Sunday, June 28, 2015

More Blood, Death, and Horror

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon and the Jewish Press.}

deathAs I write this on Friday morning, there it is all over the headlines, again.

Islamist Terror Wave Hits Tunisia and Kuwait.

Man Beheaded in France.

What we know as of this moment is that terrorists shot up the resort town of Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, killing at least 27 people.

Meanwhile, the Times of Israel is reporting:
A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers Friday, killing and wounding dozens, officials and witnesses said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
And, needless to say:
At least one person was killed and several were injured in a terror attack on a factory in the Lyon region in southeastern France late Friday morning.

The decapitated body of a man was found on the premises, according to Sky News. It reported that the 30-year-old suspect was known to the foreign intelligence services.

The victim was reportedly an employee of the factory. His head was discovered by police perched on the fence outside the factory, covered in Arabic writing. 
By the time that you read this it will be old news, but I suppose the question that many of us are asking ourselves is just what is it going to take for our media and our academia and our elected officials to start taking political Islam seriously?

There are two things that must be acknowledged.

1)  The rise of political Islam in recent years is the single most significant geo-political happening since the demise of the Soviet Union. 

I do not understand why so many people seem to have a difficult time understanding that political Islam is not just a religion, but a political movement, and like any political movement it is open to criticism and opposition.  The fact is that political Islam, in the form of organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and all the rest, do not represent Islam as a whole.  What they represent is Islam in its Islamist form.

The form of Jihad.

Too many people seem to think that opposing political Islam is "racist" because it is seen as "Islamophobic" or an attack on regular Muslims.

It isn't.

In fact, cliché as it may sound, no one is abused more under al-Sharia than are Muslims.  What is really bigoted is holding different people to different standards of humanity.  In the Europe and the United States this generally takes the form of "humanitarian racism" and it is the most prevalent form of bigotry found in the West today.

The old-timey, flat-out racism of people like Dylann Roof is, sadly, not dead, but it is certainly dying.

Coming on the heels of Ferguson and Baltimore it is politically-incorrect to say so, but mid-twentieth-century KKK-style, or SkinHeadStyle, American racism is pretty much over - despite this heinous scum in Charleston.

The Klan is not taking over countries.

Neo-Nazis are not destroying ancient artifacts in Palmyra.

On the liberal-left concern with right-wing racists in Europe and the United States is genuine, and politically entrenched, but we should not allow that concern to be used as an excuse to ignore, or downplay, the far more dangerous fact of the rise of political Islam.

2)  The Obama administration sold us out on the issue.

On the question of political Islam the Obama administration simply has nothing to say other than to downplay the seriousness of it and to protect Islam's reputation from itself.

I know that I am not singing to the choir here, and that is a good thing, but it must be stressed that this administration not only refuses to acknowledge the rise of political Islam during the misnamed "Arab Spring" as a serious problem, but has actually aided and abetted that very problem.

The pro-Israel / pro-Obama American-Left must acknowledge that which is directly before their very noses.

Barack Obama is not an Israel-friendly president.  Period.  End of story and stop making excuses.

Barack Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood and is enabling an Iranian bomb.  All we can do is oppose the administration's foreign policy and hope to put enough pressure on Congress, and the powers that be, to oppose political Islam and prevent that bomb from coming into being.

If you think that the rise of political Islam is a problem now, just wait until you get a gander at what it looks like after an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region.

That will be, as they say, game over and a nuclearized Iran will be Barack Obama's foremost legacy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Over 200 Hundred Dead


The Times of Israel reports:
Over 200 killed as Islamist terror wave hits Mideast, France

Tunisia death toll hits 37; Kuwait mosque blast kills 25; Israeli minister tells French Jews to ‘Come Home!’ after local boss beheaded; Netanyahu blasts ‘dark forces'; IS kills 145 in Syria, supporters celebrate ‘Black Friday’
Is it time to fight back?

Is it verboten to even suggest such a thing?

Islam clearly has a cancer and either it removes that cancer or others may have to do so for it.

By the way, TOI also reports:
The suspected terrorist who killed at least 37 people, mainly tourists, at a Tunisian beach resort earlier today, has been identified as Seifeddine Yacoubi a 23-year-old aviation student from Kairouan, south of Sousse where the rampage occurred.

He was killed in a firefight with security forces.
The French Islamist arrested on suspicion of having decapitated his boss at a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon, earlier today, was involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2011, according to reports.

The man was identified as Yassine Salhi, 35, a father of three, born to an Algerian father and a Moroccan mother.

Four years ago, Salhi and another man were reported to have hit a Jewish teenager and to have hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him while travelling on a train from Toulouse to Lyon, according to a report on JTA. 

Shariah In America


{Editor's note:  this is a guest post and the views of the writer are not necessarily those of Israel Thrives.}

shariaThe latest Pew Research poll of U.S Muslims of high socioeconomic status reveals some very disturbing facts.

Fully one third want Shariah to be the law in the U.S.

Almost 60% believe that criticism of Islam or Mohammed should be prohibited in the U.S.

12% believe that those who blaspheme Islam should be put to death.

20% of Muslim men said that they should be allowed to have multiple wives.

And finally, one third believe that Israel has no right or that they are not sure if Israel has a right to exist. The correlation between the denial of the existence of Israel and anti- Semitism has been widely accepted.

What is one to make of this survey?

Since the 1990's when the number of Muslim immigrants to the U.S. increased, there have been pundits who stated, “Just as the Irish, Italians, Germans, Chinese, Catholics, Jews, etc, melded into the American landscape so will these newly arriving Muslim immigrants. “
This poll and the ever increasing number of, committed and prevented, home grown crimes (Major N. Hassan, underwear bomber, 9/11, Ft. Dix 5, first World Trade bombings, etc.) have shown that this “wishfull” thinking is just not working.

There are a number of activities that are attempting to change the direction of this phenomenon.

A fairly new group of intellectual Muslims, have formed AIFD, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Their objectives, among others, are “to engage and promote reforms, where necessary, including an honest and critical reinterpretation of scripture and Shariah law used by Islamists to justify violence and oppression”

Admittedly, it will be a difficult task to reinterpret such proscriptive (imposed restraints or restrictions) as Sura 5:60--”Jews and Christians are sons of apes and pigs.”

9:29--”Fight the unbelievers.”

5:55--”Don't take Jews and Christians as friends.”

Or a particularly strong one against women, Sura 2:223 - ”your women are a tillage for you. So go into your tillage as you wish.”

Nevertheless, it took over 200 years for the Reformation to finally take hold. It was only less than thirty years ago that the Church finally dismissed the notion that Jews killed Jesus Christ.

Two other activities that should be strongly supported, even though they are politically incorrect, are:

Vigorously support Ms. Pamela Geller (American Freedom Defense Initiative-AFDI) in her defense of freedom of speech. The “Draw Muhammad” cartoons, the public transportation advertisements, etc..

And, publicize the propaganda nature of Al Jazeera America.

Two employees are suing Al Jazeera America, after being fired. They accuse the company of “openly demanding that programs air that criticize countries such as America, Israel and Egypt”. Also,” higher ups were anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American.”

Additionally, we should investigate what turns a 17 year old Virginia high school honor student into hosting an ISIS Twitter account and convincing his friend to join ISIS. Was it his parents, teachers, peers,,etc.? A 2011 study by the Center for Security Policy, of some American Mosques, found that 81% featured text that advocated violence. Is that still the case?

A partisan, but important for America, project is to attempt to restrain the Obama administration from naming people, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated objective is to impose world wide Shariah) and other radical groups, to represent America in security conferences around the world. The latest is Salam Al Marayati, (“Israel should be on suspect list for 9/11.”) who participated in the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism”.

A strong, vigorous, immediate response is needed to prevent the worldwide Shariah aspects that are leading to the persecution of Christians in different parts of the world.
The Christian population of Bethlehem went from 60% to 13% since Israel handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority. Documentation shows this small group are frequently victims of extortion, rape, even murder.

Under Saddam Hussein there were 750,000 Christians in Iraq. There are now less than 200,000.

There are almost weekly bombings of churches and Christians being killed in different parts of the world. Pakistan, Kenya, Central African Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, etc.

One must be aware that participation in these or any other efforts to prevent Shariah on a world wide scale, may result in threats (Pamela Geller), being called a heretic (Dr. Zuhdi Jasser), labelled a racist (Robert Spencer), called an Islamophobe (Daniel Pipes), anti-American (the label CAIR gives to everybody who disagrees with them), etc.

Nevertheless, the above actions together with many others, will, if successful, hopefully result in much better statistics in the next poll among American Muslims.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Well, Michael Oren Better Have Something to Say

Michael L.

orenThis is the first time in a very long time wherein the name "Michael Oren" has shown up on this blog.

At first the word was, based primarily on a few recently published articles by the former ambassador, that Oren really let the Obama administration have it in his new book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.  According to Oren, Barack Obama intentionally sabotaged US-Israeli relations in order to create "daylight" between the American administration and the despised Zionist regime.

This is what Jonathan Tobin writes in Commentary:
As he did in his book, Oren said he devoted a great deal of thought to trying to figure out what was at the roots of the president’s insatiable and generally unrequited (with the exception of Iran’s regime in the nuclear talks) desire for outreach to the Muslim world that was exemplified in his 2009 Cairo address and his clear belief that America should distance itself from Israel. His primary answer was that Obama was the product of the elite academic institutions where he studied, such as Columbia University where radical Palestinian intellectual Edward Said shaped attitudes toward Islam and Israel
I have been making this very same argument for years.

In any case, I have been exceedingly reluctant to jump on the Michael Oren bandwagon until I actually read his book, which I only just ordered.  The Elder says that Oren is actually far more gracious to Barack Obama than one might think from his recent articles.

What I think is that it is long past time for pro-Israel supporters of Barack Obama to finally admit that this is not a pro-Israel president.  I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  I later realized that it was a mistake.  I admitted that mistake and moved on.

Why does this seem to be so excruciatingly difficult for so many people?

Why is admitting a mistake such a shame for people?

And please understand, of course, that Barack Obama is not merely bad for the State of Israel and, therefore, the Jewish people.  No.  Barack Obama is bad for the United States and the West, in general, because he does not really believe in the West.  He thinks that the United States and its European allies have been a force of imperialism and exploitation throughout the world and this is the reason that he felt it necessary to get on his hands and knees before the Umma during the 2009 Cairo speech.

He said this:
The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
What so often strikes me about western-left attitudes toward Islam is the never-ending condescension.  Obama speaks about Muslims as if they were children with no agency in the world.

We are talking about 1.5 billion people who represent one of the most expansive empires and nations in human history.  They were not merely victims of the West or of imperialism or colonialism or modernity or the Cold War.

To see them in this way - which is the typically racist stance of the western-left - is to rob these people of their dignity and self-respect.  To think of Arabs or Muslims as weak little children in need of protection from the big bad western bullies is a nineteenth-century view of the world that used to be called "White Man's Burden," Lloyd.

Our stance toward the rest of the word should be as adults talking with adults, not as parents patting children on the head.  This simplistic post-colonial view that divides the world into white aggressors and their victims "of color" defames the West and infantilizes everyone else.

It is not only counterproductive, but insulting to the rest of the world.

In any case, I am very much looking forward to reading what Michael Oren has to say and I bet that he is not nearly as condescending to the Obama administration as the Obama administration is to the non-western world.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brief Note: The American Consensus

Michael L.

briefnotesOne of the things that I am most grateful for, as the proprietor of this small conversation place, is that as time has gone by the blog has expanded its reach to include, now, people from all over the world.

At first it was just me and Doodad and a few other Americans.  While Israel Thrives remains small it is also considerably more diverse than it was initially.

This being the case, I want to clarify something for our international readership which they may, or may not, already know.

The United States is a politically narrow place.

That is, within the US polity there is a general consensus around regulatory capitalism.

Democrats like to think that Republicans are their evil opposites and I am guessing that the reverse holds true, as well, although I am less familiar with Republicans and conservatives than I am with Democrats and the Left.

The truth of the matter is that Left, Right, and Center, almost all Americans believe in some form of regulatory capitalism.  The Right tends to be more economically libertarian and the Left tends more toward social democracy, but no one is suggesting a return to laissez-faire capitalism or, in any serious way, promoting communism.

I like to tell people that the fundamental tensions within American politics are embedded directly in the Preamble to the Constitution which reads as follows:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The difference between the Left and the Right in the United States is that the Left emphasizes the promotion of the general welfare whereas the Right tends to emphasize, at least from an economic stand-point, promoting the blessings of liberty.

It's not quite so simple, of course, because it's not just about economics, but this nonetheless represents the general frame of American politics and there is nothing dishonorable about identifying with either side.

When the American Left spits hatred at the American Right, and vice-versa, they are spitting hatred at people who are standing on very similar ideological turf.

It might be helpful - and certainly more congenial - if we were to occasionally recognize this truth.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Brass Tacks

Michael L.

brassFor some reason within the American idiom the term "brass tacks" means down to basics.

I am not certain that the term is used much any more, but there was a time when people would sometimes say, in the midst of a dispute, something like, "OK, let's get down to brass tacks."

Here is a brass tack for you:

The small bit of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is Israel, the Land of the Jews, and has been for thousands of years.  

Just because western-left racists politically join with bigoted anti-Jewish Arabs does not make it otherwise.

There are no people on this planet - unless someone can drag up a Jebusite - who have greater objective and moral claims to their own home than do the Jews of that small part of the Middle East.

As the Elder notes, Jews are from Judea and Arabs are from Arabia.

Period.  End of story.

Just because Muslims stomped out of their enormous peninsula in the seventh century, conquered the entirety of the Middle East, and almost conquered Europe, does not mean that they have some Allah-given right to the tiny Jewish home.

All of Israel, small as it is, is the land of the Jews and former conquerors gain no special dispensation due to their previous aggression and imperial rule.

This is particularly true given the unfortunate facts of Jewish history which are characterized by conquest, dispersion, persecution, and genocide.

These are the brass tacks.

The Jewish people will not be denied sovereignty within our traditional homeland and anyone who thinks otherwise, including fellow western-left Jews, can go screw.

The Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

That used to be a sort-of motto of mine.

Perhaps it needs to be resurrected.

Maybe it should have been the very name of this blog.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Jewish Ghetto in Hebron

Michael L.

The city of Hebron (or Hevron) is among the most ancient of Jewish cities and is the home of the Tomb of the Patriarchs where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are said to be buried.

Today Jews inhabit about 3 percent of this old Jewish town and the Arab residents very definitely do not want them there.

My friend Yosef, of Love of the Land, alerted us to this:
Jews peacefully confronted this racial and religious persecution, showing their objection by leaving their ghetto which comprises approximately 3-percent of the city to walk quietly through the marketplace. They were faced with threats, physical and verbal intimidation, followed by stones -- for no other reason than that they dared to cross the line in protest of apartheid. Israeli residents then left the market as the hostile population chanted Allah Hu Akbar, pushing against the gate which protects the Jewish population from their neighbors. Stun grenades afterward were necessary to scatter the threatening mob.
The video below is a production of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and therefore in its opening blurb suggests that Jews walking through Hebron represent some sort-of assault on the great Arab majority in that city.  Those Jews were protected by Jewish soldiers, which is why the video focuses on soldiers.

At about the 40 second mark the Arabs start chanting "Alahu Akbar!  Alahu Akbar!" which, given recent history - if not ancient history - is essentially a call for violence.

What continues to amaze me is the ease within which western-left Jews comply with this obvious bigotry toward their brothers and sisters in that part of the world.

If Hebron is not Jewish than there is no place that is Jewish.

But there seem to be Jews that believe what it means to be Jewish is to be helpless and without a home.


Sar Shalom

There has been much discussion this weekend about Friday's massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Without getting in to the shooting itself, it is notable that across society, everyone is condemning the shooter's actions. The condemnations are so ubiquitous that some comment how it is easier to take the obvious step of condemning wanton killing members of a particular race than to do anything to help members of that race.

However, let's consider a situation in which condemnations were not forthcoming and that instead calls were ringing across the south celebrating the n***s getting their comeuppance. What would the rest of the country say about the south? Such is the reality of Palestinian society.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Tale of Two Professors in the Age of Obama (Part One)

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon and the Jewish Press.}

profProfessor Andew Pessin is a Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College.  He studied at Yale and earned a PhD at Columbia University.  He is the author of five books, including most recently Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From The Smartest Philosophers.  He is also friendly to the Jewish State of Israel and in opposition to political Islam for reasons having to do with social justice and human rights.

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi is an Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies at the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.  She studied at Yale and earned a PhD from that university.  She is the author of many papers and a contributor and co-editor to the recent Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East).  She is also unfriendly to the Jewish State of Israel and highly critical of Zionism for reasons having to do with social justice and human rights.

Both of these professors are sometimes thought of as controversial for reasons concerning the Arab-Israel conflict - although one is more the political activist than the other - and both were recently involved in difficulties within their respective universities over that conflict.

The difference is that while SFSU stood behind Professor Abdulhadi, Connecticut College was far less supportive of Professor Pessin.

The question is "why?"

Understanding the answer to that question depends upon not only understanding the specific differences between the two controversies, but also the ideological atmosphere within American academia concerning the Arab-Israel conflict.

The short answer is that Abdulhadi is highly critical of Israel during a period of rising anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the West and, therefore - given this political moment - receives financial and moral backing in the academe.

Pessin, on the other hand, is highly critical of Hamas, an organization that calls specifically for the genocide of the Jewish people and he is, therefore, reviled as a "racist."

Let's dig into the specifics.

Professor Andrew Pessin

On August 11, 2014, during the midst of the Israeli military push-back, Operation Protective Edge, Pessin posted the following on his Facebook page as part of a larger discussion concerning Hamas and the other genocidally-inclined rocketeers in Gaza who had been giving little Israeli kids post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the course of the preceding years.


Pessin compared Hamas to a "rabid pit bull chained in a cage."

For this he was excoriated as a racist not only by hard-left students in organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, but also by faculty.

The fact of the matter is that Pessin was referring to Hamas and other such violent Islamist organizations operating within Gaza.

The ironic thing is that it is not he who is conflating all Gazans with terrorists, but his allegedly "anti-racist" detractors who are doing so.

Pessin's Facebook page, above, needs to be understood within the larger conversation.

He was not referring to Palestinian-Arabs, nor Gazans, in general.  He was speaking quite specifically about the kinds of Islamists who call directly for the genocide of the Jews, as Hamas does in its charter, a document that is not quoted nearly enough, but reads in part:
Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.
 As David Bernstein writes in the Washington Post:
I have seen his previous Facebook posts on the Gaza war last Summer, and they are full of criticism of Hamas, and don’t say anything nasty about Palestinians more generally, suggesting that he was, in fact, referring to Hamas.
I have seen those Facebook posts, as well, and concur.

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi

Professor Abdulhadi's circumstances are a tad different and I have previously written about her and my disappointment with San Francisco State University.

Abdulhadi was the faculty adviser to the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) at a time when the SFSU president of that organization, Mohammed G. Hammad, took to social media in order to threaten violence against Jews.

As he held aloft blade in a "selfie," this is what he wrote:
I'm sitting here looking through pictures of that f—ing scum (name removed to protect the soldier) … Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f—ing scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF. The Liberation of Palestine can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Israeli plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough.
otmnIt is not Abdulhadi's fault, of course, that some of her students want to kill Jews for political reasons.

She just happened to be standing nearby.

She was also the adviser to GUPS during the celebration of a mural to the late anti-Semitic professor, Edward Said, on that campus, wherein members of GUPS, and other student organizations, held aloft signs reading, "My heroes have always killed colonizers." 

Just who these "colonizers" in need of killing are is speculative, but I feel reasonably certain that when students associated with the General Union of Palestine Students hold up little signs calling for the murder of "colonizers" that they are not referring to the Amish.

How Connecticut College Responded to Pessin:

Pessin, as a consequence of opposing Hamas, was subject to a campaign of defamation that became international.  He was initially condemned as a "racist" or "Islamophobe" by a former student, Lamiya Khandaker who previously founded a branch of Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn Technical High School and is quoted as saying:
I truly believe that if more American citizens gain more knowledge on this conflict, then we can pressure our government to do something, and if necessary, break our bond with Israel.
Break our bond with Israel.

Other students, following Khandaker's lead, wrote into the school newspaper that “Professor Pessin directly condoned the extermination of a people. A member of our community has called for the systematic abuse, killing, and hate of another people.”  As David Bernstein notes, writing in the Washington Post, such a charge is probably libelous.  If that is the case, it would also be actionable.

Pessin, however, probably just hoping that the non-controversy would go away so that he could do his actual work in peace, made the mistake of apologizing.

Bernstein tells us:
The result was an international controversy that included threats against Pessin and his family, knee-jerk reactions from academic departments throughout Connecticut College denouncing their colleague’s purported racism, denunciation without investigation by the usual suspects in the world of academic philosophy, and a school-sponsored “community conversation on free speech, equity and inclusion” that was so “inclusive” that the two Jewish students who spoke who criticized the Pessin witchhunt were, depending on the account, either booed or at least “met with derision.”
The Connecticut College history department, not wishing to be outdone by its own students, put out this note as a rebuke to Pessin, which reads in part:
To the Campus Community,

The history department would like to clearly state that we condemn speech filled with bigotry and hate particularly when that speech uses dehumanizing language and incites or celebrates violence and brutality. In response to the many events that transpired on campus prior to and during spring break regarding a Facebook post by a member of our faculty, we join the CCSRE in condemning hate speech.

How SFSU Responded to Abdulhadi:

While many people in the local Jewish community in California, most notably Tammi Benjamin of the AMCHA Initiative and "Dusty" at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers, objected to this outrageous behavior of students under Abdulhadi's authority or tutelage, the university was largely indifferent to such concerns. Even Professor Fred Astren, the head of the Jewish Studies Department, could not rouse himself to condemn much of this in a public manner, although one presumes that he spoke up behind the scenes.

SFSU, nonetheless, funded a trip for Abdulhadi and a few select students to travel to the "Occupied Palestinian Territories" in order to meet with terrorist plane hijacker, Leila Khaled.  This visit was not merely an academic exercise for purposes of research.  It was a political trip among student activists with a professor who has a serious bone to pick with the Jewish people in the Middle East and who is not the least bit shy about buddying-up with violently inclined racists like Khaled.

In fact, SFSU even went so far as to reward Abdulhadi by agreeing to partner with An-Najah National University in Nablus which is probably the most anti-Israel / anti-Jewish university on the entire planet.  It was students at An-Najah who put together a "grotesque shrine" in celebration of the Sbarro pizza parlor massacre and which the Anti-Defamation League has referred to as a "greenhouse for martyrs." 

Abdulhadi, in gratitude to the university, wrote this:
Today San Francisco State University's All University Committee on International Programs unanimously voted to recommend that SF State formally collaborate with An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine. This is the first time that SFSU will collaborate with any university in a Palestinian, Arab or Muslim community.

I am proud, excited and grateful to my colleagues @ An-Najah. It is my honor to be working with you. Thank you Mira Nabulsi for your amazing help in writing and producing the proposal. Thank you Dean Kenneth Monteiro and the College of Ethnic Studies for your consistent and unwavering support.

At The End of the Day

The essential point is that San Francisco State University is standing behind a professor that normalizes terrorism and, ultimately, hatred toward Jews.  Connecticut College, on the other hand, both students and faculty, harassed a Jewish professor who opposes anti-Semitism and the spreading of political Islam.

The reason for this is not because of anything peculiar about either institution.

The real problem is not San Francisco State University, nor Connecticut College.  The problem is a rising atmosphere of hatred toward the Jewish State of Israel and, thus inevitably, toward the Jewish people, themselves, not only in Europe, but increasingly within the United States.

What we are witnessing, and what these two cases illustrate, is not merely a new phase of Jewish and Israeli relations to western academia and to western culture and civilization.  It is, in fact, a new phase in what it means to be "liberal" in the West today.

The western-left is passing down the toilet the very values of social justice and universal human rights that it claims to ground itself within.

The sympathies of western academia will go wherever the combined sensibilities of the professors and the students take it, but when it favors Hamas over the Jews in that part of the world it has forfeited any right to be considered "liberal."

By accepting political Islam it has also betrayed women in the Middle East, Gay people in the Middle East, and Christians in that part of the world.  It even has betrayed Muslims in the Middle East to the extent that Muslims are the primary victims of political Islam.

This little story of two professors in the Age of Obama is a story bigger than San Francisco State University and Connecticut College.

It encapsulates a moment of shifting political sands in which the very notion of universal human rights and social justice are being thrown aside in favor of a failing multicultural ideal.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Peace to Charleston

Michael L.


Sometimes there are simply no words.

Aliyah from France up 25%

Michael L.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, writing in the Jewish Press, tells us:
running away from home laura corebelloAliyah to Israel from France has soared 25 percent so far this year, from 4,000 to 5,100, according to figures supplied by French Jewish officials.

A sharp increase in the number of Jews moving to Israel from France also was recorded in 2013 following the escalation of violent anti-Semitism.

This past Januury was particularly bloody for Jews in Paris, where four Jews were murdered in an attack on a kosher deli and a Jewish cartoonist was among 12 victims in the attack on the offices of Charles Hebdo satirical magazine.
I find myself rather skeptical that the idea of an increase of 1,100 Jews making aliyah from France represents a soar, but why the heck not?

I, for one, would like to see as many Jews get out of Europe as possible, but I also understand that it is not necessarily so easy.  People have lives.  They have family and social and economic attachments, so it is not necessarily too easy to just up and move to Israel.

And, although this may be difficult for some to believe, there are plenty of Jews who are undoubtedly perfectly happy living in Europe and who barely even notice the increasing tension.

Nonetheless, I am one of those who tends to see in Europe a dying culture.

The home of the Enlightenment is being slowly absorbed by something else and anti-Jewish hatred and violence is very definitely on the rise.

In part this is due, obviously, to increasing levels of immigration of Muslim racists from North Africa and the Middle East, but you cannot blame European decline entirely upon Muslim emigres.  Europeans still represent the vast majority in their own land and, therefore, must be held accountable for developments within their own countries.

The fact of the matter is that much of Europe has simply bought into the "Palestinian narrative" of pristine victimhood and, much like the Nazis before them, sincerely believe in Jewish malevolence.

I find it rather mind-boggling that within living memory of the Holocaust so many Europeans still consider the Jewish people - embodied, now, by the State of Israel - as horrendous people who enjoy killing children.

Have they learned nothing?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Affirming the "Palestinian Narrative"

Michael L.

soldierIn a piece for the Jerusalem Post entitled, You can’t win a PR war by fighting on the enemy’s side, Evelyn Gordon makes a few exceedingly relevant points:
I can’t think of another conflict in history where one side devoted so much time and energy to selling the world the other side’s narrative rather than its own. And then, after two decades of actively supporting the two most important Palestinians claims against it, Israel actually wonders why the world views it as the villain.

Jews tend to be so open-minded and so generous with those who despise us that we can barely bring ourselves to take our own side in a fight.  Gordon claims - rightly in my opinion - that there are two main toxic and false "pro-Palestinian" themes that well-meaning pro-Israel people tend to validate and it is simply killing us.
Claim number one is that the West Bank and Gaza are “occupied Palestinian territory.” This is a crucial issue, because if Israel is just a thief occupying stolen Palestinian land, then it has no right to retain any of this land or set any conditions on its return, and deserves opprobrium for even daring to pose such demands.
Indeed.  If your tendencies are pro-Israel and pro-Jewish and, yet, you think that when Jews build housing for themselves in Judea and Samaria that this represents the "Occupation of Palestinian territory" then the conversation is over.  If you believe that then there is nothing further to say.  Israel is guilty and needs to get out of land that does not belong to her.  If you honestly believe the above it means that the Jews are thieves who, by any standard of morality or common human decency, must depart that land in order to leave it for the true Arab owners.

Of course, the Arabs consider all of Israel to be "Occupied Palestinian territory."

There is not a Jewish grain of sand anywhere in Judea.
Claim number two is that Israel is the main obstacle to peace. 
How it is that seemingly intelligent and educated people, such as President of the United States, Barack Obama, believe this is hard to understand.  In fact, how it is that seemingly intelligent and educated people, like most pro-Israel pro-Jewish activists believe it is fairly remarkable.

How many times must it be repeated before it finally sinks in?

From 1937, with the Peel Commission, until the present it has ONLY BEEN THE JEWS who have been willing to compromise for the purpose of peace and it has ONLY BEEN THE ARABS who constantly refuse such peace offerings.

Yet, somehow, not only do the Jews get the blame for Arab aggression, but the Arabs get carte blanche to kill Jews because we allegedly deserve it for oppressing them.  And, make no mistake, as far as the western-left is concerned Arabs have every right to kill Jews in the Middle East out of a sense, ironically enough, of social justice.

If you honestly believe that the Jews of the Middle East have stolen "Palestinian" land and are, in fact, the main obstacle to peace then you cannot be a pro-Israel person because your fundamental beliefs are anti-Israel.

There is no squaring this circle.

When we read the commentary of the pro-Israel Jewish Left, we are reading the words of a people deeply unsure of themselves.  This is why they always seem to be outnumbered and lost in their battles on-line and off.  The reason that left-leaning pro-Israel voices are muffled before they even begin to speak is because they are lacking in conviction and the reason for that is because they seem to have little sense of history.

I have been arguing that we need to expand the terms of discussion both geographically and via time. From a geographical stand-point, it must be emphasized that the conflict is not between a Palestinian "David" versus a Jewish "Goliath" but between a Jewish minority in that part of the world and a far, far larger irrational, hostile majority.  There are sixty to seventy Arabs in Middle East for every single Jew and, for the most part, those Arabs do not want those Jews around for religious reasons.

That is the nature of the fight.

I have also argued that the Long Arab War Against the Jews in the Middle East needs to be understood as part of the long Arab campaign to suppress the non-Muslim minority there, particularly those troublesome Jews.

I have stressed this as a tactical matter, but it is also a matter of understanding the history of the long war.  If we wish to convince well-meaning, but ignorant, westerners that the Jews have every right to live free in Judea and Samaria then we must emphasize that the terms of oppression that the Jews lived under for thirteen hundred years.

girlsIf the western-left does not care about such history then they forfeit any consideration as "progressive" or "humanist."  It would be something akin to dismissing the history of slavery and Jim Crow in terms of black people in the United States.  One cannot claim to be true to the values of universal human rights and social justice if one does not consider the subjugation of minority populations under the boot of oppressive majorities.

The Jews of the Middle East lived under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule for thirteen centuries.

One cannot understand the conflict as it is, today, without acknowledging that the Jews in that part of the world are still struggling to free themselves from the likes of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and his spiritual descendants such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood... not to mention the PLO.

It is the Jews who remain the underdog in this fight - despite a good economy and a strong military - because it is the Jews who remain under constant pressure of violence from local Arabs, the threat of annihilation from hostile surrounding countries, and of diplomatic drubbing by powerful enemies such as Barack Obama.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Allah in Wonderland - How My Mind Was Raped By The Palestinian Propaganda Machine

(cross-posted with author's permission)

Rivka S. Rothschild

I am a Liberal Zionist. Zionism is about the reestablishment of a Jewish state, on Jewish ancestral homelands and the resumption of sovereignty in that land – the land of Israel.  Zionism, unbeknownst to the ignorant, is also about peace, prosperity and harmonious living with, and equal rights for, Israeli Arabs. No nation to date has been founded on more just principles.

The Palestinian Propaganda Machine, on the other hand, is about the continuation of the same old Arab supremacism and plain old hatred of my people. It’s about the destruction of Israel, about strong arming, bullying, intimidation, and lies.

I am an academic. Because I am educated and familiar with scholarly work and critical thinking, I rely only on widely accepted, scholarly history, scientifically based, peer reviewed research, and ethical journalism. The Palestinian Propaganda Machine generates shallow, false, contradictory, hypocritical, manipulative, sensational and illogical tropes. I fight for human rights and dignity everyday. The Palestinian Propaganda Machine demonizes Israel and spreads hatred of Jews everyday.

I am an American Jew who lives in the American bubble of freedom and peace. I went to a “Students For Justice in Palestine” event with an open mind, and my mind was raped. That’s what I said. Raped. I went to an SJP event and for two hours, my identity and my right to exist, was stolen while I was force fed nasty distortions and outright lies about my people – all in the name of justice for another people. In retrospect, I was in a semi-naive, privileged, American-Jew, daze. As if on a bad acid trip, I fell down the rabbit hole and landed on a checkerboard of outrageous lies, facing a venomous queen clad in ’90’s grunge. A passionate idiot who would eagerly trade in her soul for victory in her cause to destroy an entire indigenous nation – Israel. An earnest hypocrite who doggedly dehumanized Jews in the name of saving Palestinians. An oblivious poser whose “down to earth and open to dialogue”, persona was quickly stripped away when challenged by any facts which went against her canned narrative. In response, she angrily hissed only the threat of more bloodshed through her teeth, in the trope “No peace. Justice, then peace.” In other words, we will continue our attempts to destroy your legitimacy and your identity, and murder your people until we get the entire land of Israel.

Not only were my sensibilities raped, I bore witness to vulnerable college students who had fallen prey to the same lies – who’s emotions had been played upon to the point that truth and facts, and the complexity of any event in human history simply didn’t matter. In room G316, we were all treated to a reductionist, fallacious “presentation” which was as gripping as a Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington collaboration, starring Zionism and Jews as the evil villains. Those fresh faced, college students’ heads nodded more vigorously than the audience for the emperor’s clothes. “I’ll believe what the f*ck I want to believe”, one threw out at me. And in his heightened state of compassion (translation: blind rage), he would destroy another people because that is justice. No my young friend, that is murder.

Her introduction was comprised of canned, rehearsed, outrageous accusations leveled at Israel as an illegal nation, run by a harsh, torturous, animalistic, sadistic, cruel, racist, evil, Zionist regime which wants to hurt people; which chooses destruction. I felt my heart rate increase. She lived for two months in the West Bank. She says she saw apartheid, illegal blockade, the gratuitous torture and murder of Palestinians every day for no reason other than the soldiers’ apparent pleasure, almost every man and male child arrested for no reason, the wounding of farm animals apparently for fun or sport, the intentional, slow killing of Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals and that she had the privilege of speaking with the families of martyrs. “Did you just say “martyrs?”, I asked. “Yeah I said martyr. (I was there and this was my experience)”, she said. “I saw the rips in his skin where they hung him by nails for, like, three days.” (Does she mean Jesus?) “No”, I stated, “This is what you’re telling us that people told you.” This is what people supposedly told her- in their homes, on the street corners, and at falafel stands. It went around and around like tumbleweed in a dust storm. “Why do you think this conflict exists? Where is the historical context? Do you realize that Israel has asked- no, implored, for peace from day one?” Scoff, chuckle, and now some students joined in the chorus. “Indigenous Palestinians.” “Actually no, Arabs are not indigenous to the land of Israel.” “Yes they are.” “No, they’re not.” “Are you saying they don’t belong there?” “They have rights of long standing presence, but it is incumbent upon them to live in peace. They don’t get to march into someone’s ancestral lands and try to kill them everyday.” Yeah, well “illegal blockade” and “the occupied have a right to resist”, (translation: blow up Israeli civilians). No more. We had only just begun and I realized it was now time to dissociate in an effort to protect myself from the surreal media onslaught which was to follow. I leaned back in my chair and ceased eye contact with anyone else in the room doing my level best to contain my anger at a person on a college campus spewing lies to young, open college students, while posing as a field reporter – as an educator. Hey next week I think I’ll do a “presentation” on civil engineering. “I mean, like, I hate traffic, like, you know?”

The video started and I was as nauseated as I was rapt. Set to the overproduced, deep, echoing tones of mesmerizing Arabic electronica, was a fast paced montage of procession after procession of ordinary Palestinians and martyrs marching together in funeral after funeral. Some victims were wrapped up mummy style while some sported a grey paler and bloody wounds. Angry chanting of “Death to Israel”, “Attack, attack the Jews.” Angry accusations of the wanton murder of martyrs. And the presentation went on.  She went to Salim. She went to Deir Istiya. She went to Azzoun. She traveled the West Bank and collected, well… hearsay. She came back with pictures of injured men, a man in a hospital bed and a crumbling house, and stories from Sammi, the Mayor of Deir Istiya, (as if that brings some extra special credibility because Palestinian government officials tend to have impeccable reputations), Rahid, Mohammed and Jafar and other assorted “martyrs”. According to her, according to them this is what went down: being held indefinitely in administrative detention with no lawyer… aaaand then winding up in court. Huh? Using actual flashlights and shouting for purposes of investigating acts of terror (don’t like light in your face when you’re trying to sleep? mmmm…. don’t try and stab innocent civilians). Young men being shot at for no reason (and she saw the scars, so that’s how they must’ve gotten them). The IDF flagrantly and brazenly disobeying all protocol and putting their own lives on the line by playing “gauge out the prisoner’s eyeballs” and then taking selfies with the corpse (did they post them on Instagram too?). The “offensive” sign warning Israelis not to enter a Palestinian town because it is dangerous for them, (how insulting, the ministry of tourism ought to get right on that one because what’s a Molotov cocktail crashing through your windshield between friends?) The little known but now revealed policy of house demolition in the middle of the night for fixing your plumbing without a building permit. And, finally, my personal favorite, the 29-year-old Palestinian man who was actually shot, just for stabbing two Israeli soldiers. Really? Just because he stabbed two soldiers? Racist, torturous IDF policies at it again.

No context. No clarity. Pure simplification. Pure distortion. Pure demonization. This was like nothing I have ever seen, and I will never forget it. This was, in short, the dizzily effective creation of hatred in the naive and the amplification of hatred in racists; the kind of hatred which is going to destroy our world.

People and entities get embroiled in conflict. and for the jury of humankind, when  determining their responsibility, their likability, their acceptability, we look right away at intent. Did they enjoy inflicting pain? I actually don’t believe that either side in this conflict does, but when the Palestinian Propaganda Machine asserts that Zionists do enjoy inflicting damage and pain, against the backdrop of Hamas and Fatah provoking war after war, murdering innocent Israeli after innocent Israeli, refusing state after state- well then, we are dwelling in the theater of the absurd. The Palestinian Propaganda Machine is aimed at convincing the court of mankind that Israel is the pariah and the sociopath of the world, all while accepting zero responsibility for their own ugly actions. No real engagement, no real dialogue on the checkerboard of brainwashing, with the queen of lies in the land of absurdity. And if you buy into that Palestinian Propaganda Machine spew, you’re either a possibly intelligent person who hasn’t done their research, a full on racist who is too stupid to realize that you would die at the hands of all the other full on racists, or maybe a self-indulgent, American Jew living in the bubble of freedom and safety. To the latter group, I tell you, “wake up”. “Wake up”, because SJP and BDS are like a termite infestation silently eating away at the very backbone of American freedoms and liberties, with every slick, distorted presentation on our campuses. To SJP and BDS, I say “Jews and Israel are most certainly not the cause of your fury and your hatred. Rather, your fury and your hatred is the symptom of your pathology.

I stand with the people of Israel who, despite having to exist in the most hostile climate on earth, find a way to celebrate what they have, appreciate beauty, and dedicate themselves to life. I feel for the people on both sides, who this hostile climate has wrought, and I ask myself often, who else could survive and thrive the way that the Jews have? Who? No amount of mental molestation can soften our resolve.

We are the Jewish people, born in the land of Israel. Tough as nails. Hearts of gold - and we will survive.

They Dare to Speak Out

Michael L.

treeThis is a follow-up to the previous post concerning Asghar Bukhari and his understandable fear that Mossad may have stolen his shoe.

Personally, I very much hope that Mossad did, in fact, steal the man's shoe.  Certainly if there is anyone that Mossad should steal a shoe from it is that guy.

In fact, I very much hope that on Christmas morning Asghar and his family awake to find their home decked-out in Christmas ornamentation via Minnesota, USA, 1985.  That is, I want Asghar to come strolling downstairs in his jammies and his slippers on Christmas morning to discover socks filled with candy hanging from the mantle and a big old Christmas tree filled with lights and festooned with ribbons and bursting with presents beneath.

What could be more fun?

In any event, the book that Asghar references as a reason that he believes that "Zionists" sneaked into his house to steal a shoe is called They Dare to Speak Out by Paul Findley.

Below is a video of Mr. Findley describing Israel as something akin to Nazi Germany. The very first words out of his mouth are Israel Shahak who is a well-known defamer of the Jewish religion and the Jewish people.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Great Mossad Shoe Caper of 2015

Michael L.

Asghar Bukhari, according to the Daily Mail, is a founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK.  If you keyword his name on YouTube you will see that he has had significant access to major media, including the BBC.

Mr. Bukhari, if you have not yet heard, is accusing "Zionists" of creeping into his home and stealing a single shoe to make him feel vulnerable.  In order to prevent this man from speaking out against Zionist crimes Israeli special forces sneaked into his home and allegedly stole a shoe.

Kate alerted me to this story and when I first took a gander at the headline I just figured that it was blown up nonsense concerning some total nobody crazy man.

But he has access to the BBC?

If some in the west will believe this man, just who in this world will they not believe?... other than the Israeli government or regular Israeli Jews, of course.

Nonetheless, there is a part of me that absolutely loves the idea of a super-secret Mossad sub-organization that torments prominent anti-Zionists by rearranging their wardrobes or their furniture or by, insidiously, stealing a single shoe.

I think that it is a terrific idea.

Consider the possibilities.

One morning Noam Chomsky comes down to his kitchen to discover the Fruit Loops mysteriously replaced by Apple Jax!

Or, say, Mahoud Abbas is settling in one evening in his jammies getting ready to watch the next episode of GLEE when he discovers that while out his couch was reupholstered pink!

This is just too much fun and I very much encourage you guys to come up with your own scenarios.

Below, by the way, is Bukhari's Facebook message accompanying the video.


Friday, June 12, 2015


Professor Denis MacEoin Has a Few Words

Michael L.

denisBelow is a recent lecture given by Professor Denis MacEoin to the National Union of Students, U.K., Executive Council.

I first became aware of Professor MacEoin when he penned an open letter to Tamar Fogel, the twelve year old surviving daughter of the Fogel family massacre in Itamar, Israel, in 2011.

Her family was killed because they were Jewish people who dared to defy Arab and western racists by living on historically Jewish land.

I was one of those who lent his name to the original letter that Tamar Fogel received not long after the brutal massacre that took so many of her family, including a three month old baby sister.

Some of my Jewish friends refused to sign that letter because the Fogels lived in the "Occupied Palestinian Territories" and, thus, to lend one's name to that letter might be seen as an approval of "settlement activity."

{A Bit Tip 'O the Kippa, as is so often the case, to Kate.}
FAO members of NUS Executive Council  (National Union of Students, U.K.)

Dear EC Officers,

I hope you can spare a few minutes out of your busy schedules to read this letter and to reflect on its contents. I write as someone who was a student for twelve years (at Trinity College, Dublin; Edinburgh University; Shiraz University in Iran; and King’s College, Cambridge. And I write as someone who has worked as a lecturer at universities in Morocco and England, and who has served as a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund at Newcastle University, working closely with students to improve their writing skills to help them achieve better grades. I am currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York’s Gatestone Institute (though resident in the UK).

My academic fields, apart from English Literature, are Persian (Iranian) Studies, Arabic language, and Islamic Studies. For most of my life (I am now 66), I have lectured and written about Islam and the Middle East, and in the past two decades, I have made a special study of the Israel/Palestinian conflict, its potential resolution, and for the reasons for a failure to achieve a resolution with peace and justice for both sides.

And speaking of both sides, perhaps I should make something clear before I proceed. Neither I nor the great many supporters of Israel whom I know personally want anything but the best possible future for the Palestinians. No-one I know hates the Palestinians. What we do hate are the terror organizations who exploit and dominate the Palestinian people, who deny them the right to vote for new governments, the culture of hatred in Palestinian mosques, schools, and political speeches, and the acts of terror and war that have been directed at Jewish, Muslim and Christian Arab Israelis for many decades now. It is the hatred and the violence we deplore, knowing as we do that this not only hurts Israelis, but that it has since 1947 been blocking Palestinians from achieving their true potential. And we believe sincerely that boycotting, sanctioning and divesting from Israel will not bring peace so long as the Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank insist that they intend to destroy Israel and take control of the entire territory that was given to them by the League of Nations Mandate.

Your latest resolution to boycott Israel is in defiance of historical, geographical, political and legal fact. Your motions are built on a pastiche of lies, misunderstandings, and distortions of reality. That worries me. It worries me because I expect today’s university students to be as earnest in their pursuit of truth and fact as I was trained to be in the years when I was in their position. I know about these matters in no small detail, and I would ask you to respect that. But please admit that the vast majority of students and teachers in British universities do not have that expertise. It’s not your fault. You study the sciences or philosophy or literature or European history, and you do not have the linguistic, historical, political, or sociological training to equip you to comment or write motions on the situation in the Middle East. If you cannot read Arabic or another Islamic language, if you have never studied Islamic history, doctrine, scripture or civilization, if you know little of the modern history of the Middle East from the collapse of the Ottoman empire till today, if you rely entirely on propaganda put out by pro-Palestinian activists, if you refuse to listen to or take on board the views of scholars and others from the Israeli point of view, you are in denial of all the best values of the academy. I do not meddle in physics, medicine, Chinese affairs, or Latin American politics because I have no expert knowledge of any of them. I am at best a dabbler in fields I have scant or no knowledge of. Please tell me that you have the humility to admit that, in voting on motions concerning matters you are little informed about, you are behaving with gross arrogance, like the ‘Know Nothing’ politicians of the early United States. Ignorance is not a substitute for informed understanding.

By acting as you do, you undermine the most basic principles on which the academy is founded, principles from which you draw the justification for your studies and the worth of the degrees you will at last have and which you will employ as guarantees of your later success in life. Those principles, without which no university can possess even a shred of authority, include freedom of speech and authorship, open and free debate, vigorous argument built on reason and logic, and, perhaps most importantly, in the consideration of both sides to any dispute. You all know that an essay that uses sources from one side only will fail. However forceful an argument, it will be rejected if it gives no space to the views of those with whom the writer disagrees. No doubt one-sidedness works well as a foundation for political success, not least in the use of propaganda. But it is an insult to the values of academic life. We in Britain enjoy freedom to present controversial views, unlike the teachers and students in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and a host of other states, where disagreeing with official religious or political views can lead to arrest, imprisonment, and even death. For the sake of students living in totalitarian states across the globe, we in the liberal democracies are obliged to take advantage of our freedom to debate. But that does not mean allowing ourselves to be swayed by manifest propaganda, distortion, or factual inaccuracy, nor does it permit us to ban opinions on a racist basis (as is the case with academic boycotts of Israeli Jews).

There is no sign in the motions in sections 518 and 518a of Israeli opinion, just the views of one side. You make no mention of the extraordinary good Israel does in the world, its medical aid for thousands of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals and clinics, its life-saving surgery for Palestinian children with heart defects, its international aid following disasters round the world, in places like Haiti, the Philippines, South Sudan and, most recently its provision of the largest medical aid team in Nepal. You are silent about Israeli treatment of injured Syrian refugees, the major role it plays in advancing agriculture in Africa and other parts of the Third World, and its growing work with advancing countries like India and China. You say not a word about the fact that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only country in the region to give full equal rights under law to women and members of the LGBT community, to protect its Christian, Muslim and Baha’i minorities and their holy places, you say nothing its full civil rights for Israeli Arabs, or its strenuous efforts to end discrimination against them. You criticize Israel, a country that advances human rights, and you are mute when it comes to the egregious human rights abuses in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tibet, Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere. The world you live in is upside down: you claim to act in defence of human rights, but your motions do not reflect this. You give the worst abusers of human rights, countries that persecute religious minorities, suppress and kill women, throw homosexuals from high roofs, execute hundreds of dissidents every year, imprison, torture and slaughter without rebuke. Yet you fulminate against Israel, which does none of those things. It does not use torture, it does not execute anyone, not even Palestinian terrorists who have committed mass murder against innocent civilians and children, and all this while being forced to defend itself against more wars, more terrorist attacks, and more hatred than are suffered by the rest of the world combined. In one motion, you condemn Israel for its invasion of Gaza in 2014, but say not a word about the simple fact that the war was started when Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired dozens, then hundreds of rockets into civilian areas in Israel’s south. It is a plain matter of international law that Israel defended itself by attacking its enemies in that way. You do not even mention two reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International stating that the war crimes were carried out by Hamas and that many of the Gazan citizens who died were, in fact, killed by Hamas rockets. Are you proud of yourselves to be involved in a campaign against Israel that is being described by more and more legislatures as a modern expression of anti-Semitism, almost identical to the Jew-hatred of Nazi Germany? Are you unaware that anti-Semitism, a deadly form of racism, is growing in this country and across Europe at a rate of hundreds of per cent per year, and that much of this is directly fostered by the anti-Israel campaigns?

Do you support people like the marchers in London, Amsterdam, and many other cities who have walked on our streets chanting ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas?’ Is that something that left-wing students in the UK find endearing or proper? Why do none of you campaign against that? Why do you not expel members who subscribe to that philosophy? Are you happy to share your campuses with people who want to kill Jews? You rightly oppose Islamophobia, but act willingly to foster anti-Semitism, which is by far the larger prejudice. There are many more attacks on Jews in Europe (including the UK) than on Muslims, yet I only ever see left-wing students marching hand in hand with Muslims who call for the destruction of Israel and support some of the world’s most bloody terrorist groups. Should your conference not have addressed that degree of bigotry instead of battening on a democracy that can serve as a role model across the region in which it is located?

You support BDS, yet ignore the fact that many years of boycott campaigns have proved totally useless. Israel today has one of the most important economies in the world, it is a leader in medicine, science, technology, and business know-how. Other countries flock to it to benefit from its high level of expertise. Growing numbers of the world’s major companies from Apple to Google and, very soon, Alibaba are opening major R&D centres there, and investors from almost everywhere are ploughing money into the staggering list of Israeli start-ups. BDS has been a failure. Why should you think your resolution to boycott Israel will make the slightest impression on the country or its government. It is a mere irritant that sends out a false message.

Your prejudice appalls me, as does your refusal to act fairly and honestly. Criticize Israel if you must, but learn that it does great good for mankind and that the best hope for the Palestinian people, for whom you express solidarity, does not lie in further acts of terrorism and warfare, nor in defiance of international legal norms, but in making peace at last and in accepting Israel’s frequent offers to help them build their infrastructure and economies. BDS motions are not helping. May I hope that, before your next conference, you take on board the informed opinions of people who know their way around the Middle East. Many will condemn Israel, for it is popular to do so and no-one likes to be thought out of fashion; but others will tell a very different story, and it is your duty as college and university students to an equal hearing to their views. You will shame yourselves and the generation of students whom you represent if you do not do this. Please restore my faith in the ability of young people to be fair and reasonable in forming and acting on their opinions.

Dr. Denis MacEoin
Newcastle upon Tyne

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Yes Mr. President, this country's history does hold lessons for Israel's current situation, but not the part you cite

Sar Shalom

While much has been written about Obama's recent interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama's comparison of the situation in Israel to the civil-rights struggle has gotten less attention. The particular section was
After equating the creation of Israel with the American civil-rights movement, he went on to say this: “What is also true, by extension, is that I have to show that same kind of regard to other peoples. And I think it is true to Israel’s traditions and its values—its founding principles—that it has to care about … Palestinian kids.
It is true that in the territory controlled by Israel, as was the case in the U.S. before the Civil Rights Era, there is a class of people who do not have a say in the governance in the state that most closely affects them. However, the pre-Civil Rights Era is not the only time in American history when this was the case. There was also the example of Reconstruction in which southern whites who had not taken an oath to obey the order being established by the North were denied a say in the governance of either the state or national government. While the Civil Rights Era's being in living memory makes it easier to relate to, this does not mean that Reconstruction is any less relevant as a lens through which to view Israeli-Palestinian relations.

One notable similarity between Israeli-Palestinian relations and Reconstruction which is different from the Civil Rights Era is that both Israeli-Palestinian relations and Reconstruction feature a reversal in the social order. For someone who never knew an era when Arabs dominated Jews, this might be hard to fathom, but the proper comparison here would be the situation that would have prevailed in the American South in the 1920's if Reconstruction had not been abandoned and the southern whites had maintained their irredentism for the old social order. In that counterfactual, the enfranchisement of southern blacks and disenfranchisement of irredentist southern white would be a reversal of the long ago, pre-Civil War, social order in which the blacks were chattel of the whites. This would be the case even though for someone who was not alive before the Civil War, the disenfranchisement of the southern blacks could seem like a capricious decision of an imperial force. Similarly, before the advent of Zionism, the social order of the Middle East clearly put the Jew below the Arab. To today's observers, it might seem that the Jews in Israel have imposed restrictions on the lives of the Palestinians among them out of nowhere because there is no living memory of the time when the social order was reversed. That viewpoint is as valid today as the viewpoint would have been regarding "arbitrary" restrictions on southern whites in the 1920's had Reconstruction been preserved until then.

A second difference between the Civil Rights Era and the struggle against Reconstruction is what happened at their conclusions. At the end of the Civil Rights Era, those who were previously oppressed made progress towards equality and did not turn around and do to their oppressors as was done to them. In contrast, the end of Reconstruction led to, with the exception of chattel slavery, the reinstitution of the social order that existed less than two decades prior. While we don't know the result of the Palestinians achieving their aims because they have not, and may it please G-d that they never do, achieved them. However, the indication of everything aside from their western directed taqqiya is that they would reinstitute the social order that existed prior to the first Aliya. However, it would not be sufficient for them to reinstate the Pact of Umar, it would be necessary to demonstrate to cost of abrogating it, as Abu Ishaq did in 1066. Mr. President, 1877 must not be allowed to repeat itself.

The Insidious Logic of Volleyboy1

Michael L.

Houston commercial photographyI want to thank Volleyboy1 for his recent foray into our little neck of the Judeosphere.

Do you know the man left 42 comments in just two days?  In fact, at one point I checked the "recent comments" list and, to my astonishment, saw nothing but Volleyboy1s.

I am convinced that this is an all-time Israel Thrives record and VB should be commended.

42 comments in two days takes tenacity and you have to admire that... I guess.

As you can imagine, within 42 comments there is much going on.  Just ask Trudy.

I, however, want to stick to the initial point.

I said:
there is no question that Obama has continually pressured Israel in a very public manner and refuses to do likewise with the Palstinian-Arab leadership. Abbas demands a Judenrein "Palestinian" state and no one, including the President of the United States, seems to mind.
To which Volleyboy1 replied:
"No one" minds because there is nothing to pressure the Palestinians with.  
The audacity of this statement is fairly mind-boggling.  It is as if to say that anti-Jewish racism is just dandy because there is nothing that anyone can do about it, anyway.

Is Volleyboy1 suggesting that the Palestinian-Arab people are unique upon the planet in being absolutely immune to international pressure?  The implication, quite obviously, is that only the Jews are susceptible to pressure and he apparently approves of this, which is why he spoke in friendly terms of J Street for some while and may very well have been a member.

Volleyboy1 points out that the US already supports Israel at the UN, although such "support" is getting shakier by the moment under the current hostile administration.

Volleyboy1 also notes that the Obama administration is not actually giving weaponry to the PA or Hamas.

Yes, well, I am very grateful that the Obama administration is not supplying Hamas with weaponry with which to kill Jews.  That is exceeding gracious and I appreciate it and the Jewish people should thank Barack Obama every chance that we get.

That seems to be the argument.
So what exactly can the U.S. do to the Palestinians? Would you like President Obama to speak against P.A. rhetoric. He does that.
The unfriendly president of the United States agrees with Mahmoud Abbas that any future state of "Palestine" must be free of Jews.  This is not a matter of "rhetoric," but of policy and it is a toxic policy that he has not disavowed.
You ask: Is Barack Obama opposed to the idea of a Jewish state? Perhaps not.

The answer is not "Perhaps not". I just showed you above that he expressly supports a "Jewish" State. It is just not the version of the State that you, or the Republican Party, or Conservative Americans, or the Israeli Right might support...
How the hell can Barack Obama support a Jewish state while also supporting the Muslim Brotherhood at a time when they were calling for the conquest of Jerusalem during Morsi's electoral campaign?

And just what is this insidious "version" of the State of Israel that Volleyboy1's right-wing, conservative, Republican, Likudnik, Orcish enemies are conjuring up that he opposes?

Just who are these Jewish enemies of the Jewish people that Volleyboy1 wants to save them from... aside from you and me?

This is pure stupidity.

Of course, the US and the EU could do enormous things to pressure the Palestinian-Arabs if they wished to.

They do not wish to.

For Volleyboy1 to think that the international community is helpless before Palestinian-Arab malice is both weird and irrational.

It hardly needs to be argued against because it is nonsense on its face.

The EU and the US could defund the PA.

The EU and the US could speak out strongly against Hamas and PA incitement to violence and genocide against the Jewish people, but they do not and Jews like Volleyboy1 are OK with that.

For two years, prior to the stupidly-named Operation Protective Edge last summer, Hamas and affiliates bombarded southern Israel with thousands of rockets making the part of the country around S'derot to be almost unlivable.

Did Obama stand up and say "no"?

Absolutely not.  The Obama administration only got agitated when the Israelis finally stood up to say that enough was enough and only then did the administration step in to save Hamas from Israeli retaliation.

Volleyboy1's version of Israel is as a country that is both weak and highly dependent on the good-will of its enemies.

And as for what would replace the PA, does it matter?

The PA calls for the genocide of the Jewish people.  Does Volleyboy1 think that whatever might replace it would call for the genocide of the Jewish people twice?

Oslo is over and we need to stop thinking in Oslo terms.

It is time for Israel to move on, if people like Volleyboy1 would stop clinging to their guns and their gods and allow it to do so.

Ultimately, however, the real problem for the Jewish community from people like Volleyboy1 is that he, and those like him, divide us between acceptable Jews (like Barack Obama) and unacceptable ones (like actual Jews).

I sometimes get the sense from this guy that he is keeping a list.  Good Jews and Bad Jews.

The Worthy and the Unworthy.

Some are in and some are out and Volleyboy1 - who has arrogantly wondered aloud why I simply do not move to Israel - gets to decide.