Sunday, October 7, 2018

Mobilization vs. Persuasion

Sar Shalom

One of the debates running in electioneering circles is whether campaigns should focus on mobilization, that is ginning up excitement among loyal supporters to make sure they feel compelled to show up at the polls, or persuasion, or trying to convince swing voters. For promoting support of Israel, there is a similar choice between whipping up passions on the side that of the domestic debate that currently is more favorable to Israel or directing arguments to the side that is less supportive. Bringing these options to mind are two recent articles linking the recent Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to discourse about Israel, one by Melanie Phillips and one by Caroline Glick.

Both of those articles are examples mobilization. Both take as a given that there was no substance to the accusations against Kavanaugh and thereby compare the media's treatment of Israel to the left-wing conspiracy against Kavanaugh. Earth to supporters of Israel, how many people who engage in the necessary motivated reasoning to dismiss the charges against Kavanaugh without a bona fide investigation are there who do not already support Israel? If there are not that many, what is there to gain by canonizing Kavanaugh?

On the flip slide, how many people are there who see the whole process as steamrolling Kavanaugh through who are not solid supporters of Israel? Does declaring Israel as innocent as Kavanaugh help endear Israel to such people? A persuasion approach would take an opposite reading of the Kavanaugh confirmation process. I'll give two examples.

Following a hamstrung investigation that explicitly limited who could be interviewed, the FBI failed to find any corroboration of Dr. Blasey Ford's allegations. Similarly, following a hamstrung inspection that allowed Iran to declare certain sites off limits, the IAEA failed to find any violations of the JCPOA.

During the pre-hearings stage of the confirmation process, Judge Kavanaugh gave Sen. Susan Collins that he accepts Roe v. Wade as settled law. Similarly, there is a widely held narrative that while Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject Israel's right to exist and are committed to terror, Fatah recognizes Israel and have renounced terrorism. This narrative is held solely on the basis of Yasser Arafat having said so in the 1990's and Mahmoud Abbas repeating that assertion.

If you want to convince America's liberals to support Israel, instead of justifying the steamrolling of Kavanaugh's confirmation, ask those who view the FBI investigation that failed to confirm the allegations (as opposed affirmatively finding anything exculpatory) as a sham and who excoriate Collins for her willful blindness to Kavanaugh's ruse, why do they take the IAEA's certification of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA and Fatah's recognition of Israel/renunciation of terror at face value?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Jewish Kids Need Krav Maga

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under, the Elder of Ziyon, and The Israel Forever Foundation.}

When I was a tiny, little Zionist growing up in New York and Connecticut in the 1970s and 1980s, Jewish youngsters did not learn Krav Maga.

I doubt any of my friends, Jewish or otherwise, ever even heard of this martial art.

We punched a nose when we had to, just as every other boy did, but it was a regular part of growing up. We were teens and pre-teens and made of rubber.

My neighborhood was middle-class and ethnically mixed. Sometimes the kids were working on their cars in their parents' garage. We would call them "clutch-heads." They tended to be Catholic and they sometimes wore leather jackets. Tough boys, y'know. There were also the "freaks" -- the children of the Counterculture and the New Left -- who wore long hair and denim with patches and listened to the Dead and the Stones and Zep on the cusp of the New Wave and the Reagan Administration.

 And then there were the "jocks" and the "norms" and whatever.

These are the terms that we used at the time.

"Freaks" and "Jocks" and "Norms" and "Clutch Heads"... at least at Trumbull High School, just outside of Bridgeport.

And sometimes fights would break out. Almost nobody ever got seriously hurt and even the parents did not worry too much about this kind of thing, because they grew up with it, themselves. Kids have to work out their own personal relationships just like everyone else, but the parents usually did not get involved. It was always pretty much left up to the kids in the street because it was primarily harmless.

The folks were trying to make a buck and after school, we were pretty much on our own as teens and pre-teens. But it was natural as a young man growing up to learn how to throw a punch. You did not need to be Jean-Claude Van Damme, but it was definitely helpful to know how to defend oneself. You had to be willing to fight because none of us respected a kid who was too cowardly to stand up for himself. You did not even need to be particularly big and strong because, as my old hero Yankees manager Billy Martin said, "It is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."

I was recently in conversation with a friend of mine -- an old online sparring partner -- who studies and teaches Krav Maga in the San Francisco Bay Area. I contacted him because it seems obvious to me that diaspora Jewish kids need training in martial arts.

Anyone who looks fairly at the situation in Europe can see that our Jewish brothers and sisters are under the gun. The Labour Party, with Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, is fighting off charges of intense antisemitism even as the country is grappling with Muslim gang rape issues. One of the options in response is Jewish self-defense.

In truth, I would love to see the Hillels introduce Krav training as part of their regular curriculum.

The basic criticisms that would come from the Hillels and other Jewish organizations is that the very last thing that they want is to be seen as antagonistic or militaristic or pugnacious. This is entirely understandable. The Jewish population in the United States is somewhere between one and two percent of the total. But the thing is, anyone who knows anything about martial arts knows that you learn how to fight so that you do not have to.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Jordan Peterson and the New Center

Michael Lumish

I find myself increasingly interested in the work of social media people such as Dave Rubin and academics such as Jordan Peterson around what is sometimes referred to as "The New Center."

Jordan Peterson, along with neuroscientist Sam Harris, is among the trend's most significant figures. The point of this emerging sensibility is to outline a rational political balance and to promote freedom of speech, particularly at the universities.

Peterson, out of the University of Toronto, is a clinical and evolutionary psychologist who is influenced by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Campbell became famous in the late 1980s through the PBS documentary, The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers. In the last few years, Peterson came to prominence due to his opposition to Canadian legislation mandating the use of non-gendered pronouns among certain professional types, such as university professors.

Some have even accused him of being "alt-right"...  whatever that is supposed to mean, exactly.

In truth, Peterson draws much from the hippie-counterculture inspiration of the twentieth-century that goes to scholars such as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and Timothy Leary.

If you listen to his discussion below, concerning psychedelics, you could easily mistake his sensibilities with the early careers of 1960s counterculture academicians like Richard Alpert, out of Harvard, who later became Baba Ram Dass.

To confuse someone like Peterson with a hard-line, right-wing political viewpoint is, from any reasonable historical view, simply mistaken.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Jesse Ventura and the Maximum Wage

Michael Lumish

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura
I have a soft spot in my heart for Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler and former governor of the state of Minnesota.

He went from "Jesse the Body" to "Jesse the Brain."

The video below is a few years old and in it he discusses the notion of a "maximum wage."

He uses the Walton family of Walmart fame as an example. He argues that there is something fundamentally wrong with wealth distribution in the United States. Walton family members are billionaires even as US taxpayers are forced to subsidize their employees due to low wages. From my perspective, Ventura is correct to point to the problem. Personally, I could not care less how much anyone earns or how many simoleons a person acquires over the years. It is not my business and it does me no personal harm.

However, the very notion that regular working-class Americans must subsidize the employees of gazillionaires does indicate a significant problem. So, what to do?

I do not have the answer.

The reason that the question interests me, however, is because it seems to go to a fundamental fault-line in western politics between authoritarian socialism and liberal capitalism. I never write on economic theory because I do not believe that I have the necessary education to weigh-in on that field. But I certainly think that Ventura has a point.

Socialism, if it means anything, means that the workers own the means of production. That is the most fundamental definition. But it also means, essentially, that therefore the government owns everything. It suggests an authoritarian framework that flies directly in the face of the Constitution of the United States and of western liberalism, more generally.

What I would suggest is that many of the people who currently refer to themselves as "socialist" on the American political scene are probably not. Actually, they are social democrats. The reason that I say so is that they also see themselves as anti-authoritarian. Certainly the little ideological offspring of Bernie Sanders -- a self-proclaimed socialist -- see themselves as freethinkers and anti-fascists. The problem is that socialism and anti-authoritarianism are mutually exclusive in practice.

One cannot be a socialist and anti-authoritarian simultaneously because socialism is authoritarian in its nature as a political ideology. The only way that "the workers" can gain ownership of the "means of production" is through government intervention through violence or threats of violence. This is the very definition of authoritarianism.

Thus in the United States, the primary political question is not between socialism versus capitalism, but where to draw the necessary lines within regulatory capitalism because, at the end of the day, we are all pretty much regulatory capitalists. The hard American left is mainly comprised not of actual socialists, but of regulatory capitalists who want to see more regulation. The hard American right is mainly comprised not of fascists, but of regulatory capitalists who want to see less regulation in the interest of individual liberty.

I am not putting forth answers to these fundamental questions.

I am merely endeavoring to define the questions for my personal edification and perhaps for yours.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I Was Wrong about Anti-Zionists

Michael Lumish
This is a retread of a thing I wrote for Daily Kos in June of 2009 under the nom de blog "Karmafish" which I entitled, I Was Wrong about Anti-Zionists. 
It has been almost ten years, now, and what I was trying to do then was simply alert the American-Left to the fact of antisemitic anti-Zionism within their ranks.
The piece is sarcastic and ironic because I was frustrated at the failure of their ongoing refusal to recognize what was right before their faces.

In truth, the western-left does not care about racism. It is, in fact, the most highly racist movement outside of political Islam in the West today.

It simply uses racism as a political club.

And the thing of it is, these people are not being disingenuous. They sincerely believe what they say that they believe. What they do not seem to understand is that bigotry is not dependent upon the ethnicity of the target.
For a long time, now, I have been suggesting that left anti-Zionism often serves as a shroud for anti-Semitism and that the constant vilification and demonization of Israel is anti-Semitic when the people doing that vilifying ignore Darfur and Congo and Sri Lanka and the Chinese in Tibet.
I must admit that I was wrong and I hereby issue an apology.
I live in San Francisco and I love my town.  Some months ago there was a protest against Israel’s Gaza incursion and here are a few photos demonstrating just how wrong I was.
Let’s get directly to the matter, shall we?
This nice lady carried a sign reading, "Jews are terroist!"  I am not certain what a "terroist" is, but criticism of Israel is not, I repeat, NOT anti-Semitism.  By the way, aren't her daughters as cute as little anti-Zionist buttons?
Now, given the overly extreme sensitivities of
Jews "Zionists" you would think that someone carrying such a sign would be asked to leave or put it away.  Did that happen?  Not exactly.
Smile pretty for the camera!
Some of the pro-Israel, "Zionist" crowd has suggested that the left is often supportive of Hamas despite their Jew Killing agenda as laid out in their charter, which reads, in part:
The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
But this is clearly false.  No one on the left actually supports Hamas:
No one on the left would be caught dead supporting a blood-thirsty, gay-hating, woman-oppressing, Jew-killing, theocratic organization like Hamas.  It’s just that Hamas is misunderstood.  They can’t help themselves.  Besides, it’s all Israel’s fault.
And since it is all Israel’s fault, you really cannot blame people for wanting to kill "Zionists."
Or ZioNazis, anyway.  This fine gentleman of the left has nothing against Jews, just evil ZioNazis who are legitimate military targets.  Kill the ZioNazis!  Of course, since the vast majority of Jewish people happen to favor the existence of the Jewish state (for some dumb reason) this would make them Zionists and, thus, Nazis.  And we all know what to do with Nazis.  Just what this gentleman suggests, eh?  But no reasonable person could possibly consider such a stance, the killing of "Zionists," to be anti-Semitic.  This is merely criticism of Israel and again, criticism of Israel is NOT anti-Semitic and anyone who suggests otherwise is a GIYUS Hasbara troll trying to shut down the discussion.
Here is this man’s criticism of Israel:
Smash the Jewish state?  That’s a good question.  Should Israel, or should Israel not, be destroyed?  There is something like 13 million Jews in the world, a whopping .2% of the world population, and nearly 40% of them live in Israel.  But the question of whether or not to wipe them out is not anti-Jewish.  It is a merely a question that people of good will can disagree upon.  
Now, the European Union has declared that equating Israel with Nazi Germany is anti-Semitic, but given Europe’s famous love for the Jewish people, it is not surprising that they would suggest this.  The problem is that there is just too much good will toward Jews in Europe and they are far, far too overprotective of their Jewish citizenry.  Just because Jewish schools and synagogues have to be guarded by the police from possible attack means nothing.

And just because anti-Jewish violence is rising there is no cause for concern.  National Socialism, of course, is generally considered the worst, the most vicious, political movement in world history and they had to be destroyed.  But comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is not anti-Semitic.  It is, again, merely criticism of Israel.  There is nothing wrong with criticizing Israel, just as there is nothing wrong with criticizing any other country.  And just because Israel is like Nazi Germany, and Nazi Germany had to be destroyed, Jewish people should not get so head-up about this mild criticism.
And just because Zionism, the movement for Jewish self-determination and self-defense, is just like Nazism is also no reason for Jews to object to such a characterization.
Of course, some people consider Jews to actually be worse than Nazis.  The picture below shows a Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish people, with a "greater than" symbol pointing to a Nazi Swastika.  I understand that a tiny percentage of blood-thirsty Jewish neo-cons would object to such a characterization, but the neo-cons gave us the Iraq war and thus should not be listened to.  The suggestion that Jewish people are actually worse than Nazis is nothing but criticism of Israel.  It is not meant to offend Jews and it certainly should not be taken to mean that Jews are evil and must be gotten rid of.
Never again?  It's a question, really.  Probably never again.  Perhaps.
Nonetheless, as I am sure you will all agree, the Intifada needs to be globablized.
All this person is suggesting is that people of good will around the globe must take to the streets in violent confrontation with "Zionists" wherever they might be found.  Just because the vast majority of Jews support the Jewish state and are, thus, "Zionists" doesn’t mean that they should object to a global Intifada.  
In fact, Jewish people, as a matter of social justice, should join with their anti-Zionist brothers and sisters calling for violent reprisals against... "Zionists"!
Some of you, btw, may have heard of a recent police shooting of an unarmed man in Oakland in the Oakland City BART station.  One liberal anti-Zionist protester, reasonably enough, blames this on the Jews.
The suggestion, of course, is that Israel’s recent criminal Zionist genocidal massacre in Gaza is directly connected to that shooting.  But it cannot be said enough that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic.
Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic.
Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic.
And there was Cindy.
What a shame.
And, again, I apologize.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Labour Betrayal

Michael Lumish

Delegates wave Palestinian flags, chant ‘Free Palestine’
during Labour conference held amid widespread
anti-Semitism accusations

The Times of Israel and AP staff tell us:
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party on Tuesday passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel and pledging to halt all UK weapon sales to the Jewish state if it rises to power, as a senior lawmaker warned the party must root out anti-Semitism amid persistent scandals dogging the party.

Delegates at the party’s conference in Liverpool voted to criticize Israel’s use of force against violent protests and riots on the Gaza border, urge more UK funding for the UN agency for Palestinians, and back a freeze on British arms sales to Israel.
The British, in general, have rarely been friends to the Jewish people and it is hard to know just what they want from our lives even as it is becoming less and less clear why we would should even care. Labour is threatening to halt UK weapons sales to Israel because our brothers and sisters dare to defend themselves against those who want us dead.

Not only does Hamas and the other Islamist organizations surrounding Israel -- not to mention the Palestinian Authority -- want us gone but they want us gone from the homeland our fathers.

It is a remarkable stand for Labour to take within living memory of the Holocaust.

Many of these people, to this day, probably still believe that the recent attacks on the Gaza border represent "peaceful protest." They must feel that the burning of Jewish crops and the killing of innocent creatures on animal preserves with those incendiary balloons -- that continues to this day -- are fully justified.

It is astonishing. There is all sorts of footage of violence and chaos and mayhem and blood coming from Arabs who live on Jewish land directed toward Jews, yet the progressive-left and the Labour Party honestly believe that we deserve whatever beating that we get.

I believe that this needs to be understood within the context of the long-standing European and Arab abhorrence to Jewish self-defense. For millennia the very notion of a Jew punching back was anathema within Europe and throughout the lands conquered via Arab and Muslim imperialism.

What is ironic and sad is Labour honestly does not recognize Judea as Jewish land.

They seem to believe that Israel is somehow part of the Arabian Peninsula and that, therefore, Jews need to be confronted for our usurpation of the land of others and the persecution of the innocent, bunny-like "indigenous Arab" population.

They do not recognize the indigeneity of the Jewish people to Israel even as they claim to stand for the rights of other indigenous peoples.

In 1190 there was the massacre of the Jews at York which took 150 of us, some taking their own lives during the bloody chaos and others burned in the tower.

In the year 1290 King Edward the First issued the Edict of Expulsion to the Jewish people living within England. The edict remained in force until Oliver Cromwell dropped by the British political scene in 1657.

There is even a delightful 2011 story from the BBC of all places that notes:
The remains of 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well in England could have been victims of persecution, new evidence has suggested.

The most likely explanation is that those down the well were Jewish and were probably murdered or forced to commit suicide, according to scientists who used a combination of DNA analysis, carbon dating and bone chemical studies in their investigation.
Is there an actual difference between being murdered versus forced to commit suicide?

But these little acts of anti-Jewish malice are insignificant compared to British behavior during the Holocaust in which they refused Jewish escape from Germany and Poland even as the ovens were firing. The Brits issued the "White Paper" of 1939 that kept us away from our family in Israel even as the Nazis were rifling us down or gassing our grandparents.

And now the Labour Party is standing with Hamas and the PLO and thus want to halt weapons sales to Israel.

That is A-OK with me.

Why does Israel need to purchase weaponry? Would it not help the Israeli economy to replace British manufacturing with Israeli manufacturing? My guess is that Israel has all the expertise and resources necessary to fill the gap. The more independent Israel is, the better for everyone. The Jews of the Middle East, in my opinion, do not even need the 3 billion dollars in annual aid that the United States gives to American weapons manufacturers. This hardware comes with strings.

I do not want to say that we are in this fight alone, but we may need to think of "the conflict" in precisely those terms.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Avi Abelow Picks up the Torch

Michael Lumish

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

Avi Abelow
I think that it may be fair to say that few were wounded more by the murder of Ari Fuld -- outside of his family -- than was Israeli-American social media personality and political analyst, Avi Abelow.

I like Avi because he has both strength and joy.

He analyzes the worst of the conflict while also spreading gladness in his participation in Israeli and Jewish life.

What can I say? I am an American. Any American Jew, like Avi, who makes aliyah and is an old friend of Ari Fuld and promotes baseball in Israel is a good guy in my book.

He even coaches Ari Fuld's kid as anyone with access to Facebook can see on Ari Fuld's Israel Defense Page.

Abelow, like many of us, was wounded by the murder of Fuld, but Abelow knew him personally for many years. And so when I say that he is a social media figure that is willing to face the very worst side of the conflict, this is probably the very hardest example of it for him personally. He did not need to make aliyah and stand up for the Jewish people and, therefore, face the murder of friends... but he did so.

He could easily have stayed in the United States.

I honestly do not know that it is appropriate for me to promote a media person upon the death of his friend, but I am doing so, anyway. Abelow has been around for awhile and I know him best for his live discussions with journalists and scholars like Caroline Glick and Melanie Phillips.

He is also the founder of 12Tribe Films which he describes as:
dedicated to promoting creative projects about the Jewish people and the land of Israel that connect, entertain, and inspire. As the name of the organization suggests, our creative projects address Jewish issues, with a greater focus on the Jewish values that connect us as a whole. While the projects of 12Tribe Films address religious, political, sociological, and current events effecting Israel and the Jewish people, our goal is to be an informative and educational resource that focuses on the underlying Jewish values and human experiences beneath the issues.
Abelow on left, Fuld on right
with two other gentlemen
But, again, what I most appreciate about this guy is his willingness to stare the devil in the face while also expressing the beauty and significance of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. That is quite a tight-rope. That is not an easy thing to do, especially when the world begins to expect you to get up every morning and do it again and again and again. Half the time he is calling out antisemitic anti-Zionism and the other half he is either showing us the grace of Jerusalem or tossing around a ball with the kids in the park.

There are media people, such as Gideon Levy or Amira Hass of Ha'aretz, who make their bread from spreading hatred toward their brothers and sisters in the land of the Jewish people.

What we need now -- more than at any time in recent memory -- are people like Avi Abelow who are willing to stand up for the memory and strength of Ari Fuld.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week’s program is dedicated to the memory of Ari Fuld a”h, a great Israel advocate and friend of Nothing Left.

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman begin with Canadian Jewish leader Henry Roth speaking about Jewish life in Europe and elsewhere, and then hear from R’ Yehuda Glick MK, an activist for Jewish access to the Temple Mount who survived an assassination attempt.

The guys also chatted with the IPA’s Director of Policy, Simon Breheny.

Before that we spoke with Arnold Roth in Jerusalem who is relentless in bringing one of the organisers of a terror attack that killed his daughter Malki to justice.

Here is this week's episode of Nothing Left ...

4 min Editorial:  Palestinian Arab funding

10 min Henry Roth, Canadian Jewish writer and Israel advocate

34 min R’ Yehuda Glick, MK in Australia

57 min Arnold Roth in Jerusalem   

1 hr 12 Simon Breheny, Director of Policy, Inst of Public Affairs

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 Nothing Left at:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ari Fuld: 1973 - 2018

Michael Lumish

I don't have a lot to say about this other than that it saddens me greatly.

I was not a friend of Ari's, but I knew of him and we occasionally crossed paths in a friendly manner on Facebook. He was friends with others who I consider friends and he was just -- to my mind -- part of the larger pro-Jewish / pro-Israel network of people.

The Judeosphere.

I have to say, I am a little surprised at the tremendous outpouring for this man. I had no idea that he was so well-known. I knew he was well-liked and respected among many people, but even Netanyahu and others within the Israeli government are expressing their sadness at this murder.

And that, unfortunately, is all that I can do.

He had four children.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Unbearable "Whiteness" of Linda Sarsour

Michael Lumish

This is not her fault, obviously, but for a person who describes herself as a "woman of color," Linda Sarsour is the whitest person that I have ever seen.

I am sure that it is terrible and racist and sexist and homophobic and ageist and Rastaphobic and transphobic and antisemitic for me to mention this -- and whatever else makes you happy -- but I am pretty sure that Linda Sarsour is about as White as White can get.

She is Whitey McWhiterson. She is so white that whenever she pops up on my social network feeds I have to go get the Visine so that I am not blinded by the glare.

And whatever anyone else may make of this particularly racist idiot, the fact that as a white woman she pretends to be non-white for the purpose of railing against Euros and Jews is... odd. In fact, it is straight-up nonsense, but it serves a purpose, nonetheless.

Linda Sarsour reminds us that this whole biochromatic way of viewing American politics is not just nonsense, but highly toxic nonsense.

Highly dangerous nonsense.

And it goes directly against the very foundation of the "progressive-left" view on ethnicity as described by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. I do not need to quote it directly because anyone likely to read this already knows the thesis. King's fundamental idea was to judge people as individuals, according to character, rather than as faceless examples of ethnic groups. It is not very complex. It means that when Linda Sarsour and her people shake their fists and scream that we must follow "women of color" it means that she and her people are throwing the legacy of Martin Luther King down the toilet, even as they claim to stand for that very legacy.

It is the hypocrisy that kills.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Young Goodman Lumish

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under and the Elder of Ziyon.}
Young Goodman Lumish came forth at sunset...
Young Goodman Brown by carinaka
One of the paradigmatic early American short stories is Nathanial Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown (1835). The link above goes to the 1846 edition of the story as published in his collection, Mosses from an Old Manse. What fascinates me, oddly enough, is its potential resonance for diaspora Jewry within recent decades.

Hawthorne, of course, is an icon of American letters and closely associated with his Massachusetts Puritan ancestors as a primary subject of his work. His material is often surreal and dream-like and dark and represents one source of American literary Romanticism that later gave expression to major figures such as Edgar Allen Poe.

Hawthorne's portrayal of his ancestors' sense of a pagan and morally foggish world around Boston and Salem fits nicely with historian David D. Hall's analysis of the Puritans in Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (Harvard University Press, 1990). Hall describes the Puritan imagination as filled with "wonders" and portents and visions wherein the reality of the Devil and the anger of God is revealed in terrible storms, shipwrecks, and deformed babies born to allegedly immoral mothers.

I hope that I will be forgiven for finding enough universality in Young Goodman Brown to relate it to my own little journey into "the woods," so to speak. A brief description of his trip may resonate with others.

Goodman Brown's story begins in Salem village, Massachusetts, as he leaves his wife, Faith, for a necessary trip into the forest in the seventeenth-century.
Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman Brown.
We do not know why Goodman Brown must head alone into the wood, but he must and so he does.

The story is traditionally understood to have three settings. The first is that of departure from his beautiful wife and the well-ordered and morally-upstanding village of his youth. The second is the realization that the figures he discovers romping in the woods in a most devilish fashion are, in fact, his neighbors and friends. The conclusion represents Goodman Brown's gloomy disillusionment with the faith of his youth and the friends of his upbringing.

There is a reason that literary classics resonate throughout the centuries. It is the mythic universality of the story. Scholars like Joseph Campbell and Jordan Peterson -- not to mention Carl Jung -- analyze mythology because mythology and story-telling represent guidelines to human experience. A work like Young Goodman Brown is beautiful not merely because it is so beautifully written, but because it speaks to universal human themes. It is among what Peterson calls Maps of Meaning.

I hope that I am not stretching analogies too far to suggest that the story of Young Goodman Brown nicely reflects the ideological journey of many diaspora Jews.

Most "post-Vietnam" American Jews, such as myself, grew up in an environment that was not particularly antisemitic and generally decent for Jewish people. My folks raised me in Kingston, New York, and Trumbull, Connecticut and my life was filled with a hodge-podge of all sorts of different people. Black people and White people and This people and That people and we all got along pretty well.

But then, one day, for no good reason whatsoever, I just had to wander off into "the wood." And there, much to my sadness and dismay, I learned that my friends and neighbors were not necessarily who I thought that they were.

As I wrote my dissertation in twentieth-century American cultural and intellectual history for Penn State University, during the cusp between Bush and Obama, and as a former Green Party member, I got involved in Daily Kos under the nom de blog, Karmafish. Daily Kos was, at the time, and perhaps still is, the most prominent pro-Democratic Party blog in the United States. And it was within the surreal forest-like depths of emerging social media that I learned about progressive-left antisemitic anti-Zionism.

It amazed me in 2010 that when jihadis on the Mavi Marmara screamed for Jewish blood in the ancient cry of "Khaybar! Khaybar! Oh, Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!" that the western press and progressive-left political activists described them as "peace activists." The traditional "Khaybar" call among Muslims of the jihadist variety is a call for genocide. It is to remember the glory of when Muhammad ordered the beheading of hundreds of Jewish men, and the taking of their wives and children into slavery, sexual and otherwise, in the town of Khaybar on the Arabian Peninsula in 628 CE.

That response by the Western press and "social justice activists" is, in fact, very reminiscent of the recent description of environmental warfare against Israel by Hamas as something akin to peaceful protests. The attempt to burn Jews out of Israel while seeking to invade the border between Israel and Gaza was described as "peaceful."

It was the realization of the contempt for Jewish self-determination and self-defense that drove me away from them in a satiric farewell entitled, Breaking: Jew Builds Second Bathroom in East Jerusalem. What I discovered during my months of participation on Daily Kos was a toxic loathing for Jewish self-determination and self-defense residing within the heart of the progressive-left. This is not to say that most "progressives" or Democrats are antisemitic, but it is to assert that they have, nonetheless, made a home of themselves for antisemitic anti-Zionists.

And therein lies the dilemma and the problem.

For Young Goodman Brown his return to Salem village meant the end of innocence with no clear road ahead and that, in a sense, is what many American Jews are awakening to.
Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?

Be it so, if you will. But, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man, did he become, from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath-day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen, because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear, and drowned all the blessed strain.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Age of Virtue Rage (Or, How to Reinvigorate Nazism)

Michael Lumish

The early part of the twenty-first century in the United States might be considered the Age of Virtue Rage. Never before in the history of this country have so many people come together in honor of hatred and self-righteous indignation for so little reason.

I did not vote for President Donald Trump, nor did I advocate for him, and yet these boring-as-hell monkey-like group-thinkers scream from the hillsides -- day and night and night and day -- about what a terrible person this guy is. It is fairly amazing, actually, because the two biggest gripes against this president are that he is allegedly racist and sexist. The burning, unquenchable hatred for Trump is grounded in these twin notions.

And, yet, the Hate Lovers enjoyed Bill Clinton. I voted for Bill Clinton twice. He also, by today's standards, committed either rape or something akin to rape, in the White House.

And, for some reason, no one seems to mind.

{It is the hypocrisy that kills.}

And, please let us not forget that Barack Obama is a stone-cold racist. Obama honestly believed that he had every right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live within the very land of our own ancestry. It does not get much more racist than that. Some people will say that former President Obama merely wanted to bring about a compromise between the Arab-Palestinians who want to murder Jews and the Jews who disagree with that proposition.

And neither side was willing to compromise.

What I say is that the American-Left and the Democratic Party is riddled with racial hypocrisy.

The rage in American hearts, today, looks like nothing so much as the USA during the very peak of the Vietnam War in 1968, by which time tens of thousands of young American men had died in combat. The passion and the screaming from the heart and the Antifa violence in the streets in places like Berkeley are very reminiscent of 1968. Of course, in 1968, aside from the War in Vietnam, there was outright sexism toward women and the Klan was still on the march.

Not today, though.

So sorry, but the bad old days are gone.

The current hysteria around White Supremacism and the Klan and the Nazis and this recent thing dubbed the "alt-right" is largely bullshit in the service of progressive-left political purposes. And the thing of it is, this is not to doubt the sincerity of these women, including those of the male variety, pissing their panties. I have no doubt that they actually do fear, on some vague level, the rise of the Old Right. But even if that fear is real it is merely a self-serving, self-righteous, political "red herring" because Americans despise right-wing Nazis and those of such an ilk.

The American Racist Right has no political presence.

The National Socialists have virtually no street presence and have not dusted off their black boots in over half a century.

They will not be real until such a time as we manufacture enough of them to make them real so that we can have something to push against for social-psychological reasons.

But if you want Nazis, here is how to create them.

Keep screaming at "white" people -- whoever exactly you take them to be -- and see how the young men eventually react.

I guarantee you this, however, if you want Nazis for psychological and reasons of political power badly enough, they will arrive.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Julia Salazar and the Jews

Michael Lumish

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

NY State Senate candidate
Julia Salazar
New York State Senate candidate Julia Salazar has the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel world vaguely annoyed... while we are having a sandwich for lunch. Others in recent weeks have occasionally noted her existence with a raised eyebrow over their Wheat Chex.

There have been a few notes concerning this person including, for example, the Tablet piece by Armin Rosen.

She is a new figure on the scene, coming on the heels of Uncle Bernie, following other self-righteous political "women of color" who despise Israel.

There are, at least, three reasons why many of us find her vaguely annoying.

These are:

1) Her apparently untrue claims to be Jewish.

2) Her antisemitic anti-Zionism.


3) Her anti-democratic socialism.

The first two reasons combined represent her cocky, devil-may-care, progressive-left, anti-Zionism "as-a-Jew" anti-Israel schtick. There are few things that pro-Israel Jews enjoy more, after all, than semi-maybe-Jews using their sorta Jewishness to urinate all over the Jewish state of Israel.

The third reason is her socialism. It amazes me that after so many examples of failed twentieth-century socialist states -- not to mention the current Venezuelan misery -- that socialism is back in fashion among twenty-something hipster politicians like Julia Salazar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who describe themselves as "Democratic Socialist."

I think that we need to be cognizant of the difference between regulatory capitalism and socialism. And I recognize that these terms have different political resonances between North Americans and Europeans and Israelis. Sometimes when people in the US talk about the need for "socialism" what we are referring to is the need for a sound economic social safety-net and basic rules concerning racism and sexism in hiring and firing, as well as environmental and industrial safety rules, and so forth.

When I was a younger man this meant "social justice" and it essentially referred to the ideological liberalism of people like Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am a liberal, but we need to stop confusing the hard American-Left with liberalism.

They are not the same thing.

Given the fact that Salazar is running for a significant public office, when she refers to herself as a "socialist" we must assume that she means it in the formal definition of that term. That is Julia Salazar, who is running for a seat on the New York State Senate, believes -- according to the very definition of the word socialism -- that the workers should own the means of production.

What this requires is the government obtaining ownership of private property through violence and/or the threat of violence. There is no possible way to bring about socialism by democratic means, despite the most well-meaning claims of the Democratic Socialists of America. Theft can only be obtained through force because it is only through force that the "bourgeoisie" will simply hand over their property to the government.

My problem with Salazar is not her semi-who-cares claims to Jewishness. I honestly have no reason to doubt that she has ancestry of Jewish heritage or that her interest in Judaism as an undergraduate at Columbia University was genuine. And I have no reason to doubt that she has a sense of "Jewishness" within her own heart. And, in truth, there are not very many of us who are qualified to draw the hard theological or ethnic distinctions, anyway.

{How many of us here are rabbis or priests or geneticists?}

But it seems obvious to me that if we oppose this candidate we should do so not on religious grounds, but political ones. She is a member of the New York branch of the Democratic Socialists of America.

As scholar Paul Berman tells us in Tablet on August 7, 2017:
The national convention of the Democratic Socialists of America voted the other day in favor of the boycott-Israel movement, or BDS, and the success of the pro-BDS resolution caused the assembled delegates to break out into a rousing chant of “From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free!”
The issue is not Salazar's Jewishness. It is the antisemitic anti-Zionism embedded within the progressive-left and, thus, also within the Democratic Party.

The best grounds to oppose Salazar should have nothing to do with her personal religious or ethnic claims but on her antisemitic anti-Zionism and hard-left ideological blinkertude.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Ripon College Traitors

Michael Lumish

Update: I appear to have allowed myself to be deceived. According to the Associated Press, as FOX reports, this is story is not true.

The Associated Press tells us:
Conservative news sites and pundits are falsely accusing Ripon College, a private liberal arts school in Wisconsin, of banning posters that are part of a campus 9/11 memorial display organized by a student political group.


The idiocy never fails to amaze.

The Washington Examiner tells us:
Administrators at Ripon College in Wisconsin have ruled that a Sept. 11 memorial cannot take place on campus because it may offend Muslim students.

The private school cited bias reports that were filed during last year’s Sept. 11 memorial project, a project that was a part of Young America's Foundation’s iconic patriotism initiative which takes place across the country on campuses every year.

The school's Bias Protocol Board said the project creates an “environment” where “students from a Muslim background would feel singled out and/or harassed.” As a result, Ripon students will not be allowed to hang flyers as part of their vigil to remember the victims of Sept. 11.
The college is banning a memorial vigil to the victims of 9-11 on the grounds that it might offend Muslims? That is absolutely astonishing to my mind. 3,000 innocent Americans died on that day and these college administrators honestly believe that commemoration of the slaughter is offensive?

I am sorry, but that is a disgrace.

According to the conservative student organization organizing the event:
Each year Young America’s Foundation helps students across the country properly remember the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks through our 9/11: Never Forget Project. This program began in 2003 when we discovered that most college campuses were either completely ignoring the anniversary or holding a politically correct event instead.
I don't know that "Never Forget" is the best slogan for this commemoration, but it's understandable.

I think that it might not be a bad idea to call the office of the president of Ripon College -- who happens to be a political scientist -- to discuss our displeasure with their imbecilic decision and, no, you do not need to be polite about it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman begin with a studio chat with Marcia Griffin, a non-Jewish businesswoman, local councillor and Israel advocate about her support for Israel.

Isi Leibler joins the guys from Jerusalem with his thoughts on what’s been happening with Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress who has now become an ardent critic of both Israel and PM Netanyahu.

They also catch up in the studio with Stan Goodenough, an Israeli based Christian Zionist who visits Australia regularly, and then hear from Dan Mariaschin, head of the B’nai B’rith in the United States about Gaza and the media war against Israel.

Here is this week's episode of Nothing Left ...

2 min Editorial:  Greens Senator Mehren Faruqi

7 min Marcia Griffin, non-Jewish Israel advocate

31  min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem, on Ronald Lauder from WJC

50 min Stan Goodenough, Israeli based Christian Zionist

1 hr 12     Dan Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith USA

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 Nothing Left at:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Democratic Party versus the Jewish People

Michael Lumish

-- Correction: this piece originally referred to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a Californian when she is, in fact, a New Yorker. --

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

aKu - Turning Away
I understand that most American Jews do not want to hear this message, but there is no getting away from certain obvious political truths.

The progressive-left and the Democratic Party believe that the Jewish people of the Middle East, in the form of Israel, are not humane to the Palestinian-Arabs. What this means is that if the Democratic Party gains power in the forthcoming US midterm elections they will turn against Israel in a harsh manner, because they are already in the process of doing so. We can see this very clearly from the upcoming candidates that the Democrats are fielding.

In a recent piece for The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, PhD student at the School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs at Tel Aviv University, Doron Feldman, tells us:
Israeli decision-makers must recognize what is happening in American society and politics and prepare strategically for the worst possible outcome. If the Democrats manage to overtake the Republican majority in Congress as a result of the midterm elections, Washington could significantly reduce its military and diplomatic involvement in the Middle East, perhaps even to the point that it ceases to function as a superpower in the region and in the world – a situation that would benefit Russia and China. In the longer term, Israel’s decision-makers must consider and prepare for the possibility that the midterms are a harbinger of the presidential election of 2020.
Although I agree with the overall assessment, I do not agree that a US cut in military assistance to Israel is necessarily bad for Israel or for the Jewish people. US Diplomatic involvement must be emphasized, but Israel has the capacity to take care of its own military needs. In fact, it would presumably improve Israel's economy to transfer all Israeli weapons manufacturing from the United States to Israel, itself. The three billion per year that the United States spends on domestic weapons ear-marked for Israel is a tiny proportion of Israel's overall economy. It does not even equal what PepsiCo just spent in its purchase of SodaStream.

Of more significance, however, is Feldman's focus on what he calls the "leftist-socialist-progressive wing" of the Democratic Party. These are the people who, when they do not directly support antisemitic anti-Zionism, generally think that Arab violence against the Jewish minority in the Middle East is, at least, understandable. That is, they tend to view the tiny national homeland of the Jewish people as a European transplant onto "indigenous" Arab land while entirely forgetting that Arabs are from the Arabian peninsula and the Jewish people -- who are tiny by number in comparison -- hail from Judea, which is also known as Israel.

The Democratic Party, sadly, supports antisemitic anti-Zionism to the extent that it considers Israel a "colonial-settler" imposition onto a native people. Their problem is less anti-Jewish ill-will -- from what I can tell, at least -- than it is historical ignorance of thirteen centuries of Arab and Muslim imperial stomping on Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian faces.

But even in the unlikely event that the Democrats turn a cold shoulder to their anti-Zionists, it is increasingly evident that the Party is no friend to the Jewish people.

Feldman writes:
Several individuals from the leftist-socialist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party are considering running for the presidency in 2020. They include Bernie Sanders, who won 43.1% of the vote in the 2016 Democratic primary, and Elizabeth Warren, who dubiously claims to be of Native American descent. Both these candidates have expressed anti-Israel positions. If they are elected, they can be expected to follow through on those positions, not only in terms of US policy but also at the UN.
On a less lofty level, we see Democratic Party friends of the racist Louis Farrakhan coming to prominence within the party. These include, but are not limited to, and in no particular order, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, and NY Democratic hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, according to Ha'aretz:
In the midst of her primary campaign, Ocasio-Cortez spoke out strongly against the Israeli army’s actions on the Gaza border on May 14, tweeting, “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.” 
The obvious political trend on the American-Left and the Democratic Party vis-à-vis the conflict is increasingly friendly toward the hostile Muslim majority in opposition to the well-being of the Jewish minority in the Middle East. As Feldman points out, even if the moderate Hillary / Biden wing of the Party comes to prominence, the emerging hard-left is forcing them into a crusty, pro-Oslo, intransigent stance on Israel along the line of Obama's Middle East policies.

Progressive-left Democrats think of Israel as a racist, colonialist, settler-state and have little sympathy for it if they even believe it should exist at all. The moderate Democrats merely believe that the Jewish people must be leashed. The "moderates" believe that it is the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, our indigenous homeland -- what they insist upon calling "West Bank" and, thereby, erasing Jewish heritage -- that is the fundamental problem.

What we need to do is stand up for ourselves and insist upon the fact of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel.

At the end of the day, it is our first and final home and if the Jewish people will not stand up for ourselves, nobody else will.

Friday, August 17, 2018

What the conflict is about

Sar Shalom

An underlying issue in the debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is what is the fundamental issue at stake. It is underlying because there is an assumption in the western intelligentsia that there is a parcel of land that two sides want and that the conflict is about how to allocate it. Following this logic, Israel maintains some degree of control over all of the land, at a minimum entry in and out, while the Palestinians do not. Therefore, by this reasoning, Israel's actions of relinquishing control or not show Israel's willingness to compromise, whereas the Palestinians, who have no such control to relinquish, are incapable of actions by which to judge them, and thus can only be judged by their words.

A frequent subject of Israeli hasbara is to emphasize Israel's adherence to the Law of War standards. However, if the Palestinian grievance is only their lack of a state and Israel could obviate the use of force, whether adhering to the Law of War in doing so or not, by just fulfilling that reasonable grievance, we will never gain international sympathy. In order to help Israel's international standing, we must attack the "just want a state" narrative. We need to convince people that the real issue underlying the conflict is that the Zionists abrogated the Pact of Umar (Pact) and that the Palestinian national movement (PNM) will accept nothing less than the removal of all Jews who refuse to abide by the Pact. Note, I am not saying that we need to just say that the issue is Palestinian rejectionism, we need to convince others that that is so, a larger task.

A start in doing so would be to pose the question of what would the PNM do if all they wanted was a state of their own and what would they do if they wanted an end to Jewish self-determination? Proponents of the just want a state doctrine would say that PNM declarations in western languages that they recognize Israel is all that is needed to show that they do not seek an end to Jewish self-determination. However, all that is needed to induce those declarations is a strategic decision to court support from those for whom ending Jewish self-determination is unacceptable. As such, declarations in western languages are compatible with both hypotheses and thus evidence for neither.

On the other hand, as Einat Wilf frequently states, peoples who just want a state, when presented with an opportunity, will say "yes." They will do so no matter how short the offer is of what they want, with the example of the Yishuv accepting the Peel Commission recommendation. As such, the PNM's refusal of the offers made so far contradicts the notion that they "just want a state." However, if the goal of ending Jewish self-determination, then they will not do anything that would undermine western support for eradicating self-determining Jews, without giving them the ability to do so without western support. The presence of any Palestinian state recognized by Israel, unless augmented by a right of return, would create exactly that situation. Lo and behold, they are conforming to that.

On a separate line of evidence, I have written before that our condition for making a deal should be a consistently reinforced declaration that:
  • The Jews are a people
  • The Jewish people are deeply connected to the land of Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular
  • There is no place for the Pact of Umar in today's world
The issue is, how would the "just want a state" and "eradicate Jewish self-determination" hypotheses affect the PNM's willingness to do so? If the PNM just wants a state, then anything that would not detract from that would not be an objection. As such, a hypothetical State of Palestine that recognizes that the Jews are a people who are deeply connected to Israel and Jerusalem would be no less a State of Palestine than one that does not. The same goes for renouncing the Pact of Umar. On the other hand, if the goal is eradication of Jewish self-determination, then one concern would be aligning that objective with "justice." In that vein, denying a people of self-determination is an injustice as is denying that people its homeland. As Einat Wilf has noted, this is not a problem if the Jews are only a religion and not a people because then ending Jewish self-determination would deny any people of self-determination. Similarly, insisting that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem is a fiction to justify stealing Jerusalem from the Palestinians is a lie to justify inverting the injustice of denying Jews their homeland into a justice of "restoring" Jerusalem to her "rightful" Palestinian owners. In that light, "just want a state" would not explain the PNM's refusal to make the three-fold declaration, but "eradicate Jewish self-determination" does.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman begin with some comments regarding the disgraceful treatment meted out to Andrew Bolt by some of our communal organisations, and then catch up with Daniel Mandel of the Zionist Organisation of America for the inside information on events over there.

The guys speak with Juliet Moses, a leader of the Jewish community in New Zealand on events that have been happening there recently, and then hear from Toby Greene, a British-Israeli analyst who has co-authored an essay on the difficult relationship between the EU and Israel.

And of course, Isi Leibler joins the fellahs from Jerusalem with his take on the week’s events.

Here is this week's episode of Nothing Left ...

2 min Editorial: Andrew Bolt’s treatment by communal orgs

14 min Daniel Mandel, Zionist Organisation of America

51 min Juliet Moses, in New Zealand

1 hr 9       Toby Greene, BICOM analyst on EU-Israel relations

1 hr 31     Isi Leibler in Jerusalem, on Nation-State bill

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 Nothing Left at:

Saturday, August 11, 2018

On the need for American Jewish parity between Democrats and Republicans

Michael Lumish

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

One of the vital questions facing US diaspora Jewry is how to respond to the rise of American-Left antisemitic anti-Zionism.

The prominent faces of that movement include anyone who looks toward Louis Farrakhan as a positive figure in American cultural and political life. These include low hanging fruit like Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and potential California State Assemblyperson, Maria Estrada... not to mention Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters.

Given how much the Jewish community worked for the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1950s and 1960s -- up to and including sacrificing some of their children -- it is a terrible shame that so many of our political enemies come from the very communities that we embraced and sought to empower throughout the twentieth-century

Nonetheless, according to 2018 Pew polling, a mere 27 percent of Democrats sympathize with Israel while 79 percent of Republicans favor the Jewish minority in the Middle East over their Arab aggressors.

This is Alan Dershowitz's worst nightmare.

The guy devoted his life to supporting civil liberties, Israel, and the Democratic Party -- not necessarily in that order -- but now he's fast becoming a relic in the minds of very many Democrats, particularly among the younger snowflakey regressive set who very much dislike his ongoing support for his own people.

American Jews, and our friends, mainly respond in two ways to the rising disdain towards us within the Democratic Party. The prominent inclination is to work within. My response was to bow out. From Jimmy Carter to the first term of Barack Obama, I was a devoted man of the Left and a Democrat. But when I saw, ten years ago, now, that the Democratic Party was making a home of itself for antisemitic anti-Zionism I began to speak up. And, not surprisingly, when I spoke up I was also slapped down.

I have lost real-life friends over the fact that I refuse to stand with a political party or a political movement that supports the racist effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) the lone, sole Jewish State.

Fred Maroun, who I have discussed before in these pages, is an interesting guy and a good friend to Israel. Like many critics of Arab political tendencies, he is of Lebanese Christian descent. Fred disagrees with me entirely. He argues, not unreasonably, that left-leaning American Jews who care about Israel need to stay and fight within the Democratic Party.

Dershowitz always argued that we should maintain a bi-partisan consensus in support of Israel and who among us would disagree with that? Of course, we want the support of all of our neighbors and friends throughout the country. But the polling data clearly shows, and from a million bits of anecdotal information, we can see that the Democratic Party is abandoning our fellow Jews in the Middle East.

27 percent are in sympathy with them.

27 percent.

That is a very difficult number for me to swallow.

I find it unreasonable and counterproductive for Jewish Americans to support the Democratic Party in figures above the 70th percentile while the Democratic Party supports Jewish well-being in numbers below the 30th percentile. Thus my argument is that we should not allow ourselves to be taken for granted and should make a get-away. Through supporting the cause of Palestinian-Arab nationalism they are throwing the Jewish people to the wolves, so who needs them?

If we can get Jewish participation in the Democratic Party down to something close to parity with the Republican Party than they can no longer take us for granted.

In the meantime, I salute our friends -- Jewish and otherwise -- who are working within the Democratic Party to push against the rising antisemitic anti-Zionist tide flowing over them. I am not opposed to pro-Jewish Jews working for our interests among Democrats.

I simply do not want us taken for granted by people who obviously do not care about what happens to our brothers and sisters in Israel.