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“Rep. Ilhan Omar picked a funny week to tweet about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Last week, the Senate passed a bill that targets the boycott Israel movement. The 77-23 vote was a nice win for AIPAC, which backed it, but also held some worrying news for the pro-Israel lobby. While Republicans were nearly unanimous in their support, Democrats were mostly split: 25 for and 22 against.
More significant, six of the seven Senate Democrats running for president or expected to voted no.
While the vast majority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle can be called or call themselves pro-Israel — including the six Democratic hopefuls — the vote undermines the notion that Congress is “Israel-occupied territory.” On the boycott bill, like any piece of legislation, politicians weigh the costs and benefits of supporting legislation — sometimes with their eyes on the short-term and sometimes the long-term.
Even if you were able to erase AIPAC from the picture, it’s not clear how much the landscape would change. Israel is a pretty easy sell in the United States. Jews vote and donate to political campaigns out of proportion to their numbers. Evangelical Christians are more uncritical than Jews in their support for Israel (and there are more of them). Americans as a whole are more likely to see their values reflected in Israel’s robust if flawed democracy than among the dictatorships, monarchies and theocracies that surround it.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."