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Illinois Governor Rauner promises to turn in names of Arab activists to Israel
Racist Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner promises to provide Israel, a foreign country, with intelligence information on American citizens living in Illinois as a part of anti-Terrorism security measures. The Governor made the promises during a weeklong visit to Israel this week.
By Ray Hanania
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner cares more about the foreign country of Israel than he does for the citizens of his financially plagued and economically crippled state.
That’s why Rauner is now in Israel making promises in the wake of the New York City terrorist attack vowing to provide information on potential threats and suspects who live in Illinois to Israel, a foreign nation. Rauner arrived in Israel on Monday (Oct. 30, 2017) and will leave Friday, (November 3, 2017). It is unclear whether part or all of the trip is being paid for by Israel or by Illinois taxpayers.
Rauner enthusiastically embraced a law that was sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein, who this week has been accused of sexual harassment. Illinois legislative activist Denise Rotheimer told a State Senate panel Tuesday that Silverstein made inappropriate comments to her while the two worked together on legislation.
Silverstein has resigned as a Democratic Floor Leader as rumors of his troubles continue to mount. The charges against Silverstein come in the wake of a nationwide epidemic of sexual harassment charges stemming from accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and most recently actor Kevin Spacey, producer Brett Ratner and actor Dustin Hoffman.
Silverstein is the sponsor of a law that was passed in Illinois last year and co-sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz that would deny basic state funding support and services to any group that supports a “boycott” of Israel. Many Illinois residents support a boycott of Israel over its illegal theft of land from Christians and Muslims living inside Israel as so-called “citizens” and in the Israeli military occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The boycotters target products stolen from Christians and Muslims that are manufactured and grown on the stolen lands and that are then sold through Israeli businesses to American retailers for resale to American consumers. Part of the effort is driven by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement and activists who embrace the American foreign policy position that the Israeli settlements are illegal and a violation of international law.
But service to Israel trumps service to America and Silverstein and Feigenholtz have pushed through the legislation asserting falsely that criticism of Israel is “anti-Semitism” and hate. In reality, the legislation Silverstein and Feigenholtz have introduced is a form of hate that should be banned.
Instead, Rauner, who has been pandering to the far right wing fanatics who support Israeli government extremism, quickly signed the bill. The bill makes Illinois the first U.S. State to aggressively divest pensions from companies that support the boycott of Israel’s discriminatory policies against Christians and Muslims, and the first state to name companies that have stood up to Israel’s government racist apartheid policies against Christian and Muslim citizens and civilians living under occupation.
The Rauner/Silverstein/Feigenholtz bill has become the model for the law introduced by racist U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat, which would impose jail terms and fines of up to $1 million against anyone convicted of supporting a “boycott” of Israel. The term “boycott” can be loosely defined as any form of criticism of Israel’s racist government and racist policies.
Now, Rauner is on a tour of Israel in which he has promised int he wake of the terrorist attacks in New York City this past week to provide Israel with anti-terrorism support, which many believe to mean is information on activists in Illinois who are challenging the apartheid and racist policies of Israel’s rightwing government.
The Jerusalem Post has quoted Rauner as vowing, “We will be exchanging information, will have mutual visits from some of our security people, and leaders from Israel who will come to Illinois … We have a very strong, effective anti-terrorist center and task force commission within the Illinois state police based in Springfield. We are constantly monitoring and sharing information both with the federal government, leaders of other states, and we look forward to have a close working relationship with leaders in Israel.” (Click to read the story.)
Rauner tied his pledge to the terrorism that took place this past week in New York City in which suspect Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan native who was living in New Jersey, drove a truck into civilian pedestrians in New York claiming allegiance to the terrorist organization ISIS. Saipov killed eight people in his rampage and injured 12 before he was wounded and then arrested by police.
Many believe that the information Rauner is exchanging with Israel involves the activism of American citizens based in Illinois, which would be Rauner’s only authority, through policing agencies like the State Police.
It’s an unprecedented violation of American civil rights and it exacerbates the laws that Rauner approved introduced by accused sexual predator State Sen. Ira Silverstein. (Silverstein and Feigenholtz have both refused repeated requests for interviews from this opinion columnist.)
Here is the press release that Rauner issued while in Israel.
ICYMI: Gov. Rauner touts Security Cooperation on Official Trip to Israel
While on an official visit, Governor Rauner met with top Israeli officials to discuss mutual security interests
Governor Rauner is on his first official visit to Israel this week, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials. The governor is leading a delegation of administrators from the University of Illinois, promoting interconnectedness between U of I and Israel’s top engineering universities, with an ultimate goal of making the Illinois Innovation Network a global endeavor.
Take a look at some of the coverage from The Jerusalem Post:
A day after a terrorist attack hit New York, visiting Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hinted at intelligence cooperation between his state’s law enforcement officials and Israel during an interview on Wednesday with The Jerusalem Post. The Republican governor, who arrived on Monday and will be leaving Friday, said that he had a “detailed discussion” with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan during his visit.
“We will be exchanging information, will have mutual visits from some of our security people, and leaders from Israel who will come to Illinois,” he said. “We have a very strong, effective anti-terrorist center and task force commission within the Illinois state police based in Springfield. We are constantly monitoring and sharing information both with the federal government, leaders of other states, and we look forward to have a close working relationship with leaders in Israel.”
…Rauner met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week, and said that 80-90% of that conversation dealt with economic issues, though security issues were also discussed, especially cybersecurity.
“We talked about the software and the mathematics and the engineering behind cybersecurity,” Rauner said. “The prime minister is very focused and knowledgeable about that.”
…“I have always been very clear about my strong support for Israel, the Jewish community in Illinois and around America,” he said. “And frankly I believe very strongly in a very powerful, positive relationship between the people of Israel and the people of Illinois, to our mutual benefit.”
…Rauner speaks proudly of the fact that as governor he “sponsored and signed the first anti- BDS legislation that was signed by any state in America.”
…Rauner said Illinois took the measures one stop further, not only barring investing the state’s pension funds in any company that participates in BDS, but also “not contracting or allowing the state government to do any business whatsoever with a company that participates in BDS activities and discrimination – and other states are now following suit.”
…“We are seeking to expand the University of Illinois in Illinois, but also to expand its collaboration and its partnerships with great research universities worldwide,” he said. “And my personal number one goal is to expand the collaboration with the universities in Israel.”
The university, whose flagship campus is in Champaign-Urbana, will build a new campus in downtown Chicago that will feature an institute that will be a center for collaboration between the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern. Rauner said he hoped Israeli universities would be involved as well.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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