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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Colin Kaepernick’s Symbols of Hate


Just in time for Independence Day 2019, sports apparel giant Nike released the Air Max 1 USA shoe, featuring a miniature “Betsy Ross” flag on each heel. This, of course, is the flag with the earliest American colonies represented by thirteen white stars in a circle which, legend has it, Mrs. Ross presented to George Washington himself. But when Nike pitchman Colin Kaepernick, former NFL national anthem protester, got wind of the plan, he complained to Nike that the flag recalls a time when blacks were enslaved. Also, according to a person who reportedly was privy to the conversation, Kaepernick informed Nike that the flag has recently been appropriated by American white supremacists.
Instead of telling Kaepernick, “So what?” and going forward with the patriotic product, Nike sparked controversy by recalling the shoe from retailers and issuing a statement in which it claimed the decision was “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday” – a pathetic excuse. If anything detracted from the Independence Day holiday, it was the controversy that erupted over Nike’s choice to offend the patriotic majority of Americans by sending the message that the Betsy Ross flag is a shameful symbol of racial oppression.
On MSNBC, race-huckstering Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson chimed in on Nike’s decision, of which he predictably approved. He claimed that the Betsy Ross flag
hails from the revolutionary period of this nation’s founding which was deeply embroiled in, you know, in enslavement... But also, it’s the recent use of this flag that has been the most opprobrious. Right-wing white supremacists have used it as a rallying cry for their own cause... Right now this flag has been used by people who want to pummel African-Americans, Latinos, Jews and other people, neo-Nazis that want to claim that they have the true copyright on American identity. So why not choose a flag that is representative of everybody? The diversity of identities, ideologies, people of color and mainstream people who exist in this country? That’s the kind of blowback against the use of this particular flag.
The notion that white supremacist groups have appropriated the Betsy Ross flag is ludicrous. They aren’t in a position to appropriate anything unless the American people allow it. There is no more marginalized, politically impotent extremist element in America today than actual white supremacists, who have been hyped by the leftist media complex as a rising Hitlerian tide empowered by President Trump’s purported bigotry. (Meanwhile the media downplays or even covers for actual threats such as the violent Antifa network, human traffickers at our collapsing southern border, and Islamic terrorists). Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said that the ADL does not even include the flag in its database of hate symbols. “It’s not a thing in the white supremacist movement,” Pitcavage asserted. Lisa Moulder, director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, said she has never heard of the flag being used as a hate symbol. Even if random bigots have tried to adopt the Betsy Ross flag, we only empower and legitimize them when we declare that we don’t have the cultural power to stop them from making the flag their own.  

The Crackup of the Israeli Left



In recent weeks the mostly left-leaning news media have published articles about the turbulence of this year’s elections in Israel with such handwringing titles as “Is the Israeli left doomed to marginalisation?,” “The Decline of the Israeli Left,” and “Whatever Happened to the Israeli Left?” But if one really wants to educate oneself deeply and broadly about this shift in the tiny democracy’s political landscape, one can hardly do better than to read Mordechai Nisan’s new book, The Crack-Up of the Israeli Left, published by Mantua Books. In it, Dr. Nisan brilliantly dissects the rise of the Right and the decline of the Left in the Jewish state. To quote from the book cover’s description, it details how “the Left detached its moorings from reality and principle, raised its voice against the Zionist enterprise, and chose surrender to the Arab enemy.”
If anyone is qualified to expound upon Israel’s political and cultural battlegrounds, it’s Mordechai Nisan. Dr. Nisan (with a doctorate in Political Studies from McGill University) has been a teacher and consultant for a number of academic and public institutions in Israel, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he taught Middle East Studies for 35 years. Among his many books are Toward a New Israel: The Jewish State and the Arab Question (1992), Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question (2011), and Politics and War in Lebanon (2015). He has written articles for The Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, Global Affairs, Middle East Journal, and many other publications. He has also been an activist for Jewish settlement in the territories of Judea and Samaria.
Dr. Nisan was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for FrontPage Mag.
Mark Tapson:             You begin your book by describing Israel as “a fable and a myth, but also a Great Truth.” What do you mean by that?

Mortality and Faith


In 1996, David Horowitz published Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, which became the most noted autobiography of political conversion since Whittaker Chambers’ Witness nearly half a century earlier. Like Horowitz himself, the book became and remains a conservative classic.
The founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center passed his 80th birthday earlier this year and has just released a less political and more meditative autobiographical follow-up to that iconic work: Mortality and Faith: Reflections on a Journey Through Time. This book collects three* of Horowitz’s previous observations on life, death and meaning, titled The End of Time (published in 2005), A Point in Time: The Search for Redemption in This Life and the Next (2011), and the arrestingly-titled You’re Going to Be Dead One Day: A Love Story (2015), together with a short concluding chapter fittingly called “Staying Alive.” As Horowitz puts it in the new book’s preface, Mortality and Faith explores the beliefs which we embrace to answer the existential questions of our lives, and how we are impacted by those answers.
Readers who are familiar only with David Horowitz the political firebrand, the political general who preaches a take-no-prisoners strategy to combatting his former comrades on the left, may be surprised to discover that he is capable also of a disarming sensitivity, vulnerability, and personal honesty. He does not flinch from self-criticism nor engage in self-mythologizing, which is refreshing for a public figure, particularly in the arena of politics. Every page of Mortality and Faith is redolent of a battle-scarred wisdom, earnestness, and humility earned from trials and tribulations both public and private.
Though one gets the impression he might have wished otherwise, a belief in God is not a sustaining or consoling worldview for Horowitz. He freely confesses that his philosophy of life and death stem from a melancholic agnosticism. In You’re Going to be Dead One Day he declared that “All questions about death begin with observations that only a religious faith can answer. I have no such faith,” he says, “and therefore my posing of these questions is without a hope that life eternal awaits us where all will become clear.”