Politicians In Their Own Words: Why We Don’t Support Defending Jews

January 15, 2022 saw another reminder of the threats Jews face in the United States. A man walked into a synagogue during Sabbath services in Texas and held four people hostage. Eventually the congregants escaped unharmed.

Police deal with hostage situation at synagogue near Dallas, TX January 15, 2022

The Jewish community is by far the most likely minority group to suffer a hate crime in the US every year, and over the past few years, the attacks have included murder. In October 2018, Jews were shot in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. In April 2019, Jews were killed in a synagogue in Poway CA. In December 2019 Jews were killed in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ.

These kinds of attacks are more common outside the United States where terrorists attack Jews in their schools, shuls, community centers and restaurants in France, Belgium, Turkey, Argentina, India and of course, in Israel. Knowing of the threat, countries deploy extra protection to guard against the anti-Semitic attacks. But there have been some who do not support providing Jews with protection in the United States for their own reasons.

Liberals Believe That Jews Hate Gays

A number of politicians have stated their opposition to providing Jewish schools with extra police protection and had the following to say when a bill came up before the New York City Council:

  • Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) “They charge tuition, they should pay for their own security. I was against having churches in schools. There should be separation of church and state. As a member of the LGBT community, I know that a lot of these schools discriminate against us and if the city is going to provide any kind of funding, the schools should not be discriminatory.
  • Daniel Dromm (D- Queens) “Public schools have to come first. We are supposed to have separation of church and state. Where does this city funding for private schools end?” He added later “I know the same lobbyists for these private and parochial schools and yeshivas will be back again to rob the public-school budget of additional funding at some point in the future.
  • State Senator Brad Hoylman “As a public official, we have to stay focused on taxpayer dollars funding public schools. There are shortages of security officers in the public schools.
  • NY Civil Liberties Union “is strongly opposed to the use of government funding and services to support religion, including religious schools. This is an inappropriate use of city resources, and skirts dangerously close to government sponsorship of religion, forbidden by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
  • Allen Roskoff, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club “Religious institutions pushing this bill have a long history and present-day reality of discriminating against the gay community. Why should they be able to discriminate on our dime? Where is the concern for the safety of LGBT students and staff in these anti-gay religious schools? These Council members say they care about anti-gay bullying. How is a child being told by religious leaders that he or she is immoral for being gay not bullying?
  • Bill Dobbs, Civil Libertarian “Religious freedom does not mean socking overburdened taxpayers for special treatment worth hundreds of millions. Religious freedom means don’t disturb religion, it doesn’t mean you throw your wallet their way.
  • Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters “I see no evidence that there is a threat to these students. Surely they can afford to pay for their own security.
  • Harvey Robins, a former director of operations for the city, said “For what the Council wants to spend on this, they could open libraries seven days a week.
  • Teamsters Local 237 saidEvery New Yorker should be outraged at this proposal. This is a giveaway of taxpayers’ money.
  • United United Federation of Teachers President, Michael Mulgrew said this was “Crossing the line between public and private is something our forefathers were smart enough not to do.
  • Ernest Logan, President of the American Federation of School Administrators saidI want to know who in their right mind thought this was a good idea to take city money and put it into the private industry when you haven’t taken care of the money that you’re required to for the public.

Progressive Smear That The Jewish State Targets Palestinians

In the fall of 2021, several members of Congress voted to oppose helping to replenish Israel’s defensive Iron Dome missiles which it used to shoot down incoming rockets from the terrorist enclave of Gaza run by Hamas.

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweetedwe continue to pay lip service to human rights, peace and a two state solution. Yet we also continue to provide Israel with funding without addressing the underlying issue of the occupation.
  • Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) saidWe shouldn’t be sending an additional $1B to an apartheid state’s military. Especially not when we are failing to adequately invest in the health care, housing, education, and other social services our communities need.
  • Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) saidIsraeli military’s operations that resulted in heavy Palestinian civilian casualties must be scrutinized.
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib saidI will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted present according to the New York Times because of “influential lobbyists and rabbis.

Alt-Left View That “Black Lives Matter,” But Anti-Semitism Should Only Be Condemned Alongside Islamophobia

While denying Jews and the Jewish State monies for defending themselves from anti-Semitic attacks, many of these same politicians won’t clearly call out anti-Semitism when Jews are attacked, and instead issue broad sweeping comments, as they did in May 2021 when Jews were attacked throughout America during the barrage of missiles from Gaza against Israel.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (Idiot-VT) “We’ve recently seen disturbing antisemitic attacks and a troubling rise in Islamophobia.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Antisemitism has no place in our country or world. Neither does Islamophobia.
  • Rep. Cori Bush “The work of dismantling antisemitism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism, and every other form of hate is OUR work.
  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) “We’ve seen an increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate, in NYC and nationwide — hateful words, hate crimes, and other forms of violence.

The broad brushstrokes of condemning all forms of hatred when Jews were being singled out was an echo of the orchestration of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusing to censure Ilhan Omar for repeated anti-Semitic remarks and instead put forward a resolution which condemned ALL forms of hatred including “Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry.” Omar and fellow female Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were thrilled by the wording and said “It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history.” Rather than being scolded and embarrassed, Omar emerged as a proud victor.

The shocking matter of these statements is that they all come from one party – Democrats – home to the majority of Jewish votes for over 100 years. At least for now. The Orthodox movement has already shifted to 75% voting Republican according to Pew Research, and with the current alt-left movement away from basic protections from Jew hatred, more Jews may leave the Democratic party.

Related articles:

Mum on Black, Brown and Leftist Anti-Semitism

David Duke, Ilhan Omar and the Three Lenses of Anti-Semitism

Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Part of the Problem of Anti-Semitism?

Mayor De Blasio is Blind to Black Anti-Semitism

The Re-Introduction of the ‘Powerful’ Jew Smear

Courageous Jews On Hostile Campuses

College campuses have become extremely hostile places for Jews. The spike in anti-Semitic actions and anti-Israel vitriol spewed by both teachers and students are forcing many Jewish students and their parents to seek a course that is both safe and rewarding.

Those concerns and desire to find a blueprint forward brought fifty people to a Westchester synagogue to hear from two notable speakers.

On December 13, 2021, Tikvah’s Jewish Parents Forum presented a panel on “Raising Courageous Jews: A Guide Through the Cultural Minefield” at the Young Israel of Scarsdale. The group dedicated to “Preserving Jewish, Zionist, and American Values for the Rising Generation,” featured Jonathan Silver, Editor of Mosaic, and Liel Leibovitz, a Senior Writer for Tablet.

After Silver’s opening remarks, Leibovitz took the podium and essentially offered the audience his “Get Out” advice which he summarized in four points:

  • Jewish institutions won’t save you; the forces of culture are too great
  • Know who your friends are; it is now the moment to choose sides
  • ‘Do’ Jewish. Membership cards are meaningless; one needs deep engagement in Jewish life
  • Stop going to the expensive universities which despise your values

The approach made many in the audience uneasy. Several were the products of Columbia University (like Leibovitz) and other well-regarded institutions and hoped that they would hear methods for giving their children courage to stand for their Jewish values and the Jewish State. Instead, Leibovitz asked for the parents to have the courage to buck their instincts and send their kids elsewhere – or nowhere.

Silver seemed a bit uncomfortable with the suggestion as well, but for a different reason. Tikvah is dedicated to “bringing Jewish thinking and leaders into conversation with Western political, moral, and economic thought,” not to flee from the conversation.

So let me offer some of my own thoughts here which will be expounded upon in future articles in the FirstOneThrough blog and elsewhere where the articles are openly shared.

I start with a quote from a hero of Roger Hertog, the president of Tikvah, Winston Churchill:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Success and failure come-and-go, rise-and-fall like a spinning wheel, but courage is the engine that keeps propelling people forward through the various ups-and-downs. If we want to raise courageous Jews who will not break with Jewish values and the Jewish State, we need to give them life skills that will allow them to flourish in the good times, sustain them in the difficult times and a desire to stay on the path.

Parental Modeling

Asking a child to be a proud Jew and supportive of the Jewish State begins with instilling those values from a young age. Starting the conversation in the senior year of high school or once they’ve entered university is oftentimes too late.

Children are sponges and learn behavior from watching. When they are brought up appreciating Israel and Judaism and see that their family actively engages in the great aspects of the religion and peoplehood and stands up to fight and defend Jews, Judaism and Israel, their instincts are already trained.

  • Belong to a synagogue and attend classes
  • Donate to Jewish causes
  • Write to government officials and the media when anti-Semitic and anti-Israel articles are posted
  • Talk about Israel and Judaism at the dinner table
  • Attend seminars both on education and political matters
  • Vote in elections
  • Visit Israel
  • Bring your children to protests
  • Be involved in Jewish activities at your children’s school

Education and Conviction

It is much easier to have courage when one has conviction about the cause.

Sending children to Jewish schools and camps is a critical way to make them appreciate their history, culture, religion and the remarkable nature of the Jewish State. Being in Israel with peers is a wonderful way to connect with Jewish history, such as made available from Birthright Israel.

Young adults on a Birthright trip to Israel

College campuses tend to be much more liberal than society at large. Liberals’ focus on empathy drives them to support those perceived as weaker and more vulnerable. Pro-Palestinian supporters have leaned into this theme to draw progressives to their cause. Young adults need to understand that Israel is the most liberal country for over 1,000 miles in any direction, as it lays the foundation for deeper engagement.

Our educational system needs a different approach for discussing Zionism, doing so via teaching critical thinking, critical listening and engaging narratives. That is a longer discussion for another article.

Recognize Audience / Be a Critical Listener

Today’s mainstream media is growing ever more hostile about Israel. The media has normalized an anti-Zionist lexicon that is also increasingly anti-Jewish. Understanding language and the forum is critical for knowing how and when to show courage.

There was a time when society at large resembled a bell curve. Most people sat in the middle on particular issues and there were fewer people on the extremes of right and left. Social media and the death of news in favor of editorials have now magnified those margins. In the beginning, it just appeared that the fringe was large as they were loud. Unfortunately, society continues to move towards a barbell shape with people and politicians in the middle lurching to more openly radical positions.

On campuses in particular, students are being asked to take sides on issues which they may or may not have any vested interest or real concern. Leaders, followers and participants now show up at rallies in calls for “allyship,” the comfort of belonging, or simply classic peer pressure. While they may look like a menacing horde, they are still individuals.

Courage requires intelligence. It does not mean taking on every situation in the same way, responding to every action or to every person in the same manner. It is important to help our young adults listen critically to their classmates and distinguish between those groups and individuals that should be engaged in conversation and those that should be confronted aggressively, both directly and indirectly.

Tactics and Support

The anti-Semites and anti-Zionists have playbooks which are being shared in universities around the world. They include: “die-ins” and “apartheid weeks”; boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolutions; keeping Jews and Jewish organizations out of school clubs and student government; taking over Middle East Studies departments with anti-Zionist lecturers; anti-Israel and anti-Semitic speakers on campus; etc. These are the manifestations that make campuses feel unwelcoming to Jews which showcase the animus towards the “Chosen People” and God’s “Promised Land.”

It can be very overwhelming to young adults who are simply looking for a quality education and a nice time on campus to deal with such organized hate. Fortunately, there are groups who can help students understand that they are not alone in confronting the mob. It is easier to be courageous with company.

College groups like Students Supporting Israel are springing up on various campuses. StandWithUs gives students materials and information to stand up to misinformation and malicious activities. Fuel for Truth focuses on pro-Israel education for young adults. Club Z is helping train teens to be articulate proactive Zionist leaders. Hillel provides students a Jewish experience on campus. The Louis Brandies Center helps students understand their legal rights when confronting abuse. Students should visit these institutions on a regular basis and not be reactive to negative events on campus.

Each organization uses a variety of approaches in combatting the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel venom. An example may be handing out notices in front of the “apartheid wall” exhibit, about Neta Sorek, an Israeli teacher and feminist who was a strong supporter of making peace with Palestinian Arabs. She was slaughtered while walking in a monastery garden by two Palestinian men who slipped through that “apartheid wall.”

Of course, there’s always the excellent choice of attending Yeshiva University, a proudly Jewish and Zionist university, among the top ranked universities, where the demand to be courageous for Jewish values and the Jewish State is commonplace.

It is a sad state of affairs that one has to talk about the courage required to be Jewish and a proud Zionist on college campuses today. We must prepare our children appropriately, and support those organizations which stand with them in these critical and volatile years.

Related articles:

Is Columbia University Promoting Violence Against Israel and Jews?

‘The Maiming of the Jew’

In San Francisco Schools, Anti-Zionism is Anti-Racism

Follow the Money: Democrats and the Education Industry

Why Does Rep. Jamaal Bowman Lie to Constituents?

Freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is having a very difficult time balancing a line between his moderate district and the alt-left Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) which supported him in infiltrating the Democratic Party. His gut instinct seems to be to duck and deceive.

While fellow Democrat President Biden was able to assemble a bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and pass it with ease, Bowman opted to vote against the president and much of his party and bonded instead with with the Socialist pack of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. His constituents in lower Westchester were furious. Even local politicians who would normally avoid chastising a fellow party member in public, did so including:

  • Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) who said she felt the “protest vote spoke more of his unwillingness to accept compromise than actually accomplishing anything.”
  • Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner who said “if he got his way, we would’ve gotten nothing.
  • County Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D- Mount Vernon) said “I’m just worried what type of message this sends to regular, hardworking families, to our businesses and to our communities.
  • Westchester activist Amy Siskind said she was “deeply disappointed” in Bowman’s vote.

To manage the public anger, Bowman decided to lie about his vote and sent out an email blast to his district that misrepresented his vote on the bill.

email from Rep. Bowman updating his work over September/October 2021 in which he lied about his vote in the Infrastructure Bill.

As seen in the section marked in red above, Bowman said he supported the “framework” of the infrastructure bill. Someone not aware of the nuances of political chicanery would naturally assume the Bowman voted in favor of the bill when he did not. Bowman did not write anywhere that he voted against the bill, and instead added language about his support for infrastructure to deliberately deceive the people he serves.

It will be interesting to see how Bowman opts to communicate his trip to Israel in November. He snubbed a bipartisan bicameral trip with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and opted to go to Israel with J Street, a left-wing group, in an insult to both Coons and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who took two distinct meetings on the same day with American politicians. He then insulted Israelis by tweeting an inversion of truth in Hebron even while the DSA seeks to expel him as a member since he visited Israel in the first place.

Bowman is being attacked by both his far left comrades and the significant center for his actions. His lying to everyone will not cover up his extremism but lay bare his being an inappropriate choice to serve his constituents.

J Street Pushes to Make Israel a Partisan Issue

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), is a good friend of President Joe Biden and a strong proponent of supporting Israel in a bi-partisan manner. Unfortunately, the extremist left-wing group, J Street, continues to make that difficult.

Coons led a bipartisan and bicameral group to Israel to visit senior members of the Israeli government and members of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. The group included Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA),  Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AK) and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was excited to post this pictureHad an excellent meeting with a bipartisan US Congressional delegation in Jerusalem” on November 10, 2021

But the J Street extremist group did not want the left-wing politicians it supports to be part of this bipartisan meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister that limited its outreach to various Palestinian groups, so it arranged for its own competing delegation at the same time, showing complete disrespect for both Coons and Bennett. The Israeli Prime Minister had to smile while being treated as a mere tool in Democratic politics, taking yet another meeting and photo op with the J Street delegation on the same day.

Bennett tweeted: “great meeting Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mondair Jones (D-NY), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Marc Pocan (D-WI) in my office in Jerusalem,” also on November 10.

J Street then took its delegation to Hebron where they supported Bowman’s tweetHad the honor of meeting with children today in the occupied West Bank city Hebron. There are streets they cannot walk and places they cannot go, simply because they are Palestinian. When I asked about their dreams, their answer was simple: freedom. The occupation must end.” J Street educated the congressman that Israel is racist, rather than educate him that it is Israeli Jews who are forbidden to visit 75% of the city.

Pocan added his own tweetToday ⁦@JamaalBowmanNY & I visited w/ Nasser of Susia in Palestine today to discuss Israeli settler violence to his village. We will be watching to make sure no violence occurs this weekend or anytime. Thanks ⁦@jstreetdotorg@BtSIsrael⁩! @Israel⁩ ⁦@IDF” with a shout out to J Street as he broadcast about “settler violence” in a place that the United States does not recognize, “Palestine.”

Send your support to Senator Coons for his efforts to support America’s strongest ally in the region in a bipartisan manner, and do your utmost to get everyone you know to stop supporting the alt-left group J Street. Call Rep. Bowman at (914) 371-9220 and Rep Pocan at (202) 225-2906 and share your opinions directly with his office as well.


Consulate Offices in Ramallah

The Biden Administration has decided to pick a fight with Israel over opening an official consulate for the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. The logical place to open the office is in Ramallah near the government offices of the Palestinian Authority, like many other countries.

Here is a sampling of some countries with consulate offices in Ramallah:

View of Ramallah from the Malta Consulate

The Israeli government voiced its strong objections to Biden’s decision to open an office in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett saidMy position, which has been presented to the Americans by myself and by Foreign Minister Lapid, is that there is no place for an American consulate that serves the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

In the past, there was a consulate which serviced Palestinian Arabs since 1967 at 18 Agron Street in the area Palestinians call “West Jerusalem,” in a building that the US has used since the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. It proved impractical and dangerous, as the armed guards which escorted American diplomats from the building in Israel to the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, had to hand off security at the perimeter of Area A. US President Trump shut the Palestinian consulate and moved the services into the embassy to Israel.

If the United States wants to separate the facilities serving Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, it makes the most sense to open the consulate in Ramallah. Alternative locations can be cities in Area A under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The question is how much the Biden Administration wants to anger Israel, please Palestinians and put American diplomats in danger.

possible Location of consulate for palestinianscommentary
RamallahMost practical, as seat of PA government. Many countries have consulates there
JerichoPart of Area A, controlled by the Palestinian Authority
BethlehemPart of Area A, and also part of what was envisioned as “corpus separatum” along with Jerusalem in the UN 1947 Partition Plan
eastern JerusalemAnnexed by Israel, would anger Israel and please PA as actively challenging Israel’s annexation
18 Agron Street, western JerusalemDesired location as past location of consulate, but most controversial and impractical
Possible locations of US consulate to Palestinian Authority ranked from least to most controversial and dangerous


Related First One Through articles:

Western Jerusalem’s U.S. Consulate and Embassy

Going Green With Embassies in Jerusalem

The Hypocrisy Between An Embassy for Israel in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, OPT

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“Land Belonging to Palestinians Before the 1967 War”

One of Israel’s leading critics in congress is Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) who uses the battering ram of “defending Palestinian children” to portray Israel as an offensive abuser of human rights. The foundation of her view of Israel is her belief that Israel has stolen land belonging to Arabs.

While McCollum didn’t utter a word about Hamas’s barrage of missiles against Israeli civilians in the summer of 2014, nor the killing of three Israeli teenagers which sparked the war, nor the Hamas Charter which blames Jews for all the world’s ills thus marking them for death, she did begin to find her voice regarding her view of the region a year later. In 2015, she berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing the Iranian nuclear plan, and in 2016, she admonished Israelis living in Area C of the West Bank. She then applauded the Obama Administration’s decision to allow UN Security Council Resolution 2334 to pass, making those Israeli homes illegal. On January 9, 2017 she offered the following:

[telling hard truths] is particularly true when it comes to the issue of illegal Israeli settlement expansion. This policy is one of the most serious obstacles to achieving a two-state solution, the only viable avenue to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It has long been the bipartisan policy of U.S. administrations to oppose settlement expansion on land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war precisely because these settlements diminish the prospects of reaching a two-state solution and are not essential to Israel’s security.

The quote above is full of factual inaccuracies, inane predictions and false beliefs. They each deserve to be unpacked as McCollum is likely not alone in these feelings.

“land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war”

This statement is full of problems:

  1. No sovereign Palestine. The land was not “Palestinian” as there was no “Palestine” before the 1967 war. The area commonly called the “West Bank” was annexed by Jordan in 1950. All of those “Palestinians” received Jordanian citizenship in 1954, as long as they weren’t Jewish (clause 3 spelled that anti-Semitic dynamic clearly). It is only because of the Oslo Accord signed by the newly created Palestinian Authority and Israel that there is some self-rule by Palestinians today. Roughly 86% of West Bank Arabs live in Areas A and B under Palestinian control and 100% of the Arabs in Gaza live under Palestinian control. There are about 14% of West Bank Arabs living in Area C under Israeli control – all post the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s.
  2. The dividing line was never a border. When the Jordanians and Israelis reached a ceasefire at the end of the 1948-9 war, the frontier for the “land belonging to Palestinians” was defined by the 1949 Armistice Lines. The ceasefire agreement specifically stated that the line is “without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines,” meaning that they were never considered to be a border. Therefore, not only was the land up to the 1949 Armistice Line not under Palestinian sovereignty, the border was never defined. A final resolution could be just half of the area thought of as the West Bank, or the border configuration put forward under President Trump.
  3. Individual ownership then and now. As described above, the land was not under the sovereignty of Palestine in 1967 but there were individual Arabs who owned land. Arabs owned and continue to own property in Israel too. Arabs under Palestinian rule today, and the 14% of Arabs who live in Area C also owned and continue to own homes. That hasn’t changed, but Jews who had owned land in the “West Bank” and eastern Jerusalem before 1967 had it seized by the Jordanians, so Jewish property now appears as something novel.
    Jews and Arabs each own property on an individual basis in both Israel and the West Bank, and property rights have remained intact, as long as people are able to show valid documents.
  4. International law prohibits banning people based on religion. When the League of Nations gave the British the Mandate for Palestine which was a single territorial unit but now considered to be Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, Article 15 specifically stated that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” The idea that UNSC Resolution 2334 can call an Israeli Jew living in Area C as “illegal” but can call an Israeli Arab living in Jerusalem as legal is a violation of human rights, international law and blatantly anti-Semitic.
  5. International law encouraged Jewish immigration throughout Palestine. Article 6 in the same Palestine Mandate called for Britain to “facilitate Jewish immigration… and… close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” International law considered the land not privately owned by Arabs to be designated for Jewish purposes.

When McCollum discusses “land belonging to Palestinians” she might be talking about individual Arab property which was and remains the same before and after Jordan attacked Israel in June 1967. But by adding the clause “before the 1967 war,” McCollum is seemingly implying that there was Palestinian sovereignty over discrete land with defined borders. There is absolutely no truth for any such characterization.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) attacks Israel regularly with fabrications and innuendoes.
(photo:by Preston Keres)

Rep. Betty McCollum’s entire basis for approaching the Arab-Israel Conflict is incorrect, illogical and based on a Palestinian narrative that rejects coexistence with Jews.

“illegal Israeli settlement expansion”

Israeli “settlement expansion” was legal as described above, UNTIL the passage of UNSC Resolution 2334 in December 2016. McCollum used twisted logic to defend enabling the passage of a law labeling Israeli homes as illegal by saying that they were illegal. But they weren’t illegal before the resolution! One can use similar logic by passing a law that makes owning a gun illegal and then defending the law by saying of course it’s illegal because it’s illegal! The fact is it was legal before the new law’s passage.

“most serious obstacles”

McCollum stated that Jewish families living in a section of the West Bank is one of the “most serious obstacles” to peace. More than Arab terrorism and incitement to murder. More than rampant Palestinian anti-Semitism. More than the Arab belief that Jews have no rights or connection or history living in the land.

To believe such nonsense, one must have adopted the Palestinian narrative whole OR simply want to grant the Palestinians their wish to have a country devoid of any Jews.

I will agree that Jews living in Judea and Samaria are an obstacle to a particular formulation of a two state solution – one preferred by Palestinians and others who want to limit where Jews can live. But that formulation is inherently anti-Semitic and a pathway to ensure that there will never be an enduring peace.

not essential to Israel’s security”

A congresswoman from the United States told a country which is 444 times smaller than it, which has three times as many neighbors – several of which have refused to acknowledge its existence and have been in a constant state of war – that it has a good handle on what is and is not essential for the small country’s security.

No country in the world puts its capital city nor its largest city on a border, let alone with a neighbor which has constantly fought against its fundamental existence. If McCollum was truly concerned about Israel’s security, she would endorse Israel’s annexation of the area known as E1 east of Jerusalem all of the way to Maale Adumim, rather than state that Israel should divide its capital and largest city in two.

Rep. McCollum’s basis for approaching the Arab-Israel conflict is incorrect and illogical. It is perhaps not surprising that she tries to advance “soft” resolutions about protecting Palestinian children, hoping to avoid discussing her dangerous and false anti-Israel narrative.



Related First One Through articles:

The 1967 War Created Both the “West Bank” and the Notion of a Palestinian State

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

The Right Number of Anti-Semites in Congress

Time to Define Banning Jews From Living Somewhere as Antisemitic

Excerpt of Hamas Charter to Share with Your Elected Officials

Importing Peaceful Ideas to the West Bank

The Mourabitat Women of Congress

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Ilhan Omar Understands Security, Just Not For Israeli Civilians

On October 27, 2021, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) received a threat in the mail from a “deranged” person. It’s a terrible state of affairs that people try to physically harm others and/or threaten to do so. Omar rightfully called it out on Twitter.

Ilhan Omar tweets about threat she received in the mail

What is upsetting (repulsive) is that Omar said that she understands the “reality of having [to need] security” after receiving a threat in the mail, but could not understand or approve of helping replenish Israel’s defensive Iron Dome system which intercepts missiles from Palestinian Arab terrorist aimed at Israeli civilians. How can a paper threat trump thousands of missiles? It can’t. It’s just that she sees no value in the lives of Israeli civilians as evidenced by her ongoing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic votes and comments.

As Omar voted against Israel’s defensive system she tweetedwe continue to pay lip service to human rights, peace and a two state solution. Yet we also continue to provide Israel with funding without addressing the underlying issue of the occupation.” Omar seemingly wants to see thousands of dead Israelis because that will somehow make Israel want to give even more land to Palestinian Arabs as its worked out so well when Israel left Gaza (sarcasm).

Using her own litmus test, perhaps the United States should hold back on providing any security for Ilhan Omar unless and until she addresses her own vile underlying anti-Semitism.


Related First One Through articles:

David Duke, Ilhan Omar and the Three Lenses of Anti-Semitism

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

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

Muslim Women Debate Anti-Semitism

Tlaib Shields Anti-Semitic Murderers, If Not White

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J Street Prioritizes Palestinian Aid Over Iranian Threat

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has repeatedly made clear that Israel’s number one security threat is Iran and its regional arm, Hezbollah in Lebanon. Even more than a priority, he said that they pose a threat to the very existence of Israel, saying “I have no doubt that the nuclearization of Iran is the number one existential threat to the state of Israel.

Bennett added that the number two threat to its security was Israel’s own policies, namely “disengagement” from territories. He referred to the horrible security situation in the country since it left Gaza with Hamas taking over the area and repeatedly launching wars against Israeli towns, and the arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon after the Israeli retreat from there, both of which have left the country vulnerable.

But J Street, the left-wing extremist group in the US doesn’t care. While it markets itself under the tagline “Pro Israel, Pro peace,” the organization is a Palestinian propaganda outlet and focuses its $10 million+ budget on promoting extremists policies which are opposed by the government of Israel.

Before the Israeli Prime Minister came to visit US President Joe Biden, the group published talking points it lobbied the administration to advance, seemingly provided by the Palestinian Authority press secretary:

In particular, we hope that the Biden administration will make the following key points in meetings with their Israeli counterparts:

  • The US expects Israel to take the steps necessary to allow a US Consulate serving Palestinians to reopen at its previous location in Jerusalem by year’s end.
  • The US is deeply concerned by and firmly opposed to acts of de facto annexation taking place in occupied territory, including settlement construction, forced displacement and demolition of Palestinian communities and homes, and the growing frequency of incidents of deadly violence against Palestinian civilians. Consistent with US law and calls for increased accountability by Members of Congress, military equipment supplied by the United States or purchased with US aid may not be used in connection with such activities.
  • Should the Palestinian government substantially reform its prisoners payments program to meet criteria set out in relevant US law, the US expects that Israel will not move to obstruct the resumption of US direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority, the reopening of the PLO General Delegation to the United States, or efforts to sunset outdated statutory constraints on the US-Palestinian relationship.
  • The United States is fully committed to addressing threats posed by Iran and preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon, and believes that the best way to accomplish these goals is via negotiations and diplomacy.

Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, yet this PINO (pro-Israel in name only) organization listed Iran last. It led with opening a consulate building in Jerusalem even though the same services are already offered at the US embassy and the Israeli government publicly stated its strong objection to such action. J Street opposes Jews living east of the Green Line even though the history of disengagement has proved terrible as noted by the Israeli Prime Minister above. And it intimated a threat to withhold US military support despite, the grave threats posed at its border from Hezbollah, a threat completely unmentioned.

Fortunately, Biden paid more attention to the desires of actual pro-Israel groups and the interests of the United States, and ignored J Street.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with US President Joe Biden August 27, 2021
(photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

Biden’s opening comments went straight to Bennett’s concerns:

We’re also going to discuss [the] unwavering, unwavering commitment that we have in the United States to Israel’s security. And I fully, fully, fully support replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome system. And we also are going to discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. But we’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options.”

The actions and words of J Street make clear that it is a pro-Palestinian group which does not and has not supported the government of Israel since the group’s founding. Hopefully the Biden Administration will continue to appreciate that the left-wing extremist group does not represent American and Israeli priorities and preferences.


Related First One Through articles:

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

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

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

The Veil of Hatred

Peter Beinart is an Apologist for Anti-Semites

Will You Finally Show J Street and Its Backers the Door?

J Street: Home for Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Peace Americans

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

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The Arabists of the US Embassy in Israel

The United States relocated its embassy in Israel to the Jewish State’s capital of Jerusalem in 2018. Its website seemingly moved to Ramallah.

The embassy in Israel’s website has eight main categories: Visa, US Citizen Services, Our Relationship, Business, Education & Culture, Embassy, News & Events, and Palestinian Affairs Unit. The last category is designed to handle the needs of the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs). The website offers translation options for each category:

categorylanguages
VisaHebrew
US Citizen ServicesArabic and Hebrew
Our RelationshipArabic and Hebrew
BusinessArabic
Education & CultureArabic
EmbassyArabic
News & EventsArabic
Palestine Affairs UnitArabic
Translations offered on US Embassy in Israel website

Why would the US State Department not have a consistent method of handling translation for all of its services? It would make sense for translations of the English-language site to be in Hebrew and Arabic for every section of its website. However, the site is mostly translatable only into Arabic, making those only speaking Hebrew – Jews – unable to use the site.

Is the US embassy deliberately excluding Jews from being able to access some of its services? Is it a dynamic because the US State Department is populated by a bunch of Arabists – even in Israel?

The current Charge d’Affaires is Michael Ratney. His bio reviews that from 2015 to 2017 he was based in Syria. From 2012 to 2015 he was “responsible for the U.S. political, economic, and cultural relationship with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.” Before that he did tours in Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco. He speaks Arabic and French fluently. No Hebrew.

The Deputy Chief of Mission is Jonathan Shrier who spent much of his recent career in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His previous work in Israel was “aimed at improving economic conditions for Palestinians.” His foreign languages “include Chinese, Arabic, French, and Spanish.” No Hebrew.

The prioritization of Arabs in the US State Department shows up in every day matters as well. Consider comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield about Israel on October 19 featured on the embassy website (pictured above). She acknowledged Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi and Israeli Daniel Levy giving comments to the UN Security Council – both vilifying Israel – mentioning the Palestinian first. She didn’t protest the fact that no one called out Palestinian terror, corruption and incitement for the lack of peace before the UN body.

When Ned Price spoke about Secretary of State Blinken meeting with Israeli officials, he also mentioned Palestinians first. When Sen. Chris Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism spoke to Christiane Amanpour on CNN about his trip to Israel, he led with the critical thing about his trip to Israel was “outreach with the Palestinians.” It’s a persistent theme.

The current configuration of the US State Department – even in the embassy in Israel – is oriented towards Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, not Israeli Jews.

Maybe when Tom Nides, who is Jewish, is confirmed as ambassador to Israel, the embassy and its website will actually start to constructively address Jews in the Jewish State.


Related First One Through articles:

Biden Ignores Own Comments Hiring Vilifier of Netanyahu

Trump’s “eastern Jerusalem” and Biden’s “East Jerusalem”

Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem and Joe Biden

While Joe Biden Passionately Defends Israel, He Ignores Jewish Rights and the History of the Jewish State

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The Obama Administration Weaponized the Jerusalem Consulate

When people look back in history to January 2015, they immediately think about the massacres committed by Muslim fanatics in Paris, France at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and at a kosher supermarket nearby. Muslim extremists wanted to kill the writers at the magazine because they lampooned the Islamic prophet, and at the kosher store because they hated Jews.

Another kind of battle was taking place at the same time in Jerusalem, Israel. The United States Consulate, which serviced Arabs living east of the Green Line, decided it was going to begin arming Arab guards at the compound.

The United Nations map shows the Green Line of 1949. The blue arrow has been added here, showing the location of the American Consulate at 18 Agron Street, on the western side of the Green Line.

History of 18 Agron Street Consulate

The United States first appointed a U.S. consul to Jerusalem in 1844, at the direction of President John Tyler. The U.S. consulate moved to 18 Agron Street (circled in blue on the map above) in 1912, when the city was still under the control of the Ottomans. Within a few years the Ottomans lost most of their empire at the end of World War I, and Palestine fell under the British Mandate which was directed to continue to facilitate Jewish migration to Palestine which had been actively going on for many decades. The western portion of Jerusalem where the consulate was located was already mostly Jewish in 1912 (Jerusalem has been majority Jewish since 1867), and only became more so over the following years.

When Israel declared itself an independent state in May 1948, the United States quickly recognized it, while the Muslim and Arab world rejected the declaration completely. The armies of five Arab nations invaded Israel and at war’s end, occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem. The dividing line between Israel and Jordan, which illegally occupied and annexed in 1950 the eastern part of the city along with what is now often called the “West Bank”, was marked in green in maps, as shown above. As the United States had originally supported the 1947 UN Partition Plan which called for Jerusalem and Bethlehem to be an international city, it withheld turning the consulate into the official Israeli embassy. Instead, the US placed its embassy in Tel Aviv and opted to use the 18 Agron Street location as an office to handle local meetings, even though it considered the Jordanian annexation of the eastern part of the city illegal.

After Jordan attacked Israel again in June 1967 and lost all of its illegally annexed land to Israel, the US decided to continue to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv and used the 18 Agron building to handle issues for Arabs living east of the Green Line, who had Jordanian citizenship until 1988 and are now referred to as Palestinian Arabs.

War in Peace

In 1993 and 1995, Israel and the newly created Palestinian Authority (PA) signed the Oslo Accords I and II. The PA was handed by Israel a number of cities – including Bethlehem – to administer, and in turn, the PA recognized Israeli authority in all lands that the PA did not control, including Jerusalem. The Oslo plan was for more land to gradually be handed to the PA, with a goal of reaching a full peace deal in five years, in September 2000. Over the five years 1995 to 2000, the PA was handed West Bank land so that most of the Palestinian Arabs living there were either in Area A under full PA control, or Area B, where PA had administrative control and Israel had security control. In September 2000, the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat, refused the peace deal and launched a terrorist war gently termed the “Second Intifada” halting the transfer of any more land to the PA.

Ten years after Oslo II, in 2005, Israel decided to leave Gaza with assurances from US President George W Bush that it would not be forced to assume borders along the Green Line nor would it need to take in Palestinian “refugees” who would be settled in a new Palestinian state. That action enabled the political-terrorist group Hamas to take over and launch wars repeatedly from the territory.

Another decade on, in January 2015, the US consulate in Jerusalem decided that it was too difficult to drive to PA-controlled land in Area A without a single continuous military escort, as the Israeli-armed guards at the consulate were forbidden by law from entering PA-controlled territory and needed to hand security of American diplomats to Palestinian security guards upon reaching the perimeter of Area A. Therefore, the head of security at the US consulate, Dan Cronin, decided that he would train and arm 35 Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem who could enter Area A without difficulty. The problem was that it’s illegal for these Palestinian Arab security guards to carry weapons in Israel. Three Israeli guards at the consulate quit in protest, saying that it’s “in effect setting up an armed Palestinian militia in the consulate. They are being trained with weapons, in Krav Maga, and tactical driving. It’s irresponsible. Who can guarantee that such weapons in the hands of Palestinians won’t spread to terror?””

In 2018, President Trump moved the US embassy to Israel’s capital in accordance with Congress’s Embassy Act of 1995 and shut the consulate offices. Services for Palestinian Arabs are now handled out of that office at 14 David Flusser Street.


In January 2015, when President Obama said he was angered at “an attack on journalists” in Paris while he ignored the attack on Jews which he later belittled as being “random,” he was simultaneously arming Palestinian Arabs inside of the US consulate in Jerusalem in blatant disregard of US-Israeli agreements. Obama’s vice president at that time is now President Biden, who has promised to reopen a consulate to Palestinian Arabs, even as he is warned that such an action will likely bring down the Israeli government.

The Obama Administration essentially set up an armed Palestinian militia inside the US Jerusalem consulate in 2015. Today, Biden is writing his own playbook on using the consulate to destabilize the Jewish State.


Related First One Through articles:

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem and Joe Biden

Going Green With Embassies in Jerusalem

Evicting 70,000 Dead Settlers From Jerusalem

Jerusalem Population Facts

Jerusalem, Israel. One and Only

The UN on the Status of Jerusalem

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