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.
Category Archives: US Aid to Israel
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.
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.
Does AIPAC use money to influence Congress, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. Of course it does! Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List said that before congressional candidates even have a campaign manager or a policy director, they go to AIPAC to get a position paper on Israel “because this is how we raise money” from the “Jewish community.”
Bret Stephens’s long opinion piece in the New York Times equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a boon to the anti-Zionist movement. His claims that it is anti-Semitic to see “wickedness” in unending occupation and that all American Jews are Zionists are debating points he will only lose. The piece makes anti-Zionism a topic for every dinner table and turns BDS into a household word.
Jimmy Carter said he’d ‘commit suicide’ before he abandoned Israel, but American Jewish leaders did not trust him because of his parallel commitment to a “Palestinian homeland” and opposition to Israeli settlements, Stuart Eizenstat writes in a detailed memoir. Carter always underestimated the power of the Israel lobby. He came to believe that it helped cost him a second term, a lesson politicians have heeded ever since.
NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg says progressives are afraid to speak up on Israel. They feel “I can’t speak out without suffering professional consequences… That taboo is real… I feel like it’s very difficult to speak kind of rationally and forthrightly about real human rights abuses in the West Bank.”
Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, who is developing an international reputation, explains why he supports boycotting Israel: “As long as we are under this occupation, and this atrocity, and brutality, I will not do any joint event with any Israeli artist or citizen. Because he is a soldier. Whatever his work– artist, doctor, engineer, journalist—he served in the IDF, or will serve in the IDF, or serves in the IDF.”
The good news from the anti-BDS bill’s progress in the Senate yesterday, 76-22, is that progressive Democrats are standing up against AIPAC for the right to “peacefully” protest Israeli policies, and almost all the presidential hopeful Democrats voted against the legislation, even Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. And Chris Van Hollen said the bill will “strengthen” the boycott movement.
Three leaders of a new group aimed at preventing the Democratic Party from splitting over Israel–Jennifer Granholm, Peter Villegas, and Ann Lewis –are affiliated with the Israel lobby group AIPAC, which has been panicked by the possible splintering of political support for the Jewish state.
Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, praised the American Jewish community’s role in “maintaining political support for Israel” because it “is a very small country in a very hostile neighborhood.” Weisman’s definition of the Jewish community was all Zionist organizations, leaving out the anti-Zionists of Jewish Voice for Peace; and he credited the view that anti-Zionists are anti-Semites.
Isaac Herzog, head of the Jewish Agency, says that anti-Zionism is as “dangerous” as white nationalism for Jews, they are two faces of anti-Semitism. Herzog said Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism of Israel “has nothing to do with political views and the State of Israel… I bet you had I been prime minister, Corbyn would have acted the same.”
‘If this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain’ is commitment to Israel, Nancy Pelosi says, though she acknowledges pressure from the left. “The extreme left on this is asking for a one-state solution. So understand we have to strike the balance.”
Sheldon Adelson says that assimilation has stopped Jewish greatness. “We should have been equal to Catholicism, to Islamists– we should have been a billion and a half people.” While his wife Miriam says her mission is to protect Israel because it makes Jews around the world safe.
Just when anti-Zionism is becoming mainstream, Bari Weiss reads the pro-Israel hasbara playbook and says that all anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic, because they demonize the Jewish desire for a homeland and apply a double standard to 6 million Jews as opposed to the other 7 billion people on the planet. But the New York Times columnist is powerful and important.
Perceiving Michelle Alexander’s opinion piece on Palestine and Martin Luther King in the New York Times as a huge blow to Israel’s reputation among elites, and to the traditional alliance of blacks and Jews, Israel’s cheerleaders leaped to denounce Alexander. Michael Oren says the article is a “strategic threat” to Israel, David Harris says MLK would be “appalled” that Alexander “hijacked” his legacy!
The 2009 Goldstone Report accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza when it killed more than 300 children, but the only trial Israeli generals had was a meeting with an American State Department official under Obama who pressed them to counter the p.r. damage of the report by telling the “Israeli story” better and announcing “lessons learned.”
A study of 100,000 headlines in the five leading US newspapers in the last 50 years shows that mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by 93%, Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians; and the number of headlines centering Israel were published four times more than those centering Palestine. Edward Said was right, Palestinians lack the permission to narrate.
The Senate bill punishing support for BDS against Israel failed again yesterday. Israel has never been so openly politicized before, and many Democratic supporters are expressing the fear that the issue is going to divide the party leading up to the 2020 election.
Something that has never happened before is about to happen in the U.S. Senate: there’s going to be a wide-open battle over Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), as part of efforts to end the government shutdown, no less! The Senate is due to debate S.1, the first Senate bill of the new session, and Marco Rubio claims that a “significant” number of Democrats support BDS.
Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, dares to say that the two-state solution looks like “a cruel joke,” that some Jews regard equality in one state as a possible solution, and that BDS is gaining traction in the U.S. His article on the schism between US and Israeli Jews goes along with Michelle Goldberg’s column saying anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.
Trump tore up the Iran deal for Sheldon Adelson and moved the embassy to Jerusalem. But the megadonor’s millions in the midterm elections had none of the magic they did in 2016, as even Republicans in his home state of Nevada were crushed. And the transactional president is expressing his displeasure by taking some key moves against Israel’s interests.
In 1991 the late George H.W. Bush took on Israel and its lobby over settlement construction, famously saying “I’m one lonely little guy” against 1000 lobbyists. Some say the stance made him a one-term president, and paved the way for his son to out-Israel his father, with disastrous results.
Rashida Tlaib likens the Israeli occupation to the Jim Crow south. Both Jimmy Carter and Condoleezza Rice made the same analogy, to the south of their youths, and both suffered politically for it.
Pro-Palestine and free speech activists who have been mobilizing against the Israel Anti-Boycott Act are sounding an alarm about rumors of a secret attempt this week to slip the legislation, which the ACLU has declared unconstitutional even in its revised form, into the must-pass House spending bill before the blue wave comes into power.