To ISIS and Hamas et al.

You are nothing, really. We have seen you before in the form of the worst of ourselves. You hate the west and our values, Israel, and the very idea of a free and open society. And though the US Secretary of Defense, with great befuddlement, declared that you are an imminent threat and gave us reason to fear, I can assure you that we, the people, are not afraid anymore. You can butcher our citizens and rain rockets on our cities, and your flags may fly in European cities in between calls to kill the Jews, but you are not a new thing, nor particularly terrifying.

We have seen you before. We have seen you in all the calamities of 20th century western history. You are the Nazi, the NKVD, the Khmer Rouge. You are the German Soldier of the great war marching into France with the motto “Gott mins uns” inscribed on his belt buckle. There this soldier murdered whole villages of Frenchmen for sedition, just as you capture and kill your Christian, Yazidi, Kurdish and Jewish neighbors. That soldier never made it out of France alive.

We have seen you in the form of Stalinist purges and five year plans, Japanese imperialism and the Rape of Nanking, SS einsatzgruppen mass graves, collectivization and starvation, Cossack pogroms, the African slave trade. We have seen your frenzied appetite for blood even in its atheist manifestation during the French revolution and its theological form in the Christian crusading armies. We have seen you dumping poison pellets into gas chambers.

Nor are your ideas particularly terror inducing. We have seen your imperialism in world communism, your xenophobia and tyranny in Nazi Germany, Ustashe Croatia, and Bosnia, and in our own american experience with our treatment of the native inhabitants of these continents. What is your Islamic Imperialism but so much more of the same?

You are merely the worst of our collective western experience. You are our sins. But where there is sin, we believe, there is repentance.We erect monuments to our failures and remember them, whereas you believe that you can never fail. You are constitutionally incapable of seeing the worst of yourself because it would require a long gaze in the mirror. Even your coreligionist enemies cannot see you as truly their failing; suggesting as they do that you are a large tentacle of a Zionist conspiracy, they appropriate all their evil to their true enemies, us.

But all these sins of ours are sins precisely due to the very real and irrepressible ideas upon which we were founded. We come from Athens and Jerusalem. We have a keen sense of the good and the sublime, the proper and the Just and our waywardness in past times have been aberrations from our ideal. For how could we regard ourselves in such low moral standing as to have some among us who believe that we deserve to be afflicted with your evil on account of our sins? The answer is because we can commit sins because we believe things to be sins and you cannot because you believe nothing to be a sin but our existence. You find nothing wrong with the world and your brutality except that it hasn’t been brutal enough.

We may seem weak now. It may seem to you that we have a become a mincing politically correct leviathan. It may seem that we, in our postmodern self reflection become self flagellation, are now incapable of arising from the dust and meeting you in the field of battle. But all those things that we have seen resembling you, are now gone, and that irrepressible Judaic gift given to our ancestors always reemerges even if only to point out our faults.

They are gone because we fought against them and so against ourselves. We sent 600,000 to there death to free a people that we enslaved, a case in which repentance was payed in blood. There we developed the modern means of war, rapid fire rifles, cannons, canister fire, a weapon that turned human beings to ground meat, entrenchments, and armored naval vessels.

We sent millions of our young into battle in WW1 and and stopped a German-Hungarian-Ottoman axis by means that make your civil war in Syria appear as a mere skirmish. We lost 2 million soldiers on our collective sides in a month at the battle of the Somme. We used gunned chariot, and gas, and machine gun, and artillery. Our soldiers hung their canteens on the the limbs of their brothers in arms who were compacted into the trench line. The rotted there and tuned to bone. We afflicted our young with shock from the impact of our shells.

When evil sprouted wings and took flight, the RAF was there to down Luftwaffa 109s, saving Europe from your allies, the Nazis. From there we leveled entire cities and killed many thousands of civilians to ensure that Europe was rid of your kind that came before you with a Swastika. We left entire cities aflame and used the power of the atom to end Japanese imperialism. Look, dear ISIS, for your future is not all that different.

Yes, you are perhaps right. We are weak now. We could never prosecute such a furious war against you…for now. But that is not because we are weak intrinsically. We have become increasingly tolerant, but do not believe that our we will be tolerant of our own destruction. Our weakness now is yet another of our sins. Just under the surface, however, our great traditions are turbulent and they will soon arise to admonish that we have felt far too guilty for far too long and that in our guilt we will allow for our suicide. And suicide is a sin. And we will erect a monument to that particular sin upon your graves.

A Defense of Michael Oren

I recently had the good fortune of seeing on my Facebook newsfeed a link to an article from Tablet Magazine, a Jewish culture magazine I highly regard for its rigor and style, entitled “How Not to Write a Zionist Op-Ed.” I also recently had the misfortune of perusing the contents of that article.

Written by Tablet’s Mark Oppenheimer, the article does not convey the instructions that it advertises. Being that I am in the habit of writing Zionist Op-Eds, I was hoping to be provided with a set of decent if not necessary conditions that may define a good Zionist Op-Ed, or, perhaps, a categorical list of do-not-dos. Instead, I and readers elsewhere were presented with a complaint about a recent Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal entitled “A Defense of Zionism,” written by Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren.

Oppenheimer concludes that Oren’s article is “clearly a work of propaganda, the kind of thing written by an ambassador (Oren’s former job) not a professor (his current one).” Indeed, I, too, have acknowledge that the flaccid content of Oren’s former Op-Eds were a product of his diplomatic position. But Oppenheimer believes that Oren’s current academic position should allow him the latitude to write articles of polemical strength.

Apparently for Oppenheimer, Oren writing of Israel’s “glories” is not a sufficient procedure for a an adequate defense of Zionism, a “wartime agitprop,” as he calls it. And it is true that Oren’s piece leaves the reader feeling uplifted about Israel’s social achievements but diminished in clarity on the necessity of Zionism. But Oppenheimer does nothing to alleviate these concerns, instead launching into a fitful critique of the shifting priorities of a diplomat become scholar. Oppenheimer’s piece then becomes an exercise in social science, arguing that “the failures of his Wall Street Journal essay are object lessons of the pitfalls of a world where so many move between academic and government work, or government work and lobbying, or scholarship and opinion writing. Oren is a perfectly competent polemicist, but it’s a shame that he’s so willing to betray the obligations of a scholar.” These failures are indeed immanent, and should be dissected by academics dedicated to the study of the behavior of academics, a department of inquiry not easily established because its subject is itself, but they have nothing to do with Zionism, its defense, or Oren’s piece.

As Oppenheimer continues, Oren’s “betrayal” finally becomes defined in what he did not say as opposed to what he said. Incensed that Oren did not mention the word “settlements” or “blockade” and Israel’s culpability in “[immiserating] Gaza,” it becomes clear that Oppenheimer has conflated Israeli policies with Zionism. Though, as Oren himself writes in his piece, the enemies of Zionism have existed long before Israel and Egypt’s co-blockade of the Gaza Strip after it turned Hamas enclave, existing as they do in the form of an inveterate hatred of the Jews. To this Oppenheimer agrees, “I for one think that much antipathy toward Zionism does come from anti-Semitism, as well as a displaced loathing toward the United States, Israel’s patron.” He continues, though, that in a fair assessment of anti-Zionism “it’s impossible not to talk about the occupation, the refusal to give back land won in 1967, the efforts to settle that land, and the ongoing controls that Israel places on people who live in that land.”

This is a staggering rhetorical staccato. One not expected to be found in the lines of the same piece complaining of academic betrayals. Oppenheimer acts the magician here. Turning two issues into four, he exponentiates the controversy of Israel’s control of the west bank. It is indeed true that there are settlements and settler policies; and it is indeed true that a military occupation exists in the disputed territories of the west bank. But Israel has offered to give 95% of that land to both Jordan post 1967 and to the Palestinian leadership and the “ongoing controls” are a result of a refusal by the Palestinians to accept that proposal and the proposals that proceeded it all the way back to 1937.
As Oren writes

In view of these monumental achievements, one might think that Zionism would be admired rather than deplored. But Zionism stands accused of thwarting the national aspirations of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants, of oppressing and dispossessing them.

Never mind that the Jews were natives of the land—its Arabic place names reveal Hebrew palimpsests—millennia before the Palestinians or the rise of Palestinian nationalism. Never mind that in 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received offers to divide the land and rejected them, usually with violence. And never mind that the majority of Zionism’s adherents today still stand ready to share their patrimony in return for recognition of Jewish statehood and peace.

Never mind, indeed. Never mind that Oppenheimer has failed to appreciate the polemical power of these paragraphs and instead admonishes Oren that ” [he] can defend the settlements, but if he wants to change people’s minds, he can’t ignore the settlements.” And never mind that Oren writes of Israel’s failures and controversies that,

“Many Zionists insist that these [west bank] territories represent the cradle of Jewish civilization and must, by right, be settled. But others warn that continued rule over the West Bank’s Palestinian population erodes Israel’s moral foundation and will eventually force it to choose between being Jewish and remaining democratic.”

The clear fact that Oren not only mentions the settlements but implicates “many Zionists” as the ones who want them to exist in perpetuity, and that there are also many Zionists who oppose such policies not only complicates the definition of Zionism, but belies Oppenheimer’s suggestion that anti-Zionism is partly caused by the settlements, the anti-Zionists Oppenheimer categorizes as  the “many whose anti-Zionism is born of recent history.” One does not, as Oppenheimer implores, have to defend the settlements to defend Zionism. And one does not have to defend the blockade of the Gaza strip to defend Zionism. However, the inverse is true. One must defend Zionism to defend both the settlements and the blockade. In as much as these policies are the result of a nation that has faced more aggressive wars than it has decades of existence, Oren’s “faux-searching tone,” as Oppenheimer caricatures it, and “perplexity” begins to gain purchase. Just what is about the Jewish State that ignites so much enmity against it? Oren offers a suggestion towards the beginning of his piece which Oppenheimer regards as a “fair question” but then proceeds to ignore its implications. Oren writes, “Perhaps revulsion toward Zionism stems from its unusual blend of national identity, religion and loyalty to a land. Japan offers the closest parallel, but despite its rapacious past, Japanese nationalism doesn’t evoke the abhorrence aroused by Zionism.”

To rap up our syllogistic exercise, one must defend nationalism to defend Zionism, a fact that far too many Jews, obsessed with making a liberal case for Israel, ignore. Nationalism is, today, a tough sell. Today we have a United Nations, but most of those nations are now just administrative districts in the vast blended strata of the “human community.” Japan ,as Oren correctly observes, is an exception, along with Israel. Oren’s question still stands resolute and indefatigable. There is something about the Jewish State and its nationalistic leanings that evoke a revulsion that Japanese, French, or Singaporean nationalism does not — Oppenheimer ineptly references Singapore in relation to academics without understanding its importance. If there are anti-ZionistS who have reached their conclusions because of the existence of the settlements then they need to explain why Israel cannot exist if it were to withdraw from the west bank. And if they can’t do that, then it is academically prudent to assume that they are anti-nationalists; and if they are anti-nationalists, then they must answer for their obsession with Israel, the most benign and liberating nationalism in history; and if they can’t do that, then they must answer for their antisemitism.

What Oren attempted to do in his piece was to lay out what Zionism was, is, and what its future holds. And in so doing he revealed, undetectable to Oppenheimer, that anti-Zionism, in most of its forms, as Dr. King instructed, is antisemitism. That there are “the many whose anti-Zionism is born of recent history” further demonstrates the fact. There would be as few anti-Zionist as there are now anti-Indians if there were a measure of balance in the world’s attention to the suffering masses of the third world. That Israel is repeatedly and disproportionately battered in the media creates these many “born of recent of history.” But, Mr. Oppenheimer, they aren’t borne of recent history. An academic and fair assessment of Israel’s history does not make anti-Zionism inevitable. They are born of recent antisemitism masquerading as human rights councils and journalists pandering to the demands of a western world that has turned its antisemitism into anti-nationalism and its anti-nationalism into antisemitism.

BBC’s Jon Donnison on Hamas message in Beit Hanoun


BBC’s Biased reporting completely deconstructed. From

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

Of the 3,356 missiles fired at civilian targets in Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip between July 8th and August 5th 2014, 69.4% were fired from the northern part of the territory with the towns of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun being major centres of missile fire, cross border tunnels and other terrorist activity.

Beit Hanoun

Click to enlarge

But viewers of Jon Donnison’s filmed report (heavily promoted on his Twitter feed) of August 5th – which, in addition to being broadcast on BBC television news, appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Gaza truce holds as residents return to destroyed homes” – would never have known that even one missile was fired from Beit Hanoun or that fierce battles took place there when Israeli soldiers went in to decommission cross-border attack tunnels and missile launchers, with terrorists using the…

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A Japanese View of the Palestinians

Originally posted on gospelbbq:

A Japanese View of the Palestinians

By Yashiko Sagamori


An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates

If you are so sure that “Palestine,” the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine :

  1. When was it founded and by whom?
  2. What were its borders?
  3. What was its capital?
  4. What were its major cities?
  5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
  6. What was its form of government?
  7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
  8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
  9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what…

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An Al-Quds Day

I am unapologetically pro Israel. The history of the Jewish state is one of them extending olive branches to be met with war and blood and hate. The 67 war was the watershed moment. A population once considered Egyptian and Jordanian became Palestinian. There was a certain myth that was created and weaponized to deligitimize the Jewish state. It was the Palestinian. The myth of the Palestinian has captured more Israeli territory and has spilled more Israeli blood than the Arab armies could have ever imagined. In as much as it is a myth, it requires a host of conveyance. And that host has been the western media, some of which was used here by our pal Mr. Hassan to distort reality in a way that cannot be morally justified. There is a criminality to this type of lie, one that allows evil to flourish and forces decency to hide.

I was recently at a Pro Israel rally in my hometown of Atlanta and I came to realize something. Our presence was occasioned by the visitation of the the pro Palestinian crowd. The had many posters. It was quite a sport for them; the women had tear drops of blood and the men wore keffiyah. One sign they were displaying proudly depicted the photo of the SS officer shooting a Jewish woman embracing her child in the Ukraine as a comparable event to that of Israel’s military action in Gaza and “Palestine” in general. This sign was flanked by others accusing Israel of genocide and of course the nearly anodyne symbolic interweaving of the swastika and the star of David.

I know a lot about this iconic though depressing photo of the woman and her child. It is a photo of an Einsatzgruppen SS operation in a small town in the Ukraine after the advancement of the Wehrmacht into the Soviet Union. The photo was sent home by an SS officer to his family with an almost hunting trophy style regard. On the back it just read “Jewish action” with the date. The photo was intercepted by polish resistance, who often times checked the mail of SS officers in order to gain intelligence. The history of the mass genocide of the Jewish people, the horror of it, the seemingly mechanical nature of it, to see it compared to Israel’s defense operation was enraging.

At one point I made lengthy eye contact with an Arab teenager on the other side of the protest barricades. He was listening to me talking , yelling really, as traffic was passing by at speed, about facts. I was giving him facts. I was entreating him to acknowledge them. He had at the time a look of absorption, as if something might have clicked. But then I glanced away for a moment and turned back to see him smiling at me, a grin of success, a grin of conquest. He began yelling erratically “Free Free Palestine!” He kept smiling. His friends were smiling. And that is when I realized that we were more angry about being accused of genocide than they were about it supposedly occurring. It was a game to them. A fun afternoon. A dress up Al Quds day. A human symbolic sculpture of self justified rage carved with the chisel of nearly seventy years of lies and distortions. That is the gap that no amount of reason can bridge between our two sides. They could have a state in a year if they wanted. But they instead want to Free Palestine!!! and grieve over genocide and historical fabrications, fabricated videos and doctored pictures of alleged Israeli atrocities,  and pictures of the dead, and blood, and limbs; a condition where a series of fallacious symbols represent a series of fallacious symbol, it goes on and on and on. And thus the war shall continue. And we shall fight on and on and on.

The Al Quds marchers had a permit to march down the street. As they were leaving amidst the sounds of screeching and groaning, the smell of engine exhaust and the steady clack of metal on cement from the mounted police officer’s horse, two middle aged Arab men turned around and gave us the Nazi salute.

From the Forest Itself…..

I haven’t slept much in the past few weeks since Israel has been under attack and battling house to house in gaza. And when I do sleep it is broken and restless, and I always awake in my bed, staring aimlessly into the dark right before a code red siren sounds on my phone. I want to be there. I feel so helpless and restrained. But I am told by some who are there, that they feel just as helpless.My family notes that I am detached and unfocused on my surroundings. I have lost my keys, debit card, wallet and iPod on numerous occasions because I am absorbed in thought about the war. I sat at a stop sign for a minute waiting for it to turn green. What I can do is write, I suppose. The other night I typed 5000 words in a couple of hours with facts that I have seared into my soul over these years. I barely needed references. I just have them, these facts. They seem a part of me, the whole repository of the last 100 years of Jewish history. Some may say that this is pathological, an obsession really and an unhealthy one at that. They may be right. They would have said the same of Ben Gurion, though I am no Ben Gurion. I stand tottering on his shoulders, and the shoulders of the ones before him.

Israel, as it stands, is a social and architectural achievement not much seen in the history of mankind. And in that perception, too, I am afraid I am alone. This small strip of land inhabited by the western world’s perennial atavistic object of hate is as rare as the moral foundations for their peoplehood codified in their ancient text, the Torah, today still so relevant in discerning moral realities that one begins to entertain ideas, dangerous to the secularist, that it is a divine index of all of humanities’ travails, failures and successes and a guide on how to rectify a shattered world, a world in which artillery is necessary to ensure the existence of good. From the forest itself, it is written, comes the handle for the axe.

I am sleepless for nothing then really. It has been foretold and it is happening and it will be and He will find it good, has found it good, even though to us it proves ugly and patinated like copper or bronze left subjected to the damp of the jungles, when we are searching and thirst for gold and diamonds.

Palestinian Propaganda Map Deconstructed

Originally posted on CiF Watch:

This is cross posted by Elder of Ziyon

Anti-Israel  (and now other*) organizations are fond of showing the following graphic on their websites:

This map is a lie.

The first panel has the biggest lie:

While I presume that the white sections are indeed the land that was privately owned by Jews, the land in green was not privately owned by Arabs.

Only a tiny percentage of land in Palestine was privately owned. The various categories of land ownership included:

  • Mulk: privately owned in the Western sense.
  • Miri: Land owned by the government (originally the Ottoman crown) and suitable for agricultural use. Individuals could purchase a deed to cultivate this land and pay a tithe to the government. Ownership could be transferred only with the approval of the state. Miri rights could be transferred to heirs, and the land could be sub-let to tenants. If the owner died…

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