Tag: Jewish Leftists


Liberal Jews are Still Turning a Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism on the Left: Karol Markowicz, New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018— Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

Trump, Nazis and American Jewry: Isi leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018 — Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

JVL: Jewish Whitewashers of Labour Anti-Semitism: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018 — Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways.

Left-Wing Jews — A Jewish And American Tragedy.: Dennis Prager, Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018 — It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America.

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018



A BLIND EYE TO ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE LEFT                                                         

Karol Markowicz                                                                                                             

New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018


Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it. Left-of-center Jews speak out about white nationalists, but where are they on anti-Semitism when it arises from their own side?

Last week, Airbnb announced its decision to remove rental listings in the West Bank. But the apartment-sharing service didn’t touch listings in other disputed territories, like Russian-annexed Ukraine and Turkish-occupied North Cyprus. You would think liberal Jewish outfits would race to call out what lies behind this hypocrisy: anti-Semitism.

You’d think wrong. Anti-Defamation League boss Jonathan Greenblatt, for example, issued a tepid statement saying he was “dismayed” by the move. But he stopped short of calling out the blatant anti­Semitism. This fits a pattern with the former Obama administration official. As Seth Mandel wrote in Commentary recently, Greenblatt “sees right-wing bigotry as a crucial element of conservative ideology,” while viewing the left-wing varieties as “isolated anomalies.”

Under his leadership, the ADL opposed, on the flimsiest grounds, Mike Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state. The ADL also joined the left’s crusade against Brett Kavanaugh, and it has repeatedly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the Greenblatt ADL has been far more reluctant to condemn Democratic firebrand Keith Ellison’s long record of Israel-bashing. Indeed, Greenblatt embraced Ellison in 2016, when the Minnesota congressman ran for deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Greenblatt only reversed course when “a tape surfaced of Ellison accusing Israel of controlling American foreign policy,” as Mandel noted.

But other liberal Jews go even further, by defending the haters. Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time New Republic editor. “No, BDS Is Not Anti-Semitic, And Neither Is Ilhan Omar” was the headline for a piece he wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward recently. BDS, of course, is short for boycott, divest, sanction—a movement that singles out the Jewish state for such punishment. This, despite the horrors that are routine around the world, from China to Venezuela.

Beinart writes that the “BDS movement doesn’t officially oppose the existence of a Jewish state, but some of its most prominent advocates do.” So leaders of the movement want to destroy Israel, but the movement isn’t tainted by them? Where else would this be an acceptable line of argument? If white nationalists marched for gay rights, which liberal would disregard their outsize hate and focus on the one point of agreement? It’s laughable.

As for Ilhan Omar, she’s the newly elected Minnesota congresswoman who in January will take Ellison’s seat in the House of Representatives. In 2012, she tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The notion that Jews have the world under a spell is as classic an anti-Semitic trope as one can find, yet somehow Omar finds a Jewish defender in a Jewish publication.

Then there’s Linda Sarsour. Last week the Women’s March leader called out “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy.” This was another old Jew-hating trope: namely, that Jews secretly harbor dual loyalty to Israel. And this is just the latest in a long litany of anti-Semitic comments she’s made.

What’s even more odious is that the Sarsours of the country are called on to help heal the hatred they sow. Last year, Sarsour sat on a panel at the New School about fighting anti-Semitism. And just last week Al Sharpton, who has a history of saying heinous things about Jews in the 1990s, was on MSNBC to discuss — you guessed it — fighting anti-Semitism.

It’s like a bad joke. The guy who has referred to Jews as “interlopers” and “diamond merchants” is now the one claiming to fight Jew-hatred. Has he ever apologized? Jews forgive public figures like Ellison, Omar, Sarsour and Sharpton. But they would never encourage other targeted groups to do the same. Fighting the normalization of anti-Semitism has to begin with Jews themselves speaking out. Now would be a good time to start.




Isi leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018

As the global antisemitic tsunami intensifies, most Diaspora Jews seem to have lost the plot. In the past, when an external foe emerged, Jews would put aside their differences and unite in the face of those seeking their destruction. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews suffered from persecution, pogroms and murder, culminating in the Shoah.

Today, despite a powerful Jewish state that can provide a haven to Jews facing persecution, Diaspora Jews are utterly disunited, and many of them seem to have lost their bearings. They are laying the foundations for an unprecedented eruption of violent antisemitism.

Despite the tragedy of the brutal slaying of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, American Jewry remains the most peaceful community in the Diaspora. And even today, despite the election of radical anti-Jewish elements – including self-hating Jews – within the Democratic Party, there are still more pro-Israel elements in Congress after the midterm elections. Those elections took place in an unprecedented atmosphere of political hysteria.

But despite predictions of defeat, it would seem that President Donald Trump was the overall winner. In virtually all midterm elections, the ruling party experiences losses. The country is divided. The larger cities lean Democrat and mid-America is overwhelmingly pro-Trump. The concept of respect for a president, which has prevailed over most of America’s history since the Civil War, no longer exists. The nation is divided down the middle with most voters being either passionate lovers or zealous haters of Trump – with Jews at the forefront of the hatred.

While the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, they lost fewer seats than the Democrats did when losing the House in the 1994 and 2010 midterms. And more importantly, they held, and perhaps widened, their majority in the Senate (where two races remain undecided). Thus, while Trump will face ongoing tensions domestically, the Democrats will have to be careful not to be seen as extreme and subsequently generate further backlash. And Trump has a virtual free hand in continuing to direct foreign policy. Even more importantly, he will strengthen conservative elements in the higher and lower courts, undoubtedly altering the liberal mentality that has dominated American courts in recent generations.

There is one bizarre aspect to this. The clear majority of Jewish Americans continued the tradition of voting Democratic and have emerged as leaders of the anti-Trump brigade. The fact that many Jews with a liberal tradition oppose Trump’s conservative policies and dislike his aggressive tone is not surprising. But what is incomprehensible is the hysterical abuse they shower on the president – and that they do so in a Jewish context. The almost lunatic attacks on a president by such a wide section of the Jewish community – including progressive rabbis, Jewish lay organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish women’s groups, which had until now avoided partisan politics – is utterly unprecedented.

The venom expressed suggests that a dybbuk – a malicious spirit – has instilled a collective madness on a major component of the American Jewish community. Jews even demanded that Trump not be present at the mourning ceremony in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Some Jewish leaders blamed him for the massacre, alleging that his aggressive political style was responsible for the actions of the lone neo-Nazi antisemite. Never mind the other shooting rampages perpetrated during previous administrations, for which no president was held responsible. Nobody blamed President Barack Obama for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting which killed 50 people, nor the other 37 mass shootings during his tenure.

Antisemitism escalated well before Trump’s election. The media, buttressed by the ADL and other Jewish groups, have repeatedly alleged that today its new waves primarily represent white nationalist antisemitism. They include in their fake figures Internet hoaxes that were not even motivated by Jew-hatred. The facts belie this. Beyond occasional mad neo-Nazi fringes on the radical Right, the situation has remained constant. The principal sources of visceral antisemitism are still Muslim extremists, as well as the burgeoning far Left which leads the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish pack. One thing is clear: American Jews do need to employ security services at synagogues, schools and community centers as is the case today in virtually every Diaspora community around the world.

It is noteworthy that the ever-growing influence of anti-Israel and antisemitic elements seeking to radicalize the Democratic Party is rarely mentioned by the liberal press or the ADL. In the midterm elections, a number of Democratic candidates hostile to Israel and Jews won seats – some in districts with significant Jewish populations. Nor have there been serious efforts to restrain burgeoning antisemitism from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel left-wing groups on college campuses.

There were few complaints when Obama treated Israel like a rogue state and characterized Israeli self-defense and Palestinian terrorism as being morally equivalent. And there are few complaints now, after it was recently revealed that in 2005 Obama met the head of the Nation of Islam, the radical antisemite Louis Farrakhan, for a photo op. The allegations that Trump contributed to the current polarization of society by his aggressive rhetoric may be true, but that is more than matched by the hysteria from the Democrats.

This is intensified by the dramatic revolution in social media, which – in contrast to only 20 years ago – reaches a massive audience, including extreme hate-mongers. It may well be time to review America’s credo of upholding unlimited freedom of expression. We should assess this in the context of today’s social media, which undoubtedly serves as a platform for promoting racism, violence, and above all, antisemitism.

By far, the most obscene aspect of this mudslinging is the concerted Jewish attempt to portray Trump as tolerating Nazis and being an antisemite. This lie has been reproduced so frequently in recent months by progressive rabbis and Jewish lay leaders that it has become embedded in the minds of many Democratic supporters. But this reflects the madness in the air. Trump has a daughter who converted to Judaism and is religiously observant; he has always had Jewish friends; some of his key executive officers are Jews; and following the tragedy in Pittsburgh, he made a statement condemning antisemitism that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not have expressed better…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




JVL: JEWISH WHITEWASHERS OF LABOUR ANTI-SEMITISM                                                  Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018

Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways. Taking strong anti-Israeli attitudes is one such tactic. Non-Jewish anti-Israelis look out for these Jews as legitimizers of their incitement. In the process radical Jews receive far more attention than they can get by themselves or merit because of their size. Another way for such Jewish organizations to get exposure beyond their weight is by helping to fend off antisemitic accusations against organizations which contain Jew-haters.

In recent years the UK Labour party has been in dire need of such a Jewish organization. A small group of Jewish leftist extremists realized the opportunity. In 2017 they created the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). This movement should not be confused with the much older and far bigger Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The latter has been very involved in fighting antisemitism in their party.

John Lansman is a key figure among Labour leftists. He is a member of the party’s nine member National Executive and the founder of Momentum. This grouping is the main supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet Lansman has come out on various occasions against JVL. He is quoted as saying that the very existence of JVL is inflaming tensions between Labour and the Jewish community. One of his associates said Lansman believes that senior JVL figures claim to speak for the entire Jewish community while they in reality only reflect the views of a small faction of anti-Zionist Jews.

JVL’s techniques of whitewashing antisemitism should be analyzed. This enables one to understand how some of these methods are also used in other Western environments. After lengthy discussions this summer, the Labour party accepted the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This is the world’s most widely agreed definition of antisemitism. It has been adopted for internal use by a number of countries including the UK and Germany. Like any such text it is not perfect, yet it is much better than anything else that has been suggested until now.

The JVL’s primary mode of attacking the IHRA definition was the release of an alternative definition of antisemitism. Their text stated that comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis should not automatically be seen as antisemitic. The JVL added an obfuscating statement “whether such comparisons are antisemitic must be judged on their substantial content and the inferences that can be reasonably drawn about the motivations for making them, rather than on the likely degree of offense caused.”

One of JVL’s apparent main goals is to whitewash Corbyn’s misdemeanors. Their alternative definition of antisemitism would take some blame away from the Labour leader. In 2010, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Corbyn, held a meeting in parliament in which the Netherlands’s best known Jewish antismite, Hajo Meyer, compared Israel to the Nazis. The latter has done so frequently, even in Germany…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



LEFT-WING JEWS — A JEWISH AND AMERICAN TRAGEDY                                                     Dennis Prager                                                                           

Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018

It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America. Of course, the same can be said of the damage left-wing Catholics are doing to Catholicism and America, other left-wing Christians are doing to Christianity and America, and, most obviously, the damage the secular left-wing is doing. But since anti-Semitism is in the news, and given the prominence of many left-wing Jews, I will focus on them.

The damage done to Jews by left-wing Jews is not new. It began at the beginning of the left with Karl Marx, the grandson of two Orthodox rabbis (his parents had undergone pro forma conversion to Christianity). He wrote one of the most anti-Semitic tracts of the 19th century, “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844. In it he wrote, among other things: “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering …”; “What is his worldly God? Money …”; “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist …”; “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

In the early 20th century, another left-wing Jew, Leon Trotsky, who, along with Lenin, led the Bolshevik Party in Russia, was a catastrophe for Jews and for humanity. In 1920, when Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jacob Mazeh, asked him to use the army to protect the Jews from pogromist attacks in which tens (of) thousands of Jews were murdered. Trotsky is reported to have responded: “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew,” to which Rabbi Mazeh answered: “That’s the tragedy. It’s the Trotskys who make revolutions, and it’s the Bronsteins who pay the price.”

That is the story of the many Jewish leftists to this day: Jewish leftists make revolutions, and all the Jews (among millions of others) pay the price. Thus, many of the leaders of the movement to economically strangle Israel — the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement — are left-wing Jews. A few years ago, I was invited to the world’s most famous debating forum, the Oxford Union, to debate the farcical question of whether Israel or Hamas is a greater obstacle to peace in the Middle East. One of my two adversaries was a Jewish former professor at Oxford. He argued that Israel was a greater threat to peace than Hamas.

Another prominent left-wing Jew, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, has devoted his life to writing and speaking against two countries: the United States and Israel. The security of the world’s only Jewish state is by far the greatest security issue for world Jewry. Yet many left-wing Jews attack Israel, support many of those who wish to destroy Israel or, at the very least, do nothing to strengthen Israel’s security. In America today, leftism has poisoned so many non-Orthodox synagogues, they differ only from the American Civil Liberties Union or the Democratic Party in their use of Hebrew liturgy.

Many non-Orthodox synagogues sat shiva — Judaism’s seven days of mourning after the death of an immediate relative — when Donald Trump was elected president. This perversion of Judaism is an example of what leftism does to every religion it infiltrates. I suspect none of those synagogues sat shiva after the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh. Why? Did the election of Donald Trump bother them more? Left-wing Jews are ethnically Jewish, but their values derive from leftism (just as the current pope is Catholic in his identity but his values derive from leftism).

The current charge that the Pittsburgh massacre was caused by President Trump is one of the greatest libels in American history. Virtually every left-wing columnist and commentator has spread this lie, most of them written by left-wing Jews such as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. One of their lies is that attacks on George Soros are anti-Semitic.

I think George Soros is a malevolent force. Am I an anti-Semite? (To answer that, let’s compare what I have done for Jews and Judaism with what any of these left-wing Jews have done.) But left-wing Jews have always done this. They attributed the execution of the Rosenbergs — who, immoral leftists that they were, passed on the secrets to the atom bomb to Stalin — to anti-Semitism. The judge in the Rosenberg case was a Jew. But to left-wing Jews, that didn’t matter. Ever since Stalin labeled Trotsky a “fascist,” leftists have always depicted their opponents as “Nazis,” “racists,” “anti-Semites,” “fascists,” “haters” and “bigots.” That is their modus operandi.

Many of these left-wing Jews base this libel about President Trump’s “role” in the context of an equally libelous claim that there has been a great rise in American anti-Semitism in the Trump era — resulting in the Pittsburgh massacre — based on an Anti-Defamation League study. The study’s mendacity is fully exposed by David E. Bernstein, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School and a Trump opponent, in two devastating reviews (one on Reason.com and one in Tablet Magazine). Read them and you will understand one of the most important things you need to know about the left: Truth is not a left-wing value. The ADL, which at one time was preoccupied with fighting anti-Semitism, is now preoccupied with fighting Donald Trump and fighting on behalf of the American left…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a conversation with Israeli reporters Friday suggested that the cause of Israel’s troubled relationship with Diaspora Jews was that the latter were moving away from Judaism.

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018—Neumann describes how radical Jewish leftists distorted and turned a minor phrase, “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), into a left-wing political “social justice” universalist theology that is hostile to Israel and traditional Judaism, and which sympathizes with the Jewish people’s enemies.

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018 —As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts.

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018—One of the key lessons of last week’s midterm elections is that the left is waging – and winning – a linguistic war. The left claims and occupies more and more linguistic ground with each new fight.


Rob Coles: Review of David Levy, The Zionist Entity: The Jewish State in the 21st Century. Mazo Publishers, 2015.





David Levy, The Zionist Entity: The Jewish State in the 21st Century. Mazo Publishers, 2015.  


“Zionist entity” is a label some critics of Israel use to delegitimize the Jewish State. Its roots lay in the Arab and Muslim anti-Israel propaganda war to deny the Jewish People the right to a nation in their historical homeland in the Middle East. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a notorious anti-Zionist and Holocaust denier, once called on the world to "abandon the filthy Zionist entity which has reached the end of the line." Labelling Israel “Zionist entity” emphasizes Zionism as an ideological movement, rather than a nation. The end goal is to delegitimize Israel and facilitate its destruction.


Levy’s book, a strong defence of the Jewish State, unpacks 21st century anti-Zionism through interviews with personal acquaintances, both pro- and anti-Israel, and his own knowledge of the region. The book is not an academic study, but rather a contemporary oral history written in a casual, and, at only 159 pages, sparse style. A lecturer on cinema history, Levy has direct experience with anti-Israel crusaders in the film industry. A cinema conference at Tel Aviv University provides an introduction to the controversial topic of anti-Israel “BDS” boycotts. Although the conference, Cinematic Traces of Things to Come, included an entry by a Cambodian director and film about a massacre that took place in Indonesia in 1965, some academics, Jew and non-Jew, promoted a boycott of the event. Levy concludes that the boycott was not directed at the themes explored in the conference or the films presented, but the venue itself, Tel Aviv University. It wasn’t clear if the boycott endorsers had any knowledge of the films screened or the topics discussed, but for “BDS” advocates these details are irrelevant. In the black-and-white world of Israel boycotts, it’s Israel and its institutions that are on trial.


One of Levy’s interviewees, a retired sociology professor named Ben, fully supported the boycott. Ben represents what the author calls a “Jihadi Jew,” A.K.A. “self-hating Jew,” an unusual phenomenon of hard-left Jewish anti-Israel activist. In the polarized world of the “Jihadi Jew,” Levy explains, there is no middle-ground. Ben had never been to Israel and knew virtually nothing about the country except for a handful of biased, pro-Palestinian articles he had read. And this, in a nutshell, is a big part of the problem. Many hard-core critics of Israel have never visited the country or read any nuanced interpretations of Israel’s politics and history. Levy suggested that Ben should read Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land, a balanced, non-partisan depiction of the Jewish State. Nonetheless, Ben, like many critics of Israel are too intellectually lazy to read books that   challenge their own biases and political viewpoints. Never mind that Shavit, a journalist for the left-wing Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, has been critical of Israel’s policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the so-called occupation. Shavit’s crime is to be a Zionist, the “absolute lowest form of humanity” for “Jihadi Jews.”  


Although Israel continues to have its enemies in the Arab and Muslim world, the Jewish State’s contemporary detractors are often found among Western liberals. Levy asks how is it that Israel has become the “bête noir” of our time. 21st century Anti-Zionism is assumed to be a result of a “perverse left-wingism in league with a rising tide of anti-Semitism and some formidable and persistent Big Media bias.” But even more baffling is the phenomenon of Western leftists who, in the name of “social justice” and “human rights,” are unyielding in their critique of Israel — the only true democracy in the region — where religious freedom, racial equality, women’s rights, and freedom of sexual orientation are championed.


As a Canadian non-Jew, I am perplexed by the ongoing and shameful negativity towards Israel, particularly among self-identified liberals. I think that by visiting Israel, critics of the Jewish State should realize that the situation is not as black-and-white as they perceive and the socio-political life of the “Zionist entity” is complex. Those without the means for the trip should read a balanced analysis of Israel, such as Levy’s, for a view of the region free of anti-Israel spin so pervasive in Western media.     


Rob Coles is the Publications Manager at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research


Eleven Nine: James W. Ceaser, Weekly Standard, Nov. 21, 2016— Americans awoke on the morning of 11/9 to a different political world.

America Moves Right, Jewish Groups Move Left: Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom, Dec. 4, 2016— On January 20, the Republican Party will control the White House…

Dear Liberals: Start Practicing the Empathy You Preach: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Nov. 20, 2016— Elections have consequences and an obvious one now is your distress.

Donald Trump’s Jacksonian Revolt: Walter Russell Mead, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 11, 2016— The election of Donald Trump was a surprise and an upset, but the movement that he rode to the presidency has deep roots in American history.


On Topic Links


Donald Trump as Nixon’s Heir: Reihan Salam, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 12, 2016

Can the Democrats Move Right?: Ross Douthat, New York Times, Nov. 30, 2016

Before Donald Trump, There Was Menachem Begin: Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, Nov. 25, 2016

The Disintegrating Obama Coalition: Jay Cost, Weekly Standard, Nov. 21, 2016




James W. Ceaser                                                           

Weekly Standard, Nov. 21, 2016


Americans awoke on the morning of 11/9 to a different political world. There is only one word to explain what happened, and it is called democracy. The usual claims progressives invoke to deny that real democracy exists in America do not seem to apply in this case. A bought election? Hillary Clinton outspent her rival massively and enjoyed the support of many more of the big donors. There are no Koch brothers to kick around this time. Support from the big organized interests? Major unions, prestigious associations, and the denizens of the most powerful corporate board rooms were overwhelmingly in Clinton’s camp, just as Bernie Sanders had charged. Bias for one side by the major media? No contest here; Clinton enjoyed a huge advantage.


Fabulists are sure to discover a few things to confirm their thesis—instances of voter suppression, a right-wing conspiracy in the FBI and the bumblings of Director Clouseau, an electoral system that does not count the national popular vote. But even the most ardent will be hard pressed to deny that the people spoke.


Progressives face a difficult choice. Either they can blame democracy or they can fault Clinton. Much might be learned, of course, if they offered, like America's own founders, an honest assessment of democracy's limits. But it is encoded in their DNA to flatter it, at least in public. Only in the back rooms and among themselves do they define democracy as the rule of the deplorables. It is more likely, therefore, that they will turn their animus against the Clintons and blame them for pulling progressives into their culture of unseemly deals and continuing corruption. The civil war within the Republican party may ebb just as the civil war in the Democratic party begins to heat up. Democrats will need to look for new heroes, as Bill Clinton's luster was destroyed by this campaign and President Obama's vaunted legacy looks more and more tenuous.


The 2016 election reminds many of the election of 1980. Both featured a strong reaction on the part of the "little people" against an elite, especially against a progressive intellectual elite. Economic hardship was no doubt a factor in their arousal, but far more important was their anger—anger at being patronized by those professed, or who had once professed, to be their helpers. The uprising of the people was so overlooked that even the scientists of democratic behavior, the pollsters, missed it. Hence the surprise victories in both elections of a Republican president and the much-better-than-expected performance of the GOP in congressional races.


Yet there is this difference. The 1980 movement was made in the name of a guiding set of ideas, conservatism, to which its leader, Ronald Reagan, willingly and publicly tethered himself. This public philosophy both enabled and set limits to the movement. It naturally favored and honored thinkers and intellectuals, who in the aftermath of 1980 came to occupy an important place inside the Republican party. A vast conservative intellectual infrastructure was built, consisting of institutes, think tanks, publishing houses, and journals. (Progressives had so successfully done the same earlier in the century that their movement had become virtually one with the entire culture of intellectual thought.) The movement of 2016 has no such coherent philosophy. It is the product, for now, of raw and powerful sentiments and of a set of discrete and inchoate positions that can change by the day. It has been tied to one person, Donald Trump, who eschewed this entire intellectual infrastructure, less really from contempt than from indifference. Practicing politics (or anything else) by reference to a structure of ideas is to him simply another world, a different way of processing reality, of getting things done, and of managing affairs. His is not the art of theoretical thinking, but the art of the deal. Some in the conservative intellectual class have even taken to seeing this approach as a liberating step, freeing conservatism from what they charge has become a form of modern-day scholasticism.


Progressives and their followers in the media delighted in savaging both Reagan and Trump as incompetent, ignorant, well beyond the pale. The more these men were dismissed, the more many rallied to them in defiant solidarity. To this, Donald Trump added, often in plain sight, a shocking incivility and vulgarity. Undisciplined by any ideology, his different positions wandered into extremes and extravagances, which drifted in and out of a fluctuating agenda. In his flamboyance he more than reflected the collapsing standards of contemporary popular culture, where he has been an avatar of the changes. He clearly understood this realm better than any of his rivals.


Trump's unlikely emergence was akin to that of a party crasher. No one in the GOP initially took him seriously, as he defied one conservative piety after another. Some of his rivals chose to coddle rather than confront him, hoping to absorb his growing support once he was disposed of. If there is blame to be assessed for his rise, much of it goes to his major contenders who, each naturally ambitious for himself, refused to subordinate their personal careers to a larger set of conservative principles that they held, roughly, in common. Consciously or not, Trump followed the age-old strategy of divide and conquer, and his rivals played their part to perfection, offering themselves one by one to the slaughter…                                       

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



AMERICA MOVES RIGHT, JEWISH GROUPS MOVE LEFT                                                                    

Richard Baehr                                                                                                        

Israel Hayom, Dec. 4, 2016


On January 20, the Republican Party will control the White House, both houses of Congress, at least 33 governors' offices, and over two-thirds of state legislative bodies, including 25 states where the governor is a Republican and the GOP is the majority party in both branches of the state legislature. The Democrats will have similar control in four states. The other states will have mixed party governance. One would need to go back to the 1920s to find a time of similar dominance by the Republican Party. In but eight years, the Democrats have lost a dozen Senate seats, 66 House seats, near 1,000 state legislative seats, 13 governors' offices, and the presidency.


The president-elect, Donald Trump, won 24-25% of the Jewish vote, according to the national exit polls and a J Street survey. Democrat Hillary Clinton won either 70-71% of the Jewish vote in these same surveys. The margin for the Democratic nominee was the second smallest for any Democratic nominee with Jewish voters since 1988. Only the 2012 Obama vs. Romney race among Jewish voters was closer (69% to 30%).


When the national popular vote total is finally complete (California, supposedly our most technologically advanced state, takes longer than any other state by a matter of weeks to complete its tally), Clinton will have won the popular vote by about 2%, while getting trounced in the Electoral College 306-232 (a 14% margin). Exit polls and final polls before Election Day showed Clinton winning by 4-5%. Given what some analysts are calling "shy Trump voters" who did not want to reveal their support for Trump to pollsters, it is certainly possible that Trump exceeded the percentage of support reflected in the exit poll or J Street survey among Jewish voters. In any case, it is safe to assume that Jewish voters were far more supportive of the Democratic nominee than almost any other group, which occurs in every presidential election.


What is clear since election day is that several major Jewish organizations have chosen to identify with those who seem panicked by the election results, particularly the election of Trump. Charitable organizations rely on contributions, and if two-thirds to three-quarters of Jewish voters went for the Democrat, it is not surprising that many Jewish organizations reflect this partisan split among their members and donors. Nonetheless, there is "a new sheriff coming to town," and typically, most major Jewish organizations look forward to working with the new president on their issues of concern, rather than going to war with him during his presidential transition.


In the past few weeks, the Anti-Defamation League, led by former Obama staffer Jonathan Greenblatt, was one of the first organizations of any kind to aim fire at Trump's naming of Breitbart executive chair Steve Bannon as an in-house adviser. The ADL leader was quick to label him an anti-Semite and a leader of the "alt-right." Most of those scurrilous charges have been walked back after the ADL was hit with pushback by those who have worked with Bannon or for him, and knew him far better than his critics, with several Jews among his leading defenders. But it was clear that the ADL wanted to be early out of the box to show it was not at all concerned with striking a partisan pose, and was part of the team on the left who were committed to making life miserable for Trump, even during the transition period before he took office. Today, the ADL is playing the role of victim, claiming it is under attack from the Right for doing its job.


Accusing Republicans of bigotry is nothing new at this point, and has become part of the standard campaign fare by Democratic candidates and those on the left. A major reason why Hillary Clinton was defeated was the near total emptiness of her campaign in making a case for why she should be president, as opposed to electing her so as not to have Trump in office, due to his temperament, and of course, alleged bigotry. In the weeks since Trump selected Bannon, mainstays of the major media, such as The New York Times and major networks, have given a lot of coverage to a collection of a few hundred white racists meeting at a convention in Atlanta. Clearly, guilt by association was the order of the day — white-power racists equals Bannon equals Trump.


The Bannon selection, which does not require Senate ratification, drew attacks from predictable Jewish groups on the left — J Street, the National Council of Jewish Women, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and Uri L'Tzedek (the Orthodox Jewish social justice movement), among others. But a collection of groups associated with the Conservative movement was similarly harsh in attacking Bannon — the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Cantors Assembly, the Women's League for Conservative Judaism and the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs issued a joint statement of condemnation.


Just days after the Trump victory and the Bannon pick seemed to create a certainty of a dystopian future for many American Jews and their organizations, a Minnesota congressman, Keith Ellison, had his name put forward as a candidate for the next leader of the Democratic National Committee. Remarkably, with the exception of the Zionist Organization of America and a few other politically conservative Jewish groups, most Jewish groups held their fire on Ellison, and seemed to think all was well regarding Ellison and Jews and Ellison and Israel. After all, New York Senator Chuck Schumer immediately endorsed him for the job. That Ellison once had ties to the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, and had called Israel an apartheid state, seemed to be of no great concern. Greenblatt's first comment was that he had contacted the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota on Ellison, and they gave him a clean bill of health. Greenblatt subsequently told The New York Times that he thought Ellison was "an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism" but held a posture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "on which we strongly differ and that concern us."


Now, as other groups have continued digging into Ellison's' unsavory history with regard to Israel, the ADL has reversed course, and now argues that he is disqualified for the job. Greenblatt seemed disturbed that Ellison, in a 2010 speech to a Muslim group, had echoed the Stephen Walt-John Mearsheimer thesis that Israel controlled U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East: "The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people," Ellison said in the recorded speech to his supporters. "A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



DEAR LIBERALS: START PRACTICING THE EMPATHY YOU PREACH                                                         

Michael Goodwin                                                                                                           

New York Post, Nov. 20, 2016


Elections have consequences and an obvious one now is your distress. Your grief over Hillary Clinton’s defeat is understandable, but your rage over Donald Trump’s victory is not. Yet instead of searching for the reasons, you embarrass the city by booing Mike Pence at “Hamilton.” You screech over Trump’s personnel picks and reflexively smear people you don’t know. Too often, your argument is “Shut up.” You are playing with fire by hardening the very polarization you decry. Please stop before you burn down the American house. By all means, mourn Clinton’s loss and the probability that you will never again see her name on a ballot. Her concession speech felt like “goodbye” and someone else will shatter the final glass ceiling.


While I am relieved Clinton will not be president, it is impossible not to feel for her on a personal level. Twice she was denied victory when it seemed inevitable, and there is no joy in imagining her pain. But neither is there any appetite for her politics. Back in February, I wrote that, win or lose the nomination, Bernie Sanders “has already won the future of the Democratic Party.” My only mistake was in underestimating the extent of his victory. With the Clintons out of the way, Dems are making a ferocious socialist turn, led by Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and presumed party boss Rep. Keith Ellison. Excepting Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, Dem leadership is embracing radical policies that make President Obama look like a centrist. With unrestrained ideology, it’s leftward, march.


That way lies more madness and defeat, and Republicans already hold more federal and state power than they’ve held in nearly 100 years. I urge you to open your eyes and hearts to better understand the revolution taking place in the America outside your bubble. That’s not to deny that your rejection of Trump was reasonable. His thin skin is a concern and things he said and did were offensive. His lack of experience presents a steep learning curve at a very dangerous time. But the election is over, so let’s be fully honest: You don’t just reject Trump, you also hold contempt for his supporters. You belittle their concerns and demonize their resistance to your power. Among yourselves, you ask, how can they be so stupid to elect such a stupid man?


I hear such things, and it confuses me. I know you as warm and generous people, full of passion for your families and friends. You love America and share its bounty through charitable good works. And yet, that contempt for certain less fortunate Americans is real. Such hate is anathema to the classical meaning of liberalism, and is often directed at an unknown adversary. So it is here, because most of you don’t actually know Trump supporters. They are everywhere. They are checkout clerks in supermarkets, they fix your car, deliver your packages and maybe watch your kids. Some are doctors and many own small businesses. Too many are unemployed. They are the soldiers who defend you, the farmers who produce your food and the cops you trust. When you call 911, the first responders are probably Trump voters. They are essential to your lives, but you are ignorant about theirs. Except when you need them, you probably don’t notice them. Actually, you don’t really hate them, either. What you hate is the caricature of them the Democratic Party and the national liberal media created, and that you swallowed, hook, line and sinker.


You fell for the oldest trick in the propaganda playbook. Obama, Clinton, Hollywood and their media handmaidens “otherized” tens of millions of hardworking, God-fearing Americans, and you said amen. These hucksters turned anecdotes into universal truths. They found a racist or heard an anti-Muslim comment at a Trump rally and bingo, declared an entire movement bitter clingers, deplorables and irredeemables. You accepted the caricature because it fit the stereotypes reinforced in your closed circle. It has ever been thus for the smart set.


Here’s Time magazine describing the 1932 Democratic convention that nominated FDR: “Like Irish potatoes and more noxious growths were the city delegations — Tammany’s full-blown ward heelers, micks from Brooklyn and Boston, hybrids from Chicago. . . lusty bumpkins from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana and drooping-gone-to-seed specimens from the country roadsides.” Minus the flair, that’s pretty much how the New York Times, MSNBC and this year’s version of Time described Trump supporters. They lied to you. If you must be angry, be angry at them. They are the great deceivers, and they haven’t stopped. You are better people than that. Declare your independence from partisan propaganda and go see for yourselves the truth about America. For its sake, and yours.                     



DONALD TRUMP’S JACKSONIAN REVOLT                                                                                               

Walter Russell Mead

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 11, 2016


The election of Donald Trump was a surprise and an upset, but the movement that he rode to the presidency has deep roots in American history. Mr. Trump’s strongest supporters are the 21st-century heirs of a political tendency that coalesced in the early 1820s around Andrew Jackson.


Old Hickory has been the despair of well-bred and well-educated Americans ever since he defeated the supremely gifted John Quincy Adams in the 1828 presidential election. Jackson’s brand of populism—nationalist, egalitarian, individualistic—remains one of the most powerful forces in American politics. The Republican Party’s extraordinary dominance in this election demonstrates just how costly the Democrats’ scornful rejection of “hillbilly populism” has been. Jacksonian culture can be traced to the 18th-century migration of Scots-Irish settlers to the colonial backwoods and hill country. Some Jacksonians have long been Democrats; some have long been Republicans. They are not a well-organized political force, and their influence on American politics, while profound, is often diffuse.


The folk ideology of Jacksonian America does not line up well with either liberal or conservative dogma. Jacksonians have never been deficit hawks when it comes to government spending on the middle class. In the 19th century, they enthusiastically supported populist land policies culminating in the Homestead Act, which gave out western farm land for free. Today, Jacksonians support middle-class entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, even as they remain suspicious of policies and benefits seen as supporting the poor. They do not, on the whole, approve of free trade. Jacksonians are often libertarian when it comes to everyday life. While many of them support tough drug laws, some are recreational drug users.


Jacksonian farmers participated in the Whiskey Rebellion against federal excise taxes on alcohol in the 18th century, and Jacksonians today still view tax collectors and federal agents with skepticism and hostility. One issue that largely unites Jacksonian opinion is gun control. Jacksonians often view the Second Amendment as the foundation of American liberty, ensuring the rights of a free people against overreaching government.


On race, Jacksonians have been slow to accept change. Their conception of America’s folk community has not historically included African-Americans. While a small fringe of violent racists and “white nationalists” seeks to revive old Jacksonian racist attitudes, Jacksonian America today is much more open to nonwhite and non-Anglo cultures. Now their bitterness is directed primarily against illegal immigration and Islam, which they see as culturally and politically incompatible with their conception of American values. Jacksonians have come a long way from Jim Crow, but they still resent their tax money being spent to help the urban poor, and they overwhelming support both the death penalty and tough police tactics against violent criminals.


As for foreign policy, Jacksonians are motivated by threats. When other countries are not threatening the U.S., Jacksonians prefer a course of “live and let live.” They believe in honoring alliance commitments but are not looking for opportunities for military interventions overseas and do not favor grandiose plans for nation-building and global transformation.  In war, the fiery patriotism of Jacksonians has been America’s secret weapon. After Pearl Harbor, Jacksonian America roused to fight the Nazis and Japan. After 9/11, Jacksonians were eager to do the same in the Middle East, particularly after they were told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. When Iraq turned out not to be such a threat, Jacksonians felt betrayed.  


Many of them voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 out of disillusion with the neoconservative agenda of war and democracy activism. Mr. Trump’s criticisms of the Iraq war and President George W. Bush struck a chord in Jacksonian America. When war does come, Jacksonians believe in victory at any and all costs. Jacksonian opinion has never regretted the atomic attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In a war of self-defense, Jacksonian opinion recognizes no limits on the proper use of force by the U.S.


Social scientists and urban intellectuals have been predicting the death of Jacksonian America since the turn of the 20th century. Urbanization and immigration were the forces that observers like Woodrow Wilson and Walter Lippmann hoped would transform American popular culture into something less antagonistic to the rule of technocratic intellectuals ensconced in a powerful federal bureaucracy. This did not work out as planned…                                                                                          

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



On Topic Links


Donald Trump as Nixon’s Heir: Reihan Salam, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 12, 2016—If you ask Republicans what their party stands for, most will say conservatism. The trouble comes in trying to define what that means.

Can the Democrats Move Right?: Ross Douthat, New York Times, Nov. 30, 2016 —Since Election Day the great intra-Democratic debate over What Went Wrong has been dominated by two visions of how liberalism should be organized, identity politics versus economic solidarity, with writers variously critiquing or defending each tendency, or arguing that they are complements and that any tension can and ought to be resolved.

Before Donald Trump, There Was Menachem Begin: Daniel Gordis, Bloomberg, Nov. 25, 2016—So shocking was the electoral upset that Israeli television created a word for it: mahapakh. Derived from the root that means “revolution” or “turning upside down,” the word was fashioned because Menachem Begin’s 1977 election as prime minister was such a game-changer in Israeli politics that no existing word seemed to suffice.

The Disintegrating Obama Coalition: Jay Cost, Weekly Standard, Nov. 21, 2016—Political coalitions are tricky things to manage in the United States. Ours is a country of more than 320 million people but only two major political parties—so each side's voting bloc tends to be unstable at the margins, where national elections are actually won and lost.







The Left’s Depraved Sideshow: Terry Glavin, National Post, Aug. 10, 2016— It took a cartoon appearing in the World Social Forum program in Montreal this week..

Israel to Expel BDS Activists? Bravo!: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Aug. 11, 2016— The decision by the Interior and Public Security ministers to form a special task force to expel foreigners engaged in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities is a long overdue…

New Jewish Apostates: Edward Alexander & Paul Bogdanor, Algemeiner, Aug. 3, 2016— On August 1, Professor Hasia Diner of NYU and Professor Marjorie Feld of Babson College in Massachusetts took to the pages of Ha’aretz to denounce the world’s only Jewish state for being racist, colonialist, reactionary, aggressive, and – this above all – Jewish…

From a Dacha Wall, a Clue to Raoul Wallenberg’s Cold War Fate: Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, Aug. 6, 2016— The 1945 disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg — a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi gas chambers — ranks among the most enduring mysteries of World War II.


On Topic Links


Who Speaks For America’s Jews?: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, July 21, 2016

Not Just Anti-Semitism: New Boss Seeks to Broaden ADL’s Reach: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Aug. 7, 2016

J Street Jews-The New Uncle Tom.: Diane Weber Bederman, Jews Down Under, Aug. 7, 2016

Elie Wiesel: Conscience of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Aug. 2, 2016





Terry Glavin

National Post, Aug. 10, 2016


It took a cartoon appearing in the World Social Forum program in Montreal this week that could have come straight from the pages of Julius Streicher’s Nazi propaganda tabloid Der Stürmer to provide a fleeting glimpse into just how deeply the rot has spread. It featured a hook-nosed Jew vomiting a caricature of Uncle Sam, who’s disgorging a long-bearded jihadist.


Put to the crude Khomeinist propaganda purpose of attributing the Wahhabi-inspired terrorism afflicting the Middle East at the moment to the United States and Israel — a lunatic conspiracy theory that enjoys generous toleration among Canada’s self-described “anti-imperialist” activists — it should tell you something that the World Social Forum’s animateurs did not notice anything untoward about the cartoon until it became the subject of a public uproar.


That is how far the “anti-globalization” movement has fallen since the World Social Forum’s first annual gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001. Conceived as an altruistic alternative to the neo-liberalism of the World Economic Forum convened annually in Davos, Switzerland, the World Social Forum is now as pleased to draw unambiguously fascist tendencies to its bosom as it is to facilitate note-swapping among vegans who have quarrels with Monsanto’s genetically modified food experiments.


It wasn’t until the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs raised a commotion and Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt took the forum’s organizers to task about it that the cartoon was pulled. Then the federal government pulled its maple leaf logo. The event the cartoon was intended to advertise was struck from the forum’s five-day agenda. A chastened spokesperson for the forum, Carminda Mac Lorin, explained it all away: “We are really open to everyone, and we are definitely happy to welcome everyone who is interested in working for a better world.”


I guess that depends on your definition of “a better world.” There are at least a dozen major forum events that remain devoted to the proposition that in this “better world,” the Jewish state of Israel would not be permitted to exist. Activists will be offered workshops in how to participate in the global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel — the eliminationist movement begun by the Arab League in 1945 to target Palestine’s Jewish population, three years before the state of Israel was even born. The forum will also feature sessions smearing Israel as an apartheid state and will host events to mobilize more “Gaza Boat” spectacles — the project pioneered by a collaboration between the Hamas-affiliated Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief, and the Perdana Global Peace Organization. Perdana is a creation of the former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad, whose anti-Semitic greatest hits include “the Jews rule the world by proxy,” and, “even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”


But that’s just for starters. While we were all being taken in by the elaborate publicity stunt staged in the run-up to the gathering — “Hundreds of Activists Denied Visas to Attend World Social Forum in Montreal” — just one thing that escaped notice was the most prominent conference platforms being offered to the world’s most deranged apologists for the “anti-imperialist” regime of Syrian president and mass murderer, Bashar Assad.


It’s a good thing Concordia University is hosting a forum-affiliated seminar titled, Defeating War: Syria Under Siege, featuring Lebanese author and analyst Gilbert Achcar, chair of the Centre for Palestinian Studies at the University of London. At least Achcar is a genuine socialist. The forum’s main-event stupidities include a workshop delineating the “imperialist and colonialist actors” at large in Syria, which is not meant to shed any light on the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by Russia, Iran’s Quds force, Assad’s barrel bombers and Hezbollah mercenaries — the blood-drenched alliance that accounts for the overwhelming majority of the nearly half-million Syrian civilian deaths over the past five years.


That workshop is being run by the absurdly named Syria-Palestine Solidarty group. Its main speaker is the notorious pro-Assad conspiracy theorist Issa Chaer of the just as absurdly named Syria Solidarity Movement. The event is sponsored by an outfit that at least doesn’t pretend to strive for a peaceful two-state solution resolving the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy: the helpfully named One State Assembly, which is devoted to Israel’s elimination and replacement by a single Palestinian state. Chaer’s Syria Solidarity Movement is running at least two other events at the forum. Populated by the usual detritus of Rabble.ca contributors, Canadian Peace Alliance retreads and Press TV dingbats, the Syria Solidarity Movement is unambiguously and unashamedly pro-Assad. When the World Social Forum’s officials say they are “really open to everyone,” they should be taken at their word.


It didn’t have to be like this, but it’s what you get when you try to build such a big anti-capitalist tent that you welcome anyone, no matter the depths of their Jew-hatred, their insane antipathies toward “the West” or their dirty allegiances to Third World despots. It is an intellectual and moral vacuity that has crippled what the World Social Forum’s founders sincerely hoped would produce some sort of democratic alternative to what they saw as the heartless corporate model of globalization…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                                    




                            ISRAEL TO EXPEL BDS ACTIVISTS? BRAVO!            

                                                            Isi Leibler                                         

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2016


The decision by the Interior and Public Security ministers to form a special task force to expel foreigners engaged in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities is a long overdue but urgent call for remedial action against antisemites and renegade Jews who demonize and delegitimize us. In this context, I applaud the government for, albeit belatedly, taking action to expel or bar entry to foreigners who come into Israel in the guise of tourists in order to promote or assist BDS and provoke West Bank Palestinians against the IDF. There is also is a strong case to prosecute Israelis who engage in such seditious activities. No doubt this will lead to a torrent of hysteria by the delusional left who will claim that this “denial of freedom of expression” is another move by the government towards implementing a “fascist” regime.


This legislation should have been introduced a long while ago and the timing coincides with impending actions by European governments, currently floundering in their efforts to provide security to their citizens under attack from crazed Islamic fundamentalist killers – both imported and homegrown. They will be seeking to impose legislation which will to some extent impose limits to unfettered civil liberties if they compromise security. If they fail to act they will be overwhelmed at the polls by radical right wing parties which have already mushroomed in response to the recent terrorist rampages.


The situation in Israel is infinitely more acute than in any other country. The Jewish state is the only country in the world whose right to exist is constantly challenged by neighboring states motivated by fanatical Islamic antisemitic dictatorships. Israel’s purported peace partner has made it clear that a Palestinian state is merely the first step towards the ultimate goal of eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region. Ironically, even though much of the world refuses to recognize it, the reality is that today most Israelis are ready to separate from the Palestinians if this could be implemented in conjunction with long term security. It is the Palestinians, brainwashed by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, who only see an end of conflict with the destruction of Israel.


In addition, unlike the situation in Europe, Israel is an oasis of relative tranquility in a continent of dictatorships and fanatical Islamic rogue states where the concept of human rights is simply nonexistent. Moreover over the past few years the region has become transformed into the most brutal killing fields in the world where hundreds of thousands have been cruelly massacred and millions displaced from their homes at levels of barbarism reminiscent of the Dark Ages.


It thus particularly galling for Israelis to witness governments and media listing terror attacks throughout the world and yet exclude Israel, the greatest victim. Their sickening justification for these omissions is that terror attacks in Israel differ from those in Europe because they are based on “resistance to occupation.” Never mind the fact that terror in Israel far predates 1967 when Israel repulsed the combined Arab armies which then sought to conquer it. The fact is that Israel has been the canary in the coal mine of terrorism and many Europeans are now likely to try to emulate our techniques and strategies in dealing with their own threats.


The government seems to have only now, belatedly, recognized that a crucial component in the effort of Israel’s enemies to destroy us is the war of ideas — and we are painfully losing this battle. Not to mention the vast sums of money foreign governments surreptitiously pour into NGOs, not for the promotion of human rights but in order to delegitimize the State of Israel. Our government has been nonchalant and intimidated by the delusional left from taking steps to protect itself from internal and external enemies.


There is also a strong case to prosecute Israelis who engage in activities which subvert the state or seek to delegitimize it. When the extreme left-wing media, academics and activists broadcast self-evident lies demonizing their country and besmirching it by falsely accusing the Israel Defense Forces of engaging in war crimes, in the present climate this amounts to subversion. No other country confronting the threats to its existence would tolerate such behavior or enable taxpayers’ funds to be employed towards subsidizing “cultural” activities designed to demonize the nation.


Can one envisage how Churchill would have dealt with such behavior during the Second World War? A British parliamentarian expressing seditious remarks supporting those seeking the destruction of the nation – such as MK Haneen Zoabi has done — would face charges of high treason. Bleeding hearts opposing the exclusion of foreign BDS activists should review US policy during the Cold War which denied entry to any foreigner who had been a member of the communist party. The dangers confronting Israel are infinitely greater than those the US then faced from the Soviet Union. And we should be under no illusions. Since the creation of the state of Israel we have been and continue to live in a state of war. The vast majority of the Israeli public would doubtlessly agree that limited curtailment of civil liberties is highly justified if it inhibits those engaged in demonizing and delegitimizing us or even saves a single Israeli from becoming a terrorist casualty.           




NEW JEWISH APOSTATES                 

Edward Alexander & Paul Bogdanor                                             

Algemeiner, Aug. 3, 2016


On August 1, Professor Hasia Diner of NYU and Professor Marjorie Feld of Babson College in Massachusetts took to the pages of Ha’aretz to denounce the world’s only Jewish state for being racist, colonialist, reactionary, aggressive, and – this above all – Jewish. Vilification of Israel has long been de rigueur in that newspaper. “When it comes to defaming Jews,” says a character in Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock, “the Palestinians are pisherkes [small fry] next to Ha’aretz.” On August 2, the same publication (perhaps as a result of some internal dissent) printed a powerful rebuttal by historian Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis. Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic Monthly declared that he was “getting ready to leave Ha’aretz behind.” Later he added: “when neo-Nazis are e-mailing me links to Ha’aretz op-eds declaring Israel to be evil, I’m going to take a break.”


Both Feld and Diner tell what might be called unconversion tales, from Zionism to Israelophobia, raw hatred of Israel, of its people, and, still more, of Diaspora Jews who recognize that securing Israel is the moral duty of this generation. Feld hints that she was awakened from her Zionist “delusions” by the outpourings of Noam Chomsky, a writer who would be rendered virtually speechless on the subject of Israel if he stopped equating the Jewish nation with Nazi Germany. His loathing of American Jewry was expressed as follows in 1988: “The Jewish community here is deeply totalitarian. They do not want democracy, they do not want freedom.” Beautiful and touching words! Are they also music to the ears of disillusioned history professors?


Diner, more than Feld, has ideas all her own, some of which may surpass Chomsky’s ravings. For example, she contends that “the death of vast numbers of Jewish communities as a result of Zionist activity has impoverished the Jewish people.” Was it “Zionist activity” and not the Third Reich and its collaborators that annihilated European Jewry? Was it “Zionist activity” and not Arab dictatorships that expelled one Jewish population after another from countries they had inhabited for over a thousand years? And was it “Zionist activity” and not the devastation left by communism that prompted more than a million Jews to leave Russia?


Diner complains that “the singular insistence on Israel as a Jewish and Zionist state” forced her to renounce her Zionist views. “Does Jewish constitute a race or ethnicity?,” she asks. “Does a Jewish state mean a racial state?” This from a teacher of Jewish history? Doesn’t she know that Jewish people are found in all races, and that anyone can become Jewish? Did none of Diner’s colleagues at NYU tell her that the “racial state” of Israel is the only country in history to have sought out and brought to its shores tens of thousands of Africans as free and equal citizens? “The Law of Return,” Diner avers, “can no longer look to me as anything other than racism.” Yet other free countries have their own Laws of Return, occasioning no protest from the principled professor. The Armenian constitution, for instance, permits individuals “of Armenian origin” to acquire citizenship through “a simplified procedure.” The Lithuanian constitution proclaims: “Everyone who is ethnically Lithuanian has the right to settle in Lithuania.” The Polish and Ukrainian constitutions have identical provisions…


Since Israel’s people have been under military as well as ideological siege throughout its existence, our professorial duo could hardly avoid the subject of atrocities. They deal with it, alas, just as one might have expected. Diner writes: “I abhor violence, bombings, stabbings, or whatever hurtful means oppressed individuals resort to out of anger and frustration. And yet, I am not surprised when they do so, after so many decades of occupation, with no evidence of progress.” Can these historians really be unaware that terrorism against Jews in the Jewish homeland began decades before the “occupation”? As Paul Berman observed about apologists of their ilk, “Each new act of murder and suicide testified to how oppressive were the Israelis. Palestinian terror, in this view, was the measure of Israeli guilt. The more grotesque the terror, the deeper the guilt…”


Feld and Diner are nothing if not frank. They do not even bother to hide the logical end-point of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Diner not only boycotts everything Israeli, but also many of her co-religionists in the Diaspora. “I feel a sense of repulsion,” she explains, “when I enter a synagogue in front of which the congregation has planted a sign reading, ‘We Stand With Israel.’ I just do not go and avoid many Jewish settings where I know Israel will loom large as an icon of identity.” As genocidal fanatics build nuclear bombs in Iran; as Hezbollah arms itself with over a hundred thousand missiles in Lebanon; as men, women, and children are butchered with knives in Israel; as small children in a Jewish school and shoppers in a kosher deli are massacred in Europe; as synagogues and community institutions are fortified against the never-ending nightmare of Islamist violence throughout the world, the Israel-haters take pride in their own perfidy by shunning their fellow Jews.


“One who separates himself from the [Jewish] community” – by showing indifference when it is in distress – “has no share in the world to come.” So declared Maimonides, the greatest of all Jewish sages, in the twelfth century (Laws of Repentance, iii). But if this verdict seems too remote and old-fashioned for Diner and Feld, let them ponder the following, delivered at the height of the Holocaust: “The history of our times will one day make bitter reading, when it records that some Jews were so morally uncertain that they denied they were obligated to risk their own safety in order to save other Jews who were being done to death abroad” (Ben Halpern, Jewish Frontier, August 1943).






                                      Neil Macfarquhar                             

                                                New York Times, Aug. 6, 2016


The 1945 disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg — a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi gas chambers — ranks among the most enduring mysteries of World War II. Suspicion for the snatching of Wallenberg off the streets near Budapest fell almost immediately on the Soviet Union. To the Soviets occupying Budapest, the ties that Wallenberg had forged with senior Nazis and Americans smelled like espionage, with rescuing Jews an implausible cover story. But his disappearance went unexplained, right through the Gorbachev era of glasnost and the chaos after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


This summer, however, the newly published diaries of the original head of the K.G.B. — found secreted inside the wall of a dacha — have shed fresh light on the case by stating outright for the first time that Wallenberg was executed in a Moscow prison. “I have no doubts that Wallenberg was liquidated in 1947,” wrote Ivan A. Serov, a Soviet military man who ran the K.G.B. from 1954 to 1958. Tantalizing hints that Wallenberg, the scion of a rich, prominent family of Swedish industrialists, was imprisoned in Moscow emerged immediately, then dripped out at long intervals. Alexandra M. Kollontai, the domineering Soviet ambassador to Sweden, initially told Wallenberg’s mother that the diplomat was in custody, but backtracked after the Kremlin announced that it knew nothing of the case.


In the 1950s, Moscow began releasing war prisoners, and some reported meeting a V.I.P. inmate. Some called him mysterious; some knew his name. Sweden started asking pointed questions, and seeking to improve ties, the Kremlin released a report in 1957. It said a newly discovered, partial medical report indicated that Wallenberg, age 34, died of a heart attack in prison in July 1947 — a stock Soviet cover story.


The next halting step toward resolution came with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. The Kremlin agreed to cooperate with a comprehensive Russian-Swedish effort that included archival research and interviews with retired state security employees. But the final report in 2000 reached no definitive conclusion about Wallenberg’s fate, and found that documents had been destroyed or altered to eliminate all traces of him.


In time, Wallenberg’s rescue work became a lasting symbol of the international human rights movement, but the mystery of his fate seemed likely to endure forever — until the Serov diaries came to light. Memoirs from high-ranking Kremlin officials are exceedingly rare, and this one, while hardly definitive, contains several references to previously unknown documents on Wallenberg. They include a report about Wallenberg’s cremation, and another quoting Viktor Abakumov, who preceded Serov as head of state security but was tried and executed in 1954 in the last Stalin purges. Abakumov apparently revealed during his interrogation that the order to “liquidate” Wallenberg had come from Stalin and Vyacheslav M. Molotov, the foreign minister.


The word “killed” has never appeared in any official documents released from the Soviet side, according to Nikita Petrov, a historian with the Memorial organization in Moscow who specializes in the Stalinist era and Serov himself. “They did not use this word,” Mr. Petrov said. “They said it appears he was killed, but we know nothing about this, we don’t have any documents. In Serov’s diary, you can find this word as a fact.” Memoirs lack the weight of official documents, Mr. Petrov noted, but Serov also described reading a Wallenberg file. Previously, the security service denied that any such files existed, according to diplomats, historians and others who have long worked on the case…The Serov book is called “Notes From a Suitcase: Secret Diaries of the First K.G.B. Chairman, Found Over 25 Years After His Death,” and appeared in Russia in June with its own extraordinary tale…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic Links


Who Speaks For America’s Jews?: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, July 21, 2016—Last Friday, Peter Beinart and a few dozen Jewish anti-Zionists had a marvelous time in Hebron. They wore funny blue T-shirts and sang about “tikkun olam” (repairing the world) in two languages. They pretended they were civil rights activists.                                                                

Not Just Anti-Semitism: New Boss Seeks to Broaden ADL’s Reach: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Aug. 7, 2016 —For more than a century, the Anti-Defamation League has been known as a group that combats anti-Semitism. But one year after taking the group’s helm, Jonathan Greenblatt wants it to focus on more than just the Jews.                                                         

J Street Jews-The New Uncle Tom.: Diane Weber Bederman, Jews Down Under, Aug. 7, 2016—I read that J Street received a great deal of money to promote the Iran deal.                                                                                                                    

Elie Wiesel: Conscience of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Aug. 2, 2016—The passing of Professor Elie Wiesel was – and on his shloshim today remains – a personal and profound loss. It is akin to the passing of one of the legendary “Lamed Vavniks,” the 36 righteous people living in the world. Their just lives, at any given moment, redeem humanity.









We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 




How the Holocaust Permanently Redefined Mankind’s Attitude Toward Evil: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Apr. 16, 2015 — The New York Times report on the slaughter of Jews in the Galician city of Lviv was brief but horrifying.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: 70 Years After World War II, Jew-Hatred is Back in Europe: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Fox News, Apr. 15, 2015 — Seventy years after the end of World War II, the first and last documents authored and signed by Adolph Hitler continue to impact on events and the hearts and minds of men.

The Iranian Crisis — American Jews Must Stand and Be Counted: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 14, 2015— The announcement of the Lausanne joint statement concerning the framework of the US deal with Iran highlighted the extent of President Barack Obama’s subterfuge and deception.

Obama and Revolutionary Romance: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Apr. 14, 2015— Lots of questions arise about the muddled foreign policy of the Obama administration.

The “Other” Israel: Charles Bybelezer, CIJR, Apr. 15, 2015 — In some ways, Israel is indeed what many have been conditioned to see: A conflict zone.


On Topic Links


Understanding the Nazis: Ian Brunskill, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 10, 2015

What the West’s Long Struggle With Communism Tells Us About the Battle with Islamic Terrorism: Michael Bliss, National Post, Apr. 14, 2015

Trouble For J Street? Liberal Jews Turn on Obama Over Iran Deal: Moshe Phillips & Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2015

Israel, THE Liberal Country of the Middle East: Paul Gherkin, Jewish Press, Apr . 12, 2015




MANKIND’S ATTITUDE TOWARD EVIL                                 

Jonathan Kay                                                                                                                           

National Post, Apr. 16, 2015


The New York Times report on the slaughter of Jews in the Galician city of Lviv was brief but horrifying. “Eleven hundred Jews were killed during the recent massacre,” the Times declared. “Hundreds of Jews are said to have barricaded themselves in a synagogue, which was set afire. Those who attempted to escape from this refuge were fired upon.”


The dateline was Nov. 29, 1918 — more than three decades before Adolf Hitler began his systematic program of exterminating Europe’s Jews. From 1917 to 1921, amid the aftermath of the First World War and the chaos of the Russian Revolution, uniformed armies and peasant gangs staged hundreds of deadly pogroms. Estimates of the total number of Jews killed range from several tens of thousands to a quarter million. No one really knows the precise number because the slaughter was done in small batches, often spontaneously. That New York Times article quoted above represents one of the very few Western reports on the subject published during this entire period.


For these victims, there were no official apologies, no days of remembrance, no memorials. Few prominent historians or journalists cared much about Jewish suffering. (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was just one of dozens of popular anti-Semitic tracts popularized during this era.) And in any case, mass slaughter was a common feature of just about every conflict during this period. In the Congo Free State, somewhere between five and 10 million Africans (again, no one is really sure of the exact figure) had died under the forced-labour regime implemented by King Leopold II. The Turks had just exterminated as many as 1.5 million Armenians without attracting much in the way of international condemnation. Legions of Assyrians and Greeks also were slaughtered by the Turks during the same period. The death toll was in the hundreds of thousands, yet the entire episode languished in historical obscurity. Set amidst all of this bloodshed, the Jews of Lviv were but a rounding error.


I recite all of these grim precedents now — on Holocaust Remembrance Day — because it helps us appreciate the Shoah not just as an epic tragedy, but also as a crucial turning point in the way our species marks the fact of human evil. For as long as I can remember, Jewish leaders have worried that the world eventually would forget about the Holocaust. Twentieth-century history shows the exact opposite to be true. Whereas the historical details surrounding previous acts of slaughter against Jews and other minorities receded quickly into the mists of time, the Holocaust has remained a permanent, jagged scar on the landscape of Western history, culture and politics.


Visit Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, or any of the dozens of other similarly themed museums around the world, and you come to realize that we know more about the Holocaust than perhaps every other human genocide put together. That’s because the Holocaust was not only the world’s first centrally organized industrial genocide, it also was the first to leave behind a bureaucratic paper trail. It took place in the era of photography, and even of primitive video (for example, footage of the Liepāja killings in Latvia). And so it shocked the world’s conscience in an indelible way that isolated early 20th-century pogroms could not. From the proliferation of digital resources, specialized academic disciplines, Holocaust literature and even a Hollywood genre…our understanding of the Shoah has created the template that now is applied retroactively to virtually every other historical slaughter — from the slave trade, to the Holodomor, to (most recently) the victims of communism.


A century ago, we didn’t even bother counting evil’s victims. Now, we etch their names into stone, and mark days on the calendar when we observe their suffering. That’s progress. But there’s also a horrible flip side to this transformed understanding of human evil: for those disposed to admire Hitler and follow in his footsteps, the lesson of the Holocaust was that the extermination of gigantic swathes of humanity is a scientifically realistic goal. The mass slaughter of Jews that took place a century ago, in the era of horseback pogroms, tended to be a random, village-by-village, piecemeal process — much as it had been in medieval times. Yet just 20 years later, Jews were being exterminated systematically like pigs at a slaughterhouse. This was a gruesome technological upgrade: Hitler fundamentally changed evil’s delivery system…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]  






70 YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR II, JEW-HATRED IS BACK IN EUROPE                                           

Rabbi Abraham Cooper                                                                                                         

Fox News, Apr. 15, 2015


Seventy years after the end of World War II, the first and last documents authored and signed by Adolph Hitler continue to impact on events and the hearts and minds of men. At 4 am, on April 29, 1945, the man who had vowed that his Third Reich would last a thousand years signed his final political will and testament. Later that same day he would marry his longtime girlfriend Eva Braun. The next day they committed suicide rather than be captured by the Soviet army.

Despite the fact that the genocidal monster had succeeded in destroying two out of every three European Jews, including Anne Frank and 1.5 million other Jewish children, in the document Hitler still blamed the Jews for the catastrophic global conflict he had unleashed. And then he added these words about his archenemy — the Jews: “Centuries will pass away, but out of the ruins of our towns and monuments the hatred against those finally responsible whom we have to thank for everything, international Jewry and its helpers, will grow.” The Fuehrer was wrong. It didn’t take centuries but a mere 70 years for history’s oldest hate to ferociously reemerge on the streets of Europe. Respected polls indicate that at least 150 million Europeans harbor anti-Semitic and/or extreme anti-Israel views.

Anne Frank, who perished in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp just before British troops “liberated” the skeletal survivors, penned these words in her diary: “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” But even as millions of tourists stream into Anne’s hiding place in Amsterdam, Dutch Jews who openly display their Jewishness, find themselves under assault… 


This Yom Hashoah, Jews cry not only over past martyrdom but also to mourn the growing number of European Jews killed by Islamist terrorists: A rabbi and 8-year old girl executed on a Jewish school playground; a volunteer guard gunned down at the entrance to a Copenhagen synagogue where a Bat Mitzvah celebration was taking place; four Jewish shoppers slaughtered at a kosher supermarket in Paris; and four people killed outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels. It is true that today’s terror is different. It is not launched by a government but by a transnational, theologically-fueled terrorists. Increasingly however many European Jews are feeling the frigid chill of apathy, the type of which encouraged Hitler in the 1930s and paved the way for the genocide of the 1940s.

This Yom Hashoah community leaders wonder what good is it to have politicians shed a ceremonial tear for dead Jews, when they don’t take steps to protect live ones. On May 8, President Obama and other world leaders will travel to Germany to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Nazi tyranny. Many eloquent words and symbolically rich moments will be beamed around the globe.  But Holocaust survivors and world Jewry would give it all up—for the following words from President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Cameron and President Putin to the Ayatollah Khamenei: “On the 70th anniversary of the end of World Ware II and the Nazi Holocaust, the P5+1 will sign no nuclear deal, will end no sanctions unless and until you publicly end your stated goal of annihilating the Jewish State of Israel.”…                         

[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                                                                                                            



THE IRANIAN CRISIS — AMERICAN JEWS MUST STAND AND BE COUNTED                                                  

Isi Leibler                                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Apr. 14, 2015


The announcement of the Lausanne joint statement concerning the framework of the US deal with Iran highlighted the extent of President Barack Obama’s subterfuge and deception. We also witnessed the blatant contempt of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who rejected key components of the “agreements” and referred to America’s “devilish” objectives while his audience chanted “Death to America.” Yet Obama continued insisting that a genuine framework for a deal had been achieved and dismissed Khamenei’s remarks as merely for “domestic consumption.” He reiterated that Iran would not become a nuclear power “under his watch.”…


The problem is that Obama and his acolytes refuse to face the reality that the Iranian regime is not merely a terrorist state but is controlled by messianic religious fundamentalist fanatics who, during the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, systematically sacrificed 500,000 child soldiers carrying plastic keys to Paradise as they were “martyred.” Mutually assured destruction, which created the deterrence between the Soviets and the West during the Cold War, cannot be applied to leaders capable of launching a suicidal nuclear inferno to destroy Israel, content in the belief that they will be rewarded for their efforts with heavenly paradise.


However, the Iranians will in all likelihood ultimately accept the deal offered because it will relieve economic sanctions, transform them legally into a threshold nuclear state, and, according to Obama himself, provide the legitimacy to become a fullfledged nuclear power after 13 years. As former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “Negotiations…to prevent Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability.”…


Only Congress can prevent the implementation of this shocking act of appeasement with its catastrophic global implications – and there are only a few weeks left to act. Proposed bills requiring congressional approval for the Iran deal and removal of sanctions are currently being debated and may be voted on this week. In this context, the response of American Jews to Obama’s actions could be a crucial factor in determining the outcome.


There is already unprecedented tension evident among Jews who are shocked with their vindictive president’s determination to proceed with policies that amount to an abandonment of Israel. Obama is sensitive to this and has suddenly become excessively solicitous, disingenuously expressing astonishment at those who felt that Israel was not close to his heart, making the cynical observation that a weakened Israel “would be a failure for my presidency.” What an extraordinary statement from a president who, for most of his term of office, has treated Israel worse than rogue states. He also stated “that if anyone messes with Israel, America will be there.” Aside from being meaningless, taking account of Obama’s track record with his allies, this is a pathetic utterance.


Indeed, when in the midst of negotiations, the Iranian leaders reiterated that “the destruction of Israel is nonnegotiable,” Obama merely expressed regret, but refused to allow this to influence his position. These developments have obliged even liberal Zionist Jews to admit the painful reality that their president has turned on Israel. Yet some of Obama’s most fervid supporters are Jews or of Jewish origin. The most benign are schizophrenics who still love Israel but instead of criticizing the administration, vent their spleen on Netanyahu for his “extremism.” The more vicious are the anti-Israel bashers and left-wing organizations such as J Street, which urge Obama to “punish Israel.” Obama’s verbal onslaughts provide grist for the mill of Jews promoting anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and those at the recent J Street conference, where one panel participant was applauded when she questioned the need to retain a Jewish state…

[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.]             




OBAMA AND REVOLUTIONARY ROMANCE                                                                         

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                           

National Review, Apr. 14, 2015


Lots of questions arise about the muddled foreign policy of the Obama administration. Critics suggest that America’s friends have now become enemies, and enemies friends. Others cite incompetence and naïveté rather than deliberate agendas as the cause of American decline, and of growing global chaos from Libya to Ukraine. But, in fact, there is a predictable pattern to Obama’s foreign policy.


The president has an adolescent, romantic view of professed revolutionary societies and anti-Western poseurs — and of his own ability uniquely to reach out and win them over. In the most superficial sense, Obama demonstrates his empathy for supposedly revolutionary figures of the non-Western world through gratuitous, often silly remarks about Christianity and Western colonial excesses, past and present. He apologizes with talk of our “own dark periods” and warns of past U.S. “dictating”; he contextualizes; he ankle-bites the very culture he grew up and thrived in, as if he can unapologetically and without guilt enjoy the West’s largesse only by deriding its history and values.


In lieu of reading or speaking a foreign language, or knowing much about geography (Austrians speak Austrian, the death camps were Polish, the Indian Ocean Maldives are the politically correct name of the Falklands, cities along the U.S. Atlantic Coast are Gulf ports, etc.), Obama adopts, in the manner of a with-it English professor, hokey accentuation to suggest an in-the-know fides anytime he refers to the Taliban, Pakistan, or Teheran. Reminiscent of college naïfs with dorm-room posters of Che Guevara, Obama mythologizes about the underappreciated multicultural “Other” that did everything from fuel the Western Renaissance and Enlightenment to critique Christian excesses during the Inquisition.


In truth, what he delivers is only a smoother and more refined version of Al Sharpton’s incoherent historical riff on “astrology” and “Greek homos.” Obama refuses to concede that Islam can become a catalyst for radical killers and terrorists, and he has a starry-eyed crush on those who strike anti-Western poses and have turned their societies upside down on behalf of the proverbial people. Keep that in mind, and it makes sense that, during the Egyptian turmoil, Obama was intent on ousting the pro-Western kleptocrat Hosni Mubarak and investing in the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the dark anti-democratic history of Mohamed Morsi and the Brothers and their agenda of Islamicizing the most populous country in the Arab world. For Obama, such zealotry is evidence of their legitimacy and the justice of their efforts to overturn the established hierarchies of old Egypt.


Moammar Qaddafi was a monster and a thug. But in fear both of radical Islamists and of the implications for Libya of the Western military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and eager to have Western knowhow rehabilitate his ailing oil and gas industry, he had reached out to the West and ceased his support for international terrorists. But ridding Libya of the cartoonish and geriatric Qaddafi and allowing it to be overrun by stern revolutionary Islamists was again in tune with Obama’s rose-colored view of the Middle East…

[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.]





THE “OTHER” ISRAEL                                                                                                       

Charles Bybelezer         

CIJR, Apr. 15, 2015


In some ways, Israel is indeed what many have been conditioned to see: A conflict zone. Directly to the north is Syria, whose civil war has left more than 200,000 people dead and terrorist groups manning the Golan Heights along Israel’s border. Next door, Lebanon is run by the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, the leader of which has encouraged world Jewry to immigrate en masse to Israel, as the concentration of Jews there would make it easier to dispose of them in one fell-swoop. To the South, Hamas-ruled Gaza continues to pose a major military threat…


While it is easy to criticize Israel from an external perch, the circumstances appear much less black and white from the inside looking out. Quite simply, a plurality of Israelis, like Netanyahu, view reality in stark objectivity, recognizing, in survival mode, that the country is surrounded by implacable enemies. For this reason, Netanyahu is considered by many as the most suitable candidate to defend Israel against its many threats that are otherwise the cause of the rest of the Middle East imploding. Moreover, Israelis have watched the Left’s land-for-peace paradigm literally explode in their faces, given that territories vacated by Israel in the past have all been occupied by terror groups, and are no longer willing to take “bold risks” in the prevailing climate.


But there is another, less-discussed reason the country chose Netanyahu; namely, that he has contributed perhaps more than any other politician in transforming Israel from a stagnant socialist bureaucracy into the “Start-Up Nation” flourishing today. As the Financial Post’s Lawrence Solomon recently wrote, “…under Netanyahu’s influence, starting in the late 1990s with his first term as prime minister, Israel systematically began dismantling the welfare state, tackling both the social safety net and the vested corporate interests.


“[Netanyahu] sold off Israel’s interests in state enterprises, abolished foreign exchange controls and otherwise liberalized the economy, attracting foreign capital and turning Israel into an entrepreneurial marvel.…” Despite the widespread conception that Israel is isolated, Solomon points out that the country’s economic development has, in fact, enabled Jerusalem to forge close ties with superpowers such as China and Russia, emerging economies such as India and Nigeria, and even Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  It is this “other” Israel that much of the mainstream media ignores, leaving that phenomenon unknown to the public at-large…


Overlooked is the development by Israeli companies of so many life-altering technologies, such as drip-irrigation systems which have helped feed millions of people throughout Africa and Asia; the newly-launched ReWalk bionic assistance suit that enables paraplegics to stand upright and even climb stairs; and the “Pillcam,”an ingestible device which identifies diseases by photographing the digestive track. Israeli companies have been instrumental in the development of ground-breaking products such as the USB flash drive, the computer microprocessor, the cell phone, instant messaging, as well as staple applications like Waze, Viber, and Get Taxi.


It is for this reason that I encourage people to attend a one-of-a-kind upcoming conference in Montreal: “Israel's High-Tech Miracle & Canada: Innovation for Humanity.” The April 29 event, organized by the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, will provide individuals—Jewish and, perhaps more importantly, non-Jewish alike—with the opportunity to see this “other” side. A small sample of those taking part includes Prof. Itzhak Ben Israel, chairman of the Israel Space Agency, the Jewish state being one of a handful of countries ever to successfully launch a satellite into orbit. Likewise on hand will be Mr. Haim Rousso, Executive Vice President of Elbit Systems, a company whose technology was used to create the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which has saved thousands of Israeli and, in turn, Palestinian lives.


Also participating is Mr. Barry Fishman, the former CEO of the Canadian branch of Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drug maker in the world and responsible for such revolutionary medications as Copaxone, the best-selling treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. Mr. Pierre Boivin, current President and CEO of Claridge Investments and former chief of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club, will also be speaking. These pioneers will be joined by numerous academics from across the country, who will convene to offer a counterpoise to the growing de-legitimization of Israel on campuses throughout North America; Jerusalem’s Ambassador to Ottawa, Mr. Rafael Barak, will deliver one of the keynote addresses.


Whatever its faults, Israel is so much more than meets the eye; it is, by any objective measure, a technological wonder to which other countries are increasingly turning for life-saving goods and services. Against all odds, the Jewish state has become a living, breathing embodiment of what can be accomplished when a people comes together to create rather than to destroy; it is a tribute to human ingenuity, a beacon of hope in an otherwise desolate region. I encourage everyone to look past the stereotypes and experience the “other” Israel first-hand.


Charles Bybelezer is an I24 Correspondent and a former CIJR Publications Manager

CIJR Wishes all our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!





On Topic


Understanding the Nazis: Ian Brunskill, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 10, 2015 — Few subjects in history can have been as exhaustively researched as the Third Reich.

What the West’s Long Struggle With Communism Tells Us About the Battle with Islamic Terrorism: Michael Bliss, National Post, Apr. 14, 2015 — It won’t surprise you that a historian believes the best way to begin to think about the unknowable future is to consider some of the things we have seen in the past.

Trouble For J Street? Liberal Jews Turn on Obama Over Iran Deal: Moshe Phillips & Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Apr. 12, 2015 —The top political and intellectual leaders of the Israeli left are coming out against President Obama’s capitulation to Iran. This development will impact the political dynamics in Israel, the American Jewish community, and the US-Israel relationship. And it will leave J Street on the fringe, once again.

Israel, THE Liberal Country of the Middle East: Paul Gherkin, Jewish Press, Apr . 12, 2015 — Diversity of population. Israel has a diverse population. The majority, 75%, are Jewish, about 20% Arab Muslims, and the balance of 5% a mix of Christians, Baha’i, Druze and others.



















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Ari Shavit
Haaretz, April 7, 2011


It is not hard to imagine what would have happened had Juliano Mer-Khamis [a well-known Arab-Israeli actor, and peace activist, who was recently shot dead in Jenin] been murdered by Jews. The murder would receive a huge headline in Haaretz. Under the headline, five furious analyses would appear—one of them mine.

The writers would harshly denounce the Jewish murderousness and urge a culture war against Jewish fanaticism. Others would demand not to repeat the mistake made after Baruch Goldstein’s murderous rampage and to evacuate the settlements immediately. Others would demand to look into the goings on in the Hesder yeshivas, which offer Torah studies alongside military service, and the state-run religious education system.

Selected racist quotes would be pulled out of primitive rabbis’ writings, historic comparisons would be made to Emil Gruenzweig’s murder and Yitzhak Rabin’s murder and Martin Luther King’s murder.

Within a day Mer-Khamis would become an icon. On Saturday night thousands would gather holding torches to mourn the peace hero and rise up against the powers of darkness. Mer-Khamis’ murder at the hands of Jews would rebuild the left, reunite it and send it to a new battle against murderous Jewish fascism.

But Juliano Mer-Khamis was not murdered by Jews. So instead of a huge headline he got a story below the fold. Instead of five angry essays, he received only one (beautiful ) eulogy.

Nobody talked about racism, fanaticism and fascism. Nobody spoke of education systems spreading hatred and about primitive clergy. Mer-Khamis did not become an icon and thousands of people did not demonstrate. Mer’s murder raised neither protest nor outrage nor holy rage. The Israeli left, which knows exactly what to do with a murder by Jews, does not know what to do with murder by Palestinians.

The murder of a peace hero by Palestinians has no place on the left’s emotional and ideological map. The murder of a freedom hero by Palestinians is a dogma-undermining, paradigm-subverting event for the left. Mer-Khamis’ murder by Palestinians is a murder doomed for repression.

This is a deep, broad issue that goes beyond just the Israeli left. One of the outstanding characteristics of Western enlightenment in the 21st century is its inability to denounce forces of evil in the Arab-Muslim world. Western enlightenment likes to criticize the West. It especially likes to criticize the West’s allies in the East. But when it runs into evil originating in the East, it falls silent.

It does not know how to deal with it. It is easy to come out against pro-Western Hosni Mubarak, but hard to come out against the Muslim Brotherhood. It is easy to come out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but hard to come out against Bashar Assad. The enlightened West is incapable of fighting Iran’s Ahmadinejad as it fought against…South Africa’s Botha or Serbia’s Milosevic.

The result is a long line of distortions. The blood of the Marmara flotilla fatalities is thicker than the blood of those who were murdered and hung in Iran. The blood of the people killed in Gaza is thicker than the blood of those killed in Damascus and Dara’a.

A post-colonial complex makes Western enlightenment systematically ignore injustices caused by anti-Western forces. Thus it loses the ability to see historic reality as a whole, in all its complexity. It also makes it act unfairly and unjustly. It discriminates between different kinds of evil, different kinds of blood and different kinds of victims.…

It is not yet clear yet who murdered Mer-Khamis. The motive could have been financial, personal, religious or cultural. But it is clear he was not murdered for being an occupier, or an oppressor or a settler. Mer was murdered because he was a free man, who spread freedom in a [Palestinian] society that is not free.

This is the hard truth we must deal with. This is the hard truth we must look at straight in the eye. The Western enlightenment and the Israeli left cannot continue to ignore the dark side of Middle Eastern reality.


Susan L. M. Goldberg
NewsRealBlog, April 6, 2011


Groucho Marx once quipped, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” For hardcore Jewish leftists that statement is more fact than funny, especially when it comes to the Jewishness of Israel.

Leftists are at their most amusing when they are accusing other leftists of not being left-wing enough, especially when it comes to Israel. According to Jewish-Australian-Citizen of the World Mira Adler-Gilles (soon to be certified to teach at a university near you) the “failure of Israeli democracy” (a paradox in and of itself) is the fault of the “academics and intellectuals of the Left” who just aren’t willing to “condemn the ideological structure of the state.”

For Adler-Gilles, the inherent fault of Israel is the state’s Jewish nature. According to her, left-wing Zionists like Peter Beinart, who feel free to criticize the IDF and the Israeli government while still proudly waving the Magen-David and stripes, are doing a disservice to the international community by sending a mixed message. According to the ultra-Left, “Zionist democracy” is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, the problem isn’t with Israel’s politics; it is with Israel’s Jewish identity.

The author argues that the existence of Israel is based in two claims: “A tenuous historical claim dependent on a biblical connection to the land” and the claim of victimization made after the Holocaust. In other words, the Bible is too old to fit into this Ph.D. scholar’s cannon, and as far as the “claim” of being the collective victim of roughly 2,000 years of on-and-off world persecution ending in gas chambers goes, well, Israel’s just using that as an excuse to pick on the Palestinians.

It is as if, to Adler-Gilles, the world is a classroom and the Jews are the bullies. The “defensive” mentality of the Diaspora toward Israel and her critics is evidence of the Zionist inability “to acknowledge itself as an active participant in the world against which it protests.” Naughty, naughty Jews, defending their right to exist in the face of endless threats. The International Community gave you a state; what more do you want? If you want to live in peace, you have to play by our rules. After all, we’re the ones in charge.

The ultra-Left is not against Jews living in peace—as long as they do it like everyone else. Zionism, the ideology of a Jewish State—is the evil plaguing the dialogue. Relying on the usual leftist verbiage, Adler-Gilles has no problem rattling off Zionism’s faults, including, but not limited to: undemocratic, inherently violent, and racist. Keep in mind this is the viewpoint of the wing of political thought that sees no contradiction in LGBTQ rallies for Palestine and has yet to openly criticize the gross maltreatment and abuse, including honor killings, of women in the Muslim world.

“Israel should be, like all other nations, a place in which Jews, like all others are able to live in safety and security, and in which no people are unwelcome.” Now, re-read that sentence without the carefully placed commas and the underlying point becomes overwhelmingly clear: “Israel should be like all other nations.” This is how leftist organizations like J Street can claim to be pro-Israel while doing everything in their power to stab the Jewish State in the back. They have no problem with Israel’s existence, as long as Israel follows the rules. When Israel becomes the exception, they’re out of lock-step with the rest of the world, and that simply cannot be.

For all of her accusations of Zionism’s fear-laden victimhood, Adler-Gilles’s view is through the very lens of fear worn by leftist Jews: If we are too different from the rest of the world, if we are too Jewish, we won’t fit in. That is why Zionism is such a threat to the ultra-Left: Not because it is undemocratic (which it is not), not because it is violent (which it is not), and not because it is racist (which it is not), but because it is Jewish Exceptionalism in the form of a national identity.

And for a politic that views Jewish as the exception, the last thing you want to do as a Jew is be a stand out in the crowd.


Lawrence W. White, MD
American Thinker, April 1, 2011


Incitement of Palestinian Arabs is a major reason for the absence of peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Raising children to hate Israelis, and glorifying the killers of Jews as “martyrs”, has largely prevented any progress on peace between the two sides. Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who blames Israel for the failure of “peace” talks, has done nothing to stop these messages, and indeed is part of the problem.

Following the tragic and brutal murder of the Fogel family, Reps. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Steve Austria (R-Ohio), recognizing the malignant role of incitement is such tragedies, are circulating a letter in the House calling on President Obama to urge PA President Abbas to return to peace negotiations and to end anti-Israel incitement.

The letter reads, in part: “The continued intransigence of the Palestinian leadership is both hurtful to the prospect for a two-state solution and to a final resolution of the conflict that still plagues the Israeli and Palestinian people.… We are sure that you share our disappointment in President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to withdraw from peace talks in October of last year and his stubborn refusal to reengage as a willing partner for peace with Israel.… Unfortunately, we live in a time when the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades will rush to take credit for the horrific, inhuman, and brutal attack in Itamar against the Fogel family, including three of their children, an 11-year-old, 4-year-old, and 3-month-old. This must serve as a wakeup call that the current state of affairs is dangerous and unacceptable.…”

The letter goes on to urge Obama to pressure Abbas to “fully renounce any and all Palestinian incitement against Israel and the Jewish people.… We respectfully request that you do everything possible to urge President Abbas to root out terrorism, return to negotiations without preconditions, earnestly work toward peace with Israel, and slam the door on any effort to deal with final status issues at the United Nations.”

Enter J Street, the three year old left leaning organization claiming to be pro-Israel, but in reality a stalking horse for Obama’s attempt to put inordinate pressure on Israel.… J Street’s major role is to convince American Jews that they are practicing “tough love” in pressuring Israel to take “risks for peace”, risks which almost all Israelis consider to be suicidal. J Street continually labels existing pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC and the ADL as right wing, hoping to capitalize on the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal. And in fact, J Street, heavily funded by anti-Zionists, pro-Palestinian and pro-Iranian groups, has consistently taken positions that are anti-Israel.

With respect to the Rothman-Austria letter, J Street is urging House members to stay away from the letter. It claims that the letter has “significant omissions and misrepresentations of material fact that render this letter beneath reasonable standards of accuracy and objectivity.” J Street’s major objections relate to what they claim the letter leaves out. According to J Street, the letter “Ignores other significant impediments to the peace process.… It ignores Palestinian willingness to make concessions for peace”. It further criticizes the use of the Fogel murders as “misleading”, and it further claims there is no proof that Palestinian terrorists were responsible for the murders.…

In response to the J Street criticism, Rothman spoke about the recent renaming of a town square in Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, for Dalal Mughrabi. The square was named and a plaque dedicated in memory of Mughrabi, who directed the hijacking of two buses that resulted in the murders of 37 Israelis, including 13 children. Members of Abbas’ Fatah faction were on hand. “In my opinion that’s just the latest in dozens of examples over past several years of the PA not taking sufficient action to publicly condemn or prevent the glorification and celebration of the murderers of Israeli men, women, and children,” Rothman said.

In a telephone interview, Rothman pointed out that “The thrust of our letter…is to not only point out how libelous and vile we find the PA’s failures to confront incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis by members of the PA and their sympathizers, but also to condemn the PA’s refusal to come to the negotiating table to work out the terms for a two-state solution,” he said. Regarding J Street’s statement, Rothman added, “Curiously, J Street makes no mention of the PA’s failure to return to the negotiating table. I find that shocking and inexcusable, especially since J Street speaks of a two-state resolution to the conflict.…”

There are several interesting aspects to this episode. Most importantly, it once again puts the lie to the J Street claim that it is pro-Israel. Secondly, such trivialization of the importance of attacking incitement may convince our leadership that American Jews are split on the issue, and so they need not treat is a high priority item in Middle East negotiations. Finally, it is a demonstration of why J Street is failing to influence Congress. To attack Steve Rothman is a dumb political move. Rothman was one of the first Jewish Democrats to endorse Obama during his contested primary against Hillary Clinton, and has been a strong supporter of the Obama administration. He is also a major defender of Israel. For J Street to attack him raises the question as to whether J Street, at this time, has any influence with anyone in Congress who is considered pro-Israel.

J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami, in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refusal to meet with J Street, has complained that Israel “is redefining who is a Jew, redefining who is a citizen and now redefining who is a friend.” Some friend.


Nick Cohen
Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2011


Former US ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan composed an aphorism as he watched dictatorships pile opprobrium on democracies: “The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there.”

Journalists, lawyers, academics and opposition politicians can investigate the injustices of democracies, and because they can investigate, injustice is kept in check. They can’t expose the greater atrocities of dictatorships because there is no freedom to report, and hence those greater crimes pass unnoticed.

I have my doubts about the universal jurisdiction of Moynihan’s Law—America was responsible for many great crimes while he was its good and faithful servant. But his insight explains why Jeremy Bowen is blinking at his cameraman in Tripoli like some startled, uncomprehending mammal who has been shaken by the convulsions around him from a hibernation that has lasted for most of his career. The BBC’s Middle East editor is not the only expert whose expertise now looks spurious. The Arab uprising is annihilating the assumptions of foreign ministries, academia and human-rights groups with true revolutionary élan.

In journalistic language, it is showing they had committed the greatest blunder a reporter can commit: They missed the story. They thought the problems of the Middle East were at root the fault of democratic Israel, or more broadly the democratic West. They did not see, and did not want to see, that while Israelis are certainly the Palestinians’ problem—and vice versa—the problem of the Arab world was the tyranny, cruelty, corruption and inequality Arab dictators enforced.

Put starkly, it sounds as if the charges of double standards and anti-Semitism habitually directed at liberal Westerners are justified. But liberal prejudice—“antiliberal prejudice” is a more accurate description—is a process as well as an ideology. Dictatorial states and movements shepherded liberal opinion into a one-way street by exploiting the logistics of news gathering.…

No news organization in the West could base its main Middle Eastern bureau anywhere other than Israel, for the simple reason that Israel is the only country with a free press and an independent judiciary.… [Journalists] can report from Jerusalem but not from Damascus or Riyadh.

Even if the Ba’athists or Wahhabis let journalists in, they would keep them under constant surveillance. Meanwhile any local invited to go on air to criticize his or her rulers would refuse because he knows he would be running a terrible risk. Moynihan’s Law explains why you never hear a BBC or Sky anchor announce: “We are going live to hear our Saudi Arabian editor in Mecca on the oppression of women there.…”

At some level Westerners ought to have registered that millions of people must bite their tongues in the Middle East. They mistook silence for compliance for a reason the late Fred Halliday, who never shrank from confronting the ugliness of the region, identified when he tried to stop his asinine colleagues at the London School of Economics endorsing the Libyan tyranny.

Naturally, Saif Gaddafi could appear suave and at ease in Western circles after having unlimited amounts of stolen money lavished on his education. But, said Halliday, Westerners must realize that the function of plausible and well-groomed men from Libya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia is to impress foreigners by making “compromises with internal hardliners that serve to lessen external pressure.” Keep executions and police interrogations off YouTube and the prudent tyrant will be delighted by the readiness of Westerners to dismiss informed criticism of his regime as neocon propaganda.

Instead of listening to Halliday, Anthony Giddens flew to meet Gaddafi and uttered the only remark anyone is likely to remember him for. Libya’s future was as a “Norway of North Africa: prosperous, democratic and free.…”

Gaddafi was hardly an exception. From the moment he took power in Syria on the sole ground that he was his father’s son, Bashar Assad has heard politicians insist he is a Ba’athist they can do business with. Only last month, Anna Wintour, a fashion editor who could be a tenured LSE professor, allowed her Vogue staff to simper that Bashar’s wife is “the most magnetic of first ladies.”

For all the Western fawning, the denial of Syrian liberty continued undiminished, but it could only be brought to the world by talking to exiles or explaining the totalitarian nature of the Ba’ath Party—neither of which would have made good television.

Muhammad al-Jahmi, brother of tortured Libyan dissident Fathi al-Jahmi, offered further explanation after Human Rights Watch unctuously declared that Libya was advancing toward liberty under Muammar Gaddafi. Foreigners want access, he said, but the regime makes them wait for months. When Human Rights Watch did gain entry, its emissaries were honored guests visiting an exotic country other journalists and campaigners could not enter. They were grateful, and psychologically dependent on their hosts. Everyone they met reinforced the regime’s message that life was good and getting better. “Somewhere along the way,” Muhammad said, “a fundamental truth gets lost: These dictators don’t change overnight.”

Logistics as much as infantile leftism produced the ideology of Middle Eastern commentary. Israel was the only story in the region journalists could cover daily. Rather than stop pretending to be omniscient and admit their limitations to the viewer, rather than show common human feeling and thinking of the silenced millions, journalists pretended Israel was the region’s only story.

The effect was anti-Semitic because ‘the Jew’ was once again depicted as a supernatural figure with the diabolic power to create suffering on an epic scale. That narrow, prejudiced world of Middle Eastern commentary went up in flames when the Arab revolutionaries threw their first Molotov. Whatever happens next, its loss will be no loss at all.

(Nick Cohen is a columnist for The Observer.)