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US Aid to Israel

Israel is ‘becoming a full-blown police state,’ Reza Aslan says after interrogation at border

Mondoweiss Editors on

Writer Reza Aslan reports on being interrogated and threatened with imprisonment at the Israeli border 2 weeks ago. “We can make it so you don’t see your kids for a long time.” “Why do you hate Israel?” “Stop lying!” “Who did your father work for in Iran?” Aslan says Israel is becoming a classic police state, and Americans should know about it.

Beinart’s detention at airport is said to signal new Israeli policy re American Jewish dissenters

Philip Weiss on

The detention of Peter Beinart, an American Zionist writer, for an hour of political questioning at Israel’s main airport yesterday is causing alarm in Zionist circles about the country they love. “This is crazy,” writes a prominent neoconservative. J Street says the Beinart treatment is part of an Israeli government pattern of targeting American Jews, which is politically dangerous for Zionism. Of course Palestinians have experienced way worse for a long time.

Bret Stephens echoes Stephen Douglas, defending Israel’s new law in ‘NYT’

Philip Weiss on

Bret Stephens says there’s nothing alarming in new law giving Jews the exclusive right of self determination in Israel. But as David Bromwich points out, the law is very much like Stephen Douglas’s argument in debating Lincoln, that “this Government was made. . .by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever.”

Booker says Israeli walls in Palestine are different from walls in America

Amith Gupta on

Sen. Cory Booker was embarrassed after he posed with activists holding a sign decrying walls in Palestine and Mexico. And his aide quickly voiced support for Israel’s illegal wall: “security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives.” The dustup is a reminder, Democrats have regularly failed to back immigrant rights.

WNYC hosts Israeli rabbi who is optimistic about new nation-state law

Philip Weiss on

WNYC host Brian Lehrer rationalizes Israel’s nation-state law by saying that Israel under Netanyahu is in the same pickle as the U.S. under Trump. While guest Rabbi Farber says that the Israeli army is a “moral armed services… committed to preserving life.”

Apres Rabbi Jacobs, the deluge

Jonathan Ofir on

Head of the US Union for Reform Judaism calls deportation by Israel of Ariel Gold “disgraceful”. US religious leaders are trying to delay the day when they will have to say that Israel is disgraceful, though they never want to say that about Zionism.

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.

Just boycott settlements? Liberal Zionist agenda faces huge pressure now

James North and Philip Weiss on

With its new nation-state of the Jewish people law, Israel is now officially an apartheid state, with secondary rights for non-Jews. Liberal Zionists who have said they only boycott the occupation but not Israel are now challenged by this law to take action against discrimination inside the state of Israel (which the BDS boycott program has long targeted).

Dems have four congressional candidates willing to criticize Israel — and ‘reap political rewards’

Philip Weiss on

The Israel issue is heating up in American politics, with ABC News publishing a report that progressive Democrats are increasingly willing to criticize Israel and may “reap political rewards” by doing so. Those progressives include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in NY, Scott Wallace in PA, Leslie Cockburn in VA, and Ilhan Omar running for Keith Ellison’s seat in MN.

US Jewish leader expresses compassion for refugees at US border– and contempt for Palestinian refugees

Philip Weiss on

Eric Goldstein, the head of one of the largest Jewish philanthropies, calls on Jews to support the refugees who are coming to America’s borders. But when it comes to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, who are being shot at by Israeli forces, Goldstein expresses contempt, showing sympathy only for Israelis on the other side of the border whose fields are threatened by burning kites.

NY insurgent who said ‘Dems can’t be silent anymore’ about Palestine clips AIPAC poodle in primary shocker

Mondoweiss Editors on

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toppled Joseph Crowley, the fourth highest Democrat in the House, in the Democratic primary in NY yesterday. She has called on Dems to support Palestinian dignity, tweeting in May of Gaza shootings: “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such… Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”

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.

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.

Republican Jewish Coalition emerges as Trump’s hub for raising money, and making foreign policy

Philip Weiss on

Trump once laughed at the efforts of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rightwing supporters of the Netanyahu government, to “control” politicians. But 2-and-1/2 years later the group has emerged as a hub for fundraising for Trump and for setting his foreign policy agenda on Middle East issues. A former board member, Elliott Broidy, shows up in the Mueller probe, working with Israel lobby groups and the UAE to punish Hamas.

Philadelphia Jewish groups try to stop publication of article critical of Israel, insist on BDS training for Inquirer editors

Philip Weiss on

When Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa published a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer urging the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel a trip to Israel because the country is slaughtering unarmed protesters in Gaza, Jewish leaders in the city flew into action, demanding that the paper publish a rebuttal and that editors take a training against BDS. The Israel lobby in action.