Few of the people accused of boycotting Israel actually advocate or adhere to the central demands of the Palestinian boycott call. Ironically, those same people may be in the best position to help end the occupation. By Ran Greenstein Opposition to the BDS movement has become a crucial test of loyalty to the pro-Israel cause in the U.S. Jewish community in recent months. It has not replaced the Iranian nuclear program as the most prominent cause for alarm raised by the Israel lobby and its allies, but it is moving in that direction. Naturally enough, this heightened publicity is being…Read More... | 18 Comments
The term 'pro-Israel' should mean anti-occupation, support for human rights, equality, democracy for all peoples under Israel's control – not hard-line Zionism. Reflections and commentary on +972’s use of the term. My colleague Noam Sheizaf's article about the addition of David Makovsky to the American negotiating team for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process carries the following headline: 'A pro-Israel hawk to draft Kerry’s peace plan?' The subheading reads, with some indignation: 'That one must be a pro-Israeli Zionist in order to be eligible for the State Department’s Israel-Palestine team is indicative of the problem with U.S. policy in the region.' I disagree…Read More... | 53 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
The American Jewish allegiance to the Democratic Party is not as strong as it once was, nor as invulnerable as it may appear in the wake of Obama’s victory. Republicans can undermine it, but only if they revamp their party and realize that Israel is not the only issue that American Jews care about. By Dov Waxman They had the money (thanks to Sheldon Adelson), they had the belief, and they had the attack lines (“Obama throwing Israel under the bus”), so what went wrong? Why did the Republican Jewish establishment—led by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and the Emergency…Read More... | 6 Comments
Jewish nationalism, in its belligerence and paranoia, is watching the world pass it by - and the overwhelming majority of Jews in America, Israel and elsewhere do not want that to happen to them. The split between humanistic Judaism and nationalistic Judaism goes back a very long time, but in recent years, the complete takeover of both Israel and the Republican Party by nationalist radicals has obviously sharpened that split, nearly creating schism within Judaism. (By "Judaism," I don't mean just the religion but all of Jewish civilization.) Every Israeli election is a battle between these two opposing Jewish camps,…Read More... | 13 Comments
While Peter Beinart's latest book is well worth reading, his solutions come far too late and are likely to achieve little. I've recently finished reading Peter Beinart's controversial book, The Crisis of Zionism; admittedly I read it mostly to understand what the noise was all about. The book took heavy criticism, if by "criticism" you mean "ad hominem attacks," even before it was published. It was basically attacked by the entire Jewish establishment in the United States. Why? Because Beinart insists, as he did two years ago, on stopping to treat Israel as a special-needs child whose tantrums must be…Read More... | 17 Comments
Israeli ambassador Michael Oren: Beinart 'beyond the Israeli mainstream,' his call to boycott settlements 'supported only by a marginal and highly radical fringe.' I reported here yesterday on Peter Beinart's op-ed in the New York Times, calling the American Jewish community to boycott Israel's settlements in the West Bank, and for American administration to stop the indirect funding of settlements through tax breaks to settlement products and organizations raising money for the settlements (this is just the most obvious way in which the United States is supporting in practice a policy that it appears to oppose, at least on a…Read More... | 28 Comments
This letter is to you. You know who you are, but I can’t say your names. You don’t want to say what you think in public, in the United States of America, home of free speech. You are an American Jew, you are liberal, you believe in universal equality, minority, human and civil rights. You support those principles with your voices, your money and definitely your vote - except when it comes to Israel. After two weeks in America visiting family (particularly, my new nephew) and friends, two observations struck me powerfully. First, the understanding that Israel is committing terrible…Read More... | 61 Comments
There was nothing particularly new about the ads which so shocked American Jewry. They simply exposed a face of Zionism most American Jews rather not see. In the last few days there has been a hullabaloo about several ads published by the Ministry of Aliyah Absorption (not, as it is often referred to, “Immigration Absorption”; more on this below). Much of it was the result of Jeffrey Goldberg getting annoyed and claiming that “Netanyahu’s government suggests Israelis avoid Marrying American Jews.” Netanyahu, being Netanyahu, did what he knows best: He immediately ordered the ministry responsible to put down those ads,…Read More... | 26 Comments
The Israeli government on Friday announced that it would cancel immediately a group of television commercials introduced and paid for by the Ministry of Immigration, after the Embassy in Washington received a number of angry comments from American Jews. Speaking on CNN, Israel's American-born Ambassador to Washington, noted: The Ministry of Immigration has been charged, in its mandate, to bring Israelis home, and has various funds to do so. And in this case, the campaign did not take into account sufficiently American Jewish sensitivities. We regret that. But still, we are committed to trying to bring Israelis back home and…Read More... | 21 Comments
What is it that makes so many American reports on events in Israel end up with the question of "the return of the Zionist Left?" Ethan Bronner's recent story on the cost of living protest in Israel is yet another example of this trend. By cherry picking a few comments and mixing them with the warm memories of Rabin's government, the recent social justice movement becomes for Bronner the vessel of "a possible opening for the defeated left." I can't help but think that those American who are so obsessed with this question recognize "their Israel" in a certain image…Read More... | 10 Comments
Though many American Jews oppose the BDS movement, more and more of them are willing to explore the idea of a targeted boycott against the occupation Dov Waxman & Mairav Zonszein | Originally published on Dissent Magazine TO BOYCOTT or not to boycott? That is the question that growing numbers of American Jews on the left wing of the pro-Israel community have reluctantly and uneasily begun to ask themselves in recent months. After initially categorically rejecting the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (or BDS, as it has become known)—a movement launched in 2005 by a coalition of…Read More... | 10 Comments
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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