Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Political Islam v. Islam

Michael L.

crescentWhen it comes to political Islam, or radical Islam or Islamism or Islamofascism, or whatever designation one chooses to use, there are a number of ways non-jihadis look at it.

There is Obama.

There is Pamela Geller.

And there is Daniel Pipes.

                                   The Obama Way (Deny, Deny, Deny)

Barack Obama claims that when jihadis fly planes into the World Trade Center, or slaughter innocent people in San Bernardino while crying out "Alahu Akbar!" that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

George W. Bush famously referred to Islam as "the religion of peace."

Both men, naturally, were lying through their teeth.

But one way that people judge Islamic terrorism is to deny that it has anything whatsoever to do with Islam. I was back east awhile ago and met with friends. I was talking to one of my buddies over a beer about those fun-filled fellahs in ISIS. And I said something like, "Well, political Islam is a real problem. It results in wide-scale violence all around the world."

And he said, "This is not about Islam. It is about terrorism. Not Islamic terrorism, but anybody terrorism."

I looked at him with my mouth hanging open and blinked.

"Excuse me," I said, "but it was not Mormons who killed 3,000 people in New York on 9/11. It was not Buddhists who killed those people in Paris at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery store. It is not Rosicrucians who are destroying antiquities throughout the Middle East."

The Pamela Geller Way (Islam is Islam)

Turkish Prime Minister Ergodan famously said, and I paraphrase, that Islam is Islam. There is no extremist Islam and there is no moderate Islam. There is only Islam.

Pamela Geller, unless she has had a change of heart recently, would agree, as would her friend and partner, Robert Spencer. I like Geller very much because she is both smart and brave. However, if Barack Obama thinks that "violent extremism" has nothing to do with Islam, Geller believes that violent aggression is absolutely embedded in Islam.

She has a perfectly reasonable case because the Koran does, in fact, call upon devout Muslims to kill the infidel if he refuses submission. There is simply no getting around this hard fact. This is not speculative. It is not a matter of interpretation. It is right there in black and white for all to see.

Some, of course, would argue that the Bible is at least as violent as the Quran, if not considerably more so. The difference - as anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell you - is that violence in the Bible is descriptive while calls for violence in the Quran are prescriptive.

The Quran quite literally calls for violence against non-Muslims.

The Michael Lumish Way (or, really, the Daniel Pipes' Way)

Daniel Pipes - who is considered, among many on the Left, to be a hard-right "Islamophobe" but who is actually a very serious scholar of Middle East Studies - argues that the way to defeat radical Islam is through moderate Islam.

Geller and Spencer are correct that calls for violence are embedded directly within the Quran and the Hadiths, however most Muslims are not particularly interested. Most Muslims, like most Christians and most Jews, do not heed the stupidity embedded in our respective faiths and want, more than anything, the freedom to pursue their own interests.

In the United States this is certainly true. In Europe it is different and in the Arab-Muslim Middle East it is entirely different. In the United States, at least in my experience, native-born Muslims are Americans first, just as I am an American first. We may have different faiths, or no faith whatsoever, but we speak the same language and tend to share similar values.

Pipes's idea, if I understand him correctly, is that the way to defeat political Islam is with regular Muslims. For those of you who may arch an eye-brow, remember that it was the ordinary folk backing the Egyptian military, with Obama's disapproval, that took down the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. And the Brotherhood, let us not forget, is the Big Daddy of Islamist organizations.

The Brotherhood is the father of both al-Qaeda and Hamas and, yet, Obama supported their bid for power in Egypt. He sent Hillary to encourage their smooth transition into office after winning a fraudulent election wherein Christian Copts were often kept from voting at the point of a rifle.

It was Brotherhood founder Sayyid Qutb who wrote Our Struggle with the Jews.

The problem is that regular Muslims seem indifferent to poltical Islam (the call to Sharia) or its violence against Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

SFSU President Wong Supports Incitement Against Jews

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}


Office of the President
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, Administration Building 562
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: (415) 338-1381
E-mail: president@sfsu.edu


wongSan Francisco State University President, Leslie Wong, very much admires the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS).

He even said that "GUPS is the very purpose of this great university."

The problem that president Wong has is that GUPS, while according to him representing the very purpose of SFSU, also incites violence against Jewish supporters of Israel, which is the great majority of the Jewish people.

Every time they wail into the face of Jewish people, "Intifada! Intifada! Long live the intifada!" we know that they are screaming for blood... the blood of our parents and the blood of our children.

Why would the president of a significant American university support a student organization that quite literally calls for the murder of Jews?

Let that question sink in for a second.

By going out of his way to compliment GUPS - an organization friendly with terrorists like plane-hijacker, Leila Khaled - Wong signals to Jewish people that inciting violent hatred toward us is acceptable to himself, and to SFSU, as a matter of "social justice."

The Context

Rates of violent anti-Semitism are dramatically rising around the United States and throughout Europe.

Jews are killed by jihadis in places like Paris or Marseilles or Malmo, while within Israel Junior-Jihadis are chasing after old ladies with knives and hand-axes.

Meanwhile, throughout the Muslim Middle East, imams and ayatollahs regularly teach their congregants that Jews are the children of orangutans and swine and screech to the heavens for our genocide.

They love to tell one another that butchering Jews is beautious within the heart of Allah.

Iran inches closer to an operable nuclear weapon that it has promised to use against Israel in order to bring about genocide and the progressive-left could hardly care less. In fact, the western-left generally blames anti-Semitic violence on the victims of that violence. Of course, such a scenario would also result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Arabs, but Tehran does not seem to particularly care and neither do its western supporters.

In Europe and the United States, the Red-Green Alliance between progressives and advocates for political Islam is flourishing. And the movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction Israel (BDS) - supported by Wong if he supports GUPS - is seeking to undermine the viability of the tiny Jewish state by seeking to turn universities, corporations, governments, and NGOs against it and, therefore, against the Jewish people, more generally, in an effort to eventually bring down both the country and the well-being of the Jewish people.

Israel and the Rise of the Crybullies

Of course, it is in the universities that the crybullies (snowflakes) demand their "safe spaces" while refusing to allow Jewish students any such courtesy. They complain about "microaggressions" and "micro-rapes" - like commenting on a cute sweater - even while inciting deep hatred toward Jews in the most raw terms possible.

Anti-Semitic anti-Zionists incite hatred toward Jewish supporters of Israel, and Israeli Jews, via "the Palestinian narrative." The narrative depends upon defamation, unjust insinuations, and highly biased historical conclusions that leave the great Muslim majority in the Middle East, which represents perhaps the most successful and vicious political project in human history, as innocent victims among among the minority population that they have victimized.

This results in violence against Jews supported by western academic institutions as driven by their most hateful and racist students.

Enter the General Union Palestine Students (GUPS) and their patron saint, San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong.

As Dusty over at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers reminds us:
The president of the organization, Mohammad Hammad posted a photo on his tumblr account, declaring "I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.

San Francisco State University General Union of Palestinian students neither condemned Hammad's words, nor distanced themselves from them.

Why does SFSU continue to tolerate the intolerable?
Indeed. That is an exceedingly good question, although, as we have just learned via the video below, it is not that SFSU tolerates the intolerable so much as it positively encourages the intolerable.

GUPS is a student organization that is calling directly for the murder of Jews and it is supported by the president of the university.

Check the video clip. Wong's remarks begin just after the five minute mark.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Non-Israeli Jews have been in diaspora for 2,000 years or thereabouts.

We have been in diaspora so long that we have forgotten that we have a home.

The Land of Israel.

This is not to say that America is not also our home or that anyplace we happen to live, say Australia, is not a home. I live in California and have nothing but the highest regard for this land, and these people, and this country.

But that does not change the fact that Jews are indigenous to the east coast of the Meditteranean, just as the French are indigenous to France or the Japanese to their Pacific islands.

Israel is where we come from and why non-Muslims are so hostile to this notion remains a mystery to me. Many Muslims, of course, despise the idea of Jewish indigeneity because Islam is an imperialist religion and any land that was at any time conquered by the forces of Islam, as was Israel in the 7th century, must forever and always belong to the Umma, the people of Islam.

Jews, of course, have no particular reason to respect this wildly fascistic notion other than the fact that Muslims outnumber Jews by a factor of well over 100 to 1 and, therefore, have a far larger megaphone than do the Jews. Anti-Jewish racists, needless to say, believe that Jews control everything from the banks to the newspapers to the schools and do so for nefarious reasons.

This is essentially what the Nazis thought and taught.

It is true that Jews tend to punch well above our weight level, but there are reasons for this. It has nothing to do with "race" or genetic superiority, or any such notions, but because Jews have been put through the ringer by Christians and Muslims for millennia.

It was the very persecution of the Jewish people that has made us strong.

It was the persecution of the Jewish people that essentially created the IDF.

It was the persecution of the Jewish people that caused Theordore Herzl to create the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

Of all the ancient peoples of the Levant, only the Jews have survived. All the rest of our old neighbors are gone, including the Romans. The Jebusites are gone. The Assyrians are gone. The Babylonians are gone. But the Jews struggled through and survived.

I understand why Muslims resent Jews, but what I do not understand is why so much of the contemporary West also does. It makes no sense to me. The Jewish people, small as our numbers were kept, have been a major contributing factor to western culture and society, in the best sense. Judaism is a religion of law and, thus, throughout the millennia has worked through ideas of justice. This is the essence of Judaism and also a major contributing factor within Western jurisprudence and society.

There is a reason that so many towns and cities throughout the United States are named after Israeli towns. ---

But the bottom line is, the truth is, that the Jewish people are the indigenous people to the land of Israel and that is the land that we come from.

Many Muslims do not like this fact for religious reasons.

Westerners are just bullies.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Elder's Assumed Symmetry Fallacy

Mchael L.

{This is an old retread, but I like this one. Besides my laptop is busted... as is my right hand. So I am functioning off of Laurie's laptop - and G-d, how I hate it. I am feeling mean and surly so you better watch out!}


The Elder of Ziyon has a piece entitled, "Peter Beinart cannot tell the difference between a 'narrative' and a fact."

Speaking before a group of Democrats and progressives, Beinart said the following concerning conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson:

In 2008, when Tel Aviv University's Shlomo Sand published a book called "The Invention off the Jewish People," he was widely called anti-Semitic.  When Adelson says the same about Palestinians, he's a Republican rock star.

This is an example of what the Elder calls the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy.  He writes:

I am not a logician and do not know of a formal name for this fallacy, but let's call it the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy: the assumption that two sides - by virtue of their opposition - are falsely assumed to be symmetric.
This is a very important insight and one that we need to consider.  The Jews of the Middle East, via the State of Israel, are now a powerful people and we should be very proud, as Jews and friends of the Jewish State, of their accomplishments.  The success of Israel is nothing short of remarkable, given its humble beginnings.  Israel has the most powerful military in the entire region and one of the best economies, given its relative size, of any country in the world.  Israel is creative, innovative, technological, internationally-minded, and sophisticated.

However, the Jews of the Middle East also represent a tiny minority surrounded by a much larger, hostile majority of Muslims who have made it very clear, over the long and brutal course of 1,400 years, that they simply will not stand for Jewish sovereingty on historically Jewish land and will do everything within their power to make life miserable for the Jewish minority.  They teach their children that Jews are the descendents of orangatans and swine and that killing Jewish people is pleasing to the heart of Allah.  They wage war against us.  They shoot rockets at us.  They strap suicide belts onto women and children because when Muslim women and children commit suicide in an effort to murder Jews it is considered not merely a noble act, but the most noble spiritual act of the shaheed.

The truth is that in the Long Arab War Against the Jews of the Middle East, there is no symmetry.  In terms of numbers, resources, land mass, every advantage goes to the Arabs.  They outnumber the Jews by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1 throughout the region and if you include Muslims, more generally, the odds are over 100 to 1.  They conquered and conrol over 99% of the entire Middle East, with the sole exception of the Jewish State of Israel, and are committing a genocide against the native Christian population.  Muslims hold all non-Muslims under submission within imperial Islam since the rise of that religion in the 7th century throughout the Middle East with the lone, sole exception of Israel.

And now they literally created a brand-spanking new people, the "Palestinians," for the distinct purpose of countering Jewish sovereignty and freedom on historically Jewish land.

So, no, there is no symmetry in this fight.

The Jews are fighting to maintain freedom and sovereignty and the great Arab majority is dedicated to destroying that freedom and sovereignty and will ruin their own cousins, the Palestinian-Arabs, in order to keep them as the dagger pointed at the heart of the Jewish people on Jewish land.

Peter Beinart, it should be noted, is perhaps the single foremost example of Jewish dhimmitude in the public square today.  He represents an excellent example of the kind of Jewish "progressive" who cannot only not bring himself to take his own side in a fight, but who has so incorporated the "Palestinian narrative" of pristine victim-hood into his apprehension of the conflict that he honestly believes that the besieged Jewish minority in the Middle East are the aggressors upon their former Arab-Muslim masters.

Finally, and most importantly, the Elder is generally correct when he writes this:

The <b>Palestinian Arabs are a recently invented people.</b>  They exist today, to be sure, but they were not a "people" before 1948 at the very earliest.  Westerners who drew the borders after World War I created what today's Palestinian Arabs laughably call "historic Palestine" - arbitrary lines that surrounded a people who had as much in common with those across those lines as with those within them.  Arabs in the Galilee had more in common with those in Damascus than those in Bethlehem.  Tribes and families trumped geography (and they often still do.)  They became a "people" because of how their Arab brethren refused to allow them to integrate into their countries, forcing them to suffer as a separate group that eventually diid turn them into a people.  Arabs themselves admit freely that they kept Palestinian Arabs in miserable conditions in order to foster their nascent "unity."

And that, of course, is his primary point concerning the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy.  The Jews have been a people for over 3,500 years and perhaps considerably longer.  Among the peoples of the earth the Jews, along with the Chinese and other indigenous peoples, are among the oldest on the planet.  Jews are also, along with native Americans, for example, among the most persecuted.  The Palestinian-Arabs, by contrast, only emerged as an allegedly distinct people toward the end of the twentieth-century and did so for the specific purpose of beating up on the Jews.

And I suppose this is where I disagree with the Elder.  Are the "Palestinians" a distinct and separate people from Jordanian Arabs or Syrian Arabs or Egyptian Arabs?  The classical definition of nationhood would suggest not.  So-called "Palestinians" share the same religion with other Arabs, the same food-stuffs, generally speaking, with other Arabs, the same language and traditions.  The "Palestinians" are Arabs.  Period.  And, in fact, most of their grandparents immigrated into the area following the Jewish aliyahs around the turn of the century.

The Jewish people, or so it seems to me, are under no obligation to recognize a brand-new allegedly distinct people who came into existence for the explicit purpose of robbing the tiny Jewish minority of sovereignty on Jewish land.

The truth of the matter is that we owe them nothing, not even recognition.  If this sounds rather harsh, I am sorry, but the "Palestinians" have turned down every single offer for a state in peace next to Israel since 1937.  They are never going to accept a Jewish presence with autonomy on land that was once captured by the forces of Islam, because to do so contradicts the very reason that they came into existence as an allegedly distinct ethnicity to begin with.

What the Elder understands, and what Beinart clearly does not, is that there is no symmetry.  Shlomo Sand is a racist and a traitor to his people.  The very notion that the Jews are a recently invented people is historically preposterous and Sand is a fraud.  Adelson, however, whatever one may make of his politics was correct if he suggested that the "Palestinians" are a newly invented people.

This is not a matter of opinion.

It is a matter of fact.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Daily Kos and the hatred for "Zionists"

Michael L.

The genealogy of this blog ultimately goes to Daily Kos.

I started my blogging career on Daily Kos maybe ten years ago. At some point I left and became a front-pager on Maryscott O'Connor's now defunct My Left Wing. After My Left Wing proved itself comfy-cozy with anti-Semitic anti-Zionism I faded out and basically started up this joint.

But in truth, I owe many Daily Kos people and many My Left Wing people a debt of thanks for teaching me that the western-left is entirely comfortable defaming not only Israel, but "Zionists" (by whom they largely mean Jews).

The first thing that any progressive-left Jewish person needs to understand is that their own political movement does not care in the least about the well-being of the Jewish people who they conceive of as privileged and white. Hard-right anti-Semitic conservatism, of the David Duke variety, is irrelevant in the United States today. Anti-Semitism in the United States is primarily a left-wing phenomenon and it is instructive to read what the grassroots political people say about Israel and "Zionists" at places like Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian.

A recent piece by someone who goes under the name of "bobdevo" is illustrative.

In Hillary attacks Bernie for not being a good enough Jew bobdevo tells us that Hillary Clinton published a piece in the Times of Israel on the eve of Passover.

In that piece, she wrote:
Protecting allies and partners like Israel is one of the most solemn duties of any Commander-in-Chief. Yet others in this race suggest we must remain ‘neutral’ in order to negotiate... (emphasis bobdevo's)
For no elaborated upon reason, bobdevo believes that somehow this means that Clinton was attacking Sanders for not being "a good enough Jew."

The stupidity in such a conclusion is profound, but I am less concerned about bobdevo's attack on Hillary for allegedly attacking Sanders than I am in the nature of western-left discourse vis-à-vis the Jewish State of Israel.

The first thing to note is that bobdevo refers to the Times of Israel as "right-wing."

This is false.

Any fair-minded individual familiar with the scope of the Jewish press - or even the press out of the United States - would recognize that the Times of Israel is decidedly moderate. They publish people on both the Left and the Right. Further, chief editor David Horovitz - not to be confused with American conservative editor David Horowitz - is a moderate and reasonable individual.

So, why label the paper "right-wing."

I would submit to you that very many people on the Left think that any form of "Zionism," whatever they may mean by that word exactly, is "right-wing." All forms of struggle for ethnic self-determination and autonomy are welcomed on the Left, as part of the larger coalition, with the sole exception of the movement for Jewish self-determination and autonomy which is deemed right-wing racist. As an Israeli newspaper with a Jewish Israeli publisher it is hardly surprising that the editorial stance of the paper favors Israel's ongoing existence as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

For this it gets labeled by bobdevo as "right-wing."

The piece, itself, is not worthy of much consideration because there is "no there, there."

It is in the comments where we learn how so many of our fellow "liberals" feel about "Zionists" and Israel.
As a Jew (who lost family members in the Holocaust), I find Hillary’s blog in a right wing Zionist forum fucking disgusting. 
She should be ashamed.
zionistNotice the use of "Zionist." They have constructed a negative resonance around this word such that anyone, or anything, that is Zionist is considered bad on a visceral level.

And, needless to say, As a Jew (who lost family members in the Holocaust), I find Ion's blog in a left-wing anti-Zionist forum even more disgusting.

Also, of course, we have the ever-popular "as-a-Jew" theme wherein Israel hating Jews give non-Jews the permission to likewise hate on Israel. After all, if I, as-a-Jew despise Israel why should not anyone else?

Finally, notice the shaming admonishment.

This is very common among anti-Semitic anti-Zionist Jews. Arabs and progressives have taught many progressive-left Jews to be ashamed of Israel, and her supporters, and therefore to remain in their good graces they wear that shame on their sleeves. In this case, of course, Ion is projecting the shame onto Hillary Clinton but it is the same principle.

Further comments under the diary, not surprisingly, descended into the usual mud-slinging between Hillary supporters and those that feel the Bern.
Karl Rover

Also, Israel is a state, and the Palestinians are stateless. That kind of makes the whole “protecting Israel” thing sound like the worst Likud propaganda.
Not only are the "Palestinians" without a state, they do not even have an organic nationality.

The "Palestinians" were constructed by the PLO, with some advice from the Soviets, and came into being for the sole political purpose of undermining Jewish self-defense and autonomy toward the end of the twentieth-century. I, myself, am slightly older than "the Palestinians."

Karl Rover thinks that "protecting Israel" - which is to say, protecting the Jewish people from never-ending Arab aggression within memory of the Shoah sounds "like the worst Likud propaganda."

Right. For the Jews of Israel to wish to defend themselves from the Car Ramming / Stabbing / Knife Intifada or Iran's stated genocidal ambitions is merely Israeli propaganda. Karl Rover seems to suggest that Jews do not really care about protecting their children.

And they wonder why the Democratic Party is drizzling support among Jews.

Israel does not = Judaism or vice-versa. I really don’t like Clinton’s unequivocal support for Israel’s government and their apartheid policies...
While it is, of course, true that Israel does not equal Judaism, it is also true that Israel is an ancient name for the Jewish people, as a whole, and for most Jewish people the rise of the State of Israel has a redemptive meaning. It is for this reason that the vast majority of Jewish people throughout the world relate to Israel. By falsely accusing Israel of apartheid, she seeks to rob Jewish people of our dignity thereby reducing us to the status that we had prior to World War II. The apartheid slander is meant to rob us of self-respect, the will to self-defense, and to whip up hatred among others toward us.

That's really all that it is and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it represents a lie.

Israel is surrounded by apartheid states, but is not one.

Joe Biden and J-Street

I am going to make this short and sweet because today is busy, busy.

So, VP Biden spoke to J-Street the other day and Jonathan Tobin wrote it up for Commentary:
According to Biden, the problem in the region is that “there is no will for peace” among Israelis or Palestinians. His argument was that both the Netanyahu government and the Palestinian Authority were equally responsible for the lack of progress. Their actions, he said, meant, “the trust that is necessary for peace is fractured on both sides.”

Feeding the liberal J Street audience what they wanted to hear, Biden excoriated settlements in the West Bank as “counterproductive” and a threat to Israel’s continuance as both a Jewish and democratic state.
There are two important things to consider here.

The first is the lie that the Jews of Israel have no will for peace.

This is among the most mendacious notions out there. Of course, the Jews want peace! There is nobody in the region that has greater reason to see peace than the Jewish people of Israel. The problem here is not that Jews are the aggressors, but that the great Arab-Muslim majority ruled over us in the region for thirteen hundred years, until the fall of the Ottomans and the rise of Jewish nationalism in the early part of the twentieth-century, and - in part for religious reasons - the Arabs developed a taste for domination.

We are not the guilty party in this conflict.

We are not the imperialist aggressors.

All the Jews want is to be left the hell alone to litigate against one another and create various helpful medical and technological doo-dads.

The second is the racist focus on the notion that Jews should only be allowed to live in certain places.

How did we ever allow things to get to the point where so many of us honestly believe that allegedly well-meaning non-Jews, like Biden, have every right to tell us where we should be allowed to live on the very land that we come from?

Where is Jewish self-respect?

It is not Jews living in Judea that is "counterproductive," but Biden and his administration which are entirely so.

{Good Pesach.}