A coalition of Jewish organizations’s lead by the American Jewish World Service and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, invited “concerned Jews across the U.S. to unite in solidarity against the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of Burma” by dedicating the 6th candle on the 6th night of Chanukah to the Rohingya people. Howard Horowitz asks when will these organizations also call on American Jews to honor Palestinians in a similar way.
Category Archives: American Jewish Community
In 1991 the late George H.W. Bush took on Israel and its lobby over settlement construction, famously saying “I’m one lonely little guy” against 1000 lobbyists. Some say the stance made him a one-term president, and paved the way for his son to out-Israel his father, with disastrous results.
Rashida Tlaib likens the Israeli occupation to the Jim Crow south. Both Jimmy Carter and Condoleezza Rice made the same analogy, to the south of their youths, and both suffered politically for it.
“Changes in Israeli society are rendering the Liberal Zionist program impracticable and irrelevant,” Daniel Solomon writes in 972. They are destined for the dustbin of history along with the Whig Party! And it’s time for liberal Zionists to choose liberalism over Zionism. That’s why Solomon declares himself a “non-Zionist.”
The orthodox anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta is often kept at arms length by the left because of its socially conservative views. Filmmaker Heather Tenzer reached out to Neturei Karta for her upcoming documentary, The Rabbis’ Intifada, and shows how the group has been able to build bridges with conservative religious Muslims, thereby offering a challenge to our ideas about activism.
The firing of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN for espousing Palestinian human rights shows the historical commitment by western institutions to Zionism as the answer to Jewish insecurity in the west. But now Zionism is in crisis, and Hill sought to bear witness to the actual conditions in Israel/Palestine– and was labeled an anti-Semite.
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times, asserts that the three heads of the “dragon” of anti-Semitism are white nationalists, Islamists and leftwing anti-Semites who masquerade as anti-Zionists. As if leftwingers who support Palestinian human rights are just as dangerous as neo-Nazis who kill Jews.
Liberal Zionist hero Tzipi Livni says Netanyahu is paving the way to the “nightmare of Zionism” — a greater Israel with a Palestinian majority, when the true “vision” of Zionism is a Jewish majority, which can only be attained by “separation… separation… separation.” Her words echo George Wallace calling for segregation forever in 1963, but it didn’t last.
After Beto O’Rourke said yesterday he wouldn’t rule out a presidential run in 2020, many progressives revived his pro-Israel, pro-AIPAC tweet of September and announced they’re out of love with the rising Democratic star.
Echoing the Israeli government talking points, the ADL said that the Airbnb decision to end listings in the occupied West Bank was a capitulation to the anti-Semitic BDS campaign. Peter Beinart challenges the ADL to do its job and bear witness to the 51-year-old occupation that denies millions of Palestinians any freedom.
US writers in intellectual journals bash Zionism. “It is anathema to say so,” Nathan Goldman writes in the Baffler, but Zionism is ethnonationalism, which is the opposite of liberal democracy; while Molly Crabapple writes in the New York Review of Books, “Jewish ethno-nationalism is a poison like all ethno-nationalisms.”
Bari Weiss’s said last night “you better believe” that the insurgent leftwing non-Zionist Jewish group IfNotNow welcomed rightwing Israeli officials flying in to Pittsburgh to express condolences in the wake of the Oct. 27 massacre at the synagogue because they were expressing the spirit of “Am Yisrael,” the people of Israel. Nothing could be further from the case.
“Israel has the most extraordinary asset in its hands, the support of American Jewry. This is a natural resource that is more precious and more unique– it’s like vibranium that you can only mine in Wakanda. And it has more value than Bitcoin or erethreum, but it is a natural resource that you will squander and you will suboptimize and that won’t always be there if you don’t manage it well.” Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL.
NYT columnist Bret Stephens says American Jews won’t abandon Israel because “everyone’s attractive” there. Birthright is “fantastic” because “not only do you go, but you hook up! So it’s like a twofer, and that’s the explicit purpose. It’s like, Discover your Judaism, and she’s hot!”
A Netanyahu official once again shows contempt for American Jews in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Israeli consul general Dani Dayan calls out British leader Jeremy Corbyn as an “anti-Semite” because he supports Palestinian rights and Iran as a “genocidal regime.” Dayan says not a word about Trump, though 3/4 of US Jews hold Trump responsible for Pittsburgh.
Jewish spaces in New York host one discussion after another this week featuring Jews arguing about the Jewish and Israeli future, and all these panels are segregated; because the Jewish leadership is terrified of actually hearing Palestinians speaking on their own terms.
Trump once called Marco Rubio Sheldon Adelson’s “perfect little puppet.” Well who’s perfect now? Trump is to award medal of freedom to a bunch of famous Americans including late Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth and Antonin Scalia — and to Dr. Miriam Adelson, advocate for Israel who has given Trump millions along with her husband Sheldon.
Ted Kennedy was ready to drop out of challenge to Jimmy Carter in winter 1980, then Carter endorsed a UN Security Council resolution calling Jerusalem occupied. Kennedy went on to win NY primary and weaken Carter ahead of his loss to Reagan. So reports Stu Eizenstat, Israel advocate for Carter and Hillary Clinton.
The liberal pro-Israel group J Street endorsed more than half the members of the new Democratic majority in the House. It is taking on AIPAC in a battle for the Israel lobby, and argues that it represents US Jews, who support the two-state solution. So Trump has succeeded in politicizing Israel.
Last night’s midterm elections saw a historic opening for critics of Israel. Three women stars of the Democratic Party who have openly criticized Israel’s human rights record were elected to Congress. But the new Democratic faces include many big backers of US Israel special relationship: Max Rose in Staten Island, Mikie Sherrill in northern New Jersey, both in the Congress, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
The day before the midterms Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran and Israeli PM Netanyahu lavished praise on him as “courageous, determined” in an embrace that is sure to aggravate American Jews growing distance from the Jewish state.
“I slept on the porch of the Swarthmore College president’s house so we would divest from South Africa,” ardent Zionist and Israeli business leader Danna Azrieli brags in a speech to American Jews. But her ethnocentric appeal to stick with Israel never mentions Palestinians or the occupation or Gaza, and just once uses the word “settlements” to signal the divide between American and Israeli Jews.
The alleged Pittsburgh shooter saw Jews as warriors for a liberal democracy. This is a role the brothers Rosenthal may not have known they were playing, but we should honor them and the nine other victims by championing refugees and migrants and civil rights for minorities.
“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish group, informs the president ahead of his Tuesday visit. J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace also hold the president responsible for inciting anti-Semitic violence in statements on Saturday’s massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, who has been everywhere in the media explaining Pittsburgh, has a history of accusing leftwing critics of Zionism of anti-semitism as “damaging” as white nationalism. Last January he accused IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace of anti-Semitism, and he said his former boss President Obama had made a “series of missteps” on Middle East policy.