Jewish National Fund to host genocide promoter

The Lawfare Project, an Israel lobby group, announced Monday that Brooke Goldstein, its executive director, will be participating in a Jewish National Fund event with former US official Dennis Ross later this month.

They all deserve each other.

In June 2016, Goldstein made plain her anti-Palestinian genocidal vision for the region: “Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person.”

Watch the video of her making that statement above.

Goldstein also made clear that the goal of her organization is to silence students and activists who speak up for Palestinian rights by filing lawsuits against them. In her words, the aim is to “make the enemy pay.”

Her hateful view of Palestinians has much in common with the Crusader mentality Donald Trump Jr. conveyed to his Instagram followers over the weekend.

The president’s son posed for a photograph with an assault rifle decorated with Crusader symbolism – a gaudier version of guns used by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that carried secret engravings of Bible references.

There is a view on the political right that Palestinians and Muslims can be removed from the region and an exclusivist Jewish or Christian reality violently imposed.

This sort of racist and messianic viewpoint threatens the region with a catastrophic US war on Iran and has led the president to declare an intention – not once,  but twice – to destroy Iranian cultural sites.

While Goldstein already lives in a fantasy world where millions of Palestinians don’t exist at all, the Jewish National Fund is trying to make sure that there are no Palestinians in large parts of their homeland.

The JNF, backed by the Israeli government, has a long history and present of dispossessing Palestinians and planting forests to disappear Palestinian villages – ethnic cleansing under green cover.

Ross’ record

Dennis Ross, a long-time “peace process” official in both Democratic and Republican administrations, has – with the help of media – long cultivated an image as an “evenhanded” and sober-minded foreign policy hand.

But his willingness to appear with Goldstein underscores the reality of his long association with and lucrative payouts from anti-Palestinian groups.

Ross has spent his entire career as an ostensible “honest broker” taking Israel’s side over freedom and rights for Palestinians.

He also promoted the invasion of Iraq and has pushed to supercharge tension with Iran through his work with the lobby group United Against Nuclear Iran.

Against free speech

Goldstein is at the forefront of efforts to muzzle speech for Palestinian equal rights on campuses.

Her organization contends that virtually all efforts to advance Palestinian rights constitute anti-Jewish discrimination. Currently, the group is attempting to use the US Civil Rights Act to force universities to crack down on support for Palestinian rights or lose vast amounts of federal funding.

The Lawfare Project, along with Israel and Israel lobby groups, is relying on the highly politicized “definition” of anti-Semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

That definition conflates criticism of Israel’s racist policies, on the one hand, with anti-Jewish bigotry, on the other.

President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order instructing the US government to use that definition when investigating alleged claims of anti-Semitism filed against student activists by Israel lobby groups.

As The Electronic Intifada’s Nora Barrows-Friedman has noted, the president’s order is “a dangerous escalation of the attack on basic free speech rights.”

Strikingly, Goldstein prominently quotes Benjamin Franklin on her Twitter feed: “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation, must first begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

But abolishing free speech is precisely what she and Trump seek to do.

Despite – or perhaps because of – her anti-Palestinian racism, Goldstein appears to enjoy high-level access to the US administration.

She recently posed with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House Hanukkah party, and called Trump’s signing of the executive order “historic.” Protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism is vital, but this executive order endangers speech promoting Palestinian freedom and equal rights and threatens students engaged in such speech.

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Golda Meir rides again. Settler colonialism faces the insuperable problem of the indigenous population. Simple, of course, to sink into pathology and deny what's inconvenient, but the fact remains. One thing we can say without fear of contradiction, there was no such thing as an Israeli before 1948. There was no such thing as Israel before 1948. There was a place called Palestine and people had lived there for centuries. They are Palestinians, of course. Isn't this the key to the psychology? A nation brought into existence by terrorism, which has refused to accept borders, which defies the UN, which ethnically cleansed nearly a million people, which imprisons them in Gaza, which has established illegal settlements in the West Bank, is bound to be insecure. Further, Israel has to try to present itself as a functioning democracy. Is it a Jewish State or a democratic State? One or the other. It can't be both. Isn't the truth that the Balfour Declaration was motivated by racism? Balfour was an unapologetic anti-Semite. Isn't the truth that Zionists from the beginning refused to accept the terms of partition? Hasn't it always been the ambition of Zionism to turn the whole of Palestine into a Jewish State? And isn't that a delusion? If there are no Palestinians, who lives in Gaza? Just, as Ben-Gurion said, "Arabs who happen to be in Palestine"? Pure racism. There are only two possibilities: Israel will commit genocide against the Palestinians or in the long run, the Palestinians will attain justice. If the former, Israel will become an international pariah. This isn't the Middle Ages or the 19th century. If the latter, Israel will have to live within internationally agreed borders. The choice is Israel's. What is not available is the fantasy of a Palestine without Palestinians. Remember Ian Smith? Not in thousand years. Fantasy. Remember South African apartheid? Black majority rule. Never. Fantasy. Maintained by the US.

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Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.