Monday, November 30, 2015

I don't Always Drink Beer But When I Do.....


  A possible explanation for her recent weird choices.

We must change the narrative. What are we going to do in order to do so?

Sar Shalom

This past week, Malanie Phillips wrote an article on the need to change the narrative surrounding the conflict over Israel (h/t Elder). Those who have followed my writings for some time should not be surprised that I find Phillips to be absolutely correct. The issue is, what should be done in order to address the narrative.

The first step in addressing the narrative is to identify it. To paraphrase Phillips, the root of the western narrative
is that the "Palestinian people" are the original inhabitants of the land. Whatever justification Europe's behavior towards its Jews, most notably during the Holocaust, created, the Zionists displaced those original inhabitants in creating their state. As such, their rights are limited to a portion of the land and the "Palestinians" are merely "resisting" to reclaim what the Zionists took beyond their entitlement.
Further statements are derivatives of this root narrative. Examples include John Kerry saying
There’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing.
and the equation of the deaths of Palestinian terrorists killed in the act of perpetrating terror with those of their victims.

To analogize, the root narrative is like rotting vegetables, the derivative narratives are like vermin, and activities like BDS are like the diseases that the vermin carry. No matter how often you call the exterminator, if rotting vegetables are strewn about, the vermin will come back and come back and spread whatever diseases they carry. Similarly, if the Jews did steal the land from the native Palestinians, then it is truthy that Israel is gobbling up land for settlements. And if Israel is gobbling up land and no appeals to moral conscience are inducing a change, then BDS may be necessary to push Israel's hand. However much we knock down the BDS efforts, if it is truthy that Israel is gobbling up land, the BDSholes will find fertile ground with the public and as long as the public believes that Jews are not indigenous to the southwest Levant while the Palestinians are, Israel's gobbling up land will be truthy.

One observation about supplanting the current western narrative is that doing so will require repeated airing of a counter-narrative. One means of doing so would be for someone who is sympathetic to Israel and has a position in the major media to write regularly about the history of the Jews of Palestine. An alternative approach would be for a public official to push information that challenges this narrative, which the media would be forced to cover. As of now, this is unlikely because no politician faces any pressure to do so. This is because currently the pro-Israel community's definition of a friend of Israel is one who is at least non-belligerent about the "settlements," a measure by which Obama is notably poor, or who supports providing arms to Israel, by which Obama is imperfect but reasonably good. Those two objectives are altogether appropriate objectives, focusing on them ignores what drives the constant challenges on those fronts. The message we have to tell our lobbyists who press our case to the politicians and decide whom to support is "It's the narrative stupid!"

If we were to evaluate politicians based on their contributions to the narrative, the question becomes what contribution we should demand from those wishing to be viewed as friends of Israel. There are two general categories of what we should wish to see promoted. One is the general history of the Jews of the southwest Levant. Critical topics would be Jewish history of the region in all major time periods and connections maintained between the diaspora and the Land of Israel. A supplement to this would be that the Arabs have no record of any kind showing any sort of connection to the southwest Levant. The second is the social order between Jews and Muslims in 19th century Palestine. These two categories provide a one-two punch against the prevailing western narrative. The former demonstrates that long before anyone migrated from Arabia to the southwest Levant, Jews were building there culture there and that they never fully vacated the region. The latter sets up a counterclaim regarding the reasons for Palestinian "resistance." Our goal should be that instead of seeing such "resistance" being based on "statelessness," that it is based on irredentism for the 19th century social order. In order to make that claim, it is necessary to describe what the Palestinians are irredentist for. The history of the 19th century provides that.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brief Note: The NATO-Russia Proxy Fight in Syria

Michael L.

briefnotesWhatever else the chaos is in Syria, it is also a proxy fight between NATO and Russia over the Assad regime.

This situation is broadly reflective of the Cold War alliances and the proxy wars (Korea, Vietnam) between the United States and the Soviet Union that took place during the mid-late twentieth-century.  

This is an important context to put the current Russia-Turkey dispute within, if you wish to understand it.

Turkey is a member of NATO as, of course, is the United States.  Russia is not.  Russia is endeavoring to prop up Syria's Assad, whereas the US and NATO are opposed to that regime.  In the mean time, everyone agrees that the heinous Islamic State needs to go away, but nobody wants to put boots on the ground and Russia is more interested in defending its ally then going after ISIS.  This means that Syria is a land wherein numerous sovereign countries exercise their rights to bomb whatever the hell they want.

Since Putin backs Assad this means, naturally, that Russia bombs the rebels.

But NATO and the US back the rebels and this is why, essentially, we are looking at a proxy fight between NATO and Russia in Syria.  It should also be noted that the anti-Assad rebels are also mainly, if not entirely, Jihadis, thus US foreign policy in the region remains consistent with Obama's egregious pro-Islamist tendencies.

Complicating matters is the fact that Syria and Turkey have a long-standing border dispute in the region wherein Turkey took down that Russian warplane last Tuesday.  As far as Russia was concerned, Syria being its ally, they were still within Syrian airspace.

Turkey, obviously, disagreed.

Now we are seeing Putin place a raft of economic sanctions on Turkey.

Reuters tells us:
The decree, which entered into force immediately, said charter flights from Russia to Turkey would be banned, that tour firms would be told not to sell any holidays there, and that unspecified Turkish imports would be outlawed, and Turkish firms and nationals have their economic activities halted or curbed.

"The circumstances are unprecedented. The gauntlet thrown down to Russia is unprecedented. So naturally the reaction is in line with this threat," Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, said hours before the decree was published.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters the sanctions would only worsen the standoff between Moscow and Ankara. 
So, boys and girls, from an international crisis perspective, Europe is beginning to contend with the Middle East for the Grand Prize.

When you add the NATO - Russia fight in Syria to the amazingly ill-considered open-door policies of Germany, Sweden, and the EU to the immigration crisis, you get the sense that Europe is beginning to swing around like a yo-yo in the hands of an Arabic six year old.

The "TV Dinner" Model of National Ethnic Non-Integration

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonThe Jewish PressJews Down Under and The Algemeiner.}

Europe is in chaos due to the raw fact of millions of Arabs pouring onto the continent, heading for Germany and Sweden.

The United States is also very familiar with large waves of immigrants pouring into the country at an alarming rate for a great many citizens... and a great many nativists.

With the waves of mid-late nineteenth-century immigration into the United States from Eastern and Southern Europe the notion of a "melting pot" emerged.

The United States would welcome the strange-sounding, strange-looking, allegedly criminal, foreigners washing onto our shores - even Jews - if they assimilated.  Some American manufacturers hiring these immigrants went so far as to offer their employees free instruction on how to be American.

{Quite often baseball was involved.}

After World War II, and after the transition from economic liberalism in the United States to what is sometimes call "rights liberalism" - women's rights, gay rights, ethnic rights, and so forth - the "melting pot" notion gave way to the "salad bowl" notion.  No longer were ethnic minorities expected to dissolve themselves into American culture as developed by the Anglo settlers of the seventeenth-century.  By the middle of the 1960s, and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left, a multicultural ideal developed and Americans began recognize the value of distinctions between cultures.

The fundamental idea, of course, was that the various ethnicities should not melt into a sort-of homogeneous, Wonder Bread, Leave It To Beaver culture, but would remain distinct while integrated into the whole.

The enormous current wave of Arabs into Europe fits neither model, which is hardly surprising since these are not Europeans and they are not migrating into America.  It is, rather, what I call the "TV Dinner" model of national ethnic non-integration.  If we have learned nothing else over the course of recent decades it is that large segments of the Arab immigrants into Europe have no intention whatsoever of integrating.  Many will insist upon maintaining traditional, and separate, societies within the host countries.

The difference between the American immigrant experience and the European immigrant experience is that in the United States there is a blending of cultures, while distinctions are still maintained.  Individuals may fully integrate but cultural presences in the form of cuisine, culture, and politics remain as part of a larger interconnected cultural landscape.  Arabs in Europe, on the other hand, are quite often finding it difficult to reconcile the old country with the new and this is causing major problems throughout Europe and it is likely that in the coming years the growing Arab immigrant population is going to exacerbate those problems..  They are not living side-by-side, but together, with their neighbors in Europe.  Many are living side-by-side, but separate, from their neighbors.  They do so while maintaining an often violent malice toward European morality and culture alongside an irrational, Koranically-based hatred toward the Jewish people.

David Crouch, writing in the Guardian tells us:
Sweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution.

The country’s generous asylum regime would revert to the “EU minimum”, Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said on Tuesday, revealing that most refugees would receive only temporary residence permits from April.

Identity checks would be imposed on all modes of transport, and the right to bring families to Sweden would be severely restricted, he said.
Sweden is awakening to the fact that it made an exceedingly dangerous foreign policy mistake vis-à-vis Arab immigrants.

The EU flung open the doors of Europe and both Germany and Sweden went entirely supine... for awhile.  The European response was motivated largely by compassion.  There is no doubt, however, that when the historians dig into this vital moment they will uncover who benefited financially and who benefited politically.  Nonetheless, it is only the crassest of cynics who would refuse to acknowledge the humanitarianism behind the willingness to take in so many Arab immigrants.  Yet, the recent influx of millions of Arab and African Muslims into Europe is going to have long lasting effects on the nature of European culture and society.

As the immigrant population increases, and flexes its political muscle, there will be a decline in the rights and well-being of women, a decline in the rights and well-being of Gay people, and a decline in the rights and well-being of Jews.   Concurrently there will be an increase in crime and an increase in terrorist activity, as we just saw in Paris.

Saying so should not be controversial, but acknowledged as obvious.

Europe, North America, and Australia are open and diverse societies.  We welcome immigrants.  We enjoy diversity.  The problem in Europe, however, is that the immigrant population is interested in neither the "melting pot" notion, nor the "salad bowl" notion, but the "TV dinner" notion. They are not only fleeing the war-torn Arab-Muslim Middle East, but they are bringing the war-torn Arab-Muslim Middle East with them and, if recent European history is any guide, a very large segment of these immigrants will refuse to integrate or even really associate themselves with the larger society.

They will maintain their separate neighborhoods and separate cultures and many of the green beans will refuse to fraternize with the salisbury steak.

And some, unfortunately, will seek to murder the mashed potatoes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Brief Note: The Jewish Mood is Turning Ugly... or is it just me?

Michael L.

briefnotesI think that there can be little doubt at this point that the mood of the Jewish community, both Israeli and diaspora, is turning ugly.

Feelings of insecurity, frustration, and anger are growing.  The Netanyahu government is beginning to take measures designed to crack-down on domestic Arab terrorism and there is even now talk of deporting the families of terrorists.  Further, they have resurrected the bulldozing of terrorist homes policy of years past.

French Jews are on the run and the rest of European Jewry is nervous.  The United Nations is an outright enemy to the state of Israel and, thus, to the Jewish people.  The European Union is hostile and the US administration under Barack Obama is unfriendly.  In the United States we have college students chanting, "Intifada!  Intifada! Long live Intifada!"... thereby, in the name of social justice - amazingly enough - demonstrating their support of Arabs who wish to murder Jewish people through stabbing us in the streets or running us down with automobiles.

This is making many thoughtful Jews begin to feel like we are being collectively backed into a corner and it is starting to really piss many people off.  So many westerners, particularly on the Left, honestly believe that the Jews of the Middle East, in the form of Israel, are the aggressors and that the Arabs are the indigenous party and the innocent party within the conflict.  No matter how many concessions Israel makes, no matter how many murderers of Jews it releases from its prisons as a gesture to dictator Abbas, no matter how often Israel agrees to a Palestinian-Arab state smack in the middle of that tiny bit of historically Jewish land, and no matter how many times Palestinian-Arab leadership rejects a Palestinian-Arab state and screams to the hillsides for Jewish blood to run in the streets, the West still blames the Jews in Israel for the hostility against them.

If it is true - and I believe that it is - that anger is rising within the international Jewish community, I say that we have every right to that anger.  Muslims kill Christians in Paris and high level Swedish government officials blame the Jews?  That's just not right and we should not have to stand for it.

Jews, as a people, are not real big on collective demonstrations of anger.  We are not of the rioting sort.  We are more the writing a strongly worded letter-to-the-editor kind of people.  And that is as it should be, I suppose.

But I would dearly love for the government of Israel to, in the most friendly and diplomatic manner possible, tell the Obama administration to go screw itself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shirlee and Dr. Mike on Mighty J-AIR!

Michael L.

jairOur friends, Shirlee Finn of Jews Down Under and Dr. Michael Harris of Stand With Us, are on Michael Burd and Alan Freedman's radio show today, Nothing Left out of Melbourne, Australia.

Shirlee, of course, is an old friend of this blog and is partly responsible for my own interviews with Michael Burd.

Dr. Mike has been active in the Bay Area pro-Israel community for many years and we have, along with Jon Segall, conducted two panel discussions concerning Israel and the conflict.  The second one, held in a Berkeley synagogue, was primarily concerned with whether or not to re-elect Barack Obama.

I sat on the right, Segall sat on the left, and Dr. Mike sat between us.  At the end of the day, Harris came down in favor of a second Obama term.  However, given his recent publication of Winning a Debate with an Israel Hater, I think that he can be forgiven.

Here is my review of the book.

Harris's segment begins at about the 35 minute mark and Shirlee's at the 56 minute mark.

I would very much encourage you guys to check it out.

Monday, November 23, 2015

If Israel will not stand up for the Jews...?

Michael L.

If Israel will not stand up for the Jews, how can diaspora Jews do so?

The Elder of Ziyon writes:
Temple MountIsraeli media are reporting that Israel is implementing a plan to severely limit the number of Jews who can visit the Temple Mount, while imposing no such restrictions on non-Jewish tourists or Muslims.

According to the story, Jews who want to visit their holiest site must register head of time with Israeli authorities. Only two sets of Jews are allowed to visit - a limit of 45 in one morning group and 15 in an afternoon group, so no more than 60 can visit on any day.

Notices of the new policy were posted at the Rambam (Moroccan) gate that non-Muslims use.

The official reason being given is that this is to maintain the security of Jews visiting the Temple Mount.
This issue gets under my skin because it is so blatantly bigoted against the Jewish people.

I support Israel for a number of very good reasons.

The first reason, I suppose, is that it is the lone, sole Jewish country in the world and I happen to be Jewish.

The second reason is that it is unjustly maligned.

It is not only surrounded by a much larger hostile majority, but it is blamed by the world community for the hatred toward it.  It is even blamed for Muslim attacks on innocent Christians in Europe.

The third reason is because it is liberal and democratic.

In fact, not only is it liberal and democratic, but it has maintained liberality and democracy under violent pressures that no other country has ever undergone in the history of the world while still maintaining a democratic system... yet it is still maligned by its supposed democratic partners as not doing enough for peace in the region or enough to maintain universal human rights as defined by the United Nations.

I admire Israel for being strong under pressure.  I admire the Jews of the Middle East for the steel in their spine.

And I definitely believe that Israel must fight back against those Arab Jihadis running around the country stabbing Jews in the neck in the name of Allah.

Recent news tells us that the Netanyahu government is beginning to tighten the screws a bit with some special attention to Hebron where Palestinian-Arabs are in the process of losing their rights to travel to Jerusalem.  Israel, also, shut down the al-Khalil radio station in that city because they persistently screamed for Jewish blood.

We seem to be at a turning point.

Israel, following the French (amazingly enough) will take a harder line on Islamist violence, but how far will Netanyahu go?

Diaspora Jews can only stand up for Israel when it stands up for itself.

Netanyahu, like all politicians, is about balancing issues in a manner that is beneficial to himself and to his constituency, but acceptable to his negotiating partners.

It might be that limiting Jewish access to the Temple Mount is meant as a gesture of good will to our enemies.

But it is discriminatory against Jews and defies everything that Israel stands for.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Hillary-Bernie Ticket

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Hillary and Bernie2Hey Democrats,

If you want to hold the presidency in the next election go with a Hillary-Bernie ticket.

Barring any unforeseeable political catastrophes Hill-Bern could very well stomp all over any potential Republican challenger.

The Republicans - unless I am sadly mistaken, which is a distinct possibility - have no one.



I like Donald Trump for the entertainment value and the fact that he seems like enough of a maniac that he might support US military interests abroad.  I think that he would support American allies... like... ya know... Israel.  And I believe that he might actually fight the Islamic State.

If by some miracle Donald Trump gets elected the President of the United States my prediction is that popcorn sales in the USA will skyrocket.


I think that he is a highly intelligent person who probably has the finest of intentions and if I needed a neurologist - which I probably do - then he would be my guy.  I think that he would be a friend to Israel and a thoughtful President of the United States.

The thing of it is, though, sometimes I have difficulty sleeping at night.  I used to use a white noise machine to carry me into sleepy time.  Now I use tapes of Ben Carson speeches.


He's barely out of short pants.  And I do not think that he is a very good friend of many of my friends in the Bay Area.  But, then, those friends are not necessarily friends of Israel, either.

My suspicion is that he may have a better shot the next time around.

Maybe.  But I am not writing him off this cycle.


Give me a break.

The man has zero chance.

He is a friend of Israel, though.

That and five bucks will get him virtually nothing.


He's coming out swinging far too late.  We all thought that he was napping.  Most people do not believe his heart is in it.  I predicted him as the natural Republican candidate.  A more intelligent and sophisticated version of his younger brother but, at this point, I definitely do not see him gaining the nomination.

He blew his opportunity.


She is an exceedingly intelligent woman.  I have not investigated her closely on the issues, in part because she strikes me as a long-shot.  If you bet on Fiorina and win you'll get paid off handsomely, but the odds are against you.  I still want to keep an eye on her though.

Were I sitting across from her at the poker table I would not take her lightly.

But can any of these people beat Hillary-Bernie?

American Jews would flock to that ticket... like progressive-left Canadian Geese.  I've found geese before and I can find them again!  We know where the geese are!  They congregate near ponds!

{It's not rocket science.}

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Everybody Got It?


 Man, glad to get that cleared up before I became an Islamophobe or something.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A question for the Palestinians

Sar Shalom

Amir Taheri has a response up at Mosaic Magazine to Daniel Polisar's article about what the Palestinians believe and desire. Taheri concludes with this question for the Palestinians:
Which would you prefer: (1) to see a Palestinian state on the map? (2) to see Israel wiped off the map?
I would like to modify that question to make clear what the preferences are:
Which would you prefer: (1) for a Palestinian state to emerge on some portion of the West Bank that ends all claims against Israel thus allowing for Israel to exist in perpetuity? (2) for Martians to conquer the entirety from "the river to the sea" which effect the elimination of Israel from the map along with any chance for a Palestinian state to emerge?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Some thoughts for Chanukka

Sar Shalom

As we enter the month of Kislev, I would like to share a question posed by Rabbi Chayyim Angel. The issue is why was the Chanukka story not canonized into the Hebrew Bible? The simple answer is that the Chanukka story occurred after the time that the Bible was closed. However Rabbi Angel added a discussion about what happened in the Chanukka story and how it resonated with the late Mishnaic rabbis who finalized the decision of what was and what was not included in the Hebrew Bible.

The fundamental feature of the Chanukka story is that the Hasmoneans were zealots. As priests, their role model was Pinchas, who upon witnessing someone openly defy Moses' exhortation against sexual relations with the surrounding Moabites responded by killing the offenders as they commenced the act. Following in Pinchas' footsteps, when the Hasmoneans witnessed the Hellenizing Jews partaking of pig sacrifices and neglecting circumcision, sometimes even reversing their own circumcision, they reacted against both the Hellenizing Jews and Seleucid agents supporting them. The result of the Hasmoneans' zealotry was the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in Judah and with it the resumption of Jewish worship in the Temple.

Now fast forward to the late Mishnaic era. The rabbis of that era had witnessed a very different example of zealotry, that of the Bar Kochba rebellion. The result of the Bar Kochba rebellion is that when it was suppressed, the remaining Jews found themselves subject to Hadrianic decrees and Rome ceased to refer to the land as Judea, afterwards always referring to it as Palestine. Seeing this, the rabbis came to see the dangers of zealotry and thus not only excluded the Chanukka story from all sacred texts, but excluded nearly all mention of Chanukka at all from the Mishna.

Similar to Jewry's experience with the dangers of zealotry, European Christendom gained experience with the consequences of zealotry through centuries of interdenominational wars. Responding to this, the Enlightenment developed in Europe leading to the prevailing European ethos we see today that strongly frowns on religious zealotry.

In contrast to the experience of Jewry and Christendom, Islam* has no direct experience with the consequences of zealotry. The result is that the aversion to zealotry that has permeated Jewry and Christendom has not permeated Islam as deeply, hence the readiness of Muslims enlist in the zealous cause.

There are two implications of this distinction between Islam and Jewry and Christendom. One of them is that those warning of the dangers of Islam, whether of the religion or the civilization, are drawing on a kernel of truth. There is a strain that is genuinely part of Islam that tolerates and encourages the extremists' zealous actions.

However, the second point is that it is only a kernel of truth. There is nothing inevitable about adhering to the five pillars of Islam (the religion) leading one to zealotry on behalf of the faith or even to accepting that those who do are practicing the true faith. Indeed, parts of Islam have adopted doctrines that enable sharing the world with other faiths as equals. One such doctrine is dividing the classic concept of Dar-al-Harb (lands to be conquered) into multiple categories such as Dar-al-Hudna (lands where there is a truce) and Dar-al-Amn (lands where Muslims can practice freely as a minority). What we need to do is demonstrate the message to the 1 billion Muslims of this world that if they adopt any doctrine with the effect that they can accept the other faiths of the world as equals, then they will be welcomed with open arms. While no individual should be held accountable for their coreligionists, the Muslims who reject such doctrines must be dealt with forcefully.

*Judaism and Christianity have the words Jewry and Christendom respectively to indicate the civilizations associated with the corresponding religions. In contrast, the word "Islam" is used to denote both the religion and the civilization associated with it. In this post, unless otherwise noted, "Islam" is used to refer to the civilization.

Now for some music to get ready for Chanukka.
First, a chorus from Händel's oratorio Judas Maccabeus which is roughly about the Chanukka story.

Then the tune from that chorus applied to Hallel, the traditional Psalms of praise said during each holiday.

The Transgressions of the Filthy-Footed

Michael L.

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

Over at Israellycool, Deebo has some interesting statistics concerning Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount, illustrated by a couple of very nice pie charts.  The statistics come from both the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Press.

Here are the pie charts.

The green represents the percentage of Muslim visitation to the Temple Mount in 2013 and 2015.

The yellowish-orange represent Christian visitation.

And that thin blue line that is almost entirely invisible?  That is the "slice" of Jewish visitation to the holiest site to the Jewish people.


Deebo explains:
As you can clearly see, in 2 years the blue slice in the pie has grown by a whopping 0.1% among the more than 4,000,000 Muslim visitors the site receives each year. The increased storming is a sure sign that Al Aqsa will fall to the Zionists. At this rate of 0.05% growth per year, the number of Jewish visitors are expected to surpass that of Muslim visitors by the year 3009, assuming the number of Muslim visitors remains equal for the next 994 years.
Yes.  Yes.  Al Aqsa will fall to the Zionists who will transgress upon its sanctity with their filthy feet.

The next time that I am in Israel I intend to really filthy my feet up before I go stomping around on Islam's alleged third holiest religious site.  I am not exactly sure how to go about doing that, but I am sure that there is mud to be had.

The truth, of course, is that the Temple Mount is not the third holiest anything to anyone.  It is, in fact, the holiest site to the Jewish people, which is precisely why Islam claims it as its own.

If the Jews did not revere it in the first place, you can be sure, neither would Islam.

This is what the place looked like under Ottoman Muslim rule in the nineteenth-century.

domeIs it not obvious that Arab politicians are constantly trumping up charges against the Jews in order to turn world opinion against the Jewish state and, therefore, against the Jewish people?  Is it not obvious that until the Jews returned to the Land of Israel, that Muslims did not much care about Jerusalem?

I am pretty sure that most who read Elder of Ziyon or Jews Down Under or Israel Thrives or Israellycool or Love of the Land, or any number of the pro-Israel / pro-Jewish blogs or journals, recognize this.

The problem is that the rest of the world does not.

When the Arabs start wailing that the Jews are invading Al Aqsa the rest of the world shrugs its shoulders and watches Arabs stab Jews in Jerusalem on their laptops over their morning Pop Tarts.  They do not understand that it was only when the Jews began to make aliyah that the Arabs resuscitated Yerushalayim as a "holy site."

For many centuries the only people who cared about the Temple Mount were the surviving observant Jewish remnant in that city.  No one else.

The classic question is, "Can the whole world be wrong and the Jews be right?"  And the answer to that question is, "Yes."  To the extent that the "whole world" thinks that the Jews of Israel are the persecutors of the Palestinian-Arabs, and usurpers of their ancestral lands, then they are entirely wrong.

The Arabs of the Middle East have, until recently, been beating the hell out of the Jewish minority since Muhammad showed up on the Arabian peninsula with his mystico-religious head-chopping philosophy of fun.

It was thirteen long centuries of persecution and violence under Arab-Muslim imperial rule and sixty-seven years of constant warfare after that since the Jews shook them off.

There was no Judeo-Muslim Golden Age, as some speak about.  Dhimmi status for Jewish people under the boot of Islam was sometimes, and in some places, better and sometimes, and in some places, worse, but for thirteen centuries it was almost never better than black people had it in the abominable Jim Crow South.

For centuries stoning Jews was an Arab-Muslim sport.  It was the tenth-century Arab equivalency of American baseball.  Children played it in the streets for entertainment and social comradery

It is said, within Islamic tradition, that Muhammad lined up hundreds of Jewish men and chopped their heads off in the town of Khaybar on the Arabian peninsula.  It must have been very satisfying for Muhammad to finally do away with those annoying nay-saying Jews who refused to submit to him as the prophet of Allah.  The Jews who were left, the women and children, were sold into slavery or forced to convert to Islam at the point of a blade... a practice toward non-Muslims that continues to this day.

The Jews had thriving communities throughout the Middle East, but the Arabs killed them and drove them out because Islamic law, al-Sharia, forbids non-Muslim self-determination on any bit of land that was ever a part of the Umma.  Thus Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land is considered an abomination before Muhammad, the Koran, and the Lord God Almighty.

The very fact of Israel's existence is considered a humiliation to these backward-looking Islamists.

And this is why they bravely send Israeli-Arab children out to stab Jews with kitchen knives.

They have not the strength of character to fight their own fights, so they send their own children out to be killed in their stead.

It must be acknowledged, however, that it is the Euro-Liberal-West that enables this behavior.

European guilt for its colonialist-imperialist past is apparently so profound that they are literally willing to forgive any kind of Arab behavior, no matter how heinous, as they go about the process of committing cultural suicide.  And, in addition, they are even paying Arabs and anti-Zionists to undermine the Jewish state as they vomit-out their own traditional, democratic, liberal values.

It was just two days ago that Islamists marched into a rock concert in Paris and slaughtered innocent people with the rat-tat-tat of automatic assault weaponry, even as the European Union is slapping a yellow Star of David upon Israel's forehead for products made in the wrong part of Israel.

I would like to say that it was nice to know you, Europe.

But, in truth... not so much.

Good luck.

{You are going to need it.}

Friday, November 13, 2015

tears of sadness

Paris rocked by explosions and shootouts leaving dozens dead

Michael L.

William Branigin in the Washington Post tells us:
A series of apparent terrorist attacks rocked Paris on Friday night, leaving at least 35 people dead at separate locations amid a continuing gun battle and possible hostage situation at a downtown concert hall, authorities and news media said.

The BFMTV television network later reported that at least 60 people were dead in the carnage.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

All of Israel is a "Settlement"

Michael L.

Empress Trudy has an interesting idea on how to deal with the European labeling of Israeli goods:
 "Germans, defend yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda..."
Every single Israeli company and government agency should label their products and services as 'from the settlements'. Every medical device, every laser, every piece of software, every computer, every piece of agricultural technology, every patent.

Then, if they want to boycott it, fine. Do without, Allah and Marx will provide. 
If not, then bang that point home loudly.
If the Euros want to boycott part of Israel, let them boycott all of Israel.

Let them boycott their own ability to communicate with the very electronic devices wherein they defame Israel and call for its boycott.  Let them boycott the Israeli health sciences community and thereby potentially boycott their own health and well-being.

I do not think that Israelis should remain passive in the face of Euro hostility.

The Euros do not respect the Israelis because they recognize Israeli self-doubt and they exploit it.  Decade upon decade, the Arabs scream from the rafters that the Jews are evil, that they have stolen "Palestinian" land, that they are practicing ethnic-cleansing, genocide, apartheid, and devil worship.  And decade after decade the Israelis basically send the message, "We don't mean to be bad.  This is a rough neighborhood.  We're trying to be better.  Truly we are.  Do you want us to free some murderers of Jews?

Here let us free some murderers of Jews."

No wonder the Euros tend to think that Israel is guilty of every vile thing that the Arabs accuse it of.  The heinous British Parliamentarian, Baroness Jenny Tonge, has even called for an inquiry into whether Israel used the Haitian earthquake as an excuse to harvest organs from the victims.  Jeez, why not suggest an investigation into whether Jews in Israel kidnap young delicious Arab boys for the purpose of baking their blood into matzohs?

Perhaps Baroness Tonge could call for an investigation to determine if Jewish people are actually even human beings.

The ongoing European assault upon the Jewish people should not be met with passivity.

On the contrary, it needs to be flung directly back into their faces.

They will only ever respect the Jewish people if the Jewish people stand up and fight back.  The first thing that we need to let the Boycotting-Euro-Schmucks know is that all of Israel is Israel and that includes Judea and Samaria.  The Jewish people may - upon the civilizing of the Palestinian-Arabs - be willing to share our historical homeland with a Palestinian-Arab statelet next door, but it is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and Boycotting-Euro-Schmucks do not get to say otherwise.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Winning a Debate with an Israel Hater": A Book Review

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at The Algemeiner.}

harrisDespite his substantial previous work as a pro-Israel advocate, including lectures, panel discussions, media appearances, and work with Stand With Us - his new book, "Winning a Debate with an Israel Hater" is probably Michael Harris' most significant contribution to Israel advocacy.  The book is concise, often funny, and I would not send a Jewish student off to university without a copy in his or her backpack.

The primary virtue of the book is that Harris manages with humor and concision to cover the key arguments made by what he calls, People with Israel Derangement Syndrome (PIDS).  Whether it is the bogus "Israel apartheid" slander or hypocritical BDS moral posturing or the cynical "right of return" tactic, Harris efficiently outlines the case against the PIDS' attempts to defame the lone, sole Jewish state.  He also makes sliced deli ham out of the anti-Israel "experts" such as Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappe, and John Meirsheimer, among others.

Harris provides a number of positive suggestions for both action and analysis.  His proposals for action are standard.  Write a letter to the editor, join local pro-Israel organizations like Stand With Us, join the buycott and purchase goods manufactured in Israel, and so forth.

From the analytical end, he recommends, for example, using Natan Sharansky's 3-D Test to determine if an argument against Israel is anti-Semitic; that is, is Israel held to a double-standard or subject to demonization or delegitimization?  If the answer is "yes" then the argument is anti-Semitic.  However, and rightly in my view, Harris warns against flinging around charges of anti-Semitism as if they are confetti because doing so will likely backfire among the very people that pro-Israel / pro-Jewish people should be trying to reach.

Harris is not trying to reach anti-Zionists who he recognizes are often beyond rational discussion, but to the regular on-lookers who do not necessarily have a dog in the fight.  The fundamental idea is that the good guys will carry the day among regular folk if they argue for a peaceful conclusion of hostilities within the framework of a negotiated two-state solution.  This is true because, ultimately, anti-Semitic anti-Zionists wish to see the elimination of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people and that must be pointed out.

When framed in such a manner, most regular Americans - if not your average European - will recognize that the pro-Israel side is the side of justice, while the anti-Zionist side is the side of at best ignorance and, at worst, genocidal malice.

This, however, brings me to my problem with the book.

Harris insists that if we wish to win the debate with Israel-Haters and anti-Zionists in the eyes of regular, moderate friends and neighbors then we must make the moderate argument, which, Harris argues, is the case for the two-state solution.

I agree... to an extent.  But the problem, as Harris recognizes, is that the Arabs have never shown the slightest inclination toward implementing two states for two peoples within normalized relations and economic cooperation.  This is precisely what the Jews have wanted since the beginning of the modern conflict, early in the twentieth-century, and what the Arabs, both citizenry and governments, have always rejected and continue to reject.

Concerning the two-state solution, Harris writes:
...this is the solution toward which we will be heading, however slowly and fitfully, if and only if the Palestinian leadership ever decides that having a Palestinian state is more important than working for the elimination of Israel.
Precisely... if and only if. 

However, since the Palestinian-Arabs have never shown the slightest interest in any such thing, it renders the argument in favor of two-states moot.  There can be no two-state solution without the cooperation of the Arabs and since the Arabs do not want two states for two peoples there cannot be two states for two peoples.  One can sing the praises of two-states from the hillsides like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, but unless that is what the other side wants then it can never come to be.

Nonetheless, as a pro-Israel primer on the major issues surrounding the conflict, "Winning a Debate with an Israel Hater" can sit comfortably on the bookshelf right next to Alan Dershowitz' "The Case for Israel."  Send one to your college kid.

He or she may very well need it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shangri-la with Ice Cream

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Times of Israel staff tells us:
dipped ice cream cones 7An annual poll released on Tuesday showed growing distrust between Israel’s Jewish and Arab populations, with over one-third of Jewish Israelis maintaining that the government should encourage their Arab compatriots to emigrate.

The Israel Democracy Index also found that over half (55.7%) of Jewish Israelis believe one cannot identify as a Palestinian and be a loyal citizen, some 39% said Arab Israelis pose a security threat, and 42.3% said Arab Israelis support the destruction of the State of Israel.
The truth of the matter is that Arab-Muslims in the Middle East find it exceedingly difficult to live next to anyone... including one another.  It amazes me that western liberals can look upon the Middle East and see all that racism and chaos and bloodshed and stupidity and, yet, still blame the Jews for Arab distemper within Israel.

The only reason that Israeli-Arabs dislike Jews (and, therefore, Israel) is because they are Jews.

If Israel was a 23rd Arab country they would think that it was the best of them all, because it is, from a human rights standpoint, far better than any of them.  The rest of the neighborhood makes Israel look like Shangri-la with ice cream.

There is an obvious reason that polling shows that the Arabs in Jerusalem prefer to stay under Israeli jurisdiction.  It is because they understand very well that the PA is a corrupt dictatorship with Islamist leanings that would rob them of civil liberties if given half the chance.

Who would ever want to live under the rulership of the heinous Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO?

The fact of the matter is that Arab and Muslim violent bigotry against Jewish Israelis is driving those Jews directly into the ethereal arms of Meir Kahane.

Furthermore, if every single Arab within Israel were to take up a blade for the purpose of killing Jews, the rest of the world would simply not care.  They would shrug and tell one another that because Israel is a racist, apartheid, colonialist, imperialist, militarist, racist state that naturally those Jews deserve whatever they get.

The angry Arabs are ratcheting up the pressure through killing Jews as the West does so through BDS initiatives like labeling Israeli goods in Europe in order to discourage purchase and thereby hobble the well-being of the Jews in Israel.  The great irony, of course, is that the primary result of BDS, as out-of-work Arab Sodastream employees can easily attest, is unemployed Palestinian-Arabs.

One of the insights of scholar Paul Berman is the understanding that it is when the Arabs get the most violent toward their Jewish victims that the western intelligentsia amps up the hatred and irrational criticism toward those Jews.  The more Arabs seek to murder Jews, the more western intellectuals blame the Jews for the violence against us.

There is, in fact, a sadism in play and it is the same sadism that animated the Passion Plays in Europe for so many centuries.  All the Jewish people want is to be left the hell alone to pursue our own lives and interests like anyone else, yet Muslims and western-leftists tell one another that the Jews in Israel are a bunch of racists seeking to persecute the innocent "indigenous" population.

This is the form of contemporary anti-Semitism and it definitely has nothing to do with Shangri-la or ice cream.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hillary Bids for Jewish Support

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of Ziyon.}

hillary clintonHillary Clinton has a recent piece in The Forward entitled, How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu.  Despite her role in the most anti-Israel administration in American history, Clinton wants us to believe that she cares about Israel, has an "enduring emotional connection" to the land and its people, and has done all sorts of good work in supporting the Jewish state.

She tells us:
I have stood with Israel my entire career. As a senator, I fought to get Magen David Adom accepted to the International Red Cross when other nations tried to exclude the organization. I wrote and co-sponsored bills that isolated terror groups, and pushed to crack down on incitement in Palestinian textbooks and schools. As secretary of state, I requested more assistance for Israel every year, and supported the lifesaving Iron Dome rocket defense system. I defended Israel from isolation and attacks at the United Nations and other international settings, including opposing the biased Goldstone report.
Although I do not distrust Hillary's intentions toward Israel, you know what they say about good intentions and the direction of its paving.  It is her foreign policy ideology that I do not trust.  It is her unwavering belief in the ongoing failed Oslo nonsense.

It is the likelihood that after eight years of Obama's antics we will get more of the same from Hillary.

She reminds us that "in 2012 I led negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza to stop Hamas rockets from raining down on Israeli homes and communities."

The is sort-of true.  Clinton did lead the cease-fire effort at the time, but its primary effect, whatever its intention, was to save Hamas from Israeli retaliation.  If Clinton was interested in preventing Hamas rocketeers from ruining the lives of Israeli children then she might not have waited until the moment that Israel started shooting back before interfering.  Hamas sent thousands of rockets into southern Israel in the years preceding that engagement and if Hillary was so opposed she might have used her influence to see about de-funding the Jihadi organization.

She didn't.

Aside from outlining the various ways that she has been allegedly friendly to Israel in the past, she also assures us that she will be friendly to Israel in the future.
And while no solution can be imposed from outside, I believe the United States has a responsibility to help bring Israelis and Palestinians to the table and to encourage the difficult but necessary decisions that will lead to peace. As president I will never stop working to advance the goal of two states for two peoples living in peace, security and dignity.
This is the big problem.

And it is why no one who cares about the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel, or the well-being of Jewish people, in general, should support Hillary's campaign for president.  Hillary, like Barack Obama, is a devotee of the Oslo Delusion.  We already know how this movie is going to end because we have seen it many times before.

It looks something like this:
1) The US and the EU demand negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

2) The parties agree to talk and then the PA, the US, and the EU demand various concessions from Israel for the great privilege of sitting down with the PA's foremost undertaker.

3) Israel fails to meet all the concessions, thus causing the PA to flee negotiations, which they never had any intention of concluding to begin with.

4)  The PA and the EU and the left-leaning American administration place the blame for failure at Jewish feet.

5)  The EU and various European countries announce additional sanctions, thereby essentially joining the anti-Semitic anti-Zionist BDS movement.

6)  Jihadis seek to murder Jews. 
We are in phase number six of the current round at this particular moment... as anyone who cocks their head out the car door window in Jerusalem, and listens to the screams, will attest.  Young Arab-Muslim men are running around Israel stabbing old Jewish ladies and young Jewish children and many in the West believe Israeli Jews richly deserve it.  Part of the reason that many in the West, particularly on the Left, think that Arabs have every right to kill Jews is because people like Barack Obama and his administration constantly blame Arab violence on their Jewish victims.

For years, Barack Obama - and people who think like him - have essentially told the world that the real problem is that Jews are so arrogant that we think that we should have the right to build housing for ourselves in Judea... not to mention Samaria.  Thus, suddenly, the word "settler" begins to gain evil connotations and the Jewish people are encouraged to split between those of us who oppose these evil settlers and those of us, being evil ourselves, support the evil settlers.

I support the evil settlers.

That land and those hills represent the very heartland of the Jewish people and no one is going to tell me that Judea belongs to the Arab conquerors of Jewish land.  Since at least the Peel Commission of 1937, the Jewish people in the Land of Israel have, over and over again, demonstrated their willingness to share what little bit of Jewish land there is with their hostile neighbors.

Time and again they were rebuked.

What Hillary Clinton needs to understand, and what Barack Obama never learned, is that this is not a war over land.  It is a centuries-long Arab-Muslim imposition of imperial supremacy upon all non-Muslims, most particularly those that they call the children of orangutans and swine, i.e., the Jewish people.

What Hillary Clinton needs to understand is that while Israeli-Jews are not victims, because they refuse to be victims, this does not mean that they are oppressors, either.

It is the Arabs, not the Jews, who have turned that particular human tendency into an art-form.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Judenrat: Beinart (Updated)

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

judenratPeter Beinart is a Judenrat.

This is to say, he acts as an agent and intermediary of the enemies of the Jewish people while claiming to be a friend to the Jewish people.  This is not to say that Beinart is disingenuous.  I have no reason to doubt that he believes every word he says.

Recently, at the rather non-traditional Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive synagogue in Los Angeles, he said this:
While we condemn Palestinian violence, we must recognize this painful truth: that Israeli policy has encouraged it," Beinart told his audience. "Israel has encouraged it by penalizing Palestinian nonviolence, by responding to that nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Hard as it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.
Can we agree that anyone who justifies violence against the Jewish people in the Middle East by the much larger hostile Muslim majority is not a friend to either Israel or the Jewish people?  And why do I get the sense that of all the peoples on the planet, it is only Jewish people who are forced to even ask the question?

There is no other people, or nationality, who, if under attack by a long-standing enemy, gives the benefit of the doubt to those within that nation who justify, and thereby encourage, the violence against his or her own people.

What Marty Peretz must have done to Peter Beinart when he worked for him as managing editor of the New Republic, between 1995 and 1997, is hard to fathom.  What could the experience of working under Peretz as an editorial wunderkinder have done to the poor guy to turn him into what we see today?  Or, more likely than not, Beinart kept his anti-Semitic anti-Israelism under his kippa before, and during, his tenure at the New Republic.  It was only when he was in a position to profit from his hostility toward Israel that he came out of the closet.

Beinart argues, hysterically enough, that Israel has encouraged Arab-Muslim Jihadi violence against Jews by "penalizing Palestinian nonviolence."

Palestinian non-violence?  Have I missed something?  Did a Palestinian-Arab Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., ever emerge out of their culture of grievance and hatred?  I do not think so.  Beinart seems to have gotten lost in the alleys and byways of his own imagination and hard-left ideology.  Where is this movement for non-violence among the Palestinian-Arabs?

I do not see it.  Do you?

On the contrary, what I see is year after year, decade after decade, century after century, of violent Arab-Muslim incitement against the Jewish minority in the Middle East.  They have already driven Jews out every country in the region and now they want to drive us out of our tiny national homeland by inscribing malice into the souls of their children and encouraging them to use the knife, if not the auto, as the expression of that malice. responding to that nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands.
I have to assume that Beinart understands that Israel does not deport Arabs, teargas Arabs, imprison Arabs, or confiscate "Palestinian lands" for the crime of being non-violent, although this is the irrational and obvious implication of his words.  This is only the implication, however, among those who know nothing of the conflict.  I assume what he means is that some Palestinian-Arabs, who do not throw rocks or pipe bombs or Molotov cocktails, have been deported for political reasons.  I wonder just what those political reasons might be?  Could incitement to violence or, even, incitement to genocide have something to do with it?
Hard as it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.
Well, the Israeli government is a democracy and, thus, represents the will of the people.  When Beinart claims that the Israeli government is responsible for violence against Jews in Israel, by obvious extension he means that the Jewish people of Israel are the cause of the violence against them.

The only way to spread such vile and physically dangerous innuendos against the Jewish people, one's own people, is by completely ignoring the long history of Jews under the boot of Muslim imperial rule from the seventh-century until the fall of the Ottoman empire in the beginning of the twentieth.  Furthermore, he must also ignore the exceedingly vicious efforts of the local Arabs to restore their domination over Jews prior to the international recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people in 1948.

According to historian Edwin Black, in The Farhood: Roots of the Arab Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust, prior to the Arab anti-Jewish pogroms in Hevron resulting in the massacre of 67 Jews, including 47 Yeshiva students in 1920, the Arab chant on the street was:
Palestine is our land, the Jew is our dog!
But the 1929 massacre of the Jews was a bit more extensive and a bit more creative on the part of the Arab enemies of the Jewish people at that time.  According to Black:
Not a single victim was simply killed.  Each was mutilated and tortured in accordance with their identities, the specific information provided by the local Arabs.  The Jewish man who lent money to Arabs was sliced open and the IOUs burned in his body.  The Jewish baker's head was tied to the stove and then baked.  A Jewish scholar who had studied Koranic philosophy for years was seized, is cranium cut open, and his brain extracted.  Another man was nailed to a door.
(Edwin Black, The Farhud, Dialog Press, Washington D.C., 2010, pg. 206.)
I do not pass this along to incite against Arabs.

I pass it along so that people who think like Beinart might get it through their thick skulls that the problem in Israel is not the Jews, nor even the Israeli government.  The problem is 1,300 years of continual Arab and Muslim political dominance of a people that they - much to my amazement - consider inferior and worthy of persecution for religious reasons, no less.

Any honest observer understands that Israel treats its Arabs far, far better than do the 22 Arab-Muslim countries, yet it is constantly Israel that takes a beating in the press and in the UN and in the White House under Barack Obama for being unjust to Arabs.

{Shocking, I know.}

Within living memory of the Holocaust the international community, with the assistance of Judenrats like Beinart, is again twisting the screws on the Jewish people... this time with Barack Obama leading from behind.

Update:  I made a mistake.  The term "Judenrat" is not appropriate.  I should have gone with "Kapo," instead.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Brief Note: Raymond Ibrahim

Michael L.

briefnotesOne of the people that I turn to on a regular basis concerning the Arab-Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa is Raymond Ibrahim.

I have discussed his work on a number of occasions because he is one of those individuals such as, for example, Ryan Bellerose, who is filling a niche in the conversation that should not be a niche, but should be central.  Ibrahim focuses on the current Arab-Muslim genocide of the native Christian population in that part of the world.  This is natural for him as his heritage is Egyptian Coptic.

Bellerose, whose primary focus is standing up for the rights and well-being of the Métis people, natives of North America, focuses his writings on the Arab-Israel conflict within the framework of indigeneity.  His most pronounced insight, in my opinion, is the recognition that if people wish to stand up for indigenous rights consistency is necessary and that means standing up for the indigenous rights of the Jewish people, as well.

The header of his Facebook page reads:
We do not want nor will we accept this pro-Palestinian solidarity with its price tag of betrayal of another indigenous nation.
G-d bless Mr. Bellerose.

In any case, here are a few tid-bits from Raymond Ibrahim.

None of this is fun:
Mokhls Youssef Batk, an Iraqi Christian, was blinded by the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) after he refused to convert to Islam.
A 12-year-old girl, raped by an Islamic State fighter, was told that "what he was about to do was not a sin" because she "practiced a religion other than Islam." 
Somalia: A Muslim convert to Christianity (name withheld) managed to escape from Al Shabaab -- the dominant Islamic front -- but only after the jihadis chopped off four fingers from his right hand while interrogating him about his conversion. 
And there is plenty more where that came from.  I do not need to beleaguer the point.

And the point, in case it is lost on anyone, is that there is a violent and fascistic political movement raising its face in the Middle East known, variously, as Islamo-fascism, Islamism, Jihadism, or political Islam.

The failure of the West to stand up for Christians in the Middle East, or even acknowledge their plight, is one of the great moral failures of our time.

And, to be sure, if the white semi-Christian West will not stand up for Christians, they will definitely not stand up for the Jews.

Is that not obvious?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Departure of European Jewry

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Vocal Europe.}

Suitcase IconJust as significant percentages of the Arab nation are on the march into Europe - taking the Middle East with them - so a significant percentage of European Jews are packing it in for Israel.  This past year is a record among French Jews for the making of aliyah, i.e., Jews returning to the Jewish national home.

In fact, French aliyah is up 118 percent.

Does anyone doubt that there is a direct correlation between Arab-Muslim immigration into Europe and Jewish emigration out of Europe?  I would posit that the two are intimately connected due to the fact that the demographic moving into Europe has rates of anti-Semitism around the 80th percentile and is often not the least bit shy about demonstrating that tendency, sometimes violently and sometimes murderously.

French Jews understand very well that the slaughter of Jewish people in the kosher market in Paris, concurrent with the Charlie Hebdo murders, and the 2012 slaughter at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, means that the Jihad has arrived in Europe.

Many Europeans - those who were cognizant during the March 2004 Madrid train bombings that took 191 lives or the July 2005 suicide bombings in the London underground that took the lives of 52 commuters or the May 2013 murder and near-beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich - have noticed, as well.

For many other Europeans, however, the acceptance of large numbers of Arab immigrants is a moral imperative.  If Europeans wish to live up to Enlightenment values, and general standards of human decency, then they must extend a sincere welcome to the humanity crossing over their borders as refugees of war.  This is, apparently, despite the fact that about two out of three Middle Eastern migrants are not refugees from war.

The instinct driving this inclination is one of compassion and should, thus, be respected.

In a recent piece for Vocal Europe, social and cultural psychologist, Birol Akkus, argues that the emerging backlash within Europe against the immigration crisis is in part due to psychological issues among right-wing xenophobes (or racists).  He writes:
You might be forgiven for looking to specific and topical events, such as the refugee crisis, for the steady rise of xenophobia, but there are more reasons. The first and foremost reason is that our perception is not optimized to see the world as it is, but to see it as best serves our own interests.
Akkus argues for xenophobia as a driving force behind the backlash against Arab migrants into Europe.  He asks rhetorically, "Wasn’t xenophobia (or even racism) supposed to be a passed station in the postmodern enlightened world?"

It was, indeed.

The problem is that it is hard to be welcoming to a population wherein significant numbers hold a Koranically-based hostile view of the native population and non-Muslims, in general..  Furthermore, when Swedish citizens of Malmö complain that they have not the living space to accommodate this sudden upsurge in population, with the ice of winter fast approaching, it probably has little to do with xenophobia or Islamophobia.  It is, in fact, primarily due to those "specific and topical events" that Akkus glosses over.

Jewish people, needless to say, are leaving Europe because they are sick of the abuse.  They do not want to need to have their synagogues and Jewish schools guarded by police and they do not want their children harassed, beaten, or murdered on the streets of European cities for the crime of being Jewish.  They also understand very well what it means that they must have armed guards around their social facilities.  It means that they are surrounded by a significant degree of hostility and the worst of that hostility comes from the Arab-Muslim community.

There are two important questions to ask in terms of Jewish emigration from Europe.  How extensive will it be in the coming years?  And what will the semi-departure of the Jewish people mean to Europe?

Chances are that most European Jews are going to stay put.  There is, and will be, a departure of European Jewry, but unless the situation deteriorates further - which is a distinct possibility - it will not represent a majority.  The emigration will, however, be significant and the remaining Jewish population is likely to be negligible in European politics.

As for what the trimming of Jewish people out of Europe means to Europe, it probably will not mean much.  Although it is true that Jewish people tend to punch well above their weight-class culturally and politically, it is also true that Jews represent a tiny portion of the overall European population.

In January of this year, directly after the Parisian Charlie Hebdo / Kosher Market Jihadi Murders, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls claimed that "If 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France."

That is a very nice sentiment, but given the fact that France and the EU fund Hamas, and Hamas calls directly for the genocide of the Jews, it rings a bit hollow.

Drawing upon one of the more famous hadiths, the Hamas charter reads in part:
The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
The dwindling of European Jewry will not mean much to Europe.  There will be a small diminishment of European art, culture, literature, science, medicine, philosophy, and human empathy.

However, there will also be a significant and concurrent decrease in anti-Semitic violence, because there will be a significant and concurrent decrease in Jews.

Akkus is not wrong to point to rising xenophobia within Europe as an issue, but no analysis makes sense without a consideration of the "specific and topical events."

"Social Media Killed My Father"

Michael L.

I recommend that you give this a listen. - ML

A big hat tip to Trudy.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The New York Times and the murder of a Jewish-American peace activist in Jerusalem

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under, and The Algemeiner.}

Richard Lakin
Murdered School Principal, Richard Lakin
Those of us who care about Israel, and those of us who know a thing or two about the New York Times, know that just as the Times was indifferent to the Shoah while it was happening, so they are generally indifferent to Arab attacks on Jewish people today.  The major indication of this indifference is the insistence on apologizing for Arab terrorism against Jews in that part of the world.

Those of us who closely follow the conflict from a pro-Jewish / pro-Israel perspective understand that the Times has an anti-Israel bias and thus sees Israel - or, really, Israeli Jews - as the primary culprits in this never-ending bloody drama.

It is as if they have learned nothing from their own institutional history.  Surely the Times must have an in-house historian who can point to the parallel between the "Gray Lady's" disinterest in the Holocaust and its white-washing of Arab persecution of the Jewish people today.

Most westerners, with considerable assistance from the Times, think of Jewish Israelis as the aggressors in a conflict against the "Palestinians" that began in 1948.

This is entirely false.

The conflict is not between Israelis and "Palestinians."  Nor is this a conflict with twentieth-century roots.

klansmenOn the contrary.  This is an ongoing war of the Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East against the Jewish minority whom the Arabs outnumber by a factor of 60 or 70 to one in the region.  Furthermore, this never-ending Koranically-based Arab-Muslim war against the Jews has been an ongoing project since the good-old-days of Muhammad's head-chopping epiphany on the Arabian Peninsula.

Just the other day, Israeli-American educator and peace activist, Richard Lakin (76), died of multiple wounds incurred when young Arab Jihadis forced their way onto a Jerusalem bus and started shooting and knifing people to death. They were out to kill Jews because they were trained from childhood to despise Jewish people and when the Palestinian leadership started calling for slaughter - for a Stabbing Intifada - they went for it with gusto and continue to do so.  They were taught their entire lives by their religious leaders, by their political leaders, and presumably by their parents, that Jews are the enemy not only of Arabs but of Allah, himself.

Thus during this current frenzy of Arab violence and incitement to genocide, Richard Lakin gets shot in the head and knifed for no other reason than he happened to be Jewish on a bus in Jerusalem.

He also fought for the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington D.C. on the day of the famous 1963 I Have a Dream speech.

To its credit, the New York Times did cover the story in a piece by Israel bureau chief Judi Rudoren entitled, For American-Israeli Teacher, Death Came on the No. 78 Bus.  My main quibble with Rudoren's rendition of the story is how blasé the piece is.  I considered doing an analysis of her writing on the matter, but the main criticism that I came up with is flatness of style and a failure to emphasize the murder within the larger context of Palestinian incitement to violence and genocide.

She's a bureau chief for the Times.  She cannot, generally speaking, afford to get angry within the pages of the paper.

I, sadly, do not have that problem.

Aside from the loss of Mr. Lakin there are many very sad things about this situation.

One sad thing, of course, is that it is happening at all.  Hatred for the Jew is embedded in Arab culture throughout the Middle East and justified by the Koran.  The foundation of the conflict has little to do with land and almost everything to do with many centuries of Arab-Muslim race-hate toward the Jewish people.  If Israel behaved exactly the same way since its birth, but it was another Muslim state, it would be lauded throughout the world as... a light unto the nations.

Another sad thing is the inability of Israel to really defend itself from internal Arab violence and aggression.  Young Arab men run around the country endeavoring to kill Jews and if the Jewish community, via the government of Israel, stands up to defend itself the international community comes down on it like a ton of bricks.

Both westerners and Arabs have been trained over many centuries to conceive of Jewish self-defense as an immoral form of aggression.  It is for this reason that Jihadi rocketeers in Gaza could shoot thousands of rockets into southern Israel, forcing parents to snatch children from their beds in the middle of the night to the cries of sirens and giving those same kids post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and outside of Israel nobody much minded.  It was only when Israel stood up after taking it on the chin for years that the international community leaped up and demanded that Israel cease its aggression against the "innocent, indigenous Palestinian community."

Finally, it is a sad but not surprising fact that the Obama administration does not care about this case.  Obama has not breathed a public word.  Lakin was an American.  He was an educator.  And he was a peace activist who stood up for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.  Israeli-Arabs shot him in the head and knifed him in the chest at the age of 76.

One would think that maybe the president of the United States, who comes out of the same ideological movement as did Lakin, might have something to say, if only an expression of regret.

Thus far, however, nothing.