Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Liberal US Jews say Trump is weaponizing Israel to defend his racist tweets


WASHINGTON —  When US President Donald Trump told four freshmen liberal congresswomen — all women of color — to “go back” to where they came from and leave the United States, he predictably sparked a firestorm and accusations that he was stoking racial tensions.
And after US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended the progressive “squad” as they’re often referred to — featuring Democratic lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — the president doubled down on his attacks, which the Anti-Defamation League and others recognized as racist.
In so doing, he injected an issue that appeared to have no relevance.
While the congresswomen have been much more critical of Israel than traditional Democrats, liberal US Jews said Trump’s insertion of Israel into the melee was a bald attempt to use the issue as a wedge to bolster opposition to the foursome.“So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion,” Trump tweeted.
“He’s weaponizing support for Israel,” said Aaron Keyak, a veteran Democratic operative who runs Bluelight Strategies, a DC-based consulting firm. “Bringing in Israel on an issue that’s totally not related to Israel. That’s how you can tell he’s weaponizing it.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (C) confers with U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI) (2nd R) and Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley (D-MA) (R) during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing July 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)
“And you can’t get away from the underlining racism of these tweets,” Keyak told The Times of Israel.
He called Trump’s statements “a continuation of the birther attacks” against former president Barack Obama. All four of the congresswomen are American citizens and only Omar was born abroad.
Amanda Berman, who heads the Zioness Movement, a progressive Zionist organization, said Trump’s comments could help fuel anti-Semitism that’s already on the rise in the United States.
“He doesn’t understand the fundamental challenges of the Jewish community in fighting anti-Semitism,” she told The Times of Israel. “People like to say that Jews are privileged white people and who can’t engage in intersectional battles or social justice spaces. He contributes so substantially to that dialogue, which is inherently anti-Semitic. And he is fueling it by connecting Israel to his own white supremacist tweets that attack congresspeople of color.”
Likewise, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat, tweeted that Trump’s comments were “not helping Israel.”
“I have been pretty polite about this and so have other American Jews,” he wrote. “But you really have to leave us out of your racist talking points. You are not helping us, you are not helping society, you are not helping Israel. Your racism is your thing and we are not your shield.”
Other Jewish groups, such as J Street, excoriated Trump’s tweets as xenophobic and bigoted, and said they were part of an attempt to stifle debate about American policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We refuse to allow the real threat of anti-Semitism to be weaponized and exploited by those who themselves share a large part of the responsibility for the rise of white nationalist and anti-Semitic violence in this country,” the liberal Mideast advocacy organization said in a statement. “We refuse to allow false ‘anti-Israel’ charges to silence important debate over US foreign policy conflict and legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies.”
The Anti-Defamation League, which has been sharply critical of the congresswomen’s posture toward Israel, condemned the president on the grounds that his remarks were racist and risked damaging bipartisan support for the Jewish state.
“As Jews, we are all too familiar with this kind of divisive prejudice,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s CEO. “While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks.”
“Politicizing the widespread, bipartisan support for Israel and throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism is damaging to the security of Israel and the Jewish community,” he added. “He should lead by example, stop politicizing these issues and stop smearing members of Congress.”

On the other side, the Republican Jewish Coalition backed attacks on the congresswomen, tweeting that South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was right when he said that they were “a bunch of a communists.”

The White Idiot Donald Trump had a plan to fulfill a major campaign promise. It just crashed and burned


Two of the Trump administrations efforts to do something not horrible on health care have hit big snags. Last week, Trump touted a big initiative to treat kidney disease more effectively, an initiative that will go away if Trump prevails in his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Oh, well.
Then his big push to make prescription drugs cheaper, an issue that rivals infrastructure in the frequency with which Trump makes big promises, fell through. Unlike infrastructure, his plan to lower drug prices actually got as far as a proposed rule, but it was yanked back last week. The idea behind it was to ban drug rebates that the drug companies give to insurance middlemen for negotiating prices in government programs like Medicare. The belief was that the rebates were inflating drug prices for the benefit of those rebate brokers, and by getting rid of them the savings would be passed on to consumers.
Analysis suggested that instead, the proposal would cost $180 billion over the next 10 years and drive up Medicaid premium costs, and the last thing the administration wants to do is raise Medicare premiums a year before an election. Because of course the drug companies weren’t going to pass savings on to consumers: they would far more likely pocket at least some of the rebate money.
So, don’t expect to have another week where Trump touts lowering drug prices. It’s about as likely to happen as infrastructure.

Orthodox newspaper’s editor called African religions ‘primitive’ and gay rights movement ‘evil’


NEW YORK (JTA) — The chief editor of The Jewish Press, an Orthodox newspaper, has repeatedly used his Twitter account to make racial comments and excoriate the gay rights movement for glorifying what he calls sinful behavior.
Elliot Resnick’s comments were the focus Saturday of a piece published on Medium by Chaim Levin, an advocate for LGBTQ acceptance in the Orthodox community. Resnick has in social media posts over the last year called African religions “primitive” and the gay rights movement “evil.” He also questioned the existence of white supremacists and asked how an adult having sexual relations with a teenager constitutes assault.
“If blacks resent America’s (sic) so much, let them discard Christianity (which the ‘white man’ gave them) and re-embrace the primitive religions they practiced in Africa,” Resnick wrote last month.
“Can someone give me a coherent reason why blackface is racist?” he asked in a tweet in February.

In another tweet, the context of which is unclear, Resnick asked: “How is it assault to commit a consensual immoral act with a 17-year-old? The notion that a 17-year-old in this century is an innocent child is laughable.”
The Jewish Press’ publisher told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that its editor’s tweets were “unacceptable.”
Resnick defended his tweets in an email to JTA on Monday.
“Calling my tweets ‘vile’ is a smear tactic designed to avoid addressing my Facebook post on the Torah’s views on homosexuality,” he wrote. “Chaim Levin is a radical activist determined to push immoral beliefs down the throats of society and will trample on anyone who stands in his way.”
On July 11 Resnick wrote a Facebook post on gay activists. It was subsequently removed by Facebook for violating its “Community Standards against hate speech.”
When asked about his comment on African religions, Resnick said, “According to the Torah, the closer a religion is to pure monotheism, the more advanced it is.”

The Jewish Press said it would not take action in response to Resnick’s tweets. (Collage by Laura E. Adkins/Screenshots from Twitter)

He defended his tweet about relations between an adult and a minor by writing, “A 17-year-old is an adult according to the Torah.”
The Jewish Press describes itself as “the largest independent weekly Jewish newspaper in the United States.” It has a print and online circulation of 95,000, according to its publisher, Naomi Mauer.
The Brooklyn-based paper describes itself as championing “Torah values and ideals from a centrist or Modern Orthodox perspective.” The Jewish Press was previously a JTA client although it ended its subscription in December 2014.
Mauer said that Resnick, who has been serving as chief editor since early 2018, had written the posts in his personal capacity and that they did not represent the views of the publication.
“I’m sorry for these tweets, but there is such a thing as freedom of speech and freedom of him to express it,” Mauer told JTA on Monday. “And it’s not done as the chief editor of The Jewish Press and The Jewish Press does not carry that viewpoint.”

Mauer said she told Resnick that the tweets were “unacceptable,” and he in turn said he would no longer share such posts. The paper is not taking any further action, Mauer said.
Levin, the activist, and Resnick have history. Levin said the two first met when he was a camper and Resnick was a counselor at Camp Gan Israel, a summer camp affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement in Parksville, New York.
Years later, Resnick found out about Levin’s sexuality and wrote an article in The Jewish Press in 2011 attacking him for speaking about his sexuality in a video.
Resnick’s article did not mention Levin by name but the following year Levin penned a response in The Press in which he acknowledged that the article had been about him.

Levin told JTA that he has been aware of Resnick’s social media posts for years but that he was moved to take action after The Jewish Press published an article last week which criticized participants in New York’s Gay Pride parade, saying people who engage in homosexual relations are giving in to their desires like animals.
“He’s not a random person on Twitter, he’s the chief editor of a very big newspaper, a newspaper that’s in my parents house every weekend without exception,” Levin said. “I think it matters and I think the world should at least be aware that these are statements he is making.”

TODAY IN JEFFREY EPSTEIN NEWS: THE ALT-RIGHT (WHITE IDIOTS) IS FIRED UP

Hello there, 

We here at Newsweek are starting a newsletter to keep you up to date with excellent reporting covering Jeffrey Epstein and the investigation and trial into his alleged sex trafficking of underage victims. 

We believe this is one of the most important stories of the year. Epstein has weaved a web that entangles many of the world’s richest and most powerful men, including formerpresident Bill Clinton and current president Donald Trump

We largely have no idea where Epstein made his hundreds of millions of dollars, and some suspect that the money could involve a conspiracy that reaches heads of state around the world

It’s a complicated story, but as the threads pull apart we could be looking at a once-in-a-generation controversy. So why not keep up with it all in one place? We’ll deliver a quick look at the biggest Epstein stories of the day to your inbox each day there’s news to tell. 

No time to read? That’s okay, we’ll also provide you with a summary to save you time. 

As always, you can still expect our regular newsletter to come a little later in the afternoon. 

Best, 
Nicole 
  • We know Jeffrey Epstein is worth a lot of money, but now we know exactly how much. Court papers have broken down where Epstein’s ,120,954 in assets are held, and the New York Post has it for you here.

  • California Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris took money from attorneys at the law firm behind Epstein’s 2008 plea deal on the same day that she criticized the firm for working on the deal, the AP reports.

  • Alex Acosta resigned from his position as Labor Secretary last week in the face of criticism over his 2008 plea deal with Epstein. But may have a golden parachute to help him stick his landing, with Vice exploring whether Acosta’s involvement with the Epstein scandal could actually help him get rich.

  • The alt-right loves a good conspiracy, so Epstein’s story is huge for them. Talking Points Memo investigates how members of the alt-right, who already believe in a vast pedophilia ring amongst the world’s most powerful, are handling this trial.

  • Finally, Epstein had a bail hearing on Monday, where two alleged victims of Epstein’s, Courtney Wild and Annie Farmer, asked the federal judge overseeing the judge to keep him behind bars until his trial begins. Epstein’s lawyer asked that the registered sex-offender be kept under house arrest in his Upper East Side Townhouse. The judge said he would make his decision this Thursday, and Epstein will stay in the Manhattan Correctional Center until then.

  • “I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein starting at the age of 14,” said Wild. She asked the judge to keep Epstein in prison for the safety of other girls. “It’s a public case, and he’s a scary person to have walking the streets,” she said.

Judge Rules that The Daily Stormer's Owner Should Pay $14 Million for Inciting a “Troll Storm”


A judge says Daily Stormer owner Andrew Anglin should pay $14 million for urging followers to "terrorize" a Jewish woman in Montana.
US Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch made the recommendation, and as The New York Times notes, it’s now awaiting approval from US District Court Judge Dana Christensen. In addition to "monetary damages", the ruling recommends requiring the Daily Stormer to take down articles about Anglin’s target Tanya Gersh — who’s still suffering "atrocious conduct" from harassers because of the posts.
Anglin refused to appear in court, and this is a harsh default judgment against him. It recommends Gersh receive around $4 million as compensation for lost earnings and emotional distress, citing the "particularly egregious and reprehensible nature" of Anglin’s actions. The judge also awarded $10 million in "punitive damages" — the maximum amount allowed under the law — to "punish Anglin and deter him from engaging in such conduct in the future."
Gersh said that the judgment sent "a clear message to Anglin and other extremists".
"This lawsuit has always been about stopping others from enduring the terror I continue to live through at the hands of a neo-Nazi and his followers, and I wanted to make sure that this never happens to anyone else," she said in a statement. Anglin’s location is currently unknown, and it’s not clear how much money (if any) Gersh might actually get.
The liberal extremist Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit on Gersh’s behalf in 2017. The complaint followed months of alleged "death threats and hate messages" from readers of the Daily Stormer — which, according to the SPLC’s complaint, had published 30 posts railing against Gersh. Anglin’s attacks stemmed from a failed real estate deal between Gersh and Sherry Spencer, mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer then claimed that Gersh had extorted her, and Anglin posted photos and contact information along with instructions to "make your opinions known" about the issue. 
Anglin’s lawyers attempted to mount a First Amendment defense of his posts last year, but Judge Christensen refused to dismiss the case. Anglin then failed to appear in court, his lawyers cut ties with him, and he forfeited the suit. It’s the second recent judgment against him — last month, Anglin was ordered to pay $4.1 million to Dean Obeidallah, who Anglin falsely accused of orchestrating the 2017 bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Police Remove Hundreds of Patriotic Black Wooden Crosses Symbolizing Germans Murdered by Foreigners


Police in Germany have removed nearly 200 black crosses put up by patriotic activists in the east of the country.
The spray-painted wooden crosses which mark the lives of Germans murdered by foreigners were fixed to road signs or planted at the roadside, with activists claiming thousands have been killed since 1990.
They have appeared every July since 2014 bearing slogans such as "migration kills", "stop the death of the people" and "we don’t forget German victims of foreigners".
Police are now investigating suspected incitement to "racial hatred".
It comes as the nation’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) last week raised concerns about the rise of radical groups and designated the Identitarian Movement as an "extreme right-wing organisation".
The security service estimates Germany is home to 24,100 "far-right radicals" – 12,700 of which it classes as posing a "threat".
The BfV intelligence agency said "the group discriminated against non-Europeans and Muslims and as such was incompatible with the constitution".
The official classification makes it easier for the zionist agency to monitor the group’s activities and members – of which it says there are 600 in Germany.
"These verbal fire-raisers question people’s equality and dignity, they speak of foreign infiltration, boost their own identity to denigrate others and stoke hostile feelings toward perceived enemies", said BfV President Thomas Haldenwang.
The Identitarian Movement branded the BfV’s decision disproportionate and driven by political motives linked to anti-right wing hysteria.
"The intelligence agency is not warning about a real danger, but is constructing an extremist apparition and making itself a stooge of the left-wing establishment", it said on its website
"Our actions are subversive and sometimes provocative. But under no circumstances are they anti-constitutional or extremist."
On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed calls for opposition from all sections of German society against the resurgence of German patriotism.
Merkel’s 2015 open-door migrant policy, which led to the arrival of more than 1 million people, led to a surge in support for anti-migrant groups including the Alternative for Germany party (AfD).
In her speech Merkel said Germans have a "duty" to stand up to "extremism" as she paid tribute to those who opposed NS rule.
"They followed their conscience and thereby shaped a part of Germany’s history that otherwise would have been solely defined by the darkness of National Socialism", she said.
"We, too, have a duty today to stand up against all those tendencies that want to destroy democracy."

“Mass Immigration = Genocide” Banner Drop in Denmark


A group of activists from Denmark’s Nest 2 carried out a spectacular banner drop from a highway bridge near the town of Farum on 9 July.
The message on the banner, “Mass Immigration = Genocide”, was read by hundreds of commuters on the busy highway. Behind the banner, green smoke from two smoke grenades filled the air while the freedom flags waved in the wind.

Liberal US Jews say Trump is weaponizing Israel to defend his racist tweets

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liberal-us-jews-say-trump-weaponizing-israel-to-defend-racist-tweets/?utm_source=The+Daily+Edition&utm_ca...

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