Monday, May 22, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael and Alan speak live with Maj-Gen Jim Molan (ret) who visited Israel to examine the situation regarding Hezbollah on the northern border; they chat with Isi Leibler about the Trump visit to Saudi Arabia, and then speak with studio guest Georgina Downer from the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank in Melbourne.

We then hear from Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist on the plight of European Jewry.


3 min Editorial: Julia Gillard

11 min Maj-Gen Jim Molan (ret) on Hezbollah

34 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

51 min Georgina Downer, Inst of Public Affairs In the Studio

1 hr 14 Giulio Meotti, plight of European Jewry

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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, May 20, 2017

UC Berkeley Pits Liberalism Against ‘Islamophobia’

By Michael Lumish

{Sponsored by Campus Watch and also published at Jihad Watch and Jews Down Under. Best wishes to Robert Spencer who is recovering from a recent attempt on his life in Reykjavik.}

Fast on the heels of the University of California’s anti-free speech “Battle of Berkeley”—in which hundreds of black-clad, left-wing, “anti-fascists” attacked Trump supporters in the streets—around five hundred students and scholars attended the weekend conference “Islamophobia & The End of Liberalism?”

The concept of “Islamophobia” was created as a political device to demonize critics of Islamic supremacism. Accordingly, the conference poster featured a righteously concerned Statue of Liberty embracing a young Muslim woman in a hijab as if to protect her from xenophobic Trump supporters. The clear implication was that the Western liberal tradition requires open borders and that Muslims as people, rather than jihadis as ideologues, are threatened by fellow Americans.

The fundamental question posed at UC Berkeley was whether “Islamophobia” represents a betrayal of the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism or its imperial, racist fulfillment. This query hovered over the eighth annual conference organized by Hatem Bazian, director of the University’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, who blasted what he called “Trumpism.” Surprisingly, the participants from universities around the world did not settle for a pat answer.

Adnan Husain of Queen’s University in Canada argued that the "liberal concept of multiculturalism" is undermined by contemporary forms of aggressive, white, Western "crusaderism."

In a talk entitled "Liberal Islamophobia,” the University of Denver’s Nader Hashemi asserted that Hillary Clinton is anti-Muslim because during the 2016 presidential campaign she claimed that moderate Muslims represent a bulwark against “violent extremism.” In doing so, she allegedly reduced the American Muslim community into little more than a foreign-policy tool of the U.S. government.

Raja Abdulhaq, a graduate student in international affairs at Brooklyn College, claimed that the goal of white Western liberals was to transform Muslims into "carbon copies" of themselves.

Meanwhile, Long Island University philosopher Shaireen Rasheed maintained that the so-called "Western gaze" reduces Islam to a thing in need of reform, according to the standards of white Western cultural hegemony.

Thus, liberal concerns over terrorism, Sharia law, or the European immigration crisis are reduced to attempts to control, formalize, and channel Western Muslim identities into alienating, indoctrinating, and inauthentic white liberal molds.

When one asks if terrorism and Islamic supremacism inspire Western anti-Muslim bigotry, the response is to accuse the questioner of “Islamophobia.” The problem, we are to believe, is not terrorism or the spread of Islamic supremacism into Europe. On the contrary, according to the general attitude of the conference, these are merely the natural responses of a people oppressed under the weight of voracious white, Western, racist, colonialist, imperialist aggression.

In other words, the real problem is not Osama Bin Laden, but George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

What is perhaps most disconcerting about the conference was the tendency to embrace anti-Semitic anti-Zionism while claiming to oppose ethnic prejudice. A perfect example of this was the use of anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff to promote the event. Latuff specializes in demonizing Israeli Jews as violently inhumane creatures in much the same way the Nazis did with European Jews in the early to mid-twentieth-century. This is akin to promoting racist caricatures of African-Americans while professing to fight racism. It is inconceivable that Bazian and other conference organizers would use Latuff’s vile work unknowingly. Their actions reveal their intent to legitimize anti-Semitism by using it at a UC Berkeley event ostensibly dedicated to fighting racism.

Ultimately, UC Berkeley’s “Islamophobia” conference contradicted itself in at least two ways. Foremost was the morally reprehensible act of espousing anti-Semitism in order to combat anti-Muslim bigotry. The other was its insistence that the larger Muslim world, comprised of 1.6 billion people, about one-quarter of the world’s population, are fundamentally victims of aggressive Europeans imperial excess. Centuries of Muslim empire-building aside, playing the victim card simply allows Bazian and his colleagues to continue their aggressions against the West under the guise of moral purity.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Galling Hypocrisy of Jewish Trump Haters

Michael Lumish

This is basically a note to a Facebook acquaintance who specializes in advancing the "progressive-left" Wall of Hatred.

Part of what bothers me about the current conversation around Trump and Jews and Israel is the never-ending blatant hypocrisy.

In fact, what pisses me off about the nature of the conversation now is the very same thing that pissed me off about the nature of the conversation when Obama was in office.

That is, while Obama was running "the show" in the United States most Jews didn't really care that he supported the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that the Brotherhood called for the conquest of Jerusalem which is nothing less than calling for an Arab genocide of the Jews of the Middle East.

Per my ongoing conversation with Jonathan Eron I want to say loud and clear that, yes, Barack Obama did, in fact, support the Muslim Brotherhood. Eron, and not for the first time, has called me a liar for saying so, but the historical record on this matter is clear.

Barack Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood.

Here is a quote from The Atlantic in a June 3, 2009, article written by Marc Ambinder entitled,"'Brotherhood' Invited To Obama Speech By U.S."

Ambinder writes:

"A sign that the Obama administration is willing to publicly challenge Egypt's commitment to parliamentary democracy: various Middle Eastern news sources report that the administration insisted that at least 10 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's chief opposition party, be allowed to attend his speech in Cairo on Thursday."

This, of course, represents just one small way in which the Obama administration supported an organization that, itself, supported the Nazis.

So, for those of you who despise Trump but enjoyed getting violated by Barack Obama, here is a clue:

The more that people like you shit all over Donald Trump the more I like the guy.

There are a few reasons for this. One is the obvious hypocrisy of your position. You honestly do not care that Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fact that the Brotherhood has been screaming for the genocide of the Jews since the time of  Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb who wrote "Our Struggle Against the Jews."

Anyway, let's start a list and we can add to it each time that you spread around your toxic hatred.

1) Obama supported the Brotherhood.

2) Obama lobbied for UN 2334 which robs the Jewish people of our patrimony on the land of our ancestors.

And, for the moment, let's add:

3) Obama supported the empowerment of Iran and normalized their gaining of nuclear weaponry within the coming few years.

But the thing of it is since I know that Eron and the Haters are doing everything they possibly can to derail this presidency no matter what he does, it creates considerable sympathy in my heart for the guy.

So, I have to say, you're doing a terrific job.

I did not vote for either Trump or Hillary, but now I am beginning to wish that I had voted for Trump out of sympathy for the poor bastard due to the fact that poisonous wretches puke vomit on him on a daily basis.

From where I sit, by throwing such garbage at the guy continually you have essentially immunized him from criticism.

Congratulations.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left

This week Michael and Alan speak with radio personality, satirist, documentary maker and author John Safran about his new book, "Depends What You Mean By Extremist", and then catch up with Dr Bernie Power, the moderator from last week's public debate Social Justice: Israel Palestine.

We hear from Anastasia, the author of a new pro-Israel cartoon called Zionist Pugs, and then speak with Omri Ceren from The Israel Project. And Isi Leibler has his say as usual from Jerusalem.



3 min Editorial: Debate on Israel-Palestine

9 min John Safran on his new book

37 min Dr Bernie Power, moderator of the debate

53 min Anastasia, creator of Zionist Pugs cartoon

1 hr 9 Omni Ceren, The Israel Project

1 hr 32    Isi Leibler in Jerusalem speaking about Ronald Lauder

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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Professor Astren Comes Through

Michael Lumish

I owe Fred Astren an apology.

He finally stood up publicly.

I was hasty in earlier judgments... but I sometimes tend to be hasty.

I imagine that I will have a few more words concerning this in the weeks to come, but it is vitally important for our local leadership to make a hard stand when necessary.

Good for Professor Astren.


Marc Dollinger and Fred Astren
After six face-to-face meetings over the course of a year with San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong, we are obliged to report that there is no resolution in sight for problems plaguing Jewish student life on campus.

The history of conflict involving Jews at S.F. State is not a new story, but the inability or unwillingness of the university administration to speak out and act in the face of the marginalization of Jewish students is bewildering and alarming.
Read the rest.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Are we obsessing too much over Palestinian terror?

Sar Shalom

No, I'm not suggesting that we should in any way accept the terror or turn the other cheek as it happens, or as Abbas disburses Euro-American money to its perpetrators. To get at what I'm asking, consider three scenarios:
  1. A bank executive embezzles money to support a local soup kitchen.
  2. A bank executive embezzles money to endow a local chapter of the Aryan Nation.
  3. A bank executive donates from his salary to endow a local chapter of the Aryan Nation.
We should all agree that all three of those are reprehensible or nefarious. However, they are nefarious in different ways. Case 1 involves noble ends pursued by nefarious means. Case 3 involves fully innocent means for a nefarious end. In both cases, it is clear what the public response should be. In the former case, the executive should be censured for his means, and in the latter case for the cause he supports. However, Case 2 presents nefarious means being used for nefarious ends. This presents a challenge in responding because focusing too much on the means allows a perception that the cause might have been acceptable, while focusing too much on the ends allows a perception that the means were not too bad.

Such is the case with the PA. In today's links at Elder of Ziyon, there are 3 articles dealing with reactions to the PA's war against Israel, all dealing with the PA's support for terror. It is true that the terrorism emanating from Palestinian society, with full support from the PA, is nefarious. However, calling attention exclusively to their reliance on terror would be like censuring the executive in Case 2 for the embezzlement in a way that suggests that if he supported the Aryan Nation with his own money that there would have been no problem. In the case of the Palestinians' war against Israel, focusing on terror exclusively suggests that if their objectives were pursued peacefully, such as through BDS, that it would be totally acceptable.

What we need to highlight is, contrary to the PA's useful idiots' belief that the PA's [objective is] to build a free society for the Palestinian people, their goal is to end Jewish self-determination in the Middle East. The reality is that the illegitimacy of the PA's means is deeply connected to the illegitimacy of their ends. If they truly desired nothing more than freedom for their people, Israel would vote for a government that would give it to them. However, Israelis are no longer fooled by Abbas' forked tongue and thus will not willingly cede a more favorable ground from which to pursue an end of Israel, hence the reliance on terror to impose costs for not doing so. One person who does get the significance of the PA's aims is Moshe Sharon. Instead of asking for a demand that Abbas stop paying the terrorists, Sharon asks Trump to tell Abbas to “ 'Go back to Ramallah, stand up in public and give a speech saying the Palestinian people recognize Israel as a Jewish state.' In Arabic.”

Instead of issuing threats over the PA's support for terror and ignoring the denial of the right of the Jews to self-determination, we should issue threats over the PA's denial of the Jews' right to self-determination and complain about their support for terror.

UPDATE: Missing words were added, indicated by brackets.

The Left is Deliberalizing

Michael Lumish

The point is key.

This is a note that I wrote to a Facebook "friend":
It seems to me - as someone who spent 25 years as a Democrat on the progressive-left - that the American Right should not allow the Democrats and the Left to keep the word "liberal." I'm just making an argument over semantics, but I think that it is important. This is particularly true since the Left is in the process of shedding its liberalism, anyway.

The American Left is trading universal human rights for the multicultural ideal. That is the process that they have been undergoing since 9/11. They are, as we see in the streets of Paris and Berkeley, throwing the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism into the toilet. Thus western-feminists no longer care about women's rights under Islam. They no longer care about freedom of speech if that speech contradicts their ideological worldview. To be liberal is to oppose racism, yet the progressive-left is the most racist political ideology in the west today outside of political Islam.

Because the Left is in the process of deliberalization, the Right should take up the mantle of Enlightenment liberalism.

I am not a Republican, but if you want the American center, stand with the tradition of Western Enlightenment Liberalism.

Let the other side stand with Black Lives Matter and Sharia-fan, Linda Sarsour.

We will stand with Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael and Alan catch up on world events with Ahron Shapiro, senior policy analyst with AIJAC; then hear from Mohr Wenger, the tourist who was refused service at a body piercing shop in Cairns because she was Israeli.

They discuss the Balfour Declaration with Daniel Taub, former Israeli ambassador to the UK who is visiting Australia, and then hear from Israeli scholar on Islam, Mordechai Kedar.

And Isi Leibler talks about the German Foreign Minister who wanted to contact hostile Israeli NGOs, and who PM Netanyahu refused to meet.

3 min Editorial: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

10 min Ahron Shapiro, AIJAC

29 min Mohr Wenger, Israeli tourist in Cairns anti -Israel controversy

51 min Daniel Taub, former Israeli ambassador to UK

1:13     Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar on Islam

1:32     Isi Leibler, 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 us at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, May 1, 2017

Of Yom Haatzmaut past

Sar Shalom

For me, one of the most moving celebrations of Yom Haatzmaut was from the 62nd Yom Haatzmaut in 2010 on Mount Hertzl. The particularly moving parts were when the speaker recited Psalms 137 and 126 immediately followed by a dance performance as a chorus sang a song written to the tune of the chorus Va pensiero from Verdi's Nabucco. The significance of Psalms 137 and 126 are obvious in terms of the connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, the former of mourning for its loss and the latter of celebrating the return. However, the opera chorus requires some background. The original tune reflects reflects Italian nationalism from the mid-nineteenth century—expressed as Italians yearning for a free country in the manner of the Hebrew exiles in Babylon yearning to return to Zion.

Using that tune hearkens back to a time when the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel was a given in European consciousness. Drawing on that theme, the Israeli version combines the themes of Psalms 137 and 126, starting with recollection of the time in exile as in the line "Kinnorot b'dimah cheresh talinu (We hung our harps in tears and silence)." It continues with anticipation of redemption, "N'nucham b'vinyan migdaleha (We will be comforted in the building of her towers)," and finishes with the return of the exiles, "V'yashuvu p'zureha k'vatchilla b'shirat g'ulla (And her scattered ones will return as in the beginning with a song of redemption)."

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Embassy Move

Michael Lumish

If Trump has any intention of actually moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem we should know in about three weeks when he arrives in Israel. Given that the 50th anniversary of the 6 Day War is fast approaching if he is going to announce the relocation he will likely do so during his upcoming visit.

It's my bet that if he does not announce then that he probably never will.

We shall see.

Friday, April 28, 2017


mirror girl1

The Last Time Jews Faced Machine Guns

Doodad

{The article Doodad refers to is this piece from the Daily Mail. - ML}

The Holocaust? No.

The last war against genocidal Arab countries? No.

Yesterday. In England. At Parliament.
Heavily armed Metropolitan police threw Jewish activists out of an event hosted by a Labour MP at Parliament this week after they asked 'disruptive questions', MailOnline can reveal 
Mark Hendrick, MP for Preston, chaired the pro-Palestinian event which was organised by the controversial Palestine Return Centre (PRC). The group has been accused of links with Hamas, though a spokesman denied this. 
The main speaker at Tuesday's event – which was held to discuss Israeli conduct in Jerusalem – was Kamal Hawwash of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who used his speech to accuse Israel of being 'an expert at inciting hatred'. 
At a previous Labour event, he said he considered a man who knifed two Israeli men to death, and injured a woman and toddler, a 'martyr' carrying out an 'act of revenge'. If people found his actions 'unacceptable', he said, 'that's up to them'. 
The Jewish activists listened quietly to the speeches but then strongly challenged the presentations during the question-and-answer session. Mr Hendrick summoned police armed with machine guns to eject them, leaving them 'shaken and upset'.
 Machine guns for pity's sake. Machine guns. Oh England, I weep for you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Remarkable Pussitued of the Jewish Left

Michael Lumish

Abbie Hoffman
I cannot even begin to tell you how disgusted I am at the cowardice and stupidity of the Jewish left.

This feeling is greatly exacerbated by the fact that I come from that very movement.

The children and grandchildren of communist and socialist Jewish Hellraisers - willing to face billy-clubs in the streets of New York throughout the first two-thirds of the twentieth-century - are absolutely terrified that patriarchal, Islamic Supremacists will call them bad names on their laptops.

It's pathetic.

And they are also terrified of - and therefore deferential toward - Black Lives Matter, which is basically the current iteration of the Panthers.

The truth is that the diaspora Jewish Left is "chickenshit"... as Obama people might put it.

From the soft luxury of the American upper-middle-class they spit contempt at Jews who are tired of kissing anti-Zionist ass.

The Jewish left is filled with privileged cowards wondering what the advance of progressive-left anti-Zionism means to their Social Network.

If you want to see a true split within the diaspora Jewish community, keep insisting that Jews bow our heads before our enemies.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fun with antisemitic anti-Zionists

Michael Lumish

I suppose this is rather stupid, but I find "trolling" antisemitic Facebook pages to be kind-of a kick.

There is a page called "Israel is a War Criminal" that I recently became aware of and - as one would expect - they specialize in separating out Jewish people in Israel, if not pro-Israel Jews, more generally, as a unique evil.

Therefore this morning I dropped in briefly to say hello with this little message:

Good morning anti-Zionists! How are you guys today? One of the things that give me a great deal of satisfaction is the knowledge that the Jewish people, after 2,000 years of diaspora have reconstituted our ancient homeland and reclaimed Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the Jewish people. That in itself is a very beautiful thing, I can hardly even tell you. But, y’know, when the Jews who arrived in the Land of Israel from the concentration camps nobody thought that they could actually beat the combined Arab armies. But nobody quite realized that the combined Arab armies were so feminine. 

Former dhimmis, along with Jewish women and half-starved Holocaust survivors actually beat the very cream of the Arab fighting forces in 1948 to re-establish Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land. And then to see this small struggling country not only survive but thrive just fills my heart with joy and gladness for the redemption of the Jewish people. Now, of course, Israel is a world leader in a variety of areas including technical and medical sciences, water reclamation, agriculture, not to mention arts and letters. Some of the top universities in the world are in that country. It’s really very gratifying.

Peace to you, please, my friends.

So far responses include these:



And this:
Ade Dino Sutrisno

Life is short. But but the hellfire is for eternity. Peace be upon the prophets and their fervent followers. The killer of the prophets may enjoy this world as much as they can. Prosper and oppress as much as they want. The earth the only paradise they will ever know. For a day will come for them when they will stare in horror.
But, ya know, when I was twelve I used to turn over rocks, too.

Monday, April 24, 2017

France's Dilemma

Doodad

Do they elect a far-right, possible bigot and antisemite who will do a lot to solve the immigration/terrorist problems France is experiencing or will they elect the centrist who won't? Macron supports an open door immigration policy and has expressed confidence in France's ability to absorb more immigrants and welcomes their arrival into Europe, asserting that the influx will have a positive economic impact. His proposal to provide each young adult a "Culture Pass" of 500 which may encourage young people to discover the culture of France and deter terrorism suggests he is somewhat of an idiot but what the heck; this is France after all and if they were that smart they wouldn't have the almost daily terrorism problems they now experience. It's so frequent, one would almost think they were occupying Palestine or something.

I suspect they will elect Macron and live with the consequences. I don't really care because I don't like Le Pen either and I have never forgot France's awful collusion during the Holocaust.


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!