There are many flowery quotes about peace that are aspirational but difficult to achieve if your counterparty cannot recognize anything decent or moral about you. In the face of ongoing terrorism, an approach of “make peace with those who will make peace, and fight those who want to fight you” is appropriate while inelegant.
There are segments of Palestinians society that neither hate nor want to kill Jews and they should be actively engaged and promoted.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted a global poll about anti-Semitism and found that the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza were by far the most Jew-hating. Approximately 93% of those polled were found to harbor anti-Semitic prejudice.
The Palestinians polled themselves in June 2021 and asked the same question they ask every three months “Are you in favor of armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside of Israel?” Again, the majority of Palestinians, 52% either strongly support or support the idea; 44% opposed attacks.
These two polls are good examples about why the conflict continues: the majority of Palestinian Arabs despise and want to kill Jews.
But an optimist can look at the 7% of Palestinian Arabs who do not harbor anti-Semitic attitudes and the 44% who oppose attacking Jewish civilians and see a hopeful opening. Perhaps this segment of Palestinian society can rise above the systemic Jew-hatred and be partners for peace.
While the Palestinian glass is far from half full, those wishing to see peace in the holy land should consider ways of promoting the sliver of Palestinians who recognize and support the dignity and basic human rights of Jews.
Progressive and conservative people around the world have different interpretations of justice.
For progressives, justice is achieved by enabling people who have been marginalized to succeed. It seeks to even the playing field by affording those at the edges some advantages to address systemic roadblocks which kept them down for so long. Justice demands reform in various areas beyond economy and law, to include healthcare and the environment.
Conservatives view justice through a narrower lens of tradition and law. They appreciate order and security, and upholding historic truths. Justice demands a system which rewards or punishes risk and investment. It requires uneven outcomes in order to spur overall growth.
Zionism speaks justice to both.
Liberals rallied to Zionism after the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe. They saw systemic anti-Semitism commit a genocide of millions of European Jews in the 1940’s and then watched the Muslim world expunge its Jewry from 1948 through the 1970’s. A home where Jews could be safe and self-governing was clearly needed in the creation and building up of the Jewish State.
Conservatives were some of the earliest Zionists – even pre-dating the first Zionist Congress in 1897 – and continue to be strong supporters. They appreciate Jews’ 3,300 year-history in the land of Israel, and understand that “the promised land” is a religious term uniquely meant for Jews about that Jewish holy land.
Progressives are amazed that a small new country was able to absorb immigrants fleeing persecution from dozens of diverse countries including: Morocco, Russia, Argentina, Uruguay, France, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, Ukraine and Yemen. There is no country in the world that has such a high percentage of immigrants coming into the country – virtually penniless – from so many lands. None.
Conservatives are amazed at the stability and application of the law in Israel. While other countries in the region have killed hundreds of thousands in wars, the strong Israeli army has kept its wars very short, minimizing death tolls. While the authoritarian leaders of neighboring countries stay in power for decades, Israel holds genuine elections and prosecutes its leaders, sometimes sending former prime ministers to prison.
People from across the political spectrum may not know some statistics about Israel but aren’t surprised to hear them. For example, Israel is the only religious country which has more tourists each year from a different religion (the Jewish State has more Christian tourists than any other religious group; other religious countries like Denmark have mostly Christian visitors; Iran, mostly Muslim visitors). Some facts may surprise them, such as the fact that the Arab population in Jerusalem has gone up by 3.4 times since 1980 when Israel declared the city as its eternal capital, compared to a rise of only 1.9 times for the Jewish population.
Both progressives and conservatives marvel at the religious freedoms in the only Jewish State. Muslims may wear hijabs (banned in France), build minarets near mosques (banned in Switzerland) and have halal meat (banned in the Scandinavian countries). Anyone of any faith can become prime minister in Israel (only Christians can lead Greece, only Muslims in Syria). Israel even helped the Mormons build a church in Jerusalem! and the Baha’i have a major temple in Haifa (the faith is banned in Qatar).
Liberals love that Israel is a green country, leading the world in recycling plastic. It was the first country in the Middle East to have wind farms and a bike sharing program. It also has a universal healthcare system for every citizen and permanent resident. Meanwhile, conservatives love that the Jewish State has a thriving free market built on capitalism. It has more companies listed on Nasdaq than any other country except for China (a country with a population 155 times as large).
Israel has strived to build a country that incorporates freedom, justice and fairness in an open, secure and vibrant multi-cultural society, in the heart of a turbulent and extremist neighborhood.
When Israel declared itself an independent state in 1948, it called for justice instinctively understood by both progressives and conservatives:
“THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Israel was designed as a particular Jewish State, focused on Jewish immigration and a vision of peace based on the Jewish bible, but also with “complete equality of social and political rights to all inhabitants irrespective of religion.” The country’s foundational principles stressed both the particular and universal in a unique and bold ambition for justice for all: a space for the most persecuted minority in the world, and a philosophy of justice based on history, tradition, truth and fairness.
Progressive and conservative people around the world have different interpretations of justice, yet both see their visions realized in Israel.
When the Children of Israel were walking through the desert on their way to the Jewish holy land, they complained to Moses that they lacked good food and drink (Numbers 20:1-13). God commanded Moses to take his staff and to go with his brother Aaron to gather the people and speak to a rock to produce water. Moses grabbed his staff and instead of speaking to the rock, he hit it with his staff which shot forth water. Despite producing the desired result of delivering water, Moses and Aaron were punished with not being able to enter the Jewish promised land. The site became known as Mei Merivah, Bitter Waters.
On its face, the difference in Moses’ action seems minor, hitting versus speaking to the rock. The end result was that water came out and the Jews were happy. It begs the question why God punished Moses and Aaron so severely.
When God commanded Moses to take the staff when he stood before the Jewish people, it was to show that he was acting as an agent of God. The staff was a symbol of Moses acting on God’s behalf. However, Moses used the staff as a tool with which to strike the rock. The Jews witnessed Moses producing the water with his strike of the implement upon the rock, rather than internalizing that God had produced the water. Yes, the Jews got what they wanted but they attributed the benefit solely from the hands of Moses and Aaron rather than acknowledging the actual source of the blessing.
Mistaking a symbol as a tool goes on in Israel today as well.
Jerusalem Day is a wonderful celebration which commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem which had been divided when the Jordanian army invaded and illegally annexed half of the city. For 19 years (1949-1967), the Arabs forbade Jews from living, visiting or praying in the Old City and at the Jewish Temple Mount and Western Wall. The anti-Semitic edicts changed in June 1967 after Jordan attacked Israel again but this time lost, a true cause for celebration by human rights activists everywhere.
During the Jerusalem Day festivities, some Israeli nationalists have a Flag Parade where they march through the streets of Jerusalem, including the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, waiving Israeli flags as they demonstrate that the area is under Israeli sovereignty. The group often taunts the Palestinian and Israeli Arabs as they sing the Israeli national anthem and practice their Arab curse words.
Like their ancestors of 3,300 years ago, the Children of Israel got what they want but sometimes miss the important message: the Israeli flag and national anthem are symbols of Jewish sovereignty once again in their holy land. To use them as tools to provoke Arabs undermines the blessing.
The reunification of Judaism’s holiest city should be marked on holidays and every day with Jews walking, praying, learning and living in every corner of Jerusalem. Proudly wearing Jewish symbols and speaking holy words will enable all of the Children of Israel – including Moses and Aaron – to be present in Judaism’s eternal capital.
Joseph Borgen, a 29-year old Jewish New Yorker, was walking on his hometown’s streets on a sunny May day, when a gang of Arabs surrounded him, beat him to the ground and sprayed his face with mace for a minute. The police apprehended one of the assailants, Waseem Awawdeh, 23, from Brooklyn who said “If I could do it again, I would do it again.“
The unprovoked hate crime happened amid various pro-Israel and pro-HAMAS protests in New York City in the aftermath of a 10-day fight between the two forces. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted after the attack on Borgen “Anti-semitism has NO place in our city.“
But it very much does. Attacking Jews because of Israel is celebrated on the stages of New York’s opera house and loudly defended in the liberal New York media.
In October 2014, the Metropolitan Opera House put on “The Death of Klinghoffer,” an opera that explored the killing of an elderly wheelchair-bound Jew vacationing on an anniversary cruise around Greece, by Palestinian terrorists. The New York Times wrote that the general manager of the Met, Peter Gelb, noted that the composer “John Adams said that in composing ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ he tried to understand the hijackers and their motivations, and to look for humanity in the terrorists.” The Times editorial on June 19, 2014 offered its disapproval that “bowing to the wishes of Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters and other Jewish critics,” the Met cancelled the global telecast of the show so the whole world could not watch the spectacle. The New Yorker magazine wrote that “when Adams walked onstage, during the curtain calls, he received a huge ovation. I imagine that a similar roar would have greeted Gelb had he appeared,” and added “the opera is not anti-Semitic, nor does it glorify terrorism.”
If Jews would only read the local progressive rags, they would know not to be offended and let the masses enjoy their re-education that Palestinian terrorists have rightful grievances to attack Jews – ambulatory or otherwise – around the world.
Alas, those powerful Jews ignored their enlightened teachers and tried to stop a production that explored “the humanity of the terrorists” in killing an American Jew who had absolutely nothing to do with Palestinians. This became another reason to hate Jews, again of their own making: because of Israel and because of their powerful control on society. Don’t take the progressive press’ word for it: ask New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo about their oversized clout.
For the past decade, the liberal media has systematically ignored, minimized and excused anti-Semitism. For example, when their champion President Barack Obama said in February 2015 that “vicious zealots… randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” not one liberal media outlet challenged the absurd assertion that the attack was not rooted in anti-Semitism and that the killer was not targeting Jews.
In March 2016, the New York-based United Nations passed resolutions to ban the usage of religion when tied to terrorism in an effort to curb “Islamophobia.” Yet less than a week later, it called out “Jewish extremists.” The Arab and Muslim-dominated global agency acted to “protect” the honor of 1.8 billion Muslims but had no concern about vilifying a few million Jews at the same time.
In early 2019, the leaders of the U.S. Congress could similarly not condemn Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a freshman member who repeatedly spouted anti-Semitic bile, and instead called out generic hatred (which Omar called a victory for Muslims). Some months later, the same members of Congress – including New York Senator Chuck Schumer – knelt on the floor wearing African Kente cloth to specify that Black Lives Matter in a moment of solidarity he could not find for fellow Jews earlier.
In September 2019, New York’s only Ivy League school, Columbia University, invited Malaysian Prime Minster Mahathir Mohamad to speak on campus, even though it was widely known that he referred to Jews as “hooked nosed” and was “glad to be labeled an anti-Semite.” Shortly thereafter, the Columbia Alumni for Campus Fairness produced a report documenting 100 anti-Jewish incidents at Columbia and Barnard over the prior three years including a swastika painted on a Jewish professor’s office and various faculty members who promote Holocaust denial.
The reality is that Jews have always been the most targeted victims of hate crimes in the United States – more than Blacks, Muslims or the LGBT community. They’ve been attacked when there have been fights in Israel and when it has been calm, when the Democrats ruled as well as when Republicans were in charge. The anti-Semitism is a disgraceful constant.
What is also undeniable, is that physical attacks on Jews have skyrocketed as politicians call Jews both powerful and dangerous while the liberal press anoints Victims of Preference which cannot be Jews. The daily headlines and editorials in The New York Times serve as propaganda material for HAMAS, inverting cause-and-effect, by repeating lies about “ethnic cleansing” and refusing to mention the anti-Semitic genocidal foundation of HAMAS. To cleanse any appearance of anti-Jewish animus, it allows Jews to join the fray.
New York’s cultural and educational scene had welcomed anti-Semites to the stage, and liberal politicians and press took box seats. As the world democratized content, the play moved outside. It’s called ‘The Maiming of the Jew,’ and features real New Yorkers.
To listen to the United Nations and to read the mainstream media, one would think that there is a true understanding of Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian advocates argue on their behalf so often, one naturally assumes that they have their current sentiments thoroughly summed up.
Alas, “hope” was not just the aspirational theme for Barack Obama, but the mantra of the Palestinian fan club. The UN, alt-left press and politicians are on a marketing and propaganda mission, and facts are a necessary casualty.
Some examples touted repeatedly by the UN and left-wing extremists include: that the principal issue for Palestinians is the Israeli “occupation”; that the people of Gaza just want to live in peace alongside Israel; that they are ruled by an Islamic militant group they don’t want or like; and that they support a two-state solution.
These are all lies.
The Palestinians poll themselves every three months whose findings showcase the opposite sentiments. Here are some recent findings from March 2021:
Palestinians are primarily concerned about the failure of their own economy and leadership. The number one issue which Palestinians want the Palestinian Authority to address is the economy. The second issue is the rampant corruption in the leadership ranks and in public institutions. Coming in third is not wanting Israeli Jews to live in the West Bank and Gaza and dealing with the Israeli military. (When the question was asked slightly differently in the same poll, the top three issues included reunifying Gaza and the West Bank – “occupation” came in fourth).
Palestinians are not in favor of a “two-state solution.” Roughly 57% of Palestinians oppose the idea, with Gazans opposing it even more (65%) than Arabs in the West Bank (51%).
Gazans support attacking Israelis. Roughly 70% of Gazans said that they support physically attacking Israeli civilians inside of Israel. That is down from 77% who were in favor of attacking Jewish civilians in December 2020. This seemingly outrageous and horrific question is actually asked each quarter, and the high positive response rate shows why.
Palestinians hate their “moderate” leader. Roughly 68% of Palestinians want acting President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas to resign immediately.
Palestinians want a terrorist to serve as president. When offered the idea of voting for anyone for president, the leading candidate is Marwan Barghouti (22%) a terrorist convicted of killing five people and sitting in an Israeli jail. The runner-up is Ismail Haniyeh (14%), the head of the terrorist group Hamas.
These findings are consistent with the 2014 ADL poll which found the Palestinians to be the most anti-Semitic in the world (93% – almost every Palestinian Arab harbors anti-Jewish attitudes), who elected a Holocaust denier as president and the anti-Semitic Hamas terrorist group to 58% of the parliament in the last elections.
Yet this entire fact-pattern is concealed in the narrative packaged to the world. Without the underlying information, people cannot ponder their own assessment of the Arab-Israel conflict.
A thoughtful reviewer of the situation armed with facts might consider that Palestinian Arabs are running their own version of the region’s “Arab Spring” in which locals rebel against their leaders because of systemic corruption of governmental institutions and terrible economic conditions. In the Palestinian Arab Spring, the local Arabs see more to be gained in attacking the wealthier Jewish State next door rather than their own leadership so as to 1) get the west to spend more monies in rebuilding their failed institutions and infrastructure, 2) win more land or trade from Israel, 3) push as many stateless Arabs as possible into the richer Israel in a “right of return”, or 4) ultimately get a one-state solution in which all of the Arabs get a huge upgrade by merging into Israel, a first world functioning country. Such viewpoint leads to a conclusion that the latest May 2021 fighting was principally a response to PA President Mahmoud Abbas cancelling the first elections to be held in 15 years, not protests to a localized eviction of squatters in Jerusalem.
If the world knew of the Palestinians’ anti-Semitism, preference for violence and a one state- solution, and their primary disgust at their own leaders’ failures, perhaps they would be less likely to believe the chants at the United Nations, from “progressive” politicians and the alt-left media that it is Israeli actions which are to blame for the current death and destruction. It would plainly reveal the alt-left’s ongoing global quest of moving assets from those with more to those with less, regardless of the actual situation in the Middle East and merits and methodology of doing so.
The press prefers to censor conservative and pro-Israel platforms as it publishes its #AlternativeFacts and #FakeNews spouted from its favorite progressives. The United Nations whitewashes the hatred and crimes of its adopted Palestinian wards as it attempts to create a Palestinian state regardless of its costs.
The Palestinian propaganda machine has a pre-packaged narrative and solution which they want the world to swallow whole: Israel – like the United States – was built on racism and theft, and it must abdicate/share its land, wealth, military capabilities, technology, security, dignity and independence with its impoverished neighbor. Sharing the frightening facts and horrible sentiments of Palestinian Arabs undermines that goal.
January 6, 2021 was a spectacle in Washington, D.C. when protesters stormed the U.S. Capital building which was convening to certify the results of the presidential elections. The overrun of the capital came just as Democrats won two Senate run-off seats in Georgia giving the party full control of Congress. One person was shot and killed and members of Congress needed to be escorted to secure rooms as the building was put in lock down. A curfew was imposed on the city.
People bemoan that the United States has become a Banana Republic which cannot peacefully hold elections or have a transition of power. They wonder how a powerful and wealthy country could descend into such chaos. Quickly pointing to President Donald Trump as the instigator for the event is a missed opportunity to expose the root causes of the mayhem. The danger of not exploring it is the casual dismissal of needed changes to society that go beyond January 20th when Trump leaves office and when the world moves passed the pandemic, hopefully in the coming months.
The instigating reasons include the notion that there is theft, the normalization of violent protest and the breakdown of trust and respect. All of this in the backdrop of a broader move to extremist views by many Americans and the relatively newer belief that government actually matters.
People become enraged when they feel deeply wronged, especially when it comes to something being stolen. If rights, liberties, lands or votes are viewed as being stripped away, then people will actively resist such wrongs.
President Donald Trump actively fed the narrative that peoples’ votes were being stolen which was the reason he lost the election, with “Stop the Steal” exclamations. He told his supporters to not even bother voting in the Georgia Senate run-off, as the system wouldn’t let their voices be heard.
This is not new, as Democrats often make claims of “voter suppression.” A conspiracy theory came out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth four years ago when she said as she lost “they were never going to let me be president.” Her backers believed her and held “Not My President” rallies during Trump’s early months in office.
The United Nations also promotes the notion of theft when it comes to Israel. It uses racist language that Israelis are “stealing Arab land” as if dirt can be inherently “Arab” (imagine someone saying that Alabama is inherently “white”). It established a special agency, UNRWA, which promises to enable millions of Arabs to “return” to Israel, actively fueling anger at the Jewish State.
Normalizing Violent “Protests”
The world actively promotes Palestinian “resistance” and normalizes terrorism. The 2% War which began in September 2000 killed and maimed thousands of Israeli civilians is commonly called the “Second Intifada” meaning “uprising,” softening the crimes of the murderers. Left-wing media states that Palestinians are only “resorting to violence” even when all their foundational charters and glorification of terrorists are plain to see.
In the United states, when the Black Lives Matter protests burned cities to the ground the media said that the protesters were “mostly peaceful” despite the videos of massive looting and scenes of charred buildings. The public seemingly gave a pass to the anarchy. When anarchists seized downtown Seattle and declared their alt-left caliphate with a concocted flag, the police were ordered to not engage.
Normalization by definition creates a new normal.
The Loss of Trust and Respect
There has been a continued erosion in the trust of institutions in the United States over several years. Blacks and liberals have distrusted the police for a long time but the nature of distrust has broadened and deepened.
The Internet is a great tool in allowing people to connect and find areas of interest but its use has had broad ramifications for businesses and society.
The personalization capabilities of search engines has allowed people to narrowly focus on topics and points of view that interest them. Such model and migration of eyeballs has shifted advertising dollars from television and newspapers to online giants like Google and Facebook. It forced the legacy media to pivot their businesses from neutral providers of information to highly-biased disseminators of propaganda. The media’s business model became #AlternativeFacts. When the Internet giants then followed suit during this election and shut down opinions which it found offensive, there became a deep resentment to all of the media.
Amid this backdrop, liberal society endorsed the idea that people’s perceptions of race and gender trumped science, undermining the foundation of truth. Even language became “weaponized” as people received daily addenda to the dictionary.
As the foundations of language and science were being shaken, woke society came after America’s founding fathers and institutions.
Kneeling for the national anthem, and the blitzkrieg of tearing down statues of Jefferson and Washington and renaming buildings and institutions were taken by many Americans as not protests but a profound disrespecting of America. The nation’s capital building became a symbol to either defend or mock.
A Move to Polar Extremes and Suddenly Government Matters
Moderate politicians have been forced out of both the Democratic and Republican parties for the past twenty years. The primary system has favored those who can activate a loud loyalist base and targets politicians who have preferred bipartisanship. The test of party purity advanced more extreme right-wing and left-wing politicians, who resemble the talking points of narrow slices of extremist ideology fed on social media and the Internet.
As bipartisan politicians leave Congress and state houses, extremist opinions and laws get enacted. This leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the minority as the majority advances its agenda without fear of being voted out of office. When a blue state sees a red state dramatically limiting abortion access, it passes laws allowing for legal abortion up until birth, essentially blessing infanticide.
Extremism doesn’t exist in a vacuum; each side feeds the other. Both sides see that government matters as they adopt extremist laws so it drives people to the polls, with the 2020 presidential election having the biggest turnout in 120 years.
There is not one single thing that needs to be done to become a more perfect union and a more perfect planet. The change of administration and broad vaccinations that are underway will certainly help, but much more needs to be done, as the storming of the U.S. Capital building has been years in the making.
Leaders must stop promoting false narratives of “theft.” While there was certainly a media frenzy against Trump (as there was in 2016), there is no proof of massive voter fraud. Republicans must loudly denounce Trump’s comments, not just Democrats. In other parts of the world, we similarly need to stop inflammatory language such as saying “Arab land” which undermines a chance for peace and the UN promoting the notion that Israel is a “colonialist enterprise.”
Don’t normalize violence and calls for violence. Watching U.S. cities burn and Palestinians blowing up buses and pizza stores and then excusing those actions as “justice” and “natural protest” encourages more violence. Denounce the violence, arrest perpetrators and strip those who call for such actions of any funding.
Build Trust and Respect. It will be difficult for the media to turn back the tide and become neutral providers of information, and social media’s business model is built on giving people what they crave. As such, it is important that the source of all articles and information be included with articles. People understand that Fox tilts right and MSNBC tilts left and can thereby understand that they are only presented with half of the story. Regarding respect, people must understand that revolutions produce counter-revolutions and consider that a casual disrespect of someone or something will likely come full circle.
Embrace the Center. While people encourage the idea of a “wide tent” and talking to the “other side” it must be acknowledged that the fringe must remain on the fringe and not have seats of power. People in the right-of-center and left-of-center can have constructive dialogues of compromise while those at the polar extremes can only battle. If the extreme right or left are aiming to “primary” an incumbent in your district, understand that a vote for such politician will leave them off any committees of significance in the capital.
The capture of the nation’s capital did not happen in a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to take actions to reverse course on multiple fronts.
My grandparents were poor Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side of New York City. They opened a small clothing store across the street from their apartment and did their best to make ends meet.
One day, a group of local boys came to their store and asked them to pay for “glass insurance” to make sure that the glass in the front of their store did not break. My grandfather declined as the windows had never been cracked. The next day, the front windows were shattered.
Such is the nature of extortion: to get people to pay for items lest you destroy their property and livelihoods. It has gone mainstream among the woke.
The threats to livelihoods can be seen in various forms including from lawsuits, new government laws and woke corporate initiatives.
Consider the Colorado baker who would not design a custom wedding cake for a gay couple’s wedding. While he was willing to sell them any item in the store, he declined to create something which celebrated an event which stood against his religious beliefs. The State of Colorado sued him in a case that got the attention of the federal Department of Justice as the man’s life and livelihood came crashing down around him.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders pushed bills that would require private companies to change the composition of their boards to include more women or minorities as well as cap the salaries of executives or face fines. The Oscars, which are not simply an awards show but a ticket to boost sales, has called for a new diversity standard for any movie to even be considered for an award. A film like ‘1917’ about British soldiers in World War I which was nominated for ten Oscars would have needed to insert ahistorical figures of women and minorities to meet the new woke standard.
Meet my demands, or I will hurt your livelihood and/or damage your person and property.
The immediate battle locale is Georgia, which is having two new elections for senators which will determine the balance of power in Washington on January 5th. The Democrats raised 55% more money than Republicans, much from out of state including progressive strongholds of California and New York. Those funds are being used to blanket the airwaves to drown out any non-Democratic voices. It is the last hurdle as the Democrats seek to control every part of Congress to obviate the need for bi-partisanship and enforce an alt-left agenda upon the entire country.
A decade before my grandparents had the windows of their clothing store in New York City smashed, they lived in Vienna, Austria where they saw the city destroy their family’s stores, synagogues and kosher restaurants. The Nazis in the 1930’s wanted to get rid of every Jew, while local hooligans in the 1940’s just wanted to extort money. America will soon see the depth of Socialist power which will determine whether alt-left progressives simply move to seize the property of the right or to drive them completely out of business and the country.
The expression “the best defense is a good offense” is most often applied in the military and sporting competitions. It is now being used regarding anti-Semitism with greater frequency.
The World Conference Against Racism met from August 31 to September 7, 2001 in Durban, South Africa with a stated noble goal: to rid the world of racism and intolerance while promoting human rights. However, the forum was hijacked by several Muslim and Arab countries who pushed for particular attention on one country, Israel, even as the conference was conceived to address a global phenomenon without delving into any specific country.
Several western countries did their utmost to strip the Israel agenda item from the conference to no avail and were left with the choice of not attending an important event. The United States’ compromise was to send a mid-level representative rather than Secretary of State Colin Powell. Ultimately, the conference became so toxic with anti-Israel sentiment that many withdrew. Powell ultimately described the situation as “a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism’” at the United Nations.
The Durban Conference became the playbook for many Muslim and Arab countries as well as far-left progressives to attack Israel under the veil of fighting racism. Each held conferences and promoted peace centers to establish co-existence bona fides while simultaneously trampling human rights in their own countries and promoting a fictitious anti-Israel narrative.
Recent conferences and center openings include:
Opening the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia) International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna on November 26, 2012
Forum on the Role of Religious Leaders in Preventing Incitement that could Lead to Atrocity Crimes, held in Fez, Morocco, on April 23 and 24, 2015
the International Institute for Tolerance and the Muslim Council of Elders in the United Arab Emirates, in 2017
Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, held in Qatar February 20-21, 2018
the World Tolerance Summit, in Abu Dhabi on November 13-14, 2019
The notion of interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence sounds wonderful, but the hypocrisy of the situation doesn’t seem to enter the minds of the willing participants.
The KAICIID website states that “Our vision is a world where there is respect, understanding, and cooperation among people, justice, peace and reconciliation, and an end to the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence, and conflict.” Yet this statement comes from an organization founded and named for the leader of Saudi Arabia which denies women basic rights and kills people for converting from Islam.
Apostasy is subject to capital punishment in many of the countries which hosted recent interfaith conferences, and include: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In 2013, the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars in Morocco issued a fatwa that Muslims who leave Islam should be sentenced to death.
Yet these countries host conferences and centers promoting coexistence among faiths.
People would never attend a conference on the freedom of the press in Turkey as they comprehend the irrationality of discussing such topic in the country that jails the most journalists every year. They would similarly not attend a forum on Holocaust studies in Iran when its leaders actively deny the Holocaust.
But they show up for interfaith dialogue in countries that deny basic human rights.
When the Jewish Voice for Peace hosted a discussion in December 2020 to discuss anti-Semitism with panelists who want to destroy Israel, it employed that familiar twist of attempting to excuse the accused.
Genuine reform to combat bigotry and anti-Semitism is most welcome and should be encouraged but many of today’s conferences are only granting absolution to haters and sanctifying them as champions of a just cause. Beware of the Durban Conference coming to a forum near you.
The Trump Administration moved the United States embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in 2018 in compliance with the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. Since that time, the U.S. has encouraged other countries to move their embassies, and Guatemala moved theirs shortly thereafter. Honduras announced plans to have their embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2020, and Serbia and Malawi announced their intentions to do move their embassies in the near future.
A country establishes an embassy in a foreign country to facilitate in person meetings with that government’s people. Typically the vast majority are located in that country’s capital where most government buildings and offices are located. However, there is no obligation to set up an embassy in the capital city. For example, several countries (like Oman) have opted to not place their foreign dignitaries in Canberra, Australia’s capital, because it is a relatively small city in a pretty remote part of the world. There are also several countries (including Andorra, Comoros and Maldives) that locate their embassies to the U.S. in New York City rather than Washington, D.C.
A new Biden administration should continue to push all countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem for very practical and environmental reasons: it would take hundreds of cars off the road every day.
Currently, most countries have their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv, about 42 miles from Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is is a great city on the Mediterranean Sea with fantastic restaurants and night life (often ranked with Barcelona among the greatest cities in the world) and is close to Israel’s major international airport. However, the hour drive to Jerusalem is often snarled in terrible traffic as is the route back. By relocating embassies to Jerusalem, not only will thousands of miles of unnecessary travel and wasted time be saved, but the burning of fossil fuel and amount of pollution will be dramatically reduced.
As there is no obligation to keep an embassy in a capital city, a relocation to Jerusalem is not a formal acknowledgement of the city as Israel’s capital, an action which may or may not accompany such relocation. What is without question, is that moving embassies to Jerusalem will improve the quality of life on the planet.
On December 16, 2020, The New York Times editorial board elected to give its entire opinion page to long-time journalist Thomas Friedman to discuss a topic he knows nothing about: rural America.
The one-time foreign affairs correspondent presented his bold idea that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should become the czar of rural America and bring broadband to bridge the “connectivity gap.” He wanted this accomplished not so much for the benefit of rural America but to put on a show that Democrats care about these lagging Americans, so those red states might loose a touch of their rosy glow and prevent Democrats from getting trounced in the next election cycle.
What Friedman failed to understand and convey in the editorial was that the Trump administration committed billions of dollars to bring broadband to rural America.
Friedman further noted that Harris “is a natural bridge builder to a more inclusive America.” Maybe Freidman is not aware that non-partisan GovTracks observed that Harris was the least bi-partisan U.S. senator. She also scored as the most extreme leftist in her voting record, even more than proud Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders and closeted Democratic-Socialist Elizabeth Warren.
But don’t let history get in the way.
The Times will have its urban readers believe that rural Americans are waiting for Democrats to save them, but all Friedman’s editorial really showed was his ignorance and contemptible view that non-urban Americans are just pawns for progressive politics.