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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘matter’

No Matter What Happens with Trump, Obama’s anti-Israel Narrative will Take a Huge Hit

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Elder of Ziyon}

I have no idea what is going to happen in a Trump administration, either domestically or in foreign policy. I don’t know what his Israel policy will be.

But there will be one instant and long-lasting effect: the Obama narrative on the conflict will become hugely diminished.

In Obama’s worldview, Israel is the only party with any agency and any responsibility. And the lack of peace is wholly Israel’s fault.

In Obama’s worldview, Palestinian terror is an unfortunate but understandable consequence of Israeli policies.

In Obama’s worldview, Jews living in Judea and Samaria is the single biggest obstacle to peace.

In Obama’s worldview, Netanyahu is an intransigent bully who has no desire for peace and whose policies will doom Israel unless the left saves the country in spite of him.

In Obama’s worldview, supporting Iran is the only reliable path for a stable Middle East.

In Obama’s worldview, American Zionists are part of the problem, and therefore an alternative movement that shares his viewpoint must be encouraged and propped up.

The President isn’t only about policies and laws and bills and strategy: The White House has a huge influence on American public opinion and how Americans view the world.

Americans will inevitably view the Middle East differently because no one that shares the Obama worldview will remain in the White House.

It will be shocking to the world the first time President Trump opines on the Middle East. But chances are that he will look at it without the obscuring clouds of years of lies about “settlers” and “Likud intransigence”. If there is anything Trump loves to do, it is to burst the bubble of conventional wisdom.

Maybe he’ll ask, “If settlements are inexorably taking over the entire disputed areas, then why don’t Palestinians rush to make peace and protect what they can?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “Why, 23 years after Oslo, has the Palestinian Authority continued to teach hate on TV and in the classrooms?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “If Palestinians want peace so much, why have they turned down every peace offer, and why did they respond to the Clinton plan with a war on Jewish civilians?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “Why are people wanting to boycott the one country that does more for human rights than any other country in the entire Middle East”?

Maybe he’ll ask, “What possible purpose does it serve to keep the US embassy out of the undisputed part of Jerusalem?” (The official answer, that the US still officially supports the part of the 1947 partition plan where all of Jerusalem was supposed to become an international city, is so stupid that it is a perfect thing for a Trumpian president to expose and ridicule to show that he is different from his predecessors.)

These types of obvious questions – obvious to anyone who is not caught up in the previous narrative, that is – will create more positive change than any number of conferences or bills passed. The media will not be able to ignore the plain truths that they have been studiously ignoring for many years.

The anti-Israel crowd is in a panic, and for good reason. It is not because Trump is necessarily pro-Israel. It is because Trump is not afraid to speak out loud what everyone knows deep down. And those truths are what scares the hell out of the people whose entire existence depends on maintaining their anti-Israel narratives in the media and on campus.

 

Elder of Ziyon

Do Women’s Rights Matter to J Street?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

J Street’s controversial response to the sexual harassment of one of its staff members raises questions as to whether its attitude toward women’s rights is compromised by its political goals.

After J Street learned, in 2014, that one of its staff members had been sexually harassed, it terminated its relationship with the harasser, Israeli journalist and Palestinian state advocate, Ari Shavit. But J Street has now admitted that it never said a word about Shavit’s behavior to the other Jewish groups that have been organizing Shavit’s speeches around the country.

J Street’s two-year silence on the abuse of an American Jewish woman was wrong. J Street’s silence about the abuse of Palestinian women is wrong, too, and both situations may well be related.

J Street’s central mission has been to bring about creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel. One of the reasons many Israelis are skeptical about that proposal is that “Palestine” would be a brutal totalitarian state. Israelis understand that brutal totalitarian states often invade neighboring countries.

If Israelis believed a Palestinian state would be a tolerant, pluralistic, democratic state, where the rights of minorities and women were protected, creating such a state would seem a lot less threatening to Israel.

So, yes, Palestinian women’s rights matter. They matter because it’s a question of justice and equality. And they matter because the issue reveals a lot about what kind of neighbor a Palestinian state would be.

Yet, just as J Street refused for two years to speak out about the mistreatment of a Jewish woman on its staff, it has refused to speak out about the mistreatment of Palestinian women by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Two years ago, the Washington Post reported the number of “honor killings” of Palestinian women had more than doubled over the previous year. Those are killings in which men murder female relatives whom they suspect of violating Islamic fundamentalist morals, such as premarital relations, dressing “provocatively,” or being seen in the company of an unauthorized boyfriend. The Post noted that even when the Palestinian Authority imprisons such killers, “pardons and suspended sentences are common.”

I looked on J Street’s website, which has issued more than 600 press releases dating back to 2008, to see if it issued a release concerning the Post‘s expose of Palestinian honor killings. Nothing there.

Amnesty International’s latest report on human rights around the world has this to say about women under the Palestinian Authority regime: “Women and girls continued to face discrimination in law and in practice, and were inadequately protected against sexual and other violence, including so-called ‘honor’ killings. At least 18 women and girls were reported to be victims of such killings during the year.”

I don’t see anything about the Amnesty International report on J Street’s website.

Earlier this year, a female member of the Palestinian parliament, Najat Abu Baker, hid in the parliament building for 17 days after the PA police sought to arrest her for criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas. According to The New York Times, Ms. Abu Baker’s “crime” was that she “said Mr. Abbas should resign and suggested that there would be money to pay educators if ministers were not so corrupt.”

I couldn’t find anything on the J Street website about that either.

Just two months ago, the Jordanian website Albawaba (The Loop) reported that some names of female candidates were being concealed in listings for the Palestinian Authority’s planned local elections. They were “listed only as ‘sister of’ or ‘the wife of,'” according to the report. Local Palestinian women’s groups protested. J Street was silent.

J Street’s website does have a section called “Women’s Leadership Forum.” It talks about mobilizing women to promote the J Street goal of creating a Palestinian state. It calls for increasing “women’s inclusion in peacemaking and negotiations,” because it believes women will “bring fresh thinking and new ideas” that can help advance J Street’s goals.

In other words, J Street is interested in women when they might be useful for promoting Palestinian statehood. But its leaders seem a lot less interested in women who are not politically useful. Speaking out against Shavit two years ago–when his book made him one of the most prominent advocates of Palestinian statehood in the Jewish world–would have harmed the Palestinian statehood campaign. Likewise, speaking out against the Palestinian Authority’s abuse of women could raise doubts about the nature and viability of a Palestinian state. Could that explain J Street’s troubling silence in both situations?

Stephen M. Flatow

A Matter Of Judgment

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

On Saturday, September 17, terrorism came back to America.

In a St. Cloud, Minnesota shopping mall, nine people were stabbed before the attacker was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.

St. Cloud is home to one of the state’s larger immigrant Muslim populations, chiefly from Somalia. Several have traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS. The attacker was born in Africa but grew up in the United States.

One the same day in New Jersey, a garbage can exploded on the route of a Marine Corps charity run. Thousands of people were about to participate in the race in Seaside Park.

And then on Saturday evening an explosion shook the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and left 29 injured. A second suspicious device was found a few blocks away and more bombs were found in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

On Monday a suspect in the New Jersey and New York incidents, Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was born in Afghanistan, was apprehended by police.

Authorities are always cautious in reaching conclusions about such incidents. They prefer to wait until all the facts are gathered. That makes sense; you need to be cautious in such matters. Officials cannot rush to judgment and say who they think might be behind an attack; doing so would risk implicating innocent, law-abiding citizens.

The reaction, though, of New York mayor Bill de Blasio opened him up to even more ridicule and criticism than usual – and de Blasio is no stranger to either.

Asked by a reporter whether the blast was terror-related, de Blasio replied, “At this moment, we do not see a link to terrorism.” And, he added, there was “no specific evidence of a connection” to the pipe bomb in New Jersey.

This produced howls of derision across social media. One person wrote, “Of course this was not terrorism. I personally believe that the three Saturday bombs were probably left by the Salvation Army as a token of love.”

I couldn’t resist joining in on my Facebook page and published a picture of de Blasio beside Al Sharpton. With a large dose of cynicism I wrote:

 

On the right, folks, the man many believe should be in prison. On the left, the man many believe should be in kindergarten getting an ability-appropriate education.

Let’s construct a simple quiz to help place Bill de Blasio with the right group of children on his first day in kindergarten.… OK, Bill, now take your time and choose one of the following answers:

Question 1: Were the recent NY and NJ Bombings terrorist acts?

A: No. It was the work of pixies miffed at Santa’s minimum wage.

B: No. Garbage bins often explode all by themselves.

C: Yes. OK, I said it, and now I’m going to have a tantrum.

Question 2: Was the December 2014 execution, by a Muslim, of two New York City cops sitting in their car in Brooklyn a terrorist act?

A: No. The black Muslim assassin was framed by white pixies.

B: No. The cops provoked him by not smiling nicely like I have to.

C: Yes. OK, I said it and now I’m going to have a tantrum.

Question 3: Was 9/11 an Islamist terrorist act?

A: No. What’s a 9/11?

B: No. What’s a terrorist act?

C: No. My teacher, Mrs. Obama. told me there is no such thing.

Question 4: When so many New York City cops turn their backs on a mayor, is that a good thing?

A: Yes. It shows they love him.

B: Yes. What’s a cop?

C: Yes. What’s a mayor?

 

The timing of these attacks is of course a gift to the Trump campaign. Fox News reported that more than 800 illegal immigrants from “countries of concern” who were set for deportation were mistakenly granted U.S. citizenship because the Department of Homeland Security didn’t have their fingerprints on file. This was according to an internal audit released the day the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings was captured.

Reportedly, Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth also found fingerprints missing from federal databases for as many as 315,000 immigrants with final deportation orders or who are fugitive criminals.

So much for the calming claim that immigrants to the United States face “strenuous vetting procedures.”

The real gift to Trump, though, is not the scary revelation of governmental ineptitude and the potential threats created by that incompetence. No, the real gift is the exposure (far from the first time) of the skewed sense of judgment shared many on the left who simply refuse to acknowledge the nature of the threat facing the American people.

The greatest exemplar of this is, of course, the president himself, who simply refuses to use the word “Islamic” and “terror” in the same sentence.

Yet the threat posed to this nation from precisely that source has been irrefutably demonstrated over and over again: 9/11, Fort Hood, Boston, San Bernardino, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York again…

Notwithstanding my Facebook mockery of de Blasio, I don’t believe for one moment that he is a stupid man. Nor do I believe that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are anything other than highly intelligent people. The problem is that anyone whose judgment suffers from preconceived notions will act on conclusions that are wrong and bad.

I think ordinary Americans know that. I think ordinary Americans are tired of too many media types and too many elected officials assuring them they have nothing to worry about, when they clearly know they do.

Immigration was the number one reason Brexit succeeded in the UK, even if some could not admit it. Intellectuals on the left, champions of “the people,” were quick to condemn those same people as being too stupid to have realized what they were voting for when they chose to leave the European Union. Yet all the British people I know who voted to leave were highly educated and highly intelligent. They simply believed that the judgment of those controlling the EU when it came to the threat posed by broken and failed European immigration controls could no longer be tolerated.

This is the time of year when Jews think a lot about Judgment. The month that includes Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah is represented by the astrological sign of scales.

Many Jewish works state that one of the ways the Almighty indicates to the Jews that He is unhappy with them and expects them to do better in the year ahead is by giving them leaders who are woefully inadequate.

As we enter this awe-inspiring period of the Jewish calendar, we might want to make a few New Year’s resolutions to try to be more deserving of leaders whose judgments are clear and free of bias so that they can institute policies that keep this country and the world free of terror.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

Dead Arabs Don’t Matter to the World — Unless Israel Killed Them

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsite, Emet m’Tsiyon}

The hypocrisy of the major world powers, of those who dominate the international mass media, is long known. Khaled Abu Toameh reminds us once again of how cynical the world media, most of it Western, can be. Abu Toameh points out how international journalists and international “human rights” bodies –the ones that are always dragging their halos around– customarily overlook Arab victims whose sufferings have nothing to do with Israel. The purpose is to smear and hurt Israel… If a particular case of suffering cannot be attributed to Israel then it is hardly worth writing about.
In line with this of course is that the Palestinian Arab suffering that is deemed worthy of attention is only that of Arabs in Judea-Samaria, not that of those in Syria to be sure, since that suffering cannot be blamed on Israel. Nor does the Palestinian Authority –Mahmoud Abbas’ statelet on the way– care about any of this. Even those who speak in the name of the Palestinian Arabs care little about the suffering of Palestinian Arabs that cannt be blamed on Israel.

Here are some highlishts of Abu Toameh’s essay:

    Nearly 3,500 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since 2011. But because these Palestinians were killed by Arabs, and not Israelis, this fact is not news in the mainstream media or of interest to “human rights” forums.

  • International media outlets regularly report on the “water crisis” in Palestinian towns and villages, especially in the West Bank. This is a story that repeats itself almost every summer, when some foreign journalists set out to search for any story that reflects negatively on Israel. And there is nothing more comfortable than holding Israel responsible for the “water crisis” in the West Bank.
  • But how many Western journalists have cared to inquire about the thirsty Palestinians of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria? Does anyone in the international community know that this camp has been without water supply for more than 720 days? Or that the camp has been without electricity for the past three years?
  • When Western journalists lavish time on Palestinians delayed at Israeli checkpoints, and ignore bombs dropped by the Syrian military on residential areas,  one might start to wonder [what] they are really about.

Since the issue of Israeli water supplies to Arabs in Judea-Samaria became a major topic for international news agencies and “human rights” agencies in the past few years, let’s look at Abu Toameh’s information. He explains that whether or not Arabs, or Palestinian Arabs specifically, are deprived of water is of little concern to them. Again, the issue is what can be blamed on Israel reasonably, or even unreasonably very often.

International media outlets regularly report on the “water crisis” in Palestinian towns and villages, especially in the West Bank. This is a story that repeats itself almost every summer, when some foreign journalists set out to search for any story that reflects negatively on Israel. And there is nothing more comfortable than holding Israel responsible for the “water crisis” in the West Bank.

But how many Western journalists have cared to inquire about the thirsty Palestinians of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria? Does anyone in the international community know that this camp has been without water supply for more than 720 days? Or that the camp has been without electricity for the past three years? Yarmouk, which is located only eight kilometers from the center of Damascus, is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. That is, it was the largest camp. In June 2002, 112,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk. By the end of 2014, the camp population had been decimated to less than 20,000. Medical sources say many of the residents of the camp are suffering from a host of diseases.

Just bear in mind that there is no reason to rely on the international media or the self-styled “human rights” agencies.

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Emet m' Tsiyon

Jewish Owned Times Square Club Drops Black Lives Matter Event over Israel

Friday, September 9th, 2016

A concert supporting Black Lives Matter, planned for Sunday, September 11, at 7 and 9:30 PM at Feinstein’s/54 Below, just north of Times Square, under the direction of Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, was canceled due to “conflicting viewpoints on the social issue,” Playbill reported this week.

An email the club owners sent ticket buyers reads, “The owners and managers … strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives of BLM. However, since announcing the benefit they’ve become aware of a recent addition to the BLM platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.

“Feinstein’s/54 Below would have preferred to hold the concert in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, without endorsing or appearing to endorse the entirety of the Black Lives Matter organization and its platform, but we’ve found that a distinction impossible for us to effect.

“As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert.

“We’re sorry about this unfortunate situation which has not dimmed our commitment to supporting social justice.”

According to Playbill, the evening was organized by Felicia Fitzpatrick, Michael R. Jackson and Jennifer Ashley Tepper, with consultation by Frank Leon Roberts and Adrienne Warren for the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective. Participants included Lilli Cooper, Eisa Davis, Andre DeShields, Michael R. Jackson, Marcus Scott, Darius Smith and Brynn Williams, as well as the AAPF-Say Her Name Organization and a representative from the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Feinstein’s/54 Below opened in 2012 as a supper club. In 2015, through a creative partnership with Michael Feinstein, the Ambassador of the American Songbook, 54 Below was renamed Feinstein’s/54 Below.

JNi.Media

Israel is not a matter of Bipartisan Consensus

Friday, August 26th, 2016

For years, the leaders of America’s most established Jewish organizations – AIPAC chief among them – have assured their members that when it came to Israel, there was not much difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Even suggesting that control of the White House or Congress might matter to the US-Israel relationship was taboo, often decried as “anti-Israel” if not “Anti-Semitic.” The 2016 platform debates and conventions have shattered this outlandish insistence that in our hyper- partisan era Israel policy somehow managed to remain neutral territory. It is now indisputable that the parties have radically different views of Israel.

To the extent that any bipartisanship persists, it is the “less than comprehensively anti-Israel” view that the least pro-Israel Republicans and the most pro-Israel Democrats share: the narrative that Israelis and Arabs are more or less equally culpable, Israel must risk its national security and the lives of its citizens, and an independent, judenrein, Arab state in the historic Jewish heartland is an imperative. Though the politicians on both sides of the aisle backing this vision may see themselves as pragmatic, moderate centrists looking out for Israel’s interests, what they actually advocate is rejecting Israel’s status as a favored ally, ignoring history and law, and capitulating to Arab intransigence and inhumanity.

Moreover, the bases of both parties reject this view. The Republican base sees no moral equivalence between Israelis building a pluralistic, liberal democracy of which all decent people should be proud and the Palestinian Authority presiding over a genocidal, suicidal death cult. The Democratic base, as we saw during their convention, reiterates the slanders of Jimmy Carter, Bernie Sanders and Cornell West, while burning Israeli flags in symbolic solidarity with the death cult whose own flags festooned the convention floor.

West spoke for much of the Democratic base—and 43% of the platform committee—when he framed his antipathy for Israel as “a moral issue,” and called: for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements,” and for “rebuild[ing] Gaza which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020.” Hillary Clinton’s politically savvy advisors, understanding that anti-Israel agitation would play poorly in the general election (overall, Americans still side with Israel over the Palestinians 62% to 15% according to a recent Gallup poll) preferred boilerplate language similar to the DNC’s 2012 platform: “Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.” In short, a statement of moral equivalence.

The Republicans had reluctantly accepted comparable boilerplate languate in 2012, tempering far stronger pro-Israel sentiment among the base to accommodate AIPAC’s insistence that such moral equivalence reflected the American Jewish consensus. In 2016, however, the GOP resisted such pressure. The party’s base rallied behind more a definitively pro-Israel approach that embraces the moral superiority of Israel’s position and Israel’s unconditional sovereignty. It is this platform language – to which we proudly contributed – that Democrats and their enablers in establishment American Jewish groups, have intentionally and repeatedly

mischaracterized as standing “to the right of Netanyahu” in its “rejection of a two-state solution.” No one actually reading the words of the 2016 GOP platform plank on Israel could possibly reach these conclusions.

The Republican platform’s actual language recognizes Israel as a fellow liberal democracy and a strategic ally; restates an existing American law declaring an indivisible Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; upholds our ally’s right to defend itself against military threats, terror attacks, and other forms of warfare; labels as false the widely-accepted canard that Israel is an “occupier;” and recognizes the anti-Semitism behind a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement that has targeted Jewish interests far from Israel. It closes with a longing for “comprehensive and lasting peace” negotiated among the residents of the Middle East, and opposes outside pressure designed to impose any specific proposal.

That’s the sum and substance of what today’s Democrats consider extremism: Acknowledging the rights of Jews in the Land of Israel, embracing a fellow liberal democracy and strategic ally, supporting its efforts to defend itself, and encouraging it to negotiate with its neighbors.

Nothing in the new GOP platform “rejects” or creates even the slightest impediment to a “Two-State solution.” It simply refocuses American interests correctly: In support of our ally Israel’s sovereignty and security, rather than in pursuit of “self-determination” for a Palestinian Authority—the PLO’s legal and moral successor—that continues to incite and support terror and that has explicitly abandoned even the pretext of a “peace process”.

The chasm between the parties is clear. Today’s Democrats are split among those who see moral equivalence between Israel and the PA and those who see Israel as a rogue apartheid state committing repeated war crimes against Palestinian victims. To the Republicans, Israel is a close and valued ally under unprecedented attack, worthy of the same commitment and support we extend to our closest allies. These views of Israel and the policy consequences that flow from them are very, very different.

A bipartisan consensus that actually supports Israel remains a worthy ideal. As the 2016 conventions showed, it is very far from what we have today. Americans who care about Israel face a clear choice. There is no use pretending otherwise.

Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon

Trump as a Matter of Principle

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

We’re members of a minority: Jewish Blue-State professionals who plan to vote for Donald Trump. As Blue-Staters and as Jews, we have many friends and co-religionists who consider themselves progressives. As oft-disappointed conservatives and oft-chagrined members of the Republicans’ professional class, we have many friends and colleagues who consider themselves NeverTrumps. We get their angst, but we’re tired of the self-righteous insistence that support for Trump is “unprincipled.” They get the principle exactly backwards.

According to Rasmussen—whose polls tend to favor the GOP—Trump’s support among Republicans is only 69%. Our inclusion in that number flows from our principled opposition to the damage that progressivism has already inflicted on our great nation. Under Obama, the United States—founded as the embodiment of classic eighteenth century liberal ideals—has turned away from its Judeo-Christian and Western roots, expanded government intrusiveness and control, robbed individuals of their agency as autonomous decision-makers, ignored the rule of law, and imperiled the global spread of prosperity. Hillary Clinton seeks to finish the job.

If there are conservatives arguing that Clinton is either unserious or incapable of achieving her stated goal, those trumpeting – and trumping up – Trump’s shortcomings have drowned them out—helping Clinton in effect, if not in intent. The 11% of Republicans that Rasmussen shows supporting Gary Johnson stand between Clinton’s aggressively progressive America and a philosophically idiosyncratic Trump presidency. We prefer the latter—on principle—and implore all principled conservatives (explicitly including the NeverTrumps) to do the same. Trump was not the champion we sought, but he is the one we have. The only one.

The distinction may be clearest in the cultural and social realms. Trump seems content to let homosexual couples form families, religious bakers opt out of gay weddings, states decide the question of transgender bathroom use, and women choose abortions as long as they are not subsidized—even when his personal beliefs and choices may point in other directions. He seems singularly unlikely to crusade over such issues. This stance defines a libertarian middle ground likely to satisfy neither social conservatives nor social progressives. And while the two of us do not always agree on these issues, we are clear that a nonideological libertarian neutral is far superior to the crusading progressive that Clinton has promised to be. With Clinton in the White House, the assault on religious liberties would be catastrophic.

When it comes to race—historically, the most difficult issue in America—Trump can indeed seem tone-deaf. Nevertheless, his long history in the public eye suggests colorblindness rather than malice, and a healthy disdain for politically correct fascism. Trump has had close personal relationships—and antagonisms—with people of all races, ethnicities, and religions. His preference for “content of character” (as he defines it) over color of skin, coupled with his characteristic bluntness, is almost guaranteed to offend in our hypersensitive age. Still, the idea that we should reward racial hostility and reorient society to avoid unavoidable “microagressions” against the perpetually thin-skinned is a particularly progressive failing.

Conservatives ought to value respect and decorum, but in a clash between an insufficiently sensitive candidate and an overly sensitive victim class, a principled conservative can remain safely ambivalent.

And while America might do better with a conciliatory President, it will not find one in Clinton. The Democratic convention dedicated an evening to groups who champion identity politics, heighten racial sensitivities, exude virulent anti-Semitism, encourage street riots, and condone violent attacks against police. During the convention, a sitting Democratic Member of Congress publicly called Israeli Jews “termites” and a former Member tweeted blood-libel type conspiracy theories blaming Jews for Islamic terror in Europe. Meanwhile, attendees waved the flag of the terrorist PLO/Palestinian Authority (labeled last week as anti-Semitic by even the Arabist State Department) and burned American and Israeli flags. Is that a mandate “principled” conservatives are content to tolerate, let alone assist?

On economics, both campaigns disappoint. Growth is a prerequisite for almost all beneficial advancements, and free trade is critical to growth. Granted, democratic institutions that remain oblivious to distribution will eventually induce society’s many losers to vote against growth—as we are seeing today. From that perspective, Trump’s coupling of concerns about the distributional effects of trade and immigration with pro-growth regulatory and tax reform is less disturbing than Clinton’s all-encompassing anti-growth redistribution agenda.

On judicial nominations, Trump has provided ample reason for optimism among constitutional conservatives—and it is hard to see how he could be worse than Clinton’s relentless focus on the full progressive takeover of the federal judiciary. Rather than a protective backstop on key constitutional protections, the judiciary would become a launch pad for even more assaults on our religious observances and beliefs.

Finally, in the Middle East, Trump is far more inclined than Clinton to correctly see Israelis as good guys, radical Muslims as evil, and moderate Muslims as potential allies who need our help. Clinton may spout politically popular pro-Israel platitudes, but her track record of strong-arming Israel while embracing and mainstreaming Muslim terrorists speaks far louder than her words. She would continue the shocking Obama policies in which she was complicit – including the horrendous Iran Deal.

We appeal to conservatives still waving the NeverTrump banner to reconsider while time remains. Much is at stake. Principled progressives committed to completing America’s transformation can vote for Clinton. Principled conservatives must fight her.

Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/trump-as-a-matter-of-principle/2016/08/24/

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