👋 Good Wednesday morning!
Seeing Green. See below for a 5,000+ word in-depth report on the controversy roiling Canada’s Green Party.
AIPAC has held hundreds of virtual meetings with House and Senate lawmakers this week as part of its fall National Council meeting, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod has learned, focusing on issues including Iron Dome funding, Iran’s nuclear program and the Israel Relations Normalization Act.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is facing criticism from the far-left Democratic Socialists of America over his participation in a J Street-sponsored trip to Israel last week — two weeks after a Wisconsin chapter of the group called for his expulsion from the organization due to his vote in favor of supplemental Iron Dome funding.
The group’s national political committee said in a statement yesterday that it “unapologetically stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle for liberation. Our platform proudly states continued support for and involvement with the… BDS movement, and efforts to eliminate U.S. military aid to Israel, while resisting the ‘normalization’ of relationships between the Israeli government and other governments.”
The group added it is “treating this as its highest priority right now; to work with the DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group and the Congressman’s local chapters to address this directly with Representative Bowman,” and that it would be meeting with him soon.
The House is set to vote today on censuring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and removing him from both of his committee seats for posting an edited video showing himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, in the first-ever phone call between the presidents of the two countries, according to a statement by Herzog’s office. The two discussed opportunities to enhance Israeli-Chinese bilateral ties with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations coming next year.
Is the Green Party over?
It wasn’t too long ago that the Green Party of Canada had been gaining notice for what seemed like all the right reasons. Newly emboldened by a series of milestone achievements, the party had entered 2021 on strong footing. The Greens boasted a record three parliamentary seats, while their new figurehead, Annamie Paul, had just been elected as the first Black and Jewish party leader in Canadian history, heralded as the new face of Canadian politics. Paul, 49, emphasized an array of progressive policies that she viewed with as much urgency as climate change, and her perspective contributed to a sense of optimism among Green members who believed the party was finally embracing diversity and inclusion, as Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports. Then, last spring, everything fell apart.
War of attrition: That was when escalating violence between Israel and Hamas gave rise to a fierce, unusually personal and ultimately unresolved war of attrition within Green Party ranks, replete with allegations of antisemitism and other recriminations that have cropped up with increasing regularity in recent internecine political battles where divisions over Israel have fueled tensions. Now, the party is in shambles as it strains to move on from a dramatic implosion culminating last week in Paul’s high-profile resignation after months of turmoil. The ensuing wreckage, which represents an extraordinary reversal of fortune for the Greens, has left some party members wondering whether the party will ever recover.
Proper accounting: If so, any proper accounting will need to contend with accusations that the party has become inhospitable to Jewish members whose support for Israel now seems largely unwelcome, at least among an outspoken contingent of anti-Israel critics. Over the past several months, these critics have asserted their dominance over party dynamics, while others allege that their rhetoric has crossed the line into antisemitism. Noah Zatzman, a former senior advisor in Paul’s office, argues as much. The 37-year-old public relations specialist, who is Jewish and identifies as a pro-Israel progressive, is credited with precipitating the recent party breakdown after vowing to unseat Green members who perpetuated what he viewed as antisemitic tropes during the May conflict. When Paul refused to condemn him, she was all but forcefully ejected from the party.
‘Zionists are not welcome’: Zatzman, for his part, was expelled from his post when, last June, the Green Party’s executive committee voted against renewing his contract, though he says the feeling was mutual. He stands by his vow, even as he remains subject to what he characterized as an effluvium of hateful and in some cases violent rhetoric. Such invective, he suggested, only underscores his point. “When they say that Zionists are not welcome in the party,” he said, “it leads one to think that, for the Green Party of Canada and for the progressive movement in Canada, when it comes to Jews, none is too many.”
Full Corbynization? That two formerly high-ranking Green officials, who happen to be Jewish, are now viewed as outcasts within the party is proof enough, Zatzman said, that the Greens have a problem with antisemitism. Moreover, he argues, the recent blow-up represents the troubling fulfillment of what many Jews have feared possible elsewhere across the globe but have nevertheless proven capable of repelling, including in the recent U.K. Labour Party scandal where Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader, was suspended amid reports of rampant antisemitism from within his own ranks. “In this case,” Zatzman told JI, referring to the Greens, “the party looks as if it will be Corbynized.”
meet and retreat
Doug Emhoff meets Jewish Dems in D.C.
At a small gathering of the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s leadership on Tuesday, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff spoke about his role in President Joe Biden’s administration and his connection to the Jewish community, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
Jewish lens: The Second Gentleman “talked about how his Jewish values and upbringing shape his core beliefs, and those are now informing the policies of this White House,” JDCA CEO Halie Soifer told JI on Tuesday. “Our Jewish values inform our political views, and it’s why we found our home in the Democratic Party. We talked about shared values, shared beliefs and the fact that the Biden administration is furthering those values.”
First timer: Emhoff spoke at the in-person event to members of JDCA’s board and its Next Generation leadership council — about 50 people in all, some of whom attended virtually. “It’s very clear that being the first Jewish spouse is integral to who he is and what he is doing as a part of this administration,” said Soifer, who declined to offer specifics about Emhoff’s talk. The gathering was the first time Emhoff had spoken to a JDCA crowd.
More than 100 Republicans introduce House companion to Jerusalem consulate bill
Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), joined by more than 100 Republican cosponsors, will introduce a bill in the House on Wednesday seeking to block the Biden administration from reopening the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that would serve Palestinians, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Leading faces: Kustoff’s bill is identical to one introduced in the Senate last month by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), which currently has 38 cosponsors. The legislation is cosponsored by key members of House GOP leadership, including Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX).
Quotable: “Let me be clear: Jerusalem is and will always remain the eternal capital of the State of Israel. The Biden administration’s proposal to reopen a U.S. consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem would be inconsistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that specifically supported Jerusalem remaining an undivided city and recognized as the capital of Israel,” Kustoff said. “That is why I introduced the Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021. This bill is necessary to ensure the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is faithfully implemented, upheld, and preserved.”
Second strike: The Kustoff legislation also follows a letter to President Joe Biden opposing the consulate’s reopening, which was signed by all but five House Republicans and organized by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is also cosponsoring Kustoff’s bill. “I am proud to join Congressman Kustoff and many of our colleagues in this latest effort to ensure that the Jerusalem Embassy Act is upheld and fully implemented, Israel’s position as host nation is respected, and that Israel’s capital remains undivided,” Zeldin told JI.
on the hill
Kennedy brings Palestinian education bill to Senate
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced a bill on Monday requiring annual State Department reports on the content of Palestinian Authority and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) educational materials, as the U.N. agency faces continued criticism for including material that encourages violence and intolerance against Israel and Jews in its curricula. Kennedy’s legislation is a companion to a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) in the House earlier this year, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Digging in: “The Middle East will never experience peace until Palestinians stop teaching their kids to hate Israel, and American dollars should not fund this anti-Jewish propaganda,” Kennedy said in a statement. “The Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act would give us a closer look at what Palestinian schools are teaching and whether or not American money is supporting antisemitism.”
Standing solo: While Sherman’s billcurrently has 27 Republican and Democratic cosponsors, Kennedy is, thus far, alone in the Senate, “but that doesn’t mean that additional senators won’t join on,” Kennedy spokesperson Jess Andrews told Jewish Insider.
Bicameral: “I’ve worked on various bipartisan measures with Senator Kennedy and am happy to work with him again on this important issue,” Sherman told JI. “As new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem take a fresh look at steps towards peace, it’s vital to ensure that the U.S. takes every action available to prevent violent and antisemitic content from being taught to the next generation of Palestinians.”
🪖 New Era: In the Wall Street Journal, Seth Frantzman describes the utility of recent multilateral military exercises that saw forces from the U.S., Bahrain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates train together for the first time, less than a year after Israel was moved from U.S. European Command to CENTCOM. “These exercises aren’t only to strengthen each country’s military expertise, but to build a new alliance system that stretches from India to Europe, with Israel as its linchpin. Israel faces daily threats from terrorists, from the fighting in Gaza in May to its frequent airstrikes in Syria against Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah. Military units that practice with Israeli forces gain real combat expertise and signal that Jerusalem has allies increasingly working to confront potential threats in the region. This military diplomacy is knitting together an alliance that connects further-flung countries like India or Germany through regional partners like the U.A.E. and Bahrain or Cyprus and Greece.” [WSJ]
📱 Content Cops: In his latest newsletter, Yair Rosenberg writes in “Deep Shtetl” about the uneven way in which content moderators on social media platforms approach hate speech and misinformation. “Despite what they publicly claim, I’d argue that social-media companies don’t ban people simply for disseminating dangerous misinformation — they ban people whose misinformation makes their leadership uncomfortable at liberal dinner parties… Anti-vaccine content is embarrassing and somewhat frightening, and so it gets labeled or removed. By contrast, government-linked Ethiopian groups inciting mass murder, human traffickers in the Middle East advertising their wares, anti-Muslim actors spurring genocide in Myanmar, or Iran’s Supreme Leader denying the Holocaust and repeatedly referring to the home of half the world’s Jews as a ‘cancerous tumor’ to be excised — denying one genocide and advocating another — are not embarrassing. The populations these violations affect are far away, do not make much noise in San Francisco, and do not come up in everyday conversation. And so the content targeting them remains.” [DeepShtetl]
👪 Sociological Shakeup: In The Dispatch, Yuval Levin explores how attitudes among young adults about marriage and families are impacting the greater social order. “This mix of seemingly good and bad news is no paradox. The good news is often just one consequence of the bad. There are fewer divorces because there are fewer marriages, and so more of those that begin survive. There are fewer abortions because there are fewer pregnancies, and so more of those that happen are wanted. There are fewer out-of-wedlock births because there are fewer births in general. The same pattern is evident beyond sexuality and family too. Fewer teenagers are dying in car accidents because fewer teenagers are getting driver’s licenses. There is less social disorder, we might say, because there is less social life. We are doing less of everything together, so that what we do is a little more tidy and controlled.” [TheDispatch]
Around the Web
💸 Flailing Finances: WeWork’s first quarterly results as a public company displayed more heavy losses, although it did also experience increased customer leasing.
🏢 Start-up Nation: New York- and Israel-based marketing company YellowHead is teaming up with Meta to launch the Meta Startup Hub, which will aid Israeli startups with talent recruitment and digital marketing.
⬇️ Fair Deal: Barry Diller denounced claims that his IAC intentionally undervalued the ventures it acquired, for which it is currently being sued by Tinder co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen.
🧀 Cheese, Please: Gal Gadot announced the launch of Goodles, a healthier version of the traditional boxed macaroni and cheese.
🔥 Arson Threat: A man allegedly threatened to burn down a Bagels & Co in Fresh Meadows, Queens, if the kosher bakery in New York City didn’t take down Israeli flags.
👨⚖️ Behind Bars: A New Jersey resident was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison over a white supremacist group’s plot to destroy property belonging to Black and Jewish Americans, local media reported.
📚 Book Shelf: Journalist Jonathan Karl’s new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, tells the inside story of the last year of the Trump administration, and contains new reporting about a scheme to purge the White House of staffers deemed disloyal to the former president.
👑 ‘Miss Holocaust Surivor’: An 86-year-old woman won the title of “Miss Holocaust Survivor” at an annual Israeli pageant held in Jerusalem on Tuesday, an event that was canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
🛢️ Pulling the Pipeline: Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar called for the cancellation of a proposed oil pipeline, backed by UAE investors, over concerns about its environmental impact.
🇮🇱🇦🇪 Trade Talks: Israel and the UAE began negotiations to hammer out a free-trade agreement following last year’s normalization agreement.
📷 Fateful Photo: Israeli diplomats on Tuesday visited an Israeli couple detained in Turkey on suspicion of espionage after they photographed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace in Istanbul last week.
👌 Vote of Confidence: Jonathan Kanter was confirmed in a 68-29 Senate vote to be the Biden administration’s top antitrust official at the Justice Department.
🛩️ All In: Mira Resnick, a senior State Department official, said the Biden administration is “fully committed” to the F-35 arms sale to the UAE.
☢️ Building Back: Iran has reportedly resumed production of equipment for its advanced centrifuges, at a site where U.N. monitors do not have access.
✉️ Pressure’s On: A coalition of more than 70 organizations, including J Street, sent a letter to senators urging them to support an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) mandating reports to Congress on the Gaza blockade.
Pic of the Day
Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Saar Ganor presents pottery finds at an excavation site in Lachish Forest near the southern city of Kiryat Gat, Israel. The excavation uncovered tangible evidence of a battle between the Hasmoneans and the Seleucids some 2,100 years ago, around the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
Former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Suzan Gail Davidson LeVine turns 52…
U.S. senator (R-OK), Jim Inhofe turns 87… Rabbi of Agudath Israel of Baltimore and the rabbinic administrator of the Star K supervision service, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann turns 84… Original creator and producer of “Saturday Night Live,” Lorne Michaels (born Lorne Lipowitz) turns 77… Philanthropist and director of the William Davidson Foundation, Karen W. Davidson… Global editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group, his bar mitzvah was at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Howard Fineman turns 73… Editor-at-large for Washingtonian Magazine and author of a biography of Bernie Sanders, Harry Jaffe turns 72… Director, writer and producer, Jon Avnet turns 72… CEO at the Partnership for American Democracy, Diana Aviv turns 70… Warehouse logistics manager at NPC Global, Daniel Gastaldi turns 64… Nonfiction author and journalist, Gary M. Pomerantz turns 61… Attorney and business executive, he played on the South African national teams in both cricket and field hockey, Mandy Yachad turns 61… U.S. senator (R-PA), Pat Toomey turns 60… Director of the Domestic Policy Council in the Biden administration, Susan Rice turns 57…
“The Travelling Rabbi” of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies who serves 11 sub-Saharan countries, Moshe Silberhaft turns 54… Executive editor and Washington bureau chief of Talking Points Memo, David Kurtz turns 52… Segment producer at HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Michele Tasoff turns 52… Partner in Seven Letter, a D.C.-based public affairs firm, Ralph Posner turns 51… Director of human resilience at Apeiron ZOH, Michael Ostrolenk turns 51… President of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim turns 43… Executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, previously Kamala Harris’s national security advisor, Halie Soifer turns 43… Partner at AKPD Message and Media, Isaac Baker turns 42… Retired baseball player, NL Rookie of the Year, five time NL All-Star and NL MVP in 2011, Ryan Braun turns 38… NFL fullback for six seasons with the Bucs and Saints, he has since earned an MBA from Wharton, Erik Lorig turns 35… New York-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Felicia Schwartz turns 30… Mortgage lender, Zecharya “Zack” Teichman turns 29… Executive director of the Israel Summit at Harvard, Aidan Golub…