Open Thread

Not one Democrat Presidential candidate has condemned the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. Only two Democrat Senators have condemned the attacks (Rosen D-NV and Sinema D-AZ: and tip of the hat to both of them). The Democrats have made the choice that joining up with Islamists is a better future than defending Jews.

Side note: this conflict goes on until one side wins, and the other loses. The Palestinian leadership – which makes its money off of war and suffering – will not quit until forced to quit. Only the massive application of firepower upon the Palestinians until they all come out, hands in the air, will end this.

Feminists and Conservatives are joining forces against the misbegotten “Equality Act”:

The Equality Act just passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, and it threatens to erase protections for women — protections that benefit women and society as a whole. Legislative and policy “reforms” proposed in this dangerous bill will lead to blatant violations of our safety, privacy, and dignity.

Under this bill, men and boys will take away women’s small business grants and hard-won spots on sports teams; they will be allowed to live in women’s domestic violence shelters and use our locker rooms. And united as women, we are just not going to stand for it.

To illustrate their case, they note the story of a man who identifies as a woman being seen naked in the women’s sauna (by teenaged girls): when the incident was reported the power of the State was brought forth to force everyone to apologize to the guy exposing himself to little girls. It is good that there can be a united fight against pure insanity – but Feminists should think a bit deeper into this. It is the tearing down of societal norms – including the norms which say that certain tasks are for men, others for women – which lead us here. As far as allowing anyone – of any condition – to do whatever their talents allow, no one can have any complaint. But thinking that a woman can be a successful infantryman is just as absurd as thinking a man who identifies as a woman should be allowed to parade around the girls locker room. Men and women are different; they bring in many cases entirely different things to the table; it is the cooperation of the feminine and the masculine, as distinct things, which makes humanity human.

The Daily Caller has a story about how the money (about $100 million) provided to Flint, MI to remediate it’s water issue is being relentlessly misused – the most egregious thing, in my view, is the awarding of high priced contracts to a company with no experience in the work, while more experienced companies were denied contracts. It is a grift: the people who run Flint – ie, the criminally negligent people who created the water crisis – don’t give a damn about the people, and are merely using the bonanza of government dollars to line their own pockets. All of these are Democrats – and all of them will be “re-elected” or, at least, replaced with people who are just like they are. We need to start thinking about what to do – consistent with our federal values – about States and cities which are so badly misgoverned that we can’t rely on sane policy being pursued.

Trump’s counsel has sent a letter to AG Barr ripping the Mueller report pretty hard – on the grounds that Mueller didn’t follow the special counsel rules in writing his final report. I had noted that Mueller would make his report as lurid as he could, and he did. What Democrats are latching on to right now is Mueller’s statement that he couldn’t conclusively prove that Trump didn’t break the law. But Mueller’s job wasn’t to say one way or the other about that – his job was to see if there was a crime, and if there was, then to prosecute it. As he’s not prosecuting Trump or any Trump associate for collusion or obstruction of justice related to the 2016 campaign, Trump has been exonerated. Mueller deliberately muddied that fact.

A pro-baby killing Pennsylvania Democrat is proving himself to be just about as much an a**hole as you’d think.

Open Thread

Rep. Omar is being investigated for misuse of campaign funds. I’m thinking this isn’t GOPers digging up dirt, but Democrats who want to at least curb her, and maybe get rid of her. Its not that any Democrat actually disagrees with her, but they don’t want people like her to be the face of the House Democrats in 2020, when a lot of purple-district Democrats will be up for re-election.

Report that Team Biden thinks Team Sanders is responsible for the sudden concern people have about Biden being grabby with the ladies. Could be, but it could also be Harris. It is definitely some Democrat(s) who want to put a veto on Biden’s effort.

Bernie can still rake in the bucks, in the manner of all Socialist Leaders of the People: $18 million in his first report.

Portland, OR liberals have been cooking up a bogus story about anti-LGBT activity in the city. As soon as you heard it, you knew it was a lie – but RSM lays it out.

Cocaine Mitch is shutting down the Democrats agenda. Democrats and the MSM (BIRM) are upset.

Israel’s Jews in Space effort is doing very well.

Law Prof says defending free speech is unconstitutional. (((shrug))); what ya gonna do? They’re liberals. You know: morons.

The Necessity of Defending Israel

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been pushing a bill which would protect the States against the so-called Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS groups, whatever they claim, are horribly anti-Semitic groups which seek the utter destruction of the State of Israel (before you ask: yes, there are Jewish members of BDS groups. But, there are also “Catholics for Choice”. For some, political ideology trumps all else). They seek to economically and socially isolate Israel as a precursor to Israel’s destruction. Rubio’s bill is designed to prevent States from being forced to go along with BDS for fear of economic losses. Naturally, plenty of people don’t like this. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) questioned Rubio’s loyalty over his bill. We expect that kind of thing from liberals these days, but I have noted that some on the right are pretty much echoing the same views: wondering, that is, if those pushing for this are in some way controlled by Israel/Jews. I think this a good time to go into just why we must support Israel.

As I’ve said before, opposition to evil (and support for good) are at a nadir these days. For the most part, we allow (and some times encourage) evil. We’re uninterested in battling what is wrong. We are even less interested in defending what is right. We have become, in the collective sense, moral cowards. All most want is just to be allowed to get through the day with a minimum of fuss. The best way to have no fuss is to simply do nothing. Standing up can get you knocked down, after all. There isn’t much left for us to defend, really. Marriage, family, rule of law, public decency – all long gone. But there are a few citadels left, and we daren’t let a single one of them fall. Those few things we have left, must be defended. They are our last line of defense – the place from which we can rally our forces and start the counter-attack. One of the citadels is Israel.

Let us remind ourselves why Israel came to be: because Jews were treated like garbage and then subjected to an attempt at extermination. That’s it, guys: there’s nothing else to it. It was because of the garbage treatment that Jews in the 19th century started dreaming of a place where Jews could live as Jews without let or hindrance from anyone else. The natural place selected was the Jew’s ancestral homeland. And, when queried, the then-ruler of the ancestral homeland, the Ottoman Turks, gave permission for it to happen. Later, after the ancestral homeland came under British rule (via completely legitimate, defensive war against the Turks), the British government, too, gave permission for Jews to move there. That some of the people living there didn’t like it is neither here nor there – it is an irrelevancy. Those with the authority to allow it, allowed it. The end. After the Holocaust, it just became more imperative that the Jews find a place where they could live secure. And by that time, the Jews, themselves, were in the legitimate position of deciding if it was ok for Jews to be there, and whether or not the Jews would form an independent State.

Because of the tolerance of evil, a situation arose where those subjected to the evil sought a solution to their plight. Had the evil done against the Jews been opposed, as it should have been, the solution of an independent, Jewish State would not have arisen. If you want to find out why Israel is there, you need look no further than the tolerance of evil – and a tolerance which emerged long before the Nazis arrived. Think about it: if you were treated as a second class citizen in every nation on Earth and could be subjected in a moment to horrible persecution, what would you do if you found that there was a place you could move to where people like yourselves could obtain the power of self defense? Unless you are craven, you’d be off like a shot. To bottom line it: our failure as a civilization necessitated the creation of the State of Israel.

Now, it is 70 years on. Haven’t times changed? After all, Jews, at least in places like the United States, can live securely as Jews. So, doesn’t this mean that the necessity of Israel is no longer in force? I’d like to say so, but I can’t. When raving anti-Semites are honored in the United States and get elected to Congress, I can only say: we’ve papered over the evil, but we still have not opposed it. In fact, I am quite certain that the destruction of Israel would signal not merely a return to some of the worst aspects of the past about Jews, but a resumption of the very worst aspects. Israel stands in the world for the plain assertion that those who seek evil must not be allowed to do it. That no amount of excuse-making or rationalization can ever be allowed to subvert the core truth that people must be allowed to be what they are without fear. As long as Israel stands, so stands that citadel of our civilization.

This has nothing to do with whatever any particular Israeli government is doing or failing to do. Nothing to do with what any particular Israeli may do or not do. As the Israeli government is staffed by human beings, it is a certainty that the Israeli government will do things that it shouldn’t. As the Israelis are people, it is also just as certain that some of them will be rat bastards. You can bring before me all manner of stories of Israeli government malfeasance and all sorts of stories of this or that Israeli acting like a cretin. And I’ll say: “so, what?”. All of that is entirely besides the point. That they retain the right to be what they are – Jews – in a place where they can be absolutely certain that this fact, their Judaism, will not be held against them is undoubted. And it is a thing we must defend. As I said before, if there was certainty that they could be what they are elsewhere, then this crucial issue would not arise. But, they are not certain of security as Jews anywhere in the world except Israel and, so, Israel must be defended.

Those who seek the destruction of Israel, regardless of what line they take, are entirely illegitimate in their desires. They are seeking to do evil, and a very great evil, at that. Stymied in their military attempts at destruction, they have now switched to the realm of propaganda and political/social pressure. All over the internet are places were the most sick and disgusting anti-Jewish propaganda is broadcast. Other places eschew the grossest aspects of anti-Semitic propaganda in favor of a more subtle version of it which seeks to cast those who seek evil as victims. Various anti-Israel money bags make certain that those who would speak against Israel are given platforms and money. Pressure is brought to bear on regulatory agencies and private corporations to place roadblocks against Israel. You can argue all you want that this or that thing vis a vis American policy towards Israel is ill-advised, but the one thing we can’t do is allow those who seek evil to win even one hand. And that is why Rubio’s bill is a good thing. Maybe it isn’t perfect. Maybe it will even have some Constitutional issues: but anything done to thwart BDS – which wants nothing but evil to happen – is a good thing. And, just maybe, if we learn to fight on this issue, we’ll learn to fight on others, too?

Because we must learn to fight – fight all the time. Fight on all fronts. Never voluntarily yield an inch. Anything we don’t fight for will be destroyed, and then we’ll have just that much less force on our side for the final showdown. You might think, “well, BDS is bad, but they have a right to do their thing”. Well, you’re wrong: BDS is evil, and has no real right to do anything. Sure, they have the ability to do things, but that isn’t the same as the right to do them. People also have the ability to tear down the traditional family – and look where we got because we didn’t oppose them. In the end, it is all a matter of regaining the courage to see things as they are, call them what they are, and then do the right thing. And, right now, an all-down-the-line defense of Israel is crucial.

Open Thread

We officially opened up our embassy in Jerusalem – naturally, the Palestinian leadership decided that it was time for some Palestinians to die, and so sent a bunch of them to the border to cause enough ruckus to force the IDF to open fire. This is par for the course – but I don’t think it matters much, except to the poor people forced to die for Hamas. For the larger issue, it shows that Trump really does keep his promises.

Trump has shut down a NASA program to track greenhouse gasses. This is great – if Gore, et al really believe in it, let them pony up the money to prove it. As for me, I want NASA working on space exploration…manned and unmanned missions in deep space (I figure the private companies can take the load on communications launches and low Earth orbit stuff). We should be working, in my view, for a manned mission to Mars no later than 2024. Let’s go!

Millions of dollars are being shipped out of our country – and a lot of it appears to be the proceeds of welfare fraud. It has long been my belief that our slackness in all areas of government social spending has produced massive fraud. My guess – I don’t know – is that one in three dollars (at least) is fraud. This has to be stopped.

Mueller’s absurd Russian indictment – could it be his undoing?

We’re getting more and more of these reports which indicate Comey was not exactly forthcoming about the Flynn case. My thinking has always been that Flynn plead guilty to a minor process crime in order to spare himself a horrible ordeal with bankruptcy tacked on to the end of it. This, as an aside, means we simply must reform our criminal justice system – it isn’t fair that the whole power of government can be brought to bear and even if you’re innocent, you lose. But outside of that, I’m pretty confident that everything out of the FBI and the SC regarding Trump and his people is likely false.

The Middle East is Changing

So, Iranian forces in Syria attacked Israeli targets and Israel, naturally, responded – a big thing and important in itself, but this struck me:

Bahrain has backed Israel’s right to “defend itself”, following dozens of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said on Thursday that it backed Tel Aviv’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, early Thursday morning, in the occupied Golan Heights.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” the minister, whose country is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said on his official Twitter account…

Bahrain is a tiny country and is allied with Saudi Arabia mostly for protection against Iran. So, no surprise that Bahrain would be pleased to see Iran harmed, but it is massively surprising that an official of the Bahrain government would publicly declare Israel – which, officially in most Muslim countries, doesn’t even exist – has a right to self-defense. This is a sea-change in Arab attitudes.

What I think has really broken the log-jam here is the fact that Trump pretty much dropped the Palestinian issue like a bad habit. As long as our actions in the Middle East were always tied to a theory that we had to remain somewhat neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict – and thus had to pretend that the Palestinian leadership was a key element – we were tied to a false idea, and thus couldn’t really move. Trump moved; now, everyone is moving. Its been a couple decades since anyone in the Arab world really gave a darn about the Palestinians and while no one would object to a permanent peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone with any sense at all knows the Palestinian leadership has staked out an impossible position (return to the 1967 border, return of “refugees” to Israel and, of course, still rhetoric about marching on Tel Aviv one day), and so there’s no chance of it right now. So, let’s move on until the Palestinian leadership changes.

And as people are able to move on – as people no longer have to pretend that a few fanatics in Gaza have to be appeased in order to do anything – the political realities which have existed at least since the Iranian revolution are rising to the surface…and are being dealt with. I’m not saying they are being dealt with properly – there’s a lot of confusion and an outsider like me really can’t judge all that well – but they are being dealt with. Saudi Arabia is determined to check Iran (wise move, Saudi Arabia) and in that effort, ignoring a powerful Israel which is also determined to check Iran would be foolish. I think we’re still a ways away from an Israeli Embassy in Riyadh…but I don’t think that far away. The times, they are a-changing…and it is Trump, the Agent of Change on Steroids, who is making it happen.

A Test of Decency: Supporting Israel

I’m sure everyone has had at least some look at Secretary of State Kerry’s speech – mostly it’s just a recitation of things Obama and his Administration have been saying for nearly 8 years; but when coupled with our abstention in the UN, it actually shows a policy which is just flat wrong.

The basic US policy has been for a Two State solution – and this remains the most logical way to assure basic justice and freedom for everyone. But a Two State solution has some firm requirements – first and foremost that all major Palestinian political groups acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign, Jewish nation. Right up to now, there has yet to be any firm commitment by any of the Palestinian leadership on this. A bit of lip service from the so-called “moderates”, but no concrete effort to get the bulk of the Palestinian leadership on board with the idea, while the propaganda put out for consumption by the Palestinian people indicates no desire for the existence of a Jewish State. Other requirements are that the Palestinians acknowledge Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and that the 1967 borders are a dead letter – whatever borders are eventually made will have to be made by free and fair negotiations between the two sides. Finally, whatever settlement is made must have as a key element the inability of the Palestinians to reverse by military means the final settlement – Israel’s military security must be paramount.

It must be kept in mind that the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank was conquered by Israel in defensive war. It was the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side of the conflict which was preparing apocalyptic war against Israel in 1967, not the other way around. As it relates to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, those who lead the Palestinians in 1967 gambled on war, and lost. Badly. And, so far, no one on the Palestinian side has acknowledged either their war-guilt, nor their crushing defeat (histories produced for the youth of the Muslim world still claim that it was US and British intervention which caused their defeat…they just won’t admit that the Jews beat them). Traditionally, those who launch a war and then lose are in no position to make demands. Now, a wise people will be merciful in victory – magnanimous, even. The Israelis have shown time and time again that they are willing to go quite far towards the needs of the Palestinians in pursuit of peace. In fact, things like the Oslo Accords probably went a bit too far towards the Palestinian position. At the end of the day, any peace deal will leave a very hostile people with authority deep in Israel’s strategic vitals – it would be like us making a peace with an enemy and allowing them to live just outside of Washington, DC.

The problem with the position of the Obama Administration is that by their policies they have entirely undercut any ability to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. By saying we want a return to the 1967 border, by saying we consider all settlements to be illegal, by saying that Israel has no rights in Judea and Samaria, we are essentially saying to the Palestinian leadership that Israel, itself, is on the negotiating block. What else is there? If our position is for the Israelis to surrender what they won in defensive war, then what is there to negotiate about save Palestinian designs upon the territory of Israel? And that is how the Palestinian leadership views it. Remember, 30 years ago such leadership were hunted criminals in exile…by action of the “peace process”, they have been allowed to return home and erect a government in the West Bank and Gaza and take full control over large numbers of Palestinian people. And what have they given up? Nothing. They haven’t given up terrorism. They haven’t given up the so-called “right of return” (and, remember, that right of return is a claimed right to return to Israel for those who left in 1948 and their descendants). They haven’t given up their position that Israel, itself, is illegitimate. Now they’ve got a US Administration saying that we back them in demands for all the pre-1967 territory…which includes the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. Roll that around a bit – the Jewish Quarter is “illegally occupied territory”. No word about how the Jewish Quarter was ethnically-cleansed of it’s ancient, Jewish population by the Arabs in the aftermath of the 1948 war. Such a policy is the result of sheer stupidity, or an anti-Israel view. It can’t be anything other than one of those two views…unless it is a combination of both.

The proper position for us to take is that Jerusalem is entirely Israeli, forever, and that the rest of Judea and Samaria is up for negotiation. We must also insist that all of the Palestinian leadership renounce in public the “right of return”, as well as acknowledging that Israel will exist after the peace deal as a Jewish State. To do otherwise is just to play into the hands of the most radical elements of the Palestinian leadership – because doing otherwise allows them to tell their people, “see, we’re pushing them back: just keep with us and eventually we’ll push the Jews into the sea”. And if the Palestinian leadership will not or cannot make such declarations, then there is no possibility of peace. Peace requires that the Palestinian leadership acknowledge Israel and it’s Jewish character. If there isn’t that, then the Palestinian leadership has determined upon continued war.

Leave aside notions of “illegally occupied”. Also, forget about supposed prohibitions against population transfers. Constantinople is “illegally occupied”…heck, a stronger case can be made on that than on any Israeli occupation. Remember, Israel got the West Bank in defensive war – Constantinople was taken in aggressive and entirely unjustified war. And if we’re going to get hung up on population transfers as part of a permanent peace deal, then what is one to say to all the Germans – and their descendants – who used to live in East Prussia and Silesia? The Greeks and the Turks settled their affairs in the 1920’s by population transfers. This is a tricky situation and there aren’t a lot of cut-and-dried things about it (for instance, a good number – perhaps a large majority – of the Palestinian population are descendants of people who arrived in Palestine after Zionist immigration started…it was the rising prosperity of Palestine created by the Zionists which induced many Arabs to move to Palestine in the early part of the 20th century; what is today Israel and the West Bank was a burned-out wasteland 150 years ago – the population of Jerusalem was only a little over 15,000 in 1850 or so; it had been 80,000 under the Romans; 30,000 during the Crusades).

It is a requirement, in my view, for all free people to back other free peoples. That is the central fact in my view of Israel. Israel is a democratic republic. While no nation is perfect, in Israel people of all faiths – or none – can live in peace and freedom. While there is official and un-official discrimination in Israel against non-Jews, that is changing – for instance, not a lot of non-Jews serve in the IDF, but some do…and the number is increasing as Israeli Christians and Muslims realize that defending Israel means defending themselves (anyone really think the Muslims of, say, Nazareth want to come under Abbas’ rule?). There is also a debt we of the West – especially we Christians – owe to the Jews. It isn’t just the Holocaust (though that is a gigantic part of it), but the general discrimination and injustice we visited upon the Jews for centuries which we atone for by supporting Israel. We cannot allow that a free people come under tyranny (and, so, I also back our defense of Taiwan, come what may, against China) and we also cannot allow another Holocaust to happen…and such would happen if the Arabs, as things currently are, got atop the Jews of Israel. As my title says, this is a test of decency – defense of Israel is a Pass/Fail thing on that matter. This does not mean we have to just blindly defend Israel in all circumstances – if a reasonable Palestinian leadership arises willing to meet all legitimate Israeli demands and then the Israelis balk, it would be time for us to pressure Israel…but such a Palestinian leadership would only fully arise under a free Palestine…not free of Israel, but free of tyranny. And, as that works out, if there was genuine freedom in Palestine, then I’m confident that the free people of Palestine and the free people of Israel could come to a swift and equitable arrangement.

In return for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, I’d be willing for our nation to do quite a lot…and not least for the people of Palestine, many of whom are my brothers and sisters in Christ. The real cost, given our wealth, would be small…but we could help the Palestinians make their land bloom with prosperity as much as Israel does. A grand and glorious future awaits – the Holy Land should be a place of peace and justice, and I pray for the day when it is. But we also must be realistic – there are bad actors in the world. Those who take the tiny resources of a poor people and turn them into rockets to fire at random civilians are bad actors…not people who, at present, can be partners in peace and construction. Peace can be had in short order, as soon as both sides want it. Right now, honestly, only one side does…and as they are the democratic side, I must back them. It is the only decent thing to do.

Why There Must be an Israel

At the end of the day, it is the only place earth where a Jew can be sure of being safe:

…Jewish emigration from France is accelerating. From being the largest Jewish community in the EU at the start of this decade, with a population of around 500,000, it is expected by Jewish community leaders to have fallen to 400,000 within a few years. That figure is thought by some to be too optimistic. Anecdotally, every French Jew I know has either already left or is working out how to leave.

Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet refusenik who is now chair of the Jewish Agency Chairman, said last year that 2,254 French Jews moved to Israel during the first five months of 2014, against only 580 in all of 2013. That is a staggering 289 per cent increase, but in recent months the figure is thought to have increased exponentially…

We here in the United States can take pride in the fact that we are the most Jew-friendly nation in the world – but even here, forces and voices are growing more hostile to Jews. The American left is picking up the worst aspects of anti-Semitism, hiding it behind a bogus concern for Palestinians – the reality is that the left hates Israel because it is safer to hate Israel than to hate Islamism; haters gotta hate, but always better to hate those who won’t chop off your head (at least, for now: the leftists don’t realize how much the Islamists hate them, too).

The exodus of Jews from France will probably only accelerate after the events of the past few days. This exodus from France and the rest of Europe will merely accentuate the growing anti-Semitism of Europe…as more Jews leave and more Muslims move in, it’ll become ever more politically acceptable to be anti-Semitic in Europe.

The reason I defend Israel is two-fold: First off, because it is a fellow democracy. I just can’t agree that any free people should be subjugated. Secondly, because Jews have to have a place to run to. I hope and pray that my nation is always a friend of Israel – but I can’t be sure of that. Things change; people change. Appeals to hatred and fear are often successful. Israel must exist so that the Jews may be sure of existing. Period.