Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sacred Cow Makes the Best Hamburger

Michael Lumish

Ami Horowitz, who I am only now becoming familiar with, has a brief bit that well describes one of my primary gripes with the progressive-left and the Democratic Party.

Hypocrisy.

Monday, January 16, 2017

An undertold story

Sar Shalom

The explanation for the Jewish connection to Eretz Yisrael is typically based on the accounts of the Bible. Often, this line of argument would end with the Bible, or to paraphrase Ruth Calderon, goes from Tnakh to Palmach. Unfortunately, arguing that the Bible and the Bible by itself justifies Israel's existence plays into the hands of those who purvey the narrative that a bunch of Poles opened the Bible sometime during the 19th century and concluded that what they read gave them the right to travel thousands of miles away and dispossess the native peoples of that land. Further, emphasizing legend, as opposed to history, enables Abbas to counter with his own legends, such as Palestinian descent from the Jebusites. After all, his legends can't be readily disproved if one doesn't look at the record in between the time of those legends and today.

It is the historical record in between the legendary accounts of the Bible the advent of modern Zionism, for which there is no parallel Palestinian claim that can be spun, that distinguishes our claim to the land from that of the Palestinians. It is the redaction of the Mishnah in the early 3rd century and the Palestinian Talmud in the early 5th century that demonstrated the continuing connection of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael after the Bar Kochba revolt. It is the generations of Masoretes and paytanim in Tiberias that demonstrates the post-Talmudic connection of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael. It is the settlements established throughout the centuries and supported by Jews in the diaspora that demonstrates the connection of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael after the Crusades.

All of these are mentioned every now and then. However, they are not mentioned nearly often enough. As a start, whenever the Biblical connection to the land is mentioned, mention some components of the post-biblical connection as well. Whenever Abbas mentions his supposed descent from the Jebusites or Canaanites, mention how we maintained our connection to the land between the 3rd and 15th centuries and ask how his people maintained any sort of connection during that time period.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hatem Bazian Calls for the Elimination of Israel

Michael Lumish

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

Hatem Bazian backed by supporters
Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian-Arab instructor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is calling for the elimination of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

In a recent blog post entitled, Trump’s Appointment of David Friedman is the Official End of Oslo, Bazian argues that because President-Elect Donald Trump appointed David Friedman the incoming U.S. ambassador to Israel this means that the "peace process" is concluded and that, therefore, Israel has no right to exist as the Jewish state.

Let us see how he gets from point A to point B.

In his opening remarks Bazian claims:
Trump’s appointment of David M. Friedman as the new ambassador to Israel brings an end to 70 years of U.S. official policy on Palestine centered on U.N. resolutions 181, 242 and 338 with a two-state solution as the final outcome.
Other than as an implied fallacious "last straw" argument, just how he draws this conclusion from Trump's appointment of Friedman remains unexplained. While Bazian is correct that the two-state solution is a corpse, it was neither Trump, nor Friedman, who killed it. In truth it was still-born upon conception for the simple reason that the Palestinian-Arabs, as an irrational religious imperative, never had the slightest intention of accepting a state for themselves in peace next to Israel to begin with.

Upon arbitrarily deciding that Friedman's appointment means the end of the so-called "peace process," Bazian then insists that people everywhere should therefore "call for Israel’s annexation and demand one person, one vote rather than allow Apartheid to masquerade as democracy."

Just how Bazian came to believe that he is in any position to demand anything from anyone, much less his Jewish enemies, is hard to imagine. Nonetheless, by "annexation" he presumably means the potential Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria. If so, Bazian is one of those academic anti-Zionists nurturing the hope that Israel can be defeated via demographics.

Many Israelis and diaspora Jews wish to see Israel annex the ancient heart of the Jewish homeland. Bazian wishes for this, as well, with the anticipation that the hostile Arab majority could then force its will upon the Jewish minority within the Middle East. Just as for thirteen hundred long years, from the rise of Muhammad to the demise of the Ottoman Empire, Muslims held non-Muslims as slaves and dhimmis, so Bazian hopes to see a return of Muslim domination to the Holy Land.

Although subjugating non-Muslims is integral to Islam, Bazian should however be careful what he wishes for.

If Israel annexes Judea and Samaria it will remain a majority Jewish democracy. This is true for a number of simple reasons. The first is that the Palestinian Authority habitually inflates the numbers of Arabs living in Areas A and B and it is, therefore, highly questionable whether Israel would become a majority Arab country in the future. Furthermore, despite popular opinion otherwise, the birthrate among Palestinian-Arabs is declining while the birthrate among Jews is increasing.

More importantly, of course, Israel is under no suicidal obligation to offer citizenship to enemies of the Jewish people or the Jewish state. If Israel does annex Judea and Samaria it will likely institute pathways to citizenship for those Arabs with no political-religious agenda that involves either the murder or subjugation of the Jewish people. This is to say that Jihadis, terrorists, and anti-Semitic anti-Zionists will probably not be eligible to participate in the political life of the country, if they are permitted to remain in the country at all.

In order to determine eligibility for citizenship, Israel could easily institute a two or three year national service requirement with political enfranchisement dependent upon the demonstrated good-will of the individual Arab. Those who demonstrate a true desire for good citizenship within the Jewish state will be allowed citizenship. Those who do not, will not.

However, let's give Bazian the benefit of the doubt and assume that what he really wants is what is good for everyone in that part of the world. In this case, Bazian is telling the Jewish people that despite Jewish history under the brutality of Islam they are under a moral obligation to hope that a Bazian-style single-state will emerge that will not trample their well-being and civil liberties.

Now, how is that for a roll of the dice?

Bazian would have the Jewish people dependent upon the goodwill of Palestinian-Arabs in an Arab-dominated state. Does he honestly expect that after centuries of dhimmitude and theocratically-based Arab aggression it makes sense for the Jewish people to gamble the very lives of their children on Arab-Muslim hospitality?

The notion is ridiculous on its face and the great majority of Jewish people will have none of it.

"raise our heads, and steel our resolve"

{This is a comment that I came across under an Algemeiner article that stands on its own and is well worth considering. - ML.}
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YJ Draiman
I am somewhat surprised at all the commotion regarding the U.N resolution 2334 which condemns Jewish Communities and Settlements in the West Bank aka Judea and Samaria. It should be noted Israel regained land and rebuilt communities previously taken from it illegally via the Defensive War of 1967 when it had to defend itself from an unprovoked attack from Jordan. If the U.N voted a resolution declaring the Vatican as Muslim territory, is anyone going to abide by it?
According to my research, the U.N. Charter only provides for the recommendation(s) of a non-binding Resolution. In fact, the U.N. has absolutely no legal standing or power to enforce any Resolution(s). Furthermore, it cannot be ignored the U.N. has recommended hundreds of Resolutions against Israel with no legal, or factual standing to support said Resolutions. There is also the U.N. Article 51 which provides for defense against attack. The U.N, and the ICJ have no appeal process and that is against every Democratic law. Their opinions and resolutions are based on false information; there is no procedure to remedy the erroneous biased decisions.
Israel is on solid legal and historical ground as far as its' territorial boundaries west of the Jordan River. In fact, history proves Israel has both a legal and historical claim for a lot of land held by Jordan.
The World at large has for thousands of years wrongfully persecuted the Jews, confiscated and stole their assets including land. The world at large will try and push us around if we let them. It is time to put an end to such unjustified persecution. 
All the distortions of history up to and including modern day, by biased nations relying upon fictitious make-believe facts and wishful beliefs, must not be tolerated any more. While most of the biased world continues to unjustly assail Israel, the nation of Israel contributes to the world a substantial amount of advancement and technology in all fields, including medicine, energy, water desalination, IT, and much more.
Today the Jewish State of Israel has the man-power and the resources to defend itself against most world powers. Thus, it is time for us Jews to become unified and stand up for ourselves as was done during the days of Moses, King David and King Solomon.
We are supposed to be "a stubborn nation" (Am Kshey Oref). Let us utilize our "stubborn" resolve with a strong backbone steeled with our unwavering faith. If we stand our ground without capitulations, we might encounter some obstacles and suffer some set-backs. But in the long run we will be stronger and the world at large will respect us more.
We must overcome the "victim mentality" we have too easily accepted over thousands of years. It is time for all Jews worldwide to raise our heads, and steel our resolve as a proud nation with proud people.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Interesting Times

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}

The Jewish political community is divided and distressed.

As I write, Israel is reeling over the Azaria case, the United Nations is pushing all-in on Jew Hatred, Jihadism is on the rise in Europe, white nationalism and anti-white racism are both on the rise in the United States, Obama is hitting the road (or, at least, crossing the street), the Russians are unhappy and shaking their fists, and Donald Trump is eagerly chomping at the bit.

Anything can happen and nobody knows what will.

For example, will Trump move the US embassy to Jerusalem? 

I hope that he does. In fact, I will be damn pissed-off if he doesn't. But if he does so in a timely manner it will demonstrate a clear change in direction concerning US policy on the Long War. Oslo was a disaster and the two-state solution is dead dead dead. Perhaps Trump will recognize this and, if he does, it means pretty much everything is up for grabs. Will Israel seize the day and annex? And if so, annex what exactly? And how will "the world" respond?

Or will Israel, as is my bet, simply react to circumstances as they develop while wobbling back-and-forth on what to do with Judea and Samaria? No matter what it does, however, interested parties throughout the world are gearing up to give Israel a good ass-kicking if they can. Prior to the recent American election all the elements lined up with the EU, the UN, the Obama administration, the progressive-left - not to mention almost the entire Arab and Muslim worlds - in agreement that Jews have no rights to sovereignty on ancestral Jewish land.

While the ascendancy of Trump represents a giant question mark, Israel definitely dodged a bullet with Hillary. Unless, of course, you think that another four to eight years of degrading Israel in order to pressure it into complying with the demands of its enemies would have been a good thing. Now, at least, there is the possibility that the United States will go back to a more sensible foreign policy which honors allies while confronting enemies. We shall see.

But what happens if the Democrats install Keith Ellison as Chair of the Democratic National Committee?

We're waiting with bated breath on that one, aren't we? Speaking for myself, I am very much looking forward to the Democrats handing the DNC Chair to Keith Ellison. I hope that they do it because Ellison is a fair representation of the party as it stands now. He covers enough of the bases, from issues of diversity to those of progressive economics, to make most Democrats happy.

Of course, there is that niggling little problem with his anti-Semitic anti-Zionism which the rest of them studiously ignore - and make no mistake, all anti-Zionism is by definition anti-Semitic - but if you don't like it you can lump it. That's the attitude of the party, but I consider this a good thing because this way everyone knows where everyone stands.

It's Naked Lunch.

Everyone sees what's on the end of every fork.

And will Alan Dershowitz actually leave the Democratic Party???

Yes, the earth will tremble and Balrogs will arise from the Deep.

It's my bet that Dershowitz will leave the Democratic Party in his life no sooner than did Ed Koch in his.

Nonetheless, for the first time we are seeing significant numbers of Jewish Democrats acknowledging something that has been clear to many of us for a very long time. The Democratic Party is shaking off support for Israel because it tends to view Israel through an anti-imperialist lens and because Muslims are a more important constituency in the long run for the party. In terms both broad and crude, this is what it comes down to.

We can acknowledge this truth or pretend otherwise, but truth it remains.

Meanwhile the American Jewish community, if not the diaspora Jewish community, more generally, is cracking along various ideological fault-lines. Tensions are mounting between "progressive" and Democratic Party Jews versus conservative and Republican Party Jews over U.S.-Israeli policy. Fault lines are continuing to crack between Israeli Jews and American Jews over the same question. And even within Democratic Party ranks, Jews are squabbling among themselves over the direction of the party and whether or not to split from the Democrats, as I did maybe 5 years ago.

This is not new, it is just getting more and more vital and intense.

Political sands have been shifting for many years but this moment is a true transitional moment. For Jewish people the election of Trump, whatever else it may mean, staggered the Oslo-Clinton-Obama anti-Israel status quo. Thus I find myself among those who sense opportunity in the moment.

While diaspora Jews are in no position to tell our brothers and sisters in Israel what to do, there is no reason why we should shy away from making suggestions. My suggestion, modest or not, is that Israel take the opportunity to declare its final borders. What those borders will be should entirely be up to Israel. A few years ago I would have suggested that they be determined through negotiations with Palestinian-Arab representatives. However, since at this point it could not be more clear that there is no Arab intention of creating a Palestinian-Arab state in peace next to Israel they forfeit any consideration.

The so-called "Palestinians" are all-or-nothing kind of folk for whom compromise is a kick in the head.  And you know what they say about all-or-nothing kind of people, don't you?

If they can't get it all...