To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, The New York Times posted an editorial by Jan Grabowski about “The New Wave of Holocaust Revisionism.” The essay described how Poland was setting up monuments for Polish non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust – directly in the location where hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered, often with the help of other Poles.
Grabowski warns that this distortion of history is a new form of Holocaust denial – one that tries to whitewash Polish collaboration with the Nazis. It is taking flight since Poland passed a law in 2018 to penalize those people who attribute some of the blame of the Jewish Holocaust on Poland. The historian faces a number of lawsuits from the country for his detailed published research, including his book “Hunt for Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland” which won the Yad Vashem International Book Award in 2014.
It was appropriate for the Times to publish the lengthy essay shortly after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Alas, the paper did not do the same when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) distorted the role that Palestinian Arabs played in the murder of European Jewry.
In May 2019, Tlaib said that she got a “calming feeling” thinking about ancestors who helped “create a safe haven for Jews.” Jews and many Republicans denounced the Holocaust revisionism as pure anti-Semitism, while fellow Democrats and liberal outlets rushed to her defense. The plain facts are that Palestinian Arabs pushed the British to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine during Kristallnacht, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem met with leading Nazi officials to support the annihilation of the Jews. When Jews arrived in Palestine after the war, Arab armies came to slaughter the Survivors.
The Times similarly avoids writing that the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, wrote his doctoral thesis distorting the Holocaust.
It is wrong of Poland to reorient history from the complicity of Poles in the Holocaust and to come after those who discuss the actual history, much as it is shameful for Tlaib to twist history that Palestinians were saviors of European Jews and the Democratic party loyalists to rally to her defense and demand silence on Muslim anti-Semitism.
Holocaust revisionism is finding a home in the alt-right, the alt-left and among radical Islamists. If the mainstream media selectively highlights the poison only among the racist right, it is complicit in the same Holocaust denial.
Intersectionality considers that various forms of discrimination are both unique in themselves and can manifest in ways that are more particular due to overlapping prejudices. For example, a Black woman might experience a particular form of racism in being Black, a different form of prejudice in being a woman, and yet a distinct form of bias in being both. It is a broad movement designed to make people consider various forms of biases as well as to create bonds of support between various groups suffering discrimination.
It is therefore perplexing on its face, that antisemitism, the oldest and most pernicious form of hatred, is treated with such scorn among the proponents of intersectionality.
Consider the anti-Zionist fervor of the intersectionality preachers. The Democratic Socialists of America call Israel an “apartheid” state and its New York chapter demands that politicians refuse to visit the Jewish State.
Black Lives Matter condemns Israel’s “apartheid practices and settler colonial project” and both ignores Jewish history and human rights as it inverts attacker and victim in propaganda seemingly lifted from the terrorist group Hamas.
Even the founders of the Women’s March had strong ties to the infamous anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan.
This alt-left noxious anti-Jewish and anti-Jewish State orientation has even permeated the mindset of progressive Jews.
At the University of Colorado Boulder, a South Asian Jew named Samira K. Mehta is launching a new program called “Jews of Color: Histories and Futures.” It seemingly binds together the most oppressed groups of all- Jews who are Black, Brown or Hispanic. According to the Brandeis Center, roughly 11% of American Jews are non-White, and a much higher 18% among Gen Z. It is therefore a very worthwhile effort.
However, in launching the initiative, Mehta said about White Jews “When you’ve been hurt by white supremacy, how do you grapple with the fact that you’ve also benefited from it? I want to get at that by talking about how Jews of Color experience predominantly white Jewish spaces.” Re-read the statement from a Jew of Color about White Jews – they benefit from ‘White Supremacy.’
In what twisted world can anyone postulate that Jews benefit from White Supremacy? They are the victims of White Supremacy twice over – by being viciously attacked by those hate-mongers and by being lumped together with them by idiots because they are White.
Do 1.8 billion Muslims benefit from the actions of Islamic extremists? No! They become lumped into a horrible stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists. No progressive would ever suggest such a theory, let alone in an interview about the launch of a new course on ‘Islamophobia.’
When you’ve [White Jews] been hurt by white supremacy, how do you grapple with the fact that you’ve also benefited from it?
Would a Black lesbian turn towards people in the intersectional community – say a Black heterosexual woman – and taunt her that she’s straight and benefits from people that attack the LGBT community? Who could even drum up such a scenario? Seemingly, a Jew of Color.
Anti-Semitism has become so systemic in parts of the progressive community, that even Jews are now repulsed by White Jews.
On January 20, 1942, Germans met in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to develop the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.” The persecution of Jews was already well underway, and on that day, the Nazi regime put into place a program to push the Jews to extinction. They succeeded in wiping out nearly all of the Jews in Europe, about one-third of global Jewry.
Since the end of World War II, the Arab and Muslim world picked up the fight to “the Jewish Problem.”
The Arabs in Palestine were successful in lobbying the British in impeding Jewish immigrants desperate to leave the Holocaust in Europe with the “White Papers”, likely causing well over 100,000 Jewish deaths. The remaining Holocaust survivors landing on the shores of Palestine after World War II were very vulnerable targets. The Palestinian Arabs enlisted the help of neighboring Muslim countries to complete the genocide of the Jews, killing nearly one per cent of the region’s Jews in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli War. The Arabs then ethnically-cleansed all Jews from the lands they seized, and forbade Jews from visiting their holiest locations in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Angry at the survival of the Jewish nation, Muslim Arab countries purged their Jews. Roughly 99% of the region’s Jews were forced out, an estimated 850,000 Jews, a total which does excludes the Jews who fled Afghanistan and Iran.
Arab countries attempted to kill all of the Jews in Israel again in 1967, though they failed spectacularly. Stinging from the loss, the Arab League adopted the Khartoum Resolution which called for “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.” The Arabs soon launched another war against Israel – during Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur – in 1973, while pushing the noxious idea that “Zionism is a form of racism” at the United Nations under the watch of former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, who was serving as the UN Secretary General.
Meanwhile, Christianity rethought its complicity in the European Holocaust and declared in 1965 that Jews were no more responsible for the death of Jesus than anyone else, and declared clearly that Jews should not be persecuted. Less than 25 years later, the “Iron wall” in the Soviet Union crumbled and allowed thousands of Jewish “refuseniks” to leave the country to Israel and elsewhere.
But the bile in the Arab Muslim world did not let up during this time, even as Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979.
The Palestinians declared themselves to have an independent state in 1988 on all of the land of Israel including the “West Bank” and Gaza, a move which was rejected by much of the western world. At the same time, Hamas introduced its foundational charter calling for the death of Jews and complete destruction of the Jewish State. The group (and other Palestinian terrorist groups) became immensely popular and received funding from Iran and Syria.
Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah, together with Palestinian Arabs, targeted and killed thousands of Jews around the world in the following decades. Iranian leaders have continued to hold Holocaust denial conferences, call for the destruction of Israel and pursue nuclear weapons and long range ballistic missiles.
On the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the United Nations approved a resolution condemning Holocaust denial, with only Iran standing in opposition. The story was covered by The New York Times and other media outlets which wrote about the resolution and described today’s prevalent “right-wing” anti-Semitism and completely ignored that the vast majority of anti-Semitism stems from the Islamic world.
Not only will Muslim anti-Semitism not go away by ignoring it, but it may enable the leading state sponsor of terrorism and Holocaust denial to obtain weapons of mass destruction to carry out another genocide of the Jews.
A British Muslim flew thousands of miles to take Jewish hostages in Texas in an attempt to secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a noted anti-Semite serving time for trying to kill American soldiers and plot a mass casualty attack in New York City. The hijacker, Malik Faisal Akram, yelled at the people praying on a Sabbath morning in synagogue, “Jews control the world, Jews control the media, Jews control the banks,” and said that the Jews “can call President Trump and he will do it [release Siddiqui] because Jews control everything.“
But The New York Times deliberately omitted that Akram and Siddiqui were Muslim or even the word “anti-Semitism” in its coverage. The Associated Press would similarly not describe the Jew hatred of Siddiqui in a long profile of her.
The Times has an established track record of ignoring Black and Brown anti-Semitism for two principle reasons: the liberal paper does not want those communities to draw the attention of law enforcement which it thinks over-police those communities, and it seeks to label racism as a purely White and Republican phenomenon, in the hopes of securing more votes for liberals and minorities.
The left-wing media gives Muslim anti-Semites and anti-Zionists a platform, such as CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo, who has been flagged by the Anti-Defamation League for comments like “pay attention to the ‘polite Zionists,’ … We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses. …know your enemies, and I’m not going to sugarcoat that they are your enemies.”
But in the end, liberals have placed Muslims alongside Black and Brown people in the category of Victims of Preference. They will not disturb their protective shield around these groups, even if they commit heinous crimes.
That is why left-wing politicians call out anti-Semitism and lump it together with racism and Islamophobia – not because they think that Jews suffer like their Victims of Preference, but as a means TO PROTECT the VOPs, even as the Jews uniquely suffer.
What makes the absence particularly appalling, is that the liberal press did not have to make the statement itself, but could just have simply quoted Democratic President Joe Biden who said of the attack “let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate — we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country.” Instead, the paper just use a quote in an article on January 18 where he called it an “act of terror.“
The New York Times, the most popular digital news source in the world where over 90% of its viewership is Democratic, is educating its liberal readers that minorities cannot be racists or anti-Semites. It is part of its ‘2019 Project’ on White Supremacy, which is concluding that “American Jews are now part of the ownership class,” as Randi Weingarten, President of the powerful American Federation of Teachers union said. While Jews may be a numerical minority, they are in the one-per centers and in cahoots with the White ruling class, and are therefore an integral part of the problem. More succinctly, the alt-left is attempting to educate people that Jews are the only persecuted minority who actually deserve it.
Sabbath broke, so the phones turned on to check emails and the news of the prior 25 hours. The horrible reports coming out of Colleyville, Texas were not just disturbing but unsettling. Yet again, Jews were targeted by anti-Semites/ anti-Zionists to free other anti-Semites / anti-Zionists.
Between calls and community tehillim, I opted to find some strength in a historic hostage situation – when the Israeli army rescued passengers from an airplane hijacking at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. I had seen movies relaying the exciting rescue attempts made in the 1970s, but had not seen the newer version produced in 2018 called ‘7 Days in Entebbe,’ so watched it while my thoughts were with the Jewish hostages in Texas.
It’s a very peculiar take on the story. Rather than highlight the daring rescue operation by the Israelis, the writer/ director team of Gregory Burke and Jose Padhila took a completely different approach. They told the story of two German “revolutionaries” who joined the Palestinian hijackers; explored the Israelis through the lens of a political battle between Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin; and littered the story with performances by the Bat Sheva Dance Company.
The Left Wing Embrace of Palestinian Terrorism (and in a good way)
The movie opens with a distorted pro-Palestinian view of history with statements to set the background and tone of the film:
The United Nations created Israel in 1947
The Palestinians then fought to get their land back
They were backed up by left-wing groups around the world
They called themselves ‘Freedom fighters’ while the Israelis called them ‘terrorists’
The distortion needs multiple levels of unpacking.
The UN voted to create BOTH a Jewish State and another Arab State. The Arab world refused to accept the vote as they stood firmly against any Jewish country and wanted the entire region to rule. Israel was created through its own declaration in 1948.
The Palestinians did not have a country where they had self-determination so there was no fight for “the return of their land.” Five Arab nations waged a war against Jews who had just survived the Holocaust, to expunge the survivors from their historic homeland.
The “left-wing” groups from the 1940s, 1970s and today have morphed in mission and focus. In the telling of this story, one senses that the writers believe that “social justice” requires actions like the taking of hostages – perhaps even today if nobody listens.
This view was cemented by the concluding lines of how the “left-wing” viewed themselves as “freedom fighters” while the Israelis called them “terrorists.”
The “left-wing” which rallied to the Palestinians’ side, dominate the story’s focus. The movie is a platform to state how these new Germans were “not Nazis” who hated Jews like the prior generation, but fought for “social justice.” They were “humanitarians” who saw how wrong it was for the Palestinians to suffer, and therefore sought and fought for a “life of meaning,” sacrificing on behalf of others.
I think Senator Bernie Sanders may have consulted on the film.
Israeli Politicians Care About Politics, Not People But Rabin Knew That Palestinians Deserve Negotiations
The film took a very cynical view of Israeli politicians who simply were dueling for power. While Peres may have stated that one never negotiates with terrorists, the script made clear that Peres was a political opportunist who wanted the Prime Minister to look bad so he could gain the upper hand. Even when the movie relayed how the Israeli and Jewish hostages were separated from the other passengers reminiscent of the concentration camps, there was less emotion in the scene than when a small child needed to use the restroom on the plane moments after the hijacking.
While the Israeli public was hysterical about the hostage situation, Rabin remained calm. Even after the successful rescue operation, he shared with Peres that at some point the Israelis need to talk to the Palestinians and not just fight them. The writer/director were clearly paying more attention to the future when Rabin pushed forward the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, for which he paid with his life. But it is completely ahistorical when the action happened in 1976.
The Arabs fought two wars to annihilate the Israeli Jews, in 1948-9 and in 1967. Having lost both wars of attempted genocide, they adopted the Khartoum Resolution which declared three no’s: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.“
The refusal to talk and make peace was a uniform Arab policy from the 1920s through that hijacking in 1976. The movie completely inverted facts and made the Israelis the party that was holding back on negotiating peace, rather than acting in a defensive capacity against neighbors determined to kill them.
Secular Israelis Have Evolved, While Traditional Jews Have Become the New Nazis as told by the Bat Sheva Dance Company
The movie opened and closed with performances by the Israeli troupe, the Bat Sheva Dance Company. Aside from being a constant break in the flow of the movie, most movie viewers likely just found the snippets annoying and bizarre. Let me offer my take on why these scenes were in the film.
The first time we see the performance, we see a semi-circle of dancers dressed seemingly like Hasidic Jews, sitting on chairs performing before an empty auditorium. They dance to a song “Who knows one?” traditionally sung at the end of the Passover seder. Each dancer jumps in his chair except one, she falls to the ground, exposing shocking red hair. We assume at first it is a mistake, that the dancer was not supposed to fall. Or perhaps we think we understand the message since we are familiar with the Entebbe story – that one Israeli soldier dies in the rescue attempt.
I think that scene is a retelling of the Holocaust. The Jews jumping on the chairs one after the other were European Jews shot before a firing line. The one who fell to the ground was the old Jew in the ghetto, a community forever vanquished. The shock of red hair is meant as an anchor for the viewer, much like the girl in the red coat in the move “Schindler’s List.” It happens before open chairs, as to one did anything to stop the genocide of the Jews.
We see the dancers in a similar scene later in the movie. However, this time the dancers – except for the one falling with red hair – remove an article of clothing after each wave of shots. At the end, they are all standing in their underwear while the one sitting is still garbed in the Hasidic attire. This is a reflection of the new Jew which has shed religion and its past, except for a lone holdout. These are the new strong Jews who come in and shoot the hijackers. The packed auditorium loves the performance. But are these killing Jews, like a Palestinian hijacker states, the “new Nazis”?
At the very end of the film, the stage is set with only two dancers remaining. In the background is the re-haired dancer running continuously and going nowhere. In the front of the stage, the stripped down modern Jew goes from a creeper-crawler to dynamic dancer. This evolved Jew commands the stage – until abruptly exiting. We are then only left with the dull and distant Hasidic Jew, forever repeating the same actions and going nowhere.
The audience in the end is only us, the viewer, left to decide what to make of Jews: the evolving, modern, beautiful and appreciated Jew who dominates the scene and then disappears, and the traditional Jew, in the background who endures.
The failure of the movie (not just from critics and Rotten Tomatoes) is the notion of choice. The allegories of the dancers interspersed throughout the film attempt to parallel the tension and options of modern and traditional Jews with the Israeli-Arab conflict, and consequently, why secular leftists attach themselves to the Arab cause for a Palestinian state.
The orientation of the film is that Israelis and Jews have a choice as to whether to be modern or traditional, and whether to make peace with Arabs or to fight them. To set such worldview (which is perhaps a worthwhile discussion today, over a coffee) in a movie about hostages in 1976 is highly offensive and illusory. The Jewish hostages had no choice. Saving them is not an option (and certainly not simply a matter of politics). It is the Arabs who have always had the option of making peace with the Jews, and opted each time to fight.
There are two sides to a conflict, and one party may view themselves as “freedom fighters” while the other views them as “terrorists.” It is clear where you and society stood on an issue by how each party was portrayed.
The end of the Texas synagogue stand-off is a cause to celebrate. Not only were the Jewish hostages saved, but all Americans came together to clearly identify with the besieged Jews. Regrettably, that is not always the case.
The western world is fracturing when it comes to other dead and persecuted Jews, such as the recent movie retelling the story of the 1976 Israeli hostages in Entebbe from the hijackers perspective, and an opera showing the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in a manner which highlighted the “humanity in the terrorists,” as general manager of the Met, Peter Gelb said about the performance “The Death of Klinghoffer“.
January 15, 2022 saw another reminder of the threats Jews face in the United States. A man walked into a synagogue during Sabbath services in Texas and held four people hostage. Eventually the congregants escaped unharmed.
The Jewish community is by far the most likely minority group to suffer a hate crime in the US every year, and over the past few years, the attacks have included murder. In October 2018, Jews were shot in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. In April 2019, Jews were killed in a synagogue in Poway CA. In December 2019 Jews were killed in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ.
These kinds of attacks are more common outside the United States where terrorists attack Jews in their schools, shuls, community centers and restaurants in France, Belgium, Turkey, Argentina, India and of course, in Israel. Knowing of the threat, countries deploy extra protection to guard against the anti-Semitic attacks. But there have been some who do not support providing Jews with protection in the United States for their own reasons.
Liberals Believe That Jews Hate Gays
A number of politicians have stated their opposition to providing Jewish schools with extra police protection and had the following to say when a bill came up before the New York City Council:
Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) “They charge tuition, they should pay for their own security. I was against having churches in schools. There should be separation of church and state. As a member of the LGBT community, I know that a lot of these schools discriminate against us and if the city is going to provide any kind of funding, the schools should not be discriminatory.“
Daniel Dromm (D- Queens) “Public schools have to come first. We are supposed to have separation of church and state. Where does this city funding for private schools end?” He added later “I know the same lobbyists for these private and parochial schools and yeshivas will be back again to rob the public-school budget of additional funding at some point in the future.“
State Senator Brad Hoylman “As a public official, we have to stay focused on taxpayer dollars funding public schools. There are shortages of security officers in the public schools.“
NY Civil Liberties Union “is strongly opposed to the use of government funding and services to support religion, including religious schools. This is an inappropriate use of city resources, and skirts dangerously close to government sponsorship of religion, forbidden by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.“
Allen Roskoff, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club “Religious institutions pushing this bill have a long history and present-day reality of discriminating against the gay community. Why should they be able to discriminate on our dime? Where is the concern for the safety of LGBT students and staff in these anti-gay religious schools? These Council members say they care about anti-gay bullying. How is a child being told by religious leaders that he or she is immoral for being gay not bullying?“
Bill Dobbs, Civil Libertarian “Religious freedom does not mean socking overburdened taxpayers for special treatment worth hundreds of millions. Religious freedom means don’t disturb religion, it doesn’t mean you throw your wallet their way.“
Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters “I see no evidence that there is a threat to these students. Surely they can afford to pay for their own security.“
Harvey Robins, a former director of operations for the city, said “For what the Council wants to spend on this, they could open libraries seven days a week.“
Teamsters Local 237 said “Every New Yorker should be outraged at this proposal. This is a giveaway of taxpayers’ money.“
United United Federation of Teachers President, Michael Mulgrew said this was “Crossing the line between public and private is something our forefathers were smart enough not to do.“
Ernest Logan, President of the American Federation of School Administrators said “I want to know who in their right mind thought this was a good idea to take city money and put it into the private industry when you haven’t taken care of the money that you’re required to for the public.“
Progressive Smear That The Jewish State Targets Palestinians
In the fall of 2021, several members of Congress voted to oppose helping to replenish Israel’s defensive Iron Dome missiles which it used to shoot down incoming rockets from the terrorist enclave of Gaza run by Hamas.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted “we continue to pay lip service to human rights, peace and a two state solution. Yet we also continue to provide Israel with funding without addressing the underlying issue of the occupation.“
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) said “We shouldn’t be sending an additional $1B to an apartheid state’s military. Especially not when we are failing to adequately invest in the health care, housing, education, and other social services our communities need.“
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said “Israeli military’s operations that resulted in heavy Palestinian civilian casualties must be scrutinized.“
Rep. Rashida Tlaib said “I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes.“
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted present according to the New York Times because of “influential lobbyists and rabbis.“
Alt-Left View That “Black Lives Matter,” But Anti-Semitism Should Only Be Condemned Alongside Islamophobia
While denying Jews and the Jewish State monies for defending themselves from anti-Semitic attacks, many of these same politicians won’t clearly call out anti-Semitism when Jews are attacked, and instead issue broad sweeping comments, as they did in May 2021 when Jews were attacked throughout America during the barrage of missiles from Gaza against Israel.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Idiot-VT) “We’ve recently seen disturbing antisemitic attacks and a troubling rise in Islamophobia.“
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Antisemitism has no place in our country or world. Neither does Islamophobia.“
Rep. Cori Bush “The work of dismantling antisemitism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism, and every other form of hate is OUR work.“
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) “We’ve seen an increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate, in NYC and nationwide — hateful words, hate crimes, and other forms of violence.“
The broad brushstrokes of condemning all forms of hatred when Jews were being singled out was an echo of the orchestration of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusing to censure Ilhan Omar for repeated anti-Semitic remarks and instead put forward a resolution which condemned ALL forms of hatred including “Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry.” Omar and fellow female Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were thrilled by the wording and said “It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history.” Rather than being scolded and embarrassed, Omar emerged as a proud victor.
The shocking matter of these statements is that they all come from one party – Democrats – home to the majority of Jewish votes for over 100 years. At least for now. The Orthodox movement has already shifted to 75% voting Republican according to Pew Research, and with the current alt-left movement away from basic protections from Jew hatred, more Jews may leave the Democratic party.
The office of the United Nations Secretary General has a template for how it responds to acts of terrorism. The thrust of the official statements has four parts, modified for the particular event or based on the attitude of the crime:
Condemnation. The act may be called an “attack” or “terrorism” which the head of the UN either “condemns” or “strongly condemns”
Condolences. Connecting with the impacted victims, the UNSC would offer “deep condolences” or “sympathies”
Demand for Justice. The statement would call for the perpetrators of the crime to be captured and punished
Solidarity. Lastly, the leader of the global body would express solidarity with the people of the nation. If it was a community of faith that was attacked, the language might change slightly or be omitted
This format has been used consistently with few exceptions. Well, it actually doesn’t apply to the Jewish State or even for Jews.
Here are some quotes from the United Nations Secretary General after attacks against civilians around the world:
Nigeria January 10, 2022: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the appalling attacks perpetrated over the weekend in Nigeria’s Zamfara State in which scores of civilians were killed. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The Secretary-General urges the Nigerian authorities to spare no effort in bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice. The Secretary-General reaffirms the solidarity and support of the United Nations to the Government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.“
Somalia November 26, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns yesterday’s deadly terrorist attack on a United Nations-affiliated convoy in front of the Mucassar School in Mogadishu, resulting in many casualties. The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a swift recovery to those injured. He calls on the Somali authorities to bring those responsible to justice. The Secretary-General expresses the full solidarity and support of the United Nations with the Government and the people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.“
Uganda November 16, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Uganda on 16 November. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these despicable acts of violence and wishes a full recovery to those injured. The United Nations expresses its hope that all persons involved in the commission of these attacks will be swiftly brought to justice.”
Tunisia, Kuwait and France June 26, 2015: “The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France today. Those responsible for these appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice. The Secretary-General affirms that, far from weakening the international community’s resolve to fight the scourge of terrorism, these heinous attacks will only strengthen the commitment of the United Nations to help defeat those bent on murder, destruction and the annihilation of human development and culture. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of those killed and injured in today’s attacks and expresses his solidarity with the peoples and Governments of Tunisia, Kuwait and France.“
In cases where the attack happened against a house of worship, the format is generally the same with slight tweaks:
Mosque in Afghanistan October 15, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the despicable attack today on the Imam Baragah mosque in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. The Secretary General expresses his deep condolences to the bereaved families and wishes those injured a quick recovery. The perpetrators of this latest crime against civilians in Afghanistan exercising their right to freely practice their religion must be brought to justice.”
Mosques in New Zealand March 15, 2019: “The Secretary-General is shocked and appalled at the terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. He extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of New Zealand. The Secretary General recalls the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship. He calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community. The Secretary-General reiterates the urgency of working better together globally to counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism in all its forms.“
Church in Philippines January 27, 2019: “The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack on 27 January at the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu in the Philippines. He expresses his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded. The Secretary-General calls for the perpetrators of these crimes to be swiftly brought to justice. He reiterates the support of the United Nations to the Government and people of the Philippines in their efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism, and to carry forward the peace process in Bangsamoro region.“
Church in Pakistan December 18, 2017: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack on a Methodist church in Quetta, Pakistan. He extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes speedy recovery to those injured. He calls for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.“
The Secretary General treated each attack roughly the same.
But the sentiment changed for attacks against Israel and Jews.
Jerusalem January 9, 2017: “The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack by a Palestinian assailant which took place in Jerusalem yesterday. He conveys his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a swift recovery to those who were injured. Violence and terror will not bring a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — quite the opposite. All those responsible for such acts must be brought to justice, condemned and disavowed. Their acts should not be allowed to deter from the need for a renewed commitment to dialogue.“
The call by UNSG Antonio Guterres for the Arab terrorists to be brought justice was an outlier.
Tel Aviv June 8, 2016: “The Secretary-General condemns tonight’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in which at least four Israelis were killed by Palestinian assailants and another four injured. He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Israel. The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts. The Secretary-General is shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it. He calls upon the Palestinian leadership to live up to their responsibility to stand firmly against violence and the incitement that fuels it.”
How can anyone be shocked that Hamas celebrates attacks when its entire mission is about killing Jews and destroying Israel?
Synagogue if Pittsburgh October 27, 2018: “The Secretary-General is deeply shocked at and strongly condemns the shooting today at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh in the United States. He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims. The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism. Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century. The Secretary-General calls for a united front — bringing together authorities at all levels, civil society, religious and community leaders and the public at large — to roll back the forces of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and xenophobia gaining strength in many parts of the world.“
Where is the call to bring the perpetrator to justice? Why wasn’t there an expression of solidarity with Jews specifically – not lumping them in with other groups?
Synagogue in Jerusalem November 18, 2014: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem which claimed four lives and injured several persons. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. Beyond today’s reprehensible incident, clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces continue on a near daily basis in many parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Secretary-General condemns all acts of violence against civilians. Attacks against religious sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank point to an additional dangerous dimension to the conflict which reverberates far beyond the region. The Secretary-General calls for political leadership and courage on both sides to take actions to address the very tense situation in Jerusalem. All sides must avoid using provocative rhetoric which only encourages extremist elements. In this regard, the Secretary-General welcomes President Abbas’ condemnation of today’s attack. The steadily worsening situation on the ground only reinforces the imperative for leaders on both sides to make the difficult decisions that will promote stability and ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians.“
This is outrageous. Four rabbis were slaughtered with meat cleavers while they prayed in a synagogue and the UN Secretary General used the opportunity to berate Israel. Not only did he not call for the Arab terrorists to be brought to justice, the UNSG PRAISED the leader of the Palestinian Authority who was then going to reward the terrorist families with funds for life.
Anti-Semitism is the oldest and most popular form of hatred, and the Jewish State of Israel suffers more terrorist attacks than any other country. Yet, the United Nations is seemingly incapable of unambiguously condemning the vile hatred and attacks. If the head of the United Nations cannot stand in solidarity with Jews and demand that anti-Semitic terrorists be brought to justice, it is time for Israel to consider leaving the global body and manage its affairs only on a bilateral basis with countries of conscience.
Zionism has been defined as the “Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews.” Gil Troy, a historian and author of a new book “The Zionist Ideas,” expanded upon that definition and says Zionism has three principle components: that Jews are a nation; that Jews have ties to their particular homeland in the land of Israel; and that Jews have a right to establish a state in that homeland, much like other people have rights to their own country.
That view of Zionism purely through a nationalistic lens enables many people to view Zionism as inherently racist. While Zionist advocates – like Troy – clearly articulate that Jews’ attachment to Israel does not mean that other people do not have attachments to the land as well, and that Israel welcomes the one-quarter of its population that is not Jewish with full rights, the anti-Zionists consider the core of the movement as exclusionary. The sentiment that nationalist populism inherently poses a risk “to the fundamental human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality” as stated in a 2018 United Nations report, puts Zionism in the crosshairs. The phrase “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” as once declared in UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 of 1973, gets new air.
Zionism is more than the nationalistic movement of Jews reestablishing a thriving community in their homeland. It is a mission to combat anti-Semitism by providing a safe haven and a base from which to attack the noxious hatred.
Jews have always been Zionists. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed facing Jerusalem. Their daily prayers are replete with calls to rebuild their holy city. Jews have lived in and moved to the land of Israel throughout their history. The Jewish nation and religion are bound to the land. Jews were a majority in Jerusalem decades before the first Zionist Congress.
The connection of Jews and their Promised Land is a bedrock laid down in the bible and thousands of years of history. It naturally set the foundation for viewing the modern Jewish State through a three-part nationalist lens of people, religion and land. And it led humanitarians like Henry Dunant (1828-1910) to call for the rightful restoration of Jews to their homeland many years before Jewish Zionists articulated their vision.
But modern Zionism is more than the nationalist yearnings of thousands of years as articulated in Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, written in 1878. It is a clarion call to fight and end Jew hatred.
Modern Zionism as a Safe Haven
The man credited with founding modern Zionism is Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). While completely assimilated and secular, Herzl saw a world which only saw him and others like him as foreign Jews.
He was horrified at the conviction of a secular Jew, Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) in France on trumped up espionage charges. The anti-Semitism on bold display in the courtroom and media convinced Herzl that Jews would never be tolerated anywhere if they could not find peace in a liberal society like France. He said:
The pogroms in Russia (Ukraine, Poland) from 1881 to 1884 as well as Kishinev in 1903 and 1905 further cemented the opinion of Herzl and many other early Zionists that Jews would never be able to live in peace where they were treated as despised foreigners. Zionism was a tool to address systemic anti-Semitism. The principle was that only in a place where Jews governed themselves could they escape persecution.
The situation for the Jews in Europe and the USSR actually got worse after Herzl. On January 20 1942, the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Germany, developed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem,” calling for their extermination. Nazi Germany and its supporters killed one-third of the global Jewish population. The horrors of the European Holocaust which confirmed the radical anti-Semitism prevalent in the world, most likely encouraged many nations to support the reestablishment of the Jewish State just a few years later.
Modern Zionism Fights Anti-Semitism
Today, Israel does not simply seek to be a safe haven for Jews but actively fights anti-Semitism and anti-Semites around the world.
In 1960, years after the Holocaust, agents of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, captured former Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and brought him to Israel to stand trial for his crimes.
In 1976, after Arab terrorists hijacked an Air France plane to Uganda, Israeli commandos flew in to rescue the innocent.
In 1991, when the situation of Ethiopian Jews became dire, Israel launched Operation Solomon which air-lifted 14,325 people out of the country and resettled them in Israel.
In 1994, after Iran and Hezbollah blew up the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina killing 85 people, Israel sent a team to investigate.
In 2015, after Muslim terrorist targeted killing Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris, France, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed French Jews and said “any Jew who chooses to come to Israel will be greeted with open arms and an open heart, it is not a foreign nation, and hopefully they and you will one day come to Israel.“
The government of Israel has a special division for world Jewry called The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. A core mission of the office is “monitoring and treating the scourge of anti-Semitism.” No other government in the world has an office dedicated to its diaspora and to fighting the terrible hatred it endures.
When Zionism only portrays itself as the rightful national aspiration of Jews to self-determination in their homeland, it opens itself up to noxious attacks. A core tenet of Zionism is the fight against anti-Semitism which should be broadcast, as it makes abundantly clear that anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic.
An Asian immigrant attacked on the streets of New York died the other night. Yao Pan Ma, 61 years old, was collecting bottles and cans for the cash deposits in April 2021, when he was set upon by a man who threw him to the ground and stomped repeatedly on his head. The Asian man suffered severe head trauma and died from his injuries in early January of 2022.
Crimes against Asians are not common compared to other minority groups but have been trending upwards after many years of decline. They bottomed out in 2015 and 2016 and have risen in every year since.
The attackers of Asians had historically been White people but in recent years, Black people have been committing a greater percentage of the racist attacks. From 2004 to 2011, Whites committed 4.9 times as many anti-Asian attacks as Blacks, close to the White-to-Black population ratio. However, from 2012 through 2019, Whites committed 2.5 times as many attacks as Black people – roughly half of the rate of the prior eight year period.
The New York Times reported on the death of the Asian immigrant on January 10, 2022, tucked inside its National section. It included no pictures, and interestingly, declined to mention that the killer of the Asian man was a Black man.
The Times was clear that the attack was considered a hate crime by the police, and mentioned the attacker’s name and age. But not his race. The paper has written often about the spike in anti-Asian attacks over the past two years, but only mentioned the race of the attacker if the person was White.
Racism and hate crimes are terrible, and should be clearly called out. However, when the media only does so when attackers are White and deliberately omits doing so when the attacker is Black is worse than #AlternativeFacts. It is absolution via omission, a tacit blessing to the heinous acts for a select group of Americans.
There are very few subject matters that excite people to such a degree that they become passionate even when there is no personal stake in the matter. The curious thing about two of them – abortion and the “settlements” – is that the left and right are similarly inconsistent about the rights of the self and those of the impacted.
The left-wing considers abortion a personal matter for the mother. They consider the impacted party – the fetus – to have no rights, even up to the point of birth. Their “pro-choice” position argues that if you don’t like abortions, then don’t have one. Each person can decide on their own what works best for their circumstance. Some pro-choice people have even suggested that men should have zero say in the entire abortion discussion.
The right-wing that is “pro-life” doesn’t dismiss that women are a factor in the topic, however, they feel that the fetus also has rights. Some people in this camp feel that abortions are a form of legalized murder of innocent babies. The moves taken by some states like New York which have removed any penalties or restrictions for an abortion up until the moment of birth are viewed as sickening. The idea that men should have no say in laws regarding infanticide are considered outrageous and repugnant.
The left-wing has tacked to a different course when it comes to Israeli Jews living over the 1949 Armistice Lines between Israel and TransJordan. They feel that the rights of Jews to live in the area commonly called the “West Bank” is wrong as it impacts Palestinian (formerly Jordanian) Arabs who do not want them living there in their call for a Jew-free country. Rather than follow their own advice on abortion – if you don’t like it, don’t do it – they have attempted to stop others (Jews specifically) from living in “settlements.”
The right-wing has similarly taken the inverted path on Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. They stand fully behind the rights of Jews to live where they want, especially in the Jewish holy land. The fact that Palestinian Arabs don’t like it is irrelevant. The impacted party must learn to live with the actions of people who use their agency to control their lives.
The see-saw between right and left has pulled laws in different directions over the decades.
Abortion was illegal throughout the United States until 1973. The law continues to be challenged by different states which expand upon the rights of women (like New York described above) or for the rights of the unborn, as in Texas and Mississippi.
International law not only allowed but encouraged Jews to live throughout historic Palestine. The 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine not only called for Jews to live everywhere in the land, but specifically prohibited anyone from being banned from living in any part of the land (Article 15) – even in what became TransJordan (Article 25) – because of their religion. The United Nations reversed that in 2016 with the passage of UNSC 2334 which made it illegal for Jews to live over the 1949 Armistice Lines.
Abortion rights advocates demand that abortion rights are human rights and fight the laws viewed as discriminatory and will push for access even if laws are passed which they view as inherently misogynistic. Settlement activists similarly view UNSC 2334 and various calls to ban Jews from living somewhere as deeply anti-Semitic. They are fighting against the laws and attempts to boycott Jews who live in the Israeli territory of Area C.
The Distant Passion
The Deciding Party with Agency
There are nearly 4 billion women on the planet, so it stands to reason that there are many people who feel a vested interest in abortion rights. A woman in Ireland may look at the status of abortion in Texas and know that the decisions there have no immediate direct impact on her. However, she may feel both a connection with the women of Texas, and believe that the trend line in one part of the world may ultimately impact the situation for her thousands of miles away.
So it is with Jewish settlements. While there are a paltry few million Jews, there are hundreds of millions of Christian Zionists and others excited to see the rebirth of the Jewish State and want to ensure its success as they believe it confirms their faith. They stand amazed at the thriving democracy and technology marvel that Jews have built in the middle of the illiberal Middle East and are confident that God is blessing the Jewish people and will also bless those who bless the Jewish people.
The reality is that everyone – not just those with a vested interest – would likely be fine with abortions and settlements if there were no impacted party. The tension exists because there are others in the mix, and that dynamic is what ignites the passions.
The Impacted Party
In the abortion debate, many religious people believe that life begins at conception. Even those less religious intuitively understand that there is something unique about a fetus, especially in the third trimester, when an abortion cannot be equated with a woman getting a tattoo or body piercings. The pro-life community believes that the rights of the unborn – at some point during pregnancy – are as great as the rights of the mother.
The right and left do not side with the party with agency or the impacted party but whom they prioritize. The right sides with Jews and the unborn while the left tilts towards women and Arabs.
The split can perhaps be best summarized by the religious Judeo-Christian community versus the secular and Muslim community. The religious Judeo-Christian community generally believes that a fetus is more than a mass of cells and has inherent human dignity. They similarly attempt to live lives infused with the values of the Bible, and believe that the land of Israel is not simply holy land as it is to other faiths, but a uniquely Jewish Promised Land. The secular world believes neither, and wants to keep the beliefs of others out of their lives and politics.
The pro-life and pro-Zionist factions have tremendous overlap, not just in conservative politics but in the religious Judeo-Christian communities. The pro-abortion and pro-Palestinian groups similarly overlap in their anti-Judeo-Christian worldview, which they have attempted to characterize as a “White Patriarchy,” as a method of demonizing those alternative views.
Ongoing debates on abortions, settlements and a variety of issues will feature a slew of creative invectives, but at the core is the battle between the devoutly secular and the Judeo-Christian communities of faith around the world.