August 6, 2014

What Anti-Israel progressives need to hear, but won't

They need to hear, as well, the fact that being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist is much too often used as a screen to put forth views that are antisemitic.

This includes when Israel is singled out in discriminatory fashion, held to a standard of perfect conduct, while actors much worse are held to no basic standard at all. 

Thanks to Pat Condell for painting the picture, in spoken words, of amorality from people that pretend to be the opposite.

July 26, 2014

Israel and what the Obama contingent stands for

Interesting to see Obama's former best friend, Erdogan, reveal once again his fascist, Jew hating heart. Taking away his "Profile in Courage" award would be poetic justice.

And why is Obama trying to use the Hamas framework for an agreement?

Has he, or Kerry, ever imagined that interference can also make things worse?

And why is Obama tying funding for Iron Dome to the US border funding measure?

And why not speaking out over the wave of antisemitism in Europe?

Just what does Obama stand for? All he seems to do these days is attend functions where the audience nods in full appreciation as he spreads negativity about those who don't agree with him. He is in a bubble of adulation. When offered the opportunity to speak strongly about world conflict, he equivocates. Many are confused and many are emboldened.

Democrats increasingly do not like Israel. Far too many secular Jews, besides their overall ignorance and indifference, let their bleeding hearts reject the Jewish "Zionist" narrative, the one that is factual and based on the very liberal principles they claim to follow. Instead, they fall for the fake orientalist version where Arabs reject ANY responsibility for their fate. It is ALL the fault of the white West, as the situation deteriorates. What a canard.

Will these secular Jews ever wake up to the fact that even as they reject the Jewish religion, they will remain targeted just because they are Jews? It takes little energy for the tyranny of the majority to show its true self when it comes to Jews. Israel and Zionism and settlements are merely subterfuge for their intentions. When will they see that the people they listen to present an incomplete story that cannot see the difference between aggression and the response thereto?

I wonder what progressives have to say about this ignorance and apathy of support among them for Israel, and America, in favor of the most illiberal type of forces on Earth. Why is this growing among them and whether/how it should be confronted?

As the USA evacuates Libya, one of Obama's greatest disasters, the odd approach the Administration adopts, whether it interferes or withdraws, seems to contribute to every situation growing worse.

July 23, 2014

A few things the USA can do concerning Gaza

Lift the FAA ban. It singles out and punishes Israel economically while Hamas claims victory. One might argue it was intentionally to pressure Israel, rather than support our ally.

Investigate the UN role, particularly UNRWA, with regards to corruption, the weapons found at its schools (returned to Hamas), and the "humanitarian" use of cement to build tunnels for terrorism rather than infrastructure for peace.

Move to change the definition of a Palestinian refugee to exclude descendants and to turn over jurisdiction to the UNHCR. When we speak of "disproportionate" we need look no further than how much aid is given to Palestinians "refugees," as if their suffering has greater meaning than others in far greater numbers and more dire situations.

Work to get the ICC prosecutor to commence an investigation of the leaders of Hamas, especially Meshaal, for the undisputed war crimes and crimes against humanity it engages in, admitted by the Palestinian representative to the Human Rights Council.

Yes, some of these things may fail, but sometimes it is important to place things in the sunlight, force the wrongdoers to defend their abuses, and expose the malice they intend.

Past time for America, like Canada, to show without equivocation which side it is on.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.

June 5, 2014

Torossian Channels Zabotinsky and Dylan about Israel and the Jewish People

originally posted at Israel Thrives

Read today a post by Ronn Torossian at FrontPage entitled, "To Roger Waters of Pink Floyd & Other Israel Haters."  It's a post I highly recommend, especially for those who reflexively disparage FrontPage as extremist and not to be included in discussion. Yes, these people do exist.

Although Torossian directs his post to Roger Waters and the Israel haters, so many of whom profess allegiance to human rights, yet act like imposters, the message he relates through those he quotes, may have greater applicability to the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us. They, too, bear responsibility for the state of what has been, what is, and most importantly what will be.

Ze’ev Zabotinsky said that Jews have nothing to prove to our critics. If anyone needs to apologize for overt persecution and continued bigotry and discrimination still practiced, is it the Jews, and by extension Israel? The critics tolerate conduct by others that make Jewish misdeeds seem paltry. Can they explain why?

Bob Dylan is no firebrand like Zabotinsky, and universally recognized in the eyes of the the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us. Dylan cannot be demonized and therefore dismissed like Zabotinsky, even as he communicates a similar message, in his 1983 song "Neighborhood Bully," unknown to this writer until today. Using a poetic form that the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us can relate, he provides a context and reality where nothing has changed.

Dylan's lyrics are partially quoted by Torossian, but are worth reading in full.
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He’s always on trial for just being born
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
He’s the neighborhood bully

He got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully
Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music
Those who judge the Jews, and by extension Israel, and particularly the people who live by the double standard, like Waters and other imposters, should look at themselves and take accountability, first, by making full recognition that the non-Jewish world has, in fact, behaved far worse against the perceived "Neighborhood Bully" and telling us why they allowed this to happen.

The "Jewish Incinerator" comes to America

originally posted at Israel Thrives

incinerator1There are many people, too many, more than can be counted, that don't acknowledge the extent to which Jews are subjected to bigotry in society.

Among the non-believers are those who say claims about antisemitism are only made for political purposes, to silence criticism of Israel, often from themselves, often with antisemitic effect. That does not mean they refrain from being political when it suits their needs, as the use of "Islamophobia" is rampant to chill the slightest criticism in the face of Muslim violence, toward women, homosexuals, non-believers, or even other Muslims (see here and here).

Much present day strategy of antisemitism comes from people who claim to be THE voice of human rights. Opposing Jew-hatred, to them, seems not included in the protection of human rights, and Jewish advocacy is merely a ploy to support Israel and perpetuate Zionism, the external self-determination for Jews.

A main strategy adopted by illiberal humanitarians in the name of human rights is based on a model used in the case of South Africa, to help eliminate Apartheid, an international crime. To these selective, even sanctimonious arbiters of morality and justice, Zionism is also an international crime. The strategy was largely developed in South Africa, in 2001, a few days before 9-11. As a result, the Durban Conference of 2001 (see here and here), never received the notoriety it deserved. It was a reiteration of the infamous 1975 declaration that Zionism is racism (see here and here), a malicious concept that persists to this day, under different cover, particularly on college campuses (see here and here) where activities like Israel Apartheid Week and BDS occur.

Most of these illiberals are a lost cause. Yet they are outnumbered by others that are well-intentioned, insulated from the fray, whose ignorance or misinformation becomes evident on discussion. How many who believe antisemitism is not a real problem know anything about Durban? Or the agenda of those that seek to delegitimize Israel, which happens to be the ONLY Jewish state, but no other states? As if that in itself is not antisemitic in principle and in effect. To all of these people on the periphery: WAKE UP! 

It is not just over Zionism or at the universities, however, pronounced as these are. Here we find the case of the "Jewish Incinerator." It has been reported (also here and here) that at a Chicago high school, a Jewish student was verbally attacked by classmates for months. His mother finally contacted school officials after discovering some of the students were further attacking her son and all Jewish people through a popular video-game app called Clash of Clans, and even created an antisemitic gaming group to play. In her words:
So I look down, I see it says Jewish Incinerator with their one goal is to gather all the Jews, put them in an army camp and dispose of them. I’m 42-years-old. I’m not new to this world. I didn’t become Jewish yesterday. I felt naive and shocked. We are in the year 2014. Really? At a school that my son has gone to? And I shake because I watched this group grow literally from four. Kids were just joining and joining.
In Europe, it is now common to see violence directed to Jews (see here and here and here). Hopefully the USA will never evolve so far down this road. Vigilance is necessary to weed out the poison because we have seen where it has lead. Which is why it is important not to act as if there is no problem, when evidence is seen almost every day that antisemitism, often posing as something else, remains a persistent evil, not a phobia. This is so even if some Jewish friends say it's all about Israeli actions like the "expansion" of settlements on Arab land, when construction is almost entirely the addition of housing units in what already exists. Before that Arabs, not to mention Christians, were Jew-lovers, don't you see?

May 25, 2014

Government Competence and Faith in Illusion

Jeff Jacoby is a critic of Barack Obama. To some, that ends the matter. To foster some notion of "tolerance" means whatever he may say is simply not worthy of utterance or consideration. Same for Daniel Greenfield, who is cited below. Actually, this type of dismissive attitude seems to foster ignorance.

Not much more to add other than to recommend Jacoby's latest column, Obama fails to show his vaunted ‘competence.' It is a critique that encapsulates in stark terms the obvious disconnect between the image and the reality, the type of disconnect that many Obama supporters, fueled with rage for Republicans, largely ignore.

Perhaps because they believe more in the image, what it presents, and what it says about themselves? As Greenfield said in a recent piece, Obama, Hillary and Kim Kardashian, also recommended:
[W]anting to do something is what makes you a good person. It doesn’t matter if what you’re doing does any good. It doesn’t matter if you succeed. ... [It is] less concerned with changing the world than with being good people by wanting to change the world. That’s what Obama received his premature Nobel Peace Prize for, not for what he did, but for what he talked about doing.
In the matter of competence, the disconnect seems apparent to many, but not to progressives that tout science as the final word yet engage in a long held messianic faith (see here and here). The ability to make the government work for people is what people need from an administration, not illusion that it is doing so, reinforced by appearances on Ellen and hashtag diplomacy, or staged events in front of pre-screened supporters that now qualify as transparency in government.

As John Stuart Mill famously said:
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
Rather than predictable preemptive rejection of the likes of Jacoby or Greenfield, their ideas should be duly considered, even if then refuted. Overemphasis on a mentality forged in an echo chamber may lead not only to a narrow intolerance, but false perceptions where theory runs afoul of result.

April 22, 2014

Yet another "teacher" mouths off (Updated)

In 1915, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) set forth principles for university teachers with regard to controversial matters:
The university teacher, in giving instruction upon controversial matters, while he is under no obligation to hide his own opinion under a mountain of equivocal verbiage, should, if he is fit for his position, be a person of a fair and judicial mind; he should, in dealing with such subjects, set forth justly, without suppression or innuendo, the divergent opinions of other investigators; he should cause his students to become familiar with the best published expressions of the great historic types of doctrine upon the questions at issue; and he should, above all, remember that his business is not to provide his students with ready-made conclusions, but to train them to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently….The teacher ought also to be especially on his guard against taking unfair advantage of the student’s immaturity by indoctrinating him with the teacher’s own opinions before the student has had an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters in question, and before he has sufficient knowledge and ripeness of judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his own. It is not the least service which a college or university may render to those under its instruction, to habituate them to looking not only patiently but methodically on both sides, before adopting any conclusion upon controverted issues.
Thankfully, even in political science classes, it is hard to recall any professor that used the teaching platform for crass political indoctrination and disparagement such as what is heard in the following audio, in an Introduction to Creative Writing class, no less!

"--Racist, misogynist, money-grubbing people that have so much power over the rest of us. And want things to go back -- not to 1955 or 1855. There a re a lot of people out there that do not want black people to vote, do not want Latinos to vote. Do not want old people to vote, or young people to vote. Because generally, people like you are liberal. You want equality. You want racial equality, you want financial equality. You want to be able to use your education and go out in the world and make it better, but you'd also like to be able to get a job. All these things point toward being a liberal. Because this election, it's absolutely possible that Republicans will take over the Senate as well as the House. And we will live in a very, very, very different kind of country if that happens. I mean, colleges will start closing up if they, if these people have their way. They don't think money should go to giving you people dangerous ideas about how the world should be run."
Of course, he is not the only one, as can be seen here and here and here.

An academic pursues knowledge and lives by competing ideas and explanations. An activist pursues political and social goals that involve specific actions based on a pre-determined ideological truth. As such, one might say that activism is fundamentally un-academic.
A genuinely academic thinker must be able to believe for a moment that his own preferred explanation is wrong, so that he can look very hard at the case for other explanations, but that is almost a psychological impossibility for the political or social activist.
The above quote from a 2012 report A Crisis in Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California, authored by the conservative California Association of Scholars. Some activists will dismiss the report, rather than give it any consideration, as if it has no place in the marketplace of ideas, even as similar effects become commonplace, as here and here, only two more recent examples of the fruits of activist education run amok.

It is downright scary to think that people taught by these type of activists will be making decisions for us all based on the truth of their knowledge, or should I say their cause.

UPDATE: Connecticut Prof Apologizes for Anti-GOP Bashfest

March 14, 2014

What a lovely partner for peace! Yet again.

Back in January, I reported here.

Now, straight from Palestinian Media Watch. A member of Fatah. A very close associate of Mahmoud Abbas. Preaching words of peace and harmony as only Jew haters can.

Why must we pretend, like too many others, that these Palestinian leaders do not mean what they say, and that they and the Palestinians they control are a true partner for peace?

There are many that lecture the rest about peace and humanitarianism, and are convinced that it's all about Israel, requiring dangerous Israeli concessions when, in fact, it has not taken anything by force. Yet, these same folks ask virtually nothing from Israel's adversaries, blind to their genocidal intent so clearly seen in the video.

You "humanitarians" may believe that showing concern for Palestinians, at the hands of Israel, absolves further action in support of people in far more dire straits, but every day come increasing numbers that see right through the double standards you employ that enables the abuse of human rights, despite that you claim to further it.

February 3, 2014

Too few like Ali Salim. Way too few.

And too few that can hear what he offers. Not afraid to mince words, which allows him to get to the essence of the matter. He is one of my favorite essayists because of the insight he provides into the Arab mind and the courage he exhibits. In a way, he reminds me of Barry Rubin, who died today, in his positivist approach to the state of things.

I wish more of those who are uninformed and indifferent, yet take strong positions nonetheless, would be exposed to Salim. He repudiates voices that now hold disproportionate influence, seeking "social justice" as they obscure a lust for power that justifies suppression of immoral defenders of the system that supports a state like Israel.

Ironically, the system provides these activists opportunity and freedom to resist it, abuse it and seek its transformation into a nihilistic utopia. And in the effort to promote others that will offer them no such liberty, but submission.

Without further ado, Why the Palestinians Refuse to Recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

January 29, 2014

Scarlett Johansson Rocks!!!

For more about Soda Stream, see my post from last year here, along with a really good video.

But this post is just for Scarlett!

PS -- She is stepping away from Oxfam, too.