Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Open Thread


The End The Conflation post comments have ranged far afield so it's probably time for an open thread.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

End the conflation

Sar Shalom

In the global conventional wisdom, two concepts are tacitly linked when it comes to discussing Israel, even when they are not explicitly stated. The first concept, which is stated explicitly more often, is that the solution is to have "two states," with some speakers explicitly stating "for two peoples" while others either think that is self-evident as to not require explicit statement or are fine with an Arab state and a binational state. The second concept is that the boundary between those two states should resemble the 1949-Armistice Line.

The conflation of those two concepts is manifest in two ways. The most notable way is that whenever Israel does anything beyond her "proper" boundaries, the international pooh-bahs point to that as ipso facto proof that Israel is not interested in ending her "rule" over the Palestinian people, completely oblivious to the possibility that a bona fide Palestinian state containing substantially less than the entire Jordanian conquest would be acceptable to Israel. The second consequence is that many of those with red lines east of the Armistice Line, such as maintaining some form of Jewish presence in and around Hebron, dismiss the notion of a Palestinian state within any borders.

What is needed is to recognize two facts that suggest mutually antagonizing responses. The first is that between the river and the sea, there are more non-Zionists (when you include Arabs in Areas A and B and in internationally recognized Israel and post-Zionist Jews) than there are Zionists. The second is that the origins of the Jewish people are in Judea. The need to provide some means to provide civil and political rights to the Arabs of Areas A and B separate from Israel's polity does not negate Jewish rights in Hebron or say anything about the Jordan Valley. Similarly, the Jewish right maintain security along the Jordan Valley and settle around Hebron does not imply a right to rule over (yes, I am aware that Israel does not currently rule in Areas A and B, but that can change and Israel's control of movement between sections of Area B reduces the meaningfulness of local rule there) the Arabs of Areas A and B without giving them representation.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Holding A Wolf By The Ear


An interesting idiom; one I had never heard before until I came across it in a novel I was reading recently. It struck me that it described perfectly the situation in which Israel finds itself. One does not have to think very hard to see see just how it does.

I found two reference to this idiom. The first, Auribus teneo lupum, is attributed to the Roman  Emperor Tiberius commenting on the dangers that threatened him on every hand in ruling the Roman Empire. The second was Thomas Jefferson discussing 

slavery and the Missouri question/compromise (admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state to keep the balance in Congress between slave and free states). We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.

Surely Israel has been holding a wolf by the ear for a long time and to let go, as it eventually must, is fraught with danger.

Now the wolf is a ferocious beast and once you let go it will tear you into pieces. Palestine has been nipping at Israel for a very long time. The solution is to have never have taken hold of that wolf, especially by the ear but I think we know how and why that happened. Nevertheless, it's time to let go.

In my mind, the only way not to get torn to pieces is to kill the wolf before you let go. And I mean this literally. You can't make peace with a wolf. Wolf lovers will call you cruel and insist you got yourself into this mess in the first place and will just have to take your chances or what's coming to you. I say ignore them. Self preservation takes precedent. Kill the wolf soon.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Peace With Palestinians Can Never Happen


At least not in this lifetime or many more. The reason is that Palestinian children are taught only to hate Jews but also that the day will come when Israel is no more. Check out PMW's latest post for all those details. 

A Palestinian teacher and her school's principal appeared on official PA TV, and the teacher openly expressed the school's educational methodology, teaching students about the anticipated end of Israel. An exhibition at the school featured a map of "Palestine," which included all of Israel and the PA areas, and displayed numerous small ripped Israeli flags and large whole Palestinian flags. The flags represent Israeli sovereignty being replaced by Palestinian sovereignty over all of Israel. To make sure there is no doubt about the meaning, the teacher stressed: "We hope to liberate Palestine." The PA TV host thanked the principal for this quality education of Palestinian children:
 If some kind of peace deal was reached tomorrow, it would take many generations for the hate to die out. Just look at American racism against blacks to see what would likely happen. Just look at the Jew/Israel hate in Israel's current erstwhile peace partners. Luckily, Egyptians and Jordanian killers have less access to Jews than Palestinians might have given peace.

Another is the paying of terrorist salaries to killers of Israelis. Abbas et al aren't about to ever give up that practice so the incentive to kill is strong. What Israel takes away in tax revenue, the international community will and does make up in misguided attempts to ease the pain....a wholly self inflicted pain.
Of course I'm preaching to the choir here I know but, hey, talking truth is important.

Consider this also an open thread because I don't mind off topic  stuff as long as it is important to you and us.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Not overplaying the Ilhan Omar tirades

Sar Shalom

Note that I use the term "overplay" and not "overreact." Omar deserves all the vitriol she has received and more unity in issuing it, however it does not look like we can pull that off. Nonetheless, it is possible that when the 117th Congress takes the oath of office, Omar will not be among them. The people who will decide whether or not she is, and who will replace her if she is not, are the voters of Minnesota's 5th District. Our efforts must reflect that fact.

Fortunately, there are indications that some of Omar's constituents are open to turning on her. Two items of note stick out. First, Mohamed Ahmed related how his daughter chose to write a report about Omar as someone she admires, then,
... as Ms. Omar’s comments about American Jews and Israel drew bipartisan rebukes in recent weeks, culminating Thursday with a House vote condemning anti-Semitism [sic] and other forms of hate, Mr. Ahmed had a conversation with his 8-year-old daughter about Ms. Omar.
Then, describing another constituent's thoughts about the Jews,
“When religion is under attack, they stand by us, because they’ve been there,” said Zahra Ali, a Somali-American resident of Minneapolis who once saw Ms. Omar’s election as a beacon of hope but who did not plan to vote for her again.
What the second examples shows is that demonstrating what we can do for them pays dividends. Conversely, albeit speculatively, calling them deplorables for having voted for Omar in the first place is unlikely to convince many to vote for anyone more agreeable to us. We need to work with Omar's constituency to find a mutually agreeable alternative who will both show that Omar's identity as a Muslim and as an African immigrant are not grounds for objection and will demonstrate tolerance of Jewish rights both here and in their indigenous homeland. Ultimately, that is how Omar can be removed entirely from Congress.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with demonstrations against Omar across the country. However, we should have operatives in her district keeping tabs on her constituents' opinions in order to provide us with an early warning system regarding their openness to other alternatives.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What's Really Going On With Pro-Palestinian, Anti_Israel Activists?


If you want to know what is really going on ask yourself which states do leftist activists question the legitimacy of. The answer is, of course, only the single JEWISH one. Once that sinks in, it all makes perfect sense no matter what the lying SOB's say. Add to that the fact that they NEVER protest even one of the brutal, hateful human rights denying nations in the Middles East or around the world and you get the picture.

This why I am a total supporter of Israel. You can't fool me with all your BS, Jew haters and naive fellow travelers. This is why all your protests and rallies and conventions and debates and everything else  invariably succumb to antisemitism/Jew hate. And you let it happen again and again and again in your protests and in your Parliaments and in your Congress because deep down you only hate Jews. If you didn't you would drive these monsters from your midst. But you don't, so shame on you and this middle finger is forever for you.

Consider this an all-purpose open thread as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Give them a taste of their own medicine

Sar Shalom

Donald Trump is rightfully turning up the pressure against Iran by gradually removing exceptions to the sanctions. However, some supporters of this measure are possibly overstating the potential that the misery created by such sanctions will finally provide the Iranian people with enough motivation to overthrow their regime. One thing that events of this year should teach us is that the Iranian people have no shortage of motivation to overthrow their regime. What they lack is capacity, which no amount of sanctions can provide.

In the linked example, insurgents in Sistan-Baluchistan attacked an IRGC personnel carrier. The only tear we should shed over the fallen IRGC members is that the casualty number didn't have a few zeros appended at the right. However, we should not pretend that the loss of a few dozen grunts, or even a couple thousand grunts, would actually degrade the IRGC's ability to repress the Iranian people. What's needed is to build the Baluchi Army of Justice, Jaish ul Adl, and the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz into a force that can be to the IRGC what the Houthis are to the legitimate government of Yemen. In order to become such a threat, those organizations would need two things. First is the strategic acumen to identify consequential targets, that is targets whose being hit would meaningfully degrade the regime's ability to cement its hold on power. The second is the tactical ability to hit those targets.

The first of those could be achieved by bringing the insurgent leaders to a safe destination where either American or Israeli operatives could train them. The second might also require the delivery of materiel, but if Israel can smuggle the nuclear archive out of Tehran, Israel can smuggle armaments to the insurgents.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Open Thread


Per Oldschool's request. Post what you like. Will do this more often to keep things flowing.

Pic added to highlight oldschool's comment:

I have added this must see documentary

Saturday, April 27, 2019

73 Years After The Holocaust


The Holocaust ended about 73 years ago and Jews and most others proclaimed, "Never Again." But of course that only slowed down antisemitism a wee bit. As everyone knows, it is making a massive resurgence lately. Much of it comes under the banner of anti Zionism because a lot of anti Zionists just can't resist those old antisemitic tropes. The list is too long for me to go into here. You know who they are.

The latest installment is from the Opinion page of the NYT.

The image, published in the international print edition of Thursday’s paper, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David collar leading President Trump, who is wearing a skullcap and dark glasses.
I'm not going to post the image because it is offensive and I will not propagate it. You can see it yourself at the link. After many complaints the NYT capitulated:

 “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it,” the newspaper said in a tweet. “It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.”

Talk about pulling an Omar without the victim hood excuses.  And, like her, if this were a one time thing it could be excused but considering the NYT's track record and the fact that the cartoon would have to have passed the judgement of probably 4 editors before it was published, it is obvious the NYT has an antisemitism problem. Trump would say the NYT is the enemy of the people....the Jewish people.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Not A Taint Of It In The Democratic Party


Says Nancy Pelosi. The taint of which she speaks is antisemitism. Who can blame her for lying? Trump is pushing the notion and it could cost Dems big time in 2020. But lying she is.

First we have the Hamas caucus in Congress: Omar and her cohorts. They support BDS which aims to destroy the only Jewish State. Can't get more antisemitic than that. And let's remember that only 27% of Democrats support Israel over Palestine so there are bound to be lots more closet BDS'ers in the mix. And of course, almost all Dems fall head over heels defending Omar from accusations of antisemitism despite all the evidence against her.

Then we have the Farrakhan Caucus aka the Congressional Black  Caucus. Almost all members of that caucus have refused to denounce Farrakhan despite his vile Jew hatred. Indeed, many have embraced him along withthe excuse that he has done much for the black community. Yes, like whipping up Jew hatred among them. Surveys show black antisemitism is higher among blacks than the national average (23 to 14 percent)

The big tent nature of the Democratic party almost insures antisemitism and Dems can't afford to alienate their base. Therefore they will ignore their antisemitism at their peril; much like the UK Labour party. Rest assured Trump will run with this leading up to 2020 and Dem denials will only go so far.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Beresheet Crashed

Michael Lumish

It is sad, but it is not that sad.

This was the Israeli first attempt at landing on the moon.

It represents the first try and the next one will come within two or three years.

The Israelis, themselves, seem to be taking it in good humor.

I like Bellerose's take:
My last word on the Israeli moon mission is this.

Israeli drivers.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Israel to the Moon

The "Genesis" Spacecraft

Michael Lumish

If Genesis makes a "soft landing" this will be a historic moment.

Israel will become only the fourth country to land an unmanned spacecraft on the lunar surface, after the United States, Russia, and China.

Its scientific purpose is to measure the magnetic field of the moon.

Its social purpose is to demonstrate to the world that Jews are no longer in the ghetto.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Bibi-No Palestinian State


While the results have not been made official, it looks like Bibi will form the next (coalition) Government and the world will see if he really meant, "No Palestinian State." What he said exactly was:

There will be no Palestinian state. Former Vice President Joe Biden told me at the time that given all the conditions I have - regarding maintaining security in our hands, maintaining the settlements and not dividing Jerusalem - there can be no Palestinian state. I said to him, “That is correct”. These are my positions. These are the three principles that I will not give up on. I told Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt the same.
 He also said:

 They will run their own lives. We have no interest in running Nablus. There will be no Palestinian state,” he said, “not like the one people are talking about. It won’t happen

So, Palestinians will get something, just not what they are expecting and that something will not include giving up security, Jerusalem or dismantling settlements. Pretty clear. Also pretty clear that Palestinians (and their supporters worldwide) will blow a major gasket.

Election talk or reality? Only time will tell. And of course, there is Trump's deal of the century which may or may not conflict with Bibi's position.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Iran Declares US A ‘State Sponsor Of Terror’


This comes after Trump officially designated the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization earlier today.

Monday’s decision will mean that anyone who deals with the IRGC could face criminal charges, including aiding or supporting a terrorist group, the White House said.

Iran insists this is also an election gift to Bibi cause they are good guys just looking after their own nation's sovereignty. Never mind that Iran has provided support, money, training and safe haven to lots of terrorist groups like  Hezbollah, Hamas , Islamic Jihad  and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. they have aided or committed terrorist activities in many other countries. I addition, they regularly call for DEATH to Israel and AMERICA (the little and big Satan.)

You know, for all their bad acts I kind of laugh when these mice that roared do stuff like this or threaten Israel with annihilation. They really are a joke. And this designation is going to harm them, thank goodness. The deserve it.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Sarsour Whitewashes Omar


Raging Linda Sarsour recently tried to whitewash her buddy Omar's obvious anti-semitism in a recent speech:

But what has happened often from White Jews when they call you call an antisemite, is they look at Muslim women from an orientalist trope, that we are inherently antisemitic because we are Muslims, right?
"It's a stereotype that has been used often against the Muslim community. That we are antisemitic until proven otherwise. That we are guilty until proven innocent. It's not okay."
"She didn't know nothing in Somalia, about no antisemitism. This is something she is learning along the way now that she is a legislator
Where to begin? White Jews. Two of the most hated groups among leftists and Muslims like Sarsour and Omar evidently. The inclusion of the word white is an attempt I suppose to do the old good Jew Bad Jew thing; a common anti-semitic trope. This is also an attempt, like all the rants these bigots give, to mainstream antisemitic tropes.

Orientalist? Well, this is a reference to failed Jew hater and PLO member Edward Said's definition of "a way of seeing that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Arab peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S. It often involves seeing Arab culture as exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous" Exotic? Eye of the beholder. Backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous? Well, look at what they do and say. Geeze, a whole Arab inspired Muslim  nation, Brunei has progressed so much it is now stoning gays in 2019. If that ain't backward, uncivilized and dangerous, I don;t know what is.

Stereotype? Well, if it walks like  duck....show me a Muslim that isn't Pro-BDS or or anti-Israel and I'll show you a Muslim that isn't antisemitic. Until then, the shoe fits Linda.

Ignorance because she is from Somalia? Give me a break. Omar was brought up to hate Jews in Somalia and Islam. Duh. Sarsour was born and raised in America. She should know better than to be an antisemite but she is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants so she has a Jew hating pedigree.

The thing about all these so called Pro-Palestinians is that they don't understand that supporting peace is a far better strategy to make things better than advocating the end of Israel, Jew hate and all the other hate they promote and use to spur on violence between Palestinians and Israelis and hatred and violence among other groups they hate: non-Muslims, whites, the police, etc. It's no wonder "sour," is part of her surname.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Terrorist Palestinian Prisoners Upset Over Cell Phone Jamming


Palestinian prisoners, most of them incarcerated Hamas terrorists are upset that prison authorities have jammed their illicit cell phones. They have announced hunger strikes beginning April 7th with a Hamas chief reportedly warning that this could aggravate regional tensions.

Imagine the nerve of prison officials denying genocidal Jew hating terrorists the right to have cell phones so they can communicate with the terrorist bosses and plan who knows what. Can you imagine?

What is it about Palestinian terrorists that makes them think they deserve a privilege denied to prisoners in any well run prison? . Next thing you know these prisoners will be punished for stabbing guards and rioting. There's a reason prisoners are not allowed cell phones. Common sense says I have no need to outline these reasons.

Electronic Intifada has these ludicrous to say about it.

Cell phones cannot be considered weapons or as dangerous items. The idea that bringing modern communications to people locked away by an apartheid state could be a serious crime – or anything more than an administrative offense – is risible.
The United Nations has explicitly recognized that prisoners have the right to communicate with the outside world. If Ghattas did indeed smuggle cell phones to prisoners, then he was arguably defending their basic rights.

Here's what the UN has to say about prisoner rights to communicate with the outside world

  1.  VII. Prisoners’ Contact with the Outside World
  2. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence
  3. All prisoners shall have the right to communicate with the outside world, especially with their families.
  4.              Foreign prisoners shall be allowed to communicate with their diplomatic representatives

Nothing about cell phones as Electronic Intifada suggests. This is one of the most ridiculous things these genocidal terrorists have ever done. I doubt it will be the last. Nor will it be the last time useful idiots take their side.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nancy Pelosi Loves Israel


No matter what you think of Nancy Pelosi or her politics, one thing is sure. She came through big time for Israel at AIPAC recently.

“Israel and America are connected now and forever. We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue....That pledge is proudly honored in this Congress, where support for Israel remains ironclad and bipartisan...... In our democratic societies, we should welcome legitimate debate at how best to honor our values and to advance our priorities without questioning loyalty or patriotism....we must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS," referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement."

Unsurprisingly,  Ilhan Omar defended antisemites like herself who promote BDS:

"A condemnation for people that want to exercise their First Amendment rights is beneath any leader, and I hope that we find a better use of language when we are trying to speak as members of Congress that are sworn to protect the Constitution."

So far I'm not seeing any strong condemnation of Pelosi at dKos or other such sites although Chuck Schumer is taking tons of flak. Schumer is Jewish while Pelosi is not but that can't mean anything can it?

At any rate, kudos to Pelosi for her remarks and support. I suspect the new wave of Dems will get rid of her first chance they get.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Mueller Report Is Out


After a long and trying wait, the Mueller report is finally out. We don't know the specifics yet although Barr has said he should be releasing info as soon as this weekend within the parameters of what the law allows. This could mean we only receive a smidgen of what is in the report although
Dems are insisting we hear it all. And, of course, there are bound to be leaks.

What is most glaring is the news that no new indictments are forthcoming. This is huge in terms of the hopes and dreams of Dems that Trump and family and associates would be found guilty of something. It probably means that there are no findings of collusion although many Dems are saying that there may be sealed indictments or that Mueller has offloaded fuether indictments to other law enforcement agencies. hope springs eternal for the Trump is a Russian agent crackpots.

And those crackpots are numerous among Dems, the complicit media and the spook community. How many of them have assured us that Trump and those around him were going down big time? Doesn't look that way to me.

A question that needs to be addressed is how can now trust anything that crowd has told us. Certainly, they seem as kooky as flat earthers and the moon landing was a hoax crowd. Hopefully the American electorate will keep that in mind as 2020 approaches and make them pay politically. Personally, I would like to see them in other ways for the time and resources that have been wasted; the lives and careers that have been ruined and the horrible divisiveness this has caused.

FLASH: Dem leak of actual Mueller Report

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Faces of Barbarism


People worldwide are reacting to the terror attacks in NZ as good, moral civilized people do. Meanwhile in Palestine, death worshipping terror supporting monsters are celebrating the murder of one  and injury of two Israelis. Here are a few screenshots. Israellycool has a lot more, including videos.

Palestinians are not like the rest of the world but the rest of the world loves them while hating other murderous terrorists. These celebrations will not likely see any media coverage and we know why. The newest Dems will not condemn it and we know why. Linda Sarsour will not cry any crocodile tears and we know why. dKos will not condemn it and we know why. We always know why.

The Jerusalem Post also has an article.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Innoculating our children against the Cult of Occupation

Sar Shalom

With measles being in the news, I'll offer a few words on the disease. In order to avoid measles, the key is not to avoid any form of the pathogen. If the disease abounds, then doing so is fruitless battle. What is needed instead is to be exposed to a version of the pathogen, typically dead though attenuated for other diseases, that is unable to cause the disease. Doing so trains the immune system to recognize the pathogen so that if it does encounter a version capable of causing disease in the future, it would be ready to neutralize before it can do so.

A similar approach can be take to the Cult of Occupation. For the most part, the Israel portion of Jewish education tends to focus on the Jews' travails in Europe in the 19th century and the efforts of the pioneers to build the state from desert and swamps while ignoring the suffering of the Palestinians affected by Israel's presence. Two such Jews raised with such education are New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg and Simone Zimmerman of IfNotNow and now at B'Tselem. According to one of the essays in Anti-Zionism on Campus, Zimmerman became an ardent Palestinianist when she went to college at UC Berkeley and first learned about the plight of the Palestinians. Similarly, Goldberg has written about how she first learned about the Palestinian's suffering after she had finished her Jewish education, leading to her becoming part of the cesspool of describing the Palestinians as innocent, defenseless victims of the so-called regional bully.

As with diseases like measles, preventing exposure to the Palestinians' suffering is a fools errand. However, it is possible to expose those receiving a Jewish education to a version of Palestinian that would not induce them Cultists of Occupation and prepare them with responses for when those who are more interested in waging information war against Israel than in presenting the truth present their version of that suffering. For instance, the Palestinianists are great at presenting sob stories about the indignities of crossing the security barrier, but they never present any information about why the security barrier, and the checkpoint to cross it, is present. We have to present that information as Matti Friedman has done. The Palestinianists will eventually foist on our youth how Israel has destroyed homes and schools in Gaza. We need to beat them in presenting that information to our youth and provide the context of how Hamas launches rockets from schools and crowded urban squares giving Israel a choice between allowing those rockets to be launched at Israel's cities or taking out those rockets and destroying the homes and schools next to them. The Palestinianists will get the message out about all the things the Palestinians lack. We need to beat them at teaching our youth about that situation, and provide the context of what Israel has tried to do to alleviate that situation without cooperation from the PA that is more interested in perpetuating a grievance than addressing any grievance without building capacity to eliminate Israel and how both the PA and Hamas divert the lion's share of any development aid to the effort for eliminating Israel. Including such material in our Jewish education would mean that when our youth hear the sob stories from the Palestinianists, nothing would be new and they will know how to respond.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

IQ Tests For Congresscritters?


Oops, she did it again. Ilhan Omar, that is. Fresh on the heels of "it's all about the Benjamins," she talked about dual loyalties. allegiance to a foreign country. That's two antisemitic tropes in quick succession in addition to the many other gaffes she has made previously. A pattern seems obvious. The woman is an antisemite to the bone. Even Pelosi and other high ranking members are getting ready to bring a resolution condemning antisemitism although it looks as if Omar will not be mentioned specifically. Obviously though, the resolution is in response to Omar's loose lips. Dems cannot afford to be seen as the party of antisemitism prior to 2020.

Generally, Progressives are supporting her; certainly her fellow newly elected peers AOC and Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, and most Kossacks. They give the usual suspect reasons; criticism of Israel is not antisemitism, etc. The most amusing rationale is that being a Somali Muslim immigrant, she does not understand what is wrong with what she is saying. Also, she is new to Congress and politics so she should be cut some slack. Hence my question: IQ Tests For Congresscritters? Or perhaps some minimum knowledge/training in what constitutes criticism of Israel and what constitutes antisemitism. I believe it is possible to criticize Israel without being antisemitic but I don't believe Omar and her cronies do that.

In fact, looking at how this has tracked in relation to the Labour Party's mess in the UK, I believe that what is really happening is a deliberate attempt to normalize antisemitism in the guise of AntiZionism. There is just too much evidence that this is what has happened in the UK and elsewhere. AntiZionist groups are rife with antisemitism and disingenuous defence of the perps.

Sooner or later, Omar and others must be censured before the Dems indeed become the party of antisemitism to an even greater extent than they already are. The ball is in their court and Pelosi's response while welcome is a dollat short and many days late.

Legitimate criticism of Israel

Sar Shalom

Invariably, the BDS-holes, and less fanatical anti-Zionist anti-Semites, deflect accusations of Jew-baiting by complaining that defenders of Israel label any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. Israel-supporters retort that criticism of Israel is legitimate, but what these self-proclaimed critics engage in crosses the line into anti-Semitism. However, other than to say that Israelis criticize their country every day, no examples of legitimate criticism are provided. Without such examples, our enemies could ask if it would be legitimate to point out that Israel is indiscriminately killing Palestinians if Israel was in fact doing so? Would it be legitimate to point out that Israel is arbitrarily restricting Palestinian movement if Israel was in fact doing so? This should be subject to the shoe on the other foot test, is it legitimate or Islamophobic to point out that Muslims do those things when Muslims actually do them?

While I don't have recent examples of Israel-criticism that qualify as legitimate, it would be helpful to look at the work of Bassem Eid who worked for B'Tselem before they ceased to care about the bona fides of the abuses they reported.

In one incident that Eid covered, a group of soldiers punished a group of Arabs for throwing stones by burying them up to their chests. However, Eid did not simply report that this had happened. He asked the alleged victims if they could corroborate. One of the Arabs added that he had lost a shoe in the sand as he was being pulled out. An excavation of where the incident supposedly happened revealed the lost shoe, supporting the allegation.

In another incident, Eid advocated on behalf of an Arab whose donkey was confiscated by the IDF. When he went public about that case, he did so by releasing the exchange of communications between himself and the IDF's legal adviser, including the humorless bureaucratese.

The common element in these criticisms that legitimizes them is a commitment to truth and accuracy. As Eid was described,
Although he was a thorn in its side, the army came grudgingly to respect Eid. It recognized that his reports were free from the fancy and exaggeration that is all too common in Palestinian discourse. “Why exaggerate?” asks Eid. “For example, if 2,000 houses have been demolished, why make it 10,000? If the Israelis killed four, why say it was 40?” He did not take complaints from fellow Palestinians at face value. On the contrary, he made it a practice to probe the accuracy of the testimony he received before telling his colleagues in the B’Tselem headquarters to send a formal letter to the army asking for its version of the events described to him. It was not uncommon for him to discover distortion.
Needless to say, most of the western media considers fact-checking to be optional when it comes to reporting on Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Pointing out facts that are omitted from such reports that contradict the narrative of wanton Israeli commission of atrocities would expose how such reporting is not good faith criticism.

This is not to suggest that this is the only test that criticism of Israel must pass in order to be legitimate. In particular, the three D test (demonization, delegitimization, double-standards) provides further grounds on which to assess that criticism is due to bigotry. However, I have examples demonstrating accuracy of criticism in those specific cases.

Friday, February 15, 2019


Sar Shalom

Anyone know of any group trying to prevent Congress from forcing a surrender of the Bab-el-Mandeb to Iran?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Smirking Jew Killer


Here's the monster who killed Israeli teenager Ori Ansbacher,  smirking in court.

Many are calling for the death penalty in this case. They should have shot the evil SOB when they had the chance. Then we all could have been spared the evil smirk. The left wanted to put the smirking Covington kid in a woodchipper. Wonder what they'll say about this guy? Driven to it by the occupation no doubt.

What does it say when a major accomplishment for a Palestinian is the killing and mutilation of an innocent Israeli teenager. That whole society needs a major intervention.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

"Palestinians" and BDS

Michael Lumish

Note the use of "Palestinian" in quotes by the creator of the image below.

The reason for this is because he understands that the Arabs who live in the Land of Israel -- which is to say, the land of the Jewish people -- only came into recognizable existence around the time that Paul McCartney was writing "Yesterday."

The people who we call "Palestinians" come from throughout the entire Arab world and that world is a world of conquest by Arabs against non-Arabs. This is not a matter of debate. It is a matter of fact.

It is a matter of known historical knowledge.

Were Israel to be the twenty-third Arab-Muslim state, rather than the lone, sole Jewish state, it would be hailed as the most enlightened country throughout the Middle East. It is only hated by Arabs and their western-left allies because it is the single Jewish state.

Thus, many of us who favor the ongoing well-being of the Jewish people in an entirely hostile world often put the word "Palestinian" in quotes.

It must be understood that the Jewish people, with our history, are under no particular obligation to acknowledge an alleged nation -- the Palestinian Nation -- that was created shortly after Ray Kroc invented McDonald's.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

If New York had voted according to pairwise-rated voting

Sar Shalom

Much has been made about how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is leading the Democratic Party solidly into the Palestinian camp and to the radical Left on many domestic issues. Since we here agree about the merits of AOC, or lack thereof, I would like to discuss how AOC's political fortunes would have been affected if New York had used pairwise-ranked voting instead of plurality voting. I have raised this topic on this blog before, however, AOC provides an opportunity to demonstrate concretely the effect of changing the voting system.

Under plurality voting, any party that fails to winnow its field to one candidate for the general election would be at a disadvantage against its competitor(s) that succeed in doing so and thus consolidate their voters around one candidate. Previously, that was achieved by a party convention in which party bigwigs would gather to select one candidate for the one election in which all citizens voted. Over the years, the country decided to democratize the process of deciding who represents each party in the election, introducing a preliminary stage to the election cycle which we know of as the primary election. Accordingly, before last November's general elections, the incumbent Joe Crowley had to run in a primary which this time was contested by AOC.

In a low turnout election, as primaries typically are, Crowley lost by 56.7% to 43.3%. Of particular note, 29,778 voted in that election, compared to 110,318 who voted Democrat in the general election, or less than 30% of those preferring a Democrat over a Republican. In the general election, 13.6% of voters opted for the Republican Anthony Pappas and another 1.2% for the Conservative Elizabeth Perri, with another 6.6% opting for Crowley on the Working Families line.

Thanks to plurality voting, all that mattered was that AOC received 78% of the votes, hence AOC is now in Congress. Now consider pairwise-rated voting in which the candidates run in a pairwise contest against all other candidates based on the ratings that all voters assign to all candidates. Under such a system, there would be no disadvantage to a party running multiple candidates against any other party, because relative ratings of the candidates would not be affected by the addition of new candidates. Thus, there could have been a single-stage election in which AOC, Crowley, Pappas, and Perri all would have run and received ratings from all of the voters. Now consider the results of the primary in which AOC won by 13.4% among the 30% of voters preferring a Democrat. Given the higher motivation of the wings to show up for primaries, it is likely that the over 70% of Democratic voters who did not show up for the primary are less left-wing than those who did. However, let's suppose that those voters have the same ideological composition as the cohort that did turn out for the primary, a worst case scenario for Crowley, the result would have been that AOC would have had a 13.4% advantage among the voters who prefer Democrats over Republicans. How many voters choosing either the Republican or Conservative nominee would have preferred AOC over Crowley? I don't think very many. Assuming they all prefer Crowley over AOC, that is a bloc of 14.8% of the electorate even ignoring the voters who ignored the will of the primary electorate, exceeding AOC's best case advantage among voters preferring Democrats. Thus, a majority of voters in New York's 14th District preferred Crowley over AOC. Pairwise-rated voting would have allowed those voters to indicate that preference and counted that preference, preventing AOC's election to Congress.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

SOTU Thread


What are your thoughts on the latest SOTU address?

I for one am hopeful since not one of the newly minted Hamas caucus wore a keffiyeh ........yet.

edited to add this funny

Thursday, January 17, 2019

One who has unjustly escaped opprobrium

Sar Shalom

The expose in Tablet has had an "the emperor has no clothes" effect on inducing people around the country to recognize the judeophobia at the core of the Women's March leadership. As a result, many chapters of the Women's March, and outside feminists, have strongly complained about the animus that Linda Sarsauron Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez have demonstrated towards Jews. The leaders of the Women's March deserve all of the vitriol they have received since the Tablet piece was published. However, while the Tablet expose did result in increased scrutiny of Sarsour, Mallory, and Perez, there is one figure covered in that piece who has not received much attention since then, neither from various feminist groups nor in the anti-anti-semitism blogosphere. I refer to Michael Skolnik, as described early in the Tablet expose.
Soon after [conceiving of the female-centered march], [Vanessa] Wruble—a Washington, D.C., native who founded OkayAfrica, a digital media platform dedicated to new African music, culture, and politics, with The Roots’ Questlove—reached out to a man she knew named Michael Skolnik. The subject of a New York Times profile the previous year as an “influencer” at the nexus of social activism and celebrity, Skolnik held a powerful though not easily defined role in the world of high-profile activist politics. “It’s very rare to have one person who everyone respects in entertainment, or in politics, or among the grass roots,” said Van Jones, in a 2015 New York Times piece. “But to have one person who’s respected by all three? There isn’t anyone but Michael Skolnik.”

When Wruble relayed her concern that the nascent women’s movement had to substantively include women of color, Skolnik told her he had just the women for her to meet: Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory. These were recommendations Skolnik could vouch for personally. In effect, he was connecting Wruble to the leadership committee of his own nonprofit—a group called The Gathering for Justice, where he and Mallory sat on the board of directors, and Perez served as the executive director.
The expose goes on to show how Sarsour was subsequently brought in to the leadership of the Women's March through Skolnik's Gathering for Justice. What this part of the expose shows is that the Jew-baiters now leading the Women's March did not found the movement, nor did they organically rise from a group that did. Rather, a separate group of women founded the movement and sought counsel from Skolnik to include women of color, and they blindly trusted Skolnik to elevate the Jew-baiters to their current position in order to include women of color.

The question is, if Skolnik had built such deep connections with so many Jew-baiters, how did he become the one person who is trusted in politics, entertainment, and grass roots? Further, it shows how thoroughly infused the social justice movement is with the notion that injustice to Jews is the only tolerable social injustice. It really doesn't matter whether Skolnik shares the judeophobia of his proteges or if he just turned a blind eye to it. What matters is that he, and the social justice movement he occupies a position in, be held to account for empowering such figures. This means that anyone seeking to advance any cause must be forewarned that if they do not want to become associated with judeophobia like that in the Women's March, then they must not trust Skolnik, barring serious measures to clean house.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

An Email from an Old Friend

Michael Lumish

An old buddy of mine recently sent me the following note. I am curious about what you guys think of it and of my response.

My friend writes:

"Just curious- what are your thoughts are on the less than full status of ethnic Jews that immigrate and who have great difficulty converting and on the article below. I have difficulty wrapping my head around the ethnic/indigenous concept and reconciling that with a religious/tiered class system. If you have non- believers that are Jews, does any historical or religious argument become weaker? 

There is a greater and greater proportion of Jews in Israel who are not of the Jewish faith or not recognized as such. The rules of determining who is properly religious and how one converts are only getting tougher. 

My concern is this will only further divide the diaspora and create division among the growing "secular" population in Israel.

If you can recommend any reading on the subject, let me know."

My response was:

"Oh, man, these internecine squabbles within Judaism have been going on forever. As a secular Jew, this is not the kind of argument that I tend to get involved with and, from what I can tell, only really has a nominal influence over Israeli / diaspora relations.

My particular area of concern is the growing schism between Israel and the western-left, which is the political movement that I come out of.

The real schism between Israeli Jews and American Jews is over politics. Israelis are more conservative and hawkish while the Americans are more "progressive" and prone to the Democratic Party two-state-solution. American Jews are more concerned about Jewish standing in the world, while Israeli Jews are more concerned about the survival of their kids in the face of majoritarian Arab hostility within the Middle East.

As for ethnic Jews and immigration, that is not a problem. For example, as an ethnic Jew, I have full rights to citizenship within Israel. So, y'know, when the Kossacks come riding through the countryside like Klansmen, I will have someplace to go, as would Laurie, despite the fact that she is not Jewish.

Thankfully, this is not likely to happen in Oakland anytime soon... or so we fervently hope.

Questions do arise concerning the making of aliyah if a person who claims Jewishness does not have a Jewish mother. I am not exactly certain of the rules, but I am pretty sure that anyone who is at least half Jewish is eligible.

In terms of ethnic Judaism versus religious Judaism, many people find this difficult to understand. For me it is as natural as day. Judaism is both an ethnicity (or nation or tribe) and a faith. The Jewish faith is simply the traditional religion of the Jewish nation. Just as one need not be Buddhist to be Chinese, a person of Jewish ethnicity may not be a practitioner of the faith, but is still a Jew.

When you talk about a "religious/tiered class system," however, I am not really certain what you are talking about. Can you clarify what you mean?

Because, y'know, the way that I see it, the Jewish nation is actually the most open nation on the planet. Say, for example, that I was a Francophile and loved French culture and cuisine and the language and the arts and I moved to Paris and converted to Catholicism and lived there many years. I could still never possibly be French. 

This is untrue with Judaism. 

Anyone who jumps through the various hoops that the rabbis fling in your way for conversion and, in fact, converts to the faith is -- voilà  -- one of us. Some Jews are more accepting of converts than others and sometimes the rabbinate in Israel will question a conversion if they believe the source unkosher. Nonetheless, anyone who converts to Judaism is a Jew.

That is it and that is all.

You ask:

<"If you have non-believers that are Jews, does any historical or religious argument become weaker?">

Not in the least. 

It is a bit like asking if the Japanese claim to Japan is weakened by the fact that so few Japanese are Shinto."

Monday, January 14, 2019

Jewish people are not "white."

Michael Lumish

Jewish people are not "white."

That is, if the word "white" refers to a person of European descent then Jews are not "white."

Genetic studies have clearly shown that Jewish people, including the Ashkenazi, are from the Levant. That makes us of Middle Eastern descent. We are the people from the Land of Israel. This is where Jewish culture was formed and the Hebrew language and the Jewish faith and the various traditions, all got their start. This is what makes us indigenous to Israel.

Western feminists and Leftists, like Tamika Mallory of the Women's March, claim that "white Jews" -- because she sees us as "white" people -- are thus White Supremacists... because, naturally, all "white" people are supremacists.

In truth, of course, "whiteness" is not a biological concept. It is a political concept.

When I was growing up to be "white" meant to be a person of European descent, now it refers to something akin to evil.

The racist Left has decided that "whiteness" refers to an oppressive state of consciousness wherein those heinous "white" people lord their "privilege" over their not "white" victims. And now they want to force it down Jewish throats. The notion also reinforces the idea of Israel as a Euro-Colonial "settler state" with the Arabs as the bunny-like indigenous victims.

In the middle of the twentieth-century the Euros did not consider us "white" and many demanded that we repatriate ourselves back to our homeland in "Palestine." Now they do consider us "white" and many progressive-left "people of color" want us to go back to Europe.

In truth, it is just the latest way to screw over the Jews and, thereby, justify the ongoing violence against us from Jerusalem to Paris to Crown Heights... not to mention South Africa where recently the head of the SA Likud was assassinated.

It is a way to rob us of our history and identity in order to force us into the role of the monster... as racists like Mallory and Linda Sarsour and Louis Farrakhan have always done. If the Women's March thinks of itself as anti-racist, it is sadly mistaken. It is blind and it is what racists have always done to the Jewish people.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A flaw in I Will Await Him's factual reasoning

Sar Shalom

The Lehrhaus has a recent review by Shmuel Silberman of Yirmiyahu Cohen's I Will Await Him (Achekke Lo in Hebrew, from the 12th Ani maamin summarizing Maimonides' 13 principles) arguing why the State of Israel violates halacha. While Silberman makes clear that he does not agree Cohen and explicitly discusses the difference between opposing the birth of a state that doesn't exist yet and calling for the elimination of an existing state, he misses a factual gap in Cohen's case.

Cohen's case against Israel stems from a three-fold oath discussed in Ketubot 111a.
These Oaths adjure the Jewish people not to prematurely end the Exile by (1) rebelling against the nations and (2) ascending to Eretz Yisrael “like a wall.” The third Oath adjures the nations not to oppress Israel “too much.”
Cohen argues that the creation of the State of Israel was a rebellion against the nations because:
The British fled, the UN lacked jurisdiction and their Partition Plan was a recommendation that was never implemented, and the Arabs objected.
Missing from Cohen's case is any mention of the San Remo Declaration and the Treaty of Lausanne. Unlike the subsequent Partition Plan by the UN, the Treaty of Lausanne did have the force of law as a decision by the League of Nations within its authority. Further, that authority was carried forward into the era of the UN by Article 80 of the UN's charter. While the Treaty of Lausanne did not call for creating Jewish sovereignty immediately, it did allocate land for eventual Jewish sovereignty and assigned Britain trusteeship to create the conditions that would facilitate that eventuality. As such, Israel's declaration of independence was merely acting on the rights that the nations had given the Jews 23 years prior and thus was not a rebellion against those nations.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Harry Lumish: May His Memory be a Blessing

Michael Lumish

יהי זכרו לברכה

Hebrew Orphan Asylum,
373 Ralph Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
A few weeks ago my father, Harry Lumish, passed of natural causes just short of his 99th birthday.

The odds of a man born in 1920 and living to the age of 99 are about 200 to 1.

He arrived in this world in Medzhybizh, Ukraine -- the home of Baal Shem Tov and the Chasid Movement -- during a period of violent pogroms. I assume that many of those folks in Crown Heights are actually relatives of mine, but I do not know.

My grandfather, Beryl, fled with his immediate family, including my grandmother, Sarah, from Medzhybizh, because they were not fond of sword and rifle-wielding Kossacks. They were running for their lives. They sought legal access into the United States but were not obliged by the United States government. They were able, however, to relocate briefly to Argentina.

Shortly before the paperwork came through and my family received permission to legally migrate into the United States, my grandfather died and his daughter, my aunt Betty, was born in Argentina. Not long thereafter Sarah passed through Ellis Island with Harry and Betty in her arms on their way to Brooklyn. Before my grandmother got on her feet, they stayed at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of that borough. Family legend has it that Sarah actually scrubbed floors at that institution in the early-mid 1920s.

The rest of my father's side of the family who stayed in Medzhybizh were slaughtered by the Germans during World War II under Operation Barbarossa, which was the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Medzhybizh was simply on the road in one of the German routes to Russia. When the Nazis arrived they separated the Jews from the non-Jews of that small town and put both populations to road building. When that task was done they had the Jews dig ditches. When the ditches were dug they had the Jews line-up within those ditches.

I feel reasonably certain that you know what happened after that. That was when my family lost the great majority of my father's side.

His story, though, like that of many millions of other Americans, is a sort-of classic American truth. He and Sarah and Betty came through Ellis Island with nothing. My dad ran around Brooklyn as a child during the Depression. He described himself as a "wild kid" which is hard for me to grasp because the guy who raised me was a middle-class accountant and philatelist.

{And, I have to say, I have a great deal of affection for that mint Israeli stamp collection that he poured through over decades.}

Shortly before 7 December 1941, which Franklyn Roosevelt referred to as "a date which will live in infamy," he enrolled in St. John's College in New York. His intention was to become an accountant. Unfortunately, the world powers got in the way of that small personal endeavor and they dragged him off to the Central Pacific; Kwajalein, the Marshall Islands, Enewetak. He became a skinny twenty-year-old corporal with a rifle slung over his shoulder, sleeping in foxholes as Japanese snipers shot at United States soldiers from trees.

He lasted the duration of the American participation in the war, but he came through OK... otherwise I would not even be here.

Upon returning home to New York City, he met my mother, Rita, from the Bronx, finished his degree, built a family and moved into the suburbs while listening to Glenn Miller. He did it with practically nothing. What he had was the GI Bill of Rights which paid for the rest of his education.

He had his family.

And he had Glenn Miller who filled his soul.

This is for you, dad.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wampanoag, Geronimo, and Anti-semitism vs. Anti-Zionism

Sar Shalom

When the settlers first arrived in New England, they formed an alliance with the Wampanoag Indians which protected them from other Indian nations of the region and helped them adapt to the territory. In exchange, the settlers agreed to allow the Wampanoag to maintain their traditional religious ways. This agreement held for the first generation of settlers. The children of these settlers reneged on this agreement and started to move the Wampanoag into "praying villages" in order to teach them a proper Christian lifestyle and obliterate the Wampanoag way of life. The Wampanoag responded with what became known as "King Philip's War," which the settlers won and subsequently exterminated much of the Wampanoag community, comparable to what happened to some Jewish communities in Europe during World War II.

Centuries afterward, the United States started settling the southwest territory, including the Apache homeland. While many Apache resigned themselves to accept foreign control of their land, one notable resister was Geronimo. Eventually, federal forces captured Geronimo, ending the Apache resistance against US control of the native land. During the centuries between King Philip's War and conquering the Apache, America had advanced civilizationally such that Geronimo did not suffer King Philip's fate, that of having his head placed on a pike. Instead, Geronimo was merely brought east of the Mississippi where he subsequently became an honored guest at events like Teddy Roosevelt's inaugural and at the St. Louis World's Fair. However, for all the honors Geronimo received in the East, he was never allowed to travel west of Missouri.

With this background, one can now discuss the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism. Someone can be an anti-Zionist without believing that what was done to the Wampanoag should be done to the Jews. There are those who believe that that should happen, for instance, there was an event where David Horowitz spoke and a woman from the Muslim Students Association challenged him during question and answer. In response, Horowitz asked if she supports or opposes Hezbollah's statement that they welcome the Jews moving to Israel so as to make it easier to eliminate all of international Jewry in one shot, to which she expressed support. However, that is not an essential element of opposing Zionism. One can oppose Zionism and support Jews receiving all the honors that Geronimo received, provided that they receive those honors, as Geronimo did, far away from their homeland. If you hold no amount of honors bestowed on Geronimo justly compensates him for being torn from his homeland, then you must admit that no honors bestowed on Jews in the diaspora removes the stain of anti-semitism from denying the Jews their homeland.

Update: It was David Horowitz, not Richard Landes as initally reported, who exposed the hater from MSA. I have also added a link to the video and specified the organization of Horowitz's challenger.