Monday, June 30, 2014



The bodies have been found in a shallow grave in the West Bank. When will this madness end?

No Justice, No Peace

Michael L.

justiceSometime toward the middle-end of last year I put together a very brief outline of where I suspected things were headed and published it under the title "The Non-Peace Process."

It turns out that my predictions were fairly spot-on, but I do not believe one needs to be either a genius or a psychic to have seen this coming:
1) The US and the EU demand negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. 
2) The parties agree to talk and then the PA, the US, and the EU demand various concessions from Israel for the great privilege of sitting down with the PA's foremost undertaker. 
3) Israel fails to meet all the concessions, thus causing the PA to flee negotiations, which they never had any intention of concluding to begin with. 
4)  The PA and the EU and the Obama administration place the blame for failure at Jewish feet. 
5)  The EU and various European countries announce additional sanctions, thereby essentially joining the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist BDS movement. 
6)  Arabs seek to murder Jews.
We have now reached stage six.

This morning I read in Y-Net:
More than a dozen rockets fired from Gaza Strip slammed into Israel early Monday morning, following violent days in the south which have seen a rocket hit an Israeli factory and IDF retaliatory attacks kill at least one.

The attacks marked more than two weeks of increasing rocket fire from Gaza since the beginning of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank, to find and bring back to safety the three missing Israeli teens – Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel.
What is the point of a "peace process" that always leads to war?

I suppose that should be among the very first questions that we ask ourselves.

By going along with the non-peace process, just what are we hoping to accomplish?  Peace?  Surely at this late date no one who is paying any attention can possibly believe that.  I cannot believe for one moment that even John Kerry thinks that a reasonable outcome of the peace process will be peace.

Naturally, as predicted above, Obama and the EU blame the failure of talks on the Jews, but they always blame pretty much everything that goes on in the area on the Jews, so what difference does it make?  I think that Netanyahu should it make it clear that from this point forward, in regards the relationship between Israel and the local Arabs, that Israel is going to act unilaterally and declare its final borders.

I am fully aware that many consider this to be Ariel Sharon's mistake in his pull-out from Gaza, but I honestly do not see where Israel has the slightest choice.  Negotiations have not worked and the reason that negotiations have not worked is because the Arab majority in the Middle East has no real incentive to make peace with the Jewish minority.  That's what the local Arabs are for, to represent the front lines in the ongoing war against Jewish self-determination and self-defense, and that's why they invented a new ethnicity, the "Palestinians," which they can use in their never-ending fight against the Jews.

It has been over two weeks since the kidnapping and we have heard nothing from the kidnappers which leads me to the angering conclusion that Yifrach, Shaer, and Frenkel are dead.

The only question is what to do about this miserable situation.  One thing that Israel should not do, in my opinion, is continue to legitimize the PLO and Fatah and the PA and Mahmoud Abbas.  These represent the hostile dregs of the failed Oslo experiment and we should wash them off our feet as we would wash away dog feces from a shoe.

From the comments:
2. Don't Lose Focus 
The main goal remains to find the teens and of course they will do their best to shift the IDF attention to something else. The best would be to crush them and then get back to the main subject. 
TC (06.30.14)
I basically agree with TC's sentiment.  Hit them back hard, but find those kids, dead or alive.
5. Of course Israel will supply Gaza

Of course the IAF will not be allowed to hit meaningful targets.

Ron, oc us (06.30.14) 
This is becoming more and more of a common frustration.  Israel supplies the Gaza with vital services, such as water and electricity, yet progressive-left critics of Israel think that it is not doing nearly enough to aid and abet its enemies.

It is truly a perfect scam wherein the traditionally abused minority - with a much diminished population over centuries - is turned into the immoral "bad guy" despite providing vital services to those who continue to seek to kill them.

From a propaganda stand-point it is sheer brilliance.

As a commenter wrote in these pages just yesterday:
Sorry, but no moral person can support Israel
The fight today is less military than it is cognitive.  Because the Jewish minority in the Middle East is such a small part of the overall world community the Arab powers know that if they can make enough of the world hate the Jewish State in the way that it has traditionally hated Jews, then they can erode Israel's ability to function and, then, its ability to exist.

They will not defeat Israel militarily unless Iran decides to go for an Apocalyptic scenario, which is a distinct possibility given Obama's compliance to the wishes of the ayatollahs.
6. Israel must destroy this terror entity

the islamist totalitarian terror group will continue to wage war against the jewish state for as long as it remains standing.

CJK (06.30.14)
Unfortunately, this is true.  For as long as Hamas exists it will do whatever it can do to harass, kidnap, and kill the local Jews.

Again, this not a matter of hyperbole and it is not a matter of exaggeration, it is a matter of fact and should be acted upon in that fashion.

Eliminate Hamas.

No justice, no peace.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cry Freedom!


On the matter of subliminal images.

I can't get this post out of my mind. Sort of. 

I guess that's what they mean by subliminal.

Do we even know what we are up against? When it has become good for big business in a global market to hate and fear Israel and the Jews then the world is on the brink. 

The oil companies were bad enough and probably still are. But this is something different. 

This is not something out of a single industry whose strategic interests were pretty much on the table for those who cared to look. Nor did it involve any suggestion of messing with people's minds beyond what comes with wielding enormous strategic power.

I have no doubt at all about the power of the abstract on the mind. Both with words and images.

It prompted this post that I cross post now. It features a video posted by Martin Leaf. As Mike said, a very interesting fella. 

What exactly?
Over at friend blog Israel Thrives there was a brief discussion over whether an extended Nike ad made for the World Cup used a subliminal or even overt appeal to base racism to sell their Asian sweatshop extruded products to the violently racist and especially antisemitic market that happens to be a major focus of this huge multinational's top line business plan.

No way says Mike L and whatever Mike says should be heard with respect is what I say. Mull it over before you disagree.  Mike is dead set wrong says some other guy and I get the feel the consensus is there is something sinister about the use of this image by a thoroughly and expertly informed corporation  as the spearhead of the marketing kick off of its brand at the World Cup. 

No Jews here. Do you want us to drop our pants to prove it?

Such a carefully thought through and strategically critical stand for a global brand to take. Can you imagine how much they spent to come up with this? How much research went into it. Do you really think they did it by mistake? 

As subliminal messages go I much prefer this one. It was a great gig for Che Gorilla who has been down in the jowl a little lately after being banned by The Conversation for being rude and anonymous.

This is the song of the national liberation movement of the gorillas. The song of all primates really. Chocolate and freedom! Long may they rule.

hat tip Martin Leaf

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Say Hello to Professor Trevor Getz

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under}

TrevorOne of doctor Astren's colleagues at San Francisco State University is rather unhappy with me.

In an email, professor Trevor R. Getz writes the following:
Hi Mike,

I'm wanted to write to apologize for your education in our department. We clearly failed to teach you critical research skills.

That was tongue in cheek, and maybe a tiny but biting, but seriously, Tammi Benjamin made simple and embarrassing errors in her analysis of the situation. I'm a bit concerned that blindly accepting her interpretation is going to affect your reputation as a scholar. Seriously, my friend, you might want to suspend your willing belief and to wait for neutral bodies to weigh in all of the evidence. I've actually seen the evidence and Tammi screwed up on this one.... Weakened any pro-Israel case on this campus for a long time. You will at least owe poor Fred an apology, and Tammi hasn't done any favors to those of us trying to make things better at State.

All the best to you, colleague,

Trevor - a Jewish Professor in the history department
Doctor Getz is from South Africa and is a professor of African history.  He also received a Fulbright Scholarship and is the Director of the Initiative for Public Humanities at San Francisco State University and is, therefore, a person of considerable respect within the Bay Area community and a respectable scholar.

He writes:
I'm a bit concerned that blindly accepting her interpretation is going to affect your reputation as a scholar. 
While I very much appreciate professor Getz's concern for my reputation as a scholar, I find myself a bit more concerned about the truth.

Here is one truth:
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi acted as the adviser to the General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State University.
Now my understanding of scholarship, crude as it is, is that it has something to do with offering truth to people.  In fact, I would even go so far as to suggest that the fundamental notion behind the entire project, which is to say, the notion that stands as the foundation of the entire western academe, is that particular proposition.

I assume that professor Getz agrees and if he does not I very much hope that he will let me know.

Now, we also know this truth:
The president of the General Union of Palestine Students, Mr. Muhammad Hammad, held up a knife in public and called for murder.
This is either true or false, but I feel reasonably certain that I can claim it as true, given the fact that, well, here is the picture:

So, what does that add up to so far?

We have a professor at a respected university, professor Abdulhadi, who acted as an adviser to a student organization, the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), the president of which last year called for the murder of Jews.

This is not an exaggeration.  It is not hyperbole.  It is a matter of cold fact.

Doctor Getz, if he wishes, can argue that Mr. Hammad has nothing against Jews, but merely the Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF.  If so, we can have that conversation, but I certainly disagree and if Getz wants to make that claim we can discuss it.
Seriously, my friend, you might want to suspend your willing belief and to wait for neutral bodies to weigh in all of the evidence.
How long are we supposed to wait?

The university just recently came out with a claim in defense of Abdulhadi.  This does not give any comfort or satisfaction for those of us within the local Jewish community who care about this issue.  To disparage professor Benjamin because she is willing to stand up for the Jewish people should be beneath the dignity of San Francisco State University and its Department of History - which, by the way, I intended to keep out of this, entirely... but now here you are.

Here is another truth.
SFSU students, during a celebration of a new mural in honor of the late professor, Edward Said, held up signs calling for murder.
Again, this is not a matter of conjecture, nor interpretation.  It is a matter of fact.

Here is a photo of a San Francisco State University student during that event smiling for the camera as he recommends murder:


Now, I could be wrong - what with the weakness of my critical research skills - but I am pretty sure that when a student from San Francisco State University publicly holds up a sign during a university sponsored event calling for killing it means that we have a student from San Francisco State University publicly holding up a sign during a university sponsored event calling for killing.

The logic behind that claim could be faulty, but I fail to see how.

A = A.

I would even go so far as to suggest that it might say a little something about the political culture of that campus and it might incline people to wonder about the history of the political culture of that campus.

You guys have no idea the can of worms that you have opened up, but I have to say, professor Abdulhadi's advocacy for terrorism has caught the attention of people that you are not aware of.

People are curious monkeys and if a particular organization spits out enough hatred over a long enough period of time people will begin to wonder why.

San Francisco State University is a terrific university, but it is simply not immune to that fact.

Heck, I love SFSU and met my wife there.

But, the bottom line is this, my friend.

You have a problem and it is not going to go away as if you can simply shoo away the public.

I was there, professor Getz, and saw and heard the hatred first hand as a graduate student long before you even considered your application.

I also intend to write about it and I have curious friends.

You seem to think that you are dealing with one particular woman within a narrow locale that you can shrug your shoulders at.

You are not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dear Professor Fred Astren, Why Does San Francisco State University Support Violence Against Jews?

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel.}

rabab1Look, I do not like it any better than you do.

San Francisco State University is among the most anti-Semitic and racist universities in the United States.

I can affirm this first-hand because I was there as a graduate student toward the end of the 1990s in the Department of History.

I studied American History and, therefore, spent considerable time reading about the enslavement of African peoples over centuries upon the American continents.

Of course, no one ever really taught us about a mere thirteen centuries of Jewish persecution under Arab-Muslim imperial rule, even in classes having to do with Middle Eastern history, because that was simply not on the political agenda, and still is not.

If you want to get that material you must read independently.  American departments of history will, from what I gather, make a nod toward such material, but generally de-emphasize.  It has to be understood that for very good reasons American liberal academia tends to be highly critical of the west and, for not very good reasons, gives the history of Arab-Muslim imperialism a pass.

Thus I recommend:

Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, Yale University Press, 2010.

Andrew G. Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, Prometheus Books, 2008.

Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010.

Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History, Yale University Press, 2007.

Edwin Black, The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust, Dialog Press, 2010.

It is a place to start, anyway.

American academia supports ethnic diversity throughout the university systems and American life, more generally, as it should.  Given American history, this is natural, necessary, and just... in theory.

In practice, however, it does not always work out as intended, not when it ends up implicitly calling for violence against the tiny Jewish minority.

The fact of the matter is that American university campuses - with SFSU taking something of a leadership role - are becoming more and more hostile to the Jewish people and thus toward Jewish students and Jewish youths.  This is mainly true in the humanities (not the sciences, obviously) in which notions of "social justice" and "human rights" are now ironically used as a club against the the Jewish State of Israel and Jewish students on American university campuses.

malcomIn 2002 there was an under-publicized attack against Jewish students at San Francisco State University not long after I made my departure.

Professor Fred Astren, now head of the Middle Eastern Studies Program, and a professor of mine for two classes in Jewish history, literally put his body in front of an angry mob of Arab and "progressive" students who were confronting a small number of Jewish students at "Malcolm X Plaza" on that campus.

I did not witness that event, having departed the year before, although it is probably the most famous attack against Jews in San Francisco State University history.

Dr. Astren is something of a hero among those of us who care about such things.

Sadly, however, it does not change the fact that his department also finances professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who spreads hatred toward the Jewish people under the faux-banner of "social justice" and "universal human rights."

The very last thing in this world that professor Abdulhadi cares about is "universal human rights."

How else to explain that she recently went on a solidarity tour throughout Israel, and environs, meeting with plane hijackers and those who seek the slaughter of the Jewish people?

San Francisco State has got major problems and, as a Jew and an alum, I very much resent the fact that the university administration, and President Wong, are standing behind the terrorist professor Rabab Abdulhadi.

She was the adviser to the General Union of Palestine Students who, just last year, called directly for the murder of "colonizers," by which they meant Jews in Israel, and who the university gave $7,000 of taxpayer money to meet with racist plane hijacker, Leila Khaled, not for academic purposes, but, according to Tammi Benjamin, of the AMCHA Institute, for purposes of political outreach.

Professor Fred Astren is the Department Chair for Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, as well as a member of the faculty of Middle East and Islamic Studies.

He can be reached at or at 415-338-3152.

He was a professor of mine and, I would say, an exceedingly genial, intelligent, knowledgeable, and caring person.

I would recommend that you guys direct your questions concerning the anti-Jewish hatred being spread at his campus to him.

If he will not address it, after all, then who will?

San Francisco State University Betrays its Community

From: Tammi Benjamin <>
Date: June 24, 2014 7:05:11 AM PDT
Subject: SFSU Professor's misuse of taxpayer funds

To: California State Controller John Chiang

Dear Controller Chiang,

One month ago, our organizations sent the letter below to CSU Chancellor White, SFSU President Wong, CSU Chief Audit Officer Mandel and CSU Attorney for Conflict of Interest and Governance Reith, regarding what we believe to be a serious and blatant misuse of University and state funds.  

According to documents obtained through a California Public Records Act (PRA) request, it appears that SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 in state dollars to meet with members of known terrorist organizations and promote the boycott of Israel.  On all of the PRA documents regarding the funding, insurance, and administrative approval of her travels, Abdulhadi indicated that the primary purpose of her trip was academic: to deliver a paper at a scholarly conference in Beirut.  However, Abdulhadi never attended the Beirut conference.  Instead, as she herself acknowledged at a public event she had organized on the SFSU campus to report on the delegation's experiences, the trip was a "political solidarity tour" to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel, whose primary purpose was to promote "resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel." 

As part of her "political solidarity tour," Abdulhadi met with individuals affiliated with the US State Department-designated terrorist organizations Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, including convicted terrorist Leila Khaled and Islamist leader Sheik Raed Salah.  Khaled is a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths including those of more than 20 US citizens. Salah was recently incarcerated for incitement to violence and aiding and abetting Hamas, an organization responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of Jews that is suspected in last week's abduction of three teenagers in Israel. 

Although evidence demonstrates that Abdulhadi had planned the "political solidarity tour" and meetings with PFLP and Hamas members almost a year in advance, nowhere in the documents she filled out in order to receive funding and insurance from the University did she mention that the primary purpose of her trip was political advocacy -- to promote the academic boycott of Israel -- nor did she mention the intended meetings with individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations. 

We have asked the University to investigate this matter, but have received no response. However, according to the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support website, it appears that the university is defending the professor's personal advocacy mission as "research" and clearing her of all wrong-doing.  We are therefore turning to you and requesting that you investigate this potentially fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.

We also urge you to investigate a June 2011 trip that Prof. Abdulhadi organized and led, the "Indigenous & Women of Color Feminist Delegation to Israel and the West Bank."  According to a statement issued by the delegation's participants, the purpose of the 2011 trip was political -- "to affirm [their] association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine" -- and the statement itself was a call to "academic and activist colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere to join [the delegation's participants] by endorsing the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] campaign."  The statement also indicates that the group met with the "Boycott National Committee," whose first and most important member organization is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, was founded by Yasser Arafat at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000 for the purpose of “organizing a unified effort among major Palestinian factions to coordinate terror attacks.” The Council includes among its constituent organizations Hamas, the PFLP, and PFLP – General Command, all three of which are on the U.S. Department of State’s list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Thank you for looking into this matter.  Professors should not be meeting with terrorists and propagating hate on the taxpayer dime.  Please help put a stop to this outrageous abuse of power and resources.


AMCHA Initiative
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel  
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations 
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East 
Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach 
Zionist Organization of America 

Cc: Attorney General Kamala Harris 
Deputy Attorney General Stepan Haytayun
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  
California State Senator Mark Leno  (San Francisco)
California Assembly Member Philip Y. Ting (San Francisco)
California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
California Assembly Member Das Williams, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education
California Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair of the Select Committee on Campus Climate
California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish Caucus
CSU Trustees
CSU Chancellor Timothy White
CSU Vice Chancellor and Chief Audit Officer Larry Mandel
CSU Resource Attorney for Conflict of Interest & Governance Carrie Hemphill Reith
CSU General Counsel Framroze Virgee
CSU Deputy General Counsel G. Andrew Jones
SFSU President Leslie Wong
SFSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser
SFSU Associate Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management Michael Martin
SFSU Associate Risk Management Dao VanQuate
SFSU Counsel Patricia Bartscher
California Jewish Community Leaders

We Purchase the Violence Against Us

Michael L.
From: United with Israel <>
Date: 23 June 2014 22:49:27 IST

Subject: Stop Funding the Palestinian Authority - Please Forward...
The tragic kidnapping of three innocent Israeli teenagers is a direct result of Palestinian Authority incitement against Israel and its glorification and open support for terror.

If you agree that this is completely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately, we urge you to sign the Petition to Stop Funding the PA.

With your help, no less than one million signatures demanding the immediate end to Palestinian Authority funding, will be presented to President Obama, the US Senate & Congress, as well as European Union leaders.

But to do this, we need your help!

Funding the PA is equivalent to funding terror. Please sign the Petition to Stop Funding the Palestinian Authority.

Sign here -->

If you've already signed, please FORWARD this email to everyone you know...

We are asking you to circulate this email throughout all of your personal networks. We can get millions of signatures from around the world, but only with your immediate help..


1. Sign your name -->
2. Make a donation -->
3. Share with friends -->

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

With Blessings of Peace,

The 'United with Israel' Family

8/19 Maor St.
Box 71530
Bet Shemesh, HaDarom 99623

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blame Terrorists, Not Victims

Michael L.

I received an email the other day from an educator that included the video below created by students.

Throughout much of the progressive-left blogosphere we are seeing alleged "liberals" seeking to justify the kidnapping - and probably now murder - of three Jewish teenage religious students in Israel by local Arabs.

Eyal Yifrah. 

Gilad Shaar. 

Naftali Fraenkel.

One of my favorite lines on Daily Kos was when some entirely insensitive schmuck wrote, and I paraphrase:
Well, Israel has kidnapped the entire Palestinian nation, so why shouldn't Palestinians kidnap a few Israelis?
Others, in an openly racist admonition against the Jewish people, wonder how it is that either the kids' parents or the Israeli authorities allowed those kids to even be there; there, where Jews are not supposed to be, which also happens to be the place where the Jewish people were born.

The most common progressive-left pro-the-kidnapping-of-Jewish-teenagers argument came from those who simply think that the Jews of the Middle East are guilty of persecuting the local Arabs and therefore it is not surprising, nor much to be concerned about, that Arabs seek to kidnap and murder Jews.

Poll Shows Democrats Back the Muslim Brotherhood

Michael L.

I do not want to make too much of this, mainly because I know so little about, but they seem like a reasonably reliable polling group.

The polling question was this:
Should the U.S. back the Egyptian military's crackdown against the muslim brotherhood?
The results showed that only 19 percent of Democrats affirmed, while 81 percent did not.  By contrast, not surprisingly, 69 percent of Republicans answered in the affirmative, while only 31 percent did not.

To the extent that isidewith polling is accurate polling data this is rather damning of the Democratic party for the simple reason that the Brotherhood is the parent organization of Hamas and al-Qaeda and has an ideological provenance that goes, at least in part, to Nazi Germany.

They even held a rally for Muhammed Morsi wherein they screamed to the heavens for the conquest of Jerusalem and still Obama backed them up.  Of course, you cannot really blame Obama.  I mean, if American Jews do not wish to look out for our own best interests by calling out progressive and Democratic sympathies for Islamic "freedom fighters" why should it be up to him?

Having said that, however, the loyal opposition at the Progressive-Zionist, under the leadership of our old acquaintance "fizziks," is moving to set a new precedent by actually speaking out against the rise of political Islam and acknowledging the atrocities of Islam, in its imperial aspect, just as we acknowledge the atrocities of the European genocide of native American peoples and other atrocious European colonial misadventures throughout the world.

The piece is entitled, It's Time for Recognition, Truth, and Reparations.

And I could not have been happier to read it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Global Jewish Immigration to Israel Up 55%

Michael L.

Y-Net reports:
Immigration to the State of Israel from around the world has gone up by 55%, largely due to dramatic increases in immigration from France and Ukraine, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said Sunday.

Speaking at the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors' June meetings in Jerusalem, Sharansky announced that the Jewish Agency estimates French aliyah will surpass 5,000 individuals by the end of 2014 – an all-time record and a full 1% of the 500,000-person French Jewish community.

Never before has such a large proportion of a Western Jewish community made aliyah in a single year.
Well, it is late as I write this, but I wanted to highlight this post.

After Israel and the United States, France holds the highest population of Jews of any country in the world with a grand total of around 500,000 people.

The fact of the matter is that in France political Islam, combined with hatred from the political left, are slowly forcing the Jews out of that country.

Given increasing levels of anti-Jewish racism within France, and most of Europe, I definitely think that Jews should get out.

And, it should be noted, that the neo-Nazi far right is also beginning to make political gains in Europe.

France is simply no longer a safe or amiable place for the Jewish people.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Love of the Land Links

Michael L.

Getting Them US State Dept Deja Vu Blues

Oh My! Palestinians Play the Victim Again

Presbyterian Church (USA), Where Hatred Triumphs Over Ethics

What can we learn from UNESCO silence on Jews from Arab countries?

Overreacting to the Kidnapping?

If my reaction is similar to that of yours then the kidnappings remain my central concern around the conflict at this moment and our friends at Love of the Land actually live in Hebron, which was under shut down and still very well may be.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for the Jews of Israel at this moment, but then I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like for the local Arabs who are also having their lives terribly disrupted.

Of course, I do not have a whole lot of sympathy for a people who come out of a culture that has mainly despised Jews for irrational theocratic reasons since the 7th century.  It is hard for me to have much sympathy for a people who sought to wipe us out and came damn near close to doing so.  Again, according to Karsh, 95 percent of the Jewish population within Israel was eliminated between the Arab-Muslim conquests of the 7th century and the middle of the nineteenth.

What happened to the Magically Disappearing Jews of the Middle East?

It may have been, as I have suggested elsewhere, typhoons.  Jew-specific typhoons may have swept through the area at some point and knocked out 95 percent of the Jewish population.

Or, perhaps, there is another reason.

Thus, I think that Israel should take Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza and hold them upside down by their ankles, and shake vigorously, until they cough out those kids.

Many western-progressives are already complaining that Jewish efforts to retrieve Yifrah, Shaar, and Frenkel represent a form of "collective punishment" against the innocent, allegedly "indigenous" population.  Part of the reason for this, of course, is that left-wing anti-Jewish racists, such as David Harris Gershon, are entirely opposed to anything that resembles Jewish self-defense and thus, apparently, do not care if Jews are murdered or kidnapped for political reasons.  A far larger surrounding population has been involved in a Koranically-based war against us ever since we freed ourselves from dhimmitude and yet Israel Haters like Gershon always blame the minority population for never-ending Arab violence against us.  

Most of the American left will be entirely indifferent to the plight of the teenagers, Yifrah, Shaar, and Frenkel.  Some on the left will join Middle Eastern Arabs who celebrated the kidnappings, and perhaps killings, but the great majority will simply not care at all, because they basically believe that we have it coming... if they are even aware of the kidnappings, to begin with.

Most Americans - left, right, and center - are not particularly aware of the hundreds of young Christian girls kidnapped in Nigeria by Islamists, so why would they care about three Jewish Yeshiva students, even if one is an American?

It must be understood that the Arab peoples are human beings with an exceedingly large-scale imperial and colonial history that left at least tens of millions of people dead in its expansive wake.  They are also far-and-away the majority population throughout the vast lands in that part of the world that they conquered.

They have agency, power, and therefore, dignity along with the corresponding responsibility for their own behavior.

Whatever racists like Gershon think, the Arab-Muslim peoples are not thumb-sucking children sporting suicide belts.

Sunday Column for the Elder

The Elder was kind enough to publish my latest Sunday column entitled, The Failures of Progressive-Left Zionism: Jewish Pioneers.

Here is a tidbit:
lumish1Nonetheless, this Sunday I want to talk about number two, the tendency among western-left Jews to demean and denigrate our friends and family that live in Judea and Samaria. One of the pleasures that I have as a pro-Jewish / pro-Israel blogger and writer is that I get to promote others.

The Jews of the Middle East are a people under siege and we are only now beginning to grapple with the kidnapping of Naftali Frenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach.

What I truly resent, however, is the defamation of our fellow Jews in Judea and Samara by progressive-left disapora Jews who blame Arab intransigence on people like my friends Yosef and Melody in Hebron.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Family Threatens Life of Pro-Israel Arab Teenager

Michael L.

Gavriel Fiske, publishing in the Times of Israel, writes the following:
mahmoud zoabi e1403000033553 195x293Police arrested three men Tuesday for threatening their relative, an Arab Israeli teen who, in a strikingly pro-Israel video posted online, wraps himself in an Israeli flag and expresses solidarity with three kidnapped Israeli youths

In the video, uploaded to YouTube earlier this week, 17-year-old Mohammad Zoabi of Nazareth called for the release of the three teens, affirmed his own identity as an Israeli, and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop negotiating with Palestinian terrorists.

Another relative, the controversial MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), distanced herself from his comments Tuesday and said that, contrary to his assertion, the kidnappers were “not terrorists.”
I have had Mohammad Zoabi's video displayed on the right side of Israel Thrives for a number of days now, but here it is below, as well:

I want to focus on two aspects of this story, the fact that MK Hanin Zoabi does not consider the kidnappers to be terrorists and the fact that Mohammad Zoabi has been threatened with death by at least three family members for daring to stand up for Jews.

Israeli parliamentarian Zoabi does not consider the kidnappers to be terrorists because she believes, even as a Knesset member, that Israel is a terrorist country and that the Jews have no rights to autonomy and self-defense on Jewish land.  In fact, she does not believe in any such concept as "Jewish land."  There is plenty of Arab lands and Muslim lands that span a very big part of the globe even well beyond the Middle East, but the very notion of Jewish land on the land where Jews come from is entirely anathema to Hanin Zoabi  who, without question, should be removed from any position of authority in the Israeli government.

By claiming that the kidnappers of Yifrah, Shaar, and Frenkel are not terrorists she is essentially claiming that Arabs have every right to kidnap Jewish youths.  And, astonishingly, she says so as a member in good standing (sort-of) within the Israeli parliament.  Although I very much hope that she is shortly removed from that position, it should speak volumes to the liberal nature of Israeli democracy that they would even allow malicious anti-Zionists to be government representatives.

Can you imagine if the United States government contained openly treasonous members of congress?

The American people would never put up with it, but the American people tend to be somewhat less liberal than are the Israelis.  Israel does not, for example, have the death penalty and is among the only countries in human history to facilitate the immigration of Africans into their country, not for purposes of exploitation, but in order to welcome them into the community as free members and co-religionists.

Nonetheless, the hard-left will continue to bash Israel - and by implication, bash Jews - while the center-left will simply not give a damn, but will always oppose and condemn Jewish efforts at self-defense, both literal and discursive.

In any case, we should all be proud of Mohammad Zoabi.  He is a kid.  He is only seventeen years old, but his outrage was palpable and his articulation both concise and intense.  I tend to be hard on the Arab majority in the Middle East because of their history of persecution of the Jewish minority, but we need such Arab friends and it is hopeful to see it coming from a fresh faced kid from an anti-Zionist Arab-Israeli political family.

He may also require ongoing state security because he has put himself into a very difficult situation with the Arab-Israel community, including members of his own family who have threatened his life.

To my mind, this says a little something about Arab culture within Jewish land.  That family members would threaten a seventeen year old boy with death for the crime of opposing the kidnapping of Jewish teenagers is... immoral... to put it in the kindest terms possible.

When the kids were swiped Israeli-Arabs handed out sweets to children and to one another in celebration of this "great victory."  Under no circumstances would the Jewish communities around the world ever celebrate the kidnapping of anyone and certainly would never consider the kidnapping, by Jews, of perfectly innocent students of Islamic theology to be anything but entirely revolting, immoral, and reprehensible.

In the liberal west we like to think that all cultures are more or less the same and that we all pretty much want the same things in life.  We want security and prosperity and happiness and freedom for ourselves and our children and our friends and our community and our country and, hopefully, for the rest of the world.

These are western values and they are good values, worthy of being championed, but we must cease going on the assumption that everyone shares these values.

They do not, but thankfully Mohammad Zoabi of Nazareth does.

So, we start in small ways where we can.

We plant seeds.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Kidnapped Teens

Michael L.

Their names are:

Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel

kid1Much of what we do at Israel Thrives is point to topical news stories concerning the long Arab war against the Jews and comment on them.

My main intention, however, is to encourage people to rethink the conflict and to move beyond the failed assumptions of the "Oslo" past.  The Day of the Dhimmi is Done, that much is certain, but the Era of Oslo is now also over and that is a good thing.

This is not about the political "left" or the political "right."

I try to club some sense into the left because the left is my political home and if they do not like it that is just too bad.  If the left refuses to stand up for its own alleged values through failing to speak against political Islam that is no one's fault but their own.  But to stand up against political Islam and to stand up in favor of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people is neither left nor right.

It is just common human decency.

Since 1992 Israel has agreed that the Arab majority could take a big tasty bite right out of the heart of the Jewish homeland - the hills of Judea and Samaria looking down upon Tel Aviv - but the Arabs have refused every offer because the result would still be Jewish sovereignty over a small portion of Jewish land... which is unacceptable from an Islamic religious standpoint because any land that was once a part of the Islamic empire must remain so under the precepts of al-Sharia.

What the Arabs complaining about alleged Jewish "human rights" violations actually want is the end of that sovereignty and, therefore, by logical necessity, the end of Jewish self-defense in the Middle East and that, my friends, we will simply not allow.

You guys will have to forgive me on this Sabbath, but mainly I am just thinking aloud and thinking about those kidnapped kids.  

They have names.

Eyal Yifrah. 

Gilad Shaar. 

Naftali Frenkel.

Yifrah, Shaar, and Frenkel.

Well, it doesn't get more Jewish than that, I suppose.

It doesn't quite roll off of the tongue like, say, Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, but it is essentially the same thing.  It is true that Yifrah, Shaar, and Frenkel - who I believe is the American - were not civil rights workers, in which case they would be considered something close to heroes in some quarters a long time ago.  They were also not soldiers.  They were Yeshiva students on the road within Israel.  The IDF prevented something like 30 such kidnappings last year, but this one they missed.  

This was just pure anti-Jewish Arab racism and you cannot blame the IDF.

Israel has by this morning rounded up around 300 Arabs for questioning and detention.  The IDF has broken into hundreds of homes, particularly around the Hebron area.  The kids are, obviously, still being held captive, but I do not believe that the IDF has any real clue where.

In the mean time the question becomes, where are we now?

home1Oslo just died (may it rest in pieces) and now we have this aggression to deal with.

What I want is for those kids to be home immediately and, therefore, I want Israel to do whatever is necessary to get those kids home immediately.

Do whatever it takes, guys, but get it done.

That is what comes first.

We will see what comes later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

They Think That You Are a Bunch of Morons

Michael L.

Hillary Clinton, speaking in Toronto, told a television news reporter that there is no problem with having Hamas within an Arab "unity government" within Israel because the Hamas contingent are merely "technocrats."

"I think it's a holding position," Clinton said, describing Obama's stance. "And the reason it's a holding position is that the makeup of this joint [Fatah-Hamas] enterprise are largely technocrats. They're academics and they're business people. They don't represent sort of, what you might call hard-core Hamas leadership."
You are being lied to because they assume that you are a bunch of morons.

"Technocrats"?  Really?

"Business people," you say?

Hamas Business People.

Hillary Clinton believes in something called Hamas Business People and these are supposed to be our "peace partners" and she has the gonads to say this directly after three Jewish teenagers, including an American, were kidnapped by Arab terrorists within Israel?

This is absolutely shameless.

Whatever Hillary's intentions she is helping to desensitize us to genocidal Jew Hatred.  This is what Hamas represents and what is behind the kidnapping of those three teenagers.

And we're supposed to hang our acceptance of Hamas on the fairy-dust notion that the Hamas members in the government are non-ideological pragmatists?

The contempt that this government has for the intelligence of the average American, or the average American Jew, could hardly be more obvious.  The brazenness within which this administration lies is so breathtaking that I wonder how even an Obama... supporter... could justify it.

So, essentially, the Obama administration is telling the American people that funding terrorism is alright because those getting the funding are not, themselves, suicide bombers.

What is truly frightening however is the ease with which most of the American Jewish left will go along with this vicious nonsense.


I have to tell you, though, thank G-d for Jewish leftists with an independent streak like our own Jay in Philadelphia.

I harp on the left because I come out of the left.

Because I expect nothing from the right, I am never disappointed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Response to Fizziks

Michael L.

Those of you familiar with the apparently ongoing saga between myself and some of the old Daily Kos Jewish contingent know that Fizziks has been engaging me over at the Elder's joint.

I've decided to bring the conversation over here, if I can, and Fizziks, if he chooses to respond, needs to be engaged in a fair and decent manner.

Fizziks writes:
In your constant referrals to "progressive-left Zionists" do you mean A) people like David Harris Gershon and David Mizner - i.e. Jewish anti-Zionists who occasionally obfuscate the extent of their anti-Zionism? Or do you mean B) people such as myself...
I actually mean people such as myself.

By "progressive-left Zionist," I mean precisely what the words say. I mean those people who come out of a left-leaning sensibility and who are supportive of Israel as the national and historical home of the Jewish people.

Fizziks writes:
If it is the later, it is dishonest - actually simply false - to smear me and others like me with the charge that we are afraid to stand up to antisemites / anti-Zionists because we don't want to be ostracized by the progressive community or labeled Islamophobic.
I disagree.

The charge is not that liberal Jews are entirely afraid to stand up to obvious left-wing racists, but a nearly complete disinclination among most to consistently and strongly speak out against political Islam.  My suspicion is that, yes, we tend not to do so out of fear of being labeled "Islamophobic" or to run afoul of prevailing social and political sensibilities.

You, yourself, are a main contributor to a blog run by Jon Segall called "The Progressive Zionist." There have been hundreds of pieces published on that blog in the last few years. Can you point to three wherein the main theme is a criticism of political Islam?

I would be surprised if you could.

Fizziks writes:
you instead constantly lash out out at people without such a strong institutional soap box - such as myself - who instead really should be your natural allies.
My intention is not to "lash out" but to offer criticism.  I am sorry that you find my criticisms dishonest, but others disagree with that assessment, as do I, quite obviously.

When I say that progressive-left diaspora Jews have generally failed to stand up against the rise of political Islam it is because progressive-left diaspora Jews have generally failed to stand up against the rise of political Islam.

This criticism is not personal.  It is, in fact, a cold assessment.  After all, if the Jewish left really stood against political Islam, there is no way that they would fail to speak against the inclusion of a genocidal organization like Hamas in a "unity government."  If the Jewish left really stood against political Islam, there is no way that they would have failed to speak against the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, with a little help from Barack Obama, yet they did fail to speak.

What I would argue is this:

Most diaspora Jews come out of the left because as an historically persecuted people we relate to other historically persecuted people such as people of color, Gay people, and women. So naturally Jews tend to be on the left, just as I came out of the left and out of a family almost entirely comprised of Democrats... with, now, the exception of myself and a long dead uncle.

Nonetheless, my criticisms of the Jewish left, thus far, are these:

1)  There is a general disinclination to publicly discuss the rise of political Islam and the role of the Obama administration within that political development.

2)  There is a tendency to demean and denigrate those Jews who choose to live beyond the "green line" in the land of Israel.  The reason for that, as people like John Kerry constantly tell us, is because the "settlers" are viewed as an obstacle to peace.

3)  The Jewish left forever plays defense.  This was a criticism that I had even before my Daily Kos departure.  The pattern was almost always the same.  They attack.  We defend.  They attack.  We defend.  This is true throughout western-left venues, more generally.  It is not merely a matter of Daily Kos, but of the western-left political media, including places that I tend to highlight like the Huffington Post and the UK Guardian.

4)  There is also a tendency to buy-into what I call the "moral equivalency canard."  This, I would argue, is less a tendency among people such as Fizziks, or liberal-left Zionists, as a whole, but it is certainly a tendency within the left and, thus, among many liberal-left Jews who are not necessarily actively "Zionist."  The idea, of course, is that Israel's measures of self-defense are just as reprehensible as Arab efforts to kidnap or kill Jews.

5)  Ignoring Jewish history.  I am a broken record on this issue.  We must place our discussion of the conflict within thirteen centuries of Jewish submission to Arab-Muslim and Turkish imperial rule until the fall of the Ottoman Empire.  Discussing the Arab-Israel conflict without that frame of reference would be like discussing the history of African-Americans without reference to either slavery or Jim Crow.  Lacking the necessary historical context, the entire discussion become incoherent, unhelpful and unjust.

6)  There is the very strange and unique tendency among diaspora left Jews to partner with those who spit hatred at the Jewish State while contemptuously disdaining those who are terrific friends.  Maybe we should call this the Obama Syndrome.  The Evangelicals, of course, immediately leap to mind.  While I disagree with them on... well... practically everything, I definitely acknowledge that they are true friends to Israel.  The reason that I acknowledge that they are true friends to Israel is because they are true friends to Israel, although recent reports suggest that may be changing.

So, Fizziks, I have these criticisms.

They can be received as largely flawed analyses, largely correct analyses, or an attack.

Since, clearly, this is not academic work, and since I am hardly immune to the allure of occasional hyperbole, some of my fellow left-liberal diaspora Jews may perceive my criticisms to be a form of aggression.

All I can say is, from the beginning, that was not my intention.

I would also say that Fizziks is a good man trying to find his feet within a turbulent social-political environment... as we all are.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why Shouldn't They Kidnap Jews?

Michael L.

the guys1Within recent decades Arab and old Soviet propaganda convinced the well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) in the progressive-left that Jews are "Occupying" the innocent "indigenous" population of "historical Palestine."

The progressives - in the years since the 1967 war allegedly turned Jewish Israelis into "Goliath" - convinced the majority of diaspora Jews that Israel is somehow "illegally occupying" what is, in fact, the current and historical land of the Jewish people.

Jews are accused of illegally occupying the very land that we come from and many diaspora Jews unwittingly (or so one hopes) promote the notion.

Let me give you an example of the kind of thing that I am talking about.

Over on Daily Kos there is very little any longer in the way of pro-Jewish / pro-Israel participants, most of whom were driven out by the growing presence of a highly malicious contingent of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists of the type typically found within progressive-left venues.

However, one pro-Jewish / pro-Israel participant who still posts there goes by the moniker charliehall2

Charliehall2 has a brief "diary" up at Daily Kos from a few days ago alerting an almost entirely indifferent community about the fact that three Jewish teenagers, including one American, were kidnapped just outside of the old Jewish city of Hebron by Arabs.

Charlie writes this:
I have never written two diaries in one day. In fact it is rare for me to write two diaries in a month. But something happened in the Occupied Palestinian Territories within the past day that deserves note -- three young men, all Israeli with one also a US citizen, are missing and feared kidnapped, possibly by terrorists.  (My emphases.)
Now, I have no ill-will toward Charlie and, in fact, remember him as a perfectly reasonable individual from my own time participating on that blog.

But I do have a few criticisms of Charlie's effort and, by extension, Jewish left discourse around the Arab-Israel conflict.  First, while I understand that he is seeking to wait until he gets more information, but if they were not kidnapped by terrorists, then just who were they kidnapped by?

The Girl Scouts?  The Rotary Club?   B'nai Brith?

It is obvious that terrorists grabbed those kids and if they were not terrorists before they did so they instantly became terrorists the very moment one of them pulled out a weapon.  In fact, that is pretty much the way it works, yes?

But let me ask Charlie a question, because this is a far more important point.
If Judea and Samaria actually constitute Occupied Palestinian Territories then just why shouldn't the local Arabs try to kill or kidnap Jews?
What Charlie is doing, whether he realizes it or not, is justifying ongoing majoritarian violence in the Middle East toward the small Jewish minority.  After all, if Judea does not belong to the Jews, and if the Jewish presence is illegal under international law - which it is not, by the way - then naturally the local Arab population would be well within their rights to resist the Israeli Occupation Forces, by any means necessary.

By telling the world that Judea belongs to Arabs and not Jews he ends up accidentally justifying violence against us.

This is not Charlie's intention, but it is the message that he spreads when he uses Arab propaganda phraseology like "Occupied Palestinian Territory."

What's next?  Are left-wing diaspora Jews going to now start referring to the IDF as "Zionist Occupation Forces"?  Will the Knesset become the "Zionist Colonial Government"?

As I have argued many times in these pages, so long as diaspora Jews continue to use the language of the enemy then we will continue to send a message to the rest of the world that the Jews are guilty as sin.

Of course, the only way to convey that message is to not place the conflict within the long history of Jewish persecution under Arab-Muslim imperial rule.  By failing to do so Charlie sends a message that is both strategically unsound and entirely empty of the necessary historical context.

As I say, I have nothing against the man, personally, but if he thinks that "Occupied Palestinian Territory" represents anything that resembles reality, either historical or current, then he is doing a great service for the very anti-Semitic anti-Zionists who drag his reputation through the mud on Daily Kos and who wish to see Israel dismantled as the national home of the Jewish people.

I recommend against it.