Jews go home!

Amos Oz, the Israeli author, is famously quoted as saying,

‘When my father was a little boy in Poland, the streets of Europe were covered with graffiti, “Jews, go back to Palestine,” or sometimes worse: “Dirty Yids, piss off to Palestine.” When my father revisited Europe fifty years later, the walls were covered with new graffiti, “Jews, get out of Palestine.”’

The idea that there was a need to found a Jewish national homeland gained momentum in the late 1800’s, as Jews all over Europe and the Russian Empire came to understand that assimilation would never be truly possible, that they would always be the “other”and that this almost always meant persecution and often murder. They were beginning to understand that they could never rely on the protection of their “hosts” to live and worship freely. The second World War and its aftermath finally proved to everyone the truth and importance of this idea, the name of which is “Zionism”.

The problem has always been where “home” would be. Even though Jews have lived in the “holy land” continuously for thousands of years, many centuries before the birth of Mohammed, they are regarded as intruders as much there as everywhere else. There are virtually no Arabs or Muslims, or Americans of Arab or Muslim descent for that matter, who believe that the State of Israel has a right to exist as anything other than a temporary expedient. The “two-state solution” is an invention of the western liberal imagination. It has never been a real possibility.

Helen Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants,  was the first female officer of the National Press Club. She was best known as a member of the White House press corps for many years, and covered ten presidents. She always spoke her mind, as this episode from Wikipedia recounts:

Rabbi David Nesenoff of RabbiLive.com, on the White House grounds with his son and a teenage friend for a May 27, 2010, American Jewish Heritage Celebration Day, questioned Thomas as she was leaving the White House via the North Lawn driveway. When asked for comments on Israel, she replied: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” and “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland…” When asked where Israeli Jews should go, she replied they could “go home” to Poland or Germany or “America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?” When accused of being an anti-Semite, she responded that she is a Semite, having an Arab background. 

As was often the case, Thomas was merely giving voice to what many were thinking.

Last night at the University of Virginia, there was a torchlight parade of hundreds of White Nationalists chanting “Jews will not replace us”. Of course University administrators were “deeply saddened” by this, but declared that,

 “We believe that diversity is an essential element of excellence, and that intolerance and exclusion inhibit progress. We also support the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. These rights belong to the ‘Unite the Right’ activists who will express their beliefs, and to the many others who disagree with them.”

Anti-semitic speech is protected, as has been affirmed often in the past. The “Right” has permission to say what they want against the Jews, and in recent years, the “left” has joined the chorus with gusto.

To the left, the very idea that the Jewish people can and should have a national homeland, i.e. Zionism, is “racist”.  And the Star of David has come to represent not just the State of Israel (and therefore “racism”), but all Jews everywhere. The distinction between an individual Jew living in San Francisco versus the State of Israel itself has been wiped out now on the left as it had always been on the right.

In Chicago recently, there was an LGBT “Dyke March” in which some Jewish members of the community displayed their solidarity with a Star of David on the rainbow flag. They were expelled from the parade as the flag “made people feel unsafe.”

pride

Their conclusion was they they were allowed to be gay or Jewish, but not both at the same time. That would be Pinkwashing, the Israeli (i.e. “Jewish”) crime of pretending to support gay rights as a way to discredit the Arab/Muslim culture and somehow justify “occupation”. And, if you follow the history of the way “occupation” has been used, you will understand that it now means the very existence of Israel.

The Dyke March tweeted  on July 13, “Zio tears replenish my electrolytes.”

Okay. We get it. The Jews in Israel have to go home. The Jews in Europe and Russia have to go home. The Jews at the University of Virginia have to go home. The Jews in the LGBT community have to go home. We’re all agreed. Right. Left, and Center.

And all over the world. The U.N. hasn’t proven itself very useful over the years in solving world problems, but the one thing it has always done well is condemn Israel loudly, unanimously (except, usually, for the pariah U.S.A.), and continuously in resolution after resolution, twenty of them in 2016 alone.

Perhaps now would be the time for the U.N. to propose a final solution to the Jewish question.

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Dreyfus, Zola, Herzl

On this day in 1888, the trial of Emile Zola for criminal libel began in Paris. He had published an open letter to the President of France, Félix Faure, accusing the French Army of obstruction of justice and antisemitism in the case of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew.

Dreyfus was a loyal career soldier sentenced, for treason, to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guiana. He had been falsely accused of passing military secrets to the German embassy, though evidence had been discovered and brought to the attention of authorities that another officer, Ferdinand Esterhazy, was actually the guilty party.

jaccuse

Zola’s intention was to be prosecuted for libel so that he could present the exculpatory evidence about Dreyfus during the trial. Zola was convicted of the libel charge, removed from the Legion of Honor, and faced imprisonment.

He fled to England to avoid prison, but returned after eight months.  He was offered a choice between a pardon which would allow him to go free if he admitted to being guilty, or facing a re-trial in which he was sure to be convicted again and sent to prison. Although he was clearly not guilty, he chose to accept the pardon.

Zola said of the affair, “The truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it.” In 1906, Dreyfus was finally exonerated by the Supreme Court.

The sensational Dreyfus case divided France, but provided proof that the intellectual class could shape public opinion and influence state policy. This was not lost on Theodor Herzl, a Hungarian-born secular Jew, who was a writer, journalist, and political activist working in Paris at the time. Herzl was witness to mass rallies in Paris following the Dreyfus trial and stated that he was particularly affected by chants of “Death to the Jews!” from the crowds.

Herzl is often thought to be the father of Zionism, though some scholars dispute this. He was certainly one of the strongest early promoters of the Zionist idea in any case. What Herzl took away from the Dreyfus affair is that a Jew could never truly assimilate into any other national culture. No matter how French or German or American, or “un-Jewish” he might think himself to be, other Frenchmen, Germans, or Americans always would see him as a Jew.

As a young law student, Herzl had become a member of the German nationalist fraternity, Albia, which had the motto “Honor, Freedom, Fatherland”. He later resigned in protest at the organization’s antisemitism.

He concluded that a Jew would not be accepted as a real Frenchman or German, despite any efforts or displays of patriotism or heroism in the name of that nation. He was always an outsider, the “other”, and always would be seen to have “Jewish interests” that would come before and conflict with French or German interests. Herzl concluded, presciently it would soon be shown, that the Jews could not rely on the protection or beneficence of their “host”governments. To be safe in the world and regarded as citizens in full, they must have their own state.

Herzl worked hard to organize Zionist conferences, lobby European governments, and so on. In 1896, Herzl published “The State of the Jews”, a book which argued that the Jewish people should leave Europe either for Argentina or for Palestine, their historic homeland. The Jews possessed a nationality, he said, and all they were missing was a nation and a state of their own. It was the only way they could avoid antisemitism, express their culture, or practice their religion freely.

Herzl died in 1904, and his descendants all suffered tragic fates.

His daughter Paulina struggled with mental illness and died of a drug overdose in 1930 at age 40.

His son Hans had converted from Judaism to being first a Baptist, then a Catholic, and then flirted with various other Protestant denominations. He shot himself at 39 on the day of Paulina’s  funeral. He left a note that said:

“A Jew remains a Jew, no matter how eagerly he may submit himself to the disciplines of his new religion, how humbly he may place the redeeming cross upon his shoulders for the sake of his former coreligionists, to save them from eternal damnation: a Jew remains a Jew. … I can’t go on living. I have lost all trust in God. All my life I’ve tried to strive for the truth, and must admit today at the end of the road that there is nothing but disappointment. Tonight I have said Kaddish for my parents—and for myself, the last descendant of the family. There is nobody who will say Kaddish for me, who went out to find peace—and who may find peace soon.”

Herzl’s third child, his daughter Trude, died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Trude’s son, Stephan Theodor Neumann, was Herzl’s only grandchild, and became an ardent Zionist. He was working in Washington D.C. in August 1946, when he learned how his mother had perished. He was despondent about her fate and his inability to help the Jewish people. He jumped to his death from the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in Washington, D.C. on November 26, 1946.

bridge

Terrorism, violence, incitement

Yesterday, Teresa May, Prime Minister of the U.K. made a surprising speech in Brussels in which she condemned John Kerry’s harsh rebuke of the Israeli government. Kerry had said the Israelis were now being guided by right-wingers whose support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank was the greatest obstacle to achieving peace and the two-state solution for Israel/Palestine.

Kerry made this speech by way of explaining the U.S. abstention from the vote on U.N. resolution 2334, an absurdly one-sided resolution defining the settlements as “illegal” and basically blaming Israel for all the problems in the region, as the U.N. always does. The U.S. has always exercised its veto power on one-sided anti-Israel resolutions in the past, but, by abstaining here, it enabled passage of the resolution by a 14-0 vote.

Some observers think May’s speech was an indicator of a seismic shift in European politics that coincides with the onset of the Trump era. (I like “onset” there – like a sickness). The State Department responded to May’s statement saying,

“We are surprised by the U.K. Prime Minister’s office statement given that Secretary Kerry’s remarks — which covered the full range of threats to a two-state solution, including terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements — were in line with the U.K.’s own longstanding policy and its vote at the United Nations last week.”

And this is the subject of today’s polemic:”Terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements” are not in any way the “full range of threats” to a two-state solution. None of those can even claim the top spot.

Before I tell you what the biggest obstacle to a two-state solution is, let me just explain why settlements are not the problem. From 1948-1967, the “Palestinians” were living in the very Judenrein paradise they now say they need to establish before discussing peace. There were no Jews in Gaza or the West bank, and certainly no “settlements”. Virtually every day during that period, the Arabs were planning to attack the Jews or actually attacking them. Here is the shocking list of attacks before 1967. It all culminated in the combined armies of all Israel’s Arab neighbors launching the Six-Day war to obliterate Israel once and for all. I’m waiting for someone to explain what’s different now, other than the creation of that peace-loving organization, Hamas, in 1987.

The biggest threat to the two-state solution is that not a single Palestinian has ever once said they favor it, and not a single one thinks two states is a solution.  Even the most educated, cosmopolitan, and erudite Christian Palestinians, like Edward Said or Hanan Ashrawi, who themselves would certainly be purged from a Hamas-led Palestine, have either explicitly or implicitly opposed it.

The two-state solution is a figment of the western liberal imagination. No Palestinian thinks Israel is a legitimate state.

When Hamas “leadership” is asked if Israel has a right to exist, the answer is always a non-answer such as, “What difference does it make? Our reality is the Zionist Entity behaves as a de facto state”. In other words, “No.”

When Fatah or the P.L.O. is asked, they always deflect and twist the question, e.g. “When Israel recognizes a Palestinian state, we’ll discuss it”.

Just look at the P.L.O charter if you want to understand it. It’s all about how Israel has no right to exist, and Zionism is colonialist, aggressive, racist, and fascist. It talks about the “liberation” of Palestine from its occupiers.

And here is the main point: “Occupation” is the presence of “Israel” in the Palestinian homeland, by which they mean lands “occupied” in 1948, i.e. the founding of Israel, not lands “occupied” in 1967 after the six-day war. Occupation ends when Israel ends.

The Palestinians could have changed their charter over the years to reflect some sort of acceptance of the state of Israel, but it has never happened. The last time it was modified was 1968. From the above link to the charter:  “The original PLO charter from 1964 is identical to the 1968 charter except for article 24. The 1964 charter defined Palestine as the territory of the State of Israel and specifically excluded the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The 1968 version of the charter included both Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the Palestinian homeland to be liberated.”

Can this be any clearer?

And the wording never will be modified, either, because anyone suggesting it will be guilty of the greatest crime you can commit in “Palestine”: you’d be a “normalizer”, meaning you agreed on some level that Israel has a right to exist.

There’s a lot more to be said about this, but the bottom line is that the Palestinians care a lot more about ending the Israeli state than co-existing with it and/or creating their own.

Netanyahu:  “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.

Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Can anyone realistically disagree with this? It’s not about settlements. It’s not about the Right of Return. It’s not about East Jerusalem. It’s not about borders or water rights. It’s always been about Arabs hating Jews.

Pinkwashing

I’m making myself sick. The more I learn about some of the things Israel’s detractors say about it and about Jewish people, the less I feel like writing anything.

In mentioning the despicable Jasbir Puar yesterday, I found myself going down a rabbit hole I wish I never saw. I  was aware only in a broad sense of how poorly Jewish students and any pro-Israel voices have been treated in recent years on many college campuses, but reading this article and some of the links in it really made me feel bad.

Not gonna say much more about it, other than I did learn what  “pinkwashing” is. Turns out that Israeli friendliness towards the LGBT community is actually a conspiracy to “brand” Israel as a progressive, western-style state and recruit gay people from elsewhere to support its criminal activities.

Childishness and condescension on campus

Guess what this lecture is about. I’ll give you a buck if you can do it just by reading this description:

“This lecture theorizes oscillating relations between disciplinary, pre-emptive, and increasingly prehensive forms of power that shape human and non-human materialities in Palestine. Calculation, computing, informational technologies, surveillance, and militarization are all facets of prehensive control. Further, the saturation of spatial and temporal stratum in Palestine demonstrates the use of technologies of measure to manufacture a “remote control” occupation, one that produces a different version of Israeli “home invasions” through the maiming and stunting of population”.

Give up? It’s about how Jews suck. And they’re harvesting organs of Palestinians. And stunting their growth by poisoning them. And lots of other bad shit, too. The lecture was given at Vassar College. The Daily News (OK, I get it – consider the source) calls it Hatred on the Hudson.

Vassar is one of the most expensive colleges in the country. A lot of kids are going into debt to get a degree at a time when the value of that degree in the job market is more in question. At the same time, kids are learning less and less.

A recent ACTA-commissioned survey found that more than one-third of college graduates could not place the Civil War in a correct 20-year span or identify Franklin Roosevelt as the architect of the New Deal; that 58 percent did not know that the Battle of the Bulge occurred in World War II; and that nearly half did not know the lengths of the terms of U.S. senators and representatives.

Yet this nutty woman is given a platform to mold young minds. I guess as long as the message is smothered in that dense linguistic porridge of fuss and feathers that “academics” prefer, well, it must be something worth learning.

But the real story here is how colleges and universities have abandoned academic standards as a necessary part of remaining financially viable. Their mission used to be to educate, but now it is to retain valued customers by giving them what they want.

And what they want is to complain. But they want a safe place to do it, free from the “triggers” of contrary points of view (or facts, for that matter). George Will (yes, again, I know), wrote a piece in the Washington Post recently that began,

Many undergraduates, their fawn-like eyes wide with astonishment, are wondering: Why didn’t the dean of students prevent the election from disrupting the serenity to which my school has taught me that I am entitled? Campuses create “safe spaces” where students can shelter from discombobulating thoughts and receive spiritual balm for the trauma of microaggressions. Yet the presidential election came without trigger warnings?

The morning after the election, normal people rose — some elated, some despondent — and went off to actual work. But at Yale University, that incubator of late-adolescent infants, a professor responded to “heartfelt notes” from students “in shock” by making that day’s exam optional.

And went on to note:

Bowdoin College provided counseling to students traumatized by the cultural appropriation committed by a sombrero-and-tequila party. Oberlin College students said they were suffering breakdowns because schoolwork was interfering with their political activism. California State University at Los Angeles established “healing” spaces for students to cope with the pain caused by a political speech delivered three months earlier . Indiana University experienced social-media panic (“Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight”) because a Catholic priest in a white robe, with a rope-like belt and rosary beads, was identified as someone “in a KKK outfit holding a whip.”

A doctoral dissertation at the University of California at Santa Barbara uses “feminist methodologies” to understand how Girl Scout cookie sales “reproduce hegemonic gender roles.” The journal GeoHumanities explores how pumpkins reveal “racial and class coding of rural versus urban places.” Another journal’s article analyzes “the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers.”

He connected it all back up to the election by saying:

Academia should consider how it contributed to, and reflects Americans’ judgments pertinent to, Donald Trump’s election. The compound of childishness and condescension radiating from campuses is a reminder to normal Americans of the decay of protected classes — in this case, tenured faculty and cosseted students.

In short, we’re getting the government we deserve.

Roger Cohen swings and misses

Again. As usual.

In today’s NYT column, entitled “Why Israel Refuses to Choose”, he admits that the two-state solution is probably not a real thing. As usual, his column is about what Israel needs to do about it. For “fairness”, also as usual, there are one or two sentences explaining how the “Palestinians” could help, but the article is about how Netanyahu is refusing to choose between having a small Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, or having one large democratic state.

The current situation, you see, is Israeli “occupation”, which oppresses and humiliates the Palestinian people, and Israel needs to fix it.

First, I don’t know why it’s taken all these years for people to realize the two-state solution won’t work. How do I know it won’t work? Because we already had it and the Arabs didn’t like it.  Remember? From 1948-1967? We had the state of Israel in the pre-1967 borders and no Jewish settlements in the West Bank or Gaza. For “fairness” I should point out that the U.K. version is that the Jews started the 1967 war.

Second, there’s a problem talking about “occupation” as if we all agree on what we’re talking about. In the west, it has always meant Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza, the lands won in 1967. Of course we’re all against “occupation” of someone else’s land, at least when it comes to Israel.  But, in the Muslim world, “occupation” does not mean lands taken in 1967. It means lands taken in 1948, i.e. the State of Israel. Occupation ends when Israel ends.

Most people in this country don’t grasp this distinction and don’t think about this “fallacy of equivocation”. This is particularly true of ignorant but idealistic college students, e.g those  of Portland State who last week passed a resolution defining the founding of Israel as occupation. This is a great triumph for the Iranians and their clients, who have long sought to delegitimize Israel, as well as for anti-semites everywhere who have no problem with the idea of 50 Muslim states but can’t abide the idea of a single Jewish state.

Lastly, Cohen’s article is subject to the same problem that virtually all Tom Friedman’s articles are: the people he knows and writes about on the other side, the victims of this horrible occupation, are the elites. They are people just like us – educated, entrepreneurial people, often Christians (as in this instance), who would not object to living in a pluralistic society alongside others of different faiths.

If Israel had to co-exist only with people like the ones Cohen writes about, the conflict would have been over decades ago. It’s a little ironic that the same Palestinian factions that refuse to make peace with the Jews now would also purge their Judenrein paradise of Cohen’s friends as well, if they ever got the chance.