Phyllis Bennis


Phyllis Bennis (born January 19, 1951) is an American Jewish writer, activist, and political commentator. Focusing mainly on issues related to the Middle East and the United Nations, she is a strong critic of Israel and the United States and a leading advocate of Palestinian rights.

Phyllis Bennis in 2013

Quotes edit

  • Trying to suppress criticism of Israel even as Israel’s government becomes ever more repressive of Palestinian rights won’t work, especially when the White House itself is surrounded by anti-Semitism. Jewish and other progressive student groups are already asserting their intention to fight against the denial of free speech. Likewise, insisting that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism doesn’t make it true. A new generation of young Jews — and a whole bunch of us who aren’t so young anymore — know that’s wrong.
  • One of the things about [John Bolton]] that I think is so crucially important is his absolute, consistent commitment to militarism. This is a man who does not believe in diplomacy anywhere. He does not believe there are any international crises that can be solved by anything other than direct military intervention, whether it’s sending troops, whether it’s bombing. His op-ed in The Wall Street Journal calling for a first strike against North Korea; his consistent years of calling for bombing Iran; his calls for regime change in Venezuela; most recently, of course, his opposition to even negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan, let alone a partial, small-scale troop withdrawal — all of this is of a piece. All of this is a consistent position that says, “America first means America military first and only.”
  • We’re seeing an extraordinary level of engagement because what the pro-Israel lobby has been facing for the last... eight years, is the beginnings... of a generational split, where young people, particularly young Jews–and particularly progressive young Jews, Democrats who are young Jews – do not have the same assumption about their support for Israel that you and I did growing up. We all assume that if you’re Jewish, you support Israel... Now that’s no longer the case... They... can be part of the biggest organization in the Jewish community these days in terms of how fast it’s growing, Jewish Voice for Peace, that supports rights of Palestinians.

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