From climate deniers who base their rejection of science on biblical passages, to the “pastors” who excuse Roy Moore by pointing out that Joseph was older than Mary (I am not making that up), to bakery owners who defend bigotry as “sincere religious belief,” America is awash with zealots who debase both authentic religion and core American values.

Which brings me to the Evangelical Christian Zionists who represent a disproportionate percentage of Trump supporters.

It is tempting to see Trump’s decision to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem, a break with decades of American Middle-East policy, as a gift to the Evangelicals who believe that, in order to bring on the Rapture, Jews must be gathered in a secure Holy Land. (Lest anyone mistake this belief for pro-Jewish sentiment, they also believe that Jews who do not accept Jesus will burn in hell for eternity.)

However, The Brookings Institution has a different explanation.

A University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll (among a national sample of 2,000 American adults, fielded by Nielsen Scarborough November 1-6 and released at the Brookings Institution last Friday) found that 59 percent of Americans said they preferred that Trump lean toward neither side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In contrast, 57 percent of Americans, including most Republicans, said he is in fact leaning toward Israel. Our poll also shows that 63 percent of all Americans oppose moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, including 44 percent of Republicans.

Furthermore, Evangelicals aren’t all of the “Christian Zionist” variety.

Two-thirds of Evangelicals say Trump’s policy is already leaning toward Israel—a proportion that’s even higher than that of the rest of the population. Even on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the support is hardly overwhelming: While 53 percent of Evangelicals support the move, 40 percent oppose it.

So why is he taking a step that knowledgable advisors like Mattis are said to oppose, a step certain to destabilize one of the world’s most dangerous regions? Why take a step that will make his (ridiculous) promise of a “deal of the century” bringing lasting peace to the Middle East impossible?

From the outset, most experts understood that the “deal of the century” was most likely beyond reach and that its collapse may lead to President Trump lashing out with such moves as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and giving the green light to expand Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The fact that the White House may take a controversial step on Jerusalem now, before he even has a chance to unveil his plan, means one of two things.

The first is that his advisers live in their own bubble, reinforced by unprecedented inexperience. In fact, this is already a public fear. Despite deep partisanship on almost every issue, Americans come together on this issue: 81 percent of all Americans, including 71 percent of Republicans, prefer Trump relying on experts in his Middle East diplomacy, not on inexperienced family members and personal lawyers.

But there is a second possibility: That the Trump administration has already given up on its “deal of the century” and is looking for ways to pin the blame on someone else.

CNN agrees.

The ramifications of an embassy move would be felt far outside of Jerusalem. It would overturn 70 years of international consensus, and, many argue, would effectively signal the end of moves to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The status of Jerusalem is an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations between the parties, as part of a peace agreement. Moving the embassy is seen as America pre-judging that delicate issue. The obvious wisdom of leaving the issue open is why 86 countries have embassies in Tel Aviv–and none have embassies in Jerusalem.

In 1995, in response to intense lobbying by “pro-Israel” interests (including those Christian Zionists),  Congress passed a law requiring America to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every President since then, Republican or Democrat, has refused to move the embassy, citing national security interests. Every six months, each of those Presidents has used a presidential waiver to circumvent the embassy move.


A number of American Jewish organizations have criticized Trump’s decision, accusing the President of ignorance and of ‘irresponsible’ decision-making. Polls show only 20% of American Jews supporting this decision.

The eruptions throughout the Arab world that have already occurred as a result of Trump’s rash, uninformed announcement–and likely future reactions that will endanger Israel and trigger more violence– are among the many negative consequences of electing a profoundly unfit, uninformed, mentally-incompetent narcissist to the Presidency.

55 thoughts on “Jerusalem

  1. I can relate to pinning blame,seems like using someone elses money for deals and investment strats, wall street people,and maybe small time investors (small mind) like trump only sees the vision hes played all his life,its called gambling,and when the elites bail, its the the blame game and who gives a damn,its only money. this time its S,Korea,Japan, and the mid east. all because America has become the dumbest of the so called educated,first world,big guy,er,person? look around,after the healthcare scare, now it seesm the wind is out of the sails,or,our democracy has collapsed, with the republicans in control. no matter how its spelled,or defined,its no less than treason to the democray,whereas the elected ones refuse to work on a majority view of the ,,,people…. we lost, we are now going to watch the world hate us, for what we, have devised,and given,the world… maybe it’s time we did show up,and demand an end to this,make that politician,no matter what isle they are in, show up,for those town hall meetings,with plenty of notice,or, be accused of grabbing the people by the,,,, and have em resign their pittyful representation of the people,and the world,in congress.

  2. It seems that you are giving Trump too much credit for thinking and reasoning irrespective of “expert” inputs. Trump uses only his reptilian brain, i.e., his gut. His gut hates Muslims of every stripe. It is clear from all his actions, foreign and domestic that his prejudices and bigotry rule his every move.

    His “America First” meme is a smoke screen for his deep-seated racism, xenophobia, Obamaphobia, paranoia, narcissism, misogyny and all the other psychological issues he has so well chronicled in this and just about every other thinking person’s blog. Moreover, I think he wants a war with somebody so badly that knowingly creating instability in a region abets that idiotic desire.

    Whether or not you live in a red or a blue state, county or region, perhaps it is time we swamp our representatives with calls and letters demanding Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. I honestly don’t think there will be time to convince enough of Trump’s hand-picked sycophants to invoke the 25th Amendment, before he sends in the troops and planes somewhere.

  3. In my view there could be more than two meanings to Trump’s moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

    Like most of this President’s actions and statements the likelihood that the meaning of this move relates to the subject is not very high.

  4. I know little about Jewish religion and the little I know about Jewish history has come primarily from reading Leon Uris novels. However; after watching Trump’s Trumplike impassioned speech, with arm waving and hand gestures yesterday, it appears to me that the Israel granted statehood in 1948 is as far from the decades of true Jewish religion as Trump has brought us from the Constitution, democracy and all progress and diplomatic relations world-wide in approximately 11 months.

    As a disclaimer; I professed to know little about Jewish religion and Jewish history; please correct or inform me of the true picture of what happened yesterday when Trump again turned the major leaders of the free world, en masse, against the United States of America.

  5. Trump demonstrates his lack of skill and knowledge daily. He is not capable of seeing the real needs of the US or placing the country’s needs ahead of his own need for attention at any cost. Tom Steyer makes an increasingly compelling case.

  6. The Republicans are drunk on power. All intelligent thinking has gone out the window. There are no consequences to anything. Anyone opposed to their actions is a party pooper. Immorality is funny. “Nobody is going to get hurt.”

    Like alcoholics, when the fall comes and if still alive, they can see with sobered eyes the mess they have made, the relationships that have been ripped apart, the children who will suffer the rest of their lives, the home that is wrecked, and the wasted years of their power binge a shared nightmare to be lived out every day for years to come.

  7. Without boring readers with chapter and verse, sit down with the Jewish bible, read Kings and Chronicles. Having read these four books, you can draw parallels to the disaster created by the Balfour Declaration after WWI. The wars upon Jews which reached their peak in the lifetime of some of us with the Holocaust are undeniable and unforgivable. Trump’s move in no way provides a solution to the disaster created by the Allies and their ‘wisdom’ and colonialism. Israel is repeating, with help from Europe and America, the command of Jehovah in Kings and Chronicles, to make barren the land and destroy its inhabitants. Do any of Trump’s advisors explain this to him? As if that would make a difference.

  8. “So why is he taking a step that knowledgable advisors like Mattis are said to oppose, a step certain to destabilize one of the world’s most dangerous regions? Why take a step that will make his (ridiculous) promise of a “deal of the century” bringing lasting peace to the Middle East impossible?”

    Aren’t we supplying Israel with millions in arms daily? Doesn’t Trump believe that he is supported by “some very good people” among the neo-Nazis? Isn’t it true that Trump has no idea what the hell he is doing in – and out of – the oval office? Here’s a thought; my long time Russian friend told me an old Russian proverb that could be part of or the basis of this latest Trump move. “Do not stir shit with stick, it will cause stink.” Well; he has certainly raised a big stink with his announcement yesterday; a deliberate action against peace in the Middle East, another distraction from the Trump/Russia investigation, another mindless decision made by a fool? Where is Congress? The Legislature was created to prevent any president from abuse of power; are they just marking time till the 2018 and 2020 elections? Will those arms we are providing the Middle East be turned on us before North Korea can use their nuclear power on us? Do our once staunch allies around the world care what happens in and to this country enough to protect us from another dangerous decision and action by Trump?

  9. With each new day, all I see is the man and his minions dismantling anything affording the common citizen a break, or stability or a sense of world stability. Everything is ‘the brand’ even using his name has gotten me to the point of saying “I am not going to use that name or term ever again referring to that person!”… I don’t want to see it or hear it, because it makes me want to rip that thing he calls a head from the frame that supports that stack of dung! There is no rhyme or reason to him – he has been and continues to be a chaos generator. Nothing more I see from him – it is chaos in two shoes – and it needs to end(.) Three thoughts: 1. How long until we see a ‘trump plaza’ or ‘tower’ in Jerusalem? 2. How long until he announces joint military exercises with Russia – to build better and more peaceful ties – here on US soil? 3. How long will it be before the Jewish People wake up and realize that they have been sold a bill of goods? by Adelstein and Kushner as well… ? These 3 things came to mind when I read your articles theme… I doesn’t matter what the ‘guesses’ are: If it happens – and the embassy IS moved, there is going to be war. And it may happen quickly, and more deadly than ever thought possible. Of course a lot of people will die. And that is a fact.

  10. He is a bomb thrower, looking for something else to divert attention from the Russia business.

  11. P.S. Just something that came to mind to ask any who are persuaded that “god is on their side”.., ask them to tell you: “Were Moses or Jesus, Democrats or Republicans?”…

  12. I am sure the guy who wrote “The Art of the Deal” got us something significant in trade for this move. Since I missed the presser can some one tell me what we got in return? A halt in the construction of settlements? A date for the start of serious peace talks in the middle east? The beginnings of recognition of a Palistenian State with Jerusalem as a shared capitol? I bet we got all those things since Trump makes the nest deals. Whew I may be getting tired of winning already in the middle East!!!

  13. The announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and move our embassy there is nothing more than a Christmas gift to Pence, 45’s son-in-law and his buddy Netenyahu.

    Did you notice that Pence was proudly standing behind 45 at the public announcement, even though he has been in hiding during everything else that has been going on?

    Trump rewards those who stand by him. He thrives on chaos and upheaval and cares not one bit about causing extreme damage to anyone else. By electing 45 we have proven to the entire world that our country is not to be trusted. It will take decades to repair the political damage done to our country, if that is even possible. We are showing the world that we are terrible people.

  14. Is Trump the only one who doesn’t understand that throwing a match into a barrel of gasoline causes explosions rather than calm dialogue to resolve centuries of religious differences? Does he not care when his actions jeopardize lives? Is it true that when he couldn’t convince people that this was a good idea, he put Sheldon Adelson on the phone to do the persuading? Turning over the government’s business to a self-interested lobbyist to do the President’s job is bizarre. We didn’t vote for Sheldon Adelson to negotiate the ‘deals’ we thought President Trump would negotiate. We did not vote for Adelson at all. He’s bought his way into the oval of office with billions and has been very vocal in his disappointment that Trump has not moved our embassy to Jerusalem sooner. But Adelson’s goal is to serve himself and the Zionist Jewish community – not the United State.

    Mr President – this is not business. This is the nation’s interests youre dealing with. It’s time to put the natii=oa

  15. I miss Kieth Olberman’s feature, “The Worst Person in the World”. If it were still part of the show, Trump would retire the award and it would be named after him.

    Can you see and hear it: “And now, for this week’s Trump award for being the worst person in the world: Donald Trump! For the record 50th straight week, you, Mr. Trump sweep the votes as the worst person in the world!”

  16. Manuel; as I watched in confusion (as to how he got away with this) Trump’s announcement regarding moving the U.S. embassy to Palestine and declaring Palestine the capital of Israel, I kept wondering if the documents were already written to name that new “magnificent embassy” another Trump creation.

  17. Those of you calling for impeachment need to remember two words: President Pence. If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will. Let’s look at the current line of succession: Pence, Ryan, Hatch, Tillerson, Mnuchin, Mattis… Need I go on? Only Mattis is capable and dedicated to the Constitution. Any of the rest of the line of succession could be counted on to ram things through Congress that would devastate our country even more.

  18. JoAnn,

    “I know little about Jewish religion and the little I know about Jewish history has come primarily from reading Leon Uris novels.”

    You don’t learn Jewish history through reading NOVELS.

    “As a disclaimer; I professed to know little about Jewish religion and Jewish history; please correct or inform me of the true picture of what happened yesterday when Trump again turned the major leaders of the free world, en masse, against the United States of America.”

    Let me answer that for you. The Christian-Zionist Alliance a.k.a. the Southern Baptist Convention-Anti Defamation League Partnership is a Trojan Horse. A modus vivendi of massive financial and material support for Israel in EXCHANGE for the Zionist leadership(ADL) in the U.S. turning a “blind eye” to anti-Semitism.

    With anti-Semitism unchecked, DEMOCRACY is dead. The Trump/Bannon move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the last few days sealed DEMOCRACY’S COFFIN.

    Who do you think will be blamed when the Palestinians seek revenge? The Baptists or the Jews.

    You’re a very intelligent woman. If you want to know the real history, I would suggest you read “Perfidy” and “The Transfer Agreement” for a better understanding of Israel.

    Anti-Semitism is a very complicated issue. It destroyed the Weimar Republic in Germany and it is well on its way of destroying democracy in America.

    Turning a blind eye to it will be a big mistake for everyone. It mutates into greater hatred for other groups especially African-Americans.

    Back in the late 70’s I was asked to be the Spokesman for the American Jewish Congress in Dallas. My first act was to force the Anti-Defamation League for a report on the rise of anti-Semitism. After much prodding they provided a report from the 50’s. Within a few weeks, three Mossad agents from Israel arrived in Dallas and asked to meet with me at Cindy’s Delicatessen. Naively, I met with them and candidly discussed anti-Semitism in America. Within 10 days, I was removed not only as the spokesman, but also as a member.

    The majority of American Jews do not support the policies of Israel. To do so publicly, you risk the social ostracism, professional retaliation, and economic ruin that I have incurred.

    The smart thing to do is to keep your mouth shut. I have to admit I’m a slow learner.

  19. JoAnn,

    I would suggest that you might want to take a look at to understand more fully what the “Boys from Israel” can do to you, if you don’t go along with them.

    “The Chamber” by John Grisham was the 7th best seller world-wide for the decade of the 90’s. Grisham didn’t write that book by himself.

  20. The last ten words of your piece summarize it. And the bumbling and stupidity just keeps on coming……

  21. I didn’t realize it was December 7th. This is just another sneak attack on America, just like the one on Hawaii, but this time orchestrated by the Religious Right/Far Right. Hopefully, this time we will act on the TACTICAL EARLY WARNINGS.

    In 1955, during my freshman year in the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, the essay I submitted for my first year English course was entitled “The Bombing of Pearl Harbor.” Was it just a coincidence or something more? By the way I received an “A.”

    There is still time left, but not a lot.

  22. Trump’s declaration yesterday amounts to a declaration of war by proxy. It was a declaration universally decried by our friends and foes alike (other than by Christian zealots awaiting the rapture and Netanyahu’s right wing coalition government). Expect violence and killing in the mideast as a result along with profound changes in political (and even economic) realignment with our “allies” in Europe and among both Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

    On the economic side, his declaration may also generate profound changes in the business of extraction and marketing of oil in the area and such possibilities as Saudi cancellation of its recent contract for billions of dollars with Boeing for fighter jets and refusal of oil-rich Muslim states to continue to make foreign investments here, among other such negatives. Expect such economic dislocations among others along with the killing and violence.

    Trump is unwelcome in Britain and specifically in London, where the Lord Mayor is a Muslim. Germany has announced that it is going it alone since the U.S. is not a dependable ally anymore and has opted out of world leadership. Evidence of our political and economic descent are noticeable on every hand, and still we plunge on with this clueless piece of protoplasm who graces the Oval Office. I know that President Pence sounds abhorrent to most Americans (me included), but he (even as a Christian zealot) couldn’t be worse. So hurry up, Mueller. We have to rid ourselves of this cancer on our and the world’s future lest we have none.

  23. I’m not against the State of Israel, but I am against the Likud Party and its President Benjamin Netanyahu. Likewise I’m not against America , but I am against the Republican Party and its President Donald Trump [or is it Steve Bannon].

  24. Gerald,

    “I know that President Pence sounds abhorrent to most Americans (me included), but he (even as a Christian zealot) couldn’t be worse. So hurry up, Mueller. We have to rid ourselves of this cancer on our and the world’s future lest we have none.”

    You’re absolutely right. That’s the only way to stop this catastrophe. It’s FUTURCIDE.

  25. Gerald,

    We have to find a way to organize against Trump in a similar way to DESERT SHIELD which was created to defeat Saddam Hussein. It has to be in the words of Sheila: A “BRAVE NEW” COALITION.

    Jews and Muslims need to be together on this one.

  26. Donald Trump apparently feels that he needs to prove that his “yee haw!” foreign policy is bigger than G.W. Bush’s.

  27. What I do know is what I saw in that announcement; slurred speech. That man is on drugs! He doesn’t wear dentures, (his income levels would give him implants) that man is drugged up to high heaven. His speech was proof to me that he is being drugged up and repeats the words in front of him like a puppet. Watch the clips people. He’s starts out slow and then the junkie reveals himself with that slurred speech as the drugs kick in a little bit more at the end. And the sniffing for months! And Pence doesn’t even wince and you know why? Because he’s seen it before! Surely he has! I can only imagine how Pence is making his plans behind the scenes to jump and be sworn in as soon as 45 decides he can’t hide it anymore.

    Mueller must finish this investigation before that man takes us to war on some baseless claims and we’re all going to have to come out of our comfort zones and march in the streets. That junkie is destroying our country.

  28. Think of Donald Trump as General George Custer as he rode into the Little Big Horn.

    Let’s not forget to include NATIVE AMERICAN leadership in the BRAVE NEW COALITION.

    brave (brav) adj. brav’er, brav’est [Fr. < It bravo] 1. not afraid; having courage 2. having a fine appearance —n. 1. any brave man 2. a North American Indian warrior —v.t. braved, brav'ing
    1. to face with courage 2. to defy; dare—brave'ly adv. brave'ness n.

    ~Webster's New World Dictionary

  29. I’m with Marv on his take on Israel, Jerusalem and Palestinian issues and history.

    But I just finished listening to the NYT Daily podcast (considered mostly pro-Israel over many decades), including an interview with Thomas Friedman, who recently interviewed Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. I’ll summarize some of the observations note whose are whose:
    1) NYT: Trump and his neo-con foreign advisers are blowing up the decades-old myth that the US could ever play the role of mediator in the Palestinian struggle for their own nation.
    2) NYT: All of the Arab powers were consulted on this and all have issued statements condemning Trump’s decree, however, no Arab nation is expected to do much, if anything, about it because the Palestinian cause is no longer a top priority for Arab powers – they are far more concerned about maintaining the stability of their own governments and threats from Iran and other regional competitors for power.
    3) Friedman says that Mohammed bin Salman’s recent move, although very UNdemocratic and devoid of any pretense of rule of law, is FINALLY reforming a corrupt family-enterprise and his mission is to point Saudi Arabia in a direction AWAY from the hard shift to the right that it took in the late 70’s. He recounted his coverage of the massacre and hostage-taking of Mecca at the height of the Haj. A more moderate Saudi Arabia is a formidable barrier to Irans extremism and appetites.
    3)Friedman – this was the SAME year the Ayatollah Khomeni overthrew the corrupt Shah of Iran and established an Islamic theocratic goverment that has ruled ever since.
    4) Friedman – Saudi Arabia’s rulers at the time took the only action they could – they exported the radical right Islamists to all other Arab and Muslim nations….fomenting radical Wahabism in the region almost overnight.
    5) Me: Then 9/11 happened. Our response? Chase Al Queda and the Taliban out of Afghanistan into the mountains of our ally Pakistan, and Declare war on Iraq. Further destablilzing the region, creating a power vacuum which Iran was all to happy to fill with Russia’s help.
    Friedman: What Mohammed bin Salman is trying to do is no less earth-shattering than the fall of the Berlin wall in it impact on the world. He said that only a crazy-person would ever think that it can succeed. But he also said that only a crazy-person wouldn’t pray that he does succeed.
    6) Me: So, coincidentally, the neo-cons were recently reported by the US press to have attempted an overthrow of the foreign-policy-making apparatus of the US government. Tillerson was to be out at State; Pompeo would move from CIA to State and Sen. Tom Cotton would move to CIA. Those three guys, along with dying John McCain, share one important position among many – they all want to go to war with Iran and the sooner the better.
    7) Me: So a moderate Saudi Arabia may gladly team up with Israel as defense against Iran. Other moderate Arab states such as Jordan could possibly join in as well. Although Saudi Arabia has a humanitarian nightmare on its hands in Yemen…the reason for it is that they want to destroy the Hezbolla organization that is currently governing it – if you can call it governing.
    8) Me: Putting a stop to the silly idea that the US can be an impartial broker of peace in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict isn’t ALL bad, PROVIDED it doesn’t result in the Mideast erupting into a ball of fire. If nothing else it makes our government look more honest in its international dealings. Eliminating this sham can serve as a step towards a Saudi Arabia/Israeli military alliance – with amble US backing given the Dept Defense has been given it’s own checkbook.
    9) Me: And that little power coup by the neo-cons in the White House? Who knows what really happened there but my guess is that Generals Tillis and McMaster said in so many words (or literally): No fucking way.

    So, I’m storing more fresh water and canned goods in the basements these days……. times are very very scary both domestically and internationally. It is the closest thing to 1968 that I’ve seen since, well, 1968. Unglued.

  30. JERUSALEM was recognized as the capital of Israel in 1995 by law. Presidents have waived it every 6 months since then. INSTEAD OFHYPOCRISY of the deep state….we have a man who does what he said he would do. People are shocked in both parties at that.

  31. And 45? He has absolutely no idea what is going on or how his actions might affect anything. With all the stress and his atrocious dining habits I’m guessing his dementia is accelerating at a more rapid pace. If he survives in office beyond this year – you will likely no longer see him speak in public at all. Which is exactly what his handlers and VP Dence want.

  32. The Middle East has since the beginning of recorded history been an area of turmoil and violence. Israel has taken a page from our AmeriKan History and used our treatment of Native Americans as a template. Take away the land you want through “legal” means build settlements and then use the military to protect them. Carve up the land so the “Natives” lose continuity and must pass through checkpoints.

    Who knows what sweetheart deals the Trumpet Family will receive for this??? I suppose for the Doomsday Evangelicals this is one step closer to the Rapture.

  33. Every congress since 1995 has had an opportunity to revoke that legislation, whether Democratic or Republican dominated. And no President has asked them to do it. Plenty of blame to go around here. Not much basis for self-righteous finger pointing

  34. We have screwed up the Middle East since at least the time when we decided to instigate a coup in Iran in 1953. Since that time AmeriKa has been happy to count as friends the dictatorships in the Middle East as long as we could have access to oil. Human Rights throw that idea in the garbage. As far as know woman still cannot drive a car in Saudi Arabia.

  35. The “squirrel” notion rings true to me.

    Congress is busy wrapping it’s gift to the Trumps, all of them, and unless hell freezes it will be the largest monetary gift ever given. They can’t have it scrutinized and every attempt to do so must be diverted. That’s why it’s public only at night and being rushed through in December when other things compete for news space and time.

    Jerusalem is a manufactured distraction and it’s working.

    Not that it’s not bad in its own right. It’s terrible for everyone concerned but since when has the GOP Reichstag worried about that? They only have less than 3 years left to pad their retirement and opportunities like this to reward their biggest oligarchy donor don’t happen often.

    Other oligarchs give them money to recruit power by propagandizing voters. The Trumps give them power directly. There are many Trumps in the wings drooling with jealousy at the oligarchy triumph that the Trumps pulled off. Rewarding the Trumps lavishly as examples may be the only option left to secure a 100 year rule dissembling the rest of America.

  36. We have to move quickly. It’s a problem of POSITIONING in the political sphere.

    Unfortunately, the PRO-DEMOCRACY position is taken by the Southern Poverty Law Center/Anti-Defamation League [a Likud Party front] Alliance. They have an unlimited financial war chest. At least a billion dollars. There main objective has been to defend Israel at the expense of American democracy. As most of you know, I’ve been trying to tackle this problem on this blog for at least two years.

    Our first order of business must be to REPOSITION them. There can be no forward movement until that is accomplished.

    “Because there are so few creneaus [holes] to fill, a company must create one by repositioning the competitors that occupy the positions in the mind. In other words to move a new idea or product into the mind, you must first move an old one out.”

    “The world is round,” said Christopher Columbus. “No, it’s not,” said the public, “It’s flat.”
    To convince the public otherwise, fifteenth century scientists had to first prove that the world wasn’t flat. One of their most convincing arguments was the fact that sailors at sea were first able to observe the tops of the masts of an approaching ship, then the sails, then the hull. If the world was flat, they would see the whole ship at once. All the mathematical arguments in the world weren’t as effective as a simple observation the public could verify themselves.”

    “Once an idea is overturned, selling the new idea is ludicrously simple. As a matter of fact, people will often actively search for a new idea to fill the void.”

    “Never be afraid to conflict either. The crux of a repositioning program is undercutting an existent concept, product, or PERSON.”

    “Conflict, even personal conflict, can build a reputation overnight. Where would Sam Ervin have been without Richard Nixon?”

    “For that matter, where would Richard Nixon have been without Alger Hiss?”

    “And Ralph Nader got famous not by saying anything about Ralph Nader but by going out and attacking the world’s largest corporation single-handedly.

    “People like to see the bubble burst.”

    The above is from the marketing classic: “POSITIONING” by Al Ries and Jack Trout (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001) pp. 61-62.

  37. Patrick,

    “And 45? He has absolutely no idea what is going on or how his actions might affect anything. With all the stress and his atrocious dining habits I’m guessing his dementia is accelerating at a more rapid pace.”

    You’re probably right. I don’t believe the world has ever seen such a man. Jewish mysticism has a word for it. It’s called the GOLEM [a monster].

    If the “End Times” weren’t coming on schedule, why not create them. Direction of this “horror flick” must come from Steve Bannon’s time in the movie industry.

  38. All I can say is…..We have to do more than talk. We have to organize. At the moment we are totally defenseless. We’re like Poland just before the Germans invaded to start W.W. II.

  39. Wonderful post, as usual, but then, there’s one more thing: Yes, Trump is narcissistic and uninformed, but, also, as you pointed out, mentally ill. I’m sure lots of men serving as President were also narcissistic and uninformed as to certain important matters, but they weren’t as mentally ill. They had sense enough to seek out the advice of people more knowledgeable in areas where they were lacking–if for no other reason than to make them look good when making important decisions. Here’s where Trump is dangerous–he won’t listen to anyone because doing so would be a tacit admission that he’s not the smartest and that he needs help. That’s going to get people killed.

    He’s also no patriot. I truly believe that for many Presidents, their patriotism overcame any narcissistic tendencies and this resulted in them being outstanding as President. Trump wanted to be President for the same reason he does everything else in his pathetic life: for self aggrandizement. That driving force in decision-making will also get people killed.

  40. Thank you Sheila for, as usual, a great piece. If this is an incredibly stupid move by the Trump Administration on top of several other incredibly stupid moves by the Trump Administration. His stated goal is to shake things up both here domestically as well as internationally in regard to the existing global world order. What he and his minions have failed to understand over and over again is that doing so is akin to an expression that all Star Wars aficionados know-“a disturbance in the force” and in this case a huge one.

    While this country was the first nation state to recognize the new state of Israel in 1947 every American President since then has refrained from placing our embassy in Jerusalem, leaving it instead where it has been ever since Israeli independence in Tel Aviv. By doing this he is siding with the most right wing Israeli political parties who are hell bent on expanding their settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan River and who also want to confront Iran directly. For us to do this it is like sticking a stick in the eye of every moderate Palestinian that wants to see peace within their lifetimes. Many of our Allies both in Europe and throughout the Middle East have roundly condemned this arbitrary and foolish move. The one thing that I know will happen as a result of this move is that people will die.

    When we are on the brink of having a land war on the Korean Peninsula that we are woefully unprepared for, both militarily and psychologically, the last thing we need is another hot spot where we will be ultimately drawn into along with all the other things are going very far south in a hurry in that war torn region of the world. Add to this the fact that we have what amounts to an emasculated State Department where many of the old hands that it been involved in the American Middle East policy for decades are choosing to leave their offices out of complete disgust with the current Administration.

    My additional question is why on earth didn’t LTG H.R. McMaster, along with the same members of the National Security Council staff, be vocal in disagreeing with this move particularly since they have access to the day-to-day situation reports that we can read that would surely demonstrate that the moment this was done Hamas, Hezbollah, and very likely ISIL, would all began to crank up another Intifada. This will placate the moderates among the Palestinians as well as the Israelis and put them both on a collision course double time and eventually in an armed conflict at some level of violence that neither side can afford to have. The good offices that we would normally make available to mediate such a conflict and impose restraints on the part of the Israelis will not be there so how this will shake out is a great unknown at the moment that the public demonstrations there already occurring on the part of the Palestinians show the pathway this is all going to ultimately take.

    It’s bad enough that we have to deal with the rantings and ravings of this maniac that is in the White House in regard to domestic policy that threatens the deep six the country and all of us but now we also have to deal with if him in regard to the most complicated and protracted conflict anywhere on the face of the planet while also dealing with if the potential of an explosion in North Asia that threatens the use of nuclear weapons and the unleashing of a horrific land war on the Korean Peninsula. In each case we have no real game plan for what happens if, as the Brits are fond of saying-“the balloon goes up”, nor any credible planning for what happens on day two or day three in either instance.

    I think the only thing we will accomplish in regard to moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, other than the inevitable deaths that it will cause, is that it will show how incoherent our foreign and strategic policies are under this Administration which makes it even that much more tempting four additional rogue actors, such as Vladimir Putin and his idea of a resurgent Russia, into the mix of things to put us at an even greater disadvantage internationally. His goal is to isolate us and up and the existing international order so that he and his greater Russia are at the top of the heap instead of the United States as it has been traditionally for the last 75 years. We will not like such a development and it will threaten our very existence and further put into question the cohesion of this country all because of the stupidity, the rampaging stupidity, of our current Chief Executive.

  41. Natacha,

    “Here’s where Trump is dangerous–he won’t listen to anyone because doing so would be a tacit admission that he’s not the smartest and that he needs help. That’s going to get people killed.”

    You’re right. But because he is SO dangerous, he ISN’T effectively being confronted. He’s getting a pass. To effectively confront him means there will be retaliation. He cannot be dealt with if you’re not willing to pay the price which could mean death. That’s the cost of every war, even in this case which is a PHONY WAR conducted by the OPPOSITION.

    THIS IS WAR. In a war, you don’t give any passes unless you want to be destroyed.

  42. Tom,

    Few can say it better than you.

    You are absolutely right, but talking common sense will never put a stop to this mess. At this point, Trump [Bannon] must be confronted FACE to FACE. You can only do that with an equalizing countervailing force. Any thing less would be senseless and would only make matters worse.

  43. As challenging as it might be, our first confrontation must be with Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    With the way things are now occurring in the Middle East and throughout the
    world, American democracy might well have expired before the New Year.

  44. Tom; why is the entire Congress, all Republican state governments and some Democratic officials living in fear of one man whose IQ doesn’t equal his age? His victim count within the government so far in the Oval Office is higher than that of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We should be spending today commemorating that day which has, as President Roosevelt predicted, lives in infamy. Trump’s actions yesterday overshadows the actions of the Japanese 76 years ago today; the victims have not yet been counted.

  45. Some (perhaps impolite) observations…

    That 45 is a GOLEM seems true. Any indications in that legend of the eventual fate of a GOLEM, or any useful ways to counter such a being?

    45 is throwing fire bombs for the fun of it, like a nasty hate-filled sociopathic criminal…

    His racist hatred of Obama has unhinged him totally. His pervasive racist hatred defines his entire unfortunate existance….

    45 is a spitefully occupying any manger he can find and is a dog in the worst perjorative sense of that descriptive word…

    And, for me in these recent days, fire-bomb~throwing dog-in-the-manger is what mostly comes to mind as a description of his current place in the world.

    Am going to attempt to think of something positive for a while…best wishes to you all!

  46. Perhaps not positive yet…I believe that 45 knows he is on borrowed time and is attempting to accomplish as much deep and seriois damage as he can before he exits..

  47. NVL,

    “That 45 is a GOLEM seems true. Any indications in that legend of the eventual fate of a GOLEM, or any useful ways to counter such a being?”

    Hopefully, this will help. We need all the help we can get.

    From the YVIO Encyclopedia:

    “Among early modern Jews, tales of the creation of life by pious individuals seem to have been most common in Poland, where, beginning in the seventeenth century, an important new motif was added. Now a golem was understood to have been not merely a servant who performed all sorts of physical labor for his master, but also a source of danger. Prominent tales of this sort attached to the figure of Eliyahu of Chełm (d. 1583), an important Talmudic scholar, kabbalist, and ba‘al shem (one said to possess secret knowledge of the holy names of God). In an early rendition of the Polish golem tradition, the non-Jewish folklorist Christoph Arnold reported that “a figure of this kind grows each day; though very small at first, it ends by becoming larger than all those in the house.” Eliyahu eventually felt obliged to cause the death of his own creation, which he hoped to accomplish by removing the letter aleph from the word emet (“truth”—composed of the letters aleph, mem, and tav) that was inscribed on the creature’s forehead, at which point—the remaining two letters spelling out the Hebrew word for “dead”—the golem would crumple, lifeless, to the ground. In Arnold’s version, the golem, turning to the mud from which he had been formed, crushed and killed Rabbi Eliyahu.”

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