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Neoconservatives warm up to Trump (maybe they have an agenda)

on 28 Comments

The word has gone out that Donald Trump’s foreign policy is up for grabs, and the neoconservatives are humming with pleasure over this news, and lobbying quietly and not so quietly. You can hardly blame them for sucking up to Trump: neoconservatives are hawks who care about Israel more than anything, and it is vital to them to secure Israel’s interests in the next administration.

Last night Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin– between railing against evangelical Christians for giving us Trump — was on Hardball pushing the hawkish John Bolton to be the next Secretary of State. Bolton is closely associated with the neocon camp; he served in the Bush war administration and was a fixture at the American Enterprise Institute and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Neoconservative Eliot Cohen– who said “Trump may be better than we think. He does not have strong principles about much, which means he can shift” — is also pushing for Bolton:

Even a leader of the Never Trump crew, Bill Kristol, is changing his tune on Trump: “Trump may become Truman or Reagan. But he could also be a low-class Hoover. And GOP ascendancy may last as long as it did in ’28.”

Kristol passes along the rumors that Rudy Giuliani could be secretary of state and Steve Mnuchin formerly of Goldman Sachs could be Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin has given money mostly to Democrats.

Alan Dershowitz the rightwing Israel supporter has of course made bold steps to embrace the incoming Trump administration. Dershowitz has exonerated alt-right Trump strategist Steve Bannon of charges of anti-Semitism.

Bannon will be a guest at the annual Zionist Organization of America gala, at which Dershowitz will appear, along with Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus.

Bear in mind that Dershowitz worked with Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, at Harvard 13 years ago, starting the Jewish Chabad House there.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is also defending Bannon. “He doesn’t sound anti-Semitic to me,” writes Ari Fleischer, the former Bush press secretary who is devoted to Israel.

Bernard Marcus issued a statement saying he has known Bannon for years and he is a devoted Zionist!

“I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve. Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know… I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out. What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda…” [That means shame.]

Another rightwing Israel supporter who is sucking up to Trump: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the consigliere for the Israel lobby who helped Samantha Power get her job, has also leaped to Bannon’s defense, saying he is not anti-Semitic.

I am aware that in a contentious divorce proceeding he is said to have uttered something about his daughter not being with Jewish students.

I have no idea about the veracity of the statement and as a marriage counselor, I know that in a divorce, harsh things are often alleged. Aside from that, I don’t think even the most hostile media can point to a single reason to consider him anti-Semitic.

PS I have no doubt Bannon has made anti-Jewish cracks, but what do we make of Jennifer Rubin broadbrushing Christians? “Evangelical Christians owe their fellow Americans something better.”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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28 Responses

  1. kalithea on November 16, 2016, 5:06 pm

    With Schumer leading on the Right and Trump on the Left…what’s that you say? I got them mixed up? You mean they’re not interchangeable?

    The U.S. government is a hornet’s nest of Zionists and Neocons pooping all over the American people’s democracy. We’ve all become powerless.

    Schumer, Mr. Iraq war, Anthony Weiner’s ticket to politics, cheer-leader for Netanyahu, and he can’t wait til Trump tears up the Iran deal he opposed. F….KING TRAITOR.

    Who’s the Democrat…who’s the Republican? You can’t tell one side from the other; they’re all in the service of one nation: ISRAEL! I’ve never seen it as obvious as it is today. We’re all screwed and especially Palestinians, Syrians and Iranians. These Zionists and Neocon bastards running the world are going to destroy us all.

    So now Trump’s supremacists and ZOAs supremacists are going to party together. They’re going to celebrate the new supremacist manifesto on how to suppress minorities so that Zionist Christians and Jews get to rule the planet from the extreme right…into the ground. Okay, I’m having a bad day, first it was a choice between Hillary and Trump. Now, we’re getting the new Zionist leader of the Senate planning the next WWar with the head of the soon-to-be Fascist police state, America and Netanyahu couldn’t be more pleased to see America moving in his direction; the extreme right direction.

    Maybe the owner of the site below can get us all out of here in time to watch everything blow up from space.:

  2. wondering jew on November 16, 2016, 6:22 pm

    The traditional foes of the ashkenazi jew has come from the right wing. From the czar to hitler from Lindbergh to pat buchanan. Hatred from and towards the left wing is a more complicated relationship. Marx and his reduction of the jew to an economic unit or foul idea, stalin and his senility post ww II , the denigration and suppression of religion, the refusal to accept Jewish identity as something other than religious, and then of course the case of zionism and the realities of the Jewish state and its constant war. Every Jewish family had a Jewish commie or socialist uncle or cousin, and midstream left was pervasive: FDR was a god to American jews, so the left might be estranged, but it was familiar, from the root word family.
    As american jews are concentrated in the cities, I must mention Jewish friction with blacks in the late 60’s as another conflict point between American jews and the left.
    In recent years as jews increasingly become jews of no religion, but continue to live in the cities and to vote democratic, the conflict between Israel supporting jews and those who don’t care or oppose has been the headline story. And then along comes trump, with his companion bannon, and they set off every radar that any jew learnt from his parents in terms of George wallace and David duke and pat buchanan and European history and the alarm of Muslims blacks and hispanics backs up our traditional fears and our traditional prejudices and we say, resisting trump and trumpism is our priority now.

    • Bandolero on November 17, 2016, 12:59 am


      I would more think that Donald Trumps agenda is America First.

      As I see it jews are fine for him to accomplish this, but America First is the measure in the lobby test. Anyone who cannot demonstrate he is an America Firster is out. I think that’s the basics.

      And I think Trump is hardly doing more than running an Apprentice to figure it out.

      But – see the apprentice, Trump is not a layman to HR decisions.

    • Mooser on November 17, 2016, 5:42 pm

      “The traditional foes of the ashkenazi jew has come from the right wing.”

      And the entire right wing supports Zionism and Israel! Oh, and why are Israel’s internal enemies always derided as “left-wing”?

      Why is Steve Bannon at the ZOA conference?

  3. JWalters on November 16, 2016, 7:51 pm

    Thanks for this interesting collection of statements. The puppet choir changes its tune.

  4. Sibiriak on November 16, 2016, 9:32 pm

    Another statement to consider:

    Donald Trump’s administration will be made up of individuals willing to make changes to American policy, former CIA director James Woolsey, his senior adviser, told RT.

    Woolsey said the administration will likely be made up of “individuals who would normally be regarded as part of the establishment, but who are willing to work for him, with him to make some changes in American policy.”

    He went on to say that, as a man who was opposed by both parties and major media outlets during the election, Trump has endured to spark a “populist spirit” across the US.

    “Positive change” under the Trump presidency can spread across US borders, Woolsey said, stating that “there are opportunities for former adversaries such as the US and Russia to work together on some things,” particularly noting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). [emphasis added]

  5. Kay24 on November 17, 2016, 7:52 am

    It seems Trump is way over his head and cannot get his act together. They seem to be unable to hit the ground running, and this is no surprise, because there are no grown ups in his team, mostly demagogues and controversial figures. Apparently Bolton is not officially in the Trump administration, which is a relief, but we cannot dismiss the possibility that he will have an input in some unofficial capacity. I guess like her or not, Hillary would have had a more experience in forming her administration, and they would have done it in a more orderly way. At this stage it is frightening not knowing which way Trump’s administration will take this country, although from the looks of it, the characters and Trumps own words during the campaign, it is not too hard to guess. So far all the despots like Assad, and even Mugabe, seems to be keen to kiss and make up with this new administration who will be representing us. To think Trump is very acceptable and popular with the deplorables here (like the KKK) and outside the US, is frightening.

    • echinococcus on November 17, 2016, 8:32 am

      Thank you for the disciplined and condensed summary of the current talking points of the Democratic Party line, regardless of any direct relevance to Palestinian resistance (except for a very divisive and unnecessary, from the Palestine viewpoint, jab to Assad.)

      This kind of propaganda presence is highly likely to increase tender feelings of sympathy for the US Two-Party system: just as much as a statement of undying loyalty to the Party in the Soviet Stamp Collector Federation bulletin in the Fifties. I suppose we may expect it to get more intense with each passing day.

      • Kay24 on November 17, 2016, 10:12 am

        If you think for one minute that I keep forming my opinions because of Democratic party sources you are sadly mistaken. I do NOT go to Democratic nor Republican sources, never have, never will. So if I detect some sarcasm in your response, I must say you are far from right. This article is about Trump, and as a voter (who did not vote for either candidate) I think I have the right to speak my mind. I have not mentioned the Palestinian issue in my comment, but I think my previous comments speak to that. So try to ease up and quit playing monitor here.

      • echinococcus on November 17, 2016, 4:50 pm

        “I have not mentioned” it explicitly in this comment, “but I think my previous comments” show that, instead of “playing monitor”, as you say, I keep warning eager Democrats here that solidarity with Palestinian resistance is not limited to your own kind –tribal or political. There is a huge potential among the general population, not necessarily “liberal” or “trendy” or Democrat, which is being repelled by posts and comments that assume that everyone must share your vision of things.
        This continuing campaign against anyone who doesn’t share you guys’ sympathies on matters unrelated to Palestinian resistance is already poisoning the air here, so I am suggesting that anyone who has a mind to make the atmosphere more tolerable for the general public pretty please take whatever is unrelated to Palestine to more appropriate venues.

        I am also suggesting that there should at least be a discussion of this extremely important point, especially in view of the Weir witch-hunt.

        As for your “I do NOT go to Democratic nor Republican sources, never have, never will” it would have been much more credible if all the significant end-of-campaign party talking points had not been concentrated in a neat, compact summary in your message. Thank you.

      • Kay24 on November 17, 2016, 7:27 pm

        I cannot waste my time trying to convince you otherwise. If what I write does not meet with your “approval” feel free to not respond. I must have missed it when MDW appointed you class monitor. Move on….

      • RoHa on November 17, 2016, 8:24 pm

        “There is a huge potential among the general population, not necessarily “liberal” or “trendy” or Democrat,”

        I think you are probably right about that.

        ” which is being repelled by posts and comments that assume that everyone must share your vision of things.”

        That’s if they see them. But if they do, they will also see that there are plenty of us here who have differing views about matters unrelated to Palestinian resistance.

        Just at the moment, though, I agree there is too much wailing and gnashing of teeth about Trump, and I think that is likely to be off-putting for that very large number of Americans who voted for him.

        “…please take whatever is unrelated to Palestine to more appropriate venues.”

        If you think I am going stop correcting bad grammar, think again.

      • Sibiriak on November 17, 2016, 9:26 pm

        Kay24: If you think for one minute that I keep forming my opinions because of Democratic party sources you are sadly mistaken. I do NOT go to Democratic nor Republican sources, never have, never will.


        And yet you uncritically link to a Huffington Post article as proof that “[Trump ] seems to be finding it hard to get his house in order,” [“… way over his head and cannot get his act together. “]

        During the campaign, the Huffington Post functioned as an unabashed propaganda organ for the Clinton camp. Clearly a partisan “Democratic” source, even if not an official Party one.

      • echinococcus on November 17, 2016, 10:02 pm

        As a reluctantly almost-converted prescriptivist subject to recurrences I know it is impossible to ever suggest that any subject may be outside the ken of language prescription.

      • Sibiriak on November 17, 2016, 10:40 pm

        Kay24: ease up and quit playing monitor here

        That I agree with.

        Swedish women get hotline to report mansplaining

        Important news item. I want to hear RoHa’s take on it.

      • Sibiriak on November 17, 2016, 10:47 pm

        echinococcus: [… solidarity with Palestinian resistance…] There is a huge potential among the general population…

        From all the evidence I’ve seen, I’d say the potential is small.

        And it would be very small if you define the goal of “Palestinian resistance” –like YOU do, along with many Zionists–as the demise of the Israeli state and the opportunity to strip millions of Jewish invaders of their citizenship and send them packing. No, no evidence of a “huge potential” for solidarity with that goal among the general population.

      • RoHa on November 18, 2016, 12:06 am

        I’ll pass. If I said anything, I’d probably end up mansplaining.

        Oh, wait! Am I mansplaining now? Phone the hotline to check.

      • Mooser on November 18, 2016, 12:00 pm

        “If you think I am going stop correcting bad grammar, think again.”

        That’s good! Your pettifogging, nit-picking and irrelevant criticisms and corrections of bad grammar made me realize I had an over-full commastomy bag, too.

      • Mooser on November 18, 2016, 12:49 pm

        “I have no idea about the veracity of the statement and as a marriage counselor, I know that in a divorce, harsh things are often alleged. Aside from that, I don’t think even the most hostile media can point to a single reason to consider him anti-Semitic”

        Gee, speaking of “mansplaining”. Why not use the piquant Mannish expression “psycho ex-wife”? That explains it all in two words.

      • echinococcus on November 18, 2016, 4:59 pm


        Don’t pretend to be slow; you aren’t.
        Accusing a person, who is protesting against sectarian screeds in favor of broad alliances, of not willing to be allied with anyone but those who share his own particular goals is downright stupid: I never hide my ultimate goals, which are a proper Palestinian plebiscite and the full implementation of it, no matter any objections. And I have worked all my many years with a lot of people, with the only condition of not contributing to Zionist goals.

        Now, you seem to be totally out of touch with the US. First: we are not all trendy liberals who call “left politics” rather apolitical things like supporting gay rights to become uniformed murderers (no matter how justified that also is.) We have untold millions who reasonably assent to the right of Palestinians to have the rights listed in our BoR, or better, to have autodetermination and keep their land and sovereignty, or also to expel invaders. When they are informed.
        It’s not so small. Check out all the conservatives who are right now publishing and discussing in favor of Palestinian resistance and opposition to Zionism.
        What authorizes you to say, even at this stage of relative obscurity, that the “other-than-liberal” people are in smaller numbers than the trendy-cultural crowd? I don’t have any census numbers for that, obviously, but already my contacts on both sides of the divide show me that the conservative side is at least as well stocked as the liberal side. Add to it that the latter, right now, is rather incapacitated by its loyalty to the Democrats, while the former is relatively more independent from a party line.

        Those who support outfits like JVP and those who work to transform any Palestinian support forum into sectarian liberal or sectarian Jewish venues do work to block any possibility of effecting anything. I think that objecting to it is a duty, and that insistence in this kind of sectarian behavior even when warned indicates an intention to sabotage support to Palestinian resistance.

      • RoHa on November 18, 2016, 6:00 pm

        Though I will tentatively suggest that any Swedish woman who has avoided being raped by a “refugee” only to be subjected to the horror of mansplaining could try the magic words “Ingen förklaring, tak. Jag förstår det redan, förmodligen bättre än du.” Might save a phone call.

      • traintosiberia on November 24, 2016, 7:02 am

        There was an article in Chicago Tribune questioning why Bannon is but not Rev Wright was not acceptable . Good question . The answer can be found in the form of another question why Van Jones was thrown under the bus for Questining 911 and Iraq war when Trump catapulted himself to fame in S Carolina ( a Bush country per MSM ) by questions 911 and the drive to Iraq war on the basis I of lies . Democratic Party is the mirror image of Republican with no legs to stand on its own .

      • Maghlawatan on November 24, 2016, 10:44 am

        Bannon is a Nazi. The preacher is not.
        The Trump coalition is uglier than sin.

    • Kay24 on November 18, 2016, 6:23 pm

      Sibiriak, I have consistently linked articles from Haaretz, Time of Israel, even Fox News. When I come across some article that interests me, I link it here. I even get article from FB. Much ado about nothing from the class monitor.

  6. CigarGod on November 17, 2016, 11:12 am

    Adapt to survive.
    I’m always surprised at how liquid our “principles” become under the slightest temperature change.

    • Mooser on November 21, 2016, 2:54 pm

      I’d be willing to wager it was Bannon’s “liquid principles” which kept him from going to the ZOA gala. By the time he was properly humidified he couldn’t walk.

  7. Elizabeth Block on November 17, 2016, 5:35 pm

    Interesting that the Zionists have made it quite clear that they don’t care about anti-Semitism, only anti-Zionism. (As if we didn’t know!!!!)

  8. Stogumber on November 20, 2016, 6:04 am

    Yes, but that is so because “anti-semitism” is such an indefinite smear word. I mean, just people who use it daily will become somewhat cynical about its use and treat it as something which can be switched on or switched off, according to your momentaneous intentions.

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