Good old Michael Brull: Making bricks with very little straw
Michael Brull is an Australian Jewish far-Leftist who is anti-Israel and who is a regular contributor to Australian Leftist media. Below he is desperately scratching around to find something in The Donald's words that he can construe as antisemitic. And in the typical Leftist way there is no attempt to present a balanced account of the matter.
Trump's typically provocative words when he told a Jewish group that he did not want their money is about the best he can find. And his forthright declaration that they were not going to support him was simply an accurate depiction of American Jewish politics: Jews are heavily Left-leaning. And saying that Jews tend to be good at deals is pure realism, though not, of course, politically correct. The Donald rejoices in not being correct.
So if Brull's evidence for Trump's antisemitism is feeble, what is the evidence the other way? What is Brull omitting? With Leftists, what they DON'T say is usually crucial to an accurate assessment of their claims. How about this?
"When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews. The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that's the real Donald Trump that I know."
Brull is pure slime
Donald Trump's overtly racist comments - about Muslims, Mexicans and so on - have gotten plenty of attention. But what about Trump and the Jews?
Trump's recent reaction to supportive comments by David Duke, formerly Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan will likely have many Jews feeling anxious. As American Jews tend to be liberal and vote Democrat, plenty already had reason to not like Trump's overt bigotry.
Yet Duke's racism isn't just directed at other groups. Duke and the KKK both have long records of vicious anti-Semitism.
That isn't just racism directed at others. Jews are reasonably well assimilated into American cultural and political life. Whilst the "Southern Strategy" and race-baiting towards other minorities may be a familiar form of modern American politics, Jews are traditionally insulated from those types of campaigns. This is partly because of the deep pockets of some Jewish organisations and businessman.
For example, many observers expected Jewish billionaires Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson to have enormous influence over the nomination process and presidential candidates from both the Republicans and the Democrats.
Hillary Clinton made her pitch to Saban and Jewish organisation leaders with a letter promising support for Israel and opposition to BDS, and has continued to promise to bring Israel and America closer.
Donald Trump has made a point of stressing that he doesn't need to take other people's money to run for president, because he's already so rich. So when he appeared before the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said "You're not going to support me because I don't want your money".
According to Zaid Jilani, Trump said that Jeb Bush did what he was told by his donors: "That's why you don't want to give me money, OK, but that's OK, you want to control your own politician. That's fine, good".
To some, this may sound a bit like what Bernie Sanders says all the time: that he is concerned that "a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected."
Yet Trump's comments made some Jews uneasy. Claiming that Jews want to "control" politicians echoes ugly stereotypes from earlier eras.
Trump also said to the Jewish crowd: "I'm a negotiator like you folks were negotiators. is there anyone in this room who doesn't negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I've ever spoken."
The Times of Israel headline was: "Trump courts Republican Jews with offensive stereotypes".
It may be the tone, delivery, or the additional stereotypes that made Jews suspicious of Trump. It seems there's a fine line in discussing the influence of wealthy Jews in American politics.
For example, New York Magazine had a lengthy story headlined: "Sheldon Adelson Is Ready to Buy the Presidency".
I am not aware of a backlash against the story. It may sound like an ugly stereotype, but the fact is, the super-rich do have enormous political influence in America.
Not all of the super-rich are Jews, of course, but some are. And those with means and political inclination use their money to influence politics, just like non-Jews do.
The concern about Trump is that he singled out Jews, speaking as though he had an insider knowledge about us, about our nature and about how we think.
It wasn't enough for Trump to get any major denunciations. But it was noticed by some. For example, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, said that when he sees Trump, "I like what I'm looking at".
Farrakhan explained that Trump "is the only member who has stood in front of [the]Jewish community and said, `I don't want your money. Anytime a man can say to those who control the politics of America, `I don't want your money,' that means you can't control me. And they cannot afford to give up control of the presidents of the United States."
Farrakhan has made his opinions about Jews very clear. His comments about the "Synagogue of Satan" are equal parts hateful and nuts. Yet the way he picked up on Trump's comments about Jews wasn't insane. And while it's hard to know if this kind of appeal was Trump's goal, it is hard not to notice that that is the effect of standing before Jews and telling them that they can't buy you.
Nathan Guttman in the Forward reported that Jewish Republicans are feeling nervous about Trump. Guttman observed that they hadn't united against Trump, despite his "failure to condemn dedicated anti-Semites and racists and his declaration that he would be `neutral' on Israel."
Some still back Trump - and imagine he would be a strong supporter of Israel. Others are worried about making an enemy of Trump, given the possibility of him ending up President.
Another worry might be that denouncing Trump for politically incorrect comments about Jews won't necessarily get them very far. Conservatives have been saying how awful Trump is for a while, and it has zero negative effect on his campaign.
Since Trump has shown the effectiveness of saying the outrageous, Republicans have competed in political incorrectness, relishing the ensuing controversies. Trump's unpredictability means that if he got into a fight with Jewish organisations, who knows what he might say next?
Some may remember Trump's fight with American comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart in 2013. Trump tweeted that he didn't like "Jonathan Leibowitz - I mean Jon Stewart". Trump then continued his criticisms after Jon Stewart called him "Fuckface Von Clownstick".
Trump queried that if Stewart was "so legit", then "why did he change his name from Jonathan Leibowitz?" He explained that Stewart "is a total phony - he should cherish his past - not run away from it".
Trump constantly stressing Stewart's very Jewish and long-discarded birth name seemed to suggest that there was something suspicious about a public figure not being totally upfront about his Jewishness.
Britain cannot deport thousands of failed asylum seekers because there is "nowhere to send them"
Jail them under onerous conditions and they would soon find somewhere to go themselves. Onerous conditions? How about limiting their rations to a dieter's diet of 1,000 calories per day -- to consist mostly of ham and pickle sandwiches. It would be good for their health but would be very unpopular
Britain is powerless to boot out thousands of illegal immigrants, a minister admitted last night.
In a stark indictment of the UK’s porous borders, Richard Harrington said many could not be deported because they had ‘no place to go’.
By refusing to disclose their nationality – often burning their passports – they can exploit human rights laws that bar the expulsion of failed asylum seekers of unknown origin.
Mr Harrington, who is a Home Office minister, spoke out after MPs criticised the Government for failing to send back illegals. ‘Where would they be deported to, most of them?’ he said. ‘This deportation sounds easy, it sounds a common sense thing to do. But the truth is most of these illegal migrants have got no place to be deported to.’
Tory MPs said the UK had become a ‘soft touch’ and efforts to tackle illegal immigration were at an ‘all-time low’.
Home Office data shows the number kicked out had almost halved from 21,425 in 2004 to just 12,056 last year. The Conservative revolt comes amid mounting anger at David Cameron’s failure to seize back control of Britain’s borders in his EU negotiations ahead of June’s referendum.
Christopher Chope, whose private member’s bill would make it a criminal offence to be an illegal immigrant after June, insisted migrants were given a ‘perverse incentive’ to head to the UK. The Tory MP said they were given a ‘slap on the wrist’ by ‘soft touch’ officials.
‘Public anxiety about illegal immigration is at an all-time high and the effectiveness of the Government in tackling it, in my submission, is at an all-time low,’ he added. ‘If we got tough with illegal migrants in our country then the people smugglers would divert them away from the United Kingdom, because the way people smugglers operate is they are always going to try to use the weakest points of entry.’
Mr Harrington also blamed the Dublin Convention, an EU rule under which migrants are supposed to claim asylum in the first member state they set foot in, for the UK’s inability to deport illegal immigrants.
It is often difficult to establish exactly where an individual first arrived in the EU and, in 2014, Britain sent only 49 asylum seekers back to France – despite thousands making their way here via Calais. Migrants are also spared being sent back to homelands judged unsafe.
Challenging Mr Harrington on the convention, Sir Edward Leigh, a Tory Eurosceptic, said: ‘What people can’t understand is where someone has palpably come through perfectly safe countries – Spain, France, Italy – and they’ve arrived here and they’re caught, why can’t they be sent back to France and claim asylum there?’
Figures yesterday showed that a record 1.25million asylum seekers arrived in the EU last year – more than double the figure from 2014.
The figures from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistical agency, showed that 38,400 lodged claims in the UK – a 19 per cent increase on the year before.
Campaigners and MPs warned the figures were the tip of the iceberg because they cover only official claims and do not take account of migrants who have not claimed asylum.
Many do not immediately seek sanctuary when they arrive in Europe – either waiting until they reach wealthy northern Europe or working illegally in the black market. Analysts estimate more than a million foreigners are living unlawfully in the UK.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We have legislated to make it harder for people to lodge spurious appeals and through the Immigration Act 2014 we have made it easier to remove people who should not be in the UK through the introduction of “deport now, appeal later” provisions.
'The Immigration Bill, currently going through Parliament, will extend these provisions to apply to all human rights claims by migrants, except where removal pending appeal would be in breach of their human rights.’
SodaStream boycott goes flat for Palestinians
A sustained boycott campaign spearheaded by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement forced SodaStream to close its factory in the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim last October and move its operations to Israel -- putting some 1300 jobs at risk.
On Monday, after the Israeli government let their work permits lapse because of security concerns, the company had to lay off the last of its 75 Palestinian employees who now have to worry about feeding their families and keeping roofs over their heads.
In the name of 'liberating' the Palestinians, the BDS campaigners demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, unwind its so-called apartheid policies discriminating against Israeli Arabs, and concede the right of return of Palestinian refugees as set out in UN Resolution 194.
Advocates of the BDS movement insist their target is the political regime meting out what they describe as the illegal, coercive and dehumanising treatment of Palestinians. It's all part of a systematic attempt to starve Israel of economic, social and cultural ties with other countries, and to humiliate it in the eyes of other nations.
But the three objectives amount to more than a nuanced critique of Israeli government policy; they are a sustained attack on the very legitimacy of the state of Israel itself.
Many justifiable criticisms can be leveled at Israel for not doing more to promote educational and economic opportunities for its Arab citizens. But while the target of BDS is supposed to be Israel, the real victims of this campaign for justice and liberation are the Palestinians themselves.
The Israeli government didn't force SodaStream to close its doors and sack its workers. Supporters of Palestine did the forcing, and they're okay with it. Mahoud Nawajaa, BDS coordinator in Ramallah said the job losses were simply part of the price to be paid for ending the occupation.
With the declarations of a noble and glorious victory ringing in their ears, those newly unemployed must really wonder, in the quietness of their hearts, whose side the BDS activists are really on.
Hollywood's Obsession With Faux Diversity
In a “tradition” better described as a tiresome regularity, political activism remained an integral part of Sunday’s Academy Awards show. This year’s whine about the Oscars being “so white” reflected the latest manufactured outrage by those who view everything in terms of the racial, ethnic and gender divisions. Host Chris Rock didn’t disappoint those looking to score political points, but it was hardly a one-sided skewering. As commentator Mary Katherine Ham observed, Rock “seemed to grasp that if the problem is a lack of diversity, why not diversify one’s targets?” And so he did.
He was at his best when he put the aforementioned manufactured outrage in the proper historical context:
“Why are we protesting? The big question: Why this Oscars? … It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. Okay? You gotta figure that it happened in the 50s, in the 60s. … And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? … We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”
Rock could have gone for the jugular, as in reminding (or is that informing?) a group of almost monolithically Democrat supporters that the racist-based resistance to those protests was overwhelmingly perpetrated by members of that same party, but he didn’t. Instead he likened Hollywood racism to the exclusionary practices of a college sorority. “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist,” Rock stated. “But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’ That’s how Hollywood is.”
Rock makes a point, but misses the far bigger picture regarding exclusionary tendencies. A sketch where Rock interviewed black American moviegoers in Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills was far more indicative. Other than “Straight Out of Compton,” most of the interviewees had never heard of other movies nominated for an Oscar in any category, with one woman actually accusing Rock of making up movie titles. “These are real movies!” Rock told her. “Like in London?” she asked.
More like in an industry with an over-arching problem best described by the New York Post. While noting the sketch exposes the “vast cultural distance from ‘white Hollywood’ to black working-class folks a few miles away,” the paper explains Rock would have experienced “the same reactions at cineplexes from Des Moines to Bay Ridge,” because “so much of what Hollywood makes — and even more of what it singles out for honors — just doesn’t connect to the lives of most Americans, black or white.”
The paper further notes that while many argue Hollywood could make more money with a more diverse composition of talent, it is just as likely that religion-friendly pictures would be just as remunerative. “The academy’s problem isn’t simply that it’s ‘so white,’” the Post states. “It’s that, like so much of the American elite, it has absolutely no idea how the other half lives — or what it likes.”
Not exactly. Hollywood is well aware of how millions of Americans live, but much like the “Black Lives Matter” activists, they prefer self-aggrandizing narratives versus inconvenient reality. Thus anyone in “flyover country” who isn’t aligned with the entire package of leftist dogma promulgated by both groups is labeled either bigoted, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobe, etc. — or a boob incapable of seeing that those constitute all of America’s ostensible evils.
In that vein Rock gave the glitterati just what they wanted. “Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars,” he said. “This year, in the ‘In Memoriam’ package — it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”
Perhaps a better ‘In Memoriam’ package would have mentioned the black people who were shot and killed by black criminal thugs in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Atlanta and St. Louis, where surging murder rates are likely attributable to the relentless police-bashing that has made many officers fearful of doing their jobs.
Ironically, Rock was criticized for a lack of diversity in his criticism about a lack of diversity. “Representation is a problem in Hollywood for all minorities, but all night long, the show’s jokes focused almost entirely on the problem as it pertains to black people,” complained Washington Post columnist Jessica Contrera, who also hammered Rock for a “crude” Asian joke that consisted of bringing three Asian children onstage, posing as bankers from PricewaterhouseCoopers. “They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard working representatives,” Rock said. “Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.” In a follow-up jab, he added, “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.”
Contrera’s angst also focuses on the dearth of Hispanic actors “who are twice as under-represented as black actors at the Oscars,” pointing readers to another Washington Post piece by Dan Zak. Zak provided plenty of graphs demonstrating the Left’s idea of “diversity” is all about sufficient minority representation relative to each ethnic group’s share of the nation’s population. One is left to wonder if such bean counting must be as rigorously applied to an NBA dominated by black Americans, an LPGA dominated by Asians, or any other enterprise with “disparate” ethnic representations.
In truth, Hollywood’s 800-pound gorilla isn’t the dearth of minority representation, or even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) investigation of gender discrimination that may lead to a class-action lawsuit. It is their industry-wide contempt for conservatism. “Conservatives should never stop noting that the three primary targets of contemporary race protests — big cities, universities, and Hollywood — are staffed top-to-bottom with leftists and have been for decades,” explains National Review’s David French.
To his credit, Chris Rock pointed out some of that hypocrisy, but who’s kidding whom? The leftist-dominated big cities, universities and Hollywood are America’s epicenters of ideological apartheid.
Perhaps next year Academy voters will feel some pressure to be more inclusionary and diverse. But one shouldn’t expect ideology to be part of the equation.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.