Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nothing Left # 109

Michael L.

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman from J-AIR, Nothing Left.

3 min Editorial: Leftism and the media

10 min John-Michael Howson

35 min Ruthie Blum, journalist

56 min Martin Sherman, political

1 hr 25 min Michael Lumish, Israel Thrives blog, USA

1 hr 36 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

Part of what I like about these guys, aside from the fact that they give me a venue, is that they attract big names.

Anyone who knows anything about the Long War knows about Isi Leibler's and  Martin Sherman's contributions to the conversation.

Ruthie Blum writes for the Jerusalem Post and the Algemeiner and John-Michael Howson has been a part of the entertainment and commentary scene for many decades in Australia.

My brief piece is concerned with the moral equivalency canard among progressive-left Jews who, ya know... mean well.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hillary and Uncle Bernie

Michael L.

sanders_hillary_debate3I sometimes think of Bernie Sanders as "Uncle Bernie."

I do so because he was raised a stone's throw from my dad's house in Brooklyn, back in the day.

His accent is the accent of the adult men of my youth.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Eric Cortellessa tells us:

The DNC email scandal is multilayered. Beyond the fact that a series of exchanges raised ideas of ways to weaken Sanders’s candidacy, there is also the nature of the proposals that were discussed. DNC finance chief Brad Marshall pitched Schultz on portraying Sanders as an atheist who rejected his Judaism in states where candidates’ religiosity holds sway with voters, like in Kentucky and West Virginia.

“Does he believe in a God,” Marshall asked. “He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
My issue here is not that the Democratic National Committee (the DNC) considered using Uncle Bernie's atheism as a political club, but that they lied to the American public, and their Democratic Party constituents, in insisting upon the neutrality of the designee process.

They weren't neutral.

I do not mind that Debbie Wasserman Schultz sides with Hillary in this presidential campaign. That is to be expected.

What I do mind, however, is that the DNC lied to all of us when they claimed neutrality in the process. There was no neutrality. The thumb was definitely on the scales for Hillary and it's going to take considerable research into DNC media statements to figure out the extent of the rigged game.

But a rigged game it was for the obvious reason that we were lied to and the DNC was not neutral, but put their weight behind Hillary.
According to campaign officials, (Wasserman Shultz) will still keep her leadership role at the convention and deliver her scheduled address. For the rest of the election, she will continue to assist the presumptive Democratic nominee, along with other down-ballot races throughout the country. Longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazile will take the helm as interim chair.
Donna Brazile, huh? Gee, that name sounds a tad familiar.

It is unclear, though, just how damaging these email revelations are going to be for the Clinton campaign and these rumors of Russian intervention as the source of the leak are exceedingly unusual.

My suspicion is that they will roll out Wasserman Schultz in the convention only if the powers-that-be determine that this story is a non-story and that they will not make any such determination.

Wasserman Schultz will likely play a significant behind-the-scenes role in Hillary's campaign, but she will continue to draw fire from her Republican rivals.

This issue is not likely to seriously hobble the Clinton campaign, but it certainly does not help arriving directly at the beginning of the Democratic Party convention.

We shall see.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Nuance

Michael L.

nuance I have recently been criticized in a private email by a pro-Israel / pro-Jewish advocate - who I respect - for lacking nuance in my criticisms of the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East.

This gentleman is a writer who has published a book on pro-Israel advocacy, but I honestly have no idea what he is talking about.

I guess that I do not value nuance over simple truths.

Here is a simple truth:
The Jews of the Middle East lived as second and third-class non-citizens under Arab and Muslim imperial rule from the seventh-century CE until the demise of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
Now, this is not a very nuanced view, but it has the virtue of historical accuracy and I tend to think that matters.

2 + 2 = 4 is not particularly nuanced, either, but it does not make it less true.

Here is another simple and entirely unuanced truth:
The Jews of the Middle East have been under constant attack by the great Arab and Muslim majority in the region for fourteen hundred years for irrational racist and religious reasons.
That is, the source of the conflict is millenia old Arab and Muslim racist hatred toward Jews.

It is nothing else.

Europeans tend to think that the Jews of Israel are terrible people in need of sanctions for their alleged mistreatment of the indigenous, innocent, conquerors of Jewish land.

This is very odd considering the ongoing malice and rape and murder of European Christians on their own land by the emigre Arabs and Muslims that they invited into their countries for humanitarian reasons.

That is also a truth lacking in nuance.

Here is another entirely unuanced truth:
The Arabs have turned down every single offer of yet another Arab state in the Middle East since the League of Nations' Peel Commission of 1937.
There is not much nuance in the word "no."

After the war of 1967 there was not a whole lot of nuance to the statement of the Arab heads of state in Khartoum, Sudan, that there would be no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

The famous 3 Nos.

It does not get much less nuanced than that.

Diaspora Jews who care about the well-being of the Jewish people - particularly the Jews in the Middle East who are under constant attack by their hostile Arab neighbors - need to recognize that, as Ted Belman says, there is no diplomatic solution precisely for the reason that the Arabs do not want two states for two peoples.

What they want are the Jews dead or gone.

And that is not very nuanced, either.

People say that the conflict is complex.

It isn't.

It is grounded entirely in religious and ethnic hatred on the part of the Arabs and Muslims toward the Jews for centuries.

The fact of the matter is that Arabs in the Middle East teach their children that Jews are the issue of orangutans and swine.

And there is nothing the least bit nuanced about that either.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Parameters of the Discussion

Michael L.

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

dhimmitudeMost westerners - left, right, and center - think of the never-ending conflict between Israel and the "Palestinians" as one between a country with one of the most prestigious and effective armed forces in the world versus a small and hapless, but plucky, indigenous population.

What we need to do is change the parameters of the discussion.

So long as people put the discussion within the context of a large military power versus a small indigenous population, we can never possibly win the argument. So long as the Arabs within the Land of Israel are seen as "Davids" with slingshots and the Jews of the Middle East are perceived as a "Goliath" then western sympathies will always go to feisty little David.

Thankfully, unlike the Palestinian Narrative of Perpetual Victim-hood, we actually have history and demographic reality on our side in terms of the discussion from an ethical standpoint.



History: the Jew as Dhimmi

The first thing that pro-Israel / pro-Jewish advocates need to do is put the conflict within historical context. An old pro-Israel acquaintance of mine used to say "history did not begin in 1967." 

That is, in order to understand the Long Arab War Against the Jews, we need to place it within the long history of Jewish people living under Arab and Muslim imperial rule from the seventh-century until the demise of the Ottoman Empire with the conclusion of World War I.

From the time of Muhammad, until Islam ran head-first into modernity and the twentieth-century, the Jews of the Middle East were second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule. However bad African-Americans had it in the United States under the vile rules of Jim Crow, it was never worse than Jewish people had it as dhimmis and what we call "dhimmitude" lasted one heck of a lot longer.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) could ride donkeys but horses were forbidden.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) were forbidden from building housing for themselves taller than Muslim housing.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had no rights of self-defense.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had no recourse to courts of law.

As dhimmis in Arab and Muslim lands, Jews (and Christians) had to pay protection money to keep their families safe from violence.

And this is one of my favorites, in certain times and places under Arab-Muslim imperial rule Jews were not even allowed to go outside during rainstorms lest their Jewish filth run into the street and infect their pure Muslim neighbors.

The point, however, is that just as we would never discuss African-American history without reference to both Jim Crow and slavery, so we must not discuss the Long Arab War against the Jews without reference to thirteen-centuries of Arab and Muslim oppression against all non-Muslims in the Middle East, including Christians and Jews.

This is not merely a political tactic. It is a matter of framing the conversation within something that resembles an historical context. The historical context is vital because without it the conflict is incomprehensible outside of the prominent western notion of mindless Jewish malice toward Arabs, presumably as unjust payback for the Shoah.


Demographic Reality: the Scope of the Conflict

Westerners think that this is a fight between big, strong, mean Israel against the innocent, thumb-sucking "indigenous Palestinians" over land.

It isn't.

What the struggle actually is is an ongoing attempt by the Arab peoples to force Jews back into dhimmitude out of a Koranic religious imperative. 

This is a struggle not between Jews and "Palestinians" but between Jews and Arabs because of Arab-Muslim religious reasons. It is due to al-Sharia. If Israel were a 23rd Arab-Muslim country it would, indeed, be hailed the world over as a "light unto the nations."

The reason that the Arab peoples generally despise Israel has nothing to do with Jewish treatment of Arabs and Muslims within Israel. Arabs and Muslims within Israel are treated better than are Arabs and Muslims throughout the entire Middle East. The reason that Arabs and Muslims despise Israel is not due to Israeli behavior. They hate Israel because it is Jewish, a nation of infidels, who dare to hold land that was once part of the Umma.

And not just any infidels, but the very worst of the infidels, we children of orangutans and swine.

But the fact of the matter is that there are somewhere around 300 to 400 million Arabs within the Middle East. They outnumber the Jews by a factor of 60 to 70 to 1 and, for the most part, want those Jews either dead or gone.

This is not a war between a Jewish Goliath and a Palestinian David, as left-wing anti-Semitic anti-Zionists would have you believe.

This is a war against the Jews of the Middle East by the much larger and highly aggressive Arab and Muslim population in that part of the world. As far as Hamas and Hezbollah are concerned this is explicitly an Arab war of Jewish extermination.

But the demographics in the region are not with the Jews, not by a long-shot.

The Jews of the Middle East have been forced to create Fortress Israel, because the Arabs would not have it any other way. It is easy for the Arabs. Given the fact that they so outnumber the Jews it only takes a small percentage of their resources to put terrible pressure on the small Jewish population in the Middle East so that those Jews are forced to militarize.

And, needless to say, the local Arabs, the Palestinian-Arabs, are nothing but cannon fodder as far as their brothers and sisters throughout the rest of the region are concerned.

The Jews of Israel want peace more than anyone, because they are under constant threat and harassment in every single venue imaginable, from international sports to academia to the UN, the EU, and a continuing wave of little Arab kids with hand-axes.

Those of us who wish to stand up for the Jews of the Middle East, the Jews of Israel, need to frame the conversation in a manner that comports with history and the actual demographics of the fight.

We need to place our end of the conversation within an expanded context that includes centuries of Jewish history under Arab and Muslim imperial rule and that appreciates the actual geographic scope of the war against the Jews in the Middle East.