Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Follow-up to this Sunday's EoZ post

Sar Shalom

leftMike's post this Sunday at Elder of Ziyon raised the important question of what use would an alliance with the Left be for us. In the comments, I pointed out that the Left encompasses those who are irreconcilable, those who are committed to our side, and those to whom we must reach out. Mike replied by asking how I propose to reaching out to that segment of the Left.

To summarize my point from my comment at EoZ, opposition to Israel from the Left generally stems from a combination of a conviction that whatever positions the Left takes, anti-imperialism trumps all, and that Israel is an outpost of Western imperialism. The Left consists of factions that are committed to those two points, factions that are ardently opposed to those two points, and factions that have not made their assessments on either point. In actuality, there is a fourth group on the Left, that which doesn't really care about any of the Left's agenda other than demonizing Israel and Jews, but wants to couch its judeophobia in the language of basic human decency that the Left ascribes to anti-imperialism.

With that, the challenge is to move as many members of the non-committed factions of the Left to one of the factions opposing the notion of anti-imperialism trumps all and/or the notion that Israel is a colonialist outpost. I don't have sufficient information to answer the question of how to reach out to them for that effect. However, I would like to suggest what information would be needed in order to formulate an outreach strategy. The main criterion is interfering with how the BDS activists seek to convince the non-committed elements of the Left to support their side.

Getting more specific about how to reach out to the non-committed factions, there are two possible ways to sway them. One is to convince them that while opposing imperialism is a positive value, it should not trump all other liberal value. This avenue might be tricky because the relative importance of opposing imperialism compared to other liberal values is strictly a matter of opinion. The one suggestion I can offer would be to highlight the motives of those who are pushing the notion that anti-imperialism should trump all. Specifically, we could point to the sector of the Left that does not care about any of the Left's objectives, but latches onto the Left in order to exploit the language of anti-colonialism for the purpose of promoting their judeophobic ends.

The other potential way to sway the non-committed Left would be to challenge the notion that Israel is a colonialist outpost. There is an objective case to be made that Israel is not an imperial entity, but not within the eurocentric narrative. The reality is that for any wrong committed by Europe against us throughout history, including the Holocaust, the BDS activists will claim that answering them by "dispossessing" the "Palestinian people" by the establishment of Israel constitutes answering a wrong with another wrong. What's needed is a focus on Middle-Eastern Jews and their history. The purpose of doing so would be to cast the Middle-Eastern Jews as the historically dispossessed people and Zionism as the movement which as a side-effect brought them dignity.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

And Then There Is This:

Michael L.

original

Assyrians  

Yezidis

Hebrews (i.e. Jews)

Copts

Imazighen

Baluchis

Kurds

I had no idea that we were actually part of a small group of people under domination by a much larger aggressive majority!

But I am willing to go with it.

I have terrific sympathy for the Kurds and the Egyptian Christians (Copts), but in my ignorance I knew nothing of either the Imazighen or the Baluchis.

{Who?}

However, if they represent a non-or-semi-Muslim minority in the Middle East outside of Israel than they are living under oppression.

That much goes without saying.

By the way, I am no longer a big fan of the upward fist thing.  It may have been cool circa 1972, when I was iddy-biddy, but I think that we are done with it.

Don't you?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Note to Ceylan Özbudak

Michael L.

ceyCeylan Özbudak is a political analyst on Turkish television and an executive director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO associated with the Harun Yahya organization.

I know next to nothing about Harun Yahya and therefore cannot speak to its nature, but I know that Ceylan wrote this to me in a personal email:
"Whoever is using al-Aqsa mosque for provocation, whoever starts a fight in the mosque is shameless, this is not an action Muslims should support. On the contrary, this is an action Muslims should shun. Israel may have malpractices. But I experienced personally many times that whenever we ask them about the details of an incident, they give us detailed explanations and they are open to agreement, they are usually civil people. 
The system is also democratic in Israel."  
This is a friend of the Jewish people and I am going to acknowledge her as so.

We are a tiny minority.

We represent 2 percent of the American population and .2 percent of the world population.

The pro-Israel / pro-Jewish on-line community has accepted both African-American Chloe Valdary and Indigenous-American Ryan Bellerose as great friends.

Because they are humanitarians they do not want to see us persecuted in our own homeland just as they do not want to see their own people harassed.

Black people in the Americas and indigenous Americans know what it is like to be under pressure by a much larger hostile majority population, thus Valdary and Bellerose are friends to the Jewish people.  Our experiences are not identical, but as Black people and indigenous people were people under siege, so are the Jews in the Middle East.

This understanding is important, essential, ignored by the academe when it comes to Jews, and one that needs acknowledgment and encouragement.

Ceylan's note to me came prior to the recent synagogue attack in which anti-Jewish Jihadis brutally killed rabbis during prayer.

I just want to thank her for standing up.

It is not every Muslim woman - not to mention a beautiful television personality in Turkey, for chrissake - who would have the integrity to contact someone such as myself - a Jewish analyst half a world away in the San Francisco Bay Area - in a spirit of universal outreach.

You have my thanks, Ceylan.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Johnny On The Spot Blames It All On Illegal Jews

geoffff




This picture is of an avian specimen very common around here  grabbed at random from Google however  is identical to a creature that prances around the courtyard among the water dragons all day and peers through the glass door of my office most mornings as I type. 

Quaint and nosy  you would think it had no fear but that is only because it is typical of its species and is just too stupid to get out of the way.   In truth, they will startle at sudden movements as easily as any native bird.  The species is notorious for intrusive cloying and other obsessive behaviour if you feed them and this is not recommended. 

The other picture is a common Australian Bush Turkey.

John Lyons appears to have such limited sources for a professional  journalist. He will take as gospel (I suspect literally) anything he is told by one side, even Hamas,  with  perfect credulity while his idea of Israeli input is to pick among  the flash, fury,  flotsam and jetsam  of a free and open society for material for his case.  He regards official Israeli sources with contempt.  He has a tin ear for tales that ring about as true as tinnitus. There is no evidence he has ever sort a contrary view on his favourite themes (settlements, settlers, Jerusalem, international law, etc ) . There is no evidence that he  understands that he is just an instrument of war in that part of the world or he does not care.  As a consequence he makes appalling errors of fact in a dangerous game.

Ergo no credibility.

From his latest piece in the Australian. 

Did a gang of fifty masked men thirsting for revenge for the synagogue massacre burst out of Yitzhar to attack villagers with rocks while Israeli soldiers looked on with guns pointed in support of this blood crazed mob of Klan style fanatics in lynch frenzy, as Lyons claims?

He has seen the tapes, he says.

Well, not really.  Not from the Yesh Din footage Lyons cites with such terror.

 There is a stone fight between two gangs of youths (probably both sides masked but you only see one gang fully.)  Soldiers are trying to suppress one side by pointing weapons.  You can not see what is being done from the other side but there is stuff being tossed about. Perhaps three stones are thrown by the Israelis but they could have been feints and at least two were lobbed at the camera of the Israeli activists there to film (and incite?) the fun.

Not a good look but is this terror?

 A longer video shows soldiers running off an Israeli kid about to toss a rock. Only one kid is lightly injured in the whole incident so the soldiers didn't do too bad job.

And there were closer to ten children in the gang than fifty. ( With Lyons, "settlers" with stones and bad intent are "masked men".  Palestinians are "children").   Nor are they all masked. And the Israelis say the clash had nothing to do with the massacre but was sparked by a crop fire attack. 

Did the mayor of Ashkelon fire Arab labourers in an act of discrimination and revenge, as Lyons says?

Hardly the wrath of Assad but not true anyway. Mayor Itamar Shimoni announced  that he was stopping "until further notice" the work of Arab labourers building bomb shelters in nursery schools in the city  close to the Gaza Strip.  Guards would be posted at about 40 pre-schools near construction sites where Arabs work.

"Whoever thinks this is illegal can take me to the Supreme Court," he told a news crew. "I prefer, at this time, to be taken to the Supreme Court, and not, God-forbid, to be taken to a funeral of a kindergarten child."

Not revenge but a security measure from an elected public official under pressure from a community under pressure. 

Says Lyons


"Over the last week both sides have targeted a place of worship for the other -- last week Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque and this week the two Palestinians rampaged in the synagogue.

Is even that true?

Not that it matters at all but it is not. It was a suspected price tag attack but it is only an allegation. There's a fire in a vacant mosque so it has to be the Jews. End of story. No one hurt but obviously an inflammatory religious thing, like murdering rabbis at prayer, so there's the moral equivalence and the much vaunted  "cycle of violence" rolled into one.

This is how this works. Your crackpot settlers torch a mosque in the night?  They share the blame for the murder of the rabbis and so do you. This is how the Lyons mind works but it gets worse.

Lyons rises to a crescendo


“We won’t let our boy ride his bike outside. We’re worried that settlers who live five minutes away will try to kidnap him.”
The woman’s home is 2km from where 16-year-old Mohamed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped in June before having petrol poured on him and burnt alive. The day before men in a car tried to take a Palestinian boy off the streets but his parents fought them off. The man who led the Khdeir kidnapping told police: “They took three of ours (Jewish youths), let’s take one of theirs.”
A sports club for children in East Jerusalem now has guards in case of further kidnap attempts. Parents of Palestinian children at the French Lycee warn their children not to speak Arabic in public.
One Christian Palestinian executive, who works for the Catholic Church near the Old City, is now frightened to walk into the centre of Jerusalem “in case people realise I’m an Arab”.

I don't believe a word of this.

We are now getting close to the worst.  A  group of thugs carry out an unspeakable crime that shocks the nation. They are quickly hunted down and arrested. But this is the cycle of violence and cancels out the Hamas murders of the abducted teenagers applauded by Palestinians and celebrated by the leadership.

What is missing from this analysis is any concept of the rule of law or indeed common human decency and morality. This is important because it allows Lyons to get to the core. All the settlements including east Jerusalem are illegal anyway and so any "law" is muted or irrelevant to the Jews  over the Green line or it seems who are not. The settlements are the root of all evil. Their illegality poisons the well.  The appalling crime of one or two becomes the crime of all Jews. The murder of Israelis is a lesser crime which some how just does not count.

The whole bizarre and dirty house of cards collapses if the settlements are not illegal. This is why Lyons and those like him can never entertain the thought.  For them, the law has nothing to do with it anyway.  This is politics and ideology. The Jews are illegal. Everybody tells him so especially if they are Muslim.    

Lyons has the usual swamp of words about the settlements and settlers . Outposts. Armed gangs roaming the countryside murdering olive trees. Stolen land. White brick closed communities under guard strangling Palestinian land, poisoning the wells and killing the two state solution.  

Lyons boasts that he is there to see for himself and reprimands anyone  with a view that does not acknowledge his finely lasered expertise.  How would you know about the settlements, he has berated community leaders. You 're in Melbourne.  I'm in Jerusalem. 

He could be on the moon for all I care and sometimes I think he is. However there is another man observing from Jerusalem whose authority and credibility well and truly exceeds that of John Lyons .

This is what Isi Leibler recently said about this. Contrast it with Lyons' report.


The two-state solution is not currently feasible, but as an eventual goal it must not be abandoned. In the long term Israel would lose its identity as a democratic Jewish state if it absorbed millions more Arabs. It is therefore crucial that while enhancing political autonomy and living standards for Palestinians, Israel remains committed to achieving two states for two peoples.
The government must commit to restricting construction to the existing settlement blocs and Jewish East Jerusalem. (In practice, this has been the case: Only 507 units were started in the first half of the year, the lowest rate of construction for several years.) This would conform with the assurances that President George W. Bush gave to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004, as an incentive to withdraw from Gaza, that in any future settlement America would support Israel’s sovereignty in areas that had undergone major demographic change.
...
We should display unity by supporting our prime minister’s policy of rejecting further territorial concessions until the Palestinian leaders separate from Hamas, engage in negotiations and display flexibility to enable us to achieve our security requirements. We will not be denied the right to construct homes in our capital or in the major settlement blocs, which will remain within Israel. We seek the support of the United States but we must retain our sovereignty.

What does Lyons really want?  The hint is in the last sentences.


Amid the new violence, it seems there is only one chance to end this tragedy -- an urgent political solution for a Palestinian state that would end Israel's control over 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.
The critics of such a solution argue that this would not guarantee peace -- and they may be right. [may?]
But what is guaranteed is that if current course is continued there will be much more bloodshed. 

Lyons wants an unilateral withdrawal to the green line with no guarantees. He wants the total abrogation of the  "land for peace" formula that has underpinned peace efforts since 1948. He wants the surrender of the land and Jerusalem with no peace. He wants surrender. He wants the suicide  of the state.

Where else could this lead?

This is the "two state solution" that dares not speak its name. It is about time it did. It is about time Lyons and the rest spat it out. 

cross posted  Jews Downunder
                       Geoffff's Joint

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Abbas Calls for "Bridges of Love"

Michael L.

In a speech Friday in Ramallah, after accusing Israel of releasing wild and vicious Zionist hogs upon the innocent indigenous "Palestinian" population the Jerusalem Post tells us:
rainbow unicorn1Abbas also called for establishing “bridges of love” with Israelis “instead of the racist separation fence.” He warned once again against the eruption of a religious war and called on Israelis “not to come close to our holy sites, just as we don’t come near your synagogues.”
Abbas added: “The Jews know very well that we seek peace and not war.” 


So, let me get this straight.

Mahmoud Abbas, the illegitimate dictator of the corrupt terrorist organization known as "the Palestinian Authority," claims that he and his people want "bridges of love" to Jews?

He claims that they don't come near our synagogues?

He claims that we actually know that Israeli-Arabs want peace and not war?

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!

I have not had a good laugh like that in days, at least.

They tell their people that we are the children of apes and pigs and their very holy book demands our submission under a system of Islamic Supremacy which we are required to bow down to under pain of death.  When we fight back against their never-ending theocratically-based aggression they go running to the Europeans like a bully complaining to its mother when its intended victim pops him one in the mouth.

There are only something like 1,000 comments beneath the piece, but here are a few for your enjoyment:
Gee • 18 minutes ago

And Simon Peres declares this as a person we can rely on. Time to end the farce and deport the Jordanian colonists.
Not surprisingly there is more and more talk about the transference of Arabs out of Israel due to the simple fact that they have over the course of many centuries proven themselves incapable of living in peace with their Jewish neighbors due to incessant and violent anti-Semitic education within Israeli-Arab culture.

In fact, we lost Ziontruth as a contributor to this very blog over that particular issue.

I, needless to say, have not come out in favor of transference because I cannot see the morality in forcing many hundreds of thousands of innocent people from their homes and I do not know of Israel's ability to weather the international consequences of such a bold act.  I do sympathize, however, and given the many millions of transferred refugees during and after World War II there is historical precedent.  However, I also very much doubt that the Israeli government would seriously consider such a move.
Timearrow • 3 hours ago

"Bridges of love" are for the western audience, the wild boars calumny is for the local consumption. This boorish philistine knows his clients, both foreign and domestic. They will lap up everything.
This is correct and many millions in the gullible west, apparently up to and including the Obama adminstration, think that Abbas is a man of peace and that the Palestinian Authority represents an actual negotiating partner.

"Bridges of Love."

H.L. Mencken famously never said, "No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public" but he did say something quite like that and if anyone knows the truth of it, it is Mahmoud Abbas, not to mention his mentor Yasser Arafat.

"Bridges of Love" my ass.