Is There Reason to Fear Fascism from Trump?

Democrats are ringing the alarm about President Trump’s recent online rhetoric about his political enemies, claiming that his language indicates a desire to rule like a “fascist” in his second term if he wins.

Trump is doing two things at once: pushing the narrative that his enemies must be defeated while dissolving the natural inhibitions most human beings have against hating and harming others.

Trump is unequivocally saying that if he gets a second term, he will rule as a fascist.

Trump was in office for four years. No liberals were falsely placed in jail. No left-leaning cable shows, social media platforms, or newspapers had their speech quashed.

If only we could say that was the case for Biden’s critics.

What Is Congress Saying About Israel’s Right to Exist?

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. were among a small group of congresspeople to not vote yes on Resolution 888, which affirms Israel’s right to exist. Here’s a look at what some of those who voted have to say:

I agree with the title “Reaffirming the State of Israel’s Right to Exist” and much of the language, but I’m voting No on the resolution because it equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful.

My resolution H. Res 888 is simple and straightforward – Israel has a right to exist. I was pleased to see this resolution pass the House tonight with broad bipartisan support.

Tonight the House voted to reaffirm our unwavering support for Israel.

H.Res. 888 supports Israel’s right to exist, recognizes denying Israel’s right to exist is a form of antisemitism, rejects calls for Israel’s destruction, condemns the Hamas-led attack on Israel.

Should UNRWA Be Shut Down?

Why are some voices calling for the United Nations Relief & Works Agency, an agency that deals specifically with Palestinian refugees, to be defunded?

Jonathan Schanzer, FDD’s senior vice president of research, wrote this month, “UNRWA employees have promoted antisemitism online, including praise of Hitler. This is not a case of a few rotten apples but rather an agency that openly promotes hatred and violence while masquerading as a humanitarian body…”

UNRWA has effectively masked its political activities under the guise of humanitarian efforts, which hampers Israel’s ability to expose the Palestinians’ unwavering commitment to a complete “return” to Palestine and the elimination of Jewish sovereignty over the land.

UNRWA is the main source for education and health care as well as food relief for 1.4 million refugees in Gaza. Blocking UNRWA’s funds will only add to the misery of the population already suffering from high levels of poverty and unemployment and a 17-year siege by Israel.

Should Biden Call Out Iran’s Role in Israel’s War?

While showing strong support for Israel in its war against Hamas, Biden has stopped short of calling out Iran as the puppet master behind Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

…conspicuously missing from Biden’s public remarks on the conflict has been any meaningful discussion of Iran’s complicity in the atrocities that occurred on Oct. 7 in Israel or the 73 rocket and drone attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17.

By obfuscating Iran’s role, the Biden administration is validating Tehran’s regional strategy, thereby shielding it and its key assets against retaliation. Hence, Washington has publicized its opposition to any Israeli “preemptive strike” against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

To be sure, the Biden administration must be careful about feeding a cycle of escalation that could lead to a wider conflict. But that fear of escalation risks paralyzing policy. U.S. forces have responded to Iranian-backed militia attacks in Syria while Biden was president.

If the PA Doesn’t Take Control of Gaza, Who Will?

The Palestinian Authority is still the most popular candidate to take over the Gaza strip after the completion of the war, but Israel is not keen on the idea. Here are three alternative solutions:

…together with the military steps, it must reach an agreement with the United States and its other friends about the entry of an international intervention force to Gaza, based on soldiers from NATO countries, which would replace the Israeli army.

“We learned the hard way in Lebanon,” said Amidror. “We cannot be the kingmakers. You cannot come from outside and determine who will be the Palestinian government. They have to make decisions. They have to make the choice.”

If Hamas and similar groups are destroyed in Gaza, as Israel vows, perhaps UNTSO could help keep the peace inside Gaza too as a kind of supplementary police force while the status and credibility of the Palestinian Authority are somehow resurrected there.

Is “Squid Game: The Challenge” Unethical?

In the hit Korean series “Squid Game,” impoverished people competed in a lethal competition for the entertainment of the ultra-wealthy. Is a new reality show based on this premise unethical?

This is uncut schadenfreude that activates my worst instincts, a version of Squid Game with nothing but contempt for our fellow man. When you remove the pathos and introspection—when there is no moral investigation into why these real-life men and women are undercutting each other in pursuit of a life-changing sum of money—the result is an intoxicating spectacle for your id.

It’s possible that a different version of The Challenge, one sufficiently abstracted from the grim themes of Squid Game, could have been fun to watch. The version we have, however, remains fixated on the themes of subjugation, humiliation, and inequity that defined the fictional version of the game.

So are we all sadists, revelling in human suffering while watching from the safety of our sofa? Not necessarily, says Dr Sandra Wheatley, a social psychologist for Potent, and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, who believes that we’re sucked into watching a show like Squid Game: The Challenge for less obviously malign reasons – because of a desire to be part of the cultural conversation.

Today’s Hot Issues

Is There Reason to Fear Fascism from Trump? What Is Congress Saying About Israel’s Right to Exist? Should UNRWA Be Shut Down? Should Biden Call Out Iran’s Role in Israel’s War? If the PA Doesn’t Take Control of Gaza, Who Will? Is “Squid Game: The Challenge” Unethical?