Former ambassador and current MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) is publishing a book about his time representing Israel in Washington, full of details about crises in the relationship between the two countries. Oren wrote in the Wall Street Journal that President Barack Obama abandoned Israel, and violated two principles that have been the cornerstone of the special relationship between Israel and the United States. The first principle is that the two countries can disagree – just not out in the open. The second is that there must be no surprises. Oren claims that Obama violated the second principle during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009, when he surprisingly demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction and endorse the two-state solution. Click here to read the commentary.
The past week has seen the latest episode in an unrelenting campaign to delegitimize President Barack Obama’s strong commitment to Israel. It’s time to set the record straight on a president who has stood with Israel in times of crisis and has strengthened the Jewish state’s security in concrete ways, ensuring it maintains a qualitative military edge.
From his campaign for office to his recent talk at Adas Israel, a synagogue in Washington, D.C., Obama has made it clear that his commitment to Israel is and always will be unshakable. “It would be a moral failing on my part if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly not just on behalf of Israel’s right to exist, but its right to thrive and prosper,” he has said.
The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is making progress because it possesses three weapons. It has the intellectual high ground after a half-century of tireless effort to shape the discourse, even as friends of Israel thought it was enough to have the attention of VIP ears. It has a global social movement led by experienced activists in a myriad of civil society organizations, while friends of Israel have preferred consultants, branding and PR. And – this is a reproach from a lifelong friend of Israel – it has Israeli politicians whose policies, rhetoric and tone too often creates an environment in which BDS can flourish. Click here to read the commentary.
The New York State Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, becoming the latest state government to condemn the anti-Israel movement.
The bi-partisan resolution, which was introduced by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and was co-sponsored by 74 other members, rejects BDS activities as it, “undermines efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.” It passed nearly unanimously in a voice vote in the state Assembly.The resolution reads, “This Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.”It also recognizes Israel right to exist as a Jewish state and that the U.S. and Israel share “a common bond rooted in the values of freedom, democracy and equal rights.”
A professor at a Tel Aviv university attempted three times to book dates with the Louvre for a group of 12 students and was turned down each time. But when he called back claiming to be from another country, his “reservation” was gladly – and quickly – accepted and confirmed. Click here to read the story.
Zahi Khouri is the CEO of the Palestine Beverage Company – licensed to produce and distributed Coca-Cola in the territories. But Khouri is calling for a boycott of Israel. Now, the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center has fired a letter off to Coca-Cola. Demanding that they drop the company as its distributor in the territories. Or face legal action. Click here to read the story.
They were fellow artists and filmmakers who who calling for cinemas in London to refuse to screen films as part of the Israel Film Festival. They made their call in a letter published in the Guardian newspaper. But the cinemas held their ground. The screenings begin today. Click here to read the story.
But there is still another controversy. An ultra-Orthodox rabbi is declaring that men may not see the screening of one of the films.
At the University of California, a proposal is being pushed through, which, seemingly, on the surface, makes sense. Adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism and apply it on campus. Thus, prohibiting antisemitic protests.
But, as we all know, there is a movement afoot to boycott Israel. Ostensibly over the Palestinian territories. But, in some cases, it overflows into general anti-Israel bias. And, in the minds of many, antisemitism.
Now there are those who are expressing concern that adoption of the State Department’s definition of antisemitism could result in a dampening of free speech on campus. Click here to read the story.