Immigration and more immigration. Instead of getting Mexico to pay for the wall, US President Donald Trump wants Congress to approve $20 million in foreign assistance funds and use it to help Mexico pay plane and bus fare to deport as many as 17,000 people who are in that country illegally. It is alleged that the money will help increase deportations of Central Americans, many of whom pass through Mexico to get to the American border. Any unauthorized immigrant in Mexico who is a known or suspected terrorist will also be deported under the program, according to the administration's notification, although such people are few in number. Here's the next issue: even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States. The numbers are up more than five-fold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017. The huge increases, which have pushed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 rejected asylum seekers could get a second chance if a court approves. What's going on here?
Should we equate or conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, or is it dangerous and useful ploy for Zionists? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as "hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group." This is also how anti-Semitism is understood by people in general. However, the state of Israel and Zionist organizations around the world do not want the term to be defined as only racism against Jewish people but also to include criticism and rejection of Zionism. The Zionist movement had no concern for God or Jewish law because the Zionist leaders were secular, and their vision was to create a secular state. They claimed that Jews were a nation just like any other, even though clearly that is not the case. Jews in Yemen, in Iraq, in Poland or in the Holy Land itself had and continue to have their own distinct customs, clothing, culture and language. The only common thing that Jewish people around the world possess is their religion.
Carlos Casteneda — Attorney at Garcia & Garcia.
Miko Peled — Israeli-American activist and author of The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.
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