November 29, 2011

Antisemitism: The world changes, the world remains the same.

At Daily Kos, there is a diary that speaks to the latest occurrences of Jew hatred in Brooklyn, USA.  Details can be found in this news report.  It gave opportunity to write a comment, which became this post.

The world changes, the world remains the same.  

There are around 13 MILLION Jews in the world today, out of a world population of about 7 BILLION people.

Historically, the two major purveyors of hate for Jews are Christians and Muslims, perhaps 3.5 BILLION people.  Thankfully, only a relative smattering hold the Christian variant of genocidal views epitomized by Hitler, mostly neo-Nazis, but not all. Significant numbers of Muslims, however, even some of their leaders, supplement their own hatred for Jews and say they want to finish the genocide that the Christians (Hitler) started

Sometimes I wonder about a fringe extreme on the Left, too, that conjoins with the other Jew haters while self-proclaiming to be "anti-racist" and "humanitarian." The first Durban NGO Conference in 2001 illustrates:
On the grounds of the U.N. conference itself, the Arab Lawyers Union distributed pamphlets filled with grotesque caricatures of hook-nosed Jews depicted as Nazis, spearing Palestinian children, dripping blood from their fangs, with missiles bulging from their eyes or with pots of money nearby. Attempts to have the group's U.N. accreditation revoked were refused.

Under the tent where the final NGO declaration was approved over the weekend -- a document that indicts Israel as a "racist, apartheid state" guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing -- fliers were found with a photo of Hitler and the following question: "What if Hitler had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed."

In a Palestinian-led march with thousands of participants, a placard was held aloft that read "Hitler Should Have Finished the Job." Nearby, someone was selling the most notorious of anti-Jewish tracts, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
It was a racist anti-racist gathering if there ever was one, perhaps even surpassing the infamous "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination" resolution at the UN Security Council in 1975.

Tom Lantos was a liberal Congressman from California who served as an American delegate at Durban. He was the ranking Democratic Party member on the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives and a founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. In a chilling, must read article, The Durban Debacle, he said:
For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period.
Yes, I am generalizing. The truth is that it matters not the source. The point is that Jews everywhere live with being singled among humans for extinction, solely because they are Jewish. One who receives a threat to kill is a victim. Yet Jews are denied the status of victim despite the threat.

This applies by extension to Israel, the collective Jew among nation states. Overtly and uniquely threatened with extinction, yet denied victim status an international arena. Despite that the UN Charter expressly states:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force
Of course, antisemitism cannot be eradicated. A survey of the American people released on November 3 by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that that 15 percent of Americans – nearly 35 million adults – hold deeply anti-Semitic views. It is no better most places elsewhere, and likely much worse in many.

It is up to the state to respect this right and protect against violations, by itself and private parties. This is why they undertake obligations to implement domestic legislation through treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  Even then, from their conduct, too many states could care less. Many of these states use a different interpretation of rights than we in the West. At least in America tends to take the matter of antisemitism seriously. I hope it remains so. It's not all bad here as some like to say.

I mean, when 5,000 people rally at Cairo’s most prominent mosque, the Al-Azhar mosque, chanting over and over passages from the Koran vowing that “one day we shall kill all the Jews,” how can that not put the matter into perspective?  This happened just days ago.

As with defining other victims of discrimination based on minority and/or religious status, the interpretation of antisemitism should be expansive, not narrow.  This is particularly so because there are new forms of antisemitism that may otherwise appear neutral on their face. Why is this so hard to understand, especially for so many that require political correctness in almost all other cases? There is that pesky double standard again!

If one fairly considers the demographics and what has happened to Jews at the hands of the majority - institutional persecution, pogroms, massacres, and genocide - then sees how disparate forces share common ground to stand in solidarity, using the Jew as a foil to incite hatred for an ideological agenda, it shows how we are drifting closer to Orwell's nightmare, as others sleep through helplessly without a peep.

November 28, 2011

Hangin out and laughin with Hamas

Many believe in J Street. I can only wonder. Especially when I read about one of its board members, a founder, hanging with Hamas. This founder, Kathleen Peratis, reflects much of the J Street constituency in my mind. Her giddy antics were set forth here. One of her hosts said:
“Please tell your friends that Hamas people are ordinary people. We are not barbarians.”
You see, ordinary people rejoice that the gathering of the "Zionists" to Palestine is part of a divine plan, to give Arabs the "honor"of exterminating their "evil," like Hamas MP Yunis al Astal did on Hamas Al Aqsa TV several months ago.

Apparently, it was not the first time Peratis met and fawned over the denizens of Hamas, either.

Another J Street founder, Daniel Levy, concerning Israel, said in October, 2010:
"I believe the way Jewish history was in 1948 excused – for me, it was good enough for me – an act that was wrong."
And months later, at the 2011 J Street Conference, said:
"Maybe, if this collective Jewish presence" -- that is, the Jewish State in the Middle East -- "can only survive by the sword, then Israel really ain't a good idea."
Some argued he meant otherwise. I say the words speak for themselves. By such words and such behavior as meeting with Hamas, it seems these people bend so far to be fair that they enhance, empower and reinforce anti-Israel forces across the spectrum, though virtually none has any inclination to themselves be fair to others who believe differently.

J Street belatedly criticized this last meeting with Hamas by Peratis, after a specific admonition not to do so. One blogger stated:
"But of course, they're not going to kick her off their board or something even though J Street leaders 'shouldn't meet with Hamas.'"
And there, I suppose, is the rub!

(Tip to Doodad.)

On Extremists as Democrats

I am a lifelong Democrat, and often that can be hard, particularly when it comes to matters of international relations and law. 

Over at Israel Thrives is a post, The Moral Bankruptcy of the Progressive-Left, in which it states:
For me, personally, the real wake-up call came during the Mavi Marmara incident. There were two groups of people aboard that vessel. There were the violent Jihadis seeking martyrdom... which progressives referred to as "peace activists." And the second group? Well, they definitely weren't Tea Party people. They were, in fact, progressive-left activists from around the world. Progressive-left activists literally, physically, morally, and financially supporting Jihads in an effort to kill Jews, while lying to the world that their mission was humanitarian.
It is an interesting post and got me to thinking.  When Operation Cast Lead occurred in late 2008, I began to see that many on the Left had no clue when it comes to the law of armed conflict, also known as humanitarian law. They instead use human rights norms to declare war crimes, and by doing so, show how unqualified they are to make such determinations. This happens more frequently, I suppose, when people are apt to make decisions based predominantly on theories, rather than specific rules that prevail to scrutinize conduct while in armed conflict.

What I saw was driven home further with the 2010 Flotilla Incident. As noted above, there were "humanitarians" in common cause with jihadists.  It is an eye opener to see people filled with such rage that they justify any hatred.  The incident involved Israel and Jews directly, but it was so much more.

This extremist element that must be repudiated, in the Democratic Party and elsewhere.  It is incumbent that all ideas to be presented, not just one sided ideas, and to confront the extremists as extremists, to illustrate those with whom they break bread, such as dedicated antisemites who even make calls to incite genocide, a crime under international law, which states undertake to prevent and to punish under the Genocide Convention, and which is now recognized as customary international law binding on states regardless of their conventional obligations.

Those extremists will hopefully be noticed by their own efforts or from the events that take place daily repudiating their claims and illustrating the forces they help enable, intentionally or as dupes.  Fortunately, even if one assumes that Obama has proven inept in his foreign policy, among other things, he is constrained because there is deep support for Israel among Democrats that see matters as Americans, first, and know that Israel is perhaps our strongest ally.  For that reason, unlike some others, I am not yet ready to abandon my Democratic roots.  Republicans, for whatever reason, may stand with Israel, but that is not all they stand for, which is problematic.  Democrats may be incompetent compared to Republicans, but Republicans have domestic priorities that are antithetical compared to Democrats.  It's almost a lose-lose.

The larger political clash, however, is not principally between the two Parties.  It involves those who believe capitalism is the root of evil, who cannot apparently see that totalitarianism is not limited to capitalists, and that even socialists can have a bad streak when it comes to treatment of others.  The extremists share common ground with those Muslims that wish to subjugate the West as we know it, despite that it entails destruction of universal human rights in favor of a version per the Cairo Declaration, promoted by the OIC), where "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah." (Article 24.) 

Islamic human rights will subjugate the leftist extremists beyond their wildest imaginations, as they remain among the corrupt, even if they think otherwise.  Blind to this reality, they somehow believe that all of humanity sees the world just like them.  Except, for example, the neocons, right wingers, Likudniks, and Islamophobes they love to demonize.  Solidarity is what matters!  Israel, the collective Jew of the international community, is where it all comes together.  It is the front line of the struggle.

Then there are some who just seem to hate Jews, yet hide behind the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist banner.  I would put Norman Finklestein, Richard Falk, Lars Gule, Deborah Orr, Philip Weiss, among those in this group. (Apologies to those omitted.)  I could name some bloggers, as well, but it would serve no purpose.  We all know they exist.  

It is mindblowing to watch extremists' obsession with Israel and the plight of Palestinians while paying lip service to countless more that suffer at the hands of repression, including most Palestinians at the hands of their leaders and Arab brothers and the rest of the inferior according to Islamic human rights, such as women and children who are to be accorded special protection under designated human rights treaties.  I suppose because their cause is weighty enough to the extremists, nothing else matters, not even universal human rights.

It is the lack of conviction to what they purport, to individual human dignity, where I parted company with the extremists and now seek to expose them for who they are and that they and those they support ultimately seek.

November 24, 2011

PA and Hamas: "No more differences between us now"

According to Maan News Agency:
President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal on Thursday said they had resolved all their differences, after a meeting in Cairo to implement a unity agreement.

"We want to assure our people and the Arab and Islamic world that we have turned a major new and real page in partnership on everything do to with the Palestinian nation," Mashaal said.

"There are no more differences between us now," added Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement.
The president said the talks had been comprehensive, covering "all details about reconciliation," according to the Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa.
Hamas, as is known, seeks resistance against Israel and removal from all the lands, and even genocide of the Jewish people. They make that clear. For example, a year ago, Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar told Jews "there is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation." 

Just a few months prior:
"We have liberated Gaza, but have we recognized Israel? Have we given up our lands occupied in 1948? We demand the liberation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital – but without recognizing [Israel]. This is the key – without recognizing the Israeli enemy on a single inch of land. ... Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy." (Source: Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, Future News TV, June 15, 2010, Source:
There are enough other examples of this to fill a book. Not to mention that according to the USA, Canada, and the European Union, Hamas is designated a terrorist organization.

So I ask those who crusade against Israel: Is Hamas a terrorist organization? Would Hamas, if the opportunity presented, refrain from acting on its expressed intentions? Since there are "no more differences" according to Abbas, does this mean the PA and Hamas have the same objectives? Just what was/is the PA's ultimate goal and has Abbas been up front about it?

Finally, why are so some willing to believe what appears to fly in the face of reality?


Then again, the anti-Israel crusaders may have respite. According to the New York Times:
It remained unclear even after the meeting on Thursday whether the two sides were indeed committed to a further narrowing of their differences, and whether they would take any tangible steps toward power sharing soon or at all.
The differences are significant because the two sides do not like or trust each other. Far from it. A Hamas representative said they agreed to some confidence-building measures, like stopping politically motivated arrests.  Yet, Elder of Ziyon reports that:
within an hour of the meeting, Palestine Press Agency reports, Hamas police arrested three student leaders associated with Fatah. They also raided and took over the pharmacists' syndicate, which was pro-Fatah.
Despite this confusion, some will invariably criticize Israel for not making peace, but how does one make peace with partners that seem incapable of having peace among themselves?

November 16, 2011

On Contributing at "Israel Thrives"

I have been invited to post at Israel Thrives, and decided to make use of the opportunity.

In doing so, however, I wish to make clear that my expressions are my own and should be always be seen in that light.

For example, I am not a former Democrat, but one who believes that most Democrats are not supportive of the tactics used by anti-Israeli crusaders.  That said, I appreciate the general argument that the Democratic Party is too tolerant of antisemitic forces within its ranks, and remain watchful.

I believe in substance over personalities and demonization of ideas, not people.

I believe it is not Islamophobic to expose violations of human rights, aggression and pronouncements of inferiority by regimes and leaders directed toward women, children and non-believers of Islam.

I believe my principles and values are liberal because they prioritize individual human dignity and potential, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, compared to the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam that prioritizes an ideology of religion.  As such, I believe in free expression for people and oppose blasphemy laws and the notion of defamation of religion. 

I believe too many anti-Israel crusaders promote illiberalism and effectively support some of the worst human rights abusers on the planet, with whom they share common ground.

I believe too many of the "intelligentsia" and self-anointed moralists throughout Europe and increasingly in America, particularly in the universities and media, are indiscriminate and disproportionate in scrutiny, engage in double standards, and practice humanitarian racism of lower expectations.

Of course, there is much more.  This is merely a synopsis for today, to give an idea of where I come from and am going, and to distinguish myself.

One place where I wholeheartedly agree:  The day of the dhimmi is over!

Thoughts on the Palestinian "Freedom Riders"

Yesterday, with the media in full attendance mode (about 100), six Palestinians boarded an Israeli bus in the West Bank to demonstrate the notion that Israel engages in racial discrimination, apartheid laws and segregation against Palestinians. It was a ridiculous publicity stunt premised on a false analogies. At least it was more a more peaceful form of protest than rock throwing.

Restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the West Bank undoubtedly exists, and includes access to Israeli settlements and within the Green Line, including Jerusalem. Such restrictions are based on security concerns. If they have a permit, nothing stops Palestinians from riding Israeli buses within the West Bank and continuing into Jerusalem or the settlements.  In fact, many do so every day, like those legally employed on construction projects within the settlements.

According to Honest Reporting, which looks at the media's role in the battle for public opinion, the more significant issue should have been why there is denial of entry into Jerusalem and Israel proper. The idea that racism rather than security governs Israeli policy is misplaced. We are reminded:
Many Israelis remember a time in the early 1990s and before, when both sides moved relatively freely between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was only with the outbreak of the Palestinian terror campaign, including the use of suicide bombers, that restrictions on Palestinian movement reached their current level. The media should ask themselves how much culpability Palestinians have for creating this situation where the real victims were Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists.
And this is like the Freedom Riders in America?

Of course, I believe this is wholly different. In America, blacks sought to establish, based on their American citizenship, constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process of law, pursuant to Supreme Court decisions determining that restrictions on intestate travel, solely according to race, were unlawful discrimination and prohibited.

In the Palestinian context, as I see it, this is not a matter of civil rights.  Or human rights for that matter. Some Palestinian movement is restricted by military decree based on a legitimate, compelling state interest. Palestinians are not nationals of Israel and therefore have no claim to enforce rights of citizenship or residency against the state. Israel does not owe these individuals any right to movement and there is simply no breach of international norms.

The right to movement is set forth in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
(1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

(2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

(3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.

(4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
The restrictions on movement in this case, whether or not one sympathizes, are prompted primarily by security concerns and, even if there was a right, well within the concept of a "margin of appreciation," defined under Paragraph 3 above, that allows maneuver to national authorities in fulfilling their human rights obligations. 

So where is the violation of human rights?

The publicity grab by the Palestinian "Freedom Riders" trivializes legitimate fights by people against governments to ensure protection of lawful entitlements from their state. To present the matter as racism and invoke the memory of Martin Luther King is false and deceptive, and an insult to the memory of the US civil rights movement and the true Freedom Riders, whose story can be seen in this May, 2011 documentary on the "American Experience."

Palestinians will be fortunate if this mainly passes unnoticed. I believe most fair minded people will see the disconnect and the episode will be detrimental to their ultimate cause, which is itself uncertain to many observers.

UPDATE:  While some Palestinians engage in peaceful protest, others remain busy shooting rockets and damaging an Israeli kindergarten.

November 14, 2011

Finkelstein's Friends and a Challenge

Since I am on the topic of Finkelstein, I saw a MEMRI clip of Hamas TV over at CiF Watch that would warm the cockles of his otherwise cold heart, and a challenge:
I’d really like those who consider themselves anti-racists to respond to the following video (broadcast on the most popular network in Gaza).
And, further, please provide a similar example in Israel, Europe, or the U.S, of anything even resembling such chilling bigotry in their popular media.

I should have updated my earlier entry, but this goes straight to the point of this blog and, as such, deserves it own entry.

There are so many questions and challenges for the Leftist activists.  So many examples where talk and theory disconnect from reality.  Where the raw anti-Israel ideology, a component of their identity, takes over.  It seems they cannot recognize anything beyond.  They love Finkelstein, though solidarity with the above is what he is about.  Which makes me ask myself:  Can people be any more out of touch and less connected to human rights?

A Note on Housekeeping

As this all becomes a bit more routine, I wish to point out for the record that I likely will go backwards and change some earlier titles.

I want to be able to back and know what a posting is about.  Some titles are too hard to decipher.  I suspect that future readers will also be helped.

Finkelstein and the Blogs: "Why Bother?"

I recently read a diary at a blog I frequent that gave a hat tip to Norman Finkelstein. I started to write a comment, then thought: Why bother?  The participants were the same as always, the commentary no less the same.  To offer anything besides support would be taken as provocation.  There is no interest in discourse.  So I let them have their party, decrying Israel as they do to no other, as if it should not exist in the international community.

If they celebrate Finkelstein, it just shows how far out these people are! It shows, as well, how far out academia in Europe has become, as he makes the rounds on a UK tour. When so many go gaga over a hatemonger who openly expresses "solidarity" with regimes that call for killing all Jews and destroying Western societies and values, then something is awry in them.

Does Finkelstein really stand for anything besides incitement against Israel and Jews while offering validation to those who openly commit international crimes and call for genocide?

I was of course happy to meet the Hizbullah people, because it is a point of view that is rarely heard in the United States. I have no problem saying that I do want to express solidarity with them
The posting also sheds light on some of his British anti-Israel buddies, fronting for Hamas and in solidarity with truthers and neo-Nazi politicos.  They are called the Palestinian Return Centre. You see, the requisite for the club, it seems, is hatred of Jewish external self-determination.

Anti-Israel bloggers in America are also gaga over Finkelstein.  Not surprisingly.  It's the boilerplate they are fed, and what they learn at the universities from guys like him, Professor "Death to Israel" Pino, and the admirers of the "Jews control the world" Gilad "Holocaust Denier" Atzmon, such as John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk (also a truther).  Such academics are part of a regular cottage industry, like those many Israeli NGOs that now operate freely in the political realm, funded by foreign governments.  Not to mention the slew of journalists that create moving war stories by day, then party by night in the open society that Israel has to offer.

The reader is commended to a recent article in The New Republic, “Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly Anti-Semitic Book?” by Alan Dershowitz, perhaps the strongest advocate in the face of the anti-Israel crowd.  The animus is overwhelming.

Pilar Rahola, recipient of the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award for 2011, was once among them, until she had to ask
“[W]hy when Israel is the only country in the World which is threatened with extinction, it is also the only one that nobody considers a victim?”
She also asks: Why, of all the conflicts in the world, only this one interests them? Why is a tiny country which struggles to survive criminalized? Why does manipulated information triumph so easily? Why is Arafat a hero and Sharon a monster? Why is there no Palestinian guilt?

Bloated from their heroes, the anti-Israeli bloggers regurgitate and preach as if only they are morally in tune.  I suggest, however, that the scope of their anti-Israel reality is so narrow that they cannot even fathom other realities exist.  If others adopted such a narrow approach, these same folks would offer ridicule.

Then again, perhaps the site where I saw Finkelstein praised will come to be better known for tolerance of antisemitism within its ranks. There are now a few handful, at most, that join in the love, so proud of each other, peppering the place each day with volleys of anti-Israel posts and comments, inciting others to bring forth the worst.  More power to as they reveal their intent for others to more easily discover.  I still believe that most people can see through them and that what they promote is extreme and so one-sided as not to be trusted.
So, today, I clicked and moved on to something more productive.

November 11, 2011

It's not just the Left either

Recently, on a blog I like to read and make comments at, generally in support, the host responded to me and some others that we were "desperately attempting to protect the Democratic party by pretending it has nothing to do with the progressive-left."

One need only read what I have written here to date to see the statement is not accurate, at least to me.  I am not protecting the Democratic Party at all.  I am one of its critics.  I do not yet believe it has become anti-Israel as a whole, however.  I believe there is room for education to tilt the balance and counteract the loud and active anti-Israel voices that predominate the more leftist regions of the Democratic spectrum.  These voices make so much commotion and bring forth so much white noise and intellectual gobbledygook that it's easy to believe they are compelling and exist in far greater numbers.

I believe it's a mistake to give up on open minded Democrats whose natural instinct is to look at the issues from different sides, but who often are deprived of information from which to make accurate and intelligent judgments on these issues.  Even so, most come down on the side of Israel.  Perhaps they know, innately, it is their side as well.  Events that happen before our eyes usually are more convincing than intellectual theory that tells us day is night and war is peace.

It is not just the anti-Israel Leftists that create the muddle.  One large problem of many pro-Israel advocates is their similar tendency to demonize those on the other side, mirroring what the anti-Israel side does regularly in toneSuch demonization is almost always unnecessary.  Pro-Israel arguments, especially, are powerful and speak for themselves.  They lose effect when superfluous insults and labels get thrown about.  Open-minded folks already find the Arab-Israeli conflict confusing.  When it becomes a matter of finger pointing and disparagement, the matter becomes a blur.

Pejorative arguments are weak and turn off the intended listener, fence sitter or adversary.  Such arguments abound in echo chambers where a single voice is generally put forth like red meat for a carnivorous mob, or in the food fights that sometimes occur.  In these venues, I doubt if anyone is actually persuaded, if any minds are changed, if anyone is educated.  These attempts at discourse are useless and non-productive, and I suggest best to avoid.  If nothing else they keep the diehards off the streets and comfortably in front of their keyboards, engaged in virtual battle.

I will generally be critical of the Left, of which I am a member.  I believe we should look at our own conduct before throwing blame at others.  I believe one must adhere to core values, and in discourse this means tolerance and civility.  That said, activists of the Right are often no better in their behavior and treatment of others.  Sometimes I shake my head at how hateful it gets.  On many occasions, great content becomes useless because of an almost insatiable need to include an unnecessary insult about those who honestly disagree.

If only it would stop, from both sides, but particularly from those who put forth a pro-Israel message and who defend liberal values of universal human rights.  Support those values means to act in conformity, particularly when in the eye of the storm.  I firmly believe that people looking for real information will notice, will appreciate the efforts to inform, civilly, and will respond positively.  When advocacy and discussion on these important, complex, and controversial issues leaves the demonizing of others behind, those who thirst for information win, and those who are truly interested in solving conflict have a better chance of success.

So it goes.

November 9, 2011

Blogoshere Kabuki

"Does it really matter, most of what is said there?"

That is what I asked when the discussion was about the Leftist activists that populate some of the Progressive, Democratic blogosphere.

Many of these proclaimed activists appear as caricatures, playing a role as if in a theater, treating theory as if it were reality.

Predicatbly, They go nuts over Israel, indiscriminately and disproportionately. It's like the approach of the UN. The ADL informs that:
From 2009-2010, the U.N. General Assembly (GA) continued to spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, passing 22 resolutions which are one-sided or blatantly anti-Israel.
Indeed, of 10 emergency special sessions called by the GA, six have been about Israel. No emergency sessions have been held on the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, or the two decades of atrocities in Sudan.
According to nongovernmental group UN Watch, which monitors the Human Rights Council’s activity, prior to its 16th session (28 February - 25 March 2011), 51 resolutions were approved dealing with individual countries, out of which 35 were about Israel. (Jerusalem Post) That is a mere 70%.

The blogoshere activists are even more out of balance. Much more. At perhaps the largest of these blogs, Daily Kos, it's not even a close call. It puts the UN to shame.  
Many of these actors stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel's adversaries, and stand silently by at the massive mistreatment by adversary regimes of their own populations, millions of human beings, especially women and children.

And then they lecture about human rights, throwing out information and theory as though perfect truth, as they turn their backs to human rights foundations based on universality and dignity of the individual.

I find it odd that some people who claim to care about others so much as humanists can so easily tarnish those that disagree, quite inhumanely, whether Christian, Jew, neocon or whatever.  They spout the evil of the other side in no uncertain terms, yet act no different from them when it comes to conduct, particularly tolerance of expression. Should the fact that others behave badly justify one's own bad behavior? Treating people with respect goes a long way to show what a person is, and in this case too many fail the test.

(I am tempted to post an illustrative You Tube here that I watched this morning, but will refrain.)

To me, an effective way to confront such actors, and convince Democrats that they should not listen to these people, is to point out the disconnect, that their theories and behavior contradict liberal principles and free expression. The regimes they help enable hate not only Israel, but our country and its liberal foundations and ideals, and even them! If only they took the time to discover.

As for Americans and our government, we may not be perfect. Far from it. But who is? Those who lecture us at the UN where the OIC has a bloc of over 50 states and pushes an agenda that restricts human rights? Compared to what exists out there on the planet, even our imperfect ideals do not matter, based on actual practice in one state after another, to the sadness of us all. Ideals of democracy and self-determination of individuals mean more than just winning a vote.

To me, most internet actors I describe are insignificant and self-important.  Far reaching discussions occur elsewhere, not from them because their imbalance does not allow for discourse. They exist in an echo chamber, but they do little harm regurgitating among themselves.

The battleground on campus, however, is where I think there can be a greater emphasis to help make change in the dynamics. This is the venue that requires more attention, to open the doors to knowledge for students who are currently deprived.

November 6, 2011

"Don't pay attention to that Norwegian 'Humanist' behind the curtain."

On occasion, as the blog takes its form, I will be writing about the environment in Norway and Europe. Unlike the USA, the ethnic and cultural conflicts in Europe are close to the surface, and can serve as a guide for us all what may occur in the future.

Just a few days ago, a Norwegian blog I read posted an entry about a Norwegian philosopher, humanist, and terrorism expert, Lars Gule. He is much more than described, however.

From a Tablet Magazine article in March, 2010:
"Gule, in his fifties, with his grey hair and polite ways, at first appears to be a traditional academic. But in May 1977, he was arrested at the Beirut airport with a rucksack that contained two books filled with explosives. Having obtained the explosives and instructions from the Palestinian faction DFLP, Gule was supposed to go back to Norway and then to Israel to conduct a terrorist attack to mark the 10th anniversary of the Six-Day War. The DFLP gave him three potential targets for planting the explosives: The President Hotel in Jerusalem, a subterranean pedestrian walk in Tel Aviv, or outside gas tanks in a neighborhood just outside Jerusalem.
Today Gule, now a lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at an Oslo college, claims that if he had indeed committed the act he would have chosen 'a more symbolic target,' but he adds that 'people are free to believe what ever they want.'"
The DFLP is the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, part of the PLO, with a radical Marxist-Leninist ideology supporting armed insurrection against Israel.  It began its terrorist activities in 1973 and was responsible for the The Ma’alot Massacre on May 15, 1974, the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence. Palestinians, disguised as Israeli soldiers, sneaked into the country and murdered 22 high school students. Ma’alot's population was mainly Jewish refugees from North Africa and Arab countries. It was perhaps the first time that children were used as hostages and military objects.

Gule seems still to believe that Zionism is racism, "about exiling and oppressing one people to benefit another." Jews, "whose main story of suffering also lies on another continent [Europe]," are outsiders, colonizers. The oppressed Arabs are incapable of racism, discrimination or religious persecution, today or in the past, not to mention genocide, even when they say it’s their intention. It’s because of the Zionists. To deviate even a fraction from this line is unfaithful to the cause, irrespective of the suffering of others, including at the hands of the Palestinians. Look the other way. Better yet: Don't pay attention to that Norwegian "Humanist" behind the curtain!

With such a mindset, Gule casts doubt over of a relationship between the Jewish exodus from Arab states after 1948 and an Arab League law that required members to penalize Jews in the form of voiding of citizenship, bank accounts and property.
"Was it or was it not proposed? And how can the Arabic League propose laws in member countries? Something is not right here. Is this an Israeli propaganda myth?"
I therefore left a public comment about a 1947 law drafted by the Arab League designed to deny human rights of Jews much like the Nuremberg Laws from the Nazi regime. A summary concerning the Arab League's actions can be found here. Immediately below is the text.

Gule himself responded. Among other things, he asks:
1. Why is the draft law drawn up by the Political Committee of the Arab League presented here in English old typewriting? The original document must surely be written in Arabic.
2. And why did the Arab League draft such a law in 1947? They were arguing just like the Zionist, i.e. saying that all Jews should belong to the Jewish state.
3. Was this draft law presented to the Arab League as such?
4. Was it adopted?
5. And finally, was it ever adopted by any of the member states?
I replied by reference to an article in the NY Times on May 16, 1948, mentioning the:
"Text of a law drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League which was intended to govern the legal status of Jewish residents of Arab League countries."
Here's a copy of that, too:

So I asked him: "Why should anyone trust you over the NY Times from 1948?"

After all, as seen above, he was trained by haters and then attempted to bomb a hotel and kill Israelis/Jews. One may ask, did not Breivik simply follow the example of Lars Gule, to legitimize terrorism against a "more symbolic target" such as children as a tool of political change? Can someone explain how it is different?

The text from the Political Committee was discovered attached to a January 19, 1948 Memorandum submitted by the World Jewish Congress to the UN Economic and Social Council. It was procedurally buried in the subsequent months. Arab League regulations, however, required each state be represented in each Committee.

On February 17, 1948, the Arab League approved a plan for political, military, and economic measures to be taken in response to the Palestine crisis. A report stated that: "The Council of the Arab League unanimously adopted the recommendations of its Political Committee concerning Palestine…" (International Organization. Vol.2. No.2., June 1948. 378-380). There was no formal announcement that the Draft Law recommended by the Political Committee was endorsed by the Arab League Council. The likelihood is that the Draft Law's substance conflicted with peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens) concerning human rights. Peremptory norms are non-derogable standards of international public policy which impose limits on how far governments, politicians, and diplomats can further their own goals in making international transactions. These rules prevail over and invalidate international agreements and other rules of international law in conflict with them. As such, why would the League trumpet passage of a violative agreement? Even so, it seems probable that the Draft Law was adopted at that meeting.

Collusion is also seen from subsequent, similar actions taken in the various member states, resulting in the ethnic cleansing of virtually an entire population of Jews, even more people than the Arabs who left Palestine for various and sundry reasons. As to the Arab refugees, Gule's claim that ALL were ethnically cleansed flies in the face of reality and further exposes the hatred for Jews in his heart. The Arab Higher Council, under the control of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, actually coerced people into leaving, as in Haifa.

Khaled el-Azm, Syrian prime minister after the 1948 War, in his memoirs, published in 1973, said:
"Since 1948 it is we who demanded the return of the refugees... while it is we who made them leave.... We brought disaster upon ... Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave.... We have rendered them dispossessed...."
And last I looked, isn't Israel 20% Arab? Some ethnic cleansing!

Gule also speaks of international law, yet is silent concerning the Arab aggression in 1947, directly in violation of the UN Charter!  He seems blind to the hatred and incitement of the Mufti, before and after WWII, not to mention his progeny that regularly call for extermination of Jews. Or the concealed agreement by the Arab League, for that matter. Selective application of international law epitomized.

But he is a humanist!!  Or so he says, despite his dubious record and agenda. Ironically, in 2005, when his affiliated organization, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, stood up for free expression and condemned the religious dimension of much human rights abuse, particularly for women and children, it was accused by the OIC in 2005 of engaging in Islamophobia.  It stated in response:
"The Islamic States do have a problem: they are stuck in a time-warp of outdated beliefs enforced by rigid and often barbaric laws. Because they cannot challenge our facts they are obliged to resort to intimidation and abuse of the messenger. They speak of 'initiating dialogue between civilizations'. But no dialogue will be possible until they face up to the fact that Muslim terrorists are killing innocent people in the name of Islam."
Terrorists like Hamas and DFLP, and others, with whom Gule chooses to stand in solidarity. They reject universal norms of human rights, do not practice human rights, and would commit international crimes far more grave and explicit.

As I see it, nothing will remove Gule's bigotry and extremism. To me he is a disservice to liberals and humanists everywhere, wrapping himself in the clothes of a human rights advocate while assisting those that serially deny such rights and even call for genocide.

In the end, all I could say to Mr. Gule, facetiously, was:  "Well done!"

November 5, 2011

A Word about Occupy Wall Street

Just discovered on a blog,, that after learning the latest "humanitarian" flotilla to Gaza was stopped (carrying no humanitarian aid, by the way) a contingent from the Occupy Boston protest camp,  engaged in a brief sit-in at the building where the Israeli consulate is in Boston.  They shouted chants such as:  "Hey hey, Ho ho! Israeli apartheid's got to go!" and "Long live the intifada! Intifada intifada!" and "Viva viva Palestina!"

Of course, what this has to do with Wall Street screwing Americans is too complex a subject for my simple mind.

Anyway, here is video:

The reason why I offer this here are the cautionary words of commentary by the blogger, Ira Stoll, though I do not know him or the blog otherwise.  I almost always care more about the substance of what is presented than the source, which is just another means to weigh credibility.

Here is what he said:
I can already hear the Occupy Boston people saying the small splinter group that went to the Israeli consulate building doesn't represent all of Occupy Boston, and the Occupy Wall Street people saying that Occupy Boston doesn't represent all of the Occupy movement, and the anti-Israel protesters saying they aren't anti-Semites, they are just anti-Zionist or critical of the policies of the current Israeli government. And some of the rest of them saying that the anti-Israel protesters don't represent all of Occupy any more than Patrick Buchanan represents the entire Republican Party. But at a certain point, one has to wonder why these people are protesting Israel and not some far more abusive government like that of China, Iran, or Syria. I can already hear them saying that America doesn't give billions a year in aid to China, Iran, or Syria.
Still, the whole event illustrates the way the Occupy movement has become a forum for people to air whatever pre-existing grievance or agenda they have, even if it has nothing to do with Wall Street. And how readily a protest against bankers can elide into one against the Jewish state.
 To me this is food for thought.