04 May 2016

Good shout, Jonathan Freedland!

And this is what we want from the left. Some understanding and even empathy for the experience that gives us this connection to – this need for – Israel. While we’re at it, what would also be welcome is the same courtesy the left admirably extends to other minorities.

On the left, black people are usually allowed to define what’s racism; women can define sexism; Muslims are trusted to define Islamophobia. But when Jews call out something as antisemitic, leftist non-Jews feel curiously entitled to tell Jews they’re wrong, that they are exaggerating or lying or using it as a decoy tactic – and to then treat them to a long lecture on what anti-Jewish racism really is.

The left would call it misogynist “mansplaining” if a man talked that way to a woman. They’d be mortified if they were caught doing that to LGBT people or Muslims. But to Jews, they feel no such restraint.

So this is my plea to the left. Treat us the same way you’d treat any other minority. No better and no worse. If opposition to racism means anything, it surely means that.
More here.

03 May 2016

Open letter to Mike Sivier

In response to the previous post, Mike Sivier - the discoverer of Norman Finkelstein (or just because he planned to do so), Mike penned a new article, titled This revelation could throw the whole ‘anti-Semitism’ row into reverse. In this post, among other things, Mike drilled deeper into the mystery of the offending picture and discovered that... here I shall let the author speak for himself:

Vox Political can reveal today the origin of that image – the picture of Israel superimposed into the American Midwest that caused so much fuss last week, and This Writer can categorically state:

It is not anti-Semitic.

It was a reaction against proposals to forcibly relocate Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank, Gaza, or anywhere else claimed by the Israeli state, moving them into Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.

It was created for an article on a website called Redress Online [link removed], dated August 4, 2014. The site describes itself as “an independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry, and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs…
The site describes itself as it describes itself, as do many other similar sites. Should an experienced journalist take this description seriously without applying a bit of common sense? Because the picture, which Mike Sivier previously attributed to Norman Finkelstein is now attributed to the author of the Redress Online article. Take a deep breath - it is Gilad Atzmon.

I am not at all sure I understand now what kind of point Mike has intended to make, bringing up Atzmon to defend Finkelstein, but as a matter of common courtesy I have to respond. So:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for troubling yourself to respond. I shall try to answer your salient points one by one, instead of leveling general accusations that could hardly be addressed.

There is an interesting point to mention: your habit of putting the word “anti-Semitism” between quotation marks. The reason I find it interesting is that you've decided to be the judge of what is offensive or, in this case, anti-Semitic. Why don't you leave it to the target of the offense, namely Jews, to decide what is offensive to them? I remember reading about one of the leaders of African-American movement in US, who said that it is up to black people to decide what is offensive to black people. This should be something for all of us to think about, shouldn't it?

So, going back to the offensive picture, which you proclaim to be not anti-Semitic at all. First of all, again - the fact that somebody else has drawn it doesn't make it less offensive. Ms Shah doesn't get a get-out-of jail card for this reason. You are saying:
It seems clear he was saying there’s a world of difference between passing around a tongue-in-cheek image and actually going through with the action it suggested...
Indeed, there is a world of difference: the former is an act of anti-Semitism, as perceived by lots of people who viewed the picture and the latter is an act of ethnic cleansing. I can assure you than neither yours truly nor lots of people who have seen the picture are aware of its tongue-in-cheek background. It was, just as the taken out of context quote from MLK in that other picture you have used to defend Ms Shah, perceived by one and all as extremely offensive and yes, although I hate to use this word too frequently, very anti-Semitic.

Now to another point you made:
If Simply Jews knows of Atzmon, then it seems likely the site would have known of the Redress Online piece, but not one word about it is mentioned. Why not?
Sorry, Mike, I and many other people know about both Finkelstein and Atzmon, but not to the tune of following their copious writings on all sites all the time. The idea that I should know about every crappy publication like that is, frankly, a bit over the top. Believe it or not, I have a life.

To the next point:
Vox Political articles are often opinions – but always based on the facts available. That is where This Blog and Simply Jews part company, it seems.
If you indeed assign such weight to the facts, how come you are quoting statements from Atzmon without any shadow of criticism or a check with other source? Stuff like this:
The article itself states: “Israelis and other Zionists often call for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, namely, their “transfer” to Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.
You might really want to check this and, hopefully, not with Gilad Atzmon, Mike. Yep, there is a fringe group of right wing Israelis (I really don't know what is meant by "other Zionists") that might express such desires, but the all-embracing statement like the quoted could have been born only in the Jew-hating brain of Atzmon, that for sure.
This Writer was alerted on Twitter to an article about me on a site calling itself Simply Jews. It seems to be mostly a character assassination of Norman Finkelstein and the author of the Redress Online piece, one Gilad Atzmon, who is mentioned as having reblogged my article.
I disagree with your description of my post, Mike. Its main points were two, although not highlighted in any way, but I shall repeat them here:
You see, Mike, the map that calls for ethnic cleansing is offensive and racist, no matter who produced it. This is the first and the main point. And if someone else (Ms Shah in our case) publishes it again, it doesn't become less racist or less offensive. Which is the second point.
As for your reference to so called character assassination of Finkelstein and Atzmon: I really don't know much about you, and I am in a quandary here. So please help me out: could it be that you, a journalist, don't know anything about these two characters? If you do and still persist with the statement that what I said about them is a character assassination, I might have wasted my time. I offered you a link on Finkelstein in the previous post if you really need to get some info, and here is another link with some stuff about Atzmon. There is a lot more on the 'net, if you would only care...

Regards.

Mike Sivier - the discoverer of Norman Finkelstein


Mike Sivier, a newspaper reporter for the best part of 20 years, according to him, was an unknown entity to me. It so happened that I've stumbled on a few posts by my Facebook friends who pointed to an article by Mike Sivier, titled Nobody bothered to check who created that “anti-Semitic” image Naz Shah retweeted, did they?. For a time the referred article was inaccessible for some reason, which only fired up my curiosity.

The article is available now, and isn't it an eye opener indeed! To remind you, the offending map (see above) was tweeted by Naz Shah, a Bradford West MP and, among other offensive tweets, was the reason for the lady's suspension, among several other recent scandals/suspensions.

So Mike Sivier studied the matter and came up with the following:
The map was posted in Norman Finkelstein Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict‏, on Monday, August 4, 2014, on his blog [link omitted by me].

Professor Finkelstein is described by that hideously inaccurate Wikipedia as “an American political scientist, activist, professor, and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors.
And here Mike triumphantly concluded, in bold letters for our better comprehension:
That’s right – it was posted by a Jewish gentleman.
To give another boost to our poor comprehension, Mike strengthened the message by the following addition, also in bold:
Not only that; he’s the son of two Jewish people who survived the Shoah.
And now comes the killing point:
It puts a different complexion on this whole issue, doesn’t it?
I shall try to answer this question using Mike's method, which assures full comprehension:
No.
You see, Mike, the map that calls for ethnic cleansing is offensive and racist, no matter who produced it. This is the first and the main point. And if someone else (Ms Shah in our case) publishes it again, it doesn't become less racist or less offensive. Which is the second point. Now to the less important matters.

Wikipedia, with all due respect, frequently misses some points. To start with, the person in question is definitely not a gentleman. As for his Jewishness, whatever genetic traces of it he possessed, all of them were thoroughly wiped out by his hate of the said Jewishness, his leeching on the Holocaust-related matters and his other behavior traits. In short, if you belong to a small group of people who consider Kim Philby and Lord Haw-Haw British, go ahead and consider Fink-elstein Jewish, but don't make a public issue of it, please, to avoid embarrassment. And it might do you good to learn that there are Jewish antisemites, as well as Jewish thieves, Jewish liars and Jewish murderers. As for his parents being Holocaust survivors: the parents don't have to pay for the sins of their son.

Going back for a second to the subject of Jewish antisemites. The article we are discussing was reposted in full by one Gilad Atzmon:

_http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/5/1/nobody-bothered-to-check-who-created-that-anti-semitic-image-naz-shah-retweeted-did-they_

Following the logic Mike Sivier applied to the case of Norman Finkelstein, the abbreviated version of Atzmon's CV will look like this: "A famous Jewish saxophone player, IDF paratrooper in the past, gentleman". The Sivier version of Atzmon's CV will certainly leave out some other details, like "Holocaust denier, Jew-hater, Israel-hater" and many others. The mere fact that a thoroughly repulsive character like Atzmon has chosen to repost one's article should lead one to some introspection, methinks...

A general remark: if you take the article discussed here on its own, it might be interpreted as a result of a well-meant attempt to defuse the explosive situation. The clumsy transfer of guilt from Naz Shah to a "Jewish gentleman", while not effective at all to justify the act by Ms Shah, could be explained by naivety of the author, although naivety in a veteran journo is a bit of a rarity. But looking at the other articles by Mike Sivier, where he fights tooth and nail against every single accusation of anti-Semitism aimed at this or another Labour figure, it becomes harder and harder to use the excuse of naivety.

What do you say, Mike?

02 May 2016

Something is rotten in the kingdom of Britain

Nope, I still don't think Corbyn is necessarily antisemitic, I do agree with what Howard Jacobson said:

Jeremy Corbyn it’s a classic case of someone who has been brought up just to assume that that case of Israel as an imperial power in the pay of the Americans and the westerns. An oppressive imperial power. He was just fed on that, he’ll never change that. It’s like milk. To ask him to change his mind on Israel is like asking him to approve of people that go to public school. It can’t be done, it’s part of his genetic makeup.
And of course this easily predicts his behavior patterns, like this one:
Jeremy Corbyn rebuffed calls Sunday to denounce contacts with terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah...
All this doesn't make him exceptional. But to think that in XXI century a good part of British public would support something as unbelievable and sick as this?

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech from the top of a double-decker bus as Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) flags fly at a May Day rally in London on May 1, 2016.
Come on, people, you couldn't be that crazy, could you?

Source.

Anti-Semitism row used to undermine Corbyn

A row about anti-Semitism is being used by Jeremy Corbyn's opponents within Labour to undermine his leadership, Unite chief Len McCluskey says. Mr McCluskey, whose union is Labour's biggest donor, attacked a "cynical attempt to manipulate anti-Semitism for political aims".
So they say. And they are absolutely right.

Corbyn's rivals inside the Labour are sharpening their knives, no doubt. Labour rivals and their media are sharpening their knives too, with vengeance. Just as Labour folks and their media were recently full of glee regarding David Cameron's link to Panama-based offshore trust set up by his late father.

So what?

01 May 2016

The situation with balls


They say that English is the richest language on this planet, counting about (or beyond) a million words. In this specific case the overabundance stood in the way of what became a joke in Russia recently. Here is the headline faithfully translated from Russian:

Patriarch presented eggs to Putin and Medvedev

And here is the story:
Patriarch Kirill presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister's wife Easter eggs made by church jewelers. They met at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
All in all, not a joking matter. So where is the joke, you would ask?

Simply that in Russian, probably due to it being a more compact language, the word for "eggs" - "яйца" has a second meaning, that of "testicles" or, simply speaking, "balls".

So simple. But go and make a joke out of it now...

Howard Jacobson on Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn it’s a classic case of someone who has been brought up just to assume that that case of Israel as an imperial power in the pay of the Americans and the westerns. An oppressive imperial power. He was just fed on that, he’ll never change that. It’s like milk. To ask him to change his mind on Israel is like asking him to approve of people that go to public school. It can’t be done, it’s part of his genetic makeup. But when he came into power and I felt that when I was writing for The Independent, a new kind of thread starting to appear at the bottom of one's articles, a new virulence a new viciousness. It’s as though Jeremy Corbyn unleashed something. It had been there all along but he gave it a new voice.
So true.

More here.

30 April 2016

What happens in your shorts doesn’t necessarily stay in your shorts


Perusing this day's edition of Before it's News, a worthy website committed to the unveiling of the Troof, I had me a choice of many worthy headlines, starting with:

Obama Will Not Finish His Second Term

That one is about the end of the world that is coming to us, chickens. I still can't tell you the details, since I am not sure whether I am worthy of salvation and thus I didn't watch that movie yet. Maybe some time later. After all, that headline runs for about a year already.

Prophecy Explosion!!! Two Rabbi’s Predict The Coming "Messiah” in 2016?

Since rabbis of all kinds are, so to say, part of my bailiwick, I wasn't too excited, as you can guess. Even if these two are "Rabbi's". Oh well.

How the Illuminati Have Enslaved Americans Using Monetary Policy

Just like the rabbis' story, this one is too... pedestrian, I would say, for an Elder.

Benjamin Fulford: “Hybrid war Continues With Japanese Underground Military Bases Hit as Khazarian Mafia Under Attack Around the Planet.”

Hmm... Khazarian Mafia... also a bit off, but there are nice pictures of what the author considers to be Elders but are, really, some pretty minor outsiders. Too trivial.

Smart Clothes Coming to Stream your Info to Marketers

That one smote me. And the second sentence in this piece was a certain winner for a headline. Not to mention the ominous contents of the whole.
Welcome to the creepy world of Smart Clothes. What happens in your shorts doesn’t necessarily stay in your shorts.

Underwear, clothing, shoes –everything we wear – is being digitally connected to the Internet so it can broadcast some of our most personal information. Clothing linked to the Internet, can document our waist size, when we use the restroom, how long we sit, and how much we walk, to name just a few.

“Over the next three years, it will see brands at both ends of the market introducing products with unique digital identities and data profiles in the cloud from the point of manufacturing,” Forbes reports.
The author, while seeing the dangers awaiting us in general, hasn't enough imagination to foresee the full scope of the upcoming horrors, nor the positive side of the related technology. It is not that your necktie becoming a stool pigeon for your spouse or your shirt carping on your deviations from a healthy diet are not frightful. They are, and so are underpants measuring your waist size and reporting the results to authorities, shoes that demand you walk a certain distance every day and alcohol-sniffing baseball caps.

But only a positively inclined and young at heart person could see the glimmer of hope in, for instance, this:
An Internet-connected sports bra, OM, is scheduled to hit the market this spring.
Any computer-minded young hacker could immediately see the endless possibilities. Just picture the benefits of establishing a working connection with the CPU of that bra... the sky is the limit!

OK, I have to leave you at this point. My left sock is bombarding my phone with notifications, demanding I resolve a matching issue with the right sock. Have to go...

28 April 2016

Ken Livingstone aka Red Ken - Brown Ken now?

It is nice to know that there are still people in Britain who know how to put that dreck where he belongs. Like the Labour MP John Mann just did in this clip:



Details.

No platform policy, equal rights, idiocy and students

Reading the news items about the unending stream of political and other shenanigans by the modern students, one has to pinch oneself every few minutes to make sure one is not dreaming himself into a lala land. That feeling of unreality is, probably, our defense mechanism when coping with stuff like this.

Just to make sure the innocent reader knows what it is about: "no platform policy", as defined by the students means that a person planning to make a speech at a students' gathering will be checked in advance and, in case the person's political and other beliefs clash with what the students' governing body believes in, such person will be not allowed to speak. Welcome to the new era of youngsters' freedom of speech.

And here is a timeless passage from one of the typical representatives of the above mentioned students' governing body.

Richard Brooks, NUS vice president union development, explained the union’s stance, saying: “There are six organisations on the NUS no platform list.

“This is very different to a safe space policy which is based on the idea that every single person has freedom of speech and everyone has equal right to freedom of speech, however some people have more equal rights than others.

“We’re making sure marginalised groups get their views heard.

“Both of those policies are democratically decided. They are not a part of a wider debate around censorship.

“I think everyone has freedom of speech but people’s platforms are different.”
To repeat for those who think they misread it:
...some people have more equal rights than others.
You are making history, Richard. Stalin would have been proud of you and Orwell is vigorously turning in his grave. Smile, ijit!


Richard smiles.

Update: the video recording of that dumbo:

27 April 2016

Grammer, made delightful by (the?) Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

I know, I know. It was done on purpose, to annoy the Grammar Nazis and to attract attention.

Now read this superb opus by one and only.

P.S. And since Nazis were mentioned, here comes a reference:

The 24th edition of Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (2002) says the word Nazi was favored in southern Germany (supposedly from c. 1924) among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname Nazi, Naczi (from the masc. proper name Ignatz, German form of Ignatius) was used colloquially to mean "a foolish person, clumsy or awkward person." Ignatz was a popular name in Catholic Austria, and according to one source in World War I Nazi was a generic name in the German Empire for the soldiers of Austria-Hungary.

Meet Jane


This is Jane.
Jane is a Japanese female of lesbian persuasion.
Jane is proud of who she is.
Jane will punch your face if you doubt her.
You too could be like Jane.
If you want.
Or anybody else, for that matter.
It is your decision.
Be like Jane. Or not, if you wish.

Inspired by this:



Update: on a somewhat related subject, meet TrigglyPuff.

26 April 2016

Something about percentage

I am never get too excited when someone tries to prove his/her point by stressing how many other people support it. Too many dumb decisions and upheavals happened in history just because a majority was supportive of a very bad idea or, at least, indifferent to the outcome of one.

So it doesn't impress me much when I read this:

Survey by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute finds only 38% of the public believes Kfir Brigade Sgt. Elor Azaria should stand trial for shooting a neutralized terrorist in Hebron.
I hope that Bibi, who is usually so sensitive to the result of the latest poll(s), will let the justice run its course.

That will be all.

Israel to Europe: can we be of assistance?

Update: the post below was published first here on April 13, 2016. On April 26, ToI published a news item that is very (but very) relevant to the post.

An alleged boycott of Israeli technology may have prevented an airport security deal offered to France after the deadly Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks last January, and which could possibly have thwarted the subsequent Islamic State terror attacks in Paris in November and Belgium several months later.

According to an Israeli security source who spoke to Fox News on Monday, an Israeli security company offered terrorist-tracking software to the Directorate-General for Internal Security, France’s main intelligence agency — software that could have helped flag the deadly IS terror cell that perpetrated the attacks in Paris late last year and those in Belgium last month — but was rebuffed allegedly after an official made clear that Israeli technology could not be purchased.
Well, enjoy the rest of the story.

This epic dialog came to my attention from a Russian source. Blame the Russians.

Israel: Belgium, Europe, we are sorry to hear about your troubles, please accept our condolences. What do you plan to do now?
Europe: Most probably, we'll decide to strengthen our boycott on the merchandise produced by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel: We understand. Do you require assistance? Surveillance systems? Face recognition software? Geolocation? Search algorithms? We have all of it.
Europe: Yes, the face recognition software, it is exactly what we need, thanks!
Israel: Glad to be of help... although there might be a slight problem. The company what developed this software is located in Jerusalem, and, according to the official maps by UN, two booths of their men's restroom are in East Jerusalem. But it's not a big deal, is it? Might save some of your people...
Europe: Hmm... OK, we'll recognize the faces by ourselves somehow. How about some fresh carrots, carrots are good for your eyes and memory? Could you ship, say, 20 tonnes?
Israel: Sure. Only, while the carrot is grown in a kibbutz, it is packed in an industrial zone in Samaria...
Europe: All right, we'll manage without the carrots. How about the geolocation gizmo?
Israel: It was tested on Golan Heights.
Europe: The digital surveillance system?
Israel: The same...
Europe: The airport security installation?
Israel: The CEO's house is beyond the Green Line.
Europe: The non-conventional explosives detector?
Israel: The chief engineer's brother's spouse comes from Jordan Valley.
Europe: Then maybe the software support system for our security services?
Israel: We have a lot of it, every schoolchild will write one for you, but the problem is that all these school kids are usually taken for a visit to the old city of Jerusalem.
Europe: Maybe some exchange of experience in your dealing with terrorism?
Israel: Sure, but all of it is gained in our years of fight against Palestinian terror...
Europe: But you must have something normal, something legal that doesn't fall under our sanctions. Which sanctions are meant to defend human rights and to stop the occupation. Something that might help us to defeat the terror?
Israel: Yes, there is that flower shop in Tel Aviv, right near the beach. They produce artificial flowers too, so you can have a wreath there, to place on the scene of terror.
Europe: Fine, let's have it!
Israel: If you buy 20 wreaths, a discount of 15% applies.
Europe: OK, we'll need them.

25 April 2016

Lisa Goldman: stifled in NYT


The rather sad story of Lisa Goldman, the story about transformation of a pro-Israeli pupa with good reporter instincts into a full-fledged anti-Zionist butterfly, is of no special interest to me anymore. That the process included a thorough clean-up of her pre-transformation writings, like her On the Face blog, is rather telling, but alas...

What drew my attention to that name was a NYT sponsored discussion on the eternal dilemma:

Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?

Lisa Goldman has chosen to answer the debate question by avoiding it, penning a strange piece titled:

Anti-Zionists Thrive in Israel, Why Not in the U.S.?

Logic not being Lisa's strong point, instead of answering the question* asked, she plunged into a list of thriving Israeli anti-Zionists, a list of mostly despised people and political growths that include Dov Khenin, Hadash party, Matzpen and even, believe it or not, the Black Panthers (Israeli version of inverse racism model).

All this nonsense wouldn't have lead me to the keyboard, although there was a sentence that almost made me throw up in my mouth:
When Jews conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, they are stifling legitimate political expression.
First of all, the question asked wasn't about "criticism of Israel" but about anti-Zionism, which is again a crude attempt of avoidance. Then, notice the phenomenal "When Jews conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism" - so what happens if non-Jews say the same - does it make them Jewish or what? And now, of course, the main barf-inducing point, that of "stifling legitimate political expression". Usually raised by all anti-Zionists from the very same platforms they claim to be barred from... Isn't that game becoming too stupid to continue?

Three glaring fallacies in one short statement... oy vey...

But... but even this wouldn't have forced me to pen this post, if I hadn't indulged in a few minutes of idle surfing. During which I have encountered this extraordinary statement:


I have listened to the interview in question. While I can't say that I respect Yair Lapid the politician or that his idea of separating from Palestinians is doable at the moment, I couldn't find the reason for the eruption of bile displayed above. Especially not for that "final solution" quip. Sorry, but on the other hand I am not an accomplished anti-Zionist.

What confused me even more was the subject used for that comparison, namely David Duke. Usually in the heat of political argument people use Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot in a pinch. But David Duke? Hmm... strange that. So, in an attempt to find out what does Lisa Naomi Goldman think about David Duke, I have surfed a bit more. Just a bit, but what a result! Two articles by Lisa Goldman linked from the said David Duke's site. I do not provide direct links to such Internet entities**, so look it up for yourself:

_http://davidduke.com/dr-patrick-slatterys-news-roundup-march-25-2015/_

_http://davidduke.com/dr-patrick-slatterys-news-roundup-january-13-2015/_

Mighty confusing, ain't it?

So there.

(*) Which question, if you ask me, is answered pretty exhaustively by my betters, for instance in the article Yes, Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism and many similar ones.

(**)To make sure that the linked articles don't suddenly disappear, as texts around our heroine tend to, I have uploaded below the relevant screen shots. The articles themselves appear very far from the David Duke's site masthead, but you can check the background, it is the same. Click on "Read more..." to see the images.