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There has, thankfully, been a lot of criticism of Donald Trump for failing to condemn a speaker at a town hall in New Hampshire who said American Muslims are a problem because they’re forming “training camps…to kill us,” and the president is a Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. Paul Waldman, a senior writer at the American Prospect and a columnist at the Washington Post, instructs the Republican Party that it is alienating minority groups by harboring such views.

Waldman offers this reflection, kind of out of nowhere:

When I was young, my parents would often tells us about how many Jews were among the white people active in the civil rights movement, often at great personal risk and for some, like Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, at the cost of their lives. Part of that was about my parents’ pride in their people’s participation in a righteous cause, but it was also a lesson in empathy: Jews supported the cause because they knew what it felt like to be outsiders, to be viewed with suspicion or contempt, to have your country tell you that though you’re here, you’re not a “real” American. Jews in America may not have suffered to anything like the degree that African-Americans did, but they understood.

I grew up in the same community. I reveled in this good feeling, too. The attitude is now 50 years old and self-congratulatory; Waldman leaves out the persecution of millions of Palestinians by a self-described Jewish government that is more racist and Islamophobic than Donald Trump and derives its chief political support from US Jews. He also leaves out the degree to which Jews are now insiders, after whom Republicans, and Democrats, clamor for campaign contributions. It’s cooler to be an outsider.

The columnist is helping to popularize the word PEP. Progressive Except Palestine! For his Palestinian omission is glaring to anyone under 30; and it is about to become a sore question inside the Democratic Party.

Thanks to Donald Johnson.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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38 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    September 19, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Phil:

    His article, as quoted by you, did not quite necessitate taking on I/P. And the world moves on, sometimes making people think again about long-settled (or long-ignored) issues.

    Why not politely and low-key-ly ask him about is attitudes. Might not be PEP after all. Of course his entire writings may well show that you were right.

    I agree his paragraph was self-congratulatory. Just the right spring-board for a discussion of his ideas about I/P as to which, who knows, he may see something not to be self-congratulatory about.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      September 19, 2015, 1:59 pm

      good point; but Waldman column of a year ago seeks to rationalize Gaza slaughter

      • just
        just
        September 19, 2015, 2:19 pm

        Looking forward to read his apology to the Palestinians of Gaza, Phil.

        btw, is anyone watching the NH Democratic state party convention today?

        “2015 New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention
        Former Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-RI), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Lawrence Lessig speak at the 2015 New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention.”

        http://www.c-span.org/networks/

        Shawn O’Connor (US House candidate) is speaking now on cspan 1. (The venue is disturbingly empty)

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 19, 2015, 3:28 pm

        Which one, Phil?

        I looked at a couple in this list and he seems critical of Israel’s bombing in Gaza, but I didn’t look at them all.

        paul waldman gaza

        Okay, that was supposed to be a link, but for some reason it doesn’t look like it is. Anyway I looked at a couple of his articles in the Google search I tried to link above and his line was that he criticized both sides, but Israel was responsible for its own decision to bomb in ways that killed many civilians.

        The article I sent you was mostly good, except for that paragraph which we both dislike.

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 19, 2015, 3:32 pm

        Decided to link to an article of Waldman’s–

        http://prospect.org/article/are-media-reporting-gaza-war-fairly

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 19, 2015, 5:33 pm

        @ just

        Yes, I was watching NH Democratic state party on CSPAN. Where’s Webb? The guy is a literal American hero and has written tons of scholary books, but he’s nowhere on main stream media.

      • just
        just
        September 19, 2015, 5:53 pm

        Citizen~ I heard that Webb declined to appear because he had a prior commitment in Iowa.

        It’s a shame that he wasn’t there.

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 19, 2015, 6:33 pm

        Paul Waldman did defend John Kerry for his statement last year that in the absence of a two-state solution “a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.” Waldman wrote

        The first thing to understand about this statement is that everything in it is completely true. You have, right now, Israel presiding over a population of Palestinians in the West Bank who lack political and human rights. They are under Israeli rule, but are not Israeli citizens.

        Where Waldman erred in the column was to say, “It’s perfectly legitimate to argue that the current situation in Israel is not comparable to apartheid in South Africa.” Of course, Waldman is incorrect. Apartheid west of the River Jordan is both past and present. Israel will not become an apartheid state when the Palestinian population reaches 51%. Regardless of the exact mix, Israel already is an aparthied state. The crime of apartheid does not depend on demographics or analogies with South Africa.

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 19, 2015, 6:43 pm

        Michael Schwerner organized a boycott of a local retailer that only hired white applicants. I wonder if Waldman thinks the boycott is a legitimate tactic in the pursuit of rights.

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 19, 2015, 6:56 pm

        Jim Webb is the only Democratic hopeful who has expressed misgivings (“a lot of concern”) about the Iran deal. The other prominent hopefuls–Clinton, Biden, Sanders, O’Malley and Chafee–all have expressed support.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        September 19, 2015, 8:32 pm

        Very disappointed in Webb on the Iran deal. Looks like he’s betting on Israeli money.

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        September 20, 2015, 12:09 pm

        Your re-direct couldn’t be more precise.

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        September 20, 2015, 4:26 pm

        @ckg Waldman errd when he wrote this:

        it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.” Waldman wrote

        omg! The mere notion of trying to sustain a Jewish state obviously through demographic not to mention political controls is bigotry!

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 19, 2015, 5:36 pm

    CSPAN is now showing the confirmation of Adam Szubin as Treasury Undersecretary On Terrorism; that is, he’s the 3rd Jewish American in a row to be US Sanctions Czar in a country where Jews make up 2% of the population. Please don’t tell me this is coincidence. http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-taps-adam-szubin-as-sanctions-czar/
    BTW, he’s an orthodox Jew.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      September 20, 2015, 9:20 am

      We will continue to be dominated by the Israel mindset on this issue. One of the foundation blocks. Where is the press?

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      September 20, 2015, 9:23 am

      Citizen, re: your Webb comment.
      Why is he all that different than the wolf in sheep’s clothing…Wesley Clark?

    • Steve Grover
      Steve Grover
      September 20, 2015, 6:40 pm

      Citizen sez:
      “he’s the 3rd Jewish American in a row to be US Sanctions Czar in a country where Jews make up 2% of the population”
      Them Jooze…next thing ya know they’ll be runnin’ the whole show!
      And Citizen further sez:
      “BTW, he’s an orthodox Jew.”
      An Orthodox Jew huh? You mean the kind that puts in Tefillin every morning except for Shabbos? The kind that is dedicated to his family, the Torah and his country? The sky is definitely falling!

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        September 20, 2015, 9:22 pm

        Dude, wake up!
        Here, google Talking Heads. Once in a Lifetime. Lyrics.
        Sooo reminds me of you.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 21, 2015, 9:50 am

        Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime (Full Length Version)

        P.S. PRAISE THE LORD DAVID BYRNE! ! !

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        September 21, 2015, 10:05 am

        Right on, man.

  3. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    September 19, 2015, 5:38 pm

    The guy who asked Trump that question, I would wager, knows perfectly well Obama’s religion and place of birth. In my experience in the Jim Crow South, deliberate mixing up of names and facts was often employed (e.g., “what do ya think about this Mahtin Luthah character?”), as a way of saying, “I’m not going to honor this person by pronouncing his name correctly, or stating his background correctly, I’m going to deliberately screw it up because I don’t like the guy, and my good ol’ boys will get a laugh out of it,” the exact reaction Trump gave him. Lyndon Johnson used to used the same ploy on, among others, Henry Kissinger, pronouncing his name “Keesinger,” to his great distress. There was some old Southern cold warrior, I’ve forgotten his name, who always said “commonists,” in reference to Communists, using the same tactic. It’s just like the “Democrat Party.”

    I’d wager that most of the Republicans who answer those poll questions are doing the same thing, deliberately answering incorrectly, and laughing at the effect.

    It’s not the gang of allies that I would’ve thought Israel would seek to align with in America, but, there you have it.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      September 19, 2015, 7:51 pm

      Kem Davies for Prezadint, y’all! ! !

      P.S. I want a prezerdint who ‘speaks in tongues’, y’all! ! !

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 19, 2015, 8:42 pm

        It looks like Oral Roberts University alumna Michele Bachmann isn’t running this time. Oral Roberts places a “particular emphasis on the Spirit-given ability to speak in tongues.” True confession: When I was in high school I appeared on TV in the near-stage audience of the weekly Oral Roberts broadcast. Yes, they do speak in tongues.

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 19, 2015, 9:05 pm

        Former candidate Pat Robertson speaks in tongues too. Davis probably does too since she is Pentacostalist. I doubt Huckabee does because he is Southern Baptist.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 19, 2015, 10:15 pm

        Since several previous presidents had very little grasp of English, speaking in tongues might be an improvement.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        September 19, 2015, 11:40 pm

        Former candidate Pat Robertson speaks in tongues too.
        CKG,

        We need some vid links.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        September 20, 2015, 3:18 am

        Greetings JL Dickerson,
        Bravo!
        I’m lolling ’round.
        ziusudra

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 20, 2015, 7:55 am

        P.P.S. The use of “Eye of the Tiger” in the Kim Davis rally was really cute, but I think “Dueling Banjos” from the 1972 film Deliverance (ironically featuring fundie Jon Voight) would have been far more appropriate! ! !

        P.P.P.S. That Jon Voight sho’ do got a purdy mouth! ! !

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 20, 2015, 8:45 am

        P.P.P.P.S. The way Kim Davis is being used by Mathew Staver and his “Liberty Counsel” reminds me of Fassbinder’s 1975 film Mother Küsters’ Trip to Heaven (German: Mutter Küsters’ Fahrt zum Himmel).
        Mother Küsters’ Trip to Heaven – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_K%C3%BCsters%27_Trip_to_Heaven

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 21, 2015, 5:55 am

        P.P.P.P.P.S. Ingrid Caven performing cabaret in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (1975)

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 21, 2015, 10:10 am

        RE: “I want a prezerdint who ‘speaks in tongues’, y’all! ! !” ~ me (from above)

        Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues (FULL ALBUM)

    • michelle
      michelle
      September 19, 2015, 11:54 pm

      .
      seems like people from many walks of life make fun of people they dislike/disrespect often times to appear witty/strong to those around them
      it might be easy to be unkind/rude but it will never be smart or funny and it is actually a sign of inner weakness/feelings of powerlessness
      .
      when we who do wrong yet claim to be/to know better the wrong is much worse
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      September 20, 2015, 8:40 am
    • kalithea
      kalithea
      September 20, 2015, 4:37 pm

      It’s not the gang of allies that I would’ve thought Israel would seek to align with in America, but, there you have it.

      You would’ve thought…? Oh, so knowing what you know about Israel, you still think Israel is better than this?

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        September 21, 2015, 6:15 am

        RE: “It’s not the gang of allies that I would’ve thought Israel would seek to align with in America, but, there you have it.” ~ Doppler
        AND RE: “You would’ve thought…? Oh, so knowing what you know about Israel, you still think Israel is better than this?” ~ kalithea

        MY REPLY: It is certainly a gang of allies Herzl sought to align with.*

        * HERZL: “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.”

        Source – “The Last of the Semites” / by Joseph Massad / 21 May 2013
        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/2013521184814703958.html

        P.S. John Podhoretz’s response to Massad’s article

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 19, 2015, 6:53 pm

    An Islamaphobe justifies the overreaction of school officials in Texas. If this was a Jewish kid Maher would have said it was anti-semitic, or been outraged at the school.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-maher-ahmed-mohamed_55fdb3cbe4b08820d918ea3f

  5. JWalters
    JWalters
    September 19, 2015, 8:09 pm

    “Paul Waldman, … instructs the Republican Party that it is alienating minority groups by harboring such views.”

    The Republican party needs no such instruction. Their strategy is divide and conquer. Chaos is a tactic. And they are following orders from Israel, as shown by their unanimous and emphatic pledges of allegiance to Israel and war with Iran.

  6. kalithea
    kalithea
    September 20, 2015, 2:35 pm

    God help those who are at the mercy of ignorance, greed, bigotry and hypocrisy and God bless the victims of the latter group.

    Let’s consider again the urgent need of the wandering refugees, victims of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and particularly in Syria and Iraq. Let’s pretend that these countries were located south of Mexico and tens of thousands of them were streaming into Mexico to desperately make their way to the country that pretended to liberate them all this time. There would be pandemonium on U.S. streets to get Congress to stop these refugees, and tens of thousands of bigots would be coming out of the closet in droves to ensure these refugees were stopped from entering.

    When you consider the number of African Americans that are victims of injustice and racism by authorities and whites in America, when you consider the growing call to deport over a million illegal immigrants who for decades fled abject poverty to work at jobs in the U.S. that Americans consider beneath them to do, when a 14-year old Muslim American boy is handcuffed and his legal rights are denied to him for bringing a clock he made as a science project to school and consider the bigoted loud-mouth at Trump’s rally that represents too many Americans, and Trump’s refusal to shut him and his bigotry down, the conclusion is obvious: There is NOT a Muslim problem in America; there is a RACISM problem in America.

    So believe me, Palestinians are doomed, because the problem of bigotry is as bad or worse in Israel; just ask the black migrants corralled by Zionists in camps, and this is the best ally and friend of the U.S.

    It’s going to take a revolution to change this around and people of good conscience, decency and uncompromised humanity getting off their butts to take action against this growing trend, and I commend anyone who calls out even such tacit hypocrisy wherever it festers.

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