Journalists have relied on Wikileaks for years to show readers in riveting detail the extent of the State Department and the Democratic Party’s catering to Israel, for instance to undermine the Iran deal. Whatever you think of him personally, Julian Assange has been a critical journalistic source, allowing news organizations to show the public how our leaders actually make policy.
Category Archives: US Aid to Israel
The Palestine issue is going to be hot on the Democratic campaign trail. Solidarity activists disrupted Booker and Buttigieg launch rallies, while Beto O Rourke congratulated Netanyahu but said his alignment with “hateful” parties threatens two-state solution. And Kamala Harris is doubling down on her AIPAC support, her spox saying support for Israel is “central to who she is.”
“Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. That will be our rallying cry as we fight this ancient scourge that sadly is on the rise today,” says Elan Carr, State Department anti-Semitism envoy. The Trump administration has officially lost its mind and is playing into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Since Netanyahu’s reelection, mainstream Democrats have taken up ardent opposition to his plan to annex parts of West Bank. Sec’y of State Mike Pompeo won’t say what Trump will do, but MD’s Chris Van Hollen dares to imagine one state with equal rights: “Would you agree that in a one state solution Palestinians should have full and equal political and legal rights with other citizens of that state?”
Even NPR believes that Trump’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization was a gift to the embattled Benjamin Netanyahu, who said it was one of his “requests” to Trump. How many other “requests” has Trump followed through on? He is surely doing so at the urging of his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson.
Five Democratic presidential candidates criticized Netanyahu for his election tactics, and Israel lobbyists have jumped into the breach to prevent the two countries from dividing politically. Elliott Abrams calls on Democratic Party leaders to break bread with Netanyahu if he wins. And you thought Abrams was a Republican!
As Netanyahu goes up for reelection tomorrow in Israel, the warning that liberal Zionists have long issued– the Jewish state will no longer be a democratic state but will be inherently racist — has become impossible for even the warners to ignore. J Street called on US politicians and Jews to condemn Netanyahu’s promise to annex West Bank settlements; and Beto O’Rourke did so.
Before Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, he says he got calls from “presidents, dictators, prime minister, kings, queens– everybody” and didn’t take the calls. Similar pressure kept previous presidents from making the move, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday, but moving the embassy made his biggest donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, very happy.
Cory Booker’s secret speech to AIPAC is so fulsome it’s hard to believe. Booker would cut off his right hand before abandoning Israel. There is no “greater moral vandalism” than seeking to divide the US and Israel. Booker lobbied black congresspeople not to boycott Netanyahu’s 2015 speech because we need to show a “united front” with Israel. And Donald Trump is endangering Israel’s security in Syria.
American Jewish organizations cultivated Zionism as a bulwark of Jewish identity and against assimilation, but the success of the indoctrination has created problems for American Jews. “Public antipathy toward Israel would all too likely spill over into hostility toward American Jews,” the American Jewish Committee warned in 1953.
Netanyahu’s latest ad bashing President Obama is making liberal Zionists angry, but it’s a reminder of a simple truth: Israelis dislike Obama and love Donald Trump. So there is good reason that the bipartisan consensus on Israel is breaking up here.
This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos, describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party’s slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall’s groundbreaking piece says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism.
Israeli spymaster Rafi Eitan died last week and the New York Times obituary mentioned suspicion that he had played a role in diverting enriched uranium from a US facility owned by Zionists in the 1960s so that Israel could get the bomb. When a pro-Israel group complained the Times removed the assertion though the evidence is overwhelming in the eyes of experts, Jefferson Morley reports.
The big story coming out of AIPAC is every one in the Democratic leadership dumping all over the first term Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, while having nothing to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have clearly damaged their own standing inside the progressive wing of the party, including among liberal Zionist advocates. When House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Omar should accuse him of dual loyalty for his support for Israel, he seemed to confirm what she had said.
On countless occasions House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called Israel’s creation the “greatest political achievement” of the 20th century. Today at AIPAC she said that it is just “one of the greatest political achievements” of that century! She must be feeling pressure from the Democratic base.
Last week presidential candidate California Senator Kamala Harris said she was skipping the AIPAC policy conference. But yesterday she met with AIPAC executives and proudly tweeted the photo, and AIPAC exulted that shed attended the conference after all! The flipflop follows years of Harris kissing up to the Israel lobby and to Benjamin Netanyahu.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the “simple, clear, progressive case for the state of Israel” at AIPAC this morning. He touched again and again on the Jewish history of persecution and “exclusion” and “expulsion” and never acknowledged that 750,000 Palestinians had been expelled from their lands at the birth of Israel in 1947-49. As such, his speech was a monument of Democratic denial of the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe.
A few months after telling AIPAC that “it’s such a great feeling” for an Israeli to know that AIPAC has his back, New York Times reporter Ronen Bergman is about to have that great feeling again. He’s speaking at AIPAC on Sunday in Washington, though the organization doesn’t mention his affiliation with the Times.
Many Democratic candidates for president are skipping the AIPAC conference because it’s offering a red carpet to a racist, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israel prime minister’s explicit slurs of Arabs have alarmed American progressives. But Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bill de Blasio and the New York Times haven’t noticed.
Benjamin Netanyahu is running for reelection on his strong relationship with the U.S. and Donald Trump, who has unofficially endorsed Netanyahu by allowing political allies and US ambassador to appear with the PM in occupied territories. Trump may well endorse Netanyahu outright when the Israeli visits the White House next week.
Liberal Zionists have set out rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby without offending them. They are trying to obscure a 70 year pattern of Zionists influencing U.S. policy, from the recognition of Israel’s establishment by Truman, who depended on Zionist donors, to Trump trashing the Iran deal in deference to Sheldon Adelson.
The recent declaration of anti-Zionism by Jewish Voice for Peace has the compassion necessary to reach liberal Zionists– and thus to break the consensus within the Jewish community. And because Jews are still the gatekeepers of the American discussion of Israel, the statement could ultimately move U.S. policy toward equality.
“Israel has a right to exist” is a rationalization of ethnically cleansing Palestinians. “Israel has a right to defend itself” is a rationalization of slaughtering Palestinians. The mainstream is filled with dehumanizing anti-Palestinian tropes, and it has never occurred to any of the mainstream liberal critics of Ilhan Omar to write about them. They need to get out of their bubble and see how America looks from the Middle East.
When the Democratic leadership backed down on its anti-Ilhan Omar resolution, it signaled that a movement for Palestinian human rights that has been crushed several times by the party in recent years now must be reckoned with as the mood of the progressive base. Leading presidential candidates support Omar, and Gallup shows that liberal Democrats are nearly as sympathetic to Palestinians as Israelis.
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.