- A 'constellation of Jewish groups' (J Street to David Project) seeks to block any accountability for cruel occupation
- The lobby squirts squid-ink at Steve Walt
- Neocon offers disinformation about Occupation in 'LA Times'
- The Cooper Union question: Was Arab anti-Semitism the same as Nazi anti-Semitism?
- Neocons take over Buckley's inheritance
- Ambushing the ambiguity
- J'aime Paul Berman beaucoups
- Is the US getting ready to push Israel to declare its nuclear status?
- Brave Palestinian journalist arrested for filming protests
- Blau-Kamm case exposes the dark underbelly of Israel's security state
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 09:16 AM PDT
The battle is joined inside the Jewish community over boycott/divestment/
A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill at UC Berkeley. The ground-breaking bill calls for divestment from companies that profit from the perpetuation of the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza. They refer to the bill as "dishonest" and "misleading" and "based on contested allegations."
/In fact, the Berkeley bill was co-authored by an Israeli Jewish student on campus and is supported by many Jews who have testified in favor of the bill and have written thousands of letters of support to the student senators.
Then, a similar coalition accused the Presbyterian Church of "one-sidedness" and in much more explicit terms, anti-Semitism. In other words, they re-cast the very idea that one should be "invested only in peaceful pursuits" in Israel-Palestine as biased or racist.
Sydney Levy is the Director of Campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace, a national grassroots organization dedicated to full equality between Israelis and Palestinians.
Yaman Salahi, a UC Berkeley alumnus and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, is currently a student at Yale Law School.
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:54 AM PDT
This is a good fight. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy adopts an Alfred-E-Newman like cluelessness in saying, What possible attachments to foreign countries can Steve Walt be talking about--Morocco? Jordan? Turkey?--when he criticizes the Washington Institute and Dennis Ross, who once worked there before going to the Obama administration. As if Satloff does not care about Israel in the morning and in the afternoon and at night too.
Walt responds calmly that he is talking of course about attachments to Israel, but that he doesn't use the word "dual loyalty" because we all have multiple identities in this modern age (well some of us). He says it's a straightforward question of conflict of interest and describes WINEP's pedigree as the spawn of AIPAC:
The last point may be the best one. People are waking up, and this is pretty straightforward. Someone who was head of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem, warning against intermarriage in the U.S.--Dennis Ross--shouldn't be guiding our Iran policy. And why is he? Because of the lobby.
I like the dual loyalty concept. So does Eric Alterman of the Nation. So too does John Judis of the New Republic. It gets at the matter of Jewish nationality that Zionists sought to create in an era of nationalism. And today when Israeli interest and American interest are so wildly divergent, it is a big issue. A year back in a reflective moment, Jeffrey Goldberg said that the Iran issue gave him conflict on this very question. His love for Israel conflicted with the interests of the U.S. I wonder the same about Tariq Ramadan's Muslim religion and Swiss nationality. Swiss when I vote, Ramadan said the other night; but there wasn't another Swiss moment all night. The American public, the American elite, deserve this discussion of religion and the Middle East, conducted with sincerity.
Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:34 AM PDT
Anonymous writes: I think you've followed Robert Pape's work quite closely. It is very important. Neocon Max Boot has now taken it up in the LA Times:
His error here has to do with his misrepresentation of the barrier as being "along the West Bank" when everybody paying attention should know that the vast majority of it is inside the West Bank. To say "along" without also saying "inside" is to misrepresent reality and mislead readers.I haven't even got into his use of the term "targeted operations." Those targeted operations killed 47 innocent bystanders in 2003, while 44 actual targets were killed. That's hardly a "targeted" result when there's such "collateral" damage. I wonder if some of this knowledge motivated Anat Kamm. From the State Department.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:30 PM PDT
Last night at Cooper Union, George Packer sought to expose some possibly embarrassing sources of Tariq Ramadan's political commitments by reading a quotation from Ramadan's grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Packer asked Ramadan why he had failed to address the import of such anti-Semitic utterances; he implied that the failure might indicate a less than candid approach, by Ramadan, to Islamic anti-Semitism generally. Ramadan said that the quotation seemed to him likely to have been taken out of context.
Packer insisted that the only relevant context was what it must have meant to ally oneself with an ally of Hitler. Packer incidentally acknowledged that he had drawn his quotation from a recent book by Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. That source, however, has, in fact, come under strong criticism precisely for its practice of de-contextualizatio
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:21 PM PDT
The neocon takeover of NRO is complete: "Petraeus's Israel Problem." WF Buckley Jr., who opposed the war in Iraq, must be turning in his grave.
And Pamela Geller the fevered Israel devotee writes that Petraeus is pushing "jihadist rhetoric of Islamic anti-semitism." Wow who would have believed that Petraeus was a stealth Islamist.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:12 PM PDT
Like the gleeful sound one makes upon hearing that a particularly obnoxious and troublesome relative will not be attending a family gathering, Washington officials probably issued a collective sigh of relief when hearing the news that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has cancelled his visit to Washington planned for next week. The Israeli Prime Minister has caused enough diplomatic problems for the Obama government recently and his appearance at an international summit on the spread of nuclear weapons could have further embarrassed both Israel and the United States.
Netanyahu will not attend the weapons conference because he is afraid to confront a group of representatives of Muslim and Arab nations who plan to bring up the issue of Israel's non-participation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These nations want to force Israel to publicly acknowledge its nuclear capability and permit international inspection of its facilities.
The Jerusalem Post refers to the Israeli nuclear arsenal as "alleged," maintaining the ludicrous Tel Aviv "policy of ambiguity." The headline of the Hebrew version of Ynet says Netanyahu is afraid of an "ambush" by the Arab delegates to the conference. Israel will send Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor to the conference to be the flak-catcher for Netanyahu. The Israeli leader's absence will deflect attention from the potential bad publicity that discussion of Israel's nuclear capability will generate.
Israel maintains an arsenal that is assumed to be between 100 and 300 warheads depending on the source of the data estimate. Mordechai Vanunu revealed details of Israel's nuclear arsenal to the British press in 1986. He served 18 years in an Israeli prison after being abducted from Italy by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Vanunu is prohibited from leaving Israel, where his freedom of speech, association and movement have been severely limited by authorities since his release. He has been designated as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
According to the Federation of American Scientists website, it has been reported that "fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs." The fact that Israel may have seriously considered a nuclear strike in 1973 first became known to the general public in Seymour Hersh's 1993 book, The Samson Option. If my memory serves me, Hersh claimed that Israel loaded the nukes on missiles and aimed them.
Surely the Americans must be ecstatic about Netanyahu not coming for another visit, although they are forced by their "very special relationship" with Israel to explicitly deny the obvious. The dubious honor for the denial fell on the shoulders of national security adviser General James Jones, who told reporters that "of course we wanted the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] to come [back for another visit]."
Isn't the very special Israeli-American relationship getting more special all the time?
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 07:35 PM PDT
From Ron Rosenbaum at Slate:
Mais oui, the clarity that he demonstrated when he defended the assault on Gaza's civilian population under the rubric of fighting anti-Semitism. Though in his defense he had been silent on the siege of Gaza.
Does this apply to Israel? Should we tolerate an intolerant polity or state? Is there a tribalism that is masked by his high-falutin Enlightenment talk that privileges his tribe over a neighbouring tribe? The answer is once again: mais oui.
J'aime Paul Berman, c'est un pompous windbag who personifies the decline of what passes for intellectual discourse in late imperial America.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 12:06 PM PDT
Whatever else can be said about the strained relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, one thing is clear: Obama seems intent on keeping Netanyahu off balance.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu announced he would be returning to Washington next week to attend Obama's Nuclear Security Summit. Just days later, he had changed his mind, ostensibly because of "fears that a group of Muslim states, led by Egypt and Turkey, would demand that Israel sign up to the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT," Haaretz reported.
An earlier report in the Jerusalem Post, however, had raised that specific issue and said this would not deter the Israeli prime minister from attending the summit:
Earlier, Ynet reported:
It's unclear however, whether the administration'
The United States is not on the brink of pushing Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it could be signalling its willingness to see pressure applied by others as it provides a platform in Washington for such an effort. Moreover, in a little noted move, the Obama administration appears to be using a new diplomatic tool to signal that Israel's days of "nuclear ambiguity" may be numbered: Israel's nuclear scientists are now being shut out of the United States.
A report on the Hebrew NRG/Maariv website, under a headline, Dimona reactor workers not welcome in the US, says that workers at Israel's Dimona nuclear research reactor who submitted visa requests to visit the United States for ongoing university education in physics, chemistry and nuclear engineering, have all been rejected, specifically because of their association with the Dimona reactor. According to the report, this is a new policy decision by the Obama administration, since reactor workers were until recently being issued visas to study in the US.
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:54 AM PDT
The latest news from Bil'in: Haitham Al Khatib was arrested while filming at today's demonstration, held on the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre. Details below.
I'm reminded of the story Haitham told me when I asked about the deep scar between his eyebrows. The thing to keep in mind is that all of the soldiers know Haitham and Hamde Abo, the Bil'in photographer: they are the dynamic duo that arrives on scene to document each and every night raid. It's the same soldiers day in and day out, so Haitham and Hamde can recognize familiar eyes and mouths beneath the masks. (This is how Hamde describes the faces of the IDF: "I know the soldiers like my brother.") So one day Haitham was taking photographs at the weekly demonstration. A soldier told Haitham to stop, or else: he'd shoot him in the head. Haitham didn't stop, and so the soldier shot him between the eyes with a rubber-coated steel bullet, fracturing his skull. When Haitham was released from the hospital, he was back at the wall each Friday with his camera–just as he'll be back at the wall when or if he's ever released from Israeli military detention.
Hamde Abo reports:
Posted: 09 Apr 2010 08:01 AM PDT
What is misleadingly being called in Israel the "Anat Kamm espionage affair" is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state.
Call anytime: 917-974-6367
Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton