They grew up on the myths of a heroic Jewish state, joined Zionist organizations, and learned the talking points. But something along the way made them question everything. By Tom Pessah Some of the strangest encounters I had in the years I spent living and studying in the United States were with American Jews. I often felt like I had been dropped into a musical, with people expecting me to fit the mythical image of how an Israeli was supposed to behave. The only problem: I had no idea what my lines were supposed to be. [tmwinpost] I was asked about my time in…Read More... | 6 Comments
A new Al Jazeera documentary provides a sobering look at a lobby that continues to defend Israel's control of Palestinian lives, despite the many Americans turning against it. By Antony Loewenstein There’s a moment near the end of the four-part, Al Jazeera documentary on the U.S. Israel lobby — censored by its own network due to pressure from the U.S. government and incensed U.S.-based, pro-Israel lobbyists — where the show’s undercover reporter, “Tony,” films a key Israel advocate in Washington. Eric Gallagher was a senior manager at The Israel Project and admits that the dominant pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, faces an existential crisis. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Jewish community’s traditional unconditional support for Israel's occupation is rapidly changing. Now is the time to present an alternative to those who justify a violent military regime. By Frima (Merphie) Bubis Two months after the U.S. Embassy officially moved to Jerusalem, the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, hosted AIPAC, America’s largest pro-Israel lobby at an official event in the national palace. There, he called on his government to follow in the footsteps of President Trump and move the its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. AIPAC's presence at the event was no coincidence: the “pro-Israel” lobby, primarily known…Read More...
Which begs the question, instead of pointless negotiations, should Washington embark on a mass proselytizing program? Senator Chuck Schumer, arguably the top ranking Democrat in the United States right now, believes that there is no peace between Israel and Palestine because — well, because the Palestinians don’t believe in the Torah. Speaking at the AIPAC Policy Conference earlier this week, Senator Schumer shuffled his way through a list of clunky talking points ostensibly exonerating Israel of any blame for — well, anything. [tmwinpost] It’s not about the settlements, he explained, aptly noting that the conflict didn’t end in 2005 after…Read More... | 6 Comments
As long as Israel holds unparalleled sway in Washington, no progress toward Palestinian rights will be achieved. But that needn't be the end of the story. By James J. Zogby Three decades ago, I was invited to address a Palestinian American audience on the work that was needed to change American policy toward Palestinian rights. Also speaking at that event was a PLO representative who was briefing the group on the work being done at the United Nations to advance the Palestinian cause. It had not been my intention to have a debate, but that is precisely what happened. The…Read More... | 9 Comments
The world long ago made clear to the Palestinians that violence is not a legitimate path for seeking independence. Now Congress is trying to criminalize one of the few nonviolent tools left. A pair of laws currently making their way through the United States Congress would impose criminal sanctions on Americans who support an economic boycott of Israel or its illegal West Bank settlements. The bill follows in the footsteps of, and in some was surpasses the dozens of American states that have passed their own anti-boycott laws in recent years. [tmwinpost] The Senate bill, S. 720, known as the “Anti-Israel…Read More... | 10 Comments
By choosing to engage on specific issues of Israeli policy while ignoring the fate of Palestinians, the Jewish American establishment has effectively sided with perpetuating the occupation. For years, the Jewish American establishment has been able to convince the world, and itself, that it does not directly meddle in internal Israeli affairs — a declaration most commonly used to justify not commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But if anyone still has any faith in that notion, the volatile events of the past week should put it to bed. [tmwinpost] The outcry from across the Jewish American political spectrum was nearly universal. Prime Minister Netanyahu…Read More... | 23 Comments
Recent American Jewish protests marked an important step in interconnected, cross-border resistance to occupation and oppression. But in order to grow, the organizers must reach out to Palestinians — and to their elders. By Samuel Molnar On the last Sunday of March, 1,000 Jews, led by Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow, marched to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to sing, chant, pray and blockade its doorways. This moment represented an unmistakable opening in the battle to disassemble the machine of Israel’s occupation. It was a win. IfNotNow presented a united front of Zionists and non-Zionists…Read More... | 13 Comments
Wearing shirts and carrying flags bearing insignia of the JDL, once declared a terrorist organization, the violent men and women also attacked left-wing Jewish activists. At least one was arrested. Members of the Jewish Defense League severely beat a 55-year old Palestinian American man and assaulted several American Jewish activists with IfNotNow outside the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Sunday, new video footage provided to +972 Magazine shows. Kamal Nayfeh, a father of four and an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, was reportedly visiting his daughter Danya, a student at Georgetown University in Washington at the time. He…Read More... | 19 Comments
My mother’s generation might have internalized the notion that AIPAC was all-powerful. But if the protests this week were a sign of anything, it is that America’s Israel lobby is not omnipotent. Watching the scenes from this week's AIPAC protests, I was reminded of another, more amiable stand-off — this one with my Palestinian mother. I have tended to cite her more often since the last American election, not least because she is now on Facebook and has developed a habit of sending me short chat lines, like scribbled notes, reminding me to "please tell your children about the Lap…Read More... | 6 Comments
Rather than sit uncomfortably within the tired anti- or pro-Israel paradigm, we are building a reality in which American Jews who disagree with the occupation can take comfort in their Jewish identity. By Shira Yudkin Tiffany Rows of police demarcated the sides outside the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C. Two human chains of protestors in matching t-shirts bound themselves together to the doorways to the Washington Convention Center. Beyond them were barricades and a sea of mostly young, largely unaffiliated Jews, cheering on the action in Hebrew. [tmwinpost] These were not your average AIPAC protesters. While the Jewish community has been puzzling over the…Read More... | 17 Comments
Can American Jews’ relationship to Israel accommodate the truth that Palestinians deserve the same freedom and dignity that we want for ourselves as Jews and for our Muslim, immigrant, black and brown neighbors here in the United States? By Emily Mayer There is currently a surge of activism churning through the American Jewish community. Since Trump’s election in November, American Jews have been taking action against a president who received only 24 percent of their votes, the second-smallest proportion of any religious or racial demographic in the country, after African Americans. [tmwinpost] Last month, 20 rabbis were arrested protesting the…Read More... | 9 Comments
If an AIPAC spinoff did, in fact, help fund an attack on J Street it suggests the powerful lobby feels increasingly threatened by the upstart progressive Jewish group. By Eli Clifton The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is going to have a challenging time at its annual policy conference this weekend persuading attendees and those watching at home that it has healed the partisan rift it opened by investing millions of dollars in opposing the Iran nuclear deal. Following Trump’s election, partisanship in Washington had reached an all-time high, making AIPAC’s role in currying bipartisan support for new Iran…Read More...
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