Sunday, July 29, 2018

Stand With Us, if you won’t, who the heck will?

Michael Lumish

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

StandWithUs (SWU) is among the best pro-Israel organizations and resources available to the diaspora Jewish community.

I hope that I will be excused for my bias - given that SWU stood with me during the Reem's Cafe litigation in Oakland - but these guys tread a razor's edge with steady feet and sometimes a little acknowledgment of the obvious is necessary.

If Mort Klein's Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has gained a reputation as right-wing and the Anti-Defamation League under Jonathan Greenblatt has earned a reputation for lappiness with the Democratic Party, SWU seems to represent the steady center. It apparently has the resources and grassroots organic vision to push itself forward in the dialogue and for that I am grateful.

Michael Dickinson, SWU Executive Director of the Jerusalem office, has a blog post at the Times of Israel entitled, The 17-year-old terrorist. It is a response to the recent murderous knife-attack in Adam, Israel, killing one and sending two other men into the hospital.  He writes:
Mohammad Tareq Yousef plunged his knife into multiple victims, leaving behind a bloody trail before one of those injured managed to stop and kill him. His brutal attack left a beautiful young family fatherless. But in Palestinian society, a teenage terrorist is not something that is especially shocking. On the contrary, extremism is deliberately saturated into Palestinian Authority education, popular culture and media. 
His article hits the key points concerning the relentless nature of official Palestinian-Arab indoctrination of hatred toward Jews. The PA, as we all know, spreads violently-inclined antisemitic anti-Zionist venom throughout their systems of education, television, arts, sports, even to the extent of naming at least one hospital after a Jew Killer. This venom spreads throughout the world.

Dickinson writes:
A Palestinian can be born into this world at the “Alshaheed (Martyr) Thabet Thabet” hospital in Tulkarm named for the leader of the violent Palestinian Tanzim group. Conversely, Israeli hospitals are quick to treat Palestinian patients, including at times of conflict. Yet rather than celebrate this, official PA newspapers often cover wild accusations of Israelis who allegedly harvest organs or conduct medical experiments on Palestinians — claims aimed to dehumanize Israel and Israelis.
It just goes on and on and on and on.

And even as the PA and Hamas and Hezbollah and ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood and, you know, Turkey, defame the Jewish people through defaming the Jewish state - and thereby incite violence toward us internationally - the West screams from the bloody rafters about how the Jews in the Middle East are failing in their humanity toward the hostile Arab majority.

Dickinson reminds us that throughout the Hamas-controlled Strip, and PA-controlled areas, schools are named after Palestinian-Arab Jew Killers. The PA broadcasts television shows for toddlers that feature Mickey Mouse-like characters that yearn for Jewish blood.
Indeed, music is a key tool for spreading the PA’s anti-Israel message. In the past, the PA Ministry of Culture sponsored an art conference focusing on “Palestinian Folklore and Arts, Palestine in Musical Memory,” which glorified violence against Israelis through music. 
International sports, of course, is a tremendous venue wherein Palestinian-Arabs seek to use their influence as Uber-Victims over other Arab states and guilt-ridden Europeans to marginalize and defame our brothers and sisters in Israel.

And, ultimately, that is the point.

When Tunisia refuses to allow Liel Levitan, a 7-year old Israeli girl, to participate in a world chess championship for young people or when some pussitudinous Iranian judoka refuses to face a Jewish opponent - who probably would have kicked his ass, anyway -  they are reinforcing antisemitic anti-Zionism. They are inclining well-meaning Westerners to think that maybe they have a point and, therefore, that violence against Jews from New York City to Paris to Jerusalem might be justified.

Why should well-meaning non-Jewish Westerners stand with us when we so often refuse to stand with ourselves? Western-progressives - in their soft, middle-class, safe spaces - always want to believe that there are two sides to every story. They honestly believe - within living memory of the Holocaust and despite being outnumbered by a perpetually hostile Arab-Muslim majority throughout the Middle East - that the Jewish minority in that part of the world are the aggressors.

They are dangerously mistaken.


  1. Agreed. But there are many issues stand with us has to contend with.
    1. The right wing “Frum” Jewish communities, whil giving lip service when terror strikes, will not unequivocally sand with Israel.
    2. Left wingers are afraid, and even proud sometimes to be anti Israel.
    3. Apathy in general-myself included. It’s not enough for me to shudder each time I go over the Ari Halberstam memorial ramp on the Brooklyn Bridge to remind myself “it can’t happen here”.
    Overall the Jewish community, especially the religious Jewish community which tends to set the tone overall in my humble opinion needs to actually get out there and stand with people.

    1. Welcome to Israel Thrives, LFD.

      I think that my thesis is pretty clear. It is pro SWU. SWU is a bit unique. It walks that razor's edge which few of the other pro-Israel American organizations seem able to do between the Right and the Left.

      I suppose that this is just my way of giving those guys a "thank you" note.

      I was not the least bit happy with them for awhile, but they came through.

  2. Thanks for the welcome and I’m with you.

  3. There are so many crazy things going on, like Ahed Tamimi being hailed as a hero- I work in a public school, curious to see how the current events/social studies teacher portrays her.
    As far as SWU, all Jews of all stripes need to get involved. Problem being apathy and Frum Jews not wanting to “mingle” with pro Jewish causes that are not “Frum”. How many Yeshivas march in the Israel day parade? It’s a fear of the issues. And people. The common line I get is that it is better for the kids to sit and learn. I’m not a Rabbi, so I don’t get a vote on that, but, being anti Israel in this day and age is being anti Jewish (IMHO). So who will stand with us when a good chunk of us isn’t standing up? It’s a problem.

  4. And BTW, we need to give copious praise to SWU so they will continue to come through (hopefully in a more timely manner).

    1. I think at the time I expected more from those guys then is generally within their purview. I was also enormously frustrated at the indifference of the Bay Area Jewish community as a whole. There is, what, 400,000 Jewish people around here?

      Yet there was virtually ZERO interest in standing up.

      But, y'know, as individuals we will do what we will do.

  5. In all the years I have spent observing the anti-semitic goings on at UC Irvine (as an adjunct teacher 1998-2016)courtesy of the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in palestine, I can say that SWU, the AMCHA Initiative and ZOA have stood out for their standing by us. I wish I could say the same about ADL, the Jewish Federation and Hillel, but I can't.

    1. The ADL strikes me as more an adjunct to the Democratic Party under Greenblatt than an organization devoted to exposing antisemitism. Were this not the case they would tend to focus more on the emergent antisemitism of the Left.

      Mort Klein, on the other hand, has brass balls.

      And AMCHA, from what I can tell, is primarily due to the diligence of Tammi Benjamin out of Santa Cruz. I hold that woman in considerable admiration.

  6. More non-Jewish Westerners stand with us than against us. They see the behavior of the Jew and Israel haters, who are much like and often the same as the Western and America haters. It is the secular and progressive Jews who are sadly mistaken to believe they will be spared.

  7. Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    “In life as in law there are statutes of limitations
    that recognize that history changes the status quo.

    The time has come — indeed it is long overdue — for the world to stop treating these Palestinians [from year 1948] as refugees. That status ended decades ago.”

    What Is a Refugee? by Alan Dershowitz, 2018 March 10

    Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    The most recent Hamas provocations — having 40,000 Gazans try to tear down the border fence and enter Israel with Molotov cocktails and other improvised weapons — are part of a repeated Hamas tactic that I have called the “dead baby strategy.”

    Hamas’ goal is to have Israel kill as many Gazans as possible so that the headlines always begin, and often end, with the body count.

    Why Does the Media Keep Encouraging Hamas Violence?
    by Alan Dershowitz, 2018 May 16

    Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    “The difference between Israel and Hamas [an Islamic terrorist organization] is that Israel uses its soldiers to protect its civilians, whereas Hamas uses its civilians to protect its terrorists. That is why most of Israeli casualties have been soldiers and most of Hamas' casualties have been civilians.

    The other reason is that Israel builds shelters for its civilians, whereas Hamas builds shelters only for its terrorists, intending that most of the casualties be among its civilian shields.”

    Needless death and destruction in Gaza
    by Alan M. Dershowitz, 2014 August 11

    Who are the Palestinians?

  8. Speaking of which a very big bunch of Australian firefighters are in the air on their way to California as we speak.

    Hope everyone one around here is okay.

    For what it is worth I know from personal experience that these guys know what they are doing.

  9. I noticed some years ago that Australian eucalyptus trees had been planted in California all over the shop.

    Big mistake.

  10. Sultan Knish,"There’s nothing wrong with an Arab and Muslim country, but something wrong with a Jewish country."

    "The scariest thing for a fake Jewish organization is a Jewish State. Establishment groups that have spent generations peddling lefty policy ideas to the clueless by calling them “Jewish” are deeply threatened by the existence of a Jewish State for whom the “J” part is not just a brand, but a meaningful identity.

    Nothing threatens a scam artist like the real thing. And Israel, as idea and reality, has always threatened the scam artists of the left who peddle a bowdlerized Jewish history that began in the 19th century, whose messianic age is the Tikkun Olam of socialism and whose messiahs wave red flags."

    I love this guy.