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.
Category Archives: Islamophobia
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.
Israel’s Supreme Court said Lara Alqasem, the 22-year-old Palestinian-American student detained for 15 days at Ben Gurion airport, is free to enter the country and pursue studies. Though championed by J Street and Americans for Peace Now, Alqasem got no public support from her representatives, Florida Senators Nelson and Rubio, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Several Democratic candidates this fall — Andrew Gillum in Florida, Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania, Ben Jealous in Maryland, Beto O’Rourke in Texas, and Ted Deutch in Florida — have issued statements against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, as Republicans try to make Israel a political issue in the fall races.
Thank god for NYT columnist Tom Friedman for blurting out the elites’ real view of the Middle East: the likely murder of his Saudi friend Jamal Khashoggi was worse than the Saudi-perpetrated Yemen genocide. And PS, his newspaper was sponsoring a conference in Saudi Arabia.
A NYT report that an Israeli intelligence firm with government connections reached out to the Trump campaign in 2016 to manipulate the election process is more evidence of rightwing Israeli interference in the 2016 campaign, supported by Sheldon Adelson’s millions. And Israel has reaped huge rewards: the killing of the Iran deal and move of the embassy to Jerusalem.
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.
Spending a week in Ben-Gurion airport under a deportation order has surely been uncomfortable for 22-year-old American student Lara Alqasem, but the detention has done a great deal to advertise the Israeli government’s intolerance of criticism. NYT conservatives Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss plead with Israel to release her lest the case alienate American Jews; while an Israeli government minister says Alqasem can come in if she renounces her earlier ideas.
The president of San Francisco State University recently announced he will be stepping down, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi writes before he leaves office, “there is a real opportunity for President Wong and for SFSU and CSU to stand up for public education, to be accountable to the public, to reject and end complicity with right-wing pressures and donors.”
NY Congressman Eliot Engel told an AIPAC audience last night that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other progressive Democrats who may enter Congress “need to be educated” to support Israel. The event came on the heels of a New York Times article on the new wave of progressive Democrats who have “dared to breach what has been an almost inviolable orthodoxy in both political parties, strong support for Israel.”
Jeffrey Goldberg used to quiz our leaders about Israel as a representative of the Jewish establishment. But he had nearly 40 minutes with Hillary Clinton and never mentioned that parochial subject. The Atlantic editor understands, the brand is toxic.
Nobel laureate biologist George Smith has repeatedly been smeared for his anti-Zionist views, characterized as a bully, a heckler, and a hater akin to David Duke. If we know anything from his considerable efforts to criticize Zionism, Smith will not rest on his laurels.
George Smith, the University of Missouri biologist who shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry, said a “web” of scientists deserved credit for his achievement. In his humility and the celebration by Palestinian advocates of his prize, there is a sense that Smith’s laurels were also shared by Palestine.
Floridian Lara Alqasem, 22, has a visa to study for a master’s degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem but was detained at the Israeli border Tuesday and Israel seeks to deport her as a BDS activist. She was also “asked about her ethnicity and the names of her father and grandfather,” both of whom are Palestinian. Her congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s first thought is to defend Israel, though she is looking into the case.
Tearing up the Iran deal and moving the embassy to Jerusalem got rewards for the U.S. A new Pew poll of global attitudes says that while most countries see the U.S. as not considering their country’s interests in foreign policy decisions, Israelis see it the other way. Eighty-six percent of Israelis say the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account, compared to 27 percent of Brits, 19 percent of Germans, 18 percent of the French.
“The world has a name for that form of government that’s codified in [Israel’s] nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.” In speech, US Rep Betty McCollum, who represents St Paul, MN, and its suburbs demonstrates incredible leadership. The Democrat is also sponsoring groundbreaking legislation to cut off US funds that go to Israel’s detention and torture of children.
Trump all but called for regime change in Iran at the UN even as his secretary of state and national security adviser addressed Sheldon Adelson’s outfit, United Against Nuclear Iran. The Times has noticed Adelson’s enormous influence but it would be helpful if the press discussed the right wing Israel lobby’s push for war.
In the last year, Israel’s supporters in the U.S. have been making frank appeals to Jewish money and power as weapons to fight Israel’s delegitimization from the left. Josh Block of the Israel Project says there are “billions… at rest in our community” that can be used to invest in media properties and make them tribunes for Israel.
Avigail Abarbanel calls on liberal Zionists such as Rabbi Daniel Zemel to stop pretending to be nice and say clearly and unequivocally that they believe that the Jewish people have more right to survive than the Palestinian people, that Zionist forces were justified to kick 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes to create Israel.
The anti-Palestinian racist viewpoint is adequately represented at the New York Times by Bret Stephens and Tom Friedman, who at least write about other things— Stephens wants war with Iran and doesn’t like Trump, Friedman loves CEO’s and occasionally says something sensible about global warming. But Shmuel Rosner can do only one thing: serve up rightwing propaganda for Israel.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of a Reform temple in Washington, D.C., says that Jewish “anti-Israelists” are scorning their “birthright” because of Israel’s rightwing practices. And Dana Milbank in the Washington Post warns that Israel’s future is at risk because the Jewish community here is dividing over support for it.
On Yom Kippur, Marc Ellis reflects that the historical damage done to Palestinians and the occupation of Palestine itself is permanent, making it difficult to read Jewish theologians who were optimistic about Israel as at best simplistic. It is becoming more and more difficult to read hopeful interpretations of Jewish life and Israel.
Financier Seth Klarman has long given to rightwing pro-Israel causes, but NYT’s Bari Weiss doesn’t mention Israel in an article on Klarman turning on the Republican Party and Trump. A pro-Israel advocate herself, she’s protecting the Israel lobby from scrutiny.
The Jewish tribalist culture that sees Jews as heirs to a sacred macho victimhood and Israelis militarism as the answer was promoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, the leading American Jewish journalist. It created Netanyahu’s Israel, which Goldberg and his friends are now trying to flee as they try to take on Trump.
In a sermon decrying anti-Semitism, Central Synagogue rabbi Angela Buchdahl calls out the left for demonizing Israel by demanding that young Jews renounce Zionism in order to take part in social justice causes. But Israel is a liberal ideal, she says, “Jews have always been at the forefront against oppression.” And Israels killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border is “complicated.”