The Real “Symbol of the Conflict” is Neta Sorek

The New York Times spared no ink to report on an incident in the Israeli-Arab Conflict on December 30, 2018. In a large front page picture and story which covered a full three additional pages, the Times wrote a detailed story which it called “a symbol of the conflict.”


Spread of NY Times on Israeli soldier shooting Palestinian medic
December 30, 2018

The tragic story of a female Palestinian medic being killed is an unfortunate incident but does not scratch the surface about the essence of the conflict itself. That the Times would repeat over-and-again that the incident is a “symbol” says more about the Times perception of the conflict than the actual situation itself.

The Times elaborate “symbolic” story was of

  • a killing of a Palestinian, not an Israeli,
  • in Gaza, not in Israel,
  • by a soldier, not a civilian,
  • where the separation fence held, and was not cut through

But the entire nature of the conflict stems from Palestinian Arabs rejection of the Jewish State and Jews living in Israel. It is not about the recent “Gaza Blockade” or a Palestinian protest to those actions taken by Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, as the Times attests.

A true symbol of the conflict can be seen in the murder of another woman, by the name of Neta Sorek.


Neta Sorek, Israeli woman killed while walking near Beit Shemesh, Israel
by Palestinian Arabs on February 24, 2010

Neta Sorek was an English teacher in the Israeli city of Zichron Yaakov. A proud feminist, she was also a strong advocate for peace with Palestinian Arabs, and held many events together with Arabs as a member of the group Women for Peace.

But this Israeli’s quest for peace was rewarded with murder.

On February 24, 2010, a few Palestinian Arabs found a gap in the security barrier Israeli had constructed to stem the wave of Arab killers coming from the West Bank. The Arabs robbed a car in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh and drove to a nearby Christian monastery waiting for nightfall to assault unarmed Jews. Neta happened to be there at the monastery, enjoying the surrounding gardens by herself. The Arabs saw her and stabbed her to death. The Arabs then escaped back through the barrier into the West Bank.

A few months later, on December 18, the same Palestinian Arabs came through the barrier again. This time, they found two women going for a walk in the Mata forest near Beit Shemesh. Kristine Luken, an American Christian who was visiting Israel to gain a deeper connection to God was there with her friend, Kay Wilson, an Israeli tour guide who was escorting her on her journey. The Arabs attacked both women, killing Luken while Wilson managed to survive despite over a dozen stab wounds.


The real “symbol of the conflict” is a slaughtered Jewish feminist peace activist by Palestinian Arabs who infiltrated Israel. That horrific story – and of subsequent attacks by Palestinian Arabs – highlights the rabid Arab antisemitism at the core of the standoff and underscores the reason Israel was compelled to build – and continue to maintain – the security barriers in Gaza and the West Bank.

But the New York Times tells its readers otherwise. It declared that the conflict is about Israeli soldiers (“the far stronger party“), sitting comfortably behind a fence shooting at unarmed women in Gaza, amounting to war crimes. The Times deployed five journalists (David Halbfinger, Yousur Al-Hlou, Malachy Brown, Iyad Abuhewila and Neil Collier) and wrote 2000+ words with multiple pictures and graphics about the “symbol of the conflict,” to which Israel “refuses to find a solution.” The authors never mentioned Hamas’s stated mission for destroying Israel, the Palestinians electing Hamas to 58% of Parliament, or their preference to elect a Hamas leader as the next president in every poll. The core of the conflict was concealed; the perpetrators were cast as victims.

And what about Neta Sorek? Like the murdered woman in the Times article, she was a feminist. She was unarmed. She was killed by the opposing side.

Good luck finding a single word or picture of her in The New York Times.

Even the murdered American woman, Kristine Luken would get no ink, until a year later when four Palestinians were sentenced for her murder and that of Neta Sorek.

A microcosm of the conflict played out in the gardens of a Christian monastery in Israel, where a country that welcomes people of all religions became a crime scene. A woman who strove for peace was slaughtered for the simple reason that she was Jewish by Arab assailants who wanted to rid the region of Jews. The Muslim terrorists found a hole in the Jewish State’s defenses and seized the opportunity to commit murder, repeatedly until caught.

Not for The New York Times. It believes that Israel is a racist right-wing colonial occupier of Arab land, indifferent to non-Jewish lives.

The symbol of #AlternativeFacts is the New York Times.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Review of the The New York Times Anti-Israel Bias

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

Reviewing the Rhetoric of Palestinian Arabs and Israelis

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

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A Review of the The New York Times Anti-Israel Bias

The New York Times touts itself as “a leader in its evenhanded coverage of Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.” The paper went so far as to publish a piece by “the Public Editor” after the 2014 War from Gaza called “The Conflict and the Coverage.” It described the paper’s desire to provide more context and provide LESS SYMMETRY going forward in response to complaints about its coverage of the war. Presumably the idea of being “evenhanded” while providing “less symmetry” meant that the Times would just call it as it sees it.

Since that time, in story after story, the Times has imparted its biased opinions as facts to build upon its conclusion that Israel is a racist colonial occupier of Palestinian land. Here is a breakdown with some select articles.

Regarding Israel

On the land:

Zionism is evil:

  • The very basis of Zionism is a violent displacement of the native Arabs. Steven Erlanger wrote an article on February 7, 2016 that stated explicitly that Zionism was a brutal ideology designed to displace the indigenous people.
  • Any Jew living east of the Green Line is illegal and there is no legal or historical basis for any Jewish claim. This is a common refrain from the Times, but for deep color, read the large cover story from March 12, 2015 by Jodi Rudoren and Jeremy Ashkenaz. It was one of the largest single stories about Israel every published, going from the cover page with large color picture onto a two-page spread. In all of that ink, you’d struggle to find anything about the international laws of 1920 and 1922 that specifically encouraged Jews to move throughout Palestine (including the area now commonly called the “West Bank”) and prohibited any person to be excluded from living anywhere because of their religion.

Israelis are right-wing racists:

  • The Israeli government is headed by right-wing fanatics. Consider the two November 15, 2018 articles by David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner. Both repeated over and again how the Israeli government is the most right-wing ever. An editorial by Thomas Friedman on May 25, 2016 said that Israel is “controlled by Jewish extremists.”
  • Israeli Jews are racist. David Halbfinger wrote an article on December 1, 2018 that said simply “racism is so commonplace in Israeli society,” making the entire people biased, not just the government.
  • The only Jews that live in Judea and Samaria are Messianic war-mongers. Roger Cohen has dozens of op-eds where he bad-mouths the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But on December 17, 2015, he penned an opinion that labelled all “settlers” as radical fanatics. The mother, the school teacher, the nurse, the lawyer. All caught up by Messianic fever.
  • Israel is not progressive. The December 31, 2017 article by Laura Boushnak and Laura Boshnaq claimed that Lebanon was the only place in the Middle East that was welcoming the LGBT community, completely ignoring Israel.
  • Israelis exaggerate the threat of terrorism. The May 21, 2016 article by Dia Hadid and Majd al Waheidi described how Palestinian Arabs in Gaza were scared about tunnels dug by Hamas since Israel might respond forcefully. Jodi Rudoren’s July 29, 2014 article made a joke of Israelis’ concern about the tunnels – almost an excuse to pound Gaza. An article on March 24, 2016 made the Israeli concern about computer hackers taking over Israeli infrastructure seem like a fabricated excuse to arrest Arabs, but when the US arrested Iranian hackers the next day for threats on US infrastructure, the Times implied that it was entirely warranted.

Israeli leaders deserve no honor:

  • Israeli leaders are not respected. On October 1, 2016, while most papers paid homage to the Israeli leader Shimon Peres as they covered his funeral, the New York Times opted to post a picture of a grimacing Mahmoud Abbas on the front page.

The Palestinian Arabs

The manner in which the Palestinian Arabs are treated is in sharp contrast.

Palestinians are victims:

  • The Palestinian “Nakba” was like the Holocaust of Jews. The disgraceful imagery that Arabs losing a civil war over land in a war they initiated as being comparable to the slaughter of 6 million Jews is vile in every manner, and commonplace in the Times. Consider Roger Cohen’s July 15, 2014 opinion piece where he directly compared the “Nakba” and the Holocaust, or Nicolas Kristof August 25, 2016 opinion piece in which he said that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl today.
  • Palestinians are brutalized by Israel; Jews are not victims. The split in coverage is horrible. Consider the front page on July 7, 2014 which had a large color picture of an American Arab teenager who was beaten up in a riot in Israel, to a story on November 20, 2015 when an American Jewish teenager was killed for simply riding in a car. The article had no picture for Ezra Schwartz, and the article didn’t even describe him as American until the tenth paragraph. Similarly, over two weeks in June/July 2015, the Times would only show pictures of Palestinian victims with captions of their names and that the killers were Israeli soldiers, but no pictures or captions would be posted for any of the Israelis killed.
  • Palestinians are victims, even when killed during terrorist attacks. There were several stories in October 2015 of Palestinian Arabs stabbing Israelis with knifes, attacking them with cleavers and running them over with cars. But in each instance, the Times posted pictures of the Palestinian Arabs wounded or killed, seemingly victims of Israeli actions rather than defensive reactions.

Palestinians are moderate but resort to violence because they are desperate with their situation and angry with how they’re treated by Israel.

  • The Palestinian leadership is moderate. The same November 15, 2018 articles mentioned above that called the Israeli government right-wing 15 times, chose to call the Palestinian Authority “moderate.” A January 14, 2018 article whitewashed Mahmoud Abbas’ antisemitic violent tirade the day before, and claimed that Abbas stood for non-violence.
  • The Palestinian Arabs are desperate and resort to violence. A December 31, 2014 editorial led that the Palestinians are so desperate that they may be willing to accept anything, or go to war. On June 5, 2018, the Times wrote an article which claimed that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated because of his support of Israel which treated the Palestinians badly, rather than Palestinians desire to eradicate Israel. On May 22, 2018, an editorial by Thomas Friedman said that Palestinians were angry about losing homes to Jews who had lost homes in Germany, making the Palestinians the victim and ignoring Jewish history and basic rights to live in Israel.
  • Palestinians only hope for peace, not the destruction of Israel. This is a constant refrain for the Times. An example can be found in the June 2, 2015 article which described the Gazans’ “hope” that governments around the world would rebuild the neighborhoods destroyed in the 2014 war, never outlining that the neighborhood was the opening of the fanatical funnel of tunnels that entered Israel. On February 28, 2016, Steven Erlanger referred to a convicted terrorist as a potential future Noble Peace Prize winner. Perhaps not a surprise, when the day before on February 27, 2016, the Times described a Palestinian terrorist group simply as “leftist.” Is terrorism against Israel a progressive ideal?

Hamas is not an antisemitic terrorist group, but simply an Islamic militant resistance group against occupation:

  • There are no Palestinian Arab terrorists. Even though the United States, the European Union and many other countries label Hamas and various other Palestinian Arab groups “terrorists,” the Times is loathe to do so, even while it freely labels other groups like the P.K.K., ISIS and others as such. Review a range of articles from June and July 2015 which just called Hamas a “militant group.” The story is the same for individual terrorists, such as when a Palestinian Arab killed an American citizen, the Times wrote a headline on March 8, 2016 that would lead a reader to believe that an Israeli killed the American.
  • Never mention the antisemitic Hamas Charter. The battles between Israel and Hamas have been going on since the organization was founded in 1988. The Times writes about Hamas every month, but never describes the group’s foundation document which quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. Instead the Times pretends that Hamas is not devoted to destroying Israel and killing Jews, such as the November 19, 2012 editorial in which it wrote that Hamas “is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it has repeatedly resorted to violence.”Not DEDICATED to violence, but RESORTED to violence according to the Times.

There is no Muslim anti-Semitism:

  • Palestinian Arabs are not motivated by antisemitism; that’s just a by-product of being persecuted by Israel. The Anti-Defamation League conducted an extensive analysis of antisemitism around the world. It found that the Palestinian Arabs were the most antisemitic, with almost every single person – 93 percent – harboring antisemitic views. The May 13, 2014 article by Rick Gladstone about the study did not highlight the Palestinians’ Jew hatred, but instead noted that “the Middle east results were not surprising,” whitewashing an underlying cause of the entire conflict.
  • Muslims kill Jews in Europe because of class issues, not religion. Consider the March 27, 2018 article about various Muslims attacking and killing Jews. The paper refused to expressly state the Islamic background of the murderers in each case.
  • Jews were not expelled from Muslim and Arab countries according to The Times. The October 20, 2016 by Ruth Margalit wrote that over 850,000 Jews simply immigrated from countries where they had lived for centuries, not making even a passing comment that their lives were made impossible by the antisemitic government edicts.

Palestinians and Muslim countries are not radical, but progressive:

  • Muslim countries are not radical or violent, only Israel is. The New York Times runs a travel business in which it touts the “beguiling” nature of regimes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco, but describes Israel as a volatile region.
  • Palestinian women fair well under their leadership; the only issue for women’s right is from Israel. The March 8, 2018 article about international women’s day showed pictures of women around the world protesting their situation – except in Gaza where girls and women were happy. On October 12, 2012, Jodi Rudoren wrote an article about honor killings in Palestinian territories, blaming the situation on Israel, not the misogynistic Palestinian society.

The bias in coverage of Israel and Palestinians is seen in almost every article.

This prevalent bias leads to INVERSIONS of cause-and-effect in the stories the paper writes about the conflict.

Consider the story about Jews buying apartments in eastern Jerusalem from Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian Authority considers the act high treason and punishable by death. As such, Israelis must be very careful in handling such matters to prevent the slaughter of Palestinian by the PA. But the Times INVERTED that narrative in an October 16, 2014 article by Isabel Kershner. Kershner made the Jews out to be sneaky profiteers doing shadowy illegal transactions, not trying to consummate a legal transaction while protecting the counter-party.

Overall, the framework for the conflict has been recast:

  • It is no longer an “Arab-Israel” Conflict, but a “Palestinian-Israeli” Conflict
  • There aren’t 50+ Arab and Muslim countries hostile to Israel, including 30 countries that refuse to acknowledge the basic existence of Israel, but dozens of United Nations resolutions (sponsored by those some countries) that condemn Israeli actions
  • It is no longer 1.8 billion Muslims against 6 million Jews in Israel, but 5 million Palestinian “refugees” against the government and army of Israel
  • Jews no longer have history, heritage, international and human rights to live throughout the land of Israel, but were granted a sliver of land as a reaction to the Holocaust

The alt-left has called for a new paradigm for viewing society, and The New York Times has embraced that credo: the weaker party is always right and can never be cast as racist, antisemitic or as the aggressor. The underdog’s situation is the fault of an external oppressor, and any action such downtrodden group takes to improve their status is simply “punching up” to establish equality. Their goals are noble and to be encouraged.

The Arab world took note and inserted the Palestinian “refugees” into this miasma of intersectionality, effectively convincing the alt-left to recast the antisemitic terrorists as the victims of colonialist forces. The New York Times is only too willing to help. You see, “evenhanded” to the alt-left progressives means pulling up with one hand and beating up with the other.


Related First.One.Through articles:

In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find”

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

Covering Racism

NY Times, NY Times, What Do You See? It Sees Rich White Males

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Bitter Burnt Ends: Talking to a Farrakhan Fan

A true story, plus

A True Story

The flight from New York to Denver was on a narrow-body plane, so first class wasn’t all that roomy. The person sitting next to me didn’t seem to mind the proximity of our seats, and leaned in – all the way. By the expression on his face, it looked like I was in for a long flight of listening.

We were similarly dressed in business casual attire. He was a light-skinned handsome black man, clean shaven with very short hair on his head. I looked like a hippy in comparison. But I guess my pleasant disposition encouraged him to prattle on and on and on.

I admit, I do not really remember what he said. I just remember laughing to myself – about an hour into his monologue – about his comment that people had suggested that he host a TV talk show. I laughed because the man never paused a moment to ask anything about me in an hour, so how could he imagine that he had any talent for interviewing people?

The conversation took a sharp turn when the food service began.

When the flight attendant brought me my kosher meal, the man looked astonished. I was not wearing a kippah on my head during the business trip so he did not entertain my being Jewish, and opted not to venture into any religious topics up until that moment. The kosher food gave him a new line of talking points.

As I began to eat, the man began to tell me how much he admired Louis Farrakhan who headed the Nation of Islam. He said that he understood that Farrakhan said some disparaging things about Jews, but overall, he did so much important work for black men that the good outweighed the bad. Black men needed real healing and to find a source of pride and power, and Farrakhan gave thousands of black men just that.

The food soured in my mouth.

I put down my fork and asked the man to my right if he really understood the things that Farrakhan said. That he didn’t simply say something non-politically correct once, but over-and-again. His anti-Semitic comments were not an aside, but a core part of his message; he empowered blacks by denigrating whites and Jews.

My fellow passenger nodded but dissented; none of what I said was revelatory. While he didn’t agree with Farrkhan’s comments as it related to denigrating Jews, in the end, he felt the message was powerful. Poor black men saw another black man showing no fear, talking in a loud unambiguous voice to the power structure. The leader of the NOI’s voice and message were effective at empowering black men.

I tried once more to make him see my side: did he understand that Farrakhan’s message was not only about pulling black people up but tearing others down? Did he not comprehend that Farrkhan was a voice of hate, not one of pride? That a movement built on a foundation of racism and antisemitism was both brittle and vile?

His smile disappeared. The voice grew cold.

He objected strongly to my classification that the NOI was built on racism and antisemitism. He raised his voice and said that there was much much more to Farrakhan’s lectures, specifically, his demand that black men hold themselves to a higher standard and be more accountable for their own actions. My objections were based on a very narrow viewpoint, and clearly I wasn’t all that concerned about poor black men when I took a few inappropriate comments that related to my religion and blew them out of proportion. Such a selfish approach revealed my own racism, that a rich Jew sitting in first class couldn’t absorb a small insult when thousands of black men were clearly benefiting from the preacher’s words.

I opened a book and looked down for the rest of my flight.

Plus

It’s been over ten years since I took that flight. Louis Farrakhan has continued to demonstrate his racism and antisemitism in vivid fashion, and many people continue to come to his defense.

Powerful black people are not only his defenders, but actively court Farrakhan in spite of (because of?) his vile antisemitism and racism. They include Democratic politicians Keith Ellison, Maxine Waters, Danny Davis, Andre Carson and Al Green. They include TV personalities like Marc Lamont Hill and university professors like Cornel West. Women’s March organizers including Linda Sarsour (non-black Muslim) and Melissa Harris-Perry.

Current CNN anchor Don Lemon (who looks very much like my flight companion of fifteen years ago) interviewed Farrakhan back in 2007 when the NOI leader defended his comments about Jews and Lemon opted to not challenge the antisemitism. With Lemon’s current podium, he has picked up Farrakhan’s tone and suggested that it was time to lock up white men.

Louis Farrakhan and Don Lemon in 2007
(photo: Ashahed M. Mohamed)
The hateful messages have worked their way into society at large. On visiting Cal Berekely in San Francisco last year, I was greeted by a black woman wearing a shirt that read “White Man Bow Down.” Nice.

The theme of black and feminist extremists no longer resembles anything liberals once recognized. The calls are not about raising living standards for those doing poorly, but attacking those whom are perceived to be in a better situation. It is not about “believing women” as much as about disbelieving men. It’s a call to tear down the “patriarchy,” the institutions and white men in power, by any means possible.

The means are irrelevant. The end result is all that matters.

It is easy for BlackLivesMatter and Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour to find common cause in this world of intersectionality. The leaders of the “moderate” Palestinian Fatah party loudly proclaim that killing Israelis is legal and rational. Any means justify a just end. Literally, anything.

From my perspective, I am both appalled and outraged. I am appalled that calls for violence are not met with calls for arrest of those who promote such actions. I am astonished that racists and antisemites are not denounced. And I am outraged that in this upside down world of alt-left extremism, that I am called the racist for pointing out the obvious.

The means do not justify the ends. The slaughter of the Jewish Fogel family in Israel by two Palestinian men was not a “natural response to the (Israeli) occupation.” The racist and antisemitic chants from Farrakhan are not “important” and celebrities should not whitewash Farrakhan’s blatant Jew-baiting with ridiculous comments that “I do not know if he is an anti-Semite.” Farrakhan’s words came out of the mouth of the man who gunned down Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

There are methods being deployed and defended that are beyond comprehension, let alone beyond justification. Similarly, there are people like Farrakhan who are being courted and protected who deserve neither respect nor adulation.

Disgraceful words and deeds deserve nothing more than bitter burnt ends.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Black Lives Matter Joins the anti-Israel “Progressives” Fighting Zionism

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

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

Between Right-Wing and Left-Wing Antisemitism

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Between Terrorism and Sexual Harassment is a lot of Money

Former CEO of CBS Les Moonves was due to receive $120 million as part of his severance package upon leaving the firm, however, the CBS board of directors has decided not to pay him after lawyers for the firm concluded that he was in breach of his employment contract for sexually harassing a number of women.

While that was going on, the government of Qatar transferred $15 million, as the second installment of a total $90 million, to roughly 27,000 employees of Hamas who run the Gaza Strip. It did this with the approval of Israel.


Qatari official Mohammed al-Emadi (left) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in 2015.
(photo: Ashraf Amra/APA/Landov)

For its part, the Palestinian Authority, run by Hamas’s rival Fatah, also pays terrorists that kill and injure Jews. In 2018, the “Martyr’s Fund” paid roughly $330 million to about 35,000 families.

It’s an interesting lesson about the standards related to payouts in the West compared to those paid out in the Arab Middle East.

In the United States, $120 million was denied because the person was accused of harassing women. However, in the Palestinian territories, terrorists were awarded $420 million for terrorizing Jews.

Even anti-Semites and feminists would likely acknowledge that murder is worse than harassing women. But the issue here is not the action in the absolute, but one of legality and situation: Les Moonves did something abhorrent in the eyes of Americans and illegal in the view of attorneys, while the Palestinian terrorists did something natural in the eyes of the United Nations and welcome in the view of Muslim and Arab countries.

Not only was Moonves not supposed to attack women as part of his job, it arguably undermined the compensation scheme in his contract. That is in sharp contrast to Hamas which is expected to kill Israeli Jews as made abundantly clear in its charter and in the speeches and songs of its leadership “Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.”

The message is clear: the key to pocketing tens of millions of dollars is to focus on doing what people want and expect of you. For much of the Muslim Arab world, that’s killing Jews.


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The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

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The New York Times wants the military to defeat terrorists (but not Hamas)

While Palestinians Fire 400 Rockets, the United Nations Meets to Give Them Money

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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

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

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

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Not Remembering, Forgetting and Never Knowing

While the Bible is one of the oldest texts in history, it contains important lessons about memory and history within its own stories.

One of the great episodes in the book of Genesis was about Joseph interpreting dreams for a baker and cup-bearer while they all sat in prison. Joseph correctly interpreted the dreams of both people, with the baker ultimately being killed while the cup-bearer was returned to his position in court. In exchange for his services, Joseph only asked that the cup-bearer remember him so that he could also gain his freedom: “Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.” (Genesis 40:14)

But the cup-bearer did not do as Joseph asked: “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (Genesis 40:23)

The text above is seemingly redundant. Why state that the cupbearer both “did not remember” Joseph and then again “forgot him”?

Was this dynamic a precursor for the story of Joseph played out years later, when Joseph was forgotten again after he died? “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8)

Not Remembering versus Forgetting

Not remembering someone is seemingly not a malicious act. A person could not be remembered because of other activities which gathered more attention or because the person was simply not present.

As opposed to not remembering which is a passive act, forgetting is an active verb. It suggests a willful desire to not recall a person or action.

In the world of social media, not remembering could be akin to not thinking of someone because they didn’t post anything for some time. Forgetting someone would be closer to unfriending the person. The former is a momentary occasion that comes from a lack of stimuli, whereas the latter comes from deliberate dismissal.

In the Bible story, the cupbearer may have not remembered Joseph because he was busy attending to Pharaoh. However, the forgetting of Joseph may have been a deliberate disregard for Joseph because he had nothing to offer anymore. Only when the cupbearer heard of Pharaoh’s dreams and had a chance to gain his master’s good graces, was Joseph actively recalled. Forgetting was tied to self-absorption and selfishness.

Not Knowing

One could perhaps forgive the new king of Egypt for not knowing Joseph as relayed in the beginning of Exodus. If two people never met – perhaps because they lived in different generations – there was obviously no ill will, just circumstances.

But the introduction of Exodus tells us not to be so casual in the reading of the new king not knowing Joseph.

Exodus 1:1 “These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family.” The bible had just ended Genesis with a full accounting of the children of Jacob; why list them here?

Rashi states that it was because the children of Jacob were dear to God and therefore worth remembering, even when deceased. Other commentators say that the extra word “names” in the sentence conveys that their reputations continued to live on.

If that is so, how could it be that Joseph – more famous than any of Jacob’s sons – who had saved Egypt and the entire Middle East from famine a generation earlier, could not have been remembered by the new Egyptian king? Did the prior generation passively not remember and actively forget the efforts of Joseph just like the cupbearer? It seems unfathomable that such events and good deeds could have been easily forgotten. The “not knowing” seemingly was connected to active disinformation to disassociate Joseph from Egypt’s success through the famine. Perhaps the new Egyptian king sought to elevate the reputation of himself and his family by rewriting history.

The Bible tells us right after the new king’s unfamiliarity with Joseph, that the Israelites were viewed with suspicion and then enslaved. Historic allies became enemies. People who had lived together side-by-side were suddenly in a hierarchical ecosystem.

When the cupbearer forgot Joseph, a single person forgot a single person’s actions, and the repercussion was that Joseph remained in prison. However, when the actions of Joseph saving all of Egypt were wiped from memory, the entirety of the Jewish people became enslaved.

The situation of denying history with horrible consequences continues today.

Jews in Israel Today

The history of Jews in Israel is not only being forgotten, it is being rewritten.

Over the past few decades, the Arab and Muslim world have been very active in denying and recasting Jewish history.

  • Holocaust denial. The leaders of Iran and the Palestinian Authority have taken a variety of approaches in denying the deliberate slaughter of 6 million Jews in Europe, ranging from denying that the event happened to arguing that Zionists plotted with the Nazis to enable the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine (yes, that was the essence of Mahmoud Abbas’ doctoral thesis).
  • The Jewish State was founded in reaction to the Holocaust. In a curious bit of mind-bending, the same people that deny the Holocaust existed, argue that the world gave Palestine to the Jews out of guilt. The 3,500 years of Jewish history is ignored as are the modern international laws of 1920 and 1922 (which predate the Holocaust), explicitly laying out the history of Jews in Palestine and reestablishing their homeland.
  • No Jews lived in Israel. The Arab and Muslim world deny that Jews have any history in Israel. They have gone to such lengths as to hold up the United Nations from putting on a display showcasing Jews’ 3,500 year history in Israel.
  • There was Never a Temple in Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat and various members of the Arab and Muslim world have denied the existence of the two Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem is a Muslim city. The city of Jerusalem (both eastern and western) has had a Jewish majority since the 1860s. You’d have a hard time knowing that from the consistent lies that Jerusalem is losing its “Arab character.”
  • Palestinians are Canaanites. Beyond denying Jewish history, Palestinian leaders have tried to rewrite their own history, stating that Palestinians are descendants of Canaanites who predate Abraham’s arrival in Israel, even though Arabs only arrived en masse to Israel in the 7th century (the descendants of ancient Canaanites are actually Lebanese). More “Palestinian” Arabs arrived during the British Mandate 1922-1948, than Jews, from countries including Iraq and Egypt.

These are not examples of “not remembering” or forgetting, but much more aggressive deliberate denials of history. And the aim of the Jew-haters is clear: cement the position that Jews are interlopers and foreign colonialists in Arab land. That is the revised history which they want people to know.

The Arab and Muslim countries use their vast numbers – over 1.6 billion people and over 50 countries – to change Jewish history at the United Nations and in school textbooks where they are in power.

  • UN resolutions refer to the Jewish Temple Mount by an Arabic name
  • UN agency resolutions claim that Israel is changing the Arab character of Jerusalem
  • UN resolutions condemn Israel for changing the Muslim character of Jewish sites such as the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron and the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem

As the eradication of Jewish heritage and history takes root, the next generation of millennials have begun to look at Jews in Israel with disgust. Why are all of these Jews in Arab land? Like Pharaoh in ancient times, they do not know the long and deep history of Jews in the holy land. For the millennials and progressives, those “facts” are stories of fantasy only believed by Evangelical Christians and far-right Orthodox Jews. The only history they know and accept is presented by AJ+ and those backed by Arab and Muslim money funneled into their universities.

Corrective Course

For those who care about history – and remembering actual history – there are a number of actions to take:

  • Insert the word “Jewish” into the Sites. Whether it’s on road signs or maps, whether it’s the Cave of the JEWISH Patriarchs or the JEWISH Temple Mount, reinforce history, be clear that these have always been Jewish sites.
  • Mark HISTORIC dates of Israel’s cities, not just modern ones. It is wonderful to celebrate Jerusalem Day in June on the anniversary of Jerusalem being reunited. But why not celebrate the day that King David took the city 3,000 years ago; mark Hebron Day when Abraham bought the Cave of Machpelah to bury his wife Sarah.; Jericho Day, for when Joshua conquered the first city when the Jews came back to their Promised Land; etc.
  • Teach Tanakh in schools. Jewish Day Schools barely teach the stories of the prophets. Only 18 of the 54 parshas in the Torah have a haftorah which includes a section from the historical accounts described in Joshua, Judges, Samuel I & II and Kings I & II. And these short sections are often ignored by people when read on Sabbath. Young and old Jews need to better understand their own history and should read the stories together with maps laying out where the events took place.
  • Endow Israel Studies programs at universities. Iran and Saudi Arabia are funding universities throughout the United States. It is no surprise that the schools getting multi-million dollar gifts for Persian studies like UC Berkeley and Princeton, also have many anti-Israel professors. It is time to have more than three American universities with strong Israel studies programs.
  • Observe Judaism in Israel. The Bible commands Jews – at a minimum a Jewish king – to write a sefer Torah, so have a permanent sofer, a Torah scribe, at the Kotel or at the City of David just south of the Jewish Temple Mount where Kings David and Solomon had their palaces. Replace the siren that marks the entry of Sabbath and Jewish holidays with the sound of a shofar from the same loudspeakers. Mark every field that observes shmita with a large sign, including the verses from the bible declaring such law. etc.

The United States and other countries can also take actions:

Reject any UN Resolution out of hand that does not:

  • mention the “Jewish Temple Mount” when referencing the “Al Aqsa Compound”
  • note that Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since the 1860s whenever it discusses the “Arab character of Jerusalem”
  • Refer to the region as “Judea and Samaria” whenever it refers to the “West Bank”
  • Comment that the Jordanians and Palestinians ethnically cleansed Judea and Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1949, in any resolution which accuses Israel of committing “ethnic cleansing”

Arab and Muslim nations have waged an assault on Jewish history, and the alt-left have become willing disciples. People who care about truth, Jews and Zionism must counter this affront with a comparable campaign to remember and not forget the long and remarkable history of Jews in the Jewish holy land.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cave of the Jewish Matriarch and Arab Cultural Appropriation

The Countries that Acknowledge the Jewish Temple May Surprise You

Squeezing Zionism

Iran’s New Favorite Jewish Scholars

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel

Losing the Temples, Knowledge and Caring

In Defense of Foundation Principles

Related First.One.Through video:

Judea and Samaria (Music by the Foo Fighters)

10 Ignored Facts about Jews and Muslim Populations in Israel (Music by Seal)

Who are the Palestinians (Music by The Who)

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Existing While Jewish

The racism prevalent in Palestinian Arab society sometimes seems to have no limits.

It is one thing to read a poll which describes almost every single Palestinian man, woman and child as hating Jews, and that Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic people on the planet. It is another to hear the stories of how that Arab hatred manifests itself.

  • Waiting for a bus while being Jewish. Seven Jews were shot while they stood at a bus stop near the town of Ofra in the Israeli Territory of Area C in December 2018. A Palestinian rode his car and sprayed the civilians – including a pregnant woman – who were just standing there with gunfire.
  • Going to work while being Jewish. Jewish workers were shot and killed in the Barkan Industrial Zone, designed to be an area of coexistence, in October 2018. The Palestinian Arab had internalized that Jews should really not be working there.
  • Standing next to a store while being Jewish. Ari Fuld was just standing outside a store when a Palestinian Arab teenager stabbed him in the back and killed him in September 2018. Why should Palestinians have to see Jews shopping?
  • Riding a bus while being Jewish. Jews were riding a bus in Jerusalem in April 2016. Appalling. A Palestinian Arab teenager blew up the bus.
  • Looking like a tourist who might be Jewish. A Palestinian ran through Tel Aviv stabbing people, including an American named Taylor Force in March 2016. How outrageous to see people visiting the Jewish State!
  • Riding a car while being Jewish. A Jewish couple drove with their kids on the road and were shot and killed by a Palestinian terrorist, who thought Jews should really not be driving anywhere near him in October 2015.
  • Praying in a synagogue while being Jewish. Jews were in synagogue reciting their prayers when Palestinian Arabs entered with an axe and meat cleaver, slaughtering four of them in November 2014. Jews praying in Jerusalem is about as outrageous a thing as any Palestinian Arab can imagine.

  • Sleeping while being Jewish. Five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death – including a three month old – while asleep in their beds in the town of Itamar in March 2011. How could Jews be sleeping in their homes so close to Arab villages? Who do they think they are?
  • Having a Passover Seder while being Jewish. Dozens of seniors were having a quiet Passover seder at a hotel in Netayna in March 2002. Outrageous. A Palestinian Arab walked into the room and blew the place up.
  • Having pizza while being Jewish. Mothers and children were enjoying pizza on a hot afternoon of August 2001. Clearly too much for a Palestinian Arab man who blew the place up, murdering 15 and wounding over 100.

How should Jews feel when when every simple action makes Palestinian Arabs so enraged that they want to kill them?

How maddening is it for Jews to live with the constant anxiety of having their presence, their innocence, and their existence, questioned?

When antisemitism is so deeply instilled into Palestinian society, how can coexistence ever be possible?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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

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The 2011 Massacre of the Fogels (Gorecki)

The 2002 Massacres of Netanya and Jenin (Gorecki)

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Brooklyn’s Holiday Donuts

Okay, so my family has a bit of an obsession about food. It’s a statement that’s always true, and it gets worse on holidays.

On Chanukah, we make an annual pilgrimage to different areas of Brooklyn, NY to sample the great donuts. Well, not really “sample” as much as devour. Here are the highlights so you can participate in the fun.

Sesame. 1540 Coney Island Ave.

The store is located on the diagonal corner from the large Pomegranate kosher food store. The donuts are simply delicious. The shelves are often wiped clean and people must wait for the fresh donuts to be brought in from the oven around the corner.

Ever eat a lemon jelly donut fresh from the oven? It’s out of this world. The hazelnut? Amazing. The Lotus and regular jelly donuts were also terrific.


Selection of jelly donuts from Sesame

Grab a cardboard box for six when you enter the store. It’s easier to handle than the large box for a dozen as you try to grab some fresh donuts as the store workers bring in the next batch. (We had two six-packs and another plastic container for two more).

Bagels N Greens. 1379 Coney Island Ave.

This store is for people looking for elaborate donuts with multiple and complex toppings. Excellent flavor at a steeper price. They also have a nice lunch menu and chairs to sit – unique among the bakeries listed here. I suggest factoring in some healthy food somewhere in the donut crawl so your kids don’t think you’re totally insane.

Ostrovitsky’s. 1124 Avenue J

Nice, clean and well lit, the holiday donuts are just one of many great things to sample here (also try the chocolate horn – yum). The Rosemarie chocolate donut was marvelous. The place is often busy, with an organized line, but definitely worth the wait.


Line at Ostrovitsky’s worth the wait

Gombos Heimishe Bakery. 328 Kingston Ave

Gombos is in Crown Heights. Over the holiday, it is ALL about the donuts; there is nothing else really going on here. Prices are the cheapest and the selection and taste is quite good. They have a good mix of dairy and pareve donuts. The place is a bit of a balagan (crazy disorder) but a required stop if you have kids and/or buying dozens of donuts.


Some of the donuts at Gombos


Those are the top four bakeries if you’re looking for exceptional donuts and a great holiday experience. Here are some others that were sampled and worth visiting:

Weiss Bakery. 5011 13th Ave

Excellent bakery. Try the rugelach or chocolate horns. The donuts are okay, not required eating during the holiday.

Taam Eden Bakery. 4603 13th Ave

Right down the block from Weiss Bakery is Taam Eden. Very nice selection of donuts at good prices.

Schreiber’s Homestyle Bakery. 3008 Avenue M

Quite close to Sesame, is a small (not as clean as one would like) but definitely delicious bakery called Schreiber’s. In addition to the pretty good and very tasty selection of donuts, are lace cookies which among the best in Brooklyn.

Mansoura Bakery. 515 Kings Highway

Mansoura is a Syrian bakery and does NOT carry donuts. They do carry some amazing baklava and other Sefaradi dishes. Note that it’s not so close to the other bakeries.


Baklava at Mansoura

Enjoy the holiday AND the food!


Related First.One.Through articles:

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

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“Free Israel” and the New Pro-Zionist Placards

There are some pro-Palestinian slogans which have become popular such as “Free Palestine.” Such language presumes that the country of Palestine exists today and is in a state of occupation by a foreign power(s). Many people believe that the contours of such “Palestine” is as it was in 1922 when the British assumed the Mandate of Palestine, or the configuration of 1924, after the British split off the land east of the Jordan River for the local Hashemite tribe which became the country known as Jordan today.

Their calls to “Free Palestine” are often accompanied by “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This clarification of “Palestine” clearly excludes the area of “Trans-Jordan” and targets areas west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: Israel, Gaza and the region commonly referred to as the “West Bank.” The call for “freedom” is a call for an eradication of the Jewish State of Israel.

A CNN talking head by the name of Marc Lamont Hill made both of these calls at the United Nations this week. After he was fired from his CNN gig for the comments to destroy Israel, he poked his fingers into the cloud on Twitter and later in an article, stating that he was not calling for the killing of Jews, just the eradication of the Jewish State which should be replaced by a “bi-national” state throughout the region. Just a few sentences later he reversed that opinion calling for “a redrawing of borders to the pre-1967 lines,” seemingly suggesting that he does not want a single bi-national state in the land “from the river to the sea,” but one bi-national state in Israel and a separate purely Arab state of Palestine.

All of Lamont Hill’s comments and explanations are against a backdrop of his oft-repeated comments that the entirety of Israel is illegal, “stolen by greed and destroyed by hate,” with laws “written in the blood of the innocent.” He calls for a “revolutionary struggle” and “fight for freedom” against Israel.

This far left-wing mouthpiece was seemingly now tripping over himself as he tried to keep his job as a teacher at Temple University, and maybe have a shot at making some coin at other venues spouting his radical opinions.

His comments and explanations shed light on the various audiences which listen to such diatribes.

One group includes radical Islamists that instigate violence against the Jewish State. These forces include terrorist groups like the political party Hamas, Hizbullah and Palestine Islamic Jihad, as well as student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. These organizations are hate groups which loudly embrace the calls of “Free Palestine” and “from the river to the sea…” in the most straightforward manner: destroy Israel.

A second group who loves these slogans are relatively more moderate and include radical progressives. They do not want to slaughter millions of Jews in Israel (ain’t that special?), but they also don’t believe that the Jews have any rights to live in “Palestine.” This group seeks to normalize the notion that Israel is an illegal enterprise and that the Arab terrorist groups are nothing more than “resistance groups” against the theft of their land and heritage.

The first group seeks a war of arms and the annihilation of Israel. The second group wants Israeli Jews neutered, without a Jewish State.

Lamont Hill’s first declaration at the UN was made for the former, the Arab and Muslim extremists that call for the eradication of the Zionist experiment.

Lamont Hill’s subsequent “clarifying” statements were for the alt-left wing, which hopes that through the normalization of extremist language and demands such as boycotts of Israeli professors and goods and calling Israel a “colonial power” which “ethnically cleanses” the land of Arabs, it can arrive at a very favorable pro-Arab result in negotiating a two-state solution. With the pro-Israel camp beginning in a middle-of-the-road position while the pro-Arab camp starting in the far extreme, a compromise would highly skew in favor of the Palestinian Arabs.

It’s clever and horrifying.

Solutions to these radical Islamist extremists’ and far left-wing progressives’ assaults on Israel are two-fold: a vigorous challenge to the slogans and people, as well as a re-positioning of the pro-Israel stance in a similar refrain. Hopefully the two-pronged approach will bring the pro-Palestinian parties towards the middle and enable an enduring peace.

Challenge the Extremist Slogans and People

Lamont Hill should not have been fired from CNN in November 2018. He should have been fired from CNN, Temple University and every other venue back in January 2015 when he reached back into the vile antisemitic screed of the Middle Ages calling a blood libel on the Jewish State, with accusations of stealing and killing the “blood of the innocent.” Where was the outcry back then?

This treatment harkens back to when the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas stood before the United Nations and denied the history and heritage of Jews in Israel, calling them “racists” and “colonial occupiers” committing “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs, to which he received a standing ovation. Abbas’s long history of Holocaust denial, vilifying Israel and promoting attacks on Jews was long ignored by the western press. It was only in April 2018 during a long-winded speech of vitriol that the media thought that maybe Abbas had gone too far. In fact, his speech included virtually all of his same antisemitic remarks he had used in the past. The only thing that was new was the sudden awareness of Abbas’s vileness.

It is incumbent on everyone to not be sanguine that the media and universities will call out the anti-Semites who are given podiums and positions of power. People must demand these voices of hate be stripped of those positions. TODAY, call and write Richard Englert, President of Temple University to remove Marc Lamont Hill. You are free to attach this article.

Richard M. Englert
President of Temple University
Second Floor, Sullivan Hall
1330 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122

215-204-7405 (phone)
215-204-5600 (fax)
president@temple.edu

New Pro-Zionist Placards

Concurrent with calls to remove the hated language and mouthpieces, should be the re-positioning of the Israeli posture. It is time to match – or better yet, mimic – the pro-Palestinian Arab slogans. Perhaps people will appreciate the offensiveness of the long-used Arab comments.  Or it will simply provide symmetry of the two opposing sides.

Here are some examples:

  • Free Israel.” – A call to remove all of the Arabs from the Jewish state. It seems that many Islamic extremists and left-wing progressives believe that Israel with a 25% non-Jewish population is racist anyway. Maybe they will pause and rethink their position of a Jew-free Palestine.
  • From the River to the Sea, Israel will be free.” – A call to fully re-take Gaza and all of the “West Bank” again. Evict all Arabs to any of the dozens of Arab countries where they can enjoy the “Arab culture” which they feel Israel is destroying.
  • Boycott Palestine / Jordan” – The country of Jordan occupies 77% of 1922 Palestine. The population there is majority Palestinian and the Queen is Palestinian. It is time to boycott this country that not only robbed the Jewish State of much of its dedicated homeland, but passed laws forbidding any Jew from obtaining citizenship. Do not visit the country and do not accept a professor to teach or lecture. Ban Jordanian/Palestinian students from participating in university exchange programs and don’t let them compete in any sort of competition.
  • Stop the Genocide of Jews” – March in the streets calling out the car ramming attacks, the stabbings, bombings, stonings and firing at cars perpetrated by Palestinian Arab terrorists.
  • Terrorism Palestinians” – The problem is not just with the terrorist group Hamas that attacks Israel or the Fatah party that pays money to terrorist families and names schools and squares after the killers. The Palestinian people themselves vote for these antisemitic thugs. Polls show that 93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semites and other polls show that the Arabs support violence against Jewish Israelis.
  • Stop the Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews” – Over 850,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries since 1948. The Jordanians expelled all of the Jews from Judea and Samaria, including the eastern part of Jerusalem. Arabs continue to call for elimination of Israel, with 30 countries still refusing to acknowledge Israel’s basic existence.
  • Stop the Seige of Israel” – Israel is under a blockade of acceptance, over 70 years after the reestablishment of the Jewish State. At this time, 30 countries still refuse to acknowledge its existence. More radicals seek to boycott Israel’s people and produce.
  • Pray for Israel” – Israel is under siege by radical Islamic terrorists and far left-wing progressives. Fight the hate.
    • I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.Genesis 12:3
    • Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed,
      And whoever curses Israel will be cursed.Numbers 24:9

Israel has been under assault in the media and corridors of power, and the radical Islamists and alt-left progressives have been given tacit approval and encouragement to shout their blood libels louder. It is well past time for the pro-Zionist community to respond.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Where’s the March Against Anti-Semitism?

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

I am a Zionist. A Deep Zionist. An Amazed Zionist. A Loud Zionist.

The Anger from the Zionist Center

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

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