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Israel Lobby

It’s about the Benjamins — Trump’s smearing of congresswomen demonstrates Israel’s influence in US politics

Philip Weiss on
Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

Donald Trump’s charge that four congresswomen are Israel haters is a political tactic aimed at taking pro-Israel donors away from the Democratic Party. Liberals set the table for Trump’s racist comments by roundly condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar as anti-semitic, when she was addressing an important issue in US politics: the role of the Israel lobby in setting foreign policy in the Middle East.

AIPAC and friends slam IfNotNow as ‘anti-Israel’ for asking Democratic candidates about ‘the occupation’

Philip Weiss on

The young Jews of IfNotNow are making Israel’s occupation an issue in the Democratic race, and the group Democratic Majority for Israel is fighting back, calling IfNotNow anti-Israel and advising candidates to avoid answering IfNotNow’s questions. IfNotNow says the Democratic Majority group is a front for AIPAC, the Israel lobby, which has long had a home in the Democratic Party.

Trump’s climbdown on Iran is a defeat to the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

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.

Imagine a US president taking Iran’s side in conflict with Israel, and you get Maguire’s thriller ‘Exodus Betrayal’

Philip Weiss on

Gil Maguire’s new novel, “The Exodus Betrayal,” imagines a US president siding with Iran after Israel attacks Iran, and it is intended to get Americans out of love with Israel, much as “Exodus” got us in love back in 1958. “I am trying to show how harmful our relationship with Israel has become and how the so-called special relationship is based on a myth of Israel’s importance,” Maguire says.

‘NYT’ readers call out the newspaper for abetting war against Iraq and now Iran

James North and Philip Weiss on
New York Times headquarters

There were 473 readers’ comments on a NYT editorial about Iran, and they are universally against another war in the Middle East, and many oppose sanctions on Iran. Moreover, they see through the Times’s equivocations, and point out that the newspaper was the handmaiden of the Iraq disaster when it was credulous about government claims.

‘NYT’ publishes long article about Jews protesting ‘Birthright’ over its ‘lies’ about Palestine

James North and Philip Weiss on

The New York Times published a splendid article today about young Jews walking off the free ten-day Birthright trips to Israel, rejecting them as propaganda, under the headline, “Birthright Trips, a Rite of Passage for Many Jews, Are Now a Target of Protests.” The article quotes young Jews saying they were fed lies about the occupation by the program, which has sent 700,000 young Jews to Israel.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz launches a black-Jewish caucus featuring ‘anti-Muslim bigot’ Lee Zeldin

Michael Arria on
Lee Zeldin Presents Donato Panico's Flag from Ground Zero and Then Iraq to President Trump in Oval Office

On Monday members from the House of Representatives announced the establishment of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, which was created to combat the rising tide of white nationalism. However, the group includes New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, the GOP congressman who has made headlines for his connections to the alt-right and his repeated attacks on Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Twitter.

Peter Beinart suggests AIPAC should have to register as agent of Israeli government

Philip Weiss on

Standing up for Ilhan Omar’s controversial point about allegiance to a foreign country, Peter Beinart says his children in a Jewish day school believe they should be loyal to both the US and Israel, and that AIPAC has sided with the Israeli government over the US one and maybe ought to have to register as a foreign agent.

Controversial ‘NYT’ cartoon could have run in Israeli papers without uproar, former ‘NYT’ reporters say

Philip Weiss on

That ‘NYT’ cartoon showing Netanyahu as a dachshund leading blind Trump in a skullcap caused the Times to apologize again and again for bigotry. But two former ‘NYT’ reporters say the cartoon could have run in Israeli papers without uproar, apparently because it’s not so bad to criticize your own. And the Times has been indifferent to its anti-Palestinian racism.

Plenty of Benjamins here in Boston!

Jeff Klein on
Promotion of recent New England leadership dinner at AIPAC. Partial full screen image from screenshot.

AIPAC’s promotion of a recent New England leadership dinner in Boston at $300 a head shows that the leading Israel lobby group raised nearly $5 million from just one region of the country. So when pro-Israel voices say that Ilhan Omar is wrong, AIPAC doesn’t work by raising money, they’re trying to deceive you.

‘We ain’t got to walk around struttin’ talking about two state solutions’ — Marc Lamont Hill

Philip Weiss on

Marc Lamont Hill seems emboldened by his firing by CNN last year for daring to imagine equal rights in Israel and Palestine. On Wednesday night, he spoke of “Gettin’ rid of the settler colonial project altogether” and mocked the term, “liberal Zionist, whatever that is.” He will appear on a star-studded panel about Palestine on Saturday May 4 at UMass Amherst.

‘Send a message to Bibi, I love him’ — Joe Biden’s long ties to Israel

Philip Weiss on

Joe Biden has bragged of raising money from the Israel lobby group AIPAC, declared “Israel…the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” professed, “I’m a Zionist,” and in 2014 said he had told Netanyahu, “I love you. Read an overview of Biden’s remarks on Jews and Israel, including his belief that efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state, or even to protest the 2014 Gaza onslaught, are anti-Semitic.

I was wrong about anti-Semitism going away

Philip Weiss on

For the past 25 years or so I have had a running debate with Jewish friends, Is anti-Semitism over? I’ve argued that it is, given the incredible Jewish inclusion. I was wrong. Anti-semitism remains an abiding hatred, and Poway shows it’s recurrent.

Palestinians won’t get a peace deal till Abbas goes — Nikki Haley

Philip Weiss on

Pandering to two pro-Israel groups, Nikki Haley calls Sheldon and Miriam Adelson “national treasures.” She says the Obama administration “led” the UN Security Council resolution against settlements in 2016, pressuring other countries that did not want to vote for it, and making other ambassadors “uncomfortable.”

As the Israel lobby in the US weakens, its UK counterpart grows more fearsome

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook writes that while there are signs politicians in the U.S. are finally ready to shine a light onto the pro-Israel lobby, the opposite is taking place in United Kingdom. He says this is due to the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in British politics – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode due to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and the end of the international two-state consensus.

Why is this Seder different from all other Seders?

Ira Glunts on

A plan for an alternative Passover seder which is a reaction to the Israeli occupation and the Jewish religious rites deployed in its support: Ira Glunts’s Seder lo b’seder: the seder that skips the traditional seder, and supports BDS.

Supporting Israel is now ‘liability’ for Democrats, but ’60 Minutes’ doesn’t trouble Pelosi about it

Philip Weiss on
Nancy Pelosi meets with three former UK Labour MP's who left the party over Israel and alleged anti-Semitism. April 14, 2019. From Twitter.

On “60 Minutes,” Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive and dismissed leftwing congresswomen as a mere “five people,” and Lesley Stahl never challenged her about the fissure in the party over Israel. Though more and more commentators are saying that Israel support has become the battleground among Democrats, and Pelosi is busy catering to AIPAC and Netanyahu.