The End of Together

Over July 24-6, 2014, a chapter of religious pluralism ended in the city of Mosul, Iraq and its sister city across the Tigris, the ancient city of Ninveh. The Islamic militants of ISIS forced out all of the Christians, and blew up the Tombs of Seth (son of Adam and Eve) and of the Prophet Jonah.

Jonah

Jonah was the last prophet considered holy to each of the monotheistic religions. His story was unusual in several respects which enabled him to capture the imagination and dreams of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Thousands of years ago, Judaism was the only monotheistic religion. The people in the Middle East practiced a variety of religions and worshiped many gods. The non-Jews were not particularly interested in the Hebrew Bible, and the Bible – seemingly – did not address them. The prophets in the Old Testament almost universally addressed the Jews: the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That held true until Jonah. Jonah was given an unusual task by God: leave the land of Israel and go to a far away land because the people there did not behave properly:

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it;
for their wickedness is come up before Me.

The story of what comes next is famous. Jonah fled from God and boarded a ship that was tossed in a storm. The sailors reluctantly threw Jonah overboard to appease his angry God whereupon Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. After three days, the fish vomited him onto land to fulfill his task of admonishing the people of Ninveh. The people of Ninveh – including the king- took Jonah’s words to heart, repented, and all was forgiven.

The story of Jonah has many messages. The Jewish rabbis consider them so important that the only time the story is read in synagogue is on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. The lessons of Jonah include that:

  • Repentance through prayer and action can save a great city (Ninveh) and a lone individual (Jonah in the fish);
  • It is not sufficient for Jews to only be concerned with the welfare of their people, but must work to help others as well;
  • A person should not run from a divine mission;
  • God is everywhere, and you cannot hide from Him

For Christians, the story of Jonah is not just about prayer and repentance, but about rebirth. They consider the story of Jonah’s reemergence from the great fish after three days as a precursor to the resurrection of Jesus.

For Muslims, Jonah was the only one of the twelve minor prophets mentioned in the Koran. Mohammed was said to recognize the holiness of Jonah and referred to Ninveh as “the city of Jonah”.

Three monotheistic religions embraced the mission of a man who (perhaps reluctantly) tried to help other people change their ways, while not trying to make them change their religion.


Religions in Modern Iraq

When Iraq became an independent state in 1932, roughly 120,000 Jews lived in the country comfortably. However, when the UN voted to partition Palestine in 1947, the Iraqi government and people turned on the Jews. Pogroms and public hangings became celebrated events. Operation Ezra & Nechemia from 1949 to 1951 got most of the Jews out of the country, with the balance leaving over the 1960s and 1970s. Almost no Jews remain today.

The Christian community in Iraq extends back roughly 1600 years, before the founding of Islam. As recently as 2003, the number of Christians in the country numbered about 1.5 million. However, the numbers declined rapidly during the US-Iraq war. In 2014, ISIS took over much of the country and actively pushed to remove Christians. In Mosul, the Christian community was given a choice that had historically been put before Jews in various countries over the past 1000 years: convert; pay a huge tax; or be killed. There may only be 100,000 Christians left in the country by the end of 2014.

ISIS belongs to the Salafi movement of Islam which is against the worship of the dead, and therefore opposes the use of tombs as shrines. They have destroyed many tombs of Muslim leaders, in addition to those that are important to Jews and Christians. They razed the tomb of Seth, the fifth person created in the Bible (not as famous as his siblings Cain and Abel) for the same reason. They are also slaying fellow Muslims who practice differently by the thousands.


Religions- God and Practice

During the time of Jonah, most people believed in many Gods. When Jonah addressed the sailors on the ship and the king of Ninveh, they readily accepted the words of the Jewish God – not exclusively- but alongside the other Gods they worshiped. Their openness to various Gods let them listen and pray openly together. Such receptiveness to a new God was not universal as demonstrated by the Greeks and Romans who defiled the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem centuries later.

As new monotheistic religions emerged – first Christianity and then Islam – that openness was further challenged. As each religion accepted a single God, the uniqueness of each religion became based on either: 1) unique Gods; or 2) the same God, but with a different set of practices. If the Gods were different, then only one religion could be correct. If the religions had the same God, then distinction between them was based on the method of worship and priorities.

Religious scholars debate whether the monotheistic religions all believe in the same God, just with different names and observances. In practice, the religions have battled each with the fervor of unique Gods for centuries: Muslim invasions; Christian Crusades; enforced Inquisitions. Religious wars scar most of mankind’s history.

For Muslims, it has been intra-religious battles that have been the bloodiest. Since 1948, 90% of all deaths in wars involving Muslim countries have been at the hands of other Muslim countries. In 2014, ISIS killed many more Muslims than other religious groups, and Syrian President Assad killed many more Muslims than people of other faiths. The peculiarities of practice position the battle lines.


The Demise of the Shared

July 2014 yielded a sad watershed moment. The Tomb of Jonah, whom Jews, Christians and Muslims all revered as a religious leader, was demolished. The Tomb of Seth, for whom Bible believers consider a common forbear, was destroyed. In a single week, religious fanatics dismantled physical and metaphysical symbols that united the three monotheistic faiths. If the religions shared a common God, they had a common prophet. If they had different Gods, they still had the same forbears. The tombs were not just shrines to the ancients; they were opportunities for Jews, Christians and Muslims to meet and re-establish their common bonds today. No longer.

Thousands of years ago, a Jew left his homeland to help non-Jews. He did not seek to convert or change their methods of worship, just to pass along a message from God to end evil behavior. He became a celebrated hero to billions of people of different faiths and different practices. As recently as 70 years ago, Jews, Christians and a variety of Muslims (including Sunni and Shiites) prayed together at the tomb of this common hero. But the advance of bigotry consumed them: first they got rid of the Jews, then the Christians. Now they are ridding fellow Muslims.  God’s message through Jonah of reaching out to “others” has been replaced by man’s effort to destroy the “others”.  Perhaps that was the original wickedness of Ninveh 2600 years ago.


Part of the magic of the story of Jonah was that there were no casualties: Jonah; the city of Ninveh and all of its inhabitants; the sailors; and even the fish, all escaped harm.

In today’s dark reality, we may marvel more at that part of the legend and forget what we all have lost.


Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/25/after-leveling-iraqs-tomb-of-jonah-the-islamic-state-could-destroy-anything-in-the-bible/

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1701.htm

http://www.newsweek.com/isis-destroys-shiite-mosques-and-shrines-iraq-257683

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/07/25/muslims-just-made-history-in-mosul-killing-and-exiling-every-last-christian/

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/26/ISIS-destroy-Prophet-Sheth-shrine-in-Mosul-.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/iraqijews.html

http://nypost.com/2014/07/27/iraqs-abandoned-christians/

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-militants-destroy-tomb-jonah-mosul-1458469

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The NYT refuses to Listen

On July 29, an explosion hit the electricity plant in Gaza, setting it afire.  The cause of the explosion is unclear – perhaps from Hamas mortar fire or from Israel – but according to the Times, the uncertainty and Israeli disclaimers were not a reason not to blame Israel from the outset.

IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said repeatedly that Israel had “no confirmation” of striking the Gaza power plant and that it clearly “was not a target”.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on CNN that it had definitively cleared the Israel Defense Forces as the cause of the fire as it had reviewed the activities of all of the IDF personnel in the area.

Regardless, the New York Times specifically blamed Israel for the attack in a caption on the front page “In Gaza, Israel bombed 150 sites, including the territory’s only power plant”.  In the story on page A6, the paper continued “Israel’s military on Tuesday broadened its offensive, bombing 150 sites, and one strike set ablaze the territory’s only power plant,”  The large color photograph alongside the article showed a huge ball of fire and smoke.  The same article quotes Lt. Col. Lerner as “I don’t have a clear picture of what happened there.”  Interesting that an article right below makes very different statements and there was no quote from Mark Regev.

The article in the Times below it was entitled “Israel Steps Up Airstrikes in Gaza as International Cease-Fire Efforts Stumble.”  But reading the article and watching the news makes clear that Hamas rejected the cease fire while all other parties accepted.  The cease-fire did not passively “stumble”, but was specifically rejected by Hamas.  The article entitled “Loss of Shelter and Electricity Worsens a Crisis for Fleeing Gazans” also stated that “International efforts to secure even short-term cease-fires have so far failed,” fails to mention that it was Hamas that rejected the cease-fire.

In both of the articles, there is not a single mention of Hamas terrorism on the day.  Nothing about the missiles that were fired into Israeli cities.  Nothing about Palestinian terrorists using tunnels to go into Israel, killing five soldiers and retreating back through the tunnels.

In the world of the Times, there is only one party who suffers, one party at fault.

July 30 cover July 30. A6

 

Sources:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07/29/israel-hits-symbols-of-hamas-power-gazas-only-power-plant-in-heaviest-bombardment-of-war/

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-tunnel-raid-kills-five-idf-soldiers-in-southern-israel/

 

The New York Times’ Buried Pictures

Operation Protective Edge was launched on July 8 after Palestinian terrorists infiltrated Israel through tunnels and launched missiles across Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated repeatedly that the goal of the operation was to destroy the extensive tunnel network that the terrorists had constructed. “We will not finish the mission, we will not finish the operation without neutralizing the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of destroying our citizens, killing our children,” Netanyahu said.

Remarkably, pictures of the terrorists who use the tunnels have yet to make an appearance to the New York Times. Although numerous pictures and images of terrorists penetrating Israel were made available to journalists, the NYT decided to not print any of them.

Even though dozens of tunnels were uncovered, it took until July 29 for the Times to publish it’s first picture of one – inside the paper on the bottom of page A6 (under a picture of Palestinians mourning).  Jodi Rudoren referred to the Israeli military “propaganda push” which “invited a few journalists underground for a tour” as “Israelis exchange nightmare scenarios that are the stuff of action movies” – as if the tunnels were a backstage viewing at a Disneyland movieset.

In three weeks of covering the conflict, the Times featured pictures of Palestinians mourning on the front page seven times (July 11, 14, 17, 21, 22, 24 and 29th). But the root cause of the conflict – Hamas terrorists attacking Israel through the tunnel network – never made it to the front page pictures. The Times actually had a story of the tunnels on the front page on July 29- but decided that a large color photograph of a Palestinian morgue was a more appropriate picture for that article.

It would appear that the underground war is being fought by Hamas and by the Times.


Sources:

Articles and pictures of Gaza tunnels in other papers:
http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-strikes-30-houses-in-gaza-killing-islamic-jihad-official-1406286950

http://af.reuters.com/article/egyptNews/idAFL6N0Q34PG20140728

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-07-27/secret-tunnels-under-israel-reveal-intricate-threat-from-gaza

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/23/gaza-undergroundhamastunnels.html

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.606903

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvnkECJkYc&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NBEixuQbYQ&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-hH2026OnU&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv8xR1FPakY&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

July 29 cover July 29. A6 Jul 21 cover July 17.cover Jul 22 cover July 14. cover July 24 cover (2) July 11. cover

For Obama, Israeli security is not so time-sensitive

US President Barack Obama sought to “reset” the relationship between the US and Muslim world.  He gave his famous address in Cairo in 2009 called the “New Beginning” which laid out his grand vision.

During the speech, while actively courting the Muslim world, he delivered a stern warning: “We will relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security.”  Obama has made good on his promise, prolonging America’s 13-year war in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda.

Since Obama’s election, Israel has fought three wars against Hamas.  Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, EU, Japan, Israel, and as of March, Egypt.  The ruling-party of Gaza is sworn to the destruction of Israel.  Since 2001, it has launched over 10,000 missiles, over 100 bombings in Israel and conducted several raids inside Israel to abduct civilians and soldiers.  As such, Israel has been forced to fight the terrorists frequently.

Despite these facts, on July 27 Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stress Gaza’s near-term needs, while delaying Israel’s real security needs for a later time.

The President underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.  The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.

What does Obama think “relentlessly” means?  Something that you do every now and again?  Should Israel’s real security needs take a back seat to Gaza’s “long-term development and economic needs”?  Obama has continued a War on Terror – without pause – that has claimed the lives of 37 civilians a day on average for 13 years, while he hypocritically asked Israel to defer its security needs against an enemy sworn to its destruction until such enemy develops a sustainable economy.

Is “relentlessly” a policy exclusive to America?


Sources:

New Beginnings speech:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/transcripts

July 27 Obama-Netanyahu call transcript:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/27/readout-president-s-call-prime-minister-netanyahu-israel

Egypt Hamas terrorist label:
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/03/04/Egyptian-Court-Bans-Hamas-as-a-Terror-Organization

“Tinge” Two. Idioms for Idiots

Do you have friends that use the same expressions over and again?

Some are cultural phenomena, such as “Oh my God!”, “Get real” or “Could you believe it?” Entire groups of friends or communities may be heard using the same sayings. You can be confident that the familiar phrase will be punctuated throughout a conversation.

Sometimes, an expression is an original. A person (or organization) develops a catch-phrase that captures their current thinking. The first time you hear it, you might think nothing of it or just consider the comment a strange choice of words. But when you hear the same bizarre expression used again by different people in the same organization, you can be sure that it reflects a conscious cultural mindset.

On July 24, Helene Cooper and Somini Sengupta wrote an article in the New York Times about what they considered the unusual support Americans give to Israel relative to the rest of the world. In describing the pro-Palestinian protests in various cities in Europe, they stated that the protests had “an anti-Semitic tinge.” As detailed in FirstOneThrough that day (link below), the phrase ignored the riots specifically against Jews. The choice of the word “tinge” was highly offensive to any civilized person who objects to racism.

Europe being Europe and the Times being the Times, the next few days saw more of the same.

  • Israeli soccer players from Maccabi Haifa were attacked in Austria.
  • In Paris, 4000 people – many with weapons – staged a protest in Place de la Republique; 70 were arrested.
  • A Facebook page was created with the faces of French Jews with an encouragement to attack them; one of the Jews was subsequently attacked by a mob.

But the New York Times continued to be unruffled and unperturbed. So much so, that the incendiary phrase “an anti-Semitic tinge” was used again in a July 27 article by Jodi Rudoren.  Not only did she repeat the phrase verbatim, but she led that only Israelis were offended by these slight expressions of hatred (ignoring the strong condemnations of political leaders throughout the continent).

Perhaps other sections of the Times (which unlike the rest of the paper, still has a few remaining fans) will notice and react: the travel editor might highlight a nice tour of Mississippi that had “a sprinkle of lynchings”; a real estate article might describe a flat in Berlin as “airy, with a nice view of the genocide”; and the food and wine critic might describe a French liquor as “smoky, with a hint of Holocaust.”

One can expect to see other offensive and idiotic idioms in the Times in the weeks ahead.


Sources:

Recent European anti-semitism:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/10992886/Anti-Semitism-on-the-march-Europe-braces-for-violence.html

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4549072,00.html

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183377#.U9Tm66NeLi8

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/25/facebook-page-publishing-identities-of-french-jews-to-encourage-attackers-15-men-reportedly-assault-1-jew-in-paris-suburb-after-confirming-photo/

“An anti-Semitic Tinge” by FirstOneThrough:
https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/an-anti-semitic-tinge/

20140727_071838

“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

Pulitzer Prize winner William Safire used to write for the New York Times “On Language.” His fascinating articles would describe the etymology of words; their usage and context. He spent years as a speechwriter for US President Nixon, followed by decades writing for the Times. He had a unique appreciation for words. Safire would not appreciate the New York Times abuse of language today.

Some words are seldom used in daily speech. When heard or seen, we understand that there is a particular purpose and nuance for their application.  Even in comedy.

The old TV sitcom “Seinfeld” had a funny skit about George being set up on a blind date by his friend Jerry. George had a long list of questions to qualify his interest. When asking about her face he said: “Is there a pinkish hue?” The question puzzled his friend Jerry who was setting him up: “A pinkish hue?” he replied. “Yes, a rosy glow.” Jerry: “There’s a hue”. The exchange gets roars of laughter – not only because it is an absurd question to qualify a date, but the word itself is peculiar. I doubt there was ever a time in the history of television that the word “hue” was used so frequently.

We all (think we) know what the word “hue” means – heck, there was even a setting on our TV sets after “brightness” and “contrast” (but being candid, no one ever used it). The word “hue” was replaced by “color” or “tint” on many sets as those words convey a wider spectrum of color. Hue seemed too subtle.

If “hue” is subtle, the word “tinge” is meaningless. While “tinge” may be a slightly more common word, it means a great deal less.  Finding the TV’s hue setting and moving it a single notch, would be the equivalent of “tinge”. Only an expert could readily observe the slight change in color. A reasonable person could never be expected to notice a tinge without close and careful examination.

“An anti-Semitic tinge.”

It was curious (alarming?) to see the word “tinge” show up in an article about “The Confrontation in Gaza”, as the New York Times refers to current war in Gaza (avoiding using Israel’s terminology of “Operation Protective Edge” as that might make it appear that Israel was on the defensive).

On July 24, 2014, the New York Times ran an article called “As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support” about how angry the world is with Israel. Americans, according to the article, do not support Israel because they believe that Israel has a basic right to self defense in the face of missile attacks, but because “of the failures of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East.” That NYT statement is beyond moronic and ignores the entire Pew report and decades of Pew Surveys which have always shown greater support for Israel than Palestinians.

The following paragraphs continued: “Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are continuing in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam and other European cities, some of them assuming an anti-Semitic tinge.” Quite a phrase “anti-Semitic tinge”.

So what happened in the protests the preceding weeks? On July 20 anti-Israel protestors firebombed a synagogue in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles. Jewish shops were looted and 18 people were arrested. The French Prime Minister said: “What’s happened in Sarcelles is intolerable: attacking a synagogue or a kosher grocery, is quite simply anti-Semitism, racism.”

Just the week beforehand, a demonstration in Bastille Square in the center of Paris moved towards two synagogues which had hundreds of Jews trapped inside. The crowds chanted “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right”. That demonstration was such a warning shock to the government that it banned further demonstrations, which took place anyway.

In Belgium, a store with a Palestinian flag and a crossed out Israeli flag in the window put up a sign in Turkish: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances.” The French text replaced “Jews” with “Zionists.”

In Berlin, Germany protestors were blocked by police in riot gear from bringing their demonstrations to the Holocaust Memorial. That week, an imam at one of Berlin’s mosques gave a sermon that Jews should be killed.

The Associated Press correspondent from Berlin wrote: “The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday condemned the rise in anti-Semitic protests and violence over the conflict in Gaza, saying they will do everything possible to combat it in their countries.”

“An anti-Semitic tinge.”

The New York Times deliberately chose to minimize the anti-Semitic motivation of the protestors as it would detract from what the Times considered an appropriate act of protesting against Israel (since the Times doesn’t believe the “confrontation” is truly about self defense). Even as riots broke out in the same cities that witnessed the Holocaust, and those governments called out against the rise in anti-Semitic protests and violence, the Times needed to bury that narrative.

For the Times, “an anti-Semitic tinge” means a few outliers; some bad seeds doing bad things. It ignores the lack of protests against: Russia in the Ukraine; Syria slaughtering its citizens; US in Iraq and Afghanistan; and other government actions in the world that have killed hundred of thousands of civilians over the past few years. Regrettably, the Times does not agree that when protestors only take to the streets when the Jewish State is in a “confrontation,” it brands the protest itself as anti-Semitic.  How does it ignore firebombings of synagogues?

Those actions are from the disgraceful anti-Semitism of the protestors. Regarding the media, it is bad enough that it is passively complicit in not identifying the anti-Semitic root cause of the protests. However, to actively trivialize riots, firebombings and death threats against Jews in the streets where millions of innocent Jews were killed, is not merely being complicit- it is an act of anti-Semitism itself.

 

Let me change the conclusion of the opening paragraph: William Safire would not be upset by the Times use of language.  He would be appalled by the New York Times abuse of Jews.


Sources:

http://www.jta.org/2014/07/20/news-opinion/world/anti-israel-rioters-torch-cars-throw-firebomb-at-paris-area-synagogue

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/13/violent-anti-jewish-riots-rock-paris-activist-says-french-jews-are-in-serious-danger-video/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28402882

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/berlin-bans-anti-semitic-slogan-gaza-protests-24658551

20140725_071755

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Further evidence of left-wing radicals abandoning Israel? The Pew Research Center did a survey to assess how Americans felt about the Israel-Hamas fighting, over the week July 8-14, 2014. The numbers came back overwhelmingly supportive of Israel by over a 2-to-1 ratio. It is consistent with polls over the decades which show Americans supporting Israel more than Arabs in the ongoing conflict. The details of the poll (not highlighted by the New York Times) show a trend of conservatives and liberals diverting much more on this issue than was historically the case. Conservatives enthusiastically backed Israel by a 19-to-1 ratio, while liberals were the only group to not even cross a 2-to-1 ratio supporting Israel.

Support of Israel v. Palestinians

  • Conservative 77% v. 4%
  • Republicans 73%
  • White Evangelical Christians 70% v. 5%
  • Independents 45% v. 17%
  • Democrats 44%
  • Blacks 43% v. 20%
  • Hispanics 41% v. 17%
  • Liberals 39% v. 21%

What makes the poll results particularly distressing is that it was made in the middle of a war initiated by Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist organization that is sworn to destroy Israel. Had the poll been made in the middle of peace negotiations, one could have imagined that people would have been more evenly split in their projected hope that the parties could arrive at a settlement.

The slip in the Democrats feelings towards Israel can be traced to a number of actions since Democratic US President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Less than two years ago, in September 2012, Democrats took several concrete steps to distance themselves from “Israeli-leaning positions” that had always been part of the party’s platform during the Democratic National Convention.

DNC2012 vote
Democrats split on recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel in 2012 convention

Consider:

HAMAS: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform called for the isolation of Hamas until it renounced terrorism. “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

 “REFUGEES”: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform called for the settlement of the descendants of Palestinian refugees to be in a Palestinian State. “The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

BORDERS: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform said that the 1949 Armistice Lines were unreasonable borders. “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

In 2012, the statement was removed.

JERUSALEM: In 2008, the Democratic Party platform recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.” The party removed the statement, and then reinstated it after a bitter fight on the convention floor.

SECURITY: The only pro-Israel statement that the Democrats kept in 2012 without a public brouhaha was about Israel’s right to self-defense (which is self-evident for any country on the planet anyway).

In March 2010, Obama made demands of Israel to halt construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem – along with 12 other demands – to get peace negotiations with Palestinian Arabs moving. It was the first time that the building of Jewish homes was ever advanced as a pre-condition to talks. Obama effectively reprimanded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through a series of deliberate acts such as walking out of the meeting, refusing to make a joint statement and taking customary photographs together.

All of these efforts by the liberal US president originated from his intention to have “a New Beginning” with the Islamic world. In June 2009 he visited Egypt where he took a position that no American president had made before: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” Remarkably, the first black president of the United States said that Jews should not be allowed to live in certain places: places they had lived for centuries, including under the Ottomans; places they were legally guaranteed to live under the League of Nations British Mandate as Article 15 clearly stated: “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.”

The champion of American liberals made a clear path from his “New Beginning” until today to undermine the rights of Jews in the Middle East. His followers have taken note and are breaking with the majority of Americans. His foreign policy approval rating of 37% would appear to be made up only of fellow liberals.

On July 24, 2014, the New York Times posted an article about how out of touch Americans are with the rest of the world in supporting Israel. The liberal paper has been consistent in taking an aggressively pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel approach in it’s coverage of Operation Protective Edge. It would appear it knows its audience.

20140724_065532


Sources:

Pew Report: http://www.people-press.org/2014/07/15/as-mideast-violence-continues-a-wide-partisan-gap-in-israel-palestinian-sympathies/

2008 Democratic Party platform: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=78283

2012 Democratic Party platform: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=101962

The 2012 vote to remove Jerusalem as capital: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/06/democratic-convention-reinstatement-jerusalem

March 2010 Netanyahu “dress down” by Obama: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/7521220/Obama-snubbed-Netanyahu-for-dinner-with-Michelle-and-the-girls-Israelis-claim.html

Cairo speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/transcripts http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

British Mandate: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

Obama approval rating: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/poll-obama-lowest-approval-rating-nbc-wsj-107978.html

Gaza Blockade versus Cuban Blockade

In 1962, US President John F Kennedy had a showdown with Russia to keep missiles from reaching Cuba. The US blockaded Cuba, and has a strict embargo which continues to exist in various forms today.

Cuba vs. Gaza

  • Cuba never stated its intention of wiping the US off of the map; it is in Hamas Charter and daily rants of its leadership
  • Cuba never fired a missile into the US; Hamas has fired over 10,000
  • Cuba never abducted US servicemen; Hamas has taken Israelis
  • Cuba never used suicide bombings against American civilians; Hamas has conducted over 100 bombings in Israel
  • Cuba is miles from US shores; almost all of Gaza borders Israel
  • Cuba does not have a racist government calling to kill Americans; Gaza has an anti-Semitic government that calls for killing Jews
  • The relative land size of Cuba:USA is larger than Gaza:Israel
  • The relative population size of Cuba:USA is larger than Gaza:Israel


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

Crises at the Borders

Near a small town in Texas, dozens of children cross into the United States from Mexico. They carry just their clothing and dreams of building a better future. They were reared on stories from as early as they can recall, about the wonderful qualities of their neighbor to the north. If they could just get there, they would have a chance to make a prosperous life like many others have done in America, the land of opportunity.

Many of the children know little English other than a few words. But they know of a promise etched on a tablet held by the Lady in the Bay:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Magical words written by a young Jewish woman who understood how the persecuted could flourish in America, the land of the free.


In a small town in Gaza, dozens of men cross the border into Israel through underground tunnels. They are armed with grenades, handcuffs and tranquilizers with the hope of kidnapping Israelis. The men have been taught from their earliest days that their neighbors are like monkeys and pigs. While 1.7 million fellow Arabs are Israeli citizens, they refer to them as “Palestinians”, because they refuse to even mention the name of the Zionist entity.

The men in arms know Hebrew, but prefer to sing their songs in Arabic as they launch their attack on Israel:

Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah

The song is a hymn for martyrs including fellow bomb makers and assassins. It brings back memories of the songs they learned in school that death is an honor, if it brings the destruction of Israel.


In America, politicians were alarmed by the influx of so many children coming into the country from Mexico. Texas Governor Rick Perry said “Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.” He received a pledge of $3.7 billion from the US President to secure the border and keep the young dreamers out. Some cash for calm.

In Israel, leaders assess how to best shield the country from Palestinian missiles in the air, and Arab terrorists tunneling underground from abducting and killing people. The Israeli Prime Minister deployed his army and air force, but calm has not been bought with dollars and lives. The Hamas Hatred is deeply ingrained.


In Mexico, a child thinks Americans are amazing;
in Gaza, a child is taught that Israelis are sub-human.

On the Mexican border, people are armed with hope;
on the Gazan border, men carry weapons of war.

In Mexico, people see the limits of their home country;
in Gaza, people wish to export their daily nightmare.

On the Mexican border someone dreams of building a new life in the US;
on the Gazan border, people come to kill Israelis.


Along the US/Mexico border, the world understands the need for the US to secure its border against infiltrators looking for work; on the Israel/Gaza border, the world admonishes Israel for its actions against terrorists and kidnappers.


Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-aides-were-warned-of-brewing-border-crisis/2014/07/19/8b5d2282-0d1b-11e4-b8e5-d0de80767fc2_story.html

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=758&fld_id=758&doc_id=1709

http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-expands-ground-operation-in-gaza-1405836870

http://www.thejerusalemconnection.us/blog/2012/11/29/hamas-song-says-killing-jews-is-worship-that-draws-us-close-to-allah.html

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=111&doc_id=4567

Israel and Wars

Human beings have been at war with each other for thousands of years.  The past 100 years have been particularly violent.

World War I began in 1914, and claimed roughly 16 million people (including 7 million civilians.) The years that followed saw repeated conflicts with some of the worst death tolls in human history: World War II (60+ million); Sino-Japanese war (20 million); Chinese Civil War (7.5 million); Russian Civil War (5 million); and on and on.

One hundred years on, in 2014, battles continue to rage in Syria, Ukraine and around Africa including: Somalia; Sudan; Libya; Guinea-Bissau and the Central Africa Republic. Many of these conflicts are a long way from being resolved.

There are many conspiracy theorists who believe Jews are behind all of the wars in the world. These anti-Semites have bought the lines and lies of Hamas, the democratically-elected Palestinian terrorist organization, which has stated their twisted thinking in their charter:

“The enemies have been scheming for a long time, and they have consolidated their schemes, in order to achieve what they have achieved. They took advantage of key elements in unfolding events, and accumulated a huge and influential material wealth which they put to the service of implementing their dream. This wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions in various parts of the globe in order to fulfill their interests and pick the fruits. They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary. There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it” (Article 22)

Most wars have nothing to do with Israel.  Muslim countries and territories have been in roughly 50 wars since the founding of Israel in 1948 which have killed over 8.3 million people.  Wars involving Israel account for 1% of those fatalities.  By way of comparison, wars with world powers (US, Russia and France) against Muslim countries killed over 7 times as many people as wars involving Israel.

Over 90% of fatalities in wars with a Muslim country are in wars against other Muslims.

But is it easier to blame yourself or a scapegoat?

List of recent Muslim Wars:

  • 1983-2005 Sudan (Muslim)-South Sudan (Christian)- 1.8 million killed
  • 1980-1988 Iran (Muslim)-Iraq (Muslim) 1.5 million, including 200,000 Kurdish civilians, many from mustard gas
  • 1967-1970 Nigeria (Muslim) civil war – 1.2+ million
  • 1975-2002 Angola (Muslim) civil war 800,000+
  • 1955-1972 Sudan (Muslim/christian) civil war- 500,000 killed
  • 1991-2006 Somalia (Muslim) civil war 300,000+
  • 1971 Bangladesh (Muslim)-west Pakistan(Muslim) 300,000
  • 1974-1980 Ethiopian (Muslim) civil war 250,000+
  • 1954-1962 France-Algeria (Muslim) 250,000
  • 1976-1990 Lebanon civil war (Muslim/Christian fighting) 200,000+ killed
  • 2011-present Syria civil war (Muslim) 170,000+
  • 2003-2011 US-Iraq (Muslim) 160,000+ killed
  • 1962-1970 Yemen (Muslim) Civil War/Egypt(Muslim) 100,000+, including thousands of civilians from mustard gas
  • 1979-1988 USSR-Afghanistan (Muslim) 100,000 killed
  • 1992-1995 Bosnian War  100,000 killed; 1 million displaced
  • 1975-1990 Indonesia (Muslim)-East Timor(Christian) 100,000 killed, mostly Christians
  • 1994-1995 Russia- Chechnya (Muslim) 80,000
  • 1991-2002 Sierra Leone (Muslim) civil war 50,000+
  • 2001-present US-Afghanistan (Muslim) 47,000+
  • 1984-present Turkey (Muslim)-Kurds 44,000
  • 1999 Russia – Chechnya (Muslim) 40,000+
  • 1990-1991 US-Iraq (Muslim), Kuwait (Muslim) 35,000
  • 2006-2009 Somalia (Muslim)-Ethiopia 28,000
  • 1982-1983 Israel (Jewish)-Lebanon (Muslim) 27,000
  • 1982 Syria (Muslim) Hama uprising 20,000
  • 1948-1949 Israel(Jewish) – Egypt (Muslim), Syria(Muslim), Jordan(Muslim), Iraq(Muslim), Saudi Arabia (Muslim), Sudan(Muslim), Yemen(Muslim) 18,000
  • 1973 Israel(Jewish)-Egypt(Muslim); Syria(Muslim) 18,000
  • 1967 Israel(Jewish)-Egypt(Muslim); Jordan(Muslim); Syria(Muslim) 16,000
  • 1971 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 13,000
  • 2011 Libya (Muslim) civil war 8000+
  • 1947-1948 India(Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 7,500
  • 1965 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 6800
  • 2000-2008 Israel (Jewish)-Palestinians 6500
  • 2004- Shia Insurgency in Yemen 5000
  • 2009-present Somalia(Muslim) civil war 4000
  • 2001 AlQaeda (Muslim)- US 3000
  • 1999 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 2500
  • 1987-1993 Israel (Jewish)-Palestinians 2300
  • 2009-present south Yemen(Muslim) 1500
  • 2008 Israel(Jewish)-Hamas(Muslim) 1400
  • 2005-2010 Chad (Muslim/christian) civil war 1000+
  • 1990 Iraq (Muslim)-Kuwait(Muslim) 1000+ killed
  • 2006 Israel (Jewish)-Hezbollah(Muslim) 600
  • 1989-1991 Mauritania(Muslim)-Senegal(Muslim) 500
  • 1985 Mali (Muslim)- Burkina Faso (Muslim) 250
  • 2012 Israel (Jewish)- Hamas 200+
  • 1991-2001 Djibouti civil war 100+


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_by_death_toll

http://www.un.org/en/sc/meetings/records/2014.shtml

http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397