Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is charged with Antisemitism by Republicans, Zionists, media persons, and opportunists who believe that Israel should not be criticized. This is part of the generational gap that has formed between boomers and millennials.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sits with fellow Democrats, Rep. David Trone, D-Md., left, and Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., right, on the House Education and Labor Committee during a bill markup, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
With Anthony Brooks
Manafort learns his fate. House votes on anti-Semitism resolution. Jared and Ivanka’s security clearances. Record-high trade deficit. The roundtable is here.
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
NPR: "Trump Responds To Expanding House Investigations" — "In the past, the president has said he'd cooperate with Bob Mueller, for instance, and then fought tooth and nail to turn over certain things to him. So I wouldn't be surprised if the White House does claim executive privilege for some of these requests.
"The other thing that's working against the White House is that Donald Trump ordered his own Justice Department to turn over documents and information to Republican investigators about the investigations of Hillary Clinton's emails, about the spurious allegations he made that somehow Obama had wiretapped him. So he now is setting a precedent for his own Justice Department to turn things over to Democrats.
"But the other thing is despite what the president just said, these investigations are not just about collusion - possible collusion with the Russians. They're about possible financial crimes, obstruction of justice, violations of the Emoluments Clause. The facts on the ground have changed. And now you have Democrats with subpoenas.
"The president does not like being investigated. As a matter of fact, he tweeted, I am an innocent man being persecuted. And he also tweeted that somehow the Cohen hearings had something to do with the failure of the summit with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. So this is clearly on his mind 24 hours a day."
Washington Post: "‘The silence is deafening’: Major brands avoid Trump even as he pro..." — "In a scene probably worth millions of dollars in free advertising, President Trump displayed a spread of burgers from some of the country’s biggest fast-food chains inside the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday as hungry football players looked on.
"With cameras rolling, he offered a presidential endorsement of 'all-American' restaurants including McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s.
"'We like American companies, okay?' Trump said, standing before hundreds of Big Macs and chicken sandwiches alongside the North Dakota State football team. 'Go eat up. Enjoy yourselves, everybody.'
"But the companies haven’t been quick to return the affection or attempt to cash in on the presidential product placement, with McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s all remaining silent about Trump’s endorsements. When Trump held a similar event in January, Burger King was the only company to reference it on social media — by mocking Trump for misspelling the word hamburger in a tweet."
NPR: "Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chairman, Sentenced To Just Un..." — "President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison on Thursday after being convicted last year of tax and bank fraud.
"The 47-month sentence by federal Judge T.S. Ellis III was the culmination of the only case so far brought to trial by the office of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.
"The judge also ordered Manafort to pay $24.8 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine."
NPR: "House Votes To Condemn Anti-Semitism After Rep. Omar's Comments" — "The House approved a resolution Thursday to condemn "anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry" in a move that Democrats hope will quell the latest uproar over Rep. Ilhan Omar's criticism of Israel.
"The vote on the measure was 407-23. The 23 opposed were all Republican lawmakers.
"For the second time in as many months, the freshman Minnesota Democrat has provoked contentious debate on Capitol Hill over rhetoric that many lawmakers — including senior Democrats — view as anti-Semitic."
New York Magazine: "What We Know About Jared and Ivanka’s Security Clearance Scandal" — "Donald Trump, who inherited much of his wealth from his father, has never had much of a problem with nepotism. Two of his sons run the family business and his daughter and son-in-law work in the White House. He clearly prefers to be surrounded by Trumps, and recent reports from the New York Times and CNN demonstrate just how far he’ll go to make sure he is.
"According to those reports, Trump pushed for security clearances to be granted to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner against the wishes of intelligence officials and his own White House staff. Trump has denied intervening in the security clearance process and the White House is now refusing to comply with the House’s investigation into the issue. Here’s what happened and why it matters."
New York Times: "In Blow to Trump, America’s Trade Deficit in Goods Hits Record $891..." — "America’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world rose to its highest level in history last year as the United States imported a record number of products, including from China, widening the deficit to $891.3 billion and delivering a setback to President Trump’s goal of narrowing that gap.
"The increase was driven by some factors outside Mr. Trump’s control, like a global economic slowdown and the relative strength of the United States dollar, both of which weakened overseas demand for American goods. But the widening gap was also exacerbated by Mr. Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, which has been largely financed by government borrowing, and the trade war he escalated last year.
"It is a case of textbook economics catching up with some of Mr. Trump’s unorthodox economic policies. Economists have long warned that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts would ultimately exacerbate a trade deficit he has vowed to reduce, as Americans, flush with extra cash, bought more imported goods."
Brian Hardzinski produced this hour for broadcast.
This program aired on March 8, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/03/08/manafort-trump-sentencing-t...
I am Jewish and the notion that Representative Ilhan Omar is anti-Semitic seems ridiculous to me. Yes, she has trafficked in language that Western anti-Semites have used against us Jews, but her policies (the stuff that actually affects us) do not reflect that kind of hatred and she did not grow up in the West. She spent the first fourteen years of her life in Somalia and Kenya before fleeing as a refugee to the United States. Are you aware of all the problematic words and phrases in East African cultures? No? Then why should Omar know every turn of phrase that anti-Semites born in America like Henry Ford used?
Democratic Minority Whip James Clyburn correctly pointed out how “it’s more personal with her” in the wake of the latest mess where Democrats tried to condemn her, but wound up backtracking to a pointless, generic, boilerplate condemnation of hate (that 24 Republicans then refused to vote for). Ilhan Omar’s criticism of Israel basically boils down to this tweet addressing her usage of the word “hypnotized” (another Western anti-Semitic trope that she may be completely unaware of—bottom line, the criticism of Omar to make is political, not moral—as she should be aware of these words and phrases by now given how quickly the press and our politicians are to interpret comments in bad faith from a woman wearing a hijab).
Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness. https://t.co/SvEXjlxlEN— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 31, 2018
The word apartheid is one of the biggest flashpoints in all of Judaism. Those like me who are critical of the state assert that it is, definitionally, an apartheid state (more on that in a second), while those more in line with AIPAC (the lobbyist organization for Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party) recoil in horror at labeling a country we all love with a term so intrinsically hateful. But I’m sorry, folks—Omar is right—Israel is an apartheid state. Soon-to-be-indicted Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, basically said so over the weekend on his Facebook page:
“First of all, an important correction: Israel is not a country of all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation — and its alone. As you wrote, there is no problem with Arab citizens — they have equal rights like everybody and the Likud government has invested in the Arab sector more than any other government.”
You know how we can tell that the second sentence about Arab citizens having equal rights is BS (other than the law he touts contradicting it)? Netanyahu immediately went on to repeat his campaign slogan:
“It’s either a strong right-wing government led by me, or a weak left-wing government led by Yair Lapid and [Benny] Gantz, with the support of the Arab parties.”
So per Netanyahu, Arab citizens have equal rights, but if he loses, then Arab parties will have power in the government and that is an unacceptable nightmare. That doesn’t really square up with his assertion that “they have equal rights.” They don’t, like Netanyahu said—he passed a Nation-State law that among other things, mandated that the “state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.” In other words, expanding settlement into Palestinian territory is legally deemed as vital to the Jewish state, as is the designation of Hebrew as the country’s official language (a change from the previous 70 years where Hebrew and Arabic were the official languages), per the leader of the Jewish state.
Encyclopedia Britannica defines apartheid as: “policy that governed relations between South Africa’s white minority and nonwhite majority and sanctioned racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites.” Apartheid simply means having a legally defined second class with fewer rights—a longstanding policy I would argue the United States of America has too—and in a post pushing back against criticism from a TV star, Israel’s president emphasized the “Nation-State” law he passed while asserting that “Israel is the Nation-State of Jews alone.” This is how we arrive at a point where Palestinians live in Israeli-legislated hellish conditions in Gaza while being unable to leave a 140 square mile area their entire lives. Problematic words aside, Ilhan Omar’s fundamental criticism of Israel’s apartheid governance is spot on, and Benjamin Netanyahu just proved her right.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling. https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/03/benjamin-netanyahu-p...
James Moore and Wayne Slater in The Architect: Karl Rove and The Master Plan For Absolute Power (2006) made almost the same assertions about the dual loyalty of Jews in the Bush-Cheney administration. Moore and Slater claim that the Bush-Cheney administration was filled with what they call Israel-firsters. Karl Rove had George W. Bush send letters to American Jewish leadership, conduct meetings and phone calls, and deliver the consistent message that Israel would have no better friend than George W. Bush.
George Bush kept his promise to Israel, and Jews in the United States responded with an increase in votes and republican campaign contributions. Bush filled his administration with appointees whose political convictions regrading Israel were so strong that they were, as a minimum, accused of having “dual loyalties” and, in the worst case, were described as “Israel-firsters.”
The most influential of the Bush choices were Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith, while vice president Dick Cheney turned to I. Lewis “scooter” Libby, John Hannah, and David Wurmser, all of whom had exhibited a predisposition to favor Israel in policy and decision-making processes.
Wurmser, who became Mideast adviser to the vice president as the war was unfolding in 2003 along with his wife, Meyrav, and Perle and Feith coauthored a 1996 paper for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” called upon Israel to attack Syria and Lebanon and overthrow Saddam Hussein as critical steps for redrawing the political power structure of the Mideast. In every aspect it seems to have informed Bush administration policy.
During the course of their careers in government and lobbying, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle had all been suspected of various actions taken to benefit Israel. Wolfowitz was once investigated for passing classified information to an Israeli official through the lobbying group AIPAC. The data was reportedly related to the sale of U.S. Arms to an Arab nation. During Wolfowitz’s tour of duty in the Pentagon for Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1990, Wolfowitz’s office pushed for the export of American missile technology to Israel even though the Israelis were violating nontrasfer agreements by selling the weapons to China.
Feith, too had been suspected of passing classified material to an Israeli official after publicly expressing his belief in “technological cooperation” between the United States and Israel. Perle had once been picked up on an FBI wiretap discussing classified data from the national Security Council (NSC) with an Israeli embassy official. He was also involved in the leaking of a classified CIA report while working with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Nearly every one of the people we would identify as neo-cons has had problems with their security clearances,” said seventeen-year Mideast CIA veteran Philip Giraldi, “because they've been giving information to Israel or they are suspected thereof.”
In addition to their unflagging commitment to Israel, most of the neoconservatives promoting the Iraq invasion had a common connection to Michael Ledeen. A founding member of the board of advisers for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) (Vice president Dick Cheney was also an adviser before taking office) in Washington and the creator of the Center for Democracy in Iran (CDI), Ledeen has been considered by the CIA and the Italian Government to be “an agent of influence for Israel.”
Since the 1950s there has been an unwritten law that Americans cannot criticize Israel or Jews. Although this law is de facto it is enforced as though de jure. To Americans, who know the rules, this law of suspension of belief in political reality will be swiftly punished. But Millennials like Omar are like the child in The Emperor's New Clothes don't know the rule of 20th century suspension of belief and will speak aloud what 98 percent of American adults are thinking about Jews and their role in American suppression of belief. This is the major cause of Anti-Semitism outside of White Nationalism.
Young democrats see Israel in a different political light and detect the harm that Jewish/Zionist dual loyalty is doing to the American Empire. The Congressional Black Caucus sided with Omar because of her mistreatment by her critics because they understand that she is being ill used by Republicans who want Jews to quit the Democratic Party and join them. They want to put Omar off her Committee and compare her racism with Iowa Representative Steve King, a White Nationalist who has intimate relations with David Duke and foreign White Nationalist, but has sworn allegiance to Israel.
Trump has kept every promise in his speech at the 2016 AIPAC meeting. This has set up worldwide resentment.
Mara Liasson’s attack on Omar displays unconscious racism. She sees Omar's remarks in old myths of Anti-Semitism that in all probability Omar has never heard. What Omar is going on is what she has observed as reality. The Millennials have no historic memory and disassociate reality from de jure linguistic functions. However, this has not stopped the “friends of Israel” from attacking Omar.
A lawyer for one of Epstein’s victims claims he was part of sex-trafficking ring with Dershowitz and others—but the Harvard attorney says sealed documents will prove his innocence.
Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz was accused of involvement in billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring by an attorney for one of Epstein’s victims, who claimed in federal court on Wednesday that the release of sealed documents will prove it.
Paul Cassell, who represents Virginia Roberts Giuffre, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the testimony of other witnesses will show Dershowitz’s involvement in the alleged trafficking of “his close friend Jeffrey Epstein.”
“When all the records come out it will show that Epstein and [Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine] Maxwell were trafficking girls to the benefit of his friends, including Mr. Dershowitz,” Cassell said in oral arguments for a case filed by the Miami Herald to unseal a collection of court documents relating to Giuffre’s now settled lawsuit against Maxwell.
The hearing came nearly two weeks after a Florida judge ruled federal prosecutors violated the law when they inked a non-prosecution deal with Epstein in 2007—and concealed that agreement from more than 30 of Epstein’s victims. The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the secret deal, which was handled by Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who was U.S. Attorney in Miami at the time.
Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, was one member of Epstein’s legal team that helped broker the unusual non-prosecution agreement.
For his part, Dershowitz and his lawyers are also requesting the court release the trove of documents to the public—but they say it’s in order to prove his innocence.
Outside the courtroom, Dershowitz railed against Giuffre and her attorneys, accusing them of fabricating Giuffre’s claims that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz. He alluded to emails between Giuffre and a friend that he claims will reveal Giuffre made up the claims against Dershowitz at the behest of her lawyers.
“I’ve denied ever meeting her or even knowing who she was,” Dershowitz said.
Moments later, he added of Giuffre, “She is hurting the #MeToo movement terribly. This was all about money and undercuts the many people who are victimized.”
Asked if he still represents Epstein, Dershowitz said, “I don’t represent Epstein” before walking back his answer: “You never stop being someone’s lawyer.”
“I was his lawyer until this deal was made,” Dershowitz added, before claiming he hasn’t seen Epstein in years.
In a letter to The Daily Beast, Dershowitz noted, “The accusation by Virginia Roberts Giuffre is the same one she made, and I conclusively disproved, more than four years ago. I produced all my travel and American Express records, which proved that I could not have been, and was not at the places and times she claims to have had sex with me. The former Director of the FBI carefully reviewed these records as part of a thorough investigation and concluded that “the totality of the evidence found during the investigation refutes the allegations.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-alan-dershowitz-and-p...
SPINNING THE FACTS TO FIT THE NARRATIVE
What Moore and Slater revel in The Architect is that what Omar believes has validity. Furthermore look at the Middle East and see the results of “A Clean Break” and the de jure thinking of the American people. An example of this denial of implication of American Jews in the Bush-Cheney government as “dual loyalists” the American Jewish Year Book 2004 under the heading “War in Iraq: A Jewish Scheme?
The editors’ charge that Students of American anti-Semitism often analyze the impact of “conflict situations”—those public controversies that tend to polarize society—with the expectation that they will trigger a rise in anti-Semitism. The record, without exception, has been that such situations do not bring an increase in either behavioral or attitudinal anti-Semitism.
The debate in 2003 over going to war in Iraq was another “conflict situation” with a potential for anti-Semitic fallout, as charges circulated about an undue and inappropriate level of Jewish involvement in the formulation of American foreign policy for the benefit of Israel. At antiwar rallies held on February 15, support for the Palestinians was clearly in evidence, although the focus was on opposition to the impending war and anti-Jewish voices were decidedly muted. Exercising caution nevertheless, the national Jewish organizations carefully avoided voicing support for war before it began. Many of the critics of the war, it should be noted, including some of the most vociferous—such as MIT linguist Norm Chomsky—were Jews.
There was considerable speculation among speculation among the pundits about the influence of Israel and of American Jews on the White House’s Iraq policy. Of particular interest was the role played by several Jewish “hawks” in the administration, such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and others. Of the world “Jew” was eschewed so as to avoid any imputation of anti-Semitism, the loaded epithet replaced by the euphemism “neoconservative.” Yet another strategy to hint at a Jewish role without explicitly saying so….
Fringe groups and extremists, as expected, were vocal in their criticism of alleged Jewish involvement in fomenting war, “Israel’s war” and “a war for Jews” were common themes in the anti-Semitic media all through the year.