Ilhan Omar is accused of antisemitism in fostering a “hoary myth of dual loyalty” to Israel. But Jews from Joe Klein to Eric Alterman to Melissa Weintraub to MJ Rosenberg say that allegiance to Israel is actually an important factor in the support for Israel in the United States, to the point that some support Israel’s interests over America’s.
Category Archives: Election 2016
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.
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.
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.
Sheldon Adelson says that assimilation has stopped Jewish greatness. “We should have been equal to Catholicism, to Islamists– we should have been a billion and a half people.” While his wife Miriam says her mission is to protect Israel because it makes Jews around the world safe.
“Sheldon Adelson now has more influence on American foreign policy than even the secretary of state… controlling the State Department’s view of Israel,” writes Timothy Egan, NYT columnist. Egan is plainly emboldened by the politicization of support for Israel to take a crack at the Israel lobby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Senator Cory Booker’s endorsement of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act following the massacre in Pittsburgh can only be described as a cynical use of real antisemitism as an excuse to dismiss Palestinian rights so as to further his political career.
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.
According to a new scoreboard on pro-Israel legislative actions, a whopping 63 percent of House members score 100 percent pro-Israel, and 78% of Senate incumbents (25 of 32) had a rating of 80% or higher. They are ignoring the majority of Americans who want balance in our policy and think we give too much money to Israel.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.