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  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   16 hours 39 min ago

    This week's loser is WaPo columnist Marc Thiessen, for his reductive anti-Muslim rhetoric:

    During a news conference on Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., accused Israel of denying her and fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., entry because they are “the first two Muslim American women elected to Congress.”

    On Twitter, Omar was even more pointed, accusing Israel of implementing “Trump’s Muslim ban” — a calumny echoed by supposedly responsible Democrats such as Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who tweeted “PM Netanyahu — Drop your Muslim ban.”

    Sorry, it’s not a Muslim ban; it’s an anti-Semite ban.

    Sorry, it's not an anti-Semite ban, because Israel apparently doesn't care about that:

    Gavin McInnes, founder of the white nationalist Proud Boys, was allowed to visited Israel in 2017. He described his personal animus toward Jewish people in a video shot in Tel Aviv that was originally titled "10 Things I Hate About Jews."

    "I'm becoming anti-Semitic," McInnes said during his visit, before reiterating common talking points used by Holocaust deniers. "I felt myself defending the super far-right Nazis just because I was sick of so much brainwashing and I felt like going, 'Well, they never said it didn't happen. What they're saying is it was much less than six million and that they starved to death and weren't gassed.'"

    McInnes is far from the only far-right nationalist welcomed by Israel: Former Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopolous—who sang "America the Beautiful" for American neo-Nazi Richard Spencer—was also allowed into the country, as was former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, who appeared on Fox News on the night of Trump's inauguration reportedly wearing the badge of the Order of Vitéz, a defunct Hungarian group "under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany," according to the State Department.

    Also, Israel was more than happy to allow the right-wing leader of Poland to visit, but he canceled his trip after Netanyahu made some (accurate) comments about Poland's role in the Holocaust.

    So, you can be a white and outspoken anti-Semite and still get into Israel, but if you're a Muslim who dares speak out about the oppression of Palestinians, that's a different story. Back to the OP:

    Israel’s decision to bar the two U.S. lawmakers was a mistake, because it has given them a much bigger platform from which to attack Israel. But let’s be clear: There is nothing outrageous about Israel’s decision to bar entry to politicians who advocate its destruction.

    If Omar and Tlaib can boycott Israel, why can’t Israel boycott them?

    Let me explain this so that even a moron like the author can understand: BDS is not about destroying Israel, it's about using economic leverage to alter its behavior. Behavior like bulldozing entire Palestinian neighborhoods in the West Bank to make room for Israeli Settlers. Behavior like using hydraulic despotism to control and punish people in Gaza.

    Diplomacy from the U.S., Europe, the United Nations, and all points in-between has failed to curb this behavior, and that lack of success actually created the BDS movement. You want someone to blame? Look in the damned mirror.

    Like Omar, Tlaib has accused her colleagues of dual loyalty — a classic anti-Semitic trope — declaring “they forgot what country they represent.” She advocates a one-state solution, which means she opposes the very existence of the state of Israel.

    And here you see the classic art of the propagandist: leaving out critical information because it would make their claim obviously false.

    A one state solution simply means all individuals within x territory would have equal rights. That's right, equal rights. Roughly 75% of the 9 million Israeli citizens are Jews, but in the Occupied Territory, that percentage is reversed for the 4.9 million who live there. Jews make up about 13% of that population. If those two populations were combined, Jews would represent just under 53% of the total.

    So yes, Israel as we know it would cease to exist, but it would not be "destroyed," unless you believe democracy is a destructive force. And make no mistake; the current situation is not a democracy. But we have neither the time nor the tools to solve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis on this blog. All I would ask is this: Do your research on the BDS movement, and keep an open mind.

    Back to the shtik drek:

    There is anti-Semitism on both the right and the left. On the right, anti-Semitism manifests itself in skinheads marching in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us!” On the left, anti-Semitism manifests itself in Democratic members of Congress who compare Israel to Nazi Germany. But while right-wing anti-Semites remain on the political fringes, where they belong, on the left, anti-Semites have found their way into the halls of power and are being defended by the party’s leaders.

    Dude, the United States Department of Justice just got spanked because it was sending out daily news briefs that originated at White Supremacist websites and publications, but don't take my word for it:

    The latest example of an entire administration being functionally in over its head comes from the Justice Department, which, BuzzFeed News reports, managed to send out a white nationalist blog post—from a hate group no less—in its daily immigration news roundup that is distributed to hundreds of immigration court employees, including immigration judges.

    The post, which came from Vdare, a well-known repository for hate speech, targets immigration judges by name, using photos and anti-Semitic slurs. “The post features links and content that directly attacks sitting Immigration Judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs and the label ‘Kritarch,’” Judge Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said in a letter to the head of the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. “VDare’s use of the term in a pejorative manner casts Jewish history in a negative light as an Anti-Semitic trope of Jews seeking power and control.”

    A DOJ spokesperson said the daily news briefing, which includes as many as two dozen pages of immigration-related news items, is provided by an outside contractor, the firm TechMIS. But, for the record, “the Department of Justice condemns Anti-Semitism in the strongest terms,” a spokesperson said. Oh.

    Strangely enough, this brings me back to the BDS movement, and the twisted response from Republicans. They tried to pass a law here in NC that would prohibit state government from contracting out to private companies who have pledged to boycott Israel. That's right, they want to boycott the boycotters, but use the force of law to back it up.

    But I'm sure those Republicans are just fine with a US DOJ contractor sending out white supremacist nonsense. Welcome to Absurdistan...

  • Reply to: Republicans want to buy you for 34 cents a day. Tell them "no."   1 day 20 hours ago

    Almost twenty years ago, the GOP used the same tactic with a promotional letter for Bush. Remember that?

  • Reply to: Republicans want to buy you for 34 cents a day. Tell them "no."   2 days 10 hours ago

    BergerMooore is trying to give Dale Folwell some free public relations by letting him put a "note" in with the checks. Folwell doesn't have a damn thing to do with the tax process, other than to "house" the funds in the Treasury.

    So whichever Dem steps forward to challenge him would be the perfect recipient for those donations...

  • Reply to: Republicans want to buy you for 34 cents a day. Tell them "no."   2 days 10 hours ago

    ... it's a good incentive to give $125 to the Democratic NC legislature candidate of your choice or to Planned Parenthood in BergerMoore's name.

  • Reply to: Friday News: That's not coverage   2 days 19 hours ago

    Bolsonaro's wild claim that NGO's are setting the fires would have earned him nothing but scorn and contempt a few years ago, but Donald Trump has normalized such (outrageous) lies. It doesn't matter if it can be proved, or that it's an obvious lie; if your base is dumb enough to believe it, it works just fine.