Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Radio Interview

Michael L.

world radio day 2013Michael Burd of mighty J-AIR out of Melbourne, Australia, interviewed me early this month on his radio show Nothing Left.  We talked for about half an hour concerning American Jewry's relationship with Israel.  This was prior to the Trump Surge or the Sanders' Challenge and my assumption was that we were looking at another likely Clinton-Bush race for the presidency.

In any case, I can be heard on episode 67 that aired yesterday, August 25.  Also interviewed during this episode, I am proud to say, is Isi Liebler and political scientist, Emanuelle Ottolenghi, so I am in very fine company, indeed.

My segment begins at about the thirty minute mark.

It would not have happened were it not for Shirlee of Jews Down Under fame.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Matisyahu Excoriated and Redeemed

Michael L.

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

matisyahuI was on the number 7 bus heading up Haight Street in San Francisco talking to one of my more interesting and edgy students from City College of SF a few years ago.

For reasons that elude me, now, I mentioned the great American Jewish Reggae musician, Matisyahu.

We were sitting opposite one another on a loud and bouncy MUNI bus and I said something like, "Matisyahu is an absolutely terrific Jewish performer who is merging Chasidic Judaism with Reggae music.  The man is unique."

At that moment, just as the bus was easing into my stop, at the corner of Haight and Broderick, some stranger, a black man, spit me straight in the face.

I have no idea what offended him other than the fact that a Jew was doing Reggae and, apparently, he did not appreciate it... which if you know a thing or two about Rasta is a little unusual.

It was a very weird moment.  The bus came to a halt, the guy spit on me, and cursed me, as I was rising to depart, and then my student, a young non-Jewish man in his twenties, arose to confront my assaulter.  I thought that he was going to slug him.  I stood up, wiping the phlegm from my face, and put myself between my student and the hideous schmuck.  I told him to not get into a fight and then I simply hopped off of the bus, heading home.

I probably should have slugged the racist in the face, myself, but G-d only knows what happened after that and we never spoke of it, afterward.

But I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.

I have no idea what upset that individual other than the fact that a Jewish man, Matisyahu, was excelling at a traditional black musical art-form.  Normally that kind of thing upsets no one but the racists.  Plus, of course, Matisyahu was not merely a Jew, but a hard-core practicing Jew dressed in black, although I understand that he has in recent years gone to a more secular style and has left the Chassids.

On the day that I write this, in the middle of last week, we learn from Douglas Murray that Matisyahu has been disinvited to the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae festival in Spain because he refused to endorse a political point-of-view concerning the Arab-Israel conflict.

The Spanish seem to be among the least friendly European people toward the Jewish people and polling data bares this out.

Murray writes:
This week the news came in that a Spanish music festival had cancelled a planned performance by Matisyahu, an American reggae star. Matisyahu became famous as the "hassidic reggae star," although he left Orthodox Judaism in 2011. He no longer has a beard of wears a skullcap, but he does remain proud of his Jewish identity. Next weekend, on August 22, he was due to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim, north of Valencia.

Unfortunately for anyone simply interested in music, a group of local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists found out about Matisyahu's upcoming performance. They claimed that Matisyahu is a supporter of "an apartheid state that practices ethnic cleansing," and demanded that the festival cancel the performance.
If this was the US I would call them up and scream my bloody head off.  I harassed the Met over the The Death of Klinghoffer, so why not these guys?
Matisyahu is of course not the first Jew to suffer this type of pressure. In Europe, and increasingly in America too, any and all performers who come from Israel can be abused and vilified in the name of "progressive" values. In London, the Jerusalem String Quartet and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra have been the targets of attempts to cancel their performances. When the performances have gone ahead, they have had to suffer obscene and threatening performance interruptions by protesters.
The ironic thing is that Matisyahu is a deeply caring humanitarian.  This video, King Without A Crown, demonstrates that quite clearly, does it not?

Matisyahu is an American Jew who grew up in White Plains, New York, a stone's throw from my parents' house in Bardonia, New York, when I was a kid.

It is obvious that what we are seeing now - via BDS and western-left anti-Zionism - is an attack on Jewry, in general.

The good thing, of course, was that by overreaching BDS invited significant push-back which resulted in the music festival capitulating and re-inviting Matisyahu.  As Jared Samilow writes in the Jewish Journal:
Looking back, the whole episode seems dryly amusing. Spain’s BDS coterie should have known better, really. Discretion is the better part of valor. It was entirely predictable that openly discriminating against an American Jew would not fly in front of a broad public. Such garish anti-Semitism might cut it among certain benighted precincts, but was bound to get the cold shoulder from ordinary concert-goers and the political elite.
Well, I don't how amusing it is.

The Spanish Reggae festival spit Matisyahu straight in the face.  Unlike with my little encounter with flat-out physically hostile anti-Jewish racism on a bus in San Francisco, we know how this one ended up.

The good guy won.

{And I'm guessing that this may be the last we hear of this story.  Maybe.  In any case, I am bringing up the rear.}

Friday, August 21, 2015


More Daily Kos Jew Hatred

Michael L.

In one of David Harris-Gershon's anti-Israel / anti-Jewish hit pieces we get the following claim by someone who goes under the moniker rktect.

Speaking with a weak Daily Kos pro-Israel Jew, rktect says, in part, the following:
Now you want to blow up our homes, build walls through our fields, cut us off from our water, what gives you the right this time?

Every time people let you come to where they live and treat you with hospitality and commiserate with your suffering trust you to treat them the same way they end up getting removed in some way.
Let that statement sink in for a bit.  Every time Jews move into a community in large numbers, according to this vile schmuck, we are treated with hospitality and commiseration, but we inevitably turn around and give them a "stack in the back," which is what Germans thought about the 1 percent of Jews that made up the German population in the early twentieth-century.

These kinds of comments will only continue to increase because, in part, progressive-left Jews essentially agree with the "Palestinian narrative" of perfect victimhood.  Progressive-left pro-Israel Jews have abandoned the field because they have no argument to make.  They agree that "Zionists" stole the land from the "native Palestinians" which is why they must morally oppose "settler activity" - i.e., Jews purchasing homes for themselves in Judea and Samaria.  If that is what they think then it's time to pack it in and that is essentially what they have done throughout progressive-left venues.

Well, in truth, they were chased out.

On Daily Kos almost no one bothers writing pro-Israel / pro-Jewish "diaries" anymore.  There are a number of reasons for this.  The pro-Israel Jews are well-outnumbered by anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.  When they do try to defend Israel they usually get malice spit into their faces.  And, most importantly, they do not honestly believe that the Jews are the rightful owners of Erez Israel.