In the second coming of Ronald Lauder to the NYT op-ed page in five months, the Jewish leader concedes that Israel discriminates against the LGBT community — the exact opposite of Israel’s claims. The article shows that the newspaper aims to take on Netanyahu as a threat to Israel’s future. But Netanyahu doesn’t care.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Writer Reza Aslan reports on being interrogated and threatened with imprisonment at the Israeli border 2 weeks ago. “We can make it so you don’t see your kids for a long time.” “Why do you hate Israel?” “Stop lying!” “Who did your father work for in Iran?” Aslan says Israel is becoming a classic police state, and Americans should know about it.
The detention of Peter Beinart, an American Zionist writer, for an hour of political questioning at Israel’s main airport yesterday is causing alarm in Zionist circles about the country they love. “This is crazy,” writes a prominent neoconservative. J Street says the Beinart treatment is part of an Israeli government pattern of targeting American Jews, which is politically dangerous for Zionism. Of course Palestinians have experienced way worse for a long time.
Israeli forces have shot more than 4000 Palestinians during the 4-1/2 months of protests on the Gaza border, killing 124, but the New York Times has run a barrage of op-eds by regular columnists justifying the massacre. It is impossible to imagine Tom Friedman, Bret Stephens, Shmuel Rosner and Matti Friedman doing that for any other country smashing non-violent protest.
Bret Stephens says there’s nothing alarming in new law giving Jews the exclusive right of self determination in Israel. But as David Bromwich points out, the law is very much like Stephen Douglas’s argument in debating Lincoln, that “this Government was made. . .by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever.”
Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia has disappointed a lot of folks in the last day by siding with Israel over the latest exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza, and by essentially accusing British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-semitism.
Sen. Cory Booker was embarrassed after he posed with activists holding a sign decrying walls in Palestine and Mexico. And his aide quickly voiced support for Israel’s illegal wall: “security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives.” The dustup is a reminder, Democrats have regularly failed to back immigrant rights.
Northwestern University Hillel’s tour of Israel for student leaders is the same old propaganda trip to promote the country, but with a little more realism thrown in. Like a flyby in Ramallah with “Palestinian leaders,” on the same day that the students drink beer at Taybeh brewery in the West Bank and do three other events.
Canary Mission is threatening young people who advocate for Palestinians with negative career consequences. These young people need support from organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and career help from older professionals, and all Palestinian solidarity activists ought to register on Against Canary Mission.
David Rothkopf, Carnegie scholar and former editor of Foreign Policy, calls for “all manner of pressure,” including “boycotts” of Israel, because its new nation-state of the Jewish people has rendered it an “apartheid society,” an “un-Jewish state,” and undermined its “legitimacy.”
WNYC host Brian Lehrer rationalizes Israel’s nation-state law by saying that Israel under Netanyahu is in the same pickle as the U.S. under Trump. While guest Rabbi Farber says that the Israeli army is a “moral armed services… committed to preserving life.”
The new Israeli nation-state law makes racism “the national character,” foreign policy maven David Rothkopf says, and Israel is no longer in his heart. “American Jews have gone from a duty to support Israel to a duty to oppose Israel,” he writes.
“Gaza should be a thriving Mediterranean paradise,” if only the siege were lifted, Noam Chomsky says on Democracy Now! And: “Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done.”
Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz, today published an editorial titled “The apartheid prime minister” that states flatly that thanks to the new “nation state of the Jewish people” law that Netanyahu spearheaded, Israel under Netanyahu is an apartheid regime. Would that US media would follow the newspaper’s lead.
Head of the US Union for Reform Judaism calls deportation by Israel of Ariel Gold “disgraceful”. US religious leaders are trying to delay the day when they will have to say that Israel is disgraceful, though they never want to say that about Zionism.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may not know enough about Palestine, but she needs to hear from real progressives, not from the various shades of Zionism that have long held the Democratic Party hostage. She needs to understand that whereas Palestine may not be a regular topic of conversation around the kitchen table in a Porto Rican house, it is nevertheless an issue of national import.
Alan Dershowitz calls the new Israeli law declaring Israel “the nation state of the Jewish people” a mistake that was unnecessary and that will give ammunition to Israel’s critics and alienate American Jews. Israel lobby groups the ADL and J Street also say the law was unnecessary, and Israel’s Finance Minister calls it a “mistake.”
A Birthright participant who walked off the free trip for American Jews to Israel says the tour is like visiting the Jim Crow south and not hearing about segregation. Meantime, tour guide justifies map that doesn’t show Palestine by saying West Bank is “part of Israel” just like Tel Aviv.
It’s no coincidence that the New York Times real estate section featured a $4.8 million house in Israel — “Luxury on the Mediterranean Coast of Tel-Aviv” — the same week the Israeli parliament passed a law making Israel the “nation-state of the Jewish people.”
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).
“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.
A week after five young Jews walked off a “Birthright” tour of Israel, eight more left two groups. “I was shaking. It felt like a big risk,” one says. Then the group met Palestinians and understood their risk was nothing compared to what Palestinians face every day.
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.”
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.