Saturday, October 14, 2017

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

Michael Lumish

{Written and published at Fallen From Grace.}

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

Brief Respite

Michael Lumish

I am far, far away and visiting old friends.

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

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lumish on Nothing Left Radio

Michael Lumish


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

We discussed the Reem's case.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Reem Assil's Racist Restaurant in Oakland

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is vile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's the broader point.


The Left Has Embraced Racism and Deliberalization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that is what is most disappointing of all.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Unbearable Whiteness of Freedom of Speech.

Michael Lumish

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

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

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

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

They absolutely deserve a listen.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Social Media Notes # 2: The Alienation of Diaspora Jewry

Michael Lumish

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


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

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

I will toss in my two cents.

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

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

They publish Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

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

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

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

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

It was not central.

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

Furthermore, American Jewry is not abandoning Israel.

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

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

{Bets, anyone?}

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most of us simply do not care.

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

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

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

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

Families are rendered.

Friendships are broken.

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

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

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