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Monday, February 13, 2017

Netanyahu and Trump: A Shared Focus on Terrorism

Netanyahu and Trump: A Shared Focus on Terrorism

by Naomi Dann
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit with President Trump at the White House this week. It will be a true meeting of minds. Both leaders are bombastic and rely on false claims, fear-mongering, and stereotypes to pursue discriminatory, racist, and violent policies.
The parallels would be comical if they weren’t so harmful. Just last week, Trump asserted, based on no evidence, that people were bussed to New Hampshire to vote against him, almost echoing Netanyahu’s much derided 2015 effort to turn out voters in his favor with the racist claim that “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.” The two leaders have shown their appreciation for each other’s policies, with Trump repeatedly pointing to Israel as the model for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and Netanyahu tweeting his support.
Trump’s discriminatory travel ban is in many ways an implementation of what Netanyahu has long advocated. As Haaretz columnist Chemi Shalev wrote recently, Trump and his adviser Steve Bannon are taking a page from Netanyahu’s book on radical Islam. “It’s time to put an end to the era of unfettered immigration for all,” Netanyahu wrote in his 1996 book Fighting Terrorism. “Terrorists from the Middle East and other places have turned the United States, Germany, Italy and other countries into terrorist sanctuaries.” Israel already has restrictive and discriminatory immigration policies, which privilege Jewish immigration while barring Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland. It also maintains a ban on immigration from several of the same specific Arab countries, Iran, Iraq and Syria, as well as Lebanon.

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