Alex Shams writes, “The failure of the University of Chicago – and other universities like it – to vocally defend the rights of its students to free speech, political activism, and to live in an environment free of racial and religious hatred is particularly disconcerting given the wave of Islamophobia that has overtaken the country in the last year, particularly in light of Donald Trump’s electoral victory.”
Category Archives: US Politics
Listen up. Racist nationalism feeding on fear and economic discontent directed by an obviously-corrupted leadership with a creative approach to truth is really dangerous. This is not the time to be patient or to normalize the fact of the Trump presidency.
The Israel lobby seems to losing power before our eyes. Trump aide Steve Bannon blew off the Zionist Organization of America despite its patron Sheldon Adelson giving $25 million to the Trump campaign; and Alan Dershowitz warned that if Jewish supporters of Israel divide and allow an American election to become a referendum on Israel, “we could lose.”
Details have been unclear on Donald Trump’s ever-shifting call for a discriminatory ‘Muslim registry’ in the United States. Some proposals target Muslim-Americans, others focus on Muslim immigrants entering the United States. Nevertheless, the prospects are certainly terrifying, regardless of what Muslim community will be at the mercy of the state’s surveillance apparatus. Sana Saeed, a journalist based in San Francisco, tells Mondoweiss that the fear she is seeing in her community “is real and devastating.”
Jewish Americans passed a big test by voting overwhelmingly against Trump. But a major question is yet to be answered: Will Trump’s aggressively Zionist agenda sway their opinion during his administration?
“I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” said James Mattis, the retired Marine general Donald Trump has suggested will be his Defense Secretary.
Phil Weiss says that Jewish status is changing with the Trump election, but comparisons to the Holocaust are overblown and self-involved: “I can’t diminish that reaction, but no one with any influence is talking about a registry for Jewish names, as they are for Muslims. Or restrictions on Jewish emigration, as they do for Muslims. Or talking about the problems in the Jewish religion– as the new national security adviser and top strategist Bannon do. We misread history if we think that is coming to the US. Other dangers are much closer.”
The day after the election Wikileaks published an email from Stu Eizenstat, an ambassador to the Jewish community, to Clinton’s foreign policy wunderkind Jake Sullivan scrutinizing activism in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) at Princeton. Why did top figures in the Clinton campaign spend energy looking into how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was engaging this “sleepy campus?” Because it was trying to please donors in 2015, rather than wrestling with progressive causes.
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced today that Senator Jeff Sessions, a right-wing hardliner on immigration, will be his attorney general, and that Michael Flynn, the anti-Muslim former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, will be his national security adviser. The moves signal that Trump is rewarding those who remained loyal to him during his tumultuous presidential campaign–and that he has no intention of backing down from his hardline positions on Muslims and immigrants.
Alan Dershowitz whitewashed Stephen Bannon a few days ago, but now belatedly discovers Bannon’s ‘anti-Muslim, anti-women’ bigotry is disqualifying
Alan Dershowitz’s boyhood neighborhood of Borough Park Brooklyn went overwhelmingly for Trump, because of the presence of Orthodox Jews. While US Jews overall went 75 percent for Hillary Clinton. This signals giant division among secular and Orthodox Jews over Israel.
Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia–alongside a healthy dose of right-wing Zionism–go hand in hand among adherents of the Internet-savvy white nationalist movement that has supported Trump’s rise to power. The choice to bring Steve Bannon into the Oval Office, potentially alongside other anti-Muslim ideologues that have clustered around Trump, portends a dark future for the Muslim American community.
Trump’s foreign policy is up for grabs and neoconservatives are desperately cultivating him for hawkish, pro-Israel ends. Even Bill Kristol of the Never Trump camp says Trump could be Reagan or Truman!
Alan Dershowitz has wielded the anti-Semitism charge against any critic of Israel, including Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, and Judge Richard Goldstone, for many years. But he defends Trump advisor Steve Bannon against the charge, saying the evidence must be “overwhelming,” out of a need to suck up to Donald Trump over his Israel policy.
Trump’s combination of rightwing extremism and love for Israel will cause American Jews to come out against the Israeli government and its policies, observers say, thereby accelerating the divide between liberal American Jews and the Jewish state, which is practicing apartheid.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected on the promise that Palestinians would never have their own independent state, and now even the most powerful pro-Israel organization in the U.S. appears to be changing its rhetoric on the two-state solution. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, scrubbed a reference to the two-state solution from talking points on its website.
The rightwing Israel supporters have redefined anti-Semitism to be criticism of Israel. Now an accused anti-Semite, Steve Bannon, is set to enter the White House as a Trump adviser and many Israel supporters have nothing to say, and the New York Times downplays the appointment, because Trump has said that he is pro-Israel. The Israel lobby is swallowing its own medicine.
President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Stephen Bannon to be his chief strategist has brought to the surface the antisemitic undercurrent of Trump’s reactionary populism. How we go about explaining the phenomenon goes some way towards guiding us as to how to mobilize against it. Max Ajl says it’s essential to understand that “Trumpism” is the product of a US social and political order that was neither reformable nor defensible, and it offers an opportunity to join a more inclusive movement – “one big enough for all of us, except for those who insist that others pay the price for their safety.”
In a triumph of navel-gazing and moral idiocy, NYT op-ed writer Shmuel Rosner says the bad thing about Trump is not what he threatens to America but that Israeli love for him will expose to American Jews the rightwing racism of their Middle East counterparts and they will distance themselves from Israel.
According to a recent survey, Muslims are the least politically engaged religious group in the U.S. (among Jews and Christians and themselves), though the level of political engagement is likely to change after this election. As Imam Zaid Shakir in Austin, TX says, “We are in the battle of ideas – not a physical battle – but one of fighting racism and discrimination. This is our battle.”
Over the weekend Interim Democratic boss Donna Brazile, attended a conference organized by the David Horowitz’s Islamophobic think tank Freedom Center. It featured rightwing intolerants, Mike Huckabee, Steve Bannon, Robert Spencer and Caroline Glick, the Israeli who denies the Nakba and the existence of Palestinian refugees. Brazile may think that she can hold the party together with Islamophobic elements, but the party is moving on. Sen. Chuck Schumer has endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, to fill the position Brazile holds in a nod to the party’s left wing.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which President Obama pursued, will likely not recur under President Trump, according to a leaked document produced by Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs.
If Newt Gingrich is being bandied as Secretary of State under Trump, it’s surely because billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who funded the Trump campaign, share’s Gingrich’s outlook. “I happen to believe what our friend Newt Gingrich said is true,” Adelson says. Palestinians are “a made up people.”
A collection of tweets that show the immediate surge in racist attacks on Muslims and people of color in the U.S. since Donald Trump was elected president.
Vice President Joe Biden claims to speak for Donald Trump in assuring “anxious” Jews that US support for Israel won’t change an iota in next administration. Meantime, Benjamin Netanyahu issues repeated congratulations to the president-elect, in apparent sign of anxiety.