Texas Loves Israel
And how new Israeli elections impact Kushner's "deal of the century."
Every few months, Texas’ extreme right-wing pro-Israel political class make the headlines. A speech pathologist lost her job because she had to choose between signing an oath pledging not to boycott Israel and getting a state contract. Hurricane victims had to sign the same oath to get government relief grants. Airbnb is put on an blacklist by the Texas Governor because it didn’t want its services to be used by Israeli settlers living on land taken from Palestinians. (That blacklist was likely one reason why Airbnb backed down, and has agreed to allow Israeli settlers to use their services.)
This prompted a question for me: Why? Why is Texas so aggressive in implementing pro-Israel policies? My latest piece, co-authored by Nashwa Bawab, a Texas-based journalist, for The Intercept answers that question.
Key quote: “I think we have a lot in common with Israel. The Israelis are kind of like cowboys. They’re tough and gritty and they don’t take any shit from anybody.”—Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to me in an interview.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to cobble together a governing coalition. So Israel is now going to new elections, even though Israelis just went through a chaotic campaign season over the winter and spring.
For VICE News, I wrote about how Israel’s and Netanyahu’s political troubles have all but killed Trump’s and Kushner’s so-called “deal of the century.” Netanyahu won’t have the political capital to try to play ball with Trump’s deal, which the Palestinians have already rejected, for good reason, given the Trump administration’s extreme right-wing bent on Israel. Read more here.