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  • Why Israel is so worried about Qatari outreach to American Jews

    Qatar has been focusing on prominent American Jewish leaders as the isolated Gulf state seeks to repair its image. Why American Jews? It's about Saudi Arabia. By Mitchell Plitnick On January 31, the Israeli embassy in the United States stated that Israel did not approve of several right wing, pro-Israel American Jewish leaders meeting with senior officials, including the emir, of Qatar. “We oppose this outreach effort in the Jewish and pro-Israel community,” said embassy spokesman Itai Bar Dov. It was an unusual, and in some ways bizarre, statement. What was Israel so worried about? [tmwinpost] “There is nothing wrong with analysts…

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  • Can J Street coherently fight both boycott and occupation?

    After J Street U students were attacked at an anti-BDS conference this week, the lobby might want to reconsider the effectiveness of seeking common ground with extremists. Things got ugly at an anti-BDS conference at the United Nations this week when participants turned on a group of liberal university students in attendance. [tmwinpost] The conference, organized by the Israeli mission to the U.N., brought together many of the usual suspects working to counter the effects of the growing boycott movement. Students representing the university arm of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby,” attracted the ire of the conference when they rose…

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  • More Zionist than the Jewish state itself

    The man who wants to take over the Zionist Organization of America is further to the right and more of a warmonger than the most right-wing government Israel has ever had.  The Zionist Organization of America was one of the first major Jewish-American umbrella organizations to support the nascent State of Israel. From Louis Brandeis to current president Morton Klein, the organization has seen ideological shifts - and with them varying levels of support. It’s safe to say that the organization’s heyday is long gone. Morton Klein has headed the organization for the last 20 years and this year, his…

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  • "Air Flotilla" successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank

    Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to arrest and deport pro-Palestinian visitors. The Minister of Tourism announced that "good tourists" will be greeted with flowers Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists—no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates—to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived  (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad. Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police…

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  • Zionist, Yes; Progressive, maybe

    When push comes to shove, many progressive Zionists will let their Zionism trump their progressiveness by Jerry Haber I have never accepted the view that "progressive Zionist" is an oxymoron (well, there goes half of my readership). For one thing, "progressive" or "liberal" (synonymous, for the purpose of this post) Zionists are generally progressive on other issues besides Israel. They may not be Noam Chomsky progressives or Ralph Nader progressives, but they are at least Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow progressives, and I am feeling expansive today. If they are even the least tad irked at Pres. Obama for Afghanistan…

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