This time it's true: Israel really is trying to manipulate the U.S. into going to war. Who can disagree any longer that Israel is out to push America into war – and is putting on quite a show of it, too? The Obama administration is trying to neutralize Iran’s nuclear program diplomatically, and Bibi Netanyahu and the Israel lobby are the unquestioned, highest-possible-profile leaders of the campaign to stop them. Netanyahu is all over TV around the world, beating the drum against this “very, very bad deal” being put together in the Geneva talks, which resume Wednesday. His American-accented…Read More... | 46 Comments
The U.S. secretary of state's comments raise the question of whether he's convinced Netanyahu is ready to make the compromises necessary for peace - or whether he needs AIPAC's support to do so. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry seems to think that should the occasion ever arise, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will require the support of his friends in Washington in order to sign a peace deal with the Palestinians. Kerry took time out of his busy schedule in London to send a video message to a closed AIPAC summit taking place in California wine country on Monday. Click for…Read More... | 4 Comments
Tuesday's New York Times editorial about Netanyahu's "pushback" on Iran at the United Nations General Assembly doesn't say much, except for implying that diplomacy is preferable to military force when it comes to Iran's nuclear program. But what is noteworthy (and irksome) is the way in which the editorial board of the paper refers to the Israeli prime minister: Mr. Netanyahu has legitimate reasons to be wary of any Iranian overtures, as do the United States and the four other major powers involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But it could be disastrous if Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters…Read More... | 19 Comments
A policy decision on American military action in Syria cannot be justified by an analogy between Syrian suffering under Assad and Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Two weeks after a chemical attack in Syria killed at least 1,400, including 400 children, and one week after U.S. President Obama announced he favors a limited military strike on Syria, mainstream American Jewish groups broke their silence Tuesday and expressed what they conveyed as unequivocal support for a strike. As reported in Politico, AIPAC - the powerful Israel lobby known for being forthright on all issues related to American policy in the Middle East…Read More... | 26 Comments
AIPAC is only hesitatingly supporting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, all the while scuttling a diplomatic resolution with Iran. American Jews should remember the differences between AIPAC's and their own views next time they have qualms about confronting it. By Roi Bachmutsky There are several organizations that American Jewry widely believes to be too cute, cuddly and unequivocally well intentioned to be held accountable for their actions. The iconic blue donation boxes in synagogues across the United States suggest the Jewish National Fund (JNF) is one of them. Two years ago, a JNF board member publicly severed all ties with the organization in…Read More... | 7 Comments
To register their recent success, Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration destroyed whatever was achieved in the last two decades. For the first time since the 1991 Madrid Conference, the starting point for the negotiations are the positions of the Israeli right. The headlines celebrating the fact that “Israelis and Palestinians are talking again” were misleading. The Palestinian Authority is no more than a regional council in a territory controlled by Israel. Since the PA is completely dependent on Israel for almost all of its functions, Israelis and Palestinians are talking all the time, including on the political…Read More... | 14 Comments
There is no consensus on what pro-Israel means; even opposing political groups – like AIPAC and J Street – parade the term as a badge of honor. Pro-Israel has come to mean different things for different people, necessitating the introduction of a new vocabulary. By Roi Bachmutsky With abortion set to take national center stage in next year’s U.S. midterm election debates, it seems as though the clash between pro-life and pro-choice will steal the limelight. The very vocabulary we use forebodes the vitriolic tit-for-tat looming in the distance, each side debasing the other for grave injustices – either subverting women’s…Read More... | 33 Comments
Dennis Ross presents a framework for renewing the peace process, which he apparently lifted directly from the Israeli PM's hard disk - including de facto recognition of permanent Israeli control over eight percent of the West Bank. Veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross had a full page op-ed in The New York Times this weekend, in which he presents a 14-step program that is supposed to establish a framework for renewing the diplomatic process. The piece includes a lot of talk about peace, but the action items are lifted from Netanyahu’s policy book, demonstrating again why the Palestinians were right when they refused to meet Ross –…Read More... | 44 Comments
How the British Board of Jewish Deputies and its allies are smearing a decent critic of Israel as an anti-Semite - and the success they're having. The view in Israel of British Jewry is that they're cowed by traditional British anti-Semitism and running scared from the "Muslim takeover" of the country. They're not as chutzpahdik as the American Jews, supposedly. But I think Israel is selling the British Jews short, or at least their leaders. For the last month, the country's Jewish machers have been smearing a member of Parliament as an anti-Semite with the sort of cynicism and relentlessness that could…Read More... | 75 Comments
In an interview to the Israeli daily 'Yedioth Ahronoth,' the former neoconservative diplomat criticizes Hagel for his 'I am an American senator' remark. Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea has today a short interview with Elliott Abrams on the issue of Chuck Hagel’s nomination to secretary of defense, which various Israeli advocacy groups have opposed. Abrams opens by explaining why he believes Hagel is an anti-Semite, referring to Hagel’s past remark on “the Jewish Lobby” (by the way, this is the term Israelis use too, including most of the press. Examples: here, here, here, here, here, here). Abrams: “I don’t hate him (Hagel).…Read More... | 36 Comments
American comedy writers are discovering the wonders of the pro-Israel world. After this Onion piece, comes Saturday Night Live's version of the Chuck Hagel Senate confirmation hearing, which ended up not being part of the show, probably because the real-life event turned out to be just as absurd. Related: The Chuck Hagel affair and the American 'pro-Israel' litmus test The Washington witch trial of Chuck HagelRead More... | 4 Comments
It is true that many in the U.S. Jewish community are not happy with current Israeli policies. But in the face of countervailing trends, it is not clear this will change the community’s overall levels of attachment and support. By Brent E. Sasley In a recent op-ed in Haaretz, Bradley Burston argues that U.S. Jews are moving away from Israel because of the government’s illiberal domestic politics and intransigent foreign policies. He believes that by 2013 they may just “secede” altogether from a country doing things they don’t want done in their name. There are certainly signs pointing in that direction. Peter Beinart…Read More... | 49 Comments
In the controversy over Obama's candidate for the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, the right-wing American Jewish elite has once again asserted that the term 'pro-Israel' is a code word in Washington for, among other things, a belligerent foreign policy on Iran and enabling Israeli occupation. The sheer volume of articles that have appeared in American media over the last few weeks surrounding Obama’s potential appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as next U.S. Secretary of Defense is astonishing. Everywhere you turn, there are reports, op-eds, features and blogs about Hagel. It almost feels like the issue is making more noise…Read More... | 13 Comments
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