Brian Lehrer’s legitimate question about pedophilia scandals, Why are you still a Catholic? could be asked about being Jewish in an era of Israeli massacres and being in the foreign policy establishment despite support for the Iraq war blunder. Oh but those questions are a little too close to home.
Category Archives: US Policy in the Middle East
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.
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 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.”
Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia has disappointed a lot of folks in the last day by siding with Israel over the latest exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza, and by essentially accusing British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of anti-semitism.
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.
After the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman went to a settlement last week on an official diplomatic visit, settler leaders are questioning if the Trump administration has quietly overturned a ban on ambassadors making stops to Israeli controlled areas over the Green Line.
Northwestern University Hillel’s tour of Israel for student leaders is the same old propaganda trip to promote the country, but with a little more realism thrown in. Like a flyby in Ramallah with “Palestinian leaders,” on the same day that the students drink beer at Taybeh brewery in the West Bank and do three other events.
Canary Mission is threatening young people who advocate for Palestinians with negative career consequences. These young people need support from organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and career help from older professionals, and all Palestinian solidarity activists ought to register on Against Canary Mission.
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 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.”
The new Israeli nation-state law makes racism “the national character,” foreign policy maven David Rothkopf says, and Israel is no longer in his heart. “American Jews have gone from a duty to support Israel to a duty to oppose Israel,” he writes.
“Gaza should be a thriving Mediterranean paradise,” if only the siege were lifted, Noam Chomsky says on Democracy Now! And: “Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done.”
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.”
Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz, today published an editorial titled “The apartheid prime minister” that states flatly that thanks to the new “nation state of the Jewish people” law that Netanyahu spearheaded, Israel under Netanyahu is an apartheid regime. Would that US media would follow the newspaper’s lead.
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.
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.
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.
Alan Dershowitz calls the new Israeli law declaring Israel “the nation state of the Jewish people” a mistake that was unnecessary and that will give ammunition to Israel’s critics and alienate American Jews. Israel lobby groups the ADL and J Street also say the law was unnecessary, and Israel’s Finance Minister calls it a “mistake.”
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.
Western media should stop mincing words by calling the Israeli nation-state law “controversial” when in fact it is encoding the worst human impulses into law, the likes of which are found in Nazi Germany, Jim Crow America, the Indian Removal Act and other abominable moments in human history.
A Birthright participant who walked off the free trip for American Jews to Israel says the tour is like visiting the Jim Crow south and not hearing about segregation. Meantime, tour guide justifies map that doesn’t show Palestine by saying West Bank is “part of Israel” just like Tel Aviv.
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.”