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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:09 am 
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The Skimm 5/16/18 -

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What to say when your coworker gets a similar haircut...
You copying me? Guatemala just opened its embassy in Jerusalem...two days after the US did.


What to say? I say what? No big ceremony? What? No slingshots? What? No molotov cocktails? What? No accusations of murder and no worldwide outrage? I say...
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Well OK...maybe I'm being too harsh. These days I like Guatemalans a lot more than Americans too.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:57 am 
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While I take your point, Ike, Guatemala is not a very big geopolitical superpower on the world stage. There are probably very few world leaders wondering ... "What, exactly, is Guatemala planning to do internationally over the next few months?"

Guatemala is not a permanent member of the UN Security Council, nor is anybody looking to them to be a major force in peace talks, and they don't give Israel billions of dollars of aid.

I understand your point, but there is a reason why people pay attention to the U.S.' moves more than Guatemala's.

I could bring up the thorny digression of Guatemala's own military rule, and repression of Mayan indigenous peasantry, but won't. Not relevant to my main point.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:28 am 
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At this point in history embassies in Jerusalem are a convenient excuse for acting out. Jerusalem is never going to be the "Palestinian City" that the Palestinians want. Palestinians don't want two states.

If it's the outrage they say it is they would be just as pissed off at Guatemalans who support the state of Israel as they are at Americans and Europeans who support the state of Israel. If it's an outrage, it's an outrage. What we got here is convenient political outrage.

PS - Trump is an asshole for pressing this. He should have ignored the bullshit congressional order like every president has.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Bad optics create the kind of spin we see in today's L.A. Times. It's winning.

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast ... story.html

Front page: eye goes straight to a large banner headline and a huge photo.

Headline:

Quote:
A baby girl dies in the haze of Gaza


Photo caption:

Quote:
Mariam Ghandour, 18, holds the body of her daughter Layla. Her family says the 10-month-old died after being exposed to tear gas in the Gaza Strip. A doctor says she had a preexisting heart condition. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)


Much farther down, in the part that hardly anyone reads:

Quote:
Her father, Anwar Ghandour, once eked out a living in tunnels along Gaza’s border with Egypt to smuggle in food, medicine, weapons, fuel and other goods. The tunnels were built after the Islamist militant group Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 and Israel, in a bid to protect itself, imposed a stifling embargo.


And yes, many of the dead where there to fight for Hamas.

That part isn't what sticks. What sticks is the dead baby, and that's why any editor in the world would lead with it. If it bleeds, it leads.

Net effect for 90% of readers: "There goes Israel killing children again."

You can't lose the narrative. The Democratic Party lost the narrative, now look at the mess we're in here.

Israel is close to losing the narrative, regardless of who's right and who's wrong.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:07 pm 
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And here you have it...

Hamas official: 50 of the 62 Gazans killed in border violence were our members.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:44 pm 
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I just don't give a shit.

Trump stepped on his dick. Not that that is surprising.

The Arab states fucked everything up starting back with the invasion of Israel right after the UN creation of the state.

Israel didn't help matters either.

Sorry, just don't care anymore.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:51 pm 
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People I care about a lot live there, so I won't stop giving a shit.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:57 pm 
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People I care about a lot live there, so I won't stop giving a shit.

I understand. There is nothing wrong with caring. I simply do not see anyone with a scintilla of power and responsibility that wants peace. Perhaps the problem was intractable from the start. Perhaps it was poorly thought out. Competing interests may not have been thoroughly vetted. I don't know. I simply see no end in sight. Maybe it will take what it will take here to remove racism which is a radical solution. Of course because it is radical it will not happen.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:04 pm 
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... Perhaps the problem was intractable from the start. Perhaps it was poorly thought out. Competing interests may not have been thoroughly vetted. ...
That goes back to when the Romans expelled the people and occupied the land in around 66 CE. You really have to go back that far, at least. Nobody vetted anybody.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:06 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:06 am 
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Yeah, problem with this spate of articles out today with this headline is that the stories do not match the headline. The ones I've seen have a version of this:

Quote:
Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhoum did not confirm all 50 were members of the Islamist movement. He told AFP Hamas paid for the funerals for all 50 “whether they are members or supporters of Hamas, or unrelated to the factions.”

Bassem Naim, another senior Hamas official, declined to confirm or deny the number but said it was a “large movement and has great popular support.”


I believe jury is still out on this person's assertion.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:31 am 
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I understand. There is nothing wrong with caring. I simply do not see anyone with a scintilla of power and responsibility that wants peace. Perhaps the problem was intractable from the start. Perhaps it was poorly thought out. Competing interests may not have been thoroughly vetted. I don't know. I simply see no end in sight. Maybe it will take what it will take here to remove racism which is a radical solution. Of course because it is radical it will not happen.


I don't think removing racism was ever a goal here. It sure isn't for me; I want racist public policies removed, overturned, replaced, and prevented. Individual racists with a personal racism problem can go jump in the lake. And to be really frank, I don't believe you personally, actively advocate this radical solution you've mentioned before, which really sounds to me like euphemistic and somewhat pie-in-the-sky, nihilist talk more than anything.

If we're going to compare, I don't think anyone believes rightwing Pavlovian frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, and excuses/rationalizations for IDF actions like this one is going anywhere, any sooner than Hamas is going to change its eliminationist, anti-Semitic charter and the stoking of terrorism to match it. Not sure if those things are many peoples' goal.

The reason I would agree with you and see no end in sight is out of a different perspective: because the frothing-at-the-mouth Pavlovians are solidly in bed with this country's most virulent domestic bigots. They've been propagandized by Breitbart/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/Gatestone/Bolton/Hagee/Jeffress, and exploited by white nationalists like that for their mutual hatred of Arabs and Muslims. Wanting to please these confederates, the rightwingers jump at the chance to be part of the amen corner.

Islamic Jihad is an Iranian mullaocracy project, and even though Hamas is Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, Egypt wants nothing to do with them, and keeps their borders with them locked down tight. Can't blame 'em for that: Hamas is capable of nothing good. But peace did happen, warts and all, between Israel and Egypt and without this radical solution (whatever is meant by that). That's policy, not attitudes. So in my view, there is no end in sight and yet peace really is still possible despite this fascist government.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:57 am 
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People I care about a lot live there, so I won't stop giving a shit.


+++++++++++++++++++

These days the only people I know there are online (Jewish liberal Israelis, some Palestinian both Muslim and Christian), or are professional colleagues with whom I never have any reason to talk I/P politics. And then I've got friends like you with family/friends there (again, mostly Jewish, some Palestinian both Muslim and Christian.)

At one point in my life, I had friends with friends/family from Tel Aviv and directly due east all the way to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Good old Silk Road. So it matters a lot to me personally but then there are also the more removed foreign policy and humanitarian aspects. Giving up is a luxury, I feel.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:21 am 
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This is a decent medium read on this topic by Yair Rosenberg at Tablet.

13 Inconvenient Truths About What Has Been Happening in Gaza

I think he has been reading some of my posts...

Quote:
3. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is an authoritarian, theocratic regime that has called for Jewish genocide in its charter, murdered scores of Israeli civilians, repressed Palestinian women, and harshly persecuted religious and sexual minorities. It is a designated terrorist group by the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

4. The overbearing Israeli blockade has helped impoverish Gaza. So has Hamas’s utter failure to govern and provide for the basic needs of the enclave’s people. Whether it has been spending its manpower and millions of dollars on subterranean attack tunnels into Israel—including under United Nations schools for Gaza’s children—or launching repeated messianic military operations against Israel, the terrorist group has consistently prioritized the deaths of Israelis over the lives of its Palestinian brethren.

5. Many of the thousands of protesters on the Gaza border, both on Monday and in weeks previous, were peaceful and unarmed, as anyone looking at the photos and videos of the gatherings can see.

7. ...Widely circulated Arabic instructions on Facebook directed protesters to “bring a knife, dagger, or gun if available” and to breach the Israeli border and kidnap civilians. (The posts have now been removed by Facebook for inciting violence but a cached copy can be viewed here.) Hamas further incentivized violence by providing payments to those injured and the families of those killed. Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror group have since claimed many of those killed as their own operatives and posted photos of them in uniform. On Wednesday, Hamas Political Bureau member Salah Al-Bardawil announced that 50 of the 62 fatalities were Hamas members.

Contrary to certain Israeli talking points, however, these facts do not automatically justify any particular Israeli response or every Palestinian casualty or injury. They simply establish the reality of the threat.

11. There are constructive solutions to Gaza’s problems that would alleviate the plight of its Palestinian population while assuaging the security concerns of Israelis. However, these useful proposals do not go viral like angry tweets ranting about how Palestinians are all de facto terrorists or Israelis are the new Nazis, which is one reason why you probably have never heard of them.


The whole thing is worth reading.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:29 am 
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I don't think removing racism was ever a goal here. It sure isn't for me; I want racist public policies removed, overturned, replaced, and prevented. Individual racists with a personal racism problem can go jump in the lake. And to be really frank, I don't believe you personally, actively advocate this radical solution you've mentioned before, which really sounds to me like euphemistic and somewhat pie-in-the-sky, nihilist talk more than anything.

If we're going to compare, I don't think anyone believes rightwing Pavlovian frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, and excuses/rationalizations for IDF actions like this one is going anywhere, any sooner than Hamas is going to change its eliminationist, anti-Semitic charter and the stoking of terrorism to match it. Not sure if those things are many peoples' goal.

The reason I would agree with you and see no end in sight is out of a different perspective: because the frothing-at-the-mouth Pavlovians are solidly in bed with this country's most virulent domestic bigots. They've been propagandized by Breitbart/Bannon/Cambridge Analytica/Gatestone/Bolton/Hagee/Jeffress, and exploited by white nationalists like that for their mutual hatred of Arabs and Muslims. Wanting to please these confederates, the rightwingers jump at the chance to be part of the amen corner.

Islamic Jihad is an Iranian mullaocracy project, and even though Hamas is Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, Egypt wants nothing to do with them, and keeps their borders with them locked down tight. Can't blame 'em for that: Hamas is capable of nothing good. But peace did happen, warts and all, between Israel and Egypt and without this radical solution (whatever is meant by that). That's policy, not attitudes. So in my view, there is no end in sight and yet peace really is still possible despite this fascist government.

I would say that it isn't merely Iranian. It is Wahhabist Sunni as well. The Wahhabists simply don't focus on only Israel.

As for personally and actively pushing for a radical solution, I do not. I merely point out that it is probably the only way racism will be removed. Racist public policies removed, overturned, replaced and prevented falls under equity before the law. I support these actions while also wishing you good luck. Every new generation is placed on a pedastal as to how they are going to eradicate racism. And every new generation fails to live upon to the hype.

(edited because I can't type)

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Last edited by bird on Thu May 17, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:47 am 
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The whole thing is worth reading.


As is most of Tablet magazine ... a personal favorite of mine. Next to my J Street newsletter. :D

Yeah, it's so hard to find Mideast coverage that really gets to that "fair and balanced" treatment. Everybody goes to their camps of "Zio-Nazi Settler Colonialists Out to Genocide Palestinians" to "Natalie Portman should be hanged, drawn, and quartered for speaking out during this existential crisis of people with wire cutters!"

That Tablet article summarizes points that undermine narratives on both sides.

It's why I like it.

BTW, let me agree on one point. The goal of civil rights here, or anywhere, is not to eradicate racist attitudes. That will never happen. The goal needs to be non-racist public policy.

As for a solution to I/P, well, I am despairing at this point. One thing's for sure, the last U.S. administration may not have gotten anywhere, but they at least appointed experienced diplomats to approach solutions that knew what the fuck they were doing. We don't even have that at this point. We have Jared Kushner.

BTW, why was Steve Mnuchin at the embassy opening? Our treasury sec? Come on, I know the answer, the question was rhetorical. The Trump admin has a handful of Jews in it (far fewer than that "anti-Semite" Obama's, by leagues, incidentally) and they all had to put in screen time at the embassy opening.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 12:24 pm 
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I would say that it isn't merely Iranian. It is Wahhabist Sunni as well. The Wahhabists simply don't focus on only Israel.

As for personally and actively pushing for a radical solution, I do not. I merely point out that it is probably the only way racism will be removed. Racist public policies removed, overturned, replaced and prevented falls under equity before the law. I support these actions while also wishing you good luck. Every new generation is placed on a pedastal as to how they are going to eradicate racism. And every new generation fails to live upon to the hype.

(edited because I can't type)


Eradication of racism isn't the goal, though.

So the question for you becomes what are you doing, what steps are you taking besides wishing me luck, to ensure that policy changes and equality under the law happen in this generation.. If the answer is none, a cleerar picture emerges as to why conditions remain as they do.

But closer to the thread topic, I think peace is possible still, but have less hope for it after the Jerusalem Declaration in conjunction with the Netanyahu regime and atrocious behavior of our and the Israeli right wing. Add Russia/Syria to the mix and I hope we don't end up with World War III :(

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 1:49 pm 
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As is most of Tablet magazine ... a personal favorite of mine. Next to my J Street newsletter. :D
Yeah...I'm a fan of Tablet as well. I'm on JStreet's list, but more often than not, I simply delete them. They do everything I dislike in 'advocacy organizations.'....and that's even when I agree with them (which is more often than not, though they usually focus their emails is on the not). I was with them at the start...but they went down the wrong road so quickly (IMO. I have friends who at one time worked for them and others who are large supporters).

As for a solution to I/P, well, I am despairing at this point. One thing's for sure, the last U.S. administration may not have gotten anywhere, but they at least appointed experienced diplomats to approach solutions that knew what the fuck they were doing. We don't even have that at this point. We have Jared Kushner.
So far, Jared hasn't really messed up the I/P portfolio. I think even Dan Shapiro (Obama's Ambassador to Israel) would agree on that. This isn't to say he's not a complete slime...He is. Just that its not related to this issue. His sliminess stands on its own.

But truly, if (and that's a big if, given the PA has become totally obstinate) the two parties ever sit down together and negotiate again (but who knows, they may be the initial I/PLO talks were held secretly) he probably has a better shot at delivering his father in laws agreement than anyone else. His statements regarding the ME have been pretty fair.

BTW, why was Steve Mnuchin at the embassy opening? Our treasury sec? Come on, I know the answer, the question was rhetorical. The Trump admin has a handful of Jews in it (far fewer than that "anti-Semite" Obama's, by leagues, incidentally) and they all had to put in screen time at the embassy opening.
. Who knows what Mnuchin was doing there.....another problem that we can do without.

BTW, Obama made an awful lot of mistakes in dealing with the middle east. But those errors were never intended to be self serving or in bad faith. Usually with the best intentions. Just, in my opinion, poor choices. Some of which should have been obvious to people in the administration. In contrast, the current administration, as far as I can tell, never makes any decision with only the best intentions in mind. Their only concern is personal, and yes I mean personal, benefit.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Nah, Jared's not a fair person on this subject.

KUSHNER DID NOT DISCLOSE HEADING OF FOUNDATION THAT FUNDED SETTLEMENT PROJECTS - J Post

Nice going. :problem:

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 5:40 pm 
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This isn't to say he's not a complete slime...He is. Just that its not related to this issue. His sliminess stands on its own.


The issue that Carmen just raised aside, ethical lapses as a political figure suggest a lack of proper ethics applied to diplomatic matters.

He's the wrong man for the job.

Quote:
BTW, Obama made an awful lot of mistakes in dealing with the middle east. But those errors were never intended to be self serving or in bad faith. Usually with the best intentions. Just, in my opinion, poor choices. Some of which should have been obvious to people in the administration. In contrast, the current administration, as far as I can tell, never makes any decision with only the best intentions in mind. Their only concern is personal, and yes I mean personal, benefit.


I take your point, though we might not always agree on what the errors were.

That said, we agree, mistakes of the last administration were made in good faith, can't be said for this one.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 6:59 pm 
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The issue that Carmen just raised aside, ethical lapses as a political figure suggest a lack of proper ethics applied to diplomatic matters.

He's the wrong man for the job.
My view is his lack of disclosure is a problem....part of the whole sliminess of the administration. Where the Foundation donated money is less of a problem....The fact is that his family (unlike his father in law) were generous donors to a lot of organizations. Otherwise pretty much any Jewish person who donates money to Israel and Israeli related causes would be disqualified... (That said...it is really his parents Foundation, we dont have any clue what his involvement was, outside of being 'on the board.' I've been on Boards where I'm not controlling everything in the organization.) I do know that $38,000 over ten years, is a relatively small amount for that foundation which gives tens of millions of dollars (I'd be surprised if Obama didnt donate 'tens of thousands of dollars' to Rev Wright's church over the time he was involved there.) Other causes in Israel include the israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Bezalel Academy of Arts, the Hatzalah Rescue Service, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Childrens Centers, several medical centers incluing an entire campus for Shaare Zedek Hospital near Mt Herzl, as well as many institutions in the US. The funding the report notes that this is for a religious school located in the Gush bloc...which by pretty much all accounts will stay part of israel. And if you really want to look at his giving, also look at his political giving. LittleSis website shows that through 2016, he personally, (not his family) donated about $160,000 in political contributions. 80% democratic, 2% republican (3,000 to Guilliani in 2000) 1% to third parties and 17% to PAC's (including democratic orgs and HillPac).

Really, this is meaningless rhetoric. If people want to support him, they will ignore this. If people oppose him, they will use it as a bludgeon.

Again, I think he and his family have acted like slime...long before the election. Jared, particularly since Trump started running. But, as I've said before, we want our leaders (and heroes) to be saints. But they are not. With all the good and the bad. As you know that was true of Ghandi, King, Kennedy, Obama, FDR, etc. (I'm not putting anyone related to the Trump in the same category as those people, just that they too were not perfect.) So if Kushner can accomplish something, great. If not, well he's in line with a a long list of others who couldn't accomplish anything either.

Personally, I would have assigned Bill Clinton to the task. He and Tony Blair may have have been as good a group of leaders for that task as anyone I can think of. Of course, it really requires a much larger team...they're merely the figure heads.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:45 pm 
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My view is his lack of disclosure is a problem....part of the whole sliminess of the administration. Where the Foundation donated money is less of a problem....The fact is that his family (unlike his father in law) were generous donors to a lot of organizations. Otherwise pretty much any Jewish person who donates money to Israel and Israeli related causes would be disqualified... (That said...it is really his parents Foundation, we dont have any clue what his involvement was, outside of being 'on the board.' I've been on Boards where I'm not controlling everything in the organization.) I do know that $38,000 over ten years, is a relatively small amount for that foundation which gives tens of millions of dollars (I'd be surprised if Obama didnt donate 'tens of thousands of dollars' to Rev Wright's church over the time he was involved there.) Other causes in Israel include the israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Bezalel Academy of Arts, the Hatzalah Rescue Service, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Childrens Centers, several medical centers incluing an entire campus for Shaare Zedek Hospital near Mt Herzl, as well as many institutions in the US. The funding the report notes that this is for a religious school located in the Gush bloc...which by pretty much all accounts will stay part of israel. And if you really want to look at his giving, also look at his political giving. LittleSis website shows that through 2016, he personally, (not his family) donated about $160,000 in political contributions. 80% democratic, 2% republican (3,000 to Guilliani in 2000) 1% to third parties and 17% to PAC's (including democratic orgs and HillPac).


Both are a problem if we're going to talk about fairness.

This guy also has less qualifications for this made-up position than I do. I see no reason to rationalize either his being in it, or his performance in it.

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