Monday, March 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders: A Jewish Progressive Without A Lock On Either The Jewish Or The Progressive Vote

The 2020 Presidential elections are still well over a year away, but the field of candidates on the Democratic side rivals the size of the field of Republican candidates running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

And one of the leading candidates is Bernie Sanders.

photo
Bernie Sanders. (Public Domain)

He has the name recognition.
He has the war chest.
He has the experience that comes from campaigning in 2016.

For our purposes, the question is where does Sanders stand on the issue of Israel?

How Arafat Helped Establish Israel As The Major US Ally In The Middle East That It Is Today

Richard Nixon's antisemitism did not prevent him from coming to Israel's aid in 1973 and resupplying it with the weapons that enabled it to win the war.

But beyond that, Nixon may be responsible for the enduring US foreign policy that sees
  • The value of a strong Israel
  • Israel as solid US ally in Mideast
  • Israel as important for Mideast stability
photo
Richard Nixon. Source: National Archives. Public Domain


Ilhan Omar Has A History Of Breaking Rules On Donations of "Benjamins"

Ilhan Omar was at the center of the news last week, amidst her antisemitic tweets and her attack on Elliott Abrams.

Yet despite what her tweets condemning AIPAC and her false claim that it pays off government officials, Omar's own history of violating and abusing the rules governing receiving money -- and having to return it -- has received scant attention.

In July last year, The Daily Caller reported, Democratic Congressional Hopeful Forced To Return College Speaking Fees

Is 'Democratic Majority for Israel' Intended To Clean Up J Street's Mess?

Get the popcorn: J Street is getting some competition.

The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) is a new group, presenting itself as "the pro-Israel voice of Democrats."
How new is DMFI?
So new, that when I did a search by name to find their website -- it showed up at the bottom of the first page of hits -- and that was a paid advertised link.

Here is their introductory video:

Friday, March 01, 2019

UNRWA Has No Basis For Creating Generations of Palestinian Arab Refugees

One of the most controversial issues surrounding how UNRWA does business is its fast-and-loose definition of refugees, which has kept expanding over the years.

When UN General Assembly Resolution 393 was passed on December 2, 1950, endorsing UNRWA's purpose, it clearly stated:
[T]he reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area
UNRWA's job was to either repatriate refugees, where possible -- or to resettle them elsewhere, with the realization and acknowledgment that the money was not going to last forever.

But that goal was only good for about 10 years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Women's March Is Not The First To Be Hurt By Its Association With Farrakhan

It's common to think that Farrakhan's poisonous Antisemitic rhetoric carries no consequences with it.
  • There are no condemnations from African American leaders.
  • Politicians show no reluctance to appear with him
  • Community leaders in general do not condemn his Anti-Jewish attacks
  • Farrakhan is a popular leader among African Americans
That is why the backlash against Women's March is so surprising.

Apart from the Antisemitism of the Women's March leadership itself, as documented by Tablet Magazine and The New York Times, their ties to Louis Farrakhan and their refusal to condemn his ongoing Antisemitic attacks have been a stain on that movement.

But historically, the Women's March is not alone in bearing the consequences of the albatross that is Louis Farrakhan.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tell The Leaders of The Women's March: Jews Were Not Always Considered "White" In The US

Finally, the media has begun to take the issue of Antisemitism in The Women's March seriously.

A turning point was the article Is The Women's March Melting Down featured on Tablet. In one of the key passages, a conflict during a meeting of some of the leaders is described:
“Tamika [Mallory] told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.

Tamika Mallory Is A Disciple of Sharpton As Well As Farrakhan -- And It Shows

Since Tamika Mallory's connection to, and adoration of, Antisemite Louis Farrakhan is well known, her Antisemitic attacks on Jews and Israel -- and her recent refusal to address those concerns -- are not surprising.


But she is also a disciple of Al Sharpton. Mallory joined the staff of Sharpton's National Action Network when she was 15 and later became its youngest-ever executive director.

Abbasonomics: Terrorism Beats Drug Running Hands Down

In the book Freakonomics, one chapter deals with the question "Why do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?" In providing an answer, the book touches on the sensitive relationship between drug gangs and the communities they live in. One particularly sensitive area is the murder of gang members and how it affects the expenses of drug gangs:
The miscellaneous expenses also include the costs associated with a gang member's murder. The gang not only paid for the funeral but often gave a stipend of up to three years' wages to the victim's family. Venkatesh had once asked why the gang was so generous in this regard. "That's a f****** stupid question," he was told, "'cause as long as you been with us, you still don't understand that their families is our families. We can't just leave 'em out. We been knowing these folks our whole lives, man so we grieve when they grieve. You got to respect the family." There was another reason for the death benefits: the gang reared community backlash (its enterprise was plainly a destructive one) and figured it could buy some goodwill for a few hundred dollars here and there. [pp 101-2]

Monday, January 21, 2019

Jewish Voice for Peace: Sloppy With Facts, But Adept With Fabrications

Controversy is the bread and butter of radical left-wing anti-Israel groups. The key is to grab the headlines, whether it is by preventing pro-Israel speakers from speaking, attacking groups like Hillel and Birthright for an alleged lack of balance, or saying Kaddish for terrorists.

So it is really not all that surprising that often facts they claim to give are full of sloppiness and outright fabrications.

Take for instance Jewish Voice for Peace and their Jews From The Middle East Fact Sheet, which adopts both anti-Israel and pro-Arab narratives.

Malaysia: Israeli Paraplegics Not Welcome - But Hamas Terrorists Hold Their Own "Event" There

Malaysia is making news - at least in the Jewish media - for its refusal to allow Israeli participants into the Paralympic Swimming event it is hosting this year from July 29 to August 4. This has broader implications for Israel since this is a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

This is not even the first time Malaysia has blocked Israel from participating in a sports event.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Why Are Jews Being Drawn To Europe's Right Wing Parties?

One of Netanyahu's undeniable successes as Prime Minister of Israel is his ability to increase the circle of Israel's friends. Part of his agenda to improve Israel's ties with other countries is his outreach to Eastern Europe. For example, he has extended Israel's friendship to Viktor Orban, the far right Prime Minister of Hungary. More than pursuing some vague, abstract goal, Netanyahu's actions can be seen as an attempt to weaken the EU's hostile strategy against Israel.

For example, last December, Hungary abstained when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hungary also joined the Czech Republic and Romania to block an EU statement criticizing the US for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

For their part, right-wing Eastern European leaders get a hechsher, "kosher certification" from Netanyahu that protects them from accusations of being Antisemitic racists.

Now it appears that this wooing of Israel manifests itself not only on a global level but on a local level as well.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Rashida Tlaib Swears In on Thomas Jefferson's Koran -- But Why Did He Have One?

This week, Rashida Tlaib will be one of our first 2 Muslim congresswomen. Ilhan Omar is the other. Tlaib's swearing-in will be noteworthy because she will be sworn in using Thomas Jefferson's own copy of the Koran.

Tlaib, of course, will not be the first to use Jefferson's Koran for the swearing-in -- Keith Ellison used it, amidst all kinds of discussion and debate back in 2007. At the time, Ellison said his use of Jefferson's Koran
demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Koran.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Just How Do You Measure The Level Of Democracy In A Terrorist State?

In my last post, I wrote about the Democracy Index for 2017, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Looking at its evaluation of Israel gave an opportunity to contrast 2 very different views of what the index revealed about Israel.

But the Democracy Index also evaluates "Palestine" and Iran, for example

Which raises the question: How do those two jive with this description of "democracy," from the report?

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Israeli Democracy Defies Being Pigeonholed

With the passing of its Nation-State Law this year, the issue of Israel as a democracy continues to be a topic of debate, and at times becomes even more pointed.

But last week we were reminded that for all the debate and the claims that Israel was revealing its fascist colors, Israeli democracy is alive and well:



Has UNIFIL Forgotten What Its Mandate Is?

Last month, UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti was interviewed on an i24NEWS program called The Rundown. At one point, starting at 3:33 and extending to 4:40, Tenenti described just what UNIFIL's mandate is:



So, according to Tenenti:

  • UNIFIL's job is limited to monitoring
  • UNIFIL has no mandate to disarm Hezbollah
  • UNIFIL is not allowed to search private property
video screengrab
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti. Video screengrab


At first glance, Tenenti seems to be right.

Ken Roth Is Not An Expert In International Law - But He Plays One On Twitter

Ken Roth is entitled to his opinion.

And Ken Roth thinks the Israeli settlements are illegal.

So far, so good.

But Ken Roth is also the executive director of Human Rights Watch