Monday, December 19, 2016

Señor Trumpanzee Has Jewish Grandchildren And He Probably Doesn't Want To Encourage Anti-Semitism... Probably


There are 4 Jews among the House freshmen, Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brad Schneider (D-IL) and two who left, Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Steve Israel (D-NY). That means the 115th Congress will have 21 Jews in the House (20 Democrats and one Republican) and, with Barbara Boxer's retirement, 9 in the Senate. The most Jewish district in America (37.6% of the population) is NY-10 which takes in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn and is represented by Jerry Nadler. Over the weekend, Nadler spoke out about Trump's bizarre nomination of right-wing extremist David Friedman to be ambassador to Israel.

Nadler's statement emphasized that the nomination "underscores, yet again, the extremist agenda of Donald Trump and his administration. This is an appointment with dangerous consequences for both the United States and Israel, not only with respect to the prospect of an eventual negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but also with respect to the relationship between our two countries, and more generally, to regional stability.
"Mr. Friedman’s views and comments about a two-state solution are not only a total break from decades of American and Israeli policy, but are fundamentally out-of-step with the views of the majority of American Jews. Support for a two-state solution is not only official U.S. policy, it is also the official Israeli policy when it comes to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians. Breaking from this position undermines the longstanding diplomatic alignment between our two countries, and magnifies the risk to Israel’s long-term safety and security by increasing dangerous regional instability. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of American Jews, along with most American Jewish organizations across the spectrum-- from AIPAC to J-Street-- all support a two-state solution.  "Mr. Friedman’s appointment is even more disturbing given his hateful rhetoric in describing, for example, some supporters of a two-state solution as “worse than kapos.” Using Nazi imagery, such as the term kapo-- a reference to Jews who cooperated and/or assisted the Nazis during the Holocaust-- when referring to Jews or Israel today, no matter the circumstance, is broadly deemed to be anti-Semitic and should be condemned in the same way it would be if someone who was not Jewish were to use it.

"Mr. Friedman’s extreme views and use of such hateful language is an insult to the majority of American Jews.

"With the appointment of David Friedman, Donald Trump has continued the divisive politics that were regularly on display during his campaign. As another in a series of extremists to be appointed to top positions within the Administration, Mr. Friedman’s radical hardline positions place him far outside the mainstream of both American and Israeli policy and of American Jewry. His appointment is not only offensive to both American and Israeli Jews, it again signals the intent of Donald Trump and the Republicans who support him to align with extreme right-wing positions. Mr. Friedman’s views break with one of the fundamental building blocks of U.S. and Israeli policy, jeopardizing the U.S.-Israel relationship going forward."
Two of the Jews in Congress, Steve Cohen and John Yarmuth, represent districts with tiny Jewish populations, respectively Memphis and Louisville. Yarmuth posted a similar comment on his Facebook page: "Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel is totally out of step with longstanding, bipartisan US foreign policy. At a challenging and precarious time in the Middle East, catering to right-wing inflammatory views that will unnecessarily strain our relationships in the region is extremely dangerous. We should be working toward a two-state solution, with both Jews and Palestinians living alongside each other in peace and security."

Meanwhile, there aren't many Jews in Montana at all-- maybe 6,000 people and 7 synagogues in Billings, Bozeman (2), Butte, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula. Trump won a huge victory in Montana, beating Hillary 279,240 (56.2%) to 177,709 (35.7%). Of the state's 56 counties, Trump won 50, although Hillary won Missoula, Butte and Bozeman. Whitefish is a small town, around 6,500 people, in Flathead County. That's Trump country. He beat Hillary in the county 65-28%. We mentioned Whitefish Saturday when we reported that Trumpist Nazi Richard Spencer was thinking about running for Congress. Although he lives in the DC suburbs, his mother lives in Whitefish. And now other Nazis are stirring up anti-Semitism in Whitefish.

One of the few newspapers anywhere in the country to endorse Trump, the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer has called on their people to "take action" against Jews in Whitefish, mostly because Spencer's mother, apparently also a Nazi, has a failing real estate business, normal people preferring to avid doing business with her.
The story claims the "vicious, evil race" has harmed the Whitefish business of Richard Spencer's mother. It quotes a story from the British newspaper Daily Mail that said Sherry Spencer "said she is being forced to sell a building she owns in the small town because residents are rebelling against her son."

...The Daily Stormer website has a tab called "Jewish Problem." It asks for donations from readers with a plea: "These bastards are always at our throats."

...Some of those targeted by Thursday's post are involved in Love Lives Here, a group that fights discrimination-- racial, ethnic, religious and gender-- in the Flathead. It was founded in 2009 in response to screenings of pro-Hitler films by a white separatist group called Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe. Daily Stormer calls Love Lives Here a "Jew terrorist group."
The Daily Stormer refers to Jews as a "vicious, evil race of hate-filled psychopaths" and "a people without shame" and winks at its supporters, "reminding" them not to be violent, while including names, photos, phone numbers, email addresses of Jews. Another prominent supporter of both Trump and Spencer, KKK leader David Duke, is backing the call to action against Montana Jews.

And, as long as we're talking about Montana and Nazis... how close is Ryan Zinke with his state's crackpot racist contingent? Too close, but just right for Steve Bannon, who helped get Cathy McMorris Rodgers iced for Zinke.

This is an integral part of Trumpism. I'm sure he'd like to make Jews feel-- like feudal European kings and later Russian czars did-- that they need to come to him for protection against his rabid followers. It's the flip side of the outrageous David Friedman nomination, which George W. Bush's ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, wrote is hazardous to peace and "a serious mistake that should be rectified" in Saturday's NY Times. "[H]e is unsuitable to represent America in one of the most high-pressure diplomatic positions in the world. This call to withdraw Mr. Friedman’s name also reflects a sober assessment of the damage that could be caused to American interests and to Mr. Trump’s presidency by the reckless words for which Mr. Friedman is already known."
Mr. Friedman is unqualified for the position, but more important, he holds extreme views on the very issues that he will need to manage as a diplomat. Mr. Friedman would be representing not the American people but a small, extreme minority of Americans who have in mind the interests of a small, extreme minority in Israel.

Mr. Friedman has been publicly arguing that Israel has a right to build settlements and annex parts of the West Bank. He believes that the United States should recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He considers pro-peace groups such as J Street the equivalent of the Jewish kapos who collaborated with the Nazis at concentration camps.

His appointment suggests that Mr. Trump is comfortable with these positions, which is extremely perilous and unwise. If Mr. Trump does not agree with Mr. Friedman, but has appointed him because of personal ties and loyalty, then it is clear that Mr. Trump either does not know or does not care that the Friedman appointment could severely damage the United States and his administration.

Through his other appointments thus far, Mr. Trump has made it clear that he wants to take American policy in an abruptly new direction. In the Middle East, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Trump’s approach is a prescription for trouble and the loss of American credibility.

The consequences of acting upon Mr. Friedman’s public suggestions are clearly dangerous. Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem-- not a pressing issue for most Israelis-- will inspire riots across the Islamic world. The United States will rightly be accused of violating the very advice we have given to others to avoid taking unilateral actions on inflammatory issues.

Supporting Israeli settlement expansion will bring a quick death to the dream of a two-state solution, the only solution to this conflict to which a majority of Israelis and Palestinians both have subscribed. The demise of the two-state solution will please right-wing Israelis and their right-wing American supporters such as Mr. Friedman. But would that be in the interests of the United States and the Trump administration?

Mr. Friedman’s strategy of denigrating American civil society groups that support peace in the region will deepen the demonization of political opponents that marks our current political discourse. After his election, Mr. Trump suggested that he wanted to bridge divisions within our country. Mr. Friedman proudly announces that he wants to widen and deepen those divisions. Will Mr. Trump’s stated desire to heal or will Mr. Friedman’s divisive calls define the direction of the incoming administration?

In his first interview after the election, Mr. Trump told the the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to make the “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians and end “the war that never ends.” How could he believe that appointing Mr. Friedman, whose views are congruent with those of the extreme right in Israel, will make a peace deal easier? Does Mr. Trump not understand that the realization of any of the positions advocated by Mr. Friedman would drive the Palestinians (and the wider Arab world) away from the negotiating table?

Every action by the American ambassador to Israel is monitored closely and every word spoken by him dissected for hidden meaning. Mr. Trump’s predecessors always chose a representative in Tel Aviv who could possibly advance our interests or at least not hurt them by wild comments and inappropriate actions. Mr. Trump would be wise to follow the tradition of appointing an experienced professional as our ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman is not that person.

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At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if "official US policy" on this issue has accomplished anything substantive except "official" hand wringing over continuous abuse and intermittent massacre of Palestinians?

John Puma

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel is totally out of step with longstanding, bipartisan US foreign policy."

If anything can honestly be written here it is that "bipartisan US foreign policy" is and has been - for decades - an effing disgrace.

At 4:28 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Yes, to the above commenters. Americans, our politicians and the press have been glossing over our horrible history of international meddling for many, many years. Is he really so ignorant and unconcerned about the blow back his words and actions will bring, or does he really want to drive us over a cliff at lightning speed with the rest of the world hanging onto our tail? His bullying is on steroids. He thinks the rest of the world will just fall into place behind his ass, and Putin's.

This does not sound good, not good at all, for Jews or Israel. Trump is already ramping us up into so many international messes in so many directions that it makes one's head spin.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points above.

What this points out is a real dichotomy in der fuhrer's policies.

He's appointed someone who will be more honest in his reflection of us gummint's real deeds wrt Israel -- where they keep electing Bibi as their far right leader who does NOT want the 2-state solution and who keeps building settlements and oppressing, horribly, the Palestinians. Despite our constant public bitching about it, we still fully support them with all manner of aide. Our official stance has been both ineffective and dishonest for decades. At least our position will match our deeds now.

But the dichotomy is that der fuhrer's political base HATES Judaism and Jews and would sooner kill them all as fart on the toilet. They lament that Hitler did not succeed in purging all Jews from the face of the earth.

our fuhrer will be walking into a different dichotomy as well. He's going to cozy up to his likely puppeteer, Putin. Putin allies include Iran and Syria (Assad). Those guys also hate Israel. Der fuhrer's appointee LOVES Israel. And the CMIC loves Israel and all those arms sales too. Is there any way der fuhrer won't totally fuck that up?
Does all this add up to another Mideast war? The CMIC would be the only winners there, and if the Israelis survive again, will drumpf's base go into a catatonic depression?


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