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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.

U.S. president elect Donald Trump. (Michael Candelori/CC-by-2.0)

U.S. president elect Donald Trump. (Michael Candelori/CC-by-2.0)

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 any of that if you leafed through Israel Hayom, Israel’s most widely-read newspaper on Monday.

The Sheldon Adelson-funded, pro-Netanyahu, free daily newspaper published an article Monday [Hebrew] that mentioned Bannon’s appointment, yet omitted any and all mention of his sordid views on Jews, women, Latinos, and the LGBTQ community.

In the article, Israel Hayom‘s U.S. correspondent Yoni Hirsch dedicated exactly two sentences to Bannon’s appointment, writing that Trump chose Reince Priebus over him for chief of staff, and that as head of Trump’s presidential campaign, Bannon decided to aggressively take on Hillary. The rest of the article focuses on Priebus, who is considered a more moderate, establishment Republican, along with Trump’s stated plan to expel millions of immigrants, and speculation over the president-elect’s future advisors.

Israel Hayom article on the appointment of Stephen Bannon's to White House chief strategist. Reporter Yoni Hirsch completely omitted any mention of Bannon's white nationalist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic politics.

Israel Hayom article on the appointment of Stephen Bannon as White House chief strategist. It completely omitted any mention of Bannon’s white nationalist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic politics.

That’s it. Not one mention of the conspiracy theories peddled by Bannon, according to which Hillary Clinton’s aid Huma Abedin is a spy for Saudi Arabia or that Planned Parenthood has Nazi ties. Not a word on the fact that he reportedly did not want his twin daughters attending the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles because many Jewish students were enrolled there, and Bannon believes that Jews are raised to be “whiny brats.” Nothing about the fact that he was charged with choking his ex-wife Mary Louise Piccard, or that he called feminist activists a “bunch of dykes.” The list goes on and on, yet Hirsch and his editors at Israel Hayom found no reason to mention any of it.

The paper’s outright refusal to pay the bare minimum lip-service to homegrown American anti-Semitism continued in a second article published Monday, also by Hirsch. Under the headline, “It’s time for Obama and Clinton to calm the protesters,” Hirsch reported on the wave of anti-Trump protests that have been sweeping the U.S. since his election. The article lists a number of demonstrations, which have been led by those fearful of Trump’s possible policies on immigrants, minorities, women, and LGBTQ rights, as well as health care and the environment.

Israel Hayom article on anti-Trump demonstrations taking place across the U.S. The article does not once refer to the rising hate crimes plaguing the country.

Israel Hayom article on anti-Trump demonstrations taking place across the U.S. The article does not once refer to the rising hate crimes plaguing the country.

Yet somehow Hirsch forgot to mention that many of the very people taking to the streets are the ones most vulnerable to the rising tide of hate crimes against minorities over the past week. Swastikas cropping up across the country, Nazi salutes, anti-black graffiti (a black church was burned down in Mississippi a week before the election, the words “Vote Trump” scrawled on the side of the building), threats of lynches, violent attacks against Muslims — the most widely-read newspaper in the Jewish state deemed none of it worth mentioning  as catalyzing factors behind the protests.

A deal with the devil

The news of Bannon’s appointment roiled progressive media outlets and organizations, already beleaguered by an unprecedented rise in hate crimes and the prospect of future violence against minorities in the United States. Bannon, a former U.S. Navy officer, was best known for his polemical right-wing documentaries and for serving as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a far-right news site, before being named chief executive of Donald Trump’s campaign this past August.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation, expressed concern over Bannon’s appointment. Meanwhile Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt said it was a “a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’.”

On the face of it there should be absolutely no reason for any Jew to back such blatant bigotry. But the right-wing Jewish establishment in America — bolstered by the likes of Sheldon Adelson — has decided to accept a tradeoff in an era in which traditional Republican policies no longer hold much currency: incur anti-Semitic politicians and attacks in exchange for a president who will come down on Muslims, back reactionary policies on immigrants, and blindly support Israel. This is the same logic that undergirds the thinking of Israeli politicians who back far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilder, and Heinz-Christian Strache: we will politely ignore their Nazi pasts, pesky anti-Semitic cartoons, and outright incitement — as long as they continue to back the Jewish state.

This is what a deal with the devil looks like.

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    1. i_like_ike52

      Oh dear, Bannon may be an antisemite. Well, if he is, that puts him in good company, along with Abbas, Dahlan, HAMAS, the rest of the Palestinian leadership, the Saudis and most of the rest of the Arab world. If their antisemitism doesn’t bother you, then why should Bannon’s? Maybe he sympathizes with the Palestinians and would urge Trump to force Israel to “end the occupation”. What’s wrong with that?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Oh that’s an easy one Ike. Because, unlike you, Ike, +972 Magazine has a sterling and unimpeachable record defending human rights for all humans, Jewish and Arab and otherwise. Unlike, you, everything does not turn for +972 Magazine on amoral, tribal-based racist considerations. (‘Good’ racist ones for you, ‘bad’ racist ones for others.) And unlike you, +972 Magazine does not delight in the racism of others that confirms for you an “everybody else does it why can’t we” mentality that so conveniently furthers the real aim: land theft. I never thought I would see the extreme right wing of Israel wink and nod at anti-Semitism while at the same time cynically using it as a cudgel against those who oppose the occupation — oh, wait — yes I did think I would see the extreme right wing of Israel wink and nod at anti-Semitism while at the same time cynically using it as a cudgel against those who oppose the occupation — why should anyone be surprised at what they will stoop to after the settlers’ Herr Sturmer video caper?

        Reply to Comment
      • pete

        This guy just compared Hamas to the Oval office.

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      • Bruce Gould

        @I_Like_Ike52: I’m so confused about this whole antisemitism thing. Can you give us some concrete guidelines about what types of critiques of Israel are not antisemitic and which ones are? Then we’ll all know where the boundaries are.

        Reply to Comment
        • i_like_ike52

          To put it bluntly, someone who says “I love Jews, I just think their state should be destroyed”, or “I love all Jews except for Zionists” is simply masking antisemitism.
          Take Jeremy Corbyn, for instance. They keep saying “he is not an antisemite” yet he calls HAMAS and HIZBULLAH friends of his, and these organization are constantly putting out genocidal antisemitic propaganda and carrying out attacks targeting Jewish civilians in Israel and outside it.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            To put it bluntly, this is libellous. You have referred to Corbyn in the present tense as though he currently and routinely refers to these entire organisations as friends of his. The fact is he once referred (past tense) to MEMBERS of these organisations as friends when they were visiting the British parliament SEVEN YEARS AGO.

            I really think this blatant, hyperbolic lie should be removed, failing which you ought to apologise.

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          • Mark

            Jeremy Corbyn also puts himself forward as a representative of those left behind.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Tommy Goldberg

      It’s real simple: you can be anti-Semitic all you want, as long as you’re pro-Zionist.

      To wit: fundamentalist Christian Zionists who are among the most hardcore supporters of Israeli government policies (especially in the occupied territories), but nevertheless strive to move up Armageddon, where millions of Jews (all who refuse to convert to Christianity) are supposed to be slaughtered.

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    3. Francis Horbach

      Let’s stick to the facts. Bannon is a far-right nationalist conservative, and known to be a bully. But an anti-Semite? It was his ex-wife who accused Bannon of abuse (a charge late dismissed) and said in 2007 court documents that he didn’t want their daughters to go to a particular school because of the number of Jewish students enrolled. That’s all of it. Is that sufficient proof to make Bannon an anti-Semite? I seriously doubt it.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      Still confused about what’s antisemitic – help me out here. When the former Mossad director Efraim Halevy says the only existential threat facing Israel is the occupation, is he being antisemitic? I’m not asking whether he’s right or not – anyone can disagree with him – but did he commit an antisemitic act with his statement? When the Jewish, pro-Israel New York Times columnist Roger Cohen says the U.S. should stop shielding Israel at the U.N., is he being antisemitic?

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Are Efraim Halevy and Roger Cohen antisemites? Heck no! They are just people with opinions. Opinions which may be right or maybe wrong.

        Halevy for instance also said this:

        “On January 27, 2007 an interview of his was published in Portugal, in which he stated “We are in the midst of a Third World War” with radical Islam, and predicted that it will take at least 25 years for the West to win.[7]”

        Do you think he is right, Bruce?

        And Roger Cohen supported the invasion of Iraq by Bush junior. Do you think he was right about that, Bruce?

        Now let me answer who are antisemites, Bruce. I think you will find the antisemites are the people who take an anti Jewish position on everything. They are people who say that Jews are ALWAYS wrong, no matter what. And by extension, the Jewish state of Israel is ALWAYS wrong too.

        Such people then go and selectively quote all and sundry, including people such as Efraim Halevy and Roger Cohen, to justify their criticism of Jews and the Jewish state. You do know what SELECTIVE QUOTING is don’t you Bruce? It is the practice of picking and choosing quotes to justify you predetermined conclusions and biases while ignoring other quotes which don’t reinforce your biases. You will find your antisemites amongst people who habitually practice SELECTIVE QUOTINGs against Jews and the Jewish state.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          @AJew (from AnotherJew): My quote of Halevy isn’t selective at all, because his comments on Islamic terrorism have nothing to do with his comments on the occupation; they are separate topics in Halevy’s mind; he believes them both and they are not contradictory to him. Duh.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            But you missed my point haven’t you Bruce?

            My point was that those people whom you quote, have opinions. Opinions with which we may or may not agree and which may or may not be wrong.

            But if one makes up one’s mind in advance that Jews are ALWAYS wrong, NO MATTER WHAT. And by extension, if they think the SAME WAY about the Jewish state of Israel. Then they seek out ONLY opinions which reinforce that type of thinking, NO MATTER what the topic is about the Jewish state of Israel and then one is likely to be an antisemite (even if one is Jewish).

            Take posters such as yourself Bruce as well as others who know who they are but I won’t name. No matter what the topic is you people ALWAYS blame Israel and Israel only. If I am wrong then I challenge you to show me a single post which you posted here in which you blame the Arabs for something and NOT Israel. If you can’t, then I have my suspicion that you too are an antisemite. Or perhaps not, I don’t really know nor care. But at the least, you are extremely deluded and you don’t live in the real world. Why do I say that? Because in the real world nobody is a 100% villain nor is one 100% innocent. In the real world there are nuances and opinions. And until the Arabs and their supporters realise that, there is no chance for peace because Israel and it’s supporters too dig in our heels and give you back the same attitude as you exhibit. Do you think that then there is a chance of productive discussion? I don’t. And I don’t think that such an atmosphere leads to peace either.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “But if one makes up one’s mind in advance that Jews are ALWAYS wrong, NO MATTER WHAT.”

            But Bruce thinks Halevy is right and Halevy is Jewish.
            And as Bruce pointed out, there is no contradiction between Halevy’s opinions on the occupation and on Islamic terrorism. They are separate topics. But the assumption that they are separate and contradictory is wrong. They are separate and complementary. As I rather think Halevy thinks they are. I have strong suspicions that Halevy is a very intelligent man who has one brain, one mind, and a mind that is well organized and well integrated and would not miss a trick. I don’t think he has split brain syndrome. I could be wrong.

            “My point was that those people whom you quote, have opinions. Opinions with which we may or may not agree and which may or may not be wrong.”

            Is this supposed to mean something that is not obvious and banal?

            “you people ALWAYS blame Israel and Israel only”

            I’m scratching my head here. I think you are struggling to make more out of this blame calculus that it can bear. You seem to be saying that some supposed right to continue the occupation depends not on how people on the ground are being treated (I have never seen you show any concern for this) but some abstract calculus of blame. Howz it work? Is the two-state solution outcome going to be causally driven by a calculus of blame? I mean, this could work out nevertheless. “You Arabs are 78% to blame, we Jews are 22% to blame. Therefore, land-wise, we get 78%, you get 22%. (With swaps, East Jerusalem as capital, agreed upon refugee solution….)” So, how about that? You get to 78% blame them. Isn’t that a great deal? I’d jump at it.
            “In the real world there are nuances and opinions.”

            I knew you’d come around. Welcome aboard buddy!

            “Do you think that then there is a chance of productive discussion? I don’t.”

            Oh ye of little faith! I showed you the way.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            But Ben, you too missed my point, I suspect deliberately. So I won’t bother explaining it to you too. I already explained it to Bruce, so I don’t feel obligated to explain it to you too, particularly since as always, you are just playing games.

            Have a nice day.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “I’m scratching my head here. I think you are struggling to make more out of this blame calculus”

            Sounds like you are the one who struggling Ben. Let me issue the same challenge to you too:

            Show me a single post from your little ol’ self, on ANY issue between the Jews of Israel and the Arabs (who have come to call themselves Palestinians since the mid 1960s), show me a single post of yours in which you sided with the Jews of Israel and you blamed the Arabs of “Palestine”.

            If you can’t Ben, then your blame game is 100% anti Jews and 0% anti Arab. Do you think that sounds like someone who deals with reality? Or does it sound like someone who is full of hate towards one side? It isn’t rocket science Ben, no need to pretend that you don’t know what I am talking about. Read my previous posts if you still (pretend) to have doubts.

            Reply to Comment
    5. I think that they take this position of not attacking him as a anti Semite is because the Israels are afraid President Trump might cut the billions in US aid to Israel if he gets really mad so they are kissing his ass instead.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      I read and hear that more and more Jewish secular or religious personalities in the USA and in Israel say that Mr. Bannon is not anti-Semite at all.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      ​Horbach & Halevy: One just has to stand back and blink ones eyes and ask oneself if one is really reading this. Just try to imagine President Obama’s Chief Strategist having said that he didn’t want his daughters to go to a particular school because of the number of Jewish students enrolled. Try to imagine the response from the Israeli right wing, from the right wing commenters here, from the US Republicans. Does anyone think they’d say “That’s all of it. Is that sufficient proof to make Obama’s Chief Strategist an anti-Semite? I seriously doubt it.”

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “Just try to imagine President Obama’s Chief Strategist having said that he didn’t want his daughters to go to a particular school because of the number of Jewish students enrolled.”

        As if Ben cares about antisemitism. But never mind.

        Hey Ben, a wife who divorced her husband made an allegation. Could she possibly be stretching the truth a bit? And even if he DID make the comment. Do you know in what context did he make it?

        Put that against a growing number of Jews, some of them orthodox Jews who testify that there isn’t an antisemitic bone in the man’s body. Are you going to completely discount their testimonies? Of course you are. What a surprise!

        Never mind, I on the other hand will sit on the fence a bit longer and will see. Will see both about Bannon and Trump. Hey Ben, I am a patient man. I am patient even with you. You know that don’t you?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          ​Would that be some of the same Jews who produced the Herr Sturmer video? Or perhaps it’s the Jew who wrote this?:

          “Yea, them bloody Jews. They always invent things. Even some Jews say so….Seriously though. The only author worth reading out of Bruce’s list is Benny Morris…. The rest are lying propaganda mouth pieces of the Arabs. Hey it’s a living. Haven’t you heard that some Jews like money?”

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            And Ben’s point is….????

            Drum roll…Drum roll…Drum roll…

            Deceive…deflect….distract…. that is Ben’s point.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “How It’s ‘Absolutely’ Possible For Steve Bannon To Be Pro-Israel And Anti-Semitic”

            Possible? But is he or isn’t he? It seems it depends on who one talks to and their ideology.

            So to someone like me who does not know him, it seems to me to be sensible to sit on the fence and wait and see.

            With your permission of course, Ben. Nah just kidding dding. Even without your permission ?

            Reply to Comment
    8. Ben

      Oh, I am so sorry, Gustav, I failed to make my point clear enough. It is entirely my fault of course. I hope this helps.

      “As our Naomi Zeveloff explained earlier this week, it’s possible to be Zionist and anti-Semitic at the same time. Some, like Bannon, see in Israel a (white) nationalist, anti-Arab country worth supporting — over there. Here, in America, they may accept, even respect, individual Jews, but their ideological aim is to cleanse the country of its multiculturalism and restore privilege to white Christian males.

      So, according to this logic, as long as you support certain policies of the current Israeli government, it’s okay to pal around with people who hate Jews. That is, apparently, much more acceptable than being a proud, devout Jew who doesn’t happen to support the policies of the current Israeli government. That will earn you the title of anti-Semite.”


      Reply to Comment
    9. AJew

      Nah Ben, don’t blame yourself. You are flawless (just kidding). But I still fail to see how someone who does not like Jews would support the Jewish state. It seems to me more likely gical that if he dislikes Arabs too, he would not support either.

      I’ll tell you what though. Your concern about antisemtism touches me (nah just know kidding again). So I’ll just continue to sit on the fence till I’ll find out one way or the other. Believe me Ben dear, it isn’t worth having a heart attack over coz all antisemites eventually reveal themselves. It is a disease ya know. Antisemites can’t hide their disease for too long. You of all people should know that.

      See Ben? I am not easily prone to antisemitizing ?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ben

      So striking. The very same people who reflexively categorize all non-rightists on Israel-Palestine as anti-Semitic, the very same people who are reflexive anti-Semitizers, these same people take the most casual, relaxed, wait and see attitude towards rightists who run alt-right white supremacist magazines, who have a known mass following of the KKK and David Duke style anti-Semites, who actually say stuff like “I don’t want my kids going to school with Jewish kids.” So very revealing. And what it says loudly and clearly is that all the anti-Semitizing BS thrown around here is the most cynical weaponized slander. The cynicism is really astonishing. What a sad state of affairs.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Poor Ben. Do you feel I discriminate against leftists such as yourself? No, I don’t really. It’s just that you already proved yourself with your emotional anti Jewish state posts whereas I am still confused about this Bannon guy. I never heard about him till recently so I don’t know him. On the other hand, I am not willing to listen to the likes of you about him because you people have zero credibility as far as I am concerned.

        But don’t fret, Ben. You ARE my pet antisemite.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          I can always count on you to make my point for me.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            No Ben. You can always count on me not to trust what you say Ben, because you proved yourself to be a Jew hater. So tell me again please why should I believe you and your kind when you bad mouth someone whom I don’t know and about whom I hear conflicting stories from different people?

            Actually, my gut feel is to say to myself that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. And I consider you to be my enemy Ben. But hey, seeing that since some other people whom I don’t consider to be my enemies also seem to bad mouth him, yet others who are also not my enemies sing his praise, I will bide my time till he himself will reveal his true self. I told you Ben, we the Jews have a sixth sense about antisemites. They cannot hide themselves from us for too long. All shall be revealed in good time. I have an open mind.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          As somebody tweeted about this, “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

          “…a world view which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests. If Trump’s people are more disgusted by Arabs than they are by Jews, we have struck quite a good deal…all forms of Zionism hold the perception that a certain extent of anti-Semitism benefits the Zionist enterprise. To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism. …it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America. Not serious anti-Semitism, not pogroms, not persecutions that will empty America from its Jews, as we need them there, but just a taste of this pungent stuff, so that we can restore our faith in Zionism.”

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            That somebody is a twit like you Ben. Assuming he is not just a mythical twit invented by you (an avowed antisemite), Ben, and assuming he really is a Zionist, even then, he is a twit. Because we have our twits too.

            Anyone who thinks that antisemitism is good as long as it is “only a little” antisemitism, would be foolish enough to get onto the back of the tiger and try to ride it. And we both know how that would end up, don’t we Ben? That is why I would never trust what the likes of you say.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Actually, I wrote my above post before reading Ben’s link. Now that I read it, any doubt which I may have had about this twit, disappeared. This twit is as much of a Zionist as Ben is. In other words, he isn’t a Zionist. How do I know? I know because he perpetrates the lies of anti Zionists. In other words, he too is an anti Zionist whose words are worth as much as Ben’s words. They are worth nothing.

            Reply to Comment
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