Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Trump Nudge

Michael Lumish

Perhaps Donald Trump gave the Arab-Israel conflict the nudge that it needs.

It is fascinating to see the various objections that many pro-Israel Jews have for United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some people oppose the move primarily out of disdain for Trump or because they consider Trump so toxic that he will inevitably poison what otherwise might be a good move. Many Israelis, needless to say, find the whole thing insulting. They know where their own capital is, for chrissake, and they don't need anyone else to affirm it. And everyone, of course, is concerned about violence and one Palestinian-Arab has been killed as I write during this first "Day of Rage."

One of my favorite arguments, however, represented only by a deranged minority, actually considers Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as antisemitic. Imagine that. The idea is that Trump only made this move as a cynical gesture to the Christian Evangelical base. American Evangelicals - or so goes the story - merely appreciate Israel as a vehicle for some crazed eschatological, End-of-Days scenario wherein Jesus will return and show Adolph Hitler and the Catholic Church just how best to deal with the Jews.

It is pure nonsense, of course, but interesting to ponder in a warped kind of way.

And, finally, there is the prominent idea among the politicians and intelligentsia - and the EU and the PA and the UN and the US Department of State and, say, Swedish people - that this will kill the "peace process." I do not know about you, but I increasingly have come to suspect that the purpose of the "peace process" is not so much about peace as it is about the "peace process."

We are coming on twenty-five years since Yitzhak Rabin foolishly shook the hand of that rotten old bastard, Yassir Arafat, and somehow it did not fall off.

In any case, the Arabs are going bonkers, as we are seeing in the streets of eastern Jerusalem and elsewhere, and people will be killed out of Koranically-based religious mania.

{And make no mistake, the entire conflict is grounded in Koranically-based religious mania. Does anyone believe for a single second that if somehow Israel was an Islamic country that the rest of the Islamic world would be so perpetually vexed at its existence? Of course, not.}

But, so long as the Arabs believe that they have a reasonable claim to the City of David they will never stop pushing and they will not stop sending their children into the streets with knives. So long as they believe that Jerusalem is up-for-grabs then they will consider the whole shebang up-for-grabs.

Two of the biggest mistakes that Israel made, historically, were giving up control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf and inviting Arafat back from Tunis for that insidious handshake. The stupidity on both counts was monumental.

Most Democrats and progressives now believe that the Arabs are fighting for "social justice."

They are not.

Jews lived as second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule for thirteen centuries. It was never better than Jim Crow was at its worst, but lasted far longer. And when Jewish people finally gained their freedom, the Arab world waged bloody war against Israel, in various forms, from 1948 to the present.

The Arabs are not fighting for social justice. They are not fighting for a Palestinian-Arab state.

They are seeking to repair the historical continuance of theocratic-imperial domination over the despised Jewish minority, who many believe murdered their prophet.

This is about religious bigotry, not land.

This is about the crudest form of Koranically-based race hatred imaginable and it has been ongoing since the time of Muhammad.

Arab-Muslim kids in the Middle East far too often receive fear and loathing toward Jews with their mother's milk.

Anti-Defamation League statistics on antisemitism in the Middle East show that the most liberal countries are hateful toward Jews into the 70th percentile, while in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority that number rises into the 90th percentile.

And what this means - as the Palestinian-Arabs never cease to remind us - is that we are facing an implacable foe with the very worst intentions and with what they believe is a divine calling to wrench Jewish control from historically Jewish land... and to do so even within living memory of the Holocaust.

Now, that is quite some brew.

Given the ugly truth above, I increasingly lean in the direction of Daniel Pipes on this question.

I believe it is necessary for Israel to decisively defeat their Palestinian-Arab enemies. And what that means is making it very clear to them that continued efforts to ruin Jewish lives will be met with very sincere consequences.

As for just what those consequences should be, I can only leave to the Israelis.

In Response to Rioting Arabs in Israel

Gav Kostonov

{This is another guest post from a Facebook acquaintance who holds a strong and interesting perspective directly in the aftermath of the Trump acknowledgment of Jerusalem and at the very start of the so-called Jerusalem Intifada. This was merely a comment under another post which is why it has no actual introductory paragraph. Nonetheless, this man is on it. - ML}

Palestinians completely trashed ancient synagogues in Jericho and in Shechem and they regularly desecrate Jewish holy sites under their control. You know how many times Jews rioted about it or went on stabbing sprees over It?

That would be none.

You want me to break the difference between us and the Palestinians down for You? We hold ourselves and are held by the world to a standard of civility that actually exceeds that of a common baboon.

Now stop infantilizing them. They've had since 1937 to accept any one of half a dozen offers of statehood offered to them, offers not offered to any other people that actively sided with the Axis in WW2. It's about time the rest of the world joined us in telling them to get their act together.

There are dozens of stateless peoples that deserve solidarity but none of them have their own exclusive UN agency or non voting UN membership or an international day of solidarity like the Palestinians do. Do you know why? Tibetans and Catalonians never stooped to terrorism to get their message to the world stage. At this point Puerto Rico is more deserving of independence. At least they actually had independence at one time unlike these transplanted Arabians that reinvented themselves halfway through the 20th Century.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Trump's speech

Sar Shalom

Maps

Sar Shalom

One of the comments from my previous post on unilaterally drawing lines a map showing what I described. I managed to produce crude maps of the areas north and south of Route 55 with a rough line showing the division between what I would annex and where I would withdraw. I am not hard set on the exact location of those lines. However, one thing that is clear is that inside of those two perimeters, there are many places with Arabic names, and outside there are just a handful.

One of the justifications for calling for Israel to eventually withdraw from the settlements is that aside from the settlements west of the security barrier, the settlements are surrounded by Arabs. As these maps show, that is true inside the perimeters, but not for the Jordan Valley and not as clear for Route 5 corridor.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trump Speech

Say what you will.

I know that I am going to. - ML

A parable

Sar Shalom

Imagine a couple that has a daughter. The husband does not wish to have the burden of raising this daughter weigh down on the rest of his life. He would never read to her at night. Whenever there is any event in his daughter's life, say a birthday party, school play, graduation or anything else, if his golf buddies want to go for an outing he joins them for their outing.

After a few years, the wife has enough of these antics and files for divorce. The husband is insulted by her objection to his lifestyle and decides to retaliate by getting their daughter taken away from her. As the case proceeds through court, what are the chances that the husband would tell the judge that his wife is arrogant in impinging on his lifestyle and thus their daughter should be removed from her.

The answer is close to zero. It might be an accurate description of his motives, but unless he is a total moron, he would realize that no judge sympathizes with that argument. Instead, he would wax poetic about how important his daughter is in his life. Possibly, he would get some of his golfing buddies to provide affidavits to the judge about her importance to him. All in order to provide a reason that the daughter to be awarded to him, and thus denied to his wife.

Such is the Palestinian attachment to Jerusalem.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

On Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Sar Shalom

So it looks like President Trump will actually do something positive and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Predictably, every Palestinian and Arab potentate is complaining that doing so will prejudice the peace negotiations and threatens Islam's holy sites. Also predictably, most of the West's chattering class is taking the Arabs' claimed reason for their objection at face value.

What we need to do is repeat more often the actual reason that the Arabs are so enraged by the impending recognition. It is the same reason why the Arabs responded to a group of Jews sitting down in front of the Western Wall on Tisha B'Av in 1929 with a pogrom in Hebron. In both cases, the "provocations" are attacks on one more manifestation of Islam's supremacy of Judaism. They have accepted the loss of many such manifestations. However, each time a new loss looms, they threaten to, or actually do, erupt in rage.

The pundits could invoke Occam's razor to say that the simplest explanation for why the Arabs claim their sentiment for Jerusalem is the reason for their rage is that their sentiment for Jerusalem is the reason for their rage. To demonstrate that the real reason for that claim is because western do-gooders would have more sympathy for that claim than for their real motivation of lording Islam's supremacy over Judaism, some history is needed. Islam's veneration of Jerusalem started in 682 when a rebellion cut off the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus from Mecca. In order to maintain the ability to fulfill the requirement of Haj while cut off from Mecca, Umayyads built the mosques in Jerusalem and invented the story of Muhammed's travel there to justifying substituting Jerusalem for Mecca as the destination for the Haj. Within a few decades, the Islamic world was reunified, allowing all Muslims to go to Mecca, and Jerusalem was ignored until the Crusades. During the Crusades, the reconquering Muslims revived the tale of Muhammed's travel in order to rile up their population to join the effort to retake Jerusalem. Once the Crusades were ended, the Muslims ignored Jerusalem again until the British took Palestine following World War I until Jordan's conquest of eastern Jerusalem during the Independence War. Following Jordan's conquest of eastern Jerusalem, Jerusalem was again ignored by the Islamic world until Israel conquered it from Jordan, at which point Jerusalem became of "supreme importance" to the Islamic world until today.

What this timeline shows is that when Islam's ability to lord its supremacy over Judaism and Christianity by excluding them from Jerusalem is not challenged, Jerusalem was ignored. However, when that ability is challenged, the Muslim world waxes poetic about how important Jerusalem is to their faith.

Guest Piece by Justin Amler

Justin Amler 

{Editor's note - this piece was written by Mr. Amler on Facebook and seems to me that he has a nice, concise grasp of the matter. In any case, as soon as I read this I said to myself, "I want it." He was kind enough to agree to its publication here. btw, I do not know if the link above will work on all browsers. It may be dependent on one's Facebook settings. - ML}

So it looks like the United States might finally recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital... something we Jews have known already for the last 3000 years. This is definitely welcome news, but it's more for world consumption than for the Jewish people themselves. At least President Trump had the courage to do it - more than any other previous US president. I just hope it's not contingent on Israel giving into some hidden demand somewhere...

But meanwhile the reaction to this news has been predictable.

The palestinians have threatened violence which hasn't happened since... oh... what... maybe 5 minutes ago? And it must surely be a nightmare being Abbas's secretary, because undoubtedly there'll be a 'Day Of Rage' scheduled. How does the secretary do it, because there are more 'Days of Rage' scheduled than days in a year!!

The Jordanians will huff and puff about international law and human rights (2 concepts completely foreign to them), even as their own fake country is built on the foundations of smoke and feathers. Maybe the louder they huff, it will stop people from asking on what legal basis do THEY even exist at all?

Turkey has threatened to break off diplomatic ties, still struggling with the fact that the Ottoman Empire is long gone and they don't get to threaten or dictate to Jews anymore. Perhaps they're suffering from Post-Colonial Stress Disorder...? They've got Hamas on speed-dial so maybe they can organise a dictatorship support group along with all the others countries and entities in the world having a heart attack about this.

The EU is having a fit - even as their countries become subject to more Islamic violence. While they are discussing more boycotts, maybe they can start off by boycotting all the security help they get from Israel??

Sadly, there will undoubtedly be violence, but it is not because of the rather obvious recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The violence would have come anyway and inevitably. It's because across the entire Arab world, there remains a single dot which isn't Arabic, but Jewish.

Small and proud and forever.

"Trump tells Abbas, Jordan king of ‘intention’ to move embassy to Jerusalem"

Michael Lumish

That is the headline for the Times of Israel written by AFP and Dov Lieber.

Well, my my my.

I am bit shocked, but happy.

I cannot know the extent to which this is shadow-boxing and bullshit, but presuming that it is true, it is a very big deal.

If Donald Trump got Mahmoud A. and Abdullah # II on the phone and said, "Sorry, fellahs, we're moving the embassy to Jerusalem" that is a very positive game-changer.

In fact, I would argue that so long as Jerusalem is up-for-grabs the conflict will continue and many more Jews and Arabs - not to mention Christians and others - will die in this Koranically-grounded conflict. The misery will go on and on. Israeli Jews will continue to come under rocket attack and twelve-year-old Palestinian-Arab know-nothings will ceaselessly throw rocks at automobiles on the highway or stab Jewish grandmothers in the throat.

This miserable thing will only be resolved at such a time when there is a clear-cut winner and a loser. So long as the "international community" - whatever that is, exactly - continues to insist upon a never-ending "peace process" then, by definition, there can never be peace.

The West, particularly the EU, gives no indication that it is interested in ending the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East. On the contrary, what it seems to want is for the "peace process" to continue ad infinitum.

So long as the naive and passive-aggressive West continues to believe, against all evidence, that what the Palestinian-Arabs actually want is a state for themselves in peace next to Israel then there will never be resolution.

As this graphic from our friends at "Prager U" clearly states:

pal_refusal

That is historically accurate, without any question.

If the Palestinian-Arabs wanted a state for themselves beside the Jewish one they could have had that long ago, but that was never the goal and it still is not.

Let us hope that Trump actually does move the embassy.

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

The participant that they have this week who most catches my interest is Judith Berman. I often read her material at the Gatestone Institute. She's tough as nails.

Nothing Left
3 min Editorial: Milo Yiannopoulos event in Melbourne

9 min Sharren Haskel, MK in Australia

32 min Judith Bergman, commentator and blogger

51 min Julie Nathan, ECAJ on anti-Semitism in Australia

1 hr 5 min Matthew Hausman MD, trial attorney and writer on antisemitsm

1 hr 28 min Danny Lamm, ZFA on Australia voting at UN

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Political Cowards

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

Courage the Cowardly Dog
Part of the problem that we have is the generally pussitudinous nature of most well-meaning, western-leftists when it comes to their politics.

That is, people will often hold strong opinions on political questions but are highly reluctant to discuss those opinions among people prepared in disagreement.

Or, if they are willing to engage in argument that argument often devolves into self-righteous ad hominem denunciations or disgust for those with the temerity to disagree with socially-prevailing orthodoxies.

The litany of accusations resembles religious chantings, with the snapping of fingers and the nodding of heads, as we see on the campuses.

Racism! Homophobia! Sexism! Transphobia!

"You are a cis-gendered, heteronormative, white male, patriarchal asshole, who needs to shut the hell up!"

{You are the Devil and the Power of Christ compels you! The Blood of the Martyrs compels you!}

But it must be understood that people who think in religious terms about politics have rarely thought through their positions and thereby rely upon intimidation, both social and physical, to shut people up, in much the same way that the Church used to and the Mosque still does.

It has less to do with the actual situation of lives as lived then it has to do with patrolling the permissible boundaries of acceptable theo-political discourse.

Among the things that I find disturbing about this historical moment in the West is the declining willingness of our friends on the progressive-left to actually discuss their positions with those who do not already hold those positions.

In some measure, at least, all of these "snowflakes" and Social Justice Warriors are embracing the Anti-Free Speech Movement.

Instead of reasoned argument they rely upon snubbing, silencing, de-platforming, dehumanization, mockery, social isolation, street violence, and an imperious refusal to engage the insidious individuals who they deem beneath their political contempt.

In today's political climate to so much as wear a red baseball cap makes one a "fascist" among idiots without the cognitive wherewithal to fairly articulate their own beliefs while listening to the beliefs of others.

The truth, as I have been endeavoring to get across to people, is that such a cowardly political stance represents the failure of liberalism.

If you consider yourself a liberal, but you oppose freedom of speech, then you are not a liberal.

You may be a socialist or a communist or a fascist or an anarchist or nothing whatsoever, but you are not liberal. If you do not believe in freedom of speech then you do not believe in the freedom of the individual, but rather power and control over the individual... all for the greater good, naturally.

Freedom of speech - whether Antifa or Black Lives Matter like it or not - stands at the very foundation of Enlightenment liberalism, which is the source of democracy... which is a little gift from those insidious dead "white" guys.

One cannot stand for democracy or liberalism or social justice or, even, general human fairness if one falters on freedom of speech.

Without freedom of speech, there are none of those things.

This should be Basic Civics.

This should be taught in the seventh grade.

Yet many of the highly educated, well-meaning, sophisticated idiots out there in the universe have yet to figure that out.

Furthermore, of course, the entire university-based movement in opposition to freedom of speech - as we have seen all over the country throughout 2017 - goes against everything that the university system, free inquiry, the empirical method, and liberalism stand for.

Fascists oppose freedom of speech which is why the German National Socialists did so.

Communists oppose freedom of speech which is why the Soviet Union threw those with alternative political viewpoints into "mental institutions."

Antifa and progressive-left college students oppose freedom of speech which is why they keep shutting down the campuses when they bring in conservative speakers like Milo Yiannapolous or Ben Shapiro or any number of alternative thinkers who were hounded off campus this year.

When I was growing up it was always the political right that endeavored to stifle free-expression of ideas, but times have changed.

Now, sadly, it is the political left that thinks it can intimidate people into ideological conformity.

I think that they are mistaken.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A way forward

Sar Shalom

First, some conditions that need to be addressed however Israel progresses.

One, there are between 2 and 3 million Arabs living in the disputed territory east of the Armistice Line.

Two, permanently denying them a say in the state that rules them is unacceptable.

Three, forcing those Arabs to leave or conditioning their gain of political rights on their leaving is unacceptable.

Four, including those Arabs in the Israeli polity would be highly undesirable.

Five, Jordan's conquest of 5.6 million dunams in the Independence War does not create a right for a future Palestine to encompass 5.6 million dunams.

As to number four, I am aware that the Palestinian Arab population is inflated and that they may not be enough to threaten the Jewish majority of Israel if they were granted citizenship. However, that is not the only threat from including them in Israel's polity.

Consider coalition politics in Israel today. The Knesset consists of 5 major blocs: the right, the left, the center, the chareidim, and the Arabs. Due to the nature of the Arab parties that exist, a coalition requires a majority of 61 MKs that excludes the Arab parties. In the current Knesset, the Joint List holds 13 out of 120 seats, meaning that a coalition requires 61 out of 107. Thus a simple majority of the Knesset of 50 percent plus 1 is effectively a requirement for a 57 percent supermajority of Jewish-party seats. Adding 2 million Arabs to Israel's electorate could very easily swell the Arab bloc to 30 seats or more, meaning that a coalition would require 61 out of 90 or fewer seats or a two-thirds supermajority of Jewish-party seats.

Given the ability of reaching consensus demonstrated so far, that would render Israel ungovernable.

Unfortunately, there is never going to be an agreement that ends the Palestinian national movement's (PNM) claims with Israel still standing. This means that any path forward would have to consist of unilateral Israeli action.

One factor working in Israel's favor is that the bulk of the Arab population in the northern portion of the disputed territory resides either west of a line running from Route 458 southeast of Ramallah to Route 578 to the northern section of the security barrier or in the vicinity of Jericho. As such, a unilateral action could be to draw from southeast of Ramallah to the security barrier in the north roughly following Routes 458 and 578.

Where that line passes Shilo, a corridor would extend west to the security barrier along Routes 60 and 5, expanding to Route 55 west of Ariel. An additional line would be drawn along some route from the intersection of Route 5 and the security barrier to Ramallah. Inside of defined perimeters west of Routes 457/578 and either south of Route 5 or north of Route 55, Israel would evacuate the settlements and make the vacated territory Area B. Outside of those perimeters, excluding the Jericho area, and north of Maale Adumim would be annexed to Israel.

Subsequently, the PNM could be told that if they ever display actions suggesting that they would not exploit any transformation of their jurisdiction into a state in order to enhance their war-making capabilities against Israel, Israel will start the process of transitioning their jurisdiction into a state and discuss borders for the southern disputed territories. Until then, Israel will sit pat and operate in the expanded Area B as she has operated in Area B for the past two decades.

I realize that abandoning Beit El, Yizhar, and many northern settlements would be a steep price for not even a pretense of peace. However, it would also mean annexing Ariel, Shilo, Maale Adumim, and the northern Jordan Valley, an act for which Israel could not hope to gain diplomatic cover without paying a price.

One requirement to go ahead would be diplomatic cover from the U.S. to acquiesce, if not recognize, Israel's partial annexation in the north. In order to defend against a future president like Obama reneging on this acquiescence, it would be necessary for it to take the form of a treaty that would be legally enforceable against future presidents.

At a more grassroots level, withdrawing from the perimeters I described would provide a counteroffer to the notion that Jordan's conquest of 5.6 million dunams entitles the Palestinians to 5.6 million dunams. Many will complain about Israel grabbing land in giving the PNM less than that. However, unlike during Obama's reign, they would not be able to claim that Israel must withdraw from any additional territory in order to avoid becoming a binational state. Further, it would define the Palestinians' territory in a small number of contiguous areas which would remove almost any objection besides their supposed entitlement to 5.6 million dunams.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have a pretty excellent line-up it looks to me.

Milo? I haven't listened, yet, but I am very much looking forward to it.

Barry Shaw and Dore Gold are very big names.

Juliet Moses, I do not know. But I am willing to learn.

You guys should tune in.

Nothing Left

2 min Editorial: Gideon Levy (Haaretz) and the AJDS

11 min Juliet Moses, New Zealand politics

29 min Milo Yiannopoulos

51 min Barry Shaw, alternatives to 2-state solution

1 hr 18 min Dore Gold, JCPA on UN Resolution 181

1 hr 31 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hijab Barbie

Michael Lumish

There is a lot of recent hoopla concerning the Hijab Barbie.

I honestly do not know what to make of it beyond the fact that Mattel wants Muslim customers for their Barbie collection.

Many would argue - and I definitely agree - that the hijab is a symbol of women's submission to men, particularly within an Arab-Muslim context, and is, therefore, an anti-feminist, anti-liberal, anti-progressive, symbol of injustice.

Others would argue it is simply about accepting ethnic diversity.

Still, others would suggest that it is a matter of creeping jihadism. The argument here would be that the purpose of jihad, including the non-violent kind, is the advancement of Sharia Law and that the hijab is a symbol of precisely that.

This is something that should be taken into consideration.

But, the truth is, Barbie is Jewish!

{She is still allowed Muslim friends, tho.}

Peter Coyote lays it out.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A description of anti-Zionism

Sar Shalom

The current issue of Conversations by the Institute of Jewish Ideas and Ideals contains an article, "Broadening Our Vision: An Introduction to Seven Interesting Middle Eastern Rabbis," by Zvi Zohar about a handful of Sephardic/Mizrahi. (The article is currently not online, but I could provide a link when it is available.) One of the rabbis profiled is Yaakov Moshe Toledano, born in Tiberias of Moroccan ancestry. During his days, Zionism, and the Yishuv which was its prime manifestation, was a controversial notion among religious Jews. Rabbi Toledano responded to the religious opposition to Zionism in a responsum where he wrote:
...in the belief that as long as we are in this hard Exile we are forbidden to lift up our head. Rather, we are commanded to bow ourselves down before every tyrant and ruler, and to give our backs to the smiters and our cheeks to them that pluck off hair (Isaiah L:6); as if the blood of Israel had been forfeited, and as if He—blessed be He—had decreed that Jacob be given for a spoil and Israel to the robbers (Isaiah XLII:24).
Rabbi Toledano wrote in reference to religious opposition to forsaking the lands of our exile. However, removing the reference to exile would make it refer to a more general audience. It would not apply perfectly, as the progressive-left does not view Jews as obligated to bow themselves down "before every tyrant and ruler," as Europeans/Americans and East Asians do not merit such deference. However, the Arabs, as an oppressed people, do merit such deference in their minds. Thus Rabbi Toledano's words as applied to the progressive left would become:
The Jews are commanded to bow themselves down before every Arab, and to give their backs to any Arab who would flog them and their cheeks to any Arab who would pluck their hair; as if Israel had been forfeited, and as if it was decreed that Jacob be given for a spoil and Israel to Arab robbers.
There is a word for that sentiment. That word is Anti-semitism.

"Palestine" is a Wraith

Michael Lumish

"Palestine" and "Palestinian" are European settler colonial terms for the land of the Jewish people. I think we should cease to use those terms or, at least, put them in quotes.

Or perhaps go with Palestinian-Arab.

In truth, the greater Arab nation gave the world "Palestinians" - a word which used to mainly refer to Jews living under the British mandate - as a challenge to Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land.

The Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.

The Arabs are settlers and colonists on Jewish land.

I certainly do not mind that Arabs live there. Nor do I mind that Chinese people or Venezuelans or the Easter Islandish live there.

But none of those folk can claim sovereignty because none of them are indigenous.

Only the Jewish people have a claim to indigeneity to that land and we must insist on this basic concept.

Everything flows from that recognition.

From a purely objective historical standpoint, only the Jewish people can claim indigeneity to Israel.

I mean, if a lonely band of Jebusites comes wandering from somewhere out of the desert, then maybe a case can be made otherwise.

But the Arabs are not from Israel.

They are not from Judea.

They are from Arabia.

We need to bang this into people's skulls.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Nine Reasons Why Progressives Do Not Understand Their Pro-Israel Friends

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

The western-left is befuddled and disgusted by pro-Israel diaspora Jewry despite the fact that pro-Israel diaspora Jewry supports the western-left.

These are nine of their fundamental misunderstandings:


Number One:  Anti-Zionism is not equivalent to criticism of Israel. 

Well-meaning western-leftists tend to confuse anti-Zionism with mere criticism of the Jewish homeland.

As I know that you guys know, they are not the same thing.

An anti-Zionist is someone who believes that Israel should never have been reconstituted as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Given Jewish history, such a wish is genocidal.


Number Two: there is a difference between criticism and defamation.

There is nothing wrong with criticizing any country, but when people, for example, call Israel an "apartheid state" that is an example of defamation. And, yes, it is anti-Semitic because the suggestion of such a claim is that Israel, much like apartheid South Africa, must be dismantled.

Thus see reason number one why progressives do not understand their pro-Israel friends.


Number Three: Progressives have little sense of proportion when it comes to Israel. 

They will call-out the lone, sole Jewish state for its alleged persecution of the Palestinian-Arabs yet never breath a word about the far worse treatment that virtually all non-elite Arabs receive from their governments in Arab-Muslim countries.

And no Arabs are treated worse than Palestinian-Arabs who are essentially used as pawns in the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East.

This is clearly a racist double-standard.

The people who most abuse Palestinian-Arabs are not Jews, but Arabs, themselves.


Number Four: Jews are the only people on the planet with a claim to indigeneity in the Land of Israel. 

There has been an ongoing Jewish presence on that land for a period of time that fades into prehistory.

The Arabs are from Arabia. They are not from Judea.

The Jews are, however, from Judea and Samaria.

The Jewish people are the only extant people in the world today with claims to indigeneity to the Land of Israel.

Jewish indigeneity is an underexplored aspect of Jewish history that - surprisingly enough - it takes a brilliant Métis, pro-Israel, football-playing Zionist to understand this better than do the Jewish people.

Jewish people, wherever we may live, are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.

Why does it take Ryan Bellerose, an indigenous American, to point that out? 


Number Five: Dhimmis -  including Copts, Yazidis, Kurds, and Jews - are among the historically oppressed minorities in the Middle East

The theocratically-infused Arab and Muslim occupying powers outnumber the rest of us by a factor of 50 or 60 to 1 in that part of the world.

This is how Oxford historian Martin Gilbert describes the centuries of dhimmi status in In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 - 33.
There could be no building of new synagogues or churches.  Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle.  Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims.  They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden...

Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews - and also Christians - were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims.  Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead.  Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public - an offense punishable by death.

Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque.  A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim.  A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.

Number Six: The Evil of "Whiteness"

Much of the Left sees Jews as "white" and "whiteness" as a form of oppressive consciousness that is embodied by people of European descent.

Oh, the shame of whiteness.

This is one of the essential racist aspects of the contemporary Left.

The truth is that genetic studies show that almost all Jews have a DNA root that goes to the Levant. Calling a Jew "white" because he or she may have some European blood would be like calling a black person "white" because a grandmother had relations with a white person.


Number Seven: Progressive-Left Racism

It must be understood that, outside of political Islam, the progressive-left is the most racist political movement in the West, today.

The Jewish people are being driven from Europe primarily due to the Islamist-Leftist alliance that we see playing out in European Union politics.

Hostility towards Jews is ratcheting-up throughout Europe and this hostility demonstrates the hypocrisy of western-left anti-racism.

It clearly demonstrates that the Left is highly particular about which types of racism that they approve of and which types they oppose. They do not oppose racism toward Jews as the Reem's case, among a variety of other cases - including that of Alameda, California high school student Natasha Waldorf -clearly shows.

Nor do western-progressives mind that Muslims are chasing Jews out of Europe and, further, they even tend to believe that Palestinian-Arabs have every right to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance" despite the fact that it has always been the Arabs who represent the hostile party... not the Jews.


Number Eight: the Jews have never prevented the Palestinian-Arabs from gaining a state of their own... even on our own land!

On the contrary, it was the Arabs who have turned down every single offer for statehood since the Peel Commission of 1937.

The progressive-left must stop blaming the Jewish people of the Middle East for Arab-Muslim intransigence in refusing to accept a state for themselves next to their Jewish neighbors.

This ongoing tendency from the EU and the UN and the US Department of State is indecent, unjust, and opposed to the facts of history.


Number Nine: The Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

The progressive-left loves dead Jews and despises Jews who stand up for the Movement for Jewish Liberation.

Well, ya know what?

Too bad.

Whatever anyone might think of the Jewish people we will stand up for ourselves whether anyone likes it or not.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fundamental Principles

Michael Lumish

Milo Yiannapolous
Sometimes it is important to refer back to fundamental political assumptions.

I am promoting the Yiannapolous interview on Nothing Left radio because Yiannapolous is interesting. The reason that he is interesting is because he straddles a line on the progressive-left hierarchy of victimhood that drives people batty.

He is Gay and part-Jewish. This would make him a natural fit for the western-left.

However, he is also conservative and anti-feminist, which also makes him a natural fit for the western-right.

For many people, Yiannapolous is a confounding figure. He refuses to fit pre-existing categories. He is not a scholar, but he is an exceedingly intelligent and well-educated individual with guts who rides the political winds high.

I am happy to promote Milo because I am a classical liberal... although I believe in regulatory capitalism rather than laissez-faire.

I believe in individual autonomy, representative democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and so forth.

Basically, I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America and, thus, I believe in the tradition that follows from English Common Law and the political Enlightenment as it played out from Magna Carta to Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am increasingly opposed to the Left because I am liberal, anti-racist, pro-democracy, pro-freedom of speech, and, thus, pro-Israel.

{I respect the faith of our fathers, but I am not dogmatic about it.}

But what strikes at my heart is the hypocrisy of the western-left which self-righteously proclaims its anti-racism.

They are not lying so much to us as they are to themselves.

Thus I want Milo to have his day in the sun.

He is certainly a far more decent figure, from a moral perspective, than is the insidious regressive-left anti-Zionist and Jew Hater, Linda Sarsour.

On the CTRL-L and the Conjuration of Demonic Political Golems

Michael Lumish

{This is a retread from a piece that I wrote one year ago to the day. - ML}

Since the recent election of entertainer and businessman, Donald Trump, to the Presidency of the United States, the American CTRL-L has rampaged through the streets of America's largest cities.

The CTRL-L is a combination of various racist, non-democratic, violently-inclined leftist groups - including Black Lives Matter, the Occupy Movement, the ANSWER coalition, and BDS - that infect the True Believers within the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party, of course, is a party in disarray where members are at one another's throats because of their recent defeat at the hands of a world-famous gazillionaire "outsider" who refuses to speak in the tired politically-correct jargon of the school-marmish, safe-space-seeking, yet semi-fascistic, Obama coalition.

What the various anger-driven misfits of the CTRL-L have in common is a shared contempt for the USA as a liberal democracy, for Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, and for the American people, in general, who still seem rather fond of the United States as a society grounded in liberal democracy and regulatory capitalism.

Since the CTRL-L has infected the Democrats it has - like everything it touches - turned that party into the realm of anti-American, anti-White, anti-Jewish "racists" who demand inclusivity with one another via the exclusivity of wrong-thinking Jews and right-thinking white people.

The CTRL-L is, needless to say, the ALT-R inside-out and backwards.

What they both have in common, however, is that neither is real as a distinct political movement... although one, it must be said, is considerably more materialized than the other.

As David Haggith put it in a piece entitled, Liberals Scared to Death by Their Own Caricature of Trumpettes:
Liberals are afraid of their own shadows right now. That’s because they’ve created anti-matter, Mr. Hyde caricatures of the Trumpettes — the average little guys who support Trump. These shadows that liberals have cast by their own self-deceit now surround them, and they believe the grotesquely exaggerated images they have created.

This false belief like any phobia is taking on its own life by creating mass hysteria in the streets of America. By that step, belief becomes reality. While the initial description that liberals painted of Trumpettes is false — they’re all misogynistic, homophobic racists — the hysteria is real, and that causes people to react with violence against whatever they fear. Those violent reactions become very real horrors that are not just painted in the imagination, and they divide the nation deeper, creating  fears that are now based on real horrible events that came about due to the original false beliefs. It’s like a panic attack that feeds on itself.
Just as there is no CTRL-L, so there is no ALT-R.

That racists, sexists, and homophobes live in the United States is unquestionably true.

That racists, sexists, and homophobes live in Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, and Pakistan is also true.

The so-called ALT-R appeared on the national stage directly before the election is obviously not a coincidence. It astonishes me, in fact, that the magickians who conjured up this monstrosity did not seem to think that we might notice. Prior to this most recent election virtually no one had ever even heard of any such creature as the ALT-R aside, perhaps, from a few pissed-off nincompoops banging their heads against their laptops.

Just as the CTRL-L is a recent conjuration of the imagination designed for political purposes, so is the ALT-R.

The progressive-left, the Democratic Party, and the Hillary Campaign, conjured up the virtually non-existent American fringe of White Supremacists, Klansmen, and other such cultural relics, in order to breathe life into them as a single menacing golem. They turned this fantastical zombie-like monstrosity onto the neck of Donald Trump but - as anyone familiar with the literature around golems will tell you - they have a tendency to turn on their creators.

For months, now, the ALT-R golem has stalked the countryside scaring the holy hell out of perfectly normal Americans. It is even responsible, in some measure, for the violence and broken glass in the streets of Chicago and Portland among those fighting the chimera-like demon.

In the end, however, the thing turned on its master and is now being chased through the streets by townsfolk with pitch-forks and torches and actual human beings are being seriously harmed, if not killed, as a result.

The irony, sadly, is that while both the ALT-R and the CTRL-L, as distinct political movements, are creatures of the imagination, the individual body parts have reality. However, the parts comprising the CTRL-L are considerably more real than the parts comprising the ALT-R.

For example, the ALT-R has the Klan and virtually everyone in the United States despises the Ku Klux Klan. We despise the Klan like we despise the Nazis. The Klan is so hated, in fact, that it doesn't even exist any more outside of the fringiest of the fringe-fringe.

The same cannot be said of the Black Lives Matter movement, with its Jewish problem and inspiration for highway overpass shootings of cops for political purposes.

Among extreme political groups, BLM is important enough to warrant the attention and appreciation of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

The Klan, however, has all the contemporary significance of a filthy white hood rotting beneath some porch in the Arkansas hills.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos on Nothing Left Live

Michael Lumish

{Also published by Jews Down Under.}

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman of Nothing Left on Australia's J-AIR radio conducted an interview with Milo Yiannopoulos to be aired on Tuesday, November 28, 9 to 11 AM, Melbourne time.

Yiannopoulos is one of the more notorious figures emerging out of the previous presidential election in the United States.

The guy is a British, Gay, conservative, secular Jew who will kick your rhetorical ass in a New York minute.

The reason that I like Milo is because he is brave.

The reason that many in the Jewish community despise Milo is because they think he is a degenerate.

So, good for Burd and Freedman for having the guts to bring him on.

The thing is, Nothing Left attracts top names from Dershowitz on down.

I am biased because I occasionally drop in to say hello, but the fact of the matter is that they also speak with Isi Liebler, Caroline Glick, Tuvia Tenenbom, Brigette Gabriel, Matthias Küntzel, Jonathan Tobin, Diane Bederman, Ted Belman, Gregg Roman, Dan Shapiro, Martin Sherman, and Avi Abelow.

And that is just since August of this year.

Anybody who knows anything about the Arab-Jewish conflict knows most of those names.

But Yiannopoulos is in a category unto himself.

Some refer to him as "alt-right," but, in truth, he is probably something closer to a "classical liberal"... perhaps bordering on economic libertarian.

He drives some people batty because they cannot stick him into pre-ordained slots within the identity politics Hierarchy of Victimhood.

He represents one example of how the term "alt-right" was (and is) used as a smear against people who having nothing whatsoever to do with "white nationalism" or "white supremacy" or the Klan or Nazis or anything even close to such nonsense.

The term "alt-right" is generally understood to mean "white nationalist."

It was coined by actual white-nationalist-nobody Richard Spencer who came to fame because the Clinton campaign needed a specimen who Hillary could smother in her "Basket of Deplorables."

Milo Yiannopoulos, however, is an openly Gay, half-Jewish Brit and a former editor for Breitbart - which is also an example of a venue that came into fame in the months leading to the astonishing triumph of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States. In truth, the best thing ever to happen to Breitbart and Bannon and the fellahs over there was the Hillary campaign.

Were it not for Hillary - or such is my claim - virtually no one would ever have heard of the "alt-right."

One thing that it is interesting to note is that Yiannopoulos and everyone's favorite antisemitic anti-Zionist, Linda Sarsour, came to widespread public notice during the same political moment.

They are both charismatic figures who carry their ends of the political zeitgeist.

The difference is that Linda is still enjoying her "fifteen minutes."

Milo got his cut short.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Social Media Notes # 3

Michael Lumish

On a Facebook post, Jordan Rapport wrote the following:
I don’t understand how so many progressives recognize the soft racism of the alt right, and Richard Spencer, but then turn around to display their own soft antisemitism through anti Zionism. It’s hypocritical and disgusting.
In the comments, the question of "intersectionality" came up.

Part of what I like about social media is that it gives me a greater sense of how people think.

Not just how intellectuals think, but how normal people think.

In this case, a person in the thread asked, what is "intersectional"?

I have to tell you, I take that as a terrific sign.

It makes me happy in much the same way that if I speak to a person and they have no idea who Linda Sarsour is... that makes me happy, too.

Good!

It means that antisemitic anti-Zionism, and its attendant "intersectionality," are not gaining quite as much traction as some of us might fear.

Nonetheless, I worry about some of our pro-Jewish / pro-Israel friends.

Sticking your neck out on this issue can be pretty fucking costly in a variety of interesting ways.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman hear from Stan Goodenough, a Christian advocate living and working in Israel who attended the Beersheba commemorative festivities last week, and then hear from acclaimed author, playwright and film producer Tuvia Tenenbom who is visiting Australia shortly.

The guys have a fascinating interview with British political commentator Jamie Palmer on why the Left hates Israel and catch up with Isi Leibler in Jerusalem as usual.

2 min Editorial: Balfour Declaration

8 min Stan Goodenough at Beersheba festivities

26 min Tuvia Tenenbom, author, film producer and commentator

51 min Jamie Palmer, political commentator on why the Left hates Israel

1 hr 30 Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The West Has Gone Bats!

Michael Lumish

{This is a fleshing out of an earlier thing that I called The U.S. Has Gone Bats!}

It is also published at Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}

Yes, that is the way it is.

I suppose that it is not surprising that my cohort, born in the 1960s, stomped on the Western Liberal Tradition.

This is to say that the contemporary Left is shedding its own intellectual heritage - defined by Enlightenment liberalism - and in the process is emerging as authoritarian, increasingly opposed to freedom of speech and thought, and increasingly antisemitic.

{One of my new favorite rebels - University of Toronto professor of evolutionary psychology, Jordan Peterson - would likely agree.}

And when I argue that my friends on the Left are trending against the "Western liberal tradition," I mean just that.

The contemporary Left is turning against the philosophical tradition of Enlightenment liberalism that emphasized rationality and individuality as it emerged out of the European Renaissance and took political forms from Magna Carta to the Constitution of the United States to the Knesset in Israel.

Instead, what we get today from the activist Left is reactionary, irrational, close-minded, violently-inclined, smug, stupid, arrogant, authoritarian, and dismissive of freedom of speech.

The American Left is often misdescribed as "liberal," but that is the last thing that it is.

The western-left, today, is opposed to the liberal tradition.

Among the reasons for growing American Left disinterest in the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism is because those of us who came of age following the Baby Boomers were trained not to believe in "Western values" by our Vietnam War era older peers and siblings.

From Abbie Hoffman to Alan Ginsberg to Noam Chomsky, much of The Movement, as Terry Anderson called it, prodded and poked at the ongoing viability of more traditional and allegedly objective European suppositions on how to apprehend truth.

It is no coincidence, after all, that the post-structuralist turn in western academia paralleled the Counterculture and the rise of the New Left toward the middle-end of the twentieth-century.

Our older siblings and friends who came out of the Vietnam War period, for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us.

The twentieth-century was a bloody nightmare and those of us raised on the Anti-War Movement, the Counterculture, and Civil Rights looked in directions - politically and personally - beyond anything that Eisenhower could have imagined when his boys stormed the beaches.

I do not know about you, but I grew up reading Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson and Joseph Heller.

It was all about rebellion and, in the cases of the latter three, hilarious rebellion.

{Kerouac was never particularly funny.}

The interesting question for me, now, is how it is that my generation - which both voted for Ronald Reagan and read Vonnegut - is now ushering in the current era of corrosive, hard-ass, high-handed, progressive-left identity politics which is shedding liberalism and tends to despise Israel.

From a political-social standpoint, it is a damn good question.

It's not that we are responsible for the never-ending malice and bloodshed in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. Nor are those of us who entered college in the United States in the 1980s responsible for the perpetual poverty of the urban poor, or climate change, or general human stupidity.

We inherited these joys to the world.

We are, however, responsible for the current state of American politics, which is absolutely dismal and, on the progressive-left, increasingly ugly toward diaspora Jewry when we speak out on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

The United States has not been this culturally torn-up since 1968.

American politics at this moment has people at one another's throats. It is ripping up families and friendships. It is resulting in violence in the streets from Berkeley to Charlottesville.

And, it must be understood, that the current toxic nature of American politics is encouraging the rise of the new white nationalism. I tend to downplay the white nationalist trend because playing it up increases its attractiveness to idiots so inclined.

But the difference between now and then is that by 1968 over 30,000 U.S. servicemen died in Vietnam in a war that seemed to have no end.

Women were still objectively second-class citizens.

And bigotry throughout the country was violent in a way that makes the contemporary South look like a racial shangri-la. 

I was born in 1963, the very year that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and almost exactly one year before Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer.

Despite the fact that I am a New York Jew, I can assure you that from a historical perspective race relations in the South are far better today than they were in 1963. It's not even close. An observer from Mars should be able to see that, yet somehow it seems lost on much of the contemporary American Left.

The causes of political tensions in the United States today are not due to war or sexism or racism like they were in 1968.

On every social-political level, the U.S. has made great strides toward social justice from that day to this.

The truth, in fact, is that the U.S. is among the most liberal countries on the planet.

This may sound old-fashioned but we hold out a greater opportunity to any man or woman of any "race, color, or creed" - as they used to say - than almost any place else on Earth.

We should be proud of how far we have come in so short a period of time.

We are well beyond where we were when Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Mall.

But we do not recognize it.

Instead, we tear down statuary of Robert E. Lee.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak firstly with Prof Bill Rubinstein about his article discussing the drift to the Left by our communal organisations.

We then hear from Middle East correspondent Benjamin Weinthal, and speak with Prof Efraim Inbar who was in Australia recently to promote his new think tank.


And Isi Leibler joins us as usual from Jerusalem.

3 min Editorial: Alan's observations on Europe

11 min Prof Bill Rubinstein controversial article on JCCV

27 min Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post European correspondent

52 min Prof Efraim Inbar in Australia

1 hr 25 min Isi Leibler on why we should be working with the Right wing Parties that support Israel

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The U.S. Has Gone Bats

Michael Lumish

That's the way it seems to me, anyway.

I suppose that it's not surprising that the people who are my age - and who are now running things - have turned the Western tradition into a fucking disaster.

And the reason for that is because we were trained not to believe in it by our older brothers and sisters and friends who came out of the Vietnam War Era and, thereby and for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us.

It's not that we are responsible for the never-ending malice and bloodshed in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. Nor are we responsible for the perpetual poverty of the urban poor. Nor are we responsible for Climate Change, the European Immigration Crisis, or general human stupidity.

We inherited that.

We are, however, responsible for the current state of American politics, which is absolutely dismal.

The United States has not been this culturally torn-up since 1968.

American politics at this moment has people at one another's throats. It is ripping up families and friendships. It is resulting in violence in the streets from Berkeley to Charlottesville.

And, it must be understood, that the toxic nature of American politics today is encouraging the rise of the New White Nationalism.

I tend to downplay the white nationalist trend because playing it up increases its attractiveness to those so inclined.

But the difference between now and then is that by 1968 over 30,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam in a war that seemed to have no end.

Women were still second-class citizens.

And racism throughout the country was violent in a way that makes the South, today, look like a racial shangri-la. 

I was born in 1963, the very year that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Despite the fact that I am a New York Jew, I can assure you that, from a historical perspective, race relations in the South are far better today than they were in 1963. It's not even close. An observer from Mars should be able to see that, yet somehow it seems lost on the contemporary American Left.

The cause of political tensions in the United States today is not due to war or sexism or racism like it was in 1968.

On every social-political level, the U.S. has made great strides toward social justice from that day to this.

The truth, in fact, is that the U.S. is among the most liberal countries on the planet.

This may sound a bit corny or old-fashioned but we hold out a greater opportunity to any man or woman of any "race, color, or creed" - as they used to say - than almost any place else on the planet.

We should be proud of how far we have come in so short a period of time.

We are well beyond where we were when Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Mall.

But we do not recognize it.

Instead, we rip down statuary of Robert E. Lee.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

I am Free from Reem's Racist Stupidity!

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}



Reem Assil and her malicious, anti-Zionist friends challenged the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and promptly got their legalistic butts kicked.

{Good for them.}

Anyone who followed the story of Assil's extremist and terrorist-admiring restaurant at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland knows that her attorneys dismissed her malicious "lawfare" action against Bob Pave, Robin Dubner, and myself.

This was due to the insightful work of Mitch Danzig, Evan Nadel, and Paul Huston of the law firm, Mintz Levin.

Speaking strictly for myself, I owe those gentlemen a significant debt of thanks.

There are, however, a few loose ends dangling that I want to tie up.

The first is that I owe an apology to StandWithUS, particularly Randy Kessler, Executive Director of the Northwest chapter.

And I owe a big tip 'o the kippa to Yael Lerman, Director of the SWU legal department.

{Were I her I do not know that I would have been quite so nice to me.}

When, during the vigils, it looked as if we would get zero support from the larger San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community, I lambasted that organization and stormed into Kessler's Facebook space with a self-righteous fit.

It was inappropriate, unfair, and I was wrong to do it.

Nonetheless, despite my bad manners, SWU did more to help the ongoing vigils at Reem's than any synagogue or other Bay Area Jewish organization.

After coming out of this nonsense, however, I have one significant message.

It is this:

The western-left is not a friend to the Jewish people and "intersectionality" as expressed within left-leaning politics is racist.

This is my "takeaway" from all of this mishigas.

There are plenty of self-identified progressives and "liberals" who are, indeed, great friends of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel. I do not mean to insult or castigate my progressive friends, but the obvious fact is that the western-left, in general, is unfriendly toward Israel.

According to recent Pew polling 40 percent of "liberal Democrats" support Palestinian-Arabs over the Jews in the Middle East, while only 33 percent favor the Jews.

Those who stood up with me against Reem's racist restaurant included members of the LGBT community and a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, yet we were called both homophobes and White Supremacists by the "progressives" who opposed us.

This is what the Left has descended into.

The people who confronted our vigil and who outnumbered us by a factor of at least three-to-one were entirely from progressive-left organizations and pro-Palestinian groups.

Despite all the evidence that is available - as Professor William Jacobson from the Cornell University Law School readily demonstrates - they still prefer to believe that Rasmea Odeh's confession was beaten and raped out of her over twenty-five days, despite the fact that the records show she admitted her guilt on the day immediately following her apprehension by the Israeli authorities.

We even have Aisha Odeh, Rasmea's partner, boasting of the murders and implicating Rasmea on Palestinian Authority television many years later.

The International Red Cross observed the trial and found it to be fair.

What more can anyone want?


Intersectionality and the Killing of Oscar Grant

It should also be noted that on the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's bakery-cafe is a button or badge reading "Oscar Grant."

Oscar Grant was the young black man shot dead by Oakland police on New Year's Eve 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale  BART Station within spitting distance of Reem's joint. The shooting sparked riots in Oakland and Reem Assil is trying to associate Rasmea Odeh with Oscar Grant for the purpose of associating Palestinian-Arab antisemitic anti-Zionism with the movement for "social justice" in the United States.

She is exploiting that movement and, in the process, is suggesting a sort-of ideological kinship between Grant, who was a victim, and Odeh, who is a murderer of innocent people. It seems to me that the Black community should be unhappy at the implied comparison.

In any case, the fundamental idea behind the intersectionalist trend is that just as African-Americans are said to be oppressed by the powerful "white patriarchy" in the United States, so Palestinian-Arabs are said to be oppressed by the powerful "Jewish white patriarchy" in Israel. The notion is that Zionism, like White Supremacy, is an oppressive system of dominance that must inevitably crush the Palestinian-Arabs under an iron boot.

These separate forms of alleged injustices are all thought of as sewn from the same racist and rapacious ideological cloth.

Needless to say, progressive-left anti-Zionism and intersectionality leave Jewish people out of the progressive-left Good Guys Club. Jews are considered "white" and "whiteness" is considered a predatory form of consciousness.

Meanwhile, the idea that Jewish nationalism must be crushed while Palestinian-Arab nationalism must be celebrated is racist, yet this is precisely what Assil is promoting by shoving Rasmea Odeh into the face of anyone who happens into her place. Since Odeh is a murderer in the cause of antisemitic anti-Zionism the message is that violence toward Jews - even to the degree of blowing people to smithereens - is honorable.

This is shades of 1930s Berlin and every Jew who passes that mural on the way into the Fruitvale BART Station has been put on notice.

Western-left intersectionality and the related identity politics, as practiced today, dockets people according to a racialized and gendered hierarchy of victimhood. The value of the individual depends on where they fall within the hierarchy. Jewish people, and particularly Jewish men, are at the very bottom of the hierarchy - along with men of European descent - and thus killing Jewish people is considered understandable under the toxic logic of progressive-left intersectionality and identity politics.

Within progressive-left identity politics the murder of Jews is simply an expression of the Palestinian-Arab "resistance" to Jewish oppression. Assil and her friends consider Odeh innocent not because of the evidence - which clearly demonstrates her guilt - but merely because they want her to be innocent. And even if she is not, her actions were fully justified as a matter of the "liberation" of the Palestinian-Arabs.

Such a view is nothing more, nor anything other, than genocidal racism toward the Jewish people.


A Dash of Jewish History

For thirteen centuries the Jews of the Middle East suffered under the heel of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, along with the Christian population, within the system of dhimmitude as we call it in the West.

Although dhimmitude varied from century to century, and within the various areas of Arab-Muslim dominance, it was never better than Jim Crow at its worst.

Jewish people were not allowed to repair synagogues. They were not allowed to hold a position of authority over any Arabs. They were generally not allowed to ride horses or defend themselves in the streets. They were not allowed to possess homes that overlooked the homes of the dominant majority Arab population. Speaking ill of the prophet Muhammad was punishable by death, as was Jewish sexual relations with Muslim women. In some places Jews were not even allowed outside during a rainstorm lest their Jewish filth run into the streets, thereby contaminating the dominant majority population.

And we had to pay the jizya, otherwise known as "protection money." The formal process of that payment was designed to be a humiliating experience for the purpose of reinforcing our lowly place within Arab-Muslim culture.

{See, Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, Yale University Press, 2010.}

Furthermore, the Palestinian-Arabs have turned down every single offer for statehood from the Peel Commission of 1937 until this moment and the greater Arab nation, which outnumbers the Jews of the Middle East by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1, have never ceased trying to destroy Israel and thereby reduce the Jews who survive back to second and third-class non-citizenship.

And, yet, intersectionality in the mouths of western-leftists blames the Jewish people for the never-ending Arab-Muslim, Koranically-based hostility toward us.

When I attended the first vigils at Reem's restaurant my grievances with the progressive-left were largely theoretical. It seemed clear to me that by embracing various forms of racism - such as anti-white racism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, and what Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed "Humanitarian Racism" - and through their growing opposition to freedom of speech, that the Left was (and is) shedding its liberalism and, thereby, hollowing-out its very reason to be.

{Progressivism without liberalism is authoritarianism, after all.}

Now, however, the criticisms have moved from the theoretical to the personal because Assil and her supporters tried to drag me into court for the purpose of shutting down my freedom of speech. People have suggested to me that this was a test case designed to challenge the American commitment to that primary freedom.

From where I sit, despite the howling of precious snowflakes from UC Berkeley to Columbia University, the First Amendment of the Constitution remains strong.

Now if only we could somehow get more Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to understand that the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's remains an ongoing call to violence against the tiny Jewish minority wherever we may be in the world.

What does it say about a political movement that it venerates a genocidal Jew murderer in the name of "social justice"?

As a matter of fundamental human decency, the mural of Rasmea Odeh should be removed from Reem's racist restaurant.

I have been in touch with Terry Joffe Benaryeh who has a piece in the Times of Israel concerning the murder of Edward Joffe entitled, The day joy vanquished my terror. 

Terry is Edward's niece.

My guess is that she and her family would heartily agree.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The #MeToo Campaign

Michael Lumish

The problem with the #MeToo campaign - like the problem with the Women's March - is that it has no tangible goal or reasonable definitions.

People will post a #MeToo for anything from a catcall on the street to a brutal beating and rape in a parking garage.

Because no boundaries are set half the women that I know are #MeTooing. This lends credence to the toxic notion of "rape culture."

The next and most important objection is that this is demeaning to actual victims of rape.

I understand that the #MeToo campaign is a more-or-less spontaneous netroots action but its lack of necessary distinctions undermines its credibility.

One good question to ask is whether or not the individual #MeToo references an act that broke the law.

If it did, then you have every right to stand the fuck up. You should and I very much respect your bravery.

If it did not, you are on less firm ground.

When I was about 8 years old I found myself in the men's room of Grand Central Station in NY. The man next to me started looking at me and jerking off into his urinal.

Should I #MeToo?

I do not think so.

Yet, another problem with the #MeToo Campaign is that it skews itself.

Many people, including men, will #MeToo primarily out of a sense of social pressure and wanting to belong to a campaign that their friends are joining and that requires no personal commitment whatsoever.

There is a social pressure to #MeToo because people want to feel that they are part of something meaningful and because they have friends who do it.

There is a bonding.

More importantly, there is also a relief and recognition among women who were, in fact, sexually violated to know that other women share their experience and are willing to speak out.

As a man, I can never understand what it is to be raped - Men's Movement bullshit to the contrary - but it does not take tremendous empathy for women to understand the importance of sharing the experience of that violation, that crime, with other women who have gone through it.

And, finally, there is a sense that maybe we, as a people, can do something about this.

This is the reason that the #MeToo campaign came into being.

We can call attention to an important problem.

In this way, the #MeToo campaign can do some good.

It will help some percentage of women in a way imperceptible to the vast majority of men.

However, what it will also do is punch men's tongues directly down our throats.

This is the negative side of it.

{Sorry, guys. Your job is to shut up, nod your heads, and go to Confession.}

Your job is to worry over your sins and think about how you can become better human beings... whether you are guilty or not.

My hope is that this brief cultural tid-bit does something to ease the suffering of victims of rape.

My fear is that it will further agitate and divide a country that is already driving itself bats.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

If you didn’t speak the fuck up when...

Michael Lumish

{Written and published at Fallen From Grace.}

"If you didn’t speak the fuck up when Ethiopian Jews were being persecuted in Ethiopia and you didn’t speak the fuck up when Jews in France were getting beaten up and you aren’t speaking the fuck up about how Yemen is forcing Jews to convert or leave right now, you do not get to tell us we have no place in Israel. You do not get to critique our means of survival. You do not get to tell us we have no right to the only place that gives a shit about our safety. You do not get to tell a group of oppressed, persecuted people how to handle our survival when you never gave a shit about us in the first place."