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Nothing has changed that; that trend will continue. Millennials and Gen Z have a much higher proportion of college [educational attainment], and they’re increasing their share of the electorate. The values of those voters continue to be aligned with Democrats — though I actually think they are more likely to be ticket-splitters.

If you look at the midterms versus what happened in 2020, [Democrats] had a drop-off in support with them, but I think they were acting normally — whereas Trump’s new white working-class and rural voters were not. Many of them are new to the electorate and voting with a different kind of energy — voting straight-ticket to “save the country.” Anything short of that [level of support] is going to look like Democrats are just “renting” those suburban voters. But the Democrats’ new voters were being normal people who don’t vote 100 percent [party line].

So, you see that trend continuing? We’re not yet at the highwater mark for the “diploma divide?”

I do, at least with those people who are normal voters — that is, who are kind of in and out of elections. But on the white working-class and rural side, what happened in both ’16 and ’20 was this [surge of] new voters who hadn’t voted before. So I have no idea what’s going to happen in the midterms. I can see one scenario where, with the Democrats in control, those voters are motivated even more to turn out in huge numbers to “save the country.” Or they could drop off as they did in 2018 or maybe even like they did in [the Senate runoff elections in] Georgia, where Trump was not on the ballot. Are these voters anti-Democratic Party? Will they reward what looks like it might be a successful Democratic administration in the midterms — which we haven’t had for a while? I have no idea.

You’ve mentioned this sense, among certain Trump voters, of needing to “save the country.” Describe that. What animates that existential concern? Is it purely about race? Is it something else?

Yeah, racial resentment is a very strong piece. I think we underestimate how powerful a moment it was when Barack Obama won and then got reelected. To this coalition, they view “Obamacare” as simply paying off his base of voters with big government payoffs to ensure a permanent Democratic majority.

I think Obama campaigning in every election has given them the rationale that they have to vote. It’s why Trump made reversing Obama’s legacy — reversing everything Obama did — feature centrally in his rallies: Obama represented a whole changed America that they had to stop.

That actually sounds a lot like an aspect of the “Reagan Democrat” dynamic you identified in Macomb County, Michigan, in the ’80s and ’90s. You wrote about those focus groups in 1995’s Middle-Class Dreams: These white voters “expressed a profound distaste for Black Americans, a sentiment that pervaded almost everything they thought about government and politics. Blacks constitute the explanation for their vulnerability and for almost everything that had gone wrong in their lives; not being black was what constituted being middle class.” Is that the same dynamic at play now, decades later?

No. There’s a step in this history: In the end, these “Reagan Democrats” voted for Obama. It was competitive in ’08 and ’12, but when you listened to these voters, they decided Barack Obama was not Jesse Jackson: He was not a candidate they saw as running to represent “his people.” They thought he would fight for all Americans, and they ultimately voted for him — which is pretty astonishing. What they were most concerned about was NAFTA, corporations sending jobs to Mexico, CEOs enriching themselves and not investing in their own companies. They were incredibly focused on globalization. They were on the front lines of people angry about what was happening with corporate America, and were voting for Democrats — and for Obama, specifically — because they thought he would take up those issues.

That competed with this racial dynamic. Obama benefited from it. But Trump benefited from it, too, because he ran on reversing all these trade agreements, and Democrats were pansies on talking about trade in 2016. Hillary Clinton was really for [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], and Trump was authentically campaigning against NAFTA, against TPP and was depicted as “fighting for working people,” which Democrats hadn’t done for a long time. Trade was key to that. It was a key part of why he was winning these voters — not just because of race, but because “America First” represented fighting for American industry and American manufacturing, and Democrats were about “globalization” and trade and were actually embarrassed to attack some companies for moving jobs to Mexico.

That changed with Biden, by the way. Biden, when he came out of the basement — as Trump described it — he very self-consciously went right to these states first, and said, “I hear you. I’m listening. I’m not of that school.” He didn’t say the word “deplorable;” he said, “I’m listening to you.” And when you look at his economic plan, a lot of it was about “America First.” It was about building in America. It was about stopping outsourcing. “America First” rhetoric was a part of Biden’s campaign. It’s still part of “build back better.”

Right now, polling shows overwhelming public support for Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package. I’m curious how you read that. Is it a sign that the Reagan-era consensus about small government is over?

I don’t think the Republicans are as disillusioned with Trump as polls suggest, but I do think there’s huge support for the relief package. Trump voters, a large portion of them, want a welfare state that is dependable for working people. The “Reagan Democrats” and these white working-class voters are incredibly pro-Medicaid expansion. Look at what happened in any of any of these Senate races in ’18 in states [with initiatives on] on the minimum wage or Medicaid expansion. The minimum wage and Medicaid expansion won by much bigger numbers [than the incumbents]. I mean, it won in Utah.

To put a fine point on it: Do you think that the “Reagan Democrat” era is over? Is it still a useful lens for us to look at U.S. politics?

Well, look: There is a kind of suburban, white working-class voter today who faces a lot of competing dynamics that are similar to the Reagan era. It’s globalization and the welfare state, and whether that is going to work for them.

But there are also new voters coming in who are responsive to [appeals to] white nationalism and racial resentment, and whose overwhelming motivation is a deep worry that Black people and immigrants will control the country. For these new voters, that’s still issue number one; it’s not competing with trade. It’s the reason they’re voting. It’s the reason why they’re registering.

But the Reagan Democrats were not Republicans. That was the piece that was central to them: They did not become Republicans. They were for Reagan, but they wanted to be for Democrats. And I think it’s still true that we still have a lot of these voters who had been voting for Democrats recently — whether for [Bill] Clinton or Obama — who also voted for Trump but aren’t Republicans.

Do you see something similar at play now, with highly educated suburban voters who had long thought of themselves as Republicans now voting for Democrats, even if they don’t think of themselves as members of the party? Are “Biden Republicans” going to play a similar role in shaping politics in the 2020s?

I think there’s two kinds of Biden Republicans — two trends.

One of them is you saw quite affluent, very Republican towns [in suburban counties], and Biden got a very large percentage of votes from those counties. They are more affluent college graduates voting for Biden. Will they stick? They may, given how Trump is defining the Republican Party.

And the other piece is that Biden is very self-consciously campaigning for Macomb County-type, white working-class voters [for whom] race is not the only thing driving their vote, but who went to Trump [in 2016] because of globalization and their belief that Democrats are not fighting for American workers. Biden is fighting for those voters, too.

It’s interesting to see how Republicans are trying to respond to this political dynamic in the suburbs. Certainly, the GOP push on school re-openings right now seems directly like a play for suburban voters. Do you see that as a promising gambit for them?

Let’s see how this plays out over time. I mean, if you listen to what they said at CPAC, the reason they think it’s wrong for Democratic states to get this aid [in Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan] is because they’ve been following health protocols and opening up their economies in a paced way to reflect where they are on dealing with the [coronavirus] crisis. These Republicans are Covid deniers who want to open up the economy.

But what does this look like at the end of 2021? What does it look like after these places get their state aid? After schools are fully back in-person in the fall? Particularly if the economy is fairly strong — if Biden’s going forward with his infrastructure plans; if he’s going forward with his tax cuts and credits to working people; if there’s more affordable health care. What will politics look like when the schools are open and it looks like Biden’s been successful?

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You’ve noted that many of the new voters Trump brought out are people who see an existential battle for America — who see this as cultural and race-related. And that seems to be a real bind for Republicans: To win back some of these suburban districts, they may need to adopt a posture that’s less driven by white grievance politics. But if they do that, they risk turning off this segment of new Trump voters who might otherwise stay home. How do they navigate that? It’s like squeezing a water balloon — you get a grip on one part, and it gets bigger elsewhere.

If you look at the trends in this election, [Trump’s campaign] was able to, like, wage a race war with a massive increase in turnout in the rural areas and among white working-class voters. But the percentage of eligible voters who are older than Millennials dropped by 8 points. So for Republicans to be successful with this strategy while going against that demographic trend, you need a continually animating and increasingly intense and effective effort to turn out the vote.

[In 2020,] the percentage of millennials and Gen Z voters went up, I think, 6 points. About two-thirds of that was from the natural trend [of demography], but about one-third was from increased turnout compared to the midterms. And that’s a very diverse, more college-educated, group. And the Biden won them. There’s no way that’s not going to be a bigger bloc in the [next] midterms and, certainly, presidential election. How do you win if you don’t compete at all for those voters, and you animate their turnout — and do the same for college-educated voters who want a more open country? It’s just in contradiction.

It’s interesting, when you look at last weekend’s CPAC straw poll, only 55 percent [of respondents] said they’d vote for Trump if the 2024 Republican primary was held today. People underestimate his [level of] insecurity about his hold on the Republican Party — which meant he had to command absolute loyalty and punish anybody who wasn’t for him. That will obviously continue. This battle is going to carry on within the Republican Party. He’s going to lead the party as long as he is alive and breathing — even if he’s under indictment or bankrupt, [he’ll blame it all] on the IRS and FBI; he’ll be a victim.

They are going to have to lose a few elections before there can be a new dynamic within the Republican Party — just as the Democrats lost a lot of national elections before Bill Clinton was able to change the party.

On the racial resentment component: You were Nelson Mandela’s pollster. Before your work in Macomb County in the ’80s, you were polling in South Africa during apartheid. How does that experience frame the way you see the politics surrounding race in the U.S.?

Initially, I was an academic doing polling — but not on elections — and wrote very obscure books. I wrote a book [in 1980] called “Race and State in Capitalist Development” that has a cult following. When I started the book, it was supposed to be equally about Alabama and the American South, as well as South Africa, Israel and Northern Ireland. I got hooked on South Africa, ended up writing many more chapters about it. I interviewed business leaders, trade union leaders and leaders of farm organizations during the apartheid era trying to understand what they were bringing to the market. I was arguing that the decisions they were making were not leading to a breakdown of apartheid. The normal assumption was that if you had industrial development, capitalist development, it would lead to less racial division. I was arguing that, in fact, it will, for some period, exacerbate racial divisions before it undermines them.

What I was trying to understand was: What were the rational decisions that people were making, coming out of this racial history that they all live with? How do you use that history? That meant [exhibiting] understanding and empathy when I’d go to interview the trade union leaders — some of whom negotiated and built into the employment structure a racial structure very similar to Alabama. They were making kind of rational decisions as trade unionists to limit competition [for their jobs]. But then in other industries, like government, unions were broader and more inclusive and tried to bring nonwhites into the unions. I had an empathy, trying to understand working people and the history that they live with when they make decisions, but also how their leaders made decisions — not just political, but within civil society and the economy.

I think it’s part of why I was able to listen to Macomb County workers. I was arguing: If you bring them a thing they’ll agree with, like universal health care, these voters aren’t done with Democrats. They’re not done with Democrats if you are talking about universal issues that they can gain from. Even though [some of these voters] were clearly racist, I was not willing to say that there’s not something that lies behind that that we need to understand and that enables us to find a broader coalition and draws on their better nature.

When I presented my stuff at the Democratic National Committee [meeting in Chicago in 1985], I was ostracized because I was saying that these voters had to be part of our Democratic coalition. That was a time when Jesse Jackson was competing [for leadership] within the Democratic Party. I was ostracized. It’s why I ended up working for the Democratic Leadership Council: They were willing to hire me, but not the DNC. [Greenberg’s work for the DLC ended up leading to his work for then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who implemented the Macomb County findings in his messaging during his quest for the presidency.]

How does the racial resentment you saw in studying South Africa compare with the racial divide you see in the U.S. right now?

During the apartheid period, their fear was existential: the fear that only by maintaining this apartheid system could they maintain their way of life — and that, no, we couldn’t do this in pieces, because you once do, you began to chip apartheid away.

I don’t want to put all the Trump voters in that world. There are a lot of them who haven’t been involved at all. They’ve been politically disengaged. But Trump has brought a segment of white nationalists in. That’s very real and that [apartheid-era fear in South Africa] does look like their world. But that isn’t true of all Trump voters.

Prior to the 2020 campaign, you wondered whether Democrats were “ready to use government after this decade of anti-government tyranny.” Based on what you’ve seen so far, are they?

Absolutely, yes. I’m actually stunned by how much consensus there is around using the government to really deliver for people. I think the Biden administration buys that. The gap between the progressive wing and the Biden wing — if that is a wing — is small. You look at the relief package, and there’s like one piece they’re arguing about. But if you look at what they’re agreeing on, introducing a child benefit— not just child care, but also a child benefit, which is more of a European kind of safety net — combined with a great expansion on health care, I think you’re dealing with a big change. [Full disclosure: Greenberg’s wife is Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a leading proponent of the child benefit.]

Right now, everyone thinks that government needs to deliver in a big way. I think that scares Republicans. And it will be interesting to see. People are going to see real benefits, not just the $2,000 stimulus piece, but something more enduring. If you look at the proposed $3,600 per child; that’s delivered [in installments] monthly into people’s checking accounts. That not only reduces child poverty; it’s virtually every middle-class person that we are talking about.

Biden is willing to say, “I’m fighting to do this.” We’ve not had a Democrat… I mean, when Clinton ran in ’92, [his message] was very much about fighting for the middle class. It had a very populist and nationalist component to it. But [that was not the case] further into his administration, when [the virtues of] free trade was more part of the Democratic assumptions about the world.

Obama was pro-globalization, and believed we benefited from it. He would have been embarrassed to go see a company that was bringing jobs back from abroad to build in America. He would have been embarrassed to highlight that. But Biden will. We’re looking at a very different time.

At the start of every focus group, you ask people to fill in the blank in this sentence: “I feel ___ about the way things are going in the country.” How would you, Stan Greenberg, fill in that blank?

I feel deeply, deeply uncertain and foreboding. I think we’re in a battle for democracy whose outcome is uncertain.


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Black Lives Matter thought they had Washington’s ear. Now they feel shut out.

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Now, leading Black activists say those issues aren’t getting the hearing they deserve.

“It was grassroots and base building organizations that put our issues at the forefront. That’s who delivered this win to the administration,” said Amara Enyia, policy director for the Movement for Black Lives. “At minimum, those folks should be given an audience.”

Part of the disconnect may be the cultural gap between activists — for whom justice is an absolute, but attainable ideal — and politicians, who deal with the messy realities of governing, forging compromise, and accepting incremental wins. Many BLM leaders, for instance, pushed to “defund” city police departments, only to find little appetite among lawmakers for what was widely seen as a politically suicidal position.

On Sunday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) signaled that he was willing to water down qualified immunity, which currently shields officers from civil liability for misdeeds, in order to pass some sort of policing reform legislation.

“Well, I will never sacrifice good on the altar of perfect. I just won’t do that,” Clyburn told CNN. “I just won’t do that. … Sometimes you have to compromise.”

So while, at the outset of the new Congress, movement leaders stressed they wanted to play a role in enacting policy change, and insisted they weren’t interested in empty rhetoric or piecemeal reforms, they’re now reassessing that approach as frustration sets in.

Now, where there was once more momentum behind the push for sweeping systemic change, bureaucratic policy hurdles and political calculations have pushed activists with the Movement for Black Lives back to the sidelines.

While this has forced activists to refocus their efforts, they maintain that their organizing is multi-dimensional. And they’ve amassed a sizable war chest. The Black Lives Matter Global Network, armed with more than $90 million in fundraising following last summer’s protests, has channeled those funds into initiatives and campaigns. One, launched in February, targets police unions and police budgets–efforts that have the most heft at state and local levels.

They’ve also used that funding to publicize their assessment of Joe Biden’s performance as he passed the 100-day mark. A recent advertisement paid for by the Black Lives Matter Global Network, criticized the administration’s handling of police reform. The ad, which aired in Washington, D.C., for a limited time, specifically condemns what they see as Biden’s lack of action on the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement.

“We are the people who elected Biden,” the ad says. “It’s time he started acting like it.”

When asked for comment, a White House official did not specify where talks with movement leaders stand. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly explain the administration’s stance, said there is an “open and ongoing dialogue” between senior White House officials and leaders of the movement as well as with legacy civil rights organizations.

Movement leaders also met with members of Congress early in the planning stages for the Justice in Policing Act last summer and asked for a platform to outline the BREATHE Act, several activists said. However, even those they view as allies on the Hill — including Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who is spearheading police reform discussions — were unwilling to diverge from the bill’s core tenets.

As members of Congress continue to hash out a bill to pass with enough Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, activists say they have not been included in any of those discussions.

Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and one of the movement’s first lead organizers, said movement leaders have not abandoned their national advocacy work.

She pointed to a number of allies in Congress like Bass with whom she and other leaders have had “critical conversations” in the past about the movement’s role in policymaking.

“One of the things we’re looking at moving forward is having a better relationship [with lawmakers],” Abdullah said. “So rather than lawmakers making laws without the input of a movement that gives traction to them, we want to do a better job of coordinating on the front end.”

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But complicating things is the fact that movement leaders stand vehemently against the Justice in Policing Act, which Congress drafted as a response to their protests. They argue that instead of holding officers accountable, the bill — which passed the House in March — actually gives more funds to law enforcement. Moreover, activists say, police de-escalation training, universal body cameras and data to track use of force, all provisions of the Justice in Policing Act, don’t go far enough.

The bill “requires that police be the fixers of their own problems,” said Karissa Lewis, national field director for the Movement for Black Lives. “And we know that that just has not been a successful strategy.”

Still, the Movement for Black Lives has come out in favor of some national policies that have implications for the work they do on the state level. Activists point to both the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act as critical to their work. If passed, the bills would curb a number of the provisions in state laws that limit access to the ballot.

Organizers said they were happy to hear Senate Majority Leader ´ say that he would like to pass a major voting rights bill by August, though it’s not clear how he would do so without reforming Senate rules.

And there are activists who are continuing their work locally. A national platform, they say, was never one of their chief goals. Following an unsuccessful effort to reallocate police funds in Minneapolis last summer, activists there say they’re doubling down on their push for more comprehensive public safety plans that give community members more power.

“We know the history of the failure, where we’re expecting [police] to reform themselves,” said D.A. Bullock, a lead organizer with the Minneapolis-based group Reclaim the Block. “We know that’s not possible. We’re looking to a more fundamental change in the way we do public safety.”

Nor do they see Derek Chauvin’s conviction as the final chapter following last year’s organizing against police violence and systemic racism under the umbrella of a “racial reckoning.”

“People are still asking this question of, ‘is anything coming?’ Yes, it’s coming. It’s happening on the local and state level,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party and lead organizer with the Movement for Black Lives.

Still, Mitchell added that he and other lead organizers feel they are “duty bound to ensure that [police reform] happens on the federal level.”

Mitchell called for Biden to issue more executive orders and make full use of the bully pulpit to pressure Congress to act quickly on criminal justice reform as discussions around the Justice in Policing Act seem unlikely to conclude in time for Biden’s May 25 consensus deadline.

Federal legislation, activists argue, should address the root causes of the issue: A system of law enforcement that disproportionately harms communities of color. And that means they’ll continue to push for a public safety overhaul — and lobby those members of Congress willing to hear them out.

“We’re not interested in easy solutions, and we’re not interested in nibbling around the edges,” Mitchell said. “This is an urgent and real crisis for us.”


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Palestinians, Israel trade new rocket fire and airstrikes

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In recent weeks, tension has been soaring in Jerusalem, marked by clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in the walled Old City, located in east Jerusalem which Israel captured and annexed in the 1967 war.

One of the flashpoints in the Old City has been the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site of Islam and the holiest site of Judaism. Another driver of Palestinian anger has been the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from homes in an east Jerusalem neighborhood by Israeli settlers.

Monday was a long day of anger and deadly violence, laying bare Jerusalem’s deep divisions, even as Israel tried to celebrate its capture of the city’s eastern sector and its sensitive holy sites more than half a century ago. With dozens of rockets flying into Israel throughout the night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with top security officials and warned that the fighting could drag on, despite calls for calm from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

Hamas, the militant group ruling the Gaza Strip, fired dozens of rockets Monday evening, setting off air raid sirens as far as Jerusalem. The barrage came after Hamas had given Israel a deadline to withdraw forces from the Al-Aqsa compound.

By Tuesday morning, Hamas and other Gaza militants had fired more than 200 rockets. That included a barrage of six rockets that targeted Jerusalem, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) away. It set off air raid sirens throughout Jerusalem, and explosions could be heard in what was believed to be the first time the city had been targeted since a 2014 war.

There appeared to be some first signs of de-escalation in Jerusalem early Tuesday. Palestinian worshippers performed the dawn prayer at the mosque without confrontations as Israel apparently limited the presence of its police officers around the compound. Amateur videos showed dozens of faithful marching to the mosque and chanting “we sacrifice our blood, soul for Al-Aqsa.”

In Gaza, an Israeli drone strike killed a man in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis early Tuesday, according to local media reports. In another strike, a woman and two men were killed when a missile struck the upper floors of an apartment building in the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, according to Gaza Health Ministry and rescue services.

Hamas’ armed wing said it intensified the rocket barrages following the airstrike on the house.

The Israeli military said it had carried out dozens of airstrikes across Gaza overnight, targeting what it said were Hamas military installations and operatives. It said a Hamas tunnel, rocket launchers and at least eight militants had been hit.

Dozens of rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. But one landed near a home on the outskirts of Jerusalem, causing light damage to the structure and sparking a brush fire nearby. In southern Israel, an Israeli man was lightly wounded after a missile struck a vehicle.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “terrorist organizations in Gaza have crossed a red line and attacked us with missiles in the outskirts of Jerusalem.”

He said fighting could continue for some time and that “”whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price,” he said, warning that the fighting could “continue for some time.”

Gaza health officials gave no further breakdowns on the casualties. At least 15 of the 22 deaths in Gaza were attributed to the airstrikes. Seven of the deaths were members of a single family, including three children, who died in a mysterious explosion in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. It was not clear if the blast was caused by an Israeli airstrike or errant rocket. More than 100 Gazans were wounded in the airstrikes, the Health Ministry said.

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In a statement issued early Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the rocket attacks would continue until Israel stops “all scenes of terrorism and aggression in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque.”

Tensions at the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have triggered repeated bouts of violence in the past.

In Monday’s unrest, Israeli police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets in clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians at the compound.

More than a dozen tear gas canisters and stun grenades landed in the mosque as police and protesters faced off inside the walled compound that surrounds it, said an Associated Press photographer at the scene. Smoke rose in front of the mosque and the golden-domed shrine on the site, and rocks littered the nearby plaza. Inside one area of the compound, shoes and debris lay scattered over ornate carpets.

Over 600 Palestinians were hurt in Jerusalem alone, including more than 400 who required care at hospitals and clinics, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Palestinians and police reported renewed clashes late Monday. Israeli police also reported unrest in northern Israel, where Arab protesters burned tires and threw stones and fireworks at security forces. Police said 46 people were arrested.

Monday’s confrontations came after weeks of almost nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The month tends to be a time of heightened religious sensitivities.

Most recently, the tensions have been fueled by the planned eviction of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers have waged a lengthy legal battle to take over properties.

Israel’s Supreme Court postponed a key ruling Monday in the case, citing the “circumstances.”

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned “in the strongest terms” the rocket fire on Israel and called on all sides to calm the situation.

“More broadly, we’re deeply concerned about the situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including violent confrontations in Jerusalem,” he said. He said the U.S. would remain “fully engaged” and praised steps by Israel to cool things down, including the court delay in the eviction case.

In an apparent attempt to avoid further confrontation, Israeli authorities changed the planned route of a march by thousands of flag-waving nationalist Jews through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City to mark Jerusalem Day.

The annual festival is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. But it is widely seen as a provocation because the route goes through the heart of Palestinian areas.


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Vatican warns U.S. bishops about rebuking Biden, other Catholic pols

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Ladaria, in his letter, said any new policy “requires that dialogue occurs in two stages: first among the bishops themselves, and then between bishops and Catholic pro-choice politicians within their jurisdictions.”

Even then, Ladaria advised, the bishops should seek unanimous support within their ranks for any national policy, lest it become “a source of discord rather than unity within the episcopate and the larger church in the United States.”

Ladaria made several other points that could complicate the plans of bishops pressing for tough action:

— He said any new statement should not be limited to Catholic political leaders but broadened to encompass all churchgoing Catholics in regard to their worthiness to receive Communion.

— He questioned the USCCB policy identifying abortion as “the preeminent” moral issue, saying it would be misleading if any new document “were to give the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest accountability on the part of Catholics.”

— He said that if the U.S. bishops pursue a new policy, they should confer with bishops’ conferences in other countries “both to learn from one another and to preserve unity in the universal church.”

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— He said any new policy could not override the authority of individual bishops to make decisions on who can receive Communion in their dioceses. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has made clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion at churches in the archdiocese.

Among the leaders of the campaign to rebuke Biden is Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who recently issued a pastoral letter arguing that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should not receive Communion. A few days later, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego published an essay saying such an initiative “will bring tremendously destructive consequences.”

Ladaria’s letter was dated May 7. It was first reported Monday by Catholic News Service and the Jesuit magazine America.


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