The Forward »

Birthright Will Fail If It Doesn’t Evolve With Young Jews

January 3, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On New Year’s Day, a young woman rushed the stage at the “MegaEvent” held in Jerusalem for participants in Birthright, the program that takes young American and other Diaspora Jews to Israel on a free ten-day trip.

She unfurled a banner that declared “Birthright Sponsored by Adelson, Trump, Netanyahu” and directed viewers to CostofBirthright.Com, a website sponsored by the anti-occupation Jewish group, If Not Now. Then she was hustled off stage

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The Atlantic »

There’s a Reason Many Voters Have Negative Views of Warren—But the Press Won’t Tell You Why

January 2, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Read enough news reports about Elizabeth Warren’s declaration that she is running for president, and you notice certain common features. In its story on her announcement, The New York Times noted that Warren has “become a favorite target of conservatives” and that, in a recent national poll, “only about 30 percent [of respondents] viewed her favorably, with 37 percent holding an unfavorable view.” The Washington Post observed that Warren’s claim “that she was Native American” has “come under relentless attack from Republican opponents.” It also quoted a Boston Globe editorial that called Warren “a divisive figure.” On CNN, the election analyst Harry Enten suggested that Warren’s “very liberal record, combined with the fact that Donald Trump has already gone after her” has made her a—you guessed it—“divisive figure” whose “favorable ratings are not that high.”

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The Forward »

Young Anti-Zionists: Be Uncomfortable, Like I Am With My Zionism

December 26, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week I received an email from a woman I have never met. She told me she had lived in Israel earlier in her life and that, while critical of some of its policies, loves the country in ways she can scarcely express.

Then she outlined her problem: Her niece has declared herself an anti-Zionist. Not a critic of Benjamin Netanyahu or of Israeli settlements but someone who “believes Israel is on stolen land” and “shouldn’t be there.” Those sentiments, my correspondent explained, “took my breath away and left me crushed.” Then she asked me a question: “If your niece, whom you dearly love, suddenly announced that she was an anti-Zionist, what would you say?”

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The Atlantic »

Beto O’Rourke and the New Democratic Purity Test

December 18, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Earlier this month, a revealing spat broke out on Twitter. David Sirota, a left-leaning journalist who once worked for Bernie Sandersannouncedthat he had uncovered something while mining campaign-finance data: “Beto O’Rourke is the #2 recipient of oil/gas industry campaign cash in the entire Congress.” Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress and a former domestic-policy adviser to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, pushed back. “Oh look,” she tweeted, “A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat. This is seriously dangerous.”

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The Forward, Uncategorized »

Rashida Tlaib And Her ‘Squad’ Of Israel Critics Own The Future

December 5, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If you want to understand the divide inside the congressional Democratic Party on Israel, consider two events from earlier this week. On Sunday night, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, sat on stage at the Israeli-American Council, an organization funded, in part, by Sheldon Adelson. Alongside Schumer and Pelosi sat another IAC benefactor, Haim Saban. Saban’s name graces an AIPAC program for college students. He’s said that rather than negotiate with Iran, he “would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

What the Yemen Vote Reveals About the Democratic Party

December 4, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

For several years now, commentators have wondered if Democrats—who have shifted left on domestic issues—would shift left on foreign policy, too. We now know the answer; the shift is under way. The clearest evidence yet is the Senate’s vote last Wednesday to move forward a bill that would end America’s role in the war in Yemen. It signals the birth of a post-Obama Democratic foreign policy.

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The Atlantic »

What the Tributes to George H. W. Bush Are Missing

December 2, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since George H. W. Bush’s death, many observers have noted that he embodied a less rancorous, less polarized political era. But underlying that civility was something deeper: Bush was the last person to occupy the Oval Office whose opponents saw him as a fully legitimate president.

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The Atlantic »

Elizabeth Warren Illuminates the Left’s Foreign-Policy Divide

November 29, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump does not. “You think our country is so innocent?” he asked Bill O’Reilly soon after taking office. He wasn’t being critical. Trump’s point was that America doesn’t need to be morally superior to be worthy of loyalty and love. America is precious simply because it is ours. In a world of gangsters, America should not strive to be the police. It should be the toughest, shrewdest gangster of them all.

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The Forward »

Dispute Over Airbnb In West Bank Settlements Shows ADL’s ‘Moral Schizophrenia’

November 27, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The Anti-Defamation League has a disease. It suffers from an acute — and potentially fatal — form of moral schizophrenia.

The ADL was founded 105 years ago during the anti-Semitic conviction and later lynching of Atlanta business owner Leo Frank with a dual purpose. It was created “to stop…the defamation of the Jewish people” but also — crucially — “to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Nancy Pelosi Just Showed Us Why She’s the Democratic Leader

November 21, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

A few years ago, the Brookings Institution scholar Thomas Mann said that during her time running the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi had proved to be the “strongest and most effective speaker of modern times.” To understand why, just look at the way Pelosi has engineered her likely return to the job over the past week. Read more…