Former AIPAC official M.J. Rosenberg has confirmed that Ilhan Omar’s description of AIPAC as being “all about the Benjamins” is actually right. He describes how AIPAC manages to handle money without it being official. We should thank Rep. Ilhan Omar for keying the debate.
Category Archives: US Politics
Vice President Mike Pence accused “the murderous revolutionary regime” of Iran of calling for “another Holocaust” during a two-day summit in Warsaw yesterday where the Trump administration is rallying support for action against the Islamic Republic.
In the US, just as in Israel, Palestinian suffering is silenced, and any mainstream discussion of Palestinian pain immediately gets redirected towards sympathy with Israel, and gets recast as an act of bad faith. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to be smeared with such false accusations of antisemitism by Zionists who are alarmed at the growing support for Palestinians in Congress. We can’t let this happen.
The overwhelming outrage toward Ilhan Omar from the Democratic Party is happening because she is challenging Zionism in the mainstream, and she is not a Jew or a Zionist. Much of that response is racist; but Omar’s challenge will not be defeated, no matter how many Benjamins — from Netanyahu to Gantz — come our way.
One snarky tweet about the Israel lobby buying politicians, and the sky falls in; Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is widely accused of anti-semitism. But no one in the political class sees it as a problem when Israel shoots Palestinian protesters. And that’s the sincere root of the US love for Israel: unconscious racism against Palestinians.
Jewish journalists like to project the power of the Israel lobby on to Christian evangelicals, when in fact the Democratic Party is beholden to the Jewish part of the lobby. The journalists shift the blame because they think a discussion of Jewish influence is anti-semitic, but by doing so they are denying plain facts.
A Maryland software engineer and former state delegate is suing his state’s governor for signing an executive order into law which targets and penalizes supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), in what he says is a violation of his First Amendment rights.
The Democratic House leadership, which has appeared at AIPAC events, condemned MN Rep. Ilhan Omar for her anti-AIPAC tweets, calling them “anti-semitic.” The party leaders are clearly terrified that Israel is going to tear the party apart, as anti-Zionism takes hold in the progressive base.
Ilhan Omar was right to point out the impact of AIPAC’s money. AIPAC is seeking now to silence criticism of the inhumane occupation by screaming about anti-semitism and claiming that nobody may ever talk about how the Israel lobby uses money — Activist Ady Barkan relates a story from the campaign trail.
Does AIPAC use money to influence Congress, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. Of course it does! Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List said that before congressional candidates even have a campaign manager or a policy director, they go to AIPAC to get a position paper on Israel “because this is how we raise money” from the “Jewish community.”
The latest pro-Israel article in the ‘NY Times’ is a bizarre effort to slander Palestinian rights by making false connections to Al-Qaeda and Africa. The insinuation was clear: Palestinians and those who support them are on the same side as the evil men who killed 3000 Americans at the World Trade Center.
Bret Stephens’s long opinion piece in the New York Times equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a boon to the anti-Zionist movement. His claims that it is anti-Semitic to see “wickedness” in unending occupation and that all American Jews are Zionists are debating points he will only lose. The piece makes anti-Zionism a topic for every dinner table and turns BDS into a household word.
Why do Americans take such a racist view of Palestinian rights without even realizing it? One reason is that New York Times writers deploy Eliot Engel and Bret Stephens as honest critics of the new congressional class of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez when they are ideologues who do not see Palestinians as equals.
Jimmy Carter said he’d ‘commit suicide’ before he abandoned Israel, but American Jewish leaders did not trust him because of his parallel commitment to a “Palestinian homeland” and opposition to Israeli settlements, Stuart Eizenstat writes in a detailed memoir. Carter always underestimated the power of the Israel lobby. He came to believe that it helped cost him a second term, a lesson politicians have heeded ever since.
In a long-overdue defeat for the Louis D. Brandeis Center, a federal judge struck down a three-year old lawsuit against faculty members of the American Studies Association, which had voted overwhelmingly in favor of an academic boycott of Israel at its 2013 annual meeting. In a statement issued yesterday, Palestine Legal said, “this week’s court dismissal emphasizes that efforts to censor the boycott movement will fail.”
In a landmark of anti-Palestinianism, the Senate voted 77-23 to punish boycotts of Israel, though almost all Dem presidential hopefuls voted against the AIPAC-sponsored law and Republican Rand Paul said “Boycotts are fundamentally American,” and said many senators are “paranoid” about the Israel lobby.
The ‘NY Times’ runs an important article on rising Jewish “settler” violence in occupied West Bank Palestine, but the report is still biased toward Israel. It characterizes Israeli violence against occupied Palestinians as “clash” and “melee” when in fact one side is delivering violence to the other.
NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg says progressives are afraid to speak up on Israel. They feel “I can’t speak out without suffering professional consequences… That taboo is real… I feel like it’s very difficult to speak kind of rationally and forthrightly about real human rights abuses in the West Bank.”
Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, who is developing an international reputation, explains why he supports boycotting Israel: “As long as we are under this occupation, and this atrocity, and brutality, I will not do any joint event with any Israeli artist or citizen. Because he is a soldier. Whatever his work– artist, doctor, engineer, journalist—he served in the IDF, or will serve in the IDF, or serves in the IDF.”
A new book by former Carter aide Stu Eizenstat says that Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israel’s foreign and defense ministers, Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman, in 1978-1979 while she was covering Camp David negotiations for ABC news.
The good news from the anti-BDS bill’s progress in the Senate yesterday, 76-22, is that progressive Democrats are standing up against AIPAC for the right to “peacefully” protest Israeli policies, and almost all the presidential hopeful Democrats voted against the legislation, even Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. And Chris Van Hollen said the bill will “strengthen” the boycott movement.
Three leaders of a new group aimed at preventing the Democratic Party from splitting over Israel–Jennifer Granholm, Peter Villegas, and Ann Lewis –are affiliated with the Israel lobby group AIPAC, which has been panicked by the possible splintering of political support for the Jewish state.
For 22 years after its founding Jewish Voice for Peace declined to take a position on Zionism. Now it has boldly stated that “Zionism has meant profound trauma for generations” and “We unequivocally oppose Zionism because it is counter” to “our vision of justice, equality and freedom for all people.” JVP member Robert Herbst writes that the landmark statement “helps restore in my Jewish heart and soul a modicum of pride.”
Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, praised the American Jewish community’s role in “maintaining political support for Israel” because it “is a very small country in a very hostile neighborhood.” Weisman’s definition of the Jewish community was all Zionist organizations, leaving out the anti-Zionists of Jewish Voice for Peace; and he credited the view that anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.
Rep. Ilhan Omar is repeatedly being accused of bearing anti-Semitic sentiments, since she tweeted in 2012 that “Israel hypnotizes the world” and that it is doing “vile deeds” in Gaza. But many Israelis have made similar charges against Israel, without facing such accusations.