Sunday, March 31, 2013
The PC Makeover of Passover (re-post from a few years back)
By: Steven Plaut
Monday, April 05, 2004
In recent years, Passover has undergone a make-over in the American Jewish non-Orthodox community, one that has converted it largely into a holiday devoted to celebrating human rights, protesting a long list of human rights abuses and promoting fashionable causes. The remake seems designed to make Passover a cosmopolitan holiday, one with a universal message in which all can join, in essence the Jewish answer to the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution.
Back in the 1960s, a series of Political Correctness Haggadahs were written, in which the message of Passover was turned into a celebration of the civil rights movement in the United States. Arthur Waskow, the guru of the Tikkun-"Renewal" crowd, wrote at the time a Black Liberation Passover Haggadah, celebrating black militants like the Black Panthers, who were themselves coincidentally calling for the annihilation of Jews. Later Political Correctness Haggadahs were devoted to homosexual rights, women's liberation, and assorted other faddish causes, not least of which was Palestinian "liberation." "Multicultural" Passover seders became fashionable in some circles, in which the seder became a mixture of acclamations for human rights and freedom, taken from a wide variety of non-Jewish sources.
As yet another illustration, a few years back, the Passover cause celebre of American Jewish liberals was Tibet, with Tibetan officials invited to Passover seders, and where the leftist Religious Action Center (RAC) of the Reform synagogue movement called on Jews to hold Tibetan-freedom Passover seders in solidarity with Tibet. The RAC is devoted to the proposition that Jewish values are nothing more and nothing less than this year's leftist political fads, including gay "marriage", supporting affirmative action apartheid programs, and opposing all welfare reform. Its head, Rabbi David Saperstein was quoted with approval a few years back by the American Communist Party's weekly newspaper.
In all of these attempts to recast Passover as the celebration of human rights, the Professional Liberals of the American Jewish Establishment (or PLAJEs, for short) seem to be overlooking one little point. And that is that Passover has absolutely nothing to do with human rights and is not at all a celebration of human freedom. Not that there is anything wrong with celebrating human rights, mind you. I would certainly not object to creating such a holiday, and my personal preference would be to hold it on Hiroshima Day, the day in which the A-bomb saved countless human lives and created the conditions under which freedoms could be extended to many millions of oppressed Asians.
For the record, Passover is the celebration of Jewish national liberation. It is one of three such Jewish holidays devoted entirely to celebrating Jewish national liberation, the other two being Hannuka and Purim, and the only one with Torah foundations. It is not the celebration of generic civil rights, nor even the celebration of freedom and dignity for oppressed peoples around the globe. It is the celebration of Jews achieving national self-determination and taking their homeland back by force of arms.
The only role that human rights play in the story of Passover is in showing that, under certain circumstances, human rights may be trampled upon for the greater good - namely, for Jewish national liberation. In order to achieve Jewish national liberation, God ran roughshod over the human rights of the Egyptians. He afflicted them with a series of plagues. He then killed all Egyptian first-born. While Pharaoh no doubt deserved everything he got, the entire Egyptian people were innocent, hardly responsible for Pharaoh's human rights abuses, subjects of collateral damages. They paid the price for Pharaoh's crimes and God saw this as necessary and just. The innocent first-born of all these innocent Egyptian parents, no doubt themselves nearly as badly treated by Pharaoh as the Hebrew slaves, were killed. And while it is not clear in the text, apparently the first-born of the non-Jewish slaves were also innocent victims. And then, even the first-born of the animals in Egypt were killed, a development that would no doubt have driven the animal rights movement to hysterical outrage. What on earth did those poor animals do to deserve such a punishment?
While all of the above involve the Almighty's decision to violate the legitimate human rights of the Egyptian people, human rights abuses in the Passover story are not restricted to the divine. The Jewish slaves, before taking to the road, also take away the wealth and savings of the Egyptian people. While Pharaoh no doubt owed them some back wages, this wealth was in essence being taken from the innocent Ordinary Egyptians, and not necessarily only from the yuppie upper classes.
Incidentally, the poor sons of Haman, the 75 thousand or so Persians who get killed and the others who have their property confiscated by the Jews according to the Scroll of Esther, and all those innocent Greek Seleucid Republican Guards getting knocked off by the Maccabee Green Berets are other examples of human rights going out the window when Jewish national liberation and independence is pursued.
Passover is, of course, hardly a glorification of these human rights abuses. It is simply a celebration of Jewish national liberation EVEN when it was pre-conditioned upon a certain necessary amount of moral tradeoffs and realpolitik. The lesson is clear: When there is no choice, squeamishness over the "human rights" of innocent people is out of place. The human rights of the Egyptians in the story of Exodus count for no more than the human rights of innocent Germans and Japanese getting the hell bombed out of them in World War II, or innocent residents of Baghdad getting bombed by the Coalition forces. Such things are necessary in the real world. Human rights sometimes need to be compromised to protect Jews and achieve Jewish self-determination and other goals.
All of which is of course lost upon all those self-righteous PLAJEs whining about Israel shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at the Arab rioters and the fascist Palestinian hordes. And the lesson that innocent humans sometimes must be abused and have their rights compromised will no doubt serve as a refreshing reminder for all those urchins marching in the current "peace marches" in solidarity with Iran and the Hamas.
The real lesson of Passover is that Jewish national liberation and freedom does not come cheaply. The real world involves difficult choices and moral compromises and tradeoffs. Achieving a higher moral end often involves taking steps that would themselves be abusive or immoral on their own grounds, but are required in order to achieve the greater good. Such tradeoffs are the stuff with which moral posturers and self-righteous practitioners of recreational compassion cannot deal. It does not fit into their simplistic worldview and lazy armchair moralizing.
It is the great tragedy of the American Jewish community, or at least the non-Orthodox majority therein, that it is so overwhelmingly dominated by assimilated Professional Liberals and self-righteous practitioners of recreational liberal compassion, people whose understanding of political tradeoffs and public policy analysis never go any deeper than a good bumper sticker.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Bash-Israel Left. In spite of her reptilian face, making her
something of a Hananosaurus, she speaks a decent English, which is
unusual among the terrorists. And there is a well-entrenched Western
belief that any terrorist who speaks English properly must be a
moderate. After all, surely extremists could never learn to speak
English! Every time a Western media outlet or campus leftist needs to
show Paletsinian moderation, they invariably point to Ashrawi.
Ashrawi herself is about as moderate as Osama bin Laden or Noam
Chomskly. Let us note that Chomsky also speaks English ok.
You can see an earlier expose of Ashrawi here:
Note her track record in Holocaust Denial: 'Ashrawi has long been a
Holocaust denier. In the July 2, 1998 edition of the official
Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, she published an
article calling the Holocaust "a deceitful myth which the Jews have …
exploited to get sympathy."'
Well, now that she has recovered from Dorothy's house landing on
top of her in the cyclone, Ashrawi is back, and this time she is doing
a better job of illustrating Palestinian "moderation" then she ever
did before. She is the perfect demonstration of all of the success of
Oslo and the "peace process."
PLO Official Hanan Ashrawi's NGO Publishes Passover Blood Libel
MARCH 28, 2013 11:17 AM
Hanan Ashrawi. Photo: wiki commons.
MIFTAH, an NGO whose founder PLO Official Hanan Ashrawi is a well
known media personality in the West, and which receives funding from
the UN and the Ford Foundation, published an article to its website
Wednesday that claimed Jews use the blood of Christians for Passover
Anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon spotted this passage in an
article by Nawaf al-Zaru on MIFTAH's Arabic-language site (bold
courtesy of EoZ):
"Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between
"Passover" and "Christian blood" ..?!Or "Passover" and "Jewish blood
rituals..?!Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish
blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews
used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …"
Al-Zaru was responding to this section of U.S. President Barack
Obama's speech to students in Jerusalem last Thursday:
"I also know that I come to Israel on the eve of a sacred holiday –
the celebration of Passover. And that is where I would like to begin
today. Just a few days from now, Jews here in Israel and around the
world will sit with family and friends at the Seder table, and
celebrate with songs, wine and symbolic foods. After enjoying Seders
with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I'm
proud to have brought this tradition into the White House. I did so
because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah, and the
story at the center of Passover that makes this time of year so
"It is a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the
desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God
and the Torah. It is a story about finding freedom in your own land.
For the Jewish people, this story is central to who you have become."
According to Elder of Ziyon, al-Zaru also quotes "a 2007 Haaretz
article on a book by a Bar-Ilan University professor that bizarrely
claimed that a few blood libels could have had a basis in fact,
without noting that the same professor recanted those claims a year
When reached on the phone by The Algemeiner a MIFTAH employee had no
comment on the article. After The Algemeiner emailed the organization
the article was removed from MIFTAH's website. It was never published
to MIFTAH's English-language webpage.
Monday, March 25, 2013
A Silly Yodeling Interlude
popular these days is the version by Susie Bogguss of "I want to be a
cowboy's sweetheart." You should take a listen to it here:
It is actually a remake of an old song from the 30s or 40s by a
cowgirl singer named Patsy Montana. You can read the original lyrics
Well, I thought I would compose my own 2013 version of the tune,
which really is not complete without the yodeling.
So here it is. You might want to include it in the last segment of
your Passover Seder:
I Want to Be a Settler's Sweetheart
I want to be a settler's sweetheart
I want to learn to shoot and to ride
I want to ride o'er the hills and the deserts
Out east of that old Green Line
I want to hear the leftists howlin'
While the sun sinks in the West
I want to be a settler's sweetheart
That's the life I love the best
I want to ride my Jeep goin' at a run
I want to feel the wind in my face
Far off from them Tel Aviv lights
Lots of Samarian space
I want to slap an anarchist's puss
Flipping em birds from Ariel above
I want to shoot my M16, Od'da'le ee hee
Oh that's the life that I love
I want to be a settler's sweetheart
I want to learn to shoot and to ride
I want to ride o'er the hills and the deserts
Out east of that old Green Line
I want to hear the leftists howlin'
While the sun sinks in the West
I want to be a settler's sweetheart
That's the life I love the best
The Illegal Occupation that MUST End! (re-post)
The Illegal Occupation That Must End
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, July 14 2010
Famagusta, Cyprus: The ghost town lies near the very center of the
city, just outside the Venetian walls. It is home only to snakes,
scorpions, and rats of a hundred varieties. Signs on the fences around
the ghost town show armed Turkish soldiers threatening those taking
photographs with arrest or worse. The crumbling buildings inside the
perimeter are frozen in time in 1974, as if in an episode of "The
Nothing has changed since central Famagusta was converted into a ghost
town - called Varosha - by the invaders. It is said that the car
distributorships in the ghost town even today are stocked with vintage
1974 models. For years after the rape of Famagusta, people told of
seeing light bulbs still burning in the windows of the abandoned
buildings. Hollywood studios could clothe whole movie sets with the
1974 fashions still in the closets of the homes.
Three years after the invasion, the scene was described by Swedish
journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson: "The asphalt on the roads has cracked
in the warm sun and along the sidewalks bushes are growing. Today -
September 1977 - the breakfast tables are still set, the laundry still
hanging and the lamps still burning. Varosha is a ghost town."
The Turks currently at the forefront of the assault against Israel for
its "illegal occupation" of its own Jewish homeland, and for
supposedly mistreating Palestinians, are the very same people who
continue the massive crime against humanity in the form of the
Famagusta ghost town. Born in ethnic cleansing, it is the enduring
testimony to the illegal land grab on Cyprus by Turkey, the mass
expulsion of the ethnic Greek Cypriots from the northern 40 percent of
the island, the theft of their property, and an unknown number of
murders of Greek Cypriots by Turkey.
The illegal "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is recognized by not
a single country besides Turkey itself. Since its brutal invasion,
Turkey has moved countless thousands of its citizens/troops onto
northern Cyprus. This is the same Turkey that venomously denounces
Israel when it builds "settlements" in the suburbs of Jerusalem for
Jewish civilians on lands they have purchased legally.
Famagusta was first erected in the 13th century BCE. Phoenicians came
and went, as did the Assyrians and Persians. Greek settlers came to
dominate its population. Some Jews migrated in from their homeland,
producing the wine used in the Jerusalem Temple described in the
Talmud, and later learning to manufacture silk.
The Venetians gave the center of Famagusta its defining character,
with its massive defensive bulwarks, gates and towers. Shakespeare's
mythical Othello served as ruler of Famagusta, and the largest
Venetian fortress in the wall is obligingly called Othello's Tower
In 1571 the Ottoman Turks took control, relinquishing control to Great
Britain in 1878. After an armed campaign by Cypriots, the Brits left
in 1958 and Cyprus became a republic. Things were not well, however,
in the inter-communal relations between Cypriot Greeks and Cypriot
Turks. Atrocities were committed by both sides. After a particularly
horrific set of attacks, and partly in response to attempts by some
radical Greek nationalists on the island to seek amalgamation with
Greece, the Turks invaded the island in the summer of 1974.
Within two days they had taken Famagusta. The Turkish air force bombed
the helpless town. The entire Greek population, fearing massacres at
the hands of the invaders, fled south. Meanwhile, Turkish tanks rolled
onward until Turkey had conquered half the Cyprus capital of Nicosia.
There it erected a wall running through the center of the city.
The apartheid wall of occupation does not attract "solidarity"
protesters or leftist professors from the West. They are too busy
denouncing and attacking Israel for building a security fence around
Jerusalem, a fence to keep the Palestinian suicide bombers from
murdering Jewish children. No Rachel Corries go to Nicosia to defy the
Turkish occupation army. They know they would instantly be jailed in a
typically barbaric Turkish prison.
Countless UN resolutions since 1974 have demanded that Turkey leave
the island and restore stolen property to Greek Cypriots. The same
Turkish government that regularly denounces Israel for daring to
defend its civilians from Arab terrorists and for otherwise
disregarding anti-Israel world opinion has never paid those UN
resolutions any mind.
Turkey insists that Palestinians be granted statehood and
"self-determination" while refusing to allow Turkish Kurds, Armenians,
Assyrians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Azeris and others to exercise any of
it, even in the form of limited language autonomy. While Arabs living
in Israel enjoy levels of freedom a hundred times better than do Turks
living in Turkey, the Turkish government continues to denounce Israel
for its alleged suppression of Arab "human rights." On the very day
that Turkey recently murdered 120 Kurds, it denounced Israel for
committing "war crimes."
Respect for human rights in Turkey is notably absent. The Turkish
military police routinely kill civilians. Journalists have been
assassinated. Islamofascism is growing stronger and local Islamic
fundamentalist terrorists filled the Gaza "peace flotilla" sponsored
by Turkey. Those are the terrorists whose suppression by Israel has
now become the focus of Turkey's demand for an Israeli apology.
When Israel invaded Gaza to put a stop to massive rocket attacks
against its civilians by Hamas terrorists, Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel for "massacring innocent women
and children." He accused Israel of "mass murder" in Gaza, ranting at
length about how Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into an "open-air
But, in fact, the largest ongoing "open air" human-rights violation
and crime against humanity is on display for all to see behind the
barbed wire and fences of the ghost town of Famagusta.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Write Miister Lapid to demand that NO FUNDS BE PAID TURKEY IN REPARATIONS
Netanyahu's cowardly "apology" to Turkey.
Not only did Bibi "apologize" for Israel using force against the
genocidal Islamofascist terrorists who attacked Israeli troops, not
only did he apologize for using armed force to protect the people of
Israel, Netanyahu ALSO agreed to pay reparations to the Turkish
families of terrorists killed in the ship deck fighting when the
flotilla ship was boarded. The terrorists there attacked the IDF
troops who boarded the ship. The Turkish terrorists were killed while
attempting to murder Israeli soldiers. That is the basis for
Netanyahu offering to pay reparations. Maybe Bibi will next offer to
pay the Palestinians compensation for the damages to their Qassam
rockets that they shoot into Israel when these are shot down by
Israel's iron dome anti-missile system?
Bibi's problem is that he needs the Minister of Finance to sign any
checks for any reparations payments to the Turkish families of the
So I wanted to suggest that you drop a line to Yair Lapid, the
still untested new Minister of Finance but an Israeli claiming to be a
proud ZIonist with a sense of Jewish self-respect. Urge him top
REFUSE to make any reparations payments to the families of the
terrorists. While you are at it, suggest he deduct the amount
Netanyahu offered to pay Turkey in reparations from Netanyahu's own
You can email Lapid at
and fax him at
An Apology to the Turkish Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Turkey
Dear Mister Prime Minister:
On behalf of all of the people of Israel, I would like to
apologize to you for the cowardice and fathomless idiocy of the Prime
Minister of Israel. As you know, this weekend Benjamin Netanyahu sent
you an "apology" for Israel having defended itself against the
genocidal terrorists who attacked Israeli soldiers armed only with
paintguns when they boarded the terrorist "flotilla" ship that you
sent out to challenge Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas enclave in
Gaza. Netanyahu spoke only for himself when he apologized to you for
Israel's defending itself and its people, this two generations after
the Holocaust. He does not represent anyone at all in the country
when it comes to this "apology." No one else in the country, except
for some anti-Israel radical leftists with tenure at the universities,
agrees that Israel owes you an apology for defending its people.
Actually, on behalf of all REAL Israelis, I would like to
apologize to you for the fact that ONLY nine terrorists were killed by
Israeli troops on the flotilla ship when Israeli soldiers were
savagely attacked by Turkish and other terrorists. I would like to
apologize for the fact that Israeli did NOT torpedo and sink the
terrorist ships trying to break the blockade and bring in aid to the
Hamas Nazis. I would like to apologize for the fact that Israel has a
Prime Minister who is so clueless, insensitive, and divorced from
Jewish history that he would consider buying a few moments of
diplomat calm with a Moslem aggressor by shaming his entire country
with an "apology" to Turkey, exhibiting one of the most disgraceful
acts by a Jew in all of history, and all this just hours before the
Jewish holiday of national liberation, Passover.
Beyond that, I really do think that Israel owes an apology for
NOT having done much more to draw the world's attention to the illegal
occupation and destruction by Turkey of the jewel of Cyprus, the city
of Famagusta. Israel sat by while Turkey conquered 40% of Cyprus and
transferred tens of thousands of its own people as illegal settlers to
the island. And for that I apologize. And since you have spent so
much time in recent years denouncing Israel as an occupier, I think
Israel owes an apology to the world for not helping to end the illegal
Turkish occupation of the great ancient Greek capital of
Constantinople, now under an illegal Saracen occupation that has
continued for far too long. It is high time that Constantinople be
returned to its true heritage and its legal owners, the Greek people.
It is less than a hundred years since the city, along with Smyrna and
other Greek homelands, was almost liberated by the Greeks, who were
only to be blocked by the Turkish military aggressors, the mass
murderers of the Armenians.
So Mister Prime Minister, as you see, I am afraid that Israelis DO
owe the world quite a few apologies.
On behalf of the non-pusillanimous citizens of Israel, I remain
Most sincerely yours,
Prof. Steven Plaut
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Tow Him, Moti!!
Well, as you know, Obama and his entourage are in town. The
local media are besides themselves in ecstasy, as are the local
leftists. It is strange seeing so many Israelis getting so excited by
the visit of some Kenyan.
In any case, Obama used the opportunity to urge Israelis to seek
peace by appeasing the Islamofascist terrorists. No surprise there.
Obama tried to "speak over the heads" of the Israeli elected officials
by urging a large assembly of Israeli students to demand that Israeli
leaders "take risks" for "peace." We know what he meant by that.
The assembly by the way was CLOSED to students from Ariel University,
which Obama - following the Israeli tenured Left - evidently is
boycotting because it is on the correct side of the 1967 Green Line.
Now the funniest part of the visit so far was that the yanks flew
in a bunch of armored Caddies to carry the entourage from the airport
to Jerusalem and PLO-occupied Ramallah. But one of the cars broke
down along the way (Obama was not in it). Someone called in a local
Israeli towing service. So the press all day has been featuring
photos of Moti's Towing Service and its prime tow truck lifting and
dragging away the stricken welfare Cadillac. See this:
The truck had a large banner painted on its side that reads Moti Is
Well, I would like to take this opportunity to issue my own
special personal appeal to Moti the tow truck guy: Moti, if any
other Obama cars breaks down, especially the one in which Obama is
riding, then please tow the car right away at my expense directly to
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
When Assimilationist Liberal Jews Quote Scripture
by Steven Plaut
When I was a lad, we used to suffer from the frequent visits of
missionaries who often canvassed our neighborhood, presumably because
of the large number of Jewish families whose souls could be saved
Occasionally, I would chat up these people, and at one point, I asked
about the training and preparation they undergo before taking to the
streets to save our doomed souls. The missionary confided to me that
she had learned 15 or 20 selected Biblical quotations in a special
seminar - including many especially chosen because the quotes were
thought to hold persuasive power for Jewish listeners - and she simply
pulled these out during missionary visits.
Possibly some of the missionaries knew their Bible backward and
forward, but the ones with whom I came into contact were apparently
all one-day-crash-course Bible thumpers. (I learned that all I needed
to do to drive these neighborhood missionaries into a state of
confused silence was to produce an alternative Biblical quote not on
their list of 15 or 20, or show them how their quotes of choice had
been wrenched out of their overall context.)
This comes to mind because it is strongly reminiscent of a fad quite
common these days among Jewish assimilated liberals and leftists in
the United States. These people constitute the School of Jewish
Politically-Correct Bible Thumpers. They advocate the PC fads and
programs of the American Left, while coating them with a thin veneer
of supposedly Biblical ethics.
Like the missionaries of my youth, they learn a dozen or so select
Biblical phrases, taken out of context, and argue that the Bible and
traditional Judaism unambiguously require that one accept and support
a left-wing political agenda. I assume that most readers are familiar
with these folks.
Examples of Jewish politically-correct Bible thumping abound. The most
outrageous, of course, are the Cheech-and-Chong ethics and the
political platform of the editors of Tikkun magazine, featuring the
Politics of Meaning psychobabble promoted by "Rabbi" Michael Lerner.
But many mainstream liberal leaders of the Jewish community also
engage in Biblical posturing in order to conscript scripture for
support of liberal fads. Generally, such Bible-based PC preaching
operates through conjuring up the ethics of the Prophets as scriptural
underpinning for the Left's political agenda.
The term "Prophetic Ethics" is used to justify support for everything
from affirmative action to abortion on demand, animal rights to
homosexual marriage, ecological activism to various and sundry
redistributionist social programs.
The Oslo peace accord, it should go without saying, was accorded a
particularly hallowed place in the doxology of the Jewish
politically-correct Bible thumpers.
What is one to make of all this? Let us begin by noting that the
attempt by Jewish leftists to conjure up scriptural support for their
political agenda might be somewhat more persuasive if these same
people were practitioners of traditional Judaism. Orthodox
politically-correct Bible thumping is extremely rare, albeit not
In most cases, politically-correct Bible thumpers are scripturally
motivated only under circumstances that they find convenient, and with
respect to those political causes they happen to find appealing.
Otherwise, they simply ignore everything else in scripture and halacha
(Jewish Law) that does not fit their political agenda.
These folks are generally not Jews whose lifestyles are determined by
Biblical rules regarding, say, diet, Sabbath, sexual relations, etc.
Indeed, when Scripture clearly favors a moral or political position
that is not fashionable, these same PC Bible thumpers suddenly decline
to adapt themselves to Biblical ethics.
At times, they will go through contortions to force their supposed
understanding of these ethics into a PC mold. For example, there is
probably nothing as clear-cut as the Biblical prohibition against
homosexuality, yet the Thumpers insist that gay "marriage" is the
ultimate manifestation of Biblical values.
The very notion of gay rights is completely antithetical to Biblical
morality; the Bible, in fact, explicitly labels sodomy an abomination
and makes it a capital offense. You can agree or disagree with that
opinion, but there is no room for any doubt as to what the Bible's
But that did not stop the PC branch of the Reform and Conservative
movements from deciding that Reform rabbis can ordain gay marriages.
I doubt Reconstructionist "rabbis" would have any problem performing a
marriage between a man and his goat.
Similarly, while the Jewish religious position on abortion is not
identical with the one espoused by the Roman Catholic Church and other
Christian denominations, abortion on demand when a mother's life is
not in danger is hardly a position held by traditional Judaism.
One can accept or reject the scriptural view of homosexuality or
abortion - it's a free country. But if one is representing one's
political agenda as being Biblically-based, why the arbitrarily
The biggest problem with PC appeals to Prophetic Ethics and Jewish
compassion is that there is absolutely no support in Jewish tradition
for feel-good advocacy programs that actually exacerbate real-world
problems. In other words, one cannot conscript Biblical ethics and
morality on behalf of a political cause - even if doing so makes one
feel righteous and moral - until one can at least show credibly that
the cause would indeed resolve or alleviate real-world problems.
The PC Biblical Ethics-poseurs are too lazy to go out and actually
acquire the analytic tools needed for assessing policy proposals.
Learning economics, statistics, cost/benefits accounting, etc.,
requires effort and investment. The PC postureurs prefer to practice
effortless recreational compassion and armchair peacemaking.
Besides, the very first thing one learns in social science and in
policy analysis is that all things have tradeoffs. That is the one
truth with which leftist Biblical Ethics-poseurs and other PC
preachers simply cannot cope. If a policy proposal has both costs and
benefits (and which does not?), there is no way that selective
scriptural quotation and appeals to Prophetic Ethics can resolve the
If a proposal to improve the quality of the environment also produces
higher food prices or higher energy or transportation prices and so
impacts living standards (especially for the poor), what is one to do?
Should the proposal be adopted or rejected in the name of justice and
ethics? Social science has a tool for answering such dilemmas (namely,
cost/benefits evaluation). Those who issue vague and highly
generalized appeals to Biblical ethics do not. They simply want to
make themselves feel righteous without having to exert any real
Similarly, one cannot rationalize any policy in the name of the
Prophetic love of peace unless it can first be shown to produce peace.
The Oslo peace formula cannot be rationalized by an appeal to the
Biblical yearning for peace unless it can be shown analytically to
lead truly to peace. Those who think the Oslo process does not lead to
peace are not only justified - they are obligated - to oppose it,
precisely because of their yearning for peace and their ethical
concerns. Opponents of the Oslo process are no less fond of peace than
its politically correct supporters, just more skeptical or
analytically dissident. (For the sake of argument, I am intentionally
ignoring those sections of scripture that rule out territorial
compromise in the Land of Israel altogether, EVEN for peace.)
In some cases, the PC Bible thumpers take positions in such clear
contradiction to the scriptural ethics they claim to uphold that one
does not know whether to laugh or cry. You would never know from the
"social action" agitprop of the Reform and the Conservatives against
the death penalty that Judaism is unambiguously in FAVOR of it! Not
only is there no Biblical case for animal rights (although the humane
treatment of animals is indeed mandated when they are not being eaten
or turned into shoes), but one of the most clear-cut messages of the
Bible is that human interests always take priority over those of
animals. It's true that the Bible does not explicitly prohibit
vegetarianism, except on Passover, but there is absolutely nothing
therein that mandates it, and much rabbinic commentary is concerned
with the rules of kosher slaughter and diet.
Another example: While there is a clear Biblical basis for charity, it
is equally clear that the emphasis is on individual charitable acts
over which the giver exercises control, choice and personal
responsibility. There is nothing that can be interpreted as mandating
a massive welfare state that deprives individuals of control over
their property; indeed, a good deal of Biblical and rabbinic law
concerns the protection and preservation of private property rights.
The main forms of Biblical mandatory income-redistribution regard
funding Levites and priests.
Finally, it should be abundantly clear to anyone reading the Bible,
even superficially, that Prophetic Ethics are premised upon and
augment - and in many cases are thought to be a means for achieving,
protecting and developing - Jewish national existence and national
self-interest. (Contrast this with the recent fatwa by Tikkun's
Moonbeam Lerner - that the Jubilee laws mean Israel has to give back
its lands to the "Palestinians.") The very same Jewish politically
correct Bible thumpers who argue that Prophetic Ethics mandate the
Left's political agenda are generally the first to distance themselves
from (if not outright denounce) all acts and ideas designed to promote
and protect Jewish national existence and national interests.
The hypocritical pretend-enthusiasm for Prophetic Ethics on the part
of the PC Bible Thumpers is best understood as part of the overall
trend of Jewish assimilation in North America. Liberalism has been the
main avenue of assimilation for North American Jews. In effect,
assimilationist Jews long ago substituted the liberal/Left political
agenda for Judaism as their religion. They are as zealously attached
to this pseudo-religion as most Jews in the past were to authentic
Like all religious beliefs, this devotion to liberalism is by
definition non-rational. Assimilated Jews adhere to this religion of
liberalism even when it is clearly harmful to their own self-
interests, as in the case of the apartheid racial preference policy
euphemistically known as "affirmative action". And the astronomical
intermarriage rates of American non-Orthodox Jews reflect the fact
that, once liberalism has replaced Judaism as the religion of the
Jews, marrying a non-Jewish liberal is simply not looked upon as
marrying outside the faith. Jewish and gentile liberals observe the
Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a royal family of Danes. It uses
Danish images and symbols and takes place, as it were, inside a Danish
castle. But it would be absurd to represent Hamlet as a Danish play.
It is an Elizabethan English play. In the same way, the Jewish
Politically Correct Bible Thumpers use Jewish imagery and symbols in
order to market the political agenda of the Left. But it is absurd to
represent their position as one motivated by and expressing Jewish
traditional ethics and Biblical morality. Theirs is a leftist
ideology, and not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Jewish one.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Anti-Semitic Haggadah Available Now
Passover this you, I suppose one of your options would be to use the
new pro-terror anti-Semitic jihadist Passover Haggadah prepared by the
anti-Israel "Jewish Voices for Peace" cult. You can see the
"Haggadah" in full here:
http://he.scribd.com/doc/87713706/Hagadah-JVP-Final-2012 . The
"Haggadah" is the project of the JVP pseudo-rabbi, one Brant Rosen.
(He runs an anti-Israel blog here:
http://rabbibrant.com/category/jewish-voice-for-peace/ , which links
to some of the most anti-Semitic web sites on the planet). Brant has
a Reconstructionist "ordination" - I think he got it from Rolling
Stone Magazine - and heads some sort of Recon-Deconstructionist ashram
in Evanston, Illinois. Brant is basically a Mikey Lerner on steroids.
I am pretty sure a Hamas flag flies over his "shul."
To give you a sampling from his "Haggadah," the "Ten Plagues"
there all refer to supposed mistreatment of the Palestinians by Israel
(things like "profiteering" - whatever that is, political prisoners
and settlements). The Seder plate includes an Orange – "Symbolizing
building Jewish community where women, queer, and transgender people
are welcomed and recognized as full valued participants." You know,
a fruit that can be squeezed? The text is peppered with citations
from Moslem terrorists and from the Koran. There is at least one open
call for Islamic terrorism, a "poem" entitled "Revenge." The entire
Dayenu, renamed the Nakba Dayenu, is about supposed acts of evil done
by Israel against poor innocent Arabs. There are endorsements for
boycotts and divestments against Israel in the text, and the entire
third cup of wine is a salute to the BDS aggression against Israel.
There is a special section on "pinkwashing," the nonsense term used by
the Fascist Left to refer to people praising Israel for the tolerance
there towards homosexuals. The "Next Year in Jerusalem" theme of
course is an endorsement for the "Palestinian Right of Return." And
of course the real message of Passover is that no one should dream of
attacking Iran or disrupting its plans to nuke the Jews..
If you would like to sit on your digital camera and then send Brant
a cyber-moon, his email address is email@example.com.
The Tikkun crowd is only slightly less wacky than the Evanston
Reconstructionist pagans. Here is a reprint of what sort of Passover
Seder you should be running according to Rabbi Cheech and Rabbi Chong
(Lerner and Waskow), the ADMOR-im of this important school of
This Year Make Your Passover Seder a Multi-Galactic One
Important Passover Message from Mikey Lerner and the Entire Staff of
Tikkun Magazine, the Jewish New Age pro-LSD Magazine:
A few years back, Tikkun's Rabbi Arthur Woodstock issued a call to
make it a multicultural Passover Seder that year: in other words, a
mix of Judaism and PC paganism.
Rabbi Woodstock, above
Well, this year Tikkun magazine has issued a new call for all Jews:
You all should make yours a Multi-Galactic Seder!!!!
Yes, this is the year to invite assorted beings from other planets to
your spacey politically-correct Seder, to prove your devotion to
multi-galactic understanding and stamping out speciesism along with
SUVs. The guests will join in and participate in the many traditional
Tikkunesque Passover traditions.
First, the Seder begins with the washing of the hands, or, in the case
of visitors from Vulcan, the tentacles. Then the guests dine on lamb's
legs made from vegan tofu. The Seder ends with the munching of
traditional holiday Tikkun macaroons, made out of matzos flour and
hashish. Served on recyclable dinner bowls.
Now to help make your Tikkun Passover multi-galactic Seder complete,
"Rabbis" Arthur Woodstock and Michael of Meaning have rewritten the
Passover song "Who knows One?"
Here is how the new version will go:
Who knows One? I know One!
One is the greatest rabbi of all time, the Rebbe Jerry Garcia, Shlita.
Who knows Two? I know Two!
Two is Rabbi Cheech and Rabbi Chong, who seem to write most of the
articles for Tikkun magazine. (Alternative version - Two is Two States
for Two Peoples: the Jordanian "people" and the Palestinian "people.")
Who knows Three? I know Three!
Three is the number of square meters Israel should be left with after
adopting policies advocated by Tikkun.
Who knows Four? I know Four!
Four is the greatest sages of Torah learning of all time, according to
Tikkun: Rabbis John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Who knows Five? I know Five!
Five is the five genders officially proclaimed by Hillary (back when
Lerner was her temporary guru of Meaning) at the International
Wymmyn's Conference in Beijing, fully endorsed by Tikkun.
Who knows Six? I know Six!
Six is the SIX-TIES, my Heavy Tikkun Dude!
Who knows Seven? I know Seven!
Seven is the seven basic nutritional groups required to make you a
happy and healthy progressive, namely: cannabis, marijuana, hashish,
pot, weed, grass, and dope.
Who knows Eight? I know Eight!
Eight is the number of people who really read Tikkun magazine.
Who knows nine? I know nine!
Nine is the number of people on earth who actually regard Mikey Lerner
as a rabbi.
Who knows ten? I know ten!
Ten is the median IQ score for Tikkun readers.
Who knows eleven? I know eleven!
Eleven is the number of the Eleventh Commandment: "Thou Shalt Be Trendy!"
Who knows twelve? I know twelve!
Twelve is the number of times Michael Lerner can say "loving and
caring" in one minute (the fewest number of times, that is).
Who knows thirteen? I know thirteen!
Thirteen is the number of sentences from the entire Bible that Tikkun
editors have actually read.
Michael of Meaning, Rabbi Moonbeam, above
Oh, and you can read the Oslo Dayenu here:
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The Grunis Court
of Asher Grunis as Israel's Chief Justice on its Supreme Court. At
the time it was expected that Grunis would reform the Court by
distancing it from the many years of dominance by leftist
anti-democratic "judicial activists."
The good news is that Grunis has been a far cry better than his
two predecessors on the job, Dorit Beinisch and Aharon Barak. The
late Robert Bork once described Barak as one of the worst Supreme
Court justices in the democratic world.
Grunis is clearly not a leftwing lunatic of the Beinisch-Barak
mold. He has also by and large resisted the temptation to try to
micro-manage defense and foreign policy in Israel. His two
predecessors were of the opinion that the Supreme Court should trump
the elected government of the people and dictate the tiniest
decisions, even very technical decisions, about how the military
should behave. Barak insisted that EVERYTHING in the country was
subject to his judicial review and veto.
Those two predecessors were also of the opinion that unelected
judges should have the power to overturn decisions taken by the
elected representatives of the people in the parliament. Grunis has
not behaved as a similar judicial tyrant. Grunis has made a few
sensible and wise decisions, like his refusal to pander to the Moonbat
Left and the Ivory Cartel, who demanded that Ariel University not be
recognized as a bona fide university. One of his BEST rulings was in
a recent case in which a nuisance suit had been filed by a radical
leftist group, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which was
ordered to pay a 45,000 NIS fine for having submitted the frivolous
court petition against a hospital for supposedly "mistreating the poor
who live in Ashdod." The fine should have been 450,000 NIS, but, as
it was, it was unprecedentedly large and has the Moonbat Left in
Israel now soiling itself.
Grunis has, however, been a serious disappointment. In a long
series of decisions, he has sided with the Left and imposed its
ideology on the country, even when the legal basis for doing so was
completely flimsy and dubious.
Perhaps the worst Grunis ruling to date was the decision to allow
the terrorist Hanin Zoabi to run for the Knesset even after the
Israeli elections commission had banned her from running, even after
her arrest for violently assaulting Israeli soldiers on the Gaza
Flotilla terrorist ship. Winston Churchill did not allow openly
pro-Nazi people to run for the parliament in the middle of World War
II, and in fact JAILED them, but Winnie did not have Grunis to deal
with. Israel is now the only country on the planet whose Supreme
Court insists that terrorists dedicated to the annihilation of the
country must be allowed to sit in the parliament of the country they
do not recognize.
Grunis has also opposed or overturned a series of attempts by the
Zionist majority in Israel to rein in the abuses of the anti-Israel
Left, such as demands for transparency in funding of anti-Israel
leftist NGOs, or a proposal that would allow victims of leftist
initiatives to boycott Israel or Israelis to sue the organizers of
those boycotts for damages. He has also opposed various measures
requiring gestures of loyalty from Israeli Arabs. He defended the
"right" of Zoabi's party to mock the national anthem in the last
election while REFUSING to overturn a series of decisions by the
election board to censor and ban "objectionable" ads and slogans by
In other decisions, Grunis and his Court voted to remove two
Jewish settlements, Migran and Ulpana, in the "occupied territories."
The same Court has NOT ordered the removal of Palestinians squatting
on lands they illegally occupy in the West Bank nor Bedouins illegally
squatting on enormous tracts of the Negev.
Last week Grunis ordered the government to justify and
rationalize its policy of evicting illegal infiltrators from Eritrea
and Sudan. No other court on earth would order any other government
on earth to justify enforcement of restrictions on illegal
infiltration, well - except maybe judges appointed by Obama. Will the
court also demand that the government explain why it is spraying the
locusts who infiltrated the border? What about THEIR rights?
I guess the best thing that one can say about the Grunis Court so
far is that it could be worse and in fact was far worse under Beinisch
and Barak. However, Tzipi Livni is to be the new Minister of Justice
in the new Netanyahu government and can be expected to try to smack
the Court back to its earlier far-leftist orientation under those two
previous Chief "Justices." And Grunis is due to retire in less than
two years. He is likely to be replaced by yet another far-leftist
judicial activist, another Barak clone or groupie.
2. With no connection at all to the previous matter, if you always
wanted to know how to say "Facebook" in Talmudic Aramaic, it is Sifra
Friday, March 15, 2013
The New Israeli Cabinet
last decided to step up and defend mistreated suffering Syrian
civilians. The only itsy bitsy problem is that the ONLY
"mistreatment" of "Syrian civilians" that the UN Human Rights
Commission is concerned with is that of Golan Heights "Syrians" by
Israel. A new UN report condemns the "mistreatment" of "Syrians by
the Israeli "occupiers." The UN considers the Golan Heights, also
known as the Biblical Bashan and Gilad, to be "occupied." Thus the
"Syrians" living there, meaning mainly Druse, are victims of Israeli
Or to put this in different terms, with scores of Syrian civilians
murdered every day by the Asad junta, the only "Syrian" people whose
"mistreatment" the UN cares about the only ones who are NOT
mistreated, the only ones who are NOT suffering or being murdered.
2. Well, the new Israeli cabinet is more or less in place. And we
can now comment upon it.
I think the first important thing to do is emit a large sigh of
relief. It could have been FAR worse. Sure, there are still reasons
for worry and concern, there are some incompetent hacks in the
cabinet, and there are the usual empty silly meaningless cabinet jobs,
where a cabinet minister manages a de facto empty ministry (I call
them Potemkin ministries). In addition, there are other ministries
that should be shut down altogether because they do harm and simply
need to be eliminated. In fact, in a moment I will issue an open
invitation to Naftali Bennett to do just that.
But before that, the Defense Ministry is in the highly competent
hands of Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon. He is one of the better political
leaders in Israel and in fact I would prefer to see him replace
Netanyahu as Prime Minister. Gideon Saar, who was doing a fairly good
job in the last cabinet as Minister of Education and was fairly
aggressive against the tenured Left and other manifestations of
treason in pedagogic institutions, is now Minister of Interior, which
is also an important and powerful post. He is in charge of Israel's
local authorities (township governments), which are notoriously
corrupt. So he has the chance to clean up the muck. We will see if
he delivers. He can also evict the ISM "anarchists" and similar
The Education Ministry will be run by one of the more interesting
figures from Yair Lapid's party, although - like Lapid - he is a large
unknown. Shai Piron is an Orthodox rabbi with liberal and moderate
views, a humanist, and seems to be a decent guy. How he will handle
the Tenured Left remains to be seen.
Lapid will be Finance Minister, generally a thankless job in
Israel, the guy who gets blamed by everyone who thinks they deserve a
larger handout. Lapid is a great unknown, but he has a great
advantage in knowing nothing at all about economics and finance, but
realizing that he knows nothing. Most of the boondoggles in Israel in
economics were committed by politicians who imagined that they
understood something about economics. His predecessor Steinetz was a
professor of philosophy who also knew he knew nothing about economics,
and so did a reasonably good job, maybe B minus level, although might
have done better.
Gilad Ardan is one of the few Likud figures of intelligence and
he will run the Ministry of Communications, in charge of electronic
communications infrastrucure and its pricing. Steinetz has been
demoted to the Ministry of Energy, a largely empty and meaningless
post. Likud's Limor Livnat remains at the Ministry of Culture; she
has been snarling at the subsidiztion programs that prop up
anti-Israel leftist film-makers so she might do some good there.
Bennett will run the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, a word about
Lieberman will remain the Foreign Minister, where he does not
really make policy but has the power to annoy the Left and the
anti-Israel urchins around the world. The semi-literate Amir Peretz
will run the Potemkin Ministry of Tourism, also an empty post where he
can do little mischief. Yael German, who had been a competent and
popular mayor of Herzliya, will run health. The other cabinet
ministers basically have honorary titles and little more than that,
sitting in empty Potemkin ministries.
The one true disaster so far in the cabinet was Netanyahu's turning
the Ministry of Justice over to Tzipi Livni, the head of one of the
two factions left over from Kadima, which misgoverned Israel under
Olmert and Sharon. The Minister of Justice is a powerful role and
participates in selection of judges. The judicial system in Israel is
already a disaster and allowing leftist birdbrained Livni ("Tzipi
Livni" in Hebrew means White Birdie) to select judges is the worst
decision so far by Netanyahu (well, other than his intention of
turning the whole Negev over to the Bedouins). Bibi could have given
her some meaningless post like minister of tourism or minister of the
retired, but folded. Disaster is likely to follow.
Another piece of good news is that none of the religious or
Chareidi parties will be sitting in the cabinet, for the first time
since - well - since ever, as far as I recall. That means the new
government can kick the butts of the Chareidim and slash back the
extortion granted to them, end their wholesale exemptions from
national or military service, and take them off welfare. We will see
if the government delivers.
I have saved Naftali Bennett for last. As you recall, I
supported Bennett before the election and still favor him and his
party. Bennett is not just a principled Zionist, he is also a
free-market-leaning entrepreneur, someone who has spoken out against
"corporate welfare," handouts to corporations, tax exemptions and
I have an open friendly challenge for Bennett. As the new
Minister of Commerce and Industry, the test of your success in the
post should be that when you LEAVE it in four years or whenever the
next election is held, this Ministry should not exist any longer.
Your challenge is to shut it down altogether. The Ministry is an
anti-productive, anti-competitive, dirigiste monstrosity, a
bureaucracy whose motivation is to preserve as many monopolies as
possible, to obstruct imports, and to "plan and control" as much of
the economy as possible in bolshevik Gosplan manner. In addition, the
Ministry has made profits in corporate Israel something that
bureaucrats ladle out, not something that hard work and
entrepreneurial imagination earn. The Ministry is also the main force
for interfering with imports and protecting special interests from
Naftali, prove that I was correct in placing my faith in you.
Prove your commitment to principle and productivity.
After 65 years of interfering with the economy, close down this
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Noa Shaindlinger, an Israeli PhD student at the University of Toronto
(Near and Middle East Civilizations), is one of the most openly
treasonous Israeli Far Leftists. This week she is being discussed in
the media thanks to her publishing a call for celebration when two
Israeli chopper pilots were killed in an accident
The two pilots were superheroes of the Jewish people. Shaindlinger
is superscum. She is a regular writer for this anti-Israel web site
financed by European anti-Semites: http://972mag.com/?s=shaindlinger .
As it turns out, the very same Shaindlinger has long been a regular
stalwart on the "ALEF" chat list that continues to operate under the
auspices of the University of Haifa. The "ALEF" list is a forum for
disseminating anti-Israel and anti-Semitic materials, and its
"members" include jihadniks, Neo-Nazis, and other anti-Semites.
Here are some citations from that list, after which is the contact
information for the President of the University of Haifa. You might
want to send him your comments about all this.
An ALEF Sampling of Noa Shaindlinger:
ALEF List is used as a vehicle to smear an Israeli army officer and
attempt to get him targeted for violent "retaliation" by defaming him
as a murderer - posted on ALEF on 09 December 2012
From: "Noa Shaindlinger" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "1 in our name" <email@example.com>,
[alef] Activists expose the name of the soldier who killed Mustafa Tamimi
According to the IOF, investigation is still ongoing. The name of the
soldier who shot and killed Tamimi in cold blood exactly a year ago
has been kept a secret by the army. A group of Israeli solidarity
activists managed to identify him and launched a social network
campaign calling for accountability.
[link to website naming soldier included in the original message not
re-posted by Isracampus]
This Hatred is Disseminated via the University of Haifa
For Noa Shaindlinger (firstname.lastname@example.org) Israel does not exist any
more, only "Israel" - posted on ALEF on 03 June 2009
Petition: UC Davis summer abroad in "Israel"
This Hatred is Disseminated via theUniversity of Haifa
Noa Shaindlinger (email@example.com) posted this on ALEF on 16 March 2009
Re: [alef] Israeli peace movement
The entire "peace" discourse is misleading. "Peace" is what the
colonizer want - no resistance, pacification of the colonized and
final subjugation. Hence pax romana and pax americana: all is peaceful
at the other end of the gun.The Zionist "peace" movements are part and
parcel of the hegemonic apartheid regime. In fact, the existence of
the "peace" and "humanitarianism" discourses allow for occupation and
suppression to exist and feed into the colonizer's violence ("the most
humane and moral army in the world", "humanitarian ceasefire" and
other gems)."Peace" should never be the ultimate goal - it's
resistance. Resistance to occupation, to expulsions, land seizures.
Resistance to racist state apparatus everywhere, to hegemony and
domination, to muzzling of dissenting voices, to cultural
appropriation, to economic marginalization and to imperial
intervention. Resistance should be the basis of transnational (rather
than international) anticolonial movements, and not naive reiteration
of John Lennon's "give peace a chance". We just can't afford to.
This Hatred is Disseminated via the University of Haifa
Noa Shaindlinger posted this on ALEF on 23 November 2008
Of course the majority of Zionists would be satisfied with the two
state solution as it legitimizes their conquest and depopulation of
Palestine. The majority of Palestinians are forced into submission and
acceptance of that "solution" by their Zionists occupiers, their US
ally and the collaborative Abbas regime. But that so called solution
leaves out the majority of Palestinian - those in the refugee camps,
the diasporas and those living inside the Zionist state as second
class citizens. The one state solution (in which Israel ceases to
exist) isn't something concocted by a "bunch of confused
intellectuals", but is common sense, compliance with international law
and human sense of justice.
This Hatred is Disseminated via the University of Haifa
To tell the president of Haifa University what you think of all this, contact:
President of the University of Haifa
Mr. Amos Shapira
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Lincoln, Take II
March 9, 2013
Lincoln as Bleeding Heart Peacenik?
By Steven Plaut
An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli Left,
along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has
suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln, and is proclaiming him an
honorary member of "Peace Now." Obviously it is thanks to the new
Hollywood movie. Columnists in the Israeli media are claiming that
Israel needs to follow the ethical leadership of Lincoln. Just as
Lincoln freed the slaves, or so their mantra goes, so Israel must
"free" the Palestinians from "occupation."
The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that, if
Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, identification with Lincoln
must clearly lead one to support the political agenda of the Israeli
Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting Palestinian
demands and "resistance."
So what should we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist
Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with American
history would know that the two most important principles represented
by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the ethical
analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, and not a
Peace Now whiner.
Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to order
to prevent the partition or division of his homeland, and he was fully
prepared to use massive military force to achieve this goal. Lincoln
was in favor of peace but not under all conditions or at any price.
Those in Israel proposing such a "two-state solution" are the 21st
Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason," and
throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the Union
war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign
against treason. Those who supported secession or the Confederacy were
engaging in treason, not academic debate. Lincoln did not mollycoddle
traitors in the name of "understanding the Other." He did not insist
that those opposing national interests be allowed to control the
universities and the courts and the media.
Those who are trying to deconstruct Lincoln as the ultimate opponent
of "occupation" will have to explain why his party imposed a severely
harsh occupation on the member states of the Confederacy, one that
continued for years. The analogue to the PLO and Hamas in the occupied
Confederacy was the Ku Klux Klan, and it was suppressed mercilessly in
actions that included Union militias acting as anti-Klan death squads.
There were thousands of arrests of KKK "militants" and "activists,"
and martial law was imposed upon counties with Klan activities. No one
proposed seeking peace by granting the Klan its own country.
Aside from the two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln, which make
him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank,
Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left squirm.
Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had traitors
executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of capital
punishment. Among those executed, William Bruce Mumford was convicted
of treason and hanged in 1862 for tearing down a United States flag.
Some 500 people were executed by hanging or by firing squad during the
War, some for desertion. At least one of those hanged was a woman,
Mary Surratt (executed for her role in the assassination of Lincoln).
Lincoln had no patience for terrorists, known in the Civil War as
"bushwhackers," and ordered them to be executed by firing squad.
"Bridge burners" were given the same treatment. He believed there was
ONLY a military solution to the problems of terrorism.
Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and suppressed treasonous
journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would handle the pro-Hamas
radical Left in Israel? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln
conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking
the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and
treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference. Lincoln
also sponsored the Homestead Act of 1862, perhaps the greatest
settlements construction effort in history.
Perhaps most notably, Lincoln imposed an uncompromising blockade upon
the entire Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who insist
that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of humane
morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will have a
an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by their
new-found moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. It was a policy proudly
described by Lincoln as "starving the South." Food and civilian
commodities were prevented from passing through the blockade. Guess
how Lincoln would have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners?
Honest Abe used exactly the same blockade tactic against the
Confederacy over which the Israeli Left is now sobbing its eyes out!
And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!
Friday, March 08, 2013
The "Klan Attack" on Oberlin
The So-Called 'Klan' Infiltration of Oberlin College
Posted By Steven Plaut On March 8, 2013
The news media have been buzzing for several days about the supposed
appearance on the campus of Oberlin College in Ohio of a person
dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Supposedly this was just the latest
twist in an upsurge of "hate speech" on the ultra-liberal campus,
manifested in graffiti and other expressions.
Oberlin College is an elite liberal arts college that is so far Left
that it is in the same league as Bard and Amherst. In the 19th
century the town of Oberlin was an end station for the underground
railway smuggling slaves to the north, and the college likes to
pretend it is still part of some grand political action movement. A
sculpture celebrating the town's role in freeing slaves is still an
Leftwing agitprop is common in many of the college's departments. I
know. Years back I was on the faculty of Oberlin. A while later I
was on the faculty at Berkeley, and can make comparisons. At Berkeley
the townies are leftist nuts but the students are mainly hard -working
conservative Asians and the faculty are surprisingly conservative,
with exceptions in the usual departments of dingbatocracy. At
Oberlin, in contrast, almost all of the students and faculty make
Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky look like Republicans. I was one of
only two faculty members there who voted for Reagan. The other was a
rightwing professor of German history. We got along famously and
loved mocking the hardcore members of the Communist Party who had
offices down the corridor from us. The other faculty members just
passed us clicking their tongues in pity.
For decades Oberlin has hosted the annual conventions of the
Trotskyite "Socialist Workers Party." In spite of the name "Socialist
Workers" you should not presume that members of this party have jobs.
In any case, whenever they are in town, the college turns over
"security" on the campus to the Trots. When I was teaching there, the
SWP's NKVD squad tried to prevent me from entering my office building.
When I complained to the administration, I was told that the Trots
were granted control of campus security because they had legitimate
fears of FBI infiltration, and so had the right to prevent me from
entering my office. In other words, the SWP did not have to wait for
the Revolution to create a police state, since Oberlin was already
letting them do it there. SWP party missionaries would roam the
campus and stop students to convert them to Trotskyism. "What is a
Trotskyite?" one student asked, and the cadre responded, "Well you
have heard of Stalinism, right? and if you are not a Stalinist then
you must be a Trotskyite." An Oberlin student that year asked me what
the difference was between a Trotskyite and a Trotskyist. I replied
that it was roughly the same as the difference between cow manure and
News of the "Klan assault" against Oberlin spread immediately to the
international news media. In the aftermath of the "assault," all
classes were shut down for a day by the Oberlin administration, so
that students could attend a 60s-style "teach-in" about the horrors of
bigotry and learn to be sensitive. The local police were also called
onto the campus to investigate "hate speech." The college president,
Marvin Krislov, issued an official apology on behalf of the college to
"students who felt threatened." The college claims a series of "hate
crimes" has taken place on campus, many involving graffiti and one
involving a student getting mugged near the campus. But the trigger
for the campus shutdown was a dubious "report" that someone was seen
on campus near the "Afrikan Heritage House" dressed in Ku Klux Klan
There were a number of problems with this Klan report, even assuming
the "perp" was not someone simply protesting the misspelling of the
word African. Slate and others claim the "person in Klan robes" was
merely a woman who stepped out into the cold wrapped in a blanket.
Even if it was someone wearing a Klan robe, why assume it was anything
other than some sort of frat prank? Why turn it into an
international headline revealing the underlying racism in Obama's
Amerika? (Yes, that is how lots of Oberlin people spell America.)
Not surprising for a college consisting of people still living in the
1960s, Israel bashing is more common than sleet at Oberlin. There is
a boisterous group of "Students for a Free Palestine" (founded three
decades back) and "Students for Justice for Palestine," groups that
make little effort to hide their support for Hamas, Palestinian
terrorism, and atrocities against Jews. Oberlin has hosted more than
its fair share of "Israel Apartheid Week" events, in which students
call for the annihilation of the only country in the Middle East that
is NOT an apartheid regime. Back when I was on its faculty a
"Palestinian Human Rights Watch" organization operated on campus. It
was promoting boycotts and divestment from Israel, which it claimed
resembled apartheid South Africa.
The most noteworthy aspect of the "Klan assault" story involving
Oberlin is the hypocrisy regarding anti-Jewish campus hate speech.
The same administration so upset by a fictional Klan robe has nothing
at all to say about campus events openly endorsing murderous attacks
against Israeli Jews or celebrating genocidal Palestinian movements.
Oberlin had a long romance with Edward Said, hosting him on numerous
occasions for events that triggered Bash-the-Jews rhetoric and even
granting him a special award of honor in 1996. The college has its
own chapter of the anti-Israel "J Street." Oberlin president Krislov,
who is Jewish and was once a member of a Zionist youth movement, has
done nothing about these anti-Semitic campus events thinly disguised
as support for Palestinians.
The same Anti-Defamation League liberals who congratulated Oberlin
College for taking decisive steps against the imaginary Klansman on
campus have never had a word to say about the malicious anti-Semitic
defamations by the "Students for Justice for Palestine," the "Israel
Apartheid Week" hoodlums, and the other groups that bash Jews on
campus. Neither do the other liberal postureurs against racism and
The one question no one is asking regarding the "Klan incident" is
this: Suppose someone really HAD strolled about the Oberlin
snowdrifts in Klan uniform. Why is THAT not protected speech? Why is
that a crime? And before answering that, it behooves us to recall
that dressing up as Hamas terrorists and smearing Jews in campus
"street theater" is not only considered protected speech on most
Western campuses these days, but "Let's Destroy Israel" conferences
and rallies are held openly every week.
The make-pretend free speech absolutists insist that nothing at all
should be allowed to interfere with the right of students to call for
annihilation of Israel and mass murder of its population. But a snide
comment about blacks or homosexuals is considered "hate speech," and
it justifies calling in the police and shutting down the entire campus
while the perps of "hate speech" are hunted down. Speech codes
proliferate, which make it an expellable offense to say "I disapprove
of homosexuality." Denouncing Israel as an "apartheid" regime that
must be obliterated, celebrating suicide bombings against Israelis, or
denouncing Jews as racists is all just nice clean academic discourse.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Flash: Negev being Ravaged by Plague of Destructive Pests
pests and repulsive insects causing widespread devastation.
I am of course referring to the anti-Israel tenured Leftists at
Ben Gurion University.
In a completely unrelated story:
Israel battles swarm of locusts from Egypt
Israel sprays pesticides from air and land in effort to kill swarm
that covered nearly 2,000 acres overnight
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Lincoln as Jewish Settler
By Steven Plaut
An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli
Left, along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has
suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln. Obviously it is thanks to the
new Hollywood movie. Leftists do not read books; they form their
moral evaluations mainly based on fashionable movies, like the
abominations that Israel sent to the Oscar ceremonies this year or
like the movies produced by Michael Moore.
The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that,
if Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, clearly identification
with Lincoln must lead one to support the political agenda of the
Israeli Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting
Palestinian demands and aggression against Jews. And of course the
"social justice" economic and social bolshevism of the Left.
Take the column by Bradley Burston, the English-language columnist
for Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, from a few
days ago. You can read it here:
The title pretty much tells you what you need to know:
'As Lincoln abolished slavery, Israel must abolish occupation."
Bradley opines: 'I realize now that I am an abolitionist and that
occupation is slavery. I also realize that I need to pay more
attention to Abraham Lincoln, in his ability to remind us all of the
wisdom hidden in the obvious.' If you have a strong stomach, read
the whole article.
Then today (March 5) we have a column in Haaretz by one Ithamar
Handelman Smith, who claims to be a writer and journalist, one who is
so anti-Israel that the Likud government is likely to grant him a
governmental subsidy to make some Bash-Israel flicks. His column is
It is titled ' What do you know of Lincoln, Ms. Livnat? He opines:
'The culture minister couldn't see the parallels between the Academy
Award-winning story she loved (Lincoln -- SP) and the stories behind
the Israeli documentaries she shunned.'
You will like this excerpt from Smith: 'Israel is a democracy to
be proud of? Maybe, if you're extremist-right-wing-Jewish settlers.
But everyone else Arabs, Haredim, African refugees, leftists live here
under one of the least democratic regimes in the Western world. And
no, a democracy doesn't get defensive about movies like "The
Gatekeepers" and "5 Broken Cameras." A democracy learns from films
like these about what's wrong with it and what can be fixed.'
Not of course from any books!
SO what do we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist Pro-Palestinian
social democrat" campaign by Israel's Left and by Haaretz?
Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with
American history would know that the two most important principles
represented by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the
ethical analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank.
Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to
order to prevent the division of his homeland, and he was fully
prepared to use massive military force to achieve that goal. This
makes him the moral brother of every Jew in the world who is OPPOSED
to partition of the Land of Israel and carving out from it any
Palestinian state. Those proposing such a "two-state solution" are
the 21st century's copperheads.
Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason,"
and throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the
Union war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign
against treason. Those who supported succession or the Confederacy
were consistently described by Lincoln as "traitors." Those who
opposed the Union's national interests were engaging in treason, not
academic freedom. Lincoln did not mollycoddle traitors in the name of
"understanding the Other." He did not insist that those opposing
national interests be allowed to control the universities and the
courts and the media. Lincoln's war against treason did not make him
a 19th century Haaretz columnist but rather the moral ally of all
those who despise Haaretz and who oppose the anti-Israel Left in
Aside from those two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln,
which make him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the
West Bank, Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left
squirm. Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had
traitors executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of
capital punishment. Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and
suppressed treasonous journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would
handle Haaretz? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln
conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking
the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and
treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference.
Perhaps most notably, Lincoln also imposed an uncompromising
blockade upon the Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who
insist that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of
humane morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will
have an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by the
world's moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. Guess how Lincoln would
have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners. Honest Abe used
exactly the same tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli
bedwetting Left is now sobbing its eyes out! And frankly my dear I
don't give a damn!