Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Who is a Zionist?

Shirlee Finn
{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}
The issue of who is a Zionist has come to the forefront in the past week or so, thanks to Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks  who has decided that only Jews can be Zionists and is working very hard on non-Jews to declare they are ‘pro-Zionist’ and not ‘Zionist’. This I might add is causing a good deal of anger among non-Jews and my fear is it will alienate them.
I’d be interested in getting some discussion going on it and hearing people’s views.
There is some discussion on the link above, but unless you are a ‘friend’ you won’t be able to access the entire conversation. Not that one really needs that,  there is ample posted to get the gist of it, with the comments being telling.
“Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks you fail to see that people who truly love the Jews and support their right to self determination in their own land, do so, not out of a sense of self entitlement, or a desire to usurp that which belongs to the Jews, but they do so purely out of love.”
ive tried as a christian who also loves israel because i love a jew named yeshua and stand with u. but bat your just an idiot.”
What an insult this is to the millions of non-Jews who are Zionists, many being more fervent in their love of Israel than Jews.
The comments below the article and on the Jerusalem Post article  “Zionism and Judaism the heart and soul of Israel, the Jewish state ” are quite telling also.
“Bat Zion I wonder if you have read this article about the Jewish Anna Baltzer.Perhaps its time you confronted Anna Baltzer rather than pick on the non Jewish supporters of Israel.”
“as a Jew I am ashamed of your “argument” one can be whatever he/she wants to be.”
“I will respectfully disagree, however, about your claim that non-Jews cannot be Zionists. You don’t have to be a part of that link (land and people) to RECOGNIZE the link, and that is what Zionism is – the recognition of that link. So just as a man can be a feminist (he can believe wholeheartedly that women and men are equal, despite our differences, and that we deserve equal treatment under the law and by society), so, too, a non-Jew can be a Zionist.”
“Once you take out from the formula every one that isn’t Jew,is almost racism, and for sure Ignorance, do you have any idea how you make non Jews that support Israel, many times much more then Jews? For example the Brave teenager @Mohammad Zoabi, that is fighting the ignorance of his own people , opening his heart and showing his love to Israel, do you know the damage that you did with your ignorant and shallow article ???”
This final couple of lines in one person’s comments pretty much says it all as far as I am concerned
“And I find your follow-up comments, that we are somehow “giving away” our Zionist identity to non-Jews, utterly bizarre. I would LOVE for tens of millions, hundreds of millions, billions of people say “I am a Zionist”, because by doing so, they say “I am standing up in support of Israel”.”
A Zionist in my way of thinking is a person who believes and supports the fact that Israel is the home of the Jewish people.
A pro-Zionist is a person who supports or believes that a Zionist supports Israel as the home of the Jewish people.
The Jewish Virtual Library –  “A Definition of Zionism”
The term “Zionism” was coined in 1890 by Nathan Birnbaum.
Its general definition means the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. 
Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism has come to include the movement for the development of the State of Israel and the protection of the Jewish nation in Israel through support for the Israel Defense Forces.
Haaretz writes – Defining Zionism: The Belief That Israel Belongs to the Entire Jewish People.
A Zionist is a person who accepts the principle that the State of Israel doesn’t belong solely to its citizens, but to the entire Jewish people. The practical expression of this commitment is the Law of Return.
Only a person who supports and affirms the Law of Return is a Zionist, and anyone who rejects the Law of Return is not a Zionist.
Zionism – Wikipedia – The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews
The Iron Age kingdom of Israel (blue) and kingdom of Judah (tan), with their neighbours (8th century BCE), based on Biblical accounts.
and as the legitimate focus for the Jewish national self-determination. It is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
Zionism is a nationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land).
It goes on to say –
The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for the Jewish national self-determination. It is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Zionism does not have a uniform ideology, but has evolved in a dialogue among a plethora of ideologies.
Nowhere does it say that non-Jews cannot be be Zionists?
Sheri Oz of ‘Israel Diaries‘ has written an excellent piece on this very issue on IsreallyCooland again the comments are particularly telling.
She writes:
A fierce debate has been going on in a corner of Facebook about whether or not non-Jews can call themselves Zionists. Until this moment, I was unaware that there was a problem. But my hackles were raised when a blogger I know was recently lambasted in the comments below his post for referring to himself as a Zionist even though he is not a Jew. I strongly disagree with what he had written in that particular post but it did not, for me, deny him the right to call himself a Zionist.
In fact, last summer I noticed a small number of Christian and Moslem citizens of Israel declaring themselves proud Israeli Zionists and this has been a source of joy for me. Since then that number has been gradually increasing. And we see more and more people from the most unexpected places (Egypt, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, for example) standing up for Israel, some of them calling themselves Zionists and some simply pro-Israeli. But an alarm has apparently sounded in some quarters, and there are a number of Jews who object strongly: non-Jews, they insist, can call themselves pro-Zionists; they can never be considered Zionists. Only Jews are Zionists.
This discussion was continued on the public Facebook page of Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks. Some of the protestations against non-Jews calling themselves Zionists were quite shrill.
Where do the many Arab/Muslim and Christian Zionists fit in? Personally on Facebook I have many friends across the Middle East and further afield who aren’t Jewish but identify strongly with Zionism. Indeed many here in Australia, including a very good Christian friend in Adelaide, who calls herself a ‘mad Zionist’
What about Muhammad Zoabi, who labels himself as an Israeli/Arab/Zionist/Muslim?
He has written an article named “I have risked my life”
I have risked my life
Got disowned by many of my family.
Been almost killed.
Fled the country and could barely live as a teenager.
Came back home, knowing that its still dangerous, knowing that my life would never be the same.
I am still being threatened and harassed by many of those who’re against the simple right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own. It’s not only me being harassed and threatened, almost every non Jew who dares to stand with the Jewish people and their right to be an independent nation amongst the nations of the Earth put their lives at risk.
And all of that was because I dared to speak my truth.
It’s all because I dared to proudly and with no hesitation say that I am in indeed a proud Arab, but also a proud Israeli Zionist!
But apparently I am not a Zionist according to Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks, who writes,
“One cannot, I am afraid, be a Zionist without being Jewish. One can, however, be a non – Jewish supporter of Zionism…”
I do not think it courageous, loving or honourable to blog behind a computer telling people who or what they are not. It is hurtful and destroys people and it is not the first time. As a proud Zionist I want to end hatred and speak of courage.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Note to a Friend

Michael L.

eclipseYesterday, Laurie and I met with a buddy of ours for some good German food and beer at Brotzeit and a trip up to the Chabot Space Center in Oakland to take a gander at the "Supermoon" total lunar eclipse.

As we were drinking beer and discussing our friends and planning our trip up to the space center, I brought up the European immigration crisis.  My friend, who is the well-educated liberal son of a college history instructor and a software programmer, seemed indifferent to the likely consequences of the forced insertion of additional millions of devout Muslims within the European home.

This was my response to that question in an email:

I have to say, tho - switching gears - that I was a little surprised at your seeming indifference to the European immigration crisis.  This is, in fact, the very biggest story coming out of Europe probably in decades.  You should not underestimate the significance of this mass movement of people, the biggest since World War II.

Europe is changing and now it is going to change considerably more within the coming years... and not for the better.

The introduction of millions of hard-line, conservative, fundamentalist Muslims onto the continent will change the nature of European society.

These migrants are not leaving the Middle East. 

They are bringing the Middle East with them. 

Majorities are not the least bit interested in democracy, rights for women, or rights for Gay people, and we must not take such liberties for granted.

Of course, the very last thing in this world that they care about is the well-being of Jewish people who, in percentiles according to polling data, they hold in contempt with percentages above the 80th percentile.

Jews are drizzling out of Europe as Arab-Muslims are pouring in and pouring their scorn upon the Jews that remain.

When you see Europe in 2025, it is going to be an exceedingly different place.

And, yet again, it will not be friendly to the Jewish people.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thanks Rita


Translated by friend Rita

Postcards From Paris and Elsewhere

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Michael L.

(Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

SchultzDebbie Wasserman-Schultz, for those of you who may not know, is US representative to Florida’s 23rd congressional district and chair of the Democratic National Committee.  This would make her not only among the most powerful Jewish women in the United States Congress, but among the most important people in national politics, period.

Shmuley Boteach has a piece published in the Jerusalem Post concerning Representative Wasserman-Schultz.  Boteach notes that although Wasserman-Schultz supports the Iran deal, she nonetheless cried about it on national television.  Her heart was torn.  Boteach writes:
She cares deeply about her Jewish family and relatives and would never want any harm to come to the Jewish people...

And yet she chose to support the deal but cried while doing so. A friend of mine who is a financial supporter of hers told me she did the same at a private meeting a few weeks before the vote.

But while tears are nice, resisting the barbarity of Iran is nicer.
Indeed.  Everyone agrees that even if Iran does not cheat on Obama's non-treaty, the deal paves the way for Iran to get the bomb in ten to fifteen years, just in time for your children or grandchildren to have to cope with the possible consequences.

Boteach compares Wasserman-Schultz's stance on the deal with the action of two American presidents vis-à-vis Israel, neither of whom were crazy about Jews, Harry Truman and Richard Nixon.  Truman, you may be unaware, despite his longstanding friendship with his old Jewish partner at the haberdashery, Edward Jacobson, clearly had a low opinion of Jews.

He wrote in his diary that Jews “...when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.”

Yet, Truman recognized the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, the very day that Ben Gurion declared it to be.  He did so over the strenuous objections of his popular Secretary of State, George Marshall, and others within his government.

We, also, have Nixon on his famous White House taping-system claiming, “You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana are Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists.”

The "Bob," of course, might refer to Nixon White House Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman.

Boteach goes easier on Truman's anti-Jewish racism than Nixon's who he says "expressed constant anti-Semitic beliefs."  Nonetheless, during the hair-raising 1973 Yom Kippur War, despite significant opposition from Congress, Nixon airlifted the weaponry and supplies that the Jews of the Middle East needed to prevent themselves from being driven into the Mediterranean Sea by Arabs armies.

At the end of the day, Boteach tells us that he would rather:
...take the anti-Semitism of a leader like Truman or Nixon who nonetheless stands up with courage to save Israel over the river of tears shed by a proud Jewish woman who fails in her responsibility to stop an Iranian nuclear holocaust. It is ironic when a non-Jew with prejudiced opinions is in touch with the Jewish principles of action and responsibility more than a prominent Jewish leader who forgets that saving life overrides every other consideration.
Along with Boteach I do not doubt the sincerity and depth of Wasserman-Schultz's feelings for the State of Israel or for the Jewish people.  Of course, I also could hardly care less about Wasserman-Schultz's feelings for the State of Israel or for the Jewish people.

Wasserman-Schultz knows as well as anyone else that the Iran non-treaty does not prevent Iran from getting the bomb, but paves the way for Iran to get the bomb... just not this Tuesday.  It will be a number of Tuesdays hence, but it is coming and Wasserman-Schultz is doing her part to see that it happens.

She seems to represent a good example of the kind of left-leaning American Jew who thinks that Judaism - or, at least, being Jewish - is more or less synonymous with support for the Democratic Party.  Harvard scholar of Yiddish literature, Ruth Wisse, has discussed this tendency with great insight.  The broad idea is that Judaism is fundamentally a religion grounded in ethics.  Islam is about submission.  Christianity, despite the behavior of many Christians, is about peace.  Judaism is about ethics and justice, and thus, law.

The tradition of Tikkun Olam, a medieval mystical notion which translates as "repairing the world," was an obscure idea within the Kabbalistic tradition until yanked from that obscurity toward the end of the twentieth-century among well-meaning Jewish liberals.  Tikkun Olam, we were told, means social justice and universal human rights and that this is the very heart of the Jewish tradition.  To be Jewish, we were to understand, means to fight for social justice and, within the United States, the political party doing most to stand up for social justice is the Democratic Party.  Thus in order to be a good American Jew, one must be a Democrat.  It is, in fact, considered a moral imperative by very many Jews in the United States to this day.

From the 1930s until now, the tendency among Jews to support the Democrats has become embedded within the American Jewish soul.  This is at least part of the reason why, despite Barack Obama's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, he received 70 percent of the Jewish vote his second time at bat.

Many American Jews would prefer to gnaw off their right arm and beat themselves silly with it rather than vote for a Republican.

The problem with this kind of long-term consistent devotion to a political party is, obviously, that political parties change and evolve over time.  What may have been a barely noticed, or entirely unnoticed, malicious trend within the party might at some point come to the fore.  This is what we are seeing with the increasingly obnoxious presence of anti-Zionists and BDSers within the Democratic Party and the progressive movement.  It is not a coincidence that Democrats are trending away from Israel.  The party leadership may denounce BDS, as they should, but this does not prevent anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, as a political ideology, from having an influence on how regular Democrats view the Jewish state as time goes by.

This is the broader context that Wasserman-Schultz is operating within and it puts her in a very tough spot.  Whether she realizes it or not as an American Jewish progressive her own political movement has forced her into a choice between supporting Israel and the Jewish people or supporting the progressive-left and the Democratic Party.

I made this choice quite consciously only a few years ago and my choice could not have been easier.

But, then, I was not chair of the DNC, now was I?

Ultimately, though, I wonder if Wasserman-Schultz, in her heart, knows the difference between what it means to be Jewish - whatever that might be for the individual - and what it means to be a Democrat.  In the meantime, she has attacked fellow Floridian, presidential candidate Marco Rubio because Rubio dared to visit the home of Harlan Crow, a wealthy supporter and collector who includes among his holdings an Isaac Newton first edition book, a Benjamin Franklin first edition book, and, along with other items of historical interest, a pair of paintings by Adolph Hitler.

Wasserman-Schultz said:
There's really no excuse for such a gross act of disrespect...  It is astounding that the presence of these items that represent horror for millions of Jews the world over would not stop Rubio or anyone on his team in their tracks when planning this event.
This is nonsense, particularly on such a flimsy and cynical charge, and I would I would peruse Mr. Crow's holding with much gratitude if given the opportunity.  What there really is no excuse for is using the Holocaust as a political club against one's partisan opponents.  It is, in fact, disgraceful.  But, again, the question is, does she understand that being Jewish is not in any essential way the same as being a Democrat?

The two are synonymous for untold numbers of American Jews, including perhaps the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

No wonder she cried.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Let the Arms Race Commence

Michael L.

One not need be Cassandra to prophecy the coming Middle East nuclear arms race.

Former Minister Belayat of Algeria is an obscure figure in the West.  He may even be an obscure figure in the East, North, and South, but when he calls for arming Algeria with the world's most vicious weaponry you can be sure he does not speak for Algeria alone:

Published on Sep 24, 2015

Former Algerian Minister of Urban Development and former head of the FLN party Abderrahmane Belayat stated that Algeria should obtain nuclear weapons. Speaking on September 20 at an event organized by Al-Hiwar newspaper under the title "Zionist Violation of Al-Aqsa," Belayat said that Algeria should place its nuclear weapons on a mountain and tell the Jews to leave Palestine.
Barack Obama's Iran non-treaty is going to set-off an arms race throughout the Middle East, if it has not done so already.  I do not know how much of a potential threat Algeria represents, but when even an Algerian former high-level government official starts making nuclear sounding noises concerning driving the Jews out of the Land of Israel then you know that the whole region is embroiled in such sentiments.

Of course, anti-Jewish genocidal ambitions have animated the Muslim Middle East for an exceedingly long time.  One might even say millennia.  The difference is that now they want to replace their recently impotent malicious ambitions with malicious ambitions backed by nuclear weaponry.

In truth, Barack Obama has betrayed us all... Americans, westerners, and Jews.

Obama wants a more modest American foreign policy paradigm.  He therefore recognizes that someone is going to have to fill the vacuum created by American withdrawal and views Iran as a potential strategic partner in that part of the world.  There is no reason to assign malice to Obama when ideological blinkertude is a more reasonable explanation.

Obama does not envision a future wherein the United States is a global super-power.  On the contrary, he wants to see the United States as one significant power among others within an international community that resolves disputes via diplomacy.  There is no malice in such a vision.  On the contrary, it borders on the utopian.

The problem is that in order to realize such a vision the Obama Administration, and the progressive-left, in general, must blind themselves to the clear and obvious fact that Iran is an enemy to both the United States and Israel.  Suddenly the words "cognitive dissonance" leap to mind.

How does the United States, under Obama, intend to maintain a long-term strategic alliance with a country that calls not only for the slaughter of Jews in Israel, but Americans within the United States?

It simply makes no sense and clearly demonstrates how upside down and backward Obama administration foreign policy actually is.

Iran, with Obama's blessing, is moving steadily toward the bomb and, you can be sure, right on their heals, is almost every country in the Middle East with any means.

{Obama is igniting a powder-keg.}

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

G'mar Chatima Tova

Michael L.

Question MarkToday is Yom Kippur and I am not fasting.

In truth, I am not very religious, but I like to think that I have respect.  I have respect for the Jewish people and respect for the Jewish faith.

I beg your indulgence for this piece because today I simply want to ruminate... this is strictly personal so you can go forth and read something else if you want.

Europe is transmogrifying before our very eyes and the United States has, essentially, an anti-Israel / anti-Jewish president that American Jews broke down the doors to vote for.  The Labour Party in Britain, as you well know, just elevated Jeremy Corbyn to the top slot and Corbyn is friendly with Hamas.  Hamas calls quite specifically for the genocide of the Jews in its charter.  Hamas makes no secret of their Nazi-like desires, yet progressive-left Brits stand with them, anyway.

Fascinating, really.

Those of us who put ourselves out there politically - a foolish endeavor if ever there was one - are engaged in a journey.  It is, for each us, personal and different.  I ran into a key turning-point while I was working on my dissertation in San Francisco toward the end of the last decade.  The glue that held the American Left together during the years of W. was nothing less than sheer hatred of the man.  We despised George W. Bush almost as much as Hunter S. Thompson loathed Richard Milhous Nixon... and those of you who know a thing or two about Doctor Gonzo know the extent of his disdain for the former Republican president.

This is a snippet of Thompson's obituary for the man:
I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.
It is disgusting, but it is honest and much the same can be said for the American Left of my generation in terms of our hateful relationship with Bush.  One of the things that I did, in the spirit of solidarity at the time, was start participating on the popular American-Left political blog, Daily Kos.  The purpose of Daily Kos is ostensibly to support the Democratic Party.  That is its stated function according to blog owner and neighbor, Markos Moulitsas.

{Every now and again I bang on his door for a couple of eggs and a cup of sugar.}

Daily Kos was an educational experience and I appreciate that very much.  What I learned during my time as a minor participant on an exceedingly large left-leaning political blog was the degree, extent, and quality of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within the Democratic party and the progressive-left.  That, in essence, is what I learned from Daily Kos and for this I will always owe Markos Moulitsas a debt of gratitude.

Certainly, to my knowledge, Moulitsas is no racist, and I hold nothing against him, but that is not the point.

The point, as I never tire of insisting, is that the Democratic party and the western progressive-left have a made a home of themselves for anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, yet they still self-righteously claim to represent western anti-racism.  That is false.  The truth is that the progressive-left is the most racist political movement in the West today, outside of political Islam.

The form that western-left, or Democratic party, racism takes is that of the condescending "humanitarian" variety.  In truth, it is a twenty-first century iteration of the notion of "white man's burden."  Like their imperial nineteenth-century forbears, today's leftists believe that people "of color" are innocent children who must be protected.  They have absolutely no respect for these people, who they infantilize, or their cultures, that they whitewash.  This progressive-left stance of condescension is particularly true toward Arab-Muslims who are viewed as nothing more meaningful than passive victims of their own white, racist ancestors.

The western progressive-left has nothing but contempt for Arab-Muslims, which is why they treat them like children in need of protection.  I find it disgusting and were I Arab I would deeply resent it.  The Muslim Empire is one of the most successful in all of human history.  Between the death of Muhammad and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, in the early twentieth-century, the Arabs vanquished eastern Christianity, conquered their lands, spread Islam into Persia and among the Turks, took a good shot at crushing Europe only to be stopped at the Gates of Vienna, and made significant inroads into Chinese society.

Islam rules 1.5 billion people.

Western-progressives, in their unbelievable arrogance, think that these people are cotton-candy-like trifles, or chocolate truffles, for their political consumption and usage.  This is why Germany and Sweden flung open their doors to the wash of Arab immigrants flowing into Europe.  They think that they are being magnanimous toward their "little brown brothers" but the Arabs will soon show them the steal in their spine.

This moment in human history is very important.

This is nothing less than a turning point in the history of Europe.

I wrote one of my modest one-thousand word pieces on this.  For many decades the West has generally committed itself to the furtherance of civil liberties and human rights of women, gay people, and minorities.  This is not going to come to a halt, but the introduction of millions of traditionally-minded Muslims onto the continent will mitigate.  These people, over the coming years and decades, will elevate their political power.  Unless the misogyny and homophobia endemic to traditional Muslim societies reforms itself, then these attitudes will slop into European politics.

As I say, this is just ruminations.  I am just thinking off of the top of my head and I am not trying to write a "piece."  You can be sure that I will not be sending this off to The Jewish Press.

I don't know.

I do worry about the Jews in Europe, however.  They are in an exceedingly difficult position.  It is not so easy to simply pick-up and move to Canada.  I worry about our friend, Kate, in Britain.  It is going to get harder and harder to be open as a Jew in Europe.  We saw those video clips of journalists wearing kippas in Paris and Malmö.  The Jewish people understand what this means.  It means that we are becoming less and less welcome throughout Europe.  It is not as if Europeans loved Jews to begin with, but with continued Muslim immigration things are getting considerably worse.

I would like to see as many European Jews as possible make aliyah.

They should not go to North America or Australia.  They should go to Israel in order to support our bothers and sisters in their ongoing struggle for survival and success.

And that, when it comes right down to it, is precisely what it is all about.

The Jewish people have lived under the boot of European and Arab-Muslim tyranny for millennia and we are done with it.  All we want is to be left in peace in our little tiny part of the world, Israel, the place that Jewish people come from.  Y'know, Ryan Bellerose - who I have nothing but admiration for - has a powerful piece concerning the Metis, the Jews, and indigeneity, entitled, Indigenous Status Matters: Here’s Why.

He writes:
So when I, an indigenous Metis, am asked about the importance of indigenous status, it is simple: our ties to our ancestral lands give us the strength to carry on through great hardships, to survive what seems to be unsurvivable. It nourishes us when we are starving. It gives us strength when we are weak to know that we always have our homeland. It really is that simple.

This is why Indigenous people fight when our lands are threatened, because the land doesn’t really belong to us, again, things that belong to us are possessions and we can live without possessions. Indigenous people belong to the land, our ancestors blood fed the land and we are part of the land, without the land we know we are just itinerant travellers with no homes, and home is everything, Home is the reason we exist at all. That is why the fact that we are indigenous is important.
Bellerose is unique.

How many Native-American Canadian pro-Israel-activist football players can possibly be out there?


I am guessing he is the only one!

Bellerose slays me.  I love the guy in much the same way that I appreciate Chloe Valdary.  The Jewish people may be tough as nails, but we cannot stand alone and, from an ethical stand-point, we should not have to.

Going back to Bellerose's point on indigeneity, the man is spot-on.  The Jewish people were decimated by the Romans and our numbers were kept artificially small by both the Europeans and the Arab-Muslims throughout the centuries since.  We are the only people who can make claims to indigeneity in the Land of Israel.

We are the indigenous people.

We are willing to share that tiny bit of land, but no one is going to tell me that Judea is not Jewish.

No one is going to tell me that the rightful owners of Judea and Samaria are the children of hostile, conquering Arabs out of the Arabian peninsula.

I am going to wrap this up because I am rambling.

There is so much to say, but one thing that I very much want to stress is that we should not demonize or look down upon Jews who choose to build homes and communities for themselves beyond the Green Line.  There is something, to my mind, exceedingly ugly about Jews in the West, or within Israel, pointing their finger at Jews who live Judea and Samaria and suggest that they are the real problem.

Yosef and Melody are not the problem.

There is no decent reason in this world why Yosef and Melody should not be allowed to live in Hebron.  That is the very spot wherein Judaism was born.  It is the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

My claim is not a religious claim, however.  I hope one day to go to the town of Hebron and to meet Yosef and Melody, because I admire them.

It cannot be easy to live in the place where Jewish people come from and, yet, to be surrounded by malice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Impending Transformation of Europe

Michael L.

(Cross-posted at Vocal International and Jews Down Under.)

Europe Immerse 06There are some in the West, such as American FOX News commentator, Bill O'Reilly, who claim that Europe is under "invasion."  The implication of such language is that ultimately, underneath it all, there is something nefarious about Syrians fleeing war and Arabs, in general, fleeing economic deprivation in order to migrate into Europe.

Many people are wondering how it is that in the photos and videos of the migrants there seem to be so few old people or women?  How is it that most of the individuals in the photos published the European and Western press show young men seemingly in their twenties and thirties?  Don't they have families?  The question underscores the actual nature of this immigration.  To what extent are these refugees of war and to what extent are they economic immigrants looking for greater opportunities, or at least greater governmental economic benefits, in more generous countries?  Records show that a minority of migrants are coming from Syria.  The rest are coming from throughout the Arab-Muslim world for reasons other than the deprivations and miseries of war.

Much of the press has noted distinctions between how Western Europe handles the immigration crisis versus how Eastern Europe does so.  Western Europe, particularly Germany and Sweden, seemed willing to take in an almost limitless number of Arab immigrants, but are now hedging their bets.  This is emphatically not the case in Eastern Europe where countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, among others, are talking about only accepting Christian refugees.

Meanwhile, as has often been noted, the wealthy Persian Gulf States, who import cheap labor from Far East Asia, have no interest whatsoever in taking in their besieged brothers and sisters from Syria.  Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are not concerned with humanitarian efforts to assist their fellows in a time of great tragedy and are taking in zero refugees.

Strangely, while people from throughout the Arab world are fighting their way into Europe, the one country that is seeing virtually no Arab emigration as part of this general mass migration is Israel.  Arabs and Muslims are racing out of that part of the world, except in Israel.  Israel's Arab population is staying put, which is rather odd considering the alleged ongoing persecution of Israel's Arabs.  One would think, given news reports about Israel's never-ending harassment and persecution of its Arab population that they would have joined the general exodus, but they have not.

Yet another question to ask, as Burak Bekdil does at the Gatestone Institute, is Why Do Muslims Flock to The "Evil West"?  He writes:
Sadly, no one questions why "West-hating" Muslims go West; why their fellow Muslim Arab nations do not raise even a helping finger, let alone a hand; or why non-Muslims should pay the price for exclusively intra-Muslim wars and the wave of migrants they create.
Those are, in fact, excellent questions, but what is this price that Europeans will pay for intra-Muslim wars and the migration crisis that those wars, and general Arab poverty, have created?

It is hard to know just how many immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa will enter Europe within the next few years, but all indications are that we are seeing the largest movement of people on the planet since the end of World War II.  This will likely have a significant influence in the years and decades ahead on European culture and politics.  A major part of the reason for this is the disinclination of Arabs and Muslims to assimilate into their host countries.

Women's Rights

Muslims throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it is safe to say, are considerably more conservative and traditional concerning women's rights than are native Europeans.  Given that the European Left has traded universal human rights for multiculturalism, what we will likely see is the continuing decline of European feminism.  With the rise of Sharia courts in Britain, women's rights will further erode as a greatly enlarged Muslim immigrant population avails themselves of such courts and promotes their application elsewhere throughout Europe.  It is likely that in some parts of Europe - if such is not already the case - Muslim women will be no more free from persecution than they are in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

Gay Rights

Europe is about to become significantly less GBLT friendly than it has been in recent decades.  If Arab cultures are any indication, the Arab-Muslim immigration into Europe is not going to represent a Gay friendly population.  Quite the contrary.  What you will see in the coming years is an increase in anti-Gay hate speech and violence and the consequent erosion of Gay and Lesbian rights throughout the continent as Arab and North African immigrants begin to flex their political muscle.

Jewish Rights

As Arab-Muslims stream into Europe, the tiny Jewish population is trickling out.  Anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout the continent and a large part of the reason for this is the introduction of a growing anti-Jewish demographic throughout the region.  Polls show that the Middle East, outside of Israel, harbor anti-Semitic sentiments in the 80th percentile.  That is to say, the great majority of Arab and Muslim migrants from the Middle East are likely to despise Jews and they are quite likely to show it in no uncertain terms on European soil.  Another consequence of the mass migration into Europe will be the further decline of Europe's Jewish population which will slowly, over time, migrate to places like Israel, North America, and Australia.


As the numbers of migrants increase throughout Europe, particularly Germany and Sweden, we will see a decreased European commitment to social justice and universal human rights for the simple reason that the migrants are not European and do not share European values grounded in Enlightenment notions of political liberalism and generally have no inclination to integrate.

We in the West like to think that everyone ponders more or less as do we.  This is arrogance.  The fact of the matter is that different cultures are, in fact, different and therefore hold to different cultural, religious and political tendencies.  Whatever the cultural, religious, and political tendencies of these many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants washing into Europe, the continent will have no choice but to absorb and integrate those tendencies.

So, is Bill O'Reilly in the United States correct to call the mass immigration of Arabs into Europe an "invasion."

I do not think so.  The word is loaded.  It implies an intent to do harm, whereas the vast majority of immigrants are simply seeking better circumstances for themselves.  Nonetheless, still another consequence will be an increase in Jihadi violence throughout Europe.

It is hard to imagine that the Islamic State, and other organizations in the Middle East devoted to political Islam, are not embedding operatives into the Arab population streaming into Europe.  What this means, of course, is that in short order we will start hearing of additional bombings throughout the continent.

The Western European inclination to take in these immigrants and refugees is grounded in humanitarianism and is, therefore, admirable.

But as we say in the United States, no good deed goes unpunished.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Attempted Murder, the Craven Israeli Judiciary, and Hitting the Road

Michael L.

{Given that the Israeli judiciary does not seem particularly interested in justice for the Jewish people, or in protecting them from Arab violence, is it time for Jews to move on? - ML}

In a piece written by Times of Israel Staff we read:
terroristsDuring a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem earlier Sunday to discuss Israel’s response to the recent flare-up of violence in the capital, (Attorney General) Weinstein expressed his opposition to a proposal to relax the rules governing police use of live fire against Palestinians throwing stones or firebombs in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He did however agree to review the procedures, Army Radio reported... 
The attorney general also came out against proposed legislation to enforce mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of throwing rocks or firebombs at police, civilians or cars in Jerusalem and across the West Bank — key legislative changes sought by Netanyahu as part of a crackdown announced at an emergency meeting last Tuesday.
Some within the Israeli government, such as Attorney General Weinstein, apparently, place a greater value on the rights of Arabs to try to kill Jews than on the rights of Jews to live free of constant violent harassment by Arabs filled with irrational, Koranically-based malice.  It seems as if this obstructionism in favor of the Arab throwers of stones and pipe bombs is having an effect on the resolve of Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the Haaretz daily, Weinstein’s opposition to harsher penalties prompted Netanyahu to soften his tone, and issue a statement Sunday declaring that he was “leaning toward the idea raised in the meeting to stiffen penalties – setting mandatory minimum penalties for stone-throwers by means of a temporary provision that would be in place for a year at the first stage.”
Now Netanyahu is saying that any stiffening of policies toward Arabs who seek to kill Jews would be temporary, perhaps a year or two, if that.

As for the use of live-fire in order to protect regular Israeli Jewish citizens from those who seek to murder them:
Permission would be granted “in very limited instances, with lots of restrictions,” Israel’s Channel 2 said Saturday. It would likely be granted during incidents considered “grassroots terror” or lone-wolf attacks...
Essentially what we are being told is that this question of the use of live-fire in order to deter those who attempt to murder Jews is not going to happen.  This is bluster on Netanyahu's part for purposes of public perception.

Given the willingness of the Israeli government to maintain its bigoted policies toward everyone but Muslims on the Temple Mount, and given their craven tendency to bow to international pressure to maintain those bigoted policies, and given the unwillingness of the Israeli police to allow Jews to pray on the Mount and their general disinclination to protect Jews from harassment on the Mount, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the Netanyahu government will not act.

Netanyahu will talk tough, but do virtually nothing, or so I suspect.

I certainly hope that I am wrong, but his resolve already seems to be crumbling.
According to reports, Netanyahu was seeking a minimum sentence for stone throwers of 4-5 years in prison, while those caught throwing firebombs would serve no less than 10 years behind bars. Parents of minors caught throwing stones could be fined NIS 100,000 ($26,000) under the new laws.
This is a step in the right direction, but I will believe it when I see it.

From the Comments: 
Yakov Lazaros ·

A stone thrown with force is a lethal weapon. Time to put a stop to this. The first rule of any Govt is to protect its citizens. If not, resign.
If Israel will not protect Jewish people from its Palestinian-Arab neighbors, then what good is it?

Sovereignty is meaningless unless it is exercised.

If Israel is unwilling to use its resources to protect Jews in Jerusalem then Jewish Israelis might as well pack it in and move elsewhere.  There are two places that I would recommend, North America or Australia.  As a Californian, of course, my first recommendation is the United States.  Jews currently living in the U.S. have it as good, from a security and acceptance stand-point, if not better, than any Jews living anywhere else in the entire history of the diaspora.

If Israel refuses to protect its Jewish citizenry this leaves those Jews with three possible options.

1)  They can do nothing and simply hope for the best.  This is one of the great survival mechanisms of the indomitable Jewish spirit!  Do nothing and hope for the best.  We did this throughout the Middle Ages in Europe before they came to throw us down the wells that we allegedly poisoned.  This was also the brave tactic of my Ukrainian forebears right before the pogroms and expulsions.  And, of course, it was the famously successful tactic of the Jews in Germany and Poland in the run-up to World War II and the Holocaust.

2)  They can organize in their own self-defense as communities outside of government assistance.  Of course, such a move would put them directly in opposition to their own government who would inevitably take the side of the Arab-Muslim attackers.  If Israelis seek to take their self-defense into their own hands they will end up fighting both the Arabs and their own government.

3)  They can, as we say in the U.S., hit the road.  Once the Arabs make the Jews sufficiently fearful and once the Jews of Israel recognize that their government is not likely to do much to protect them, then you will see a mass migration of Jews out of Israel to the delight of Mahmoud Abbas who will raise a joyous toast in salute of that famous humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Yassir Arafat.

Or the Israeli government can fulfill its vital role of protecting its citizenry.

It is entirely up to them.

"Dark Waters" by Chris Goff: A Book Review

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon}

Dark WatersSadly, I no longer read much fiction.

When I was a kid I sat up an entire night reading The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It was like watching a movie in my head long before Peter Jackson did his remarkable job with those films. The next morning I implored my parents to take me to the book store to pick up The Return of the King.

And while Dark Waters is, of course, no Lord of the Rings, it did manage to transport me into reading a book like I am watching a movie mode.

As a writer and blog-owner I am often offered advance copies of all sorts of books, both fiction and non-fiction... even graphic novels concerning the overthrow of Iran in Operation Ajax under Kermit Roosevelt, if you can imagine.  My typical response to the agent is to say, "Sure.  Send me what you have and I will take a look and if I have anything to say about it, I will do so."

Usually, I do not.

Dark Waters, by Chris Goff, however, is great fun.  As someone stewed in the ongoing misery that is the Arab-Israel conflict, reading an action-packed thriller set in Israel was a welcome change of pace.

The reason that I agreed to do this review is because it is one of the first novels in a long time that has dragged me out of my historically-minded, sociologically-minded, politically-minded head for awhile in a work of fiction very much grounded in history, sociology, and politics.

Dark Waters is the first of Goff's Raisa Jordan novels.

Raisa, or Rae, is an agent for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service in Israel endeavoring to protect American Judge Ben Taylor and his daughter, Lucy, from Palestinian terrorists intent on retrieving vital data for their operations in a cell phone they believe is accidentally held by the Judge and his daughter.  The Israeli government wants Taylor and his daughter out of Israel, where they can be better protected in the United States.  But Lucy is sick and Taylor is hell-bent on getting her the alternative medical procedure that he believes she must have to save her life and that means they must stay in Tel Aviv.

When I picked up Dark Waters one of my first thoughts was that this novel was going to make Alan Dershowitz jealous.  Other than his support for an Obama second term, I have nothing against Dershowitz.  On the contrary, I very much admire his stalwart support for the Jewish State of Israel, as well as his works of fiction, but his thrillers set in Israel have nothing on Chris Goff.

The book is taut and includes the character of Batya Ganani, a kick-ass ninja-like female Jewish Israeli operative that reminded me of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) in Marvel's Avengers franchise... until Rae Jordan takes her down hard.

Ganani of Shabak is not Natalia Romanova, but I would not want to face her in a dark alley, either.

One thing that should be noted is the book's political balance.  One of the difficulties that writers have, if they wish to write fiction set in Israel, is just how sensitive people can be on the topic... particularly among those of us who happen to be Jewish pro-Israel advocates.

Is she being fair to Israel?  Is she being fair to the Jews?  The IDF?  This is treacherous ground, politically, and it takes a balanced writer to tread that ground if she is writing a thriller of international intrigue set in Israel.  In my opinion Goff did a good job... which would probably indicate to my colleagues on the other side that this is a pro-Israel novel.

Well, it is a pro-Israel novel in the sense that Israel is not castigated, but it is certainly not an anti-Palestinian one, either.

At one point, early in the book, Goff refers to some in the IDF as something akin to "a pack of wolves."

If that sounds harsh, do not worry, it is.  This is not a novel that sentimentalizes the Palestinian national movement, either.  Quite the contrary.  Nor is Goff a big fan of Neturei Karta, but who is?

The book, ultimately, is born from Goff's personal experience taking care of her own daughter in Israel.

As Goff wrote at Israel Thrives:
When I visited Israel in 2001, the circumstances were stressful. We were there getting alternative medical therapy for our eleven year-old daughter, who at the time was extremely sick. Originally there for six weeks, we ended up staying two months. Our time there served as the catalyst for my international thriller, DARK WATERS. As my daughter began to get stronger, we explored Tel Aviv, then moved outside to visit Haifa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada, Tiberias and the Dead Sea. Venturing out took a lot of resolve. In 2001, Israel experienced over 40 suicide bombings, including a car bombing in Tiberias involving a vehicle we had parked close to when visiting the marketplace that morning. It was the first time I had ever been afraid to leave the house, go to the movies, eat at a restaurant or ride a city bus.
But it was out of such experience that Dark Waters was eventually born.  I will look forward to the next Raisa Jordan novel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Palestinian-Arab Worshiper and his Pile of Rocks

Michael L.

(Editor's note - Doodad used the same image in his piece below, and the Elder did, as well, because the image is evocative.  It gives away the lie that Al-Aqsa is honestly considered holy among Palestinian-Arabs.  It is, for them, in fact, political... violently so.)

stonesNothing says "holy" so much as stock-piling primitive weaponry in the Al-Aqsa mosque to be used for violence against Jews.

The Temple Mount issue is of particular fun because it is particularly unjust.  We are told that the holiest place within the Jewish tradition also happens to be the "third holiest site in Islam."  I have not dug into this question as much as I will need to, but I wonder just when Al-Aqsa became the third holiest site within Islam?

The Temple Mount has been the holiest site for religious Jews for over three thousand years because it is the site of the First and Second Temples.  It represents where the Jewish people come from.  Just when - I wonder to myself aloud - did it become the third holiest site in Islam?

My guess, in historical terms, is a quarter past last Tuesday.

My suspicion, and I have yet to verify this, is that this notion of Al-Aqsa as "the third holiest" whatever is a recent invention designed specifically to challenge Jewish claims to Jewish heritage on Jewish land.

domeIn the nineteenth century, prior to the rise of modern Zionism, the Temple Mount was desolate.  Jerusalem, itself was desolate.  The Arabs did not care about either until the Jews sought to save ourselves and our families through returning home to the Land of Israel after centuries of persecution by Europeans... not to mention Arabs.

Probably the biggest mistake that Moshe Dayan ever made in his life was handing over the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf.  To this day it baffles me why he did so.  I understand that he was not a particularly religious Jew and that the rabbinate generally believes that Jews should not go up there to begin with - being the site of the Holy of Holies - but why hand it over to Jordan?

That was a terrible mistake, because now they use Israel's holiest site as a weapon against Jews.

What is truly disgraceful and disheartening, however, is Israel's complicity in the discrimination against all non-Muslims on the Temple Mount.  It undermines everything that Israel allegedly stands for.  If Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people, how is it that we gave away our holiest site to people who vow to drive us from our own land?  If Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people, why are we terrified to claim Judea as Jewish?

Arabs stock-pile rocks and pipe bombs and molotov cocktails in Al-Aqsa in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah because they know that Jews are going to show up to acknowledge the holiday.  When Israeli police respond the West orders Israel to stand down as the Arab world screams to the heavens about Zionist intrusion onto Muslim holy space.

Jordan threatens Israel with significant consequences.  The United Nations and the United States demand that Israel maintain the status quo, which means that they are demanding ongoing discrimination against Jews within the Jewish State of Israel.

It's wrong.

Inside the Muslims’ “third-holiest site”


h/t https://anneinpt.wordpress.com/

I do believe one of the guys in the back is whistling Rock of Ages.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Enough! (Updated)

Michael L.

Hana Levi Julian, writing in The Jewish Press, tells us:
rock throwers fileSuspected Arab rock throwers have allegedly murdered a Jewish Israeli motorist as he was driving late Sunday night in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv...

Alexander Leiblovitch, 64, was driving the vehicle when it was hit by a barrage of rocks and careened out of control, striking an electricity pole at around midnight.

Leiblovitch was mortally wounded in the crash, stated Jerusalem District Police spokesperson Luba Samri.

“The driver who was involved in the accident… apparently as a result of rock-throwing … died at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center,” she told media.
Stoning Jews is a time-honored tradition in the Arab world and North Africa.  Western leftists like to think that Arabs stone Jews out of righteous opposition to the alleged "Israeli Occupation of Palestinian land," but this is false.

Arabs in the Middle East have indulged themselves in the Jew-Stoning Tradition for at least fourteen centuries.  The only difference is that now they claim to do it for reasons having to do with "social justice," rather than Koranically-based anti-Jewish malice.

Anyone familiar with my writings can easily predict my response to this kind of thing.  It is attempted murder and should be treated as such.  Anyone over the age of thirteen endeavoring to kill another person in Israel through stoning should be shot in the leg and thrown into either prison or a juvenile detention facility.  The parents of children who throw stones should be charged with a crime or heavily fined in order to discourage such behavior.

In any case, the Israeli government has an obligation to its citizenry to crack down on this kind of thing.  Netanyahu is calling an "emergency meeting" of the Security Cabinet in order to determine how they wish to proceed.

I very much hope that they come down hard.  They need to make it painfully clear that anyone in Israel who pelts anyone else with stones is going to pay a major price for that behavior.  Again, it is attempted murder and Israel needs to do whatever it must do to make it stop.

Each and every person in the picture above throwing stones should be identified, tried in court, and thrown in prison.  What's an appropriate prison term for attempted murder?  In California, anyone convicted of first-degree attempted murder - which means that "the attempted murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated" - faces a life sentence in a California state prison facility with the possibility of parole.

Furthermore, "If the first-degree attempted murder was committed against a peace officer, firefighter, or other protected person who was engaged in the performance of his/her duties, you face the same sentence, but must serve a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence."

That sounds fair to me.


The Jerusalem Post reports:
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed late Tuesday "to use all nececessary means" to "combat stonethrowers, those who hurl Molotov cocktails, and those who detonate pipe bombs and shoot fireworks with the aim of doing harm to police and civilians."...

The government resolved late Tuesday to re-examine rules of engagement that determine the extent to which IDF combat troops are permitted to use live fire. It also agreed to establish a minimum punishment that includes heavy monetary fines on parents who permit their children to engage in violent rioting.
 From the Comments in the JP:
MULTIFACETED • an hour ago

Alexander Levlovitz your blood will be avenged, your son is flying back home, we will do the correct thing here

for your memory Z"L
Oh, for chrissake.
MarkyMark • an hour ago 
Throwing stones at Jews is part of the Arab culture and has been for many generations and many hundreds of years. It has nothing to do with resistance or any of the other falsehoods being spread by the brainwashed and blinded Fallastinian loving left wing m0r0ns.

According to historian Benny Morris the practice of throwing stones at Jews is a venerable one in the Middle East, symbolic of Jewish degradation under Muslim rule. Morris quotes a 19th-century traveler: "I have seen a little fellow of six years old, with a troop of fat toddlers of only three and four, teaching [them] to throw stones at a Jew."  [William Shaler, American Consul to Arab Algiers from 1815-1828, reported that the practice of Muslims throwing rocks at Jews was commonly seen.The practice of Arab rioters throwing stones at Jews was seen in the 1948 Anti-Jewish Riots in Tripolitania, Libya.
Sweet_binky • 5 hours ago

That picture shows there is practically no difference between "Palestinian" Arabs and the KKK in the U.S. Racist Rednecks that speak a different language.
My guess is that Sar Shalom would quite agree.
Peter Hagyo-Kovacs • 5 hours ago

When I was living in Jerusalem, I went for a bike ride from Jerusalem's Forest of Peace and met and talked to a group of Palestinian youth from Silwan, but after I continued riding into Silwan with the goal to "ascend" to Jerusalem and up to the City of David, they crossed through the village and started chasing me throwing stones and shouting "Yehudi! Yehudi!" It was insane! Those were just little kids, and thankfully I was fast enough on my mountain bike and wearing a helmet to avoid any injury, but it could've ended badly otherwise as we read of what happened to Mr. Levlovitz. My sympathies to his family and friends, and the Israeli police and other anti-riot units for a very difficult job. May they be blessed with wisdom and success! PM Netanyahu is doing the right thing.
Well, G-d bless Peter.

I just hope that Netanyahu has the will to follow through on promises.