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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.

Does Elizabeth Warren have a plan for Palestine?

Michael Arria on
Elizabeth Warren speaking at Tufts University, (c) Pat Westwater-Jong

Elizabeth Warren has built a reputation as the presidential candidate with a plan for everything, but does she have a plan for Palestine? Michael Arria follows her shifting positions on U.S. policy towards the Israeli occupation.

Bipartisan bill complements Kushner’s plan to try to buy off Palestinians

Josh Ruebner on
Lindsey Graham, Chris Coons, and Maggie Hassan meet with Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a a bipartisan delegation of senators to Israel in February 2018. (Photo: Israel Government Press Office)

On Wednesday, six members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill to create a $50 million annual fund to “facilitate and finance joint economic ventures and people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans.” While the bill could be seen by well-intentioned members of Congress as a last-ditch attempt to revive the moribund prospects for a two-state resolution, Josh Ruebner says it should more accurately be seen as consistent with the Trump administration’s “deal of the century,” which appears in all likelihood to preclude the possibility of Palestinian statehood.

Republicans push BDS bill to paint Dems as anti-Semites, and party leadership falls for the trap

Josh Ruebner on
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives initiated a rarely-used legislative procedure to try to force a vote on a controversial bill that encourages states and localities to penalize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and companies that boycott for Palestinian rights. This is the latest GOP move in an ongoing, concerted effort to to portray themselves as the saviors of Israel and the Jewish people and paint the Democrats as an anti-Semitic, BDS-loving, radical left horde. And Democrats seem to be falling into the trap.

‘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.

Jared Kushner on the two-state solution: ‘let’s just not say it’

Allison Deger on
Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

On Thursday evening Jared Kushner avoided confirming if his plan, which has been kept secret, will include a Palestinian state but spoke at length about an “economic visions for the region” and a “business plan” to address “what’s been holding” Palestinians “back economically.”

‘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.

McCollum reintroduces historic bill to promote Palestinian children’s human rights

Josh Ruebner on

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) reintroduced yesterday her historic bill to promote the human rights of Palestinian children who face detention, interrogation, abuse and violence, including torture, and imprisonment by Israel through its separate-and-unequal military court system in the occupied West Bank. “Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” McCollum said in a strongly-worded statement.

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.

Despite brave stances, Bernie Sanders is still to the right of Democratic voters on Palestine

Hamzah Raza on
Bernie Sanders speaking at a campaign rally

At a recent CNN town hall, Bernie Sanders courageously asserted that “Israel is run by a racist government” and called for “a level playing field” between Israel and the Palestinians. Hamzah Reza writes that while such rhetoric is a breath of fresh air, the reality is that Sanders has refused to take the tangible actions that a plurality of rank-and-file Democratic voters want him to take.