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US Policy in the Middle East

‘NYT’ anoints Ron Lauder as prophet of doom for Netanyahu

Philip Weiss on

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.

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.

‘NYT’ has run nonstop defenses by its columnists of killing protesters in Gaza

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson on

Israeli forces have shot more than 4000 Palestinians during the 4-1/2 months of protests on the Gaza border, killing 124, but the New York Times has run a barrage of op-eds by regular columnists justifying the massacre. It is impossible to imagine Tom Friedman, Bret Stephens, Shmuel Rosner and Matti Friedman doing that for any other country smashing non-violent protest.

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.

Former ‘Foreign Policy’ editor calls for boycotts against Israeli government

Philip Weiss on

David Rothkopf, Carnegie scholar and former editor of Foreign Policy, calls for “all manner of pressure,” including “boycotts” of Israel, because its new nation-state of the Jewish people has rendered it an “apartheid society,” an “un-Jewish state,” and undermined its “legitimacy.”

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.”

‘A very, very, very bad law’ — Justice Joubran on Israel’s new nation state law

Philip Weiss on

Salim Joubran, the first Palestinian justice on the Israeli Supreme Court (2004-2017), earlier this year derided the law the Israeli parliament passed this month declaring Israel the nation state of the Jewish people.
“This law is a very, very, very bad law for the state of Israel… The only thing is to cause damages to the Arab population.”

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.

The challenge to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Nada Elia on

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may not know enough about Palestine, but she needs to hear from real progressives, not from the various shades of Zionism that have long held the Democratic Party hostage. She needs to understand that whereas Palestine may not be a regular topic of conversation around the kitchen table in a Porto Rican house, it is nevertheless an issue of national import.

To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s critics: This is no time for sloganeering

Jamie Stern-Weiner on

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unprecedented victory in a NY congressional district was followed by her endorsement of the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, generating angry criticism from leftwingers who seek one democratic state. But she is now in a position to give voice to the victims of US foreign policy, not least the Palestinian people. It would verge on criminal to saddle her with a position that dooms her to political irrelevance, writes Jamie Stern-Weiner.

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.

They made the real estate section bloom

Liz Rose on

It’s no coincidence that the New York Times real estate section featured a $4.8 million house in Israel — “Luxury on the Mediterranean Coast of Tel-Aviv” — the same week the Israeli parliament passed a law making Israel the “nation-state of the Jewish people.”

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).