Tag Archives: Zionism

You’ll never get forward motion if you’re always playing defense.

Nic518597 I don’t know how well I’ve emphasized it here, but there has for a long time been a disproportionate amount of attention given in major media and public venues to those who want to see Israel exterminated, whereas those who believe otherwise are consistently shouted down and shoved out of the debate.

If this is news to you coming from me, then I haven’t done a good job of stating my purpose in this blog. Maybe I need to rewrite my About page.

More vitally, it is uncomfortably clear that Israel and Israel’s supporters have not done a good job of presenting Israel’s case to the world. The Jewish people gave our society its moral and religious foundation, but those who hate them are blatantly trying to rewrite history – and the awful thing is, they’re getting away with it.

This blog, and thankfully many others, and more significantly a good number of ‘ball carriers’ or name-brand commentators (several of whom you will find among my links to the right) are fighting the good fight, neither giving up nor slacking off. But then so often it seems like our voices are being drowned out by the sheer volume of noise coming from the abyss.

So it was very encouraging this week to see that two major Israeli leaders—Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and  Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon—published strongly worded statements in major media, Ayalon in the L.A. Times and Ya’alon in Foreign Policy Magazine.

Well at least I found it encouraging, but when I shared the articles with a colleague, she said they were “too scholarly;” that they needed to have more of a punch to them. I asked if my blog was also “too scholarly,” and she answered yes, so I suppose I’m in good company. But that doesn’t deal with the problem.

Then over the next few days I noticed that some answers are beginning to come, starting with an awareness and acknowledgment of the problem. Rather coincidentally, it was on the Unity Coalition for Israel news and commentary site that I saw three essays in quick succession narrowing in on the target.

First, Prof. Phyllis Chesler wrote an article (which I briefly noted in my last post) that  did a lot better job than I’d seen up till now of calling the problem a problem, and demanding an answer in no uncertain terms. She’s ready and willing to fight, and has fought seemingly alone for a long time, but this is not a one man or one woman war.

Melanie_Phillips_Rs Then a piece by Melanie Phillips wrapped up a detailed but blunt message with a twelve point plan for taking the baddies to the mat:

Time to stop the hand-wringing. Time to stop fretting over how much better it is to play along with the narrative of Israel’s enemies in clear English rather than a thick Israeli accent – almost totally irrelevant.

Both Israel and diaspora Jews have to stop playing defence and go onto the offence.

  1. We should be demanding of the world why it expects Israel alone to make compromises with people who have tried for nine decades to wipe out the Jewish presence in the land and are still firing rockets at it.
  2. We should be demanding why America, Britain and the EU single Israel out for pressure which they apply to no other victims of genocidal aggression. For in any other such conflict, their cause of the aggressors would be deemed totally forfeit by their behaviour.
  3. We should be asking so-called ‘progressives’ – including Jewish ‘progressives’ — why they support the racist ethnic cleansing of every Jew from a future state of Palestine.
  4. We should be asking ‘progressives’ why they are not marching against Hamas on account of its tyrannical oppression of Palestinians in Gaza.
  5. Why they are not mounting a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority on account of his Holocaust denial and the PA’s continued incitement of Arab children to Jew-hatred, murder and genocide.
  6. Why they are ignoring Arab and Muslim persecution of women and homosexuals.
  7. And we should be telling the Jews ‘own story of refugees and ethnic cleansing – the 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands after 1948, and who now make up more than half of Israel’s population. Why isn’t Israel bringing this to the world’s attention? In Britain virtually no-one knows about it. At a stroke it takes the ground from under feet of those demanding ‘right of return’ for Arabs.
  8. We will never convince bigots that facts are as they are, or that the evidence of history tells a different story from the one they believe.
  9. We cannot fight prejudice with reason. But we have a duty to bear witness to the truth. And we have a duty to fight in our defence.
  10. We can best do this by getting off our back foot and putting western fifth columnists on theirs.
  11. We should accuse them, not of Jew-hating motives we cannot prove but of absurdities and contradictions and untruths they cannot deny.
  12. We should ridicule them, humiliate them, destroy their reputations; boycott them, not invite them to our houses, show them our disapproval and contempt. Treat them as pariahs.

Turn their own weapons against them.

anti-US slogansIn short, we must get up off our collective knees and fight. Justice, human rights and truth are on our side, not theirs. We must reclaim them as our own.

And now also Charles Jacobs puts his finger on an unsettling aspect that he sees in Jewish behavior: a tendency to go immediately on the defense as soon as an accusation is made. Speaking of the way this problem shows up in the universities where so much anti-Semitic invective is thrown up, Jacobs writes:

Instead of explaining to our students the dynamic of “accusation” that has been used to hobble Jews from time immemorial, we teach them to sit in the dock. Instead of exploring with them just how Israel is under a massive ideological assault which masquerades as legitimate criticism, we teach them to keep the focus of discourse Jewish conduct, Israeli behavior, which is exactly what our adversaries want. Instead of turning our fingers back on the tyrannical Arab/Muslim world whose criticism of Israel defines chutzpah, we answer their charges. Instead of exposing the hypocritical Western liberal elites — the “human rights” establishment, the media, and the professoriate – who have abandoned for reasons of political correctness whole classes of people in the worst of circumstances: women, gays, apostates, Christians, democrats in the Islamic realm – we accept playing the role of defendant. In other words, instead of making the subject of this entire discussion the actual world tyrannies and the execrable Western hypocrites who aim to destroy us, we are bitten by the “accusation” virus, and we simply lose our minds.

I will add that it’s not just Jewish nature; it’s human nature, or at least it is in the neighborhood where I live. But whether or not Jews are any better at it, we’re beginning to see that it’s not the answer, and especially not in this situation. The enemies we’re up against are sophisticated; they’ve been on to this pattern for a long time, and they’ve become very good at it. It is antithetical to honest people or people of integrity to even consider acting this way, but we’re not dealing here with honest people or people of integrity. The enemies of Israel do not work on that level. I’m not saying that we should lower ourselves to their level, but we do at least need to recognize what they’re doing and refuse to any longer dance to their tune.

As with just about anything, it’s easier said than done, but it won’t ever get done if it never gets said.

Just sayin’…

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They’d like us to think it’s all black & white.

The Route 443 controversy was back in the news again today. What Route 443 controversy? Ok, this one is not as widely known as some other situations, but the gist of it is that Israel has been able to reduce the number of terror attacks on its citizens by restricting traffic on some roads in such a way as to lessen the number of terrorists traveling on those roads. The Israeli courts said a while back, ‘no can do’ with regard to Route 443, since that amounts to discrimination. Discrimination against terrorists, or even against the demographic group from which most or all terrorists come – no, we can’t have that.

But I’m actually not trying to write about Route 443 today. It just came up as an example of the way Israel’s enemies try to portray security issues as civil rights matters.  Since most thinking people will see through that ruse rather quickly, the enemy camp has taken to further obfuscation by liberal use of the term “apartheid,” mostly associated with a book written by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. It’s gets downright goofy really fast if you try to pursue that line of thought. First you have to assert a strong similarity between Israeli society and the culture in South Africa under the former English-Dutch regime, then, if you think you’ve accomplished that, you have to start referring to the Israelis as “whites,” so you can cry about “whites only” restrictions, so that you can then call the Palestinians “blacks” – no, wait, that won’t work. So they stop there (no need to follow logic, let alone make sense). And they just cry “whites only” this, “apartheid regime,” “whites only” that, not because it makes any sense, but just for the wonderful imagery it conjures.

So here are some images of “whites” and, uh, “non-whites” (since we can’t actually use the terms appropriate to the South African comparison):






settler cries in synagogue Tapuach







I think you get the picture.

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It all depends on your definition of “bully…”

I’VE BEEN AWAY for a while, and I have to get back to what I was doing, so I’ll try to keep this short.

I suppose a good many of us did a double take (which is a nice way of saying ‘spit our coffee all over the monitor’) today when we saw that Syria just wants Israel to “stop being the neighborhood bully.” 

Uh, do you want to run that one by me again? Syria, with three times the population of Israel, allied with several other similar sized nations which surround Israel, having committed themselves several decades ago to wiping Israel off the map, just wants Israel to stop picking on them?

You can rest assured that Israel would like nothing better than that, if such were the case. But to say that is the case is to deny history. Oh, excuse me, I almost forgot – denying history is what the Arab nations are so good at.

So – I said I’d keep this brief, so I’ll leave out 1956, two intifadas, tens of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians including children, and so on – let’s take a quick walk down neighborhood bully lane:

Etzion_Tal_Prisoners 1948: Israel, scrawny new kid on the block, wrong color skin and everything. Squashing him like a bug and getting back to fighting amongst themselves should have been no problem for Syria and friends. That’s what they said, anyway. The Arab governments even told their own people to get out of the way so they wouldn’t get hurt in the process. (Which, one might note, is precisely the source of the current “refugee problem,” but that’s another matter.) So Syria & bully buddies roll up their sleeves, start throwing punches – and lose.

Resize_Soldiers_Western_Wall_1967 Ok, that smarted! Give them a little time to recover, and think this over. Hey – great idea! We’ll just beef up and line up all our armies and air forces and wait for the signal and – bam! Only problem was, little Israel saw it coming, ducked, and kicked the bullies clean out the alley. That was 1967.

But Syria and pals started getting good at licking their wounds, and learning to fight a little dirtier – this bully business was getting harder than they thought.  Israel, having some moral and religious standards lacking elsewhere in the neighborhood, is actually caught off guard on their most important holy day of the year – we call that the Yom Kippur War. That was 1973. Israel took a wallop, punched back, and – guess what – Syria and gang lost the fight again.

Resize_Bridge_Crossing They must be getting tired of this by now, one would think.  Maybe they’re even a little punch drunk. That must be it. It doesn’t even qualify as chutzpah. No, it’s just foolishness for the bullies to gang up and call the victim the bully – just because the bullies are the ones who end up getting beaten up.

But isn’t that how it always is?

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Whoa, if that doesn’t mess up my geopolitical theology!

Arutz7 news 12 August 2009: “Up to 85 percent of Arabs in greater Israel stem from Jewish ancestors, it is estimated. Some of them want to become fully Jewish, but most are scared to even talk about it.”

Insofar as Christian Zionism goes, my way of thinking has been, at its most basic level, that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jewish nation because God says so. Pretty simple at that point. Ah – but who is the Jewish nation?

That should seem simple at first glance, but dig just beneath the surface, and it becomes not so simple after all. There are whole, long books written on this subject, but I want to keep it basic for now, because I’m only talking about the way the Arutz7 article upset my apple cart.

Quick & easy Biblical answer #1: the Jewish nation consists of the descendants (“seed,” in Bible lingo) of Abraham. Ok, good, but what about his other descendants, like those if Ishmael?

Quick & fairly easy Biblical answer #2: in Genesis 21:12, Moses writes, “God said, ‘Abraham, don’t worry about your slave woman and the boy. Just do what Sarah tells you. Isaac will inherit your family name,’” So it’s the descendants of Isaac, not Ishmael, or Midian, or any of the others, at least according to Moses, and thereby according to standard Christian Zionist teaching.

Well, ok, but Isaac had two sons, and Esau was the firstborn, and thereby entitled to inherit the family name… and so it goes.

To shorten a long story (this is not meant to be a “religious” blog), the usual answer is that the Jewish nation, ethnically speaking, comprises the descendants of old Abe’s younger grandson Jacob, aka Israel.

Ok, most Christian Zionists buy that. But along comes this study that there are (at least very probably – I’m just going by what the article said for now) a whole lot of descendants of Jacob now living among the population that we’ve been calling Palestinians, which are supposedly the enemies of the State of Israel. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Well, nothing is ever that simple – sorry. There are many “Palestinians” – perhaps even a majority, according to some studies – that really do support the State of Israel, but are terrified to say so.

This, of course, involves a huge complex of issues which have been addressed in depth in many places which I won’t cite here, because I’m maintaining a focus, but I suppose one could say with much confidence that the actual “terrorists” are the ones running the “Palestinian” infrastructure – Hamas, Fatah, Abbas, Haniyeh, & their ilk – and the victims of terrorism are those whom we call “Palestinians” as much as are Jewish or other Israelis.

Which, come to think of it, is not news after all, is it? So my apple cart can get back on its wheels – whew!

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