J Street is Only Considered “Pro-Israel” in Progressive Circles

J Street held its annual conference in late October 2019 where it had several Democratic presidential candidates address the left-wing crowd. The loudest applause was, not surprisingly, heard for the most progressive candidates: Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Bernie Sanders addressing J Street Conference October 28, 2019
It is interesting that J Street bills itself as “pro-Israel” when the crowd at its annual event gave a standing ovation to the most anti-Israel presidential candidate since the founding of the Jewish State. Sanders has accused Israel of war crimes, being racist and wants to divert funds meant for Israel’s security to the Arab people in Gaza who have launched three wars against Israel since 2008. Sanders may be the only Jew among the leaders of the Democratic presidential pack, but he is without question the most critical of the Jewish State.

And it is not a coincidence that Sanders if the most left-wing of the presidential contenders. It is only through the narrow prism of a progressive worldview that J Street and Sanders can be viewed as “pro-Israel.”

For most people, being pro-“fill-in-the-blank” means actively supporting that entity. It may be with words of support and encouragement to that entity. Perhaps its with active lobbying for trade and aid on that entity’s behalf. Speaking about it positively and with enthusiasm to others.

However, for J Street, being “pro-Israel” simply means believing that Israel has a right to exist and should have secure borders. I believe that Costa Rica should exist and have secure borders, but I don’t think that makes me “pro-Costa Rica.” Maybe if I associated with people who hated Costa Rica, I would be considered pro-Costa Rica for an otherwise benign point of view, but not among most of the world.

Which is precisely the J Street dynamic.

Inside the echo chambers of the progressive halls, suggesting that Israel has a right to exist is considered extraordinary and extreme. Vocalizing that it is and should remain the Jewish homeland is considered vulgar. That it has a right to defend itself against terrorism is deemed shocking.

That’s the sad reality among J Street’s peers. Groups like the New Israel Fund actively support organizations which try to dismantle any Jewishness of the Jewish State and fund global tours for people to demonize the Israel Defense Forces. IfNotNow fights to undermine Jewish presence in Jerusalem. Code Pink supports a boycott of Israeli products. Jewish Voice for Peace has supported terrorists who have killed Israelis. And the Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis on the boards of these institutions question whether Israel should exist at all.

The progressive stances on Israel can be seen in the “Women’s March” whose leaders are against “humanizing” Israelis and in BackLivesMatter which has a platform which calls Israel an “apartheid state” and advocates for B.D.S. (boycott, divest and sanctions of Israel). These are appalling statements and opinions.

With such a peer group of progressives, it should not shock people that in that narrow “coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks” as Barack Obama once said, J Street actually believes that saying the Israel should exist as a secure Jewish State is considered “pro-Israel.” Outside of the far-left extreme, that’s an opinion which is considered neutral – “pareve” as they would say in the Jewish community.

Actually being “pro-Israel” for groups like AIPAC means ensuring bi-partisan support for Israel, keeping trade and military cooperation intact, advocating for U.S. support for Israeli positions at the United Nations. J Street is against all of those ideas.

One could perhaps argue that it is useful for J Street to engage with their co-progressives and get them to upgrade their views on Israel. It is clear that the “Squad” of socialists in congress are not going to listen to AIPAC or the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

But it is horribly incorrect and out-of-bounds for the general public and media to quote J Street as the mainstream pro-Israel forum when it is nothing of the sort. It is merely the fringe “meh-Israel” segment of a radical leftist anti-Zionist ideology which is regrettably beginning to permeate the Democratic party.


Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street is a Partisan Left-Wing Group, NOT an Alternative to AIPAC

Bernie Sanders is the Worst U.S. Presidential Candidate for Israel Ever

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

J Street’s Select Appreciation of Transparency

Will the 2020 Democratic Platform Trash Israel?

Anti-Israel Lobbyists Dwarf Pro-Israel Lobbyists

BDS is a Movement by Radical Islamists and Far-Left Progressives to Block Your Freedoms

A Basic Lesson of How to be Supportive

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

Unity – not Unanimity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

The Anger from the Zionist Center

Rick Jacobs’ Particular Reform Judaism

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

Black Lives Matter Joins the anti-Israel “Progressives” Fighting Zionism

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

On Accepting and Rejecting Donations

The head of the MIT Media Lab, Joichi Ito, was forced to resign when people learned that he accepted donations from Jeffrey Epstein after he had pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor. Ito also resigned from several other boards in short order.

While institutions need donors’ money to exist and operate, they are becoming reluctant to be associated with certain types of individuals – in this case, taking money from someone who committed crimes against minors.

This is part of a growing trend of considering the source of donations, particularly among not-for-profit institutions.

Consider The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York which stated it will no longer accept donations from the Sackler family. While the Sacklers were not convicted of a crime, the Met felt that the owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyCotin, were responsible for “the ensuing public health crisis surrounding the abuse of these medications.” While the proper use of the drug helped many, the abuse of the drug became an epidemic causing the Met to conclude that the association with the Sacklers was toxic to the image and values that it wanted to portray. The simplified math was the Sacklers equaled Purdue equaled OxyCotin equaled opioid overdoses and death which should never equal the Met. Goodbye Sackler dough.

In June 2019, the University of Alabama decided to return the largest donation in its history after the donor called for a boycott of the State of Alabama and the university for passing a very restrictive abortion law. The university said that it did so because of the donor’s “ongoing attempts to interfere in the operations of the Law School.

The cases above highlight institutions returning donations because the donor either tarnished the institution’s brand image or actually sought to harm operations.

Some politicians have similarly returned donations from people who are associated with “sinful” activities like e-cigarettes. Sometimes the action is spurred by activists demanding that an institution return donations from companies who profit from actions deemed harmful, like immigrant detention facilities or, on the opposite side of the coin, demand a donor recall a personal donation or risk a massive boycott of their businesses.

In short, cash donations are no longer considered neutral currency of exchange but a binding seal between giver and recipient.

So what is one to make of noted Israel-basher Linda Sarsour raising money for Jewish causes, like repairing vandalized Jewish cemeteries? Are her vile comments about Israel and activists like Ayaa Hirsi Ali as well as association with anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan reasons to reject her funds? Many Jewish groups want her to be banned from speaking at forums or even entering Canada, while others are content to take her funds and ignore her more evil inclinations.

Universities are typically the most likely to turn the cheek while they open their pockets.

The New York University and many other colleges take in millions of dollars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country that openly executes minors as well as people who convert from Islam (apostasy), a fundamental human right. Yet no one batted an eyelash, until the Saudi government was accused of murdering a journalist. Suddenly, it became common knowledge that several U.S. universities had taken over $600 million from the Saudi government and Saudi companies. Those universities, not coincidentally, had become hotbeds for anti-Israel activity, including Columbia University, Tufts University, and the University of Southern California with each school receiving at least $1 million and George Washington University receiving $12 million in 2017. MIT received $78 million from the Saudis between 2011 and 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s funding of American universities paled compared to Qatar, which gave over $1 billion between 2011 and 2017. Qatar openly funds Hamas, a U.S. State Department designated foreign terrorist organization, and an openly anti-Semitic organization. No matter. Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, and Northwestern established satellite campuses in the small country.

Curiously, there is virtually no public outcry about universities taking hundreds of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Without a protest, it is highly unlikely that these institutions of “higher learning” will do anything.

Consider the situation when Islamic antisemitism went into global overdrive in mid- 2000 just before the start of the Second Intifada, pushing money and narratives of Jews and Israel as enemies of the entire world, most notably manifest in the 2001 Durban Conference about Racism. In July 2000, the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, donated $2.5 million to the Harvard Divinity School to endow the Sheik Zayed Al Nahyan Professorship in Islamic Religious Studies. Within a short period of time, the Zayed Center became a noxious fountain of anti-Semitic screed complete with Holocaust denials and blood libels. It took the non-profit group The David Project and a student at the Harvard Divinity School, Rachel Fish, to loudly protest the donation and Center itself. Harvard did nothing for years, but ultimately returned the gift in July 2004, but not before hosting speakers like former president Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Al Gore.


Jeffrey Epstein and Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan: too hot to handle

For the most part, Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s funding of terrorism and anti-Semitism has not irked the American public. Organizations only started to return funds to Saudi Arabia – like the Endeavor talent agency – after the murder of the journalist in October 2018. It would appear that the well-being of journalists ranks much higher than of children or Jews.

The dirty money does not only go towards research or new Islamic study departments at American universities. Oftentimes the money is for paying for scholarships to send tens of thousands of Muslim students into American campuses.

In the 2017/18 school year, Saudi Arabia had over 44,000 students studying in American universities – the fourth largest total in the world and as much as every country in South America COMBINED (a population 13 times as large). That total was actually down from the 2016/17 school year when there were over 52,000 Saudi students, and lower then the incredible 61,287 in 2015/16 – an astounding one Saudi student in the United States for every 537 people from that country. To give that figure context, that’s the equivalent of 610,000 American students studying in a single country, while the actual number of US students studying abroad, all over the world, was 330,000.

The enormous number of students coming from Saudi Arabia was the part of the Obama Administration’s outreach to the Muslim Middle East. The United States permitted greater numbers of students from Muslim countries than anywhere else in the world. That policy reversed course under the Trump Administration, as seen in the table below showing the annual change in the number of foreign students in the U.S.

Year Middle East Europe Asia Latin America
2012/13 25.6% 0.5% 7.3% 3.8%
2013/14 21.4% 1.2% 8.1% 8.2%
2014/15 11.9% 4.3% 10.3% 19.4%
2015/16 4.5% 1.4% 9.9% -1.7%
2016/17 -8.4% 1.0% 6.5% -6.2%
2017/18 -9.0% -0.2% 3.2% 0.3%

NYU, Harvard, Columbia, MIT and many other universities have been taking hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of students from corrupt Islamic regimes who finance terror and spur antisemitism. As many American institutions have begun to return tainted money from the likes of the Sacklers and Jeffrey Epstein, it is similarly time to send the money and students back to their point of origin.


Related First.One.Through articles:

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Buckets of Deplorable Presidential Endorsements

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

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

Related First.One.Through video:

Drive Saudi Arabia (music by The Cars)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Omar and Tlaib’s Antisemitic B.D.S.

Two members of congress, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were denied entry into Israel in August 2019 because of their work advocating for an economic war against Israel, called B.D.S. for boycott, divest and sanction. The two contend that their motives are noble in that they just seek to exercise their freedom of expression and speech to pressure Israel to improve the rights of Palestinian Arabs. In response to being rejected by Israel, they are now seeking to cut U.S. economic aid to Israel. It seems that haters of Israel can always find an excuse for B.D.S., including hurt pride.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar hold press conference on the ban preventing them from traveling to Israel, Aug. 18, 2019, in St Paul, Minn.

These two congresspeople have been openly hostile to Israel for many years. The question being discussed is whether these two women and the B.D.S. movement are really about real or perceived actions of Israel OR pure antisemitism.

The Sole Jewish State.
There is only one Jewish state, a situation very dissimilar to the dozens of Christian and Muslim countries. Boycotting Israel is therefore an attack on every Jewish state. One could perhaps not be so cynical about the two Muslim women’s motives if they were targeting only one out of ten Jewish states, similar to President Trump’s temporary travel ban on 10% of the Muslim-majority countries because of their poor security controls. But these same women gave no allowance to Trump and said he was singling denying entry to Muslims in a “hateful” assault. So, one can draw a conclusion that these women are driven by their own “hateful” ideology, persecuting 100% of the Jewish countries, not just 10 percent of them.

Relying on Prior Comments
Omar had no compunction calling out Trump’s travel ban because of the prior comments he had made about Muslims and Islam. Yet she cannot understand people viewing her attacks on Israel through the prism of her repeated negative comments about Jews. She says that “Islamophobia and antisemitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin,” but the reality is people see her and Trump as two similar bigoted talking heads.

Outrageous Claims
The B.D.S. movement which Tlaib proudly supports, makes wildly false and inflammatory claims about Israel. It openly uses terms like “apartheid,” “settler colonialism” and “ethnic cleansing” in vile libels which not only have no basis in fact, but are incendiary comments designed to rile up people to actively attack the Jewish state.

  • Israel Welcomes non-Jews While the Muslim Countries Practice Antisemitism
    The “ethnic cleansing” attack on Israel is an inversion of facts. At Israel’s founding it welcomed 160,000 non-Jews as citizens, while at the same time, Jordan expelled every Jew from the land it seized from Israel and specifically denied any Jew citizenship. Fellow Arab and Muslim countries followed suit and evicted one million Jews between the 1930’s and 1960’s. Today, there are 100 times the number of Arabs living inside Israel as there are Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries. Arabs in Israel are thriving. where their numbers are growing faster than the organic population of any neighboring Arab country.
  • Israeli Arabs like the Jewish State
    When Israel passed its Nation-State Law, many supporters of the B.D.S. movement claimed that it showed Israel to be a racist country. However, they ignored the polls which showed that Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly support the law, even more than Israeli Jews!
  • Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than Europe
    Israel permits people to wear hijabs and burqas, to build churches, mosques and minarets, to have halal food, perform circumcisions and use Sharia courts. Those are freedoms you cannot find in France, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Latvia or Turkey, to name a few countries.
  • Israel is the most liberal country in MENA
    The simple fact is that Israel is an open liberal democracy, with rights and protections for all people. There are Arabs in the Israeli parliament, the Supreme Court and the army. Muslims are allowed to pray at Judaism’s holiest site and can become the prime minister in the country. Those liberties are in sharp contrast to its Arab Muslim neighbors.
  • Israel is the Reestablishment of Jewish Sovereignty
    The B.D.S. claim of “colonialism” is not just a lie but antisemitic. It deliberately erases the 3,300 years of Jewish history in the land and ignores Judaism’s focus of prayer and pilgrimage to Jerusalem for millenia. It is a part of a new type of repulsive “replacement theology” in which Arabs have transformed themselves into the indigenous people in the holy land and Jews are recent invaders.

B.D.S.’s Goal is the Destruction of Israel
The founder of the B.D.S. movement, Omar Barghouti, states very clearly that his movement seeks to end the Jewish State in any configuration or size, “most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” Even long-time critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein said that the supporters of B.D.S. “don’t want Israel [to exist].”

B.D.S. Tactics are Attacks, not Protests
The tactics deployed by the B.D.S. movement are through economic and cultural warfare. Omar and Tlaib saying that they are just expressing their opinions is a far cry from reality. The movement wants universities, companies and countries to stop investing in Israel, from conducting any commerce, collaboration or trade, and to sanction it often and repeatedly. A small country like Israel would be crippled without its export/import industry.

Democratic Socialists Embrace B.D.S.
Tlaib and Omar have common cause with the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialists which have also embraced B.D.S. In doing so, they are mainstreaming the falsehoods and vilification of Israel and advancing an economic war against the Jewish State.

Pressuring Only the Jewish State in the Dispute
The two members of Congress and the B.D.S. movement claim they are seeking a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Arab conflict, but are only attacking one party, not attempting to bring them together.

  • Nominally about a Dispute or a Civil War
    The Arabs have been fighting with the Jews over the control of the land for 100 years in a long-simmering civil war. It has still not ended as neither side has claimed victory nor defeat, leaving millions of Arabs stateless. Progressive empathy is naturally drawn to the weaker party, without consideration of who is actually right or whether the fault of the terrible situation lies at the leadership of the weaker party. The alt-left and Muslim extremists either ignore or celebrate the acting-president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas calling for millions of fighters to descend on Jerusalem (1:03) and the Hamas Charter which calls for the killing of Jews and refusing to ever negotiate a peace with Israel.
  • Palestinians Have No Ability to Negotiate
    The leader of the PA’s four-year term in office ran out over a decade ago. He has no mandate to negotiate, and polls show that the Palestinians want him to resign. He also does not control Gaza, and has not been able to govern a Palestinian parliament which has 58% of the members belonging to Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization. Abbas has never shown a compromise in his negotiations with Israel and has never been able to control Hamas. Therefore, there is no logic for Israel to negotiate with a straw man who cannot deliver, and it is unfair to punish Israel for failing to reach an agreement with such counter-party.

Omar and Tlaib Refuse Visit to Israel and Schedule Visit to “Palestine”
Over forty Democratic members of Congress went to Israel in the beginning of August and met with Israelis and Palestinian Arabs in a well organized trip. But Omar and Tlaib boycotted the trip and instead decided to go on a trip to the State of “Palestine,” even though the United States does not recognize such a country. Their agenda was organized by Miftah, a group which has excused the killing of Israeli civilians.


The B.D.S. movement is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State and the nullification of Jewish history and Jewish rights, which is why the Israeli government banned entry for people affiliated with the movement. It is manifestation of Palestineism which believes the dignity of Palestinians is predicated on erasing the dignity of Jews. Omar and Tlaib are its current ugly face, but it’s in the hearts and minds of other Democratic Socialists.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Ilhan Omar Isn’t Debating Israeli Policy, She is Attacking Americans

Muslim Women Debate Anti-Semitism

The Insidious Jihad in America

The Antisemitic Youth

The Mourabitat Women of Congress

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Anti-Israel Lobbyists Dwarf Pro-Israel Lobbyists

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Names and Narrative: Zionist Entity and Colonial Occupier

The subway wasn’t all that crowded but I was close enough to peer over her shoulder nonetheless. Instagram pictures in rapid succession flashed by on the women’s cellphone. A pretty girl puckering her lips with floating hearts; a cat wearing a hat; balloons on a beach.

Then the images stopped. A phone call came in. It read simply: “KIDS DAD.”

There was no name. The person had no identity. Just a label.

She would not answer the phone.

The woman returned to viewing pictures. And the phone rang again to the same reaction: no engagement.

The man was presumably her partner at one point in time. They were intimate in a way that she was not with most of the world. But that’s long gone.

The only tie that keeps them connected now are cherished children. They each want the children to be cared for but have very different visions of what that means. They may even believe the other person is no parent at all, but bound by blood to the child and nothing else.

If this woman will engage with the “kids’ Dad,” she will do so with a lawyer or mediator. She cannot talk to him without screams and shouts, finger pointing and cursing. The past cohabitation is a relic of ancient history. The future will forever include third party counselors as long as the children are minors. One day, once the kids are old enough, they will decide on their own with whom to engage.


So it is with the State of Israel.

Dozens of Arab and Muslim countries refuse to speak its name. They call it the “Zionist entity” and “colonialist occupier.”

These countries view the Jewish State as a temporary entity with whom to reluctantly deal with, only because of its connection to something they hold dear. Just as the woman may be forced to deal with her kids’ father, so the Arabs and Muslims begrudgingly deal with Israel.

But the hatred harbored in the holy land is often much deeper.

While the children’s mother may have claimed in court that the father beat her in an effort to gain sole custody, she likely never denied that the man was the father of the kids. But the Arabs do both, claiming they are innocents slaughtered by the Israeli army, and that Jews are Khazars, European invaders with no connection to the land. The Palestinian Arab leadership even flatly refuses to recognize Israel as the Jewish State because of what it might suggest for the land and people it believes Israel wrongfully occupies. Arabs become apoplectic, as though the ex-spouse converted children away from Islam, in an act of apostasy worthy of death.

Bring in the United Nations. Call the dozens of fellow Arab and Muslim nations to punish and isolate this “Zionist entity.” Collectively, they contend they can end the injustice.

But this land will never end its 18-year period of being a ward of parents. So the hated partner must be labelled an outsider, an interloper, a thief and a murderer. Whatever arguments can swing the court of world opinion to grant sole custody.


The Israelis and Arab/ Muslim world repeat a dance which can be seen in family courts every day. Sometimes calm, but most often contentious, parties fight over cherished children.

But the allegory is not that accurate.

The Jews are the actual natural birth mother of the holy land. They are the people who gave the land its sacred nature. Judaism is the only religion with a connection to a specific land, a land they lived in for thousands of years before the Muslim Arab invasion.

The Muslims and Arabs are not even foster parents of the land. They are conquerors who swept over the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Like Boko Haram which kidnapped hundreds of girls in Nigeria, the Muslims swept up others to be their brides against their will.

Like the Nigerian parents who got their girls back, the Jewish people have reclaimed their holy land. They have brought prosperity with them, together with freedom of religion and press not seen anywhere else in the MENA region. Remarkably, the Israelis welcomed hundreds of thousands of Arab residents to become Israeli citizens when it declared a state, a group which now accounts for 25% of the country.

But the word “Israel” and “Israelis” still cannot pass their lips, as Arab and Muslim countries call it the “Zionist entity” and Israeli Arabs prefer to call themselves “Palestinian citizens of Israel.” They will not acknowledge the Jewish State nor engage with it without mediators. A mindset for perpetual animosity in a tug-of-war over a parcel of land.

This relationship cannot yield peace with the current Arab mindset, only a bitter divorce with two parties forever fighting over children who will never grow older.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

Squeezing Zionism

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

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

Names and Narrative: “Palestinians” versus Palestinian Arabs / Israeli Arabs

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

25,000 Jews Remaining

The number 25,000 is both random and round. And it serves as a powerful marker of the Jewish population in cities and countries around the world; which are growing and which are disappearing.

17 Countries versus 34 (1948)

There are now 17 countries with over 25,000 Jews. That is half of the total that existed when Israel was founded in 1948.

Israel          6.6 million Jews
USA           5.7 million
France           453,000
Canada         391,000
UK                290,000
Argentina     180,000
Russia          172,000
Germany      116,000
Australia      113,000
Brazil             93,000
South Africa  69,000
Ukraine         50,000
Hungary        47,000
Mexico          40,000
Netherlands  30,000
Belgium        29,000
Italy               28,000

Most of the countries that dropped below the 25,000 level over the past 70 years were in Arab and Muslim countries including Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Iran, as those countries effectively expunged the Jewish populations due to anger over the founding of Israel. The total population from all of those Arab and Muslim countries now stands at 27,000, just north of the 25k mark (15k in Turkey, 5,800 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and Tunisia 1,000). The Jews who fled those lands in the 1950’s through 1970’s principally moved to Israel, France, the United States and Canada.

The various entities that made up the Former Soviet Union also account for a drop in the number of countries with over 25,000 Jews. Some of those regions experienced mass migration due to the pogroms of the early 20th century, and other Jews left after World War I and when Russia allowed Jews to leave in the 1990’s. In 1900, 70% of world Jewry lived in the FSU, while only 3% live there today.

And of course, the Holocaust decimated the Jewish population in Europe from 1938 to 1945, including in Poland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Greece. Before 1948, there were dozens of countries with more than 25,000 Jews.

The next countries which will likely fall below the 25,000 level will be Belgium and then Italy. Belgium has seen a rise in antisemitism including the shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in 2014, and the mocking of Jews as moneylenders at a Carnival parade in March 2019, as well as from a decline in the diamond industry which employed many Jews in Antwerp. Italy has seen a migration of its Jews due to the influx of Muslims who have brought new levels of antisemitism at two to five times the level of Christians, as demonstrated in ADL polls. New laws banning ritual slaughter and possibly prohibiting circumcision in European countries will also weigh on where Jews decide to live. The aging population is also encouraging young Jews to migrate to find spouses elsewhere.

The net effect is that over the course of the last 100 years, Jews went from mostly speaking Russian, German and Arabic to speaking English and Hebrew.

It is unlikely that there will be any new countries joining the 25k list as most migration is going to the more established countries.

27 Cities in the United States

The 17 countries with over 25,000 Jews can be put in context when one considers that there are 27 metropolitan areas in the United States with over 25,000 Jews.

New York           1.5 million Jews
Los Angeles         519,000
San Francisco      391,000
Chicago                292,000
Boston                  248,000
Washington D.C.  215,000
Philadelphia         215,000
Atlanta                 120,000
Miami                   119,000
San Diego           100,000
Cleveland             86,000
Denver                 84,000
Phoenix                83,000
Las Vegas            80,000
Detroit                  78,000
Seattle                  63,000
Dallas                   58,000
St. Louis               54,000
Tampa                  51,000
Houston               48,000
Portland, OR        47,000
Pittsburgh            42,000
Minneapolis         40,000
Hartford               34,000
New Haven         30,000
Cincinnati            27,000
Milwaukee           26,000

The total number of US cities with over 25,000 Jews will likely grow, as Jews consider leaving the expensive markets in New York and California and go to cities with quality schools and good job opportunities, including Austin, Nashville and Raleigh.

Anti-Semitism

The Jews of the 20th century mostly left their home countries due to antisemitism, as opposed to job opportunities and quality of life which is why they move within cities inside the United States.

To give a sense of scale of the impact of antisemitism, the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust over roughly six years, equates to 25,000 Jews being killed every 5.5 days. That is equivalent to wiping out all of the Jews of Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Belgium and Italy in a single month. Repeatedly. For six years.

Antisemitism has no equivalent to any other hatred – not to “Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry,” – as listed in the March 2019 House resolution drafted because of the anti-Semitic comments made by Ilhan Omar, the new Democratic US Representative in Congress who is also the first black Muslim woman in Congress. Antisemitism has pushed over 80% of world Jewry into just two countries, the United States and Israel. Vile comments made by elected officials (including in the US, UK and Iran) attacking Jews and basic Jewish human rights in those two remaining outposts – and defended by senior politicians – rises to the level of attempted genocide of the Jewish people.


Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Bernie Sanders conduct a news conference in
Washington, D.C. on Jan. 10, 2019. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP)

Will the 40,000 Jews in Minneapolis begin to fear for their safety because of the sentiments of the Somali community in Minnesota? If the migration begins – Jews abandoning a US city because of antisemitism – God help us all.


Related First.One.Through videos:

Jewish Migration Since 1900 (music from Diana Ross)

Aliyah to Israel (music by the Maccabeats)

Ethiopian Jews Come Home to Israel (music by Phillip Phillips)

1001 Years of Expulsions (music from Schindler’s List)

Related First.One.Through article:

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

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

Racist Calls of Apes and Pigs? Forget Rosanne. Let’s Talk Islam

Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

On Heretics and Slanderers

Judaism’s primary daily prayer has two common names in Hebrew, called the Amidah (because a person stands for the prayer), and the Shmoneh Esrei (which means “18” for the 18 blessings in the prayer). However, in reality, the Shmonesh Esrei has 19 blessings, as an additional one was added about 1900 years ago.

The nineteenth blessing was added by Jewish sages due to divisions within Judaism around the 2nd century CE. The background story resonates in some format today.

The Introduction of the 19th Blessing

After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70CE, the traditional model of Temple service was terminated. In its stead, rabbinic Judaism as outlined by the Pharisees, began to take root as the new established norm. It included traditions such as the Oral Law, which became codified in the Gemara or Talmud.

A competing group, the Sadducee sect, did not believe in the Oral Law and rejected the Pharisees’ Gemara. In reaction to that rejection, according to the Gemara in Berakhot 28b and 29a, Rabban Gamliel, the leading rabbi of the 2nd century, considered how to minimize the influence of the Sadducee sect within the Jewish community. In an attempt to keep the Sadducees from infiltrating the minds and hearts of the nation, he had a new blessing composed against these “heretics” to be inserted into the Shmoneh Esrei. As detailed in Berakhot, the goal of inserting the new blessing in the primary prayer was that Sadducees would not join in such service which cursed their efforts, and would disassociate themselves from the community. How could a person stand in prayer with a community that was reciting blessings that cursed them?

Interestingly, the Gemara did not offer a more straightforward explanation of the blessing: that Jews wanted the efforts of these heretics to fail and were collectively rejecting their views of Judaism.

Here is the prayer, as translated in Orthodox prayer books today:

וְלַמַּלְשִׁינִים אַל תְּהִי תִקְוָה. וְכָל הָרִשְׁעָה כְּרֶגַע תּאבֵד. וְכָל אויְבֵי עַמְּךָ מְהֵרָה יִכָּרֵתוּ. וְהַזֵדִים מְהֵרָה תְעַקֵּר וּתְשַׁבֵּר וּתְמַגֵּר וְתַכְנִיעַ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, שׁובֵר אויְבִים וּמַכְנִיעַ זֵדִים:

And for slanderers may there be no hope; and may all wickedness be destroyed instantly and may all Your enemies be cut down quickly. Quickly uproot, smash, and cast down the arrogant sinners and humble them quickly in our days. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who breaks enemies and humbles arrogant sinners.

Today, the prayer is normally translated to be against as “slanderers” rather than “heretics” as intended 1900 years ago. The difference is significant in terms of intention, but perhaps less meaningful in terms of population, as discussed below.

Heretics

The notion of condemning “heretics” was religion-oriented. These people were “enemies” of God, distorting His laws. They stood against God and were “arrogant sinners,” a corrupting force against organized and unified religious practice.

Seen from today’s perspective, heretics may mean people like “Jews for Jesus.” They are people who nominally state they are within the Jewish community but espouse views that are not in concert with Judaism. As opposed to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other religions which are viewed as completely distinct from Judaism and therefore neither addressed nor condemned, the blessing targets missionaries within the Jewish fold who seek to distort and undermine rabbinic Judaism.

Slanderers

While heretics are enemies of religion, slanderers are enemies of the people.

Two thousand years ago, the Pharisees and Sadducees did not only split on religious matters, but also on political ones. While the Pharisees delved into the meaning and application of Oral Law, the Sadducees were more politically-oriented. The Sadducees conspired and worked with the Romans, reporting on fellow Jews. They leveraged influence not just for their own benefit, but to undermine and harm fellow Jews.

In modern times, slanderers could mean Jewish groups like “Jewish Voice for Peace.” This organization actively seeks to wage an economic war against all Jews living in the eastern part of the Jewish homeland and much of Israel as well. Another is “J Street” which actively lobbied the US Obama Administration to label Jews living in the Old City of Jerusalem and the “West Bank” as “illegal,” pushing passage of UNSC Resolution 2334.

Orthodox versus Non-Orthodox Prayer Books

The 19th prayer against heretics/slanderers found above is as printed in Orthodox prayer books today. This blessing has been deleted from the Shmoneh Esrei in Reform synagogues. There are a few possible reasons for the active deletion.

Reform Jews may have deleted the blessing as they did not want prayers to include condemnation of fellow Jews. Perhaps they sought a more positive spiritual experience during the prominent prayer service.

It is also possible that some of the editors of the Reform prayer books believed that the blessing was taking aim at themselves as either heretics or slanderers.

The concern regarding heresy is that Reform Judaism broke from thousands of years of rabbinic Judaism in many facets, including believing that the Bible was written by a human, not God, and that the definition of “who is a Jew” is not limited to matrilineal descent but could be passed down from a Jewish father as well.

As it relates to slander, the leading rabbis of the Reform movement are active in groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, T’ruah and many others that publicly call out Israel on the global stage. While they believe they are striving to hold Israel to a high standard, there is no question as to their criticizing fellow Jews. Knowing that the 19th blessing was composed by Orthodox rabbis who were trying to enforce conformity and control, deleting the blessing could have been an attempt to free themselves of traditional constraints.

Whichever reason, the Orthodox (and still the Conservative branch of Judaism) is in the minority in keeping the blessing, as the Reform, Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal branches of Judaism have deleted it. The non-Orthodox branches are the largest in the United States and do not fear being marginalized like the Sadducees of 1900 years ago. They have their own synagogues and do not need to pray in the handful of Orthodox shuls where the blessing against heretics is recited.

Israel Today

In Jerusalem, there is a cemetery on Emek Refaim Street that is run by a group affiliated with Jews for Jesus. They consider themselves proud advocates for the Jewish State, but also seek to convert Jews.

Mural from the wall above the cemetery in Jerusalem’s Emek Refaim Street
showing scenes from the Bible
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

While Israel allows all religions to operate openly within its borders, it prohibits missionary work. The heretics who run the cemetery know this, and are careful with how they distribute their literature, walking a fine line of sharing information while avoiding proselytizing.

The Jewish State has also begun to take a more forceful response to slanderers and those that actively seek to harm Israel and Israelis. Specifically, groups like Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace which lobby governments to sanction Israel and boycott goods are being stopped from entering the country.

It is likely not a coincidence that the government of Israel has begun to act against slanderers, and the fact that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is a political creature which only has Orthodox rabbis. Orthodox Judaism seeks a protective fence around religious practice and the Jewish people, and the rabbis have no issues calling out people who break from the insular fold and bring in external political forces to harm Israeli Jews. A theoretical office of the Chief Rabbinate which included all of the other branches of Judaism would likely not only redefine who is a Jew and the types of marriages that could be practiced in Israel, it would also likely greet Code Pink with a welcome banner at the airport.


There is a gap in the Jewish people, just as there was thousands of years ago: there are those that believe in traditional rabbinic Judaism and those that reject it. There are those that seek to slander and malign fellow Jews to the world and those that condemn such actions.

The Sadducees of 2,000 years ago ultimately faded away, while the rabbinic Judaism of the Pharisees became the established norm. Yet over the last few hundred years, new branches of Judaism emerged which initially only challenged the traditional rabbinic view of Judaism, and now confronts fellow Jews as well. It is the Sadducees Redux.

The divide within Judaism is not new; it was just dormant. The schism manifests itself when the Jews have power to control their own destiny, as opposed to 1900 years when they were helpless minorities scattered around the world. The questions for today are whether the Pharisees (Orthodox) or Sadducees Redux (Non-Orthodox/ Progressives) will prevail in defining the future of the Jewish people, and whether they will destroy themselves and the Zionist experiment in the process.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Non-Orthodox Jewish Denominations Fight Israel

The Reform Movement’s Rick Jacobs Has no Understanding of Tolerance

Rick Jacobs’ Particular Reform Judaism

A Basic Lesson of How to be Supportive

Unity – not Uniformity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

An Orthodox Rabbi at the Capitol

For Liberals, It’s Israelis, Palestinians, and Indifference

Denying Entry and Citizenship

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

2018 FirstOneThrough Recap

The First.One.Through blog hit some milestones in 2018.

It crossed the 500,000 word-count and 600 article thresholds, for one thing. By way of reference, there are only a handful of books ever written that crossed half a million words such as War and Peace and Les Miserables. Not bad in 4.5 years of writing.

Year Articles  Words   Average 
2014 107        62,534           584
2015 144      143,239           995
2016 132      117,961           894
2017 106      104,462           985
2018 117      102,591           877
TOTAL 606      530,787           876

The articles continue to be picked up and re-posted by various news outlets and bloggers around the world. Some have translated the articles into different languages. Some of these include:

Paper / Blog Language Website
The Jewish Press English http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/firstonethrough/
Brabosh Dutch https://brabosh.com/
Shiloh Musings English https://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
Anne’s Opinions English https://anneinpt.wordpress.com/
Med Israel for Fred Norwegian https://www.miff.no/
JewsNews English https://www.jewsnews.co.il/
Love of the Land English https://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com/
Document Norwegian https://www.document.no/
Jews Down Under English https://jewsdownunder.com/
Hava HaAchrona English https://havahaaharona.blogspot.com/
Helplev German https://heplev.wordpress.com/
FutureLearn English https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/antisemitism/1/steps/294493
Facts About Israel English https://www.factsaboutisrael.uk/honest-news-from-israel/
Hammonton Schools English https://www2.eboard.com/eboard/servlet/BoardServlet?&ACTION=TAB_SHOW&ACTION_ON=TAB&OBJECT_ID=682149&SITE_NAME=hammontonps&BOARD_NAME=English,Cori&TAB_ID=682149&SESSION_ID=83hg80wmz3w3w99606
Israeli Frontline English http://www.israelifrontline.com/2018/07/the-time-factor-in-the-arab-israeli-conflict.html
Israel and Stuff English https://www.israelandstuff.com/
SMA Norwegian http://sma-norge.no/leder/hamas-takket-norge-for-hjelpen/
The Jewish Leadership Blog English http://jewishleadership.blogspot.com/
Israel Palestine Dialogue English http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2018/01/?m=1
Politisches & Wissenswertes German https://politisches.blog-net.ch/2017/12/12/corpus-separatum-endete-fuer-immer-im-jahr-1995/
The Times of Israel English http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/read-this-if-you-think-israel-is-apartheid/
Pleins Feux sur l’Heure Juste French https://pleinsfeux.org/largent-de-lonu/
Light of Zion English https://lightofzion.org/palestinian-conflict/do-you-know-why-israeli-settlements-are-not-illegal-under-international-law/
Education News English http://www.educationviews.org/alabama-comparison-u-s-senate-candidates-doug-jones-democrat-judge-roy-moore-republican/
Kattukse Vdienden Voor Israel Dutch https://fredbarendsma.wordpress.com/
Shamrak English http://www.shamrak.com/sh_editorials/EL_Trauma%20from%20Prolonged%20Warfare.htm

The articles are also often cited in individuals’ commentaries on different sites.

Blog Language Website
Connecting Singles English https://www.connectingsingles.com/blog_96020_1/who_owns_jerusalem.htm
The Educator’s Classroom English https://theeducatorsroom.com/teaching-liberal-job-america/
True Cost Blog English https://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/
VG Debate Norwegian https://vgd.no/samfunn/midtoesten/tema/1850040/tittel/boikott-eurovision-i-israel/side/19

These sites and links have been important sources of readers, but Facebook continues to be the most important, accounting for 44% of traffic. Search engines and Twitter accounted for 12% and 1%, respectively.

The articles that gathered the most interest in 2018 were about Ari Fuld, an American-Israeli who was killed in cold blood by a Palestinian Arab. Other articles that were popular were about the United Nations and CNN, which both negatively portrayed Israel throughout the year.

Interestingly, one of the most viewed articles of 2018 was written in 2015, called “Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War.” It was one of the most popular articles of 2017 as well and ranks as the sixth most read-article (at least linked to) on the First.One.through site.

There was no dramatic shift in terms of the countries viewing the articles from last year, with the exception of Japan and Hong Kong jumping significantly. In response, there may be more articles written in 2019 about Asia as it relates to Judaism and Israel.

Country 2018 2017
United States 59.4% 58.5%
Israel 8.5% 7.9%
Canada 6.9% 7.4%
United Kingdom 4.3% 4.5%
Australia 3.4% 3.4%
South Africa 3.0% 2.9%
Netherlands 2.1% 1.8%
Japan 1.0% 0.2%
Germany 0.8% 0.9%
Sweden 0.8% 0.7%
Hong Kong 0.8% 0.1%
India 0.6% 1.0%
Norway 0.6% 0.8%

The FirstOneThrough YouTube page has slowed down since August 2018. While no new videos have been posted in six years, until August 2018, there was still an average of over an hour a day of video watched on the channel. Since August, viewing time is down by half.

The most popular videos of 2018 were:

The Hamas Theme Song (Music by CSNY)” was removed by YouTube for violating community standards. Curiously, many of the sources for that video (translated by sites like MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch) which showed Hamas teaching Palestinian schoolchildren to murder Jews remain on YouTube.

Please share and comment on all of the original material.

Wishing you a wonderful 2019.

 

“Protocols of the Elders of Zion – The Musical”

A satire

Former Pink Floyd front-man Roger Waters just finished his new project called “The Powerful Jew.” The sprawling effort includes a movie, play and musical score. The most powerful songs include “Wish You Weren’t Here,” “Us and Them Jews,” “Money, All Jews Talk About is Money,” and the anthem “Pig Man,” about the evil Jew stealing and controlling world resources.

Floating pig with Jewish star at Waters’ concert

It has been getting a lot of attention in previews.

  • The New York Times called the work a “masterpiece” on par with the opera “The Death of Klinghoffer
  • Louis Farrakhan gave it “two Satanic Jew horns’ up
  • Al Jazeera said the movie “highlighted how Israeli forces are attempting to Judaize the world via various measures of control. They are attempting a takeover of Arab and global resources for their own benefit. Waters hit the mark.
  • Linda Sarsour, Melissa Harris-Perry and Tamika Mallory, organizers of the Women’s March said that the movie and music were “great” and loudly defended Roger Waters against charges that he is an anti-Semite: “Waters is no anti-Semite. He has enemies, just like Jesus had enemies for telling the truth.”
  • Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Socialist who just won election in Minnesota said that she will use some of the music from the album at her swearing in ceremony. “Waters’ work shows how the Zionist Jews have hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people to see the evil that is Israel.”

However, not everyone has loudly endorsed the album.

Former President Barack Obama said he didn’t think any of the songs would make his playlist for 2018. “I already have Palestinian rapper DJ Khaled on my favorite list. If I have too many [artists] who shout ‘Free Palestine’ on it, people will question my pro-Israel bona fides.”

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized Obama’s reaction to the work. Corbyn said “Waters is ‘an ambassador for peace,’ and members of Israeli government are war criminals. That’s the truth and I stand proudly with Waters. Shame on Obama and other government leaders for hiding in the shadows, still living in fear of their Jewish masters.

Corbyn is pushing Queen Elizabeth to knight Waters for his lifetime of work unveiling the global Jewish conspiracy. His target date is 23 May 2019, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the British White Paper which capped Jewish immigration to Palestine, resulting in the deaths of well over 100,000 of Jews in Europe.

When Waters was asked about the knighthood being proposed by Corbyn for the work against the evil Jewish empire, he repliedMe? I’m going to have a cigar. Corbyn? He’s gonna go far and fly high. Our goal of eradicating Israel? It’s never gonna die. Our mission of enlisting the world to combat the evil Jew? It could be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Highbrow Anti-Semite

Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor: Milano Zio

Charlie Hebdo Will No Longer Sell Magazines to 20 Islamic Terrorist Groups

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

Names and Narrative: It is Called ‘Area C’

There was another terrible murder of innocent Israelis the other day. The slaying happened in the Barkan Industrial area, not far from Road 5 in Israel, about halfway between Rosh Haayin and Ariel.

The Barkan Industrial Zone is in ‘Area C’ as mapped out in the Oslo Accords, agreed to and signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That agreement delineated three distinct zones east of the Green Line (EGL), commonly referred to as the “West Bank” or “Judea and Samaria.”

  • Area A: where the Palestinian Authority has administration and military control of the area;
  • Area B: where there is shared control with Israel; and
  • Area C: which is administered completely by Israel. The area is predominantly Jewish; only 7% of the West Bank Arabs live in Area C.

Israel created are a number of joint development projects in Area C, such as the Barkan Industrial area where several thousand Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews work together. The United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman noted that Barkan “has been a model of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence since 1982, with thousands working and prospering together. Today a terrorist shattered that harmony by brutally murdering two Israelis at work.

That model of coexistence was not just shattered by a murderer, but by some members of the media.

Consider first how some decided to describe Area C:


Wall Street Journal October 8, 2018 page A12

The descriptions above demonstrate the range of narratives.  The Jerusalem Post called the area by its long historic name of “Samaria,” which connects Jews to the region for thousands of years. Most of the Western media used the modern term for the region east of the Green Line that evolved in the 1950s to be the “West Bank,” as the world adopted an Arab point of view after Jordan illegally annexed the region in 1950. Al Jazeera was on the far extremist camp which took an Arab anti-Zionist viewpoint.

The media’s choice of name for the region equates to the narrative of the story and the overall bias of the publication. That much is clear in all of the various Names and Narratives articles in the First.One.Through series.
But the vileness of Al Jazeera was on full display, when it chose to go on a rant regarding the murder of innocent civilians in a work place designed to promote coexistence.
CBN News chose to not refer the overall area at all. It simply said that Barkan was near the city of Ariel. It noted that “For 35 years the industrial zone has been a model of co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.” It spent time describing the woman and man who were brutally killed. That’s a bias towards humanity, the polar opposite of Al Jazeera.
Zionists and decent people everywhere should shun anything produced by Al Jazeera and its pop video site AJ+. The videos should be neither viewed nor shared.
Names and definitions matter. When a horrific murder of innocents gets nothing but vile hateful Arab propaganda instead of mourning the lives lost in a region of coexistence, it is way past time that people to not only boycott Al Jazeera, but begin efforts to shut it down.
It is no longer a matter of Israel or Arab narratives. It is a matter of human decency versus noxious evil.

Related First.One.Through articles:

A Basic Lesson of How to be Supportive

There is a famous restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina called Hyman’s Seafood. Its menu is replete with non-kosher goodies like shrimp, crabs and calamari. The locals love the family run business – now in its fifth generation of management – as do the various celebrities and tourists who often must wait outside in line for up to an hour to enjoy the food and ambiance.

The warmth of the restaurant is very much part of the appeal. In addition to the many autographed pictures of movie stars that adorn the walls, are small cards sprinkled around the two-story building with sayings and words of advice. They include funny and off-color comments about relationships as well as more thoughtful sayings from important people such as Rabbi Israel Salanter. Yes, that’s a rabbi card in a traif restaurant.

The peculiarity keeps going. The storefront has mezuzahs on each door. There is even an option to have kosher food brought in from the local Chabad!

You see, the owners of Hyman’s are all about attitude. They envision a world that is inclusive, positive and happy. Their formula for creating that world includes spreading those messages throughout the store, and they live that credo by finding a way to enable every person to eat in their restaurant – even those that cannot eat their food because of dietary restrictions.

Pretty incredible.

Not surprisingly, the owners run their business in the same fashion. They have a sign on one of the walls that reads: “If you like us, tell others. If not, tell us!

It’s so simple and basic. Spread positive messages to everyone you can. Encourage others to frequent the establishment. Boost the store’s image and popularity.

However, if there are issues that bother you, don’t tell others about the perceived problems, but bring them up to management. Be constructive and the owners will make the effort to address the matter to the extent that they can. Don’t write letters to newspapers or get on social media with the bad news, as those actions would be detrimental to the business.

It is a simple concept that too many liberal self-declared “pro-Israel” groups and people fail to comprehend.

J Street and New Israel Fund

J Street’s tagline is that they are “pro-Israel,” even though it actively undermines Israel on the global stage. The group lobbied the Obama Administration to censure Israel at the United Nations and declare Jews living in the eastern part of the promised land to be illegal! How can such a group possibly be considered pro-Israel? Would someone who likes Hyman’s Seafood report them to the Department of Health? Trash them on Yelp?

The New Israel Fund supports Breaking the Silence which does media tours undermining the Israeli Defense Forces. How is that being constructive in working with the Israeli government itself to find ways to improve?

It’s not, and it’s not appreciated by the Israeli government.

Liberal “Balance”

Supporters of J Street and the New Israel Fund like Rabbi Sharon Brous believe that they truly love Israel and are simply trying to understand all sides of the situation with Palestinian Arabs. Brous penned a letter in the Los Angeles Times on August 26, 2018 about her taking her daughter to Hebron in an effort to show her “the other side,” which included “the harshest effects of the occupation.” Her letter described how difficult life was for the 200,000 Palestinian Arabs because some Jews wanted to reestablish the Jewish community there. She relayed how extreme and racist these Jews were.

Did she show a real balance to her daughter? Did she speak to the 93% of Palestinian Arabs that are antisemites? Did she tell her daughter that when the city was under Muslim control Jews were forbidden from even climbing the steps of the Tomb of the Jewish Patriarchs, let alone pray there? Did she educate her daughter that the Palestinian Authority has a law that calls for the death penalty for any Arab selling a home to Jews? That its president has demanded a Jew-free country?

Brous didn’t really show her daughter a complete or honest story. And that is her business to educate her daughter in a manner she desires.

However, her daughter wasn’t her real audience. The daughter was merely a tool for her to write to the whole world. Brous published her opinion piece marketed as a story in the widely read LA Times to publicly vilify Israel, written in a smug fashion of being an honest educator and parent.

The readers of paper understood the message: lovers of Israel think the country is vile too.


If groups like J Street and NIF, and public Jewish leaders like Brous want to be included in the pro-Israel community, they must learn a simple lesson from Hyman’s Seafood: if you have an issue, bring it up with directly with the party in charge. In public, sing the praises loudly to all.

Today’s self-declared “pro-Israel” alt-left groups and rabbis are harmful to Israel. Until these groups and individuals make major fundamental changes, they should be excluded from any pro-Israel forums, including schools, synagogues and umbrella Zionist organizations.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Unity – not Uniformity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Denying Entry and Citizenship

The Non-Orthodox Jewish Denominations Fight Israel

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis