Sacha Baron Cohen duped leading Republicans into reciting absurd endorsements of a fake program to arm toddlers in his premier of Showtime’s “Who is America?” last night. One issue that seems to have baited Republicans into participating is no hold barred support for Israel.
Category Archives: US Politics
A week after five young Jews walked off a “Birthright” tour of Israel, eight more left two groups. “I was shaking. It felt like a big risk,” one says. Then the group met Palestinians and understood their risk was nothing compared to what Palestinians face every day.
Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, soon to go to Congress from NY, all but apologized for using words “massacre” and “occupation” about Israel, saying she spoke as an “activist,” and she is no expert on the Middle East and is willing to “learn and evolve.”
Once again, the ‘NY Times’ uses old tricks to distort its coverage of Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza. The Times did report that Muhammad Abdelaal, a 30-year-old, “was interviewed at Shifa Hospital while soaked with blood and being treated for his wounds” — but, unlike the three Israelis the paper quotes, he apparently didn’t say anything quotable.
Rabbi Brant Rosen responds to Jewish community leaders who praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win in the Democratic primary but chastised her for tweeting about a “massacre” in Gaza: “I’m also troubled that you chose not to respond to her actual words, opting instead to give her a tutorial on the history of Zionism.”
First they came for me in Martha’s Vineyard,
But I was in Nantucket.
Then they came for me in Nantucket,
But I was in Cape Cod. . . .
Norman Finkelstein offers his support for Alan Dershowitz as he has become a social refugee in elite resorts across the Northeast due to his support for the Trump Administration.
Hasbara has died. The era of Israel being able to “explain” its actions to the world is over. The fair-minded have all made up their minds; Trump’s embrace of the country and its massacres have seen to that. So Israeli explanations are reserved for hard-core supporters. The hasbara is pure propaganda, aimed at rallying the base.
The New Yorker says Obama saw the light about the Israeli settlement process because of a “map that was never seen before” 2015 depicting disconnected islands of Palestinian population surrounded by Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. And that’s why Obama let a settlement resolution go through at the UN. But any activist and anyone familiar with Oslo has seen this map or one similar before.
The Israel issue is heating up in American politics, with ABC News publishing a report that progressive Democrats are increasingly willing to criticize Israel and may “reap political rewards” by doing so. Those progressives include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in NY, Scott Wallace in PA, Leslie Cockburn in VA, and Ilhan Omar running for Keith Ellison’s seat in MN.
Assimilation is decimating the diaspora, Miriam Adelson warns young American Jews in Israel. They should become “more committed Jews, have Jewish babies,” and become “soldiers” for Israel, lobbying governments and swaying public opinion “in favor of Israel.”
Ilise Benshushan Cohen writes an open letter, on behalf of The Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrahi Caucus, to the organization Bend the Arc on its willingness to criticize the Trump Administration but refusal to criticize Israel for very similar practices.
Forward editor Jane Eisner provides new head of Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog an easy way out of his claim that inter-marriage between Jews and non-Jews is a “plague”. “I didn’t mean it in any negative terms,” Herzog tells her in an interview. But he declines to apologize for the statement, and pretends that Hebrew-speakers won’t know what magefa means. A plague!
“It’s not acceptable in any way, to be the largest Jewish educational institution in the world and not talk about Palestine, and not engage with any Palestinian speakers” –Bethany Zaiman explains why she and four other Jewsh women deserted a Birthright trip to Israel after repeatedly challenging the program to talk about the occupation.
Alan Dershowitz says the fact he’s been socially banned on Martha’s Vineyard over his advocacy for Donald Trump is reminiscent of McCarthyism, and Norman Finkelstein reminds us that Dershowitz acted to try to ban his book in 2005 and then deny him tenure at DePaul University.
Eric Goldstein, the head of one of the largest Jewish philanthropies, calls on Jews to support the refugees who are coming to America’s borders. But when it comes to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, who are being shot at by Israeli forces, Goldstein expresses contempt, showing sympathy only for Israelis on the other side of the border whose fields are threatened by burning kites.
Tom Friedman once gave me permission to believe in Israel and believe it wanted peace with Palestinians. That liberal Zionist world is over, and Friedman needs to grapple with the fact that liberalism stands not just against Trump but for Palestinian human rights, Liz Rose writes.
The U.S. has quietly frozen its aid to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday, a provision of the Taylor Force Act passed earlier this year, according to the Israeli news reports.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toppled Joseph Crowley, the fourth highest Democrat in the House, in the Democratic primary in NY yesterday. She has called on Dems to support Palestinian dignity, tweeting in May of Gaza shootings: “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such… Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”
Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog’s comment that Jewish intermarriage in the U.S. is a “plague” shows his ignorance of U.S. reality. Jewish and non-Jewish Americans interact with no consciousness of religion. In many cases, couples become intimate before partners even know the religious preference of their counterparts. And that’s progress. When Robert Lord was younger, he saw friends and relatives lose once-in-a-lifetime relationships because family members shunned their non-Jewish partners.
Nick Muzin, a leading pro-Israel operative in D.C., says that Al Jazeera has “canned” its undercover investigation of the Israel lobby, completed last year, because of the intervention of Mort Klein of the Zionist Organization of America.
Isaac Herzog, Israeli left leader now head of the Jewish Agency: In the U.S., “I encountered something that I called an actual plague. I saw my friends’ children married or coupled with non-Jewish partners!… It’s every [Jewish] family in the U.S.A.! And we are talking about millions. And I said there must be a campaign, a solution.”
Phil Weiss visits Warsaw and Treblinka in Poland and feels a deep connection to the Jewish homeland that was erased: “For a long time I have had the words echoing in my mind, ‘Where were the Jews supposed to go?’ said by a friend with Polish roots, and have wanted to go to Poland to face the question. On my latest trip to the Middle East I threw in two days in Poland on the return. And now I want to go back.”
Progressive Democratic politicians and organizations are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban and starting to be openly critical of Israel. Few Democrats have defended Israel’s actions at the Gaza border, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace points out. While 13 senators have been critical.
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said today “it is not surprising” that the U.S. withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday, because the directive came from an “administration who gives orders to snatch crying babies from their parents’ arms,” referencing the White House policy of separating detained immigrant children from their parents.
AFP reports “The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the ‘hypocrisy’ of its members and its alleged ‘unrelenting bias’ against Israel.”