Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Response to Morgan Vendittelli

Michael L.

It happens much more rarely than I would have supposed, but every once in awhile a true anti-Jewish racist will come onto Israel Thrives and spit a little bile.

The most recent example is a comment from someone who goes under the moniker "Morgan Vendittelli" under my piece A Tree Living Without a Forest.

If you click on the link of Morgan's name you will see that it goes to a truly anti-Semitic website hosting this image:

jewish privilege

I like classic racists of the "ugly kind" such as Mr. Vendittelli because I find them to be much more honest and forthright than the insidious progressive-left kind that like to dress up their racism in the left-leaning language of social justice and human rights.

Look at the image above. It is simply unabashed hatred toward Jewish people and apparently, even, toward Jewish day school students.

So, knowing from the outset that Vendittelli is a stone-cold anti-Jewish racist, this is the comment that he left here:
Italy and Ireland don't have racist policies against Blacks and they don't kill thousands of Children.

3.5 Million People died in the Armenian Holocaust, they don't use that as an excuse to kill children or to exempt them from Nuclear weapons inspections by the UN.

It's time Israel changed it's ways. America is on the decline and wont have the ability to pay billions in Welfare to Israel. 
Israel should change.

Before you label me antisemitic consider that 5 million non jews also died in the Holocaust and the Germans also killed 25 million Russians.

No one uses those deaths to kill children.
The main thing to notice in the gibberish above is his focus on the alleged Jewish killing of children.

To this day the blood-libel remains a favorite theme among anti-Semites of both the classic variety, as represented by Vendittelli, as well as by progressive-left racists of the sort found on Daily Kos or the Guardian or the Huffington Post.

The modus operandi, as it has been for centuries now, is to accuse Jews of wantonly killing non-Jewish children strictly for the fun of it. In his brief few lines he accuses Jewish Israelis of killing children no less than three distinct times. The reason for this focus on the alleged Jewish crime of murdering innocent babies is to justify the ongoing violence against us. This violence, as always, has political aspects that serve to distract people from the genuine causes of the larger political failures within their own countries or communities.

The fact of the matter, of course, is that the IDF does more than any army in human history to avoid civilian casualties, which can be difficult given the loathsom Palestinian-Arab tendency to hide their fighters behind their children.

Venditelli, further, accuses Jews and / or the Jewish state of having "racist policies against Blacks."

I challenge him to show us just where in Israeli law there are embedded racist policies against Black people. In fact, given American Jewish support for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s - not to mention our ongoing, but foolish, support for Barack Obama - to suggest that Jews, in general, are racist toward people of African descent is an appalling lie, but not a surprising one.

In any case, I invite Mr. Venditelli to expand on his ideas so that we can give them the consideration that they deserve.

White Man's Burden... Lloyd

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and The Jewish Press.}

burdenOne of the most hysterical aspects of this political moment in the West is the phenomenon of blatant left-leaning racists who self-righteously claim to stand against racism.

The hypocrisy is both obvious and rich.

The most racist political movement in the West today, aside from political Islam, is western-progressivism, a political movement allegedly, and ironically, grounded in anti-racism. The western-progressive variety of racism, however, is not the old-timey, outright racism of the early-middle twentieth-century. It is not your grandfather's racism. It is not the racism of the Klan or the Nazis, but of what Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed in 2012 "Humanitarian racism."

Contemporary humanitarian racism is something akin to late nineteenth-century imperial racism wherein the American elite, and others of the wealthy and white-skinned persuasion, told themselves that they had a moral obligation to take care of their "little brown brothers." They called it "white man's burden," Lloyd.

Gerstenfeld writes:
The basic views of humanitarian racists are very similar to those of the ugly type. They may claim, for example, that most contemporary problems of African states result from the colonial period, even if these countries have been independent for many decades. This in fact means that Africans cannot be responsible for their actions. The humanitarian racist’s worldview is as distorted as that of the ugly racist. It is not stated explicitly, but only implicitly in his words.

The humanitarian racist’s conclusion differs, however, from that of the ugly racist. He or she considers that as the non-white or weak cannot be held responsible for their acts, one should look away as often as possible even if they commit major crimes. Ugly racists fortunately can no longer get articles published in mainstream media, but humanitarian racists unfortunately are welcomed by them.
Not only are humanitarian racists welcome in western publishing houses, they are also welcome at the highest levels of western governments, including the White House. The Obama administration, for example, is determinedly racist. Not only is Barack Obama deeply skeptical of Jewish self-determination and self-defense on historically Jewish land, but he also considers people "of color," aside from Jews, to be mere victims of white colonial oppression and, therefore, like small children, not really responsible for their words and behavior.

How else to explain the fact that Obama pats the Iranians on the head, while giving them hundreds of billions of dollars, even as their leadership screeches for the death of America and the genocide of the Jews? How else does one explain the fact that the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood economically, militarily, and diplomatically, despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood not only called for the conquest of Jerusalem, but is the parent organization of al-Qaeda, and thus the grandparent of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?

And now we have the ongoing spectacle of one of the most anti-Semitic presidents since the UN's recognition of the State of Israel in 1948 constantly telling Jewish people how much he appreciates us and cares for us even as he perpetually kicks Israel in the teeth. This is a president of the United States who, much like Italian princes during the Medieval period, honestly believes that he has every right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live.

It is entirely outrageous, obviously anti-Semitic, and almost never commented upon.

And now this racist president of the United States has the temerity to stand up before the international Jewish community, at the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on a day set aside for commemoration of the Holocaust, no less, and declares that "we are all Jews."

Well, that is very sweet, but not everyone seems to agree. Writing at Israellycool Varda Epstein tells us:
He was there to commemorate the Holocaust on a day the UN chose to be International Holocaust Day. Just as the President throws Israel under the bus but proves his love for the Jews by giving a speech at a place associated with the Jewish State, so too, the UN created a day to prove its empathy for Jewish victims, while thumbing its nose at Israel, by way of ignoring Israel’s chosen date for this celebration, Yom HaShoah.

And of course, the President’s speech on this day said one thing and meant another. He said:

“We are all Jews, because anti-Semitism is a distillation, an expression of an evil that runs through so much of human history, and if we do not answer that, we do not answer any other form of evil.”

To those who defend the President, these words mean that he identifies with the plight of Jews and is staunch in the fight against antisemitism.

But to people whose critical thinking skills remain intact, the president is saying, “Jews are nothing special. They are no different than anyone else. Antisemitism is not special or unique. It’s just another kind of racism, just a garden variety evil, no different than any other.”
The fact of the matter is that Barack Obama is neither a friend to the Jewish people nor a friend to the Jewish State of Israel. He is, in fact, a racist, but not merely toward Jews, but also toward non-white people, particularly those of the African or Middle Eastern varieties.

Toward us his racism is more traditional and what Gerstenfeld refers to as the "ugly variety." Toward other groups Obama's racism, like western-left racism, more generally, is of the "humanitarian" variety.  There is, however, one thing that Obama's racism toward Jews and toward non-Jewish people "of color" have in common.

They are both characterized by treacly condescension.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Uranus and Voyager 2


A Tree Living Without a Forest

Michael L.

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

israel nazi jewsI have in the past been accused of conflating the State of Israel with the Jewish people and very much hope to get so-accused heading into the future for a long, long time to come.

While it is true that Israel is not directly synonymous with the Jewish people - as any Jewish anti-Zionist can easily demonstrate - it nonetheless remains the case that Israel makes possible the self-defense of the Jewish people and thereby represents the great majority of us, no matter where we might reside.

One of the great pleasures of running a small political blog such as this one, aside from the occasional free book, is that I get to interact with people of similar concerns from all around the world. Like most US-Americans my relationships with other people through most of my life have been with other US-Americans. Now I find myself speaking with people from throughout Europe, Australia, and Israel, including the so-called "settlers" such as Yosef and Melody in Hebron.

Not all of these people, of course, are Jewish. What we all have in common, however, is an appreciation of the Land of Israel as the historical homeland of the Jewish people. I am even one of those who would go so far as to suggest that Israel represents the redemption of the Jewish people.

For Jews to exist without Israel would be something akin to a tree living without a forest.

We need Israel not only because, considering Jewish history, it is devoted to the survival and protection and well-being of the Jewish people, but because when it thrives we can also, as can our children. Look at Jewish history. It is no coincidence that the economic, creative, and political rise of Jewish prominence in the modern era coincides with the rise of the Jewish State of Israel.

Jews, prior to 1948, were a cowed and harshly discriminated-against people throughout the West. European Jewry, of course, was devastated by the Nazis and their European collaborators, including the French and the Brits. American Jews basically kept their heads down as the New York Times studiously ignored the Holocaust. I have no idea what Australian Jewry was up to at that moment.

But the point, of course, is that Israel needs the Jews just as the Jews need Israel.

What most people, including most Jews, do not realize is that the very word "Israel" refers to the Jewish people, not merely the modern state. Thus when hostile western-liberal anti-Zionists defame Israel and seek to diminish Israel and lie about Israel as a racist, colonialist, imperialist, militaristic, apartheid, racist state they are, on a certain level, condemning the Jewish people in much the same way that the Nazis did... and that all enemies of the Jewish people have done since the Romans came forth and kicked ass.

Criticism of the state is one thing. Defamation, however, is something else entirely.

Criticism seeks to be fair. Defamation seeks to slander and libel.

If we state the above, which is incontrovertibly true from a historical perspective, we are also sometimes accused of holding dual-loyalty.

As a citizen of the United States, a nation of immigrants, I assume that my feelings for the Jewish homeland is not so different from the feelings that French or German or Japanese Americans have toward their own.

The only difference is that no one credible is suggesting that France is not the homeland of the French or that Germany is not the homeland of the Germans or that the island of Japan is not the homeland of the Japanese.

Angela Merkel and the current EU immigration idiocy aside, everyone recognizes that Spain is Spanish, despite the fact that other ethnic minorities live there. Israel is obviously far older than is England or France or Germany or Spain and thus has, from an historical perspective, greater legitimacy as a nation-state than almost any other country on the planet.

Furthermore, as among the most persecuted people in history, the Jews require a safe haven and Israel would be it, but for the never-ending theocratic-bigotry of its violently hyper-conservative Arab-Muslim neighbors.

If American Jews who care about Israel seem to be "dual-loyalist" it is only because our tiny minority remains under siege by a much more populous Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East that would see us dead.

I have no doubt that if Americans of Italian or Irish descent saw their countries of origin under siege they would be just as committed, as are many American Jews, to standing up for the land of their ancestors.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Podcast # 10 - Anti-Zionist Gays Protesting Jewish Gays in Chicago and a few thoughts on a Vic Rosenthal piece

Michael L.

This podcast is only about five minutes long and it is concerned with two stories.

The first is from Times of Israel reporter Eric Cortellessa entitled, Protesters obstruct Jewish reception at gay rights convention.

The second is a piece by Vic Rosenthal over at Abu Yehuda entitled, The PLO can't be fixed.

Given how generally friendly western Jews have been toward the movement for Gay rights, it is vaguely nauseating to witness the worst forms of anti-Zionism burrowing their way into that movement.

Rosenthal, on a different topic, is directly on-point.
The PLO is possibly one of the most malign entities to come into being in the 20th century, no less than the Nazi party or the Stalinist soviet regime, albeit on a smaller scale. In the years from its founding in 1964 and through its unfortunate legitimization by Israel as the representative of the Palestinians – one of the two greatest strategic mistakes made by an Israeli government since the founding of the state – the PLO brought terrorism into the mainstream of international politics, started wars and destabilized governments. It always kept its primary objective foremost: to destroy Israel by killing Israeli Jews. Thanks to Oslo it now has the status of a governmental authority.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Vox's distortion of Middle East history

Sar Shalom

David Gerstman of Legal Insurrection last week posted a critique of Vox's history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Gerstman is spot on with the recent material, in order to cover the recent history he leaves the pre-history of the conflict unaddressed. Unfortunately, the misperception of the pre-history of the conflict is responsible for the perception that there is nothing illegitimate in any Palestinian objective.

The offending part of the Vox video comes from the first minute. In it, the narrator states:
One of the biggest myths about the Israel-Palestine conflict is that it has been going on for centuries all about ancient religious hatreds. In fact while religion is involved [the] conflict's mostly about two groups who claim the same land and it really only goes back a century to the early 1900s. Around then, the region along the eastern Mediterranean we now call Israel-Palestine, then under Ottoman rule for centuries was religiously diverse including mostly Muslims and Christians, also a small number of Jews who lived generally in peace.
Leaving aside the inaccuracy of the subsequent claim that Palestinian nationalism started at the same the Hertzl started the Zionist movement in Europe, the included quote is technically accurate, but obscures the reality of Jewish-Muslim relations in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Yes it was generally peaceful, that is mass violence against the Jewish population only occurred every few years and episodes were not prolonged, but it was peaceful in the sense that "relations between the white and Negro races" were "amicable" under Jim Crow as the signers of the Southern Manifesto described their objection to Brown v. Board of Education. Just as peace was maintained in the Jim Crow south by blacks learning their place under Jim Crow, peace was maintained in Ottoman Palestine by Jews learning their place under the Pact of Umar. The conflict that began in the 20th century is the result of the influx of Jews who refused to abide by the Pact of Umar.

Not all Arabs living in Palestine were offended by Jews abrogating the Pact of Umar to the point that they would wage an unceasing war to reimpose the Pact. Unfortunately, the British gave one such Arab a platform from which he could brand as a traitor any Arab who acquiesced to any rollback of the Pact by naming him Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Since the rise of the Mufti, the Palestinian national movement (PNM) has been about one thing, and it is not "freedom" for the Palestinians as Vox's Max Fisher would have you believe. Rather, it is about reimposing the Pact of Umar and teaching its trespassers a lesson the way Abu Ishaq did in 1066.

Returning to Gerstman's rebuttal to the Vox post, Gerstman recognizes Vox's distortion of the pre-1920 record as he responded to one of the commenters that he did not have enough time to include a response to that distortion and respond to the more recent material. The problem is whether or not one knows the reality of the Pact of Umar in 19th century Ottoman Palestine, and that the founding of the PNM was about restoring that social order, sets the framework for how one evaluates what happened subsequently. If restoration of the 19th century social order is not on one's radar screen for the PNM's motives, then one would naturally conclude that the PNM is concerned with protecting the rights of the Palestinian people. If that is so, and the PNM harps on the refugees from the Independence War, it must be because Israel did really bad things in creating that refugee crisis. If the PNM hasn't reached a deal with Israel, it must be because Israel hasn't offered enough to establish the Palestinians' rights.

All of this changes once one recognizes that the core of the conflict is Arab irredentism for the 19th century social order. From that perspective, a plot of land the size of a postage stamp where the Pact of Umar does not hold is an inexcusable humiliation to the Palestinian-Arab psyche. However, the Arabs have learned through decades of war that they cannot restore the Pact of Umar against western objections and it goes without saying that the West will not support restoring the Pact of Umar. What is feasible though, is to convince the West that the Palestinians just want their rights and specific actions under "international law" to secure those rights where it just so happens that those actions would enable the restoration of the Pact of Umar the way control of the Sudetenland facilitated the occupation of all of Czechoslovakia. Enter the Oslo Accords and western fascination with the notion that the 1967 "borders" should be the starting point for the final border between Israel and Palestine. Viewing Oslo through the lens of social order-irredentism would show that talks have failed to yield a result because the PNM will not accept anything less than their gaining the capacity unilaterally reinstate the Pact of Umar over time.

There are three points that are needed to ground the notion that the conflict is about social order-irredentism. First is establishing that there was a social order in the 19th century to which the Arabs could be irredentist. This part is trivial, it just requires showing the history and not allowing anyone to dismiss it as irrelevant (such as Vox describing that century as generally peaceful and moving on). The second part is establishing that the Mufti was animated by a desire to preserve and restore that social order as it was breaking down. Finally is to establish that today's PNM is a continuation of the Mufti's mission.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

An Open Letter to a Jewish Friend in England

Michael L.

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

stormI don't know, Kate.

Sometimes it just seems pointless.

Sorry to be downbeat, but I feel like I am glaring into a howling thunderstorm. In California we could use the weather, but I worry about my friends elsewhere.

You may be aware that the Washington Post just published an infographic on displaced peoples around the world since WWII and while they cover the Palestinian-Arab displacement after '48 they do not reference the Jewish displacement from Arab lands at that time. In 1948 the Jews in "Arab lands" outside of Israel posed no threat to their Muslim neighbors. Nonetheless, they were driven out of their homes with only the clothing on their backs and somehow this has been removed from the dominant narrative. The Washington Post thereby erases Jewish history on land that Jews have lived upon for millennia.

I find this kind-of passive-aggressive stance by "the powers that be", as represented by the Washington Post, to be both depressing and antagonistic.

I expect this kind of mierde from the New York Times, but the Times has never been a friend of the Jewish people. They buried the Holocaust, while it was happening, in the back pages of the publication as you are probably aware, and for which I will never forgive them. As I write this I am looking at a copy of a 1986 book by Deborah E. Lipstadt entitled Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust 1933 - 1945.

Lipstadt documents the various ways in which the American press, following the New York Times, downplayed the Holocaust to the back-pages, when they even bothered to discuss it. This little piece of American history is, in my opinion, grotesque. Because Sulzberger did not want the Times thought of as part of the Jewish press - you know, the little rags coming out Brooklyn - he failed to cover the Shoah for the wider audience within the United States.

On a daily basis I scan the Israel-Jewish headlines and read articles - many pointed out by you and many pointed out by Ian - and it can be just overwhelming. The EU wants to boycott Israeli goods. Many western academics want to boycott Jewish-Israeli academics. "Crybullies" on American college campuses demand "safe spaces" from conflicting opinions even as they spit hatred at, and threaten violence toward, Jewish kids who support the Jewish state.

The hypocrisy is profound. As you know, the Jerusalem Post recently published an article entitled, Uproar on Trump’s Muslim ban; silence on Abbas’s Jewish ban, by Morton Klein and Daniel Mandel of ZOA fame.

They write:
Last week, Abbas described the daily onslaught of stabbings, car-rammings and other murders, claiming the lives of 24 Jews, as “justified popular unrest.”

Had Abbas’ words, suitably adjusted, been uttered by an Israeli leader, newspapers around the world would carry detailed reports on their front pages; parliaments around the world would vote to condemn him and the society that tolerated such words; human rights organizations would organize petitions and rallies condemning Israel; international leaders would issue statements of condemnation and the United Nations would surely be called into special session to consider formally condemning Israel in the harshest terms.
So, we have a racist American administration that objects to Jews building housing for themselves in Judea and Samaria, the very place that Jewish people come from. Yet they could not care less that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority will not even allow Jews to live on that land if, and when, the Palestinian-Arabs ever accept a state for themselves.

I am sometimes reminded of a scene from Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle where a rotund black man, quietly reading a book on civil disobedience, has this exchange with Harold, his cell-mate:

So what are you in here for?


For being black.


Come on. Seriously.

TARIK sits up. He looks at OFFICER PALUMBO who, with his Walkman on, is oblivious to their conversation.


I am serious. You wanna know what happened?

Harold nods.


I was walking out of a Barnes and Noble, and a cop stops me. Evidently, a black man robbed a store in Newark. Therefore,since I’m black, it was probably me, right?

Harold shrugs his shoulders.


Well that was the logic the cop used. I told him I haven’t even been to Newark in months. Then he pointed a gun at me and told me to stop resisting arrest. I said, “Hey, I’m not resisting anything.” 
So he starts beating me with his gun, screaming at me, telling me to stop
The analogy only goes so far, but I think that you get the point. No matter how often Israel agrees to a Palestinian-Arab state on Jewish land, and no matter how many times the Palestinian-Arabs refuse to accept such a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish people, the western cops keep smacking around the Jews.

The situation is fundamentally unjust yet it never ends and the Jews are perpetually in the dock.

Unlike poor Tarik, however, the Jewish people are not entirely without resources or options.

Israel must act unilaterally because negotiations with the Arabs are entirely pointless, as has been proven over and over again during the last one-hundred years, and the West, particularly the EU, is growing more and more hostile and, therefore, more and more toxic as a negotiating partner or interlocutor.

What we need to see, in my not so humble opinion, is greater aliyah out of ugly neighborhoods... such as Sweden, Germany, France, and Britain. The Jews who remain in Europe in the coming decades will not likely face another Holocaust, but they will face continued harassment by Arab-Muslim émigrés from North Africa and the Middle East, making life for them exceedingly uncomfortable within the countries of their birth.

Israel should also declare its final borders and remove the IDF to behind those borders. What those borders will be, given that the Palestinian Authority refuses to accept a Jewish state on any bit of Jewish land, should be entirely up to the Jewish people of the Middle East via the government of Israel.

Finally, Israel needs to look eastward for commercial and scientific partnership. The international economic center of gravity is falling upon the Far East Asian Pacific Rim and, therefore, Israel is developing mutually beneficial economic ties with countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Israel will continue to maintain good relationships with the United States, particularly upon the forthcoming departure of the malicious Obama administration, but Europe is looking more and more like a lost cause.

This may sound hard and insensitive coming from an American Jew to a British Jew, but the coming generations of European Jewry will survive under two possible conditions.

Either they hide their Jewish identity or they fight the hell back.

And, make no mistake, the kids need martial arts... particularly the girls.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Saturn has 62 moons.

earth saturn s

Podcast # 9 - Andrew Hammel, Anti-Jewish Violence at Kings College, and a "Palestinian of African Descent with Roots in Brazil."

Michael L.

This one is also about ten minutes long wherein I point to the blogging of Andrew Hammel, resident of Dusseldorf, concerning the German immigration crisis. This is a gentleman with something to say and I very much recommend checking him out.

I also talk a little bit about an article from Legal Insurrection concerning violent student protests against Jews Israel that, much like in the good old days of Nazi Germany, are becoming more and more fashionable on western college campuses. I have had my personal run-in with this kind of thing before at San Francisco State University which is among the most racist / anti-Semitic colleges in the United States.

Finally, I talk a little about the United Nation's "International Decade for People of African Descent" in which they used the event to highlight a woman who says that she is a "Palestinian of African Descent with Roots in Brazil."

I have no doubt that it is my own loathsome prejudices shining through but for the life of me I cannot imagine how a "Palestinian" can be not only of African descent, but also with roots in Brazil?

I always thought that the people who self-identify as "Palestinian" - once the Jews gave up that descriptor in favor of "Israeli" after the War of Independence in 1948 - to be Arabs?


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Podcast # 8 - Dr. Erik Tillman, Ryan Bellerose, and Some Messed-Up Kid in Pakistan

Michael L.

This one is about ten minutes long wherein I discuss the crazed story of the Pakistani 15 year old who chopped off his own hand because of "blasphemy error."

I am starting to have a conversation on the European immigration crisis with Dr. Erik Tillman, from DePaul, at Vocal Europe. Either that or the conversation is already finished. I have no idea.

And I want to give a shout-out to advocate for indigenous peoples, Ryan Bellerose. There is nobody like this guy. He is of the Métis people, a former Canadian football player, and a sincere friend of the Jewish people. This makes him entirely unique and I do think that you should give him consideration.

Also, you should know that I misspoke when I said in the podcast that Muhammad's armies conquered Israel in the 8th century. It was the 7th, of course.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Departure of the Jews and the Decline of Western Europe

Michael L.

{Also published at the Algemeiner and the The Jewish Press.}

In a piece by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti for Israel National News we read that the last Jews of Sweden are departing for more amicable locales.

He writes:
leaving... Jews are fleeing Malmö.

In the seventies, the community had more than 2,000 members: today there are less than 500. The others left for Stockholm or for Israel.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a warning to all Jews who visit Malmo, "hide public religious signs and do not speak Hebrew”.

The Departure of the Jews

Jews in Europe are not only losing their rights to walk in safety in the streets of their towns and neighborhoods, they are even being robbed of their public identity as Jews so that their "filthy-footed" presence does not incite the local Jihadis or Islamists into fits of bloody genocidal rage.

Meotti writes:
Before the attack in Copenhagen, a year ago, there were 23 children in the Jewish kindergarten in Malmö: today there are only 5 left. The armed guards in front of the school triggered panic and parents prefer to enroll their children in public school. It is the end of Jewish identity. Some people whispered that the synagogue of the city will soon be turned into a museum. From 2010 to today, the synagogue lost a third of the faithful. The rabbi, Shneur Kesselman, is constantly attacked in the streets: almost 200 episodes of anti-Semitism in ten years. 
But this kind of thing has been going on for the Jews of western Europe, and particularly towns with high rates of Arab-Muslim immigration like Malmö, for many years now. It is not an exaggeration to say that traditional Arab-Muslim violent prejudice against Jews, now justified through the demonization of the Jewish state, is driving Jews out of their homes in Europe.

If a Jew cannot walk down the streets of Marseille without looking over his shoulder for the sudden appearance of a knife-wielding maniac screeching "Alahu Akbar" then Jews have lost their freedom to live like normal human beings in the European countries of their birth.

According to Meotti, a European Jewish Congress poll shows that around one-third of European Jewry, about 700,000 people, is considering emigration out of what is becoming a European nightmare.

Meotti concludes:
This is what Malmö teaches Jews all over Europe: for the Jews, the next step after removing the kippah is leaving the city and then the country. The once placid and civilized Sweden, the “paradise of refugees” has turned into a nightmare for the Jewish people.
Few non-Jews in Europe care about this unjust Quran-based malice toward the Jewish people because they think that nefarious "Zionists" support the allegedly racist, colonialist, imperialist, militaristic, genocidal, apartheid, racist State of Israel and, thus, richly deserve whatever beatings Arab-Muslims wish to dish out.

So, Jews have lost their freedom to live normal lives in Europe, but now native Europeans are learning what Jewish Europeans have known for a long time, i.e, they are not safe in their homes, their townships, or their country.

The Decline of Western Europe

In a relatively new German blog concerned with the immigration crisis we learn that in the small city of Hilden, Germany, a 36 year-old Iraqi migrant attempted to rape an 8 year old German girl who managed to escape. The German news media, in-line with Angela Merkel's open-door immigration policies, barely covered the story, just as they are down-playing all such stories up to, and including, the mass immigrant attacks on women in the city of Cologne.

It took four days for the German news media to even bother covering that story.

The anonymous blogger writes:
So now even the most tolerant parent in Hilden will, from now on, probably stop letting his or her children walk around their small town alone. The chance of an incident just rose from tiny enough to be ignored to still very small, but no longer negligible. And everyone knows that this small but significant change in the level of social trust came about for one reason alone: that hundreds of strangers, mostly young single men from a vastly different culture, were brought into their sleepy community.
For Germans to live in fear of the "Syrian war-refugees" - which, for the most part, are not Syrian war-refugees - is to sacrifice a serious measure of their well-being, both physical and otherwise, and to rob their children of the freedoms that they, themselves, took for granted when they were young.

After the series of Taharrush Gamea in Cologne on New Years Eve, what the India Times calls The Sickening And Terrifying Arab Rape Game That Is Spreading Across Europe, Cologne's Mayer, Henriette Reker, told the young women of her city, "It is always possible to keep a certain distance that is longer than an arm’s length."

In Munich they have even started distributing flyers to immigrant men that suggest that assaulting women may not be a very good idea.

Munich dont touch girls

What accounts for this unbelievable stupidity, insensitivity, and refusal to take the necessary measures to clamp down on these remarkable scum, is politics. Reker, like many western European politicians, opinion makers, and media people, is heavily invested in the immigration policies of Merkel, Sweden, and the EU. She is, therefore, willing to fling young German women to the rapists rather than stand against an immigration policy that is violently shaking Europe and that could easily lead to the demise of its liberal, democratic nature.

Media Complicity

Europeans concerned about this mass migration of Middle Eastern and North African Muslims into Europe are regularly lambasted by many of their countrymen as hard-right fascists. However, what also must be enraging to those people is the realization of the lengths to which western European media veiled the extent and nature of these ongoing assaults upon their own people.

In a piece for the Spectator entitled, It’s not only Germany that covers up mass sex attacks by migrant men... Sweden’s record is shameful, Swedish journalist Ivar Arpie shares the various ways Swedish media sought to dupe their own people through concealing information, downplaying stories of rape and immigrant assaults, and essentially blaming the victim for those crimes.

She concludes:
Even now, Swedes are still trying to figure out what exactly has been going on. Reports are emerging of Taharrush gamea-style harassment in Malmö on New Year’s Eve. According to police reports, hundreds of refugee youths from Afghanistan roamed around and ‘surrounded intoxicated girls/women and harassed them’. Similar incidents are being reported from towns such as Kalmar and Karlstad. The Finnish authorities are handling reports of organised sexual harassment perpetrated by Iraqi immigrants.

We Swedes pride ourselves on our unrivalled record on respecting women’s rights. But when women’s rights conflict with the goal of accommodating other cultures, it’s almost always women who are pushed to the side. This week, the chattering classes in Sweden will be worrying about how this story plays into the hands of the Sweden Democrats. But events have moved beyond that. The truth may be painful. Yet, as we have seen, concealing the truth is worse.
And today we learn from Emma Henderson, in a piece for the Independent entitled, Swedish police banned from describing criminals anymore in case they sound racist, that:
Swedish police will no longer be able to give descriptions of alleged criminals for fear of being seen as racist.

According to an internal letter, police in capital city Stockholm are instructed to refrain from describing suspects' race and nationality, according to news website Speisa...  
“We want to avoid pointing out ethnic groups as criminal,” said Stockholm police press officer Wolf Gyllander.

Well, I am certain that "ethnic groups" will appreciate that most sincerely.

Meanwhile, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble proposed raising taxes on European consumers of petrol in order to pay for the crisis that Sweden, Germany, and the EU have inflicted upon their people. "This way we would have the means for a European response to the refugee issue," he said.

It is a testament to the humanity and basic human decency of western Europe, as derived from the political Enlightenment of the eighteenth-century, that she is so willing to suckle Syrian war-refugees - and pretty much anyone else from that part of the world - to her ample bosom.

The Jews, however, can take care of themselves and many of us currently residing in Europe will do so elsewhere, to the benefit of Israel, North America, and Australia.

Any European who thinks that the Jews have not learned the lessons of World War II, and the Holocaust, need only watch Jewish backsides diminishing on the horizon to recognize otherwise.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The European Immigration Crisis: A Conversation with Dr. Erik Tillman

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Vocal Europe.}

Erik Tillman is an Associate Professor of Political Science at DePaul University and one of my colleagues on the Academic Board of Trustees at Vocal Europe.

We seem to have differences concerning the significance of the migration crisis currently playing itself out in Germany and Sweden, among other western European countries.

In a piece entitled, Is the Refugee Crisis Fueling a Radical-Right Surge in Europe?, Tillman claims:
the refugee crisis is helping to push those voters attracted to the radical right—individuals who value security and social cohesion over individual autonomy and universal rights—to vote for those parties. (Emphasis mine.)
My question is whether or not the current refugee crisis will incline European voters who are already attracted to the "radical right" to vote for right-leaning political parties, as Tillman implies, or are we seeing a reasonable and growing concern among native Europeans about the political sensibilities and behavior of many of the Arab-Muslim immigrants pouring into their countries?

Tillman, for his part, took exception with my statement, within Arab Migrants, Jews, and the “Radical-Right” in Europe:
One thing that we know with certainty is that the great majority of Middle Eastern immigrants into Europe do not hold liberal values, i.e., the values of minority rights, gender equality, free speech, freedom of religion, and Gay rights.
Tillman points out:
But what do we “know with certainty” about the values of Muslim immigrants in the West? Because it is difficult and expensive to conduct survey research on a minority population, there is not a great deal of evidence.
He notes:
it is not a monolithic religious community, and significant differences exist between Muslims of different branches.
Islam numbers around 1.5 billion people from virtually every corner of the world... with the possible exception of Japan... so, yes, it is exceedingly diverse.

Tillman concludes:
many European Muslims display lower levels of prejudice closer to those of European Christians. This fact should remind us that individual personality traits that predispose one to prejudice exist across all religions and societies.
I absolutely agree.

Nonetheless, the data clearly shows levels of anti-Semitism throughout North Africa and the Middle East topping out over the 90th percentile according to Anti-Defamation League world statistics. The current genocide of Christians within that part of the world is staggering, and entirely under-reported, as Raymond Ibrahim, a scholar of Coptic descent, can easily attest. The rights of women and Gay people are regularly trampled throughout the Arab-Muslim Middle East and few in the West seems to care.

It is a matter of fundamental common sense, therefore, that traditionally oppressed groups within Europe, such as the GBLT community or the Jewish minority, not to mention women, should have a heads-up concerning the political nature of this Islamic influx.

Tillman takes a helpful step in that direction by breaking down some of the differences between Islamic groups. For example, he notes that there are significant differences in outlook between Sunni Muslims and the more liberal-minded Alevi Muslims. However, Alevi Muslims only represent between fifteen and twenty million people throughout the world, which means that they represent only a tiny percentage of the world Muslim population.

In any case, my question above stands.

Are the Europeans who will be voting for right-wing political parties likely to do so, as Tillman suggests, because they were already attracted to the "radical right" or will they do so out of a moderate and reasonable concern over how this mass migration will alter the nature of Europe?

The question is important because if the answer is the former they can easily be dismissed as radical right-wing bigots. However if the answer to the question is the latter then their politics will have significantly greater weight among opinion makers, policy makers, and the general public going forward.

"It's Not Rape If a Muslim Does It."



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On Obama's Fondness for Feeding Jews Dog Biscuits

Michael L.

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

Milk Bone
In a piece by the Elder of Ziyon, quoting Human Rights First, we read:
On January 7 the State Department released a press statement marking the one-year anniversary of the horrific attacks in Paris. Yet there was a troubling omission: the statement focused on Charlie Hebdo and referred only obliquely to another attack. It doesn’t specifically cite the attack on a kosher supermarket, where four innocent people were held hostage and brutally murdered.
In response, the Elder suggests that:
...this fits in with President Obama's characterization of the Hypercacher terror attack: 'It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.'
I get the feeling that this administration is skittish about mentioning Muslim Jew-hatred because it might blunt the larger message that has become dominant: that Westerners are "Islamophobic."... 
If the State Department would mention Muslim attacks on Jews, the message of tolerance towards Muslims gets muted. So the victims are universalized as just regular, random people.
Quite right.

Veiling Muslim attacks on Jews as something other than Muslim attacks on Jews protects the larger Muslim community from embarrassment. It does so at the expense of the tiny Jewish minority, but that is clearly not Obama's concern.

I would argue, in fact, that president Barack Obama is now openly mocking the American Jewish community. I am sorry, but it is pathetic. Not on his part, of course, but on ours. Obama has proven beyond any doubt that American Jews are an abused lap-dog owned by this administration.

Every once in awhile he tosses us a Milk-Bone and I find it shameful.

Obama knows what he is doing. His Department of State remembers the kerfuffle over the above remarks from last year as, I am sure, does the genius in the White House, himself. This year the dishonorable refusal to mention the Hypercacher attack as anti-Semitic is one of those little ways that the Obama administration enjoys tweaking Jewish noses. It also reveals zero interest in fighting racism toward American Jews despite the fact that the American Jewish community is the most violently attacked of any religious community in the United States.

It is not even close:

hate crimes chart 1449181453 (1)

And just why shouldn't Obama tweak Jewish noses while giving anti-Semitism a pass?

Why shouldn't he put Jewish lives at risk by implicitly suggesting that while Black Lives Matter, Jewish lives certainly do not? All American presidents have agendas and high on Obama's agenda is the desire to spare American Muslims the consequences of the Jihad.

This is not unreasonable. In my experience American Muslims are about as normalized and American as any other ethnic or religious groups and they should not have to pay the price because some maniac filled with romantic wonder at the glories of Jihad runs amuck in Paris or Tel Aviv or San Bernardino.

As someone who strongly relates to the Muslim community, both at home and abroad, there is nothing unusual about Obama's desire to protect American Muslims from the fear and loathing conjured by their more aggressive co-religionists.

However - and this is to my mind one mighty big however - it should NOT come through spitting on the American Jewish community.

The State of Israel, and thus the Jewish people, have one year left of a blatantly hostile American presidency.

We'll ride this bastard out and move on.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Gang Raped in Cologne

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Deborah Cole, writing in the Times of Israel, tells us:
rapeBERLIN, Germany (AFP) – German leaders expressed shock over dozens of apparently coordinated sexual assaults against women on New Year’s Eve in the western city of Cologne blamed on “Arab-looking men,” but warned against anti-migrant scapegoating.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a thorough investigation of the “repugnant” attacks, ranging from groping to at least one reported rape, allegedly committed in a large crowd of revellers during year-end festivities outside the city’s main train station and its famed Gothic cathedral.

Police in Cologne said they had received 90 criminal complaints by Tuesday and quoted witnesses as saying that groups of 20-30 young men “who appeared to be of Arab or North African origin” had surrounded victims, assaulted them and in several cases robbed them.

Germany took in around one million asylum seekers in 2015, many of them fleeing war-ravaged Syria.
But, as she fails to note, most are not fleeing war-ravaged Syria.

One need not be a sociologist to understand that importing millions of young men from a part of the world notorious for misogyny into the Land of the Blondies is likely to result in trouble and it is, in fact, resulting in trouble. Aside from rising rates of anti-Semitism and crime and homelessness in countries like Germany and Sweden there is also the little matter of rape.

They say that Sweden has emerged as the rape capital of Europe. The Swedes must be very proud.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the assaults represented “a new dimension of crime that we will have to get to grips with,” adding that they had appeared to be “coordinated.”

Asked by a journalist whether refugees were behind the rampage, Maas said police were still working to identify the attackers.

“This is not about where someone is from but what they did,” he said.

“Making an issue out of it, lumping it together with the refugee issue, is nothing but exploitation. Now is the time to determine the facts and then decide on the necessary consequences.”
Exploitation? I have no idea what this guy is talking about, but he sounds like someone who would be quite comfortable in the Obama administration... where they have turned dissimulation and evasion into a form of art.

Furthermore, this is not a matter of "lumping it together with the refugee issue" because it is an integral part of the immigration issue to begin with. Sweden and Germany have invited huge numbers of people into their countries who despise Jews, dislike Christians, disrespect women, and, outside of the financial benefits, do not even respect their host cultures or the authorities within those cultures.

The bottom line is that the EU, Germany, and Sweden have made an irreversible blunder and their people are going to pay very seriously, over a very long period of time, for that blunder.

I am not one of those who speaks of an "invasion" of Europe because in the minds of most these travelers, I have little doubt, it is a matter of building a better life in a more generous part of the world or, in the case of some, to run from war. Why they feel it necessary to run all the way to Stockholm or Cologne is not difficult to fathom. I mean, if you had a choice between living in Karachi or Stockholm, which would you choose?
Meanwhile the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which hopes to gain seats in three regional elections in March, seized on the attacks as “a result of unchecked immigration.”

“Here we see the appalling consequences of catastrophic asylum and migration policies on Germany’s everyday reality,” party leader Frauke Petry said.
There is no question but that right-leaning parties throughout Europe are going to benefit politically from the criminal-like negligence of the various mainstream European leaders, such as Angela Merkel. The sad thing is that most Europeans objecting to the opening of the immigrant floodgates are not racist, nor particularly right-wing. European political figures, who are invested in the policy, will encourage people to think upon those who object as "racists" if not "neo-Nazis."

In this way Europe is undermining its liberal, democratic nature going forward.

This is true for two reasons. The first is that the immigrants do not share those liberal, democratic values and seem generally unwilling to assimilate. This means that as they gain greater political power the less liberal and democratic Europe will become. Western feminism is dying because it is trapped between the multicultural imperative and the well-being of European women. Since multiculturalism apparently trumps social justice, those of us raised within an ideologically-multicultural milieu have thrust a sock into the throats of western feminists who might otherwise be inclined to speak out on behalf of their sisters in places like Karachi or Riyadh, not to mention Tehran.

Any who attempt to stand up for the rights of women suffering under Islamic misogyny will inevitably be ostracized from their political peer group with a "right-wing racist" label smacked across their forehead.

The second reason is that it becomes much harder to uphold humanitarian values when faced with people who emphatically do not share such values. How does one hold aloft the banner of humanitarianism toward the very people who wish to rape your daughter? This is not to say, obviously, that all Arab immigrants into Europe condone or commit rape, but certainly enough that it should awaken something in the European heart.
Victims described terrifying scenes in the marauding mob.

Katja L., 28, said she was with three friends outside the station when they encountered a group of “foreign-looking men.”

“Suddenly I felt a hand on my bottom, then on my breasts, then I was groped everywhere,” she told Cologne tabloid Express.

“It was horrible. Although we screamed and flailed about, the guys didn’t stop. I was beside myself and think that I was touched about 100 times across around 200 meters.”
Europe has opened itself to a whole new set of challenges for the coming century. We will see rising rates of crime, rape, and Jihadi acts of terror as European Jews slowly drift away to Israel or Australia or North America.

In the end, I most strongly feel bad for young European women who will be pay the most immediate and direct price for their parents' good intentions. Few people doubt Europe's humanitarian convictions as sincere.

We merely doubt that they will get what they bargained for.

Finally, nobody is going to tell me that opposing the mass migration of a population known to hold anti-Semitic hostility in percentiles ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-90s is racist toward those people.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mars Earth

We are so early in our exploration of space that we remain uncertain not only if there was ever any form of life on Mars but if even there might still be living micro-biological species on the red planet. The scientists are reasonably certain that at one time Mars held an atmosphere that could support liquid H20, which leads to considerable speculation.

Late nineteenth-century observers noted the "canals" and conjectured that they were built by Martian hands.

In recent months NASA and the US government have declared their intention to send a manned spacecraft to Mars by the 2030s. I think that is terrific, but what bothers me is the degree to which they are downplaying it, as if they do not really mean it. In the 1960s NASA initiatives designed to bring humanity to the moon, including the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, were promoted by the press and followed by a large cross-section of the American public. You can be sure that in the early months of 1967 every adult in the United States knew the names Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

(I can practically hear the voice of Walter Cronkite.)

This is because the space program was real at the time and ordinary Americans cared.

Sadly a big part of the reason that so many Americans cared was because of the Cold War competition to beat the Soviets to the moon.

When I was at the Johnson Space Center in the Summer of 2000 NASA was demoralized, or such was my impression from talking with various employees of the program, including astronauts. Today the United States does not even have usable technology to get into space on its own and must rely on the Russian space program for access to the International Space Station.

The Israelis have been getting into the game for quite some time, but mainly via non-manned satellite launches.

The private sector - in Israel, the US, and elsewhere - is also having its say and may represent the actual hope of future manned space flight.

I have a friend who some years ago, as we were drinking beer and yammering at one another, told me that he considered humanity to be a kind-of virus that was slowly killing the host planet Earth.

I disagree and occasionally - such as this moment - am willing to stick my romantic neck out and suggest that really what humanity is, despite all the bloodshed and bullshit, is the way that the planet Earth comes to know itself and its surroundings.

We are the eyes and ears of our planet.

Humanity is the self-consciousness of Earth.

We are the means by which Earth interprets itself to itself and comes to understand its surroundings.

That is our true role.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

On The Having of Cake (and the eating of it, too.)

Michael L.

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

The Times of Israel tells us that:
cake2"The Palestinian leadership on Wednesday demanded the Greek government act after two Arab passengers were expelled from an Israel-bound flight, saying the decision to remove the pair was “reminiscent” of apartheid.

Two Arab passengers with Israeli documents were forced off an Aegean Airlines flight before it set off from Athens to Tel Aviv on Sunday after Israeli Jews protested their presence.

After an initial complaint by passengers, the pair’s documents were checked again by Greek security but no issues were found. By that stage the protest had escalated, with dozens of passengers refusing to take their seats until the men were removed from the plane."

I have always had a fondness for moral dilemmas and, make no mistake, this incident is not nearly so black and white as many people, most particularly the Palestinian Authority, would have you believe.

Most westerners would suggest that this is a case of straight-up anti-Palestinian racism on the part of the Jewish passengers, thus we get this pithy observation in the comments:
Matthew Shirlock · Stanmore College

Only a racist will support this
Of course, others will use this alleged "racism" as an excuse to indulge in anti-Semitism.

And, therefore, we get this:
Lee Trotsky · Harvard University

Racist typical 
Thus the Jewish people, who are among the very least "racist" people on the planet, get smeared with the broad brush of bigotry.
Southend Mutombo · Wayne State University

This is wrong in so many levels If it happened to a Jew he would of owned the airline since they are Palestinian nobody want to make a big deal about it shame on Jews 
This is an interesting comment for a number of reasons.  Mr. Mutombo, of venerable Wayne State University, believes that this incident reflects poorly on all Jews, everywhere.  "Shame on Jews," he writes.

Yes. Yes. This incident tells us that Jews, in general, are terrible people and, furthermore, because we are so crafty and greedy "If it happened to a Jew he would of owned the airline...". {My emphasis.}

In the minds of the complaining passengers, however, their wariness of one of the Palestinian-Arabs is entirely justified:
An Israeli man who was among the passengers involved in the incident defended the the group’s actions on Wednesday, maintaining that the two Arab men were “scary” and that he and the other passengers believed they were terrorists.

The man, identified only by his first name, Nissim, told Army Radio that one of the two Arab passengers in particular “looked off and his body language was very threatening.”

“He had a penetrating and scary look,” Nissim said, claiming that a lot of other passengers were similarly spooked by the man.
I have two observations:

1)  The Palestinian Authority glorifies the murderers of Jews and then charges Jews with "racism" or "apartheid" when Jewish people thereby become wary of angry Arabs on planes. This is unjust.

2) The western governments have admonished their people to be careful ever since 9/11. However, when their citizenry takes them up on that advice they are often lambasted as "racist." This also unjust.

On The Having of Cake and Eating It, Too:

(The Hypocrisy of the Palestinian Authority)

The old cliche is that one cannot have one's cake and eat it, too, which is precisely what the Palestinian Authority wants to indulge in. They want to train the coming generation to the joyous wonders of violent, genocidal anti-Semitism while claiming that Jewish reaction to such violent, genocidal anti-Semitism represents "racism" and "apartheid."

And who wants "racism" and "apartheid"?

Everyone knows what you do to racist and apartheid states. You eliminate them. Just as Nazi Germany was taken down militarily, and apartheid South Africa was dismantled via the economic will of the international community, so Israel, too, must be shaken to its foundation until it crumbles and is replaced by yet another regressive, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, theocratic, Muslim dictatorship.

Anything else, after all, would be unjust.

What I find most insidious about this tactic is that it is working exceedingly well among allegedly "anti-racist" western-progressives who - justified by that "anti-racism" - increasingly do not like Israel and therefore, inevitably, increasingly do not like Jews.

The truth of the matter is that if the hostile Arab majority throughout the Middle East did not teach their children that Jews are the sons and daughters of orangutans and swine, and that we deserve whatever beating that we get, these little incidents would not happen.

The Jews of the Middle East are in the midst of a "Stabbing Intifada" wherein young Palestinian-Arab men and women, boys and girls, think that stabbing random Jews on the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or Hebron, or running them down with their automobiles, is an act of piety in the eyes of Allah.

On The Having of Cake and Eating It, Too, Two:

(The Hypocrisy of Western Authorities)

Ever since Osama and friends kicked off the current round of Jihad on that fine September morning in lower Manhattan over ten years ago, the western governments have told their people to be wary and to report anything amiss. The airlines constantly tell us to alert authorities to any suspicious-looking packages, boxes or bags in their terminals.

I recently flew from San Francisco to Richmond, Virginia. When I passed through security, I went through the usual rigmarole of taking off shoes and storing them in a grey bin and removing laptop from bag and shaving gear and so forth for inspection. I removed my belt so as not to set off an alarm and allowed myself to be X-rayed in one of those crazy little booths with my hands above my head.

Normally at this point they pass me right through and Laurie gets nabbed for special inspection. I can be on line wearing my Osama bin Laden t-shirt and Che Guevara baseball cap, while smoking crack-cocaine, but inevitably Laurie gets yanked off the line. This time they yanked me for special attention and the officer ran a probe of some sort over the palms of both of my hands.

I said, "What is the purpose of this procedure, officer?"

He said, "To detect bomb making residue on your hands."


But the point is that you cannot scare the hell out of a population in order to justify the procedures that we all go through in airports and then turn around and claim that people who feel threatened for understandable reasons are loathsome "racists."

When 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed walked into his high school with a briefcase going "tick-tick-tick-tick" what would anyone expect? Nonetheless, suddenly everyone seemed to swing off their banana peels, screeching to the gods about racism.

I am sorry, but they cannot have it both ways.

The PA cannot incite genocidal hatred toward Jews and then complain when Jewish people are wary of glowering Arabs on planes headed to Israel from Europe.

Further, the western governments cannot instill fear and loathing into their people, request that they respond to apparent threats, and then accuse them of racism for responding to those apparent threats.

What would happen if Israel fulfilled what the Left insists is all that the PNM wants?

Sar Shalom

One moral narcissist with whom I've regularly sparred before had a simple answer to the question of what the Palestinian national movement (PNM) wants and what it would do if Israel were to withdraw to the armistice line as "international law" demands. His response was that he did not know what the PNM wants, but that if the PNM were to use its newfound sovereignty over the territories to launch a war to take all of Israel, that Israel would be justified in responding in kind and waging defensive war against Palestine. This is a very facile argument and thus very dangerous because the peaceniks would be inclined to latch on to it for the same reasons that people latch on to Donald Trump's call to bar immigration by Muslims. To defuse this threat, it would help to explain what would be a realistic possibility of the PNM's response to Israeli withdrawal and why even with Israel being "free" to respond, withdrawal would be imprudent without some reason to believe that that would not be the PNM's course of action.

When the moral narcissists say that Israel would be free to defend itself against a Palestine waging war to take over the rest of the land, they are probably thinking of a conventional invasion. One thing we can be certain of is that there will be no conventional invasion because the PNM knows that they have zero chance of prevailing in such a conflict. Rather, what is more likely is that the first action of the government of the new State of Palestine would be to amass an arsenal of rockets and mortars to be stored in Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Ramallah and Abu Dis. With full control over the Jordan Valley and the roads from the Valley inland, this would not be difficult. Once they accumulate a sufficient arsenal, they will look for a pretext to use this arsenal in a war of terror. The mortars would be launched from Qalqilya against Kefar Sava and from Abu Dis against western Jerusalem while the rockets would come from all the list population centers listed against the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv-Netanya corridor.

This is where the moral narcissists' claim that Israel would be free to defend herself will break down. Not only will the mortar/rocket attacks ensue from the aforementioned places, we can be certain the ordnance will be stored in and launched from schools, hospitals and apartment complexes. This would leave Israel the choice of turning the other cheek as mortars and rockets rain down on the core of her population or counterattacking against the schools, hospitals and apartment complexes launching the rockets and mortars which will inevitably produce piles of telegenic dead Palestinians. Will the international potentates have any more sympathy for Israel when this happens than they did when it happened in Gaza City and Khan Yunis?

A plan to rein in the Baghdadi Gang and any possible successors

Sar Shalom

If you were to discover a melanoma on your forearm, would you take a pen-knife to your arm and try to extract it? After all, you do need to get rid of the cancer, kill the cancer cells, every last one of them, right? Such an approach is preposterous, yet somehow, when the threat emanates from Baghdadi gangsters, such thinking is called "wisdom." The reason the former example is preposterous is that when it comes to dealing with cancer, there is such a thing as expertise.

Thus, when presented with a melanoma, one would see an oncologist. Similarly, to rein in the threat from triumphalist Islam, there is such a thing as expertise, and to be successful, we would need to take counsel from those with such expertise. Stating this does not mean that any particular political philosophy or any approach has a monopoly on it or that non-experts should not weigh in. Indeed, both Jack Keane and Andrew Bacevich could be considered experts despite having diametrically opposed approaches.

With an eye towards listening to experts, Brig. Gen. Huba Wass de Czege (ret.) has an article at Small Wars Journal on defeating the Baghdadi Gang. A select distillation of Gen. Wass de Czege's points:
  • Don't promote their propaganda. Part of their propaganda is their name: "Islamic" advertises that joining them would be an expression of piety for any Muslim and "State" advertises that they have a rightful place among the nations. As such, we should not call them what they call themselves. Rather, we should ascribe a name to them that advertises that they are just common gangsters, albeit uncommonly deadly common gangsters, hence the designation Baghdadi Gang (BG).

  • The goal should be to destroy BG's governing structure, bring its operatives to justice, leave behind an extremist-resistant indigenous force capable of bringing order to where BG currently reigns, and establish a precedent for responding to similar threats in the future.

  • Shutting down BG's recruitment efforts and financing are as critical as physically hindering their operatives in Raqaa.

  • An important lesson from the Afghanistan War is that while the Taliban were expelled from Kabul, they never lost their legitimacy, particularly among the Pashtuns. This continued hold on legitimacy allowed them to continue the fight.

  • One characteristic of war is that when the fighting stops, prior participation in the war is not in and of itself a crime, though it is possible to actions committed while fighting to be crimes. In contrast, fighting on the side of BG is in and of itself a crime. Thus there is a difference between the campaign against BG and war. We should further refrain from promoting BG's propaganda that they engaged in a "holy" war.

  • Four lines of effort are required against BG. These are 1) Building an alternative to rule the areas currently ruled by BG that the locals will consider legitimate. 2) Defend the occupied population from BG's armed propaganda. 3) Destroy BG in place with a combined NATO and Sunni Arab force. 4) Build a globally legitimate judicial process to prosecute BG criminals. All four lines are critical.

  • Legitimacy is granted from below, not imposed from above. The occupied population will initially welcome those overthrowing the tyrants as liberators, but will quickly turn on the "liberators" if the liberators do not quickly demonstrate that they are better than what came before. The experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate this.

  • Destroying BG should start with occupying the rural areas. This would give us the ability to deny them freedom of movement and lines of communication without getting involved in urban fighting and the resulting non-combatant casualties. During the occupation of the rural areas, the civilian population of the BG-occupied cities would have the opportunity to flee BG-occupation, reducing the civilian presence for when the urban stage of fighting begins thus giving allied forces a freer hand to operate.
Among the takeaways from Gen. Wass de Czege's article, bringing an end to the Baghdadi Gang requires more than resolve and a willingness to take of the gloves. It also requires an understanding of how BG operates and the capacity to use this understanding to devise counter-operations for maximum effect.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tehran versus Riyadh

Michael L.

Reuters, via the Jerusalem Post, tells us:
Tehran versus RiyadhSaudi Arabia used an attack on its embassy in Tehran as a pretext to fuel tensions, Iran's foreign ministry said on Monday after Riyadh severed diplomatic relations...

Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in the early hours of Sunday after Saudi Arabia executed Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, prompting Riyadh to withdraw its diplomatic staff and order Iranian diplomats to leave the kingdom. 
The Middle East - as we never tire of saying - is in flames.

Despite those flames there is still considerable stability in the region. Tehran is more powerful and stable now then ever before thanks to President Barack Obama's visionary friendship with Islamist regimes. Amman remains calm and Cairo, G-d love it, chose brutal-style, torture-prone, secular dictatorship over brutal-style, torture-prone, al-Sharia theocracy.

Enlightenment-style, liberal Democracy, you can be sure, was never on the agenda, despite Barack Obama's pro-Arab-Spring blatherings in the spring of 2011.
There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat.
The "Arab Spring" was the brutal rise of political Islam in the Middle East and this is what Obama compared the Civil Rights Movement to?

How's that for a kick in the head to Martin Luther King, Jr.?

But, one important geo-political development that we are seeing now - and that is flying under the radar of most people in the West - is the proxy-war between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia for control of the Middle East (outside of Israel) and domination of the Islamic religious narrative.

As is occasionally noted in the American press, Iran - an enemy of both the United States and Israel - is seeking regional hegemony and funding proxies such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

George W. Bush destabilized a chaotic region with Iraq War II in 2003. Barack Obama left a power vacuum when he withdrew American troops from that country and ISIS was quick to fill that vacuum. Iran is willing to challenge ISIS because while the United States fought and defeated Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran won that war and is now solidifying its position as the dominant player in that part of the world with the blessing of the current American government.

So, whatever the mess and chaos belching from the Arab-Muslim Middle East, and whatever gradations and distinctions we can draw between the various armed factions, hovering above everything else is the never-ending Sunni-Shia conflict.

And, it is heating up.

It is Tehran versus Riyadh and almost nobody is acknowledging it.

What we are seeing is an intra-Muslim proxy-war between Arabs and Persians fought within Yemen.

Yesterday, January 5, Reuters tells us via Newsweek that:
ADEN (Reuters) - Air strikes led by Saudi Arabia targeting Iran-allied Houthi forces intensified in Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, ending weeks of a relative lull in the war after a major diplomatic row erupted between the kingdom and arch foe Tehran.

Large air strikes targeted military positions linked to Yemen's ascendant Houthis in the capital Sanaa, the port city of Hodaida and the disputed southwestern city of Taiz. 
Residents reported that the air raids hit a care center for the blind and Yemen's chamber of commerce headquarters, in which there were no casualties.
The Middle East is crumbling around Israeli ears as Europe flings open its gates to the most violently racist people on the planet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Few Thoughts on a Cool Morning

Michael L.

This is what Lumish sounds like getting over a cold at 7:30 in the morning.

It is just under 5 minutes in length with a quick stroll through some headlines from the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post.  I talk a bit about welcoming the demise of the Palestinian Authority, the fact that the New Israel Fund supports anti-Zionist organizations such as Breaking the Silence, and that ISIS needs to go away.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Few Thoughts on Jews and Israel Coming Into 2016

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and The Algemeiner.}

inspiration3There are two things that I would like to see friends of Israel promote this year; the first is acknowledging the futility of any possible negotiated conclusion of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian-Arabs and the second is clearly articulating that although Israel remains a close ally with much of the West, it will also, as a matter of basic commonsense and national well-being, pursue mutually-beneficial relations elsewhere.

Acknowledging the Futility of a Negotiated Conclusion of Hostilities

Anyone who is not hostile to Jews should acknowledge that the effort ulimately was pointless, because the Arabs do not want a negotiated conclusion of hostilities via a two-state-solution (TSS).

2016 should be the year that we finally bury Oslo and TSS.

I was a proponent of TSS ever since Clinton stood on the White House lawn with Yitzhak Rabin and that grinning terrorist, Yasser Arafat.

But those days are long gone. It is now time for Jewish people and the Israeli government to make it exceedingly clear to our frenemies that this particular phase of the Long Arab War Against the Jews is concluded.

It is a matter of learning from the past.  We tried to settle things with the Palestinian-Arabs by offering them the entirety of Gaza, something close to all of Judea and Samaria outside of Israel "proper," with the eastern section of Jerusalem as a Palestinian-Arab capital, but that is not what they want. If the Arabs felt the need for another bloody Arab-Muslim theocratic-dictatorship they could have had that long ago. They could have accepted any number of offers that came their way since the Peel Commission, but they did not.

Instead they chose to sacrifice their own children because they honestly believe that any bit of land that at any time came under Muslim domination must, for theocratic reasons, remain under Muslim domination. This is basic Islamic doctrine and there is little that we can do about it.

In countries where Muslims dominate they will only accept Jews and Christians as dhimmis. This should not be a controversial statement because it could not be more clear. Anyone who cares about the well-being of the Jewish people, not to mention the Christians of the Middle East, and who has followed the conflict over the previous decades knows this in their bones because the Arabs have been good teachers. They simply will not accept free Jews in the Middle East. They do not even accept Jews as a people.

From a human rights perspective Israel treats Israeli-Arabs better than Arabs treat themselves. Nonetheless, they constantly scream to the heavens that their misery is the fault of an exceedingly generous, and long persecuted, people. They even managed to convince westerners that the source of Arab misery is the Jewish state.

This is unjust in itself, but what makes it morally insidious is that these westerners frame their hatred for Jewish autonomy and independence in the language of "social justice." Western children in the universities want to claim that they are part of the lineage represented by Martin Luther King, Jr., despite the fact the MLK, himself, was a friend of Israel and despite the fact that Israeli Jews offer more social justice to their enemies than any people have ever done throughout human history.

So the question, as always, is what is to be done?

My growing inclination has been for Israeli unilateralism. Israel should declare its final borders, remove the IDF to behind those borders, and toss the keys over its shoulder.

In any case, Ted Belman is correct.

There is no diplomatic solution.

East Asia, India, and Friends

The people of North America are generally friendly toward the State of Israel. 

It is hackneyed to say so, but we do share similar values. The Israeli government and the governments of the West are democratic and liberal. The hostile Arab-Muslim dictatorships that surround Israel are not. This being the case, Israel should endeavor to maintain good diplomatic, scholarly, and economic relationships with the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Nonetheless, Israel must diversify its economic relations. Europe, for reasons that should be entirely obvious, is becoming increasingly hostile to the Jewish state. The United States is starting along a similar path, but is maybe a decade or two behind.

Thankfully, the non-Muslim parts of the Asian Pacific Rim have no particular history of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, this is the most economically aggressive section of the world today. In the coming decades China will really flex her financial muscle, you can be sure.

Given these circumstances it is wise for Israel to look eastward.

India is increasingly friendly and that, too, is for obvious reasons. For over a century the West has longed for China to open its markets to western goods, but that has not really happened, at least in part because China has been a poor country.

This is changing, the USA is not the only show in town, and the Israelis know it.


I recorded this yesterday and am pondering the idea of weekly podcasts or random podcasts or no podcasts depending upon how comfortable I get with yammering into a mic.