Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Barack Obama: The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Michael L.

Barack Obama is no ally to the state of Israel and no friend to the Jewish people.

Writing in Arutz Sheva, Ari Yashar and Matt Wanderman tell us:
obamaIn a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.
This development is highly suspect for two reasons.  The first is the timing.  Does anyone believe that this is honestly a coincidence, coming directly off of the most recent - and most vicious - series of attacks by the President of the United States against the Israeli Prime Minister?

Yashar and Wanderman, write:
Another highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel's sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.
There is no doubt that Obama's Jewish sycophants will ignore, or deflect, this particular development just as they ignore, or deflect, all the various ways within which Obama likes to kick Israel in the head.

What is perhaps most worrisome is the apparent disinterest on the part of the Jewish Left, if not the Left, in general, toward the soon to arrive Iranian Jihad Bomb.  They may not get it for two or three years, or it could even be as long as ten, but it is coming.  And it is coming, at least in part, because Obama is enabling it.

As has often been noted, Obama has a rather strange diplomatic style that was perhaps first noticed when he insisted upon handing a bust of Winston Churchill back to the British.  That was a rather rude gesture to one of America's closest allies, but it was mere foreshadowing of what was to come.

Obama has the tendency to spit at friends of the United States while embracing its enemies.  His warm embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and his cold shoulder toward Israel clearly demonstrate this unusual and counterproductive tendency which remains a mystery for people all around the world.

Our friend Anne, over at Anne's Opinions, has finally concluded that Obama does, in fact, wish to see Israel dismantled as the national home of the Jewish people.  She writes:
Along comes this interview (h/t Zvi) in the New English Review with Prof. Richard L. Rubenstein, no intellectual lightweight, who rather shockingly (at least for some people) comes to the conclusion that Obama is a revolutionary, and that his ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel. Since that is too much of a task to carry out by himself – and there is no way that the American people or Congress would agree to such a thing – he is enabling this at the hands of Iran and its proxies.

Not so long ago I would have recoiled from such a claim in disdain, thinking it to be a delusional conspiracy theory, along with all the other theories that claimed that Obama was a Muslim, not born in the US, a Communist, etc.  I used to ascribe to the adage “Do not ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to incompetence” and was of the opinion that Obama’s surreal politics stemmed from naivete and inexperience.  (Emphases mine.)
Having determined that Obama is neither naive, nor inexperienced at this point, Anne concludes that the answer to Obama's behavior in regards Israel is simply malice.   He wants Israel hobbled or gone.

Here was my take in the comments:
Obama went to university, and studied with people like Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi, that taught him post-colonial theory, within which Israel is cast as an imperial interloper that has unjustly subjugated the “indigenous” population.

If this is the root of his hostility toward Israel, which I suspect it is, it may very well be that he honestly believes that if only Israel would “end the Occupation” – whatever exactly that means – and that the “Palestinian” people be allowed their freedom to pursue their national destiny, then the conflict would end and Israel could live in peace as the Jewish homeland.

I do not know if this is what he believes, but something along these lines is entirely plausible.

Like millions of other progressives, it’s not that he thinks Israel should be dissolved as the Jewish State, it’s just that he honestly believes that Israel is immoral and needs to reform.

Think Peter Beinart, for example.
Anne pointed out that whatever the source of Obama's disdain for Israel, it is nevertheless exceedingly dangerous and she is absolutely correct.

The problem is not merely that Obama does not like Israel - and he doesn't - it is that by enabling an Iranian bomb he is laying the ground for a nuclear arms race, if not a nuclear holocaust, in that part of the world.

The dispassion with which so many Obama supporters follow this story is disquieting.  The impression that one gets in reading the western-left press is that they honestly do not care one whit whether Iran gets the bomb or not.

Many would argue that it is only fair that if the US has the bomb and Israel has the bomb and these other countries have the bomb, why should not Iran get it, as well?  Others would suggest, rightfully so, that if we were Iran we would want the bomb as a defensive measure and I have no doubt that when the Iranian government considers its strategic-military place in the world a nuclear shield looks mighty attractive.

While it may very well be in Iran's national interest to gain nuclear weaponry, it is most definitely in the national interest of both the United States and Israel (not to mention Europe and the entire rest of the planet) to prevent Iran from gaining that technology.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to disagree.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Sucker's Game

Michael L.

{Originally published at the Elder of Ziyon and cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

bad poker hand If you are smoking a cigarette, pondering your seven-deuce off-suit in the hole, and looking around the table wondering who the sucker is... you're the guy.

The Arabs and their western-left allies have the Jews hooked into a sucker's game.

One thing that should, by this late date, be absolutely clear to anyone who has been paying attention to the ongoing war against the Jews of the Middle East, is that the Arab governments, and their peoples, have no intention whatsoever of allowing the Jews to live in peace within our ancestral homeland.

The success in the Arab-Muslim approach to the conflict is due, in part, to the weight of sheer numbers and the heaviness of time.  It is certainly not due to anything resembling finesse or sophistication. The Arab world is vast, with estimates ranging from between 300 and 400 million people pushing against a small, historically abused, Jewish population of around 6 million and a Christian minority that is being chased out everywhere in the region other than in Israel.

The Arabs, emphatically, do not want those Jews or Christians living there in freedom or in peace.  This is due to millennia-old, Koranically-based anti-Jewish and anti-Christian prejudice and "racism" that is both rife and genocidal in that part of the world.

Given the size of the Arab population in the Middle East, however, it is not difficult for the Arab governments and peoples to place remarkable pressure on the Jews of Israel, or the Christians in the region, without suffering much in the way of uncomfortable blow-black for that hostility.  This is particularly true given the fact that Christians authorities in the West are studiously unconcerned with the fate of the Christian minority in the East.  Just why they are so unconcerned is anyone's guess, but that they are unconcerned is a fact.

Hostility toward Jews, however, is very convenient from a Muslim propaganda stand-point and in no way causes even a ruffle in Arab comfort, outside of the Palestinian-Arab community that, along with the Jews, bear the brunt of the burden.  They can defame the Jews in any way imaginable - I mean, really, spy vultures? - and no one minds and they can use the "Palestinians" as front-line troops against the Jews while suffering no casualties or day-to-day inconveniences, whatsoever.

This, for example, is part of the EU-funded Hamas charter and represents an excellent example of violently-inclined Arab-Muslim anti-Jewish paranoia and hostility that is entirely ignored by their friends in the West:

They (Jews) stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. 
They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. 
They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.
The only people that suffer from the never-ending conflict are the Jews in Israel and the Palestinian-Arabs... but the Jews get all the blame.

Year upon year, decade after decade, the Arab world encourages "Palestinian" youths to throw themselves, and their rocks, with murderous rage upon the Jews of the Middle East and every time they do so - every time that they fling themselves into yet another psycho-orgiastic anti-Semitic round of intifadan violence against Jews - sadistic western "progressives" pull their hair, raise their quivering fists, and scream from the hillsides that Jews are the New Nazis.

For Israel it is a matter of life and death.

For western progressives it is a matter of break-out-the-popcorn and watch them squirm and die while feeling morally superior.

The Jews of the Middle East are a people living under siege by a much larger hostile majority that honestly believes that Allah despises the Jewish people and that Muslims have every right to kill Jews because Jews are said to be the slayers of prophets and the starters of all wars.

Meanwhile, as the Arab world seethes with a crude and genocidal Medieval anti-Semitism, their western-left apologists condemn Israel as a violent, racist, apartheid, colonial, imperial monstrosity.

Within living memory of the Holocaust, the western Left tells itself that the Jewish State is the worst country in the world and deserves whatever beating that Muslims care to dish out, even as Islamists are slaughtering people throughout northern Iraq and Syria under the crazed Islamic State regime.

What this means, as should be obvious by now, is that there will be no negotiated two-state solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.  Not any time in the near future, there will not be.

The Jews of the Middle East have agreed to an additional Arab state within the tiny Jewish homeland since at least the Peel Commission of 1937.  From that day until this the Palestinian-Arabs have never accepted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, yet Barack Obama and the western Left continually and unjustly blame the Jewish people for Arab intransigence and hatred toward us.

There is no one on this planet who wants peace with the Arabs and the Muslims more than do the Jews of that part of the world.  They are a tiny minority in a savage environment who want nothing so much as to be left the hell alone so that they can go about creating computer software and litigate against one another.

Despite this, the Obama administration, the EU, the UN, and their terroristically-inclined friends in the PLO and Hamas are ratcheting up pressure on Israel to accept what we Jews have always accepted, a "Palestinian" state carved out of the Jewish homeland, if it is willing to live in peace next to Israel.  For some inexplicable reason they cannot seem to take "yes" for an answer and will continue to pressure Israel until such a time as it agrees to what it has long ago already agreed to.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is endeavoring to wound Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, because Netanyahu dared to suggest that an Iranian nuclear bomb could very well be unhealthy to daisies and small children.  He also suggested that given Arab intransigence there would not likely be another Arab state superimposed upon Judea and Samaria any time soon and this is correct.  There will not likely be another Arab state because they refuse offer after offer for such a state, in peace next Israel, and then point the trembling finger of blame at the Jews.

Well, as my dear old ma used to say, enough is enough.

The Palestinian-Arabs have no intention whatsoever of coming to a negotiated conclusion of hostilities and this means that the only alternative is unilateral action.

I do not wish to conjure the ghost of Ariel Sharon, but Israel needs to declare its final borders.

What those borders should be is, in my view, entirely up to them.

Finally, while it is true that in the game of Texas Hold 'Em a seven-deuce off-suit is a terrible hand, it can only actually hurt you if you play it.

You do not have to.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Sunday Column

Michael L.

is usually published at the Elder of Ziyon at 8 AM Eastern Standard time.

Tomorrow's article is entitled The Sucker's Game and here is a tid-bit:
The Jews of the Middle East have agreed to an additional Arab state within the tiny Jewish homeland since at least the Peel Commission of 1937.  From that day until this the Palestinian-Arabs have never accepted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, yet Barack Obama and the western Left continually and unjustly blame the Jewish people for Arab intransigence and hatred toward us.

There is no one on this planet who wants peace with the Arabs and the Muslims more than do the Jews of that part of the world.  They are a tiny minority in a savage environment who want nothing so much as to be left the hell alone so that they can go about creating computer software and litigate against one another.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On Rights, Peace and the Power Of Truth


Image result for martin luther king

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.

James Russell Lowe, nineteenth century abolitionist.
As quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr. concluding the Riverside speech of 4 April 1967 when King first linked the struggle for civil rights to the Vietnam War.

Human rights and peace are about as necessary and compelling a combination as any in nature. One without the other is an orphan that never was. A water molecule without oxygen.  Only a violent revolutionary or an academic could disagree.

Or perhaps Bob Carr.

It’s time to talk Turkey about the Israel issue.

Not just Turkey.

It’s time to talk Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Libya, Islamic State, Russia, Syria again , Obama, Europe, very especially Iran and very much in particular “Palestine” and all those across the seas who are driven into the Israel issue by duty or conviction whether for good or  evil.   All of them; woman, man and nation. It is time to talk Left. Especially the now openly antisemitic academic Left.

Some will take the use of “scare quotes” for “Palestine” as a calculated offence to the actuality of “Palestinian” human rights and nationhood; however “nationhood” is defined.  Not so. It is respectful of the rights of these people to not label them and therefore to define them by a banner they never did choose for themselves. It was chosen for them, then used by the regimes that have since ruled over them that they also did not choose. The PLO, PA, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the rest. They war among themselves most of all but they do have one overriding thing in common. Never an election in sight. Ever. There was an “election” in “Palestine” about a decade ago. It was the first.  It led to a sharp and bloody “civil war” as brutal as any and all civil wars.  But a war within a “state” that does not exist and never has?  What eventually emerged to grab power promised and delivered more killing and war and not just in Gaza.

Everyone agrees another “election” is not a good idea right now, especially Hamas and Fatah. One “election” was enough.  Another brewing “civil war” has higher priority.  Of all the “polities” in the world only “Palestine” needs this many “scare quotes”.

There is much at stake here. This is a struggle for the language as much as for civil rights and peace. It is a struggle for language. Those who are arrayed against Israel and accuse her people of genocide, imperialism,  fascism, aggression, illegality, war mongering, apartheid and racism are first of all mortal enemies of language as are all ideologues of totalitarianism and their fellow travelers. Also drained of any worthwhile meaning are terrorism, defense, law, ethnic cleansing, soldier, two state solution, occupation, independence, liberation,  freedom and self determination.  

Kill the language of politics, and civil rights and peace are at your mercy, as George Orwell so brilliantly made manifest for the ages. The Left are particularly adept at this. The past belongs to you no matter what abomination you have in mind. Genocides, wars, nakbas, nations and peoples either happened or did not depending only on the narrative of your ideology and nothing else. That can be changed at will.

As human conflicts go, this one has been loaded with enough baggage to weigh down the Sixth Fleet.

At stake is the idea of the rule of law and especially the concept of international law.

What could be called in Australia, the Bob Carr slur against the law, is so ubiquitous that many take it as a given. That the 1949 armistice lines are now borders and therefore the Jews living beyond the borders and their communities are illegal even if they are on land where Jews have lived continuously for centuries. Even in Jerusalem. The Israeli government is acting illegally by permitting Jews to live in certain Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, or indeed by not removing them, by force if necessary, to make way for Hamas and the PLO. Only Jews are illegal. Arabs can and do live where they like, even if they are Israelis, including in what was once the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

There is no suggestion of illegality from anyone and certainly not from Bob Carr.  The Bob Carr concept of jurisprudence has very closely defined boundaries indeed. Whether people are living in an illegal community depends entirely on whether the people are Jews. Jews living in a part of the city where they are forbidden are breaking the law.

The 1949 armistice lines are exactly that. The lines were declared in a flash by soldiers on a battle field strewn with vehicles, guns, interlocked troop units and the tangled debris of war. They were not and were not imagined to be borders.  It was an interim boundary pending negotiations and treaty between the parties that did not even include “Palestinians”, let alone “Palestine”. They did not exist as an identifiable people or nation. All that was in the future.

The negotiations never happened and so the state of war never ended. Instead there were three more wars. Every peace initiative since has been grounded in the principle of land for peace. A negotiated border in exchange for peace and recognition. The “Palestinians” have been retrospectively catapulted into history as a principal party, as sometimes happens, even if no one is able to define who they are or accept where they came from. (Here’s a hint. Jews are from Judea. Arabs are from Arabia.)

That the “Palestinians” are there now no one can deny but here is the rub. Land for peace was accepted by Israel and Egypt and so there was a peace treaty.  A permanent peace with Israel has never been accepted by “Palestine”. That would require recognition of the sovereignty of the Jewish state, including sovereignty over her borders and population, and that is abhorrent to the ideology of Palestinianism and those who push this ideology from Tehran to the campus of Sydney University.   As Yasser Arafat observed to Bill Clinton after the collapse of the Camp David talks, any “Palestinian” leader who attempted such a treaty would be signing his own death warrant.

None of this is to suggest that a negotiated two state solution is not fair, legal and equitable. Just not at all possible right now, is all.  So what the Israeli PM says in an election campaign is irrelevant to all of this. Of course there can be no unilateral withdrawal to an old armistice line puffed up as a border in a war that has never been declared over.  That is not a bid for peace and if it is required by law, then this is a law that requires that Jews who can not be killed or subjugated must commit suicide. Good luck with that. This is something beyond the gift or power of Netanyahu or anybody else. Even Obama, Jimmy Carter or Carr could not deliver on that. If you want Jews dead then it will have to be murder. The haters of Israel should at least have the honesty to say so.

Iran does.

Exactly a year to the day after the Riverside speech, Martin Luther King had his throat torn out by a single bullet from a high powered rifle while leaning over the rail of the balcony of an Afro American segregated motel in Memphis, while talking to a colleague of Jesse Jackson below, silencing him forever. Twelve years earlier and he had begun his campaign with the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Many then thought his campaign was a pipe dream. King was a trouble maker. He was up against an ingrained racism in people who themselves were often thought of in racist terms. White trash. The Alabama cops just across the state border in Driving Miss Daisy. The mob who Gregory Peck had to guard his client from in To Kill A Mocking Bird thereby inspiring a generation of lawyers who might have otherwise done something more useful with their lives. Incorrigible and beneath reform.

Fifty years later and there are hundreds of high schools, streets and public buildings named after Martin Luther King, most of them in the south. People can change. In the time of Martin Luther King most Australians would likely have identified more with segregationists with the bull horns and the guns than with the non-violent civil rights movement. We had our own segregation and King and his movement would have been seen as evidence in support of the White Australia Policy. Keep foreign racial troubles out. Political cultures are never stagnant. It is bigotry to suggest they are never ending for some.

The notion of Jews being confined to their own section of town is hardly new but to declare it as modern law is bizarre, offensive and dangerous. If there is any hope of an agreed land for peace deal then it must be negotiated between parties that are not impugned as illegitimate. If one party is to be excoriated as “illegal” then the negotiations have failed even before any one has come to the table. That way lies war. This is why Carr and people like him, including of course the whole BDS movement, are a threat to world peace.

The terrifying thing is that Carr may well be right and that if the matter was to now come before an international tribunal,such as the ICJ, a majority of the judges, coming as they do from countries where judges are under the thumb of the ruling ideology and even some who are not, may decide that Jews living free are illegal in “Palestine” as they are throughout the Muslim world. Or would be illegal had they not been expelled decades ago. They offend not just sharia. At that point international law will have caught up with sharia. It is exactly at that point that international law as a concept worth preserving will have died. What stumbling brain dead hulk that remains would be best put down before it did any more harm. A victory for Bob Carr.

So it is time to stop calling this issue the Israel/Palestine conflict.  It has nothing to do with “Palestine” or Israel, or at least nothing they can do much about. It is a multi layered abuse of the language to call it this.  Israel and “Palestine”  are paper boats in a bath buffeted by much wilder ocean winds. Neither is really in control of its destiny. “Palestine” in particular has no free agency at all.

Call it the Israel issue if you like because it is least of all about Israel and is about the rest of us. Take a look at “Palestine” and the rest of the Muslim world, especially Iran that now the worst and most dangerous US president in history, even worse than Carter, has fallen on both knees to appease like a supplicant who beholds a vengeful prophet. This could be exactly the problem.  Take a look and you are staring into the mouth of an active volcano. If you think that tossing Israel into the boiling lava will calm the angry fires, a sort of human virgin sacrifice to the gods, then you are indeed in the mental atmosphere of the seventh century.

As if you could. Some sacrifice. Some virgin.  But you could end up destroying the world.

Cross-posted at Geoffff's Joint and Jews Down Under.

IsraAID in Vanuatu


While certain parts of the 'advanced' world concentrate on the very important task of demonizing Israel, its democracy, its people, and its prime minister, Israeli aid workers are once again in the forefront of working to save lives on the other side of the world.
Cyclone Pam pummeled a number of countries in the Pacific this month, reaching the island nation over the weekend of March 13-15. In Vanuatu, 17 people were killed, 65,000 people were left homeless and 166,000 people were in need of urgent life-saving assistance, according to UN figures. 
A team sent by The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID) arrived in the country earlier this week to provide humanitarian assistance to grief-stricken locals. 
In total, the team visited 12 villages and eight schools across two islands -- all were completely destroyed. 
In one village on the island of Tongoa, the Israeli group was joined by a local parliamentarian to distribute tons of rice, flour and drinking water to residents.   
Local reactions to the team’s country of origin were surprisingly amiable, according to the group, with one volunteer quipping: “Everyone here loves Israel,” IsraAID said in a press release.
Quick, somebody alert the Western 'aid' and 'human rights' organizations who might not even be able to point to Vanuatu on a map.  There are still places and people who don't understand that the Jews who rushed to their aid, are the world's foremost problem today.
Despite a UN plea for international humanitarian assistance, one resident told the visiting crew that “It’s been ten days since the disaster, and these are the first supplies we have received."
Perhaps Israel can even tell them how to get there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Impasse (Updated)

Michael L.

impasse 2400I want to say that we are currently at an impasse in terms of negotiations in the long Arab war against the Jews of the Middle East.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that we are currently at an impasse, because the fact is that we have been at an impasse - depending on how one chooses to reckon such things - for almost 80 years since the Peel Commission.

Decade upon decade upon decade, the Jews of the Middle East agree to share the tiny bit of land which is the historical Jewish homeland and decade upon decade upon decade, the Arabs turn us down.  Yet the Europeans and American "liberals" still blame the Jews for Arab racism and intransigence.

Palestinian Authority "president" Mahmoud Abbas is in the eleventh year of a four year term, yet it is the democratic leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who Barack Obama spits hatred at.

The truth is, this is a sucker's game and the Jews are the suckers.

There could be a two-state solution, with peace and security for both sides, if the Arabs would simply allow it, but they will not.  At least part of the reason that they will not - a part that is almost never acknowledged by white westerners who continually put the screws to Israel - is for religious reasons.

According to Islam any bit of land that was at any point part of the Umma must remain within the Umma in perpetuity.  The very last thing in this world that they want is Jewish autonomy.  That is precisely what they are endeavoring to stamp out.  We have no problem with Arab autonomy within 22 Arabs states, nor do we have a problem with Muslim autonomy in the over 50 Muslim countries, but they absolutely refuse to accept a single Jewish state on the very land that Jews come from.

Thus we are at an impasse and we have been, actually, for a very long time.  The only question is what to do about it?  Shall we continue to beg for negotiations even though decades of experience tells us that not only is the "peace process" not helping, but on the contrary, it is violently counterproductive?

When any Arab-Israel "peace process" fails - which it inevitably must - the Arabs let loose violence against the Jews.  When the Arabs let loose violence against the Jews, the Europeans and "liberal" Americans blame the Jews for the violence against us.

That is the pattern that has been set and I am very curious to see whether or not we fall back into that pattern.

My suspicion is that we will and a big part of the reason for that is because the Obama administration demands it.  The "peace process" is something akin to crack cocaine for certain types of American presidents and Barack Obama is unquestionably an addict.

Ultimately, of course, what this is all about is putting Israel on trial... for just being born.  There will be no peaceful resolution because there can be no peaceful resolution.  The reason that there cannot be a peaceful resolution is because the majority Arab population absolutely refuses to allow the tiny Jewish minority to live in peace.

What is being demanded of Israel is, therefore, a ritualized beating.

What we will likely see if Israel gives in to such demands will be a repeat of the last round, which I have permanently emblazoned under the heading non-peace process on the upper right of this blog:
1) The US and the EU demand negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

2) The parties agree to talk and then the PA, the US, and the EU demand various concessions from Israel for the great privilege of sitting down with the PA's foremost undertaker.

3) Israel fails to meet all the concessions, thus causing the PA to flee negotiations, which they never had any intention of concluding to begin with.

4)  The PA and the EU and the Obama administration place the blame for failure at Jewish feet.

5)  The EU and various European countries announce additional sanctions, thereby essentially joining the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist BDS movement.

6)  Arabs seek to murder Jews.
So, are you guys up for another round of blood?


I want to highlight this comment, in another thread, by "k" who lives in England:
It is difficult to describe the enormity of the impact of Obama's words about Netanyahu, and his proposals to punish Israel at the UN, here in Europe.

In the UK, our parliament has already recognised the State of Palestine. Only about half the House voted, and it is non- binding. It has, therefore, little impact on government policy. The Labour party leader insisted on a three- line whip for the vote. Meaning all his MPs had to vote along party lines, and could not vote freely. Because of that, some chose to abstain. Including some shadow cabinet members. Ed Miliband knew there would be enough MPs from the other parties to get the vote through.

We are looking at a very close election, judging by the polls. With a high probability of some form of coalition - formal or otherwise. We are already seeing Labour ministers jockeying for the leadership position ( in the scenario that they fail to be able to form a government), by announcing how much more support they would want to give the Palestinians. This has been directly affected by what has come from the White House.

If Labour win the election, then it will be very likely that Ed Miliband ( whose political idol is Barack Obama) will eagerly take his cues from the White House.

That might also be true if the Conservatives win. It is less clear.

What Obama has said has reverberated through our political / cultural landscape. When/ if he acts, that will give permission to the very worst feelings, ideas, and beliefs that are in our country. There are many people who have been waiting for this. 
This moment is definitely a crux, a turning point of some kind, for both the state of Israel and for world Jewry.

This is, admittedly, a subjective view on the part of myself and many others, but there is a quality about this political moment in Jewish history which is reminiscent of moments in the past that preceded blood.

I do not want to overstate it and I do not think that we are on the verge of some sort-of Jewish catastrophe wherein the Obama administration, in collusion with the EU and the UN and the PA, go about diplomatically and economically destroying Israel's ability to defend itself.

But, anything is possible.

If an Iranian bomb is possible in the near future, then anything is up for grabs.

Barack Obama just gave the Middle East - the world's foremost volatile region - a nice, rough shake.

We will see what falls out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TEACHER!!!!!! Leave That Terrorist Alone!


He don't need no Education....

Writing in the New York Post, Carl Campanile tells us:

Cornell dean says ISIS welcome on campus in undercover video

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University. 
A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student. 
Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp. 
Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.
Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting. 
Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”
How about supporting Hamas? 
No problem at all, Scaffido said. 
“The university is not going to look at different groups and say, ‘You’re not allowed to support that group because we don’t believe them’ or something like that. I think it’s just the opposite. I think the university wants the entire community to understand what’s going on in all parts of the world,” Scaffido said. 
The undercover asked if he can invite “a freedom fighter to come and do like a training camp for students.” 
Scaffido responds, “You would be allowed to do something like that. It’s just like bringing in a coach, to do a training, a sports trainer or something,” the Cornell official said. 
The State Department includes both ISIS and Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.
Cornell brass responded to a Post inquiry made to Scaffido. 
“Cornell fully supports the free exchange of ideas and does not review or control the political ideology of our students. We do not, of course, tolerate unlawful advocacy of violence, and the comment about training by ISIS freedom fighters does not reflect university policy,” said Joel Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hearing the arguments from people who actually believe them

by oldschooltwentysix

When progressives speak about Republicans, it is frequently harsh, and often demeaning. Head over to places like Daily Kos or The Progressive Zionist for a myriad of examples. However, the descriptions put forth regularly seem at odds with the reality. Republicans are not monsters as depicted, but Americans that represent a large swath of public opinion and values.

Many progressives actually believe that merely citing a conservative source makes people "hard-line, right wing Republican partisans." Reading conservative sources is apostasy to these progressives. Thus, they avoid what conservatives actually say, like the plague, and do not really know what conservative policies are, yet characterize them anyway. We know where their information comes from, a noise machine that is less interested in finding common ground than fomenting division.

This brings me to a illustrative blurb concerning whether progressives using the above approach are to be trusted when they label their adversaries or communicate about the positions their adversaries take. It is from conservative educators in a 2012 report about the corrupting effect of political activism in the UC System.
[John Stuart] Mill said that “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” In other words, you don’t really understand the case for the left until you also thoroughly grasp the case for the right, because the one answers the other, which means that each is a necessary part of the definition of the other. It follows that in an academic context an all-left department would not even be able to make a competent exposition of leftist thought: “They do not, in any proper sense of the word, know the doctrine which they themselves profess,” says Mill. If left professors think they can simply present the right’s case themselves, Mill has this devastating response: “Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.” And for that reason, he went on to say, the student must “be able to hear [the arguments] from people who actually believe them, who defend them in earnest, and do their very utmost for them. He must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.” As for those who do not: “All that part of the truth which turns the scale, and decides the judgment of a completely informed mind, they are strangers to.”
The full report, which goes beyond this point and is worth reading in its entirety, can be found here.

Yes, some conservatives also do the same. It is not right either. Progressive ideology, however, likes to proclaim a higher standard for itself, one based on tolerance and respect toward others, but too often it ignores for itself what it demands from others.

Thus, the next time a progressive argues from an echo chamber of self-enforced censorship about positions of the "hard-line, right wing Republican partisans," ask yourself if he or she “knows little of that.”

A Further Response to Volleyboy1

Michael L.

volleyballI took Volleboy1 up on his offer to read one of his previous articles, Going Left to Center – A personal journey, published at his blog in the Times of Israel in November, 2013, in order to get a closer look at where he stands in recent years on the Arab-Israel conflict.

It is important to engage with those who disagree with your positions in order to outline and understand precisely what those differences are.  Far too often we simply assume that because someone is in a different political party, or because they disagree on certain issues, that they are hopelessly backward or malevolent or stupid or what-have-you and, therefore, should simply be dismissed.

I do not feel this way.

That being the case, let us compare and contrast our differences on the key issues that Volleyboy1 raises in his article.

1 - VB no longer favors a division of Jerusalem, but is willing to see a measure of Arab autonomy within a united Jerusalem. - (I agree.)

2 - VB favors Israeli military control over the Jordan River Valley. - (I agree.)

3 - VB believes that the security fence needs to remain, at least for the time being, and even expanded, if necessary. - (I agree.)

4 - VB believes that the Golan above the Kinneret is non-negotiable. - (I agree.)

5 - VB believes that upon the emergence of a "Palestinian State" such a state needs to be de-militarized. - (I agree.)

6 - VB believes that upon the emergence of a "Palestinian State" if state fighters attack Israel, then Israel has the right to strike back. - (I agree.)

7 - VB hopes for a negotiated two-state solution with strong security arrangements for Israel and is thereby opposed to settlement construction as an obstacle to peace. - (This was precisely my position up until, maybe, two years ago.  Now I favor a unilateral declaration of final borders.)

The first thing to notice is that Volleyboy1 and I agree on almost all the significant points.  We fully agree on points 1 through 6.  So, what is the nitty-gritty on the disagreement within the main point, point # 7?

Volleyboy1 wants to see a negotiated conclusion of hostilities under a two-state solution that would leave Israel in peace and security as a democratic and Jewish state.  He therefore believes, along with Barack Obama and many other people, that the development of Jewish townships beyond the green line is an impediment to the conclusion of a negotiated settlement.

The problem is that a negotiated agreement on the terms that Volleyboy1 offers is a non-starter for pretty much the entire Arab and Muslim world no matter where Jewish people choose to live.

Arabs insist upon the division of Jerusalem.  They oppose Israeli forces in the Jordan River Valley.  They think that the security fence needs to be dismantled, despite the fact that it has spared innumerable Jewish lives.  They insist that the Golan must go back to Syria.  And they will never accept "Palestine" as a demilitarized state and even if they were to agree to any such provision, does anyone honestly think that they would abide by it?

Finally, Abbas continues to insist upon the non-existent "right of return" as one condition, among others, for the implementation of a final status agreement... to the negligible extent that he may even believe in a final status agreement.

What all this means is that there can be no negotiated conclusion of hostilities with a Palestinian-Arab state in peace and security next to Israel anytime in the foreseeable future... which is pretty much what Netanyahu meant when he said there would probably be no "Palestinian" state during his tenure.  A mere gander at the history of negotiations between Arabs and Jews between 1937 and the present reveals a consistent pattern of Arab rejection of a two-state solution.  Furthermore, the never-ending genocidal incitement toward Jews coming from so much of the Arab-Muslim Middle East demonstrates very clearly that these people are not ready to end the long war.

This being the case, the only possible solution would have to be a unilateral one grounded in Jewish autonomy.  And that being the case, it renders the question of building within Jewish townships over the green line entirely irrelevant.

What difference does it make if Jews build in Judea if the Arabs have no intention of ever accepting Israel even within the green line?

Furthermore, it is deeply prejudicial (or "racist") to insist that Jews should be allowed to live in certain places, but not others.  By agreeing that Jews should only be allowed to live, within Israel, where Mahmoud Abbas finds it acceptable, western politicians justify the very Arab-Muslim anti-Jewish racism that resides at the core of the conflict to begin with.

What is needed is not for the EU or the UN or the Obama administration to push around the Jews of the Middle East according to the racist whims of the PLO, but for Israel to declare its final borders and remove the IDF to behind those borders.

In any case, as for the issues above, the primary thing separating VB and myself is that after 80 years since the Peel Commission I have come to take the Arabs at their word when they tell us that they will never allow Israel a moment's peace so long as it remains the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Volleyboy1 seems to have not taken them at their word.

I wonder why?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The New Vaudeville


(hat tip to kcnyc )

Sunday Column for the Elder of Ziyon

Michael L.

The Elder schedules my material for publication at 11 AM Eastern Standard on Sundays. 

 My piece tomorrow is entitled, Congratulations to Benjamin Netanyahu and to the United Arab List.

Here is a tid-bit:
Whatever else this election may say about Israel, it clearly demonstrates its liberal commitment to plurality.  Whatever else this election may say about Israel's enemies, it demonstrates their fundamental indifference toward the democratic and liberal nature of the Jewish State.

The Arabs now represent the third largest political bloc in the Knesset, despite the fact that it is largely an anti-Zionist bloc that has often sided with genocidal enemies of the Jewish people in that part of the world, such as Hamas and Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad.

What could possibly be more democratic and less "racist," it must be asked, than for a country to willingly allow the empowerment of a hostile minority within its own chambers of governance?

Obama Poised to Stab Israel in the Back?

Michael L.

Times of Israel Staff reports:
stabbedPresident Barack Obama’s supposed congratulatory call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, two days after the Likud leader triumphed in Israel’s elections, was actually a bitter 30-minute conversation, Israel’s two main TV news stations reported Friday night

Quoting unnamed Israeli sources, they said the president made clear he didn’t believe Netanyahu was genuinely supportive of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, and that he indicated that the US would no longer automatically support Israel at the United Nations.

According to a Channel 10 read out on the call, indeed, Obama left Netanyahu with “the impression that he intends to abandon Israel at the UN.”

The United States has actually been considering a reevaluation of ties with Israel, including its automatic support for the Jewish state at the United Nations Security Council, for at least four months, the Israeli sources also told Channel 2. Although the White House claims the reassessment was prompted by Netanyahu’s remarks on Monday in which he rejected the establishment of a Palestinian state — and which he walked back Thursday — that is not the case, according to the officials.
If these reports are true, Barack Obama should be commended for the emerging clarity of his intentions towards the Jewish State and, thereby, toward the Jewish people.

It is, after all, much preferable to have an openly hostile president in the Oval Office then one who tells us that he "has Israel's back" as he sharpens the blade to plunge into that back.

It seems reasonably clear that the Obama administration is planning some sort-of retaliation against the Jews of Israel for daring to disobey him in the election last Tuesday.  The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel was a terrible insult to Obama and this president does not take well to either criticism or dissent.

The first concern, naturally, is that Obama will simply withhold the US veto at the UN the next time that organization takes steps to vilify Israel and hobble its ability to defend itself in the ongoing Arab war against the Jews of the Middle East.

Another related concern is that the Obama administration will back the Palestinian Authority's efforts to force an unfavorable non-solution down Israel's throat at the UN, thereby pressuring Israel to drag Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria and give half the ancient capital city of Jerusalem to Palestinian-Arabs who have never held sovereignty in that city or any part of that land.

This will give the terrorist organizations PLO and Fatah a stronger position in their ongoing efforts to harass the Jews and undermine the well-being of the Jewish State.  They can pocket hard Israeli concessions while making none of their own, while continuing to incite hatred of Jews among their children, and while continuing the terror war against Israel and the Jewish people throughout the world.

For his part, Netanyahu seems to have painted himself into a corner over recent remarks concerning the unlikelihood of a two-state solution during his tenure.  He then tried to "walk back" the statement by saying, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change."

He is, of course, correct, but the Obama administration is in attack mode and having none of it.

The only real question at this point is how much damage the Obama administration is willing to do to Israel, and to the Jewish people, in retaliation for refusing to kiss his ring.

We shall see.

From the comments:
Bob Koch

Isn't this the same "2-state solution" that hasn't borne fruit for 25 years? It's time for a new paradigm for this situation. How about the PA and Hamas CHANGE their charters to show that THEY want peace. After all, it's they who are calling for the annihilation of Israel, not the other way around. Obama does not want a 2 state solution. He wants a Palestinian state and he wants Israel gone.
I do not know that I would say that Obama wants Israel gone, but our friend Bob here is correct that "Oslo" is over with and that we do need an alternative paradigm from the failed, but dominant, two-state paradigm.
Steve Klein

We all knew this would come sooner or later so let it come. Then Israel (the Jews) will learn and understand how to deal with it. Israel is not South Africa. Everyone with a half a brain knows there is a difference between murderous jihad against non-Muslims, especially Jews and racial Apartheid in South Africa. This idea of de-legitimatizing Israel in the criminal (anti-Semitic) United Nations is evil. Let Barack Obama be Barack Obama.
I tend to agree with this sentiment.  Let Obama be Obama and, then, long, long after he is gone we can write books about the relationship between the United States and Israel during his tenure.

What we need not do is be afraid of this president, or cave to his diktats, despite his hostility.
Sergio J Bramasole

Term-limited, Obama will soon leave, and whoever comes next, maybe Hillary, will stand with Israel against third world fascists. All 'n all, Obama is an aberration in American politics. Kinda once in a blue moon thing.
We can hope that he is an aberration, but given the anti-Zionist / anti-Israel drift within the Democratic party, I would not be too quick to conclude so.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One state? Two states? What's the real issue?

Sar Shalom

Among pundits, the mark of Seriousness is to push for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Arabs of the disputed territories. According to this Serious position, one-state means either that the Palestinians remain a subjugated people, if that state is Jewish, or that Jewish sovereignty comes to an end, if that state is Arab. The problem with this line of thought is that it confuses objectives with means.

The acknowledged objective of the two-state advocates is that all residents of the southwestern Levant should have a bona fide say in the governance of the state that rules them and that Israel's future as a Jewish state must not be endangered. Israeli annexation of the disputed territories and extending the vote to the Arab residents there would secure the first objective. However, between the Arabs and the post-Zionist Jews, Israel would then cease to have a Zionist majority, which would jeopardize Israel's continuation as a Jewish state. Thus, giving the Arabs of the disputed territories a voice in the governance of their state without threatening Israel's Jewish character requires putting their homes under the jurisdiction of one or more different states, or creating one or more new states to assume that sovereignty.

If this was all that the two-state advocates want, there would be no problem. However, these advocates invariably add two provisions to this. One is that one new state should encompass all the Arabs of the disputed territories. The second is that the territory to be ceded to this new state should not be based on what is needed to function as a state or to provide services for its citizens, but that is should be based on what Jordan conquered in 1949.

In calling for Israel to withdraw from the disputed territories, the usual foundation is United Nation Security Council Resolution 242. However, relying on 242 to call for complete, or cosmetically different from complete, withdraw has a few problems. One is that the language in the resolution is ambiguous and that language that would have clearly meant complete withdraw was considered and rejected. Another problem is that basing the final borders on the previous demarcation lines runs afoul of two provisions in 242. The second introductory clause of 242 states:
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war...
and action clause 1(ii) calls for:
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and ... [the] right [of every State] to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries
While the most recent change in control over the disputed territories was the result of an Israeli "acquisition" by war, the prior demarcation lines were also the result of an earlier acquisition by war. Anyone saying that the territory's having been possessed by Jordan prior to the 1967 war confers a right to any party is effectively conferring their blessing on Jordan's conquest in 1949. Either you believe that acquiring territory through war is inadmissible or you do not, there is no saying that acquisitions by some parties is admissible and is not for other parties.

Furthermore, Abbas has given no indication that he is ready to terminate all claims. In effect, unilaterally imposing would be allowing him to benefit from 242 without accepting its obligations.

What we should do is thus: shift the discussion from the means to the ends. Instead of talking about what states should ultimately exist and in possession of what territory, talk about the need for everyone to have a say in how they are governed, provided that some party could assume power among the Arabs of the disputed territories that has conditions short of Israel committing national suicide to end all claims against Israel, but that no past war should prejudice the division of land among its inhabitants.

Responding to Volleyboy1

Michael L.

pointing at person coverI want to thank Volleyboy1 for dropping by and for giving us his views on the recent Israeli election.

I've known VB for a long time, and in internet years, practically for ever.  So I can say without any equivocation that he has been a true supporter of the Jewish State of Israel, consistently defending her against the unjust charges of bullies and anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.

It is for this reason that I find myself rather surprised to read this:
To that end I cannot continue to advocate for Israel because honestly it is becoming a nation that I cannot agree with.
Volleyboy1 says that he will support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State but for ethical reasons believes he can no longer advocate for it.  Just how one squares that circle may seem a little oblique, but this is something that VB will have to work out in his own way.

Volleyboy1 spent considerable time, yesterday, responding to comments and I appreciate it very much, but I want to limit my remarks to the comment he made linked-to above.

In that comment VB gives four reasons for his unhappiness with Israel. These are:
1 - Lieberman's "head-chopping" remark.

2 - Netanyahu's alleged electoral race-baiting.

3 - The fact that VB thinks that "Netanyahu basically guaranteed a Bi-National State down the road (or the total ethnic cleansing of the Arabs down the road) and for that I cannot forgive him."

4 - He claims that "the Right has and is doing everything to pull the Jewish community apart (as is the Far Left, but they are far less in number and everyone realizes they are just goofy) and make Israel a partisan issue."
I am not going to bother discussing numbers 1 and 4.  Lieberman said what he said and it was both callous and stupid, but I am certain that Volleyboy1 would agree that you do not condemn an entire country because of the dumb statement of one particular politician.

As for number 4, well, the same can just as easily be said for the Left, as VB acknowledges, and because the remark is so subjective and personal there is very little to be said for it.

If people insist upon revisiting this question, we certainly can, but then Obama, himself, will be in for significant criticism for seeking to divide the Jewish community, and not merely in the United States.

This leaves us with numbers 2 and number 3.

The race-baiting charge, I am afraid, has been exceedingly shrill and with precious little backing sources.  All I know, and I will leave it to VB or anyone else to further explore this, is that during the voting Netanyahu apparently said something to the effect that, and I paraphrase, "the Arab List is getting out its people and we need to do so, as well."

It was something quite along those lines, yes?

Talk about "manufactured outrage."

I do not want to dismiss this charge out-of-hand, however, but it will need significant sourcing before it becomes meaningful in any way.

Finally, that leaves us with number three, which is where I believe Volleyboy1 has his strongest case.

There is significant anecdotal evidence - and it is just anecdotal - that Jews, both diaspora and Israeli, are opening themselves to the possibility of the single-state solution.

This is the ideological ground upon which the real fight will take place within the Jewish community in the coming years.

For many years I believed that Israel could be a Jewish state, a democratic state, or a state from the River to the Sea, but that it cannot be all three at once.  There are people, now, mainly from the so-called "right-wing" (whatever that might mean) who are arguing that this need not be the case.  Foremost to my mind are Caroline Glick and her colleague, over at the Jerusalem Post, Martin Sherman.

The case that they make, essentially, is that the demographic "threat" is overblown because Fatah and the PLO inflated the numbers and that a certain percentage of Arabs should be, and will become, naturalized Israeli citizens.

The question is, how many people are we talking about?  Would this mean that Israel would no longer be the national homeland of the Jewish people, because Jews would soon become a minority under a hostile majority population that despises both Zionism and Jews?

I do not think so and this, to my mind, is the discussion that we need to be having.

If Netanyahu is hedging on the creation of a 23rd Arab state to be carved out of the Jewish heartland, who can blame him?  The Palestinian-Arabs are not children and they must live with the foreseeable consequences of their own behavior and decisions.  If their leadership refuses to make peace with the Jews, why in this world would we give them a mighty bite out of our historical homeland for the basis of a terror state against the lone, sole Jewish one?

When "Palestine" superimposes itself upon Judea and Samaria, it will become a magnet for Jihadis.

Much like Gaza, it will exist, from a political standpoint, for the singular purpose of harassing and killing Jews.

The two-state solution will not end the conflict, nor is it intended to.  On the contrary, the purpose of a Palestinian-Arab state is to open up another front of violence within Dar al-Harb, the House of War.

If, on the other hand, Israel incorporates the traditional Jewish heartland into Israel proper, it can take over the educational system and see to it, at least on the level of institutionalized education, that Arab children are no longer raised to despise Jews.

That, in and of itself, would be an amazing accomplishment that would go a very long way toward easing, and eventually ending, the conflict.

But even if a two-state solution made the most sense, how can such a solution possibly be accomplished if the Arabs do not want it?

We cannot force them to accept that which they have, for religious reasons, always found unacceptable.

I therefore favor a resolution grounded in Jewish autonomy.

Any plan that requires Palestinian-Arab cooperation is doomed to failure.

This much has already been proven and we need to understand that it is not up to us.

We cannot accept a two-state solution for them, if they will not have it.

We will have to move forward without a Palestinian-Arab partner and, for the moment, without an American partner, either.

{Thankfully the world is a rather large place and we have more friends than we may realize.}

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hatred: The Natural Daily Kos Reaction to Netanyahu's Victory

Michael L.

racist racist everywhere ytn5klAs everyone knows, the people at Daily Kos just love Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jews Zionists.

That being the case, let's take a gander at some of their musings upon Netanyahu's victory, yesterday, in the Israeli election.

Let's start by looking at the comments under this David Harris-Gershon "diary" with the fair and balanced title, Netanyahu's racist incitement against Arabs & rejection of two states lead to a comeback victory.

The first thing to note are the ubiquitous charges of racism against pretty much anyone that they do not like.  In this case all the high-pitched screechings are due to the fact that Netanyahu apparently claimed that anti-Likud operatives are getting the Arab vote out in large numbers and that Likud needs to step up their own get-out-the-vote drive.

That is it.  That is all.  In fact, what Harris-Gershon naturally will not tell you is that within the very link that he directs us towards we read:
Likud MK Gila Gamliel expressed her happiness with reports of high voter turnout among Arab citizens.

"I praise the high voter turnout in the non-Jewish sector. I'm glad. It gives them a sense of belonging and a will to change. Maybe it won't be expressed as support for Likud, but it will make different parties understand they should relate more to this public and put the treatment of Israeli Arabs in the foreground," Gamliel said.
He refuses to discuss this because it flies directly in opposition to his whipping up of hatred toward his fellow Jews and here, for your reading pleasure, is just a small sampling of that hatred.

NM Ray crows, "Racism and Prejudice carry the day in another election for a Conservative ideologue!"

sleipner calls Netanyahu a "racist Israeli war criminal."

environmentalism claims that Israeli policies are "racist and militaristic."

limpid glass is so enamored of Israeli culture that he tells us this:
There is no room for the Palestinians within Zionism. Zionism means: democracy is for Israeli Jews alone. Everyone else goes to the back of the bus.
elwior helpfully reminds us that Netanyahu has a "putrid, racist ass," although it remains rather unclear on just how she is so familiar with the Prime Minister's hindquarters.

Lepanto predicts that Israel is, or will be, a "racist, apartheid state."  

caseynm is so pleased that she thinks that Israel has it coming.  Whatever it is.  She writes, "If Israel elects this motherfucking racist pig then Israel deserves whatever happens to it."  I wonder if she has such strong feeling for, say, Hassan Nasrahla of Hezbollah who famously said, "If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."  Somehow, I doubt it.

PhilZ comes right to the point about Israeli evil when he reasonably argues, "Now that Likud and the other ethnocentric, right-wing parties will again end up at the helm of the Israeli ship of state, the racist, intolerant, dehumanizing dark side of Israel's political soul lays bare for everyone in the world to see."

{I feel reasonably certain that what PhilZ has laid bare is his own political soul.}

PorridgeGun insists that the Netanyahu campaign bombarded the Israeli electorate with "fear and racism."

Needless to say, no one thought to ask for even a single example of this alleged racist "bombardment."

Wildthumb is also a Netanyahu fan who tells us, "This PIG did everything a Republican would do to get elected: scare conservatives, stir up racism, and spread false rumors. I'm sure Palestinians will now feel more radicalized than ever, and this PIG asked for it."

Yes.  Yes.  The Jews deserve whatever beating we get.  We know already.

LeftCoastTom suggests that Jewish Israelis may have liked "the appeal to anti-Arab-Israeli racism."

Whereas Mindful Nature is certain that the Jewish Israeli electorate is "dominated by racists."

DROzone agrees with Mindful Nature when he writes, "Racism wins when voters are racist."

brooklynbadboy also believes that Jewish Israelis are racist.  He writes, "Bibi went hardcore racist and the Israeli people voted for it. Good. Better we know exactlythe sentiment of the Israeli people. This, if we are lucky, can help separate the American people, and eventually the American government, from Israel."

I actually agree that Israel should be more independent from the United States, but this guy clearly wants to see the Jews of the Middle East thrown to the wolves.  If another Holocaust were to take place, so many of these people would simply shrug their shoulders, make "tsk tsk" sounds, and blame it on the Jewish victims and, yet, Jews are supposed to want to support the Left?


And this is just some of what we find within a single "diary" on a single day and it's just concerned with the racism charge.

We have not even, yet, considered the "warmonger" charge, nor the "liar" charge.

And let's not even get into Netanyahu's alleged thirst for the delicious and refreshing blood of Palestinian-Arab children... on ice.

The bottom line is that Daily Kos, and writers such as David Harris-Gershon, are involved in a project of whipping up hatred toward the Jewish people and toward the Jewish State of Israel.

In the case of Harris-Gershon it is particularly egregious since he is, himself, Jewish and is (or was) a teacher in a Jewish day school back east.  Harris-Gershon - a man who thought it appropriate to purchase gifts for the children of the terrorist who tried to kill his wife in Jerusalem - flatters himself that he is fighting for social justice.

This is what makes the irony so terrible, because the truth of the matter is that Harris-Gershon's main contribution to the discussion is one of whipping up hatred among non-Jews toward his fellow Jews in Israel, whom he holds in moral contempt.

There are people in the pro-Israel blogospher who think that Harris-Gershon is a fraud.

They think that he is a liar and that he does not care about the well-being of Israel.

I do not know this to be true.

{More is the pity.}

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

There is, I am told, an election or something today

Netanyahu declares victory, but Herzog in no hurry to concede
Likud ahead or level with Zionist Union in all 3 exit polls, better placed to build coalition; 71.8% turnout highest since 1999; delight in Likud, dismay in Zionist Union; Jewish Home slips.

One State. Two State. Red State. Blue State.

Michael L.

map judeaAnyone who has followed my scribblings over the last few years knows that I have slowly gone from a two-state advocate to flirting with the single-state idea.  I gave up on the possibility of a negotiated two-state agreement when it became obvious to me that the Palestinian-Arabs had no intention whatsoever of ever coming to a reasonable conclusion of hostilities.

This has led me to the only possible conclusion, which is that Israel must unilaterally declare its final borders and remove the IDF to behind those borders.  What those borders should be, I leave entirely to the Israelis.  Should Israel annex the historical homeland of the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria?


In truth, I go back and forth on the matter, but have been leaning more and more toward the affirmative.

In the comments of my latest Sunday column for the Elder of Ziyon entitled, The Expiration Date on "Palestine", J_April argued against the single-state solution.

April writes:
A one-state solution that conserves Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is not possible. Annexing Judea and Samaria without granting citizenship to the Arabs currently living there is not realistic. Israel is a small country which will never able to achieve economic autarky and will therefore always remain dependent of a reasonable degree of friendliness in relation with other strong (and larger) economies. Any unilateral move to annex Judea and Samaria (or even parts thereof) without making its Arabs citizens with equal status to all other Israeli citizens would jeopardize these relationships and therefore Israel's wealth and ultimately its existence.
I agree with parts of this and disagree with other parts.

I certainly agree that when, or if, Israel annexes Judea and Samaria much of the international community will not be happy... if I may understate a tad.

I disagree, however, that a single-state must necessarily mean the demise of Israel as either Jewish or democratic.

The reason for this is because there is no requirement that a democracy must incorporate hostile foreign elements into it, in order to remain a democracy.  What I propose, under the circumstances of initiating a single state, is that those non-Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria who wish to gain the franchise would need to demonstrate good will toward their Jewish neighbors through the completion of two years community service of some kind.

Those who receive a good report would be given the full franchise.

As for those Arabs who remain resident non-citizens, their children should be given every opportunity to join as full citizens of the state.  Since education would no longer be in the hands of hostile terrorist organizations, Israel could educate Arab youth to the benefits of joining with the country and clearly demonstrate those benefits as young people see their older siblings getting good university educations and well-paying jobs.

By limiting the franchise to only those Arabs who actually want to live peacefully within the Jewish state, Israel would remain both majority Jewish and democratic.  In fact, it would remain more democratic than the United States because the US, for far less good reason, does not allow Puerto Ricans to vote in national elections, despite the fact that Puerto Rico is incorporated into the United States.  Americans withhold the national franchise from Puerto Ricans despite the fact that Puerto Ricans do not teach their children that killing Anglo-Americans is beloved in the sight of Allah.
Long story short: A two-state solution is still the only possible solution, but it's a solution that is impossible to achieve under the current circumstances. And changing these circumstances is not under the influence of any Israeli government, not matter what persons or parties it is made of. Which means, that effectively and at this moment, there is no solution.
April, here, has put herself into the untenable position of arguing that the only possible solution is currently impossible and that there is nothing that we can do about it.

I certainly appreciate the dilemma, but since a negotiated conclusion of hostilities is, in fact, impossible - because this is not the Palestinian-Arab national objective - that leaves only the option of unilateral action.

Israel should, thus, declare its final borders, remove the IDF to behind those borders, and toss the keys over its shoulder.  Good-bye and Good luck.

If that means full annexation of Judea and Samaria, well, I leave that decision to the Israeli people, but full annexation need not mean the demise of Israel as a Jewish or a democratic state.  Such an assumption has become a matter of political faith, at this point, and is therefore very much in need of questioning and examination.  Once you start hearing people say, on any topic, that "everyone knows that the only solution is..." whatever, then you know that it is time to start pondering previously unacceptable imponderables.

Furthermore, I would argue, we need to stop being so fearful of international opinion.

They already lambaste Israelis as a The New Nazis, yet Israel has never had such close economic, scientific, or diplomatic relations as it enjoys today throughout the world.  Despite the fact that so many people were raised with an irrational contempt for the Jewish people, we remain among the most dynamic, creative, and empathetic people on the face of the Earth.

If, however, Israel were to annex Judea and Samaria, much of the world would scream bloody murder, but they would get over it.  And if they do not get over it, they do not have to buy a Soda Stream or a cell phone.

In any event, Israel will never be loved no matter how many cures for cancer Israelis come up with, but it can be respected.

And respect comes through strength grounded in honesty.

The land surrounding Jerusalem is Jewish land, after all.  For something like 4,000 years - long, long before anyone ever heard of any such places as London or Paris or Washington D.C. - the Jewish people were roaming those hills, building communities, and endlessly kvetching at one another... to everyone's great annoyance.

Why should all that change, now, merely because some people from the Arabian peninsula don't like it?

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Post-Colonial Hangover and the Jihadi Bomb

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

hangoverOne thing that is striking about this political moment is the fact that the western Left seems entirely complacent with the idea of a nuclear bomb controlled by the ayatollahs.

This is rather odd since the Left, in general, opposes nuclear proliferation.  Yet few seem disturbed at the idea of a theocratic-authoritarian regime, grounded in al-Sharia, that hangs Gay people from cranes, and that has incessantly called for the destruction of Israel, gaining a nuclear arsenal that could devastate anything on the planet.

How unusual.

When Barack Obama told the world that it was US policy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, he lied.

Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in The Atlantic, in the fall of 2012, said this:
But the record is the record: Given the number of times he's told the American public, and the world, that he will stop Iran from going nuclear, it is hard to believe that he will suddenly change his mind and back out of his promise.
The Obama administration changed its stated, if not actual, policy from preventing an Iranian bomb to enabling an Iranian bomb.

Democrats still complain about Netanyahu's speech as a violation of protocol.  This is transparent nonsense.  The problem that Obama has with Netanyahu's speech has nothing to do with protocol and everything to do with the fact that Netanyahu alerted the world that Obama's "deal" enables a Jihadi bomb in the not too distant future.

That is it.  That is all.  And although The Speech was well-received by Congress, the Obama administration has done a lovely job of sicking the hounds on the Israeli Prime Minister who is up for reelection tomorrow.  Obama has done everything short of literally spitting at Netanyahu in order to delegitimize the guy.

How anyone can seriously yammer about protocol when the real issue is a nuclear weaponized Iran, is beyond me.  Politically-inclined people often tend to have issues of proportionality.  That is, we often have a tendency to blow up small issues at the expense of much more important issues because doing so fits our political predispositions.  Thus, when we lambaste Netanyahu about protocol or about "playing politics" versus discussing the possibility of an Iranian bomb, this is what we are indulging in.


When Iran gets the bomb, though, they may use it and they may not use it.  But do we really want to fling dice on this matter as if we were playing craps on the street?

When Iran gets the bomb, they may give it to terrorists or they may not do so.

One thing is certain, when Iran gets the bomb it will set off a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East, the least stable and most volatile area on the face of the Earth.  In fact, it is a safe assumption that this arms race has already commenced.  Are we honestly supposed to believe that Cairo and Riyadh and Amman and Ankara are not stepping up their own programs?

The question is why?

Why is the Obama administration, and almost the entire western Left, complacent at the prospect of an Islamist regime with the world's most dangerous weaponry?  My suspicion is that what explains it best is what we might call the Post-Colonial Hangover... otherwise known as "white liberal guilt."

Because westerners view themselves as the progeny of rapacious imperialists who intruded into other people's lands for the purpose of extracting natural resources and exploiting helpless native populations, it is only fitting and just that we keep our hands off the doings of other countries in such parts of the world.

This leads to a circumstance in which white western "liberals" feel entirely free to lambaste Jews for daring to build second bathrooms in Judea, but they would never dream of denying Jihadis the Bomb because that would be "racist."  Jews are considered not only white and privileged, but among the most white and most privileged and most deserving of a smack-down due to (our apparently inherent) arrogance and militarism.

Jihadis, however, are usually people "of color" - often indigenous people "of color" - and therefore deserving of every indulgence, however irrational or counterproductive.  Who are we, after all, to tell the children of the oppressed that they must not develop the means to defend themselves?  If we were Iranian and saw American troops to our left and to our right, we would want nuclear weaponry, as well.

The problem, of course, is that Iran might use its nuclear arsenal and white western guilt at the history of imperialism will be no consolation if a city or a region or a country gets vaporized.  The truth is that the Obama administration and the western Left are taking a huge gamble with the lives of people all over the world, particularly the lives of the people of the Middle East, and they seem not to care one whit.

As the centrifuges spin and as Iran gets closer and closer to breakout capacity, the western Left is sitting on the ground staring intently into its own navel.  The Obama administration will not prevent an Iranian bomb because that was never its actual intention.  Its intention is to reset international relations in such a manner as to mitigate centuries of white, western imperialism.

If I am correct - and I believe that I am - what we are witnessing is nothing less than Barack Obama's attempt to re-orient the United State's position in the world according to the visions of people like Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, and Noam Chomsky.

Toward that end Europe, the United States, and Israel, must be weakened and non-western regimes, particularly those that tend to be hostile to the West, need to be strengthened, supported, and emboldened as a matter of historical justice.

Because the white, liberal West is said to be guilty of horrendous crimes against the non-western world, over the course of many centuries, it is only fitting that it step down and allow the children of their former menial servants to fulfill national independence in whatever manner they choose.

And if that means that they go nuclear, then they go nuclear.

If that means that they go Jihadi, then they go Jihadi.

There is, at bottom, something deeply nihilistic about western liberal attitudes toward an Iranian nuclear bomb and toward the rise of political Islam under the misnamed "Arab Spring."

They honestly do not seem to care whether Iran gets the bomb or not.  They tend to support the Jihadi-inclined Palestinian-Arabs over the scientifically and self-defense inclined Jews in that part of the world.

They despise Benjamin Netanyahu for warning about the bomb, but they do not despise Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the joyous head-chopping of infidels of any color.

They despise Benjamin Netanyahu for an alleged breech of protocol, but they do not despise Barack Obama for lying to the American public concerning the administration's lack of intentions toward an Iranian nuclear bomb.

The western liberal instinct has become self-flagellating and corrosive to the safety and well-being of people all around the world.  The Obama administration has signaled that the West, including the United States, is in decline and is thereby leaving the very worst actors to fill the void.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Pro-Israel Domestic Liberals Have a Sophie's Choice

Sar Shalom

While much of the core Israel-supporting community leans to the right on domestic issues as well as on foreign affairs and much of the community is less concerned about domestic issues, there remains a portion of the pro-Israel community that is solidly committed to a domestic agenda that leans to the left of the spectrum. For such voters, the choice between an Obama-like Democrat and whoever can win a Republican primary represents a choice of on one hand sacrificing not one or two domestic priorities, but one's entire domestic priority-set, and on the other hand selling out Israel. Without getting into the mechanics of the intra-party struggles that result in the Democrats being well-represented by those who swallow the Palestinian narrative hook, line and sinker, or why the Republicans are uniformly dismissive of nearly every liberal domestic priority, I would like to suggest two changes that, if enacted, would change the choices available to pro-Israel domestic liberals.

The first change would be to eliminate plurality voting. It might seem that voting methods are irrelevant to Israel's prospects in the American government, but a counterfactual would demonstrate why this is mistaken. Suppose that in 2004, Democrat Joseph Lieberman had decided to disregard the choice of the Democratic primary electorate and run in the general election for president, what would have been the result? Simply put, he would have taken some votes from Bush and some votes from Kerry with the result that neither Bush nor Kerry would have gotten 50% of the vote, but Bush likely would have won as first past the post. If Bush wound up winning with less than 50% of the vote, Lieberman would have been branded as a spoiler.

That last line is entirely due to plurality voting under which any voter who voted for Lieberman would have forfeited his or her right to express a preference between Kerry and Bush. Consider as an alternative voting method in which voters rate all candidates on the ballot on a scale of negative 10 to positive 10 with the winner determined either by averaging the voters' ratings or through a series of pairwise contests among all the candidates. Under such a voting method, all voters would have been able to express a preference between Bush and Kerry as well as a preference for Lieberman in relation to both of them, with any voter's vote for Kerry over Bush or vice versa having the exact same effect whether that voter rated Lieberman highest among the group, in the middle, or lowest.

Returning to the concerns of the pro-Israel community today, replacing plurality voting with either score or pairwise-ranked voting would have two effects that would benefit pro-Israel domestic liberals. One is that a pro-Israel Democrat would be free to disregard the results of a Democratic primary and the other being that a Republican challenging the dictates of CPAC would be free to disregard the results of a Republican primary. Breaking apart the electorate, pro-Israel domestic conservatives (PI/DCs) would vote PI/DCs above pro-Israel domestic liberals (PI/DLs) above anti-Israel domestic liberals (AI/DLs); AI/DLs would vote AI/DLs above PI/DLs about PI/DCs while PI/DLs would vote PI/DLs above both and split their next choice votes between AI/DLs and PI/DCs. While in theory, this arrangement would give anti-Israel domestic conservatives a greater voice that they currently have, they currently constitute a small enough part of the electorate that we do not need to be concerned. The result is that a PI/DL, instead of having to cobble a majority of liberals to win a Democratic primary or somehow win a Republican primary, could win by building a coalition of PI/DLs and PI/DCs against the AI/DLs and a coalition of PI/DLs and AI/DLs against the PI/DCs.

A second change to ameliorate the choices facing pro-Israel domestic liberals would be to fill the chairmanships of a subset of congressional committees by national election instead of just giving them to whoever's in line from the party that is in the majority in each chamber. The subset I propose is Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Ways and Means/Finance. The result of doing so would be that pro-Israel domestic liberal voters could go to the polls and know that when they cast their votes for chair of the Judiciary and Ways and Means/Finance committees that no matter how anti-Israel a candidate is for the position, putting that candidate there would not help him or her advance that position. Similarly a voter could cast a vote for chair of Foreign Affairs and know that no matter how reactionary the candidate is on domestic issue, becoming Foreign Affairs Chair would not help that candidate throttle a single item of the domestic liberal agenda.