42 thoughts on “Trump: the Night Hell Froze – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. No.
    Bernie stood of something. Ditto for Ted Cruz. America rejected them and their idealism.

    Hillary represents the entrenched status quo. Donald represents radical change.

  2. Obama was a painful disappointment to many, me included. Indifference among those, a backlash of sort, may be added to the mix.

  3. @Richard
    An interesting question as to how Sanders would have fared against Trump. He was somewhat of a transformational character, perhaps who could have countered Trumps populism. But I doubt that he would have been able to sell a far left socialist vision to a majority of Americans.

    The problem with counter-factuals, of course, is that if you change one variable you can’t assume everything else stays the same. So the very scenario that could have brought Sanders to be the Democratic candidate, might not have brought Trump to win the Republican nomination but perhaps some other Republican.

    1. @ yehuda: “Far left socialist vision” is far-right rhetoric. The reason Sanders resonated so well during the primaries is that his voters didn’t see him that way. Nor did he see himself that way. He was as American as apple pie.

      Sanders could’ve beaten any Republican in this electoral cycle. But if Sanders had been the Democratic candidate, Trump would still have been the REpublican candidate. One would’ve had little impact on the other till the general election cycle began. Then Sanders would’ve wiped the floor with Trump.

  4. From across the Atlantic I was watching, cannot believe this outcome of a nasty campaign.
    How can Trump avoid to be made responsible for his tax and T- University fraud, his other criminal offenses?
    As a German I am more aware of his “Germanic” character and thus reflecting on the current US society being somewhat like the Germans in 1933….

    1. More like Germans in 1932, when the last free elections were held: It was the last free and fair all-German election before the Nazi seizure of power on 30 January 1933, as the following elections of March 1933 were already accompanied by massive suppression, especially against Communist and Social Democratic politicians.

      (The 1932 elections saw a significant drop in votes for the Nazi Party and increases for the Communists and the national conservative DNVP. Lets hope the Americans see the light soon, while there are still free elections.)

      1. Now, nobody can say “in Israel blah blah… no other western democracy blah…”

        The US voted a bigot, Islamophob, racist, pro-occupation, chauvinist president. How much worse can anyone get?

        1. @ Jim: As bad as Trump is, there are checks & balances that preclude him from doing his worst. There are no such checks or balances in Israel. Bibi can do his worst & has virtually absolute power to do so. Trump does not have absolute power.

          You might want to brush up your U.S. politics. You seem to have either forgotten or never known basic facts about our electoral & political system.

          1. Israel has a very strong supreme court. Much stronger than most countries have including the USA. Unlike in the USA, in Israel a Supreme Court judge is not elected/approved by the House of Representatives but rather by a committee in which there are 9 members. Of them only 4 are politicians (2 ministers and members of the Knesset). the others are 3 members of the supreme court and 2 members of the Israeli bar association.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_(Israel)
            As the members of the bar association always are in coalition with the Supreme Court judges, the politicians have a very limited power over who resides in the supreme court. So, Netanyahu can not do whatever he wants. For example, the Supreme Court aborted Netanyahu’s natural gas deal, which was his “baby”
            http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/107627-160327-israel-supreme-court-strikes-down-landmark-gas-deal. In another case that was very important to Netanyahu, the Supreme Court abolished a correction to the law that allowed for detaining illegal immigrants for up to 3 years without a trial. https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%97%D7%95%D7%A7_%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%AA_%D7%94%D7%A1%D7%AA%D7%A0%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%AA_(%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA_%D7%95%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%98)#.D7.AA.D7.99.D7.A7.D7.95.D7.9F_.D7.9E.D7.A1.27_4_.D7.95.D7.94.D7.95.D7.A8.D7.90.D7.AA_.D7.A9.D7.A2.D7.94_.282013.29
            There is no wonder that Netanyahu’s government now tries very hard to change the way the Supreme Court jugs are elected. Thus far-they failed
            You may not like all the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court, but you do need to acknowledge it does have significant power to limit the actions of the government..

          2. @ Amico: One thing that really irks me is Israelis who know next to nothing about forms of government other than their own (& sometimes know next to nothing about their own government as well) opining on things they know nothing about. I don’t like giving tutorials on government structures. That’s not my role here or subject. So please if you are an Israeli who thinks you know something about U.S. government, don’t go there. You probably don’t know sh&t. And if you don’t I will call you out and you will look like an ass.

            The U.S. Supreme Court has the power to review all legislation passed by the legislative branch. Every law. And it can declare any law null & void if it violates the constitution. And no one can say otherwise. There is no power to overturn the Court’s decisions. Justices are nominated by the President & approved by Congress, by 100 senators, not by a committee. The senators cannot appoint a justice. They only approve one nominated by the executive. That nomination from the executive & advise and consent from the Congress vests judicial power in the legislative & executive branches and validates it.

            But no one can exert any influence over the Court other than this. That is the strength of the Court, not its weakness as you falsely claim. THe Court reviews decisions of the executive as well & can overturn them as well. And the executive can do nothing about it. Those decision are not appealable and cannot be ignored.

            None of this is true of the Israeli Court. It’s decisions are generally advisory. They may be ignored or delayed. Further, the Israeli Court refuses to take, or delays taking very difficult national security decisions. It acts in half measures and is dominated by the other branches of government. It is subservient rather than independent.

            If the Israeli Court disapproved the gas deal it will be rewritten so that is passes muster & it will have the same character it had before, just the contract language will change. And if the gas deal doesn’t pass, the next Supreme Court justice appointed will not be appointed unless he’s willing to approve the deal. The Israeli Court may nibble around the edges. It may ameliorate an issue here or there. But it may not strike a fundamental blow against overreaching by other branches of government.

            I don’t want to get into a back and forth on this subject especially since I’ve written on this & said similar things before. Move on to another thread.

          3. @Richard: “There are no such checks or balances in Israel. Bibi can do his worst & has virtually absolute power to do so.”

            That is totally wrong. What about coalitions, no confidence votes, High Court rulings, a free press? All of those things are democratic institutions that prevent him from being a dictator.

            The fact that Netanyahu hasn’t been thrown out does not mean that he can’t. That has been one of the longstanding complaints about the parliamentary system here, that government changes too often. Netanyahu’s skill is that he is a savvy politician who knows how to defeat his opponents, within the current system.

            Your predictions of gloom aside, your plans for the demise of Israel have just been delayed by at least 4 years.

          4. @ Yehuda: THere is no check exerted by the Supreme Court. It cannot rule any law unconstitutional since there is no constitution & the Court has no right to rule on specific legislation & cancel it. THe press as a check on Bibi? Really. A press that he virtually owns with the exceptions of a few gnats here & there like Yediot & Haaretz? As for coalitions, in what way does the coalition check Bibi on issues that have real significance? On religious issues maybe his religious partners check him. But on security, Palestine, foreign policy in general–how does his coalition check anything?

            As for whether these things are “democratic institutions,” I would argue that in theory they are but in practice they aren’t.

            Bibi’s skill isn’t that much different than Hitler before he became a dictator: he manipulates & games the system, destroying anything that stands in his way using subterfuge, lies & outright fraud.

            I have never predicted the demise of “Israel.” I have predicted the demise of this iteration of Israel. The one in which Jews predominate, have superior rights to Palestinian citizens, in which Judean religion dominates social & political life. Just as East Germany, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia collapsed under the weight of their own contradictions and injustices–this will happen to Israel. These states didn’t die, they just changed. In some cases for the better, in some cases less so. In Israel’s case, it can only change for the better since the current iteration is so blatantly unjust.

            If you ever repeat the claim that I support the demise of Israel you will face moderation.

          5. Elisabeth – I understand Progressives have hard time joking these days.

            Hillary didn’t get the majority. That’s a fact. She got 47.6% a mare 0.2% more than Trump. This doesn’t include all people in Blue/Red states who didn’t care to vote since it won’t change a thing (Cali, NY, NJ).

            Trump won and it tells a whole lot on the US and Americans. Now, that’s a fact.

          6. @ Jim: We in America don’t force a candidate to get a majority before they’re elected. The plurality wins. Many American presidents have been elected by pluralities. They are just as much president as someone elected with a majority.

            Trump won with many millions less votes than Mitt Romney got in his losing bid for the presidency in 2012. All this election proves is that neither candidate was as attractive as either out of the 2012 candidates. Which “tells a whole lot” more than your inane comment does.

  5. The frightfulness of Trump’s domestic agenda (if it is one) pales in comparison with the horror of the Clintons’ foreign agenda. They and their helpmates have reignited a cold war with Russia and have shown such a cavalier attitude to the possibility of this turning into a nuclear conflict that one gets the impression that one is dealing here with a set of irresponsible juveniles (or people who have to cope with their second childhood).

    “I always used to assume” wriote Robert Parry “that this horrific possibility would only come into play over something truly worthy assuming that anything would justify the mass extinction of life on the planet. Now, however, Official Washington’s neocons and liberal interventionists are telling me and others that we should risk nuclear annihilation over which set of thieves gets to rule Ukraine and even helping Al Qaeda terrorists (and their “moderate” allies) keep control of East Aleppo in Syria.”

  6. @Elisabeth

    Graag wil ik je nog bedanken voor je deelnemende belangstelling betreffende mijn genezing. Ik zag je post daarover pas weken later.

  7. I know you guys will jump down my throat for this, but I think that there is a silver lining here. I voted for Hillary and really can’t stand Trump. But I now think that perhaps more than anybody else he might actually be able to impose an agreement on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He is, after all “America first” and not “Israel first”. Although he seemingly has favorable opinions of Israel, he is very pragmatic and knows what is in American interests, as opposed to some pre-determined ideological position of “justice”, which might never occur.

    I see a scenario where he will lead an Arab-European-US initiative to force the Palestinians to abandon their refusal to negotiate and their preconditions of a settlement freeze as well as an insistence on a priori agreement to the 67 lines. He will tell them that refusal to negotiate is not consistent with wanting a state, and that in negotiations (like in business) you don’t dictate terms before the negotiation. He will make clear to them that waiting for the UN or the world to give them a state without an agreement with Israel will not happen. He will tell them that settlements are the subject of the negotiations themselves, not predetermined outcomes. At the same time, he will convince the Israelis that they too must negotiate in sincerity because they now will have a partner and that it is now crunch time. The Israeli leadership must prepare the Israeli population for painful compromises as the excuses are running out. If Bibi refuses this he will be voted out and replaced, since most Israelis are ready for compromise.

    Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but as in the past it is often the “conservatives” which makes peace breakthroughs because they can convince their electorate to go along.

      1. I am both… remember that American-Israelis living abroad can vote via proxy in US elections. Registered in Pennsylvania. The price is that I have to file an annual US tax return with the IRS…even for my Israeli income 🙁

    1. @ Yehuda:

      I now think that perhaps more than anybody else he might actually be able to impose an agreement on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

      You are so utterly full of s(&t. Or rather deluded. NO U.S. president will ever impose anything on Israel until the Lobby is defanged or there’s a Srebrenica type ethnic cleansing/massacre that brings universal denunciation & determination to impose a solution. Trump will not succeed in doing anything good for anyone–domestically or in foreign policy. His presidency will be an utter disaster. I feel sorry for you there because it will be an utter disaster for both Israelis & Palestinians. You will both suffer.

      You’ve essentially said that Trump will impose a settlement on the Palestinians, not the Israelis. Since you’ve not noted anything the Israelis would have to give up or do differently than their current policies. It simply will not work. Neither you nor Trump can force the Palestinians to eat grass, which essentially is what both of you would be offering them.

      1. “Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been given to fools”
        Everyone, including yourself (and me) were sure that Hillary will win the election.

        I don’t think that anyone can be 100% sure what Tramp will do or won’t do. In that sense I think the right wingers in Israel are to early to be so joyful and the left wingers are too pessimistic.

        1. @ Amico: This is not prophecy. We’ve had 2 terms of George Bush & Dick Cheney. We know Trump’s policies will be worse, far worse. That’s why George Bush refused to support Trump. It goes without saying that Trump will be many times worse. That’s not prophecy. That’s money in the bank as far as a prediction.

          1. You’re clearly hopelessly bigoted against Trump, and obviously have no idea about him personally or his political agenda.

            Your ‘this is not a prophecy’ is both irrational & unlike the normally rational you.

            I could call you yet another bitter US media commentator totally out of touch with the US electorate, but I won’t bother…..just wait & see what DT does…and then make up your mind.

            My view is that to date, he’s playing Bibi & AIPAC like a violin

            Finally, I expect you will of course publicly apologise to DT if he succeeds politically.

          2. @ kevinherbert: You may be the only person in the universe who believes that Trump will be anti-Israel. As such, you’re even more delusional than Trump is, and that’s saying something.

            Using the term “bigoted” regarding Trump as if he were a member of a persecuted religious or ethnic minority is ‘rich’ beyond measure.

      2. Well I knew you would bite my head off.

        Of course Israel would have to give up something. A settlement for the Israelis means dismantling some of the settlements and withdrawing from most of the West Bank.
        In the past Republican presidents were relatively tough on Israel- George Bush the father, and Reagan. They both imposed sanctions on Israel.
        In any case if the Palestinians and the Arabs negotiate seriously the Israelis themselves will deliver the goods– they will force their leader to do it.
        Remember that previous recent rounds of negotiation under Obama were cut off by the Palestinians, not the Israelis.

        I agree that its conjecture regarding Trump, nobody really knows what he will do.

        But you are such a binary black and white guy about everything, so once you see Trump as “bad” anything he does cannot be good. We Israelis are treated by you the same way. We’re on our way to mass murder, right. I think that you are deluded about this (not commenting on your mental health of course)

        1. @ Yehuda:

          A settlement for the Israelis means dismantling some of the settlements and withdrawing from most of the West Bank.

          What could Trump do to force Israelis to do what they’ve refused to do so far? Will he slap sanctions on Israel? Withhold military aid? Sponsor a Security Council resolution against Israel? Really. Do you really think Trump will do anything like that? When Obama wouldn’t do it & no previous president would?

          As for Bush & Reagan–you’re going back 20-30 yrs. Politics here has changed. No president of either party is now willing to go toe to toe with Israel. The Lobby would crucify them (sorry for the inapt phrase).

          As for Israelis “forcing” their leaders to do anything regarding the Palestinians, you’re absolutely daft. Never happen. Not in a million yrs. Previous negotiations were cut off by Palestinians when Israelis proved unwilling to offer anything worthwhile. It was the Israelis, not the Palestinians who caused all previous negotiations to fail. The Americans, who favored the Israelis in the talks, even confirm this.

          Everything I say about Israel is true. My pessimistic view is borne out every time. My views are based on facts. Yours are based on speculation & wishful thinking projecting into the future based on a faulty view of the past. As for Trump, we’ve lived with this jackass for decades. We know how bad he is based on his past. The only thing left is to fill in the future–which he will do: bleak, bloody, and bad.

          He just announced he will deport 3-million Mexicans immediately. Do you think those people, their families & the rest of the Hispanics in this country will stand for this? You think there are protests now? There will be mass protest like you’ve never seen in this country. They will paralyze the nation & the rest of the 50+% of Americans who voted against him will be supporting them. In France they have general strikes. We don’t do that here. Until now…It should be an interesting four years…

          1. Actually, I won’t be shocked if Tramp will cut military aid to Israel. It is not likely but it does go well with his general approach that the USA should let her allies finance their protection by themselves. Again, it is not likely but it is possible. Particularly if he will do it as if it is a mutual decision to reduce Israel dependency on the USA. Netenyahu himself, many years ago, said that Israel should gradually stop the aid. The truth is that Israel doesn’t need it. Today the aid is about 3% from Israel’s annual budget. The truth of the matter is the USA profits from the aid more than Israel does as analyzed for example by professor Idan Landau (A left wing activist who refused to serve in the territories)
            https://idanlandau.com/2010/05/16/end-american-aid/

          2. @ Amico:

            it is not likely

            You should’ve stopped there. It’s simply not possible that Trump will act in any way unfavorable to the Lobby & Israel (at least the interests of the current govt). You don’t understand the first thing about Trump. He has no principles. He never said he would cut military aid to Israel. THere are probably many things he promised to do that he won’t do. So he’ll certainly never do something he never promised to do, like cut military aid. Further, he knows that the GOP is beholden to the Lobby even more than the Democrats. There’s no way he’d cross the Lobby.

            And if you think Bibi will agree to cut U.S. aid you’re insane. He just negotiated the largest U.S. military aid package in the history of the country. So now he’s going to turn around the cut off the spigot? Insane.

            Oy, the idea that someone like you uses Idan Landau to try to prove your point is just disgusting. Of course the U.S. benefits from aid to Israel. But if you think the U.S. has any need whatsoever for whatever benefit that’s offered you’re again, insane. You’re measuring the aid in dollars & cents instead of its real symbolic import. Israel cannot survive in the long term without knowing the U.S. will provide a lifeline should another major war break out. Should such a thing happen and a US govt refuse to resupply Israel, the war would be over in a month or less. So the annual aid package is a symbolic reaffirmation of the tie that binds between Israel & the U.S.

            You are done in this thread. Do not comment further here.

  8. @Richard: “My pessimistic view is borne out every time. My views are based on facts.”
    The past can only give us EXAMPLES of possible outcomes, and does not predict the future. As a student of history you know that there have plenty of pleasant and unpleasant surprises that nobody anticipates, and then events take a different turn. Just recent history in our own memory provides plenty of examples. The demise of the USSR. China’s economic rise and conversion to capitalism while maintaining a dictatorship. The Arab Spring. 9/11. The list goes on and on.
    So your self confidence in your predictive ability comes across as kind of clownish and bizarre, especially because your opinions and analyses are so completely out of touch with most people. Your ridiculous claim that Bernie Sanders would have beat Trump only proves that you are clueless about where Americans are. The same holds for your understanding of Israel and the Arab world.
    I think we have gone as far as we can go here, so I will withhold further comments on this thread.

    1. @ Yehuda: On the contrary, your wishful thinking based on empty illusions is what is truly clownish. It is you, the Israelis, who are “out of touch with most people” and reality. Actually, I am not the only one who claims Sanders would’ve beat Trump. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats who voted for him feel the same way. If you read American media you’d see this comment widely published. Polls taken during the primary campaign consistently showed Sanders doing far better than Clinton in beating Trump. And in EVERY poll Sanders beat Trump.

      Now, Sanders and his allies will very likely take control of the Democratic Party and you will see what four years will bring.

      Stop beating a dead horse. Do not comment further in this thread.

  9. Thank you Richard for a great analysis and ditto posts in the comments section. For my support of Bernie Sanders and his version of the pitchfork revolution, I got branded a hack and republican in a US leftist blog calling itself “progressive”.

    With all fake news, brandished propaganda by US government under Obama, the Americans are living in a fantasy world with expanding distance to reality. The world is not waiting for the US to get its house in order. After eight lost years under GWB, the US is once again wading into the abyss.

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