Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Forgetting Apartheid


Nelson Mandela is barely in his grave and already the left liberal media and political classes of the West have forgotten entirely what Apartheid was all about. For them it is about destroying the only non-racist state in the Middle East. For them it is about defaming the population and dismantling the only country in the Middle East that does not practice a form of Apartheid.

Some chance.

You would have to be an intellectual to be this profoundly stupid. 

From Ari Lesser

hat tip Shirlee

People say Israel’s an Apartheid state
But I can’t relate to that baseless hate
It’s not really fair to try and compare
A racist regime with the war on terror
Using common sense against violence
Israel had to build up the border fence
And if you think that’s Apartheid it’s because
You don’t know what Apartheid really was

For two thousand years the Jews all roamed
But we always called Israel our home
Unlike the British and Dutch who came
To South Africa where they had no claim
They already had countries overseas
But they wanted to expand to new colonies
So they conquered the natives, bought and sold
That land they stole full of diamonds and gold
The whites united and decided to create
South Africa, as a democratic state
But soon they denied blacks voting rights
So the whole government was controlled by whites
The House and the Senate and all of the courts
Were white so the black people got no support
Plus the police would arrest, and beat
Any peaceful protesters in the street
They split everybody into four different races
And moved them by force into separate places
If you were Indian, black, or brown
You had no business in a white town
They had segregation of transportation
Buses, bus stops, trains and train stations
Separate ambulance, different doctor and nurse
And the black hospitals were always worse
Restaurants, hotels, and the public park
Might be off limits if your skin was dark
It was crime and you could get more than a fine
If you crossed the line of that “Whites Only” sign
They had separate teachers at different schools
Black and white beaches and swimming pools
Cafes and movies theaters wouldn’t let folks in
Discriminating if they had the wrong color skin
No mixed marriage, it was a criminal act
For a white person to have sex with a black
Apartheid went from the womb til the tomb
Couldn't even take dump in the same bathroom

People say Israel’s an Apartheid state
But I can’t relate to that baseless hate
It’s not really fair to try and compare
A racist regime with the war on terror
Using common sense against violence
Israel had to build up the border fence
And if you think that’s Apartheid it’s because
You don’t know what Apartheid really was

In Israel, Apartheid is not the case
Cause regardless of gender, religion, or race
All Israeli citizens black, brown, and white
Have equal social and political rights
So the Arab Israeli Population
Which makes up twenty percent of the nation
Might be a minority but at least
They can vote, unlike the rest of the Middle East
Look at the whole region you'll see only
Israel is truly a democracy
Every citizen’s right to vote is protected
And Arab officials often get elected
That’s an important point, let me stress it
There’s a dozen Arabs, with seats in the Knesset
Plus an Arab Judge on the Supreme Court
So they don’t fall short on government support
Everyone has access to the same schools
The same beaches and the same swimming pools
The same resorts and hotel guest rooms
Same public parks and public restrooms
The same cinemas, restaurants, and cafes
Same trains, buses, taxis, and highways
Same doctors, and nurses, all deliveries
Of babies are done in the same facilities
Arab Israeli life expectancy’s great
Up by Twenty seven years since nineteen forty-eight
And their infant mortality rate has declined
From thirty-two per thousand to less than nine
And they’re doing much better economically
Relative to every other Arab country
There’s no restrictions on choice of career
They’re welcome in the military if they volunteer
They can work and reside wherever they please
From Eilat all the way to the sea of Galilee
They live in the very same cities as Jews
On the same street in the same house if the choose

So people say Israel’s an Apartheid state
But I can’t relate to that baseless hate
It’s not really fair to try and compare
A racist regime with the war on terror
Using common sense against violence
Israel had to build up the border fence
And if you think that’s Apartheid it’s because
You don't know what Apartheid really was.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Morally Equivalent Emptiness

In the comments under a recent Times of Israel piece entitled, Netanyahu: Islamists taking us back to the ‘Dark Ages’, we read this:
Louis Arpino · Knoxville, Tennessee
"The more isolated from the world that Israel becomes, the more hysterical Bibi becomes. Radical Judaism, with whom Bibi is politically in bed with, is no better than radical Islam.
The both preach the same hate."
It is hard to know just what is behind this kind of stupidity.  For some people the moral equivalency canard derives from a liberal desire to be evenhanded.  For others, as I suspect with the gentleman above, it derives from a desire to kick the Jews in the teeth.
Whatever the reason for this kind of thing, however, we see it all the time and it is always wrong.
One cannot even begin to compare radical Islam with "radical Judaism."  It's a matter of having a rational sense of proportionality and of recognizing that Jews are not flinging their women into potato sacks or flinging acid into their faces for disobeying their men or shooting 12 year old girls in the head for wanting an education.
On the first matter, there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world so that if even a relatively small portion of them, say 10 percent, favor radical Islam that is 150 million people, which represents more devotees than either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union ever dreamed of having.  Furthermore, unlike radical Islam, "radical Judaism" (whatever that is exactly) is not a prominent international political movement.  There is no Jewish equivalent of the Muslim Brotherhood running around the world, supporting terrorism, and seeking to hijack entire countries.
The moral equivalency canard has a corrosive and highly toxic influence within the conversation around the long war against the Jews in the Middle East, as well as western foreign policies, more generally.  People, particularly on the left, will say things like, "Well, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."  When it comes to the Arab-Israel conflict, this is entirely false.  You cannot compare the efforts of a small, traditionally persecuted, minority to defend itself from a much larger hostile population, with the efforts of that much larger hostile population to slaughter or subdue the minority.
The problem is that this attitude is pervasive throughout the western world, including the United States.  One evening I was chatting with a friend of mine who happens to be gay and of a Christian background from Texas.  We were, not surprisingly, discussing politics.  I was making the case to him, and to the others in the room who were, to a person, on the left, that political Islam is an actual political movement that we need to take seriously.  My friend responded with words along the lines of, "Oh, yeah?  Well, what about the Evangelicals?  What about the Christian conservatives in this country?  What about those racist Tea Party people?!"
At the time I just looked at him slack-jawed.
It amazes me that so many people do not comprehend the vast moral distinction between a conservative American Christian who opposes abortion and gay marriage with a political movement that quite literally hangs gay people from cranes.  The ideological blinkertude of someone who would morally equate conservative American Christians with political Islam is just staggering in its failure of rational comprehension.
In conservative Christianity we have ministers who tell their congregations that he who blesses Israel shall be blessed and he who curses Israel shall be cursed.
In radical Islam we have imams and ayatollahs screeching to the heavens for Jewish blood.
In conservative Christianity we have mothers and fathers who do not want their children to run away to San Francisco, stick a bunch of metal in their faces and then come down with a sexually transmitted disease.
In political Islam they simply kill gay people outright.
In conservative Christianity we sometimes have men who would prefer it if their wives stayed at home with the kids.
In political Islam we have men who force their women into sack-cloth and refuse to allow them to leave the house without a male escort.
In conservative Christianity we sometimes have prominent preachers who sleep with prostitutes or who turn out, themselves, to be gay.
In political Islam we have preachers who call quite literally for genocide.
To suggest that either conservative Christianity or "radical Judaism" is in any way equivalent to what we see with political Islam is to reveal a deep and troublesome moral confusion.
Whatever its faults and flaws, conservative Christianity is a friend to the Jewish people and we should treat it as such.  In my view, we Jews have treated our conservative Christian friends like dirt.  We malign them and claim that the only reason they support Israel is out of an eschatological longing for the End of Days and the punishment of the Jews at the hand of Jesus.
This is to project a malicious intention onto people who simply do not deserve it.  Democrats and progressives encourage this hatred toward conservative Christians because they see conservative Christians as their Number One Enemy for cultural and electoral reasons.
In the mean time, blood flows from the Koran through the streets of Cairo and Damascus and Benghazi and Khartoum.
Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Future Partners For Peace


This is a tape of what and how "Palestinian" kids are taught in schools that are pretty much entirely funded by countries in the West through either the UN or by direct extortion from the terrorist and criminal gangs that rule whatever you would call passes for a "Palestinian" polity.

It was shown by Bibi to John Kerry in a meeting a few days ago in a desperate attempt to get the blockhead to see some sense. To see what is in front of his nose. 

It's in Hebrew and that's a bonus.  It includes the cutest couple of adds that you will see anywhere even if you don't know what they are selling. 

Are there people who really seriously think that the Israelis will peacefully give into this vile and abominable thing that has been hatched on the world? Ever? Are they insane? Would you? Would any free people?

Seriously, do you think the Israelis could even be bothered listening to all the gratuitous advice from the safe and abroad? Of course not. Would you?

How do you handle these people who teach their kids this stuff? Any ideas? 

When they say that Israel is their land they honestly and passionately believe it. From their world view it is their land. That is because it was once under the Caliphate and therefore forever Muslim land under the purist title of all. That bestowed directly by God. Man made law is irrelevant. Worse than irrelevant. It is blasphemy. 

Either you accept this crazed view of the Middle East and the world in some sort of nutty delusion out of Bizzaroland or you do not. At the end of the day it all gets down to what you mean by "law" and by civilised human behaviour.  
This is about Australians. And Europeans, Americans and the rest. Its our civilisation foundations that are under attack here and they make no bones about it.     

hat tip Shirlee

cross posted Israel Thrives

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Short Speech For David Shoebridge MLC


Onya Pat.

Impossible to listen to Pat Condell's latest video without at least a passing thought for the nasty little gang of creeps who hang around the office of the Greens NSW Parliamentary spokesman for gay and lesbian affairs.

Inviting Holocaust deniers to join them for a nice afternoon cruise on Sydney Harbour in aid of Hamas is the least of it with this mob. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

BDS Lynch Mob


This is from a comment left by A/Professor Jake Lynch on the article put up by New Matilda about the Shurat HaDin action against Lynch and perhaps in time the other BDS louts who believe that marching and shouting outside private businesses associated with a particular single tiny minority is a good way to advance the human condition; according to their world view. "Glad NM has run some good reporting and commentary on this story, to balance some of the material that has appeared in The Australian",  says Prof  Lynch.
Try reading this without getting a nasty chilly stabbing twinge somewhere between the shoulder blades and the right jaw. If you are not yet convinced that BDS is a dangerous and sinister thing straight out of the past, with labels on, then this must do the job.
Israel is singled out for boycott, not because of the religion followed by the majority of its citizens but because of its record of militarism and lawlessness. There are other countries that occupy territory recognised as not their own; kill large numbers of civilians in military action; stockpile nuclear weapons without joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and violate the 1973 UN Convention against apartheid. But only one does all four. There is no non-Jewish state in that category, so the charge of discrimination is easily disproved on that count as well.
Jake Lynch
Reading this invokes what I can only call a folk memory. Mind you I've seen it before first hand. I think we all have. This is a man come in judgement who has already found you guilty and has defined the crime that he believes with passion best fits you.You came first. Then the crime made to custom like a ghetto shirt.  He could be an inquisitor priest straight out of the fifteenth century. He even looks the part. There's no point arguing with him. He has come too far to get where he is. The only thing to do is expose him. 
Or do what Shurat HaDin is doing. 
Note the technique. Jake defines the subject for us. The "Jews" are a "religion", as if they are Presbyterians. No hint of a nod to Jewish nationhood not even in Israel. Therefore any claim the Jews have to the land they lawfully settled and the brilliant state they have built and where they live is based on their religion. Never mind the law. The Zionists are lawless.
Then come the Goebbels lies.  The attack is always multi-layered.There are seven lies in less than six lines. To tackle them all is to retreat and defend. To ignore them is to confirm.
Most of all is the fit up. This is how this works. Pick a country. Any country will do. It doesn't even have to be an especially unpleasant country. Be sporting.  Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Algeria ... dozens of others, are no challenge.Then think of some unpleasant things. It doesn't have to be true. It is enough that there are those who say it is true. In the case of Israel you can look to the neighbours for all the material you need and I don't mean what they say.
There are other countries that have annexed whole countries and driven their leadership into exile, stock pile nuclear weapons, ruthlessly suppress and imprison dissidents, aggressively confront other states in all directions, carry out executions in public on an industrial scale and even humiliate the families of the executed. But only China does all of these.  This is not discrimination.  Boycott China.
There are other countries that stock pile nuclear weapons, execute people for blasphemy, persecute minorities, inflame sectarian divisions, savagely oppress women, assassinate civilian politicians and harbour and supply terrorists and terrorist gangs active over the borders while filching billions in aid as a form of extortion. But only Pakistan does all of these. No discrimination here. Boycott Pakistan.
There are other countries that exterminate wallabies as if they are vermin, bludge off neighbours for their defence, expose anti-terrorist operations that they benefit from and put at risk the lives of brave agents in the process, spread cheap antisemitc conspiracy theories, insult visiting Israeli diplomats, discriminate systematically against indigenous people ground down by war and dump their surplus population on the welfare system of the nearest functional state. But only New Zealand does all of these ...
And so on.
In just a few lines Jake Lynch has revealed all you need to know about Jake Lynch. There is a law at work here. To shrug off allegations of bigotry you must discriminate against the target group as much as possible. Simple discrimination is not enough. You must isolate and zero-in with perfect malice one layer at a time until the target stands bare and alone. Then you boycott.  
This can be called Lynch's Law.  

Kerry's Backhanded Threats

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives.}

The piece below was written by Arlene from Israel:

November 8, 2013: HE'S CROSSED THE LINE!

I'm talking about John Kerry, and actually, he's crossed it twice.

I had no time to write today, with Levy Report work and a very early Shabbat. But I must write, ever so briefly, because people must know about this.

Yesterday, Kerry, who is here, gave a TV interview. And this is what he said (emphasis added):

"The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. Does Israel want a third intifada?"


I repeat: Does Israel want a third intifada?

This is a form of intimidation and blackmail: Israel, make additional concessions to the PA, or face the consequences of violence.


Not an acceptable way to talk to Israel. Either we make concessions because it's good for us in terms of a deal to be struck, or we shouldn't make concessions.

Violence? We'll have to brace for it if it comes, cope with it. Make a lot of arrests, send out a lot of police and troops, and, who knows? maybe take aim at the heads of a few of the perpetrators of violence that threatens innocent Jewish life, so that people get the message not to fool with us. (I speak for myself and not officially, of course.)


But folks, this is not the worst of what Kerry did. The interview was with Udi Segal, of Israel's channel 2 and also with Maher Shalabi, of Palestinian TV.

And so, what Kerry is also guilty of, besides intimidation and blackmail, is incitement. He was speaking to a Palestinian Arab audience as well. And he was giving the nod to their being violent if they are not happy with the Israeli stance.

This is the chief diplomatic officer of the United States of America? This is the despicable low to which the US has fallen?


The urgency in writing has to do with my sense that Americans who love Israel -- and I know you are legion! -- need to know what Kerry did. You are likely to be outraged along with me,


Please! translate that outrage into action. Do not sit still for a secretary of state who speaks to Israel thus. To protest to the White House or State Department is pointless.

Contact your representatives of Congress. Protest this in the strongest terms. DEMAND that intimidation of Israel stop. Call for the firing of Kerry. He doesn't qualify as dog catcher of Washington DC.

For your Congresspersons:


For your Senator:


And, please, share this posting absolutely as broadly as you can, encouraging others to also protest Kerry's behavior.


On the flip side of this vile behavior, we can see encouraging news. Kerry is desperate or he wouldn't be speaking this way. Pay no attention to his babble about how much progress has been made in just days. He is not getting from Israel the concessions he is seeking.

What is more, he has now thoroughly and completely discredited himself with the Israeli government, which had no official comment. I don't know this from official sources but understand it intuitively. He is less likely now, not more likely, to have the leverage to convince our government of anything. One unnamed Israeli official called this, from Kerry, "a worrying and dangerous precedent."

I would say that, should Arab violence increase in the wake of this interview, any Jewish blood that is spilled would be on Kerry's hands.

Let us stay strong, and hold fast to our rights.

Much more - in particular on Iran - coming soon.

Shabbat Shalom.
I do not know that Kerry was intentionally trying to threaten Israel with a third terror war if it refuses to capitulate to Palestinian-Arab demands, but the effect is that of a threat.  He is essentially telling the local Arabs that they have every right to commit violence against Jews if the Jews refuse to submit to their marching orders.

The Palestinian Authority glorifies violence against Jews and among people like Kerry (not to mention Obama or, say, Peter Beinart) that violence is justified because they see Israel as a "colonial-settler oppressor state" or some such propagandistic formulation.  They would never say that they think that violence toward Jews is justified, nor do I suppose that they would even think it, but that's entirely irrelevant.  By articulating what amounts to the "Palestinian narrative" of never-ending Jewish guilt and general Palestinian-Arab innocence they give the local Arabs every reason to believe that they are right to seek the murder of the Jewish people around them.  If this were not the case they might consider strongly objecting to genocidal Arab incitement toward Jews, but they do not.

One of the biggest mistakes that we have made within the diaspora Jewish community, if not the Jewish community more generally, has been in incorporating the "Palestinian narrative" into our way of thinking on the conflict and it is for that reason that so many diaspora Jews oppose "settlement activity."  Yet, by opposing Jews who build housing for themselves in Judaea and Samaria we essentially capitulate to the idea that the Jewish minority in that part of the world deserve whatever beatings the Arabs wish to dish out.

Some would argue that we must oppose the settlements because Israel can be a democratic state or a Jewish state, but not both if it annexes Judaea and Samaria.  Thankfully, I am not calling for any such annexation.  The point is that we should not reward Arab racism toward Jews by agreeing with Mahmoud Abbas that any future state of "Palestine" must be Judenrein.

Palestinian-Arab culture is toxic to everyone in the region, including the Palestinian-Arabs themselves, because it is drowning in resentment and hatred and violence and that resentment, hatred, and violence is stoked by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, not to mention Hamas.

They are raising up yet another generation of Arabs who are taught that Jews are evil and that even the Devil, himself, is Jewish.

There are those who would argue that the Jewish people in Israel have oppressed the local Arabs which is why they are hate-filled toward Jews.  This is false because it confuses cause with effect.  The check-points and restrictions that sometimes apply to local Arabs are not the source of their hatred, but a response to their hatred and it is a very old hatred, indeed.

Fourteen centuries of theologically-based loathing of Jews is the central core of the problem.  Until the Arab majority moves beyond their medieval prejudices, the conflict will continue and increasingly toward their own detriment.

By the way, I would very much recommend Jonathan Tobin's recent discussion of the matter at Commentary entitled, Kerry Tips the Scales Against Israel.

As he writes:
Even before his latest intervention, there was a good chance the Palestinians would use the eventual collapse of these talks as an excuse for more violence. But now they more or less have Kerry’s seal of approval for such behavior. While American diplomats have made some terrible mistakes in the last 20 years in pursuit of Middle East peace, it’s hard to recall a precedent for this sort of incompetence.
I could hardly agree more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sticking Up For Shurat HaDin


This blog subscribes to New Matilda. It is dirty work but someone has to do it so it may as well be the blog. The Joint occasionally even scans the home page for anything interesting. This blog is a niche operation and pretty much only ever finds a certain set of issues interesting. They range all the way from Leftist/Islamist racism and imperialism at one end of the spectrum to Islamist/Leftist racism and imperialism at the other.

New Matilda styles itself as "independent journalism at its best".   They are "crowd funded" so every now and again I get a puff email asking for money. Sorry guys. Not my crowd.

I got one of these a few days ago that included this paragraph.

New Matilda was the only Australian media outlet to come out strongly against the outrageous attack on academic freedom and freedom of association by Israeli law centre Shurat HaDin, which is pursuing legal action against Professor Jake Lynch from Sydney University.

So I followed the link. As you do. New Matilda and the usual suspects have launched a nasty attack on Shurat HaDin. That is interesting. This is one reason I think ECAJ was wrong to disown the Shurat HaDin initiative. BDS is a sinister movement that will take every opportunity to press its world view that as we know has a wildly disproportionate focus on Jews at every level.

This is what these people do when they think they can do it with impunity. ECAJ made no observations on the merits of the case. New Matilda and the BDS group it harbours are now pressing the issue. This is what happens when you give these people an inch. Surely we know who they are by now. 

I noted the Shurat HaDin case and was happy to just watch it unfold. After reading this article I've changed my mind. This is not entirely a simple reflex at the sight of the white of their eyes. They are after all not all British. I am going to stick up for the Shurat HaDin action. Community leaders are squeamish about it but it has drawn the "destroy Israel" mob out into the open and we should take a shot. At least not let their narrative go unanswered.

This is the linked article.

Israeli Law Centre Sues To Outlaw Boycotts

By Max Chalmers

Professor Jake Lynch
Professor Jake Lynch
An Israeli legal centre has made good on threats to take Sydney University Professor Jake Lynch and the BDS movement to court - and seeks to have BDS declared unlawful, reports Max Chalmers
After months of speculation, emails, and a visit to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the self-described “Israeli legal centre” Shurat HaDin has made good on its threat to pursue legal action against the controversial Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestments (BDS) movement in the Federal Court.
The organisation this week filed a case against University of Sydney academic Jake Lynch, accusing the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies director of breaching Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act by supporting the global BDS movement, which aims to pressure Israel into ending its occupation of the Palestinian territories, returning to 1967 borders, and allowing the return of the Palestinian diaspora.
...and this ...
The announcement of court proceedings has drawn outrage from pro-BDS groups. In a press conference held yesterday in Sydney’s Queen’s Square, University of Sydney academic Stuart Rees said Shurat HaDin was endangering free speech in Australia and conflating critiques of Israeli policy with anti-semitism. Rees, who chairs the Sydney Peace Foundation, rejected accusations that supporters of BDS take an unfairly tough line on Israel and said he and Lynch also worked hard to draw attention to human rights abuses in places like Sri Lanka, West Papua, Cambodia, and Saudi Arabia.
“This notion that because we are also focused on the human rights of people in Israel and in Palestine — that we therefore don’t pay any attention to anything else — is a typical deflection technique,” he said.
Along with Lynch, Rees has collected 2000 signatures from people willing to act as co-defendants, not least of whom is Booker prize winning author Arundhati Roy. 
Though Lynch remains on research leave, the small crowd was also addressed by University of New South Wales Associate Professor Peter Slezak. The son of Romanian holocaust survivors, Slezak said he was keenly aware of the dangers of anti-Semitism, but that the BDS movement should not be understood through the lens of racial discrimination.
“It is clearly not about anti-Semitism to criticise violations of international law. Israel is a state like any other state,” Slezak said.
Rees described Shurat HaDin as an aggressive foreign organisation during his press conference, and said they were using the Australian legal system to silence anti-Israeli dissent.

You see, this is the sort of stuff that I find more than vaguely irritating. Academics engaging in what used to be called "Direct Action"  claiming that their political activity as academics that has nothing to do with research and teaching is always covered by academic freedom and free speech. 
What has this got to do with free speech? This is about the boycotting of private businesses and individuals entirely on the basis of their perceived association with Jewish nationhood as manifest in the State of Israel. What's there to talk about there?
What has this got to do with academic freedom? How does that work? Does this mean academics are always exempt from the consequences of political acts they carry out as academics that have nothing to do with research, publishing and teaching? Does that mean academics on strike must still be paid because to cut the flow would infringe their academic freedom?
So I left this comment and to their credit NM published it. 

Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 16:00

I don't know how I missed this. If it wasn't for that begging email asking for money I would have overlooked this fatuous piece entirely. Better late than never.
I applaud the actions of Shurat HaDin and I wish them well. This is an important case that defines limits in more ways than one. I also support the Government's decision to cut funding to this academic unit and hope that it is kept to its promise to cut ALL funding including for projects that are claimed to be not specifically  for BDS or other antizionist or antisemitc and racist attacks on a besieged minority in both the Middle East and Australia.
There is no question that Shurat HaDin is acting in the spirit of the Southern Poverty Law Center on which it is based. 
You need to understand that what we have here is a fundamental ideological dispute. I am as appalled by you as you are by me. When I see a BDS rally on the news I could not be more sickened than if it was a march by the KKK in Birmingham, Alabama, circa 1961. For exactly the same reasons.
Claims that this is not discrimination are risible. Lynch and Rees say they draw attention to "human rights abuses" in places like Sri Lanka, West Papua, Cambodia, and Saudi Arabia. How come no one ever hears of this? Apart from the fact there is no remote comparison, in none of those cases, or any other even more egregious examples they ignore, are they demanding and imposing boycotts, organising political meetings, demanding the dispossession of people from their land on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality or working for the dissolution of a state with concrete foundations in international law.  
If you do not understand that this is discrimination and double standards of the ugliest kind then maybe you might get it if we sang it to you.
This has got nothing to do with free speech. Rees and Lynch can say what they like. This has got nothing to do with academic freedom. Lynch and Rees have crossed the line into political activism and they have no right to complain if they are treated as political activists.
It has nothing to do with Palestinian rights. If Rees and Lynch and the whole BDS mob gave a damn about the Palestinians they would be howling for their liberation from the death grip of Hamas and the cold, brutal, corrupt  hold of Fatah. They would be demanding that they be treated as equal human beings in the places they live including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Invariably the places of their birth.
Rees and Lynch call for boycotts. They implement them. They want private businesses and individuals cut off from that which nurture them; including other academics.  By what special pleading do they claim exemption from that which they demand for others? 

And today this :

Is It Anti-Semitic To Protest Injustice?

By Peter Slezak

Even its critics must acknowledge that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a peaceful protest against Israel's serious violations of human rights and international law, writes Peter Slezak
After a recent public speech, I received an email from someone I don’t know named Bloom, who said that I should have perished in the Holocaust with the rest of my family.
Ironically, the insult was prompted by my support of an academic colleague, Professor Jake Lynch, who has been charged in Federal Court with racial discrimination against Jews, but who is, in fact, a distinguished defender of human rights, justice and international law. Acting in accordance with the growing movement for institutional Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Lynch chose not to collaborate with an Israeli academic from a university deeply complicit in the brutal 46-year occupation of Palestine.
Non-Jewish critics of Israel are accused of anti-semitism for supporting causes such as BDS, while Jewish critics regularly receive vile denunciations and even death threats from other Jews. Most common is the label "self-hating Jew" – a pseudo psychological diagnosis of a mental disorder for which the only criterion is criticism of Israel.
Support for the BDS movement is not anti-semitic. Even its critics must acknowledge that BDS is based on the call from Palestinian civil society to protest Israel’s serious violations of human rights and international law.
Palestinians have long been condemned for violent resistance to the Israeli occupation, so the emergence of peaceful protest through BDS should be welcomed. Instead, it is denounced and slandered as racist. But BDS is a rights-based movement which is against racism in all forms, notably and explicitly against anti-semitism.

Dear me. Do read it all. This does require a response and I've made a start (below). But there's so much material here it will require several posts.

Posted Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 14:40

What I said here. But without the typos.
I never cease to be astounded that BDS supporters always, always, seek to pre-emptively deflect the mantle of racism by hiding behind a Jew upfront saying what they want him to say for them when in fact this merely confirms it. 
"... while Jewish critics regularly receive vile denunciations and even death threats from other Jews. Most common is the label "self-hating Jew" – a pseudo psychological diagnosis of a mental disorder for which the only criterion is criticism of Israel."
I simply do not believe this. Any "vile denunciations" would be from someone's cousin probably over dinner.
"Self-hating Jew" is a phrase I never use myself. It's too "touchy feely". Almost hippy. A bit too west of Byron Bay .Anyway I've never seen it defined that way.
I prefer the term, "antisemite". 
More coming in a post near you soon.

OK. More posts coming. Do look through the comment thread under the Shurat HaDin post. There's a comment from Jake Lynch himself. It includes the most chilling rationale for why BDS is not discriminatory I have ever seen.  
Cross posted Israel Thrives
                   New and Views From Jews Downunder

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Partisan Free Zone


The Racism of the "Progressives"


Condell has the measure of these people. Someone should give him the number of David Shoebridge. It is easy to see him coming. The true racists are the true believers of the progressive left.

Grandchildren of the Nazis


This follows neatly from the last post.

The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of SS officers and Nazi soldiers who participated in the Holocaust visited Poland as a group last year. An Israeli TV news team went along for the ride.

hat tip : elinor

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rosa's Story


"I wonder if that Jewish girl Grandma and her parents saved from the Nazis survived the war?"

This is a story of the Holocaust, survival, resistance and terror beyond the language and perhaps most importantly about the people who  Yad Vashem and the State of Israel term the Righteous Among the Nations ( חסידי אומות העולם‎, khassidey umot ha-olam "righteous (plural) of the world's nations"). 

It is a story that is only now being told and never before in English. It is also a story of the power of the internet and may well be the most important piece I have ever posted. 

We have the privilege of knowing for decades Rosa Segal, a lovely lady, one of life's treasures. As she has been married to my first cousin Gerald since 1971 this will not surprise. Recently Rosa and Gerald were visiting from Melbourne and over lunch the conversation turned to an experience of Rosa and her sister Sara just before Passover (and Easter) this year. A lot of work has been done since but this is Rosa's Story from that family lunch.

Rosa's mother was born Estera (Esther)  Bordowicz in 1917 and died in Melbourne in 2001. In the summer of 1939 she was a twenty one year old Jewish girl in the Polish town of Kalisz.  Kalisz was a border town with Germany. It had a thriving population of about 89 000  including perhaps 25 000 or 30 000 Jews. The family was well educated and prosperous. 

We now know that Esther was engaged to a young doctor or medical student and in the prime of life. 

On 1 September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland.The town was taken by surprise and occupied by the Wehrmacht on the first day with barely a chance to put up a fight.  By the summer of 1942 the Jewish population had been destroyed. By the end of the war the town's population was half what it was in 1939.

Esther and her older brother Ignatz, and his family, survived the war. 
They were in Tashkent in the far east Soviet Union, now Uzbekistan, when the war ended, almost exactly four thousand kilometres from Kalisz.

Ignatz travelled to Kalisz as soon as he could get permits in a search for any surviving family. There was no one. Not a soul. There were hardly any Jews. Soon he, Stella his wife and their children went to Israel. Esther returned to Kalisz where she fell pregnant and married who has been described as "the only Jewish man in Kalisz". Rosa was born in 1949 and the family moved to Israel in 1950. They migrated to Melbourne in 1959 where a relative had lived since 1933. 

That's about all that was known about her life in the years between 1939 and 1945. Pretty much nothing.  Esther hardly ever spoke about the war in her lifetime. Nor did her brother in Israel and their son who was eleven years old in 1941 still refuses and the family have stopped asking.

Then in March 2013 Rosa's sister Sara and then Rosa received emails from this beautiful young lady. 


This is Monika Leonczyk who lives in the city of  Słupsk in the north of Poland. Monika and her family know where Esther was for four of those dreadful years. They have always known. This is because Monika's family kept Esther hidden in their home, at times in a large bedroom cupboard and when the risk of detection was most acute in a specially built compartment under the floor boards. For two years from 1941 when the town came under Nazi occupation the family and Esther lived this way.

When she was a young high school student Monika entered an essay in a national competition on the subject of  "Poles and Jews during the Second World War". Monika had a particular story to tell and researched her material carefully. She sought and obtained assistance from Anna Przybyszewska Drozd of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, who responded to her letters.

Her essay won second prize. I can not imagine what won first prize.

Monika's grandmother is Joanna Kocięcka who in 1939 lived in the town of Stolin with her parents Veronica and Vladislav Koźlakowskich.   Stolin too was a  border town but in the east. Now in Belarus, the town was on the border with the Soviet Union about as far from the German invasion as you could get without leaving Poland. The Poles term this region "the Borderlands". Poignant. 

In early September Esther and her family managed to escape from Kalisz to Stolin where the family had relatives. On 17 September 1939 the Poles, both Catholics and Jews, were still fiercely resisting the Nazi onslaught on their own and with incredible courage but the back of the military was already broken. Then Stalin invaded from the east under a secret pact with Germany. Taken by surprise Stolin was taken by the Red Army on the first day. By 8 October it was all over. Germany annexed the west and centre and the Soviet Union annexed the east and Poland ceased to exist.   

Other than it did not specifically target the Jews for genocide,  in many ways Stalin's occupation of Poland was as brutal as Hitler's. The hideous massacre of Katyn Forest  is now well documented. Stalin had thousands murdered, including thousands of Polish officers the Soviets held prisoner. Anyone with advanced education or wealth, both Catholics and Jews, were rounded up and murdered or deported in a process that was carried out over all of Soviet occupied Poland. However Esther and her family managed to live without harassment under the Soviet occupation in the home of their relatives  until 22 June 1941. Then the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and soon Stolin, and the rest of Soviet occupied Poland, came under Nazi occupation. 

Soon the Jews of Stolin were forced into a ghetto and that is where Esther and all her surviving family were herded. At some point the Nazis moved to liquidate the ghetto. The whole town soon knew that they were killing the Jews.  Many people were shot in the streets.  The survivors were  forced to nearby woods and slaughtered. Monika's grandfather was among the Polish men the Germans sent to bury the corpses in the trenches.

It is not known if or how many Jews other than Esther, Ignatz and his family survived the massacre. They may have been the only ones.

Ignatz had been a soldier in the Polish army.  He, Stella and their children escaped to a group of partisans and helped wage a guerrilla war against the Nazis. Esther avoided the round up by the dumb luck of not being home when the soldiers came. Her parents were arrested and she never saw them again. There is some speculation she may have seen them murdered. She ran in the streets to a home she picked at random, terrified and in tears, and knocked frantically on the door pleading for help.

This is when fifteen year old Joanna and her family first met Esther.

They took her in and hid her for about two years. During that time Esther was never to be seen by anyone outside the family. No one could know. She could not leave the home except to take occasional short walks with Joanna in the garden after dusk.

Esther and Joanna had become close friends. They shared a bed. It was in Joanna's cupboard that Esther hid when the family received visitors.

They talked about many things and Joanna was to come to know much about Esther's earlier life. She learned about Esther's fiance and how much  she missed him. She was never to see him again. 

One day Joanna recalls watching as a fifteen year old  from the window of her home a man she recognised named Szklar; a wealthy man who owned a department store in the town before the war. She could look out but of course Esther would dare not.

Szklar was stripped to the waist and bare foot and being marched to the woods by 'peasants" armed with pitchforks in the company of two SS men. He was holding the hand of a terrified young girl. It was his daughter Masha. Later Joanna was to learn they were soon murdered. They had been betrayed by the "peasants" who Szklar had paid to shelter them on their farm and who may have murdered them as well.

Szklar and Masha were relatives of Esther, well known to her. They were the family that sheltered her and her family after they fled Kalisz. Rosa never knew that she had cousins in Stolin let alone what happened to them. Esther never breathed a word of it. It is best that these truths come out eventually.

During all that time each of the  Koźlakowskich family could not by some slip draw any suspicion from anyone about what they were doing. The family had to get on with the business of their lives as best they could in this Polish community under Nazi occupation.

This is an act of courage and resolution that requires some perspective. The family of Anne Frank and the others were hidden and supplied by a courageous man who shared their fate after they were betrayed. Miraculously he and Anne's father survived the war and so Anne's story could be told.   

In Nazi occupied Poland there were different rules. Only there did the Nazis feel the need to issue a proclamation that any Pole caught harbouring a Jew would be summarily executed along with all of his or her family.  The Koźlakowskich family was living with the Jew they were harbouring. Joanna shared a bed with her. 

Then something happened. After two years Joanna was suddenly arrested by the Germans.

She and her family were lucky. She was caught only for supplying drugs and medicines to the partisans. Not for harbouring a Jew and therefore only Joanna was deported. Initially it was to a concentration camp but her father managed to bribe a German officer to have the sentence "commuted" to deportation to a slave labour detachment in Germany where it was calculated she had some chance of survival. She was seventeen and she did survive. So did her parents. 

Esther was never to know that.  

It was time to leave. 

Joanna had been caught aiding the partisans and her parents could be arrested and the home searched at any moment. They fled Stolin after getting permits to travel to Pinsk where Vladislav Koźlakowskich had family. But first Vladislav arranged a fake birth certificate for Esther from a friendly priest and walked with her to the village of  Struga  where in the surrounding forests there was stationed a large partisan unit. It was either the unit of Major Stephen Kaplun or Major John Burzynski.  Joanna is uncertain which. 

Esther linked up with the partisans and the Koźlakowskich family never saw or heard from her again.

There is evidence that Esther lived in Struga or elsewhere as a Catholic although in contact with the partisans in the forests and perhaps as an agent for them. It is not hard to deduce that her brother with the partisans and with whom she ended up in Tashkent and ultimately Israel had much to do with this.  She had the fake birth certificate and Rosa reports she said that she went to Church at some stage and learned the religion. It could only have been during this period. For the rest of her life she retained the habit of crossing herself, to make the Sign of the Cross, whenever she was stressed or had heard bad or distressing news. As if it was some sort of spell to ward off the evil eye.

I'm not sure how that would have gone down in Israel.  

No one knows how Esther and her brother got to Tashkent, or why,  thousand of kilometres to the east, at some point after 1943 and likely towards the end of the war after the tide had turned. Monika has wisely speculated it could have been to make contact with Anders Army. and that would certainly explain how they came to be in Tashkent. It is difficult to imagine they made the trip across the whole of  wartime Soviet Union without Soviet partisan and Red Army support. There was an enormous traffic from all over the Soviet Union to and from Tashkent as the USSR moved much of its industry and manufacturing capacity to the region out of reach of the Germans. To get through the German lines to the Red Army front would have needed the help of the partisans. From there, with all the traffic to Tashkent  it would have been easy to hitch a ride or take trains despite the enormous distance , provided they had the necessary permits.

But there is a pattern here. Tashkent is now the capital of Uzbekistan but in 1943 it was about as far as you could get from the Germans without leaving the Soviet Union. Esther could not settle in either Israel or Poland after the war but eventually she settled in Melbourne which of course is about as far as you can get from the Germans without leaving the planet.

In those years Anne Frank, Joanna and Szklar's young daughter Masha were all about the same age and Esther was not much older. Also about the same age as Monika when she researched her prize winning essay at school and discovered the Jewish girl that Grandma and her parents saved from the Nazis did in fact survive the war, and a few years later with further research was able to track down her descendants in distant Melbourne.

Esther has twelve descendants. Gerald and Rosa have two sons and a daughter and four grand children. Their daughter Sarah was married last month in Melbourne. She is 27 and Monika's family who have seen photos say she is very like Esther from when they knew her. The same beautiful thick dark hair. There are no photos of Esther from that period of course. An image of Sarah now the same age as her grandmother then appears at the end of this post.

There is no evidence that Esther made any attempt to contact Joanna and her parents after the war. Who knows what nightmares she carried for the rest of her life. Perhaps she was just too fearful to hear that Johanna or her parents had not survived. She knew Johanna was in the hands of the Nazis.  Perhaps she just could not cope with any memory of those years. We do know that to be the subject of a racist attack can be the most humiliating experience you can endure. Besides anger or even rage it can induce deep feelings of shame and guilt. I can only imagine what Esther felt. Perhaps she did not try to contact the Koźlakowskich family because she was simply too ashamed to face the people who had risked so much to save her.

When Stella died in Israel in 1971 Ignatz very quickly followed. They had been through it all together since Kalisz. He could not bear to be without her after all that. He could not bear her death. He took his own life.  

It is well documented what happened to Anne Frank and her sister after they were betrayed in 1944. The story could not be more dispiriting. Anne's suffering and death nine months later could not have been more sordid.  On 13 October 2013  the New York Times had this to say on the opening of  a permanent exhibition in Los Angeles. 

LOS ANGELES — What lessons do we learn from Anne Frank? Since her diary is the chronicle of an education, we learn what she learns: the lessons of daily life and early adolescence, acquired during a horrific time. We watch a meticulously observant girl, age 13, evolve into a self-consciously observant young woman, age 15. We watch — as one of Philip Roth’s characters pungently remarked — a fetus growing a face.

What we don’t learn from the diary is what happened after the last entry, on Aug. 1, 1944. We don’t learn how this self-described “chatterbox,” whose most-quoted pronouncement is “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart,” must have come to doubt that sentiment; nor do we learn that by that winter, she was a typhus-ridden, starving, naked, weeping, walking corpse in Bergen-Belsen, where the Germans had shipped her from Auschwitz along with other condemned souls in the waning months of the war.

Anne died on March 21 in 1945. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British on 15 April.  Had Anne survived you can be certain she would not have been quiet about her experiences. She would have written essays and books about it and about many other subjects as well.  Esther not so much. She said not a word about her experiences to anyone in her lifetime. Not even to her own children.

Monika reports that her great-grandfather knew that he would qualify for the honour "Righteous Among the World Nations" but declined to have his name put forward. Joanne makes the point that her grandfather did what he did not because he sought fame and reward but because he was a good person who did what he had to do. Hence he declined to apply for the award.

But this is no reason why he could not be nominated now. Vladislav did not know that Esther had in fact been rescued and it would be understandable if he had grave doubts. Moreover an application for a posthumous award can hardly be attributed to a motive for fame and reward. In any event rescuing Jews from the Holocaust without motive for reward is a criterion for the honour.

Besides Vladislav is not the only unrecognised "Righteous" in this story.

There are many reasons why it is important these heroes should be recognised with this award and the history recorded forever. These stories bring hope and meaning to many in a dangerous and savage world. They provide a centre point and inspiration. 

There are many accounts of Poles behaving indifferently, callously and viciously during the war and its immediate aftermath. Too many. However it is also true that many Poles saved many Jews at terrible risk. More than any other nationality it seems. It is good for the Polish people to know that. It is also good for the Jews. Many Poles were executed specifically for the crime of harbouring Jews. The ledger should be balanced for accuracy lest we lose faith in the human spirit.

Antisemites and other enemies of the West, life and humanity are fond of taunting the Jews with the Goebbels lies, big, bold and spitting, about Israelis acting like Nazis and the genocide of the Palestinians. This is especially common in Europe.

They should look to the experiences of the people in this story to know how the Nazis behaved. They should look to the experiences of these people to know what genocide is. 

It is a rare privilege to propose that these names be submitted to the Yad Vashem selection process  for the honour of "Righteous Among the Nations". 

This rescue is already well documented. I believe these names should be added to the Wall of Honour in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and we should get an application rolling as soon as we can.

 Vladislav Koźlakowskich. 

Veronica Koźlakowskich. 

Joanna Kocięcka

Vladislav and Veronica rescued Esther from certain death knowing that by doing so they risked the life of their only daughter. And Joanna gave Esther the only warmth and friendship Esther had during those two years knowing that what she was doing could have her and her parents summarily hanged or shot.  

If the rules were up to me I would add another name.

Monika Leonczyk.

Monika answered the question about the 'Jewish girl" and in doing so has provided a history that her descendants and the world had no inkling at all. How many stories from those years have been lost? How many memories? As many as there were people I suppose. People whose lives we never knew even happened.

It is impossible to return and rescue an innocent life from the Nazis. Someone like Masha, Rosa's unknown terrified young cousin who was marched off with her father by thugs to be butchered in the woods. But Monika has done the next best thing.  Monika has rescued the memory of this young girl and many others from oblivion as surely as her grandmother and her parents rescued Esther. By doing this she has done something very important.

She did this to write an essay when she was no older than Anne Frank. 

cross posted Israel Thrives

News and Views of Jews Downunder