Thursday, November 16, 2023

America's con man

I never cared for Rudy Giuliani.  Not when he was 'America's Mayor,' not ever.  I remember when Lorne Michaels and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE used to kiss his butt.  He was an angry, petty man before 9/11 and he only got worse after.  He has only continued to get worse.  NEWSWEEK reports:

Former New York mayor and former Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that American politics should "get rid" of the Democratic Party because it's "too corrupt" at the top.

In an interview with journalist Dan Ball on Wednesday for his show Real America, which airs on far-right, pro-Trump channel One America News (OAN), Giuliani praised the Republican Party as "a patriotic conservative movement" and blasted the Democratic Party as a self-serving organization.

"A patriotic conservative movement"?  He just lies.  He does not agree with most members of the Republican Party.  He just lies and lies some more.  

That is not me denying corruption.  There is corruption in all political parties.  That includes the Green Party.  We saw that this year as Chris Hedges and Jill Stein schemed to gift the nomination to Cornel West. You also saw the Green Party rank-and-file and leadership stand up to that corruption move and say loud and clear, the party's nominee would be selected at the party's summer convention in 2024.  But, yes there is corruption everywhere.  

If you are a grifter like Mr. Mayor America, you pretend the other side is corrupt but that your own is lily clean.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, November 16, 2023.  The assault on Gaza continues, Joe Biden looks like a lame duck with each passing day as he continues to go along with the slaughter, we continue to look at the DC hate rally, and much more.

Joe-Joe's turning himself into LBJ.  He doesn't get it.  He needs to shut his damn mouth and listen to the people in his administration who are trying to get the point through to him that a cease-fire is a must.  

Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?

It's going to be a chant like that.  

On Tuesday night, after two weeks of constant bombardment that killed dozens of doctors, patients and refugees, Israeli forces entered Al-Shifa hospital and raised the Israeli flag over it. 

Just hours before, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asserted that “Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages.” 

The US media went even further, with Fox News describing Al-Shifa as a “hospital used as Hamas underground terror HQ.” 

These claims proved to be a complete lie. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) produced no hostages, no underground bunker. After searching a sprawling hospital complex that at one point housed 60,000 people in the middle of an active war zone, the IDF could only show a few assault rifles and two flak jackets as “evidence.”

The real reason Al-Shifa was attacked was symbolic. The hospital’s medical workers, subject to continuous bombardment and sniper fire, defied orders by the IDF to leave, saying they would rather die than abandon their patients. Their courage and defiance in the face of Israel’s genocide won the solidarity and support of millions of people all over the world.

The First and Second Geneva Conventions of 1949 stipulate that hospitals and other medical units must not be attacked and should be protected at all times. This includes civilian and military hospitals. Attacking hospitals and medical personnel is a war crime under international criminal law.

  • International responses: Qatar condemned the Israeli military for raiding the hospital, an action it described as “a war crime and a blatant violation of international laws.” The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned Israel’s raid, which it described as a "storming." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a terrorist state.
  • Humanitarian crisis: "Grave violations" against children are occurring in Gaza, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said Wednesday, one day after her visit to the territory. The main United Nations relief agency operating in Gaza warned Wednesday that its "entire operation is now on the verge of collapse." And the UN's humanitarian agency chief said "carnage in Gaza reaches new levels of horror every day" and called for a ceasefire.

  • Joe is out of touch and he's also wrong.  There is no different thing.  Hospitals are not to be attacked in war.  There is no different story, you're a deluded elderly man who doesn't know what the F**K you are doing and are proving, in front of the whole country, that you're too damn old to govern.  It's not 1960.  EXODUS didn't just play at the local theaters -- propaganda passed off as history.  This is not 'growing pains.'  This is decades of targeting Palestinians, this is decades of seizing their land, ,of tearing down their homes.  

    You're an old fool who can't learn.  That's why you're too old to be president.  You need to get in front of the microphone and say you're not running for re-election because right now you are burying the Democratic Party.

    This is not leadership.  This does not speak to courage or strength.  You look like a dazed, confused idiot who is allowing and taking part in the slaughter of a people.  And you look that way because that's what you are.

    Hundreds of demonstrators in Los Angeles shut down a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon in a protest demanding Joe Biden and US lawmakers call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

    In the heart of Hollywood, along the palm tree-lined streets near Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the Walk of Fame, protesters waved Palestinian flags and held signs – “not in our name” and “let Gaza live”. More than 1,000 people gathered in the rain, including a group that staged a sit-in at the intersection with flowers in hand and shirts reading “Jews say ceasefire now” as tourists watched.

    “We demand an end to the killing and the return of the hostages,” one speaker said. “Ceasefire now.”

    Jewish protesters and supporters were arrested Monday night after occupying the Ron V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland for hours, demonstrating in support of a ceasefire in Gaza.

    The protest started around 4 p.m., when hundreds of people streamed into the federal building, filling the rotunda and hallways, and climbing up to the top level. Wearing shirts that said “Not in our name” and “Ceasefire now,” they chanted, danced, and sang Jewish songs. 

    Their calls were aimed at Rep. Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, who’s in San Francisco this week for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Rep. Barbara Lee, who represents Oakland, recently expressed support for a ceasefire, joining a small cohort in Congress.

    The assault on Gaza is a tragedy and a humanitarian crisis.  If Joe can't stand up to it for those reasons, you'd think he'd at least stand up to it to save his political career.  

    Like David Axelrod, I'm getting very tired of DNC party leaders not breaking down some hard truths to Joe.  It's past time they had a come-to-Jesus moment with him.

    Nearly 70% of Americans think that Israel should call a cease-fire in its attack on Gaza, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday has found.

    Around 68% of respondents answered that they agreed with the statement that "Israel should call a cease-fire and try to negotiate," Reuters reported. When broken down by party, around half of Republicans and three-quarters of Democrats backed this view, meaning President Joe Biden is acting against the will of the majority of his party as he refuses to urge Israel to stop its assault.

    "The majority of Americans oppose this massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, so why is Biden still supporting it?" Justice Democrats asked on social media.

    While Joe looks like a dithering idiot on stage, even Justin Trudeau finds some iota of strength.  REUTERS reports, "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said the 'killing of women, of children, of babies' in the besieged Gaza Strip must end, in his sharpest criticism of Israel since war against Hamas broke out over a month ago. [. . .] The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop."

  • Out of 35 hospitals, only nine are partially functioning; the rest are out of service.
  • Palestinian death toll as of November 15 stands at 11,470, of whom 4,407 are children. More than 29,000 people are injured.
  • In al-Shifa Hospital, 40 patients including three premature babies have died since November 11, due to a lack of fuel.
  • Medical teams cannot move between departments and buildings at al-Shifa Hospital, as an Israeli drone shoots at anyone who moves inside or around the complex.
  • Among the killed are 202 medical staff members and 26 members of the civil defense. More than 200 health personnel have been wounded.
  • Internally displaced people fleeing from the north are reporting the presence of dead bodies on the streets. As of November 15, more than 3,640 civilians are missing, including 1,770 children who are presumed to be trapped or dead under the rubble.
  • More than 58 percent (almost 276,000) of housing units have been destroyed.
  • More than 60 ambulances were attacked; 55 are damaged and out of service.   

  • AMY GOODMAN: We begin the show in Gaza, where Israel is conducting a military raid on Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge or medical treatment. The Palestinian Authority has decried the raid as a violation of international law. There are reports Israeli troops have ordered all young men on the hospital grounds to surrender. Many Palestinian men are already being interrogated, some while being held naked and blindfolded. Israel has accused Hamas of placing a command center below Al-Shifa, but Hamas and hospital officials have denied the claim. Israeli tanks are now inside the hospital complex.

    This is Dr. Ahmed al-Mokhallati, a plastic surgeon at Al-Shifa.

    DR. AHMED AL-MOKHALLATI: And understand we can’t look through the windows or doors. We don’t know what’s happening. We have tanks moving within the hospital. We can hear continuous shooting, and right now. But again, it’s totally risky, the situation.

    REPORTER: So, what are these sounds, Doctor? I’m hearing sounds.

    DR. AHMED AL-MOKHALLATI: It’s continuous shooting from the tanks. We don’t know what to do. We are within the building. Israel within the building. They are in. We can’t go between the hospital buildings at all for food. So, we are with each other, with the patients, with the civilians within the hospital. And it’s totally risky, the situation.

    AMY GOODMAN: Doctors in Al-Shifa are struggling to keep patients alive, including dozens of premature babies, amidst a lack of fuel and the ongoing Israeli military raid.

    AL-SHIFA DOCTOR: [translated] I am standing here at the ICU at Al-Shifa medical complex. The department is suffering after the shutdown of electricity due to the lack of fuel. The Health Ministry warned about the lack of the fuel. This department today at dawn was struck directly by the Israeli occupation forces. Here also, the ICU and these children, who were on life machines and artificial respiration, were taken into the corridors of the ICU department. These people here were denied life support devices. They face the loss of their lives because there are no support machines or artificial respiration devices. Around 29 patients are facing this tragedy.

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by Dr. Mads Gilbert, Norwegian physician who’s worked in Al-Shifa for years, just spent weeks in Cairo getting — trying his best to get into Gaza. He’s a professor at University Hospital of North Norway and the Arctic University of Norway who’s worked with Palestinians since 1981, was in Gaza there during the major Israeli bombardments of 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014. Dr. Gilbert, where are you right now?

    DR. MADS GILBERT: Right now I arrived this early morning in Johannesburg in South Africa. I will be on an invited speaking tour here on Gaza and Palestine, but with —

    AMY GOODMAN: We just — we just have a few minutes, but I know that you’ve been speaking to people within Gaza, in Al-Shifa. Can you talk about the scene that we just described? What do you understand is happening there?

    DR. MADS GILBERT: If I should choose today between hell and Al-Shifa, I would choose hell. I got a report yesterday from the minister of health that 20 out of the 23 ICU patients had died. Seventeen other patients died because of lack of supplies, oxygen and water. And three, if not five, of the 38 premature newborns have died because of this slow suffocation that the Israeli occupation army is exposing all the hospitals to by cutting electricity, oxygen and medical supplies. And it’s — you know, it’s beyond description. I’m out of words to describe this systematic, man-made slaughtering of patients in civilian hospitals.

    And when I heard the crowd in the United States shout, you know, “No ceasefire,” I think that’s the only place on Earth where people are supporting Israel. And the other streets of the world are supporting a ceasefire, a human solution, a lift of the siege and a support for the people of Gaza. So this is a deeply divided world, and the lies are flying around like never before in any war.

    And I think we need to keep our heads and our hearts calm now and understand that what we are seeing is an unprecedented attack on a civilian society, occupied by one of the most brutal and ruthless armies in the world, exercising a systematic attack on civilian healthcare, completely against international law and the standards that we want to apply, and being back-patted all the time by the U.S. president.

    I mean, we’re in the darkest time in modern history now. So far, if you look at the U.N. numbers, the U.N. numbers that are coming out every day in their fact sheets, 40,000 Palestinians have been killed or are missing under the rubble or have been injured for four weeks. Forty thousand. Six thousand of the killed and missing are children. When did that become defense of a country? When did it become decent to drag neonates out of their incubators and kill children? You know, the only explanation for this is a deep-rooted and very frightening racism, because you don’t do these things to people you consider your equal. I’m extremely disturbed. I’m extremely upset. And I blame the European leaders and your president for this bloody bloodshed of people who are being completely defenseless.

    And I talked to a colleague in Mustashfa Al-Aqsa in the south yesterday. He told me they were seeing influx of patients coming, walking from the north, having followed the Israeli command to leave the north, and they were being shot in the legs. And they were treating gunshots in the legs from people trying to escape the north. Forty percent —

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Dr. Gilbert —

    DR. MADS GILBERT: — of the [inaudible].

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Dr. Gilbert, I wanted to ask you what — the Israeli government continues to insist that Hamas is using the hospitals in Gaza as command centers and as underground headquarters storing weapons and even hostages. What is your response to these claims?

    DR. MADS GILBERT: Twofold. Why are you in the media conveying these false claims continuously and taking the attention away from what is the real problem — namely, the continuous bombing and killing of people in Gaza? There is absolutely no proof, so far, that I know of, neither from U.S. intelligence nor from the Israeli intelligence, and we’ve heard these accusations for 16 years. Show us the proof. Show us the evidence. And don’t forget that the Geneva Convention, the Fourth Convention, is telling the fighting parties to make both distinction and precaution. If it’s a mixed military and civilian target, the civilian precaution takes priority over the military again. And they have been bombing not only Shifa and al-Quds, but lots of hospitals, with even bothering to claim that there is any military activity in that hospital. They bombed the Turkish. They bombed Al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital. And we’ve all seen these ridiculous videos where they say, “Oh, here are Pampers in a pediatric hospital. It’s got to be the terrorists.” So I think this is a big sham, and I’m a bit worried that you in the media so easily are conveying these unsubstantiated accusations. And regardless, they don’t have the right to bomb hospitals. That’s very clear.

    And now it’s not only Al-Shifa. Now the al-Quds Hospital is being evacuated with all the patients and all the staff. And it is really a convoy of shame to the Western world and to the United States to see these hospitals, the last resorts in a dramatic assault on the civilian population in Gaza, who have done nothing wrong other than being born Palestinians in Gaza. And this convoy of misery is the result of a lenient attitude to the Israeli violations of international law through many, many years. The Israeli impunity has reached a new level, and we are all sinking into that abyss of the disregard for human life and humanity, as we are seeing this going on without anybody trying to stop the Israeli army.

    AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mads Gilbert, we thank you for being with us, Norwegian physician who’s spent decades working in Gaza, attempted to get in to go back to Al-Shifa but wasn’t able to, now speaking to us from Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Coming up, Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of Jewish Currents.

    We noted two protests in the snapshots a few minutes ago.  Yesterday, we noted a hate rally in DC.  Martha and Shirley counted over 250 e-mails griping about that.  We have been astroturfed.  The basic gist is: If it's for the Palestinians, you praise it, if it's against Israel, you attack it.  Actually, you're a stupid liar -- all over 250 of you.

    There have been many pro-Israel rallies, I've not attacked them.  I'm not really that concerned with them.  

    The DC rally?  I was kind in my comments and I will continue any rally where I see five men on stage who beat women -- five men that I know for a fact beat women.

    You're never going to find peace or calm or a better world with men like that on the stage.  And I will always, as a feminist, call such a rally out.

    I said what I said and I stand by it.  But since there's some sort of organized effort with regards to this topic, let's go ahead and note some more truths about that hate rally.  Dave Zirin (THE NATION) notes:

    “Final estimated headcount at the pro-Israel rally in DC: 290,000 people. Makes this the largest Jewish gathering in history since Mount Sinai.” So chortled Trump’s former ambassador to Israel David Friedman about the March for Israel gathering held Tuesday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Although Friedman’s numbers appear to be inflated, I saw a massive turnout. It was a political event like nothing I’ve seen in two decades of covering rallies in this town. In the incessant calls to keep bombing Gaza, it was a celebration not just of war but of war crimes. Friedman’s joy over such a showing is not surprising. What turned the stomach was watching the leadership of the Democratic Party -- Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Hakeem Jeffries -- join in the revelry just hours before Israel Defense Forces captured Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, and it came amid another round of killing civilians and targeting journalists trying to show these horrors to the world. 

    When it comes to supporting the Israeli government, it’s not a shock to see Democratic Party leaders in lockstep with Trumpists like Friedman and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, whose hand they held on stage in honor of Israel. It’s not just that the Democratic leaders said nothing about the evangelical Christian speakers with histories so anti-Semitic that they would give Donald Trump pause. (Make no mistake: People in the anti-Jewish Christian Zionist community made up a significant portion of the crowd.) Or that they failed to remark on the racist handmade signs attendees created for the occasion. It’s that their presence was a slap in the face to the 80 percent of Democratic voters who want a cease-fire. It’s that they are openly hostile to the generation of youth whom they need to stay in office; a generation that inconveniently believes that Palestinian life matters. It’s that they are contemptuous of Jews like me who say to Israel that their genocidal attacks must not be pursued in our name. It’s that they are in the process of handing the next election to a fascist anti-Semite who, in the words of The Washington Post, is echoing Hitler by calling their opponents “vermin.”

    Schumer, Pelosi, and Jeffries would rather stand with a pro-war mob that shouted down an over-his-head Van Jones calling for peace. Speaker after speaker slammed the idea of a cease-fire and slandered the cease-fire protests as “pro Hamas.” Celebrity C-listers like Debra Messing and Michael Rapaport backed a message whose only logic is bigotry and bombings. But the coup de gras was when they cheered a video speech by Israeli President Isaac Herzog who has said that civilians in Gaza are legitimate targets, that “it is an entire nation out there that is responsible.” This was not just a rally supporting a war. This was a rally supporting a war crime. 

    The defenders of yesterday’s shanda will say that it was a mass gathering “against anti-Semitism.” But what kind of rally against “anti-Semitism” features John Hagee, the Christian Zionist evangelical leader who has said Hitler was brought by God on a divine mission to “create” the state of Israel? You bring Hagee out of his crypt only to send a message that this is not about making sure that Jews are safe. It’s about showing solidarity with Israel, no matter the allies.

    What kind of rally against anti-Semitism includes racist signs calling for more war, more bombings, and the end of not just Hamas but Palestine itself? Or as one sign held by a masked protester read, “From the river to the sea, Israel is all you will see.” 

    I think Chuck Schumer  needs to be censured for their participation at the hate rally that called for the eradication of all Palestinians.  

    AMY GOODMAN: We were going to bring in a second guest to join you, Rabbi Alissa Wise, and to talk more about the Christian Zionist pastor John Hagee, who once said God had, quote, “sent Hitler to help Jews reach the Promised Land.” This is part of what he said at Tuesday’s march in Washington.

    JOHN HAGEE: Israel is the shining city on the hill. Israel said — God says of Israel, “Israel is my first-born son.”

    CROWD: Yeah!

    JOHN HAGEE: Jerusalem is the city of God. Jerusalem is the shoreline of eternity. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, today and forever.

    AMY GOODMAN: Other high-profile speakers at Tuesday’s protest included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the new House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has ties to the Christian Zionist movement.

    SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON: As Prime Minister Netanyahu says so well, this is a fight between good and evil, between light and darkness, between civilization and barbarism.

    AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re, in addition to Rabbi Alissa Wise, joined by Sarah Posner, who has long covered Christian Zionists and is the author of Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind. She’s an MSNBC columnist, her recent piece titled “The dispiriting truth about why many evangelical Christians support Israel.”

    If you can talk about that, Sarah, and also specifically talk about John Hagee addressing these tens of thousands of people, and then the House speaker?

    SARAH POSNER: So, Hagee has long walked this line between seeming like he — or, pretending to a Jewish audience like he’s really only interested in policy and what’s happening in the present. He walks this line, but then, when he goes into a church to preach about his theology, what he says is really quite different. He didn’t say on Tuesday that he expects, according to biblical prophecy, that one day Jesus will return and fight a very bloody battle, which, as the rabbi said, will result in Jews either converting or dying — and Muslims, too, by the way. He didn’t say that. He didn’t say that he believes that at the end of that, Jesus will rule the world from his throne on the Temple Mount. He didn’t say that everything is playing out according to biblical prophecy. And so he has basically hoodwinked many Jews into believing that he actually supports Israel, but what he really supports is his claim that Bible — Israel is just a pawn, really, in this Bible prophecy, which at the end of which — at the end of which Jesus will rule the world as basically a theocrat.

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Sarah Posner, you’ve noted that, quote, “At the heart of Christian Zionism is not a love for Israel but rather Christian nationalism.” But what does Israel and its staunchest defenders get from this alliance?

    SARAH POSNER: Well, what Israelis and American Jews who embrace Hagee’s support get is a huge movement, much larger than the number of Jewish Americans, that has the ear of the Republican Party, that is enmeshed in the Republican Party. And so, it’s much more than CUFI has juice — CUFI is Hagee’s organization, Christians United for Israel — has juice on Capitol Hill or in the White House, when a Republican is in the White House. It is more than that. It is so common among evangelicals, even if they’re not members of CUFI, to share these ideas about Israel and Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus. And so, what they do is they bring this huge constituency to Republicans, many of whom, like Speaker Johnson, believe all of this themselves.

    And so they have morphed together this idea of supporting Israel with being a good American Christian. They believe that God has commanded America as a country, not just them as Americans, to, quote-unquote, “support Israel.” But in their minds, supporting Israel involves supporting the occupation, supporting the Israeli military, no matter what it does. It doesn’t mean supporting Israel from the standpoint that some day, perhaps, Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace. That’s not part of the equation.

    AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to play another clip. In 2008, John McCain rejected Pastor John Hagee’s endorsements, after the pastor said God sent Hitler to help Jews get to Israel. This is a clip of Hagee’s sermon.

    JOHN HAGEE: Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.

    AMY GOODMAN: Sarah Posner?

    SARAH POSNER: So, this is part of Hagee’s overriding theology, that all of history can be sandwiched into his view of what the Bible prophecy is about: the return of Jesus. So, basically, what he’s saying is — what he’s saying there, and what he’s essentially saying in other much more recent statements than that, is that God has punished or disciplined the Jews throughout history as part of his plan to get them to return to Israel, which is a precondition of Jesus’s return. So he’s not trying to make it happen on a faster timetable. He will say that it’s all going to happen on God’s timing. But what he’s saying is any world event that’s occurring now or has occurred in the past is part of what has been prophesied in the Bible, and God is directing traffic here. And one of God’s intentions is to get Jews to return to Israel, because that is a precondition of Jesus’s return. He says that — he claims this is all laid out in the Bible, and this is just Bible prophecy playing out.

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’d like to bring Rabbi Alissa Wise back into the conversation. Your response to this whole issue of the extreme Christian right in the United States lining up in support of Israel for its own religious purposes?

    RABBI ALISSA WISE: Yeah. As Sarah mentioned, you know, CUFI boasts more members — 10 million, they claim, which surpasses the total number of Jews in the United States. So one thing that’s really critical is that white Christians need to be mobilizing just as American Jews are. American Jews are getting arrested by the hundreds, as you mentioned. Christians who oppose this vision that Christianity — that Hagee is proliferating need to, likewise, be stepping out. The influence of Christian Zionism on U.S. foreign policy is way understated. The Jewish pro-Israel lobby is dwarfed in comparison to what the Christian Zionist lobby is doing to promote U.S. foreign policy.

    But I think the most important piece here is that all of this is making Jews less safe in the world. Israel’s actions in Gaza, but also not just now but for generations — when Palestinians are not free, Jews are less safe in the world. And that is the crux of the matter. There is no way for Jewish safety to be found when others are being oppressed. That’s just the simple truth of it. And organizations that seek to distract from those of us that are trying to realize freedom, democracy, equal rights — it’s simple. It’s equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis. Those people claim that we are antisemitic, when, in fact, their actions at aiding and abetting genocidal violence in Gaza now, but apartheid and occupation for generations, that is what is making Jews less safe in the world.

    AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to put this question to Sarah Posner, author of Unholy. You have written about Mike Johnson, the new House speaker’s Christian nationalist track record. Can you talk about his views and when you first encountered him in 2007 working on a story about the Alliance Defense Fund’s ambitions to gut the separation of church and state? Explain what that all this.

    SARAH POSNER: So, the organization is now called Alliance Defending Freedom. It’s a major Christian right legal organization that sees itself as a Christian counterweight to the ACLU. It is behind many Supreme Court cases, including Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade; Masterpiece Cakeshop, involving the anti-gay baker. And Johnson was working for them at the time that I interviewed him.

    And he laid out for me the organization’s ambition to eviscerate the separation of church and state at the Supreme Court and to create a legal framework in which conservative Christians could object to things like LGBTQ rights in the name of religious freedom. Everything he said to me back in 2007, ADF has pretty much done and accomplished or is well on its way to accomplishing — undermining church-state separation, elevating the religious freedom of conservative Christians who oppose LGBTQ and reproductive rights. And that is the framework and the ideology that he brings to Congress.

    He also believes that God created civil government and that the government should be run from what Christian nationalists would call a biblical worldview. So, his entire ideology and framework and way of looking at the world and way of looking at government, in particular, is very classic, to the T of the Christian right, of Christian nationalists, whatever you want to call it, believing that their biblical worldview is what should dictate law and policy in the United States.

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’m wondering: Is this phenomena of the Christian Zionism largely centered in the United States, or have you seen similar movements in other advanced industrial countries, especially in Europe, as well?

    SARAH POSNER: Sure. It’s worldwide. There are organizations that bring together Christian Zionists from different countries, that, in particular, bring together Christian Zionist legislators from different countries. So it’s definitely a worldwide movement. But Hagee is probably the world’s foremost and most well-known Christian Zionist, in part because of his decadeslong preaching on the question, but also because of his founding of CUFI in 2006.

    AMY GOODMAN: Sarah Posner, we want to thank you for being with us, author of Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind. And thank you to Rabbi Alissa Wise of Rabbis for Ceasefire and former co-executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

    That does it for our show. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, for another edition of Democracy Now!

    THE MAJORITY REPORT notes how one of the speakers is so toxic that John McCain had to publicly break with him years ago.

    Jared Ball had an important discussion about the Gaza crisis with Davy D  that just went up online an hour ago.

    The following sites updated: