Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Palestinians Want

Michael L.

They want and they want and they want.

Writing in Arutz Sheva, Jack Englhard says:
VerucaWe read that “the Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem.” Well I want to play quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

I have  as much right to this as they have to that, but they keep on wanting. There never was a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem or West Jerusalem.

There never was a Palestinian state anywhere.  Period.

End of story. If only that were so.

Who were their kings? Who were their prophets throughout the Holy Land for some 3,800 years? We can name thousands. It’s in the books. Can they name one?

But they keep on wanting. They want and they want and they want and the news media keeps wanting it for them.

Like crybabies who want the other child’s shiny toy, they want what is not theirs, a thing that never belonged to them. So they go crying to Mommy, in the form of the European Union, or they throw a tantrum for help from their uncles at the United Nations.
I have to say, Englehard is one tough cookie.

There is not a whole lot of moral equivocation with Jack Englehard.

What I like most about the guy, however, is that he has not allowed the so-called "Palestinian narrative" even so much as a foothold in his way of thinking.  He discusses the conflict in a manner which, to my mind, demonstrates an independence of thought that we can certainly use more of.

For example in the article linked to above he criticizes Reuters for publishing this line:
Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Englehard writes:
Notice each word dipped in poison – “occupied” and “captured” and the most reliable phrasing of all, “Palestinians WANT.” 
It is this kind of attention to the assumptions behind the framing of the conflict that we must constantly be aware of.  That one brief sentence seems so innocuous, yet is so dangerously and unjustly wrong on so many levels.

First of all, just what is "East Jerusalem"?  There is no such place!  Jerusalem is a city which, like every city on earth, has an eastern section, a western section, a northern section, and a southern section.  There is no distinct and separate part of Jerusalem with big signs reading, "Welcome to East Jerusalem: You Know, the Arab Section!"

They refer to something called "East Jerusalem" because they want to plant in the mind of the reader the notion that there is a part of Jerusalem that naturally belongs to the Arabs and that just happens to be the part of town that contains the Jewish section of the Old City, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall.  Thus, we often get the construction "Arab East Jerusalem."

Also, of course, notice the phraseology "occupied West Bank."  This usage is so insidious precisely because it runs under the radar of the vast majority of readers.  The term "West Bank," needless to say, was a term invented by the Jordanians after 1948 in order to erase Jewish history on Jewish land and thereby justify their land-grab of Judea and Samaria.  For thousands of years Judea and Samaria has been known as Judea and Samaria (if not Yehuda and Shomron) and the name was only changed recently to accommodate Arab attempts to oust Jews from the land of our ancestors.

And, obviously, to refer to the "West Bank" as "occupied" implies that Israel - the one, lone, sole sovereign state of the Jewish people - has no rights to property on historically Jewish land.  To imply that Jews are wrongfully "occupying" Judea and Samaria would be like suggesting that the French are wrongfully "occupying" Burgundy and the Côtes du Rhône.  In fact, it is even more ridiculous, yet, because the Jews were living on that land as Jews thousands of years before anyone ever heard of any such place as "France."

And, yes, the idea that Israel simply "captured" the area during the 6 Day War erases Arab aggression from the conflict, thereby leaving in the mind of the reader Israeli-Jewish aggression.

Finally, where in the world did Reuters ever get the idea that what the local Arabs want is a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one?   Does Reuters not read the news?  The Arabs have turned down offer after offer after offer for a twenty-third Arab state to be implanted directly on top of the Jewish homeland, just as they built a mosque directly on top of the site of the Second Temple.

So, no, the so-called "Palestinians" do not want to establish a state for themselves.  On the contrary, what they want is to destroy Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land because it violates their theocratically-based sense of righteous superiority above the sniveling dhimmi.

Thus, all I am really suggesting is that we must read critically and not allow pro-Arab / anti-Israel western media bias to go by without criticism and commentary.

If we use the terminology of our enemies, as the media does, than we have lost the fight before it has even begun.

After all, if you honestly believe - as very many western-left Jews do - that Israel is engaged in an "Occupation" of someone else's land, then you are ultimately spreading the message that Arabs are fully justified in attempts to harass and kill Jews.

I recommend against.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Palestinian rock thrower shot dead in Samaria

Michael L.

rockIsraeli troops on Monday shot and killed a Palestinian who had been throwing rocks at cars on a main road near Tapuach Junction in Samaria.

An IDF spokeswoman said troops shouted at a group of Palestinians throwing rocks to halt and then fired warning shots.

"Once they didn't comply, [the soldiers] responded to the threat with direct fire, wounding one of the attackers," the spokeswoman said, adding that the Israel Defense Forces had opened an investigation into the incident.
I have zero sympathy for rock throwers.

The local Arabs need to be made to understand that if they tolerate, or encourage, rock throwing by their kids then they will pay a major price.

The IDF needs to shoot rock throwers, in their teens or older, in the legs with live fire.  The parents of children who throw rocks need to be placed on trial for something like child neglect.

The terrorists need to understand that each and every time that they throw a rock at a Jew, or a Jewish vehicle on the road, that they risk taking bullets to the leg.  I would train the IDF to be exceedingly aggressive in going after rock throwers.  Once they encounter anyone throwing rocks they should pursue such individuals with guns ablazing.

Israel is in no position to allow an internal enemy population to constantly harass and attempt to kill the Jewish population of that country.

Pelting Jews with rocks has been a long standing Arab-Muslim tradition going back many centuries, but it is now time to put a close to that tradition by vigorously pursuing such people in a meaningful and painful way.

Israel needs to make rock throwing an exceedingly perilous activity among Arab youths.  They need to understand that anytime they engage in such behavior there is an excellent chance that they might lose a leg.

If Israel seriously pursued such a strategy the Arab-Muslim tradition of pelting Jews with rocks would soon come to an ignominious demise.

Monday, December 29, 2014

To Hate or Not to Hate?

Michael L.

hateThe Jewish people have every reason to despise Arabs and Muslims.

{How do you like that statement?}

In fact, the Jewish people have every moral reason to despise Arabs and Muslims.

This is because the Arab and Muslim majority population in the Middle East has oppressed the Jewish minority in that part of the world since the time of Muhammad.

According to Efraim Karsh - the founding director and professor emeritus of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, London - there was at least 200,000 Jews in Israel at the time of the Arab-Muslim conquests in the 7th century but that by the nineteenth-century 95 percent of the Jewish population was wiped out, leaving a mere 24,000 in the area by the time Samuel Clemens showed up to wonder where everyone had went.

{See Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010, pg. 8.}

The truth is that while Christians were beating the crap out of Jews throughout the Medieval period in Europe, the Arab-Muslims were doing likewise within Israel.

The Arabs have treated the Jews with little more than contempt and violence since they first started chopping off our heads in the 7th century for refusing submission.

Furthermore, the Arabs come from the Arabian peninsula, while the Jews come from Judea along the eastern Mediterranean coast, yet we are constantly told by Arab-Muslims and western-secularists that Arabs are the true owners of our small bit of land.

Because Arabs, Muslims, and western-secularists have decided that historically Jewish land actually belongs to Arabs it means, therefore, by definition, that the Jews (also known as "Israel") are occupying and exploiting and murdering and abusing the "indigenous Palestinian population."

There are 6 million Jews in the Middle East and around 400 million Arabs who control 99.9 percent of the landmass, yet we are constantly told that the fault for the ongoing war against the Jews is due to Jewish behavior.  Whenever we are killed by Jihadis we are told by our alleged western allies that the murder of Jews is a matter of righteous resistance against the occupation.

That is, the western Left largely considers theocratically-based Muslim efforts to murder Jews as a perfectly understandable response to the Jewish persecution of the "native" Arabs.

In addition to this, of course, Arabs are currently on a killing spree (intifada) against Jews throughout Israel, but the west could hardly care less.

The most recent attack was upon Ayala Shapira, an eleven year old Jewish girl who got fire-bombed in her father's car.  Often when Arab kids are having fun they throw rocks at Jews, but this time it was a Molotov cocktail.   She may live, but if she does will do so with scars from third degree burns over fifty percent of her body throughout the rest of her life.

{Speaking for myself, quite frankly, I would rather be dead.}

So, yes, when defeated conquerors kill Jewish children on the land where we come from and when their western-left friends tell us that our tiny bit of land actually belongs to our conquerors, hatred develops within the Jewish heart.

Given the rise of political Islam, with all its righteous and glorious head-chopping, it is not surprising that some Jewish people would come to despise Islam as a whole.

I know that your average western-leftist would consider the natural Jewish response to centuries of persecution to be "racist" but it is not.  On the contrary, it is "racist" to hold Jews to a standard of perfection that people never hold anyone else to.

What I would suggest, however, is that to hate Muslims, as a whole, is nonetheless vile.

It may be understandable given the history of the Jewish people under the boot of Muslim imperialism from the 7th century until the twentieth, but it remains unethical to hate people merely for being born into an Islamic household.

Our problem is not with self-identified Muslims.

Our problem is only with those who seek to advance Islam onto the rest of us.

From a strategic standpoint, opposing the entire Muslim world is foolish.  We are outnumbered by a factor of over 100 to 1.

From an ethical standpoint, it simply is unacceptable because it is the political movement that is the significant enemy of the Jewish people, not your average Muslim seeking to put food on the table.

I will never condemn my Muslim friends and neighbors merely for being Muslim and it is entirely unethical for any of us to do so.

If I am required to despise Muslims, in general, then leave me out.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Discussion with Jon Haber

Michael L.

{Originally posted at the Elder of Ziyon.}

There is no more rational defender of Israel against the racist BDS movement than Jon Haber.

In fact, I am a tad pissed-off that none of Jon's writings were included in Nelson and Brahm's The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel.  The reason for this is academic snobbery.  There is no one making a better, more consistent, and academically rational case against BDS than Jon Haber at divestthis!

Haber has been fighting a lonely fight against BDS for years and he is one of those bloggers that should not need to be brought from the shadows.  This is a gentleman that any university would do well to stand up before students in order to talk about political social media and discourse around the Arab-Israel conflict.

This does not mean, however, that we are entirely in agreement.

We most certainly are not.

Jon and I are having a conversation over the role of the western-left in the ongoing persecution of the Jews in the Middle East.

My argument is that the Obama administration has done a terrible disservice to both the Jewish people and the American people through accepting political Islam within the realm of rational political actors.  When I voted for Obama in 2008 the last thing that occurred to me was that he would legitimize religious hatred against Jews.

But, hopefully each of us learn from experience and from the rousting of our own political naiveté.

For reasons that are somewhat unclear to me Haber remains in defense of the Obama administration.

What I have primarily argued is that because the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rise of political Islam via the so-called "Arab Spring," that his administration never deserved the popularity of Jewish Americans, if those Jewish Americans support the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.

It is really as simple as that.

No politician, including the President of the United States, can support the enemies of the Jewish people and still expect the support of the Jewish people.

In Jon's latest retort he stands behind three essential premises.

The first is that a single example of Obama administration stupidity in briefly supporting the Brotherhood is not sufficient to condemn the administration.

The second is to excuse the Obama administration as simply following the line as put down by the Carter administration in terms of financial support for Egypt as a bribe to not kill Jews.

The third is to suggest that my criticisms are largely partisan.

Let me briefly take these in reverse order.  First off, the charge of partisanship is entirely without merit, nor can it be substantiated.  Although I have been a Democrat throughout the great majority of my adulthood, I am currently without political party.  I am thus not a partisan and I do not support the Republican Party... not yet, in any case.

However, the idea that the Obama administration is simply following American foreign policy as put forth by the Camp David Accords is not a fair criticism.  The point was never that the Obama administration merely provided financial and military aid to the Islamist government in Cairo, but that the administration went out of its way to assist that government in a variety of manners, not the least of which was the UN speech suggesting that the rise of political Islam was something akin to the Spirit of '76 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The main point, however, that I want to address in Jon's argument is his first.

He claims that one single example of administration stupidity is simply not enough to condemn it.

He writes:
genuine understanding can only come from focusing on more than one fact
I absolutely agree and would make two suggestions.

The first is that the single fact is very interesting because it demonstrates the central contradiction at the heart of Obama's foreign policy.  I am relieved that the Egyptian people had the basic decent common sense to get rid of the Brotherhood and am entirely horrified that Barack Obama supported that gang of racist thugs to begin with.

My reasons are not limited to the mere fact that Obama supported a short-lived anti-American and anti-Jewish regime in Cairo, but that it shows the central incoherence of the administration's foreign policy viz-a-viz political Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of both Qaeda and Hamas.  Obama tried to square a circle by supporting the Brotherhood while opposing Qaeda and remaining indifferent toward Hamas.

It simply does not work that way, Jon.  If one opposes Qaeda because one opposes political Islam as a rising movement throughout the world, than one must oppose the Brotherhood and all factions of this misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and head-chopping authoritarian movement arising within the Middle East.

That is my first point.

My second point is that criticisms of Obama administration Middle East policy are hardly limited to his support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another highly significant criticism would be the administration's insistence that Jews building housing for themselves in Judea is somehow a crime against peace.  If there was any chance at a peaceful resolution of the conflict under Obama's watch it was not going to come from demanding that Jews be allowed to live in one place, but not another.

Finally, there is the question of history.

In Jon's conclusion he references his admiration for the writings of Harvard professor of Yiddish literature, Ruth Wisse, and Hebrew University historian, Robert Wistrich.  I, too, have considerable admiration for both, because both understand that the conflict cannot be meaningfully discussed without the proper context.

Our understanding of the context of the conflict needs to be expanded both geographically and in time.  From a geographic standpoint the conflict is between the Jewish people of the Middle East and the greater Arab-Muslim world.  It is not a matter of a Jewish Goliath versus a "Palestinian" David.  It is, rather, a conflict between around 400 million Arabs who, for the most part, oppose 6 million Jews seeking to maintain their freedom and autonomy.

Furthermore, this conflict did not begin in 1948 with the Arab attack on the Jewish people, but has been ongoing since the time of Muhammad.  This is a war fundamentally grounded in Arab-Muslim theocratic bigotry against Jews.  The local Arabs do not want a state for themselves in peace next to Israel.  If that is what they wanted they could have had it many times over by now, but they have rejected any such accommodation.  What they want is what they always tell us that they want.

They want Israel gone and the Jews dead.

And, yet, for some reason Barack Obama honestly thinks that the real problem is that Jews are living where neither he, nor Mahmoud Abbas, want them to live.  And that, my friends, is not only wrong-headed and counterproductive, but entirely racist, as well.

How to Stab a Jew (Or Anyone Else, for that matter) - Updated

Michael L.

Various outlets are reporting that the video below - alternatively entitled "How to Stab a Jew" or "How to Stab Someone" - has gone viral on Palestinian Authority social media.

One of the main points of the video is to let Jihadis within Israel know that when they stab a Jew they need to remember to twist the knife.

Update:  I have elected to remove the video from Israel Thrives because it is so vile that I simply do not feel comfortable hosting it here.

If anyone wishes to check the 73 second video you can do so here.

The Religion of Peace

Michael L.

In the video below, Paul Weston of the newly formed Liberty GB Party in England skewers Islam as anything but a religion of peace.

Those of you who follow Israel Thrives know that Shirlee and I are discussing the question of whether the problem that we are facing is that of political Islam or, as Shirlee and Weston would have, Islam as a whole.

Essentially Weston's argument is that Islam cannot be a religion of peace when it is so war-like in so many ways.  The Koran, for example, calls for the beheading of the unbeliever.  What kind of "religion of peace" calls to for headchopping people who are not part of the faith?

Furthermore, what kind of "religion of peace" divides the world into Dar al-Islam (the House of Submission) versus Dar al-Harb (The House of War)?  In other words, if Islam is at war with everything non-Islamic, how can it possibly be considered a religion of peace?

Where I differ with Shirlee and Weston is that however one may judge Islam as a whole, the only Muslims who concern me are the ones seeking to shove it down the throats of the rest of us and those screeching to the heavens about the theocratic imperative to slaughter Jews.

People can think whatever horrible thoughts that they like in the privacy of their own homes.  My only gripes are when they insist that all of us must be subject to rule under their particular theology or when they promote violence.

This is particularly true because within Islam Christians and Jews are forced to live under a system of Islamic Supremacism - a system of submission in which the dhimmi is tolerated if he embraces his social inferiority and enacts that inferiority in ways required by the Koran and the Islamic religious authorities.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Raw Hatred

Michael L.

klanWhat drives the ongoing Arab war against the Jews of the Middle East is rank bigotry and raw hatred.

They despise Jews not because of Israel.  Rather, they despise Israel precisely because of Jews.  If Israel was the twenty-third Arab-Muslim country in that part of the world it would be praised universally as far-and-away the most enlightened country within the region.

The reason Israel is hated is not because of its behavior which, given the pressures upon that small community, has been exceedingly restrained towards its enemies.

It is hated because it is Jewish.

However, noting the presence of widespread and traditional Arab-Muslim bigotry against Jews does not change the fact that in my own country, the good old US of A, there is plenty of raw and unjust anti-Muslim bigotry.

Check out some of the comments beneath this Youtube video - there are, btw, over 2,000 of them - concerning a court case derived from hostilities within a Dearborn, Michigan, Arab community celebration from a few years ago.

Muslims are little girls unless they're in a gang. Weak as fuck on their own.
I do not know about you, but when I read this kind of sentiment it makes sympathetic not with the commenter but with his target.
Blues Lovr

I can't for the life of me understand WHY, the American government brought these inhuman monsters here to live with us. Now we are under threat to submit to a 9th century blood drenched death cult known as islum. Muslums beat and stone women to death at will, they horribly beat to death animals in the streets, they follow a pedophile that married a 6 year old girl, and forced sex on her at 9 years old. I swear to God I will kill the next on if these sick  
As advocates for the well-being of the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel, it is incumbent upon us to oppose this kind of hatred.  I find it helpful to draw a distinction between Muslims and those who advocate for, or sponsor, or fight for the implementation of al-Sharia as the basis of government anywhere in the world.

We have every right to stand up against political Islam no matter where it is, because no matter where it is, it is directly in opposition to the well-being of the Jewish people, and all non-Muslims, under the rules of Islamic Supremacism known as dhimmitude.  This is not condemnation of Muslims as a people.  It is, rather, the condemnation of a rising and remarkably vicious political movement which we call alternatively "Islamofascism" or "Radical Islam" or "Islamism" or, my preferred usage, "political Islam."

In any case, none of it justifies this:

These Sand-Nigger Muslims don't belong in Western Civilization. Deport them or put them in mass graves.
Well, that is about as chilling as it gets.  Remember there are over 2,000 comments under this piece and the above are culled from the first fifteen, or thereabouts.
mike franklin

Get them out of usa..

they have ten babies per white baby too!!

blacks and mexicans out too

I think that this is Mike's way of reminding me just how it was that I became a Democrat to begin with.  It was to oppose people just like himself.
Cliff Lee

White Americans need to WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!   shove Diversity up your ass. These scumbags are going to take over and we will have bombs and beheading everyday just like in the shithole country they come from.  Send all nigger muslims back to hell. 
Alright.  Enough of this.

You get the idea.

The point is that the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish community is in no position to allow these kinds of sentiments to pass without comment and condemnation.  We cannot take among our allies people who are "racist" toward Muslims.

We need to draw a sharp line between Muslim people and political Islam.

Just as we would never condemn Americans, in general, for the fact of, say, the Tea Party, so we must not condemn Muslims, in general, for the fact of political Islam.

Political Islam, however, should be opposed directly, explicitly, and by any means necessary.

We also must not fear condemning political Islam because aggressively wrong-headed people will accuse us of bigotry toward Muslims as a whole.

It is those who make such arguments who are conflating ISIS with all Muslims or Hamas with all Muslims or the Grand Daddy of them all, the Muslim Brotherhood, with all Muslims.

We are opposed to a widespread, highly aggressive, political movement centered in the Middle East, but with sympathizers throughout the world.  Political Islam, particularly as we are seeing now with the current rise of the Islamic State, is perhaps even more vicious than the Nazis, if that is permissible to imagine.

What we are fighting for is the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.

What we are fighting against is this:

And, finally, if the western left, including the western Jewish left, cannot bring itself to stand up forcefully and consistently and without hesitation against this movement than they have flushed their own values of universal human rights and social justice straight down the toilet.

Why should we stand with people who demonstrate such small inclination to stand up for their own values and who, thereby, betray their friends and neighbors in the process?

Oh, Zoabi

Michael L.

The video above was recently put out by conservative Israeli parliamentarian Danny Danon.

It is played to the music of the old-timey American country tune "Oh, Sussana" and depicts Danon as a sheriff in the Old West arresting anti-Zionist Balad MK Hanin Zoabi.

Writing in Israel Hayom, Daniel Siryoti tells us:
In the video, set in the Wild West, Danon, the former deputy defense minister, is depicted as a sheriff and Zoabi, dressed in a kaffiyeh, is told to start crying because the "real Right" -- Danon -- has arrived. She is tossed out of a bar named "The Knesset" and put behind bars with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and former Balad chairman Azmi Bishara, who fled the country after the Second Lebanon War, in which he was suspected of spying for Hezbollah.

Music to the tune of "Oh, Susanna" accompanies the video, but the words are changed to convey a message to Zoabi: "You partied in the Knesset and sailed with terrorists, your support is guaranteed to anyone who murders Israelis. There is a limit to how much of a traitor you can be, so say goodbye, because sometimes you need to know when to shut your mouth." 
Zoabi, needless to say, is not the least bit happy about the video and has, in fact, filed a formal complaint against Danon with the Nazareth police for incitement.

The truth is, however, Zoabi is an enemy of the Jewish State of Israel and, therefore, should not be qualified to sit in the Knesset.  Israel may be the only country on the planet that is so open-minded - or so foolish - that they actually allow enemies of the state to be part of the parliament.

We need to remember that Zoabi favors violence against Jews, opposes Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, and participated in the Gaza flotilla.  She was on the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara, when Jihadis sought to kill Israeli soldiers who foolishly tried to board that vessel without proper measures of self-defense in May of 2010.

Therefore, indeed, the Knesset needs to rid itself of this individual.

In my opinion, Israel should make it a law that no enemies of the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel, aka, anti-Zionists, should be allowed membership in the Knesset.

Whatever anyone may think of Danny Danon's politics, on this question he is most certainly correct and I wish him nothing but the very best in his efforts to rid the government of this heinous individual.


Oh, and by the way, the video also shows how plain weird Israeli politics can get.

I mean, the American Old West?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Breaking: Jews Build Housing for Themselves in Jerusalem

Michael L.

In a move of unprecedented audacity the Israeli government has announced plans to build 380 homes in East Jerusalem.

The Times of Israel writes:
Israeli authorities gave final approval on Wednesday to the construction of 380 new homes in two Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, a local official said

“The municipal commission has given construction permits for 307 homes in Ramot and 73 in Har Homa,” Pepe Alalu, a Jerusalem city councilor with the opposition Meretz party, told AFP.

He accused local officials of taking advantage of attention focusing on Israeli elections due in March to expand construction in disputed areas.

“This kind of decision distances us from any chance of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said.
Needless to say, the Obama administration is entirely opposed to the very notion that Jews would build housing for themselves in Jerusalem without his personal approval.

In conversation with the Associated Press, President Obama is quoted as saying, "Who do these Jews think that they are, anyways?  The Judaization of Jerusalem will not go unpunished."

In response, Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Obama could "kiss my yiddishe tucchus" thereby ensuring for himself another term as the Israeli Prime Minister.

What the Jews of Israel seem not to understand is that they have no right to live normal lives on the very land that Jews come from.  Mahmoud Abbas knows this.  Barack Obama knows this.  So, what the heck is wrong with Benjamin Netanyahu?

Why is it always Netanyahu that is the odd man out?

Obama and Abbas agree that Jews should be allowed to live in certain places, but not in others.  Among the places that Obama and Abbas agree that Jews should not be allowed to live, and thus build housing for themselves, is in Judea.

For Jews to build housing for themselves in Judea would be an infringement on the rights of the indigenous Arab population and President Barack Obama will simply not allow any such infringement on native rights during his tenure.

"The Jewish people are a fine people," Obama said.  "And while they have the same rights as other peoples, they have no right to just do whatever they want.  Jerusalem does not belong to the Jewish people, after all.  We do not know who it belongs to.  Possibly the Turks or the Amish, but until we figure it out the Jews have no right to just go building, willy-nilly."

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told the press that "Israel is a very important strategic partner to the United States.  However, it must be understood that Jews do not get to building housing for themselves on Jewish land without permission."

In response to this set of international criticisms the Knesset broke out into brawl which lasted until Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, personally kicked each and every one of their asses.

He was quoted as saying, "Shut the f**k up and sit your asses down!"

Which is precisely what they have done since.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yay Christmas!

Michael L.

Jewish ChristmasI actually love Christmas.

When I was a kid, in the burbs of Connecticut and New York, my older sister would every year ask my folks for a "Chanukah Bush" and every year my father would tell her "no."

Thank G-d for my old man, but to this day I still have an affection for Christmas.

I do not know how it is played out in other cultures, really, but within the United States it is basically a celebration of friendship and life.

Christmas is among my favorite holidays.

I love Passover.

I love Thanksgiving.

And, yes - shoot me dead ya bastards - I love Christmas.

I imagine that there must be one or two devout Christians who occasionally read Israel Thrives and to them I just want to wish a very Merry Christmas.

G-d bless our Christian friends.

{We certainly need them.}

Jon Haber's Recent Response

Michael L.

I very much appreciate this ongoing conversation with Jon Haber.

If I am reading him correctly - and I believe that I am - Jon has three major grievances with my views.

1)  He thinks that my lone, sole example of Obama administration support for the Muslim Brotherhood is insufficient grounds for condemnation.

2)  He argues that Obama Administration policy concerning Egypt is entirely consistent with American foreign policy for decades.


3)  He finds my arguments to represent a "contemporary partisan fight."


I disagree and will explain why this coming Sunday at the Elder's joint.

I think that this type of conversation is important because it is necessary to periodically question central assumptions.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Palestinan-Arab National Sport

Michael L.

Writing in Arutz Sheva, Yishai Karov and Cynthia Blank tell us:
palestine stone throwersA four-year-old boy was lightly wounded Sunday morning after rocks were thrown at a car he was traveling in near the Gush Etzion Junction. 
The rocks shattered the car's window and the boy was hurt by the glass fragments. 
Magen David Adom paramedics arrived on the scene to give the child medical care, before evacuating him to a clinic in Efrat. 
The MDA volunteers reported that the child suffered cuts to head as a result of broken glass. 
Last week, a Jewish Israeli was lightly injured after Arab terrorists hurled rocks at his car at the Habitot Junction south of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.
Arabs love to stone Jews.

Unfortunately, over the centuries they've done such a good job of keeping our numbers low and driving us out of our communities in the Middle East that the only real place to find Jews in that part of the world is within Israel, which is why it is up to the Arabs of the Land of Israel to maintain the national pastime.

{You can only imagine how jealous the rest of the Arab world is!  They don't even get the opportunity to throw rocks at Jews... at least, not yet.}

While western-progressives tend to think that Arabs have every right to try to kill Jews as a matter of righteous "resistance," the truth of the matter is that the hostile Arab majority has been pelting Jews with rocks at least since the time of Muhammad.

As the Elder of Ziyon noted in a piece on the Arab tradition of stoning Jews, quoting S. D. Goitein in Jews and Arabs: Their Contacts Through the Ages:
In former times–and in remote places even today–it was common for Muslim schoolboys to stone Jews. When the Turks conquered Yemen in 1872, an envoy was sent from the Chief Rabbi of Istanbul to inquire what grievance the Yemenite Jews had against their neighbors. It is indicative that the first thing of which they complained was this molestation by the schoolboys. But when the Turkish Governor asked an assembly of notables to stop this nuisance, there arose an old doctor of Muslim law and explained that this stone-throwing at Jews was an age-old custom (in Arabic ‘Ada) and therefore it was unlawful to forbid it.
While it is obviously true that living under the system of Arab-Muslim Supremacism known as dhimmitude was in some times and places better and in some times and places worse, it was almost always marked by contempt for Jews and Christians and the use of violence, and other restrictive and oppressive measures, in order to keep them in their place.

As the noted Muslim poet and jurist, Abu Ishaq, wrote of the Jews shortly before the Granadan massacre of 1066 in which an estimated five thousand Jews were murdered by enraged Muslims:
Bring them down to their places and
Return them to the most abject station.
They used to roam around us in tatters
Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn.
They used to rummage amongst the dung heaps for a bit of
     filthy rag
To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...

Do not consider that killing them is treachery.
Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.
(Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, 2010, Yale University Press, pg. 49.)

Many westerners, particularly those on the Left, tend to think that the Jews in Israel "have it coming" for suppressing the national aspirations of the "Palestinian" people.

Every generation they tell one another just why it is that the Jews deserve a good beating.  In previous generations, of course, we were targeted for violence and murder because we allegedly killed the Christian deity who, much to our misfortune, just happened to be one of us.

Later on we were targeted by socialists for inventing capitalism and targeted by capitalists for inventing socialism.

Of course, for the Nazis we did not even really need to do anything to deserve a good beating.  We were simply members of a vile and rat-like racial group that needed to be stomped out in order to ensure the health and well-being of other peoples, particularly the white, blondie, Aryan people of northern Europe.

And the thing of it is, most western progressives, when queried, would agree that previous persecutions and pogroms and expulsions of the Jews for the last two thousand years were wholly unjust.  The Jews, they would acknowledge, are among the most persecuted people throughout human history.  What they would want us to understand, however, is that while persecutions of Jews in previous generations were regrettable, in this generation the Jews, sadly, honestly do deserve whatever beating we get.

It has nothing to do with Jesus or religion.  It has nothing to do with being the alleged agents of either capitalism or socialism.  And it certainly has nothing to do with "race" which is a discredited nineteenth century notion of human biological hierarchies.

No.  This time we deserve a good beating because we are said to be mean to Arabs.

There are 400 million Arabs in the Middle East, or thereabouts, and about 6 million Jews.

This means that there are about 60 to 70 Arabs for every single Jew. Yet we are constantly told that the Jews in that part of the world are persecuting and oppressing a brand-spanking new subset of the larger Arab population - the so-called "Palestinians" - who only came into existence as an allegedly distinct ethnicity about a quarter past last Tuesday and who comported themselves as a distinct people for the sole purpose of seeking to destroy Jewish autonomy and self-defense on historically Jewish land.

For some reason Jewish people are expected to respect a group of people who came into being as a people for the purpose of undermining Jewish well-being.  That strikes me as, frankly, ridiculous.  The Jewish people have been brutalized and massacred by Arabs since the seventh century and now we are supposed to honor and respect a group of Arabs whose only reason to be is to destroy the Jewish State of Israel?

Ho.  Ho.  Ho.

I do not think so, fellahs.

The truth of the matter is that the conflict, as we see it today, is an extension of the conflict as it emerged out of millennia of Arab-Muslim majority persecution of the stunted Jewish minority, grounded in Koranically-based theocratic bigotry toward all non-Muslims.  The reason that the conflict goes on is not out of some alleged historical injustice against Arabs by Jews, but because of rank and long-standing Arab bigotry against Jews.


And, you know what?  If the local Arabs would teach their children to treat their Jewish neighbors as human beings they would find no better friend to themselves anywhere on the planet.  In fact, it is their fellow Arabs who view them with unveiled contempt and who have done more to make their lives miserable than the Jews ever did.

It is not Jews who keep Arabs in camps, but Arabs who do so.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

If I may digress

Sar Shalom

Many Americans know of the existence of an Apache nicknamed Geronimo. Fewer Americans know about his role in resisting Mexican and American expropriation of Apache lands and fewer know about his life after he surrendered to the American Army and exited the fight. Once he exited the fight, Geronimo became an American celebrity. He made an appearance at the World's Fair in St. Louis and rode alongside President Roosevelt at his 1905 inaugural. Most notably, his name became associated with bravery in American culture, such as with paratroopers invoking it when they jumped out of airplanes. However, with all the celebrity status the American public accorded Geronimo, he was never allowed to return home, whether in his lifetime of afterwards.

Such is the Left's attitude towards the Jews.

It is important to distinguish the western Left from the Islamists. The Islamist attitude towards the Jews is that of the second generation of English colonists to the Wampanoag. While the western Left's is still unacceptable, we must be aware of how it is different and be able to articulate that we understand the difference but nonetheless call it out as unacceptable.

Extra-Strength Incite!

Michael L.

A Big Tip 'O the Kippa to Ian at the Elder's Joint.

A Note to the World from an Ordinary Israeli

Michael L.

I came across this under a Times of Israel article concerned with Arab clashes with the IDF:
Draiman Israel ·  Top Commenter

Re: Israel - To whom it may concern in Europe and the US and elsewhere:

We are tired of hearing that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria will bring peace. We know and you know that it would bring another Gaza. So stop saying it and promoting this fallacy. Past experience has proven that concessions, appeasement and land for peace only increased terror, violence and more conflict.

We are tired of hearing that land beyond the Green Line is ‘Palestinian land’. The Green Line is simply an armistice line that has no political significance. You know this too. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 Granted the Mandate for Palestine to the Jewish people, the same Allied powers also established 21 Arab States and one Jewish State - The Arabs are not willing to give up any part of the 21 Arab States and the Jews are not willing to give up any part of the Jewish State.

We are tired of hearing about the “Palestinian people.” They are no different from the Arabs of Syria or Egypt, from which most of their ancestors migrated in the last 150 years or so. There is no Palestinian language or religion, and until very recently they considered themselves simply ‘Arabs’. Their culture is almost entirely defined by their opposition to the Jewish state. There never was an Arab-Palestinian State or people in History. The Arab Palestinians have a State in Jordan which is 80% of the land originally allocated to the Jewish people under the San Remo Treaty of 1920.

We are tired of hearing that “the Palestinians deserve a state.” We are indigenous here, not them, and their behavior entitles them more to a trial at The Hague than to a state. The Arab Palestinians have a State it is called Jordan which was carved out of Jewish allocated land.

And they certainly don’t deserve our state, which is the only state they want. They already took 80% of Jewish allocated land which is Jordan. Israel also gave them the Gaza Strip.

We are tired of hearing about ‘The Occupation’. As Minister Naftali Bennett said the other day, you can’t be an occupier in your own land. The Arabs are the occupiers, Greater Israel has been a Jewish state for 4,000 years even if it was temporarily conquered and occupied by various nations over the centuries.

We are tired of hearing that “settlements are illegal under international law.” They are not. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 expliciptly stated that Jewish people can reside anywhere in the Mandate for Palestine, those terms are set in perpetuity.

We are tired of hearing that “settlement construction is an obstacle to peace.” Arab rejectionism and terrorism is the reason there is no peace. When the Arab-Palestinians teach and preach hate, terror and destruction to their children, this is definitely not a road to peace and coexistence.
By the way, we are pro-peace. We are just not pro-suicide and self destruction.

We are tired of hearing about the 5 million (or whatever ridiculous number there are alleged to be) ‘Arab-Palestinian refugees’ or the ‘Arab-Palestinian diaspora’. There were about 600,000 Arabs that left their homes in 1948, mostly of their own volition, more or less at the same time as the 980,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, of which the Arabs confiscated their homes and assets. We resettled ours with limited land and resources — resettle yours, the 21 Arab states have more land and resources.

We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history. If they want an Arab-Palestinian state, it already exists, it is Jordan which has taken 80% of Jewish allocated land.

We are tired of stupid post-colonialist rhetoric. We are not ‘colonists’ and Arabs do not have the right to murder us in the name of ‘resistance’ or beheading Jewish Rabbi's in Jerusalem's Har Nof Synagogue. Talking this way reveals you as moral imbeciles. They train their children to be suicide bombers.

You can not recognize a state and people that never existed and that has no borders, no single government, and no economy. They are not trusted by Arab states either.

We know we can not depend on any kind of security guarantee from anyone except the Israel Defense Forces. So stop being insulted because we do not trust you. And do not ask us to give up any nuclear weapons we might or might not have or any other method and technology that could help protect us.

We know that the left-wing parties in Israel are bankrupt of ideas. We are not going to vote for them, no matter how much you would like us to. So do not bother trying to influence our election. We will only vote for a government that protects its people and cares about the Jewish heritage, more than it cares for world opinion.

Don’t believe what you read in Ha’aretz newspaper, they represent a minority that has no allegiance to the Jewish heritage.

Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of the state of Israel. Get used to it, because you can’t change it, the Jewish temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.


Ordinary Israelis who care about their heritage. 
I don't know about rebuilding the Temple, but I am with most of the rest of this.  There are a number of reasons why rebuilding the Temple might not be such a good idea, not the least of which would be the impact of such a move on the Jewish faith, itself.

Since the destruction of the Second Temple Judaism has been a rabbinical, rather than a priestly, religion.  Rebuilding the Temple would seem to suggest a return to a priestly form of Judaism which, naturally, would change the entire meaning and practice of the faith.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Michael L.

1967People despise ambiguity.

It is far more comforting when we know what we know that we think that we know.

Hen Kotes-Bar has a piece at Y-Net entitled, Iconic Six-Day War photo recreated at Western Wall.

Like most people who care about the well-being of Israel, I love this photograph.  It is, of course, the iconic photo from the 6 Day War when these paratroopers participated in the liberation of Jerusalem.

It is a terrific shot despite photographer David Rubinger's professional misgivings.

Hen Kotes-Bar writes:
47 years after three soldiers were photographed gazing in amazement upon the Western Wall, they returned to recall the unforgettable moment.

The three soldiers were Dr. Yitzhak Yifat, Zion Karasanti, and Haim Oshri, all members of the same paratrooper battalion that took part in the battle for Jerusalem's Old City. The moment they glimpsed the wall for the first time was captured by photographer David Rubinger.

The historic photo, showing the first Israelis to reach the sacred wall since it fell into Jordanian hands in 1948, has become a symbol of the Six-Day War.

Today, Yifat and Karasanti are 70, Oshri a year younger. Rubinger turned 90 this past summer. But despite his age, he lay on the ground just as he did nearly half a century ago to recreate the exact angle. Unlike then, someone quickly sounded a shofar. People gathered around, including some who were born decades after the battle for the city, and thanked the former soldiers.
And here are these same gentleman today in the exact same spot photographed by the same photographer at a similar angle.

2014I have to wonder what it must have been like to live out one's adulthood as an iconic figure?  The photo above is deeply romantic.  These are young men in their prime who just liberated Jerusalem.

I have no doubt that their mothers were impossible to live with among their friends after the publication of this shot.

The gentlemen on the right, however, are actual human beings.  These are not icons.  These are not superheroes.  These are human beings who, despite that drawback, have every right to be damn proud.

When the original photo was taken in June of 1967, I was barely born.  When my parents saw it in the newspaper, presumably the New York Times, it would have meant less than nothing to me.

Yet, like every Jewish kid from my generation, I grew up with that picture.  It was not in our faces all of the time - not by any means - but every time it showed up we knew exactly what it meant.  It meant the liberation of the Jewish people.  It meant freedom from dhimmitude or subservience to others.

There was nothing the least bit ambiguous about it.  It was, and is, pristine in a certain kind of way.  It represents both innocence and liberation and what could be more beautiful than that?

But this new photo of Dr. Yitzhak Yifat, Zion Karasanti, and Haim Oshri is human and is thus almost jarring in its juxtaposition to the original.  The reason for this is because the latter picture diminishes the former by undermining its beauty, youthfulness, and romanticism.  It is as if honesty and age and the truth of the moment somehow take something away from the iconic photo.

This is the way it feels to me, at least, for what little that may be worth.

But there is no question that the original photo is going to resonate with me until the day I die.

In a certain sense, however, nothing has changed.

The Jewish people are still fighting for our freedom.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Europeans are not to be trusted... obviously

Michael L.

Times of Israel staff writes:
The Palestinian Islamic group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen, a European court ruled on Wednesday.

The move, described by the European Union as a technicality, quickly drew Israeli condemnation and praise from the Gaza-based organization.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to return the group to the terror list, saying Israel was “not satisfied with EU’s explanations that taking Hamas off the terror list is a ‘technical matter.'”

“The burden of proof falls on the EU, and we expect it to permanently return Hamas to the list, so everyone will understand that it is an inseparable part of it — Hamas is a murderous terror organization that emphasizes in its charter that its goal is to destroy Israel,” he said in a statement.
Netanyahu is full of mierda. 

The problem is not just that the Hamas charter, and the hearts of hundreds of millions of Arabs, want to see Israel gone, but that it calls quite specifically for the genocide of the Jewish people.  Calling for the genocide of the Jews is apparently not quite enough for the Europeans to consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Perhaps if they called for the genocide of the Jews twice, that might be sufficient.

Or it could be that if Hamas called for the genocide of the Jews and they really, really meant it that might be sufficient to convince the Europeans that Hamas really, really is a terrorist organization.

What the Powers That Be across the globe are telling us is this:
They do not care.
We need to absorb this truth, integrate it, and understand it.

They honestly do not care if we live or die.  If you believe that the American government, or the Australian government, or the Canadian government, or any of the European governments, give a damn about the well-being of the Jewish people, you should very definitely think again.

The Jews can only count on themselves... and even that is not true most of the time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Standing Up to the Left: An Argument with Jon Haber

Michael L.

{Originally published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Divest This Logo New 300x80As many of you know, Jon Haber of divestthis! and I are having an ongoing discussion around the relationship between the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the western-left.

The heart of my argument is that the progressive-left, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, has forsaken its Jewish constituency through accepting and encouraging anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of its larger constituency.

I fail to understand why this should be acceptable to any self-respecting Jewish person, most particularly any self-respecting Jewish liberal... which I proudly count myself as one.

Jon argues that just as the mid-twentieth-century Marxist-Leninist "Hard-Left" sought to impose itself on the broader American Left through ideological bullying - and the more blunt kind - so today's BDSers insist that opposition to Israel - which is, in effect, opposition to the well-being of the Jewish people - is a prerequisite for admittance into the progressive-left knitting circle.  In this way we both agree that the Left represents the political ground upon which the fight against anti-Semitic anti-Zionists takes place in the west today.

Jon writes:
So if this is the nature of the battle being fought, are we doing ourselves a disservice for condemning a Left that might include the inheritors of an anti-Communist tradition (my emphasis) that is trying to find a way to apply lessons learned in the 20th century fight against Marxism to our current conflict...
My response to Jon's question is this:
Should we not acknowledge the obvious due to fear of offending allies who are already behaving less and less like allies?  The implication of Jon's question if answered in the affirmative - that, yes, we do ourselves a disservice by condemning the Left - is that we must be careful not to offend. 
In Jon's most recent criticisms at Divestthis!, What’s Left? – Arguing with Mike, he takes two issues with my recent argument.  The first is with my usage of Barack Obama's 2011 United Nations speech to illustrate the President's overall hostility - whether conscious or not - to Jewish nationalism through his embrace of political Islam and thus, by logical necessity, of Islamic anti-Zionism.  In that speech Obama compared anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic Islamists - raping and rampaging their way through the "Arab Spring" - to the Sons of Liberty and to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and the 1960s.

I understand that this was not the President's intention, merely the case.

Jon agreed that Barack Obama's comparisons were foolish, but argues:
this was just one of many daft things said during the heyday of Arab Spring fantasies.  And while I admit that the invocation of a sacred civil rights icon to describe what was happening in the Middle East seemed inappropriate even then, I’m hesitant to use such a statement as the basis of a critique of even the Obama administration, much less “The Left” that the Obama administration is supposed to be representing in Mike’s argument.

For there are all kinds of indictments one can bring to the current President’s foreign policy...
Indeed, there are any number of indictments a person can bring, but for the moment, I am only bringing this one.

My central indictment of the western Left in the United States is that it supported an American president who not only claimed a profound respect for the "Arab Spring" but went about providing US tax dollars and heavy weaponry, such F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks, to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

To do what with, I wonder?  Defend against Libya?

For those of you who may not know, the Brotherhood has been around in Cairo since the 1920s and is the parent organization of both Qaeda and Hamas.  The Brotherhood sided with the Hitler during World War II and helped Nazi refugees, including the murderous Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, to escape Europe after the war.   Al-Husseini promised Hitler that once the Nazis crossed into Palestine he would implement The Final Solution to the Jewish Question on Jewish soil.

Furthermore, during the 2012 election campaign of Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood held a rally in Tahrir Square, with Morsi in attendance, in which tens of thousands of people, if not more, screamed for the bloody conquest of Jerusalem.

And, yet, still Barack Obama stood behind the Brotherhood.

And, yet, still American Jewry stood behind Barack Obama.

So, yes, there are any number of indictments or complaints or grievances that someone can level against Obama's foreign policy, but the one that primarily interests me, at this moment, is the fact that he literally supported political Islam and we let him get away with it.  Remember, I write this as someone who was a life-long Democrat - if that concept makes any sense - and who voted for Obama on the first go-round.

Jon's second point is this:
The other point Mike made that I take issue with is the notion that we must decide between criticizing the Left for the fact that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism dwells within its ranks (which it obviously does) or staying mum out of fear of offending potential allies within that end of the spectrum.
Jon argued that perhaps we do "ourselves a disservice for condemning a Left that might include the inheritors of an anti-Communist tradition..."

All I am saying is that we should not be afraid to criticize.

I do not "condemn" the Left.  Hell, I come out of the Left and my positions, if you go down the list, are still largely on the Left.  What I have for the Left is not condemnation, but criticism which they mainly refuse to address or consider.  The progressive-left and the Democratic Party in the United States are indifferent to the interests of its Jewish constituency.  The reason this is so is precisely because we fail to strongly criticize them when we should.  One obvious example was voting Barack Obama a second time even after he stood with the Muslim Brotherhood.

We can no longer afford to allow the Democratic Party to take American Jewry for granted.

Every generation of American Jews has given the Democratic Party its wholehearted support since FDR and FDR was not even a friend to the Jewish people.  Vice President Henry Wallace noted in his diary that FDR thought that Jews needed to be scattered around the globe so that we might be assimilated into the larger world demographic and thereby made to go away, i.e., "to spread the Jews thin all over the world."

When the Democratic delegates to the 2012 National Convention cannot even bring themselves to affirm a voice-vote recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, you know that it is at least time to stop kissing Democratic feet.

80% of Palestinian-Arabs Favor Violence Against Jews

Michael L.

childWriting in the Algemeiner, Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn tell us this:
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research last week asked a sample of 1,270 Palestinian Arab adults in the territories what they thought of the recent wave of attacks in which Palestinians stabbed Israelis or ran them over with their cars. Eighty percent responded that they support such attacks.

Note that the respondents weren’t talking about theoretical future attacks. They were commenting on recent attacks which they know all about. Here is what they are endorsing:

—Ramming a car into a crowd at a train station in Jerusalem. The fatalities included a 3-month old infant.

—Stabbing an unarmed young woman standing at a bus stop in Gush Etzion.

—Axing and machine-gunning four rabbis at prayer in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Could the 80 percent endorsement be a fluke? A one-time aberration? A momentary lapse in good judgment, spurred by recent tensions?

Hardly. There is a remarkable consistency in Palestinian public opinion. The same polling institution surveyed 1,200 Palestinians in the territories in late September and found that 80 percent support resuming the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
What slays me is that racist western-leftists will give no credence to any such reports because they conceive of non-white people as little children who are not responsible for their own beliefs or their own behavior.

Israel has agency, but only because Israelis are perceived as "white" despite the fact that about half are anything but.  Thus if 80 percent of Palestinian-Arabs think that killing Jews is a dandy idea, well, who can blame them, really?  Besides, traditional Arab theocratically-based bigotry against Jews is Israel's fault.  Never mind that the phenomena precedes the creation of the State of Israel by over thirteen hundred years.

The bottom line is that no one - not the Europeans, not the Obama administration, and certainly not the United Nations - will ever hold Palestinian-Arabs (those transcendent victims) responsible for anything.  Among their many accomplishments, they gave the world the suicide bomber.  The Palestinian-Arabs invented the suicide bomber, yet we are constantly told that they "deserve" a state.


The truth is, I can think of no people on this planet less deserving of statehood than the vicious and bigoted Palestinian-Arabs who are told by their leadership that their Jewish neighbors are the descendants of apes and pigs.  Now the Tibetans, these are people worthy of a state of their own.  They are riding out an occupation far more brutal than anything Arabs have to put up with from Jews.  They are doing so without much recourse to violence and, yet, they still receive one-tenth the sympathy in the west, if that, reserved for Palestinian-Arab terrorists who love violence.

Tibet's big problem is that it has the wrong enemy.

If it were Jews occupying Tibet than it would be an entirely different story.  In that case the Tibetans would receive endless attention, endless financing, and total sympathy for any violent acts that they might wish to carry out against the Zionist Aggressors.  Of course, for the analogy to work, Tibet would have to be the traditional homeland of the Jewish people, just as Israel is.

The truth, of course, is that the Jews of the Middle East are not "occupying" anything other than their own land.  Sorry, but Judea was Judea for one heck of a long time before the Jordanians dubbed it "West Bank" and western liberal Jews passively and shamefully complied with the robbery of their own people's history.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hostages Taken In Heart Of Sydney CBD

From Uncommon Sense

Probable Muslim terror attack in Sydney CBD underway right now - Mon morning 15 December

Martin Place, Lindt café, Sydney.

A number of hostages (possibly about 20) have been taken in a siege in Sydney's CBD.

At least three people can be seen through the windows of a cafe in Martin Place with their hands raised.

An Islamic flag has also been seen hanging in the window of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe.

Witnesses have reported hearing loud bangs that sounded like gun shots.

One block of Martin Place has been cordoned off between Elizabeth Street and Phillip Street.

Dozens of police cars are at the scene and one police officer has drawn his gun.

Police have urged members of the public to avoid the area.

Let us hope and pray for a safe resolution. Maybe this will wake up our apathetic general public ...

A screengrab apparently showing a jihadi flag being flown inside the Lindt Chocolat Cafe.

Muslim terror event now going for just over 3 hours.

Note: Mobile phone services have been shut down in part of Sydney CBD. So you may have difficulty reaching places/people.

Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane said he believes there are 40 to 50 people inside the cafe, including customers and staff.
Other reports are suggesting there may only be 13 hostages.
Central CBD closed. Trains not stopping at Martin Place.
Hostages were seen holding the flag, which has white text that says: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God." 


Dozens of heavily-armed police officers wearing protective clothing and helmets have taken up positions in the area with guns drawn.

Witnesses have reported hearing loud bangs that sounded like gun shots.

end of  Uncommon Sense report. 



From press conference with NSW Premier and Police Commissioner  2 00 pm

There is at least one gunman and heavily armed. If there were gunshots there was no mention of this.

The number of hostages is described as "undisclosed" . I don't think they have any idea. This is an up market coffee shop in the middle of the financial district and it would be peak business. I saw an estimate from the business owner of a number that is scary.

There has been no "direct" contact and therefore any demands are unknown. 

Get this. . A journalist at the conference asked "there's a flag with white writing being held at the window by a hostage. What does it signify?"

Police Commissioner (breaking into a sweat and changing colour) says something like

"We do not know at this point the nature of this and our experts are working on it."

The Premier had just reassured us that the Police are all over this, thoroughly trained and the "best in the world". 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Caroline Glick Hands Racist Danish Ambassador His Own Head

Michael L.

Sometimes, in my opinion, Caroline can get a tad too strident, although I do not believe anyone would doubt her sincerity.

The truth of the matter, of course, is that there is nothing the least bit complimentary to holding Jewish people to a double-standard.  In fact, it's the very definition of discrimination and, therefore, anti-Semitism.

It also neatly represents the type of humanitarian racism that the Europeans and western progressives have become so adept at over the years.  The most racist political movement in the west today, with the sole exception of political Islam, is western progressivism.

The irony, of course, is rich.  The progressive-left tells the world that it is "anti-racist" even as it holds "people of color" to non-human standards.  I find it exceedingly distasteful and would never associate myself with a political movement as disgustingly racist as the progressive-left.

They honestly seem to think that non-white people are so loathsome that they cannot be held to normal human standards of behavior.  What, essentially, did the moronic Danish ambassador say?  That they hold Israel to a double-standard because they hold Israel to a European standard?  Was that the idea?

I see.

So, in other words, they hold "Europeans" and non-Europeans to different standards of morality with the obvious implication that non-Europeans (i.e., non-white people) are on a lower moral plain than the rest of humanity and therefore cannot be expected to live up to normal human codes of moral decency.

Got it.

{A big Tip 'O the Kippa to the Elder.}

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fun is its own reward

Michael L.

One of the nice things about owning one's own little bit of on-line real estate - much like a farmer in 1930s Kansas - are these occasional irrational indulgences.

May G-d forgive me.

{Originally published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

groot flower print UK digital 724x1024I wrote a brief note the other day discussing the power of female beauty.

This is a place, however, wherein we discuss the Arab-Israel conflict, not abstract concepts like beauty.  This is not a blog devoted to the philosophy of aesthetics, but that does not change the fact that beauty is one of the most powerful forces in the world.

As you guys know in classical mythology, in Homer, the Trojan war was due to the fact that Paris abducted Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, a daughter of Zeus, and the wife of a king.

But, really, what I want to talk about this rainy morning, if you guys will indulge me is meta and I will in short order bring the conversation back around to beauty which, in itself, is a conversation about meta.

"Meta" within discourse refers to the discussion about the discussion and is therefore ultimately about aesthetics and perception.  Meta is exceedingly important.  It may not be nearly as important as beauty, itself, but it is hugely important to our ongoing conversations around the conflict.

This is why people who closely follow the conflict, like say, Ian, know very well that the terminology that we use to describe the conflict makes all the difference in the world.

"West Bank" versus "Judea and Samaria" is a classic.  After many years using the phrase "West Bank" I realized that it is a term that essentially erases Jewish history on historically Jewish land, so why would any pro-Jewish person do such a terrible thing?  I am not going to refer to the traditional homeland of our people in terms that erase our history and that is precisely why Jordan renamed Judea and Samaria to "West Bank."

The point was to erase us from history and what boggles my mind is how easily we went along with it.

Surely decades ago there must have been people far more intelligent than myself who were already aware of this problem and ringing the alarm bell, but those people would not have included the highest levels of Israeli leadership in all the years following the 6 Day War... with the sometime exception of Golda Meyer who was probably the smartest of the bunch.

So, how we discuss what we discuss makes all the difference in this world.

Meta counts because it represents context.

As a blogger and a writer I understand that, obviously, our product is not merely ideas as expressed in text, but also includes graphic imagery.  As bloggers and editors and newspaper and magazine publishers we are responsible for not just textual content, but the look and feel of our product, including the images that we publish.  The images that we publish tell our readership who we are.

In other words, you do not go to Playboy Magazine for high quality political analysis.  There may sometimes be high quality political analysis in it.  Some of their writers may be exceedingly insightful and have the very best intentions, but most guys are mainly going to oogle the centerfold.

This morning I received an email from Shirlee from Jews Down Under thanking me for this piece, but wondering why I would have the character of Groot as the associated graphic, which I have also put on the top of this piece.

This was my (slightly edited) response:
I love popular culture, Shirlee. 
Groot is a character from the MARVEL company that has been putting out a series of films based on comic book characters going all the way back to the 1930s and 1940s.  I do not know about comic books, but these are actually very good films starring big names like Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlett Johansen, who has done considerable work standing up for Sodastream in opposition to BDS.

Everything is interconnected.  Groot, as a character, is basically a rip-off of JRR Tolkien, who perhaps you have read.  The Lord of the Rings was my favorite novel as a kid and Groot is essentially an Ent.  He is a tree person.  He can be exceedingly fearsome, but also exceedingly kind, which is why I like him as a character.

Thus the image is of Groot giving a flower to young girl.
I understand, of course, that at first glance Groot would seem to have little to do with the piece that I wrote, which was mainly the beginnings of an overview of the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish blogosphere and media and a reminder to myself that I need to get back to Jon Haber.  The image works to my mind, though, because it represents an image of graciousness, of caring, of reaching out, which is all we are doing, those of us who write about the conflict.

We may think of ourselves as hard-nosed analysts, but I know the Jewish blogosphere pretty well and the only conclusion that I can come to is that the main overriding project is one of reaching out to others.  There are hot-heads in the Jewish community who claim not to care what other people think, but they are lying to themselves, if not to you.  They care very much, but that makes them vulnerable, which is why they prefer not to admit it.

And this brings me back to beauty.

Beauty is about vulnerability.

That is, the apprehension of beauty has a wounding quality.  Some of you may recall a scene from Robert A. Heinlein's science fiction book Stranger in Strange Land, wherein one of the main characters had at one time been an exotic dancer.   Through her association with Valentine Michael Smith, the primary character of the story who embodies exceptional wisdom, she comes to understand the nature of her own beauty as seen through the eyes of men and thereby comes to respect her own power.

Beauty pulls at the heart and distracts the mind.  It is, in fact, the greatest power in this world short of brute physical force.  I know nothing in this world more powerful than beauty, thus the images that we put out as publishers, which very often include images of beauty, tell the world who we are and what we are about.

Therefore, I chose Groot despite the fact of his lack of beauty.

Groot is fearsome, yet kind, and that's the way that we should be as a community.

Besides, you know what?

The movie Guardians of the Galaxy, in which we find Groot, along with his little buddy, Rocket Raccoon, is just great fun.

The Arab-Israel conflict is perhaps the most painful and miserable topic that anyone can cover, particularly if you care about the well-being of the Jews in the Middle East.  I despise everything about the conflict.  I don't like Arab theocratically-based bigotry against Jews.  I do not like the terrible genocidal screechings coming out of many of the mosques in that part of the world.  I do not like the violence.  I do not like the hatred.

And I truly despise the fact that western liberals, including many Jewish liberals, tend to blame Jews for the violence against us.

Thus a small meditation this morning on beauty, literature, and film represent a terrific relief and fun is its own reward.

I can go back to grinding my teeth over the conflict later.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why isn't anyone discussing Palestinian Emirates?

Sar Shalom

In defending the application of pressure on Israel to accept that Jewish rights end at Jordan's 1949-line of conquest, President Obama observes that no one has explained to him how Israel could hold onto the entirety of Judea and Samaria, grant civil rights to all its inhabitants, and remain a Jewish-majority state. However, there is a plan that has been suggested that would recognize that Jordan's 1949-conquest is not grounds to abrogate Jewish rights, extends civil rights to those who dwell in Judea and Samaria, and does not threaten Israel's status as a Jewish state. That plan is Mordechai Kedar's Palestinian Emirates.

A summary of the features of the Palestinian Emirates plan: The major Arab population centers of Judea and Samaria (except for Bethlehem) would each become independent emirates as would Gaza. Israel would annex the remaining parts of Judea and Samaria with full civil rights extended to the Arabs living in those territories. The Arab population centers in Judea and Samaria are: the Arab section of Hebron, Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, and Jenin. Those population centers include roughly 90% of the Arab population of Judea and Samaria, thus extending civil rights to the remaining Arabs would not threaten Israel's Jewish character.

While I have other reasons to support Kedar's plan, one notable asset is that if the alternative to full evacuation of "the West Bank" is Palestinian Emirates, Obama would not be able to say that full evacuation is required in order for Israel to remain both a Jewish state and a democracy that extends civil rights to all under its jurisdiction. This doesn't mean that Obama would not be able to come up with other reasons to demand full evacuation, however, any reason to favor full evacuation over Palestinian Emirates would be a harder sell than the "preserve Israel as a Jewish democracy" argument has against the alternative of preserving the status quo. Given that, why does no one besides Kedar himself even mention Palestinian Emirates?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Dissertation of Mahmoud Abbas

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

abbasMahmoud Abbas completed his PhD dissertation for Lumumba University in Moscow in 1982.

For years I have been reading that this piece of writing - which to the left is the original cover - entitled "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism" was one in which he denied the Holocaust.

Well now this work is actually available on his official website.

Ronen Bergman has reviewed the material and, writing in Y-Net, offers us analysis and quotes from Abbas concerning Zionism and the Jews.  Here is one:
"The Zionist movement did not send any assistance, financial or otherwise, for the victims of Nazism and it did not allow any other side to provide any kind of aid. The Zionist movement concealed the information that came from within the ghetto walls and concentration camps, news that shed light on what was really happening. If it had to publish anything, it did so by questioning that information and diminishing its importance." - Mahmoud Abbas
Should it not be obvious to all but the most obtuse that Mahmoud Abbas is not a negotiator in good faith with the Jewish people or the State of Israel?  No one who would write the paragraph above could possibly be a reasonable negotiator.

Here is another one for your edification:
"All of this wasn't enough - the Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them and to expand the mass extermination." - Mahmoud Abbas
Yes, I would very much like to see the evidence which demonstrates that David Ben-Gurion, or any of his associates, "led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews."  I have read one or two biographies of the man, but they always seem to leave that part out for some reason?  No doubt a Zionist plot!

Abbas denies that he has denied the Holocaust and, in fact, he does not deny the Holocaust.

According to Bergman in an interview with Avika Eldar in Ha'aretz Abbas said the following:
"One wrote there were twelve million victims and another wrote there were 800,000. I have no desire to argue with the figures. The Holocaust was a terrible, unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation, a crime against humanity that cannot be accepted by humankind. The Holocaust was a terrible thing and nobody can claim I denied it."
The problem here is not Holocaust denial, but something perhaps quite worse.  Abbas is accusing the Zionist movement, and thus the many hundreds of thousands of Jews who participated in it in the mid-1940s and who lost their families to the Nazis, of colluding with the Nazis to persecute their own people - even unto genocide - in the service of Zionism. 

Bergman tells us this:
Abbas' main claims in his doctorate are that Zionist leaders ignored the Holocaust of European Jewry, sacrificing them so that they could claim a national home; that the Zionist movement deliberately and systematically thwarted the rescue of Jews from Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Baltic countries; that Jews who abandoned their homes in Arab countries did not suffer any harassment or persecution, and that the root of the conflict between them and the Arabs was the privileges that they received from the French and British colonialists.
And then we find this:
When one discusses declared Zionist thought … we find that the Zionists believe in the purity of the Jewish race, just as Hitler believed in the purity of the Aryan race. - Mahmoud Abbas
This man is a liar who will say absolutely anything.  There is nothing within the movement for Jewish liberation which comes even remotely close to what Abbas accuses us of.

He is claiming that the early Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to commit genocide upon the Jewish people in order to extort land in the Middle East and compel European Jews to move to that land.  While that is heinous enough it thereby implies that today's Jewish supporters of the Jewish people - within the tradition of Zionism, as if there were only one - represent the contemporary form of Nazi ideology.

In the imagination of Mahmoud Abbas, not to mention G-d only knows how many of his progressive-left western allies, Zionism is the ideological and functional equivalent of Nazism today.

Berman's is a lengthy article, so I need to be judicious in quotes, but I cannot resist this one from Bergman, himself:
[Abbas] claims that Mossad abducted Adolf Eichmann from Argentina after he revealed the details of this plot to the American magazine "Life". In other words, it was not Eichmann's responsibility for implementing the Final Solution that led Mossad to its abduction mission in Buenos Aires, but the desire to silence the high-ranking Nazi on the subject of who was behind the execution of the Holocaust.
Bergman's is an important article.

For far, far too long we've read that Abbas denied the Holocaust, yet for some reason no western-allied Arabic and English-reader, as far as I know, has ever seriously read the damn thing and reviewed it for the public in the English language with direct quotes taken from the original Arabic.

Ronen Bergman has in Y-Net and you should definitely check it out.  There is much more material in this article to be explored and chewed upon.

To my mind, however, it drives the final spike into Abbas' standing as a negotiating partner.  The man was elected to a four year term that ended five years ago.  He also wrote the checks for the Munich Massacre during the 1972 Olympics, so why bother with him?

In truth, he should be in prison.

I understand, of course, that it is not quite so simple.  Israel has other geopolitical concerns that apparently keep it strapped to the PLO / Fatah - its insidious doppleganger - not the least of which is US president Barack Obama.  But if Obama still thinks that Abbas and his people represent genuine negotiating partners out which can come a peaceful conclusion of hostilities as embodied in a two-state solution, then the man is even more far-gone than I thought.

If Obama insists upon twisting Jewish arms to lay down to Abbas over settlement construction, he does so not out of any belief that Abbas can deliver a reasonable two-state solution from his end, but because Obama has got geopolitical concerns of his own and only a tiny percentage of those concerns have much of anything to do with Jews.

Do not expect anything resembling fair play from western powers.