Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Social Psychology of Leftist Mass Hysteria

Michael Lumish

Aydin Paladin is an interesting figure within the New Center.

{And, yes, she scares the holy hell out of me.}

Nonetheless, I have been following her for maybe a year, or so, and I think that she is an exceedingly intelligent rogue academic.

She is "rogue" in the sense that unlike many professors from earlier generations she is pleased to speak with everyone in a manner that is both colloquial and academic, simultaneously, in a public manner.

She is among a small number of people building from the ground-up who have used Youtube to create a following, if not a career, out of simply speaking their minds.

Those that I follow most closely include Dave Rubin, Carl Benjamin (Sargon), Jordan Peterson, Gad Saad, Mark Steyn, Sam Harris, Douglas Murray, Candace Owens, Ami Horowitz and the old Carol Burnett Show!

And what is best about the so-called New Center, for the moment at least, is the disinterest in promoting ideological partisanship.

In any case, give a listen to "The Social Psychology of Leftist Mass Hysteria."

I have been arguing since shortly after the last presidential election that the US has been going through what sociologists technically refer to as a "moral crisis."

"So prepare yourself lads because we are about to go balls deep."

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Many Faces of the Sexy Hijabi

Michael Lumish

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

An American Hijabi
as given to us by Madison Avenue (2017)
The sexy hijabi is new to American popular culture.

Due to the rise of contemporary political Islam, and mass Muslim immigration into the West, the hijab is now a highly-charged cultural symbol.

For many American and western Muslim women, it is simply a matter of ethnic identity and faith. In that way, it is not so different than a Jew wearing a kippa or a Shield of David pendant on a silver chain.

Among hip and hypocritical, white, western-progressives, such as Linda Sarsour, the hijab represents freedom, because it represents resistance to the wrong kind of "white" people.

For Iranian feminists, on the other hand - those who are facing true totalitarianism and who are putting their lives on the line in the face of actual oppression - the hijab represents the very misery that western-feminists see as benign inclusivity.

Jewish people - given our history under centuries of Arab and Muslim oppression - sometimes think of the hijab as a symbol of hatred toward us and the submission of women

But for Madison Avenue, it is just pure gold.

If you Google Image the word "hijab" - at least on my laptop, on this day - the first page is filled with pictures of beautiful women, such as the sexy American hijabi on the upper left of your screen.

{Now that is one hot hijabi mama.}

The Nike Hijabi
There is also the Nike Hijab... "a performance hijab for Muslim women athletes"... for when you want to go running in Central Park or the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

The inspiration for the Nike Hijab came from US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who is the first Muslim American woman to wear the traditional patriarchal head-covering during Olympic tournament play and who earned a bronze medal for Team USA.

She is also the inspiration for the Hijabi Barbie doll as Christine Hauser informs us in the New York Times.

This is interesting from a human rights standpoint because the hijab, whatever else it may be, is a symbol of oppression to millions of women around the world.

The reason that women throughout Iran are waving their hijabs before western cameras is in the hope that European and American and Australian feminists will stand up with them against a sexist, theocratic regime.

Iranian women remove their hijabs in defiance
But the western-left simply does not see it that way because western-feminists do not care about non-western patriarchy.

What they seem to care about are "pussy hats" and safe spaces and trigger warnings and gender-neutral pronouns.

So, no such luck, Iranian women.

Western women, particularly western feminists, do not stand with you.

That is, western-feminism is no longer about feminism at all, nor about universal human rights.

In the 1990s, the feminist-left stood up against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but those days are long gone.

During the Women's March, from last year, directly after the election of Donald Trump, American women donned the hijab as a symbol of solidarity with their Muslim sisters throughout the world.

Perhaps the foremost symbol of that march is an image of a young woman, possibly based on Linda Sarsour, in a hijab comprised of stars and stripes.

Women's March Poster (2017)
The basic, most sincere idea behind those who waved that USA hijabi symbol is that all Americans are Americans.

The hijab can easily be thought of us representing the American ideal of inclusivity.

The United States is a nation of nations.

And the most forward-thinking of us - the most progressive of us - want greater inclusivity because, unless we are indigenous to the Americas, all of our ancestors came from elsewhere.

This is Basic USA Thinking 101.

But what does it mean when, in the name of inclusivity and diversity, western-feminists embrace a symbol like the hijab which Iranian women are ridding themselves of as an act of defiance against an oppressive and patriarchal system?

How is it that the western-left - which tells the world that it stands for social justice and universal human rights - embraces a symbol that represents the opposite of those ideals?

In the United States many women who don the hijab, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, usually do so as a matter of choice. For many devout Muslim American women, the hijab is not so much about submitting to a decrepit theocratic-patriarchal system as it is about human modesty and respect for the deity. Some Jewish women, after all, wear headdresses and for much the same reasons.

Nonetheless, the hijab has now become a fashionable symbol that stands at a cultural crossroad between the American ethos of ethnic inclusivity and the illiberal ethos of female oppression as generated by the Islamic faith.

Thus the sexy hijabi has many faces.

She is simultaneously an image of western openness to people from other cultures while also representing, and thereby promoting, the oppression of women within an Islamic context.

Furthermore, of course, for many people, the hijab represents a symbol not only of oppression of Muslim women but also of the oppression of Jews under thirteen centuries of Arab and Muslim imperial rule in the Middle East from the time of Muhammad until the demise of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The hijab as a symbol of oppression is concretized for Jewish people when hijabis screech "Alahu Akbar!" at Jewish people visiting the Temple Mount for the purpose of driving us away.

But the hijab as a contradictory and even malicious symbol in western cultural politics is perhaps no more on display than it is in the current Revlon kerfuffle.

Revlon, of course, is a well-known western corporation that sells makeup and other beauty and skin-care products.

The company recently offered the semi-hip American blogger Amani Al-Khatahtbeh their "Changemaker Award" - whatever that is, exactly - but the hijabi hipster refused the honor due to the fact that Revlon also employs Israeli actress Gal Gadot, of Wonder Woman fame, as a corporate spokesmodel.

Gal Gadot, of course, is a Jewish Israeli who served in the IDF, as do almost all Jewish Israeli kids, because their Arab neighbors force them to do so. Unlike western college students, if young Jewish Israelis wish to see their future children survive they must defend themselves and their families and their country in national service... and that goes for Wonder Woman as much as it goes for any other Jewish Israeli girl.

Unlike their soft and spoiled and obnoxious college-aged western critics, Jewish Israeli kids have to put their necks on the line in defense of their families and friends.

When I was growing up among the pugnacious, skateboarding, late twentieth-century East Coast American middle-class kids in our Keds and Adidas, we called antisemitism racism and the American left hated it.

Now it's called cool and they love it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Michael Lumish

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

In Gematria 18 represents Chai.

Chai means life.

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

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


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Responding to Abbas' rant

Sar Shalom

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dave Rubin's Latest

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Rabbi Shot Dead

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus, the Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

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

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

The blockquote above reflects that.