Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016 ... Campus Misery, Two-Step Solution, Israel's Wrongs Watch, and Middle East Kumbayah

Welcome to the second issue of The Unabashed Zionist!

Well, the first issue of “The Unabashed Zionist,” strictly speaking, which succeeds the single issue of “The Not-Yet-Named” (which in being retired now becomes an instant classic, so be sure to save your copy for future resale).

And why is this newsletter now called “The Unabashed Zionist”?

Because an unabashed Zionist is better than a bashed one. Obviously.

If you'd like to receive these newsletters by email, please send me your preferred email address.

And now let us commence un-abashing:

(1) Jew-Washing, Antisemitism, Zionophobia

Hot off the press! My new article is just out on American Thinker, in which I tackle the phenomenon of "Jew-washing," viz. the practice of using the fact that some/many Jews are anti-Zionists to obscure the antisemitic nature of anti-Zionism. (Modeled on the phrases "whitewashing" and "pinkwashing" ...). As far as I can tell, no one has yet challenged the intellectual basis of Jew-washing so I think I’m breaking new ground (please alert me otherwise!)… It's a bit heavy-going but I can summarize it briefly: anti-Zionism IS antisemitism, and the fact that some/many Jews are anti-Zionists doesn't change that. Jew-washing is a very pernicious phenomenon, and we need to challenge it as much as possible. If you agree, please feel free to share this link widely. (Heck, even if you don’t agree please share it …)

(2) Campus anti-Zionist misery, and Oberlin follow-up

Last time we learned about the dire state at two representative liberal arts colleges, Vassar and Oberlin. Today we get a detailed follow up on Oberlin by Lori Lowenthal Marcus of the Jewish Press. The good news here is that some Oberlin alums are finally trying to organize and fight back. The bad news is that what they are fighting against is an entire campus culture which is overall not very nice for the Jews. This fundamental inversion of reality—that otherwise progressive campuses would vilify Israel—has taken hold all across the academy, and in my view it’s to resisting that phenomenon that we should be devoting much of our limited resources.

(It also turns out some Vassar alums are organizing too. Email me for more details.)

Here’s a nice piece making the same point I just made, and again, we need to be spreading this message as far as possible:

And finally here’s a much longer, theoretical piece on the subject. “Intersectionality” is the new code word for progressives suggesting that all forms of oppression are somehow deeply linked. It’s this concept that allowed the National Women’s Studies Association to recently declare a boycott of Israeli academics, because in their minds the oppression of women in general is connected to Israel’s alleged oppression of the Palestinians. Of course this logic is very strange, particularly since Israel is a beacon for women’s rights compared to all its neighbors in the Middle East, but then again I’ve never claimed to be able to understand women. (OK, that was a joke; for the record, very many women also objected to the NWSA’s boycott!)

Anyway this piece nicely explains how “intersectionality makes you stupid”:

Before we leave campuses, there’s this worthwhile piece from Israellycool, explaining the process whereby so many Jewish students lose their self-respect (and their minds) and become anti-Zionists, calling for the destruction of the one country that might actually save them when all the rest of the non-Jewish Israel haters come after them. Israellycool also makes some very good practical suggestions about how the Birthright program might strengthen itself to fight this phenomenon:

And finally, I just learned of this Facebook Group, “Stop BDS on Campus.” It looks like they have a lot of very active members and they are really engaged in some terrific projects. Check them out if you want to get involved:

(3) Just in case you (or the people you argue with) have forgotten what the Palestinians’ endgame is

We have yet another example of a senior Fatah official reminding us that the “two-state solution” is really a “two-step solution”: first assume complete control of the West Bank and Gaza, and then regain control of the rest of “Palestine”:

Fatah is the main political party headed by Abbas, and a key constituent of the Palestinian Authority. Its leaders regularly tell the Arabic press about their “two-step” plan, while speaking lovely peace-y PC words to the Western English-speaking media. This is a crucial point to keep in mind when discussing the two-state “solution”: will the two states really be the end of the conflict, or does it amount to a victorious step one of the two-step solution? And shouldn’t we take Israel’s security concerns seriously when their “peace partners” don’t even hide their ultimate intentions?

(4) It’s (not) the settlements, stupid!

Probably my favorite blogger is Elder of Ziyon: The man is thorough, knowledgeable, as objective as one can be who has a distinct point of view, and often breaks and pursues important stories. (He’s often good for some delicious snark, too.) I met him once and shook his hand, which explains why I haven’t washed that hand since.

Here he is this week fisking yet another dishonest report just released by Human Rights Watch (also known as Israel’s Wrongs Watch). It’s really worth being on top of this report and EoZ’s response to it, because people regularly use HRW’s (I mean IWW’s) reports to bash Israel. These reports therefore facilitate that dangerous link between social-justice-progressivism and Israel-hating (the “intersectionality” that makes you stupid). When you read EoZ, however, you’ll realize how these reports consistently distort and misrepresent facts, revealing their profound anti-Israel bias. Undermining these reports publicly just might help diminish the evil intersectionality.

On a similar theme, here he is pointing out something very important: those “Jewish” settlements over the Green Line in fact permit Arabs to live in them, and a decent number do. But for some reason the world doesn’t complain when Israeli Arabs move over the Green Line, just when Israeli Jews do. Somehow Jews are denied rights that other peoples have. There’s another word for that: antisemitism.

Let’s end now with a little

(5) Good News!

Just in case you thought that putting “ISIS” and “Iran” in the same sentence with “good for Israel” was impossible, there’s this. Partly fueled by sharing a common enemy, Israel has been surreptitiously building relationships with some of the perhaps slightly less virulently Israel-hating Arab states:

I wouldn’t expect to hear any loud Kumbaya-ing coming from the Middle East any time soon, but still this strikes me as good news (or at least better than bad news).

We also have continuing legal action in the U.S. against the BDS movement, as New York State expands its legal resistance:

And finally, in the “there must be something in Israel’s water that makes them into such smarty-pants” department, a 13-year-old Israeli girl has developed a thingamajooey that makes some science-y stuff in outer space. (Clearly she hasn’t been spending her time the way most American 13-year olds do, staring at screens and maniacally pressing buttons as they meander feverishly around the interweb.)

OK, that’s it for now.

Til next time, remember -- it’s better to be unabashed than bashed. So start un-abashing!