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‘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.

Democrats are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban

Philip Weiss on

Progressive Democratic politicians and organizations are losing their fear of AIPAC and Haim Saban and starting to be openly critical of Israel. Few Democrats have defended Israel’s actions at the Gaza border, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace points out. While 13 senators have been critical.

Mal Hyman’s outspokenness on Gaza massacre is a sign of things to come in Democratic races

Philip Weiss on

Progressive Mal Hyman, in a South Carolina runoff for a Congressional nomination, has been outspoken about Israeli human rights violations. He blames the U.S. for supporting colonialism and sees U.S. failure in the Middle East as giving progressives an opening to bring in humane ideas. AIPAC has asked for a meeting and Hyman says, “Wonderful,” but we’ll disagree. His boldness on these issues is a sign of things to come in Democratic races.

The dangers of conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

Donna Nevel on

In an article criticizing the intersectional left at the Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon continuously reinforces the false and dangerous notion that to oppose Zionism is to be against Jews: “Jews feel that when they do show up, there’s always something wrong with them.” Zionism is an ideology, Donna Nevel asserts; and even if Jews adhere to it, it is not “anti-Jewish” to oppose it.

‘The Israeli military said,’ the New York Times reports

Norman G. Finkelstein on

To determine whether demonstrations in Gaza are “peaceful protests or violent riots,” New York Times reporter David Halbfinger imbedded himself with Israeli forces. The one-sided report follows a pattern, Norman Finkelstein says, in which Times writers rely on official Israeli statements to portray the encounters at the fence as armed confrontations in which Israeli snipers return the fire of protesters.

Don’t expect Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris to be critical of Israel

Philip Weiss on

Most of the big Democratic donors featured in a NYT article on presidential hopefuls raising money in NY are pro-Israel. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren need $30 million for a campaign war chest, so they are unlikely to say anything critical of Israel. Both progressives have demonstrated as much during the Gaza massacre.

Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren’t Jewish

Philip Weiss on

“There is no Judaism without Zionism,” Yossi Klein Halevi states flatly in his new book; and Jewish Voice for Peace and anti-Zionists are not part of the Jewish community. This intolerance has not stopped many liberal Zionists from embracing him, including J Street, Jodi Rudoren, David Gregory and Cokie Roberts.

‘New York Times’ teams up with Israel to smear slain medic Razzan al-Najjar as ‘complex,’ not innocent

Donald Johnson, James North and Philip Weiss on

The New York Times echoes Israeli propaganda about slain Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar, saying she was “more complex” than the innocent woman described in reports. If Russians issued such a cynical slander of a protester, the Times would be the first to denounce it. But it’s Israel, and the Times collaborates in blaming the victim.