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US Aid to Israel

On many occasions, our website has relied on ‘Wikileaks’ revelations to report depth of U.S.-Israel relationship

Philip Weiss on

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.

Booker and Buttigieg launches are disrupted by Palestinian protest, while Harris spox says ‘supporting Israel is central to who she is’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

‘Things could move very quickly’ — Dems are now the anti-annexation party, taking on Netanyahu and Pompeo

Philip Weiss on
Trump signs at Likud/Netanyahu victory party, April 9-10, 2019. Tweeted by Donald Trump.

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?”

Agonized US Zionists — and O’Rourke — see doomsday in another Netanyahu victory

Philip Weiss on
Benjamin Netanyahu, March 2019. Israeli Government Press Office.

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.

Trump brags he blew off calls from world leaders to give Adelsons the greatest gift: Jerusalem

Philip Weiss on
Sheldon Adelson at the RJC, from Amichai Stein's twitter feed. April 6, 2019.

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 says there’s no ‘greater moral vandalism’ than abandoning Israel (and he’ll cut off his hand first)

Philip Weiss on

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.

Israel’s Palestinian problem and the Diaspora’s Israel problem

Abba Solomon on

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.

‘New York Times’ reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats’ regressive position on Israel

Philip Weiss on

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.

Rafi Eitan, spy at center of Israel’s great uranium heist from the U.S.

Jefferson Morley on
Rafi Eitan at an Israeli cabinet meeting in 2006 (Photo: Yoav Lemmer-Pool/Getty Images)

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.

Democratic leaders’ use of AIPAC to bash Omar and ignore Netanyahu just gave progressive Dems a giant boost

Philip Weiss on

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.

Kamala Harris skips AIPAC conference — but AIPAC comes to her!

Philip Weiss on

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.

De Blasio speech at AIPAC is a monument of progressive Democratic racism against Palestinians

Philip Weiss on
NY Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses AIPAC policy conference, March 25, 2019. Screenshot from AIPAC livestream.

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. 

Don’t accept the rules for how to criticize the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

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.

JVP’s anti-Zionist statement can reach liberal Zionists, and that’s important

Liz Rose on

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.

Anti-Palestinian tropes

Donald Johnson on

“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.

Democrats are now officially split on Israel, and we can thank Ilhan Omar and BDS

Philip Weiss on
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) arrives for her victory party on election night in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. (Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images)

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.