New York Times »

No Light at the End of This Tunnel

January 3, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Do we need another history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Most Americans, even those who care about the subject, would probably say no. For one thing, most Americans already know what they think. Israel/Palestine is the foreign policy equivalent of abortion. The debate is vicious but predictable, and in the American political mainstream its contours haven’t changed much in a quarter-century. In the Trump era, moreover, Americans don’t care as much. Conservatives pay less attention to the security of Israel’s borders and more to the security of America’s. Liberals are too worried about the survival of democracy in the United States to focus on its survival in the Jewish state. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump Doesn’t Seem to Buy His Own National Security Strategy

December 19, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If you oppose Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy, take heart. Apparently, he does too.

Fifteen minutes into his speech unveiling the strategy on Tuesday, Trump butchered it in a revealing way. In its fourth paragraph, the strategy declares that the Trump administration will pursue a “strategy of principled realism.” But Trump mangled the phrase, declaring instead that, “Our new strategy is based on a principle, realism.” Read more…

The Forward »

Jews Are Due For A #MeToo Reckoning – About Palestinians

December 18, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

To varying degrees, most of us live in a state of willful blindness. We see horror all around us: people lying half-clothed, unconscious, on the sidewalk; football players who sustain brain damage for our enjoyment; news reports about children dying of hunger. We see these things the way we see the passing landscape. We see them and we go about our day.

Then there are the horrors that we could see but choose not to, even when they are nearby: prisons, inner-city emergency rooms, Alzheimer’s wards, even the kitchens of the restaurants in which we eat. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Growing Partisan Divide Over Feminism

December 15, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Amidst the exhilaration of Roy Moore’s defeat, and the broader cultural revolution sparked by women’s willingness to expose the sexual misdeeds of powerful men, it’s worth remembering this: Ninety percent of Republican women in Alabama, according to exit polls, cast their ballots for a man credibly accused of pedophilia. That’s a mere two points less than Republican men. By contrast, Democratic men voted for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, at the same rate as Democratic women: 98 percent. In early December, The Washington Post and the Schar School at George Mason University asked Alabamians whether they believed the allegations against Moore. Read more…

The Forward »

Why Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Will Only Hurt Israel

December 6, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On its face, Donald Trump’s speech on Wednesday announcing that America would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital seemed entirely reasonable. “Today,” he declared, “We finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump’s Jerusalem Plan Is a Deadly Provocation

December 6, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

For Donald Trump, Muslim barbarism is a political strategy. It inspires the fear and hatred that binds him to his base. Muslim barbarism is so politically useful, in fact, that, when necessary, Trump creates it. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Odds of Impeachment Are Dropping

December 3, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Now that Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and agreed to dish on his former boss, some Trump-watchers are suggesting that impeachment may be around the corner. “It’s time to start talking about impeachment,” announced a Saturday column on CNN.com. The Flynn deal, declared former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman in Friday’s New York Times, “portends the likelihood of impeachable charges being brought against the president of the United States.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Mike Pompeo at State Would Enable Trump’s Worst Instincts

November 30, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When the President of the United States retweets crude anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a neo-fascist convicted for harassing Muslims on the street, it’s useful to have a secretary of state with a different point of view. And Rex Tillerson, for all his faults, does. Tillerson has declared that, “there’s a great deal that’s misunderstood about the Muslim world” and that “we need to put a lot more effort into understanding one another better.” He’s even ventured that “the president’s views” about Islam, perhaps with a nudge from him, “are going to continue to evolve.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Right’s Islamophobia Has Nothing to Do With National Security

November 30, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When asked by reporters on Wednesday about President Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “what the President is talking about is the need for national security, the need for military spending.” Read more…

The Forward »

Why Doesn’t The New York Times Mention Ben Shapiro’s Islamophobia?

November 30, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Now and then—when Donald Trump retweets a video entitled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” by a British woman convicted of harassing a woman wearing a hijab, for instance—the media notices anti-Muslim bigotry. But often, it remains invisible. In recent years, this species of prejudice has become so pervasive, especially on the American right, that even talented journalists miss what is right in front of their eyes. Read more…