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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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When Power Talks the Truth

The expression of “talking truth to power,” has a ring of empowerment in certain circles. It portrays weak or disenfranchised people challenging powerful people and/ or interests. The activity is often described as bold and risky and deserving of widespread support and admiration.

Liberals are most frequently heard using the expression due to their desire to flatten society by both promoting the weak and pulling down the powerful. They tend to distrust all forms of authority, according to the Cato Institute. Not surprisingly, stabbing a finger into the eye of powerful groups is a celebrated event.

However, the far lefts’ desire for equality has little to do with “truth.” The goal of equality – whether gender or income or racial – is of primary importance. Truth can be bent, altered or ignored to advance the liberal agenda.

As such, listening to extreme progressives’ use the phrase “talking truth to power,” has an awful dissonance. They doctored truth long ago.

When Power Talks Truth

Truth has the greatest impact when proclaimed by the powerful, especially on a global stage. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley used several opportunities during the week of July 23, 2018, to educate the world not just of certain facts, but about the importance of standing for and shedding light on important truths.

Nikki Haley told the ministerial group about the importance of religious freedom, not just for human rights, but for the basic foundation of peace. “The fact is, real peace cannot be achieved in isolation from human rights,” she told the audience, as she noted the countries of Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, and Sudan had been called out in 1999 for suppressing religious freedom. They would go on to become security threats killing thousands of their own people.

Nikki Haley called out the terrorist actions of Hamas and the destructive and hateful actions of Palestinian Arabs from Gaza destroying enormous swaths of Israel with arson attacks. She called out the Arab states for saying nothing:

“Where are the Arab countries when it comes to denouncing Hamas terrorism? Where are the Arab countries when it comes to supporting compromises that are necessary for peace?”

Haley called out the hypocrisy of the Arab world that claims to care about Palestinians, yet give zero or virtually no monies to UNRWA:

“Talk is cheap…

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Other countries did provide some funding. Pakistan gave 20,000. Egypt gave 20,000. Oman gave 668,000. Moving up the list, Turkey gave 6.7 million. Kuwait gave nine million dollars. United Arab Emirates gave 12.8 million dollars.

Again, if you judge a nation’s commitment to the Palestinian people by the words heard in this chamber, you might come to the conclusion that the United States has been less generous, simply because we stand proudly with our ally Israel here at the UN.

But once again, this conclusion would be entirely false.

Last year, while Algeria was providing nothing to UNRWA, and Turkey was providing 6.7 million dollars, the United States gave 364 million dollars. That’s ten times the combined amounts from every country I just named.

And that’s on top of what the American people give annually to the Palestinians in bilateral assistance. That is another 300 million dollars just last year, and it averages to more than a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993.

Since that year, the United States has provided over six billion – with a B – dollars in bilateral assistance to Palestinians. How much have the Arab countries – some of whom are wealthy countries – how much have they given to the Palestinians? It does not come anywhere close to what the United States has done.

To drive her point home, she made clear that America would not continue to play the Arab world’s farce:

The Palestinian leadership has been allowed to live a false reality for too long because Arab leaders are afraid to tell them the truth. The United States is telling the truth because we do care about the Palestinian people.

But we should all recognize that Palestinian needs are not an American problem any more than a Russian problem or a French problem. And they are certainly not more of an American problem than an Egyptian, Saudi, Emirati, or Turkish problem.

So the next time we have a meeting like this in the Security Council or in the General Assembly, and we hear speech after speech about the plight of the Palestinian people, I would ask those who are making the speeches to examine what your country is doing to help – other than speechmaking.

It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away.”

That’s talking some real truth at the UN Security Council.


US Ambassador to the UN  Nikki Haley addressing the UN Security Council
on July 24, 2018

But Haley had more truths.

Haley spoke for 30 minutes at the 2018 CUFI conference and called out many facts about Israel and the state of the world:

  • “We live in a world in which anti-Semitism is on the rise.”
  • “We live in a world in which terrorist groups and even some countries openly call for Israel’s destruction.”
  • “On many college campuses, the anti-Semitic BDS movement has become a trendy cause for students and professors who should know better.”
  • “Last September, when Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at the UN, he said that for too long, the “epicenter of global anti-Semitism was the UN itself.” That’s an amazing statement. But unfortunately, it’s true.”
  • “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That’s a fact. And President Trump had the courage to recognize that fact when others would not.”
  • “Many of the protesters in Gaza are anything but peaceful. If they were peaceful, there would be no burning tires, there would be no Molotov cocktails, there would be no flaming swastika kites flying into Israel burning thousands of acres of land.”
  • “When I heard country after country in the UN Security Council hypocritically standing in judgment of Israel, I spoke out. What I said shocked the people at the UN; but I’ll say it again, because it’s the truth: Israel has acted with more restraint than just about any other country would under those same conditions. It’s true.”
  • ” in the history of the UN General Assembly there has been over 600 resolutions on the Israel-Palestinian issue alone – and not one of them has ever mentioned Hamas. Not one in 600.”
  • “It’s very important to me that we represent truths and reality at the UN, even if it makes other countries uncomfortable.”
  • “UNESCO has the outrageous distinction of attempting to change ancient history. UNESCO declared one of Judaism’s holiest sites, The Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a Palestinian Heritage Site, in need of protection from Israel. That was enough. Ten months into this administration, the United States withdrew from UNESCO.”
  • “we don’t even need to talk about Israel to conclude that the Human Rights Council is a sham. But we should talk about Israel, because Israel is a special case that proves the moral bankruptcy of the organization.”
  • “The United States has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong. On the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone.”
  • “We demand that Israel not be treated like some sort of temporary provisional entity or pariah.”
  • “It cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn’t get to choose its capital city.”
  • “It cannot be the case that the Human Rights Council has a standing agenda item for only one country.”
  • “It cannot be the case that only one set of refugees throughout the world is counted in a way that causes the number to grow literally forever.”
  • “It cannot be the case that in an organization with 193 countries, the United Nations spends half of its time attacking only one country.”
  • “Our demand for fairness for Israel is actually a demand for peace. The UN’s bias against Israel has long undermined peace, by encouraging an illusion that Israel will go away.”
  • Fantasies encourage absolutist demands. When realities are accepted, then compromise becomes possible. When the reality of Israel’s existence is accepted, both sides will become freed to achieve a durable peace.”

A truly incredible dissertation about the importance of truth.

Past US administrations were both too concerned with angering the 50+ oil-rich Muslim and Arab nations, and with upsetting the impoverished (morally and financially) Palestinian Authority. No longer.


The world has been caught up with #FakeNews and #AlternativeFacts over the past few years. Extreme Liberals have added to the tempest with alternate realities of “my truths” as they attempt to enforce their worldview on the public. Reality was discarded as everyone fought for the mantle of the underdog.

Fortunately, truth has returned with a powerful champion. And her name is Nikki Haley.


Related First.One.Through articles:

When Only Republicans Trust the Police

In The Margins

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

Journalists Killed in 2016 #AlternativeFacts

From Eyes Wide Shut (11/13/16):

Today, the world has declared that truth can be ignored, openly and honestly. Fixed facts fold before the fantasy of personal belief. People shout their gestating gospels as the thoughts enter their minds and are blessed in their echo chambers on social media and in the streets.

Opinions no longer need an anchor in fact. People need not see nor hear a matter to declare it untrue or irrelevant. The world has become unhinged as the mind emerges as the sole arbiter of the firmament. Society has quickly moved beyond goggles of virtual reality to worship in the chapel of blind delusions.

In a world where facts are extraneous, we are only left with a clash of emotions.

Will we pass judgment solely on which party seems the most sympathetic because they feel the most injured? Does that foretell a future of balms for the pain, rather than solutions for the problems?

We are carrying our emotions across the threshold to deflower our intelligence. That is a marriage that will end poorly for civilization.”

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CNN Will Not Report Islamic Terrorism

The morning of May 29, 2018 in Belgium was shattered by violence. Three people were killed in the city of Liege, including two police officers.

And that’s all that CNN would tell its readers.

Police and ambulance are seen at the site where a gunman shot dead three people, two of them policemen, before being killed by elite officers, in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on May 29, 2018. – The shooting occurred around 10:30am (0830 GMT) on a major artery in the city close to a high school. “We don’t know anything yet,” the spokeswoman for the Liege prosecutors office, told AFP when asked about the shooter’s motives. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

It would not say that the attacker was a male, was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar,” that he had recently been released from jail, or that the attack was being investigated as terrorism. It did not report that the murdered police officers were women.

Was this select telling of #AlternativeFacts or simply terrible reporting?

The Guardian wrote about basic facts in the story, even if it could not report on it from its own sources.

“La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying the gunman shouted Allahu Akbar – “God is greatest” in Arabic – and had taken a woman hostage at some point in the attack.

The national anti-terrorist crisis centre, which interior minister Jan Jambon said was monitoring the situation, said terrorism could not be excluded as a motive though it was also looking into other possible reasons. “It is one of the questions on the table, but for the moment all scenarios are open,” a spokesman for the crisis centre said.”

SkyNews reported on the man’s name in addition to his history of crimes. Perhaps they do not mind giving the killer “fame” for his actions.

The Jerusalem Post went into much detail, including the stabbing murder of the two policewomen. It also detailed the history of Islamic radicalism in Belgium, assuming that the latest act was indeed Islamic terrorism:

“A Brussels-based Islamic State cell was involved in attacks on Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and on Brussels in 2016 in which 32 died. The Brussels IS cell had links to militants in Verviers, another industrial town close to Liege, where in early 2015 police raided a safe house and killed two men who had returned from fighting with radical Islamists in Syria.

European authorities are deeply concerned about the risks of petty criminals, including those not from Muslim backgrounds, being inspired to Islamist violence while incarcerated.”

Reuters also made all of the above facts clear, including putting ‘Terrorist” in the headline of its report.

Yet CNN remained mum on all of these details.

Does CNN have fewer reporters in Belgium than media outlets in the UK or Israel? Was the best journalism it could muster was “Liege is Belgium’s third-largest city, after Brussels and Antwerp, according to the national tourist office. For centuries, it has been an important cultural and industrial center for the country.” Well, thanks so much for the thorough news analysis. Your fifth grade teachers would be very impressed.

People are getting more of their news from mobile devices than ever before, and relying on friends to source more of the worthwhile news sources, according to Pew Research. But news outlets still account for the origination of the stories.

If current trends continue, CNN will disappear faster than the facts it publishes.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Ties that Bind (and Those Unmentioned)

Covering Racism

CNN’s Embrace of Hamas

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

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