Saturday, March 28, 2020

Allowing anti-Zionists in the Knesset is idiotic

Michael Lumish

Israel is the least racist country in the entire Middle East.

Some people think that Israeli Jews are racist toward Arabs and want to thwart their political ambitions within Israel. What must be understood is that the indigenous Jewish population has no ethical reason to allow the colonial-settler enemies of the Jewish people a seat in the Knesset.

It is not that the Jewish majority do not want Arabs to enjoy civil liberties. It is that they do not want antisemitic anti-Zionists in any positions of power over the Jewish people. The Knesset is the ruling body within the lone, sole Jewish state. It is idiotic to give our own enemies a seat at the table.

Arabs who are friendly toward Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land are welcome. Those who want to rob us of our heritage and self-defense are not. This is not about "race" or ethnicity. This is about holding fast against a large theocratic-authoritarian ideology that is an enemy of the Jewish people for religious reasons.

But, people must keep in mind that we are talking about 7 million Jews surrounded by 350 million Arabs who, for the most part, want those Jews dead or gone for religious reasons and who spent the better part of the last fourteen centuries brutally demonstrating their sincerity. Furthermore, their governments have done everything they can to support the elimination of Jewish self-determination and self-defense on Jewish land.

This is nothing less than an attempt at genocide within living memory of the Holocaust and the EU, the UN, and the Democratic Party are complicit. Western "progressives" tend to think that diaspora Jewish concern for the well-being of Jewish people under constant onslaught by the Arabs is frivolous and selfish and racist.

Until Trump, however, the United States literally funded "Pay-to-Slay" wherein the Palestinian Authority recompensed Arabs for the murder of random Jews, including children and the aged, in the streets of Israel.

My sympathy for the enemies of my people, and their vicious politically-correct supporters, is done.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Quarantine

Michael Lumish

Laurie and I are in our tenth day of submitting to the quarantine and so far we're doing pretty well. The mutts are happy, anyway.

But you have to wonder what this moment is like for many people. We have a friendly acquaintance a few houses up who is a sixty-eight-year-old woman who lives alone with her friendly mutt. She's a very gregarious person and has many friends in the neighborhood, but now she cannot visit them. We have told her that we would be happy to do a little grocery shopping for her when we go out, but I cannot imagine what it must be like to be all alone in that house.

Or, what if you are a single young person scraping by in a one-bedroom apartment and a job as wait-staff? The government forces your employer to close operations and subsequently you get fired. So, you have virtually no money, no job, but you need to make rent, pay utilities and, ya know, eat. Or, worse yet, say you also have a couple of young children to feed. How long can a person live like this?

Or, say, you are married with four children and three dogs and all nine of you are trapped together in the house for three weeks? Under those circumstances, the question might be, "who will come out alive?"

In any case, let's hope this blows over before the economy tanks entirely.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dovid Efune, The Algemeiner and the Cowhearted Usage of "West Bank"

Michael Lumish

It is always disappointing when pro-Israel publications such as Dovid Efune's Algemeiner continue to use anti-Jewish / anti-Israel terminology such as "West Bank."  The very term is an insult to any self-respecting Jew because it undermines the central point of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel and thereby undermines the movement for Jewish freedom known as Zionism. "West Bank" was devised by the Jordanians after World War II for the purpose of erasing Jewish history on historically Jewish land. The fact that it is continued to be used by any number of pro-Israel publications demonstrates a certain feint-heartedness on the part of the editors.

It is not that editors-in-chief, like Efune, are unaware of how "West Bank" promotes anti-Zionism, it is considerably more likely that they are afraid to break from it because their colleagues have not and are, likewise, afraid to do so.

Thus we get the following from the Algemeiner.

March 23, 2020, "Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Hurling Rocks at Cars on Highway"

In this piece we read that, "Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian who was hurling rocks at Israeli cars driving on a highway in the West Bank on Sunday, the military said."

March 22, 2020, "First Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in the Hamas-Controlled Gaza Strip"

Here we read that "On Saturday, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians said it was closing borders with Gaza as well as with the West Bank..."

March 22, 2020, "Netflix Announces Release Date for ‘Fauda’ Season 3"

In this case, we learn, "in the third season, Kavillio 'is deep undercover in the West Bank...'

March 19, 2020, "Israelis Ordered to Stay at Home, as Coronavirus Crisis Worsens"

Apparently, "Forty-seven cases have been reported among Palestinians in the West Bank."

March 19, 2020, "Palestinians Defy Leaders’ Health Crisis Ban on Work in Settlements"

In this article, Judea and Samaria are referred to as "West Bank" six times. That is to say, six times in a single article published just a few days ago the Algemeiner willingly sacrificed Jewish history in order to comply with what has become a media standard at the expense of the historicity of the Jewish people.

March 17, 2020, "Israeli-Palestinian Team Cooperating to Fight Virus in Arab-Controlled Areas"

In the lead photograph of this piece we read, "A Palestinian municipal employee disinfects a street at the entrance to the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 12, 2020."

March 17, 2020, "Under Coronavirus Lockdown, Armageddon Is Like the End of the World"

"The Palestinian Authority has reported over 40 in the West Bank..."

March 16, 2020, "Jewish Worshipers Urged Not to Kiss Western Wall Due to Coronavirus Fears"

In this piece, the Algemeiner undermines Jewish indigeneity to historically Jewish land only once.

This is just a smattering of examples -- almost all of which, given this historical moment, are concerned with Covit-19 -- from one publication over the last week. I have no doubt that many people would shrug their shoulders and go back to the New York Times, but the point is that when we use language that drives directly against the interests of the Jewish people then we lose the argument before it even begins.

Once we concede that land known as Judea for perhaps over three thousand years is actually something called "West Bank" then we have already conceded Jewish heritage.

On a more upbeat note, it does seem that Efune and the Algemeiner are using "West Bank" more judiciously in their headlines, at least. I will take that as progress.

Nonetheless, when even we refer to the traditional homeland of our forebears by language specifically designed to eliminate our heritage than we bury ourselves historically and forfeit any claims to the lands of our ancestry. We thereby concede, in an unspoken manner, that Jews are interlopers in Judea, the very land of our ancestry.

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Michael Lumish

(Also published at Jews Down UnderElder of Ziyon, and the Jewish Press.)

I still cannot get over the fact that any Democrat who comes into the White House will favor "pay-to-slay."

This is the policy wherein Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA) literally pays-off random Arabs who kill Jews in Israel with foreign tax dollars. What is even more strange is that Democrats seem entirely oblivious to this practice. Trump cut funding to the Palestinian Authority. The PA, under previous American presidents, both Democratic and Republican, used American tax dollars to primarily line their own pockets and to pay Arabs to murder Jews in Israel. This is what is called "pay-to-slay."

And, yet, American Jews, in the minds of many, are supposed to think of themselves as holding dual-loyalty if we oppose paying Arabs to murder Jews in Israel? Ridiculous. How the Democratic Party maintains American Jewish loyalty is a mystery. Democrats would literally pay Arabs to murder Jews in Israel and we are supposed to smile and nod our pretty little heads?

It is grotesque and almost nobody ever discusses it.

The truth, of course, is that the Arabs in Israel have refused every single offer for a state of their own since the British Peel Commission of 1937. They said "no" in 1937. They said "no" in 1947. They said "no" three times in 1967. Arafat refused an Arab state in the heart of Israel, as did Mahmoud Abbas... a dictator in the fifteenth year of his four-year term.

And, nonetheless, the Democratic Party would turn over working-class American tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority, if not Hamas, who will use that money to incentivize the murder of Jews on historically Jewish land. And yet they still think that we are somehow unethical if we refuse to vote for their candidates.

The worst example of this antisemitic anti-Zionist trend within the Democratic Party is Bernie Sanders. Sanders is no friend to either the Jewish people or the Jewish state. He has surrounded himself by people who despise Jewish self-determination and self-defense. He has surrounded himself by people who oppose the Movement for Jewish Freedom which we call Zionism. His formal surrogates, such as Linda Sarsour, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, among others, are uniformly antisemitic anti-Zionist. And he has specifically proposed funding Hamas at Israeli expense, despite the fact that former Hamas charters have called directly for the genocide of the Jews and the current Hamas charter calls directly for the elimination of the state of Israel. In the 2017 version we read:
Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force.

Palestine symbolises the resistance that shall continue until liberation is accomplished, until the return is fulfilled and until a fully sovereign state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.
Sanders surrogates in "the Squad" are not seeking social justice, nor are they merely criticizing Israeli policies. On the contrary, they actively undermine Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land within living memory of the Holocaust and three of the four do so from within the US Congress. One begins to wonder how much of Tlaib's energies go into supporting the people who voted her into Congress in Detroit versus her efforts to undermine Israel?

My major criticism of President Barack Obama's foreign policy concerning Israel is that he seemed so blithe in telling Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live within our ancestral homeland. He demanded "total settlement freeze." By this, he did not mean the building of no new "settlements" -- otherwise known as Jewish townships -- but no building even within existing Jewish townships in the parts of Israel that he particularly does not like.

He reminded me of nothing so much as a Medieval Italian prince dictating where Jews might be allowed to live within the Italian peninsula. But at least the Medieval Italian princes had the modesty to keep their demands within their own domains. Obama, on the other hand, took it upon himself to tell Jewish people where we could live on our own land and did so from the other side of the planet.

I was astonished at the time that so few American Jews seemed to mind seeing our brothers and sisters in Israel pushed around by an American President with shaky credentials regarding Israeli well-being. But that was then and this is now. If my major concern during the Obama years was the complacency with which American Jewish Democrats accepted the dictates of that President, my primary concern now is that the election of a Democrat to the White House in 2020 will resurrect US participation in "pay-to-slay."

If Biden wins the Presidency he would send working-class American tax-dollars to Ramallah or Gaza City, or both. Those governments will use a considerable amount of that money for the purpose of killing Jews on the land of the Jewish people.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hey, I never said that I would not hide under the bed!

Michael Lumish

I simply refuse to do so under the command of some petty bureaucrat in Alameda County.

The various counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have decreed that people may not leave their homes without sufficient reason and, needless to say, it is those petty bureaucrats who get to determine what sufficient reason means.

They are, in my opinion, local authoritarians exercising their little fascistic muscles and I absolutely refuse to be told under what circumstances I may be allowed to leave my own home.

But for those of you of a slavish nature, keep your trembling self-righteous indignation in check.

I will come and go as I please, but that does not mean I refuse to self-quarantine or follow necessary precautions when out on the street. I have no intention of gathering amongst crowds for the purpose of sneezing on them.

What I object to -- as someone who values individual liberty just as my countercultural forbears did -- is the authoritarian nature of these dictates. We are such lambs. Such sheep. So easily frightened by the media and authority figures.

I will keep a reasonable distance between myself and people on the street. I will not go to bars or restaurants or large social gatherings. I will not bang on your sister's door and give her a big sloppy, just for the hell of it. And, yes, I promised my mother when I was ten years old that I would wash my hands regularly.

So, of course, I will follow basic guidelines, but I am not going to allow the government to deny me essential liberties, such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of assembly, on their insistence, even as they wreck the economy and ruin people's lives in the process.

We need to be focused on the virus, but we also need awareness concerning how our reaction to the virus will cause people to lose their jobs and homes. We need to be concerned about how a severe international financial downturn, which we are already beginning to see, might be just as devastating as the virus, itself. In fact, it might turn out to be considerably worse than the virus.

The thing is, we do not know.

We are therefore taking extreme measures, toying with people's lives and livelihoods, based on insufficient data.

We need to calm the fuck down and quit with the hysterics.

I do not like the fact that the various local governments are shutting down the bars and restaurants and beaches, but it is a momentarily reasonable reaction to a pandemic.

But, once again, as a matter of principle, unless I am under arrest via due process, I will not allow anyone to tell me under what circumstances I may be allowed to leave my home.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

This Too Shall Pass

Michael Lumish

So, Laurie and I went to one of the Safeway in Alameda, California, just across from our home in Oakland.

It was like the Zombie Apocalypse!

I never saw so many people in such a frenzy to buy God Knows Whatever.

Toilet paper, naturally, was all gone. The crowds were purchasing all sorts of ridiculous bullshit just in case it was necessary to hide in their houses for the next month, or so.

For example, we noticed a lady with 10 bags of cookies... just in case.

The place was crowded and the staff looked desperate. I spoke with a butcher endeavoring to get meat on the shelves. As someone who once cooked for a living I said to the guy, "Shit, you guys are deep in the weeds."

He looked at me with what they once called a "gimlet eye" and said, "Ya think?"

{But, this too shall pass.}

Friday, March 13, 2020


Michael Lumish
I sometimes get the impression that some people actually want an Impending Doom.
This yearning for an Apocalyptic scenario seems embedded in the human psyche and is well-expressed in both Christianity and Islam... although, for some reason, less so in Judaism.
The term in theology is "eschatology" which is defined as a concern with death and the final destiny of the human soul.
I do not underestimate the health significance of the coronavirus, but I am fascinated by our collective reaction to it. It brings to mind Freud's notion of "Death Drive" which was later called "Thanatos."
There is something almost medieval about our reaction to this thing.
I recently saw a video of two middle-aged women -- one "black" and one "white" -- fighting it out in a grocery store over toilet paper.
In truth, there are two problems here. The first is the virus, itself, and the second is our reaction to it. My question is, which is worse? My suspicion is that the latter is even worse than the former.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

How to delegitimize most criticism of Israel

Sar Shalom

Any criticism of Israel that is not based on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is not legitimate criticism.

There are other grounds on which to label criticism of Israel as illegitimate. However, it is important that any such ground hinge on a neutral criterion, that is one that doesn't depend on any viewpoint about the conflict and allow that any criticism that does pass some set of viewpoint-neutral criteria is actually legitimate. Any viewpoint-dependent criterion will be dismissed by anyone who does not share the intended viewpoint and only create excuses for those who wish to claim that we just hurl accusations of "antisemitism" in order to silence legitimate criticism. Fidelity to the truth is one such neutral criterion, one that everyone in the elite media claims to hold dear.

Ben-Dror Yemini provided an excellent resource in his book The Industry of Lies listing violations of the truth by those seeking to justify the demonization of Israel, so I will only provide a few examples. First would be violations of "truth." That would include lies, fabrications, and exaggerations. For instance, claiming that Israel perpetrated a massacre in Jenin during the Second Intifada would be propagating a lie. So would claiming that Israel is responsible for Gaza's flooding by opening dams in the Negev.

Violations of "the whole truth" would include suppression of relevant facts. For instance, it is popular among the western chattering class to denounce Benjamin Netanyahu as a racist. There is no use denying that there is legitimate evidence in support of that notion, such as his exhortations during past campaigns about Arabs turning out in droves to vote. However, comments like that have to be balanced against Netanyahu's support for increasing budget allocation to Arab towns in Israel. It is a legitimate opinion, albeit one that I reject, that the balance of Netanyahu's statements about the Arabs and his budgetary priorities indicate that he is a racist. However, the western media do not try convince the public of that. Rather, they make sure that only the minuscule portion of the public that reads Israel-specific media, and a few outliers like Gatestone Institute, know about any of the evidence contradicting the claim of Netanyahu's racism and are thus left with the obvious conclusion that Netanyahu is indeed racist. Such is a lie of omission.

Presently, it is fashionable to claim that knowing a snippet of the history and present of Israel's dealings with the Palestinians is sufficient to assess moral culpability. Attendant with this moral narcissism is a complete intellectual incuriosity for any facts that do not fit their neat narrative of a morality tale. Calling attacks on Jewish settlement of the core land of Jewish history (Judea, and to a lesser extent Samaria) as ipso facto illegitimate invites the simple rejoinder of "Why can't recognize that the Palestinians are human beings?" Focusing on the accuracy of claims made against Israel removes that response, forcing those defending the use of such criticism to argue either that the omitted facts are inaccurate or irrelevant. I have a hunch that Israel would be better served by such critics twisting themselves into pretzels to justify the exclusion of inconvenient facts than simply yelling louder that our entitlement to Judea and Samaria justifies any hardship imposed on the Arabs living there to a population that is at best skeptical of that notion.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Pandering To Jews


Not Zionists, not Israeli, but Jews.

IfNotNow goes full Neo-Nazi.

Interestingly, IfNotNow is allegedly made up of "young Jews." Kapo branch, no doubt. In a sane world, progressives everywhere would "cancel," these morons. Heh. I won't hold my breath.