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Israel Lobby

Kamala Harris skips AIPAC conference — but AIPAC comes to her!

Philip Weiss on

Last week presidential candidate California Senator Kamala Harris said she was skipping the AIPAC policy conference. But yesterday she met with AIPAC executives and proudly tweeted the photo, and AIPAC exulted that shed attended the conference after all! The flipflop follows years of Harris kissing up to the Israel lobby and to Benjamin Netanyahu.

NARAL at AIPAC: And reproductive justice for some?

Nada Elia on
Tell NARAL to #skipAIPAC

Even as pro-justice activists were celebrating the fact that many Democratic politicians– including the main 2020 presidential hopefuls–have skipped this year’s AIPAC conference in DC, a national campaign was hastily being launched to urge Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Amy Everitt (California head of NARAL) not to speak there.  

A veto against a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel

Daniel A. Segal on

Pitzer College’s governing council voted March 14 to suspend a program in Israel for the same reason US institutions ended collaborations with Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. Pitzer President Melvin Oliver’s veto of the resolution not only harms Pitzer but harms Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, as it blocks a material contribution to expanding the possibility of justice and peace for all, Pitzer Professor Daniel Segal writes.

De Blasio speech at AIPAC is a monument of progressive Democratic racism against Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the “simple, clear, progressive case for the state of Israel” at AIPAC this morning. He touched again and again on the Jewish history of persecution and “exclusion” and “expulsion” and never acknowledged that 750,000 Palestinians had been expelled from their lands at the birth of Israel in 1947-49. As such, his speech was a monument of Democratic denial of the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe. 

‘Intense hatred of Israel is moving from margins to center of US politics’ — Howard Kohr of AIPAC

Philip Weiss on

The AIPAC policy conference in Washington began Sunday on a defensive note, with the Israel lobby organization’s chief executive saying that Israel’s friends face a terrible new challenge: taking on “the scurrilous charge of dual loyalty” and declaring “The intense hatred of Israel is now creeping from the margins to the center of our politics.” 

Pitzer College battle over suspending Israel study program shows divide on the left over BDS

Philip Weiss on

Pitzer’s College Council took a historic and overwhelming vote to suspend a study-abroad program in Israel following years of organizing by progressive faculty and students. President Melvin Oliver’s swift veto of the resolution shows the discomfort that the mainstream left is feeling about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and also the growing moral importance of the issue on the left.

Don’t accept the rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

Liberal Zionists have set out rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby without offending them. They are trying to obscure a 70 year pattern of Zionists influencing U.S. policy, from the recognition of Israel’s establishment by Truman, who depended on Zionist donors, to Trump trashing the Iran deal in deference to Sheldon Adelson.

Democrats are now officially split on Israel, and we can thank Ilhan Omar and BDS

Philip Weiss on
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) arrives for her victory party on election night in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. (Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images)

When the Democratic leadership backed down on its anti-Ilhan Omar resolution, it signaled that a movement for Palestinian human rights that has been crushed several times by the party in recent years now must be reckoned with as the mood of the progressive base. Leading presidential candidates support Omar, and Gallup shows that liberal Democrats are nearly as sympathetic to Palestinians as Israelis.

House resolution rejecting hate is a band-aid for a broken leg

Jonathan Ofir on

The US House of Representatives passed an extended resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, in response to the outrage concerning Ilhan Omar’s comments concerning Israel and its lobby. But Omar’s comments were not about Jews, and the resolution doesn’t address the problem, which is that allegiance to Israel can’t be questioned.

Hannah Arendt would agree with Ilhan Omar

Philip Weiss on
Hannah Arendt

In 1944 Hannah Arendt warned that Israel’s founders were exposing American Jews to the charge of dual loyalty by their dependency on US support. When Ilhan Omar questions the allegiance of some Israel advocates, it’s a legitimate criticism of Zionism.

‘I am told I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel’ and that’s problematic — Ilhan Omar stands strong amid blizzard of attacks

Philip Weiss on

Amid attacks from Democratic colleagues in the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar says that she finds it “problematic” that “I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel.” And she knows many Americans agree with her. “I just happen to be willing to speak up.”  The progressive base of the party is behind her, in a sign that the party is dividing on Israel.

Jews stand with Ilhan: There is nothing anti-semitic about calling out AIPAC’s noxious role

Mondoweiss Editors on

Prominent Jews, including Molly Crabapple, Dave Zirin, Tzvia Thier, Naomi Klein, Ilan Pappe, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Shir Hever, and Moshe Machover sign a statement standing by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticism of AIPAC. As long as the US gov’t stands behind Israeli crimes, the 229 signatories and counting will point to the outsize role of the Israel lobby.

Kamala Harris told AIPAC she backs Israel because of civil rights struggle in Selma, 1965

Philip Weiss on

Many people have compared Palestinian conditions to the Jim Crow south, from Jimmy Carter to Condoleezza Rice to Rashida Tlaib. So it’s jarring to learn that Sen. Kamala Harris, in private comments to AIPAC last year, said the famous civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965 inspires her to build a bridge with Israel supporters.

The Israel lobby is built on the biggest guilt trip in the world

Philip Weiss on
Michael Oren in uniform, northern Israel, overlooking Lebanon, 2006. Photo by Michael Totten

The essential dynamic at the core of the Israel lobby’s activities is American Jews’ belief that they are lesser than Israelis because they have easy lives and their kids don’t serve in the army in a tough neighborhood. So they must buy US political support for Israel no matter what it does. That guilt trip is finally coming to an end.

We must thank Ilhan Omar for opening a debate about AIPAC at last

Jonathan Ofir on

Former AIPAC official M.J. Rosenberg has confirmed that Ilhan Omar’s description of AIPAC as being “all about the Benjamins” is actually right. He describes how AIPAC manages to handle money without it being official. We should thank Rep. Ilhan Omar for keying the debate.

Maryland software engineer sues Gov. Larry Hogan over anti-BDS law

Jesse Rubin on

A Maryland software engineer and former state delegate is suing his state’s governor for signing an executive order into law which targets and penalizes supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), in what he says is a violation of his First Amendment rights.

Tlaib and Omar’s support for BDS is now a lightning rod for Republicans

Philip Weiss on

BDS shakes up the House! Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s support for BDS “is inconsistent with our national values,” says a Republican congressman, while the Dems’ appointment of BDS-supporter Ilhan Omar to House Foreign Affairs shows “the days of the Democrats’ support-Israel-at-all-costs stance are numbered,” as the young Jewish group IfNotNow proclaims.