Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Big “O” in Occupation

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

It is one of my ongoing contentions that the extent to which progressive-left Jewry incorporates the “Palestinian narrative” of perpetual and perfect victim-hood into their understanding of the Arab-Israel conflict is the extent to which their views on the matter are counterproductive to the well-being of world Jewry.

 This is not to say that there are no elements of truth in the “Palestinian narrative” but merely to suggest that when this narrative is held up to historical scrutiny it is found largely to be a lie. The essence of the lie is that the Jews of the Middle East are the oppressors of an innocent local Arab population with a distinct and separate ethnicity from other Arabs in the region. The “Palestinian narrative” holds that during the latter part of the nineteenth-century, and throughout the first half of the twentieth-century, imperialistic European Jewish colonists stole land from the indigenous Arab population, whom they ethnically-cleansed from the region, under the false belief that G-d is a sort-of cosmic real estate broker. These vicious Jews then went forward to oppress the innocent Palestinians who, to this day, live under a brutal apartheid system leaving them no choice but to resist the Jewish settler-state in any manner possible, including suicide bombings.

Painting with a rather broad brush, this represents the “Palestinian narrative” as it is presented today to gullible and well-meaning westerners, including of course gullible and well-meaning progressive-left western Jews. The degree to which we accept this narrative is the degree to which the Jews are guilty before the conversation even begins. The degree to which we accept this narrative is the degree to which the argument can never be won because the conclusion of Jewish guilt is embedded directly within the fundamental premises of the narrative itself.

One of the ways that the “Palestinian narrative” embeds itself into the conversation by pro-Palestinian activists, by anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, and by Israel Haters of the far left, is through the terms of discussion used to describe the conflict. One of the most basic of such terms is the usage of “Occupation” to describe the situation of Arabs living on historically Jewish land. The capital “O” suggests that not only are the Palestinians living under Jewish occupation, but that the occupation itself is the uber-occupation, the Grand Dame of All Other Occupations.

The truth is that the vast majority of Arabs in Judea and Samaria live under the rule of their local dictator, Mahmoud Abbas, and not under the authority of the Jewish State of Israel. What we associate with “occupation” is the security fence and the check-points that Arabs must often contend with in their day-to-day lives in the region. These measures that the Jews of the Middle East use to protect themselves from the much larger and hostile majoritarian population are measures designed to prevent violence toward themselves and their children. For thirteen hundred years, since Muhammed’s armies stormed out of the Saudi peninsula, the Jews of the Middle East lived under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperialism until the end of World War I. Since, unlike the Copts, for example, Israel is The Dhimmi That Got Away, the Jews have been subject to ongoing war against them by those who wish to reinstate Jewish subservience under Arab-Muslim rule. What we refer to as the “occupation” is nothing more than Jewish means of self-defense against that larger, hostile majority population.

Thus when we discuss the “occupation” or, worse yet, the “Occupation,” we are admitting from the very start that the Jews are criminal victimizers and the Arabs are largely innocent victims when, from a larger historical perspective, the exact opposite is true. The Jews represent a tiny, maligned, and abused minority who have lived lives of persecution under Islamic rule century upon century since Muhammed. What has changed is that the Jews of the region did what was necessary to free themselves, when the opportunity arose, and did so through the reconstitution of the Jewish State. The Arabs, as a group, may not like it very much and many of them may use violence in order to intimidate, and even kill, their former subjects, but to suggest that Jewish freedom means the subjugation of another people is to turn both morality and history directly upon its head.

When the Arabs, including those local to Israel, finally decide to live in peace with the Jews than the security fence will come down and the check-points will be abandoned. When the “Palestinians” finally decide, if ever they do, that they are willing to accept a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one they may then get such a state, something that they have rejected for almost one hundred years now.

In the mean time, however, whether anyone likes it or not, the Jews of the Middle East are free and they will remain free.

UN: Israel Must Withdraw From Judea, Samaria

Mike L. 
The United Nations says Israel must withdraw all of its citizens from the regions of Judea and Samaria. 
The recommendation came in a report issued Thursday by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has a history of passing numerous biased resolutions condemning Israel for various alleged ‘crimes’ each year.

"Israel must, in compliance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions," the report said in part. "It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the occupied Palestinian territories."

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded in a fiery statement immediately to the report, which claimed that Jewish settlement activity only “hampers peace efforts.”
One of the biggest mistakes that we have made is buying into the notion that a Jewish presence in Judea could somehow prevent dictator Abbas from drawing a line on a map.

That was a gross misjudgment and the Jewish people are going to pay for it.  The original idea, of course, derives from Koranically-inspired race hatred toward Jews, so that the Palestinian-Arabs refuse to live in a "Palestinian" state if it has Jews in it.

Our big mistake was in legitimizing the very notion.  Most American administrations have, thus, been opposed to Jews building housing for themselves in Judea and Samaria since the 6 Day War.  Unlike the current administration, however, they never turned the Jewish presence on historically Jewish land into an issue that would prevent negotiations, as Obama did right from the get-go.

We've been over this ground one hundred times.  When Obama called for "total settlement freeze" dictator Abbas could require nothing less if he wished to survive politically.  The "Palestinian" dictator cannot afford to be seen as softer on the Jews than the American president, so Abbas then required "total settlement freeze" as the price the Jews would pay for the honor of speaking with him.

In any case, now the UN is using the Jewish presence on historically Jewish land as a reason to call for the ethnic-cleansing of the Jews from that land.  Israel is showing some backbone on the matter, much to my shock, and that will mean that the EU and the UN and the Arab League, with Obama leading from behind, will be in an enhanced position to employ boycotts or divestments or sanctions upon the Jewish minority in that part of the world.

In a sense, we have only ourselves to blame because we were foolish enough to believe, all evidence to the contrary, that the local Arabs actually did want a country for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one.  This is what I call the Oslo Delusion.  It is the false belief that if Israel would only make the proper concessions to the "Palestinians" then they would leave the Jews in the Middle East in peace with a country of their own right next door.

Now what we are seeing is the usage of this notion of "peace process" to pressure Israel to fork over whatever the "Palestinians" demand in return for additional rocket fire.

Who could possibly resist such a fabulous deal?

Latest Times of Israel Piece

Mike L.

The Big “O” in Occupation

When Jews talk about the Occupation with the Big "O" they reify the "Palestinian narrative" of perfect victim-hood and thereby malign their fellow Jews in Israel as guilty before the conversation even begins.

I wouldn't call it betrayal, exactly, but it is neither historically accurate, nor very bright if one wishes to maintain Jewish freedom in the Middle East.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Raised on Hatred

Mike L. 
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
EGYPT’S newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was caught on tape about three years ago urging his followers to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. Not long after, the then-leader of the Muslim Brotherhood described Zionists as “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians,” “warmongers” and “descendants of apes and pigs.”

These remarks are disgusting, but they are neither shocking nor new. As a child growing up in a Muslim family, I constantly heard my mother, other relatives and neighbors wish for the death of Jews, who were considered our darkest enemy. Our religious tutors and the preachers in our mosques set aside extra time to pray for the destruction of Jews.

For far too long the pervasive Middle Eastern qualification of Jews as murderers and bloodsuckers was dismissed in the West as extreme views expressed by radical fringe groups. But they are not. In truth, those Muslims who think of Jews as friends and fellow human beings with a right to their own state are a minority, and are under intense pressure to change their minds.

All over the Middle East, hatred for Jews and Zionists can be found in textbooks for children as young as three, complete with illustrations of Jews with monster-like qualities. Mainstream educational television programs are consistently anti-Semitic. In songs, books, newspaper articles and blogs, Jews are variously compared to pigs, donkeys, rats and cockroaches, and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures.
Read the whole thing here.

Jewish people have to be the only people on the planet who think that calling out racism against themselves is somehow racist, itself.  The truth of the matter is that the Muslim Middle East is absolutely rampant with Nazi-level anti-Semitism and we need to be able to discuss it.

Thank G-d for apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Israel strikes at Syria-Lebanon border, sources say

Mike L.

Alleged airstrike comes day after Lebanon reported three separate overflights by IAF jets; Israel increasingly concerned over fate of Syrian chemical weapons.

A western diplomat and three regional security sources said Wednesday that Israel Air Force warplanes struck a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight, hours after Lebanon reported a series of three overflights by Israel in its airspace.

Israel has expressed increasing concern over the fate of Syrian chemical and conventional weapons as the country slides further into chaos after almost two years of civil war.
This is becoming ominous.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jew-hatred in Egypt and Britain

Mike L.

The FresnoZionist has a new and interesting post.

Referring to the anti-Semitic cartoon published on Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain, he quotes Jonathan Tobin:
The willingness of Israel-bashers to appropriate the Holocaust to promote a new generation of anti-Semitic imagery is rooted in a worldview in which the actions of the Palestinians, or their consistent refusal to make peace are irrelevant. If even a fence to keep out suicide bombers can be seen as criminal then it is obvious that no terrorist outrage or act of hateful incitement (such as the Egyptian president’s belief that Israelis are the “descendants of apes and pigs”) is worthy of censure so long as Israelis are standing up for themselves and refusing to be slaughtered as the Jews of Europe were 70 years ago.  
In order for it to be considered a defensible point of view about the Middle East, you’d have to believe the artist and the editors who condoned its publication know nothing of why Israel built a security fence or that the terrorist campaign that it was built to stop was preceded by repeated Israeli offers of a Palestinian state that were refused and answered with war.

Obama is Jazzed about the New Egypt

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

Jonathan Tobin has a piece up at Commentary entitled, Why Is Obama Bragging About Egypt?

I, for one, think that is an excellent question.  Discussing Obama and Clinton's recent 60 Minutes joint interview, he writes:
The real headline out of the interview ought to center on the following remark by the president in response to a rather soft question about his “lead from behind” strategy in the Middle East:
President Obama: Well, Muammar Qaddafi probably does not agree with that assessment, or at least if he was around, he wouldn’t agree with that assessment. Obviously, you know, we helped to put together and lay the groundwork for liberating Libya. You know, when it comes to Egypt, I think, had it not been for the leadership we showed, you might have seen a different outcome there.
Let me get this straight. President Obama is not merely bragging about a conflict in Libya that led to chaos not only in that country that produced the murders of four Americans including our ambassador. He is also saying that he thinks he positively impacted the outcome of the power struggle in Egypt over the last two years and actually thinks his “leadership” helped create a situation about which we are happy. So what he’s telling us is that he’s not merely pleased with what he did or didn’t do, but that he thinks the current situation in Cairo in which the most populous Arab country is now run by a Muslim Brotherhood government led by a raving anti-Semite is a good thing about which he can brag on national TV.
It's dumbfounding, really.

Barack Obama is so detached from reality that he is willing to actually take credit for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  I hardly know what to say, it's so ridiculous.  Ever since the Brotherhood came into power Obama's Jewish-Left supporters kept telling us that the administration really had little to do with their success in Egypt and, besides, they came to power through electoral means, so what can anyone do?

But now we have Obama, himself, actually taking a measure of credit for the Islamist Egyptian revolution.  The guy is happy about it.  The Muslim Brotherhood is an enemy of the United States and, yet, the American president feels satisfied that through his "leadership" they were able to come into power in the most important Arab-Muslim country in the entire region.

Y'know, it was only a few days ago that Laurie said to me, "Jeez, don't you ever get writer's block?  I've never seen you write so much."  And I told her something like, "It's got nothing to do with me.  I just read the Jewish and Israeli press and there is always, but always, something remarkably stupid going on."

So, Barack Obama has gone on national television, on 60 Minutes no less, and has taken credit for the rise of the most anti-Semitic organization on the planet in Egypt.  It's incredible and I continue to insist that Barack Obama is not nearly so intelligent as they tell us he is.  He was foolish enough to promote the so-called "Arab Spring" to begin with, but to now take credit for the Brotherhood in Egypt?

I'm telling you guys, if Obama ran stark-naked through the streets of Tel Aviv waving a Nazi flag and blasting Wagner from his iphone, Jewish "progressives" would still support the guy.

Barry Rubin has some words for John Kerry

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

Well, actually Barry Rubin has many words for John Kerry, but let's just focus on a few.

In Kerry's confirmation hearings he was, with the clear exception of Rand Paul, largely scratched behind the ear by his Senatorial friends and colleagues.  Paul asked him just why it was that the United States government felt it necessary to send F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to the genocidally anti-Semitic leader of Egypt.

Among Kerry's responses to the questions posed by Rand we get this:
The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone that you don’t completely agree with doesn’t give us permission to walk away from their election….
This response resonates with me due to the fact that throughout the "Arab Spring," and with the election of the anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, we were constantly told by progressive-left Jewish "Zionists" that, "Well, Gosh Darnit, that's democracy for ya!  Don't you want the rest of the world to have the blessings of democracy?  What do you have against democracy?  We have to respect other people's choices!  What are you, some kind of fascist?!"

Throughout the entirety of last year I was dumbfounded, disgusted, and amazed that people were making that argument.

In any case, this is Professor Rubin's response:
This is truly ignorant. Just because Egyptians—or anyone else—elected a government does not mean that U.S. policy must accept whatever that government does. Yet I think Kerry and Obama actually believe that it does mean that. Moreover, the Brotherhood didn’t just win but had U.S. backing. It was the party Obama favored. And now, of course, the regime has killed dozens of Egyptians in anti-government riots. It has also jammed through an ultimately anti-democratic constitution. The money and weapons the United States gives the Brotherhood government will help it consolidate power, buy off dissent and be able to repress the population. Is that what U.S. interests require, the consolidation of an Islamist regime in Egypt?
United States' foreign policy under Barack Obama is an absolute disaster and part of the reason that it is is because the administration believes that we are obligated to support any regime, with the sole exception of Israel, so long as it is democratically elected.  It doesn't matter to Obama that the Brotherhood is a fascist and theocratic organization with historical ties to the Nazis.  They honestly don't care, or at least, they very definitely do not seem to care.  They make no such noises, now do they?

But the Brotherhood did come to power through, more or less, democratic means.  They may have violently repressed the Coptic vote, but who are we to quibble?  And this means that as good liberals we must support our newly elected democratic friends in the Brotherhood, or so progressive-left "Zionists" told us throughout all of last year.

It's absolute nonsense, of course.  The first thing to understand is that we get to choose who we support in an election, including foreign elections.  Just as the United States was under no obligation to support the democratically elected government of Nazi Germany, so we are under no obligation to support the democratically elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

And, really, how dumb must a Jew be to support an anti-Jewish organization like the Muslim Brotherhood?  How profound must the Jewish Stockholm Syndrome be to literally suggest that the rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East is a good thing because it represents "democracy"?

I just find it unfathomable.

Egypt will not be a democracy any time soon because it is highly unlikely that the Brotherhood will allow themselves to be voted out of power.

But in terms of U.S. foreign policy the bottom line is that the Obama administration has abdicated any responsibility for standing up for western interests because they believe that standing up for western interests is in opposition to standing up for western values.  But what kind of "values" is it that says you have to support those who would see you dead?

It simply makes no sense and it is something well beyond irresponsible.

Rubin writes:
He also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.
The question is not if Obama is selling out American interests... and thereby selling out Israel, as well... but just why he is doing so.

It's The CONTEXT, People.


When is a terrorist attack not necessarily a terrorist kinda thing? Well, when it's Jews you are least according to the EU.
Hezbollah may not be included on the European Union's list of terrorist groups even if it did bomb Jewish tourists in Bulgaria, the EU's top counter-terrorism official reportedly said.... 
“There is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack," de Kerchove is quoted as saying. "It's not only the legal requirement that you have to take into consideration, it's also a political assessment of the context and the timing."
I have really had it with these clowns.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Israel on high alert over Syrian chemical weapons

Mike L. 
Israel is following the possibility of the transfer of Syria's chemical weapons to radical elements, as its neighbor to the north appears to be gradually approaching a final meltdown... 
There are two scenarios that Israel deems unacceptable in Syria. The first is a transfer of chemical weapons and advanced strategic missiles to Hezbollah, and the second involves raids by al-Qaida-affiliated rebel groups, like Jabhat al-Nusra, on a Syrian chemical weapons depot.

Neither radical Shi'ite nor extremist Sunni groups will be permitted to lay their hands on unconventional weapons in Syria.

It may also become necessary to inject special forces into the arena, to ensure that sites containing Sarin, mustard gas compounds and VX nerve agents are no longer a threat.
How is it possible that American intelligence is so poor that it was less than 2 years ago that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the American people that Bashar al-Assad was a secular "reformer"?

How is it possible that the Obama administration is so inept, so deluded, as to think that Syria's Assad was anything other than a dictator, a "strong man"?   How is this possible?  And now the Obama administration will likely help ease into power in Syria the Brotherhood or some other Islamist regime.

Israel is becoming surrounded by genocidally anti-Semitic Islamic governments and Barack Obama is helping that happen.  That truth may sound hard for many people to hear, but it is the truth.

And, sadly, it is a truth that Israel must prepare for which is precisely why we get stories like the above coming from the Jerusalem Post.

Assad is going to fall and when he does he will be replaced by the Brotherhood or an affiliated organization.  Barack Obama, whatever his intentions, is overseeing the transfer of power throughout the Middle East from pro-western secular dictatorships to anti-western and genocidally anti-Jewish Islamic regimes.

At the same time the EU, with Obama leading from behind, is preparing for a diplomatic, and perhaps economic, assault on Israel due to the fact that Jews build apartments (and second bathrooms) for themselves in Judea, which the Islamic governments consider an affront to their religion.

I was once gleefully told by a hate-filled enemy of the Jewish people that "the noose is tightening."

I think that individual may be correct.

Yet Another Times of Israel Post (Update)

Mike L.

Barry Rubin has some words for John Kerry

What kind of foreign policy says that the United States needs to send state-of-the-art heavy weaponry to those who would see you dead?

Does it make any sense at all?


Picked up, with many thanks, by Ted Belman at Israpundit.

Retrogressive Progressives Monitoring


Huffington Post Monitor is a great site which regularly informs us about the very retrogressive Progressives who dwell at the lousy Huffington Post. They have a new post up which everyone should read but I thought I'd post here just some of the awful stuff in case anyone might miss it for any reason. Thanks HP Monitor for reading that crap so we don't have to. These are just a few of the responses to an article about Israel suggesting it WILL prevent terrorists from seizing chemical weapons.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PA Television Spreads Hatred Toward Jews

Mike L.

From Palestinian Media Watch:

On International Holocaust Day, Palestinian Media Watch documents that messages of Antisemitism and hatred of Jews continue to be transmitted by official Palestinian Authority TV.

Earlier this month, on Fatah's 48th anniversary, PA TV broadcast a new film about the history of the Fatah movement: "Fatah: Revolution until Victory." The filmmakers chose to open the film by expressing classic Antisemitic demonization of Jews, stating that Europe "suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews." Having Jews living among them placed a great burden on Europeans:

"Faced with the Jews' schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and their control and climbing up positions in government. In 1290, King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England]. Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration, and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them."

[PA TV, Jan. 1, 2013]
The Obama administration blames Israel for daring to build housing in and around Jerusalem for the fact that the Arabs refuse to allow the Jews of the Middle East to live in peace.  So long as the progressive-left, and the west, in general, refuses to understand that it is Koranically-based race hatred toward Jews which is at the heart of the Arab-Israel conflict, they can never do any good.

Obama has done considerable damage over the last four years and he will do considerably more damage over the next four.

If you have eyes to see, then watch.

{A Tip 'O the Kippa to the Elder of Ziyon.}

Dovid Efune tells Obama what’s what

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

In the Algemeiner magazine editor Dovid Efune has some words for Barack Obama in a piece entitled, Israel’s Emphatic Response to Obama’s Thinly Veiled Threat. Referring to Jeffrey Goldberg’s recent bit of reporting in which he tells us that the arrogant Obama actually claimed that “Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are,” he writes:
The timing of the release of this information, has led some to believe that the leak amounted to a deliberate attempt by the President to influence the outcome of Israel’s election this week. If this was his intention, he failed dismally. While Goldberg’s portrayal of the President paints a picture of a reflector in chief, who is surmising over his experiences, the truth is that the release of this information amounted to nothing less than a thinly veiled threat.

President Obama is no observer. When it comes to Israel’s place in the world, his comments aren’t mere pontification or thesis. Obama is the President of the United States and his assessments often influence reality.
That is absolutely correct. What Obama implied is that unless the Israelis do what they are told he will seek to isolate them in various ways including, presumably, diplomatically and economically. Obama likes his Jews compliant and is not the least bit fond of stiff-necked Jews who have the impertinence to stand up for themselves or their own well-being.

Efune suggests that the success of Yair Lapid in the recent Israeli election was no victory for Obama and that on security related issues Lapid and Netanyahu vary hardly at all.
While his general approach to the issues is likely to be less confrontational than Netanyahu’s, Lapid wants Israel to maintain control of large settlement blocs even some outside of Jerusalem, including Ariel where he launched his campaign. He is in favor of building within existing settlements to support natural growth, as is Netanyahu. Lapid wants Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people, and he would not likely agree to the current PA preconditions for entering into talks with Israel. He also has a solid right wing voting base. Polling analysis shows that about 35% of his electorate were formerly backers of Avigdor Lieberman, who the international press is fond of describing as ultra-hawkish. On the Iranian nuclear threat, he seems to be closely aligned with Netanyahu as well. Obama on the other hand has essentially adopted the Arab position on settlements and his administration convulses every time expansion plans for the greater Jerusalem blocs of Maale Adumim or Givat Ze’ev are announced.

While those parties, specifically Labor and Hatnuah, that aligned themselves with Obama’s threat of international isolation, were punished severely by voters. Both tallied disappointing results. 
Lapid launched his campaign in the territories which represents a clear indication that his sympathies are with the centrist Zionists, not the corrosive-left Obamabots. While some have suggested that if Lapid joins a coalition with Netanyahu, and perhaps Bennett, it will depend on Netanyahu’s willingness to pursue negotiations with the Palestinian-Arabs, there is nothing on the Yesh Atid website to indicate that the Palestinians are even an issue. Under “our agenda” we read:

Yesh Atid seeks to address the most pressing issues in Israel today through:

Reforming the increasingly ineffective system of government

Overhauling the educational system which is currently at an all-time low

Creating a more equitable system for the enlistment of young Israelis in serving their country

Jump starting the economy through small business assistance for the middle class

Providing housing opportunities for IDF veterans and young couples 
Not one single word is there concerning either the Arabs or negotiations. Lapid, like Netanyahu, favors the two-state solution, as do most Israelis. What this indicates more than anything else is a likely continuation of the status quo with the Obama administration seeking to arm-twist the Israelis into compliance while requiring exactly nothing from the local Arab leadership.

While the polls that suggested that Israel was moving in a right-wing nationalist direction were clearly wrong, the suggestion that Israel has moved toward the left on security issues is clearly wrong, as well. The country shifted a little to the left on social and economic issues, not security issues, and Obama’s threats do not threaten them at all.

Good for the Israelis.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Latest Times of Israel Piece

Mike L.

Dovid Efune tells Obama what’s what

If Obama thinks that with the success of Yair Lapid in the recent elections he successfully threatened the Israeli public, he should think again.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign



Kerry Justifies Arming a Genocidal Anti-Semite

Mike L.

When Oslo became a four-letter word

Mike L.
Op-ed: During election campaign, Israel's 35 parties did not dare link ill-conceived agreement to their political platform

There are many interpretations to the surprising election results in Israel. But one, perhaps overlooked thing, is clear. The Oslo Accords have lost all relevance. Thirty-five political parties participated in the election campaign and not one dared link the Oslo Accords to their political platform. Oslo has become a four-letter word for Israelis. Signed with much fanfare on September 13, 1993 by the late PM Yitzhak Rabin and former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, the ill-conceived accords will go down as an historical folly.

Leadership in Israel has not changed in 2013 but the core issues have. Israelis have realized that after 20 years of endless deliberations, senseless withdrawals and delusional Palestinian demands, a viable peace agreement is unattainable in the foreseeable future. And so the national agenda must change.

Netanyahu, Lapid and Bennett can bring that change.
I called it in 2009.

By the way, if you read the piece below you will see that at the time I was still using the terminology of Oslo as in "West Bank" and "East Jerusalem."  I seem to have gotten over it.


It’s all over, folks.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead. For there to be peace among the Israelis and the Palestinians the occupation must end, but the occupation will not end and nothing Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or George Mitchell can do will change that. The reason for this is because there are two possible ways for Israel to end the occupation, but both have already been tried and both have already failed. The first possible way is through a negotiated settlement. The second possible way is through a unilateral withdrawal. History has shown that neither will work and, furthermore, Barack’s counterproductive call for a total settlement freeze has killed any likely chances for meaningful negotiations in the future.

Negotiated Settlement:

The idea behind a negotiated settlement, of course, is that Israeli officials would sit down with Palestinian officials, presumably Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and hammer out the details of a workable two-state solution. Unfortunately, if we have learned anything, it is that Palestinian leadership has never shown the slightest inclination toward accepting a two-state solution.

For example, in 1937, the British Peel Commission, formed to find a possible solution to the Arab Uprising of 1936 to 1939, originally recommended two states, an Arab state and a Jewish state. The Jewish leadership accepted the offer, while the Arab leadership refused.

In 1947, of course, the United Nations passed resolution 181, also calling for a two-state solution and again the Jewish leadership accepted and the Arab leadership refused. The Arabs of the Palestinian Mandate (they were not yet called “Palestinians”) then launched a civil war against the Jews prior to the British withdrawal in May of 1948 and were defeated.

Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. At no time during this period did any Arab leadership call for a “Palestinian” state on this land and neither did the Palestinians, themselves. It was only after Israel acquired both territories during the 6 Day War, a defensive war on the part of the Jewish state, did Palestinian nationalism gain ground and we began to hear Palestinian calls for a Palestinian state.

Since then, however, the Palestinian leadership still consistently refused to accept a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, offered Yassir Arafat 100 percent of the Gaza, over 90 percent of the West Bank, and the Arab sections of East Jerusalem, as a capital. Arafat refused the offer and refused, even, to make a counter offer.

Just recently, in 2007, PM Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas a similar offer that also included land-swaps to bring the Palestinian holdings of the West Bank to something close to 100 percent, but he, too, was turned down flat.

What can this possibly mean other than that the Palestinian leadership is still not ready to accept the two-state solution?

What more can they possibly want beyond 100 percent of the Gaza, something close to 100 percent of the West Bank, and the Arab parts of the East Jerusalem as a capital?

The right of return?

The right of return, of course, is entirely a non-starter for Israel because it would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. It would mean that, yet again, Jews would have to live as a minority among a hostile population that has consistently sought the destruction of the Jewish community in its traditional home. The Knesset could never accept any such condition, nor should they.

Unilateral Withdrawal:

While the Palestinian leadership has never accepted a negotiated settlement, nor have they accepted Israeli unilateral withdrawal from occupied territory. In 2005, under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the entirety of the Gaza strip. In a move that traumatized Israeli society, the IDF turned Jewish rifles on Jewish settlers in the Gaza and forced about 10,000 of them to leave their homes in order to clear the way for Palestinian sovereignty over the Gaza.

At the time, the Gazans had an opportunity. Israel did precisely what virtually everyone throughout the world had been calling on it to do, end the occupation. And they did so, but, yet again, the Palestinian leadership showed itself unwilling to allow the end of that occupation.

At the time, the Palestinian people could very well have raised up a political party calling for peace, future prosperity, and normalization, but they refused. They could have raised a political party that might have said something along these lines. “Since what we desire above all else is peace, the potential for prosperity for our children and grandchildren, and for sovereignty over our own land, we call upon our neighbor to the East to join us in creating an atmosphere that might encourage those goals. Because Israel has ended the occupation of Gaza, we declare an end of the war against Israel and for full economic cooperation between our two peoples.”

Instead, they increased rocket fire by a magnitude of 10-fold against southern Israel and elected Hamas, an organization that calls quite specifically for the genocide of the Jews, which is precisely why both Israel and Egypt blockaded the Gaza shortly thereafter. It is for this reason that Israelis now find themselves less inclined to withdraw from the West Bank, because they do not want to see such a withdrawal result in thousands upon thousands of Qassam and Katyusha rockets potentially falling on Tel Aviv.

Operation Cast Lead, tragic as it was, and however unfashionable it might be to say so within western left-liberal circles, was a direct result of that decision by the Palestinian leadership and its people.

The Obama Administration:

As I have written before, Obama’s big mistake, if he was hoping to actually bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, was calling for a total settlement freeze in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The demand for total settlement freeze, even within blocs that would likely end up as part of Israel, has resulted in a number of negative consequences that undermine even the slim possibility of a negotiated settlement.

The first negative consequence is that by calling for a total settlement freeze, Obama placed a precondition on negotiations at a time when he should have avoided any move that might decrease the likelihood of the two sides sitting down at the negotiating table. When Obama called for total freeze, Abbas took it as an opportunity to avoid negotiations and insisted that the Palestinians would never sit down with the Israelis until Israel met that demand.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, however, could not meet that demand even if he wanted to because it would have meant tearing apart his governing coalition. The demand for total settlement freeze was really nothing less than a demand that Netanyahu step aside and allow his government to fall. Naturally, this he refused to do and while Obama has back-pedaled on this requirement, the damage has already been done. Abbas refuses to negotiate and Netanyahu knows that he has no friend in the White House.

Furthermore, if the United States is to broker a two-state settlement, it is imperative that the Israeli public have at least a little faith in the good will of the American president. They do not. Recent polls have shown that a grand total of 4 percent of Israelis believe that Barack Obama is a friend to the Jewish state. In Israel, Obama is about as popular as Swine Flu because he made serious demands upon Israel and virtually no demands upon the Palestinian leadership.

This means that the Israeli people do not trust Obama to broker a negotiated settlement and no Israeli PM can make peace without at least some level of trust by the Jewish Israeli citizenry toward the American broker.


A confluence of factors has now led to the end of the peace process and to a no-win situation for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Israel cannot negotiate an end to the occupation, nor can it act unilaterally to do so without serious risk to its people, as the Gaza withdrawal proved in 2005.

Israel should, despite all, take that risk.

Negotiations have proven, time and again, to be absolutely pointless. The status-quo is simply intolerable because Israel cannot indefinitely maintain the occupation. Thus, the only thing for Israel to do is declare its final borders, remove the IDF behind those borders, and be the first country to welcome the state of Palestine among the brotherhood of nations.

And when the rockets start raining into Israel, again?


As always, Israel will defend itself… as well it should.

Lego stirs Muslim outrage

Mike L.

Can Lego offend the world's Muslim community? Definitely, according to the heads of the Turkish community in Austria. 
A statement was posted on the community's website that the Star Wars themed Lego model of "Jabba's Palace" bares insulting similarities to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul...

"The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed," the Turkish community website said.

"It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.”

The Turkish organization said it is considering taking legal action against Lego for inciting racial hatred and insulting human dignity.
In mosques throughout the Muslim Middle East mullahs and ayatollahs scream for the genocide of the Jews and no one minds, not even most Jews, yet now we are suddenly supposed to understand that Jabba the Hut represents some sort-of anti-Asian or anti-Muslim stereotype?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

If Obama...

Mike L.

I've come to the sad conclusion that no matter what Barack Obama says or does he will maintain the great majority of Jewish American support.  This is a guy, as we have discussed constantly in these pages, that wrecked whatever potential that there may have been in the peace process and then blamed the Israelis for the foreseeable outcomes of his own statements and policies.  This is a guy who has the gonads to tell Jewish people that we need to search our souls to see if we want peace.  This is a guy who described the rise of radical Islam in terms of the American Revolutionary Spirit of '76 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.  This is a guy who just nominated Chuck Hagel, one of the most anti-Israel politicians on the American scene today to the slot of Secretary of Defense and who is sending heavy weaponry to the genocidally anti-Semitic president of Egypt.

So at this point I can only conclude that Obama's behavior is considered entirely beyond reproach no matter what he does against Israel, or the Jewish people, by the majority of American Jews.

If Obama sang Hava Nagila in backwards Latin on America's Next Top Model while clubbing baby seals to death they would still write their checks.
I am considering turning "If Obama..." into a regular feature here at Israel Thrives and invite you guys to post your own.

Barack Obama can obviously do no wrong, so allow your imaginations to run wild.    

Laura Has Some Words

Mike L.

Over at Israpundit Laura has some words concerning this story about Israeli UN ambassador Ron Prosor's reaction to France's incursion into Mali.  They both recognize the racist double-standard applied to Israel.

She writes:
Laura: Why is it ok for the French to launch airstrikes in Mali but wrong for Israel to strike at hamas terrorists in their own backyard who were firing missiles into Israel? Once again we see a double standard applied to the Jewish state. 
The French are extreme hypocrites as is the rest of the world. Had the Israelis fought hamas until hamas was wiped out, the world would be screaming “genocide” and “war crimes”. But Israel merely launched tit for tat air strikes against hamas rocket launchers and even this limited measure was castigated. And Israel had far more justification given that hamas was firing rockets directly into Israel. 
Keep in mind that Britain’s PM Cameron angrily threatened Israel that it would lose Britain’s support if it launched a ground war in Gaza. Meanwhile France has ground troops in Mali. What’s good for other nations is wrong for Israel. I’m sick of the obscene double standard the Jewish state is subjected to. 
And also this is getting limited media attention in contrast to Israel being held under a microscope over every one of its military operations. Israeli military actions are treated as terrible but military intervention is ok if its done by the French.

Newsmax Headlines (Update)

Israel Thrives is testing a Newsmax feed box on the upper-right sidebar.

This is going to be a thirty day test trial to see if it works for both IT and Newsmax.

I would very much encourage you guys to use the Newsmax feed in order to help drive the possibilities of an ongoing relationship.

You, and the good people in their offices, very much have my thanks.

Mike L.


The current news feed box is general American, but we will be going to a Jewish news-oriented widget within a few days.

ZOA Criticizes Obama For Supplying F-16s to Egypt’s Anti-Semitic Morsi & His Extremist Islamist Regime

Mike L. 
January 23, 2013, NEW YORK — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized President Barack Obama for providing this week four new, state-of-the art F-16 warplanes to the extremist, anti-Semitic Islamist Egyptian regime of Mohamed Morsi. The four F-16s are part of a package of military aid to Egypt encompassing 16 F-16s jets and 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks that was concluded in 2010 with the previous Hosni Mubarak regime. The Obama Administration is providing this aid package despite the change of government in Egypt and the viciously anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from which he stems...

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is simply extraordinary and surreal that, only days after Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi is shown to be a guttersnipe anti-Semite of the worst kind who has also hates America, that President Obama would approve the dispatch of state-of-the art weaponry to Cairo.

“Common sense and prudence would have dictated that President Obama withhold all aid to Egypt until and unless Morsi gives a written commitment to observe the peace treaty with Israel; repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood platform and statements opposing peace, human rights and the Egyptian/U.S. alliance; and rescinds his pledge to work for freeing Islamist sheikh Omar-Abdel Rahman, jailed by the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people.

“These arms may be used to attack Egyptian minorities including Egypt’s Christian Copts, Israel, and U.S. Mideast facilities.

“It is also bitterly ironic that, at a time President Obama seeks to limit domestic gun sales to prevent weapons coming into the hands of violent killers, he approves the dispatch of cutting-edge weaponry to an Egyptian regime which insists that its children must be ‘nursed on hatred’ towards Jews and engage in ‘resistance’ against Israel.

“At a minimum, President Obama should have immediately withheld this arms package to Cairo, which put top-of-the-line American planes and tanks into the hands of a vicious and dangerous regime. That he did not do so should be a wake-up call to those Americans who have accepted his bromides about supporting Israel and having its security at heart.”
If you still think that Barack Obama is a good friend and ally to the Jewish State and to the Jewish people then you are simply beyond reason.

Barack Obama supports and arms, with the latest American military hardware, the leader of a regime that calls for the genocide of the Jews and if that doesn't faze you perhaps you should get out of commenting on politics and take up sudoku or mumblety-peg or some other semi-harmless hobby.

A Tip 'O the Kippa to Israpundit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Listen to a Liberal

Mike L.

A Tip 'O the Kippa To Dan Bielak.

Obama Arming Anti-Jewish Egyptian Islamists

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

U.S. gift of F-16 fighters headed to Egypt, despite Morsi's harsh rhetoric

Four F-16 fighter jets left the U.S. this morning, bound for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package critics say should have been scrapped when the nation elected a president who has called President Obama a liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children. 
A source who works on the Naval Air Force Base in Dallas confirmed the departure of the state-of-the-art fighter planes to Sixteen F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks are to be given to the Egyptian government before the end of the year under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010 with then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally.
I wonder what it will take for Obama's Jewish supporters to finally yank their heads from the sand and realize just how bad this president is for the Jewish State of Israel and, thus, for the Jewish people more generally?

When Obama helped install the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt it's possible that he was ignorant of the nature of the organization, believing it to be moderate and peaceful.  Of course, if Obama did think so it would reveal a level of ignorance so complete as to be entirely irresponsible for any high government official.  Given the history of the Brotherhood, both recent and otherwise, it is hard to imagine that Obama thought the organization was moderate, but that doesn't mean it was not what he believed.  And it is only if Obama did think the organization moderate that we can possibly justify his helping them into power and arming them to the teeth.

Obama no longer has any such excuse.  We have Morsi on video frothing at the mouth and encouraging the education of Egyptian children into genocidal Jew hatred.  This can only mean that Obama must know that Morsi and the Brotherhood are anything but moderate and if he were to do a little reading he would learn that one of the primary ideological forebears of the Brotherhood is Nazi Germany.

Yet he still insists on sending them state-of-the-art American made weaponry.

At this point it becomes tempting to conclude that Obama's Jewish supporters simply do not care about the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.  If even after this one continues to support this president it becomes very difficult to see how one can also be considered a supporter of the State of Israel.  One cannot be a supporter of Israel if one also supports a president that helps a genocidally fascist organization like the Brotherhood into power and arms that government despite the most brutal and hate-filled anti-Semitism spraying from the lips of its leader.

I can only conclude that it doesn't matter what Obama says or does, his Jewish supporters will support him no matter what.  If Obama were to urinate on an Israeli flag while crying out "Alahu Akbar!" and throttling Tzipi Livni on national television they would still support him.  If Barack Obama were to fly to Israel for the purpose of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, like Edward Said did, they would explain that this is "tough love."  If Obama were to sing Hava Nagila in backwards Latin on America's Next Top Model while clubbing baby seals to death they would still write their checks.

There has got to come a point when reality intrudes into the consciousness of even the most ideologically blinkered so that they can acknowledge that reality, adjust their thinking accordingly, and move on.

We're still waiting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ZionTruth has some words on the Israeli election (Updated)

Mike L.

{Editor's note - I've basically decided to keep my opinions, per the candidates, on election day in Israel mainly to myself.  I am not an Israeli and I cannot have the kind of insights that a citizen of that country can have and if I am wrong in my opinions I will not have to suffer the consequences.  That being the case I am pleased that ZionTruth, an Israeli, has put forth a comment that can serve as a little Israel Thrives front page analysis of the current elections.}


ziontruth January 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I put my vote in (for Bennett) a few hours back.

I just want to reiterate a point I've made before, a point that's essential for understanding Israeli politics but American onlookers on both sides of the political map are unaware of, resulting in bafflement:

Israeli Jews today are, generally speaking, right-wing on geopolitics and left-wing on social issues.

This is important because if Yechimovitch (Labor Party) becomes Prime Minister, it won't mean Israeli Jews will have cast their votes for land concessions; Yechimovitch, being astute enough to run her platform on social issues alone, avoiding geopolitics entirely, will have won because Netanyahu's policies of unbridled capitalism are unpopular among both doves and hawks alike.

Similarly, if Netanyahu loses a boatload of mandates (electoral points) to Bennett, it will have been because he has failed to address right-wing Israeli Jews' concerns about keeping the Jewish population centers in the post-1967 territories intact. Socially speaking, a lot of Bennett voters could agree with Yechimovitch if she confined her platform to those issues, social issues. Which she does, to her credit.

We might say the choice between Yechimovitch and Bennett depends whether the voter considers social issues or geopolitics more important. The voter can hold both at the same time—as I once said, in Israeli politics there's no package deal where being a hawk means you have to be fiscally conservative, and the converse.

The only thing I'm pretty sure about is Netanyahu's party is going to get clobbered. This is inevitable because of his policies antagonizing both socialists and hawks. Personally I'm not that afraid of a left-wing led coalition; it's often the case that left-wing governments in Israel have been far better to the Jewish post-1967 habitats than right-wing ones, as demonstrated by right-wing Prime Ministers from Begin through Sharon to Netanyahu. What both balance-scales of the political map are agreed on is that Netanyahu has failed to deliver and needs to go, or at least to have his power downsized.

The preliminary poll will be up within an hour as of this writing.

Update (Preliminary Results):

The preliminary results were as follows:

Likud -Yisrael Beiteinu: 31

Yesh Atid: 18-19

Labor: 17

Habayit Hayehudi: 12

Shas: 11-13

Hatnua: 6-7

Meretz: 6-7

United Torah Judaism: 6

Hadash: 3-5

United Arab List-Taal: 3-4

Balad: 2

Otzma Leyisrael: 0-2

Kadima: 0

Get Ready for the Onslaught

Mike L.

Jonathan Tobin of Commentary has a piece up entitled Misunderstanding Israel’s Election.  He argues, rightly in my opinion, that with the Israeli right-wing making electoral gains we can expect serious blow-back from the world community, including progressive diaspora Jews.  He writes:
It will be portrayed as a rejection of peace and a blow to the chance of a two-state solution to the conflict. Sadly, it will almost certainly lead to editorials and op-eds calling for a reevaluation of the U.S.-Israel alliance and even for American Jews to question the ties between their community and the Jewish state. The narrative of a cruel Israel that is indifferent to the suffering of the Palestinians will be endlessly rehearsed and the vote will be used to justify the isolation of Israel and to garner support for the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement.
This is undoubtedly the case.  Talking heads the world over will lament the decline of the two-state solution and will blame Israel for its demise, despite the fact that it was the world community itself, via the United Nations, that abrogated and concluded the Oslo Accords when they voted to recognize "Palestine" as a non-member state.   They will therefore blame Israel for the foreseeable results of their own behavior and the behavior of the Palestinian-Arabs.

But, just why did Israel move toward the political right-wing?
The change in the Israeli electorate from an evenly divided electorate between left and right is due entirely to the experience of the last 20 years, during which Israel has tried to make peace with the Palestinians. It is the Palestinians’ consistent rejection of peace and embrace of terror and violence that has changed the minds of so many Israelis and convinced them that even though they want a two-state solution, there is no partner for peace with whom they can make such a deal. Rather than damn Israelis for turning their backs on peace, the rest of the world, and especially Americans who think of themselves as friends of Israel, should be asking themselves what it is that Israelis know about their neighborhood that they have preferred to ignore.
One of the things that they preferred to ignore, and one of the reasons that Israel is moving rightward, was the hundreds of rockets fired out of Gaza making life in southern Israel a living hell throughout 2012.  Throughout all of last year the Gazans rained Kassams and Katyushas upon southern Israel and Israel's "friends" in the world community remained silent.  They simply did not care.  It was only when Hamas really ramped up the violence in November, forcing Israel to finally take action, that the world community stood up, but they did so only to condemn Jewish self-defense.  When Israel finally did what it needed to do, for the purpose of protecting its own citizenry, they screamed from the rooftops about Israeli aggression.

This is why Israel is moving toward the right.  It's hard to be a hippie peacenik when they're shooting at your kids, yet the international left will still condemn Israel for daring to protect itself and will blame that country for the fact that the Arabs have perpetually opposed two-states for two peoples.

If the two-state solution is dead, don't blame Israel, because Israel didn't kill it.  The Palestinian-Arabs killed it because it's not what they wanted to begin with and they were helped with that by an international left that accepted the racist Palestinian-Arab demand that Jews not be allowed to build housing for themselves in Judea and Samaria.  The settlement issue is a red herring designed by the Arabs to prevent a negotiated conclusion of hostilities and we helped them do it by accepting the premise.

If you are a progressive-left diaspora Jew who believes in a two-state solution and who opposes the settlements because you think that settlement construction is an impediment to peace you need to look into the mirror if you want to know why peace has not arrived.  By agreeing with the Arabs that Jews should not be allowed to live in, and thus build on, historically Jewish land you gave them all the excuse they needed to refuse negotiations.  You also gave Barack Obama all the excuse that he needed to agree with them.

Don't blame the Israelis.

Blame yourself.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Holding Hands with End Timers


Monday in the US, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, our very own National Museum of American Jewish History here in Philadelphia was open and offering free admission to everyone.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a friend of our people who knew exactly what to say in response to those who pretended to merely be 'anti-Zionist.'
“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I do maintain that any non-Jewish person who self-identifies as an 'anti-Zionist' is clearly an anti-Semite. Others would say that all those who identify as same are such, but I am not one to judge, say, the Satmarim, whatever anyone might think of them.

That's above my pay grade.

I can absolutely, however, state without any hesitation whatsoever that this is blatant antisemitism:
It's enormously frustrating to see the Jewish people hold hands with End Timers merely for the money
And therein lies what I'm thinking of tonight. I'm wondering where this fits in amongst contemporary strains of anti-Semitism, and considering that we are possibly seeing something new here? After all, this doesn't quite fit into Sabeel-style left wing theological antisemitism. Nor does it match up with the Mainline Protestant BDS stuff, either, because even though I believe the leaders of that 'movement' are clearly driven by anti-Jewish sentiment, they 'at least' limit their hostility to the Jewish state of Israel.

Not to make too much of one blog comment on the site which has done as much as any other place over the past decade to mainstream antisemitism in the US, but it just feels so familiar. Are we witnessing the birth of a new strain of Jon Haber's Big Ugly?

What I see explicitly here in the case above is the specific claim of some sort of nefarious alliance between "The Jooooz" (as in not just Israel, but clearly Jews qua Jews) and far-out fringe characters amongst the Christian right, who though not all fit into the category of wanting to gather all the Jews in one place so their End Times can come, some certainly do.

Which is to say that while not all evangelical Christians can be accused of being temporary philosemites until their own theological purposes are served, some absolutely can. And there are some folks who believe we stand with the latter, just as sure as Mahmoud Abbas believes there was a conspiracy between Zionists and Nazis.

I certainly don't believe all evangelical Christians, by necessity, have nefarious intentions.

Yet some of them do, and it's those outliers which certain 'progressives' then aim to tar us with by association, and use against us. Just as some like to claim that the words of some fringe rabbi in Brooklyn or Har Nof apparently provides proof of moral equivalency between Israel and Iran, or something like that.

Let's just hope that there are not going to be an increasing number of people (who are welcomed with open arms) amongst the 'progressive' community these days who say things like "look at me! I am a reformed former fundamentalist, here to tell you that Teh Jooooz are consorting with undesirables!"

Because doesn't that sound familiar?

Caroline Glick says "Bye-bye" to London

Mike L.

{Editor's note - I swiped this in its entirety from Caroline Glick's blog.  I am probably engaging in copyright infringement, but if Caroline wants me to delete this from Israel Thrives I would be more than happy to comply.  I think, however, that this is something that we need to look closely at.  The rise of what we might call "humanitarian anti-Semitism," i.e., genocidal Jew hatred veiled as social justice is becoming more and more prominent throughout the western left, including the Jewish left.  - Mike L.}

In an interview with Haaretz in November 2010, British novelist Martin Amis said the following about discussions of Israel in his motherland:
I live in a mildly anti-Semitic country, and Europe is mildly anti-Semitic, and they hold Israel to a higher moral standard than its neighbors. If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack. Everyone else is protected by having dark skin, or colonial history, or something. But you can attack Israel. And the atmosphere becomes very unpleasant. It is traditional, snobbish, British anti-Semitism combined with present-day circumstances.
After participating last week in a debate in London about Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines organized by the self-consciously pretentious Intelligence Squared debating society, I can now say from personal experience that Amis is correct. The public atmosphere in England regarding Israel is ugly and violent.

The resolution we debated read: "Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future."

My debating partner was Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council.

We debated Daniel Levy, one of the founders of J-Street and the drafter of the Geneva Initiative, and the son of Lord Michael Levy, one of Tony Blair's biggest fundraisers; and William Sieghart, a British philanthropist who runs a non-profit that among other things, champions Hamas. Levy has publicly stated that Israel's creation was immoral. And Sieghart has a past record of saying that Israel's delegitimization would be a salutary process. He also is an outspoken champion of Hamas. and calling for a complete cultural boycott of Israel while lauding Hamas.

We lost overwhelmingly. I think the final vote tally was something like 500 for the resolution and 100 against it.

A couple of impressions I took away from the experience: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don't see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?

As to visiting as an Israeli, again, I just don't see the point. The discourse is owned by anti-Israel voices. They don't make arguments to spur thought, but to end it, by appealing to people's passions.

For instance, in one particularly ugly segment, Levy made the scurrilous accusation that Israel systematically steals land from the Palestinians. Both Dayan and I demanded that he provide just one example of his charge. And the audience raged against us for our temerity at insisting that he provide substantiation for his baseless allegation. In the event, he failed to substantiate his allegation.

At another point, I was asked how I defend the Nazi state of Israel. When I responded by among other things giving the Nazi pedigree of the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini and currently led by Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, the crowd angrily shouted me down.

I want to note that the audience was made up of upper crust, wealthy British people, not unwashed rabble rousers. And yet they behaved in many respects like a mob when presented with pro-Israel positions.

I honestly don't know whether there are policy implications that arise from my experience in London last week. I have for a long time been of the opinion that Israel shouldn't bother to try to win over Europe because the Europeans have multiple reasons for always being anti-Israel and none of them have anything to do with anything that Israel does. As I discuss in my book, these reasons include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, addiction to Arab oil, and growing Muslim populations in Europe.

I was prepared to conduct a civilized debate based on facts and reasoned argumentation. I expected it to be a difficult experience. I was not expecting to be greeted by a well-dressed mob. My pessimism about Europeans' capacity to avail themselves to reasoned, fact-based argumentation about Israel has only deepened from the experience.

One positive note, I had a breakfast discussion last Wednesday morning with activists from the Zionist Federation of Britain. The people I met are committed, warm, hardworking Zionists. I wish them all the best, and mainly that means, that I hope that these wonderful people and their families make aliyah.

While their work is worthwhile, there is no future for Jews in England.

{Another editor's note - this video is from some months ago and is not a clip from her recent debate in London.  Agree or disagree, she certainly has something to say.}

The Bantustans of New York (Infographic)

Mike L.
A Tip 'O the Kippa to the Elder of Ziyon.

Living in Israel

elinor    אלינור

Historic Israel

Everyone who lives in Israel has a defining moment when the realization that s/he is actually living in a place so stuffed with history that it’s impossible to avoid. My defining moment occurred when I was on a bus one smelly summer’s evening. The bus stopped at a red light and through the open window I read a sign which said HEROD’S TOMB ---à. Really? Herod’s tomb is within walking distance of this bus? Unbelievable!

Of course this paragraph should begin with ‘…So I got off the bus and walked up the hill..’ but I'm a lazy git, it was dreadfully hot and the realization was enough.

Today, some 24 years later, I was choosing an apple for cabbage salad. The label on the apple said Fruit from the Garden of Eden. Another said, The Taste of Eden. Which, I thought, must be around here somewhere…

And this, my friends, is what makes living in Israel so different from living in Australia or any other place, including Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and all the other poignantly historic sites available. All of Israel is an historic site.

ADDENDUM: The day after I wrote this piece—in one of life’s more charming coincidences—there was an article on the front page of Haaretz with a substantial headline: ‘Israel Museum reconstructs first floor of King Herod’s tomb in country’s largest-ever archaeological exhibit’. It seems that there will be ‘a huge exhibit of the life and architectural legacy of the controversial King Herod the Great’, AND ‘a gigantic recreation of his tomb’. The exhibit is scheduled to open in a month. In time for Passover, one assumes.

First thought: No one else was getting off the bus, either. Second: Now I really have to visit the new Israel Museum.

The project is, of course, attracting raging controversy.

cross posted Geoffff's Joint

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Obama's Contempt

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

It should come as no surprise at this late date that Barack Obama's essential stance toward the Jewish State of Israel is one of contempt. I know that there are some people who, despite all the evidence to the contrary, will argue that this is untrue and that Obama is a strong ally of Israel.

The truth is that while the United States remains a semi-reliable ally to Israel, Barack Obama harbors personal feelings of disdain and I would like to offer three bits of evidence to prove the truthfulness of this claim. Leaving other issues aside, let's take a look at three specific remarks that Obama has made concerning Israel over the last few years and see what they might indicate. The following was widely reported early in 2011:
NEW YORK (JTA) – President Obama reportedly urged Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to “search your souls” over Israel's seriousness about making peace.
Let me see, now. The Jewish people lived in diaspora and under persecution for 2,000 years, thus keeping our numbers artificially low. For 2,000 years we as a people were subject to pogroms and persecutions and expulsions all leading to the Shoah in which one-third of our number were brutally murdered by the Nazis. Also, of course, for thirteen centuries the the Jews of the Middle East lived as second and third class citizens under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperialism within the system of dhimmitude. I would therefore submit that there is no people on the entire planet more interested in peace then the Jewish people and yet this president has the chutzpah to tell Jewish leaders that they need to inform their friends and colleagues in Israel to search their souls to see if they really want peace?

I am sorry, but those are not the words of a friend or an ally or anyone who has any sort of understanding of the history of the Jewish people.

Then sometime later toward the very end of his first term, once it became clear that Obama's demand of "total settlement freeze" had utterly ruined whatever potential that there may have been in the peace process, we got this from the president:
When asked if he felt that there was "anything you believe you failed at, not because Congress wouldn't play ball, but that rests squarely on your shoulders?" Obama answered: "I have not been able to move the peace process forward in the Middle East the way I wanted." 
"It's something we focused on very early. But the truth of the matter is that the parties, they've got to want it as well."
The parties have to want it?

So here Obama is again suggesting that the Jews of Israel do not really want peace. For almost one hundred years the Jews of the Middle East have agreed to two-states for two peoples and were constantly rebuffed by the Arabs who turned down such offers again and again and again, as early as 1937 with the Peel Commission and as late as 2008 with Olmert's offer to Abbas. Israel has been willing to compromise and has forked over huge chunks of land to the Arabs in the hopes of making peace. Israel even agreed to the racist demand for settlement freeze for 10 months during most of which time Abbas still refused to negotiate. Furthermore, it was Obama's demand for "total settlement freeze" that wrecked the peace process to begin with, yet he will tell the world Jewish community that our friends and family in Israel do not want peace?

What can this possibly indicate about his feelings towards our brothers and sisters in Israel other than contempt?

Finally, just the other day, we get this from president Obama:
In the weeks after the UN vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” With each new settlement announcement, in Obama’s view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.
Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are?

I see.

So let me get this straight. Throughout 2012 the Arabs in Gaza bombed the holy hell out of Israel culminating in a truly atrocious and sustained campaign of bombardment in November during which the Obama administration lifted not a finger to make it stop. When Israel finally decides that it better defend its people Hillary Clinton rode into town and saved Hamas from Israeli retribution. Then Abbas went to the United Nations where the world community abrogated and dissolved the Oslo Accords through recognizing the "State of Palestine."

And when Israel therefore decides it is going to claim a bit of land directly adjacent to its capital city Barack Obama makes out like it is Israel that is standing in the way of peace and, thus, "doesn’t know what its own best interests are”? This from a president who thought that it was in the interests of the United States to support the rise of political Islam throughout the Muslim Middle East under the misnomer "Arab Spring"?

I am sorry, but this is not the behavior of a friend or an ally or anyone who has any sense of the history and suffering of the Jewish people, or even any honest understanding of the failure of Oslo or the general political conditions in the Middle East. Leaving everything else aside those three statements demonstrate contempt for, if not the Jewish people, certainly the Jewish State.

If at this late date you still cannot bring yourself to accept the fact that Obama is neither a friend, nor a true ally, then you are riding around with heavy ideological blinkers strapped to your noggin. The truth of Obama's contempt for Israel has been clear to many of us, and certainly for the considerable majority of Israelis, for a very long time.

The Progressive-Left is the real cradle of contemporary anti-Semitism

Mike L.

Fiamma Nirenstein is an Italian journalist who announced that she is leaving politics and making aliyah to Israel.

This piece was written in 2003, but I was entirely unaware of it until yesterday.  Nirenstein was way ahead of the curve.

A Tip "O the Kippa to the FresnoZionist.

A brief excerpt:
The Left blessed the Jews as the victim "par excellence," always a great partner in the struggle for the rights of the weak against the wicked. In return for being coddled, published, filmed, considered artists, intellectuals and moral judges, Jews, even during the Soviet anti-Semitic persecutions, gave the Left moral support and invited it to cry with them at Holocaust memorials. Today the game is clearly over. The left has proved itself the real cradle of contemporary anti-Semitism. 
When I speak about anti-Semitism, I'm not speaking of legitimate criticism of the State of Israel. I am speaking of pure anti-Semitism: Criminalization, stereotypes, specific and generic lies which have fluctuated between lies about the Jews (conspiring, blood thirsty, dominating the world) to lies about Israel (conspiring, ruthlessly violent) starting most widely since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000, and becoming more and more ferocious since Operation Chomat Magen ("Defensive Shield"), when the IDF reentered Palestinian cities in response to terrorism.

The basic idea of anti-Semitism, today as always, is that Jews have a perverted soul that makes them unfit, as a morally inferior people, to be regular members of the human family. Today, this Untermensch ideology has shifted to the Jewish state: A separate, unequal, basically evil stranger whose national existence is slowly but surely emptied and deprived of justification. Israel, as the classic evil Jew, according to contemporary anti-Semitism, doesn't have a birthright, but exists with its "original sin" perpetrated against the Palestinians. Israel's heroic history has become a history of arrogance.

Nowadays, its narrative focuses much more on Deir Yassin massacre than on the creation and defense of Kibbutz Degania; it focuses more and more the suffering of the Palestinian refugees than on the surprise of seeing five armies in 1948 denying Israel's right to exist just after being established by the United Nations; much more on the Jewish underground resistance organizations, the Lechi and the Irgun, than on the heroic battle along the way to Jerusalem. The caricature of the evil Jew is transformed to the caricature of the evil state. And now the traditional hook-nosed Jew bears a gun and kills Arab children with pleasure.
Read the whole thing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Latest Times of Israel Piece

Mike L.

Obama's Contempt

As hard as it may be to imagine at this point, there are still people out there who think of Barack Obama as a president who is friendly toward the Jewish state of Israel.

Leaving aside Obama's behavior, let us remember that this president told American Jewish leadership that Israelis needed to "search your souls" to see if they really wanted peace and when that peace failed to materialize he claimed that "the parties have to want it," thereby implying that Israel doesn't want it, and now he has the chutzpah to claim that "Israel doesn't know what it's best interests are."

If he didn't have contempt for Israel he could never have made such claims.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Australian Labor Party Goes To The Mattresses On Israel

How Very Clever.  We Haven't Seen Anything Like This Before


This is the cartoon that headed an article by Graham Richardson in this morning's Australian  that cites the Prime Minister's courage in standing up for Israel and standing by the US, Canada and the Czech Republic  in the critical UN vote that has given "Palestine" the status of a state as reason why her political judgement is lacking and simplistic. Why she had to be rolled.

We shall see about that.

It's behind a pay wall so this is my summary.

The "Israel right or wrong" group in the Victorian right of the Party, Richardson complains, "can't bring themselves to say no to Israel." Bob Carr used to be like that, he says, but "has long harboured deep concerns about Israel's policy of allowing more and more settlements on the West Bank" .Carr says there is "no hope of peace without a two state solution" and there is no hope of that "if the settlements keep spreading".

Minister after minister concurred with Carr, he says, but the PM stood her ground. Gareth Evans was lobbying ministers furiously at the time (big surprize there) , Richardson informs us, no  doubt declaring to anyone who would listen that to stand up for Israel was to be on the "wrong side of history".  Whatever it takes, I guess.

.Anthony Albanese withdrew support and Carr said that if the issue went to caucus he would break cabinet solidarity and vote against the Prime Minister. This would bring her down. She would have lost her job over Israel.

I'm not even going to comment on the sheer bloody minded offensiveness of the cartoon that the Australian editors (and Richardson?) allowed to illustrate the piece. If they don't know by now how provocative and degrading those symbols are, especially right now in the middle of a global tsunami of antisemitism, they never will. They know. They just don't care.

 I will say the courage of Australia's cartoonists is  truly remarkable. They are always standing up to the all powerful and spiteful "Jewish lobby". The Jews don't scare them, they boast. They have Jewish friends who agree with them. They all do.  Cartoonists have a job to do. To bring balance by being unbalanced; or something.

What heroes of the hour they are. Of course the Jews don't scare them. What a delicious thrill it must be to upset them. One thing is certain. You could bet the house not one of them would have the balls to draw an image of Mohammed.

Like Andrew Leigh's piece in the Drum a few days ago it is astonishing how wrong and perhaps dishonest Richardson's narrative is. I suppose his position is now mainstream in the chattering classes but these are supposed to be informed men with power and influence.  As Isi Leibler said yesterday about liberal Jewish Israel bashers  --- are they malicious or ignorant?

The starting point is Richardson's description of the UN vote. It was on "the admission of the Palestinian Authority to observer status" he says.  Sucked in, Richardson and the ALP. The Palestinians have already made fools of them. 

Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer's latest article is entitled "Palestine: Trojan Horse Exposes Duplicitous Doublecross".

He writes: 

'Any doubt that the Oslo Accords and the Bush Road Map are dead and buried has been put to final rest by John V Whitbeck – an international lawyer who has served as an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.

Writing in the Cyprus Mail on 13 January Whitbeck reveals that the Palestinian Authority "has been absorbed and replaced by the State of Palestine" in a decree issued by Mahmoud Abbas on 3 January and signed by him acting in his capacities as president of the State of Palestine and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

With Respect,  Graham Richardson and the ALP --- Don't You Feel Just  A Little Embarrassed?

Look at this from the "Palestine Ambassador to the UK" in the British Parliament just two days ago.

Everything else I wrote to Andrew Leigh yesterday applies to Richardson mutatis mutandis. All of them really.  Especially the bits that follow in a moment..  At least  he didn't try on the "illegal" under "international law" blind red furphy.  How seriously perverse is that one especially after a year in which Hamas and its allies fired 2556 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel.

Each of those rockets and mortars was fired indiscriminately at a civilian population with the intention of causing as much death and injury as possible. Every one was fired from under the cover of another civilian population with the intention of using casualties from any provoked response as war propaganda to incite racist genocidal hatred in Gaza and abroad.

At least Richardson did not claim to be a friend of Israel. 

  •  Jerusalem and the adjoining "settlements", and E-1,have always been earmarked for Israel under any realistic two state deal. This "settlement activity that roars ahead" of which you speak and which you claim is blocking the Palestinian state is in Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and other areas that have never previously been contested as part of Israel under  land swaps.

 Read Isi Leibler's just published piece on this. Do you have any idea of what you and the ALP  have bought  by signalling that this is again open as far as Australia is concerned? Especially in the explicit context of the following point?  Do you seriously think you are helping?

 Every Palestinian faction is united on this now. Why wouldn't they be? Wherever they look in the West they are being told they are winning .  "Armed struggle" it is. Or the ethnic cleansing of the Jews outside of the 1949 armistice lines, just like from Gaza where they had lived pretty much for as long as there has been a Gaza,,; followed by the  forced collapse of the state through the spurious and offensive Muslim right of return. That is their bottom line.  With respect are you deaf? Do you think the Israelis are? That you overlook Palestinian intransigence and ignore the numerous repeated and specific offers by Israel and the world of a Palestinian state both before and after 1967 right up until Olmert's extraordinary offer a few years ago causes concern about your sincerity when you talk about peace.

  •  No where in your essay do you mention the campaign of Nazi inspired genocidal antisemitism that is part of Hamas and Islamist ideology and reaches as far as Australia. That this  has reached this  far , and the threats this conflict and all the others involving radical Islam present on the home front, you appear to have no inkling of at all.  It is as if it does not exist. It is as if this and Islamist imperialism are simply not factors in the equation despite all the evidence.. Just as the human rights of the Israelis to their liberal democracy appear to be of little concern to you, beyond some somewhat condescending quips about technology and economic innovation and independent judges, academics and journalists. Just like Czechoslovakia before she was handed to the Nazis.

More innovative and independent than in Australia. For better or for worse.

  •  To expect the Israelis to retroactively deep freeze their vibrant state permanently along 1949 armistice lines in the teeth of all this is an invasion of their human rights. Would you put up with that? . This is not the border. It never was and there have been three wars since then. These lands are not "occupied". They are disputed and especially in regard to those areas which were supposedly settled to be part of Israel under any two state deal long ago,  with land swaps, Jewish East Jerusalem, E-1  and the surrounding neighbourhoods, it is absurd and offensive to suggest that the Fourth Geneva Convention has application as you and the overt Israel bashers, including naturally the UN, have done.

 As far as the Palestinians and their foreign string masters are concerned it is not just these lands that are disputed. All the land is disputed all the way to the sea. Now more than ever. This is at the very core of the problem.  There are reasons why this problem is worse now than ever before.. These are the Islamic Revolution and Islamism. Not necessarily in that order. Did they miss that at your universities? Do you think you are helping by feeding it?

Perhaps you think these are Israel's fault. That you don't even mention the core of the problem suggests you are part of the problem.

  •  The Israelis are not going to give up their brilliant little democracy without a fight.. Would you? To paint them into a corner is to invite war. That you can not see this, and you ignore completely the most pressing issue for Israel and the world, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran, as if it was an entirely different and irrelevant topic,  in favour of the by now clearly outright fraudulent  "Palestine"  ruse of the Islamists suggests a serious deficit of political courage. You just cannot bear to face the real problem, as huge as it is, so you look in the exact opposite direction.

I am an Australian of some generations and let me tell you something true, friend. Mate. Friends like you Israel can do without. That you appear to not understand that a liberal democracy anywhere is not dispensable in the face of this vile ideology without us all being dispensable , and that she is not in any way responsible for this vile ideology, or any of the other sick political cultures that have plagued the Arab world since the end of the First World War, including  the Palestinians,  suggests you do not appreciate how crucial this issue is for the health and future of the West and for Australia. The Islamists mean to win. Essays like yours embolden them.   Friends like you both Israelis and Australians can do without.  That is why all Australians, not just Jewish Australians,  who care about ideas like democracy, self determination and human rights should vote against the ALP this year.

Che Gorilla
Resident Human Rights Activist
Geoffff's Joint

The plan still is for the son of an ape to keep on making  a pig of himself at Richardson's and Leigh's and the ALP's blogs and wherever he can find anyone who will listen. Just like Gareth Evans but without being a complete arsehole.

Readers are invited ... requested ... pleaded ...  to send links  to these posts to their local members and everywhere else where it might do some good. The ALP have locked themselves in on this . They have shattered the bipartisan policy on supporting Israel in the face of this vile ideology about which they are in stunned denial.. Among other things perhaps it is time to shatter the bipartisan policy on multiculturalism and immigration; at least how it operates in modern Australia in tolerating, indeed encouraging,  hateful and violent religious extremism and ideological antisemitism, racism and anti-Western radicalism. 

Let us see just whose political judgement is exposed as simplistic on this.  . 

cross posted
Geoffff's Joint