The Gulf Between the Views of Nikki Haley and The New York Times on Hamas

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke to the United Nations Security Council on June 20, 2017. Her comments about the Palestinian group Hamas could not have been more clear about what the organization represents and how it should be treated on the world stage:

The United States reiterates its commitment to stand with Israel against these forces of terror.

Hamas is one of these forces of terror that yet again showed its true colors to the world earlier this month. It is a terrorist organization so ruthless that it will not hesitate to put the lives of innocent children on the line….

Make no mistake, Israel did not cause the problems in Gaza… we should never forget the responsibility for this humanitarian crisis rests squarely with the one group that actually controls Gaza: Hamas….

Hamas remains a terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction. Its goal is to defeat Israel by force. It will use all the resources it can to continue the fight.

This Security Council must stand up to condemn Hamas’ terror. Hamas represents yet another regional threat that this Council far too often ignores. While UN agencies and Member States dissect Israel’s actions, few speak out against the terror that Hamas continues to plot. Some Member States of this organization even maintain ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups that flourish in Gaza.

The Security Council must unite to say that enough is enough. We need to pressure Hamas to end its tyranny over the people of Gaza. We should condemn Hamas in this Council’s resolutions and statements. We should name Hamas as the group responsible when rockets are fired from Gaza, or when fresh tunnels are discovered. And we should designate Hamas as a terrorist organization in a resolution, with consequences for anyone who continues to support it.

Haley’s words are a sharp turn from the approach seen at the United Nations about Israel and Hamas. The past UN Security General Ban Ki Moon never said that he stood with Israel against terror, while stating that he stood with Gaza in the fields where Hamas fired rockets upon Israel. Ban Ki Moon repeatedly tried to fold Hamas into the Palestinian Authority unity government.

His actions and statements were appalling. And they were echoed in liberal media.

Both CNN and The New York Times have continued to go out of their way to avoid calling Hamas a terrorist organization in article after article. Most recently, in an article about Qatar written on June 24, 2017, the Times wrote:

“Qatar has opened its doors to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates consider a terrorist organization; to members of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group; and to the Afghan Taliban.”

Hamas is not simply a “militant” group, and it is certainly not “the” militant group of the Palestinians, as if there were only a single one. It is a designated terrorist group by many countries, just as the Muslim Brotherhood is labeled as such. Even more, it is one of several Palestinian groups that the United States labels a Foreign Terrorist Organization, including: Palestine Liberation Front (PLF); Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF); PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC); and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB).

During the course of the 2016 US presidential debate there was an argument put forth that labeling and understand a threat was essential to combating it.

Nikki Haley has taken that argument head on. She has clearly articulated the problem of the terrorist group Hamas for both Israel and the people of Gaza and has directed the United Nations to take specific actions against such organization.

It is a long overdue and welcome change that will hopefully lead to peace in the region.


New York Times article on Qatar June 24, 2017


Related First.One.Through articles:

Differentiating Hamas into Political and Military Movements

The New York Times wants to defeat Terrorists (just not Hamas)

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza  

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

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

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In The Margins

Bret Stephens had an award-winning career writing columns on the top of the Op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. His conservative take on politics was thoughtful and balanced, as he appreciated nuance in the topics that he covered. He is continuing that insightful analysis over at The New York Times.

In an article printed on June 15, 2017 entitled “The Indigenous American Berserk Strikes Again,” Stephens wrote about the shooting of a Republican politician at the hands of a liberal wacko. He cautioned both liberals and conservatives to not draw any particular conclusions from the actions of a sole operator from the margins of society. A “one-off” does not mean that all liberals will be out to attack conservatives, any more than the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 meant that conservatives were out to physically harm liberals. (Liberals made such an argument at that time).

It is a lesson that his new colleague at the NY Times, Thomas Friedman, needs to learn.

As described in “Thomas Friedman thinks Palestinians are Crazy in the Margins, While Israel is Crazy in the Mainstream,” Friedman has a long history of exaggerating marginal Israeli “radicals” and minimizing the mainstream Palestinian “radicals.”

  • Friedman described Israel as having a “right-wing” government, simply because it included a nationalistic party that had just 5% of the seats in the parliament. He neglected to mention that Israelis voted much more for the anti-Zionist Arab Joint List to 14% of the population
  • He described acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as a “moderate,” while labeling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an extremist, even though it is Abbas that: argues for a country free of Jews; has capital punishment for Arabs that sells land to Jews; has laws that excuse men for the honor killing of their wives; incites violence against Israeli Jews; etc.
  • The vast majority of Israelis favor a peaceful settlement with the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs), while 93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semites, more than any other region in the world. The SAPs voted the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority government.

Stephens argued convincingly that actions of a lone radical should not tarnish the majority: “the fact that events are frightening, bloody and tragic doesn’t necessarily make them especially meaningful…. In 2011 the left wanted to blame millions of Americans for the acts of one crazed man. The indictment served nobody.

Bret Stephens speaking at an event in Westchester, NY July 2015

Meanwhile Friedman – and many liberals – seemingly use an inverted approach, whereby the actions of the PA leadership and majority of SAPs should be ignored, while the opinions of a minority of Israeli Jews should be scrutinized.

Why do liberals exaggerate the fringe while conservatives concentrate on the majority?

Self-Reliance versus Helping Out

Historically, liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree on a particular policy, say abortion. The action was debated about whether it should be legal or banned. Tax policy and welfare were topics to be debated. Climate change. Gun policy. Healthcare.

But the conversation has changed. Today political pundits talk about people. Defining the conservatives/liberals themselves is the focus, not policies.

According to Pew Research. conservatives primarily value responsibility, faith and hard work. In contrast, liberals are more drawn to empathy and helping others. This split in focus helps explain the different approaches to people in the margins of society.

In a conservative mindset, someone’s position in society is a result of actions for which they are responsible. In a traditional bell curve in which the vast majority sit in the middle, everyone – including those in the margins – got there as a result of their own actions. The successful people were the beneficiaries of hard work and risk, while the failures at the other end of the spectrum got there because of poor decisions and/or the lack of determination.

Conservatives study the habits of the successful as they attempt to emulate their path.Those at the top are their focus. When they look at the downtrodden, they are as case studies of actions to avoid.

Meanwhile liberals do not necessarily focus on what actions got a person into their predicament as much as how to get them out. The value of helping others puts liberals into an active mode of assistance. The successful outliers do not need help; they are not part of the liberal orientation. The liberals only attach themselves to the downtrodden – a select segment of those on the margins.

Conservatives and liberals are drawn to opposing ends of the spectrum because of their underlying value system. But conservatives use a common approach to all segments of society and learn from each; liberals end up only relating to a small segment of society. Right-leaning people extract data from both the majority and minority to validate their opinions, while left-leaning people can best apply their values of empathy to a select minority.

Liberal “Progessivism” versus Conservative “Traditionalism”

Not everything that divides conservatives and liberals can be divided between the attractions to the successful and the downtrodden. Sometimes it is the approach to religion and tradition.

Liberals are much less religious than conservatives. Pew polls found that only 36% of liberals found religion as important in their lives, while that figure was almost double – 70% for conservative Americans.

Free from traditional religious constraints, liberals have embraced homosexuality (which has been traditionally viewed as a sin) more than conservatives. Are most people homosexuals? No, they are a minority.

Liberals have also been drawn to the current trend of “self-identity.”

How many truly transgender people are there? It’s infinitesimal. But liberals have taken up this minority as consistent with their credo for empathy and helping others. They have pushed society’s traditional view of gender and advanced that the public must accommodate this new self-identity in matters such as public bathrooms. Conservatives have been appalled at both the new non-binary view of gender, and the demand that the public must adopt to their worldview.

The more religious and traditional conservatives have mostly remained with the majority in these matters of gender and sexual preference, while liberals have loudly campaigned for the minority.

The Parties in the Margin

While the two main political parties have hemmed to the margins, the parties themselves have become marginalized.

Democrats are much more liberal than ever in history, as the liberal wing grew to 44% of the party in 2016 from just 30% in 2000 according to Gallup. Not surprisingly, this liberal Democratic party has rushed to embrace far-left extremists like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As they have done so, Gallup polls show that the percentage of Americans that identify as Democrats has declined to 30%.

Republicans similarly have become more conservative, and their share of Americans stands at only 26%, even less than Democrats.

The beneficiaries are Independents who now account for 43% of Americans, more than Democrats or Republicans. These independents may share some values of liberals and conservatives, but have a negative feeling about the main policy issues and leadership of the two parties.


Those at the margins are part of our society, but they do not define our society.

As Democrats become more liberal and place an exaggerated focus on the margins, they will continue to marginalize their own political party. It will also continue to benefit Independents and thoughtful writers like Bret Stephens that do not get caught up in trendy thinking that obfuscates truths.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

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Journalists Killed in 2016 #AlternativeFacts

There were several dozens of journalists killed around the world in 2016. The exact number seems hard to pin down.

According to UNESCO, 101 journalists were killed. It considered Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists, and elaborated that “the most lives were lost in the Arab States, where the armed conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen have claimed the largest share. Media operating in Latin America and the Caribbean saw 28 casualties, including bloggers and freelancers, constituting the region as second deadliest in 2016.

However, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) counted 93 journalists as targeted and killed. They note that another 29 were killed in accidents or natural disasters bringing the total to 122. IFJ listed the most lethal country for journalists as Iraq (15 killed) followed by Afghanistan (13). Syria ranked as  #6 with 6 killed.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) tallied 74 journalists murdered, including non-professional “citizen-journalists.” RSF tagged Syria as the deadliest country. “Syria continues to be the world’s deadliest place for journalists, followed by Afghanistan. Worldwide, two thirds of the journalists killed this year were in war zones. Almost all of them were local journalists, now that news organizations are increasingly reluctant to send their reporters to dangerous hotspots abroad.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced that 48 journalists were killed in 2016, with clear motives. Syria led the list with 14, followed by other Arab and Muslim countries: Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

So how many journalists were killed in 2016? 122? 101? 93? 74? 48?

How did four “non-partisan” and “reputable” organizations come to such different conclusions? Did some organization include accidents while others did not? Perhaps one included civilian-journalists and bloggers while another just counted professionals. Maybe some groups did not include peripheral casualties if the journalist wasn’t specifically targeted.

All possibilities. As is bias.

Consider that IFJ has a history of declaring that anyone who self-declares as a journalist is a journalist. So if a terrorist operative used press credentials to infiltrate certain areas to commit murder, that person counted as a journalist by IFJ, but not always by other organizations.

In searching for a reason, maybe one could argue that a higher total of injured journalists heightened the importance of umbrella organizations like IFJ. But that would leave a question of why RSF and CPJ would post such low totals compared to UNESCO.

Maybe the reason for one country getting a higher total was purely innocent. If a Syrian journalist was killed in Turkey maybe one organization listed the murder as happening in Turkey, while another focused on the place where the journalist reported.

journalist-killed
Anti-ISIS Syrian journalist Zaher al-Shurqat killed in Turkey in May 2016

Beyond listing the raw “facts,” UNESCO, RSF and CPJ reached conclusions based on those facts that the most lethal country in the world for journalists was Syria, even though IFJ announced that the country wasn’t even in the top five. IFJ stated that the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist was the Asia-Pacific region, specifically Philippines, Pakistan and India. UNESCO, RSF and CPJ claimed that it is the Arab states.  Which was right?

The IFJ website covers the entire world by region and claims to be devoted to a mission beyond politics. “The IFJ does not subscribe to any given political viewpoint, but promotes human rights, democracy and pluralism.”  But the English site reserves reporting about the Middle East to only be in Arabic – clearly limiting the audience of readers to a narrow segment of the world population. Why would it deliberately produce an entire section in Arabic? To educate the region that it scores the lowest in regards to “human rights, democracy and pluralism?” To make it impossible for non-Arabic speakers to read about the state of journalists in the Arab world?

 

In 2017, the world was intrigued by the term “Alternative Facts,” and reacted to it as if it were a new phantom reality. In truth, people and organizations have always looked at the same situation and extracted DIFFERENT FACTS, not only different conclusions. Sometimes the reasons are apparent and other times not. Often one can see the motivating factors which led to a party extracting and expressing particular facts and conclusions, and there are times when the listener is simply stumped.

Does it make the party sharing the facts a liar? Biased? Uninformed? Maybe, maybe and maybe.

As the consumers of information that is oftentimes murky, seek the source and basis of the “facts,” and don’t only rely on someone’s conclusions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

Journalists in the Middle East

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

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

Selective Speech

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The Obama Administration Continues to Abandon Israel in Fighting Terror

Once again, the Obama administration has refused to stand with Israel as it confronts terror.

On January 8, 2017, a terrorist rammed a group of soldiers who had just exited a bus in Jerusalem. At least four were killed. The US State Department made the following statement in response:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem.‎ There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. We‎ condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured.”

Stating their is “no justification” for violence but NOT stating that America stands by Israel and the people of Israel in combatting terror IS JUSTIFYING TERROR. The Obama administration just let a UN resolution claiming that the 1949 Armistice Lines are actual borders is a reward for terror. Propping up the acting President of the Palestinian Authority whose term expired eight years is rewarding terror.

jerusalem-truck-attack
Israeli security forces after car ramming attack in Jerusalem
(photo: AP:AHMAD GHARABLI)

Consider the State Department’s response to the car ramming attack in Nice, France:

“Today’s horrendous attack in Nice is an attack against innocent people on a day that celebrates Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

On behalf of all Americans, and especially the great many with close ties to France, I offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who were killed and our hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed.

Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. Any U.S. citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform them of their well being.”

This US administration has done this to Israel time and again.

Consider the attacks in the fall of 2015, as detailed in “Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department.” The US stood by the governments of Chad, Lebanon and France in terrorist attacks. But not Israel.

In reviewing the global terrorism in the summer of 2015, as detailed in “The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism,” the US supported the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Cameroon in combatting terrorism. But not Israel.

The terrorism of January 8 , 2017 fell out on the Jewish fast day of the 10th of Tevet. It is a holiday where the Babylonian leader Nebuchadnezzar began to lay siege to Jerusalem.  The city would not fall for another 30 months, but Jews have commemorated the beginning of the siege for 2500 years. History has shown that calamities often do not come out of the blue, but start with incremental steps. Each one is a tragedy.

Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration let a UN resolution pass which stated that it was illegal for Jews to live in the entirety of the Old City of Jerusalem. Obama once again continued to make clear that it will not stand with Israel while Jews are murdered in the city.

A question for Jews to ponder is whether the commemoration of the US abandoning Israel should be marked on December 23 when the UN Resolution 2334 passed, or January 20, 2008, when Obama was elected to office.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

US Hypocrisy – “Reasonableness and Restraint”

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

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

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2016 FirstOneThrough Summary

2016 was dominated by the US presidential election, additional terrorism in Europe, and a United Nations that continued to attack the Jewish State. Readership interest in FirstOneThrough continued to grow.

FirstOneThrough published 133 articles in 2016, down from the 2015 total of 151 articles. Despite the fewer posts, the number of visitors jumped by 35% year-over-year.

Countries

Israel and the United States continued to lead the readership, accounting for 70% of the views overall, down from 73% in 2015. The drop was due to the readership in Israel being flat, while readership around the world grew. Visitor growth from English-speaking countries was significant: Canada (+49%); United Kingdom (+46%); Australia (+14%) and South Africa (+125%). Overall, readership from those countries jumped to 18% of the total, up from 15% in 2015. Other countries that also saw an increase in viewership included: Netherlands; France; Germany; Sweden; Norway; and Brazil. Brazil saw the greatest increase year-over-year, jumping 167%.

Articles

The most popular stories of 2016 were:

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Jared Kushner’s Parents Donate $20 million to the First Hospital Likely to Win the Nobel Peace Prize

UN Media Centre Ignores Murdered Israelis

The Countries that Acknowledge the Jewish Temple May Surprise You

Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

New York Times Grants Nobel Prize-in Waiting to Palestinian Arab Terrorist

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

Referrers

In 2016, Facebook became an even more important source of viewers, jumping to 60% of referrers from 46% in 2015.  Search, The Jewish Press and Twitter continued to be the next important sources, but Facebook did not take share from any of those categories, as much as other referral sites.

Some of the global sites that have linked to the FirstOneThrough blog include:

Australia
Jewish Issues Watchdog
Jews Down Under

France
Malaassot

Germany
Heplev

Switzerland
Politisches
Audiatur Online

Austria
DerStandard
Antisemitism-europe

Holland
Fredbarendsma

Poland
Listyznaszegosadu

Norway
SMA-Norge
Rights.no has taken information without properly sourcing the information and link to FirstOneThrough

Denmark
Document.no also used information with properly sourcing FirstOneThrough

China
LightOfZion

Brazil
Pletz

Israel
Israellycool
JewsNews
Shiloh Musings
Calevbenyefuneh
Anne’s Opinions
Israpundit
Aliyahland

Canada
Black Kettle
AmProject

USA
Jewish Press
American Thinker
CAMERA (not used properly as not sourced to FirstOneThrough)
The Israel Forever Foundation
JewishLeadership
Legal Insurrection
The Truth About Guns
ElderOfZion
EretzYisrael
Watching Over Zion
DusIzNies (not used properly as not sourced to FirstOneThrough)
TeaParty Community
1jewess
Exposing Modern Mugwumps
UN Trendolizer
Jewish Refugees 
FreeRepublic

Please continue to encourage others to join the blog.

Wishing you a wonderful 2017.

firstonethrough 2 10
First.One.Through

 

 

 

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

A satire?

On July 27, 2016, America witnessed an unusual piece of political theater.  It was not that a member of a competing political party addressed a convention.  It was the thrust of the argument made on the national stage by a respected politician that there’s nothing wrong with marrying a prostitute.

Let me say at the outset that I have long believed that prostitution should be legalized.  How do our laws state that pornography and massages are legal but prostitution is not?  Why do we allow people to marry for money? Why do women’s rights groups fight for women to be able to control their bodies when it comes to abortion, but ignore the call when it comes to call girls?  Lastly, nothing would better protect women in the profession than legalizing the act.

But put all of that to the side.  I’m talking about selling your vote.  About paying for favors.  About quid (the British know it means money) pro quo. About Hillary Clinton.

hillary and bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton
(Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg addressed the Democratic National Convention in July to appeal to those who dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  His reasoning for backing Hillary Clinton for president was… well, you read it:

I know what it’s like to have neither party fully represent my views or values. Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence. Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction.

There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

In other words, she’s far from ideal, but the alternative is unacceptable.  She may have a bad track record, but at least she’s experienced.  You may not love her, but she’ll get the job done.

Sort of like marrying a prostitute.

Of course, you can hold out and wait to marry for love, but the wedding is scheduled for November 8.  The Bachelor has two finalists (actually three, including Libertarian Gary Johnson that the press never discusses).  Will you marry the person who skates on the edge of the law, has spent a lifetime in her craft, and works the angles to line her pockets, that you severely dislike?  Or the novice whose voice agitates you, who’s so new to the street that he doesn’t even know how all of the equipment works?

Bloomberg declared that this election was not about love, but getting the job done.  By a professional with a rate card.

Hillary got paid huge fees for speaking to Wall Street.  Fine.  Speaking fees are legal.  Pay-for-play is the Democrats way.

Look at the recent ransom payment that the Obama Administration made to Iran to release hostages.  The administration may say it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists – except for all of the times that it does.  And who’s worse off?  The Americans are free, and all we had to do was pay blackmail money. (Hey, the terrorism the Iranians will fund will likely be against Israel and Europe, so America should be OK, so chill.)

And just like the perfected sales pitch “But wait! There’s more!”

Search the leaked DNC emails and review the long laundry list of payoffs that Democrats made for influence.  So what?  It’s an ATM Democracy.

The farce of this election is that Trump was one of Clinton’s johns.  He paid in. He knows she’s worth it. Why don’t you get that?

A prostitute and a john walk into an election cycle…and the former mayor of New York made it clear that you back the service-provider.

Hooray!

It was long past time that someone stood on a national stage and said it’s time to decriminalize prostitution.  Thank you Michael Bloomberg.  You made your point clearly: There’s no love to be found in this election, so ignore your heart.  Pay for the Pro.  At least you can be sure you’ll get what you ordered.

And if you don’t have money, see if Obama can get a pallet of bills over to your house before he leaves office.  The Iranians say he’s a pro too.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Liar, Liar! Hillary’s Pant Suit’s on Fire!

Hillary’s Transparency

ObamaCar to Address Garage Inequality

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar

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The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

There is a catch phrase that is popular with the United Nations and the Democratic party in the United Sates when they discuss a two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. It surrounds the word “dignity,” and its unique application for the Palestinian Arabs.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon often called for realizing Palestinian Arab dignity, and US President Barack Obama also freely used the term for Palestinian Arabs.  The 2016 Democratic Platform highlighted Palestinian dignity twice in it’s short discussion of the Israeli-Arab conflict (statement below).

What about Israeli dignity? It’s never mentioned by the UN or Democrats.

Oslo Accords

The concept of “dignity” was originally meant to be for both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.  In the actual agreements signed by both parties in September 1995, the language is clear:

REAFFIRMING their determination to put an end to decades of confrontation and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity and security, while recognizing their mutual legitimate and political rights;”

Mutual dignity. Dignity for both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.  As agreed to by both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

Yet the Democrats and the United Nations NEVER mention dignity for Israelis. Why?

Palestinian Arab Dignity

Is there something unique and/or special about Palestinian Arab dignity?  How is it distinct from Israeli dignity? How has mutual dignity been replaced by dignity for a single party?

Is it the Economy? According to one prominent Palestinian Arab, Bassem Eid, the dignity that Palestinian Arabs seek is completely related to economic prosperity:

“Palestinians are anxious about their future. In my opinion, dignity can come only via economic prosperity.”

Is that it? Economic opportunity? Perhaps that is why Israeli dignity is not mentioned by the UN and Democrats – because Israel already has a thriving economy.

But if the goal was economic development for Palestinian Arabs, why did the UN and US President Obama advance plans to ban Israeli Jews from living in EGL (east of the Green Line)/ West Bank of the Jordan River? Economic prosperity for Palestinian Arabs would be stimulated by greater investment, trade and normalization of the working and living conditions of the two people.  Conversely, a Jew-free Palestinian state would hurt such path to Arab prosperity.

Is it Independence? Obama talked about dignity slightly differently than Bassem Eid:

“The Palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it.  Palestinians deserve to move and travel freely, and to feel secure in their communities. Like people everywhere, Palestinians deserve a future of hope — that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity.  Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”

In Obama’s formulation, dignity would be the natural outgrowth of independence and sovereignty. In other words, with an independent state, there would automatically be dignity. Palestinian dignity begins – and ends – with their own state.  Nothing else is needed. (I would assume that Obama believes the US still strips Native Americans of their dignity since they only have independence but no real sovereignty).

Perhaps, as Israel already had independence and sovereignty, there was no need to call out for Israeli dignity.

If only life were that simple.

The Palestinian Arab leadership has a much broader set of criteria than Obama’s and Eid’s independence and economic opportunity to bring about “dignity”.

Is it Freedom for Murderers? Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas spoke at a “Freedom and Dignity” conference in Ramallah, just weeks after he met with President Obama in 2013, and dropped the “d-word” a few times.

Abbas, and his left-wing radical European brothers-in-arms, argued for the release of Marwan Barghouti, who was in Israeli jail for the murders of five Israeli civilians. Abbas said that only the release of murderers like Barghouti will show that Israelis are ready for peace; only the release of murderers, could restore Palestinian Arab dignity.

All of the Above, and much more? For Mahmoud Abbas, the requirements to restore Palestinian dignity did not stop with economic prosperity, independence and sovereignty, nor the release of Arab prisoners.  As Abbas stated in his address to world leader at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, Palestinian Arab dignity was tied to Israel itself:

“Is it not time for the humiliating and degrading checkpoints and barriers set up by the Israeli occupying forces in our land to be removed, for the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip to be lifted, and for our people to move in freedom and dignity in their own homeland and outside? Is it not time to end the racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land, which is destroying the two-state solution? Is it not the time for the six thousand Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails to see the light of freedom and to live among their families and communities? Is it not the time for the longest occupation in history suffocating our people to come to an end?”

Is it No Security for Israel? Abbas’s version of dignity means that Israelis would not be able to properly defend itself by removing the blockade of Gaza (which a UN report viewed as legal). He also suggested that Palestinian Arabs should have free access “outside” –   meaning in Israel?  Does Abbas truly believe that security checkpoints into Israel should disappear, and Palestinian Arabs should freely cross without screening?

Is it Banning Jews from the Land? Abbas referred to Israelis living in EGL/ West Bank of the Jordan River as “racists, terrorists and colonialists.” Are Israelis racists for thinking that Jews should be allowed to live anywhere they purchase land? Is Palestinian dignity only realized by having a pure Arab country without any Jews?

Is it Killing Jews? By declaring that peaceful Jews living in their homes in EGL (like the Fogels and Hallel Yaffa Ariel) are “terrorists,” Abbas gave legitimacy to fellow Palestinian Arabs to defend themselves and kill Israelis, even as they slept in their beds.

Is it in Denying Jewish history? By saying that Jews are “colonialists,” Abbas rejected the entire 3700-year history of Jews in their holy land. Is Palestinian Arab dignity only realized by obliterating the history of the Jews?

That’s quite an order for realizing Palestinian Arab “dignity.”

Palestinian Arab Dignity Reversing Negotiations

Beyond the anti-Semitic and insulting concepts that Abbas considered in his definition of “dignity,” he sought actions directly opposing the parameters of bilateral negotiations to date.  Consider Abbas’s statement to the European Union in June 2016:

Peace and coexistence based on the foundations of justice, truth and respect for the dignity and humanity and freedom of each party on an equal footing, is the real guarantee for security and stability and a promising future for the generations to come, and your generations.”

No to a demilitarized Palestinian State? What does Abbas mean by “equal footing?” Is he suggesting that not only should Israel limit/ remove checkpoints with a new Palestinian state, but that such Palestinian state would have a full army, on “equal footing” with Israel? One of the basic premises of negotiating of a two state agreement was that the Palestinian Arabs would have a demilitarized country. Does that now deny Palestinian Arab dignity?

What can we expect Abbas to add to his list of items for “dignity?”

Dhimmitude? Will Abbas at some point allow non-Muslims to live in a new independent soverign Palestinian state, as long as they are “dhimmis“?

Honor Killings? Gaza has become the leader in the world in the barbaric practice of honor killings where families kill women who “dishonor” the family. Does Abbas feel that the practice will bring back honor and respect  to Palestinians?

Deny the Jewish Temples existed?  In addition to denying the long Jewish history in Israel, will Palestinian Arab dignity be realized by denying the Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem?  Must the Arab world push UNESCO to deny Jews their spiritiual home and legacy, to achieve “dignity?”

Deny Jews Open Access for Prayer? Will the Palestinian dignity be realized by forbidding Jews from praying at their holiest location?  The United Nations and Democrats seem to agree that Jews should be denied.

Calling Jews “sons of apes and pigs?”  Do Palestinians achieve dignity by dehumanizing Jews and referring to Jews as “sons of apes and pigs”?

Naming squares and tournaments and schools after killers of Jews? Does Abbas help the Palestinian quest for dignity by naming schools, squares and tournaments after mass murderers of Jews?

Refusing to teach the Holocaust in school or various forms of Holocaust denial? Does Abbas instill dignity in his people, by denying the Holocaust and refusing to teach it at human rights at UNRWA schools?

Suing Great Britain for the Balfour Declaration?  Is it not enough to deny the history and rights of Jews in their holy land, must Abbas gain Arab dignity by bullying the world into not acknowledging Jewish rights and history for themselves?

obama-with-un-secretary-general-ban-ki-moon

US President Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Is this the kind of dignity and vision of two states that the United Nations and Democrats have? Is that why Israeli dignity has disappeared from the minds of the jaded power brokers, because Palestinian Arab dignity can only be achieved by denying Israelis their own dignity?

Historians will debate the demise of the Oslo Accords. As they do, they will examine how the United Nations and United States embraced the twisted notion that Israeli dignity precluded Arab dignity, and more specifically, that Arab dignity could only be achieved by denying Israeli dignity.



Democratic Platform 2016:

“A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism. That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.  

We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity. While Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy on Israel is like the United Nations

Abbas Knows Racism

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

In an effort to stop global terrorism, the United Nations assembled a team that composed an official Counterterrorism Strategy.  The eight point plan was meant to serve as a set of guiding principles for governments to follow in the hopes of curbing terrorism.

Unfortunately, the UN ignores those exact principles when it comes to dealing with Palestinian Arab terrorists.

un counter terrorism

Here is a review of the UN’s Counterterrorism Strategy, and its approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  1. “[C]ontinue to strengthen and make best possible use of the capacities of the United Nations in areas such as conflict prevention, negotiation, mediation.”  Does the UN use the capacities of its institution in negotiations and mediation?  No.  It endorses a French plan that excludes both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs from the discussions.  It does nothing to encourage the Palestinian Arabs to commence negotiations.
  2. [M]utual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures.” The UN fails in this initiative as well.  The United Nations’ UNESCO arm drafted resolutions that deny that the Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and its centrality to Judaism and the Jewish people.  It argues that Jews should be banned from praying at their holiest place.  It’s entire treatment of Jewish holy places in the holy land is terrible.  Further, as detailed in “The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists,” the UN uniquely calls Jews extremists, while it never refers to Islamic terrorism.
  3. To promote a culture of peace, justice and human development, ethnic, national and religious tolerance, and respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs or cultures by establishing and encouraging, as appropriate, education and public awareness programmes involving all sectors of society. In this regard, we encourage the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to play a key role, including through inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue and dialogue among civilizations.” UNESCO denies Jewish history in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.  It undermines the education of the world of the 3700 year history of Jews in the holy land, including throughout the West Bank/ Judea and Samaria, as it worries that it offends Arabs. Another UN agency, UNRWA, does not teach the Holocaust to Palestinian Arab children for the same reason.
  4. “[P]rohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts and prevent such conduct.” The UN calls for the terrorist group Hamas to be integrated into a Palestinian Authority unity government.  The UN doesn’t seek to prohibit terrorism as much as reward it. The UN Secretary General loudly declares that he “stands with Gaza.,” which is run by Hamas that launched three wars against Israel. Does Ki-Moon ever say that he stands with Israel? Never.
  5. [C]ommitment to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all.” The UN worked to remove the Israeli company Sodastream from the West Bank/ Judea and Samaria, costing hundreds of Arabs their jobs.  In March 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Watch created a “blacklist” of Israeli companies operating east of the Green Line.  Does the UN want a sustainable economic model for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, or would it prefer to keep the Palestinians on perpetual life-support from the UN?  In any event, the entire notion that there is a link between poverty and terrorism has repeatedly been proven false.
  6. To pursue and reinforce development and social inclusion agendas at every level as goals in themselves, recognizing that success in this area, especially on youth unemployment, could reduce marginalization and the subsequent sense of victimization that propels extremism and the recruitment of terrorists.”  There is nothing that creates the sense of “victimization” of youth more than UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. As detailed in “UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews,” the organization is perpetuating a war from 1948 which the Arabs initiated and lost.  UNRWA is making children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of original refugees grow up in camps without citizenship to specifically foster the sense of victimhood. The UN never address or rebukes the multi-decade laws of Lebanon and Syria that prevent the stateless Arabs from receiving citizenship.
  7. To encourage the United Nations system as a whole to scale up the cooperation and assistance it is already conducting in the fields of rule of law, human rights and good governance, to support sustained economic and social development.” Is the UN happy with Palestinian laws which call for death sentence for people who sell land to Jews? How about giving a pass to honor killings? Rampant theft by government officials?  How has the UN helped the Palestinians these many years?
  8. To consider putting in place, on a voluntary basis, national systems of assistance that would promote the needs of victims of terrorism and their families and facilitate the normalization of their lives.” Maybe the UN can acknowledge the Israeli victims of terror for a change.  Maybe it can stop excusing Palestinian Arab terrorists with statements that they “resort” to violence.

The United Nations stands by while Acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas incites terror.  The UN ignores payments that the PA makes to terrorist families.  It seems to bless the naming of schools, squares and tournaments after terrorists.  The UN Secretary General never seems to have read the Hamas Charter or the Fatah Constitution, and then acts shocked when Hamas commits murder.

Instead, Ban Ki Moon asked Israel to put its trust in the Palestinian Authority as he statedIsraelis should be comforted by the emergence of a reliable partner and neighbour committed to Israel’s right to live in peace and security, opposed to violence and terrorism, and able to deliver on the ground.”  Within days, an Israeli family was killed while they slept by two Palestinian Arab terrorists.

The United Nations under Secretary General Ban Ki Moon ha stood watch while terrorism spread from the Middle East to around the globe.  The UN has acted as guardians of Palestinian Arab wards these many decades, and did not institute any of these reforms for itself or into the nascent Palestinian Authority.

How can the world put any faith in the UN in developing a plan to combat terrorism, when it has fostered and perpetuated terrorism in the Middle East?

As the UN doesn’t follow any of its own enumerated Counterterrorism strategies in dealing with Palestinian Arabs, maybe the plan might actually work.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

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

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

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Assimilation and Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

This morning, I woke to a sore throat, a broken boiler, and an outside temperature of negative two degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, I immediately went for the Advil, but hot chocolate has the benefit of making my whole body feel better, not just my throat. I slithered to the kitchen.

I do not have a consistent favorite type of hot chocolate. Oftentimes, I use a base of Hershey’s powdered mix to which I add some Valrhona or perhaps some Trader Joe’s Peppermint. This morning? Sick equals peppermint, right?

With my dairy sink pipes frozen, I was still able to use the boiling water from the Sabbath hot water pot left over from the day before. Thank God.

I used a small spoon to mix the steaming hot water with the various mixes. The hot water did a good job of breaking down the powder, but I had a hard time with some small peppermint balls that floated on top. I spun the spoon clockwise. Counter-clockwise. I pushed the stubborn balls down towards the bottom of the mug. Yet still a few minty clumps remained.

Determined, I took the bottom side of my spoon and mashed the remaining puffs onto the side of the mug. They spread there like a bug on a speedy windshield. I scraped the sides into the rest of my drink.

Fortunately, the water had not yet gone cold in my minute battle, and I was able to enjoy my warm cocoa. However, as it was not quite so hot anymore, I downed the mug rather quickly. It was delicious.

As I finished, I looked at the bottom of the mug to find peppermint sediment peppered on the surface. They survived my early onslaught. I grabbed the spoon to scoop them up, and enjoyed the burst of peppermint to cap my morning drink.

hot chocolate

Assimilation

The western world is deeply engaged in discussions about immigrants and refugees. Part of those conversations are about security, but another is related to society’s ability to absorb the thousands of new arrivals. Will they fit in? Will they blend in? What does their arrival mean for the nature of society going forward?

There are some people that are purists and believe that a culture stays fixed forever. They would prefer that their country, say Hungary, remains the same year-in and year-out. The only foreign languages they would hear would be tourists who come for a few days, spend some money, and then leave. No signs would ever be in a language other than Hungarian.  The people will all “look” Hungarian and “act” Hungarian.

The approach in France may be different. There, people may welcome immigrants with different backgrounds, but on the proposition that all of these foreigners will melt into French society. It is permissible to be Algerian upon arrival, but the expectation is to become French over time.

The United States has yet a different approach. It very much supports the idea of a melting pot, and has created an educational system that requires that different parts of society must interact with all others. Yet the country is also fine with the patchwork of distinct cultural identities. Chinatowns and Little Italy’s dot America, even while most Chinese and Italians blend into society at large.


I understand that some people want to have the exact same chocolate without any variety every single day. I think it’s a bit boring, but I’m not mixing your mug.

I also appreciate that some people are happy to incorporate a few flavors into their routines. They diligently try to make sure that everything is mixed so completely that all that is left is a singular blended society. No outliers. As I chase the foreign floaties in my hot chocolate, I sometimes think of myself as one of those people.

But there are times when I am reminded about those stubborn clumps that refuse to blend in. It may not have been part of the initial overall plan, but I am happy that some have remained distinct, as they were, when they folded into the mix.

A famous dim-witted philosopher once said that “life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.”  Maybe the corollary is that societies are like cups of hot chocolate; some are more blended than others.

I’m happy with mine.


Related First.One.Through Article:

The End of Together

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

Crises at the Borders

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2015 FirstOneThrough Summary

2015 was a busy year. Unfortunately, the world continued to be in turmoil with terrorism striking various parts of the world; the New York Times and United Nations continued to bash Israel.

First.One.Through posted 151 blogs over the year. The most popular posts were:

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Framing the Israeli-Palestinian Arab Conflict: WSJ and NY Times

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

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

While not in the top 5, the article for which I received the most favorable feedback was:

The Touch of the Sound of the Shofar

Readership continued to grow, up 33%. The average visitor continued to read 1.45 articles per visit (same as 2014).

The viewers came from 156 countries and territories (up from 130 countries in 2014), with the United States (62%), Israel (12%), Canada (5%), United Kingdom (4%) and Australia (4%) accounting for the vast majority. The top 20 countries were:

  • United States
  • Israel
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • India
  • Russia
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Spain

The countries that dropped out of the top 20 included: Tanzania; Ireland; Belgium; and Argentina.  They were replaced with Mexico; Russia; Austria; and Spain.  The top 20 countries with the largest percentage growth in readership were: Russia; Mexico; Switzerland; Norway; and India.

These are just the statistics based on those that visited the site. Several publications such as The Jewish Press reprint the articles and that data is not always captured here.  If you would like to repost any of the articles, please use the first two paragraphs, and then use a link to the First.One.Through site to the entire post.

Please continue to read and pass the article links to friends on Facebook, Twitter and email.

All the best for a wonderful 2016.

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