Saturday, September 9, 2017

Facebook Notes # 1

Michael Lumish

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

Rogue feminist Camille Paglia - during her recent book tour promoting Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism suggested that comments under blog posts represent a certain kind of art-form.

Given Paglia's semi-iconic status within the intellectual community that should give some of you the warm-fuzzies.

I do not know if it is true that blog-post commenting represents an art-form, but I definitely like the idea.

{Why the hell wouldn't I?}

On places like Facebook or Twitter or Youtube, or wherever, you get a sense of how particular groups feel on any given topic. I have no doubt that sociologists are having a great time exploring this material.

It is, after all, the grassroots/netroots... where the buses don't run. And that is just the kind of place for the curious-minded.

In a recent exchange concerning the Arab-Jewish conflict with a hard-left leaning San Francisco friend of mine, I wrote:
The fucked up thing is that the contemporary progressive-left wants to be racist and anti-racist both at the same time. It simply does not work that way. You do not get to pick and choose who it is OK to be racist towards.
In partial response to the larger conversation my correspondent wrote:
So demanding the state of Israel to treat Palestinians humanely is anti-Semitic? Is that where we're going?
I do not know why I continue to remain surprised at the automatic presumption of Jewish guilt in the conflict.

It is from this presumption that the conversation is apparently supposed to begin.

Despite the fact that the Jewish people lived as second and third-class non-citizens for thirteen centuries under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule - from the seventh-century until the fall of the Ottoman Empire - it is the Jewish people who are automatically assumed guilty in the war against us by a far larger power.

The Jews of Israel are, from the get-go - before the discussion even begins - considered to be "inhumane."
So demanding the state of Israel to treat Palestinians humanely is anti-Semitic?
This is precisely the kind of loaded question that Jewish people throughout the world have been subject to generation upon generation.

We are expected to begin the conversation from back on our heels despite the fact that we are the minority population under judgment.

Why are Jews such horrible people?

Why did you kill Jesus?

Why did you invent secularism?

Why did you invent socialism?

Why did you invent capitalism?

Why did you invent communism?

Why do you promote homosexuality?

And, now, why are you so brutal to the "indigenous Palestinians"?

My interlocutor is coming to the discussion from a progressive-left ahistorical perspective that assumes an almost transcendental white-anglo guilt for the oppression of the non-white victim. The presumption is that "people of color" are nothing more than pawns in some Euro-centric geopolitical game of world dominance and the Jewish people, in the form of Israel, are among the agents of that aggression.

In response, I wrote:
It's good that you asked that question because this where we get to the crux of the matter on why the progressive-left tends to despise the Jewish state of Israel. You honestly believe that the Jews of Judea are inhumane.
I imagine that this response took him just a bit off-guard. Most well-meaning "soft" anti-Zionists don't expect push back because the progressive Jewish left is semi-anti-Zionist, itself.  I am talking about Ha'aretz Jews. The kind of Jewish people who agree that Israel sucks, but if you kick us in the head hard enough we will try to do better.

The classic example is from now deceased Ha'aretz editor, David Landau, who suggested that Israel was in need of a good raping from the West... to keep us in line, apparently.

It is obvious that Jewish people who care about our well-being as a people are grappling with how to address the continual vitriol spit at us from the greater Muslim community, the European Union, the United Nations, the Democratic Party, and almost the entire western-left.

The place to start - if I may be so bold - is with insisting upon our indigeneity to our own ancestral lands.

I think that we owe indigenous rights activist Ryan Bellerose a certain debt of gratitude.

Bellerose's major contribution to the conversation is that the Jewish people are the only indigenous people in recorded human history to regain self-determination and self-defense on their ancestral homeland.

In a piece for Tablet entitled, Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel?, Bellerose writes:
As an indigenous activist—I am a Métis from the Paddle Prairie Metis settlement in Alberta, Canada—there is one question I am most often asked by the public, one that can instantly divide a community due to its intense and arduous subject matter.

Yet, regardless of the scenario, each time I hear the words, “Are Jews the indigenous people of Israel?” I’m inclined to answer not only with my heart but with the brutal, honest truth, backed by indisputable, thousands-year-old historical and archaeological fact: yes.
Although I thank Ryan with my own heart, I must wonder how it is that a non-Jewish, Native-American, football-playing, giant Métis can get to the ideological crux of the matter when we cannot?

Any conversation with an anti-Zionist or anti-Israel person must always begin with the fact of Jewish indigeneity.

You cannot win the argument without it.

Thankfully it has the additional benefit of being historically accurate.

Let the other side have their narrative.

We have history.


  1. Every horror book starts with original sin and supernal dread. Every passion play, every pogrom. We are bad because we're evil. We're evil because we're bad. We are guilty for everything we do and don't do.

    1. I guess that I'm just a bit surprised that educated and intelligent people who should know better begin from the premise of Jewish guilt. The Palestinian Narrative of Eternal Perfect Victimhood has done its job well.

    2. By doing what? Preying on ignorance and gullibility? No trick there, you need to be morally low enough.

    3. But the thing of it is, those who are harshly critical of Israel and pussitudinous toward the Palestinian-Arabs honestly believe what they claim to believe. They don't necessarily know much about the conflict but they know what they believe. And the reason that they believe what they believe is because they've been told it over and over and over again.

      Every generation it's the same fucking thing, really. The Jews are "bad" and here is why.

      What's ironic about this moment is that the very same people who disdain Israel as an immoral usurper of other people's land are self-proclaimed anti-racists and supporters of the Jewish people.

      It's pretty sick and it sends some of us over the edge a bit.

  2. Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura
    (in a letter to his father
    in year 1488 August 15 CE):

    “Jews in Muslim lands make themselves appear poor.

    They go about like an impoverished,
    despised people, with their heads
    bowed before Muslims.”

    SOURCE: Pathway to Jerusalem: the Travel Letters of Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura (page 40) written between 1488 CE and 1490 CE during his journey to the Holy Land, translated by Yaakov Dovid Shulman, year 1992 CE, 93 pages, CIS Publishers, Lakewood, New Jersey, ISBN 1-56062-130-3

    Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura’s commentary on the Mishnah is still studied often, even in our times.

    Non-Jewish writer praises Jews and criticizes Muslims:

    All European Life Died In Auschwitz
    by Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez

    Why Israel’s 1967 Borders are Undefendable:

    Ancient Roman historians connected Jews with the Land of Israel:

  3. One reason that Bellerose gets it on the Jews' indigeneity is that he actually has an interest in a correct understanding of indigeneity taking root. That is, a definition of indigeneity that allows colonial usurpers to become indigenous and returning indigenous people to become colonisers could turn his descendants into colonial usurpers if they were to one day reclaim his people's land. In contrast, other "indigenous rights" activists do so in order to gratify their moral narcissism. Thus all that matters is that one side be identified as indigenous and one as the colonial usurpers with no consequence to getting it wrong. Indeed, it is more important to agree with the honor group than to be right in identifying which is which.

    1. At some point the Jewish community is going to need to return the favor. I just do not know how.

    2. One group we should do so on behalf of is the Tibetans. For that part, Israel should stop pursuing narrow interests with China and build relations with Tibet's government-in-exile. While China can provide some scraps in the way of trade deals, Tibet can provide ammunition for the legitimacy war.

    3. I like it. I wonder how the SJWs would deal with the fact that Israel stands with Tibet and, more importantly, Tibet stands with Israel?

      Let's see these self-righteous bastards take on Tibet from an ethical standpoint.

    4. "So demanding the state of Israel to treat Palestinians humanely is anti-Semitic?"
      answer: Yes it is, and you're a schmuck for not realizing it. You simply don't know what you are talking about, and who are you to demand anything from anyone especially when you know nothing. First, define "Palestinian."
      Proceed from there.

  4. Don't let the other side peddle its bullshit, we have history on our side.

    My immediate response to your friend's assumption of alleged inhumane behavior on the part of Israelis is to question how he and his political friends get their heads so far up their asses without passing out.
    Or, to put it another way, how fucking dare he walk around so completely ignorant of history, of the inhumane conditions of so many people in the world at present and, look at the humaneness Israelis operate under toward people who want them dead, and have the gall to open his snout to pose such a stupid, bigoted question.

    1. It's because the notion of "Israeli Occupation of traditional Palestinian lands" has passed into the realm of "common knowledge."

      This is not entirely the work of Arab or Soviet propaganda.

      It is also the work Ha'aretz Jews who constantly refer to the Occupation with the "Big O."

    2. Commons knowledge?

      "Everyone knows"
      "It's plain to see"
      the time worn cliches
      of bigotry

    3. There comes a point where you simply have to tell people - I don't know - that the day of the dhimmi is done?

    4. This is someone I know in the real world who has zero ill-will toward Jewish people.

      On the contrary.

      This person is not a racist or antisemite.

      But he is someone who has accepted the "common knowledge" that Israel is at essential fault for the conflict and for the plight of the Palestinian-Arabs.

      Somehow I don't think that throwing a hissy-fit will help.

    5. So this person has no ill will toward the Jewish people yet holds Israel responsible for the Palestinians not having whatever? It doesn't sound like he gives the Jewish people a heck of a lot of credit for knowing much, does it?

      It sounds to me like this person regards his/her own opinion superior to Jewish Israelis who must deal daily, weekly, monthly, yearly with reality. It sounds as if this person is willing to endanger the lives of Israeli Jews the way he/she would never endanger him/herself for castles in Spain.
      The rhetorical question this person posed makes it sound as if once one is not deemed antisemitic that one is automatically right. But one can be simply wrong. I found the question a complete distortion of mindless indoctrination.
      So, demanding that Palestinians stop teaching false pseudo-history, stop teaching that Jews were never in Palestine and so-called Palestinians always were, stop inciting classic-antisemtitic hatred, stop teaching that "all of Palestine" will be theirs, stop teaching them to kill Jews, stop the Temple denial, stop paying people to murder Jews, stop inciting violence and sit down to draw up permanent borders for two states for two peoples, accept that one will most definitely be Jewish, admit in no uncertain terms their complicity in the conflict, and act like they really mean it, is racism? Is that where we are?

    6. Jeff, not everyone is as close to this topic as we are.

      Think about climate change.

      I am not a scientist.

      I know virtually nothing about how global warming or climate change actually functions.

      But I do have faith in the scientific community.

      Neil deGrasse Tyson seems like a reliable individual.

      This is the way that most people approach knowledge, including knowledge about the ongoing Arab war against the Jews.

      They don't know much about it, but people tell them over and over again that the conflict is because Israel is unjust to the Palestinian-Arabs.

      And, so, as the years go by they come to accept it.

      This does not mean that I disregard climate change.

      It does mean that we should be aware of how notions, true or not, become common knowledge.

      This guy has nothing against Jews.

      He just has common knowledge.

    7. But, as I say, this someone that I know in the real world.

      I am not going to jump up and down and yell.

      I am going to kick back with a beer with this guy sometime in the coming weeks and discuss it.

    8. Good.
      BTW, I'm not jumping up and down. I'm sitting in a chair calmly trying to lay out a case why your friend ought to rethink common assumptions. (When I say be outraged I'm not suggesting that you scream at anybody, but I am suggesting that others get a lot of mileage out of such tactics, namely the Pal Arabs and their die hard supporters.) One of those being a rewriting of this conflict along some pretty ahistorical lines. As we know the reason for the conflict isn't based on an unreasonable meanness by Jews. For crying out loud we're talking about the Jews, their history, their behavior especially an ingrained culture of compromise and humaneness. There is a reason that a solid majority in an open and democratic society believe that peace is unattainable in the near future.


      Even rewriting Holocaust photos. Their lies know no bounds.

    10. What bothers me the most is the immediate western-left inclination to blame the Jews of the Middle East for the larger conflict.

      Excuse me, but that is fucked up.

      Is it not?

      In what other case would they take the long-standing victims and turn them into the bad guys?

      It just so obviously does not fit the classic Oppressor versus Oppressed political model that the Left lives by.

      It's the classic definition of a double-standard.

  5. So many axes to grind! The three part question revolves around who do you not like. Jews, Israel, Israeli politicians (the government). Jews have experienced racism for most of their history. If you hate Jews, then the other two, Israel and its politicians fall into place. The twisting occurs when Israel is being attacked. Do you hate Israel or just the present politicians. If it is only the politicians, then you just have to wait some years or actively try to get others elected. If it is Israel, then you are probably antisemitic, but not necessarily so. The Jew/ Arab conflict goes back literally thousands of years so if you feel that the Palestinian read Arab people are being persecuted, then you must inform yourself about Arabs. If you have closed your eyes to how Arabs treat each other, then you have removed yourself from any meaningful discussion about the Middle East conflict. Deep inside, you are probably racist. Whatever form it takes, Israel must defend itself. This is none of your business and if you try and make it so, then you should look deep inside yourself to find out why you are so angry.

    1. Welcome to Israel Thrives.

      Please drive carefully!