Ari Fuld. Warrior for Peace

On September 16, 2018, Ari Fuld was stabbed in the back outside of a shopping mall by an Arab terrorist. He died shortly thereafter.

Ari grew up in Queens, NY and went to school in Riverdale at SAR Academy where his father was the principal. Like his parents and brothers, he was an ardent Zionist and later moved to Israel. He would marry and have four children.

Ari devoted his time to helping soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces. He would drive around the country delivering food, smiles and words of encouragement for the young men and women that were protecting the small nation. He would go on news programs defending the IDF, Israel’s policies designed to protect Israel, and speak out against countries and people that attacked the country politically.

It is unclear whether Ari was targeted for attack because of his zealous pro-Zionist views, or whether he was yet another Jew killed by an Arab for the simple reason that he was a Jew, no different than the Fogel family who were slaughtered in their sleep, Ezra Schwartz who was just delivering food to soldiers, or Leon Klinghoffer, who was pushed off a boat while on vacation.

What is not in question is the how fearless Ari was in taking his defense of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere he went.

While Ari lay dying, Jews around the world were reciting selichot, a selection of prayers which are said in the days before Yom Kippur. In the selection about Shalom, Peace, were statements about people like Ari, warriors for peace:

Peace, grant in our land, and subdue peoples under us,
may the nations, instead of us, be broken twice over.
For Hashem punishes with fire,
and yet encourages his warriors
I will hear what the Almighty God Hashem, will say
for he speaks of peace.

Peace without end upon the throne of the Judean lion cub,
as his light shines forever, without being extinguished.”

While Jews pray for God to fight their battles, it takes warriors for peace to serve as the agents to bring about such peace. God will bring about the success of the warriors, but without warriors, there can be no success.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emet. Our most sincere condolences to the entire Fuld family and the entire Jewish people.

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The Basic Law’s “Unique” Problem

After Israel announced its 2018 Basic Law of the Nation State of the Jewish People, many people became incensed. Some were the usual suspects who hate anything that Israel does such as the President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan. Others were parties that say they are pro-Israel while they attack the State, like the left-wing group J Street, which declared on its website that it was “a sad day for Israel and all who care about its democracy and its future.” Other left-wing groups and non-Orthodox rabbis made similar comments.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not care much about the complaints from these left-wing groups and non-Orthodox rabbis. It was a somewhat surprising reaction to chose to ignore them considering that one of the points in the 2018 Nation-State Law stated clearly that Israel was the nation state of all Jews, including the left-wing Jews that despise his administration.

However, Netanyahu did become upset when he learned that the Law upset the Druze minority that account for roughly 1.7% of Israeli citizens. The Druze have always been loyal Israeli patriots and are found in every aspect of Israeli society. When Netanyahu learned of the Druze protest, he announced that he would review the language of the law.


Druze protest in Tel Aviv, August 2018

Much of the Basic Law did not break new ground. For example, the national symbols of Israel have always been Jewish symbols. Jerusalem has always been the nation’s capital, and was already so noted in a Basic Law in 1980.

So why did the Druze protest? Why have so many non-Orthodox Jewish rabbis denounced the declaration?

The major reason for the controversy surrounds clause 1c, and the use of the word “unique.”

“The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

The other statements the law’s items 1a and 1b were simply factual statements for anyone that understands Israel and history. International law in 1920 (San Remo Conference Declaration) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine) underscored that the land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, and it is there that the Jewish people fulfill their “natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.

Item 1c went a step further, declaring that ONLY Jews had the right to national self-determination.

Those in favor of the law saw nothing exceptional about the clause. There was no threat to the nation’s democratic ideals as every citizen – Jew and non-Jew – still had an individual rights to self-determination and full protection under the country’s laws.

However, the Druze and non-Orthodox Jewish community saw things very differently.

The Druze Community

The Druze community came about in the 11th century as an offshoot to Islam. Most of the Druze view themselves as predominantly connected to other Druze, while still remaining loyal to the country in which they reside. The majority live in Syria and Lebanon, with roughly 15% living in northern Israel. Today, the Druze number roughly 1 million people in total.

Like the Kurds, the Druze never had an independent country, and the global powers did not carve out a space for them when the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of World War I. Unlike the Arabs in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, they did not seek to destroy the Jewish State at its founding in 1948.

The Israeli Druze view themselves as completely part of the Israel. Roughly 60% of Druze have served or are serving in the Israeli military, just slightly less than the 75% of Israeli men that have served or are serving. That compares to fewer than 1% of Israeli Arabs who serve in the Israeli army.

The Druze’s proud participation in Israeli society is drastically different than Israeli Arabs. They have no qualms in calling themselves “Israeli Druze,” in sharp contrast to many Israeli Arabs that prefer to call themselves “Palestinian citizens of Israel,” leading with their allegiance to a combatant entity that has warred against the Jewish State since its inception.

For many Druze, the Nation-State Basic Law made them question the nature of patriotism: was it a one way street? Several Druze army officers resigned in protest.

Non-Orthodox rabbis and Left-Wing Groups

For the non-Orthodox rabbis in the United States, the issue was philosophical. Their approach to Judaism and Israel is about universalism and not particularism as detailed in this article. As such, the word “unique” produced a knee-jerk protest.

Left-wing groups (which have more than a few non-Orthodox rabbis in leadership positions) claim their own version of universalism: a world in which everyone and everything is the same. That means no special rights or preferences for anyone that is in the majority or position of power, especially if they are white men. Any move to create rights and protections issued by such powerful white men on behalf of the majority must be inherently bigoted and racist.

Most fundamentally, the Basic Law calling for a “unique” right for the Jewish people in Israel undermines the far left’s two-state solution of 1.5  states for Arabs and 0.5 state for Jews, instead promoting a single state for Jews and a single state for Arabs.

Next Steps

As Netanyahu considers making alterations to the law, he might be able to satisfy both the Druze community and left-wing groups by dropping the word “unique” in statement 1c, but that would make it redundant with clause 1b.

However Netanyahu must know that the Druze have never fought for an independent state and never had one, let alone in northern Israel.

Netanyahu certainly realizes that the Druze did not protest the 1950 Law of Return which only granted Jews an expedited pathway to citizenship.

Israeli leaders can see that the Syrian Druze are loyal citizens to the Syria Arab Republic which has stated in its constitution that it opposes the very existence of Israel and is only an Islamic state. Did Druze loyalty in Syria collapse because of its warring stance and its view of religious hegemony? Not at all.

The handful of protests by Israeli Druze are sparked by the knowledge that the Jewish left and European funded-NGOs will embrace its cause and fight side-by-side in the streets. In Syria, disloyalty is addressed with expulsion and extinction. But in the Jewish State there is a left-wing army that is willing to join their protests in a manner that never existed in 1920, 1948, 1950, 1967 or 1980. The far left-wing will now combat the Israeli government in the streets of Israel, throughout the parliaments of Europe and in the halls of the United Nations.

Perhaps Netanyahu could replace clause 1c with a declaration that Judaism is the official religion of the State of Israel, just as many other democracies have official national religions. It would be interesting to see if the Basic Law opponents would be more comfortable with such declaration.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Deciphering the 2018 Basic Law in Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

Israel’s Nation-State Basic Law is Not Based on Religion

Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Oh Abdullah, Jordan is Not So Special

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Israel’s Nation-State Basic Law is Not Based on Religion

There are a few democratic countries that do not have formalized constitutions such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the State of Israel. These governments occasionally issue broad laws to outline the basic principles of government. Israel did just that in July 2018.

Israel’s 2018 Basic Law of the Nation-State of the Jewish People was interesting for what it omitted as much as for what it included.

The focus of the law was about the connection between the nation, the land and the people. Specifically, the law outlined the connection between the modern state of Israel, the Jewish people and the Jewish Holy Land.

But the law clearly omitted the religion of the Jews, Judaism.

The law had no preamble about the God of Judaism’s forefathers of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the way that Ireland begins its constitution about Jesus and the Trinity.

The law did not declare Judaism as the State of Israel’s official religion, nor did it declare that there was an official “church” or head rabbi in the country. Such laws are found in several democracies such as for Roman Catholicism in Costa Rica and for the Eastern Orthodox Church in Greece.

Israel’s Basic Law did not declare that the leader of the country needed to belong to the official government church. Such a law can be found in Denmark’s constitution regarding the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The law did not mandate that Judaism must be taught in school, a law that is found about Catholicism in Malta.

The law did not even state that Israel’s laws are based on Jewish values and inspired by the Jewish prophets as was stated in the country’s Declaration of Independence. Such a statement about Christianity features prominently in the constitution of Norway. Panama’a constitution mentions “Christian morality,” while Peru’s constitution calls out the “Catholic Church as an important element in the historical, cultural, and moral formation” of the country.

As a matter of fact, the Basic Law seemed to go to pains to not even refer to religion.

The law refrained from using the words “God,” “Judaism,” “Holy Land,” “sacred,” or “religion” anywhere in the text. While the law declared the “Hatikvah” as the national anthem, that anthem similarly avoids using any religious language. That’s in sharp contrast to 34 democracies that use “God” or “Lord” in their anthems including Canada, Italy and Switzerland, and others that specifically refer to Christianity such as in the Netherlands and Romania .

The 2018 Basic Law simply detailed that the Jewish people were connected to the land of Israel because of history. Yet in doing so, the law opted to not also underscore the deep religious and unique connection that Jews have for all of the land of Israel, and particularly for Judaism’s holiest city of Jerusalem.


Seal of King Hezekiah found at the southern Temple Mount in Jerusalem
who reigned c.715 – 686 BCE

The emphasis of Israel’s 2018 Basic Law related to the essence of Jews are a people, not adherents to a religion. International law in 1920 recognized “the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” In 2018, Israel took that same step of laying out the long and deep connection between the Jewish people to the land of Israel, realized in the modern state of Israel.


Tel Dan Stele from c.840 BCE found in southern Syria referring to the “House of David”

Jews are the modern Israelites that had kingdoms in Canaan, Israel and Judah. Israel’s 2018 Basic Law affirmed that historical connection between the people and the land, and laid out the initial markings which characterize the reincarnation of the indigenous people in the modern State of Israel.

It is remarkable that Israel chose not to define itself by religion when so many democracies do so.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

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

From the Balfour Declaration to the San Remo Conference

In Defense of Foundation Principles

Squeezing Zionism

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

Gimme that Old-Time Religion

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Deciphering the 2018 Basic Law in Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

On July 19, 2018, Israel signed a new Basic Law called “The Nation-State of the Jewish People.” It has been called controversial by many liberal media outlets in what it purports to do with minority rights.

The notion that there is a major curtailment of Israeli Arabs’ rights is a gross exaggeration. However, what should be discussed is the novel stance whereby Israel has now assumed the responsibility for the security and the “cultural, historical and religious legacy” of Jews in the diaspora.

Below is the text of the latest Basic Law in Israel, with a review below each point.

  1. The State of Israel
    a) Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people in which the state of Israel was established.
    b) The state of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, in which it actualizes its natural, religious, and historical right for self-determination.
    c) The actualization of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

Review:

The comments in parts 1a and 1b are actually found in international law, in both the San Remo Conference Resolution of 1920 and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine. Specifically, international law acknowledged the historic ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and the goal to reconstitute such national home:

  • in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”
  • “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”

It’s an established fact that Jews have a long history in the land of Israel going back thousands of years. For over 100 years, Jews and the international community have been working to re-actualize the Jewish right to self-determination in that homeland. Sections 1a and 1b are seemingly innocuous and superfluous.

However, section 1c went a step further. It states that the national right of self-determination is ONLY for Jews. While the clause does not limit the INDIVIDUAL rights of non-Jews to live openly and freely in Israel, the intention of the clause is seemingly that non-Jews have no NATIONAL right of self-determination. Non-Jews in Israel have personal rights of self-determination as citizens of the state, while Jews have an added right as a people.

Why:

The State of Israel has very few Basic Laws. As such, why would the country opt to state the obvious points of 1a and 1b in a new Basic Law, and add the additional point of the uniqueness of Jewish self-determination in section 1c?

For the past several years, Palestinian Arab leaders have voiced their belief that Jews are not native to Israel and that only Palestinian Arabs are indigenous to the region. They have turned a blind eye to history and have been effective in getting various United Nations’ bodies to similarly cut off the deep historic and religious ties between Jews and their holy land. They have gotten the UN to decry that Jews are eliminating the natural and historic “Arab character” of Judaism’s holiest city and capital of Jerusalem where Jews have been a majority for over 150 years.

Further, Arabs contend that Jews are not even a people and therefore cannot have a claim of national self-determination. Jews are simply people that believe in a religion – Judaism – and are a diverse mix of cultures and nationalities from around the world, who descended on Palestine as tools of global powers to insert a foreign democracy in the heart of the Arab world. The Arabs have promoted the notion that these Israeli Jews are simply foreign interlopers, who are negating the Palestinian Arab right of self-determination. The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas gave a long lecture to this effect in April 2018.

If the rants of these wild fools would have been given no ear, perhaps this Basic Law would not have been drafted as is. But the mean and angry words have no longer just been echoed in the Muslim and Arab world, but are repeated in European capitals and at the United Nations. Consequently, Israel felt compelled to declare that the land of Israel has always been the homeland of the Jewish people and that the country of Israel is uniquely the nation-state of the Jewish people.

That the liberal press would be shocked at this section of the Basic Law is particularly surprising, noting how much they championed the idea of “two states for two people: one for Jews and one for Arabs,” for so many years.

  1. National symbols of the State of Israel
    a) The name of the state is Israel.
    b) The flag of the state is white, two blue stripes near the edges, and a blue Star of David in the center.
    c) The symbol of the state is the Menorah with seven branches, olive leaves on each side, and the word Israel at the bottom.
    d) The national anthem of the state is “Hatikvah”
    e) [Further] details concerning the issue of state symbols will be determined by law.

Review:

None of the items listed in section 2 is news to anyone that has ever been to Israel or knows anything about the country. These are all established facts.

Yet, it is curious that nowhere in this section is there a specific reference to Jews or Judaism. The symbols that are highlighted – Israel (Jews are known as the Children of Israel in the Bible); Star of David (King David was a leading unifying king in Jewish history); the Menorah (a symbol of religious Judaism from the Temple); the “Hatikvah” (a song of modern Jewish longing for a return to self-determination in the Jewish holy land) – are all based on Judaism and Jewish history, yet “Jews” and “Judaism” are absent in this section.

Why:

While section 1 underscored historical facts and repudiated the Arab narrative about Jews in Israel, section 2 put forward some modern manifestations of the Jewish State. As symbols, each item is simply a marker and note of Jewish pride. Each item does nothing to impact the day-to-day lives of Jew or non-Jew living in Israel.

Perhaps section 2e leaves open the idea that new state symbols might include items that are not inherently Jewish, such as a state bird.

  1. [The] unified and complete [city of] Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Review:

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel, and Israel enshrined this fact in the 1980 Basic Law about Jerusalem that was issued solely for such purpose. This section is seemingly wholly redundant.

Why:

While much of the world has not recognized Israel’s annexation of the eastern part of Jerusalem, the United Nations took additional steps against part of Israel’s capital in December 2017. UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that all lands that Israel won in its defensive war against Jordan in 1967 were illegally obtained, including the eastern part of Jerusalem.

It would appear that Israel opted to repeat its claim on the entirety of Jerusalem because of the recent action of the United Nations. If there were broader goals such as declaring the city as the holiest site for Jews, the statement would have been broader and discussed the holy sites in the city. Perhaps the drafters of the Law decided that they did not want to provoke the Muslim world, despite the Arabs’ constant belittling of Jewish sites and rights in Jerusalem.

  1. The Language of the State of Israel
    a) Hebrew is the language of the state.
    b) The Arabic language has a special status in the state; the regulation of the Arab language in state institutions or when facing them will be regulated by law.
    c) This clause does not change the status given to the Arabic language before the basic law was created.

Review:

Since the Mandate of Palestine of 1922, English, Arabic and Hebrew have been the official languages in Palestine (Article 22). When Israel declared itself a state in 1948, it continued to give preference to the Arabic language. This Basic law’s section 4b is seemingly a demotion of Arabic as an “official” language, but section 4c seems to ensure that there is no practical impact of such demotion, as Arabic will continue to be used in all governmental items such as monies, stamps and signage.

Why:

Section 4 can best be viewed through the same lens as section 2 – a symbolic note that has no practical impact on day-to-day life. Only the Hebrew language was called out with pride by David Ben Gurion in the country’s Declaration of Independence in May 1948. This section is seemingly another marker of the Jewishness of the State of Israel, even while it makes accommodations for people who speak Arabic.

  1. The state will be open to Jewish immigration and to the gathering of the exiled.

Review:

This statement is seemingly WEAKER than international law laid out in the Mandate of Palestine. In Article 6, that document specifically sought to “facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” The word “facilitate” is an active verb compared to simply being “open” to Jewish immigration.

More specifically, section 5 is completely redundant with the country’s Declaration of Independence which stated “THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.”

Why:

Once again, this Basic Law is seemingly redundant with international law and the country’s foundation document. Which might give a clue as to why the country’s lawmakers decided to issue such clauses in a rare new Basic Law.

The United Nations acted against its own international laws as it related to Jews and the Jewish homeland. The Mandate of Palestine clearly stated that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the Mandate because of their religion (Article 15), but the British promptly separated half of the Mandate region into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and allowed the country to become Jew-free. When Jordan attacked Israel in 1948 and subsequently banned all Jews from the west bank of the Jordan River, including eastern Jerusalem, and then gave citizenship only to Arabs – specifically excluding Jews – the United Nations said nothing. The UN continues to declare that the vast majority of the Mandate – Jordan, the “West Bank” and Gaza – should be Jew-free today.

Israel clearly felt the need to state in its own laws that it is going to welcome the Jewish exiles from around the world, as it has for years, and not rely on the neutered international laws from 1922, nor its own foundation document.

  1. The Diaspora
    a) The state will labor to ensure the safety of sons of the Jewish people and its citizens who are in trouble and captivity due to their Jewishness or their citizenship.
    b) The state will act to preservethe cultural, historical and religious legacy of the Jewish people among the Jewish diaspora.

Review:

Of the eleven sections in the 2018 Basic Law on The Nation State of the Jewish People, this is the only one that is truly new. It is not found in international law (1920 and 1922) nor in Israel’s Declaration of Independence (1948). It has no appearance in any of the country’s prior Basic Laws. It is extraordinary in every facet.

That a sovereign country would extend its safety net to a select group of non-citizens around the world is remarkable. It is without parallel.

The second underlying rationale of this new Basic Law becomes clear in this section. It is not only about echoing facts and laws that the world has chosen to ignore, but establishing this new one. The notion of a nation-state is a two-way street: Israel is the Jewish State, and the Jewish State is there for all Jews around the world.

This language stands against the carefully worded text of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that specifically did not bias the Jewish communities outside of Palestine, that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights… or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

While Jews are not in jeopardy of losing their “political status” as citizens of countries around the world, they now seemingly have a foreign country protecting them and their culture.

Why:

The 2014 War from Gaza unleashed waves of antisemitism around the world, particularly in Europe. Jews were attacked and killed in capital cities and small towns. It reached such a point that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Paris in early 2015 and asked the Jewish community whether it was time to leave France and move to Israel. It was an outrageous act, but also effective: the number of people from France making Aliya (moving to Israel) tripled after the events and Netanyahu’s visit.

Many people in France were angry at Netanyahu’s statement. The government of France appealed to its Jews that France would be considered a failure if it could not protect its Jewish population, but in fact, the Jewish community in France was broadly resentful that France was no longer a secure home for them.

Netanyahu came to Europe to state that times are different: the 1939 British White Paper which prevented Jews from fleeing the Holocaust to come to Israel was no more. Israel was a reality and ready to welcome anyone fleeing persecution as the nation-state for all Jews around the world.

It perhaps comes at a moment of security and smugness that Israel now offers its help to world Jewry, after decades of calling on world Jewry to help the nascent state. As Ben Gurion said on that fateful day in May 1948, “WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream – the redemption of Israel.” Israel has now turned the table and is assuming the role of the guardian for world Jewry as opposed to the other way around.

But Jewish memory extends beyond the 1940s.

In 1917, British Jews made sure that the Balfour Declaration did not ensnare Jews outside of Palestine. However in 2018, Israel did not consult with world Jewry when it extended its sheltering tabernacle over their homes in the diaspora.

A very awkward step for a government that stated it had the interests of world Jewry in mind.

 

  1. The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.

Review:

Section 7 is a repeat of international law as mentioned above in Article 6 of the Mandate of Palestine.

Why:

Settling the land has always been a priority of Zionists. It was true in the 1890s and remains true in the 21st century. The tie between the Jewish people and the Jewish holy land has been true for thousands of years, and no law that sought to connect the nation-state of Jews and Israel could possibly ignore the land of Israel. The Jewish ties to the Jewish holy land existed before the Modern State of Israel, and the government of Israel would be failing its basic mission of self-determination if it did not wholeheartedly promote the development of the land itself.

  1. The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the secular calendar will serve as an official calendar. The usage of the Hebrew calendar and of the secular calendar will be determined by law.

Review:

Not news for anyone living in, or doing business in Israel.

Why:

As with the other items in this Basic Law, it seeks to affirm particular Jewishness of how the state operates. Like many of the sections, it does nothing to harm not-Jewish citizens, any more than some countries declaring Christmas a national holiday harms non-Christians.

  1. National Holidays
    a) Independence Day is the official holiday of the state.
    b) The Memorial Day for those who fell in the wars of Israel and the Memorial Day for the Holocaust and heroism are official memorial days of the state.

Review:

Beyond stating that the holidays and calendar of Judaism will be officially recognized in Israel’s calendar (sections 8 and 10), section 9 ascribes important moments in Israel’s history as national holidays in a typical fashion of any country, but adds a new dimension. Placing a historic event that occurred OUTSIDE of the country’s borders, which impacted a subset of its citizens is highly unusual. The Holocaust did not just have minimal impact on the non-Jews in Israel, but it had little direct impact on the majority Mizrachi Jews from countries including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt and Morocco.

But the Holocaust stands apart from the terrible persecutions suffered by Jews in Arab lands. The Holocaust was so evil and heinous, that it forced the world to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even the United Nations marks the day and encourages all member nations to remember the Nazi atrocities.

Of course the Jewish State would be one of those countries to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  1. Saturday and the Jewish Holidays are the official days of rest in the state. Those who are not Jewish have the right to honor their days of rest and their holidays. Details concerning these matters will be determined by law.

Review:

See section 8 above.

  1. This Basic Law may not be altered except by a Basic Law that gained the approval of the majority of the Knesset members.

Review:

Self explanatory.


The 2018 Basic Law is seemingly a reaction to world events since early 2014. While Israel has had to contend with an Arab world that rejects coexistence in favor of terrorism for decades, it has been the world’s more recent embrace of fake history and vile antisemitism that necessitated the Basic Law of the Nation State of the Jewish People at this time.

That the Basic Law would include language that Israel will act to protect Jews around the world, gives some insight of how Israel expects antisemitism to play out in the years ahead.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Jewish Holy Land

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

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

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Racist Calls of Apes and Pigs? Forget Rosanne. Let’s Talk Islam

On June 17, 2018, the New York Times printed an editorial about Racism titled “The Racist Trope that Won’t Die.” The author, Brent Staples, called out Rosanne Barr for resurrecting a slander against a Black advisor to President Barack Obama “as the offspring of an ape.

Staples described how the accusation of blacks being descendants of apes was originally promoted by slave traders and historians to justify slavery and lynchings. While such attitude “has been pushed to the margins of the public square,” according to Staples, “it has maintained a pernicious grip on the American imagination.

Staples would go on to illustrate how Black people were more likely to be convicted of a crime, receive a longer sentence, and were more likely to be shot even if unarmed compared to White people. He argued that the “pernicious grip” of imagining a Black man as an animal accounted for the disparity and injustice befalling people of color.

Needless to say, Staples was happy about ABC’s cancellation of the Rosanne Barr show, but he viewed the sentiment of the Barr comment as much deeper and systemic in the American pysche.

“centuries of institutionalized racism – and the dehumanization of black people upon which it relied – have left an indelible imprint on how Americans process blackness.

“The notion that the country might somehow move past this deeply complex, historically layered issue by assuming an attitude of “color blindness” is naive. The only real hope of doing that is to openly confront and talk about the powerful, but submerged, forms of discrimination that have long since supplanted the undisguised version.”

Staples essentially said that all Americans have a variety of racism, some are just more disguised. The quick dismissal of Barr was appropriate, but a simple tonic. Americans need to have a deeper conversation about race.

Now imagine the same situation as described above ratcheted up by many decibels to an entirely new deafening level:

  • Imagine that it wasn’t a solitary hated black person being called an ape, but all black people being disparaged
  • Imagine the person making such accusation was not a comedian, but a prophet
  • Imagine society not shutting down the comedian, but echoing the vile words for everyone to hear across the world
  • Imagine that the racism is not even discussed

That is Islamic anti-Semitism.

Islamic Anti-Semitism

The root of Islamic antisemitism is regrettably found in Islam’s holiest text, the Quran:

  • Surah 5:59-60:Say, “O People of the Scripture [Jews], do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient? Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.
  • Surah 7:166: “So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.“”
  • Surah 2:65: “And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, “Be apes, despised.”

These are unfortunate verses. But it is also important to note that many verses in the Bible can also be read in a very unfavorable light. Many moderate Muslims today do NOT believe that the Islamic prophet Mohammed despised all Jews and that the sentences are not to be read literally. However, there are many powerful Muslims throughout the world that do hold such antisemitic views.

Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI list several examples of Muslim clerics and leaders calling Jews the “sons of apes and pigs.”

  • Former President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi in September 2010: “No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.
  • Sheikh Taleb Al-Silwadi in the Palestinian Authority Daily in December 2012 wrote “the strong Jihad fighter, adhering to its religion and faith, challenging the tyranny and oppression of the Zionists, those descendants of monkeys and pigs who thought they could deny us our strength.”
  • Teacher on official PA TV September 2013: “The Israeli occupation authorities lock the Al-Aqsa Mosque from morning until afternoon. At this time, the assistants of the monkeys and pigs (i.e., Jews) and the herds of settlers can enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., Temple Mount plaza) without anything stopping them.”
  • Poet on official Palestinian Authority TV September 2014: “O, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship
    O Sons of Zion, O most evil among creations; O barbaric apes, O wretched pigs
  • Danish imam Mohammed al-Khaled Samha in October 2014: “How can we – or any free Muslim with faith in his heart – accept the division of Palestine between [the Palestinians] and a gang of Jews, the offspring of apes and pigs?
  • Jordanian preacher Ibrahim al-Namarna in November 2014: “Oh Allah, destroy the Americans and the Shiites. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews, for they cannot contend with you. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until Judgment Day. Oh Allah, elevate the Al-Aqsa Mosque until the Judgment Day. Expel the brothers of apes and pigs from Palestine in humiliation and degradation.
  • PA cleric on official Palestinian Authority TV January 2015: “Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by ‎Allah. ‘He made of them [Jews] apes and pigs and slaves of deities
  • Girl on official Palestinian Authority TV May 2015: “Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets; Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood; Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations; Oh barbaric monkeys.
  • Sheikh Muhammad Abu Sa’ada in October 2015: “The Al-Aqsa Mosque awaits its Mujahideen, and its Martyrdom-seekers. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is waiting, and it knows that even if the occupier desecrates the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the heroes of Gaza are making preparations and are digging tunnels that lead to Al-Aqsa, and one day they will emerge in the [Al-Aqsa Mosque] plaza, the streets, and alleys, and proclaim: Allah is great! And will announce general mobilization against the brothers of apes and pigs
  • Official spokesperson for Fatah, Raafat Alayan said in November 2015: “we have succeeded in preventing 80% of the settlers, the sons of apes and pigs from walking around the Old City [of Jerusalem].
  • A terrorist who murdered three Israelis in 2017 left a will calling “You, the sons of apes and pigs – if you do not open the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, I am certain that after me will come a man who will strike [you] with an iron hand, I warn you!
  • Preacher in Gaza in March 2018: “we are near our blessed land which is being trampled by those descendants of apes and pigs, the remnants of the brutal, savage, and barbaric colonialism.

All over the Muslim world, clerics, imams, teachers, sheiks and government officials call the Jews the descendants of apes and pigs. This is not a single comedian calling out a single person whom she detested; but scores of leaders calling out all Jews, especially Israelis.

These Islamic leaders are not expelled from their posts nor ridiculed by the public. Instead, their messages are internalized by children and the aged. The message is heard in the streets of Europe where Muslims are as much as five times more antisemitic than Christians according to ADL polls. And it is the tagline of Islamic countries, including 30 countries that don’t even recognize the basic existence of Israel.

The antisemitic Muslim preachers of hatred are at full volume and their calls to stab and kill the inhuman Jews are more vivid than slave traders who lynched blacks 200 years ago. But their apologists in the liberal press boldly whitewash the bigoted words and actions by mischaracterising Arabs as “resorting to violence” because of “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” while their band of brothers in the United Nations similarly invert cause-and-effect by labeling “Zionism is Racism,” as they attempt to remove the Jews from the Jewish Holy Land and obliterate every aspect of Zionism from the world.

Americans have come a long way in the decades since black slavery, lynchings and segregation, but there is still a need to speak candidly about race as the echoes of racism are still heard in our society. The urgency is all the more pressing that we speak clearly and loudly denouncing the pervasive and pernicious Muslim antisemitism that is broadcast openly around the world. Peace and civility will never exist without such efforts.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The “Unclean” Jew in the Crosshairs

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

Covering Racism

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

No Jews Allowed in Palestine

The Palestinian State I Oppose

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

Blessing Islamophobia

Where’s the March Against Anti-Semitism?

The Highbrow Anti-Semite

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

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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

Jews in the Midst

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The Happy and Smug Bigots of Denmark

Various polls rank Denmark as one of the happiest countries in the world year-after-year.

Commentators have sought to explain the phenomenon. They have pointed to the country’s “hygge,” which entails a feeling of community and brotherhood. They note the country’s generous welfare policies which give people a sense of being cared for as part of a greater family. Overall, the Danes consider themselves extremely relaxed and easy-going.

Yet this feeling of camaraderie has limits, specifically as it relates to non-Christians.

White Christian Danes

Denmark is a homogeneous society. According to recent statistics, roughly 10% of the country’s population of 5.8 million people are immigrants. By way of comparison, the immigrant population in the US is over 13%, the United Kingdom is over 14% and in Germany it stands at over 20%.

The realtively few immigrants that the country has taken in are predominantly from neighboring Germany and Poland. This is in sharp contrast to other European Union countries that absorb people from former allies and colonies, such as Germany which mainly absorbs people from Turkey; the UK which takes in people from India; and France which takes in many people leaving Algeria.

The large local indigenous Danish population and similar nature of the new immigrants has produced a country with little diversity. The religious makeup of Denmark is roughly 75-80% Christian and 15-20% Atheist or Agnostic. The small sliver of “other” religions is almost only Muslim, with virtually no Jews (estimated around 5-6,000), Buddhists or any of the other world religions.

The dominant Christian faith has deep roots and clear advantages.

Not only does the country’s flag feature the Christian cross, the country has set up the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) as the official state church, and as such, state taxes go to support the ELC (accounting for roughly 14% of the ELC budget). Further, the reigning monarch must belong to the ELC (ie, must be a Christian), and public schools in Denmark must teach the Evangelical Lutheran theology.

Nice set up.

According to the official website of Denmark, “Compared with most other countries in the world, Denmark’s societal institutions and popular mentality have been shaped by Christianity to an exceptional degree. It can be asserted that religion is more firmly entrenched in Danish society than in many other countries…. Christianity’s unique history in Denmark explains why the mutual interdependence of the people, the state, and the church has remained in place longer and more strongly in Denmark than in any other country.

Brenderup Church, Denmark
These days, the Atheists and Agnostics have become more active in teaming up with the Christians to keep the non-Christians out of the country.

Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Policies

In April 2014, Denmark passed a law which prohibited the ritual slaughter of animals according to Jewish and Muslim law, with a penalty of up to four months in jail. The country claimed that the law was intended to provide a more humane method of killing animals – by stunning them before killing them – an action prohibited in the production of kosher and halal meats. That the impact was only felt on the Jewish and Muslim communities was deemed coincidental.

In May 2018, Danish lawmakers passed a law which forbade the wearing of garments covering the face, commonly known as the “burqa ban.” While the law was not applied to Muslims only, it clearly targeted Muslim women’s unique religious practice.

And in June 2018, Danes gathered 50,000 signatures to force the parliament to consider banning the circumcision of boys under the age of 18, a practice performed according to the religious tenets of Judaism and Islam.

The Atheists and Agnostics claim that they are simply seeking and enacting laws that prevent harm to those that cannot speak for themselves – children and animals – and not assaulting any religion. For example, they have not fought aggressively against the existence of the state church or banning the baptism of children. (In reality, even if they sought to do so, the dominant Christian religion would make their efforts futile.) The current wave of “humanistic” laws that had no impact on Christians were able to gather support from the dominant majority religious group and pass into law.

But the actions of the Danish government go beyond their view of “humanistic” laws.

In January 2016, the Denmark instituted some of the harshest immigration laws in the European Union, which allowed the country to seize immigrants’ assets over $1,450 to help pay for resettlement and extended the time for immigrants to apply for family members to come to Denmark to three years from just one.

The welfare state of relaxed brothers had declared its limits, and it seemed to focus particularly on non-Christians.

Regarding the circumcision ban, consider that the Christians and Atheists have not attempted to ban children from getting tattoos or piercings. They have not sought to have a child sign a consent form before getting surgery. Society acknowledges that a child’s upbringing and well-being are made and ensured by the parents. If they’re Christian.

Regarding animals, has Denmark enacted a law preventing the boiling of lobsters alive? How about turtles or insects? Does the country ban animal-testing for drugs? Cropping dogs’ ears and tails? No.

And as it relates to immigrants, the country is trying to contend with an uptick in the number of immigrants coming to the country (from 70,000 in 2011 to 99,000 in 2015), in which almost all of the incremental population come from Muslim countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco. As the number of Muslim applicants spiked, the percentage of people granted asylum in Denmark dropped from 85% in 2015 to 36% in 2017. Coincidence?

Denmark may lay claim to being among the happiest countries in the world because of a feeling of community among its citizens, and smugly contend that it is evolving to a secular-humanist-progressive ethos from a deeply religious one, but in fact it is simply ring-fencing their society to keep it homogeneous by excluding non-Christians. For Danes, hygge is reserved for White Christians.


Related First.One.through articles:

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

“Jews as a Class”

Je Suis Redux

Totalities

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No Jews Allowed in Palestine

The acting-president of the Palestinian Authority made his desire for a country devoid of Jews in a statement in July 2013 when he declared:

“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.”

Some Palestinian-apologists tried to divorce the statement from antisemitism by noting that Abbas said that he didn’t want “Israelis,” not Jews. Those apologists ignored Palestinian law that forbids the sale of land to any Jew, not just Israelis. It ignored the repeated assertion by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority that Jews have no history in Israel. It whitewashed the Hamas Charter‘s rant against Jews around the world.

President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry tried to further invert reality and cause-and-effect by stating in December 2016:

“Does anyone here really believe that the settlers will agree to submit to Palestinian law in Palestine?”

Suggesting that it is not Arab antisemitism but Israeli Jews unwilling to coexist that underscores the Palestinian Authority goal of a Jew-free country.

But the facts are clear as laid out in a March 2018 Palestinian poll which found that 63% of Palestinian Arabs want to forbid any Jews from living in their country. While slightly better than the 93% of Palestinian Arabs that were found to be anti-Semitic in a 2014 ADL poll, the horrifying results are abundantly clear that the Palestinian’s hatred is not limited to Israelis but about all Jews generally.

Israel as a Jewish State,
Palestine Open to Jews

Mahmoud Abbas criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that a final peace agreement include a statement that Palestine recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Abbas’s protests included comments that such a recognition was not required in peace deals with Jordan or Egypt, and that such a recognition would harm the status of Israeli Arabs.

It is quite a pool of hypocritical spittle.

Neither Jordan nor Egypt have laws that forbid the sale of land to Jews nor have they made statements that Jews are unwelcome in their respective countries. Meanwhile Palestinians have fabricated a narrative that only Arabs have a history and claim on the holy land.

If Abbas is truly worried about the status of Israeli Arabs (who prefer to live in Israel over a future Palestinian state), he should be able to empathize with Israelis’ fear about the status of Jews in a potential Palestine. Maybe Netanyahu would waive the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State in exchange for a clear Palestinian declaration that Jews are welcome to live and pray in Jewish holy sites throughout Palestine.

It could go a long way to normalizing relations between Jews and Arabs and ending the prevalent antisemitism in Arab society.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

The Palestinian State I Oppose

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Related First.One.through video:

Expulsion of Jews for 1000 years (music from Schindler’s List)

Judea and Samaria (Foo Fighters)

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May 15 is Israel’s Neighbor Day

On May 14, 1948, Israel declared itself a new independent country, as the British Mandate of Palestine expired. The declaration of independence stated that the country will be “for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

It welcomed everyone.

Unfortunately, at that same time, the Arabs in Palestine had been rioting and killing Jews for many months in attempts to stop the Jewish State from coming into existence. Once Israel declared its independence, five armies from neighboring Arab countries came to destroy the nascent state. The war would go on for months. Israel survived.

Despite the Arab war against the Jews before Israel’s independence and after, Israel remained true to its vision of welcoming non-Jews as full citizens in the country. Approximately 156,000 non-Jews became citizens of Israel at the Jewish State’s rebirth, around 18% of the population. In 2018, 70 years later, the non-Jewish population in Israel stands at over 2 million people, representing over 25% of the Israeli population.


Israeli Arabs having a picnic in the shade under the ancient aqueduct in Caesarea
(photo: First.One.Through)

The Arab citizens of Israel have availed themselves of the open society that Israel created. 

  • There are currently 18 Arabs in the Israeli Knesset, 15% of the parliament. By way of comparison, there are only 50 blacks (9%) in the US Congress
  • Israel has non-Jewish Arabs on the Supreme Court, Salim Joubran being the first in 2004
  • Non-Jews have served as Israeli ambassadors around the world, including to Norway and the Dominican Republic
  • Non-Jews serve as generals in the Israeli army

Non-Jews are a key fabric of Israeli society, as envisioned in the Israeli declaration on May 14, 1948 that welcomed non-Jews to “participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

It is appropriate to take the time to celebrate Israel’s non-Jewish citizens that chose to make peace with Israel, not war; that chose to help build the state, not to dismantle it; that chose to stay and be friends and neighbors with Jews, not to run and fight alongside the Jewish State’s enemies.

Regrettably, there are anti-Zionists that continue to undermine and attack Israel, who refer to the failed 1948 war to destroy the Jewish State as a “Nakba,” a “catastrophe.” As they channel their hatred on May 15th with angry calls to “Free Palestine,” let Zionists around the world commemorate “Neighbor’s Day,” a day to mark and celebrate the many non-Jews who stayed to become citizens of Israel in 1948 and continue to help the country thrive 70 years on.


Related First.One.through articles:

Arabs in Jerusalem

An Inconvenient Truth: Population Statistics in Israel/Palestine

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Nakba 2: The Victory of a Democracy

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Arab women entering the Kotel Plaza in Jerusalem
(Photo: First.One.Through)

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

The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas gave another one of his long anti-semitic speeches on April 30, 2018. Much of the western world condemned the speech as something brand new and vile that should not only be condemned, but also marked Abbas as unfit to remain as the leader of the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs). The condemnation was so widesread that Abbas issued some sort of apology a few days later.

Abbas is an Antisemite

Let’s be clear about some things that the media is not telling you:

  • Abbas did not just say that Jews were themselves responsible for Nazi Germany killing them in the Holocaust, he said that Jews were responsible for ALL of the massacres that had befallen them throughout history. Abbas said “The Jews who moved to Eastern and Western Europe had been subjected to a massacre by one country or another every 10-15 years since the 11th century until the Holocaust in Germany. Okay? But why was this happening? They say that it was happening because they are Jews…. The anti-Jewish (sentiments) was not because of their religion but because of their function in society, which had to do with usury, banks, and so on.”
  • Abbas whitewashed 1,400 years of Arab antisemitism. After Abbas’ harangue against Jews in Europe and Russia, he said “I challenge you to find a single incident against Jews just because they were Jews in 1,400 years in any Arab country.” He should probably review some basic history from the founding of Islam in the seventh century when the Muslim prophet Mohammed slaughtered Jews in Saudi Arabia, to every country that Muslims invaded in the subsequent centuries, where Jews were often given the choice between conversion or death. Tunisia 1016. Morocco 1033. The list is long.
  • Abbas said that Jews were shipped to Palestine because the host countries wanted to get rid of them. Abbas said that many world leaders including Lord Balfour from the United Kingdom, Adolf Hitler in Germany and the foreign minister of Russia all hated the Jews and wanted to get rid of them so encouraged them to move to Palestine.
  • Abbas said he is disgusted by the Israeli national anthem. The essence of the Israeli national anthem is about the longing of Jews to return to their homeland. Abbas argued that the anthem is a farce. “Their [Jews] narrative about coming to this country [Palestine] because of their longing for Zion or whatever -we’re tired of hearing this.
  • Abbas reiterated that the Jews have no connection to Palestine. Abbas has long argued that Jews have no history or connection to the land of Israel. He has made the arguments before the United Nations and to Palestinians. He did so again in April 2018: “The truth is that this [Zionism] is a colonial enterprise aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.” He added that the European Jews have no historical connection to Palestine since they are all descendants of Khazars that converted to Judaism in the eighth century.
  • Abbas made a non-apology. Abbas did not really apologize for his anti-Semitic comments a few days later. He apologized that people were offended by his comments. “If people were offended by my statement in front of the P.N.C., especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them. I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths.” In other words, he stands by his comments and believes them to be true. He is just disappointed that people were offended at hearing his version of the truth. No one has called this out.

Let’s be clear: Abbas hates Jews, not Judaism. The persistent truth is that Abbas has always hated Jews as foreign interlopers in Palestine. For example, he has said that a new state of Palestine will be welcoming of all religions (that would include Judaism), but the PA has existing laws that call for the execution of any Arab that sells land to a Jew. Conclusion: it’s the people, not the faith.

Abbas is a peddler of nasty lies, and many of them are not new. The only additions from the April 30 speech to Abbas’s long history of vile comments are that Jews were at fault for their own massacres because of their “function,” and that they came from Khazar, but these are simple extensions of his prior comments.

So why the sudden uproar?

The Media Has Long Concealed Abbas’s and Palestinians’ Jew Hatred

The United Nations and world media have long defended and protected Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians in their quest to give the SAPs independence and sovereignty. They have ignored the antisemitism and terrorism from Palestinian Arabs and placed the blame on Israel, as acknowledging Arabs’ hatred of Jews undermines the very notion of peace and justifies many of Israel’s actions.

Palestinians are inherently good, but have become antisemitic because of Israel. The world and liberal press are hard-pressed to charge the SAPs with any wrong-doing. When confronted with something unsavory about the Palestinians, the press tries to paper it over, such as absolving the Palestinians of their overwhelming (93% of people according to the ADL) hatred of Jews. In covering the ADL findings, the New York Times wrotethe Middle East results were not particularly surprising.” Is that because everyone knows that Arabs hate Jews? If that’s obvious, why the sudden commotion about Abbas laying it out clearly in April 2018?

Palestinians “Resort to Violence.” The New York Times actually wrote in 2012 that the virulently antisemitic terrorist group Hamas “took control of Gaza in 2007 and is backed by Iran, is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it has repeatedly resorted to violence.” The Hamas Charter clearly and repeatedly calls for violent jihad and the destruction of the Jewish State. However, the liberal media crafted an alternative reality to make the people of Gaza victims “resorting to violence” instead of being terrorists.

Palestinians are moderate; Israelis are right-wing. The world was so eager to market Abbas as a “moderate,” that it ignored his history of vile comments, because if the leader of the Palestinian Authority was a moderate, his demands were presumably reasonable, and vice-versa. The failure of any peace discussions must therefore be on the “right-wing” (as the liberal press peddled) Israeli leadership.

Palestinian actions are unhelpful; Israeli actions are harmful. Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in reaction to Abbas’s April 30 antisemitic rant: “Such statements are unacceptable, deeply disturbing and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or peace in the Middle East.” Seriously? “Do not serve the interests of the Palestinians?” When Mladenov talks about Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he does not say they are unhelpful, he says they are “threatening the viability of the two-state solution and eroding the prospects for peace.” Somehow noxious antisemitism is not an impediment to peace, only Jews living in houses in their holy land.

These factors have been at play for decades. So why the sudden turn on Abbas? Why would the NY Times write an editorial on May 3, 2018 “Mr. Abbas’s Vile Words” that “by succumbing to such dark, corrosive instincts he [Abbas] showed that it is time for him to leave office.” Abbas has always been vile. He has always negated Jewish rights and history in Israel and has been effective at getting United Nations and the liberal media bodies to support his narrative.

I suggest that there are two main points at play here. One has to do with the alt-left narrative of Palestinian reform and the other with the left-wing attempts to parse antisemitism from Anti-Zionism.

Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism by the Global Left-Wing
and by the Arab and Muslim World

Palestinians continue to reform, and are thereby worthy of sovereignty. For several years, the western world has sought to portray the Palestinians as progressing from their violent and antisemitic past (plane hijackings, murdering of athletes, intifadas) to a moderate stance of co-existence.

Consider the New York Times on May 5, 2018 claiming that while Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial (over Abbas’s 13 years of heading the PA, the Times mentioned this disgusting fact only a few times) it pretended that he recanted. “In 2014, on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, he [Abbas] issued a formal statement calling the Nazi genocide ‘the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era’ and expressing sympathy with the victim’s families.” But Abbas then tied the Holocaust to the plight of the Palestinians, as though there is a remote equivalency between the slaughter of millions of defenseless Jews in the Holocaust to the failure of the Arab armies to destroy the nascent state of Israel. Abbas saidThe Palestinian people, who suffer from injustice, oppression and (are) denied freedom and peace, are the first to demand to lift the injustice and racism that befell other peoples subjected to such crimes,” calling Israelis racists like Nazis. That’s not really recanting his book on Holocaust denial when he equates the Jewish State with Nazi Germany.

However, his latest comments provided no room for liberal cover. Abbas’s April 30 gratuitous slander against the Jewish people highlighted a disgusting worldview that can never live at peace and negotiate honestly with the Jewish State. The liberals’ carefully constructed fig leaf of Palestinian moderation was obliterated.

Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism. For the Arab world, it has always been one and the same. The Palestinians elected Hamas to 58% of the Parliament in 2007 with statements in its charter that included:

  • “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” Preamable
  • In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” (Article 15)
  • “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”” (Article 28)

It is specifically the presence of Jews in Israel and its territories that offends Arabs and Muslims. They don’t believe that Jews have any rights to be in the land and want them gone. As such, they forbid the teaching of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools and find nothing objectionable about Abbas’s latest speech. The Arabs are both antisemitic and anti-Zionist. One is part-and-parcel of the other.

Yet the western world that views itself as progressive has been at pains to tease apart anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Liberals have argued that criticism of Israel cannot be conflated with antisemitism. As such, vilifying Jews OUTSIDE of Israel is considered an offensive comment and clearly antisemitic, such as saying that Jews were to blame for the Holocaust. However, slamming Israeli Jews is fair game, such as when the BBC said that Israeli teenagers were partially responsible for their own murder since they should not have been hitchhiking in the West Bank. The world was content in blaming the victim in the case of Jews in Israel and the Israeli territories. For the alt-left, no Israeli can ever be a pure victim nor any Palestinian Arab a true criminal.

Abbas’s speech was treated with a yawn in the Arab and Muslim world, as antisemitism and anti-Zionism have long been a single cause. But it has confounded the western self-declared “progressives” who are doing their utmost to criticize Israel without the moniker of “anti-Semite” staining their liberal bona fides. As such, they are throwing Abbas under the bus rather than considering their own disturbing positions. Off with Abbas’s head.

To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s good to be a liberal king.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

The Palestinian State I Oppose

Abbas Knows Racism

In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

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When Hate Returns

Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembering the Holocaust, is often a time for people to think about antisemitism generally, and not just the massacre of Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their abettors.

Many books have been written about the history of antisemitism, one of the best being “A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism” by Phyllis Goldstein. She tracks the nature of antisemitism at different points in history and in different lands. In her diagnosis, the root causes are often unique to that particular time and place.

I would like to consider when hate returns to a particular country under a different guise, such as historic antisemitism manifesting itself as anti-Zionism today. There are many examples, but this review will focus on the United Kingdom 1290/1929 and 1713/1939.

Banning Jews from England 1290
Banning Jews from Hebron 1929

1290 England: The origin of the “blood libel,” that Jews sought and and killed Christian children, began in England in the twelfth century. It its original incarnation, the accusation was that Jews killed the Christian, much as they had killed Jesus. Over time, the claims continued that the Jews used the child’s blood on Passover to make matzah and for the four cups of wine at the seder. Whether the people’s attacks on England’s Jews led to the edict of expulsion in 1290 is a source of debate, but the fact that King Edward I forced all Jews to leave the country and quickly seized their belongings and cancelled all debts that they were owed may indicate a financial motivation as well.

1922 Jordan & 1929 Hebron: The British assumed the mandate of Palestine in 1922 and quickly separated the land east of the Jordan River for the Hashemite Kingdom to win local friends, as they tried to do in other Arab lands including Iraq. They promptly ignored key components of the Palestine Mandate which clearly spelled out that no individual could be excluded from the land because of his religion, by allowing the Arabs to ban all Jews from the region. Just a few years later, in response to Arab riots in which they slaughtered several dozen Jews in the ancient Jewish city of Hebron, the British “evacuated” the remaining Jews from the city and moved them to Jerusalem, presumably to protect the Jews from future attacks. Jordan would remain Jew-free to this day, while Hebron would only be Jew-free until 1967, after the Jordanian Arabs attacked Israel and lost the west bank of the Jordan River to Israel, including Hebron.

The British leadership followed the antisemitism of the British people to expel the Jews of England in the 13th century, and would follow the antisemitism of the Arab people to expel the Jews from various parts of the Middle East during the 20th century.

Tolerating Antisemitism in Gibraltar in 1713
Tolerating Antisemitism in Palestine in 1939

1713 Gibraltar: Beginning in 1290, England would not allow any Jews to live openly in its lands for over 360 years. It was only in 1656 under Oliver Cromwell that Jews were allowed to return (presumably under the guise of trying to convert them to Christianity). But despite this new indication of tolerance of coexistence, the British would also tolerate antisemitism.

After a series of battles between England and Spain, the English won the rock of Gibraltar from the Spanish. In the Treaty of Utrecht, as the Spanish handed the island to the British, it demanded that England continue to ban the presence of Jews and Moors (Muslims), as the Spanish were still heavily influenced by the Inquisition run by the Catholic Church. The British agreed, even though they did not enforce it aggressively. (The ban is technically still part of the law governing Gibraltar, even though 2% of the island is Jewish).

1939 Palestine: The Arabs in Palestine were in the midst of multi-year riots that had begun in 1936 to stop the flow of Jews into Palestine because of international law that the British facilitate the immigration of Jews. In 1939, as the Holocaust descended on the Jews of Europe, the British agreed with the Arabs that no more than 75,000 Jews would be admitted into Palestine over the next five years in an edict known as the White Paper. The document would seal the fate of over 100,000 European Jews who became trapped in Europe.

History echoed itself. While the British had finally begun to accept Jews in England in 1656, less than 60 years later they accepted the Spanish demands that non-Christians be barred from lands that they were taking over. Over 250 years later, the British would take on the Mandate of Palestine in 1922, and then be part of an agreement that they would block Jews to satisfy the demands of the local Arab population.


Arabs riot in Palestine 1936

Britain’s leadership had historically followed the urging of its antisemitic populace (in 1290) and the Catholic Church (in 1713) to ban Jews, and did the same in the 20th century in Palestine at the urging of the Arabs in the Middle East.

From the Middle Ages through the Inquisition, Europe believed itself to be a Christian continent and expelled the Jews and repulsed the Muslim invasion. In the 20th century, many European nations have adopted a similar narrative that the Middle East is a purely Arab land and should be left to the Muslims. The European Christians and Middle East Arabs have ignored the desires and right of Jews to their own place in their homeland.

The British are currently debating whether their political parties – the liberal Labour Party in particular – are antisemitic or merely anti-Zionist. The correct question is whether they are outwardly antisemitic or simply tolerate antisemitism.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

No Disappearing in the Land of the Blind

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

The EU’s Choice of Labels: “Made in West Bank” and “Anti-Semite”

My Terrorism

Save the Children

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