Saturday, June 30, 2012

What to do About Pamela Geller?

Mike L.

There are certain high-profile individuals who, among progressives, it is mandatory to despise and dismiss. In the United States these include media people such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and on and on and on and on. We have a whole long list of individuals who it is absolutely mandatory to despise and dismiss if one wishes to think of oneself as a rational, liberal, progressive, enlightened human being... as opposed to the scum of the earth, which these figures allegedly represent.

Thankfully most of those people have little to do with the broad western conversation around the Arab-Israel conflict. The reason that I say “thankfully” is because although those people are usually friendly toward the Jewish state they are also maligned among large numbers of Americans and therefore their friendliness toward Israel is a questionable asset. However, while I disagree with these people on all sorts of issues, ranging from tax codes to gay marriage, I nonetheless recognize a friend when I see one.

Jews are a tiny minority in this world and we must accept our friends where we find them. Snubbing people who are friendly toward Israel because we disagree on social or economic issues is foolish. We can openly disagree with them and still thank them for their friendship. In fact, if we wish to have any influence with such people the only way to do so is with an open hand. We can hate these people from now until eternity, but that will give us nothing in return but their mutual loathing.

I recommend against it.

But what most concerns me at the moment are hated conservatives such as, among others, Pamela Geller and her colleague Robert Spencer. These two are entirely persona non grata on the Jewish left. Unlike people such as Coulter or Limbaugh, they particularly specialize in raising consciousness about radical Islam and they do so as people concerned about the well-being of Jews in Israel and the well-being of western society as a whole. Spencer is a scholar. Geller is an activist who screams bloody murder about such things as radical Islam, stealth Sharia, and Muslim honor killings in western countries.

So my question is, what do we do with someone like this? Geller is a gadfly who obviously has no intention of going away. I do not want her to go away, personally, but I know that most American Jews would be very happy if she would go back to wherever she comes from and just kindly shut the hell up. This is the kind of person who is seen as an embarrassment to the Jewish community among Jewish progressives who make up our majority.

So, the question, really, is are we being fair to Pamela Geller? That is my question. Is Pamela Geller a screeching racist of the worst sort or does she have something legitimate to say? It's a good question not because Geller is important in and of herself, but because the issues that she raises are important.

Is Islam a threat to the Jewish people, to the Jewish state of Israel, and to western civilization, more generally? That's a scary question, now, isn't it? But it is precisely the question that Geller and Spencer, and others, have the gonads to ask in public. These people are maligned and threatened on a more or less continuous basis. They receive death threats from anonymous crazy people and they can never really know when, or if, those threats will result in their own deaths. These are people with families who are quite literally risking their lives in order to get their message out.

It seems to me that we owe it to ourselves to give them a fair listen.  Geller and Spencer make the point that Islam is an aggressive and violent religious-political ideology. That may be true, or it may not be true, but slandering people who raise the question is far more dishonorable than giving it the thought that it deserves.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Palestinian Leadership 101.


So, you want to be a future leader in Palestine? What do you need to do? Brush up on your peace making skills? Unfortunately, no.

In Palestinian society, it is much more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from a university in the U.S. or Europe. Economic prosperity and the peace process with Israel are not going to convince most Palestinians to vote for people like Fayyad or Abbas.
The most recent public opinion poll in the Palestinian territories shows that Marwan Barghouti, the dominant Fatah leader who is serving five life terms in Israeli prison for his role in several terror attacks during the second intifada, would win the presidential election. 
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research also shows clear improvement in the standing of Hamas, while its rival secular Fatah faction has declined in popularity. 
Palestinians prefer someone like Barghouti to lead them because he launched terror attacks on Israelis and is sitting in Israeli prison. 
The fact that Barghouti's attacks resulted in the death of a number of Jews gives him leadership credentials. He is popular among Palestinians because he has Jewish blood on his hands and was involved in "armed resistance.".... 
Abbas and Haniyeh are no longer popular: they are not actively involved in terror attacks against Israel. 
Even worse, as far as many Palestinians are concerned, Abbas is "preventing" terror attacks against Israel from the West Bank, while Haniyeh has betrayed his movement's ideology by agreeing to a temporary cease-fire with the Jews. 
In Palestinian society, it is much more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from a university in the US or Europe. 
People like Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are almost entirely unacceptable to most Palestinians: they were not involved in "resistance attacks" against Jews or did not send their children to carry out suicide bombings.... 
The future leaders of the Palestinians are currently sitting in Israeli prisons. They include dispatchers of suicide bombers, heads of terror cells, ordinary terrorists and political leaders of various terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
Moderate Palestinians who are opposed to violence and terror will have no say in the future decision-making process. All this bodes ill for the peace process and stability in the region. If anything, the results of the poll show that the Palestinians are headed toward further radicalization...."

Read the whole article. It is depressing but informative. Peace is not on the horizon I'm afraid until Palestinians lose their taste for Jewish blood. Not a politically correct thing to say probably but something that needs to be said again and again and again until the situation changes.

Brief Notes: Absolute Stupidity

Mike L.

There is something profoundly wrong with our engagement, as Jews, in the larger world.

That is, there is something profoundly wrong with the fact that although we represent a tiny, historically persecuted minority, it is considered "racist" or "Islamophobic" on the progressive-left to point out the fact of genocidal anti-Jewish racism within Islam.

Islam represents 1.5 billion people. If even a single percent of those people hold to radical Islam then a greater number of Muslims hold to an ideology with murderous intention toward us than the entire Jewish population world-wide.

Yet, in some circles I am considered a racist for daring to notice this problem and to articulate it as a problem.

The stupidity, given our history, of condemning a Jew for noticing genocidal intentions toward Jews couldn't be more profound.

We cannot protect ourselves from what is a very dangerous problem if "progressives" consider it immoral to even notice the problem.

The stupidity, or perhaps ideological blinkeredness, is just absolute... unfathomable, really.

Philadelphia Celebrates Israel: A Photo Diary


I attended the last hour of the Israel64 event here in Philadelphia, late on a Sunday afternoon last month, and though I don't believe I can quite fully do it justice (considering I was only there for the very tail end of it, and I was also nursing a bit of a hangover at the time), I can absolutely promise that my coverage (and photos) of next year's Israeli Independence Day event will be much better.

And more timely!  Although in my defense on that last point, up until this week I haven't had a blog to post at, since I was kicked out of a certain one late last year for daring to say and support things which folks there don't want said and don't like being supported.  I'm sure youze can probably guess what kinds of things those were.  Anyway, took a few photos and thought I'd share some here...

Jump below 'the fold' for more words and images and Zionist Spy Birds of Prey and whatnot...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Is Me

Mike L.

Almost two years ago, now.

I'm just tossing this up there for the hell of it.

Also, of course, if any of my Taliban friends want to track me down this should make it a tad easier for you guys.

Apologies to Dearborn!

Mike L.

It seems that the Christians who were attacked by a mob during an Arab-American festival were not quite so innocent as we were led to believe.

This is one of the signs that they were carrying before the crowd started pelting them with stones and garbage:

And the leader of the group was holding up this:

Whatever sympathy that I may have had for these "Christians" is entirely gone. You do not go into a heavily Arab-Muslim community like Dearborn, Michigan, during an Arab-American festival, and get directly in their faces with the kind of atrocious nonsense that we see above.

I do not know that those guys deserved to be stoned, for chrissake, but the outrage of the community is more than understandable.

I need to learn to respect my initial instincts on stories like this. As I wrote yesterday:

I post this with some reluctance, but I've never seen anything quite like it.

It seems that my reluctance was justified and the Arab-Muslim community in Dearborn is owed an apology.

They have mine.

A Tiny, Threatened Minority

Mike L.

This is the truth in a nutshell and it seems to be precisely what "progressive Zionists" fail to understand. They still think that the reason there is no peace is because mean Jews are building housing for themselves in Judea. Were it not for those mean Jews, those "settlers," and people like that dastardly Avigdor Lieberman then there would be peace with, and justice for, the Palestinians.

As for Islam, the problem is not that the entirety of Islamic peoples despise Israel or the Jews... just that enough of them do. Far, far too many and it does no one any good to pretend otherwise.

Which Side Is the Tiny,Threatened Minority?

- Uri Elitzur (Dec 31, 2010)

"We in Israel are 6 million Jews surrounded by 250 million Arabs, and beyond them a billion Muslims.

We are the tiny, threatened minority - and the Palestinians are an integral part of the vast, threatening majority."

A Tip 'O the Kippa to Dry Bones and to Dan for acknowledging the obvious. This is an activity that has become so rare as to be practically revolutionary.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fun Muslim Brotherhood Fact # 1

Mike L.

Here is a fact:

On Sunday, President Barack Obama telephoned the U.S.-educated Morsi (of the Muslim Brotherhood - editor's note) to congratulate him on his victory and offer continued support for Egypt's transition to democracy.

Here is another fact:

The Muslim Brotherhood thinks that Jerusalem should be the capital of the Caliphate:

Oh, joy.

Here is yet another fact:

Barack Obama supports the Brotherhood and the Brotherhood is genocidal.

Am I wrong or do words actually have meaning?

Mob Turns Violent in Dearborn

Mike L.

Christians stoned by American Muslims in Dearborn as police watch

A disturbing video posted Tuesday by The United West shows a small group of sign-carrying Christians attacked and stoned at the 2012 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan.

Worse yet, the police took no action against the attackers, telling the Christians they were the problem, instead of the mob who engaged in numerous acts of assault and battery.

The 22-minute video shows a number of attacks made against the Christians by adults and children repeatedly hurling profanities in addition to rocks, garbage, water bottles and crates.

I post this with some reluctance, but I've never seen anything quite like it.

Make of it what you will.

Oh, and the very beginning with Obama? Ignore that because it has absolutely nothing to do with the riot.

The real violence starts shortly after the 9 minute mark.


On further consideration two things need to be said about this.

The first is that the rioters are to blame for their own behavior, not their victims.

The second thing is that the police were way, way out of line to threaten the victims with arrest. What kind of upside down world is it wherein the people attacked by a violent mob are held responsible for the behavior of that mob?

Something is very, very wrong here.


By the way, can you imagine if that was a crowd of Jews pelting Christians with rocks and eggs and garbage in Michigan of all places?

We'd never hear the end of it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dan Bielak Has Some Words

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at The Bar and Grill... where the burgers are delicious and Geoffff is far too sexy.}

{Visit Dan's blog at}

Every once in awhile I like to front page a comment that looks promising for discussion. I very much hope that Dan will not mind if I front page this comment and discuss it at some length. Dan writes:

Until recently, I always took for granted that I was "liberal". To me the phrase "ultra liberal", still, despite what has been happening among, and to, and by, what I now call the so-called "Liberal Left", does not really have, for me, negative connotations. To me the phrase "ultra liberal", still, has kind of the same connotation as the phrase "ultra good".

However, I no longer consider myself to be "liberal". I have learned certain things that I didn't know at the time when I thought of myself as being "liberal". Seeing the behavior of the contemporary Left, and hearing and reading the words of people such as Thomas Sowell (a former Socialist, by the way) has caused me to become aware of certain things that I wasn't aware of before, and has broadened my horizons -- my knowledge and understanding.

For the record, I do consider myself a liberal because on the issues (and it's the issues that count) I fall on the liberal side of the equation. The term "liberal" has shifting meanings and shifting connotations, but from a classical standpoint, as well as from a contemporary standpoint, I am a liberal.

The classical meaning, i.e., the 18th and 19th century meaning of "liberal" means favoring democracy, a free press, free market capitalism, freedom of religion, and so forth. This is what the western system (and the Constitution of the United States) is founded upon. It represents the western political Enlightenment in opposition to the "Old Regime" of European feudalism. By this definition Ronald Reagan was also a liberal.

The contemporary meaning of "liberal," however, as it emerged in the middle of the twentieth century, is what we might call "rights liberalism." Women's rights. The rights of minorities. Gay rights. And so forth. That being the case, I am a liberal in the contemporary sense, as well, since I favor universal human rights and freedom of opportunity for all people, including ethnic and sexual minorities.

Part of the problem that we have is that western "progressives" have given up on universal human rights in favor of the multicultural ideal. This means that they have sold Jews, women, and Gay people in the Middle East entirely down the river. The contemporary left has, thus, abandoned its entire reason to be. Once western feminists started talking about how the burka is liberating for Muslim women, it was all over. The progressive-left has been unable to reconcile its fundamental contradictions and thus no longer stands for anything. This is why we see essays on large progressive sites like Daily Kos lauding the fascist, sexist, homophobic, and genocidal Muslim Brotherhood as something akin to a civil rights organization.

However, I do not consider myself to be "Conservative". The political party associated with the contemporary "Conservative" movement -- the Republican Party -- is still headed by members of the bigoted selfish supremacist "Establishment" social class. However, the ideas and agenda of the contemporary "Conservative" movement is, in fact, mainly Classical Liberal.

The political views that I hold are Classical Liberal.

I am not a "conservative" either.

The Western Left, as a whole, has become a populist totalitarian racist movement, and has allied itself with a huge global racist genocidally anti-Jewish, totalitarian, supremacist, imperialist, world-domination-seeking, political movement -- the Islamic supremacist political movement -- a revival of authoritative Islam. Furthermore, the political party of the Left in the United States of America -- the Democrat Party -- has come to be controlled by wealthy actual Marxist Radical totalitarians and their organizations.

The progressive-left is, as Dan implies, the most racist political movement in the west today, due to the fact that they consider people of color, particularly Palestinians, to be so inferior that they cannot be held to normative standards of human decency. This is what has been called "humanitarian racism" and it is just as pernicious as the more traditional forms of racism that the progressive-left claims to oppose. Furthermore, the progressive-left does have totalitarian instincts which we constantly see on an individual basis, as well as from the kind of collectivist inclinations which led many on the left to support Soviet Communism in the early-middle part of the last century.

Republican supposedly "Conservative" political candidates have, at least, the pressure of their constituency to uphold the U.S. Constitution against the efforts of the purveyors of Sharia. Democrat so-called "Liberal" candidates are colluding with, and enabling, the purveyors of Sharia.

This is correct.

There are elements in the progressive movement that have joined with radical Jihadis in opposition to the Jewish people, and the Jewish state of Israel, as we see in the BDS movement. We also saw it in the flotilla nonsense from over a year ago, in which progressive racists such as Alice Walker joined with actual Jihadis in an effort to confront Jews on the high seas.

Their progressive message to us was, "Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz!"

I now choose to support Republican supposedly "Conservative" political candidates rather than Democrat so-called "Liberal" candidates.

I choose to support Winston Churchill rather than Benito Mussolini.

Ignorant, bigoted, indoctrinated, totalitarian, racist so-called "Liberal" Leftists may call me a "warmonger" -- even though I disapprove of any and all violent action, and even though I am advocating for beneficial non-violent skillful actions.

In the 1930's, self-professed "Liberal" "Pacifists", and many Socialists, excused and defended the Nazi regime of Germany and called any people who expressed opposition to the Western collusion with the Nazi regime of Germany "warmongers".

Unlike Dan I am not a principled pacifist and believe, given the history of the Jewish people and the ways in which both Christians and Muslims have kept our numbers artificially small over the course of many centuries, that Jewish people have a right and an obligation to stand up for ourselves against aggression.

In today's world the primary aggression against the Jewish people is Muslim aggression in the Middle East, which is the very source of Palestinian grievances. The Palestinians, and their western-left allies, generally blame the Jews for Palestinian social and economic dysfunctions, claiming that it is Israeli oppression which is the source of those dysfunctions.

This is false.

The source of Palestinian social and economic dysfunctions is the long history of Arab-Muslim race-hatred toward, and oppression of, the Jews of the Middle East. The reason that there is a so-called "occupation," which is to say, the reason that there are checkpoints and the security barrier, is because Jewish people, given our history, reserve the right to protect ourselves.

Until such a time as their Koranically-inspired aggression abates they will continue to live in the poverty and misery that their own hatred toward us creates.

We must, however, stop blaming ourselves for the consequences of their hatred.

Their hatred toward us is not our fault. It was never our fault and it is still not our fault.

Israel is not perfect, but it is a far better place than most countries on this Earth.

We need to remember that.

{Visit Dan's blog at}

One Minute of Silence

Some 40 years ago, at the 20th Olympiad in Munich, West Germany, the world was shocked when 11 Israelis -- six coaches and five athletes -- were murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. But since that time the international Olympic Movement has refused calls to devote one minute of silence before the start of every Olympics to remember the tragic events of 1972. This Olympics in London is the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. Indeed, the slogan for the 2012 Olympics is ‘Inspire a Generation’. Now it is time to live up to these words. Plaques and memorials only go so far. What is now needed is a minute of silence.
Just one minute.  The Australian Parliament clearly doesn't feel this is too much to ask for.  The motion was passed unanimously last night, and members stood in silence.  Thank you, Australia.  And come on now, London.  And the IOC.  There are 24,480 minutes in this olympiad.  Just one minute for the 11 murdered Israeli athletes, unprecedentedly slaughtered by terrorists in cold blood, simply for who they were, is one too many?  Seriously?

Monday, June 25, 2012

This is the Movement that Obama Just Congratulated in Egypt

Mike L.

"Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!"

Furthermore, 150 rockets are shot into southern Israel from Gaza and progressive-left Jewish dhimmis cannot even bring themselves to breathe a word of objection.

You want to know how it was that Jews were herded like lambs to the slaughter?

Well, you're looking at it.

150 rockets and the Jewish left is silent.

The fascistic Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt and the Jewish left applauds "democracy" as Barack Obama sends his best regards.

Y'know, I thought that I was already as disgusted as I could possibly get. Apparently I was wrong. There are new and fascinating levels of disgust which I am only now beginning to realize.

It was one thing when radical Islam was limited to Iran and its little proxies like Hamas and Hez, but now more and more countries are falling to a genocidally Jew-Hating ideology and western-left Jews, when they aren't defaming Israel, are silent.

This situation is grotesque and growing more so by the day.

I used to say, The Day of the Dhimmi is Done, but I was wrong about that.

Dhimmitude Lives.

Obama Supports Radical Islam (Updated)

Mike L.

Obama congratulates winner of Egyptian vote-White House

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Egyptian President-elect Mohamed Morsy by phone on Sunday, and also called the Islamist's defeated rival, Ahmed Shafik, to encourage him to stay active in Egyptian politics, the White House said.

And yet we are still supposed to believe that this president is a friend to the Jewish people and a friend to the Jewish state.

The stupidity remains simply unbelievable. The Muslim Brotherhood has a historical provenance that literally goes to Nazi Germany and this president congratulates them on taking over Egypt?

The progressive movement, including this president, has betrayed us in the most serious terms possible, yet American liberals, and most certainly American liberal Jews, continue playing ostrich.

It's a disgrace.


I just have to share this.

Barry Rubin, needless to say, has some words on this matter. In the comments, though, we read this:

1. Islamist in Londonistan, Saudi Britannia, Eurabia, Dar al-Harb

The Zionist-Crusaders alliance is trembling in fear – now that the pious Egyptian people have spoken.

Allah has granted the Muslim people and the Arab and Palestinian Mujahedin, and those with them, the opportunity to fight the Zionists and the Americans. We are certain that we shall – with the grace of Allah – prevail over the Americans and over the Jews, as the Messenger of Allah promised us in an authentic prophetic tradition when He said the Hour of Resurrection shall not come before Muslims fight Jews and before Jews hide behind trees and behind rocks.

We are certain – with the grace of Allah – that we shall prevail over the Jews and over those fighting with them. We anticipate a black future for America. Instead of remaining United States, it shall end up separated states and shall have to carry the bodies of its sons back to America. Allahu Akbar!

June 24, 2012 - 8:27 pm Link to this Comment | Reply

And this:

3. Islamist in Londonistan, Saudi Britannia, Eurabia, Dar al-Harb

Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for His pardon.

We will defeat the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators…

Get out of our lands! Stop meddling in our internal affairs! Stop killing Muslims! Stop stealing our resources! End your support for the thieving Zionist entity! … or you will suffer immensely…

All praise is due to Allah.

June 24, 2012 - 8:57 pm Link to this Comment | Reply

And this:

6. Islamist in Londonistan, Saudi Britannia, Eurabia, Dar al-Harb

Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for His pardon.

Your government is leading your country towards hell. We say to the Americans as people and to American mothers, if you cherish your lives and if you cherish your sons, you must elect an American patriotic government that caters to your interests not the interests of the Jews. Find a serious administration that acts in your interest and does not meddle in our internal affairs. The treacherous Jews are leading you to your destruction. Why do you Americans allow the Jews to manipulate you and control your government?

Allahu Akbar!

June 24, 2012 - 9:32 pm Link to this Comment | Reply

Make of it what you will... although one wag responded with this:

Fail Burton

Odd to find State Dept. releases here.

June 24, 2012 - 9:32 pm Link to this Comment | Reply


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Wins Egyptian Presidency

Mike L.

Yet the Washington Post sees a flowering of democracy:

Mohamed Morsi named new Egyptian president

CAIRO — Egyptians picked a conservative Islamist as their first freely elected president, officials announced Sunday, giving the Muslim Brotherhood a platform to challenge entrenched military authority and electrifying the Arab world’s most populous nation with one of the most concrete signs of democratic change since the revolution last year.

And Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, official "Spiritual Leader" of the Muslim Brotherhood says, "Allah Imposed Hitler upon the Jews to Punish Them.

How is it that neither the Jewish left, nor mainstream western journalism, is acknowledging the rising intensity of genocidal anti-Jewish hatred in the Middle East? It's bad in Europe, but in the Middle East it is genocidal.

This is simply remarkable.

The spread of radical Islam in the Middle East is the single most significant development in global politics since the fall of the Soviet Union and yet the Jewish left continues to bury its head.

Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi Launches Presidential Campaign for Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Mudhammad Mursi - Says: "The Capital of the Caliphate -- the capital of the United States of the Arabs -- will be Jerusalem"

Let us look at that one more time:

The Capital of the Caliphate -- the capital of the United States of the Arabs -- will be Jerusalem.

This is a statement from a Muslim Brotherhood leader made directly in Morsi's presence during a recent campaign rally in Cairo and, yet, the Jewish left remains mute.

I find it unconscionable and just plain stupid.

(A Tip 'O the Kippa to Dan Bielak.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

When Leftists Go Wrong, Version 151.90


One of the most pernicious anti-Israel fanatics on the internet is David Harris-Gershon, aka The Troubador on Daily Kos (a, if not THE, premier website when it comes to mainstreaming of antisemitism on the Left over the past decade or so).  His gig is to sound reasonable, while yet at the same time inciting hatred against the Jewish people in the guise of 'progressive' politics and advocacy.

The way to be successful at that site is to write platitudinously comical diaries with ludicrously incendiary titles (the better with which to initially draw in the foaming-at-the-mouth Loony Leftist types, and of course the antisemites), which after one hits "the rec list," one can change at will in order to look more reasonable.  Also, it helps to have a long track record of refusing to ever deal with the antisemitism one brings on with their diaries, because of course he would not want to insult his target audience, or make them feel unwelcome (g-d forbid, that) in his pieces in any way.

David also has a gig at Tikkun (Michael Lerner's project, at least when he isn't writing and publishing pseudonymous letters to himself) these days, where he writes things like this.

Priceless, coming as it does from Mr. Gershon, the master of "attention-getting screeds" himself.  Who, at every turn, never fails to remind you that his wife was injured in the 2002 Hebrew University cafeteria bombing, and that he'd nonetheless love to hug the terrorist who tried to murder his wife, so this of course makes his... attention-getting screeds unassailable.  The ultimate difference in the end, however, is that Mr. Dershowitz cries, whines and goes numb much less often than our friend David does.

Anyway.  It would be truly fantastic if Mr. Gershon were to help me "see the light," and convince me how supporting Hamas, and how prohibiting one's work from being translated into the language of the Jewish people, is anything less than anti-Jewish bigotry.

What is "neither moral nor honest," is in fact David Harris-Gershon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Freedom from "the Group"

Mike L.

Demanding partisan and ideological loyalty is a funny thing.

It is also very often an ugly thing. What I want, though, for Israel Thrives moving forward is to simply rethink the terms of discussion around the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East.

That's the main point.

Although I am highly critical of the progressive-left, my purpose is not to promote the conservative right. What "progressive Zionists" need to understand, and what progressives, in general, need to understand, is that any and all criticism of them cannot be simply dismissed as "right-wing." In fact, no criticism of anything can simply be dismissed by slapping a defamatory label on that criticism. If you want to discuss intellectual laziness, it gets no more intellectually lazy than the ad hominem smear.

This is, in fact, one of the most pernicious aspects of political criticism. The notion that if one criticizes the Left one must automatically be dismissed as coming from the Right. Or, conversely, the notion that if one criticizes the Right one must automatically be dismissed as coming from the Left.

The challenge is to think about what we care about in a manner that is as honest as possible. This is exceedingly difficult if one also cares about the approval of "the group." Politics, obviously, is not just about political ideas or ideals, but also about the social. To be a political apostate carries a social burden... although not nearly the social burden of being an Islamic religious apostate which sometimes results in murder.

This particular political moment cries out for apostates, however. We need Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to stand up and say, "NO." We need Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to not allow themselves to be intimidated by "the group," by the mob of ideological zombies.

Because the Arabs and the Palestinians absolutely refuse a negotiated end of hostilities in a two-state solution we must think about the conflict in ways that are post-Oslo and certainly post-Obama. We have got to move on, but we cannot do so if we remain stuck in the ideological past. The current moment, this specific year, is a crux. Political sands are shifting and we need flexibility of thought so that we can adapt to changing political circumstances.

The first best way to do that is to throw away old and useless categories. "Right Wing" and "Left Wing" are almost entirely meaningless at this point. The only thing that matters is the survival of the Jewish people via the survival of the Jewish state. If Israel is to survive, which I am confident that it will, it must counter aggression against it. In the past this aggression... an aggression that has come from the Arab and Muslim communities... has taken the form of riots and pogroms during the years of the Mufti, conventional war during the middle of the twentieth century, terrorism since the rise of the PLO and Hamas, and delegitimization at the current moment.

The effort to eventually liquidate Israel via delegitimization before the world community should not be underestimated. It is the foremost challenge of the Jewish people at this time. The only way to counter the international effort to delegitimize Israel, which is in fact an effort coming out of the progressive-left in an alliance with the Islamist right, is to present our case within the larger historical context.

Acknowledging the larger historical context means recognizing the long centuries of Jewish dhimmitude under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule in the Middle East. Acknowledging this obvious truth does not constitute hatred. It constitutes a recognition of the history of the conflict without which no understanding of the conflict is possible. Just as one cannot understand the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States without understanding the history of Jim Crow and African slavery in America, so one cannot understand the war against the Jews in the Middle East without reference to centuries of Jewish dhimmitude.

What we need to do, if we honestly care about the well-being of the Jewish people, is to rid ourselves of the Oslo Delusion and to think about the situation in a fresh manner.

That's all I want and no one should be persecuted or ostracized, particularly by other Jews, for understanding this.

Nevertheless, Israel thrives and for that I am very grateful. Some call me a conservative, but the truth is that I am a hippie at heart. If anyone cares to honestly disagree then I welcome them to show some guts and do so, here, in a public way and in a respectful manner.

There is only one person banned from this blog... and he was banned for exceeding nastiness... but I welcome any of those lurking in his shadow to tell me how I am wrong.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Obama Administration's Chilling and Vapid Response to Anti-Jewish Violence

Mike L.

(Cross-Posted at Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill.)

The Obama administration, on the question of Israeli security, is simply not to be trusted. The administration claims "to have Israel's back," but I would not believe that for one second. Obama wrecked whatever potential there may have been for a resolution of the conflict, yet continues to implicitly justify anti-Jewish violence in the Middle East through his racist obsession with where Jews live in Judea and in Jerusalem.

And make no mistake, demanding that Jews be allowed to live over here, but not over there, is racist. Period. There is no reason in this world why Jews should not be allowed to live in a Palestinian state, but every time that Barack Obama complains that Jews are building in Judea he reinforces the racist view which says that Jews have no place on historically Jewish land.

In recent days Hamas has shot over 100 rockets into southern Israel. 100 rockets. There is no other country on the planet that would allow its citizenry to be terrorized, but if Israel responds western "progressives" will launch into furies of righteous indignation. There is nothing more hateful in the eyes of the progressive-left then Jewish self-defense, which is always portrayed as aggression.

So, Hamas is once again seeking to murder the Jews, as is consistent with its charter wherein we read:

I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill...

In response to this Jew-Hating genocidal madness the US Department of State has issued this declaration:

Gaza Rocket Attacks

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

June 19, 2012

We strongly condemn the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, which has dramatically and dangerously escalated in the past day. As we have said many times, there is no justification for the targeting of innocent civilians and call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these cowardly acts.

We regret the injuries sustained in today’s violence. To avoid an escalation of the situation, we encourage all parties to exercise restraint.

What a chilling and vapid response.

"We encourage all parties to exercise restraint."

In other words, Israel must take its beating and like it. This is, apparently, known as "having Israel's back." What a terrific friend this administration is. Hamas bombs the holy hell out of southern Israel for days on end and Israel's Best Friend Forever tells it to shut up and take it.

This, of course, comes from the same Victoria Nuland who doesn't quite know where Jerusalem is to be found.

Q: What is the capital of Israel?

MS. NULAND: Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations. That’s all I have to say on this issue.

Yes, what a great friend this administration is to the Jewish people and to the Jewish state of Israel. 35 hundred years of Jewish history in Jerusalem magically disappears as Ms. Nuland scratches her head and as the bombs continue to drop.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The "Son of Hamas" and "Ijtihad"

by oldschooltwentysix

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the eldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas. He spent his early years as a Hamas activist. He then became a spy for Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and helped prevent dozens of terrorist attacks during the second intifada, saving hundreds of Israeli lives.

Now, Yousef is planning a movie depicting the life of Muhammad, Islam’s holiest prophet. He insists that the film will be faithful to Muslim texts, an historical depiction of Muhammad’s life as told through Ibn Ishaq, an Arab historian from the eighth century who is believed to be one of the most reliable biographers of the prophet. He notes that scholars and others examine the lives of many figures of history, but Muhammad is somehow off limits to discuss or even depict in a simple cartoon.

I hope you watch the video below because it speaks for itself, and read the news article from which it came.

Yousef is engaging in ijtihad, the exercise of critical thinking and independent judgment. Such behavior was once the norm in Islam, but became impermissible as the ideology became more authoritarian, until Muslim scholars decided that, as all questions had been addressed, there was no longer any need to debate new issues that arose or to accept differing views, differing conclusions and differing sorts of influences that arose as part of the cultures of its large empire.

Harold Rhode has explained the evolution in his latest essay, Can Muslims Reopen the Gates of Ijtihad? He puts the matter in context:
The Chinese peasants who went to work as laborers for the British in Singapore in the 19th century managed to produce the economic marvel that Singapore is today. Similarly, South Korea went from a semi-medieval kingdom 50 years ago to the tenth largest economy in the world. The Muslims of Aden in southern Arabia, however, lived under British rule, like the Singaporeans, yet they remain as underdeveloped as their neighbors who never lived under foreign domination. Singapore's Lee Kuan Yu, for example, once asked a well-known scholar of Islam, "Why is it that whatever we do to help our Muslims advance fails? We provide them with educational opportunities, give them financial incentives, and so on, but nothing works. They still remain at the bottom. Why?"
In any event, I commend the "Son of Hamas" and wish him well in his venture to engage in ijtihad, not to mention all the other brave folks that seek to to express themselves freely -- without fear of reprisal, rather than merely follow the forces which now control Islam

I further commend Rhode's essay, especially to those who care to better understand the state of modern Islam and how it may become as it used to be, a center of science, creativity and tolerance.

Democrats Hating Israel


Time and time again we are told that we are wrong; Democrats LOVE Israel. Well, they didn't get the memo in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is seriously considering passing a resolution that would criticize Israel for its “illegal occupation” of Palestine, the latest in a long line of controversial moves coming out of one of the major battleground states President Barack Obama’s team is banking on to win re-election.
The resolution didn’t pass at this weekend’s NCDP state convention, but was tabled and referred to the executive committee for further consideration later. It attacks the United States for providing Israel with “$3 billion annually in military aid,” while the “Israeli occupation, disenfranchisement and impoverishment of significant numbers of the Palestinian population, and Israel’s overwhelming military might and its role as the only nuclear power threaten stability in a region witnessing increased demands for democracy and an end to autocratic rule.”
Apparently, those voting probably realized that this would look bad, but rather than dump it, they are going to keep it around and try again. It says something about the anti-Israel leanings of Democrats that they even brought it up for a vote. Much like al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups, the far left, both here in the United States and around the world, think Israel is the root of all problems in the world, and wouldn’t mind seeing the nation destroyed.
If it ends up being passed, the resolution would mean the NCDP “would hold its elected congress members and senators accountable for helping end our government’s role in continuing the Israeli Palestinian tragedy by making the human rights of both peoples central to U.S. foreign policy by ending Israel’s illegal occupation, by advocating for a viable Palestinian state, and membership of that state in the United Nations.”
It would also, if passed, mean the NCDP would advocate its congressional delegation bring “all parties, including Hamas, to the table to negotiate an end to the Israeli Occupation and a secure peace based on the 1967 borders,” among other things.
All blame is placed on Israel, and they even want to negotiate with a terrorist group which consistently attacks Israel’s civilian population. Not a particularly surprising notion, what with Obama administration signaling that the Egyptian military should accede to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has vowed to destroy Israel, and hand over power. The MB has stated that they would do away with the peace treaty with Israel. You have Commentary Magazine and the NY Times stating the same thing. In their anti-Israel hatred they support hardcore Islamists.

So, tell me another lie, Democrats.

Toads on Tour


There's been an update in the great "free speech and debate" Byron Bay Israel Bash this weekend.

Echonetdaily has published comments from Shirl and me to a letter they published from one of the promoters of a tour by an obscure Scottish based anti-Zionist activist by the name of Avigail Abarbanel. It took them a little while but they did it. The background to this is in the last post.

You might think that unremarkable but it took us a little by surprise.

These little local papers and their internet shop fronts are not officially affiliated with the Australian Greens but they are sympathetic and are part of the broader movement. This of course is their right and this blog is glad to see these papers around. But who is officially affiliated with the Australian Greens anyway? The Greens NSW branch has refused to hand over details of its membership to party federal officers.

Affiliation can be a fair question even of Greens senators. The party's spokesperson on international affairs in the Senate happens to be formerly one of the most senior and active apparatchiks of the Australian subsidiary of the Communist Party of Joseph Stalin and was until the party finally fell apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union. For all of her life she devoted herself to the political interests of the Soviet Union in Australia and she did that full time right up until there was no longer any Soviet Union.

Welcome to the Socialist Party of Australia. Disappeared from time somewhere between
this and this. Wiped from the pages of history as their latest hero would say. How many other members of this fallen nest of alien vampires found a home in the Australian Greens is probably something that not even Bob Brown knows.

The ugly old hard left don't really hold much for people not doing what they are told let alone speaking out of turn. I expect Greens of the old pre-takeover party have discovered that for themselves. Perhaps Bob Brown was among them. Never mind old comrades. It could have been worse. Instead of taking over your NSW branch they could have finally taken over the country. Then they would have taken you out the back and shot after a ten minute process.

There are a few straws in the wind that suggest some change for the Greens on the pro-war, pro-genocide, pro-imperialist totalitarianism front; policy-wise. A hint here and there that they may be trying to drag themselves from the sticky moral fugue that has gripped them since their Marrickville moment. I' ll save that for another post but here's a tantalising thought. Could some Greens actually be trying to take back their party?.

Anyway it turns out the whiny little letter in The Echo pushing Avigail 
Abarbanel's upcoming book promotion at the Byron Community Centre was merely pushing part of an organised national tour by our earnest anti-Zionist activist. Shirl has kindly sent me the itinery via the Brisbane branch of one of the crackpot cults that carry this intellectual virus.They are the usual suspects but I don't mind giving the event a plug. Let the sun shine in as they used to say around Byron Bay and Nimbin. I might even show up.

The only mildly interesting thing
about Abarbanel
 is how ordinary she is and how ordinary doubtless are the other twenty five contributors to this book that presumably she organised. Many hands make light work. This is a commune book if there ever was one. Also how transparent she is about the psychological source of her anti-Jewish State obsession. She hates Israel, and has devoted herself to its destruction, because she has really serious hate/love vengeance issues with her living mother. You can't make this stuff up. This is not satire. It is the tragic truth. If you wrote a character like this into a novel or script the work would be dismissed as clumsy and cartoonish. It is impossible to dislike a person like this. Some pity perhaps but it is also impossible to take her seriously. As a character in fiction she would only work as comedy.

Yet these characters are important and the old hard left cults spend a lot of effort nurturing them. Why? What is their use? 
Abarbanel isn't even Israeli any more. But she is Jewish. Or at least Jewish enough. That is the point. The Israel obsessives honestly believe that by having a few Jews upfront in their campaigns to destroy the Jewish state they have trumped any obvious suggestion of antisemitism. They have in fact merely confirmed it. They will never understand that.

So should I show up at Byron Bay Community Centre at the correct time and date this weekend? It's only a forty minute drive and I haven't been to Byron for a while. Have a beer and burger at Strop's pub. Check out the new video surveillance cameras. Maybe take in some of that famous free speech and debate that Byron Bay and the Greens have suddenly given themselves a reputation. Perhaps even take part and report back. Just like Daphne Anson did recently at an event organised by a branch of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in rural England addressed by a rabbi from Neturei Karta.

I dunno. The weather forecast this weekend is for perfect and spending any time in an enclosed space with a bunch of Jew hating commo wanker hippies and posers uglier than warts on a cane toad is just one more slice our of life. It's a big ask. Besides I fear I may lack Daphne's cool. I might say something rude.

I'll think about it

hat tip Shirlee

cross posted Geoffff's Joint Bar and Grill

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rockets Pound South

Mike L.

Gaza terrorists shell western Negev communities as over 40 Qassams, mortars hit area's communities. Police chief says current round of escalation may last days

This is NOT acceptable.

It is not Jew-Hunting Season in the Middle East... damn you... but the liberal west, to the extent that they even notice, will yawn and shrug.

What is perhaps even worse is that progressive-left Jewish pussies will barely whisper a word of dissent because they honestly believe that their Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel are guilty as hell... and also, of course, it's just an embarrassing pain in the ass to have to actually stand up for the Jewish people... which is why most dhimmitudenous progressive-left Jews remain silent.

Do the Jews in the Middle East remain under siege, generation upon generation, century upon century? If you have to ask the question then you are either not paying attention or so ideologically blinkered as to not recognize what is before your very eyes.

This is just the very latest example of 14 centuries of violent anti-Jewish racism coming out of the Muslim Middle East.

You don't want walls? I tell ya what, neither do I, and I am sure that Israel would be more than happy to tear down walls once these vicious morons end their never-ending campaign to subjugate us "children of apes and pigs."

Western progressives think that the Palestinian cause is about justice, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Palestinian cause is about justice like the cause of Nazi Germany was about justice.

Progressive-left Jews who care about our other half in Israel are, thus, sold down the river and they do not even realize it.

{You fucking fools.}

Petition: Urge the United Church of Canada to Reject the Boycott of Israel

The United Church of Canada: Urge the United Church of Canada to reject the boycott of Israel

We ask that the United Church reject boycotts of Israel in any form, refuse to hold the world’s only Jewish state as solely responsible for ending the Israeli-Arab conflict, and instead support positive initiatives to advance peace, reconciliation, and prosperity in the Holy Land – for the benefit of both Palestinians and Israelis.

A Tip 'O the Kippa to Shirl in Oz.


Mike L.

Palestinians fire total of 19 rockets at Israel in past 24 hours;

IAF strikes rocket squad, critically injuring one,

at least 4 Palestinians killed in past day;

Hamas claims responsibility for 10 launches.

And it goes on and on and on and on.

The west seems to think that Israel must put up with these attacks like Parisians put up with urban crime... as if it is just one of those things that people have to live with.

I do not think so.

One thing is certain, however, the progressive-left could not care less that Palestinians shoot Qassams and Katyushas into Israel on a daily basis. They basically seem to believe that the Jews of the Middle East deserve whatever violence comes their way.

And, yet, we still tend to support this movement. The pure stupidity of it is just mind-boggling.

From the comments:


I'm just an American from NH, USA, If Hamas fired weapon tipped rockets into my country, state or town I would most definitely take out (kill) ANYONE who was or supports Hamas. Iran would be target number one. Israelis should be conducting private ops (government and private) hunt and kill. I just don't understand why Israel puts up with this act of war. I feel terrible about this and wish there was something I could do to help.

Good for James!

Iran Aware

Had enough yet? At what point are you going to go in and clean out this nest? Your going to be blamed either way, so do what is right for your people's safety and go in and liquidate this issue before it spreads... They are only doing it cause they think they will be safe now with Egypts mess,.. Clean it out

There is some question if these attacks are related to the recent elections in Egypt. Who knows?


A sufficient response is one that makes them stop attacking Israel permanently. You know like the allies inflicted on Germany and Japan.

I couldn't agree more.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Failures of Progressive-Left Zionism: The Moral Equivalency Canard

Image Hosted by

Mike L.

Progressive-left Jewish Zionists are failing the Jewish people.

If the first way in which progressive-left Zionism is failing is in its ostrich-like reluctance to acknowledge, and seriously discuss, the rise of the Jihad throughout the Muslim Middle East, and another way is through their justifying bigotry against their own people, yet another is in the fact that they always play defense.

It needs to be understood, however, that one major reason for these obvious failures of progressive-Zionist politics is due to what we might call the Moral Equivalency Canard. Over at CiF Watch, Adam Levick relates a story of a young Harvard graduate that he met at a Shabbat seder in Jersualem who intends "to organize a group of Israeli Jews to go to Afghanistan and offer local tribes and governments Israeli assistance in fostering their development."

One guest queried her on whether her plan included protection for her group of erstwhile volunteers from U.S. and NATO forces. Another asked if she had thought through the immense security risks for Jews working in a state which is 99% Muslim – one still terrorized by sadistic Taliban terrorism. (There is reported to be literally one Jew left in the country).

Our Shabbat guest turned to us and said something to the effect of “Muslims aren’t especially antisemitic”.

Other than perhaps an eye roll, I maintained my composure and tried to change the subject, asking our friend about her academic background: what expertise did she possess which would prepare her for such an ambitious diplomatic undertaking?

It turns out she studied intercultural relations at Harvard University

Levick wonders just how it is that so many on the western-left refuse to acknowledge Islamist intolerance? This is basically the very same question that we've been asking on Israel Thrives since we first started publishing in 2009. Just why is it that there are so many things relating to the Arab-Israel conflict that are entirely verboten for discussion, including the rise of radical Islam? We have a whole (and incomplete) list of items arranged on the right side of this screen that cannot be broached for discussion among progressives (and I say this as someone who came out of that movement) because they violate Politically Correct views. These include the centuries of Jewish dhimmitude under the savage boot of Islamic imperialism, the recent construction of Palestinian identity, Arab and Palestinian Koranically-based racism as the fundamental source of the conflict, and the ways in which contemporary progressive anti-Zionism serves as a cloak for gross anti-Semitism.

And on and on and on.

Levick offers the following explanation for the problem:

Western guilt: the post-colonial a priori (often arbitrary) determination of guilt and innocence, based on the West’s past (imperial) sins. Previously subjugated peoples seem never to lose their status as the “oppressed”.

Moral vanity: the desire of enlightened Westerners (often burdened with guilt derived from the dynamic above) to be seen as enlightened champions of those assigned as the the oppressed and downtrodden in the world.

And, finally, the focus of our discourse:

Moral equivalence and the rejection of “good and evil”: the faith that most, if not all, conflicts in the world are based on misunderstandings and that all cultures, nations, traditions, religions, are equal. One is no better than any other.

Progressives often tend to believe that the reason for Palestinian-Arab hostility toward Jews in the Middle East is because those Jews behave badly... and not just badly, but badly on the order of Nazi Germany "badly" or Apartheid South Africa "badly." If the Palestinians often teach their children to despise Jews, well, Israeli Jews often teach their children to despise Arabs. If the Palestinians shoot rockets into Israeli civilian areas, then it is also true that the Israelis "collectively punish" perfectly innocent Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Neither side is really "better" than the other and, in fact, the Israeli side, given its alleged strength, is probably worse than the Palestinian side. Progressives generally believe that Israel was born in the sin of "ethnic cleansing" and "the oppression of the indigenous population" and therefore the ongoing hostility against the Jews of the Middle East is a direct result of that behavior and of that "unholy" birth.

This is what I call the Moral Equivalency Canard and it is endemic on the progressive-left. Other examples include the notion that if the Palestinians engage in terrorism, Israel is, itself, a terrorist state. If Jews suffered the Shoah, the Palestinians suffered al-Nakba.

Yet another example of the trend is in the way that well-meaning progressives assume that reports of Arab-Muslim genocidal hostility towards Jews are overblown and therefore pointing out that hostility is actually a form of racism or "Islamophobia." They know that enlightened liberal westerners usually hold no such hatred towards Muslims and therefore assume that Middle Eastern Muslims, as a group, hold no such hatred toward Jews or the West. This is because they tend to believe that people everywhere are just as fair and rational as they compliment themselves as being and, therefore, the extent to which Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East hold the Jews in contempt it is because those Jews richly deserve that contempt.


Address Hamas’ concerns, liberate them from the shackles of Israeli tyranny and, according to the theory my friend and so many in the Western left would subscribe to, they will transcend their animosity. There will be peace in our time.

This is the failure of the leftist intellectual establishment which my Shabbat interlocutor seems to share: the habit of mind which, a mere 66 years after the grotesque consequences of moral abdication in the face of an indescribable evil, rejects the very notion of immutable (indeed insatiable) Islamist Jew hatred.

What the progressive-left "narrative" fails to take into account, however, is history.

The Jews of the Middle East got their collective asses kicked by the Arabs from the 7th century until early in the 20th when they freed themselves from dhimmitude, in part through the Zionist movement. Century upon century throughout the Middle East, and throughout the entirety of the Muslim world, Jews were second and third class citizens living under conditions that often made the history of Jim Crow in the United States look like the very height of liberal enlightenment.

In some places and times it was better, and in some places and times it was worse, but we were always a "kept" and inferior people subject to draconian laws reflecting that status. To the extent that Arab-Muslims despise Jews it is not because of Jewish autonomy and self-defense on historically Jewish land. Jewish autonomy seriously irritates a precondition of Muslim anti-Jewish racism, but it is not its cause.  Zionism, as anyone who knows anything about the history of that movement can tell you, is not the cause of genocidal anti-Jewish racism, but a response to genocidal anti-Jewish racism.

As long as progressive-Zionists continue to blame Israel for its own persecution at the hands of our former masters, the more they will undermine the security and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Israel. As long as progressive-Zionists continue to blame conservative Jews or the Likud or the "settlers" or Yisrael Beiteinu (and that bad boy, Avigdor Lieberman) for Obama's ruination of the peace process, then the Palestinians, the Arabs, and their western-left allies will be more than happy to agree with that assessment, thus encouraging more violence against us.

It's time for fresh thinking on an old problem, and while that fresh thinking may not come from the conservative Jewish right, it definitely is not coming from the dhimmitudenous Jewish left.

That much is certain.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Palestinian Authority Teaches Children Hatred of Jews

Mike L.

Host: "Lina, how did you participate in the exhibition [about teaching tools]?"

Lina: "I recited a poem."

Host: "A poem."

Co-host: "Lina opened the exhibition."

Lina: "When I was young, I was taught that Arabness is my honor...
and that our lands extend from one end to the other,
and that our wars were for the Al-Aqsa Mosque,
and that our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail..."

Well, that is some kind of "poem."

And, yet, the US government continues to fund this genocidal racism against us.

Of course, many western progressives would claim that what is expressed here is not hatred toward Jews, but merely hatred toward "Zionists."

How long, I wonder, are we going to continue to buy into the fiction that expressing hatred toward "Zionism" or "Zionists" is something other than expressing hatred toward Jews?

The dhimmitudenous may buy into it, but I will not.

A Tip 'O the Kippa to Palestinian Media Watch.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Israel Thrives Welcomes Jay in Philadelphia

Mike L.

I am pleased to announce that JayinPhiladelphia has joined Israel Thrives as one of our eminent front pagers. This came about when Jay suggested that I do some analysis of The Atlantic around the Arab-Israel conflict and I suggested that maybe he could do so and he has agreed. So, like our other front pagers, Doodad, Oldschooltwentysix, and Geoffff (of Bar and Grill fame), Jay will publish according to his will and we very much look forward to his contributions.

Israel Thrives is, of course, a part of the larger on-line pro-Israel community that includes well-trafficked blogs, such as Elder of Ziyon, as well as lower traffic joints such as, say, Richard Landes' The Augean Stables. Our primary goal... or perhaps it's just my primary goal... is to rethink the terms of discussion around the Long Arab War against the Jews due to the fact that the old Oslo assumptions are no longer operational and because Barack Obama has driven the final nails into the peace process coffin.

Acknowledging the demise of the Oslo "peace process" means thinking in new categories around old problems. Before we can think in new categories, however, we must forgo old terminologies so that we may replace them by terms more suitable to the current political moment. What's most important, given the fact that the Long Arag war against the Jews in the Middle East continues to this day, is in not using terminology that reflects Arab and Palestinian propaganda, but that better reflect the 4,000 year history of Jewish people on Jewish land in the Middle East. Thus, for one small example, the term "West Bank" may have seemed useful during the Oslo years because there was still hope for a negotiated conclusion of hostilities in which the Palestinians would agree to a state for themselves in peace next to Israel. However, given that the local Arabs absolutely refuse to end hostilities against the Jews through a two-state solution, it makes no sense to continue referring to Judea and Samaria as the "West Bank."

The term "West Bank" was originally created, or popularized, by the Jordanians when they swiped that land during Israel's War of Independence. The reason that they chose to call it the "West Bank" was to obliterate any Jewish historical claims which would be impossible to do if we continued to call Judea Judea. Because well-meaning liberal Jews were invested in the two-state solution, via a negotiated agreement, it became standard that Jews who wanted two states used "West Bank" while those who opposed the creation of a Palestinian state continued to use Judea and Samaria.

This is no longer the case because the entire premise of Oslo is no longer operational. Since Oslo has failed the terms used during Oslo need to be rethought and abandoned if necessary. These include outmoded terms such as "West Bank" or "East Jerusalem" or even "Israel-Palestine conflict." And while I still believe in two states for two peoples, I also recognize that it cannot come with Palestinian cooperation for the very simple reason that the Palestinians absolutely refuse any such cooperation and have done so for almost one hundred years. In fact, the Palestinians have refused to cooperate in the creation of their own state since long before they even emerged as a distinct nationality toward the end of the twentieth century.

At a certain point one must acknowledge the obvious and it is more than obvious that the Arabs, Palestinian or otherwise, have no intention of concluding hostilities against the Jews in the Middle East, nor have they any intention of creating a Palestinian state in peace next to the Jewish one.

My appeal, therefore, is simply to encourage people to rethink the basic terms of the conflict. Whether or not people continue to use a Jordanian term such as "West Bank" or an inaccurate term that encourages the partition of Jerusalem, such as the non-existent city known as "East Jerusalem," what counts is sloughing off the old assumptions in recognition that we are in a new political moment defined by the failure of the "peace process" that wore the name Oslo.

The conclusions that we draw, upon acknowledging the current situation, are entirely up to each and every one of us, but to continue under the Oslo Delusion is to sustain the conflict, and the status quo, indefinitely on into the future. I, of course, do not have all the answers. All I want is fresh thinking on an issue that is exceedingly important to all of us, left, right, and center.

It is in that spirit, a spirit of non-partisan, forward-looking open-mindedness, that I welcome Jay to Israel Thrives.

{After all, we welcome all sorts of heretics, infidels, and apostates.}

Friday, June 15, 2012

Keep BDS Out Of My Valley


Many will know that I have an issue with the Tweed Echo, an openly aligned Australian Greens "independent" newspaper distributed in the Tweed Valley of northern NSW (where I live), with an internet  offshoot, that in the past has  had some difficulty masking the anti-Israel obsession that has come to characterise and define that side of Australian politics. Should there be any doubt about that you need only attempt to question the Greens on their policy on whether Israel has a right to exist.  They are agnostic. As shameful and disgusting as it is, Australia has a political party that refuses to acknowledge that the Jewish state is not only a legitimate expression of Jewish nationhood born of a hard fought national liberation movement but even refuses to accept that the country and the Jews have a right to be left in peace. The Australian Greens refuses to oppose war and open threats of genocide and instead apes the ugly rants of the rat bag nasty left and their Islamist and other fascist allies. I guess they figure there are more votes in it.

About a year ago I wrote a letter to this paper in response to some pretty cranky stuff they published even by the Australian Greens standards. Elsewhere I provided a preface:

A nasty Echo from the past

In the Tweed and Byron Shires there are a lot of Greens. They are everywhere. They are like blowflies at a Barcaldine barbeque. They even have their own newspaper, the Echo. It is the only openly politically aligned newspaper around. While one can respect their industry they show all the hallmarks of their party, including a marked intellectual cowardice. Like most Greens, they are right wing, to the point of reactionary, masquerading as progressives. They campaign against everything. Every now and then their campaigns spill over into something very ugly indeed.

The paper had published an openly antisemitic letter , just in time for the annual Byron Blues Fest. The usual grubby and odious muck. Here's an extract:
"No question of debating the issues, just a tirade of abuse and slander against those who feel strongly enough to take a stand for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
"This is the usual Zionist propaganda onslaught which sets out to crush and silence all opposition both within Israel and the shrinking West Bank and elsewhere in the world.
"The problem is not one of anti-Semitism but one of aggressive, nationalistic, expansionist Zionism. You do not have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. President Woodrow Wilson, a devout Presbyterian, was also a self-professed Zionist, so too is US Vice President Joe Biden. Zionists wrote the Balfour document."
At the time I let it pass. As you do. You would go mad if you tried to respond to this hateful filth every time it pops up.

Not content with the the paper decided to put on display its "non-anti-Semitic but anti- Zionist" credentials by publishing this choice little editorial titbit. I reproduce it in full.
"An Australian delegation will join the international Freedom Flotilla 2, which will set sail next month to break the blockade of Gaza and end Israel’s illegal collective punishment of the people of Gaza. The Australian contingent includes Sylvia Hale, former Greens member of the NSW Parliament, Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews Against the Occupation, Alex Whisson of Australians for Palestine, and youth worker Michael Coleman. The boats will carry humanitarian aid and medical supplies. Our experience with the pro-Israel lobby suggests that the delegation will be accused of anti-semitism, along with Backburner for reporting it."
Excuse me while I vomit.

So here is the letter I sent them.
Dear editor,
Your nasty little sneer about the "pro-Israel lobby", and your complaint about "accusations of antisemitism", pretty much sum up the main reason why your party, the Greens, has no place in mainstream Australian politics.
You complain about your "experience with the pro-Israel lobby". Given that you have never published anything that could be remotely described as "pro-Israel", it can only be that you never publish opinions that differ from yours or the "experience" you claim is very limited indeed. None at all. What is your problem? "They" can't be bothered with you? Who do you mean by this "lobby" anyway? Israel is solidly supported by every major political party in our country. As you would expect from a liberal democracy for the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and the only state there that provides and guarantees full political and civil rights for Arabs. Only some of your party's candidates and some of "One Nation"'s attack Israel so obsessively.Why? If by the "pro-Israel lobby", you mean Australian Jews, then say so. We need to know. About you. Not them.
Your complaint about allegations of antisemitism is absurd. I don't believe you. Some years ago I issued a challenge on Margo Kingston's Webdiary site, that would be famous in part of your paper's core market. Webdiary, I mean. The challenge was to produce a single example of someone serious, seriously suggesting that criticism of Israeli policy, or government, was of itself antisemitism. No takers. A few attempts but no cigars. Not one. It's been over five years now.
The opposite is the truth. It is impossible to defend Israel, and the democratic secular Zionist principles that underpin it, without being accused of racism. Sooner or later it always happens. Always. It is also true that much of the incessant attacks on Israel, especially from the political extremes, and from militant Islamism, is driven by antisemitism. This cannot be honestly denied. It is everywhere.
I said then how ubiquitous your whiny complaint was. "Anybody who criticises Israel risks being labelled an antisemite". Rubbish. A lie. Produce an example. Just one will do. This lie was intended to intimidate or pre-empt those who seek to defend Israel especially against its harshest critics. Nothing has changed.
The situation in Gaza can be summed up in a sentence. Israel has the stark choice of either attempting a military blockade or simply allowing Hamas to become as lethally armed as Hezbollah. Gaza is an Iranian colony ruled by a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their grievance with Israel has nothing at all to do with "occupation". Gaza is not "occupied". Their grievance has everything to do with the fact that Israel is free, liberal and democratic and, above all, with the fact that Israel is the Jewish state. They say so again and again.
Nor do I accept that for you this is about the "Palestinians". The old hard left that now control your party in this state does not give a rat's arse about the Palestinians. They never have and they have been around for a long time. If they gave a damn at all they would be hollering from the rooftops for the liberation of these tragic people from the death grip of Hamas. For them, this is not about the Palestinians at all. Even less is it about the millions of people from Tunisia to Syria and beyond right now risking their lives in a desperate brave struggle for some of those freedoms that Israeli Arabs enjoy as of right and have for decades. For the old hard left, this is about something else entirely.
It is an outrage that your party sought to impose BDS sanctions on Israel, as part of a global campaign aimed at the destruction of the Jewish state, almost as soon as it took effective control of a Sydney council. I can think of no clearer example of abuse of elected office at local government level. I will be publicly asking Greens candidates, especially any standing for re-election in the Tweed Shire, precisely what her position on BDS is. I will do this in an open detailed letter that I will copy you and other local press. If the Greens want this argument then I for one will be happy to oblige.

 And what happened? You know what happened. The Echo declined to publish the letter. This is how  they demonstrate their commitment to free speech and debate.

But today, almost exactly one year later, they did publish this letter.


Ex-Israeli Defence Force platoon commander and now psychotherapist, Avigail Abarbanel, is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists. She was due to be part of a panel at the Limmud Oz Jewish cultural festival, Monash University, during the long weekend, but the event was cancelled without explanation. The Limmud Oz Board have been accused of political censorship.
Byron Bay’s reputation as a centre for free speech and debate, and as a vigorous supporter for writers through the Writers’ Festival, will welcome Avigail to the Community Centre on 23 January at noon where she will speak to her book. Entry is by gold coin donation.
Gareth Smith, Byron Bay
and check out this comment they also published!
Yes, I heard about Avigail’s problem with censorship at Monash on one of Philip Adams’ radio shows this week. She and her colleague explained themselves very well, to Adams’ obvious discomfort. He’s a notorious supporter of Zionism, having an apostate daughter living in Israel, although he pretends to be ‘open minded’ about the Middle East.

Catch it on ABC RN archives
A huh. Well I too am passionate advocate of free speech and debate so I posted this comment.
It is a serious disgrace to Australian democracy that we harbour so many haters of Israel and the Jews; especially it seems around Byron Bay masquerading as a “centre of free speech and debate”. Try telling the truth. The last thing you want is free speech and debate.
I have no idea who Avigail Arabanel is but you can be certain that if she had anything worthwhile to say she could have said it in Israel. Israel is the centre of free speech and debate in the Middle East. Israel is the only centre of free speech and debate in the Middle East. Why did she have to come to the other side of the planet to say it?
By my count there were 159 presenters at the Limmud Oz 2012 festival of Jewish culture and learning last weekend.
Who knows how many were , in your words, “due to be part of a panel discussion?”. Hundreds? Over a thousand? Look for yourself.
I have no idea why Avigail was “cancelled without explanation” from one of the hundreds of panels that must have been convened during the festival. Anyone who has had anything to do with the organisation of this sort of event, such as the Byron Writers’ Festival for example, will know this is unavoidable but I know one thing for certain .
Your paper has shown not the slightest bit of interest in anything that the other hundreds of speakers at Limmud Oz 2012 have had to say and you can be sure that not one of them will be invited to speak at the Byron Bay Community Centre, irrespective of the date.
Please do not lecture Israel and the Jews about free speech and debate. I don’t think you quite understand the concept.
Geoffff’s Joint, Bar and Grill.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
So how has this centre of free speech and debate handled my latest post?

We don't know yet. My comment is still "awaiting moderation."

We'll see. Who knows? This may be the first time ever the Australian Greens and their supporters have ever allowed a contrary opinion to their anti-Israel blather to b published. Anyone prepared to lay odds?
I will let you know. 
Cross posted Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill