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Tikvah: victim of double standard at U.C.

Nov. 21st, 2008 | 03:51 pm

The following text was forwarded to me by a friend in San Francisco who requests that I post or circulate.
It relates to the zionist students at Berkeley.  While some of what I have seen so far indicates that politically they are veering towards a level of revisionism, given the events in the middle east this is only natural. The more so as the propalestinian side, the Arab nations, and the European leftwing have for several decades been engaged upon their own radical revisionism - that which is commonly held as truth about Israel in those circles is manifestly untrue, the result of a fantasy-left approach to the issues.  It is good to see that at Berkeley at least some students are intent upon restoring the balance of discourse. Bravo, and kol kakavod.


Tikvah: victim of double standard at U.C.
By John E. Moghtader & Elodie Resseguie

Long a hotbed of anti-Israel activity, U.C. Berkeley has barely had a strong pro-Israel presence on campus. Until now, with Tikvah: Students for Israel, the Zionist student group at U.C. Berkeley.

We are the group that stepped up to protest when academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt visited Cal in October 2007 to hawk their book, a nefarious smear job titled "The Jewish Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy."

We were also there last month when the virulently anti-Israel academic Norman Finkelstein came to speak.

Before the lecture, we respectfully distributed our literature outside. Once inside, Finkelstein’s level of anti-Semitic vitriol prompted a walkout of Tikvah students and others not associated with our group. We shouted out our opinions while exiting, as the crowd hurled expletives at us. Finkelstein and his colleague then continued delivering their insulting lies.

As a result, the dean of students is now seeking to discipline Tikvah and individual students for an "offense" which in the past barely warranted mention when undertaken by student groups involved in anti-Israel activities.

For example, when Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes tried to speak on campus several years ago, he was shouted down by members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association. At the time the chancellor said, "Uncivil behavior, lamentable as it is, is not a crime, nor is it a violation of the Code of Student Conduct." No disciplinary action was taken against SJP or its members for that incident, nor when Nonie Darwish was likewise shouted down a year ago.

Only last week, SJP disrupted an innovative Zionist hip-hop concert on campus. Even though no Jewish students were involved in the physical altercation that ensued (contrary to what was reported in the school paper and what SJP claims), we wait to see how the university will deal with the assailants from SJP.

Other violations by SJP of the U.C. code of conduct such as blocking of pedestrian traffic with demonstrations, the brandishing of fake firearms, physical harassment and intimidation of Jewish students were presented to the dean of students but have been ignored.

What we see here is a double standard, one for the rest of campus and another for the Jews and those who actively support Israel.

Our tax dollars support the U.C. system, and Jewish donors are very prominent in supporting the U.C. campuses. It’s time for the Jewish community to become aware of what is happening at our university.

Meanwhile, Tikvah has a consistent record of positive, pro-Israel programming on campus. Until our inception a year ago, there was no substantive pro-Israel voice on campus. We changed that, attracting students of various religious and cultural backgrounds to our cause. We have collaborated with many off-campus groups, including the Israeli Consulate, Israel Peace Initiative, S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, U.C. Berkeley Chabad, CAMERA, StandWithUs, JIMENA and more. Once again Jews walk with pride across Sproul Plaza.

We have also sponsored many successful events. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we took out ads in the student newspaper highlighting the civil rights leader’s strong support of the Jewish state. We have hosted lectures by Dennis Prager, Stanley Urman, Israeli Vice Consul Ishmael Khaldi (who spoke about being the highest-ranking Muslim in the Israeli foreign service) and others.

Last year we held two weeklong programs brimming with pro-Israel activities: Israel Peace and Diversity Week and Israel@60 Week (which included a widely attended on-campus Holocaust memorial on Yom HaShoah). We just finished our latest effort, Israel Liberation Week, and we have also been a positive influence on student government, with John Moghtader, a current senator in the Associated Students of the University of California, leading our group.

Regarding the Jewish Student Union and Berkeley Hillel, we must clarify misstatements that ran in j. Even though Tikvah is the largest and most active Jewish student group on campus, we have been allocated precisely zero dollars from the JSU this school year.

While the JSU and Berkeley Hillel remain silent, we are the ones on Sproul Plaza and around campus protesting the Finkelsteins of the world, educating students about Israel, organizing rallies and holding Holocaust memorials.

We were dumbfounded to find that Hillel is presuming to play some role in all this, as Tikvah has never been affiliated with Berkeley Hillel, nor have we ever received funds from them for any of our activities.

We are a grassroots student group. Our goal is to make sure Jewish students do not have to be subjected to a hostile anti-Israel, anti-Semitic environment on campus. That’s our bottom line.


John E. Moghtader, a third-year undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, is an Associated Students of the University of California senator and president of Tikvah.

Elodie Resseguie is a fourth-year undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and is on the Tikvah executive board. To learn more about Tikvah, e-mail tikvahsfi@gmail.com or visit tikvahsfi.blogspot.com.


Finkelstein is a notorious anti-Israel academic of dubious standard.
Daniel Pipes is an honest academic, and arighteous man.
Stand With Us is a pro-Israel organization headquartered in Los Angles with branches across the nation.
Jimena represents the Jews chased out of Arab lands - long forgotten, often overlooked, especially by those who insist that Jews are actually only Europeans and not native to their ancestral land.
Ismael Khalidi is the Israeli vice-consul in San Francisco, and a most remarkable man with a blemishless record.
Hillel is a nation-wide Jewish presence at universities. Berkeley Hillel however is notoriously ambivelant about Israel, and remarkable quiescent on important issues. They have an agenda which can frankly be said to oppose any and all pro-Israel activism.
Berkeley, of course, is the home town of much that is both absurd and downright evil in progressive circles. Unashamedly so.

Am yisrael chai.

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Attack on Jews at UC Berkeley

Nov. 14th, 2008 | 01:47 pm

A friend has sent me news about a well-planned attack on Jewish students on the campus of UC Berkeley.  It appears that this is part of a pattern that with the tacit approval, if not encouragement, of the campus community, has been ongoing for a number of years.

The group organizing the attacks is called Students for Justice in Palestine.

The group being threatened, and also physically assaulted, appears to be Tikvah - their blog is here: http://tikvahsfi.blogspot.com/

As is unfortunately to be expected, the University administration follows in the pattern set by authorities wherever Jews are attacked, namely insisting that the Jews provoked it by their unfortunately open behaviour and offensive Jewishness.

If Jews would just be the nice quiet minority that society demands, no one, so goes the thought, no one would attack them.  Most of the time. Or any more than is necessary.  At least not so often.

The time for obedient Jews is long past.  

So I am pleased to note that some Jews at UC Berkeley are manning the barricades in the good fight, so to speak.

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine Attack Jews at UC Berkeley Hip-Hop Concert
Berkeley, CA- November 13, 2008]

We, the Zionist Freedom Alliance student group at Cal, are deeply concerned by the latest in a series of attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel students at UC Berkeley perpetrated by members of Students for Justice in Palestine. On the night of November 13, 2008 at around 6:00 PM, members of Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted our hip-hop concert that celebrated the Jewish connection to the land of Israel. Then they attacked students who asked them to stop their disruption.

Three members of the Students for Justice in Palestine illegally draped large Palestinian flags behind the stage of the concert, which was part of Israel Liberation Week. Yehuda De Sa (one of the performers), Cal alumnus Gabe Weiner, and current ASUC Senator John Moghtader walked to the balcony from which the flags were hanging and asked the students to remove the flags as they misrepresented the concert's message. The SJP members immediately became hostile at this request and current SJP leader Husam Zakharia instigated a physical altercation by striking Weiner on the head. As Weiner and the performer tried to defend themselves, Moghtader stood away from the scuffle and then made a successful effort to break up the fight.

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine shouted anti-Semitic epithets referencing the Holocaust throughout the ordeal. Zakharia and others from SJP were detained by the police and charged with battery. Citizens' arrests were filed against SJP members who took part in the altercation.

The violence, intimidation, and harassment exhibited by members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the concert is only one act in a pattern of similar behavior that they have exhibited towards Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus. Last year, multiple charges were filed against SJP and some of its members citing harassment, violence, intimidation, and violation of numerous other campus rules. These charges all went ignored by Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard.

We call on state officials, the President of the University of California, the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, faculty, and the student body to take a unified stand against the continued harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus, particularly by members of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Signed: The Zionist Freedom Alliance Student Group at Cal

Bravo, rabbosai, bravo.  Those of us who haven't blended in entirely salute you.  Your struggle invigorates us, and I wish you all the best.  Kol hakavod.

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Cheerful Snack

Nov. 13th, 2008 | 07:23 pm

I am still learning how to use livejournal.  Today I added Cheerful Snack as a friend.  Reading his or her blog, I imagine that I have known this person a long while.  Perhaps it is someone who drinks vodka, or smokes the occasional cigar.  Of this I feel certain.

Cheerful Snack's livejournal is frankly fascinating, and I recommend it. Nothing says Sukkos quite like the combination of zionism with intoxicants.

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Anti-Semitism is the inventor of Palestinism

Nov. 13th, 2008 | 06:41 pm

Without the existence of Jews, anti-Semitism is dead. This is a fundamental problem in approaching the existence of anti-Semitism. If there are no Jews, who will the world put in their place?

It seems, from the support that the fictional Palestinian nation receives in Europe and America, and the dislike aimed at those people in the entire middle-east, that the world has chosen another scapegoat in expectation of the eventual demise of the Jews.


It is ironic that the new scapegoat is alleged to be the original occupant of a land which historically has not been theirs. There never was a Palestinian people. And there still isn't such a people. They are an Arab fiction.


Israel, renamed Palestine by vengeful Romans, has always had Jewish residents. Even in the darkest days of exile, the Jewish presence has been constant and enduring. All others in that land were acknowledged guests or occupiers, interlopers and conquerors. The Muslim presence in the Holy Land has never been one of a free population managing her own affairs, but has ever been one of governance by distant empire and corrupt officials.

Such is the history of the land - from Muhammad's kinfolk conquering a patrimony that was not theirs, through various rapacious caliphates, to Turkish rule, and ultimately into the hands of the British, who grudgingly prepared to leave in 1948, resentful that the original inhabitants had demonstrated the ability, the will, and the right to reassume nation-hood.

Yet remnants of successive conquerors remained in pockets, and have, with the encouragement of some quasi-educated Europeans and Americans, assumed the mantle of resentment and Jew-hate. They serve no other purpose, and their role in Arab life is circumscribed everywhere.

Ask the inhabitants of those camps in Lebanon if they would rather be Lebanese and equal to their neighbors, and the answer is a resounding 'YES!' - query the invented refugees in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq - called Palestinian as if that were a curse, whether they would wish that name, and that legal status in the lands where they were born, upon their children, and, if they even dare to speak, they will admit that it does not suit them in the slightest.
Even their accents and deportment paint them as natives to the countries where they are maltreated by their fellow Arabs, how much more so their personal histories and their collective past. The Arab Palestinian is an invention of the British, and a horrible inheritance perpetuated by the feudalist forces of Arab nationalism.

The bitterness of Arabs at the re-emergence of Israel has found its voice in the repression of their fellow Arabs. That repression is the Arab nationalist revenge for having failed to destroy Israel. Israel's continued existence is a reminder of Arab defeat, and the mark of Cain on the 'Palestinian' brow.

No Arab wants to be despised, least of all by other Arabs. That, davka, is what fuels this conflict.

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Boston Zionist Anarchist Youth

Nov. 13th, 2008 | 06:24 pm

A reader alerts me to the existence of others who hold to anarcho-Zionist directions. Specifically, that reader points me to this blog:


B"ZAYON! Bostonian Zionist Anarchist Youth Organization NAW

It is a blog I have not entirely read yet as of this writing. But so far, I have not found anything with which on principle I must disagree, and a lot with which I can agree in part, if not necessarily and entirely in whole.

The blog mentioned above endorses the movie Fitna. With which I have some slight problem, as that movie does not promote an anarcho-friendly viewpoint. Instead, it illuminates the gross failures of political Islam, and the attendant hierarchical issues of the Arab world, in a way which can not guide the Arabs and Muslims on a path towards realizing the inherent unity of mankind within recognized and respected nation-states - a prerequisite for establishing a world in which the imperialist tendencies instinctive to Islamic discourse, and fundamental to Arab feudalism, are not only recognized for the harm that they do to their own adherents, but also limned and restricted so as not to endanger other nations nor roll back the clock of progress.

 Nevertheless, as a promotion of free-speech, their endorsement of Fitna must stand. It is unconscionable that such a movie would be banned anywhere in the world. The societies that have banned it, have by that action, and by so many previous similar actions, shown that free-speech, democratic action, and liberty of thought are their enemies and their cure.


Free speech and democratic actions are the marks of all advanced societies; of which the model will, b'ezras shomayim, be the nation and state of Israel.

It is to be hoped that the writers of the Boston Zionist Anarchist Youth will continue their very worthwhile labors, and continue inspiring readers with their vision.  Kol hakavod!

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The Jew as a revolutionary concept

Nov. 6th, 2008 | 12:39 pm

Fundamental to the anti-Semite is the conception that god has abandoned the Jews, and that therefore the Jews no longer occupy a place in society, or, in the reasoning of modern revolutionary anti-Semites, the consideration of man and the ranks of nations. This conception is inchoate. It is expressed in different words, and with different ideological reference points, by different political bodies. But it is always expressed, and always the same: the Jew does not belong. That is the absolute essence of the middle-east problem. The Arabs, especially the Arab Nationalists, insist that the Jew does not belong. And the world's revolutionary organizations are quick to echo that call, in their misguided support of Arab causes.

The Arab cause is by no means revolutionary, nor progressive. But it suits the Marxist-Leninists to say that the Arab cause is such. And the rank and file, permeated as they are with the traditional class and caste hatreds of the Western World, easily parrot the inherent anti-Semitic tropes. Most western liberals do not consider, and merely formulate loyalties. Anti-Semitism is so fundamental to the cultural milieu of the west that it is seldom recognized when encountered elsewhere; it is the great common denominator, the characteristic which builds a sense of commonality between anti-imperialist intellectuals in Europe and the faux anti-colonialists of the third world. The Jew, in this common worldview, stands in for all the flaws of the society requiring a cure. If the Jew of revolutionary fantasies does not exist, very well, they will invent him.


Fundamentally all bigotries are economic in nature. But it is not the economic superiority of the other that is recognized. Rather, it is the competition with the 'us' group at any level, no matter how insignificant, that is resented. And in the feudal Arab world, where most people cannot contest the power of local sheiks, nor reject the influence their own family and tribe have upon their thinking, the Jew is the convenient common opponent. Better even than the Turk, because the Turk laid claim to a sameness of religion, and represented a powerfull imperial system, whereas the Jew is the attackable minority.
The Arab world needs victims.  The Jew as an image of popular culture fills that role admirably - no matter that like trolls and goblins, the fantasy Jew does not exist.  The Arab world insists that he should, and the leftwing hastens to support that demand.

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Compatibility of Judaism and Anarchy

Nov. 4th, 2008 | 12:49 pm

In the anarchist movement many of the early leaders were of Jewish origins.  One cannot, realistically, write the history of anarchism without reference to the immense contributions of eastern European intellectuals with a shtettel background, just as with Marxism Leninism this is impossible.  But whereas the Marxist Leninist stream deliberately strove to distance themselves from their historic background, reflecting the anti-Semitic tenor of the times, the anarchist thinkers more often than not embraced their background as the foundation of their thought.
One need only mention Buber, Berkman, and Goldman, to get an impression of the scope of their contributions; anarchist thought in the twentieth century without such luminaries would have been unthinkable.
More remarkable of course, because they are almost unnoticed, are the non-Jewish intellectuals who recognized the weight of Jewish-Anarchist thought. Geddes and Rocker come to mind.
This development for many years seemed to have come to an end - the war, and the subsequent Stalinist attack on Judaism, seemed to have closed the doors of this awareness.  The nineteen sixties saw an increase in revolutionary thinking in the western world, coupled with a rejection of the strictures of religion. 

Religious component to thought
Fundamentally, religion is not by definition anti-revolutionary.  It has been argued that religions, like the societies in which they flourish, go through both revolutionary and anti-revolutionary phases. Christianity in its early centuries was profoundly revolutionary, but having become the ideology of the establishment, has subsequently been more anti-revolutionary than not.  Change, in the eyes of the church, implied threat.
Islam clearly suffers from the same illness.  All Muslim countries are essentially authoritarian theocracies, whether the ruler is a member of the religious authority structure, OR claims descent or sanctification from the Muslim authorities of the past.  In Muslim societies, demonstrable ties to the descent group of the prophet, are often of greater political value than any personal virtues.  The number of Muslim rulers who claim precisely that membership is correspondingly huge.
Judaism lacks both the Christian establishment-supporting tendency, and the Islamic religious authority as a main component in political life attitude.  There is no universally acknowledged supremacy within Judaism, nor an ideology  commonly accepted by the majority of Jews.  In consequence, claims of religious need, or scriptural imperative, are given scant credence by most of the intended audience.  This is in effect a democratic tendency within the tradition, and a strength utterly lacking in most other religions.  Judaism is, in one way of looking, naturally and instinctively anarchic.
And anarchism is, logically, almost an instinctively Judaic political movement.  It cannot be otherwise.

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Nov. 3rd, 2008 | 01:16 pm

I see that some body has posted an article discussing anarcho-zionism today on the internet. This is a subject worthy of some discussion, and I fear that there may be some misunderstandings current about it.

This article:

It is not quite the contradictio in terminis that you could think.

In the thirties the Spanish civil war attracted thousands of committed activists who joined the partisans.  Certainly the ellimination of national boundaries in favor of the greater family of man was not a part of the program at that time.  All societies must go through a period of national identity, even if in service of the progressive ideal, before the stage of nationalism can be eradicated.

The Backwardness of Arab Society
For the Arab nations, that stage has not come yet.  Arab societies, and Muslim countries in general, are stuck in a pre-nationalist emotivve and political state, their aspirations are territorial and imperialistic, as has been evident in every conflict that the Arabs have been involved in since the colonial period, most aggressively towards the free nation of Israel, which represents a contrast, a conflict, a disagreement with the repressive drang of Arab society.  Israel naturally is not a perfect state - no state can be perfect, statehood is by it's nature a repression.  But statehood in reaction to imperialism is valid, and is a necessary structure for defense. 
Israel is a contrapunkt against the imperialism of the Arab world, the colonialism of Europe, and against the dominant social controls of both the old world and the new.  Israel represents a bright new developement of social progress. 

Untill the Arabs cast off the shackles of their primitive social constructs, Israel must continue to exist.  Only when the entire Arab world reaches a more advanced niveau of developement will it be realistc, or even possible, to discuss an eradication of the national boundaries.

The Zionist as Revolutionary
The revolutionary is, without a form of common organization, a doomed man.  Within a common organization, a framework of common cause, the revolutionary must set aside his private interests, affairs, sentiments, ties, and even property.  Even his name belongs to his common organization, and his entire being must be slated to one single purpose - the betterment of the fates of his community and the transformation of the social order.  This is called revolution.

Public opinion and the social morality of the time will dispute the validity of the ideals of the revolutionary, yet everything which promotes the succes of that revolution is moral, everything which hinders it, immoral.  Zionism as the expression of an advance towards the eventual dissappearance of government is the first step in a individual and collective advancement.

Samuel Dolgoff, Anarchist and Zionist
The article on Atthebackofthehill quotes from some of the writings of a truly great man: Samuel Dolgoff.  Despite his unfortunate loyalties to more traditional forms of political expression and the rigid hierarchies of social conformity necessitated by organization concerns, he was a truly great visionary, and more people should explore his patrimony.  I'm not sure if the backofthehill intends to correctly interpret, but even some deviance is acceptable in service of a more perfect realization of Zionism.  More so as the majority of vaunted activists have fallen prey to the propaganda of Arab fascists, and traditional religious points of view.

I hope there will be more on this subject.  It will be an improvement. Much else is absurd.

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