Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Propaganda has been an important tool in war efforts for centuries. Today, there is a growing consensus to forcefully confront the people and machinery used to promote terror, as much as the effort to eradicate the terrorists themselves.

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany exterminated millions of civilians that it considered undesirable before and during World War II. Historians have long considered the reasons that so many Germans and other Europeans turned on their fellow citizens, and attributed some of the rationale to an effective Nazi propaganda machine.

While Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party that led the effort to kill Jews, Gypsies and others, it was his propaganda specialist, Joseph Goebbels, who spearheaded the effort to coopt all Germans and other Europeans to despise and turn in those targeted by the Nazis.  Goebbels’ efforts to rally Germans against Jews included actions to make Germans appear as victims after WWI, and Jews as sub-humans that undermined the purity of Aryans. His depictions of Jews in advertisements and film helped deceive the public and sway opinion against the Jews.

goebbels

Goebbels never stood trial for his actions, as he committed suicide at the end of the war.

ISIS

Today, the Islamic State / ISIS is considered the most lethal terrorist organization that kills thousands in the Middle East.  It has made and released many videos showing its barbarity which it uses to recruit soldiers from around the world.

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has voiced her concern about the terrorist threat from ISIS in several debates, including its online propaganda:

“We also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit, where they radicalize. And I don’t think we’re doing as much as we can. We need to work with Silicon Valley. We need to work with our experts in our government. We have got to disrupt, we have got to take them on in the arena of ideas that, unfortunately, pollute and capture the minds of vulnerable people. So we need to wage this war against ISIS from the air, on the ground, and online, in cyberspace.”
September 7, 2016

Those Clinton comments seemed like an online fight: a battle fought on the internet against an online threat.

However, in her comments during the September 26, 2016 debate, Clinton seemed to increase her threat against those involved in making the evil propaganda:

“And I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership. I was involved in a number of efforts to take out Al Qaida leadership when I was secretary of state, including, of course, taking out bin Laden. And I think we need to go after Baghdadi, as well, make that one of our organizing principles. Because we’ve got to defeat ISIS, and we’ve got to do everything we can to disrupt their propaganda efforts online.”

Those comments seemed to convey Clinton’s desire to physically attack those members of ISIS that produce the propaganda. She coupled the assassination of terrorists with the online battle. That was a major ratcheting up of the fight against terrorist propaganda by a politician.

For their part, civilians have taken to the courts to block the spread of terrorist propaganda online.  January 2016 saw a suit against Twitter, and in June 2016, Facebook and Google were also sued for airing ISIS videos.  These sites had nothing to do with producing or posting the videos, but were attacked for not taking down the propaganda, thereby allowing the evil messages to spread globally.

isis-online

The incitement to violence and terrorism is found in many places beyond social media and Iraq.

Palestinian Arabs

In between the first two presidential debates, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly. In his remarks, he noted the disgraceful incitement to terrorism and anti-semitism prevalent in Palestinian Arab society:

“Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act”. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote.

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour.

This is child abuse.

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?”

slit

The Palestinian Authority and much of the society is rife with terrorist propaganda.

Did the world listen to Netanyahu’s speech, fact-check his statements and call out the Palestinian Arab vile anti-Semitism and propaganda?

No. It parroted the Palestinian Arab argument about settlements, “The Quartet emphasized its strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion … (is) steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.” Nothing about Arab propaganda being an obstacle to peace.


Hateful propaganda leads directly to violence and terrorism.  Depending where that propaganda is posted, that message can spread like wildfire globally.

In parts of the world, there are leaders that are willing to step up and fight against the poisonous contagion.  Regretfully, not at the United Nations, where its leader, Ban Ki Moon, actively promotes that the terrorist group Hamas should become part of the governing Palestinian Authority.

Perhaps it is time for people to sue the United Nations – just as people are suing  Facebook and Twitter – in giving a platform and pass to Palestinian Arab anti-Semitic propaganda.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

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Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

On September 20, 2016, US President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. His passing comment on Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict underscored why peace did not advance, and his relationship with Israel worsened over his term.

obama-un2016
US President Barack Obama addressing the United Nations
September 20, 2016

Obama’s UN remarks covered a lot of activities during his eight years in office, including the Iranian nuclear deal; opening relations with Cuba; and tackling climate change. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict very briefly, but the remark was telling:

“…surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.  We all have to do better as leaders in tamping down, rather than encouraging, a notion of identity that leads us to diminish others.”

“Palestinian land.”  What exactly is Palestinian land, according to the parties themselves? According to the United States? According to Obama?

Oslo Agreements

Since 1993, successive US governments have stood behind the Oslo Accords signed by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, and its successor document, Oslo II signed in 1995.  That document was the last agreement signed by the two parties to settle the “Question of Palestine.”

Oslo II clearly spelled out what was “Palestinian land” to be fully governed by the Palestinian Authority in regards to military and civil administration.  That area is known as “Area A” in EGL (east of the Green Line) and the Gaza Strip.  Israel handed over all of that land to the Palestinians over a decade ago.

“Area B” in EGL/west bank of the Jordan River, is a mixed territory, in which the Palestinian Authority has responsibilities for civil matters, and military matters are coordinated jointly.  That land is neither “Palestinian Authority” nor “Israeli” exclusively.

“Area C” makes up the majority of EGL, and is “Israeli Territory,” in which Israel administers all matters, including civil and security responsibilities.

egl
Map showing Areas A, B and C, east of the Green Line

The Israelis and Palestinians negotiated and agreed to the contours of these three blocks.  The parties also worked on a plan for additional land to be transferred from “Israeli Territory” to “Palestinian Authority Territory” over the years 1995 to 2000.  However, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) rejected those negotiations at the last moment, and launched the Second Intifada in September 2000, as the interim Oslo II Accord was due to become permanent.  As such, no additional transfer from Israeli Territory to Palestinian Authority Territory has occurred.

As every US administration has pushed for the two parties to negotiate a two-state agreement on the basis of the Oslo Accords, there is NO BASIS for Obama to refer to Area C as “Palestinian Land.”  That land will continue to be Israeli land until such time as they agree to transfer parts of it to the PA.

As there is no Israeli “occupation” or “settlement” activity in the Israeli territory of Area C, Obama’s mischaracterization of Israeli actions in that land that they legally administer explains his comments and treatment of Israel since he took office in 2009.

Mandate of Palestine

It is also worth noting that international law, established in the 1920 San Remo agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, specifically gave Jews the legal rights to live and settle throughout Judea and Samaria (the entity known as EGL/West Bank did not even exist when five Arab armies illegally attacked Israel (1948-9) and Jordan annexed the region in 1950.)

The Palestine Mandate stated:

secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion” (Article 1) Jews were to have full civil rights throughout Palestine, such as buying and building homes.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.” (Article 5) which Britain did anyway when it separated the east bank of the Jordan River to the Hashemite Kingdom, but which wasn’t a foreign power.

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” (Article 6) specifically stating that Jews were to settle throughout Palestine, including lands that Obama believes Jews “occupy”.

The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.” (Article 7) in which Jews do not only move and settle the land, but become citizens of the country if they live ANYWHERE in the land, including Judea and Samaria.

No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” (Article 15) clearly states that no person should be barred from living anywhere in the land just because they are Jewish – as if human rights law wasn’t enough.

International law – and human rights law – clearly allow Jews to live throughout EGL/the West Bank. The Oslo Accords signed between the parties specifically state that Israel controls all of Area C until such time as the parties negotiate the transfer of more lands.

The notion that Jews living in houses that they have every legal and moral right to live in, is somehow connected to Obama’s belief of a “permanent occupation of Palestinian land” is false, misleading and arguably anti-Semitic on every level.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Illogic of Land Swaps

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

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Hillary Clinton Wants Muslim Americans to Squeal on Each Other

On September 18, 2016, a Somali-American Muslim man went on a rampage and stabbed nine people in Minnesota, before being shot by an off-duty police officer.  ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, and both presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, weighed in on the attack.

Clinton’s remarks deliberately misled Americans that she had a tough plan using law enforcement to deal with terrorism.

Her statement read:

“ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Minnesota, and this should steel our resolve to protect our country and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups. I have laid out a comprehensive plan to do that. This includes launching an intelligence surge to help identify and thwart attacks before they can be carried out, and to spot lone wolf attackers.”

A casual reader would imagine that Hillary is planning on relying on a range of security personnel in an “intelligence surge” to protect Americans from local radical jihadists.

They would be wrong.

clinton-9-16
Hillary Clinton addressing reporters September 16, 2016

On December 15, 2015, Hillary Clinton was in Minnesota where she discussed her detailed plan to thwart ISIS in America. Her three-part plan included an effort to prevent attacks before they could be carried out, which was based on Muslim Americans reporting on fellow Muslims who were becoming radicalized.

“Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Now I know that like many places across the country, there’s more work to do to increase trust between communities and law enforcement.  Just last month, I know here a young African American man was fatally shot by a police officer.  And I understand an investigation is underway.  Whatever the outcome, tragedies like this raise hard questions about racial justice in America and put at risk efforts to build the community relationships that help keep us safe from crime and from terrorism.

When people see that respect and trust are two-way streets, they’re more likely to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement.  One of the mothers of the 10 men recently charged with conspiring with terrorists said, “We have to stop the denial,” she told other parents that.  “We have to talk to our kids and work with the FBI.”  That’s a message we need to hear from leaders within Muslim-American communities across our country.”

Hillary Clinton’s plan relies on Muslim Americans reporting on fellow Muslim Americans to the police.

As discussed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” Donald Trump does not believe that law enforcement can rely on the Muslim American community to squeal on its bad actors.  He relies on reports that state the “Islamist terror threat in the U.S. homeland has escalated dramatically,” and summations from fellow Republicans like “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.””

Donald Trump’s statement about the Minnesota attack in September 2016 was shorter on details, but more aggressive in stance.  Trump did not suggest waiting passively for Muslims to mention possible attacks, he put the onus directly on law enforcement including “extreme vetting for immigrants from troubled parts of the world where terrorists live and train.”  He went further to attack Clinton’s approach: “We will not allow political correctness and soft-on-terror, soft-on-crime policies to threaten our security and our lives.

Therein lies the fundamental difference of the presidential candidates in fighting Islamic terror in the US. Both want to stop terror, but Trump will rely completely on law enforcement, whereas Clinton will seek to empower the Muslim community in the hopes that fewer people will become radicalized and more Muslims will be inclined to report on fellow Muslims.

Many Americans will only be comfortable with one of these approaches.

In September 2016, as the presidential race tightened and a series of attacks occurred in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey, Hillary Clinton concluded that she needed to appear more bold on fighting terror, and less reliant on the Muslim community’s cooperation.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

“Jews as a Class”

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

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UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The United Nations is gathering this week for a summit in New York to discuss ways of helping refugees and migrants.  The various roundtables will review the difficult situation facing millions of people due to a number of wars, principally in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) as well as in Afghanistan.

The UN will then ask for countries of the world – principally the United States and Canada – to contribute money and homes to settle these refugees.

There are three principle flaws with the UN approach:

  1. There are billions of dollars already allocated to refugees at the UN, but not used for them, due to bias at the global body
  2. Key related parties are not taking their share of refugees
  3. The response of stopping the flow of refugees at the source is not properly addressed

un
The United Nations headquarters in New York City

 

The UN Wastes the World’s Money on Non-Refugees

The United Nations currently spends billions of dollars that are earmarked for refugees, to people that are NOT refugees.

As described in “Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA and Fund the UNHCR,” the United Nations created the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and tasked it with helping millions of people from around the globe who are fleeing conflict.  The UNHCR helps these refugees find safety in new countries and establishes some infrastructure (temporary homes, hospitals and schools), far from their homes, where they have little support.

However, the UN also created a distinct agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) just for a single group of people – Palestinian Arabs. These Arabs are NOT refugees, but descendants of people who fled their homes and settled a few miles away in the exact same region. Refugee status does not pass down through the generations, and has absolutely nothing to do with people leaving a certain house to a location nearby.

Despite this, the UN has a larger staff and spends significantly more money on these non-refugees.

As the world is facing a true refugee problem, with actual refugees fleeing harm to find protection in lands where they know no one and have no infrastructure at all, it is well past time to shut down the farce of UNRWA which exists solely to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and devote those resources to actual refugees.

Muslim World Must Take in Refugees

The European Union is pushing the US and Canada to accept more refugees, particularly those fleeing the civil war in Syria. The EU argues that it has already accepted the lion’s share of the refugees, and many Europeans have become uneasy with the large influx of foreigners.

But where is the push for Muslim countries to accept more of these Muslim refugees? Aside from Turkey and Jordan, most Muslim countries have not taken any refugees. These refugees fleeing Arab countries like Sudan, Yemen and Libya, and Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, could more easily adapt to countries where they share language, culture and religion.  The very wealthy Gulf states could easily take in these refugees.

But the 57 Islamic states will vote at the UN to make the non-Islamic countries take in the refugees, to an unfamiliar environment. Why are so many Muslim countries only making refugees and not helping them? Why does the world enable the situation?

Stop the Flow of Refugees

The biggest causes of the refugee crisis is the civil war in Syria and the growth of ISIS in Iraq. Trailing these are the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, the civil war in Yemen, and the failed state of South Sudan.  These are problems that erupted and spread under the hands-off approach of the Obama administration in the Middle East, and its active involvement in Afghanistan.

The ramifications have spread to the entire world.

Obama did little to nothing when Syria’s President Assad dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons on his own people. Obama vacated Iraq to allow a vacuum to be filled by ISIS.  After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toppled the regime in Libya, the US left the country in shambles.  Those decisions allowed terrorists to penetrate Europe.

obama-red-line

It is time to reverse that inaction.

A no-fly zone must be established in Syria to give a safe haven to refugees within their own borders. A real ceasefire must be established to allow the millions of refugees to return to their country.

ISIS must be defeated and the US must remain in Iraq to help the country stabilize.   Active involvement in Libya must happen immediately, before Libya becomes another Iraq.

The only country that has become more powerful under Obama is the state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.

The implementation of Obama’s poor decisions must stop, and refugees should be encouraged to return to their countries as soon as practical.

The United Nations Farce

Over September 19 and 20, the world will witness the dictatorships and human rights abusing-countries dictate to the western world that the West must take responsibility for the failed Islamic states.  The perpetrators will claim victim status, and insist that Europe and North America must both pay for the MENA refugees and shelter them, while the Muslim world itself does nothing.

Well, in fairness, the Muslim world won’t do nothing; it will dictate its demands.

One of the speakers at the summit will be the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.  Hamdallah is well known to viewers of Palwatch and MEMRI for calling on the Islamic world to attack Israel for chasing the Muslim agitators who curse and throw stones at non-Muslims visitors to the Jewish Temple Mount.  He often asserts that Israel is “Judaizing” their holy city of Jerusalem.  Most significantly, he actively promotes the families of terrorists killed while attacking Jews, ensuring that they receive monies from global agencies.

Yes, that’s illegal, but Hamdallah gets diplomatic immunity while visiting NY.  What a great choice for a speaker!

Another speaker is Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, the agency that has waged a multi-decade war against the only democracy in the Middle East. Krähenbühl ignores the role that UNRWA played in storing weapons for Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza.  He focuses on asking the world for yet more money for the non-refugees that live in a land that they already control in Gaza!

dsc_0108
UNRWA office in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

While listening to the sad state of refugees, sympathize with their plight, but don’t be fooled by the UN’s recommended courses of action.  Stop the UN farce of perpetuating conflicts and wasting the world’s money, while never demanding accountability from the Islamic countries and entities.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

A Logical Approach to Immigration from Personal History

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

UN’s Confusion on the Legality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

A “Viable” Palestinian State

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

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What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has never been a huge fan of Israel.  He has used his ten years as USGC to condemn Israel and excuse the Palestinian Authority repeatedly.  In June of 2016 he opted to stand in the Gaza Strip near the area where jihadist militants fired into Israeli civilian areas and declare that “I stand with the people of Gaza to say that the United Nations will always be with you.”

As he enters the homestretch of his terrible tenure, Ban Ki Moon found a particular remark by a world leader to be beyond comprehension.

It was not the leader of Iran who declared his intension of wiping Israel off of the map.

It was not the leader of Russia who invaded Crimea.

It was not the leader of North Korea testing nuclear weapons.

It was not the leader of Syria that has fought a civil war claiming nearly half a million lives.

Ban Ki Moon did not ignore those actions or comments.  He did condemn them.  But he also seemed to think they had a certain logic.  They were bad, but understandable.

However, there is a world leader who declared something that was beyond his comprehension.  Something “outrageous.”

Not surprisingly, Ban Ki Moon focused on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who impolitely pointed out a plain fact: that acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has insisted on a new state of Palestine in the Jewish biblical homeland to be devoid of Jews.

“I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing. This is unacceptable and outrageous.”     Ban Ki Moon, September 15, 2016

There is no denying that Abbas has stated his intentions clearly.  It is also true that Ban Ki Moon supports the anti-Semitic request.  But to be called out on it by the Israeli leader – using the same language that Abbas uses for Israel – was too much for the USGC to accept.

The UN only sanctions the term “ethnic cleansing” in the Israeli-Arab Conflict, if Arabs use it for Israel.

ban-ki-moon-9-16
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
September 2016

But can you blame the UN?  For centuries the world was comfortable dictating where Jews could live, whether in ghettoes, the Pale of Settlement, or forcible expulsions.  Not of the Arabs.  Not of Sikhs.  Not Blacks.  Only Jews.

And for the head of the United Nations to have to listen to the Jewish leader attack his adopted wards, was beyond his ability to cope.

Ban Ki Moon already declared that he stands with Gaza. He has voiced his excitement to see the terrorist group Hamas participate in Palestinian elections. (He also stated that he was shocked to learn that Hamas wanted to kill to Jews, even though its written clearly in its charter and its leaders declare the intentions daily in the media).

And all of that fits in the United Nation’s worldview.

The UN expects Israel to behave badly and condemns it more than Iran, China and Russia combined.  But Netanyahu’s comments drove the UNSG beyond disgust to outrage.

What is “outrageous” for the UN, is for the Jewish State to declare that it is through being the only people on the planet that are banned from living in certain lands, let alone their historic homeland that international law specifically gave them. Outrageous that Jews are not be satisfied to live in a fraction of their homeland without rights to their holiest place.  Outrageous for Jews to have the temerity to talk truth to power.

Where is your outrage?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

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“Ethnic Cleansing” in Israel and the Israeli Territories

The term “ethnic cleansing” has been used often in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The reactions to the comment are in inverse relation to the truth.

Palestinians Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2012, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stood at the United Nations and claimed that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian Arabs.  At first, he spoke about “ethnic cleansing” when Israel declared independence:

“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Abbas neglected to say that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes while their fellow Arabs launched an attack on the nascent Jewish State to destroy it completely.  The Arabs failed in their genocidal quest.  Yet for its part, Israel granted all of the Arabs living in its territory full citizenship.  A complete inversion of his claim that Israel “intended to extinguish their [Arab] being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence.”

Abbas continued to claim that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” to this day:

“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”

Abbas conveniently neglected to mention the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel throughout 2012. He also neglected to mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005, allowing the Palestinian Arabs to rule themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.

No matter.  The people at the United Nations gave Abbas a standing ovation.

abbas-at-un
Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
addressing the United Nations in 2012

United Nations Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2014, the “Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories” (yes, that’s an actual title) whose job it is to report on Israelis, declared that Israel was committing “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.

“The continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with forcible eviction of long residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described, in its cumulative impact, as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The facts are the exact opposite: the Arabs in Jerusalem are growing faster than the non-Arab population.

As detailed in “Arabs in Jerusalem,” the Arab population in Jerusalem now stands at 36% of the city, up from 26% when the city was reunited in 1967.  From 1967 to 2011, the Arab population in the city grew by 5.7 times, while the Jewish population in the Israeli capital only grew by 3.4 times over the same period.

No matter the facts. “The Special Rappoteur “called on the Council to undertake efforts to have the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), assess allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism,” “apartheid” and ‘ethnic cleansing.'”

No comments from United States or anyone else about the absurd and caustic statements, nor on the lunatic who made them (who incidentally, is a big 9/11 conspiracy theorist).

Israeli Prime Minister Claims
of Palestinian “Ethnic Cleansing”

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank.  Netanyahu made his statement because Abbas has stated he cannot accept a single Israeli living in a new state of Palestine.

Netanyahu did not even bring up a variety of other Palestinian Authority laws, as detailed in “Abbas Knows Racism,” such as:

  • Palestinian Authority law that condemns any Arab that sells land to a Jew to death.
  • Palestinian universities bar entry to Jews

The origins of Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews dates back decades, to when the Jordanians illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950 and expelled all of the Jews from the area.  Jordan then passed a citizenship law in 1954 that specifically EXCLUDED Jews from being granted citizenship in their own homeland.

“Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954″ (Article 3)

So what was the world reaction when Netanyahu finally stated some clear and obvious facts?  Condemnation.

The spokesperson for the US State Department responded to the Netanyahu video: “We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

When Abbas heard that Netanyahu used the “ethnic cleansing” charge, Abbas doubled-down by saying again that Israel uses “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.

No comment from the State Department about Abbas’s use of the term.

The current United States administration and United Nations have no time or interest for Israelis stating simple truths. It would appear, that if you want the world to agree and applaud, you would best be served by denying facts like the Palestinian Arabs.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

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Names and Narrative: “Palestinians” versus Palestinian Arabs / Israeli Arabs

History and politics can sometimes be analyzed on the usage of language as much as policy. The Names and Narrative series reviews how language oftentimes changes the nature of the narrative in the Israel-Arab conflict.

Nouns and the Range of Adjectives

An important component in considering language is the distinction between nouns and adjectives.  A noun is the key element of English sentences.  The noun is the focus of language; the item that commits actions.  In comparison, an adjective is the modifier of the noun, that helps describe the noun more explicitly.

But not all adjectives are the same. In some cases, adjectives can become nouns themselves.

Consider a simple noun like “table.” Describing a “wooden table” would give more context to the table, differentiating it from other tables like a glass table.  As such, “wooden” would be an adjective.  However, it is an adjective that is factual and embedded in the noun “wooden table.”  The two words cannot be separated – the table is, and always will be, made of wood.  I call this an “embedded adjective.”

Compare this to other adjectives for the table.  The table may be a “painted wooden table,” or “a rectangular wooden table.”  In these examples, “painted” and “rectangular” are also adjectives that describe the wooden table.  But these adjectives are not forever tied to the table.  The table could be stripped, and become unpainted.  It could be cut and become a square.  These adjectives are therefore not embedded in the noun, but a semi-permanent description of the noun.

There are also adjectives that are based on a relative position. Consider a “long table” or a “high table.”  A table could be viewed as long or high only relative to something else.  Describing a table in such fashion brings a person’s vantage point into the description.  These are “relative adjectives.”

Lastly there are adjectives that relay a person’s preferences. A “pretty table” conveys the author’s own sense of beauty.  The table itself is not inherently pretty- it is simply an opinion of a single person.  This “subjective adjective” is the polar opposite of an embedded adjective.

Consider the use of adjectives – embedded, relative and subjective – as they relate to the Israeli-Arab conflict in a single expression: Palestinian Arabs.

From Many Palestinians to Exclusively Palestinian (Arabs)

The Holy Land was renamed “Palestine” roughly 2000 years ago by the Romans who defeated the Jewish kingdom. The name stuck even when the Romans departed hundreds of years later.  Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula took over the region when they came as part of the Muslim invasion in the 7th century.  The Ottomans (Muslims, but not Arabs) also kept the name Palestine when they controlled the region as part of their empire for 400 years which ended at World War I.

There were many people that lived in the region during this time. They referred to themselves as Palestinian Arabs or Palestinian Jews or Palestinian Christians.  There was no consideration that “Palestinian” meant only one particular type of person, and “Palestinian” was a subjective adjective (people used it for themselves) and relative adjective (they lived in Palestine and not somewhere else).

That changed during the 20th century.

As world powers that defeated the Ottoman Empire considered breaking the empire into distinct countries (which were to become countries known today as Iraq, Syria and others), they looked to facilitate the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine. They developed international laws in 1920 and 1922 known as the San Remo Agreement and the Mandate of Palestine, respectively, which sought to facilitate additional Jewish emigration to Palestine, an area which today covers Israel, Gaza, the “West Bank” and Jordan.

That did not make the local Arabs happy.

The British quickly divided Palestine into two parts, giving the area east of the Jordan River to the Hashemite family in what became the state of Transjordan. Arabs in remaining part of Palestine rioted against the Jews throughout the 1920s and 1930s.  By the end of the 1930s, the Arabs had effectively convinced the British who administered the Mandate of Palestine to stem the tide of Jewish emigration, and make entire sections of Palestine Jew-free (in edicts known as the White Papers).

When the British ended their administration of the Palestine Mandate in 1948, Jews declared an independent state of Israel. Five Arab countries invaded the nascent state, with a war that ended in 1949.  By war’s end, the area known as Palestine was split yet again, with the western half becoming Israel and the eastern half becoming the illegally annexed “West Bank” of TransJordan.  Gaza was taken over by Egypt.  Palestine was no more.

The Jordanians expelled all the Jews from their newly conquered territory.  They granted Jordanian citizenship to all Arabs living east of the 1949 Armistice Lines.  Their citizenship laws clearly and explicitly EXCLUDED Jews from obtaining Jordanian citizenship.

Some of the Arabs in the West Bank who were granted Jordanian citizenship were not happy with the Jordanian arrangement. They preferred their own autonomy and country and not to be part of Jordan.  As such, in 1964, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was created.  Its goal was a new Arab country in all land west of the Jordan River – in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.  They sought to destroy Israel and replace it with a new state of Palestine.  As they did so, they created new definitions for Palestine and a Palestinian in the PLO Charter:

At first, the charter continued to use the historic formula of noun and adjective of “Palestinian Arab.” Each of the charters preambles began with “We, the Palestinian Arab people.”  However, the charter then went on to describe the land as inherently “Arab” with ties to the rest of the Arab world:

Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong national ties to the rest of the Arab Countries and which together form the large Arab homeland.” (Article 1)

That statement stripped the land from non-Arabs that lived and ruled in the territory for thousands of years. It turned the physical ground into “Arab land,” a subjective adjective. The Arabs think of the land as Arab.  However, that terminology became incorporated into the left-wing media’s dictionary as an embedded adjective, as if the land were really inherently Arab (further described in “Nicholas Kristof’s ‘Arab Land’.)

The PLO Charter continued to extend the argument that only Palestinian Arabs have rights to “Arab land”:

“The Palestinian Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab Nation. It shares the sufferings and aspirations of the Arab Nation and its struggle for freedom, sovereignty, progress and unity.” (Article 3)

After declaring that the land was inherently Arab and the Palestinian Arabs were the logical possessors of the Arab land, the charter took the next step of defining a “Palestinian” in a new manner:

The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.” (Article 6)

From this date, a new term of “Palestinian” was created to refer exclusively to Arabs.

The PLO did make a provision that some Jews could be “considered” Palestinian (as opposed to actually being Palestinian) in a further affront as stated in their modified 1968 PLO Charter:

“The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.” (Article 6)

Did the Palestinian Arabs claim that the “Zionist invasion” (of “Arab Land”!) began in the 1880s with the first aliyah? In 1917 with the Balfour Declaration? In 1948 with the declaration of Israeli independence? The Palestinian Arabs certainly didn’t think it was 3700 years ago when Jews moved into the region and formed several kingdoms. Of course they wouldn’t allow their descendants (the Jewish people) to be considered Palestinian too.

When the Jordanians (as well as Palestinian Arabs who were granted Jordanian citizenship) attacked Israel again in 1967 and lost the “West Bank” which they had illegally annexed, the Palestinian Arabs witnessed yet more of their “Arab land” fall under non-Arab control, and the war of land and language intensified.

Names and Narrative:
Palestinians versus Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Arabs

In the politics of language, the debate of using “Palestinians,” “Palestinian Arabs,” and “Israeli Arabs” has become a debate over narratives.

Adalah, an organization established in 1996 that seeks to dismantle the Jewish State, feels strongly about using the PLO’s definition of “Palestinian” and objects to calling them “Palestinian Arabs” or “Israeli Arabs” if they are citizens of Israel.

Consider Adalah’s opening in ther “Inequality Report” of what it considers the racist state of Israel:

Palestinian citizens of the state [of Israel] comprise 20% of the total population, numbering almost 1.2 million people. They remained in their homeland following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, becoming an involuntary minority.”

This formula of “Palestinian citizens of Israel,” rejects the notion of “Israeli Arab.” As such, Adalah seeks to deny the standard adjective-noun term, as much as they reject the historic usage of “Palestinian Arab” and “Palestinian Jew.”

This anti-Jewish State organization does this as a matter of principle.

Subjective adjectives can be parsed and separated. A “Palestinian Arab” both means that there are non-Arab Palestinians, and Arabs that are not Palestinians.

Land = People: As noted above, the PLO sought to declare that all Palestinians are Arabs.  “Palestinian” and “Arab” are inseparable terms, now morphed into the exclusively Arab “Palestinians.”  Stating that the land’s people are only Arab, denies both the history and rights of Jews in the land.

People = Land: Just as important to many anti-Zionists, if the two terms of “Palestinian” and “Arab” are used, they can be separated.  That suggests that the people can be separated from the land.  Does a Jordanian Arab that moves to Egypt stay a Jordanian Arab for generations, or do those descendants eventually become Egyptian?  The Palestinian Arabs produced a bizarre definition that demands that “Palestinians” – regardless of where they have lived for generations – be permanently referred to as Palestinians.

(This absurdity is compounded by the fact that more Arabs than Jews moved to the holy land under the British administration of 1922 to 1948. How do Iraqi Arabs that moved to Haifa in 1930 – and all of their descendants, regardless of their citizenship – become “Palestinians” forever, while a Jew who came from Russia at the same time becomes only a semi-permanent Israeli Jew, only while he lives there.)

Further, as there is no country called Palestine at this time, what does a “Palestinian citizen of Israel” mean? That Israel is simply in a de facto state of existence and the Arabs have citizenship of that entity, but that Israel is occupying the underlying true state of Palestine?  Or that only Palestinians are truly part of the fabric of the land itself?

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Israeli Arab farmers in the Galilee
(photo: First.One.Through)

Pro-Zionists should never use the term “Palestinians”

As detailed above, the pro-Israel community should always use the terms “Palestinian Arab” (or stateless Arabs until if/when a new state of Palestine is created), or “Israeli Arabs” and reject using “Palestinians” as it furthers a flawed and anti-Zionist narrative.

Using “Palestine” and “Palestinians”:

  • Rejects the 3700-year history of Jews in the holy land
  • Declares that the land is inherently “Arab”
  • Argues that the Jewish State is simply in a de facto existence, while the underlying Arab nature of the land is permanent
  • It facilitates removing the Jewish , Zionist “invaders” from EGL (east of the Green Line)/ West Bank in the near-term, and from Israel in the longer-term.

“Israeli Arab” and “Israeli Jew” are relative and subjective terms, similar to “Palestinian Arab.” Do not get caught in the trap of pretending that a “Palestinian” is an embedded term, in which the holy land is Arab, nor those Arabs are permanently Palestinian.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

Names and Narrative: CNN’s Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Complex Inversion

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

Elie Wiesel on Words

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If You Want to Take Money out of Politics, Liberal Leaders Suggest Voting for Trump

There are many Americans who are single issue voters.

Some people are focused on national defense. For others, it’s the economy.  Some focus on abortion.

In the 2016 presidential election cycle, many liberals zeroed in on the role of money in politics.

Senator Bernie Sanders sought the presidency as a Socialist-Democrat. His platform was very focused on getting “big money” out of influencing the policies of the government.  His platform stated in “Getting Big Money Out of Politics and Restoring Democracy”:

In the year 2016, with a political campaign finance system that is corrupt and increasingly controlled by billionaires and special interests, I fear very much that, in fact, government of the people, by the people, and for the people is beginning to perish in the United States of America.

We cannot allow that to happen.”

Sanders called on all Americans to rally around the message of weeding out the corruption that accompanies money in politics.

“Let’s be honest and acknowledge what we are talking about. We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected. That is not what this country is supposed to be about. That was not Abraham Lincoln’s vision of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people….

The need for real campaign finance reform is not a progressive issue. It is not a conservative issue. It is an American issue. It is an issue that should concern all Americans, regardless of their political point of view, who wish to preserve the essence of the longest standing democracy in the world, a government that represents all of the people and not a handful of powerful and wealthy special interests.”

Sanders directed his attacks against Hillary Clinton, who raised significant money for personal profit, as well as for her presidential campaign, from Wall Street.

Another Democratic nominee for president focused on money in politics was Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig. Lessig ran his entire campaign on that single issue: to reduce corporate political contributions in government.  In September 2015, in announcing his candidacy, Lessig could not be more clear about his thoughts about money in politics:

America’s government has been bought. But not by us. Not by the American people. America’s government has been bought by the cronies and special interests. America’s government has been bought not by those who care about America, but by those who want to use our government to get rich.”

Lessig said that America had become a “banana republic democracy,” because of the role of money in elections.

And he noted that Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of that problem.

lessig
Lawrence Lessig discussing money in politics in New York City, May 2015
(photo: First.One.Through)

When Lessig dropped out of the presidential race, he was asked to reflect on which candidate could solve the corrupting issue of money in politics.  He was unambiguous: Donald Trump.

 “As much as it’s impossibly difficult for me to imagine a Donald Trump presidency…. I do kind of think that the highest probability of fundamental reform is if Donald Trump is president,”

Is it any wonder that so many Sanders supporters are not backing Clinton? As Lessig said:

“You could love everything that Bernie is saying, but unless you change the political system and end this core corruption, nothing that he’s talking about is even credible,”

In other words, if you want to stop government bribery, the core of the issue is to stop it at the governmental level.  Trump played a part of system, not because he was so anxious to give away money to politicians, but because the politicians kept demanding it.  For leading liberals, the critical issue is to stop the disease that is Hillary Clinton’s graft machine.  And who would better do it than one of the people that was forced into paying in?

Hillary Clinton’s issue is not Republicans not liking her.  It is Liberals and Democrats who see her as the essence of a corrupt political machine.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

George Soros’ Left Wing Lobbying Dwarfs Goldman Sachs and the NRA

Liar, Liar! Hillary’s Pant Suit’s on Fire!

Hillary’s Transparency

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

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Israel Has Returned Excellent Wine Making Back to the Middle East

There is one country in the Middle East that has reintroduced the art of wine making to international acclaim, after centuries of barely producing any wine at all: Israel.

Ancient History of Wine in the Holy Land

The Old Testament is full of stories of the use of wine in the Holy Land, and Judaism features wine prominently in many of its commandments.

Ancient synagogues in Israel are replete with vines and grapes adorning mosaics and columns in the Galilee, Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria. The architecture and art of the Romans who ruled in the region 2000 years ago also feature grapes and wine prominently.

aronaronclose

Ancient Synagogue in the Golan Heights featuring vines and grapes
along the portals to the Torah Ark (photo: First.One.Through)

The prevalence of vineyards and wine in the Holy Land came to a stop when Arabs invaded en masse in the 7th century, bringing Islam’s ban of alcohol to the region.  Further, an earthquake in 749CE led to a destruction of most of the synagogues and buildings that featured grapes and wine in the region.

For the next 1100 years, whether ruled by Arabs or non-Arab Muslims (the Ottomans), the land barely produced any wine at all.

Jews Bringing Wine back to the Holy Land

Some of the earliest records of wineries reopening in the Holy Land include Rabbi Yitzchak Shor in 1848, and Rabbi Avram Teperberg, who opened a winery in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1870.  The modern record of the longest continually operating wineries goes to the efforts of Baron Edmund de Rothschild, who established vineyards in Palestine and shortly thereafter the winery, Carmel, with a location in Rishon Le Zion (1890) and another in Zichron Yaakov (1892).

Winemaking spread further after the Six Day War in 1967, after Israel took control of Judea and Samaria which had been illegally annexed by Jordan in 1950. Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in that war as well, as Syria had used that high plateau to bombard Israel’s Galilee region below it.  Israel turned both of those areas into thriving wine making regions, as they had been historically.

While there were 14 wineries in the Holy Land when the Jewish State was reestablished in 1948, there are over 200 wineries in the country today, with some estimates that include the very small wineries to being over 350 wineries.

Psagot
Entrance to Psagot Winery in the Binyamin section
of Judea and Samaria/ the West Bank

(photo: FirstOneThrough)

Wine Production in the Middle East

Today, Israel stands apart from the rest of the Middle East regarding wine production. The only neighbor that approaches the Jewish State’s fondness for wine is Lebanon, which not coincidentally, has a large Christian population.

Israel produced 31 million liters of wine in 2014. Lebanon placed second with just half Israel’s volume, 15.4 million liters. Egypt only produced 3m liters, while Syria, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the other regional countries did not rank at all.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese drink much more wine than they produce locally, 21.3m liters. In contrast, Israel consumes a small portion of the wine it produces, only 7.8m liters, and exports the rest around the world.

While the Muslim-dominated countries in the region do not produce wine, they do consume negligible amounts: Jordan consumes 373,000 liters, Egypt 225,000, KSA 114,000, and Syria just 15,000, a combined total that is less than 10% of Israel’s consumption, even while their population dwarfs Israel by over 17 times.

Medals, Awards and Notables

The Israelis have not just begun producing wine in the region again, they have perfected the art form.

Over the past several years, the Israeli wineries have produced excellent wines and have entered various competitions, including those held in Europe.  Wineries like Carmel (2010) and Golan Heights Winery (2011) even started winning top prizes at those events.

golanheights
Golan Heights Winery in Katzrin (photo: First.One.Through)

The Vineyards in Disputed Territories

Many of the award-winning wines are derived from grapes grown and wineries located in the disputed territories.

The Golan Heights was allocated to Syria under the Sykes-Picot Agreement after World War I.  Syria ruled the area until 1967, when Israel took the region from Syria to protect the Galilee region from persistent Syrian shelling.  Today, even in the midst of a bloody civil war that has claimed nearly half a million people, Syria continues to demand that the lands be returned.

golanheightsvineyards
Some Israeli vineyards in the Golan Heights
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

The land east of the 1949 Armistice “Green” Line, (east of the Green Line, EGL, or the west bank of the Jordan River) was allocated to be part of the reestablished Jewish homeland in international law in 1920 and 1922 in the San Remo Agreement and the Mandate for Palestine, respectively. However, in 1947, the United Nations sought to divide the mandate into distinct Jewish and Arab states (which the Arabs rejected). The Arabs attacked Israel in 1948, took hold of EGL in 1949, and in 1950 the Jordanians annexed the area and renamed it the “West Bank.”  The Arabs want this land for a new country to be called Palestine.

Due to the disputed nature of the Golan Heights and the EGL/West Bank, there are international efforts underway to use distinct labels for the products from these regions.  Some governments contend that labeling the products as “Made in Israel,” is inaccurate, even though countries around the world use labels in such fashion for territories regularly.  Some stores have gone further, and boycott wines and other products produced in these contested areas.  The various products made in the Israeli territories account for about $250 million in exports, or about 1% of Israel’s export economy.

It is interesting that some of the countries that lead this boycott effort are the largest consumer of wine in the world.  They include: France (#2); Italy (#3); Germany (#4); the UK (#6); and Spain (#7). One would imagine that those countries would be thrilled that Israel has brought back award-winning wine production to the region that Islam had obliterated for centuries.  The israelis not only share their values, but export items they adore.


Israel produces a wide variety of great wines today.  The wines run from the ancient – yes ancient, as Israelis are using science to bring back old wine recipes extracted from sediment found in ancient pottery, to brand new wines like Jezreel, a new winery established by an American family that made aliyah.

For lovers of wine around the world who are thrilled to see the Jewish State bring back the holy land’s great history of producing wine which was destroyed for a thousand years, don’t just buy the wine, insist that your local store stock the shelves with Israel wines as well.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

Israel, Mother Nature’s Son

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

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George Soros’ Left Wing Lobbying Dwarfs Goldman Sachs and the NRA

The left-wing fringe has a few favorite bogeymen, particularly Wall Street and the National Rifle Association. Liberals claim that these two groups are corrupting politics by lobbying and buying Congress for their evil gains.

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.

Wall Street and Goldman Sachs

Consider the comments of Democrat-Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders about Wall Street: “The business model of Wall Street is fraud.”  He didn’t just attack a particular firm that may have committed a crime; he vilified an entire industry.

The left-wing media applauded the Sanders approach. Consider The Young Turks, a far left media site which celebrated Sanders’ video ad describing the corrupting influence of Wall Street on politics. They were convinced that Wall Street was buying and lobbying their way to unfair riches. The Sanders ad stated “The ultra-rich employ an army of lobbyists to write tax codes to avoid paying their fair share. It’s part of a corrupt political system.” TYT cheered.

That ad was meant as a direct challenge to Hillary Clinton who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking with executives at Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is the most famous and wealthiest M&A investment bank. The firm’s leaders are close to Democrats and many ultimately left banking and went into Democratic administrations, including Bill Rubin who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, and Jon Corzine who became the Democratic Governor of New Jersey.

Interestingly, the liberal-wing of the Democratic party attacked its own front-runner in the political middle for being part of a corrupt Wall Street-political scheme.

National Rifle Association

The NRA is a favorite target of every stripe of Democrat. Hillary Clinton proudly declared the NRA as one of her favorite enemies in an October 2015 Democratic debate. Her response drew loud applause from the audience.  (She didn’t mention that her campaign does fund-raisers with NRA lobbyists.  Shhh.)

Maybe that’s why Bernie Sanders sat unhappily at the Democratic convention.  He saw his party taking money from the groups that he opposed.  He claimed it was a matter of principle.  But was it?

George Soros Lobbyists Dwarf them All

While Sanders and far-left extremists like Jill Stein of the Green Party carry on about the evils of lobbyists – and of Wall Street and the NRA in particular – their hypocrisy should be noted as they never mention the liberal billionaire George Soros.

soros
Billionaire George Soros speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative
(photo: Reuters/ Brendan McDermid)

During President Obama’s first term, George Soros’s Open Society Policy Center spent $10 million on lobbyists.  That was a warm-up for Obama’s second term, when Hillary Clinton was no longer serving as Secretary of State, when the OSPC paid lobbyists $34.7 million – and counting. Leaks of the Soros’s emails about influencing American policy were recently made public.

In comparison, over Obama’s second term, the NRA spent $12 million on lobbyists and Goldman Sachs spent $12.6 million. That means that George Soros spent over 40% more on liberal lobbyists than the two biggest liberal enemies spent COMBINED.

Further, Soros has already donated $6 million to Clinton’s superPAC – 10 times as much as she was paid by Goldman Sachs.

Soros’ Open Society supports many of the far-left policies of Sanders and the Green Party. It seeks to influence congress by crafting laws to its liking, much the way that all paid lobbyists do.

It makes it a bit hard to listen to Sanders and Stein yell about lobbyists, when the biggest lobbyist of them all is bankrolling their agendas.  Soros just happens to not be bankrolling them.

Quite the bitter cocktail of hypocrisy and sour grapes.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Black Lives Matter Joins the anti-Israel “Progressives” Fighting Zionism

Pride. Jewish and Gay

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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