Saturday, June 23, 2018


Michael Lumish

It is as if they do not understand the political implications of open borders. Open borders means the elimination of the international system of nation-states. The elimination of nation-states means at least three possibilities: anarchism, communism, or corporatism.

Anarchism would suggest an international series of loosely connected cooperatives.

Communism would suggest a single worldwide government. {Oh joy.}

Corporatism, in the manner of my usage, would suggest rule by corporations.

In any case, when people break the law and are caught they are often separated from their friends, family, and children. If a person does not wish for this to happen it might be better not to commit the crime.

But my feelings on this issue have much to do with my own family history. My father was born in the Ukraine, a town called Medzybush. They fled the pogroms of the early 1920s and although they had relatives in Brooklyn, failed to gain visas into the United States.

They went to Argentina where my grandfather died.

A year or so later the visas came thru and my father passed thru Ellis Island in the arms of my grandmother Sarah.

They had nothing.

She literally mopped floors at the Jewish Orphan Asylum where my father slept.

But they did it LEGALLY.

And it worked.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Shabbat Shalom


Who is the artist?

What is this about?

When? Where? What?

An Ethical Dilemma

Michael Lumish

I live in Oakland, California.

Pretty much everyone in Oakland, rich or poor, live cheek-by-jowl.

I have a sort-of unique Craftsman-style house that I am proud of and that turned out to be a good investment.

My next-door neighbor is probably the best next-door neighbor that I have ever had.

She is a nurse and has helped me in that capacity.

It turns out, however, that she also suffers from bronchitis or something along those lines.

What that means is that when we have a fire in our fireplace it causes stress on this woman.

So this is the basis of the dilemma.

This is my house. I have every right to have a fire in my wood-burning fireplace whenever I want so long as I am not in violation of local governmental fire warnings.

And the thing is, I like this person. We've been neighbors for seven years.

I am honestly not certain how to handle this. We purchased a quarter cord of wood heading into last winter and burned maybe a third over the following months.

Now the only thing that I can think of is that every time we want to have a fire, as we read aloud C.S. Lewis - I kid you not -  is to confirm that she is not home.

In any case, we are heading into summer so it will not be an immediate problem, but I need further convincing before someone can tell me that I cannot have a fire in my own damn fireplace.

I have been scratching my head over this for the past month and still do not have an answer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week the fellahs, Michael Burd and Alan Freedman, begin their discussion with Christian Zionist William F Callahan who relates his feelings about the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and then hear from former politician and now commentator Einat Wilf who has some views on the Gaza violence.

They catch up with Nima Gholam Ali Pour in Malmo Sweden on the situation regarding the effects of mass immigration from the MJews, and then hear some good news stories from Israel with former Kiwi Michael Kuttner.

3 min Editorial:  Limmud Oz 2018

11  min William F Callahan, Christian Zionist

25 min Einat Wilf, on Gaza violence

51 min Nima Gholam Ali Pour, Swedish ,Malmo commentator anti-antisemitism and Islamic Immigration a serious problem

1 hr 13 Michael Kuttner, former Kiwi now Israeli commentator

Thursday, June 7, 2018

"The Goop and Feathers Strategy"

Michael Lumish

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

Islamists set fire to Israel
near the Gaza border (June 2018)
Those of us who follow the never-ending Long Arab and Muslim War against the Jews of the Middle East are familiar with the arson tactics used by contemporary Palestinian-Arab Islamist racists.

Therefore it is not surprising that the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Democratic Party and, thus, the Western media, itself, generally favor Arab and Muslim aggressors over the Jewish defenders within the very land of Jewish heritage and ancestry.

This alliance also includes significant percentages of western-left Jews who either do not care or who have swallowed the Palestinian Narrative of Perpetual Victimhood.

But the essential discussion today among Jews internationally is how to respond to what might be called the Arson Intifada.

Many on the Israeli Left, and the American Left, want to see a more "moderate" response by the Jewish people in Israel. Nonetheless, it eludes me just how much more "moderate" Israel can be as theocratically-driven Arabs burn the very crops that feed Gazan children and burn animals alive in nature preserves.

One of my well-meaning commenters suggested:
Fight fire with water, not live bullets.
He is, of course, referring to the jihadis killed when they sought to crash-the-gate and murder or kidnap Jewish civilians living in nearby communities and kibbutzim. One of the things that continues to amaze me is the complacency and understanding that so many of our friends on the progressive-left have for the Arab desire to murder Jews.

It's pretty astonishing, actually.

Arabs try to kill Jews on the very land of Jewish ancestry and well-meaning western "progressives" honestly believe that they have a right to do so... as a matter of "social justice." This is what slays me most of all. Much of the progressive-left in the United States genuinely believe that Arabs have every moral right to kill Jews or, at least, they understand the impulse.

What I would like, therefore, to recommend to Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF is the Goop and Feathers Strategy.

The border between Israel and the maniacs is about 35 miles long. As a Jewish American citizen living on this terrific expanse of land, thirty-five miles does not seem like a very long distance. I understand that Jewish resources are not as extensive as what Americans can conjure, but surely Israel can patrol the Gaza border with helicopters.

So, why not humiliate the bastards?

What would CNN say about splashing goop, feathers, and Fruit Loops onto these idiots with their
Swastika Nazi Bomb Kites? This is merely a pet idea that, of course, is never going to happen... sadly.

Nonetheless, those of us who honestly care about the well-being of the Jewish people should be creative.

Water extinguishes fire better than bullets. My commenter is right about that.

And bullets deter racist-arsonists better than does water.

But Goop and Feathers will make them look like morons and that, my friends, is priceless.

{I, actually, just want to see the video.}

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week on Nothing Left Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have cooked up the following.

They are going forth and kicking ass.

3 min Editorial: Julie Bishop and Palestinian payments

11 min Vic Alhadeff, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on SWF

25 min Lawrence Money and Gary Mallin, former Age journalists

51 min Daniel Luria, Ateret Cohanim on 60 Minutes segment

1 hr 13 min Simon Plosker, Honest Reporting on Gaza violence

1 hr 31 min Arnold Roth in Jerusalem on ex-IDF soldier ‘Rebecca’

Monday, June 4, 2018

Democratic Party Anti-Jewish Trends

Michael Lumish

The Democratic Party and the progressive-left is becoming increasingly hostile toward the nation-state of the Jewish people.

This has been coming for decades.

If you look at this 2018 poll from the Pew Research Center you will see that currently, about 79 percent of Republicans favor Israel, while the great majority of Democrats do not. Only 27 percent of Democrats favor the Jews in the Middle East versus their racist, misogynistic, theocratic Islamist enemies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, if not the Palestinian Authority.

And we might keep in mind that many those same people are not just hostile toward Israel - for "social justice" reasons, no less - but toward the United States, as well.


In a recent Facebook comment, I referenced the fact that "it is definitely true that Republicans are more supportive of Israel than are Democrats. It's not even close." And I used the Pew Research Center image above as significant evidence of that fact.

Someone who I take to be an intelligent person responded with this:
Do you realize how 'incendiary' this is!!

The idea [which Hadassah follows and AIPAC follows] is to be bipartisan.

And at this time in Jewish history, when there is such a division and almost a tear amongst the Jewish population, how utterly DUMB and counterproductive to dwell on it rather than mend fences. The word 'divisive' doesn't cut it. It is smug and moronic for Friedman to write this; he might as well just go whole hog up Trump's rear end. ...And by the way, I don't actually think it's true! The people who were at the Times Square 'afterparty' after the Celebrate Israel parade - they were not Republicans! Yes, they are firm believers and supporters of Israel, but they were the Tel Aviv crowd, the music lovers, the hip-hop liberal generation. If surveys were done there... wow, that would have been fantastic on who voted for Trump in that crowd. Would have been way less than u think.
This is my response:
Sandy, I believe that I understand your concerns and I agree with Dershowitz that it is preferable that pro-Jewish / pro-Israel support in the US continue to be bipartisan. But we cannot afford to avoid the truth.

And the truth is that the progressive-left and the Democratic Party has betrayed not only their Jewish constituency but their own alleged values in the process.

I am one of those who have left the Democratic Party due to its acceptance of hostility toward Israel within their ranks.

My stance is that we must not allow the Democratic Party to take us for granted... as they have Black people.

The Democrats need to understand that we Jews have political options that do not necessarily include donating to their coffers.

At the same time, I respect those of us (and our non-Jewish friends) who work within the party to stem a terrible anti-Israel / anti-Jewish trend within that party.

I wish you the very best, but Democratic Party trends are not in our favor.

Friday, June 1, 2018

White Supremacist Bullshit

Michael Lumish

Essentially, "white supremacism" in the US today is a political ghost.

What saddens me the most, I think, is the failure of the American Left - the children of Martin Luther King, Jr. - to accept their own success.

The US, today, is entirely different from when Martin Luther King stood on the Mall in Washington, DC, in 1963.

Instead of embracing ethnic equality, we seem to be agitating ethnic resentments for partisan political reasons or reasons having to do with whatever consolation that comes from personal virtue signaling.

This social-political trend is not coming from the political right-wing so much as it is coming from the racialized American Left.

I come out of the American Left, but the US Left is doing itself and the country a terrible disservice by continuing to agitate racial issues for political purposes.

It is pure poison.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

So long, Roseanne, and thanks for all the fish

Michael Lumish

Charlton Heston on horseback from
Planet of the Apes (1968)
The thing that I find interesting about the Roseanne Kerfuffle is that it nicely demonstrates how racism today seems almost entirely dependent on the ethnic identity of the person making the racist remark and the ethnic identity at the receiving end of that remark.

So, Roseanne Barr in a tweet suggested that former Obama aid, Valerie Jarret, was a combination of "Planet of the Apes" and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Generally speaking, it is obviously considered racist to refer to a "person of color" as a monkey or an ape or anything along those lines. This has been widely recognized for many decades and I am old enough to remember the Howard Cosell Kerfuffle, sometime in the 1970s, wherein he allegedly said something like, "Look at that monkey run!" in reference to a black football player. I imagine that in the passion of the moment - if he actually said it - he might have thought of it as a compliment on the player's speed and agility, but it definitely got him into trouble. I do not believe that they fired Cosell, but he was certainly reprimanded.

And, needless to say, it should be remembered that Cosell was a champion of Muhammad Ali. Those two, much like Forrest and Jenny, were peas and carrots during Muhammad's rise to greatness.

Nonetheless, are we to understand that simian references are only racist when applied to people of non-European descent? Speaking as a person of non-European descent, I very much resent this.

I know all sorts of European simians.

The people following this weird, little story may also be aware that some time ago comic Wanda Sykes referred to Donald Trump as an orangutan and nobody suggested that she was being racist.

How come?

If a "white" person calls a "black" person a monkey or an ape that is racist, but if a "black" person calls a "white" person a monkey or an ape that is not racist?

In other words, we are supposed to internalize the notion that the ability to be racist is dependent upon one's race.

It is a fascinating concept. I find it vile and counterproductive and likely to result in all sorts of violence and blood and stupidity, but there it is and rich "white" well-meaning "progressives" honestly believe it.

Now, I understand, of course, that African history in the United States is obviously very different from European history here, which is why we hold the Barr comment to a different standard than we do the Sykes comment, but this is exceedingly problematic from a liberal, anti-racist perspective.

If concerns over racism are to mean anything then they must be consistent. There is a notion floating through the culture and through academe that racism is a function of power and, given the historical powerlessness of the black community in the United States, black people, or "people of color" simply cannot be racist.

I find such a notion not only to be dangerous nonsense... but in-and-of-itself entirely racist.

To hold people to different standards based on their skin color is practically the dictionary definition of racism.

If Western thinkers and culture-producers have come to the conclusion that racism is dependent upon one's "race" than we've lost the plot entirely.

It very much seems to me that we have lost the fundamental message of Martin Luther King, Jr. and this is particularly true among those within the progressive-left community who tend to see almost everything through a racialist lens.

And let us please not forget that Roseanne Barr is a Jew. That makes her of Middle Eastern descent.

Therefore she is not, herself, "white."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman are kicking ass on Nothing Left and I am always happy to join those guys for a chit-chat. You will find me at the 27 minute mark.

3 min Editorial: JCCV interfaith with Islamic Council of Victoria

9 min ICV vice-president at Nakba Day rally

27 min Michael Lumish, live on west coast of USA

51 min Efraim Inbar, Jerusalem Institute of Strategic Studies we ask 'Has the 2 State solution run it's course ?'

1 hr 16 min Stan Goodenough, Christian Zionist in Israel

1 hr 24 min David Schulberg, editorial on Mark Baker on Israel Connexion

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Is Barack Mandela a Jew?

Michael Lumish

Many of my pieces tend to be reactions - hopefully thoughtful - to the opinions of others.

Every now and again a particular commenter or writer will say something that strikes at my core and I feel an urge to write on it. This has gotten me into trouble with people in the past, but I want to highlight a Facebook post by an individual named Barack Mandela and I very much hope he will not mind.

Mandela writes:
My name is Barack. I am African American. I converted to Judaism in 1995---23 years ago. Am I considered "Jewish"? Am I considered a "convert"? Am I considered just a "confused Black clown"? Am I accepted among Jewish communities? I am a member of the World Jewish Congress.
I find it exceedingly sad, although not particularly surprising, that a fellow Jew might feel this way.

This was my response:
Barack the Jewish nation is the most open and accessible nation of people on the planet. The key to inclusion, if you do not happen to have been born Jewish, is the religion. By joining the religion you become one of us, a Jew.

This is different from any other nation on the planet. For example, were I a Francophile and moved to France and learned the language and the customs, and so forth, I could still never actually be French.

But you are a Jew.

That makes you one of us. 
It bothers me that he even feels it necessary to question how the rest of us think about a Black convert to the faith.

When I was a little boy my mother's mother would sometimes say to me, "Michaela, be proud to be a Jew."

At the time, I had not the slightest idea what she was talking about. I understood the word "proud" and I understood the word "Jew," but at the age of 12 I did not see any reason to be any more proud of being Jewish than I was proud of having brown hair and hazel eyes. I saw no more reason in Jewish pride than I saw in why my Junior High School friend, Wesley Chang, would have particular pride in Chinese ancestry or why Brent Donohue, from up the road, would have particular pride in Irish ancestry.

We were all just American kids and even as kids understood, and generally accepted, that we come in various sizes and shapes and ethnicities and genders. It was all just part of the general American mish-mash and it just seemed perfectly normal to me.

What I did not realize then, but what I have come to recognize since is that however much I might admire aspects of Chinese culture - and I do very much admire aspects of Chinese culture - I can never become Chinese.

It is an impossibility.

And however much I admire Irish culture - and I do very much admire aspects of Irish culture - I can never become Irish.

But the Jewish faith is the entrance to the nation.

This is unusual among peoples and nations (and ethnicities and "races"}.

But I occasionally wonder why some people want to become Jewish.

To be a Jew with any sense of the history of the Jewish people is, in some measure, to keep an eye over one's shoulder. Jewish people represent a tiny .2 percent of the world population and yet we have been harassed and occupied and ethnically-cleansed and slaughtered throughout our history by much larger hostile populations who honestly believed that they have every moral right to kick our children in the face.

Some non-Jews, with a condescending smirk, might suggest that I am living in the past or that I am allowing the Shoah to serve as a neurotic shadow.

This is false.

The truth is that the Jewish people throughout the world are still under constant pressure by much larger hostile powers that want to see the Land of Israel (i.e., the Land of the Jews) tamed and undermined and weakened and eventually eliminated. And even those non-Jews who many of us consider friends believe that Israel, the very land of our heritage, is actually a European colonial power that is forcing the allegedly "indigenous" Arab population under the boot of Jewish supremacism.

This is a lie, but there are hundreds of millions of people who believe it. These people have internationally powerful institutions on their side, such as the European Union, the United Nations, Britain's Labour Party, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Democratic Party.

So, my answer to Barack Mandela is, yes, you are one of us.

But there is a reason that we do not encourage conversion.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dani Behan Swats Away a Huffington Post anti-Zionist

Michael Lumish

Dani Ishai Behan is the founding administrator of the "Progressive Zionism" Facebook page.

Behan describes himself as a "Half-Irish/half-Jewish American activist, musician, and writer."

I think of him as an administrative pain-in-the-ass and a dedicated fighter for justice for the Jewish people. Mainly, however, he is known for drilling down into the heart of western-left antisemitic anti-Zionism and discussing his ideas on social media for years, now, before a significant audience.

Behan's most recent piece is a response to an article by Marc Lamont Hill published in the Huffington Post on May 17, 2018, entitled, "7 Myths About The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict." 

Behan's response in the Times of Israel is entitled, Marc Lamont Hill’s ‘7 Myths’ Are Not Myths at All.

Hill, to my horror and disgust, is the "Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University."

Behan addresses seven ideas around the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East that Professor Hill claims are false. 

These are:

1. These people have been fighting forever.

Hill writes:
The truth is that Arabs and Jews have not been fighting forever. Rather, it can be dated to the end of the 19th century or, more acutely, the beginning of the post-World War I British Mandatory period. 
Behan refutes:
Land theft, colonization, dhimmitude, heritage theft, massacres (beginning with the slaughter of Jews at Khaybar, in case anyone is wondering where the Palestinian “Khaybar” chant comes from), expulsions, confiscation/destruction of Jewish cultural sites – the list of injustices committed by Arabs against Jews is very long, and that’s only accounting for the pre-20th century stuff.

2. This is a religious conflict.  

Hill writes:
Simply put, this is not about religion. It’s about land theft, expulsion and ethnic cleansing by foreign settlers to indigenous land.
Behan refutes:
Why else would Hamas’ charter include Islamic hadiths in it? Why else would they regularly invoke the Gharqad tree hadith explicitly commanding Muslims to kill Jews? Why else would the PA exclaim that Jews have “no right to desecrate our holy sites with their filthy feet” in response to Jews visiting the Temple Mount?...

I didn’t know indigenous peoples (Jews, in this case) could become “foreign settlers” in their own land by being exiled for centuries.

And I didn’t know colonizers (Arabs, in this case) could become indigenous by stealing land and replacing indigenous sacred sites with mosques.

3. It’s very complicated.

Hill writes:
Too often, however, the claim that “it’s complicated” functions as an excuse to sidestep a very simple reality: this is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied.
Behan refutes:
And now you’re saying that it was only 70 years?

So which one is it? 70 years or 100+ years? Pick one.

4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals.

Hill writes:
This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. But even in relative and pragmatic terms, this is not true. Think back to the wildly disproportionate U.N. partition agreement of 1947 that allotted 55 percent of the land to the Jewish population even though there only comprised 33 percent of the population and owned 7 percent of the land.
Behan refutes:
Only half of the land was given back to the Jews, and most of it was indefensible, inarable desert. The only reason we weren’t offered even LESS than that is because the UN anticipated further mass aliyot in the aftermath of WWII. The Arabs got the better deal by far, but they rejected it because they could not stomach the idea of living with Jews as neighbors and as equals, rather than as second class citizens.

5. Palestinians don’t want peace.

Hill writes:
This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern and undeserving of Western democracy or diplomacy. The argument also castigates Palestinians for resisting their brutal occupation and repression. Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves.
Behan refutes:
If your idea of “peace” entails either a wholesale genocide/expulsion of Jews or restoration of the post-conquest/pre-Zionist status quo of Jewish subordination (and yes, this is what most Palestinians want), then it’s absolutely fair (and certainly not a myth) to claim that you do not want peace, but rather continued conflict until the other side is “defeated”.  

6. Israel has a right to exist! 

Hill writes:
This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda. First, this argument is only rhetorically deployed in relation to Israel, as opposed to Palestine or virtually any other nation-states.
Behan refutes:
No, this claim is common sense.

7. You’re anti-Semitic!

Hill writes:
Anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon around the globe. And we must be vigilant about addressing and destroying anti-Semitism wherever it emerges. Too often, however, this claim is leveled against anyone who critiquesor protests the practices of the Israeli nation-state.

Under these conditions, allegations of anti-Semitism become nothing more than a reflexive retort, intended to shut down the conversation. More importantly, this is a key part of Zionist strategy: equating Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli state itself.
Behan refutes:
Marc, listen very carefully to what I’m about to say. Are you ready? Good. 
1. You are NOT Jewish. You do not get to decide what is and is not antisemitic. Period. End of story.

2. Where do you get off lecturing us about our culture, especially when you can’t even get the definition of “hasbarah” right? Get back in your lane, fella.

3. You complain of “Orientalism”, only to invoke Orientalist tropes about Jews (i.e. that we are irrational, conspirational, and innately predisposed to lying and trickery for personal/political gain) mere moments later. Good show.

4. Antisemitism is any belief or action, intentional or otherwise, that serves to threaten our national, racial, religious, or political equality. It does not mean “critique of Judaism”, you ignoramus.

5. You obviously consider yourself a progressive, so what makes you think it’s okay to dismiss Jewish claims of antisemitism out of hand? What makes you think it’s okay to decide for us what constitutes antisemitism? Do you do this sort of thing to other minorities? I seriously doubt it.

6. No one, not even the most unhinged right wingers in our community, believes that “criticism of Israel” is a priori antisemitic. Literally NO ONE says that. These Jews who believe that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic are strawman inventions that exist only in the fevered imaginations of antisemites.

7. Denying Israel’s right to exist, demonizing/dehumanizing its people, holding it to a standard expected of no other nation, and hurling libel after libel after libel at it (as you’ve done throughout your entire article, if not your entire career) is not “critique”. It is antisemitism, nothing more.
The key to Dani's view - and to my eye it is clear - is the concept of Jewish indigeneity to the "Land of Israel" which is simply another way of saying the Land of the Jewish People.

I am under notification by the European Union

Michael Lumish

I just discovered this on the internal Israel Thrives page where I edit articles.
European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

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You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. If you include functionality from other providers there may be extra information collected from your users.

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What can I say?

The last I checked I was still an American citizen and not under European Union rule.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Gazan Waves

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

The Gazan border with Israel, May 2018
Everyone who cares about the Jewish people and the well-being of Israel is writing about the Hamas Embassy Riots.

We are doing so because Western media people are, yet again, yapping against Israel on cue from the vicious antisemitic ding-bats in Gaza like trained seals yelping for sardines.

We've known for so long about Western media bias against Israel, but this seems even worse than usual. They are honestly portraying a massive Hamas assault with upwards of 50,000 people against the Jews of Israel as an Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinian protestors and their children.

This means that CNN, MSNBC, the Daily News, and the New York Times are, yet again, responsible, in some measure, for violence against Jews around the world because they always portray Israel as the aggressor. They almost never provide any meaningful historical context or treat Palestinian-Arabs as anything beyond unruly children in need of a pat on the head and a chocolate chip cookie.

This lethal journalism -- as American historian from Boston University, Richard Landes calls it --  will result in international blowback toward Israel and toward Jewish people around the world, and that is the Gazan Wave. But this is nothing new and let us just hope that the coming flood is not among the worst.

An important exception is Matti Friedman in a recent article for, yes, the New York Times entitled, Falling for Hamas’s Split-Screen Fallacy. Friedman is notable among those of us who follow "the conflict" for breaking ground in his first-hand analysis of lethal western journalistic bias against Israel. In this most recent piece, he takes his essential thesis and applies it to the Hamas attack on the Israeli border. He writes:
Hamas understood that Western news outlets wanted a simple story about villains and victims and would stick to that script, whether because of ideological sympathy, coercion or ignorance. The press could be trusted to present dead human beings not as victims of the terrorist group that controls their lives, or of a tragic confluence of events, but of an unwarranted Israeli slaughter. The willingness of reporters to cooperate with that script gave Hamas the incentive to keep using it.
Which is to say, yet again the mainstream media outlets are slanting the story, much to my ongoing astonishment, in Hamas' favor. Let us not forget that Hamas is the very same organization that calls for the genocide of the Jews in its charter through this venerable hadith.
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
Whatever the heinous gibberish above may mean to contemporary jihadis, we must make Westerners understand that the Gazan Arabs who sought to murder Jews over the last several weeks were not "demonstrators." They were not "protestors." And they were certainly not unarmed.

These were not college students sleeping in Lincoln Park in Chicago, 1968, in opposition to the war in Vietnam during the Democratic National Convention. Many of these violent rioters were actually paid by Hamas according to the extent of their injuries and the families of the martyrs received thousands of dollars. They carried knives, hand-axes, meat cleavers, guns, children, and Molotov cocktails. They also flew kites with Nazi swastikas attached to incendiary devices for the purpose of burning fields and crops and houses, if not people.

Hamas even provided instructions on where the weak points of the barrier are, where the nearest Jewish villages are in reference to those weak points, and how to carry out the murder and kidnappings of Jewish civilians.

So, yes, the IDF was very restrained given the fact that these were people coming to kill their friends and families. But how would China react under similar circumstances, if crazed enemies were coming to kill Chinese babies? How would Russians react? I will tell you one thing, if Texans saw 50,000 Mexicans on the border of Laredo with guns and machetes and Molotov cocktails, shooting at the cops, and thousands of burning tires darkening the skies as they were screaming for the blood of American children... they would have shot them down like dogs.

There would not have been 60 dead. There would have been at least 600 dead, if not many more.

{Of course, Mexicans would never bring their own children into a conflict with armed Texans.}

Nonetheless, Hamas wanted dead Arabs to parade before anti-Zionist cameras for the purpose of delegitimizing Israel and stoking hatred toward Jews and they got those dead Arabs, including children, and their families were paid for this atrocity. Nonetheless, this is causing well-meaning people throughout the world to honestly believe that Israel assaulted unarmed Arab men, women, and children. And why should they not believe it after so many decades of mainstream media suggestion of Jewish persecution of the "indigenous" Arabs and centuries of blood-libels and hate?

It just fits so neatly into the "Palestinian narrative" of unending victimhood, even as they ruin their own societies, sacrifice their own children on an Aztec altar of blood, and seek the genocide of my brothers and sisters.

But what is truly joyous at this moment, aside from the swirling chaos, is the fact that these insidious media outlets did their very best to ruin what should have been a beautiful moment. After 2,000 years of diaspora, a major world power, the United States, finally recognized Yerushalayim as the capital city of the Jewish people.

That, as my friend Avi Abelow would say, is truly a miracle.

Nonetheless, Israel is, yet again, subject to a rising wave of world hatred stoked by the media who almost always describe Jewish self-defense as a form of aggression.

But the Gazan waves of hatred wash across all Jews who care about Israel, wherever we live in the world.

They even splash onto the beaches of northern California.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Unarmed Protestors My Ass

Michael Lumish

If I hear or read any more people talking about "unarmed protestors" I am going to fucking scream. I had a personal real-world friend ask me the other day, "Mike, why is Israel killing unarmed protestors?"

I blame the New York Times.

I blame all of these media outlets that are lying to the public about the Jews of the Middle East.

And this is personal. I know that if this friend of mine believes - which he hopefully no longer does after our discussion - that Israel is killing unarmed protestors then he will think the less of that country. He will also think the less of the Jewish people because we represent that country. And he will think the less of me for standing up for such a savage people.

I am so pissed-off right now I could just spit.

The Western media took something beautiful, which was the embassy move to Jerusalem, and they are doing everything that they can possibly do to turn it into garbage.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Extremist vs. Pragmatists

Sar Shalom

If there is anyone with any degree of competence in illustration, I'd love to see a visualization of what I describe. In the meantime, consider this textual description.

A Palestinian fantasizing about slicing a stereotypical Jew in two with a sword.

A Palestinian fantasizing about a UN official approach him to present him with the head of a stereotypical Jew on a silver platter.

From before the birth of the modern State of Israel, the Arab world has dreamed of eliminating it. Until sometime after the Yom Kippur War, the method of doing so was to do so with their own power. Between then and now, they have transitioned in their thinking about the most effective method of accomplishing the original aim of Israel's destruction. Now the issue is how do the Palestinians, or more specifically the Palestinian national movement (PNM), enlist the international community in the cause of destroying Israel or, as I would describe, presenting Israel's head to them on a silver platter?

Contrary to what many supporters of Israel might believe, the answer is not that the international community shares the PNM's belief that the Jews are untermenschen and are thus unworthy of having their own state. If that was the case, the PNM would not have to engage in what it does do in order to enlist their support. Rather, the PNM hopes to enlist international support by convincing the world that Israel is a class A evil matched only by Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa and on account of that merits destruction as those two regimes were destroyed. Their current tactic in doing so is to produce as many Palestinian deaths that can be attributed to Israel as possible and press upon the world media to portray those deaths as Israel's responsibility.

There are two takeaways. One, if an extremists adopts less overtly violent tactics as part of change in strategy while keeping the same objective, he remains an extremist. Two, those who play a part in that strategy must be called out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gav and the Hamas Embassy Riots

Gav Kostonov

{This is one of Gav's responses to the western-left push against Israel since the "Hamas Embassy Riots." The piece is a sort-of hypothetical synthesis of his discussions with those who honestly believe that Israel acted in an aggressive and disproportionate manner to unarmed activists. If any of you guys are interested in Gav's perspective, please look him up on Facebook. Oh, and by the way, I am taking credit for the phrase "Hamas Embassy Riots." That sounds about right. - ML}

Morons: Israel is killing unarmed protesters in Gaza!
Me: Those aren't protesters. Those are terrorists and they've been photographed and even filmed with weapons.
Morons: Prove it!
Me: Sure. Here's a link to PIJ claiming three of their men were killed in a firefight at the border. Here's another link showing a Hamas leader admitting that 50 of the 62 people killed were members of Hamas. All in all, that's 53 confirmed terrorists out of 62 dead Palestinians. Here's another link showing Mahmoud Al Zahrar talking about how Hamas has sold this event to the Western media as a peaceful protest as a deception and here is a video of Yahya Sinwar stating the goal of the demonstration is not peaceful protest but to storm the border and kill Jews under the guise of peaceful protest.
Morons: I don't trust Israeli sources.
Me: Every piece of information I just provided you came from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad sources.
Morons: Well, there were children killed!
Me: Yeah, including a 16-year-old member of PIJ. Not exactly the image of innocent childhood.
Morons: But even a baby died!
Me: One, who brings a baby to one of these things? Two, the Palestinian doctor in Gaza who examined the baby thinks it died of causes unrelated to the riot. Here's a link.
Morons: Well they can't all be terrorists!
Me: Correct, here are some videos and quotes from the Washington Post and NPR showing that even "non-terrorist" protesters intend to storm the border and kill or burn Jews. Here's the link.
Morons: Well, they're angry. It's not hatred.
Me: Here's a picture of a man rigging an incendiary device to a kite with a swastika on it. Here's a snippet of the same man saying he wants Jews to be offended by it and know he wants to burn them.
Morons: Well, can you blame them considering how Israel has treated Palestinians?
Me: They're hatred and terrorism long predates the State of Israel. They sided with the Nazis and egged on the Holocaust in 1942 and committed massacres in 1936, 1929, 1920, even going as far back as 1834. That's two generations before political Zionism and 100 years before the State of Israel. What was their excuse then?
Morons: (blank drooling stare)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Moderate Jewish Response to Arab Aggression

Michael Lumish
Let's get one thing straight.
The Gazan Arabs who sought to murder the Jews through breaking into Israel over the last several weeks were not "demonstrators." They were not "protestors." And they were certainly not unarmed.
In fact, many carried knives, hand-axes, cleavers, guns, and Molotov cocktails.
They also flew kites with Nazi swastikas attached to incendiary devices for the purpose of burning fields and crops and houses, if not people.
They were the aggressors and they had murder in their hearts at the very idea of recognition of Jewish sovereignty.
Hamas even provided instructions on where the weak points of the barrier are, where the nearest Jewish villages are in reference to those weak points, and how to carry out the murder and kidnappings of Jewish civilians.
So, yes, the IDF was very restrained under such circumstances.
Nonetheless, Hamas wanted dead Arabs to parade before the world for the purpose of delegitimizing the Jews and they got it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

No, he did not go against having a two-state solution

Sar Shalom

In the denunciations of Mahmoud Abbas from corners where he had been accustomed to being allowed to get away with anything, such as from the EU and the western punditocracy, a common refrain was that Abbas' ascribing centuries of pogroms against the Jews of Europe to Jews bringing it upon themselves contradicted his commitment to a "two-state" solution. However, his speech does nothing of the sort. Nothing that Abbas said stands in opposition to having two states in the southwest Levant. That is, there is nothing which contradicts dividing the territory into an Arab state and a bi-national state.

Herein lies the problem with talk about two states. When westerners talk about two states, they take it as a given that one of those states will be the current Jewish state of Israel, albeit on less territory. However, the Palestinians exploit that assumption by going along with "two states," but without saying explicitly what the second state, after the Arab state, will be. Meanwhile, Abbas categorically refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and resists any compromise on the right of return, both consistent with a strategy to turn the second state into a bi-nation state.

What we need to do is to be explicit about our non-negotiable demands. We insist that when all is said and done, there will remain a Jewish state. Talk of "two states" without saying anything about either of those states must not be allowed to be a substitute.

Breaking: Jew Builds Second Bathroom in East Jerusalem

Michael Lumish

{This is the satirical bit that got me booted off of Daily Kos, lo these many years ago.}

Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem --- The entire world was shocked yesterday when this reporter revealed that retired electrician, Ehud David Netanyolmert, shook the peace process to its roots by building an illegal second bathroom in his East Jerusalem home.

“This is yet another example of Israeli intransigence,” said Palestinian Authority PM, Mahmoud Abbas. “We cannot negotiate with the Israelis if they insist upon violating international law with the continued building on Palestinian lands. Israel must pressure Mr. Netanyolmert to dismantle the illegal mini-settlement that he has constructed.”

Only slightly taken aback by the world community’s rejection of the second bathroom, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post, “Israel wants peace and two states for two peoples. The Palestinians need to sit down at the negotiating table and I honestly do not see what some guy's second bathroom has to do with anything.”

In Washington, US President Barack Obama convened an emergency meeting with his cabinet in order to evaluate the situation and to determine the best response to this most recent Israeli aggression. In response to the crisis, US diplomat George Mitchell claimed, “Israelis have rights, but so do the Palestinian people. While the United States remains deeply committed to Israeli security, it is entirely unclear how the second bathroom promotes that security or in any way advances the cause of peace.”

When queried about this blatant Zionist violation of international law Mr. Netanyolmert objected to the entire line of inquiry. “You people are meshuganah,” Netanyolmert said while standing in his doorway, wearing his jammies and blinking into the morning sun. “Are you honestly telling me that Vladimir Putin objects to my second bathroom on the grounds that it is an impediment to peace?  Vladimir Putin?  Really?”

It should be obvious to any reasonable observer that Mr. Netanyolmert’s myopia regarding Zionist aggression, and his willingness to derail the peace process, cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. The Palestinian peace organization, Hamas, therefore responded today with a flurry of Qassam and Katyusha rocket attacks on S’derot and Ashkelon. The typical Israeli myopia extended to former S’derot mayor, Eli Moyal, who, while quivering under his desk, is alleged to have told his secretary, “Second bathroom? What second bathroom? What the hell are these people talking about?”

Meanwhile, a variety of Israeli left-of-center organizations are planning a mass rally in opposition to The Second Bathroom. Naomi Chazan, of the New Israel Fund, said that dozens of people will gather outside Mr. Netanyolmert’s home in solidarity with Palestinian activists in a No Second Bathroom rally. The protestors will carry signs reading, “Get the Hell out of the Bathroom!” and “Netanyolmert, Zionist Criminal Baby Killer!” and “Who Do These Jews Think They Are, Anyway?!”

Some fear that just as Ariel Sharon's stroll on the Temple Mount inevitably caused the Al-Aqsa Intifada, so Mr. Netanyolmert's violation of Palestinian sovereignty might spark a third... The First Second Bathroom Intifada.

One hopes that if the Israeli government makes the necessary concessions by evacuating the bathroom then the Palestinian Authority might be persuaded to sit down for peace talks.

But who could blame the PA if they refuse?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Quick Note on "Intersectionality"

Michael Lumish

The concept is not difficult to understand. Intersectionality is a currently popular western-left political theory that dockets people onto a hierarchy of victimhood according to ethnicity and/or gender identification.

It is the most popular form of identity politics, today.

It postulates a theory of Good People versus Bad People, which is to say, oppressed versus oppressors.

The Good People, the oppressed, are "people of color" (whatever that means, exactly), the non-white poor, and the gender-disassociated.

The Bad People are "white people," particularly of the masculine variety, "Zionists" and the rich.

That, in a nutshell, is progressive-left ethnic politics in the West today. 

But what nobody discusses is the fact that this whole set-up flies directly in the face of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s admonition to judge people according to the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Michael Caplan and "Long War Denial"

Michael Caplan

Pro-Israel Writer, Michael Caplan
{This is a guest post from a crazed Canadian that I tend to see eye-to-eye with. It represents a broad overview, but I like broad overviews. I also did not go anywhere near the editing. I like my contributors to keep their own voice. - ML.}

A (from my perspective) sympathetic, well-informed, articulate, intelligent, proudly Jewish and pro-Zionist professor – one of the panelists in a warm-hearted discussion tonight on "Israeli and Palestinian Narratives" that was predicated on the possibility of communication (and warm-heartedness goes a long way, if not nearly far enough) – spoke, while valiantly trying to address the "flight and expulsion" of Palestinian Arabs in 1948 and 1967, of Israeli responsibility, then added something along the lines of, "I know the Arabs played a part, too."

And that's what I mean about "Long War Denial": in the most positive-minded, interest-group balanced (totally freakin' Canadian) discussion of the issue, with apparently well-intentioned people from "both sides" aiming to listen to each others' narratives (and yes, some of that did happen), what cannot, it seems, even be *spoken* is the very reason for the wars of 1948 and 1967 that resulted in Arab refugees. Israeli aggression is the absolute, unquestioned underlying assumption – even if then "excused" to some degree by a reference to the history of repeated Jewish persecution and the legitimate need for Jewish self-protection.

Now, this is could be understandable from Palestinian civilians who lived through the experience and didn't know the political machinations that were going on, perhaps. And it is understandable for those dedicated to "revisionist" histories like those fabricated by Illan Pappé. But is it in any way reasonable at this point in time, at a gathering with *this* sort of intention, and with the real history readily at hand? (This professor was *clearly* aware of it.)

Israel was attacked, both times, by massed Arab armies from multiple countries, with "Wipe them off the map!" on their minds. There was no other substantive reason for the wars than ethnic cleansing of the grossest type, the supremacist rejection of Jewish sovereignty even in the shared, pluralistic country that Israel sought (largely successfully, especially in such a context) to become.

As I've said in FB posts again and again (and will say, again and again): a bunch of Arab/Islamic supremacist thugs – like their version of the KKK, active collaborators with Nazis, and believing they had God on their side – took total control (not without resistance, thank goodness, yet with much support) of the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, while coming to dominate the positions of the surrounding Arab world.

Hate assumed the reins of power and it has never released them – launching wars and terroristic operations, indoctrinating Arab populations with propaganda about nefarious Jewish intentions, misleading them with falsified history, manipulating situations on the ground to put Israel into no-win scenarios where, compelled to use force, the resultant suffering of Arabs (actually their own leaders' responsibility) can be used to make Israel and the Jews look criminal in the world's eyes.

More than 70 years of explicitly articulated, continually enacted warfare-by-any-means, motivated entirely by the prejudiced rejection of peace and cooperation, and all that the most "balanced" discussion can produce (from the Jewish, pro-Zionist professor on the panel) is "the Arabs played a part, too".

Long War Denial: today's favourite propaganda weapon of those striving for a more successful Shoah, a really "final solution" to the "Jewish question".

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have Prof Andrew Markus in the studio responding to last week’s criticism of the Gen 17 survey by Prof Bill Rubinstein and then welcome back Isi Leibler who has had a couple of weeks off.

We have an in-depth conversation with Luke Walladge, a former ALP staffer on the direction that party is taking with Israel, and finish up with Eytan Meir from an organisation called Im Tirzu which does a magnificent job in holding left wing NGOs to account.

3 min Editorial:  Israel, two-state solution and Yishai Fleischer visit

8 min Prof Andrew Markus, responding to criticism of Gen 17 survey

37 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem [Isi doesn't hold back}

50 min Luke Walladge, former ALP staffer on the ALP and Israel

1:18    Eytan Meir, Im Tirzu which monitors leftist NGOs

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why are we so accepting of Islamic Jew-Hatred in the West?

Michael Lumish

The way that I have it figured is that the western-left generally views Arabs and Muslims as mere victims who have little in the way of actual agency and, thus, little in the way of actual responsibility for their words or behavior.

This despite the fact that they represent 1.5 billion people.

Western champaign socialists consider Arabs and Muslims pastoral victims of the violent, militaristic, "white" western, industrial techno-patriarchy.

And what that means in the fragile and guilt-ridden Euro imagination, is that any infraction of normal human decency - even when it is directed a sub-minority like Kurds or Yazidis or Copts or Jews - is to be indulged.

Islam represents the most succesful and vicious imperial exercise in human history, yet pussitudenous people of Euro descent have to scratch their navels and ponder their sins as Yazidis are buried alive in mass graves and Coptic churches are burned to the ground in Egypt and the Jews are under never-ending harassment by their malicious neighbors.

And, of course, I understand that people will say, "Jeez, Lumish. It's the NY Post? You can't trust the Post."

Well, you definitely cannot trust the New York Times either and the truth is that there are more and more jihadis in the mosques screeching for Jewish blood in the United States.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Contact for Food & Wine Concerning Their Misguided Appreciation of Reem Assil

Michael Lumish

The purpose of my last piece entitled, An Open Letter to Food & Wine Magazine Concerning Its Honoring of Racist Cafe Owner Reem Assil was to notify my friends in the Jewish community and the editors of Food & Wine that honoring an anti-Jewish racist like Reem Assil might not be such a good idea.

For obvious reasons, I think that it is an absolutely terrible idea, but we have recourse.

Food & Wine is owned by the Meredith Corporation which is home to all sorts of popular magazines from TIME to PEOPLE to Sports Illustrated.

The CEO of the Meredith Corporation is Tom Harty.  Tom Harty’s personal assistant is Toni Crosby and her email address is 

I very much hope that each and every one of you send her a quick note objecting to Food & Wine's celebration of Reem Assil and, thereby, the terrorist Rasmea Odeh.

It must be noted that there is nothing to suggest that either Gail Simmons or Food & Wine or the Meredith Corporation in any way seek to promote hatred toward Jewish people or malice toward the State of Israel.

Gail Simmons IS Jewish, for chrissake.

Below is my letter to Ms. Crosby.

I hope that you write your own.
Dear Toni,

I am the writer of a recent piece published in the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel newspaper the Algemeiner published this last April 20th entitled, An Open Letter to Food & Wine Magazine Concerning Its Honoring of Racist Cafe Owner Reem Assil.

I am a PhD in American History out of Penn State University and a regular contributor to a variety of publications around Jewish life and politics.

It is important for me to let you know that I do not believe that either Meredith Corp or Food & Wine are intentionally promoting racism of any sort.

But it also must be understood that Reem Assil's cafe at the Oakland BART Station is racially toxic.

Assil features a floor-to-ceiling mural of a genocidal Jew murderer.

How good can her flatbread possibly be that it overrides admiration for an ideological killer of Jews?

In any case, you have my sincerest appreciation for listening to my concerns and those of all of us who stood vigil for Leon Kanner and Edward Joffe, the college student victims of Rasmea Odeh's genocidal impulses.

David Frum explains groupthink

Sar Shalom

By now, we are all familiar with the Left's litany of Israel's sins. Israel is a colonialist outpost. Israel is an apartheid state. Israel responds disproportionately to minor responses to legitimate grievances. The question is, why are these notions, which collapse under the slightest knowledgable query, so widely held? One answer comes from David Frum in last week's Atlantic:
[T]he whole point of a closed information system is that the things are not believed because they make sense. Things are believed because the closed information system has ratified and repeated them.
The thing is, Frum was not writing about Israel, or anywhere else in the Middle East. He was writing about the investigations into the Don and the Right's circling the wagons to delegitimize those investigations. As Frum describes, "[t]he system generates and repeats agreed fictions, and people are rewarded according to their ability to internalize, repeat, and embellish these fictions."

While Frum wrote about the Right's response to the investigations of its hero, his words just as accurately the establishment's approach to the Middle East. For every Sean Hannity obfuscating the Don's Russia dealings, there is a Roger Cohen obfuscating Hamas' embedding terrorists within civilian demonstrators and Israel's measured attempts to restrain those terrorists while minimizing harm to the civilians. For every Wall Street Journal editor insisting that the House Intelligence Committee has the ultimate truth that will ultimately vindicate the Don, there is a Peter Beinart ever ready to make an excuse for Abbas' latest display of obstinance.

If the media wants conservatives to take a hard look at the facts rather than reflexively circling the wagons in defense of their tribe, perhaps they should do so themselves.

Friday, April 20, 2018

An Open Letter to Gail Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine Concerning Its Honoring of Racist Cafe Owner, Reem Assil

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Algemeiner.}

Gail Simmons
of Food & Wine
and Top Chef
Dear Gail,

Laurie and I have been fans of Top Chef since the 2006 opening-season in San Francisco. We lived in the Central Haight at the time and were recently married as I was chewing on a dissertation and she was designing a career in marketing. We also briefly talked with you at a Grapes to Glass festival in Sonoma a few years ago.

You were at the Food & Wine table and we just dropped by to say "hello" as fans.

I may have been a bit star-struck at the time.

I am also, by the way, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a PhD in American History from Penn State University.

The reason that I am knocking on your door is to sincerely request that Food & Wine not honor Reem Assil's culinary efforts in Oakland. I suppose that it is too late since it has already named Reem's among Food & Wine Restaurants of the Year for 2018.

It is not your fault, but Food & Wine is making a mistake.

By venerating the antisemitic murderer Rasmea Odeh, Reem Assil is popularizing hatred for Jewish people in day-to-day retail spaces within the San Francisco Bay Area.

Terry Joffe Benaryeh, the niece of Edward Joffe, has written about the trauma to her family and their overcoming of that trauma in the pages of the Times of Israel. She writes eloquently about moving her family beyond the very malice that Reem Assil celebrates.

Reem's flatbread and coffee-shop features a floor-to-ceiling mural of the murderer of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. They were just college students, barely out of their teens in Jerusalem from the Hebrew University when Rasmea Odeh shattered their bones all over the Supersol grocery store in 1969 on behalf of the PFLP. This is essentially the same group that pushed 69-year-old wheel-chair bound Leon Klinghoffer off of the deck of the Achille Lauro during a cruise with his wife in celebration of their 36th wedding anniversary.

I am closely familiar with this story because Reem Assil and her attorneys dragged me into the legal system for writing about it on my small blog, Israel Thrives.

Among the people best able to describe Rasmea Odeh's political murders is Cornell University Professor of Law, William Jacobson:

But the truth is - whatever the quality of Assil's flatbread - this woman is not only honoring an ideological antisemitic killer but is popularizing it on the local, retail-level in the name of "social justice."

I sincerely hope that Food & Wine will recognize that it has made an understandable mistake because it is not as if Assil's veneration of the murderer Rasmea Odeh is common knowledge.

I do not believe that this mistake was malicious, but it should be corrected not only for the integrity of Food & Wine but because it is simply not ethical.

But what cuts close to the bone for me personally is the fact that three times Reem Assil and her attorneys sought Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) against me and were three times denied by the courts. They sought these TROs not because I ever spoke with Reem Assil or ever came within ten feet of the woman. I do not know her. Yet Assil's attorney's sought these restraining orders to prevent me from writing about the demonstrable fact that she is celebrating an ideological killer of Jews.

What most analyses of this story miss are two crucial points.

The first is that in her legal efforts to silence our vigils for the dead, Assil also sought to push against the Western and American tradition of freedom of speech. My case was a test case. It was meant to see if Assil and her friends could not legally silence American Jews, and friends of the Jewish people, from speaking out against antisemitism.

The second is that in celebrating Rasmea Odeh in that giant floor-to-ceiling mural, Assil sought to mainstream violent antisemitism in common American retail spaces. It represents the popular cultural expression of hatred towards Jews.

I very much want you to understand that it is not in the interest of Food & Wine, or anyone else, to join such a racist celebration within living memory of the Holocaust.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Note to an Old Friend

Michael Lumish

I recently started communicating with a guy that I have known online since my days on Daily Kos and Maryscott O'Connor's defunct My Left Wing.

This gentleman is, to my mind, an intelligent person to be respected.

He is a pro-Israel Jew, an attorney, a progressive, and an epicure.

But what I fail to understand is how even highly sophisticated and intelligent people simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that the Left is the greatest purveyor of bigotry and hatred in the United States today.

I asked this question:
The American Right is giving up racism, while the Left is racializing everything.

Am I wrong?
My old friend agreed with others that, yes, I am wrong.

This is my response to the guy:
Even here I have to disagree with you.

The problem with the Left is not at the fringes - as it is on the Right - but in the mainstream, both grassroots and organizational.

{And please understand that my intention is not to be confrontational or partisan.}

The truth, as you well know, is that antisemitic anti-Zionism in the West is largely coming from the Left and political Islam.

Even just today we have the women's movement under Linda Sarsour and others dismissing the Anti-Defamation League as essentially a racist organization.

It is left-leaning organizational venues, like the NYT or the Guardian or the HuffPost or, yes, Daily Kos, that have made homes of themselves for political anti-Zionism.

And, needless to say, this constant whining and screeching and moaning and groaning about the evils of "whiteness" and "white" people comes entirely from the Western Left.

One of my fundamental criticisms of the American Left is that we do not get to pick-and-choose which ethnic groups it is OK to be hateful towards.

Progressive-left racism represents a big blind-spot for the Left.

But all racists throughout history have believed that their racism was fully justified... and, thus, not really "racism" at all.
And on a related note to a different person under the same discussion who, although highly intelligent himself, refuses to acknowledge American advancement in racial relations, I wrote:
You are misreading American history entirely.

Between Martin Luther King, Jr. and the presidency of Barack Obama the United States did more to move beyond the crusty old racisms of the past than any other country during a similar period of time and no one did more than did the American right-wing in that regard.

The right, under William F. Buckley Jr., emphatically repudiated mainstream Republican Party antisemitism and in recent decades has absolutely repudiated de jure racism of the type that typified Jim Crow.

Unfortunately - and, again, I say this as someone who comes out of the American Left - it is within the Left that we are seeing the shedding of liberalism and the rise of truly intense forms of bigotry and racial hatred.

The three fundamental types of progressive-left bigotry are anti-white racism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, and the type of "humanitarian" racism which treats people of non-European descent like children.

What seems fairly obvious, and very sad, is the apparent need of many political people on the Left to continue whipping up racial tensions after a time when we've moved so well beyond them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rabbi Slifkin and Ayman Odeh on Israel's independence

Sar Shalom

The New York Times carried yet another propaganda piece by Ayman Odeh decrying Israel's Independence Day as the Palestinians' "Nakba." Among the points Odeh raises is that of the 70,000 Arabs in the Haifa area before the Independence War, all but 2,000 were, according to Odeh's narrative, expelled, with his grandparents among the 2,000 who remained.

Odeh goes on to list other crimes he attributes to Israel. On one level, it would be worth fisking those claims. However, on another level, it is worth looking at an analysis of another group's response to Israel's Memorial/Independence Day by Rabbi Natan Slifkin. In describing the reasons for chareidi practice, Slifkin describes:
There are the explanations that are given for kiruv or PR or even internal purposes, and that are believed by many Anglo charedi wannabees, and sometimes even by some real McCoy Israeli charedim. And then there are the real explanations, which are well understood by astute observers of the charedi world, as well as many people within the charedi world.
One of Slifkin's examples is Yom Hashoah for which Rabbi Slifkin writes:
Explanations such as "the siren is chukas hagoy," or "we don't mourn during Nissan," or .... The real reason is that Yom HaShoah is an event created by and for the nation of the State of Israel as a whole, and charedim do not want to identify as part of that wider community.
A similar phenomenon is in effect with Arab complaints about Israeli abuse of the "indigenous" Palestinians. The public reasons are the ones that Odeh wrote and the the NY Times published today. The real reason is that the Jews have abrogated the Pact of Umar and the Arabs are angry that they cannot respond as Abu Ishaq did in 1066.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with Rev Fred Nile about conservative politics and his participation in a joint Jewish-Christian event in Sydney to mark Israel’s 70th birthday, and then hear an interview Michael conducted with ‘Robert’, a Gaza supporter at the recent rally in Melbourne and the holder of some very strange views.

The guys then follow up on the situation of Jeremy Corbyn and UK Jewry with British blogger Richard Millett and academic Frank Furedi.

And while Isi Leibler is taking some time off, Michael and Alan catch up on the latest in Israel with Arnold Roth.

3 min Editorial: Israel’s right to exist

11 min Rev Fred Nile, Christian support for Israel

36 min Discussion and then Gaza supporter ‘Robert’ at Melbourne rally

50 min Richard Millet, UK blogger on Corbyn and UK Jewry

1 hr 10 Frank Furedi, UK academic on Corbyn and UK Jewry

1 hr 28 Arnold Roth in Israel

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ruth Wisse and the Israeli "Messy House" Metaphor

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

Ruth Wisse
Professor of Yiddish Literature, Harvard
Israel has been in for vicious criticism recently over its response to the violent Arab March of Return.

Hamas sent about 30,000 soldiers, and families of soldiers, to challenge the integrity of the fence between Israel and Gaza. They have also burned thousands of tires near that fence creating a local environmental catastrophe.

About seventeen people were killed in the first wave of this little adventure-slash-picnic and, according to some sources, about seven hundred people were shot by the IDF.

{This statistic, by the way, is difficult to believe. If the IDF shot up over seven hundred people there would definitely be more than seventeen, or so, dead.}

Simultaneously, Israelis are in an uproar over their version of the Middle East / African immigration crisis.

There are about 38,000 illegal immigrants from Africa in the country who have created their own little ghetto in south Tel Aviv. Some are calling that neighborhood "Little Africa." The high-pitched, table-pounding debate within Israel is about just what to do with these people.

The right-wing wants them deported because they are illegal immigrants and the left-wing wants them to move in with your grandmother.

In recent months it looked as if the Netanyahu government might deport them back to Africa, but a deal was struck through the offices of the United Nations wherein Western countries would take in half of those illegal immigrants and Israel would assimilate the other half. My sense is that this was a compromise that most on both sides of the argument could live with.

Needless to say, Netanyahu canceled the deal and now no one is happy. The left-wing in Israel is screaming from the rafters that this is cruel because all refugees deserve - as a friend of mine put it -"to have their specific, individual case heard by a fair system of refugee determination."

Meanwhile the right-wing is upset because of Netanyahu's unreliability and flip-flop-o'mania.

As the criticism of Israel begins to ramp-up in this current developing season of Israel Hatred, it is important to keep in mind some very wise words from Harvard Professor of Yiddish literature Ruth Wisse who, I assume, will forgive me for paraphrasing.

In a lecture a few years ago she used a metaphor to criticize the friendly critics of Israel who just wish that Israel was a more moral country. These are the kind of people who genuinely regret that Israel fails to be a Light Unto the Nations and who champion Tikkun Olam.

Professor Wisse asks us to consider the following scenario:

Let us imagine that you own a house in a particular neighborhood and one day a friendly neighbor dropped by for a beer and chit-chat on a hot summer Sunday afternoon. This is a guy who lives just down the street, who you know by first name, and who you've been more-or-less friendly with for years.

Suppose this neighbor suggested, as you're settin' on the porch, that you really needed to clean up your yard and house a bit because things are getting a little messy. He's talking as a friend to a friend and in an entirely non-hostile manner. You know, the yard needs a little weed-whacking and there is still that broken window in the second bedroom that must be replaced.

But let's say that, in truth, your house is the best-kept house in the neighborhood. The houses surrounding your house and those nearby are obnoxious wrecks. Yards are entirely overgrown like jungles. Roofs are caving in.

Neighbor kids are running around with slingshots, but no pants.

And let's say that you've always wanted to live peaceably with these neighbors, yet they throw rocks through your windows and threaten violence and death upon your family.

What would you think of your friend's advice to trim your weeds under those circumstances?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The New York Times Celebrates Reem Assil's Antisemitic Cafe in Oakland

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Algemeiner.}

Reem Assil Grinning Before an
Ideological Murderer
Photo by: Cece Capiro
The New York Times "Travel Section" has a piece by Rebecca Flint Marx entitled, An Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of California Love.

In truth, Reem's flatbread café is not a very loving place for Jewish people because it publicly celebrates the murders of college students Eddie Joffe and Leon Kanner.

Or, at least, it is not loving towards those of us who care about our families and friends in the land of our ancestry.

The very title of Marx's piece is a form of journalistic deceit.

"An Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of California Love"?

Perhaps I am a tad biased.

I don't know how I could not be, given that I am the guy that Reem Assil dragged into the legal system for speaking the truth about the hatred she spreads through the veneration of the murderer Rasmea Odeh.

To be blunt, Reem's bakery is defined not by love but by the other side of that coin.

In a run-down section of Oakland - within spitting distance of the Fruitvale BART Station where Oscar Grant was shot dead on New Year's Eve, 2009 - Reem Assil spreads malice toward the Jewish people... but, apparently, according to the New York Times in a loving way.

The floor-to-ceiling mural of the murderer and antisemitic anti-Zionist Rasmea Odeh is the point of contention.

Marx, in an act of journalistic malpractice - even for a food writer - described Odeh as merely some  "controversial Palestinian activist" until an editor, after a response by angry Jews, no doubt, added the caveat:
In 1970, Ms. Odeh was convicted by Israeli courts for her role in the murder of two students. In 2014, she was convicted of immigration fraud in U.S. federal court and was deported to Jordan in 2017.

Yet, somehow, the New York Times still features the piece under the headline, An Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of California Love.

Furthermore, Justin Phillips of the San Francisco Chronicle tells us that Reem Assil continues meteoric rise with new fine-dining restaurant at Jack London Square.

The truth is that Rasmea Odeh is a confessed and convicted murderer in an Israeli court case observed by the International Red Cross  as William Jacobson, Cornell University Professor of Law and proprietor of the Legal Insurrection website, clearly outlines in this video.

Many years after the murder her partner, Aisha Odeh, confessed to the crime in a proud manner on Palestinian-Arab television and revealed Rasmea's role in those murders. She claims at the 1:35-minute mark, "Rasmiyeh Oudeh was more involved than I was..."

She is the convicted killer of Hebrew University students Edward Joffie (21) and Leon Kanner (20) in the 1969 terrorist attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is also the organization responsible for the flinging of 69-year-old, wheelchair-bound, Leon Klinghoffer off of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985 into the Mediterranean Sea on his wedding anniversary.

Odeh was released in 1980 from an Israeli prison as one of 78 other Palestinian-Arabs in return for a single Jew.

She then lied her way into the United States where - much to my astonishment - made a name for herself as a "progressive-left feminist" organizer in Chicago and an eventual associate of that faux-icon of human liberation, Linda Sarsour.

The United States government, meanwhile, recently deported Odeh to Jordan not because she kills people, but because she falsified her papers into the United States by forgetting to the mention the fact that she kills people.

Reem Assil - with a big smile on her face and in an "Oaklandish Warriors" t-shirt in the photo above - is, thus, glorifying an anti-Jewish genocidal racist killer.

This woman is Americanizing - with the t-shirt and baseball cap - violent hatred toward Jews.

She is attaching Arab-Palestinian malice toward Jewish people onto good old-fashioned sports Americana with a young hipster look and that is a terrific tactic if what you are after is the normalization of racist bigotry.

On a culinary level, Reem's joint is a small step above your average food truck - and therefore it is hard to imagine just why the New York Times, of all places, would take notice - but her flatbread has significance on a political level because she breaks fresh ground in the San Francisco Bay Area in terms of spreading antisemitic anti-Zionism.

Reem Assil, in her reverence for Rasmea Odeh, is helping to make Jew Hatred cool and is doing so on a day-to-day retail level.

The heartlessness, within living memory of the Holocaust, is difficult to fathom.

Marx tells us that, according to Assil, social justice "has always been a core component of Reem’s."

This is false.

Whatever the quality of Assil's flatbread the very last thing that her joint has to do with is social justice.

Assil is not so much serving flatbread to the Oakland public as she is serving up violent political malice toward Jewish people.

The mural of Rasmea Odeh puts every Jew passing by on notice.

It reminds me just a tad of 1930s Berlin.

It is like walking by a giant Nazi Swastika every time that I enter the Fruitvale BART Station.

"California love"?

I certainly hope not.

The Times should be ashamed of itself.

What a disgrace.