Israeli officials asked Trump to intervene on the UN Security Council vote against settlements during the transition in 2016, and Mike Flynn did it, and is now criminally charged in that connection. But the New York Times leaves Israel out when it opines about Flynn’s guilt in the Russian influence scandal.
Category Archives: Media
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.
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.
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 orthodox anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta is often kept at arms length by the left because of its socially conservative views. Filmmaker Heather Tenzer reached out to Neturei Karta for her upcoming documentary, The Rabbis’ Intifada, and shows how the group has been able to build bridges with conservative religious Muslims, thereby offering a challenge to our ideas about activism.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
After the latest violence in Gaza, the New York Times once again slants its coverage to humanize Israel and demonize Palestinians.
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.
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!”
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.
Last night’s midterm elections saw a historic opening for critics of Israel. Three women stars of the Democratic Party who have openly criticized Israel’s human rights record were elected to Congress. But the new Democratic faces include many big backers of US Israel special relationship: Max Rose in Staten Island, Mikie Sherrill in northern New Jersey, both in the Congress, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
The problem with Oren Rosenfeld’s feel-good Israeli movie, “Hummus! The Movie!” is not the cultural appropriation of a dish, but the willfully blind message that Jews, Muslims and Christians get along great in borderless Israel, Ahmed Abdelmageed explains. (And hey– don’t put pumpkin spice in hummus.)
Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, who has been everywhere in the media explaining Pittsburgh, has a history of accusing leftwing critics of Zionism of anti-semitism as “damaging” as white nationalism. Last January he accused IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace of anti-Semitism, and he said his former boss President Obama had made a “series of missteps” on Middle East policy.
Clyde Haberman of the New York Times accuses Democratic congressional candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of being “hostile toward Israel and maybe… toward Jews in general” in a discussion at the Center for Jewish History. Neither Rabbi Jill Jacobs or Halie Sofier of the Democratic Jewish council pushed back against the smear.
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.
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.
Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents says there’s only one way to counter negative media about Israel swaying Jewish youth: “Inoculate” Jews in kindergarten about everything good Israel does. And wait till you hear about his program for Israel to host a “World Jewish Singles” event to bring Jews from around the world to Israel to meet and mate.
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.