Of Kings On July 4th, In Newport, RI

The refreshing breeze came through the open windows in the Congregation Jeshuat Israel Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday morning. Better known as the Touro Synagogue named for its first cantor Isaac Touro (1738-1783) and his son Judah Touro (1775-1854) who was its benefactor, the small building was lightly filled for Sabbath services on the July Fourth holiday weekend.

Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, July 3, 2022

America’s oldest synagogue which opened in 1763, was a logical place for Jews to come to celebrate America’s birthday. In addition to being the only Jewish temple still standing in the United States from colonial days, America’s first president, George Washington (1732-1799), wrote a letter to the congregation in August 1790 which affirmed religious liberty:

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Washington made clear that all religious groups were not simply “tolerated” but very much a fabric of society. It was an incredible message for Jews to hear in the nascent country, as members of a persecuted faith who had first fled from Europe and then Brazil due to the Catholic Inquisition empowered by local governments.

Bima of the Touro Synagogue

My appreciation for religious liberty in this amazing country brought me to that synagogue for America’s birthday. As I climbed the few carpeted steps to recite the haftorah that Sabbath, my mind considered the text I read, which also tied Judaism to the founding of the United States.

The haftorah this July 4th was for Parshat Korach, which read from Samuel I: 11:14 – 12:22. The portion relayed how the Israelites demanded a king, and how the Prophet Samuel rebuked them for their plea. Samuel communicated that God had met their every need so it was shameful that they would seek to follow the example of other nations for a king to rule over them. Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of the Jews but it was done reluctantly, as he admonished the Israelites that God is actually the only king.

America’s founding fathers believed as much.

Thomas Paine’s (1737-1809), pamphlet Common Sense of 1776, called on the colonies to rebel against the king of England – and against all kings. He cited the story of the Hebrew Bible above in making his case:

As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by Kings…. Near three thousand years passed away, from the Mosaic account of the creation, till the Jews under a national delusion requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in extraordinary cases where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of Republic, administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title but the Lord of Hosts…. Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews, for which a curse in reserve is denounced against them. The history of that transaction is worth attending to…. The hankering which the Jews had for the idolatrous customs of the Heathens, is something exceedingly unaccountable; but so it was, that laying hold of the misconduct of Samuel’s two sons, who were entrusted with some secular concerns, they came in an abrupt and clamorous manner to Samuel, saying, ‘Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the other nations.’… That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchical government is true, or the scripture is false.

Paine argued vociferously against trading one sovereign (British) for a new one in America. He and the other founding fathers instituted a system of government where there was no place for a hereditary monarchy but a democratic republic with leaders chosen by the people.

George Washington was that first leader in this new experiment in governance. Not only did he believe that a monarchy was distasteful but also in the power of God. When he resigned his military post in 1783, he wrote of handing over “the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God.

Seven years later, Rhode Island was one of the last colonies to adopt the U.S. Bill of Rights which enshrined that “all men, have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.” Washington’s letter to the Touro Synagogue just a few months later, cemented not just the “free exercise of religion” but that Jews will be protected as full citizens as part of the nation’s foundational laws, not the whims of a monarch.

The fame of the Touro Synagogue is very much tied to Washington’s letter which affirmed religious liberty. It should not be a surprise that Washington wrote such letter to the Jews, whose bible served as an inspiration for the American constitution and views of both religion and leadership.

Related articles:

Israel & the United States Repel the Force of the World

The Haggadah as Touchstone for Harmony

“Jews as a Class”

Shabbat Hagadol at the Third Hurva Synagogue, 2010

Biden To Push Coexistence Agenda To Palestinian Arabs Not Interested

The White House announced that President Biden “will visit the Middle East region from July 13th to July 16th with stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia.” The release added that Biden would meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “reaffirming his lifelong commitment to a two-state solution.

The stampede of elephants in the room is that the Abbas has no authority, no mandate, no control and no abilities, and that Palestinian Arabs have no interest in a two state solution, preferring war.

Then U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. (photo: REUTERS/Debbie Hill/Pool)

Mahmoud Abbas – The Straw Man

No Authority. Abbas won presidential election in January 2005. That four-year term ended in January 2009, over 13 years ago. Abbas continues to suspend elections as he knows he would lose. According to a June 2022 Palestinian poll, if elections were held now, Abbas would lose to Ismail Haniyeh of the political-terrorist group HAMAS by 55% to 33%.

No Mandate. That same poll shows that Palestinian Arabs in both the “West Bank” and Gaza despise Abbas, noting that “demand for Abbas’ resignation stands at 72% in the West Bank and 84% in the Gaza Strip.” Further, “perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 86%.

No Control. The PA only controls Areas A and B in the West Bank. It has no control over Gaza after getting routed from the territory by HAMAS in 2007. Abbas has no control over a significant percent of his land and people, and cannot deliver anything to Palestinian Arabs or Israelis.

No Ability To Negotiate. Since 2007, Abbas has been unable to negotiate even a unity government between his Fatah party and the rival HAMAS. How could anyone imagine he has the skill or ability to negotiate with Israelis?

Why would anyone negotiate with such a person on the most fundamental principles that the person has no ability to deliver? Because it supplies multiple fig leaves: that the Palestinian Arabs have set up a government and are capable of ruling themselves to ultimately become an independent state to show the world on one hand; and on the other, to make the Palestinian Arabs feel like the world cares.

Mahmoud Abbas – Against Basic U.S. Principles and Human Rights

The United States – and the civilized world – have basic principles regarding human rights which Abbas tramples upon.

Funding terrorism. The US Congress passed the Taylor Force Act which “condition[ed] assistance to the West Bank and Gaza on steps by the Palestinian Authority to end violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens.” Abbas doesn’t care, and told the world at the United Nations that he celebrated martyrs and was commited to pay Palestinian terrorist families “even if it costs PA its last penny.

Inciting terrorism. Abbas fans the flames of a violent jihad against Jews. He frequently lies that the Al Aqsa Mosque is in danger of being attacked by Jews to foment violence by any means.

Denying Jews The Right To Buy Property and Live. Abbas’ PA has a law that makes selling land to Jews a capital offense. Abbas makes his goal clear, that “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli [Jew] – civilian or soldier – on our lands.”

Denying Jewish History. Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial, pretty abhorrent on its face. He further denies over 3,000 years of Jewish history in the Jewish holy land, calling Jews “colonial invaders.” He denies that the Jewish temples stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and mocks Jews that they are trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem.

The world pretends that this anti-Semitic extremist is a moderate. The sad reality is that he is a moderate, solely by Palestinian Arab standards.

Palestinian Arabs Don’t Want Two States, They Want ’48

Jews Have No Rights Whatsoever In The Land. The average Palestinian Arab in the Palestinian territories believes that the land is 100% Arab and that Jews have no rights to be there. Their position is plain that they do not want to share the land. It is founded on a national narrative that Jews are “colonial invaders” who came to the land as a function of “European imperialism.” That is why pro-Palestinian supporters shout “we don’t want two states, we want ’48,” and “from the river to the sea,” that the entirety of the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will be Arab.

No Interest In A Two State Solution. Not surprisingly believing that Jews have no history or rights, Palestinian Arabs have no interest in a two state solution. They’ve rejected it from the 1947 Partition Plan until the latest June 2022 poll, when only 28% of respondents favored the idea, with 69% opposed.

Preference For War. Rejecting coexistence, Palestinian Arabs want either the global community to pressure Israel out of existence or to wage war for Israel’s destruction. In June 2022, 56% want the PA to join more international organizations (counter to the parameters of the Oslo Accords signed between the PA and Israel to advance peace), and 55% want to start another armed “initifada,” meaning jihadist terrorism. Currently, 56% of Palestinian Arabs favor attacking Jewish civilians inside of Israel, with 59% believing the terrorism “contributes to the national interest.

Deeply Embedded Anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League conducted a poll in 2014 about anti-Semitic attitudes around the world. Palestinian Arabs were by far the most anti-Semitic, with almost every single person – a sickening 93% – hating Jews.

It is no wonder that there are so many Palestinian terrorist groups and that the Palestinians intend on voting for one should elections ever be held again.

The US President Honors Anti-Semitism And Wastes Political Capital

Despite the plain facts that Abbas is a straw man who leads anti-Semites not interested in making peace with Israel, President Biden is going to travel to meet him. In doing so, Biden will be giving honor to this despised leader and upsetting 65% of Palestinian Arabs who don’t want the PA to engage with Biden. Even worse, decent Americans will be forced to watch their president listen to the rants and demands of an anti-Semite who supports terrorism, knowing that Biden will just smile and hand Abbas millions of dollars.

The United States invested billions of dollars in Israel and got a strong reliable ally in the Middle East with a vibrant democracy, economy and record of human rights. The US also invested billions of dollars into the Palestinian Arabs, which remains corrupt, inept and hostile to peace and decency. When will people pause to reflect on the return on investments from human and monetary capital?


Related articles:

Abbas Declares All of Israel is a “Painful Settlement”

Abbas Failed To Capitalize on Trump’s Gift

Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

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

Snapshot Of J Street’s Friends and Foes

The end of June 2022 encapsulated the far-left and anti-Israel sentiments of J Street. While it is not news that the group is slightly more centrist than anti-Israel groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, it is interesting to see how the group is relishing defeating moderate Democrats, much like the left-wing anti-Zionist extremists from the Democratic Socialists of America.

On June 29, J Street posted about its elation that its alt-left candidate for Congress in Illinois defeated the primary challenger favored by the centrist group Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI). J Street led its press release with “Following principled progressive Delia Ramirez’s landslide victory over DMFI-endorsed Gilbert Villegas in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 3rd congressional district,…” The group just could have led that it’s happy its preferred candidate won, but it opted to focus on the defeat of DMFI’s preferred candidate.

J Street said that its PAC spent $140,000 on supporting the Working Families’ Party candidate, to combat funds from “the AIPAC-aligned Democratic Majority For Israel (DMFI) and other right-leaning groups.” Note that AIPAC and DMFI are not “right-leaning groups” but centrist; it’s J Street that’s far-left, making those groups appear right-leaning from their perspective.

J Street then doubled down on mischaracterizing the centrist pro-Israel groups stating “In an election cycle that has seen the ultra-hawkish right-wing group AIPAC and its allies like DMFI (emphasis is J Street’s)” These are inflammatory and blatantly untrue statements that DMFI – a purely Democratic group! – is “ultra-hawkish” and “right-wing.”

J Street is completely untethered from reality.

J Street is continuing on its far-left, Arab-centered mission on June 30th.

Jeremy Ben Ami, the president of J Street, is going to speak with Jim Zogby of the Arab American Institute. Their topic is rebuking the United States for the alleged crimes of the Jewish State. It will continue Zogby’s assertion that “Sanctions [against Israel] and accountability become absolutely essential to this discussion. We’re beyond dialogue, we’ve been beyond dialogue for decades now. We are now at the point where there must be a price paid.

June 30 event with President of J Street urging the United States to punish Israel

Ben-Ami is featured with Zogby, who came after the Anti-Defamation League in May 2022, because it correctly pointed out the anti-Semitic comments from the head of CAIR in San Francisco who said that Zionist synagogues are enemies. Zogby added that Israel has “brutal and aggressive hardline apartheid policies” and decriessettler colonialism.

Sounds like the right company for J Street’s president.

J Street is the home for left-wing pro-Palestinians who seek to market themselves as pro-Israel centrists to mislead the public that their extremist views are in line with the government of Israel and Zionists around the world. The group is slowly revealing its true alt-left bent, stating that its opponents are not limited to the Republican Jewish Coalition, but centrist Democrats like DMFI which it falsely labels as “ultra-hawkish” and “right-wing,” as it simultaneously joins forces with leading Arab critics of Israel.

Related articles:

Students For Justice in Palestine Says J Street Is The Gateway For Jewish Anti-Zionists

J Street Proves Again It’s Progressive, Not Pro-Israel

J Street is Only Considered “Pro-Israel” in Progressive Circles

Will You Finally Show J Street and Its Backers the Door?

Being Purple, I’m Neither Anti-Abortion Nor Pro-Abortion. I’m Anti-Infanticide

The Supreme Court voted to overturn the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, putting the issue of abortion to each state to decide. In the coming months and years, lobbyists and legislators will lob arguments as they listen to constituents on the rights of women and the unborn. Extremists will win the day in both deep blue and red states, while purple ones may find compromise positions.

The extreme wings are fortified with devotees of deeply-held dogma. Religious conviction will drive some to seek the banning of abortion at the very moment of conception, when the potential life is simply a cluster of cells. The religion without deity has christened the desire of a woman supreme, and push legislation to permit abortion for any reason until the very moment of birth.

Both positions are nonsensical and harmful.

A cluster of cells is just that. Women likely have monthly periods that pass as much without notice. The mass has neither brain nor heart, so the basis of calling the coagulation “life” seems as silly and mundane as “What is a Woman?” To deprive women the right to manage their lives early in pregnancy is invasive and draconian.

At the other extreme, to sanction infanticide before a baby is born, is to legalize and bless the murder of the innocent. Even pro-Choice people say that if an eight-month pregnant woman dies in a car accident, doctors should save the fetus. They therefore admit that the fetus is an actual life worth saving, at least once the mother’s desire is no longer a factor. Such flawed reasoning could permit a mother to kill her two-year old if her finances or relationship become impaired (the main reasons for having an abortion are about bad timing, and financial or relationship difficulties according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute).

Each side protests that their cause is just. The desires to protect a woman and the infant are noble as each party is worthy of protection. And rights.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 95% of abortions occur during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Roughly 4.1% occur between weeks 16 and 20, and 1.3% happen after the 21st week. Using 2017 data suggests that approximately 11,200 abortions in the US were late term. To put the late term abortion statistic in perspective, in 2018, there were 19,660 deaths among children 1-19. The leading causes were motor vehicle accidents (20%), firearms (15%) and cancer (9%). In other words, the number of late term abortions in the US far exceeds the number of deaths for all children under 20 years old from car accidents, firearms and cancer COMBINED.

While there is not a large recent comprehensive study on who gets these late term abortions and why, there was a study conducted between 2008 and 2010 and published in 2013 on this very issue. It reported that “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. (emphasis added)” More specifically, it added that “Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”

The Bizarre Contradictory Liberal Laws of New York State

New York has some of the most left-wing laws in the country. When it comes to protecting the very young, recent laws have been enacted that are at odds with each other.

In August 2018, the state passed a law banning smoking in any facility that provides child care services. Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the time that “the dangers of secondhand smoke are indisputable and we must do everything in our power to protect children.” Other people in the State Assembly added that “second and third-hand smoke is a detriment the development of our kids.

Five months later, Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act which decriminalized abortion at any time for any reason. The act specifically removed the killing of an “unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks” from the definition of a homicide. Somehow, the danger of secondhand smoke are “indisputable” but the targeted killing of a fully viable fetus is not a “detriment to its development.”

Fetus at 34 weeks. Current New York State law permits terminating pregnancy up until birth for any reason.

Summary

Most Americans are very disturbed by late term abortions. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 77% of people believe that an abortion should be illegal in the third trimester if the rationale is a woman’s wishes / “choice”, although attitudes flip if the mother’s life is in danger. In the May 2022 polling, the favorability of banning abortions jumped from 27% to 55% to 71% during the first, second and third trimester, respectively.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was thrown out because the Supreme Court justices concluded that there wasn’t a constitutional right to the procedure and pushed each state to decide for itself how to handle the matter. Now the states must consider the rights of the unborn and of women, and whether they change based on time and circumstances. Citizens in states like New York should look to the original Roe decision that they celebrated, and pressure the legislature to adopt Roe’s delineation of fetal viability, and repeal the repeals that the far-left extremists enacted just a few years ago.

The nation has been in the throws of being pulled apart for several years now and the abortion map may set the borders of the Mason-Dixon Plaid for years to come.

Related articles:

When It Becomes

Fertility Rates and Household Wealth

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

The Misogyny of Treating Women like Victims

The New York Times Continues ‘Powerful Jew’ Myth

Jews continue to be the most targeted group of hate crimes in the United States every year. The reasons that anti-Semites give are varied but include the idea that Jews control the media, financial markets and the government.

Consider the case in January 2022 of a British man going to Texas and taking members of a synagogue hostage, and placing a call to a rabbi in New York City to get a convicted terrorist released. Why would someone possibly think that any Jew – let alone a rabbi in New York – could free someone in jail?

Adherents of the Great Replacement Theory posit that Jews are conspiring to bring non-White people into the United States to make Whites a minority. Other conspiracy theorists adopted an idea that Jews are behind COVID-19 so they can sell more drugs to people and then control them.

The insanity always targets the Jews. Why?

Certainly there have been noxious forgeries like Protocols of the Elders of Zion that fostered anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jewish control. But today’s mainstream media like The New York Times peddle the smear as well.

The Times ran a story on the cover of its June 23, 2022 edition that the number of Jews representing New York City in Congress could potentially fall to zero. Rather than discuss this most persecuted minority losing representation in the city with the greatest number of Jews outside of Israel, the paper used incendiary terms like “Jewish power,” “Jewish clout” and “Jewish influence” throughout the article.

The New York Times cover story on June 23, 2022

This is a growing trend in the liberal paper, as well as at other outlets like CNN and MSNBC. They would never consider writing about “Asian power” taking over coveted spots in elite schools. The media companies would emphasize the change in the number of Blacks or gay people gaining positions in congress or becoming CEOs of companies.

But not for Jews. They are not described by numbers, which are anemic, but by the perception of their “power.” The media tacitly agrees with Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic tropes that Jews “hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” They believe the Jews are powerful, and to blame for world problems.

The anti-Semitic narrative has never been built on facts or figures, but on a fictitious conspiracy of Jewish power. Even now, as the number of Jews in Congress, the Supreme Court and elsewhere dwindle. Even now, as Jews on campuses are told to shut up. Even now, as the Jewish State is being targeted for boycott. Even now, as anti-Semitic attacks reach new heights.

It’s quite easy to spot an anti-Semite: they peddle in “Jewish power.” Sometimes, on the front page.

Related articles:

The New York Times Is Morphing Into The Notorious Dearborn Independent

The New York Times Highlights Jews’ Frustration With French Media Minimizing Anti-Semitic Attacks

New York Times Recharacterizes Hamas as a Right-Wing Terrorist Group

For The New York Times, “From the River to the Sea” Is The Chant of Jewish and Christian Zealots

Vedat Gashi, Running To Unseat Jamaal Bowman in Congress, Talks to The Jewish Community

New York’s 16th Congressional district has been reshaped by the latest census, and now includes more of Westchester than it had earlier, and drops sections of the Bronx which are now in NY-15 held by Rep. Ritchie Torres. The current congressman for NY-16 is Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who is facing a number of challengers in the Democratic primaries to be held on August 23rd (early voting begins August 13).

According to the non-partisan website fivethirtyeight, the newly redrawn NY-16 leans heavily towards the Democratic Party, voting for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of +40. That means that the Democratic primary is truly the election for this congressional seat.

One of the Democratic contenders, Vedat Gashi, spoke with me about issues of particular concern to the Jewish community.

General Background

Gashi describes himself as a “common sense” Democrat who has nothing in common with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) which has backed Bowman. Gashi grew up in Kosovo and came to the United States at age four. He later returned to Kosovo as an adult to work for the United Nations as the country gained its independence in the dissolution of Yugoslavia. His memories of Israel’s involvement with Kosovo – even before it became independent – left a positive mark on him.

Gashi is appreciative of the Jewish community as well. As a secular Muslim, he said he was appalled at President Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” which would have restricted people like him from coming to the US (writer’s note: Trump did not ban all Muslims, but people from seven Muslim-majority countries, which did not include Kosovo). When Gashi went to JFK Airport to protest the ban, the first people he saw protesting were Jewish groups. These incidents gave Gashi a sense of warmth toward the Jewish community.

A full background of Gashi’s background can be found on his website. Unfortunately, there is little else on the site, such as his positions on important issues.

Vedat Gashi, running for congress in 2022 to represent NY-16

On Israel

Gashi is instinctively pro-Israel but not very well versed on specific topics.

As it relates to Bowman’s vote against supporting the Abraham Accords in April 2021, Gashi said he was “disappointed” in Bowman’s vote because the Accords clearly advanced US’s foreign policy interests. He assumed that Bowman did so because of pressure from the DSA, and Gashi used that point to highlight that he would not abide by any party orthodoxy but consider each issue as it impacted the people in his district. He added that the DSA’s comments which blamed American and NATO policies for causing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as indicative of the far-left group’s “tenuous grasp of reality.”

Gashi said that the people behind the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) of Israel are anti-Semitic. He believes that people who call Israel an “apartheid state”, such as Bowman’s senior policy advisor Rajiv Sicora, “don’t want Israel to even exist”. In contrast, Gashi believes that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is a strong American ally.

Bowman is tied to other DSA-backed politicians like Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), as he votes alongside them 98% of the time. Gashi thinks that Tlaib and Omar have made many anti-Semitic comments, such as Tlaib’s screed that Jews and Zionists profit from racism “from Gaza to Detroit,” and Omar’s comments about Jews buying control of Congress and hypnotizing the world. He finds their comments “deeply racist” and offensive.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), three members of the ‘Squad’ of Democratic Socialists on November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Regarding Bowman co-sponsoring the May 2022 Tlaib-led legislation that called the founding of Israel a ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe), Gashi said that sponsors of such legislation do not believe Israel has the right to exist. He said he arrived at such a conclusion from being informed about how Serbs treated Kosovo. Serbs believed Kosovo to be “nothing more than a parking lot,” an empty vessel without meaning or ownership, much the way some anti-Israel people continue to look at the Jewish State today. He noted that the founding of many countries included wars and displacements but that doesn’t mean the new country shouldn’t exist.

Gashi did not have a strong opinion about “settlements.” He noted that he saw some when he visited friends in Israel several years ago, with many being fully established towns which are a far cry from what the name implies, which is a couple of shacks. He offered no opinion about whether they are legal or whether UN Resolution 2334 was appropriate.

Gashi seemed surprised to learn that Palestinian Arabs favor the terrorist group Hamas, and said he felt bad that they were being fed “lying propaganda by their leaders.”

As it relates to a number of other regional issues such as the Taylor Force Act and the Palestinian Authority’s desire for a consulate in Jerusalem, Gashi knew little about the topics.

United Nations / Iran

Gashi worked for the United Nations in Kosovo for a number of years and believes that the organization is an “unwieldy animal” with many difficult actors like Russia, however, Gashi believes that there is opportunity for the United Nations to be a positive force. During our interview, Gashi noted he was not familiar with the many resolutions and committees within the United Nations that attack the Jewish State but seemed interested to learn more.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, Gashi said that “Iran achieving nuclear capacity would be a terrible outcome and needs to be opposed every which way we can, if not diplomatically, then by other means”. He added that “it is an existential problem”.

Anti-Semitism / Religion

Gashi was not familiar with the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism but stressed that “words are important.” Drawing on his experience in Kosovo, he shared that politicians were reluctant to use the term “genocide” because it would compel certain actions, even though avoiding its usage “led to more ethnic cleansing” in his home country. He did not know why President Biden agreed to the IHRA definition and then refused to enact it for Title VI to protect Jewish and Zionist students on campuses, until December 2022, which is after mid-term elections.

Gashi was also unfamiliar with Senator Diane Feinstein grilling of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett saying “the dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern,” as it related to ACB’s Catholic beliefs, suggesting it would possibly disqualify her for office. He said that “all manners of good and bad deeds have been attributed to religiosity. Religiosity in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. Faith, in general, is a good thing.” He did say that Feinstein’s comment was inappropriate.

Schools / Police

Gashi would not engage in a discussion about charter schools or monies for parochial schools. He seemed more concerned about upsetting teacher unions and keeping funding inside of the public school system. Whether he would tackle the issue of prioritizing educating children rather than winning support of powerful unions remains to be seen, as he would not voice an opinion going into a Democratic primary where he is competing against a radical socialist who was formerly a teacher.

Gashi did come after Bowman about his stance to “Defund the Police.” He felt that Bowman’s endorsement of the socialist platform was dangerous for the district and country. He added that Bowman continues to lie about his comments and vote on the manner, much as Bowman clearly lied to his constituents about supporting the infrastructure bill when he voted against it.

Summary

Gashi presents as a left-leaning politician, yet far to the right and much more honest than Bowman. He is not well-versed in various issues of concern to the Jewish people in his district but seems eager to learn and approach the issues thoughtfully.

Related articles:

Rep. Ritchie Torres Doesn’t Want To Be the Only Progressive Pro-Israel Unicorn

The Disgraceful Promotion of Refugee-Washing ‘Nakba’ In The U.S. Congress

Politicians In Their Own Words: Why We Don’t Support Defending Jews

The Right Number of Anti-Semites in Congress

Republican and Democratic Politicians Discuss Israel’s Latest Fight

Rashida Tlaib’s Modern ‘Mein Kampf’

Omar and Tlaib’s Antisemitic B.D.S.

US State Department Will Not Promote LGBT Human Rights In The Middle East Outside of Israel

On June 1, 2022, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a press release “Commemorating Pride Month.” In his comments he said that “the U.S. Department of State recommits to protecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.

Does it really?

The US Embassy in Israel put the Blinken press release on its website. It even added a rainbow logo with “Pride 2022” beneath “U.S. Embassy Jerusalem” in the article.

US embassy in Israel reprints entire message about “LGBTQI+ communities”, including producing a rainbow logo

Yet there wasn’t a single other US embassy anywhere in the entire Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that reposted the pride press release. Not in Egypt. Not in Jordan. Not in Iraq. Not in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Williams Institute that did a country ranking of LGBT acceptance, Israel ranked as the 44th most accepting country. Egypt ranked 159. Jordan was 167. Iraq was 94.

“Palestine” was ranked at 130 and was called out as one of five lands that had “very little change in acceptance between 2010 and 2020.

It would seem that the United States will only work at “protecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons” in countries that already protect and promote human rights.

Related articles:

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

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Is Israel Reforming the Muslim Middle East? Impossible According to The NY Times

Islamic and Alt-Left Extremists Declare that Normalization With Zionists Is Against Sharia Law

The Islamic spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, addressed the Muslim world on May 7, 2021 to inspire them to reject any peaceful relations with the Jewish State and its supporters. He said that “Israel is not a state, but a terrorist camp against the Palestinian people and other Muslim peoples” and that “Muslim and Christian scholars must declare that normalization is forbidden by Sharia.” He encouraged Palestinian youth to battle the “usurping entity” and urged the 14 million Palestinians around the world to return to “the Holy Land” to decide “the fate of the [Jewish] foreign settlers.

The focus of this [Muslim] unity should be internal jihad and distrust of enemies. And Palestinian politics should not depend on the main enemy of the Palestinians, namely America, the British and the vile Zionists.

Islamic spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, May 7, 2021

Khamenei concluded his remarks calling for waging war: “The Palestinian Mujahideen [militant jihadists] must ably continue their legitimate and moral struggle against the usurping entity [Israel] until this entity acquiesced [surrenders].

Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei

These sentiments were echoed in California by the San Francisco Executive Director of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Zahra Billoo, six months later. While addressing the American Muslims for Palestine conference, she made clear that all Zionists are enemies. “Know your enemies, and I’m not going to sugar-coat that. They are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructure out there who are working to harm you. Make no mistake of it. They would sell you down the line if they could, and they very often do behind your back. I mean the Zionist organizations, I mean the foreign policy organizations that say they’re not Zionists but want a two-state solution. I’m not a Palestinian myself but it’s my understanding that that is laughable. So know your enemies.” Billoo listed some of them: “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. Because just because they’re your friend today, doesn’t mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights. So oppose the vehement fascists but oppose the polite Zionists too. They are not your friends.

Billoo continued that “We have to connect the dots between the organizations that promote Zionist agendas, materials, marketing and legislation are the same ones that want to ban Muslims, are the same ones that want to pass anti-sharia legislation.

CAIR came out strongly to support Billoo’s remarks, stating it “continue[s] to proudly stand by Zahra and all American Muslim leaders who face smears and threats because they dare to express an opinion about Palestinian human rights.

CAIR Executive Director Zahra Billoo addressing American Muslims for Palestine, November 27, 2021

A Massachusetts-based socialist extremist group that stands against “the colonization of Palestine, US imperialism, policing, displacement, and other interlocking systems of oppression” produced an anti-Semitic “Mapping Project,” which embraced the anti-normalization of any Zionist – person or organization. The group falsely claimed that “institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy.” It listed names and addresses of organizations like Yachad New England which helps individuals with disabilities. The site called out this aid organization as “complicit in propaganda/normalization of Zionism.” It included Yachad’s address so extremists can easily track down and target disabled Jews.

Amalek would blush.

Socialists have bonded with Islamic extremists in Iran and the United States in calling for a jihad against anyone who supports the rights of Jews to live in the Jewish holy land and to have self-determination. These jihadists are branding Zionists and their supporters as enemies not just to Palestinians, but to the entire world.

Anti-normalization is now enshrined in Sharia and Progressive law, and is coming to a community near you.

Related articles:

Attacking Jews & Zionists: Arabs and Muslims

The Insidious Jihad in America

Is Ilhan Omar’s Mentor the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?

The Banners of Jihad

Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel

The Opposite Reaction To The Killing Of Schoolchildren

There is perhaps nothing as shocking and horrible as the murder of young children at school.

The United States has seen and mourned the tragedy too often, most recently at Uvalde, TX where an 18-year old killed 19 students and two teachers. Ten people were killed and 13 wounded in 2018 when a 17-year old shot people in a high school in Santa Fe, TX. In February of that year, a 19-year old killed 17 and injured the same number at a high school in Parkland, FL, and a month earlier, a 15-year old killed two students and injured 18 others in Marshall County, KY.

Not all of the shooters in the school attacks are teenagers. Almost all are male and every attack was committed by “lone wolves” acting out of hatred or mental distress.

Society has uniformly mourned the innocent victims, even while debating how to deal with the terrible violence. The loss of young lives is a shocking amputation for the families, a scar on society.

Flowers at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, TX on May 28, 2022 (photo: AP/ Jae C. Hong)

Civil society is appalled at the senseless violence. It ponders how to treat mental sickness and retard the hatred of killers and would-be murderers, methods to keep armaments out of those hands, and ways to better protect vulnerable schools. The media and public officials even consider not mentioning killers’ names or publishing any ‘manifestos’, in the hopes that it will dissuade other killers.

At least in the United States. That’s not the tactic the world applies to slaughtered children in Israel.

Palestinian Arab terrorists have long targeted Jewish children for murder. Palestinian society celebrates the slaughter and the world excuses those murderers.

Consider the May 1974 attack in Ma’alot, in northern Israel. Several Palestinian men coordinated an attack (not a lone person with mental illness) which took 115 people, including 105 children, hostage at the Netiv Meir Elementary School. The two-day rampage left 31 Israelis dead (including 22 children) and 70 injured.

The three armed Palestinian terrorists were members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The leader of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh, was awarded the “Star of Honor” for his contribution to Palestinian society by Mahmoud Abbas, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PA’s official news channel described the award to Hawatmeh as follows:

By the authority vested in us, and for the public good, we have decreed the following: ‘Brother Nayef Hawatmeh is decorated with the highest order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his important national role in service of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people, and in recognition of his efforts to raise the flag of Palestine since the launch of the Palestinian revolution, through the stages of the ongoing struggle. [Signed by] Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine.

PA President Abbas awarding terrorist Hawatmeh the ‘Star of Honor’ on May 28, 2013

Another Palestinian terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also attacked a school in northern Israel in April 1974. The Kiryat Shmona massacre killed 18 Israelis, including 8 children. The three Palestinian Arab murderers were killed at that time.

Marking the 42nd anniversary of the massacre, the official PA newspaper celebrated the attack and called out the terrorists heroes: “The heroes [of the operation] were the Martyrs Munir Mughrabi ‘Abu Shaker’, a Palestinian born in 1954, Ahmad Mahmoud ‘Abu Shaker’, a Syrian born in Halab in 1954, and Yassin Al-Hourani ‘Abu Hadi’, who was born in southern Iraq in 1954.

Palestinian Arabs have also targeted school buses carrying Jewish children. In May 1970, Arabs fired rocket-propelled grenades at a bus which killed twelve people, including nine schoolchildren. In April 2011, the political-terrorist group Hamas fired a laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus, killing a young child.

Hamas has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, including bombing the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, killing nine people, including 5 Americans. The attack was celebrated with hundreds of Palestinians pouring into the streets of Gaza City, vowing more attacks. The Palestinians love and support Hamas, with over half supporting the terrorist group and likely to elect the Hamas leader president of the PA, should elections ever be held.

Cafeteria of Hebrew University bombed by Hamas July 2002 (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

In 2015, a United States court found the PA liable for supporting the terrorist attacks and ordered to pay $218 million to the victims, which was tripled due to its being related to terrorism. The courts ultimately threw out the ruling because Americans weren’t specifically targeted and the attacks did not happen on US soil.

While the fines were deemed inappropriate to enforce, the judgment which concluded that the PA was behind attacks on schools and civilians remains valid. Yet President Biden plans on meeting with PA President Abbas next month in any event. A representative of the European Union said yesterday that Israelis are to blame for Palestinian terrorism, as young Palestinians see homes being demolished, as he ignored the glorification of murderers at Palestinian schools.

How can the world mourn the killing of young American children at school by lone gunmen, while simultaneously excusing the slaughter of Jewish children by organized Palestinian political and terrorist groups?

Related articles:

‘Critical Race Theory’ in Palestinian Schools Calls For The Murder of Israeli Jews

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Collective Guilt / Collective Punishment

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

Apartheid In Palestinian Authority, Not Israel

The current smear against Israel being popularized by anti-Zionist organizations and people is that the country practices a form of apartheid. Specifically, they consider that Israel discriminates against and segregates its non-Jewish population.

Not only is the charge absurd, but it is a deliberate attempt to deflect the anti-Semitism and xenophobia of the Palestinian Arab population.

Ban on citizenship

At inception, Israel granted all of the people who lived in the land citizenship, and as the country annexed additional territory such as the eastern section of Jerusalem, it afforded all residents there to apply for citizenship as well, regardless of religion. Today, roughly 74% of the country is Jewish, with over one quarter belonging to other faiths. Its stands as a uniquely diverse country in the entire Middle east and North Africa (MENA) region.

This is in sharp contrast to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The president of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, declared that “we will not see the presence of a single Israeli (read Jew) – civilian or soldier -on our land.” Indeed, in the lands administered by the PA – Gaza and Areas A and B – the demographics is 100% Arab. Not a single Jew can be found, per the PA’s anti-Semitic stated mission.

Ban minorities buying land

Israel allows everyone to purchase homes or apartments. In Jerusalem, the Israeli government greatly expanded the number of homes for non-Jews which resulted in a +188% growth in units for Arabs between 1990 and 2019, compared to only +64% for Jews.

This is in sharp contrast to the PA which has kept in place a Jordanian law which bans the sale of land to non-Jews. The penalty for doing so can be hard labor or even death. It has produced a terrible scheme where Arabs who want to sell land to Jews are forced to use middlemen and shell companies to avoid being killed by either the government of fellow Arabs’ vigilante anti-Semitic violence.

Ban minorities voting and being in parliament

All Israeli citizens can vote and run for the parliament. There are a few Israeli Arab parties in the country’s multi-party system. In 2022, an Arab party sits in the governing coalition and can collapse the government should it decide to do so.

As the Palestinian Authority has no Jews, it is not surprising that there are no Jews in parliament.

Ban minorities being prime minister

Israel has no religion litmus test as to who can become prime minister. That is compared to surrounding Arab countries like Syria where the PM must be a Muslim.

Ban minorities being judges

Israel allows all of its citizens to be part of the legal system including being lawyers, judges and using the courts. The Jewish State has an Arab sitting on its Supreme Court.

The PA has no place for Jews. Anywhere.

Ban minorities being in army

Israel has a draft system which calls on its citizens to serve in the army at age 18. However, the country does not enforce the law for Arabs and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, but it welcomes them joining.

The PA has no place for Jews.

Ban on religious houses of worship

Israel allows all of the various religions to practice their faiths openly. There is no ban on minarets on mosques (as exists in Switzerland), no ban on halal meat (as exists in Iceland), no ban on burkas or hijabs (as exists in Turkey). The Bahai faith has major houses of worship and the Israeli government actually helped Mormons build their church in Jerusalem.

The PA is only oriented around Arab Muslims and Christians. In Jordan – which is majority Palestinian – the Bahai faith is outlawed and Jews carrying religious articles are turned away at the border.

Ban minorities visiting holy places

Israel allows people of all religions to access their holy places. The Israeli government reversed the Muslim ban on Jews visiting the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, as well as the Cave of the Jewish Matriarchs and Patriarchs in Hebron when it took the city back from Jordanian Arabs in 1967.

Palestinian Arabs (who were Jordanians from 1954 to 1967) had banned Jews from their holy sites. The PA and Jordan continue to try to limit Jews from visiting Judaism’s holiest site to this day. Palestinian Arabs have also ransacked Jewish holy sites under their control, such as the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus.

Ban minorities praying at holy places

When Israel reunified Jerusalem in 1967 after Jordan attacked it, it nevertheless allowed the Jordanian waqf to administer the Jewish Temple Mount. That decision has caused Jews to continue to be banned from praying at its site while hundreds of thousands of Muslims are able to do so multiple times a day.

When Jews visit their holy sites in or adjacent to PA-ruled territories, they must have security details or be lynched by Arabs.

Ban minorities from universities

Israel’s leading universities such as Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University have large populations of non-Jews. In sharp contrast, no Jews attend Palestinian universities, and some have a history of banning Jews – even anti-Zionist ones – from even stepping foot on campus.

Ban or limit free speech and assembly for minorities

All Israeli citizens have freedom of speech, assembly and press. Israeli Arabs often launch demonstrations against the government, as do other minorities. In Gaza, only one opinion is allowed to be expressed – that sanctioned by the Islamist regime of Hamas.

Denial of minority history and culture

The Israeli government acknowledges the backgrounds, cultures and history of its diverse citizens. It teaches various histories in its schools and posts official signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Meanwhile the PA only uses Arabic in all official communications and actively denies the history of Jews in their holy land, including that their holy temples were in Jerusalem.

Government inciting violence against minorities

Israel is a pluralistic society with Jews and non-Jews participating in each part of society. However, the PA is effectively at war with Jews and the Jewish State and calls on Arabs to attack Jews.

Government reward murderers of minorities

Israel prosecutes criminals that commit crimes – past presidents and prime ministers have gone to jail.

The PA actually rewards criminal activity, especially violence committed against Jews. It calls the terrorists “martyrs” and names schools and squares after them, while paying their families thousands of dollars.

Major political parties’ xenophobia

The Israeli declaration of independence welcomed all people and to this day, the major Israeli political parties including Likud, Yesh Atid, and Blue and White all have charters and position papers that advance a just society for all citizens.

The Palestinian constitution is written for Arabs, with Islam as the official religion. Hamas, a designated terrorist organization by many countries, has a charter full of anti-Semitic smears and conspiracy theories. It calls for a war between Jews and Muslims.

Xenophobia and racism of population

Palestinian Arabs voted the anti-Semitic Hamas political-terrorist party to 58% of the parliament the last time elections were held, and polls show that Hamas would win presidential elections, if held today. The Anti-Defamation League did a poll in 2014 that showed that Palestinian Arabs were the most anti-Semitic in the world, with 93% holding anti-Semitic beliefs.


Israel has created a liberal democracy in the heart of the xenophobic and anti-Semitic Middle East. Those calling the country an apartheid state are not merely engaging in anti-Semitic lies, but doing so in the hope of drawing attention away from the deeply anti-Semitic and xenophobic beliefs of Palestinian Arabs.

Related articles:

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

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

Palestineism is Toxic Racism

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

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

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference