It would seem that American politicians and media think that the entire world should rightly conform to the marching orders emanating from Washington, even though that pretense has become a bit shopworn after more than twenty years of pointless wars initiated and sustained by a serious of clueless presidents and Congress. Increasingly, the international community is looking for a way out of the tight embrace offered by the White House, a growing sense that a multipolar world would be much better than “rule of law” dictated by any self-proclaimed superpower.
Recently there have been indications that rather than Washington being the center of the universe that title should rightly belong to Jerusalem as an extremist-led Israel has demonstrated its power over the self-anointed idiots who fancy themselves to be the “leaders” of the United States of America. Why do I think that? I truly believe that there have been several interactions lately involving US politicians and the Israelis that illustrate just how ignorant and self-absorbed America’s governing class actually is. The most egregious example of the “wag the dog” syndrome whereby Israel says “jump” and the fawning American government representatives beg to ask “How high?” comes from none other the newly appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, who spoke before the Israeli Knesset on May 1st. McCarthy made it a point to flatter his Israeli hosts by emphasizing that traveling to Israel was his first foreign trip as speaker, underlining the value of the relationship, and observing that he was also only the second speaker invited to make the trip to the Jewish state to address the Knesset.
McCarthy was accompanied by the usual cast of congressional toadies who flock to Israel during every recess. The group was bipartisan and included the loathsome Steny Hoyer of Maryland who has made and even led the groveling entourage more than twenty times. The ambition-driven McCarthy, who has never been accused of having a great deal of brain power, delivered a predictable speech that produced the pro forma standing ovations from the audience, but I would call attention to one part of it in particular where he said the following: “This is the foundation of our special relationship: We are the only two countries in history that were conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we are all equal. Our values are your values. Our heritage is your heritage. Our dreams are your dreams. America is grateful for our friendship with Israel. We are a better nation because of it. And we must never shy away from defending it… As long as I am speaker, America will continue to support fully funding for security assistance in Israel.”
Nearly every line in this part of the McCarthy speech is basically either an out-and-out lie or a twisting of reality to such an extent that it is incomprehensible. Palestine, by the way, was not mentioned by McCarthy, but how Israel can claim to be “conceived in liberty” with the “proposition that we are all equal” when it has been engaged in genocide and expulsion as well as government endorsed violence directed against its Christian and Muslim subject population? And if American and Israeli values are identical, can we expect in the US different laws based on religion. And our common “heritage?” Israeli Jews claim to be “chosen,” don’t they? And finally, how on earth does McCarthy claim that the United States is a better nation because of its ties to Israel? It is ridiculous and insulting, but it leads to the punchline that McCarthy is making an unconstitutional pledge to defend Israel, no matter what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of criminals do, presumably to include attacking Iran. McCarthy should be impeached. Or even better he should magically become a Palestinian and spend a couple of months under the Israeli occupation. He might change his tune.
McCarthy continued his exaltation of Israel campaign after his return to Washington. On May 9th, he blocked an effort by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to host a gathering at the Capitol Visitor Center that would have included least nine groups for an event entitled “Nakba 75 and the Palestinian People.” “Nakba” in the title of Tlaib’s canceled event is the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which would have meant the speakers would be describing the founding of the state of Israel as a “catastrophe” for the Arab inhabitants of historic Palestine, which it was with hundreds of thousands left homeless, many winding up in refugee camps. McCarthy announced in a message that he was shutting down the event, tweeting that “This event in the US Capitol is canceled. Instead, I will host a bipartisan discussion to honor the 75th anniversary of the US-Israel relationship.” McCarthy announcement was in response to a letter from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to him which said ADL had concerns that some of the organizers of the “Nakba” event “have a record of rhetoric that demonizes and delegitimizes Israel, as well as dangerous stereotypes about Israel’s supporters.” Apparently free speech relating to a historic event is not even allowed to congressmen in today’s Zionist-occupied America.
If more evidence of the slime that is at the heart of the American political class is needed, I would cite another event which took place in Jerusalem on April 27th as both shameful and a disgrace. And “no” I am not referring to the Israeli police and army shooting dead more Palestinian teenagers on and around that date before stealing their family homes and destroying their livelihoods. I am referring to Florida’s governor and presidential aspirant Ron DeSantis’s groveling performance in bowing to Jewish power and money during his own trip to Israel. His abhorrent crawling before his masters culminated in his signing a new state law that will inter alia exploit the “hate” mechanism to criminalize nearly all criticism or even skepticism regarding Israeli apartheid, of the co-called holocaust narrative, or of the behavior of Jewish groups and individuals.
At the signing, DeSantis boasted how “We are doing what we can do in Florida to enhance the ability to hold people accountable when that really crosses the line into threatening conduct. We are fighting back.” He also made clear that the legislation was as much about Israel as about Judaism, arguing that rejecting “Israel’s right to exist is antisemitism” and adding that the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is “DOA” in his state. He also bizarrely described “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons” as an “existential threat to the state of Israel and to the United States of America.”
Perhaps DeSantis should have checked with the CIA and even Mossad before commenting on Iran as both have confirmed that the Iranians do not currently have a nuclear weapons program. Unsurprisingly DeSantis claims that “Florida is the most Israel-friendly state in the country and as long as I’m Governor, we will continue to stand with the Jewish community.” In that he is no doubt correct. Twenty-six other states have penalized anyone seeking to either boycott Israel or promote doing so, sometimes to include denial of government jobs or benefits, but there is no doubt that Florida is currently number one in its deference to the Jewish state and its claimed interests.
The bill (HB 269/SB 994), which passed unanimously in both chambers of the Florida legislature, attempts to criminalize what it perceives as anti-Semitism. Even though its language avoids identifying Jews as the protected class, the clear intent of the document is to do just that. It accomplishes that by transforming what would have once been seen as trivial incidents into hate crimes, which are felonies. It includes “to litter a yard with a flier, harass people, disrupt schools or religious services, deface graves and certain buildings, or project images on someone else’s property” as possible actions rendered felonious based on racial or ethnic prejudice, making them hate crimes. It might mean, for example, that if someone laughs at another person’s clothes and if the attire is considered “ethnic or religious” that person can be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony as a hate crime. Or if a student in a college history class disputes the standard largely fabricated narrative relating to the founding of Israel, a Jewish student can feign distress and demand that the offender be arrested.
One of the bill’s co-sponsor’s State Representative Randy Fine, who was present at the signing in Jerusalem, explained how “There is no First Amendment right to conduct. If you graffiti a building, it is a crime now, but if your motivation is hate, it will be a third-degree felony and you will spend five years in prison. If you want to litter, it’s a crime right now, but if you litter and your motivation is a hate crime, it will be a third-degree felony and you will spend 5 years in jail.” After the bill passed the Senate, Fine tweeted that the bill was “the strongest antisemitism bill in the United States” adding “To Florida’s Nazi thugs, I have news: attack Jews on their property and you’re going to prison. Never again means never again.” Another co-sponsor Mike Caruso warned “If we do nothing, we are going to have 1933’s Nazi Germany all over again.”
DeSantis, who is seeking Jewish money and media support for his run at the presidency, turned in something of a repeat performance of his inaugural trip to Israel back in 2019. At that time, he boasted, like Kevin McCarthy, that his first foreign trip was to good friend and perpetual ally Israel. He took his entire gubernatorial cabinet with him to celebrate his election and theatrically signed an earlier bill (HB 741) in Jerusalem that sought to “criminalize ordinary political speech” by making religion as a “protected class” similar to “racism” to be included in “hate crime” legislation. The new designation specifically included attempts to “demonize Israel.”
The Florida bill also included the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, similar to that which is favored by the office of the US Department of State’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, maintaining that “anti-Semitism” is “a certain perception of Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jewish people, rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism directed toward a person, his or her property, or toward Jewish community institutions or religious facilities.” Under the bill, the BDS movement was defined as a terrorist “hate” group no different than the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) or the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS), which at that time prompted some civil libertarians to question if criticism of the behavior of the Jewish state could be deliberately mischaracterized as being an “anti-Semitic hate crime” that should or might be construed as criticism of the Jewish people and their religion.
HB 741 amended Florida’s “hate crime” statute to include such “antisemitic” acts as:
“Calling for, aiding, or justifying violence against Jews.
“Alleging myths about a world Jewish conspiracy or that Jews control the media, economy, government, or other institutions.
“Accusing Jewish people as a whole of being responsible for real or imaginary wrongdoing by a single Jewish person, group, or the state of Israel, or for acts of non-Jews.
“Accusing the Jewish people of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
“Accusing Jewish citizens of countries other than Israel of being more loyal to Israel than their own nations.
“Demonizing, applying a double standard to, or delegitimizing Israel.”
DeSantis has long nurtured political ambitions and, recognizing the power and wealth of those who are passionate about Israel, he harbors a particular “sensitivity” to Jewish and Israel issues as a means to help him move onwards and upwards. When he was a congressman, survivors from the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American seamen who lived in his district in Florida report that they sought to meet with him to discuss the possibility of opening a new inquiry into the incident. Even though DeSantis is a former Navy officer, he refused to meet with them.
The power of international Jewry has been most observable in the largely successful attempts to silence criticism of Israel by making such activity describable as motivated by anti-Semitism. Former Israeli government minister Shulamit Aloni has even described the practice of labeling all critics as anti-Semites as “It’s a trick. We always use it…the suffering of the Jewish people” is routinely used to “justify everything we do to the Palestinians.” A number of European countries have also criminalized what is described as “holocaust denial” and in Germany and France have imprisoned those who violate the laws, even when that denial only consists of questioning some of the facts that are employed in the standard accepted narrative of the event. The most recent country to climb onto the “hate speech” express is Ireland, where new legislation is being considered by the country’s parliament. Interestingly, the debate over what one is allowed to say without criminally offending someone else has largely focused on transexuals and gender identity, but it has also been observed that the law would impact on supporters of the Palestinian cause who would perforce criticize Israel, the Jewish state. That might easily be construed as anti-Semitism and lead to heavy fines or even prison time. Interestingly, the bill even criminalizes the mere possession of material considered to be “hateful.”
In any event, the domestic war dedicated to stamping out what is referred to as anti-Semitism continues and grows in the United States, even when it is trivial, largely imaginary, or even fabricated by hate groups like the ADL headed by the hideous Jonathan Greenblatt. And if free speech and honest inquiry have to be sacrificed along the way, so be it. On May 10th the Biden Administration used its United Nations Security Council veto to block a report on Israel’s war crimes in targeting civilians while bombing Gaza, which has killed 25 Palestinians, mostly women and children. Unsurprisingly, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan responded to the development by declaring their unwavering support for “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Clearly, for the vast majority of politicians in Washington and even at the states level, allegiance and subservience to Israel and its interests are more important than protecting constitutional rights or managing a sane and responsible foreign policy. One wonders whether Ron DeSantis, if elected president in 2024, just might hold his inauguration in Jerusalem, just as he did when he became governor. It would actually be something of a relief – at last the ultimate acknowledgement of who is really in charge back here in America.
IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
The DeSantis campaign declined to elaborate on the reason for Nate Hochman's sacking
By Sam Cabral
The US presidential campaign of Ron DeSantis has fired an aide who shared online a clip featuring a symbol that was adopted by the Nazis.
Nate Hochman, a speechwriter, posted the 68-second video from a pro-DeSantis account on social media over the weekend before quickly deleting it.
The clip shows Mr DeSantis superimposed on a sonnenrad, or sun-wheel.
US media reports say Mr Hochman, 25, created the video. When contacted by the BBC, he declined to comment.
It comes as the Florida governor's 2024 campaign shaved more than a third of staff from its payroll on Tuesday.
A campaign spokesman confirmed Mr Hochman's sacking, but declined to elaborate.
"Nate Hochman is no longer with the campaign," the official told the BBC's US partner CBS News. "And we will not be commenting on him further."
The video was posted on Saturday by an anonymously run account followed by several DeSantis staffers on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The clip ends with the seal of Florida turning into a spinning sonnenrad, superimposed with Mr DeSantis' face and with rifle-bearing soldiers marching on either side.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate monitor, the sonnenrad is an ancient European symbol that was "appropriated by the Nazis in their attempt to invent an idealised 'Aryan/Norse' heritage".
Modern-day white supremacists have adopted versions of the sonnenrad. Other variations include the swastika.
Reports from Axios and Semafor said Mr Hochman created the now-deleted video,
It is the second online clip to spark criticism of Mr DeSantis.
Last month, another since-deleted production promoted by the campaign marked the end of Pride month by accusing Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, of being too friendly with the LGBT community.
The clip, a compilation of online memes and pop culture footage, was criticised as both homophobic and homoerotic.
He left his post at the conservative National Review magazine to join the DeSantis campaign's communications team in March.
Mr Hochman was one of 38 staffers fired in recent weeks in a bid to "streamline operations", the campaign confirmed on Tuesday.
Mr DeSantis has dropped below 20% in national opinion polls as Mr Trump widens his lead over a crowded Republican field of White House hopefuls.
Wealthy donors have told US media they are looking at other candidates, and recent fundraising numbers suggest the Florida governor has also struggled to gain traction with small-dollar grassroots donors.
But the campaign is relying on Never Back Down, an independent super PAC that has amassed $130m (£100m) in support for Mr DeSantis.
CBS News reported on Tuesday that Never Back Down has hired hundreds of volunteers and is shouldering much of the organising in early voting states.