“If the left in Europe and, increasingly, the United States is so hospitable to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic ideas, what does that mean for the future of “Jews and the Left”? Michael Walzer explained the historical Jewish affinity for the left as a straightforward matter: “We have supported the people who support us.” The historical insights of the “Jews and the Left” conference suggested that things were never so simple—or mutual. So, when that basic equation no longer holds—if the left are no longer “the people who support us”—will we continue to support them? The “rising generation” of the left will contain its share of Jews, maybe even more than its share; but whether it will be a Jewish left, as it was in the past, is very much in doubt.”

“Why so many alte kockers? Where is the rising generation?” The grumbler sitting behind me at the conference [1] on “Jews and the Left,” sponsored by YIVO last week at the Center for Jewish History in New York, was not exactly being fair. Any academic conference will attract an older-skewing audience, and for all the gray hair in the seats and on the dais, the YIVO conference did have its share of eager young attendees.

Behind the complaint, however, it was possible to hear a larger, more painful question. For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, from the first immigrant generation through the baby boom, the radical and revolutionary left played a hugely important role in defining how the rest of America saw Jews and how Jews saw themselves. From Mike Gold’s proletarian novel Jews Without Money all the way down to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, the literature and mythology of American Jewish radicalism has often appeared identical—to a certain audience—with Judaism itself. Even now there are people who revel in bygone lore about the Forverts and the Freiheit, Jay Lovestone and Max Shachtman. But living heirs to that tradition can be hard to find. Somewhat plaintively, my neighbor at the conference—like many of the participants—seemed to be asking, Is there still such a thing as a Jewish left? And if not, ought we to regret it?


But to see victory as a worse outcome for Israel than defeat is to forget that Israel fought the war just to survive; victory was the only option. As Moshe Dayan’s daughter, Yael, wrote in the Daily Telegraph just a year after the war:

A year ago I was in uniform with a division on the Egyptian border. We, in the front, had no doubt as to the inevitability of war. We also knew we were going to win it. We were not going to win because we were more numerous, more battle-happy, or more ambitious. We were going to win, at whatever cost, because losing meant extermination . . . . These obvious facts should be remembered, simply because we were victorious. When a David wins, he stops being David in a way, and his motives become suspect. On June 5, 1967, we risked all we had.

If Israel exchanged the sympathy of a beleaguered minority for the moral dilemmas of a majority in 1967, it is only because peace with her Arab neighbors was impossible. To quote Yael Dayan again: “If our face is changed, it is only because security and peace did not prove to be synonymous and we have chosen the first, are not offered the second, and have to live with the results.”


“The Syrians braced themselves for the Israeli onslaught. “Pave the roads with the skulls of Jews,” Assad ordered. “Strike them without mercy.” The fight, Damascus held, was not over.”

Once Dayan decided against a limited attack in the Golan and opted instead to take the entire Heights, Israel’s air force pounded the Syrians. The Syrians had supposed the Israelis to be tired and intimidated by their incessant shelling; unprepared for the ferocity of the barrage, their morale suffered, and some officers and soldiers deserted. But the bulk of Syria’s forces remained in place, ready to give fight, while hoping for UN intervention.

Traffic jams delayed Israeli reinforcements from other fronts, retarding an assault from the south; the attack proceeded in the center, but involved exhausted Israeli tank crews climbing the rocky terrain of steep (2000 ft) hills in broad daylight, totally exposed to Syrian fire from the enemy’s most formidable forces. Upon hearing of the plan, some commanders described it as “suicide.” But they proceeded unafraid.

Golan tanks
Israeli tanks climbing a steep hill in the Golan Heights

With tank maneuverability reduced by the terrain, the Israelis found themselves at the mercy of dug-in Syrian tanks. Pressing on, the fighting was intense and confused as tanks fired at extremely close range. Maps were lost, bulldozers were destroyed as they tried to clear away barbed wire, and the threat of landmines was everywhere. The Israelis also underestimated the ability of the Syrian bunkers to withstand massive bombing.

“The Syrians fought well and bloodied us,” recalled one Israeli commander, but after a whole afternoon in battle, the IDF had made important advances. The successes were not without cost, however, in men and arms. The Syrians did manage to stop the IDF’s movement, but they too had taken a beating, and were left fearful and chaotic.

THE WEEK THAT WAS PART 2 THAT MUSLIMS FIRST FOREIGN POLICY The United States voiced concern Friday about the mob killing of Muslims in Myanmar and called for the country’s reform-minded government to move forward in reconciling with minorities. When was the last time that the United States expressed concern about the Muslim persecution of non-Muslims? Muslim massacres of Christians […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART ONE RADICAL RADISHES Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. The left has been looking for a narrative in the mess and it has fished out the usual suspects. 1. Wisconsin was really a victory because it could have possibly succeeded. Which is almost a win. 2. If we massage the numbers, […]

ELLIOTT ABRAMS: CELEBRITY JOURNALISM HITS ISTANBUL Turkey is a complex country, but there are two key developments there that demand attention. One is the increasing repression. Today there are more than 100 journalists in prison, more than in China. The European Federation of Journalists has launched a campaign called “Set Turkish Journalists Free.” Human Rights Watch has reported that “a […]


“There are monarchies and republics aplenty, but there’s only one 24/7 celebrity fundraising presidency. If it’s Tuesday, it must be Kim Cattrall, or Hootie and the Blowfish, or Laverne and Shirley, or the ShamWow guy . . . I wonder if the Queen ever marvels at the transformation of the American presidency since her time with Truman. Ah, well. If you can’t stand the klieg-light heat of Obama’s celebrity, stay out of the Beverly Wilshire kitchen.”

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee a few days ago — that’s 60 years on the throne. Just to put it in perspective, she’s been queen since Harry S. Truman was president. At any rate, her jubilee has been a huge success, save for a few churlish republicans in various corners of Her Majesty’s realms from London to Toronto to Sydney pointing out how absurd it is for grown citizens to be fawning over a distant head of state who lives in a fabulous, glittering cocoon entirely disconnected from ordinary life.

Which brings us to President Obama.

Last week, the republic’s citizen-president passed among his fellow Americans. Where? Cleveland? Dubuque? Presque Isle, Maine? No, Beverly Hills. These days, it’s pretty much always Beverly Hills or Manhattan, because that’s where the money is. That’s the Green Zone, and you losers are outside it. Appearing at an Obama fundraiser at the home of Glee creator Ryan Murphy and his “fiancé” David Miller, the president, reasonably enough, had difficulty distinguishing one A-list Hollywood summit from another. “I just came from a wonderful event over at the Wilshire or the Hilton — I’m not sure which,” said Obama, “because you go through the kitchens of all these places and so you never are quite sure where you are.”

Ah, the burdens of stardom. The old celebrities-have-to-enter-through-the-kitchen line. The last time I heard that was a couple of decades back in London when someone was commiserating with Sinatra on having to be ushered in through the back. Frank brushed it aside. We were at the Savoy, or maybe the Waldorf. I can’t remember, and I came in through the front door. Oddly enough, the Queen enters hotels through the lobby. So do Prince William and his lovely bride. A month ago, they stayed at a pub in Suffolk for a friend’s wedding, and came in through the same door as mere mortals. Imagine that!

So far this year, President Obama has been to three times as many fundraisers as President Bush had attended by this point in the 2004 campaign. This is what the New York Post calls his “torrid pace,” although judging from those remarks in California he’s about as torrid as an overworked gigolo staggering punchily through the last mambo of the evening. According to Brendan J. Doherty’s forthcoming book The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign, Obama has held more fundraisers than the previous five presidents’ reelection campaigns combined.

Mount Crushmore: Maddow calls for Pelosi monument YIKES!!!!! RSK
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to House Mi…
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Holder names two attorneys to head leak probe
Los Angeles Times
Friday, June 8, 2012
Holder names two attorneys to head leak probe
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. appointed two top federal prosecutors late Friday to “lead criminal investigations” into the recent leak of U.S. classified intelligence information, acting on a pledge from President Obama that his administration will not permit the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive materials. Read more…

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Mob attacks women at anti-sex-assault rally in Cairo
USA Today
Friday, June 8, 2012
A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Read more…

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Al Qaeda chief’s wife: ‘Raise children for jihad’ THE MISSUS WEIGHS IN….RSK
Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 8, 2012
The wife of al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri congratulated Muslim women for the role they have played in the Arab Spring and urged them to raise their children for jihad. Read more…

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After $800k probe, Dems want answers in Waters case
Susan Crabtree

A contingent of 68 House Democrats is demanding more answers from the Ethics committee about its decisions to move forward with the 2-year-old case against Rep. Maxine Waters and to dismiss the California Democrat’s argument that her due process rights were violated. Read more…

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Suddenly, the Obamedia is incensed by, yes, leaking.

This is the same legacy press that was delighted by Justice Department and White House leaks when it came to driving Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales out of town; the same media currently ignoring a tsunami of leaks of classified national defense information by the Obama White House — leaks designed solely to make the president look good for campaign purposes. Yet, in order to change the subject from the Justice Department’s oversight of the lamebrain Fast and Furious investigation — in which arsenals of weapons were allowed to be transferred to violent Mexican drug cartels, and as a result of which a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been murdered — the Obama campaign’s media wing is now focused on whether Republican Congressman Darrell Issa has a “mole” inside DOJ who is giving him information that proves Attorney General Eric Holder & Co. have been misleading the House Judiciary Committee and the public.

The leaked information involves wiretap affidavits. Fast and Furious used electronic surveillance as an investigative tactic. As I’ve detailed elsewhere, this is bound to leave an inconvenient paper trail for DOJ. Federal wiretap law requires the attorney general or his designee (a high-ranking DOJ official) to approve wiretap applications before they can be submitted to a judge. One of the things the law requires the application to contain (and thus requires the Justice Department to approve) is an assessment of what investigative techniques other than wiretapping have been (or could be) used to obtain evidence. Consequently, the wiretap applications — which Holder refuses to release, despite Committee demands and subpoenas — must have described the fateful “gunwalking” tactic. Therefore, their public release would almost certainly show that top Justice Department officials knew about it — if not, then those officials were indefensibly reckless in approving the wiretap applications, which would also be scandalous.

“What did they know and when did they know it?” has been the media’s rally cry for 40 years. Leaking, moreover, is the press’s stock in trade. Never does the press get exercised over it, and always does the press defend the honor of “whistleblowers” … except when the leaking hurts Democrats or helps Republicans, in which case it becomes a hanging offense — think Valerie Plame, think Linda Tripp, etc. So, in darkly reporting that Rep. Issa has a DOJ “mole” helping him combat Holder’s stonewalling, The Hill dutifully found two “former prosecutors” who told the paper that, oh yes, the leaks of sealed wiretap information from DOJ to Congress could endanger hard won convictions by giving defense lawyers “justif[ication]” for “seeking a mistrial.”


The Lynching of George Zimmerman By Anthony W. Hager Page Printed from: at June 09, 2012 – 05:46:27 AM CDT George Zimmerman’s public image took a blow when a judge revoked his bond, alleging that Zimmerman willfully misled the court concerning his financial situation. The fact that he’s back in jail makes him appear […]