In 1991 the late George H.W. Bush took on Israel and its lobby over settlement construction, famously saying “I’m one lonely little guy” against 1000 lobbyists. Some say the stance made him a one-term president, and paved the way for his son to out-Israel his father, with disastrous results.
Category Archives: Israel Lobby
Rashida Tlaib likens the Israeli occupation to the Jim Crow south. Both Jimmy Carter and Condoleezza Rice made the same analogy, to the south of their youths, and both suffered politically for it.
Pro-Palestine and free speech activists who have been mobilizing against the Israel Anti-Boycott Act are sounding an alarm about rumors of a secret attempt this week to slip the legislation, which the ACLU has declared unconstitutional even in its revised form, into the must-pass House spending bill before the blue wave comes into power.
“Changes in Israeli society are rendering the Liberal Zionist program impracticable and irrelevant,” Daniel Solomon writes in 972. They are destined for the dustbin of history along with the Whig Party! And it’s time for liberal Zionists to choose liberalism over Zionism. That’s why Solomon declares himself a “non-Zionist.”
Robert Herbst responds to CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill: “Hill’s provocative call for freedom for Palestinians in the whole of historic Palestine (or Greater Israel), in a single state guaranteeing rights for both peoples, did not mention Jews or Israelis, leaving him vulnerable to the false attack that he was advocating eliminating Jews from the Holy Land.”
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.
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times, asserts that the three heads of the “dragon” of anti-Semitism are white nationalists, Islamists and leftwing anti-Semites who masquerade as anti-Zionists. As if leftwingers who support Palestinian human rights are just as dangerous as neo-Nazis who kill Jews.
The demands for Marc Lamont Hill’s head from supporters of Israel that evidently led to his firing by CNN as well as expressions of solidarity from Palestinian supporters show that the end of the two-state-solution is bringing about open ideological conflict in the U.S. establishment, with supporters of Palestinians being accused of anti-Semitism, much as they are in the U.K.
CNN fires commentator Marc Lamont Hill for saying Palestine should be free “from river to sea,” but it allowed Israeli official Michael Oren to tell former AIPAC aide Wolf Blitzer to say that Palestinians fabricated video that children were killed by Israeli soldiers, even as an executive at CNN’s parent company was writing speeches for Benjamin Netanyahu, no problem.
Liberal Zionist hero Tzipi Livni says Netanyahu is paving the way to the “nightmare of Zionism” — a greater Israel with a Palestinian majority, when the true “vision” of Zionism is a Jewish majority, which can only be attained by “separation… separation… separation.” Her words echo George Wallace calling for segregation forever in 1963, but it didn’t last.
After Beto O’Rourke said yesterday he wouldn’t rule out a presidential run in 2020, many progressives revived his pro-Israel, pro-AIPAC tweet of September and announced they’re out of love with the rising Democratic star.
Nada Elia binge watches all four parts of the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby” that was leaked online earlier this month. While there were no bombshells, the series shows astroturfed pro-Israel groups on campus, but Elia notes, “the lack of conviction is painful, almost pathetic, when the fakes come face to face with the real grassroots, the student organizers with SJP.”
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.
Echoing the Israeli government talking points, the ADL said that the Airbnb decision to end listings in the occupied West Bank was a capitulation to the anti-Semitic BDS campaign. Peter Beinart challenges the ADL to do its job and bear witness to the 51-year-old occupation that denies millions of Palestinians any freedom.
US writers in intellectual journals bash Zionism. “It is anathema to say so,” Nathan Goldman writes in the Baffler, but Zionism is ethnonationalism, which is the opposite of liberal democracy; while Molly Crabapple writes in the New York Review of Books, “Jewish ethno-nationalism is a poison like all ethno-nationalisms.”
When it comes to the profession of liberal values in Hollywood, Israel is still the exception. Pharrell Williams and Gerard Butler support the Israeli army– and dis Trump and Saudi Arabia. Producer Jason Blum appears at a Sheldon Adelson-sponsored event, but trashes Trump.
Eight Democratic women of color newly elected to Congress appear to epitomize the progressive base’s ambivalence on Israel. Deb Haaland of New Mexico condemned the “murder” of Palestinians last March. Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts backs a bill to withdraw US funds from Israeli detention of children.
Bari Weiss’s said last night “you better believe” that the insurgent leftwing non-Zionist Jewish group IfNotNow welcomed rightwing Israeli officials flying in to Pittsburgh to express condolences in the wake of the Oct. 27 massacre at the synagogue because they were expressing the spirit of “Am Yisrael,” the people of Israel. Nothing could be further from the case.
This morning a billboard outside Boston celebrating Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar, who was slain in Gaza in June, was taken down under political pressure. The billboard is aimed at undermining negative stereotypes about Palestinian society.
“Israel has the most extraordinary asset in its hands, the support of American Jewry. This is a natural resource that is more precious and more unique– it’s like vibranium that you can only mine in Wakanda. And it has more value than Bitcoin or erethreum, but it is a natural resource that you will squander and you will suboptimize and that won’t always be there if you don’t manage it well.” Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL.
NYT columnist Bret Stephens says American Jews won’t abandon Israel because “everyone’s attractive” there. Birthright is “fantastic” because “not only do you go, but you hook up! So it’s like a twofer, and that’s the explicit purpose. It’s like, Discover your Judaism, and she’s hot!”
A Netanyahu official once again shows contempt for American Jews in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Israeli consul general Dani Dayan calls out British leader Jeremy Corbyn as an “anti-Semite” because he supports Palestinian rights and Iran as a “genocidal regime.” Dayan says not a word about Trump, though 3/4 of US Jews hold Trump responsible for Pittsburgh.
Jewish spaces in New York host one discussion after another this week featuring Jews arguing about the Jewish and Israeli future, and all these panels are segregated; because the Jewish leadership is terrified of actually hearing Palestinians speaking on their own terms.
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.
Ted Kennedy was ready to drop out of challenge to Jimmy Carter in winter 1980, then Carter endorsed a UN Security Council resolution calling Jerusalem occupied. Kennedy went on to win NY primary and weaken Carter ahead of his loss to Reagan. So reports Stu Eizenstat, Israel advocate for Carter and Hillary Clinton.