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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘appointment’

Alan Dershowitz: Assessing the Bannon Appointment

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist has been criticized on the grounds that Bannon is an antisemite. There are many reasons for opposing the appointment of Bannon, but antisemitism is not one of them. I do not support the Bannon appointment, but neither do I support accusing him of being an antisemite, based on the evidence I have seen.

With regards to antisemitism, there are three distinct but overlapping issues: Is Bannon personally an antisemite? Does his publication, Breitbart, promote antisemitic views? And do Breitbart and Bannon have followers who are antisemitic?

From what I can tell, the evidence cited in support of the accusation that Bannon is personally an antisemite falls into two categories: first, that his wife testified during hotly contested divorce proceedings that he did not want his children to go to school with “whiney Jews,” and second, that he ran an article describing Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew.”

November 18, 2016 8:41 am
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Alt-Left Delete

The term “alt-right,” which nobody had heard of until the unexpected emergence and rise of Donald Trump in the US…

Let us consider these items of evidence in order. Senator Harry Reid tried to strengthen the first accusation against Bannon by saying that it appeared in a “court document,” thus suggesting that it had the imprimatur of a judge. But that is not the case. The claim was simply made by his former wife in a judicial proceeding, thus giving it no special weight. Bannon has rigorously denied making the statement, and said that he and his wife were fighting over whether his children should attend Catholic school, rather than a secular school.

On the other side of the ledger is the testimony of Jewish individuals who have worked closely with him for years. These include my former research assistant, Joel Pollak, an Orthodox Jew who wears a kippah and takes off work for all the Jewish holidays. He is married to a black woman from South Africa who converted to Judaism. Joel assures me that he never heard a single antisemitic utterance or saw an antisemitic action in the four years he worked together with Bannon. The same is true of numerous other Jewish individuals who work with him, some of whom thoroughly disapprove of Bannon’s politics and the way he ran Breitbart, but none of whom have reported any events of antisemitism.

The second alleged item of evidence is the following headline that appeared on Breitbart: “Bill Kristol Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.” I am advised, however, that this article and the headline were written not by Bannon but rather by David Horowitz, a right-wing Jew who was upset with Kristol for his refusal to support Trump. Horowitz deemed that a betrayal of the Jewish people. While I fundamentally disagree with that appraisal and also with the article, I find it hard to characterize Bannon as an antisemite because Breitbart ran it. Breitbart has also personally attacked me (in an article, originally published with the title “Dershowitz Goes Berserk,” which falsely claimed Laureate University received money from the State Department, when Hillary Clinton was secretary), but that doesn’t change my views.

I keep an open mind waiting for more evidence, if there is any, but on the basis of what I have read, I think it is wrong to accuse Bannon of one of the most serious forms of bigotry. So I will not join the chorus of condemnation that employs this radioactive term against Bannon without compelling evidence. The Anti-Defamation League has now commendably acknowledged: “We are not aware of any antisemitic statements from Bannon.”

As to whether Bannon promotes the alt-right, and whether the alt-right includes antisemites, I think the answer to that is yes. Both Bannon and Breitbart have made bigoted statements about Muslims, women and others, which I do not condone. That is why I do not support Bannon, even though I do not think he’s an antisemite. Bigotry against any group should be disqualifying for high office. But let’s put this criticism of Bannon and Breitbart into context. Haaretz certainly serves as a platform for the alt-left in Israel. Though it features a wide range of commentary, primarily from the center-Left, it also features hard-Left writers such as Gideon Levy, who supports academic, cultural and economic boycotts against Israel and its “criminal” regime, as well as Amira Hass, who encourages Palestinians to throw stones and engage in “violent resistance” against Israel. These writers have certainly been accused, and with some justification, of promoting hatred not only against the current Israel government, but against the very nature of Israel and Zionism. Their hateful writings are often quoted gleefully by anti-Zionists and antisemites.

This is not to compare Breitbart with Haaretz, but it is to suggest caution in holding a publication responsible for all the views expressed by its writers. To be sure, Haaretz‘s general orientation tends to be, again, center-left [sic], whereas Breitbart is hard-right, but both serve as platforms for extremes on either side. The same can be said of J Street, which is a center-left organization that serves as a platform for, and includes among its active members and contributors, BDS supporters, anti-Zionists and opponents of Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Or consider the Movement for Black Lives, an organization with a commendable goal, which has promoted antisemitism by singling out one country for condemnation in its “platform”: calling the nation-state of the Jewish people an “apartheid” and “genocidal” regime. In an article published in Above the Law, Joe Patrice attacks me for my critique of Black Lives Matter, claiming that “it’s certainly possible someone in the movement also has sympathy for Palestinians.” But there is an enormous difference between “sympathy for Palestinians” (which I share) and accusing the entire nation-state of the Jewish people of “genocide” (which I believe is antisemitic).

Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are prevalent both on the hard-Right and on the hard-Left. The Trump election has brought hard-right antisemitism into public view, but the bigotry of the hard-Left is far more prevalent and influential on many university campuses, both in the United States and in Europe. A single standard of criticism must be directed at each. We must judge individuals on the basis of their own statements and actions, and we should be cautious in judging publications and organizations on the basis of who they publish, who their audience is and who supports them.

People of good will, Jews and non-Jews, must condemn with equal vigor all manifestations of bigotry, whether they emanate from the hard alt-right or hard alt-left.  That is why I cannot support Bannon’s appointment, even though he is strongly pro-Israel. But that is also why I can’t support those on the hard-Left who advocate good causes, while at the same time promoting antisemitism and delegitimation of Israel.

Alan M. Dershowitz

Kaine’s 2007 Appointment Of Jihad Supporter Draws Renewed Criticism After VP Pick

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

A controversial appointment made by Senator Tim Kaine during his tenure as governor of Virginia has come under new scrutiny in the wake of his selection by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as her running mate.

Kaine has what some are calling a “nuanced” position on Israel. While amassing a generally pro-Israel voting record, he emerged last year as a particularly robust supporter of the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal and was one of the first Democratic lawmakers to announce he would boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on the subject.

And while the left-wing NGO J Street was a major financial contributor to his Senate campaign committee and he was one of 13 Senate Democrats who earlier this year chose not to sign a strong bipartisan letter urging increased annual military aid, Kaine grilled U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power during her confirmation hearing, using his entire question time to elicit assurances from Power that she would defend Israel at the UN.

But the 2007 decision by then-governor Kaine to appoint Esam Omeish, a Libyan-born physician and then-president of the Muslim American Society, to Virginia’s Immigration Commission is what immediately raised red flags in the pro-Israel community after Clinton’s announcement that Kaine was her vice-presidential choice.

Kaine’s appointment of Omeish came despite the latter’s ties to and expressions of support for radical Islam and Jihadist terrorism.

Omeish is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Dar Al Hijrah mosque, which two of the 19 terrorists responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks attended as friends of the mosque’s imam.

That imam was Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical Salafist cleric who later fled the United States and joined al Qaeda after settling in Yemen. In 2010, President Obama placed al-Awlaki on the CIA “kill list,” citing his orchestration of deadly terror attacks against Americans. In 2011 a U.S. drone strike killed al-Awlaki in southeast Yemen.

Omeish was not merely a congregant at the mosque where al-Awlaki preached; in 2000, as vice president of the mosque, he was responsible for vetting and hiring the radical cleric as the mosque’s imam.

The Muslim American Society, then headed by Omeish, had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004, a description later confirmed by a federal report describing the group as “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

In addition to Omeish’s ties to radical Islam, his recorded comments prior to the appointment by Kaine made his support for Jihadism even more explicit.

During a December 22, 2000 speech at a Jerusalem Day Rally in Lafayette Park in Washington D.C., Omeish praised “the Jihad way” to “liberate your land.”

“We, the Muslims of the Washington metropolitan area, are here today in subfreezing temperatures to tell our brothers and sisters in Filastine [Palestine] that you have learned the way, that you have known that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land. And we, by standing here today, despite the weather, and despite anything else, we are telling them that we are with you, we are supporting you, and we will do everything we can, inshallah [Allah willing], to help your cause.”

And in 2004, Omeish explicitly praised Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

Kaine’s selection of Omeish was criticized by state Republicans, who said the governor had failed to properly vet the appointee. Kaine and his administration brushed off the criticism as stemming from Islamophobia, but Omeish’s activities and beliefs quickly became apparent and Kaine forced him to step down. Critics were left to wonder why Kaine had made the appointment in the first place.

Combined News Services

Brazil Suspends President who Blocked Dani Dayan’s Appointment

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Brazil’s Senate on Thursday morning voted to impeach and suspend President Dilma Rousseff, who will now face a trial for the 2014 illegal manipulation of the country’s finances in order to conceal the burgeoning deficit ahead of the elections. The Senate voted to suspend Rousseff by a 55 to 22 majority, in a 20-hour session that lasted through the night. Rousseff’s Vice-President Michel Temer will replace her a president during her trial. It is expected that the trial will last about six months, which will preventing the disgraced Rousseff from presiding over the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which start on 5 August.

And, speaking of blocking, Rousseff has gained much negative press in Israel when she chose, on the advice of Israeli Arab MKs and Labour MK Tzipi Livni, to refuse the accreditation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s choice for Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Dani Dayan, because the latter resides in Judea and Samaria.

Back in January, Dayan tweeted bitterly, “14 MKs labored indefatigably against my appointment in Brazil: 13 Joint Arab List members and one Tzipi Livni.” The snub was an unprecedented show of rudeness on the part of the leftwing Brazilian president, who may now be facing her own change of legal residence.

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) met with the Brazilian ambassador in Israel and delivered a personal message to President Rousseff: “I told the ambassador we represent about one fifth of the citizens of the state who object to the appointment,” he told Ma’ariv.

The PA former minister Saeb Erekat told a Brazilian paper that accepting Dayan would mean Brazil cooperates with apartheid and colonizing. Erekat said “Dayan is an illegal settler, whose job is to justify the criminal colonizing of Palestine by Israel.”

But, judging by his tweet, Dani Dayan did not begrudge Erekat or the Arab MKs their objections, although it should raise eyebrows when the loyal opposition is advocating with a foreign power to obstruct the government’s foreign policy. Dani Dayan was bitter and hurting over what he knew to be Tzipi Livni’s working behind the scenes to torpedo his appointment.

Livni justified President Rousseff’s rejection of Dayan, saying it wasn’t personal but an expression of the Brazilians’ rejection of Israel’s settlements policy. Dayan suspects that Livni went out of her way to convince the Brazilians to stand firm in their humiliating rejection of an official foreign dignitary. Livni was ousted by Netanyahu when, as his chief peace negotiator, she pursued unauthorized meetings with the PA delegation.

Rousseff, who became president in January 2011 and began a second term in 2015, has called her impeachment a “coup,” and made a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court to stop it — but was rejected.

This is also the end of the 13-year rule of Brazil’s Workers’ Party.

JNi.Media

Muslim Brotherhood Picks Hawk as New Leader

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) on Tuesday named Mahmoud Ezzat as its new leader after the Egyptian government arrested its former leader Mohamed Badie earlier on the same day.

Experts are suggesting that hardline MBs who managed to go underground to evade an arrest, would seek ways to avenge Badie’s arrest.

Ezzat has strong relations with the international Muslim Brotherhood and with the Hamas movement, Tharwat Kharabawy, a dissident former MB leader, told Xinhua.

Ezzat is a hawk, Kharabawy said, “the real guide of the group” and the one “managing the group from behind the curtains.”

The appointment means that the MBs are in no mood for peaceful negotiations with General al-Sisi and the new regime in Cairo.

Ezzat, former MB secretary general, has been a member of the guidance bureau and a deputy of Badie. In 1965 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was chosen as a member of the guidance bureau in 1981, and was arrested again in 2008.

According to the Egyptian authorities, Badie has been transferred to Mazraah prison in the Torah prisons’ complex, where former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons are currently residing.

Badie is going to stand trial on Aug. 25, together with his two deputies, Khairat al-Shater and Rashad al-Bayoumi.

The new Egyptian rulers appear determined to crush the MB. In an interview with the CNN, presidential political advisor Moustafa Hegazi said that putting Badie in jail is a step toward restoring law and order.

He said “Egypt is waging a fierce war against terrorism and criminal acts.”

Hegazi suggested that the cruelest incident in all of Egypt’s history was the execution of 25 off-duty security servicemen on Monday in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Tuesday that she had offered to return to Cairo.

“I told the Egyptian prime minister at the weekend that I would be more than willing to go back to Egypt if they wish me to come back,” said Ashton, who has been to Egypt twice since the regime change by the military.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/muslim-brotherhood-picks-hawk-as-new-leader/2013/08/21/

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