Saturday, July 21, 2018

Jews Should Walk Away

Michael Lumish 

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

There is a small, social-media movement known as #walkaway that is annoying the Washington Post.

In a piece by Abby Ohlheiser awkwardly entitled, "The #WalkAway meme is what happens when everything is viral and nothing matters," the Post laments:

"The pro-Trump Internet is really good at convincing its audience that going viral signals popular opinion, that its movement is and always will be #winning. In this case, #WalkAway is the answer to the possibility of a Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms. It doesn’t need to be true to be effective. After all, the hashtag has now become an article in The Washington Post."

{I do not know about you, but I find all these #hashtags annoying.}

In truth, the foundation of the Walk Away Movement - to the extent that you can even call it a "movement" - is the idea that decent Democrats should leave the party not out of allegiance toward Donald Trump or conservatism or the Republican Party, but because the party simply no longer represents their interests. Some people, like Ohlheiser, see it as an opportunistic ploy for the Republicans.

I see the Walk Away Movement as an expression of disgust.

The #WalkAway Facebook page describes itself as follows:
This group is for people who can no longer support the tyrannical groupthink of the "Politically Correct" Left.

It is NOT a group that supports the Right, the GOP, or Trump.

There's a difference. A rejection of the Left should not imply an embrace of the Right; that's a false binary that gets us nowhere. 
After about twenty-five years I walked away from the Democratic Party and the American-Left because I could no longer bare the hypocrisy. This is because I absolutely refuse to support any political party, or any political movement, that demands - with great self-righteous indignation - that they stand for anti-racism and anti-sexism and liberalism, when, in truth, they stand for none of those things.

One of the great friends of Israel and the Movement for Jewish Freedom (i.e., Zionism) is Fred Maroun. Maroun is a Canadian of Lebanese-Christian descent and a regular contributor to discussions within the Times of Israel and many places throughout pro-Jewish venues. He will also be contributing in panel discussions, along with Métis indigenous rights activist, Ryan Bellerose, and Professor of Philosophy, Andrew Pessin, at the 3rd Annual Israel Today Community Symposium on Sunday, August 12 at Temple Shalom in Dallas, Texas.

Fred disagrees with me concerning the Jewish aspect to the Walk Away Movement. He writes:
Those who use the #WalkAway tag should realize they're doing no favors to Israel, and they're putting their partisanship above Zionism.

Zionists who are Democrats should stay in the Democratic Party and fight tooth and nail for Israel within that party. Abandoning the party to antisemites is a terribly bad idea.

What do you think would happen? Whether anyone likes it or not, the Democrats will eventually be back power. That's just the way it works. If the party has only a weak rump of Zionists left by then, Israel will pay the price. No doubt about it.

So if you're an American Democrat Zionist, don't even think about walking away. Stay and fight for your values. If you must vote Republican sometimes, just keep it quiet. But don't abandon the party to the anti-Semitic sharks.

Do it for Israel, not for me.
Maroun's point is one that requires serious consideration, although I disagree with him.

My stance is that Jewish people and friends of Israel do not want the Democratic Party to take us for granted.

The truth is - much to my ongoing horror and disgust - the Democratic Party can kick around Jews from now until Yom Kippur and we will still pound on their doors to give them our money, our votes, and our support.

And this is why I do not believe that either Fred Maroun, or Alan Dershowitz, for that matter, have much to worry about.

Jewish Americans, including myself, voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by around 80 percent.

Jewish Americans, not including myself, voted for Barack Obama in 2012 by around 70 percent. And they did so despite the fact that Obama honestly believed as President of the US 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 ancestry.

No one needs to concern themselves with American Jews abandoning the Democratic Party. Given the malicious and childish reaction to the Trump Administration throughout both the grassroots and the mainstream media, social pressure will tamp down any meaningful defection of Jews.

American Jews are blinkered, for good historical reasons, by partisan loyalty. Look at these numbers. According to 2018 Pew Research polling only 27 percent of Democrats sympathize with Israel over their tormentors.


27 percent.

Yet they will still get our support.

What a shame.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sacha Baron Cohen, while you're at it, could you ...

Sar Shalom

Anyone paying attention this past week knows about Sacha Baron Cohen's latest fictional character interacting with real people in Who is America? Among his exploits was convincing Congressmen and gun lobbyists to go on the record advocating for providing assault rifles to toddlers.

Without getting into the merits of Cohen's lampooning gun aficionados, there's one target I would particularly like to see hit by this antic, Linda Sarsour. The interview would start with discussion of the recent Gaza protests. It would its way up to the Palestinians having the right to march on the settlements, such as Kisufim and Nirim. It would continue with what should be done about the settlers. She should be goaded with statements about how those settlers have stolen Palestinian land leading to her agreeing that the settlers deserve to be killed. The more brutal the method she can be induced to endorse, the better.

Sacha, are you up to it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Linda Sarsour and the Rejection of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Algemeiner.}

On a recent MSNBC news discussion show, Democratic Party anti-Zionist activist, Linda Sarsour claimed:
"Dr. Martin Luther King warned us about people like Chuck Schumer. He said it wasn't the Ku Klux Klan and white citizen counselors who were the obstacles towards justice. It was people calling for ‘civility' and people that were telling us when to protest and at what time and how to protest."
I find it fascinating that "progressives" like Linda Sarsour have the chutzpah to evoke Martin Luther King, Jr. when the very last thing that MLK stood for is Sarsour's brand of ideological racism.

The primary admonition of Dr. King was to judge people according to their individual character rather than immutable characteristics, like ethnicity. This was the fundamental message of his "I Have a Dream" speech on the National Mall on August 28, 1963. How someone who represents the American-left could not understand this requires explanation.

Anti-racism was the essential message of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States following World War II.

Yet Sarsour insists, “If you’re in a movement and you’re not following a woman of color, you’re in the wrong movement.”

This notion contradicts the teachings of King, and of the entire movement for social justice from Abolitionism to Abbie Hoffman, because it is racist on its face. What Sarsour is saying, in no uncertain terms, is that the quality of one's character is directly determined by one's ethnicity and gender.

This is turning the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement inside-out and backwards.

Sarsour also claimed, as the Elder of Ziyon noted in a piece entitled, The amazing color-changing Linda Sarsour (September 4, 2017):
When I wasn't wearing hijab I was just an ordinary white girl from New York City. 
Wearing hijab made you know that I was a Muslim. 
Generally, when we speak of a person's "color" we are talking about ethnicity, not ideology, religious or otherwise.

As long ago as the late 1970s it was primarily backward-thinking racists and knuckleheads who considered "race" as indicative of character. This is because the United States has come a long way in an exceedingly short period of time via ethnic relations.

It is sad that so long after 1968, and the assassination of Dr. King, that many of his spiritual-political heirs cannot stand the idea that the United States is actually among the least racist, least prejudicial, countries in the world.

The great irony in Sarsour's misthinking on the subject of King's legacy is that she wholeheartedly agrees with the racist notion, as put forth by the Women's March on Washington in 2017, that they needed to "follow women of color."

The cognitive dissonance is almost too painful to cognify.

The fundamental point of King's legacy, and, indeed, of the Civil Rights Movement prior to the rise of mid-late 1960s Black Nationalism, was that we should not judge people according to their skin color or ethnicity or gender. To do so is both racist and illiberal.

Sadly, Linda Sarsour and her allies are both.

If you want to understand how it is that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the last US national election understand the significance of politically-correct overreach. Within it you will find many liberal workers of European descent who do not appreciate being castigated as racist for no other reason than being "white."

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

An opportunity, if we grab it, and then get lucky

Sar Shalom

Within the past week, the Democratic nominee for Congress in New York's 14th District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, gave an interview in which she excoriated Israel and then admitted that she is not an expert on geopolitics. While it still would have been preferable to keep Crowley, her understated admission about her lack of knowledge about the Middle East exposes a possible opening through which to educate her. Trying to educate her may have no effect, but we know what the effect of not acting will be, and successfully educating her would create a prominent Kasim Hafeez.

The first thing to note in how to educate her is that the standard practice of talking about Israel's contributions in technology, gay rights, or international relief are not going to cut. They simply do not answer the charge that Israel is arbitrarily denying the Palestinians basic life provisions, rather they argue that other aspects of Israel's actions should outweigh that. What's needed is to directly attack the notion that Israel is that sort of oppressor. With that objective, Ocasio-Cortes should be offered a tour of COGAT where she would be able to see what provisions Israel makes to provide the Palestinians with water and relief supplies. After that, she should get a tour of the IDF's MAG headquarters to learn about the IDF's rules of engagement and the role of the MAGs in micromanaging the soldiers' targeting of Palestinian terrorists.

A final stop on her tour would be to meet Meira Ovadia, who at one point at least, if not currently, worked for Palestinian Media Watch. She could tell Ms. Ocasio-Cortes how she grew up in Egypt believing all the tales Ocasio-Cortes does about Israel's evil, because that what was how everyone indoctrinated her. However, her family was Jewish. Even though her family kept that fact so secret that she did not know until vigilantes uncovered their secret. The fact that she adopted their attitudes towards Israel and that her family was secretive about being Jewish was no protection, they could not remain in Egypt and made plans to leave for Israel three days after. After high school in Israel, she start to work at PMW where she was saturated with Palestinian news and entertainment shows. It was only through her PMW-coworkers that she learned how Israel's supposed persecution of the Palestinians for no purpose, as depicted PA TV broadcasts about a 13 year old shot by the IDF, left out the fact that this Palestinian "victim" had stabbed someone just before being shot. Through stories like this, she could show Ocasio-Cortes how the narrative of the persecuting Israeli is a pack of lies.

This full package might fail to change Ocasio-Cortes' approach. However, the lack of cost if it does not, and the potential benefit if it does, suggest it worth trying.

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

For the first hour this week, Michael Burd and Alan Freedman focus on the plight of the Jewish community in the UK as it is facing a rise in antisemitism and a hostile Labour Party – Michael is overseas and was recently in London, and he sat down with English blogger Richard Millet in London to get his views on these issues.

Then the fellahs speak with academic Denis MacEoin concerning an article written by an English bishop, and move on to discuss Jeremy Corbyn.

In the second hour we hear from Israeli commando Daniel K from the Duvdevan Unit of the IDF (the TV series Fauda was based on this unit) and then catch up with Tamar Yonah from Israel News Talk Radio who runs a program that discusses issues in a similar way to Nothing Left.

Michael and Alan also have something to say about the ABC’s coverage of the Gaza conflict and what the Australian Jewish Association did in response.

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

3 min Editorial:  UK Labour Party antisemitism

8 min Michael speaks to Richard Millet in London on the situation facing UK Jewry

23 min Denis MacEoin part 1, on Bishop Tomlin

34 min Denis MacEoin part 2, on UK Labour

50 min Daniel K, Israeli commando from Duvdevan Unit {FAUDA}

1 hr 12 Discussion on ABC bias, David Adler on Outsiders

1 hr 20 Tamar Yonah, Israel News Talk Radio

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, July 14, 2018

A fight for the soul of the Democratic Party

Liz Wagner

A fight for the soul of the Democratic Party is underway, with the far left minority coalition poised to make it the party of socialists.

Jews have been tolerated in this coalition up till now, but our presence has been contingent on our cooperation in the undoing of Israel.

Had Jews fought ferociously, as we should have, against the lies that form the basis of the anti-Israel position of the far left—for example, that Israel is “white,” colonial, expansionist, apartheid and guilty by association with American imperial power—we would have been booted from the coalition long ago.

We maintained limited rights within the coalition through weak resistance to, and sadly for many the active embrace of, every one of those lies. Jews like Greenblatt remain desperate and deluded enough to think they can earn us a place at the new power table that is forming. But there is no place for Jews there.

We failed to fight, and now the Palestinians and Islamists are displacing us.

The only thing that might stop what is happening is for Jews to mount our own campaign of resistance, both inside and outside the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, Greenblatt reflects the state of Jewish leadership on the left.

Completely co-opted, with little if any understanding of what is happening from a Jewish point of view that isn’t diluted to meaninglessness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Adnan Oktar and the Kittens of Peace

Michael Lumish

Turkish "televangelist" Adnan Oktar on March 31, 2010.
(CC-BY-SA-4.0,3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 Harun Yahya International/Wikipedia)
In a piece written by the Associated Press and Michael Bachner, the Times of Israel tells us:
Turkish police on Wednesday detained a controversial Islamic “televangelist” who has an anti-Semitic past, and were seeking hundreds of people linked to him for alleged crimes including forming a criminal gang, fraud, blackmail and sexual abuse.

Istanbul police said warrants were issued against Adnan Oktar and 234 of his followers and that financial crime units were carrying out operations in Istanbul and four other cities to detain them.
This story is interesting to me, personally, because I briefly rubbed shoulders with this group in the not too distant past.

I was in contact with one of their executives concerning peace prospects between Palestinian-Arabs and the State of the Jews. There was even some possibility that I might fly to Istanbul to visit with them as a pro-Israel writer and blogger as part of a larger outreach program.

I found Adnan Oktar and his smart harem interesting because they seemed to be pushing against the boundaries of Islam within the increasingly Islamist country of Turkey.

In my brief discussions with them, and through my readings of some of their writers, the very last thing that I saw was antisemitism.

On the contrary, Oktar and his people seemed to be genuinely going out of their way to be fair in their stance on the Long Arab War Against the Jews of the Middle East. If anything - although I understand that his opinion has evolved over time - the organization leaned in favor of Israel and seemed to be genuinely interested in opening a reasonable dialogue with anyone interested in a peaceful solution.

Oktar reminded me a bit of a Turkish "Hugh Hefner," although more distinguished and handsome than Hugh. But like Hefner, he fancied himself a cultural critic and a man with the financial and intellectual resources to push back against the stifling, prevailing norms of his culture. Unlike Hefner, he is actually a prolific writer, although I cannot attest to the quality of his insights, some of which are said to be anti-Darwinian.

What I have wondered for a number of years, now, however, is how a guy like this can maintain a small sexually-oriented, semi-political empire and pseudo-cult that insists upon its Islamic nature under an increasingly orthodox Islamist regime like that of Erdogan's?

I guess now I have my answer.

He could not.

In any case, it seems to me that if you want to understand the ideological drift of Turkey then keeping an eye on the fate of Oktar and his people would offer a clue.

The Rabbanut and the Waqf

Sar Shalom

I'll take it as a given that the readers are all familiar with the agreement that was struck between an Israeli government committee and representatives of Reform and Conservative Judaism for a mixed prayer area at the Western Wall only for the agreement to be nixed when chareidi parties threatened to bring down the government if it went into effect. Without getting into the merits of the deal, why are the chareidim so opposed to the deal? Would the area that would have been allocated for mixed prayer have in any way have reduced the ability of those who insist on separate-gender prayer space to pray at the Wall? Obviously this is not the case. The reason is that the chareidim view prayer at the Wall in a manner contrary to halacha as a defilement of the sacred space. They did not describe those who pray in mixed gatherings as trespassing "with their filthy feet," but the non-Orthodox Jews who thought they had an agreement would have justification to read that into them.

Similar to mixed prayer being restricted at the Wall, the Waqf goes apoplectic about Jews simply setting foot on the Temple Mount, let alone praying. This raises the question about why the Waqf, and the rest of the Palestinian national movement (PNM) is so against Jews at their most sacred site. No one can seriously claim that Jews walking around the site, even in substantially larger numbers than at present, impinges on Muslims praying at the Dome of the Rock or Al Aqsa. Same with Jews praying on the mountain. So why does the PNM oppose Jews' presence on the mountain so vehemently, referring that presence as defiling the site with their "filthy feet?" The simplest explanation is that Jews ascending and praying on the mount would remove one more manner in which they lord Islam's superiority of Judaism. The thing is that the preeners who notice and excoriate that behavior in the chareidi establishment regarding non-Orthodox Judaism will circle the wagons to assert that the Waqf has a legitimate interest in doing so with all Jews.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

I am happy to see that Dr. Andrew Pessin is talking with Michael Burd and Alan Freedman over at Nothing Left.

Some of you may recall that Pessin was the Connecticut College professor that found himself in trouble for the crime of comparing Hamas to "rabid dogs," or something quite along those lines, on social media.

I compared and contrasted his story to that of Rabab Abdulhadi at San Francisco State University, who openly despises "Zionists" and who gets paid good money from the people of California to do so, in a piece entitled, A Tale of Two Professors in the Age of Obama.

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

3 min Editorial: Communal orgs lack of recognition for AJA

9 min Bernie Finn, state Liberal MP for Western metropolitan region

39 min Dr David Adler, Aust Jewish Association

51 min Senator Fraser Anning, on his senate questions on PA funding

1 hr 34 min Prof Andrew Pessin, anti-Zionism on university campuses

1 hr 42 min Prager U clip on deliberately deceptive media in USA

Monday, July 9, 2018

Michael Lumish

I find it astonishing that almost everyone that I know seems to believe that the Jewish people are under some ethical or political obligation to recognize the "Palestinians."

This may be the first time in world history in which a people have been pressured by the international community to recognize and negotiate with an alleged ethnicity that came into existence within living memory and whose stated purpose is to wipe out the self-defense and self-determination of another people.

It is amazing and horrific.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

4 min Editorial: non-reporting of Gaza violence

11 min Matthew M Hausman, attorney and writer

33 min Benjamin Weinthal, Washington correspondent for J Post

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Happiness of the Israeli Defense Forces

Michael Lumish

It was only a few years ago that I came across the following video of what appear to be tank-men in the IDF singing the Pharrell Williams song "Happy."

I am charmed by this bit because it demonstrates a joyous indomitability of spirit that I can never know because I do not live under those circumstances. At the same time, the tune is sort-of doofy. It is fluffy, syrupy, sweetness, but very upbeat and fun and I love it and, yet, the joy of the tune seems entirely discordant with men in a tank.

The Jewish people in the Middle East are a people under siege. For thirteen hundred years, from the time of Muhammad until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the indigenous Jews lived as second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule. And, now, upon securing their freedom - and thus, in some measure, the freedom of all Jewish people everywhere - they are set upon by constant warfare.

Decade after decade, from the early twentieth-century until the early twentieth-first.

There are three hundred to four hundred million Arabs in the Middle East and about six million Jews. The Arab leadership, both political and religious, make no secret of their delicious genocidal ambitions. They scream malice from the hillsides on a daily basis and, yet, are still funded by morally self-righteous western-progressives who do not even believe, despite three thousand years of historical evidence, that the Jewish people are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.

So, those young guys in the video above are Israeli Jews who are forced into the military by their Arab and European enemies because otherwise their entire civilization will, yet again, get knocked out. That could very easily mean the death of their own families and children.

So, my question is, how does the weird and wonderful video emerge from Israeli Jewish culture?

Furthermore, how is it possible that the Jerusalem Post can report that according to the UN annual World Happiness Report that Israel is ranked eleventh in the world in terms of "happiness"?

How is this possible?