Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Open Letter to My Fellow Liberal Jews

Hiya guys,

Karmafish here.

I thought that I would drop by to have a little chit-chat.

As you may, or may not, be aware, we have a small problem on our hands. The problem is that as liberals, or as progressives, whatever you want to say, we are part of a movement that goes back quite a long ways in the United States, at least to abolitionism, but that now... if I may be blunt... seems to be in direct opposition to the well-being of the Jewish people.

The progressive movement in the United States started with abolitionism, but then merged into the early labor movement of the late 19th century. It's the same movement that influenced Teddy Roosevelt to sign legislation regulating the cleanliness of our food. It's the same movement that inclined Franklin Roosevelt to propose New Deal legislation. It's also the same movement that emerged as the New Left in the 1960s.

I wasn't really there then, but the anti-war movement, second wave feminism, environmentalism, Gay and Lesbian rights, not to mention the Civil Rights Movement, of course, were all important parts of our political movement... as was / is the counterculture.

And, for as long as I've had political consciousness... up until now, anyway... it was my movement, too.  I am too young to have opposed the Vietnam War, but I opposed it anyway.  I favor a woman's right to choose and I favor the regulation of polluting industries and I oppose the death penalty and I marched against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

{And on and on and on... blah, blah, blah.}

The thing of it is, tho... what we must acknowledge... what we must face... is that the progressive movement has now, in the west, become the home of a sub-movement that has directly targeted the Jews. I know that it's very inconvenient to face this fact, and I do not like it any more than you do, but it is unquestionably the truth. The progressive-left has become the home of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is a movement that seeks to rob Jews of self-determination and self-defense via BDS, boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

The Jewish state is the only country on the planet wherein western progressives ponder whether or not they should allow it to continue or whether they should actively work to see its demise. You know those people on the Left calling for BDS? What they want is to see Israel eliminated as a Jewish state. That's what BDS is about. That's the whole point of anti-Zionism.

Now, I understand that the BDS activists and anti-Zionists only make up a small percentage of the liberal-left.   I know.   I am not saying anything else.


But we only make up a small percentage of the liberal-left, now don't we? I mean, Jews only represent 2 percent of the American population and about .02 percent of the world population. We are a tiny minority. Sure, we punch well above our weight, but that's not the point. The point is that the progressive-left as a movement is becoming more and more comfortable with expressions of hatred toward the Jewish state and this hatred cannot help but slop onto us.

There are people who would say, "Oh, well, Karmafish is always conflating Israel with the Jews. The two are not the same. Criticism of Israel is in no way meant to reflect poorly on the Jewish people as a whole."

Yes.  How nice of them to spare us.

Of course, it's nonsense and the sooner that we recognize this nonsense as nonsense the sooner we can prepare to defend ourselves. You know as well as I, or you certainly should, that these attacks on Israel throughout the progressive-left and on political blogs like Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian, among many other places, do not represent criticism, but defamation.  And this is a defamation that does not only reflect on Israel and that does not only hold consequences for Israel, but reflects on, and holds serious consequences for, the Jews as a whole.

When these people, for example, insist that Israel is an "apartheid state," what they are saying is that Israel must be eliminated. That's not criticism. What it is is nothing less than a call for the genocide of the Jews.

You get that, right?

Anti-Zionism means the single state solution and the single state solution means nothing less than genocide and war if it is to be achieved.

This means that we are actually supporting a movement, the progressive movement, our long-time political home, in which it is now politically acceptable to call for our genocide, so long as the language is the language of anti-Zionism, rather than that of anti-Semitism. The progressive-left thinks of itself as anti-racist and is, therefore, just as opposed to anti-Semitism as it is to any other form of racism or sexism or bigotry, in general.

So it is in theory, anyways.  In practice... not so much.

I just broke off a number of on-line friendships that did, in fact, mean something to me. I did not want to do so, but I do not see where I had any choice. I had been associated with a particular progressive political blog and was friends with the site-owner. Unfortunately, she chose to associate herself with another political blog that features BDS and the owner of that blog has, in the past, said some spectacularly nasty things about Jews.

So, what am I supposed to do? I do not even blame the nice lady whose blog I will no longer associate myself with. It's not really her fault. Without quite realizing it, I think, she put herself into the position of having to choose between a helpful political alliance and the well-being of the Jewish people. She chose the political alliance. I have no doubt that when she did so the very last thing on her mind was the Jewish people, for chrissake, but that's kinda beside the point.

The point is that we are all of us, more and more, being put into precisely this position. We can associate with a political movement that is comfortable with BDS and anti-Zionism or we can refuse to associate with that political movement.

In effect, the progressive-movement, as a group, as a whole, is forcing us to choose between the movement, a movement that we have been integral to for a very long time, and ourselves.

I have chosen to be in opposition to the movement.

Anyway, I imagine that many of you do not share my concern on the matter.

I would, however, ask that you consider the case and consider the following question.

Do we, or do we not, wish to associate ourselves with a political movement that is also a home to anti-Zionists?

I think that it is a vital question and one that we have no choice but to consider.  To my mind, at least, associating with anti-Zionists is not a whole lot different from associating with Nazis.

And just as the Nazis justified violence against Jews on the grounds that the Jews did bad stuff to the Germans... Hitler thought that we were mean to the Germans... it still blows my mind... so anti-Zionists justify violence against Jews on the grounds that Israelis do bad stuff to the Palestinians.

In every generation they tell themselves that they have good reason to target us, even in this one, which is why they could care less about the thousands upon thousands of Qassams and Katyushas that have landed in southern Israel in recent years.

And so, my fellow liberal Jews, I request that you give the issue further consideration.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Oppressed People Enamored of Their Own Oppression

It's odd but it seems that the best thing that the Palestinians have going for themselves is their own oppression. It's as if they love their victim status. God knows that they squeeze it for every drop that it is worth.

What I fail to understand, though, and what is one of the main themes of this blog, is just why the Palestinians do not accept a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one? I mean, really, how oppressed can a people be if they absolutely refuse to give up that oppression unless all their demands are met?

It's very strange, actually.

On the one hand we are told that the Palestinians are occupied and oppressed and, yet, somehow, no offer of statehood, of autonomy, of self-determination, of freedom and independence, has ever been good enough. In 1937 they turned this down because it wasn't good enough:

Image Hosted by

And from that day to this the Palestinians have refused any deal in which they would gain autonomy in a state next to Israel. No offer has ever been good enough.

There has to come a point where people begin to realize that the Palestinians simply do not want a state for themselves in peace next to Israel. If that was their national aspiration they could have accepted any one of the numerous offers for statehood that were put forth by Israel, by England, or by the United Nations.

There has to come a point where people begin to realize that if the Palestinians wanted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish state that they would have demanded such a state prior to 1967, but they did not. At no point during the Jordanian occupation of the western bank of the Jordan did the Arabs in that region... they did not yet refer to themselves as "Palestinians"... demand a state for themselves.

I wonder why they did not?  Could it be because Palestinian statehood in peace next to Israel does not represent Palestinian aspirations?

I suspect that this is true!

Oh my goodness!

What do we do now???

Well, if you are a progressive Jew what you do is pretend that the last 90 years of Palestinian rejectionism never happened and you continue to try to explain yourself and negotiate terms. They keep telling you "no," and what horrible human beings you are (might as well be the children of apes and pigs), and you keep trying to negotiate. They spit in your face and you keep begging them to accept a state for themselves next to Israel.

{By the way, as an aside, just think of the work that so many Jews could be doing for the progressive movement and the Democratic party if we were not so distracted by the need to defend ourselves against anti-Zionist aggression within progressive ranks.  It's a terrible waste, really, but I do not see where we are being given any choice.}

The reason that the Jews keep begging the Palestinians to accept a state for themselves in peace next to Israel is because we are effectively being held hostage to Arab insistence on our own suicide via the alleged Palestinian "right of return."  Why the heck else would we even care?  The very reason that I bother to write this blog is because as a Jew I recognize that the Arabs absolutely refuse to allow Jewish normalization within the community of nations and that this is harming us as a people.

The problem, obviously, is that they do not want a state for themselves next to Israel and they do not want a non-Muslim state on land that was formerly part of Dar al Islam. What they want, what they've always told us that they want, is Arab sovereignty over the entire region. They simply do not recognize Jewish rights to autonomy, self-determination, and self-defense, and they have been very candid about that from the 1920s onward.

This represents the entire basis of the Long Arab War against the Jews, yet my fellow liberal Jews simply will not recognize it. It's amazing, actually. Liberal Jews simply will not take "no" for an answer and they continue to pretend that the Second Intifada never happened. They absolutely refuse to recognize that the lesson of the Second Intifada, in the early part of the last decade... in which traumatized Israelis experienced the equivalent of a 9/11 every two weeks, or so, for around three years... is that the Palestinians do not want a negotiated settlement.

That is not what they want.

When will you guys wake the fuck up and hear what they are telling you?

When will you recognize that the progressive movement is not your friend and does not represent your interests?  There are many perfectly fine and decent people within the movement, but the movement as a whole is entirely uninterested in the well-being of the Jewish people.  It has to be understood that the progressive movement has given up on the notion of universal human rights, in favor of the multicultural ideal and a repugnant moral relativism, and has thus abandoned Gays, women, and Jews in the Middle East.

We have to, furthermore, read and understand what Palestinian advocates on the Left are saying. Those of you who read Daily Kos need to listen to unspeakable and soysauce and sortalikenathan and simone and the firebadtree person. They are speaking very clearly. I have no problem understanding their message. What they are telling you is this:

Go fuck yourselves.

And why shouldn't that be their message? They do not care about us. They have no interest in the well-being of the Jewish people any more than does your average western progressive. What they want is what the Arabs have always wanted. However much they may dress up their arguments in the language of human rights in order to appeal to a naive western audience, what they want is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. And it does not matter to them how many of us die in the process of getting there.

If they wanted peace with a Palestinian state next to the Jewish one then they would join Team Shalom, but they have not. Adalah does not want peace with a Palestinian state next to the Jewish state. If that was what they wanted, then they would tell you that. They do not tell you that, because, like the Palestinians, themselves, that is not what they want.

Is it really this difficult to understand?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Return of the Jordanian Option

Because the Palestinian Arabs have perpetually refused to end hostilities with the Jews through accepting a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, some Israeli Knesset officials are revisiting the Jordanian option.

Amid the unrest now sweeping the Middle East, Israeli government and security officials are quietly discussing an unusual strategy that would pass the Palestinians’ political future off to Jordan. With the odds of a negotiated two-state solution at an all-time low, former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, Knesset Member Arieh Eldad, and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin resurrected the “Jordan is Palestine” model for regional peace.

Israeli officials fear that a Palestinian Intifada could break out on both sides of the Jordan River, and they seek to make it as much a Jordanian problem as an Israeli one.

Although anti-Zionist radicals of the sort that frequent Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian look upon the Jordanian option with extreme distaste because it means the resolution of the conflict, that is not Israel's problem.

Nor is it mine, of course.

The fact is that Jordan comprises about 77 percent of British mandated Palestine and the Palestinians represent something like 75 percent of the population of that country.  This means that Jordan is, essentially, "Palestine."

As a long-time supporter of the two-state solution it is more than a little disappointing that oppressed and occupied Palestinians absolutely refuse to end their oppression and occupation by accepting a state for themselves in peace next to Israel.

It's just very unusual.  In the long history of human oppression, I have never heard of any oppressed people who refuse to give up their oppression until their conditions are met.

It's remarkable, in fact.

From early in the twentieth century until today the Palestinians, and before them the Arabs of the British mandate, have never accepted the partition plan and have never accepted a Jewish state on any part of formerly Muslim controlled land.  For reasons having to do with extreme, Koranically-sanctioned, hatred toward Jews, as well as the requirements of the Sharia, the Arabs have consistently refused acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state.

As anyone who reads this blog knows my stance is to respect the Palestinians by respecting their decision.  Their decision is "no."  For almost a hundred years their position has consistently been "no."

No negotiations.  No recognition.  No peace.

These are the three famous "nos" of Khartoum, issued by the Arab League immediately following the "humiliating" Arab defeat in the 6 Day War, and there is very little, if anything, to indicate that they are not still in effect.

That being the case we need to accept the fact that "no means no."  And since "no means no," since the Palestinians have consistently refused to end the conflict via a negotiated settlement, Israel needs to resolve the conflict in a manner that does not depend on a negotiated settlement.   One way to do that, the way that I have generally supported, is for Israel to declare its final borders on the western side of the Jordan river and then move the IDF behind those borders.

That represents one potential resolution, but the Jordanian option represents another possibility.  Given that its population is three-quarters Palestinian, it makes sense to declare Jordan the Palestinian state, with an annexation of much of the western bank of the river.

At the moment only a relatively small proportion of Israelis see the Jordanian option as viable, but given the circumstances of perpetual Palestinian intransigence and refusal to accept a state for themselves, it's an option that Israel should explore.  What's needed is for Israel to come up with the incentives necessary to bring the Jordanian government into agreement.

This will certainly not be easy, but what's there to lose?

Besides, as PLO executive Zuheir Mohsen acknowledged:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Heck, they'd barely even need to modify their flags.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Left Has Betrayed the Jews.

This is true. It's simply a fact. The progressive-left, as a movement, because it provides venues for anti-Zionists, Israel Haters, and anti-Semites, has betrayed the Jewish people. This is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact.

You cannot provide a home for people who hate the Jewish state and then turn around and claim to be a friend to the Jewish people.

Jesus, we're not that stupid. (I hope.)

I quote myself because I am very enamored of the elegance and truthfulness of this claim

The Left has betrayed the Jews.

It fascinates me because the implications are immense and because so many people refuse to acknowledge the obvious.

And it is because so many people refuse to acknowledge the obvious that we can hardly even begin to discuss the possible implications of the fact that the Left... the progressive movement, whatever you want to call it... has betrayed the Jews.

You have betrayed us.

And I understand why so many people do not want to face this. Western Jews, those who care about politics, generally see themselves as part of the progressive-left coalition.  This was as true for me as it was for my father.  We've considered the Left our political home for over one hundred years.

Nobody served the cause better than we did.

From the middle of the 19th century all the way through the beginning of this century, Jews were at the forefront of the progressive movement.  For over a century we were shoulder to shoulder in fights over labor, civil rights, anti-war, gender equality, sexual orientation, and environmentalism.

So, it just sucks to realize that this very same political movement has turned on us.  Most Jews are good liberals and do not want to face this betrayal.  I get it and do not like it either, but there it is.

Non-Jewish "anti-racist" progressives do not want to face it because it means that they have to acknowledge the racism within their own movement.

They cannot do this, however, because it would mean acknowledging the emptiness and hypocrisy of what they stand for.

The Left is empty and dead, I tell you.

This is true not because it "criticizes" Israel, but because it provides launching pads for those who demean, dehumanize, delegitimize, boycott, divest, and sanction the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

The Left has betrayed the Jews.

Get used to this notion, because it happens to be the truth.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Death and Blood {Updated}

Palestinian factions announce immediate cease fire

Defense minister at Gaza border says IDF will continue responding to anti-tank missile attack as long as necessary; IDF strikes targets throughout Strip, at least 4 Palestinians killed.

It just goes on and on and on and on.

From the 1920s until the present, it's death and blood and destruction, assassinations and suicide bombings and border raids. This is not what the Jews wanted and none of this was the least little bit necessary. People continue to be killed because for racist and religious reasons the Arabs, including the Arabs of the British mandate who later came to be called "Palestinians," have never accepted a Jewish state on even a sliver of land that was at one time part of Dar al Islam.

They would rather fight, die, and live in squalor than give up on the dream of destroying the Jewish state. It's the Palestinian raison d'être. Their whole identity is entirely bound up in the effort to kill the Jews and drive them out of their historical homeland and for many, such as the Nazis in Hamas, this is a religious obligation.

I know that many liberals and progressives do not like this kind of talk because they consider it "racist." Well, I do not know that it is racist so much as I know that it is stone-cold historical fact.

Is it still "racist" if it also happens to be true?

{As an aside, I remember some time ago when I was still a regular participant on Daily Kos someone, perhaps deaniac, claimed that the Palestinians taught their children to hate Jews and he used some video of Palestinian children's television to prove his point.  And then, of course, they started yelling at him, calling him a racist, down-rating his comment, and so forth.  It was actually kind of funny, because he kept saying things like, "But here's the evidence!... It's right here!... We have it on film!"  Yet, somehow, the truth was entirely irrelevant as they continued to berate the poor bastard.  -  I wonder whatever became of deaniac?  When I first started up this joint he would occasionally put in an appearance.}

Anyway, as I was saying, Palestinian identity is brand-spanking new. There's is nothing the least little bit controversial about that statement, or certainly there shouldn't be. All national identities have a starting point and usually those identities are born out of conflict, just as Palestinian identity was born out of conflict. This is as true for the Jews as it is for the French as it is for the Palestinians.

Of course, us Jews have been around for one hell of a long time, something close to 4 thousand years. The French have been the French for a matter of centuries.

And the Palestinians, as Palestinians, arrived at a quarter past Tuesday. That they would rather fight, die, and live in squalor than give up on the dream of destroying the Jewish state is proven from the fact that they refuse to give up the conflict by accepting a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one.

If I were wrong, there would have been peace many decades ago.

Needless to say, their advocates on the progressive-left would argue that the Palestinian struggle is a noble struggle against racism, oppression, colonization, imperialism, militarism, ethnic-cleansing, Zionism, gefilte fish, and other really, really bad things like that. The Palestinians have nothing in particular against the Jews, they would tell you, other than that want to live in dignity, and in prosperity, on their ancient homeland.

Or so they would have you believe.  Of course, it was only after Arafat starting strategizing with the Soviets that they reframed the struggle from one of "pushing the Jews into the sea" to a "noble struggle against imperialism."  That imperialism actually has nothing whatsoever to do with this fight is entirely irrelevant.  The framing is necessary in order to get well-meaning, but soft-headed, western dupes to buy what Arafat was selling, which is the legitimacy of the conflict, itself.  By framing the Long Arab War Against The Jews as a matter of "human rights" Arafat was able to fool progressives into the belief that the struggle is a righteous one.

The only problem is that for 1,400 hundred years the Arabs oppressed the Jews of the Middle East and kept them in dhimmi status. In the early part of the 20th century, decades before the arrival of Israel as the Jewish state, the Arabs of the mandate were already rioting and killing Jews because they did not want large numbers of Jews living among them as equals. For Jews to live as equals among Muslims is in violation of the Sharia, so they were having none of it.

And that's why the conflict goes on. If it were a simple matter of social justice for the Palestinians who want nothing more than to live in dignity and peace then they would have accepted one of their many offers for statehood, but they did not. They chose war instead. A war that they continue to lose and that results in the ongoing misery and poverty of their own people.

There is nothing noble about the Palestinian struggle. There is nothing the least little bit uplifting about strapping a bomb onto a young woman and then sending her into a pizza parlor to blow people up. The truth is that the Palestinian struggle is an abomination that no one should support, not even them. It is the Palestinian struggle, itself, which is the very cause of Palestinian misery.

If the Palestinians want a decent life for themselves and their progeny they need to stop fighting. So long as they continue to fight they will continue to die and live in rotten economic circumstances. Us Jews do not want to fight, but we will no longer allow ourselves to be attacked without redress. Those days are done.

Say it loud and say it proud.

The Day of the Dhimmi is Done.


In the comments, unspokable (heh) claims that the notion that the Palestinians live in squalor is largely propaganda.  According to the CIA World Factbook, the "West Bank" ranks 169th out of 229 countries in terms of GDP per capita.  This means that the economy of the western bank of the Jordan River is doing better than the economies of Yemen or Pakistan or Afghanistan or many, many other places throughout the world.  And while much of the Gaza strip is unquestionably squalor, the "West Bank" is doing considerably better.  I think that it's more than fair to say that most of those people are poor, however.

My recommendation, which I am sure that they will immediately adopt en masse, is that they give up on efforts to blow stuff up in favor of little projects like organic chemistry, micro economics, computer science, industrial engineering... and baseball!

Things like that.

Update 2:

I also changed the graphic on this one because the grinning skull is inappropriate. I think that it more or less reflected my mood at the moment that I chose it... a mood of absolute fucking horror and disgust... so I have changed it.

This current photo is from David Rubinger in TIME, 1948.

The caption reads:

Face of War

During the War of Independence, 1948, a woman receives basic training in grenade throwing.

It nicely illustrates the fact that the Day of the Dhimmi is Done.