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MAGA congressman wants Trump administration to kill ‘anti-American and pro-BDS’ Arizona Mideast studies program

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Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is calling for the Department of Education to investigate the Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) at the University of Arizona. Gosar argues that the program has misused federal money and should have its funding stripped away by the Trump administration.

On February 24, Gosar sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claiming that the program is “anti-American and pro-BDS.” One of the examples Gosar cites is a piece by CMES associate professor Maha Nassar that ran on this site two years ago. Nassar’s piece argued that the attempts by pro-Israel groups to demonize Students for Justice in Palestine would only end up strengthening the organization.

“I am further informed that there are CMES professors at U of A who, in spite of their association with the Title VI-funded center, openly support the hate group BDS that advocates for the extinction of Israel as a Jewish state,” wrote Gosar, “We are told that Maha Nassar, an assistant professor, wrote a defense of anti-Semitic ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ in the anti-Semitic publication Mondoweiss.”

The Gosar letter comes amidst a wider campaign by the Trump administration, and various GOP lawmakers, to crack down on pro-Palestine campus groups. The battle was emboldened by an executive order that was signed by Trump last winter. Trump’s move allows the government to yank federal funding from schools if they determine that they have failed to corral the threat of antisemitism. Palestine solidarity activists perceived the executive order as a clear attempt to stifle the BDS movement.

Gosar is currently in self-quarantine after coming into “extended” contact with someone who had the coronavirus. When Gosar tweeted out this news, he referred to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan Virus”, a racist phrasing that health officials have called on people to avoid. Gosar doubled down on his bigoted characterization of the disease after he was criticized for it by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:

Gosar also tweeted this out, which we are still trying to decipher:

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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19 Responses

  1. Misterioso on March 9, 2020, 3:58 pm

    To be brief:

    Paul Gosar is just another two-bit, ignorant, self serving, uneducated bozo, a bought and paid for pro-Israel puppet and faithful servant of non-presidential President Donald Trump, the utterly corrupt Zionist serving Republican Bozo in Chief.

    America is in big trouble!!

    • Kay24 on March 12, 2020, 6:26 am

      America has always been in trouble with Israel able to butt in to our affairs, and have these Congresspeople in their pockets, acting un-American, and making asses of themselves, like this.
      They must want AIPAC to notice just how mean they can be for Israel.

      Hope BDS intensifies.

  2. wondering jew on March 9, 2020, 4:28 pm

    Calling the disease the “Wuhan virus” places the blame on the location of ground zero for the disease. It is not racist per se, although it may be the term preferred by racists.

    • Stephen Shenfield on March 9, 2020, 7:19 pm

      Are the terms Russian flu, Spanish flu, Asian flu racist?

      • RoHa on March 10, 2020, 2:15 am

        Undoubtedly. As are “German measles”, “French leave”, “Dutch courage”, “welsh on a bet”, “Mexican stand off”, “Indian summer”, “Chinese Checkers”, “Swiss roll’, and “gum arabic”.

      • eljay on March 10, 2020, 8:28 am

        The terms “Wuhan virus” and “Russian flu” might not be deemed racist but there’s no way the term “Tel Aviv bacteria” (should an outbreak ever originate in Israel) wouldn’t immediately be denounced as anti-Semitic and maybe even “Jew hatred”. (Not sure if it would qualify for denunciation as a “trope”.)

      • tamarque on March 10, 2020, 9:19 am

        What makes this a bigoted term is the intent. When France did not want to support the illegal Iraq war Bush turned French fries into a bigoted term. With today’s American attacks on China, naming this virus as a Chinese scrourge has to be seen as part of the propaganda against China. When we had the fearmongering scare about Anthrax after 911, when it was discovered it came from American bioweapon labs, it wasn’t named American anthrax in a pejorative way. So you cannot ignore the bigger social context of words and terms that get coined for specific uses. In this case there is a distinct layer of bigotry involved here. What if it turns out the virus was another lab concocted creation from a Canadian or American bio weapon lab? Will we hear about that on the front pages? Will we be fed a diet of name calling labels that attack the policies and practices of western countries with hegemonic goals?

      • Mooser on March 10, 2020, 7:43 pm

        “Are the terms Russian flu, Spanish flu, Asian flu racist?”

        Is the term “COVID-19” not descriptive enough for you?

      • echinococcus on March 11, 2020, 12:14 am

        “Is the term “COVID-19” not descriptive enough for you?”

        Perish the thought.

        It is at least as clear and descriptive as JM-8 or ZKK-0229! Or perhaps even better.

    • Ellen on March 10, 2020, 11:13 am

      It is absolutely racist!

      With that logic should we call Tay Saks the “Jew Disease” because it is predominantly seen in the population pool of those with the heritage of Eastern European Jews?

      • Mooser on March 10, 2020, 7:39 pm

        “With that logic should we call Tay Saks the “Jew Disease”

        It’s not just Tay-Saks.
        Of course, there’s the +15 IQ, too.

      • echinococcus on March 11, 2020, 12:08 am

        Not at all!

        The logic is perfectly sound, and the Tay-Sachs syndrome can well be called the “Ashkenazi disease”. Not “Jewish”. Big difference.

        Or also Canadjien-and-Cajun disease , or also the Amish disease! That’s not “Jew” either.

  3. lonely rico on March 9, 2020, 5:51 pm

    America is in big trouble!!

    Paul Gosar is a reassuring presence doing his part to guide the United States through these troubled times.
    This, despite the good doctor being abandoned by his own flesh and blood –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1W7lx6IsnY

    • Misterioso on March 9, 2020, 6:57 pm

      @lonely rico

      Wow!! The Gosar family must have some exciting and unforgettable “get togethers.”

  4. Hemlockroid on March 10, 2020, 10:18 am

    Pro-BDS? I’m sending money.

  5. eljay on March 10, 2020, 11:16 am

    Like all Zionists, Gosar is repulsed by the notion of justice, accountability and equality in geographic Palestine because he believes that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right”:
    – to be supremcists;
    – to have as large as possible a supremacist state; and
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality (a.k.a. “necessary evil”) they would not have others do unto them.

    Like all Zionists, Gosar is a hateful and immoral supremacist hypocrite.

  6. James Canning on March 10, 2020, 11:20 am

    Perhaps Paul Gosar will tell us how he thinks Israel can be pressured to end its occupation of the West Bank.

  7. genesto on March 10, 2020, 12:05 pm

    Just to lighten things up for a change, this from our ‘friends’ at ‘Israel News’ this morning:

    “Leaders of Israel’s left-wing parties have secretly reached out to Bernie Sanders and offered him leadership of their joint block. Political experts say that the main reason for the offer is that leftist leaders acknowledge that Sanders has won more Jewish votes in the US than they have in Israel, and they believe that with Sanders at the head of the ticket, they could finally get a respectable number of Knesset seats.

    Sanders reportedly has declined their offer, even though he is happy with the Israeli free healthcare for all system, because there are simply too many billionaires with too much power in the country. He also would rather move to a retirement community in South Florida, instead of shlepping all the way to Israel.

    The ultra-orthodox parties are demanding that they will only join a government that does not include any women. They also are refusing to participate in a coed Knesset. As a show of good-will, however, the party leaders plan to create a new Ministry of Cooking, Cleaning and Child Rearing which would have a woman minister at the helm and be totally staffed by women. In an unusual move, the Arab block, has agreed to join forces with the ultra-orthodox parties to make the new ministry, and a woman free Knesset, a reality.

    In a related story, extreme elements in the ultra-orthodox rabbinate are demanding that all mention of Esther be removed from the Purim story, since it is immodest to have a woman heroin in the forefront of …. anything. They propose to change the Book of Esther to the Book of Mordecai and modify the storyline in a way that better reflects the recently new and improved Jewish laws of modesty. All queen costumes worn by women will also be banned. But men will still be allowed to dress up as queens, as long as they remain closeted the rest of the year. Yentl is still a no no.

    In an unexpected move to make the Trump peace plan more attractive to Palestinians, Jared Kushner has announced that his family real estate company along with the Trump Organization will allow Palestinians to move into thousands of their lower income apartment units at drastically reduced rents. The Palestinians will be granted immediate US citizenship as long as they come prior to the 2020 presidential election and register to vote. The Kushner and Trump organizations will receive government subsidies and tax breaks for the first 2 years, after which time they will be able to raise rents to full market value and evict tenants as needed.

    While the response from Palestinians has been muted, tens of thousands of Israelis have rushed to apply for the new Kushner initiative. White House officials have clarified that the initiative is exclusively for Palestinians, but that hasn’t stopped Israelis from moving to the US in droves, even at full market prices.

    In an attempt to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus, the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall has ordered the wall to be completely covered with plastic. There will be several designated slots in the plastic where people can drop their notes. People visiting the Wall are asked to refrain from dragging their fingers down the plastic so as not to make that annoying sound that everyone hates.

    And finally, as they do every year, the Iranian government has filed a suit against Israel in the ICF (International Court of Folly), for the murder of thousands of innocent Persians by Jews during the Purim story. Israel is claiming self defense.

    Happy Purim!!”

  8. jon s on March 10, 2020, 5:55 pm

    Indeed, Happy Purim to all those celebrating!

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