To atone for mispronouncing Hamas, Carson hires Netanyahu adviser and announces Israel trip

US Politics
on 9 Comments

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has seen his popularity decline lately in part because of his apparent weakness on foreign policy. The New York Times reported last month that Carson is struggling to be plausible on the Middle East; one of his advisers said, “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East.” Last week, Carson confirmed the impression in his appearance before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, halting frequently as he read a speech and repeatedly mispronouncing “Hamas” (with the emphasis on the first syllable, like hummus). Result: The foreign policy elites are not taking him seriously.

His punishment? Carson has hired a former aide to Netanyahu as an adviser, and he announces that he’s going to Israel. The Hill reports:

George Birnbaum has worked with three Israeli prime ministers as well as its foreign minister…

In a statement that noted his “pride and excitement” in joining Carson’s team, Birnbaum noted the integral relationship between America and Israel…

Birnbaum worked on Netanyahu’s reelection earlier this year

And Carson is going to Israel. Bloomberg broke the story two days ago:

Carson… said he’s planning another trip to Israel sometime before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, his second trip to the country in one year.

Carson’s announcement followed Donald Trump’s announcement a week ago that he’s going to Israel some time after Christmas, and will meet with his dear friend Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he endorsed for prime minister earlier this year.

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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9 Responses

  1. Bandolero
    December 9, 2015, 2:03 pm

    Please forgive me, but I cannot hold back this:

    Sounds like Ben Carson is trying to transplant a brain into himself. But it looks like he has not made a clever choice regarding the donor of his brain implant, and so Trump is the only one who will further gain from this failed neurosurgeon operation.

  2. Citizen
    December 9, 2015, 4:18 pm

    When your numbers are shaky, take a trip to Israel on the usual tour. I guess Tel Aviv is the USA’s Mecca. Turn towards it five times a day, at least, and pray loudly into the public mic: “Israel, Israel, Israel! How I love ya, let me count the ways!” Ann Coulter never got the message, or rather, she did but she grew annoyed by the repetition “Israel” and irony of it all because the question asked went to what would you do for the USA?

  3. Blownaway
    December 9, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Feckless Carson can’t even get this right according to the times of Israel “Birnbaum’s former associates said the statement was misleading and that the title of “chief of staff” was “a serious exaggeration.” in Yiddish Carson is a Freire

  4. ckg
    December 9, 2015, 8:05 pm
  5. Boo
    December 10, 2015, 10:42 am

    Carson’s action in acquiring a “minder” won’t help him in the slightest. It’s as if Carson, not a large man, has realized that the ice on the lake is perilously thin — and in an effort to navigate it safely, hires a big sturdy fellow lolling at the edge of the lake — then jumps onto his back and asks him to skate across to the other side.

  6. Kate
    December 10, 2015, 3:50 pm

    OK, so now he’ll pronounce it Khamas the way the Israelis do? That’s not right either, it’s the wrong ‘h’. It’s not the stress that matters, since Arabic is a vowel-length and consonant-length language, not a stress one. Go to translate. google.com, ask for ‘Hamas’ in English translated to Arabic, and then listen to the Arabic word: Hamaas. If it has any stress it’s on the first syllable (so Carson wasn’t that far off), though the first ‘A’ is short and the second one long (the vertical stroke). But the H-sound is quite different from the H in English. Then try ‘Muhammad’ and listen to the same H-like sound and the long ‘mm’: MuHammad.

    Arabic has three h-like sounds:

    haa’, the one closest to the English h, as in hiya ‘she’;

    khaa’, the one closest to the ch in Scottish ‘loch’, as in khaliifa ‘caliph’;

    and the most common one, Haa’, which is not like anything in modern Hebrew or in European languages,
    as in Hamas, MuHammad, Haqq ‘truth’ Hubb ‘love’.

    All clear?

    • oldgeezer
      December 10, 2015, 4:14 pm

      You mean the way the indigenous middle eastern australians do? As in kkkkhamas??

      I am hoping teva is working in some generic copycat mucous and phlegm relief for the phonetically challenged goi members.

  7. JLewisDickerson
    December 10, 2015, 5:21 pm

    RE: “Carson has hired a former aide to Netanyahu as an adviser, and he announces that he’s going to Israel.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Is there anything more sickening than politics American-style?

    Sheldon Adelson’s Menagerie:

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