Gerard Araud, the outgoing French ambassador to the US, says Jared Kushner has “no guts” and his peace plan is “very close” to what Israel wants. “He is so pro-Israeli he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter.”
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
American liberal Zionists and rightwing Zionists wrote opposing letters to Trump this week over Netanyahu’s plans to annex West Bank settlements. The open squabbling is a result of Trump’s extreme support for Israel and also the 52-year-long occupation, which has at last brought a crisis to the Jewish establishment’s consensus, that to be Jewish means to support Israel.
Journalists have relied on Wikileaks for years to show readers in riveting detail the extent of the State Department and the Democratic Party’s catering to Israel, for instance to undermine the Iran deal. Whatever you think of him personally, Julian Assange has been a critical journalistic source, allowing news organizations to show the public how our leaders actually make policy.
The Palestine issue is going to be hot on the Democratic campaign trail. Solidarity activists disrupted Booker and Buttigieg launch rallies, while Beto O Rourke congratulated Netanyahu but said his alignment with “hateful” parties threatens two-state solution. And Kamala Harris is doubling down on her AIPAC support, her spox saying support for Israel is “central to who she is.”
On “60 Minutes,” Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive and dismissed leftwing congresswomen as a mere “five people,” and Lesley Stahl never challenged her about the fissure in the party over Israel. Though more and more commentators are saying that Israel support has become the battleground among Democrats, and Pelosi is busy catering to AIPAC and Netanyahu.
“Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. That will be our rallying cry as we fight this ancient scourge that sadly is on the rise today,” says Elan Carr, State Department anti-Semitism envoy. The Trump administration has officially lost its mind and is playing into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Since Netanyahu’s reelection, mainstream Democrats have taken up ardent opposition to his plan to annex parts of West Bank. Sec’y of State Mike Pompeo won’t say what Trump will do, but MD’s Chris Van Hollen dares to imagine one state with equal rights: “Would you agree that in a one state solution Palestinians should have full and equal political and legal rights with other citizens of that state?”
The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.
Even NPR believes that Trump’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization was a gift to the embattled Benjamin Netanyahu, who said it was one of his “requests” to Trump. How many other “requests” has Trump followed through on? He is surely doing so at the urging of his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson.
Five Democratic presidential candidates criticized Netanyahu for his election tactics, and Israel lobbyists have jumped into the breach to prevent the two countries from dividing politically. Elliott Abrams calls on Democratic Party leaders to break bread with Netanyahu if he wins. And you thought Abrams was a Republican!
As Netanyahu goes up for reelection tomorrow in Israel, the warning that liberal Zionists have long issued– the Jewish state will no longer be a democratic state but will be inherently racist — has become impossible for even the warners to ignore. J Street called on US politicians and Jews to condemn Netanyahu’s promise to annex West Bank settlements; and Beto O’Rourke did so.
Before Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, he says he got calls from “presidents, dictators, prime minister, kings, queens– everybody” and didn’t take the calls. Similar pressure kept previous presidents from making the move, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday, but moving the embassy made his biggest donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, very happy.
The late Israeli author Amos Oz thought that Palestinians who wanted to return to the homes their grandparents were forced to flee in Israel suffered from a disease called “Reconstritis,” as did settlers who sought a biblical transformation of the West Bank. At a Washington memorial service for the author, his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger cited the malady in extolling Zionism as a force that saved millions of Jewish lives.
Police arrested 15 members of IfNotNow outside Birthright HQ in NY today after 100s of Jews demonstrated against the organization’s propaganda tours of Israel. Protester Yonah said that when he asked questions about Palestinians on his trip, his tour guide sat him down and said, “If you keep pulling this shit, I’m going to have to report you.” Yonah was “terrified” and shut up.
The polls from Israel are dispiriting. Netanyahu is the most popular leader, the young adore him; and even if the opposition wins, its government will be rightwing. And the occupation will not end. So the election will challenge Americans to stand up at last for Palestinian rights.
Anti-Palestinian racism is at last moving the needle in US politics. The demotion by leadership of NY City Councilman Kalman Yeger for his anti-Palestinian comments this week sends a message to the Democratic Party nationwide, that the profound political shifts that the left is generating on a host of issues, from sexual harassment to economic inequity, will include Palestine, too.
Rising Democratic star Pete Buttigieg went to Israel at the height of Gaza killings last May on an Israel-lobby-sponsored trip and came home praising the country for its “clear-eyed” decisions on security. He faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments of the country based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”
Cory Booker’s secret speech to AIPAC is so fulsome it’s hard to believe. Booker would cut off his right hand before abandoning Israel. There is no “greater moral vandalism” than seeking to divide the US and Israel. Booker lobbied black congresspeople not to boycott Netanyahu’s 2015 speech because we need to show a “united front” with Israel. And Donald Trump is endangering Israel’s security in Syria.
American Jewish organizations cultivated Zionism as a bulwark of Jewish identity and against assimilation, but the success of the indoctrination has created problems for American Jews. “Public antipathy toward Israel would all too likely spill over into hostility toward American Jews,” the American Jewish Committee warned in 1953.
The New York Times parrots claims by Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo that Israel owns the Golan Heights because it was taken in a “defensive war” in 1967, ignoring the historical record. Israel launched the war, the Arab states did not want war. “We chose to attack them,” former premier Menachem Begin said.
Netanyahu’s latest ad bashing President Obama is making liberal Zionists angry, but it’s a reminder of a simple truth: Israelis dislike Obama and love Donald Trump. So there is good reason that the bipartisan consensus on Israel is breaking up here.
This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos, describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party’s slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall’s groundbreaking piece says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism.
Israeli spymaster Rafi Eitan died last week and the New York Times obituary mentioned suspicion that he had played a role in diverting enriched uranium from a US facility owned by Zionists in the 1960s so that Israel could get the bomb. When a pro-Israel group complained the Times removed the assertion though the evidence is overwhelming in the eyes of experts, Jefferson Morley reports.
The big story coming out of AIPAC is every one in the Democratic leadership dumping all over the first term Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, while having nothing to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have clearly damaged their own standing inside the progressive wing of the party, including among liberal Zionist advocates. When House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Omar should accuse him of dual loyalty for his support for Israel, he seemed to confirm what she had said.
Israeli politician Benny Gantz raised the specter of dual loyalty of Jews in other nations when he said yesterday, “If there is one Jew in danger, anywhere in the world, then our mission is unfinished.”