Thursday, January 30, 2014

Obama and the Sharia Bomb

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Tom Wilson in an article for Commentary entitled, Clapper: Iran Ready for Nuclear Breakout,  points out that immediately after Barack Obama's State of the Union Address, in which he patted himself on the back for allegedly halting the progress of Iran's nuclear program, Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, claimed otherwise in his annual report on the worldwide threat assessment.

As Wilson writes:
Clapper stated that "these technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so."
So under the Obama administration, after assuring the world that he would prevent a nuclear-weaponized Iran, the administration now admits that it is really up to the Iranians whether or not they build what I have been calling a "Sharia Bomb."  Barack Obama just went on international television and told the American people, and America's allies, that diplomacy is proving successful and now, within twenty-four hours of that message, we are told by his own Director of National Intelligence that what stands between us and an Iranian bomb is nothing more than the political will of the Iranian government.

Gee, I feel comforted.
What is perhaps most disheartening about this report is that because of the emphasis that it puts on the need to be able to monitor closely whether Iran is taking the final steps toward breakout, Clapper counsels that further sanctions would be counterproductive. In other words, the argument now seems to be that the U.S. must avoid imposing further sanctions, lest it disrupt the Iranians' willingness to allow inspectors to monitor their ongoing and undismantled nuclear enrichment program. This sits in rather sharp contrast to the six United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a total halt to Iran's uranium enrichment.
I have been arguing for years now that all indications suggest that the Obama Administration has no genuine will to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and, according to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, I was right all along. Of course, I was hardly alone. Millions of people throughout the world, including most particularly the Iranians, understood that Obama is not good to his word. Those of us with something less than sycophantic tendencies very much suspected that the Obama administration would do next to nothing about the coming Iranian bomb because it is not in Obama's ideological DNA to stand strong before American enemies.

The inclination is not difficult to understand. Obama grew up within the shadow of the Vietnam War and is therefore skeptical - not unreasonably so - of the imposition of American might onto foreign peoples - other than the Jews of Israel, for reasons that polite company refuses to discuss.

And, of course, following the Cowboy President, and seeming to be the antithesis of Bush II and his nefarious overlord, Darth Cheney, Obama sought an alternative foreign policy grounded more in compromise than in swinging cajones.  The problem is that the liberal tendency toward compromise can sometimes erode into little more than weakness and I do believe that this is what we are seeing with this administration.

People often assign negative intention to Obama. I do not believe it for one moment. Barack Obama is not seeking to undermine American well-being, nor Israeli well-being. The problem is not his intentions, it is his commitment to an ideology and a political movement that has brought him great wealth, power, and prestige.  Unfortunately that same political movement is incapable of standing up for its own alleged values due to specific contradictions within the ideology itself.

Barack Obama represents the American left; not the hard-left, not the crazy left, but the moderate, reasonable left. That is precisely why I voted for him in 2008.  But if even the moderate left in the United States has lost its will to stand up for the national interests of the American people, then what good is it? If Barack Obama and the Democratic Party and the larger progressive movement are OK with an Iranian bomb then they have pissed away any instincts that they may have had in the past toward American national security.

An Iranian bomb will set-off an arms race throughout the Middle East with both Egypt and Saudi Arabia scrambling to develop their own nuclear weapon capabilities. This will exacerbate the ongoing bloody tensions between Sunni, Shia, theocrats, and semi-secular autocrats as they fight it out in Syria where, already, hundreds of thousands of people have been slaughtered and G-d Only Knows how many people displaced and homeless.  Furthermore, an Iranian bomb will demonstrate to the people throughout the Arab-Muslim Middle East that the Islamists represent the "strong horse" and that theocracy is the way to go.

It will represent a great victory for the most hard-line, right-wing retrograde fascistic religious political movement in the world today and, ironically, it will be a victory handed to it by a left-wing American president whose base tells the world that it opposes hard-line, right-wing retrograde fascistic religious political movements.

How do you like them apples?

Time to Get Out of Europe

The tidbit below was written by Ari Sofer and published at Arutz Sheva:
It is nothing short of chilling.

A video, taken on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, shows masses of French protesters marching down a Paris thoroughfare chanting openly anti-Semitic slogans and calling on Jews to get out of France.

Chants include "Jews, France is not yours!" "Jews out of France" and "The story of the gas chambers is bull***!" At one point, in a show of raw, seething hatred, the crowd simply spits out the word "Jew, Jew, Jew!"

If anyone had any doubts about the level of growing anti-Jewish racism in Europe the video above should put those doubts to rest.

It's all about the slow drip, drip, drip of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as it drizzles out of the Arab world and is spread among western progressives who tell one another that Israel is a racist, colonialist, imperialist, apartheid, militarist, racist regime and that "Zionists" - otherwise generally known as Jews - are a scourge on society.  Furthermore, progressive anti-Semites agree with hard-right anti-Semites that the Jews and the Israelis have far too much nefarious control over governments and media throughout the west.

And, needless to say, if Israel is half as horrible as they keep telling us that it is, what does that say about non-Israeli Jewish supporters of Israel?

It means that you are immoral.

And that, of course, is the great irony.  The people marching in Paris crying out "Jew! Jew! Jew!" do not think that they are doing anything wrong.  Quite the contrary.  They undoubtedly believe that they are fighting the good fight against a vile enemy.

Of course, that vile enemy happens to be you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scarlett Johansson Rocks!!!

by oldschooltwentysix

For more about Soda Stream, see my post from last year here, along with a really good video.

But this post is just for Scarlett!

PS -- She is stepping away from Oxfam, too.

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)

The Zionist Organization of America Comes Out Swinging

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

I have to say, I am developing an increasing appreciation for Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) chief Morton Klein. He is one of the very few establishment Jewish leaders in the United States willing to face the truth about the Obama administration and face that truth head-on. The cultural environment within the ZOA seems to be far more brave and far more bold than any other established pro-Israel / pro-Jewish organization in the United States. In a recent piece for The Algemeiner magazine, co-written by Director of the ZOA's Center for Middle East Policy, Dr. Daniel Mandel, the ZOA asks some very hard questions.

Klein and Mandel write:
Earlier this month, it leaked that Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Ya'alon, had privately described Secretary of State John Kerry as "obsessive and messianic" in his quest to broker an Israeli/Palestinian peace settlement. The Obama Administration angrily rejected Ya'alon's words as "offensive and inappropriate," demanding and receiving an apology.

Yet, only weeks earlier, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a close adviser to Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, also excoriated John Kerry as possessed of "dangerous" proposals and seeking to "appease Israel by fulfilling its expansionist demands in the Jordan Valley under the pretext of security. He wants to buy Israeli silence over the Iran deal." But for these grave, personal PA allegations against Kerry, the Obama Administration has said nothing.

Why this startling discrepancy in the Administration's response?
Why, indeed?   That is an excellent question.

The answer that Klein and Mandel offer is to my mind rather kind to the Obama administration.

Klein and Mandel write:
Because the Administration will not assimilate evidence that invalidates its public formula that the Palestinians are willing to conclude a genuine peace with Israel. So it ignores or finesses PA anti-peace words and deeds, while stridently criticizing Israel on disagreements and reluctance to make unilateral concessions.
This interpretation is a perfectly reasonable one, particularly because it sees Obama Administration political self-interest as the primary cause for the administration's hypocrisies, inconsistencies, and double-standards toward the Jewish State of Israel.

I do not believe that Klein and Mandel's explanation is quite sufficient, however.

It is certainly part of the equation that explains the Obama administration's moral inconsistencies in pressuring the Jews and soft-pedaling the Arabs in the Middle East, but I do not believe it represents the entire answer.

They write:
When in March 2010, during a visit to the region by Vice-President Joseph Biden, the PA named a public square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis, including 12 childrren, were slaughtered, the Obama Administration was silent for days. When Clinton belatedly criticized the Mughhrabi event, it was only to whitewash the PA by falsely claiming "a Hamas-controlled municipality" had initiated it.

In contrast, a mere Israeli announcement of a building program in a Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem that also occurred during the Biden visit led the Obama Administration to immediately condemn it and describe it as "destructive,' an "insult," and an "affront."
So, the question becomes, what explains Obama Administration double-standards toward Israel?

Klein and Mandel believe that it is primarily due to Obama's political self-interest. That may very well be the case, but there is no reason to believe that the administration acts out of singular reasons. The question that I would ask is, to what extent is Obama administration double-standards toward Israel due to the calculations of political self-interest and to what extent is it due to ideological predisposition?

All political administrations are practical to varying degrees and no political administration, anywhere, can come to authority without a firm practical grounding in the political realities around it. The same is obviously true of Barack Obama's administration. Klein and Mandel are likely correct that the administration "will not assimilate evidence that invalidates it public formula" because to do so will undermine public support. This is why politicians so rarely come out and say, "Frankly, I was wrong."

I would like to suggest a probable contributing factor to Obama's noxious double-standard toward Israel:

Humanitarian Racism.

Barack Obama comes out of an ideological orientation that views people of color as so inferior that they simply cannot be held to normal standards of human decency.  The irony of this is rich, poignant, and terribly sad.  The progressive-left, as a movement, holds non-white, non-western people in such low regard that they cannot be held responsible for their own words or behavior. This is a part of the reason - and perhaps a very big part of the reason - that the Obama Administration absolutely refuses to hold dictator Abbas and his people responsible for virtually anything and why it continually pressures and castigates the Jewish Israelis.

Throughout the latter half of the twentieth-century the left did a very good job in fighting off right-wing racism within Europe and the United States.

I wonder when it will get around to dissolving the current form of left-wing racism that infuses its own ranks?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


In a recent discussion here at Israel Thrives I got into a small dispute with our friend Stuart over the indigeneity of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. The discussion arose from references to an article by Canadian Native-American activist Ryan Bellerose who argued that the Jews are the indigenous people of that land. Given the fact that the Jews have a 3,500 year provenance on Jewish land, and that the Palestinian Arabs are the progeny of the Arab conquerors of the 7th century, I wrote a piece agreeing with him. Stuart pointed out that the very scholar that Bellerose cited as the basis for his argument of Jewish indigeneity contradicted the claim itself. Anthropologist José R. Martínez-Cobo claims that an essential aspect of indigeneity is "common ancestry with the original occupants of these lands."

Thus Native-Americans can claim to be indigenous because no other peoples lived on that land prior to them.  They can claim to be the original occupants.  This may not be the case with the Jews, although our ancestry may share a genetic commonality with the "original occupants."  Thus, according to Stuart, neither the Jews, nor the local Arabs, can lay claims to indigenous status. The question ultimately comes down to how sociology and anthropology define the meaning of the term, however, and if I were Stuart I would not be too eager to undermine Jewish claims, because genetic evidence may indicate "common ancestry."

Nonetheless, whether the Jews are indigenous or not, we have around 3,500 years of history within our tiny homeland and no one can claim on ethical grounds that the Jewish people should be stripped of the Jewish State. Where I firmly disagree with Stuart is in his complacence in the face of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, a political sub-movement that, when you add western progressive anti-Zionists with Muslim anti-Zionists throughout the world, you realize that there are far, far more anti-Semitic anti-Zionists than there are Jews.

Just as Bellerose cannot afford to be complacent concerning the well-being and rights of the Métis, so we cannot afford to be complacent concerning the well-being and the rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

In a recent article for the Indian Country Today Media Network, in response to an anti-Zionist article in the same venue, Bellerose writes this:
The author clearly doesn't understand that in fact Judeah and Samaria are not 'Palestinian' lands but the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation. This is easily verified through archaeology and study of the region. The Jewish nation does not lose their ties to their land simply because it was occupied first by Rome and then by the Ottomans. To accept that would be to put our own claims in danger.
Judaea and Samaria are, in fact, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation and I very much appreciate Bellerose for acknowledging that.  Furthermore, he writes:
Indigenous status is a complex combination of things, but the most important is the genesis of culture and tradition in conjunction with ancestral lands, which would mean that the Jews of Israel are indigenous, and the Arabs of 'Palestine' are not. They can claim indigenous status, but to the Arabian peninsula, which is not the Levant. Ask an Arab where his most holy place is, unless he is one of the tiny minority of Christian Arabs, he will tell you it's Mecca, and he will tell you this in Arabic both of which track back to... the Arabian peninsula. Ask a Jew where their holiest place is, and they will tell you, and they will do so in the language that developed on that land.
Leaving the question of "indigenous status" aside, what I would argue is that Stuart makes a big mistake when he suggests that neither Jews nor local Arabs can claim to be indigenous. The problem with that suggestion is not so much that he is wrong, but that it flattens the field in favor of the Palestinian Arabs. It implies that the Jewish people have no greater claim to Jewish land than the Arab invaders of our land.

It seems to me that we have to make it clear to people who concern themselves with the Arab-Israel conflict that the entire land of Israel, including Judaea and Samaria, is Jewish land. If we cannot bring ourselves to make that claim - to insist upon it - then how can we possibly expect non-Jews to think of the area as anything other than under a foreign occupation?

Over the last one hundred and fifty years the Jewish people have been very good about standing up for the rights of others. In the United States we stood up against slavery and against poverty and against laissez-faire capitalism because it exploited workers. We fought for the New Deal and we fought for Civil Rights and Women's Rights and Gay Rights and Native Rights and the anti-war movement and the environment.

As far as I am concerned it is, perhaps, time that we fought for ourselves, as well.  We should make our alliances where we can and we should support the indigenous rights of indigenous peoples, but it is long past time that we make Jewish well-being our main priority to the extent that we are politically active.

Progressive-left anti-Semites like to talk about some giant, semi-mythical "Jewish lobby" or "Israel lobby" that controls both the United States government and media. The truth of the matter, of course, is that if the Jews were half as powerful as they constantly tell us that we are then the United States would have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel long ago. The fact that it has not shows the falsehood of this progressive-left anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

What I say is that we take these claims and turn them into something that resembles reality. That is, the Jewish people need to stand up for our rights and we need to do so in an entirely unapologetic manner. The Land of Israel is the land of the Jewish people. Period. Furthermore, the Arab minority in Israel enjoys greater civil liberties and human rights than do Arabs anyplace else throughout the Middle East. If the Arabs of Israel, including those in Judaea and Samaria, wish to live in prosperity and peace they may do so, but when they inculcate their children with hatred toward Jews they undermine the potential well-being of their own grandchildren.

Until they give up Koranically-based hatred toward the Jewish "other," and until they accept Israel as the Jewish state, they will bring much misery to their own people.

It is entirely up to them.

Monday, January 27, 2014

On Settlements and Stupidity: Initial Synopsis of Chapter One

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

People familiar with Israel Thrives will find the below redundant.

I believe that I have said pretty much everything that I want to say and am at this point consolidating ideas and organizing thoughts.  What we have below is merely the beginning of an attempt to do so.

It is a continuation of the previous piece entitled, ZioNazi, which represents an initial draft of an outline.

My conclusions and outlooks are based on my readings over the previous four or five years, yet remain tentative.

There are a number of excellent pro-Israel bloggers who are outlining the news of the day and presenting their beliefs concerning that news.  What I intend to do going forward is to consolidate and rethink and that is what On Settlements and Stupidity is all about.

I very much welcome your criticisms and concerns, but I also think that we must acknowledge the betrayal of the progressive-left, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic party, against the Jewish people and all women, Gay people, and non-Muslims throughout the Middle East.

If the left refuses to stand for universal human rights then it stands for nothing whatsoever.

Thesis Statement 

The progressive-left, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, has betrayed its Jewish constituency through its acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, and the BDS movement, as part of its larger coalition.

This betrayal is a symptom of the undermining of progressive-left values due to the ascendancy of the multicultural ideal over that of universal human rights within the heart of the western progressive movement and of the Democratic Party in the United States.

The undermining of universal human rights as a core value within the progressive movement led also to the betrayal of women, the betrayal of Gay people, and the betrayal of Christians throughout Islamic regions of dominance, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, but also including sections of Europe.

It has also brought the defamation of Jewish supporters of Israel as something akin to Nazis or "ZioNazis," as is sometimes claimed, in a delicious inversion of historical reality for the purpose of beating up Jews as guilty for the very crime that murdered our families.

Synopsis of Chapter One

The movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jews of the Middle East (BDS), which has found a home for itself within the international progressive-left and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic party in the United States, has a history that goes to traditional Islamic Jew hatred, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union.

Within traditional Islam, of course, the Jews were mainly considered second and third-class non-citizens for 1,300 years throughout the region, including the Jewish homeland of Judaea and Samaria. The Arab-Muslim boycott of the Jews is derived, in part, from the fact that within al-Sharia no land that was ever under Islamic control can ever be considered anything but part of the vast Arab-Muslim holdings of Dar al-Islam. The Arab boycott of the Jews, in the twentieth-century, was also heavily influenced by the earlier Nazi boycott of Jewish goods which served as an example and inspiration that long outlived World War II; a war that actually never ended for the Jews of the Middle East.

Soviet Communism, of course, allied with the Arab states against the Jewish State of Israel during the Cold War and Marxist ideology, as it expressed itself in the west, opposed all forms of nationalism, but particularly Jewish nationalism.

The rise of post-modernity and neo-colonial theory within western academic fields in the humanities, following World War II, gave rise to important theorists such as the late Edward Said, of Columbia University, and Rashid Khalidi, of the University of Chicago, both of whom represent significant influences on the political ideology of US president Barack Obama.

Meanwhile a new generation of Israeli historians, including Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, and Avi Shlaim, sought to deconstruct the idealized founding myths of the Jewish State in order to allegedly present a more balanced historical picture.

All of these factors came together in the beginning of the twenty-first century to create a political alliance between "Arab Spring" Sharia Islamists, of the type aboard the Turkish Mavi Marmara, and western progressives, including significant "liberal" politicians, who joined them aboard that ship for the purpose of freeing Hamas to break that blockade and bring additional weaponry into Gaza in May 2010.

Thus, through the final months of 2012, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their allies could launch hundreds of rockets against the minority Jewish population of the Middle East without any concern by the western progressive-left, including most of progressive-left Jewry.  And, yet, when Israel finally hit back the Jews of the Middle East were castigated as something akin to Nazis by many within western-left circles.

Love of the Land Links

Many thanks to Yosef and Melody.

Getting to the true nature of the conflict

Dear AFP, Jerusalem is Still the Capital of Israel

Jon Stewart and the funny side of the Iranian regime's nuclear threat

The chimerical quest for a melodramatic resolution of all problems

Friday, January 24, 2014

On Settlements and Stupidity

Michael L.

On Settlements and Stupidity:  

The Progressive-Left Betrayal of the Jews and Human Rights in the Age of Obama

Introduction: Defaming the Jews on the Progressive-Left

          The Betrayal: Stating the Problem

          9/11 and America Gone Crazy

          The Blogs and Bush Hatred

          Progressive-Left Anti-Zionism

          Universal Human Rights encounter the Multicultural Ideal

          Jewish Stockholm Syndrome and My Departure

          The Progressive-Left and the Democratic Party

Chapter 1: The Backdrop of BDS and Anti-Semitic Anti-Zionism

          Traditional Islamic Jew Hatred

          Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union

          The New Historians and Edward Said

          The Mavi Marmara and the Red-Green Alliance

Chapter 2: Erasing Jewish History

          Language and Propaganda

          “Jesus was the First Palestinian Shaheed”

          Pallywood and the Fabrication of History through Fake Journalism

          The Social Construction of Palestinian National Identity

Chapter 3: The Palestinian Colonization of the Progressive Jewish Mind

          Post-Modernity and Neo-Colonial Theory

          The Oslo Syndrome

          Friends as Enemies, Enemies as Friends

          The Palestinian Narrative

Chapter 4: Multiculturalism and the Betrayal of Universal Human Rights

          The Betrayal of Women

          The Betrayal of Gays

          The Betrayal of Jews

          The Betrayal of Christians

The Obama Administration

Chapter 5: Killing Oslo and Validating Arab Anti-Jewish Racism

          “Total Settlement Freeze”

          Biden’s Outrage and Hillary’s Tongue-lashing

          A Judenrein Palestinian State

Chapter 6: The “Arab Spring” and the Rise of Political Islam

          Befriending the Muslim Brotherhood

          Syria and the American Retreat

Chapter 7: Saving Hamas and the Birth of the State of Palestine

          Operation “Pillar of Defense”

          Mr. Abbas Goes to the United Nations

          Kerry's Threat


Chapter 8:  Moving On

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What a lovely partner for peace!

by oldschooltwentysix

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)

Don't you think?

Yes, I am being facetious.

Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) is composed of an unknown number of small cells of Fatah-affiliated activists.

Fatah is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Fatah publicizes threats to bomb Tel Aviv on its official Facebook page


Perhaps it's time to realize that peace is not the object, but the destruction of Israel is.

Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch for exposing this atrocity from Israel's designated peace partner.
The full video is eight minutes long and shows footage of masked men in military training, arsenals of weapons, missiles being launched, as well as footage of Israelis running for shelter during missile attacks.
Hopefully, more people will come to see that they are being duped, that those they enable, if capable, will treat them no better than what they intend for Tel Aviv.

Love of the Land Links

Michael L.

 Opposition to Jews living in Judaea and Samaria is racist on its face.

The Palestinian-Arab demand that Jews not move into, live in, or build upon the historic homeland of the Jews is racist against the Jewish people.  When the EU or president Barack Obama agrees with the Mahmoud Abbas that all "settlement activity" must cease they are compounding that racism.  When Jewish people also agree that this nefarious building of Jewish homes must end they are justifying that racism to the world.

Here is a big Tip 'O the Kippa to Yosef and Melody in Hebron.

Oh, and by the way, this time the links actually work!

The assertion that time is not on Israel’s side simply defies logic 

Disclosed today: Major wave of Al Qaeda-inspired terror attacks from Jerusalem thwarted 

Misdemeanor terrorism and the need to oppose all degradations of Jewish sovereignty 

Creating Refugees Who Insist on the Impossible, and Those Who Encourage Them 

FYI - Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harper Learns the Truth about Arab anti-Semitism

Michael L.

The tidbit below was written by Gil Ronen and published in Arutz Sheva:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper planned to tour the Temple Mount after visiting the Western Wall (Kotel) Tuesday, but the visit was torpedoed at the last minute by the Muslim Waqf, which said it would not allow Harper's security detail onto the Mount, since some of the bodyguards are Jewish, leading Temple activist Yehuda Glick told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview. Bnei Brith Canada confirmed the story.

There are also alternative versions of the events, however, and it cannot yet be said with complete certainty which is the correct one.
If you read the article you will see that the Huffington Post is implying that either the Waqf or the Canadians requested that no Shin Bet officers be allowed inside the Al Aqsa Mosque in the event of hostilities.

We also read:
Arutz Sheva spoke to sources in the Foreign Ministry who confirmed that the Waqf had cancelled Harper's visit. However, their version was that the Waqf simply refused to allow Canadian security men into the Temple Mount.

Glick, a prominent Temple activist and LIBA project coordinator, told Arutz Sheva Wednesday that he spoke to sources within Harper's entourage who confirmed that the Waqf refused to allow Jewish bodyguards into the Mount.
The true source of the never-ending war against the Jews of the Middle East is plain for all to see.  It is century upon century of Arab-Muslim hatred for, and bigotry towards, the Jewish people.

Period.  End of story.

Anti-Semitism is hard-coded into Islam and until this religion reforms itself it will continue to raise and harvest genocidally-inclined Jew Haters and we will continue to get racist incidents like the one described above.

Western progressives like to think that the reason that so many Palestinian-Arabs are filled with murderous rage is because the Jews are mean to them.  Israel put up a fence which is inconvenient and humiliating for its Arab neighbors.  Israel set up check-points that Palestinian-Arabs sometimes have to pass through and they are not happy about that.

Well, I have to wonder just what the local Arabs expected after the greater Arab world has treated its Jews like second and third-class non-citizens under the system of oppression known as dhimmitude for thirteen long centuries?  What did the local Arabs expect to happen after they tried to drive the Middle Eastern Jewish remnant into the sea directly after the Holocaust?  I am sorry, but one does not get to try to murder people and then complain that they are mean to you after you fail to do so.

It simply does not work that way.

Nonetheless, Arabs make up about 20 percent of the Israeli population.  They share schools with Jews.  They share hospitals with Jews.  They share restaurants with Jews.  And they vote their own leadership into the Knesset.  Yet, I feel reasonably certain that if you were to research the number of Jews holding any position within any Arab government you would find nary a soul.  Jews are not even allowed to live as Jews in either Saudi Arabia or Jordan as a matter of law and, needless to say, the Arabs chased the Jews out of the Middle East entirely, with the obvious exception of Israel, after their failed attempt to complete what Hitler started.

There are only two possible resolutions to the ongoing Arab hate-fest toward the Jewish people.  Either Islam reforms itself, and foregoes the anti-Semitism rooted within it, or the Jewish people resolve to do whatever is necessary to secure the well-being of themselves, their children, and their grandchildren.

The former choice is, of course, the preferred choice.  There is also, unfortunately, nothing even remotely on the horizon to suggest that any such Islamic reformation is going to take place any time soon.  In fact, the opposite is true.  The "Arab Spring" was an affirmation of political Islam, not its reform.  What we are left with, therefore, is precisely what western progressives despise us for, Jewish self-defense and self-determination.

One way to express that self-determination would be to cancel the Waqf's administration of the Temple Mount.  If the Muslim authorities had the slightest respect for the Jewish people then the situation would be very different.  As it is, however, they destroy Jewish historical artifacts and discriminate against us in our access to the holiest site of the Jewish people.

It is entirely unjust and Israel is entirely wrong to collude with the Waqf in its denial of the rights of the Jewish people.  If we cannot bring ourselves to stand up for ourselves than no one is going to do it for us, that much is certain.

I say that we take back the Temple Mount.

From the comments:
5. Outrageous - when is this going to change?!

Way past time the Jewish people's holiest site is run properly by Israel, so that ALL can enter and pray freely in peace. This whole situation is an appalling and outrageous denial of human rights.  
Gila, Beit Shemesh (22/1/14)
I could not agree more.
8. So really the Arabs are demonstrating to Harper he's right

So far we have a Hysterical unhinged Arab MP, a hateful PA leader Abbas encouraging the creation of an overtly racist state, and disgusting racial discrimination by the Arabs of Jews on the Temple mount. Yeah sure, the Arabs are masters of PR...

James E, Jerusalem (22/1/14)
James seems to think that this incident will result in a bloody nose for Palestinian-Arab public relations.  I doubt it.  The Europeans already tend to empathize with suicide bombers and this will be hardly a blip on the American screen.
11. Time to bulldoze Al Aksa and kick out the Waqf

(n.c) Dave, London (22/1/14)
Well, that's just a tad extreme, I would say.  We do not need to bulldoze Al Aksa.  All we need is for the Israeli authorities to take over the administration of the area so that non-Muslims can have equal access to the site.  It is highly ironic that the Israeli authorities bow to Islamic supremacism right in the heart of Jerusalem.

It is also disgraceful and it needs to change.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Obama Administration's Opposition to Jewish History (Updated)

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Those of you who follow the Jewish press and pro-Israel blogosphere are probably aware that UNESCO has cancelled a long anticipated exhibit created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and co-sponsored by Israel, Canada and (strangely enough) Montenegro, to have been titled, People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.

I have not written on this story until now for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that people like Dovid Efune of The Algemeiner and the FresnoZionist already seem to have this story well in hand.  I am sure that the Elder of Ziyon and others have also put out material concerning this.

The long and short of it is that the Arab League complained to UNESCO that an exhibit highlighting the long history of the Jewish people on Jewish land is inconsistent with the "peace process."

As Efune writes:
UNESCO informed the SWC of the change on January 14th in a letter to the Center’s Shimon Samuels, asserting the Arab League’s claim that going ahead with the show “could create potential obstacles related to the peace process in the Middle East.”
As both Efune and FresnoZionist point out, the Obama administration agrees with the Arab League that Jewish history is an obstacle to peace and therefore must be suppressed:
At this sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels, we have made the decision that the United States will not be able to co-sponsor the current exhibit during its display at UNESCO headquarters,” wrote Kelly O. Siekman, Director at the Office of UNESCO Affairs of the State Department, in an email seen by The Algemeiner.
Review at the highest levels, huh?

The reason that I am writing this piece is because the theft of Jewish history by the Palestinian-Arabs is an ongoing tactic for the purpose of severing the link between the Jewish people and our homeland.  It is not surprising that the Arabs would do this because the Palestinian-Arab national movement requires the erasure, or submission, of the Jewish people on Jewish land.

What is new is that the US government, under president Barack Obama, is now involved in the process of the delegitimization of Jewish history.  Many of us have been warning for a long time now that the current US administration is essentially hostile to the Jewish State of Israel and clearly favors Islamist regimes such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the theocracy in Iran.  Although Obama sycophants of various stripes will simply deny the undeniable, it remains the case that Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood bid for power in Egypt, supported the misnamed "Arab Spring" which was actually the rise of political Islam throughout the region, and is now enabling the soon to come Iranian Sharia Bomb.

The UNESCO story is, of course, merely anecdotal.

It is just one more sad tidbit of Obama administration misbehavior that points to the larger pattern of hostility; a pattern that seems to be invisible to far too many Jewish people in the United States or which they misinterpret as "tough love," as if kicking the Jews in the head is meant as an expression of concern and affection.

As we see in the graphic above New York Magazine dubbed Barack Obama "The First Jewish President" in September of 2011.   If part of being Jewish means siding with the enemies of the Jewish people on alleged moral and ethical grounds then perhaps New York Magazine makes a good point.

Barack Obama spit his Jewish constituency in the face and they love him for it.

What could be more Jewish than that?


Y-Net is reporting that after negotiations with the Simon Wiesenthal Center the exhibit is to be delayed six months, but not cancelled.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Speaking about the United Nations (with an Update)

by oldschooltwentysix

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix) 

Recently, in the context of a discussion about indigenous rights and whether Jews are an indigenous people in Israel, I stood up for the notion of the UN, and international law, having positive effects in areas that people can easily overlook.

But not to be misconstrued, the UN has a very dark side.

The most recent example is the cancellation, days before opening, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, of a landmark exhibit at its Paris headquarters this Monday on “The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” curated together with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

According to UN Watch, whose blog is one worth following:
The surprise here isn’t that UNESCO chief Irina Bokova surrendered to the Arab League’s protest, rudely cancelling an event for which invitations were already sent out, and which involved painstaking work over two years by renowned Hebrew University scholar Robert Wistrich.
For anyone who knows anything about UNESCO — the first UN body, in November 2011, to deem “Palestine” a state — surrender to Arab pressure on this matter was inevitable.
When it comes to UNESCO:
Despite the repeated claims of the Obama Administration that UNESCO is God’s gift to the Jews, and to humanity, the opposite is true: it is arguably the most anti-Jewish body in the entire United Nations.
If the notorious UN Human Rights Council dedicates a full 50 percent of its resolutions to demonizing the Jewish state, at UNESCO the numbers are 100 percent.
That’s right: all of UNESCO's condemnatory resolutions are against Israel.
Check out the complete post. And for those who may feel surprise by the behavior of UNESCO described by UN Watch, learn more about the situation at UNESCO, an intergovernmental UN organization that by all appearances has strayed far from its mandate defined by education, science, and culture, and traveled down the road of politics and abuse that many sensible and peace loving people plainly see. And they see right!

UPDATE: Here is a link to the letter from UNESCO to the Wiesenthal Center concerning the cancellation.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Love of the Land Links

Michael L.

Yosef and Melody live in Hebron and Yosef edits and owns an on-line journal entitled Love of the Land.

Yosef and Melody are what some in the west refer to, with contempt, as "settlers."

Like many other Jewish people they have been trying to build a life for themselves on traditionally Jewish land and find themselves doing so under exceedingly hostile conditions.

I have been in regular email contact with Yosef and have decided to make his ongoing list of articles a part of Israel Thrives.

So, with no further ado.

Love of the Land Links!

Dealing with a society that praises itself for turning its children into human bombs

Can Israel afford to exist in twilight

Latest Palestinian plans show the "great" confidence in the efficacy of Kerry’s strateg

Fantasy, Illusion and Kerry’s Potemkin Village

When the messages heard in the Palestinian Arab villages go unreported in the wider world

Keep it coming, Yosef.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Settler Sushi!

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Did you know that sushi was gaining popularity among Jews in Judaea and Samaria?  I sure did not until I read the below, but as with so many things Israeli, or perhaps Jewish, even a story as simple as this one quickly becomes something less simple.

The tidbit below was written by Akiva Novik and published by Y-Net:
You will never guess the newest trend to hit West Bank outposts: Prepackaged sushi from flashpoint settlement Esh Kadosh.

The blooming sushi takeout service capitalizes on what has up till now been a solely Tel Aviv trend, considered by some the symbol of its cosmopolitan bourgeoisie life style.
Very nice.  Sushi in Samaria!  But is it so nice, after all?
Esh Kadosh has been in the headlines in recent weeks after a group of settlers left the outpost in an attempt to perpetrate a price tag attack on the neighboring Palestinian village of Qusra only to be apprehended and beaten by Palestinians who later passed them to the IDF.
Tekka maki and price tag attacks.  Oh, joy.
At the heart of the settlement, Maayan Sear is running a very complicated mission of another sort – rolling sushi in all shapes in form for immediate delivery to hungry settlers in the area.

 "It began last Hanukkah. We had a community potluck and everyone had to bring something," that was when she decided to teach her fellow settlers how to roll a sushi roll.
So the story starts off very nice with a bit of human interest around the gaining popularity of sushi, but then immediately becomes a story about those brutal "settlers" who want nothing so much as to hurt perfectly innocent Palestinian-Arabs.
"We always thought there would never be sushi beyond the Green Line, but it turns sushi is not just for Tel Avivians," he proudly adds.

By the way, we never got a chance to taste Esh Kadosh Sushi's menu because just as the camera man came to film Maayan rolling, a group of some 20 masked settlers were making their way to Qusra. By the time the sushi was done, we were documenting the sad result of their Qusra visit.
I still cannot figure out if this is a human interest story about the popularity of sushi or whether it is a story about the sinister Jews of the region?  What is the take-away?  Is it that were it not for the vicious "settlers" the people of the region could enjoy their bento boxes and nigiri, perhaps with a little hot sake, in peace?

And just how does one distinguish a settler from a non-settler in the region?  Are all Jews who live in Judaea and Samaria nefarious "settlers" or only some?  And what of non-Jews?  Are they despicable "settlers," as well?

What if a consortium of Jewish Japanese businessmen were to open a series of sushi joints throughout the region and brought in a crack squad of Jewish Master Sushi Chefs to run the restaurants.  Would those people be looked down upon as the scum of the earth for daring to live in Judaea, where no Jew is supposed to live?

And just what was the "sad result" of their Qusra visit, anyway?  Strangely, the author does not tell us.

From the comments:
1. incitement  
The author should be investigated for incitement and defamation. All settlers carry spray paint cans? Even the 20 'masked men' --which is a lie, they weren't masked--had no spray paint on them. Additionally, it has been proven widely by this point that it is unlikely they were going to carry out a price tag. IF they were, it would have been the first day time one ever, and the first to be carried out by a large group. And you claim this cancelled your sushi experience? Ridiculous. Show the proof. Where is your personal coverage of the "qusra incident"....ya, that incident which didn't even take place NEAR Qusra. \ Demonization, incitement and defamation, the traits of an ISraeli leftist.  
michael, Shomron (01.15.14)
Well, Michael is not happy about this story.

Did twenty masked Jewish miscreants sneak into the town of Qusra for the purpose of causing trouble or preventing the locals from enjoying their sea urchin roe and unagi?
2. stop calling these people "Settlers"  
this is how you marginalize part of the israeli society, and create conflicts inside the israeli society. these people have chosen to live in judea samaria, according to their personal motivations. and by the way, i hope their sushi business will succeed !!  
maurice clebert , israel (01.15.14)
Maurice and I are pretty much on the same page.  We both love sushi and think that we do a terrible disservice to our fellow Jews in Judaea and Samaria when we agree with Abbas and Obama that they should not be allowed to live in the region where the Jewish people have lived for 3,500 years.  I do not know how it is that a simple word like "settlers" suddenly has negative connotations, but it does; as does the word "Zionist," today.
3. So where is the story of the 20

Masked Settlers and the sad results. That should be the story in ynet - not stupid sushi. And as much as I like sushi I would prefer to starve before eating their sushi - As an Israeli - I AM ASHAMED OF THESE SETTLERS.

Debbie , Israel (01.15.14)
Not all Jews are big fans of these so-called "settlers," but we all seem to enjoy sushi.
4. Liar Liar Liar

there was no evidence that the settlers were on their way to cause damage of any kind. they were on a solidarity march /hike. Your type of reporting makes me sick.

Joseph , Petach Tikva (01.15.14)
The problem, of course, as we know from our experience with Pallywood over recent years and decades, is that news reports from the region are highly unreliable and often distorted for the purpose of demonizing and dehumanizing Jews.   There seems to be a continuum of demonization that runs from the most ridiculous to the somewhat plausible and it can become difficult to know just where to draw the line between the two.

When a high-level Egyptian politician claims that Zionist Sharks are cruising off the coast of Alexandria, sent by the Israelis for the purpose of undermining Egyptian tourism, we are well within the realm of stark raving crazy.  However, when a journalist writes a piece based on hearsay and innuendo from Palestinian-Arab sources it becomes almost impossible to know if the story is credible or not.

Pallywood has entirely eroded any faith that we can have in stories of Jewish wrongdoing from the region precisely because Pallywood is based upon lies, distortions, and staged events with the collusion of western journalists.

I think that the next time that I find myself before a plate of delicious sushi rolls, I will lift a toast to my friends who live where neither Mahmoud Abbas, nor Barack Obama, want them to live.

As the recipients of so much unreasoning malice by so many people throughout the world, they have certainly earned it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bellerose Has Some Words

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

I find the recent dust-up with our friend Ryan Bellerose to be instructive.

Bellerose took exception to a comment by Trudy suggesting that the very notion of "indigenous" is nonsense.  I am actually not heavily invested in that word, but the Jews have as much right to what I am calling "indigenous status" as pretty much anyone else on the planet.  Stuart endeavors to strip the Jews of indigenous status based upon anthropologist José R. Martínez-Cobo's definition of indigenous people, cited by Bellerose in his original article published at Israelycool.

Stuart writes the following:
Bellerose does, however, in his analysis, conveniently skip one of the requirements in Martinez Cobo's definition of indigenous people. 
•  Common ancestry with the original occupants of these lands. 
According to Stuart, because the Jews cannot claim to be the original occupants of Jewish land they are not actually "indigenous."  3,500 years of residency on Jewish land is apparently not sufficient for the Jews to make any such claims.

Nonetheless, this is Bellerose's recent comment which I am highlighting because I think that it needs discussion and because the Jewish people, as a tiny minority in the world, need to reach out to potential allies wherever we may find them.

Bellerose writes this:
A few things

Being indigenous isnt just about where you are physically from, its about the Genesis of culture and ancestral ties to the land as well. Thats why Jews and Metis are absolutely indigenous peoples to our respective regions. the " we all came from africa" argument is used by ignorant people to counter indigenous rights, because after all if we all came from the same place the nobody is indigenous. if you cant see how damaging that is, then I am not the one who needs to study.

I refute the Paestinians claim to be indigenous because it harms our rights, to allow a conqueror to claim that they can become indigenous THROUGH conquest, means my people have to accept the same for those who conquered north america.

You are relatively new with this, so let me explain something, most people dont know this stuff, lots of them thing the middle easy is where arabs are from, they think jews are white because some of you have pale skin, they dont understand what white privilege is. They have no idea that assimilation is like death to an indigenous person because it results in the loss of who we are.

I don't know empress trudy and maybe she isnt the asshat she appeared to be, but her first post started off stupid and it didnt get any better from there. 
she wrote

"Keeping in mind of course that this whole 'indigenous' nonsense" is an outgrowth of two things. 1) the 60's ethos that primitivism is inherently good and anything else is inherently evil. And 2) it's really a racist expression of "The White Man's Burden."

Im not sure how you could possibly think an indigenous rights activist who has been fighting for his peoples rights for 2 decades wouldnt get offended at such a moronic statement " indigenous nonsense"? really?

secondly indigenous rights have nothing to do with primitivism, we want to maintain our culture and our traditions and have self determination on our ancestral lands. sound familiar? a little bit like zionism maybe? we arent advocating wearing loincloths and living in teepees again ffs.

"Both of them are racist patronizing expressions that brown people or what we call brown people this moment (and that can change) are not the genuine stewards of their own destiny and they have to be protected from De Evul White Mon on their little reservations and ghettos; like Potemkin villages where the rich white liberals gawk at them like zoo animals. It's about how WE feel about US. Not them."

people who dont live in ghettos or reserves should probably not talk about them, that little paragraph is exceptionally offensive. Maybe she was being sarcastic, but the rest of the post makes me wonder if thats the case. 
then she wrote "Because be clear 'indigenous' has nothing to do with point of origin. It's about a myth or who's genuine and who's not." 
Indigenous rights are not a myth, there is nothing arbitrary about them, they come from a very specific set of guidelines, you wonder why I become bellicose so easily, try making this argument for 2 decades with no support and see how patient you are when people say something stupid.
I do not know that everyone will find this exercise interesting, but I find it so.

Bellerose writes:
Being indigenous isnt just about where you are physically from, its about the Genesis of culture and ancestral ties to the land as well. 
 Bellerose has respect for his own people.

Against all odds, he is willing to stand up for his people.  And, indeed, "indigenous" is not merely about who got there first.  It is about the long-standing history and culture of peoples and while such peoples obviously include Native-Americans, or Native-Australians, for that matter, they also include the Jewish natives of the Middle East.
I refute the Paestinians claim to be indigenous because it harms our rights, to allow a conqueror to claim that they can become indigenous THROUGH conquest...
This is the key to Bellerose's argument.

It highlights a difference between Native-Americans and the native Jewish population in the Land of Israel because, if the Bible is any clue, the Jews did, in fact, conquer that land from the Canaanites many thousands of years ago.
Im not sure how you could possibly think an indigenous rights activist who has been fighting for his peoples rights for 2 decades wouldnt get offended at such a moronic statement " indigenous nonsense"? really?
I think that we can forgive the grammar given the fact that this was part of a comment, not an article meant for publication.   What I care about is the idea, not the punctuation, and I believe that Bellerose is correct.

It is offensive to tell Native-American activists that the concept of indigenous is nonsense.  Just as we want people to respect the Jewish presence on historically Jewish land, so we need to respect, and reach out towards, other peoples who are also fighting for their indigenous rights.  The obvious difference, of course, is that the Jewish people took back our homeland, while Native-Americans, and other indigenous peoples, are fighting for their claims and their rights and their culture.

We have to understand that, as Jews, we are exceedingly lucky because the previous generations in the twentieth-century fought to secure our heritage and our historic homeland.  People like Ben Gurion and Dayan and Begin and Meir and, yes, Sharon, fought like hell to secure a Jewish place in this world on the land that the Jewish people came from.  I am proud that after 2,000 years of exile they were able to do so and I am also pleased that Native-American Zionist football players, like Mr. Bellerose, are willing to stand up for us.

But this can only mean that we have to stand up for him.

We have to stand up for the rights of all indigenous peoples.

We have to also stand up for the rights of women and Gay people and non-Muslims throughout the Arab-Muslim world as a matter of universal human rights.  The reason that Bellerose is important is because as part of an historically persecuted minority he is reaching out to the Jewish people, who are also an historically persecuted minority.

Let us be sure to keep that in mind.
secondly indigenous rights have nothing to do with primitivism, we want to maintain our culture and our traditions and have self determination on our ancestral lands. sound familiar? a little bit like zionism maybe?
Indeed, indigenous rights have nothing to do with primitivism.

Oldschooltwentysix pointed this out, as well, and I agree, as I suspect would Trudy.

No one here suggested that Native-Americans are "primitive," whatever we mean by that, exactly.

The suggestion, if I am interpreting Trudy correctly, is that the western-left continues to mischaracterize native peoples in romantic terms.  As a critic of the western-left, or the progressive-left, I can tell you with certainty that the prominent view of native peoples, with the exception of the Jews, is romanticized and demeaning and infused with notions of the "noble savage" within progressive-left political discourse.

Perhaps that is changing over time, but if anyone does not fit the stereotype it is Bellerose.

Rest In Peace

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Humanitarian Racist has a Cousin (with an Update)

by oldschooltwentysix

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)

Recall the humanitarian racists, largely brought to attention by Manfred Gerstenfeld.

Humanitarian racists believe that non-white, oppressed people cannot be held to laws of humanity and requirements of the public conscience recognized in international law long ago. These "victims" are simply not advanced enough. As such, there must be a scapegoat to account for their actions because they cannot even be racist. Contemporary problems caused by the colonialism and imperialism of the Western developed world excuse the victims from any responsibility for their acts and allow humanitarian racists to look away as often as possible, even to the commission of major crimes.

Richard Cravatts is the creator and founding director of Boston University's Program in Publishing at BU's Center for Professional Education and current president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, an organization with over 40,000 academic members on more than 3200 campuses worldwide.

Cravatts references another breed, a cousin of the humanitarian racist, the moral narcissist. His recent essay, "Moral narcissism and the MLA’s obsession with Israel," is definitely worth reading.

Moral narcissism is based, not according to actual viability or justice of a cause, but on how moral narcissists feel about themselves by committing to a particular cause or movement. They live in self-approval bubbles where mutually agreed moral gestures and self congratulation constitutes a perfect and sufficient engagement with an imperfect world.

Cravatts refers to Jay Gaskill, a California lawyer who served as the Seventh Alameda County Public Defender from 1989 to 1999 who chose to devote more time to his writing projects.

Gaskill says that moral narcissists adopt a camouflage strategy to escape the moral disapproval of others by cloaking their narcissism in the trappings of ‘social justice positioning’.
These are members of “club narcissist” who live in an unspoken social compact, the first tenet of which is “We are not narcissists because we care”.  The second tenet consists of a commitment to sign onto a shifting list of approved ‘humanitarian’ positions and stances with the unspoken understanding that these will require little more than gestures - bargain basement humanitarianism, of you will.
Thus the moral narcissists create an artificial a moral universe where ‘standing for’ is the equivalent of ‘doing for’.
Moral narcissists are easily controlled and manipulated by political elites, ideologues, and corrupt political predators.  Moral narcissists are immune from the teaching effects of authentic dialogue.  Moral narcissism is the disease of the modern mind. 
Looking at moral narcissists in the context of anti-Israel activity, Cravatts says:
The lure of Palestinianism has proven to be positivity irresistible to left-leaning humanists and literary scholars who burrow into Western thought to uncover the dark underpinnings of imperialism, militarism, colonialism, oppression, racism, and, as a result of one of the MLA’s notorious past presidents, Edward Said, the theory of “Orientalism,” a mode of thought which claimed to reveal the inherent racism and imperialism imbedded in Western scholarship and politics. The fascination with Third-world victimism, identity politics, and multiculturalism, coupled with harsh critiques of both the U.S. and its proxy in the Middle East, Israel, have all led academics like those in the ASA and the MLA—whose fields are, in a normal world, unrelated to these issues—to involve themselves aggressively in answering calls for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions solely against the Jewish state.
Activists like those in the MLA and ASA, and too many others of the academic left, believe their worldview is the correct one simply because it seeks to create a world in which social justice will be realized against the forces of the imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.

Cravatts provides examples to show MLA lack concern for the welfare of oppressed, such as students and women, revealing a double standard. He concludes:
Of course, the MLA’s Radical Caucus is silent on all of these obstacles to education and the free exchange of ideas, both in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and the wider world of Israel’s neighbors. It is easy to demonize Israel, and certainly it requires no bravery in academia, where moral narcissists console each other in an echo chamber of good intentions, willing to sacrifice academic integrity, true scholarship, and vigorous, honest debate in the process.
What is also tragic is that these "intellects" cannot see that their blatant singling out of the sole Jewish state is an exercise in antisemitism, irrespective of how they try to justify the discrimination they practice, reckless and oblivious to the effect. As they are quick to tell the rest of us, only they care about humankind.

UPDATE: The MLA just concluded its 2014 Convention, with mixed results regarding the anti-Israel efforts. A watered down non-binding resolution was adopted, arguably to save face. An attempt to pass an “Emergency” Resolution to denounce supposed attacks on supporters of the American Studies Association boycott resolution was soundly rejected. See here and here, as reported at the blog Legal Insurrection by Professor Jacobson and others.

One might argue that civil and political communities are showing signs of awakening, as it becomes clear how extreme and activist the humanitarian racists and moral narcissists have become, caring not at all about the stated missions of their associations, but their political agendas and contorted views of social justice.

Ryan Bellerose and the Indigenous Question

Michael L.

I recently published an article entitled Israel: The First Modern Indigenous State in which I agreed with Canadian Native-American activist and football player, Ryan Bellerose, that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.  I published that piece at Israel Thrives, Jews Down Under, and at the Times of Israel, where it was subsequently picked up by the Elder of Ziyon blog.

Much to my surprise, shortly thereafter Bellerose dropped into Israel Thrives in order to scream at Empress Trudy and, for some reason, to tell me that humanity, in fact, is not indigenous to Africa.  I have to say, I was a little surprised at Bellerose's bellicosity and failure to mount a coherent argument.  This is perhaps not very surprising.  Bellerose got picked up by some in the media because his father has a small measure of political creds in Canada and because he is a Native-American Zionist and what in the world is more rare than a Native-American Zionist, not to mention a Native-American Zionist football player?

{In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised if Bellerose is the lone, sole Native-American Zionist football player in all of North America.  The very notion of it gives me a smile.}

Every once in awhile, however, I get an email from someone whom I have referenced in an article, but almost always those emails are either positive or seek to offer a simple factual correction, but they are very rarely hostile.  Bellerose represents the exception.  In a childish and highly insulting response to a comment from Empress Trudy, Bellerose writes:
Thats the stupidest most moronic thing I have seen in a long time. first off indigenous status is not "nonsense" and it has nothing to do with "prmimitivism" your assertion is simply wrong. and not slightly wrong but catasrophically wrong. 
sometimes I wonder if some of you people are capable of original thought or if you just spout talking points that you see on youtube. 
First learn how to read, then work at comprehension, then try to come up with a thought that doesnt resemble feces coming out of your lackwit mouth.
My, my.  That is quite some analysis.

What Bellerose apparently objects to, although it is hard to know from what he writes above, is Trudy's suggestion that:
Keeping in mind of course that this whole 'indigenous' nonsense is an outgrowth of two things. 1) the 60's ethos that primitivism is inherently good and anything else is inherently evil. And 2) it's really a racist expression of "The White Man's Burden."
The concept of "indigenous" is relative, not absolute.  Everyone on this planet, with the exception of an unknown percentage of Africans, comes from elsewhere.  For millions of years our ancestors lived in Africa before emigrating throughout the rest of the world.  That means that the vast majority of all of our ancestors were black and lived on that continent.  This is why all of humanity has a common heritage and why Trudy refers to the very concept of "indigenous" as nonsense.

Nonetheless, it is obviously true that just as Native-Americans are the only extant people who can claim the earliest residency on American soil, so Jews are the only extant people who can claim the earliest residency in the Land of Israel, including Gaza, Judaea, and Samaria.

What Trudy suggested, and rightly so, is that the New Left and counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s revered the indigenous, but primarily via a lens of "primitivism."  Trudy is correct.  Anyone who knows anything whatsoever of the New Left and counterculture from that period knows that there was a general disdain for western ways of being (ontology) and western ways of knowing (epistemology), which sometimes are dismissed as "white."  It is for this reason that when Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and Gary Snyder put together the counterculture / New Left celebration in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 1967, the Human Be-In, it was called the Gathering of the Tribes.  It is also for this reason that when the San Francisco Oracle covered the event they featured an old-timey caricature of a Native-American upon horseback, although holding a guitar.

This kind of sensibility, which revered "primitivism," was prevalent throughout the counterculture and the New Left and remains a staple within progressive-left sensibilities to this day.  It is in part for this reason that the Jewish people are denied "indigenous" status by many on the progressive-left.  The Jews, as a group - with the obvious exception of some - are agents of modernity.  We embrace the modern, advance the modern, and are associated with the modern.  We represent the opposite of "primitivism" and are thus not embraced by the romantic imagination of the contemporary left.

And that is precisely what Trudy referred to in that statement concerning "the 60's ethos that primitivism is inherently good" which represents a contemporary form of "White Man's Burden." Yet another way of stating it is the popular reverence for the "Noble Savage."  It is a form of racist condescension toward people of color who are seen to represent more natural, and thus superior, ways of being and ways of knowing.

Trudy, it should be noted, made no claims whatsoever concerning Native-Americans, but simply pointed out that the concept of "indigenous" is about a myth, or a narrative, concerning who is genuine and who is not among contemporary progressives.  This is simply undeniable and Bellerose was wrong in responding with such fierce, and incoherent, contempt for someone challenging his worldview and presumptions.

As with anyone else, I may agree with much of what Bellerose has to say, and I certainly appreciate his advocacy for the Jewish state as the first modern "indigenous" state, but this does not mean that any of us need to agree with every jot and dittle that the man writes.

Trudy was correct to point out the significance of a "1960s ethos of primitivism," with its implications of authenticity, and how that ethos often elides with notions of the "indigenous" and Bellerose was entirely wrong to spit so much hatred toward a person expressing a concept that he is entirely uneducated about.

Ignorance is regrettable, but malicious ignorance of the type that Bellerose spewed is simply unacceptable.

For more on the general topic of the New Left, and how the notion of authenticity related to that political movement, I recommend Doug Rossinow's The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity, and the New Left in America, Columbia University Press, 1998.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Opportunity in Israel's neighborhood

by oldschooltwentysix

(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)

Is the Arab-Israel conflict changing? A column by Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post suggests so, and it's worth thinking about.

Is Israel's strategic challenge of contending with pan-Arabism, which was invented at the same time that the nations of the world embraced modern Zionism, no longer central in a  new era where people from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula have gone back to identifying themselves by tribe, religion, ethnicity, and non-Arab national identity?

Intra-Arab fighting these days has nothing much to do with Israel, except if a scapegoat is necessary to incite hate and create diversion. Arabic speaking minorities in Israel, even Muslims, cannot be blind to the opportunities inside Israel to live a good life, particularly compared to record the rest of the neighborhood.

In her column, Glick refers to Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth who calls for Israeli Christian youth to serve in the IDF, as a symbol of what is taking place, a movement where some Christians identify more as Israelis than members of the Palestinian Arab nation.
It is because they see what is happening to their co-religionists in the post-pan-Arab Middle East that more and more Israeli Christians realize they will lead safer, more prosperous and more fulfilling lives as Christian citizens in the Middle East’s only democracy than as pan-Arabs battling the Zionist menace.
Much of the argument made by Glick is based on an article by Ofir Haivry, vice president of the Herzl Institute, in Mosaic online magazine, entitled, Israel in the Eye of the Hurricane, and should be read in its entirety by anyone interested in a more in depth analysis.

If Glick is correct,
The post-pan-Arab Middle East exposes the truth that has been obscured for a century. The Jews and their Jewish state are a natural component of our diverse neighborhood, just like the Kurds, the Christians, the Druse, the various Muslim sects, and the Arabs. The demise of pan-Arabism is our great opportunity, at home and regionally, to build the alliances we need to survive and prosper.
Perhaps the Arab-Israeli conflict as we know it is ready for a paradigm shift. Glick is surely advocating the Israeli government should change its orientation toward the Arab world away from powers based on Pan-Arab structures in favor of natural alliances based on mutual interests, the kind that most often stand the test of time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

One State. Two States. Three States. Four.

Michael L.

Five States.  Six States.  Seven States.  More!

I cannot help but notice that the Fresno Zionist and Dovid Efune, Editor-in-Chief of The Algemeiner, both have articles published today speaking out against the two-state solution.

I am left with the distinct impression over recent months that the taboo in opposing the two-state solution is eroding.  We have people like Caroline Glick, and Martin Sherman, and Dovid Efune and innumerable others who seem to be focusing their discussions specifically on this very issue.

And it is the central issue, to be sure, within the overall conversation around the long Arab war against the Jews.

I have always favored two states for two peoples, because Israel can be a Jewish state.  It can be a democratic state.  Or, it can be a state from the River to the Sea.

But it cannot be all three at once.

From the Age of Clinton until this very moment I have always favored two states, but what do you do when the people who claim to want a state for themselves in peace absolutely refuse to accept a state for themselves in peace?

On the one hand, the Palestinian-Arabs claim to require a state.  On the other hand, they have turned down every single offer for statehood since 1937.

What I have argued in recent years, due to the failure of Oslo and the recognition that we have no meaningful negotiating partners, is that Israel should declare its final borders to the east and remove the IDF to behind those borders.  I understand, of course, that the unilateral Gaza experience was awful because it was met with ongoing violence by Hamas and other Jihadi organizations against the Jewish minority, but there is clearly no chance for a negotiated conclusion of hostilities.  If this is true, it means that Israel must take matters into its own hands and unilaterally declare its final borders.

Both the Fresno Zionist and Dovid Efune, however, argue in opposition to the two-state solution and thus in opposition to something other than the full annexation of Judaea and Samaria.

Fresno Zionist writes the following:
I would like to make another argument, which is not heard so often because it is not politically correct: the Palestinian nation has developed a criminal national culture, a collection of aspirations, modes of thought, discourse and behavior that would make a Palestinian state a destructive element in the community of nations... 
What brought these disparate Arabs together was opposition to Zionism. The first great leader of the Palestinian Arabs was Haj Amin al-Husseini, who stirred up anti-Jewish riots and pogroms as early as 1920. The British helpfully made him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921, and he became the face and voice of the Palestinian cause. During the war, he worked closely with Hitler, raised an SS division among Bosnian Muslims, made Arabic broadcasts to the Middle East from Berlin, and did his best to encourage Hitler to conquer Palestine, where Husseini planned to set up extermination camps for Jews... 
The Palestinian nation was forged by al-Husseini, Arafat and others who took this disparate group of Arabs and united them under the banner of ‘resistance’ to the Zionists, and later to the state of Israel, who developed the idea of the nakba as a loss of honor that had to be avenged. They created a monster, a culture whose predominant memes are of blood and murder... 
In deciding whether establishing a new state here is a good idea, it makes sense to think about what the character of that state will be. And there is no doubt that ‘Palestine’ will be an aggressor and a locus of terrorism. 
A criminal culture will produce a criminal state. 
How could the embodiment of the philosophy of Yasser Arafat be anything else?
Although I still favor the two-state solution, he makes a perfectly reasonable argument.  There is no question but that Palestinian-Arab political culture is violent, toxic, and grounded in the denial of Jewish history and heritage.

Thus the creation of a distinct Palestinian-Arab country within the historical Jewish heartland would be at war with the Jewish people of the Middle East from day one.  What is the point of a Palestinian-Arab state if it will not bring peace to either the Palestinian-Arabs or the Jewish people?  What is the point of a Palestinian-Arab state if it is little more than a battleship against its Jewish neighbors?

Efune writes the following:
On Tuesday the Times of Israel reported that according to Israeli diplomatic sources, “John Kerry is behind the recent wave of European threats to boycott settlement products, and intends to use these threats against Israel should the current series of peace talks fail.”

Talk of peace comes in the form of broad unspecific platitudes, but Kerry’s warnings – should his “peace process” fail – are detailed, public, and precise. Absent a positive case for Israeli concessions, Kerry’s strategy is to artificially orchestrate a political pincer movement, and scare Israelis into accepting his proposals.

Viewed in this light and in the context of Israeli history, the choice for Israel’s citizens should be easy. The danger posed by the establishment of a hostile Palestinian Arab state in the heart of Israel by far surpasses all others. For the sake of their future generations, Israelis must simply refuse Kerry’s offer.
Israel has five options.

1)  The Status-Quo

2)  Two-States for Two Peoples in Peace

3)  Two-States for Two Peoples at War

4)  Unilateral Israeli Declaration of Eastern Borders

5)  Unilateral Israeli Declaration of Eastern Borders with Full Annexation of Judaea and Samaria

I recommend number four because 1) the status quo is unjust to both peoples, 2) there will be no peace within two-states for two peoples because that is not what the Palestinian-Arab leadership wants, 3) two states for two peoples at perpetual war is even worse than the status-quo, and 5) the full annexation of Judaea and Samaria will mean Jewish responsibility for that many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of additional Arabs.

Who knows what the numbers really are, but what of the political rights of those people if Israel were to annex the entirety of what Jordanians like to refer to as the "West Bank"?

Is the idea that there will be a process for a Palestinian-Arab citizenship among those who live in Judaea and Samaria?  Perhaps some form of national service in order to demonstrate peaceful coexistence?  Or will there status be something akin to the relationship of Puerto Ricans to the United States?  Will they have full civil liberties, but not full political rights, and thus no representation in the Knesset?

In any event, the annexation of Judaea and Samaria is on the table, because the peace talks were never serious to begin with.  Israel, as we know from the peace treaty with Egypt, has always been willing to trade land for peace.  What Israel is no longer willing to do - or so it seems - is trade land for war.

Naftali Bennet had the basic idea, in my opinion.  Annex some modified version of Area C, including all the significant settlement blocs, and then call it a day.

Toss keys over shoulder.