Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

I went to see the new play Oslo at Lincoln Center in New York City. It is always a fun New York moment when people in the news – in this case Joe Lieberman who just withdrew from a potential job at the FBI – are in line with you to enjoy the many great activities that the vibrant city has to offer.

The show was quite good. It relayed the behind-the-scenes activities that brought the Oslo Accords of 1993 into being. It tried to be balanced to the narratives of both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, while not getting into a debate about particular issues. The emphasis was much more on the process, than the merits of either sides’ arguments.

The balance made me recall one of the statements that came out of the Oslo accords:

REAFFIRMING their determination to put an end to decades of confrontation and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity and security, while recognizing their mutual legitimate and political rights;”

It is a concept that has lost meaning regarding Israel today.

Security

Over the eight years of the previous presidential administration, Barack Obama repeatedly boasted about his bona fides regarding Israel because he had “Israel’s back” when it came to matters of security. He helped fund the Iron Dome defense shield. He shared a lot of intelligence about security threats. He signed a new $38 billion military aid package.

Obama assumed that by focusing on Israel’s need for security, he could abuse the dignity of its leader and country.

Obama felt that he could solely focus on Palestinian Arab dignity and Israeli security. In doing so, he abused the Jewish State and has helped lead to a twisted “progressive” approach to Israel which denies Israel its dignity today.

Dignity

Much of the reason that Israelis have warmly embraced the new US President Donald Trump is that they believe that he will not only focus on Israeli security, but on its dignity as well.

 

Donald Trump at the Western Wall
May 22, 2017

Trump was the first sitting US president to ever visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a sacred site for Jews. And when he spoke to a crowd at the Israel Museum, he spoke of “dignity” four times:

  • “Today, gathered with friends, I call upon all people — Jews, Christians, Muslims, and every faith, every tribe, every creed — to draw inspiration from this ancient city, to set aside our sectarian differences, to overcome oppression and hatred, and to give all children the freedom and hope and dignity written into our souls.”
  •  “There are those who present a false choice.  They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region.  That is completely wrong.  All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism.  Diverse nations can unite around the goal of protecting innocent life, upholding human dignity, and promoting peace and stability in the region.”
  • “But even as we strengthen our partnership in practice, let us always remember our highest ideals.  Let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people, and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for every man and every woman.  Let us dream of a future where Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children can grow up together and live together in trust, harmony, tolerance, and respect.”
  • “Today, in Jerusalem, we pray and we hope that children around the world will be able to live without fear, to dream without limits, and to prosper without violence.  I ask this land of promise to join me to fight our common enemies, to pursue our shared values, and to protect the dignity of every child of God.”

The Jewish State demands more than security. It demands dignity that has been denied it around the world.

  • At the United Nations under Ban Ki Moon, where the nations of the world stood silent while Iran threatened to wipe Israel off the map and lambasted the Jewish State more than every country in the world combined.
  • In Europe, where the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) movement has taken hold, even though no other country with a territorial dispute is subject to such actions.
  • In the US “progressive” camp today, where “activists” like Linda Sarsour can be lauded by Democratic senators and given honors at universities, even after she extolled terrorists that killed innocent Jews and berated feminist Zionists.

It is time for both Israel and Jews to demand their dignity again. Especially on the 50th anniversary of the defeat of the Arab nations that sought to annihilate every Jew in its small homeland.

Aside from the terrible negotiation tactics utilized by Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry in foreign affairs, he ignored a basic decency: the dignity of Israel and the Jewish people. It is time to bring it back to the fore.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Here in United Jerusalem’s Jubilee Year

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

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The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

Summary: The western world will really have to worry about home-grown terrorism when the local community proudly honors the terrorists.

The Terrorists

On May 22, 2017, Salman Abedi detonated a bomb that killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert in Machester England. The dead included children who went out for a fun evening to enjoy some live music.

On July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people. The dead included children and families out enjoying fireworks on Bastille Day.

On March 27, 2002, Abdel-Basset Odeh detonated a bomb in the middle of a Passover seder in Netanya, Israel, killing 30 people. The victims included Holocaust survivors enjoying a festive Passover dinner.

On March 11, 1978, Dalal Mughrabi shot and killed an American photographer taking nature pictures on a beach; then fired on a taxi killing all of the passengers; and then ultimately blew up a school bus full of kids on the way to school along a coastal road in Israel.

The Celebrants

The Islamic State claimed credit for the Manchester England bombing saying that “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings.” ISIS made a clear reference to “Crusaders,” non-Muslims who came to the Middle East to block the establishment of a Muslim “caliphate.”

ISIS also claimed credit for the attack in Nice, stating that “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State,” carried out the attack.

The 2002 Passover seder massacre was celebrated by Palestinian Arabs broadly. “Everyone’s proud of him,” said his older brother, Issam Odeh. Palestinians later named a soccer tournament after him in his hometown of Tulkarem.

Dalal Mughrabi led a squad of Fatah fighters in her attack, the same political party as Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) and Mahmoud Abbas. She was celebrated at the time by Palestinian leadership and continues to be venerated by Palestinian Arab society today which names public squares and schools in her memory.

Palestinian students honoring Dalal Mughrabi
(Photo:
Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

One would imagine that ISIS is naming public squares and buildings after Salman Abedi and Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in Syria and Iraq in a similar fashion.

The Reaction to the Attacks and Backers

The Prime Minister of England, Theresa May said “the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of terrorists — and that is why the terrorist will never prevail.” She is pushing NATO to join the fight against ISIS that backed the terrorist attack. The United Nations Security Council held a moment of silence for the victims of the attack.

The UN Security Council also held a moment of silence for the victims in France a year earlier.

Many countries are fighting against ISIS, the backers of global terrorism. It is quite a different story for the backers of terrorists against Israel.

The UN did not hold moments of silence for Israeli victims. The global community did not seek to isolate Fatah or condemn its celebration of terrorists. Quite to the contrary. The UN Secretary General said that it stood with the Palestinians and not with Israel.

In 2002, the UN launched an investigation into BOTH sides of the conflict. That’s quite a process considering it is an active protector of the Palestinians and therefore has inherent bias. Consider that the UN does not investigate how France and the UK fight against terrorists at all.

Foreign or Domestic

The UK, France and other western countries look at terrorism as a foreign transplant. It emerges from the Middle East as a distorted form of Islam that lands on their shores.

Investigators of attacks quickly delve into whether the terrorist was an immigrant or native. Something foreign may seem distant. The chance of another attack is remote. However, a locally born radical might portend a future full of terrorism.

It is an understandable fear, but one still in the distant future.

When the local Muslim community of Manchester creates the Salman Abedi High School for Boys, or the city of Marseille, France names a large public square or soccer tournament after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the period of daily terrorism will be at hand. That is the present day in Israel that deals with an anti-Semitic Arab population that seeks a land free of Jews.

Will the UN and global community stand in solidarity with the innocent victims of terrorism then?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Media Splits on Showing “Islamic Terrorism” and its Presence in Israel

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

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

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

Double Standards: Assassinations

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

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Is Trump Seeing Mid-East Countries to Combat Religious Extremism, or Visiting Religious Sites to Promote Coexistence?

On May 4, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that he will visit the Middle East. He saidThe purpose of this meeting is to bring together all the different countries and all the different religions in the fight against intolerance and to defeat radicalism.” The destinations on the trip included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Israel and the Vatican. The GOALS of the visit were to fight against intolerance and radicalism.


President Trump announcing intention to visit the Middle East
May 4, 2017

Can Trump “bring together” the countries and religions in such an effort?

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

KSA is just one of 50 Muslim-majority countries, so Trump could have visited any of the fifty to make a point of connecting with Islam.

But KSA has a number of key attributes that the other Islamic countries do not have:

  • It holds the two holiest sites for Islam, Mecca and Medina
  • It is a US ally, compared to several Muslim countries that are not
  • It is a major opponent to Iran, which is a US-designated state-sponsor of terrorism
  • KSA has received billions of dollars in US military equipment and is engaged in joint strikes against targets in war zones like Yemen

Trump will not get to visit Mecca or Medina, the central places holy to Muslims because KSA forbids non-Muslims from visiting the Islamic holy sites. However, his meeting with the custodian of the holy sites – the KSA royal family – will make clear that the trip is not simply a visit to any Muslim country, but one that is willing to fight alongside America.

Is KSA a repressive regime? No question. It’s human rights record is appalling and many Trump critics think it outrageous to give the royal family such honor. But Trump made clear in his remarks:

“Our task is not to dictate to others how to live, but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism, and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East.”

Trump’s focus is narrow: the war on terror. However, KSA is actually a supporter of Wahabism and radical Islam. It happens to be a foe of Iran which earned its designation of a sponsor of terrorism well before it got involved in regional wars in Syria and Yemen, wars in which KSA is opposing Iran.

In visiting KSA, Trump will be visiting a country that is both a custodian of religious holy sites and a military partner. He will not get to visit religious sites nor showcase religious tolerance.

The Vatican

There are dozens of countries with a majority of Christians that Trump could have visited. And the Vatican isn’t even a country according to the UN.

But Catholicism is the largest of the Christian denominations, and the Pope is unique in being a central figure of a church. No other single individual has a command over such a flock.

While the Pope has no army to engage in a military battle against violent extremism, his message of tolerance is one that Trump seeks to connect with and spread throughout the world.

Israel

There is only one Jewish majority state, which makes the choice of Israel apparently simple in rounding out the Trump tour of the monotheistic faiths. In the other two countries with a significant Jewish populations – the United States and France – the Jews make up just a small percentage of the overall population, 2.1% and 0.8%, respectively.

For many decades, Israel has been America’s closest ally in the entire Middle East. It is the only true democracy in the region and Americans and Israelis share many of the same values. Israel has also been an important ally for the US in the ongoing War on Terror.

But there are large differences between Israel and the other stops on Trump’s trip:

  • Israel is the only country in Trump’s Mideast tour to tamper radicalism, that suffers from ongoing terrorism
  • Israel is the only country that had the (former) United Nations Secretary General stand up and state that he supports a terrorist regime (Hamas) and their inclusion in a Palestinian Authority government
  • The Jewish State is the only country where the world doesn’t recognize its holiest location and where the Muslim Waqf forbids Jewish prayer.

Israel promotes religious tolerance but receives none. It does this while confronting ongoing terrorism.

Trump will visit the holiest site in Judaism accesible to Jewish prayer today – the western wall of the Jewish Temple Mount. But he will do so WITHOUT Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the US is not comfortable stating that the Jewish state is the custodian of the religion’s holiest site.

It is an interesting backdrop on which to draw further comparisons.

The War on Religious Radicals and
the Promotion of Religious Tolerance

As Trump navigates the Middle East, he will attempt to promote two messages: of religious tolerance and of the battle to stamp out religious violence.

Religious Tolerance:

  • Saudi Arabia is 100% Muslim and the Vatican is 100% Christian. Only in Israel is there a mix of religions (75% Jewish and 25% non-Jewish)
  • Saudi Arabia restricts access to its holy sites only to Muslims. The Vatican welcomes all religions to the city. In Jerusalem, the Islamic Waqf which is overseen by Jordan, prohibits Jews from praying at its holiest site, the Temple Mount.
  • Saudi Arabia restricts bringing religious artifacts like a cross or Jewish bible into the country. The Vatican and Israel have no such restrictions.

The list goes on. Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia clearly has nothing to do with rewarding it for promoting religious tolerance. Perhaps that is an aspiration. Israel is the prime example of religious tolerance to be emulated in the Middle East

War on Radicalism:

  • In the attacks of 9/11/01, fifteen of the 19 terrorists were from KSA. Saudi Arabia continues to fund a radical form of Islam in schools around the world. For its part, the Catholic Church tries to convert people to Catholicism, but not by force and it does not promote violence. Israel and the Jewish State do not attempt to convert anyone in any manner and is not engaged in terrorist activities around the world.
  • Saudi Arabia does not fight radical Islam; it fights Iran and the Islamic State as discrete entities in an ongoing war between Sunni and Shia Islam. The Vatican has no army to participate in any war. For its part, Israel is actively fighting terrorism in its homeland, principally against an enemy that is rabidly anti-Semitic that wants to rid the region of Jews.

In short, only in Israel will Trump find both a partner in promoting religious tolerance and a partner in combatting violent religious extremism. Only in Israel will Trump see a people that faces terrorism on a daily basis.

Together:

Trump stated that he sought to bring parties “together.” With the exception of Egypt and Jordan, the rest of the Arab countries have refused to recognize the legitmacy of the State of Israel. Perhaps Trump hopes that this initiative to eradicate radical jihadists will change that dynamic. It would appear to be wishful thinking: The Saudi royal family has funded the families of Palestinian terrorists for years.

 

These are important points for Trump to address during his Mideast visit. A key victory in advancing both agendas of combatting religious violence and promoting religious tolerance would be to get the Palestinian Authority to finally rip up the anti-Semitic law which calls for the death sentence for any Arab that sells land to a Jew. Nothing demonstrates the vileness of intolerance and radicalism as much as the Palestinian Land Law.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

Saudi Arabia, “Ally” of the United States

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

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Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

Something has become all the “rage” in the world. Without the rage.

Dick Pics

There was once a time when society knew what was offensive.

There was a time when people would see something and immediately call it out as obscene. The reaction would be clear and unequivocal: Stop it! I don’t want to see that! Ever!

The perpetrators of the offensive behavior would be ridiculed. They would be shunned from any public event and run out of political office.


Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) with wife Huma Abedin

The perp would be forever viewed differently. A creep.

There was a time that communities would ask the police to arrest a person for lewd and ugly behavior. No one would rise to the offender’s defense about free speech or expression.

A community wouldn’t ponder the motivation of such an action. It would be simply bewildered that any normal person could possibly think that viewers would find the spectacle attractive.

Students for Justice in Palestine

There is a group that has taken hold in many college campuses called “Students for Justice in Palestine.” It is a group that glorifies the killing of Jews in Israel.

In May 2016, Northwestern University invited convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh to speak at an event that SJP billed as “Israeli Apartheid Week.” Odeh, who was convicted in Israel of killing two Israeli college students with a bomb, spoke to 50 students in Illinois about the “Israeli colonial project” and the suffering of Palestinian Arabs.

No one disrupted the talk. It was covered by free speech.

In February 2015, the SJP chapter in DePaul University held “a fundraiser to celebrate the resilience of Rasmea Odeh.” The students in the university did not simply want to hear the perspective of a convicted terrorist: they wanted to actively support her.

The anti-Zionist group, Jewish Voice for Peace, gave Odeh a standing ovation in April 2017, as she bid farewell to the United States because she was being deported for having entered the country without disclosing her terrorist conviction.

And the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January 2017 invited Odeh to address the crowd. To thousands.

That is the “progressive” fringe world today.

The Left-Wing Participation in Terrorism

When someone sends another person a “dick pic,” they are engaging in crude behavior. The goal is to either provoke and offend, or to engage a basic human lust. It is not romance or love. It is a blunt instrument with a binary outcome: 95% of the time it is disgust and 5% amusement or desire.

When an organization invites a convicted terrorist that murdered innocent students to address its members, there is something sickening and perverse that becomes normalized. The most animalistic of activities – cold-blooded murder of innocent youth – is celebrated. It is endorsed. It is rationalized to the audience as proper behavior.

While society will be disgusted (or in rare circumstances amused) by lewd pictures that are easily erased, it celebrates – or at least tolerates – the killing of innocents. This is the same society that has no issue showing videos of beheadings on social media, but bans pictures of a woman’s breast. We extol butchery and shun nudity.

Let’s be clear: The person who sends a “dick pic” has a very ugly and narrow view of the recipient. They are selfish and interested in only one thing, and it is not the recipient’s personality. It is the aspiration for a complementary raw emotion that the recipient might bring to the encounter.

Similarly, when the radical anti-Zionists like SJP and JVP address you, they are not seeking a rational discussion about disputed land. They want your active endorsement of the murder of Jews and the Jewish State. That is your “complement” to their actions.

Decent people of the world, it is time to delete these disgusting groups faster than a dick pic from a stranger.


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Martin Luther King and Zionism

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

A Disservice to Jewish Community

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

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

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Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

People in the western world are proud of their freedom of speech. In the United States, people on both the right and left point out the importance of the First Amendment of the Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yet, the government has taken steps to curtail some vile forms of speech, such as calls for violence. For example, several states have enacted more severe penalties if crimes are based on racism, religion or sexual orientation.

Whether there is really an exemption for hate speech (as opposed to motivation for a crime) is a matter of debate. What is not a matter of debate, is how civil society should respond to vile speech.

Linda Sarsour

One of the leaders of the “Women’s March” in Washington D.C. in January 2017 was a Palestinian – American Muslim woman named Linda Sarsour. In addition to hateful comments she made about Israel, she offered the following about a woman who suffered from genital mutilation as a young Muslim woman.

Sarsour’s callousness extended beyond uttering threats against private citizens, to specifically assaulting Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s area of sensitivity and pain: her vagina, which had been attacked because she grew up in Muslim society where such mutilation was condoned. The Sarsour comment went beyond poor taste; it was vile, vulgar and disgusting. It deserved repudiation from every decent human being.

At least one hoped.

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand praised Sarsour in an article in Time magazine, saying “The images of Jan. 21, 2017, show a diverse, dynamic America—striving for equality for all. The moment and movement mattered so profoundly because it was intersectional and deeply personal. These women are the suffragists of our time.”  The Jewish community was appalled that Senator Gillibrand would stand behind Sarsour who constantly vilified Israel. Gillibrand issued no retraction.

Democratic National Committee vice chair Michael Blake came out full force defending Sarsour: “If you keep coming after @lsarsour, we’re going to respond directly, consistently, with all heart and soul. Fall back!

Other supporters of Sarsour included Senator Bernie Sanders and another DNC Vice chair, Keith Ellison.

Put aside Sarsour’s embrace of convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh for a moment, whom she invited to the Woman’s March stage. Even if the Democratic politicians despised Israel, how could they support a woman who is so vulgar and despicable to deliberately mock a woman who suffered genital mutilation?

Mahmoud Abbas

Linda Sarsour was not the only Palestinian Arab to use disgusting language to maliciously attack those with whom she disagrees.

Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, does not simply fight against Israel. He vilifies the Jewish State in the most hurtful and outrageous manner: by belittling the Holocaust.

The Jewish people in Europe were one of the few people in the world to suffer a genocide over the past hundred years. The German Nazis sought to ethnically cleanse the Jews for Europe and rounded them up for torture and execution wherever they came to power. It was one of the darkest periods of mankind.

Abbas, who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial, chooses to constantly attack the victim. Abbas accused those same Jews that were the victims of a genocide, as committing a “genocide” against Arabs in Israel (even though the growth of the number of Arabs in Israel exceeds the rate of growth of Arabs anywhere in the world.) Abbas accuses the actual victims of ethnic cleansing, of committing “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs, even though everywhere that Israel established its state, it offered citizenship to every Arab that wanted it.

So when Abbas came to visit US President Donald Trump in May 2017, it was hard to hear Trump welcome the hateful Abbas as though he were a national leader. However, it was also heartening to see that Trump deleted his Twitter post that said it was “an honor” to meet Abbas.

Hamas

The world had become accustomed to bestowing honor on hateful entities for many years. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, with its vile anti-Semitic charter which calls on Arabs to kill Jews and destroy Israel, was a favorite of the last United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He encouraged Hamas to join the Palestinian Authority and stated loudly that he stood with them after their war with Israel.

Recep Erdogan

The Muslim Turkish leader Recep Erdogan is also fond of berating the Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities by using those same hurtful terms. Erdogan accused Israel of “Hitler-like Facism” and “genocide.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was nonplussed, and let Turkey host the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, where he thanked “His Excellency the President, the Government and people of Turkey for their hospitality, and for their role at the forefront of humanitarian action.

Nice praise for the leader that has suppressed freedoms broadly in his country and insulted victims around the world.


On May 8, 2017, Republican Senator John McCain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times “Why We Must Support Human Rights.” He argued that it is not enough to navigate the “realism” of a world of despots and ignore their vile human rights abuses and attacks on victims.

“I consider myself a realist. I have certainly seen my share of the world as it really is and not how I wish it would be. What I’ve learned is that it is foolish to view realism and idealism as incompatible.”

Every person – including politicians that are forced to engage with horrible local and national leaders – must call out the ugliness. Their comments should be repudiated. And most obviously, not given praise as Gillibrand and the heads of the Democratic National Committee have done. As McCain wrote:

“Depriving the oppressed of a beacon of hope could lose us the world we have built and thrived in. It could cost our reputation in history as the nation distinct from all others in our achievements, our identity and our enduring influence on mankind. Our values are central to all three.

Taylor Swift knows that “haters gonna hate.” Politicians must avoid broad praise of the haters, or at a minimum, denounce their specific digusting comments.


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

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The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Regime Reactions to Israel’s “Apartheid” and “Genocide”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

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Welcoming the Unpopular Non-President (Abbas) of a Non-Country (Palestine)

On May 3, 2017, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, came to the United States to meet US President Donald Trump. Is this the pathway to the “ultimate deal” of peace between Israel and its neighbors?

Unlikely.


President Donald Trump shook hands with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office on May 3, 2017. ( Photo: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Abbas has no Legitimacy

Abbas was elected to a four year-term as President in 2005. That term ran out in January 2009, and he has refused to hold new presidential elections as he and his Fatah party are weak.

Abbas has no Control

A year after Abbas took office, the Palestinian Arabs elected the rival political party, Hamas, which is viewed by much of the world as a terrorist entity, to 58% of the parliament of the Palestinian Authority. In 2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip and launched three wars against Israel (2008; 2012; and 2014). Abbas either supported those wars or he had no control over the region.

Abbas is Unpopular

The Palestinian Arabs poll themselves on a number of issues every three months. In September 2015, they began to ask people their thoughts of Abbas. In every poll since that time, between 61% and 65% of respondents wanted Abbas to resign.

The Palestinians Prefer War

While Abbas would have won several theoretical elections many years ago, his rival in Hamas has become the Palestinian favorite as a result of the wars against Israel. As evidence, in the September 2012 Palestinian poll, Abbas would have beaten rival Ismail Haniyeh by 11%, but he would have lost by 3% just three months later after the November 2012 Hamas war. Abbas’s popularity bounced back in the next quarter’s poll, but he has never been able to recover from his dramatic fall in popularity after the 2014 Hamas war: In the June 2014 poll Abbas would have beaten his Hamas rival by 12%; after the war, Abbas would have lost by 17%.

The Palestinians are done with Abbas and prefer to stake a future with terrorists.

Lack of Support for Two States

Since the 2014 Hamas war, Palestinians have become ambivalent about a two-state solution, with roughly even percentages supporting and opposing the plan. The notion reached the lowest point at the aggressive Palestinian push of the “stabbing intifada” in December 2015, when 54% of respondents stated they opposed two-states to 45% in favor.

Abbas has no Ability to Govern

In the last ten of the twelve years that Abbas has headed the Palestinian Authority, he has been unable to rule. He has not been able to control Gaza or reconcile with rival political parties. How can he possibly be expected to negotiate and deliver a peace deal with Israel?


Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas Continues to Attack Every Aspect of Zionism

Abbas has used every opportunity during his tenure to fight against the basic rights and beliefs of the Jewish State, laid out in international law (references to the 1922 Palestine Mandate below):

  • Citizenship: Abbas stated that no Israelis will be citizens of a Palestinian State, even while international law promoted Jewish citizenship. (Palestine Mandate Article 7: “facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews,” and Article 15: “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.“)
  • History: Abbas routinely denies the 3000+ year history of Jews in their holy land and works with United Nations agencies to promote false narratives. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine“)
  • Owning Land: Abbas has said that no Jews can own land in Palestinian areas, and PA law has a death sentence on any Arab that sells land to Jews. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.“)
  • Immigration: International law in 1920 and 1922 explicitly encouraged Jews to move to the holy land. Meanwhile, Abbas has sought an international apology for the declaration. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall facilitate Jewish immigration“)
  • Reconstituting the Jewish Homeland was the stated goal of the San Remo conference and the Palestine Mandate. Abbas has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish State. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country“)
  • Freedom of Religion and Worship was both part of the international laws calling for reestablishing the Jewish homeland, and part of Israel’s basic laws. However, Abbas seeks to prohibit Jews from accessing and praying at their holiest location. (Palestine Mandate Article 13: “securing free access to the Holy Places” and Article 15: “complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship.“)

The Freedom CHOIR are fundamental building blocks of long established international law underpinning the Jewish State.  And the weak and unpopular Abbas tramples on every aspect of it.

In case the aforementioned list wasn’t enough, Abbas peddles vile Holocaust conspiracies, as a further affront to the Jewish people.

The Ugly Straw Man

So the inept straw man came to Washington, D.C. to meet with the president of the United States. Is he the man that can negotiate and deliver peace. No.

Abbas serves as a fig leaf for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they are actually moving forward with a peace process.

If people wanted to take constructive steps towards peace, there are two different paths to take: 1) treat Abbas like the unpopular straw man that he is, and force him to accept the peace proposal that is put in front of him; or 2) let the Palestinian Arabs hold new elections with someone that has the backing of the people and can deliver on the results of the negotiations. If the Arabs elect someone who has no interest in peace, then the Israelis have no need to compromise on its cherished goals.

The failure of past peace processes was that they were based on a failed dynamic. There is no point in dealing with a cut-out. It is time to either treat Abbas like the straw man that he is, or show him the door.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Abbas Knows Racism

The Disappointing 4+6 Abbas Anniversary

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

The Only Precondition for MidEast Peace Talks

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Related First.One.Through video:

Abbas demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Aretha Franklin)

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The New York Times’ Select Defense of a Civilian

The New York Times often decries bankers and the excesses of Wall Street. But only when associated with Republicans.

On April 26, 2017, the Times ran an article about Hungary’s anger with billionaire George Soros. The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was upset with the various left-wing institutions funded in Hungary by Soros including NGOs and a university.

The Times came to the billionaire’s defense.

“It was an exceptional attack by a head of government against a private citizen, albeit a wealthy and powerful one. Mr. Soros has been a frequent target of criticism from right-wing news media organizations like Breitbart and Infowars, which deplore his affinity for Democratic and liberal causes. Supporters of Mr. Soros, who is 86, a native of Hungary and a Holocaust survivor, have detected a whiff of anti-Semitism in the attacks in the United States.”

Wow.

George Soros spent more money on US lobbyists than Goldman Sachs and the National Rifle Association COMBINED. But the Times made light of the powerful global lobbyist by stating that he had an “affinity for Democratic and liberal causes,” as if he were simply an observer and not the master puppeteer. It slandered those opposed to Soros’s agenda by suggesting that the opposition was driven by anti-Semitism (as if a huge percentage of Jews weren’t also appalled by Soros’s behavior and causes).

And the Times was of course shocked that a head of a government would attack a private citizen. In this case.

Joe Biden Attacked Israeli Citizen

In November 2015, the Union of Reform Judaism invited Vice President Joe Biden to speak at its biennial. During his public address, the Vice President chose to berate a private Israeli citizen for remarks that he had made about the Obama administration’s handling of the Iranian nuclear deal. Biden yelled as he stabbed his finger at the crowd:

There is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of United States in derogatory terms. Period, period, period, period!

The crowd of Reform Jews applauded Biden’s rebuke of the Israeli (who was not employed by the Israeli government.) The New York Times decided not to cover the attack at all.

When the liberal head of the US government attacked a right-leaning Israeli citizen, there was no sound of alarm. But the Times came to the quick defense of the liberal billionaire.


George Soros
(photo: Niccolo Caranti)

Woe unto anyone criticizing a liberal – even a billionaire capitalist. The New York Times has ink for you.


Related First.One.Through articles:

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The New York Times Major anti-Netanyahu Propaganda Piece

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

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Is the Left-Wing Coming Back to Zionism?

The years from 2010 to 2016 were an abysmal abandonment of the left-wing in the United States from supporting the Jewish State. Their criticisms of Israel in public and private were not only demonizing of Israel, but of Jews generally.

Consider how left-wing politicians argued that Jewish schools should be denied police protection, arguing that Jewish schools had anti-gay curricula.  Consider how the Democratic party ripped up their pro-Israel platform in 2012 and then had their party head lead a walkout on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The far-left darling, Senator Bernie Sanders was the most anti-Israel presidential candidate in the running who drafted Israel-basher Cornel West to be part of the new Democratic mainstream.

Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx
1/29/16
Dr. Cornel West and Bernie Sanders are seen at a Bernie Sanders Rally in Davenport, Iowa.

Fortunately, there are signs that the tide may be turning.

On April 28, 2017, all 100 US Senators sent a letter to the new UN Secretary General to stop the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. The letter was co-authored by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and signed by every Democratic senator.

One week before the US senators wrote their letter to the UNSG, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case related to using public funds for safety mats in playgrounds of religious schools. Even liberal judges like Elana Kagan and Stephen Breyer could not understand how the public could withhold safety and security from religious schools.

These are refreshing changes in liberal positions from just last year.

Whether the changes are stemming from the Democrats’ loss of the presidency or the nadir of the Obama administration permitting UNSC Resolution 2334 to pass, one can only hope that the Democratic party continues to move away from the left-wing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic fringe.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

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

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

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

The Impossible Liberal Standard

Pride. Jewish and Gay

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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