Tuesday, April 18, 2017

UC Berkeley Islamophobia Conference This Weekend

Michael Lumish

I will be writing on the 8th Annual UC Berkeley Islamophobia Conference coming up this weekend for Campus Watch under the auspices of Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum.

The foremost questions that I have, vis-a-vis Islam and the West, are concerned with the compatibility of Sharia with Enlightenment liberalism.

That is, I fail to understand how a juridical-political system of patriarchal Islamic supremacism can possibly be consistent with the Constitution of the United States or fundamental notions of universal human rights as found, for example, within western feminism.

I also called the cops and the mayor's office in that town because they seem to have lost the plot.

I doubt that I will run into trouble because American Islamism is not the same as progressive-left fascism, but just look at this mess:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

UCLA’s Gelvin Buries Obama’s Middle East Policy Failures

Michael Lumish

{Also published by Campus Watch , the Daily Caller, and Jews Down Under.}

"How will history judge Barack Obama in terms of his policies and actions toward the Middle East?" asked UCLA Professor of Middle Eastern History James Gelvin at UC Berkeley.

A crowd of around 100 students and faculty, some in Muslim attire, crammed into a small conference room in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Stephens Hall to hear Gelvin’s lecture. The venue was tight and some students squatted just outside the door near a cameraman filming the lecture for online distribution. He spoke with a map of the Middle East projected onto a wall behind him and near a series of posters reading in Arabic and English, “In Accordance with Sharia Law” and “Have a bit of commitment – Inshallah.”

Gelvin’s answer to his opening question—that Obama’s policies were in line with his predecessors’ during the Cold War—strained credulity and mirrored the Middle East studies establishment’s strategy to defend Obama’s record regardless of the chaos it sparked.

The Trump administration’s airstrikes against a Syrian military airfield following a chemical attack in the six-year civil war that has left hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead and millions displaced is only the most recent evidence of this chaos. Iran’s march toward the production of nuclear weaponry encourages a regional nuclear arms race, while the rise of ISIS and the subsequent slaughter of the Yazidis, Middle Eastern Christians, and thousands of Muslims further reveals Obama’s true legacy.

Gelvin downplayed these shortcomings and said that Obama sought a return to a non-interventionist foreign policy, which he claimed was typical of U.S. behavior in the Middle East during the Cold War.

He began by quoting an unnamed Obama critic who wrote that “the abandonment by the world’s leading power of its leadership responsibilities” led to the disaster that is the Middle East today. Gelvin attacked what he called a consensus among political analysts that Obama sidestepped vital issues, such as Syria, lacked requisite foreign policy experience, and practiced an “overabundance of caution,” thereby projecting American weakness and lack of resolve.

Calling this view false, Gelvin argued that during the Cold War America’s primary foreign policy goals in the Middle East included blocking Soviet intervention, maintaining access to fossil fuels for Western markets, promoting stable pro-Western powers (whether democratic or otherwise), and preserving the independence of the Jewish State of Israel.

The fundamental difference between Bush II and Bill Clinton, according to Gelvin, is that Clinton, as a liberal internationalist, believed the West had the right of intervention so long as it could be justified as representing the will of United Nations. Bush and the so-called “Neo-conservatives” felt less constrained—so much so, in fact, that Gelvin referred to “Neo-conservatism” as the “evil twin” of liberal internationalism, but without the constraints of international law.

Gelvin’s apologia for Obama was unconvincing. Was U.S. policy during the Cold War even remotely “non-interventionist”? Given the U.S.-backed toppling of Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadeq in 1953, the Suez Crisis of 1956, the direct U.S. intervention in Lebanon in 1958 and again in 1982, and the placing of medium-range ballistic missiles in Turkey prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, among many other actions, the answer is “no.”

Moreover, it is highly questionable to term Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East “non-interventionist.”

During the falsely named “Arab Spring” in 2011, Obama either enacted or abetted the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who was killed after U.S.-initiated regime change, and Egypt’s military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who was removed from power and thrown into prison thanks in part to Obama’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies. This is hardly non-interventionist.

Moreover, Obama’s acolytes railed at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before Congress opposing the Iranian nuclear deal, and the Obama administration inserted itself directly into the last Israeli election with the intention of ousting Netanyahu from power.

Where Obama was “non-interventionist,” it was to uphold his deal with Iran. Thus, he ignored the pleas of Iranians in the 2009 “green revolution” for support against the regime and chose not to enforce his 2013 “red line” threat against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons.   

Whether Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East was driven by a naïve desire to retreat from traditional U.S. responsibilities around the world or by a high-minded, carefully-vetted analysis with the Cold War as a model, the Middle East is a wreck and Obama eroded the trust of U.S. partners in the region, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Historians of the Middle East will wrangle over Obama’s legacy in that region for years to come and if Gelvin’s analysis is any indication, the tendency to downplay the former president’s failures will persist. As information become available and events unfold that contradict the official narrative, they may find apologetics increasingly difficult.

Focusing on the wrong things, and where attention should be turned

Sar Shalom

A common refrain from supporters of Israel is that the PA has to condemn terrorism if it wishes to be accepted as a civilized organization. However, for the PA to condemn terrorism is meaningless. What is needed is for the PA to accept a definition of terrorism that does not change depending on the identity of the perpetrator or the identity of the victim. The following characteristics define terrorism:
  • physical violence
  • intended to influence political events
  • targeted at those with no nexus to a legitimate casus belli.
If all three conditions are met, the action is one of terrorism, and the absence of any one them means that the action is not terrorism. Both hold whether the actor is Muslim, Christian, or Jewish; or whether the recipient is Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. Rather than seeking a condemnation of terrorism, we should seek acknowledgement of such a definition of terrorism.

However, even properly addressing terrorism is of limited value. The focus on terrorism starts from the premise that no ends can justify the means of terrorism. However, if the only thing wrong is their reliance on terrorism, if the ends are fundamentally sound and the only problem is their means, then what would be wrong with promoting BDS? An would be, as Einat Wilf has said, "you can have a violent struggle for a noble cause, and you can have a non-violent struggle for a very sinister one. To establish that their ends are illegitimate, we have to insist on three points:
  • The Jews are a people.
  • The Jewish people are deeply connected to the Land of Israel in particular and Jerusalem in particular.
  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forgery.
One could complain that centuries ago, the Arabs/Muslims acknowledged the Jews' connection but still suppressed the Jews under their heel. However, making that acknowledgement now would have a critical difference from then. Back then, they had the means to keep the Jews under their heel on their own. Today, they require the help of do-gooders in the West in order to reinstate that past. In order to gain those do-gooders' help, they need to portray the conflict as one to establish justice which requires portraying the Zionists as foreign colonialists. Acknowledging those three things means telling the West's do-gooders that justice actually means providing something for the Jews and thus they would have to give up on getting their help in expelling the Jews.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with US commentator Jeffrey S Wiesenfeld about his fears for the future of US Jewry, and we then hear from Mustafa Akyol, a self-described moderate Muslim on the place of Islam in the modern world.

The fellahs speak with Swedish journalist/politician Nima Gholam Ali Pour on how life for Jews in Sweden is getting worse, and Isi Leibler joins them as usual from Jerusalem.



3 min Editorial: latest Palestinian advocacy

9 min Jeffrey S Wiesenfeld, on US Jewry and Israel

52 min Mustafa Akyol, Muslim US-based journalist

1: 15 Nima Gholam Ali Pour, Swedish journalist/politician

1: 32 Isi Leibler from Jerusalem

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

Or at our 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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Jewish Left and the Conflict between Multiculturalism and Universal Human Rights

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

It's very sad, really.

I am watching my former political home, the American progressive-left, rip itself into ideological pieces.

In an apparent effort to reconcile the irreconcilable - i.e., the multicultural ideal (as represented by Sharia) with universal human rights (as represented by western feminism) - it is throwing Enlightenment liberalism, and with it the tradition of rational discourse, directly into the toilet.

Things have gotten so bad that in the universities the very notion of rational discourse, as we received it from Enlightenment, is increasingly viewed as a racist, sexist, heteronormative social-political construct designed to serve the white patriarchal power structure.

Here, for example, is an uncomfortable truth that illustrates the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights within the progressive-left, but which they refuse to even discuss:

You cannot favor Sharia and be feminist both at the same time.

Sorry, Linda, but this is one of those reasons why I call my Elder of Ziyon blog "Acknowledging the Obvious."

I have no doubt that since Linda Sarsour recently sprang into the national spotlight off the political corpse of Hillary Clinton that there have been any number of people trying to square this circle. If someone can point me to a source wherein that was accomplished - where Sharia law and feminism were intellectually reconciled -  I would like to learn of it because maybe I am wrong.

What do I know? I make no claims of expertise in Sharia.

All I know with certainty is that the Jews who refused to allow themselves to be chased out of Israel by the Romans faced thirteen centuries of oppression and persecution under that juridical philosophy in the centuries between Muhammad and the Ottoman defeat in World War I.

A mere thirteen centuries.

Although the rules of "dhimmitude" varied from place to place and century to century within the Islamic world, Jews, along with other dhimmis, like Christians and Zoroastrians, could not build homes on land above those of Muslims. We could not ride horses. We could not carry weaponry and had no rights of self-defense, nor access to courts of law. While the Byzantines may have used the area around the Western Wall for a garbage heap, the Muslims simply built a mosque above what was the Hebrew Temple and declared the holiest site of the Jewish people as forever non-Jewish.

And it is not as if this is merely some abstract, irrelevant, historical detail from the past.

It is not as if I am merely holding a historical grudge.

It is ongoing.

It is at this historical moment, like every other for century upon century, that popular Islamic preachers regularly call for the murder of Jews. Yet much of the left provides them with cover by portraying the Jews in the Middle East as the oppressors of the innocent "indigenous Arab" population.

Thus, if an American Jew, such as myself, so much as suggests that keeping jihadis out of the United States is a good idea we are subject to progressive-left contempt. Who are we, after all - we grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jewish immigrants from the Pale of Settlement - to deny succor to Arab children of war? Who are we beneficiaries of American generosity to deny that generosity to others?

These would be terrific questions were they not entirely otherwise.

Most Jews do not want to see jihadis move in next door because Sharia is a political theory that spells violent Jewish subjugation. Opposing the Jihad is no more prejudicial toward Muslims than opposing Nazism was prejudicial toward Germans. We do not have a problem with Muslim immigration into the United States. We do have a tremendous problem, however, with the importation of the Jihad into the United States as we are seeing currently in Europe.

Jihadism is a theo-political philosophy, an aspect of Islam, that calls for the spread of Sharia throughout the world. People who oppose the rise of political Islam are constantly told that all Muslims are not jihadis.

Let me assure you that we know this, already, but that is not the point.

We also know that this rhetorical tactic is a diversion. It is a method of evading the necessary national conversation around immigration policy. But, if anyone thinks that opposing the Jihad is the same as opposing Muslims, in general, then it is they who think of all Muslims as crazed head-choppers seeking the reinstitution of the Caliphate, not their political opponents.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party and the progressive-left are basically telling their Jewish constituency that if we wish to remain in good-standing we must embrace the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people from a culture that despises us and harasses our kids on university campuses throughout the West.

These are the same universities that turn a blind eye, or - as in the case of San Francisco State University - actually support and defend student groups calling for the murder of Jews. When the anti-Zionist contingent at SFSU confronted the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on that campus, they cried out, "Intifada! Intifada! Long live the intifada!" This is nothing less than shouting for the racist murder of the Jewish people directly into the face of a prominent Jewish leader among Jewish students and staff at an allegedly "liberal" college.

The irony is rich.

Nonetheless, SFSU president Leslie Wong believes that the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) "is the very purpose of this great university."

The reason for all of this ideological chaos and inconsistency is because the progressive-left is increasingly anti-liberal and thus increasingly in opposition to its own professed values.

We see it at UC Berkeley when leftists beat the holy crap out of Trump supporters or pepper-spray them in the streets.

UC Berkeley (2017)
We see it when they demand ideological conformity over free speech and, thus, undermine not only the honest interrogation of ideas, but the very foundation of social justice, to begin with.

Ultimately the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights is undermining Enlightenment liberalism. In the ongoing, but largely unspoken, tension between these twin progressive-left ideologies multiculturalism is slowly devouring universal human rights and liberalism along with it.

This decline in significance of universal human rights led, in recent decades, to the progressive-left and Democratic Party betrayal of women, Gay people, and minorities throughout the Middle East, the emergence of the new politically-correct racism at home, suppression of freedom of speech on the campuses, and the rise of left-leaning antisemitic anti-Zionism throughout the West.

The progressive-left has, in fact, betrayed us all, particularly those of us who counted on it the most.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Michael Lumish

UC Berkeley, 2017
I am currently engaged in an on-line conversation with a real world friend who is a self-described communist.

A communist, for chrissake.

But, in truth, I love people with the gonads to stand up against the crowd. I mean, even in the San Francisco Bay Area it's not so easy to come out as a communist. Although, to be fair, this guy would also term himself a "democratic socialist."

He's a Bernie guy.

I am hoping to engage this person, for whose intelligence I have respect, on the question of political Islam. On his FB page I put it like this:
...do you consider the rise of political Islam (or "radical Islam" or "Islamism" or whatever you want to call it) to be a serious political problem? Do you think that the Left, in general, does?

For myself - speaking as a member of a minority group long targeted for genocide by this movement - I do.

However, I do not see much interest on the Left in even discussing the matter, in part because it is ethnically sensitive; in part because it is associated with those horrific alleged sub-humans on the Right; in part, because it pushes against Clinton-Merkal style globalism; and in part because the sense on the Left is that rise of political Islam is a justified response to western imperialism.
What we are seeing at this moment, I am becoming increasingly convinced, is the erosion of liberalism within the left, which is why I also told him this:
It's all about the willingness to fairly engage ideas. One of my primary criticisms of the left is that it is shedding its liberalism... by which I mean, yes, Enlightenment liberalism. The very foundation of the liberal political viewpoint is the willingness to interrogate ideas. This is the dividing line between liberalism and totalitarianism and this is precisely why freedom of speech is integral.

Yet, at Berkeley we get this:

"Fuck free speech, bitches."

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week we speak live in the studio with Emily Gian, Media and Advocacy Director at the Zionist Federation of Australia; we then discuss the views of Sen James Patterson on Section 18C (unfortunately the audio quality was not suitable for broadcasting).

We speak live with Andrew Bolt, also on Section18C and Islam, and then hear from Canadian Diane Bederman on Islamic immigration and its effect on Jewish life in Canada.



3 min Editorial: Islamic terrorism

9 min Emily Gian, ZFA

36 min Sen. James Patterson’s views on S18C (discussion)

50 min Andrew Bolt, S18C and Islam

1 hr 16 min Diane Bederman, Canadian writer on Islamic immigration

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

Or at our 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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hijab Cool

Michael Lumish

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

Twenty-First Century "Hijab Cool"
When I was growing up in the outskirts of New York City in the 1970s there was hardly a hijab to be found.

Of course, when I was growing up in the outskirts of New York City in the 1970s there was hardly a Muslim to be found, either.

There were only a few more Muslims in Kingston, N.Y. or Trumbull, Connecticut than there were Jews living in Mayberry, North Carolina, ten years earlier, with that nice Sheriff Andy Taylor and his cute little boy, Opie Cunningham.

It was only long after 9/11 - as political Islam stridently re-asserted its presence on the international stage - that I focused on political Islam and its relentless hostility toward Gay people, women, and dhimmis throughout the Middle East. Christians in that part of the world have it the worst, as Raymond Ibrahim will be more than unhappy to inform you. Although neither Europe, nor the Vatican, seems to much care, there is a Christian genocide happening right at this very moment throughout much of what was the Byzantine Empire.

To the extent, however, that as a kid I even thought about Muslims I figured that they were pretty much like everybody else. I grew up somewhere in the middle of the middle class, during the early years of the Age of Sesame Street, and my friends were from all across the ethnic kick-ball court.

Irish kids. Black kids. Italian kids. Asian kids. Catholics. Protestants. Jews. It was all just part of the mix and virtually none of us gave a damn one way or the other.

Although I did not realize it at the time, I grew up during a period when the United States, in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, was well into the process of moving beyond racial animosities. I came across the occasional antisemitic slur, because it's not as if all of my neighbors were head-over-heels in love with either Jewish people or Gay people or Black people to begin with.

Yet us kids played baseball together and went fishing together and hung out after school. Most of our parents were not particularly bigoted, and considerably less so than were their parents, and we were less so, still. The United States was shedding its prejudicial past as minority groups moved into the professional class, as women gained social and economic equality, and as Gay people, through the efforts of people like Harvey Milk in San Francisco, gained acceptance in the general culture toward the end of the twentieth-century.

Sadly, however, the ideal of ethnic and gendered diversity has been replaced on the illiberal progressive-left by multicultural fragmentation and identity politics as represented by the hijab... all of which moves in a direction entirely counter to Martin Luther King, Jr.s liberal dream of equality.

The hijab is a symbol of Muslim supremacism, not liberal diversity.

It could recently have become a symbol of liberal diversity in the United States if people like faux-feminist icon, Linda Sarsour, had made it so, but they did not. There is nothing essentially anti-feminist about any style of headscarf, so long as it is worn voluntarily, but unfortunately that is not the case for hundreds of millions of women throughout the Muslim world.

If Sarsour, and those westerners unironically adopting an Islamic patriarchal style of women's apparel in the name of feminism, had made it clear that they oppose the rise of political Islam things might be different. If they had stood up for the 1,200 women victimized by the mass rapes in Cologne on New Years Eve, 2016, things might be different.

But they did not.

On the contrary, contemporary feminism betrayed its essential values precisely because it failed to speak up for the rights of women, Gay people, or dhimmis in either Asia or Europe. Thus it becomes difficult to see how contemporary feminism can possibly be said to stand for universal human rights.

By embracing the hijab western feminism drains itself of ideological content. It stands for everything and nothing, which is precisely why the recent Women's Marches held aloft no specific demands even as they reduced women to their sexual organs and wore pink "pussy hats." Thus, whatever anyone might say about Sarsour, she is not liberal and neither is contemporary feminism.

For most of us from the various abused ethnic minorities who lived for thirteen centuries under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, the hijab is not a cool western fashionable accessory representative of "hip" culture.

On the contrary.

For Jewish people - and other dhimmis familiar with their own history - the hijab is, along with the keffiyeh, a symbol of ethnic oppression. The keffiyeh is to many Jews what the Klansmen's hood is to most African-Americans. It represents the intention of violence towards one's own people in order to ensure racist political objectives, by any means necessary.

And the keffiyeh, needless to say, is born of the hijab.

Understand, however, that if the Muslim world had given up on its imperialist tendency to oppress all non-Muslims then I would not care about the hijab. I am no more offended, for example, at the Christian cross, or a nun's habit, then I am at the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because none of those things represent hostility toward Jews. Christianity traversed the European Enlightenment of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and came out the better for it because it heightened the value of self-criticism within Christian culture resulting in a humanistic sensibility.

Whereas Catholicism formally renounced its doctrinaire Jew-hatred in Vatican Council II, Islam has never done any such thing and God knows that they need to. 

The cultures under Islam, including most of those in the West, have simply not gone through a similar liberal reformation and couldn't give a fig about western-left liberal notions concerning the freedom of the individual. From the seventh-century until the present, most of the Muslim world treats women like chattel, murders Gay people outright, and seeks the elimination of Jewish self-determination and self-defense on the very land of Jewish ancestry.

Whatever else the hijab represents it has absolutely nothing to do with western liberalism, feminism, or universal human rights.

The corporate embrace of the hijab, much like the now-and-again corporate embrace of hip socialist iconography, is a way of co-opting cool for the purpose of making a buck. 

In The Conquest of Cool, historian and Baffler publisher, Thomas Frank, argues that the New York advertising agencies were key in creating the 1960s counterculture and I feel reasonably certain that Mad Men's fictional Don Draper - who at the end of the series we are led to believe created the famous 1971 "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" Coke ad - would have agreed.

In the meantime, while Madison Avenue seeks to make a few bills marketing the hijab, the western-left is shedding itself of liberalism.

The primary question facing contemporary western feminism, therefore, if they wish to maintain anything resembling ideological credibility, is just how they square one of the world's foremost symbols of patriarchy, the hijab, with their alleged devotion to women's equality?


Friday, March 24, 2017


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An open letter to David Friedman

Sar Shalom

Congratulations on being confirmed as president Trump's ambassador to Israel. I have no doubt that you will be a good friend of Israel. There are no limits to the extent of which I believe you will be a good friend of Israel. However, can you be a great friend of Israel. Allow me to explain the difference between a good friend and a great friend. A good friend is someone who adopts policies that help Israel. A great friend is someone who induces others to adopt policies that help Israel. This is particularly important because your time in office will be limited and your long-term impact will be based on the effect you have setting the framework for how your successors view the region.

The narrative. As a new report from the BESA Center demonstrates, western support for the Palestinians is based on false narratives. Convincing someone to support Israel thus requires a narrative in which, under that individual's value system, Israel is the good side. In contrast, the currently prevailing narrative is that the conflict is one of Israeli Goliath against Palestinian David. This narrative would explain Obama's obsession with the settlements, even if it can't be proved that it was the motive.

The David and Goliath narrative has two components. One is the Palestinians as innocent victims. The other is of Israelis as capricious victimisers. Both components will have to be confronted explicitly as just providing the litany of Israel's contributions to society will leave adherents of the narrative saying that it does not excuse Israel's victimization of the "innocent" Palestinians.

Overall theme. The main thrust of the following sections is that the essence of the conflict is, as Einat Wilf describes it, is the inability of the Arabs and Muslims to accept the fact that those whom they have historically treated as inferiors are now claiming equality and exercising power in their midst.

The way forward. Many in the West believe that the way to move forward on peace and to help the Palestinian people is to put pressure on Israel. On the latter issue, even many supporters of Israel concur, with the response being only to limit the help given to the Palestinian people if the cost to Israel is too high. Call attention to facts that complicate this narrative. For instance, visit Israeli Arabs like Ali Salam and Gabriel Nadaf who can show what genuine cooperation with Israel can yield. Visit one of get-togethers of Palestinian leaders like Sheik Jabari with the settlers to show that the settlements are not an unambiguous hindrance to Palestinian aspirations.

Media coverage. Bring in Mattie Friedman and Mark Lavie to identify what issues are systematically buried by the media's code of omertà and devise strategies to create scenes that would force those issues onto the media radar screen.

Finally, avoid simply asserting that their narrative is wrong. Simple assertions that the narrative is wrong will be dismissed. Instead, call attention to uncontrovertable facts that challenge the narrative and force them to bob and weave to reconcile the narrative with those facts.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Alt-Whatever

Michael Lumish

I am convinced that the words "alt-right" and "alt-left" - and, my favorite, "CTRL-L Delete" - are essentially alt-meaningless.

Hillary basically conjured the New Fear out of thin air on the campaign trail in order to paint Trump as a racist. Most people never even heard of Breitbart - which, from what I can tell, is not a racist outlet, anyway - until the Clinton campaign sought to shore-up their victory. The Klan is irrelevant in the US, as are Neo-Nazis, and there is no sudden vast re-emergence of white nationalism happening anywhere in the US.

In other words, they have the country on a very dangerous witch-hunt and its mainly the well-educated and sophisticated among us who tend to buy into this politically convenient myth.

I did not advocate for Trump, nor did I vote for him. Nonetheless, I have lost friends for being insufficiently hateful toward the man, as if my lack of hatred toward Trump is partly responsible for the rise of the New American Nazism, which does not exist.

That, for me, represents this political moment.

It is my guess that future historians will note this as a period of near mass-hysteria, something akin to the Red Scares of the 20s and 50s, but this time coming out of the American Left.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Facebook Note: the Left versus Liberalism

Michael Lumish

In a comment under a post for the Rational Zionists Facebook page, Jason Paluch drew an important distinction between liberalism and the Left. I would link to that specific comment, but it is a closed group so I cannot.

Nonetheless, Jason wrote, "Just like how all conservatives are not racist members of the Ku Klux Klan, or whatever the local equivalent of that is, not all of those left of center are naive dupes and useful / useless idiots for Islamists. I'll remind you that it was classical liberals who won both world wars, and created Western civilization itself."

This is my comment in response:
The distinction between Left and liberal is crucial.

A liberal is someone who draws his political philosophy from western Enlightenment notions of social justice and thus believes in democracy, individual freedom, and equality of opportunity.

On economic matters, liberals favor western-style capitalism, although usually with a significant social safety net. For this reason socialists, democratic or otherwise, are not considered liberal.

On racial matters, liberals believe that individuals should be judged according to their individual characteristics as human beings, rather than as representatives of particular ethnic groups docketed within a hierarchy of victimhood. For this reason, identity politics is not liberal, either. Thus organizations like Black Lives Matter are Left, but not liberal.

Finally, and most crucially, liberals believe in the open interrogation of ideas and, thus, freedom of speech. The Left, on the other hand, believes in politically-correct speech codes that have a chilling effect on the free expression of ideas through tactics that run from social shunning to litigation.
It seems to me that the Left is in the process of driving out its liberals.

Am I wrong?

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week the first half of the program is dedicated to discussing J Street - we hear from Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) and speak with Daniel Mandel of the Zionist Organisation of America.

We then hear from journalist Sol Stern on the disgrace that is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and hear from Italian journalist Giulio Meotti on the Islamisation of Europe.

Alan Dershowitz and Isi Leibler in Jerusalem  shares their thoughts on J Street and American Jewry.


3 min Editorial: Alan on J Street

10 min Daniel   Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) on J Street

23 min     Daniel Mandel, ZOA on J Street

29 min     excerpt from a J Street supporter [ Israel should be destroyed]

43 Min     Alan Dershowitz on J Street

48 Min Alan Dershowitz comment on J Street from one of our previous interviews with him

49 min Sol Stern, journalist on UNRWA

1: 8 min Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist on Islamisation of Europe

1: 31 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem on J Street and American Jewry


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

Or at our 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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ha'aretz Spits at the "Mensches"

Michael Lumish

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

Lavarnway, Freiman, and Zeid (Seoul, 2017)
Japan beat Team Israel last Wednesday to eliminate the "Mensches" from the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Nonetheless, Israel did far better than anyone thought possible. Manager Jerry Weinstein and the guys were not expected to even qualify for the tournament and the oddsmakers pegged them at a 200 to 1 longshot to win the whole kaboodle.

Israel defied expectations by not only qualifying for the series, but making it into Round 2 until the Netherlands and Japan blocked their run in the Tokyo Dome. Still, the guys did phenomenal and my poker-money says that they will do so again in 2021.

The primary question for those of us covering Team Israel, however, is just what to make of their terrific effort? Is there some larger meaning that can be culled? Does the Mensche on the Bench, as conjured by outfielder Cody Decker, really have Kabbalistic powers?

I suspect not, but what is clear is that Ha'aretz - Israel's version of the "paper of record" - is not a big fan of Team Israel.

One thing that I will always remember about this series, aside from the Mensche, himself, is the contempt of Ha'aretz for their own national ballclub. It's a bit sad, but I never much liked Ha'aretz, anyway, because I am not "post-Zionist." 

While it is obviously true that not all Jews are citizens of the sovereign state of Israel, we are part of the nation of Israel because we are part of the Jewish people. The very word "Israel" - whether Ha'aretz likes it or not - refers to both the Jewish State as well as to the Jewish people as a whole. The general policy of the State of Israel since 1948 - and of the yishuv in the British mandate - was to hold Jewish people close as brothers and sisters as those of us in diaspora do likewise.

I am not convinced that Ha'aretz is quite on-board with this old-fashioned notion, however.

"This Spit" (Sweden, 2016)
Once it became clear that Team Israel was doing well in the tournament - after their surprise upsets in the preliminaries in Brooklyn, New York, and then the amazing sweep at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul, South Korea - it was just too much for Ha'aretz.

In two articles attached to their rather flat description of Israel's victory over Team Cuba in the first game of Round 2, Ha'aretz spat at their American bat-wielding brothers.

On March 9, Simon Spungin portrayed Team Israel as comprised of foreign usurpers and on March 12, Chemi Shalev did the same.

In At World Baseball Classic, I'm Rooting for 'Team Nice Jewish Boys' Spungin wrote this:
Sure, they're Jewish and, by Israeli law, they could become Israeli if they wanted to. But they're not. They are Americans and they have been brought in as ringers, plain and simple.
This is unjust, malicious, and the title oozes condescension.

The point of the World Baseball Classic is to promote baseball to an international audience. This is why any player eligible for citizenship in any country may play for that country and that is why we see Major Leaguers from the United States playing for teams all throughout the world. In fact, Team Israel does not have a single player currently in the bigs, but this is not true for other countries who have non-national big league stars playing for their country.

In a September 28 ESPN article, How Israel made major progress at World Baseball Classic qualifyingThomas Neumann explains:
We know what you're thinking. Why is a de facto Jewish-American all-star team representing Israel?

WBC eligibility rules are more flexible than those which govern most federated international competitions, including the Olympics. By WBC rules, a player is essentially allowed to compete for a nation if he fulfills the criteria whereby he would be eligible to become a citizen of that country. Israel isn't the only country that benefits from this rule, but its religious status makes for a unique situation among WBC teams. The nation's Law of Return allows anyone with a Jewish parent, grandparent or spouse to become a citizen.

MLB established this policy with the idea of growing the game globally. After all, a tournament where a handful of established teams crush inexperienced competition would serve as an insincere invitation to nations where MLB has growth interest.
Notice how much more kindly ESPN is to Team Israel than is Ha'aretz. 

Is there any other newspaper in the world that represents itself before an international audience as the voice of that country that so fiercely attacks its own sports teams during international competitions?

I sincerely doubt it.

The WBC did not devise this rule out of some nefarious Zionist plot to rob more virtuous people from their proper baseball glory to the benefit of the Jews. Someone needs to inform Ha'aretz that the WBC created this rule because they want to promote the game and hope to see it permanently reinstated as an Olympic sport which is why the best players from anywhere in the world can play for any team so long as they are eligible for citizenship in that country.

I have never seen this before.

Why would Ha'aretz go after Team Israel if not to niggle at political divides between Jewish Israelis and their brothers and sisters in the diaspora?

In order to further delegitimize the Israeli presence at the WBC, on March 12 Ha'aretz published this gem by Chemi Shalev entitled, Why Stop at Baseball? Israel Should Also Recruit Scarlett Johansson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bernie Sanders:
We may view it as a natural expression of the eternal link between Jews and their Promised Land, but one can hardly blame others if they take a more cynical view of a baseball team that uses God’s Covenant with Abraham as a pretext for manning their pitching roster.
Tell me, does this just not drip with arrogance and condescension?

None of this, obviously, has anything whatsoever to do with "God's Covenant" because the game - Billy Crystal's cosmic baseball dreams aside - has nothing to do with theology. I am no one's idea of a rabbi, for chrissake, but I am pretty sure that baseball does not figure highly in Torah learning.

Cody Decker hugs the "Mensche"
The pitching roster reflects the team and the team reflects Israel and Israel reflects the Jewish people.

And that is precisely what Ha'aretz cannot swallow.

We all know that Ha'aretz pays money for anti-Semitic anti-Zionists like Amira Hass and Gideon Levy to retch hatred at Jewish people who do not toe their political line. For example, Hass actually believes that stoning Jews in Israel is "the birthright and duty" of Palestinian-Arabs.

So, while many of us have long understood that Ha'aretz is the toxic little Israeli brother of the New York Times, I never figured that they would actually hurl poison at Jewish ballplayers in order to get a kitzel behind the ear from New York.

As far as I am concerned Ha'aretz can go straight to hell. 

It speaks neither for the Jews in Israel, nor for those of us in diaspora.

It speaks only for the Democratic Party which, itself, is neither a friend to the Jewish people, nor the Jewish state.

It might as well bring on anti-Semitic anti-Zionist and Democratic Party activist Linda Sarsour to decide its editorial policies.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It ain't over til it's over

Michael Lumish

All the Mensches need to do is beat undefeated Japan in the Tokyo Dome tonight.

No problem!

Go Mensches!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mensches Beat Cuba! (Updated)

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under}.

Team Israel Manager, Jerry Weinstein
I am flabbergasted.

They did it again!

The Mensches have taken four wins straight during the tournament, thus far, after winning three in a row in the qualifying matches last September.

Team Israel, a 200 to 1 underdog to actually win the World Baseball Classic (WBC), beat 8th-ranked Cuba yesterday after taking the Netherlands last Wednesday (4 - 2) and generally whooping ass.

The guys play under manager Jerry Weinstein who has an endearing, toothpick-chewing, Pepe the Frog quality.

{Frankly, the man scares me.}

Coming into the qualifying rounds, Israel ranked a lowly 41st among WBC participating teams but went undefeated and beat Great Britain twice to qualify for tournament play. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the opportunity to beat Great Britain a third time.

If Brazil had not crushed Pakistan (10 - 0) in the preliminaries then we would have seen Team Israel versus Team Pakistan in the semifinals.

Sadly, it was not to be.

Pakistan is the only Muslim country with representation at the WBC. Unless we are pleasantly surprised, do not expect to see any other Arab or Muslim country so much as apply for the qualifying rounds for 2021. The Middle East is a baseball-benighted land and we are all the poorer for it.

The sad truth, of course, is that only Jewish Americans truly understand the game of baseball on its purest, Kabbalistic level.

Famous Jewish actor and comic Billy Crystal insists that as a child sitting in the old Yankee Stadium he saw Mickey Mantle hit a baseball so hard and high that it went up into the clouds... and simply never returned... or, at least, that is my recollection of his recollection from the Ken Burns miniseries Baseball.

I have little doubt, however, that Mantle's baseball - lo, these many decades later - is still circling the Earth and gravity will eventually erode its orbit and deliver it to precisely the spot where the House that Ruth Built once stood.

{Will wonders never cease?}

Gocheok Skydome, Seoul
Since coming into Seoul's futuristic Gochoek Skydome in Round 1 of the tournament, Israel has been unstoppable against clubs considered far better than the mensches on the benches.

They have not lost a single game.

This is pretty amazing for an outfit that was not even expected to make the tournament when they showed up in Brooklyn's MCU Park last September for the qualifying matches.


"The Jew Crew"

Part of what I love about all of this (win or no win) is that Team Israel truly is an underdog. Many of the guys - who sometimes wear t-shirts reading "Jew Crew" - have big league experience, but unlike other teams none of them are currently playing in the bigs.

The United States, ranked number 2 behind last year's winner, the Dominican Republic, has World Series veteran, and All-Star player, Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants behind the plate.

The Mensch in his Cosmic Goodness
None of them, however, aside from Team Israel, have the cosmic assistance of the "mensch on the bench"... and that makes all the difference.

Furthermore, anyone who knows anything about baseball and American Jews knows that, as Forrest Gump might put it, we go together like peas and carrots.

Throughout the twentieth-century baseball represented one of the key methods wherein first-generation Jewish boys assimilated into American culture by involving themselves in street-lot baseball games from the Bronx to the Golden Gate.

Without baseball - and its attendant character-building baseball brawls - the Jewish-American experience would have been something very different.

This will come in handy because, as Elli Wohlgelernter quips in the Jerusalem Post, "They will have a tough battle in the next round, when they face Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq simultaneously."

Update:

Oh, and by the way, why must Ha'aretz suck as badly as it does?

It has two articles attached to their rather flat description of yesterday's defeat of Cuba and both just drip with irrationally mean-spirited condescension.

Simon Spungin, At World Baseball Classic, I'm Rooting for 'Team Nice Jewish Boys'

And Chemi Shalev, Why Stop at Baseball? Israel Should Also Recruit Scarlett Johansson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bernie Sanders

In both they seek to delegitimize the Mensches.

What a bunch of schmucks.

Israel doesn't have a single player currently playing in the majors, while other teams do, yet they call the Mensches "ringers."

For chrissake, these guys are just trying to promote the sport and either revive their careers or make a final bow, yet Ha'aretz feels a need to shit all over them.

Y'know, I didn't think much of Ha'aretz before, but now I just see them as vile.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mensch on the Bench

Michael Lumish

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

Cody Decker with the Mensch
Well, I have to tell you, I am just eating this up.

The Times of Israel tells us:
Israel’s national baseball team clobbered Taiwan 15-7 Tuesday, racing off to a 2-0 start in the country’s first-ever appearance in the World Baseball Classic.

Powered by strong hitting and capped by a three-run homer by Nate Freiman in the top of the ninth inning, the Israeli team continued its fairy-tale start to the international tourney, all but clinching a spot in the next round, after beating Korea in the opener 2-1 Monday.
So, this is a baseball team comprised almost entirely of American Jews that can play under the flag of Israel because they are eligible for Israeli citizenship. The World Baseball Classic rule is that any player can play for any team so long as that individual is eligible for citizenship in that team's country.

Well, that's definitely OK with me and it also explains why the Netherlands are as good as they are.
Israel next faces The Netherlands, considered a weaker team than both South Korea and Taiwan, but still ranked way ahead of Israel, which is seen as a heavy underdog.

The top two teams from each group in the 16-team tournament will advance to the second round in Japan next week.
Jews as underdogs. Imagine that.

There are four "pools" (or divisions) of four, making up sixteen teams total.

As I write, Pool A (Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Netherlands) is meeting at the very cool Gocheok Skydome - home of the mighty Nexen Heroes - in Seoul, from March 6 until March 10.

Pool B (Japan, Australia, China, and Cuba) is playing in the Tokyo Dome from March 7 until the 11th.

Pool C (Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and the United States) is playing in Marlins Park, Miami, from March 9 until the 14th. And the U.S. team is fielding two of my favorite players from Major League Baseball, Giants star-catcher Buster Posey and fellow Giant shortstop Brandon Crawford.

Pool D (Italia, México, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) is playing at the Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco, Mexico, from March 9 until the 13th.

This tournament is only getting started and, thus far, Israel is kicking ass and will move on to Round 2 in the Tokyo Dome.

From an academic or political standpoint, however, there is one very important question.

It is this:

Who the hell cares?

Most of the world does not care about American baseball.

Although Israel's participation in the World Baseball Classic has raised a curious eyebrow for Aussie Dave of Israellycool fame, I wonder if my other Australian friends even know that they have fielded a team in this Great American Hot-Dog Eating and Beer-Swilling Endeavor? **

Do you think that Shirlee from Jews Down Under cares about the World Baseball Classic?

Ha!

That's why she's not an American, dammit!

The Babe in Japan (1934)
U.S. ballplayers and business interests have tried and failed to get others involved in this most glorious and beneficial of all human sports for one-hundred years, but no one is interested outside of Far East Asians and our brothers and sisters from Oaxaca to Caracas.

They even dropped baseball from the Olympics.

Sure, they love it in Japan, but even then it took Babe Ruth - arguably the greatest American to have ever lived outside of 1930s Detroit Tigers first baseman Hank Greenberg - to talk some sense into that heretofore baseball indifferent part of the world.

Nonetheless, it raises questions.

For example, it is possible, although unlikely, that Australia could meet Israel in round 2 in Tokyo next week. Would it be wrong for Australian Jews to root for Team Israel? Would that make them bad Australians with dual loyalty?

On the political left nationalism is bad enough, but would not this make these bourgeois Australian Jews "dual nationalists"? Uber-nationalists? Nationalists squared?

And, if so, just how do these rogue Jewish Australians reconcile their Jewish nationalism with their Australian nationalism?

Or, God Help Us, what if Israel goes up against the United States in the final game for the championship on Wednesday, March 22 at Dodger Stadium?

What then?

What am I supposed to do, huh?

Make Aliyah?

And just what about this Israel as underdog business?

Most diaspora Jews - if not Israeli Jews - are raised to think of ourselves as underdogs with a moral-ethical obligation to help other underdogs, which explains the heavy involvement of American Jews in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as earlier socialist and communist activities in New York City throughout the twentieth-century.

Underdog status, particularly in the contemporary zeitgeist, is both sympathized with and free of moral obligation... just ask anyone from Black Lives Matter.

In any case, Team Israel meets the Netherlands at 7 this evening by my clock.

The Netherlands are a heavy favorite... but so were Taiwan and South Korea.



** (A Tip 'O the Kippa to my buddy Jason Paluch.)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman ask three parliamentarians invited to the Netanyahu event in Sydney for their view of the function: Senators Brian Burston (One Nation), James Patterson (LNP), and David Clarke (LNP).

We then hear from author Dina Gold who wrote a book about her quest for justice in recovering her family's building confiscated by the Nazis, and speak with Israeli soldier Tzur Goldin who is leading a campaign to recover the slain body of his twin brother Hadar, which is currently being held by Hamas.

And of course, Isi Leibler joins us from Jerusalem.

3 min Editorial: J-Air’s fundraising campaign

12 min Senator Brian Burston (One Nation)

21 min Senator James Patterson (LNP)

30 min Senator David Clarke (LNP)

40 min Vox pop clip from Netanyahu event

50 min Dina Gold, author of Stolen Legacy

1 hr 7 min Tzur Goldin, brother of captured & killed soldier Hadar

1 hr 28 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

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

Or at our 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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, March 6, 2017

The answer

 Sar Shalom

 In response to my earlier post, the one answer was one of envy. This gets at part of the answer, but leaves out why exactly the speaker's envy was so extreme as to cause such a reaction. What would have been interesting would be if someone had given the liberal cognitive egocentric answer for this reaction, which would be along the lines of that the object that envy was somehow responsible for the speaker's inability to afford proper clothing for her children and through that action gained the means to afford her fine clothes. That answer is of course wrong, however, in being wrong demonstrates the fallacy of liberal cognitive egocentrism.

The correct answer can be ferreted out from the words just before the main quote:
"What!" she resumed, "that horrible, beautiful young lady, who gazed at my daughters with an air of pity,--she is that beggar brat!"
Some background for those who don't know the story of Les Misérables, early in the story, Fantine had left her daughter with the Thenardiers, innkeepers in the Paris suburb of Montfermeil, as she went to look for work in her more conservative home town. The Thenardiers accepted the money from Fantine to do so, but exploited Cosette mercilessly while doting on their own daughters. Eventually, Fantine's daughter was discovered and she lost her job as a result. But when the owner of the factory learned of Fantine's plight, he resolved that he would rescue Cosette from her situation. After Fantine's death, Valjean did so and settled in Paris with Cosette. Several years passed and the Thenerdiers lost their inn and moved into Paris where they eked by on whatever they could get from others, whether legitimately of illegitimately. During this time, Valjean distributed some of his savings from when he ran his factory to the poor of Paris, which led to his encounter with the Thenardiers as described in the quote.

Now for why this whole vignette is relevant to this blog. The motive for saying "Oh! I should like to kick her stomach in for her!" is not that far off from what would motivate one to say "Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab!," which is to say, the Palestinians. However, in the case of the Palestinians, the popular explanation in the West for their enmity is the liberal cognitive egocentric explanation that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians' misery and profiting off of the acts that cause that misery. However, a true understanding of the Palestinians' motivation would require a looking at the history of the Jews in the southwest Levant on a larger historical scale, like in Einat Wilf's and Adi Schwartz's article in The Hill. The key description of the conflict is:
As far as Muslim theology and Arab practice were concerned, the Jews were non-believers, only to be tolerated, never as equals. They should have never been allowed to undermine Muslim rule over the lands, which the Jews claimed as their homeland, but the Arabs viewed as exclusively theirs since conquering them in the seventh century.
In other words, the Palestinian national movement has historical memory of Jews living in its midst as the slave-girl Cosette lived in the Thenardiers' inn and came to believe that that state was the natural and proper order of the universe. However, their current reality is that they are like the Thenardiers in Paris and the Jews have developed the way Cosette did since the Thenardiers lost their inn. However, they capitalize on the fact that the liberal cognitive egocentrists only see that the Palestinians are in "misery" and the Israel is living well and swallow the narrative hook, line, and sinker that there is a connection between the two. We must confront those liberal cognitive egocentrists with the prehistory of the conflict.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Is it racist to oppose fascism of color?

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

Charlie Hebdo Cover, Oct 2014
Many westerners seem to believe that opposition to political Islam (Jihad) is equivalent to racism.

This is why progressives - or what Dave Rubin, and others, refer to as the "regressive-left" - so vehemently oppose the vetting of Arab-Muslim immigrants into the United States.

They honestly do not care about the rise of political Islam, or Koranically-based violence against innocent people, because they tend to believe that Jews, Americans, and westerners deserve whatever beating radical Muslims are prepared to dish out.

As an American of the Jewish persuasion, however, I would very much prefer it if newly minted Americans from the most antisemitic part of the world did not think that the Jewish people were the unnatural cosmic offspring of swine and orangutan in need of a good slaughtering in the name of Allah.

Does this make me a bad, or ignorant, person?

Probably.

But if you assume that opposing political Islam is the same as opposing Muslims then you must think that all Muslims are jihadis who wish to spread Sharia by any means necessary.

They aren't.

In fact, I might even go so far as to suggest that if you think that denigrating or mocking or opposing jihadism is the same as "Islamophobia" than it is you who are the racist.

The defenders of political Islam, and mass Muslim immigration into the West, need to stop confusing Muslims with jihadis and they need to stop conflating opposition to political Islam with racism. Suggesting that western opposition to the Jihad is the same as opposition to Muslims is something akin to suggesting that British opposition to Nazism during World War II was the same as a racist opposition to Germans.

It isn't and it wasn't and the very notion is both hateful and absurd while turning history inside-out and backwards.

Furthermore, "progressives" need to stop implying that Jewish opposition to the murder of our own family somehow indicates an essentialized Zionist form of racism. They need to stop suggesting that speaking out against the rise of political Islam, from any quarter, is a form of retrograde white redneck bigotry against a perfectly innocent indigenous population "of color."

And, make no mistake, this is precisely what the Left and the Democrats say to their Jewish friends when they suggest that opposing unvetted Arab-Muslim immigration into the United States is "racist."

It isn't because it does not matter where a person comes from or the color of their skin.

It does not matter what languages they speak or what deity they worship or refuse to worship.

It does not matter what their sexual orientation is.

It does matter, however, when people from the Middle East or North Africa teach their children to despise non-Muslims as a religious imperative even as they seek immigration into the West.

These are a people with a long and proud history that predates the rise of European civilization and they should be accorded respect. In doing so, however, they should be treated as equals and therefore as responsible for their own views and behavior, including their views on Jewish people.

This matters very much.

According to Anti-Defamation League polling statistics the Muslim Middle East is absolutely roiling with hatred toward the Jews. 75 percent of Egyptians despise Jews. 78 percent of Lebanese despise Jews and a whopping 93 percent of Palestinian-Arabs do so.

And it is spreading.

Mosques emphasize Arab-Muslim innocence and western / Jewish aggression in Haifa and Malmö and Brooklyn, NY... home of our friend, Linda Sarsour.

They teach ideologically-inspired hatred toward Jews and "crusaders" in Paris and London and Berlin.

The truth, of course, is that Islam is the single most successful theocratic imperial project in world history.

muslim conquests
Early Islamic Imperial Expansion
Therefore, those of us who care about how Islam meets the contemporary secular west are watching the results unfold in Europe and most of what we see is violent and ugly.

We remember the jihadi murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, a one-time colleague of Islamic apostate Aayan Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands. We remember the fatwā placed on the head of author Salman Rushdie for daring to pen The Satanic Verses. We remember the unbelievably brutal near-beheading of Lee Rigby in the streets of southeast London in broad daylight. We are cognizant of such things as Islamic rape-gangs in Britain.

And we are well-aware that aggression toward indigenous peoples throughout world history is not the privilege of Europeans alone.


The Failure of Discussion

Thus the question of Muslim immigration into the West is an exceedingly serious matter that must be honestly discussed... but it is not.

The western-left and the Democratic Party have made any such discussion impossible via the politically-correct tactic of silencing, shunning, and de-platforming "deplorable" speakers... which is to say, anyone whom they disagree with.

And this is the reason that we end up with fascistic "anti-fascists" beating the hell out of innocent people at UC Berkeley at the mere presence of Milo Yiannopoulos who, whatever else he may be, is not a white nationalist.

The fire of progressive-left hatred toward Trump and his supporters is so intense, so polarizing, and so irrational that normal discussion on important issues, such as immigration, has become impossible.

When "progressives" and Democrats shut down discussion of Arab-Muslim immigration into the United States as "racist" they also block discussion of anti-feminist, anti-Jewish, anti-liberal, pro-Sharia influences into Europe and coming to an American movie theater near you.

This shutting down of discussion on immigration also blurs any candid distinction between jihadi immigration and the immigration of regular Muslims.

This is not a matter of "racism" against jihadis - as if there could be such a thing - but it is a matter of ideological blinkertude on the part of westerners who condescend to Muslims as little children in need of a cookie.

If mainstream and non-traditional opinionators throughout the West would look up for a moment from their incessant, self-serving, emotionally-driven Trump-bashing, they might consider honestly discussing the question of mass Muslim immigration into the West.

polling2But they don't.

Nonetheless, according to recent Pew polling, terrorism was second only to the economy in the election that brought Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.

Along with economic issues, whether progressives and Democrats like it or not, immigration combined with terrorism top the political charts.

The reason that many of us came to the rational conclusion that we need a tightening on immigration policies is because for too long the European Union, with the assistance of globalist neo-liberals like Angela Merkel, refused to do so and we see the results.

For example, the other day Trump referenced the immigration crisis in Sweden and was roundly spit upon by media and politicians, both here and there.

The truth, however, is that Sweden and Germany are experiencing street violence and serious social consequences due to their open-borders policies and because of Muslim disinterest in European social and cultural integration.

Democrats need to understand, as philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris emphasizes, that Hillary's failure to honestly discuss the problems of mass Muslim immigration into the West is one of the reasons why she lost the recent election.

If Democrats wish to take back the U.S. Presidency in 2020 it might be helpful to be forthright with the American people concerning the immigration crisis in Europe and what that suggests for U.S. immigration policy going forward. We need not draw foregone conclusions, but we very much need to have an open and fair national discussion around the question free of partisan demonization.

It might also be helpful if the Democratic Party would let their constituency know that opposing the Jihad on American soil is not racist toward Muslims. This will have to be something hashed-out between the Bernie / Ellison semi-socialist wing and the Obama / Hillary neo-liberal, corporate wing of the Democratic Party.

However, until western-progressives affirm and honestly discuss the meaning of political Islam to western immigration policies then they are deceiving their own people and deserve whatever electoral beatings that they get.