Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Engaging the Millennial Disengagement

Despite warnings to myself from within and a few from without, I think I'll ignore the advice of self-proclaimed Jewish millennial voices (there's a sardonic hint in there) to us outsiders, age-wise and community-standing-wise, to "try shutting up and sitting down" but rather actually discuss and address points put forward by David A.M. Wilensky and Gabriel T. Erbs who composed "A Taxonomy of Stupid Shit the Jewish Establishment Says to Millenials", published in the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents (and I'm old enough to remember that that organ, now referred to as a "progressive Jewish media", was basically rooted in communism, only sliding into some sort of socialism just before the 1960s).

Now, to be clear.  I actually have hopes, or at least intentions, to convince some of these classified-as-millennial Jewish younger generation types to reconsider their positions: the political ones, the cultural ones, the social ones, the religious ones and even the psychological ones within which they prefer, currently (no pun intended), to encapsulate themselves. That, of course, requires mean to assume that they still do possess the capability to intelligently look-from-without at what they are doing and thinking.  Self-introspection is a classic Jewish life-fundamental and here is Moshe Chaim Luzatto's phrasing: "...man's coming to see clearly and to recognize as a truth the nature of his duty in the world and the 
end towards which he should direct his vision and his aspiration in all of his labors all the days of his life".

I know this task can be, well, daunting.  I read there that

Synagogues are inherently spiritual enterprises. They are religious communities. But they are often so spiritually empty that if they can manage to entice any millennials inside, we can see that there’s nothing real there for us. 

I wondered what the opposite of "empty" and "real" is for such people and discovered that, besides davening the Amidah in the dark (did the Shabbat clock kick in?),

at the oneg, there was an honest-to-God keg of beer

and, like I'm thinking to myself, they don't drink schnapps anymore?

Fortified, I proceed to make comments on their writing.

*     *     *

We really don’t understand how any thinking person believes an intra-communal breeding program will be a convincing appeal to young people. Jewish millennials chafe against this pearl-clutching because we embrace, overwhelmingly, progressive values about gender, sexuality, and marriage. To us, baby-boomer chatter on intermarriage sounds alarmingly like what a lot of “polite society” said at the advent of racial intermarriage.

"Racial"?  That is a bit extreme. Being Jewish is not being a race.

Instead, most attempts to empower Jewish millennials keep us on a very tight leash...They not only fail to place Jewish millennials in key decision-making roles (read: appropriations), they represent a tremendous hubris on the part of institutional program leaders...Instead, young Jews are relegated to young-professional outreach groups or feckless “student cabinets” (in the case of Hillel International).

Would you guys give project money to people right-of-center?

Israel, like most countries, is not really cool...even without the settlements, the occupation, and the Nakba, Israel is not hip. Young people don’t really think entire countries are cool...No number of slimy, oversexed advertising campaigns will change that. Yet millions of dollars are spent every year pitching a sexy, Disneyland [v]ersion of Zionism and Israel to Jewish millennials

America is?  England?  Syria?

Would undersexed be okay?

The Conference of Presidents and Michael Oren, not exactly known for being relatable to millennials, know that they need us. But people like that just can’t bring themselves to believe us when we tell them how we see the world. The vast majority of us believe that there is such a thing as the Occupation, that Palestinians are people too, and all manner of heresies.
So, if there really is no illegal occupation or if the so-called Palestinians are really Southern Syrians, we still have to permit you your fantasies - which, by the way, harm Israel's security and the lives of its citizens?

And now, the get, er, serious:

WHAT CAN YOU take away from all of this?
Be an ally...Put us in the driver’s seat. Put us on the board. And when you think of something disparaging to say about millennials, try shutting up and sitting down instead. When you hear one of your peers saying some stupid shit about us, shut them down and sell them a copy of this issue of Jewish Currents. 

Sorry David (an editor of jweekly.com and a former editor of New Voices magazine (once known as the Jewish Student Press Service) and Gabriel Erbs (a labor union organizer in Portland, Oregon, and a former board member of J Street U, the student arm of J Street), with that crap above, the last thing we need, ‏‏עס פֿעלט מיר ווי אַ לאָך אין קאָפּ (Es felt mir vi a lokh in kop = I need it like a hole in the head), is to allow your kind of thinking and behavior to control anything to do with Judaism and Zionism. You'd end up as the Last Genertion.

Let me be stark: no matter how you feel, the political truth at the moment is that anti-Semitism masquerades as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism and playing around with non-Zionism or with a 'why Israel?' stance is asking for trouble for a lot of people and fueling a movement you cannot control.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Jabotinsky as a "Celeb"

Ze'ev Jabotinsky made Aliyah in October 1926, after visiting the country first in 1908 and then residing in it, first as an officer in the Jewish Legion, March 1918-July 1919, and then as an official of the Zionist Commission and head of the Hagana in Jerusalem (and, curtesy of the British, residency in Acre Prison).

Here is how he was received in Jerusalem:

By the way, that Goldsmit House was owned by Avraham Tzvi Goldsmit, son of Yaakov Yosef Goldsmit of Amsterdam who arrived in Jerusalem in 1866 and was a cloth merchant.

Soldiers of the Irgun blew it up on March 1, 1947 as it was the Officers' Club residence of the British Army.

Credit: Jabotinsky Institute

Here's official stationary:


Lost: A Cathedral

I have written (here and here) about the situation in Cordoba in connection to the Temple Mount as I see an exact parallel: an ancient sacred site, lost, retaken, former group seeks to pray.

Why cannot Muslims accept or at least recognize that what Jews wish in Jerusalem is what they themselves are doing in Cordoba, Spain?

What they demand for themselves in Spain, they refuse, violently, to Jews in Jerusalem.

I see that the Cathedral term is barely used as it is now promoted as a Mosque.

As here:

"Today the Mezquita de Cordoba (Cordoba Mosque) as it is comonly [sic] known (or the Cordoba Cathedral as it was know by its owners the Catholic church) can be visited throughout the year for an entrance fee. Following a dispute between the church and the city over the name of the building in the 2010's it is now diplomatically called "Cordoba Mosque Cathedral"  

For other similar sites:

and here.

Is the Cathedral lost?


Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Political Warfare of BDS

An extensive excerpt from an interview (thanks to BT) with with Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Maryland. His books include Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, Divided Memory: the Nazi Past and the Two Germanys, and Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich with Alan Johnson, editor of Fathom:

AJ: What do you mean by the term political warfare?

JH: It’s a term that the British foreign office used in World War Two. Political warfare entails the specific use of propaganda to reinforce an ongoing armed attack. For example, East Germany and the Soviet Union were able to use the United Nations effectively to legitimatise their undeclared war on Israel, through dozens of UN General Assembly resolutions in the 1970s and 1980s in which East Germany played an important role.

Political warfare persists to this day in the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement: never ever mention a terrorist attack on Israel, or, if there is an attack on Israeli citizens, refer to it as a form of ‘justified resistance’. Then, having refused to describe accurately the terrorist attack on Israel, focus instead on Israeli retaliation. And, because you have not discussed the previous terrorist attack, describe this Israeli retaliation as a form of ‘unjustified aggression’. All these rules were set down in this earlier period.

AJ: One fascinating part of the book examines how UN leaders, such as General Secretary Kurt Waldheim, ignored detailed reports from Israeli representatives about this political warfare campaign and about the Arab states’ armed attacks against Israel. Can you tell us about that?

JH: One of my great research discoveries was the extent of the UN’s bias, its unbalanced views and its indifference to attacks on Israel. The UN permits its members to send reports to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council, which are then circulated to all members of the UN. Gideon Rafiah, Chaim Herzog, Yosef Tekoah and Yehuda Blum, all Israeli ambassadors to the UN during the 1960s and 1970s, made excellent use of this system by sending reports with details descriptions of the ongoing attacks on Israeli civilians to all member representatives to the UN. They are the most detailed record that we have, perhaps anywhere outside the Israeli archives, about the ongoing terrorist campaign that was being raged against Israel in those years. Yet the information in these reports was overwhelmingly ignored in the UN resolutions that were passed.

AJ: What was the response of the West to this undeclared war on Israel?

JH: The centrality of the US alliance to Israel’s security became obvious in the years following the Six-Day War and particularly during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. (Ironically, critically important American military assistance to Israel in 1973 came from US President Richard Nixon, who had minimal support among American Jews.) Over the course of Israel’s short history, when push came to shove, in the event of war and peace, Israel has had one ally with the will and ability to come to its defence – the US. At the UN , US Ambassadors Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeanne Kirkpatrick fought off waves of attacks on Zionism, vetoing many UN resolutions. But any hopes of Europe joining these US efforts were suppressed after the Oil Crisis, when the Europeans came under increasing pressure from the Arab states.

AJ: Having touched upon the what, I would like to now focus on the why. Why did East Germany wage this war against Israel? Was it a hangover of attitudes from the Nazi period? Was it about antisemitism? Was it more to do with developments in left-wing thought at the time? Or was it cynical geopolitics to keep the Arab states on side?

JH: The book is about the leadership of the East German government. I don’t know how ordinary people who were living in East Germany thought about Jews and Israel. The book is not about the aftereffects of Nazi Germany in the population of the 17 million or so people living in East Germany. Of course, for many of them, it would defy common sense to assume there was no after effect of Nazi propaganda. But the communists took the position that they did because they were communists. They were not Nazis. And I think this is important. The problem of the communists is not that they were like Nazis. It  is that they were communists. And it was as communists that they rejected Zionism. To them, Zionism was an  anachronism, a form of reactionary nationalism. Anti-Imperialist nationalism was fine but not Zionist nationalism.

So East Germany’s war against Israel was a matter of ideological conviction; they genuinely despised Zionism. But it was also a matter of power politics and strategic calculation – the two reinforced each other. The communists rejected Zionism as a form of nationalism and as a competitor to Marxism in some working class constituencies in Europe. And after the anti-Cosmopolitan purges of the 1950s, the decent, pro-Zionist left, vanished in the Communist world.

East Germany’s other reason to oppose Israel was to do with Cold War competition with West Germany, which was busy trying to isolate the East German government diplomatically. Bonn defined East Germany as illegitimate and threatened to cut off diplomatic and economic ties with all East Germany’s allies. This was called the Hallstein Doctrine. The primary goal of East German foreign policy was to counteract the Hallstein doctrine by establishing diplomatic and political relations with other countries outside the Soviet bloc. And how was this to be done? Otto Winzer, East Germany’s foreign minister in the 1960s, made the argument that the key to breaking the Hallstein Doctrine was to play the anti-Zionist card by siding with the anti-Zionist Arab states – and the Palestinians. The fruits of Winzer’s plan were seen in 1959 when Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Libya all signed agreements to start diplomatic relations with East Germany, and each denounced Zionism.

The reinforcing interaction of those two components – power politics and ideology – accounts for the passion with which East Germany went along with Soviet policy against Israel. 

AJ: Today we find that ‘Holocaust Inversion’ – treating Zionism as the new Nazism, Israelis as the new Nazis, and so on – is spreading. Do its roots lie in this period? 

JH: Two Israeli historians, Meir Litvak and Esther Webman, wrote a book called From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust in which they point out that the idea of Israelis as the new Nazis has been a theme in Arab politics since the late 1940s and early 1950s. In this sense, the Stalinists took an idea that originated in the Middle East and spread it throughout all the communist movements in world politics. The Israeli-as-Nazi theme was enormously important because – and I made this point in Fathom about Ken Livingstone – what the communists accomplished by accusing the Israelis of being Nazis was to take the language of anti-fascism, ironically, and turn it against the Jews and against Israel. Of course, the Nazis despised Zionism and it is completely ridiculous to say the Nazis were in favour of Zionism. Anti-Zionism was a part of Nazi propaganda and Nazi policy.

This Nazi analogy broke into world politics in a very big way at the start of the Six-Day War in 1967 when the Soviet ambassador to the UN compared Israel’s air attack to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Soviet ambassador was associating the Soviet Union as a victim of Nazi Germany with the third world as the victim of British colonialism, manifested in the form of Zionism. This placement of the language of anti-fascism – which has enormous moral prestige around the world and in the British left and in the left of Western Europe and all over the world – into the discourse of the assault on Israel, was devastating. It was one of the greatest accomplishments of communist political warfare at the time, and it endures to this day in a variety of forms.

In Germany, of course, there was the added component of the Holocaust. Dieter Kunzelmann was a West German leftist who wrote an essay in 1969 about the need for the West German left to overcome what he called ‘the Jewish complex’. ‘The Jewish complex’, he wrote, stood in the way of making the revolution in West Germany because it burdened the left with so much guilt about the Holocaust that they were unable to make a revolution. To view Israelis as the new Nazis and the PLO as the new revolutionary brothers and victims of fascism, would unlock the path to revolution in West Germany. Kunzelmann’s essay was called ‘Shalom and Napalm’ and it was an important break with the West German government tradition of coming to terms with the Nazi past and remembering the Holocaust.

AJ: The use of the Nazi analogy is actually growing today in the UK.

JH: Well, I noticed in my research into this period that there are really no new ideas in the BDS movement. I read a review in the Times Literary Supplement a couple of months ago about the ‘new discourse’ of BDS. Actually, what’s really happened is the academicisation of an older discourse – the political warfare discourse of the Communists, the PLO and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the UN anti-Israel resolutions of the 1970s. All that has now entered into universities.

AJ: You claim that East Germany pioneered a ‘Eurocentric definition of counterterrorism.’ What did that definition entail and how did it shape the UN’s attitude towards terrorism aimed at Israel?

JH: This is one the most interesting aspects of the book and it made me understand how complicated the world of intelligence is.

The Stasi, East Germany’s state intelligence service, had a serious problem. On the one hand, East Germany was the transit for young PLO members seeking military training and hoping to attack Jewish institutions in West Germany or Western Europe. East Germany had a reputation in the Middle East for being a supporter of the PLO and the Arab states in their wars with Israel. Young men, mostly, came from Beirut and Damascus and Cairo to the Soviet Bloc and to East Germany and received military training or university fellowships or they learnt German, or whatever. And then, they wanted to go to West Germany or West Berlin or Western Europe and attack the imperialists that were supporting Israel. Or they wanted to attack the Jewish institutions in West Germany.

On the other hand, the Stasi knew that if anybody travelled from East Berlin to West Berlin and committed a terrorist act, condemnation would inevitably and swiftly be placed at the doorstep of the East German government by the West’s security services. The Stasi understood that if this happened it was going to put détente at risk as well as the millions of deutschmarks that were coming to East Germany from West Germany.

So, the question was how to continue to support terrorism aimed at Western interests, and at Israel, but prevent terrorist attacks in West Germany. The Stasi tackled this problem by establishing a formal written relationship with the intelligence services of the PLO in order to locate and prevent the people who wanted to commit terrorist attacks in West Germany and Western Europe. Of course committing terrorist attacks anywhere else was encouraged – hence ‘the Eurocentric definition of counterterrorism.’

AJ: Was there opposition to the undeclared against Israel within East Germany itself?

JH: Within the Communist party after 1953, no. The last leading opponent of the East German communist party to oppose the undeclared war against Israel was Paul Merker. A non-Jewish member of the Communist Party politburo, Merker’s crime was to make the rational case that the communists – because they had fought against fascism and anti-Semitism in Europe – should be close allies with the new Jewish State, help fight anti-Semitism and the Arab governments who were attempting to destroy the Jewish state. Merker made these arguments in 1946 to the UN, as did Andrey Gromyko, the Soviet ambassador of the UN.

But with the beginning of the Cold War all of this became politically incorrect in the literal sense. Merker was an independent-minded communist, foolish enough to have put his brilliant views in print and therefore he could not deny it. Although Merker was one of the lucky victims of the anti-cosmopolitan purges not to be executed, his political career was effectively over. Most of the other people associated with support for Israel in the Communist Party left East Germany and went either to West Germany or other parts of the world. This was the moment when pro-Zionism ceased within the East German Communist Party.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Adnan Oktar Relating the The Temple Mount

From an interview with an Israeli journalist broadcast back in February:

No wonder Ronel published a negative view:

However, the willingness of at least some Israeli politicians and clerics to appear on his TV program and at other events stems from another element of his religious outlook: his attitude regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Christians, Jews, Muslims – everyone can worship there,” he told me, in a refreshing message to Israel’s Temple Mount Faithful movement, from a person who claims to speak on behalf of Islam. Nor does Oktar make do with supporting Jewish worship on the Temple Mount: He’s in favor of rebuilding the Temple. “The land there is sufficient for this,” he said: We will build the prayer house of Prophet Solomon there, and in this century, inshallah [God willing].”


On the Medical School at Ariel University

A year ago it was announced that a new school of medicine is to open at Ariel University.

The corner-stone laying was done in the presence of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Education Minister Bennett and the prime donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who contributed $113 million to the project.

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Health and Medical Sciences Building on the Ariel University campus is to open for the 2018-2019 academic year, launching Ariel University’s Medical School with a starting class of 70 pre-med students.

At the event, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said 

"the university is an open and pluralistic institution. This is the true spirit of the State of Israel. The School of Medicine in Ariel will strengthen Israel's prestige in the world....Ariel will always be part of the State of Israel, and I hope that graduates of the medical school will help with the development of medicine in countries which approach Israel [for medical assistance], such as India and China. We love the city of Ariel and will continue to build it."

Of course, there is opposition and problems but let's recall a bit of history:

Medicine and Zionism and Eretz-Yisrael all go together.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Seeking BDS Clarity

France led off a year and a half ago with secondary legislation against produce originating in Judea and Samaria:

An advisory notice on the French Government website said: "Under international law the Golan Heights and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are not part of Israel."
It said labelling goods simply as "from the West Bank" or "from Golan Heights" without providing more details is "not acceptable". Instead goods must be clearly marked as coming from an "Israeli settlement," when that is the case, to avoid "the risk of misleading the consumer"

A question:

if Arabs produced the product, does it have have that added to the note? 

Or is it just a Jewish thing?

How misleading is to be tolerated?


Al-Jazeera's "Illegal Settlements" Poster

Here is Al-Jazeera's summing up poster on "Fifty Years of Illegal Settlements in Palestine":

How they push our population to 750,000 is difficult even for me to confirm but if they want us to be more, fine.  It just proves, again, that the "demographic threat" all use as a scare tactic doesn't exist.

I do want to remind all, since UNSC 242 is right up at the top there, that

it does not mention a "Palestinian people" 

it does not mention a "state of Palestine".  

Not all territories needed to be evacuated. 

The only related problem needing a solution is "the refugee" one.  

And there were Jewish refugees, too.

It's approach that there is an "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" should have been applied to Jordan in 1949 (in addition to the many other cases and since it was/is not, it cannot be applied only to Israel).

And let us not ignore that only Israeli armed forces need been withdrawn ("Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces"). Civilians, especially Jews who have a right by virtue of the 1922 League of Nations decision to "close settlement on the land" surely need not remove themselves.

Oh, and there is no "Palestinian-Israel Conflict" That's a perversion of what was the "Arab-Israel Conflict" which itself is a perversion.

There is an "Arab Conflict with Israel and Zionism".


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Three Interviews at Jews News

Eliyokim Cohen’s ISRAEL ROAD SHOW, a daily LIVE tour of Israel that will show you the Holy Land like never before, came to visit me today at Shiloh, LIVE broadcasting on Day 9 of the Road Show, Akiva Fuld behind the camera.

The results:

Monday, July 09, 2018

Sir Archibald Sinclair on Jewish Settlement

I quote Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate decision quite often.

It reads, in full:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

Someone else quite was taken with it.

Sir Archibald Sinclair:

Article 6 of the Mandate says that the Government will encourage the close settlement of Jews on the lands, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. Why is not that Article more extensively and whole-heartedly carried out? 

That was from a speech of his in Parliament on March 24, 1936

Note: this is a corrected version.

I like what Winston Churchill, a close friend of Sinclair, said when he spoke to the Peel Commission in 1937 and told them

he had always believed that the intention of the Balfour Declaration was that Palestine might in the course of time become “an overwhelmingly Jewish State.” During the Second World War, although most of his Cabinet colleagues rejected this idea, Churchill clung to it and on many occasions intervened with senior Cabinet Ministers to prevent “an Arab solution” of the Palestine question being permanently fixed.

On 19 May 1941, in a secret memorandum, he wrote of his hope for the establishment after the war of a “Jewish State of Western Palestine” with not only the fullest rights for immigration and development, but also with provision “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.”

Earlier, on 30 January 1908, he wrote in a letter of his sympathy with the “ultimate goal” of the Jewish people. As he explained in his letter: 

“Jerusalem must be the only ultimate goal. When it will be achieved it is vain to prophesy: but that it will some day be achieved is one of the few certainties of the future.”