Saturday, December 31, 2016

How Obama Cracked Jewish Solidarity

Michael Lumish

Also published at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under and The Jewish Press.

{Correction: as Jeff points out in the comments, Dershowitz does not consider Jewish townships beyond the green line to be Arab land, but disputed land. That is correct. The larger point, of course, is that Dershowitz and Beinart both consider these townships impediments to peace.}

Fifty years from now Barack Obama will be known to most Americans as, quite simply, the first African-American president of the United States. Aside from this he will have precious little to distinguish himself other than in the notable electoral deterioration of the Democratic Party under his tenure.

While future historians may join Alan Dershowitz in considering him among the worst foreign policy presidents in U.S. history, he will probably hold a very special place in the hearts of Jewish people throughout the world. This is true because he will likely be known as the American president who, whatever his honest intentions, did more than any to divide the Jewish people from one another and from the Jewish state.

The genius in this bit of Jewish slicing-and-dicing is in its multifaceted aspect.

Obama did not merely rub poison into the cleavage between progressive-left Jews and the rest of us. Nor did he merely drive a wedge between American Jews and Israeli Jews. He even managed, much to my astonishment, to help divide pro-Democratic Party Jews among themselves and between themselves and, increasingly, the party as a whole.

Now that is quite an accomplishment.

Let's briefly go through it.

Dividing American Jews from One Another

Barack Obama can hardly be blamed for creating Jewish divisions over Israel, as Edward Alexander and Paul Bogdanor would readily agree. Nonetheless, it must be understood that while Obama may appreciate certain Jews as individuals he has never been friendly or sympathetic to the Jewish people as a whole... or so we can reasonably deduce from his posture toward the Jewish state.

On the contrary, along with figures like Mahmoud Abbas, Louis Farrakhan, George Galloway, Rashid Khalidi, Jeremy Corbyn, and Keith Ellison, Obama regards Israel as a rogue state imposing itself upon the "indigenous" Palestinian-Arab population. The Jewish people who live there are considered by their very presence, an impediment to peace.

Among the various ways that Obama's influence, therefore, served to crack Jewish solidarity, the first was in hammering the wedge between progressive-left Jewish Democrats, who generally show greater sympathy toward his views on Israel, and the rest of us who do not.

By insisting that Jews in Israel should be allowed to live in some places, like Tel Aviv, but not in others, like Hebron, the Obama administration animated a confrontation within American Jewry. Those loyal to the Democratic Party, like Peter Beinart and Alan Dershowitz, agreed that the Jewish presence in Judea represents an appropriation of land that rightly belongs to Arabs and is, therefore, an obstacle toward resolving the conflict. Beinart and Dershowitz may not agree on much, but they definitely agree on that. Others, like Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), believe (along with me) that Jewish people have every right to build housing on the lands of our ancestry. Furthermore, in a recent piece for the Jerusalem Post Isi Liebler acknowledged Klein as the ONLY American Jewish leader of national consequence to be consistently critical of Obama's transparent flaws and who, he says, "has been more than vindicated" in his views.

I couldn't agree more.

Given the existential nature of the long Arab aggression against the Jews in the Middle East, Obama's hostility toward Jews who live in the wrong place set Jew upon Jew in a manner that grew increasingly acrimonious throughout the period of his tenure. By supporting J-Street while devaluing AIPAC, Obama agitated this split. He also put his sincerest American-Jewish friends on the defensive before those of us who believe in Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria. Obama thereby forced his Jewish devotees into the position of justifying an unjustly racist stance toward the Jews of Israel.

Dividing American Jews from Israeli Jews

If Obama encouraged political divisions within the American Jewish community he also encouraged political divisions between American Jews and Israeli Jews. Because Israeli Jews understood how Obama's policies encouraged Palestinian-Arab violence and intransigence on the so-called "peace process," the vast majority of Israeli Jews quickly learned to distrust the man. Jewish Democrats who wished to maintain their progressive bona fides were thereby leaned into ideological tensions with friends and relatives in Israel.

In order to maintain good-standing with their fellow Democrats, Jews who care about Israel were put into an exceedingly uncomfortable position. They could support Obama or they could support Jewish rights to property on ancestral Jewish land, but they could not do both. And, again, Obama did not create this dilemma, he simply forced the issue. Obama used the two-state solution as a reason for opposing Jews like our friends Joseph and Melody Hartuv who live in Hebron and thereby allegedly stand as an obstacle to peace. He was not even the first president of the United States to do so, but he was certainly the most insistent.

Hebron, of course, is the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs. This is a place that, with a little encouragement from Obama, the United Nations decided belongs to Arabs. Through the unjust, if not racist, insistence that the "settlers" represent an obstacle to peace by their mere presence, Obama encouraged his American Jewish supporters to join him in condemning their fellow Jews. He managed this while still maintaining a pro-Israel face to his Jewish followers. Furthermore, by playing along with the erasure of Jewish history on the ancestral lands of the Jewish people, Obama also encouraged the dilution of American-Jewish support for that country and those people.

Dividing American Jews within the Democratic Party

I have considerable sympathy for Jewish Democrats.

Many in their own party hold them in contempt for defending Israel, while much of the rest of the American Jewish population casts a gimlet eye upon their never-ending pro-Obama apologetics and sycophancy. These are Jews who, from political and ideological standpoints, are getting smacked around by all sides and finding it increasingly difficult to walk the "progressive Zionist" tightrope. Divisions thereby emerged between the true Obama devotees and those going wobbly watching Obama's year-in-and-year-out hostility toward Israel. 

In this way, within the Democratic Party, there are good Jews and bad Jews.

Good Jewish Democrats support Barack Obama while bad Jewish Democrats question the wisdom of breathing life into the corpse of Oslo. Good Jewish Democrats believe that if only Netanyahu had pushed Yosef and Melody out of their home in Hebron then peace could be achieved through the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Bad Jewish Democrats tend to doubt this. They understand that Palestinian-Arabs have no desire to create a state for themselves in peace with Israel. Indeed, why should Palestinian-Arabs hope for a conclusion of hostilities via a negotiated two-state settlement when Obama and the UN want to give them a state on Jewish land in a manner that maintains those hostilities?

Whatever happens going forward, however, the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel are, and will continue to be, one.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Question of the Whenever # 6: Would Obama have vetoed UNSC 2334 if Hillary had won?

Michael Lumish

Had Hillary won the election, would Obama still have abstained on UNSC 2334 (full text) which, among other things, nullifies the Oslo Accords and essentially defines the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem as part of "Occupied Palestinian territory"?

I can't know, of course, but I suspect not because, whatever anyone might think of the guy, he sincerely wanted Hillary to both win the election and succeed in the presidency in order to bolster his legacy... such as it is.

Therefore, I suspect that had Hillary won the resolution would never have come before the committee to begin with in order not to complicate her transition into power.

As it is, however, we are reading reports that the Obama administration actively lobbied UNSC countries, like Ukraine, and others, in order to assure that it came to a vote and passed with virtual unanimity.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How To Win Friends and Influence People (especially the UN)


  • Hijack airplanes
  • Throw old crippled Jews in wheelchairs off of cruise ships
  • Kill Olympic athletes (Jews work best)
  • Blow up busses, pizza parlours etc
  • Kill a Kennedy
  • Kill Jews where ever you can

The Raw Deal # 11: Sarah Silverman interviews Bernie Sanders

Michael Lumish

A few weeks ago Sarah Silverman interviewed Bernie Sanders and, not surprisingly, I found myself arguing with both of them. And that is what the youtube below is. It is Lumish inserting himself into their conversation.

My primary criticism is that if both want to keep the Democratic party racism-free they might consider the fact that racism is absolutely embedded among Democrats in the forms of humanitarian racism, anti-white racism, and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Is Haley the best there is for the UN?

Sar Shalom

Many people have commented that president-elect Trump's pick for UN Ambassador, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, is solidly pro-Israel. However, if her support for Israel amounts to nothing more than voting the right way on Israel every time, would that really amount to anything other than possibly at the Security Council? What's needed is an ability to persuade others of the rightness of Israel's case, and thus possibly move in the direction of assembling a coalition to vote down future resolutions against Israel. It is in this arena where Haley's lack of experience could hinder her effectiveness as an advocate for Israel. It is possible that she would do a phenomenal job as an advocate for Israel, we just have no track record one way or the other.

As an alternative, consider what Northwestern University Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich could do on behalf of Israel if he were to become UN Ambassador. While Kontorovich does not have diplomatic experience, he does know international law. In particular, Kontorovich knows the ins and outs of the provisions of international law that have been weaponized against Israel and the reality of how those provisions have been applied in every situation not involving Israel. Kontorovich can talk about the "legal" decisions that Israel's settlements of the disputed territories violate the Geneva Convention in contrast to the lack of any such legal decision regarding Turkey's settlement of Northern Cyprus, and back it up with discussion of every place where the principles the international community applies to Israel would apply if they were genuine principles. Even if other nations stand steady in their hypocrisy rather than accept Kontorivich's arguments, his being a senior public official would give him a bully pulpit from which he could push the facts relating to the application of the principles of international law when Israel is not involved into the wider media. Should we not push for such an advocate?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Question of the Whenever # 5: Why Support the Regressive-Left?

Michael Lumish
Here is a question:

Since the regressive-left in the United States refuses to stand up for women in the Arab-Muslim Middle East or Gay people in that part of the world, or the pulverized Christian population there, just why should anyone stand up for the Left anywhere?

By what argument can regressives - formerly known as "progressives" - claim to stand for universal human rights when they honestly do not care that Jihadis throw Gays off of rooftops?

By what argument can regressives claim to stand for universal human rights when they honestly do not care that women are treated like chattel throughout the Islamic world and forced to hide themselves in black potato sacks?

By what argument can regressives claim to stand for universal human rights when they think that the Christian genocide under Arab-Muslim imperial rule is just dandy?

If the regressive-left does not stand for universal human rights than it stands for nothing and is, therefore, undeserving of support.

And, needless to say, no Jew with even the slightest whit of self-respect would support a political movement that is more than happy to undermine the well-being of Jews everywhere, through its willingness - if not eagerness - to throw Israel to the wolves, as we just saw with the recent UNSC resolution.

The so-called "progressive-left" has thrown its alleged values into the garbage entirely and, thereby, transmogrified itself into the regressive-left.

I just find it sad.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Caroline Glick on Obama's Stab in the Back

Michael Lumish

From her Facebook page:

As Ambassador Bolton said in the clip below from Fox News, Obama killed the peace process by pushing this anti-Semitic, evil resolution. He killed the peace process and all prospects for peace by destroying the foundation of the process. That foundation was "land for peace."

Land for peace formed the basis of UN Security Council resolution 242 from the end of the 1967 Six Day War. It stipulated that in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel and peace with the Jewish state, Israel would cede some of the land that it took control over during the course of that war. But Friday's resolution says that Israel has no right to any of the land, that the presence of Israelis in that land -- yes, including the Western Wall -- is illegal. So Israel has no land to give and the Arabs will give no peace. And that is that.

The other thing the resolution does is annul all the bilateral agreements that Israel signed with the PLO, which formed the basis of their peace process. Those agreements were all witnessed by the US, the EU and Russia. And those agreements committed the sides to the bilateral framework for resolving their conflict.

In signing the agreements, the Palestinians committed themselves to not going to the UN or any other international body to coerce a settlement with Israel. Their UN strategy is a material breach of the agreements they signed. Friday's resolution makes zero mention of any of those agreements. It pretended they don't exist. And in so doing, it killed them. They are dead.For 23 years, confined by the Oslo framework, Israel was wary of taking the unilateral step of applying its law to all or parts of Judea and Samaria just as it was wary of building new Jewish communities in the areas. But now that those agreements are dead, Israel has no such limitations on its actions. It can act unilaterally just as it did in the past.

To be clear, this resolution is terrible for Israel. But it is mainly terrible for Jews in the West, and particularly in America

Some argue that the resolution increases the threat that the International Criminal Court will try Israeli leaders or even private citizens. But this argument makes no sense. Israel is not a signatory to the ICC convention. It has no jurisdiction over us.

The greatest victims of this resolution are not Israeli Jews, they are the Jews of the Diaspora, and particularly Jews in the West. Harassment of Jews in the US, Canada and Europe by Muslim thugs and their useful leftist idiots both on and off campus will rise as a result of this resolution.

There is an ironic silver lining to this resolution for Israel.

First, there is the obvious silver lining which is that we don't need to lie about Obama anymore. He revealed himself in his final month as the Jew hating, Israel hating bastard we have always known him to be but our leaders, out of fear that he would act as he did on Friday felt compelled to pretend that the man who gave the bomb to Iran is a friend of ours.

Second, and more importantly, there is the irony of the consequences of the resolution.

By joining the UN gang rape of Israel in an act of diplomatic terrorism against the Jewish people and the Jewish state, Obama destroyed not only all prospects for peace. He destroyed all prospects for Palestinian state.

He destroyed all prospects for Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines. He destroyed all prospect of any Israeli withdrawal at all.

And he even managed to weaken the UN which now faces a massive cut in funding from the Trump White House and the Republican controlled Congress.

The news of this resolution hit us like a brick wall. It hurts to see a room full of well dressed, well schooled, supposedly cultured and caring people acting like a lynch mob of Cossacks setting fire to synagogues and attacking Jewish villagers with pitchforks. It is nauseating beyond measure to watch Samantha Power, who branded herself as "Miss Genocide," as in, the redhead who fights for the powerless, standing with murderers against innocent, law abiding, human rights respecting, good Jews.

But we've been through much worse and survived and prospered. Samantha Power won't even merit a footnote in history, except in the section on the greatest hypocrites in the early 21st century.

Obama will go on to become Jimmy Carter on steroids. He will be relentless, and powerful. But we will survive him as well.

And John Kerry will remembered first and foremost for betraying the men that served with him in Vietnam. All the treacheries he committed since, including this one, were preordained the moment he stepped out of the crowd and libeled his brothers in arms.

With G-d's help, we Jews will survive and thrive and move on from strength to strength, as our forefathers did, as we have always done.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Obama Throws Israel Under The Bus.


Did we really expect him to do otherwise as his presidency ends?

U.S. Abstains as U.N. Security Council Votes to Condemn Israeli Settlements


UNITED NATIONS — Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.
The administration’s decision not to veto the measure reflected its growing frustration over Israeli settlements, and broke a longstanding American policy of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield at the United Nations.
This is disgraceful. Trump nearly stopped it by appealing to Sisi but several other nations (Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela ) did an end run around that and introduced the motion themselves allowing the Obama admin to take their cowardly revenge on Israel.

Shame on them, the UN and the traitorous Obama. I really thought he had more class than that. Boy was I wrong.

Trump in the meantime has said:

As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.
6:14 AM - 24 Dec 2016
17,879 17,879 Retweets 46,335 Likes

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says "With friends like these, #Israel doesn't need any enemies."

Kossaks are thrilled; another reason I consider it a badge of honour to have been banned from that anti-semitic swamp.

I for one will glad to see the back end of Obama.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hatem Bazian and the erasure of Jewish history

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Campus Watch and American Thinker.}

In his recent book-launching lecture for Palestine... It Is Something Colonial, anti-Israel academic Hatem Bazian stood in the “sanctuary” of Berkeley’s Zaytuna College before an audience of around fifty students and faculty; and, in an amazing feat of historical prestidigitation, eliminated thousands of years of Jewish history in the Middle East.

Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley and co-founder of Zaytuna, a self-described Muslim liberal arts college, maintained that “Zionism involved erasing existing Palestinian history and forging a new history as to claim the land and expel the population.”  Such efforts at Jewish historical elimination are consistent with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, which recently denied the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, Bazian bemoaned “the constant attempt for [sic] erasure of everything related to Palestine.”

Even worse, Bazian justified contemporary Arab-Muslim terrorism against Israel by relieving the perpetrators of personal responsibility: “Palestinian violence is a byproduct that was set and situated upon them.”

Accordingly, Bazian placed the sole burden for the Arab-Israeli conflict on European and Jewish “settler-colonialism.”  “You created your colonial box, and you need to clean it yourself,” he declared.

Stigmatizing Israel as a European implant in the Middle East, Bazian admonished the Jewish people and their Western allies that “one cannot have a liberation movement that is in partnership with colonial powers and then seek to dispossess and supplant the population that historically had no role in any type of antagonism or anti-Semitic discourses relative to the Jewish population[emphasis added].”

Bazian’s assertion that Arab-Muslims assumed “no role” in anti-Jewish repression in the Middle East beggars the historical imagination.  One need only look at the Hebron Massacre of 1929 or Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini’s rabidly anti-Jewish rhetoric and the violence he encouraged with the 1936-39 “Arab revolt.

Bazian’s analysis exemplifies what author Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed “humanitarian racism,” a form of prejudice whereby privileged academic elites and others infantilize non-Europeans by refusing to hold them responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their own behavior.

With considerable audacity, Bazian described Zionism, the movement for Jewish self-determination, as a form of anti-Semitism because it allegedly involved a plot to pawn off European Jews onto the Ottoman Turks.  It was a means, he claimed, of hitting “two birds with one stone”: while ridding Europe of its Jews, it advanced British imperial designs against the Ottomans.

In an act of historical supersessionism, or political replacement theology, Bazian argued that if in the past we had the “Jewish Question,” then “today we have the Muslim Question in France, the Muslim Question in England, and with our new election, we have the Muslim Question in the U.S.”

Perhaps if Bazian researched the history of Jews and Christians under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule from the seventh century until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, he would develop a more accurate view of who is occupying whom in the Land of Israel, if not the greater Middle East.

It is all too common among contemporary scholars of the Middle East that in seeking to recover the purportedly lost history of “Palestine,” they deny the ancient Hebrew connection to the land.  Until the field of Middle East studies relinquishes ideological anti-Zionism, the politics of outrage will continue to undermine its objectivity and erode its reputation.  It’s time for a new generation of scholars to replace the anti-Israel propaganda of their mentors with rigorous, reasoned scholarship.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Executive agreements

Sar Shalom

When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they gave the President wide discretion in foreign policy. One the few constraints on presidential power in foreign policy is that treaties can not become law of land unless ratified by two thirds of the Senate. However, even this restriction is of limited meaning if the President can simply call the accord an executive agreement rather than a treaty. The maneuver of making accords by executive agreement rather than treaty has been in existence since the Washington administration. However, the prevalence of that maneuver, as measured by the ratio of executive agreements to treaties, shot up since World War II, and grew considerably more in the most recent administrations.

While Obama has been particularly aggressive in using executive agreements, having a significantly higher ratio of executive agreements to treaties than the next highest administration, the most notable executive agreement is the JCPOA or the Iran deal. The question this creates is what should be done in terms of defining what may be done through executive agreement and what accords should require the President to negotiate a treaty, with the requirement of Senate approval, in order to reach. A few ideas would be to require a treaty for anything involving the release of government-controlled assets or which conflict with existing statutes. Either of those restrictions would have derailed the Iran deal if they had been in effect because the release of frozen assets or the suspension of statutory sanctioned would have triggered a requirement to seek a treaty which would have required affirmative Senate approval to enact rather than simply upholding a veto to prevent its non-enactment. Any other ideas about what should be the division between executive agreement and treaty?

Stillwell: Mideast Studies Departments Display Further Moral Rot in Lenient Treatment of Sexual Harassment

Michael Lumish

Cinnamon Stillwell, from over at Campus Watch, has turned over a rock.

She has a very interesting piece at The Algemeiner concerning sexual harassment charges introduced by female graduate students at professors within the Middle East studies departments of the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA.

The story is interesting in the way that the OJ Simpson trial was interesting. That is, it seems to pit gender identity politics against ethnic identity politics in what is probably the most highly contentious and propagandized field of study within the humanities, i.e., Middle East studies.

This is pretty explosive material, actually, and just the kind of thing that would normally send university feminists to the barricades.

Give it a gander and we'll see what happens going forward.

The Elder of Ziyon on Nothing Left (December 20, 2016)

Michael Lumish

You guys should check out this week's double-header over at Nothing Left radio out of Melbourne.

We've got hosts Michael Burd and Alan Freedman talking with the Elder of Ziyon for about twenty minutes on various topics, including the Ellison pick for DNC Chair.

{Speaking for myself, I definitely think that the Democrats should remain true to who they are and choose Ellison.}

As always, Michael and Alan have some very interesting conversations going on with people like the Elder, Isi Liebler (who should need no introduction), Babette Francis (a conservative commentator and critic of Islam), national security professional, Dr S Gorka and Sandy Gutman, aka Austen Tayshus.

Check it out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Question of the Whenever # 4: The Politically Correct Hierarchy of Victimhood

Michael Lumish

I need help creating the Politically Correct Hierarchy of Victimhood and am looking for suggestions.

The question is, who goes where on the hierarchy?

My first suggestion would look something like the below, with the allegedly most victimized human beings (and, thus, most politically worthy) at the top of the list and the allegedly most privileged human beings (and, thus, least politically worthy) at the bottom.

This first look at the possible structure considers ethnicity and sexual orientation, but does not include certain other necessary differentiations. For example, what about Jews and Far East Asians? What about old people? Or, say, old Korean people? Or, say, old wealthy Korean people? Or,  say, old wealthy Korean people of the male variety?

Or what about old wealthy Rosicrucian-Korean tranny albinos?

Understand, of course, that I find the whole notion of  a Politically Correct Hierarchy of Victimhood vomitous and bigoted... but, then, I am not politically correct, either.

Sadly, others do not take my personal nausea into consideration when they go about formulating their notions of politics and justice.

Nonetheless, this is a first pass:

Politically Correct Hierarchy of Victimhood (Prospective)

Arab-Muslim Men

Non-White Men

Non-White Women

Non-White LGBTQIA+


White Women

White Men

I am, of course, tempted to add economic class into the mix, but I am not entirely certain just who the social justice warriors (SJWs) hate more, rich white guys or poor white guys?

One would think that rich white guys would be at the very bottom, but rich white guys tend to be more "progressive" than poor white guys. Furthermore, they can sometimes afford to finance the organized anger of SJWs and they - unlike their deplorable trailer-trash cousins - can make amiable chit-chat over dinners that they pay for. For this reason, if we were to add economic class to the hierarchy, poor white guys would probably be at the very bottom.

In any case, this is a starting point.

Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Raw Deal 11 - Why is the Left Reluctant to Discuss Jihad?

Michael Lumish

There is no transcript for this one because I did it pretty much off of the top of my head. That is, I just spoke the damn thing rather than writing it up and reading it.

There are two inspirations for this bit. The first is that I've been pondering how, or if, to respond to Stuart's comment on my Facebook page in which he rejects the premise of the question.

The second is pyrrho314 who reminds me a little of a mad scientist. pyrrho is an acquaintance from my old Daily Kos days, as well as Maryscott O'Connor's defunct blog, My Left Wing. If you listen to his stuff - and I have only rediscovered the guy after many years - he's either discussing the nature of subatomic particles or left-libertarian politics. In either case, he comes across just as himself and I respect that.

Kontorovich and Company

Michael Lumish

Panel Explores Consequences for Israel
of ICC Developments
At a roundtable discussion held today, Monday, December 19, sponsored by NGO Monitor and the Department of Political Studies and the Faculty of Law at Bar Ilan University, a panel of experts discussed concerns about the future of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the potential impact for Israel following recent developments.

The panel examined the intended withdrawal of African countries from the court, proposed Israeli settlement legislation, possible indictments of American and British soldiers, and the impact of these issues on the ICC's ongoing investigation into Israel.

According to Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, "The ICC is not an all-powerful forum of international justice, but rather a politically weakened institution that has had numerous countries quit its membership in recent months. Perhaps it is true justice that real countries began quitting the ICC shortly after it accepted a non-country - Palestine."

Among the leading experts who addressed the event were Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University and President of NGO Monitor; Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor; Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law at Northwestern University; Adv. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Head of the Program on Law and National Security at the Institute for National Security Studies and former Head of the IDF International Law Department; and Prof. Avi Bell, Professor of Law at Bar-Ilan University and University of San Diego.

Commenting on how the court often uses political rather than legal definitions, including broad interpretations of occupation and settlement activity, Prof. Avi Bell, Professor of Law at Bar-Ilan University and University of San Diego noted, "When the crime has expanded to everything, we are all criminals."

Also addressing whether the ICC is a politicized body similar to the UN Human Rights Council, Adv. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Head of the Program on Law and National Security at the Institute for National Security Studies and former Head of the IDF International Law Department commented, "There is no proof yet that the court will be clearly political...but we have good arguments and Israel should present them."

In addition, the following comments were also made during the event:

Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor:
"The International Criminal Court is a young institution working on building its legitimacy. Yet, the Office of the Prosecutor appears to be repeating many of the mistakes of other international organizations investigating armed conflict by heavily relying on the unverified claims of a narrow sector of political advocacy NGOs. In the case of the investigation of the Gaza War, this narrow sector consists almost exclusively of NGOs promoting the Palestinian narrative, including several NGOs that have links to the PFLP terror organization. If the ICC wishes to be viewed as a credible institution carrying out genuine investigations, the Prosecutor must end this practice."

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University and President of NGO Monitor:
"The negotiations to establish the ICC are an important part of the story. Clearly the ICC is a political body as much it is a legal body. As such many NGOs, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are seeking to use this human rights framework as part of political lawfare, demonization of Israel, and human rights and war crimes allegations."

NGO Monitor provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.         
For more information, contact Richard Mann

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Two Points for "Progressives" on the Jihad

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Perhaps the most difficult part of speaking out against political Islam is the fact that so many otherwise intelligent people insist upon interpreting that opposition as one of irrational prejudice or, as is more often suggested, flat-out racism.

Let's dispatch with this immediately.

Opposing the Jihad (or political Islam or Islamism or whatever-you-want-to-call-it) constitutes unjust, illiberal bigotry against Muslims in the way that opposing Nazism constituted unjust, illiberal bigotry against Germans.

This is to say, it doesn't and it didn't.

Why do so many people - yes, particularly on the Left - have so much difficulty understanding such a basic concept? Why is it that western-progressives, who flatter themselves as the most well-educated and sophisticated people on the planet, are also the ones most likely to be stone-cold ignorant of Jihadism (i.e., the various ways in which Sharia is advanced) and the fun it's been having in Europe the last few years?

Why is it that they continue to disregard Jihadi activity in the United States or pretend that it is something other than what it is? Barack Obama, for example, famously referred to the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood as "workplace violence"... and the best minds of my generation nodded their heads in quiet submission.

So, this is two points for you guys.

Number 1:

There is Nothing Racist in Opposing Jihad

Please allow that to sink in for a moment.

Nazism was a racial supremacist philosophy and opposing Nazism did not represent anti-German bigotry.

Likewise, Sharia is a Muslim theo-supremacist legal philosophy and opposing it does not represent bigotry toward anyone. On the contrary, opposing Sharia is the "anti-racist" position.

Those of us who oppose the rise of political Islam - and, thus, Sharia - generally do so out of a commitment to secular humanism wherein people are free to practice their faith in any manner they choose so long as they do not throw Gay people off of tall buildings, behead Christians, force their kidnapped daughters into conversion, coerce women into black potato sacks where their individuality can be snuffed, or seek the genocide of the Jews via the eventual conquest of Jerusalem.

Those of us vocal in our disapproval of such behavior are, in fact, protesting the rise of a widespread theocratic movement that also happens to be the single most successful political movement of this century. This is not about Muslims as people. It is about a supremacist ideology that rules most of the Middle East, making significant advances into Europe, and that would see me, my family, and all of my friends either in submission or dead.

Not all Muslims support Sharia law, however, and the foremost victims of political Islam are Muslims, themselves. Anti-Jihadis are not anti-Muslim. Anti-Jihadis are almost always pro-democracy, pro-liberalism, pro-women's rights, and pro-ethnic minorities. Sharia is anti-democratic, anti-liberal, anti-women, anti-all-non-Muslims, and would sentence me to death for having the temerity to say so.

Yet, in the United States, progressives and Democrats look upon those of us standing up for universal human rights, by opposing Sharia, as right-wing, conservative, bigoted troglodytes. What the Left needs to understand, however, is that by accepting the rise of political Islam - as, for example, Obama did in his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - they are undermining the very purpose of their ideological existence.

If the progressive-left no longer believes in universal human rights then it no longer believes in much of anything, now, does it?

Number 2:

The Jihad is Real 

It's a bit strange that after the 9/11 Jihadi attack, the Boston Marathon Jihadi attack, the Fort Hood Jihadi Attack, the San Bernardino Jihadi attack, the Orlando Gay nightclub Jihadi attack and the recent Ohio State University Jihadi attack - to mention just a few - that American progressives fail to acknowledge the reality of the thing.

Jihadism is a political movement grounded within Islam that seeks to spread Sharia Law the world over. The violence is a means of spreading fear among the public in order to undermine the likelihood of political push-back. The primary way this is accomplished is through intimidating people into giving away their fundamental civil liberties. Thus free speech is stifled and people will not mutter too loudly about the destruction of Palmyra nor the Christian genocide in the Middle East.

None of this means, of course, that non-dhimmitudinous westerners should go chasing after Muslims.What it does mean is that the West is long over-due for an honest discussion of the significance of Sharia in terms of US immigration policy. Because opposing Sharia is considered "racist" on the progressive-left, the Democratic Party shows very little interest in monitoring just who comes into this country from parts of the world where Sharia dominates. In this way, non-Muslims from Muslim countries who wish to to become Americans - and thereby free themselves from living under Sharia - are given no more consideration in the immigration and naturalization process than actual Jihadis. 

If the progressive-left and the Democratic Party would simply recognize that opposing Sharia is not racist, and that the rise of political Islam is a serious matter, then we can finally begin to have a rational conversation around US immigration policy. One aspect of this discussion, in my opinion, should be concerned with the need to fast-track non-Muslims from oppressive Sharia-dominated countries into the United States as asylum seekers.

In 1883, Emma Lazurus wrote,"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...". She did not write, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to kick your ass and undermine secular humanism."

We should allow Muslims into the United States who yearn to breathe free.

The other kind, maybe not so much.

Friday, December 16, 2016


Question of the Whenever # 3

Michael Lumish

If we can agree that opposing the Jihad is not racist - but is, in fact, an effort against the very worst sort of racism - why is it that most on the Left seem so very reluctant to even discuss the question?

Do they think that political Islam is essentially irrelevant?

Do they think that discussing it will result in blowback toward innocent Muslims?

Are they nationalists who happen to believe that the rise of political Islam is significant only to the Middle East and Europe?

Yet, again, I do not have the answers.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Obama’s Post-Newtown Release of Child-Murderers from Israeli Prisons

Edward Smith

{Editor's note - This is an exceedingly interesting piece written by a thoughtful reader. It's launched through a discussion of the Newtown massacre. As it happens, I was raised right around the corner from Newtown in Connecticut. I heard about this terrible thing while on a bus in Oakland. The driver was talking to some passenger about what happened in my old state, so my ears pricked up and I asked, "What town? Do you know?" When she said Newtown I practically fell through the floor. Oh, and as always, the writer's opinions are his own. - ML}


Early in 2013, when the nation was still in shock over the December 14, 2012 Newtown massacre, President Obama decided that one of his administration’s top priorities would be to pressure Israel to release scores of convicted terrorists, including the killers of children. The result would turn out to be a grotesque foreign-policy “success” that the media virtually ignored.

While political leaders, including presidents, are expected to flip-flop occasionally, this might be the first administration in history to flip-flop on the issue of child massacres. The first anniversary of the Newtown killings was preceded by two other noteworthy anniversaries of child murders that the Obama administration reacted to in chillingly conflicting ways, apparently based on the victims’ nationality and religion.

To observe the 50th anniversary of the 1963 firebombing murders of four African-American girls in Birmingham, President Obama solemnly paid tribute to the victims, who were also posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for “major achievement in the recipient's field.”

One month later, Israel marked a similar tragic milestone—the 25th anniversary of the firebombing murders of the nine-months pregnant Rachel Weiss, a 26-year-old second-grade teacher, and her sons—Netanel, 4; Rafael, 2; and Ephraim, 21 months. Israeli soldier David Delorosa also died in a heroic attempt to save them. Israel considered imposing the death penalty for the first time since Adolf Eichmann was put to death in 1962.

Unfortunately, the Weiss brothers did not look like Obama’s own imagined sons; and unfortunately, they and their mother (a victim of a real war on women) were citizens of the nation Obama’s mentor Jeremiah Wright referred to as “that dirty word.” And so, using Secretary of State John Kerry as his point man, Obama began pushing for the release of their killers, along with scores of other terrorists convicted of murder or attempted murder.

The two perpetrators of the 1988 bus firebombing and their fellow terrorists were apparently freed simply because Palestinian officials requested it—reportedly the same reason Obama’s Internal Revenue Service began persecuting pro-Israel organizations.

It was early April of 2013 when Kerry began his mission to free the terrorists, only to be abruptly interrupted when, within days, Islamic terrorists struck Boston, killing an 8-year-old boy and two adults, and wounding 264 others. Kerry got choked up as he spoke stirringly of a “direct confrontation with evil,” vowed the perpetrators would be brought to justice, and expressed his horror that some victims were so young: “It defies words to hear of children killed and horribly maimed on the streets of my city. It is sickening to see my home turned into a place of carnage…” (He also equated the Boston victims with the armed Gaza terror flotilla jihadists and likened the two Boston bombers to Israeli commandos who had acted in self-defense.) Then Kerry quickly resumed pressuring Israel and by late April obtained an agreement for the mass release of prisoners with innocent blood on their hands.

Fast-forward to early August of that year, and another horrific, stranger-than fiction coincidence which, like the timing of the Boston Marathon bombing, looked a lot like instant karma for the Obama administration. Israel was two days away from obeying the State Department’s request to free the first 26 Palestinian terrorists, when the news broke that Mexico had released the drug lord convicted in the heinous slaying of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent. The Obama administration denounced the injustice:  

“We are deeply concerned by the release of Rafael Caro Quintero from prison in Mexico,” said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden…”We remain as committed today in seeing Quintero and others involved in this crime face justice…”

In addition, the Associated Press reported, “The U.S. Department of Justice said it found the court’s decision ‘deeply troubling.’…The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents in the United States said it was ‘outraged’ by Caro Quintero’s early release…”

So American lives have value. But what about the case of former U.S. Marine Steven Rosenfeld, a dual U.S.-Israel citizen who was stabbed to death by a terrorist in the West Bank Israeli city of Ariel? Evaluating the worth of his life by Obama standards gets us into a gray area. His murderer was freed, although the administration expressed concern over the release after learning the victim was an American.

At the same time the Obama team was facilitating the release of perpetrators of hate-crime murders of Jewish children, they zealously prosecuted and sentenced an Amish man to 15 years in prison for the “hate crime” of forcibly cutting hair. Meanwhile, the administration advocated the immediate release of attorney Lynne Stewart, sentenced to 10 years for assisting terror plots, after having served 3 years. This breathtaking double standard regarding Muslim terrorists and their collaborators on the one hand, and Christians and Jews on the other, was ignored by the media.

Then there’s the barely noted issue of whether Obama had the right to nullify the verdicts of the judiciary of a sovereign foreign nation, and whether Netanyahu was legally permitted to obey. Is overruling another nation’s judiciary through coercion an impeachable offense? Professor Louis Rene Beres arguedthat the administration was in violation not only of international law but also the law of the United States,” and that Israel has no legal right “to free terrorists as a ‘goodwill gesture.’”

Far from bringing peace closer, the prisoner release further inflamed the passions of a Palestinian culture whose support for serial killing always was, and remains, the chief obstacle to peace. It was predictable that the freed killers would be praised as heroes and financially rewarded, and that Obama would have no complaints.

Obama's demands on Israel contrasted dramatically with his pledge that he “does not meddle in Iran's internal affairs and regards a Fatah-Hamas unity deal as “an internal matter (rather than, say, an obstacle to peace). In his celebrated Cairo speech, he similarly assured the entire Muslim world that “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone.”

In no area do we tread more cautiously than in our consideration of what is best for the bereaved. It’s the reason most Americans opposed the building of a mosque at Ground Zero. It’s the reason Sandy Hook Elementary School was demolished, and the house where three women were abused in Cleveland was torn down. The feelings of the grieving loved ones and their community rightfully trump all else, especially when it is children who are being mourned. The callous infliction of additional anguish on grieving Israelis, who perhaps had finally found some closure when the murderers of their loved ones were convicted and imprisoned, appears to be the sole exception to the rule.

The same year the president was overseeing the release of child-murderers, he revealed his blind spot yet again in an astonishing joint press conference with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, a fervent anti-Semite and financer of Hamas’ efforts to carry out Newtown-like massacres and Birmingham-type atrocities. He’s also the dear friend Obama turns to for parenting advice.

Obama stated, “as always, among the topics where I appreciate your advice is close to our hearts, and that's how to raise our daughters well.” Then Erdogan spoke, declaring his commitment to Hamas. The White House press corps simply looked on, finding none of this to be bizarre or the least bit newsworthy. Few dare say there’s something terribly chilling about what the president says would be good for his daughters, and something alarming about a foreign policy that stems from the same moral blindness, embracing and empowering jihadist enemies while tormenting allies.

The gratuitous punishment of the bereaved and the traumatized of a close allied nation by obtaining the release of the murderers of its children possibly has no precedent in history. To anyone paying attention, it signaled the inevitability of the next act in the nightmare Obama and his enablers inflicted on Israel, the nuclear appeasement of Iran.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Question of the Whenever # 2

Michael Lumish

Nazism was an Aryan supremacist philosophy.

So, was opposing Nazism the same as unjust bigotry toward Germans?

If not, how come opposing Sharia law - a Muslim supremacist philosophy - is considered the same as unjust bigotry toward Muslims?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Trump terror within Middle East studies

Michael Lumish

This is a piece that I co-wrote for American Thinker with Cinnamon Stillwell, the Middle East Forum's West Coast Representative for Campus Watch.

Here is a bit:
Nowhere was the hysteria, panic, and fear-mongering attending Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 presidential election felt more strongly than on college campuses – and Middle East studies academics were no exception.  Rather than acknowledging that justified concern over increasing terrorism in the U.S. was a strong factor, they dismissed Trump voters as angry, fearful, ignorant, “Islamophobic” white supremacists.

This despite Trump’s receiving more minority votes than did Mitt Romney in 2012, and the support of the same white working-class population that twice voted for biracial President Barack Obama.

It was not millions of American voters, but the professors themselves who exhibited bigotry, fear, and anger.
Read the rest either at Campus Watch or American Thinker.

This Week on Nothing Left (December 13, 2016)

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left - Episode 128 - with Paul Monk, Ruthie Blum, Arnold Roth, Abigail Esman and Isi Leibler and hosts Michael Burd and Alan Freedman.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Israel is a "Burden" to the Democratic Party

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under, and The Jewish Press.}

In a recent piece by Times of Israel staff we learn that, according to the Brookings Institution, a majority of Democrats consider Israel a "burden."

The great majority of Americans, however - 76 percent - disregard Democratic Party disdain for the Jewish state and see Israel as a "strategic asset." And they should. Aside from all the medical and technological breakthroughs that Israel is responsible for, it is also one of best allies the United States has in the world. Israel not only shares key intelligence information with the US government, it is also a bulwark of liberal democracy in a part of the world famous for brutal, head-chopping theocratic regimes that loathe both countries on religious grounds.

But none of this is new.

The Democratic Party betrayed the State of Israel and the Jewish people when it decided that making a home for itself of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists was a dandy idea. In almost any political venue controlled by Democrats anti-Semitic anti-Zionists hold a well-respected seat at the table alongside the Jews that they perpetually spit at as racist, colonialist, imperialist, militaristic, apartheid, scum.

From Daily Kos to the National Democratic Party, Jewish Democrats are taken for granted and held in contempt. And why shouldn't they be? American Jews are at least as slavish to the Democrats as are American black people and the party leadership knows it. This is why they did not hesitate to put up an anti-Zionist, like Keith Ellison, as the primary contender for DNC Chair.

After listening to arguments, I've decided that Democrats are right to back Ellison. Ellison is staunch in his support of the party, he is the first Muslim-American to join the ranks of Congress, and he, in both votes and values, represents the character of the Democratic Party as it is in the early twenty-first century.

A Touch of Historical Backdrop

From FDR to the present, great numbers of Americans viewed the Democratic Party as the vehicle for the people. If the Republicans allegedly represented the party of uncaring plutocrats, the Democrats developed a reputation for standing with American workers, the labor unions, and the regular people. Rolling into the 1930s and the Great Depression, government and business ruled the United States. It took many decades of fighting and dying for the labor movement in the US to earn the recognition and power that it received under FDR and the New Deal, thereby creating the economic possibility of a burgeoning American middle-class after World War II.

Following that war, American liberalism shifted from a focus on labor to a focus on ethnic minorities, or what you might call "rights liberalism," which would come to dominate Democratic politics in the form of "identity politics" by the turn of the century. So, for many of us growing up on the coasts following the Vietnam War, politics seemed simple and Manichean. It was a black and white choice between the forces of freedom and fairness versus the forces of traditional repression and prejudice.

In the early 1980s, however, the American cultural-political zeitgeist shifted quickly under president Ronald Reagan. Suddenly, according to singer-songwriter Huey Lewis (who I loathed) it was "hip to be square" and American college students shifted from a focus on the humanities and social sciences to business administration and the art of money-making. What those of us who held fast to the earlier, 1960s visions of our older brothers and sisters did not at first realize was that the social justice vision of American politics was strengthening beneath the surface of Reagan's America. It may have been a New Day for American conservatism, but the ideological children of Abbie Hoffman, if not Robert Kennedy, were gaining power just beneath the surface of American public life, particularly at the universities.

Why Trump Won

For many liberals it seemed that Reagan had done such a good job of trashing their political movement that they changed their primary self-identifying term from "liberal" to "progressive." The American Left was so savaged by the Gipper that by the end of the 1980s the very word "liberal" had fallen into disfavor. By the 1990s, when we were all familiarizing ourselves with Bill and Hillary, the progressive-left moved back into the foreground, yet seemed entirely incognizant of the amazing strides that the American people had made concerning fairness and decency toward ethnic minorities, women, and Gay people in the previous decades. By the Era of Clinton, the bad old days of de jeure racism was long over, Gay men and women were emerging from their closets, and almost everyone considered female corporate executives as natural as daytime. 

Things were not perfect, and things will never be "perfect," but the United States had come a very long way in a very short period of time toward equality of opportunity for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.  Instead of acknowledging this and moving forward in a potential spirit of harmony, the progressive-left during the Obama administration used gender, race, and class as political weaponry with which to demean, defame, and even ruin the lives of people who might fairly disagree with them on substantive issues. 

Political Correctness became stifling to thoughtful people who realized it was no longer about fairness toward others, but about ideological bullying, repression of alternative thought and speech, social shaming, and legal harassment for the purpose of political dominance and power.

In this way, perfectly reasonable questions concerning the rise of political Islam became entirely verboten among the allegedly "sophisticated" on the coasts. Likewise, Americans who saw the chaos and violence and rapes associated with the Muslim immigration crisis in Europe, and who dared raise concerns, were lambasted as the worst people on the planet. Furthermore, Jewish American college students who support Israel, and thus the movement for Jewish freedom, were spit upon as baby killers and racists and supporters of genocide by those who claimed to represent the Left.

There were many reasons why Hillary Clinton got beat. The common wisdom is that a combination of angry white working-class racists and fearful white upper-class racists did Hillary in. As we got closer to November the progressives and the Democrats beat the drum of racism and sexism and hatred so intensely that they scared the holy hell out of their own children who hoped not to be snatched out of their beds by Nazis or Klansmen by the morning of November 10.

And this represents a major, and largely overlooked, reason why Democrats and progressives were weeping into their beers the next day. You cannot go around telling regular Americans, of any ethnicity, that they're a bunch of heinous racist, sexist, Nazis and then expect them to support your candidate. 

However, if the Democrats believe that Israel is a burden to the United States then they need to bring in Representative Ellison to help relieve them of that burden. We all know about Keith Ellison by this point. He's an anti-Zionist who promoted the notion that Israel is an "apartheid" state, who voted against funding Israel's Iron Dome defense system, and who was a long-time admirer and supporter of Farrakhan's anti-Semitic (and stone-cold crazy) Nation of Islam.

Nonetheless, the Democrats should bring in Ellison as Chair of the DNC because it's important to Jewish people that they stop playing hide-the-salami with their anti-Zionism.

It's just good to know where people actually stand.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Just where is "Palestine," anyways?

Michael Lumish

Apparently it is just south of Narnia and a wee-bit north of Whoville.