Friday, December 16, 2016

HARDLINE AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL? FAN BASE FULL OF ANTI-SEMITES? NO CONTRADICTION FOR TRUMP.

In picking an ambassador to Israel, Donald Trump went hardcore:
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel, elevating a campaign adviser who has questioned the need for a two-state solution and has likened left-leaning Jews in America to the Jews who aided the Nazis in the Holocaust....

Mr. Friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, has said that he does not believe it would be illegal for Israel to annex the occupied West Bank and he supports building new settlements there, which Washington has long condemned as illegitimate and an obstacle to peace.
Haaretz's Chemi Shalev says that Friedman
is an extreme right-winger. He might find a place in the settler movement or with Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi Party, but only on its right-wing fringes. He makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist. From where Friedman stands, most Israelis, never mind most American Jews, are more or less traitors.

... Friedman’s appointment ... could weaken Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority -- which would please Friedman, as he has often written -- and give rise to more extreme leaders who will try to spark a new and violent intifada.
The Forward notes the Jared Kushner connection:
In recent years, the parents of Jared Kushner -- the son-in-law and trusted confidant of President-elect Donald Trump -- have donated tens of thousands of dollars to organizations and institutions located in the West Bank settlements, according to their tax forms....

Jared Kushner ... sits on the board of his parents’ family foundation....

Among organizations and institutions in the West Bank that receive funding from the Kushner family, the leading beneficiary is American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva. Located in one of the more hard-line, ideological settlements, Beit El Yeshiva received $20,000 from the Kushner family in 2013.

The president of American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, whose offices are located in Forest Hills, New York, is David Friedman....
But isn't Trump's fan base full of anti-Semites? If you're a Jewish journalist and you write something negative about Trump, aren't you likely to be bombarded with Photoshopped depictions of yourself in the gas chambers, and worse? How do we reconcile these things?

I don't think Trump has deep convictions about Jews or the state of Israel. If he has a deeply held belief, it's that he likes fighting with people -- and in the case of both the pro-settlement hardliners and the anti-Semitic alt-right, he's siding with the angriest, least accommodating people. Such people are always Trump's kind of people.

This also explains why a guy who had moderate or even liberal views on a numbers of issues over the years is now putting together the most conservative Cabinet in American history: Trump likes picking fights, and the right is where you want to go if you think everything in politics should be a zero-sum battle to the death.

In politics, where did Trump find his happy place? He found it watching Fox News, where every ideological disagreement is for massive stakes and on every issue there can be only one winner. Trump mixes traditional Roger Ailes conservatism with Pat Buchanan paleoconservatism and Steve Bannon whatever-it-is-ism -- and being an ultra on Israel works too. Whatever leads to the most combat.

5 comments:

Kathy said...

You might find this interesting in terms of David Friedman and anti-semitism: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.759473

Professor Chaos said...

The American right has long had this weird attitude. They love Israel but don't really like Jews. The anti-Semitic conservative base won't have a problem with a rabidly pro-Israel apppintee. They hate Palestinians more than they hate Jews.

Paradoctor said...

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Stephanie Avebury said...

I ran a homeless shelter for young women. Once in a group meeting meant for the women to work out some conflicts one woman said, "I want to know why Jane can't stand Carol." A fight broke out and my immediate thought was that she was up to something. And she was and ended up being asked to leave because of drugs.
I have had that feeling for several weeks now with Trump too. All this fighting and chaos isn't just for fun! The grift has gone global now. The grifters are running things and they are going to need a much, much bigger distraction to keep it going. The fog of war can hide a lot. As always we'll have to follow the money to see the real point behind all the death and destruction.

Phil Freeman said...

I think there's a simpler explanation: Friedman was Trump's bankruptcy lawyer in his Atlantic City casino cases. This is just a reward for loyal service. Actual positions on issues don't weigh into it.