Monday, February 24, 2014

San Francisco State University and Basic Human Decency

Michael L.

The latest spasm of outrage emerged concerning San Francisco State University and the fact that some of its sponsored student organizations are calling for murder.   This is not hyperbole.  In fact, it is the opposite of hyperbole.  SFSU students, including students from the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), held up signs that read, "My heroes have always killed colonizers."

Shortly thereafter it became clear that the president of GUPS, Muhammad Hammad, called quite specifically for murder, if not genocide, on a number of occasions in a very public manner.

This is simply a fact.

Among the various violent rantings of Mr. Hammad, this is perhaps the most intriguing:
There are children shouting outside and I want to set them on fire.
It is entirely unacceptable for obvious reasons and the calling for blood is not a matter of free speech. Calling for genocide and murder is not a matter of open-minded conversation on a university campus, but the spread of hatred, if not fascism, on that campus. There is no question but that when Arab students hold up signs calling for the murder of "colonizers" that they mean Jews.

This much is obvious.

They mean the Jews of the Middle East, Israeli Jews. They mean the very people who have been subject to thirteen-hundred years of second and third class non-citizenship under Arab-Muslim imperial rule.

There are two recent developments in this story. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and the AMCHA Initiative uncovered an additional series of Tumblr posts by Muhammad Hammad screaming for Jewish blood and Ellen Griffin, Associate Vice President of University Communications, has acknowledged that the genocidal maniac is not presently a student at that university and, thus, not currently the president of the General Union of Palestine Students.

This is the email that I received from Ms. Griffin and it is entirely consistent with what others, including Lori Lowenthal Marcus of the Jewish Press, received from that office:

Mr. Lumish— 
I’m following up from your questions of last week.   
Mohammad Hammad is not enrolled at San Francisco State University this semester.  Consistent with that, he is no longer the President of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS).   
GUPS remains a recognized student organization at San Francisco State University, and as such qualifies to make funding requests and receive funding from Associated Students,Inc.  ASI is an auxiliary of the university, which is funded by student fees, not the State of California general fund.  You may contact ASI’s offices directly to inquire about funds allocated to specific recognized student organizations:   I am copying ASI Executive Directer Peter Koo on this email.
That, in a nutshell, is the latest on the SFSU story.

Hammad is even worse than we thought, but we are told he is not, at this moment, among the student population.

What we don't know is just what the university did concerning the fact that a Jihadi, who screamed for bloody murder against Americans and Jews, and who was the president of a Palestinian-Arab student organization, did about this matter.

It might be that the university was vigorous in addressing this issue or it might be that the university did little or nothing.

We know that both the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI took an interest in Hammad's potential extra-curricular activities - his articulated love of knives and stabbing of Jews - but we do not know that the university did much of anything in response.

That is the relevant question.

Friday, February 21, 2014

On Law, Lies and Propaganda


There are two matters that are playing out in this part of the world right now that have captured much attention.

One is the sudden emergence of the "legality" of the "settlements" as an issue for national debate. Or non-debate. Whatever. It is difficult to even appreciate how much this is progress. Up until very recently it was simply taken as a given that the "settlements" were "illegal" under "international law".  Everybody knows that.  Everybody said so. It was said every time the "settlements" were in the news.  The BBC (and therefore the ABC) sometimes added the faintly condescending and misleading rider "although Israel disputes this".  Journalists such as John Lyons of The Australian didn't even bother to do that.

I will return to this issue because of its importance but here's a snapshot to go on with. It started last week with an article in The Australian by  Bob Carr, Foreign Minister - Never Again (File Stamped: Do Not Employ) still smarting from being thwarted from what he saw was to be the overarching achievement of a grey and mediocre career by any standard --- the de-legitimisation of Jews who live on the wrong side of the "Green Line" by declaring them as "illegal", thus in his mind paving the way for the two state solution as the only show in town.

It's all so easy in Bob's imagination. Once you imagine the "Green Line" dividing Jerusalem and the "West Bank" from Israel then everything else falls into place. The Jews have to be rescued from themselves and its his job to help. This "nudges" the parties towards peace. This is what he says. What a stupid man.

Carr was answered comprehensively, elegantly and far more politely than I could ever manage in a piece by Mark Leibler of AIJAC however I saw something during the week that might have included some free and fair advice for people like us and that I think deserves a response.

Here it is:

THE contention of Bob Carr (”West Bank settlements always illegal”, 12/2) that “all” Israeli settlements are illegal and have “always” been illegal goes beyond any reasonable view.
International lawyers who are generally critical of the settlements, and even the PLO, have conceded that some of the settlements are built on land that was privately purchased by Jews before Israel was established and to which the current occupants have full and proper title.
Politicians, lawyers and others are entitled to their opinions about the legality or illegality of the settlements, but should not be presenting their views as incontrovertible truths.
There has never been a legally binding determination of the issue by the International Court of Justice or any other court.
Further, Carr’s opinion is at odds with the common view that the major settlement blocs will become a part of Israel in any peace deal, in return for equivalent land within pre-1967 Israel that will become part of a state of Palestine.
The debate about the legality or illegality of the settlements will therefore not decide the issue. Peter Wertheim, Executive director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Sydney

I agree the debate about the legality or illegality of the "settlements" will not decide the issue. That is why it is so important. There should not even be a debate. Or if there is it should be even handed and both sides should be heard.
With respect I am going to decline Peter Wertheim's advice to not present my views on this with some force and the reason for that is not just because I have a strong view on it but also because I have not lost all hope in the two state solution. It is because I think there is still a chance and it should not be thrown away. Even if the two states in the solution turn out to be Egypt and Jordan.
Those who fret over this even being raised need to ask themselves why. We ignored it after Oslo because we thought it was moot. Why even talk about it. It can only do harm. Let them have their fantasies. We know it's a crock but then again so is the whole "Palestinian" story really so let it slide. There's about to be a deal and then everyone will be nice.
Instead we got the Second Intifada and everyone got very ugly. Especially them. At least around here they did. And that was just the politicians like Bob Carr and the journalists like ... let's give John a pass for now ... pretty much all of them really except Greg Sheridan also of The Australian. 
  "The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies."
 Come on. A break needed at this point please. The first time I read that this line was being interpreted to deem people acting on their own volition as "illegal" based on what a liberal democratic"power" did not do, could not do and legally did not even have the power to do, in regard to "territories" that are not even "occupied" within the context, and therefore these same people are actually liable for deportation or transfer, I thought I was inside some legal parody from hell. A Kafka story come to haunt us. That this "legal" principle was to be applied only once and for the first time in all of history only to Jews living in Jerusalem, even born in Jerusalem, not even to mention Judea and Samaria, could only be a script written by something very strange and sinister indeed.

The Australian Greens for example. They don't come much stranger and more sinister than that. From the Greens national policy:

The Australian Greens will work for:
2.1 the removal of Israeli settlers and Israeli security and military forces from the Palestinian territories
 the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli military from all Palestinian cities, towns, refugee camps, surrounding areas and transport routes, allowing freedom of movement of Palestinians within the West Bank and Gaza
 the immediate freezing of all Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories (including natural growth) and the simultaneous commencement of the repatriation of the Israeli settlers from the Palestinian territories
● an associated withdrawal of Israeli security and military forces from the areas evacuated by the settlers
 the immediate dismantling of the separation wall
So when Jews exercise their right to live lawfully and peacefully where they choose, this is the "deportation or transfer" of part of the population of an occupying power. But their dispossession and forcible eviction (Greens policy)  is "repatriation". This is where this leads. Buying or renting in a Jewish neighbourhood of Jerusalem is "deportation or transfer" (if you are Jewish. It is not if you are an Israeli Arab.) What happened in Gaza however was "repatriation". This is probably a fair summary of "elite progressive opinion" on this subject throughout the West.

How do you "freeze natural growth" by the way? Are the Greens advocating compulsory contraception as an interim measure?

What on earth are you thinking, Bob Carr? Where is your head at, John Lyons?

Bob Carr and others emphasis the illegality of the "settlements", and others are nervous about this even being forcefully challenged, because they believe that the "settlements" are an obstacle to peace and that their "apologists" (Carr's word) necessarily have an agenda that includes destroying any prospect of a two state solution. "Settlements" make "Palestine" harder or even impossible.

But why? Why is the presence of Jews such anathema to those who say they are striving for an independent sovereign "Palestine"? It's almost as for some the very thought of Jews living among them even as a minority with equal and full rights as citizens is repulsive at its very core. Of course it's illegal.

Oh wait...

Its not the "settlements" that are the problem here. It is not their "illegality". It is not "international law" at all, which is largely irrelevant.  After all, no one talks about international law when it comes to racist incitement and indoctrination by the PA and Hamas, the use of children in insurrection and war or the indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians. The problem is a deep seated and carefully nurtured fear and hatred of Jews everywhere and especially in their own homeland.

Unless that is addressed there will be no peace. It does not help at all to concede or leave unchallenged the notion that Jews are illegal if they live outside of their part of the city. We know about those laws. We can do without them.

And that is the whole point. We are better off without any international law than "international law" such as this. It may come to that.

Bob Carr, John Lyons, the BBC, the ABC, the Greens and all the rest should shut up about international law and it's not just because they do not know what they are talking about. It is because there can only be peace between peoples if they deal with each other with mutual respect and as equals. Not if one side is see as a people that are "illegal" by their very presence on the land as if it was some kind of divine curse that passes from generation to generation.

Oh wait ...

I say again I agree with Peter Wertheim that the illegality or legality of the "settlements" will not determine the issue. That is why it is important to blast this perverse notion out of the water with all guns. Then maybe the way might be cleared for real negotiations for a genuine two state solution. At least the view from the West on what is going on might be a little clearer without all the mud in the water.

Which brings me to John Lyons, the ABC and the other matter being played out around here.

To be continued ...

cross posted Geoffff's Joint
                    Jews Downunder 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Love of the Land Links

Michael L.

A conflict that keeps being continually punctuated by Arab fiction on Arab fiction 

The Shameless Promotion of Colonialism of the Anti-Israel Left 

The "international community" chimera - A fantasy and fiction of the mind 

Were 3 more rockets fired at Israel today, fell short, and went unreported? 

Pollard and the American 'treason' libel 

Still no solution? Then keep the status quo

I am not particularly religious, but I have enormous respect for Jewish people, such as Yosef and Melody, who choose to live in places like Hebron.

Hebron is, of course, the city of Abraham and the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs.  It is the very heart of Jewish tradition and there is absolutely no reason why Jewish people should not be allowed to live there if they so choose.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On Settlements and Stupidity: Chapter 3 Synopsis - The Palestinian Colonization of the Progressive Jewish Mind

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under .}

General Outline

Chapter One Synopsis and Thesis Statement

Chapter Two Synopsis - Erasing and Confiscating Jewish History

When Barack Obama snubbed the Knesset, and Jews who live where he does not want them to live, during his last visit to Israel, he claimed that Israelis needed to learn to see things through "their eyes."  The implication, of course, was that the Jews of the Middle East are lacking the requisite compassion to gain peace for themselves and their children.

I would argue something rather different.

I would suggest that the so-called "Palestinian narrative" of pristine victim-hood has made remarkable advances into Jewish minds, particularly progressive-left diaspora Jewish minds. The problem is not that the Jews are lacking in empathy, as Obama shamefully implied, but quite the opposite. Diaspora Jews, as a group, tend to be so painfully empathetic that we cannot really bring ourselves to take our own side in a fight, as the Holocaust proved.  This explains the fact that Israeli Jews tend to be more "conservative" while diaspora Jews tend to be more "progressive." Israeli Jews are under siege and diaspora Jews, with the growing exception of European Jews, are not. Thus Israeli Jews are tougher and diaspora Jews are softer on security issues viz-a-viz Israel.

The process through which the Palestinian colonization of the Jewish mind accomplished itself found its primary vehicles in the final quarter of the twentieth-century with the rise of post-structural and neo-colonial theories within the western academe. The former trend, following scholars such as Michelle Foucault, suggested that knowledge is subjective and represents political imperatives that bolster systems of power. This laid intellectual foundation for anti-Zionist Jews, such as Ilan Pappé , who famously claimed:
Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers.
The latter discipline, neo-colonial theory, as it bubbled onto the popular level with much help from Columbia University professor, Edward Said, represents a popular and snapping critique which divides the world into malicious imperialistic white people and their innocent victims of color.   Given that the ruling elite within Israel tended, since its founding, to be "white" Ashkenazi Jews of eastern European descent it became very easy for the enemies of Jewish sovereignty, influenced by post-structuralist and neo-colonial theories, to jam the Israeli round peg into their ideological square hole.

In this way they simply ignored the fact that about half of Israelis are "people of color" and they did so - and do so - because portraying Israelis as white imperialist colonialist murderers fits preconceived political agendas that bare remarkable resemblance to western religious notions of Good versus Evil, with the Palestinian Arabs representing the Good and the White Imperialist Colonialist and Racist Jews representing Evil. This is not so far removed from medieval European conceptions of transcendent Jewish malice as we would generally prefer to think.

These broad popular and academic inclinations, over decades now, have had their effect on the way that westerners, and western Jews, view the ongoing Arab-Muslim war against us in the Middle East. The effect has been to entirely ignore the long history of Jewish people in Judaea and Samaria - the Jewish homeland - which they insist upon calling "West Bank," a twentieth century Jordanian term designed specifically to erase Jewish history. The very notion of "West Bank" is an erasure of Jewish heritage and therefore some of us wonder why it is that the great majority of western Jews use terminology that erases their own heritage?

One answer to that question goes under the moniker "Oslo Syndrome."   Harvard University professor of psychology, Kenneth Levin, in The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege, suggests that, much like battered children who promise to be "better" in order to make the beatings stop, the Jewish minority has tended over many centuries to hope for relief by endeavoring to appease our persecutors through adopting their ways of thinking. This represents a particularly Jewish version of Stockholm Syndrome wherein the victim adopts her persecutors ways of thinking as a psychological defense mechanism. Whatever the validity of this notion, there is small question but that the tendency among diaspora Jewish progressives is to lay the great majority of the fault for Arab aggression against their fellow Jews at the feet of Jewish victims of that aggression.

This tendency of pro-Israel diaspora Jews to incorporate the "Palestinian narrative" into their intrinsic understanding of the conflict, along with the imperatives of domestic partisan politics pitting Democrats against Republicans in the United States, has inclined many of them to think of Israel's friends as enemies and some of its enemies as friends. Evangelical Christians, for example, are widely perceived among western diaspora Jews as representing a political enemy, despite the fact that the Evangelicals have long been a great friend to the Jewish state of Israel. Meanwhile some progressive-left diaspora Jews think that "BDS," the movement to bitch-slap, denigrate, and silence supporters of Israel, is actually a positive thing because Israel allegedly requires "tough love" and that they must "save Israel from itself" by imposing their will upon it.

The "Palestinian narrative," embraced by much of the western left, infuses our understanding of the conflict. The presumption, even among Jewish supporters of Israel, is that the Jews of the Middle East are guilty of horrific crimes against the "indigenous" population. There are about 6 million Jews in the Middle East and about 400 million Arabs, which means that there are somewhere between 60 to 70 Arabs for every individual Jew, yet, somehow, the tiny minority of Jews are said to be the oppressors who not only persecute the local Arabs, but who spread war throughout the region. Progressive-Left Jews who embrace the "Palestinian narrative" see Jewish self-defense as a form of aggression. They therefore blame Jewish "aggression" for Palestinian-Arab "self-defense" in the form of suicide bombings and general terrorism; a notion that they spread throughout the west, more generally.

This is a terrific mistake.

Monday, February 17, 2014

On Settlements and Stupidity: A Book Project

Michael L.

I've dumped the "ZioNazi" title on the book project because it will turn off too many people and, as Randall and Jay and Shirlee point out, it could easily be used against the Jewish people.

I am therefore going with a working title of "On Settlements and Stupidity" and the image that I will use to signify the project will be this one:

The quick question is this: which of these two subtitles do you prefer?

A) On Settlements and Stupidity:  

The Progressive-Left Betrayal of the Jews in the Age of Obama


B) On Settlements and Stupidity: 

A Few Political Thoughts from a Pissed-Off American Liberal Jew in the Age of Obama

Let me know what you think.

I will choose one or the other or something else entirely.

I wonder what Stuart thinks?

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Demise of Christianity in the Middle East and Africa

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and the Times of Israel.}

The tidbit below was written by Raymond Ibrahim and published at the Gatestone Institute:
The rise of endemic Christian persecution in the Middle East was noted in November when Roman Catholic Pope Francis declared "We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians" and stressed the importance of "the universal right to lead a dignified life and freely practice one's own faith" after meeting with patriarchs from Syria, Iran, and Iraq -- all countries where Christian minorities are under attack.

Powers best placed to do something about the plight of Mideast Christians, however —namely, the U.S. administration—made it clear that they would do nothing, even when well-leveraged to do so.

In November, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year for practicing Christianity, said she and her family were devastated after learning that the Obama administration did not even try to secure the release of her husband as part of the newly signed deal on Iran's nuclear program.

"The talks over Iran's nuclear program were seen by his [Abedini's] family and those representing them as one of the most promising avenues yet for securing his release," said Fox News. "But the White House confirmed over the weekend that Abedini's status was not on the table during those talks."

"I don't think we have any more leverage," said Abedini's wife. "We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country, when we could have used our leverage, chose to stay silent."
One of the great tragedies and hypocrisies of the current moment is the Christian and western-left failure to speak out against the persecution of Christians throughout Muslim lands.  Perhaps the foremost scholar addressing this horrendous violation of human rights is Raymond Ibrahim, the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.

For those of you who may be unaware, Mr. Ibrahim, a Christian of Coptic descent, has been cataloging and interpreting persecution against the Christian minority in the Muslim world for many years now.

What I find absolutely flabbergasting is the fact that while western progressives claim to care about universal human rights they show virtually no interest in the human rights of Christian minorities in the Middle East and much of Africa.  Western-left moral hypocrisy is, of course, nothing new to those of us who concern ourselves with such things.  I expect the progressive-left not to care when Muslims attack and murder other Muslims or when they attack and murder Christians or Jews.  What surprises me a tad, I suppose, is the fact that so few western Christians care either.

My suspicion is that a very large percentage of western Christians, particularly in Europe - to the extent that they still have Christians in Europe - have been raised to believe that criticism of Muslim persecution of non-Muslims is "racist" and therefore to be avoided at all costs.

When Arab-Muslim political fanatics attack Jews, on the other hand, diaspora Jews care.  They may, in their confusion, blame the Jews of the Middle East for Muslim attacks upon them, but they at least notice.  I do not see much of anything to indicate that the larger Christian world really cares very much about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East or Africa or the chasing of Christians out of those parts of the world.

The Middle East, in particular, is on fire and the great majority of people who suffer from that carnage are Muslims themselves.  When Barack Obama stood before the United Nations and said that the United States supports the "changes" going on in the Arab world under the so-called "Arab Spring" he was wittingly, or unwittingly, supporting the most violently retrograde conservative political movement in the world today.  Personally, I do not think that he really knew what he was doing, but then I do not think that Barack Obama is half as intelligent as they kept telling us that he is.

Nonetheless, one would think that as a Christian he might care about the endemic persecution of the Christian minority within Islamic lands, but he clearly does not.  Given the fact that so few Christian leaders, and so few heads of Christian majority countries, care about the well-being of Egyptian Christians or Syrian Christians or Lebanese Christians, why should Barack Obama?

These are among the most persecuted people on the planet today and, yet, virtually no one cares.

I do think that those of us who actually hold to old-fashioned notions such as "universal human rights" might want to stand up for the Christian minority under Islamic imperial rule, but it is simply not happening.

Raymond Ibrahim is spitting into a tornado, and G-d bless him for it, but very few are leaning into that wind with him.

Monday, February 10, 2014

On Settlements and Stupidity: Chapter Two Synopsis - Erasing and Confiscating Jewish History

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and the Times of Israel.}

A large part of the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East is the delegitimization and erasure of Jewish history. In the Arab-Muslim world this delegitimization and erasure is almost entirely complete and it has a significant influence in the way that westerners, including Jewish westerners, discuss the conflict.

The question of language in propaganda should be of central concern to those of us who care about the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Obvious examples of the way that Jewish history is erased include the erasure of the ancient names of Judaea and Samaria from the western lexicon in favor of the recent Jordanian term "West Bank." Another example is the relatively recent replacement of the word "Palestinian" to refer to Jews from that region with the word "Palestinian" to refer to Arabs. This bit of rhetorical, ahistorical ju-jitzu provides the basis of Arab claims to Jewish land. It is, in fact, part of the effort to simply replace the Jews with the small subsection of local Arabs who now claim to represent an ancient and distinct people persecuted by foreign Jewish invaders.

Interestingly enough, there is no historical record whatsoever of any ancient "Palestinian" people of Arab descent on that land whatsoever.  In this way the "Palestinians" become a people with a secret history that they simply make up when it is politically convenient to do so.

The erasing of Jewish history through, for example, denying that contemporary Jews are in anyway related to our ancestors in ancient Israel, or through denying that any Jewish temple ever resided on the Temple Mount, is accompanied by a replacement of Jewish history with the so-called "Palestinian narrative."  Thus, Jesus becomes the "first Palestinian shaheed" (martyr), thereby taking a significant Jewish figure in world history and simply converting him into an Arab-Muslim.  Another example is the attempt to appropriate or equate the Holocaust with al-Nakba.    The obvious significance of the Nakba story is to suggest that while the Jews may have suffered a Holocaust, the "Palestinians" also suffered a holocaust at the hands of the murderous Jews. They even sometimes use the term "Nakba denial" in order to parallel and create an equivalence to "Holocaust denial" and thereby an equivalence between the Arab efforts to complete the Holocaust directly after World War II and the Holocaust, itself.

This fabrication and distortion of Jewish history, and the effort to replace it with "Palestinian" history, is aided by what historian Richard Landes calls "Pallywood."  Just as the Nazis told lies about the Jewish people in order pave the way for slaughter, and spread those lies on film, so the Palestinian-Arabs tell lies about the Jews in order to justify aggression towards us, an aggression that is thereby further justified by their malicious "progressive" allies in the West.  The foremost example of Pallywood is the al-Durrah affair in which a faked interpretation of a video by French "journalists" was spread around the world endeavoring to show murderous Jewish malice toward Palestinian-Arab children. This video, an example of the blood libel, is partly responsible not only for the thousands of dead during the Second Terror War against the Jews at the turn of the millennium, but for the betrayal of the Jewish people by western leftists who went along with the notion of Jewish malice and abuse toward a largely innocent "indigenous" population.

Finally, the most significant aspect of the attempt to rob Jewish people, not only of our security but of our very history, is through the recent social construction of Palestinian national identity. The politically motivated construction of "Palestinian" identity emerged for most local Arabs during the end of the twentieth century solely for the purpose of countering Jewish claims to historically Jewish land. Throughout most of the twentieth-century the term "Palestinian" referred to Jewish people living on that land.  The local Arabs only took on the attribution "Palestinian" after the Jews of the region gave up the term in favor Israel.

Israel, of course, being one of the ancient names for the Jewish people, more generally.

The erasure and confiscation of Jewish history by the so-called "Palestinians" is one of the most insidious tactics in the Long Arab War against the Jews. It is also one of the most effective and least discussed, but it is fully consistent with the history of Islam.  Islam, unlike Judaism, is an expansionist, imperial religion that throughout its history has consistently replaced non-Muslim holy sites with mosques and retroactively turned significant non-Muslim historical and religious figures, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, into Muslims.

If we acknowledge that the Jewish minority in the Middle East are a people under siege, and are, in fact, the minority victims of an ongoing Arab-Muslim majority aggression, then we need to acknowledge and discuss the theft of Jewish heritage by that aggressive and hostile majority.

Well-meaning Jewish intellectuals and academics in the West often tend to downplay historical Arab-Muslim aggression against the Jews of the Middle East for the very best reasons. They are, as the late professor Barry Rubin might say, lying for peace, whether they recognize that or not. The hope is that if smart westernized Jews are nice to smart westernized Arabs then maybe those Arabs will prevail upon their brothers and sisters in the Middle East to end the long, unjust, unnecessary, and Koranically-based war against us.

I simply do not see it happening.

Friday, February 7, 2014

San Francisco Hillel Reaches Out

Michael L.

I am very pleased to forward this information from Hillel's San Francisco State University chapter.

People like Alon Shalev, the Executive Director of San Francisco Hillel, are in an exceedingly difficult position and it is important for the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish community to support them.

I spoke to him this morning concerning the situation at San Francisco State University and, I have to say, my heart goes out to the guy.  This is someone doing a remarkable job under difficult circumstances.

Good for him!

So let's send some students to AIPAC and maybe even purchase a San Francisco Sweatshirt in Hebrew.  I intend to do so.

For those of you who have pockets, contact the guy at:

San Francisco Hillel,
33 Banbury Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132
Dear Michael,

It has been a rough few months for the pro-Israel student at SF State. The glorification of violence against Israelis as seen through the stencil incident and, more disturbingly, the knife incidents, has had a profound impact on our students.

A few are angry and empowered to lobby the campus for a non-violent, safe environment for all minorities and views. These students have high energy, but need the training and networking with talented colleagues. They need the inspiring experiences.

Then there are the majority who are shell-shocked and intimidated or simply disillusioned. At a time when the pro-Israel student community was making such great strides through promoting Study Abroad in Israel, staffing an Israeli exhibit at Campus Sustainability Day, and launching Connect Through Dialogue, this is a blow that takes the wind from your stomach. It makes you ask: do I really want to spend my college experience embroiled in such conflict?

SF Hillel staff are strategizing and engaging with these students. One clear initiative is to send our largest delegation to the AIPAC summit. This is no easy feat. Most of our students work their way through college with minimal or no financial support from their families. The price of the conference ($650), the flight ($400), and the hostel ($300) is prohibitive.

The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation have generously offered to underwrite $500 for each student. They have offered us an amazing opportunity.

Would you consider paying the registration or hostel for a student, or leveraging your air miles? Perhaps you have a friend or colleague who is going and can help. Hillel commits to preparing and following through with these students, funneling their enthusiasm and training into our iTeam and Israel advocacy.

Last year, Shachar Ben David attended the conference. She returned and became iTeam President. She has worked relentlessly during the past few months, challenging administration to be accountable. This is what she said about the AIPAC Summit:

"This conference strengthened my belief that Pro-Israel advocacy is not only important, but absolutely necessary if we wish to foster the relationship between the US and Israel, also on campuses, and the country at large."

Please let me know if you can help. My email is Our students at SF State are truly on the frontline of Israel advocacy, in a most difficult environment, and they are making us proud.

Happy New Year, 
Alon Shalev

Executive Director, San Francisco Hillel


Michael L.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Heroes Have Always Killed Invaders (Updated)

Michael L.

(Cross-posted at JDU.)

In response to the SFSU story, Geoffff has a few words:
Can you imagine the fury if a campus Jewish group did this? 
"My heroes have always killed invaders". 
T-shirts with the face of Baruch Goldstein on sale" ". the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f—ing scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the invaders. The Liberation of Israel from the river to the sea can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Muslim plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough."

I could go on.

A guy with an Uzi saying "I seriously can not get over how much I love this weapon. It is the deadliest thing I own and cuts through bodies like swiss cheese and just holding it makes me want to shoot an invader".

Can you just imagine?

What would the university's reaction to that? Not to mention the media. Not to mention the Jews. All Jews everywhere.

Of course we can't imagine. That is because such a thing is impossible.
Geoffff is, for those of you who may be unaware, referring to the genocidal rantings of Muhammad Hammad, the president of the General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State University who said this on a social media site, referring to an innocent Jewish female Israeli soldier:
I’m sitting here looking through pictures of that f—ing scum (name removed to protect the soldier) … Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f—ing scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF. The Liberation of Palestine can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Israeli plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough.
The double-standard is obvious.

The bottom line is that the students associated with GUPS, and other San Francisco State University political student organizations, called for murder.

Yes, they most certainly did.

"My heroes have always killed colonizers" is nothing less than a call for murder and I fail to understand how it is that the university can fund student organizations that quite literally call out for murder, if not genocide.

Who are these "colonizers" in need of killing?

San Francisco State University is funding student organizations that are calling out for blood.  Well, whose blood?  I feel reasonably certain that when a Palestinian Arab student in an organization like the General Union of Palestine Students holds up a sign declaring that "colonizers" should be killed that he means Jews.

Who else could he possibly mean?

It is clear as day and for the university to do nothing sends the message that calling for the murder of the tiny Jewish minority is within university standards of student behavior.

Have we really come to the point where calling for the murder of Jews is acceptable to San Francisco State University?

It is hard to imagine, but there it is.

It is a wake-up call and we sure as hell better wake up.


Dusty at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers and San Francisco State Unbecoming asked me what should we do?

What is the next step?

Dusty knows activism, and the Bay Area Jewish community, better than do I, but it seems to me that the thing to do at this point is to contact the university and simply ask them what measures the university has taken given the fact that they are funding student organizations that recommend violence and murder?

President Wong claimed to be "disturbed" and "dismayed" and "concerned" about this call for violence by students at his university.

Therefore we simply need to discover just what his office has done in regards those concerns.

Therefore we need to call:

Ellen Griffin
SFSU, University Communications
Associate Vice President
415 - 338 - 6990

It's easy enough.  I called her yesterday and am hoping that she will return my call.  If not, I will call her back.

You might also, of course, consider dialing up the office of the president of the university:

Mr. Leslie Wong
Phone: (415) 338-1381

I am still hoping that the university took some measures concerning this issue.  My fear is that they will simply stonewall, thus affirming the idea that calling for murder by student organizations funded by the university has their approval.

It is simply not right and the larger Bay Area community, and the world-wide Jewish community, needs to let them know that we find this unacceptable, if we find it unacceptable.

I certainly do.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Arab Anti-Zionists Call for Murder at San Francisco State University

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and the Times of Israel.}

On December 3 of last year I published a piece entitled "State Funded Incitement to Murder at San Francisco State University."  This article concerned itself with the fact that a number of university funded student political organizations, including the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), called for murder during an event on November 7, 2013, honoring the late professor Edward Said at a mural dedication outside of the student union.

This story came to my attention through the work of Dusty at San Francisco State Unbecoming, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of the AMCHA Initiative to protect Jewish students, and the popular Elder of Ziyon blog that also covered the story.

The signs read, "My heroes have always killed colonizers" leaving one to wonder just who are these people some SFSU students believe are in need of killing? When a student activist of Palestinian Arab descent holds up a sign calling for the murder of "colonizers" it is clear to most Jewish people that he or she is referring to us. Who else could they be talking about, the British? I do not think so.

When a Palestinian Arab talks of the necessity of murdering "colonizers" what they mean are Jews. Period. They do not mean Romans. They do not mean Russians. They might, against all reason, mean Americans. But they certainly mean Jewish supporters of the State of Israel, which represents the vast majority of the Jewish people, both diaspora and Israeli.

Subsequently we became aware that GUPS sold t-shirts on their facebook page featuring the visage of the racist terrorist Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and an airline hijacker, and the president of GUPS, Muhammed Hammad, called quite specifically for the murder of Jews, and of specific Jews, including a young female soldier in the Israeli military.

The question that many of us in the Bay Area Jewish community asked ourselves at the time is what, if anything, is SFSU President Leslie Wong intending to do about this matter?  Leaving Mr. Hammad aside for the moment, the question becomes how is it that the university is in the business of funding student organizations that call for violence, even murder?

Since the end of last semester I have allowed this story to rest because I wanted to give the university the time that it needs to conclude its deliberations and possible investigations. At the time, SFSU president Wong wrote a piece in which he claimed to be "disturbed" and "dismayed" and "concerned" about this call for violence by students at his university.

It is now time to revisit the story to see if professor Wong has acted on his concerns.

In order to determine this I have contacted a number of individuals that hold institutional authority on the campus and have yet to discover anything that would indicate that the Office of the President has acted on this matter. My contact at the student newspaper tells me that he is aware of no action taken and the office of GUPS refuses to even tell us who the current president of the organization is, although they did indicate that Hammad is still a student on campus.

I have left messages with Ellen Griffin, the SFSU chief of university communications, and Alon Shalev, the Executive Director of SFSU Hillel, requesting information.

My intention going forward is merely to determine what action the university has taken concerning the fact that it is paying student organizations to incite to violence against Jews and other peoples.

As an alum of San Francisco State my sincerest hope is that the university has taken some meaningful action to discourage calls for violence among the more politically extreme members of its community.

But whether it has, or it has not, we can certainly inquire further into the matter.

This is what Muhammad Hammad, the president of GUPS last year, if not this year, wrote on his Tumblr (social media) page:
I’m sitting here looking through pictures of that f—ing scum (name removed to protect the soldier) … Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f—ing scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF. The Liberation of Palestine can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Israeli plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough.
And this:
I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.
From my perspective the university's reputation is on the line.

San Francisco State University, where I received a Master's Degree in American History in 2001, has a reputation for being unfriendly toward both Jews and the Jewish State of Israel. SFSU has a long history of anti-Jewish / anti-Israel activism and this recent kerfuffle is just one in an ongoing line of such incitement and hatred spit at the Jewish people.

Let's hope that the office of the president of the university has taken this issue with the seriousness that it deserves.

I will look forward to speaking with Ms. Griffin and Mr. Shalev in the coming days.

We shall see.

It has to be understood, of course, that the real issue here is neither Hammad, nor the General Union of Palestine Students - an organization, by the way, that Yasser Arafat was once a member of - but whether San Francisco State University, and the larger California State University system, finds calls for the murder of minority groups, such as the Jewish people, to be acceptable and thereby funded.

What Would Moses Say?

Michael L.

In a piece for Commentary entitled, Free Speech Wars: The Blasphemy Fashion Police, Douglas Murray writes the following:
Meet the latest victim of the "Cartoon Wars": Maajid Nawaz, head of the counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation and prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrat party. He was on a BBC program discussing free speech and the right to offend, when two students from a London Atheists and Secular Society were present. They were wearing T-shirts with a cartoon strip on them called "Jesus and Mo." The wearing of such T-shirts has become a matter of principle for them since students manning the stall of the Atheists and Secularists society at the London School of Economics freshers' fair last October were asked either to cover their T-shirts up or be physically removed. No prizes for guessing who complained about the T-shirts, but it was not the LSE Christian Society.

This local infringement on freedom of speech caused some embarrassment for the LSE, and the debate over the dreaded T-shirts of hate rumbled on until December when the university authorities apologized for becoming the blasphemy fashion police.

But as everybody who remembers the Danish cartoons affair will remember, these things are never contained. Indeed so fevered is this debate that there are endless Hydra-headed spin-offs each time the cartoon wars crops up. Each time someone tries to chop its metaphorical head off, another cartoon affair pops up somewhere else.
Yes, and I very much feel an obligation to leap onto this stupid bandwagon and publish the dreaded cartoon here at Israel Thrives.

It's not that I want to be offensive, it's just my nature.

The only question I have is, why is it that no major Jewish religious figure is represented in the cartoon?  Actually, that is not the only question that I have.  Another question is, what would Moses say if he was represented?

Jesus says, "Hey."

That Muhammad fellow says, "How ya doin?"

And I think that Moses should be sandwiched between the two saying, "Wazzup?"

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not One Israeli Killed

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Joshua Levitt of the Algemeiner reports that at the Munich conference on Saturday, American Secretary of State John Kerry claimed, "Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank."

Leaving aside the question of what, exactly, is a "Palestinian," or where the "West Bank" is in relation to Judaea and Samaria, it never ceases to amaze me how for so many western progressives violence toward Jews, even the killing of Jews, is not considered violence at all.

Through the final months of 2012 southern Israel was bombarded by rocket fire coming from Arabs in Gaza. Something like 200 Qassam and Katyushas were launched at Israel causing the residents of S'derot and Ashkelon to flee into bunkers at a moment's notice. During the entire period of that bombardment the West, with the exception of a few conservative outlets, remained entirely silent because they simply did not care. The European Union did not care that Jews were targeted for violence by anti-Jewish racist Arabs. The president of the United States did not care that Jews were targeted for violence by anti-Jewish racist Arabs. And, sadly, most progressive-left diaspora Jews remained silent, as well, suggesting that they did not care that Jews were targeted for violence by anti-Jewish racist Arabs.

And now we have the Secretary of State of the United States telling a gathering of high-level politicians and diplomats engaged in the effort to create yet another Arab-Muslim state that "Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank."

I am sure this must be a great comfort to the family and friends of the Israeli stabbed to death by a local Arab on April 30th of last year in Tapuah Junction in Samaria, according to The Algemeiner.

I am equally certain that the family and friends of the Israeli who was shot dead near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in September, must feel tremendous comfort at the knowledge that the American government does not consider the murder of Jews to represent violence.  The same, of course, goes for the Israeli who was murdered by Arab murderers in Beit Amin/ Qalqiliyah.

Likewise, the family and friends of the Israeli stabbed to death in Brosh / Jordan Valley in October must feel gratitude to Kerry for acknowledging that this murder does not count as murder.

And it goes on and on and on.

Throughout European, Arab, and Muslim history the killing of Jews was not considered actual violence.  Jewish self-defense was considered immoral, illegitimate, and illegal, on religious grounds. These very same terms are now stamped onto the foreheads of Jews who dare to live in Judaea and Samaria which is where Jews have lived for around 3,500 years; long before there was any such places as London or Paris or Washington D.C.

I think that I can probably speak for most American Jews (those who are not craven sycophants of the Obama administration) that we are getting a bit tired of the vicious double-standard that sees violence toward the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East as a matter of righteous social justice as derived from progressive-left political ideology.

We are getting a bit tired of the vicious double-standard that sees Jewish self-defense as representing aggression.

John Kerry, speaking for the Obama administration and the American people, stood up before the world on Saturday and essentially claimed that violence towards Jews, even the murdering of Jews, is not violence at all. He did not say that explicitly, of course.  He is a "diplomat," after all.  He merely implied it and probably did so in an entirely unconscious manner.

From the comments:

Kerry has a profession. It's called lying.
I actually doubt that Kerry is intentionally lying. He simply doesn't know the truth because he has plenty of other things on his plate and he probably doesn't really give a damn one way or the other. Some trusted source told him that no Israeli Jews were killed in Judaea and Samaria last year and he simply believed and repeated it despite the fact that it is entirely false. The effect of this, of course, is to imply that the Jews of the Middle East are a little paranoid about the violence directed at them by the great Arab-Muslim majority in that part of the world. The implication of Kerry's statement weakens the argument for Jewish self-defense by implying that there is little need for such self-defense.

Kerry's intentions are not the issue here. It is the effect of his actions and words that matter.

I'd like to take him up, give him a buffing with some nice abrasive sand paper and then drop into an Olympic sized pool full of Heinz extra hot hot sauce.

Fuuny how he doesn't know facts when they aren't convenient to him.
I publish the comment above for no other reason than that I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy!
Concerned citizen

It is not a peace process but a Palestinian state process.

And what a coincidence. Negotiations are coming to a head in the midst of the Iranian negotiations just as Iran is ready to break out.

Couldn't have been planned better.
I would say that "Concerned citizen" is a tad paranoid. There is nothing to indicate that any of this is coordinated with the Iranian negotiations for the purpose of undermining Israeli well-being. However, he or she is absolutely correct in the claim that this is not a "peace process" but a "Palestinian state process."

We need to move beyond what I call the "Oslo Delusion."

The idea that if Israel can find the right combination of concessions to the Arabs this will incline them to leave the Jews in peace is simply mistaken. The history of the conflict from 1937 (Peel Commission) to the present demonstrates quite clearly that the Arabs have no particular interest in ceasing the long war against the Jews of the Middle East for at least two reasons. The first reason is that the war has a Koranically-based religious mandate. The second reason is that given the fact that Arabs outnumber Jews by a factor of 60 or 70 to one in the Middle East means that the great majority of their population will not suffer through using the Palestinian-Arabs as a bludgeon against us.

And so the conflict continues.

Now that we understand that "Oslo" is done and that the "peace process" is largely a hoax, it is time to tell our non-Jewish friends that we are simply done with this thing.

As I have been arguing for a number of years, now, Israel needs to declare its final borders on its eastern flank, move the IDF to behind those borders, and then, in the words of our friend Trudy, toss the keys over the shoulder.

This will not end the long war against the Jews in the Middle East, but nothing is going to do so short of a Muslim reformation and that is not happening anytime soon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Too few like Ali Salim. Way too few.

by oldschooltwentysix

And too few that can hear what he offers. Not afraid to mince words, which allows him to get to the essence of the matter. He is one of my favorite essayists because of the insight he provides into the Arab mind and the courage he exhibits. In a way, he reminds me of Barry Rubin, who died today, in his positivist approach to the state of things.

I wish more of those who are uninformed and indifferent, yet take strong positions nonetheless, would be exposed to Salim. He repudiates voices that now hold disproportionate influence, seeking "social justice" as they obscure a lust for power that justifies suppression of immoral defenders of the system that supports a state like Israel.

Ironically, the system provides these activists opportunity and freedom to resist it, abuse it and seek its transformation into a nihilistic utopia. And in the effort to promote others that will offer them no such liberty, but submission.

Without further ado, Why the Palestinians Refuse to Recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)

Viiit Says

Michael L.
Israeli leftists have lost their compass. 
They did not used to be so spineless.  The early 20th century pioneers were mostly leftist and they knew how to fight Arabs. 
The most important task for the Jewish nation is to reconcile the secular and religious Jews.  There is equal amount of mistrust and negative judgment about each other on both sides of the divide.  This must end, if we are to survive and win this battle. 
There must be a place for both secular and religious. 
The secular must respect the religious rules in the religious neighborhoods:  (Don't march gay parades through a Orthodox neighborhood, respect the religious preferences regarding women annd men not sitting together on the bus while in religious community, etc., At the same time, the religious people must abstain from imposing their religious rules on the rest of the population against their rules.) 
There must be space for everyone, and then we can stand together and liberate Israel from the Arab occupation.
The above is a comment that I came across at Ted Belman's Israpundit magazine.  It is rare that I focus on a stand-alone comment beneath an article without placing it within the context of that article, but I am struck by Viiit's words and want to comment upon them by themselves.
Israeli leftists have lost their compass.
I cannot speak about Israeli leftists, but I can speak about the American Jewish left and I certainly concur that it has lost its compass; its moral compass, its strategic and tactical compass, and its ideological compass.  I have written about this fairly extensively in my Failures of Progressive-Left Zionism series.
They knew how to fight Arabs.
What strikes me about this sentence is how upfront it is about the conflict. Whomever Viiit is, he or she is very honest. She is unapologetic in the fact that because the great hostile majority Arab population was hell-bent on preventing Jewish sovereignty, and more than willing to use violence against the native Jewish population, that the early Jewish "pioneers" knew how to defend themselves, i.e., "fight Arabs."

The early Zionists did not want to fight Arabs. What they wanted was to drain the swamps and irrigate the desert and build decent lives for themselves and their children on the land of their forefathers. Many in the western progressive-left would have you believe that early aliyah was some nefarious militaristic activity in which Jews stole land from its rightful Arab owners. This is just one anti-Zionist lie among dozens of such lies that western liberals lap up like cream and that results in violence, and incitement to violence, toward Jews throughout the world.
The most important task for the Jewish nation is to reconcile the secular and religious Jews.
This is vital and Viiit could not be more correct. I am not particularly religious, but I am a part of the Jewish nation. Just as secular Jews would very much appreciate the respect of religious Jews, so religious Jews would very much appreciate the respect of the non-religious. In the United States there is a general comity between religious and non-religious Jews. No one is imposing upon anyone else, but in Israel this is not necessarily the case. Although I am always reluctant to tell Israelis how to behave, I can say with all sincerity that the great majority of diaspora Jews hope to see a greater degree of friendship, cooperation, and compromise between secular Jewish Israelis and religious Jewish Israelis.

I will leave it at that.
There must be space for everyone, and then we can stand together and liberate Israel from the Arab occupation.
The Arab occupation.

Most of us in the diaspora Jewish left grew up being told that the Israelis were holding "the indigenous Palestinian people" under a brutal military occupation.

This is a lie. It is, in fact, the Big Lie.

The truth of the matter is that the Arabs conquered the Middle East after Muhammed's armies raided those lands in the 7th century. From that time, until the freedom of the Jewish people of the Middle East from the system of servitude and submission known as dhimmitude - a condition, by the way, that Middle Eastern Christians, with the sole exception of Israeli Christians, have yet to free themselves from - the Jews lived under Islamic imperial dominance. You can put lipstick on the pig by suggesting that Jewish submission for thirteen centuries under Islam was not so bad, but it was still thirteen centuries of Jewish submission under Islam. In some places and times it was better and in some places and times it was worse, even horrendous, but it was always submission to hostile foreign occupiers.

And that's why Viiit's casual usage of "Arab occupation" is so striking and so correct.

It is not the Arabs who are under occupation in the Middle East, but the tiny Jewish minority that has walled itself into Fortress Israel, that is under siege.  And despite the fact that the harassed Jewish minority in the Middle East offers its own Arab minority more civil liberties and human justice than their cousins get anywhere else in that part of the world, the Jews are still under constant harassment, threats of violence, and perpetual scolding by clueless and vaguely hostile western school-marms like Barack Obama and John Kerry.

The bottom line is this, though.

We must change the paradigm within which we think about the conflict.

We need more Viiit and less Michael Lerner.

Barry Rubin Dead at 64

Michael L.

The snippet below was originally published at Y-Net:
American-born Israeli academic Barry Rubin, who made a name for himself for his expertise in Middle East politics, has passed away at the age of 64, after what is believed to have been an 18-month battle with cancer.

A message posted Monday on his Facebook read: "To our great sadness, Barry Rubin passed away this morning. He was surrounded by his wife and children. Your love, support, and prayers have been greatly appreciated. There will be shiva and a funeral, details to follow soon."

The last entry on his own blog, the Rubin Report, was on January 21, when he highlighted the dichotomy between the message about Israel taught in the Arab world and the way the country is viewed by those in power. 
Rubin was the director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
Professor Rubin was among the most insightful analysts of American foreign policy in the Middle East that I have read.   He promised his readers that he would never "lie for peace" and I, for one, very much admired him for it.  It was not, of course, that he did not want to see peace between the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East and the great hostile Arab majority, but that he did not believe that soft-soaping the issues could possibly get us there.

Rubin was highly critical of the Obama administration for its bungling of foreign policy throughout the region, for Obama's support of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rise of political Islam under the misnomer "Arab Spring," and for the administration's mishandling of the Arab-Israel conflict.

Daphne Anson dropped in last night and gave us the bad news, which Y-Net confirmed this morning.  I find myself very sad about this loss because over the last few years I turned to Professor Rubin on something close to a daily basis for his insight in order to help me better understand the relationship of Israel to the greater Arab-Muslim world and the relationship of the United States and the West toward Israel.  Those of us who followed Rubin knew that he was suffering from cancer, but I have to say after his announcement of the fact, and as he kept on writing despite his illness, I basically forgot that he was sick.

And, thus, his death comes as something of a shock to me, although it should not.  He was very explicit about the fact that he was writing as much as he was over the last year and a half, or thereabouts, because he knew that his time was short.

You will be missed, Professor Rubin.

You will be missed terribly.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Love of the Land Links

Michael L.

I still have yet to understand how it is that Jews living in Judaea and Samaria is a terrible crime that prevents dictator Abbas (in the tenth year of his four year term) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from drawing a line on a map.

I have also yet to understand how it is that of all the world's peoples only the Jews are said to be prohibited from living either here or there, even on the very land where Jewish people came from and have a 3,500 year history upon.

In the mean time, Yosef and Melody continue to live in Hevron, the city of Abraham.

Reflecting on a momentary slip by Secretary of State Kerry

Sweden’s Nordea Bank and the rather dubious ethics of anti-Semitism

A gang of bullies and remembrance of meetings past

Whether to focus on the victims or celebrate the psychopaths is the core issue

Is there a question? Yes, Israel will be blamed

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Philadelphia Rejects BDS


Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Democratic Councilman from the 2nd District, has just seen his resolution condemning the academic boycott of Jews... errmm, I mean Israel... passed unanimously by the City Council of America's fifth-largest city.  And, let it be noted, the birthplace of America.

Also, the largest minority-majority city in the United States of America.  Those looking for a butbutbut The Joooz! excuse would be hard-pressed to find one in a city where, as of the 2010 US Census, our population consists of 44% African-Americans, 37% Whites, 13% Hispanics and 6% Asians.

I, myself, just so happen to live in an inner city North Philadelphia neighborhood which consists almost equally of Irish, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Arab and Polish peoples.

This is also not the first time my city has rejected bigoted boycotts of Jews.

I am, as always, proud to be a Philadelphian today.  And every day.