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Category Archives: North America

President Trump’s Jerusalem decision risks uniting the entire Arab world against the US

President Trump and the Israeli government will have foreseen and discounted a Palestinian “day of rage” and protests among Muslims everywhere in the wake of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move its embassy there. They assume that this will all blow over because US allies such as the rulers of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt will be satisfied with pro-forma protests, and the Palestinians are too weak to do anything except demonstrate ineffectively.

The US and Israel could be miscalculating: when I lived in Jerusalem I came to believe that many dramatic events in Israel, such as shootings and bombings, often had less effect than the outside world expected. But anything involving Jerusalem itself, and above all its Muslim holy sites, had a much bigger impact than anybody had imagined.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-israel-jerusalem-iran-turkey-sunni-shia-palestine-uprising-a8099801.html

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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The real reason Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel was because he feared losing his evangelical voter base

I have got my latest Prayergram post. It is, quite aptly, on the topic of the day: the “Jerusalem Prayer”.

One passage reads “God bless Donald J Trump! He understands the real principles behind success. It is not being good at what you do or understanding theory and practice. It is being on the right side of the blessing of God. Whoever blesses Israel shall be blessed: whoever curses Israel shall be cursed.”

And, lest there be any misunderstanding: “If we bless Israel, regardless of its faults, lack of faith, both personally and organisationally, God bless us. While the world cries out, Donald J Trump who learned about the blessing on his mother’s knee, masters the simple, plodding art of doing the right thing regardless of consequences.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jerusalem-donald-trump-israel-capital-decision-reason-why-evangelical-voters-us-fear-a8099321.html

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Time for Europe to Take the Lead on Peace

Zionists have never liked Jerusalem. Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, dreamed of a capital city in the north of the country, on the slopes of the Carmel Mountains overlooking the Mediterranean. He had nothing but disdain for the Western Wall in Jerusalem, once writing: “What superstition and fanaticism on every side!”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/trump-decision-on-jerusalem-makes-peace-more-difficult-a-1182367.html

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Today’s anti-fascist movement will do nothing to get rid of right-wing populism – it’s just panicky posturing

Marx’s formula of religion as the opium of the people needs some serious rethinking today. It is true that radical Islam is an exemplary case of religion as the opium of the people: a false confrontation with capitalist modernity which allows some fundamentalist Muslims to dwell in their ideological dream while their countries are ravaged by the effects of global capitalism – and exactly the same holds for Christian fundamentalism. However, there are today, in our Western world, two other versions of the opium of the people: the opium and the people.

As Laurent de Sutter demonstrated, chemistry (in its scientific version) is becoming part of us: large aspects of our lives are characterised by the management of our emotions by drugs, from everyday use of sleeping pills and antidepressants to hard narcotics. We are not just controlled by impenetrable social powers; our very emotions are “outsourced” to chemical stimulation.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/antifa-populism-white-nationalism-populism-brexit-donald-trump-alt-right-racism-a8097376.html

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in European Union, North America

 

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Donald Trump says recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will bring peace – it will do quite the opposite

I was called by an Irish radio station in Dublin to respond to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What did I think was going on inside the US President’s mind, I was asked? And I replied immediately: “I don’t have the key to the lunatic asylum.” What might once have seemed an outrageously over-the-top remark was simply accepted as a normal journalistic reaction to the leader of the world’s greatest superpower. And re-listening to the speech that Trump made in the White House, I realised I should have been far less restrained. The very text of the document is insane, preposterous, shameful.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-israel-palestine-moving-capital-failed-to-bring-peace-a8096741.html?amp

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Jerusalem embassy: Donald Trump’s decision on Israel will seriously harm US influence in the Muslim world

The expected announcement by President Trump that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the US embassy there could mark a critical stage in the reduction of US influence in the world. Seldom, if ever, has such an important US policy initiative been so universally criticised or condemned by almost every country in the world.

President Trump has previously provoked anger in important countries allied to the US since the Second World War such as the UK, Japan, Australia and Germany, but they have tried to continue their past relationship and ignore or play down Mr Trump’s explosive tweets and departure from international treaties. But this time round expressions of extreme disagreement are more than usually mixed with scorn and bemusement at a move which may help Mr Trump in US domestic politics but will seriously damage US political primacy in the region. Even steadfast US allies do not want to become collateral damage.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-jerusalem-us-embassy-capital-decision-muslim-world-saudi-arabia-palestine-turkey-a8095656.html?amp

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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How Trump walked into Putin’s web

Moscow, summer 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev is in power. Official relations with the west have softened, but the KGB still assumes all western embassy workers are spooks. The KGB agents assigned to them are easy to spot. They have a method. Sometimes they pursue targets on foot, sometimes in cars. The officers charged with keeping tabs on western diplomats are never subtle.

One of their specialities is breaking into Moscow apartments. The owners are always away, of course. The KGB leave a series of clues – stolen shoes, women’s tights knotted together, cigarette butts stomped out and left demonstratively on the floor. Or a surprise turd in the toilet, waiting in grim ambush. The message, crudely put, is this: we are the masters here! We can do what the fuck we please!

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/15/how-trump-walked-into-putins-web-luke

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Europe, North America

 

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Trump’s Transition Team Colluded With Israel. Why Isn’t That News?

Did the Trump campaign collude with Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election? Maybe. We await Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s next move to learn more about that. But in the meantime, why aren’t more members of Congress or the media discussing the Trump transition team’s pretty brazen collusion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to undermine both U.S. government policy and international law? Shouldn’t that be treated as a major scandal?

Thanks to Mueller’s ongoing investigation, we now know that prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, members of his inner circle went to bat on behalf of Israel, and specifically on behalf of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, behind the scenes and in opposition to official U.S. foreign policy. That’s the kind of collusion with a foreign state that has gotten a lot of attention with respect to the Kremlin – but colluding with Israel seems to be of far less interest, strangely.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/05/michael-flynn-jared-kushner-israel-settlements-trump/

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Trump’s Willing Accomplices

NEW YORK – On February 20, 1933, a secret meeting took place in Hermann Göring’s palatial residence in Berlin. More than 20 of Germany’s top industrialists, including Gustav Krupp, Friedrich Flick, and Fritz von Opel, listened to a speech by Hitler, who promised them that their assets would be safe under his rule. So they agreed to support the Nazi Party with over two million Reichsmark, an enormous sum that was almost enough to pay for the upcoming election campaign.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-willing-accomplices-big-business-by-ian-buruma-2017-12

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in North America

 

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Is it too late to save the world? Jonathan Franzen on one year of Trump’s America

If an essay is something essayed – something hazarded, not definitive, not authoritative; something ventured on the basis of the author’s personal experience and subjectivity – we might seem to be living in an essayistic golden age. Which party you went to on Friday night, how you were treated by a flight attendant, what your take on the political outrage of the day is: the presumption of social media is that even the tiniest subjective micronarrative is worthy not only of private notation, as in a diary, but of sharing with other people. The US president now operates on this presumption. Traditionally hard news reporting, in places like the New York Times, has softened up to allow the I, with its voice and opinions and impressions, to take the front-page spotlight, and book reviewers feel less and less constrained to discuss books with any kind of objectivity. It didn’t use to matter if Raskolnikov and Lily Bart were likable, but the question of “likability,” with its implicit privileging of the reviewer’s personal feelings, is now a key element of critical judgment. Literary fiction itself is looking more and more like essay.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/nov/04/jonathan-franzen-too-late-to-save-world-donald-trump-environment

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in North America

 

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