Saturday, November 18, 2017

Nine Reasons Why Progressives Do Not Understand Their Pro-Israel Friends

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

The western-left is befuddled and disgusted by pro-Israel diaspora Jewry despite the fact that pro-Israel diaspora Jewry supports the western-left.

These are nine of their fundamental misunderstandings:


Number One:  Anti-Zionism is not equivalent to criticism of Israel. 

Well-meaning western-leftists tend to confuse anti-Zionism with mere criticism of the Jewish homeland.

As I know that you guys know, they are not the same thing.

An anti-Zionist is someone who believes that Israel should never have been reconstituted as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Given Jewish history, such a wish is genocidal.


Number Two: there is a difference between criticism and defamation.

There is nothing wrong with criticizing any country, but when people, for example, call Israel an "apartheid state" that is an example of defamation. And, yes, it is anti-Semitic because the suggestion of such a claim is that Israel, much like apartheid South Africa, must be dismantled.

Thus see reason number one why progressives do not understand their pro-Israel friends.


Number Three: Progressives have little sense of proportion when it comes to Israel. 

They will call-out the lone, sole Jewish state for its alleged persecution of the Palestinian-Arabs yet never breath a word about the far worse treatment that virtually all non-elite Arabs receive from their governments in Arab-Muslim countries.

And no Arabs are treated worse than Palestinian-Arabs who are essentially used as pawns in the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East.

This is clearly a racist double-standard.

The people who most abuse Palestinian-Arabs are not Jews, but Arabs, themselves.


Number Four: Jews are the only people on the planet with a claim to indigeneity in the Land of Israel. 

There has been an ongoing Jewish presence on that land for a period of time that fades into prehistory.

The Arabs are from Arabia. They are not from Judea.

The Jews are, however, from Judea and Samaria.

The Jewish people are the only extant people in the world today with claims to indigeneity to the Land of Israel.

Jewish indigeneity is an underexplored aspect of Jewish history that - surprisingly enough - it takes a brilliant Métis, pro-Israel, football-playing Zionist to understand this better than do the Jewish people.

Jewish people, wherever we may live, are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel.

Why does it take Ryan Bellerose, an indigenous American, to point that out? 


Number Five: Dhimmis -  including Copts, Yazidis, Kurds, and Jews - are among the historically oppressed minorities in the Middle East

The theocratically-infused Arab and Muslim occupying powers outnumber the rest of us by a factor of 50 or 60 to 1 in that part of the world.

This is how Oxford historian Martin Gilbert describes the centuries of dhimmi status in In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 - 33.
There could be no building of new synagogues or churches.  Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle.  Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims.  They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden...

Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews - and also Christians - were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims.  Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead.  Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public - an offense punishable by death.

Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque.  A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim.  A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.

Number Six: The Evil of "Whiteness"

Much of the Left sees Jews as "white" and "whiteness" as a form of oppressive consciousness that is embodied by people of European descent.

Oh, the shame of whiteness.

This is one of the essential racist aspects of the contemporary Left.

The truth is that genetic studies show that almost all Jews have a DNA root that goes to the Levant. Calling a Jew "white" because he or she may have some European blood would be like calling a black person "white" because a grandmother had relations with a white person.


Number Seven: Progressive-Left Racism

It must be understood that, outside of political Islam, the progressive-left is the most racist political movement in the West, today.

The Jewish people are being driven from Europe primarily due to the Islamist-Leftist alliance that we see playing out in European Union politics.

Hostility towards Jews is ratcheting-up throughout Europe and this hostility demonstrates the hypocrisy of western-left anti-racism.

It clearly demonstrates that the Left is highly particular about which types of racism that they approve of and which types they oppose. They do not oppose racism toward Jews as the Reem's case, among a variety of other cases - including that of Alameda, California high school student Natasha Waldorf -clearly shows.

Nor do western-progressives mind that Muslims are chasing Jews out of Europe and, further, they even tend to believe that Palestinian-Arabs have every right to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance" despite the fact that it has always been the Arabs who represent the hostile party... not the Jews.


Number Eight: the Jews have never prevented the Palestinian-Arabs from gaining a state of their own... even on our own land!

On the contrary, it was the Arabs who have turned down every single offer for statehood since the Peel Commission of 1937.

The progressive-left must stop blaming the Jewish people of the Middle East for Arab-Muslim intransigence in refusing to accept a state for themselves next to their Jewish neighbors.

This ongoing tendency from the EU and the UN and the US Department of State is indecent, unjust, and opposed to the facts of history.


Number Nine: The Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

The progressive-left loves dead Jews and despises Jews who stand up for the Movement for Jewish Liberation.

Well, ya know what?

Too bad.

Whatever anyone might think of the Jewish people we will stand up for ourselves whether anyone likes it or not.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fundamental Principles

Michael Lumish

Milo Yiannapolous
Sometimes it is important to refer back to fundamental political assumptions.

I am promoting the Yiannapolous interview on Nothing Left radio because Yiannapolous is interesting. The reason that he is interesting is because he straddles a line on the progressive-left hierarchy of victimhood that drives people batty.

He is Gay and part-Jewish. This would make him a natural fit for the western-left.

However, he is also conservative and anti-feminist, which also makes him a natural fit for the western-right.

For many people, Yiannapolous is a confounding figure. He refuses to fit pre-existing categories. He is not a scholar, but he is an exceedingly intelligent and well-educated individual with guts who rides the political winds high.

I am happy to promote Milo because I am a classical liberal... although I believe in regulatory capitalism rather than laissez-faire.

I believe in individual autonomy, representative democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and so forth.

Basically, I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America and, thus, I believe in the tradition that follows from English Common Law and the political Enlightenment as it played out from Magna Carta to Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am increasingly opposed to the Left because I am liberal, anti-racist, pro-democracy, pro-freedom of speech, and, thus, pro-Israel.

{I respect the faith of our fathers, but I am not dogmatic about it.}

But what strikes at my heart is the hypocrisy of the western-left which self-righteously proclaims its anti-racism.

They are not lying so much to us as they are to themselves.

Thus I want Milo to have his day in the sun.

He is certainly a far more decent figure, from a moral perspective, than is the insidious regressive-left anti-Zionist and Jew Hater, Linda Sarsour.

On the CTRL-L and the Conjuration of Demonic Political Golems

Michael Lumish

{This is a retread from a piece that I wrote one year ago to the day. - ML}

Since the recent election of entertainer and businessman, Donald Trump, to the Presidency of the United States, the American CTRL-L has rampaged through the streets of America's largest cities.

The CTRL-L is a combination of various racist, non-democratic, violently-inclined leftist groups - including Black Lives Matter, the Occupy Movement, the ANSWER coalition, and BDS - that infect the True Believers within the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party, of course, is a party in disarray where members are at one another's throats because of their recent defeat at the hands of a world-famous gazillionaire "outsider" who refuses to speak in the tired politically-correct jargon of the school-marmish, safe-space-seeking, yet semi-fascistic, Obama coalition.

What the various anger-driven misfits of the CTRL-L have in common is a shared contempt for the USA as a liberal democracy, for Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, and for the American people, in general, who still seem rather fond of the United States as a society grounded in liberal democracy and regulatory capitalism.

Since the CTRL-L has infected the Democrats it has - like everything it touches - turned that party into the realm of anti-American, anti-White, anti-Jewish "racists" who demand inclusivity with one another via the exclusivity of wrong-thinking Jews and right-thinking white people.

The CTRL-L is, needless to say, the ALT-R inside-out and backwards.

What they both have in common, however, is that neither is real as a distinct political movement... although one, it must be said, is considerably more materialized than the other.

As David Haggith put it in a piece entitled, Liberals Scared to Death by Their Own Caricature of Trumpettes:
Liberals are afraid of their own shadows right now. That’s because they’ve created anti-matter, Mr. Hyde caricatures of the Trumpettes — the average little guys who support Trump. These shadows that liberals have cast by their own self-deceit now surround them, and they believe the grotesquely exaggerated images they have created.

This false belief like any phobia is taking on its own life by creating mass hysteria in the streets of America. By that step, belief becomes reality. While the initial description that liberals painted of Trumpettes is false — they’re all misogynistic, homophobic racists — the hysteria is real, and that causes people to react with violence against whatever they fear. Those violent reactions become very real horrors that are not just painted in the imagination, and they divide the nation deeper, creating  fears that are now based on real horrible events that came about due to the original false beliefs. It’s like a panic attack that feeds on itself.
Just as there is no CTRL-L, so there is no ALT-R.

That racists, sexists, and homophobes live in the United States is unquestionably true.

That racists, sexists, and homophobes live in Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, and Pakistan is also true.

The so-called ALT-R appeared on the national stage directly before the election is obviously not a coincidence. It astonishes me, in fact, that the magickians who conjured up this monstrosity did not seem to think that we might notice. Prior to this most recent election virtually no one had ever even heard of any such creature as the ALT-R aside, perhaps, from a few pissed-off nincompoops banging their heads against their laptops.

Just as the CTRL-L is a recent conjuration of the imagination designed for political purposes, so is the ALT-R.

The progressive-left, the Democratic Party, and the Hillary Campaign, conjured up the virtually non-existent American fringe of White Supremacists, Klansmen, and other such cultural relics, in order to breathe life into them as a single menacing golem. They turned this fantastical zombie-like monstrosity onto the neck of Donald Trump but - as anyone familiar with the literature around golems will tell you - they have a tendency to turn on their creators.

For months, now, the ALT-R golem has stalked the countryside scaring the holy hell out of perfectly normal Americans. It is even responsible, in some measure, for the violence and broken glass in the streets of Chicago and Portland among those fighting the chimera-like demon.

In the end, however, the thing turned on its master and is now being chased through the streets by townsfolk with pitch-forks and torches and actual human beings are being seriously harmed, if not killed, as a result.

The irony, sadly, is that while both the ALT-R and the CTRL-L, as distinct political movements, are creatures of the imagination, the individual body parts have reality. However, the parts comprising the CTRL-L are considerably more real than the parts comprising the ALT-R.

For example, the ALT-R has the Klan and virtually everyone in the United States despises the Ku Klux Klan. We despise the Klan like we despise the Nazis. The Klan is so hated, in fact, that it doesn't even exist any more outside of the fringiest of the fringe-fringe.

The same cannot be said of the Black Lives Matter movement, with its Jewish problem and inspiration for highway overpass shootings of cops for political purposes.

Among extreme political groups, BLM is important enough to warrant the attention and appreciation of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

The Klan, however, has all the contemporary significance of a filthy white hood rotting beneath some porch in the Arkansas hills.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos on Nothing Left Live

Michael Lumish

{Also published by Jews Down Under.}

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman of Nothing Left on Australia's J-AIR radio conducted an interview with Milo Yiannopoulos to be aired on Tuesday, November 28, 9 to 11 AM, Melbourne time.

Yiannopoulos is one of the more notorious figures emerging out of the previous presidential election in the United States.

The guy is a British, Gay, conservative, secular Jew who will kick your rhetorical ass in a New York minute.

The reason that I like Milo is because he is brave.

The reason that many in the Jewish community despise Milo is because they think he is a degenerate.

So, good for Burd and Freedman for having the guts to bring him on.

The thing is, Nothing Left attracts top names from Dershowitz on down.

I am biased because I occasionally drop in to say hello, but the fact of the matter is that they also speak with Isi Liebler, Caroline Glick, Tuvia Tenenbom, Brigette Gabriel, Matthias Küntzel, Jonathan Tobin, Diane Bederman, Ted Belman, Gregg Roman, Dan Shapiro, Martin Sherman, and Avi Abelow.

And that is just since August of this year.

Anybody who knows anything about the Arab-Jewish conflict knows most of those names.

But Yiannopoulos is in a category unto himself.

Some refer to him as "alt-right," but, in truth, he is probably something closer to a "classical liberal"... perhaps bordering on economic libertarian.

He drives some people batty because they cannot stick him into pre-ordained slots within the identity politics Hierarchy of Victimhood.

He represents one example of how the term "alt-right" was (and is) used as a smear against people who having nothing whatsoever to do with "white nationalism" or "white supremacy" or the Klan or Nazis or anything even close to such nonsense.

The term "alt-right" is generally understood to mean "white nationalist."

It was coined by actual white-nationalist-nobody Richard Spencer who came to fame because the Clinton campaign needed a specimen who Hillary could smother in her "Basket of Deplorables."

Milo Yiannopoulos, however, is an openly Gay, half-Jewish Brit and a former editor for Breitbart - which is also an example of a venue that came into fame in the months leading to the astonishing triumph of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States. In truth, the best thing ever to happen to Breitbart and Bannon and the fellahs over there was the Hillary campaign.

Were it not for Hillary - or such is my claim - virtually no one would ever have heard of the "alt-right."

One thing that it is interesting to note is that Yiannopoulos and everyone's favorite antisemitic anti-Zionist, Linda Sarsour, came to widespread public notice during the same political moment.

They are both charismatic figures who carry their ends of the political zeitgeist.

The difference is that Linda is still enjoying her "fifteen minutes."

Milo got his cut short.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Social Media Notes # 3

Michael Lumish

On a Facebook post, Jordan Rapport wrote the following:
I don’t understand how so many progressives recognize the soft racism of the alt right, and Richard Spencer, but then turn around to display their own soft antisemitism through anti Zionism. It’s hypocritical and disgusting.
In the comments, the question of "intersectionality" came up.

Part of what I like about social media is that it gives me a greater sense of how people think.

Not just how intellectuals think, but how normal people think.

In this case, a person in the thread asked, what is "intersectional"?

I have to tell you, I take that as a terrific sign.

It makes me happy in much the same way that if I speak to a person and they have no idea who Linda Sarsour is... that makes me happy, too.

Good!

It means that antisemitic anti-Zionism, and its attendant "intersectionality," are not gaining quite as much traction as some of us might fear.

Nonetheless, I worry about some of our pro-Jewish / pro-Israel friends.

Sticking your neck out on this issue can be pretty fucking costly in a variety of interesting ways.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman hear from Stan Goodenough, a Christian advocate living and working in Israel who attended the Beersheba commemorative festivities last week, and then hear from acclaimed author, playwright and film producer Tuvia Tenenbom who is visiting Australia shortly.

The guys have a fascinating interview with British political commentator Jamie Palmer on why the Left hates Israel and catch up with Isi Leibler in Jerusalem as usual.

2 min Editorial: Balfour Declaration

8 min Stan Goodenough at Beersheba festivities

26 min Tuvia Tenenbom, author, film producer and commentator

51 min Jamie Palmer, political commentator on why the Left hates Israel

1 hr 30 Isi Leibler in Jerusalem

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The West Has Gone Bats!

Michael Lumish

{This is a fleshing out of an earlier thing that I called The U.S. Has Gone Bats!}

It is also published at Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}

Yes, that is the way it is.

I suppose that it is not surprising that my cohort, born in the 1960s, stomped on the Western Liberal Tradition.

This is to say that the contemporary Left is shedding its own intellectual heritage - defined by Enlightenment liberalism - and in the process is emerging as authoritarian, increasingly opposed to freedom of speech and thought, and increasingly antisemitic.

{One of my new favorite rebels - University of Toronto professor of evolutionary psychology, Jordan Peterson - would likely agree.}

And when I argue that my friends on the Left are trending against the "Western liberal tradition," I mean just that.

The contemporary Left is turning against the philosophical tradition of Enlightenment liberalism that emphasized rationality and individuality as it emerged out of the European Renaissance and took political forms from Magna Carta to the Constitution of the United States to the Knesset in Israel.

Instead, what we get today from the activist Left is reactionary, irrational, close-minded, violently-inclined, smug, stupid, arrogant, authoritarian, and dismissive of freedom of speech.

The American Left is often misdescribed as "liberal," but that is the last thing that it is.

The western-left, today, is opposed to the liberal tradition.

Among the reasons for growing American Left disinterest in the tradition of Enlightenment liberalism is because those of us who came of age following the Baby Boomers were trained not to believe in "Western values" by our Vietnam War era older peers and siblings.

From Abbie Hoffman to Alan Ginsberg to Noam Chomsky, much of The Movement, as Terry Anderson called it, prodded and poked at the ongoing viability of more traditional and allegedly objective European suppositions on how to apprehend truth.

It is no coincidence, after all, that the post-structuralist turn in western academia paralleled the Counterculture and the rise of the New Left toward the middle-end of the twentieth-century.

Our older siblings and friends who came out of the Vietnam War period, for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us.

The twentieth-century was a bloody nightmare and those of us raised on the Anti-War Movement, the Counterculture, and Civil Rights looked in directions - politically and personally - beyond anything that Eisenhower could have imagined when his boys stormed the beaches.

I do not know about you, but I grew up reading Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson and Joseph Heller.

It was all about rebellion and, in the cases of the latter three, hilarious rebellion.

{Kerouac was never particularly funny.}

The interesting question for me, now, is how it is that my generation - which both voted for Ronald Reagan and read Vonnegut - is now ushering in the current era of corrosive, hard-ass, high-handed, progressive-left identity politics which is shedding liberalism and tends to despise Israel.

From a political-social standpoint, it is a damn good question.

It's not that we are responsible for the never-ending malice and bloodshed in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. Nor are those of us who entered college in the United States in the 1980s responsible for the perpetual poverty of the urban poor, or climate change, or general human stupidity.

We inherited these joys to the world.

We are, however, responsible for the current state of American politics, which is absolutely dismal and, on the progressive-left, increasingly ugly toward diaspora Jewry when we speak out on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

The United States has not been this culturally torn-up since 1968.

American politics at this moment has people at one another's throats. It is ripping up families and friendships. It is resulting in violence in the streets from Berkeley to Charlottesville.

And, it must be understood, that the current toxic nature of American politics is encouraging the rise of the new white nationalism. I tend to downplay the white nationalist trend because playing it up increases its attractiveness to idiots so inclined.

But the difference between now and then is that by 1968 over 30,000 U.S. servicemen died in Vietnam in a war that seemed to have no end.

Women were still objectively second-class citizens.

And bigotry throughout the country was violent in a way that makes the contemporary South look like a racial shangri-la. 

I was born in 1963, the very year that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and almost exactly one year before Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, during Freedom Summer.

Despite the fact that I am a New York Jew, I can assure you that from a historical perspective race relations in the South are far better today than they were in 1963. It's not even close. An observer from Mars should be able to see that, yet somehow it seems lost on much of the contemporary American Left.

The causes of political tensions in the United States today are not due to war or sexism or racism like they were in 1968.

On every social-political level, the U.S. has made great strides toward social justice from that day to this.

The truth, in fact, is that the U.S. is among the most liberal countries on the planet.

This may sound old-fashioned but we hold out a greater opportunity to any man or woman of any "race, color, or creed" - as they used to say - than almost any place else on Earth.

We should be proud of how far we have come in so short a period of time.

We are well beyond where we were when Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Mall.

But we do not recognize it.

Instead, we tear down statuary of Robert E. Lee.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak firstly with Prof Bill Rubinstein about his article discussing the drift to the Left by our communal organisations.

We then hear from Middle East correspondent Benjamin Weinthal, and speak with Prof Efraim Inbar who was in Australia recently to promote his new think tank.


And Isi Leibler joins us as usual from Jerusalem.

3 min Editorial: Alan's observations on Europe

11 min Prof Bill Rubinstein controversial article on JCCV

27 min Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post European correspondent

52 min Prof Efraim Inbar in Australia

1 hr 25 min Isi Leibler on why we should be working with the Right wing Parties that support Israel

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The U.S. Has Gone Bats

Michael Lumish

That's the way it seems to me, anyway.

I suppose that it's not surprising that the people who are my age - and who are now running things - have turned the Western tradition into a fucking disaster.

And the reason for that is because we were trained not to believe in it by our older brothers and sisters and friends who came out of the Vietnam War Era and, thereby and for understandable reasons, passed their cynicism off to us.

It's not that we are responsible for the never-ending malice and bloodshed in the Arab-Muslim Middle East. Nor are we responsible for the perpetual poverty of the urban poor. Nor are we responsible for Climate Change, the European Immigration Crisis, or general human stupidity.

We inherited that.

We are, however, responsible for the current state of American politics, which is absolutely dismal.

The United States has not been this culturally torn-up since 1968.

American politics at this moment has people at one another's throats. It is ripping up families and friendships. It is resulting in violence in the streets from Berkeley to Charlottesville.

And, it must be understood, that the toxic nature of American politics today is encouraging the rise of the New White Nationalism.

I tend to downplay the white nationalist trend because playing it up increases its attractiveness to those so inclined.

But the difference between now and then is that by 1968 over 30,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam in a war that seemed to have no end.

Women were still second-class citizens.

And racism throughout the country was violent in a way that makes the South, today, look like a racial shangri-la. 

I was born in 1963, the very year that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Despite the fact that I am a New York Jew, I can assure you that, from a historical perspective, race relations in the South are far better today than they were in 1963. It's not even close. An observer from Mars should be able to see that, yet somehow it seems lost on the contemporary American Left.

The cause of political tensions in the United States today is not due to war or sexism or racism like it was in 1968.

On every social-political level, the U.S. has made great strides toward social justice from that day to this.

The truth, in fact, is that the U.S. is among the most liberal countries on the planet.

This may sound a bit corny or old-fashioned but we hold out a greater opportunity to any man or woman of any "race, color, or creed" - as they used to say - than almost any place else on the planet.

We should be proud of how far we have come in so short a period of time.

We are well beyond where we were when Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Mall.

But we do not recognize it.

Instead, we rip down statuary of Robert E. Lee.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

I am Free from Reem's Racist Stupidity!

Michael Lumish

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



Reem Assil and her malicious, anti-Zionist friends challenged the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and promptly got their legalistic butts kicked.

{Good for them.}

Anyone who followed the story of Assil's extremist and terrorist-admiring restaurant at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland knows that her attorneys dismissed her malicious "lawfare" action against Bob Pave, Robin Dubner, and myself.

This was due to the insightful work of Mitch Danzig, Evan Nadel, and Paul Huston of the law firm, Mintz Levin.

Speaking strictly for myself, I owe those gentlemen a significant debt of thanks.

There are, however, a few loose ends dangling that I want to tie up.

The first is that I owe an apology to StandWithUS, particularly Randy Kessler, Executive Director of the Northwest chapter.

And I owe a big tip 'o the kippa to Yael Lerman, Director of the SWU legal department.

{Were I her I do not know that I would have been quite so nice to me.}

When, during the vigils, it looked as if we would get zero support from the larger San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community, I lambasted that organization and stormed into Kessler's Facebook space with a self-righteous fit.

It was inappropriate, unfair, and I was wrong to do it.

Nonetheless, despite my bad manners, SWU did more to help the ongoing vigils at Reem's than any synagogue or other Bay Area Jewish organization.

After coming out of this nonsense, however, I have one significant message.

It is this:

The western-left is not a friend to the Jewish people and "intersectionality" as expressed within left-leaning politics is racist.

This is my "takeaway" from all of this mishigas.

There are plenty of self-identified progressives and "liberals" who are, indeed, great friends of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel. I do not mean to insult or castigate my progressive friends, but the obvious fact is that the western-left, in general, is unfriendly toward Israel.

According to recent Pew polling 40 percent of "liberal Democrats" support Palestinian-Arabs over the Jews in the Middle East, while only 33 percent favor the Jews.

Those who stood up with me against Reem's racist restaurant included members of the LGBT community and a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, yet we were called both homophobes and White Supremacists by the "progressives" who opposed us.

This is what the Left has descended into.

The people who confronted our vigil and who outnumbered us by a factor of at least three-to-one were entirely from progressive-left organizations and pro-Palestinian groups.

Despite all the evidence that is available - as Professor William Jacobson from the Cornell University Law School readily demonstrates - they still prefer to believe that Rasmea Odeh's confession was beaten and raped out of her over twenty-five days, despite the fact that the records show she admitted her guilt on the day immediately following her apprehension by the Israeli authorities.

We even have Aisha Odeh, Rasmea's partner, boasting of the murders and implicating Rasmea on Palestinian Authority television many years later.

The International Red Cross observed the trial and found it to be fair.

What more can anyone want?


Intersectionality and the Killing of Oscar Grant

It should also be noted that on the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's bakery-cafe is a button or badge reading "Oscar Grant."

Oscar Grant was the young black man shot dead by Oakland police on New Year's Eve 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale  BART Station within spitting distance of Reem's joint. The shooting sparked riots in Oakland and Reem Assil is trying to associate Rasmea Odeh with Oscar Grant for the purpose of associating Palestinian-Arab antisemitic anti-Zionism with the movement for "social justice" in the United States.

She is exploiting that movement and, in the process, is suggesting a sort-of ideological kinship between Grant, who was a victim, and Odeh, who is a murderer of innocent people. It seems to me that the Black community should be unhappy at the implied comparison.

In any case, the fundamental idea behind the intersectionalist trend is that just as African-Americans are said to be oppressed by the powerful "white patriarchy" in the United States, so Palestinian-Arabs are said to be oppressed by the powerful "Jewish white patriarchy" in Israel. The notion is that Zionism, like White Supremacy, is an oppressive system of dominance that must inevitably crush the Palestinian-Arabs under an iron boot.

These separate forms of alleged injustices are all thought of as sewn from the same racist and rapacious ideological cloth.

Needless to say, progressive-left anti-Zionism and intersectionality leave Jewish people out of the progressive-left Good Guys Club. Jews are considered "white" and "whiteness" is considered a predatory form of consciousness.

Meanwhile, the idea that Jewish nationalism must be crushed while Palestinian-Arab nationalism must be celebrated is racist, yet this is precisely what Assil is promoting by shoving Rasmea Odeh into the face of anyone who happens into her place. Since Odeh is a murderer in the cause of antisemitic anti-Zionism the message is that violence toward Jews - even to the degree of blowing people to smithereens - is honorable.

This is shades of 1930s Berlin and every Jew who passes that mural on the way into the Fruitvale BART Station has been put on notice.

Western-left intersectionality and the related identity politics, as practiced today, dockets people according to a racialized and gendered hierarchy of victimhood. The value of the individual depends on where they fall within the hierarchy. Jewish people, and particularly Jewish men, are at the very bottom of the hierarchy - along with men of European descent - and thus killing Jewish people is considered understandable under the toxic logic of progressive-left intersectionality and identity politics.

Within progressive-left identity politics the murder of Jews is simply an expression of the Palestinian-Arab "resistance" to Jewish oppression. Assil and her friends consider Odeh innocent not because of the evidence - which clearly demonstrates her guilt - but merely because they want her to be innocent. And even if she is not, her actions were fully justified as a matter of the "liberation" of the Palestinian-Arabs.

Such a view is nothing more, nor anything other, than genocidal racism toward the Jewish people.


A Dash of Jewish History

For thirteen centuries the Jews of the Middle East suffered under the heel of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, along with the Christian population, within the system of dhimmitude as we call it in the West.

Although dhimmitude varied from century to century, and within the various areas of Arab-Muslim dominance, it was never better than Jim Crow at its worst.

Jewish people were not allowed to repair synagogues. They were not allowed to hold a position of authority over any Arabs. They were generally not allowed to ride horses or defend themselves in the streets. They were not allowed to possess homes that overlooked the homes of the dominant majority Arab population. Speaking ill of the prophet Muhammad was punishable by death, as was Jewish sexual relations with Muslim women. In some places Jews were not even allowed outside during a rainstorm lest their Jewish filth run into the streets, thereby contaminating the dominant majority population.

And we had to pay the jizya, otherwise known as "protection money." The formal process of that payment was designed to be a humiliating experience for the purpose of reinforcing our lowly place within Arab-Muslim culture.

{See, Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, Yale University Press, 2010.}

Furthermore, the Palestinian-Arabs have turned down every single offer for statehood from the Peel Commission of 1937 until this moment and the greater Arab nation, which outnumbers the Jews of the Middle East by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1, have never ceased trying to destroy Israel and thereby reduce the Jews who survive back to second and third-class non-citizenship.

And, yet, intersectionality in the mouths of western-leftists blames the Jewish people for the never-ending Arab-Muslim, Koranically-based hostility toward us.

When I attended the first vigils at Reem's restaurant my grievances with the progressive-left were largely theoretical. It seemed clear to me that by embracing various forms of racism - such as anti-white racism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, and what Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed "Humanitarian Racism" - and through their growing opposition to freedom of speech, that the Left was (and is) shedding its liberalism and, thereby, hollowing-out its very reason to be.

{Progressivism without liberalism is authoritarianism, after all.}

Now, however, the criticisms have moved from the theoretical to the personal because Assil and her supporters tried to drag me into court for the purpose of shutting down my freedom of speech. People have suggested to me that this was a test case designed to challenge the American commitment to that primary freedom.

From where I sit, despite the howling of precious snowflakes from UC Berkeley to Columbia University, the First Amendment of the Constitution remains strong.

Now if only we could somehow get more Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to understand that the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's remains an ongoing call to violence against the tiny Jewish minority wherever we may be in the world.

What does it say about a political movement that it venerates a genocidal Jew murderer in the name of "social justice"?

As a matter of fundamental human decency, the mural of Rasmea Odeh should be removed from Reem's racist restaurant.

I have been in touch with Terry Joffe Benaryeh who has a piece in the Times of Israel concerning the murder of Edward Joffe entitled, The day joy vanquished my terror. 

Terry is Edward's niece.

My guess is that she and her family would heartily agree.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The #MeToo Campaign

Michael Lumish

The problem with the #MeToo campaign - like the problem with the Women's March - is that it has no tangible goal or reasonable definitions.

People will post a #MeToo for anything from a catcall on the street to a brutal beating and rape in a parking garage.

Because no boundaries are set half the women that I know are #MeTooing. This lends credence to the toxic notion of "rape culture."

The next and most important objection is that this is demeaning to actual victims of rape.

I understand that the #MeToo campaign is a more-or-less spontaneous netroots action but its lack of necessary distinctions undermines its credibility.

One good question to ask is whether or not the individual #MeToo references an act that broke the law.

If it did, then you have every right to stand the fuck up. You should and I very much respect your bravery.

If it did not, you are on less firm ground.

When I was about 8 years old I found myself in the men's room of Grand Central Station in NY. The man next to me started looking at me and jerking off into his urinal.

Should I #MeToo?

I do not think so.

Yet, another problem with the #MeToo Campaign is that it skews itself.

Many people, including men, will #MeToo primarily out of a sense of social pressure and wanting to belong to a campaign that their friends are joining and that requires no personal commitment whatsoever.

There is a social pressure to #MeToo because people want to feel that they are part of something meaningful and because they have friends who do it.

There is a bonding.

More importantly, there is also a relief and recognition among women who were, in fact, sexually violated to know that other women share their experience and are willing to speak out.

As a man, I can never understand what it is to be raped - Men's Movement bullshit to the contrary - but it does not take tremendous empathy for women to understand the importance of sharing the experience of that violation, that crime, with other women who have gone through it.

And, finally, there is a sense that maybe we, as a people, can do something about this.

This is the reason that the #MeToo campaign came into being.

We can call attention to an important problem.

In this way, the #MeToo campaign can do some good.

It will help some percentage of women in a way imperceptible to the vast majority of men.

However, what it will also do is punch men's tongues directly down our throats.

This is the negative side of it.

{Sorry, guys. Your job is to shut up, nod your heads, and go to Confession.}

Your job is to worry over your sins and think about how you can become better human beings... whether you are guilty or not.

My hope is that this brief cultural tid-bit does something to ease the suffering of victims of rape.

My fear is that it will further agitate and divide a country that is already driving itself bats.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

If you didn’t speak the fuck up when...

Michael Lumish

{Written and published at Fallen From Grace.}

"If you didn’t speak the fuck up when Ethiopian Jews were being persecuted in Ethiopia and you didn’t speak the fuck up when Jews in France were getting beaten up and you aren’t speaking the fuck up about how Yemen is forcing Jews to convert or leave right now, you do not get to tell us we have no place in Israel. You do not get to critique our means of survival. You do not get to tell us we have no right to the only place that gives a shit about our safety. You do not get to tell a group of oppressed, persecuted people how to handle our survival when you never gave a shit about us in the first place."

Brief Respite

Michael Lumish

I am far, far away and visiting old friends.

When I get back I may have something to say about the Reem's case.

Hopefully, when I do get back, my house will not have burned to the ground.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lumish on Nothing Left Radio

Michael Lumish


Nothing LeftI had the privilege of speaking with my friend Michael Burd of the Nothing Left show on J-AIR radio out of Melbourne, Australia, yesterday and our conversation is available here at the 3:50 mark and is about ten minutes long.

We discussed the Reem's case.

As I continue to ponder this thing, the question that keeps coming into my head is how it is that a young Palestinian-Arab woman, Rasmea Odeh, goes from being a genocidal Jew killer in 1969 to a feminist leader in the United States in 2016?

Now, I understand obviously that Rasmea's friends do not consider her a "genocidal Jew killer"... despite the fact that she is unquestionably a genocidal Jew killer.

Her admirers and supporters consider her a fighter for social justice.

They believe that she is innocent of the brutal slaughter of Edward Joffee and Leon Kanner and that the confession was raped out of her after 25 days in an Israeli prison.

Professor William Jacobson of the Cornell University of Law is probably the top expert on this matter and in the twenty-five minutes below he lays out the case for why Rasmea Odeh is unquestionably guilty of murder.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Reem Assil's Racist Restaurant in Oakland

Michael Lumish

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

Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland
Reem Assil has placed a giant floor-to-ceiling mural of recently deported genocidal Jew murderer Rasmea Odeh in her bakery/cafe next to the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland, California.

For Jewish people, it might as well be a giant Nazi Swastika.

As one of those who objected to this public veneration of an ideological killer of Jews near the entrance to a major San Francisco Bay Area transportation hub, her lawyers are dragging me into court for the purpose of obtaining a restraining order... for which they have already been twice denied by the courts.

Not that I ever came anywhere near the woman, but that is not the point... this is a matter of "lawfare."

The point is to silence pro-Jewish / pro-Israel voices in favor of antisemitic anti-Zionism and what is most insidious is that this is being done under the name of "social justice."

It is vile.

Assil is intentionally giving the small Jewish community in Oakland a little taste of 1930s Berlin wherein promoting violent hatred towards Jews was not the least bit uncommon.

Her case against me is that I stood with a few other people who objected to this transgression on the dignity and safety of the Jewish people and I wrote about it in a piece entitled Reemed in Oakland that was published in various small pro-Jewish / pro-Israel outlets such as the Elder of Ziyon, Jews Down Under, and The Jewish Press.

This is a scurrilous court case and if the law has merit Assil and her attorneys are going to lose.

Most people who follow American progressivism are familiar with the ethnic chameleon Linda Sarsour who claims to have magically transformed herself into a woman "of color" when she put on the hijab. Fewer know about her recently deported spiritual sister, the genocidal Arab-Supremacist / faux-feminist Rasmea Odeh.

Odeh and her partners in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) murdered two innocent college students in 1969.

She and her friends - including Aisha Odeh who named Rasmea as a co-conspirator - killed those kids and injured nine others at a grocery store in Jerusalem.

I was one of the people at the vigils on July 8 and July 22 - in memory of Leon Kanner and Edward Joffee - both of whom were college students in their early twenties when Odeh thought it would be a terrific idea to blow their bones all over a grocery store for the crime of being Jewish.

But the elevation of Rasmea Odeh from Jew killer to a hero of American feminism is going to make a fascinating story for some writer/researcher.

In the meantime, what I argue is that the case of Reem Assil's racist presence in Oakland represents an example of the deliberalization of the Western progressive-left.

That's the broader point.


The Left Has Embraced Racism and Deliberalization

Bigotry against any people including those heinous "white" people is anti-liberal.

In the United States for political-historical reasons, we tend to confuse liberalism with the Left but unfortunately what we are seeing today is the American progressive-left shedding its liberalism.

The primary method through which the Western-left embraces anti-liberal values is through the encouragement of racial agitation and the violent stomping on freedom of speech as we see in Berkeley and throughout universities within the United States.

While a discussion of the history of liberalism - from Magna Carta to the Constitution of the United States to the appearance of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the American political landscape - is well beyond the scope of this article, it must be understood that anti-racism is foremost among liberal values as they emerged out of World War II.

When I was growing up in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the American-Left primarily embraced liberalism. It stood up against racism and it championed freedom of speech as we saw in Berkeley in the early 1960s with Mario Savio.

Before I was born UC Berkeley was the heart of the Free Speech Movement in the United States.

Now UC Berkeley is the heart of the anti-Free Speech Movement in the United States.

Reem Assil's bakery and coffee shop directly at the access to the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland - a major transportation hub in the San Francisco Bay Area - represents an excellent example of what more and more liberals are referring to as the "regressive left."

The idea, of course, is that the Left is decreasingly liberal and increasingly authoritarian and regressive.

What Dave Rubin, formerly of the Young Turks, and others call the "regressive-left" embraces three kinds of racism.

These are anti-white racism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, and what Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed "Humanitarian Racism."

This last is the contemporary version of nineteenth-century American imperialist notions of "white man's burden." 

Reem Assil, as a neighbor is - much to my disgust - selling all three along with her flatbread.

Through promoting Rasmea Odeh at the Fruitvale BART Station - the very place where Oscar Grant was shot dead by an Oakland cop on New Year's Eve 2009 - Assil is using the concept of "intersectionality" to suggest that the Jewish minority in the Middle East, along with their supporters throughout the diaspora and in the United States, are responsible for the alleged oppression of the Palestinian-Arabs.

The fundamental idea is that just as "white" people are evil toward "people of color" throughout the world, so Jews are rotten to Arabs in Israel.

It is all alleged to be part of the same insidious racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid, mindset.

As someone who has been publicly outspoken in the movement against Jewish freedom and self-defense for many years, Assil joins people like Linda Sarsour and Rasmea Odeh in opposing Jewish self-determination out of a commitment to antisemitic anti-Zionism.

By supporting Linda Sarsour and Rasmea Odeh and, now, small-time local racist Reem Assil, the Left has betrayed its own values.

And that is what is most disappointing of all.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Unbearable Whiteness of Freedom of Speech.

Michael Lumish

Professor of Psychology Jordan Peterson from the University of Toronto is one of the most significant political voices in the West today.

Within the last few years hard-left reactionary students - and professors of a cultural Marxist bent - dragged him into their war against the Unbearable Whiteness of Freedom of Speech.

Camille Paglia is a well-known "rogue feminist" and a controversial intellectual who has been teaching at Philadelphia's University of the Arts for decades. She is most famous for Sexual Personae which is a fairly amazing work of art history "from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson" that was audacious enough in the early 1990s to actually celebrate masculine contributions to Western culture.

Both of these scholars are brave individuals pushing against the current trends of university promoted anti-liberalism, identity politics, en loco parentis, and rising progressive-left racism.

They absolutely deserve a listen.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Social Media Notes # 2: The Alienation of Diaspora Jewry

Michael Lumish

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


In a Facebook post, our friend Susan George references a Ha'aretz article by Yehuda Bauer, professor emeritus at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University, entitled, The Danger of Alienating Diaspora Jews.

As a non-Jewish supporter of both Israel and the Jewish people, George is curious about pro-Israel Jewish thoughts on the article.

I will toss in my two cents.

The first thing that I noticed, of course, is that the opinion piece is published in Ha'aretz which immediately sets off "alarm bells" for the simple reason that Ha'aretz is an anti-Israel newspaper.

Ha'aretz would not even support the Israeli baseball team - the Mensches on the Benches - because it had too many Americans.

They publish Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

Hass believes that Arabs have a moral right to throw stones at Jewish children and both are despicable from anything that resembles a pro-Israel / pro-Jewish perspective.

Referring to American Jewry - and this is the article's primary thesis - Yehuda Bauer writes:
Without their support, the State of Israel would not have been established, and it cannot exist without such support today either.
Both claims are false.

The State of Israel was built by Jews and many Arabs who in the decades prior to 1948 created the infrastructure - physical, transportational, military, agricultural, industrial, and political - for the establishment of the country.

The role of American Jewry was significant, economic, but adjacent.

It was not central.

Israel most certainly can exist despite decreasing American Jewish friendship, although it would obviously be more difficult. Thankfully, Israel also has tremendous support among large swaths of self-identified American Christians who have far more political influence in the United States than does the American Jewish community.

Furthermore, American Jewry is not abandoning Israel.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Poll:
emotional attachment to Israel has not waned discernibly among American Jews in the past decade, though it is markedly stronger among Jews by religion (and older Jews in general) than among Jews of no religion (and younger Jews in general).
The enemies of Israel, and of the Jewish people, would like to divide and conquer, but this is not going to happen anytime soon.

Jewish Democratic Party Obama supporters are not abandoning Israel. Instead, they will kvetch. They will bitch and moan and whine and complain but at the end of the day, they will stick with their family.

{Bets, anyone?}

But the fact of the matter is that Israel has more economic, scholarly, scientific and diplomatic connections throughout the world today than it ever has in its history.

While the Jewish people in the Middle East remain under considerable threat by the much larger Arab-Muslim population surrounding it, it is also considerably stronger than at any previous point.

Bauer suggests that most American Jews care about internal Israeli religious squabbles.

He writes:
The Israeli government’s policy toward non-Orthodox streams of Jewry, which represent 90 percent of American Jews, threatens the connection that American Jews have to Israel, and is liable to weaken that link to such an extent that it results in apathy and a refusal to act on Israel’s behalf even during a crisis. Simply put, the policy of the current Israeli government is endangering Israel’s existence.
This is also false.

According to a January 24, 2017 article entitled, American and Israeli Jews: Twin Portraits From Pew Research Center Surveys, only fourteen percent of Israeli Jews and eighteen percent of U.S. Jews consider "social, religious, or political problems" to be central.

Most American Jews have very little interest in the arcane doings of Israel's religious policies toward "non-Orthodox streams of Jewry."

Most of us simply do not care.

Although we generally support Israel we honestly tend not to fret over Israel's Jew v. Jew religious disputations. Speaking strictly for myself, I find them vaguely annoying, but little beyond that and I am someone who follows Israel on a daily basis. As a lightly religious Jew I do not much care and my bet is that my lightly religious fellow American Jews do not much care, either.

Thus what I conclude from Professor Bauer's article is that it represents a growing tendency for western political divisiveness, more generally.

The current American spirit of emotive chaos that came into place in the months prior to Donald Trump's fantastical defeat of Hillary Clinton is causing far greater ruptures in American society than anyone expected.

In the United States, people are at one another's throats.

Families are rendered.

Friendships are broken.

And there is violence in the streets from Charlottesville to Berkeley.

But the truth is that most American Jews remain supportive of Israel and most do not worry about Jewish interreligious squabbles within that country.

You can be reasonably sure that going forward - despite Jewish pearl clutching - American Jewry will, at least within our lifetimes, continue to strongly support Israel.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tibet

Sar Shalom

One of the particularly galling aspects of Linda Sarsour is her talent for ingratiating herself and the cause of Palestinianism with every domestic social justice cause in the United States. Whether the cause is Driving While Black or the aspirations of the dreamers, that is those who grew up in the U.S. as illegal immigrants, Sarsour turns her sophistry to drawing parallels between those causes and the Palestinians' situation. The result is that activists for those causes, whether or not you like any of them they have widespread support, who fail to recognize her sophistry see Palestinianism as a natural extension to their other social justice causes.

However, there is an international social justice cause, popular albeit dormant on the left, that has genuine parallels with the southwest Levant. That would be Tibet. Specifically, China's occupation of Tibet and transfer of Han population into the province parallels the Arabs' conquest of Palestine back in the 7th-8th centuries and subsequent migration of Arab populations into the southwest Levant. Furthermore, today's Palestinians parallel, if current trends continue, the descendants of today's Han settlers of Tibet.

Following the Palestinianist logic, if the Han squat long enough in Tibet, they will become the native people there. By that point, if the Tibetans were to somehow reclaim any of their ancestral land, they would be thieves of Han Chinese land. If you were to ask any social justice warrior whether Tibet belongs to the Chinese, it would be like claiming that the earth is flat. Following up with a question of how long the Chinese would have to squat to become rightful owners would be similarly received. Yet these same social justice warriors argue that the results of the Arabs' conquest of the Levant in the 7th and 8th centuries and settlement since then give the Palestinians title to the southwest Levant, many of them unaware of the prior history.

However, people will not automatically draw a connection between the Palestinians' claims based on the Arabs' 13 centuries old conquest and the situation in Tibet. This connection will require an alliance between us as the advocates for Tibet, like the execrable Linda Sarsour made with advocates for racial and gender equality. To do this, identifiable members of the pro-Israel community will need to take up the cause of Tibetan freedom. In turn, the Tibetans could take up the cause of countering the Palestinianist narrative either in reciprocation as the blacks have reciprocated to Sarsour and her ilk or to shore up support in the American Jewish and Evangelical communities.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

From Exodus to Munich: A Response to Forest Rain

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down Under, and The Jewish Press.}

Forest Rain has written a smart piece published in Israellycool entitled, From Exodus to Munich: How Did We Get Here?

This is an interesting bit of cultural inquiry that wonders how the Jewish people in Israel went - in the popular Western imagination - from plucky and outnumbered victims seeking sovereignty (Exodus, starring Paul Newman in 1960) to what is, essentially, the "galut" mentality of semi-neurotic self-doubt in Steven Spielberg's Munich.

Concerning Exodus, Forest Rain writes:

"This is the first, the only movie I have ever seen that has empathy (rather than sympathy), not for the Jewish victim but for the Jewish survivor – admiration for the people who had been to hell and back, that had more spirit than anything else and were willing to do whatever it takes to be free in the land of their ancestors."

Forest Rain is, for very good reason, a tad more skeptical of Steven Spielberg's Munich.

She writes:
Steven Spielberg did a deep service to the preservation of Jewish heritage by creating the Shoah Foundation and documenting the testimonials of Holocaust survivors. His movie, Schindler’s List, has become a staple in teaching children about the Holocaust. I’m sure, when he chose to create Munich, he did not intend to create a film filled with poisonous, anti-Israel propaganda. And yet, shockingly, that is exactly what he created.
In Exodus, the Paul Newman character (Ari Ben Canaan) is a proud, strong Jew and military commander, fighting unapologetically for the establishment of the State of Israel and for the well-being of the Jewish people in our continuously conquered homeland.

Spielberg's Munich, on the other hand, according to Forest Rain:
show conflicted Jews. Jews (especially Israelis) who are strong but feel bad about it. The IDF soldier that does not want to fight, is afraid or doesn’t want to “hurt the poor Palestinian” is a particularly popular character.
Spielberg's emotive standpoint is close to Ari Folman's 2008 Waltz with Bashir wherein the main character is so horrified by whatever role he thinks that the Jews played in the 1982 Lebanese Christian massacre of Arab-Muslims in Sabra and Shatila that he cannot even remember it.

He psychologically blocks it out.

He cannot emotionally face the idea that while he was a soldier in Lebanon Jews may have been complicit in the Christian murder of Muslims. Or, at least, that he - himself, personally - may have been complicit.

Ultimately, Forest Rain and I wonder along similar lines.

She concludes:
From Exodus to Munich, how did we get here? More importantly, how do we go back?
I do not know that I believe in the notion of "national characteristics" but if there is such a thing ours were forged, in part, through the continual irrational malice of larger powers, both European and Muslim.

And while we can never go back to the Western sympathies pre-1967 what we can do is stand up unashamedly for ourselves as did Ari Ben Canaan in Exodus.

The popular sensibility among "soft" anti-Zionists on the western-left is that we are well-meaning murderers.

The friendliest among them tend to be vaguely sympathetic, but ultimately come down on the side of the enemies of the Jewish people.

They honestly believe that Arabs seek to murder Jews because we are mean. Israel is mean. The Jews, as a matter of schadenfreude, are the New Nazis.

Although they understand about the Shoah, they also consider Israeli Jews to be persecutors of the bunny-like "indigenous Arab population" and this is why "one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter."

The Jewish people will not retrieve western-left sympathies anytime soon. That is simply out of the question. It is not going to happen and it eludes me why we should continue to try.

What we should do is send our young people to Krav Maga training because there is pretty good chance that they might need it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Today on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left

Today's Rosh Hashanah show with Maurice Klein filling for Alan on holiday.

Special guest today, practicing orthodox Muslim Raheel Raza with a powerful message for our Jewish community, with Muslim Scholar Rev Dr Mark Durie explaining the connection between Islam and AntiSemitism. As always Isi Leibler from Jerusalem talking sense.







Raheel Raza 2.50

Rev Durie 22.45

Isi Leibler 41.00

The podcast can also be found on the J-Air website.

Or its Facebook page.

NOTHING LEFT can be heard live each Tuesday 9-11am on FM 87.8 in the Caulfield area, or via the J-Air website www.j-air.com.au

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, September 18, 2017

Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem

Susan George

{This concise and incisive piece was originally published in the Times of Israel. - ML}

Reem’s Café owner, Reem Assil, claims to be an advocate of free speech.

When you enter the front door of Reem’s Café in Oakland, California the first thing you see is a giant floor to ceiling, colorful mural of terrorist and murderer Rasmea Odeh. It’s clear that Assil wants this image of Odeh front and center.

While we detest the glorification of terror the mural on her wall epitomizes, we recognize this is her right under the First Amendment. Does she recognize our right for peaceful protest? Apparently she doesn’t.

But first some background. Rasmea Odeh, a member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was convicted in Israel and sentenced to life in prison for the bombings of two Jerusalem locations in February 1969. The first at a crowded supermarket took the lives of two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner, 21, and Edward Joffe, 22, and injured nine people. The second bombing at the British Embassy had no injuries.

The evidence of Rasmea Odeh’s guilt is conclusive. Not only did she confess a day after her arrest, bomb-making materials were found in her room. Her co-conspirator, Ayesha Odeh, in a documentary interview willingly offered up how Odeh was directly involved in the bombings.

A few of us have been holding peaceful vigils at Reem’s to honor the memories of Kanner and Joffe. Assil is degrading their memories by grotesquely honoring their killer. We cannot let this stand.

We are also asking that Assil take down the mural. Though she said Reem’s is a place where people can “speak their mind and maybe have the hard conversations” she refuses to speak with any of us.

Instead, Assil wants to silence us. She repeatedly calls security and the Oakland Police Department to monitor our every move. Initially law enforcement even asked us to leave. But we know our rights.

Now Assil has gone much further. She has sued three of the protestors to obtain temporary restraining orders. The Alameda County Superior Court has twice denied Assil’s requests. Yet she perseveres with lawsuits aimed at quashing the voices of conscience about Odeh’s many crimes.

Why would Assil choose to lionize a convicted terrorist in a larger than life mural and not expect people to respond? And when they do, she quickly calls for cover from law enforcement and applies for restraining orders?

It is safe to say that Reem Assil only values free speech when it agrees with her own biased views.

A few days ago, we returned to Reem’s to again honor the memories of Leon Kanner and Edward Joffee. You can watch our brief video account here.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Reem's Oakland Protest of Rasmea Odeh Still Strong (Updated)

Michael Lumish

Update:

Some of you guys have asked who created the video below.

Matthew Finkelstein takes considerable credit as an organizer, inspiration, and a man speaking out on the scene at Reem's.

Susan George, who is a district delegate for the California Democratic Party, an actress, a non-Jewish supporter of Israel, and a Bernie Sanders supporter, wrote and delivered the narration.

Marc Garman edited video and was both tech and production.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Moral Panic of 2017

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under and The Jewish Press.}

This is a moment of "moral panic" in the United States.

All this yelling and screaming and crying and whining about Nazis and Klansmen and White Supremacists is like nothing so much as the Red Scare of the 1950s.

As you will remember from either personal experience or from the classroom, the early Cold War is often understood and discussed as a period of anti-Communist "witch hunts."

Even Lucille Ball, of all people, was dragged before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1953 to answer for her Communist grandfather and her brief moment in the Party in the late 1930s.

Both Democratic and Republican politicians followed "Tail Gunner Joe" McCarthy into scaring the holy hell out of the American public to such an extent that hard-right Republicans were able to challenge no less a revered figure than President Dwight Eisenhower... former Supreme Allied Commander for the invasion of Europe in 1944... who they considered soft.

Of course - as it turns out after the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of their archives in the early 1990s - there was a bit more truth to the notion of Communist infiltration than anybody who grew up within the American Jewish Left is eager to admit.

What I suspect, and what professional historians tend to believe, is that Joe McCarthy, more than anything else, was a politician with his finger to the wind.

He saw the early Cold War political zeitgeist and recognized a terrific opportunity. This is not to say that he was insincere but the hour was there for the taking and he absolutely took it.

In doing so, he and the political establishment more generally - Democratic and Republican - whipped up fear and hatred in the heart of the American public toward the Russians and the "Commies." They did so in some measure for political gain and in some measure because they honestly believed that by staring down the Soviets they were serving the American people.

It must be noted, obviously, that the Soviet Union was an honest threat to the lives of the American people. Although we chuckle at it in retrospect when the new, post-war suburbanites built bomb shelters in their backyards (in lieu of swimming pools) it was not entirely out of irrational fear.

Nonetheless, Cold War architects from Truman to Reagan used the "bully pulpit" to drive that fear into the minds of as many Americans as possible.

And this - 2017 - is just such a moment.

{Here we are again.}


"The Race Scare"

The irony, of course, is that instead of searching beneath every bed sheet for a Communist Infiltrator we are now conducting an American "witch hunt" for Nazis.

It is a Race Scare.

We gather in great numbers to pat ourselves on the back, marching against HATE and congratulate one another for our virtues of tolerance as we encourage fear and loathing toward an insidious green fascist frog man.

The truth is that we hate hate so much that some of us feel a moral imperative to dress up in black and hide our faces for the purpose of beating the holy shit out of anyone bold enough to listen to a Gay Jewish Conservative speak at UC Berkeley or, say, a traditional religious conservative like Ben Shapiro.

That is how much we hate hate.

Even well-meaning, upwardly-mobile, Champaign Socialists - who would never dare physically confront a man on the street merely because that person was wearing a red baseball cap - generally support such good, old-fashioned ass-whoopins' in the name of "anti-fascism" by the Kids in Black.

{Nothing, after all, suggests a political attitude opposed to fascism so much as clobbering people in the streets like it's late 1920s Berlin.}

And, now, following the lead of those "progressives" in ISIS and the rest of political Islam, we are ripping down historical monuments that remind us of a past that we want nothing to do with and we are signaling our virtue and goodness and progressive-left social inclusion by donning "pink pussy hats" and encouraging Black Lives Matter to call for the murder of cops.

{"Fry 'em like bacon! Pigs in a blanket! Fry 'em like bacon! Pigs in a blanket!"}

And, so, yes, this is the most insidious political moment in my lifetime.

One would have to go back to 1968 to find this level of vitriol.

The difference is that over 58,000 young American soldiers died in the Vietnam War.

The draft yanked young American men out of their lives for the purpose of killing the Viet Cong... who they did not know from a hot pastrami sandwich.

What the counterculture and the New Left wanted was to end that war.

What Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted was the franchise for African-Americans and to promote anti-racism.

This, unfortunately, is in direct opposition to the contemporary progressive-left which worships ethnicity above all.

So, my question to the progressive-left today is, just what the hell do you want?

But, in the meantime - after you figure out how to specifically articulate the answer to that question - please stop scaring Jewish people with the ghosts of Nazis, if you do not mind.

It is one of the smaller, but uglier, aspects of this obnoxious political moment.