Several Democratic candidates this fall — Andrew Gillum in Florida, Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania, Ben Jealous in Maryland, Beto O’Rourke in Texas, and Ted Deutch in Florida — have issued statements against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, as Republicans try to make Israel a political issue in the fall races.
Category Archives: US Politics
Thank god for NYT columnist Tom Friedman for blurting out the elites’ real view of the Middle East: the likely murder of his Saudi friend Jamal Khashoggi was worse than the Saudi-perpetrated Yemen genocide. And PS, his newspaper was sponsoring a conference in Saudi Arabia.
A NYT report that an Israeli intelligence firm with government connections reached out to the Trump campaign in 2016 to manipulate the election process is more evidence of rightwing Israeli interference in the 2016 campaign, supported by Sheldon Adelson’s millions. And Israel has reaped huge rewards: the killing of the Iran deal and move of the embassy to Jerusalem.
A month after the Trump administration ordered the Palestinian Mission in Washington DC to end operations, yesterday afternoon consular staff vacated their four-story red brick building in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood.
Spending a week in Ben-Gurion airport under a deportation order has surely been uncomfortable for 22-year-old American student Lara Alqasem, but the detention has done a great deal to advertise the Israeli government’s intolerance of criticism. NYT conservatives Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss plead with Israel to release her lest the case alienate American Jews; while an Israeli government minister says Alqasem can come in if she renounces her earlier ideas.
Donald Trump recently reiterated his promise to introduce a Middle East peace plan in the next few months. Ted Snider says that promise makes sense of a number of unusual and extreme events that have taken place in the region recently.
The president of San Francisco State University recently announced he will be stepping down, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi writes before he leaves office, “there is a real opportunity for President Wong and for SFSU and CSU to stand up for public education, to be accountable to the public, to reject and end complicity with right-wing pressures and donors.”
NY Congressman Eliot Engel told an AIPAC audience last night that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other progressive Democrats who may enter Congress “need to be educated” to support Israel. The event came on the heels of a New York Times article on the new wave of progressive Democrats who have “dared to breach what has been an almost inviolable orthodoxy in both political parties, strong support for Israel.”
Jeffrey Goldberg used to quiz our leaders about Israel as a representative of the Jewish establishment. But he had nearly 40 minutes with Hillary Clinton and never mentioned that parochial subject. The Atlantic editor understands, the brand is toxic.
Nobel laureate biologist George Smith has repeatedly been smeared for his anti-Zionist views, characterized as a bully, a heckler, and a hater akin to David Duke. If we know anything from his considerable efforts to criticize Zionism, Smith will not rest on his laurels.
Israel’s detention at its international airport of Lara Alqasem, 22, an American student holding a visa to study at Hebrew University, has gone on five days today. Alqasem has supported boycott of Israel. The case has sadly gotten very little coverage in the US press.
George Smith, the University of Missouri biologist who shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry, said a “web” of scientists deserved credit for his achievement. In his humility and the celebration by Palestinian advocates of his prize, there is a sense that Smith’s laurels were also shared by Palestine.
Floridian Lara Alqasem, 22, has a visa to study for a master’s degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem but was detained at the Israeli border Tuesday and Israel seeks to deport her as a BDS activist. She was also “asked about her ethnicity and the names of her father and grandfather,” both of whom are Palestinian. Her congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s first thought is to defend Israel, though she is looking into the case.
Tearing up the Iran deal and moving the embassy to Jerusalem got rewards for the U.S. A new Pew poll of global attitudes says that while most countries see the U.S. as not considering their country’s interests in foreign policy decisions, Israelis see it the other way. Eighty-six percent of Israelis say the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account, compared to 27 percent of Brits, 19 percent of Germans, 18 percent of the French.
“The world has a name for that form of government that’s codified in [Israel’s] nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.” In speech, US Rep Betty McCollum, who represents St Paul, MN, and its suburbs demonstrates incredible leadership. The Democrat is also sponsoring groundbreaking legislation to cut off US funds that go to Israel’s detention and torture of children.
Palestinian leaders have filed a complaint with the top court of the United Nations (UN), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), over the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem earlier this year. “We defend our rights and our people without hesitation and reject all forms of political and financial extortion,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said on Saturday.
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) led a letter of 35 U.S. Senators to President Trump to express strong opposition to his decision to cut more than $500 million in aid to the Palestinian people. “We are deeply concerned that your strategy of attempting to force the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire,” the senators wrote.
Trump all but called for regime change in Iran at the UN even as his secretary of state and national security adviser addressed Sheldon Adelson’s outfit, United Against Nuclear Iran. The Times has noticed Adelson’s enormous influence but it would be helpful if the press discussed the right wing Israel lobby’s push for war.
In the last year, Israel’s supporters in the U.S. have been making frank appeals to Jewish money and power as weapons to fight Israel’s delegitimization from the left. Josh Block of the Israel Project says there are “billions… at rest in our community” that can be used to invest in media properties and make them tribunes for Israel.
Avigail Abarbanel calls on liberal Zionists such as Rabbi Daniel Zemel to stop pretending to be nice and say clearly and unequivocally that they believe that the Jewish people have more right to survive than the Palestinian people, that Zionist forces were justified to kick 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes to create Israel.
With midterm elections happening across the country, Americans are once again debating the value of voting for “lesser evil” candidates, or candidates who are not quite satisfactory on all issues. Texas’ Beto O’Rourke is a prime example. He has endeared himself to many because of his clear support for NFL athletes taking a knee during the national anthem but has showed the same directness in his unambiguous support for Israel. What is a progressive voter to do?
The Trump administration’s decision last month to cut $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a purely political decision that has no relevance to the definition of Palestinians as “refugees”, nor to their legal rights.
The anti-Palestinian racist viewpoint is adequately represented at the New York Times by Bret Stephens and Tom Friedman, who at least write about other things— Stephens wants war with Iran and doesn’t like Trump, Friedman loves CEO’s and occasionally says something sensible about global warming. But Shmuel Rosner can do only one thing: serve up rightwing propaganda for Israel.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of a Reform temple in Washington, D.C., says that Jewish “anti-Israelists” are scorning their “birthright” because of Israel’s rightwing practices. And Dana Milbank in the Washington Post warns that Israel’s future is at risk because the Jewish community here is dividing over support for it.
Brandon Jetter chronicles the conservative movement’s evolution on Israel from viewing it as a “racist state” back in the 1950s and holding pro-Arab sentiments, to adopting a position where Israel is seen as a moral and strategic alley.