The Palestinian’s Three Denials

In September 1967, the Arab States put forward the Khartoum Resolution in the wake of their defeat in the June 1967 Six Day War with Israel. The resolution set down their intransigence in accepting the nation of Israel with a call of “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it,” in a policy that would stymie any chance of peace in the region for decades. It became known as “the Three No’s.”

Today, the Palestinian Arabs have adopted their own version of the policy which can be called “The Three Denials”: deny the history of the Jews; deny the rights of the Jews; deny the acceptance of the Jews.

It will similarly block any chance for peace in the region.

Deny the History of the Jews

There was once a time when the Arab world accepted the basic history of the Jews in the holy land. In 1925, the Supreme Muslim Council published a guidebook for the Temple Mount which clearly identified the place as the location of the Jewish Temples.

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times.

Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”

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However, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas somehow came to the conclusion that acknowledging Jewish history in Jerusalem would undermine the claim that the site is purely a Muslim holy site. As such, he repeatedly charged that Israel is trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem. He asserted that Israel is getting rid of “the Arab character of the city.” He was recently successful in putting forward resolutions before the United Nations that referred to the Temple Mount in Islamic terms that denied any connection of Jews. So when the new UN Security General Antonio Guterres clearly stated that “it is completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple,” the Palestinians went crazy and demanded an apology.

Perhaps revisionist history should not come as a surprise, as Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial.

Deny the Rights of the Jews

The follow up to the denial of Jewish history in their holy land is to deny Jews the rights to live there.

Abbas stood at the UN General Assembly and claimed that Israel is “colonizing” Arab land. He claimed that Jews first began to colonize Palestine with the British declaration of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. He has now demanded an apology from the United Kingdom and for it to “bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people.” Abbas has stated that the colonization continues post-1967, as Israel seized additional Palestinian land in the 1967 war.

To Abbas, it has always been Palestinian land, so Jews have no rights to any part of it.

As such, Abbas has called for a new Palestinian country to be free of any Jews. He has retained a Jordanian law that condemned to death any person selling land to Jews, and was able to get former US President Barack Obama to agree that Jews should not be allowed to live in “Palestinian Land.” A sorry note in US-Israel relations.

Beyond the rights of living in the land, Arabs have denied the basic rights of Jewish access to their holy places.

The Jordanians evicted all Jews from the West Bank and Jerusalem after they illegally annexed the land in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by the world. They denied Jews any visitation rights into Jerusalem, just as they denied Jewish rights to visit the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron. Abbas has similarly called for Jews to be expelled from the Jewish Temple Mount and Jerusalem today.

Deny the Acceptance of Jews

Abbas has stated that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. The declaration received support from the Arab States:

“The council of the Arab League confirms its support for the Palestinian leadership in its effort to end the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, and emphasizes its rejection of recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish state’.”

Foreign ministers of the Arab League countries meet in Cairo March, 9, 2014. The Arab League on Sunday endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rejection of Israel's demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month. The United States want Abbas to make the concession as part of efforts to reach a "framework agreement" and extend the talks aimed at settling the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)

Foreign ministers of the Arab League countries meet in Cairo March, 9, 2014. The Arab League on Sunday endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month. The United States want Abbas to make the concession as part of efforts to reach a “framework agreement” and extend the talks aimed at settling the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT – Tags: POLITICS)

So much for the principle of two states for two people. The Palestinians – at best – are seeking one state that is 100% Arab and second state that is a mix Arab and Jewish, with no preferences for Jews at all.

The Global Response

The world seemed to understand the Arab States “3 No’s” in 1967, and would soon push forward a “Zionism is racism” resolution at the United Nations. It would take many years for that resolution to be rescinded, and for some Arab states to begin to make peace with Israel.

For many years the United States under Obama and the United Nations under UNSG Ban Ki Moon also seemed to endorse the “3 Denials” of the Palestinian Arabs. The UN routinely passed resolutions which inverted facts regarding rights and access to holy places and disregarded the history of Jews in the holy land. Obama endorsed the #AlternativeFacts as well.

Not surprisingly, the region went backwards. Three wars against Israel from Gaza and wars spreading throughout the region under the watch of inept leadership. The responses from Ban Ki Moon and Obama? That they stood with Gaza and sought the inclusion of the terrorist group Hamas into a joint Palestinian leadership.

However, there is now a new president in the United States, and a new Secretary General at the United Nations. Antonio Guterres showed that he will not deny the history of Jews in Israel in an attempt to appease the anti-Semitic Palestinian Arabs. Hopefully, but he and President Trump will break “The 3 Denials” of the Palestinians and advance peace in the region.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

Video of UNSG Guterres on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Trump’s Take on Obama’s “Evil Ideology”

Donald Trump and Barack Obama took very different approaches to dealing with terrorism.

While president, Barack Obama referred to the “evil ideology” in extremists that engaged in barbarous acts of violence, without referring to it as “radical Islamic terrorism.” His handling of the “evil ideology” essentially broke down into four categories, as detailed in “Grading Evil and Evil Doers.”

  • Evil to Destroy: those terrorist groups that threaten America like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State
  • Evil to Condemn: terrorist groups that target other countries, but not the USA, like al-Shabaab and Boko Haram
  • Evil to Tolerate: These are countries that slaughter their own citizens including minors, like Syria, Iran and America’s ally Saudi Arabia
  • Evil to Ignore: This is from governments and aspiring countries like the Palestinian Authority that routinely incites violence against an American ally, Israel.

Obama used direct military action against the first category, when he felt that American lives were at stake, while only lending support against the second. When it came to countries that harbored evil ideologies, Obama opted to remain inactive and relatively silent.

In short, the “evil ideology” itself was not the barometer of whether Obama took action; it was the nature of the threat to American lives, and whether he could act narrowly against relatively small groups of people rather than entire countries.

Trump’s Approach to Radical Jihadist Terrorism

In his first week in office, Donald Trump is seemingly approaching his obligation to protect Americans in a manner quite different than Obama.

  • Name: For one, Trump clearly labeled the “evil ideology” as “radical Islamic terrorism.” While Obama felt that attributing the extremist actions specifically to Islam was unfair, Trump thought that avoiding the connection between the terrorists’ motives and Islamic teachings masked the problem.
  • Breadth: While Obama sought to target a narrow audience for military attacks, and giving a pass to others with “evil ideologies,” Trump seems more willing to go broader and use more tools to address the issues. He has advocated for using torture to get information from terrorists (he said he would be willing to reconsider it if his defense advisors warn against it). Trump has instituted restrictions on immigrations from several countries that have been unable to deal with terrorists, to minimize the probability of terrorists coming to the United States.

Trump has only been in office for ten days, so it is difficult to ascertain how he will use the military in fighting groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda that Obama targeted, and others where Obama acted indirectly like Boko Haram and al-Shabaab. He has already authorized an attack in Yemen in an operation that reportedly killed 14 militants. Will he use troops rather than relying mainly on drones as Obama did in countries like Yemen and Somalia?

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Donald Trump signing ban on some refugees January 2017
(photo: Reuters: Carlos Barria)

Beyond combatting terrorism, how will Trump interact with countries that promote radical Islamic terrorism like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Obama traded with them and gave them billions of dollars. Will Trump treat them as potential business partners too and ignore their support of terrorism?


The United Nations called on the world to not label violent extremism as “Islamic” as they argued that doing so would be unfair to the religion. The UN preferred to only use the term “extremists” in regards to Jews, as part of its ongoing attack on Israel.

Obama lied to the world that the birthplace of extremism was in poverty, rather than a twisted view of the world. His #AlternativeFacts were parroted by the members of his administration, even though every study on the subject showed the statement to be bogus.

So now that Trump has opted to call out the root of terrorism as not being from lack of economic opportunity, but having distinct Islamic origins, will the US push to take actions against Islamic countries rather than a limited number of terrorist groups? Is Trump calling out a clash of civilizations? If so, how will such a clash play out?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

Civil Death and Terrorism

Strange difference of opinion on Boko Haram and Hamas in New York Times

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The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

On January 26, 2017, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) co-sponsored an event with the EU on the impact of the media in telling the stories of refugees. The High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser noted that while there was “solidarity towards refugees, we also witnessed a surge of xenophobic hate speech.” The symposium sought ways to change the negative perception that many people have about immigrants to combat growing xenophobia and distrust of “the other.”

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High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

Al Nasser said:

“Social media provides a wide and open platform for hate speech, facilitating the rapid spread of negative narratives and ideas online.

“But we will do our utmost to tell the real stories of refugees, in order to protect communities’ interests and safeguard the rights of each individual. I think a balance must be found that protects the freedom of expression as well as the rights of migrants as human beings with human rights,”

What an interesting turn of events for the United Nations. The UN wanted to combat hate speech on social media from the people that did not want refugees, by sharing real stories of the refugees, in the hope that the humanity of the people and situation would cause the populace to not fear the stranger and incorporate them into society.

This is the exact OPPOSITE of what the United Nations has done for decades regarding Palestinian Arabs.

  1. The count of millions of Palestinian “refugees” that the UN touts is fiction. There are only about 30,000 Palestinian Arab refugees alive from the 1948 war. The millions of descendants from the 700,000 Palestinians that left Israel are not real refugees at all. Refugee status cannot be handed down like inheritance. The UN has perpetuated this myth just for Palestinian Arabs as if they were doing them a favor.
  2. Many of these fake UN refugees are taken care of by a dedicated UN agency called UNRWA. UNRWA does not try to settle people into their surroundings as the UN does with refugees everywhere else. Instead, it tells the fake refugees that -with UNRWA’s help – they will leave their current location and move into Israel.
  3.  UNRWA doesn’t try to calm the situation by telling “real stories.” It allows negative propaganda about Israel and Jews to permeate UNRWA classrooms and textbooks that deny Israel’s existence and legitimacy.
  4. Beyond the UNRWA textbooks, many UNRWA staffers called out on social media to “stab Zionist dogs.” Social media hate speech by the UN itself.
  5. Just to clarify that last point again, the UN staffers called Jews “dogs” that should be killed. Quite a far cry from the current UNAOC plan to treat “human beings with human rights.”

The United Nations AOC is moving in a positive direction in calling for peace and co-existence. The action further highlights the illegitimacy of the stale evil farse that is UNRWA that spreads “negative narratives” about Israel.

UN: Don’t just tell real stories about refugees. Tell stories about “REAL refugees.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

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Journalists Killed in 2016 #AlternativeFacts

There were several dozens of journalists killed around the world in 2016. The exact number seems hard to pin down.

According to UNESCO, 101 journalists were killed. It considered Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists, and elaborated that “the most lives were lost in the Arab States, where the armed conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen have claimed the largest share. Media operating in Latin America and the Caribbean saw 28 casualties, including bloggers and freelancers, constituting the region as second deadliest in 2016.

However, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) counted 93 journalists as targeted and killed. They note that another 29 were killed in accidents or natural disasters bringing the total to 122. IFJ listed the most lethal country for journalists as Iraq (15 killed) followed by Afghanistan (13). Syria ranked as  #6 with 6 killed.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) tallied 74 journalists murdered, including non-professional “citizen-journalists.” RSF tagged Syria as the deadliest country. “Syria continues to be the world’s deadliest place for journalists, followed by Afghanistan. Worldwide, two thirds of the journalists killed this year were in war zones. Almost all of them were local journalists, now that news organizations are increasingly reluctant to send their reporters to dangerous hotspots abroad.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced that 48 journalists were killed in 2016, with clear motives. Syria led the list with 14, followed by other Arab and Muslim countries: Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

So how many journalists were killed in 2016? 122? 101? 93? 74? 48?

How did four “non-partisan” and “reputable” organizations come to such different conclusions? Did some organization include accidents while others did not? Perhaps one included civilian-journalists and bloggers while another just counted professionals. Maybe some groups did not include peripheral casualties if the journalist wasn’t specifically targeted.

All possibilities. As is bias.

Consider that IFJ has a history of declaring that anyone who self-declares as a journalist is a journalist. So if a terrorist operative used press credentials to infiltrate certain areas to commit murder, that person counted as a journalist by IFJ, but not always by other organizations.

In searching for a reason, maybe one could argue that a higher total of injured journalists heightened the importance of umbrella organizations like IFJ. But that would leave a question of why RSF and CPJ would post such low totals compared to UNESCO.

Maybe the reason for one country getting a higher total was purely innocent. If a Syrian journalist was killed in Turkey maybe one organization listed the murder as happening in Turkey, while another focused on the place where the journalist reported.

journalist-killed
Anti-ISIS Syrian journalist Zaher al-Shurqat killed in Turkey in May 2016

Beyond listing the raw “facts,” UNESCO, RSF and CPJ reached conclusions based on those facts that the most lethal country in the world for journalists was Syria, even though IFJ announced that the country wasn’t even in the top five. IFJ stated that the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist was the Asia-Pacific region, specifically Philippines, Pakistan and India. UNESCO, RSF and CPJ claimed that it is the Arab states.  Which was right?

The IFJ website covers the entire world by region and claims to be devoted to a mission beyond politics. “The IFJ does not subscribe to any given political viewpoint, but promotes human rights, democracy and pluralism.”  But the English site reserves reporting about the Middle East to only be in Arabic – clearly limiting the audience of readers to a narrow segment of the world population. Why would it deliberately produce an entire section in Arabic? To educate the region that it scores the lowest in regards to “human rights, democracy and pluralism?” To make it impossible for non-Arabic speakers to read about the state of journalists in the Arab world?

 

In 2017, the world was intrigued by the term “Alternative Facts,” and reacted to it as if it were a new phantom reality. In truth, people and organizations have always looked at the same situation and extracted DIFFERENT FACTS, not only different conclusions. Sometimes the reasons are apparent and other times not. Often one can see the motivating factors which led to a party extracting and expressing particular facts and conclusions, and there are times when the listener is simply stumped.

Does it make the party sharing the facts a liar? Biased? Uninformed? Maybe, maybe and maybe.

As the consumers of information that is oftentimes murky, seek the source and basis of the “facts,” and don’t only rely on someone’s conclusions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Social Media’s “Fake News” and Mainstream Media’s Half-Truths

Journalists in the Middle East

Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

Selective Speech

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An Orthodox Rabbi at the Capitol

It has been several decades since any rabbi delivered a prayer at a presidential inauguration, the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1985 being the last one. In Reagan’s and each of the prior events, the prayer was delivered by a rabbi from the Reform or Conservative movements. In 2017, at the swearing in of President Donald Trump, an Orthodox rabbi finally took the stage.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, is a well-known rabbi on the national and international stage, as dean and founder of the Simon Weisenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance. He also founded Moriah Films which has won two Academy Awards. His credentials in combatting hatred and in educating the world about the evils of the Holocaust are beyond reproach.

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Why did Trump invite a rabbi when Obama, the Bushes and Clinton did not do so? Why invite an Orthodox rabbi, the smallest of the Jewish denominations?

A major factor to consider must be that Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her entire family are Jewish. And Orthodox.

Trump also hails from New York City and built his business in the real estate industry, where many Jews live and work. He has gotten to know many Jews – and Orthodox ones in particular- over many years. That is in sharp contrast to past presidents who were lifelong politicians, a profession with fewer Orthodox Jews. 

The point that I will add here is that it should not be a surprise that the first party to include an Orthodox rabbi in one of the greatest of human occasions – the peaceful transfer of power of the most powerful nation in the world – was the Republican party.

Orthodox Jews are Mostly Republican

The Pew Research group did a comprehensive survey of American Jews in 2013, and published the results in August 2015. The survey found that “American Jews tend to be more highly educated and politically liberal than the U.S. public as a whole,” but one group did not fit that pattern: the Orthodox, which are 57% Republican-leaning.

“Unlike most other American Jews, Orthodox Jews tend to identify as Republicans and take conservative positions on social issues such as homosexuality. On average, they also are more religiously committed and much younger than other U.S. Jews, and they have bigger families.

“…the median age of Orthodox adults (40 years old) is fully a decade younger than the median age of other Jewish adults (52). Despite being younger, more than two-thirds of Orthodox adults are married (69%), compared with about half of other Jewish adults (49%), and the Orthodox are much more likely to have minor children living in their household. On average, the Orthodox get married younger and bear at least twice as many children as other Jews (4.1 vs. 1.7 children ever born to adults ages 40-59).

“…in a few ways, Orthodox Jews more closely resemble white evangelical Protestants than they resemble other U.S. Jews. For example, similarly large majorities of Orthodox Jews (83%) and white evangelicals (86%) say that religion is very important in their lives, while only about one-fifth of other Jewish Americans (20%) say the same. Roughly three-quarters of both Orthodox Jews (74%) and white evangelicals (75%) report that they attend religious services at least once a month. And eight-in-ten or more Orthodox Jews (84%) and white evangelicals (82%) say that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God – more than twice the share of other American Jews (35%) who express this belief.”

So while Orthodox Jews only make up about 10% of the 5.3 million American Jews, they are the fastest growing denomination by far. The implication is that even as Democrats point to the growth of the non-white population in the USA as favoring the Democrats, within the Jewish minority, the Republicans hold an advantage.

The Address

Rabbi Hier spoke for just two minutes after President Trump was inaugurated. In his remarks he recited a passage from Psalm 137: “By the rivers of Babylon we wept as we remembered Zion… If I forget thee o’ Jerusalem may my right hand forget its skill.” It was an interesting choice of quotes, as the Obama Administration let the area of Babylon – in today’s Iraq – fall into an Islamic jihadist war zone, and neighboring Iran have a pathway to nuclear weapons. In regards to Jerusalem, Obama abandoned Israel at the United Nations, letting a motion pass that declared that the eastern half of Jerusalem which houses the Jewish Temple Mount and all of the West Bank were illegally controlled by Israel.

Conversely, the Trump administration has broken with Obama’s view that Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory, and has vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is a campaign promise that many presidents have made only to reverse course once they assumed office, however, it would appear that Trump is likely to follow through with his pledge.

Did Hier deliberately use the quote to voice the displeasure of the pro-Israel community with Obama? As encouragement to Trump to honor his pledge to Jerusalem?


It had been over 30 years since a rabbi was invited to give a blessing at the presidential inauguration. While it was a special moment for all Jews to celebrate, many liberal Jews tried to petition Hier to withdraw as they disliked Trump’s stated policies. It was a shame that in the divisive election campaign between Democrats and Republicans, Jews could not pause to appreciate the acknowledgment and invitation that was extended to their small community.


Related First.One.Through articles:

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

“Jews as a Class”

The Misogyny of Treating Women like Victims

On January 21, 2017, the streets of Washington D.C. were flooded with a Women’s March to protest the election of President Donald Trump. The group was clearly angry that the nation did not elect the first women president, their preferred candidate Democrat Hillary Clinton. Even more, they came to voice their concerns about what President Trump might do to abortion rights. The ultimate position paper of the march’s organizers spanned a wide range of issues beyond core women’s issues like abortion, to concerns like minimum wage, union rights, immigration policy and clean air.

But back to core women’s issues.

Donald Trump initially caused a stir when he said during a presidential debate in March 2016 that women who perform illegal abortions should be punished. After a loud public outcry, Trump back-peddled from his statement. In October 2016, he amended his comments that he is pro-life and would appoint judges with similar opinions, but ultimately the decisions regarding abortions would be left to each state. The outcry against his comments continued, but this time he did not reverse his position.

So who would get punished for abortion? Trump said If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.

Many women’s rights organizations were happy with this Trump statement, albeit still concerned about his other pro-life statements. They shouldn’t be. Their agreement that a woman is always the victim is arguably more misogynistic than curtailing abortion rights.

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Women’s March in Washington D.C. January 2017

Abortion

The Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade permitted abortions up until the time that a fetus was viable outside of the womb, roughly 24 weeks at that time (the viability is closer to 20 to 22 weeks today due to advances in medicine). That means that an abortion after viability is not a legal procedure, unless there were particular circumstance like a threat to the mother’s life. In 2014, there was just a small number of such late-term procedures, 1.3% of all abortions. Most states (43) place limits on late term abortions.

What is the punishment for the 1.3% that get abortions after 20 weeks? There is no comprehensive information. People assume that late-term abortions must only happen when the mother’s life is at stake, but the reality is that very few abortions overall happen due to the “big three” issues that abortion-rights advocates site as additional arguments to gather support for abortion: rape; incest; and risk to the life of the mother. The vast majority of abortions happen because the mother is concerned about her work or her partner, or the financial ability to support the baby.

So consider a woman that is eight months pregnant who breaks up with her partner and therefore no longer wants to keep the baby. Should the doctor performing the abortion procedure be the sole party punished for killing a perfectly viable fetus? Should the woman escape all liability for such a decision? That would be a mockery of justice.

The Women’s March claimed that Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Indeed they are. But baby rights are human rights too.

Prostitution

The march’s position paper of 16 bullet points chose to not call for the legalization of prostitution, a curious call for a group that demanded “gender justice.. for the power to control our bodies and be free of gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.

Are the march’s organizers so puritanical that they cannot imagine women willingly be paid to have sex?

This is not just on the march’s organizers, but on society as well. Our government has inverted policies regarding prostitution laws, where new laws in the country seek to punish the purchasers of the service (the “johns”) instead of the prostitutes themselves.  This is a clear inconsistency of punishing the purchaser of the illegal services for prostitution (typically men), but only the service provider in the case of abortion (the doctor). Logic would suggest that either the person paying for the service in each instance is punished (the woman in abortion and man for prostitution) or the service provider (the prostitute and the doctor). Instead, society has chosen to have an overriding concern to not punish women in each case.

That is wrong.

To respect women is to hold them accountable. Women cannot claim complete control of their bodies unless they assume FULL RESPONSIBILITIES for their bodies, as well. In that regard, the women’s rights movement and society should finally push for legalized prostitution and for the punishment of women who perform late-term abortions for non-medical reasons.

It is time for the women’s rights activist and society to stop being so protective of women as to treat them as passive wards of the state.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Broken Glass Ceiling in Politics Hides the Importance of Education

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

Honor Killings in Gaza

Music video about marrying for money (music by Abba)

Music video about abortion (music The Killers)

Music video on Women Abuse in Southeast Asia (music by Bon Jovi)

Music video on Lack of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia (music by The Cars)

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Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

I still remember the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in January 1981. It was not Reagan himself that made the day memorable, but the thrill of seeing the incompetent Jimmy Carter leave the White House.

I had spent my mornings during my 1979-80, 1980-81 high school years driving to school past a gas station which posted the number of days that the American hostages were held in captivity in Iran. Each day the sign would update the count, and my anger would rise along with the revised total. But on January 20, the day of Reagan’s inauguration, the hostages were finally released, just as the embarrassment of a president vacated Washington, DC.

On that day, my liberal high school classmates chose to wear black armbands, in protest of the election of a Republican. They had convinced themselves that there was nothing so terrible as capitalism and free markets, and they opted to show the world their disgust at Reagan’s ascent. While the country celebrated the release of hostages and dawn of a brighter future, these liberal teenagers saw a dark day.

I would see the silent liberal protests again. In January 2001, liberals would claim that George W Bush wasn’t really their president. I saw bumper stickers all over town that had a “W’ with a slash through it. I read about how Bill Clinton’s staffers removed all of the “W”s from the computer keyboards in the White House. Real mature.

This year’s election of Donald Trump has brought yet a new wave of liberal protests. Some schools cancelled exams after the election. Family celebrations which had once included a wide range of divergent political views began with declarations “No political discussions!” before anyone had a chance to say hello.  Now we are hearing that many elected Democratic officials are going to boycott the inauguration. Some liberal rabbis have even said that they will mark the day by fasting – I kid you not.

notmypresident

I don’t know what kind of president Donald Trump will be at this moment in time, any more than predicting Reagan 36 years ago. I do know that I am glad to say goodbye to eight terrible years of foreign policy, and am not surprised at the immature liberal cries of anguish I have seen for decades.

The silent protests don’t upset me. Free speech is an American right, and everyone is allowed to express themselves.

Granted I do not know any non-liberals that carried on in such a fashion over the past eight years. I never met someone that placed a “Nobama” sign on their front lawn or fasted at Obama’s election. I couldn’t catch any black armbands when Bill Clinton asumed office or any Republican officials boycotting the ceremony. No matter.

The problem with the liberal actions are not the protests themselves. It is the withdrawal from reality and debate.

For the last eight years people debated issues ranging from transgender bathrooms to the use of drones to kill Americans to Obamacare. People accepted the presidential election results and engaged in a discussion about policies.

Yet now, liberals claim “he’s not my president” and shout at friends “no talking politics!” when they dislike the results of their democracy. After eight years of a constant comfortable exchange while the president echoed and enshrined their worldview, will people discuss important matters with people with whom they disagree, or just rely on the liberal mainstream media to attack Trump?

President Obama saw the problem in his own party. In his farewell address, he asked people to get out of their bubbles and engage in a healthy debate with people with different opinions:

“For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. The rise of naked partisanship, increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste – all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable. And increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.

This trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Politics is a battle of ideas; in the course of a healthy debate, we’ll prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts; without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we’ll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.”

I strongly disagreed with Obama on many of his policies, and I made my case to people of all political persuasions. But in this instance, I agree with him. Healthy debate is critical for a healthy democracy. I wish Obama would have followed his own advice during his presidency, and not walked out on people, such as boycotting speeches (as Democrats did to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), or supporting Democrats when they fled the Wisconsin state house, or the Indiana state house. Or as Democratic officials now plan to do in boycotting the inauguration of President Trump.

I don’t care about your armbands, your fasts or your walkouts. If you have a coherent argument, make it. Engage in the debate and understand your fellow Americans without name-calling. Our democracy will be better off if you left your liberal bubble.


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The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

While Barack Obama served as president of the United States, the Democratic Party moved further to the left and adopted a more anti-Israel stance. After the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections, the party is poised to move even further in that direction, and elect Rep. Keith Ellison as the chair of the Democratic National Committee during the weekend of February 24, 2017.

For those who care about the future of the United States – whether Democrat or Republican – the time is now to block the selection of Ellison.

Why it Matters

The chair of the DNC is the effective mouthpiece of the Democratic Party. The chair not only helps in fund-raising, but in promoting Democratic candidates around the country. This person effectively can select certain Democratic candidates over others. As such, the chair helps mold the future Democrats all around the country.

For those people that want to see a balanced Democratic party that is a pro-Israel in the future, the election of Keith Ellison will be the end of the party.

Far-Left Wing

Ellison has one of the most liberal records of any official in Congress according to govtracks. Current Minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) with an ideology score of 0.12 (0.0 being the ultimate extreme liberal like Elizabeth Warren) according to insidegov, is supporting the choice of Keith Ellison who scored a 0.09.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (ranked #6 with a score of 0.04) selected Ellison and other pro-Palestinian activists (including James Zogby and Cornel West) to help draft the Democratic platform  in May 2016. Their extremist agenda seemed designed to cater to the far left wing that was energized by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic

The Democratic party had already moved away from a pro-Israel platform in the 2012 election to something more neutral. The choice of Ellison, Zogby and West was designed to push a pro-Palestinian Arab platform. It had only marginal success. Thus far.

Now that Democrats view themselves as much pro-Palestinian as pro-Israeli, and post the blistering attack by Secretary of State John Kerry against Israel in the waning days of the Obama administration, the likelihood of seeing more Israel-bashing from Democrats will grow.

keith-ellison-end-the-occupation-podium

Daniel Greenfield compiled a long history of Ellison as part of the anti-Semitic group, Nation of Islam. Haim Saban, a loyal Democratic fundraiser, pointed more directly at Ellison’s action in Congress and came to the conclusion: “If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual. Words matter and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”

Long time liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz commented I’m going to tell you right here on this show and this is news, if they appoint Keith Ellison to be chairman of the Democratic Party, I will resign my membership to the Democratic Party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat.

Why would such liberal stalwarts like Saban and Dershowitz be so clearly against Ellison? Perhaps due to Ellison  comments like:

  • “Zionism, the ideological undergirding of Israel, is a debatable political philosophy.”
  • “Political Zionism is off-limits no matter what dubious circumstances Israel was founded under; no matter what the Zionists do to the Palestinians; and no matter what wicked regimes Israel allies itself with — like South Africa. This position is untenable.

These will be the expressions of the next generation of elected Democrat officials if Ellison is the new DNC chair.

The Future Liberal Party

The Pew Research Group has charted the metamorphosis of the Democratic party. In the year 2000, the Democrats split 27/45/23% between liberal, moderate and conservative, respectively. In 2016, the percentages were 42/38/17%. The party is no longer dominated by moderates in the middle, but by liberals at the extreme.

As the Democratic party has moved to the left, it has broken old alliances, including with Israel. Why would the party break with the only liberal Democracy of the Middle East?

One answer may be the left-wing political group called J Street, which has pushed the liberal party to be vocal opponents of the current Likud government in Israel and Jews living east of the Green Line (EGL). J Street actively pushed for Obama to punish Israel at the United Nations, a move that many longtime liberals like Gary Ackerman thought outrageous. That view has now taken hold and has become mainstream.

Another reason may come from the top. President Obama sought a “new beginning” with the Arab and Muslim world. He viewed distancing America from pro-Israel positions as part of that effort. He decided to focus on “Islamophobia” while ignoring the more prevalent anti-Semitism to gain ground with the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

The Democratic party embraced the pivot. The party has now lined up behind a black Muslim with a track record of anti-Israel declarations. 

The old Democratic party is no more. It is undergoing a radical transformation. Some longtime Democrats like Alan Dershowitz feel that they are at the breaking point and will abandon this new extremist party.

Perhaps there is still time to contact the people that are supporting Ellison for the DNC and urge them to publicly withdraw support.

Otherwise, it’s time to go.


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Martin Luther King and Zionism

Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of the black minority in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. His passionate words inspired many people to move for equal rights for all Americans.

As the last MLK Day of the first Black US President is celebrated, and in the aftermath of this administration’s abandonment of Israel, it is worth reviewing MLK’s comments specifically about Israel, and those which underscore his philosophy about Israel.

Martin Luther King on Israel (Direct Quotes)

Here is a selection of MLK quotes specifically about the Jewish State:

The whole world must see that Israel must exist, Israel has a right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

“Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.”

“When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism,”

Below is a selection of 20 other famous quotes of MLK, applied to Israel.

Reestablishing the Jewish Homeland

I have a dream.”

The famous line was taken from a speech given by MLK on August 28, 1963. That speech was a declaration that the promise of freedom that was given to blacks by President Abraham Lincoln 100 years earlier in 1863 was still not realized. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds,”” he continued.

In 2017, 100 years after the Balfour Declaration in 1917 recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine, President Obama said that the Jewish State could only be reestablished on a sliver of their homeland, and Jews living outside those bounds was illegal. Many Zionists have repeated the words of MLK to Obama today, that the tacit endorsement of United Nations Resolution 2334 was wrong; a bounced check marked “insufficient funds.”

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Theodore Herzl advanced modern Zionism when he wrote the book “The Jewish State” in 1896. He believed that “If you will it, it is no dream;” that Jews could actively participate in moving to Israel and reestablish Jewish sovereignty in the land. Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s, and had moved to Palestine in greater numbers than any other religion throughout the 1800s. But Herzl instilled the belief that sovereignty – Jewish self-determination in their homeland – was a possibility in modern times.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

While international law established the right of a Jewish homeland in Palestine in the San Remo Agreement of 1920 and the Palestine Mandate in 1922, the nations of the world did not recognize the independent Jewish State until 1948-9. Some people have argued that Israel was created BECAUSE of the Holocaust, that bleak “starless midnight of racism and war.” The truth is that the world recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland decades earlier, before the Nazis even rose to power.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”

The endorsements of a Jewish homeland in 1920 and 1922 was met with riots and pogroms in Israel. Arab riots in the 1920s killed dozens of Jews. The mini-Arab war against the Jews in 1936-9 killed thousands, and made the British administrators institute a ceiling on Jewish immigration to Palestine – on the eve of the Holocaust – an action that allowed thousands of Jews to die in Europe. Wars and terrorism from Arab forces have continued to kill Jews in Israel. But the Jewish State never gives up hope of living in peace.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

The Israeli people are a diverse people. Mizrachi Jews account for the majority, who came from Arab lands including Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt between 1948 and the 1960s. Many Jews left Argentina after the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in 1984, and Israel absorbed thousands of Jews from Ethiopia and Russia during the 1990s. While people think of the Ashkenazim of Europe being the dominant presence in the country, they are actually a minority.

Efforts at Peace and Coexistence

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

When Israel declared its independence in May 1948, it gave citizenship to everyone living in the land, Jews and non-Jews alike. This was in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Arabs who expelled all Jews from lands that they seized in the 1948-9 war in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Jordanians gave all of the Arabs in the region Jordanian citizenship and explicitly EXCLUDED JEWS from obtaining citizenship. At this time, the other Arab and Muslim countries began to force 1 million Jews to flee their homes.

In 1967, after the Arab countries tried to destroy Israel again, Israel asked for peace, but the Arab world declared in Khartoum “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.

Israeli statesman Shimon Peres made an observation similar to MLK about the persistent Arab terrorism in Israel when he said in June 2014 you cannot put fire and water in the same glass. Hamas is clearly not a partner for peace…. Finding a way forward is hard but we must not lose hope.” Israel continues to extend a hand of peace and coexistence to its Arab neighbors and hopes that one day, the dream of peace will be reciprocated.

“It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”

Israel took significant steps towards peace with its neighbors, sacrificing territory that it took when Arab countries sought to destroy Israel.  In 1982, Israel removed all Jews from the Sinai peninsula and handed the land to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty. In 1996, as part of the Oslo Agreements, Israel gave control of many cities in Judea and Samaria/ the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, in the hopes of establishing peace. The Israelis discussed giving back almost all of the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace, as detailed in Dennis Ross’s book, The Missing Peace. And in 2005, Israel withdrew all Israeli soldiers and civilians from Gaza in the hopes of achieving peace.

We have yet to see many Arabs sacrifice for peace willfully, such as admitting the rights of Jews to live throughout the region, facilitating their access to their holiest site on the Jewish Temple Mount and recognizing the Jewish State itself.

Love and Kindness

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Israel has been at the forefront of helping out countries of the world faced with natural disasters. Whether in Haiti or Turkey, Japan or Indonesia, Israel helps countries that do not even recognize it.  Consider that Israel even helped people injured in the civil war in Syria next door, even though the two countries are technically at war.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Israeli officials often call out the barbarity that exists around the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The murderous regimes that extinguish freedoms make Israel a lonely island of democracy and liberal attitudes. But for its efforts of calling out evil, Israel just gets more world condemnation, as it is mocked for progressive attitudes with terms like “pinkwashing.” No matter. Israel will continue to lead by example and call out its neighbors.

Israel and Greatness

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Jews may only a fraction of the global body, but they account for an enormous percentage of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry, Medicine and Physics. Similarly, the Jewish State has more Nobel Prize winners than the African continent and entire Arabian peninsula combined.

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

Israel has been named the “Start Up Nation” because of the remarkable number of entrepreneurs that have created successful start up companies.  Despite its small size, lack of natural resources and unfriendly neighbors, the country has managed to create break-through hardware and software companies with products that are incorporated into almost every successful technology today.

Israel and Arab Neighbors

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

At the moment of Israel’s declaration of statehood, it opened its arms to Arabs both in its midst and those at its borders. In the very text of the declaration on May 14, 1948 it stated: “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.” It is an effort that Israel still continues to advance today.

“The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.”

While Israel attempts to achieve a peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, it will always have the security of its land and people as a primary concern. When rockets flew from Gaza, Israel responded by launching an operation to stop the attacks. When suicide bombers infiltrated the country from Arab towns in Judea and Samaria, the country built a security barrier.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

Israel has attempted to advance peace with Palestinian Arabs on the basis of peaceful coexistence. It gave full rights of citizenship to Arabs living in Israel in 1948, and has allowed Arabs living in the eastern part of Jerusalem which Israel reunited in 1967, the right to apply for citizenship. In contrast, the Arabs have made no attempt to advance peace, but have only focused on a complete separation from Israel. Some Palestinian Arabs that are viewed as “moderates” seek a state just in Gaza and the West Bank. Other Arabs seek to destroy Israel completely.

Peace will only come to the region when peace is a means and an ends, not just a potential byproduct of maneuvers and declarations.

Israel and the United Nations

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

The United Nations has made a name for itself in its rampant anti-Semitism. Efforts have ranged from Having a former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, run the UN for years, to resolutions declaring that “Zionism is racism.”

In 2015 and 2016, the UN advanced and approved resolutions that removed any connection of Judaism from Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple Mount. The efforts are part of a long-standing Arab complaint that Israel is trying to “Judaize” its holiest city, despite Jews’ 3000-year history in the city.

MLK said it best, that nothing is more dangerous than conscientious stupidity.

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

Several European countries have tried to advance a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. However, in doing so, they have compounded the problem and made chances for peace more remote.

Removing Hamas from a list of terrorist entities enables terrorism and parties that oppose any peace with Israel. Labeling products from Judea and Samaria with distinct labels pushes away opportunities for coexistence. Condemning Jews living across from Armistice Lines that were specifically never designated as borders is illogical and harms negotiations. Advancing peace forums without the presence of Israelis makes the possibility of direct negotiations more remote.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the General Assembly at the United Nations in October 2015 to rebuke the countries of the world for their “utter silence, deafening silence” in condemning Iran for its pledge to destroy Israel. President Obama called US Ambassador Samantha Power out of the room so she missed Netanyahu’s speech. Silence compounded: the refusal to speak and the refusal to hear.

Israel and the United States Under Obama

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

As noted above, Barack Obama pulled his people out of the UN General Assembly so they would not hear the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech. It was not the only time he would snub Israel.

Obama made a point of reaching out to the Arab and Muslim world as soon as he began his presidency. He made his first public trip to Turkey where he pitched “common ground.” He traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he made his “new beginnings” appeal. He would stop by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. And skip Israel.

When Obama did make it to Israel four years later, he declined an invitation to speak to the Israeli Knesset, and instead opted to use that time to speak to college students, snubbing the only democracy in the Middle East.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

By early 2015, the contours of the Iran nuclear deal were taking shape, very much to the dislike of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other American allies. As the Iranian government made clear its interest in destroying Israel, Netanyahu sought to take aggressive steps to improve upon the deal. He accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, but Obama had 58 Democratic loyalists in Congress boycott the speech.

Beyond snubbing Israel in Jerusalem and Washington DC, and standing by idly when the United Nations Security Council lambasted Israel, the Obama administration never had the courage to state that it supported Israel as it confronted dozens of terrorist attacks. Those sentiments were reserved for other countries. And for Palestinian Arabs.


The twentieth quote summarizes the life of Martin Luther King: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” It is a mantra he lived as a civil rights leader fighting for a minority group to achieve common rights and freedoms.

It is a cause that the Jewish people and the Jewish State understand full well.


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MLK

 

 

For Liberals, It’s Israelis, Palestinians, and Indifference

There is a common refrain that it is not easy to be a Liberal Zionist these days.

There was a time when Democrats and Liberals had a strong preference for Israelis over Palestinians in the ongoing 100-year conflict. In 2002, Democrats sympathized more with Israelis than Palestinians by a margin of 45% to 21% while Liberals had a margin of 41% to 19%.  Today, that gap has disappeared altogether.

In the latest 2017 Pew Research poll, Democrats split evenly in their preferences between Israelis (33%), Palestinians (31%) and neither (35%). The Democratic leanings are in sharp contrast to Republicans who still favor Israel by 74% to 11%. It is a remarkable phenomenon considering that Israel is the most liberal country in the entire region for a thousand miles in any direction.

pew-2017

This dynamic has become a struggle for Liberal Zionists who easily relate to their fellow Liberals on most matters, but not with 2/3rds of them when it comes to Israel.

Elliot Cosgrove, the liberal rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City felt that he had to pen a piece about the situation. In the January 11, 2017 edition of The Jewish Week he wroteFor socially progressive Jews, it is an awkward time to be a Zionist — to be both liberal and a Zionist at one and the same time.” Why is this the case, what has been done and what can be done?

The Causes

There are arguably many reasons why liberals have moved away from supporting Israel. Here are two.

Inequalities and the Size of the Conflict: A goal of many liberals is to bridge inequalities in society. The gaps may be between the haves and have-nots; between the rich and the poor; or between the powerful and the weak. Their desire is to flatten the field to cause the gaps to shrink or be virtually eliminated.

When the left-wing looks at Israel, they see a fiscally-strong, military power occupying a poor Arab demilitarized population. The inequalities between the groups are enormous and the goal to “flatten” the dynamics strikes them as fair and appropriate. As such, they conclude that Israel must sacrifice so the Palestinian Arabs can have more.

However, when many Zionists look at Israel, they see a dependable, democratic ally in the middle of unstable dictatorships. They admire a single, small Jewish State surrounded by dozens of hostile Arab and Muslim countries.

Both views are true, and two liberal Zionists can arrive at different conclusions: either looking at the situation very narrowly as an Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, or more broadly as a conflict between Israel and the Arab World. A liberal approach based on the second perspective would argue for Israel ceding no land as it is the more vulnerable entity in the region, while the former approach adopted by many liberals today, pushes for Israel to hand over all disputed land to be a new state of Palestine.

Multi-Culturalism and Relevancy: Liberals advance a cause of universalism over particularism. They see the underpinnings of a strong society as one that advances a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic existence over one that is more insular and monolithic.  Consequently, many liberals see the idea of a Jewish State as backwards thinking, as the essence of tribalism.  They therefore consider any association with such an entity as an embarrassment that would insult their liberal principles. These liberal Zionists support groups like the New Israel Fund and Adalah that seek to replace the Jewish State with a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.

Other liberal Zionists see the thriving multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society that Israel has become, even a a Jewish State. The Jewish Mizrachi community is the largest in Israel, and includes people from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Thousands of Israeli Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and Iraq have little in common with other Israeli Jews from Russia, Argentina and Poland. More so, roughly 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, leading Israel to be the most ethnically diverse population in the MENA region.

What Has Been Done

To accommodate the wide range of opinions, liberal Zionists have stretched the definition of a “Zionist.” In liberal circles, a self-described Zionist can be pro-BDS, as they fight for Palestinian Arab equality. A Liberal Zionist can donate to organizations that seek to undermine the Jewish character of Israel, as an expression of loving the modern thriving democracy. In contorting the bounds of Zionism, they have enabled themselves to sit comfortably with other two-thirds of “progressives” with whom they respect.

For traditional Zionists, this situation is an absurdity.

Imagine someone at a pro-choice rally with a large placard that argues for banning abortions after a fetus has a heartbeat at eight weeks, claiming that they are pro-choice because they are in favor of permitting the procedure in the first weeks of pregnancy. Many fellow pro-choicers might ask that person to move to the other side of the picket line to join the pro-life camp. They might negate the person’s self-declared status as “pro-choice” as they consider their actual position stands against the passionate tenets of the majority.

What Can Be Done

No individual needs to subscribe to an entire platform of a group. For example, a Democrat might agree with the party line on global warming, but disagree on tax policy. A Republican could agree with the party position on foreign affairs, but disagree on social issues. In dealing with conflict, some people stay within their registered parties while they disagree on many issues, while others leave the party to become Independents.

Single issue matters are more cut-and-dry. Someone may be in favor of gun control or against it. However, even within those binary choices, there is a range of opinion. For example, being against gun control doesn’t mean being in favor of getting rid of background checks or gun licenses. A single issue is still dynamic within itself.

Liberal Zionists are subset of two groups: Liberals and Zionists. Liberals cover a broad range of issues similar to Democrats and Republicans. As reviewed in many polls, Liberals are not sympathetic to Israel.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t Liberal Zionists that break with the majority.

Israel is a single issue matter for Americans and more easily broken into binary choices. However, there is still nuance in the pro-Zionist camp, especially within the Liberal Zionist community.

Rabbi Cosgrove noted that it is hard to be both a Liberal and a Zionist today. That is a sentiment that is rooted in someone that defines themselves as a Liberal first and a Zionist second.

Zionists have no issues with Liberals, and Israelis are, by-and-large, liberal. Most Israelis and Zionists just believe in the essential nature of the country as a Jewish State and the critical need for security.

For Liberals, being a Zionist is a bit harder to swallow. It typically means running against the majority opinion of the group with which one has chosen to identify. To reconcile that struggle, liberals either counter the ambivalence or anti-Israel sentiment of the group, or redefine Zionism in a manner that accommodates either liberal or Zionistic preferences. Many have chosen the ladder, and twisted the definition of “Zionist” into something that is unrecognizable to the majority of Zionists.

There is another way.

An easy way to be a Liberal Zionist is to use a wide lens when looking at Israel from a security standpoint within the broader Arab world, and narrowly when examining Israeli society from a social vantage point. Such an approach would be consistent with the majority of Liberal regarding daily life and with the majority of Zionists regarding daily existence.


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