Trump & Netanyahu set a trap for Democrats? (US & Israel communities)


EXCERPT (Benard Avishai): For those unable to decide whether Donald Trump acts as a shrewd political tactician or with mere crude improvisation, the tweet-dare that he sent to Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday will not settle the matter. It was perhaps nothing more than base animus aimed at Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who are not only the House’s first Muslim women but who embody the educated, cosmopolitan, minority, female, insurgent America that Trump cannot abide.

But, in depicting them as anti-Semites (“They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” he tweeted), and thus prompting the Netanyahu government to bar their entry to Israel—and causing virtually the entire Democratic caucus to rally to their defense—Trump seems to have launched a plot against America that even Philip Roth could not conceive.

First, he evokes an Israel that is a model for the kind of tough, traditional, populist, wall-building nation that he thinks America should notionally aspire to; he coddles the right-wing Netanyahu-led forces that are committed to this hard nationalism, and are, at best, cavalier about minority rights and democratic norms; and, at rallies, he hammers away at the alleged anti-Semitism of prominent blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, and others, and suggests that anti-Semites are the true face of the Democratic Party. The hope, it seems, is to spur Jewish voters and contributors—and, more, suburban voters skeptical of radicals, and evangelicals who revere the Children of Israel—to abandon, or further scorn, the Democratic Party in favor of Trump’s G.O.P.

It would be comforting to think that this plot will fail, but so far, deliberately or inadvertently, major characters are playing to form...

[...] For Netanyahu, it is axiomatic that the strong survive, that free enterprise makes you rich enough to be strong, and that Jewish orthodoxy engenders social cohesion and military solidarity. In this view of the world, there is little room for Arabs—or any non-Jews. This militant, vigilant Israel resonates with Trumpian Republicans. For them, being pro-Israel internationally is akin to supporting unlimited gun rights domestically––a component of what they take to be their defense of civilizational liberty. And Netanyahu reciprocates the love...

[...] Some say that Trump’s tweet “bullied” Netanyahu into acting against the congresswomen, against his own better judgment. ... But Ron Dermer and Netanyahu were not disingenuous in saying that Israel had not capitulated to Trump so much as enforced its own laws. Indeed, in 2017, Netanyahu’s government passed legislation barring anyone supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement, which the congresswomen, with qualifications, do. Since at least 2010, when Noam Chomsky was denied entry to Israel, Netanyahu’s governments have been selectively barring people they didn’t like from hanging around the West Bank...

[...] Alas, Tlaib and Omar are playing their roles, as well––not simply because of loose talk (“all about the Benjamins”) but, more substantively, because of their vague endorsements of B.D.S., which can be effectively exploited by Trump. Both now associate with the movement, though each tried to fudge this somewhat during their respective campaigns. B.D.S. calls for, among other things, a wholesale boycott of “Israel’s apartheid regime, complicit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions,” and “all Israeli and international companies engaged in violations of Palestinian human rights.” Thomas Friedman, writing in the Times, laments especially that Omar, who represents the district in Minnesota where he grew up, has not been building bridges between its Muslims and Jews.

The B.D.S. movement, whose most prominent leader is the Qatar-born Palestinian engineer Omar Barghouti ... was founded, in 2005, in Ramallah. It has never been clear whether the external pressure that the leaders of the movement are trying to mobilize is aimed at ending the occupation or at ending the state of Israel itself.

The attractions of B.D.S. are understandable. The occupation has endured for more than fifty years, and has grown ever more controlling, cruel, and intractable. The spread of Jewish settlements is unabated. [...] It is still harder, given the denial of Palestinian national and civil rights, and the growth of Israeli theocracy, for progressive young Americans to offer a rejoinder to the original Palestinian narrative: that Israel is inherently a racist, colonial project aimed at disenfranchising the Palestinian people; that Palestinian refugees should be able to return to their homes, and Israel as a distinct national entity should be dismantled in favor of a “secular” state; that “Europe” victimized Palestinians by making Jews desperate for a haven and giving them the land—a simplification that Tlaib echoed, albeit in a statement showing a certain compassion.

[...] to the Democrats’ chagrin, American progressives have been drawn into a simple contest about Israel’s reputation, which can elide its realities. Whether on campuses or in Congress, the existence of the Israeli state increasingly looks to progressives, above all, like a civil-rights violation on the world stage—like apartheid-era South Africa, or the Jim Crow South. B.D.S., for its part, seems to them a reasonable, nonviolent way to confront it. All Israelis, so the argument goes, are implicated in the travesty, which the United States has ingenuously nursed along because of a growing Israel lobby that cynically exploits the memory and legacy of the Holocaust.

The time is long past, B.D.S. advocates say, to make all Israelis hurt until they get the message. You boycott Israeli institutions and agitate for disinvestment from Israeli businesses, or from global companies that partner with them; you agitate to sanction Israeli government officials, and threaten to take them to the International Criminal Court...

[...] Make no mistake: it is an outrage that members of Congress should be barred from visiting Israel for any reason. (And it is equally an outrage for an American President to encourage another nation to bar his political opponents.) ... But outrage is Trump’s specialty. Democratic leaders had better not underestimate the trap that his rants about Israel and anti-Semitism have put them in. Condemn B.D.S. supporters and you risk appearing indifferent to one of the great human-rights issues inspiring the Party’s next generation...

[...] Trump may be wrong to think that American Jews, more than seventy per cent of whom voted against him, will overlook the affront that his behavior poses. But Trump will not be here forever, and the trap will outlast him. The Presidential candidate who does not flinch from confronting its complexity will be doing the Democratic Party and a democratic country a service. (MORE - details)

- - - RELATED - - -

(Aug 16, 2019) ‘BDS Is a Bullsh*t Purity Test’ for Democrats: Bill Maher Rants Against Boycott Israel Movement

(Aug 18, 2019) Bill Maher Boycott Urged By Rep. Rashida Tlaib For His HBO Slam On Her Israel Boycott

(Aug 18, 2019) World Jewish Congress condemns Tlaib for suggesting boycott of Bill Maher's show

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 1936 as an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations. According to its mission statement, the World Jewish Congress' main purpose is to act as "the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people."

(Mar 17, 2019) Bill Maher, Bring Your Show to Israel — You Have a Lot to Learn - The ‘Real Time’ host is still king when it comes to skewering Trump and his own beloved Democratic Party, but clearly needs some help when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Not the "educated, cosmopolitan, minority, female, insurgent America", the America-hating anti-Semites. And this article sounds like it was written by and anti-Semite apologist.

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