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.

January 23, 2014

What a lovely partner for peace!

Don't you think?

Yes, I am being facetious.

Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on March 27, 2002, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) is composed of an unknown number of small cells of Fatah-affiliated activists.

Fatah is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Fatah publicizes threats to bomb Tel Aviv on its official Facebook page



Perhaps it's time to realize that peace is not the object, but the destruction of Israel is.

Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch for exposing this atrocity from Israel's designated peace partner.
The full video is eight minutes long and shows footage of masked men in military training, arsenals of weapons, missiles being launched, as well as footage of Israelis running for shelter during missile attacks.
Hopefully, more people will come to see that they are being duped, that those they enable, if capable, will treat them no better than what they intend for Tel Aviv.
 

January 17, 2014

Speaking about the United Nations (with an Update)

Recently, in the context of a discussion about indigenous rights and whether Jews are an indigenous people in Israel, I stood up for the notion of the UN, and international law, having positive effects in areas that people can easily overlook.

But not to be misconstrued, the UN has a very dark side.

The most recent example is the cancellation, days before opening, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, of a landmark exhibit at its Paris headquarters this Monday on “The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” curated together with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

According to UN Watch, whose blog is one worth following:
The surprise here isn’t that UNESCO chief Irina Bokova surrendered to the Arab League’s protest, rudely cancelling an event for which invitations were already sent out, and which involved painstaking work over two years by renowned Hebrew University scholar Robert Wistrich.
***
For anyone who knows anything about UNESCO — the first UN body, in November 2011, to deem “Palestine” a state — surrender to Arab pressure on this matter was inevitable.
When it comes to UNESCO:
Despite the repeated claims of the Obama Administration that UNESCO is God’s gift to the Jews, and to humanity, the opposite is true: it is arguably the most anti-Jewish body in the entire United Nations.
If the notorious UN Human Rights Council dedicates a full 50 percent of its resolutions to demonizing the Jewish state, at UNESCO the numbers are 100 percent.
That’s right: all of UNESCO's condemnatory resolutions are against Israel.
Check out the complete post. And for those who may feel surprise by the behavior of UNESCO described by UN Watch, learn more about the situation at UNESCO, an intergovernmental UN organization that by all appearances has strayed far from its mandate defined by education, science, and culture, and traveled down the road of politics and abuse that many sensible and peace loving people plainly see. And they see right!

UPDATE: Here is a link to the letter from UNESCO to the Wiesenthal Center concerning the cancellation.

January 12, 2014

The Humanitarian Racist has a Cousin (with an Update)

Recall the humanitarian racists, largely brought to attention by Manfred Gerstenfeld.

Humanitarian racists believe that non-white, oppressed people cannot be held to laws of humanity and requirements of the public conscience recognized in international law long ago. These "victims" are simply not advanced enough. As such, there must be a scapegoat to account for their actions because they cannot even be racist. Contemporary problems caused by the colonialism and imperialism of the Western developed world excuse the victims from any responsibility for their acts and allow humanitarian racists to look away as often as possible, even to the commission of major crimes.

Richard Cravatts is the creator and founding director of Boston University's Program in Publishing at BU's Center for Professional Education and current president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, an organization with over 40,000 academic members on more than 3200 campuses worldwide.

Cravatts references another breed, a cousin of the humanitarian racist, the moral narcissist. His recent essay, "Moral narcissism and the MLA’s obsession with Israel," is definitely worth reading.

Moral narcissism is based, not according to actual viability or justice of a cause, but on how moral narcissists feel about themselves by committing to a particular cause or movement. They live in self-approval bubbles where mutually agreed moral gestures and self congratulation constitutes a perfect and sufficient engagement with an imperfect world.

Cravatts refers to Jay Gaskill, a California lawyer who served as the Seventh Alameda County Public Defender from 1989 to 1999 who chose to devote more time to his writing projects.

Gaskill says that moral narcissists adopt a camouflage strategy to escape the moral disapproval of others by cloaking their narcissism in the trappings of ‘social justice positioning’.
These are members of “club narcissist” who live in an unspoken social compact, the first tenet of which is “We are not narcissists because we care”.  The second tenet consists of a commitment to sign onto a shifting list of approved ‘humanitarian’ positions and stances with the unspoken understanding that these will require little more than gestures - bargain basement humanitarianism, of you will.
Thus the moral narcissists create an artificial a moral universe where ‘standing for’ is the equivalent of ‘doing for’.
***
Moral narcissists are easily controlled and manipulated by political elites, ideologues, and corrupt political predators.  Moral narcissists are immune from the teaching effects of authentic dialogue.  Moral narcissism is the disease of the modern mind. 
Looking at moral narcissists in the context of anti-Israel activity, Cravatts says:
The lure of Palestinianism has proven to be positivity irresistible to left-leaning humanists and literary scholars who burrow into Western thought to uncover the dark underpinnings of imperialism, militarism, colonialism, oppression, racism, and, as a result of one of the MLA’s notorious past presidents, Edward Said, the theory of “Orientalism,” a mode of thought which claimed to reveal the inherent racism and imperialism imbedded in Western scholarship and politics. The fascination with Third-world victimism, identity politics, and multiculturalism, coupled with harsh critiques of both the U.S. and its proxy in the Middle East, Israel, have all led academics like those in the ASA and the MLA—whose fields are, in a normal world, unrelated to these issues—to involve themselves aggressively in answering calls for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions solely against the Jewish state.
Activists like those in the MLA and ASA, and too many others of the academic left, believe their worldview is the correct one simply because it seeks to create a world in which social justice will be realized against the forces of the imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.

Cravatts provides examples to show MLA lack concern for the welfare of oppressed, such as students and women, revealing a double standard. He concludes:
Of course, the MLA’s Radical Caucus is silent on all of these obstacles to education and the free exchange of ideas, both in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and the wider world of Israel’s neighbors. It is easy to demonize Israel, and certainly it requires no bravery in academia, where moral narcissists console each other in an echo chamber of good intentions, willing to sacrifice academic integrity, true scholarship, and vigorous, honest debate in the process.
What is also tragic is that these "intellects" cannot see that their blatant singling out of the sole Jewish state is an exercise in antisemitism, irrespective of how they try to justify the discrimination they practice, reckless and oblivious to the effect. As they are quick to tell the rest of us, only they care about humankind.

UPDATE: The MLA just concluded its 2014 Convention, with mixed results regarding the anti-Israel efforts. A watered down non-binding resolution was adopted, arguably to save face. An attempt to pass an “Emergency” Resolution to denounce supposed attacks on supporters of the American Studies Association boycott resolution was soundly rejected. See here and here, as reported at the blog Legal Insurrection by Professor Jacobson and others.

One might argue that civil and political communities are showing signs of awakening, as it becomes clear how extreme and activist the humanitarian racists and moral narcissists have become, caring not at all about the stated missions of their associations, but their political agendas and contorted views of social justice.

January 10, 2014

Opportunty in Israel's Neighborhood

Is the Arab-Israel conflict changing? A column by Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post suggests so, and it's worth thinking about.

Is Israel's strategic challenge of contending with pan-Arabism, which was invented at the same time that the nations of the world embraced modern Zionism, no longer central in a  new era where people from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula have gone back to identifying themselves by tribe, religion, ethnicity, and non-Arab national identity?

Intra-Arab fighting these days has nothing much to do with Israel, except if a scapegoat is necessary to incite hate and create diversion. Arabic speaking minorities in Israel, even Muslims, cannot be blind to the opportunities inside Israel to live a good life, particularly compared to record the rest of the neighborhood.

In her column, Glick refers to Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth who calls for Israeli Christian youth to serve in the IDF, as a symbol of what is taking place, a movement where some Christians identify more as Israelis than members of the Palestinian Arab nation.
It is because they see what is happening to their co-religionists in the post-pan-Arab Middle East that more and more Israeli Christians realize they will lead safer, more prosperous and more fulfilling lives as Christian citizens in the Middle East’s only democracy than as pan-Arabs battling the Zionist menace.
Much of the argument made by Glick is based on an article by Ofir Haivry, vice president of the Herzl Institute, in Mosaic online magazine, entitled, Israel in the Eye of the Hurricane, and should be read in its entirety by anyone interested in a more in depth analysis.

If Glick is correct,
The post-pan-Arab Middle East exposes the truth that has been obscured for a century. The Jews and their Jewish state are a natural component of our diverse neighborhood, just like the Kurds, the Christians, the Druse, the various Muslim sects, and the Arabs. The demise of pan-Arabism is our great opportunity, at home and regionally, to build the alliances we need to survive and prosper.
Perhaps the Arab-Israeli conflict as we know it is ready for a paradigm shift. Glick is surely advocating the Israeli government should change its orientation toward the Arab world away from powers based on Pan-Arab structures in favor of natural alliances based on mutual interests, the kind that most often stand the test of time.

January 7, 2014

45 Seconds of Enlightenment

Courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch, this video is for those that claim that all Palestinian Arab refugees, including descendants, have a human right to return to Israel because they were ethnically cleansed from their homes by Jews.



For more enlightenment, see here or here.

To those that make such claims, behind a mask of morality, we should ask: Why should anyone listen to pontifications of people who act as if they know all, but know hardly at all?

November 27, 2013

Those that Scoff

Here in the Progressive bastion, where many like to claim superior knowledge and education, I have often informed people that discrimination against Muslims in America is small compared to discrimination against Jews. Many simply scoff. It is a matter of ignorance, falling for hype, being duped to believe that night is day.

In truth, few of these people are actually involved. They rely on what most say inside their bubble. They only see the matter intellectually. Indifference and insularity certainly play a part. Yet one may surmise that if another minority besides a Jew claimed offense or persecution they would clamor support. The intellectual approach, and the echo that resonates among themselves, prevents them from seeing that they practice a double standard, or recognizing that it has a discriminatory effect towards the Jewish minority and one and only Jewish state. Facts, presented objectively, expose the disconnect and the discrimination that results from ignorance, under the false assumption they hold that they are only being fair.

To illustrate, according to the FBI, in 2012, rather than rampant discrimination against Muslims, Jews remain the No. 1 target of anti-religious hate crimes in America. No other group comes even close. From the FBI web site, of the 1,340 victims of an anti-religious hate crime:
  • 62.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
  • 11.6 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
  • 7.5 percent were victims of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
  • 6.4 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
  • 2.6 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.
  • 0.9 percent were victims of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
  • 8.6 percent were victims of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion). (Based on Table 1.)
Those that scoff, and especially those that are quick to call out "Islamophobia," probably don't even know where the concept of Islamophobia was developed. An eyewitness to the creation of the word, wrote:
"This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics."
The strategy was to emulate homosexual activists who used the term "homophobia" to silence critics and exploit the weaknesses of the Western psyche that recoils at the notion of being labeled racist (though Islam is not a race). 

BEWARE OF THOSE THAT SCOFF, especially those that, among themselves, echo and share information that ignores facts like shown above which expose the underlying bigotry and discriminatory effect of their positions. There's a lot more they do not know. Yet we who are not indifferent or removed must bear the brunt of the ignorance.

November 22, 2013

Sensibilities and the "Sons of Pigs and Apes"

Yesterday, in a brief discussion with a friend, I mentioned a book called, "The sons of pigs and apes": Muslim antisemitism and the conspiracy of silence, by Neil Kressel, that I recently came across.

My friend is a progressive. Not like the ones to be found online. She is more accepting. And this is not to criticize her. It is more concerned with the way things are. About how Jews experience a disconnect when it comes to their status as an oppressed minority, more accurately the deprivation of that status, as hatred and threats to them grow out of all proportion.

After I mentioned the book, of which I had read a Kindle sample, she asked what is that, referring to the phrase "sons of pigs and apes." My conversational response was that it's what Muslims call Jews. This link to Palestinian Media Watch provides context. The belief is ingrained in Islam, past and present. Here is an example, among many, from last July:



Some say PMW disseminates propaganda. However, in 2007 Senator Hillary Clinton praised PMW for exposing child abuse, imposed by the Palestinian Authority, as above, through indoctrination that teaches them to hate Jews and Israel. Such demonization is prevalent in Palestinian society, and simple to discover if one looks.



Back to the story. Rather than acknowledgement of the utter indecency of calling EVERY Jew a son of a pig or ape, my good hearted friend admonished me for suggesting that ALL Muslims call Jews sons of pigs and apes. Did I not see that this is what a listener would conclude from my remark?

Only later did I realize her orientation was more concerned with protecting sensibilities of Muslims, generally, rather than the sensibilities and human rights of Jews, ALL Jews, to be free from these hateful, eliminationist threats, insults and behaviors based on the underlying belief by too Muslims that Jews deserve to be exterminated.

The summary of Kressel's book says:
Though it is impossible to determine precisely how many of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims hold anti-Jewish beliefs, Kressel finds that much bigotry comes from the highest levels of religious and political leadership.
There are 14 million Jews on the planet. If only 5% of Muslims held these beliefs, that would be 60 million people. Is my perceived bigotry or bigotry of Jews the real problem here?

Of course, before going forward, I had to clearly concede that I did not intend to suggest that ALL Muslims hated Jews. That should have been a given in the scheme of things. But the main point was lost, that Muslims do call Jews the sons of pigs and apes. With rare exception, ONLY Muslims do this.

There is nothing bigoted about presenting this fact based truth, not to mention the virtually complete silence of the Muslim community to confront it. It is not just Muslims, however. The Kressel summary also says:
[M]any in the West refuse to recognize this issue. The growing epidemic of hate has been largely ignored, misunderstood, or downplayed, Kressel reveals, because of apathy, ignorance, confusion, bigotry, ideology, purported pragmatism, and misguided multiculturalism. Those who value human rights ignore antisemitism at their own risk, he cautions, noting that no antisemitic regime or movement has ever been otherwise reasonable or progressive. 
This is what matters, at least to me. To say that "the sons of pigs and apes" is what Muslims (and only Muslims) call Jews (which is accurate), does not imply that ALL Muslims are equally guilty. To raise the implication actually diverts from what matters, which is the express bigotry toward Jews simply for not being Muslim, and the ignorance and indifference of too many among us.

Though not the intention of my friend, the same cannot be said for others, including activists that proclaim the right to define social justice. Diversion becomes a tactic to shut down discussion. In this case it diverted from the very first question asked about the insidious phrase itself, and perhaps lost was an opportunity to become more enlightened about reality that will likely continue to be obscured so long as communication is between those that agree among themselves.