Worried their chance to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could slip away, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans and the White House are not protecting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh more forcefully from a sexual assault allegation and warning that conservative voters may stay home in November if his nomination falls apart.
Vladimir Putin, then head of the KGB in Saxony, who was involved in the Soviet drive to halt reform. “At the time he was a major. Admittedly he was the head of the KGB in Saxony but he was an unknown,” said Shore. “His presence at the rallies and other locations just confirmed the Russians and East German authorities were doing their best to stamp out the freedom movement. There was no hint that one day he might become the most powerful and dangerous man on the planet. My personal paranoia grew, which it does when you’re working alone and undercover – he quickly became an itch I couldn’t scratch. He was just always there.”
Carlo Maria Viganò, formerly the Vatican’s top diplomat in the United States, charges that Francis was complicit in covering up abuses by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Under Mohammed bin Salman, the country has so far been involved in spats with Canada, Germany and Sweden, and embroiled itself in conflict with Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon. There is no “top-down” Arab spring here. Just a taste of what volatile princes, humoured by a gullible west, are capable of in a world where the old rules no longer apply.
The latest harassment and deportation of Jewish American activists is significant for one reason: it sends a message to liberal and left-wing Jews around the world that they are unwelcome here, and that they should be ready to face the consequences if they try to enter. The irony of Israel recently crowning itself as the “Jewish Nation-State” at the same time as it is turning away increasing numbers of Jews due to their political views should not be lost on anyone. Yet despite all the fear mongering, harassment and intimidation, Jews will remain a central part of the struggle against the occupation and for justice in Israel-Palestine. That will likely mean more interrogations, more deportations, more blacklists, and more silencing of dissent. That means that for American Jews, like it has always meant for Palestinians in the diaspora, the fight for justice in Israel-Palestine may soon only be possible from afar.
Netanyahu has thrown the dice and made a calculated decision to abandon not only American Jews at odds with Israel’s ascendant populist agenda, but Judaism itself.
That is, Judaism as we know it: progressive, scholarly Judaism in dialogue with the outside world for thousands of years. The Judaism whose greatest works and innovations developed in Babylon, Spain, and Poland. Intellectual Judaism that absorbed and pollinated the Enlightenment (Mendelssohn); philosophy (Buber, Scholem, Marx, Frankl, Arendt); American equal rights movements (Steinem, Friedan, Milk); and culture (Gershwin, Berlin, Streisand, Mailer, Allen, Marx, Polanski). Tolerant Judaism with an outsider’s sensibility that “loves the stranger,” as commanded 36 times in the Torah.
Netanyahu wants to throw all that in history’s trash bin. He wants to mutate Jewish identity into Jewish hubris and turn Israel into a walled fortress of illiberal ethnocracy.
The president’s language and his focus on California drew a sharp rebuke from Jerry Brown, the state’s Democratic governor. “Trump is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of California,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth-largest economy in the world, are not impressed.”
As with so many mass shootings before, the fringe right is racing once again to generate some theory — any theory — to cast doubt on the circumstances of last week’s Parkland, Florida, shooting.
This latest incident should be added to a gallery of physical and moral assaults on the Jews who fall outside these criteria, whether it’s the recent deportation of a Kenyan Jew with a valid visa (“Do you want half of Africa coming here?” cried an Interior Ministry official); the arrests of women who try to bring a Torah to the Western Wall; or the violent disdain for Reform Jews, whom Jerusalem’s chief rabbi not long ago declared to be “worse than Holocaust deniers.”
There is a toxic mix of prejudices at work here: racism, illiberalism, religious chauvinism. As the checks on these impulses fall by the wayside — and not just in Israel — these blacklists will continue to grow. For now, though, this latest ban sends a clear message: acting in support of Palestinian human and civil rights makes you persona non grata in Israel.