Monday, August 26, 2019
It’s dangerous to insist they owe allegiance to another nation.
In the bloody history of modern anti-Semitism, one of the most common justifications for violence is the inflammatory canard that the loyalty of Jewish citizens is suspect.
President Trump has repeatedly employed that libel in recent days as part of a verbal assault on the Democratic Party.
Such language is traditionally used to incite anger against Jews. Mr. Trump, surreally, is employing it in an effort to win Jewish votes.“If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel,” he said Wednesday.
This is nonsense on several levels. While many American Jews strongly support the Jewish state, such support is a choice, not an obligation. And those who do support Israel may reasonably conclude that there’s not much difference between the Republican Party’s longstanding and vigorous support for Israel and the Democratic Party’s longstanding and vigorous support for Israel — or they may place greater weight on other issues in casting a ballot.
But the president’s words are still dangerous.
His demonization of minority groups and his equivocations about white supremacists has coincided with a sharp rise in hate crimes against Jews.
Gunmen have opened fire on Jewish congregations in Pittsburgh and in Poway, Calif., and the F.B.I. says hate crimes against Jews increased in each of the last three years. By subjecting Jews to a reckoning of loyalties, Mr. Trump toys with fanning those flames. The president has a habit of speaking about Jews as different from other Americans, and specifically of suggesting that their loyalties are divided.In April, addressing a gathering of Republican Jews in Las Vegas, he referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel as “your prime minister.”
Responding to criticism of his latest remarks, he said Wednesday that his talk “is only anti-Semitic in your head.” But that’s precisely where anti-Semitism resides: in the minds of people who see Jews as somehow alien. Mr. Trump, who has an undoubted eye for the weaknesses of his political opponents, is seeking to exacerbate emerging divides in the Democratic Party over America’s alliance with Israel. The dangers extend well beyond his recourse to anti-Semitic statements.
Even incremental movement toward polarizing Americans over Israel undermines the long-term security of the Jewish state, which has long rested on the firm foundation of bipartisan American support.Mr. Netanyahu appears blind to this danger. He has chosen to reap the short-term benefits of Mr. Trump’s embrace, delighting in small victories like the decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem and, at Mr. Trump’s urging, preventing two Muslim congresswomen, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, from making an official visit to Israel.Mr. Trump is also doing Israel no favors over the long haul by discarding long-running American efforts to address the hopes and grievances of Palestinians and Israelis through a negotiated deal.For Democrats, the challenge is to resist the easy gratification of reflexively opposing what Mr. Trump supports — or supporting what he opposes.
Mr. Trump wants to keep Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib in the spotlight because they are outspoken critics of American support for Israel. Ms. Omar has invoked anti-Semitic language in support of her arguments. Both support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which is silent in its official documents about Israel’s right to exist, and which seeks to use economic pressure to extract concessions from Israel that the United States has long maintained should be negotiated as part of a peace agreement.
Leading Democrats have rightly criticized Israel for barring Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib, while making clear that their views on Israel are not widely shared.
The right road forward is for Democrats, and Republicans, to maintain strong support for democracy and liberal values, both in Israel and in the United States.
KRITI M. SHAHThe relationship of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India was forever changed this week, as the government in New Delhi removed Article 370. This alters the fundamental nature of Kashmir’s constitutional standing within the Indian Union. Across the border, Pakistan has taken great offense at this supposed ‘mass injustice’ of the Government of India towards Kashmiris. The Pakistan Army has threatened to “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps taken by India.” Regardless of which side of the political aisle you stand on, the Pakistan hypocrisy and faux outrage over the future of Kashmiris is breathtaking in its chutzpah, given that over the last seven decades they have steadily destroyed, dismembered and dismantled the part of Kashmir that is under their illegal occupation.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and consisting of Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad on Thursday declared election tribunal’s decision void and ordered re-election in the provincial constituency.
It is pertinent to mention here that Moazzam Ali Abbasi, the candidate of GDA, defeated the rival PPPP candidate and daughter of Nisar Khuhro, Nida Khuhro in the general elections in PS-11 by a convincing margin. The winning candidate secured over 32,000 votes against the losing PPPP candidate’s over 21,000 votes despite it being a stronghold of the party ruling the province for last 10 years at that time.
Nida Khuhuro was fielded by the party after his father and provincial chief of the party Nisar Khuhro was disqualified during scrutiny of papers for concealing details of his marriage. The name of Aseefa Bhutto started doing rounds as a possible contender from the party for the by-polls after a group of women parliamentarians in the provincial assembly met her on Saturday.
The daughter of Asif Ali Zardari has been taking part in the political activities of the party, but she has yet to take part in the electoral process. Her brother took part in last general elections for the first time and won his seat. Zardari has announced that two of his children, Bilawal Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto, would take part in political activities, while Bakhtawar Bhutto would manage the family business. General Secretary of Pakistan People’s Party Sindh Chapter Waqar Mehdi has confirmed that Aseefa’s name is doing rounds as the party’s candidate in PS-11, but the final decision would be made by the party leadership.
The party cadre from Larkana is calling for Aseefa’s nomination for by-polls in PS-11, he said. He however said the final decision would be taken by the top party leadership Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Another party leader said on condition of anonymity that Aseefa’s name was doing rounds only in the media and they had no knowledge of it in party. He however said that if name of Aseefa Bhutto comes up and she takes part in the by-elections, all other aspiring candidates would support her. “The party will follow the due process, which includes asking for applications from aspiring candidates after the election commission announces schedule for the by-polls and then a board will finalise name of the candidate and announce it officially,” he said.
The party cadres on ground needed a strong candidate for the seat so that the party could strengthen its numbers and reach three figures in the assembly where it already enjoys support of 99 lawmakers.
On the other hand, the ruling coalition in federal cabinet including GDA would try its best to regain the seat from Larkana and once again dent the PPP in its stronghold Larkana.
Addressing a press conference in Skardu, Bilawal said there was no comparison between the military occupation in occupied Kashmir and the undermining of democracy and human rights in Pakistan.Nonetheless, if Pakistan had been investing in democracy and a third "real [democratically elected] government" was in power, they could fight for the Kashmir cause with moral authority, he said.
"No selected prime minister can fight for the Kashmir cause the way a democracy-friendly prime minister can," he said.
Bilawal said it was important that he raises his voice for Kashmir at every possible opportunity while also seeing the reaction of the people.
He said that Pakistanis know that a "historic injustice" is taking place in occupied Kashmir and that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a murderer. However, he added that people also know that Prime Minister Imran Khan does not have the capability or legitimacy to provide the people of occupied Kashmir or Gilgit Baltistan with their rights.
Bilawal asked how the premier could talk about injustice in occupied Kashmir and about media restrictions in the disputed region if he has imposed "historic media restrictions in his own country".
"How can he speak about restrictions of human rights in occupied Kashmir when he has restricted human rights?" he inquired, adding: "How can he speak about democracy in occupied Kashmir when he has led the funeral of democracy in his is own country?"
Earlier, Bilawal has also raised doubts over the government’s sincerity with the Kashmir cause, saying the government was "not supporting the Kashmiris in an effective way".
Read: Bilawal raises doubts over govt’s sincerity with Kashmir cause
On Wednesday, the PPP leader had promised to wage a struggle for realising the democratic rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and to fulfill the commitment made with the region’s people by late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.Bilawal today said that the people of Gilgit Baltistan have seen that the premier is attacking democracy and human rights in the country."How can a person who is snatching democracy and constitutional and human rights away from us get the people of Gilgit Baltistan their rights?"The PPP leader said that people knew that only the democratic and "real leadership" of Pakistan could grant the people of Gilgit Baltistan their rights and raise their voices for Kashmiris.
While responding to a question about India’s top opposition leaders, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, being sent back after they landed in Srinagar on Saturday, Bilawal said that this was very unfortunate.
"What are they hiding from him? If everything is transparent and rights are being granted and they are doing good things [...] then why have you stopped the opposition leader of the country?"
He said that while the politics of Pakistan and India were different there were similarities regarding the democratic and undemocratic approaches used.
The PPP leader said that he had decided to spend Eidul Azha in Muzaffarabad as it was a "very good opportunity to send a message of unity" and after his announcement, the government also announced that they would send someone to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Bilawal added that the night he reached Muzaffarabad, his aunt, Faryal Talpur was "illegally" shifted from a hospital to jail.
"We feel that the government is trying to antagonise us [...] PPP has seen this in the past and knows how to oppose this."
He said that it would very good if the PTI and the rest of the country gave attention to Gilgit Baltistan the way his party (the PPP) was.
"Right now I feel like PPP is leading from the opposition and the government is playing the role of the opposition in the government," the PPP leader remarked.