What Would America’s Founding Fathers say to Barack Obama?

US President Barack Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA on July 27, 2016.  The founding fathers would like to reply:

Patriots on Executive Actions:
It is not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited federal government.” Alexander Hamilton
“The essence of government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”  James Madison
“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  James Madison

Patriots Executive Action2

Patriots on Defining the Enemy:
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it the superficial appearance of being right.”  Thomas Paine

Patriots Enemy

Patriots on Gun Control:
“Are we at last brought to such humiliation and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?”  Patrick Henry
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”  James Madison

Patriots Gun Control1

Patriots on Obamacare:
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”  James Madison

Patriots Obamacare

Patriots on Funding Abortion:
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”  Thomas Jefferson
“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed”  James Madison

Patriots Abortion1

Patriots on Government Welfare and Charitable Endeavors:
“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”  James Madison

Patriots on Orders for Tax Audits of Political Opponents:
Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties or his possessions.” James Madison

Patriots on Oratory Skills:
Well done is better than well said.” Ben Franklin

Patriots Oratory

Patriots on Reducing the Military:
To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” George Washington

Patriots on Military Exercises in Libya and Elsewhere:
The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”  George Washington
“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home” James Madison

 

 

 

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Pride. Jewish and Gay

If only Jewish Democratic leaders had an Iota of Pride in Being Jewish as they have for the gay community.

 

Pride is a bit of a confusing word. It has different meanings and is understood and used by people in peculiar ways.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary, defines “pride” as: 1) “inordinate self-esteem : conceit” or maybe something more modest like 2) “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect” or yet a more refined 3) “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.”

Consider these definitions in reviewing pride of being Jewish and/or gay.

Pride in Judaism

Judaism frowns upon pride when it means conceit or arrogance.

The greatest prophet in Judaism was Moses, who was described as humble in the bible: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3).  It is a trait that rabbis preach for Jews to emulate to this day.

Humility is the opposite of pride. The rabbis take issue with pride that is associated with conceit and arrogance. However, they have no issues with pride that relates to reasonable self-respect or elation. Leaders in the Jewish community can often be found discussing their appreciation for the value system embedded in Judaism. It is not meant as boastful, as much as a sense of deep admiration.

Pride in the Gay Community

The gay community has used the word pride in its own way. The gay pride parades that happen in cities around the world are not meant as a show of conceit. They are expressions of a community that was shunned for years, that is now declaring publicly that they have no shame in their actions and will no longer hide. It is not an arrogance, but a public affirmation of themselves.

Israelis and American Jews have their own approaches to pride as it relates to being Jewish and/or gay.

Israeli Pride – Being Jewish; Being Gay

Israelis have not been shy about their accomplishments. They are boastful of their “Start-up Nation” that is a technological marvel, that turned a desert into a flowering democracy. One blogger actually listed 66 different companies which made her “proud to be an Israeli.” Is this conceit? Is it a justifiable self-respect? An elation arising from various acts? Probably all of the above.

The Jews in Israel also reflect on their being Jewish. In a March 2016 Pew Research poll, 93% of Israeli Jews said they were proud to be Jewish. The majority of Jews also stated that their being Jewish was a matter of ancestry- something in which they had no control. That implies that the majority of Israeli Jews – regardless of the level of religious observance – felt pride in something in which they had no active involvement.

Israelis also displayed support of gay pride, one of the only countries in the entire MENA (Middle East and North Africa) that holds a gay pride parade. (In contrast, it is a capital offense to commit a homosexual act in many countries in MENA, including Iran and Saudi Arabia.).  Beyond annual parades, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was “proud” to welcome the first openly-gay Likud Member of Knesset.

The parade in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem was attended by thousands in July 2016. The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat saidI hope, with all my heart, that we come together, on this day, against every manifestation of incitement, hatred, and violence, and that we unite around the right of every individual and community to exercise their freedom of expression, regardless of gender, race, or religion.”  This was not arrogance. It was affirmation.

US Pride – Being Gay; Being Jewish

Democratic leaders have for years championed the rights of the LGBT community. The cause of same-sex marriage was almost exclusively fought by left-wing activists and politicians for decades. When the courts ruled on the legality of same-sex marriages, Democratic President Barack Obama, and many Jewish Democrats celebrated.

The Jewish Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders claims to have always been a proud supporter of gay rights, even going back to the 1970s.

The head of the Democratic party, Deborah Wasserman Schultz (who is Jewish), also celebrated same-sex becoming recognized in Florida with a statementToday, we proudly turn the page on marriage discrimination and look toward a future that is more loving and closer to our ideals as a state.”

Are these Jewish Democratic leaders also proud about their own Judaism? Not so much.

Democratic National Committee chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks at a press conference promoting the endorsement of David Wecht, Kevin Dougherty, and Christine Donohue for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Heather Arnet for State Senate, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Democratic National Committee chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz  (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

In January 2016, Bernie Sanders effectively punted on his religion. Consider this exchange on the Jimmy Kimmel show:

“You say you’re culturally Jewish, you don’t feel religious,” Kimmel told Sanders. “Do you believe in God, and do you think that’s important to the people of the United States?”

Sanders didn’t skip a beat. In fact, he didn’t even let Kimmel finish the question before jumping in.

“Well, you know, I am who I am,” he replied. “And what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that, as human beings, we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people,” he continued, as the crowd applauded and cheered so loudly he had to pause. 

“And you know, this is not Judaism. This is what Pope Francis is talking about, that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.”

Members of the DNC knew that Sanders dodged the question, and in their effort to discredit him and boost Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, they used his lack of positive Jewish affirmation against him.

In July 2016, several emails from the DNC came to the public light.  The DNC commented that Sanders seemed to skirt around his being Jewish and that he only associated with being Jewish as it related to the Holocaust.  Here is an exchange on that point:

One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”

In response, CEO Amy Dacey said: “Amen.”

The head of the Democratic National Committee, a Jew, decided to trash another Jewish leader, over the extent of his affirmation and pride in being a Jew. On the national stage.  With the US presidency on the line.

Democratic leaders trip over themselves to show their affinity to the LGBT community that they aren’t even part of.  Yet they distance themselves from the very community to which they were born.

The New Liberal Definition of a Jew

The Pew Research showed an interesting divide between Israeli Jews and American Jews.  In particular, it found that 57% of American Jews found “working for justice and equality” as an essential part of being Jewish, while only 27% of Israeli Jews thought that it was “essential.”

That is why Bernie Sanders can talk about Pope Francis when asked about his own religion.  Sanders doesn’t feel pride in his ancestry or religion; he feels pride in fighting for social justice and equality.  He may have been born a Jew, but his religion is liberalism.

That is the mantra of the leading Jews in the Democratic party.  Their non-Jewish colleagues can only learn about Judaism from them.  Judaism is not so actually a religion with 613 commandments; it’s essence is social justice.  It is not a religion of 14 million members; it is a global mission in which everyone is part.  It is not tribal nor particular; it is open and universal.

That is absurd.

No liberal would say that there is no such thing as an LGBT community.  Then why do they feel no compunction at dismissing a religion as simply a set of liberal values.  Is that the only part of Judaism that makes them proud to be a Jew?  Or are they not proud of Judaism at all?

Perhaps the leading Jewish members of the Democratic party can seek some guidance from Lord Jonathan Sachs of Great Britain.  He made an easy to watch video available for all to see that doesn’t need to be hacked to unveil the truth. “Why I am Proud to be a Jew.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

The Color Coded Lexicon of Israel’s Bigotry: It’s not Just PinkWashing

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

Wearing Our Beliefs

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

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The UN’s Ban Ki Moon Ignores Civilians Killed by the US and KSA

There are no shortages of wars in the Middle East; just a selective application of sympathy and condemnation.

US-Syria July 2016

On July 20, 2016, U.S.-led forces killed dozens of civilians, including children who were in their homes.  That strike brought the total Syrian civilians killed by U.S.-led forces to over 100 people in July.

The story was barely covered in mainstream media like the New York Times, where one would have to dig inside the paper for reports of the killings.  The liberal paper continued to protect its liberal president, especially as his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaigned to become the next U.S. president.

The United Nations, whose headquarters is hosted in the United States, also remained almost completely silent on the mass murder of civilians.

The United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-Moon did not utter a word.

Instead, his deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, spoke about the civilian deaths in passing, the middle of various other reports.  He never mentioned that the killings were committed by U.S.-led forces.

The approach of the UN could not be more different than its approach to Israel two summers earlier.

Israel – Gaza July 2014

On July 22, 2014, the UNSG flew into Ramallah where he reported to the United Nations Security Council.  While he condemned Hamas’s firing of rockets into Israel, he only spoke of Palestinian Arab civilians who were impacted by the fighting:

I have also discussed Israel’s legitimate security concerns with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon, and I am going to continue my meetings with President Peres as well as other Ministers.

I once again strongly condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza into Israel. I am also alarmed by Israel’s heavy response and the corresponding high civilian death toll.

Since this Council was briefed on Sunday the violence has reached even more alarming levels.

Yet again, too many civilians, including many children, are paying the price for this latest escalation

I want to stress how deeply proud I am of our many UN colleagues, with UNRWA in the lead, courageously assisting the people of Gaza under such difficult circumstances.

They are providing crucial relief and shelter to civilians in imminent danger. The escalation of violence is now acutely affecting UNRWA’s regular operations.

A total of 23 UNRWA installations are closed as a result of the conflict. A total of 77 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 1 June as a result of the conflict.

The premises have been used to store weapons. This is unacceptable.

Today, about 100,000 people – more than 5 percent of the population of Gaza – are seeking shelter with UNRWA.

In the past, our premises in Southern Lebanon and Gaza have been hit with serious loss of life. I call on Israel to exercise particular care to avoid another unfortunate incident….

This is the third time as Secretary-General that I have had to come on an emergency mission to the region to help end a crisis.

That means the children of Gaza are now living through the third major assault in the last five years of their young lives.

The horror and upheaval is beyond imagination.

The cycle of suffering must end.

The parties must seize the opportunity to not only renew a ceasefire but also support durable political, security, institutional and socioeconomic progress that stabilizes Gaza.”

Ban Ki-Moon never recognized that almost 80% of Israelis were being fired upon by Hamas rockets. He did not recognize the Israeli civilians hiding in shelters.  He did not remember the children of Israel “living through the third major assault in the last five years of their young lives,” but only the Palestinian Arabs. He did not seek global support for the security and stability of Israel.

Why is the UNSG’s so deeply engaged on behalf of Palestinian Arabs?  Why does Ban Ki Moon continue to call out Israelis?  In comparison, why doesn’t he even mention the United States’ killing of 100 civilians?

UNRWA and Money

As detailed in “The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables it to Only Find Fault with Israel,” the UN has a unique relationship with Palestinian Arabs.  The UN has become the guardians to these stateless Arab wards. As the UN has set up unique institutions just for this group of Arabs, the UN is put in the position of always defending them.

The UN shelters and protects the Palestinian Arabs, so attacks on them result in attacks on the UN.  The voices that the UN hears each day are of Palestinian Arabs, not Israelis.  As such, The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists.

This is in sharp contrast to every other conflict in the world, where the UN can act as an unbiased neutral party.

The comparison becomes more dramatic when the UNSG deals with permanent members of the UN Security Council, or other countries where the UN seeks to gain influence and money.  Such as Saudi Arabia.

On June 9, 2016, the UNSG made a rare public admission that he dropped listing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as a country that has killed many civilians, during KSA’s airstrikes in Yemen.  In defending his removal of KSA, Ban Ki-Moon saidI also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many U.N. programs.

In other words, the UN is not an arbiter of right-and-wrong. It is a political beast that must move towards money and power.

ban ki moon2
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

US and Afghanistan, The Obama War

To further underscore the point, the United Nations reported on the state of war in Afghanistan on July 25, 2016. The first half of 2016 saw the greatest number of civilian casualties – including 1,509 children – since US President Obama took office in January 2009. The total number of civilian casualties since 2009 stood at 63,934, a number that the report claimed was very conservative.

The US-led war broke apart a country.  The US’s pro-government forces were responsible for 40% of the civilian casualties – and growing.  The first six months of 2016 saw a startling increase of 47% more civilian casualties from pro-government forces, even while casualties from the anti-government forces saw a decline.

But the UN report never called out the United States publicly.  It never suggested that the US attacked civilians intentionally, as the UN does for Israel.  Just consider this language from the report:

“While noting international military forces’ efforts to minimize civilian casualties during aerial operations, UNAMA encourages the NATO/Resolute Support to increase the level of transparency during investigations into civilian casualties and provide adequate and timely redress for civilians impacted by their operations.

Did the UN ever highlight the phone calls, leaflets dropped, “knock on the roof” ordinances that Israel deployed in Gaza? A door-to-door effort without aerial bombardment to minimize civilian casualties at great risk to the lives of Israeli soldiers?

Nope.


That is the sorry state of the United Nations.  Rich and powerful countries, and those with large voting blocks (like the block of Islamic countries) get to dictate the agendas and avoid condemnation, while small countries with a fraction of the budget get picked on.  In the case of Israel, the dynamic is compounded by a biased judge.

Yet remarkably, a call that should be easy for progressives – fighting back against power and money – is lacking.  US progressives should rally to Israel and against the UN.  Instead, they united with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

It is well past time for an overhaul of the United Nations. It is also time for progressives to rethink their anti-Israel attitudes.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

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

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

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On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

Exactly eighteen months ago, many Americans were debating the proper protocol and response to a particular invitation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation from the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, to address a joint session of Congress.  As Netanyahu had not followed protocol in notifying the White House before accepting the invitation, and because Netanyahu was going to speak against the Iranian nuclear deal that Obama crafted, Obama organized a boycott of Bibi’s speech by many fellow Democrats.

As described in “On Accepting Invitations,” Obama had treated Israel badly regarding invitations once before – when Obama declined the 2013 invitation to speak to the Israeli Knesset.  Obama opted instead to use that same time to address college students, because Obama wanted to address Israelis “directly,” as if Israel wasn’t a democracy and the Knesset didn’t represent the country’s attitudes and interests. (The equivalent would be Netanyahu turning down addressing Congress, and then going up the road to the DC Convention Center to address selected college students about the Iranian deal).  Not nice.

In July 2016, the Republican National Convention (RNC) had its own dynamics regarding invitations and addresses, particularly of Senator Ted Cruz and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.

Senator Ted Cruz Addresses the RNC

Cruz had a long and contentious fight with Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.  Many of the Republican candidates, like Governor John Kasich and Senator Lindsey Graham, had a severe dislike of Trump, and opted to stay away from the Republican convention.  Cruz elected to accept the invitation and address the audience.  However, during his speech, rather than endorse Trump, Cruz told the audience to “vote your conscience.

He was loudly booed by the crowd.

Cruz could have declined the invitation.  The invitation to him was made with the clear understanding of what was expected of him: an endorsement of Trump for president of the United States.  If he didn’t want to extend the endorsement, he could have declined the invitation just like Kasich or Graham.

It seems like some politicians – such as Cruz and Obama – do not understand some basic guidelines to accepting an invitation: be gracious and accept if you can; be a good guest and your host should be generous and courteous.

Cruz accepted the invitation and was a poor guest.  The year beforehand, Obama was a poor host.  An in 2013, Obama was obnoxious in turning down Netanyahu’s invitation and acting out in front of his Israeli constituents. Not an impressive showing for politicians.

How did non-politicians do at the RNC?

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein Does Not Address the RNC

Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, asked her rabbi if he would lead a moment of prayer at the RNC.  Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who oversaw Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism was touched by her request and immediately said yes.  He wrote his speech and went to get a new suit for the occasion.  He was then surprised by an outcry from his community.

Not long after the news of his address became public, “Never Trump” members of his synagogue, Kehilat Jeshrun, and graduates of the Ramaz school where Rabbi Lookstein served as Principal Emeritus, bombarded him with petitions to withdraw from the event.

lookstein
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein

The petition started:

We, the undersigned, are outraged that Rabbi Haskel Lookstein – rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and the Ramaz School – has decided to lend his blessing to Donald Trump and speak at the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump openly spouts racist, misogynistic rhetoric; he advocates torture, the expulsion of millions of families, some long settled in America, and insinuates that some citizens of this great country are somehow less than others.

To embrace Trump and Trumpism goes against all we’ve been taught. As graduates of Ramaz, and as current or former members of the Modern Orthodox community, this is a shanda beyond the pale. 

The petition concluded with:

This is beyond politics, not a question of left or right, but a question of human decency — and you have decided to embrace and politicize hate. Not in our name. Today we are ashamed to be Ramaz graduates.

Please reconsider your public support of this dangerous man — the future of our country, not to mention your own legacy, is at stake.”

In response to the protests, Rabbi Lookstein withdrew from speaking, even as he disagreed with the petition.  In an email addressed to his constituents he wrote the following:

“Dear Ramaz Family,
 
When Ivanka Trump, a member of our congregation, invited me to deliver the opening prayer at the Republican National convention next Monday,  I made a personal decision to honor her request out of respect for her and our relationship.
Unfortunately, when my name appeared on a list of speakers at the convention, without the context of the invocation I had been invited to present, the whole matter turned from rabbinic to political, something which was never intended.  Like my father before me, I have never been involved in politics.  Politics divides people.  My life has been devoted to uniting a community – Ahavat Yisrael and ahavat ha-adam.
 
In the interest of bringing our community together, I have asked to be relieved of my commitment to deliver the invocation.  My request has been honored with the same love and respect in which it was first offered and intended.
 
May God bless us with a Sabbath of rest, harmony and peace.
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Very cordially yours,
 
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein ’47
Principal Emeritus
P.S.  In case you are interested in reading the prayer which I prepared, the text follows.
 
Invocation
Republican National Convention
July 18, 2016
 
רבי חנינה סגן הכהנים אומר:
Rabbi Chanina, the Deputy High Priest said:
“הוי מתפלל בשלומה של מלכות”
“Pray for the welfare of the government,
“שאלמלא מוראה איש את רעהו חיים בלעו”
 For were it not for respect for it, people would swallow one another alive.”
Eternal God:
 
We thank you for this blessed nation that for 240 years has translated into reality the Biblical command to “proclaim liberty throughout the land for all the inhabitants thereof.”
 
We thank you for our constitutional government that has created and fostered the American ideals of democracy, freedom, justice and equality for all, regardless of race, religion or national origin.
 
Almighty God:  We know that we are living in very dangerous times, when all of these blessings are threatened from without, by forces of terror and unimaginable brutality, and from within, by those who sow the seeds of bigotry, hatred and violence, putting our lives and our way of life at risk.
 
And so we pray, Dear God:
 
Help us to form a government which will protect us with sound strategy and steady strength; which will unite us with words of wisdom and acts of compassion; and which will thereby bring peace and harmony, safety and well-being to our beloved America and to all of humankind, and let us all say, Amen.”
Led by “progressives” that had argued for including left-wing J Street in the big tent of Jewish conversation about Israel to avoid the “echo chambers,” the people who signed the petition wanted the rabbi to not acknowledge the other political party in a two-party democracy.  The vocal liberals called the rabbi’s actions a “shanda,” an embarrassment, as they chastised and embarrassed him in public.
Their petition asked for decency, but they showed their rabbi none.

An invitation is an opportunity to welcome another person into the host’s space.  It is an extension of hospitality and warmth and should be treated with care and consideration by both host and guest.

Yet over the past few years, the public has watched politicians act disrespectfully and discourteously with each other, even during moments when a hand is extended.  This has been true of both Democrats and Republicans.

In the heightened emotion of political discourse, civilians have taken note and aped their masters. They shouted down a community leader who was simply acting out of “love and respect” for a member of his congregation.
What is the state of our society, that we have lost the basic ability to treat each other decently?  How can anyone expect an iota of harmony when they burn invitations?

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Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy on Israel is like the United Nations

As Barack Obama ends his presidency and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeks to become the next president, it is worth noting the similarity between Obama/Clinton and the United Nations in their stances towards Israel.

  • Neither Obama nor the United Nations will refer to terrorism as coming from radical Islam
  • Both Obama and the UN think a root cause of terrorism is from poverty, even though research shows no correlation
  • Both Obama and the UN have aligned themselves with some of the worst state sponsors of terrorism including Iran and Saudi Arabia
  • Both Obama and the UN are highly critical of Israel
  • Both Obama and the UN state that Palestinian Arabs “resort” to violence because they are “frustrated,” even though the two main political Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, both have charters calling for the destruction of Israel
  • Neither Obama nor the UN will state that they stand in solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism
  • Both Obama and the UN want Israel to stop the blockade of Gaza meant to curtail weapons shipments into Hamas, even though the blockade was deemed legal by a UN report
  • Both Obama and the UN endorse the anti-Semitic Palestinian platform of a new country devoid of any Jews
  • Both the UN and Obama want to see the terrorist group Hamas be part of a Palestinian unity government
  • Both Obama and the UN refer to acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as a “moderate” and seeking peace, even though he is much more extreme than the “right-wing” current Israeli government
  • Both the UN and Obama prejudge the outcome of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs arguing for a two-state solution, even though the Oslo II Accords never call for such conclusion
  • Both the UN and Obama prejudge the outcome of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs arguing that Jerusalem should be divided, even though the Oslo II Accords never call for such conclusion

obama-with-un-secretary-general-ban-ki-moon
US President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

The United Nations under UNSG Ban Ki Moon continued its long and terrible history of being very anti-Israel.  Unfortunately, this US administration, headed by Obama, aligned itself with those same disgraceful positions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The Undemocratic Nature of Fire and Water in the Middle East

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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Car Ramming from Islamic Terrorism Explodes as it Approaches its Second Anniversary

On July 14, 2016, as the residents of Nice, France celebrated their independence day, radical Islam destroyed the holiday celebrations as a truck rammed into the French crowd, killing 85 people.

nice truck
Car Ramming attack in Nice, France July 14, 2016
(photo: Reuters/ Eric Gaillard)

While people of Europe are no longer shocked by terrorism, coming as it has not long after attacks in Brussels, Paris and Istanbul, the nature of the car ramming seemed new.

Such surprise is only because the United Nations and the press have ignored the tactic for two years while it was employed by Palestinian Arabs against Israeli Jews.

The Call for Global Car Ramming

On September 24, 2014, the spokesman for ISIS, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, made the following call:

““If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of his allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him…. If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops.”

The speech went on to call US President Barack Obama a “mule of the Jews,” which must have excited Palestinian Arabs, who were the first to pick up this latest challenge to global jihad.

Palestinian Arabs Car Attacks

On October 22, 2014, a 21-year old Palestinian Arab from the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel rammed his car into a crowd of Israeli civilians waiting for the light rail. A three month old baby girl in a stroller and a 22-year old woman from Ecuador who had come to Israel to convert to Judaism were killed. The “moderate” Fatah movement headed by acting president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, praised the attacker “The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman al-Shaloudi [martyr], who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.” Hamas and Islamic Jihad also praised the attack.

Just the day before, the UN admonished Israel for actions in Area C of the West Bank/ east of the Green Line, even though the Oslo II Accords signed by the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis, clearly and specifically stated that Israel had complete responsibility for the area. After the attack, The UN would fail to call the act “terrorism” or make any statement calling for solidarity with Israel.

Further, mainstream media like the New York Times would barely cover the incident.

That formula – Palestinian Arab terror, UN remaining silent on the “terrorism” and supporting Israel’s fight against terror, UN condemning Israel for “occupation,” and the under-reporting by the press – would continue to repeat itself.

Two weeks later, on November 5, 2014, a Palestinian Arab rammed his car into pedestrians in central Jerusalem. and another Palestinian Arab rammed his car into three Israeli soldiers.

The “Stabbing Intifada” as it became known had scores of stabbing attacks, but also many vehicular attacks including:

  • September 13, 2015 stoning car: Jerusalem: Alexander Levlovich, 64, was killed while on his way home from a Rosh Hashana dinner when he lost control of his vehicle after it was struck by rocks. Two passengers were lightly injured.
  • October 1 drive-by shooting: Near Nablus in Samaria: Rabbi Eitam Henkin (31) and wife Naama (30) murdered in a drive-by shooting while traveling with their four young children (aged 9, 7, 4, and 9 months). Security forces arrested members of Hamas cell responsible.
  • October 11 thwarted attack. Maaleh Adumim-Jerusalem highway: Police officer lightly injured when he pulled over a driver acting suspiciously, and the (female) driver set off an explosive device. Gas canisters were later found in the vehicle. The terrorist was seriously wounded.
  • October 13 attack on bus. Jerusalem: Two terrorists, both residents of the adjacent Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, boarded an Egged bus in East Talpiot in southern Jerusalem, one armed with a gun and the other with a knife. Chaim Haviv, 78, and Alon Govberg, 51, were killed, and 15 wounded, several seriously. One terrorist killed by police, second apprehended. Richard Lakin, 76, who was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest, succumbed to his wounds on October 27.
  • October 14 attack thwarted. Jerusalem: Attack foiled by Border Police. Officers who boarded a bus full of passengers discovered a knife hidden under a seat. The owner of the knife had boarded the bus with a young child in his arms to allay suspicion.
  • October 16 attack thwarted. Jerusalem: Border Policeman foiled possible terror attack after detecting explosive device at a checkpoint at east Jerusalem’s Issawiya neighborhood, near the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.
  • October 20 stoning car. South of Hebron (Al Fawar junction): Avraham Hasno (54) of Kiryat Arba run over and killed by truck after his vehicle was stoned. Earlier, an IDF officer was lightly injured in stabbing attack in Hebron.
  • October 20 car ramming. Gush Etzion junction: Two lightly wounded in car-ramming attack at bus stop at the Gush Etzion junction. The terrorist then drew his knife before he was shot and killed.
  • October 21 car ramming. Ofra (north of Jerusalem): An Israeli policeman was mildly injured in an apparent car-ramming attack when the driver crashed into a checkpoint, ignoring police warnings to stop. The driver fled.
  • October 21 attack thwarted. Maale Adumim (east of Jerusalem): Attack foiled when security forces found home-made explosive devices in a car. Two Palestinians were arrested.
  • October 21 stoning car, car ramming. Beit Ummar (north of Hebron): Five soldiers injured – after their vehicle was stoned, the soldiers got out to arrest the stone-throwers and were rammed by a Palestinian car. The attacking driver was shot and seriously wounded.
  • October 23 car bombing. Beit El (north of Jerusalem): Israeli couple and their three young children wounded in a firebombing attack on their car.
  • October 29 drive-by shooting. Shots were fired from a passing vehicle towards a bus stop near Jerusalem.
  • November 1 car ramming. In Hebron, three Border Policemen wounded in car ramming attack.
  • November 8 car ramming. Tapuah Junction (Samaria): Four Israelis were wounded, two seriously, in a car-ramming terror attack directed at a group of people at a hithchhiking stop. The attacker was shot and killed by security forces.
  • November 10 drive-by shooting. Otniel (Route 60): Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, were killed in a shooting attack while driving on Route 60 near Otniel, south of Hebron. His wife and four other children in the vehicle were lightly wounded by shrapnel and the resulting crash. A suspect was taken into custody.
  • November 19 drive-by shooting. Gush Etzion: Three people were killed when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire with a submachine gun at cars in a traffic jam at the Alon Shvut junction, south of Jerusalem. The victims: Ezra Schwartz, 18, of Sharon, Massachusetts, Yaakov Don, 49, of Alon Shvut, and Shadi Arafa, 40, of Hebron. Four others were lightly wounded. The terrorist was apprehended.
  • November 22 car ramming.  Kfar Adumim junction (east of Jerusalem): A Palestinian taxi driver tried to ram his car into a group of Israeli pedestrians. After failing to hit anybody, he got out of the car and attacked them with a knife. One man slightly wounded. The attacker was shot and killed.
  • November 23 car ramming. Northern Samaria: A youth (18) was lightly wounded in a ramming attack near Shavei Shomron. Later, a Palestinian tried to stab soldiers at the Samaria Brigade Junction and was killed.
  • November 24 car ramming. Tapuach Junction (northern West Bank): A Palestinian rammed a car into security forces, wounding three IDF soldiers and a Border Policeman who were at the junction assessing additional security measures to prevent terror attacks. The assailant was shot and apprehended.
  • November 27 car ramming. Beit Ummar: Six soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded when a Palestinian rammed his car into IDF troops at the entrance to the Beit Ummar refugee camp, south of the Gush Etzion junction.
  • November 27 car ramming. Kfar Adumim Junction (east of Jerusalem): Two soldiers were lightly to moderately hurt in a car-ramming attack.
  • December 4 car ramming. Ofra (northwest of Jerusalem): Two IDF soldiers were injured in a ramming attack. The Palestinian driver was shot and killed by soldiers on the scene.
  • December 6 car ramming. Jerusalem, Romema neighborhood: Three people were wounded in a car-ramming and stabbing attack. After hitting two people with his car, the assailant exited the vehicle and stabbed a pedestrian. The assailant was shot and killed by an IDF soldier at the scene.
  • December 10 car ramming. Between Beit Aryeh community and Luban village in the Benyamin region of Samaria: Ramming attack injured 4 soldiers, 2 lightly, one moderately and one seriously (20). The terrorist (a member of Hamas) was apprehended after a search.
  • December 11 attack thwarted. Halhoul Junction, near Kiryat Arba: A terrorist who attempted to run over IDF soldiers was shot and killed.
  • December 11 drive-by shooting. Gilboa (Jalame) Crossing: Shots were fired at soldiers from a Palestinian vehicle. Attacker was shot and wounded by IDF forces and later arrested by PA police.
  • December 14 car ramming. Jerusalem: Eleven to fourteen people were injured in a vehicular ramming attack at a bus stop opposite the Calatrava Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem, around 3 pm on Monday afternoon. The injured include two moderately, a 15-month-old baby who was seriously injured, and the baby’s mother. The terrorist (21, originally from the Beit Hanina neighborhood in Jerusalem, currently residing in Hebron) was shot and killed by security forces.
  • December 14 stoning car. Beit Aryeh – Luban: Three Israelis were lightly injured by a huge rock that crashed through the windshield of their car.
  • December 18 attack thwarted. Car ramming attack thwarted during violent riot near Ramallah. Palestinian assailant attempted to ram vehicle into security forces at Kalandia Crossing. Both assailants were shot.
  • December 25 attack thwarted. Silwad, near Ofra in the Benjamin region of Samaria: Attempted ramming attack by an Arab woman (40). The driver was shot and killed on site.
  • December 25 stoning car. Bethlehem: Palestinians threw stones at the vehicle of the Latin Patriarch, Fuad Twal, who was visiting Bethlehem on Christmas day.
  • December 26 car ramming. Hawara checkpoint: Soldier lightly injured in a ramming attack. Assailant (56) shot by forces; later died of wounds in Nablus hospital.
  • December 31 car ramming. Samaria (between Hawara and Tapuah on Route 60): Ramming attack – one soldier lightly injured; driver shot and killed.
  • January 2, 2016 drive-by shooting. Jerusalem – on the road to Gush Etzion: Shooting at passing cars; Arab Israeli lightly wounded.
  • January 5 stoning car. Highway 79, northern Israel – driver lightly injured when his bus was stoned.
  • January 13 stoning car. Benjamin region, near Jerusalem: Arab driver of Egged bus was lightly injured when the windshield was smashed by a rock and a bottle of paint.
  • January 24 drive-by shooting. Dolev (Samaria): A gunman opened fire at a vehicle driving near the community, firing 6 bullets.
  • January 31 car ramming. Route 443: A vehicle with Palestinian license plates attempted to burst through a checkpoint and ram into IDF soldiers manning the post. The assailant was shot and taken to hospital.
  • March 3 drive-by shooting. Rahelim (Samaria): Shooting attack on a police car; an officer was lightly wounded.
  • March 4 car ramming. Gush Etzion junction: An Israeli soldier was wounded when a Palestinian woman drove a vehicle directly into him. The driver was shot and killed. A large knife was found in the car.
  • March 8 drive-by shooting. Jerusalem: Two Border Police officers were wounded, one critically, when a terrorist on a motorcycle opened fire with an automatic weapon on Salah a-Din Street, near Damascus Gate. The assailant was shot and killed.
  • March 14 car ramming. Elias Junction (near Kiryat Arba): Two Palestinians attempted a car ramming attack, later opening fire on civilians and soldiers standing in a nearby bus stop, near the entrance to Kiryat Arba. Both assailants were killed by IDF soldiers. A soldier was slightly wounded in the shooting. Shortly after the first incident, another vehicular attack took place at the same stop. An IDF officer was lightly wounded and two soldiers were lightly injured by shrapnel. The terrorist was shot and killed.
  • April 14 stoning car. Hwy 431, between Ramla-Nes Ziona: A woman (24) was lightly injured by a stone thrown at her car.
  • April 19 bus bombing. Jerusalem: In the early evening, an explosion on a  bus and a subsequent fire led to the injury of 21 people, including passengers on a passing bus and in a nearby car. Two of the injured are in serious condition, 7 were moderately injured and 12 were lightly injured.
  • May 1 stoning car. Near Efrat (Gush Etzion): Palestinians threw rocks at a car in which a woman and three children were traveling. Two injured, including a young child.
  • May 3 car ramming. Near Dolev, northwest of Jerusalem: Three IDF soldiers were injured, one critically, in a ramming attack in the Benyamin region. The attacker was shot and killed by IDF forces at the site.
  • May 21 drive-by shooting. Gush Etzion: Shots were fired at a passenger bus, with no injuries. The bus sustained damage.
  • May 22 bus bombing. Hawara, Samaria: Molotov cocktail thrown at a bus passing through the village. The back end of the bus caught fire; no injuries reported.
  • May 22 stoning car. Highway 443, between Jerusalem and Modiin: Stones were thrown at a bus, causing damage but no bodily injuries to passengers.
  • May 24 stoning car. Jerusalem: Arabs threw rocks at a city bus, smashing the windshield. No one on the bus was physically injured.
  • June 1 stoning car. Maccabim, Route 443: A driver whose car was stoned lost control and hit a guardrail. The driver was lightly injured.
  • June 5 stoning car. Road 437 approaching Jerusalem: Massive stone-throwing at a bus resulted in light injury to the driver and damage to the bus.
  • June 6 drive-by, Route 465, Benjamin region (Samaria): Shooting attack – a lone terrorist shone a flashlight on cars coming around a sharp curve in the road, and shot at them. No one was injured.
  • June 21 stoning car. Route 443, between Jerusalem and Modiin: Palestinian terrorists threw stones at cars traveling on Route 443, a major artery between Jerusalem and the center of the country. One terrorist was killed, one injured and several arrested by security forces.
  • June 24 car ramming. Near Kiryat Arba: A female Palestinian driver rammed into a car at a hitch-hiking stop, lightly injuring two Israelis. A soldier at the scene shot and killed her.
  • June 26 stoning car. Aboud bypass road, Benjamin region: A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli car. The woman driver was not hurt but damage was caused to the car. Security forces traced footsteps of two suspects leading in the direction of nearby village Dir Abu Mashal.
  • June 30 car burning. Nine Israel peace activists fled Ramallah after their car was set on fire by local Palestinian Arabs.
  • July 1 drive-by shooting. Route 60, Gush Etzion: A man was killed and his wife seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting in which the car ran off the road and turned over. Two of their children (13 & 15) who were in the car (out of 10 children) were moderately injured.
  • July 9 drive-by shooting. Tekoa junction, on the Tekoa-Efrat road: Shooting attack on an Israeli car. An Israeli man (30) was moderately wounded. His wife and five children who were in the car were not hurt.

The world did not pay much attention to the Israeli Jews being run over by Palestinian Arabs.  The situation was so pathetic, that the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, was left begging the UN Secretary General to condemn the various attacks.

“Once again, even after a Palestinian terrorist intentionally plowed his car into three IDF soldiers today, the UN hasn’t condemned the attack, nor the other recent attacks against Israelis… I am writing to you, for the third time in three days, to call your attention to a terror attack against Israelis, and to urge you to speak out.”

Eventually, the UNSG Ban Ki-Moon responded.  Not with condemnation of the Palestinian Arab terrorism, but of violence on both sides.  Not with support for Israel to combat the terror, but vilifying Israel for allowing Jews to live east of the Green Line.  Ban Ki Moon told Palestinian Arabs:

“I urge the youth of Palestine — as the future of your people and society — to turn your frustration into a strong, but peaceful, voice for change. Demand that your leaders act responsibly to protect your future. Demand progress for a political solution — from your leaders, from Israeli leaders, and from the international community.

I am not asking you to be passive, but you must put down the weapons of despair.”

Car rammings, drive-by shootings, stabbings and other attacks were merely “weapons of despair” for the head of the United Nations.  At least when it came to Palestinian Arabs attacking Israeli Jews.

Global Jihad

Hamas, the popular Palestinian political party, and leading terrorist organization is a chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Brotherhood is a transnational movement that seeks to install sharia law throughout the Middle East, and is banned in several countries.

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al Shabab and several other Islamic terrorist groups also call for the implementation of sharia law.  They seek to cleanse the region of non-Muslim people and influence, similar to Palestinian Arab leadership that seeks a Jew-free state.

As reviewed in “Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel,” the rise of Islamic extremism is not new, as the mission of jihadists has been clearly broadcast for years – the destruction and annihilation of non-Muslim people within the contours of their desired caliphate.  The western involvement in the region make those perceived interlopers to be targets.  Israel will never be recognized.

The September 2014 Islamic terrorist call to attack “the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of his allies,” was quickly embraced by Palestinian Arabs, and has spread throughout Europe.

The world must not adopt the Ban Ki Moon-encouraging language to terrorists to not be passive.  It must admonish the United Nations call to integrate the terrorist group Hamas into a Palestinian unity government. Would the world condone ISIS becoming part of the Iraqi government?

Car ramming is a terrible tactic that murderers use to rid much of the world of non-Muslims.  The car, like Obama’s infatuation with guns, is not the source of the problem, but simply a crude implement for terrorists to advance their evil goals.

The world must stand for the rights of ALL people – including non-Muslims – to live freely and peacefully.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Banners of Jihad

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

My Terrorism

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

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The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

There is a commonly held thought that if society understood the root cause of a problem, it would be able to arrive at solutions. Such reasoning implies that diagnosis is an essential part of solving the problem.

One of the major problems confronting the world in the 21st century is terrorism. Innocent civilians are being murdered and maimed in such diverse places as: Bangladesh; Turkey; France; United States; Nigeria; Israel; India; England and Libya. Stopping such violence is a global priority.

In attempting to stop the scourge, the United Nations and the United States made a common diagnosis and prescription for stopping terrorism: poverty leads to despair and violence, so solving global poverty would eradicate terrorism.

The problem with the diagnosis is that it has no basis in fact.

The United Nations on Poverty and Terrorism

The UN developed a global counter terrorism strategy which called on all of its member states to take a series of steps to eradicate terrorism. It stated:

Affirming Member States’ determination to continue to do all they can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation, confront oppression, eradicate poverty, promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development, global prosperity, good governance, human rights for all and rule of law, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs or cultures” would promote stability and end terrorism.

The UN repeated its call for economic opportunity for all as a cure for stopping the mass murder of innocents in its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:

“To reiterate our determination to ensure the timely and full realization of the development goals and objectives agreed at the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the Millennium Development Goals. We reaffirm our commitment to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all.”

While no one would suggest that poverty is positive, it also true that pollution and disease are problems plaguing our global society. Yet the UN had enough sense to not include those issues in a document meant to specifically address terrorism (yet- is global warming coming?).

The Obama Administration was in sync with this line of thinking.

The United States on Poverty and Terrorism

In February 2015, after terrorists beheaded Christians on a beach in Libya, the US State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf said that the root cause of extremism was poverty:

“the root causes that lead people to join these [terrorist] groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs…we can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance, we can help them build their economy so they can have job opportunities for these people….If we can help countries work at the root causes of this- what makes a 17-year old kid pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business, maybe we can try to chip away at this problem.”

President Obama made similar remarks about Countering Violent Extremism at a summit at the same time where he said:

“we must address the grievances that terrorists exploit, including economic grievances.  As I said yesterday, poverty alone does not cause a person to become a terrorist, any more than poverty alone causes someone to become a criminal.  There are millions, billions of people who are poor and are law-abiding and peaceful and tolerant, and are trying to advance their lives and the opportunities for their families. 

But when people — especially young people — feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities, where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families, and no escape from injustice and the humiliations of corruption — that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.  And we have seen that across the Middle East and we’ve seen it across North Africa.  So if we’re serious about countering violent extremism, we have to get serious about confronting these economic grievances.”

obama-1
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department in Washington
February 19, 2015. (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

The United Nations and the Obama administration were lock-step in finding the root cause of terrorism.  Insanity had company.

No Connection Between Poverty and Terrorism

The UN and the Obama Administration have repeated this poverty propaganda without any evidence, or more specifically, despite the evidence.

Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 was from a wealthly family, as were many of the hijackers on the planes.

The terrorism that struck Bangladesh in July 2016 was perpetrated by wealthy men that attended elite universities.

This is often the norm.

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study in September 2002 that found no connection between poverty and terrorism.  Among its findings was that racism and nationalism was behind the widespread support for killing Israeli Jewish civilians among Palestinian Arabs of all income levels.

A report by the Brookings Institute in 2010 authored by Corinne Graff noted that:

“since 9/11, terrorism experts have invoked empirical evidence that poverty does not correlate with a higher incidence of terrorist attacks and participation. The consensus appears to be that poverty does not motivate individuals to participate in terrorism, and that development assistance, therefore, has no place in a longer-term counter-terrorism strategy.”

The New York Times also came around to reporting this conclusion on March 27, 2016, in an article called “Who Will Become a Terrorist? Research Yields Few Clues.” The article discussed how there is little correlation between an a person’s education and poverty level with the probability he will engage in acts of terrorism. For example, the shooters in San Bernardino, CA in December 2015 were a middle class couple.

Yet the global body of the United Nations, and the most powerful democracy on the planet, the United States, are working on combatting terrorism with a flawed world view.

Ramifications

There are many ramifications of chasing a myth.  The implications are enormous when the subject is combatting global terrorism.

President Obama was correct when he called out the “warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL” that use “their propaganda to Muslim communities, particularly Muslim youth” to advance a program to kill innocents. He is also correct that “Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back” against these dangerous notions.

All citizens of the world have a similar responsibility to push back against the Obama administration and the United Nations that is pivoting the focus of counter-terrorism to economic development. The tactic to fight against twisted ideologies cannot be to give those communities more jobs and money.  Such thinking led the Obama administration to give the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, an estimated $150 billion and a legal pathway to obtain ballistic missiles, while keeping its nuclear infrastructure in place. The Obama administration logic that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be so happy to have the money and be embraced by the global community, that it will abandon sponsoring terrorism and its twisted ideology, has (yet) to play out.

Meanwhile, the world does little to combat the narrative and ideology itself.

In Gaza, the United Nations has allowed the Hamas government to ban the teaching of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools, and the teaching of global human rights.  Instead, UN Secretary General just talks about providing economic opportunity to Gaza.  When the UNSG said that he stands with Gaza, while never pushing to reform the thinking of the Palestinian Arabs, what message does he think he is conveying?

There was a thin line that separated the “Hope” that characterized the election of Obama in 2008, and the “wishful thinking” without basis in fact, that Obama’s detractors feared.  The trauma of global terrorism that has spread on his watch is anchored in a worldview that often denies uncomfortable truths and replaces it with a propaganda of his own.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

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Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Throughout his sad tenure as United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon has refused to state that he stands with Israel in the face of ongoing terror.

The UNSG declared his support for countries that fell victim to terrorism, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and Bangladesh.  The UNSG repeatedly called for “solidarity” and the need to “combat terrorism and violent extremism.”

He did this for every country, except for Israel, as detailed in “Ban Ki Moon has No Solidarity with Israel.

In June 2016, to add insult to the silent anti-Israel injury, Ban Ki Moon declared his ongoing solidarity for the entity that launched three wars and over 10,000 rockets against Israel over his tenure as Secretary General.

On June 28, 2016, the UNSG visited Gaza and told the audience: I stand with the people of Gaza to say that the United Nations will always be with you.”

mahmoud-abbas-ban-ki-moon-gaza
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) meets with Acting-Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah, on June 28, 2016. (Photo: FLASH90)

In case the State of Israel was never clear about how Ban Ki Moon thought of Israel over his ten year tenure, his remarks during his farewell trip to the Middle East, made it abundantly clear for all: Israel does not suffer from terrorism, it is a terrorist entity.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

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

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

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

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

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

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

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Elie Wiesel on Words

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.”

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

Elie Wiesel
Author and Nobel Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel

The Holocaust of the Jews in Europe was one of the most brutal acts of inhumanity in the history of the world. Not only did an elected government murder its own defenseless citizens, it tortured them and enlisted other citizens to eradicate and humiliate the Jews.

The destructive actions of Nazi Germany led the United Nations to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948. It was designed to protect the basic human rights of all people, not just an elected majority. The opening article declares: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and goes on to enumerate various human rights. Article 7 builds on that theme:

“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

Decades later, the United Nations looked for ways to combat the emergence of global terrorism, and on September 8, 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Similar to the UDHR, it recognized the threat of incitement:

work to adopt such measures as may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with our obligations under international law to prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts and prevent such conduct.”

The United Nations advanced the position that actions do not live in a tight bubble. Words lead to actions, whether discrimination, terrorism, or even the Holocaust.

Elie Wiesel on Words

There have been many people who worked to place a spotlight in the shadow of the Holocaust, such as Simon Weisenthal (1908-2005), who fought to bring Nazis to justice. Elie Wiesel, who passed away yesterday, had a different path for combatting the horrors of the Holocaust. He wrote about it.

Over the course of dozens of books, Wiesel wrote about his personal experiences surviving concentration camps, as well as faith, God and humanity. He understood the power of his words to help create a better world, just as he understood and experienced how words can create a vicious, violent reality.

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.”

I’m a teacher and a writer; my life is words. When I see the denigration of language,
it hurts me, and it’s easy to denigrate a word by trivializing it.”

Elie Wiesel

Wiesel often spoke at conferences about his experiences, and sought to educate people about words, thoughts and ideas.  He believed that words could be creative agents for the speaker, as well as for those who heard the message.

In 1999, Wiesel recalled how American soldiers liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, including himself as a young man. For that action, and years living in the United States, he would be forever grateful.  For him, the act of being grateful was not simply a byproduct of another’s action: it was an action in itself, and speaking about gratitude, was an important message:

“Gratitude is a word that I cherish.
Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being.”

Wiesel believed in the power of words to heal, but he also understood its destructive powers.  He felt that too often mankind hid from its responsibilities.

Human beings should be held accountable.
Leave God alone. He has enough problems.”

One of the greatest threats to humanity, according to Wiesel, was not just the negative incitement to violence that the United Nations addressed in 1948 and 2006, but the threat of the vast masses who say nothing; who are indifferent to the words and terrible actions of evil doers.

“The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.”

“Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore,
indifference is always the friend of the enemy…
Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.
And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century’s
wide-ranging experiments in good and evil.”

The world appreciated the efforts of Wiesel, and awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for “his message …of peace, atonement and human dignity.”


The First.One.Through blog and channel are about Judaism, Israel and the United States of America.  The messages it conveys are that words matter: not just blatant incitement to violence, but even subtle forms of discrimination, as well as positive, constructive words.  The words and videos are not made so that the producer has a voice, but for those that read and watch the material, to be positive catalysts by forwarding the anonymous pieces on to others.

We mourn the loss of Elie Wiesel, an advocate who advanced the cause that words matter, whether negative, positive, or the bitter lack thereof.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

“Tinge” Two. Idioms for Idiots

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

On June 30, 2016, the spokesperson for the US Secretary of State, John Kirby gave his daily press briefing. He opened with a story about the terrorist attack against a young Israeli girl who was killed in her bed. Kirby appropriately described the “brutal act of terrorism,” however, his subsequent remarks went in a strange direction.

John Kirby
Spokesperson for the US Secretary of State, John Kirby

Consider which of these statements Kirby made on June 30 about terrorism:

  1. reiterated our steadfast commitment to our partnership with [Israel], in the shared fight against terrorism.”
  2. “This incident during the Holy Month of Ramadan underscores the extremists’ complete disregard for human life and the harm that they continue to inflict on the [Israeli] people. Attacks like these are going to only deepen our support for the people and the Government of [Israel] and their efforts to bring security and stability to their country.”
  3. “we remain committed to supporting our [Israeli] partners in their fight against [Hamas] as we continue to work with [Israel] to bolster their efforts to end this wanton violence and to restore peace.

Those are strong comments of support for the government. They are determined calls to fight against terrorism.

Unfortunately, the US Department of State did not make any of these comments about the terrorism in Israel. Only for other countries.

The first comment was about Turkey, the second about Afghanistan, and the third about Cameroon fighting Boko Haram.

When it came to terrorist attacks against Israelis, all the State Department could muster was that “there’s just absolutely no justification for terrorism.” Why would anyone even think there’s a justification for terrorism? Why make such a comment only for Israel? Why withhold voicing support to fight against the terrorists as Kirby immediately did for all of the terrorist attacks in other countries?

The World Doesn’t Want Israel to Fight Palestinian Arab Terrorists

This unwillingness to support Israel in fighting terrorists is similar to the Obama administration’s brother-in-arms, the United Nations, which repeatedly expresses its solidarity with countries in their fight against terrorism, but never stands with Israel in its efforts, as detailed in “Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel.”

Why doesn’t the US or the UN express support for Israel’s fight on terrorism? A few reasons:

  1. The US dislikes the tactic of terrorism
  2. The US ignores the stated goals of some terrorists
  3. The US ignores the wishes of the majority of Palestinian Arabs

The repeated comments by the Obama administration make clear that the United States abhors the use of terrorism against civilians, but considers the tactic in relation to potential goals of the groups. For example, the Islamic State/ ISIS wants to replace Iraq and Syria and much of the Middle East with a new caliphate. Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic State in Nigeria. The Kurds want independence from Turkey in their own country. These are goals that the Obama administration does not support so he voices his support to fight against terrorism in those instances because he does not support the terrorists’ mission. (Why Obama turns his back on an actual distinct ethnic group like the Kurds who seek independence, but rallies behind Palestinian Arabs who are part of the broader Arab world is a mystery to analyze another time.)

What angers many people in the pro-Israel community, is the willful ignorance of Obama and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon about the stated objectives of Palestinian Arab terrorists. The Hamas Charter states clearly its goals for killing Jews and destroying Israel. The Fatah Constitution, which Obama likes to call “moderate,” calls for wiping out the “Zionist invasion.” These are not calls for an independent country alongside Israel, but replacing Israel.

But the US and UN do not want Israel to “fight against terrorism” the way that other governments do to protect their citizens, because they would like to see the establishment of a new state of Palestine. As such, the US condemns Palestinian terrorism (the UN almost never does), but will not advocate a forceful response to “end this wanton violence.”

Terrorism by a Community, Not a Small Group

The terrorism against Israelis does not sit in a small Gazan vacuum.

The majority of Palestinian Arabs want to see violence. A Palestinian poll in June 2016 showed that 65% of Palestinian Arabs supported the bus bombing in Jerusalem in mid-April. A majority of 54% supported the return to an armed intifada.

In the last election ever held by Palestinian Arabs, they elected the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the parliament.

Additionally, an ADL poll in May 2014 found that almost every single Palestinian Arab – 93% – were anti-semitic.

How then does one deal with a hatred and terrorism that is supported so broadly among Palestinian Arabs?

If the elected leadership and the majority of the people support terrorism, should it continue to be called “terrorism,” or should it be called “war?”


Terrorism continues around the world and the Obama administration condemns it, but it refuses to support Israel’s active defense of its citizens, even while supporting every other country in the world in the same breath.

How should Israel supporters feel?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

US State Department Comments on Terrorism in Israel and the Territories

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

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