Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
A Result of Globalization
Which Left Working-Class Voters in Despair
By Uri Avnery
showing a shocking happiness for being in close proximity to him
Trumpism is the outcry of the great
masses of Americans who are economically dislocated, spiritually
disoriented, generally miserable, full of hate, distrust and despair.
Trump as a President! Oh My God
PRESIDENT TRUMP. I am still in a state of shock. But I had better get
used to it.
This is not just another US election. In my life I have
seen many. Some had results I liked, some not.
But this one is
entirely different. This is an earthquake that changes the face of the
How did it happen? Why? And why was it so completely
IT WAS unexpected because of this pagan worship of
As I wrote last week, before it happened, these polls
remind me of the Roman art of divining the future from the entrails of
animals and the more modern art of the astrologers.
As long as I
can remember, the polls have always been wrong. From time to time one poll
got it right, like a broken clock that is right twice a day. This poll was
then feted, until the next time, when it was again wrong like all the
This is true in Israel as in the US and elsewhere.
So will the media turn to the polls again in the next election? Sure. They
have no choice. The polls provide ratings. They generate suspense. Instead
of reporting only dull and repetitive election speeches, they produce
excitement. Their ups and downs fill printing and broadcasting spaces.
In short, the polls are created by the media, for the media. They mean
nothing. When the real results become known, they are forgotten until the
next time, when the polls start again as if nothing has happened.
What's wrong? Well, almost everybody lies to the pollsters. It was demeaning
for a voter to admit that he was going to vote for Trump, the preposterous
choice of the coarse mob, instead of voting for the exquisite candidate of
To get anything like valid results, a pollster has to
spend at least an hour with each pollstee, asking them roundabout questions
about the various issues, such as jobs, arms, elites and such. And even then
one cannot be sure.
I am not writing this in the hope that next time
people will laugh when they see the polls. Without the polls, how will they
think they know who will win?
WE DO not really know who Trump is,
and what he will do during the next four years. We know only the Trump of
the elections: a nasty person, a megalomaniac, a liar, an ignoramus. Some
would add: a proto-fascist.
On the eve of the last free elections in
pre-Hitler Germany, Joseph Goebbels, the mastermind of modern propaganda,
wrote in his diary: "We must again appeal to the lowest instincts of the
This could well be the motto of all fascist movements in
the world. It certainly was the motto of Donald Trump in his campaign.
The lowest instincts of the masses lead them to hate foreigners, the members
of minorities, the sexually different, and above all "the elites", generally
located in the nation’s capital. These instincts lead them to believe in
conspiracy theories, the wilder the better. They lead them to believe that
dark forces are at work, undermining our beloved country, stabbing our
heroic soldiers in the back.
In every country there are people who
ardently believe in this kind of nonsense. Who trust their Leader. Who hate
their enemies. Who want their country to be great again. Deutschland erwache!
In "normal" times, these elements vegetate on the
fringes. Their voices are barely heard in the media and in parliament. But
sometimes, somewhere, the scum rises to the surface. That is what has
happened now in the United States.
Why? Why now?
say: because of the unique personality of Donald Trump. The unique mixture
of megalomania, showmanship and mass appeal. That is accurate, but it is not
enough to explain this phenomenon.
There are Trumps everywhere at
any time. They come and go without leaving a trace. Why this Trump? What
makes this Trump so special?
In the beginning, he aroused derision –
much like other demagogues, who were regarded for years as political clowns,
before causing untold disasters. There was no derision left this week, when
reasonable America shook in its boots. The clown may become a monster.
Why? Why now?
THE POPULAR movement that has sprung up around Trump
resembles the eruption of a volcano. It comes from the depths of the earth.
This is not just a political movement put together by a clever
politician. It is a natural phenomenon, a
mass emotion, an expression of profound fears and longings.
It is caused, I believe, by the fact that human society has
changed, leaving masses of disoriented
people behind in misery and despair.
Globalization has changed
the living conditions of billions, for better and for worse. Patterns of
production and trade are unrecognizable. It's like an earthquake – mountains
become valleys, valleys become mountains.
This has happened before
in history. For example, the Luddites in England and "die Weber" in Germany
in the early 19th century, who smashed the modern machines that deprived
them of their jobs. It was a vain rebellion.
The main victims are the lower classes of
the former master nations. The blue collars. Those who were
yesterday proudly employed in skillful, well-paid and satisfying jobs, and
now have to make do with much lower jobs, if any at all.
American automobile, a world-wide symbol, the pride of the American nation,
is now a despised wreck.
breeds natural hatred for foreigners (the Asians who produce
the cars) and the minorities
(the Mexicans who compete for the miserable jobs still available). It breeds
a fierce nationalism. The
Detroit worker may be jobless, his home in danger of foreclosure, but he is
still a full-blooded white American. He voted as such.
Trumpism is the outcry of the great masses
of Americans who are economically dislocated, spiritually disoriented,
generally miserable, full of hate, distrust and despair.
This is not a passing situation and a passing mood. Trumpism will
continue to exist under President Trump.
THERE ARE enormous
differences between the US and Israel.
The US is huge. Israel is
tiny, smaller than many US states. The US is by now multi-cultural, Israel
is definitely not. The US is rich in natural resources. Israel has almost
none, except some oil in the sea, far from its shores. And so forth.
Binyamin Netanyahu is no Trump, not even half a Trump. But he is rapidly
Netanyahu is a one-issue man. He gets his teeth into
one issue, and there they stay for a long time.
Not so long ago, it
was the Iranian Bomb. In a minute Iran would get it. That would be the end
of the world, starting with Israel. So he declared war on Barack Obama, made
a speech in Congress, shook the world.
And then he stopped.
Practically overnight. No Bomb. No Iran. No end of anything.
it's the media. Netanyahu wants to conquer the media. Not some. Not most.
The whole lot.
It is not ONE of his concerns. It is not even the
largest of his concerns. It is his SOLE concern.
To put this in
practice, Netanyahu took a very unusual step. When his new (and fourth)
cabinet was formed, he retained for himself the Communications Ministry, a
very minor ministry. now it becomes clear why.
The Jewish casino
mogul, Sheldon Adelson, the benefactor of Trump, Is Netanyahu's greatest
admirer (and his owner). He has created a daily newspaper that is
distributed for nothing and devoted solely to Netanyahu and his wife. It has
by now the largest distribution in the country.
Enough? Not by far!
Netanyahu is not satisfied with Israeli public television, which is more or
less neutral. Though it is much less influential than our two private
commercial networks, Netanyahu is determined to replace it with a personal
This is now his (only) big concern. He set up a new TV
corporation, shaped after the BBC, but suddenly he discovered that the new
corporation, which is not yet on the air, is already full of "radical
leftists" (anyone who is not an admirer of "Bibi"). So now Netanyahu wants
to abolish it and retain the existing service, presumably after a thorough
Why Netanyahu needs absolute, total domination of the
media was demonstrated this week by the commercial Channel 10. A very
popular (and exceptional) investigative program called Uvda ("fact") devoted
an hour to Sara, Netanyahu's wildly unpopular (third) wife.
appears that Sara'le ("Little Sara"), as she is generally called, personally
makes all senior appointments in the country, including the army's Chief of
Staff and the Director Generals of all ministries, solely on the ground of
their personal loyalty to her husband (and herself).
At the end of
the program, the editor and broadcaster Ilana Dayan read out an official
rebuttal from Netanyahu's office. It went on for more than four pages (six
minutes) and was full of personal abuse of Dayan, which she read herself
slowly and with a straight face. Quite an entertaining experience.
With such very few exceptions, Israeli media are by now thoroughly cowed.
Popular humor speaks of a court, a king, a queen and a crown prince. But it
is not a laughing matter anymore: clearly Netanyahu wants to be an Israeli
Putin or Erdogan. And now: a Trump.
LET US be fair. Miracles do
President Trump may turn out quite a different person than
the nasty candidate. He may be pragmatic in the good sense of the word,
learn quickly, govern sensibly.
As our Muslim friends say: Inshallah,
if Allah wills it.
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