Israel lobbyists Josh Block and EJ Kimball smear missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a terrorist. That’s because Israel and Saudi Arabia are now allied against Iran, evidently seeking an American-led war against the country, and all the attention to the writer’s rubout is throwing a wrench in the works.
Category Archives: US Aid to Israel
Israel’s Supreme Court said Lara Alqasem, the 22-year-old Palestinian-American student detained for 15 days at Ben Gurion airport, is free to enter the country and pursue studies. Though championed by J Street and Americans for Peace Now, Alqasem got no public support from her representatives, Florida Senators Nelson and Rubio, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents says there’s only one way to counter negative media about Israel swaying Jewish youth: “Inoculate” Jews in kindergarten about everything good Israel does. And wait till you hear about his program for Israel to host a “World Jewish Singles” event to bring Jews from around the world to Israel to meet and mate.
Several Democratic candidates this fall — Andrew Gillum in Florida, Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania, Ben Jealous in Maryland, Beto O’Rourke in Texas, and Ted Deutch in Florida — have issued statements against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, as Republicans try to make Israel a political issue in the fall races.
A month after the Trump administration ordered the Palestinian Mission in Washington DC to end operations, yesterday afternoon consular staff vacated their four-story red brick building in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood.
Spending a week in Ben-Gurion airport under a deportation order has surely been uncomfortable for 22-year-old American student Lara Alqasem, but the detention has done a great deal to advertise the Israeli government’s intolerance of criticism. NYT conservatives Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss plead with Israel to release her lest the case alienate American Jews; while an Israeli government minister says Alqasem can come in if she renounces her earlier ideas.
NY Congressman Eliot Engel told an AIPAC audience last night that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other progressive Democrats who may enter Congress “need to be educated” to support Israel. The event came on the heels of a New York Times article on the new wave of progressive Democrats who have “dared to breach what has been an almost inviolable orthodoxy in both political parties, strong support for Israel.”
Tearing up the Iran deal and moving the embassy to Jerusalem got rewards for the U.S. A new Pew poll of global attitudes says that while most countries see the U.S. as not considering their country’s interests in foreign policy decisions, Israelis see it the other way. Eighty-six percent of Israelis say the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account, compared to 27 percent of Brits, 19 percent of Germans, 18 percent of the French.
“The world has a name for that form of government that’s codified in [Israel’s] nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.” In speech, US Rep Betty McCollum, who represents St Paul, MN, and its suburbs demonstrates incredible leadership. The Democrat is also sponsoring groundbreaking legislation to cut off US funds that go to Israel’s detention and torture of children.
Trump all but called for regime change in Iran at the UN even as his secretary of state and national security adviser addressed Sheldon Adelson’s outfit, United Against Nuclear Iran. The Times has noticed Adelson’s enormous influence but it would be helpful if the press discussed the right wing Israel lobby’s push for war.
In the last year, Israel’s supporters in the U.S. have been making frank appeals to Jewish money and power as weapons to fight Israel’s delegitimization from the left. Josh Block of the Israel Project says there are “billions… at rest in our community” that can be used to invest in media properties and make them tribunes for Israel.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of a Reform temple in Washington, D.C., says that Jewish “anti-Israelists” are scorning their “birthright” because of Israel’s rightwing practices. And Dana Milbank in the Washington Post warns that Israel’s future is at risk because the Jewish community here is dividing over support for it.
The Jewish tribalist culture that sees Jews as heirs to a sacred macho victimhood and Israelis militarism as the answer was promoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, the leading American Jewish journalist. It created Netanyahu’s Israel, which Goldberg and his friends are now trying to flee as they try to take on Trump.
In a sermon decrying anti-Semitism, Central Synagogue rabbi Angela Buchdahl calls out the left for demonizing Israel by demanding that young Jews renounce Zionism in order to take part in social justice causes. But Israel is a liberal ideal, she says, “Jews have always been at the forefront against oppression.” And Israels killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border is “complicated.”
In his new book, Bob Woodward says that Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine NATO and NAFTA and agreements with South Korea were threats to American national security and Trump was heroically foiled by his own aides. But when it comes to Trump’s destruction of the Iran deal, Woodward all but approves it, portraying Iran as a “malign” threat to world order and an “existential threat to the Jewish state.”
Andrew Gillum, the progressive star who is running to be Florida governor, supports McCarthyite legislation to restrict BDS. Ayanna Pressley, a MA progressive running for congress, also disappoints. But there’s good news too: the New York Times and NPR have both run stories with positive references to the movement for equal rights.
Everything that Trump is doing in Israel/Palestine, from moving the embassy to telling Palestinians to accept Jordanian sovereignty, is in line with the agenda of his biggest backer, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who thinks Palestinians don’t exist and they should never have a state. The pattern is clear. But the press ignores the story.
Support for the Israeli government no matter what still defines the official American Jewish community. Just look at this long list of rabbis celebrating AIPAC, the Israel lobby group, from their altars, despite AIPAC’s support for the Iraq war and fierce opposition to the Iran deal. AIPAC might as well be a Jewish holiday!
After taking the Jerusalem issue off the table, Trump wants to do the same with Palestinian refugees by denying their right to return. The fiat is not only dangerous and reckless, James Zogby writes, it is cruel and insensitive, and violates international law and covenants.
In his memoir The World As It Is, Ben Rhodes documents that Netanyahu and his American friends had access to President Obama at every turn. Rahm Emanuel nicknamed Rhodes “Hamas” for advocating for Palestinians, and after Netanyahu humiliated Obama in the Oval Office lecture of 2011, Rhodes had to call “leading Jewish donors” to assure them Obama still supported Israel.
A long New Yorker profile of Paul Singer, Trump’s big donor, plays down the fact that Singer’s major political interest is Israel, and leaves out the word “neoconservative,” though Singer has funded countless thinktanks that favor regime change in the Middle East and pushed that policy in Iraq.
In the second coming of Ronald Lauder to the NYT op-ed page in five months, the Jewish leader concedes that Israel discriminates against the LGBT community — the exact opposite of Israel’s claims. The article shows that the newspaper aims to take on Netanyahu as a threat to Israel’s future. But Netanyahu doesn’t care.
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.
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 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.”