Friday, January 19, 2018

Michael Lumish

When Cal Abrams became a Brooklyn Dodger in the early 1950s he took the number 18 for his uniform.

In Gematria 18 represents Chai.

Chai means life.

I did not know this man, but his brother Artie Abrams was a good friend of my father.

I have to tell ya, strange as that may seem, this matters to me.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Responding to Abbas' rant

Sar Shalom

Much has been written about Mahmoud Abbas' recent rant attributed as a response to Trump's declaration about Jerusalem. Much has been made about how that rant proves that Abbas is not serious about peace and about how the media systematically ignore the parts that most directly make that point. However, I would like to suggest that Abbas' speech demonstrates the point I have made in the past about why our demand should be for for a three-part declaration:
  • The Jews are a people
  • The Jewish people are deeply connected to the Land of Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular
  • The Pact of Umar has no place in the modern world
It is an open and shut case that Abbas' recent rant contradicts any acceptance of the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Therefore, if we present the three-part declaration as our demand to talk, the only justification one could offer for decrying Israel's cutting off talks in the wake of Abbas' rant would be that the three-part declaration is an unreasonable demand.

Countering the notion that it is an unreasonable demand could take some work. The major point in doing so is that failure to make the three-part declaration, or making it and then contradicting it even if less egregiously than in Abbas' recent rant, is demonstration of a belief that Israel's simple existence is an injustice and that any concession to reality is only momentary until reality would not hinder addressing that "injustice." However, the most important part in gaining acceptance for that demand would be to present it.

Many people would say that there is no need to bother with any of that. All that is needed is to look at the Koran and the Hadith and that all the proof is there that the Muslims are unable to accept the permanence of Israel. However, the three-part declaration dispatches any need for essentialist assessments of Muslim beliefs. If someone is unable to make the three-part declaration, it is good enough proof for me that that person will not except Israel's right to exist, and it doesn't matter whether that inability stems from one's interpretation of religious tenets or belief that a visiting alien said to deny it. By the same token, if someone were to make the three-part declaration, and not follow up with any form of contradiction, it would show that whatever religious doctrines exist, they are not an obstacle for that individual to accept Israel's right to exist.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dave Rubin's Latest

Michael Lumish

Rubin is spot-on in his analysis of Martin Luther King, Jr.

He points out, as I have been pointing out, that western-left identity politics and its attendant "intersectionality theory" are deeply bigoted because they divvy-up the political sphere into degrees of deserving or undeserving based on a racialized and entirely prejudicial worldview.

As for socialism, very few Americans who are inclined toward it have the slightest clue what it means and there has yet to be a historical example of it that has worked and that has not resulted in slaughter, poverty, starvation, and misery.

My focus, as the readers here know, is on the unfortunate relationship between the western-left and pro-Israel Jewry.

I generally avoid advocating for broad economic regimes because I do not believe that I know enough about macroeconomics... or, even, microeconomics, for that matter - but if by socialism we mean that workers own the means of production then we are obviously talking about a form of authoritarianism.

Well-meaning, left-leaning, western socialists may argue strenuously to the contrary, but if legal enforcement of the workers' possession of the venues of production means that the government owns those venues that means blood, repression, and the stamping out of the individual.

Today's western-left has lost its way because it has given up on the liberal (and countercultural) ideal of the rebel. It values conformity and group-think over argumentation. It values ideological blinkertude over Abbie Hoffman.

Socialism has a dull appeal and the left has become as boring and mainstream and restrictive as Big Nurse is over Randle McMurphy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Rabbi Shot Dead

Michael Lumish

Rabbi Shevach in a recent photo with his family.
On Tuesday, January 9, Rabbi Raziel Shevach (35) was shot dead near his home in Havat Gilad, Israel.

Jeremy Sharon, writing for the Jerusalem Post, tells us:
A resident of the Havat Gilad outpost in central Samaria was killed on Tuesday night close to his home, in a drive-by shooting attack on Route 60.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 35, a mohel, was married with six children, four daughters and two sons, ages 11 to eight months.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Magen David Adom received a report of the shooting and dispatched paramedics and an MDA team to the site of the attack. The victim had several wounds to his neck and upper body from a reported spray of 22 bullets, and was taken to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.
22 bullets.

An Israeli Jewish acquaintance in response to this recent attack has some ideas on "What is going to happen" and "What would happen if I were Prime Minister with a cooperative cabinet."

What is going to happen, he writes:
1.) The killer(s) will be found and tried for murder or will die in a blaze of glory firefight with the authorities.

2.) They will become overnight heroes in Palestinian society. Streets and parks will be named after them. Kids will trade cards with their pictures on them.

3.) The killers and their families will receive a lifelong stipend from the Palestinian Authority.

4.) The killers will be traded in another prisoner swap 10 years down the road.

5.) Rinse, wash, repeat.
The writer is likely correct.

If the killer(s) are found - which is possible by the time that you read this  -  they will become heroes throughout much of Palestinian-Arab territories. The veneration of Jew murderers, after all, is a very old story within Arab culture on Jewish land.

Their families will receive a generous stipend, courtesy of the United States government and the EU and the UN via Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and Jewish citizens of western countries must wonder how it is that their own governments are financing the murder of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

That is, Jewish people must wonder how it is that our own tax dollars go toward the murder of our own people by our own governments within our own ancestral homeland.

And it is also a not unreasonable wager that sometime in the future - much like Reem Assil's friend Rasmea Odeh - the killer(s) will be freed by the Israeli government in exchange for a single Israeli Jew.

What I think is that Jewish people, particularly those of the Israeli persuasion, have about had it.

What would happen if I were Prime Minister with a cooperative cabinet.
1.) Any and all domestic and foreign media will be banned from Judea and Samaria.

2.) When the perpetrators are found they will be summarily executed on the spot in front of their families.

3.) Their remains will be buried in unmarked graves and their names will never be reported. They will not be heroes. Threaten the families that if they ever speak to anyone about their identities that they'll be next.

4.) Go through the village the perpetrators are from and in every house you find a Hamas flag, an ISIS flag, Jihadist literature, or a weapon, shoot the oldest male member of the household.

5.) Deport the survivors to Gaza with whatever they can carry.

6.) Burn the village to the ground and on top of the ashes build a new Jewish settlement called Har Raziel in honor of the murdered.

7.) Make this the official government response to any terror incident going forward.

8.) Watch peace break out quickly.
Damn, that sounds harsh.

I would recommend no such thing, but I am a diaspora Jew living a not-uncomfortable life in the American Pacific Northwest.

The notion of burning villages to the ground or shooting terrorists in front of their families without due process of law is savage to my ears.

The reason that I am pointing to this, however, is not a matter of advocacy. I am not recommending anything written in the blockquote above.

I am, however, beginning to suspect that Israeli Jews - if not Jews, in general - are becoming increasingly tired of simply accepting their lot in life as targets of genocide.

Thus, the Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

The Jewish people have a dual reputation. Sometimes, particularly in diaspora, we are thought of as wimps. Sometimes, particularly in Israel, we are thought of as vicious brutes.

What I would suggest to our neighbors of European and Arab descent - who are sitting with their bowls of popcorn watching the drama play itself out - is that despite two-thousand years of getting our asses kicked even the Jewish people have limited patience.

The blockquote above reflects that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This guy is fresh

Michael Lumish

Nuseir Yassin is a mid-20s Israeli Arab making a big splash.

I am only now gaining some familiarity with Nuseir, but he's an easy guy to like.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Biblical Violence versus Koranic Violence

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

As the West gradually awakens to the rise of political Islam and the immigration crisis in Europe, the question of Koranic violence versus Biblical violence is sometimes referenced.

The reason for this is because of the confusion around the sources of the jihadi aggression against the West. Is it due to western imperialism or to essential Islamic theological sources?

Or a combination of both?

When jihadis blow people up or burn them alive are they acting Koranically or out of righteous indignation toward the imperial advances of the rapacious West?

Whatever the answer to that particular question, what I would like to briefly suggest is that Biblical violence is generally descriptive while Koranic violence is generally prescriptive.

If you Google "violence in the quran vs violence in bible" you come up with a variety of discussions around the question of which books are most violent, the Hebraic Bible, the New Testament, or the Koran.

The very first result that pops up on my screen is from a sociological-statistical piece in the Independent by Samual Osborne entitled, 'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals.

Osborne writes:
An analysis into whether the Quran is more violent than the Bible found killing and destruction occur more frequently in the Christian texts than the Islamic.

Investigating whether the Quran really is more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts, software engineer Tom Anderson processed the text of the Holy books to find which contained the most violence.

In a blog post, Mr Anderson explains: "The project was inspired by the ongoing public debate around whether or not terrorism connected with Islamic fundamentalism reflects something inherently and distinctly violent about Islam compared to other major religions."
Mr. Anderson concludes his analysis by noting:
Comparing our three religious texts across the eight major emotions we find that the Old Testament is the ‘Angriest’ (including most mentions of ‘Disgust’); it also contains the least amount of ‘Joy’. 
When the question of Biblical violence versus Koranic violence is raised it is almost always done for the purpose of clearing Islam of any culpability for the results of its own theocratic-ideological inclinations. Thus statisticians like Anderson run the texts of the Bible, the New Testament, and the Koran through computer programs which tabulate violent references within those texts.

The results demonstrate that the Bible depicts more acts of violence than does the Koran.

This is hardly surprising given the length and ancient nature of the Bible, however, this misses the point entirely.

While the Bible and the Koran are filled with violence, Biblical violence tends to be descriptive, while Koranic violence tends toward the prescriptive.

The significance of this distinction is key to the nature of the different sources.

For example, in 2 Kings 2:23-25, concerning Elisha the successor of Elijah, we read:
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. 25 And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.
Now, that is quite an image.

According to the Bible, God sent a couple of she-bears out of the woods to murder, or otherwise maul, forty-two children for daring to mock a prophet of Judea.

In Koran 5:33, in the Surah Al-Ma'idah, however, we read this:
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
Although the chopping of hands and feet from opposite sides of the body is a mighty interesting and disgusting touch of Islamic jurisprudence, it is merely one example of the many, many violent descriptions in these books. 

One cannot draw definitive conclusions on the nature of the texts from a single example, but I feel reasonably certain that my tentative conclusion concerning the descriptive / prescriptive difference between Biblical versus Koranic texts would hold up under scrutiny.

At the very least it represents a fair point of exploration in reference to the scholarship.

So, the first question to ask is not the quantity of violence in the Bible or the New Testament versus the Koran, but the intent and nature of that violence.

From what I can tell, biased as I am, the Koran calls for the submission or murder of the infidel.

The Bible of the Jews does not.