By Robert A. Vella

Here’s the news for this Saturday and some political commentary on antisemitism.

Voter-id struck down

From:  Judge strikes down North Carolina voter ID OK’d by voters

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina judge has voided constitutional amendments approved by voters in November requiring photo identification to vote in person and capping the state income tax rate.

The judge sided Friday with the state NAACP, which argued last year’s edition of the General Assembly that voted to put amendments to the North Carolina Constitution on the ballot was illegally constituted due to racially gerrymandered districts.

Move against Planned Parenthood

From:  Trump administration issues rule to strip millions from Planned Parenthood

The Trump administration issued a final rule on Friday that could effectively cut off tens of millions of federal family planning dollars to Planned Parenthood and steer some of that funding towards anti-abortion, faith-based care providers.


Under the rule, clinics would still have to provide an array of contraceptive services but could partner or subcontract with groups that stress abstinence only or natural family planning. It would also bar Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that accept the funding from making any abortion referrals or performing abortions — regardless of the funding source — at the same facilities where they provide Title X services like birth control, mammograms and cancer screenings.


Planned Parenthood executives said they will fight in court to block or overturn the rule, and indicated they won’t apply for Title X funding if it does go into effect.

Manafort sentencing

From:  Mueller suggests sentence that could amount to life in prison for Manafort

A federal judge should consider giving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort a sentence that would send him to prison for at least 17 and a half years, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing made public Saturday.

That could amount to a life sentence for the 69-year-old Manafort, who became one of the most prominent targets of Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Commentary on antisemitism

In the U.K., U.S., and other western democracies, the use of political rhetoric to condemn the ideological Left as “antisemitic” has been increasing among corporate centrists and mainstream conservatives.  This tactic is especially evident in Britain where nine MP’s have quit the Labour Party and at least three MP’s who have quit or are considering quitting Theresa May’s conservative Tories.  There, the issue has become intertwined with the Brexit mess which has caused a rift between moderates in both parties who oppose the U.K. leaving the E.U. and right-wingers who are driving it as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who has taken a middle ground but who also is inclined to respect the 2016 referendum vote which passed 52-48%.  See:

Seven members of UK Labour Party quit over Brexit, anti-Semitism concerns

Eighth Labour MP quits party to join breakaway Independent Group

Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

But, this centrist tactic targeting the Left has an even larger significance.  After the ascendancy of far-right nationalist forces throughout the West, an opposing rebirth of left-wing activism has occurred.  Although centrists are generally aligned with the Left on social issues, they are not so aligned on economic issues.  Left-wing proponents of socialist policies and the empowerment of democratic governance conflicts with the centrist establishment’s favoritism towards corporatism, neoliberal economics, and austerity measures designed to eliminate the welfare state.  Centrists can no longer successfully combat this populist sentiment through rational appeals, so they feel compelled to try irrational appeals such as attempting to demonize the Left’s basic morality.  And, the strategy might even work if it didn’t have one major flaw – the fact that the Left is not antisemitic.

To find real ideological antisemitism, one must look to the other end of the political spectrum.  Fascism, Nazism, white nationalism, and white supremacy, reside solely on the far-right.  It is epitomized by the legacy of The Holocaust.  During his rise to power, Adolf Hitler wiped out the socialist and communist parties which were antithetical towards him.  Never before or since has the ideological war between Right and Left been waged so ferociously.

What is true about the political Left these days, however, is their criticism of the policies pursued by the government of Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which have been undeniably harsh on the Palestinian people in addition to violating key acts of the United Nations.  Being critical of Israel does not necessarily equate to being antisemitic.  Negotiating certain agreements with Israel’s declared enemies, such as the Iran Nuclear Deal, does not correlate to antisemitism.  Boycotting selected Israeli businesses in order to put political pressure on Netanyahu has nothing to do with existential hatred of the Jewish people.

2 thoughts on “Voter-id struck down, Move against Planned Parenthood, Manafort sentencing, Commentary on antisemitism

  1. It is a shame that till today Palestinians have to live in refugee camps (like in Libanon) with often little chances for a nice life (in Libanon for instance they are not allowed to do all jobs). Many were forced to leave their homeland after 1948 and till today have often only the UN refugee passport for strategical reasons although living in other Arab countries now for many decades..So not only Israel is treating them fairly bad as a political plaything.

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