Sunday, July 24, 2016


Michael L.

nuance I have recently been criticized in a private email by a pro-Israel / pro-Jewish advocate - who I respect - for lacking nuance in my criticisms of the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East.

This gentleman is a writer who has published a book on pro-Israel advocacy, but I honestly have no idea what he is talking about.

I guess that I do not value nuance over simple truths.

Here is a simple truth:
The Jews of the Middle East lived as second and third-class non-citizens under Arab and Muslim imperial rule from the seventh-century CE until the demise of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
Now, this is not a very nuanced view, but it has the virtue of historical accuracy and I tend to think that matters.

2 + 2 = 4 is not particularly nuanced, either, but it does not make it less true.

Here is another simple and entirely unuanced truth:
The Jews of the Middle East have been under constant attack by the great Arab and Muslim majority in the region for fourteen hundred years for irrational racist and religious reasons.
That is, the source of the conflict is millenia old Arab and Muslim racist hatred toward Jews.

It is nothing else.

Europeans tend to think that the Jews of Israel are terrible people in need of sanctions for their alleged mistreatment of the indigenous, innocent, conquerors of Jewish land.

This is very odd considering the ongoing malice and rape and murder of European Christians on their own land by the emigre Arabs and Muslims that they invited into their countries for humanitarian reasons.

That is also a truth lacking in nuance.

Here is another entirely unuanced truth:
The Arabs have turned down every single offer of yet another Arab state in the Middle East since the League of Nations' Peel Commission of 1937.
There is not much nuance in the word "no."

After the war of 1967 there was not a whole lot of nuance to the statement of the Arab heads of state in Khartoum, Sudan, that there would be no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

The famous 3 Nos.

It does not get much less nuanced than that.

Diaspora Jews who care about the well-being of the Jewish people - particularly the Jews in the Middle East who are under constant attack by their hostile Arab neighbors - need to recognize that, as Ted Belman says, there is no diplomatic solution precisely for the reason that the Arabs do not want two states for two peoples.

What they want are the Jews dead or gone.

And that is not very nuanced, either.

People say that the conflict is complex.

It isn't.

It is grounded entirely in religious and ethnic hatred on the part of the Arabs and Muslims toward the Jews for centuries.

The fact of the matter is that Arabs in the Middle East teach their children that Jews are the issue of orangutans and swine.

And there is nothing the least bit nuanced about that either.


  1. Uncle Tomism appeals to certain types. I understand the urge but like you, reject it.

    1. This guy is no Tom.

      He just takes a more moderate position than do we and, really, it's about style as much as anything else.

      That is, although I am virtually never rude, I can be quite blunt and sometimes people get insulted.

  2. Nuance, it seems to me, comes after a recognition of the general parameters of a situation. They don't change the truth being asserted so much as fill in its background details, its inevitably specific (i.e., un-general) bits and pieces. Grossly speaking, the majority of these will support the general thesis (which is why it's being proposed, one would expect), and some will be the proverbial "exceptions that prove the rule". There's nothing wrong (indeed, everything right, at the right time) in bringing out all the nuance, as long as it doesn't "covertly" sabotage the thesis. If your friend's point is that his interpretation of the fundamental points that you make is different from yours, he should just assert it. By the same token, as you say, "it's about style" – I might say "temperament" – because, indeed, some people's strength is precisely in filling in all the colours, exposing all the mixed elements at work. It depends on one's focus. Nonetheless, the fundamental truths (as one understands them) should be clear – clearly formulated, clearly presented, clearly understood. I think your statements are that (and I do expect that your friend would agree with them, in essence, or I'm sure he wouldn't be a friend). Best! ... Michael

    1. This guy is not so much a friend, really, as a friendly acquantance.

      We've actually sat on a couple of panels together here in the Bay Area.

      I even wrote a book review for his recent book... but that's all the clues you guys get from me.

      This is not a famous guy, but he's a definite part of the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish community.

      "There's nothing wrong (indeed, everything right, at the right time) in bringing out all the nuance, as long as it doesn't "covertly" sabotage the thesis."

      I could not agree more.

      Nuance is terrifically important if you want to understand any issue.

      And sometimes sabotaging the thesis is the right thing to do, if the thesis is mistaken.

      When it comes to the Long War, as I suspect that you will agree, Michael - Good name! - the truth has not only been sabotaged, but turned entirely on its head.

      They're teaching American and European college students to despise the Jews of Israel as interlopers and oppressors and they seem to be doing a pretty damn good job of it.

      It's the Big Lie told over and over and over.

  3. Unfortunately many who claim to be Pro-Israel moderates go much further then giving the benefit of the doubt to the enemy by granting legitimacy to the enemy's dishonest and baseless claims, at the expense of undermining Israel's legitimacy and the Jewish people’s indigenous status in the land of Israel.

    Whether it is motivated by the dangerous and deluded idea that compromise on our end will somehow make the other side reciprocate, despite it being well established that the enemy is well known for its unwillingness to concede its baseless claims (short of being made to sue for peace) and additionally views those Pro-Israel moderates willing to compromise with contempt.

    Since the enemy correctly perceives that the Pro-Israel moderates do not truly value their heritage, religion or indigenous land and potentially hold less than altruistic motivations for their stance (e.g. seeking honour or acceptance by the world, bolstering one’s reputation as a peace-seeker at the expense of undermining their own people, willingness to be bought, etc), thus the enemy readily uses the moderate’s willingness to compromise and make concessions to undermine Israel's legitimacy’s and the Jewish people’s indigenous status in the land of Israel.

    Using the Judgement of Solomon as an example of the moderate’s moral retardedness where two women claimed to be the mother of a child, how can even an unrepentant liar respect someone who unlike the story harbours doubts about her own legitimate claim and actually willing to agree to have something precious such as a baby split in half with the unrepentant liar in the name of compromise?

    The Pro-Israel side needs to utilize poetic and emotional polemics about the legitimacy of our cause and our indigenous status mainly for our own sake, just as the enemy does in defence of their illegitimate claims.

    Some would argue that we should not have to lower ourselves to their level or proclaim that we are better than them yet am not proposing that we outright follow the enemy’s example just that we should never allow our own virtues, morality / standards or laws to be used as weapons against us. Essentially be a human first rather than made to adhere to superhuman double standards of morality by those who have forfeited their humanity, since one of the twelve Alinsky “rules for radicals” is to “make them adhere to their own laws”.

    The Arabs lack of nuance regarding their position reminds me of the following scene in the original Independence Day film. -

  4. Trudy,

    you know that you are one of my favorites, but... ummm... ya know.

    We here at Israel Thrives do not advocate violence against anyone unless under conditions of terrorism or warfare.

    {Or perhaps it's just me.}

    Y'know, look, we cannot have young Jewish men and women walking onto their college campuses and beating the holy crap out of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.

    Although I would love to see as many Jewish kids as possible trained in a martial art, maybe Krav Maga or Kung Fu.

    And that way if the little racists get aggressive against Jewish kids in the quad they can learn a lesson very much in need of teaching.

    One thing that I give Volleyboy1 credit for is advancing Krav Maga in this neck of the woods.

    I can assure you that his kids will defend themselves.

  5. My point is that you're in a war but only the people trying to kill you admit that. If tolerance and giving the camp guards the benefit of the doubt is the hill people want to die on, then that's what they'll. All I can suggest is that if you're going to stick your head on the noose for them them at least have the decency to admit that's what you're doing.

    When YOUR own school props up people who openly call for mass murder of Jews and then the school's reaction is a tepid slap on the wrist, after a year of dawdling then that's the new watermark for acceptable levels of discourse. Let's advocate violence too and see how long and how far it goes. Let's adopt their methods. Let's march around with BLM and PLO inspired banners calling for more dead (fill in the blank here). Let's threaten to kill them and then block their exit. Let's use the very same tactics they proudly wave in our faces.

  6. Tell me about nuance when much of the world is no longer in thrall of the false and not very nuanced narrative put forward by our enemies and their western hand-maidens. Once the correct parameters of the conflict come to bear I'll be ready for all the nuance you want. Someone is going to defeat charges of "Nazi Apartheid regime" with nuance? The cognitive war against Israel is a Soviet style show trial.

  7. Meanwhile, crazy Cynthia McKinney claims Israel is behind recent European terrorist attacks:

    "Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat and former member of the US House of Representatives from Georgia, posted a video on Twitter with the message: “Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?…”
    The video claimed that Richard Gutjahr, a German journalist married to former Israeli Knesset member Einat Wilf, had been present for both a rampage by a truck driver in Nice, France, earlier this month that left 84 dead, and a shooting at a mall in Munich in which nine teenagers were killed."

    This is the nuance of the insane. Most of it stems from the far right but there is a cadre of nutso leftists that gleefully buys into it.

    1. Cynthia McKinney is crazy. Einat Wilf is a psychologist. Coincidence?

    2. Crazy as a loon Jeff and she has a lot of freaking company on the internet and the loonie left(aka the far right.)

  8. So.....are Germany and France now the medium big and medium little Satan? What's up with that?

  9. For any of you who are unfamiliar with the ongoing attempt by the Marxist and various crazy left's attempts to peg Israel for every terrorist event evah, here's a tidbit from major asshole Gearóid Ó Colmáin who gets a lotta play in these circles:

    " Wilf is a rising star in the world of Zionism and is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is an important Israeli link to the storytelling of the massacre. Perhaps the Israeli link goes even further – the Telegraph newspaper reported that a Jewish man did not attend the Bastille Day celebrations after being warned of the attack by his father. French investigative reporter Eric Laurent shocked television viewers in 2011 when he revealed that Jews working in the World Trade Centre had been warned about the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York in 2001. According to the Israeli press, French Jews were also warned about the Bataclan attacks in November 2015. The Israeli government has admitted it carried out false-flag terrorist attacks in France, blaming them on Muslims."

  10. The facts you raise are valid points. However, your interlocutor's point about nuance is probably about acknowledging the possibility for countervailing facts.

    For instance, if someone were to talk about Operation Protective Edge and say that x Palestinian children died and y innocent Palestinians dies as the result of Israeli airstrikes while less than 100 Israelis died, with accurate figures for x and y as opposed to Hamas' inflated figures, would you not complain about a lack of nuance?