Jennifer Loewenstein

Jennifer Loewenstein


* Views Israel as an illegitimate entity that has no moral or legal right to exist
* Board member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
* Portrayed Israelis as “masters in the art of destruction” who seek to “devastate” and “decimate” Palestinian society with “record-breaking violations of international law and basic human morality”
* Says that Hamas suicide bombings are “not an outgrowth of displaced fanaticism” but rather a form of “legitimate popular resistance”

Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM). Though she is Jewish, she views Israel as an illegitimate entity that has no moral or legal right to exist.

Loewenstein lived in Israel as a child in 1963, when her father was a trumpet player with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1981, her junior year in college, she lived in Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut and traveled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And in 2002 she spent five months working for the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza City.

In July 2002 Loewenstein described an Israeli soldier at the Erez Crossing in Gaza as someone who “looks like the stereotype of a Nazi soldier.” On other occasions, she has condemned Israel’s “obliteration of the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002,” “the [2002] siege of [Yasser] Arafat in his compound,” and “the ongoing construction of the Apartheid Wall throughout the West Bank.”

In 2003 Loewenstein spoke at the Closing Session of the Palestine Center Winter Conference, titled “Israel’s Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing.” Other speakers included Ilan Pappe, Stephen Zunes, Dennis “Justin” Raimondo, and Lenni Brenner.

Today Loewenstein is a board member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA branch, and she is a freelance journalist whose writings appear in such Internet publications as CounterPunch, ZNet, Electronic Intifada, and CounterCurrents. In her local community of Madison, she is a political activist who regularly helps organize anti-Israel demonstrations. In addition, she lauds the work of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Loewenstein has portrayed Israelis as “masters in the art of destruction” who seek to “devastate” and “decimate” Palestinian society with “record-breaking violations of international law and basic human morality”; who conduct ruthless campaigns of “state-sponsored terror” replete with all manner of “killing,” “maiming,” “atrocities,” and “bloody and sadistic torture.” She further contends that Israelis, “under a hideous veneer of ‘security needs,’” are waging “a greedy imperial war” that inflicts “on-going brutality and barbarism” upon Palestinian civilians. Lamenting that “Gazans have not yet attained the status of human” in Israel’s eyes, Loewenstein declares that the Jewish state “and its US Master” now reside in “the lowest circle of Hell for betraying the name of humanity.”

Loewenstein characterizes Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas not as a battle for national survival but rather as “another excuse to destroy Palestine.” She wonders “why Hamas, which won power in free, fair and transparent democratic elections has been deemed a criminal terrorist organization” by Israel. She suggests that Israeli officials are privately “grateful” whenever any of their countrymen die as a result of Hamas-launched Qassam rockets, because such casualties supposedly furnish the Jewish state with a pretext for reigniting its “angry flames of intolerance” and assembling a “racially pure dreamland” devoid of Arabs. Moreover, Loewenstein contends, the Qassams themselves are not instruments of aggressive war but, rather, are outgrowths of the “systematic national torture and evisceration” which the Palestinians allegedly have long endured at the hands of Israel. Loewenstein says that any effort to destroy that organization would be both immoral and counterproductive, since it would cause “the further erosion of democratic civil society in Palestine and elsewhere.”

According to Loewenstein, Hamas suicide bombings are “not an outgrowth of displaced fanaticism” but rather a form of “legitimate popular resistance” that seeks to help the Palestinians “heal the wounds of perpetual subjugation” imposed on them by “the reckless, racist, power-drunk mercenaries of empire [the U.S. and Israel].”

In Loewenstein’s calculus:

“Israel is an offshore US military base and weapons-testing ground. It is a westernized colony for white supremacists seeking ways to discreetly dispose of its nigger population. It is an American franchise for the new global economy, a consumer outlet, an ad for Disney-World-gone-native, a terrorist training camp for Jewish fundamentalists, the most well-funded terrorist organization outside the mainland United States, a strategic foothold in the Middle East for oil-thirsty, power-hungry neo-cons.”

On January 2, 2009, Loewenstein penned an article titled “If Hamas Did Not Exist,” wherein she wrote that “[t]he state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground [by Israel] against the Gaza Strip … has nothing to do with Hamas … nothing to do with ‘Terror’ … or the long-term ‘security’ of the Jewish State.” Rather, she explained, it is a manifestation of Israel’s quest to achieve “the wholesale enslavement” of Palestinians who “dare” to claim their “sovereign rights” and who seek to free themselves from the Israeli “Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on [their] cherished land.” She stated further that Israel’s latest military campaign was rooted entirely in a “naked desire” for “hegemony,” “power over the weak,” and “dominion over the world’s wealth.” In the final analysis, she concluded, “Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state on its borders.”

In February 2014, Loewenstein signed on to a petition titled “‘Jews For Palestinian Right of Return’ Endorse American Studies Association Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions,” which read as follows:

“We salute the American Studies Association’s courageous endorsement of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli academic institutions, which are leading accomplices in more than six decades of ethnic cleansing, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid. As Jews, we refuse to remain silent as a so-called ‘Jewish state,’ armed by the U.S. and its allies, commits these injustices with impunity in our name.

“Contrary to baseless charges of ‘anti-Semitism,’ BDS resembles the boycotts that ‘singled out’ similarly racist regimes in Jim Crow United States and apartheid South Africa. Applying the same standards to apartheid Israel, BDS demands nothing more — nor less — than freedom and justice throughout all of historic Palestine, by calling for: [a] An end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; [b] Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; [c] Right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.

“We call on Jews of conscience everywhere to honor our own proud heritage of resistance to oppression and injustice by standing with the Palestinian people, BDS, the ASA, and the growing international movement in support of these fundamental human rights.”

Other notable signatories of the aforementioned petition included: Max Blumenthal, Lenni Brenner, Hedy Epstein, Jeff Halper, Barbara Lubin, Ilan Pappé, and Michael Ratner.

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