet-slinging [against Israel] that takes place is sadly within our own Jewish community,” Laura Shaw Frank of the American Jewish Committee says. Her accusation echoes charges the AJC has made against Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, but “evil” sure ups the ante.
“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” reads the letter. It was lead by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), but was also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Israel lobbyists are thrilled by Bernie Sanders’s recent stumbles at the polls. A Democratic Party Israel lobby group spent $1.4 million against Sanders, and Obama’s former ambassador to Israel writes, “No issue brings out [Joe] Biden’s passion more than his commitment to the U.S. partnership with Israel.”
Writer Eric Flamm says after four trips to Israel, his 15-year-old son has become an anti-Zionist and supports BDS. “Because he couldn’t support the notion that in Israel the Jews received preferential treatment over Palestinians in all aspects of life, such as education, housing, employment, and access to justice.”
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.
The idea of a global family in which we are all interdependent spurred Bob Peck to make a documentary about the persecution of the Palestinians three years ago. The documentary is now out and available for free on Youtube.
A coalition of progressive organizations has launched a campaign aimed at pressuring Democratic candidates into skipping the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington.
When the subject came up at recent debate, Pete Buttigieg seemed to distance himself from his previous position on conditioning aid to Israel. However, now that many believe the Trump administration has effectively rubber-stamped Netanyahu’s annexation plans via its new “peace plan”, Buttigieg is running away from the issue entirely.
Zak Witus is a member of IfNotNow and a graduate student in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. He told Mondoweiss that the group decided to target Schakowsky because she’s “a great moral leader on so many human rights issues, both for her district and the Chicago Jewish community in particular.” He pointed out that Schakowsky opposed the Trump administration’s embassy move, condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to block Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and co-authored an op-ed with Omar about confronting the threat of white nationalism. “Not another penny of taxpayer money should fund another Israeli home demolition or bomb that wipes out an entire family in Gaza,” said Witus, “We think that Jan agrees, and so her committing to defunding the occupation should be a no brainer.”