Who’s afraid of Michael Wolff, Trump Racist, Nuclear Button

Saturday Rate of Exchange:
Israel, Jerusalem, and God

from Burr Deming

My long time friend T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, reports on the uproar over the US recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He concludes that Palestinians who object do “not truly want peace”. After all, says my conservative friend, Israel’s title to Jerusalem has been determined by God.

Infidel753 takes issue with the theocentric nature of my friend’s argument. Claiming to speak for the Almighty tends to foreclose any respect for other points of view. However, in disagreeing, Infidel also finds a point of agreement.


Israel’s title to Jerusalem has been determined by God

This is a good example of the bizarre phenomenon observed throughout human history, in which some humans have figured out that they can place their own personal claims, prejudices, and pronouncements beyond dispute by claiming the role of ventriloquist’s dummies for an imaginary superbeing. On the status of Jerusalem, as on so many other issues, all we have are transcribed statements by humans in ancient times who claimed they were speaking for God, statements which usually conveniently reflect the interests of the humans supposedly relaying them.

In fact, Israel’s title to Jerusalem was determined the same way most national claims to territory are determined — by military force.

Trump, being an ignoramus, doesn’t grasp that diplomacy sometimes requires fudging reality to assuage wounded pride. Everyone who functions in the real world knows that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and that there will never be any “Palestinian state” in the West Bank, just as everyone who functions in the real world knows that Taiwan and China are now two separate countries and probably will always be so. But when dealing with people who still wish that reality were other than it is, one is wise to avoid “rubbing it in”.

Paine does make a good point, though. The US should not be funding the “Palestinian Authority” which facilitates anti-Semitic terrorism. Fudging words for diplomatic purposes is sometimes necessary; overlooking murder is inexcusable.

Infidel753 expands on his main argument in a nuanced, thoughtful followup article that is well worth reading.

Dave Dubya writes for the informative and entertaining site, Freedom Rants. He offers a bit of research as a counterpoint to Infidel.

Dave Dubya:

I was curious about the US funding the Palestinian Authority, and found this interesting. Most money goes to UNRWA, the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

Haaretz reports: FACT CHECK: How Much Funding Does the U.S. Give Palestinians – and What Would Happen if Trump Cuts It

If the United States stopped giving that money, however, the result won’t necessarily pressure the Palestinian Authority. UNRWA’s work is much more influential in areas not controlled by the PA, such as Gaza and the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, than in the West Bank…

A Congressional report from December 2016 stated that on average, ever since the Palestinian Authority’s creation following the Oslo process in 1993, the United States has invested $400 million a year in the Palestinians. Most of this money has not gone directly to the PA, but rather to projects in the West Bank and in Gaza supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The report stated that the United States was due to invest $363 million in the Palestinian territories in 2017, with the vast majority of the sum going to USAID programs, and an approximate $36 million to directly support the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. With regards to such support of Palestinian security forces, which work in coordination with Israel to stop terror attacks, the report mentions that they may have also received “covert” funding from the United States without providing more details.

These days, Congress is considering legislation that would significantly cut funding to the Palestinians through USAID programs, called the “The Taylor Force Act.” The bill, named after an American citizen who was murdered in a terror attack in Tel Aviv in 2016, aims to cut U.S. funding to the Palestinians – except a number of programs such as hospitals in East Jerusalem, water projects and vaccination programs – as long as the Palestinian Authority continues paying salaries to convicted terrorists who are sitting in Israeli jails.

The Taylor Force Act, it should be noted, does not affect the budget allocated to the Palestinian security forces. While Israel supports the bill, it would likely oppose cuts to the funding given to the Palestinian security forces that work with Israeli counterparts on a regular basis and help maintain relative calm in the West Bank.”

Have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Trump Law

How would anyone deal with a sudden fire, demolishing a home, destroying private possessions representing experiences over a lifetime? What if it happened to an important accidental witness, testifying against powerful political figures? What if it occurred during her absence from home, on a trip to give testimony to Congress?

What if she and her family were the targets of arson?

I wonder what sort of courage it took for Jill Simpson to take the risks she took. A few days after the fire, she was tailed at night along a lonely rural Mississippi road for miles by a large automobile which eventually overtook her, then forced her own car off the road.

Continue reading “Trump Law”