Unity – not Uniformity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

The story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible is just a few sentences in length, but it has long captured the imaginations of all sorts of people. Artists have pictured its physical heights, while biblical scholars and theologians have sought to decipher the story’s meaning.

A new book by Rabbi Shai Held, “The Heart of the Torah,” took an interesting approach to the story. Held questioned the essence of the “sin” of the architects and builders of the Tower of Babel. If the punishment for their actions was that the people of Babel were scattered around the Earth, each speaking a different language, it would imply that the crux of the offence was the group’s cohesiveness. Too much unity was a bad thing, seemingly at odds with today’s view of unity as a worthy goal.

Held responded to his own observation by advancing the notion that the problem of the people building the Tower was not their unity, but their uniformity. It was not a problem that everyone was working to accomplish something together, but that the societal structure created a monolithic mass in which people were indistinguishable from each other. Such a state is unnatural, and could only be accomplished with an authoritarian ruler. It was that totalitarian regime that was the core of the sin and what needed to be broken, not the cohesiveness of a multitude of people. Hence the “punishment” to create more unique individuals with their own language and direction who could not be controlled by a single ruler.

Unity of Purpose

A good example of a group of different people uniting in a common purpose can be found in sports.

A professional basketball team typically includes players with a variety of different skills: one player may be a good outside shooter; another a solid rebounder; a third good at dribbling and passing; etc. The players likely do not have a uniform set of skills, but have a unity of purpose of winning a game.

As part of the effort to win, the players support each other. They pass each other the ball. They set screens and picks to provide an open shot. They encourage and cheer their teammates on, whether they are playing well, or need encouragement to perform better.

That is unity, and the mark of a successful team dynamic.

Conversely, a bad teammate is one that throws the ball to opposing team. That never shows up for practice. That tells the referee that one of their teammates committed a foul. Allowing such a player onto the court hurts the entire team.

A good teammate tells a fellow teammate when he is in the paint for too long; a bad teammate tells the referee that his teammate should be called with a 3-second violation. A strong team witnesses teammates pulling each other up; a weak team has teammates shouting each other down.

In short, a team with unity uses active and passive means to help the team win. A flawed team has teammates yelling at each other and calling for outside forces to punish their own team.

With such orientation, it is useful to explore unity and uniformity in the pro-Zionist tent.

The Pro-Israel Tent

The pro-Israel camp has been attempting to figure out how wide to extend its community tent. There are many opinions surrounding Israel, whether about land, politics or religion. There is certainly no fear of uniformity. But what about unity? When do the myriad opinions become intolerable for a joint effort?

As in the sports example above, the pro-Israel tent should allow people with different voices, but not those that seek to use external pressure to harm the Jewish State. Outside forces might be financial, such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, and using the United Nations or United States to pass anti-Israel resolutions and laws.

There are a number of groups that claim to be pro-Israel that precisely take these actions:

  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is an advocate for BDS of Israel and lobbies governments, churches and schools to support BDS. It seeks to use financial pressure to force Israel to capitulate to a variety of demands ranging from giving up Judea and Samaria, to removing the limited blockade of Gaza. It has also proudly hosted events for convicted terrorists. The group’s leader, Rebecca Vilkomerson has stated clearly “our charge is to change U.S. policy [about Israel].”
  • J Street pushed the Obama Administration to declare the Jewish towns in Judea & Samaria (the “settlements”) as illegal and to allow a United Nations resolution to pass in December 2016. That action has set in motion a massive action campaign against businesses in Judea & Samaria.
  • New Israel Fund (NIF) supports a variety of groups that seek to end Israel as a Jewish State. NIF supports Adalah which seeks to replace the Jewish State with a bi-national state in which Jews would be a minority. NIF funds groups and movies that tour the world that demonize Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces.

All of these groups are bad actors. They go to international fora to condemn Israel and suggest punitive actions against the Jewish State. They do not seek to advance Israel by engaging with the country directly with concerns, but through external force.


Rabbi Held described the dangers of uniformity in his review of the Tower of Babel. “If everyone says the same words and thinks the same thoughts, then a society emerges in which there is no room for individual tastes, thoughts and aspirations, or for individual projects and creativity.” Uniformity is a problem, but not unity. Unity without uniformity combines the talents of each individual in a common purpose and enhances the participants as well as the end-result. However, a lack of uniformity together with a lack of unity is simply chaos. There is nothing that binds the people or mission together other than a flimsy veneer that will ultimately dissolve.

The Jewish State and pro-Israel groups will never have uniformity of opinions, but it should have unity of purpose. Those groups that want to be part of the Pro-Israel and Pro-Zionist movement should adhere to the basic principle of not going to external fora to harm Israelis or the government of Israel. While these groups may self-identify as pro-Israel, they cannot be welcomed into the pro-Israel community.


Related First.One.Through articles:

There are Standards for Unity

A Disservice to Jewish Community

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

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

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi took the stage to address “United Nations’ Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People.” Yes, that’s the organization’s actual title, that only a group like the UN could contrive.

Khalidi fed the group the lying propaganda they sought. Below is the speech, with fact-checking inserted after each paragraph.

 
Rashid Khalidi on Russian TV

“It is a great honor to be asked to speak here on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. I am grateful to Ambassador Fodé Seck, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and to the staff of the UN Secretariat for making this event possible. It is particularly fitting to be speaking today at the United Nations, which has played such a large role in the Palestine tragedy. Today I will be addressing the impact on the Palestinian people of the Balfour Declaration, and of the League of Nations mandate based upon it. I can only hope that if we can all become more aware of this historical background, the United Nations may be able to address the harm caused by this Declaration, and all that followed, more fairly and effectively than it has done over the past 70 years.”

Palestine tragedy.” Perfect propaganda. Not a statement of fact, but one of complete biased narrative which stands counter to the facts. A land that had failed for hundreds of years would in the following years become a global leader. From a failed economy to a thriving one. From a malaria invested desert region to an environmental leader. From a land with virtually no minority rights to the most diverse and liberal in the entire Middle East. Oh, and the number of Arabs in Israel and Israeli territories surpassed the growth of any neighboring countries.

past 70 years.” Meaning since the creation of Israel in 1948, not the Balfour Declaration (1917) itself nor the Palestine Mandate (1922), which both established legal rights for Jews throughout the land. Khalidi’s beef was about creating the State of Israel.

“The momentous statement made on behalf of the British cabinet on November 2, 1917 by Arthur James Balfour, His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, is usually regarded in light of British imperial interests, or in terms of its ostensible subject, a “national home for the Jewish people.” We know a great deal about Britain’s commitment to Zionism. We know less about what the support of the British Empire via this declaration meant for the aims of the Zionist movement – which for nearly half a century proudly described itself as a colonial endeavor, and which at the same time was a national movement in the making.  The ultimate objective of political Zionism, as laid out by its founder, Theodor Herzl, in his 1896 booklet Der Judenstaadt, was as far-reaching as it was crystal clear: a Jewish state in Palestine, meaning Jewish sovereignty and control of immigration into the country. And whatever Britain may have intended, complete and exclusive control over the entirety of Palestine was what the Zionist movement consistently fought for during the ensuing half century, and eventually obtained. It did so largely as a result of over two decades of unstinting British support secured via this Declaration, and the League of Nations mandate that was based upon it.”

complete and exclusive control.” The leading terminology of “complete and exclusive control,” is specifically intended to make political Zionism appear as a racist ideology. It was nothing of the sort. It was an attempt to reestablish Jews in their homeland as a self-governing entity. It did not mean that non-Jews would be evicted from the land nor be denied citizenship. Indeed, at the founding of the country in May 1948, approximately 160,000 non-Jews were given immediate Israeli citizenship. Unlike neighboring Lebanon and Syria, there is no religious litmus test on who can be prime minister or serve in governmental positions in Israel; Arabs and Muslims are not excluded.

“Much of this is well known. However, the Balfour Declaration has another aspect of paramount importance that is often ignored. This was the perspective of the people of Palestine, whose future the Balfour Declaration ultimately decided. For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads, particularly in view of the colonialist ambiance of the early twentieth century. As I will show, the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people as a National Home. It launched what has become a century-long assault on the Palestinian people aimed at implanting and fostering this national home at their expense.”

For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads,Let’s be clear who were the “people of Palestine:” they were Jews and Arabs. The Jews did not view this as a “gun to their heads.” It was a chance to achieve more rights and support for the Jewish immigration to their holy land which had been going on for decades. For the Arabs living in Palestine, there was absolutely no threat to their lives counter to Rashidi’s absurd claim. The declaration actually stated just the opposite of ensuring the rights of non-Jews.

the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people “ Khalidi declared that only Arabs are indigenous to the land. Such a statement deliberately cast that Jews as foreigners and interlopers with no connection to the land. It is a complete falsification of Jewish history, as Jew have lived continuously in the land for 3700 years, and for over one thousand years as the majority, before being expelled by hostile forces. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s!

a century-long assault on the Palestinian people Khalidi’s warped view of history is that the world has waged a war on Arabs for a century. It completely ignores the active warfare launched by the Arabs from the region against the Jewish people. The “assault” from one side is that the British (and the world) recognized the legitimate rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland; on the other is an Arab world that launched a century-long war to murder and expel the Jewish people. Who really made a “declaration of war” and “assaulted” whom?

“From its inception, Zionism was both a nascent national movement and a colonial enterprise in search of a metropolitan sponsor. After having failed to find that sponsor elsewhere, Chaim Weizmann succeeded with the wartime British cabinet.  The Zionist movement thereafter had the support of the greatest power of the age, which was about to become one of the victors in World War I.  Whereas Zionism had begun to be viewed with concern in Palestine since the late 19th century, the Balfour Declaration meant that the country was now threatened by a far greater danger. Indeed, at the very moment that the declaration was issued, British troops were advancing northwards through Palestine, capturing Jerusalem five weeks later.”

colonial enterpriseis a favorite phrase used by anti-Zionists. It follows from the basic line of reasoning of denying the Jews their 3700 year-old history in their homeland. Once Jews have been divorced from their historical connection to the land, their insertion into the region would be as a foreign transplant. As the Jews did not control any country, Khalidi coined the term “metropolitan sponsor” suggesting that since the Jews were scattered all over the world, they were pushing governments to endorse this Zionist initiative. They finally succeeded with the UK as their sponsors.

the country was now threatenedis a theme used over and again by Khalidi, that the indigenous people of the “country” were threatened by both the British and the Zionistic cause laid out in the Balfour Declaration. But Palestine was not a country, but a province of the Turkish Empire. The Empire was already long engaged in World War I when the Balfour Declaration was issued.

“The text of the Declaration confirmed the nature of this danger. It consisted of a single paragraph of 67 words:

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

“The overwhelming Arab majority in Palestine (which then constituted around 94% of the population) went unmentioned by Balfour, except in a backhanded way: as the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” They were not described as a people – notably, the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration. Furthermore, they were offered only “civil and religious rights,” and no political or national rights whatsoever. By way of contrast, Balfour ascribed national rights to “the Jewish people,” who in 1917 were represented in Palestine by a tiny 6 percent of the total population. Regarded in this way, Britain’s backing for Herzl’s aims of Jewish statehood, sovereignty, and control over immigration into the country had portentous implications. It meant British support for bringing into Palestine and implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.

the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration.As described above, the term “Palestinians” in 1917 meant both Jews and Arabs that both lived in the region. Palestinian Arabs chose to declare themselves as the sole people entitled to the name “Palestinian” decades later, after the Jewish State was established in 1948 and the Palestinian Liberation Organization was created in 1964 claiming that only Arabs could be Palestinians.

implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.This phrase sums up the grievances of Arabs: Jews are “foreign” and the Arabs are “indigenous” who have “rights” which are threatened from these invaders coming to take Arab land. However, this is preposterous. Jews are indigenous to the holy land. Arabs invaded the entirety of the Middle East and North Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Arabs that lived throughout the region in what is now known as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt traveled constantly from location to location. Many of the Arabs who lived in Palestine at the time of the Declaration were tenants in homes that were owned by Egyptians. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs from around the region moved to Palestine in the decades after the Balfour Declaration. Who is really indigenous and who really owns the land? An Iraqi that moved to Palestine in the 1930s and rented a house owned by an Egyptian is somehow a “Palestinian” and more indigenous than a Jew that moved to the Jewish homeland in the same year? That’s the ridiculous claim of Khalidi.

“The Balfour Declaration thus meant that the Palestinians faced the prospect of being outnumbered by unlimited immigration, and of losing control of Palestine to the Zionist drive for sole sovereignty over a country that was then almost completely Arab in population and culture. It took just over three decades, and the mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine from their homes in 1948, for these things to happen, but happen they did.”

losing control of Palestine is a complete lie that the Palestinian Arabs “controlled” Palestine. The Arabs had no control of Palestine. The region was a part of the Turkish Empire – Muslim, but not Arab. The local Arab population did not rule a country nor control its destiny.

mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine” in Khalidi’s narrative, the local Arabs then living in Palestine were passively minding their business, tending to their orchards when “the Zionist drive” forced them from their lands. The reality is that the Arabs began to attack Jews in Palestine beginning in the early 1920s (including the massacres of 1929) and the first multi-year riots (now called “intifadas”) in the late 1930s. When the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948, armies from five neighboring Arab countries invaded Israel to wipe the Jews into the sea. Palestinian Arabs left the fighting scene while they waited for their Arab brethren to destroy Israel. While some Arabs were forced by Israel to leave the land, most left on their own as they prayed for “their land” (to quote Khalidi) to be liberated and the Jews to be slaughtered.

“Even before World War I, there had been trepidation among the Arabs of Palestine about the rapid progress of the Zionist movement. This became a widespread sentiment as the movement grew in strength and as immigration to Palestine increased: between 1909 and 1914, the leading Haifa and Jaffa newspapers, al-Karmil and Filastin, published over two hundred articles warning against the dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians. Among the peasantry in areas of intensive colonization, Zionist inroads were felt in concrete terms, as land purchase led to the removal of Arab peasants working the land. Their concerns were shared by Arab city dwellers, who observed with mounting concern the constant arrival of new European Jewish immigrants.

dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians.” How dangerous were these Jews? Did they have blood libels against Muslims the way the Arabs had against Jews? No. Did they force Arabs from their homes? No, they purchased the Arab houses (and had the audacity to move in to them afterwards!) Did they initiate riots and kill Arabs? No. So what was the danger from the Jews who were moving to Palestine? Their physical presence. Their being. Something that rankles anti-Semites (93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semitic according to ADL) to their core.

new European Jewish immigrants.” Jews were the only people to move to Palestine during the last century of Ottoman rule. The annual growth rate of Muslims in Palestine was 1.1%, essentially the rate of births minus deaths. Meanwhile Jews moved to Palestine at an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 1800 to 1914. In other words, Jews always moved to Palestine, even before the Balfour Declaration, while Muslims did not. The Arabs only began to descend on Palestine from around the region after the Declaration in numbers that matched the immigration of Jews.

“News of the Balfour Declaration reached Palestine only with much delay after November 2, 1917. All local newspapers had been shuttered since the beginning of the war. Then, after British troops occupied Jerusalem in December 1917, the strict military occupation regime banned news of the declaration from being spread, and did not allow papers to reopen for two year. There were other reasons for the delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration. They relate to the extraordinary wartime conditions that prevailed in Palestine and that caused intense suffering. The country was the scene of a more than a year of grinding battles between British and Ottoman forces which continued until mid-1918.”

delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration,” continues the layering of Khalidi’s #AlternativeHistory. Stating that there was delayed Palestinian reaction suggested that the Palestinians were a people and an entity. They were not. They were part of the Turkish Empire which was melting at the end of World War I. The entire region was collapsing and its fate was uncertain.

“By the war’s end, the Palestinians were already prostrate and exhausted by severe wartime shortages, penury, dislocation and famine, the requisitioning of draft animals, a plague of locusts, and draconian conscription that sent most working-age men to the front. Of all the major combatant powers, the Ottoman Empire suffered the heaviest wartime death toll, with over three million war dead, or 15% of the total population, most of them civilians. Greater Syria, including Palestine, suffered half a million deaths due to famine alone between 1915 and 1918.  Civilian deaths were compounded by horrific war casualties: 750,000 Ottoman soldiers out of the 2.8 million mobilized died during the war. The impact of all these factors on Palestine was intense. It is estimated that after growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.

growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.” War is terrible, no doubt. The Jews in Palestine that accounted for over 8% of the population suffered right alongside their Arab neighbors. And the annual growth in the population of Palestine in the prewar years was mostly because of Jewish immigration.

“It was against this grim background of mass suffering and the advance of the British army that Palestinians eventually learned about the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. The shock of hearing about it was exacerbated by a British occupation that marked the end of 400 years of Ottoman sovereignty, a regime which had prevailed for a full twenty generations. There was nevertheless a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I. In a world where nationalism had been gaining ground for many decades, a world war driven largely by unrestrained nationalist sentiment provided a major boost to the national idea in Palestine and other parts of the world. The enhanced salience of nationalism was compounded by the espousal in 1917 by Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin of the principle of national self-determination. The endorsement of the national principle by two ostensibly anti-colonial powers had an enormous impact on peoples the world over. As a result of the hopes aroused, and later disappointed, by Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Paris peace conference, India, Egypt, Korea and many other countries witnessed massive anti-colonial upheavals.

a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I… unrestrained nationalist sentiment”  Khalidi pivots his view of history from stating that Palestine was a country, to the Palestinians suddenly finding an “unrestrained nationalist sentiment,” like much of the world. Which was it? Were the Palestinian Arabs sovereign and autonomous in their own country of Palestine the way Khalidi began the speech, or were they part of a 400 year Ottoman Empire as Khalidi stated here? Were the people fighting in defense of their country, or were they suddenly self-aware, and now considered themselves a unique people? Khalidi wants you to believe both, as convenient to different parts of the story.

massive anti-colonial upheavals. As in the entirety of Khalidi’s view of history, the local Arabs were the only rightful owners of the land. Jews who moved to the area and purchased homes? Colonialists. After the British took over the Palestine Mandate in 1924, did they export thousands of British Jews to act as their colonial imprint on the territory? Nope. The Jewish immigration to Palestine from 1917 to 1948 came principally from other countries. Further, the British government treated the Jews in Palestine terribly.

“As a result of the war, the Palestinians were suffering from what might be described as collective post-traumatic stress syndrome. They now had to face entirely new realities as they entered a post-war world suffused by nationalist fervor. The Ottoman Empire was gone, replaced by the hegemony of Britain and France, which in 1915-16 had secretly carried out a self-interested colonial partition of the region — the Sykes-Picot accords — that was publicly revealed in 1917. Against this could be set the possibilities of Arab independence and self-determination, promised secretly by Great Britain to Sharif Husayn of Mecca in 1916, and the subject of repeated public British pledges thereafter. While these promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine was concerned. So while other Middle Eastern countries eventually achieved a measure of independence, no such option was on offer for the Palestinians.”

 promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine. Khalidi sets the tone in a difficult dance in the speech by acknowledging that the Palestine Mandate was both not unique and unique at the same time. The French and British set up new regions in the collapsed Turkish Empire which would ultimately become countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. Khalidi was nominally fine with those colonial projects since the Arab populations in those manufactured countries got independence. But the Arabs in Palestine did not. But he misleads the audience as to the reasons, as described below.

“In Palestine, Great Britain operated with a different set of rules than in other League of Nations mandates. Unlike all the other class A mandates established in the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, all of which were treated according to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations as provisionally “independent nations,” Palestine was denied such treatment. Instead it faced a set of rules rigidly dictated by the terms of the Balfour Declaration. And the Declaration had been tailored to suit the desiderata of Zionism, a European colonizing project and a national movement which had now acquired as its patron a formidable empire whose armies were just then in the process of conquering Palestine. British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years, by which time the Zionist enterprise had become firmly entrenched.”

European colonizing project… British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years,” To listen to Khalidi, one would think that the British and French set up mandates throughout the Middle East and then left quickly, giving independence to the local population. However in Palestine, the British army was entrenched so it could set up its “European colonizing project.” It is an absurd falsification of history.

The length of mandates were decades for many regions. Lebanon became independent in 1943. Syria in 1946. Israel in 1948.

Second, the Balfour Declaration had nothing to do with the borders of the Jewish homeland. That was laid out in the San Remo Conference in 1920 which was authored by several global powers including France, Italy and Japan. This was not a British exercise, nor just a European one. It was approved by international law.

Additionally, the San Remo Conference and then the Palestine Mandate gave the British the right – which they exercised – to break the Palestine Mandate in two to establish an Arab state (Article 25). The British did just that, and created the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in two-thirds of the land of the Palestine Mandate. The Arab country that Khalidi claimed was never created, WAS CREATED at the outset and exists today in the country known as Jordan.

As soon as they were able to do so in the wake of World War I, the Palestinians began to challenge vigorously both the form of governance imposed by the British, based on the Balfour Declaration, and the introduction of the Zionist movement as a privileged interlocutor of the British. They did so initially in the shadow of a strict British military occupation regime that lasted until 1920, followed by rule by a series of British High Commissioners. The first of them was Sir Herbert Samuel, a committed Zionist and former cabinet minister, who laid the governmental foundations for much followed.”

As soon as they were able to do so” is a rewrite of history to vilify Britain in particular for stating that it was in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Palestinian Arab riots began in the 1920s due to the San Remo Conference which gave international legitimacy to the Zionist dream and detailed the historic rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine.

challenge vigorously.The Arab riots of 1920 and 1921 and the massacre of Jewish civilians in 1929 cannot be called “challenge vigorously” by anyone other than someone suffering from deep pathology.

“In understanding the unsuccessful efforts of the Palestinians to oppose this regime, two crucial factors are of paramount importance. The first is that unlike most other peoples who fell under the sway of colonial rule, the Palestinians had to contend not only with the colonial power in the metropole but also with the terms of the Balfour Declaration. Thus they had to deal with a colonial settler movement which, while beholden to Britain, was independent of it and had a powerful national impulse and an international base, most importantly in the United States. The second is that Britain did not rule Palestine outright: it did so as a mandatory power of the League of Nations. In rejecting Palestinian protests about the Balfour Declaration, British officials could point to the international legitimacy for its terms provided by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which, at the instigation of the British themselves, had incorporated verbatim the text of the Balfour Declaration, and in 7 of its 28 articles, substantially amplified and expanded on its commitments. Thus the British government could hide behind the terms of their League of Nations mandate in denying the Palestinians treatment as an “independent nation” in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant.”

colonial, colonial, colonial” Did Khalidi mention colonial? While repeating that the British were a colonial power and tying the Jews to this colonialist enterprise, Khalidi gives a whiff of honesty when he mentioned the “international legitimacy” of the Mandate and the rights of Jews to live, buy land and obtain citizenship in Palestine. But he did this as an aside, suggesting that the goal of a British outpost was a disgraceful subterranean plot in cahoots with Zionists, masked in international law. At this point, Khalidi’s hatred for Jewish presence has taken on an air of an anti-Semitic caricature with Jews now gaining more patronage from other global powers like the United States, while the real motivation and truth was concealed.

“The Palestinians were therefore in a triple bind, which may have been unique in the history of resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism. They faced the might of the British Empire in the era between the two world wars when not one single colonial possession, with the partial exception of Ireland, succeeded in freeing itself from the clutches of the European imperial powers. They faced as well an international colonizing movement with a national mission, and with its own independent sources of finance and support, besides those generously offered by Britain. And finally they were confronted with the international legitimacy accorded to British rule by the League of Nations, which had sanctified the Balfour Declaration and its colonial import for the Palestinians by endowing it with the legal imprimatur of the preeminent international body of the day. The Balfour Declaration thus became more than a statement by the British cabinet: it was an internationally sanctioned legal document. In explaining the failure of the Palestinians to retain control of their ancestral homeland, alongside understanding the shortcomings of their leaders and the hindrances resulting from fissures within their society, it is vital to keep in mind this triple bind they were in.”

resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism… international colonizing movement… own independent sources of finance and supportThe sum of Khalidi’s arguments of the Palestinians “triple bind” was a combination of lies. Rather than state that the international community had come to realize that the Jews deserved to reestablish their homeland – the EXACT OPPOSITE OF A COLONIZING MOVEMENT – in Palestine, Khalidi advanced that the Jewish money (“independent sources of finance and support”) were able to advance their “colonizing movement” under the umbrella of “international legitimacy” to advance Britain’s “colonial” aspirations. The simplicity and beauty of Jews returning to their homeland was too much for Khalidi, so he invented a multi-headed scheme to vanquish the “indigenous” Palestinian Arabs.

The French and British administered several mandates during these years, ultimately giving each autonomy and statehood. Why would they single out the Arabs living in Palestine for such abuse? If the “European imperial powers” truly wanted to subjugate the Arabs of the Middle East, why did every other region become a state with the exception of the Arabs west of the Jordan River?

For Khalidi, the answer is that the scheming Jews took something that they had no right to – Arab land. In the decades following Israel’s independence in 1948, the Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians and other Arab states evicted one million Jews from their homes. Where in power, the Arabs could rid themselves of their Jewish neighbors. But the thorny issue of a Jewish State is a bone still lodged in the throat of the Arabs. And rather than accept the legitimacy of the Jewish State, Khalidi and other anti-Zionists have spun a tale of Palestinian victimhood.

“Before November 2, 1917, the Zionist movement was both a national movement in embryo, and a colonial enterprise without a fixed metropole, like an orphan searching for a foster parent. When it found one in Great Britain, as symbolized by the Balfour Declaration, the colonization and transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish state could begin in earnest. This process was backed soon afterwards by the international legitimacy provided by the League of Nations. It was backed as well by an indispensable “iron wall” of British bayonets, in the words of that most forthright of Zionist leaders, Ze’ev Jabotinsky.”

transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish stateKhalidi makes clear that he believes that Arab Palestine was a proper and appropriate state, and its transformation into a Jewish State happened with shameful “international legitimacy” and the force of British arms. He is correct that Zionism was recognized in international law as described above, but the British did not attack Palestinian Arabs to make this happen. The British came to the defense of Jews being massacred by Palestinian Arabs during their mandate, but they were no friends of the Zionists.

“Seen from the perspective of the Palestinian people, the careful, calibrated prose of the Declaration amounted to a proclamation of war on them. For the next few decades, this war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery. The issuance of the Balfour Declaration thus marked the beginning of a century-long colonial conflict in Palestine, supported by an array of outside powers. In much different forms, this conflict continues until this day.”

war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery.” Wow and wow. Once Khalidi established that the natural state of Palestine was an Arab Palestine in which the Arabs were the sole indigenous people, he added that a war was declared to alter that ideal state. He offers an extensive list of aggressions used by the Zionists to execute their war. However, the unvarnished truths were too difficult for Khalidi to admit: that Palestine has been the homeland for the Jewish people for thousands of years; that the Jews had always lived in Palestine, and had always moved to Palestine, despite the difficulties imposed by various ruling authorities; and that the British and the international community had finally recognized that it was time to ease those restrictions as the Ottoman Empire collapsed. Could the international community predict that local Arabs would object to Jews returning to their homeland in a small sliver of the entire Middle East dominated by millions of Arabs? The war was WAGED BY ARABS, not the other way around, made clear the Arab rejection of any Jewish rights or claims to the land.

“I realize that I have imposed on your patience by summarizing some of the history around the Balfour Declaration. Some say that we should forget history in dealing with the Palestine conflict. Those who say this, however, have an absolutely miserable track record of failure in attempting to resolve the core issue at stake: the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. In fact, this historical background is essential to understanding why this conflict has lasted for so long, and to its just resolution. It also helps us to understand that it did not begin in 1967 or 1948, as some shortsighted observers would have it. Finally, it points out the avenue towards a real lasting, sustainable peace, and towards real reconciliation and compromise between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them. And genuine compromise must be based on justice and absolutely equal treatment, and absolutely equal rights, for all, not on the imposition of the will of the stronger on the weaker. That is not compromise.”

Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them.There are multiple problems with Khalidi’s world view. If he believes that peace will only be achieved by the world adopting his false version of history, there is no chance of ever realizing peace. It augers a future where Israel will have to finally wage a war against the Arabs that reject the very legitimacy of its existence, rather than just fighting defensive wars against Arab foes that seek to destroy it.

“This historical background points to another fact. This is that peace between Palestine and Israel is far too important to be left to the self-interested ministrations of the great powers alone. Again and again, the history of the League Nations and the United Nations shows us that these great powers were responsible for imposing formulas in Palestine that suited their interests of the moment. In every single case these formulas exacerbated and magnified this conflict. In so doing, these great powers have ignored international law, and essential elements of the covenants and charters they themselves helped to shape, such as the principle of self-determination that animates both the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Charter of the United Nations.”

great powers have ignored international lawInternational law gave Jews the right to reestablish their homeland in their homeland. International law permitted two-thirds of the Palestine Mandate to be separated into a country where Palestinian Arabs would have self-determination. The great powers supported the Zionist project in international law. Yet the great powers failed in upholding the principles of human rights and self-determination when it allowed two-thirds of Palestine to become a country which expelled and banned Jews. This pathetic travesty is  being further advanced at the United Nations which similarly is advocating for such policy for the West Bank of the Jordan River (all contrary to Article 15 of the Palestine Mandate).

“As the son of an international civil servant who served the United Nations for his entire career, I have been a close witness for decades to the failure of this body to live up to its principles where Palestine is concerned, largely because of the machinations of the great powers.  I am not naïve, however, and as a historian I know all too well that power has its prerogatives. But the United Nations was not set up to make the world a more comfortable place for the powerful, but rather to bring about peace with justice, and the rule of international law. Over the hundred years since the Balfour Declaration was issued, the 70 years since the passing of the Partition resolution, and the fifty years since the adoption of UNSC 242, neither peace with justice nor the rule of law has prevailed where Palestine is concerned. It is high time for the United Nations and the entire world community to act in this spirit.”

the failure of this body.” For 100 years the Arabs have fought against the formation and existence of a Jewish State, not the global community. Seventy years ago the Arabs rejected the Partition plan; not the global community. Fifty years ago the Palestinians and Jordanians attacked Israel and thereby lost the “West Bank” which it had illegally annexed; the global body did not initiate the war. Just after that 1967 war, it was the Arab countries that refused to negotiate peace with Israel, not the global community.

And it is the Palestinian Arabs today that continue with anti-Semitic and anti- Zionist vitriol that prevents peace. In line with UN Resolution 242, Israel gave territories (Sinai) for peace with Egypt. Israel gave territories (Gaza) in exchange for war with Palestinian Arabs.

The problem is neither Israel nor the international community. The problem is Palestinian Arabs.

“Specifically, after a century, it is high time that the establishment of a national home promised by Balfour and the League of Nations to the Jewish people in 1917 and afterwards be matched by the establishment of a national home for the Palestinian people. After 70 years, it is high time that the national self-determination promised to the Israeli people by the UN in 1947, and that they have enjoyed since 1948, be enjoyed by the Palestinian people. And after 50 years, it is high time for the injunction in UNSC 242 forbidding “the acquisition of territory by war” to be vigorously enforced where the territories occupied in 1967 are concerned.”

promises, promises.” If Khalidi wants an Arab parallel to the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Plan, he is presumably now in favor of those articles which he had just spent ten minutes lambasting. And if he understood anything about UN Resolution 242, he would understand that land is forbidden to be taken in an offensive war, not a defensive war. The Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs attacked Israel first and lost the land in June 1967. The same way that Israel was allowed to take more land in the 1948-9 war, than had been suggested in the 1947 Partition Plan.

“Finally, it is high time for the United Nations and the entire international community to take vigorous action to break the century-old logjam created and perpetuated by the great powers. This man-made logjam has prevented the principles of self-determination from being applied fairly and equally to both parties to this conflict, the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples. They both deserve the peace and stability that an equitable resolution of the conflict between them on the basis of international law and in a spirit of justice and equality would bring.”

The Palestinian Arabs have shown no interest in the “spirit of justice and equality” for 100 years. The have refused to allow Jews to pray at their holiest location on the Jewish Temple Mount. They have stated that they will not allow a single Israeli to live in Palestine. They have stated that they will never recognize the Jewish State of Israel. They maintain laws that make it a capital offense for an Arab to sell land to a Jew.

The “logjam” to peace in the region is the failure of Palestinian Arabs to recognize the historic and human rights of Jews to be self-governing in their homeland. The myth of passive victimhood and the tainting of the Balfour Declaration and history, is yet another arrow in the Palestinian propaganda machine to defame and undermine the existence and viability of the solitary Jewish State surrounded by over 50 Arab and Muslim countries.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Squeezing Zionism

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

They were not even supposed to be there.

Long marked for exclusion, their physical presence was repulsive to the locals. “Modern” society being slightly more “progressive” in the ancient Middle East as well as being more visible to a global audience because of the Internet, made it slightly more difficult to bar them. The vile creatures could stand there, but the rightful hosts would deny them space, honor or acknowledgement. These interlopers may be human, but their essence remained a problem.

They would sing no song, carry no flag, and represent no people.

In 2017.

In the United Arab Emirates Judo competition.

On the Jewish Temple Mount in the Jerusalem.

Judo Grand Slam

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Judo Grand Slam in October 2017. The competition was nominally supposed to represent the best fighters in the judo martial arts from countries from around the world. Not simply from around the world, but from COUNTRIES from around the world.

The official website from the tournament listed 47 countries that participated in the event. Alphabetically, after Hungary at number 21 was “IFJ,” which stood for the International Judo Federation. Not normally considered a country, it was a name assigned to a country loathed by the host country. That despised country is Israel.

Israel is not a recognized country by the UAE. Not only does the country not have diplomatic relations with Israel, Israeli citizens are denied entry into the UAE.

That posed a problem for the UAE which was hosting the Judo tournament. Would the tournament be considered a farce if it excluded many of the best competitors? Israeli athletes had become champions in many global judo competitions and they qualified to compete at the IFJ event. How could the host country of the event deny entry to those people?

However strong their desire, the UAE could not bar the physical entry of the Israeli athletes. But that would be as far it would go.

  • The Israeli flag, national anthem and the name “Israel” would be banned from the entire program.
  • The Israeli athletes would be the only ones to not have a flag on their uniform.
  • The Israeli athletes would not have their national flag raised nor anthem played when they won medals.
  • And the name “Israel” would not even be listed anywhere among the 47 countries competing in the global event.

The “human rights” groups that monitor the Middle East would be silent. Human Rights Watch? Nothing T’ruah? Zero. OHCHR? Couldn’t be bothered. The Carter Center? You kidding me? Jimmy Carter?

Those “rights” organizations have no breath to support human decency if it means defending Israel or Israelis. For “progressive” groups, Israel is solely the object of scorn and condemnation.

The Jewish Temple Mount

For 3000 continuous years, there has been a single place which Jews have revered as their holiest location: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jews had two temples there, and after the Second Temple was destroyed, Jews continued to pray in the direction of their holy temples. Until this very day.

At Israel’s founding in 1948, the surrounding Arab countries invaded in the hopes of completely destroying the new Jewish state. At war’s end, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan took over the western side of the Jordan River through the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. The Jordanians promptly evicted every Jew from their illegally seized land.

The Jordanians annexed the region in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by virtually the entire world. In 1954, the Jordanians gave citizenship to every person that lived or had lived in these acquired lands, but deliberately excluded Jews to make sure that the Jews could not re-enter their land, including Jerusalem.

Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967 after the Jordanians attacked Israel again. It reopened the Old City for Jews to live, visit and worship.

Well, not exactly.

The Israelis gave administrative control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf shortly after the 1967 war ended. The Waqf has denied Jews the right to pray at their holiest site. Jews cannot carry Jewish prayer books nor Israeli flags.

The Jews can be there physically as human beings, but nothing more.

Kotel Plaza, the closest an Israeli flag can come to the Jewish Temple Mount

And human rights organizations reacted: they were appalled that Jews were even visiting the Temple Mount.

Ir Amim, a radical left-wing organization had the following to say about Jews visiting the Temple Mount in October 2017:

Over the Sukkot holiday, the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound continued to rise: according to Temple activists, some 2,000 visitors ascended the Mount during the holiday. From Rosh Hashanah until the end of Sukkot, the number of Jewish visitors totaled about 3,000. These numbers, according to the estimates of the Temple Movements, represent an increase of 30%-40% in the number of visitors relative to last year.

More worrying than the increase in and of itself, however, is the evident change in policy by the police: Greater coordination and friendly relations have been witnessed between the police and Temple Movement activists. Larger and sometimes multiple groups of activists have been allowed to enter the compound, and restrictions on non-Muslim prayer on the Mount appear to have been relaxed. The police permitted a mass religious ceremony to be held, for the first time, near the Western Wall plaza, rather than within the Jewish Quarter as in previous years. Activists were also permitted to put up a sukkah, bearing the emblems of the Temple Movements, on the ramp leading to the Holy Esplanade.

These troubling changes in policy and relations between the police and the activists are undermining the spirit of the status quo on the Mount, if not eroding the status quo in practice.”

Ir Amim called it out: a small handful of Jews can be at Judaism’s most revered location, but they cannot be treated like everyone else.

Whether in Judo competitions or in Jerusalem, a small handful of Jews are reluctantly permitted to stand alongside every other human being on the planet. Still, they must be bleached of their Judaism and cleansed of their affiliations with the Jewish State. The racists, the anti-Semites and progressives know a good status quo when they see one.


Related First.One.Through Articles:

Israeli Olympians get their #IsraeliLivesMatter Moment

Dancing with the Asteroids

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

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New York Democratic Committee Doubles Down Calling Pro-Israel Republican Candidate an Anti-Semite

Politics has always been an ugly business. It would appear that the Democratic machine in New York will stoop to new lows in broadcasting disgusting libelous lies to protect the shortcomings of their candidates.

In August 2017, the senior Democratic politician in Westchester County called County Executive Rob Astorino a “clever Nazi.” Almost no Democrats condemned the heinous remark of the staunchly pro-Israel Republican.

And no one seemed to care. So the entire Democratic machine got into the game.

Just two months later – two weeks before the election – the New York State Democratic Committee sent out a mass mailing to residents in Westchetser. The revolting text accused Astorino of placating anti-Semites.

Referring to an incident in November 2016 when a swastika and “White Power” were painted on a bike path, the Democratic committee claimed that Astorino said that the perpetrators had a point. That is a complete lie. The fact is Astorino stated that the graffiti was “vile,” “disturbing,” and would be prosecuted as a hate crime.

It is understandable that the Democratic political machine would need to lie to support George Latimer who owes over $40,000 in back taxes, who is challenging Astorino in the November 7 election. That is why one of the flier’s many lies claims that Astorino wants to raise taxes (even though he has never raised property taxes in his eight years in office, while Latimer wants to raise taxes) is not a surprise. Lying to cover the shortcomings of your own candidate while pulling down your opponent has a long history in politics. Have a problem with paying taxes and being on record for wanting to raise taxes – lie that your opponent raised taxes!

But to call your opponent a Nazi and anti-Semite? What could the Democrats be trying to conceal? Is Latimer a Nazi? Are Astorino’s pro-Israel credentials simply too much to overcome?

Did Astorino visit too many area synagogues where he stated his pride in representing such an ethnically diverse and Jewish county? Are Democrats nervous about Astorino’s trips to the Republican Jewish Coalition where he met with hundreds of like-minded pro-American and pro-Israel people?

Maybe it is because anti-Israel groups like WESPAC and Jewish Voice for Peace despise Astorino and actually like Democrat George Latimer. George Latimer visited and was welcomed at WESPAC events, while WESPAC protested against Astorino often.

Westchester is the eighth most Jewish county in the USA and voted for Rob Astorino, a pro-Israel Republican for County Executive two times in a row. So the New York State Democratic machine has opted to brand him as an anti-Semite. A Nazi. With outright and outrageous lies.

“Dear New York State Democratic Committee,

Is there no floor to vile slander? Don’t some red herrings reek even too much for you? Are your candidates that weak that you need to call pro-Israel Republicans “Nazis” and “anti-Semites?”

When I think that the Democratic party can stoop no lower, you are there to depress me again.

Sincerely – and definitely not faithfully,

A fading Democrat”


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

In The Margins

A Country Divided

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For the Sins of 5777 of…

… not standing up against libel attacks (such as when left-wing radicals called Ben Shapiro a white supremacist)

… allowing anti-Israel activists to speak in my synagogue (such as members from Jewish Voice for Peace and New Israel Fund)

… being a political coward (for not condemning fellow Democrats that called Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino a “clever Nazi”)

… being a political opportunist tacking to the far left-wing extremists of the Democratic party and throwing Jews under the bus (supporting Linda Sarsour’s tirades against Israel and not backing anti-BDS legislation or the Taylor Force bill)

… subscribing to the New York Times

… saying that Obama is pro-Israel (even after he let UN Security Council Resolution 2334 pass)

… saying with a straight face that the Iranian Nuclear Deal was a “Great Deal”

… labeling those with whom I disagree a “deplorable,” a “racist” and a “misogynist”

… donating to the United Nations

collaborating with international bodies to harm the Jewish State

… being a hypocrite while donating to the most expensive US presidential in history where Clinton outspent Trump by over two times, and then complain that race was all about money

ignoring Israeli victims of Arab terror

ignoring the Jewish people’s historic connection, religious ties, human rights and security needs throughout the holy land

… suggesting that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and calling for its inclusion in the Palestinian Authority leadership

… promoting the notion that America has much more to fear from Republicans than jihadists

… never commenting when Islamic countries say that Israel is committing “ethnic cleansing,” but going ballistic when Israeli Prime Minister used the term for the Palestinian Authority after it demanded a Jew-free state

… not demonstrating for the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount

… not protesting that the US should withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority until it negates its law which makes it a capital offense to sell land to a Jew

…demanding that Israel live with the security and religious compromises that I decide, to satisfy my personal sense of social justice while living thousands of miles away

… purchasing the New Israel Fund Haggadah

… condemning Jews for building homes in Area C of the West Bank, which the Palestinian Authority agreed is Israeli territory

… belittling the intelligence and integrity of Ivanka Trump, just because she’s pretty

… talking big about feminism, but doing nothing for the women in southeast Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) where 25% of the women of the world live in barbaric conditions

… only talking about refugees when Trump became president, even though Obama did little to nothing to help them during seven years of his presidency

… calling PA acting-President Mahmoud Abbas a “moderate”

… saying that poverty causes terrorism, even when there is no study that supports such claim

… continuing to call Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) “refugees”

… not celebrating a rabbi giving the blessing at the US president’s inauguration – the first time a rabbi has done so in decades

… for supporting J Street, the organization that lobbied the Obama administration aggressively to abandon Israel at the United Nations

… living in my liberal echo chamber

… liking Jimmy Carter

… going to a Roger Waters concert

… watching Al Jazeera

… condemning Israel for installing security devices after a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount

… defending left-wing extremists that are anti-Semites

… not writing to my alma mater after anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activities occurred on campus

… for comparing a Muslim refugee from Syria to a Holocaust survivor

… for not advocating for any help in Syria throughout Obama’s presidency when 500,000 people were killed

… never understanding how much people hated Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, even while I repeated ad nauseam how much I despised Donald Trump

… the inconsistent logic of telling Trump supporters to be wary because he was supported by the KKK and the KGB, even while I supported the Iranian nuclear deal which was supported by Russia and Iran

… ending friendships with people that voted for Trump

For all these things, please pardon us.

 

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

The moral and legal standing of men and women as it relates to abortion and custodianship have been debated for many years. The courts have typically sided with women regarding abortion, but have become more open to the desires of men in matters of custodianship. Is there any lesson here for the status of Jerusalem?

Abortion and Custodianship

US court rulings in abortion cases almost always side with the woman. Consider the two extreme cases of dispute: if a woman decides to have an abortion but the father of the fetus does not, the courts rule in favor of the woman and do not make her go to term with an unwanted pregnancy. Conversely, if the man wants the fetus to be aborted but the mother does not, the court will not force a woman to have an unwanted abortion.

The situation becomes more morally murky on the next level: financial support for the unwanted child or abortion. Men have argued that it is unreasonable and unfair to make them pay for an outcome that they didn’t desire. If they want to keep the baby but the woman does not, how cruel is it to make the man pay for the abortion? In the other extreme situation where the man wanted the fetus to be aborted, the courts not only ignore their wishes, but further compel the man to give financial support to a child that they never wanted.

In almost every situation of contention related to having and supporting a child, the US courts almost exclusively come down on the side of women. While the legal system may recognize that the rulings are unfair to men, it ultimately concluded that the woman is the more vested party: she’s the one who must carry the fetus to term.

But what about custodianship?

Once a child is born and both parents want to have custody, why should the mother’s desire outweigh those of the father? If the mother wants sole custody, should her wishes be automatically granted? Courts have begun to move away from such approach.

The US legal system has started to award custody based on the child’s best interests, not the desires of the warring parents. A mother is not considered to be inherently the better parent, nor to have greater love for the child. The court examines a range of matters regarding the child’s well-being.

Is there a basis of considering the custodianship of the city of Jerusalem using such rationale?

Jerusalem

The three monotheistic religions all consider the city of Jerusalem holy and have fought for centuries over every one of its stones. Each religion has fought on the battlefield to control the city’s holy places, and in modern times, each has also battled in international fora and the media.

If a city could have a mother, Jerusalem’s would be Judaism. Tradition states that Abraham bound the heir to the Jewish people, his son Isaac, as a sacrifice at the very location that Isaac’s descendants would use as a capital city and build two holy Temples. Over a thousand years after Abraham and Isaac, Christianity would see Jesus walk the city streets to his death. Hundreds of years later, Islamic tradition would consider that its prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the city.

The city was not born from a consensual union. Jerusalem was stripped from Judaism in a pagan fire. Over time, the pagans adopted Christianity and the city took on a Christian character. With the Arab invasion of the seventh century, the Christians and Muslims battled for the city on-and-off for 500 years, with the Muslims ultimately prevailing. Just fifty years ago, the Jewish State retook control of the city.

Since losing the city of Jerusalem in a war that it started, Arab Muslims have sought to sue for control over the city. Palestinian Arabs declare that they want a new state with Jerusalem as its capital. Jordanian Arabs argue that they are the custodians of the holiest site, as they have invested and managed the Temple Mount for a long time.

And the Jewish State has made its claim known: it has come home. Jerusalem and Judaism is a family reunited.

The United Nations has weighed in on the matter. It is not a logical, fair or legal arbiter, as the decisions at the UN are advanced by majority vote, and a single Jewish State doesn’t perform well against a phalanx of over 50 Islamic countries. And the results bear that out: UNESCO voted that Jerusalem is “in danger” because the Jewish State controls it.

What if Jerusalem were viewed from the prism of what is best for the city, as the US courts do now in considering the custodianship of a child?

  • Jerusalem was neglected under 400 years of Muslim Ottoman rule; it has flourished under Jewish rule
  • The Muslim population in Jerusalem declined under Ottoman rule, but under Jewish rule, both the Muslim and Jewish populations have grown
  • When Arab Muslims ruled the city from 1949-1967, it forbade Jews from living in the city, or even entering to visit Judaism’s holy places, but since Jews have ruled the city, all religions have been welcomed to live and pray§

Under Israeli sovereignty, Jerusalem has thrived. All “parents” have been able to visit and enjoy their “child.” This is in sharp contrast to a city besieged for centuries under competing custodianship.


People have suggested dividing the city as the most fair manner to resolve the competing claims between Jews and Muslims. But such a division is deadly, much like King Solomon’s proposed cutting of a baby in two to satisfy the claims of two mothers: the baby could not possibly survive.

US courts evaluate what’s in a child’s best interests in deciding custodianship; it does not award it based on avoiding a parent going on a violent bloodbath. Similarly Jerusalem’s sovereignty should be in the hands of the only party that has nurtured it: Israel.

The best interest for both the city itself and for all of those that love it is to see Jerusalem remain under the sole custodianship of its natural mother which has nurtured the city back to health, blossoming as it hasn’t in centuries. Israel.

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§ Israel has continued to maintain a ban on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, to calm the Muslim world. Several Jewish activists are pushing to end the ban.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

Oh Abdullah, Jordan is Not So Special

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

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Why Does the New York Times Delete Stories of Attacks on Jews?

The New York Times has a tag line “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” When it deliberately omits stories of attacks on Jews within its articles, it must believe that such information is unworthy of telling its declining number (and quality?) of readers.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in New Jersey

Consider the August 2, 2017 article “Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York.” The article described the movement of Ultra-Orthodox (Hasidic) Jews into newer neighborhoods where they hadn’t previously lived including Jersey City, NJ and other towns in New Jersey. The article described the Jews as pushy and anti-liberal, with quotes such as “They literally go door to door and can be very pushy trying to purchase someone’s house,” and “They have become a more muscular political and social force and have turned the generally liberal profile of the area’s Jews more observant and conservative. Lakewood Township, near the Jersey Shore, voted for Donald J. Trump last year.” Lions AND tigers AND bears? Oh My!


Picture in NYT with caption “Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey City, where Hasidic families converted a dry cleaner into a community center. Some critics claim the center is a synagogue and violates zoning rules that ban houses of worship.”

Is the article trying to suggest that liberal communities in the New York City metropolitan area should be worried about aggressive, law-breaking conservatives moving into their neighborhoods? The article clearly doesn’t believe that it has anything to do with anti-Semitism as it wrote ““People felt threatened,” Mr. Kelaher said. “This has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. This is strictly based on the type of behavior. We welcome people to move in legitimately,” and ““We live among Chinese. We live among Spanish,’’ said Mr. Sumpter, who is a cook. “It don’t matter. People is people. If you’re good people, you’re good people.””

The paper made clear that liberals like all different kinds of people. Just not these aggressive, pushy law-breakers who just happen to be ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Is there another side to the story?

How could the liberal paper write about this topic without also including the current situation in Mahwah, NJ, where over 1,000 residents posted vile anti-Semitic comments to get the town to block the establishment of an eruv which facilitates ultra-Orthodox communities to move into a neighborhood. Just the week before the Times article, residents of the town started to destroy the eruv in an act that the police are investigating as a hate crime. If you want to judge whether this matter has anything to do with anti-Semitism, read the comments in the online petition, Protect the Quality of our Community in Mahwah. “Uneasy Welcome?” Seriously?

The Times deliberately omitted any mention about the clear anti-Semitism related to ultra-Orthodox Jews moving into a new community in New Jersey in an article about that specific topic, because it added a narrative outside of its sales pitch to its liberal readers: object to Orthodox Jews because they’re pushy conservatives; it won’t make you an anti-Semite.

Israeli Soldiers Killing Arab Assailants

The July 31, 2017 print version of the New York Times had a slightly different version of the current online piece called “Israel Court Rejects Appeal for Elor Azaria, Soldier Who Shot Wounded Assailant.” The story described how Israel is debating how soldiers should react to Arab terrorists. Its opening:

“When an Israeli soldier fired a single shot through the window of a home in a West Bank settlement this month, wounding a Palestinian assailant and putting an end to a stabbing rampage that killed three people, many Israelis hailed the soldier as a hero.

But others criticized the unnamed soldier, who was home on leave in the settlement, for merely incapacitating the Palestinian intruder, not killing him. They suggested the soldier held off for fear of ending up like Elor Azaria, the former sergeant whose legal case has rocked Israel.”

The article described the story of Elor Azaria, a soldier who shot and killed an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist who went to jail for a “disproportional use of a weapon” despite his claim that he thought that the terrorist was moving and was about to detonate an explosive. The story went on to discuss the debate within Israeli society that seemed to have aggressive right-wing politicians on one side, and dovish liberals on the other: “several prominent Israeli politicians declared that Palestinian perpetrators should not emerge alive from such attacks, which liberal critics said amounted to a shoot-to-kill policy.

One would imagine that the Times would cover one of the most significant stories of the immediate past when writing such an article: the attack by Israeli Arabs on Israeli police men on the Temple Mount on July 14. Not a word.

Three Israeli Arabs shot and killed two police officers on Judaism’s holiest site. One of the Arabs was on the ground – seemingly incapacitated – when he suddenly sprung up and lunged at the police officers with a knife to stab him. Two police officers were killed as were the three Arab terrorists. Here is a video clip of the terrorist jumping to his feet.

In an article with a headline about a soldier accused of using too much force against an incapacitated terrorist, how did the Times not mention  how a seemingly incapacitated killer jumped to his feet in an attempt to kill yet more people? Because that would make the use of “disproportionate” force seem like an appropriate response, whereas the paper wanted to show that simply injuring a terrorist was enough.

The paper’s story was that right-wing Israelis want to kill people for no reason. Showing logic for their position would abuse their narrative.


The New York Times is touting itself as “a leader in its evenhanded coverage of Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.” It  is nothing of the sort. It has become a distorted far-left, anti-Jewish paper, touting a single biased narrative.


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While UNESCO Condemns Egalitarian Prayer at the Kotel, J Street Yawns

J Street has long opposed Israel’s control and administration of lands that it won in the defensive war against Jordan in 1967.

  • In 2011 it urged the Obama Administration to craft language with the United Nations that condemned Jewish “settlements” east of the Green Line (EGL/ the West Bank) – including in Jerusalem.
  • In 2014 it urged the United States to declare that Jewish settlements were “illegal under international law.
  • In 2016, J Street declared victory upon the UN Security Council’s passing of Resolution 2334 with the Obama Administrations help. J Street would take out a full page advertisement in the New York Times on January 5, 2017 thanking Obama for this action.

Did J Street mind that this same United Nations did not care much for the rights of Jews to pray at their holiest spot? Seemingly, not at all.

In October 2016, UNESCO approved a resolution condemning Israel for a wide range of violations in Jerusalem. One of these rebukes addressed the Israeli government’s attempt to create a place for pluralistic prayer along the Kotel.

“19. Deprecates the continuing Israeli unilateral measures and decisions regarding the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate, including the latest works conducted at the Mughrabi Gate entrance in February 2015, the instalment of an umbrella at that entrance as well as the enforced creation of a new Jewish prayer platform south of the Mughrabi Ascent in Al-Buraq Plaza “Western Wall Plaza”, and the removal of the Islamic remains at the site, and reaffirms that no Israeli unilateral measures, shall be taken in conformity with its status and obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;”

The “new Jewish prayer platform” was being advanced by the Israeli government in collaboration with the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations to create a space for worship in an egalitarian fashion. As with all activities by Israel in Jerusalem – even the installment of an umbrella! (above) – the United Nations condemned Israel.

J Street was nonplussed.


The leader of J Street, Jeremy Ben Ami

In its statement addressing the October 2016 UNESCO resolution, J Street never mentioned the United Nations attack on the advancement of non-Orthodox prayer at the Kotel. Instead J Street argued for the United States to restore funding for UNESCO which has been withheld after the organization admitted “the State of Palestine” as a member.

J Street would eventually tackle the issue, with a statement in June 2017 condemning the Israeli government on the decision to suspend the creation of an expanded Jewish prayer platform for egalitarian prayer. J Street attacked “Ultra-Orthodox parties” for being behind the Israeli government’s move. It then urged its loyal liberal backers to distance themselves from the current Israeli government:

“The current [Israeli] government, dominated by the far-right of Israeli politics, has made clear that it is out of step with many of the core values, beliefs and interests of the vast majority of American Jews.”

J Street had moved from lobbying the far-left US Obama Administration to lobbying Americans to condemn the Israeli government.


J Street’s positions often seem at odds with itself. It aggressively pushed the US to label Israeli actions east of the Green Line as “illegal,” but then condemned the Israeli government for not taking actions at the Kotel in the Old City of Jerusalem, where it claimed that the Israeli government has no legal rights at all.

Does J Street believe that the Israeli government has authority to create a place for non-Orthodox prayer at the Kotel or not? If the government has no legal rights, then why condemn it? If J Street was so comfortable in stripping Israel’s authority at Judaism’s holiest site and giving it to the United Nations, then why not condemn the United Nations assault on pluralistic prayer?

J Street is a far-left fringe group that does not represent most Americans or most American Jews, yet it lobbied successfully to push the US Administration to adopt a damaging resolution on the world stage with far-reaching implications – for ISRAEL. At the same time, J Street attacked the “far-right” in Israel for lobbying successfully for actions – in ISRAEL. Which is more outrageous? A fringe group of Americans damaging Israel on the world stage, or a fringe group of Israelis lobbying for actions in their own country?


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The Religious Denominations Take on Diets

A Satire about Officiating at Intermarriages

 

In an effort to stay on top of current trends and remain relevant, the Reform Movement made a declaration about proper eating habits.

The head of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Nick Isaacs, noted that Americans were having a difficult time sticking with diets and often “cheated” leading to pangs of guilt. He said that those feelings of guilt could in turn lead to depression and further over-eating. “People should only feel guilt when they harm another living thing. It is nonsensical to have remorse for eating a cookie,” he said. “The Reform movement understands the very human nature of people and so declares that there is no distinction between a healthy diet and a non-healthy diet.” Isaacs went on to explain that his movement sought to obviate the negative sensation that ultimately pushes people further away from a healthy lifestyle. In his line of reasoning, removing any definition of what makes for a healthy lifestyle would thereby actually promote healthier living.

“And it’s really popular,” he added.

The Reform Movement is the largest denomination of American Jews and its latest proclamation is likely to attract more people, especially those that hate exercise.

Meanwhile the Orthodox movement – often the laggard of the three religious  denominations – felt compelled to issue its own statement in response to URJ’s Non-Diet Diet. The Orthodox Union wrote “Orthodox Judaism is rooted in rules and tradition that have been core to our beliefs and practices for generations. A healthy diet consists of eating properly and exercise.”

Really? Amongst the chulent chow-hounds?

Rabbi Isaacs ridiculed OU’s statement, noting the rigidity of their position. “Orthodox Jews will remain a small niche movement of extremists until they realize that people have a range of desires. Pretending otherwise is foolishness.”

“And they’re so fat too. They never exercise. They’ve adopted an immovable position that makes them both self-righteous and self-loathing. How is that really healthy?”

The OU would not formally respond to Rabbi Isaacs. However, in response to this reporter’s question, all the OU would say is that “Judaism never said it isn’t a big world with lots of tasty treats, and busy schedules which make it difficut to exercise. All we said was that a healthy diet consists of eating properly and exercise. It doesn’t mean that some people don’t fall short.”

A noted author, David Horkis who identifies with the Conservative Movement noted the exchange between the Reform and Orthodox denominations, and added his own take on the direction of the Conservative Movement. “The Reform Movement is obsessed with numbers. It believes that its sole mission is to have as many members as possible. Stating that there is no such thing as a healthy diet is obviously ridicuolous, but the Orthodox take the opposite extreme, and leave no room for people acting like people. It’s too rigid. They [Orthodox] are going to be left with a bunch of fitness nuts who will probably have kids with eating disorders.”

“But I fear for my Conservative Movement as well,” Horkis said. ”We have been so focused on a pathway of balance, of trying to maintain a goldilocks equilibrium between strict rules and no rules. I fear that the recent actions of a few Conservative rabbis proudly eating bowls of ice cream from the pulpit in a direct nod to the Reform movement will result in some absurd positions from the Rabbinical Assembly.”

Rabbi April Summer, head of the Conservative Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly (RA) has been slow to wade into the diet debate. While she did not object to Horkis’s comments that Conservative Judaism sought a balance between tradition and popularity, she thought that chasing Reform’s position was crossing lines in the sand. “Our movement understands the reality of the science of the healthy diet and we understand the human desires to eat fatty foods and be lazy. Our focus is not demand complete obedience nor to sanction any-and-all behavior. Our goal is to focus on empathy, about the people struggling to have a healthy diet.”

Rabbi Summer said that the RA was not currently issuing an official position on the parameters of a healthy diet. Instead, it would issue a statement that it understood the challenges of people in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Horkis was none-too-pleased with that approach. “Is our denomination going to ever stand for something? Will we ever not cave in to our cravings? We’re stuck on not offending people. That’s become our mission statement.”

For their part, non-Jewish dieticians have been amused. “There are just a few million Jews on the planet, and they are caught up making declarations ranging from there’s no such thing as a diet; you must stick to a diet, and we feel for those trying to keep to a diet. They’ve got a lot of opinions for such a small community. And one thing is clear, 80% of the Reform movement will likely be overweight in short order.”

That’s not really much of a prediction; 71% of non-Orthodox Jews aleady are.


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In Defense of Foundation Principles

There are times when a Democracy recalls its seminal moments and rises to its defense. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley did just that in elegant fashion. Will other leaders do so as well?

Human Rights as Foundation of the USA

In 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain. The US’s foundation principle laid out the argument that God gave people basic human rights and the primary role of government was to protect them. If the government could not do so, it no longer served its basic function and thereby lost its legitimacy and reason to exist.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

On June 6, 2017, almost 241 years later, Nikki Haley brought up America’s founding principle to the United Nations Human Rights Council in an effort to prod the global agency to live up to that mission that is dear to Americans.

My country has a unique beginning, founded on human rights, holding self-evident the truth that all men are created equal with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course America did not invent these rights – God did. Simply by our birth, human beings are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. These rights belong to all of us. They are not the gift of any government. They cannot legitimately be taken away by any government.

The American idea is that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Government should secure our rights, not violate them.”


US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressing the 
UN Human Rights Council June 6, 2017

Haley went on to admonish the global agency for neglecting its basic purpose of defending human rights by simply politicizing human rights:

“The Human Rights Council has been given a great responsibility. It has been charged with using the moral power of universal human rights to be the world’s advocate for the most vulnerable among us. Judged by this basic standard, the Human Rights Council has failed.

In case after case, it has been a forum for politics, hypocrisy, and evasion – not the forum for conscience that its founders envisioned. It has become a place for political manipulation, rather than the promotion of universal values. Those who cannot defend themselves turn to this Council for hope but are too often disappointed by inaction.

Once again, the world’s foremost human rights body has tarnished the cause of human rights. The United Nations must now act to reclaim the legitimacy of universal human dignity….This is a cause that is bigger than any one organization. If the Human Rights Council is going to be an organization we entrust to protect and promote human rights, it must change. If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the Council….In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves. If they continue to put politics ahead of human rights, they will continue to damage the cause that they supposedly serve.

Not everyone in the United States believes in God, but almost everyone still believes that people have a basic right to liberty and a pursuit of happiness. Some liberals – like former president Barack Obama – may mock fellow citizens that “cling to God and guns,” but they will still promote expanding the protection of liberties aggressively. On the other end of the political spectrum, conservative Americans may believe that ever-expanding government regulations impede personal liberties. All of these groups debate the tactics of defending human rights, but each believes in the foundation principle of the country of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the ultimate goal.

Holy Land as Foundation of Israel

Judaism is a unique religion in that it has a tie to a specific piece of land.

Laid out clearly and repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, God first promises the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendant in Genesis, and then to the Children of Israel on their return from Egypt in the other four books of the Bible. The later prophets add a third chapter of the promise of the land: that Jews will return home to the land of Israel from their period of exile.

International law did not focus on God’s gift of the land of Israel for the Jewish people, but it recognized Jewish history and the rights of Jews to their homeland in 1920 and 1922.  It would take until 1948 for the Jewish State to be reborn, in just a portion of their homeland. Similar to the 1920 San Remo agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, Israel laid out its foundation principle in 1948 as based on history, not religion, in the Israeli declaration of independence:

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, defiant returnees, and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country’s inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.”

These days, the United Nations has sought to undermine Israel’s foundation principle that it clearly understood a hundred years ago.

Several times in recent history, UNESCO has passed resolutions denying Jewish history in its holiest city of Jerusalem. In December 2016, UN Security Council denied that Jews have any legal rights to live east of the invisible 1949 Armistice Lines, including in Jerusalem.

It is not too dissimilar to Haley’s complaints about the pathetic actions at the United Nations. However, a stark difference is that all Americans know and defend America’s foundation principle, but many members of the Israeli government and population do not defend Israel’s foundation principle.

Consider that the Arab Joint List is the third largest political party in Israel’s 20th Knesset. One its members, Hanin Zoabi, has stated: “we threaten the Jewishness of the state. It’s true, but it’s not my problem, this is the problem of the racist definition of the state (of Israel) as a Jewish state… I do not represent the State of Israel nor do I speak for the State of Israel, but rather in the name of a struggle that performs the exact opposite of the role of the Israeli Knesset, according to its vision.

Other members of the Arab Joint List advocate against Israel, such as Ahmed Tibi who claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, despite its stated goal of destroying Israel and killing hundreds of Israelis.

Another Arab MK in the Joint List, Masud Ganaim, has denied basic Jewish history, that the Jewish Temples existed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, statinghistorically, religiously, it is a Muslim site, period. The State of Israel knows that Jews and Israel have no legitimacy to the site, except for their legitimacy as an occupier — a legitimacy (won) by force.

Many left-wing radical Jews welcome this negation of Israel’s foundation principle and Jewish history.

In November 2015, a group of left-wing radicals invited Zoabi to speak in Amsterdam in an event to commemorate Kristallnacht when Nazis killed Jews. They applauded her as she compared Israel’s policies to those of Nazis.

The liberal Israeli paper Haaretz hosted a conference in which it removed the Israeli flag because it offended some Arab speakers. One of the paper’s columnists said that Jews making aliyah, moving to Israel, is a crime as Jews have no rights to the land.

Left-wing extremists then continue to advance the cause of BDS – boycotting Israel – to the cheers of other members of the Joint List like Ayman Odeh. The circle of #FakeNews and hatred reinforces itself.


Nikki Haley is fully aware of the foundation principles of the United States and is not shy about taking her passion to the global stage. She knows that she has the support of Americans of all political leanings.

However, the situation in Israel is peculiarly dysfunctional. There are many Jews and members of the Israeli government that have politicized their emotions. In their desire to assist beleaguered Palestinian Arabs, they have attacked the fundamental underpinnings of Israel, that by right of history, Jews have an inalienable right to live as independent sovereign people throughout their homeland.

When Jews and many members of the Israeli government undermine the foundation principle of the Jewish State, how can it expect fair treatment on the global stage?

The poisonous venom of denying Jewish history and rights must end, as it corrodes the foundation of the state. It must be given no air. Starting at the Israeli government itself.

Anytime any member of Knesset denies basic facts of Jewish history, the government should label the comments as #FakeNews and begin to deny such MK speaking privileges in the Knesset. The Israeli government should also permanently install the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s exhibit “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” in the Knesset lobby (that same exhibit which the Arab League successfully got UNESCO to cancel).

It is right and commendable that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes the floor of the United Nations to proudly review Jewish history in the Jewish homeland. It is time for him to do more in Israel itself.


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It is Time to Insert “Jewish” into the Names of the Holy Sites

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

The Countries that Acknowledge the Jewish Temple May Surprise You

Squeezing Zionism

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

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