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Two Presidential Campaigns, Two Anti-Semitism Scandals

July 11 2016

Last week, Max Blumenthal—a professional hater of Israel and the Jews whose father is a sometime confidant of Hillary Clinton—assaulted the memory of Elie Wiesel. While Clinton has privately praised the younger Blumenthal’s work in the past, her campaign responded by condemning his latest outburst. Meanwhile, Donald Trump faced an anti-Semitism scandal of his own. Ben Cohen compares the candidates’ responses:

After retweeting an image sourced to a white-supremacist website that showed a grinning Clinton superimposed onto a pile of money and a Star of David, Trump compounded the offense by blockheadedly sticking to his guns, criticizing his staff for deleting the tweet instead of “defending it.”

At the same time that Trump engages in anti-Semitism denial—something he does every time the issue of his white-supremacist supporters comes up—his campaign pursues the tiresome tactic of putting his Jewish daughter and Jewish son-in-law before the media in his defense. . . .

Except that nobody serious has called Trump an anti-Semite. The charge is that he tolerates anti-Semites and even enables them when it suits him to do so. Citing your Jewish relatives and friends is a favored method of the Israel-haters—“Some of my best friends are Jews!”—and most Jews aren’t fooled by it. They also aren’t fooled by Trump, who further insults our community by insinuating that we’re stupid enough to believe that he understands what constitutes anti-Semitism better than we do.

What both candidates need to do is declare a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism around their respective campaigns.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, Elie Wiesel, Hillary Clinton, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Presidential election

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy