Sunday, August 20, 2017

More Ying and Yang.

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.

The white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend were not ashamed when they shouted,…

Read it on Flipboard

This from a friend of a friend and fellow memo reader. The extreme left is as dangerous as the extreme right.  Extremes, from whatever side, are dangerous regardless of what/who they claim they are supporting.

Back Lives Matter is as fascist as The White Supremacy crowd.  Don't get sucked in because they claim they are busting heads for civil rights.  A busted head is still a busted head. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Herb Keinon has been around for years and understands The Middle East. In the article below he lays out the Israeli and Russian positions that will form the basis of Putin and Netanyahu's upcoming discussion and meeting . A worthwhile read.  (See 2 below.)
Tobin suggests the time for Liberals to recognize the threat from the right and left is overdue. (See 3 below.)
1) A warning to Americans of all political stripes and colors. Beware of siding with any of the sides in the riots centered in Charlottesville and sure to follow in other U.S. cities. This confrontation between two overtly Fascist factions is reminiscent of the battles between Germany and Russia during WWII. These two forces of evil were both anti-freedom, filled with hate against Jews and the West. Both regimes were responsible for the loss  of millions of lives of their own citizens who resisted their dictators, Hitler and Stalin.

Recall that just after this great conflict ended, the Russians occupied Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Ukraine and Hungary encapsulating these Eastern European nations under tyrannical Communist rule for nearly fifty years. And right after the guns were silenced in 1945, did not the Russians turn their  hate and animus against us? Did they not threaten to turn our cities into infernos with their atomic weapons? The only difference between the Russians and the Nazis was that the Russians happened to be on our side. Both factions now brawling in the streets of this nation are basically Fascist, anti-freedom and America hating. Both deserve to be repudiated by all of us. But the media, just as they did during WWII, are swooning over the Leftist demagogues. That's their way. Dangerous!

The KKK and White Supremacists are bad guys. The abhorrent, venomous Black Lives Matter and their cohorts of America Haters on the other side, all sponsored and paid by the Soros/Obama team have won over the hearts of the mainstream media by claiming they stand for equality, peace, justice and the downtrodden people of color. Nonsense. They don't support these people, rather they lead them by the nose to use them as cannon fodder and fuel for the current revolution. Unfortunately, those who would suffer most from a radical left, Islamofascist takeover, seem to be siding with their own enemies. Those of us who at this very moment are enjoying the freedoms that so many have died to preserve, are falling prey to the propaganda of those who would turn this nation into another Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

The choice is yours and mine. I will fight them tooth and nail against it. It may be too controversial to say, "To the death," but that's what so many before us have done to give us what we have today. Let's not lose these precious gifts. Wake up, speak up and act up. while you can.


The cultural civil war that has now exploded in America is an immensely dangerous moment for the west. It is also perilous for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Yet in both Israel and the diaspora, too many Jews just don’t get it. They are parroting instead the double-dealing and hypocritical pieties of their mortal enemies.
After Charlottesville, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin wrote a letter expressing “support and solidarity” with the American Jewish community “at this difficult time”.
Jewish students in America run a permanent gauntlet of left-wing hate over Israel. Has Rivlin ever expressed his “support and solidarity” with the American Jewish community over antisemitism on campus?
When President Obama denied that the slaughter of Jews in the Hyper-Cacher Paris supermarket in 2015 was antisemitic, did Rivlin express his “support and solidarity” with the American Jewish community then? Hardly, since more than 70 per cent were Obama voters.
When the Democratic National Convention appointed as its deputy chairman Keith Ellison, a man with former close ties to the profoundly Jew-hating, black racist organisation Nation of Islam and who has a history of troubling remarks about Jews, did Rivlin express his support and solidarity with the Jews of America? Of course not – because the overwhelmingly Democrat-voting Jews of America are not only silent about Ellison but doubtless will themselves have nodded along with his nauseating double-speak in claiming that the Trump administration is riddled with white supremacists.
At Charlottesville, the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke ranted in deranged fashion about alleged Jewish power over the media and banking system and about the ”Zionist ethno-state of Israel”. But this vile outpouring is indistinguishable from the antisemitic tropes spewed out by “antifa” groups, of the kind that clashed at Charlottesville, and beyond them the left in general and beyond then too; indeed the trope of Jewish power controlling the world was institutionalised by Mearsheimer and Walt in their book The Israel Lobby, and yet they remain esteemed and even lionised in academia.
In a startling and all-too telling coda to the departure from the White House of Trump’s now ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon, the left-wing HuffPost published a picture of Bannon under the headline “Goy, bye!”
“Goy” is a Hebrew word meaning nation; colloquially, however, it is associated with a contemptuous attitude towards gentiles – and in a further linguistic twist has now been adopted by neo-Nazis to heap further hatred upon Jews.
The implication of the HuffPost headline, therefore, was that the Christian Bannon had been removed by a Jewish cabal. Although HuffPost replaced this headline after eyebrows shot up across social media Jon Cooper, an Obama campaign staffer and chairman of the Democratic Coalition, enthusiastically retweeted it. So it would seem that a ripe piece of antisemitism was manufactured and disseminated by the very people who scream “white racist” at both Bannon and Trump.
There is a simplistic view that because fascism and white supremacism are evil, anyone who opposes them must be virtuous. This utterly false deduction is assiduously promoted by the left to mask its own vicious prejudices and behaviour. Too many Jews fell for this with Soviet communism in the early decades of the last century. Now they’re falling for it again.
“The very idea that in our time we see a Nazi flag – perhaps the most vicious symbol of antisemitism – paraded in the streets of the world’s greatest democracy, and Israel’s most cherished and greatest ally, is almost beyond belief,” said Israel’s President Rivlin.
Well yes, it was indeed dreadful and sickening to see it. And one has to wonder why the Charlottesville authorities apparently allowed the neo-Nazis to parade near the town’s synagogue and shout anti-Jewish insults; not to mention the fact that the police appear to have done nothing to route the two sets of protesters away from each other. But isn’t the way in which antisemitism has become mainstream on the left and is nodded along without protest by respectable opinion the thing that’s really beyond belief?
Aren’t the repeated mass demonstrations, uniting on the streets Islamo-fascists and the left marching behind slogans calling for Israel’s destruction and death to Jews, the thing that’s really beyond belief?
Black Lives Matter, a core antifa group which was at Charlottesville, is said by Alan Dershowitz to have “declared war against the nation state of the Jewish people”. Isn’t the support for BLM by so many American Jewish liberals the thing that’s really beyond belief?
Neo-Nazism has become the trigger for a kind of Jewish blindfold. Such Jews cannot see that the greater danger today comes not from a few thousand Nazi wannabes without political power but from the massed ranks of the left. This danger is far greater because left-wing antisemitism is being given a free pass by those in positions of cultural power and who vilify and smear any who call them out.
As I wrote here, Trump’s initial remarks after Charlottesville were lamentably vague. He said:
“I think there’s blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
He should have said specifically there is no place for white supremacism or antisemitism in America; and he should also have said specifically that antifa’s behaviour was violent and unacceptable.
However inadequate his response, however, it has been distorted to suggest that he refused to criticise white supremacists at all, or even that he supports them. It is also said that he drew an equivalence between the neo-Nazis and the antifa. That’s also untrue. He said merely there was violence and bad people on both sides. Indeed, the antifa arrived at Charlottesville equipped for violence with baseball bats and sticks.
Those who point this out have found themselves the butt of claims that they would have similarly condemned those resisting fascist marches in the 1930s. This is not just offensive but morally obtuse. In the 1930s, fascists posed an all-too real threat in Europe. Today’s neo-Nazis, by contrast, are a rag-tag bunch of thugs who are not in any position of power (although unforgivably they are being bigged-up by the left who are inflating their importance almost daily; who previously would even have heard of white supremacist Richard Spencer, or relayed every word David Duke uttered as if he was someone to be taken at all seriously?)
Moreover, would those who imply that violence against fascists is justified say violence against an Islamist demonstration would be justified? On the contrary – these people start screaming Islamophobia and racism at anyone who dares utter any criticism of Muslims, let alone take any action against them.
Trump’s real crime was not to defend white supremacists, which clearly he did not do, but to utter the inconvenient truth that elements on the left are also motivated by a violent lust for power.
The antifa have a history of violence, and not just against neo-Nazis. They deem any conservative to be a fascist and therefore deserving of intimidation and suppression. They are also viciously anti-Zionist which serves as flimsy cover for hatred of Jews.
Powerline has noted: “As one prominent antifa thug said of those on the other side of the political spectrum, ‘their existence itself is violent and dangerous, so I don’t think using force or violence to oppose them is unethical.’”
Noting that the casus belli at Charlottesville was the proposal to remove a confederate statue, Trump wondered where all this would end.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Well, that’s already developed just as he predicted. A frenzy has taken hold as confederate statuses and monuments are being defaced or torn down across America.
Bishop James E. Dukes of Chicago’s Liberation Christian Centre called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to rename Washington Park and remove a statue of the first U.S. president over his ties to slavery.
A confederate statue was toppled in Durham, north Carolina, with chants of “We, we are the revolution!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” Then the vandals took turns kicking it and spitting on it.
Georgian Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has called for the destruction of the Stone Mountain carving of three Confederate leaders.
In this madness, Trump is even being blamed for unleashing the left as well as the far right.
Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez blamed Trump for the vandals who torched a bust of Abraham Lincoln.
“When you have a president who, from his point of moral authority as leader of the free world, condones the actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, people who believe in a segregated society – when he refuses to refute what their actions are – you embolden people to continue,” said Lopez.
So by allegedly emboldening neo-Nazis Trump has emboldened… their leftwing opponents. How crazy is this thinking??
What has erupted in America is a madness. It’s not just against Trump. It’s against American history and identity, and it’s a repudiation of reason itself. For sure, white supremacists and their ilk are evil; but they don’t threaten the very fabric of America and the west. The violent, power-crazed, nihilistic, totalitarian left do just that.
This madness explains the related derangement of anti-Zionism and Jew-baiting on the left. Too many Jews can’t put this in its necessary context to see what’s happening for the danger that it is. Instead, they are transfixed by a few thousand aggressive far-right misfits. If even Jews cannot recognise the true threat to society, what hope is there for anyone else?

2)  How will the Netanyahu-Putin meeting affect the region?

Netanyahu will be careful to praise the Russian-Israeli bilateral relations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to go to Sochi on Wednesday for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his fourth visit to Russia in the last 16 months.

For reporters who cover Netanyahu, the drill is well known.

Following the premier’s meeting with Putin, either he or one of his spokesmen will say that during the meeting he stressed Israel’s red lines in Syria: that Jerusalem will not tolerate an Iranian or Hezbollah presence on the Golan border; that Israel will not accept a permanent Iranian presence in Syria; and that Israel will act to ensure that game-changing weapons or capabilities are not transferred from Iran through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Netanyahu will be careful to praise the Russian-Israeli bilateral relations, and say that the deconfliction mechanism to prevent any accidental engagements between the Russian and Israeli air forces in Syrian skies – which he set up with Moscow immediately after Russia became militarily involved in Syria in 2015 – has proven itself very effective.

He will be careful not to say what the Russian leader’s response to any of this was, beyond saying that the Israeli messages were “understood.”

But these meetings are by no means a Netanyahu monologue. The Russians also have their position regarding Syria and overall Iranian intentions, and – based on a number of conversations with senior Russian diplomats – it goes like this: Russia has genuine interest in Syria. Raqqa, the one-time Islamic State stronghold in northern Syria, is only 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles, from Grozny, Chechnya, in southern Russia, the distance from New York to Knoxville, Tennessee.

When Moscow decided to become actively engaged in the fighting in Syria in the summer of 2015, there was a real danger that Islamic State and a collection of other rebels would overthrow the government in Damascus, and the country would fall under the sway of forces downright hostile to Russia – someone like Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – who might then want to begin efforts through Chechnya to destabilize Russia.

Some 4,500 Russian citizens are fighting against the Islamists in Syria, and have not concealed their desire to fight the “infidels” at home – meaning in Russia – once victory is achieved in Syria and Iraq.

Unlike the US forces that invaded Iraq in 2003, or the international coalition that launched airstrikes against Libya in 2011, Russia was invited into Syria by the recognized government of Bashar Assad. Therefore, Russia – unlike the US and the international coalition – is in accordance with international law by acting inside Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government.

If there is a mess in the Middle East, it is not because Russia moved into Syria, but rather because the US moved into Iraq, and then the West took action in Libya unleashing all kinds of destabilizing forces throughout the region. The US says that the aerial campaign against Libya was a great success, ousting a brutal dictator in Muammar Gaddafi – but what kind of success?

Huge amounts of military hardware was pillaged, and vast amounts of weaponry and even chemical substances have spilled over into neighboring African countries as well as into the hands of Jihadi groups. Niger and Mali were destabilized because of what happened in Libya.

Russia listens to Israel’s concerns about Iran, but views them as overstated. Iran will not attack Israel, because it knows that to do so would be suicidal.

Israel and the Saudis say that Iran is trying to encircle them with proxies stretching from Yemen through Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but the truth is that the Iranians feel threatened and encircled by Israel, the Saudis and the US.

True, Israel does not threaten to wipe Iran off the map, but why has it bought a fleet of F-35 stealth bombers? Whom is that intended for, if not Iran?

Moreover, the US talks openly about Iranian regime change. Even the nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached in 2015 – is seen by the Americans as a way of “empowering the moderates “ to slowly edge out the ayatollahs.

Iran’s actions in Syria are not designed to destabilize the region but rather to protect themselves, to push back and take the battle to the enemy, rather than waiting to become encircled themselves.

We, the Russians, understand Israel’s concerns about game-changing weaponry being transferred from Syria to Hezbollah, and we acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself. But Israel cannot unilaterally take it upon itself to regulate relations between other sovereign states – it is not the regional sheriff.

We, the Russians, also understand Israel’s concerns regarding Iran establishing a permanent presence in Syria, but we cannot prevent it. Iran is a sovereign state; we can’t tell Tehran what to do or how to behave. We might counsel against it, but they will not necessarily listen to us. We don’t make the decisions for Iran.

Iran is inside Syria because Assad invited them in. The same is true of Hezbollah. The Iranians and Hezbollah came in when Assad’s back was against the wall. It is now in Israel’s interest for Assad to retain strong control of his country, so then there will be no need for the Syrians to invite in outside forces. The best thing for Israel would be a strong government in Damascus that will not need Iranian or Hezbollah help. Israel should be working with the forces to empower Assad.

To Israeli ears, much of the above sounds almost delusional. Nevertheless, that is the Russian message, one that their diplomats espouse consistently in private conversations, and one that Netanyahu has heard in various forms more than once. He will also likely hear a variation on this theme again from Putin when they meet Wednesday in Sochi.
3) Is it possible to fight both neo-Nazis and left-wing anti-Semites?
By Jonathan S. Tobin

We live in a time when, as the U.S. State Department has noted, a “rising tide of anti-Semitism” has swept across the globe. Anti-Semitism has crept into the mainstream from the margins of society in the West, as a coalition of intellectual elites and Muslims has produced a surge of venom against Israel and Jews who identify with it. That movement has found a foothold on American campuses and among left-wing groups, resulting in Jews being stigmatized and isolated in the public square, and students being subjected to violence and intimidation.

But the growth of this noxious form of hate is not what most American Jews are most worried about. Instead, it is the spectacle of neo-Nazis and their Ku Klux Klan and alt-right allies parading in Charlottesville, Va., that scares Jews the most.

A reasonable argument can be put forward to assert that, even now, with far-right anti-Semites being more active than in recent memory, their left-wing counterparts pose a more serious menace to global Jewish security. But fear of the anti-Semitic right is always going to be the threat that resonates the most in the Jewish community. The thought process leading to the conclusion behind this mindset might be debatable, but it also reflects a disturbing truth about the persistence of anti-Semitism and the failure of both liberals and conservatives to think clearly about the issue.

Part of the reason why right-wing anti-Semites are scarier to American Jews is a function of imagery and historical memory. The spectacle in Charlottesville of large numbers of neo-Nazis and Klan members holding a torchlight parade while chanting anti-Semitic slogans is chilling in of itself, but also because it is reminiscent of the Holocaust. These thugs aren’t anything close to being the threat the Nazis were in Germany, but their brazenness provides a visceral shock that even the most vicious and perhaps more influential Jew-haters on the left can’t provoke.

The increasingly central role anti-Semitic attitudes are playing on the left often flies under the flag of anti-Zionism rather than open Jew-hatred. But that is a distinction without a difference. Even in the U.S., where it is less prevalent than in Europe, this has meant boycotts and even violence, as well as inflammatory rhetoric—coming from many prominent members of the anti-Trump “resistance”—that demonizes affiliated Jews as racist oppressors.

Liberal Jews have been slow to respond to this threat because it requires them to confront erstwhile allies who are part of the Democratic Party base or groups they view with sympathy, like Black Lives Matter or organizations that purport to represent the LGBTQ community.

But liberals aren’t the only ones who have ignored things that didn’t fit into their worldview. Republicans have become a lockstep pro-Israel party, and the main organs of conservatism like National Review chased anti-Semites out long ago. This has led Jewish conservatives to believe the virus of right-wing anti-Semitism was dead and buried. But anti-Semitism on the right has made a comeback in the form of a virulent and violent alt-right movement that rejects mainstream conservatism.

Neo-Nazis and the Klan, and their alt-right allies, may be small in number and make up only an infinitesimal fraction of the coalition that elected Trump. But their impact is magnified by Trump’s reluctance to consistently take them on. Trump is no anti-Semite and has governed as a staunch friend of Israel. Yet he has encouraged right-wing anti-Semites by alleging a false moral equivalence with those who oppose them, while also signaling sympathy with the cause (preserving Confederate statues) that the anti-Semites and racists turned out to support in Charlottesville.

Neo-Nazis may seem scarier than Jew-haters on the left, but the challenge for American Jews now lies in trying to rise above the partisan loyalties that can blind us to both sides of the anti-Semitic coin.

Liberals prefer to ignore the potent influence of those who promulgate anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel while encouraging intimidation and attacks against Jews. Many seem to think calling out left-wing anti-Semites in the anti-Trump resistance is not as important as opposing the administration. At the same time, conservatives need to acknowledge that speaking up about the anti-Semitic right isn’t chasing ghosts. They need to understand that calling out Trump for his encouragement of alt-right anti-Semites will neither betray Israel nor aid left-wing Jew-haters.

What is needed is a Jewish community with the wisdom to take up the fight against hate and bigotry no matter its origin. Until that happens, liberals and conservatives alike will continue to fail to adequately address a problem that ought to transcend politics.

Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.

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