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Israel is ‘becoming a full-blown police state,’ Reza Aslan says after interrogation at border

Mondoweiss Editors on

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.

Beinart’s detention at airport is said to signal new Israeli policy re American Jewish dissenters

Philip Weiss on

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.

What V.S. Naipaul said at the 92d Street Y

Philip Weiss on

VS Naipaul left Trinidad so as to find a wider field for his literary imagination, and in doing so left the joyful material of his first few books. He was a travel writer chronicling human viciousness, and gained influence as the world’s writer because of his brilliant style. Till his prejudices became predictable.

‘NYT’ has run nonstop defenses by its columnists of killing protesters in Gaza

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on

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 echoes Stephen Douglas, defending Israel’s new law in ‘NYT’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

WNYC hosts Israeli rabbi who is optimistic about new nation-state law

Philip Weiss on

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.”

‘A very, very, very bad law’ — Justice Joubran on Israel’s new nation state law

Philip Weiss on

Salim Joubran, the first Palestinian justice on the Israeli Supreme Court (2004-2017), earlier this year derided the law the Israeli parliament passed this month declaring Israel the nation state of the Jewish people.
“This law is a very, very, very bad law for the state of Israel… The only thing is to cause damages to the Arab population.”

The challenge to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Nada Elia on

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.

To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s critics: This is no time for sloganeering

Jamie Stern-Weiner on

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unprecedented victory in a NY congressional district was followed by her endorsement of the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, generating angry criticism from leftwingers who seek one democratic state. But she is now in a position to give voice to the victims of US foreign policy, not least the Palestinian people. It would verge on criminal to saddle her with a position that dooms her to political irrelevance, writes Jamie Stern-Weiner.

Russiagate is a ghost story for liberals

Donald Johnson on

Why do Democrats have to get to Trump’s right on Russia? It used to be that talking to Putin was smart, even if he is a ruthless man, because Democrats like Obama are smart and try to reduce tensions. But now it seems Putin might have stolen emails and run some Facebook ads and Russians are better at using stolen Democratic campaign analytics than the Clinton campaign was, The hypocrisy only exposes the warmongering side of the Democratic establishment.

They made the real estate section bloom

Liz Rose on

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.”

‘The New York Times’ parrots Israeli brigadier general on Gaza attack

James North on

Once again, the ‘NY Times’ distorts its reporting about Israel’s latest air attack on Gaza. The Times takes 3 paragraphs of dictation from an Israeli brigadier general, and, for good measure, adds another paragraph from a lower-level military mouthpiece. But the paper found no room to interview people like Ayman Odeh.

Once again, Israel’s influence outpaces Russia’s

Philip Weiss on

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.

US has intervened in twice as many elections as Russia

Philip Weiss on

When the US was exposed interfering in the Ukrainian election in 2014, Obama aide Ben Rhodes expressed rage at the Russians for disclosing that face, in a violation of major power etiquette. His hypocrisy is typical. The US has intervened in 81 foreign elections since 1946, Russian or the Soviet Union only 36 times, per a leading study.

‘NY Times’ uses old tricks to distort Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza

James North on

Once again, the ‘NY Times’ uses old tricks to distort its coverage of Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza. The Times did report that Muhammad Abdelaal, a 30-year-old, “was interviewed at Shifa Hospital while soaked with blood and being treated for his wounds” — but, unlike the three Israelis the paper quotes, he apparently didn’t say anything quotable.

On Rabbi Andy Bachman’s public congratulations to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rabbi Brant Rosen on

Rabbi Brant Rosen responds to Jewish community leaders who praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win in the Democratic primary but chastised her for tweeting about a “massacre” in Gaza: “I’m also troubled that you chose not to respond to her actual words, opting instead to give her a tutorial on the history of Zionism.”

Hasbara is dead

Philip Weiss on

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.