Even as UAE clamps down on a poet, its ambassador celebrates tyranny to pro-Israel group. Yousef Al Otaiba: “People always think we don’t pay attention to public opinion inside the Emirates because we are not a democracy, and it’s actually quite the opposite. Because we’re not a democracy we have to be very in tune with what our people want and what the Street feel.”
Want to know why Joe Biden won’t say a critical word about Israel? Haim Saban, who just raised $4.5 million for Biden, repeatedly praised the “Jared [Kushner] plan” for peace in the Middle East today for being “outside the box.” Saban was at White House for the UAE/Israel/Bahrain deal announcement Sept. 15.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s withdrawal last Friday from an October memorial to Yitzhak Rabin is an act of irreverence for an Israeli leader we’ve not seen before at her political level; and the drama has roiled the pro-Israel community. Even the Biden campaign spoke up, an aide saying that AOC’s decision was “problematic” for the Democratic Party.
A landmark event in the politics of Palestine has just taken place: Congressional star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York withdrew from a scheduled memorial to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who was slain in 1995 by a rightwing extremist, after critics pointed out Rabin’s human rights record. Americans for Peace Now is sponsoring the Oct. event, with host Mandy Patinkin saying, “We would have peace today had he been with us all this time, I am absolutely certain of that.”
Benny Gantz, who became an American liberal Zionist hero over the last 18 months as he tried to replace Netanyahu– and then folded–spoke at a Friends of Israel Defense Forces gala of a “people’s army” that protects the “Jewish homeland” and draws its ranks from “every walk of life… every type of background.” But very few Palestinians serve in the Israeli army. Only Jews are required to do so.
The U.S. brokers “normalization” agreements between Israel and two Arab states, and corporate media gushes. But Mondoweiss brings you a reality check. For the stories and opinions you don’t find elsewhere, please support Mondoweiss’s journalism for justice. Your support makes our work possible – and if you start a new monthly gift by Oct. 1, your support goes twice as far.
The Adelsons’ big late gifts to Republicans — up to $100 million — are gaining scrutiny. What’s their agenda? Crush the prospect of a Palestinian state. Get the U.S. to attack Iran. So far they’re batting .500.
Donald Trump is pushing Israel as a wedge issue with Democrats, and it seems to be working slightly, with Trump’s Jewish support up to 30 percent. But Haim Saban is all-in for Biden, and some Democratic congresspeople in swing districts are running to Trump’s right on Israel.
Palestinian messaging about human rights is working. A rightwing Israeli thinktank says anti-Zionism is growing in the U.S. Jewish community. A “possibly significant minority (which may be up to 25%) appears to hold beliefs that are intensely critical of Israel and Zionism itself, including attitudes that Zionism may be a colonial and/or racist, apartheid movement as practiced in Israel today.” Even more, 31 percent, would vote for Rashida Tlaib because she is a progressive!