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Kenosha Resident Said She ‘was told to go off this paper’ During Biden Town Hall

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A Kenosha resident spoke frankly about the tensions in her community during a town hall event former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hosted for members of the community Thursday after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left partially paralyzed. The resident, Porsche Bennett, said she was “told to go off” a piece of paper during the question and answer session with Biden and the community.

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“I’m just going to be honest with you, Mr. Biden,” Bennett explained. “I was told to go off this paper, but I can’t. You need the truth and I am part of the truth.”

She continued, “I was born here, raised here, first eighth-grade class after the school that was named after his mother, so I have to give you the truth of the people and the truth of the matter is we are heavily angry. Not angry as to where ‘oh, they’re protesting,’ there’s a difference between a protestor and a rioter, a very big difference. We protest to get our voices heard, we protest to show that not just Blacks are tired of what’s going on…”

The change that needs to be made in the community “has to be more an effect, she said, adding “but we have yet to see action.” The 31-year-old mother expressed concern about her children’s’ future and the future of her community.

“I speak for the people in this city because I live in this city and I’m out here with these people,” Bennett said. “A lot of people won’t tell the truth, but I’m telling the truth. It’s not what a lot of people think it is for us. We want the same exact rights as others.”

“We want the same treatment… We’re not saying ‘oh, we matter more than anybody.’ None of that, but for so many decades, we’ve been shown we don’t matter. And right now we just want someone who’s just going to show and put that action in.”

She also described the community she’s known for her community, which she’s been an integral member of her whole life. She said the Black community there suffers because of issues like employment racism and gentrification. “It didn’t just start with Jacob,” she stated passionately.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: ‚ÄúAn America First Approach to US National Security.‚ÄĚ Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and¬†Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show ‚ÄúGlobal Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.‚ÄĚ Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an ‚ÄúAmerica First‚ÄĚ strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America‚Äôs position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-√†-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump‚Äôs administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a ‚ÄúMaximum Pressure‚ÄĚ sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.¬† Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding ‚Äúsuccessful‚ÄĚ efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia‚Äôs de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden‚Äôs snub when he first came into office, and Biden‚Äôs incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of ‚Äúwhen‚ÄĚ and not ‚Äúif‚ÄĚ such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom‚Äôs security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a ‚Äúcentrist Democrat,‚ÄĚ but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will ‚Äúunilaterally recognize‚ÄĚ a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows.¬†

The Trump administration‚Äôs ‚ÄúPeace to Prosperity‚ÄĚ was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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