Norman Finkelstein Slams Chuck Schumer for Pushing Trump to Declare Jerusalem Israel’s Capital

 

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“If you look at Schumer’s money, he gets it mostly from conservative, right-wing Jews and from Wall Street, the same sources of income as Trump.

Posted January 15, 2018

AMY GOODMAN: Before we get to speak more extensively about Gaza, I wanted to quickly ask you what you felt the motivation was for President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, saying he’d move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, the massive response in the United Nations after he announced this recognition, the overwhelming vote against the United States, and the United States threatening people who voted against them.NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, it’s a little complicated question, how U.S.-Israeli policy works. But in general, you could say, when major U.S. national interests are at stake, the Israel lobby has very little power. We saw that, for example, during the negotiations over the agreement with Iran. That was a major U.S. international interest. The lobby was dead set against it. Netanyahu was dead set against it. But the agreement went through. And many of Israel’s strongest supporters—Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, the whole gang—they supported the agreement.

But when a major U.S. interest is not at stake, the lobby is quite powerful. So you take, in this particular case, it was clear the Saudis, which is a U.S. major interest, didn’t care what the U.S. did with Jerusalem. They gave the green light: “If you want to give it to Israel, that’s fine with us. We don’t care.” So, no U.S. natural interest is at stake, and so Trump does what anybody does: He rewards his donors. In this case, it was Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire, who was strongly supporting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

But we have to bear in mind, it wasn’t just Trump. You know, sometimes the media wants to pile up on Trump. And they forget it’s not just Trump. Charles Schumer, the current Senate minority leader, Schumer was constantly attacking Trump, right after he got elected: “Why aren’t you recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital?” When Trump did recognize it, Schumer, Charles Schumer, he said, “He did it because of me. I was the one that urged him to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” So that’s the Senate minority leader speaking. And for the same reason—if you look at Schumer’s money, he gets it mostly from conservative, right-wing Jews and from Wall Street, the same sources of income as Trump, the same streams of income.

And on these questions, a lot of the Democrats, including Schumer—or especially Schumer, I should say—are worse than Trump. So, for example, after the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, when Israel killed the passengers aboard the humanitarian vessel, the Mavi Marmara, killed 10 passengers, Charles Schumer, he went before a group of Orthodox Jews, and he said, “The people of Gaza voted for Hamas. They voted for Hamas, and therefore economic strangulation is the way to go.” Now, bear in mind what that means. We’re talking about a population, more than half of which are children, who are living under a medieval siege. And what he’s effectively saying is we should continue starving them, until they vote or get rid of Hamas. Now, what do you say about something like that?

You know, Charles Schumer, he went to my high school, as did, incidentally, Bernie Sanders. I didn’t know him. He was, I think, four years ahead of me. I knew his sister pretty well, Fran. Extremely bright. You know, even now, looking back almost a half-century, she still stands vividly in my memory. Extremely bright young woman. They were decent, actually. Chuck’s—as he was called Chuck—his father was an exterminator. You know, that’s really rising. It was an impressive show. He’s an extremely bright guy. He was valedictorian of his class, and he was way ahead of everybody else, as was Fran, you know? But what they turned into, what can you say? He grew up in Kings Highway in Brooklyn, right near where Bernie grew up, by the way. I passed the house every day, because I bicycled to the pool. What do you say about a person who recommends starving children? That’s what he did.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: You know, he’s a moral monster. And you have to face up to that fact. He’s a moral monster. And yet everybody wants to dump on Trump. What about people like Schumer?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to break, and when we come back, we’re going to talk about the situation you’re describing in Gaza. Your new book, Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom. We’re speaking with author and scholar Norman Finkelstein. The book has just been published. Stay with us.

  • Norman Finkelstein: author and scholar. His new book, titled Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom, has just been published. He is the author of many other books, including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Human Suffering and Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End.

This article was originally published by Democracy Now! –

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Gilad Atzmon and Islam

January 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction GA: In the following book review Jay Knott suggests that  Being in Time scores a very high mark on many fronts, however, the text fails to attack Muslims and Islam. In the last two decades I have been accused of many things but this is the first time I am criticised  for ‘not being an Islamophobe.’ I have met Knott before and I think that regardless of the peculiar premise of this text,  it deserves attention. 

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Gilad Atzmon And Islam

Book Review by Jay Knott

A review of Being In Time – a post-political manifesto, Gilad Atzmon, Skyscraper Publications, 2017

“There is just one point where I have encountered a difficulty” – Russell to Frege, 1902.

I introduced a talk by Gilad Atzmon, and organised a reading group to discuss his first book, “The Wandering Who?”, about Jewish identity politics. We had many criticisms of it.

The new book is much broader, and better. I have only one major criticism. This article is about that criticism, but though as a result it’s mostly negative, I actually think this book is a major contribution to understanding the times we live in. It explains Donald Trump, Brexit, the left, identity politics, political correctness, and especially, US support for Jewish supremacy in the Middle East. It is undogmatic, finding inputs from a wide range of sources. Atzmon even manages to get something useful out of the book “The Bell Curve” while rejecting its central premise, IQ. I mostly agreed with much of “Being in Time”.

But chapter four, “United Against Unity”, woke me up with a jolt.

But what about Hammed, a metal worker from Birmingham? Hammed identifies as a ‘Muslim’ – can he join a Left demonstration against the War in Syria? It’s a good question and the answer is not immediately obvious because it’s no secret that many of those who subscribe to ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ ideologies and especially activists, are rather troubled by religion in general and Islam in particular.

You could have fooled me. In 2003, I attended a large Palestine solidarity demonstration in London. There was a small group of Muslim extremists shouting “Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas!”. They were tolerated. Far milder expressions of white identity are violently excluded from left-wing events.

Shortly after criticising political correctness, Atzmon writes

What about Laura? She’s a Muslim convert who often hides her face behind a veil. Does she feel comfortable in ‘progressive’ or liberal gatherings? Not really.

“Feel comfortable”? This is political correctness!

The progressive left on both sides of the Atlantic is more than tolerant of Islam, the most regressive section of Western society.

The American women’s march against Donald Trump selected Muslim misogynist Linda Sarsour as one of its organisers,

and German feminists applauded Islam too.

Atzmon is right to say that a British patriot would not be welcome at an anti-war protest. But he’s completely wrong about the left and Islam.

One of the reasons Muslim men were allowed to get away with raping hundreds of underage girls for decades in Britain is that most of them live under Labour Party-controlled councils. Paralysed by political correctness, sending social workers who noticed that it was primarily “Asians” trafficking the girls, on “diversity” courses, they ignored the problem, or suppressed attempts to expose it, for fear of being called “racist”.

When Labour’s left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke in the House of Commons about the Grenfell tower disaster, he rightly pointed to Orgreave and Hillsborough as examples of police malfeasance, then he mentioned the Rotherham child-trafficking scandal as another example, again rightly. But he didn’t mention the other major factor: the overwhelming overrepresentation of Muslims among Rotherham’s child traffickers, and the influence of political correctness on allowing them to rape children. Instead, he went out of his way to make a gratuitous remark about Muslims breaking from prayers to help their neighbours in the Grenfell fire:

A more extreme example of the leftist attitude to Islam is the Socialist Workers Party arguing against Islamic terrorism – on the grounds that it wouldn’t work: Socialists Stand With The Oppressed.

Atzmon’s book is pretty good about the connection between identity politics and Zionist power in the West. He’s also right about the overrepresentation of self-identified Jews in the origins of the most sophisticated variants of movements designed to take advantage of Western self-doubt – Franz Boas’s anthropology, Theodor Adorno’s psychology and sociology (the Frankfurt school), Freud, postmodernism and the “anti-racist” anti-science of Stephen Jay Gould. But it’s not only Jewish activists who exploit this loophole. Political correctness also undermines the West’s defence against the influence of Islam.

EXAMPLES

Page 48: “Jewish ethnocentrism and even Jewish racial exclusivity is fully accepted, while other forms of ethnocentrism are bluntly rejected.”

In fact, the left tolerates prejudice from black activists, usually against white people. “African-American Studies” is positive, whereas the study of “Whiteness” is invariably negative. One can easily find dozens of examples by checking out the sites “The College Fix”“Campus Reform”Sargon of Akkad’s videos on Youtube, or reading up on the 2006 Duke University Lacrosse rape case. I suspect that’s the main reason for the left’s support for the socially conservative ideology of Islam – most of its adherents have dark skin.

Page 81: Atzmon claims that the Guardian does not mind offending ‘Islamists’, on the basis of its broadcast of one televised debate between two Zionist Jews.

He’s right about the paper’s hostility to the white workers. When hackette Zoe Williams went to Rotherham to investigate Pakistani taxi drivers raping underage white girls, she dismissed the mostly-white English Defence League as “racist”, instead asking for the opinions of… Pakistani taxi drivers. Atzmon doesn’t realise that this is normal. Muslims usually get gold in the Oppression Olympics. Here are six examples of the Guardian’s Islamophilia:

Zoe Williams: “This brutal blame game pays little heed to justice in Rotherham”

Suzanne Moore: “Poor children are seen as worthless, as Rotherham’s abuse scandal shows”

Jonathan Freedland: “Rotherham inquiry: the ‘PC gone mad’ defence is itself a form of racism”

Nazir Afzal: ‘There is no religious basis for the abuse in Rotherham’

Chi Onwurah – “The grooming of girls in Newcastle is not an issue of race – it’s about misogyny”. In a way, she’s right. It’s not about race, and it is about misogyny. Muslim misogyny. But she doesn’t say that.

The Guardian ran a story “Muslim women ‘blocked from seeking office by male Labour councillors’”. Notice that the religion of the women is mentioned, but not the men. Can you guess why?

Page 125 – ID Politics – the belief that the personal is political unless you are Muslim or white. This reiterates the idea that the left encourages identity politics for all except Muslims and white Europeans. He’s fifty percent right.

Page 129 – Atzmon argues that Islam and Christianity are similar, but Judaism is different, because it’s based on “an obedience regulatory system”, in which “God-loving is not voluntary”. And again on page 197. He argues that Christianity and Islam are universalist, as opposed to the sectarian attitudes of Judaism – “the chosen few”. He’s right about Judaism, and the myth of “Judaeo-Christian”, but he substitutes the equally false “Islamo-Christian”. The only way Islam is universalist is that anyone can join it, and many had no choice. If you haven’t signed up, or especially if you leave it, it’s not a bit universal. Its God is close to the vengeful monster of the Old Testament, not at all like his son, the pacifist who founded Christianity. “Judaeo-Islamic” is a more accurate neologism.

Page 144 – “Real Jewish power is actually the power to silence criticism of Jewish power”. Right. But what is the power to silence the defence of a scientific view of gender differences inside Google? The need to fire a black diversity officer at Apple who said it’s ok to be white? The show-trial of student Lindsay Shepherd, for showing a video clip of a debate on “gender pronouns”? The fact that Nobel Prize-winning biologists can be fired for an opinion, or a joke … and dozens of similar examples, too numerous to mention, and no doubt hundreds which have never attracted the publicity of these cases. Some of them can be found here: “The Left-Wing Campaign Against Liberal Values”. This is political correctness. Jewish power is one of its results.

CONCLUSION

Social Justice has taken over, not just academic humanities departments, but large sections of the media, and, amazingly, the most important corporations in the world, such as Apple and Google. “Cultural Marxism” is not a paranoid right-wing conspiracy theory.

It’s my contention than Zionists use the same mechanisms as SJWs to manipulate Western societies to do things which are opposed to the interests of most of their inhabitants, rich and poor. Like professors of “African-American Studies”, they use false, or meaningless, allegations of racial prejudice to take advantage of our morality. We can kill both of these birds with one stone.

Support for Israel is a result of political correctness, the expression of a weakness in white European people and societies. The immigration of millions of Muslims, among them many who don’t accept Western values, is another. Atzmon dismisses concern about Islam altogether. But read “Being and Time”. Apart from its blind spot regarding ‘Islamists’, it’s damn good.

Ryan Dawson discusses 911, Trump, ID politics and Zionism with Gilad Atzmon

January 09, 2018 / Gilad Atzmon

مواجهة أميركية إيرانية محتملة وواشنطن تطلب مساعدة تل أبيب لتصفية سليماني

يناير 9, 2018 أولى

محمد صادق الحسيني

صحيح أنّ واشنطن والرياض وتل أبيب خسرت في الأيام القليلة الماضية جولة جديدة ضدّ طهران وتجرّعت كأس السمّ على أسوار عاصمة السيادة والريادة لمحور المقاومة، لكنها لم تخسر الحرب بعد…!

فرغم سقوط مؤامرة الصدمة ونظريتي أحجار الدومينو ونقل المعركة ضدّ إدارة الجمهورية الإسلامية إلى الداخل، إلا أنّ المعلومات تفيد بأنّ مثلث العدوان الصهيو أميركي السعودي، ليس فقط لم يرفع أيديه عن طهران وحكم الثورة الإسلامية فيها، بل إنه يتجه لتفعيل سيناريوات جديدة ضدّها سيكون بطلها هذه المرّة ليس دي أندريا او أمير الظلام الشهير، وإنما ضابط الاستخبارات المختبئ في الكواليس، لكنه المجرّب في أكثر من عاصمة وحاضرة آسيوية، إنه ضابط الاستخبارات العسكرية اندرو لويس بيك!

وإليكم القصة كما هي:

لم يكن التأييد الفوري والعلني والقوي والمباشر والمستمرّ رغم انحسار حوادث الشغب، من الرئيس الأميركي ودوائر قوى الضغط اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة ولا ذلك التأييد من قبل رئيس الوزراء «الإسرائيلي» وأذنابهما من آل سعود، لأعمال الفوضى والعنف وقتل الأبرياء الذي مارسته عناصر داعشية وعميلة للقوى الصهيوأميركية لا غريباً ولا مفاجئاً ولا عفوياً على الإطلاق.

وحتى نعرف السبب المباشر علينا العودة قليلاً إلى الوراء لنعرف أن سياق العداء الأميركي له مقدّمات مهمة لا بد من التوقف عندها وتبيانها للرأي العام الإيراني والعربي..!

فقد سبق ذلك، كما يعلم الجميع العديد من الخطوات العدائية التي اتخذتها إدارة ترامب ضد الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران والتي كان من بينها امتناع الرئيس الأميركي عن المصادقة على الاتفاق النووي مع إيران في شهر تشرين الأول الماضي.

وفِي إطار الاستعدادات لإشاعة الفوضى وخلق الظروف المناسبة لتبرير تدخل عسكري أميركي في إيران لاحقاً قام الرئيس الأميركي بتعيين ضابط الاستخبارات العسكرية السابق، أندرو لويس بيك Andrew Lewis peek نائباً لمساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون إيران والعراق يوم 6/12/2017.

وقد عمد ترامب تعيينه برتبة نائب مساعد وزير الخارجية، وليس بمرتبة مساعد وزير الخارجية…، لتلافي بعض التعقيدات البيروقراطية. إذ إن مرتبة نائب مساعد الوزير لا تتطلّب إصدار مرسوم رئاسي أو موافقة من مجلس الشيوخ. وعليه فإن تمرير التعيين يصبح مضموناً وبسهولة متناهية.

علما أن ضابط الاستخبارات السابق، أندرو بيك Andrew Peek قد حلّ محلّ كلٍّ من:

كريس باكماير Chris Backmeyer الذي كان يشغل منصب نائب مساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون إيران كانت دائرة إيران دائرة قائمة بذاتها ومنفصلة عن دائرة العراق حتى تعيين بيك Peek .

جوزيف بينينغتون Joseph Pennington مساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون العراق.

مما يعني سيطرة أندرو بيك على سياسات وزارة الخارجية المتعلقة بكل من العراق وإيران ووضع هذه الدائرة في خدمة الدوائر الأكثر عدوانية تجاه إيران وحلف المقاومة في إدارة ترامب. وما الدليل على ذلك إلا غياب أي موقف لوزير الخارجية الأميركية بشأن أعمال الشغب التي حدثت في إيران واقتصار مصدر الضجيج الأميركي على الرئيس ترامب، من خلال تأثير صهره جاريد كوشنير عليه، والذي هو أداة كوشنير في أيدي الصهيوني العريق دينيس روس، الذي شغل منصب مبعوث الولايات المتحدة الأميركية للسلام في الشرق الأوسط والمدير الحالي لمركز سابان في واشنطن، وكذلك الأمر بالنسبة لسفيرة واشنطن في الأمم المتحدة والتي وصلت الى هذا المركز بترشيح ودعم من الدوائر نفسها المشار إليها أعلاه.

وقد سبق تعيينه في هذا المنصب قيامه، برفقة جاريد كوشنير صهر ترامب بزيارة غير معلنة الى السعودية يوم 25/10/2017، في رحلة طيران تجارية أميركية، استمرت أربعة أيّام. وقد اجتمع في الرياض مع محمد بن سلمان واتفق معه على العديد من تفاصيل تمويل وتشغيل غرفتي العمليات، في كل من هرات في أفغانستان وأربيل في محافظة أربيل العراقية، التي تسيطر عليها بيشمرغة مسعود البرزاني، في شمال العراق. هاتان الغرفتان المتخصصتان في إدارة عمليات القتل والتخريب في جمهورية إيران الإسلامية. وذلك ما حصل في الأيام الأخيرة من العام الماضي والأيام الأولى من عام 2018.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أن خطوة تعيينه قد أثارت موجة ارتياح في أوساط القوى المتطرفة في الولايات المتحدة والتي هي أكثر عداء لإيران كالشخصية اليهودية ايليوت أبرامز Elliot Abrams . وهو من عتاة المحافظين الجدد، والذي قال معلقاً على تعيين بيك Peek :

«إنني أعرفه أندرو بيك منذ سنوات وأرى فيه أحد قدماء المحاربين في العراق وأفغانستان. وهو الذي يتمتع بتجربة دولية نادرة وبمؤهلات أكاديمية وثقافية. وهو يمثل اختياراً رائعاً ومدهشاً لمثل هذه الوظيفة».

فما هي تلك الخبرة والمؤهلات التي يتحدّث عنها ايليوت أبرامز؟ وما هي إنجازاته على أكثر من صعيد قبل أن يتولى هذا المنصب في وزارة الخارجية؟

حاصل على شهادة البكالوريوس من جامعة برنستون Princeton وشهادة الماجستير من جامعة هارفاد Harvard.

عمل مستشاراً لشؤون الأمن القومي لدى اثنين من أعضاء مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي في الفترة من شهر آب 2007 حتى شهر آب 2011. وقد قام بوضع نصوص قوانين العقوبات ضد كل من: إيران / سورية / لبنان / التبت / والتي ناقشها الكونغرس في دورته العاشرة بعد المئة بين سنوات 2007-2009، وأقرت في الدورة الحادية عشرة بعد المئة بين السنوات 2009-2011.

ترأس لجنة مجلس الشيوخ المختصة بوضع السياسات الأميركية تجاه الصين.

عمل مستشاراً استراتيجياً لقائد القوات الأميركية في أفغانستان في الفترة بين 8/2011 وشهر 8/2012 إلى جانب توليه الوظيفة نفسها لدى قائد قوات الناتو في أفغانستان وفِي الفترة نفسها.

عمل كضابط استخبارات عسكرية في قوات العمليات الخاصة الأميركية بين شهر 11/2008 وحتى شهر 5/2016.

هو واضع «نظرية» محمد بن سلمان حول ضرورة نقل المعركة الى داخل عمق «العدو»، أي إيران. فقد كتب بتاريخ 16/3/2016 مقالاً نشرته مجلة «فورين أفيرز»Foreign Affaires الأميركية يقول فيه إنّ السعودية بحاجة إلى أزمة كبرى مع إيران من أجل ترميم مكانتها التي تزداد تآكلاً بسبب تخاذل الولايات المتحدة عن دعم السعودية في مواجهة إيران التي تواصل توسيع نفوذها في الدول العربية من دون رادع…!

تؤكد المصادر المتابعة لهذا التعيين بأنّ واشنطن وإرضاء لجموح الملك المرتقب للتنصيب تخطط لعمليات اغتيال لشخصيات إيرانية من الوزن الثقيل على رأسهم الحاج قاسم سليماني وعدد من مساعديه العاملين في كلّ من سورية والعراق…

المصادر المذكورة تقول بأنّ واشنطن والرياض طلبتا لهذا الغرض من «الإسرائيليين» أن يمدّوا يد المساعدة لهما بهذا الخصوص باعتبارهم الأقرب الى الساحة السورية والمنخرطين فيها تخصيصاً!

وتضيف المصادر بأنّ ثمة شخصية ميدانية قوية تعتبر من أعمدة قوة القدس في سورية تتمّ حالياً مراقبتها بدقة لإيقاعها في مصيدة «الموساد» و»سي أي آي»، على غرار ما فعلوه بالقائد الكبير الحاج عماد مغنية /الحاج رضوان/!

وانطلاقاً من هذه النقطة قد يتوسّعون بعيداً باتجاه الساحة العراقية، لكن ستظل طهران هي الجائزة الكبرى التي سيضعونها تحت العين الاستخبارية للمثلث المذكور على الدوام!

في المقابل، فإنّ معلومات مصادرنا تؤكد بأنّ العين الإيرانية ومعها عيون حلفائها أكثر من مستيقظة وأكثر من متنبّهة، بل هي محدقة باستمرار باتجاه كافة دوائر العدوان وفي مقدّمها دوائر العدو الأساس والذي لن تغفل عنه لحظة واحدة حتى تحين ساعة المنازلة الكبرى التي قد تتدحرج إليها أميركا وربيبتها «إسرائيل» لمجرد قيامهما بخطوة حمقاء من هذا القبيل وبهذا الوزن…!

وقتها ستظهر قواعد اشتباك جديدة، كما تعتقد مصادرنا، قواعد أبعد من العين بالعين والبادئ أظلم، ما يشي باحتمالية اقتراب لحظة العبور إلى الجليل وما بعد بعد الجليل والجولان وما بعد بعد الجولان…!

فهل سيتحمّل الأميركي «المهاجر» إلى أقصى الشرق مثل هذه القواعد الجديدة..!؟

ننتظر ونرى إذا كانت واشنطن مستعدّة لخسارة أسطولها الأهمّ والأخطر في تاريخها الإمبراطوري أي القاعدة الأميركية على اليابسة الفلسطينية كرمى عيون الدبّ ما تبقى من آل سعود!؟

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

مقالات مشابهة

“Jewish justice” israel Demands Compensation From Family Of Palestinian Crushed To Death Under Army Jeep

Israel Demands Compensation From Family Of Palestinian Crushed To Death Under Army Jeep

  

09 Jan  5:35 AM

The Israeli army filed a lawsuit against the family, and the entire town, of a Palestinian who was crushed to death under a military jeep which flipped over him, after the army invaded Kafr Malek village, east of Ramallah, in central West Bank, in mid-June 2014.

The military is demanding the family of Abdullah Ghanayem (Ghneimat), and his entire town, to pay 95.260 Israeli Shekels, in compensation for damages caused to the military jeep.

Ghanayem was crushed by an Israeli military jeep, on June 14, 2015, after the soldiers invaded Kafr Malek.

He remained under the jeep for three hours, and bled to death, after the soldiers prevented medics and rescue teams from helping him.

Now, the Israeli authorities are demanding his family, and his entire village, to pay 95.260 Shekels in compensation, for damages caused to the military jeep.

Kosherising the 9/11 Truth Movement

Trump on Saudi Leadership Shake-up: We’ve Put Our Man on Top!

Maryam Saleh

05-01-2018 | 10:06

When Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman effectively launched a coup and unseated his political rival in June, President Donald Trump took private credit. “We’ve put our man on top!” Trump told his friends, writes Michael Wolff in his forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

US President Donald Trump

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had ousted his nephew Mohammad bin Nayef as crown prince and replaced him with his then-31-year-old son, bin Salman, shaking up the line of succession and turning on decades of custom within the royal family. The move was announced in the dead of night and was just another step in bin Salman’s rise to power in the kingdom in recent years.

The king also removed bin Nayef, once a powerful figure in the country’s security apparatus, from his post as interior minister.

Just a month earlier, Trump had visited Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip, meeting with leaders from across the Middle East and signing a $110 billion aspirational arms deal with the kingdom’s leaders. When bin Salman was named crown prince, Trump called and congratulated him on his “recent elevation.”

Wolff describes Trump’s Saudi trip as a “get-out-of-Dodge godsend,” as it was an escape from Washington shortly after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. “There couldn’t have been a better time to be making headlines far from Washington. A road trip could transform everything.”

The book is based on 18 months of interviews and access to Trump and his senior staff. But Wolff has a history of being an unreliable narrator, and questions have already been raised about the veracity of his claims. Trump, for his part, is outraged by the book, which contains damning passages about him and his family, attributed to the president’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon. The president’s lawyer has demanded that Wolff and his publisher cease and desist publication of the book.

Bannon, speaking at a Washington think tank in October, made a connection between Trump’s Saudi visit and the change in succession. “If you look at Saudi Arabia, they’ve had a pretty big fundamental change since the summit,” Bannon said. “The deputy crown prince is now the crown prince. I think it was two weeks ago or three weeks ago, there were 1,000 clerics rounded up or put under house arrest or whatever. I realize that the opposition party in the New York Times refer to most of them as ‘liberal scholars.'”

Trump invited bin Salman to the White House in March, in what Wolff says was an “aggressive bit of diplomacy.” The Saudi royal was “using this Trump embrace as part of his own power play in the kingdom. And the Trump White House, ever denying this was the case, let him.” In exchange, Wolff writes, bin Salman “offered a basket of deals and announcements that would coincide with” Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, giving the president a “win.”

The president’s son-in-law and trusted adviser Jared Kushner is said to be close to bin Salman. Kushner visited Saudi Arabia in October, where he and the crown prince stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, “swapping stories and planning strategy,” the Washington Post reported. A few days later, bin Salman arrested nearly a dozen members of Saudi’s ruling elite.

Just weeks before bin Salman assumed the role of crown prince, Saudi Arabia had cut diplomatic relations with Qatar and launched a blockade against the neighboring peninsula. Trump took credit for the move on Twitter.

Bin Salman has played a leading role in the kingdom’s two-year war on Yemen, and since November, he’s led a shakedown against his political rivals and other Saudi elites, hundreds of whom have been detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel ever since.

Trump tweeted his approval.

Source: The Intercept, Edited by website team

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