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Bernie Sanders at CNN town hall: ‘Israel is run by a racist government’

Allison Deger on
Senator Bernie Sanders speaking at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on Monday, April, 22, 2019.

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. 

Why I’m glad Netanyahu won

James Zogby on
Netanyahu and Trump meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. (Photo: (AP/Evan Vucci)

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.”

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.

Mueller Report says ‘multiple members’ of Trump transition approached foreign officials to stop UN resolution against Israeli settlements

Philip Weiss on
President Donald Trump talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jared Kushner in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

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 criticism of Israel by diaspora Jews? An interview with Bonnie Honig

Bruce Robbins on
Bonnie Honig

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.

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.

Leading House Dems warn Netanyahu against promise to annex West Bank settlements

Allison Deger on
Jewish youth hold Israeli flags at the beginning of a rally march in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, near Nablus September 20, 2011. (Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

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.

For Palestinians, it doesn’t matter who wins the Israeli elections

Mohamed Mohamed on
Then-IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, left, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Navy ceremony on September 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

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.

Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism if they really want to build an Arab-Jewish political partnership

Philip Weiss on
Liberal Zionists discuss Israeli election, on April 10. From left to right, Yael Patir of J Street Israel, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, and Israeli journalist/pollster Dahlia Scheindlin.

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.

Amos Oz’s daughter offers ‘the best possible justification of Zionism’ at DC memorial

Philip Weiss on
Fania Oz-Salzberger at her father's memorial in Washington, March 31. Temple Sinai, Washington. Photo taken from J Street's twitter feed.

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.

‘Stop lying to young Jews’ — IfNotNow blocks Birthright office in NYC

Philip Weiss on

Police arrested 15 members of IfNotNow outside Birthright HQ in NY today after 100s of Jews demonstrated against the organization’s propaganda tours of Israel. Protester Yonah said that when he asked questions about Palestinians on his trip, his tour guide sat him down and said, “If you keep pulling this shit, I’m going to have to report you.” Yonah was “terrified” and shut up.

Demotion of NY pol who slurred Palestinians is a wakeup call for Democrats nationwide

Philip Weiss on
Kalman Yeger. (Photo: New York City Council)

Anti-Palestinian racism is at last moving the needle in US politics. The demotion by leadership of NY City Councilman Kalman Yeger for his anti-Palestinian comments this week sends a message to the Democratic Party nationwide, that the profound political shifts that the left is generating on a host of issues, from sexual harassment to economic inequity, will include Palestine, too.

After Gaza slaughter, Buttigieg praised Israeli security responses as ‘moving’ and faulted Democrats for easy judgment

Philip Weiss on

Rising Democratic star Pete Buttigieg went to Israel at the height of Gaza killings last May on an Israel-lobby-sponsored trip and came home praising the country for its “clear-eyed” decisions on security. He faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments of the country based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”

‘The New York Times’ runs Israeli propaganda on ’67 War: It was ‘defensive’

John V. Whitbeck on

The New York Times parrots claims by Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo that Israel owns the Golan Heights because it was taken in a “defensive war” in 1967, ignoring the historical record. Israel launched the war, the Arab states did not want war. “We chose to attack them,” former premier Menachem Begin said.

‘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.” 

O’Rourke says special relationship with Israel goes against US values of equality and dignity

Philip Weiss on

Beto O’Rourke says at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that Israeli human rights violations hurt the U.S. “These truths that we hold so dear — that we are all created equal– ‘all of us’ needs to mean, ‘All of us,’ not relationships of convenience for short term security gains but relationships that allow us to continue to be the example for so much of the rest of the world.”

Bridging the gap between victories here and realities on the ground

Nada Elia on
Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren are some the Democrats running for president who are refusing to attend this year's AIPAC conference.

Nada Elia writes, “a sober voice wants me to bridge the gap between claiming ‘we’re winning’ because US politicians are skipping the AIPAC conference, and the reality on the ground, which Trump is now calling ‘Israeli-controlled,’ rather than Israeli occupied.”

‘Sanders smashes the Israel status quo,’ his new ad boasts

Philip Weiss on

A new Bernie Sanders ad highlights his criticism of Israel. Just as Sanders spoke out against South African apartheid ahead of others, says activist Shaun King, “today he speaks out against apartheid-like conditions in Palestine even though it’s not popular.” The progressive base wants that message.