With its new nation-state of the Jewish people law, Israel is now officially an apartheid state, with secondary rights for non-Jews. Liberal Zionists who have said they only boycott the occupation but not Israel are now challenged by this law to take action against discrimination inside the state of Israel (which the BDS boycott program has long targeted).
Category Archives: Islamophobia
“I saw conviction and hope in the Knesset this week,” Mara Lee, head of a liberal Zionist organization, said yesterday in a fundraising letter even as Israel passed the law stating that it is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and Palestinians are officially second class.
Trump and Putin’s efforts to praise Israel and validate its interests at their Helsinki press conference caused CNN to break a taboo in its coverage, and say Trump had Israel’s interests not American ones “on his mind.” No country has ever been closer to America than Israel, Trump says.
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.”
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 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.”
“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.
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.
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.
In an article criticizing the intersectional left at the Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon continuously reinforces the false and dangerous notion that to oppose Zionism is to be against Jews: “Jews feel that when they do show up, there’s always something wrong with them.” Zionism is an ideology, Donna Nevel asserts; and even if Jews adhere to it, it is not “anti-Jewish” to oppose it.
Most of the big Democratic donors featured in a NYT article on presidential hopefuls raising money in NY are pro-Israel. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren need $30 million for a campaign war chest, so they are unlikely to say anything critical of Israel. Both progressives have demonstrated as much during the Gaza massacre.
“There is no Judaism without Zionism,” Yossi Klein Halevi states flatly in his new book; and Jewish Voice for Peace and anti-Zionists are not part of the Jewish community. This intolerance has not stopped many liberal Zionists from embracing him, including J Street, Jodi Rudoren, David Gregory and Cokie Roberts.
Netanyahu’s famous lecture to President Obama in 2011, warning him not to have “illusions” about making peace, worked. It galvanized the leadership of the American Jewish community against the president, former Obama aide Ben Rhodes says in his new book. After the lecture, Rhodes was “given a list of leading Jewish donors to call, to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.”’
Comedian Roseanne Barr lost her show for racism in a tweet this week, but she has a long history of hateful speech about Palestinians and Muslims, and of likening supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to Nazis. In one case she impersonated Adolf Hitler in a photo meant as a joke, putting human-shaped cookies in an oven, and said the victims were Palestinians. She did not suffer career-wise for those comments.
Trump once laughed at the efforts of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rightwing supporters of the Netanyahu government, to “control” politicians. But 2-and-1/2 years later the group has emerged as a hub for fundraising for Trump and for setting his foreign policy agenda on Middle East issues. A former board member, Elliott Broidy, shows up in the Mueller probe, working with Israel lobby groups and the UAE to punish Hamas.
Tom Friedman of the Times says that Palestinians in Gaza are responsible for their own suffering because they have not marched to demand a two-state solution that preserves the Jewish state. He’s been giving Palestinians that advice for 7 years and ignoring their suffering under blockade.
A new documentary film, “Israelism,” nearing completion and scheduled for release over the next year, chronicles the changing attitudes among young American Jews toward Israel, in which they at last engage their liberal values with an intolerant country.