Monday, January 9, 2017

Politics, Hollywood Style

It was a hardly a surprise that some of the Hollywood crowd could not resist taking a few digs at President-Elect Donald Trump at last night's Golden Globes Awards. After all, they have just been beside themselves over Hillary's loss to Trump. The main attack came from Meryl Streep, but Viola Davis had a few choice words as well. As Trump does have a knack for leaving himself open to criticism, let's see if any of these critiques are legitimate.

Viola Davis: "There is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system, so then what does that say about us?" How incredibly arrogant and narrow-minded. As soon as Obama first said he wanted to bring "fundamental change" to our country, I knew that he was not an "extension" of my belief system. Either Ms. Davis thinks most people believe exactly as she does (maybe) or she believes people with contrary views are simply not worthy of holding office (probable).

The Golden Globes are sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Said Meryl Streep: "You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American Society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press." Let's break it down. First, I disagree with the entire premise. I believe that Republicans are actually more vilified. (See the 7/29/16 post discussing the personal attacks on this writer.) On a regular basis I see verbal assaults on Republicans and conservatives in TV shows and movies. Almost daily, I can see the written assaults on Republicans and conservatives in the mainstream media.

Additionally, it is not all foreigners who are vilified. It is terrorists who come here with the intent to kill Americans who are vilified. And people who come here illegally are not vilified just because people on the right believe that immigrants should come here legally. As for the press and Hollywood, if they want more respect from the public, then stop insulting half the country and start reporting the news fairly. See above paragraph.

Streep: "We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him (she refused to say Trump's name, childish) on the carpet for every outrage. That's why our Founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution." She goes on to ask those present to support "the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we're gonna need them going forward, and they'll need us to safeguard the truth." To borrow a phrase from SNL's "The Church Lady": "Now isn't that special." Exactly when did the press hold Obama to account during the last eight years? Where were all the articles about the "Imperial Presidency," when Obama said he would act if Congress did not - as if he had the power of a dictator. Obama said he had a pen and a phone; he did not seem to care much for the Constitution.

Where was Ms. Streep and the rest of Hollywood when Obama improperly and inaccurately attacked conservative media (Fox News and conservative talk radio). Where was Ms. Streep and the rest of Hollywood when Obama and Holder went after Fox News reporter James Rosen, and his family! So, this Committee to Protect Journalists, along with Hollywood, is going to "safeguard the truth?" What truth would that be? The same "truth" we regularly hear from the left wing's media/Hollywood propaganda machine? (This blog has regularly written about media bias.)

Streep was most distraught about Trump's alleged mocking of a reporter's disability. Trump denies it. Listening to Larry Elder on talk radio today, he said that the jerky movements Trump made have been made by Trump both before and after the run-in with the reporter. Apparently, Trump has a tendency to make those jerky movements when he is mocking someone whom he believes is not giving a straight answer. Mocking someone's disability, if true, is highly inappropriate. Mocking someone for evasiveness is another matter. And clearly, neither a presidential candidate nor a president-elect (especially a president-elect) should engage in mockery.

Trump, being Trump, was not able to control himself; he simply could not refrain from replying to Streep - when restraint was called for. Trump then proceeded to Tweet that Streep was "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood." Except, she's not. She is widely considered to be the premier actress of her generation. Trump Tweeted that he was attacked by someone who "doesn't know me." Well, he better get used to it, as thousands of reporters and others in Hollywood (who will also not know him) will continue to attack him during the next four years. It comes with the territory, and he would be wise to follow the example of George W. Bush in that regard.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What Ifs?

Three days ago the United States House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution declaring their support for the State of Israel. The resolution followed the Obama Administration's refusal to veto the anti-Israel resolution that was passed by the United Nations Security Council in December.

The House resolution declared that: "...the United States Government should oppose and veto future United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel; and the House of Representatives opposes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and will work to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship, and calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that (A) it is no longer one-sided and anti-Israel, and (B) it allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties."

The resolution passed 342 to 80. All but 4 Republicans voted for, and one said he voted against because it was not strong enough against the UN. 109 Democrats voted for the resolution, but 76 voted against. Among those opposing the resolution was House Minority Leader, and former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. So, WHAT IF the Democrats won back the House? Pelosi would then be Speaker again, and would never have allowed such a pro-Israel measure come to the floor of the House for a vote. After all, following Kerry's speech attempting to justify Obama's sellout of Israel, Pelosi said Kerry's speech was "a reaffirmation of America's commitment to a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel, and a state for the Palestinians."

Guess who else voted against the House resolution? Keith Ellison and Andre Carson - the two Muslim members of Congress. Ellison is in the running to become head of the Democratic National Committee. In fact, most news reports say that Ellison is the front-runner for getting the job. WHAT IF this far left, anti-Israel Congressman becomes head of the DNC? Imagine the type of candidates he will support for Congress with the vast sums of money that would be at his disposal.

Trump has been saying that his Administration will move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. WHAT IF he does? What if after all these years the embassy is finally moved to Israel's capital city, Jerusalem, where it belongs? Israel's neighbor, Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, says that moving the embassy would be a "red line" and would "inflame the Arab streets." (As reported in the 1/6/17 Times of Israel.) Secretary of State John Kerry said the move would cause "an explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region." (From the same article.)

The first question I have about the possible move of the embassy is this: if the embassy is moved to "Western" Jerusalem, where the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) sits, why should that bother anyone? I thought that the Arab Palestinians were only claiming "East" Jerusalem. So why would there be a problem? Or maybe, as this blog has noted many times, the Palestinians and other Arabs are revealing to those who will see and hear what they really want - all of Jerusalem and all of Israel. The second question I have about this is: when does the Western world stop appeasing terrorists and start making demands of Arab leaders. When do we demand that Arab countries start speaking the truth to their people, instead of constantly teaching hatred of Jews and Israel? When do we start telling Arab leaders that if the "street" reacts it's their problem, because for decades they have refused to tell their people to accept Israel as the Jewish state.

The two-state solution that continues to be pushed by many is supposed to bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. The border between the two states is supposed to be the 1967 borders, which, again, is nothing other than the 1949 armistice lines. Those lines simply reflected the territory held by each side when the fighting stopped after Israel's war for independence, fought from 1948 to 1949. When that war ended, Israel occupied more land than had been given to them in 1947 by the original UN partition of the British Mandate area.

So, let me ask. WHAT IF the anti-Israel Europeans and Obama and Kerry and Pelosi got their way? Imagine that we now have two states, on the basis of the 1967 borders, because the world says Israel must return all the land won in the 1967 war? Who thinks that the establishment of a Palestinian state will end the conflict? Who still believes in the tooth fairy? Here is what I think will happen. After getting their state, the Palestinians will next make the argument that inasmuch as Israel had to give up land they won in war in 1967, then logically Israel should have to give up the land they won in their war of independence in 1948 and 1949, land that Israel "occupied" beyond the original UN partition lines.

Those of you who still believe in the tooth fairy would probably tell me that such a further reduction in Israel's size would never be demanded of it by the rest of the world. Really? The December UN resolution already declared the holiest sites in Israel, in so-called East Jerusalem, to be Palestinian territory. In the middle of last year UNESCO passed a resolution denying Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. 3000 years of Jewish history - gone! Just like that. So, go ahead, say nothing bad would happen if Israel just gave up the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). I think my fellow Jews in America have perhaps had it too good here for too long, resulting in a certain complacency that causes them to think nothing bad can happen to the Jews or to Israel. Nothing bad - except for all of history.