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.
Tag Archives: US Politics
As the Trump administration moves dangerously toward war with Iran, U.S. mainstream media ignores a major reason: Israel wants America to attack.
The New York Times asserts that Gaza forces initiated the latest violence, and Israelis merely responded, leaving out earlier Israeli strikes. The Times characteristically leaves the reader with the impression that Hamas is simply a bloodthirsty, terrorist movement that attacks at every opportunity without provocation.
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.
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.”
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.
Asked, “will you actually hold Israel accountable for its continued human rights violations?” Senator Elizabeth Warren affirmed the two-state solution and criticized Netanyahu. A leftwinger on economic justice issues, Warren is echoing a safe Democratic Party consensus, clearly fearful that the issue could divide the party’s base.
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.
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.
Should US peace processors be proud of failed efforts? Aaron David Miller writes to Martin Indyk: “Do you remember what Clinton said to us at end of the second briefing before Camp David. 2000? Trying and failing is better than not having tried at all. So inspiring and so quintessentially American.”
While the alleged shooter in Saturday’s deadly attack on the Poway Chabad synagogue said he was inspired by the shooter of the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand and claimed to have fire-bombed a mosque. Regardless, Ted Cruz and Meghan McCain attempted to link the attack to Ilhan Omar.
After a months long battle, a Texas school teacher was told she could return back to work after a federal court blocked an anti-BDS law in the state on the grounds that it was “likely unconstitutional.”
Jared Kushner explicitly ruled out a two-state solution for his peace plan. “If that would have worked, we would have made peace a long time ago on that basis.” His comments signal potential support for Israeli annexation of portions of the West Bank and Palestinian economic support but no sovereignty.
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.
Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told a room full of students last night during CNN’s marathon town hall in New Hampshire that Israel is headed by a “racist government,” and vowed to “level the playing field” between disparate American support for Israel and the Palestinians.
James Zogby writes a Netanyahu victory is good: “we will now finally be able to have an honest debate about the dreadful situation created by American complicity in enabling Israel’s continued oppression of Palestinians. This debate might have been aborted for a time had Gantz won.”
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.
The Mueller Report was released today, and one section reveals that “multiple members” of the Trump transition team, led by Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, sought to undermine the Obama White House’s decision to allow the passage of a UN Security Council resolution in December 2016 that was sharply critical of Israeli settlements.
What motivates the criticism of Israel by Jews in the diaspora? Bruce Robbins talks with Bonnie Honig, one of the most insightful and original political theorists of her generation, who argues by targeting the Jewish diaspora in order to manufacture uncritical solidarity, Israel created, paradoxically, a sense of obligation to criticize Israel.
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.
Prevented by the State Department from coming to the U.S., BDS activist Omar Barghouti was given a generous hearing in Washington at the behest of James Zogby and Peter Beinart. Barghouti was given a Skype soapbox for 90 minutes, to say that Israel’s identification of all Jews with Zionism is itself anti-Semitic.
Taking the unusual step of publicly criticizing Israel and Netanyahu, today Eliot L. Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Brad Schneider, all affiliates of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, issued a statement cautioning against any “unilateral steps” to declare occupied Palestinian territory part of the state of Israel.
It is time that Americans recognize the true nature of the Israeli Jewish polity, Mohamed Mohamed of the Jerusalem Fund writes. Regardless who wins Israeli elections, the daily lives and political situation of Palestinians are unlikely to improve. As for the two-state solution, a tiny minority of Israeli Jews actually support real Palestinian sovereignty.
The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.
The late Israeli author Amos Oz thought that Palestinians who wanted to return to the homes their grandparents were forced to flee in Israel suffered from a disease called “Reconstritis,” as did settlers who sought a biblical transformation of the West Bank. At a Washington memorial service for the author, his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger cited the malady in extolling Zionism as a force that saved millions of Jewish lives.