Podcast / Start Making Sense / Apr 3, 2024

Israeli Jews and Palestinians Standing Together—Plus, Blue Cities in Red States

On this episode of Start Making Sense, Sally Abed talks about Israel’s biggest Jewish-Palestinian grassroots movement, and Harold Meyerson reports on GOP states preempting action by Democratic cities.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Israeli Jews and Palestinians Standing Together; plus Blue Cities in Red States | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

Standing Together, Israel’s biggest Jewish-Palestinian grassroots movement, is organizing against the war and for a Palestinian state. Sally Abed, one of the group’s founders, explains their vision, their strategy, and their recent actions.

Also: Cities everywhere in America are Democratic, and often raising minimum wages and strengthening rent control. But in states where Republicans hold unchecked power, state governments are blocking cities from acting. Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospects. Reports on preemption—and on “pre-preemption.”

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A convoy of 30 vehicles driven by Israeli activists from the “Standing Together” movement, gather in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon near the border with the Gaza Strip on March 7, 2024, in a show of support for Palestinians.

A convoy of 30 vehicles driven by Israeli activists from the “Standing Together” movement, gather in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon near the border with the Gaza Strip on March 7, 2024, in a show of support for Palestinians.

(Jack Guez / AFP)

Standing Together, Israel’s biggest Jewish-Palestinian grassroots movement, is organizing against the war and for a Palestinian state. Sally Abed, one of the group’s founders, explains their vision, their strategy, and their recent actions.

Also on this episode: Cities throughout America are Democratic, often raising minimum wages and strengthening rent control. However, in states where Republicans hold unchecked power, state governments are blocking cities from acting. Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, is on the podcast to report on preemption and “pre-preemption.”

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Trump's Very Bad Week, plus Prestige TV, from The Sympathizer to Shogun | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

Donald Trump on Monday became the first president in history to face trial on criminal charges; his polls are down, and the stock price of Trump Media fallen has 60 percent. John Nichols comments – he’s National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.

Also: TV right now is featuring several prestige historical dramas. John Powers compares and contrasts “The Sympathizer,” centering on a spy for the Communists in Vietnam and then California in the seventies; “Manhunt,” following the search for Lincoln’s assassin; “A Gentleman in Moscow,” portraying a Russian aristocrat after the Bolshevik Revolution, and “Shogun,” about feuding 17th century Japanese warlords. John is critic at large for Fresh Air with Terry Gross

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Jon Wiener: From The Nation magazine, this is Start Making Sense.  I’m Jon Wiener.  Later in the show: Cities everywhere in America are Democratic, and . ising minimum wages and strengthening rent control.  But in states where Republicans hold unchecked power, state governments are blocking cities from acting. Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect will report.

But first: Jews and Palestinians in Israel are standing together against the war, and for a Palestinian state: Sally Abed, in Haifa, will explain – in a minute.
[BREAK]
While Israel continues killing Palestinians in Gaza, an organization of Palestinians and Jews in Israel is working not only for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid and the rebuilding of Gaza, but also for equality and security and social justice for Palestinians and Israelis, and for the establishment of a Palestinian state. That group is Standing Together. It’s the biggest Jewish Palestinian grassroots movement in Israel. We’re joined now by one of its leaders, Sally Abed. She’s a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and she was recently elected to the Haifa City Council. We reached her today in Haifa. Sally Abed, welcome to the program.

Sally Abed: Thank you so much for having me.

JW: Standing Together says at its website, the war in Gaza is “a never-ending nightmare,” and the current socio-political reality in Israel is “unbearable.” Nevertheless, you say, we find room for hope. Let’s start with the unbearable nightmare part. I assume everybody wants to know at the top what you would do about Hamas right now. What do you tell them?

SA: Okay, Jon, I think when you want to talk about Hamas, you also want to talk about who needs Hamas and the extremism on the other side that in many ways has created Hamas – through the blockade, through starvation over decades, through oppression over decades. That’s what creates extremism. So if you really want to talk about Hamas, we also need to talk about the root cause of extremism and how it can really be created.
And that can be linked back to the Israeli policy, to the fact that for the last decade and a half, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government have exclusively only negotiated with Hamas, while completely neglecting and overlooking the PA, Palestinian Authority, in the West Bank. That was intentional. That was methodological. Now, let’s talk about Hamas and what can be done.
We need to ask ourselves, did military solutions ever work? And the answer, the very, very, very simple answer is no. Never. That never happened. Trillions of dollars were put in the Middle East to eradicate extremism, and that never worked after millions of lives being lost and complete nations being destructed completely. And we know that that didn’t work. We still have ethnic apartheid. We have a gender apartheid and ethnocracies all across the Middle East.
And we need to ask ourselves, when was Hamas the weakest? Hamas was the weakest when the Palestinians had the most prospects for peace. And that was in the ’90s. That’s when Hamas was the weakest.
If we want to talk about Hamas, we also need to talk about diplomacy. We need to talk about new ideas, allowing new ideas for Palestinians. And to do that, we also need to create a new regime in the Israeli government.

JW: And then outside of Gaza, in Israel and in the occupied West Bank, there is injustice, inequality, suffering, and has been for a long time.

SA: I think when people talk – or me as a Palestinian, and we do work within the Israeli society, we absolutely understand this issue is not simply – it cannot be fragmented. We cannot just talk about, oh, the Israeli society and civil rights and civil equality for the Palestinians in Israel, and then Gaza is its own thing, and then the West Bank is its own thing. And even the Palestinian diaspora, our own thing. And I think we really need to understand that it is a holistic idea, and we see different oppression, different forms of oppression of Palestinians. And within Israel, we have 20% Palestinians.
And we are the Palestinians that actually experienced the very first military rule of the Israeli government. From ’48 until ’65, we were under military rule, unlike the West Bank and Gaza, where we’re under Jordan and Egypt. And I think our dynamic has completely shifted into ‘how do you navigate a citizenship, an Israeli citizenship, as a Palestinian?’ And be part of that society having and creating that distance? But of course, I mean, we see, and we are experiencing decades and decades of the systemic discrimination within the State of Israel against the Palestinian citizens.
And we also see increased persecution and harassment and incitement against us as the governments have been increasingly becoming more extreme in recent years. And that comes in parallel with also increased politicization of our generation, which have become more political, more Palestinian, more refusing to erase our identity. And I think it’s a very dangerous recipe. It’s a very dangerous recipe, but it usually happens right when you oppress more.
We are more than ever connected to the whole world and to our narrative and to our history and to the information around us, but also are more than ever persecuted. And on the other side, more than ever assimilated in the Israeli society. And we speak fluent Hebrew, and we are more educated than ever. And it’s a very complex situation where you have a very nuanced task of how do you create, how do you capitalize on this politicization? How do you capitalize and empower Palestinian leadership in Israel, uncompromised Palestinian leadership?
At the same time, one that assumes responsibility over the Israeli public and leads the Israeli public and its marginalized groups and its injustices, inequalities beyond the Palestinians. And I think that’s the key, and that’s what Standing Together is trying to do.

JW: And Standing Together is not just an idealistic vision of a peaceful future for Israel and Palestine. You are organizers. You have a strategy for change. Tell us a little about that.

SA: We’re actually not idealistic at all. We’re ideological. We’re ideological. We’re extremely ideological. We have a very, very deep-rooted ideology of equality and social justice. And we have an ideology of change, a theory of change of how we do it. We acknowledge the hegemony of the Israeli society and the control and the power differential that it has in this situation.
We understand that we need to build the political will within the Israeli public, to build the political will within the Israeli leadership, to actually have the real intention for Palestinian freedom to end the occupation, to end the military control, and actually have real steps towards peace. And to do that, you need a very deep shift in the Israeli public that right now and for many decades, in many ways since the establishment of the states, have been told that’s not possible.  In order for us to be safe, we absolutely need to oppress, incarcerate, control, kill Palestinians. We have to.
And I think creating that shift has been almost a mission impossible for many years to imagine that. I do think that October 7th, in many ways, shattered that conception, or at least, at the least challenged it deeply. And we are at the point where we see ourselves as the social movement that will lead that shift in paradigm.
And I don’t say that lightly. I don’t say that to brag. That’s actually not – it’s just important to understand that in order to change reality and change institutional politically, socially, culturally change, shift a society, shift the needle, you need to build a social movement. And that doesn’t only require shouting the ugly truth, but actually organizing people, building leaderships, building the political stream and communities on the ground.

JW: I was surprised to see a report in Haaretz that, “Standing Together’s message of solidarity and vision of a shared future has been on a constant rise since the war started.” So how big is Standing Together right now?

SA: Not big enough. Not big enough, Jon. But we are definitely growing. I think in many ways we are operating in a vacuum. We’re operating in a vacuum which is helping us. It feels lonely in many ways. We have amazing partners, by the way. There is an amazing shared civil society ecosystem, but not a social movement that can actually create the big public movement and can compete with the right wing right now. The right wing has a very vigorous competition right now, and they’re competing over the attention of the public with the eternal war solution.  That’s what’s needed, right? Occupy, expel, resettle. That’s their solution.
And we need to compete back. And I guess luckily, we are in a vacuum. I don’t know if I would call it luckily. We are at the moment at 5,300 members. However, our base, our support base, is tens of thousands of people. And even our subscribing newsletter, for example, there’s over 250,000 Israelis, both Palestinian and Jewish, who subscribe to us. And we reach millions on our social media both here and abroad.
So we are definitely growing. We are also polling with the public and we see not enough again, but positive shifts in the Israeli public and how they receive our messaging.

JW: And Standing Together has been doing a lot lately. I saw in The Jerusalem Post that you organized a convoy recently to deliver food supplies to help starving Palestinians and Gaza. Tell us about that and what happened.

SA: We tried to do that a couple of times. We actually called for people to come and donate non-perishables and aids and just things that can cross over. And it was a convoy of over 40 cars with flags. What’s happening in Gaza is not being published. It’s not being something that’s told to the Israeli public. So we wanted to use that momentum to, of course, deliver the very necessary crucial aid to Gaza, but also create a wave of solidarity within the Israeli public around what’s happening and increase the awareness of what’s happening.
Unfortunately, the first time we were stopped 10 kilometers before the borders by the Israel Border Police, and it was just announced to be a military area, so military controlled areas, so we weren’t allowed to go in like that. It would have been extremely dangerous. And the same time, the dozens of buses with hundreds of settlers from the West Bank who travel every day from the West Bank to Gaza to block the aid is obviously – they have a free pass from the police. They are actually organized by the same minister who is in charge of the police.
And we tried again the week after that. We got a little bit closer. We tried to get a little bit. We actually got into some altercations with the settlers, and you could understand that the police did not have any intention to protect us from these settlers who are armed. So we didn’t want to put our activists in jeopardy. The food was sent to the West Bank, which are currently as well – unfortunately, it’s not very surveyed, but there are tens of thousands of families right now who are being collectively punished and not being able to come to Israel to work.
They are heavily dependent economically on coming into Israel, and they revoked all of their permission to come. So we see a wave of unemployment and poverty and food insecurity in the West Bank right now as well. So we sent food there.

JW: In Israel, you’ve been organizing what you call Solidarity Conventions. Tell us about those.

SA: The Solidarity Convention, it was the very first reaction of our movement after October 7th. We understood that we have two main roles. One is to understand how can we build this new alternative idea for the public in Israel and compete over it against the right, but the immediate need that we needed was to deescalate and create a solidarity, create a space of solidarity, create a space of shared grief and shared future.
I think in many ways, one of the most important powerful things that you can do together, especially if you identify as two peoples that have been in a story, in an endless war, a narrative of zero-sum game, the most powerful thing you can do is to grieve together. Then you can also think together. You can dream together. You can act together.
And we created a network of solidarity watches, Jewish-Palestinian solidarity watches across the country that also led Jewish-Palestinian rallies, solidarity rallies. It was in Palestinian towns, Jewish towns, mixed towns and mosques in literally wedding venues. When we actually started, we weren’t allowed to protest. We weren’t provided permission. It was illegal. Obviously now it’s different, and now our messaging has escalated and also our numbers have escalated. We were able to get from hundreds of people at the beginning to thousands of people right now that are rallying for a ceasefire agreement to stop the destruction and killing and return the hostages home, and obviously for peace and ending the occupation.

JW: I know you’ve been especially active on college and university campuses. What are the issues there? What do you do to help?

SA: College campuses are crucial space. A crucial space. In many ways with a segregated educational system, an Arab educational system and then a Hebrew one, we don’t meet at all. The university is the very first meet of Palestinian and Jewish youth in Israel. And in recent years, in recent two decades actually, it has been heavily depoliticized, depoliticized while also being taken over by the right, like the student unions, the student institutions, the university institutions. The depoliticization was almost intentional that you would be sanctioned.
And in recent years, really in the last five years, Standing Together has been organizing in student campuses. And we were very lucky to be able to have that platform and to have those communities already on our campuses to be able to tackle the hostility, the very, very hostile environment that was created on campuses. After October 7th, many students, hundreds of students were expelled from university, were harassed physically and verbally on campus, especially visibly Palestinian, Muslim women and men. And it was very difficult.
We created a campus for all, which is a network of hundreds and hundreds of different students across the country, and we create a lot of support groups there, legal support, social work support, but also obviously the leadership necessary to create the safe spaces for us to work. And one exciting thing is that we have been running people for student unions very, very on the down low, under the radar, with a lot of resistance, a lot of resistance and incitement and hate that our students have received on campus.
We have been able to elect 14 different student representatives since October 7th on various campuses. Eight of them are Palestinian. That’s amazing. And in many ways, we are really getting to a point where we are actually the most represented organized group on Israeli campuses.

JW: Wow! Great.

SA: Despite the hardships sometimes when you’re organized in a vacuum, it actually works for you.

JW: Can you tell us a little about your own personal history? You are a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Did you grow up in a political family? Did you learn about activism as a kid from your parents?

SA: Nope. Not at all. Not at all. I think there are very few political families in Israel, Palestinian political families. And if they are, they were depoliticized at some point. My father actually was quite active with the Communist Party in the ’80s, and then he got arrested. And then when he had us and he got a job, he’s like, ‘okay, I’m done.’ Same with my mom. Both of them are government workers, so they submitted to the conditions. They assimilated completely, and that meant depoliticizing completely.
I remember when I first started my activism, they were extremely worried about me, extremely, extremely worried about me. I think it’s gotten better. I think they understand my passion for it. It’s not even passion, right? It’s like I don’t know what else I would do.
But in many ways, they also understand. They deeply understand our theory of change, and they see the tangible change that we’re making on the ground. And that’s, I think, one of the most validating things there has been for me: to see my parents getting politicized, and my brothers, who didn’t care at all, being politicized with me. And being very, very engaged with me. That’s been very validating–to see my personal environment getting convinced of what I do.  So I’m less scared, and more passionate about it.

JW: Sally Abed of Standing Together. You can learn more at standingtogether.org. Sally, thank you for all your work; we really need you guys. And thank you for talking with us today.

SA: Thank you so much, Jon.
[BREAK]

Jon Wiener: One of the greatest political divides in America today is not between rich and poor or Black and white. It’s between rural and urban. American cities are blue, all of them. Even in the red states. Wyoming is the most Republican states, but even in Wyoming, Jackson Laramie and Cheyenne vote Democratic. Rural counties pretty much everywhere are deep red. They are Trump country now. So state governments are a battleground, and where Republicans control all of a state government, they go to war against Democratic cities. For that story, we turn to HM. Of course, he’s editor at large of the American Prospect. Harold, welcome back.

Harold Meyerson: Always good to be here, John.

JW:   The place I first learned about red state governments prohibiting blue cities from enacting progressive reforms was Jackson Mississippi couple of years ago after they elected a socialist mayor, Chokwe Lumumba. I thought this was a specific thing to Mississippi and to Lumumba, but it turns out Mississippi is hardly unique. And it wasn’t even the first.

HM:   No.  We saw this in North Carolina where basically the city of Charlotte had passed some LGBTQ legislation, which the state legislature, and at that point there was a Republican governor too, simply struck down saying, “Cities can’t do this.” And then we saw in Birmingham Alabama where again, a blue city enacted a higher minimum wage, or actually Alabama doesn’t even have a minimum wage. It’s one of five deep south states that has never enacted its own minimum wage laws since they’re still reeling from 1865 that they had to adjust, it appears, to that. But Birmingham, undaunted, went ahead and passed its own minimum wage ordinance, and the state then weighed in and passed a law that said cities in Alabama cannot pass minimum wage ordinances. So this sort of set a template, but this has gone kind of viral across the country where there are Republican state governments and Democratic cities.

JW:   Charlotte, Birmingham, and Jackson, Mississippi–these are Black places. Would you say there’s an element of racism in these conflicts?

HM:   The short answer is ‘hell yes!”   And we see it in any number of ways, particularly because many major cities have Black mayors. At the moment, you could just begin with America’s three largest cities, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, all of which have African-American mayors. So this is a not uncommon happenstance in major American cities. And where you have a Republican control of state government, there seems to be just a little edge of hostility to that.

JW:   The urban-rural divide in politics is not new. Marx, after the 1848 Revolutions wrote in his book “The 18th Brumaire” about what he called “rural idiocy.” And there’s a legal principle going back, I understand to the 11th century in Germany: “city air makes you free.”  It even has its own Wikipedia entry. Serfs could flee feudal lands for cities and their former lords couldn’t get them back. And it’s not only 11th century Germany and 19th century France; rural-urban conflict also has a pretty long history in the United States.

HM:   Oh, sure it does. And if you look at, let’s say 100 years ago to the 1920s, you have a real backlash against cities and immigration because cities were full of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe who were not Protestant. They were either Catholics or Jews. And so you had legislation essentially ending all immigration from anywhere except Northwest Europe, and you had the rise of the second iteration of the Klan directed against that. It’s really structured American politics since the 1920s.

JW:   I started with Mississippi, but is Mississippi really the worst place right now for red state preemption of blue cities?

HM: No. I think we have to look to those two stellar governors, Greg Abbott in Texas and Ron DeSantis in Florida, and the war that they and their Republican legislative cohorts are conducting against all the blue cities in their states, the Houstons and the Dallases and Austin’s and San Antonios and Miamis and Jacksonvilles. No, they are at the forefront of this.

JW:   In the Prospect, you report on something in Florida, you call “The preemption to end all government preemptions.” Tell us about that.

HM:   This is a law that was passed last year in Florida, which enables any business to bring suit against any municipal ordinance that business can say has a deleterious effect. Then the ordinance, just by virtue of the suit being filed, is immediately suspended, even if the suit later is ruled by a judge to have no merit. But even if it is ruled by the judge to have no merit, the law still suspended for a further 45 days.
Also, there’s a neat little provision here that only a business, not an individual or an NGO or whatever, can bring this suit and that if the business prevails, the municipality must pay its legal expenses up to 50 grand. But if the municipality, the city or the county prevails, it’s got to pay its own costs. So this is about as unbalanced a piece of legislative chutzpah that you could imagine.

JW:   I never read about this Florida law until I saw your piece in the Prospect. Does everybody know about this except me?

HM:   No. No. This actually has gotten very little play in national media and I had to kind of do some deep digging even in Florida media to find it. It is so out there that at least at the time I wrote the piece several months after the new state law took effect, no one had filed suit under it just because it looks so completely preposterous. But there it lingers and just a Sword of Damocles hanging over the most rudimentary notions of justice.

JW: So you say this Florida law isn’t the final step; there’s something going on in Texas too?

HM:   Well, Texas began by striking down certain ordinances that were passed in places like Austin, giving workers breaks when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees, striking down rent control. But rather than go ad seriatim, striking down one municipal ordinance at a time, what Texas did was it passed a law last year that said that cities and counties can pass no law–affecting labor and the environment and finance and a whole series of areas–that exceeds whatever regulations may exist at the state level. In other words, this isn’t simply preemption, it’s pre-preemption. It says, “Don’t even go there. Don’t even think of this.”
And of course, what this amounts is really the wholesale negation of local government as an institution. If the local government can’t pass its own laws, unless they’re identical to or weaker than the state’s, who needs a local government? And since the Texas Republicans have concluded they’re not going to politically win in the cities, they’re just going to abolish the cities’ right to pass laws of their own.

JW: The solution here really is for the Democrats to regain control of at least one house of the state legislature, or of the governor’s mansion, in these states.

HM:   Absolutely. Now, they also go to court. In Texas, a judge struck down that so-called Death Star Law. That was the pre-preemption law. Although it is wending its way to the Texas Supreme Court as we speak. And if we stop speaking, it’ll still be wending its way to the Texas Supreme Court.
Problem is you can’t just win control of one house or the governor’s office to repeal a law. You need a trifecta, just like the Republicans had when they enacted the law. So it is ultimately probably more plausible to get a judge to strike down one of these laws than it is in what is largely a red state to win total control of state government.

JW:   Harold Meyerson’s full report on what he calls “the breathtaking legal chutzpah” of red states  preempting blue cities appears in the current issue of the American Prospect and online at Prospect.org.
Elsewhere in the news, the Florida Supreme Court this week put abortion rights at the center of the November election in that state. First, they ruled that the state constitution permits the legislature to ban abortion, which they have now done after six weeks. In other words, virtually all abortions. And then the same court approved an abortion rights initiative for the November ballot. That initiative is a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right of abortion “before viability”, which is usually defined as around 24 weeks. Remind us about how abortion rights initiatives have done in state elections since the Supreme Court repealed Roe V. Wade.

HM:   They have repeatedly won, no matter how red the state. In Kansas, in Kentucky, in Ohio.  There is no majority whatever to support restrictions on abortion in Florida. It will require 60% of the vote because of what the Florida legislature, which is Republican, has done for that amendment to pass. But it certainly gives supporters of abortion rights and Democrats and progressives generally a real reason to campaign hard in a state that has largely been conceded to Republicans in the November elections.

JW:   There’s a new abortion opinion poll that came out last Friday. The Axios-Ipsos National Poll asked if people agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Abortion issues should be managed between a woman and her doctor, not the government.” 81% nationwide said yes, and that number included 65% of Republicans as well as 82% of independents. So Florida Republicans in November will be defending a six-week ban, which polls in the 20 percent level of support.
And this isn’t the only progressive initiative that’s going to be on the Florida ballot in November. They’re also going to have a vote on legalizing marijuana. How has that done in recent efforts?

HM:   That always passes as well. One of the underlying questions here, obviously, is whether this is going to swell turnout in ways that would help the Democrats in general and maybe Joe Biden in particular. Now in Florida, we’ve had the experience of voters supporting progressive ballot measures, including raising the minimum wage and restoring the right to vote to felons who have served their time, but still voting for Republican elected officials.  So this is no magic carpet enabling a Democrat and Joe Biden in particular to carry Florida next November. But it sure makes it interesting.
And we should also point out that one of the major presidential candidates is a registered Republican based in Florida named Trump, and he will surely be asked his position if he ever confronts a living breathing reporter–as distinct from one from Fox News–about where he stands on this. So there are interesting twists and turns that lie ahead.

JW:   And one other thing that’s happening in Florida: there’s a Senate election where the current Republican incumbent, Rick Scott, has an approval rating right now of 34%. So the door is also open to Democrats to take that Senate seat there.  The person there running is Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. The most recent poll I found showed Scott ahead of her 44 to 41, which was within the margin of error. So Florida’s going to be pretty interesting in November.

HM:   It is. Unfortunately, it’s a state where the institutional Democratic Party and even the non-institutional Democratic Party is historically really weak. We’ll see if the confluence of these ballot measures gives it more oomph than it has exercised in the last couple of decades.

JW:   One last thing: our stock market tip for today! Last week was the initial public offering of the Trump Media and Technology Group. That’s the company that owns Trump’s Truth Social app. Over its first two days, buyers sent the stock up 30%, setting the value of the company at $10 billion. This is more than established corporations like Mattel or Alaska Airlines or Western Union. And of course, the biggest beneficiary was Trump himself, who owns about 60% of Trump media, which meant he was worth $6 billion more on paper last week. But this week, the company released its 2023 financial information showed it had revenues of $4 million. That’s a long way from $10 billion.  And a net loss of $58 million. On this news, the stock plunged 20%, wiping out about $2.3 billion of the money that Trump had on paper. I see that Trump media is the most shorted stock in America today. I wonder if you would rate Trump media a buy or a sell at this point?

HM:   Today it’s a sell. Last week it was a buy. I’m more concerned, obviously with Trump’s political stock. I hope to God that’s a sell too.

JW:   Harold Meyerson– read him at Prospect.org. Thank you, Harold; it’s always great to have you on the show.

HM:   And it’s always great to be here.

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Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor of The Nation and co-author (with Mike Davis) of Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties.

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