Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Weak Diaspora Jewish Survival Instinct

Michael L.

franceI sometimes wonder if diaspora Jews actually have an instinct for survival?

Given the fact that the great majority of American Jews supported a president of the United States that favored the Muslim Brotherhood, a genocidally anti-Semitic organization, it is difficult to imagine that they do have a survival instinct.

Let me give you one small example.

Over at the Times of Israel, Richard H. Weisberg, a professor of Constitutional Law for Yeshiva University and a published expert on French anti-Semitism, has a piece entitled Betting on France.  In this article the professor argues that right-wing anti-Semitism is worrisome, but that reports of anti-Semitism in France, according to a cross-section of his French acquaintances, are greatly exaggerated.

Boy, am I relieved!

Weisberg writes:
Indeed, a cross-section of my Parisian friends agreed that American talk of France having become anti-Semitic was grossly exaggerated. So in polite conversations back in the States, my wife (a French teacher in Manhattan) and I had already noted what we felt were overstatements, given our own experiences and observations during frequent visits in various parts of France. We chalked up some of the feverish American talk to the persistent Francophobia that too often marks political commentary about France in the United States. The French, after all, have long been targeted for American criticism.
Although he does make a passing reference to "sporadic" attacks by French Muslims, he gives considerably more weight to Le Pen and France's right-leaning National Front party as a source of veiled anti-Semitism and zero credit to the anti-Zionist French Left for spreading an environment of hatred toward Jews.  In fact, Weisberg is even so bold as to say:
Attitudes toward Jews are changing for the better in France. There will be tragic eruptions to the contrary. But France is not an anti-Semitic country. It remains, as it finally comes to grips with its Vichy past, a bastion of equality and hope for its Jewish population.
A bastion of equality and hope, eh?

Meanwhile, we read in the Jerusalem Post:
A report on anti-Semitism presented on Sunday to the government found that France was the most dangerous country for Jews in the world in 2014. During the past year, levels of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews in France reached new records, according to the report prepared by the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in cooperation with the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitsm (CFCA)...

Anti-Semitic incidents in France rose by 100 percent in the last year, with half of the racially related incidents in the country being directed at Jews, despite the fact that Jews make up less than one percent of the French population, the report found. 
It is hard to imagine that someone of professor Weisberg's status could be quite as myopic as his words suggest.  This is a man who wrote a book entitled, "Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France," after all.

We are thereby supposed to believe that France is simultaneously the most dangerous country for Jews in the world while remaining a "bastion of equality and hope for its Jewish population."

And I am to believe that this gentleman does not have his head buried firmly in the sand?

I cannot help but wonder if so many centuries of cringing diaspora Jews getting kicked in the head has not trained many of us to accept the Jewish role of agreeable punching bag?

Weisberg's conclusions concerning the great love of the French for the Jewish people is not grounded in anything resembling analysis or even, given events of the day, basic common sense.  The guy's wife teaches the French language in Manhattan and he is familiar with the country and likes the people and that is that.  His French friends tell him that reports of French anti-Semitsm are greatly exaggerated as they kiss him on both cheeks and pat him on the head.

In other words, diaspora Jewry tends to be weak.

I have much more faith in the Israelis.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Moulitsas May Run for Congress

Michael L.

The New York Times is reporting that if Barbara Lee vacates her seat as congresswoman for California's district thirteen in the San Francisco Bay Area - which just happens to be my district - Markos Moulitsas, of Daily Kos fame, has told colleagues that he may run:
Markos 0363Representative Barbara Lee of California may not wind up as our woman in Havana — disputing reports that she was seeking the nomination to be ambassador — but when she does leave Congress, there may be a nationally known liberal waiting to run for her seat: Markos Moulitsas.

Mr. Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal blog Daily Kos and a Berkeley resident, has told associates that he is interested in pursuing a run for elected office.
It is difficult for me to know just what to make of this story.

A number of years ago there was a guy on Maryscott O'Connor's now defunct My Left Wing blog who went under the moniker Stu Piddy.  Stu, who was also a Daily Kos refugee, once claimed that Markos was eventually going to run for President of the United States.

I told Stu that I had taken off my right sneaker and placed it beside my keyboard.  I told him that if Markos Moulitsas ever runs for president that I would braise that sneaker in a homemade marinara and that I would eat it over penne pasta with a nice glass of Pinot Noir for my lunch.

Well, I still feel pretty safe on that bet, but slightly less safe than I was yesterday.

The main problem that Markos might get from someone such as myself is that, whatever else anyone might make of Daily Kos, there is no question that it is also a venue for anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.

This is not to say that Markos is anti-Semitic.

I have never - not once - seen any indication that Markos Moulitsas is any kind of a racist.

Nonetheless, Daily Kos is an on-line political space, more or less representative of the progressive-left, wherein the Jewish State of Israel and, implicitly, Jews in general, come in for constant defamation and ringing endorsements of contempt.

Markos has, personally, always refused to discuss the Arab-Israel conflict in the pages of his blog, because there is simply no upside to it for someone such as himself.  I don't blame him for that, at all.  In fact, I would say that it was a smart move.  He even refuses to allow Arab-Israel "diaries" space on the front page.

For Markos the Arab-Israel conflict is a remarkable pain in the ass.  That guy has probably received more email from members of his blog whining and bitching and moaning and complaining about something that someone said in the comments around the Arab-Israel conflict than anyone else in four counties.

If he runs, I wish him well... but not too well.

I've never eaten a sneaker before, after all.

{A Big Tip 'O the Kippa to JayinPhiladelpha.}

Friday, January 23, 2015


The Elder Chats with Yishai

Michael L.

yishai I do not know how many of you guys are familiar with Yishai Fleisher (pictured left) of Voice of Israel radio, but Yieshai recently spoke with the Elder of Ziyon concerning the Elder's possible role in CNN's release of long-time broadcaster, Jim Clancy.

Check it out.

I am very much a believer that pro-Israel voices must connect throughout the world.  For that reason I was pleased to hear the Elder speak directly to both American listeners and Israeli listeners on the Voice of Israel.

Fleisher, by the way, is one of those evil "settler" people that so many others despise.

In fact, worse yet, he is a religious Jew of American upbringing and education and married his beautiful bride in, or near, Hebron.

I like the guy.

I think that he's got guts and speaks well to an American audience.  He's got a twinkle in the eye, knows his material, and is passionate on the question of Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land.

He did an interview with Rabbi Golub of Shalom TV a few years ago that I found interesting and that you may, as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Nature of the Beast

Michael L.

Writing in Commentary about the recent racist hoopla at the Miss Universe Pageant, Jonathan Tobin tells us:
20lebanon 2 blog427"The problem is a spirit of intolerance and rejection for the idea of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn. That is a hatred so deep that it can’t be bridged by creative diplomacy or gestures of goodwill, such as those that infuse international events like the Miss Universe contest.

It is a cliché for contestants at such competitions to say they wish for world peace when asked for their opinions about the issues of the day. But what happened to Miss Lebanon illustrates that the divisions of the Middle East run so deep and are so primal that no amount of global hooey like a beauty contest is enough to make the Arab and Muslim world forget about their antipathy for Israelis."
So Miss Israel took a "selfie" with Miss Lebanon thereby causing the Lebanese government, if not the Lebanese people, to go into an uproar.

Tobin reminds us, "This sort of thing had happened once before when the 1993 version of Miss Lebanon was pictured next to that year’s Miss Israel. She was subsequently stripped of her title and ostracized as a traitor."

Tobin is correct to see the Miss Universe hoo-ha as a pedagogic opportunity concerning traditional and long-standing Arab-Muslim contempt for the Jewish people and, thus, the true source of the conflict.  Arabs and Muslims, particularly those in the Middle East and Europe, tend to despise Jews not because of Israel.  Quite the contrary.  Arabs and Muslims tend to despise Israel because of Jews.  Were Israel not the Jewish state, but yet another Arab state, then there would be no problem despite any and all human rights violations.

If a non-Jewish Israel was the single most violent and unjust place on the entire planet, few would mind.  Syria is right next door where the Islamic State is running entirely amuck chopping off heads and raping women, yet few in the west really care and certainly the Arab world seems perfectly content to go on Alahu Akbaring itself to death.

In fact, many more people were killed in Syria within the last few years than have died in the Arab war against the Jews since '48.

Furthermore, Israel has far-and-away the best human rights record in that part of the world - it's not even close - yet this does not shield it, nor the Jewish people, from violent malice in both Europe and the Middle East.

Since the Israeli War for Independence about fifty thousand people have died in the conflict, around one-third Jewish and two-thirds Arab.  In Syria, in just the last few years alone, around two hundred thousand people have lost their lives, the vast majority of whom were Arab-Muslims.  When western anti-Israel activists fetishize Israel as a unique evil in the world, it tells us much more about them then they may realize.  It certainly shows us the unique hypocrisy embedded directly into BDS, if not the progressive-left, more generally.

The foundation of the Arab war against the Jewish people of the Middle East was revealed - for those with eyes to see - in the reaction that Miss Lebanon took concerning this photograph with a Jew.  She, herself, may be largely free of the kind of race-hatred that permeates Arab-Muslim society, but such fraternization with lower-life forms is intolerable in the Arab world, at least within a high-profile public format wherein diplomats are not involved.  Individual Arabs may have friendships with individual Jews, in private, but Arab-Muslim culture generally despises not only the Jewish State of Israel, but the Jewish people as a whole for entirely irrational theocratic reasons.

We are the Allah-cursed children of wild boars and orangutans, after all.

If one wishes to understand the true nature of the conflict one need not look any further than this recent incident.

The basis of the conflict is Koranically-grounded Muslim majoritarian racism toward the Jewish minority in the Middle East and that is precisely why it is so intractable.  Large swathes of the Arab-Muslim world see the Jewish people as a transcendent evil.  It is not merely that we Jews are considered evil, but that evil, in and of itself, is considered Jewish.

If you do not understand that then you do not have even the beginnings of an understanding of the conflict.

However, if you do understand this, but refuse to speak the truth because you know that your social-political circle will not like it, then you are just a coward.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mass Stabbing on Tel Aviv Bus (Updated)


I just arrived home (safely, as always) on a SEPTA bus three hours ago.  At no time during my trip (which also involved a trolley from Center City, and then an MFL subway / El car, back home here to Kensington) did it ever cross my mind that I would possibly be stabbed by terrorists at any point.

Nine people were stabbed on a Tel Aviv bus this morning, by a Palestinian-Arab terrorist, who initially attempted to flee on foot, but was soon, fortunately, shot and is now in custody.
The assailant is a 23-year-old man from the West Bank city of Tulkarm, illegally residing in Israel, police said.  
Tel Aviv police chief Bentzi Sau said the attacker, reportedly a resident of the Tulkarem West Bank who had entered Israel illegally, boarded the bus about 400 meters away from where the incident began. He first attacked the driver, then began stabbing a number of bus passengers.
Some will surely tell us that this is just a confused young man who was so oppressed that he couldn't help but stab as many Jews as possible once the bus picked him up, and "the incident began."  Certain others may even wonder if the driver, who was apparently attacked first, might have done something to provoke this surely peaceful, knife-wielding gentleman, into attacking him and then being involuntarily forced into a wild, Jew-stabbing frenzy?

Meanwhile, people with brains will recognize and acknowledge the fact that Israel is still very much fighting a terror war on all fronts at all times, and that the constant incitement from its alleged "peace-partners," which produces bus riders whose purpose is to stab Jews, rather than to get from home to work or restaurant or shopping or vice versa, is very much more of a problem, than Jews building apartments in places where some would prefer they not live.

Tomorrow, I'm going to once again board numerous subways and buses, and later this weekend even a few SEPTA regional rail trains.  And not once during any of those trips will I worry about being stabbed, even though I just wrote about this right now.

Is it too much to ask for Israelis to eventually be able to one day expect the same?

Editor's Update:

This is a video of people running from the scene, including the terrorist, who stabs an innocent woman as he races past her.


This is a video of the same individual having been rendered helpless by the Israeli cops.

His name is Hamza Muhammed Hassan Matrouk, a 22-year-old from Tulkarm, which is somewhere in Judea or Samaria.

He does not seem very happy for some reason. - ML