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

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) bills itself as the “premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists.” In reviewing the articles and analyses on its website, one can see a particular bias in covering hate groups and victims: aggressively monitoring alt-right white supremacist groups while doing very little work on other hate groups, and focusing on anti-Black, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ acts while doing very little work about anti-Semitism.

And it matters, because the average Jew suffers more hate crimes than any other group in America with the pace of hate crimes increasing rapidly, and more hate crimes are increasingly being committed by non-Whites.

SPLC Ignoring The Murder of Jews

On November 12, 2019, the SPLC wrote an article about the FBI Hate Crimes Report of 2018. The article focused on:

  • Blaming white supremacists and President Trump for attacks: “This uptick in violent hate crimes comes on the heels of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July, when he said the majority of domestic terrorism investigations are connected to white supremacy. Given President Trump’s incendiary – and often false – rhetoric about immigrants, it is not surprising that the FBI reports a nearly 14 percent increase in hate crimes against Latinos in 2018. A president’s words have consequences, and this administration continues to normalize the bigotry that motivates hate crimes. Earlier this year in El Paso, we witnessed one of the deadliest white nationalist, anti-immigrant acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.” But the article didn’t say that anti-Black hate crimes declined by 1.3% in 2018; anti-Jewish crimes by 9.5% and anti-Muslim by 27.4%. What’s more, while the total hate crimes against those groups went down, the anti-White hate crimes JUMPED by 20.1%, the largest one year increase since 2012.
  • No discussion of anti-Jewish murders. The report noted an increase in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and that the largest percentage of hate crimes were against Blacks. But it said nothing about the facts that an average Jew was three times more likely to suffer a hate crime than an average Black person. It said nothing about the slaughter of Jews in Pittsburgh, the largest mass shooting of Jews in U.S. history. NOTHING. The words “anti-Semitism” and “Jews” never even made the article, even as the number of murders reached 1.0% of total hate crimes for the first time since the FBI has kept such statistics, mostly due to the killing of Jews.

That article was not an aberration in focusing on White perpetrators and ignoring Jewish victims.

Go to the site’s tab on “Hate & Extremism.” The only hate groups featured are all White supremacist, even though it claims to track 1,600 hate groups, many of whom are anti-White.

In an article describing the “Year in Hate” on February 15, 2017, the  SPLC bemoaned the increase in anti-Muslim hate groups which it claimed was not unexpected. Why?

“By far the most dramatic change was the enormous leap in anti-Muslim hate groups, from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year — a 197% increase. But that explosion was not unexpected. Anti-Muslim hate has been expanding rapidly for more than two years now, driven by radical Islamist attacks including the June mass murder of 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub, the unrelenting propaganda of a growing circle of well-paid ideologues, and the incendiary rhetoric of Trump — his threats to ban Muslim immigration, mandate a registry of Muslims in America, and more.”

Read that highlighted section again: a Muslim extremist killed 49 members of the LGBT community in a horrible hate crime, and rather than call attention to the victims being LGBT and the perpetrator being Muslim, the SPLC reoriented the reader to state that presumably White people are anti-Muslim because a Muslim killed gay people. Huh? SPLC, are you warning us that White people are the real problematic haters because they don’t like Muslims slaughtering gay people?

The article capturing the year in hate mentioned “Muslims” fifteen times, while “Jews” was referenced just three times. This despite there being 834 hate crimes against Jews and 381 against Muslims, according to the FBI in 2016. Where’s the focus and where’s the problem?

When the SPLC addressed the shooting of Jews in Poway, CA on April 27, 2019, it focused on the perpetrator: “Once again, a young white male has apparently been influenced by dangerous online white supremacist propaganda. And once again, we see how this propaganda can lead to terrorist acts.” But when the attacks in Jersey City, NJ were committed by Black people, SPLC seemed to be confused as to whether the two killers belonged to the Black Israelites which SPLC labels as a hate group, while noting “many Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly anti-white nor antisemitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the movement.” Maybe the killers were part of the group, maybe not. The group is considered a hate group, but many people are not really racists. It’s very clear, thank you. It seems that uniquely among the 1,600 hate groups the SPLC tracks, there may be some “very fine people” (to quote Donald Trump) among the Black Israelites.

When Jews were attacked again on Hanukkah 2019, SPLC saidWhen any one of us is attacked, we are all at risk. This is a time in which the voices for good cannot be silent. Stand with the Jewish community and SPLC as we continue to challenge the rise in anti-Semitism. As Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote: “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Thank you for your recent concern. You’ve been absolutely mum for years.

People have described Jews as the canary in the coal mine when it comes to hate crimes but what happens to the miners when the person who claims to be in charge of watching the canary is in fact staring at everything else but the canary? The canary dies and the miners are too sick to even escape.

And here we are.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has systematically ignored the plight of Jews in America for years while it solely focused on white supremacists attacking Blacks and Muslims. In doing so, it has failed the Jews and it has failed America.

Protester in New York City’s March Against Hate, January 5, 2020 (photo: FirstOneThrough)


Related First.One.Through articles:

First the Attackers Were Radical Islamic Extremists

I See Dead People

The New Trend in Hate Crimes: Black Murderers and Jewish Victims

Don Lemon, Here are Some Uncomfortable Facts about Hate Crimes in America

Covering Racism

Where’s the March Against Anti-Semitism?

Black Antisemitism: The Intersectional Hydra

Criticizing Muslim Antisemitism is Not Islamophobia

Between Right-Wing and Left-Wing Antisemitism

Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism

Is Columbia University Promoting Violence Against Israel and Jews?

The War Against Israel and Jewish Civilians

Black Hate Crimes of 2018

Anti-Semitism Is Harder to Recognize Than Racism

Fact Check Your Assumptions on American Racism

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

 

 

Black Antisemitism: The Intersectional Hydra

Antisemitism today is widely reported to come from three main sources: the alt-right; the radical Muslim community; and the far left. What is not covered is Black Antisemitism, which does not fit neatly into one of the standard categories.

And it must be discussed, as Black antisemitism is becoming one of the greatest threats to Jews in America.

Understanding Alt-Left Black Antisemitism:
Racist Gentrification

Gentrification, on its face, is purely an economics matter. The change that comes to a poor neighborhood as wealthier residents move in sometimes upsets the dynamic of the existing residents. Rents slowly inch up for apartments and stores, pushing the residents and businesses out in favor of those that could now afford the higher costs. This is true whether the wealthier newcomers are the same ethnic background as current inhabitants or different.

In Jersey City, NJ, where two black people shot up a kosher store killing a police officer and civilians last week, gentrification has been a vocal issue, and it has focused on race, as much as economics.

In April 2019, the President of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference penned a letter to a local New Jersey media outlet. The article chastised the mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop to do something about the gentrification of the city where “lower-income African American and Latino families are being particularly threatened with displacement as investment floods in.” That same month, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century met in Newark, NJ, for a weekend “emergency summit on gentrification.” As covered by Brentin Mock in CityLab:

“The emergency is that too many white people have been moving back from wherever they fled to into inner-city neighborhoods that have been culturally and racially defined as black communities for the past few decades. This white invasion is an “insidious onslaught” to African-American life as we know it, as Daniels spelled out in a blog he penned last November, and so walls must be built, or rather, policies must be built to stop the occupation.”

This opinion is not a matter of economics, but one of racial warfare, and it is a belief held by many people in the black community.

Consider the comments of Joan Terrell Paige, a member of the Jersey City Board of Education after the shooting in the city targeting its Jewish residents for slaughter:

“Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were threatened, intimidated, and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the jewish community?… If we are going to tell a narrative it should begin with TRUTH not more cover up of the truth. Mr. Anderson and Ms. Graham went directly to the kosher supermarket. I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. What is the message they were sending? Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities in America?

When Terrell Paige was criticized for her antisemitic remarks, people from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network jumped to her defense, sayingHow dare they speak out against someone saying how they feel. She said nothing wrong. Everything she said is the truth. So where is this anti-Semitism coming in? I am not getting it.” While the non-black public was aghast that someone would blame the victim for their own demise, the black community was focused on the perceived threat of a “white invasion” threatening the “Black communities in America.”

The Black community argued that the attack on the kosher supermarket wasn’t about hating Jews per se, it was about defending their communities from an “invasion.” It was a defensive action, not an act of persecution.

This is the identical language that progressives use against Israel. The progressives stand against the “insidious onslaught” of Jews coming into “Arab lands,” and want to “stop the occupation” of communities of color by European colonialists. Do the Arabs shoot the Jews dead? Yes, but it’s not based on antisemitism as much as defending their community of color from “too many white people.” The alt-left logic is that the blacks in New Jersey and the Arabs in Jenin would shoot to kill white invaders if they were Polish or Danish, so the fact that they were Jewish is inconsequential.

Progressives believe that there are particular people who deserve land, community, safety and wealth, and they are not wealthy white people. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio summed up the thinking of his alt-left comrades well in June 2019 when he saidThere is plenty of money in this world, and there’s plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands. Democrats have to fix that.” Progressives aren’t looking for communities of coexistence, they seek a radical transfer of wealth, property, jobs and “justice” to minorities.

The progressive racist approach to gentrification is clear: they want the politicians to take tax dollars from the wealthy white communities and pour the funds into the poor minority urban communities, however, they don’t want those white people moving alongside them. Say no to Amazon’s 25,000 high-paying jobs if it will disrupt the communities of color (thanks AOC). Claim that Jews in the neighborhood are endangering your own black kids because they’re bringing out the haters. If the politicians fail to stop the “white invasion,” then you cannot blame the black community for rising up and shooting a bunch of white Jews shopping.

Tacitly and/or explicitly, the alt-left finds common cause with people of color who gun down white people in defense of their homogeneous minority community, whether in Jersey City or Jerusalem.

Understanding Racist Black Antisemitism:
Hatred of Jews and Judaism

The “alt-right” is often described as being a bunch of “white supremacists” but can be defined more broadly as people who believe in the racial superiority of their own group.

The alt-Right and the alt-Left share a common goal of exclusion. The alt-Right wants to limit immigration to the United States to countries from Europe to keep it a majority white country, while the alt-Left uses the war on racist gentrification to keep white people out of minority communities. The silent separator of the two extremist groups is that the alt-left wraps itself in a shroud of “justice” since it is advocating for minority groups while the alt-right fights to keep its majority status.

Beyond keeping country and community static, the premise of racism and antisemitism is also central to the alt-right vision.

While many of the black people defending the slaughter of Jews in Jersey City could not see their own antisemitism since they believed they were just defending the culture of their neighborhood, many black people have no qualms about voicing their disgust with white people and Jews.

The Nation of Islam is a notorious antisemitic organization which is headed by the black preacher Louis Farrakhan who loudly smears Jews, Judaism and white people to standing ovations in the Black community. Many African Muslim countries also have cultures of Jew-hatred, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in the Wall Street Journal in July 2019 about Somalia. ADL polls confirm that European Muslims are two to five times more likely to be antisemitic than Christians and that the Muslims from Africa and the Middle East are the most antisemitic people of all.

Black antisemitism is not limited to Muslims.

The two black murderers who killed people in New Jersey belonged to a fringe group called Black Israelites. They believe that blacks and Latinos are the true “chosen people” mentioned in the bible and that today’s Jews are imposters. The black Israelites view themselves as righteous and superior to white people and Jews.

These various racists and antisemites receive protection from the broad black and progressive communities under the guise of intersectionality. Many black Democratic politicians refuse to denounce Louis Farrakhan as he is considered a voice of empowerment to the black community. The leaders of the Women’s March proudly associated with Farrakhan. The racism and antisemitism of the black alt-right gets excused because they are a minority group, so The New York Times and Don Lemon on CNN will report that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men,” even while the growth in hate crimes today is being driven by violent black hatred.

Jersey City’s Brooklyn Jews

The Jersey City Massacre deserves some backdrop and context.

Over the past decades, the rental prices in Manhattan became prohibitive for many people so they flooded into cheaper neighborhoods in Brooklyn which were long occupied by a diverse group of people including Chasidic Jews, Pakistani Muslims, Puerto Ricans and others. The gentrification of Brooklyn pushed many of these people to seek cheaper rents in nearby communities.

Jersey City, NJ looked much like Brooklyn twenty years ago with its views of and proximity to Manhattan, but with cheaper rents. Long a home for blacks and Latinos, many of the poorer residents of Brooklyn came to Jersey City as a place near Manhattan which was more affordable.

Chasidic Jews are not like every other group of people seeking more affordable places to live. They not only dress differently, they eat different foods not carried by local establishments, send their children to different schools which teach Jewish studies and need to be within walking distance to a Jewish house of worship. This means that it is difficult, perhaps impossible, for one or two Chasidic families to move to a place without Orthodox Jews. They need to enter a community with a minimum of twenty to fifty families to support basic Jewish and kosher infrastructure.

So when Chasidic Jews “got gentrified” out of their own communities in Brooklyn, they could not move to Jersey City as individuals as many in the Latino community did, but came looking for a significant quantity of housing. Their move clearly alarmed the existing minority community which saw a “white invasion” and a Brooklyn-ization of their city. It galvanized the hydra of hatreds from across the spectrum of right-wing and left-wing to protest the Jewish presence in their city and to defend the antisemitic murderers.

EMT cleans the area outside a kosher supermarket on December 11, 2019 (photo: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com)

Whether motivated by racism, antisemitism or fears of gentrification, black people will be attacking Jews again. And until society, the media and political leaders clearly state that being a minority does not provide absolution for hatred and violence, everyone will be complicit in the heinous crimes against the most persecuted people on earth.

Related First.One.Through articles:

I See Dead People

First the Attackers Were Radical Islamic Extremists

The War Against Israel and Jewish Civilians

Anti-Semitism Is Harder to Recognize Than Racism

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

For The NY Times, Antisemitism Exists Because the Alt-Right is Racist and Israel is Racist

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

The New Trend in Hate Crimes: Black Murderers and Jewish Victims

The terrible murders at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ in December 2019, was a continuation of a number of trends in hate crimes: more murders, more Jewish victims and more Black murderers.

EMT cleans the area outside a kosher supermarket on December 11, 2019 (photo: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com)

The FBI reports its findings about hate crimes in the United States every November. While Jews have always been the most likely to suffer from hate crimes, the nature of the attacks were often in the form of vandalism, intimidation and assault.

This trend has changed over the past few years.

Murder: The average number of hate crimes from murder was high between the years 2000 and 2003, averaging 13.5 murders per year during those four years. The average number of hate crime murders dropped significantly between 2004 and 2014, to just 6.2 killings per year. However, from 2015 to 2018, the average number of hate crime murders jumped to 16.5 people killed per year, a staggering figure.

Religion: Hate crime murders are typically not based on religious bias, as the murderers are more frequently motivated by hatred against the victim’s race and/or sexual orientation. Between 2000 and 2015, murders targeting religion accounted for an annual average of 10% of the total hate crime murders, but that figure jumped to 19% in the years 20016 to 2018. During the sixteen years 2000 to 2015, one Jew and six Muslims were killed. That has flipped, with eleven Jews and no Muslims killed as a result of hate crimes from 2016 to 2018.

Race of Murderers: While White people have been the majority of the murderers in all hate crimes, it is lower than one would expect based on demographics. There are roughly 5.7 times more White people than Black people in the United States so one would expect a similar rate of hate crimes. However, from 2000 to 2015, White people committed 3.4 times the number of hate crime murders (96 to 28), implying that an average Black person was committing 66% more hate crime murders than an average White Person. From 2016 to 2018 the trend accelerated, when White people committed 1.75 times the number of hate crime murders by Black people (28 to 16), suggesting that Black people were 226% more likely to commit a hate crime murder than White people.


The brutal shooting of innocent Jews by Black anti-Semites last week in New Jersey horrified all decent people but the trendlines over the past three years should make it less surprising. The U.S. is seeing an uptick in hate crime murders, more of them targeting Jews and more of the killings committed by Black people.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Black Hate Crimes of 2018

Mayor De Blasio is Blind to Black Anti-Semitism

What Kind of Hate Kills?

Don Lemon, Here are Some Uncomfortable Facts about Hate Crimes in America

Covering Racism

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

Anti-Semitism Is Harder to Recognize Than Racism

First the Attackers Were Radical Islamic Extremists

Muslim Women Debate Anti-Semitism

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

Sources:

FBI Hate Crimes 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000

Vaping Bernie Sanders

Vaping has become the latest craze. Its popularity has skyrocketed, particularly among young people. Studies show that Americans aged 30 to 64 were four times as likely to vape as those aged 18 to 29, and that group was four times as likely to vape as the oldest Americans over 65. Polls highlight that the younger generations do not believe that vaping is harmful, and its appeal continues to rise despite all of the evidence which shows how terrible the activity is for a person’s physical well-being.

In a very similar vein, Senator Bernie Sanders has wide appeal among younger people than older Americans. Sanders’ loyal base draws mostly on uneducated and low income people. Not surprisingly, the millions of younger, poorer people love Sanders’ formula for redistributing money from wealthier Americans. Unfortunately, these recipients cannot fathom how terrible Sanders’ socialism is for the overall economic health of the United States.

Meanwhile, the federal government has been considering a range of laws to ban or limit vaping, including the marketing of flavors that appeal to younger people. However, the more systemic risk to the nation posed by the exposure to the radical socialist ideas of Bernie Sanders has not garnered such attention. Is it time ban Bernie ads and pull him from the Democratic debates?


Senator Bernie Sanders at J Street conference


Related First.One.Through articles:

Bernie Sanders is Less Sophisticated Than Forrest Gump

#NeverGillibrand #NeverSanders #NeverHarris #NeverDeBlasio

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

From “You Didn’t Build That” to “You Don’t Own That”

The Democratic Socialists Tell Lies and Half Truths About Lobbyists

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

Liberal Hypocrisy on Foreign Government Intervention

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

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is precisely the J Street dynamic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

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

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

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

J Street’s Select Appreciation of Transparency

Will the 2020 Democratic Platform Trash Israel?

Anti-Israel Lobbyists Dwarf Pro-Israel Lobbyists

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

A Basic Lesson of How to be Supportive

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

Unity – not Unanimity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

The Anger from the Zionist Center

Rick Jacobs’ Particular Reform Judaism

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

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

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Will Bernie Sanders Push Birth Control in Gaza?

The CNN Town Hall discussions on climate change had a little something for everyone. When it came to the poorest places in the world, Bernie Sanders was thinking birth control.

In response to a question about human population causing climate change, Sanders pushed beyond the questioner’s point of education, to introducing the notion that abortion is a solution which the United States should aid, particularly among the poorest countries, saying:

“the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd. So I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, is something I very, very strongly support.”

There is one place in the world which is not only poor and crowded with high birth rates but has thousands of United Nations feet on the ground already managing the health of the population: Gaza.

Poverty: According to a Palestinian Authority report, the 2016 GDP per capita in Gaza was $1,822. That would place the region as number 147 of 194 countries. The unemployment rate for people over 15 years old was 43.9 percent, around the same rate as the failed states of Venezuela and Yemen, the highest in the world.

Crowded: There were 1.9 million people in Gaza in 2017 in an area of 365 square kilometers, or 5,205 people per sqkm. That would rank the strip as number 6 behind the wealthy enclaves of Macau, Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong and Gibraltar.

High birth rates. In Gaza, approximately 41.7 percent of the population is under 15 years old and the average household has 5.6 people. The high percentage of young people is a phenomenon found in poor African countries (Gaza rank #24) while the large average family size is found in the Middle East, North and western Africa. The fertility rates of the women in these countries are the highest in the world, in sharp contrast to the lowest fertility rates found in the small, densely-populated wealthy countries of Singapore and Hong Kong mentioned above.

Gaza has the poverty and birth rates of large African countries in a compact area that is typical of wealthy capitalistic enclaves. But Gaza has the advantage relative to the African countries of having a large United Nations presence – 13,189 in UNRWA staff as of January 2019 – to service them.

UNRWA provides free health services to the Gaza population which identify as refugees, and services close to 100 percent of all pre-natal and post-natal visits. Yet the use of contraception in the West Bank and Gaza stood at only 56.5 percent according to the UN, even though UNRWA has complete access to the population and provides free services. Additionally, as abortions are banned by the Palestinian Authority, women would have to seek regular means of seeking birth control as provided by UNRWA, or travel to Israeli hospitals for the procedure.

Which all brings us back to Bernie Sanders’ comment about allowing US funds to flow into poor countries to facilitate abortions and actively promote birth control.

Sanders is known as a foreign policy lightweight, never delving much into the issue during his decades in Washington, D.C. Now, for his presidential-run education, he has surrounded himself with pro-Palestinian voices like James Zogby and Linda Sarsour who have made Gaza a central theme in his short script.

So, will Bernie spend US dollars on getting the Palestinian Authority to legalize abortion and actively push birth control in one of the poorest and compact regions? Does his allegiance lie with with his climate change clientele or with his Arab activists?


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

From “You Didn’t Build That” to “You Don’t Own That”

The Democratic Party is continuing to move in an authoritarian manner to strip people of their liberties and properties.

In July 2012, President Obama addressed a crowd in Virginia while he sought a second term in office and saidif you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” The comment irritated his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, who responded that

to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza … To say something like that, it’s not just foolishness. It’s insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America … And by the way, the president’s logic doesn’t just extend to the entrepreneurs that start a barber shop or a taxi operation or an oil field service business like this and a gas service business like this, it also extends to everybody in America that wants to lift themself [sic] up a little further … The president would say, well you didn’t do that. You couldn’t have gotten to school without the roads that government built for you. You couldn’t have gone to school without teachers. So you didn’t, you are not responsible for that success. … what the President said was both startling and revealing. I find it extraordinary that a philosophy of that nature would be spoken by a president of the United States. It goes to something that I have spoken about from the beginning of the campaign. That this election is, to a great degree, about the soul of America. Do we believe in an America that is great because of government or do we believe in an America that is great because of free people allowed to pursue their dreams and build our future?”

Americans didn’t seem to notice or agree with Romney’s remarks and voted Obama to a second term in office by a margin of 332 to 206.

So, the progressive presidential candidates are at it again.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is extending Obama’s line of reasoning in the hopes that it will be even more popular with Americans. While Obama gave the government and teachers credit for playing a large part in entrepreneurs’ success, Sanders’ socialist philosophy concluded that such a government system which enables entrepreneurs to achieve so much wealth must inherently be corrupt and sinister. Therefore, Sanders wants a complete revolution to destroy America’s capitalistic economy. 

Comrade-in-arms Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who is also running for president doesn’t want to destroy the successful companies as much as she wants to seize them away from management and investors. Warren’s goal is to give 40 percent of a company’s board seats to employees if the company has annual revenue over $1 billion. Additionally, she wants to take 2 percent of people’s wealth over $50 million.

And why not? Obama laid the philosophical groundwork that the rich profit off of the efforts of others as well as the governmental system and economy, so why shouldn’t the employees get a giant say and take in the outcome of a company and the government come to lay claim to its just rewards?


Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren

It is easy to see a future Democratic Socialist presidential candidate following Warren and arguing that labor should get 70% of boards on all companies with revenue over $100 million, and that the government will take 5 percent of all personal wealth over $5 million, then 10% on wealth over $1 million, as that is the nature of a voracious government that eyes success suspiciously.

While Warren will claim that she is more of a capitalist than Sanders to appeal to moderates, it is a nuance without difference. While Sanders wants to destroy capitalism immediately, Warren is simply seeking to establish the mechanisms to kill investment and motivation. Her long-term goal is to let capitalism choke under the weight of government, until such time that the income and wealth gap is flattened to such a level to satisfy the alt-left.

In 2012, Romney repeated the vision of the role of government protecting liberty as conceived by America’s founding fathers in a warning about Obama’s grand government. But today, nobody is sounding the alarms on alt-left politicians laying claim to corporate and wealth takeovers in gestures prevalent in failed socialist societies like Venezuela. Such is a society which stokes populism rather than freedom.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democratic Socialists Tell Lies and Half Truths About Lobbyists

Progressives are Stripping the Equity of Our Lives

#NeverGillibrand #NeverSanders #NeverHarris #NeverDeBlasio

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

 

The Democratic Socialists Tell Lies and Half Truths About Lobbyists

The July 30, 2019 debate with Democratic candidates for president covered little ground. Much of the discussion centered around healthcare in which the two leading contenders – Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – were calling out the terrible role that pharmaceutical and insurance companies play in the ecosystem of healthcare. Each took a turn to slam the amount of money the industries spend on lobbyists.


Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sanders said that the pharma and insurance industries spent $4.5 billion on lobbyists last year. He was wrong. They spent a total of $441 million according to OpenSecrets.org, off by a factor of ten times.

Put that aside.

Sanders asked all of the Democrats running for office to pledge that they would not take any money from these two industry groups, as it put them in direct conflict in being able to negotiate healthcare honestly and effectively after these groups paid their way into office.

However, what was not discussed is the much more toxic money that public sector UNIONS pay into elections. These are groups that are sitting directly across the table from elected officials in negotiating their salaries and benefits. The union lobbying dollars are blessed bribes. Graft. It is a direct conflict of interest worthy of banana republics.

But the Sanders/Warren camp won’t discuss the poison, because they contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats. The socialist psychos would rather paint the entire lobbying fight of mega multi-national corporations squashing the poor little guy.

Here are some union lobbying figures for 2018:

Carpenters and Joiners Union $41.5 million
Service Employers International Union $41.5 million
Laborers Union $31.5 million
American Federation of Teachers $31.1 million
American Federation of State/County/Muni Employees $14.1 million

That’s $160 million just from these five unions, of which 99% went to Democrats.

By way of comparison, here are top multi-national corporations payouts for lobbyists:

Bloomberg $95.9 million (100% for Democrats)
Las Vegas Sands $62.4 million (100% for Republicans)
Microsoft $14.1 million (87% Democrats)
Amazon $13.6 million (69% Democrats)
Koch Industries $12.1 million (99% Republican)

Sanders called out the Koch brothers, and in the past he has slammed Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands owner. Those two are the epitome of the bad billionaires for the socialists, presumably because they are top givers to the Republicans.

Somehow, they neglect to mention the lobbying money of “Fahr LLC” which gave a whopping $73.1 million in 2018 – all to Democrats. Fahr is the middle name of Tom Steyer, a billionaire Democrat who is spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying people in congress to fight climate change and to impeach Donald Trump.

The leading liberals talk about the evils of lobbying money – but very, very selectively. They pretend to be more ethical in talking about the corruption of lobbying dollars, but only for those contributing to Republicans.

There is nothing more pernicious that allowing government unions to contribute money into elections, and it happens at the federal, state, county and local levels every day.

In New York, “government unions collectively spent more on lobbying last year [2017] than the state’s biggest trial lawyers, landlord, tobacco and hospital interests combined. And topping the list, as usual, was New York’s powerful conglomerate of public education unions.” Would it surprise you that New York is a deep blue (Democratic) state?

While I admire the socialist twin’s calls to stay away from pharma lobbyist money, I consider their voices vacuous unless there are louder calls to stop the most sinister lobbying in the country: from public sector unions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

#NeverGillibrand #NeverSanders #NeverHarris #NeverDeBlasio

New York Times Reprints Union Manifesto

Bernie Sanders is Less Sophisticated Than Forrest Gump

Progressives are Stripping the Equity of Our Lives

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Republicans Do Not Believe There is Any “Occupation”

The terminology used by the United Nations that Israel is “illegally occupying Palestinian Land” has angered Israelis for a long time. The Israelis do not believe that the land is “Palestinian,” that they are “occupying it” or that living in and controlling such land is “illegal.”

The Trump Administration agrees with this approach.

The 2016 Republican platform discussed Israel in several sections, including the B.D.S. (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement which it labeled antisemitic, in prioritizing the security needs of allies like Israel over foes, and in moving the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. It also clearly mentioned Israel’s control over disputed land:

“We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier”

The logic behind such attitude has been voiced by Israel and Israeli advocates for a long time, although it gets no air in the left-wing media. In short:

  • International law in 1920 and 1922 specifically called for Jews to reestablish their homeland throughout Palestine, covering all of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River;
  • The “Green Line” or “1967 border,” is no border at all, but simply the armistice lines of 1949 which were deliberately and specifically not called borders but temporary lines too be negotiated for final settlement;
  • Jordan illegally evicted all the Jews from the area between the Green Line and the Jordan River (an area which later became known as the “West Bank”) and annexed the land in a move which was not recognized by almost the entire world;
  • Jordan broke the Jordanian-Israeli Armistice Agreement by attacking Israel in June 1967;
  • Israel took the “West Bank” in a defensive war, which makes the situation completely distinct from laws regarding taking land in an offensive war, especially when such land was not part of a sovereign nation, and was designated to be part of the acquiring country in any event

In summary, Israel took the “West Bank” back from a country which had illegally evicted all Jews, illegally annexed the land and illegally attacked it (the “Three Illegal Actions”).

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration sided with the United Nations, a group dominated by over 50 Arab and Muslim countries, the majority of which do not recognize Israel in any form. The United States, as part of the “Middle East Quartet,” co-signed a joint statement in September 2016, the final declaration before the Trump Administration took over which included the following:

“The Quartet reiterated its call on the parties to implement the recommendations of the Quartet Report of 1 July 2016, and create the conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations that will end the occupation that began in 1967 and resolve all final status issues.”

“The Quartet stressed the growing urgency of taking affirmative steps to reverse these trends in order to prevent entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict that is incompatible with realizing the national aspirations of both peoples.”

The Obama Administration followed this up in December 2016 when it allowed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 to pass which stated:

“the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;”

The Republican and the Democratic Party/UN could not be further apart on this issue.

Since the Trump Administration has taken office, it has followed through on its position on this matter:

  • It has curtailed the announcements made by the Quartet, and none of them refer to an “occupation” of “Palestinian territory” being “illegal”;
  • In June 2019, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,“; and
  • U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt also stated in June that “We might get there [to peace] if people stop pretending settlements, or what I prefer to call ‘neighborhoods and cities,’ are the reason for the lack of peace.

US Envoy Jason Greenblatt speaks at the Israel Hayom forum in Jerusalem on June 27, 2019. (photo: Gideon Markovitz)


While the two positions seem incompatible, they need not be.

The Republican position is completely logical. Further, how can there really be an enduring peace assuming the Democratic position of blessing an Arab Jew-free state? How can “progressives” support the antisemitic notion that Jews should be banned from living somewhere, let alone, in parts of their homeland?

The Democratic position also has logic. The Palestinian Arabs and the broader Arab world are insistent on Palestinian sovereignty. While sovereignty is NOT an “inalienable right” which the biased United Nations bestowed upon the Palestinians uniquely (only self-determination is an inalienable right of all people), it might not be a bad solution to the current impasse. Should the Palestinian Arabs obtain sovereignty, they will require defined borders. However, such new state of Palestine need not – and should not – be based on the antisemitic notion that Jews cannot live there.

The blend of the positions might be that Palestinians obtain sovereignty over a portion of the land, say in Gaza and land east of the security barrier which Israel built to stem the waves of Palestinian terrorists. It is consistent with both the Democrats and Republicans stated positions of caring about Israel’s security, while acknowledging the substance of the Republican position that the “1967 borders” are arbitrary and not borders, and the Democratic position that a two-state solution is the best path towards a peaceful settlement.

The Trump administration has not yet revealed the political portion of its Middle East plan and may not do so until after the Israeli elections scheduled for September 17. It might call for a new independent Palestinian State on the lines above, or it might suggest some sort of confederation with Jordan, which poses its own issues for Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Either way, the Republicans have clearly broken with the notion endorsed by the Unsavory UN and the Democratic Party that Israel illegally occupies Palestinian Land, and will advance a peace proposal on such basis.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Marking November 29 as The International Day of Solidarity with Jews Living East of the Green Line

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

“Settlements” Crossing the Line

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

Names and Narrative: It is Called ‘Area C’

The New York Times Major anti-Netanyahu Propaganda Piece

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

 

Taking it Straight to the People: Obama and Kushner

Political leaders normally engage with other political leaders. A president of one country would normally have meetings and calls with a person of the same rank from another country. On rare occasions, a politician would bypass elected officials and talk and negotiate with another county’s citizens, or maybe even third parties on behalf of those citizens.

Here is a review of two American politicians going to the Middle East on the same issue: U.S. President Barack Obama talking directly to Israelis, and U.S. Middle East Envoy Jared Kushner engaging with Arab countries on behalf of Palestinian Arabs.

Obama Bypasses the Knesset in Favor of Israelis

In March 2013, Israel invited U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Israel and speak to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Both of the two previous US presidents, Bill Clinton (1994) and George W Bush (2008) addressed the Knesset while they were in office, yet Obama declined the invitation. The administration explained that Obama had a speech for “the Israeli public and that really was our priority.” The White House arranged to have an audience of students from Israeli universities, except he barred students from schools located on the West Bank of the Jordan, to hear his remarks.


Obama speaking to Israelis, March 2013

Obama spoke to this group of young Israelis as if the Knesset wasn’t a democratically-elected represented government of the people. He sought an audience which he hoped would be more receptive to his feeble efforts to denuclearize Iran and remove a sadist killer from the head of Syria. He appealed to the Israelis to give peace a chance with the Palestinians – directly. “Peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments.

His remarks about the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority spoke volumes. He gave the Israeli leader a single mention, “I’ve reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres,” while saying nothing about Netanyahu’s efforts to establish peace and prosperity – or really anything about the two Israeli leaders at all, just as formal points of contact.

Conversely, Obama’s comment about the Palestinian leadership made them out to be heroic figures seeking peace: “while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.  (Applause.)  I believe that.  And they have a track record to prove it.  Over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the West Bank in ways that few could have imagined just a few years ago.  So many Palestinians — including young people — have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.” Wars from Gaza in 2008 and 2012? Obama skipped those. The slaughter of the Fogel family in their beds in 2011? Abbas’ meeting in January 2013 to bring the terrorist group Hamas into the ruling government seemed to not be significant to mention. Or, more likely, a track record which Obama knew to be highly problematic.

Obama called for the Israeli youth to change their leadership to one more willing to make sacrifices for peace rather than for security: “Now, only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have.  But remember that as you make these decisions, you will define not simply the future of your relationship with the Palestinians — you will define the future of Israel as well.

Obama bypassed the Israeli leadership he loathed and whom he felt would not fulfill his vision for a peaceful settlement, and talked to the Israeli public – which had democratically elected that Israeli leadership – in the belief that his speech could influence the Israeli public and elections.

Obama’s efforts were all for naught. Netanyahu won elections in 2013 and 2015. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad still rules in Syria after slaughtering over half a million of his own people. Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure remains completely intact. The Palestinians continued to intensify their wars against Israel in 2014 and 2015, while Mahmoud Abbas gave speeches about Jews and Zionists which would have make Adolf Hitler blush.

Obama tried something new – and insulting to the Israeli government – and nothing changed, even now, many years later.

Trump Administration Bypasses Palestinian Authority
for the Arab Street

In June 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump would also try a new approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

With the political portion of his self-declared “deal of the century” still under wraps due to the pending Israeli elections, Trump’s point people for Middle East Peace assembled a conference in Bahrain to unveil the economic portion of his plan.

The Palestinians would not show.

Angered by various Trump moves over the first two years of his term as president including recognizing the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to the city, as well as cutting aid to the broken United Nations agency which employees 30,000 Palestinians to hand out aid to the descendants of people who lived in Israel, the Palestinian Authority stayed away and urged others to boycott the event.

No matter. The team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt had a different audience in mind, just as Obama did six years earlier: the Palestinian people themselves.


Jared Kushner at Bahrain Conference, June 2019

The leadership of the Palestinians had long robbed the Palestinian people of a working economy, aid dollars and dignity. As detailed in the fascinating book Harpoon by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Palestinian leadership is rife with corruption. Yasser Arafat stole billions of dollars in aid meant for Palestinian Arabs and handed it to loyalists who kept him in power and funded terrorism at his command. The talent was passed to his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, who placates his henchmen with riches and supplies his terrorist families with money for life in a pay-to-slay program.

As described in The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity, the Obama administration and the United Nations believed that Palestinian dignity was predicated on undermining Israeli dignity in a zero sum game. Other people, like Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid believe that Palestinian dignity comes from economic self sufficiency. The Trump administration seems to agree.

The newly unveiled U.S. economic program would pump $50 billion into the Palestinian economy over 10 years and generate 1 million jobs. The monies would come mostly from the region, including $15 billion in grants, $25 billion in low interest loans and $11 billion of private capital. It would be administered by new multi-country agencies, including parties from neighboring Lebanon, Syria and Egypt which house many stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs). The power of the purse would no longer rest in the corrupt biased U.N. agency nor in the Palestinian Authority.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinian Authority rejected it completely. No money, no power.


Both the Obama and Trump administrations took new approaches towards peace in the Middle East, with each bypassing elected leadership to engage with the people who would ultimately realize peace. Obama talked directly to the Israeli people and urged them to ignore Palestinian terror, Muslim pathological killers in their neighborhood and their elected leadership to imagine peace. Trump’s approach was both more obtuse and direct: he sent his envoys to meet with the leaders of other nations and revealed a plan to direct billions of dollars in investment into the lives of the Palestinian Arabs. Obama’s prose was celebrated even though it contained no details and ultimately delivered exactly that – nothing. Trump’s plan has been derided by the liberal media and politicians who await the core political portion of the “deal of the century.”

Obama used his oratory skills to woo the Israeli public to replace their leadership and to imagine a peaceful coexistence. Trump put forward an economic plan to the Arab region to effectuate an enduring peace by bypassing Palestinian leaders.

Obama’s efforts brought nothing to the region but more wars and millions of refugees. Time will tell what Trump’s plan will yield.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

The Only Precondition for MidEast Peace Talks

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

The Debate About Two States is Between Arabs Themselves and Jews Themselves

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

The Undemocratic Nature of Fire and Water in the Middle East

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

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough