BIBI DOES BROADWAY

I thought I was viewing the Academy Awards. His acting was that stellar. His talk was like a sequel to his 2014 performance: The Shape of Warfare. He’d won the Oscar that year for demonizing Iran.

Bibi does Broadway

Sam Bahour 

I recently watched Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech from my home in Palestine. For a moment, I thought I was viewing the Academy Awards. His acting was that stellar. His talk was like a sequel to his 2014 performance: The Shape of Warfare. He’d won the Oscar that year for demonizing Iran.

Normally I’d have been upset. I mean, how can anyone take such harrumphing hasbara seriously? Then it hit me: Bibi was doing standup! And his shtick was over-the-top.

The Prime Minister’s kvetching was truly primetime black comedy. He began by saying “the audience in this hall each year is getting bigger and bigger and bigger!” What consummate acting! He was emulating cartoon character Mr. Magoo, myopically missing the mounting opposition to his policies.

Under Bibi’s leadership—some Israelis would call it kingship—Israel is nothing if not rapidly becoming the modern day’s developed Western rogue state. It seems only curtailed from implementing its final solution to the Palestinian question by advent of smartphones and the Internet.

Bibi then bragged about Israel’s modernity and creativity, causing audiences to smile at his failure to note all the handouts it gets from the world. Bibi then claimed Abbas “pays about 350 million a year to terrorists and their families.” Holy moly, Batman! That caused another international guffaw since Israel (created and maintained by terror) gets 10 times that much each year just from the USA. And for what end, to maintain a 50-year military occupation which mandates Israel to have every Israeli high school graduate pick up a gun and point it at Palestinians!

To put that in perspective: once every blue moon the IRS returns American workers $300 atop their normal refund. Grateful citizens respond with joyous backflips. Yet, each year/every year, the USA gives every man-woman-child-baby in Israel $500…none of whom worked a minute for it, none of whom show any gratitude. Shouldn’t a 70-year-old nation, especially one whose leader brags of the strength of its globally-aligned economy, cut its own ice?

The prime minister was on a roll. The first thing he mentioned, after saying Israel wanted peace, was ‘Israel has never had a stronger military.” Imagine! He didn’t brag about its farms (many wrongfully acquired by military force), water resources (stolen from Palestinians), or nuclear weapons (stolen from America). No, he mentioned the IDF uber alles.

What a kidder!

He then tugged at heart-strings, citing Israel’s help during overseas natural disasters. Of course, he failed to mention all the IDF-created disasters in nearby Gaza, a modern-day Guernica.

He also lauded Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, David Freidman, the Zionist Three Stooges trying to broker a one-sided peace deal by forcing facts on the ground. What a hoot! It was like suggesting McCarthy, Duke, and Birch broker a truce with African Americans during their 1960s intifada.

Bibi also swore that “peace is Israel’s highest aspiration,” echoing another leader some 79 years ago. Time magazine noted in 1939 “Hitler’s hope that the nations of Europe could settle on a peace — but only a peace in which German demands would be met.”

He urged more pressure be put on Iran, but not by Israel. Like Tom Sawyer, he wants others to do the dirty work, whitewashing Israel’s instigations.

Jealous fits sometime threw off his timing. Like when he chided Iran for violating “multiple UN Security Council resolutions,” having “repeatedly lied to the international community,” and wanting nukes…just like Israel. He can’t stand challenges to Israel’s hegemony. Yet is he crazy? Mullahs aren’t muttonheads. They see how North Korea is treated versus Iraq.

It was obvious that Bibi not only knows how to pull the world’s leg, he studies movies. He changed The Eternal Jew into The Infernal Arab. What chutzpah! He’s certainly a savvy thespian who knows the power of media. Too bad he hasn’t watched Red Dawn, though. He’d know that Americans would fight their invaders/occupiers just like Palestinians do.

Bibi’s breathless Perils of Pauline routine continued. He clutched pearls mentioning “rockets, terrorists and missiles” drawing howls of laughter. Bibi has clearly become the poster child for war, oblivious to the very few steps that separate him from being imprisoned back in Israel for corruption.

I lost the “Phantom Thread” leading from his wanting peace to calling for war. He can’t understand that the world that loves The Diary of Anne Frank loathes the detention of Ahed Tamimi. That people who enjoy the wonders of Black Panther’s Wakanda are weary of the so-called Jewish State’s repeated motto: There Will Be Blood.

Moses, or at least Charlton Heston, told Pharaoh: “Let my people go!” Sane, decent, peace-loving people around the world say: “Let Palestinians free!”

Israel should heed the advice of Palestinians (echoing another Oscar winner) and just Get Out!

Still, it’s no laughing matter, no film fantasy. America is increasingly more diverse. Colonialism is outdated. And young Jews are less and less attached to Israel. So, unless the state Bibi heads mends its ways, it could soon be Gone with the Wind.

Written FOR

AIPAC MUST BE DEEMED A FOREIGN AGENT …. NOW

The U.S. has laws in place that forbid foreign governments from wielding certain kinds of influence or lobbying. Every foreign country represented in Washington by foreign agents must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

It’s Time For AIPAC To Register As A Foreign Agent

M.J. Rosenberg

 

This weekend, 18,000 Americans from all over the country are coming to Washington to participate in the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference.

AIPAC is one of the leading forces behind the Israel lobby, joined in recent years by the ascending Christians United for Israel. Other Jewish “pro-Israel” organizations are niche affairs, representing particular constituencies on the left or right. But it’s AIPAC that is the registered lobby on Capitol Hill and it is AIPAC whose clout on matters relating to Israel exceeds the clout of the National Rifle Association on matters related to guns; while the NRA’s sway is almost entirely over Republicans, AIPAC has historically drawn its support from both parties. Is there any place but AIPAC that not only gets Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the same room, but gets to hear them in near total agreement?

But there’s something strange, too, about AIPAC. Consider Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks at last year’s conference: “Every freedom-loving American stands with Israel — because her cause is our cause, her values are our values and her fight is our fight.”

How can America’s representatives declare that any other country’s fight – even one as close to us as Israel is — is our fight, its cause our cause, its values our values?

It’s precisely this kind of over-identification that George Washington warned against in his 1796 Farewell Address. “A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils,” said Washington. “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists… betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.”

To protect against this kind of passionate attachment, the U.S. has laws in place that forbid foreign governments from wielding certain kinds of influence or lobbying. Every foreign country represented in Washington by foreign agents must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under its terms, the country in question is absolutely banned from participating in or influencing American elections. Every contact the agents have with Congress must be reported to the Department of Justice, along with how and where they spend their resources.

This law applies to Canada as much as it does to Russia (although Russian interference in our political process is now one of the biggest issues in our political life). It also applies to Israel.

But it does not apply to the Israel lobby as represented by AIPAC, which is heavily involved in our political system, funding candidates who are perceived to be “good on Israel” and defunding incumbents who fail to subscribe to the favored foreign state’s agenda.

How does AIPAC get away with it?

It gets away with it because AIPAC’s founder, I.L. Kenen, came up with a legal loophole by which AIPAC is defined not as a lobby for a foreign state but for Americans who support that state. It’s a critical distinction that makes AIPAC’s dominance over US Middle East policy possible.

I worked at AIPAC directly for Kenen, back in the 1970s before moving on to Capitol Hill. He told me that he came up with the AIPAC formula — AIPAC as an American organization lobbying for Americans — so that AIPAC would be legally permitted to engage in politics and not have to reveal its activities. A devoted American and liberal Democrat, Kenen believed American and Israeli interests and values weren’t likely to diverge anyway, so what’s the problem?

After Kenen retired, Israel and AIPAC took a rightward turn, and he saw the mistake he made. Toward the end of his life, Kenen was outraged by the AIPAC leadership with its unquestioning support of the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade against Gaza, and other right-wing Israeli policies. He hated what he saw as AIPAC using its political power to keep the United States government and other influential Americans and perhaps most importantly, the media, from straying from the Israeli line.

Not only was AIPAC making it hard for the United States to restrain the Israeli government; it was weakening forces inside Israel that were trying to do so. The Israeli peace camp needed the United States on its side, but thanks to AIPAC, the United States could not help our natural Israeli allies. Of course, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was actively seeking peace and an end to the occupation, that was the moment AIPAC chose to separate itself from Israel, resulting in Rabin’s blistering exhortation that it get the hell out of his way. By the time of his death, Kenen was thoroughly alienated from the organization.

Now is the time to undo Kenen’s mistake. It is time to require AIPAC to register as what it is: a foreign agent. It will still be able to advocate for Israel but as an Israeli lobby, which admits to getting its marching orders from the Israeli government. What it would not be able to do is direct campaign money to politicians. Let’s see how many vice presidents, senators, and representatives show up at its conferences then. Let’s see how many of its Israel-right-or-wrong resolutions pass the House 435-0. Let’s see if presidents are still afraid to say what they think about the occupation and the denial of democratic rights to Palestinians.

I began this piece by referring to AIPAC as the major component of the “pro-Israel” lobby. Actually, it isn’t. It is a lobby for the Israeli right and for a status quo that has turned Israel into an international pariah. That is not the way it has to be.

In 1995, when the peace-seeking Rabin was gunned down by a rightwing Israeli zealot, more foreign leaders attended his funeral than had attended any similar rite since John F. Kennedy’s. Poll after poll showed Rabin, the man who negotiated honestly and directly with the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, to be among the most admired people in the world.

Today, Netanyahu and AIPAC (which has kept the United States government firmly behind Netanyahu’s policies) have turned Israel into a source of dissension even among American Jews.

No, AIPAC is not a “pro-Israel” lobby. It’s the Netanyahu lobby and our laws should treat it as such, for Israel’s sake even more than our own.

As for the thousands of Americans gathered in Washington this weekend, they need to know one thing: they are not supporting the dream of a secure, democratic Israel at peace with its neighbors and the world. They are, unwittingly, supporting a right-wing political agenda that is placing Israel in ever-deeper peril and, frankly, jeopardizing its very existence.

 

TIMELY TOON ~~ AIPAC DECLARES WAR ON BDS MOVEMENT

Netanyahu  addressed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement aimed at Israel, saying Israel will defend itself on the “moral battlefield… We’ll defend ourselves against slander and boycotts.”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Related report HERE

AIPAC speakers say the enemy is BDS, while ‘biggest Jewish-led protest’ surges outside 

JEWS AGAINST AIPAC ~~ ‘IF NOT NOW, WHEN?’

Activists from the IfNotNow group entered a conference held by the America Israel Public Affairs Committee Sunday, demanding that American Jews stop supporting what they say are Israeli abuses toward the Palestinians.

IfNotNow Protesters At AIPAC Conference

Security at the AIPAC conference, the largest pro-Israel conference of the year, was extremely strict and according to IfNotNow members, the four activists purchased tickets as AIPAC delegates in order to gain access to the building. The IfNotNow activists dropped banners from the center’s third floor stating that their group “reject AIPAC and the occupation” before security guards removed them.

AIPAC delegates watching the from the hallways booed the protestors as they were taken out. Most participants, however, were spread out in conference rooms and were not aware of the protest taking place.

About 15,000 participants are expected to attend the three-day AIPAC conference that began Sunday, where top Israeli and American leaders are discussing Middle East policy in the first major meeting since the November elections.

 

RELATED ….. (Click on link)

AIPAC Revoked Credentials Of IfNotNow Activists Registered To Conference

Meanwhile ….. outside the conference

And a LiveStream from yesterday …

NEW VIDEO ~~ DROP THE WALL! … END AIPAC NOW!!!

MONDAY’S TOON ~~ ANTI SEMITISM MY EYE!

Image by Carlos Latuff

An exclusive Latuff cartoon on Israel lobby outrage over Sanders’ comments on Israel’s 2014 massacre of Gaza civilians.

 Israel lobbyists distract from Gaza atrocities by accusing Bernie of anti-Semitism

Israel lobbyists distract from Gaza atrocities by accusing Bernie of anti-Semitism

Sanders Gets it Mostly Right on Gaza, but Cheerleaders for Israeli Brutality Attack Him Anyway

In an interview with the New York Daily News, a tabloid owned by ultra-Zionist multi-billionaire Mort Zuckerman, Sen. Bernie Sanders held forth on Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip. “My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been,” Sanders declared. He then overstated the civilian casualty toll, asserting that “over 10,000 people” were killed by Israel.

Sanders’ comments infuriated the pro-Israel lobby, provoking former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren to accuse him of a “blood libel,” referring to the false rumors of Jews kidnapping and cooking gentile babies  spread to justify pogroms and anti-Semitic repression. The Anti-Defamation League joined the festival of outrage, demanding Sanders apologize for his comments. When Sanders visited his childhood home in Brooklyn, he was met with protests by right-wing allies of the Israeli settler movement including New York State Assemblymember Dov Hikind, an unrepentant former member of the violent extremist Jewish Defense League.

While Israel lobbyists like Oren were determined to extract a display of contrition from the Democratic presidential challenger, it’s hard to imagine they would want to acknowledge the real toll of Israel’s 51-day-long assault, from the 551 children killed to the Associated Press’s finding that Israel killed 844 Palestinian civiliansin airstrikes on their homes to the fact that a whopping 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Israeli violence.

Indeed, Sanders’ comments about the leveling of apartment houses and bombing of hospitals were absolutely accurate. When Israel shelled a UN-run shelter for displaced civilians in Gaza on August 2, 2014, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki declared, “The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least 10 more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed.”

The pro-Israel lobby played a critical role in the blood-drenched assault on Gaza in 2014, ensuring full-throated political support from American lawmakers and military backing from the Obama administration. Its accusations of blood libel represent the height of moral hypocrisy. Israeli propagandists like Oren — who was an active, uniformed participant in Israel’s 2008-09 invasion of Gaza — point an accusing finger at Sanders with one hand, and pull the trigger on a besieged, occupied population with the other.

AT AIPAC ~~ NETANYAHU MAKES TRUMP LOOK GOOD

Most people I spoke with energetically condemned racist statements attributed to Trump. However, when I revealed the statements had actually been made by Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, respondents immediately excused, justified or supported the rhetoric they had just condemned.

 

See full report (Click on link)

AIPAC attendees slam Netanyahu’s racism when they think it’s Trump’s

And here’s how Katie Miranda of Mondoweiss sees ‘what if Bernie Sanders spoke at AIPAC ....

Unlike the other four presidential candidates, Democrat Bernie Sanders declined the invitation to speak at the AIPAC– American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference– in Washington on Monday, and instead delivered a foreign policy address in Utah. The speech has gotten wide circulation because of its affirmations of Palestinian human rights.

bernie

 

POTUS ~~ “¡CUBA SÍ, AIPAC NO!”

Obama’s visit to Cuba, is scheduled for Mar 21st and 22nd. From there he is expected to continue his trip through Latin-American countries. His departure from the U.S. during that time will mean that he will be absent during the AIPAC conference and consequently miss the visit to the U.S. of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is expected to speak at the conference.

Could the timing be more perfect?

Historic Photo ~ US President Barack Obama (R) and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the start of their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Historic Photo ~ US President Barack Obama (R) and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the start of their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Obama times Cuba visit to avoid Netanyahu?

Obama is to be the first U.S. President in 80 years to visit Cuba, but the timing of the visit means he will miss AIPAC, Netanyahu in U.S.

The White House announced on Thursday that U.S. President Barack Obama will make history as he will be the first U.S. President to visit Cuba in over 80 years. The state visit is a direct continuation of the Obama’s historic achievement from last year when he initiated diplomatic relations between the two countries. Diplomatic relations between the countries was severed 6 decades ago.

The President announced the news via his Twitter account on the same day. “14 months ago, I announced that we would begin normalizing relations with Cuba – and we’ve already made significant progress,” he tweeted. “Our flag flies over our Embassy in Havana once again. More Americans are traveling to Cuba than at any time in the last 50 years.”

It is expected that Obama will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, as well as various entrepreneurs and VIPs of Cuban society.

The statement by the White House made waves in the U.S. media, however, most of the press overlooked one important fact which relates to Israel, the timing of the visit.

Obama’s visit to Cuba, is scheduled for Mar 21st and 22nd. From there he is expected to continue his trip through Latin-American countries. His departure from the U.S. during that time will mean that he will be absent during the AIPAC conference and consequently miss the visit to the U.S. of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is expected to speak at the conference.

The last time the two leaders met was in November 2015. Following the meeting Netanyahu said that it was “one of the best meetings I have had with Obama.” The White House was not so enthused.

The last U.S. President to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in 1928 when he visited the island country on a U.S. battleship.

 

Source

AIPAC Vs THE WORLD

Congratulations to AIPAC for finally dividing the American Jewish community!

billboard

J Street Battles AIPAC Over Iran Deal

JTA

AIPAC called on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, saying it does not meet critical markers that the influential pro-Israel lobby outlined in recent weeks. But the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby J Street announced a multimillion-dollar campaign to support the agreement.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee made its case against in a statement Wednesday delivered after President Barack Obama conducted a news conference of more than an hour defending the deal achieved a day earlier.

“We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal,” AIPAC said in its statement. “Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon.”

Under the law, Congress may disapprove the deal. AIPAC’s call to reject the agreement achieved between six world powers and Iran will make it likelier that Congress will send Obama a “no,” although it is unlikely that opponents will have the numbers to override the veto that Obama has pledged to deliver. Disapproval requires a simple majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate; overriding a veto requires two-thirds majorities in both chambers.

On Tuesday, AIPAC had expressed skepticism about the deal, but held back from calling for its rejection until its details became clearer. A number of other major Jewish groups have expressed reservations about the pact, but only a handful have come out absolutely on either side.

Israel rejected the deal immediately and plans to lobby the Congress to reject it. In a show of national unity, Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of the opposition Zionist Union party, is coming to Washington next week to lobby against the deal.

AIPAC said the deal did not meet key markers that it has circulated since June. Among other complaints, AIPAC noted that the agreement does not grant inspectors immediate access to sites, lifts restrictions as early as eight years, does not require the dismantling of centrifuges and allows sanctions relief before compliance, although Obama administration officials have said that sanctions will not be lifted until Iran meets certain markers.

The lobby appeared to challenge claims by Obama – made as recently as his Wednesday news conference – that the likeliest alternative to the deal was war.

“Proponents of the proposed agreement will argue that the only alternative to this agreement is military conflict,” AIPAC said. “In fact, the reverse is true. A bad agreement such as this will invite instability and nuclear proliferation. It will embolden Iran and may encourage regional conflict.”

J Street, announcing its campaign on Wednesday, said it will make the case to lawmakers that the agreement “advances both U.S. and Israeli security interests.” The lobby has raised $2 million thus far for the drive, a source said.

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” the group said in a statement.

The campaign will launch this week with a 30-second TV advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement, along with more broadcast and print ads over the next 60 days.

Obama in his news conference asked lawmakers not to heed lobbyists in considering the deal. Earlier Wednesday, his vice president, Joe Biden, had met Democratic lawmakers in a closed session to persuade them to back a deal. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the deal.

The president seemed eager to counter criticism of the deal.

“With this deal we cut off every one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program,” he said.

ADL DEFENDS FUNDING TO UKRAINIAN NEO NAZIS … HAVING ENEMIES IS KEY TO THEIR SURVIVAL

NEVER!!!

NEVER!!!

The following is a strange turn of events ….

Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.

*

How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.

DOES AIPAC RULE OVER AND ABOVE THE US SUPREME COURT?

Image by Bendib

Image by Bendib

*

For a decade an American/Israeli family has fought the United States government for the ‘right’ to have their Jerusalem born son’s US Passport listing ISRAEL as his birthplace. Meanwhile, US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in PALESTINE. 

For that same decade, the US government has maintained that While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. … that is until yesterday when the Supreme court reached a decision on the matter. (see report below)

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

In reality, that very same Supreme Court should consider doing away with duel citizenship, and stop issuing Passports to non citizens. As it stands now, these people either have or will have the right to vote in US elections.

Obviously, it is in the interest of AIPAC and its affiliates to make sure that never reaches the Court itself.

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

Supreme Court divided on Jerusalem passport case

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

News Agencies VIA

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday as it considered whether Congress overstepped its authority in passing a law designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

Congress passed the law in 2002 but the government has never enforced it. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue of sovereignty over a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, the State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, with no country name included.

The parents of a Jerusalem-born 12-year-old boy, US citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, have waged a long court battle to have his passport state he was born in Israel.

At issue is the longstanding US policy that the president, not Congress, has sole authority to provide American recognition of who controls Jerusalem, a city claimed both by Israelis and Palestinians.

Twelve-year-old Menachem and his parents sat through the hour-long argument that seemed to split the court along ideological lines. The liberal justices on the nine-member court appeared willing to accept the Obama administration’s argument that changing the wording on passports would damage the American role as a broker of peace in the Middle East and undermine the president’s credibility.

The conservative justices were more skeptical of the argument put forth by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., and were more sympathetic to the parents, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky. They seemed open to the argument by Alyza Lewin, the family’s lawyer, that the passport language would not change US policy toward Jerusalem.

Justice Antonin Scalia readily agreed with Lewin. “This is not recognition. It just has an effect on the State Department’s desire to make nice with the Palestinians,” Scalia said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the court’s swing vote in close decisions, is likely to again find himself in that role.

Kennedy signaled some support for the government, saying if the case rests on the determination that the law indicates recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, the State Department “should be given deference.”

However, he also indicated a possible compromise in which the law is enforced but the government adds disclaimers in passports saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Verrilli doubted such a disclaimer would be effective. He called the status of Jerusalem among the most vexing issues in the region.

The State Department maintains the law violates the US Constitution’s separation of executive and legislative powers. It says a loss for the government in the case would be seen around the world as a reversal of US policy that could cause “irreversible damage” to America’s ability to influence the region’s peace process.

That argument appeared to gain traction with the liberal justices, including the court’s three Jewish members: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Kagan said Jerusalem’s status is so contentious that any development, no matter how minor, “is a big deal” in the Middle East.

“Right now, Jerusalem is a tinder box because of the status of and access to a particular holy site,” Kagan said.

Kagan likened the statute to a “very selective vanity plate law,” referring to customized car license plates. She noted that Jerusalem-born US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in Palestine.

Of the conservative justices, Antonin Scalia seemed most supportive of the family, saying foreign policy concerns should not be taken into account when deciding whether Congress had authority to pass the law.

“If it is within Congress’s power, what difference does it make whether it antagonizes foreign countries?” Scalia said.

While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Two years ago, the justices rejected lower court decisions that called the matter a political issue that should be resolved by Congress and the president without the help of the courts.

The federal appeals court in Washington then struck down the law as an unconstitutional intrusion by Congress on the president’s authority over foreign affairs.

Congress and the White House have argued for decades over support for Israel’s position on Jerusalem.

In 1995, Congress essentially adopted the Israeli position, saying the US should recognize a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2002, lawmakers passed new provisions urging the president to take steps to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to have their place of birth listed as Israel.

President George W. Bush signed the 2002 provisions into law but noted that “US policy regarding Jerusalem has not changed.” President Barack Obama has taken the same stance.

A ruling is due by the end of June.

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, US Supreme Court, 13-628.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

*

Presented here is a report about the harassment of a Palestinian/American WHO LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES ….. obviously AIPAC or the ADL couldn’t care less …. but hopefully you do.

*

Free Rasmea Odeh, political prisoner

By Angela Davis*

*

Rasmea Odeh is fighting for her citizenship and for her freedom. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Detroit today on charges of “unlawful procurement of naturalization.”

As her supporters emphasize, her arrest and prosecution are politically motivated and are clearly designed to disrupt the Chicago Palestine human rights community.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2013, Homeland Security agents arrested the 67-year-old Odeh, an American of Palestinian origin, at her home in the suburbs of Chicago.

On the same morning she was indicted in federal court, based on responses to questions posed on a 10-year-old naturalization application. Odeh has been an American citizen for the last decade.

Only now, when the Chicago activist community has effectively raised awareness of Israel’s apartheid system and its violation of international laws, have immigration authorities decided to challenge her status as a citizen. In light of success of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign, this case reeks of political payback.

Federal authorities allege that Odeh did not disclose her arrest in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court, an institution that has a long record of human rights violations.

At that time of her arrest, Odeh was forced into a confession while being subjected to physical and sexual torture, some of it perpetrated in front of her now deceased father.

Odeh never committed a crime, and her arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court was unlawful.

Odeh is not the only Chicago activist who has been targeted in the recent period. In 2010 anti-war activists — several from the Chicago area — were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about their support of Palestinians and Colombians.

It is revealing that Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, who is leading the investigation of the 23 activists, was in the courtroom on the morning Odeh was arrested, actively consulting with the assistant U.S. attorney who presented her case.

Jonas has an even longer history of targeting Palestinians. He was the prosecutor in the case of the Holy Land Five, who were the heads of the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. before 9/11. He succeeded in getting inordinately long prison sentences for the five men, who provided charity to children in Gaza.

The conviction of the Holy Land Five was based on “secret evidence,” withheld from the defense and on the testimony of Israeli witnesses in disguise.

Targeting 67-year-old Odeh at this point, 10 years after she received her citizenship, appears to be retaliation for the growing successes of the Palestine solidarity movement. Her case is being tried in federal court instead of immigration court, where such cases are normally heard.

She faces 10 years in prison as well as the revocation of her citizenship and deportation.

For decades, Odeh has been an upright and contributing member of her community.

She has worked with the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, an advocacy and social service agency, supervising programs and coordinating its Arab Women’s Committee, a 600-member group that actively defends civil liberties and immigrant rights.

Targeting a person who has been such an active proponent for positive change is a serious setback for civil rights and militates against democracy and justice.

The time has come for progressive people to demand that Barry Jonas and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Chicago and Detroit cease their witch hunts of the Palestine solidarity communities and end political prosecutions, which undermine the constitutionally protected right to dissent.

As a person with first-hand knowledge of the devastation wrought by politically motivated prosecutions — during the era of COINTELPRO, I was falsely charged with three capital offenses — I see Rasmea Odeh’s case as a continuation of the embarrassing history of decades of suppression of social justice activists in the U.S.

The courts are being used to retaliate against Palestinian activism. As many people in Chicago and Detroit once joined the call to “Free Angela Davis,” I hope they will now join the campaign to “Free Rasmea Odeh.”

*Angela Davis is a renowned activist and distinguished professor emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

Written FOR

IT IS NOW ‘KOSHER’ TO OPPOSE AIPAC AND COMPANY

1stopaipac

*

Organizations like the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace have both taken advantage of and pushed forward this discourse shift. The real challenge now is how to use this change, how to use the near-normalization of criticism of Israel to broaden the work, to engage with organizations and institutions and—gasp!—even members of Congress who have never touched this issue before and who still assume it’s political suicide to criticize Israel. We know now it certainly isn’t, and we have to figure out how to move to the next, far more difficult stage of turning discourse shift into real policy change.

*

Why Opposing the Israel Lobby Is No Longer Political Suicide

IF IT LOOKS LIKE APARTHEID, WALKS LIKE APARTHEID AND QUACKS LIKE APARTHEID, IT’S APARTHEID!

 

*duck620

*

What a miserable secretary of state, up to his neck in denial. And how unfriendly to Israel he is to retract his frank, genuine and friendly warning merely for fear of the lobby. Now millions of ignorant Americans, viewers of Fox News and its ilk, know that Israel is in no risk of becoming an apartheid state. They believe the power of Hamas and the sophistication of Qassam rocket pose an existential danger to Israel .

*

The naysayers can find countless differences between the apartheid of Pretoria and that of Jerusalem. Pretoria’s was openly racist and anchored in law; Jerusalem’s is denied and repressed, hidden beneath a heavy cloak of propaganda and messianic religious faith. But the result is the same. Some South Africans who lived under the system of segregation say that their apartheid was worse. I know South Africans who say that the version in the territories is worse. But neither group can find a significant difference at the root: When two nations share the same piece of land and one has full rights while the other has no rights, that is apartheid. If it looks like apartheid, walks like apartheid and quacks like apartheid, it’s apartheid.

Is this not apartheid?

With friends like John Kerry, who retracted his true and well-meaning warning under pressure from the U.S. Jewish lobby, Israel doesn’t need enemies.

By Gideon Levy writing IN
*
Kerry speaking at the AIPAC annual conference.

Kerry speaking at AIPAC’s annual conference in Washington D.C., March 3, 2014. Aggressive Jewish lobby, weak Obama administration. Photo by AFP
*

Is Israel at risk of becoming an apartheid state, as John Kerry said on Friday, or not, as he said on Tuesday? Who knows? Given his feeble performance as U.S. secretary of state and his disgraceful apology, maybe it no longer matters what Kerry thinks or says. Given the aggressiveness of the Jewish lobby and the weakness of the Obama administration, which capitulates to every “pro-Israel” whim, Israel doesn’t need enemies with friends like these. Look what happened to its genuine friend, who was only trying to warn it from itself.

What a miserable secretary of state, up to his neck in denial. And how unfriendly to Israel he is to retract his frank, genuine and friendly warning merely for fear of the lobby. Now millions of ignorant Americans, viewers of Fox News and its ilk, know that Israel is in no risk of becoming an apartheid state. They believe the power of Hamas and the sophistication of Qassam rocket pose an existential danger to Israel .

But Kerry’s vacillations do not change the reality that shrieks from every wall. From every West Bank Palestinian village, from every reservoir and power grid that is for Jews only; apartheid screams from every demolished tent encampment and every verdict of the military court; from every nighttime arrest, every checkpoint, every eviction order and every settlement home. No, Israel is not an apartheid state, but for nearly 50 years an apartheid regime has ruled its occupied territories. Those who want to continue to live a lie, to repress and to deny are invited to visit Hebron. No honest, decent person could return without admitting the existence of apartheid. Those who fear that politically incorrect word have only to walk for a few minutes down Shuhada Street, with its segregated road and sidewalks, and their fear of using the forbidden word will vanish without a trace.

The history of the conflict is filled with forbidden words. Once upon a time, it was forbidden to say “Palestinians” was forbidden, after that came the prohibitions against saying “occupation,” “war crime,” “colonialism” or “binational state.” Now “apartheid” is prohibited.

The forbidden words paralyze debate. Did you let the word “apartheid” slip out? The truth is no longer important. But no political correctness or bowdlerization, however sanctimonious, can conceal reality forever. And the reality is an occupation regime of apartheid.

The naysayers can find countless differences between the apartheid of Pretoria and that of Jerusalem. Pretoria’s was openly racist and anchored in law; Jerusalem’s is denied and repressed, hidden beneath a heavy cloak of propaganda and messianic religious faith. But the result is the same. Some South Africans who lived under the system of segregation say that their apartheid was worse. I know South Africans who say that the version in the territories is worse. But neither group can find a significant difference at the root: When two nations share the same piece of land and one has full rights while the other has no rights, that is apartheid. If it looks like apartheid, walks like apartheid and quacks like apartheid, it’s apartheid.

Israel is an incipient apartheid state, just as Kerry I said on Friday. Kerry II, on Tuesday, merely tried to blur and hide the truth for fear of the lobby. But apartheid is in our future. If there won’t be two states, there will be only one. If there won’t be a democratic, egalitarian state, a state of all its citizens, then there will be an apartheid state. There is no other option. With its actions, Israel is saying a firm “no” to the two-state solution. With its fear of a non-Jewish state, Israel is saying no to a democratic, binational state. Where does that leave us? With an apartheid state. As Naomi Shemer said in her optimistic song “Mahar” (“Tomorrow”): If not today, then tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, then the day after.

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JEWISH TO LOVE LEVY’S RYE”

OR THE JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE

*

billboard

*
Help JVP beat AIPAC’s Facebook ‘Likes’ by Friday, and a donor will match $1 per Like!

Take Action!



JVP or AIPAC: Who do you like more?

 

 

Help JVP beat AIPAC’s Facebook ‘Likes’ by Friday, and a donor will match $1 per Like!

Take Action!

AIPAC, the political powerhouse that ensures unconditional U.S. support for Israel’s most egregious policies, has suffered a string of embarrassing defeats: Visa waivers. Syria. Iran.

With a few simple clicks, you can help us add one more to the list: Facebook.

Last week we launched a campaign to surpass AIPAC’s Facebook follower count, and today we’re fewer than 4,000 “Likes” away from our goal of 48,000. We also just got word from a generous donor who will contribute one dollar for every new Facebook “Like”, through Friday!

Click here to help us meet our goal of 4,000 “Likes”—and to help us raise $4,000.

Already “Like” our page? We still need your help. To beat AIPAC— an organization with a $60 million annual budget— we’re going to need you to spread the word by taking this simple action.

Although we’ve had fun with it, this campaign is no laughing matter.  A bigger social network means our pro-justice, pro-peace perspective spreads even further.

Plus, funds we receive from this campaign will help us to confront AIPAC on its own turf.

Click here to ensure AIPAC loses this round, and that JVP has the resources we need to make AIPAC lose even bigger in the future.

JVP has a relatively small budget, but we have more social media followers than organizations with budgets that are 10 and 50 times our size. Defeating AIPAC on Facebook shows the size of the pro-justice constituency, compared to AIPAC’s shrinking pro-war base.

We’ve got a way to go before defeating AIPAC online translates into the ability to defeat them in Washington. But with your help, we are getting there.

Let’s show AIPACand the worldthat peace and equality will always get more “Likes.”

Onward,

Abe Greenhouse
Director of Technology

TARGETING BDS AT AIPAC

In an attempt to gain favour among American zionists, Netnyahu lauched his most brutal attack against the BDS Movement at AIPAC’s annual meeting … declaring that BDS is the greatest threat facing Israel today. Could this mean that Iran is no longer on his agenda?

*

In recent months, top ministers in Netanyahu’s government have repeatedly declared that BDS is the “greatest threat” Israel faces.

*

At AIPAC, Netanyahu launches “desperate” attack on BDS movement

 Ali Abunimah

BDS movement “will fail,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told cheering AIPAC delegates. (Screenshot)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today launched a frontal assault on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“One movement that’s definitely on the wrong side of the moral divide is the movement to boycott Israel, the so-called BDS,” Netanyahu told the cheering delegates, in his keynote speech to the annual gathering of the powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC in Washington, DC.

“That movement will fail,” Netanyahu predicted.

While claiming that people were “flocking to Israel” for its technology from all over the world, Netanyahu warned, “I don’t want you to get complacent – because the fact that they’re going to fail doesn’t mean that the BDS movement shouldn’t be vigorously opposed.”

“Anti-Semites”

Netanyahu proceeded to defame supporters of Palestinian human rights in the crudest terms: “Throughout history, people believed the most outrageously absurd things about the Jews, that we were using the blood of children to bake matzos, that we were spreading the plague throughout Europe.”

Those who support BDS today are just as bad, Netanyahu asserted: “Those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot. They should be exposed and condemned. The boycotters should be boycotted.”

This speech is Netanyahu’s highest profile attack on BDS, although last summer, he put responsibility for fighting against the movement for Palestinian rights into the hands of the “Ministry of Strategic Affairs.”

Israel is also placing dedicated anti-BDS operatives in its foreign embassies.

In recent months, top ministers in Netanyahu’s government have repeatedly declared that BDS is the “greatest threat” Israel faces.

Desperate

Responding to his remarks, Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, the Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the BDS movement, said in an emailed statement:

“Netanyahu’s desperate attack on the BDS movement comes as European pension funds are blacklisting Israeli companies and banks, as Israeli concert organizers find it increasingly difficult to persuade artists to perform in Israel and as governments begin to take action to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law.”

“At its core, the BDS movement is a movement against Israel’s systematic discrimination and apartheid policies. The BDS movement is opposed, as a matter of principle, to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia. The world is growing increasingly weary of Israel’s attempts to conflate criticism of its violations of international law with anti-semitism.”

Ziadah is right. It’s hard to see how people who are not already on board with Netanyahu will be swayed by his invective.

If Israel’s only answer to people all over the world who are horrified by its oppression of Palestinians and ongoing theft of their land, is to call them “bigots,” then Netanyahu should fully expect the BDS movement to grow.

 

Written FOR

THE HOPEFUL DEMISE OF AIPAC

But amid all the celebration AIPAC’s leadership knows that it can no longer produce a napkin and have the signatures of 70 senators on it within a day. Nor does its steady flow of “information memos” sent to the legislature and the media command the same respect they once did. 

*

Is AIPAC Doomed?

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference begins on March 2.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference begins on March 2.

By Philip Giraldi*

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference begins on March 2 and will conclude with an address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 4. The organizers boast that the meeting of “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” will attract “more than 14,000 pro-Israel Americans, more than two-thirds of Congress, [and] more than 2,200 students from 491 campuses”.

There will be speeches by Senator John McCain and by Secretary of State John Kerry.

As part of the group’s lobbying effort, the attendees will descend en masse on the Capitol Hill offices of Senators and Congressmen, delivering the message that AIPAC is alive and well in spite of some recent very public setbacks.

They will demand that the United States continue to pressure Iran with new sanctions even as the White House is searching for a way to avoid another potentially catastrophic war in the Middle East.

They will argue that Iran is a danger to the entire world and must be reduced to a level where it cannot even contemplate either offensive or retaliatory defensive action against Israel, to include the dismantling of its nuclear program and destruction of its ballistic missiles with a range exceeding 500 km.

AIPAC will claim record levels of fundraising and grassroots support. Indeed, its endowment totals $100m, its annual budget is nearly $70m and it has more than 200 employees, making it the most powerful and best funded foreign policy lobby in the US. But largely invisible amid the self-congratulating and lobbying process will be any sense of what the actual US vital interests might be vis-a-vis Israel.

The powerful Israel lobby, of which AIPAC is a part, has long argued that the foreign policy and security interests of Washington and Tel Aviv are identical, or to use the currently fashionable expressions, there is no space between the two and the US will always “have Israel’s back”.

A Tiny Client State 

Washington’s political class has wholeheartedly and uncritically adopted both the Israel-centric jargon and also Tel Aviv’s skewed perceptions of Middle Eastern realities, producing the unique spectacle of a great global power doing everything possible to placate a tiny client state. Pandering to Israel will be on full display at the AIPAC conference.

But amid all the celebration AIPAC’s leadership knows that it can no longer produce a napkin and have the signatures of 70 senators on it within a day. Nor does its steady flow of “information memos” sent to the legislature and the media command the same respect they once did.

Recent US engagement in Iraq, Libya, and Egypt, all supported by Israel and its supporters for various reasons, are increasingly being regarded as in no way beneficial to the US, quite the contrary.

AIPAC can no longer draft legislation favorable to Israel, send it over to Congress and expect a finished bill to emerge, passed with a unanimous vote. It has suffered major defeats through its open support for bombing Syria and for legislation increasing sanctions on Iran, the former opposed overwhelmingly by an aroused war-weary public and the latter stalled in a suddenly nervous Congress.

AIPAC also opposed the appointment of Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary due to his alleged “anti-Israel record”, though it did not do so openly and only lobbied the issue quietly on Capitol Hill. It was, nevertheless, a defeat.

Even The New York Times is taking note that AIPAC is now very much on the defensive, forcing it to respond to the Times commentary with an op-ed of its own defending its position on Iran, an uncharacteristic move for a group that is accustomed to operate in the shadows.

The rift has come about because reality and illusion have parted company. The reality is that the US cannot afford another war in the Middle East, either financially or in terms of the unintended consequences that wrecked the Iraqi and Afghan interventions.

It has only one compelling vital interest in the region and that is to keep energy resources flowing and a war with Iran would instead deliver a shock to a world economy that is still in recovery. Against that is the illusion that Israel is some kind of strategic asset or global partner for the US.

Apart from the pressure being exerted by groups like AIPAC, Americans are becoming increasingly aware that Washington has no compelling reason to sacrifice its own interests to sustain the freedom for Israel to behave as it wishes.

Nor does it have any justification to protect it from its neighbors, any more than it has a responsibility to do so for any other country in the Middle East. And there is a growing understanding that the lopsided relationship, not only hugely expensive in dollar terms, motivates terrorist groups like al-Qaeda to attack Americans.

This is not to say that the US cannot play a positive role and act in support of the best interests of all its friends in the Middle East, which it would accomplish by becoming genuinely an honest broker with a demonstrated interest in regional stability rather than in regime change.

AIPAC’s tunnel vision only permits it to see one “closest ally” and that must be Israel. Every other country is therefore reduced to a second rate player whose interests must coincide with those of Tel Aviv or be disregarded.

Wrong Side of History 

The persistence of the AIPAC argument, which also idealizes Israel’s rather flawed and corrupt democracy to help make its case for a “special relationship”, has done grave damage to US interests throughout the Muslim world. As has sometimes been noted, Washington had no enemies in the post-colonial Middle East before Israel was founded in 1948. Now it has few friends.

Washington’s close embrace with Tel Aviv has been fostered by a mainstream media unwilling to be too critical of Israel’s actions. But this long established unanimity of viewpoint involving both media and its symbiotic punditry is beginning to erode as alternative sources of information continue to proliferate, which is why the leadership of AIPAC must seriously be concerned.

The shift in opinion is both permanent and growing in magnitude, including numerous younger Jews and Jewish liberals who have been speaking out to tell AIPAC that it does not speak for them, particularly given its record of uncritical support for increasingly hard line Israeli governments.

A better informed American public increasingly averse to foreign military adventures is becoming aware that issues formerly seen in Manichean terms are actually a good deal more complicated and then there is the experience factor. Recent US engagement in Iraq, Libya, and Egypt, all supported by Israel and its supporters for various reasons, are increasingly being regarded as in no way beneficial to the US, quite the contrary.

This explains the lack of fervour for a repeat performance in Syria or against Iran. It also means that AIPAC has found itself on the wrong side of history in terms of the desires of the American people, surely not a good place to be for a Washington lobby.

 

* Philip Giraldi is a former military intelligence and Central Intelligence Agency officer who has worked on counter-terrorism in Europe and the Middle East. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and is a regular contributor to a number of websites and magazines. (This article was first published in Al Jazeera – http://www.aljazeera.com)

 

Source

THE VIDEO AIPAC IS TRYING TO HIDE FROM YOU

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

*

Isn’t it bad enough that AIPAC controls Congress? Now they want to control YouTube as well …

*

Is AIPAC trying to stop you from seeing this video?

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
*

YouTube shut down the account that posted the original video. A new copy of the video should has appeared online and is viewable above. CODEPINK tweeted the new instance of the video:

*

See Tweets at SOURCE

*

Original post

The anti-war campaign group CODEPINK says the powerful Israel lobby organizationAIPAC is threatening to sue it over this video clip, a satirical version of an AIPAC policy conference promotional video.

“On 25 February, an AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] member called a CODEPINK staffer threatening legal action in response to a controversial video clip that he alleges was made by the peace group CODEPINK,” a CODEPINK press release states.

The video features real footage from AIPAC conferences interspersed with images of Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights, and voiceovers from supposed conference-goers.

One of the voices says “It’s exciting to see so many people together who understand that sometimes you have to violate other people’s human rights if you want to take their land.”

CODEPINK does not say if it made the video but the group’s co-founder Medea Benjamin commented:

It is absurd for AIPAC to threaten legal action over such an obviously satirical video. It is interesting that they are reacting so strongly to the clip, though. Perhaps it’s because the content is really an accurate reflection of AIPAC’s dangerous foreign policies. AIPAC does, in fact, advocate for bombing countries such as Iran and Syria; it fails to condemn Israel’s continued building of settlements and its human rights abuses against Palestinians; and it lobbies Congress to send billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel to continue the occupation of Palestine. … What are they trying to hide by silencing this video?”

CODEPINK spearheads annual protests at AIPAC’s policy conference. The Electronic Intifada sent an inquiry to AIPAC’s media office and this post will be updated if a response is received.

NEW YORK MAYOR; “BACKING ISRAEL IS MY JOB”

All right, look – I said something that was personal. I said something that was about my belief that we have to defend the state of Israel. And I think that has everything to do with the alliance that we have with Israel, the history we have, particularly as New Yorkers, the deep, deep connection we have, personally, to Israel.

And I think it’s also a matter of protecting democracy. I think Israel stands as a pluralistic society that deserves respect, and it’s been under attack. And I think it is our job to support it.

So that’s me speaking as the mayor of a city that is the closest to Israel of any city on earth and has one of the largest Jewish populations of any city on earth. And I think it is a fair role for me to play.

*

And here’s what he said ….

*

De Blasio on Backing AIPAC: Yes, It’s My Job

By J.J. Goldberg

 

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio just appeared on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” and was asked in the last few minutes about his January 23 speech to an AIPAC gathering at the New York Hilton, where he told the pro-Israel lobby he would “stand by you” whenever he’s needed “’cause that’s my job.” His response to Hayes was pretty eloquent. (The show is rebroadcast at 11 p.m. Eastern; look for this segment around 11:57.)

My transcription of the exchange, enabled through the magic of DVR, appears below.

The mayor’s 6-minute AIPAC speech (audio recording after the jump) drew some pretty sharp criticism from the left (and, less noticed, from the right as well). It even got Jon Stewart in trouble with the left for interviewing De Blasio and not grilling him about it.

Hayes, a former Washington editor of The Nation, makes it fairly plain in the way he poses the question that he sympathizes with the critics. But De Blasio stands tough: It’s not just that Israel deserves support as a “pluralistic society” that’s “been under attack.” Perhaps just as important—and legitimate—he’s the mayor of a city that “has one of the largest Jewish populations of any city on earth.”

New York City has had a foreign policy of its own for more than a century, going back through the legendary Fiorello LaGuardia and police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt, representing the interests and values of the peoples that make up this melting pot. And an immigrant metropolis, like a nation, has underlying overseas interests and commitments that can transcend the personal views of an individual chief executive. Yes, that’s part of Hizzoner’s job.

Hayes:

Final question. I want to ask you how you see your job. You gave a speech to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The speech wasn’t on the schedule, it was off the record, but the contents were reported. And one of the things you said was that it was part of your job description to be a defender of Israel.

Obviously we’re not going to resolve the very complicated issues vis a vis Israel and Palestine, but I gotta say, as a New Yorker I thought, I don’t know if that’s true. I voted for this guy and I don’t know if it’s part of the job description for him to be the defender of Israel. He’s got enough on his plate.

I mean, is he the defender of Ukrainians in the streets who are crying out for their rights? Is he, you know, the defender of the Taiwanese against the One China policy? Is it – is it really your job? Is that your job description?

De Blasio:

All right, look – I said something that was personal. I said something that was about my belief that we have to defend the state of Israel. And I think that has everything to do with the alliance that we have with Israel, the history we have, particularly as New Yorkers, the deep, deep connection we have, personally, to Israel.

And I think it’s also a matter of protecting democracy. I think Israel stands as a pluralistic society that deserves respect, and it’s been under attack. And I think it is our job to support it.

So that’s me speaking as the mayor of a city that is the closest to Israel of any city on earth and has one of the largest Jewish populations of any city on earth. And I think it is a fair role for me to play.

Source

 

JEWS SAY NO TO NEW YORK’S MAYOR

BE OPEN TO ANOTHER VIEW FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
  • Petitioning Bill de Blasio

BE OPEN TO ANOTHER VIEW FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY

Jews Say No!

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

 

We are New York Jews who are dismayed by your speech to AIPAC and the unqualified support you offered them, especially since you ran your campaign as a progressive. There is nothing remotely progressive about AIPAC. We do not believe that AIPAC’s unconditional support for the Israeli occupation is consistent in any way with the values of fairness and justice that you articulated during your campaign—values that led to your receiving an overwhelming election mandate.

 

AIPAC is a right-wing organization that strong-arms elected and other government officials to support brutal Israeli government policies and actions that are dangerous for Palestine/Israel, the Middle East, and the United States.  These policies are also in violation of international law, including of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying country from moving its citizens into the occupied area as residents.

 

As a result, more and more Jews are questioning and opposing AIPAC and Israeli government policies. Indeed, many Jewish groups in New York City, across the U.S.A., and in Israel have organized with Palestinian and other groups–through such non-violent means as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)–to forge a more just, equitable, and yes, progressive future for Israel and Palestine. This would also mean a very different kind of relationship between Israel and the United States, which now funds Israel and its military occupation to the tune of at least $3.1 billion a year.

 

Many of us have crossed the Israeli borders into the areas of military occupation and have seen with our own eyes the conditions of Palestinians living there. We have met parents in Gaza and the West Bank who have faced attacks by the Israeli military, which uses missiles, drones, tanks, helicopters, tear gas grenades, “stink” bombs, and sound bombs.

 

•Do you know that Israel holds nearly five thousand Palestinian prisoners, many not charged with any crime and without access to legal assistance?

 

•Do you know that Israel has created hundreds of checkpoints, where Palestinians are routinely harassed and humiliated?

 

•Do you know that the Israeli government’s occupation policies, involving roughly half-a-million settlers, have involved extensive expropriation of Palestinian land, demolition of Palestinians’ homes, and uprooting of their olive trees?

 

•Do you know that roads exist that only settlers and other Jewish Israelis—but not Palestinians—can use?

 

•Do you know that many Palestinian children are arrested in their homes in the middle of the night by armed Israeli soldiers, typically without being told where they are being taken or for how long?

 

Further, AIPAC’s support of virulent Islamophobia does not represent those of us who work for a city and country in which members of the Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities can be safe and respected. We support your announced plan to stop the NYPD program that has long engaged in secret surveillance, including the use of informants in mosques, that target people because of their religion, ethnicity, or native language. Do you know that AIPAC supports such anti-Muslim programs? AIPAC has, for example, repeatedly included anti-Muslim speakers at its annual Policy Conferences, including one who claims that Islam “sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.”  These views are totally inconsistent with the values expressed by your administration.

 

Do you also know that veterans of the Civil Rights Movement in this country have condemned Israeli policies that make such legal disparities possible and have likened them to the conditions that African Americans in the South experienced for many generations? The story of Israel and Palestine is, without question, a tale of two different realities—with its inequalities fully supported by the power of the Israeli government, the disproportionate political influence of AIPAC, and the U.S. government.  We believe these fundamental inequalities should resonate with you, who campaigned against the idea that NYC should no longer be “a tale of two cities.”

 

We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the issues raised by your statements about Israel and AIPAC.

 

To:
BE OPEN TO ANOTHER VIEW FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY

Sincerely,
[Your name]

*

Sign the petion below

with 89 supporters
111 NEEDED
Sign    
Display my signature on Change.orgKeep me updated on this campaign and others from Jews Say No!

By signing, you accept Change.org’s terms of service and privacy policy.

NEW YORK IS NOT THE CAPITOL OF ISRAEL!

 

Please send out far and wide….  

 

  “You have a friend and an ally at City Hall.

That City Hall will always be open to AIPAC.

When you need me to stand by you in

Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and

I will answer it happily, because that’s my job.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Meeting with AIPAC, January 23, 2014

 

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to defend Israel, made to AIPAC behind closed doors,

is inflammatory and an affront to all people who defend the human rights of the Palestinian people. 

 

Many New Yorkers are speaking out

in response to what is deemed an unacceptable, pandering relationship to AIPAC. Read one letter from New York Jews

 

 

We will let Bill de Blasio know

he is on the wrong side of history…

 

Stand together in NYC…

   Wednesday, February 5, 2014

City Hall, NYC

Broadway and Chambers Street

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Signs will be provided.

Facebook Event Page

“Part of my job description is to be

a defender of Israel…”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Meeting with AIPAC, January 23, 2014

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language embodied on shirts and emboldened on signs held up in public spaces, we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public-actions where many people can participate. 

 

 

« Older entries