Friday, February 16, 2018

CA Democrats for Peace Not BDS

Michael Lumish

CA Democrats for Peace Not BDS is putting together a discussion and fundraising campaign on February 24 in San Diego.
We invite you to help fund our work within the California Democratic Party (CDP) as we foster much-needed engagement and dialogue concerning Israel and Palestine, while cultivating a narrative of collaboration and engagement in response to the polarizing and divisive global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
I am no longer a Democrat, but I have considerable respect for the people putting this thing together.

Michael Harris has been fighting the good fight for decades in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.

Susan George and Matthew Finkelstein stand up, as well, and they were both key figures in the ongoing protest against Reem's racist bakery/cafe in Oakland.

Those of us who support the well-being of the Jewish people and the State of Israel need not always be within the same political party, but we should definitely support our friends within the Democratic Party.

CA_Democrats_for_Peace_Not_BDS

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This is a (Semi) Free Speech Zone

Michael Lumish

The indigenous
Marawi Grape
from Recanati
We are a small enclave.

We are a small number of people who are having an ongoing discussion and, I have to say, I very much appreciate you guys who have been hanging around since the beginning... or even before the beginning for the Daily Kos people.

But I want it understood that I am not going to dictate how anyone should express themselves.

That is not going to happen in this tiny Jewish neck of the universe.

I will delete antisemitic anti-Zionism in a New York Minute, but I honestly do not care about foul language.

I do not want us to descend into political graffiti, but I am not going to disallow the word "fuck," either.

--

What's more interesting, tho - for me, at least - is that I am working on a short piece for Campus Watch of the Middle East Forum concerning the battle over the indigenous grape in the Land of Israel.

For the moment, this is my opening:
On Monday, last February 5, professor Ariel Handel lectured at the University of California Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies on his recent paper entitled, Wine-washing: colonization, normalization, and the geopolitics of terroir in the West Bank's settlements.

Handel is visiting from the University of Tel Aviv in order to discuss, among other things, the meaning of the grape within the contest between Arabs and Jews around the questions of authenticity and indigeneity within the Land of Israel.
We'll see what actually gets published, but it amazes me that a full-grown Jewish-Israeli political scientist who is looking at the question of indigeneity wanted only to discuss the varying narratives.

When I asked him about the truth of Jewish indigeneity, he said, "The grape is mute."

He is right about that, of course.

The DNA of an ancient seed cannot tell you who grew it.

But history can tell you who was there... and who was not.

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman feature Mordechai Kedar, one of the stellar commentators on the Arab and Muslim world, and then hear from Israeli political media commentator Michael Tuchfeld.

Carli Dvash, the events manager for the UIA joins us to talk about their upcoming annual appeal and the guests they have invited, and Isi Leibler is controversial as always.

3 min Editorial:  ADC focus on anti-Semitism in Australia

9 min Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar on Arab & Muslim world

31 min Michael Tuchfeld, Israeli media political commentator

51 min Carli Dvash, UIA events manager

1 hr 31 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman feature Mordechai Kedar, one of the stellar commentators on the Arab and Muslim world, and then hear from Israeli political media commentator Michael Tuchfeld.

Carli Dvash, the events manager for the UIA joins us to talk about their upcoming annual appeal and the guests they have invited, and Isi Leibler is controversial as always.

3 min Editorial:  ADC focus on anti-Semitism in Australia

9 min Mordechai Kedar, Israeli scholar on Arab & Muslim world

31 min Michael Tuchfeld, Israeli media political commentator

51 min Carli Dvash, UIA events manager

1 hr 31 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Poster of Rasmea Odeh

Michael Lumish

This is an image that can serve as a poster for any future vigils/protests at Reem's bakery/cafe that Oldschool was kind enough to put together. I will pass this off to some of the others this week.

Many thanks, School.

Odeh

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Glorification of Terror and Violence in Oakland, California

Michael Lumish

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

reems_jan_28_2018
Matthew Finkelstein, in hat, and Susan George (right) from Vallejo,
and other members of Oakland United Against Hate,
 protest outside of Reem's California bakery in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, January 28, 2018.
They are protesting a mural of Rasmea Odeh located inside of the bakery.
(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Last Sunday, on the afternoon of January 28, about fifty people arrived at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland, California, for the purpose of staring at one another across a notoriously ugly, racially-grounded, political divide.

The problem revolves around Reem's Cafe...or, as I like to think of it, Reem Assil's Racist Flatbread and Terror Joint.

For emotional reasons of her own, political activist Reem Assil has taken it upon herself to introduce Jew hatred into the Oakland culinary scene by featuring a floor-to-ceiling image of anti-Jewish murderer Rasmea Odeh in her little bakery/cafe near a major Bay Area transportation hub.

Odeh, along with her partner, Aisha Odeh and their friends within the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), killed 21-year-old Leon Kanner of Netanya, Israel, and 22-year-old Eddie Joffe on February 21, 1969, in a Jerusalem grocery.

Both were college students.

I find it profoundly disconcerting that within living memory of the Shoah - the genocide of the Jews - the very city that I live in, a city that proudly claims itself against race hate is perfectly comfortable... with race hate.

What the City of Oakland is demonstrating to the rest of the United States is that urinating on Jews is just fine and that honoring the murderers of innocent Jews in a public manner is a righteous matter of "social justice."

So on that perfectly beautiful Sunday afternoon those who despise Israel sat with Reem Assil in the cafe - in a closed, RSVP-Only event - and discussed with professor Sunaina Maira (University of California, Davis), author of Boycott!: The Academy and Justice for Palestine, how best to eliminate Jewish self-determination and self-defense from the world stage.

Jewish people and friends of Jewish people - maybe twenty of us total - stood outside in the courtyard beside the leadership of Faith Meltzer, Susan George, and Matthew Finkelstein.


Faith Meltzer and Lara Kiswani

In a video for the East Bay Times under an article entitled, Palestinian mural protesters, bakery backers face off in Oakland, reporter George Kelly gives his readership clips of statements by pro-Jewish / pro-Israel advocate Faith Meltzer, for Oakland Unified Against Hate, and anti-Zionist activist Lara Kiswani who writes for the Israel-despising online journal, Electronic Intifada.
George Kelly: Did the group begin in response to Reem's opening?

Faith Meltzer: Only in response to the mural. Reem's has had a presence in the farmers' market. My family has actually eaten there. And it is only since this mural of Rasmea Odeh that we realized that this was something that we needed to mobilize against because this is the glorification of terror and violence in our community. (My emphasis.)

Lara Kiswani: Today there is an event here that is put on by Sunaina Maira who published a book through the University of California about the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement... And so, because of the event and the subject matter is about BDS, boycott, divestment, and sanctions, Israel, and that is we are being critical of apartheid and the colonialist state of Israel at this time, the demonstrators have called for another protest today.
Kiswani also refers to the Jewish people and friends of Jewish people who object to the mural of a Jew murderer as "racist."

The fundamental difference between Meltzer and Kiswani - aside from the fact that Meltzer cares about the well-being of the tiny Jewish minority around the world and Kiswani obviously does not - is that Meltzer wants to organize against the murder and hatred of Jewish people while Kiswani, despite her best intentions, promotes it.

Kiswani favors opposing Israel (i.e., Jewish self-determination and self-defense) by any means necessary.

She calls us apartheid-enthusiasts and colonialists on the very land of our own heritage, the very land where Jewish identity was forged.

This would be like calling indigenous Métis activist Ryan Bellerose a colonist in Alberta.



George and Finkelstein Demonstrate the Failure of Liberalism
within Progressive-Left anti-Zionism

While Meltzer stood before the press directly prior to the vigil/protest at Reem's, Susan George and Matthew Finkelstein endeavored to talk to Reem's anti-liberal supporters.

The most important moment in this entire event came when Finkelstein and George requested that those who faced us actually speak with us.

They wanted to know just why it is that as progressives and Democrats and alleged liberals these folks were standing up for a retail establishment that venerates the murdering of Jewish people?

We can unpack that question... we can put it into the nicest possible terms... but we can only do so through dialogue and dialogue is the very foundation of Enlightenment liberalism.

But make no mistake, as recent polling definitively shows, the progressive-left and the Democratic Party honestly believes that the Jews in the Middle East deserve a good ass-kicking.

Look at these numbers:

Pew_Polling_Graph_2018

According to 2018 Pew polling, 79 percent of Republicans sympathize more with Israel - by which they essentially mean the Jews - than they do with the Palestinian-Arabs.

Only 27 percent of Democrats do so.

That is a tough fact, but it is a fact that must be acknowledged.

Another fact that must be acknowledged is that the progressive-left, in the United States, is straying well beyond liberalism.

You cannot be a liberal if you refuse to engage in discourse and what Susan George and Matthew Finkelstein showed us is that the other side refuses to engage in honest dialogue.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Intellectual Dark Web

Michael Lumish

Those intelligent few who read here know that I have developed a fondness for some of the emerging voices from places like Youtube, while being exceedingly aware of the necessity for rational discrimination on the quality of ideas.

Dave Rubin is a bright and politically-savvy guy, formerly a part of The Young Turks Network, who recognizes the ways in which political sands have been shifting in the US and the West for a number of years now.

Rubin says:
 I think that the left/right paradigm of politics is becoming increasingly meaningless and the new more relevant spectrum is one of personal freedom versus state power. 
You're either for a society based on laws which treat individual people equally with minimal involvement from the government in their day-to-day lives or you prefer a society which treats certain groups differently based on immutable characteristics and thus the government must play a major role in whether they succeed or fail. 
The simplest way to say it is you are either for your own determination or you want to hand it off to someone else.
In truth, this is the same argument that we have been having in ths United States since its founding under the Constitution.

The Preamble reads:
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The constant fight in American politics is between those who wish to "promote the general Welfare" versus those more concerned with securing "the Blessings of Liberty."

That is the American political tension in a nutshell.

The most significant, fundamental aspect of American political stress is embedded directly in the Preamble of the Constitution, but where we fall on that continuum should depend on the historical moment.

It is, after all, not always-and-forever 1932 as many of my socialist friends like to imagine.

Nor is it always-and-forever 1968 as much of the aging vestiges of the New Left continue to believe.