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.
- 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.
- Opinion: I’m Jewish. I fight anti-Semitism and I support Palestinian rights, Los Angeles Times, (26 December 2019)
- Public opinion polls show that Americans really do want to end these endless wars. But too many people in power—from mainstream media editorial writers to elected officials at every level, especially Democrats—ignore that reality, and end up focusing more on Trump’s fake words than on his real actions...
- Right now, we should have broad, deep, and vibrant movements across this country challenging US support for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing massacre of civilians in Yemen. We should see teach-ins on every campus and in every house of worship on the threat of a US war against Iran resulting from Trump’s rejection of diplomacy and abandonment of the nuclear deal. And we should be cheering as every progressive social movement—supporting everything from the Green New Deal to Medicare for All to free college education to a new jobs program—is demanding that the bloated military budget be slashed to pay for those big-idea projects.
- 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.”
- DemocracyNow interview Will U.S. & Iran Resume Talks After John “Bomb Iran” Bolton Is Ousted as National Security Adviser? (12 September 2019)
- The flurry of favors the president did for Bibi could constrain US policy—and hurt people in the region—for a long time.
- Fine, we’re all against anti-Semitism... We fought against anti-Semitism for years in that context of fighting against white supremacy and racism. But this isn’t about what she (Ilhan Omar) said... It’s about the fact that she is a Muslim African immigrant, a Somali refugee, who is talking about Palestinian rights, who is talking about the power of the Israel lobby, and the big pharma lobby, and the lobby for fossil fuels. And that’s not OK... And that’s why she’s facing death threats.
- 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.