Israel’s Liberal Supporters Take Denial to New Level

The occupation of Gaza and the West Bank that began in 1967 has been nothing less than an ongoing, large-scale crime against humanity, writes Norman Solomon.

Demonstration against judicial reform outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Feb. 20. (Hanay, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Norman Solomon
Common Dreams

When The New York Times featured an opinion piece by billionaire Michael Bloomberg last week, it harmonized with a crescendo of other recent pleas from prominent American supporters of Israel.

Bloomberg warned that Israel’s new governing coalition is trying to give parliament the power to “overrule the nation’s Supreme Court and run roughshod over individual rights, including on matters such as speech and press freedoms, equal rights for minorities and voting rights.” Such a change would, Bloomberg added, undermine Israel’s “strong commitment to freedom.”

Strong commitment to freedom? That would sure be news to the more than 5 million Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

The pretense is that what’s happening now with Israel amounts to a surprising aberration from its natural state. At times, the denial even rests on the tacit and absurd assumption that Jews are less inclined to commit atrocities than any other people.

But recent events in Israel are continuing a long Zionist process that has been propelled by mixtures of valid yearning for safety and extreme ethnocentrism, with terrible results.

Three widely esteemed human rights organizations — Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch and B’Tselem — have rendered a clear and convincing judgment: Israel operates a system of apartheid against Palestinians.

More Dangerous Rhetoric

Israeli military forces arriving to demolish the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ein Karzaliyah on Jan. 8, 2014. (B’Tselem, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

When Israeli officials are confronted with such truth — as shown in a recent video of a Q&A session with Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely at the Oxford Union in Britain — the responding demagoguery is pathetic and outrageous.

During the last few weeks, Israel’s government has grown even more dangerous in rhetoric and oppressive in deeds, with its soldiers protecting Jewish settlers rampaging as they terrorized Palestinians with horrible violence.

Israel has been the fruition of a Zionist dream, but at the same time a real-life nightmare for Palestinian people. The occupation of Gaza and the West Bank that began in 1967 has been nothing less than an ongoing, large-scale crime against humanity.

Now, early 2023 has brought an unprecedented flood of concern from Israel’s supporters in the United States. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government has made clear its fascistic contempt for Palestinian lives, while even taking steps to curb some rights of Israeli Jews.

Since mid-February, the leading liberal American Jewish organization, J Street —”pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy” — has been sounding frantic alarms. The group’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, warns that after taking power in early January,

“the far-right . . . is now firmly in control of the government of Israel … moving at lightning speed to enact their agenda, threatening to make Israel unrecognizable to millions of Jews and others in the United States who care deeply about the country and its people, and who believe in the democratic values on which it was founded.”

In a typical email alert, J Street declared that “Netanyahu is subverting Israel’s democracy” while advancing “a plan to completely strip the independence of Israel’s Supreme Court.”

J Street went on to criticize the new government for policies not unlike those of Israeli governments going back decades; the new administration has “moved forward plans to build thousands of new settlement units in occupied territory” and “approved ‘legalization’ of at least nine West Bank settlement outposts that were previously unauthorized by the Israeli government — acts of de facto annexation.”

And yet, after decrying these ominous developments, the J Street action alert just told recipients to merely “contact your representative in Washington and urge them to speak out and stand up for our shared interests and democratic values.”

Early this month, J Street lamented that “terrible violence and conflict on the ground continue to escalate — as this year has seen deadly terror attacks on Israelis and the highest monthly death toll for Palestinians in over a decade.”

But J Street refuses to call for a cutback — let alone a cutoff — of the massive subsidy of several billion dollars in military aid that automatically flows every year from the U.S. Treasury to the Israeli government.

Far from being a “Jewish democratic state,” Israel has evolved into a Jewish supremacist state. In the real world, “Israeli democracy” is an oxymoron. Denial does not make that any less true.

Norman Solomon is the national director of and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His next book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, will be published in June by The New Press.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

27 comments for “Israel’s Liberal Supporters Take Denial to New Level

  1. lidia
    March 14, 2023 at 13:42

    Zionists are colonizers. Period. NO safety for colonizers of Palestine. From the river to the sea Palestine will be free!

  2. Aime E Duclos
    March 14, 2023 at 11:35

    An excellent article, thank you Mr Solomon.

    I would like to add a comment regarding J Street and Jeremy Ben-Ami. I was once a dues paying Gentile member of this organization, based on it’s support of a two-state solution. Then I attended a meeting in Bangor, ME of some twenty members, where we were shown a long video of some interviews of prominent Israelis building the case for a two-state solution. I was shocked when the concluding statement in the video was that finally Israel would become a state for Jews only, no more Palestinian citizens of Israel… and all the attendees applauded.

    I was stunned. I attempted to question the concept of a Jews-only Israel, but I was shouted down.

    Sadly, I vocally renounced my membership in J Street and left the gathering – I was done.

    While J Street is by far the most liberal of pro-Israel supporters, I fear it may be just as apartheid as the rest.

  3. CaseyG
    March 14, 2023 at 09:02

    How much total money has the US sent to Israel? When did the money first begin and how much has it risen?

    What part of the US government supplies the money for Israel—-and what amount of taxpayer money goes here? I am wondering also , how much money with Israel, Ukraine and other nations does the US spend yearly?

      March 14, 2023 at 12:14

      The to have huge foreign debts, so huge they can never be paid back, however, I believe they are simply printing dollars as they spend them,something no other Nation is allowed to do; they get away with it because their dollar is Worlds reserve currency.

  4. Guillaume Dohmen
    March 14, 2023 at 07:45

    I lived in occupied Europe in 1940-1945 and witnessed the persecution of Jews at close hand. The way Palestinians are treated today and the manner in which these actions are defended reminds me of that dreadful time. It seems strange that descendants of people who were once persecuted are devoted to the same dreadful actions today.

  5. TRogers
    March 13, 2023 at 20:32

    The brazen lie is a standard tactic of professional con artists. A brazen lie is one which is clearly contradicted by facts and/or common sense. The professional asserts it boldly, without hesitation or qualification. The boldness of the assertion makes some listeners think, “He seems very certain about this; I don’t think he would be so emphatic if it wasn’t true”. For an audience who doesn’t know the detailed facts, or who doesn’t normally practice in-depth analysis of matters, or who have a lack of self-confidence, such a super-confident assertion will be enough to sell confidence in the speaker.

    We are seeing many professional con artists today, in the media and in politics. The mass denial of Matt Taibbi’s report on the Twitter file revelations is just one of many examples.

      March 14, 2023 at 12:23

      Read our scriptures! We are told to “Rise and kill first”, and also this, “By deception thou shall succeed”. These are instructions directly from God.

  6. Em
    March 13, 2023 at 19:55

    Can the United Nations’ adopted Resolution 181 of of November 29, 1947 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states, in May 1948 – when the British mandate was scheduled to end, ever be considered democratically carried through?
    Can an international decree ever be considered democratic process, especially being the outcome spoils of the winners of a war against a defeated enemy, without considering those negatively affected by a non-negotiated settlement, to the mutual satisfaction of all the parties concerned in the transacted document?

    Apparently the long-time “Zionist process (of European settler colonialism), “propelled by mixtures of valid yearning for safety (has been trumped) by extreme ethnocentrism.”

    In the year 2023 is there even a national, let alone universal agreement; in those countries proclaiming to be democratic, on what the term Democracy stands for in the real world?
    “Strong commitment to freedom?” for whom, is the question that must be asked!

    “Features of democracy often include freedom of assembly, association, property rights, freedom of religion and speech, inclusiveness and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unwarranted governmental deprivation of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights”. Wikipedia

    The majority of Arab Palestinians, in what suddenly, relatively speaking, in terms of a more recent past history – a thousand and more years, against undatable, unverifiable, bible mythologies, is fast becoming Greater Israel in what was once Greater Palestine.

    The indigenous peoples have slowly, but surely, been stripped of all their natural human rights by bigoted, usurper European settler colonists.

    Isn’t this the crux of the issue?

  7. Bob McDonald
    March 13, 2023 at 19:30

    The Palestinians are not the only ones being victimized by Israel. I am dearly hoping that Russia will soon supply Syria with its state-of-the-art S-400 and S-500 air defense systems. It’s time the Israelis started paying a higher price for its ruthless bombing campaigns on Damascus and other Syrian targets.

  8. shmutzoid
    March 13, 2023 at 19:03

    Ya’ gotta love the propagandistic branding of Israel as ——-> “The only democracy in the Middle East”…..or…….”Israel – a land without people for a people without a land”…..or…….”Israel has the most moral army in the world”. There are a few other , too, I’m sure.
    Here’s mine——-> “Israel – scourge of the Middle East” ………….. Western media works overtime to whitewash Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity. Sadly, it seems to work – too many have a positive image of that apartheid state.
    ………….. Western governments are sickeningly beholden to Israeli imperatives. Thank the Israel lobby for all the anti-BDS laws infecting the West. It’s stunning to contemplate how refusing to sign an anti-BDS pledge in half the US states can bar one from sate employment and entering into any contracts with the state. Unbelievable! …. Boycotts are recognized internationally as a legitimate form of free speech.

    As for the thousands of protestors in Israel now worried about the right-wing lurch of political leadership, I say. ——–> where the hell ya’ been for the last few decades?!

  9. Drew Hunkins
    March 13, 2023 at 17:52

    Israel’s liberal supporters are completely delusional and wrongheaded to the extreme.

  10. March 13, 2023 at 17:36

    “At times, the denial even rests on the tacit and absurd assumption that Jews are less inclined to commit atrocities than any other people.”

    Some quotes by Albert Einstein:

    “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs [or Palestinians], then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us.”


    “For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong … have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them.”


    Of course Israel now has power and obviously uses/abuses that power to take what does not belong to it in regards to Palestinian lands, and exhibits “the worst cancers” by its abuse of Palestinian people.

  11. Rafael
    March 13, 2023 at 15:37

    This article is on target, but I have a small criticism. Why do you say that Human Rights Watch is an esteemed organization? They are more like an extension of the US government that felt forced to call out Israeli apartheid in order to maintain their credibility. I could say something similar about Amnesty vis a vis the UK “deep state”.

    • Louis Postel
      March 13, 2023 at 18:03

      Can you share evidence of Amnesty and HRW being extensions of US? As a supporter of the orgs I would be good to know. Thanks

      • Helga Fellay
        March 14, 2023 at 13:11

        Both of these organizations have been known for a very long time to be the exact opposite of what they pretend to be.

      • Susan Siens
        March 14, 2023 at 15:06

        See Diana Johnstone’s list of HRW’s board in Fools’ Crusade, her book about Yugoslavia. It’s probably out-of-date, but you’ll get the idea.

      • Tom_Q_Collins
        March 14, 2023 at 15:49

        Blessthebeasts below states it more accurately. Amnesty and HRW aren’t direct extensions of the US government, but rather controlled opposition of sorts. As an example, last year Amnesty “called out” Ukraine and Zelensky for endangering Ukrainian lives, but at the same time (or likely will in the future) attempt to catalog a litany of Russian “war crimes” with little to nothing documented about Ukrainian “war crimes.” Additionally, Amnesty and HRW are known to take the side of the USA and UK in their documentation and condemnation of war crimes – to include attributing blame to the opposite party when in fact it was the US (or US proxy) side that committed them. Syria is rife with examples.

      • Rafael
        March 14, 2023 at 22:21

        Hi Louis, Like you I at first supported Amnesty, but after observing them for a while and attending some of their events I became convinced they were linked to the British intelligence/propaganda organs like MI6. This seemed evident in their choice of whose alleged atrocities they chose to condemn and whose to treat with kid gloves or ignore altogether. Human Rights Watch looks to me like the American analogue of AI, except that they are less well disguised.

        We live in a time when the White Man’s Burden is no longer acceptable (except subliminally) as the rationale for the Euro-American imperialist project. “Human Rights” is the modern replacement (pioneered for example in Yugoslavia), while the multidudinous “NGO”s have taken over the role of the missionaries (e.g. in Haiti).

        Let me tell you a personal story. My parents used to subscribe to a magazine called “Encounter”, based in the UK, that for decades published some of the most respected European writers, most of them social democrats. At some point investigative journalists found out that Encounter was funded by the CIA. I could hardly believe the revelation because I naively thought: Would the CIA support the writings of socialists? But in fact, that is the kind of thing they do. That’s why I have no qualms about maintaining that AI and HRW are similar instances. The editor of Encounter resigned when the news broke. Most of their authors claimed not to have known about the CIA link, and I believe that many were telling the truth, just as many adherents of AI and HRW have no idea of who is behind these organizations if I’m right.

        I have never researched AI or HRW systematically, but in response to your post, I just now did a quick internet search and found a few facts on it. Maybe other commenters can add more information, including on AI. HRW descends from an organization called Helsinki Watch set up to monitor the Soviet Union and its allies. Its initial funding came from the Ford Foundation (which used its grants to derail the Civil Rights movement in the US, for example). Among other sources HRW is funded by Soros, the acknowledged impresario of “colour revolutions”. I expect that with more work, one could dig up even more explicit evidence of their ties to the US government.

    • Blessthebeasts
      March 14, 2023 at 10:35

      True. They are controlled opposition.

  12. Valerie
    March 13, 2023 at 15:36

    A comprehensive article from the Observer, 5th March:


    Written by Dahlia Scheindlin, a political analyst, a policy fellow at Century International and a columnist at Haaretz. She lives in Tel Aviv.

  13. Vera Gottlieb
    March 13, 2023 at 15:27

    And don’t whine when anti Semitism keeps rising.

    • Tom_Q_Collins
      March 13, 2023 at 16:41

      Non sequitur.

      • John Ressler
        March 14, 2023 at 14:41

        Agreed.Vera’s point is spot on.

    • John Ressler
      March 14, 2023 at 14:39


    • Susan Siens
      March 14, 2023 at 15:11

      I’m concerned about this, Vera. When the face of so much horror is often identifiably Jewish from Harvey Weinstein to Victoria Nuland, it becomes easy for people to descend into genuine antisemitism (not the use of the term antisemitism as a threat or winge such as Roy Cohn’s mother calling the investigation of her uncle’s crooked bank antisemitic!). And who is targeted? Ordinary people who are Jewish.

      So many interesting things about Israel, such as the organized crime connections I mentioned below, but also Mickey Z’s exploration of a founder of Israel who greatly admired Nazi Germany and wanted Israel to be a totalitarian state. Guess he got his wish!

  14. Susan Siens
    March 13, 2023 at 15:21

    One Nation Under Blackmail, Whitney Webb, p. 93:

    … what is certain and undeniable is that much of the wartime OSS and CIA as well as Israel’s intelligence services operated in close proximity to, and were effectively indistinguishable from, organized crime. What’s unique in Israel’s case, however, is that such collusion was baked in at the very foundations of, not only its intelligence services, but the origins of the state itself.

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 15, 2023 at 16:00

      I’m currently reading Vol. 1, One Nation Under Blackmail, Whitney Webb and the book is something very special.

      I check on reviews of the book time to time and one complaint repeated is the book is very thick with relevant material, somewhat like drinking from a fire hose. Those who complain must understand the volume of world history as related to the U.S. from WW I to date was tremendous in it’s growth from the early 1900’s forward.

      If one reads this book one may discover just how much relevant history we have not been privy to before this volume was written.

      I’m not an expert on anything as I have said often before but I have focused for years on this portion of world and American history so many of the players are somewhat familiar to me. Much can be gained by referring to the end notes in the book.

      I have to be honest I am amazed that the author pulled this off. The book is very impressive. For individuals who patronize this site and desire to be very informed on how the world has gotten to where it currently is, this book is the ticket to the understanding. Take some time to digest the text, I must do so to grasp all the information.

      The quote above should tell everyone something about the depth the research reached during the process of writing it.

      Now I’ll risk getting moderated. I do not desire to go into the weeds of the birth of Israel and what transpired from 1947 on at this point in time here. Suffice to say Webb sugar coats not one damned thing and I find it very refreshing.

      Now if you will excuse me I have some pretty serious reading to do.

      Thanks CN

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