Homeland Security Minister Ohana Agrees Unequivocally: ‘Police Response to the Riots Was Unsatisfactory’ By David Israel, and Israel is Stuck By Vic Rosenthal and Rodney Dangerfield Has Jackie Gleason Bursting Out in Laughter (1970) and When Men Give Birth…By Dennis Prager and American Progressive Jews Confused by the Anti-Semitic Attacks By Joe Settler
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
American Progressive Jews Confused by the Anti-Semitic Attacks By Joe Settler
I feel for Progressive American Jews. I do. It's got to be tough to hold onto one's beliefs in the face of reality.
Here they are writing articles, holding panel discussions, running forums, all to explain to the stupid, gentile anti-Semites (and their fellow Jewish useful idiots) that it's OK to hate Israel and that doesn't make one an anti-Semite. Clearly explaining to the stupid, gentile anti-Semites over and over that they shouldn't take their anger and hatred of Israel out on Diaspora Jews, especially not against progressive Jews who hate Israel too.
And these stupid, gentile anti-Semites just don't get it.
Instead, they go wilding in the cities looking for innocent (non-Israeli) Jews to attack and synagogues to burn down.
Someone pointed out one particularly vile Jewish anti-Semite who was proudly describing how they criticize Israel all the time. The writer wanted the readers to really, really understand that progressive Jews are not responsible for what those evil Zionists are doing – so don't conflate them.
You really have to commiserate with these progressives.
Why in the world is it so difficult for the stupid, gentile anti-Semites to understand that ever-so-simple postulate, that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism?
It can't be that overly sophisticated a concept for them… can it?
The answer is that throughout our long history, whenever some Jews wanted to forget what it means to be Jews and Jewish, the gentiles have made sure to remind them.
So while our progressive Jewish brothers and sisters are surprisingly bewildered by the stupid, gentile anti-Semites being unable to differentiate between "good" (progressive) Jews with those "bad" (Zionist) Israelis, as they attack innocent American Jews in the streets and synagogues, those "good' Jews might want to consider that maybe those stupid, gentile anti-Semites grasp the truth far better than they do.
Rodney Dangerfield Has Jackie Gleason Bursting Out in Laughter (1970)
Rodney Dangerfield was one of the final guests on The Jackie Gleason Show, which had ran in various forms from 1952 to 1970. After a quick chat, Jackie gave the stage to Rodney to perform some of his classic stand-up. Originally aired February 7, 1970. 1:47 "I just broke up with my psychiatrist. This afternoon, for the first time I told him I got suicidal tendencies. He told me from now on I have to pay in advance." 4:30 "When I drink, the next day I have to do two things. I gotta try to locate my car, and I gotta bring back the car I took." 6:34 "It's a rough school. I looked in the graduation book. Each kid has two poses, one front and one profile."
Homeland Security Minister Ohana Agrees Unequivocally: 'Police Response to the Riots Was Unsatisfactory'
Minister of Homeland Security Amir Ohana (Likud) replied on Wednesday in the Knesset Plenum to a parliamentary question by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism) on forming a commission of inquiry to examine police conduct during the riots in the mixed cities several weeks ago, and also replied to a parliamentary question by MK Yosef Taieb (Shas) regarding the campaign to collect illegal weapons, which are possessed by and large by Israeli Arabs.
Minister Ohana described the actions taken by police Operation Law and Order, saying: "These intensive and powerful actions significantly improved the response provided to the citizens—which I unequivocally agree was unsuitable at the start of the riots—and significantly improved the personal security of the residents of the mixed cities."
The operation has not ended, Ohana continued, suggesting that "even if the flames are not burning with the same intensity, the embers are still glowing, and there's a need for a thick blanket—in terms of personnel, equipment, technology, intelligence, and also responsiveness by the justice system to remand requests and severe punishments in the cases that come before it—to smother the fire and lower the flames."
Perhaps extinguishing the flames is a bit too much to expect.
"There has been very significant activity—not only now in Operation Law and Order, but also beforehand, but all the more so in this operation—because we saw a live demonstration of what we said all along, that these weapons would not only serve for criminal purposes but would also serve for nationalist crime. We saw that some of the Arab citizens of Israel turned these weapons against Jews, against police officers, against civilians."
In the course of his reply, Minister Ohana expressed disapproval of statements made by MK Smotrich against Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Kobi Shabtai, noting that he had criticized the latter's statement that he was "serving as a buffer between the quarreling sides," which gave the impression of symmetry between Arab and Jewish rioters.
Ohana said: "They tried to set five synagogues on fire in Lod but no one set fire to a mosque; they lynched Jewish citizens and shot Jewish citizens."
MK Ibtisam Mara'ana (Labor) accused Minister Ohana of incitement, saying that an Arab citizen had been murdered in Lod. Minister Ohana replied, referring to Lod Jews: "They're defending themselves, and that's a good thing."
It should be noted that the shooter of the Lod Arab, who reportedly was hurling a Molotov cocktail during the shooting, is being charged with negligent homicide.
MK Smotrich responded angrily, saying: "It's a shame that 1,000 terrorists weren't killed."
In my last post, I wrote that coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel was impossible. Since then, I've been told that I'm wrong – it's necessary. The alternative to coexistence is said to be civil war, a war that will destroy our country. There's no doubt that such a war would be terrible indeed. But if I'm right, then my critics are looking at it from the wrong direction. Rather than trying and failing to live together with the Arabs, we need to find a way to live apart from the Arabs without precipitating a disastrous war.
Why do I think coexistence is impossible? Because – as has been demonstrated conclusively in the last few weeks – the combination of the nature of Arab culture, combined with the all-pervasive Palestinian narrative, the well-organized and financed anti-Zionist forces, and the effective use of media, especially social media, make it so.
Let me make it clear at the outset that I am talking about all of the Land of Israel, by which I mean all the land between the river and the sea, from the Golan to the border with Egypt. My argument is that if coexistence between Arabs and Jews is failing within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel, then a fortiori (or kal v'homer) it cannot succeed within the larger boundaries of all the Land of Israel.
Let's see how the various factors combined to create a perfect storm of conflict.
First, there is in the background the narrative. The narrative says that the Jews have stolen the land from the Arabs, and the state is illegitimate. "The Occupation" means the Jewish sovereignty that was established in 1948, and the narrative says that justice requires that the Arabs get back what the Jews took from them; as a corollary, whatever Arabs have to do to get it is legitimate. They are the "original owners of the land" and the Jews are foreign conquerors. This is believed by close to 100% of the Arabs living in the Land of Israel. Some of them prefer to join organizations like Hamas, Fatah, the PFLP, or Islamic Jihad, and fight. Others tend their own gardens, work and take care of their families. But all of them believe the narrative, and most believe that the Jewish presence in "their" land is only temporary.
The narrative postulates a "Palestinian people" that goes back centuries in the land. That is a fiction. Only a few Palestinians can trace their antecedents before about 1830, not so long before the Zionist "invasion." But since the mid-1960s, the disparate Arabic-speaking people in the land of Israel have begun to define themselves as a people, analogous (of course) to the Jewish people, whose peoplehood they publicly deny.
In Arab culture, personal, family, tribal, and now national, honor has a very high priority. The restoration of lost honor justifies violence – indeed, if the loss was violent, the response must be also. Loyalty to the group and perseverance in search of justice are important values. Accounts must be settled, and in the ledgers of the Palestinian Arabs, much is owed to them by the Jews.
The narrative has been inculcated in several generations of Arabs already, both in the territories by Hamas, the PA, and UNRWA, and in Israel where the state has decided not to interfere with anything short of explicit antisemitic incitement in the Arab educational system (the PA/Hamas/UNRWA systems, of course, do include such incitement).
The various groups that have an interest in creating disorder in the Land, including the Palestinian terror groups, the European Union and some European governments, the international and Israeli extreme Left, Turkey, Iran, and others, understand, promulgate, and use the narrative effectively. For example, the legal dispute over the eviction of a few non-paying tenants in eastern Jerusalem is presented to the Arab audience as an ongoing attempt to ethnically cleanse Arabs and steal their land. In the framework of the narrative, it goes without saying.
Hamas supporters exploited an annual march by (mostly) religious Jews to mark the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem and a police decision to close the plaza in front of one of the gates to the old city, presenting them as an "attack on al-Aqsa." This resulted in rioting, which was met with additional actions by police, which were offensive to the religious sensibilities of the Arabs. They responded predictably by escalating violence. At the same time, Hamas came to the "defense of al-Aqsa" by firing rockets, first at Jerusalem and then at the rest of the country. As I write this, almost 3,000 rockets have been launched at Israel by Hamas.
The IDF seems to be on track to destroying much of Hamas' ability to fight, though the overall strategy seems to be to keep Hamas in place. But the riots in Jerusalem have spread throughout the country to most places where there are mixed Jewish and Arab populations. And the riots, which usually have been characterized by violence between Arabs and police, have taken on a disturbing character: they are beginning to look like pogroms, in which synagogues are burned, Jewish businesses attacked, Jews beaten or murdered on the streets and in their homes, and a feeling by the victims that the authorities cannot or will not help them. There is a widespread feeling that a line has been crossed. Why do we have a Jewish state, if not to finally put an end to pogroms and persecution?
At this point I want to inject a cautionary remark: if you read the non-Israeli media, or the left-leaning Israeli media like Ha'aretz, you will be told that what is going on are "clashes" between extremist Arabs and Jews. "Both sides" are engaging in violent behavior. This is very misleading. Large groups of Arabs have rampaged in Lod, Haifa, Acco, Yafo, and other places, compared to a handful of Jewish extremists that have attacked Arabs. Some high-profile cases of Jewish violence have been misreported in the media. For example, a 12-year-old Arab boy was badly burned by a Molotov cocktail thrown into his home; this was all over the media as an example of Jewish depravity until it was determined that Arabs had done it, either due to a family dispute or simply by mistake.
The disturbances are fed by "fake news" on Palestinian media – that is, official Palestinian Authority and Hamas media – and of course on social media. Truth about our conflict is often ideological. The shooting of young Mohammad al-Dura in September of 2000, which was clearly shown to be a hoax, is almost universally believed, both in the Muslim Middle East and in Europe. Likewise the "Jenin massacre" in 2002 that never happened, and countless other false accusations. For many people, including Israeli Arabs, what makes something true is whether it fits the narrative, not whether it matches reality. Media provide an unending series of crimes against Arabs that must be avenged, for honor's sake.
All this has created an environment in which Arab grievances have deepened to the point that they are not reconcilable by compromise. At the same time, they are not afraid to strike out violently, realizing that we can never have enough police to physically restrain 20% of the population, nor do we have the will to become the kind of totalitarian society that would try to restrain them by force.
This hostility has been normalized for a long time among the Arabs of Judea/Samaria, and of course Gaza. The degree to which they dehumanize Jews was evident during the "Stabbing Intifada" of 2015-2016, when almost every other day featured terrorist attacks against random Jews, by Arabs from the territories (and in a few cases, Israeli Arabs). The perpetrators were men and women as young as 13 and as old as middle-age. Now it seems that the propensity to dehumanize us has spread to a larger number of our Arab citizens as well.
This isn't a trend that we have the power to reverse. Israelis, Jewish and Arab, consume media in "opinion bubbles," in which opposing viewpoints simply do not appear, and the most extreme views tend to take over. Well-meaning attempts to bring the groups together simply don't have the emotional power to overcome the sense of grievance and injustice that is continually fed in these bubbles.
We can crush Hamas in Gaza and overthrow the PA in Judea/Samaria (although our leadership doesn't seem to be interested in doing either). Possibly the riots among our Arab citizens will die down; from an economic point of view, they do great damage to Arab communities. But we can't fight the narrative – or regain our trust that our Arab neighbors will not get up in the morning tomorrow and decide to stab us.
The dynamics that have brought us to this condition will not go away. The narrative is as strong or stronger than ever, and our enemies are pushing it as hard as they can. Because of the unchangeable geographic features of the Land of Israel, there is no alternative to continued Israeli control of all of it, from the river to the sea. Two-state fantasies remain fantastic, and any withdrawals will be met with further aggression. This isn't speculation; Gaza is proof. That means that in addition to the hostile Arabs within the Green Line, we face even more radical ones outside of it.
I see the continued existence of a Jewish state of Israel as a fundamental imperative. But if coexistence is impossible, and if divesting of the territories containing most of the Arabs is also impossible, what is the alternative?
Meir Kahane understood this, but perhaps because of the racialist and religious supremacist undertones in his thinking, his ideas were placed beyond the pale, and he and his party were outlawed. But he was right about one thing: in order for the Jewish state to continue to exist, it cannot continue to have a large Arab minority. I am certain that many Israelis agree in their hearts, but are afraid to express agreement from fear of being called "racist" or worse. But race has nothing to do with what is at bottom a national conflict, and indeed it is a profoundly unhelpful concept.
Israel is stuck. It is stuck between Left and Right with no government, it is stuck with Hamas making life unbearable in the southern part of our country and requiring periodic wars to "mow the grass" with no solution, it is stuck with increasing antisemitic violence and crime from its Arab minority, and it is stuck with the need to hold Judea and Samaria but the inability to build in them.
Getting unstuck will require setting explicit national goals and following policies to assert our sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, to defeat our enemies, and to expel those who act with hostility towards Jews or the Jewish state.
When you meditate for a moment on what the left expects honest and decent people to believe, you confront the world of absurdities and lies in which we live.
The left demands we believe and announce that men give birth and that it is in no way unfair to girls and women when biological men compete in girls' and women's sports.
In tens of thousands of American schools, students are brainwashed to believe that America was not founded in 1776 but in 1619, the year the first Africans were brought to North America as indentured servants or slaves. This is the "1619 Project" lie: It was labeled a lie by almost every leading historian of early America, many of whom are Democrats and liberals who supported the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.
And now, with Hamas – a totalitarian theocratic Islamist terror group – unleashing thousands of rockets on Israel's civilian population and Israel responding to this latest of repeated attempts at mass murder, the world's left demands that we believe Israel is the villain and Hamas is the victim.
The left's condemnation of Israel and sympathy for Hamas is just another example of the morally inverted world the left has constructed.
We live in a world in which the mass media and academia – all nothing more than mouthpieces of the left – repeatedly tell the world that America fought the Revolutionary War in order to preserve slavery, that men give birth, and that Hamas is a victim of Israeli aggression.
How such gargantuan lies have become mainstream truths is a question for another column. Suffice it to say they are all as absurd as they are mendacious.
The reason there is a war right now between Israel and Hamas is that Israel exists. It has nothing to do with anything Israel has actually done. Hamas and its backers in Iran do not have disputes with Israel. They have a dispute with Israel's existence.
There is, therefore, nothing Israel can do that would satisfy its enemies except agree to destroy itself as the one Jewish state in the world.
For most (not all) Muslims and for most (not all) Muslim states and for the left, there is room in the world for 22 Arab countries and for more than 50 Muslim countries, but there is no room for one Jewish state, even one the size of New Jersey and smaller than El Salvador.
Hamas and its supporters in Iran regularly announce they seek Israel's destruction. There is no parallel to this in the world. No groups or nations seek the obliteration of any other nation in the world. This is in keeping with the history of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is not just another ethnic or racial bigotry. I wish it were.
Anti-Semitism, unlike every other form of racism or ethnic bigotry, is exterminationist. Jew-haters don't merely hate Jews; they want Jews dead. That is one of the many reasons that every honest person understands that anti-Zionism is merely the latest expression of anti-Semitism. The anti-Zionist claim is that Israel's existence as a Jewish state is illegitimate.
Why do those on the left (again, as I always point out, leftists; not liberals) deny this?
Because the left hates the good and often supports the enemies of the good. Leftism is a moral sickness in the human condition. As I have previously written, it is not even an issue of the left having a broken moral compass. A broken moral compass is occasionally accurate. The left's moral compass always shows north as south and east as west.
That is why the left hates America. Precisely because it has been, in Abraham Lincoln's incomparable words, "the last best hope of earth." And that is why the left hates Israel. With all its flaws, Israel, too, has been a moral beacon. This week, Israel's prime minister tweeted out a video made by Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, released by PragerU shortly after the last Israel-Hamas war in 2014. The title of the video says it all: "Israel: The World's Most Moral Army."
In Colonel Kemp's words: "I was the commander of British Forces in Afghanistan. I have fought in combat zones around the world, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Iraq. I was also present throughout the conflict in Gaza in 2014.
"Based on my experience and on my observations, the Israel Defense Force, the IDF, does more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare."
Which is why the left hates Israel. It is morally better than its neighbors, not to mention its enemies. Just as America has been. But if you believe America was founded in 1619 and that men give birth, you will also believe Israel is the villain in its war with Hamas.