What’s Wrong with UNRWA

The United States has seemingly made the decision to stop its voluntary contributions to UNRWA, the United Nations organization which handles the descendants of Palestinian Arab “refugees” who left what is now Israel in 1948. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a talk at the Defense of Democracies where she made several comments as to why she felt that it was the correct thing to do:

  • The countries that we give money to, do they believe what we believe? Are they still actually wanting to be our partner and work with us? If they’re not and shouting ‘Death to America’ why would we give them a single penny? And so you are seeing the efforts to defunding those things that are not helpful to us and not in the United States’ interest.” (16:50)
  • UNRWA can stay there, and we will be a donor if it reforms what it does. If it goes and makes sure that they are not doing this teachings in textbooks , if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering with them.” (27:45)

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly shut down discussions with the Trump Administration. Senior leaders have refused to entertain the still unreleased peace plan; they have refused to stop paying stipends to the families of terrorists; they have even told Nikki Haley to “shut up.”

In short, the Palestinian Authority is a problem, the terrorist group Hamas that runs Gaza is a problem, and the UN agency that enables and encourages these two factions is also a problem.

But the New York Times could not bring itself to cover the underlying facts about the decision to cut funding to UNRWA in an unbiased fashion.


New York Times page A8 on September 1, 2018
with two stories on the US funding cuts to UNRWA

On September 1, 2018, the “news”paper ran two stories on the subject, conceivably showing two sides of the UNRWA defunding issue. One article was called “Trump Administration’s Move to Cut Aid to Palestinians Is Denounced.” The article included a picture of Arabs on line for aid with a caption “Palestinian refugees receive assistance at a distribution center managed by the United Nations in Gaza last month.” The second article was titled “Why U.S. Plans to Slash Aid to Palestinians Make Israel Uneasy.” It included a very large picture of five cute girls sitting at school desks with a caption “Students at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Wednesday. A U.N. agency faces a $217 million shortfall that could force schools to close.”

Two articles were printed together on the same topic. One article said that the U.S. move to cut its funding to UNRWA was “denounced” broadly. The second article said that the cut made Israelis “uneasy.” The clear message from the Times was that everyone thinks the move is a terrible idea, even the Israelis.

How is that two sides of an issue? Why not clearly articulate why the administration is taking the steps against the agency which the State Department called an “irredeemably flawed operation,” with an “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable“?

Since the alt-left media cannot be balanced and educate readers, let’s do so here.

Refugee Definition and Headcount

A “refugee” is someone who leaves a country, not a town or a village. Such definition does not get handed down through the generations like an inheritance. There are roughly 50,000 refugees from the Arab War against Israel in 1948, not 5.3 million, as detailed below. The balance are descendants of refugees. The UN allows even more people to register for services (RPs, Registered Persons), so UNRWA actually provided services to 5.87 million people as of December 31, 2017.

UNRWA’s own definition of Palestinian refugees are “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” The area of Palestine in that window of time included Gaza and the region later to be known as the “West Bank.” Gaza holds 1.436 million “Registered Persons” and the West Bank 997,000 RPs. That’s 2.4 million people who are living in the same place, just a few miles from where their grandparents had a house. There’s no basis of calling any of these people refugees.

Basically all of the 2.287 million Palestinian Arab “RPs” living in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship. They – and their parents and grandparents – were granted citizenship after Jordan attacked Israel in 1948, illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (which they renamed the West Bank) in 1950 and then granted all of the non-Jewish residents citizenship in 1954 as part of their ethnic cleansing of Jews and illegal seizure. These Palestinian-Jordanian citizens have no fear of persecution. Indeed, the Queen of Jordan is herself a descendant of Palestinians. As such, all of these 2.3 million people have no basis of being called refugees.

The balance of the RPs in Syria (618,000) and Lebanon (532,000) who are over 70 years old who left Palestine because of the 1948 War could be called Palestinian refugees. What percentage of the 1.15 million people were born before May 1948? The estimate is that 6.78% of Lebanon is over the age of 65. Using a very conservative 5% figure for people 70+ who fled Palestine because of war would yield a actual refugee count of approximately 57,000 people; the actual number is likely 1/10th of that.

The United Nations is perpetuating UNRWA and its budget through a grossly exaggerated count of refugees, by well over 100 times!

UNRWA Budget

UNRWA claimed a needed budget in 2016/7 of $760 million. That equates to $129 spent per person on the overstated 5.87 million RPs. The other United Nations agency tasked with helping refugees – real ones by the way – is the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That group handles 68.5 million people, from war-town areas including South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria (63.1 million stripping out 5.4m Palestinians registered with UNRWA). These refugees typically have nothing as they flee their regions, needing basic items including food, clothing and shelter, let alone medicine and schools. UNHCR had $4 billion of expenditures to care for these people in 2017, roughly $63 per person. That means that UNHCR spent 51% less per person for people with dire needs all over the world, compared to UNRWA which has been around for decades, with established facilities.

The main cause is staffing. UNHCR had a staff of 11,517 around the world as of May 2018. Meanwhile, UNRWA had a staff of 30,799. The staff-to-RPs ratios for Palestinians was 1 UN staff member for every 190 people needing assistance, but only 1 UN staffer for every 5,479 people at UNHCR for refugees with real emergency needs. That’s an over-staffing problem at UNRWA of 29 times – even using the grossly exaggerated UNRWA definition of refugee.

UNRWA’s Abused and Outdated Mission Statement

UNRWA has a flawed mission statement at its core, quite unique relative to the UNHCR.

The UNHR’s mission statement states clearly:

“UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. In its efforts to achieve this objective,the Office strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State,and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, UNHCR also seeks lasting solutions to their plight.”

As noted above, the 2.4 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are already in “their own country.” The 2.3 million Palestinians living in safety and security and enjoying citizenship in Jordan are settled “in another country.” Under UNHCR’s definition, there would be no facilities in those locations.

However, UNRWA was created as different kind of agency. General Assembly Resolution 302 in December 1949 sought to create UNRWA at a time when Egypt controlled Gaza, Jordan had the “West Bank,” and Israel assumed even more land than had been considered under the 1947 Partition Plan. The resolution referred to UNGA Resolution 194 – and paragraph 11 in particular – which stated:

“Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

“Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;”

Unlike the UNHCR, which seeks to make sure that refugees are safe and settled SOMEWHERE, UNRWA only seeks to have Palestinians going to their HOMES. Not to their country or another country, but to the actual house where people once lived. While that may have been a somewhat logical approach right after the war 70 years ago, the idea of moving into a house that no longer exists in towns that have been completely rebuilt is nonsensical.

Yet, UNRWA is unswayed. It insists that the Palestinian refugees will return to the exact town and home. It even features skeleton keys above the entrance to its camps, as a symbol of such “Right of Return.”

UNRWA Facilitating Terrorism

Beyond the flawed core mission of UNRWA – and perhaps because of it – the organization is a horribly biased actor in the peace process between the Arabs and Israelis.

The school textbooks have long denied the history of Jews throughout the holy land and promote antisemitism. The schools refuse to teach about the Holocaust and UNRWA teachers use Facebook to promote terrorism against Israelis.

In Gaza, the situation is particularly untenable, as the area is governed by the terrorist group Hamas which has launched three wars against Israel in 2008, 2012 and 2014. UNRWA does not sit idly as a neutral party in these battles. UNRWA teachers have been active fighters, building bombs for terrorist groups, and allowing schools to be used to store weapons and as missile launching sites.

The UNRWA-terrorism problem has been going on for a long time. James Lindsay, a former general counsel for UNRWA from 2000 to 2007, penned a report in January 2009 where he wrote “UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, from joining its staff.

In October 2015, during the Obama Administration, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 3829, The UNRWA Anti-Incitement and Anti-Terrorism Act, which sought to defund UNRWA unless and until it made significant changes. The bill had three Republican co-sponsors but did not get much traction. And the US kept sending UNRWA its voluntary contributions.

Finally in 2018, the United States appears ready to follow through with actions after a decade-plus of discussions.

Funding Sources

Almost the entirety of UNRWA’s funding comes from voluntary donations. There is no assessment nor formula for which country is required to give how much.

Every year, decade-after-decade, it has been the United States that has been the single largest contributor to UNRWA. In 2017, the USA gave $364 million. The European Union gave $142 million. The individual counties’ contributions were relatively light: Germany $76 million; United Kingdom $67 million; Sweden $61 million.

The Muslim and Arab states gave paltry sums, especially considering their constant attacks against Israel at the United Nations. Saudi Arabia $53 million; UAE $12.8 million; Kuwait $9 million; Turkey $6.7 million; Kuwaiti Fund $4.9 million; Dubai Cares $3.8 million; Qatar $1 million; Kuwait Patients Fund $100,000.

Zero from Iran. Nothing from Bahrain. No Oman. No Morocco. No Pakistan. The entire Arab and Muslim world gave less than 25% of the American donation.

But as Nikki Haley pointed out, the generosity of the United States is treated with scorn and demands for more.


UNRWA is a deeply flawed organization and has been so for decades. It has been an embarrassment that the United States has done so little to reform the organization over the past decade and that liberal media still cannot accurately report on the agency’s corruption and failings. More kudos to Nikki Haley for underscoring plain facts, and to the Trump team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt for their efforts to reform the UN to help advance an enduring peace in the Arab-Israel conflict.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

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Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

The arguments to defund and shut UNRWA are plentiful, but as the established and embedded “way of living,” (to quote Queen Rania of Jordan) of Palestinian Arabs in the five regions in which it operates, the process of closing the organization may take some time to implement.

But the time is now in Gaza.

  1. There is no basis for calling anyone in Gaza a “refugee.”

While the United Nations long ago abused the definition of “refugee” as something that can be passed down through generations like an inheritance uniquely for Palestinian Arabs, the situation in Gaza is all the more ridiculous. A “refugee” is not defined as someone that left a specific house. It refers to leaving a country.

Even under UNRWA’s contorted definition of a refugee, the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza are living in the same land and country that their parents and grandparents left at the time of the Jewish State’s reestablishment in 1948, as defined by UNRWA:

“persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

“Palestine” between June 1946 and May 1948 included the areas now known as Israel, Gaza and the area commonly known as the “West Bank,” which was seized and annexed illegally by the Jordanians at the end of the 1948 conflict.

At best, the “refugees” in Gaza can be described as “internally-displaced” people.

  1. Independent

While the Arabs in the West Bank are also only descendants of internally-displaced people like those in Gaza, they have limited autonomy in much of the region. Only in Area A is the Palestinian Authority in charge of both the civilian and military life.

However, the situation is completely different in Gaza. Israel removed every Israeli civilian and soldier in 2005. For the first time in history, local Arabs in Gaza control their own territory. The Gazans held elections for president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005 and for parliament in 2006.

But UNRWA has stayed put in Gaza anyway.

  1. Taking Sides in an Armed Conflict

While the United Nations adoption of the Palestinian cause has long made the organization a biased actor in the Israeli-Palestinian Arab dispute, the situation is much more problematic in a war zone.

Hamas, the ruling government in Gaza is a designated terrorist organization according to many countries in the world including Israel, the United States, Canada and the European Union. Hamas has launched three full-blown wars against Israel since it took over the region: in 2008, 2012 and 2014. And the group has continued to incite and launch terrorist attacks against Israel during intervening “ceasefires.”

UNRWA does not sit in the middle as a neutral party in these battles. Over 99% of UNRWA employees are the local Palestinian Arabs, not European peace forces. UNRWA teachers have been active in the terrorism against a UN member state, building bombs for terrorist groups. They have allowed the schools to be used to store weapons and as missile launching sites.

And many of the students and their family members are part of the terrorist infrastructure itself, belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups.


Rocket launcher next to UN building in Hamas’s 2014 war against Israel
(source: UNWatch)

How can the United Nations continue to take an active – or at a minimum, abetting – role in terrorism and violence against a member state?

The world is finally waking up to the travesty that is UNRWA. The UN should take immediate action to close down all of the facilities that it operates in Gaza. #ShutUNRWA


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

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

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

The United Nations Can Hear the Songs of Gazans, but Cannot See Their Rockets

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

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

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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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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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.


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Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

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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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The Israelis Provoke the Palestinians (music by The Clash)

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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.


Related First.One.Through articles:

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The New York Times 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”

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

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.


Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

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

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

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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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