Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

(1929-1968)

While the weekend celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. was going on in the United States of America in 2018, acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas continued to make a fool of himself in Ramallah.

In addition to layering on multiple insults of the US President Donald Trump, its Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and its Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Abbas went on a tirade of fake history. He claimed that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews.” But it is precisely Jewish, both according to Jews and according to the Arab countries in the region that expelled close to 1 million Jews that were living in their countries in the decades following the establishment of Israel. If Israel has nothing to do with Jews, why did the Arabs expel all of their Jews at the foundation of Israel?

Abbas’s stupidity would continue. He claimed that Palestinian Arabs have been living in the holy land for the past 6000 years – for thousands of years even before the birth of Abraham. That’s pretty impressive for a group that didn’t arrive in the land of Israel until about 1400 years ago, even by the admission of Arabs themselves.

Yes, it is the Arabs that colonized the area, not the Jews.

The Jewish people came to the land of Canaan roughly 3700 years ago. They established their kingdoms and capitals there and have always maintained a presence in the land until this day.

At the founding of Islam in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century, the early Muslims looked to spread their religion throughout the world. They embarked from the Arabian peninsula and invaded and colonized many lands, including the Jewish holy land. This colonization project was so successful, that people do not even pause to think that the term “Arab” is rooted in the Arabian peninsula.

The Palestinians fully acknowledge that they are but a part of the colonial Arab project, as stated in their own 2003 Palestinian Basic Law:

Palestine is part of the Arab homeland. The state of Palestine abides by the Charter of the League of Arab States. The Palestinian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations. Arab unity is a goal. The Palestinian people work on behalf of its realization.”

The Arab world views “Palestine” as simply one of the over 50 countries that comprise its Arab “homeland.” A homeland that was created thousands of years AFTER the Jews had been living in their Jewish holy land.

Abbas has denied Jewish history and presence in their native land. He has denied core elements of Judaism, including the location of the Jewish temples on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He has claimed that Zionists conspired to kill Jews in the Holocaust.

During Martin Luther King Day, it is a marvel to watch such “conscientious stupidity,” spew out of the mouth of someone that is venerated by the United Nations. But as MLK said many decades ago, the embrace of such venomous words are “dangerous,” and cannot simply be laughed away. This is not a debate between narratives, but the vile diatribe of a madman that must be condemned by every decent world leader.


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A Native American, An African American and a Hispanic American walk into Israel…

Israel: Security in a Small Country

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

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

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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The Highbrow Anti-Semite

It is sometimes comfortable to delude oneself into thinking that all antisemites are simply stupid, ignorant oafs. The kind of primitive idiots that take glory in terrorist acts of blowing up pizza stores, stabbing teenagers and shooting Jews on the highway.

Regrettably, antisemitism comes in all varieties. Many are indeed uneducated fools, but some are highly educated lawyers who speak on the global stage.

Consider the lawyer, Hiba Husseini. Her bio is most impressive. She holds a JD from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in political science from the George Washington University, a master’s degree in finance from the University of Sorbonne, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee. She sits on various boards and currently chairs the Legal Committee to Final Status Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

With such a pedigree and role, her opinions are sought out. They have clout and influence a wide range of people.

And that is part of the problem.

A review of Husseini’s work on a plenary session at the United Nations in 2016 where she was part of a conference to discuss new approaches to dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reveals a disturbing stench of Jew-hatred. In her commentary, Husseini made the following observation:

“Ms. HUSSEINI, noting that Israel had presented conflict-related issues as political ones to be dealt with at a bilateral level, said international law should become the basis of negotiations.  The Zionist idea to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates was well known, but Israel realized that the two-State solution would not take it in that direction.”

Remarkable. This was not the vile antisemitic hatred of Hamas which quoted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its 1988 charter. This was not lifted from the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial which he wrote many years ago.

This was a current comment from a US-educated lawyer at the United Nations, proclaiming that the Jewish State seeks to assume control of the broad Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. With such a mindset – and declaration at a global body – how could anyone possibly trust the Israelis to arrive at peace in the narrow strip of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, if their aspirations are to dominate every country in the region?


Hiba Husseini speaking at United Nations, 2016

Is there a modicum of truth to Husseini’s accusations? None, or more accurately, the opposite is true. International law in 1920 and 1922 specifically stated that the entirety of the Mandate of Palestine, which today consists of Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, could not exclude any person on the basis of his religion. But that is precisely what Jordan did in 1949 when it evicted all Jews from the West Bank and subsequently excluded any Jews from gaining citizenship in 1954. It is also exactly what the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations seek in the West Bank and Gaza – lands they argue should be Jew-free.

Israelis do not seek “to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates,” but to be able to LIVE throughout the region as well as have sovereignty in a viable amount of the land between the Mediterranean and Jordan River. The Arab narrative is not just an inversion of Israel’s desires, but it washes the crimes of ethnic cleansing and antisemitism from Arab hands.

People have come to expect the antisemitism from Palestinian Arabs, as the 2015 Anti-Defamation League poll confirmed that almost every single Palestinians is an anti-Semite. But people must continue to monitor the evil spittle that comes from the mouths of educated anti-Semites, that infuse their lies into mainstream society.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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

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

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

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The War Preferred

Summary: When a country prefers to use military force over financial pressure, what does that tell you about the party’s temperament and goals?

USA’s Financial Pressure First

Over the past decades, the United States of America has made efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of rogue states like the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea. The USA viewed those state sponsors of terrorism as too dangerous to be the guardians of weapons of mass destruction. But in each case, the USA used economic means of combating Iran and North Korea as a preferred course to launching into a military war.

These were not unique situations.

The US has engaged in economic warfare several times. In situations like Cuba, the US never opted to attack the country militarily. However, in other situations like Libya, the US imposed economic warfare initially in February 2011, before deciding to use its military force some weeks later.

For the United States, the preferred course of engagement was to use economic means of achieving it’s aims, whether it was for a country to reverse course on a nuclear program, or to stop a war. The USA wanted to save lives – both of its own soldiers as well as in the country it attacked – so it delayed the use of force as long as possible.

Arabs’ Attack First

The Arabs in the Middle East have used the exact opposite approach.

When Israel announced its new state in 1948, five Arab countries invaded with an enormous military. Death was not only a means to an end but a goal: the destruction of the Jewish State.

In 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Arab armies attacked Israel again. The Israeli army eventually repelled the invading forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq, after incurring significant loss of life. In response to their loss, the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on those countries that assisted Israel militarily during the battle. As summarized by the US State Department:

“During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. Arab OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel including the Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production.”

The Arab countries were not concerned about the loss of life and rushed into battle to both destroy Israel having lost wars and land to Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967. The Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said the following as it launched its attack on Israel on October 6, 1973:

“We have always felt the sympathy of the world but we would prefer the respect of the world to sympathy without respect.”

By 1973, the Arab goals’ had expanded to not only destroying Israel, but establishing a modicum of honor. As he conceded the war to the Israelis, Sadat said:

“We have been fighting Israel for the fifteenth day running. Israel fought us on its own in the first four days and its real position was exposed on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts; it [Israel] lost by its own admission, 800 tanks and more than 200 aircraft on both fronts. For the last 10 days, however, I have been fighting the United States on the Egyptian front, armed as she is with the most sophisticated weapons in her possession. I simply cannot fight the United States or bear the historical responsibility for having our armed forces destroyed once again.”

In launching the war, Egypt made clear that its honor was at stake, and in calling for a ceasefire, it opted to claim victory over Israel, but capitulation to the US. As the Arab state could not beat the United States militarily, it pivoted to an economic war, the Oil Embargo.

Palestinians’ Also Attack First

Like the other Arab countries, the Palestinian Arabs have opted to fight militarily as a first effort. However, lacking a standing army, the Palestinian Arabs have used terrorism against Israeli civilians and army alike.

After the formation of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 as a result of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians attacked Israelis throughout the 1990s. When the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to deliver a peace in September 2000, the PA launched a Second Intifada which claimed the lives of thousands of additional civilians. The end of the Intifada was brought about with the help of Israel’s establishing a security barrier which stemmed the flow of Palestinian terrorists into Israel, which propelled the Palestinians into a new war. The launch of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) effort in 2005 was designed to economically strangle Israel.

A Palestinian demonstrator raises a knife, during clashes with Israeli police, in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The Palestinian Arabs – like the Arabs of the neighboring states – opted to use military force to try to destroy Israel. Only upon the failure of such efforts, did they switch to economic warfare.

  • Goals: The US took action to prevent the tremendous loss of life (rogue states with nuclear weapons), while the Arab goal was to kill and destroy.
  • Tactics. The US pursued economic pressure first to prevent the loss of life, whereas the Arab states immediately went to war.

The consistency of the goals and tactics of the United States and Arab world is a fabric of their world view: the US has a goal of preserving peace, so uses military force as a last resort. The Arab states have a goal of destroying Israel, so attack it first and only resort to a BDS campaign once they conclude that they cannot win militarily.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

During the Palestinian hijacking heydays of the 1970’s, the United Nations passed an infamous resolution equating Zionism as a form of racism. While particularly odious during the years until its repeal in 1991, the underlying anti-Zionism has remained a plague at the global forum. Part of the disease lies in timeless antisemitism, while part is a fault of the flawed approach to settling the “Question of Palestine” that the UN endorsed and has continued to exacerbate.

On November 22, 1974 the UN General Assembly passed A/RES/3236 (XXIX). That resolution became the baseline of the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” that expanded and evolved until the present day. The text is distorted at its core, with declarations without equivalents nor precedent. The rights enumerated are gross exaggerations that cannot – and should not – ever be met.

While the resolution had a kernel of truth, it was overwhelmed with fatal flaws:

“no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved and recognizing that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security,”

If the Middle East has taught the world anything since the resolution was passed in 1974, it is that the Arab and Muslim nations do not need the “question of Palestine” to endanger the global community. Whether it was a war between Iran and Iraq or Iraq and Kuwait, civil wars in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen or Libya, or the terrorism in Niger, Chad, Egypt and Ethiopia, the Arab violence is seeded from and breeds its own hatreds.

“the Palestinian people is entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”

This is probably the only true statement in the resolution of which anyone concerned with peace in the Middle East would like to see achieved. The Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) should have citizenship somewhere. When this resolution was drafted, they had Jordanian citizenship, which was given to them in 1954 but repealed by Jordan in 1988. The Israelis also offered the Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem citizenship, but only a few thousand Arabs have taken it. A broader solution should be found.

“Expressing its grave concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights, in particular its right to self-determination,”

As noted above, the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank had Jordanian citizenship and Israel offered Jerusalem Arabs citizenship, but it must be noted that the Arabs in Gaza were not afforded Egyptian citizenship. Was this resolution language only related to Gazans? Did it also cover the Arabs in the West Bank, since Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy in 1970?

“1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference;”

What does the phrase “without external interference” mean? That they will not be a puppet state like Lebanon is to Syria? That they won’t become a terrorist group like Hezbollah with the backing of Iran? That Palestinian Arabs are entitled to have a full-standing army that could attack Israel? When Turkey and Qatar backed Hamas in Gaza, was that considered “external interference?”

“(b) The right to national independence and sovereignty;”

This is a key fatal flaw of the 1974 resolution, which has regrettably been elaborated upon over the decades: There is no such inalienable right to independence and sovereignty. For anyone.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established in 1948 enumerated dozens of rights that every human on the planet must have. Article 15 of the UDHR stated that “everyone has a right to a nationality.” That is it. A nationality, not a new specialized new one. Are the Kurds getting a unique UN resolution for their “independence and sovereignty?” Is Tibet? What about Western Sahara? The SAPs should have a nationality, but they have absolutely no inalienable right to national independence and sovereignty.

“2. Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;”

There is no basis in the rights of mankind to afford the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of people who left homes many decades ago to return to such homes. Especially homes that no longer exist.

Article 13 of the UDHR stated that “everyone has a right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” A COUNTRY. Not a town. Not a house. Only to the country of which they were a citizen. The grandparents of today’s SAPs were not Israeli citizens when they left, and the SAPs today most certainly are not Israelis.

If this is a real issue, are the 1 million Jews that were displaced from Muslim Arab countries getting the right to return to their homes and to recover all of their property? Not only did the Jews leave homes and property, but they actually left A COUNTRY. I have yet to see any UN General Assembly resolution drafted asking for such “inalienable right” for the Jews from Arab lands. Maybe Yemen is working on a draft resolution now.

“3. Emphasizes that full respect for and the realization of these inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine;

The question of Palestine revolves around giving the SAPs citizenship – either in a new country of Palestine or Israel or Jordan or somewhere. Returning to homes and property is neither a right nor part of “the solution.”

“6. Appeals to all States and international organizations to extend their support to the Palestinian people in its struggle to restore its rights, in accordance with the Charter;”

This UN resolution called for the countries of the world to “support the Palestinian people in its struggle.” Such a statement is not just a flawed call for rights that do not exist as detailed above, but a call to take sides in the conflict. It declared that “all States” should work against Israel. How could the UN possibly imagine that Israel would ever take any UNGA resolution seriously, after declaring openly that it is a biased party in the dispute?


Palestinian flag at the United Nations in New York


The Israelis and Palestinian Authority were last able to reach mutual agreements when they signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995. Those agreements NEVER mentioned a “two state solution” anywhere. They also do not mention any rights to “homes and property,” just the generic issue of “refugees.” And the accords do not ask the world to advocate on behalf of fake “inalienable rights.”

On December 17, 1991, the UNGA finally rescinded the Zionsim is racism resolution after intensive lobbying and threats by the United States under President George Bush. At that time, US Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said that rescinding the resolution improved the “reputation for fairness and impartiality” of the UN. It arguably helped create the environment for the Oslo Accords.

It is similarly time to rescind UNGA Resolution 3236 and to put the parties on a course for an enduring peace that is actually achievable, with a fair and responsible United Nations as a facilitator as oppose to a perpetual hindrance.


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The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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Iran’s New Favorite Jewish Scholars

It is no secret that Iran despises the Jewish State, with calls to annihilate the “cancer” that is Israel. Iran’s leadership also enjoys provoking the ire of Jews generally, as it puts on exhibitions of Holocaust cartoons. To add to the insults, the Iranian media loves to showcase Jews that bash the Jewish State. It’s a spectacle for the Coliseum.

Press TV is a 24-hour English language news organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, with headquarters in Tehran. The Iranian news organization’s favorite Jewish group for many stories is the Neturei Karta, an extremist anti-Zionist religious group that can be counted as featured speakers in stories about the Iranian nuclear deal, Palestinian rights and Holocaust revisionist history. What better way to convince people that Jews are evil, colonialist, parasitic liars than having Jews make such statements themselves?

In December 2017, Press TV found a new group of Jewish scholars to feature in its Israel bashing stories. In an article entitled “100 Jewish studies scholars sign petition condemning Trump’s declaration,” Press TV reviewed a petition signed by over 100 Jewish university scholars that denounced US President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and his decision to relocate the US embassy to the city. The news site quoted the petition almost in its entirety, it was that rich for the Iranian government.  Below is the scholars’ statement (not the Iranian government’s) with fact-checking inserted after each paragraph.

“We write as Jewish Studies scholars to express our dismay at the Trump administration’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem.”

  • reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy.” The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed with bipartisan Congressional support and specifically made clear that: 1) Jerusalem should be an undivided city; 2) it should be the capital of Israel; and 3) the US should move its embassy to Jerusalem. The Act’s presidential waiver allowing for a deferral every six months only related to moving the embassy to Jerusalem and providing such funding. The recognition of Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel passed with bipartisan support in 1995 – the opposite of what the statement claimed.
  • outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation” The “political framework “is to arrive at a peaceful resolution to the disputed land by mutual agreement. The statement’s language about occupation and rights makes it appear that 1) there are no rights currently; 2) the entire peace process is just about those issues; and 3) that recognizing Israel’s capital undermines any of those discussions. All false.

“Jerusalem is of immense religious and thus emotional significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. It is the focus of national aspirations for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope one day to see a world in which all inhabitants of the land enjoy equal access to the city’s cultural and material resources. Today, unfortunately, that is not the case.”

  • immense religious and thus emotional significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike.One would imagine that Jewish scholars would have a basic understanding that Jews, Muslims and Christians are not “alike” in their attachment to Jerusalem. Only Judaism reveres the city as its holiest location. That Jewish scholars could write such a statement – happily repeated by Israel’s enemies – is outrageous and dangerous.
  • We hope one day to see a world in which all inhabitants of the land enjoy equal access” It has only been under Israel that people have had equal access to Jerusalem. When the Arabs ruled the eastern part of the city from 1949-1967, they evicted and banned all Jews. When Israel reunited the city, it offered Israeli citizenship to any Arab that wanted it – and continues to extend such offer to this day. Quite different that Jordanians that denied citizenship to any Jews in the city. Further, the growth of the Arab population in Jerusalem surpasses the growth of Jews in the city. The “hope” of the scholars is the reality today- under Israeli rule.

“As the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem* has documented, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem endure systematic inequalities, including an inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents, home demolitions, and legal confiscation of property for Jewish settlement. In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem’s holy sites.”

  • inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents” All Israelis – both Jewish and not Jewish – have their building permits go through the same approval processes. Some permits are approved and some are not. Under-investment in some predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem is a function of many factors, and something that the current mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat has been trying to address, but he faces constant opposition from the United Nations to make such investments. How do Israel’s critics not feel the least bit of hypocrisy as they both demand that Israel invest in Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, while also demanding that Israel abandon eastern Jerusalem altogether?
  • Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem’s holy sites.” All citizens of Israel go through the same process of entering Jerusalem. Non-citizens must go through border control to enter anywhere in Israel, whether holy sites in Jerusalem or elsewhere. But they do have access and travel to Jerusalem’s holy sites every day – something that Jews were unable to do when Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs ruled the Old City illegally.

“In this context, a declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence. We therefore call on the U.S. government to take immediate steps to deescalate the tensions resulting from the President’s declaration and to clarify Palestinians’ legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem.

  • sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem”  Are these scholars deliberately trying to be provocative? Israel has sovereignty over Jerusalem. It is a country that has a mix of Jews (75%) and non-Jews (25%), one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the entire Middle East. Israel has allowed the Jordanian Waqf to administer the Jewish Temple Mount since the country reunited the city in 1967. How do the scholars write “sole Jewish propriertorship” for an ethnically diverse country having sovereignty over a city in which it has allowed a Muslim Waqf to administer the Temple Mount, which denies the rights of Jews to pray at the site?
  • Palestinians’ legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem.” What makes the Palestinian claim on Jerusalem legitimate? Do they have a legitimate claim on Jaffa? On Nazareth? The Israelis and Palestinian Authority will decide between themselves what kind of settlement makes sense. Do these scholars think that the US should not recognize any city in Israel or the State of Israel itself until it recognizes a State of Palestine?

The Iranian government has found new Jewish friends willing to publicly undermine Israel. And for Iran, these Jews have the added value of looking like hippy college professors as opposed to the black hat Neturei Karta rabbis.

Rabbi Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus (left), one of the petition’s signatories, member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which supports BDS and the dismantling
of any Jewish privileges in Israel (like a Jewish star on the Israeli flag); and
Terri Ginsberg (right), who currently teaches at the American University of Cairo (she signed the petition as x-Dartmouth) who also blogs for the vi
rulently anti-Israel sites Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada

Just because the scholars don’t dress in a radical fashion, does not necessarily mean that their actions and statements aren’t extreme.

The petition ends with a request for comments to be sent to jewishstudiesstatement@gmail.com for rabbis that may or may not be on the list accidentally. Perhaps they would be interested in general comments as well.


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The Arguments over Jerusalem

The Battle for Jerusalem

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

Is Your Capital Central to Your Country?

Corpus Separatum Ended Forever in 1995

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

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

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

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The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States officially recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Noting that “Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries…. we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.

It is indeed a plain reality.

And it is also a reality that pains many Arab and Muslim nations. Therefore, some people and nations that have sympathy for those angry parties have continued to deny reality. They have tried to isolate Israel. To deny the Jewish State the air of normalcy.


President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
December 6, 2017

This is not new.

But true leaders through the decades since Israel’s founding distanced themselves from the angry Arab and Muslim mob, and placed reality and decency first.

  • Country (1948): In 1948, US President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel, even while Arab nations went to war to destroy the nascent country. To this day, many of those angry Arab and Muslim nations still refuse to acknowledge the existence of Israel.
  • Borders (1949): In 1949, at the end of Israel’s War of Independence, the US and many nations recognized Israel’s expanded borders beyond those outlined in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, even when the Arab countries refused to recognize them.
  • Citizenship (1954): In 1954, the world recognized the importance of citizenship by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in dealing with the millions of refugees from Europe after World War II and the Middle East. Many of those refugees were Jews that survived the Holocaust and others expelled from nearly a dozen Arab countries. Meanwhile, in that same year, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, that had expelled all of the Jews from eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, specifically excluded Jews from getting citizenship.
  • Peace (1948, 1967): The world recognized the importance of settling disputes in a peaceful manner through negotiations, as enshrined in UN Charter (1945) Article 2, but Syria, Egypt and Jordan went to war against Israel again in 1967. After the Arabs lost, the entire Arab world implemented the Khartoum resolution: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.
  • Freedom of Movement (1968 to today): Civilized nations recognize that people should be allowed to travel by airplane freely. Unfortunately, Palestinians upset with Israel, began hijacking planes in 1968 and through the 1970s, including the infamous 1976 Entebbe hijacking. Angry Arab countries continue to deny the basic rights of movement to Israelis, such as the November 2017 ruling that Kuwait Airlines refuses to transport Israelis.
  • Athletes (1972 to today): The world recognizes and appreciates the camaraderie and competition of international sports. However, angry Palestinian Arabs murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Arab countries today continue to refuse to compete against Israelis, show the Israeli flags or play the Israeli national anthem at competitions.
  • Self-Determination (1975 – 1991): US Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized that Zionism is a natural movement for self-determination like all nations display. However, the Arab and Muslim nations put forward UN Resolution 3379 equating Zionism as a form of racism. It would not be repealed until 1991. Arab leaders continue to call Zionism a form of colonialism.
  • Rights to Holy Places (1949-1967; 1980 / 2000): Israel recognized the importance of freedom of access to the holy places of Jerusalem and enshrined such commitment into law, the exact opposite of how Arabs governed the Temple Mount under Jordanians from 1949-1967 when they denied Jews any access to the Old City of Jerusalem. When Ariel Sharon visited Judaism’s holiest site in 2000, the Palestinian Authority launched a multi-year “Intifada” killing thousands.
  • Terrorism (1997, 2006): The US labeled Hamas and several other Palestinian groups as foreign terrorist organizations, in recognizing their incitement and acts of terror against Israeli civilians. Meanwhile, Palestinians happily support these terrorist organizations, and elected Hamas to 58% of the parliament in 2006.
  • Land Purchases (2010): The US instituted the Fair Housing Act of 1968 which recognized the importance of allowing all people to buy homes without any discrimination. In 2010, the Palestinian Authority affirmed the death penalty for any Arab that sells land to a Jew, quite an inversion of international law of 1922 that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
  • Defense (2008, 2012, 2014): The United States recognized that Israel had a right to defend itself against the incoming rockets from Hamas in Gaza. However, the Muslim and Arab world was appalled at Israel’s actions and wanted Hamas to defeat Israel. Allies of the Arabs wanted Israel to be investigated for war crimes.
  • History (2009, 2015-): The United States and some western countries recognize the 3000-year history of Jews in Jerusalem. However, Arab and Muslim nations put forward resolutions at the United Nations which denied the history of Jews in Jerusalem and condemned Israel for “Judaizing” Judaism’s holiest city.
  • Capital (2017): US President Donald Trump recognized that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, while Arab countries refused to entertain the idea and threatened “days of rage.”

What’s next? Will Arab and Muslim states push forward the notion that today’s Jews have nothing to do with the children of Israel in the Bible? Will they say that Jews are not human beings but “sons of apes and pigs?” Will they advance a notion that the Jewish Temple never existed or that it was not located in Jerusalem? Will they contend that the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem is not the Jewish matriarch but a famous Muslim?  That the Holocaust never happened? Maybe they will come up with conspiracy theories that the Israelis planned the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and that the Mossad uses sharks to attack tourists in Sinai.

Should the world recognize reality or Palestinian lies which make Arabs more comfortable? Should world opinion be framed by the Arab view of history, attitudes of decency, and perception of reality?

Many Arab countries like Syria, Lebanon and UAE refuse to recognize Israel to this day. Muslim countries like Indonesia also refuse to recognize Israel. Iran won’t even mention Israel by name.

Should the US refuse to recognize the reality of Israel because of the insane attitudes of Arab and Muslim countries?

Should the US refuse to recognize the reality of Jewish history in Israel because it offends Arab and Muslim sensibilities?

Should Israelis just shrug off the insult of not having its flag and national anthem played during sporting events in Arab countries, because they know the reality of their victory?

Or is it time to stop the insanity of ignoring reality because of the noxious antisemitism pervasive in the Arab and Muslim societies?

President Truman will be forever remembered by Zionists for his willingness to recognize the new country of Israel within minutes of its declaring independence, even as Arab nations attacked Israel with weapons. Ambassador Moynihan’s passionate speech at the United Nations decrying the “Racism is Zionism” resolution while Arab nations pounced on Israel on the international stage, remains a highlight in the dark history of the United Nations.

This week, President Trump joined those leaders and took a stand in the shadow of UN Resolution 2334 denying Israel’s rights in Jerusalem. Reality cannot be held hostage to hatred.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

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Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The “Would you rather…” game has been played by young children, adults and seniors around the world. People in the game have a question poised between two seemingly comparable good or bad choices and must decide which is more appealing. The games can be funny or revealing about how people think. Examples include:

  • Would you rather be locked in a steam room for an hour or a walk-in refrigerator for 20 minutes?
  • Would you rather have to brush your teeth with peanut butter or wash your hair with prune juice?
  • Would you rather know the day you are going to die or the cause?
  • Would you rather give up your mobile phone for a day or drinking anything for two days?

The game can reveal something about an individual’s fears, preferences and priorities.

In February 2017, a group from the University of North Carolina, Florida State University and University of Queensland published a study in which they asked the study participants a series of “Would you rather…” questions to test how they valued their reputations. The study was entitled “Death Before Dishonor,” and produced interesting findings as to the lengths that people would go through (theoretically) to avoid being branded as a bad person. (A sample question was would you rather die immediately or live to 90 but be known as a pedophile?) The study concluded that people treated their reputations very seriously – to the point of death or dismemberment – or at least wanted the test-takers to believe that they were not terrible people.

Professional negotiators dabble with such “would you rather” tactics in particularly difficult negotiations, posing questions to the two parties which might reveal where they stand on seemingly intractable situations.

Consider the thorniest question in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

How would the Israelis and Palestinian Authority each respond to the question: Would you rather have sovereignty over the Temple Mount/ Noble Sanctuary or have control over it?

One scenario would have the Temple Mount be under complete Israeli sovereignty, but the Palestinian Authority would have administrative control over the 35 acre compound. For example, the PA could decide to restrict access to the compound only to Muslims, but an Israeli flag would be flying over the Dome of the Rock.

The other scenario would have the Temple Mount be part of a new country of Palestine. However, Israel would administer the site, and could open the platform to daily Jewish prayer services.

Each party would need to decide the critical rationale as to why it wants the site. Is it about religion (which would argue to have administrative control), or about national pride (which would argue for sovereignty).

If each party arrives at the same answer for the Temple Mount, an extra level of complexity would be added: the two sides would have to live with the opposite conclusion for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. So if the Temple Mount became part of Palestine, and the Jews had complete administrative control over the site, the Cave of the Patriarchs would therefore be part of Israel, but under Palestinian administration.

The two parties might still come to the same conclusions so the impasse remains. But even though the situation is unresolved, there is better clarity as to the motivations of the parties, which could, in turn, bring additional strategies to resolve the situation.

Something to consider on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Partition Plan.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

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

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

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

In article after article and Op-Ed after Op-Ed, writers have expressed their dismay about the United States ban on refugees fleeing from Muslim countries. Many of those articles described the US turning away the S.S. St. Louis, a boat full of Jews from Europe during World War II, sending the ship back to Europe where the Jews would be killed in the Holocaust, arguing that America closing its borders today would have similar ramifications for Muslim refugees.  Some journalists went so far to claim that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl today.

There would be many people that called such comparisons outlandish, and a minimization of the atrocity and uniqueness of the Holocaust. They would further point out that there are over 100 times more Muslims than Jews, and 50 Muslim-majority countries today while there were zero Jewish countries in World War II, so the Muslim refugees’ options for sanctuary countries today are not remotely comparable to the plight of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Curiously, while journalists attempted to connect the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe to the plight of Muslim refugees from the Middle East today by referencing the S.S. St. Louis or Anne Frank, they declined to ever mention the British White Paper of 1939 when discussing the “Muslim ban.” The pundits wouldn’t even discuss the White Paper when reviewing the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

On November 9, 1938, as Kristallnacht was shattering the lives of Jews in Europe, the British would call upon the leaders of the Arabs in Palestine to assess how to quell the riots they had been waging against the Jews for the prior two years. The result of the multi-week consultations was the British White Paper of 1939.

As the flames of the Holocaust began to incinerate the Jews of Europe, the British White Paper undermined the basic principle laid out in international law to facilitate the immigration of Jews to Palestine. The document set a five-year cap of only 75,000 Jews to be admitted to Palestine, at a time when the Jews of Europe were desperately fleeing the Nazi regime. The British-Arab edict likely contributed to over 100,000 Jews perishing in the Holocaust.

Not just a single Jewish girl like Anne Frank.

Not the nearly 1,000 Jews who were returned on a ship to Nazi Europe to perish in concentration camps.

Over 100,000 Jews, who died because of the British White Paper of 1939.


Arab riots of 1936 fighting Jewish immigration

(source: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

Yet the discussions about refugees fleeing for their lives from the carnage in the Middle East today never mention the cap on admitting Jewish refugees into Palestine during the Holocaust. Why?

Could it be because of the lectures from progressive professors and politicians that the narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is “Arab land” and “Palestinian land,” so the Jews don’t really belong there at all? Has the Palestinian propaganda machine so cloaked itself in the the mantle of victimhood, that people cannot fathom the reality that the Palestinian Arabs were complicit in turning away desperate Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust?

November 9 has long been remembered as a Day of Infamy, when the slaughter of Jews began in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. It is time to also mark it as the day that the British and Palestinian Arabs helped seal the fate of thousands of those innocent Jews.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Holocaust and the Nakba

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

Austria’s View of Kristallnacht

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

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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 New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel

The New York Times has a long history of using a Palestinian Arab narrative in its articles about Israel. One of the anchors of such viewpoints was made clear in the October 10, 2017 article about Israelis and Arabs seeking peace through cultural exchange, entitled “Seeking Peace Through Backgammon and Music, Not Politics.”

The article highlighted several Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs that sought to engage each other outside of politics. However, The New York Times (intentionally or not) used a non-political article about peace to distance Jews from their holy land, while simultaneously anchoring every Arab as indigenous.

Every Jew in the article was described as coming from somewhere else, while every Arab was local: from East Jerusalem; Ramallah; Jericho; Hebron; and other locations.

Palestinian Arabs:

  • “Riman Barakat, an East Jerusalem-born Palestinian peace activist,”
  • “The king of Palestinian rap from the Shuafat refugee camp in northeast Jerusalem”
  • “An Armenian from Jerusalem’s Old City
  • “Palestinian hip-hop artists from East Jerusalem
  • “fellow rappers from Ramallah, Jericho and Hebron
  • “rappers like the duo Muzi Raps, from the Old City,”
  • “Raed Bassem Jabid, from the Palestinian neighborhood of At-Tur on the Mount of Olives,”
  • “The [Jerusalem-Armenian] band, most of whose members come from Bethlehem,
  • “Karem Jubran, a Palestinian from the Shuafat camp,”

Israeli Jews:

  • “Tel Aviv poet of Yemeni descent
  • “DJ Ramzy, whose grandmother came from Syria
  • “Zaki Djemal, an Israeli of Syrian descent

Not only did the article feature many more Palestinian Arabs than Israeli Jews even though the article admitted that all but a few dozen of the 2000 attendees to the event were Israelis, every Palestinian originated in a local town in the holy land. That was juxtaposed to every Israeli who originated from somewhere outside of Israel.

The Times will never educate its readers that more Arabs from around the Middle East than Jews from Europe moved to Palestine from 1917 to 1948 under the British Mandate. For the New York Times, the grandchildren of the Iraqi and Egyptian Arabs will be forever Palestinians, while the Jewish descendants that moved to the area during the 20th century will forever be viewed as colonialists.

More #AlternativeFacts from the liberal rag.


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The New York Times’ Buried Pictures

Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

Every Picture Tells a Story- Whitewashing the World (except Israel)

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find”

Social Media’s “Fake News” and Mainstream Media’s Half-Truths

Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

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