Archive for April, 2017


The Atlantic »

What Trump Still Doesn’t Understand About the Holocaust

April 26, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Given his administration’s bizarre rhetorical struggles when it comes to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, the bar for Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday at the Holocaust Memorial Museum was low. All he really had to do was show he understands that anti-Semitism is bad, and that the Holocaust happened mostly to… Read the Rest »

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How Trump Desecrates Memory Of Holocaust Survivors — Despite Fine Words

April 26, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump ended his speech yesterday at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by talking about Gerda Weissmann Klein. For good reason; hers is an amazing story. While being liberated by the United States Army in May 1945, Weissmann — then 21 years old, white-haired and weighing 68 pounds —… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

How Trump Could Get China’s Help on North Korea

April 25, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

So far, the Trump administration’s North Korea policy consists of declaring that America’s patience has run out, refusing to negotiate, hinting at preventive war, and hoping that China bails it out. In January, Trump—who is perpetually learning things that most other people know and then congratulating himself for having discovered… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

How America Shed the Taboo Against Preventive War

April 21, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

A hidden assumption underlies the debate over North Korea. The assumption is that preventive war—war against a country that poses no imminent threat but could pose a threat in the future—is morally legitimate. To be sure, many politicians oppose an attack on practical grounds: They say the costs would be… Read the Rest »

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Is Marwan Barghouti The Palestinian Nelson Mandela?

April 19, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In the April 16 New York Times, Marwan Barghouti announced that he and 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners were launching a hunger strike. It’s easy to understand why. West Bank Palestinians are colonial subjects. Even though the Palestinian Authority has some power, it is not a state, and the Israeli military… Read the Rest »

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Why Trumpism Will Outlast Steve Bannon

April 17, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week brought a new conventional wisdom to Washington: Internationalism is back. Donald Trump’s military strike in Syria, his embrace of the Export-Import bank, his acknowledgment that China isn’t actually manipulating its currency, and his public humiliation of Steve Bannon sparked a rash of articles suggesting that Trump’s presidency may… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

When Conservatives Oppose ‘Religious Freedom’

April 11, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On March 28, Pamela Geller, co-founder of the group Stop Islamization of America, wrote a column on Breitbart that offered Donald Trump some advice: “Clean house.” Paul “Ryan has got to go. James Comey, too,” she urged. Then she added a more obscure name: “What’s Eric Treene still doing there?”… Read the Rest »

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IfNotNow And The Challenge Of The Millennial Left

April 10, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In a column last week, I compared IfNotNow, the Millennial-powered movement challenging American Jewish complicity in Palestinian repression, to Black Lives Matter. That upset some people,including IfNotNow itself, which issued a statement rejecting the comparison. That’s fine. I’m a fan of IfNotNow’s, but the movement has no obligation to agree… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Trump’s Establishment Approach to Syria

April 7, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why did Donald Trump, who won the GOP nomination, in part, by bucking his party’s interventionist foreign policy establishment, thrill it on Friday by launching missile strikes against the government of Bashar Assad? Why did the most unconventional of presidents respond to his first foreign policy crisis in such a… Read the Rest »

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IfNotNow Is The Jewish Black Lives Matter

April 4, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I spent last Shabbat with students from Harvard Hillel and was reminded, again, how important a generational movement IfNotNow is becoming. I don’t think most older American Jews grasp it yet. This is our Black Lives Matter.