Wednesday, July 31, 2013

World War II Never Ended for the Jews in the Middle East

Mike L.

In a recent piece for Arutz Sheva entitled, This is not Peace It is Pure Nazi Ideology, notable Italian journalist, Giulio Meotti, writes the following:
Imagine if any political leader would say: "No blacks will be allowed to live in my state". He would be denounced correctly, as a racist, a bigot.

That does not seem to include Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Arab leader of Ramallah, who on the verge of the new "peace talks" in Washington just declared: "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands"...

Addressing a session of Arab League in Doha, Qatar, Abbas in 2011 declared that “when an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is established, we won’t allow the presence of one Israeli in it”.

A Palestinian Arab State on Western Eretz Israel would be “jüdenrein”, or cleansed of Jews. A state founded on the ethnic cleansing of every single Jewish man, woman and child...

Can you imagine if Benjamin Netanyahu instead of Mahmoud Abbas would have pronounced such a statement? What would have been the world reaction?

And Abbas said it in front of the long European noses. He proclaimed his Nazi intentions while in Cairo. Lady Ashton, the ridiculous EU foreign chief, was present.
As anyone who has the slightest clue about the Long Arab War Against the Jews knows, the founder of "Palestinian" nationalism, Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, was a Nazi that spent the war years in Berlin and who is partly responsible for the murder of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews.  It was al-Husayni who, prior to the German invasion of Poland, convinced the British to prevent a Jewish escape to Palestine, resulting in their slaughter by the Nazis.

I favor a two-state solution, but I do not favor the current negotiations because I have no faith, whatsoever, in the honesty or the good-will of Mahmoud Abbas, whose PhD dissertation sought to minimize, if not deny, the Holocaust.  Furthermore, by insisting that any future state for the local Arabs must be Judenrein, Abbas is revealing the Nazi background of his political movement.

The truth is that World War II never ended for the Jews of the Middle East.  The PLO is a Nazi off-shoot, as is Fatah and as is the Muslim Brotherhood.  In 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War, (page 21, 2008, Yale University Press) historian Benny Morris reminds us that "The Palestinians, reeling from the suppression of their rebellion and largely unsympathetic to the Western liberal, democratic values, grimly hoped for an Axis victory.  In this, they were at one with most of the Arab world... 88 percent of the Palestinian Arabs favored" the Nazis during World War II.

Nonetheless, there can be a two-state solution, but it will not come about via a negotiated settlement.  The reason for that is because the local Arabs do not want a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one.  What they want is a state for themselves in place of the Jewish one.  Thus if Israel is serious about a two-state solution it will have to create that solution in a unilateral manner.

Of course, I do not see that happening anytime soon, either, because neither Barack Obama, nor the European Union, will ever leave Israel in peace to go it alone on this issue.  Israel could solve this problem if it was free to do so, but it is not.  The Europeans and the progressive-left will never allow Israel to resolve the issue because they are far too invested in stepping on the Jewish State for political reasons.

From the perspective of a concerned American Jew, I believe that all we can do at the moment is ride out the "peace processing" and hope that too many people aren't killed because of it.  The last time that we went through this, during the Oslo accords, the result was a terror war (intifada) in the early 2000s that left thousands of people dead.

If you read Paul Berman, he will tell you that it was at the height of the Arab attempt to kill Jews during that period that the progressive-left went into sadistic hysterics of Jewish denunciation.  The more the Arabs sought to kill the Jews, the more the progressive-left blamed the Jewish victims of their genocidal rage.

My best hope is that we do not see a repeat and if by some miracle the local Arabs finally do agree to accept a state for themselves in peace next to Israel, no one will be more pleased than myself.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Progressive-Left Jews and the European Union

Mike L.

The progressive-left is in denial and no part of the progressive-left is more in denial than the western Jewish left.

My central thesis at Israel Thrives is the following:
The progressive movement, and the activist base of the Democratic Party, creates and supports venues that demonize and defame the Jewish state, thereby also creating hatred toward the Jewish people.

Such venues include political journals, such as, but not limited to, Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian, numerous universities throughout the United States and Europe, various NGOs with an anti-Israel agenda, and the entire progressive-left movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) the Jewish people of the state of Israel.

These venues and organizations do not generally criticize Israel, but dehumanize that country.

For this reason, among others, the progressive movement, and the activist base of the Democratic Party, undermines the well-being and safety of Jews around the world, sometimes resulting in violence toward us.

Therefore, as a matter of common sense and basic human decency, Jews should leave the progressive movement and the Democratic Party as we seek to build alternative political structures that are not home to toxic anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, who would see us robbed of self-determination and self-defense.
Now, I am either correct in the above assertions or I am not.  When I discuss the problem of the acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within the western progressive-left among my left-leaning Jewish friends they almost always seek to minimize the problem.  My most concise assertion is that the progressive-left, as a movement, has betrayed its Jewish constituency through its acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger coalition.

The typical response that I get, however, from my progressive-left Jewish friends - who know that I was once a participant in the liberal, pro-Democratic party Daily Kos blog - is that Daily Kos and these netroots blogs are entirely fringe and that we need not take them very seriously.  I am told that it is really only a very small group of far-left fringe activists who have taken up the BDS cause or anti-Zionism as part of their political package.

In response I try to explain to them that it is not merely Daily Kos, but almost the entirety of politically left-leaning blogs and journals, including the Huffington Post (which Matt and Zach at the Huffington Post Monitor write about) or the Guardian (which Adam Levick of CiF Watch writes about).

The universities throughout Europe and the United States have clearly turned against the Jewish State of Israel as they host their annual "Israel Apartheid Week" celebratory hate-fests. Yale University, in fact, recently cancelled the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) under exceedingly suspicious circumstances.  The University of Pennsylvania hosted a BDS conference last year.

But for whatever reason - reasons which I assume have as much to do with my exceedingly limited powers of persuasion, as much as anything else - I rarely can convince my left-leaning, pro-Israel Jewish friends that it is the left, itself, which has emerged as the greatest threat to the Jewish people in the west today, despite the fact that I, myself, come out of the progressive-left.

The prominent, if not hegemonic, conception of Israel within western-left organizations and venues is the notion that Israel is a racist, imperialist, colonialist, militaristic, apartheid, racist regime.  That highly negative and toxic broad-brush represents the (often unspoken) ideological background against which Israel is viewed.  The automatic assumption of Jewish guilt and wrong-doing is almost always brought to the conversation as a matter of course.

As anyone who follows the Long Arab War against the Jews can tell you, the European Union has recently busied itself with harassing Israel.  Prominent conservative columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick, put it like this:
This week the EU took three steps that together prove Europe’s ill-intentions toward the Jewish state.

First, last Friday the EU announced it is imposing economic sanctions on Israel. The sanctions deny EU funds to Israeli entities with an address beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines. They also deny EU funds to Israeli entities countrywide that carry out activities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines...

The EU’s second action was the publication Tuesday of EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton’s letter to her fellow commissioners informing them that by the end of the year, the EU will publish binding requirements for specially labeling Israeli goods produced by Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines exported to EU member states...

The EU’s third act was its decision to define Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization, but leave all the other Hezbollah-related institutions untouched. While the move has been applauded by Israeli politicians desperate to deny Europe’s animosity, Europe’s partial designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity is another act of aggression against Israel.
Whatever anyone may think of the indomitable, and sometimes controversial, Ms. Glick, there is no question that the European Union has done precisely what she claims that they have and that those actions are anti-Israel on their face.  The economic sanctions are limited almost entirely to Jewish people.  Period.  Yet they exempt NGOs that further EU anti-Israel political interests within Israel, proper, and within Judea and Samaria, the traditional Jewish homeland.  The EU, it should be noted, has taken no such actions against China, despite the Chinese occupation of Tibet, nor against Turkey, despite its occupation of Northern Cyprus.

Furthermore, Defining Hezbollah's "military wing" as a terrorist organization, while exempting its "political wing," which directs its "military wing," was an act of terrific cowardice - one might even say "pussitude," but I will not do so.

So, I have to ask my progressive-left Jewish friends, is the European Union, much like anti-Zionist denizens in the bowels of a place like Daily Kos, merely a bunch of irrelevant, fringe lunatics?

I suspect not.

I feel reasonably certain that the very last thing in this world that the European Union is, is fringe.

So can we finally, at long last, dispense with the notion that anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, and friends, represent some fairly irrelevant fringe within the darkest cob-webbed corners of non-consequential political blogs?

As I wrote in January of 2010:
The liberal-progressive movement in the United States and Europe is forcing liberal Jews to make some very difficult choices. The voices who dominate the I-P discussion on the left are telling liberal Jews that they must make a choice; they can support Israel or they can support the progressive movement, but they cannot support both. This is rarely stated explicitly, of course, but it is the implication embedded in the never-ending disdain and contempt heaped upon the Jewish state by those liberals who claim to speak for human rights… even as they almost entirely ignore horrendous human rights violations by China or Russia or various African countries, not to mention the so-called Coalition of the Willing.
By any fair framing of the issues it has to become clear, by this late date, that the progressive-left, as a movement, has betrayed its Jewish constituency.  The EU is hardly right-wing.  It is, in fact, a creation of the left and it is not fringe, but central.

It is one of the major players in the world today and it is anti-Israel, if not anti-Semitic.

If you want to know what you can do about this, the very first thing that you can do is simply acknowledge it.

The Jerusalem Declaration

Mike L.

I just received an email from United with Israel that calls for the continued unification of Jerusalem.

This is something that I very much support.  Jerusalem is the Jewish capital in the way that Paris is the French capital or that London is the capital of England.  The Arabs control about 99 percent of the Middle East, so they certainly do not need the Jewish capital for a twenty-third Arab state.

I would encourage you guys to sign the declaration below:
'Peace Talks' Starting: Support a United Jerusalem!

The 'peace process' is about to begin. Israel has already paid a heavy price by agreeing to release terrorists to jump-start the talks, due to extreme pressure by world leaders. Whether you agree or disagree with that decision, Israel will no doubt come under tremendous pressure to give away parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, for the sake of 'peace'. We cannot let this happen.

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT. We urge everyone who believes that Jerusalem must forever remain the undivided capital of Israel to sign and forward the 'Jerusalem Declaration'. With your help, our goal of presenting 250,000 signatures to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat can be reached very soon. We already have more than 150,000 names!

Sign now -->

Please join Israel's friends around the world in showing strong support for a united Jerusalem. Everyone who signs will have their name added to the huge 'Keep Jerusalem United' banner that hangs from the Walls of Jerusalem!

If you've already signed, please FORWARD this email to everyone you know. If you have not yet signed, click below to sign right now:

Throughout history, the eternal connection between the Jewish People and Jerusalem has been unbreakable. We must do everything we can to keep Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, a united city. And only Israel can guarantee free and open access to Jerusalem for all peoples and religions.

We urge you to circulate this email throughout all of your personal networks.


1. Sign your name to show support -->

2. Become a 'Guardian of Jerusalem' -->

3. Donate to United with Israel -->

4. Email your friends -->

The People of Israel thank you for your support at this critical time.

We ask you to please FORWARD this email to everyone you know.

Netanyahu's Folly

Mike L.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is giving away the store for nothing and Barry Rubin doesn't get it and neither do I.  Rubin writes:
What is truly puzzling about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposing to release more than 100 of the worst Palestinian terrorists to have ever murdered Israelis is that it is so impossible to figure out any reason to do so. It is not just that one might oppose this plan, it is that I cannot think of a single reason for supporting it.
What is the purpose of the State of Israel if not to provide protection to the tiny, besieged minority in the Middle East against the much larger, hostile Arab majority there?  What Netanyahu and his cabinet have done is tell the world that it's open season on Jews.  Arabs can kill Jews to their Turkish Delight and Israel will, ultimately, let them go free.  And what does Israel get for betraying the families of the murdered?

Nothing at all.
Nor will it get Israel any good public image in Europe or America. On the contrary, the mass media will not tell the readers and viewers the extent of the crimes perpetrated by these terrorists or what would generate sympathy for the real victims. No. If anything the coverage will emphasize sympathy for the terrorists’ families and leave the impression that the terrorists were political prisoners arrested for no good reasons by the cruel occupation authorities.
The PA calls these murderers "political prisoners" because murdering Jews in the Middle East is considered a perfectly reasonable political act.

Israel will get no "points" from anyone for doing this.  The Arabs will continue to despise Jews for religious reasons and western progressives will continue to despise the Jewish State due to the non-conscious spread of a partially digested post-colonial theory which automatically casts the harassed Jewish minority as the powerful aggressor against a helpless (and hapless) "indigenous" culture.

How it is that the local Arabs require inducement to accept a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one remains a mystery and no one has ever justified it.  Ever.  At no point in my years chewing on this issue has anyone ever explained to me just why it is that the local Arabs need to be bribed into accepting sovereignty within the Jewish heartland.

The reason that no one has ever explained this to me is because there is no reasonable explanation.  The truth of the matter, as we all know, is that 6 million Jews in the Middle East are surrounded by about 400 million Arabs who do not want them there.  Within Arab religious traditions the Jews are supposed to be weak and subservient.  So long as Jews are not weak and subservient they will be murdered.

So long as a Jewish State exists, therefore, the great Arab nation will seek to destroy it.

In consideration of the Arab-Israel conflict there is much talk of "honor-shame" culture within Arab-Muslim societies.  I do not know the extent of the truth of such claims, but one thing is certain.  Caving to the demands of the hostile majority will not win either respect or mercy, not from them, nor from their western allies.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Empress Trudy Has a Few Words

Mike L.

Well, today has been quite a day!

In the morning we received the announcement that Netanyahu's cabinet has agreed to release a bunch of Jew Killers from Israeli prisons and within hours after that we received the news that "peace talks" between the parties will begin as soon as tomorrow.

It has to be said that this is a pretty remarkable day in the recent history of the Long Arab War Against the Jews.


I am still processing the situation and am in no place to make any grand pronouncements on the meaning of all this. I do find myself exceedingly skeptical because the history of American and European-led "peace processing" has not only been dismal, but has proven absolutely hostile to Jewish well-being in that part of the world.

Nonetheless, I do want to highlight this comment from Empress Trudy, because it is unquestionably food for thought:
Empress Trudy July 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM

In game theory we talk about what happens when you know what he knows you know. And in this case, everyone knows the Arabs will balk or even refuse to attend. At best, and this can't be a mystery - the Arabs will show up, make some noise and go away not ever having agreed to anything. And we know they know we know this. We also know that Hamas will send rockets into Israel and we know that Abbas is an old sick man ruling like an autocrat and when he dies which can't be long, the new dictator's first speech will be to scream about exterminating all the Jews forever and never giving an inch and, if the slightest thing was set to paper before, it will all be torn up. Again, we know they know we know this.

So the question remains why do this puppet theater at all? What's the upside? What's the merest potential of an upside? One could argue that Kerry and Obama's sole point is to topple Netanyanhu and replace him with Livni or worse, but again, they must know we know they know this is absurd. Even if they were able to create a crisis of confidence vote, no one sees Israel suddenly veering leftward.

I have a few theories but few of them even make sense to me. Maybe it's simply what it appears to be - mindless stupidity. I am out of ideas for now what could possibly be motivating everyone to chase this down a rathole to nowhere.

Do As I Say; Not As I Do


The latest great toon from Elder of Ziyon

FresnoZionist's Letter to Benjamin Netanyahu

Mike L.

The below was written by the FresnoZionist and originally published at his blog.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, 
I will be returning to Israel next year, after more than 25 years in the US. So now that I will be an Israeli again, I think I am allowed to take the gloves off:

What you did by agreeing to release more than 100 Arab prisoners who have been convicted of crimes including multiple murders is beyond wrong. It is shameful. It is disgusting. It is immoral. And it is stupid.

I admit that I am shocked. I admired you. I thought that you learned Zionism from your father, and I know that you put your body on the line more than once for the state of Israel. So how could you do it?

I understand that the murderous insects to be released are older, they will be carefully watched, etc. So maybe they will be unlikely to hurt anyone again (although maybe not).

But look what you have done:

You have betrayed the families of the victims of these terrorists, who were shot, burned, stabbed, blown up and beaten to death. They believed that they had received justice, even if they would never get their loved ones back. Now they will watch their killers grin and make victory signs on television as our ‘peace partners’ celebrate their heroic return. For what?

You have destroyed the honor of the Jewish people. You have put up a sign saying “an Arab is superior to a Jew, you can kill them and go free.” Nothing is more important in the Middle East than honor. Did you forget that you live in the Middle East? You handed Israel’s enemies a huge victory. For what?

You have made a mockery of Israel’s justice system. Murder isn’t murder, if the perpetrator is a Palestinian. Multiple life sentences evaporate. For what?

I strongly opposed the decision to release prisoners in return for Gilad Shalit, but at least you got Shalit back. What did you get for this?

You certainly didn’t get the approval of Israel’s Jewish population, 84% of whom opposed the decision. 
No, what you got was the agreement of the illegitimate ‘President’ of the Palestinian Authority, who couldn’t deliver on a ‘peace’ agreement if he wanted to — which he doesn’t — to sit at the same table with you and make even more outrageous demands, demands for Israel’s capital, demands to flood the state with so-called ‘refugees’, demands to expel Jews from their homes, so he can establish a state dedicated to the destruction of yours and mine, and fill it with rocket launchers.

You know in your heart that there will not be a real peace with the Palestinian Arabs in our time. So why did you throw away our honor to decorate Obama’s resumé?

Oh, you got something from Obama too?

Maybe he promised to bomb Iran’s centrifuges next week. I hope so, because if it was anything less, you sold yourself and your people far too cheaply.
This is a very sad day.

Israel to Release Murderers

Mike L.

The following snippet was written by Attila Somfalvi and published at Y-Net.
The cabinet approved Sunday the release of 104 security prisoners with a majority of 13 ministers voting in favor, and seven ministers opposing the decision. Minister Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom abstained.

According to the resolution, 104 prisoners will be released and a ministerial committee to be headed by Netanyahu and ministers Ya'alon, Livni, Aharonovitch and Peri will be established to supervise the process as part of the negotiations with the Palestinians. In addition, if it would be decided to release Arab-Israeli prisoners, the matter will be brought for reapproval of the cabinet.
Gee, I find myself even more nauseated than usual.

This is deeply immoral, deeply counterproductive, and deeply humiliating to the Jewish State of Israel.

If I have avoided judging Netanyahu too harshly in the past, I think that I will probably not make that same mistake going forward.   And, again, how is it that, if the local Arabs are such a persecuted and oppressed people, they require Israel-Jewish concessions before they will even agree to negotiate the end of that persecution and oppression within a state of their own?

How persecuted can one be if one refuses to give up that persecution unless the one doing the alleged persecuting gives in to such outrageous demands?

Furthermore, of course, this tells the Palestinian Authority, if not the local Arabs, more generally, that intransigence works.   Why should the PA negotiate when they know that the EU and Obama will pressure Israel into giving in to their demands?

I cannot even begin to imagine what Netanyahu was thinking and must assume that there is much more going on behind the scenes than we realize.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Picnic with Friends

Mike L.

Laurie and I are meeting friends for a picnic today.


Return of the Pretty Lady with Candles

New Video from CAMERA

Mike L.

I received an email a short while ago from Gilad Skolnick, CAMERA Campus Regional Coordinator, pointing me to the video below.  It's definitely worth giving it a look-see.

Turks Arrest Israeli Renegade Spy-Bird

Mike L.

According to Y-net:
Turkish authorities have "cleared a renegade bird captured in the Ağın district of the eastern province of Elazığ on suspicions of working for Israel's state-of-the-art intelligence agency," the Hurriyet newspaper reported Friday.

According to the report by the Turkish newspaper, residents of Altınavya village became suspicious that the little kestrel could be more than a bird that lost its way when they found it wore a metallic ring stamped with the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel," and delivered it to the district governorate.

Local authorities submitted the bird to careful medical examinations to ensure that it did not carry microchips. An X-ray test carried out at Fırat University in Elazığ finally convinced the authorities that the bird was "just a simple specimen of Israeli wildlife," Hurriyet reported, adding that the bird had been registered under the name "Israeli spy" by medical personnel.
I absolutely adore these kinds of stories!

If ever I am having a down day all I need to do is think about Massad-trained sharks cruising the coasts of Egypt or, perhaps, the Israeli Squirrel Counter-Terrorism Squad and a smile will automatically return to my face.

The funny thing is, for all I know the Israelis are using spy-birds.  I suppose that it's possible, but what was the list of Israeli-related zoological conspiracy theories again?  There are Israeli sharks and Israeli vultures and Israeli Bee Eaters and G-d Only Knows what else.

If you wonder just how it is that a tiny minority of Jews in the Middle East are able to hold off their much more numerous Arab rivals in that part of the world all you need to do is consider these stories and the answer becomes pretty self-evident.

Being the object of genocidal intent by one's much more numerous neighbors has a way of grounding people in reality.  On the other hand, holding genocidal intent toward one's neighbors is strictly the stuff of delusional thinking.  If I have to play a game of chess with one or the other, I will choose the latter because I will have a much better chance of winning.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Failure of Progressive-Left Feminism

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.}

The western progressive-left has betrayed the Jewish people.

Anyone who follows the Long Arab War Against the Jews should clearly understand that the western left has deserted its Jewish friends and constituency.  Furthermore, in doing so, the western left has trampled its core values.  It is has, as a movement, betrayed the Jews of the Middle East, women of the Middle East, and Gay people there.

This is not a matter of conjecture or speculation, but of historical fact.  As the progressive-left has accepted anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of its larger coalition it has also refused to condemn the oppression of Jews, the oppression of Gay people, and the oppression of women throughout the Arab-Muslim world.

The western-left, of course, has many interrelated factions.  There is the LGBT movement.  There is the anti-war movement.  There is environmentalism and the various movements for social justice for ethnic minorities within western countries.

And, of course, there is feminism.

In 1963, Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique.  She described "the problem that has no name," which was the system of female oppression in the United States at that time.  The problem that had no name was the general assumption in American culture that women were meant to be housewives and mothers, but not actors in the public sphere.

The 1960s saw the rise of what is generally referred to as Second Wave Feminism.  First Wave Feminism - the feminism of the nineteenth-century - was about the franchise.  It was about securing political rights.  Second Wave Feminism was about identity and securing social liberation.

As part of the larger western counterculture and rising New Left, the women's rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s joined with the rest of the movement for universal human rights to support human decency, social justice, and freedom throughout the world.  The point throughout all of those fights was to secure human justice.

Times have clearly changed, however.  The progressive-left no longer stands for universal human rights and progressive-left feminism no longer cares for the well-being of women outside of the liberal-secular west.  White western feminists will fight like hell for the rights of women in the United States and Canada and Europe and Israel and Australia, but they simply do not care about the well-being of women in the part of the world that most oppresses women, the world dominated by Muslim governments.

If feminism in the west has faltered, which it most certainly has, it is because it has utterly failed to stand up for women where women are most persecuted.  Throughout the Muslim Middle East women are forced into potato sacks and western feminists tell us that this is "freedom."  Women are sold into slavery and subject to honor killings and, yet, this is ignored by western contemporary feminism.  Progressive-left feminists refuse to stand up for women in the Arab-Muslim Middle East because doing so directly conflicts with the ideal of multiculturalism.

The conflict between universal human rights and the ideal of multiculturalism is at the very heart of the western-left conversation, yet it remains organic and largely implied, and multiculturalism has won out, in the end.  The progressive-left, including the feminist-left, has thrown universal human rights directly into the toilet because it ultimately chose the multicultural ideal, which is entirely inconsistent with its central values.

This being the case, western feminists, with few exceptions, cannot bring themselves to condemn the treatment of women throughout the Arab-Muslim world - or the treatment of Gay people there or the treatment of the Christian minority there or the treatment of Jewish people there - because to do so is seen as a violation of multiculturalism.  Who are we, after all, as the beneficiaries of white western imperialism to condemn the cultural practices of our alleged victims?

And this is why, to be frank, that I no longer care about maintaining politically correct feminist terminology.  If the feminist-left will not stand up for women in the Middle East then just why should I care about using language that is grounded in sensitivity toward that movement?

In my recent TOI piece entitled, The Pussitude of Progressive-Left Jews, Ops and Blogs editor, Miriam Hershlag, apparently found it offensive and changed the title to something else.  I do not blame Miriam.  Hershlag is trapped between obnoxious participants, such as myself, and the need to maintain certain politically correct standards.

The problem is that so long as those standards are arbitrary they cannot be respected.  If people wish to maintain standards of language and respect toward women throughout the world, then they need to maintain standards of language and respect toward women throughout the world.

This goes double for newspaper editors.

When the western progressive-left stands up for women in the Middle East or stands up for Gay people in the Middle East or stands up for Jews in the Middle East, as a matter of universal human rights, then they can tell us that the word "pussitude" is unacceptable.

Until that time, however, I see no reason to give them much consideration.

If you guys want to stand up for the rights of women, then you need to do so for women who are beaten up the most, and that is not among left-liberal American Jews such as myself.

They Love to Throw Rocks at Jews

Mike L. 

The snippet below was written by Noam (Dabul) Dvir and published by Y-Net:
Some 14 people sustained light injuries Thursday as a result of stones hurled near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. 
The wounded, who were on a bus traveling in the city as the stones hit the vehicle, were injured by the stones and broken glass.

The majority of the injured are members of the same family – parents and their ten children, aged one to 19 years old. A father and son who were also on the bus were injured.
Arab teenagers and children have been throwing rocks at Jews for 14 centuries.

None of this is new and it is not a matter of "resistance," as progressive-left activists would tell you, but is a very long-standing Arab-Muslim racist hobby against the Jewish minority in that part of the world.

I think that Israel should seriously crack-down on this kind of thing.  The local Arabs need to understand that if they are going to allow their kids - or encourage their kids - to pelt their neighbors with rocks then there will be a serious price to pay.

In the Middle East throwing stones at Jews is a symbolic act of dominance.  It's a matter of reinforcing dhimmitude.

Israel is, nevertheless, the dhimmi that got away and they should make it very clear to the progeny of their former masters that this sort of behavior will no longer be tolerated.  It may very well be a long-standing Arab-Muslim tradition, but the Jews of the Middle East are under no obligation to honor that tradition.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is “Pussitude” a Bad Word?

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.}

I have to assume that newspaper editors long for the days before the internet, when human communication was much slower, and when they could simply publish whatever it was in their interest to publish.
As someone who knows a thing or two about American history I can tell you that throughout the nineteenth century newspapers in the United States were entirely partisan.  The Whigs had their newspapers and the Democrats had their newspapers and then the anti-slavery Republicans had their newspapers.
And everyone was singing to the choir.
Things are not so simple today.
I recently wrote a blog post at the Times of Israel entitled, The Pussitude of Progressive-Left Jewry, which apparently displeased some of the editors there.
My fundamental assertion is this:
Western-left Jews, who make up the majority of diaspora Jewry, are fairly worthless when it comes to standing up for the Jewish people in the Middle East.

This is a huge disappointment because the Jews of the Middle East represent a tiny historically persecuted minority and because their country, the State of Israel, is at once the most democratic and the most liberal throughout that part of the world, and yet it is also the most reviled.  

The hatred pointed at Israel throughout the oppressive and brutal Arab-Muslim world is genocidal to the extreme and, yet, in Europe and the United States progressive-left Jews are generally weak, worthless, and equivocating in their defense of Israel or heap scorn upon it...
That is my essential point and I very definitely stand buy it.
I received an email today, however, from TOI Ops & Blogs Editor, Miriam Herschlag, that something was amiss.
She wrote:
offensive title

Mike, I've changed the title of today's post. It was unacceptable.

Miriam's obvious implication is that the word "pussitude" is sexist and therefore unacceptable.
I understand that, but I am not sure that I respect it.  Let me explain to you why, if you will give me a fair hearing.
A term like "pussitude" is thought of as sexist.  It is offensive to feminists, if not women, more generally, because it conflates weakness with womanhood.
Whatever else women might be, however, they are certainly not weak.
Nonetheless, I have to wonder just why it is that we should honor feminist sensibilities when it is clear as day that the western feminist movement has entirely abandoned Jews and women and Gay people in the Middle East?
The foremost writer and analyst on this question is Phyllis Chesler who wrote The Death of Feminism.
I normally restrict my comments to the Long Arab War Against the Jews. It becomes difficult to do so, however, when western feminists refuse to stand up for universal human rights by refusing to stand for the rights of women in the Arab-Muslim world.  There was a time when feminists stood up against the Taliban in a manner that was reasonably prominent within western-left discourse, during the Clinton administration, but those days are done.
The real problem today is not my admittedly insensitive use of the made-up word "pussitude," but the failure of western feminism to stand up for their own rights, and our rights, in that part of the world.
That is what counts.
If they refuse to do so, then I feel very little need to bow to their petty linguistic concerns.
Nonetheless, I do want to thank TOI editor, Miriam Herschlag, for giving me the opportunity to raise the question.

US court: No ‘Israel’ on passports of American citizens born in Jerusalem

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Free News of the World.}

This US government is selling out its Jewish constituency.

The snippet below was written by Michael Wilner and Reuters and published in the Jerusalem Post:
WASHINGTON – A US federal appeals court on Tuesday invalidated a law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel on their passports as their birthplace.

The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds a longstanding US foreign policy dictate that says that the president – and not lawmakers – has the sole authority to say who controls Jerusalem.

In the government, the president “exclusively holds the power to determine whether to recognize a foreign sovereign,” Judge Karen Henderson wrote for the panel.
Soooo, does this mean that US president Barack Obama recognizes no part of Jerusalem as sovereign Israeli territory?

From a symbolic standpoint this is very weighty stuff.  The US federal court of appeals in Washington, DC, has decided that Obama gets to decide if Jerusalem belongs to Israel.  It's not even a matter of the eastern section of the city, or the Arab sections, but Jerusalem in its entirety, including heavily Jewish western Jerusalem.

I do not see many bloggers or pundits highlighting this news snippet, but it should be highlighted.  It represents yet another example of how the United States government, during the current administration, is essentially hostile toward the Jewish State of Israel.

Jerusalem has been the capital city of the Jewish people for four thousand years and, yet, with a snap of a finger the Obama administration can simply say "no."

The real danger facing the Jews today is not the Arab-Muslim Jihad in the streets of Israel, but the long, slow crunch of western diplomats and politicians.  It comes from things like the European Union's recent decision to boycott Jews in Judea and Samaria and the passive-aggressive stance of president Obama, who has suggested - with his Go Search Your Souls comment - that the Jews in the Middle East do not honestly want peace.

The reason that this is a danger facing Jews, and not merely those of us in the Jewish State, is because the well-being of Israel is tied up with the well-being of the rest of us.  It's not just a matter of the fact that if Israel goes, so goes the Jewish life-raft, but that Jewish culture (and, thus, the Jewish soul) will then suffer an irredeemable crippling.

We must not forget that the reconstitution of the Jewish State of Israel on historically Jewish land represents the redemption of the Jewish people throughout the world.  For two thousand years prior to 1948 the Jews were a people almost entirely in diaspora.  The Jewish collective was, in the imagination of European Christians, the Wandering Jew.  The Jews throughout Europe and the Arab-Muslim Middle East lived or died according to the whims and fancies of local princes and imams.

When a US federal appeals court decides that maybe Jerusalem is not really part of Israel, then this is a step in the direction of the delegitimization of Israel and thus the delegitimization of the Jewish people.

It represents a denial of our place within the community of nations and no self-respecting Jew would apologize for it or put up with it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Classic

Mike L.

Strictly for the hell of it.
"The Arabs don't hate Jews because of Israel, they hate Israel because of Jews." - Pat Condell
If there is a false word spoken by Condell in the video above I challenge anyone to point it out and justify the claim.

I am open to wagers.

The Pussitude of Progressive-Left Jewry

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Free News of the World.}

Looking back over the last few years, I suppose what disappoints me most is the extreme pussitude of progressive-left Jewry.  Western-left Jews, who make up the majority of diaspora Jewry, are fairly worthless when it comes to standing up for the Jewish people in the Middle East.

This is a huge disappointment because the Jews of the Middle East represent a tiny historically persecuted minority and because their country, the State of Israel, is at once the most democratic and the most liberal throughout that part of the world, and yet it is also the most reviled.  The hatred pointed at Israel throughout the oppressive and brutal Arab-Muslim world is genocidal to the extreme and, yet, in Europe and the United States progressive-left Jews are generally weak, worthless, and equivocating in their defense of Israel or heap scorn upon it, as does, for example, David Harris Gershon of Daily Kos and Tikkun Magazine.

The truth of the matter is that progressive-left diaspora Jewry is selling Israel "down the river" because they have neither the guts nor the intelligence to stand up for either themselves or the Jewish people.  Our friend Dan Bielak is absolutely correct about this.  Dan constantly points out that diaspora Jews need to speak the truth.  They absolutely refuse to do so, however, because the entire notion of "truth" has become delegitimized within the creeping post-modern / post-structuralist sensibility as it came out of the New Left's influence within the academe.  Thus, "sophisticated" progressive-left Jewry does not care about the history of the Jewish people, because if they did they might make that history central to the discussion of the Arab-Israel conflict, but they do not.

Instead, progressive-left Jews takes a page from Yassir Arafat's book and blame their fellow Jews in Israel for being mean to the Arabs.  There are sixty to seventy Arabs for every Jew in the Middle East and, yet, progressive-left diaspora Jewry mainly blames the conflict on the persecuted Jewish minority, rather than on the hostile Arab-Muslim majority.

I find it disgraceful, disgusting, unjust, and exceedingly dangerous.

The so-called "Palestinian narrative" is grounded in a false history of Arab oppression by Jews.  The truth, of course, is the exact opposite.  For fourteen centuries the Palestinian Jews of the Middle East were among the most oppressed indigenous populations on the entire planet, which is why our numbers there remain so small.  The difference between, say, the Jews and the indigenous American population is that we developed the means to protect ourselves and they did not.  But the fact that the Jews of the Middle East have developed the political and technological and military means to defend themselves does not change the fact that the surrounding hostile Arab majority did everything that they could possibly do to wipe us out and are still planning to do so.

Diaspora Jewry needs to discover its gonads.

Diaspora Jewry needs to learn a thing or two about the history of the Jews under the boot of Arab-Muslim Imperialism within the millennia-long system of Jewish persecution and dhimmitude.   We need to learn about the long experience of Mizrahi Jews under Arab rule because we can only make sense of Israel, and the Arab-Muslim hostility toward her, if we know that history.

We need to read Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale University Press, 2007), by Efraim Karsh.

We need to read In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (Yale University Press, 2010), by Martin Gilbert.

We need to read The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust (Dialog Press, 2010), by Edwin Black.

Western Jewish consideration of the Arab-Jewish conflict in the Middle East without reference to the history is like considering the system of Jim Crow in the United States without any reference to African slavery in the Americas.

It is thus incoherent, counterproductive, and worthless and thereby entirely incapable of standing up to the enemies of the Jewish people.

Europe's Double Standards

Mike L.

I am stealing this piece entirely from Y-Net because it is concise and to the point.

It was written by Shaul Rosenfeld:
A storm rages around the globe with sweeping violations of human rights, extensive oppression of women, persecution of minorities, oppression of freedom of speech, occupations – including of the Arab world, civil wars, wholesale executions, assassinations of political rivals and less than 50% of free democratic regimes, but the leaders of the European Union are preoccupied with the greatest calamity of all – "the Israeli settlements." 
In Russia, Putin's rivals find themselves in jail, in exile or in their graves, while his country continues to occupy South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Kaliningrad district, part of Karelia and the Kuril Islands. At the same time, Russia is arming Assad the mass murderer and persisting with the extermination, rape and destruction of entire villages in Chechnya (so far Russia has butchered some 150,000 Chechens) – but in the "moral" continent not a single person thinks of a boycott of any kind.

In China human rights are trampled on a routine basis, protestors are killed (some 2,600 at Tiananmen Square in 1989), freedom of speech is oppressed and not just through the Internet police, citizens' movement is restricted, different religious denominations are abused, and at the same time they continue occupying Tibet. And in "justice seeking" Europe, of course, no one dreams of boycotting the Chinese.

And the list is very, very long, almost as long as the European double standards. For example, Europe's greatest ethical forces can ignore Britain's occupation of the Falkland Islands and control of Gibraltar, Spain's control of the Moroccan cities of Melilla and Ceuta, Denmark's control of Greenland, or France's control of New Caledonia, located far away in the Pacific Ocean, despite local demands for independence. The European Union responds to all of this with silence, just like it treated the biggest dictators of the Arab world, like Saddam Hussein (until the invasion of Kuwait), Gaddafi, Assad (both father and son), Mubarak and Khomeini.

Alliance with Israel's Left In fact, the European stand is not really new, apart from an extension of a December 2012 decision by Europe's foreign ministers and its breakdown into practical measures, just like there is nothing new in the double standard which has been serving as the continent's pillar of fire for decades. In discussions held in Brussels over the application and nature of the boycott, Britain stood out in its demand for a wider boycott.

This is the same Britain which embraced and praised those Arab tyrants, including Fahd and Abdullah, the latest kings of Saudi Arabia, where organs are cut off, people are beheaded in public, women are oppressed, terrorists are hosted, funded and distributed. For example, 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were raised and educated in Saudi Arabia, and according to a 2002 Newsweek survey conducted among the kingdom's men aged 25-41, as many as 95% of them supported bin Laden's declared goals.

And this is the same Britain which a day after the publication of the WikiLeaks documents three years ago, which revealed that the coalition forces in Afghanistan, including the British, killed hundreds of local civilians (some in executions without a trial), all its Prime Minister Cameron had to complain about in his meeting with Erdogan was Israel's aberrant actions in stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla, asserting that "the Gaza Strip has turned into a prison camp."

And in that same decision by the European Union, the guiding figure behind the report, the Austrian Christian Berger, made certain to exclude left-wing and human rights organizations (Palestinian human rights of course), so that Europe could keep sticking its nose in other people's business in our region, including by funding those organizations, at least some of which are busy day and night with systematic reporting and slander against our country abroad.

And so we have a wonderful alliance between the Europeans and Palestinians, whose leaders – nearly all of them – have expressed in utmost discretion their strong commitment to a vision of a future Palestine from the Jordan River to the sea, and Israel's Left, mainly from the deranged section. Europe is showering the horrible Jewish state with a handful of hypocrisy and hatred while showing considerable sympathy towards the Palestinians and the "supporters of human rights, democracy and peace."

Monday, July 22, 2013

ADL Releases Antisemitism Statistics


Though I would imagine these numbers don't include incidents of antisemitism in schools (I still remember pennies regularly being tossed by punks at one particularly identifiable, religious Jewish student in one of the public elementary schools I attended in New Jersey in the mid-1980s), and though they certainly don't include the rise of online Jew-hatred at websites like Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, Tikkun Daily, Mondoweiss and Stormfront... the ADL's 2012 Audit of Antisemitism does bring us some good news, in the form of a slight overall drop in antisemitic incidents over the past year...
The number of anti-Semitic incidents dropped 14 percent nationwide last year, though the instances of vandalism rose, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.
...along with some bad news, in that incidents of antisemitism unfortunately seem to be up in New Jersey and New York.
Also, New York and New Jersey saw increases in anti-Semitic incidents, according to the audit released Monday.  Nationwide, the audit counted 927 anti-Semitic incidents reported during the 2012 calendar year, a 14 percent decline from the 1,080 incidents in 2011.
The 2012 figures included 17 physical assaults, 470 cases of harassment, threats and events, and 440 instances of vandalism. 
Here in Pennsylvania, we've dropped from 38 identified incidents in their 2011 survey, to 37 identified incidents in their 2012 count, though in recent weeks we here in Philadelphia have experienced what feels like an uptick, with swastikas and Nazi slogans found painted on walls right here in Kensington, as well as next door in Port Richmond, a heavily Polish and Lithuanian neighborhood, neither of which have ever had any significant Jewish populations.

Along with another high-profile incident of antisemitic vandalism targeting a Jewish restaurant just below us in Northern Liberties.

I remember regularly being told, on certain blogs at which I used to participate, that antisemitism is a thing of the past, and that these days we're only imagining 'mere criticism of Israel' to be much more than it is.

Perhaps it's just me, but I tend to miss the incisive critiques of Israeli policy contained within swastikas being painted on walls, in Jewish stores and institutions having their windows smashed, in mezuzot being stolen or damaged, in Jews still being violently assaulted for being Jewish, in blood libels and ZOG conspiracy theories being spread, and in dual / disloyalty accusations often being made online against diaspora Jews who stand up for Israel.

As Mr. Foxman says, it is certainly still very disturbing that there are so many of these incidents in the US today.  It is even more disturbing when Jews, seemingly alone amongst all minorities, are told to shut up about it by certain 'progressives,' and are, once again seemingly alone amongst all minorities, often told that those who spread hatred of the Jewish people should have the right to define what is, or what is not, in fact, hatred of the Jewish people.

The Times of Israel Misrepresents EU Hezbollah Decision

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.}

I was very disappointed to see the Times of Israel's headline concerning the EU decision to add Hezbollah's military wing to its list of terrorist organizations.

TOI editors wrote:

EU puts Hezbollah on terror list

This is false.

The EU has emphatically not chosen to put Hezbollah on its "terror list" and by claiming otherwise the TOI is giving people around the world a false impression on a subject of deep importance to the international Jewish community.

Gavriele Fiske, writing for the Times of Israel, reported the following:
The European Union declared Monday that the military wing of Lebanese political party Hezbollah was a terrorist organization, a year after it was implicated in the fatal bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
Putting the military wing of an organization on the EU terrorist list is not the same thing as putting the organization, itself, on the terrorist list.  The EU very specifically absolved Hezbollah, in general, by only putting its military wing on the list.  In this way, Hezbollah's political wing, which controls its military wing, is still recognized as legitimate and the editors of the Times of Israel blur and flatten what their reporter wrote.

Thus the EU opposes Jewish people who dare to build housing and lives for themselves on historically Jewish land in Judea and Samaria, but does not oppose a terrorist organization that seeks quite explicitly to murder those Jews.

Consider if during World War II the Allied Powers opposed not Nazi Germany, but merely its "military wing"?  Would that have made the slightest bit of sense?  Of course, not.  Yet this is precisely what the EU has done.  They wish to recognize Hezbollah, but not what Hezbollah does.

I consider this cowardice and the worst sort-of moral parsing.

What I do not understand, however, is how it is that the editorial staff of a well-respected Israeli newspaper, such as the Times of Israel, could possibly buy into it?

They are deceiving their readers because their headline is blatantly false.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni welcomed the EU decree. “Finally, after years of discussions and deliberations, [they] have failed, and rightly so, in their attempt to claim that they are a legitimate political party,” she said.
Livni is also mistaken... not surprisingly.  Hezbollah has not failed in their attempt to claim that they are a legitimate political party.  That is not what the European Union has declared.  What it has declared is that the political wing of the party, which controls the military wing, is just fine.  They have denounced the military wing, because it does things like blow up Jewish people in buses on European soil, but it has not denounced the political wing that tells the military wing to blow up Jewish people in buses on European soil.

European cowardice is rank in this case and we should not be pretending that it is anything other than a whitewash of Hezbollah.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed the decision, which it said would “disrupt operations of Hizballah’s military wing in the European Union,” and called on the EU to blacklist the group’s political wing as well.

“We now call on EU Member States to take the next logical step and proscribe the whole organisation of Hizballah, as the division between the military and political wings is clearly artificial,” said Alex Brummer, head of the Board’s International Division.
I would not hold my breath waiting for the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.  They have not done so and they are not likely to do so going forward.

Thus, the Times of Israel headline is a falsehood.

The Noose Has Loosened

Mike L.

The failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to maintain power in Egypt, despite backing from United States President Barack Obama, may have averted disaster.  The so-called "Arab Spring," which brought the Brotherhood into power in Egypt, is the rise of the movement for Sharia - which is the movement for Muslim supremacism - throughout the Middle East.

This is a movement that persecutes women, that persecutes Gay people, and that persecutes Jews.

Political Islam is the Ku Klux Klan on steroids.

While American "progressives" bitch and moan and cry about the Tea Party, who want smaller government in the United States, the Brotherhood was preventing Egyptian Christians from voting at the point of a rifle and their Salafist co-ideologues were burning down churches.

And, yet, Obama said not a word.

Why any president of the United States would support such a movement is beyond me.  That Obama did support the Muslim Brotherhood is now a matter of public record.  But the failure of the Brotherhood in Egypt speaks well for the character of the Egyptians and demonstrates at least a glimmer of hope because it was a major blow to the rise of political Islam throughout the region.  The Egyptian military, furthermore, regained power in what was unquestionably a coup d'état with the clear backing of a large percentage of the Egyptian population.

One thing that people need to understand is that we are allowed to take sides.  As a tiny persecuted minority, the Jewish people have an interest in not seeing anti-Jewish fascists come to power, even if they do so by democratic means.  The Nazis, of course, came to power by the ballot.  Just because Islamic theocrats, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, come to power through democratic means it does not mean that either Jewish people, or western secularists, should celebrate such a thing as the great up-welling of Arab democracy.

It wasn't.  The Sharia may come to power by walking through a democratic door, but by its very principles it must slam that door behind it.  No government can be both democratic and based upon Sharia for long because Sharia is an anti-democratic legal and political system.

Now it should be noted, as the Brotherhood was taken down in Egypt, that Egypt is now engaged in significant fighting with Jihadis in the Sinai.  The true hard-core Salafists operating in the area were hardly friends with the Brotherhood, either, but they shared the same ultimate goal.  They both wanted to impose oppression on the rest of us via Sharia-based governments.

The Egyptian military government, and an important proportion of the Egyptian people, have no intention of living under the oppressive rules of formal Islamic law, al-Sharia, particularly given the fact that the Brotherhood was incapable of providing basic services and a stable economy.  Thus the Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown, Muhammed Morsi was taken into custody, and Egypt returns to something comparable to the status quo ante.

As an American I would much preferred if the "Arab Spring" had actually represented the rise of liberal democracy in the Middle East.  When we first started hearing about the rise of the "Arab Spring" we were told that these were young, secular-minded "facebook kids" who represented the future of a liberal and democratic Egyptian state.  That was nonsense.  It was never the case and those who told us it was should come clean with their mistakes, however well-intended.   What the "Arab Spring" really represented was the rise of a particularly ugly form of autocratic Muslim theocracy.  That it was supported by the United States government is simply unfathomable and unconscionable.

With the fall of the Brotherhood in Egypt, however, things look considerably brighter.  It's impossible to know what would have happened with a Brotherhood-dominated Egypt going forward, but one thing is certain, with the help of Barack Obama an Islamist noose was tightening around the necks of the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East and now that noose has loosened.

And that, my friends, is a very, very good thing.

"To Ramallah and Back"


Though I do not agree with her obvious anti-urban bias ("trends of most urban environments"... yawn...  1983, before you were even born, called, and wants its stereotypes back), I did find this article to be a good one.
This past month I went on a trip to Ramallah with J Street. I signed up for the trip with very little in terms of expectations – I was merely looking forward to a tour of Ramallah. Of course, I hoped the trip would be an educational experience. I expected to hear insight from Palestinians, activists and UN officials that I would disagree with. However, the most alarming encounters I was confronted with were from the American Jewish college students with whom I traveled.
Say it ain't so.
We then continued on to the annexed part of Jerusalem, called Shuafat. A woman from Machsom Watch, an NGO for human rights in the occupied territories, referred to Shuafat as a refugee camp, though don’t let images of tents pop into your head. The woman only took us a few steps into the Shuafat entrance, which, in accordance with trends of most urban environments, is not the most desirable side of town.
The Jerusalem Light Rail runs through, and in fact has three stations in, Shuafat, which I'm sure is simply 'Public Transit-Washing' to certain 'activists,' though I'm sure it makes an actual difference in the real lives of Arab citizens of the neighborhood, who have access to the rest of the city and the rest of Israel through it.

A "refugee camp?"  Seriously?  Are you kidding me?


So-called "refugee camps" only exist in Lebanon and Jordan, along with the PA- and Hamas-controlled areas of 'Palestine,' where they house not "refugees," but rather force humans into squalor for generations as a sick weapon to use toward their goal of ending the world's sole Jewish state.

(talk about Apartheid...)

Shuafat is a neighborhood of Israel's capital city, Jerusalem, which the Jewish state invests in building infrastructure for, and in, regardless of whether some perpetual 'victims,' as noted above, like it or not.

I would be willing to bet that the residents of Shuafat whose mobility and opportunities have been greatly extended, probably don't want Israel to rip up the transit system it's built there, in order to assuage the 'concerns' of antisemitic anti-Israel NGOs, and others who make their living off of pushing hate.

(How many NGOs have built public transit systems for Palestinians, I must ask?)

Upon her fellows expressing shock and awe over Israeli security these days, Ms. Adatto makes a very fine point, which many, if not most, comfortable Americans can never understand -
The students put so much emphasis on their own feelings that they completely disregarded the fact that Israel faces security threats. They believed these checkpoints were unnecessary and caused emotional harm to the Palestinians. I mentioned to them that I was extremely grateful for these checkpoints. As someone who has been living in Israel for the past six months, public transportation is part of daily life. I don’t travel around Israel on a Birthright bus, with a tour group, or in a taxi. These checkpoints ensure my safety, and the safety of every Israeli, when we step onto a public bus. It was extremely upsetting to hear such blatant disregard for the safety of the people of Israel.
Especially these days, this reminds me in particular of 'progressive leftists' who root on and excuse riots in cities and neighborhoods they don't live in, and likely would never even set foot in.

Not everybody is out and about for smiles and laughter.  Some folks are out to kill others, sadly.  In places like Israel, an unfortunately necessary part of life consists of soldiers making sure that this bus ride isn't your last.  Whether it makes American college students 'feel guilty,' or 'privileged,' or 'guilty' about their 'privilege,' or whatever.

Call Amy Goodman about it when you get home, I'm sure she's very concerned.  As for most Israelis, I'm pretty sure they'd prefer not to end up at their destination dead.
I did not necessarily find what the PLO negotiator had to say disturbing, because I expected it from him. What I found most upsetting was the reactions from my fellow students, who were so out of touch with the Israeli reality. Too concerned with the feelings of the Palestinians, these students completely took for granted the safe environment the Israeli government and military have established.
Now doesn't that sound familiar?
Whether clubbing at 2 a.m. on Ben Yehudah Street, sitting at a café in Tel Aviv, or tanning on the beaches in Eilat, the actions that Israel has taken to keep its citizens and its tourists protected are invaluable.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Say Hello to "News and Views from Jews Down Under"

Mike L.

I am exceedingly happy to announce the launch of a brand-spanking new on-line Jewish news magazine from Australia, published by none other than our friend Shirlee Finn, entitled News and Views from Jews Down Under.

What is News and Views about?  Shirlee writes:
We are sick and tired of left-leaning media, leftists and others who trump up issues about the Jewish Community, Jews and Israel, with little or no regard for facts or truth, and whose blind followers lambaste anyone who dares challenge them.  
This forum seeks to set the record straight, to facilitate open and genuine dialogue on issues that are important to Australian Jews, both within Australia and Israel.  
We see this as somewhere to be able to air views and to ask the hard questions which cannot be done elsewhere and which may at times touch a few nerves.
News and Views is a fledgling operation, but it is precisely the kind of fledgling operation that we should support.  People often wonder if engagement in social media advocacy is actually helpful.  I have very often wondered that myself.

Nonetheless, social media influenced my understanding of how others view the Arab-Israel conflict and that is important to know if you care about the issue.  I never realized the degree of malice coming out of certain quarters of the political landscape until I saw it emerging in poisonous ways from the grassroots / netroots.

The recognition of that bias and malice and what Boston University historian, Richard Landes, calls Lethal Journalism in turn effected my own views of the conflict.

I want to encourage you guys to check out News and Views, which is at the beginning of a work-in-progress.  If any of you folks would like to write for the magazine the editors can be reached at

We need to help one another when we can and if we can.

Good luck to Shirlee, David, and News and Views!

{Added to the blogroll, by the way.}

Let the Peace Processing Continue!

Mike L.

The snippet below was written and published by by Reuters and Jerusalem Post staff.
Israel has agreed to a long-standing Palestinian demand to release Palestinian prisoners in order to resume peace talks, but will not yield on other central issues, International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that Israel and the Palestinians have laid the groundwork for renewed direct peace talks, some three years after the previous attempt at negotiations fell apart.

"There will be some release of prisoners," Steinitz told Israel Radio. "I don't want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for dozens of years," he said. The release would be carried out in phases, he added.

Palestinians have long demanded that Israel free prisoners held since before 1993, when the two sides signed the Oslo Accords - a interim deal intended to lead to an independent state the Palestinians seek in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
I don't know about you, but I find myself just a tad skeptical about all this.  First off, Israel should not be releasing Jihadis with blood on their hands.  What does it say about the local Arabs that they demand the release of murderers before they are willing to negotiate peace?  What does it say about the actual prospect for peace?  Not much, I am afraid.

Meanwhile over at Y-Net Yitzhak Benhorin is absolutely crowing.
They said he was boring, they called him a diplomatic Don Quixote and advised him to forsake a lost cause and turn his attention to Syria, Egypt and Iran. But John Kerry's persistence paid off and proved all the cynics wrong.

While President Barack Obama questioned Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas's true willingness to make peace, Kerry was determined to end the Israel-Palestinian stalemate. Washington dared him to try.

Critics remarked that anyone who failed to beat George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election could hardly be expected to make any real progress in the Middle East peace process.

But the man who wanted to be president had spent years at the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee which prepared him for his grueling shuttle diplomacy that on Friday resulted in the announcement of the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The only thing wrong with Benhorin's rather smug analysis is that it may not actually reflect reality on the ground.

In the Jerusalem Post we read this:
Senior PLO official Wasel Abu Youssef said of Kerry's initiative, "The announcement today did not mean the return to negotiations. It meant efforts would continue to secure the achievement of Palestinian demands ... Israel must recognize the 1967 borders."
Furthermore, of course, even if Netanyahu and Abbas can come to some reasonable compromise, Hamas will certainly not be on-board.

I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Say good-bye to the pretty lady with the candles on Friday evenings.

Anyone who is familiar with this site knows that on Friday nights I feature the pretty lady with the candles in order to acknowledge and honor the Sabbath.  I am not particularly religious, but nonetheless I feel a certain obligation to recognize basic Jewish traditions as a matter of respect.

Strangely, however, the code for the pretty lady with the candles no longer seems to work.  I have no idea why.  In the mean time, until I find something better, I will use the above.

Shabbat Shalom.

Peace to you, please.

The Miserable Parade

Empress Trudy

What is important to understand is that contemporary race in America and I suspect most of the west, is a business like any other. Race needs professionals to tell you you're surrounded by racism that only they can address.  Or, without being cynical, it's a part of the connection between government and  the NGO's and GONGO's that do its bidding in exchange for grants and access. If there were no professional racism, someone would invent it. Just as they create a desire or a fear for any number of other things.

Does this mean there are few legitimate concerns? Does this mean that civil rights aren’t bona fide worries? The precise answer to that depends on whether you’re a professional in the race industry or not.  Ordinary people getting through the day experience a blend of good and bad of the trivial and the egregious. If you’re Hillary Shelton or Al Sharpton then the answer is one of permanent outrage. It has to be. Hoof by claw by tooth by fin the forces of massive implacable horrendous racism are everywhere. Just as Spike Lee once recounted that all White people are racists, even if they don’t know it, even if they aren’t, they still are. Yet we suspect that Hillary Shelton, Al Sharpton and Spike Lee haven’t themselves suffered from the slings and arrows of racism in a very very very long time. If anything they’ve profited by it since.  And we celebrate their success. We are happy they’ve made a great boon of whatever circumstances were theirs to have.  But be clear, it’s a profession.  They’re offering few paths to the overall success of the vast collection of lower middle class black people in America. What they offer is disappointment, indignity, anger – a sense that someone should do something about something somewhere because things aren’t right. That they missed out on every opportunity in America and it’s universally racism’s fault. Or pick whatever engram for that: “republicans”, “white people”, “southerners”, ad infinitum. 

Pick up any women's or men's magazine. What is it? Diets, food, exercise, fashion and sex. Turn on the TV - did you even know you had all these maladies that required drugs they're selling? Create a buzz, make a tweet, start a group, make a march, make a noise, get paid. It’s the answer for what ails you. It's a con, right here in River City like Dr. Harold Hill selling imaginary band instruments to the imaginary band. Are the law firms on TV advertising their services to write you a will or incorporate your small business or set up a foundation for orphans? They’re rattling your cage about mesothelioma, pelvic mesh, failed hip joints, bad drugs and SSI denials. Better Call Saul!

In that way it's bit like terrorism. Terrorism functions like an NGO or nonprofit. It takes money in, it's organized, structured. It recruits, it advertises. Two things though are very crucial. 1) the people at the top aren't getting their hands dirty and 2) it has to create a demand for its services.

There are no old suicide bombers. But the people who create them are. And how do they do that? They sell a message of hate and grievance, they sell the image of a supernal enemy and they hold out the promise of an abstract ineffable unattainable badly defined goal that’s always out there out of reach, barely.  Like any good marketing pro they have to sell the sizzle not the steak. They have to sell the agony not the aspirin. They have the sell the DESIRE in big blinking letters not the afterglow.

Terrorism sells. Anyone can tell you that. It’s romantic, it’s attractive it’s sexy, it’s a day off work from your drab job selling fruit.  Arab terrorism works on many different levels this way – the sense of entitlement, the disappointment, rage, the thirst for revenge, romance, violence, suicide.  Terrorism sells all those things.  Or as someone mentioned to me once “If you want to see what a world run by oversexed irrational teenagers looks like, it’s the Middle Ages – literally”.

The Arab terrorism business creates a demand for its services by singling out Jews and Israel, and building up that enemy until it is so massive that the only sane act is mass murderous. As a business it has to control the supply and demand of its own message. It has to ensure that THEY are the people who are asked to lead the way. Whenever you hear someone say ‘power to the people’, THEY are the people who the people will happily give the power to.

So like any other NGO or nonprofit or foundation or TV ambulance chaser or professional race baiter, terrorist organizations create 1) a target, 2) an aura of hatred, despair, revenge and entitlement, 3) an organization, 4) an executive of themselves, 5) fundraisers/rainmakers, 6) recruits and finally, 7) a brand.

Professional race baiters are driving to the protest in a limo and whipping up the crowd. They're shouting that everyone is a racist and the only way to smash the chains of bondage and hate is to burn down a Starbucks. And then miraculously like a faith healer the professionals swoop in and broker a ceasefire making them indispensable. They created the racial buzz, they created the riot and they created the temporary solution to it all, all the while working the government grant and cocktail circuit for more money. If they were terrorists they’d be hitting up friendly governments for cash while whipping up the local lower middle class into yet another frenzy aimed at the Jews. The poor people are otherwise occupied with surviving, the middle class is protecting what they have and the rich are utterly disconnected from it all or leading the effort themselves. But the lower middle class – that’s the sweet spot.  Be it race or racial hatred, be it riots or rockets it’s the same stupid angry mob being cynically manipulated by greedy nihilists in nice suits.