What the Western Left and Middle Eastern Arabs Do Not Understand About Israelis

In an effort to live out some bad karma, I occasionally read the comments section of Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, or Haaertz articles posted on Facebook. For all its faults, Comment Land serves as a useful proxy for the folk wisdom of current events – the one-on-one dialogue of personal arguments far from the purported nuance of elite` Thought Leaders.

In this sluggish and nasty realm the anti-Israeli argument goes something like this: Zionism and Zionists are fundamentally colonial and have stolen land in the British Mandate Palestine; therefore, Israel’s claim to said land is illegitimate and it should somehow be returned to indigenous Palestinians that, although never a nation-state [although many in Comment Land are ignorant of this fact and think that there was a formal “Palestine” that got turned into Israel], are still a cultural identity that should have had a formal state in what is now Israel.

The moderates in this camp will concede that Israel has a right to exist along with a Palestinian state but that a homeland is still owed to the Palestinians by the Israelis, the radicals say “Palestine from the river to the sea!” None of this contends with the fact that the “Palestinians” could have had a homeland on multiple occasions and started all the wars that they lost, but I digress.

There is so much ignorance in the Zionism = Colonialism argument that it is almost impossible to unpack all of it, but because it is elemental to the ongoing Arab-Israeli peace problem  address it we must to achieve a lasting peace.

The first problem with the Zionism = Colonialism narrative is that it assumes that there is no connection between the land that is Israel today and contemporary (say, from the 1880s to present day) Jews. This would stun anyone that has ever been at any Jewish prayer service. Even not understanding a word of Hebrew you would hear “Yis-rah-ale” and “Jer-ru-sa-li’yim” chanted again and again. There is ample archaeological evidence for humans identifying themselves as Jews lived in what is now Israel since almost the dawn of recorded history. This includes Judea and Samaria (“The West Bank”), whose moniker itself should be revealing.

Israel is foundational to Judaism, but the anti-Israeli narrative (if it even acknowledges that people called Jews have lived in Israel historically) rests on inventing a statute of limitations at which point Jews no longer get to become Israelis after the Diaspora: by this logic, Diaspora Jews are not Israelis or Judeans, they are “Europeans.” This ignores the reason that Ashkenazi Jews became Zionists and ultimately Israelis: the European majority considered them Jews and not Europeans. The major Aliyahs of modern Israeli history are not Colonial swashbuckling but refugees fleeing horrific discrimination, pogroms and the Holocaust, often with just two suitcases or less. Call their migration Colonialism all you want, they called it survival.

Finally, despite the fact that (for just one example) the Incans were conquerors of local peoples before they themselves were Conquistadored by the Spanish, Colonialism is seen as something that Whites do to Others. Again, the supposed whiteness of Jews disqualifies their ability to live in their historic Homeland that also has non-white people in it. Yet most Jews were  expelled from other lands because of their Jewishness. Jews’ expulsion from the Arab world was not a catastrophe in 1948 because Zionism worked as intended and they went to Israel. The same holds true for Ethiopian Jews in the 1980s and French Jews today. As a result, as anyone that has ever been to Israel will attest, Jews are multi-racial. That’s not to say that discrimination towards Mizrahi Jews in Israel was not and is not problematic, but Israel  and Judaism is not a monolithic “white” region, religion or culture.

The Zionism = Colonialism slander underlies the Palestinian/Arab strategy towards Jews. It is the same strategy used in Afghanistan against the Russians and Americans, and used in Iraq against the Americans: Blow stuff up, weaponize young children as suicide bombers or terrorist stabbers, keep committing violence and make staying so horrible that eventually the occupiers leave. The problem is, as far as so-called “the occupiers” are concerned, they are home! It doesn’t matter how many freshman College essays labeling Israelis as Colonialists get an A-, or how often Arab TV fulminates about them being “European.” For Jewish Israelis Israel is Israel and they will not be boycotted or terrorized into thinking otherwise. Trying to do so is a foolhardy strategy for anyone that actually wants to achieve peace, as the Palestinians prove with each rejected peace offer.

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Mr. T and the Royalist Rumble

Thesis: Mr. T will remain in command of the GOP nomination until someone  out-alpha’s him in a direct confrontation. This will be made exceedingly difficult by the gargantuan field and the banality of his intellectually fallow opposition. Irrespective of that, we might as well analyze how any one of these folks could  alter the race as we await the next potential elimination ceremony  second GOP debate.

There are three broad categories of conservatrons running this year. The Establishmentarians, the Disestablishmentarians, and the “Who, Huh, Whas?”.

Lets start with the “Who, Huh, Whas?” in no particular order:

Rick Santorum — There’s no Mitt for this creeper to be a “non” to this year. Buh bye!

Lindzey Graham — Never recovered from getting pwned when Mr. T read his personal phone number out loud. Buh bye!

Jim Gilmore — ????????? Related to the Pink Floyd guitarist???????? Or the Hall of Fame hockey center????????

George Pataki — Didn’t know he was still alive. Seems like a nice guy.

“Bobby” Jindal — Failed Louisiana governor who disgraces himself by forcing his ethnic  “otherness” to lay behind a vapid persona that is half pill popping 50s housewife and half Beaver Cleaver. Proof positive that, outside of spelling bees, subcontinent Indians will never be the “new Jews”. Buh bye!

Rick Perry — Pinned and eliminated by Mr. T via the “smart glasses” wisecrack. No longer sullying the national image of perry, a delightful beverage made from fermented pear juice; perry is especially tasty if one can find rare perry pears that are no good to eat but have tons of tannins!

Now for the Establishmentarians, in no particular order:

Marco Polo — The thirsty, once upon a time GOP “savior” with a compelling personal story of being a first generation Cuban-American who, through hard work and perseverance, has become a Senator and is now working tirelessly to assure that no other poor children of immigrants will ever have the same opportunities that he had. Still waiting for him to do something.

dummScott Walker — Failed Governor of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the brain that controls his lower extremities became out of sink with brain in his head when he hit the national stage. My pick for the next elimination. Even the Kochs aren’t yet willing to commit their posion-the-earth warbucks to this dunce no matter how ably he peed on Organized Labor in Madison.

Crisco Kremey — The Mayor of Tromaville, New Jersey whose bold leadership style (see him in action at 2:14 mark) backfired when he attempted to kill the Toxic Avenger (witness the mayhem at the 1:15:00 mark) against the wishes of his constituents, most of whom just wanted to get home on time. Kremey is bellyflopping in the polls, but is perhaps the only candidate that has the sense to know that he must be the bigger dog against Mr. T to have any chance of winning. Belligerence is Mayor Kremey’s strength and he has promised to “go nuclear” in the debate. One suspects CNN only gave him a mulligan to enter the varsity debate because a Crisco Kremey/Mr. T showdown would be the Bobby Bacala/Tony Soprano fist fight of politics, and CNN knows good infotainment when they see it. Mayor Kremey’s problem is that he’s an Angry Warrior and Mr. T is a Happy Warrior. There’s an old boxing truism: Never Hook with a Hooker. Indeed. But, Kremey has nothing to lose. Should be an interesting exchange.

John Kasich — ????? Third Baseman for the 1983 Cincinnati Reds????? Still waiting for him to do something.

Jeb!utante Bush — The Establishmentarian’s Establishmentarian that Mr. T has turned into an Antidisestablishmentarian. Jeb!utante is proving to be the “smart” Bush Bro to the same degree that Zeppo was the funny Marx Brother (Poppy is Chico, Barbara is Groucho and ‘Dubya is Harpo, by the way). Would this walking and talking mediocrity have ever been Governor of Florida if he wasn’t a Bush? Jeb!utante possesses this peevish, patrician angst as if he is just too good to be slinging mud with Mr. T or do any of the other workaday grime work that it takes to become President because he’s already used his daddy’s network to raise a bazillion dollars. As I wrote earlier, the “you’re not a real Conservative!” attack is a failure because real conservatives have done nothing but facilitate giveaways for the rich, and that is all Jeb!utante is proposing. If your ideas are stuck in the 80s, at least have the sense to learn from Hot Rod Roddy Piper if you wanna’ take on Mr. T. C’mon, dude! If I were one of his Money Guys I’d be worried. For the pertuative favorite this douche bag just doesn’t have it.

Randy Paul — This pseudo-intellectual carpet head’s libertarian “brand” should offer an effective opening against Mr. T. The gestapo tactics it would take to round up and deport eleven million illegals are horrifying, right? Randy’s Libertarianism isn’t about caressing the egos of basement dwelling trolls with skim milk-hued skin that want to feel they are nobly fighting some Big Brother that is surely watching them send boring e-mails, hack into porn sites and Beat the Meatles to those Jennifer Lawrence pics, right? It’s about the Constitution!, and the protections to privacy and property that it extends to everyone in this country, even those with brown skin who are here illegally, right?

Mike Hucksterbee — The folksy theofascist. This man has always terrified me. Getting most of his support eaten by his Disestablishmentarian doppleganger (see below).

Now for the Disestablismentarians:

Ted Cruise — Having been out A-Holed, now attempting a Forrest Gump strategy of “me tooing” with Mr. T (and even Hucksterbee when he is trolling for white resentment over the marrying of the homos in Kentucky) in hope that he can snag T’s support should Mr. T fizzle. A play not to lose strategy that will fail because Mr. T won’t fizzle on his own and, meanwhile, Theodore has made himself invisible. At least everybody in Congress still hates you the mostest, Teddy.

“Uncle” Ben Carson — The not-thinkingman’s Evangelical whacko. Cannot expand beyond the non-Hucksterbee evangelicals unless he can take on Mr. T and does not appear to have the vim to do it. Unlikely to go anywhere though, and he could gain the most if Hucksterbee is eliminated.

Karli Feeoria — The female Mitt Romney, only she was a failure as a businesswomen and a loser as a candidate. The liberal media is getting all goosebumpy over this insipid ad where she notes that she is proud of every wrinkle on her face. They think she is being clever by saying she is getting under Mr. T’s skin by raising in the polls. Really? She’s barely out of the “Who, Huh, Whas?” Part of Mr. T’s appeal is that he boasts that can take on vicious female board room commandos (AKA, stalking horses for Hillary). Karli has been telegrahing her punches all week, Mr. T will correctly point out her mammoth failures as a businesswoman and that will be that. It’s nice to know that a woman can be equally as much of a worthless, empty suit as a man. Bravo, Karli!

Mr. T — Still Master of His Domain.

Overall, I expect Crisco Kremey to have the best shot to take down Mr. T, but Kremey is so far behind in points at this stage that he is going to have to swing wildly. He may have a punchers chance; however, in the midst of any fight there is another wonderful boxing truism: Who would you rather be? In this case it’s Mr. T or Mayor Kremey. The answer is obvious: Mr. T!

 

I Have Come Here to Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass, and I’m all out of Bubblegum!

No! No! No! No! No, Jeb!utante Bush! You don’t take on Mr. T by making a silly commercial about how he isn’t a Real Conservative.™ The “real” conservatives haven’t outlawed abortion or stopped Obamacare, or really done much of anything besides cutting taxes for the rich and losing Iraq War II. And y’all lost the culture war too!

This is how you take on Mr. T.

Pay attention to Roddy Piper. How he mocks Mr. T for putting his name on everything, for his hair style, for his ridiculous name dropping. Witness how Mr. T gets all belligerent in the face of the Hot Rod’s taunts, loses his cool, and attacks widly; unable to bear Piper’s ridicule.

And, yeah, well sure, you could argue that Mr. Piper’s political philosophy is staged. Right. ‘Cuz there’s nothing staged about politics, or a presidential campaign. And you aren’t getting your ass handed to you by a smarmy Reality TV blowhard, who isn’t an improbable manifestation of some third-tier dadaist’s ‘Tussin chuggin’ hallucination.

Sigh.

I pity the fool.

I Pity the Fool!!

To understand Trump and Trumpism we must focus not on the why, or the what, but on the tactical how. For just as the invented persona of 80s icon Mr. T would take no guff so does the GOP’s 2015 Extreme! Mr. T out-alpha and out-anger anyone that takes his bait or challenges him.

Witness the obliteration of South Carolina’s plantation belle Lindsey Graham, who dared call Mr. T “jackass”. In response, Mr. T recited Lindsey’s personal phone number. To retaliate, Lindsey cut a commercial wherein he goofily breaks his own cellphone again and again. The ad was funny, but stupid because Lindsey responded to a punch in the face from the sandbox bully by doing a jester dance. It doesn’t get more beta than that.

The whole episode was infantile, but it was obvious who the strong one was: Mr. T! And thus the Graham Cracker crumbled.

Not all of Mr. T’s opponents are cowed as easily as Dim Lindsey. Sometimes, Mr. T wins ugly. Fox fox Megyn Kelly got treated to a Mr. T Twitter Troll roll of sexist blather for daring to point out Mr. T’s past sexist blather. Ultimately, Kelly didn’t respond to Mr. T’s assertion of Male Privilege (“… she had blood coming out of her wherever.”), but did skip town for ten days; I suspect, because the row caused her potentially serious threats. Similarly, difficult as it is to feel sympathy for a nimrod like Lindsey Graham, reciting his personal phone number was possibly dangerous for Lil’ Lindsey. When Kelly returned Mr. T re-opened fire (“The bimbo back in town…”). Memo to the chummy, self-obsessed press class: ask Mr. T tough questions and get harried and threatened.

Mr. T turned to White Guy Privilege to take down Jorge Ramos. Evicting Jorge from the press conference (“Go back to Mexico Univision!), letting him back in, and deflecting Ramos’ sensical point that many immigrants actual enter the USA by train thereby undermining the efficacy of Mr. T’s ballyhooed border wall. Was Mr. T’s orchestration of Ramos’ mini-‘Deportation and Re-Entry’ (Mr. T’s immigration plan writ small) a suicidal dick move for the general election? Sure! But Mr. T wins again!

Mr. T plays offense by exerting Rich Guy Privilege, usually by saying that he knows someone (a celebrity, a finance big wig, border guards, lawyers) that has special knowledge about something. YOU do not know these Masters of the Universe, but Mr. T does. YOU do not participate in multi-million dollar law suits or mega-real estate deals or mega-bankruptcies, but Mr. T does. So there!

I’m not underestimating Mr. T. Not at all. He is quicker on his feet, funnier, and more interesting than his fellow cavalcade of conservatron clowns. Many of his disses are soooo true. Jeb!utante Bush is low-watt silver spoon mediocrity, Rick Peary is a dunce wearing “smart” glasses, and the economy of dummScott Walker’s Wisconsin sucks. Mr. T’s support appears to be broad across the various groups of bitter, Epsom salt-oriented white people that make up the GOP base. I hazard that this is because those that feel that they are having what is Mine taken by Them favor a man that berates and beats down all of the Thems that They throw at Him because that proves that He will not back down to all of those Other Thems that are taking what is theirs.

In boxing parlance, Mr. T is a brawler fighting in a small ring. No one will outbrawl him; but the tactics for a boxer-puncher to beat him are already apparent. Pick your spots, be prepared to get hit in exchanges, but punch more effectively by sticking to reality (Ramos almost did this on immigration, but Ramos was way too shaky — and to Mr. T’s credit Mr. T parried well) and forcing Mr. T to respond to substance with substance. Step back as Mr. T gets furious and flails, then wallop him again with more verbal onslaughts that require a cleverer comeback than, “you’re a bimbo!” In other words, the rest of the conservatron Royal Rumble bukakke needs to fight Mr. T with robust, substantive and precise oration face-to-face to win. Good luck with that! They are all too insipid and too hamstrung by goofball reactionary politics that are not much different than Mr. T’s hammy jingoism. Able reporters could corner Mr. T in a similar manner… and risk personal danger like Megyn Kelly or shaming like Jorge Ramos. (Ah, that little extra-oomph of intimidation!)

Mr. T cannot be knocked out until the GOP field is winnowed enough for an opponent to truly engage him. Oh irony of ironies, that may not happen for many moons because Citizens United bequeathed the ability for a single ultra-rich asshole to keep any one of these flailing buffoons around crowding the stage long after he (or she) has flat lined, thereby maintaining Mr. T as the biggest bull trout in a shallow, heavily polluted river.

For now, I pity the fool who thinks that Mr. T is not the favorite to win the GOP nomination!