Saturday, October 21, 2017

I am Free from Reem's Racist Stupidity!

Michael Lumish

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



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

{Good for them.}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is this:

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

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

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

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

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

This is what the Left has descended into.

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

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

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

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

What more can anyone want?


Intersectionality and the Killing of Oscar Grant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Dash of Jewish History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{Progressivism without liberalism is authoritarianism, after all.}

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry is Edward's niece.

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The #MeToo Campaign

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should I #MeToo?

I do not think so.

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

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

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

There is a bonding.

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

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

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

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

We can call attention to an important problem.

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

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

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

This is the negative side of it.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

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

Michael Lumish

{Written and published at Fallen From Grace.}

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

Brief Respite

Michael Lumish

I am far, far away and visiting old friends.

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

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lumish on Nothing Left Radio

Michael Lumish


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

We discussed the Reem's case.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Reem Assil's Racist Restaurant in Oakland

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is vile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's the broader point.


The Left Has Embraced Racism and Deliberalization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that is what is most disappointing of all.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Unbearable Whiteness of Freedom of Speech.

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

They absolutely deserve a listen.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Social Media Notes # 2: The Alienation of Diaspora Jewry

Michael Lumish

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


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

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

I will toss in my two cents.

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

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

They publish Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

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

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

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

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

It was not central.

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

Furthermore, American Jewry is not abandoning Israel.

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

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

{Bets, anyone?}

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most of us simply do not care.

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

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

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

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

Families are rendered.

Friendships are broken.

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

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

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tibet

Sar Shalom

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 23, 2017

From Exodus to Munich: A Response to Forest Rain

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

Concerning Exodus, Forest Rain writes:

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

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

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

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

He psychologically blocks it out.

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

Ultimately, Forest Rain and I wonder along similar lines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Today on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left

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

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







Raheel Raza 2.50

Rev Durie 22.45

Isi Leibler 41.00

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, September 18, 2017

Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem

Susan George

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

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

Michael Lumish

Update:

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

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

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

Marc Garman edited video and was both tech and production.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Moral Panic of 2017

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this - 2017 - is just such a moment.

{Here we are again.}


"The Race Scare"

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

It is a Race Scare.

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

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

That is how much we hate hate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KPFA Retraction

Michael Lumish

This retraction was aired on the Pacifica Evening News this past Monday 9/11/17 at 6 pm.

"On September First the KPFA Evening News aired a report on an ongoing controversy over a mural at Reem's, an Arab bakery in Oakland's Fruitvale District. We reported the owner, Reem Assil, obtained a restraining order against a protestor, Michael Lumish. That was an error. The owner twice asked the Alameda County Superior Court for a Temporary Restraining Order against Lumish and was twice denied. We regret the error."



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Safe Space Nation

Michael Lumish

I continue to be deeply disappointed in the contemporary western-left.

It's the hypocrisy. The self-righteous indignation. The anti-white racism. The antisemitic anti-Zionism. The treating of "people of color" like they're small children. The growing opposition to freedom of speech.

The illiberalism.

The Left has lost itself.

There was a time when the Left stood for freedom. When I was a kid it was always the conservative right-wing that represented ideological rigidity. The Right was stodgy and humorless and racist and dull and restrictive... or so it seemed to many of us at the time.

It was the Right that gave us Richard Nixon, after all.

But now everything has switched!

Now it is the Left that tends to be that way with their "trigger warnings" and thumb sucking "safe spaces." Their gender neutral pronouns. Their deplatforming of speakers. Their loathing of alternative viewpoints and their disinclination to debate or discuss beyond narrow strictures of acceptability.

They're like a bunch of old biddies patrolling the words that we may use or even the hairstyles that we may sport.

The American Left has become some sort-of twenty-first-century version of Tom Sawyers' Aunt Polly, making sure that you've washed behind your ears.

I've read where the generation following the "millennials" are more open-minded than their older brothers and sisters. I certainly hope so because the current moment reminds me of nothing so much as the Red Scare of the 1950s.

We are going through a "moral panic" in the United States in which people are searching for Nazis and Klansmen and White Supremacists under their bed or lurking in the closet.

It is obnoxious, politically self-serving and intrusive into the lives of others.

Much of the Left should take a permanent retreat to the Safe Space of their choosing.

That way, at least, they will be less likely to annoy the rest of us.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak to David Adler, the convenor of the Australian Jewish Association, after the successful event held in Melbourne last Sunday, and then hear from Smadar Pery who is involved in Israel advocacy in Germany.

We then hear from German author and commentator Matthias Kuntzel about his work, and then Hadar Sela who runs BBC Watch which monitors that organisation for bias against Israel.

And Isi Leibler joins the fellahs as usual from Jerusalem.

4 min Editorial: Australian Jewish Association continued

12 min Dr David Adler, Australian Jewish Association

28 min Smadar Pery, Israel advocate in Germany

51 min Matthias Kuntzel, Gernman author and commentator

1 hr 11     Hadar Sela, BBC Watch

1 hr 31     Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Sunday, September 10, 2017

We cannot sit still for this

Sar Shalom

The JTA has reported over the weekend that the Iraqi Jewish Archive will return to Iraq in September 2018 with the end of its exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Baltimore. According to the article, the State Department announced that the return of the archive to Iraq can be delayed as long as there is an agreement between the Iraqi government and an institution that will exhibit it. The Iraqi government claims that the archive is part of the country's patrimony and could serve as a domestic education tool of the country's Jewish history. I need not tell readers of this blog the Iraqi government came into possession of the archive by looting it from the Iraqi Jewish community. The issue is what to do about it.

As a stopgap, it is possible that another institution could make an agreement with the Iraqi government to host it for another period of time. However, that would only be a stopgap. To permanently prevent the archive's return would require either the United States Government to renege on the agreement or for the Iraqi government to decide to waive its rights. There have been voices in Congress pushing for the US Government to do exactly as I describe. However, their voices have not gained traction for wider publicization. Without broad awareness of the archive's existence, let alone the travesty of it returning to Iraq, the State Department will not consider holding the archive without the Iraqi government's permission.

Similarly, the Iraqi government will not consider waiving its rights unless they are shamed into acknowledging that their possession of it is a result of looting the Jewish community. Shaming them will require mass awareness. A few things we need in order create this mass awareness. One is that we need protests at Iraqi diplomatic missions highlighting that the archive is looted. The second part is to get friendly voices in the media to write about and broadcast about it in outlets that are viewed by the large public. This isn't to claim that doing so will definitely prevent the archive's return to Iraq, but can anything think of a better approach than shaming the Iraqi government and is there any way to shame the Iraqi government without creating mass awareness?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Facebook Notes # 1

Michael Lumish

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

Rogue feminist Camille Paglia - during her recent book tour promoting Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism suggested that comments under blog posts represent a certain kind of art-form.

Given Paglia's semi-iconic status within the intellectual community that should give some of you the warm-fuzzies.

I do not know if it is true that blog-post commenting represents an art-form, but I definitely like the idea.

{Why the hell wouldn't I?}

On places like Facebook or Twitter or Youtube, or wherever, you get a sense of how particular groups feel on any given topic. I have no doubt that sociologists are having a great time exploring this material.

It is, after all, the grassroots/netroots... where the buses don't run. And that is just the kind of place for the curious-minded.

In a recent exchange concerning the Arab-Jewish conflict with a hard-left leaning San Francisco friend of mine, I wrote:
The fucked up thing is that the contemporary progressive-left wants to be racist and anti-racist both at the same time. It simply does not work that way. You do not get to pick and choose who it is OK to be racist towards.
In partial response to the larger conversation my correspondent wrote:
So demanding the state of Israel to treat Palestinians humanely is anti-Semitic? Is that where we're going?
I do not know why I continue to remain surprised at the automatic presumption of Jewish guilt in the conflict.

It is from this presumption that the conversation is apparently supposed to begin.

Despite the fact that the Jewish people lived as second and third-class non-citizens for thirteen centuries under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperial rule - from the seventh-century until the fall of the Ottoman Empire - it is the Jewish people who are automatically assumed guilty in the war against us by a far larger power.

The Jews of Israel are, from the get-go - before the discussion even begins - considered to be "inhumane."
So demanding the state of Israel to treat Palestinians humanely is anti-Semitic?
This is precisely the kind of loaded question that Jewish people throughout the world have been subject to generation upon generation.

We are expected to begin the conversation from back on our heels despite the fact that we are the minority population under judgment.

Why are Jews such horrible people?

Why did you kill Jesus?

Why did you invent secularism?

Why did you invent socialism?

Why did you invent capitalism?

Why did you invent communism?

Why do you promote homosexuality?

And, now, why are you so brutal to the "indigenous Palestinians"?

My interlocutor is coming to the discussion from a progressive-left ahistorical perspective that assumes an almost transcendental white-anglo guilt for the oppression of the non-white victim. The presumption is that "people of color" are nothing more than pawns in some Euro-centric geopolitical game of world dominance and the Jewish people, in the form of Israel, are among the agents of that aggression.

In response, I wrote:
It's good that you asked that question because this where we get to the crux of the matter on why the progressive-left tends to despise the Jewish state of Israel. You honestly believe that the Jews of Judea are inhumane.
I imagine that this response took him just a bit off-guard. Most well-meaning "soft" anti-Zionists don't expect push back because the progressive Jewish left is semi-anti-Zionist, itself.  I am talking about Ha'aretz Jews. The kind of Jewish people who agree that Israel sucks, but if you kick us in the head hard enough we will try to do better.

The classic example is from now deceased Ha'aretz editor, David Landau, who suggested that Israel was in need of a good raping from the West... to keep us in line, apparently.

It is obvious that Jewish people who care about our well-being as a people are grappling with how to address the continual vitriol spit at us from the greater Muslim community, the European Union, the United Nations, the Democratic Party, and almost the entire western-left.

The place to start - if I may be so bold - is with insisting upon our indigeneity to our own ancestral lands.

I think that we owe indigenous rights activist Ryan Bellerose a certain debt of gratitude.

Bellerose's major contribution to the conversation is that the Jewish people are the only indigenous people in recorded human history to regain self-determination and self-defense on their ancestral homeland.

In a piece for Tablet entitled, Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel?, Bellerose writes:
As an indigenous activist—I am a Métis from the Paddle Prairie Metis settlement in Alberta, Canada—there is one question I am most often asked by the public, one that can instantly divide a community due to its intense and arduous subject matter.

Yet, regardless of the scenario, each time I hear the words, “Are Jews the indigenous people of Israel?” I’m inclined to answer not only with my heart but with the brutal, honest truth, backed by indisputable, thousands-year-old historical and archaeological fact: yes.
Although I thank Ryan with my own heart, I must wonder how it is that a non-Jewish, Native-American, football-playing, giant Métis can get to the ideological crux of the matter when we cannot?

Any conversation with an anti-Zionist or anti-Israel person must always begin with the fact of Jewish indigeneity.

You cannot win the argument without it.

Thankfully it has the additional benefit of being historically accurate.

Let the other side have their narrative.

We have history.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Has anyone researched ...

Sar Shalom

A lot of effort goes into hasbara to try to convince people around the world to think more positively about Israel. However, how much effort goes into trying to determine what messages have the desired effect of inducing more positive opinions of Israel? Many on the right assert that the key is not to be too mealy-mouthed by constantly issuing qualifiers, such as restricting it to internationally recognized Israel, on such support. Are there any examples of anyone not already a supporter of Israel being convinced to support Israel by a no-apologies defense of Israel?

As far as anti-Zionists being convinced to support Israel, I am aware of two examples. The first one I learned of was Kasim Hafeez, a British-Pakistani Muslim who grew up with the stereotypical Muslim attitude towards Jews and Israel. His path to embracing Israel started with purchasing Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel, with the intent of fisking it, then discovering that his upbringing provided no answers for what was there, and decided to find out for himself where the truth is. The second is Hunter Stuart, a journalist who grew up in a typical liberal New England home where it was taught as self-evident that the Jews in Israel were European usurpers of Palestinian land. One of the critical items in changing Stuart's mind was meeting Mizrahi Jews and learning about the Jewish refugees from the Arab world, before which he believed that all Jews were Europeans.

If we're going to be effective at hasbara, it would help to identify a larger sample of people who changed from hostility towards Israel to support and look for common threads between what changed their minds. While there is a lot of material in The Case for Israel and there was more to Stuart's epiphany than meeting Mizrahi Jews, the standard hasbara is not what has convinced them. However, it does suggest that telling more of the Mizrahi story would increase support for Israel.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This Week on Nothing Left

Michael Lumish

Nothing Left
This Michael Burd and Alan Freedman expose the treatment by Jewish communal leaders to the newly formed Australian Jewish Association. Listen to the organisation's convenor Dr David Adler explain what the organisation is all about.

Michael and Alan also speak live with Senator Cory Bernardi about the success of his Australian Conservatives party and their policies, and catch up the Nitsana Darshan-Leitner from Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Centre) as she wraps up her speaking tour of Australia.

The guys hear from American political commentator Jonathan S Tobin and are delighted to welcome back Isi Leibler's segment from Jerusalem.

3 min Editorial: Australian Jewish Association

12 min Senator Cory Bernardi, Australian Conservatives

32 min Dr David Adler, Australian Jewish Association

51 min Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Shurat HaDin

1 hr 11 Jonathan S Tobin, political commentator

1 hr 31     Isi Leibler, Jerusalem

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

Or its Facebook page.

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

Contact Michael and Alan at Nothing Left:

michael@nothingleft.com.au

alan@nothingleft.com.au

Monday, September 4, 2017

Michael Lumish

The Day of the Dhimmi is Done.

It is long past time for the Jewish people, both in Israel and throughout the diaspora, to draw a hard-line at anti-Zionism.

We need to make it understood that anti-Zionism is antisemitism and that it will not be tolerated.

We will stand up against it in our political parties and we will not allow it representation in our organizations.

It is time to say, "No."

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Thoughtless Bandwagons of Hatred

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonJews Down UnderThe Jewish Press, and Writer Beat.}


I have yet to speak out against Donald Trump.

One reason for this is that I do not so easily leap aboard thoughtless Bandwagons of Hatred.

If the anti-Trumpeteers had not done such a terrific job of projecting their toxic racialized bullshit - and thereby throwing the United States into the worst spasms of violent malice that anyone has seen since 1968 - I might feel differently.

But they did and I don't.

More than anything else it is the ideologically-blinkered hypocrisy that is reprehensible.

They despise Trump as a sexist and, yet, do not mind in the least that Bill Clinton committed actual rape in the White House. If any university president did what Bill Clinton did Linda Sarour-following western feminists would climb trees with trombones in order to express their politically self-serving, self-righteous disgust.

They call Trump a "racist" for preferring legal immigration, yet this is normal on its face.

Anyone coming into the United States should do so - as my father did in the arms of my grandmother, Sarah - through regular, legal, channels.

Yet this very notion drives some people into paroxysms of rage.

Also, needless to say, as a matter of common sense and basic human decency, we should endeavor to keep Jihadis out of the United States.

{If this is inconvenient to our Muslim friends, I sincerely apologize.}

Therefore when I observe all of these screaming violent and masked, black-clad idiots in the streets in Berkeley, I shrug my shoulders because I know that they are not reacting so much to Trump administration policy as to what hard-right former Presidential contender and media critic, Patrick Buchanan, is thought to have dubbed "culture war" in his 1992 speech to the Republican National Convention.

And the reason that the progressive-left and their fascistic Antifa allies despise Donald Trump is because, on a cultural level, he curbed transforming the United States into the kind of street turf that feminist anti-feminist and antisemitic anti-Zionist Linda Sarsour would love to dance upon.

Among all the reasons that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton Hatin' on Whitey is the most prominent to my mind. The white working-class knows when it is being urinated upon which is why they did not vote for Clinton in the hoped for numbers and why some of the more razor-headed are putting on that old twentieth-century racist regalia.

In response, the Social Justice Warriors and Safe Space Seeking Chickenshits began a high pitched squealing early last November that has not lowered its volume or pitch from that day to this. The fascistic anti-fascist Idiots in Black are beating up innocent people in the streets of Berkeley as their progressive-left soul-mates tear down historical statuary all around the country.

It is a disgrace and it is just the kind of thing that will wreck the Democrats in 2020.

However, in terms of Jewish / Israel issues the embassy is second only to that of negotiations.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Raoul Wootliff tells us:
Senior members of the Trump administration and Israeli officials renewed talks over the possibility of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a promise repeatedly made by the president in the 2016 election campaign, during high-level meetings in Israel last week, the Times of Israel has learned.
If the conflict is ever going to end it can only happen after the United States, followed by the EU, acknowledges Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move their embassies to that location. So long as the Arabs see that even the United States refuses to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem then they understand that the Jewish State remains vulnerable because its international support is flaccid.

Therefore they will continue to use Jerusalem, and particularly the Temple Mount, as a wedge.

If they can drive Jewish sovereignty off the Temple Mount then they can continue to dream of re-establishing Muslim dominance on the ancestral Jewish homeland. And this is precisely what keeps the hope of "anti-Zionism" alive.

And that is why it is absolutely imperative that Trump move the damn embassy to Jerusalem.

Such an action, more than anything else at this moment, can snap the status quo and place breaks upon the long-term Palestinian-Arab resistance to the Movement for Jewish freedom. And this is why I am cautiously pleased to see the issue in discussion.

Wootliff also tells us, unfortunately:
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday as part of a visit to the region in a bid to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Breathing life into the Oslo process - if that is what this means - is a vital mistake.

Have we learned nothing since Bill Clinton stood on the White House lawn with Yitzhak Rabin and that heinous old bastard, Yassir Arafat?

In twenty-five years the "peace process" has brought little but blood and toxic levels of hatred from the duplicitous Europeans. The "peace process" has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing about a harmonious conclusion of hostilities with a Palestinian-Arab state thriving in peace alongside Israel.

On the contrary, it has everything to do with demoralizing Israelis and encouraging violence against them, as well as against Jews around the world.

Everybody and his brother is more than happy to piss on Donald Trump, but if he fails to move the embassy and if he forces yet another phony "peace process" down Israel's throat then I will speak out against Trump in Jewish political circles.

For me, however, it will not be the progressive-left Bandwagon of Trump Hatred that we have seen ever since Hillary Clinton took notice of some evil, right-wing version of Kermit the Frog.

That particular brand of semi-hallucinatory political hatred I will leave to others.

KPFA Speaks to Matt Finkelstein on Reem's antisemitic restaurant

Michael Lumish

Matthew Finkelstein spoke to KPFA radio out of Berkeley, yesterday, concerning the vigils against the mural honoring progressive-left antisemitic anti-Zionist Rasmea Odeh at Reem's bakery/cafe in Oakland, California.

These are ongoing vigils in Oakland in honor of college students Leon Kanner and Edward Joffe who were murdered by Odeh and her friends in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1969 at a grocery in Jerusalem, yet she remains celebrated on the left for her "social justice" work in Chicago.

Apparently, KPFA cut the contribution of local Democrat, Susan George, who is a rare type of friend. Susan is a non-Jewish, Sanders supporting, progressive-left friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

{Such as these are not so easy to come by.}

In any case, it is a brief piece that begins at the 51-minute mark.

I think that Matt did an excellent job, although the piece slanted toward the murderer Rasmea Odeh, but this is hardly surprising given Northern California public radio.

Odeh has, thankfully, been deported from the United States.

To where I wonder?

So long, Roz.

Happy travels.

https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20170901-Fri1800.mp3

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Banana Peel Discovered at Ole Miss

Michael Lumish

The United States, if not the West more generally, has lost its fucking mind.

In an article for a newspaper associated with Ole Miss by Slade Rand and Rachel Ishee we read:
This weekend, leaders from Ole Miss Greek life convened upon Camp Hopewell in Lafayette County for a three-day retreat designed to build leaders and bring campus closer together. The retreat was cut short Saturday night, however, after three black students found a banana peel in a tree in front of one of the camp’s cabins.

The students shared what they found with National Pan-Hellenic Council leaders, sparking a day’s worth of camp-wide conversation surrounding symbolism, intended or not. In the midst of the open and sometimes heated discussion, senior accounting major Ryan Swanson said he put the banana peel in the tree when he could not find a trashcan nearby.
This is what we have come to.

Some student puts a banana peel on a tree somewhere on campus and all hell breaks loose.

It is perfectly fine to put up a tremendous mural of a genocidal Jew murderer - who somehow became an American feminist leader - at a cafe next to a major Oakland transportation hub, but a banana peel in a tree at the University of Mississippi is just too much.

The stupidity seems to go on and on and on with no end in sight.

Alexa Lee Arndt, interim director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, referring to a community discussion of the meaning of the banana peel wrote:
To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at IMPACT … Because of the underlying reality many students of color endure on a daily basis, the conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi. 
Well, good god, we would not want to slip on that one, now would we?

People are acting as if this is either 1963 and we need marches with Martin Luther King, Jr. or it is 1968 and we need Stokely and Eldridge and the fellahs to put on the black berets and show the cops what's what.
Makala McNeil, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, one of the nine historically African-American sororities and fraternities, said she saw the banana peel after leaving a group discussion that addressed race relations.
So, let me get this straight. Ms. McNeil, after leaving a discussion on "race relations" saw a banana peel hanging from a tree?

And this made the local news?

I understand, obviously, about the cultural significance of bananas and monkeys to racist conceptions of black people. What I fail to understand, however, is why something like this should even be an issue in 2017 given how much progress the United States has made in ethnic relations since the bad old days.

In truth, the fact that anyone, anywhere actually gives a shit about the racial significance of a banana peel dangling from a tree at the University of Mississippi should put to bed any notions that Americans are careless on racial inequalities. Actually, Americans are among the most racially neurotic people on the planet.

We are obsessed with "race."

A major part of the reason for the current "race scare" is because following the New Left of the 1960s questions of race, gender, and class were (rightly) interwoven into political analyses throughout the academe. This should be obvious. Indeed, one cannot so easily separate political theories of race, gender, and economic class because each strand pulls on every other.

But, now, largely due to the influence of cultural Marxism and identity politics, the progressive-left seems to actually want the existence of American racism so that they can use it as a political club or as a badge of social purity.

What is worse, however, is that they are racializing young people. That is, they are encouraging college students, if not high school students - if not babies - to see the world through racialized lenses and through the progressive-left hierarchy of victimhood.

I see this as the turning back of fifty years of progress in favor of blood and war.

Given what is going on at this political moment - what with rioting Idiots in Black and the destruction of historical Civil War statuary and the constant cries of racism, Racism, RACISM! - it seems to me that what Dave Rubin calls the "regressive left" actually wants the presence of Nazis and Klansmen and White Supremacists so that they can have something to fight against.

The American left has had a supply-and-demand problem with racists since the 1970s.

There was plenty of demand for open racists to target but they were in short supply.

Thus they have simply expanded the meaning of "racist" to include pretty much all white people and examples of racism to include a banana peel sitting in a tree.

Well, if the left wants a fight over racism I am certain that they will find enough hell-bent-for-fury right-wing dingbats to give them one.