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Election 2016

The Israel lobby is built on the biggest guilt trip in the world

Philip Weiss on
Michael Oren in uniform, northern Israel, overlooking Lebanon, 2006. Photo by Michael Totten

The essential dynamic at the core of the Israel lobby’s activities is American Jews’ belief that they are lesser than Israelis because they have easy lives and their kids don’t serve in the army in a tough neighborhood. So they must buy US political support for Israel no matter what it does. That guilt trip is finally coming to an end.

Don’t blame the Israel lobby on Christians and Republicans

Philip Weiss on

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.

Where is Jeffrey Goldberg?

Yakov Hirsch on

Jeffrey Goldberg, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, Bret Stephens and the other American Bibi-ists went from All Netanyahu all the time to No Netanyahu ever, Yakov Hirsch explains. Because they can’t be leading the moral charge against Trump’s “evil plan to crush the press,” while offering obfuscation about Netanyahu’s actual evil plan to crush the press, as they once did, when they were empowering the now-run-amok prime minister.

Sheldon Adelson was a giant loser in midterms — and Trump is letting him know it

Philip Weiss on

Trump tore up the Iran deal for Sheldon Adelson and moved the embassy to Jerusalem. But the megadonor’s millions in the midterm elections had none of the magic they did in 2016, as even Republicans in his home state of Nevada were crushed. And the transactional president is expressing his displeasure by taking some key moves against Israel’s interests.

The foreign policy ‘blob’ is horrified by Trump’s Syria move– though not the voters

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria is “foreign policy malpractice,” says Michele Flournoy, Hillary Clinton’s would-be defense secretary, echoing the D.C. establishment’s horror at Trump’s fulfillment of a campaign promise. Sadly, the realists and leftwingers who have an alternative vision for US foreign policy in the wake of the Iraq disaster and the Syrian civil war have been exiled by the media.

Thank God, liberal, New York Times-reading Americans are immune to propaganda

Donald Johnson on

Donald Johnson punctures the melodrama over the latest report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Nothing the Russians did even comes remotely close to the lies and misinformation and deceptive reporting that Americans inflict on each other. The Russians aren’t the ones who persuaded many Americans that global warming is a hoax. The Russians aren’t dividing our society.

‘NYT’ editorial on Flynn’s misdeeds has a laughable omission, Israel’s role

Philip Weiss on
Michael Flynn

Israeli officials asked Trump to intervene on the UN Security Council vote against settlements during the transition in 2016, and Mike Flynn did it, and is now criminally charged in that connection. But the New York Times leaves Israel out when it opines about Flynn’s guilt in the Russian influence scandal.

The tragedy of Marc Lamont Hill’s firing

Philip Weiss on

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.

Trump cites Israel’s interest in the Saudi-US portfolio — not Russia’s

Philip Weiss on

Donald Trump sought to defuse criticism of the Khashoggi murder by saying that Israel has an interest in the US and Saudi Arabia remaining friends, and Russia will be hurt. If Russia and Sheldon Adelson both bought Trump in 2016, Adelson came away with the prize. Not that the U.S. media is noticing.

Pittsburgh statements by progressive Jewish groups stress Trump’s fomenting of white nationalism

Mondoweiss Editors on

“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.

Responses to the anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh

Philip Weiss on

Many moral voices are blaming Donald Trump and the spirit of xenophobia he has licensed for the hate-crime in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday that killed 11. But some advocates for Israel, including Josh Block and Shmuley Boteach, are blaming anti-Zionists.

Ocasio-Cortez and two other Dem congressional candidates may be ‘hostile’ toward Jews, says ‘NYT’ columnist

Philip Weiss on

Clyde Haberman of the New York Times accuses Democratic congressional candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of being “hostile toward Israel and maybe… toward Jews in general” in a discussion at the Center for Jewish History. Neither Rabbi Jill Jacobs or Halie Sofier of the Democratic Jewish council pushed back against the smear.

US ambassador David Friedman presents himself as ambassador for Zionist Jews only

Philip Weiss on

David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador to Israel, seems to think of himself as an ambassador for Zionist Jews only. In a speech today in Tel Aviv, he described Israel as the “land of our national history,” and distinguished between the “country of our citizenship,” the U.S., and the country “we love so much,” Israel. He never mentioned Palestinians, nor the Christians and Muslims who feel a connection to Jerusalem.

Quoting Orwell against Trump, Bill Kristol leaves out the anti-Zionism of ‘Notes on Nationalism’

Philip Weiss on

In taking on Donald Trump today, Bill Kristol has been tweeting about the dangers of nationalism, and quoting George Orwell’s great essay of 1945, “Notes on Nationalism.” He should be careful quoting from this essay. Orwell several times criticizes Zionism and the idea of Jewish superiority in his effort to counter nationalist thinking in English politics.

Khashoggi murder has set back US-Israel effort to confront Iran

Philip Weiss on
Donald J. Trump, Mohammed Bin Salman, Jared Kushner

Israel is already a big loser in the fallout from the Khashoggi murder, which has set back the effort to work with Saudi Arabia to confront Iran and impose a peace deal on the Palestinians. Trump negotiator Jared Kushner has been hurt by his association with the Saudis, and even rightwingers are supporting sanctions against Israel’s new ally.