Category Archives: Israel

Europe: You’re a Coward. At Best.

Masonides here.

We here at TJP generally like to keep things all high-brow, see.  We tend to believe that the best way to lose an argument is to overstate it, and that the second-best way to lose an argument is to appear… uncouth.  But what’s going on in Europe right now is difficult to digest without belching up a few ad hominems.

Pictured: A coward. At best.

You see, Europeans are very, very upset about what’s going on in Gaza.  And this is natural.  Europeans have a deep concern for the universal application of basic human rights.  This is something we don’t always fathom here in America.  We’re too individualistic; we identify too much with strength.  And strength can be, you know… mean.

That deep concern for the universal application of basic human rights is, of course,  the source of widespread European opposition to Israeli policies regarding Gaza.

Just look at the peaceful, humanitarian nature of European actions of late:

Concern for the universal application of basic human rights is why synagogues and kosher stores in France are being attacked and burned down.

Concern for the universal application of basic human rights is why Germans are shouting ““Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own” (“Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, komm heraus und kämpf allein“).

Concern for the universal application of basic human rights is why (British, not Israeli) Jews in Stamford Hill are receiving death threats. Why a woman in a niqab in northern London stoned a Jewish boy riding a bicycle, hitting him in the head. Why “HitlerWasRight” is a trending hashtag on Twitter. Why the alleged human rights violations occurring in Israel and Gaza matter more to Europeans than those occurring in other places that are orders of magnitude greater in scale and tragedy.


Dear Europe:

It’s not “occupation” when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza almost a decade ago, forcibly uprooting many Jewish families in the process.

It’s not “a concentration camp” when there’s a rather robust shopping mall in the middle of Gaza City and when Hamas pours 600,000 tons of concrete to build weapons tunnels instead of schools.

It’s not “apartheid” when Israeli Arabs enjoy more freedom and opportunity in Israel than in any Arab nation.

It’s not “genocide” when Israel sets up field hospitals to provide life-saving care for injured Palestinians and when the Israeli Defense Forces take unparalleled steps to avoid civilian casualties.

We scarcely need discuss “Israeli war crimes” (crimes allegedly committed after calling, texting, dropping leaflets, etc.) when every single rocket that Hamas fires is a war crime.  Think about that.

Perhaps Bill Clinton said it best:

“Hamas was perfectly well aware what would happen if they started raining rockets on Israel. They fired a thousand of them, and they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.” 

There aren’t too many explanations for the profusion of baseless anti-Israel arguments and clearly Antisemitic vitriol and attacks in Europe right now.  Ditto for the spineless expressions of bewilderment that seem to be the European’s stiffest response to the hatred on the streets.

We can think of only two explanations for the proliferation of  “protests” (read: “violent mobs spewing genocidal slogans”) throughout Europe — and please, if you’re more imaginative, let us know.  Europe is either too scared of its Arab/Muslim populations or too tacitly antisemitic to take on a simple, though perhaps dangerous task: to stand up and argue for the very Western values that Europe birthed.

And by “Western Values,” please don’t think we’re talking about some anti-Islamic (or otherwise xenophobic) crusade; that would be the antithesis of the Western values we’re discussing.  As we’ve argued before, Israel embodies many Western values, but we’ll keep this simple.  A basic Western value that could most easily be defended is simply the making of rational distinctions: like the distinction between genocidal aggression and the defense of a fundamentally liberal, fundamentally peaceful democracy.   Not too long ago, at least Churchill seemed to understand this.  And he didn’t shy away from a fight that needed to be fought.

But what’s needed in Europe now isn’t even the taking up of arms.  What Europeans are too afraid (or too antisemitic) to do is simply argue with the violent anti-Semitic ideologues who are drowning out reason across the continent.  The virtual absence of any argument on the issue of Israel in Europe only brings about a “new normal” in which otherwise thinking people accept violent Antisemitism as received wisdom.   And so Europe devolves into further self-contradiction: advancing human rights… through the extermination of the Jews.

Europe, your spinelessness (or antisemitism… take your pick…) is playing directly into the hands of terrorists whose stated aims are to destroy the very pillars of modern culture… pillars to which you should lay a well-deserved claim.  All you need to do is find a voice to call out the oxymoronic hate and violence that fills your streets.

But we don’t hear that voice.

For that, Europe, you are a coward.

At best.

Andrew Sullivan and Walter Mead are Just Wrong on Israel

Someone showed us this blog post by Walter Russell Mead on Israel a few days ago. We responded to it in private, but we decided not to post on it because… well, because we were lazy. But now that Andrew Sullivan has waded into the mess, calling Israel’s policy toward Palestinians a “barbaric doctrine of creating ‘deterrence’ by mass murder and a stifling blockade,” we feel compelled to rise from our collective tuchus. Though we frequently disagree with Mr. Sullivan, he’s usually pretty well-reasoned. His thoughts on Israel, however, seem, to us, painfully out of touch with reason.

Mead’s post purports to address the question of why Americans tend to fully support Israel in Arab/Israeli conflicts, while the world — and here Mead means Europe — seems a bit more willing to see the Palestinian/Arab side. The post is interesting throughout; we recommend reading it and therefore won’t summarize it. We enjoyed its presentation of various philosophical theories of justice in war. But we were pretty appalled at Mead’s failure to connect those theories to the reality of Israeli conduct and America’s regard for such.

Continue reading Andrew Sullivan and Walter Mead are Just Wrong on Israel

A meaningless story gets no headlines… and we’re shocked!

We here at are scratching our big collective head trying to figure out why the story below isn’t news… or at least the kind of quasi-news that one of the political parties (in this particular case, the G.O.P.) would want to push these days.

The facts are pretty simple. Earlier this month, terrorists in Gaza were photographed parading around with a couple of relatively rare, newly-developed guns. Specifically, the al-Quds Brigades literally had a parade, and during that parade some al-Quds members carried F2000 and AK-103 assault rifles. Do a little educated guess-work, as N.R. Jenzen-Jones did in the Rogue Adventurer blog, and it’s quite likely that the terrorists obtained those hard(ish)-to-find rifles from rebels in Libya. As we all know, under the Obama administration, we here in the U.S. provided some support to those rebels during their successful fight to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi — upwards of $1 billion worth, according to some sources.

So… bloodthirsty terrorists on Israel’s doorstep get ultramodern guns, probably from Obama-backed rebels in Libya.

Should be news, right?*  Not really… and surprisingly, no one seems to be treating it otherwise. Continue reading A meaningless story gets no headlines… and we’re shocked!

Our thoughts on the DNC 2012 Flip-Flop-Flub on Israel…

We’re sure you’re all up to date on the latest head-scratching kerfuffle at the Democratic National Convention.  In the first half of this episode, the Democratic Party removed key pro-Israel provisions from its platform, such as the provision declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capitol, and the one stating that Palestinian refugees should be resettled outside of Israel.  Predictably, Democrats got pummeled for the change.  In the second half, Democrats scrambled to restore the pro-Israel language to their platform, which had previously been (basically) unchanged for decades.  And then other Democrats tried pretty hard to vote that down.  So how did this mess come to be and what does it tell us?  Our thoughts, below the fold… Continue reading Our thoughts on the DNC 2012 Flip-Flop-Flub on Israel…

Our first thoughts on the Ryan pick…

Yes, Picky McSnark-Snark, we know it took us quite a while to formulate our “first” thoughts.  Regardless, we like the pick.  It’s a bit of a gamble and may ignore one important fact, but picking Ryan puts the Romney campaign’s focus squarely on fiscal issues, which we think is (a) good and (b) a winner.  More under the fold… Continue reading Our first thoughts on the Ryan pick…

A Reader Responds

Below, in its unedited entirety, is an e-mail we received in response to our recent post on whether Mitt Romney has performed the Mormon ritual of “proxy baptism” on behalf of dead Jewish victims of the Holocaust.   Continue reading A Reader Responds

Mitt Romney’s Speech at the Kotel: Not Bad

It wasn’t his best, it was far from his worst.  Frankly, most of the speech seemed like a less passionate, less well-executed version of *ehem* this little ditty…  Perhaps Mitt’s been doing his homework.

But here’s a link to two videos of the speech.  You be the judge.

“Buyer’s Remorse” is an intriguing twist in the quest for the Jewish vote…

The Republican Jewish Coalition has started a new ad campaign titled “Buyer’s Remorse”.  It features Jews who voted for Obama in 2008 and who plan to change their vote in 2012.  The first video, featuring a guy named Michael who apparently lives in New York, is already up on YouTube.  (Link below.)  Whether you agree with Michael’s arguments or not — and we think that even agreeing with him might require a bit more nuance than the ad lets on, but we digress — you have to admit that this is effective politics.  More below the fold…

Continue reading “Buyer’s Remorse” is an intriguing twist in the quest for the Jewish vote…

Primary Disappointment

I (Masonides) admit it: I haven’t been blogging for a few weeks because the Republican primaries have left me exhausted and disappointed.  I have nothing against Mitt Romney, but his inevitable rise is a politics-as-usual end to a disappointingly politics-as-usual primary cycle.  If you don’t mind entering a rant vortex for two or three minutes, here’s why I’m so bummed. Continue reading Primary Disappointment

Russian support of Syria

We here at TJP have been quietly wondering why on earth Russia would threaten to stop U.N. action against Bashar Assad’s brutal regime.  And, as if Rupert Murdoch had graduated from stealing voicemail to stealing thoughts, our buddies at the Wall Street Journal have an answer. Continue reading Russian support of Syria