Change country:

Americans for Prosperity president on Trump's Twitter habits

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity and Koch brothers' top political chief, discussed his meetings with President Trump and Vice President Pence and responded to questions about Mr. Trump's use of Twitter to attack CNN. See his interview with "Red & Blue."
Read full article on:
Portland mayor 'grateful' for Biden reversal of Trump order that sent federal agents to city amid protests
Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Saturday he was grateful for the White House’s “support” after President Biden reversed the Trump order that allowed federal agents to intervene in Portland’s riots last summer.
China closes its side of Everest over Covid fears, as climbers start to scrap expeditions
China has suspended its spring climbing season from the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday, and climbers have begun to scrap their expeditions on the Nepali side and retreat from the world's tallest peak over Covid-19 concerns.
Phoenix roller coaster stalls, prompting rescue of 22 riders: report
The "Desert Storm" ride at the Castles N Coasters theme park stalled, leaving 22 passengers stuck about 20 feet above the ground while the ride was on its side.
Powerball Winners and Results From 05/15/21: Did Anyone Win the $187M Jackpot?
A windfall estimated at $187 million was up for grabs on Saturday night, but did anyone win the jackpot?
Arizona audit funding cloaked in secrecy
Three weeks into the Arizona Senate's unorthodox audit of the 2020 presidential election results, one potential winner seems to be emerging, regardless of any count: Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based consulting firm being paid to lead the analysis of the votes in populous Maricopa County.
Is zero a 'fair share' of taxes?
The Republicans' Child Tax Credit began knocking people off the tax rolls, now the Democrats want to do even more.
Dr. Nicole Saphier: COVID-19 and America – the state of emergency is over and it's time to declare it
It's clear that the COVID-19 emergency is over. It is prudent now for our leaders and health officials to allow the country to return to pre-coronavirus activities.
I’m Planning on Wearing These Hiking Shoes All Summer Long
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/HuckberryScouting Report: These shoes were designed for an ultramarathoner and are extremely lightweight. They boast ample cushioning to make your next run, or walks the most comfortable one you’ve ever been on.I’m planning on getting outside as much as possible for the next few months. Hiking, running, biking, walking, you name it, I’ll be doing it. I need a shoe that can take me across several NYC boroughs, over cliffs, through parks, and maybe even into streams (a boy can dream). Recently, I came across this really great collab from Huckberry and hiking shoe giant Salomon, and I couldn’t be happier.The XT-6’s were originally launched in 2013 and took everyone by storm. While they were originally designed for an ultramarathoner, they are the perfect shoe for doing absolutely anything in, and now with updated colors, for even just walking around town. The cushioning is some of the best I’ve ever experienced: unlike running on a cloud, you can feel the ground beneath you in a responsive, yet cushioned way. The shoes are incredibly stable, boasting a downhill chassis that cradles my foot with each step. Not only is the traction great, but they are also made with an abrasion resistant film and durable mesh that both resist wear and tear and environmental factors like rain and dust and debris. They also have this nifty thing called Quicklace, which reminds me of going snowboarding. To tie them you just pull the cord, like you might on a backpack and voila, they are all laced up and ready to go. That more than anything has made running and working out that much easier.Read more at The Daily Beast.
SNL Tries to Clear up Confusion Over New CDC Mask Guidelines
Kate McKinnon returned as Dr. Anthony Fauci in the episode's cold open, introducing a series of performances to demonstrate correct mask behavior.
1 h
Vietnam vets killed during secret Pacific mission get Maine memorial nearly 60 years later
On Saturday, families of more than 20 fallen soldiers were on hand for the unveiling of a memorial to honor those who perished over the Pacific Ocean.
1 h
Biden just dethroned the Welfare Queen
It's one of the most toxic and enduring racist myths in American political history. But in awarding cash payments to millions of working people of color, President Biden has largely defused this line of attack.
2 h
Dad-to-be sees pink, throws a fit at gender-reveal party
A viral TikTok video from this spring has captured the moment a dad learned that his unborn kid will be a girl — a fact he seems not very happy about.
2 h
Equating Guns With Freedom Is a Toxic Myth That Hurts Us All
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyIt was the persistence of gun violence that helped convince Nesrine Malik that certain myths propagated by the right wing were creating an alternate American reality.A London-based columnist for The Guardian, Malik believes the never-ending slaughter is partially a function of corporate and elite interests convincing the public that buying guns is a fight against the “political correctness” of gun control, and that this also plays into the myth of a “virtuous history to justify gun ownership as foundational to America.”But, adds Malik, whose new book, We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom discusses six current social/political misconceptions, the whole gun myth “typifies why myths are bad for everyone. Firearms increase violence in a society for everyone and claims lives across social classes and races. We think that guns create a society that is based on freedom, but actually gets in the way of people living free from fear and grief.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
OMG, I Want to Rent That House: Santa Barbara, CA
via VRBOSanta Barbara, CA (Vrbo): The Californians are fleeing, recent headlines have told us. While (former) residents may be snapping up cheaper housing in places like Idaho and Texas, those of us in the other 49 states should get busy making plans of our own: swooping in to book some prime West Coast vacation rentals. It’s the ideal California scenario: enjoy a few weeks of perfect weather while avoiding the gloomy state taxes. Sure, this $3,200 a night Santa Barbara beauty may be a bit more penny-precious than a chateau on a different coast, but with this view, who can resist?Now this is the kind of green carpet greeting we require whenever we arrive to a new paradise. This home is spacious with plenty of room for you and your five chosen guests to spread out.When you write about vacation homes, you can begin to sound like a broken record with all the talk of gorgeous sunset views. Here, you can take in the daily masterpiece of colors from the comfort of designer wooden furnishings.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
Here’s One More Way Women Get Shortchanged on Money Matters
Overearth/GettyI remember laughing with my sister a few years ago when her daughter, then in elementary school, declared that “only women are doctors.” It was an understandable assumption: She had yet to meet a male physician. My sister is a doctor in a suburb of Washington, D.C., and her daughter’s pediatrician was also a woman. Initially my niece wanted to follow in their footsteps. Then she decided she wanted to be an astronaut. And then a couple of years later, just as I was starting to wonder if things might be shifting for girls of her generation, my niece, newly adorned in pink dresses and sparkly headbands, informed us that she had scrapped her astronaut ambitions altogether. “I want to be a princess,” she announced.“Snow White, Belle, Aurora… What little girl wouldn’t want to be a Disney princess? Wouldn’t want long, flowy hair, and wouldn’t want to make a wish in a well and have the perfect life?” asked Anya Dubner, a high school student and the teenage daughter of Freakonomics podcast host Stephen Dubner, in an October 2019 episode. “What you want is probably, because of Disney, this fantasy life where everything is so easy, and everything is perfect, and you find a prince. [But] having your ideal life be so easy to achieve is a really bad message to send to anybody… especially to girls.”True, we’re mostly over the idea of being saved by Prince Charming, but vestiges of that narrative still stick stubbornly to our subconscious as girls—and even as fully grown women. While the princess stories have evolved, some elements never seem to change. The heroines are still conventionally beautiful, with flowing locks and the wide-eyed, dewy glow of youth. And it’s still their looks, rather than their smarts, that tend to draw the attention of men (and often the envy of women). “Pretty” and “princess” are synonymous, and evil and ugly are almost inevitably linked in these fairy tales. And while our heroines may be smart, adventurous, and independent-minded, they never have to worry about their income and ultimately end up finding their prince.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
Food Hacks or Mess Porn? Celebrity Chefs Unpack a Weird Viral Trend
YouTubeCelebrity chef and Chopped judge Scott Conant knows that those gross food hack videos are not meant to be taken seriously. He knows those videos are just for fun. Nevertheless, as a lover of food and especially as an Italian American, he can’t help but ask himself one question when he sees someone pour SpaghettiOs into a pie crust with a dollop of milk, or dump a jar of Prego onto their countertop: “Why?”“It’s like a train wreck to a certain extent,” Conant told The Daily Beast during a recent interview ahead of the release of his book, Peace, Love, and Pasta. “You can’t look away, right? Especially as a professional, it’s hard to look away from that.”For months now, these videos have transfixed us all in horror, confusion, and prurient fascination. The formula is often the same: A slender white woman spreads some sort of unseemly gloop onto a gleaming stone countertop before covering it in a mess of toppings. Sometimes it’s canned pasta in a pie shell, or peppermints melted onto a waffle iron. Many of these videos also focus heavily on sound, particularly those moist sounds food can make that can range from suggestive to downright pornographic.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
Norton I Declared Himself Emperor of the United States, and His Subjects Loved It
Getty ImagesOn July 16, 1860, 84 years after the American colonists signed the Declaration of Independence and officially stated their intention to form a union of their own, a decree was issued dissolving the United States of America entirely.That Monday, San Franciscans woke up to a momentous proclamation: “Whereas, it is necessary for our Peace, Prosperity and Happiness, as also to the National Advancement of the people of the United States, that they should dissolve the Republican form of government and establish in its stead an Absolute Monarchy.”It was something of a formality as the man behind the edict, the self-proclaimed Emperor Norton I, had already declared himself “Emperor of the United States” a year earlier, thus establishing the American monarchy. But he had allowed the United States democracy to continue, even as its representatives ignored his orders to attend meetings to revise the country’s laws.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
The Over-the-Top Library With a Secret Treasure
AlamyIt would be understandable if, after taking in the ornate reading rooms and grand hallways of the St. Louis Central Library, you deemed your thirst for literary splendor sated. However, tucked into one of those walls is an elegant but easily missed double door underneath a broken pediment leading to a true treasure trove filled with items that would fetch eye-popping sums at auction.Fittingly, they are books.Not the greatest twist, I suppose, but these are not any old books.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
These Start-Ups Could Make Abortion One Click Away
mychoixIn California right now, you can get an abortion without speaking to a single other human being. You log onto a website——put in your health information, answer some questions, and wait for an email from a clinician letting you know if you’ve been approved. If you are, an online pharmacy will ship you a package of mifepristone and misoprostol—a two-pill regime that is safer than many prescription drugs and 98 percent effective at terminating early-stage pregnancies. You will take it, you will bleed, your pregnancy will—in all likelihood—end.This particular configuration is available in only one state, for a limited time, due to an emergency declaration issued by the Food and Drug Administration during the pandemic. But make no mistake: This is the future abortion advocates want.Medication abortion has been available in the U.S. since 2000, when the FDA approved a mifepristone-based drug called Mifeprex for use in ending early-stage pregnancies. At the time, the administration also attached a set of restrictions known as an REMS to the product’s distribution—something it has done for less than 0.01 percent of the 20,000 drugs it’s ever approved for use. The REMS required Mifeprex—which is safer than both penicillin and Viagra, and 14 times less dangerous than giving birth—to be prescribed and dispensed in-person, by a certified prescriber, at a clinic or hospital. That meant the medication could not be obtained at a pharmacy, but had to be obtained from a physician willing to register with the drug manufacturer and stock the medication in their office. The result was that abortion pills—the most common way to end a pregnancy in several other countries—were harder to access in the U.S. than fentanyl or oxycodone.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
2 h
How Three Dead Prostitutes Triggered a Wild Satanic Panic
EpixThe Satanic Panic of the ’80s and early ’90s was fueled by wild stories about ritualistic killings, human and animal sacrifices, and pledges of allegiance to dark demonic lords. Most of those claims turned out to be tall tales, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t result in criminal justice system convictions. One such example involved the nightmare that befell Fall River, Massachusetts, (the birthplace of Lizzie Borden) in1979-1980, when three young prostitutes were found bound, bludgeoned to death, and, in one instance, horribly mutilated. Though the victims were all killed in a strikingly similar manner, police didn’t investigate them as the work of a single fiend. And in the case of the third slaying, they decided that the perpetrator’s motivation had less to do with personal impulses than with getting in good with a higher power: Satan.Premiering on Epix May 16, the Jason Blum-produced Fall River revisits this tumultuous episode in traditional docuseries fashion, employing archival photos and videos, newly recorded interviews, graphical flourishes, and unnecessary dramatic recreations to try to assemble a puzzle whose pieces, decades later, don’t quite fit. Director James Buddy Day’s four-part docuseries begins with the Oct. 13, 1979, murder of 17-year-old prostitute Doreen Levesque, who was found under a high school’s bleachers with her head brutally caved in by a blunt object. At the time of Doreen’s death, there was a turf war in the area between two rival pimps: notorious Carl Drew and 17-year-old Robin Murphy. The latter was dating a prostitute named Karen Marsden, who said that she was present at Doreen’s murder, which had been carried out by Carl. Karen, however, refused to outright finger Carl to the cops, and on Feb. 9, 1980, she was found murdered in Freetown-Fall River State Forest. Like Doreen, Karen had also been bludgeoned to death with a rock. And thanks to Robin’s testimony, police soon came to believe that Karen was the victim of a Satanic ritual orchestrated by Drew, in which he forced Robin to kill her girlfriend, perform oral sex on her corpse, and decapitate her so he could kick her head around the woods.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
A Super Coronavirus Vaccine Could Be in Your Future
GettyThe vaccines that the world’s leading pharmaceutical firms have developed to prevent COVID-19 work really well. Against the novel coronavirus, that is.But SARS-CoV-2 isn’t the only coronavirus out there; there are more pathogens like the one that causes COVID-19. And it may be only a matter of time before some new coronavirus jumps from whatever animal population harbors it to human beings. When it does, it could wreak as much havoc as SARS-CoV-2, if not more. That’s what worries a team of scientists led by Barton Haynes and Kevin Saunders at Duke University. And what motivated them, a year ago, to begin work on a new vaccine that could work against a whole bunch of coronaviruses.Welcome to Rabbit Hole, where we dive deep on the biggest story. It’s for Beast Inside members only. Join up today.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
UFO Community Explodes in Lawsuit Drama, Accusations of ‘Luciferianism’
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty /Aaron FosterThe world of UFO conspiracy theorists has been torn apart by dueling lawsuits, pitting a prominent UFO influencer against a conspiracy-minded streaming video company valued at more than $200 million over who has the right to discuss their experiences with a benevolent species of blue alien.The battle taking place in a federal courthouse in Colorado centers on Corey Goode, a UFO promoter and self-proclaimed deep-space traveler who consorts with benevolent aliens, and his former employer, Gaia, a publicly traded streaming platform whose videos blend yoga instruction with stories about “deep state” villains and benevolent aliens.After leaving his Gaia show in 2018, Goode engaged in a long-running feud with the company. In March 2020, Goode sued Gaia, alleging that the company had engaged in an elaborate conspiracy against him. On Monday, Gaia filed a countersuit, accusing Goode of defamation and concocting various schemes to sabotage the company.Read more at The Daily Beast.
2 h
Mollie Tibbetts' accused killer, an illegal immigrant, to stand trial soon in Iowa
The trial for the man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old Iowa college student, will start Monday in Scott County, Iowa, nearly three years after her alleged murder, according to reports.
2 h
Mask policies across the US are rapidly changing. Here's what worries experts about that
In the past week, America took two big steps closer to a semblance of the normalcy we've longed for.
2 h
Subway slashing suspect arraigned in connection with gang initiation ritual
A teenage suspect was charged with first-degree assault, robbery and criminal possession of a firearm and bail set at $50,000 following a string of recent New York City subway slashings.
2 h
Video: 'SNL' cold open goes over new mask rules
"Saturday Night Live" opened this weekend's show with ridiculous everyday scenarios that attempted to answer questions surrounding the latest federal guidelines on mask requirements for fully vaccinated people.
3 h
Josh Hawley’s ‘canceled’ book now a bestseller: reports
The Missouri Republican has a publishing success on his hands, according to reports
3 h
Asian American history is American history. These AAPI leaders transformed the US for generations to come
Imagine getting through this pandemic without Zoom. Or not having any days off work, toiling seven days a week with no overtime pay.
3 h
Asian American history is American history. These AAPI leaders transformed the US for generations to come
Imagine getting through this pandemic without Zoom. Or toiling seven days a week with no overtime pay. Asian Americans have improved the lives of fellow Americans in countless ways. But some of the biggest contributions don't end up in history books.
3 h
Yankees need this version of Aaron Judge to stay
Aaron Judge is the leader of the Yankees and when he leads, everyone follows.
3 h
New champ Charles Oliveira fires back at Conor McGregor: 'I'm going to put you on your ass'
Charles Oliveira appear willing to oblige to a title defense against Conor McGregor after claiming gold at UFC 262.       Related StoriesNew champ Charles Oliveira fires back at Conor McGregor: 'I'm going to put you on your ass' - EnclosureUFC 262 bonuses: New champ Charles Oliveira tops $75,000 winnersMichael Chandler opens up about UFC 262 loss: 'I am still world-class' 
3 h
'SNL': Keegan-Michael Key defends surprise guest Kermit the Frog in violent Muppet sketch
"Saturday Night Live" host Keegan-Michael Key shared the stage this week with a surprise guest: Kermit the Frog.       
3 h
OTAs making rest of Giants offseason a mystery
The Giants OTA schedule remains up in the air.
3 h
Michael Chandler opens up about UFC 262 loss: 'I am still world-class'
Despite his loss at UFC 262, Michael Chandler still took time to speak with reporters after the event.       Related StoriesMichael Chandler opens up about UFC 262 loss: 'I am still world-class' - EnclosureUFC 262 results: Charles Oliveira knocks out Michael Chandler to win lightweight title - EnclosureUFC 262 bonuses: New champ Charles Oliveira tops $75,000 winners 
3 h
Yankees’ Aaron Hicks headed to injured list with wrist injury
BALTIMORE — Aaron Hicks is headed to the injured list with a torn sheath in his left wrist. Though the center fielder felt some improvement, he took swings in the cage from both sides of the plate prior to the Yankees’ 8-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday and the decision was...
3 h
Dustin Poirier praises Charles Oliveira, encourages Michael Chandler after UFC 262
Dustin Poirier had respectful words for Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler in the aftermath of UFC 262.       Related StoriesDustin Poirier praises Charles Oliveira, encourages Michael Chandler after UFC 262 - EnclosureTwitter reacts to Charles Oliveira's title-winning TKO of Michael Chandler at UFC 262 - EnclosureDana White tells Triller executives to stop hounding him: 'This idiot calls me every day' 
3 h
Dana White tells Triller executives to stop hounding him: 'This idiot calls me every day'
Triller executives keep calling, but Dana White doesn't plan on picking up.       Related StoriesDana White tells Triller executives to stop hounding him: 'This idiot calls me every day' - EnclosureUFC 262 bonuses: New champ Charles Oliveira tops $75,000 winnersUFC 262 results: Charles Oliveira knocks out Michael Chandler to win lightweight title - Enclosure 
4 h
'SNL' mocks mask confusion over new CDC guidance: 'Is this a trap?'
"Saturday Night Live" this weekend mocked the confusion that followed new federal guidelines that fully vaccinated Americans can shed masks in most situations.
4 h
It's easy to nod off to 'sleep stories.' Making them is hard
"Sleep stories" have been popular during the pandemic among people looking to quiet their minds at bedtime. Here's how their creators employ tricks to steer listeners toward slumber.
4 h
Mets’ Jeff McNeil set to start again after sitting as a precaution
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jeff McNeil’s recent “body cramps” are keeping the Mets vigilant. A day after McNeil returned to the lineup as the designated hitter, he was back on the bench Saturday as a precautionary measure. McNeil was tentative in his base-running on Friday. “I think he’s a little tentative from the cramping from...
4 h
A Sister’s Fight for her Brother
A sister stands by the brother accused of murdering their parents. She insists he’s innocent and there’s more to the story. "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty reports.
4 h
Conor McGregor reacts to Charles Oliveira's UFC 262 title win, teases fight
Conor McGregor appears to be targeting new champ Charles Oliveira after UFC 262.       Related StoriesConor McGregor reacts to Charles Oliveira's UFC 262 title win, teases fight - EnclosureTwitter reacts to Charles Oliveira's title-winning TKO of Michael Chandler at UFC 262 - EnclosureTwitter reacts to Charles Oliveira's title-winning TKO of Michael Chandler at UFC 262 
4 h
LIVE UPDATES: Israeli military targets home of Gaza's top Hamas leader
Follow for the latest updates on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
4 h
SNL’s Kate McKinnon spoofs new CDC mask rules, Liz Cheney’s ousting from House leadership
The "Saturday Night Live" episode also featured Keegan-Michael Key as host and Olivia Rodrigo as musical guest.
4 h
Man fatally shot in Suitland, P.G. police say
Victim found in an SUV, according to police.
4 h
Eleven people shot in eight bloody hours across NYC, one fatally
A shooting in Midtown allowed for 11 shootings in New York City in an eight-hour period. Several people have been injured while one shooting in the Bronx left one dead.
4 h
UFC 262 bonuses: New champ Charles Oliveira tops $75,000 winners
The UFC upped the ante on its post-fight bonuses for UFC 262 on Saturday with $75,000 instead of the customary $50K.      Related StoriesUFC 262 breakdown: Is Michael Chandler poised to become a two-promotion lightweight champion?Twitter reacts to Charles Oliveira's title-winning TKO of Michael Chandler at UFC 262Twitter reacts to Beneil Dariush's dominant win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 262 
4 h
The Rivalry That Defines the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
“Today Iran, tomorrow Palestine.” Thus cheered the crowd in Tehran in February 1979, during the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s visit to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini just days after the success of the Iranian revolution. Arafat was the first foreign dignitary to visit Iran after the fall of the shah. For him, Khomeini’s success was a win for the Palestinian cause: His guerilla fighters had helped train Iranian revolutionaries in Lebanon, and he was hopeful that, with Khomeini’s help, he would soon be on his way to establishing a Palestinian state.This fascinating and relatively little known episode in the Middle East’s history altered the region’s political landscape, and still informs the context in which today’s events in the Palestinian territories and Israel are unfolding. Although the personal relationship between Arafat and Khomeini soured within a year, their encounter marks the moment when revolutionary Iran’s involvement with the Palestinians began, and when the Palestinian issue inserted itself into a then-still-nascent regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.Forty years later, Iran continues to brandish the Palestinian cause to shore up its anti-imperial credentials and project power in the region, posing as the only true defender of the Palestinians. In Tehran’s view, that offers it a contrast to Arab countries that either signed peace deals with Israel, such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, or cozied up to it, such as Saudi Arabia. This is why the Biden administration must view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a piece of the wider puzzle as it seeks to revive the nuclear deal with Iran: because that’s how Tehran sees it.That’s not to dismiss the seven-decade long plight of the Palestinians, dispossessed and expelled repeatedly from their homes. Nor does it take away from the horror of the violence between Israeli Jews and Arabs, from Haifa to Lod, and the alarming rise of Jewish extremism.But that meeting decades ago remains essential to understanding how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is used by those who aren’t directly impacted to advance their own agendas, and how differently it features in the Middle East today compared with even two decades ago.[Read: ‘We want a nation’]When I began researching my book on the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, I did not expect to find that the Palestinian cause had played a role in the Iranian revolution, nor that it was a thread in the long-running proxy battle between Riyadh and Tehran, which also began in 1979. The two countries’ competition for influence is the key undercurrent that has driven, and continues to drive, many of the political, religious, and cultural dynamics in the region, as well as conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.The Arab-Israeli conflict began well before the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and continued to evolve mostly in parallel, with its own dynamics of occupation, wars, intifadas, invasions, and withdrawals. Saudi Arabia and Iran used different approaches to appropriate the issue of Palestine: Riyadh by promoting peace plans and Tehran by funding groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Then the Clinton administration’s efforts to secure peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians failed, the second intifada started in 2001, and Iran pushed itself further onto the Palestinian scene, building on what had begun in the guerilla training camps in Lebanon in the 1970s. Since then, the Saudi-Iran rivalry and the Arab-Israeli conflict have become even more intertwined.Now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that the real threat to his country comes from Iran, not what seemed to be a dormant conflict with the Palestinians—that Israel could exist with a no-cost occupation while progressively establishing relations with Arab countries such as Bahrain and the UAE. Though these countries had their strategic and economic reasons for signing the Abraham Accords, there was always an anti-Iran slant to their unspoken cooperation with Israel.For a long time, Arab regimes used the Arab-Israeli conflict to defend their bloated military budgets and explain away human-rights abuses and oppression—claiming that it was all in service of a greater cause. The Obama administration tried, sporadically, to resume negotiations and find a way forward, but senior United States officials recognized that Arab regimes had been using the conflict with Israel to distract their citizens from their own poverty and hopelessness. U.S. officials still mistakenly thought, however, that this meant that Washington could put the Palestinian issue on the back burner and focus on development and human rights—especially when the 2011 Arab uprisings erupted. When President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, the lack of upheaval across the region was also taken as confirmation that the fire of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had died.[Read: The Muslim world’s question: ‘What happened to us?’]But decisions such as these fuel the deep sense of abandonment that Palestinians have felt over the decades. A similar feeling of isolation is what initially drove Arafat to seek out Khomeini in the late 1970s, after successive Arab defeats in wars against Israel. Even worse was Egypt’s perceived betrayal, when Anwar Sadat broke ranks and became the first Arab leader to visit Israel, in 1977. It was around then that Arafat decided he needed new friends. The region’s most powerful military, aside from Egypt, belonged to Iran, but the Shah—who was still ruling the country—was a friend of Israel. Hundreds of Iranian revolutionaries, Marxists and Islamists alike, were already training in various Palestinian camps in Lebanon when Arafat made contact with Khomeini in 1977, just as the revolution in Iran started to simmer.The ayatollah had identified the Palestinian cause early on as one that could give him appeal beyond Iran’s borders and beyond the Shia Muslim community, one that he could latch on to and make his own, undermining Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the broader Muslim world.Arafat’s visit to Tehran in 1979 was triumphant, but even then there was tension. Khomeini wanted Arafat to embrace the Islamic precepts of revolution and abandon his nationalist rhetoric. Arafat was not interested. Within a year, the mood had turned. Palestinian guerillas believed the people around Khomeini were religious “nut cases,” while Khomeini’s acolytes looked at the Palestinian fighters with disdain: They drank, didn’t pray or fast, and wore ties. But Khomeini had what he needed—an in with the Palestinians, some of whom thought Arafat was too moderate. They would go on to establish Islamist factions, eventually leading to the birth of Hamas.Revolutionary Iran proclaimed the last Friday of Ramadan to be al-Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, marked by military parades and anti-Israel and anti-American chest thumping. Later, Tehran would set up the Quds Force, led for years by General Qassem Soleimani and ostensibly meant to liberate Jerusalem, though it made destructive detours in Beirut, Aleppo, and Baghdad.The events this week have been a reminder of the secular, nationalist currents that have long undergirded the Palestinian cause: In the late 1970s, a poster hung on the wall in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Beirut offices bearing the title A List the People Will Complete, below which were the names of several countries. Three of them, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Spain, had red check marks next to them—countries liberated by anti-imperialists. In February 1979, a red check mark was added next to Iran, while Palestine and Egypt still waited farther down the list. Before the latest violence erupted between Arabs and Jews within Israel, and before Hamas again started lobbing rockets at Israel, peaceful protests were being conducted by young Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, speaking out in international media, talking about international law and smiling bravely while they were being arrested by Israeli forces. They believe they are hearing more and more voices in support of their cause around the world, and in the halls of power, including, crucially this week, numerous voices in the U.S. Congress. They are mobilizing in ways we haven’t seen before, in the occupied territories, in Gaza, in refugee camps around the region, and in the diaspora.There is limited hope among Palestinians: Egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have condemned Israel’s actions, beginning with the eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Israeli settlers and have called on all sides to “show restraint.” President Joe Biden has dispatched Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr to Tel Aviv. (With more than $3.3 billion in aid given, Washington has the most influence on Israel.) But the signs are not good. Any cease-fire will be a temporary fix. Arab capitals have limited leverage. And the U.S. has twice blocked efforts at the United Nations to address the violence, with Biden rebuffing calls by some in his party to condition aid to Israel on how it treats Palestinians. Biden seems eager to avoid being dragged into the conflict. But his administration should know that no matter how much it wants to deprioritize the Middle East, even the singular goal of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran can be undermined by violence in East Jerusalem, and Hamas rockets flying into Israel.[Read: America’s future might be Lebanon]Ultimately, the Palestinians are still mostly on their own. Their anger is directed against Israel first and foremost, but there is also rage for all those who they argue should be helping them but are not: the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been in power since 2005; Arab countries that profess brotherhood and common cause but only pay lip service to the Palestinian cause; Washington, which rhetorically voices commitment to human rights and justice but does little to hold its allies, including Israel, accountable on these fronts. The Syrian-Palestinian writer Nidal Betare, who grew up in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, also raged in a Twitter thread against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In it, he accused them of having lost their role as liberation movements and having turned into guns for hire, their leaders sitting comfortably in Damascus or Qatar while Palestinians are being bombarded in Gaza.Some Palestinians may look to Iran as their last ally, and may well cheer the Hamas rockets as the sole way to push back against Israel. But for more than 40 years, the Islamic Republic has used the Palestinian cause for its own advancement. These days, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, tweets his outrage at Israel and the “racist criminal behavior of the usurpers” before flying to Damascus to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—the same man who unleashed hell on his own country and besieged and starved thousands in Yarmouk.
4 h