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‘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.

The ‘NYT’ turns Jaffa into an ‘ancient neighborhood’ of Tel Aviv revived by Israeli realtors and chefs

Liz Rose on

A New York Times travel piece about Jaffa describing it as an “ancient neighborhood” of Tel Aviv now revived by Israeli chefs so erased Palestinian history that the paper had to issue a correction about its lapses. But the Debra Kamin article still says there are “accusations” that the city’s Palestinian history is being erased, an implicit denial of the Nakba.

ADL’s Greenblatt says ‘murdering people in a mosque’ has never happened before

Philip Weiss on

Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL will always cut Zionists a break on the standards he applies to others. Today he said of New Zealand mosque killings, “This act of violence really doesn’t have a precedent as far as we know, murdering people in a mosque.” He conveniently forgot the slaughter of 29 Muslims in Palestine by a Jewish settler in 1994.

State Dept refers to Golan Heights and Palestinian Territories as ‘Israeli-controlled’ instead of ‘occupied’ in annual human rights report

Yumna Patel on
US human rights report occupation Israel Palestine

In what may signal a major break in longstanding US policy, the State Department referred to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled,” as opposed to the usual “Israeli-occupied,” for the first time in their 2018 human rights report published Wednesday. In the report, the State Department also failed to refer to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as occupied territories.

Impartial broker? Palestinian dehumanization evident in US policies

Ahmed Abdelmageed on
Ahmed Abdelmageed. (Photo: Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)

Ahmed Abdelmageed asks, “If I, as a Palestinian, am not allowed to speak of Israel’s occupation and subsequent ethnic cleansing of my land in June 1948; and if I, as a Palestinian-American, am to watch my U.S. government unabashedly support my occupier militarily, politically and financially; and if I, as a Palestinian-American, am not to have the right to condemn, criticize or boycott my occupier; then what am I to do?”

Why are Palestinian voices often marginalized?

Marion Kawas on
MSNBC discussion of Ilhan Omar

Progressive activists in North America have been inundated for weeks now with analysis and commentary about what happened to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. But one voice that consistently seems to be missing from most of this debate is the voice of Zionism’s primary victims, the Palestinians.

Liberal Zionist nightmare: Netanyahu is defeated and — nothing changes

Philip Weiss on

For years liberal Zionists have been saying that the fundamental problem with the Jewish democracy is the bogeyman of Netanyahu. But the April election now offers a real prospect that Netanyahu will be knocked off — and the new centrist governing coalition will be just as obdurate against a Palestinian state. That could be a crisis for liberal Zionists.

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.

Muslims — not Jews — are being targeted with racist loyalty canards

Amith Gupta on
Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

That the blatant bigotry of expecting Muslims to prove their loyalty has become a staple of American political life is made that much more obvious by the recent attacks on those who raise entirely legitimate concerns about Zionist lobbying and U.S. support for Israel. Were Congress genuinely concerned about racist canards of “dual loyalty,” they would be spending their time fixing U.S. immigration laws to undo the Muslim ban rather than making false allegations of the canard against two people who are actually its victims.