Israel and the U.S. are at odds over two issues--how to deal with Iran's nuclear program and Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Below are key events that every American should know in order to understand how we got here. Of course, this list is incomplete--one could write a several hundred page book on these topics. And Israel's defenders will no doubt come up with a list just as long defending Israel's actions and highlighting the evil deeds of Iranians and Palestinians.
The 2012 Levy Report: How an Israeli Commissioned Report That Supposedly "Proved" Israel's Settlements Were Legal Was Gutted By the International Commission of the Red Cross
Bibi Netanyahu appointed a commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy in 2012 to look at the legality of settlements in the West Bank. Surprise! Surprise!
Joshua Muravchik is a neoconservative fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Adanced International Studies. He recently wrote a Washington Post op-Ed advocating war with Iran. Usually neocons say something along the lines of
We can't have a deal with Iran! The deal that Obama is negotiating is a bad deal! (They say that, even BEFORE knowing the details of the deal.) Better no deal than a bad deal!
Read this story about the harrassment and pressure tactics used against Sumayyah Din, a Muslim American running for the student senate at UC Berkeley. Din had the audacity of using the following hashtags when explaining her campaign goals that she posted on her FaceBook wall.
Hamas started a public relations campaign on Friday to explain their position to the world. They announced that there would be a high level Hamas official available for each of the next five days to answer questions about Hamas. If you had a question all you had to do was tweet it using the hashtag #AskHamas and a Hamas official would be available to provide an answer.
There is no doubt that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a great campaign speech yesterday, and I'm sure he was very convincing to those who don't follow events in the Middle East and the nuclear talks closely. But put aside his soaring rhetoric and perfect delivery and ask yourself one question: Is his approach a realistic way to deal with Iran's nuclear program, or is he just shooting at the best chance for a peaceful resolution with a Bibi gun?
Write something critical about Israel and you are almost guaranteed that an Israeli apologist will say, "Why are you attacking Israel when all the Arab/Muslim countries surrounding it are so much worse?" They are likely to follow up that since you are focusing your criticism on Israel--the only Jewish nation in the world instead of focusing on countries like Saudi Arabia or Iran or terrorist groups like Hamas or ISIS, you must be an anti-Semite. This attack is used so often because it is one of the most effective tools a hasbarist has to discredit Israel's critics.
Michael Oren was born in New York, raised in New Jersey and gave up his citizenship in 2009 to become Israel's ambassador to the United States. Today he inadvertently let one of the most poorly hidden cats out of the bag--though AIPAC portrays itself as an American organization, it is AT BEST an organization with dual loyalty. Indeed, its primary loyalty MAY rest with Israel and not the United States. If U.S. and Israel's interests ever clash, AIPAC's loyalty is suspect.
Israel's hasbarists LOVE quoting Abba Eban who said the Palestinians "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". They jump on this quote and cling to it like a life raft from the Titanic to PROVE that no matter how miserable the Palestinians are, it's all THEIR fault. The implication is that Israel has done EVERYTHING it can to deal fairly with the Palestinians and that they have searched every reasonable option to live in peace with them.