How will America look after years of Trump and Bannon? See: Israel

Published on Haaretz

Liberal democratic values are under attack in both America and Israel. But in Israel, the assault’s already gone on for years, led by fanatics and unobstructed by a cowardly prime minister.

This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Britain’s leader Theresa May to stop funding Breaking the Silence, an organization founded by serving officers in the Israeli army to speak out against the damage done to soldiers by forcing them to control the lives of Palestinians in the occupation. (Full disclosure: I work for the Moriah Fund, which has given annual grants to Breaking the Silence though the New Israel Fund for many years.) Netanyahu sees democratic dissent as more dangerous to Israel than a law justifying the theft of privately owned Palestinian land, a new low point in Israel legislative history.  Continue reading

Trump’s Inaugural Address: A Tremendous Speech Like the World Has Never Seen Before

Published on Haaretz

Exclusive excerpts from Donald Trump’s own Inaugural notes. *Satire

This will be a speech like the world has never seen before. This will be tremendous. People tell me, thank you Donald, for making America great again. I’m tremendous.

For eight years, the president was super-smart, thoughtful, decent, caring, cautious, fair and strategic.


Continue reading

The Israeli left should endorse moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

Published on Haaretz

Why should we allow right wingers to claim only they care about Jerusalem’s place in Jewish history and identity?

Israeli leftists should back President-elect Trump’s pledge to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Why? For two key reasons: first, because it is justified, and not just in terms of finally implementing the 1995 congressional decision to do so, but, secondly, because it is a tactical error to create even the appearance that the Israeli left cares less about Jerusalem than other Jews do.

Continue reading

Culture Wars: Hamilton Cast Fires First Shot in Conflict Israel Knows Only Too Well

Published on Haaretz
Donald Trump should take a look at Israeli minister Miri Regev to see how to really threaten artists and dictate a national cultural agenda

The power – and profitability – of the musical Hamilton results from the perfect meeting up of subject, artistic excellence and clever and fortuitous marketing and timing. In finding a new musical language to tell the story of America’s Founding Fathers, focusing on the one non-white non-landowning man among them, Alexander Hamilton, it is a production with even greater timeliness and resonance as the age of Donald Trump begins.
Continue reading

Cancel Citizenship? Yet Another Nail in the Coffin of Israel’s Beleaguered Democracy

Published on Haaretz

Once again, the Israeli government is putting the left on the defensive by questioning the legitimacy of a citizen’s right to speak out against the occupation. That’s been Netanyahu’s strategy all along.

It should be obvious to every thinking citizen in Israel that Likud chair David Bitan’s call to strip the citizenship of Hagai El-Ad, the director of B’Tselem, is a far greater threat to Israel and Israel’s increasingly beleaguered democracy, than El-Ad’s decision to speak the truth about Israel’s ongoing occupation and settlement enterprise at the United Nations. (Full disclosure, the foundation that I represent, the Moriah Fund, supports B’Tselem with annual grants.) Continue reading