Ilhan Omar is accused of antisemitism in fostering a “hoary myth of dual loyalty” to Israel. But Jews from Joe Klein to Eric Alterman to Melissa Weintraub to MJ Rosenberg say that allegiance to Israel is actually an important factor in the support for Israel in the United States, to the point that some support Israel’s interests over America’s.
Category Archives: US Politics
When the leading party in the Israeli elections, Blue and White, says it won’t work with “Arabs” to form a coalition, and the Labor Party announces its new agenda of “Three Paths to Separation” from Palestinians, you’d think there’s something wrong with the Israeli Jewish polity. But liberal Zionists can’t catch a clue…
Liberals like Batya Ungar-Sargon and Bari Weiss may argue that the racism of the Jewish Power Party is not their vision of Zionism, but Jonathan Ofir says the Kahanists represent the reality under Zionism.
Americans who want to push for a just and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine need to break free of the mindset that it’s somehow “desirable” or even “normal” for the U.S. monopoly over the peace process to continue.
Jewish Broadcasting Service hosts a hot-tub of xenophobia and Islamophobia, as Jonathan Mark of the Jewish Week says immigration is the “nurtured baby issue” of the Democratic Party and Tlaib, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez host districts of “new” people who come from “anti-semitic” countries, and Thane Rosenbaum of NYU says that 70 to 90 percent of Muslim Arabs believe in sharia law and therefore don’t belong in a pluralistic, constitutional democracy.
Many people have compared Palestinian conditions to the Jim Crow south, from Jimmy Carter to Condoleezza Rice to Rashida Tlaib. So it’s jarring to learn that Sen. Kamala Harris, in private comments to AIPAC last year, said the famous civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965 inspires her to build a bridge with Israel supporters.
The unprecedented criticism of an Israeli prime minister by AIPAC and the splitting of the Palestinian parties into two lists may represent Israeli centrist Benny Gantz’s only road to knocking off Benjamin Netanyahu in April elections. Netanyahu is already calling Gantz an “Arab-lover” while Gantz has criticized Netanyahu for endangering Israel’s crown jewels, its ties to the U.S. government.
Bari Weiss recycles old pro-Israel talking points. Her line, “if you were an alien that landed from outer space, you would think that the greatest oppressor in the world” is Israel sounds a lot like Alan Dershowitz in 2002: “If a visitor from a far away galaxy were to land at an American… university… he would probably come away with the conclusion that the Earth is a peaceful and fair planet with only one villainous nation.”
Back in 1983, a settler leader explained to the writer Amos Oz that Defense Minister Shimon Peres had allowed the settler movement to thrive in the West Bank and they only needed to get to 100,000 settlers in five years to end the possibility of a Palestinian state “for good.” So why has the US establishment ignored this truth — there will not be a two-state solution — for 30 years?
Elizabeth Warren echoes the racist framing of Israel’s problems with Palestinian babies: “Over time realities are bearing down on Israel, demographic realities, births and deaths.” Imagine speaking of brown babies threatening the U.S.’s character. And no, she can’t mention settlements either.
The merger of centrists Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid in a joint party to take on Netanyahu in the April election has sparked “euphoria” for liberal Zionists who dream of ending the Netanyahu regime. Dubbed a new Labor Party, the merger gained strength from Netanyahu’s deal with a racist party that angered many American Jewish groups.
Alice Rothchild says it is no longer acceptable for progressives and liberal minded Jews to ignore racist policies and practices in the Land of Israel that are increasingly condemned in the United States.
The Trump administration appears to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. Asked yesterday about US service for Palestinians once the Jerusalem consulate is folded next month, the State Dep’t said “we have active involvement in all of Israel.”
In 1982 Jane Fonda could support Israeli troops invading Beirut because Israel still had some luster of its socialist beginnings. Now the ideological winds have fully shifted, Helena Cobban writes, and Israel’s supporters don’t use moral arguments to justify American backing, but “strategic” role in countering America’s supposed enemies.
The essential dynamic at the core of the Israel lobby’s activities is American Jews’ belief that they are lesser than Israelis because they have easy lives and their kids don’t serve in the army in a tough neighborhood. So they must buy US political support for Israel no matter what it does. That guilt trip is finally coming to an end.
When Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward landed on Rep. Ilhan Omar for an alleged anti-Semitic “trope” in calling out the Israel lobby’s use of money to influence politicians, she joined the army of slanderers ready to assign any criticism of Israel to one alleged anti-Semitic prejudice or another.
Former AIPAC official M.J. Rosenberg has confirmed that Ilhan Omar’s description of AIPAC as being “all about the Benjamins” is actually right. He describes how AIPAC manages to handle money without it being official. We should thank Rep. Ilhan Omar for keying the debate.
Vice President Mike Pence accused “the murderous revolutionary regime” of Iran of calling for “another Holocaust” during a two-day summit in Warsaw yesterday where the Trump administration is rallying support for action against the Islamic Republic.
In the US, just as in Israel, Palestinian suffering is silenced, and any mainstream discussion of Palestinian pain immediately gets redirected towards sympathy with Israel, and gets recast as an act of bad faith. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to be smeared with such false accusations of antisemitism by Zionists who are alarmed at the growing support for Palestinians in Congress. We can’t let this happen.
The overwhelming outrage toward Ilhan Omar from the Democratic Party is happening because she is challenging Zionism in the mainstream, and she is not a Jew or a Zionist. Much of that response is racist; but Omar’s challenge will not be defeated, no matter how many Benjamins — from Netanyahu to Gantz — come our way.
One snarky tweet about the Israel lobby buying politicians, and the sky falls in; Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is widely accused of anti-semitism. But no one in the political class sees it as a problem when Israel shoots Palestinian protesters. And that’s the sincere root of the US love for Israel: unconscious racism against Palestinians.
Jewish journalists like to project the power of the Israel lobby on to Christian evangelicals, when in fact the Democratic Party is beholden to the Jewish part of the lobby. The journalists shift the blame because they think a discussion of Jewish influence is anti-semitic, but by doing so they are denying plain facts.
A Maryland software engineer and former state delegate is suing his state’s governor for signing an executive order into law which targets and penalizes supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), in what he says is a violation of his First Amendment rights.
The Democratic House leadership, which has appeared at AIPAC events, condemned MN Rep. Ilhan Omar for her anti-AIPAC tweets, calling them “anti-semitic.” The party leaders are clearly terrified that Israel is going to tear the party apart, as anti-Zionism takes hold in the progressive base.
Ilhan Omar was right to point out the impact of AIPAC’s money. AIPAC is seeking now to silence criticism of the inhumane occupation by screaming about anti-semitism and claiming that nobody may ever talk about how the Israel lobby uses money — Activist Ady Barkan relates a story from the campaign trail.