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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Facebook And Twitter Permit Anti-Semitic Network On Their Pages

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

An anti-Semitic Telegram channel known for targeting Jews created new Facebook and Twitter accounts to cross-post its harassing content. Despite their policies on harassment and hate speech, neither Facebook nor Twitter has taken action on the new accounts, with Facebook claiming the page does not violate its policies.

The channel, as Mother Jones‘ Ali Breland wrote in September, has been compiling “an online list of Jewish people who are critical of white nationalism”  since it was created last summer. The list includes “archived tweets from individuals criticizing white supremacy, misogyny, and other types of bigotry,”  along with tweets “in which the person in question describes themselves as Jewish.”

Breland noted that the list “includes many who are not public figures, or who have only modest profiles as rank-and-file activists, journalists, or social media figures.”  Breland added that the channel had become “the fastest-growing alt-right group”  on Telegram at that time. In February, he tweeted that other white nationalist Telegram channels had forwarded the channel’s “content around the time of” a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, that white nationalists had organized around.

On February 25, the channel posted that “Operation ‘Mass Kvetching’ is underway,” and urged its supporters to “follow [it] on the following platforms,” posting links to both Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On its Facebook page, the account was already cross-posting its content targeting multiple people for harassment (Media Matters has removed and blurred out images and names from the posts). Despite explicit policies prohibiting bullying, harassment, and hate speech, Facebook wrote in response to Media Matters flagging the page that the page “was reviewed and it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.” Facebook has also recently failed to enforce its policies on harassment and extremism.

Additionally, the channel’s new Twitter page — which is also cross-posting its harassing content — comes a few months after Twitter had permanently banned another account the channel had created on the platform. That means the new account is evading a Twitter suspension — a clear violation of Twitter rules. It is also violating Twitter’s policies prohibiting “hateful conduct” and “targeted harassment.” But as of this posting, Twitter has taken no action against the account. The platform has repeatedly struggled to detect accounts evading their bans, and it continues to have a white nationalist problem.

White House Gives Davos Press Pass To Anti-Semitic TruNews

The Trump administration gave TruNews, an anti-Semitic far-right outlet, official credentials to cover the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the White House Correspondents’ Association confirmed on Wednesday.

TruNews, led by founder Rick Wiles, broadcast from the site on Monday.

“We just want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here,” Wiles told his audience. “Your TruNews team was sitting in the audience, very close to the stage. We got to see the president up close, hear the entire speech, and we’re again just honored that we are here. The White House has treated all of the media with a lot of respect and professionalism and courtesy.”

Right Wing Watch first reported Wiles’ presence at the event earlier on Wednesday.

The WHCA, which “does *NOT* make credentialing decisions,” has since said it is “raising this issue with the [White House],” CNN’s Jake Tapper noted.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also criticized the decision. “Now TruNews is at the WEF in Davos on press credentials from the White House. Unacceptable is an understatement,” CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted.

TruNews has a long history of rabidly anti-Semitic content. In November, Wiles referred to the effort to impeach Donald Trump as a “Jew coup.”

“This ‘impeach Trump’ effort is a Jew coup and the American people better wake up to it really fast because this thing is moving now toward a vote in the House and then a trial in the Senate,” Wiles told his viewers.

Wiles also said, “This is a coup led by Jews to overthrow the constitutionally elected president of the United States and it’s beyond removing Donald Trump, it’s removing you and me. That’s what’s at the heart of it.”

Despite repeated anti-Semitic content, TruNews has frequently received official credentials to cover the Trump White House and one of its correspondents was called on by Trump to ask questions at a press event in 2018.

By contrast, the Trump administration has previously denied credentials to correspondents from legitimate news outlets.

Last year, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who has reported on multiple administrations, had his pass revoked by the Trump team. The White House cited new rules limiting access to reporters “physically present at the White House for … 90 or more days in a 180-day window of time.”

Before that, the Trump White House revoked press credentials for CNN reporter Jim Acosta after he repeatedly asked Trump challenging questions. Acosta’s credentials were restored after CNN took the administration to court.

The administration has limited press access more broadly by canceling daily White House press briefings. Current White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has never held a briefing, and the last briefing was 317 days ago, on March 11, 2019.

The latest controversy comes on the heels of the revelation that senior White House aide Stephen Miller, the architect of the administration’s draconian immigration measures, promoted white supremacist literature and bigoted ideas on multiple occasions.

In December, Trump also hosted Pastor Robert Jeffress at a White House Hanukkah event, despite Jeffress’ past comments about Jews supposedly being doomed to hell.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

USCIS Chief Cuccinnelli Uses Anti-Semitic Attack To Tar Immigrants

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, tried to blame the stabbing attack that occurred at a Hanukkah party in New York City on immigrants.

“The attacker is the US Citizen son of an illegal alien who got amnesty under the 1986 amnesty law for illegal immigrants,” Cuccinelli wrote on Monday. “Apparently, American values did not take hold among his entire family, at least this one violent, and apparently bigoted, son.”

Soon after, Cuccinelli deleted the inflammatory statement from his Twitter account.

Cuccinelli is a long-time anti-immigrant activist who was recruited by Donald Trump to head the customs agency.

Cuccinelli is one of many “acting” officials within the Trump administration, a status brought about by high turnover of officials and opposition by even many Republicans to Cuccinelli’s anti-immigrant approach.

In his role, Cuccinelli has spearheaded ideas like increasing the costs for those attempting to immigrate to the United States, which would discourage immigration.

In a Congressional hearing, Cuccinelli said that families under major emotional strain due to a major illness should be forced to “make their case” before immigration courts on whether they should be allowed to stay within the country. At the time, the Trump administration had issued an order, since rescinded, threatening to remove such families.

Cuccinelli even complained about the pro-immigrant message affixed to the Statue of Liberty. He told an NPR host that the poem from Emma Lazarus should be changed to read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet.”

Cuccinelli previously served as Virginia’s attorney general and compared immigrants to rats on a radio show.

“[The D.C. wildlife protection policy] is worse than our immigration policy — you can’t break up rat families. Or raccoons or all the rest, and you can’t even kill them. Unbelievable,” he told a conservative host.

He tried to get Virginia to implement a rule similar to Arizona’s notorious “papers, please” law that would have allowed law enforcement to racially profile people and check the immigration status of anyone they pulled over or arrested.

While in the Virginia state senate he advocated for a change to the 14th amendment of the Constitution that would end birthright citizenship. He also introduced a bill that would ban non-English speakers from receiving unemployment benefits.

Five people went to the hospital as a result of the attack on Saturday and the suspect was arrested by police an hour after the incident.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Five Wild Moments From Giuliani’s Kooky, Anti-Semitic New York Interview

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In a new interview with New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani gave disturbing, delusional, and at times deeply anti-Semitic comments.

Despite the fact that the former New York mayor’s conduct in Ukraine helped get Trump impeached, he is still carrying on with the self-destructive scheme. And he’s still carrying on with giving free-wheeling media interviews, it seems, even though there are signs he may be at severe legal risk himself.

Here are five key moments from Giuliani’s interview with Nuzzi:

1. Giuliani unleashed a string of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros.

He said former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he calls Santa Maria Yovanovitch, is “controlled” by George Soros. “He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents.” I told him he sounded crazy, but he insisted he wasn’t.

“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” he said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”

This section of the interview elicited rapid outrage on social media.

“Giuliani arguing that he is ‘more of a Jew’ than a literal Holocaust survivor is the logical conclusion of Trumpist Jews’ argument that liberal and left wing Jews (the majority of American Jews!) are not really Jewish,” said the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer. “The ‘not really Jews’ argument is also a permission slip to engage in anti-Semitism, since in their minds, It’s not really anti-Semitism if the targets are not truly Jewish!”

“I hope to see [The Conference of Presidents, the Anti-Defamation League] and the major Jewish denominations & orgs swiftly condemn this revolting statement. Mr. Giuliani has no right to define who is a ‘real’ Jew, according to his own political preferences,” said national security analyst Tamara Cofman Wittes.

2. He admitted to having business interests in Ukraine.

While attempting to argue that, despite what has been written, “I have no business interests in Ukraine,” he told me about his business interests in Ukraine.

“I’ve done two business deals in Ukraine. I’ve sought four or five others,” he said. Since he’s been representing the president, he said, he has been approached with two opportunities in Ukraine, both of which he turned down to avoid accusations of impropriety.

The scope of Giuliani’s interest in Ukraine outside of getting the country to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf remains obscure, but his business ties to the region may be key.

3. Giuliani raged at the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are said to be investigating him.

“If they are, they’re idiots,” he went on. “Then they really are a Trump-deranged bunch of silly New York liberals.” He added that he didn’t know for sure if he was being investigated at all, though subpoenas issued to Giuliani associates by the SDNY reportedly request documents and correspondence related to Giuliani, his firm, and, specifically, “any actual or potential payment” to or from Giuliani.

“If they think I committed a crime, they’re out of their minds,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years. I know how not to commit crimes. And if they think I’ve lost my integrity, maybe they’ve lost theirs in their insanity over hating Trump with some of the things they did that I never would’ve tolerated when I was U.S. Attorney.”

The idea that Giuliani’s knowledge of the law may save him is dubious. His previous comments about, for instance, Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels suggested he didn’t understand the nature of the possible charges against his clients.

4. Giuliani went on a baseless and outrageous rant about David Holmes, one of the witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry.

While speculating about possibly cross-examining witnesses as Trump’s defense attorney in a Senate trial, Giuliani floated completely spurious and desperate allegations against Holmes:

He had a few ideas for going after the credibility of witnesses. “The guy that overheard the telephone call,” for instance, “anybody check if the guy has an earpiece? Maybe he didn’t have it in. How old is he? How old is that guy?” There was a possibility that he was deaf, he said, and didn’t know what he heard. “How do we know he isn’t a paranoid schizophrenic?,” he said. “How do we know he isn’t an alcoholic?”

None of these accusations were based on anything and, for what it’s worth, Holmes’ key testimony about Trump’s comments went largely uncontested by Gordon Sondland, who had the conversation in question with Trump.

5. Giuliani completely undermined a key defense for Trump in the impeachment case.

Giuliani and Nuzzi discussed evidence that showed Giuliani called the White House:

He swore that although he doesn’t know whom he called, he knows he didn’t discuss anything improper with whoever it was. “Those calls — I can tell you what they don’t have to do with: They don’t have to do with military aid. I never discussed military aid with them. Never discussed military aid with anyone until it first appeared in the New York Times of late August of 2019. I had no idea we were withholding it, if we were.” He didn’t think it was such a big deal once he read about it, he said, because it was “typical Trump; he withholds aid till the last minute until he makes them beg for it.”

The idea that Trump was making Ukraine “beg for” the military aid is precisely what is so disturbing about the scandal, because it shows the president was using his office and congressionally approved funds to place pressure on the Ukrainian president while also asking for investigations of political opponents. Trump has previously claimed that “There was absolutely no pressure” on Ukraine. Giuliani — who, remember, is supposed to be Trump’s lawyer — says otherwise.