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  • With (pro-Israel) friends like these, who needs enemies?

    While the mainstream debate over Israel in the U.S. is changing as more people challenge the traditional 'pro-Israel' paradigm, it must also be accompanied by a shift in rhetoric. Roger Cohen, one of the New York Times writers I like most, wrote an op-ed this week called "Israel's True Friends." In the piece, which is centered around the Chuck Hagel nomination, Cohen argues, as I and many have, that those opposing Obama's nomination of Hagel may consider themselves "true friends" of Israel, but in fact can only be accurately defined as friends of the Israeli right - those who, among other things, are dismissive of a two-state solution,…

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  • The Chuck Hagel affair and the American 'pro-Israel' litmus test

    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…

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  • Is an attack on Israel an attack on individual Jewish identity?

    A report by a University of California advisory council threatens to limit free speech on its campuses by determining that dissent of Israel can amount to an attack on one's personal identification with the state.  By Tom Pessah In February of this year three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were jailed after they performed a song in a Moscow cathedral, calling on the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out.” The performance was condemned by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, who felt he was “under attack by persecutors” and called the song “blasphemy.” Charged with “hooliganism…

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  • WATCH: Campaign video incites against Arab Americans

    The campaign to get American citizens in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections claims it is nonpartisan, despite its candid agenda of electing the most 'pro-Israel' president, its refusal to divulge its donors and a campaign manager clearly identified with the right. A newly released video inciting against Arab-Americans makes it even more difficult to believe they are neutral. As some readers may have noticed, I have been following a campaign called "iVoteIsrael," which is essentially a well-funded nonprofit initiative lobbying American citizens living in Israel to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. The Times of Israel…

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  • Jerusalem Post op-ed calls New Yorker editor 'anti-Israel'

    By publishing an op-ed whose sole purpose is to demonize the editor of The New Yorker, the Jerusalem Post is positioning itself in direct odds with liberal values - not to mention  journalistic integrity. The Jerusalem Post ran an op-ed yesterday (Monday) by a writer and attorney from Washington, D.C. explaining why he is canceling his 50-year subscription to the New Yorker magazine. The poorly-argued and belligerent article directly implicates the magazine's editor of 14 years, David Remnick, for being "unabashedly anti-Israel," and personally attacks him as being unfit for the job and its salary since his "only previous editorial…

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  • Haaretz labels Jewish Voice for Peace "anti-Israel"

    Haaretz published an article today about a Jewish Voice for Peace member being threatened for her involvement in the organization. A cursory look at the headline and sub-headline reveals the newspaper's normative stance regarding JVP and its acquiescence to polarizing labels. Headline: Jewish Voice for Peace chief threatened over pro-Palestinian campaign So Haaretz has decided their campaign is "pro-Palestinian", whatever that means. Sub-headline: Estee Chandler, who heads anti-Israel organization, found a poster of her picture, her workplace, other personal details and names of her relatives at her West Coast home. Now Haaretz has also decided the organization itself is "anti-Israel,"…

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