• With Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Israel finds another natural partner on the far-
    right

    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/11/brazils-bolsonaro-another

    The victory of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election last week has won Israel a passionate new friend on the international stage. The world’s fifth-most populous nation will now be “coloured in blue and white”, an Israeli official said, referring to the colours of Israel’s flag.

    The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately called to congratulate Bolsonaro, a former army officer with a pronounced nostalgia for his country’s 20-year military dictatorship. Critics describe him as a neo-fascist.

    According to Israeli media reports, it is “highly probable” that Netanyahu will attend Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1.

    The Brazilian president-elect has already promised that his country will be the third to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, after the United States and Guatemala. That will further undermine Palestinian hopes for an eventual state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    Bolsonaro has told Israel that it can count on Brazil’s vote at the United Nations, and has threatened to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

    One might imagine that Netanyahu is simply being pragmatic in cosying up to Bolsonaro, given Brazil’s importance. But that would be to ignore an unmistakable trend: Israel has relished the recent emergence of far-right leaders across the Americas and Europe, often to the horror of local Jewish communities.

    Bolsonaro has divided Brazil’s 100,000 Jews. Some have been impressed by the frequent appearance of Israeli flags at his rallies and his anti-Palestinian stance. But others point out that he regularly expresses hostility to minorities.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/733862 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • ’NYT’ anoints Ron Lauder as prophet of doom for Netanyahu
    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/anoints-prophet-netanyahu

    Five months after Ron Lauder, the head of the World Jewish Congress, was granted a platform on the New York Times op-ed page to warn that Israel’s leadership was isolating the country through its unending settlement project and growing intolerance, America’s leading newspaper gave him the page again yesterday, this time to decry Israel’s new nation state bill and its indifference to the opinion of liberal American Jewry. “Israel, This Is Not Who We Are… we cannot allow the politics of a radical minority to alienate millions of Jews worldwide.”

    Here are some interpretations of Lauder’s second coming.

    —The New York Times as a mouthpiece for the American Jewish establishment has decided to take on Benjamin Netanyahu hammer-and-tongs as a threat to Israel’s future– and implicitly, as a pox on the Jewish image globally.

    –Does Netanyahu care? Probably not. He needs to appeal to his rightwing base to win reelection and escape corruption charges. He’s just another tinhorn martinet indifferent to world opinion.

    –The piece is significant as another marker of divorce between American Jews and Israel. Jewish Insider stresses how intentional it was of the Times to run the articles, and quotes the passages in which the old conservative Likudnik who helped make Netanyahu warns him that American Jews are not on board: “[A]s a loving brother, I ask Israel’s government to listen to the voices of protest and outrage being heard in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. As president of the World Jewish Congress, I call upon Israeli leaders to rethink their destructive actions during this summer of disharmony. This is not who we are, and this is not who we wish to be.”

    –The article contains one very important concession: Israel discriminates against LGBT community. This is the exact opposite of Israel’s claims!

    https://seenthis.net/messages/716020 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Hasbara is dead – Mondoweiss
    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/07/hasbara-is-dead

    The Jewish defection is key, of course. Jews have a privileged position in the global discourse of Israel, and the Jewish monolith is crumbling. The young Jews of IfNotNow are conducting a full-scale assault on the Jewish establishment. “Israel doesn’t have a public relations crisis; it has a moral crisis,” IfNotNow says (quoting Avrum Burg), while a Jewish leader howls to a synagogue full of older Jews: “Where did we go wrong in our homes and our schools!?”

    Rebecca Vilkomerson of the burgeoning group Jewish Voice for Peace observes that everyone from her daughter’s New York public high school to Bette Midler are openly critical of the massacre, even as Israelis endorse it overwhelmingly, and when the New York Times said dozens of Palestinians “died” in protests in Gaza, Judd Apatow had enough.

    “Have died.” Shame on you. This is like calling Trump’s lies “factual innacuracies.” Please tell me an intern is running your twitter feed.

    The Democratic political establishment is even beginning to steer clear of this mess. Vilkomerson (to the Real News):

    I think with the exception of [Chuck] Schumer, no Democrats have been defending Israel’s actions. In fact, quite a number, in fact over a dozen, have spoken out against what Israel has done over the course of the last six weeks. And you contrast that with 2014 [when Israel killed over 2200 in Gaza, including 500 children], when I think it was something like 78 senators signed a statement supporting the Gaza war. So there has been a shift. in terms of Congress and who’s willing to speak out and being able to speak out. And that there’s enough backing from their own constituents to speak out that they’re not going to be punished by AIPAC or other organizations…

    This puts the Israeli government in a new position. It is just another rightwing authoritarian country with a story to tell about why change isn’t necessary but force is that talking heads in the U.S. are going to ignore or make fun of.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/707990 via Nouvelles d’Orient