While the UNSC Debates Israel-or-Hamas Regarding Gaza, Gazans Debate Whether to Stay-or-Go

On May 30, 2018, US Ambassador to the United Nations placed most of the blame for the latest violence and terrible living conditions in Gaza on the de facto ruling party there, the terrorist group Hamas. Haley stated:

“The Palestinian people of Gaza are facing desperate humanitarian hardships. We want to help address their needs. We support Special Coordinator Mladenov’s engagement to restart initiatives that could improve conditions in Gaza…. The Palestinian people deserve a better life. That can only happen if we acknowledge and reject the terrorist actions of Hamas and if we encourage more responsible Palestinian leadership.”

Haley continued to comment at the UN Security Council against the biased narrative that the problems in the region stem from Israel. She declared that the primary problem was Hamas.

Is Haley correct that Palestinians truly want to live in peace with Israel, and it is just the ruling terrorist party that foments violence in an attempt to destroy the Jewish State?

Palestinian Poll

The Palestinian Arabs poll themselves every quarter. The public opinion poll #67 was published on April 1, 2018, with interesting findings about Palestinians’ views of Israel, the peace process, Hamas and the leader of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

  1. Israel is a leading democracy. Remarkably, Palestinians are incredibly impressed with the democratic institutions that they see in Israel. When voting on “good” democracies, Turkey garnered a 64% approval; Israel 57%; France 55%; Palestinian Authority 23%; and Egypt 10%.
  2. No real desire for Peace. Despite considering Israel as a leading democracy, Palestinians are not particularly interested in peace with the Jewish State. 48% want a return to an armed intifada. 50% oppose a two-state solution. 52% want to cancel recognition of Israel and a suspension of the Oslo Accords. 63% of Palestinians oppose the idea of allowing any Jew to live in a future Palestinian state as either a citizen or resident.
  3. The Arab world has moved on from Palestinian Cause. Because of the “Arab Spring” upending countries in the region and the emergence of a Sunni-versus-Iran regional confrontation, 74% of Palestinians believe that the Palestinian cause is no longer a primary concern in the Arab world.
  4. Hatred for Abbas. 68% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign, not much of a change from the 70% that wanted him to resign in December 2017. If Abbas ran against the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, in presidential elections he would lose, just as he would have lost in every poll conducted over the past several years.
  5. Done with the US. 88% of Palestinian Arabs believe that the US is biased towards Israel and 65% oppose resuming any talks with the US administration.
  6. Expectations for peace. Only 9% of Palestinians believe that there will be peace in 10, 25 or even 100 years.
  7. Time to move. A growing percentage of Gazans want to immigrate to other countries, now at 45% of the population, up from 41% in December 2017. The percentage is only 19% for Arabs in the West Bank.

According to the polls, Palestinians are indeed fed up with their leadership, but more with Abbas than Hamas. That sentiment is more pronounced in Gaza (81%) than the West Bank (62%).

So when Haley calls out for encouraging “more responsible Palestinian leadership,” the answer must be a COMPLETE overhaul of the Palestinian leadership including the current acting-president Abbas and the ruling government in Gaza, Hamas. In the current configuration, no relief will come to Gaza and no peace between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

At the UN Security Council, the US is debating the rest of the council in a Hamas-versus-Israel narrative as it relates to Gaza. But in Gaza, the conclusions are in: they are fed up. They hate Abbas even more than Hamas and have no interest in coexistence with Jews or the Jewish State. For Gazans, the debate is only whether to stay or to go.


Gazans attempt a “reverse flotilla” to leave Gaza and break
the Israeli navy blockade on May 30, 2018 (photo: Associated Press)


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What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Nikki Haley Channels Robert Aumann at the UN Security Council

Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

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The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

The United Nations has long encouraged a deeply flawed directive which stands against global international law, that descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left homes in 1948 have a right to move back to such houses inside Israel.

In addition to that particular Palestinian-only ruling, the UN created a unique definition for a “refugee” as it relates to Palestinian Arabs, coupled with a unique refugee agency, UNRWA, distinct from the global refugee agency. These convoluted UN initiatives have encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to view the borders of Israel as permeable, as mere temporary and arbitrary lines with no meaning. The UN has educated generations of these Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) that with the help of the United Nations, they will all move into Israel.


Key on top of UNRWA camp in Bethlehem,
encouraging the “Right of Return” for Palestinian Arabs

Together with the incitement of their leaders from the terrorist group Hamas, Gazans have taken the next small step to view the border fence with Israel as not just irrelevant, but completely illegitimate.

It is therefore no surprise that Gazans attacked the border fence with Israel in their “Great March of Return” during the spring of 2018. The Palestinian Arabs have been given tacit approval of such actions for decades by the United Nations.

It is therefore highly appropriate that the United Nations take active steps to correct the violation of Israel’s sovereignty which the UN itself implicitly inspired.

The UN must contribute funds to Israel’s repair of its border fence with Gaza. It must make clear to the people of Gaza and around the world that Israel’s borders are inviolable and no threat to the country will be tolerated.

Unless it really believes otherwise.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

The “Great Myth of Return”

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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Israel’s Kite Business Gets a Second Wind

A satire.

 

Duvi sat at his desk bored.

He looked past the fidgit spinner in his hand to a virtually empty production facility. Only two people moved about the large kite manufacturing assembly line that once handled 20 people. He let a long breath escape his mouth as he looked down at the fidgit spinner. He pondered whether it would be better to spin it counter-clockwise rather than clockwise as an Israeli that read from right-to-left.

The phone rang. The sound washed out every noise in the warehouse.

Alo,” Duvi whispered into the phone, with a voice dry and crackled as he hadn’t spoken in almost an hour. One of the two workers turned to listen to him.

What?! Be’emet?! (truly?)” he called out to the world as much as to the person on the other end of the conversation. He smacked his forehead and broke into a grin “Sababa! Thank you so much!” and hung up.

Hudi, you will not believe it! We are back in business!” Call Moishe and Rachel to get over here,” Duvi called out as he sprang from his desk.

What is it, what’s going on,” Hudi asked. “Who was that on the phone?

The Minister of Defense,” he said proudly. “The Israeli army just ordered 10,000 kites. It would seem that our government has been ordered to use ‘proportionate action’ against the Gazans so needs an arsenal of kites to counter Hamas’s petrol kites.

Well, we cannot use our standard kites then,” Hudi considered. “We will need to strengthen the wires to support the added weight. It’ll also need a proper basket to carry the gasoline.

The other worker Sara heard what was going on and chimed in. “We need to build something other than a basket as the lit fire would ignite the kite.” Sara pulled out a piece of paper and began to design a fire-bombing kite that would be both flight-worthy and effective.

Duvi grabbed the phone and began to dial, speaking to both Hudi and Sara. “I will call Izik to provide the latest fiber technology and Omri has an amazing lighter and stronger replacement material for nylon. The stronger and lighter materials will compensate for the weight of the gasoline.

Within ten minutes they had designed and placed orders for materials for a newly designed kite that incorporated some artificial intelligence that would help the kite fly itself in high winds. It was brilliant.

They looked at each other and did a group hug. Sara smiled and noted “You know that the air force is going to claim they own the patent on this now,” and they all laughed.

Hudi asked, “Should we decorate the kite? Hamas is sending over their kites into Israel with swastikas, apparently the group with whom they most relate. What should we use?

Do you think they use Nazi propaganda because they think like Nazis or because they believe that we will become more scared of them because of the Nazi imagery?” asked Duvi.

Probably both,” answered Sara.

Then let’s continue the measure-for-measure against them,” Hudi said defiantly. “Let them see the images of the people that will bring their destruction. Let’s use mirrors so that they see themselves.”


Gazan prepare their fire-bombing kites for Israel, 2018

The phone rang again. They smiled too soon.

Alo!” Duvi answered loudly. “What?! No, no, no. We’re all done. It’s brilliant!” he protested. “The world has never seen a kite like ours.” He shook his head and listened some more. “I’m sure. Yes, I get it. OK. bye.

Duvi turned to Sara and Hudi and said “We have to hold off on building these. It seems that the special United Nations representative for the Palestinians has demanded that we cannot use Israeli ingenuity in defending ourselves either. We have to use the exact same armaments as the Palestinians use. A Norwegian NGO is now dropping off kites and slingshots for the IDF and monitoring the border to ensure no sophisticated weaponry is used against the Gazans.

Sara slumped in a chair. Hudi was more defiant. “Will they also drop off knives and butcher cleavers for us to stab Arabs in mosques as they pray? Who are these morons?

Duvi tried to console her. “Stop. They are not morons. They are ‘progressives’ that have the luxury of living in a peaceful environment. We are the morons for listening to them.”

Sara whimpered “Maybe we can send our new kites to Gaza for Hamas to use?

Duvi grabbed the fidgit spinner that had fallen to the floor. He bit into it to see if it was real.


Related First.One.Through article:

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Fun With Cause-and-Effect: Gaza Border Protests

A satire.

 

The Israeli soldiers took up positions near the Gaza fence. Over 100 men in total, they crouched behind a large berm obscuring the view of their target. They talked.

We never should have left Gaza in 2005,” said Corporal No-Name Israeli.

I know,” said Private Faceless Ashkenazi, “but now we can finally rectify the mistake.

They were called to attention by their commander and fifty conversations dropped in a moment.

My dear brothers, we will now begin a multi-week attack on the border that was set up dividing our homeland,” the stocky 26-year-old Zionist commander began. “Our mission is to obliterate the fence that marks the beginning of Jew-free land. Every Friday over the course of several weeks, we will come to various spots along the Gaza border and begin to dismantle the fence. We will use a variety of means as the situation demands, but be prepared to use the full array of armaments that you carry.”

The Israeli soldiers were delighted. They shot off their guns in the air and passed candies among each other as though they had just killed a terrorist.

Begin!” the commander called.

And just like that, 120 soldiers climbed the dune and began to fire upon the Gaza border fence.

The Reaction in Gaza

The Hamas Friday bingo game was just getting exciting. The sweet-faced Ismail Haniyeh, was calling out the numbers for the crowd of 2,000 peace-loving refugees. “I – 48,” he called into the microphone in the large UNRWA-funded mosque. “I – 48. ‘I’ as in ‘Inshallah’ and ’48’ as in the year marking our Nakba.

Suddenly the crackle of gunfire pierced their quiet Friday ritual.

The Israelis!” someone cried. “The Israelis are attacking the border. They are trying to reclaim Gaza!

The head of the popular social service organization knew he needed to take charge. Haniyeh pulled the microphone to his mouth. “People! Hamas does not want there to be any violence. We must take measured approaches to the Israeli attacks. Everyone, go to your home and remove the tires from your vehicles and meet me near the border fence with as many tires as you can muster!

Within 30 minutes, tens of thousands of simple, kind, gentle Palestinians were at the border of their coastal enclave in a desperate attempt to save their border fence. Members from the global press and United Nations brought tires too.

As they watched their dear fence slowly crumble from the Israeli gunfire, Yahwa Sinwar, another Hamas leader known for his warm outreach to Israelis shouted in a megaphone: “People of Gaza! Protect our fence! Set fire to your tires and roll them towards the fence to obscure the vision of the Israeli snipers. Protect our Gaza! Protect our independence!

The Gazans were caught off guard. No one had told them to bring matches. Each turned to the right and left for a light.

The UNRWA officials at the rally came to the rescue. They put down the dozens of Molotov cocktails that they were holding and lit up everyone’s tires.

The smoke screen began.

A picture taken on March 30, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip./ AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Israelis were alarmed. They were not expecting a protest from the Gazans. The Palestinians had always been peaceful and content with their situation, whether good or bad. But now they were harming the operation by shielding the fence.

The Israeli commander instructed his soldiers to put down their guns. “Throw your grenades towards the fence!” he yelled. “Ideally, as indiscriminately as possible.

The blasts and booms sent fear into the Gazans’ hearts. The dirt and debris flew everywhere. This was no longer simply a matter of the border fence being destroyed, but the laundry on the lines near the fence was becoming filthy.

Haniyeh ordered the people forward towards the fence. Everyone grabbed the sheets and slingshots that were lying on the ground and began to fling the rocks and debris off in the direction of the Israelis to get them to stop their attack on the fence. Even the press and senior leadership of UNRWA began to throw their Molotov cocktails towards the Israelis in an attempt to reestablish the status quo of peace and civility.

After a few hours, each side returned home, knowing that they would repeat the same dance each Friday until Israel’s Independence Day, when Israelis both celebrate their country’s birth and mourn the truncated nature of their sovereignty in the Jewish Promised Land.

As always, the smoke screen would continue.


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

Ever since politics introduced the concept of “Alternative Facts” and “Fake News” some months ago, the mainstream media has been fighting back that it is the real authority on the truth. The New York Times has sought to portray itself as the media source that uncovers the truth and has pushed the tagline of “the Truth is Hard to Find,” as it features its journalists in large promotional advertisements.


Double page advertisement in The New York Times about Jodi Ruduren
April 23, 2017

On April 23, 2017, the Times featured an enormous spread to convey how its Middle East reporter, Jodi Roduren, went deep into a hidden Hamas tunnel to tell a story behind the Gaza War in 2014. The caption in the advertisement read: “Forty-six feet underground, Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief, ventured into a secret tunnel used by Hamas insurgents to launch surprise attacks from Gaza into Israel.”

If only the New York Times actually reported such events during the war in 2014.

As detailed in “The New York Times’ Buried Pictures” about Rudoren’s story when it was written on July 28, 2014, Rudoren mischaracterized the entirety of the story about the terror tunnels:

  • It took three weeks for the NYT to post a single picture of the terror tunnels, even though they were the root cause of the war;
  • On the day that the paper finally showed a picture of the tunnels, it only placed a small black-and-white photograph on page A6, even while it posted a large color picture on the front page of Palestinians mourning, and a large black-and-white picture of Palestinians mourning above the picture of the tunnel;
  • Rudoren’s article made light of Israeli concerns about the tunnels, referring to the Israeli invitation to tour the tunnels as a “propaganda push,” rather than a chance to report on the nature of the battle from a first-hand encounter;
  • Roduren wrote that “Israelis exchange nightmare scenarios that are the stuff of action movies” about the tunnels, as if the threat was simply imagined.
  • Compare Rudoren’s late and under-emphasized report during the 2014 war, with the front page story on May 21, 2016 that Palestinian Arabs are scared about the tunnels (because Israel will destroy them).

Yet the Times describes itself as the discoverer of “truth,” even while it misleads readers.

Consider two stories on the next day, July 30, 2014, when the Times repeatedly blamed Israel for bombing a power plant even though there was no proof that it was not done by Hamas, either intentionally or not. The two articles also did not mention the dozens of rockets that Hamas fired into Israel, nor that Hamas refused to accept a ceasefire.

Just two days before Rudoren’s article about the Hamas tunnels, she wrote that anti-Israel riots in Europe had an “anti-Semitic tinge,” belittling the thousands of people storming streets in Paris yelling “Hitler was right” and attacking Jews and Jewish stores.

Roduren was a key player in the New York Times’ biased and terrible coverage of Israel:

  • In October 2012, Roduren wrote an article about “honor killings” in Gaza and the West Bank. Rather than point the finger squarely at the disgraceful Islamic practice performed by Palestinian Arabs on their own family members, Rudoren repeatedly blamed Israel. How? Read the fact-altering “news” for yourself.
  • Rudoren’s May 2014 coverage of the Pope’s visit to Israel was disgraceful in repeatedly stretching facts to fit a narrative that Palestinian Arabs are victims of racist Israeli policies
  • On July 6, 2014, Rudoren wrote about the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, making it sound like an ancient Arab neighborhood rather than an ancient Jewish neighborhood
  • In September 2014, when Palestinian Arabs were firebombing Jewish homes and a gas station in an attempt to create a large explosion, Roduren minimized the riots and that Israeli soldiers over-reacted to the Arabs’ “crude gestures toward Israeli soldiers.”
  • Her front page article on March 13, 2015, “As Israeli Settlements Take Root, So Do Complications,” repeated Palestinian propaganda as fact when she claimed that a few thousand Jews living in the West Bank threatened the “viability” of a Palestinian State.

The examples of Roduren’s anti-Israel bias and deliberate misrepresentation of the facts were present in almost every article that she wrote for the Times. Her bias was so intense, that when Foreign Press Association wrote about threats its journalists received from Hamas about its reporting on the war, Roduren took to Twitter to defend Hamas. Yes, that same anti-Semitic terrorist group that dug terror tunnels into Israel.


On September 17, 1993, A.M. Rosenthal wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the Oslo Accords. He concluded with a prescient comment about the news media confusing their biased narrative and hope for the future with actual facts: “[There] is the tendency to confuse hope for the future with present reality….Pray for peace but add another prayer for truth upon which it depends.”

The New York Times may write that the “Truth is Hard to Find.” In truth, for the liberal paper, the facts are difficult to print.


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New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The New York Times Refuses to Label Hamas a Terrorist Group

Educating the New York Times: Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood

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

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Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Every Picture Tells a Story- Whitewashing the World (except Israel)

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

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

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Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

Pro-Israel Democrats have loudly proclaimed that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a strong supporter of Israel. They have even stated that her pro-Israel positions are really not that dissimilar to the Republican President George W. Bush.

Really?

“Settlements” and Berating Israel

A new batch of emails from Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State reveals some of her positions related to Israel and her approach to dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Consider the email exchange between Hillary Clinton and Sandy Berger on September 19 & 22, 2009.

“ironically, his [Netanyahu’s] intransigence over 67 borders may offer us [the Clinton’s State Department] that possibility – to turn his position against him… Sending [Middle East Peace Envoy George] Mitchell back to try to get the parties to agree on a common basis to relaunch negotiations. This includes: an end to the occupation that began in 1967. –– This 67 formulation was used in the Road Map, by Bush, Sharon and Olmert. Assuming Bibi will accept no formulation that includes 67 borders, it suggests that Bibi is the obstacle to progress and backtracking on his part on an issue that previous Israeli governments have accepted.”

The Clinton/Berger plot was clearly to undermine Netanyahu to punish him for disagreeing to set the borders that existed in 1967 as the permanent borders. They viewed those borders as concessions that had been previously agreed to.

sandy-berger-and-hillary-clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, 2009

But look at what President George W. Bush and the US Congress actually stated five years earlier on June 23, 2004.

“Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities;”

This House of Representatives motion, H. Con.Res 460, was passed in a landslide roll call vote 407-9.

Note that Bush clearly stated the opposite of what Clinton and Berger contended: prior agreements and assurances that the borders would NOT be along the Green Line which existed until 1967.

Further, the April letter from Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underscored that the pathway to peace and a two-state future was the cessation of all Palestinian incitement to, and acts of violence.

The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking [Israeli withdrawal from Gaza] represents. I [President George W Bush] therefore want to reassure you on several points.

First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means. The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue. The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state. It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel. “

Bush focused on the cessation of Palestinian Arab terrorism and incitement, as he underscored that Israel would NOT return to the 1967 borders.

What happened between the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter and the 2009 Clinton/Berger email?

  • In 2005, Israel withdrew every Israeli civilian and soldier from Gaza
  • In 2006, Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction swept legislative elections, gaining 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority
  • In 2007, Hamas routed the competing political party Fatah, and seized total control of Gaza
  • In 2008/9, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the incessant missile fire into Israel from Gaza
  • And in September 2009, as Clinton and Berger exchanged emails, the United Nations was preparing to release the Goldstone Report, a 452-page report where the world body would demonize Israel for committing war crimes in Operation Cast Lead

It was in that environment, where Israel was feeling the condemnation of the world, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to add fuel to the fire by berating Benjamin Netanyahu as an “obstacle to progress.” Not a single criticism of Palestinian Arab terror, which WAS the focus of the assurances between the US and Israel.

At best, pro-Israel Clinton supporters may claim that she was simply following the direction of President Barack Obama to rewrite facts and history in the hope that no one would notice.

Democrats can claim that there was no malice in rewriting the long-standing Democratic platform in 2012, removing the historic clause that had been the party’s approach for years, “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”  The entire language that was lifted verbatim from the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter was deleted in its entirety. It was as if it never existed.

Democrats comfortably pretend that Israel moved to the right, rather than the party’s positions that moved counter to facts and history, because they BELIEVE their cause to be just. They believe that the settlements are the primary obstacle to peace because they get terrible advice from left-wing groups like J Street that claim to be pro-Israel and pro-peace. (J Street just released a foolish video making fun of Donald Trump’s ties to the settlements, in time for the elections.)

The reality, is that the Democratic party under Obama’s leadership moved sharply away from Israel and the truth.  And Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State followed that caustic approach to attack Israel while it was vulnerable on the world stage.


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The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

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The UN’s Ban Ki Moon Ignores Civilians Killed by the US and KSA

There are no shortages of wars in the Middle East; just a selective application of sympathy and condemnation.

US-Syria July 2016

On July 20, 2016, U.S.-led forces killed dozens of civilians, including children who were in their homes.  That strike brought the total Syrian civilians killed by U.S.-led forces to over 100 people in July.

The story was barely covered in mainstream media like the New York Times, where one would have to dig inside the paper for reports of the killings.  The liberal paper continued to protect its liberal president, especially as his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaigned to become the next U.S. president.

The United Nations, whose headquarters is hosted in the United States, also remained almost completely silent on the mass murder of civilians.

The United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-Moon did not utter a word.

Instead, his deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, spoke about the civilian deaths in passing, the middle of various other reports.  He never mentioned that the killings were committed by U.S.-led forces.

The approach of the UN could not be more different than its approach to Israel two summers earlier.

Israel – Gaza July 2014

On July 22, 2014, the UNSG flew into Ramallah where he reported to the United Nations Security Council.  While he condemned Hamas’s firing of rockets into Israel, he only spoke of Palestinian Arab civilians who were impacted by the fighting:

I have also discussed Israel’s legitimate security concerns with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon, and I am going to continue my meetings with President Peres as well as other Ministers.

I once again strongly condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza into Israel. I am also alarmed by Israel’s heavy response and the corresponding high civilian death toll.

Since this Council was briefed on Sunday the violence has reached even more alarming levels.

Yet again, too many civilians, including many children, are paying the price for this latest escalation

I want to stress how deeply proud I am of our many UN colleagues, with UNRWA in the lead, courageously assisting the people of Gaza under such difficult circumstances.

They are providing crucial relief and shelter to civilians in imminent danger. The escalation of violence is now acutely affecting UNRWA’s regular operations.

A total of 23 UNRWA installations are closed as a result of the conflict. A total of 77 UNRWA installations have been damaged since 1 June as a result of the conflict.

The premises have been used to store weapons. This is unacceptable.

Today, about 100,000 people – more than 5 percent of the population of Gaza – are seeking shelter with UNRWA.

In the past, our premises in Southern Lebanon and Gaza have been hit with serious loss of life. I call on Israel to exercise particular care to avoid another unfortunate incident….

This is the third time as Secretary-General that I have had to come on an emergency mission to the region to help end a crisis.

That means the children of Gaza are now living through the third major assault in the last five years of their young lives.

The horror and upheaval is beyond imagination.

The cycle of suffering must end.

The parties must seize the opportunity to not only renew a ceasefire but also support durable political, security, institutional and socioeconomic progress that stabilizes Gaza.”

Ban Ki-Moon never recognized that almost 80% of Israelis were being fired upon by Hamas rockets. He did not recognize the Israeli civilians hiding in shelters.  He did not remember the children of Israel “living through the third major assault in the last five years of their young lives,” but only the Palestinian Arabs. He did not seek global support for the security and stability of Israel.

Why is the UNSG’s so deeply engaged on behalf of Palestinian Arabs?  Why does Ban Ki Moon continue to call out Israelis?  In comparison, why doesn’t he even mention the United States’ killing of 100 civilians?

UNRWA and Money

As detailed in “The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables it to Only Find Fault with Israel,” the UN has a unique relationship with Palestinian Arabs.  The UN has become the guardians to these stateless Arab wards. As the UN has set up unique institutions just for this group of Arabs, the UN is put in the position of always defending them.

The UN shelters and protects the Palestinian Arabs, so attacks on them result in attacks on the UN.  The voices that the UN hears each day are of Palestinian Arabs, not Israelis.  As such, The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists.

This is in sharp contrast to every other conflict in the world, where the UN can act as an unbiased neutral party.

The comparison becomes more dramatic when the UNSG deals with permanent members of the UN Security Council, or other countries where the UN seeks to gain influence and money.  Such as Saudi Arabia.

On June 9, 2016, the UNSG made a rare public admission that he dropped listing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as a country that has killed many civilians, during KSA’s airstrikes in Yemen.  In defending his removal of KSA, Ban Ki-Moon saidI also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many U.N. programs.

In other words, the UN is not an arbiter of right-and-wrong. It is a political beast that must move towards money and power.

ban ki moon2
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

US and Afghanistan, The Obama War

To further underscore the point, the United Nations reported on the state of war in Afghanistan on July 25, 2016. The first half of 2016 saw the greatest number of civilian casualties – including 1,509 children – since US President Obama took office in January 2009. The total number of civilian casualties since 2009 stood at 63,934, a number that the report claimed was very conservative.

The US-led war broke apart a country.  The US’s pro-government forces were responsible for 40% of the civilian casualties – and growing.  The first six months of 2016 saw a startling increase of 47% more civilian casualties from pro-government forces, even while casualties from the anti-government forces saw a decline.

But the UN report never called out the United States publicly.  It never suggested that the US attacked civilians intentionally, as the UN does for Israel.  Just consider this language from the report:

“While noting international military forces’ efforts to minimize civilian casualties during aerial operations, UNAMA encourages the NATO/Resolute Support to increase the level of transparency during investigations into civilian casualties and provide adequate and timely redress for civilians impacted by their operations.

Did the UN ever highlight the phone calls, leaflets dropped, “knock on the roof” ordinances that Israel deployed in Gaza? A door-to-door effort without aerial bombardment to minimize civilian casualties at great risk to the lives of Israeli soldiers?

Nope.


That is the sorry state of the United Nations.  Rich and powerful countries, and those with large voting blocks (like the block of Islamic countries) get to dictate the agendas and avoid condemnation, while small countries with a fraction of the budget get picked on.  In the case of Israel, the dynamic is compounded by a biased judge.

Yet remarkably, a call that should be easy for progressives – fighting back against power and money – is lacking.  US progressives should rally to Israel and against the UN.  Instead, they united with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

It is well past time for an overhaul of the United Nations. It is also time for progressives to rethink their anti-Israel attitudes.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

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Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

In April 2016, Democratic candidates for president Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated before the primary contest in New York.  During the debate, Sanders described Israel’s fight against Palestinians in Gaza were “disproportionate.”  In actuality, it was Sanders’ discussion of the war that was disproportionate.

Sanders 3
Sanders talking to the New York Daily News April 2016
(photo: Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

Discussion of 2014 Hamas War

Disproportionate Attack  Sanders said that Israel’s actions were a disproportionate attack.  Calling the operation an “attack” made it seem that Israel was on the offensive, rather than the defensive. It was Hamas that kidnapped and murdered three teenagers.  It was Hamas that dug dozens of tunnels into Israel to abduct more Israelis.  It was Hamas that fired thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian towns. Israel reacted to Hamas in a defensive battle.

Over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza.”  Many people reacted strongly to Sanders’ gross overestimation of the number of Palestinians killed.  That is only half of the problem.  While the number of killed was closer to 1,500, half of those killed were terrorists firing into Israeli civilian areas, not “innocent people.”

The attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed.”   Sanders said that Israel’s action showed a willful disregard for life by firing against Palestinians in an indiscriminate manner.  He made no mention of Israel’s dropping leaflets on neighborhoods and calling people to evacuate areas that were going to be fired upon.  Such selectivity of memory underlines a bias in approach.

Discussion of America’s War on Terror

Sanders supporters think that he is against all war, and Sanders likes to repeat often that he voted against the war in Iraq to underscore that image.  To view Sanders views more broadly and compare those comments to Israel’s war on terror shows deeper flaws in Sanders thinking.  In truth, Sanders was in favor of bombing Kosovo, supports destroying ISIS, and voted to fund America’s war in Afghanistan.

Regarding America’s killing of civilians in those wars, Sanders said the following:

“When bombing wedding parties of innocent people and killing dozens of them, that is, needless to say, not effective and enormously counterproductive.”

Sanders comment that America’s bombing of a wedding party (done several times in the War on Terror) is “not effective” and “counterproductive” falls pretty short of the condemnation that he used for Israel’s “indiscriminate” “attacks” against “innocent civilians.”  Why doesn’t Sanders similarly say that when Israel kills bystanders it is “not effective?”

 

Sanders clearly declared that Israel has every right to defend itself and combat terrorism when he stated that “I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks.”  He further feels that Hamas is wrong in its approach to Israel and should be condemned “I strongly object to Hamas’ long held position that Israel does not have the right to exist – that is unacceptable. Of course, I strongly condemn indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas into Israeli territory, and Hamas’ use of civilian neighborhoods to launch those attacks.

So are his arguments only meant that Israel should be more targeted in killing terrorists?

No.  If that were the case, he would use language that is more similar to how he described America’s killing of innocents.  His language of “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” is meant to convey that Israel DELIBERATELY used too much force against Hamas.

Sanders does not believe that Israel is just defending itself from terrorism, he believes that Israel is deliberately trying to kill Palestinians.

Disproportionate Defense and Equivalence of Intent

As detailed in “The Disproportionate Defenses of Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the disproportionate figure in the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed in the 2014 Gaza War had to do with the disproportionate DEFENSES of the two parties.  Israel used its Iron Dome defensive shield and bomb shelters throughout the country to minimize casualties on the Israeli side.  Without those defenses, the number of casualties on both sides would have been much closer.

Further, as described in “Pray for a Lack of “Proportionately” in Numbers. There will never be an Equivalence of Intent” the Hamas Charter, leaders and actions make abundantly clear their desire to kill Jews and destroy Israel.  Israel has no such desires to attack Arabs.  It accepted every ceasefire during the Gaza War while Hamas refused.

The objections of Israeli supporters about the comments of Bernie Sanders have little to do with his uninformed comments about the tally of dead in the Gaza War.  It has everything to do with Sanders’ gross mischaracterization of the Israeli Defense Force as indiscriminate killers.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

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Oxfam and Gaza

Oxfam seems like such a nice charity.  It’s slogan is “The power of people against poverty.” What can be controversial about that?

Much of the organization’s work is focused on providing aid and services to poor communities around the world.  Work includes bringing clean water, food and basic services to people in need.

However, the organization also goes beyond a core mission of charity to other rights-based work including human rights and women’s rights.  The charity claims that “when people have the power to claim their basic human rights, they can escape poverty – permanently” and “the right to gender justice underpins all of our work.” Such activity leads Oxfam to get involved in politics and to advocate for particular actions by governments.

Oxfam produces reports and details its assessments of certain regions and their treatment of people.  Consider the report which warns about a potential slide in the treatment of women in Afghanistan.  Oxfam clearly “called on world leaders to ensure that any peace deal includes benchmarks to guarantee women’s rights” and highlighted the terrible crimes of “honor killings” in which wives and daughters are killed by family members if they engaged in something considered impure, like dressing inappropriately or turning down a male suitor.

Oxfam also puts feet on the ground to encourage peace in places such as South Sudan where “Oxfam has been working closely with communities and their leaders in Rumbek to establish peace committees that are now avenues for different clans to meet on a regular basis to discuss issues, mediate conflicts and encourage peaceful co-existence.” Such activity is obviously well beyond delivering humanitarian aid.

Consider Oxfam’s approach to Gaza.

Gaza

Oxfam has repeatedly called for “world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza which Israel put in place in June 2007 to prevent arms smuggling after the terrorist group Hamas took over Gaza.  Hamas has used its weapons to fire over 10,000 rockets into Israel since then.

Legality: Oxfam called the blockade “illegal,” even though the United Nations Palmer Report of 2011 clearly stated “that Israel’s naval blockade was legal… Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza.  The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

Ignoring the ruling authority of the terrorist group, Hamas: Oxfam stated that “The government of Israel holds the primary responsibility to lift the blockade, although agencies signing on to the campaign also recognize that reconstruction is hindered by the failure of Palestinian political parties to reconcile and prioritize reconstruction, and by Egypt’s closure of its border with Gaza.”

An amazing gloss over the facts.  Not only does Israel have “primary responsibility” for the situation, but the failure to alleviate the plight of ordinary people in Gaza according to Oxfam is also “the failure of Palestinian political parties to reconcile.” Hamas is a terrorist organization sworn to destroy Israel that repeatedly attacks Israelis. Until it relinquishes control of Gaza, the blockade will stay in place. It is not a matter that there is an internal division between Palestinian leaderships, as Oxfam states.

Collective Punishment:  Oxfam continued: “The government of Israel justifies the restrictions on security grounds. However, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have repeatedly asserted that the blockade is a violation of international law. Indeed, there can never be justification for collective punishment of an entire population and leaving tens of thousands of families homeless and hundreds of thousands of children without a school or health centers.

Not only did the UN report specifically state that the blockade is legal as noted above, it also disputed the nature of “collective punishment” when it concluded that “although a blockade by definition imposes a restriction on all maritime traffic, given the relatively small size of the blockade zone and the practical difficulties associated with other methods of monitoring vessels (such as by search and visit), the Panel is not persuaded that the naval blockade was a disproportionate measure for Israel to have taken in response to the threat it faced.

Blame: Further, the phrasing of the Oxfam article put the blame for homeless families and “children without a school or health centers” on Israel, instead of the terrorist group Hamas that continues its war to destroy Israel.

Women’s Rights and Co-Existence:  Interestingly, for an organization that claims that “gender justice underpins all of our work,” it never once mentions in any of its numerous articles about Gaza, that Gaza now leads the world in the number of “honor killings” of women per capita.  It also doesn’t seem as keen to promote co-existence between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs as it does in South Sudan.


Oxfam is not simply a charitable organization, but a political one as well. It goes beyond important work of helping the poor, to a mission-based action group influencing governments.

When it comes to Gaza, it has turned a blind eye to an anti-Semitic terrorist government and focuses instead on demonizing a democracy that is protecting its citizens. It has produced articles with misinformation and circulated petitions to open Israel to attacks.

Consider that when you see an Oxfam volunteer walk up to you on the street.

oxfam


Related First.One.Through articles:

UN’s Confusion on the Legality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Honor Killings in Gaza

Gaza Blockade versus Cuban Blockade

Save the Children

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John Kerry’s Hypocrisy: “Can You Deliver?”

Listening to US Secretary of State John Kerry try to explain and defend the P5+1 Iranian nuclear deal to various audiences is a spectacle to behold, regardless of one’s position on the best course of action.  One of the people who might want to watch the sessions and learn something from John Kerry is John Kerry.

Kerry CFR
John Kerry speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations
July 2015

Secretary Kerry argued at the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) that Congress must support the deal or it would undermine his ability to negotiate any treaty with any government in the future. At 29:55 of the CFR talk, Kerry said: “Other people in the world are going to sit there and say ‘hey, let’s negotiate with the United States, they have 535 Secretaries of State. I mean, please! I would be embarrassed to try to go out… I mean, what am I going to say to people after this as Secretary of State? ‘Come negotiate with us?’ ‘Can you deliver?’ Please!

Kerry made the point that when two parties sit down to negotiate, it is critical for the sides to know that the negotiating parties are both authorized to negotiate and have the ability to fulfill their sides of the deal. If no such authority or ability exists, the discussions are an irrelevant waste of time.

Despite Kerry being quite clear about his logic, he has nevertheless insisted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sit down and negotiate with Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, even though it is clearly understood that Abbas can deliver nothing.

  • No Mandate: Abbas’s four-year term as president ran out in 2009. No presidential elections have been held since then.
  • No Authority: Abbas’s Fatah party lost legislative elections in 2006, winning only 33% of the parliament. No legislative elections have been held since then.
  • No Support: Abbas lags in every Palestinian poll held since 2006.
  • No Control: Abbas has no control of Gaza since his Fatah party was kicked out in 2007.
  • No Track Record: Abbas has shown zero credibility in being able to strike compromises to govern his own people, let alone deliver compromises with Israel.

Despite the glaringly obvious impotence of Abbas, the Obama administration continued to pressure Israel to negotiate with this straw man.

The Obama administration publicly acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority has absolutely no ability to deliver peace a few years ago. During the Gaza war on Israel in 2012, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to broker a cease-fire. She made a dozen calls to various world leaders to halt the war- but not ONCE called the Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

Compounding the inherent flaws in Abbas and the Palestinian Authority is Abbas’s insistence on bringing terms of any deal with Israel to a referendum. Abbas stated that he cannot decide on the “Right of Return” for all Palestinians, but that each of the 5 million Palestinian Arab “refugees” must make a decision for themselves. Hey Kerry- 535 “second-guessers” looks pretty good compared to 5 million! In terms of the rest of the components of a final agreement, Abbas stated that he “would go to a referendum everywhere because the agreement represents Palestinians everywhere.”  That’s impressive – he seeks the approval of 11 million “Palestinian” Arabs from all around the world!


Kerry’s comments regarding Iran are both on- and off-the-mark.  Iran and all of the parties in the negotiations know that the United States is a democracy and the political process must run its course.  Once the American people’s representatives in Congress make a decision, the government will deliver on its commitments.

However, Abbas – a complete straw man if ever there was one – with no authority or control whatsoever, openly states that millions of individuals will ultimately not only decide the fate of an Israeli-PA deal overall, but even on certain components on an individual basis.

 

Kerry fully appreciates that before negotiators start a process that they want to know the answer to the fundamental question: “Can you deliver“? However, he doesn’t care when he forces Israel to do exactly that with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.


Related FirstOneThrough video and articles:

Abbas demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The Disappointing 4+6 Abbas Anniversary

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

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