On Saturday, Robert Bowers, a right-wing gunman strode into a synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh and began shooting. When he was finished, he’d murdered 11 people.
Donald Trump led the quick march to bizarrely defend one of the most prominent U.S. cult symbols, the gun, by blaming the synagogue itself for not having an armed guard at the synagogue, as if such a guard would have fared better than the three Pittsburgh police officer that Bowers shot.
Trump later blamed the media for violent attacks, saying, “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news.” That was to be expected, given the increasing attention to Trump’s own lengthy history of anti-Semitic dog-whistling and the scrutiny it was finally coming under in the wake of the terrorist attack in Squirrel Hill.
But the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history was not going to remain a domestic issue for very long. Given the disdain the government of Israel has been showing to the U.S. Jewish community for so long now, it was difficult to imagine that Israel’s response to the Squirrel Hill massacre would be positive. But few could have anticipated its cynical and opportunistic response. Read more at LobeLog
A very large and diverse coalition of groups have come together to launch a web site, United Against the Muslim Ban. The site offers visitors a variety of ways to take action not just against Donald Trump’s recent attempt to close the US off to Muslims from several countries and to refugees, but against his anti-Muslim agenda more broadly. The video below is short, but powerful. It will be very useful for you to use to educate others. Please disseminate the video, promote the web site, do all you can. Now is the time for all of our resources to be pooled.
Take a particularly provocative and grandstanding Israeli government and shift its focus from Hamas and Gaza to Jerusalem and you have a most explosive recipe. That potion is being stirred now, and the results could shake up the status quo in a way that we have only seen a few times in Israel’s history. Read more at LobeLog
My report for IPS on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the J Street conference.
This piece originally appeared at LobeLog.
John Kerry meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, July 19, 2013 (from State Department photos)
I’m always pleased when something surprises me in the realm of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. It doesn’t happen often. Today’s announcement that Secretary of State John Kerry has apparently succeeded at bringing Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the table was one such surprise.
The announcement should not be overstated, of course. At this writing, there is a proviso out there that a few details still need to be worked out. So, there’s a convenient back door that both parties can exit through.
Even if the talks did resume, there is no reason to believe they will succeed. As Stephen Waltdetails, Israel’s governing coalition remains hostile to a two-state solution, the Palestinians remain divided and, despite whatever pushes and prods Kerry used to achieve this outcome, the US remains politically paralyzed and feckless. Coming up with a positive scenario that is even marginally realistic is therefore not easy. But here is one shot at it. Continue reading
Pasted below is the full text, as it currently stands, of the resolution the Palestinian Authority is planning to bring to the UN General Assembly, apparently on November 29.
The resolution is extremely mild, calling for the State of Palestine to be accorded the same status in the GA as the Vatican has. It also calls for a two-state solution, the resumption of talks based on the relevant resolutions and past negotiations, and for the Security Council to consider “favorably” the application for full membership submitted last year.
None of this can be considered radical or extremist, and most of it is obviously necessary if there is to be any progress toward any resolution. While it can be argued that the two-state solution has already passed the point where it can be reasonably implemented, this remains the stated goal of the US, EU, Palestinian Authority, Arab League and even Israel. It’s pretty hard to see any reasonable argument against this resolution, and even harder to see why this would send the US and Israel into the tizzy it has. Continue reading
This week’s Souciant article is up. In it, I look at the bigotry of the Zionism of Eli Yishai, its prominent role in Israel and Zionism not only today but historically, and how Jewish self-determination could exist without both that hate and the obsession with an artificially created and enforced “Jewish majority.”