The Monumental Gap between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

There were two events that occurred in June 2015 that have defined race relations in the South. One of them has been seized by the media as the root cause of the explosion of racism embodied by the fights in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017. Yet the other is arguably the more clearly identified source of the tension.

June 2015

On June 16, 2015, real estate titan and media personality Donald Trump announced that he would run for president of the United States. The political novice declared that it was time to turn the country around and bring back jobs – good jobs – to America, to “make our country great again.” The Trump tagline was coined “Make America great again,” and he would go one to become the 45th president of the United States.

On June 17, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot and killed nine black worshipers. Roof’s “manifesto” was found in his house which detailed the many reasons he hated blacks and Jews.

Roof’s view of patriotism had nothing to do with Trump’s pride in America, but a pride in being white.

“I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets…. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews as well.”

One week in June began a process of bringing a political lightweight to the presidency to “make America great again,” while a racist sought to “make America White again.” Each set in motion a series of actions and reactions in America which were deeply felt in August 2017.

Nikki Haley Talks Down Hatred
and Takes Down the Confederate Flag

The Governor of South Carolina was quick to respond to the shooting of the black church-goers. Gov. Nikki Haley spoke to her state and the country on June 22nd in a remarkable speech. She spoke of her pride in her state and gave consolation to the wounded and injured. She was clear in her rejection of hatred and bigotry, while also noting that many people who are proud of their southern heritage have no malice toward minorities. In short, she brought comfort to all sides and stabilized the situation.

And then she addressed the flag. The Confederate flag that flew by the state capital.

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry.

The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect and, in many ways, revere it. Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty. They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism…

The evil we saw last Wednesday comes from a place much deeper, much darker. But we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand. The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds. It is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.”

Nikki Haley called for taking down the Confederate flag over the government grounds. She did it while noting that most people in the state respect the flag, but there are some that use it as a vehicle to violence. She said that she respects people that chose to keep that flag in their homes; it is a matter of free speech and expression. However, she concluded that in light of the history of pain and suffering in the name of the flag, the Confederate flag no longer should be endorsed by the government.


Gov. Haley after shooting at black church
June 2015

A Republican female minority governor decided it was time for the southern states to remove the emblems of the Civil War fought 150 years earlier. Standing beside two Republican senators from South Carolina she declaredThis flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.” Mainstream media would barely recognize the fact that it was Republicans – and a female minority Republican – that would shake the south.

Haley’s actions set in motion a rethinking of the various symbols of the Confederacy. In May 2017 several statutes were removed from public spaces in New Orleans. Other southern states were in the process of reviewing the status of their Confederate statues – which is what brought the White supremacists to Charlottesville, VA in August 2017: a protest to stop the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee.

Donald Trump Talks Up Division
and the Press Focuses on Trump Instead of Hate

Donald Trump’s road to the presidency from June 2015 was remarkable in many respects. He not only beat out a field of respected Republican politicians to win the nomination, but he did so while alienating many groups along the way.

Muslims were insulted by his call to ban Muslims from entering the country until the country devised a more thorough vetting process. Women were outraged when they heard a recording of his proudly groping women. The Latino community was appalled when he referred to the many immigrants that came to the USA from south of the border as “bad hombres.” The list would go on.

Along the way his colleagues in the Republican party would abandon him. In a remarkable occurrence in American politics, one Republican leader after another would say that they were appalled at Trump’s comments and would not vote for him. The press ate it up. They ridiculed Trump and blamed him as the source for disunity and bigotry in the country.

But he won the presidency anyway.

Trump would not give roles in his cabinet to the Republican politicians that bad-mouthed him. Only Governor Nikki Haley – who distanced herself from Trump’s comments, but not the man – would get a role in his administration, as US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Over the first months of his presidency, Trump would continue to make remarks that angered wide swaths of the country. The media continued to state that Trump was a racist, by not disavowing the support of White supremacists, and making laws alienating minorities – whether a ban on Muslim refugees or edicts to expel illegal immigrants.

By August 2017, when the Charlottesville, VA White supremacy protest came to town, Trump’s comments could be predicted.

Once again, Trump fueled the media’s wrath with his comments. They admonished him for endorsing racism and allowing it to rear its ugly head in the country once again.

The monumental gap between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump was clear. Haley took decisive action to turn back divisive symbols in the country, while Trump called for keeping them in place. Haley calmed the situation with language that reached out to ALL parties, while Trump used language that only appealed to a sliver of the public.

And the media gave Haley little credit for calming the situation while it blamed Trump for everything.

Racism has always existed in the United States; it is not new in the age of Trump. White racism has actually been on the decline for several years according to FBI reports, and it is much less common in the South than liberal northern states like Massachusetts.

It is both unfortunate that Trump aggravates a tense situation, and that his impulse to attack the media – and the media’s impulse to attack him – takes away from the important debate about the symbols of the Confederacy in our country. Haley talked about it clearly and with conviction. But Trump and the media can only talk about each other.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

New York Times’ Small Anti-Semitism

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

“Jews as a Class”

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Fact Check Your Assumptions on American Racism

White nationalists held a rally in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017 claiming that America was throwing out its white, Christian and southern traditions. Counter-protestors showed up in an attempt to rebut their views. Violence ensued. A death.


White Nationalists in Charlottesville, VA August 2017

President Donald Trump issued a statement that condemned hatred and violence, in a statement that was ridiculed by both the right and left-wing for not calling out the white nationalists.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.

The statement of “many sides” evoked the disgraceful statements of the United Nations condemning “all” acts of violence after Palestinian Arab terrorists slaughter innocent Israelis. “Et tu, Brute?”

The mainstream media has used the Charlottesville incident to foster a narrative that has been building for the past two years: that racism is principally a white-male issue, and that it predominantly stems from the south. These white racists have become emboldened under President Trump, who has done little to stem the violence and vitriol.

It’s worth doing a fact check.

Southerners are Less Racist Than Yanks

The FBI does an analysis of hate crimes every year, the last complete year of data being 2015. The frequency of hate crimes in the South is less than in the Northeast.

Bias Attacks in 2015, Average Incident per Number of People

Frequency of Attack
Massachusetts            13,595
Connecticut            31,767
New York            38,381
New Jersey            25,663
Maryland          139,684
Virginia            45,545
North Carolina            48,277
South Carolina            69,946
Georgia          163,086

Massachusetts – which elected the most left-wing senator in the country – was the most racist state by a far margin. A person in Massachusetts was 3.5 times more likely to suffer a hate crime than an average person in Virginia or North Carolina.

Blacks Commit More Racist Attacks Than Whites

The FBI report also broke down the hate crime statistics by offender. The statistics go against the commonly held narrative.

History of Racist Attacks Broken Down by Race of Offender

White Black
2000 4111 1021
2001 5149 1157
2002 3712 1082
2003 3670 942
2004 4327 1408
2005 4117 1357
2006 4293 1513
2007 4378 1448
2008 4229 1399
2009*
2010 3522 1104
2011 3384 1195
2012 2909 1242
2013 3046 1410
2014 2699 1203
2015 2657 1336

*No data for 2009

The numbers show that white people commit more racist attacks than black people. However, there are approximately 5.75 times more white people than black people in the USA, so the data must be viewed by the likelihood of an average white or black person committing a bias crime.

Bias Attacks, Average Attack per Number of People

Year White Black Difference
2000            54,379      38,129 43%
2001            43,417      33,647 29%
2002            60,224      35,979 67%
2003            60,914      41,326 47%
2004            51,665      27,649 87%
2005            54,300      28,688 89%
2006            52,074      25,730 102%
2007            51,063      26,885 90%
2008            52,862      27,827 90%
2009
2010            63,473      35,262 80%
2011            66,062      32,577 103%
2012            76,849      31,344 145%
2013            73,392      27,609 166%
2014            82,828      32,360 156%
2015            84,137      29,139 189%

In every year, the likelihood of an average black person committing a hate crime was much greater than an average white person.

Bias Trend Related to Leadership

The chart above shows some interesting trend lines. From 2000 to 2003, an average black person was 47% more likely to commit a racist crime than a white person. That likelihood jumped to 92% in the years 2004 to 2011. It escalated yet again in the years 2012 through 2015, when an average black person committed 164% more racial attacks than an average white person.

The trends related both to blacks committing more hate crimes and whites committing fewer.

White people were pretty consistent in the frequency of their attacks in the 2000-2003 and 2004-2011 periods. However, the frequency of black attacks jumped significantly in the 2004-11 span. But in the 2012-2015, it was the sharp decrease in white racism that accounted for the dramatic change, when attacks by blacks were relatively consistent.

If leadership accounted for the difference in bias attacks, why would white people not change their actions during the first Obama term? Why did black people suddenly change the frequency of their bias attacks in 2004, and not earlier in Bush’s term?

Was Trump’s election a cause for a change in the frequency of attacks by both whites and blacks? The FBI hasn’t completed its 2016 report at this time. But the leap to conclusions about the connection also has a leap to the nature of cause-and-effect.

Why would a black president make white people commit fewer hate crimes, but a white president make blacks commit more? There was no particular race riot in 2004 or 2012 that could account for a particular tipping point in race relations. Is it possible that the trends are outside of leadership influence?


The lazy mainstream media will fill you with stories that support your own biases. Consider looking at actual statistics before jumping to incorrect conclusions that white southerners are more racist than black Yankees, and that leadership is responsible for all of the disgraceful actions of racists.


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

The Trump Pinata Preserving the False Obama Messiah

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

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

A Deplorable Definition

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

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

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

On July 15, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, a black Muslim police officer shot and killed an unarmed white Australian woman. You would have a hard time learning about the ethnicity of the police officer from The New York Times.

On July 22, the NYT ran an article entitled “Minneapolis Police Chief Is Forced Out.” The article relayed a lot of personal background of key players in the story, including that the chief of police was the first woman to serve in that capacity and was openly gay. It spoke of a a civil rights lawyer that argued that the chief of police “needed to be fired” because the chief only decried the recent killing of the Australian woman only because she was white, while she had always defended the police in past shootings when the victims were black.

With all of that background, you would imagine that the Times would highlight that the police officer, Mohamed Noor, that killed the unarmed white woman was black.

And a Muslim.

And from the Somali community.

But the Times decided not to mention any of those points, even while it described particular details of others in the story, as well as protests from back in 2015 following the killing of an unarmed black man.

The Times would similarly not describe Officer Noor’s ethnicity in its July 21 article “Woman Shot by Minneapolis Officer ‘Didn’t Have to Die’ Police Chief Says,” or in the July 19 article called “Officer Said He Heard Loud Noise Before Partner Shot Minneapolis Woman.

When the Times did cover the fact that the police officer was a black man from the Somali community (it never wrote that he was a Muslim), it did so from the perspective of the Somali Community.

The July 20 article heading “Police Shooting Rattles Somalis in Minneapolis” would make a person think that a Somali was the victim, rather than the killer. The article wrote that the Somali immigrant population in Minneapolis “sometimes expressed frustration with law enforcement.” It added that Somalis felt that police officers used excessive force with its community and that “many Somalis have expressed frustration with their portrayals in the news media, saying reporters have unfairly emphasized stories about terrorist recruitment and cultural differences.

As if the issue was purely one of media bias.

As detailed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report in September 2015 flagging the problem of jihadists in Minnesota. Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee said that “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Liberal politicians including Senator Al Franken and then presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledged the findings of the report, while they argued for increased cooperation between law enforcement and the Somali community to combat terrorism.

The Homeland Security report and acknowledgment by liberal politicians was not mentioned by the New York Times. Just that the Somali community felt vilified unfairly by the press, even as the Times called-out “President Trump’s travel ban.”

When a white police officer shoots an unarmed black man, the New York Times repeats the race of each party over-and-again for days. However, when the attacker is not just black, but a Muslim, the Times reorients the story for its readers.

Another edition of the New York Times #AlternativeFacts.

 


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The Media Finds Religion in Matters of Security. Sometimes.

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

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In The Margins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self-Reliance versus Helping Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liberal “Progessivism” versus Conservative “Traditionalism”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Parties in the Margin

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

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

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

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


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

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


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Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

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

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

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Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

People in the western world are proud of their freedom of speech. In the United States, people on both the right and left point out the importance of the First Amendment of the Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yet, the government has taken steps to curtail some vile forms of speech, such as calls for violence. For example, several states have enacted more severe penalties if crimes are based on racism, religion or sexual orientation.

Whether there is really an exemption for hate speech (as opposed to motivation for a crime) is a matter of debate. What is not a matter of debate, is how civil society should respond to vile speech.

Linda Sarsour

One of the leaders of the “Women’s March” in Washington D.C. in January 2017 was a Palestinian – American Muslim woman named Linda Sarsour. In addition to hateful comments she made about Israel, she offered the following about a woman who suffered from genital mutilation as a young Muslim woman.

Sarsour’s callousness extended beyond uttering threats against private citizens, to specifically assaulting Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s area of sensitivity and pain: her vagina, which had been attacked because she grew up in Muslim society where such mutilation was condoned. The Sarsour comment went beyond poor taste; it was vile, vulgar and disgusting. It deserved repudiation from every decent human being.

At least one hoped.

New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand praised Sarsour in an article in Time magazine, saying “The images of Jan. 21, 2017, show a diverse, dynamic America—striving for equality for all. The moment and movement mattered so profoundly because it was intersectional and deeply personal. These women are the suffragists of our time.”  The Jewish community was appalled that Senator Gillibrand would stand behind Sarsour who constantly vilified Israel. Gillibrand issued no retraction.

Democratic National Committee vice chair Michael Blake came out full force defending Sarsour: “If you keep coming after @lsarsour, we’re going to respond directly, consistently, with all heart and soul. Fall back!

Other supporters of Sarsour included Senator Bernie Sanders and another DNC Vice chair, Keith Ellison.

Put aside Sarsour’s embrace of convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh for a moment, whom she invited to the Woman’s March stage. Even if the Democratic politicians despised Israel, how could they support a woman who is so vulgar and despicable to deliberately mock a woman who suffered genital mutilation?

Mahmoud Abbas

Linda Sarsour was not the only Palestinian Arab to use disgusting language to maliciously attack those with whom she disagrees.

Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, does not simply fight against Israel. He vilifies the Jewish State in the most hurtful and outrageous manner: by belittling the Holocaust.

The Jewish people in Europe were one of the few people in the world to suffer a genocide over the past hundred years. The German Nazis sought to ethnically cleanse the Jews for Europe and rounded them up for torture and execution wherever they came to power. It was one of the darkest periods of mankind.

Abbas, who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial, chooses to constantly attack the victim. Abbas accused those same Jews that were the victims of a genocide, as committing a “genocide” against Arabs in Israel (even though the growth of the number of Arabs in Israel exceeds the rate of growth of Arabs anywhere in the world.) Abbas accuses the actual victims of ethnic cleansing, of committing “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs, even though everywhere that Israel established its state, it offered citizenship to every Arab that wanted it.

So when Abbas came to visit US President Donald Trump in May 2017, it was hard to hear Trump welcome the hateful Abbas as though he were a national leader. However, it was also heartening to see that Trump deleted his Twitter post that said it was “an honor” to meet Abbas.

Hamas

The world had become accustomed to bestowing honor on hateful entities for many years. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, with its vile anti-Semitic charter which calls on Arabs to kill Jews and destroy Israel, was a favorite of the last United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He encouraged Hamas to join the Palestinian Authority and stated loudly that he stood with them after their war with Israel.

Recep Erdogan

The Muslim Turkish leader Recep Erdogan is also fond of berating the Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities by using those same hurtful terms. Erdogan accused Israel of “Hitler-like Facism” and “genocide.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was nonplussed, and let Turkey host the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, where he thanked “His Excellency the President, the Government and people of Turkey for their hospitality, and for their role at the forefront of humanitarian action.

Nice praise for the leader that has suppressed freedoms broadly in his country and insulted victims around the world.


On May 8, 2017, Republican Senator John McCain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times “Why We Must Support Human Rights.” He argued that it is not enough to navigate the “realism” of a world of despots and ignore their vile human rights abuses and attacks on victims.

“I consider myself a realist. I have certainly seen my share of the world as it really is and not how I wish it would be. What I’ve learned is that it is foolish to view realism and idealism as incompatible.”

Every person – including politicians that are forced to engage with horrible local and national leaders – must call out the ugliness. Their comments should be repudiated. And most obviously, not given praise as Gillibrand and the heads of the Democratic National Committee have done. As McCain wrote:

“Depriving the oppressed of a beacon of hope could lose us the world we have built and thrived in. It could cost our reputation in history as the nation distinct from all others in our achievements, our identity and our enduring influence on mankind. Our values are central to all three.

Taylor Swift knows that “haters gonna hate.” Politicians must avoid broad praise of the haters, or at a minimum, denounce their specific digusting comments.


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

Selective Speech

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Regime Reactions to Israel’s “Apartheid” and “Genocide”

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

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The New York Times’ Select Defense of a Civilian

The New York Times often decries bankers and the excesses of Wall Street. But only when associated with Republicans.

On April 26, 2017, the Times ran an article about Hungary’s anger with billionaire George Soros. The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was upset with the various left-wing institutions funded in Hungary by Soros including NGOs and a university.

The Times came to the billionaire’s defense.

“It was an exceptional attack by a head of government against a private citizen, albeit a wealthy and powerful one. Mr. Soros has been a frequent target of criticism from right-wing news media organizations like Breitbart and Infowars, which deplore his affinity for Democratic and liberal causes. Supporters of Mr. Soros, who is 86, a native of Hungary and a Holocaust survivor, have detected a whiff of anti-Semitism in the attacks in the United States.”

Wow.

George Soros spent more money on US lobbyists than Goldman Sachs and the National Rifle Association COMBINED. But the Times made light of the powerful global lobbyist by stating that he had an “affinity for Democratic and liberal causes,” as if he were simply an observer and not the master puppeteer. It slandered those opposed to Soros’s agenda by suggesting that the opposition was driven by anti-Semitism (as if a huge percentage of Jews weren’t also appalled by Soros’s behavior and causes).

And the Times was of course shocked that a head of a government would attack a private citizen. In this case.

Joe Biden Attacked Israeli Citizen

In November 2015, the Union of Reform Judaism invited Vice President Joe Biden to speak at its biennial. During his public address, the Vice President chose to berate a private Israeli citizen for remarks that he had made about the Obama administration’s handling of the Iranian nuclear deal. Biden yelled as he stabbed his finger at the crowd:

There is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of United States in derogatory terms. Period, period, period, period!

The crowd of Reform Jews applauded Biden’s rebuke of the Israeli (who was not employed by the Israeli government.) The New York Times decided not to cover the attack at all.

When the liberal head of the US government attacked a right-leaning Israeli citizen, there was no sound of alarm. But the Times came to the quick defense of the liberal billionaire.


George Soros
(photo: Niccolo Caranti)

Woe unto anyone criticizing a liberal – even a billionaire capitalist. The New York Times has ink for you.


Related First.One.Through articles:

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The New York Times Major anti-Netanyahu Propaganda Piece

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

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Is the Left-Wing Coming Back to Zionism?

The years from 2010 to 2016 were an abysmal abandonment of the left-wing in the United States from supporting the Jewish State. Their criticisms of Israel in public and private were not only demonizing of Israel, but of Jews generally.

Consider how left-wing politicians argued that Jewish schools should be denied police protection, arguing that Jewish schools had anti-gay curricula.  Consider how the Democratic party ripped up their pro-Israel platform in 2012 and then had their party head lead a walkout on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The far-left darling, Senator Bernie Sanders was the most anti-Israel presidential candidate in the running who drafted Israel-basher Cornel West to be part of the new Democratic mainstream.

Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx
1/29/16
Dr. Cornel West and Bernie Sanders are seen at a Bernie Sanders Rally in Davenport, Iowa.

Fortunately, there are signs that the tide may be turning.

On April 28, 2017, all 100 US Senators sent a letter to the new UN Secretary General to stop the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. The letter was co-authored by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and signed by every Democratic senator.

One week before the US senators wrote their letter to the UNSG, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case related to using public funds for safety mats in playgrounds of religious schools. Even liberal judges like Elana Kagan and Stephen Breyer could not understand how the public could withhold safety and security from religious schools.

These are refreshing changes in liberal positions from just last year.

Whether the changes are stemming from the Democrats’ loss of the presidency or the nadir of the Obama administration permitting UNSC Resolution 2334 to pass, one can only hope that the Democratic party continues to move away from the left-wing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic fringe.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

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

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

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

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

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

The Impossible Liberal Standard

Pride. Jewish and Gay

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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The Anger from the Zionist Center

Yossi Klein Halevi penned a piece in the left-wing journal by the Forward, Sh’ma Now called “A Jubilee For Our Political Certainties.” The article advanced the notion that both the right-wing and left-wing camps have valid points regarding Israel’s administration of Judea and Samaria/ the “West Bank.” However, Israeli society – and increasingly the American one as well – has become more polarized and is unwilling to listen to the validity of the other side’s arguments. The goal of the center should therefore be to not have someone adopt their position, but to appreciate some elements of the counter argument.

In short, he argues for balance.

As someone right-of-center, I appreciate the sentiment of the article, but I disagree with the author’s contention that American Jews are simply engaging in “that dysfunctional Israeli debate.” Such language suggests that some American Jews are simply expressing a personal opinion. They are not.

They are actively pushing Israel’s largest benefactor – the USA – to abandon Israel.

Since 2008/9, the left-wing of the American Jewish community took a much more aggressive stance amid a backdrop of new wars from Palestinian Arabs and the ascendency of a liberal American president.

  • November 2007: Palestinians launched a push for a global boycott (BDS) campaign of Israel
  • April 2008: J Street founded
  • July 2008: J Street pushed against naval blockade of Iran, as sanctions were pushing Iran to the negotiating table
  • November 2008/ January 2009: Election and inauguration of President Barack Obama
  • December 2008/ January 2009: First Gaza War
  • May 2009: First meeting between Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu in which Obama ignored Netanyahu’s argument for aggressively countering Iran and instead demanded settlement freezes
  • October 2009: Daniel Sokatch takes over as head of the New Israel Fund
The election of a liberal to the White House with absolutely no international experience was an opportunity for liberal Jews to actively advance a new set of policies towards Israel. J Street falsely billed itself to the Obama administration as an alternative to AIPAC (a non-partisan pro-Israel lobby) rather than an alternative to the Republican Jewish Coalition. J Street told Obama that many American Jews were against the “occupation of the West Bank,” and preferred a negotiated settlement of the Iranian nuclear program.
The left-wing “pro-Israel” group told Obama that American Jews hated Israel’s policies (counter to actual facts), and advocated that he take actions directly opposite the desires of the Israeli government.
Such activity is not joining Klein Halevi’s “debate,” but manipulating a judge to determine the outcome.

Peaceful protest against Iran nuclear deal in Times Square, NYC July 2015
(photo: First.One.Through)
Over the past decade left-wing American Jews:
  • pushed the US administration to allow anti-Israel resolutions to pass at the United Nations
  • pushed BDS proposals in universities, so schools could not invest in Israel and would ban Israeli speakers on campus
  • rewrote Jewish texts (the NIF Haggadah) in a shared assault with anti-Zionists to undermine Jewish history
  • supported a pathway for Iran, a state-sponsor of terrorism that has called for wiping Israel from the map, to obtain nuclear weapons

In short, the left has become an active participant in the attacks on Israel, not just a protestor. And they are pushing such arguments with Israel’s prime supporter, the United States.

And that is the main issue with Yossi Klein Halevi’s approach.

Klein Halevi is correct that the center can see the merit of the arguments of both the left and right. But many in the center cannot agree with ACTIONS taken.

While the right-wing may give money to support the “settlements,” those actions are: 1) supportive of Israelis; 2) limited in scope; and 3) can be reversed (such as Israel’s removal of settlements in Sinai in 1982 and Gaza in 2005, or adjustments to the path of the security barrier).

However, the actions of the left-wing are: 1) harming Israelis by advocating for Israeli boycotts and Iranian nuclear weapons; 2) done on an international level; and 3) becoming permanent international law.

As the left-wing has moved from personal opinions to dangerous global actions, the split in the American Jewish community has moved passed a civil exchange on matters of policy. It has become a fight between people.

As such, Klein Halevi’s conclusion for “each side to concede the enormity of our dilemma and the compelling arguments of the other,” is insufficient. The two sides need to withdraw the weapons and from the forums of their disagreement:

  • The debate should be internal: Make the arguments about Judea and Samaria with the government of Israel, not with Israel’s key ally, the United States. It certainly should not be with Israel’s enemies or at the United Nations.
  • The actions should not be malicious: Calling for boycotts of Israeli businesses and people is harmful to Israel on many levels. Argue about policies; do not hurt people with whom you disagree.

The “centrist” article ultimately suggests “an invitation to humility,” to appreciate the merits of both sides of the Israel/Palestinian Arab debate. I would suggest another form of humility: that American Jews realize that they are not Israeli citizens. While they are deeply engaged and attached to Israel for many reasons, the day-to-day ramifications of policies are only felt by the people who live there. Have some humility about the actions that you advocate to advance your personal sense of “morality” on the backs of people living in a dangerous part of the world thousands of miles away.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

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

Squeezing Zionism

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

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Can YouTube Understand Hatred?

In March 2017, YouTube was criticized for placing advertisements next to videos that were considered disturbing expressions of hate, including racist and anti-Semitic videos. Large brands like AT&T, HSBC, Starbucks, Volkswagen and Walmart, pulled their ad campaigns from the media giant as they did not want to be associated with such ugly videos.

The Internet is rife with extremist videos, but Google has had a difficult time using algorithms to flag them.

Consider the channel FirstOneThrough, which posted over a dozen videos to COMBAT the hatred of Israel. The titles of its video series was deliberately called “I hate Israel” to counter the arguments against Israel:

The videos were headed with “I hate Israel” to CONFRONT hatred and push the videos with actual evil bias off of the front search pages. But YouTube has a hard time discerning the content of the videos and has labeled each video as “Not advertiser-friendly.

FirstOneThrough does not seek profit from any of its videos, so the removal of advertisements is not a source of concern. However, the action underscores the difficulty of algorithms to distinguish between a simple phrase and the broader discussion in the videos.

In the meantime, supporters of Israel should continue to watch and share the videos in the series to not only become further educated about the incredible democracy, but to push anti-Israel videos off of the first page of the YouTube search screen.


FirstOneThrough’s Series “I hate Israel”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Take Names in the Propaganda War

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

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

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Regime Reactions to Israel’s “Apartheid” and “Genocide”

Summary: The new leaderships at the UN and US have joined to take a forceful approach to anti-Israel rhetoric, in a sharp break from the prior regimes. Alas, the New York Times still does little to report on it and educate its remaining readership.

“Apartheid”

On March 14, 2017, a United Nations commission issued a report that called Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs equivalent to “apartheid.” It’s findings came as a result of a study

“whether Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The new Trump administration’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, pounced on the report and pressured the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to have it withdrawn. Not only did he have the report removed from the UN website, one of the authors of the report resigned.

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley

This is in sharp contrast to the reactions of the prior regimes of US President Barack Obama and UNSG Ban Ki Moon who applied no such pressure to even worse false accusations.

“Genocide”

One of the authors of the March 2017 UN report, Richard Falk, is a notorious anti-Semite. In December 2013, he said that Israel’s “criminal intention [toward Palestinians] is genocidal.” Canada quickly called on the UN to fire Falk. The US and UN distanced themselves from Falk’s comments but would take no aggressive action for his removal.

The tolerance for anti-Semitism from the Obama and Ban regimes was neither new nor surprising. It was pervasive.

Obama was reluctant to use US pressure on the world body. He believed that everybody was entitled to a point of view and that he would rather sit at a table and listen to the anti-Semitism than take aggressive action to stop it.

Consequently, people like Mahmoud Abbas felt no compunction in taking the podium at the UN General Assembly to make absurd comments that Israel was carrying out a “genocide.

Under-Reporting Anti-Semitism

The New York Times wrote about the latest brouhaha at the UN in an article “Tempest at U.N. Over Report Saying Israel Practices Apartheid.” In a story without any depth, the article noted that one of the authors of the UN report had been accused of being anti-Israel.

“One of the authors of the report was Richard Falk, an American law professor and former United Nations human rights investigator whom critics regard as an anti-Israel extremist. He has been refused entry to Israel for what Israeli leaders have described as his hostile point of view.”

This was the first mention of Falk in the NYT for almost a decade. As detailed in FirstOneThrough’s article “The New York Times and Richard Falk,” the paper never discussed this “human rights investigator” who touted conspiracy theories about the attacks on 9/11, and that the US deserved the Boston Marathon bombing because of its foreign policy. It also never mentioned Falk’s outrageous claim that Israel carries out a genocide against Arabs.

Further, the paper has never opted to give a basic education to its readers:

The paper’s choice of giving color and context to certain items is conspicuously selective. It would rather constantly pepper its articles that “most of the world considers the West Bank to be occupied territory,” but will never add the clause “most Palestinian Arabs harbor anti-Semitic attitudes,” when it writes about the absurd accusations of “genocide” and “apartheid” coming from Palestinian Arabs.


In 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins let anti-Semitic riots run rampant in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His successor, Rudy Giuliani, opted to take a tough stand on crime and was able to transform New York City into the safe city that people recognize today.

The civilized world can only hope to see a similar outcome in the transition from Obama/Power to Trump/Haley and from Ban to Guterres: that the mayhem and hatred that has been tolerated for way too long will be aggressively combatted.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

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

Arabs in Jerusalem

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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