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: