Is Trump bringing “white Zionism” to the White House?

Steve Bannon, right, with Donald Trump and a park ranger, during a campaign stop at Gettysburg National Military Park, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on 22 October.

Evan Vucci AP Photo

Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, has weighed in on the controversy over President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of the racist former executive chairman of Breitbart News as his chief strategist.

Under Steve Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News “regularly published materials designed to stoke fears about African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other groups, and to explicitly normalize white nationalist and white supremacist beliefs,” according to New York magazine.

This so-called alt-right ideology has been described by one of its key promoters as a form of “white Zionism.”

Bannon, who will be one of the most powerful officials in the White House, has himself been accused of making specifically anti-Jewish remarks.

“I feel like putting somebody into that chief adviser role who has a history of connection to white nationalists and anti-Semitism is very, very troubling,” Kaine, currently a US senator and former governor of Virginia, said in reaction to the Bannon appointment, The New York Times reports.

But Kaine goes on to contrast Trump’s pick with the outgoing US president’s record: “I mean, think of President Obama – he comes in, David Axelrod is his lead adviser and Rahm Emanuel, who fought in the IDF [Israeli army], was his first chief of staff. … He fought for the IDF in Israel, and David Axelrod, very proud of his heritage, and the fact that that, that is being replaced by a Steve Bannon mentality that is tied to white nationalism and anti-Semitism – deeply troubling.”

Kaine’s allusion to Axelrod’s Jewish heritage and his assertion that Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, served in a foreign army is presumably intended to contrast Obama favorably with Trump.

Emanuel was, however, arguably advancing a different form of supremacy – that of Israelis over Palestinians.

Fighting for Israel

Rahm Emanuel did not “fight” in the Israeli army, but did assist it during the 1991 Gulf war, when he “served briefly as a civilian volunteer on an Israeli military base,” according to The New York Times.

A 1997 Chicago Tribune profile of Emanuel specifies that he was stationed at a “supply base” where he sorted “tank brakes from jeep brakes from truck brakes.”

The Chicago Tribune suggests that Emanuel is less than proud – or at least less than open – about the episode: “He doesn’t want to talk about it, except to say that he went because many Israelis had fears of a chemical attack and he wanted to provide support. ‘It was isolated,’ he says.”

According to Jeffrey Goldberg, former Israeli prison guard and editor of The Atlantic, Emanuel is “deeply and emotionally committed to Israel and its safety” – a family tradition.

After Obama appointed Emanuel as his chief of staff in November 2008, Emanuel’s father, Benjamin Emanuel, caused immediate embarrassment when he asserted that his son’s appointment would be beneficial to Israel and made anti-Arab remarks.

The elder Emanuel was a member of the Irgun, the Zionist terrorist group in 1940s Palestine that was responsible for dozens of atrocities against civilians.

Faced with a public outcry, Emanuel eventually apologized for his father’s comments.

Kaine is nonetheless fine with the belief that Emanuel, who held one of the most powerful posts in the US government, “fought” for a foreign army that enforces a military occupation and settler-colonial project that grants full rights to Jewish settlers while denying them to Palestinians.

“White Zionism”

Trump’s elevation of fringe extremists like Bannon is bringing to the surface the alliance between white nationalists and supporters of Israel.

The brand of right-wing extremism Bannon espouses has come to be known as the alternative right, or alt-right.

Bannon has described Breitbart News as “the platform for the alt-right.”

Even the rightwing radio host Glenn Beck is calling the alt-right “truly terrifying.”

As Beck pointed out in an interview on CNN on Tuesday, the movement’s main thinkers include Richard Spencer, a white supremacist who has advocated “peaceful ethnic cleansing” in order to create “an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and extremism, Spencer has called his mission a “sort of white Zionism.”

SPLC says that Spencer hopes to “inspire whites with the dream of such a homeland just as Zionism helped spur the establishment of Israel.”

Meanwhile, the most spirited defense of Bannon has come from Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large of Breitbart News, in an article headlined “Stephen K. Bannon: Friend of the Jewish People, Defender of Israel.”

Pollak wrote in 2014 that the “Palestinian cause itself seems to have been reduced from a nascent expression of longing for self-determination in a historic homeland to a pure cult of Jew-hatred and martyrdom.”

“Palestinian nationalism is not actually a form of nationalism, properly speaking,” Pollak added. “It is a mass psychosis.”

“This is not a national movement that can be bargained with, that is prepared to accept compromise. It can only be defeated and contained until the fever passes – however long that may be,” according to Pollak – who now offers himself as a character witness for Bannon.

Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of Israel’s most visible apologists, has also come to Bannon’s defense.

Dershowitz accused Bannon of “ill-advised” comments and “carelessness,” but asserted “I don’t think anybody should be called or accused of being anti-Semitic unless the evidence is overwhelming.”

By contrast, Dershowitz has smeared the entire boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its denial of Palestinian rights as promoting anti-Semitism.

And Yossi Dagan, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party and leader of a council of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, has strongly backed Bannon’s appointment in a public letter.

All of this signals that there is no contradiction between white supremacism laced with anti-Semitism, on the one hand, and fanatical support for Israel, on the other.

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Comments

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Finally some one hit the nail right on the head. We have been trying to warn people about this very scenario for quite some time. I don't think most Americans have a clue what they are in for under a Trump presidency...

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If they were informed and had better judgement, they would NOT have voted for Trump and his very dangerous administration. I doubt they can read the signs right now, like we do. Having Bannon, Gulliani, and maybe Gaffney and his ilk, will not bode well for this country. They are indeed very supportive of the zionist nation, and will bend over backwards to please it's leader. All signs are American Muslims will have a very hard time under the Trump administration, and are going to feel harassed and hounded, just like the Jews did many years ago in Germany. Americans are short sighted, and voted for this terrible man, whose experience has been selling real estate and steaks. How the heck can he, and his equally unqualified administration run this huge country? They are already in shock at the enormity of this job, which apparently they were unaware of before. Be warned Americans, things will be worse than the Bush administration.

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To be fair, a majority of Americans did not vote for Trump. A majority of Americans also did not vote for Republican representatives. But thanks to gerrymandering and the electoral college, not to mention voter suppression, Republicans are able to dominate the government.

But tens of millions of people did vote for Trump. These are truly terrifying times.

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"Bannon, who will be one of the most powerful officials in the White House" .. he himself, spits at the Jews every now & then.

Trump wants to put White Man First .. why not .. everyone wants to be White Man .. (cultural cringe effect) .. & in a nation where White Man is disappearing rapidly it must be a concern to the Power Brokers who rule the USA.
Infertility is the most real & pressing problem in the world today .. & yet they still spew forth the lie that the population of planet earth is spinning out of control .. implying that a cull is in order.
Is it possible that the boys & girls at the top .. DO NOT KNOW.
Oh, but they do know .. oh yes they do .. & therefore they are afraid .. in America the people at the top are afraid .. White Man in the USA is vanishing off the streets .. everyone wants to be White Man & therefore he is revered .. held above the rest .. it is also White Man who conquered the world & established themselves as ruler over planet earth.
Q:
Why would Trump / the Republicans / the White House / the USA need to re-establish White Man as the superior race .. if the were not feeling .. just a bit outnumbered & just a bit fwitened ?

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If we remember correctly .. Dorothy & her companions pulled away the curtain, only to find a frightened, little old man shouting into a PA system, in the attempt to keep the munchkins at bay.

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It's by no means surprising that Zionists and anti-Semites flock together. The affinity between racists often outweighs the antagonism inherent in what appear to be mutually exclusive positions. In the end, white supremacists and Jewish Zionists both embrace the notion of racial hierarchy. That outlook creates bonds of sympathy on a fundamental level undisturbed by more transitory and localized hatreds. Of course in the present instance, both partners share an object of loathing- Palestinians in particular, Islam more generally. And intense friendships are often based on nothing more than a shared detestation of a third party.

Nevertheless, I suspect that Bannon will ask that his name be withdrawn in order not to distract attention from the preparations underway for a Trump administration. He will retain whatever influence he currently enjoys with Trump, while his faux-departure will provide a renewable source of resentment against Trump's enemies on the part of his followers. Bannon really can't lose on this one.

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Bannon has no intention of withdrawing from this position. He's far from the only prominent white supremacist who will be in Trump's cabinet. His pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is no better.

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Bannon is indeed a problem.

However...

Charles Schumer, now Democratic Minority Leader of the
US Senate will lead the Democrats into the safe and ever
open arms of Israel. We can expect that at every
juncture Schumer will lead the Democratic Party in
the way of their Lord, Israel and AIPAC.

If Hillary Clinton's career is over, she will be replaced by
a a replica.

Schumer was elected Minority Leader unanimously.

Schumer is a Senator from New York as Hillary Clinton once was.

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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I don't believe that. Bernie Sanders has joined the Senate leadership. He was able to open up the conversation somewhat and acknowledge the Palestinians' humanity. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to US Congress, is likely to be the next chair of the DNC. I predict that in the future, leading Democrats will be more critical of Israeli policy, partly as a result of the short-sighted theatrics of Netanyahu.

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