What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Summary: In their eagerness to give Palestinian Arabs self-determination, Europeans have begun to symbolically recognize Palestine as a country.  However, the Europeans have failed to recognize that Palestinian actions are against the law and vision for peace.

During the months of October and November 2014, a number of European countries took symbolic steps to recognize Palestine as a distinct independent country. What do they really recognize and how does it fit with their world vision and laws?

 Holocaust Denial

Holocaust denial and its trivialization is part of the Palestinian culture, starting with its acting president, Mahmoud Abbas.

  • Abbas spent several years writing his doctorate research on Holocaust denial; that phd paper is taught at the Palestinian Authority.
  • In April 2014, Abbas continued his pattern of belittling the Holocaust by stating that the Palestinians can appreciate the Holocaust because they suffer from similar “ethnic discrimination and racism” from Israel.
  • In September 2014 Abbas said Israel was engaged in a “war of genocide” against the Palestinians,
  • The major political party for the Palestinians, Hamas, which runs Gaza, prohibits the teaching of Holocaust studies in its schools, even though it is a standard part of the UNRWA school program.

This denial of the Holocaust is considered illegal in many European countries including: Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Hungary; Israel; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Spain; and Switzerland.

abbas holocaust book
Mahmoud Abbas’ Holocaust Denial book, available on Palestinian Authority website

 Anti-Semitism

The Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic group on the planet.

  • A poll published by the Anti Defamation League in April 2014 found that almost every single Palestinian Arab- 93% – harbor anti-Semitic views.
  • The Hamas charter is the most anti-Semitic and racist charter on earth. It reads like a combination of Hitler’s Mein Kamf, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and a Jihadist Manifesto. It openly calls for the killing of all Jews and the destruction of the Jewish State.
  • The Palestinians support Hamas with this charter, electing them to 58% of the parliament in 2006 and backing the party in every poll since that time.
  • Palestinian leadership and clergy often call Jews names (like “sons of pigs and apes”) on state run television.
  • Palestinian law prohibits Jews from stepping onto college campuses in the West Bank.
  • Palestinian law and Abbas have made it a crime to sell land to Jews.
  • Abbas has stated he will not permit a single Israeli to live in a new state of Palestine.

The United Nations ran its first ever discussion about the growing problem of anti-Semitism in January 2015. Several countries have laws specifically banning anti-Semitism (beyond general laws against hate speech) including: Austria; France; Mexico; Romania; Spain; Sweden and Switzerland.

Pal nazi2
Palestinians Hoist Nazi Swastika

 Terrorism

Attacking Israeli civilians has been a fundamental charge of the Palestinians.

Many countries label Hamas a terrorist organization including: the US; Canada; Australia; Israel; Japan; the United Kingdom; Egypt and Jordan. The European Union also categorized Hamas as a terrorist organization until December 2014, when it decided to reconsider the designation. The United Nations has also created task forces to deal with terrorism that are intended to cut off all support.

dalal_popular_inauguration
Square named after Murderer


To summarize the state of the Palestinians in 2015: it is run by a Holocaust denier who has suspended elections while he instigates violence; the ruling party in parliament is more openly anti-Semitic and genocidal than the Nazis when they were elected in 1933, and has called for the complete destruction of a member state of the United Nations; and the populace is the most anti-Semitic in the world.

It is one thing to wish for a group of people to have self-determination. But does such a hateful, violent jihadist group which seeks the destruction of a member state of the United Nations deserve recognition?

If Europe and the world truly care about Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and terrorism as current laws declare, they must confront the reality of the current state of Palestinian Arabs and demand fundamental changes before it can be given any recognition on the world stage.



Sources:

Abbas Holocaust denial paper: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/143752#.VMuN-ps5BTw

Holocaust denial criminal offense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial

Abbas calling a “genocide” by Israel: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/09/abbas-israel-waging-war-genocide-gaza-201492616952287680.html

Palestinian law banning the sale of land to Jews:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-affirms-death-penalty-for-land-sales-to-Israelis

Left-wing article on left-wing journalist barred from Bir Zeit University: http://jfjfp.com/?p=65375

Birzeit University bans Jews: http://www.timesofisrael.com/haaretz-writer-booted-from-palestinian-school-because-shes-israeli/

Calling Jews “sons of pigs and apes” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHhG1IyfqXg#t=13

Hamas charter: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

Palestinian poll September 2014: http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/496

  • If presidential elections, Hamas would win and Abbas would place third in a three-person race
  • 81% Hamas’s “way of resisting occupation”

Palestinian terrorists attack Jews all over world: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/israel-news/timeline-attacks-synagogues

United Nations task force on terrorism: http://www.un.org/en/terrorism/

ADL anti-Semitism report: http://global100.adl.org/public/ADL-Global-100-Executive-Summary.pdf

Laws against anti-Semitism: http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/Legislation%20Against%20Antisemitism%20and%20Denial%20of%20the%20Holocaust

UN discussion on anti-Semitism: http://hosted2.ap.org/ORBEN/*/Article_2015-01-22-UN–United%20Nations-Combatting%20Anti-Semitism/id-358f417966bc4fb5abfc89d95535fc39#.VMhQASyVnEY

EU reverses on Hamas terrorist label: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/world/europe/hamas-palestinian-statehood-vote-european-parliament.html?_r=0

Related First One Through articles:

Europe punishing Israel instead of Palestinians to advance peace process: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/european-narrative-over-facts/

Failure of Europe in the peace process: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/failing-negotiation-102-europe/

Abbas knows Racism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/abbas-knows-racism/

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-palestinians-arent-resorting-to-violence-they-are-murdering-and-waging-war/

Abbas shift on the Holocaust: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/frightening-new-york-times-42714-article-on-mahmoud-abbas-shifts-on-holocaust/

Hamas is more extreme than the Nazis: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/extreme-and-mainstream-germany-1933-west-bank-gaza-2014/

Music video on Hamas (music by CSNY):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2fcaSPB6M

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Obama and the Saudis

obamaabdullah

His foreign policy is like putting diesel into a car instead of gasoline.”
-satire of KSA King Abdullah on US President Obama’s foreign policy

The United States maintained a strong tie to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades due to its stable monarchy and enormous supply of oil on which the US economy (and its allies) depended.  Many US administrations looked past the KSA’s human rights abuses to keep the relationship on solid footing.

That warm relationship between the countries existed until US President Obama began to change the traditional order of foreign relations.  Obama did not favor stability; he did not reward allies.  Instead, he advanced a new foreign policy paradigm in which he would undermine allies and try to build bridges to enemies.  He would favor public opinion over the rule of law.

Obama’s “New Beginning” speech in Cairo in 2009 was indeed a new beginning.  Within two years, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, began calling for removing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power.  Shortly thereafter, the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power in a democratic election, just as the MB’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, won elections in 2006.  The stability of the monarchies and dictators throughout the Middle East soon began to implode, and the “Arab Spring” shook the stability of the region.

As Saudi King Abdullah watched Egypt, his ally and neighbor to the west collapse with the assistance of the United States, he watched Obama establish warmer relations with his enemy, Iran to the north.  Remarkably, Obama seemed content letting the Iranians obtain nuclear weapons.

In Syria, Abdullah watched Obama let Iranian ally Syria prance right through a bright red line that Obama had drawn loudly and publicly, after Syrian President Assad used chemical weapons in his civil war.  Was this an ally to be trusted in the volatile Middle East?  How long before he turns on his kingdom to reform and open elections to the masses?

More importantly for him, how long before Obama’s actions enable a firestorm in the Middle East that destroys his kingdom?


Sources:

King Abdullah hated Obama: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397044/nbcs-engel-king-abdullah-could-not-stand-president-obama-brendan-bordelon

White House “New Beginning” speech in Cairo: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/NewBeginning/

Fouad Ajami on the Arab impression of Obama: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703499404574558300500152682

Related First One Through article:

Obama’s confused foreign policy: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/obamas-foreign-policy/

Obama’s Foreign Policy

Summary: Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Both liberal and conservative commentators had a lot to say after US President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address in January 2015.  They were not positive.

The liberals attacked their president as being divorced from reality.  They highlighted several areas:

  • Iran continues towards nuclear weapons despite assurances to the contrary
  • Islamic State takes over Iraq after Obama calls them “JV” and claims that US forces have stopped their advance
  • Yemen falls despite Obama recent assurances
  • Assad controls Syria after Obama’s claim of helping moderate opposition forces (so marginal, can it be called true?)
  • Russia gets a mere slap on the wrist for invading Ukraine and taking over Crimea despite treaties with Ukraine

Conservatives have often berated Obama for practicing a policy which coddled enemies and rebuked allies:

  • Continued snubbing of ally Israel, particularly the Prime Minister Netanyahu (calling him “chicken*hit”, not meeting with him, walking out on him…)
  • Not showing up for unity rally in Paris after terrorist attacks (one of the only major western allies to not send anyone)
  • Refusing to help ally Canada with approving the Keystone pipeline
  • Pulling all troops out of Iraq after thousands of American forces died, to let the country fall into a terrorist haven

Here is a music video early in the Obama presidency which showed these paths started from the earliest days of his presidency (music by Genesis):


Sources:

Liberals attack Obama “asleep at the switch“: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxsyVO23G38

Mainstream media saying Obama “not close to reality“”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FcQE32_HSU

Criticism for snubbing Paris rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yt5xqO0FgI

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

Summary: According to the Times, terrorists in Europe and Israel are very different and have different motivations.  If they weren’t, the hope that two states (Israel and Palestine) could live side-by-side in peace would obviously disappear.

The New York Times has taken to breaking the universe of Islamic terrorists attacking civilians into two camps: those that are hardened and trained to commit attacks, and those that do so as a result of their personal situation as opposed to their beliefs.  Curiously, that line is defined by geography.

Consider the January 17, 2015 reporting about the raids that prevented a terrorist attack in Belgium. The Times discussed “the expanding threat from radical jihadists, many of them battle-hardened in Syria and Iraq.” Another article on the same day questioned why Lunel, a small town in France “has come to earn the dubious distinction as a breeding ground for jihadists.” A third article that day clearly stated that attacks in Paris against the magazine Charlie Hebdo were by “jihadist gunmen”. In Europe, the Times is clear that attacks against civilians are done by radical jihadists. While the articles discussed Muslim anger at the insult to their prophet Mohammed by the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that ultimately instigated the attacks, that anger was only the final motivating factor to unleash actions embedded in the radical jihadist philosophy.

The Times does not view attacks against Israelis the same way.

On January 23, 2015 the NY Times explored the motivation of a Palestinian who stabbed a dozen Israeli civilians on a bus in Tel Aviv. Over and again the Times referred to the man as “angered by the war in Gaza… and tensions over the revered Aqsa Mosque.” The article stated that “the family was in debt and struggling” and described this assailant as well as another who attempted to assassinate a Jewish activist as stories of “dislocation”. The New York Times deliberately kept the motivations away from any categorization of “radical jihad” by saying that the assailant “was not considered an extremist.”

This description fits consistently with the Times narrative as written in its editorial page on January 1, when it described the Palestinians as “desperate.” The opinion piece suggested that the Palestinians are “deeply frustrated” by their lack of a state. The Times does not feel that Palestinians are engaged in a radical jihad against Israel in the same way European cities are facing Islamic extremism. It is curious that they arrive at such a conclusion when there are Palestinian polls and elections that consistently show an overwhelming support for Hamas, which mentions “jihad” against Israel 36 times in its charter (see the FirstOneThrough article below).

Several articles in the Times mentioned the anti-Semitism harbored by Amedy Coulibaly, the French Muslim who shot a policeman and four Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris. They discussed his allegiance to the Islamic State which seeks to build a new state in the Middle East ruled by Islamic sharia law. However, the New York Times never mentioned that the Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic people in the world, with 93% of the population holding anti-Jewish views. It neglected to inform its readers that the popular Hamas party seeks to completely destroy Israel and set up an Islamic state ruled by sharia law.

Why does the Times continue to relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

The liberal newspaper would like to see a new State of Palestine established in the Middle East, whereas it is comfortable with the borders of countries elsewhere. The conundrum is that the Times’ hope for a new moderate secular Palestinian state alongside Israel is in conflict with the reality that the Palestinians are much more radical than the paper pretends.

To conceal the radical nature of the Palestinians today, the Times editorials and articles follow specific guidelines in reporting that:

  • The Palestinians and its leadership are moderates
  • The Palestinians only take to violence because they are desperate and alienated
  • The Israelis are at fault for lack of a two-state solution

In Israel, people see the jihad in Iraq, France, Nigeria and in their own country as a single violent movement of Islamic extremism. That is why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to Hamas and Islamic State as “branches of the same poisonous tree”. Should the Times ever decide to detail the full nature of Hamas beyond simply being a “militant group” and also discuss the huge support it receives by Palestinians, it would undermine the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace. Therefore, the pages of the Times state that Europe faces “radical jihadists” while Israel faces desperate, isolated and alienated Palestinians (who are in that situation only because of Israel).

However, hope is hardly honest reporting.
20150125_162037


Sources:

Netanyahu comment on Hamas: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/09/30/netanyahu-islamic-state-hamas-branches-of-the-same-poisonous-tree/

Palestinians proudly elcebrating murderer of Israeli civilians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRTXmeRVPlY

Related First One Through articles:

Palestinians “Desperation Move”: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/palestinians-are-desperate-for/

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-palestinians-arent-resorting-to-violence-they-are-murdering-and-waging-war/

Hamas is mainstream: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/its-the-democracy-stupid/

Abbas pivot to Hamas positions: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mainstream-and-abbas-jihad/

The extremism of the Palestinian positions: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/extreme-and-mainstream-germany-1933-west-bank-gaza-2014/

My Terrorism

The streets in Paris were full of support for the victims of terror in January 2015. An estimated 1.6 million came out along with leaders of over 40 countries to memorialize the 17 victims, with signs that included “I am Charlie”, “I am the police” and “I am Jewish” to show solidarity with the murdered people.

jesuisjuif

The unity march was highly unusual compared to the reaction to terrorism that has plagued Europe for the past decade. There were no million person-marches or signs of support when:

The past victims included people killed for their use of free speech. They also included law enforcement officers and Jews. More people were killed at some of the attacks than were killed in the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks. So why was there the unique outpouring of support in Europe in 2015? Why didn’t anyone wear a pin “JeSuisMiriam” for the 8-year old girl that was shot in the head in France in 2012?

Looking at the recent protests in many European cities could lead one to conclude that the momentum of anti-immigrant groups and political parties have gained strength and popularity. The rise may stem from the number of terrorist attacks in Europe as well as the number of Islamic immigrants which has ballooned to 20 million in Europe due to the “Arab Spring” producing asylum seekers from throughout the Middle East/ North Africa region.

But why would world leaders show up now?

There was perhaps another factor at play which has to do with a more fundamental human characteristic: selfishness.

My Terrorism

People and nations react when they feel that their interests are being attacked. While they may sympathize with murdered victims everywhere, they take action when they feel that the terrorism strikes a selfish or personal nerve.

Witness the killings and abduction in Nigeria by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. While there were murderous groups all over the world, including nearby in Sudan, there were barely any popular protests. However, when the US first lady Michelle Obama witnessed the abduction of over 200 black girls, she saw victims that looked like her own daughters and launched a “BringBack Our Girls” campaign which went viral. I do not doubt her sincerity or concern for other victims of terror including the 1400 girls who were raped by Muslim men for over 13 years in England. But it took a terrorist action that struck “close to home” against victims that resembled her own family for her to take action.

When three teenage boys were abducted in Israel a month after the Boko Haram abductions, Jews around the world and Israelis started their own hashtag campaign of #BringBackOurBoys and #EyalGiladNaftali. Israelis were obviously concerned about the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram too – indeed Israel was one of only four countries that actually sent support to find the missing girls. But world Jewry acted much more actively when it was three teenaged Jewish boys that were abducted.

In Iraq, the Islamic State/ ISIS was busy wiping out entire cities, killing thousands of Christians, Yazidis and fellow Muslims. However, it took a video of the beheading of American journalists to get America to take action against the Jihadist group. Stated differently, while Americans may have been appalled at knowing that thousands of innocents were being slaughtered in Iraq, the atrocities were viewed as distant. It took the attack on a single man to bring the conflict close-to-home, and therefore worthy of a response.


And so it was with the various attacks in Europe. While the French were likely sad about the killings of Jews over the past decade, they viewed it as a Jewish problem. The majority of French could consider those attacks as targeted against a small community that was not their problem or a threat to themselves. Jews make up 0.2% of the world’s population and 0.8% of France’s population. The French may have felt pity for 8-year old Jewish girl Miriam, but they were not Miriam; no “JeSuisMiriam” placards.

Similarly, the Europeans were likely incensed over the decade-long attacks on policemen and servicemen too. But most Europeans were not in the military. They were angry, but they were not the military. Their military was fighting wars far away.

The large scale attacks in London and Madrid were similar to the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Each nation was harmed as an entity, not just the immediate victims.

Yet the French did not march in Spain; the Germans did not march in England; and the Dutch did not march in the USA.

Lastly, free speech had been attacked before. The murder of Theo van Gogh, bombings in Stockholm (which didn’t murder anyone) and protests against the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in 2005 all stemmed from Muslims protesting the press’s postings of images of their prophet Mohammed. But the limited scale of those attacks compared to the Charlie Hebdo strike awakened a different sensibility in millions of Parisians and leaders of the western world that prize freedom of the press and speech. (Other countries that do not have freedom of speech and press attended the march as well, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to place a fig leaf over their extremist Muslim ideology, lack of freedoms and desire to ingratiate themselves with the western world). The attack on free speech spoke to the people and leaders, as a personal attack on their way of life.

When terrorism became personal, people and countries responded with actions. When terrorism seemed remote and someone else’s problem, there was inaction.

Thanks for the Inclusion

So nations, people, papers and celebrities wore the “JeSuisCharlie” to stand by the victims, and to protest the assault on their own basic freedoms. Some people extended a courtesy to the other victims of the attacks, even though they did not represent a personal attack, wearing “JeSuisPolice” and “JeSuisJuif” alongside their primary banner.

The Jews of France were happy to be included in the memorial of the anti-Semitic attack and appreciated the condemnation of the French government against the attack on their community. But the Jews of France also recall the lack of outrage at the various murders in the recent past of Jews being killed for being Jews.

In France and most of the world, Jews do not get starring roles in the rage on behalf of victims. However, the world will consider Jewish loss once they have expressed outrage for an attack on themselves. Like the five people in the background who stand behind the principal star who receives a trophy at an awards show, Jews were happy to be recognized, even if no one really saw them.

The recognition is a step forward and better than the long history of being ignored.  But everyone knows that such acknowledgement is similar to non-Jews wishing Jews “Happy Chanuka” because it comes at the same time as Christmas. Chanuka is a minor holiday compared to Shavuot and Sukkot which are unknown to non-Jews. When was the last time any non-Jew wished someone a “Happy Purim”? It doesn’t happen because it is not connected to something that they care about personally, like Christmas.

Today’s war on terrorism will continue to be waged when nations see their interests being threatened.  The outpouring of emotion will also be rooted in selfish preservation.

While it may have been called a “unity march”, the Jews of Europe have already been educated about their place in society.


Sources:

Paris march: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30765824

Madrid bombings: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/world/europe/spain-train-bombings-fast-facts/

London bombing: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/world/europe/july-7-2005-london-bombings-fast-facts/

Stockholm bombing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Stockholm_bombings

Copenhagen plot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2010_Copenhagen_terror_plot

Brussels shooting: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/01/suspect-arrest-brussels-jewish-museum-shooting

Toulouse shooting: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9154350/Toulouse-shooting-little-girl-cornered-in-school-and-shot-in-head.html

Torture of French Jew: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/international/europe/05france.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Killing of Theo van Gogh: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/11/gogh-n10.html

Muslims in Europe: http://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-immigration-and-islam-europes-crisis-of-faith-1421450060

Lee Rigby: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26357007

Michelle Obama protest: http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/05/08/michelle-obama-kidnapped-nigerian-schoolgirls-bring-back-our-girls/

Eyal Gilad Naftali: http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.de/2014/06/eyal-gilad-and-naftaliin-our-hearts.html

Je Suis Juif: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/13/world/french-jews/


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Je Suis Redux

Obama’s limit on abducted teenagers

Israel assists Nigerian search

Free speech review music video

Targeted terrorism for blasphemy

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

The attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015 sparked a plethora of articles describing the freedoms of speech and press. The New York Times, like many other media sources, fiercely defended the right of people to offer their opinions, even if such views are unpopular. Despite the clarity of its overall stance, the paper appeared confused about “double standards” in its articles which failed to clarify and distinguish between free speech and hate speech.

In the NY Times lead front page story of January 14 referring to such “double standards”, the paper contrasted the right of Charlie Hebdo to make cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, to the arrested French “comedian” M’bala M’bala who stated that a Jewish journalist should have been killed in the Nazi gas chambers and that he considers himself like the terrorist who shot and killed four Jews in the Parisian supermarket. Neither clarification nor education was given about the differences and limits of free speech.

20150115_144909

The NY Times continued to confuse the public (or itself) in a story the next day by David Carr, which included the following:

  • “Not all the French were reveling in unbridled expression of speech. Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a comedian who has made highly provocative statements since the shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s offices, was detained as an “apologist for terrorism” for statements he made on his Facebook page that were seemingly in support of one of the attackers.
  • His arrest highlights the fact that one man’s free expression is another man’s hate speech or sedition. In Israel, the conservative Jewish newspaper HaMevaser scrubbed out the German chancellor Angela Merkel from a photograph, along with other female leaders who had participated in a solidarity march in Paris, because photos containing women are considered inappropriate in ultra-Orthodox publications.”

In an effort to educate the Times and its readership, here are three important points to distinguish between various types of speech:

  • Concept versus People
  • Active versus Reactive Incitement
  • Editing versus Censorship

 Concept versus People

A central dividing line between freedom of speech and hate speech has to do with the right to discuss concepts as opposed to the right (and limit) to discuss people. Everyone is free to say anything they want about concepts such as: capitalism, communism, Islam and Buddhism. Whether it is religion or economic theory, each topic is considered a concept worthy (perhaps?!) of discussion and debate in a positive or negative fashion. However, speech can descend into “hate speech” (or libel) which is banned by many countries, if people attack either groups or specific human beings.

For example, Louis Farrakhan, a bombastic anti-Semitic Muslim preacher referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion”. He was not brought up on any charges, despite the hateful speech. Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi was not prosecuted for calling Jews the descendants of monkeys and pigs, which could have perhaps been classified as hate speech in some countries because he addressed people rather than a religion.

 Active versus Reactive Incitement

A key factor in the distinction of permissible versus prohibited speech revolves around “incitement”. Many countries prohibit speech that incites violence, as does the recent United Nations Resolution 16/18. The UN language:

  • “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means”

The phrase incitement to violence is clear. For example, when an imam in Germany called for killing Jews, that fell under hate speech to incite violence, and the country is now investigating that imam.

However, it is considered completely legal to say things that may involve “reactive incitement”, that is, saying something that may annoy people to the extent that they would use violence. To ban reactive incitement would stifle free speech completely which is what the press sees as the essence of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations. Just because Muslims were insulted by the publishing of cartoons of their prophet, their reaction cannot be the basis to ban that freedom of expression.

Based on the United Nations language, the incitement to discrimination would have to be explored further. Did Charlie Hebdo promote discrimination against Muslims? Was the paper simply making pictures of Mohammed or was it attempting to foster intolerance of all Muslims? The new United Nations law makes a distinction.

The M’bala M’bala calls for a Jewish journalist to be killed in gas chambers and supporting terrorists who killed four innocent Jews are calls for direct and indirect incitement to hostility and violence.  Acting Palestinian Authority President Mamoud Abbas praise for martyrs who slaughtered innocents could also be called incitement to hostility and violence.

dalal_popular_inauguration

Fatah officials at naming of Dalal Mughrabi square,
murderer of 38 civilians including 13 children

 Editing versus Censorship

Every media outlet edits their news stories. Papers constantly select only those parts of interviews that confirm a thesis it promotes to its readers. That is (theoretically) its right. Michael Moore edited interviews about global warming and the auto industry to convey a particular narrative that he wanted to portray in his movies. The public may ultimately view the half-stories they receive as accurate, half-accurate or completely inaccurate because of the known bias of the producers of the content.

However, no one considers editing to be a form of censorship or an infringement on the freedom of speech or press. If a paper opted to not publish a sports section, that is its right. If it crops a picture to focus on a particular image to reinforce its narrative, that is also its right. It may be bad journalism, but it is not censorship (and certainly not by a governmental authority).

In its ramble on free speech above, the New York Times highlighted the Israeli “conservative” newspaper Hamevaser’s choice to edit the picture of the Paris unity march to remove the female leaders. Hamevaser is run by and serves an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community (not politically conservative) that is against showing pictures of women due to their interpretation of modesty. Such action is a form of editing that newspapers engage in to meet the tastes of its readership. To somehow suggest that it is a form of Israeli censorship is absurd. Why would the Times possibly lump this example in with examples of freedom of speech and hate speech? It is completely off topic.


People in the western world rallied behind Charlie Hebdo because they see this situation as falling completely within the framework of free speech: it poked fun at a religion (a concept), not people (Muslims); and it did not call for any violence, rather the attacks came from a reaction from incensed Muslims. The case of M’bala M’bala has to do with inciting violence against people, and the Hamevaser picture has nothing at all to do with government censorship.

So how did the Times develop this list of irrelevant examples and not try to educate its readers (and actually confuse them with calling out “double standards”)?


Sources:

NYtimes articles and picture Jan 14: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/world/europe/new-charlie-hebdo-has-muhammad-cartoon.html

NY Times article January 15: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/business/media/flocking-to-buy-charlie-hebdo-citizens-signal-their-support-of-free-speech.html?_r=0

Louis Farakhan on Judaism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbrH3eUuA3U

Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi calling Jews names: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JukaOi8pKzM

UN Resolution 16/18: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A.HRC.RES.16.18_en.pdf

German imam calling for killing Jews: http://forward.com/articles/202751/germany-warns-against-hate-speech-after-imam-calls/

PA Abbas praise for terrorists: http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/01/10/video-of-abbas-praising-hitler-supporting-mufti-terrorists-released-video/

Naming square and centers after terrorist who killed 37 civilians: http://www.palwatch.org/pages/news_archive.aspx?doc_id=1442

Related First One Through articles:

Blasphemy or terrorism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/blasphemy-or-terrorism/

Klinghoffer opera: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eyal-gilad-naftali-klinghoffer-the-new-blood-libel/

 

Apostasy

In response to the mass and gross atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II, the world sought to enshrine a list of basic human rights which were due to every person on the planet. In December 1948,  the United Nations passed those laws as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR.

Today, many members of the United Nations continue to routinely trample on those rights.

For example, Article 18 of the UDHR provides for the freedom of religion and worship:

  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

The action of changing one’s religion is called “apostasy”. Not only is it considered a crime in many countries, several Islamic countries consider it a capital offense according to their established law:

  • Afghanistan
  • Brunei
  • Mauritania
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag
Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag sentenced to death by hanging in Sudan for apostasy,
May 2014

Not all Islamic countries call for killing apostates, but many still criminalize the act of leaving Islam by punishing the apostate with civil penalties including negating the person’s inheritance and nullifying their marriage.

In some countries, specifically: Mauritania; Saudi Arabia; Jordan; and Yemen, individuals can be charged with apostasy for simple matters of writing something negative or controversial about Islam, even a post on social media.

Here is a summary of some countries laws regarding apostasy.

  • Afghanistan: Apostasy is considered a serious offense and persons so charged may “possibly face death by stoning, deprivation of all property and possessions, and/or the invalidation of their marriages.
  • Brunei: A Muslim who declares himself non-Muslim is punishable with death, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years and corporal punishment, depending on the type of evidence.
  • Egypt: There have been cases where people have been placed in jail or marriages nullified due to apostasy.
  • Iran: While Iranian law does not provide for the death penalty for apostasy, the courts can hand down that punishment, and have done so in previous years, based on their interpretation of Sharia’a law and fatwas.
  • Jordan: While there is no express statutory prohibition on apostasy, conversion trials are heard by Islamic courts and may be instituted by any member of the community. According to Islamic law, there are consequences when Muslims adopt religions other than Islam.  For instance, if someone is convicted of apostasy, the Islamic courts adjudicating matters of personal status have the power to void the person’s marriage and deny his/her right to inherit from a spouse and from Muslim relatives.
  • Kuwait: According to Law 51 of 1984 on Personal Status, which is based on Islamic Sharia law, Under Article 18, the marriage of a non-Muslim man to a Muslim woman is considered annulled. Article 145 of the aforementioned law applies such legal and religious principle to Muslim husbands that might adopt other religions than Islam during the marital relationship. Moreover, under article 294 of this law, an apostate is not able to inherent from his Muslim relatives or marital spouse.
  • Mauritania: Apostasy is punished under article 306 of the Mauritanian Criminal Code.  This article provides that “any Muslim guilty of the crime of apostasy” is to be given the opportunity to repent within three days.  If the accused does not repent within that period, he/she is to be sentenced to death, and all of his/her property shall be confiscated by the government.

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed sentenced to death for article about Islam,
December 2014

  • Morocco: In April 2013, the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars issued a religious decree (fatwa) that Moroccan Muslims who leave Islam must be sentenced to death.
  • Pakistan: There is no specific statutory law that criminalizes apostasy in Pakistan.  In 2007, a bill to impose the death penalty for apostasy for males and life imprisonment for females was proposed in Parliament but failed to pass.
  • Qatar: While apostasy is one of the offenses subject to the death penalty, Qatar has not imposed any penalty for this offense since its independence in 1971.
  • Saudi Arabia:  Islamic law imposes the death penalty on apostates based on statements attributed to the Prophet Mohammed.
  • Sudan: Article 126 of the Sudanese Penal Code, on apostasy, provides that any Muslim who declares publicly that he/she has adopted any religion other than Islam commits the crime of apostasy and is punishable with the death penalty.
  • Tunisia: Has begun to institute new laws to protect people from Sharia law regarding apostasy. Article 6 of the Tunisian Constitution of 2014 protects its citizens by preventing any attacks against them based on accusations of apostasy.
  • UAE: Article 66 states that among the “original punishments” under the law are the punishments of hudud crimes, including by imposing the death penalty.  However, there have been no known prosecutions or legal punishments for apostasy in court.
  • Yemen: The crime of apostasy may be subject to the death penalty by virtue of Article 12 of the Yemen Penal Code of 1994, as amended by Law 24 of 2006, which identifies crimes, including apostasy, that are punished according to the provisions of Islamic Sharia.  Furthermore, Article 259 provides that individuals committing the act of apostasy may be punished with the death penalty.

KSA apostasy
Man in Saudi Arabia to be beheaded for ripping up Quran,
February 2015

These laws are often not considered radical by the country’s citizens.  Many Muslims in the world specifically support the death penalty for apostasy.  The countries with the highest percentage calling for the murder of converts:

  • Egypt 88%
  • Jordan 82%
  • Afghanistan 79%
  • Palestinians 66%
  • Pakistan 62%
  • Malaysia 62%

Have you ever seen a censure in the United Nations against any of these countries for trampling a basic human right?



Sources:

Country apostasy review: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/apostasy/index.php

Pregnant Sudanese woman gets death sentence for apostasy: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/sudan-woman-given-death-penalty-apostasy-20145159264775754.html

Vast majority of Muslims support death penalty for apostasy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/01/64-percent-of-muslims-in-egypt-and-pakistan-support-the-death-penalty-for-leaving-islam/

Related First One Through article:

Blasphemy: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/blasphemy-or-terrorism/

US Working with Countries with terrible human rights records: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/dancing-with-the-asteroids/

Blasphemy OR Terrorism

On January 7, 2015, three French Muslim men went into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris, France, and killed eleven people in response to the magazine’s cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed in a negative manner. Politicians have publicly questioned whether this “act of terrorism” was done by “lone wolves” and whether this action had anything to do with Islam. The leaders of the western countries knew full well that this was not a random act of terror, but part of an ongoing rollout of laws that their governments are advancing with 57 Islamic nations to curb free speech around the world to comply with Muslim blasphemy laws.

Origins

Many religions consider blasphemy to be a sin. The range of the sin could be uttering the Lord’s name in vain or it could be drawing a picture of a prophet.  The Old Testament specifically prohibits using the name of God for no purpose or abusing the use of His name:

  • “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7)

The New Testament refers to blasphemy many times, such as Matthew 12:31:

  • “Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men;
    but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”

The Quran does not specifically call against abusing the name of God, but does consider it a crime to insult Mohammed:

  • “They swear by Allah that they did not say [anything against the Prophet] while they had said the word of disbelief and disbelieved after their [pretense of] Islam and planned that which they were not to attain. And they were not resentful except [for the fact] that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty. So if they repent, it is better for them; but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And there will not be for them on earth any protector or helper.” (Quran 9:74)

In Judeo-Christian tradition, the punishment for the sin of blasphemy is considered to come from God and meted out either in this world or the world to come according to divine justice. In Islam, the punishment should be delivered by man in this world according to many Islamic scholars.

Country Laws

Western countries do not have laws against blasphemy. While insulting a religion may be considered rude, it is protected by the laws of free speech. (An editorial by David Brooks covers that nuance in the link below).

Countries that are governed by Islamic law (Sharia) have strict laws against blasphemy. The punishment ranges from fines to prison sentences to death. Here is a review of some of those countries:

  • Algeria: An individual who insults the prophet and the messengers of God, or denigrates the creed or prophets of Islam through writing, drawing, declaration, or any other means, will receive three to five years in prison.
  • Bahrain: Article 309 of the Bahrain Penal Code of 1976 penalizes individuals who insult any religious sects with a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year.
  • Egypt: A person ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity” is punishable with six months to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Indonesia: Blasphemy is addressed in Article 156(a) of the Penal Code.  The Code imposes a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Iraq: Article 372 of Iraq’s Penal Code of 1969 provides that any individual who insults the creed of a religious sect or its practices, or publicly insults a symbol or person that is an object of sanctification, worship, or reverence for a religious sect, may be punished with a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years.
  • Jordan: Jordan explicitly criminalizes blasphemy.  Article 273 of Jordan’s Penal Code of 1960 punishes any individual who insults the Prophet Mohamed with a term of imprisonment of one to three years.
  • Kuwait: Law 19 of 2012 on National Unity was issued to amend article 111 of the Penal Code by imposing harsher penalties and criminalizing any publications and broadcasting content that could be considered offensive to religious “sects” or groups, including through social media.  The new law punishes such crimes with a fine ranging from US$36,000 to US$720,000 and a maximum of seven years in prison.
  • Lebanon: The Lebanese Penal Code punishes individuals who perform acts that are considered blasphemous to the name of God.  It also imposes penalties against individuals who publicly insult the religious proceedings of any religion.
  • Libya: Whoever publicly abuses the Islamic religion—that being the official religion of the State under the Libyan Constitution—with verbal terms not befitting for the Divine Being, the Messenger, or the Prophets, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
  • Oman:  Article 209 of Oman’s Penal Code punishes with a term of imprisonment of between ten days and three years, or a fine between five to five hundred Omani Riyals (approximately US$13 to $1,300) an individual who commits the following acts: (1) publicly blasphemes God or the prophet Mohamed, (2) commits an affront to religions and faiths by spoken or written word, or (3) breaches the peace of a lawful religious gathering.
  • Pakistan:  Converts from Islam and atheists may be vulnerable to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which prescribes life imprisonment for desecrating or defiling the Quran and the death sentence to anyone for using derogatory remarks towards the Prophet Mohammed.
  • Syria: Article 462 states that individuals who publicly defame religious proceedings are punishable with a term of two years’ imprisonment.

 A Global Mandate

Muslim countries have sought to enforce the ban on blasphemy beyond their borders to cover the entire world. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly voted 85-50 (with 42 abstentions) to make blasphemy a crime. The measure was originally introduced by Pakistan in 1999 and has continued to be brought up by the 57 Muslim countries that make up the OIC, Organization of Islamic Conference. When the vote was brought up again in 2010, the margin of passage was smaller, 76-64 with 42 abstentions.

In 2011, the OIC attempted to push forward an alternate version of the resolution to overcome the objections of the United States and other western countries that felt the law trampled on basic rights of free speech. The US’s Obama Administration worked hard at developing Resolution 16/18, which sought to criminalize the act of stereotyping or discriminating against people based on religion, rather than the pillorying of the religion itself.

The terms “stereotyping” and “incitement to … hostility or violence” that are used throughout the resolution have been called “vague” and “problematic”.  The mandate of “[a]dopting measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief” is confusing as to whether it bans the direct call to incite violence, or for doing anything that could incite violence.  For example, if the cartoons made in Charlie Hebdo did not call for violence against a group, but the negative stereotyping could incite people to violence, would that be considered illegal? Would it be considered illegal if the stereotyping brought violence against the targeted group only, or even if it brought violence against Charlie Hebdo themselves for publishing the piece?  If each instance was considered illegal, it would likely have direct and significant negative impact on the freedom of speech and press for everyone.

 The Individual

According to many Muslim clerics, Islamic law mandates that Muslims take actions against people who slander the prophet Mohammed. As seen above, Sharia law has put such laws into effect in several Islamic countries, and the 57 OIC member countries have been aggressively advancing the case for blasphemy laws everywhere.

While Resolution 16/18 passed without a vote in 2011, most westerners do not know of its existence and consider the freedom of speech, thought, expression and press to be basic fundamental rights that they have in their countries. It is possible that the journalists at Charlie Hebdo did not know about Resolution 16/18.  They knew that their articles and pictures upset many people of different faiths; that was the essence of why they made them, and they considered it their right to do so under the country’s freedoms of speech and press. They experienced the wrath of Muslims when their offices were firebombed in 2011 after posting a caricature of Mohammed.  However, did they consider those cartoons illegal because it lampooned Mohammed which could have incited people to violence?

The French Muslims who came to the offices of Charlie Hebdo to kill the staff may or may not have known about Resolution 16/18.  They did know that their prophet was insulted and no action by the French government was being taken against the perpetrators.  Any Muslim who believes that blasphemers should be punished are obligated to take action. They took matters into their own hands, shouting while they shot the journalists “Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo.”  They viewed their actions as targeted vigilante justice against evil perpetrators, not terrorism.



If France and the western world are concerned about terrorism that strikes at random individuals, they should put “Paris Est Juif” on the Arc de Triomphe instead of “Charlie” in support of the innocent Jews who were massacred while shopping for their Sabbath meals.

paris est charlie

If France and the western world are concerned about the loss of their treasured freedoms, they should speak to their governments about the essence of Resolution 16/18 that they have advanced at the United Nations, and its implication on their freedom of speech.  At the moment, the governments are ducking from their complicit role, pointing their fingers at “terrorism” instead of “blasphemy”, and denying the role of Islam in any of this.


Sources:

Blasphemy in Quran article with eleven citations: http://www.deoband.net/blogs/blasphemy-in-islam-the-quran-curses-and-hadith-prescribes-punishment

David Brooks editorial on Charlie Hebdo: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/opinion/david-brooks-i-am-not-charlie-hebdo.html?_r=0

Country laws on blasphemy: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/apostasy/index.php

Recent death sentence in Pakistan for blasphemy: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/pakistani-court-upholds-blasphemy-death-sentence-against-christian

2010 UN vote on basphemy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/25/blasphemy-resolution-pass_n_788305.html

Excellent Freedom House article on blasphemy laws: https://freedomhouse.org/blog/trouble-blasphemy-laws#.VLM1Z8mVnEY

UN Resolution 16/18: http://iheu.org/resolution-adopted-united-nations-human-rights-council-1618/

Article on Res 16/18: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/religious-tolerance-resolution-backed-obama-administration-aligns-islamic-bloc-s

US report on adopting Resolution 16/18: https://geneva.usmission.gov/2012/04/19/implementation1618/

Attack on Charlie Hebdo: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/charlie-hebdo-french-satirical-magazine-paris-office-attack-leaves-casualties/

French President Hollande: “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”

http://www.news24.com/World/News/LIVE-Police-chase-Paris-suspects-20150109

Related First One Through article:

Press pushes free speech to advance the new blood libel: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eyal-gilad-naftali-klinghoffer-the-new-blood-libel/

Apostasy: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/apostasy/

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

On January 3, 2015, the New York Times posted a large color picture on its front page about people in Sweden standing against a suspected arson attack on a mosque. The article on page A4 that continued onto page A9 described how anti-Muslim sentiment has taken hold in a country that had been known for its liberal immigration policy.

Sweden-articleLarge
New York Times cover about Attack on Mosque in Sweden

Anti-Muslim vs. Anti-Semitism

It is interesting to note how the paper highlighted the “anti-Muslim sentiment” in the title of the article after three suspected arson attacks against mosques in Sweden over the previous ten days. There were no witnesses and no arrests in the attacks but the Times drew its own conclusion that the fires must have been driven by “anti-Muslim” anger.

Compare that conclusion with the one at which the Times arrived in reviewing the actions in Europe during a week in July 2014. There were a dozen incidents involving thousands of people:

  • A synagogue was firebombed in Paris
  • Jewish stores including kosher butchers were looted and 18 people were arrested
  • A mob that gathered outside a synagogue with a hundred Jews trapped inside, shouted “Death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right”
  • In Belgium signs posted in store windows read “no Jews allowed”
  • In Berlin, an imam called for the murder of Jews
  • In Paris, a riot of 4000 people with weapons called for attacks on Jews; 70 were arrested
  • A Facebook page with the names and faces of Jews was posted with a call to attack the individuals who were later beaten
  • The leaders of several countries in Europe condemned the attacks as raw “anti-Semitism”

Despite the clarity of the attacks against Jews, in two separate articles the New York Times said those incidents had an “anti-Semitic tinge”. “TINGE” – meaning that the anti-Jewish sentiment was barely noticeable.

20150104_134833

The Invisible Cause

The Times article on Sweden did not highlight any Muslim actions that may have caused the Swedish “anti-Muslim” sentiment. It mentioned European “rising fear of Islamic radicalism” in a general manner, and mentioned the poor economic situation that recent immigrants find themselves in, and the generous benefits afforded by Sweden’s welfare economy. But the article sought to distance the economic strain on Swedish society by quoting a recent immigrant who stated: “We were not looking for food or benefits. We were looking for somewhere to feel safe.” Some stories neglected by the Times article:

Muslim riots: In 2013, various riots broke out in Sweden with Muslim immigrants burning cars and neighborhoods and throwing stones. Some of those events were covered by the Times. The paper referred to the rioters as “immigrants” throughout the article, and never mentioned their Islamic faith.

Explosion of Rape cases: Over the past decade, the number of reported rapes in Sweden has exploded. The country now ranks as the third highest country in terms of the number of rapes, as the frequency has jumped 250% between 2003 and 2010. While most of the world has seen reported cases of rape dropping or leveling out, the trend in Sweden has been alarming and the focus of much discussion and debate. Many people have attributed the dramatic spike as due to the influx of immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia where rape is much more common than western Europe. This piece of information was also not included in the Times article about Swedes becoming “anti-Muslim”.

Interestingly, in perhaps a related trend, a huge scandal broke in the summer of 2014 about 1400 girls in northern England who had been systematically raped by a gang of Pakistani Muslim men over 13 years. During its reporting of the story, the New York Times refused to publish that any of the attackers was Muslim and just referred to them as men with “Pakistani heritage”. Other media outlets did not exclude the common faith in their reporting.

It would appear that the New York Times deliberately avoids mentioning the religious background of Muslims when reporting crimes, but is quick to blame crimes against their community as “anti-Muslim”.

Conversely, in reporting the European riots protesting Israel, the New York Times seemed perplexed as to why Americans supported Israel while Europeans did not. It put forth an absurd idea that Americans supported Israel “because of the failure of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East.” It ignored the actual evil actions and comments of the Palestinians that have been waging war against Israeli civilians for years. Once again, the Times absolved the Muslims of culpability. Regarding the riots in Europe against innocent Jewish citizens of their respective countries who were not Israelis, the Times dismissed the anti-Semitism as not noteworthy.

Racism and anti-religious feelings are indeed real.  The Times has shown that it is adept at finding or ignoring such sentiments as it fits the narrative they are selling.

20150104_134900


Sources:

Immigrant riots in Sweden: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/world/europe/swedens-riots-put-its-identity-in-question.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Rapes in Sweden: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/1-in-4-swedish-women-will-be-raped-as-sexual-assaults-increase-500/

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=de1_1394099792

Global rape statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

Pat Condell on Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZsvdg1dkJ4

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Anti-Semitic Tinge: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/an-anti-semitic-tinge/

NY Times calling “an anti-Semitic tinge” for a second time: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/tinge-two-idioms-for-idiots/

1400 girls raped in Britain, yet the NY Times refuses to point to the rapists as Muslims: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/the-ties-that-bind-and-those-unmentioned/

 

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

On January 1, 2015, the New York Times editorial page led with a piece titled “The Palestinians Desperation Move.” The opinion piece advanced the case that acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must be frustrated in his mission to create a new Palestinian State.

…Creating a State?

Desperate people take what they can. They view their options as limited and prospects as weak. They seize any opportunities to advance their main goal, whatever that might be.

Witness early Zionists agreeing to any size and configuration of a Jewish state, despite their dream for a larger state based on the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922. They voted “yes” to a United Nations partition in 1947. They voted “yes” to greater Jerusalem and greater Bethlehem being international cities.

The Arabs, on the other hand, consistently voted “no” at every juncture.

These are not activities of a people that is “desperate” for a state. These are not actions of leaders who are willing to make compromises to establish a country and move their people forward.

 

… Maximizing a Jew-free State and/or Destroying the current Jewish State

Palestinian actions have consistently had three main areas of focus:

  1. Creating a new state free of any Jews
  2. Maximize the size of the new Palestinian state: either the entirety of Israel+West Bank+Gaza or using the 1949 Armistice Lines
  3. If there remains a state of Israel, it should be small and not Jewish

 

A Jew-free Palestinian state: Palestinians have sought to recreate the conditions of the Arab-controlled regions that expelled and barred the Jews from 1949 to 1967. The Palestinian leadership has continually called for preventing any “settlements”, meaning barring any Jewish people from living anywhere in Gaza, the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan from 1949-1967. Various Palestinian efforts towards peace talks have demanded a pre-condition of Jewish settlement freezes before any peace talks could begin.  They have lobbied the United Nations to condemn any and all settlements as illegal (even though Jews always lived in the lands before the illegal Jordanian takeover in 1949).

Palestinian law has repeatedly cemented the position of a Jew-free state. In 1973, it passed legislation that made the sale of any land or home to an Israeli to be a capital offense. The Palestinian Authority announced in 1997 that it would seek the death penalty for anyone selling land to a Jew or Israeli.

Abbas has repeatedly voiced his vision of a Jew-free Palestine, stating that he would not allow the presence of a single Israeli- civilian or soldier – in a new Palestine.

Abbas and other members of the Palestinian Authority have also called on the world to engage in a BDS- Boycott, Divestment and Sanction – of any Israeli company that has a presence in the territories they hope will become a Palestinian state. Their aggressive efforts in advancing BDS further underscores their desire to not only prevent any Jews living in a future state, but even establishing businesses there as well.

Even the Universities on the West Bank have laws that prohibit Jews from stepping foot onto campuses.

In short, Palestinian law and leadership calls for banning Jews from visiting, working, buying land or living in the territories it wants for a future state.

Those are the official positions of the “moderate” acting-president of the Palestinian Authority and the existing Palestinian laws. However, the majority of the Palestinian people are in favor of Hamas and would elect someone from Hamas as president according to every poll over the past few years. The Palestinian public elected Hamas to 58% of the Palestinian parliament in their last election in January 2006. Hamas’s charter and its leaders call for the outright killing of Jews and have specifically identified the Jewish nature of Israel as the root cause of the conflict: In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised…”

 

Maximize the size of the Palestinian state. It is not surprising that the Palestinians want to maximize the size of a future state; Israel wants to maximize what it can achieve in negotiations too. However, as detailed here, the working parameters for the Palestinians are to achieve “maximums” and certainly not reflective of a group that is “desperate” and willing to compromise.

Hamas calls for a single Arab Palestine to cover Gaza, the West Bank and all of Israel. They have never backed down or waivered from their 1988 charter in any statement from any leader since that time.

Abbas’ Fatah party has stated that it will “compromise” for a Palestine that follows the “1967 borders.” It states this, despite the fact the 1967 “borders” were not borders but Armistice Lines established in 1949 with Egypt and Jordan. Both of those armistice agreements specifically stated that those lines were not intended to be borders. After repeated invasions and wars by the Palestinians and its Arab allies, Israel has made clear that it will not accept those 1949 Armistice lines as final borders.

“Moderate” Palestinians argue that United Nations Resolution 242 stated that Israel should remove its armed forces from territory acquired during the 1967 war. While the Israelis point out that the language specifically does not state that it must leave “all” of the territory, Abbas is demanding such complete withdrawal; a “maximum” position within the two-state framework.

 

No recognition of the Jewish State. For much of Israel’s existence, the Arab world refused to recognize Israel in any matter at all and viewed Israel’s entire existence as illegitimate. The Arab world underscored the point with the famous three “no’s” in 1967 including refusing to recognize the basic existence of Israel.

In 1975, Yasser Arafat and the PLO effectively lobbied the United Nations to label the national aspirations of Jews to be a form of racial discrimination. Specifically, Resolution 3379 adopted by the General Assembly referred to the “the racist regime in occupied Palestine” and determined “that zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Such efforts have nothing to do with establishing a new country and everything to do with delegitimizing the rights and claims of Jews to their own state.

Today, Palestinian leadership continues on the same path of delegitimizing Israel.  Palestinian leadership makes a point of denying Jewish history in the Holy land. Whether addressing the United Nations General Assembly or speaking to reporters, acting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas denies any connection between Jews and their history in the land. In 2014, Abbas stated that “they [Israel] imagine that by brute force they can invent a history, establish claims and erase solid religious and historical facts.

Abbas has made very clear that he will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel:

  • I’ll never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” (2014);
  • We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state.” (2013);
  • “I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a “Jewish state.” (2011)

Underscoring these points is the insistence of a “Right of return” for descendants of pseudo-refugees to the state of Israel. He believes that the 4.6 million SAPs (Stateless Arabs from Palestine) should be entitled to move into Israel as opposed to a new Palestinian state. The entire point of partitioning the land for two peoples and creating a new Palestinian state is to create a home for these Arabs. What is the point of sending the grandchildren of Arabs who left homes in 1948 to a country they despise (Israel) when they are just creating the country they dreamed of (Palestine)?


For almost a century, the Palestinians have tried various paths to achieve their goals: broad regional wars;  local wars; intifadas; riots; peace talks and lobbying the United Nations.  But what are they hoping to achieve?

If the primary goal of the Palestinian people was a state, would they care if a small number of Jews lived there? Would they so strongly object to recognizing Israel as a Jewish State? Would they insist on an all-or-nothing strategy of getting everything in negotiations?

Are Palestinians truly desperate for a state or are they desperate to deny any rights and legitimacy of Jews to live in the land?

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Sources:

1936 riots: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/riots36.html

1947 Partition plan: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/partition_plan.html

1948-9 Israel war of Independence: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/1948_War.html

1967 Six Day War: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/17/AR2007051701976.html

Khartoum declaration: http://www.sixdaywar.org/content/khartoum.asp

Arafat ends 2000 Clinton-Barack initiative: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jan/03/israel2

Hamas wins 2006 elections: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600372.html

No response to Olmert plan: http://www.haaretz.com/news/olmert-abbas-never-responded-to-my-peace-offer-1.263328

Netanyahu 10-month settlement freeze to re-start talks: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/world/middleeast/26israel.html

No Abbas engagement for nine months: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/10/13/kenneth-bandler-israel-palestine-peace-mahmoud-abbas-united-states-plo-arab/

Maximum of Olmert is short of Minimum for Abbas: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175910#.VKl5bJs5CUl

Various quotes of Arab intents for Israel: http://www.paulbogdanor.com/israel/quotes.html

Palestinian law banning the sale of land to Jews: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-affirms-death-penalty-for-land-sales-to-Israelis

Left-wing article on left-wing journalist barred from Bir Zeit University: http://jfjfp.com/?p=65375

UN resolution 242: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/meaning_of_242.html

UN Zionism is Racism: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/761C1063530766A7052566A2005B74D1

 

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Laws of Living in Silwan: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/real-and-imagined-laws-of-living-in-silwan/

Abbas knows Racism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/abbas-knows-racism/

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-palestinians-arent-resorting-to-violence-they-are-murdering-and-waging-war/

The Green Line: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/the-green-line/

Palestinian “refugees” or “SAPs”: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/palestinian-refugees-or-saps/

Palestinian Xenophobia music video (Mr. Rogers): https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/wont-you-be-my-neighbor/