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Donald Trump

  • Nearly half of Americans support sanctions on Israel, poll finds

    As the Democratic party regroups ahead of the next election cycle, it would be wise for its leadership to examine areas where the Clinton campaign diverged from the party’s base. Israel-Palestine is one of those issues. The number of Americans who support imposing sanctions on Israel over its defiant settlement policies has shot up to 46 percent, the same percentage of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election. [tmwinpost] That number has shot up nearly 10 percentage points over the past year, according to a national poll published by the Brookings Institute on Friday, on the sidelines…

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  • Palestinians deserve more than Mahmoud Abbas

    At the Fatah Congress this week, Abbas’s followers seem to have affirmed a choice Oslo’s signatories made more than two decades ago: that livelihoods matter more than liberation. Palestinians deserve an alternative to this status quo. In Hisham Sharabi’s 1988 book, Neopatriarchy, the late Palestinian intellectual posits “a theory of distorted change in the Arab world,” one in which “the paternal will is the absolute will.” When it comes to politics, this paternalism is easy to miss, Sharabi argued, because it uses “external trappings,” like elections, to give the illusion of consensus—all while relying on familiar patterns of “ritual and…

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  • Will the Trump administration treat Middle Easterners as inferior?

    What foreign leaders would possibly be willing to engage in tough negotiations with the Trump administration if its top officials approach them as defective? By Derek Davison On Friday, Donald Trump’s transition team announced that Fox News national security analyst Kathleen Troia McFarland will serve as his Deputy National Security Advisor, working under National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn. McFarland previously served on Gerald Ford’s National Security Council and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in the Reagan administration, from 1982 to 1985. [tmwinpost] NBC News predicted that McFarland’s appointment “will likely be far less controversial” than that…

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  • What Trump's new UN envoy could mean for Israel-Palestine

    Whatever disruptions are afoot in the balance of international power will eventually be reflected at the United Nations. And when that happens, even a staunch supporter of Israel like Nikki Haley may have to yield to a new order. When she signed into law the first state legislation penalizing companies that boycott “based on race, color, religion, gender or national origin,” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was lauded by the bill’s author, State Representative Alan Clemmons, who made clear its intent. [tmwinpost] Citing “tactics employed by the Nazis,” Clemmons called the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement a prime example…

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  • Pro-Israel and racist? Palestinians aren’t surprised in the slightest

    Though it may have sparked debate in the Jewish-American community, the idea that Israel can be a cause célèbre for white nationalists is hardly news to Palestinians, whose very existence vies with a state steeped in European, colonial racism. Since his appointment last week as chief White House strategist, sensationalist media maven Steve Bannon—whose editorial sensibilities have spawned such haute headlines as "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy"—has become something of a lightning rod in the mainstream Jewish-American community. The Anti-Defamation League's Jonathan Greenblatt said his group opposed Bannon on grounds that the alt-right hero is "so hostile to core American values" while…

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  • What’s an illegal settlement?

    The Israeli government is working tirelessly to retroactively legalize over 100 illegal West Bank outposts. They'll probably get away with it. Is that such a bad thing? The biggest story in Israel this past week — bigger than Trump or Aleppo — was the impending eviction of the illegal settlement outpost of Amona, and parallel efforts by the Israeli government to save dozens of others from the same fate. What is an illegal settlement, you ask? Aren’t all settlements illegal under international law? Aren’t all Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land? The answer to the last two questions is yes, but the…

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  • What happens if Trump rips up the Iran deal? A view from Israel

    President-elect Trump is just two months away from controlling America's nuclear arsenal. His supporters are already working on torpedoing Obama's greatest foreign policy success. By Shemuel Meir For many the combination of the words "Donald Trump" and "nuclear weapons" is the stuff of nightmares. "If we have nuclear weapons — why don't we use it?" asked Trump during his presidential campaign. In his view nuclear weapons is akin to conventional weapons, which means they can be used to promote U.S. interests. This is the man who on January 20th, 2017 will be in control of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Nuclear…

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  • Israel's biggest paper ignores anti-Semitism of senior Trump advisor

    News of white supremacist Stephen Bannon's appointment to a top job in the next White House has been roiling much of the Jewish press and anti-hate groups, including the ADL. Israel's most-read newspaper, 'Israel Hayom,' decided its readers don't need to know. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis will have no idea that a bonafide anti-Semite is going to be the next U.S. president's left-hand man. President-elect Donald Trump announced on Sunday he will be appointing Stephen K. Bannon, a white nationalist anti-Semite and one of the faces of the pro-Trump alt-right movement, as the new White House chief strategist. But you wouldn't know…

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  • Trump is the president settlers could only dream of

    Although U.S. policy toward Israeli settlements has fluctuated over time, successive American officials have consistently taken a dim view of the settlement movement. Trump and his advisors may change all that very soon. By Derek Davison Although President-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy team are only beginning to develop their agenda for his coming administration, his surprising election on Tuesday may already be having an impact on Israel’s West Bank settlement policy. On Thursday, Jason Greenblatt, co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee, told Israel’s Army Radio that “it is certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activities should…

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  • The ‘ultimate deal’: Trump’s coming obsession with Palestine

    Many fear that a Trump presidency will, by default, favor Netanyahu and his policies. But if Trump’s past statements on Israel are precedent, what will matter more is whether the 'dealmaker' gets to broker the ultimate deal. We’re not even a week in, and the panic is palpable. “Trump Election Already Bad News for Palestinians,” reads one headline. Settlement construction will surely spike. “The era of the Palestinian state is over.” But for even the most casual observer of the Middle East, these pronouncements are nothing new. And despite the official statements from Jerusalem and Ramallah, the leaders of Israel…

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  • The end of American exceptionalism

    Trump has shown that the U.S.'s democracy is just as flawed and illusory as the many countries that it has preached to for decades. And that's a good thing to admit. In a Daily Show segment covering the U.S. presidential race last year, Trevor Noah told his audience that, “as an African, there’s just something familiar about Trump.” Noah compared some of Trump’s statements with those of leaders from his home continent – Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Uganda’s Idi Amin, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi – concluding that Trump is actually “the perfect African president.” It was a joke that pointed to a…

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  • Trump’s victory leaves Obama with only one option on Israel-Palestine

    When everyone believed Clinton was going to be the next president, Obama was rumored to be considering several last-minute options to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. All that went out the window on Tuesday. The Obama administration is probably trying to figure out how to protect its two signature achievements – Obamacare and the Iranian nuclear deal – for the next two years, when the White House and both chambers of Congress will be under Republican control. But it will also need to revisit other issues, such as a widely discussed final move on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Specifically, the idea of laying…

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  • Trump's first steps on Israel/Palestine

    For starters: Make the $38 billion military aid package dependent on Israeli actions to dismantle the occupation, and recognize the State of Palestine already. By Sam Bahour Again, the Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential elections lost the popular vote but won the election. Such is a function of the mechanics of the U.S. flavor of democracy where not every vote matters; only votes in key states matter. Nevertheless, billionaire Donald Trump is heading to the White House. Trump’s ascent into the U.S. presidency will be the material for political analysts and historians, not to mention Hollywood, for many years to come. That…

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