Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thoughts on Israel

War is  a terrible thing, and it is terrible that Israel has been involved in conflict for most of its existence. I do not apologize for Jewish self-defense, and I also note that if the Israelis were not careful, the civilian death count would have been much higher in Gaza.   The problem that makes Israel necessary is that the Jews had nowhere to go, hence Israel can only be discussed in its historical context.  Now that it exists, the many who say that it should not exist is proof enough for me that it needs to exist, for those same people are the ones who murdered the Jews.  Do you think that the always large number of Jew haters love Israel?  Where did the followers of Father Coughlin and Henry Ford go?  Many went to Ron Paul. When people shoot rockets at a country, there are many responses possible, but condemning the response but not the rocket firing is evidence enough that the critics are bigots. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why I am a Zionist

Land area Gaza strip: 139 square miles
Population Gaza Strip: 1.8 million
13,000 people per square Gaza mile
 Land area Singapore: 276 square miles
Population Singapore: 5.3 million
19,202 people per square Singapore mile
Chief occupation of Gazans; Hating Jews, shooting rockets at Jews
Chief occupation of Singaporeans: trade, business
GDP per capita Gaza: $6,100
GDP per capita Yemen: $2,250
GDP per capita Singapore: $51,709

I had sent this email to Gerald Celente, who considers himself a courageous hero because he's jumped on the anti-Zionist bandwagon.
Much of the anti-Israel narrative is based on the lie that the Israeli land was stolen from Palestinians.  This link offers an alternative perspective.  The land was a barren hellhole, but the Jews bought it from large Arab landowners.  The anti-Israel narrative also omits half of Israeli Jews’ being Sephardic or Mizrahi, i.e., they come from other Arab countries.  In Arab countries Jews are routinely brutalized. People like Gerald Celente omit that history.  The only remaining Middle East country with Jews is Iran, with about 15,000.  Wikipedia says this:
Thirteen Jews have been executed in Iran since the Islamic revolution, most of them for alleged connections to Israel. Among them, one of the most prominent Jews of Iran in the 1970s, Habib Elghanian who was the head of the Iranian Jewish community was executed by a firing squad by the Islamic government shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 on the charge having had contact with Israel, among others. In May 1998, Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate.[68] 
Since 1979 about 70-80,000 Jews have left Iran, presumably mostly for Israel.  In the other Arab countries conditions are worse. In Yemen Jews must pay a jizya, a special tax on non-Muslims. I haven’t heard Celente talking about the Yemini jizya; apparently he approves. Almost all Yemini Jews have left for Israel. Did the Yemini Jews steal the Palestinians land, or did Yemen still the Jews’ land?  The same can be said about the 75,000 Jews who’ve left Iran.  I haven’t heard Celente or his friends comment on that.
Christians and Jews are not allowed to be citizens of Saudi Arabia, unlike in Israel.  According to Wikipedia:
There is virtually no Jewish activity in Saudi Arabia in the beginning of the 21st century. Jewish (as well as Christian and other non-Muslim) religious services are prohibited from being held on Saudi Arabian soil.[12] When American military personnel were stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, permission for small Christian worship services was eventually granted, but Jewish services were only permitted on US warships. Yet, Celente and his friends do not protest American arm sales to Saudi Arabia (from Wikipedia):
On October 20, 2010, U.S. State Department notified Congress of its intention to make the biggest arms sale in American history - an estimated $60.5 billion purchase by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces.
Jews have also fled Syria.  According to Wikipedia, “Syrian Jews derive their origin from two groups: those who inhabited Syria from early times and the Sephardim who fled to Syria after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492 AD).  There were large communities in Aleppo, Damascus, and Qamishli for centuries. In the early twentieth century a large percentage of Syrian Jews emigrated to the U.S., Central and South America and Israel. Today only a few Jews still live in Syria. The largest Syrian-Jewish community is located in Israel, and is estimated at 80,000.”  Much of this immigration has to do with ill treatment. Again, I haven’t heard  protests about this from Celente or the anti-Semites-masquerading-as-anti-Zionists about this treatment:
The Syrian government passed a number of restrictive laws against the Jewish minority. In 1948, the government banned the sale of Jewish property. In 1953, all Jewish bank accounts were frozen. Jewish property was confiscated, and Jewish homes which had been taken from their owners were used to house Palestinian refugees.[46]
Again, did Syria steal Zionists’ land, or did Zionists steal Palestinians’ land?  My own ancestors came from various places, including the Middle East and Central Asia but predominantly from Europe.  During the postwar period Poles were literally murdering Jews in the street. Hannah Arendt documents this in Eichmann in Jerusalem.  Perhaps out of concern for Celente’s moral opinions the few Jews remaining in Poland should have remained there and been murdered.  Maybe people with morals like that don’t need to be taken seriously.
I too find the warfare and killing of Palestinian children troubling.  At the same time, if someone shot rockets at my home, I don’t think I’d be charitable.  Like Celente, I’ve lived my whole life in a safe environment. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Liberalism Unrelinquished

George Leef wrote about the Liberalism Unrelinquished site a few weeks ago, and I signed my name to its declaration, which reads

We the undersigned affirm the original arc of liberalism, and the intention not to relinquish the term liberal to the trends, semantic and institutional, toward the governmentalization of social affairs.

The signers are academics and journalists.

The word liberal meant of or pertaining to freedom until collectivists began to misuse it during the late 19th century.  Over the past 130 years the word, in Orwellian fashion, has been transformed from its root Latin meaning to of or pertaining to collectivism and authority.

The reason it was necessary for collectivists to claim that they are for freedom was that freedom, which lasted a few centuries here, increased the standard of living and quality of life.  Millions of immigrants flocked here for a reason that they did not understand: the opportunities here due to liberalism.   In contrast, the effects of the policies of the Democratic Party and its copycat sister, the Republican Party, has been increasing government, increasing control, and declining wealth.

Instead of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, today's America watches bleak futuristic films like The Congress, which sees technological advance as escapism attendant upon widespread decline and impoverishment.  Liberalism in its true meaning requires the opposite world view: Freedom results in innovation that makes us wealthier and frees us from oppression.

My wife just told me about Elizabeth Warren's 2011 statement:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.

Obama picked it up when he said, "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own... If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help...Somebody else made that happen."

Of course, if you're unsuccessful you didn't get their on your own either.  If you're unsuccessful it's because of violent thieves like Obama and Warren.

In any case, when I think of all the Americans who died fighting for freedom, and I realize that their descendants elected the people whom they were fighting against, people like Hitler, Stalin, Obama, and Warren,  I was reminded of the importance of language.

Calling authoritarians liberal leads to authoritarianism, and I thank Kevin Frei and Daniel Klein, who started the Liberalism Unrelinquished site, for reminding us to use the word in the right way.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Article on Harris v. Quinn and the CUNY Faculty Union in Frontpagemag

My article "Time to Rethink Government Unions" appears in the current issue of  Frontpagemag. I had researched the material about the CUNY faculty union several months earlier, and the Supreme Court's Harris v. Quinn decision on June 30 gave me a context in which to embed the CUNY material. I relied on interviews with David Seidemann and an anonymous officer of the PSC who gave me reams of information about the bizarre goings-on at the PSC Delegate Assembly and Executive Council meetings. The most striking phenomenon I observed during my research was the PSC leadership's omertà. The unwillingness to talk to me extended to the out-group led by former candidate Richard Boris and retired union president Irwin Polishook. 

Especially boorish was Stanley Aronowitz, who agreed to be interviewed by phone at specific times, yet when I called at those times he didn't answer.  He didn't four times.  The PSC's leadership advocates a suppressive ideology, socialism, so it's not surprising that they don't refrain from using violence to take money from members, using the money in violation of the members' free speech rights, and then covering up their actions.  Cover-ups are only problematic when Republicans engage in them.