Friday, August 17, 2018

What the conflict is about

Sar Shalom

An underlying issue in the debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is what is the fundamental issue at stake. It is underlying because there is an assumption in the western intelligentsia that there is a parcel of land that two sides want and that the conflict is about how to allocate it. Following this logic, Israel maintains some degree of control over all of the land, at a minimum entry in and out, while the Palestinians do not. Therefore, by this reasoning, Israel's actions of relinquishing control or not show Israel's willingness to compromise, whereas the Palestinians, who have no such control to relinquish, are incapable of actions by which to judge them, and thus can only be judged by their words.

A frequent subject of Israeli hasbara is to emphasize Israel's adherence to the Law of War standards. However, if the Palestinian grievance is only their lack of a state and Israel could obviate the use of force, whether adhering to the Law of War in doing so or not, by just fulfilling that reasonable grievance, we will never gain international sympathy. In order to help Israel's international standing, we must attack the "just want a state" narrative. We need to convince people that the real issue underlying the conflict is that the Zionists abrogated the Pact of Umar (Pact) and that the Palestinian national movement (PNM) will accept nothing less than the removal of all Jews who refuse to abide by the Pact. Note, I am not saying that we need to just say that the issue is Palestinian rejectionism, we need to convince others that that is so, a larger task.

A start in doing so would be to pose the question of what would the PNM do if all they wanted was a state of their own and what would they do if they wanted an end to Jewish self-determination? Proponents of the just want a state doctrine would say that PNM declarations in western languages that they recognize Israel is all that is needed to show that they do not seek an end to Jewish self-determination. However, all that is needed to induce those declarations is a strategic decision to court support from those for whom ending Jewish self-determination is unacceptable. As such, declarations in western languages are compatible with both hypotheses and thus evidence for neither.

On the other hand, as Einat Wilf frequently states, peoples who just want a state, when presented with an opportunity, will say "yes." They will do so no matter how short the offer is of what they want, with the example of the Yishuv accepting the Peel Commission recommendation. As such, the PNM's refusal of the offers made so far contradicts the notion that they "just want a state." However, if the goal of ending Jewish self-determination, then they will not do anything that would undermine western support for eradicating self-determining Jews, without giving them the ability to do so without western support. The presence of any Palestinian state recognized by Israel, unless augmented by a right of return, would create exactly that situation. Lo and behold, they are conforming to that.

On a separate line of evidence, I have written before that our condition for making a deal should be a consistently reinforced declaration that:
  • The Jews are a people
  • The Jewish people are deeply connected to the land of Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular
  • There is no place for the Pact of Umar in today's world
The issue is, how would the "just want a state" and "eradicate Jewish self-determination" hypotheses affect the PNM's willingness to do so? If the PNM just wants a state, then anything that would not detract from that would not be an objection. As such, a hypothetical State of Palestine that recognizes that the Jews are a people who are deeply connected to Israel and Jerusalem would be no less a State of Palestine than one that does not. The same goes for renouncing the Pact of Umar. On the other hand, if the goal is eradication of Jewish self-determination, then one concern would be aligning that objective with "justice." In that vein, denying a people of self-determination is an injustice as is denying that people its homeland. As Einat Wilf has noted, this is not a problem if the Jews are only a religion and not a people because then ending Jewish self-determination would deny any people of self-determination. Similarly, insisting that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem is a fiction to justify stealing Jerusalem from the Palestinians is a lie to justify inverting the injustice of denying Jews their homeland into a justice of "restoring" Jerusalem to her "rightful" Palestinian owners. In that light, "just want a state" would not explain the PNM's refusal to make the three-fold declaration, but "eradicate Jewish self-determination" does.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman begin with some comments regarding the disgraceful treatment meted out to Andrew Bolt by some of our communal organisations, and then catch up with Daniel Mandel of the Zionist Organisation of America for the inside information on events over there.

The guys speak with Juliet Moses, a leader of the Jewish community in New Zealand on events that have been happening there recently, and then hear from Toby Greene, a British-Israeli analyst who has co-authored an essay on the difficult relationship between the EU and Israel.

And of course, Isi Leibler joins the fellahs from Jerusalem with his take on the week’s events.

Here is this week's episode of Nothing Left ...

2 min Editorial: Andrew Bolt’s treatment by communal orgs

14 min Daniel Mandel, Zionist Organisation of America

51 min Juliet Moses, in New Zealand

1 hr 9       Toby Greene, BICOM analyst on EU-Israel relations

1 hr 31     Isi Leibler in Jerusalem, on Nation-State bill

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website

Contact Nothing Left at:

Saturday, August 11, 2018

On the need for American Jewish parity between Democrats and Republicans

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under, the Elder of Ziyon and The Jewish Press.}

One of the vital questions facing US diaspora Jewry is how to respond to the rise of American-Left antisemitic anti-Zionism.

The prominent faces of that movement include anyone who looks toward Louis Farrakhan as a positive figure in American cultural and political life. These include low hanging fruit like Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and potential California State Assemblyperson, Maria Estrada... not to mention Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters.

Given how much the Jewish community worked for the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1950s and 1960s -- up to and including sacrificing some of their children -- it is a terrible shame that so many of our political enemies come from the very communities that we embraced and sought to empower throughout the twentieth-century

Nonetheless, according to 2018 Pew polling, a mere 27 percent of Democrats sympathize with Israel while 79 percent of Republicans favor the Jewish minority in the Middle East over their Arab aggressors.

This is Alan Dershowitz's worst nightmare.

The guy devoted his life to supporting civil liberties, Israel, and the Democratic Party -- not necessarily in that order -- but now he's fast becoming a relic in the minds of very many Democrats, particularly among the younger snowflakey regressive set who very much dislike his ongoing support for his own people.

American Jews, and our friends, mainly respond in two ways to the rising disdain towards us within the Democratic Party. The prominent inclination is to work within. My response was to bow out. From Jimmy Carter to the first term of Barack Obama, I was a devoted man of the Left and a Democrat. But when I saw, ten years ago, now, that the Democratic Party was making a home of itself for antisemitic anti-Zionism I began to speak up. And, not surprisingly, when I spoke up I was also slapped down.

I have lost real-life friends over the fact that I refuse to stand with a political party or a political movement that supports the racist effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) the lone, sole Jewish State.

Fred Maroun, who I have discussed before in these pages, is an interesting guy and a good friend to Israel. Like many critics of Arab political tendencies, he is of Lebanese Christian descent. Fred disagrees with me entirely. He argues, not unreasonably, that left-leaning American Jews who care about Israel need to stay and fight within the Democratic Party.

Dershowitz always argued that we should maintain a bi-partisan consensus in support of Israel and who among us would disagree with that? Of course, we want the support of all of our neighbors and friends throughout the country. But the polling data clearly shows, and from a million bits of anecdotal information, we can see that the Democratic Party is abandoning our fellow Jews in the Middle East.

27 percent are in sympathy with them.

27 percent.

That is a very difficult number for me to swallow.

I find it unreasonable and counterproductive for Jewish Americans to support the Democratic Party in figures above the 70th percentile while the Democratic Party supports Jewish well-being in numbers below the 30th percentile. Thus my argument is that we should not allow ourselves to be taken for granted and should make a get-away. Through supporting the cause of Palestinian-Arab nationalism they are throwing the Jewish people to the wolves, so who needs them?

If we can get Jewish participation in the Democratic Party down to something close to parity with the Republican Party than they can no longer take us for granted.

In the meantime, I salute our friends -- Jewish and otherwise -- who are working within the Democratic Party to push against the rising antisemitic anti-Zionist tide flowing over them. I am not opposed to pro-Jewish Jews working for our interests among Democrats.

I simply do not want us taken for granted by people who obviously do not care about what happens to our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Slapping around American workers of European descent is electoral stupidity

Michael Lumish

Candace Owens
Source: Essence Magazine, 4-25-18
I keep trying to explain to my friends on the Left that the more they smack around American workers of European descent the less likely those folks are to vote for their candidates.

And, needless to say, the more they slap around non-Euro-Americans who self-identify as conservative, such as Candace Owens, the less likely those folks are to vote for their candidates.

I like Candace Owens. I think that she is brilliant and beautiful and gutsy as hell. And I do not need to agree with her on every particular aspect of her political philosophy to recognize a Black woman strong enough to stand up against progressive-left racism.

If you want to know how Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, just take a gander into her little "Basket of Deplorables."

Within it you will find the missing votes, including many non-Euro votes.

Now, you might argue that we don't want "the Deplorables," anyway. And what that really means is that you believe yourself morally superior to those heinous pig-farmers who live in "Red States" and "fly-over country."

Many coastal Democrats think of themselves as more sophisticated and compassionate than those horrible people over there, on the wrong side of the tracks, with too many white children, many of whom voted for Donald Trump.

Well, I did not vote for Donald Trump, but the more screechingly high-pitched the American-Left becomes -- as they fling around charges of racism like it's confetti -- the more likely that they will further divide the United States and bring about Trump Term Two.

As always, it is the hypocrisy that kills.

"Progressives" like to think of themselves as anti-racist, but this is false.

The American-Left is up to its neck in three types of racism or bigotry. These are:

1) anti-white racism

2) antisemitic anti-Zionism


3) the pitying of "people of color" to such an extent that they feel some sort-of nineteenth-century imperial sense of "white man's burden"... Lloyd.

They have not the slightest idea that they embody racism even as they claim to oppose it.

They have not the slightest idea that they embody racism even as they dump Martin Luther King, Jr.'s admonishment not to judge people according to skin color or other immutable attributes, but according to intelligence and compassion and character.