Peter Beinart is an Apologist for Anti-Semites

Peter Beinart writes for the New York Times, is a contributor to CNN and serves as the Jewish mouthpiece to mask anti-Semitism as something less than anti-Semitism to the world.

In attempting to defend Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) of the accusation that she promotes the destruction of Israel when she says “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” Beinart offered the following:

“I get why many Jews find slogan “Palestine from River to Sea” frightening. Some have used it to disregard Jewish rights (1st Hamas charter, for instance). But @RashidaTlaib has been clear that Jews + Palestinians deserve equality. Suggesting otherwise is a smear

Peter Beinart defends Hamas and Rashida Tlaib

The founding Hamas Charter in 1988 did not simply “disregard Jewish rights” as Beinart claims. It is a screed against Jews as evil creatures who have taken over Muslim land.

  • Opening: The text makes clear the problem is Jews: “they who have received the scriptures [Jews]… the greater part of them are transgressorssmitten with vileness wheresoever they are found.” The solution to the problem of Palestine is found in a religious war: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.
  • Preamble: The preamble lays out the enemy and charge: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. [Hamas] is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised.”
  • Articles 1 & 2: Makes clear that the fight is a religious one: “The Movement’s programme is Islamone of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood.”
  • Articles 3 & 4: Is a call to “raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils.” A call to expel all non-Muslims.
  • Articles 5 & 6: Hamas seeks to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestinein the absence of Islam, strife will be rife, oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out.”
  • Articles 7 & 8: States that the “struggle against the Zionist invadersgoes back to 1939,” well before the Six Day War in 1967, and should be fought by killing Jews: “Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews).”
  • Articles 9 & 10: Declared that evil arises wherever Islam is not in charge
  • Articles 11 & 12: Declare that “the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations,” and “Nothing in nationalism is more significant or deeper than in the case when an enemy should tread Moslem land” making non-Jews a national and religious offense and threat
  • Articles 13 & 14: Call for a religious war as there “is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad,” because diplomacy and “conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems.”
  • Articles 15 & 16: Declare that this is a religious war: “In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised…. the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.”
  • Articles 17 & 18: Call for every Muslim man, woman and child to fight to “liberate” the land from Zionists who are “hostile to humanity and Islam
  • Articles 19 & 20: Actually calls Jews by the names of the people who had slaughtered them: Jews are a “vicious enemy which acts in a way similar to NazismIn their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children… [Jews] attack people where their breadwinning is concerned, extorting their money,” repeating an antisemitic canard.
  • Articles 21 & 22: Tout conspiracy theories which combine Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the forgery ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’- “With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein…. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.
  • Articles 23 & 24: call for Muslim unity to fight their enemies.
  • Articles 25, 26 & 27: Call for Arab and Muslim unity in the “the liberation of Palestineour fate is one and the enemy is a joint enemy to all of us... Islamic Resistance Movement is a fighting movement.”
  • Article 28: Continues to label Zionists as contemptible: “The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasionusing all evil and contemptible waysinfiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizationsaim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion…. Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people.
  • Articles 29 & 30: Call for the Islamic world to fight “the ferocity of the Zionist offensive and the Zionist influence in many countries exercised through financial and media control.”
  • Article 31: Calls for the supremacy of Islam, “Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of IslamIt is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this regionThe Zionist Nazi activities against our people will not last for long.
  • Article 32: Continues to build on the conspiracy theories found in Articles 21 & 22: “The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.here is no way out except by concentrating all powers and energies to face this Nazi, vicious Tatar invasion. The alternative is loss of one’s country, the dispersion of citizens, the spread of vice on earth and the destruction of religious valuesfight with the warmongering Jews.”
  • Article 33: A call to global jihad against the Jews, “everywhere in the Islamic world will come forward in response to the call of duty while loudly proclaiming: Hail to Jihad. Their cry will reach the heavens and will go on being resounded until liberation is achieved, the invaders vanquished.”
  • Articles 34 & 35: Are calls for a religious war, “Moslems were able to retrieve the land only when they stood under the wing of their religious bannerThis is the only way to liberate PalestineNothing can overcome iron except iron.confront the Zionist invasion and defeat itrid themselves of the effects of ideological invasion.”
  • Article 36: Hamas are the “soldiers… against the Zionist enemy and its lackeys.”

That is the Hamas Charter which Beinart said simply “disregards Jewish rights.”

The United Nations disregards Jewish rights when it opposes Jews – and only Jews – praying in their holiest location. It disregards Jewish rights when it declares that Jews – and only Jews – cannot live in parts of their holy land.

Hamas doesn’t “disregard Jewish rights” as Beinart states; it denies the basic humanity and dignity of Jews and Judaism with vast conspiracy theories and calls to kill Jews and destroy Israel. To voluntarily and publicly defend the Hamas Charter in such way is outrageous and appalling. Beinart is as likely to defend the Nazi regime with such heinous sentiments, and underscores why he is so comfortable defending Tlaib.


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I See Dead People

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Rabbis as Political Leaders

The first part of the Hebrew bible showcases leaders who exhibit a full range of leadership qualities and attributes. The first monotheist, Abraham, was a religious leader who spoke with God, a military leader who fought battles, and a skilled negotiator who struck treaties with foreign kings. In later books of Old Testament, as the Jews took kings in Israel, the word of God was often imparted by a prophet who kept the ruler in line with God’s desires in a division of labor.

As Jews lost their holy land, the spiritual leaders assumed greater responsibilities to lead the community. Acting as administrators, the rabbis often made poor decisions, such as Rabbi Akiva who backed the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 132CE which almost led to the complete destruction of the Jewish people. Thousands of years later, many prominent rabbis in Europe did not lead their communities to flee to either the holy land or the United States and they perished in the Holocaust. Even today, many brilliant rabbis are not enforcing health protocols amid the pandemic, leading to hundreds of deaths.

It is therefore important to take note and appreciate a rabbi who was able to lead on a local, national and international level both on a spiritual and political basis. Such was Lord Jonathan Sachs who passed away on November 7, 2020.

Lord Sachs was not only the rabbi of the largest synagogue in England, but served as the Chief Rabbi of England who had a seat in the House of Lords. He wrote 25 books, was a professor at several universities and spoke around the world. He stood before English Parliament to clearly denounce anti-Semitism in a speech heard around the world. His message for compassion, love of every Jew, contributing to society, love of God, love of learning, commitment to Israel and building interfaith bonds made him a favorite among Jews and non-Jews around the world.

Lord Jonathan Sachs

God created the word through division, separating light and darkness, water and land, and man and woman. Over history, humanity saw similar benefits and instituted mechanisms to separate powers such as military, political, judicial and religious. So it is a rare situation for a leader to earn the respect of so many beyond an anointed title. Such was Lord Jonathan Sachs, an Orthodox rabbi who not only led the spiritual lives of the Jews of England but inspired people of all faiths around the world. May his memory be a blessing.


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Will Palestinians Ever be Taught About the Holocaust?

The United Nations plans on having a webinar on October 29, 2020 called “Educating against Racism” as part of its series related to societies dealing with painful histories. The goal is to “develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.” The Holocaust of Europe’s Jews is set to feature prominently alongside other atrocities.

One hopes that Palestinian Arabs will be directed to the site as their leaders have flatly refused to teach about the Holocaust in any manner.

In August 2009 the United Nations said that its would begin to discuss the Holocaust with the hundreds of thousands of children which it educates via UNRWA. The reaction from Palestinian leadership was fast and furious: absolutely not.

Hamas leaders in Gaza said that the Holocaust was “a lie invented by the Zionists.” The group penned a letter to UNRWA stating that they “refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.

UNRWA back-tracked but tried again to advance a review of the Holocaust in 2011. The reaction was the same.

Hamas Education Minister Mohammed Asqoul saidplaying with the education of our children in the Gaza Strip is a red line.” Zakaria al-Agha, a member of the PLO’s executive committee said that “teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian students in U.N. schools is unacceptable.” A school teacher at one of the locations added “the agency [UNRWA] will open the gates of hell with this step.

Holocaust education for Palestinians was stymied again.

In 2017, UN Watch covered how UNRWA teachers actively DENY THE HOLOCAUST in public and on social media, including Abed Naser Hassen. It is terrifying to consider what these teachers are teaching in private classrooms, as the next generation of Palestinians is taught to trivialize the slaughter of Jews and glorify Arab “martyrs” who kill Jews.

Even after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced a normalization of relations with Israel in September 2020, Qatar continues to teach its students that there were valid reasons for the Nazis to hate Jews and that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust has been grossly exaggerated. It is no coincidence that Qatar is Hamas’s biggest sponsor.

The October 2020 UN program is the second part in the series, the first one having been aired in July with a five person panel. The moderator was scheduled to be Maher Nasser, who served as Chief of the New York liaison office for UNRWA. It is perhaps no surprise that he failed to ultimately moderate the discussion, as he likely came under intense pressure from fellow Palestinians to not discuss the Holocaust.

Palestinians in school in Hebron (photo: Najeh Hashlamoun/Flash 90)

That first webinar ran for one and one-half hours discussing how museums and memorials impact memory and their role in forming a just society today. While it touched upon recent decisions to remove statues of slave traders in Britain and the United States, it did not reflect on the dozens of Palestinian memorials to Arabs who slaughtered Jews.

As the UN prepares to educate people about racism this week, it must finally insist that its own schools educate Palestinian children about the Holocaust and the role Arabs played in the 1930’s and 1940’s which enabled the murder of tens of thousands of Jews. With such action, perhaps the next generation of Palestinians will not elect a leader who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial (like Mahmoud Abbas) and establish an enduring peace with their Jewish neighbors.


Related First One Through articles:

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

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

The Ultimate Chutzpah: A New Form of Holocaust Denial

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

Failing to Mention the British White Paper of 1939 when Discussing Refugees

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Bad Education @ TheFamousPeople

The amount of hatred and anti-Semitism in the world is often attributed to ignorance when it should be placed on bad education. Numerous articles, websites and textbooks write blatant lies which become absorbed as facts by readers.

Consider the website the TheFamousPeople.com. It lists information on people throughout history from particular countries. The list and background information is astounding and appalling.

The site states that “Palestine is a recognized state in the Middle East that occupies the West Bank and Gaza Strip of the Palestinian region.” In fact, Palestine is not a recognized state by the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom (actually almost the entirety of the English-speaking world) and many other countries. Such theoretical state obviously has no defined territory and certainly isn’t a sub-component of “the Palestinian region” which one can only presume the authors mean includes Israel.

The famous Palestinian people on the site starts with Yasser Arafat before listing Herod the Great, King of Judea as the second. Yes, that mad Jewish king who build the Jewish Temple Mount which exists to this day who lived well over 100 years before the Romans renamed the region to “Palestina.” Even Absalom, King David’s son who lived 1,000 years before King Herod is somehow listed as a Palestinian.

Who, praytell, does this bizzarro site list as famous Israelis one might wonder.

Fortunately, King Solomon hits their list of famous Israelis. But so does Judas Iscariot, “Betrayer of Jesus,” coming in as the eighth most famous Israeli. To underscore the point of the sneaky and back-stabbing Israeli, Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy hanged by Syria, is listed right after Judas.

Neither King David nor Jesus make the list of famous Israelis at all.

Famous Israelis according to TheFamousPeople.com website lists Judas Iscariot

Anti-Semitism is found everywhere in the media and online without directly stating a hatred for Jews and/or the Jewish State. It is important to recognize it and call it out when one sees it. Here’s the link to their contact section. Feel free to link to this article.


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Antisemitism Includes the Denial of Jewish History

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

For The NY Times, Antisemitism Exists Because the Alt-Right is Racist and Israel is Racist

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

The Cultural Appropriation of the Jewish ‘Promised Land’

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For the Sins of 5780…

… for supporting the antisemitic and racist Black Lives Matter group

… for apologizing to Blacks when Blacks kill Jews

… for pretending that only White people are anti-Semites and that there hasn’t been a spike in Blacks murdering Jews

… for defending rioters attempting to destroy America’s founding principles

… for enabling the Progressive war on Israel

… for believing the news from CNN and The New York Times

… for pretending that the problem is all in social media and not the mainstream media

… for voting for Socialists

… for contributing to alma maters which promote antisemitism

… for donating to J Street

… for using J Street’s tagline “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” when it is nothing of the sort

… for giving cover to politicians who slam Jews

… for inviting anti-Israel speakers into our synagogues

… for being silent when liberal politicians sought to funnel money into Gaza

… for considering qualifying or reducing investments in Israel

… for not clearly identifying Hamas as an antisemitic terrorist organization

… for not holding Palestinian Arabs accountable for their actions and statements

… for not advocating for Jewish prayer on the Jewish Temple Mount

… for still referring to a place called “East Jerusalem” which only existed for less than two decades in the 1950’s and 1960’s

… for the cultural appropriation of the term “promised land” and not ascribing it to Jews and Israel

… for saying Donald Trump has done nothing positive for Israel

… for dismissing antisemitism while being particularly sensitive to racism

… for demanding nothing from Jewish leadership

… for fighting against funding police for Jewish institutions

… for pretending that something that makes you feel spiritual is Tikkun Olam and the essence of Judaism

… for not articulating clearly the difference and inter-relationships between Jews, Judaism and Israel

… for not advocating for the dismantling of UNRWA

… for being silent as European countries banned kosher meat

… for not taking COVID-19 seriously

For all these things, please pardon us.


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For the Sins of 5777 of…

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David Duke, Ilhan Omar and the Three Lenses of Anti-Semitism

Antisemitism comes in a variety of colors and creeds. The most commonly called out in the media is alt-right White supremacists. The mascot for these Jew-haters is David Duke, a leader in the Ku Klux Klan who was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1989 to 1992. His antisemitism combines race, religion and politics as White, Christian and Conservative into a singular orientation of “White supremacy.”

Antisemitism is found in the other extreme but often viewed in three distinct lenses: Black, Muslim and Leftist. Many notable anti-Semites easily check off one or two of the boxes such as Louis Farrakhan (Black and Muslim), Linda Sarsour (Muslim and Leftist) and Roger Waters (Leftist). These anti-Semites often defy the neat caricature of David Duke on the right but the trifecta can best be painted as Ilhan Omar, a Black Muslim Somali-American who is serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota.

The asymmetry of the amalgam on one side (White+Christian+Right) and the dissected anti-Semites on the other (Black/Muslim/Left) creates a number of issues in confronting baseless hatred of groups.

  • Group Hate. There is an easy understanding that not all Blacks or Muslims or Progressives hate Jews. People are evaluated on the basis of their statements and actions, not by the inherent traits of their persons. However, the same cannot be said of the amalgam painted on the right in which many people view White Christian Conservatives as White supremacist racists and anti-Semites unless proven otherwise. The portrayal of the alt-right is that of the establishment patriarchy, of smug White men of privilege who harbor hate. Many people jump to a conclusion that a White Republican is a racist – or as Hillary Clinton said, “a deplorable” – by default. They therefore quickly harbor their own hate for such persons.
  • Undeserved Absolution. The converse is that the Black anti-Semites as well as Muslims, Leftists and women are given a pass as they are considered the persecuted as minorities. People seek to either ignore or excuse their Jew-hatred (Blacks kill Jews because of gentrification; Muslims hate Jews because they control Muslim holy land). But ugly racism and antisemitism are noxious from any source and the shields assembled by progressive defenders are unworthy for the likes of Omar and compatriot Rashida Tlaib.
  • Smug Self-Righteousness. Knee-jerk reactions to hating White Christians as racists and absolving Blacks, Muslims and Leftists goes beyond stupidity. It actively places a person in the very same camp of racists and anti-Semites that they seek to distance themselves from, by participating in group hatred OF Conservatives and encouraging group hate FROM Progressives. Wrapping the bile in smug self-righteousness only makes these haters more blind and unable to change.

The liberal media fosters these flawed appraoches.

Recently, The New Yorker covered the book “White Too Long,” with an opening:

“In a 2019 nationwide survey, eighty-six per cent of white evangelical Protestants and seventy per cent of both white mainline Protestants and white Catholics said that the “Confederate flag is more a symbol of Southern pride than of racism”; nearly two-thirds of white Christians over all said that killings of African-American men by the police are isolated incidents rather than part of a broader pattern of mistreatment; and more than six in ten white Christians disagreed with the statement that “generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.”

For the magazine and book, the poll analyzed White Christians. It coupled race with religion and concluded that not reaching the morally appropriate conclusions of the author about the state of upward mobility for Blacks and agreeing that there is systemic racism in police departments marked this group as overwhelmingly racist.

Yet the magazine and most liberal media wrote NOTHING about the ADL polls of 2014 and 2015 that showed that Muslim countries are almost completely antisemitic and that in non-Muslim countries, Muslims are three to five times more likely to be anti-Semites than Christians. The ADL polls questions were also not so vague as those posited in “White Too Long”: the respondents said that Jews have too much power and too much money and only care about their own. These were direct and clear sentiments of Jew-hatred by Muslims, not inferred racism as was done for White Christians. If anything, the media did the very opposite of giving weight to the study, as New York magazine doubted the entirety of the study in an article called “The ADL’s Flawed Anti-Semitism Survey.”

But basing White Christians in the media is noble. The author of “White Too Long” was featured in NBCNews, The Atlantic, NPR and The Washington Post. CNN covered the book and led that these White Christian racists are all supporters of President Donald Trump. With the amalgam of Whites+Christians+Rightists as racists complete, it is easy to add antisemitism to the mix.

Society has reached a particularly bizarre point where a person’s inherent traits are the marks of being a racist and anti-Semite as well as being incapable of being a racist and anti-Semite.

  • Whites are inherently racist, or at a minimum benefit from a system of racism, while Blacks cannot be racists as they have no power
  • Christians are not taught love but hate, while Muslims have a different set of values which we simply don’t understand
  • Conservatives’ focus on capitalism is cold and ripe for exploitation, while progressives’ orientation towards empathy precludes baseless hatred

Intersectionality has made all Whites and Christians and Conservatives evil both individually and collectively, while it has simultaneously granted perfect absolution to Blacks, Muslims and Progressives.

This modern formulation is pure nonsense but is becoming the lifeblood of the Democratic Party. It has made them blind to the mainstreaming of anti-Semites in their midst while making it impossible to work in a bi-partisan manner on a wide range of issues.

All people must consider others based on their actions and comments, not their race, religion, gender or political party. As such, people should despise Ilhan Omar as much as they hate David Duke because Jew-hatred is not the sole dominion of a single type.

David Duke’s March 2019 Twitter feed on admiration for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Term “Z.O.G.” means “Zionist Occupation Government”


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Organized and Disorganized Antisemitism

Between Right-Wing and Left-Wing Antisemitism

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

A Deplorable Definition

For The NY Times, Antisemitism Exists Because the Alt-Right is Racist and Israel is Racist

Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism

Criticizing Muslim Antisemitism is Not Islamophobia

The Heartwarming Story of My Guilty Demise

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

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

As Ilhan Omar Clearly Demonstrates, Not Every “First” is Jackie Robinson

Antisemitism Includes the Denial of Jewish History

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CNN Eliminates Jews in Martin Luther King’s Final Speech

On April 3, 1968, Rev Martin Luther King Jr, delivered his final speech. It is considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

And CNN edited it.

Just after the one minute mark of his speech in the third paragraph, King set the stage to compare the journey of African Americans from a life of racism to one of liberty, much as the biblical Jews left slavery in Egypt to their promised land. It served as a foreshadow to the end of the speech in which King compared himself to the Jewish prophet Moses who went “up to the mountaintop” to look over to the “promised land” in which he could not enter, even as the Children of Israel succeeded in their trek.

The actual words King said were:

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.”

But CNN removed the words in red above “and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egyptwhich described the Jews as “God’s children” who left slavery towards their promised land in Israel. Instead, the CNN text reads like a general travelogue, stripped of any significance. The promised land is sanitized of its Jewish essence, and applicable to any and all.

CNN edited one of the greatest speeches in modern history which continues to be read to this day, and removed the plight of the Jews and their three thousand year old-Zionism, presumably to make a political point. And a very noxious one at that.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Cultural Appropriation of the Jewish ‘Promised Land’

Various segments of western society have become critical about “cultural appropriation” in which the majority group adopts customs of another group without explicitly acknowledging its origins, as to do so would be both stealing and effectively wiping out the essence of the minority culture. The issue is even more concerning when the majority group’s acts of appropriation specifically target religious and holy items of minority groups.

There is no greater example of this trend than the broad theft of the Jewish “Promised Land.”

In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham to leave his home “to the land that I will show you.” When he passed through Shechem (Nablus) God said “I will assign this land to your offspring.” It is a speech which God would repeat throughout the Bible to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and the Children of Israel, that this specific land was promised “as an everlasting possession.” (Genesis 17:8) It is a core belief of Judaism.

Over time, non-Jewish musicians and poets would use the phrase “Promised Land” as a generic destination without noting its specific identity to the land of Israel for Jews. Chuck Berry sang about it (later covered by Elvis) in reference to California as a destination for his music to reach the masses. Bruce Springsteen sang about the “promised land” as a place of yearning, a mental and spiritual destination beyond current problems.

When Arab invaders brought Islam into Israel in the seventh and eighth centuries, they seized Jewish holy sites like the Tomb of the Jewish Matriarchs and Patriarchs in Hebron and turned it into a mosque. They built the Dome of the Rock atop the Jewish Temple Mount. The Muslims even adopted the notion of a “waqf” as a religious holy space. As opposed to Jews who viewed the land of Israel as holy because it was promised to them by God, Muslims believe that anywhere Muslims conquered and established the supremacy of Islam became a Muslim holy land. As such, Muslims attempted to erase the physical Jewish Promised Land as a land of their own.

Politicians mostly avoid using the term “Promised Land.” They might note that Israel is a “Holy Land” which is “sacred to Jews and Christians and Muslims” as President Obama noted in a national prayer breakfast in 2014, stripping the uniqueness of the Promised Land for Jews. When Obama did use the term “Promised Land” it was as a metaphor for when Black children will have full equality to live in an America devoid of bigotry and racism.


The worst and most feared element of cultural appropriation happens constantly in regards to the “Promised Land,” in which it is either used generically as a metaphor without any connection to Jews, or when applied to the physical land of Israel, it is noted as holy to the three monotheistic faiths and not uniquely promised to the Children of Israel.

We should aspire to follow the example of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. whose final speech in 1968 pulled together the story of the Jewish Promised Land in connection with his desire for a more perfect society:

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there…

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

The “promised land” is commonly used as a metaphor for a perfect society. Let’s strive for that perfection by acknowledging that its foundation is the Jewish State of Israel.


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Martin Luther King and Zionism

The Cave of the Jewish Matriarch and Arab Cultural Appropriation

Linda Sarsour as Pontius Pilate

The Remarkable Tel Jerusalem

The Jewish Holy Land

Jews, Judaism and Israel

The Nation of Israel Prevails

“Flowing with Milk and Honey”

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

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NY Times Ignores Centrality of the Jewish Temple Mount

On July 31, 2020, the New York Times wrote a moving piece about the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the hajj. It described how the coronavirus limited the number of people who could attend the hajj this year and the various steps which the kingdom undertook to try to protect the health of the smaller gathering to Islam’s holiest location.

I looked to see if the Times covered the solemn day of the Ninth of Av (July 30, 2020), when Jews traveled to Jerusalem, the Western Wall and the Jewish Temple Mount to mourn the destruction of the first and second temples. While Jewish media outlets like the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel wrote about it, the Times ignored the story.

The Times did write a 1,300-word article about the Temple Mount on May 15, 2020 when it described how Muslims could not visit the site for Ramadan because of the pandemic. It seemed that Islam’s third holiest site which has no specific connection to Ramadan was an important focus for the liberal paper even as it ignored writing about the pandemic’s impact on Jews visiting their holiest site on Jewish holidays.

I looked back further to see if the Times covered any of the three Jewish holidays which call upon Jews to visit Jerusalem and the Temple Mount: Shavuot (celebrated May 28-30, 2020), Passover (celebrated April 8-19 this year) and Sukkot (which will be celebrated October 2-9, 2020). It did.

On March 30 it published an article “For Shut-In Pilgrims, the World’s Holiest Sites Are a Click Away,” which covered Jerusalem, Mecca and Rome. While Mecca was devoted to Muslims and Rome to Christians, the Times described Jerusalem from the vantage point of “Passover, Easter and Ramadan — touchstone holidays of three major religions.” Not only was Judaism not worthy of a unique article as was Islam (twice, in May and July), but when an article was written, the other monotheistic faiths were also covered, AND when Judaism’s holiest city was mentioned, it was noted as holy to other faiths as well.

Christianity and Islam pushed their religions globally for over one thousand years, converting and killing non-believers. Their numbers now count in the billions and their faithful are spread around the globe, while the Jewish population was decimated with only about 15 million people today, of which 84% live in Israel and the United States. Arguably the paltry sum of Jews makes them barely worth mentioning to global papers.

But it’s the deliberate denial of Jewish Jerusalem that irks me.

The July 31 NY Times article explained to its readers that “the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is required for all Muslims who are physically and financially able to go at least once in their lifetimes.ONCE IN THEIR LIFETIMES. Why only once? Because there are 1.8 billion Muslims living all over the world. After pushing the religion around the globe it is impossible for so many people to come to Islam’s holiest city every year.

In contrast, Judaism calls on all Jews to visit Jerusalem and the Temple Mount THREE TIMES EVERY YEAR. It calls on Jews to do this because the religion was not orchestrated to spread to the corners of the world with forced conversions on the masses, inflating the numbers of adherents. Judaism was designed as a local religion for a small nation, in the Jewish holy land with its holy city in the center.

I appreciate the beautiful article The New York Times wrote about Mecca and Islam. I wonder if it will ever write with such sensitivity about the Jews, Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple Mount.


Related First One Through articles:

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

There is No Jewish Temple Mount for The New York Times

The New York Times All Out Assault on Jewish Jerusalem

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

Names and Narrative: CNN’s Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Complex Inversion

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

Antisemitism Includes the Denial of Jewish History

The Nerve of ‘Judaizing’ Neighborhoods

Palestineism is Toxic Racism

I Understand Why the Caged Jew Sighs

The Remarkable Tel Jerusalem

The Cave of the Jewish Matriarch and Arab Cultural Appropriation

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Only Jews Pray at the Flying Buttresses of Notre Dame

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France is notable for its beauty in many respects including the remarkable stained glass windows and the flying buttresses which support the large structure. In April 2019, a fire destroyed the roof and much of the furniture, but the core elements of the building remained intact. Still, prayer services have been cancelled until repairs can be made.

Despite the centrality of this important church, church-goers made arrangements to pray elsewhere. The other houses of worship may not be ideal yet they serve the same basic function of prayer. The devout French do not line up for services outside the charred remains while waiting the day they can enter.

Only Jews do that.

The Jewish Temple which stood in the center of the Temple Mount was destroyed on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av nearly 2,000 years ago. Still, Jews would ascend the mount to pray, as the very land was holy even without the Temple being present.

Around 1550, Ottoman leader Suleiman I made various structural improvements to the city of Jerusalem, including rebuilding the exterior city walls. While he made improvements to the Temple Mount which by then held the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, he pushed the Jews off of the Mount and set aside the supporting western wall of the Temple Mount as a designated area for the Jews to pray.

Jews have been praying at this retaining wall of the Temple Mount ever sense.

On this ninth day of Av, let us not forget that the Western Wall is simply a talisman, an object to rub to bring us luck, while the holiest spot for Jews remains only meters away but off-limits to Jewish prayer according to current laws. In a world afire with quests for social and racial justice, it is well past time to fight for religious justice for Jews to ascend and openly pray at their holiest location.

No Parisian would ever imagine praying at Notre Dame’s flying buttresses, and Jews must climb above the consolation wall to re-establish their basic human rights. #JewishTempleMountPrayers

The Old City of Jerusalem including the Jewish Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Compound


Related First One Through articles:

Calls From the Ashes

Losing the Temples, Knowledge and Caring

The Cave of the Jewish Matriarch and Arab Cultural Appropriation

The Dark Side of Jerusalem Day: Magnifying the Kotel and Minimizing the Temple Mount

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

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