Analysis News

Israel lobby

  • Why aren't Netanyahu and Peres going to Johannesburg for Mandela's memorial?

    Bibi says it's the expense, Peres says it's a flu he can't kick. More likely it's two other reasons: Israel's past and present.   Nelson Mandela’s death brought up some inconvenient memories for Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment: Israel’s extremely fruitful alliance with apartheid South Africa until the very, very end; the anti-Mandela stance of right-wing Zionists because of his support for Arafat and the PLO (as well as for Gadhafi); and mainstream South African Jewry’s comfort with the apartheid regime (notwithstanding the brave opposition by a greatly disproportionate number of the country’s Jews). Then there’s the present-day, ongoing…

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  • Who needs anti-Semites when we've got Bibi?

    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…

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  • A case for isolationism

    America and its Western allies should either reinstate the military draft or put down their arms, because their way of going to war these days is too unjust, too inequitable to abide.    Whenever I read or hear somebody say that America, the West, the world must intervene militarily in Syria, I think, very cynically, that if such an intervention were to get messy, as military interventions have been known to do, it’s not America, the West, or the world that will be risking its life – it will be Bill Jones of Omaha and Jane Smith of Denver and…

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  • Israel responds to EU: We only accept charity on our terms

    Europe says it doesn't want its largesse to be funneled over the Green Line - Israel screams anti-Semitism.  Despite all the outrage and charges of Nazi-style behavior (here and here) that Israeli patriots are leveling against the European Union, the EU's new guidelines concerning the occupied territories don't take anything away from Israel; they just place conditions on the EU's enormous charity to this country. The EU isn't saying it's going to stop buying from Israeli businesses or bar Israeli ships or planes from entering European territory; it's saying that when it gives grants, prizes, awards or support to Israelis…

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  • The end of 'pro-Israel' in American political discourse

    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…

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  • The Israel lobby at its intimidating worst – in Britain

    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…

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  • Palestinian textbook case closed, but more trumped-up Israeli charges expected

    This week's publication of a U.S.-funded study cleared the Palestinians of charges that their schoolbooks 'demonize' Israel. This was not, however, the first hoop they've been made to jump through, and it won't be the last. The Israeli and U.S. Jewish establishment reaction to the terrible news that the Palestinians don't demonize Jews in their textbooks reminded me of the long-forgotten uproar over the Palestinian Covenant.  Same bullshit. The stout-hearted nationalist Jews in the U.S. and Israel were saying in unison, "How can we ever trust the Palestinians to make peace when their covenant talks about ''liberating all of Palestine'?"…

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  • Driving through the West Bank 'felt like apartheid'

    Three anecdotes from Peter Beinart's Crisis of Zionism reveal a lot on what can and what can't be said in Washington today "The Crisis of Zionism," Peter Beinart's new book on the Jewish establishment's transformation into a propaganda and lobbying arm for the occupation and the settlements, has a few fresh examples of Washington's double talk regarding the nature of Israel's control over the West Bank. It's something you often hear in private: Every diplomat who has visited Palestinian towns and villages and met with locals knows how bad things are, but it's impossible to discuss these issues in public…

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  • On Iran, U.S. Jewish leaders will defend Israel down to last drop of our blood

    If you think Israeli leaders are hawkish on Iran, listen to what some of these American Jewish leaders had to say at their get-together in Jerusalem. The number one team of machers (big-time operators) in organized American Jewry - the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations - were in Israel this past week, and just for a hate fix, I went to a panel discussion on Iran - not to listen to the Israeli panelists, but to the machers. There were about 100 of them in Jerusalem's Inbal hotel, and as expected, the ones who spoke up were much, much more gung-ho than the Israelis onstage. The best question came from from Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice…

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  • Junk the term 'Israel-Firster'

    American Jewish liberals who use it do so in bad faith, and what they mean by the term is not what Americans hear Even though the term "Israel-Firster," taken literally, is a fair, accurate description of any number of American Jews - those whose main concern in American politics is its effect on Israel - it shouldn't be used. There are a couple of reasons why. For one, when American liberals, almost always Jews themselves, use it to slam American Jewish Likud types, they're using the term in bad faith. They're not honestly bothered by Americans whose chief political interest is the welfare of another country; neither Ireland-Firsters, nor Mexico-Firsters, nor Southern-Sudan-Firsters, nor Palestine-Firsters upset them, and neither do Israel-Firsters. They're…

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  • Criticism of 'False Flag' piece is misguided and simply wrong

    In his attempt to deconstruct Mark Perry's Foreign Policy piece, Rafael Frankel overlooks the fact that quality writing on covert government action often relies on unnamed sources, and, through reductive means, glosses over the undeniable influence of the Israel lobby on U.S. policy.  By Mitchell Plitnick In his criticism of Mark Perry's Foreign Policy article, False Flag¸ ex-journalist Rafael Frankel demonstrates how disturbing Perry's article was for many. But Frankel's criticism of the piece fails to demonstrate any more than that. Frankel's main problem with Perry's piece is that it was based on information Perry gathered from anonymous sources. According…

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  • Palestinians join UNESCO - symbolic step to statehood?

    The emotional victory may not be a game-changer, but to consider it merely symbolic is missing deep potential consequences of full acceptance into a UN club. This post has been updated, 31 October, 8:40pm The Palestinian Authority won a major victory on Monday by being accepted to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The acceptance is a critical moment, not so much because it will really affect the lives of most Palestinians, but for what it says about the unfolding international attitudes and policy, and for Palestine and Israel. Here are a few possible implications. 1. UNESCO…

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  • How strong is the Israel lobby in Washington?

    Former U.S. ambassador Chas Freeman spoke yesterday at the Palestine Center for the annual Sharabi lecture at the Palestine Center. Follow the link to view his excellent discussion. The shocking piece of the speech was picked up by Paul Woodward and Phil Weiss, In late November 1988, shortly after the election of George H. W. Bush as president, I was invited to lunch by a senior Israeli official with whom, in pursuance of U.S. policy, I [as deputy assistant secretary of State for African affairs] had worked closely to expand Israel’s diplomatic and military presence in Africa.  I had come…

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