Thursday, June 30, 2016

Did Haneen Zoabi Kill Hallel Yaffa Ariel?


I'd vote yes she did.
Incitement by MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List) is to blame for the death of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, MKs on the Right posited Thursday. 
“The blood of the 13-year-old girl murdered today is on Zoabi’s hands,” MK Nava Boker (Likud), a Deputy Knesset Speaker, said. “This is the result of the incitement she speaks from the Knesset’s stage.”On Wednesday, Zoabi called IDF soldiers “murderers” during a speech in the Knesset, leading to a near-brawl in the plenum when several MKs from the coalition and opposition shouted at her and tried to rush the stage. Following the melee, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit to look into legal ways of removing Zoabi from the Knesset. 
Boker said Zoabi “encourages terrorist attacks against Jews and the murder of children in their beds.
Words have consequences. Zoabi is less interested in peace than in incitement and anger and revenge. She is worthless and dangerous.  She is on the side of Jew killers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Racist British Editors

Michael L.

Adam Levick reports:
Evoking one of the more lethal medieval antisemitic libels, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, while addressing the European Parliament, accused Israeli rabbis of calling for their government to literally poison Palestinian wells.

The incendiary accusation, debunked by the blog Israellycool (with follow-up research by CAMERA senior researcher Gidon Shaviv), was so fundamentally antisemitic that even several voices known for their egregious hostility towards Israel condemned Abbas.

The New York Times, in a story by Diaa Hadid, characterized Abbas’s speech as one which “echo[ed] anti-Semitic claims that led to the mass killings of European Jews”.  The story was also covered by Reuters, AFP, Haaretz and The Washington Post in reports which were similarly contextualized by citing the similarity of Abbas’s claim with historic antisemitic libels.

Yet, major British media outlets – including the Guardian, Independent, Telegraph and Times of London – have, thus far, completely ignored the story.
This is typical.

I like Levick because he stands up.

He's been covering the British media for years and mainly on his own.

The blunt truth is that the British press is hostile to Israel and, therefore inevitably, hostile to the Jewish people.

Nothing Left # 105

Michael L.

105 Nothing LeftThis is what Michael Burd and Alan Freedman are up to this week with Nothing Left on mighty J-Air, Melbourne.

In my five minute bit, I bitch and whine and moan and complain about the reluctance of the Democratic Party and the progressive-left to acknowledge that Orlando was a Jihadi attack.

Start: Alan’s Editorial Limmud Oz 2016

Juliet Moses, NZ 9:20

Adam Bandt MP [ Greens] talks to Palestinian Lobby, outrageous [ only 4 Mins] 28:25

Vicki Janson Australian Christians Party 32:40

Mike Lumish, USA 47: 10

Dr Tanveer Ahmed 54:00

Isi Leibler 1:35:55

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Jews Are The Indigenous Population of Israel


Too many governments, politicians and “intellectuals”, either are ignorant or misrepresent or refuse to acknowledge the infinite number of facts that, overwhelmingly, prove that the Jewish people are the indigenous population of present day Israel and the adjoining land.

Alduous Huxley accurately stated, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

In the following sections I will present some of the facts that are either ignored or not publicly stated. These facts unquestionably show, the unassailable truth, that the Jews are the indigenous population of Israel.

In the Judeo-Christian world, the bible emphatically states that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews and their descendants. Jesus Christ, who according to the Romans, was King of the Jews, lived about 600 years before the advent of Islam. Countless archaeological evidence, including the Dead Sea scrolls (written in Hebrew), attest to the fact of the Jews being the native population of, what is presently called Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

The “West Bank” denotation was invented by the Jordanians after the 1948 war. Until then it was denoted in all world texts as Judea/Samaria, the ancient kingdoms of the Jews.
In 1924, the Islamic Supreme Council, (highest religious authority) stated, “ The Temple Mount's identity with King Solomon's temple is beyond dispute.”

Winston Churchill in 1921 said, “It is manifestly right that the scattered Jews should have a national center and a national home and be reunited , and where else but in Palestine, with which for 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated.”

That statement was made after the League of Nations adopted the Palestine Mandate recognizing “Palestine” (Israel, both sides of the Jordan River,etc.) as the Jewish homeland under international law. Unfortunately, the British took 78% of that denoted Jewish homeland, the eastern part of the Jordan River, and invented the country Jordan.

Since 1860, when the Ottomans began conducting an official census in Jerusalem, the Jews were the majority group in Jerusalem. That majority status remains until today. Despite being the majority the Jews still elected a Muslim mayor in 1899 , Yusef Diya al-Khalidi. He stated, “Who can challenge the rights of the Jews in Palestine? Good Lord, historically it is really your country.” According to some historians, the Ottoman census also shows a Jewish majority in Safed, Jaffa, Tiberias and Haifa.

So one asks, who are these people calling themselves Palestinians?

As Jews began returning to “Palestine”, developing infrastructure, draining swamps and forming governmental entities, the neighboring Muslims were attracted to the better economic opportunities offered.

In addition, Arabs came to work on infrastructure projects during the Ottoman occupation of Israel and later, under the British Mandate.
In 1856 the French who controlled Algeria expelled thousands of Algerians, who settled in Syria and Palestine.

In fact, in 1914, half of the Muslims in Safed were of Algerian descent. The balance were Bedouins and from Syria.

Thousand of Egyptians who refused to serve in the military fled to northern Israel around 1830. . They were followed by thousands of Sudanese.

Some prominent Arab family names show this influx of Arabs from other parts of the Ottoman Empire. For example, Al-Obedi (Sudan), Halaba (Syria),Al-Yamani (Yemen), etc.
In the book “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters, she points to the 1931 census which showed at least twenty three different languages used by Muslims. There were at least twenty four different birthplaces listed by the non-Jews of Palestine.

Most of the 320,000 Arabs who left Israel during the 1948 war of independence were the descendants of these migrant workers from other parts of the Muslim world.

The distinguished scholar Professor Philip K. Hitti, in his book, “The Arabs” stated, “There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in history, absolutely not.”

Of course the following statement by Yasser Arafat completely demolishes the myth of Arabs being indigenous to Palestine. In 1967, Yasser Arafat, stated,” The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.” ( author Alan Hart, in his book, “Arafat, Terrorist or Peace Maker?”)

Most people on learning the above stated narrative would accept the fact that the Jews are the indigenous people of present day Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan. To those individuals who refuse to accept the facts, I refer them to a statement by the late Senator Moynihan. “Everybody is entitled to their own set of opinions, but not to their own set of facts.”

Please note:

I am indebted to two people from whose articles I learned many specific facts concerning the Arab and Jewish migration to “Palestine”.

Yoram Ettinger from whose article (Israel Hayom 6/13/2016) I quote some Jewish/Arab emigration figures and reasons for their emigration.

Also to Ted Belman (IsraPundit) who published an article by Nomi Benari, from which I extracted examples of specific Arab emigration to Israel and some pertinent quotes.

Rosenthal's Ten Propositions (Part Two)

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Vic Rosenthal of the Abu Yehuda blog, the Elder of Ziyon, and other venues, has a recent piece entitled simply, Ten Propositions.

I discussed the first five at Israel Thrives the other day.

These are the next five:
6 - Everyone should be able to follow their own religion or lack thereof without coercion. But the official religion of the state of Israel should be Judaism.

7 - Israel and the Jewish people have an absolute right to defend themselves.

8 - Collective guilt justifies collective punishment.

9 - Nobody has the right to try to kill Jews or Israelis, even if their means are ineffective.

10 - There should be a death penalty for murderous terrorism.
Let's take these individually.

Number Six:

Everyone should be able to follow their own religion or lack thereof without coercion. But the official religion of the state of Israel should be Judaism.

Many secular Jews have a problem with this.

I do not.

We have to keep in mind that the Jewish people are a tiny minority throughout the world and almost half of us live in Israel. The forces against the Jews of Israel are many and their defenders are few.

Were it not for the Long Arab-Muslim War against the Jews in the Middle East I would not care whether or not Israel declared Judaism as the official state religion. In fact, as a creature of the European Enlightenment and the Constitution of the United States, I generally oppose declarations of state religions.

However, given this political moment in the history of the Jewish people declaring Judaism as the official religion of the state serves to promote the idea of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

And it is this idea that must finally be driven home to both Christian and Arab, alike.

Number Seven:

Israel and the Jewish people have an absolute right to defend themselves.

Yes, we do, but the rest of the world does not see it that way.

On the contrary, Jewish self-defense has been viewed as a form of aggression for millennia. Whether in Europe or the Middle East - whether in terms of Romans or Christians or Arab-Muslims - Jews have historically been denied self-defense on the grounds that we are guilty of whatever accusations are flinged at us. Thus Jewish self-defense is a means of avoiding righteous justice and should not be allowed.

This is an ancient anti-Semitic sensibility, prominent in both Europe and the Arab / Muslim world, that has evolved and attached itself to present-day political sensibilities. This is why so many westerners, largely on the Left, but not entirely, believe that Arabs have every right to try to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance" or "social justice."

However, it must be made explicitly clear to both westerners and the Arabs of Israel - in word and action - that the Israeli government, on behalf of the Jewish people, will simply no longer put up with the racist, Koranically-based violence toward ourselves or our children.

Number Eight:

Collective guilt justifies collective punishment.

It is only those of us who live in cozy and secure places, like northern California, who think otherwise.

It is very easy for people who, for example, live in the United States to oppose "collective punishment" because Americans are not in an ongoing war for survival.

The Jews of Israel are.

Whenever Hamas starts tossing Qassams and Katyushas into southern Israel, on or around the towns of S'derot and Ashkelon, the world community sleeps. However, whenever Israel stands up and says, "Enough of this!" the western-left leaps to its feet and starts screaming from the hillsides about "genocide" and "collective punishment" despite the fact that, yes, the IDF does more than any other army in human history to avoid civilian casualties.

The truth is that the Arabs of the Middle East have inflicted a long war of attrition upon the Jews and in war there is always "collective punishment." The Jews of the Middle East did not start this war and they do not want it, but if they are to survive and thrive - if they are to protect their own children - they absolutely must fight it.

And, of course, in war innocent people are hurt and killed.

There is always "collective punishment" in war.

If the Arabs would like to see such "collective punishment" end then they should very much consider relinquishing their never-ending murderous, theocratically-based hysteria concerning the Jewish people.

Number Nine:

Nobody has the right to try to kill Jews or Israelis, even if their means are ineffective.

This is an exceedingly strange statement.

Would anyone ever suggest that nobody has the right to kill, say, Rosicrucians... even if their means are ineffective?

It flat-out amazes me that Rosenthal even needs to say this... and, yet, I agree that he does.

How many comments have we heard from the anti-Israel / anti-Jewish Left in the last decade that the rocket-fire coming from Hamas is really nothing but "bottle-rockets"... and similar statements?

The western progressive-left has a tendency to downplay anti-Semitic violence against Jews because either they simply could care less or honestly believe that the Jewish people have it coming for allegedly oppressing the bunny-like, native, indigenous, olive-tending, "Palestinians."

Number Ten:

There should be a death penalty for murderous terrorism.

Jewish religious tradition opposes the death penalty.

Nonetheless, Jewish religious tradition also stresses the necessity for self-defense. Although I am not a theologian, I feel reasonably certain that such a proposition would find advocates among religious Jews, as well.

We cannot have hostile and powerful political actors, such as Barack Obama, demanding that Israel release the murderers of Jews from Israeli prisons as a "confidence building gesture" to terrorists like Mahmoud Abbas.

I am, therefore, in agreement.

Anyone who seeks to murder Jews in Israel for either Islamic religious reasons or due to Palestinian-Arab nationalism needs to be made to understand that Israel will not put up with it.

The penalties for those who seek to murder Jews within Israel must be harsh enough to seriously discourage the idea that it is perpetually Jew Killing Season among Arabs.

I just feel badly that I failed to find more points of disagreement between myself and Vic.

Maybe next time.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Quick Congratulations to the Brits

Michael L.

I am not generally a big fan of Britain, given its history with the Jewish people, but I am very pleased to see them vote against continued participation in the European Union.

In my view, as in the view of many millions of people throughout the West, the EU is non-democratic.

Who makes the laws that we have to live by, and how accountable are they directly to us? That's all that matters in this referendum, because everything else flows from that. If you can't remove the people who govern you, you live in a dictatorship, however many fancy labels and buttons and bows they dress it all up in. - Pat Condell.
It seems pretty obvious, particularly given how close the vote was, that were it not for the EU's open-door policy on Arab-Muslim immigration the vote would have gone the other way.

The EU is asking the European nations to surrender their distinctiveness as nations. Unfortunately for the EU, very many Europeans prefer not only to maintain their culture, traditions, and values, but believe that there should be a single set of laws for every citizen of their country.

They would also very much prefer not to read about Muslim rape gangs going after their pre-pubescent daughters.

And also, of course, as Condell notes above, the EU is democracy decaf.

It is a means by which sovereignty is bled from the nations, and their peoples, in favor of a multi-national body that will make binding decisions for their countries. It is a way of concentrating power in direct opposition to the will of regular people because the big decisions - such as immigration policies and economic policies - are no longer in the hands of their directly elected representatives.

This is non-democratic and should be opposed.

Condell refers to the idealists that think that the European Union is supposed to be something like the United States of Europe, but as he notes the EU "has no Constitution that guarantees fundamental liberties and government by consent."

The international market has taken a hit from the Brexit vote, but that is not surprising. Just how much of a hit we will see in the coming weeks and months.

Some have argued that Britain leaving the EU is bad for Israel because it means losing a powerful friend to Israel within the EU. I very much hope that I can be excused for an eye-roll. Whatever else Britain is, it is no friend to either the State of Israel or the Jewish people.

Finally, the supreme hypocrisy of the Obama administration and friends needs to be noted.

Netanyahu, via Congressional invitation, was asked to address the US Congress on the question of Obama's Iran "deal" - actually a treaty in need of Congressional approval - and was thoroughly castigated as a malicious interloper by the Democratic Party and the progressive-left.

And, yet, Obama felt free to travel to Britain in order to lecture the Brits about what is in their own best interest despite the fact that, unlike Netanyahu's concerns, it has nothing to do with an existential threat to the United States.

And, remember, this is the guy that upon coming into office insulted that country by returning a gift, a bust of Winston Churchill, which he did not want standing anyplace within the White House.

Comet ISON

comet ISON

ISON, a recently discovered sungrazing comet, got a little too close to the Sun.

Comets are very beautiful. 

The Indigenous Population


It's heartening to see more Israeli politicians and policy makers stating that, “The Jews Are the Indigenous Population of Israel”. Even a group of Jewish Republicans have stated the inherent right of Jews to settle in the “West Bank”.

The early Jewish settlers, although Zionists, for whatever reason did not insist on the fundamental fact of Israel being the land of the Jews.

In 1967 after capturing Jerusalem, General Moshe Dayan made the fateful decision to let the Jordanian Waqf (religious authority) administer the Temple Mount. At a minimum, he could have let both the Jordanian Waqf and the Israeli religious authorities share administration. There would be, I believe, a more tractable problem on that site today.

Even the Oslo Accords implicitly hinted that the West Bank is “Palestinian” territory. It included some verbiage to the effect that, Israel will leave when it's security concerns are addressed.

Yes, it is heartening to hear public figures stating, “The Jews Are the Indigenous Population of Israel.”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Where analogies are useful

Sar Shalom

A week ago, Abu Yehuda posted about how analogies do not always work. Vic's example was a speech given by Secretary Rice comparing the Palestinians' situation to that of the pre-1960s blacks. While Vic is correct that Rice's analogy does not describe the Palestinians' situation, there is an analogy based on the civil-rights movement that does describe the Middle East.

When the first black students attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School in 1957, their fellow student spat at them and physically abused them. Examples included throwing acid in their eyes, drop flaming paper from above and trapping them in the washrooms. This is what was done while the students had escorts from the 101st Airborne. The motivation was simple racism, the whites believed their space should not be "contaminated" by the presence of blacks.

Such is the case with prayer on the Temple Mount. In today's world, the mark of Seriousness, as opposed to seriously evaluating the issue, is to declare that the interests of peace require that Jews refrain from provoking the Muslims by praying on the holiest spot. In other words, the "international laws" that are so often pompously invoked can be set aside when, as is for the case of Jews exercising their rights under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a heckler's veto is sufficiently fierce. By that standard, Brown v. Board of Education should have been overturned due to white opposition throughout the South.

Rosenthal's Ten Propositions (Part 1)

Vic Rosenthal of Abu Yehuda fame has a recent piece entitled simply, Ten Propositions, and I intend to examine each - perhaps the first five in this piece and the second five at the Elder of Ziyon this Sunday - and see where we agree and disagree and hopefully spark some interesting discussion.

He writes:
I am a nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk.

Here are ten things I believe:
What I like about Rosenthal is what I like about, for example, Caroline Glick, i.e., he's got balls.

A nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk, huh? That, my friends, is a very bold statement. I will go with number one and number two, particularly since in order to be a Zionist one must, by definition, be a nationalist. As for "tribalist," I am not even certain what that means.

As for hawk, I simply consider myself a pragmatist. Nobody wants war... I guess... but when aggressors come to kill your children it is probably good policy to strike them back hard enough that they will never do so again.

OK, on to the first five of Rosenthal's ten propositions. They are:
1 - ‘Israel is the Jewish state’ has a concrete meaning: the owners of the land of Israel are the Jewish people, not all its citizens.

2 - Arabs who live in Israel should have full civil rights, but they should understand that they are living in someone else’s homeland. It’s natural and correct that the flag, national anthem, primary language and other symbols are those of the Jewish people.

3 - It is not a civil right to call for the destruction of the state or the murder of its people.

4 - Israel should not welcome non-Jewish migrants.

5 - Everyone in Israel should have freedom of religious worship and be able to visit their holy places. But the government of Israel should be sovereign over every inch of the land of Israel, in particular the Temple Mount.
Let's take these individually.

Number One:
‘Israel is the Jewish state’ has a concrete meaning: the owners of the land of Israel are the Jewish people, not all its citizens.
This strikes me as a difficult sell and I am not entirely certain that I want to sell it.

The land of Israel belongs to the people who own land within Israel. Any Christian or Muslim or Rosicrucian who owns land owns that land. Period. Full stop.

I guess what I would say - and perhaps Vic and I are not quite so far apart on this issue as one might initially think - is that Israel belongs to the Jewish people in the sense that Japan belongs to the Japanese. That is, Israel is the place where Judaism emerged and where its culture and traditions and ways of being and thinking took root and developed for millennia prior to the diaspora.

Israel is unquestionably the home of the Jewish people, but if a non-Jew owns land in Israel, then they own land within Israel.

Number Two:
Arabs who live in Israel should have full civil rights, but they should understand that they are living in someone else’s homeland. It’s natural and correct that the flag, national anthem, primary language and other symbols are those of the Jewish people.
I could not agree more.

I might feel differently if the Arab-Muslim world had ever honestly been decent to my Jewish ancestors, but although dhimmi status was in some times and some places better and some times and places worse it was never better than the ugliest of Jim Crow.

And, of course, given the fact that the Arab-Muslim governments and people still generally hold Jews in Koranically-based contempt, and have repeatedly attempted the genocide of the Jews in the Middle East... we owe them nothing.

Number Three:
It is not a civil right to call for the destruction of the state or the murder of its people.
As we say, democracy is not a suicide pact.

I am not a big fan of sedition laws, but given the fact that the Jewish people in the Middle East are a tiny minority surrounded by a much a larger hostile majority that wants very much to see those Jews either dead or gone, Israel cannot afford treasonous politicians in the Knesset. There is nothing automatically wrong with Arabs, or any non-Jews, being members of the Knesset, but the Israeli government should prohibit anti-Zionists, or friends of terrorists, from participation in government.

Number Four:
Israel should not welcome non-Jewish migrants.
My first reaction upon reading this statement was to say to myself, "I disagree. Of course, Israel should accept a limited degree of non-Jewish migrants, just not so much as to significantly alter the demographic make-up of the state." On further consideration, however, I think that Vic may have a point. The problem is that our numbers are so small, our enemies are so many, and Israel is all the Jewish people have to stand between the Jewish people of the Middle East and the hostile Arab-Muslim majority population that surround them in that part of the world.

Number Five:
Everyone in Israel should have freedom of religious worship and be able to visit their holy places. But the government of Israel should be sovereign over every inch of the land of Israel, in particular the Temple Mount.
The issue of the Temple Mount is particularly troublesome because it shows the world that the Jewish people are uncertain of our own sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the land of the Jews. In fact, the very reason that Muslims insist that the Temple Mount is theirs is simply because they wish to rob Jews of sovereignty on historically Jewish land.

The Temple Mount, of course, is symbolic. If the Arabs can deny Jewish sovereignty on even the place where the Second Temple stood then they can challenge Jewish sovereignty over the country, as a whole. And that is precisely the project that they have undertaken, lo these many decades, since the early part of the twentieth-century.

Furthermore, current Israeli and Jordanian policies concerning the Temple Mount are undemocratic and unjust. Only Muslims have unfettered access to the space and only Muslims are allowed to pray there. Given that Israel is supposed to be a Jewish and democratic state, this is a great humiliation to that country.

The Temple Mount issue exposes Jewish Israeli weakness while demonstrating their willingness to capitulate to Arab-Muslim authoritarianism.

It also should be noted that the Temple Mount is not the third anything to anyone. All the Temple Mount is is the holiest spot in the world to devout Jews. It is the site of the Temples and the Holy of Holies. The reason that some Muslims call it the "third holiest site in Islam" is simply because Islam is a conquering religion and its leadership is entirely comfortable with the genocide of the Jews, when they are not actively calling for it.

I will continue my conversation of Vic's ten propositions on Sunday over at the Elder of Ziyon this Sunday, June 26.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Nothing Left # 104

This is what Michael Burd and Alan Freedman are up to this week.

2 min Editorial on Arab recognition of Israel

8 min Rev Dr Mark Durie on Islam

50 min Mike Lumish Comments, USA blogger

55 min George Igler, UK-based analyst

1 hr 37 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

Monday, June 20, 2016

How to discuss Islam

Sar Shalom

Much has been made about President Barack Obama's refusal to name Islam as a culprit in the attack at an Orlando night club last week. While Obama, and to lesser extent Bush before him, does leave this gap in his description of the threat, ignoring the valid motivation for doing so does nothing to address this shortcoming. What's needed is language that will define who we are at war with and that will let everyone not in that group that we are not at war with them. Failing to include those who are not a threat on our side both decreases our potential base of support and increases the needed work in order to prevail in the war, which provides a reason not to be overly broad in defining the threat.

With that said, the threat that the West faces is those who think that avenging the honor of Islam is a valid action. For instance, insulting Islam's prophet Mohammed is considered an affront to Islam's honor as is the existence of Jews living in dignity in the middle of Dar-al-Islam, which incites a rage that something must be done. In contrast, the practice of Islam, whether consisting of fasting on Ramadan, attending mosque daily, or wearing the hijab or even niqab, just so long as it does not include support for avenging Islam's honor is not a threat. Thus, when Obama, and before him Bush, try to convey the message that we do not consider the mere practice of Islam to be a threat, it is altogether proper to do so.

The proper criticism of Obama's treatment of Islam is that while he is correct to limit opprobrium to the vengeance of Islam's honor, Obama's definition of vengeance of Islam's honor is too narrow. It seems to be that Obama's proscriptions would be limited to those who either pick up arms for the sake of Islam's honor or who explicitly call upon others to do so. While Obama goes to the ends of the earth to confront those two categories of Islamists, and saying otherwise simply displays your ignorance of actions like the drone strike against Anwar al-Awlaki, there are other categories of those who provide tacit support for avenging Islam's honor. This quiet support for avenging Islam's honor comes most notable from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and related organizations that deploy rhetoric to conflate exposure of those who take action for the sake of Islam's honor with simple practitioners of the religion. A frequent feature of such groups is that they are constitutionally incapable of condemning violence on behalf of Islam's honor without also condemning "Islamophobia" in a manner that puts Islamophobia on a par with Islamicly motivated violence.

A further category of action for the sake of Islam's honor is the deployment of various forms of thought control such as that which prevails at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. While not including any violence, the creation of such cultures undermines the free flow of information that is the basis of Western civilization.

In conclusion, the language we need to discuss Islam is one which will say that avenging the honor of Islam is unacceptable. This includes not just directly engaging in violence for the cause or explicit advocacy or direction to do so, but also apologia for those such actions or saying that one would not personally engage in such actions but that doing so is a legitimate path within sharia. However, any practitioner of Islam who uncategorically portrays avenging Islam's honor as illegitimate will be welcomed with open arms as a citizen of the West.

Veiling Political Islam

Michael L.

Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told interviewer Chuck Todd that the Obama Administration intended to release a partial transcript of Omar Mateen's 911 call wherein he pledged his devotion to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

When asked why the administration intends to only produce a partial transcript we get the following exchange:

You say partial. What's being left out?


Well, what we're not going to do is further proclaim this individual's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda.


So we're not going to hear him talk about those things?


We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we're not going to hear him make his ascertains of allegiance and that.
This is very typical of the Obama administration.

It will do everything within its power to obscure the real source of Mateen's rampage, i.e., the international movement for political Islam (Islamism). Although the world is rightly focused at this moment on ISIS - what with their ever more creative ways of slaughtering Christians and Yazidis - the real problem is not merely that one malignant organization.

The real problem is a broad and amorphous theocratic-political movement out of the Arab-Muslim Middle East that calls for the oppression of women, the murder of Gay people, and the genocide of the Jews.

And it is precisely the fact and nature of this political movement that Barack Obama seeks to obscure from the American public which is why they're editing references to political Islam out of the transcript. What the Democratic Party, and the Obama administration, do not want is for people to associate the Jihad with the Jihad. What they do want is to deflect any criticism of Islamism into a defamation campaign against the NRA and Donald Trump.

That is, their intention is to use the slaughter of about 50 innocent Americans for the purposes of personal political gain.

From the comments under the youtube video:

In other words, you're gonna edit out all references to Islam and the real reason why he did it.
fellowservant is correct. The progressive-left and the Democratic Party will seek to blame this most recent Jihadi massacre on American "gun culture" as promoted by the NRA, as well as upon a sort-of free-floating American bigotry as allegedly exemplified by Donald Trump. What they will never do is point to the Jihad as the source of any Jihadi activity.

As far as the Obama administration is concerned political Islam is not, in and of itself, a problem.

There is no there there.
Sentient Fart Cloud of Doom

At least she's being transparent about not being transparent.
Indeed. Love the moniker, by the way.
Dave C

You can bet your last dollar if the he was white they wouldn't scrub any of the transcripts form the record. In fact he would be called a domestic terrorist some how connected to a white supremacy organization.  The hypocrisy of these traitors is criminal. 
There is some truth to what Dave C has to say.

That is, if Omar was Steve and if Steve was a devout Evangelical Christian, there is no way that the administration or the Democratic Party would seek to shield Evangelicals from the storm of hatred that would be directed at them from the Democrats, themselves. Yet, because instead of an Evangelical we're dealing with the Jihad, the administration seeks to veil the source of Mateen's theologically-grounded hostility.
Alabama Mothman

They sure do give ammunition to the people that think Obama is in bed with ISIS.
The Obama administration is not "in bed" with ISIS. On the contrary. The Obama administration is in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood which gave birth to al-Qaeda which, in turn, spawned ISIS. Let's keep it straight.
D Lll

They will edit out the gunman pledging his allegiance to ISIS.  Nice.  No one needs to hear that when the Administration is trying to paint this as a gun control issue rather than an Islamic terror issue. 
And there you have it.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Jewish American Immigration Dilemma

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Jewish Americans are split on the question of Arab-Muslim immigration into the United States.

As the children of immigrants it is exceedingly difficult for us, from an ethical standpoint, to oppose the immigration of others into the United States. This is particularly true given the history of Jews in Europe during the middle of the last century.

The immigration question is largely partisan within American politics.

The Right tends to be wary of Muslim and Latino immigration into the country, when not in outright opposition, while the Left is generally willing to fling open the doors to whomever may come.

As someone concerned about the well-being of the Jewish people, however, it seems to me not unreasonable to be cautious. The scale of migration out of the Middle East that we are seeing today is somewhat comparable to the mass migrations that we saw following World War II.

It will, in fact, change the nature western societies, particularly in Europe.

Many Americans are concerned about Latino illegal immigration. As a Californian, I can tell you that my neighbors tend to be concerned about gang activity, the prospect of rising crime, housing prices, and the economic hit that the tax-base will take in order to integrate the immigrant population into the schools and the medical facilities and so forth.

I am not.

What concerns me is that a Jihadi just killed about fifty people in Orlando, Florida, and all the Left can talk about is the NRA and Donald Trump.

As I wrote on Israel Thrives in response to a comment by Empress Trudy:
Can we, or should we, as the children of hounded immigrants deny the rights of other immigrants to come to the United States and enjoy "the blessings of liberty" as the Jewish people were able to do?

It's a sticky point, isn't it?

We are the children of immigrants, after all.

In fact, obviously, the US is a country of immigrants with the exception of Native-Americans.

So, if we wish to keep Jihadis out of the country we face an ethical dilemma.

Given Jewish history in the 20th century, it tends to be difficult for us to make the argument against immigration.

What I would insist upon, I guess, is a recognition of the fact that Islamic immigration is largely an anti-Semitic immigration - given polling data from the region - and therefore as a matter of basic common sense, and self-preservation, we are under no ethical obligation to support it.
It seems to me that there are two things that American Jews, and our friends, need to acknowledge.

The first is that the rise of political Islam is the single most significant international political happening since the demise of the Soviet Union and the second is that the gun control issue is a "red herring" when it comes to the issue of American Jihad.

Political Islam

We must recognize that political Islam is a very serious international political movement that represents a direct threat to the Jewish people and the secular West.

The Right seems to recognize this, but the Left does not.

In fact, the failure of the progressive-left to acknowledge the significance, or even existence, of political Islam represents a terrible and hypocritical form of bigotry. The "anti-racist" Left, I would argue, is the most racist political movement in Europe and the United States, outside of political Islam, today.

We call it Humanitarian Racism and it is a form of racism that presumes that "people of color," particularly Arab-Muslim men, are so "backward" and so deformed by western imperialism that they cannot be held to any standards of contemporary human decency. So, for example, if Arab parents and Arab media encourage their children to run out into the streets of Israel with hand-axes for the purpose of chopping down the first Jew that they see, we're supposed to believe that this is the fault of those Jews.

This is Humanitarian Racism and it is the prominent form of bigotry in the contemporary West.

The hypocrisy, of course, is profound.

If a Jewish kid wears dreadlocks at San Francisco State University he gets accused of "cultural appropriation."

However, if Arab kids call for the genocide of the Jews via calls for "Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada!" they are told by SFSU president, Leslie Wong, that they represent the very best of what the university stands for.

Gun Control, Orlando, and Immigration

It is reasonably obvious that Americans are going to have their handguns for home defense and their rifles and shotguns for shooting woodland creatures of various sorts. 

The American Left, which used to represent my political home, wants to argue that Orlando is about gun control.

It is not.

Orlando is about a violent political trend within the Muslim community that goes back at least to the 1920s with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo. 

Some, for good reason, would argue that it actually goes back to Mohammad in the 7th century with his suggestion that Muslims should strike at the neck of the kuffars, the infidels. And although Omar Seddique Mateen was a native-born American with Afghani roots, the Orlando shooting points to the question of Arab-Muslim immigration into the United States because of the Jihadi inclinations of a significant percentage of its population.

This is not to argue that gun control is unnecessary, but merely to suggest that the Democratic Party is using gun control as a deflection of the real issue, the Jihad, which Democrats refuse to discuss lest they end up pointing the trembling finger of blame at one another while screaming from the hillsides "racist!"

We can never honestly face the Jihad, much less defeat it, if we cannot bring ourselves to discuss it.

The American Right seems comfortable enough discussing what is, in fact, a major international threat - just ask any freshly raped woman in Sweden - while those in the American Left would rather have root canal surgery than so much as breathe the words "radical Islamic terrorism."

There is a grand hypocrisy at work here.

The western-left claims to be "anti-racist" and yet represents the most racist political movement throughout Europe and the United States today with the sole exception of political Islam. The contemporary form of this racism is not entirely different from white western nineteenth-century imperial notions of "white man's burden."  Smug and self-righteous white western leftists look upon their "little brown brothers" with benevolent contempt.

They honestly have such a low opinion of non-white people that they feel they must indulge any and all wrong-doing - up to and including the slaughter of around 50 people in an Orlando nightclub for the purpose of enforcing Sharia - as the fault of the US government for not rounding up guns. Or as the fault of a generalized, free-floating hatred for Gay people within American society. Or as the fault of right-wing "Islamophobia" which drives some Muslims into murderous fits of rage.

The truth is that most Muslims have no particular interest in waging Jihad or slaughtering their Gay neighbors. But, nonetheless, there is a trend within Islam that is highly traditionalist and that despises Gay people, Jewish people, non-Muslims, in general, and that believes that women should live their lives within a potato sack.

That trend is known as al-Sharia and it resides directly within the heart of the faith.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nothing Left - Episode 103

Michael L.

Nothing LeftThis week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have:

Michael Lumish USA, 0:02;00 - Mmusi Maimane S.A, 0:30:10 - Mathew M Hausman USA, 56:0:00 - Dr Isi Leibler Israel, 1:21:20 - Dr Danny Lamm  Aust., 1:48:00

My 5 minute bit is basically about the infiltration of the Democratic party with anti-Semitic anti-Zionists and starts at about the two minute mark.

Alan talks about the HonestReporting conference in Israel, among other things, and he notes that David Rubinger spoke. Rubinger is the photographer who took this photo that you may have seen once or twice before:


I seem to recall an interview with Rubinger in which he said that, from a technical stand-point, it is not really a very good shot. You've got the blondy Jewish soldier in the middle holding his helmet and the two righteous Jewish hard-nosed soldiers flanking him on either side looking up upon the Kotel.

That is what we all love about this photo, I think.

What Rubinger notes is another soldier's nose sticking up between the blondy Jewish soldier and roughneck number one. So, from a technical standpoint it is a flawed photograph, but for those of us who care about the well-being of Israel it is iconic.

Our enemies would say that it is propaganda, but I say it's beautiful.

Hating Trump in Saudi Arabia

Michael L.

{Editor's note - this piece was written prior to the Orlando massacre and therefore does not in any way reflect that horror. Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Writing in the Times of Israel, Josef Federman tells us:
Saudi ArabiaAn opinion poll of attitudes inside Egypt and Saudi Arabia conducted by Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center found virtually no support for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the two Arab countries.

The survey could signal trouble for Trump if he wins the November election and sets out to devise a Mideast policy. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are two of America’s most powerful and important allies in the Arab world.

When asked who their preferred candidate was, just 3.8 percent of Egyptian respondents chose Trump. In Saudi Arabia, only 6% favored Trump.
According to survey director Alex Mintz, “The overall pattern is that most people … do not support either candidate, but they hate Trump..."

Ya don't say!


They hate Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia, do they?

I have to tell you, it almost makes me want to support the guy.

Saudi Arabia is the very fountainhead of Salafism and thus Islamism and thereby ISIS.

It was the Arabian Peninsula, of course, where Muhammad and his friends came to believe that killing Jews was not only a dandy idea, but adored in the eyes of G-d.

For all that Koranically-based hatred murdering its way around the Middle East, and all those chopped heads toppling onto the beaches in Libya, and all those young girls raped as a matter of religious privilege... let's hand it to our friends on the Saudi peninsula.

Let's hand it to the King, the Crown Prince, and the Royal Family.

Let's give them a big round of applause.

I am not writing this as a Trump supporter, you should know, mainly because the guy is just so obnoxious that I do not see how he can possibly function as president of the United States.

People say that Trump is both a racist and a sexist and he definitely threw away my likely support when he demeaned Carly Fiorina's looks.

The racism charges, however, are primarily based on the notion of a wall separating the United States from Mexico and the fact that Trump intends to keep Islamic terrorists out of the United States.

As to the former, what Trump wants is simply to keep out illegal immigrants and I do not have a problem with that. I do not know that a big wall is the answer and I certainly would hate to see the National Guard rounding up gazillions of Latinos for deportation, but I do not believe in an open-door policy, either.

But Latinos are not the problem.

The gang activity in places like Los Angeles or Phoenix, Arizona, is considerable, but it is not particularly political or ideological and no more troubling than gang activity throughout the United States from other ethnicities, including white people.

And, unlike political Islam, it is not grounded in religiously-based Jew hatred.

Middle Eastern immigration into the United States, though, is another matter entirely.

What we do not want - or what we should not want, at least - is for Jihadis to slide through the process and end up murdering people in places like San Bernadino, California.

It is not "racist" to defend oneself against a large and hostile political movement that would prefer to see your family dead.

Must it be reiterated that polling throughout the Arab-Muslim Middle East demonstrates a distinct hatred for both Jews and Americans?

And why should Jewish Americans happily welcome people who decidely hate us into our own country?

It is a matter of basic common sense and fundamental human decency - particularly among a small minority - to want to protect one's friends and family and children from those who would seek them harm.

No people of any ethnicity would willingly welcome a much larger hostile population into their own homes and it is not bigoted to say so.

But this is the dilemma for Jewish people throughout the world.

Jewish self-defense is considered a form of aggression in both the Middle East and the West.

And it has been that way for a very long time.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Note to an Old Friend Regarding Orlando, FL

Michael L.

{This is a note that I sent today to a non-Jewish friend of mine of the Gay persuasion from San Francisco. - ML}

I have been debating with myself on whether or not to write you this note.

I saw your facebook post today and very much feel how difficult this must be for the GBLTQ community.

And, I am happy to say, that I was very pleased to see the West Hollywood Pride Parade go on today with a vital spirit.

This is, nonetheless, a hard moment and so I am wary about being too forward, but I do want to address some of what you wrote.

"One group will be demonized, another victim shamed and between all the finger pointing the real villains will continue to sell more guns."

The concern that Muslims, in general, will get demonized is a legitimate concern. The problem is that we often fail - on both the Left and the Right - to make the necessary distinction between regular Muslims and those promoting political Islam.

A highly significant aspect of political Islam is the violent promotion of Sharia (Jihad), which is what we just saw in Orlando.

It must be understood, however, that opposing political Islam (or "radical Islam" or "Islamism" or whatever term anyone might choose to use) is not the same as bigotry toward Muslims. This is true in the same way that opposing Nazism was not the same as bigotry toward Germans.

That is, there is nothing "racist" or bigoted about opposing political movements, particularly ones that would, y'know, see you dead.

Peace to you, please, my friend.


Oh, and as for US gun laws, I favor reform. There is no reason for any American to own a semi-automatic assault rifle. Hand guns for personal defense? Sure.

Rifles for deer hunting?


But let's not let the 2nd Amendment issues that are going to shoot through the roof in the coming days and weeks detract from the main problem... the rise of a theocratic-political movement throughout the world that has taken over huge swaths of land and that has millions of devotees who would gladly see both you and I gone from the planet.

50 Dead in Florida Gay Nightclub Attack (Updated Again)

Michael L.

The culprit is identified as Omar Seddique Mateen (29) of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Mateen was killed by police in the early morning hours after a shoot-out.

The first main question that I have, of course, is whether or not this was a terror attack?

Was this an example of the Jihad come to America?

While the FBI is looking into the matter it is already clear how Democrats and progressives will react in distinction from Republicans and conservatives.

The Democrats and progressives will point the finger of blame in various directions, but none of them will be in the direction of Mateen, nor toward the ideological well-spring of his behavior, which is considered off-limits for criticism among progressives.

Instead the Democrats and progressives will look toward sociology and psychology and will condemn the NRA while implicating Trump. You will recall that it was said that the Fort Hood Jihadi had contracted Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder vicariously through his patients and Obama did his best to obscure the Jihadi nature of the attack by terming it "work-place violence." The various other Jihadi attacks are generally described as committed by unaffiliated crazy people. In Europe they tend to talk about the failure of native Europeans to properly care for their Muslim populations leading to the often violent alienation of Muslim youth.

Obama will likely soon make a statement to the country vowing to maintain vigilance against "violent extremism" and will admonish the people of the United States not to equate this massacre with Islam in any way.

There will also, of course, be a renewed push for gun control. In fact, if you look over the comments in Daily Kos' treatment of this story you will see that they are talking about practically nothing but gun control.

This was an act of war within our own borders, and it has nothing at all to do with terrorism, Islam, or any of what the howler monkeys of the right are currently screeching about.  This was an act of war against us all by the gun humpers, and it’s high damn time we mobilized to take the fight right back to them.
Much of the American political right-wing, on the other hand, has already decided that this was a Jihadi attack and I suspect that they're probably correct, but we do not know, yet.

If the motive for the attack was grounded in a Koran-Sharia based contempt for Gay people then, obviously, it was a prominent case of Jihad in America. The killer need not be directly connected to Islamist organizations, nor do any of those organizations need to take credit.

All that needs to be determined is if this was, or was not, a theologically-motivated shooting.

Of course, were Omar Mateen's name David Smith, and were he an Evangelical Christian, the Left would already have concluded that it was a religious attack and would spit huge amounts of toxins toward that community.

My bet is that this was, in fact, a Jihadi attack, but I am willing to withhold judgement until we learn more.


Various news outlets are reporting that Mateen did, in fact, call 911 and pledge allegiance to ISIS sometime during the hours-long period of hostage-taking and massacre.

If this is, indeed, the case then there can be no question that this was a Jihadi attack.

Welcome to the Age of Jihad in America.

Second Update:

News media is starting to report that ISIS is taking credit for the Orlando attack.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Islam, The Left and Humor



One Small Step for a Man...

men walk on moon

I saw this on television when I was a tiny child, but I remember it to this day.

My father and I were watching on an old black-and-white television with rabbit ears, while eating Triscuits with butter.

Walter Cronkite.

I can see it in my mind's eye.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Nothing Left Radio - 7th June 2016

Contributors: Mike Lumish, Itamar Marcus, Michelle Rojas-Tal, Simon Plosker, Isi Leibler, Special Guest Co Host - Mary Werther

This may be my next to last contribution to Nothing Left and J-AIR radio, out of Melbourne, at least for awhile.

Michael Burd and Alan Freedman were kind enough to have me fill in for Alan while he was in Israel attending an HonestReporting conference and I very much want to thank those guys for the opportunity.

I will, however, have one more piece for next week.

In my brief discussion today (starting around the 3 minute mark) I basically talk about the US campaign for the presidency and outline why I am - for the moment, in any case - not supporting either candidate.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Nonsense that can lull us into a sense of security

Sar Shalom

On Israel Hayom, there is an article by Judith Bergman about BDS and its efforts to penetrate western society. Bergman is correct in describing BDS as just another form of terrorism and not a movement about "peace and justice." However, she makes a claim that BDS is losing, and that claim fails to recognize the actual strategy and can lull us into a false sense of security. In reality, all the votes against BDS have as much to do with our victory against BDS as Westmoreland's body counts had to do with attaining victory in Vietnam. To understand how Bergman's declaration of victory misses the mark, it is necessary to have a definition of what constitutes victory.

Einat Wilf provides such a definition. Victory will be the advocates of BDS enjoying the social acceptability of neo-Nazis. As of now, the proponents of BDS are gaining in social acceptability and their arguments are gaining traction. They might not be getting over the hump to garner a majority of votes favoring divestment. However, their presentation of Israel as evil-incarnate is being welcomed as a legitimate viewpoint and the margin of defeat does not dismiss the argument, rather considers BDS's actions on behalf of the argument is a bridge too far. Victory will be BDS's arguments being greeted the way neo-Nazism is and winning is making progress towards that end.

ISIS and Acid Baths

Michael L.

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the single most grotesquely violent political movement since the Khmer Rouge.

In a recent Associated Press piece published on the FOX News website we learn that:
isisBAGHDAD –  In March, a senior commander with the Islamic State group was driving through northern Syria on orders to lead militants in the fighting there when a drone blasted his vehicle to oblivion.

The killing of Abu Hayjaa al-Tunsi, a Tunisian jihadi, sparked a panicked hunt within the group's ranks for spies who could have tipped off the U.S-led coalition about his closely guarded movements. By the time it was over, the group would kill 38 of its own members on suspicion of acting as informants.
And just how are they killing some of these alleged informants?
Mosul also saw one of the most brutal killings of suspected informants last month, when about a dozen fighters and civilians were drowned in a vat filled with acid, one senior Iraqi intelligence official said. 
There is, as you are undoubtedly aware, an ongoing debate about whether or not violent Islamist groups like ISIS or Qaeda or Hamas or Islamic Jihad are true to Islamic ideology. The Theologian-in-Chief, Barack Obama, says "no." They, themselves, however, disagree with him and I'm guessing that their religious leadership may know a bit more about Islam than even this president.

However, it hardly matters what anyone thinks so long as they do not seek to impose their beliefs, and unjust religious customs, upon others through force. Islam is an imperial religion. It is a religion of conquest. But most work-a-day Muslims are not screeching for Jihad. Who has time for such vicious nonsense when people have mouths to feed?

So, to my mind, the real problem is political Islam or Islamism.

What many westerners do not seem to understand - and, yes, this goes double for the Left - is that what we are seeing in the Middle East, and throughout much of the rest of the world, including the United States, is the most significant geo-political happening since the demise of the Soviet Union.

That is, political Islam is an exceedingly formidable and truly vicious movement involving huge masses of land and many millions of people all over the world. Political Islam seeks to restore the caliphate by undermining the twentieth-century European construction of the current Arab states and they seek to do so in the most heinously violent manner possible.

They also, needless to say, wish to oppress women, throw Gay people off rooftops, commit the genocide of the Jews through the annihilation of the Jewish State, and reduce all other non-Muslims to second and third-class non-citizenship under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule.

And this is why this movement must be directly opposed.

We have to start by acknowledging the fact that opposing political Islam is not the same thing as generalized bigotry toward Muslims - unless you think that all Muslims are terrorists - in which case will the real racists please stand up and raise their hands?

To call anti-Jihadists "racist" against Muslims would be like suggesting that opposition to Nazism was nothing more than anti-German bigotry.

Our opposition to Political Islam, like our opposition to German National Socialism or the movement for International Communism, is not about skin color or "race" or ethnic bigotry of any sort.

It is about opposing an exceedingly aggressive and fascistic ideology which is head-chopping its way throughout the Middle East, as they destroy priceless antiquities as a sort-of side hobby.

As the AP article notes, this ISIS trend of going after "moles" is a sign that the organization may be imploding, as they knock one another off.

If they do not implode, however, they will need significant assistance from the West in doing so and, given the nature of this organization, we should not be the least little bit shy in offering that assistance.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

They love iPhones but despise Britney Spears

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

britney spears
{But can you have one without the other?}


The primary religions of the Middle East are, obviously, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Each tends, speaking in broad terms, toward a universal perspective or a non-universal perspective.

Each tend to be, more or less, political or non-political.

I recognize that such broad characterizations invite noting the exceptions.

There are Jews who want to see the imposition of Torah law within Israel. That is what Meir Kahane wanted. There are Christians in the United States who would be delighted to live in an American Christian Fascist Theocracy. It is alleged that Sinclair Lewis said, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." And there are people of Muslim origin throughout the world who would very much prefer not to live under al-Sharia, thank you very much.

Nonetheless, there is a continuum among the religions of the Levant between the universal and the non-universal, the political and the non-political.

What I outline below is a sort-of pedagogical tool for considering the great religions of the Levant and how they relate to one another and to the rest of us today. It is not meant to be definitive, but is a construct that offers a way to consider current vital political questions around the Middle East. These questions include the Caliphatic dreams of many Muslims, the pulverization of Christians living within Muslim lands, and the efforts of the Jews of the region to hold-off a violent never-ending onslaught of hate.


Judaism, the first of the great three religions of the Levant, tends to be neither universal, nor political.

Judaism has never been a universal religion in the sense that it has never insisted that non-Jews must conform to the faith.

Nonetheless, the Jewish people represent the most inclusive nation in the world because anyone can join it via the faith. The Jews are a people like the French are a people and like the Japanese are a people, but if I were to move to Tokyo and learn the Japanese language and convert to Shinto, I could never actually be Japanese.

However, any Japanese person who converts to Judaism is a Jew.


Judaism, today, is also non-political. That is, virtually no Jews are calling for Israel, or any other country, to be ruled by the Torah. This does not mean, however, that Israel is entirely secular. There is an article in today's (6/2/16) Times of Israel by Amanda Borschel-Dan that discusses criminal penalties within Israel for Jews who marry outside of the rabbinate.

This represents the lingering of religious-based law within Israeli society - and it is a terrible law - but it does not define that country.

Whatever anyone might want to say about the Jewish State of Israel it is very definitely not a theocracy.

The rabbinate may have some power, but it is the secular government that rules.


Christianity is universal but, today, generally not political.

Christianity is universal because at the heart of the faith is the idea that the only way to come to know G-d - and thus the only way to come to heaven - is through devotion to Jesus Christ. Christian theology, unlike Jewish theology, is universal in the sense that its religious ideology applies to every soul on Earth. If you want to know the Truth of the Father than it must come via the testimony of the Son.

However, Christianity today is, like Judaism, generally non-political. The European Enlightenment of the seventeenth-century forced a schism between Church and State that holds. Virtually no one is calling for any country to be ruled according New Testament principles. Even die-hard, right-wing Evangelical Christians in Nebraska are not calling for the US government to be ruled according the will of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.


Islam is both universal and political.

Islam, like Christianity, is universal. That is, the only way to gain entrance to Paradise is via the prescriptions of the Prophet Mohammad. The difference is that within Christianity we are taught to turn the other cheek, whereas within Islam we are taught to head-chop the infidel.

Within Christianity there is the notion that the unrepentant sinner will be damned to eternal hell-fire.

Within Islam there is the prescription to crush the Infidel in this world, as well.

Thus Islam, in its political aspect, is far-and-away the most aggressive of the three.

Sharia forms the primary legal basis of the Muslim countries. This is why they hang Gay people from cranes in Iran, stone adulterous (or allegedly adulterous) women to death in Pakistan, and flay the skin of bloggers critical of Islam in Saudi Arabia.

As has been often noted, Islam has simply not gone through the Enlightenment changes and reforms that both Judaism and Christianity have.

The Islamic states have a generalized revulsion toward modernity even as they embrace the technological products of modernity.

They love iPhones but despise Britney Spears.

At the same time, the focus of their studies tend to be more Koranic than scientific and this is why the Caliphitic Dreams of so many Muslims can never be fulfilled. The Muslim governments can never hurt the western states by beating us over the head with the Koran. What they can do, and what they are doing, is shooing their "excess population" into the West, most particularly Europe.

Germany and Sweden are leading the way toward a new Europe.

Europe in the future - if not the West, more generally - is going to become more racist, more anti-Semitic, more homophobic, and more misogynistic.

The great irony is that it is the western-progressives, who supposedly stand for none of that, who are leading the charge.

Apollo X


I almost feel bad for the guys in Apollo X.

Eugene A. Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot

Thomas P. Stafford, Commander

John W. Young, Command Module Pilot

These guys were the second to orbit the moon after Borman, Lovell, and Anders.

They called it a "dress rehearsal" for the actual landing.

They named the LEM "Snoopy" and the Command Module "Charlie Brown."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Israel is Insane # 2: Criminalizing Unauthorized Marriage?

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

Writing in the Times of Israel, Amanda Borschel-Dan tells us:
There are criminals sitting in the Israeli Knesset: legislators who have either performed weddings outside the state’s religious authority, or who have personally been married in such ceremonies.

The Jewish state is one of the only places in the world where it is illegal — with a potential jail term of two years — for Jewish couples to marry as they wish.
I am speechless.


Two years in prison for Jewish couples to marry outside of the state's religious authority?

I have to tell you, if Israel intended to make a law designed specifically to alienate secular Jews then they could not have done a better job then in enacting this unjust legislation.

This law gives fodder to western-left Israel-Haters while, simultaneously, pushing secular Jews out of the pro-Israel community.
Calling the existing law “scandalous,” Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie, who proposed the amendment, said it “opens a door so that tomorrow the state can jail anyone who won’t go to the mikveh [ritual bath], or who won’t have their sons undergo a brit milah [circumcision].”

Lavie’s proposed law would maintain the criminal aspect of weddings performed without registering the marriage. However, instead of a jail term, the couples — and those who perform their weddings — would face a fine.
Do I, as a non-Israeli Jew, get to have a say?

I think that I do.

If Israel wishes to represent the world Jewish community - which as the lone sole Jewish state it does - then non-Israeli Jews are part of that community. When Israel conjures unjust laws that harm the cause of advocacy for Israel, as this law does, then it is the responsibility of those of us within the international Jewish community to speak out.

The very notion of jailing people who marry outside of the rabbinate flies in the face of Enlightenment liberalism which Israel generally claims to represent. Israel is not a theocracy and, thus, should not behave like one.

Although for MK Aliza Lavie to call the existing law "scandalous" is true, to propose even a fine is wrong.

We all understand that while Israel is a secular democracy, like other secular democracies, including the United States, it has a significant religious presence that has influence. Unlike the decidedly non-secular Islamic countries, however, that religious presence does not rule the state.
In a 2013 global freedom of marriage project, Hiddush ranked Israel on a par with Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the fundamentalist Islamic states. It was the only Western democracy in the world to receive this ranking, due to its restrictions on marriage.
Theocratically-based restrictions on marriage within Israel are counterproductive to the well-being of the Jewish State and, I would therefore argue, of the Jewish people, more generally.

I would put my head on the chopping-block for the Jewish people and for Israel, but I will not support such backward legislation.

From the comments:
Adam Henderson · Sports Journalist at Self-Employed

Why not just get married through the rabbinate?
For the obvious reason that not everyone shares identical religious sensibilities and some would prefer to be married outside of the rabbinate. It is one thing for the rabbinate to declare such ceremonies non-kosher, it is another thing entirely for the government to declare them illegal.
Lonna Kahn · Prairie Village, Kansas

Shame on you, Israel, for such an outrageous law. How am I supposed to support you when you are making a mockery of everything I believe in? 
Where in Torah does it encourage this?
Thank G-d for Prairie Village, Kansas.