Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

On January 14, 2018, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech that surpassed his previous rantings about the Jews in the Middle East:

  • He not only said that Israel was a European colonial project as he has done many times, but added now that Jews have zero connection to Israel: “it constitutes a colonialist enterprise that has nothing to do with Judaism.
  • He not only said that the early Zionists hated European Jews and conspired with the Nazis to force Jews to move to Israel as he has done many times, but added that the early Zionists also despised the Jews from Arab countries “I hate them. They look like Arabs,” and worked with the Arab countries to expel the Jews

So Abbas doubled down on his fake history. Does it matter? Did he think he could negotiate a better deal with Israel with such additional insults? Obviously not.

But Israel was not his audience.

The entire Abbas rant was for European consumption. It is there that Abbas hopes he can force a better outcome in the Middle East.


Acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas

Consider the points which Abbas made:

  • The United States will no longer be an accepted mediator. “We will not accept America as a mediator with Israel. After what they did to us… A believer does not get bitten by the same snake twice, and we have been bitten a hundred times already.” Hey EU, we need you to step in. And if you accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we will reject your involvement in the peace process as well.
  • Abbas is the sole man of peace to be a negotiating partner; the rest of the Arab world will pursue violence. “We don’t want war. We will not call for a military war with Israel. Whoever has [weapons] – go ahead and do it. I say this out in the open. If you have weapons, go ahead. I’m with you, and I will help you. Anyone who has weapons can go ahead. I don’t have weapons. I want the peaceful political path to reach a settlement. I see that there are only a few supporters of peace here. All the others are into war. The Americans are always telling us that we must stop paying salaries to the families of the martyrs and the prisoners. We categorically reject this demand. Under no circumstances will we allow the families of the martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners to be harmed. These are our children, our families. We are proud of them, and we will pay them before we pay the living.” Abbas positioned himself as the peaceful reasonable man to run point on negotiations, even while he warns that the terrorism from all Arab Muslims will continue.
  • This situation in Palestine is completely Europe’s fault. “We have tried to raise the issue of the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration. Some people have rebuked us for this: After 100 years you bring this up again? Yes. We brought it up after 100 years, and we still do. We will continue to talk about it until Great Britain apologizes, pays reparations, and recognizes the State of Palestine. But the issue goes back long before that, my brothers. The late Egyptian intellectual Abdel-Wahab El-Messiri was among the most important people who talked about the Zionist movement and Judaism. His encyclopedias and volumes are well known throughout the Arab world. He describes that entity as follows: ‘The functional nature of Israel means that it was evoked by colonialism in order to fulfill a specific function, and thus it constitutes a colonialist enterprise that has nothing to do with Judaism… This did not begin 100 years ago. It did not begin with the Balfour Declaration. According to my humble knowledge – and I may be wrong and it actually began way before that… It began in 1653, when Cromwell ruled Britain. Cromwell staged a coup against the king and became the head of a republic in 1653. This was 300 years prior to the Balfour Declaration. He came up with the idea of transferring the Jews from Europe to the Middle East, to this region, because they wanted this region to become an advanced post to protect the interests and the convoys coming from Europe to the East. This is a well-known story, and there’s no need to repeat it – the East India Company and all that… He asked Holland, which owned the largest fleet in the world, to transfer the Jews, but the project was unsuccessful. This was in 1653.” Abbas told the European powers that they are the culprits that stole the land from Arabs to both rid themselves of Jews and create a safe outpost in the region to protect European interests. Jews are but tools in the European colonial project.

Abbas’s speech was not directed at the US nor at Israel. He views them as completely unhelpful to his plan to seize control of land and power in the holy land.

Abbas addressed the European powers to rectify the wrong that he believes they perpetrated on the Palestinian Arabs. He feels that it is not only Europe’s moral responsibility, but if they want to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East through peaceful negotiations, then the only people that can make that happen are Abbas and the European leaders.

Will the Europeans care that the speech was an insane antisemitic conspiracy of fake history? Why should they? J Street, a group of alt-left Jews, took the bait immediately and called on Europe to aggressively insert itself into the situation. “Now, however, in the absence of responsible American leadership, the international community must do everything in its power to prevent further backsliding and destructive measures by all parties.

Abbas knows his audience. J Street and the alt-left in Europe will support his view that Israel must be cornered and compelled to accept the Palestinian vision. They will adopt the revisionist history that Palestinian Arabs have been passive victims for hundreds of years of European, Jewish and American aggression, and it’s time for all of them to pay compensation.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

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

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

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

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Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

(1929-1968)

While the weekend celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. was going on in the United States of America in 2018, acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas continued to make a fool of himself in Ramallah.

In addition to layering on multiple insults of the US President Donald Trump, its Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and its Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Abbas went on a tirade of fake history. He claimed that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews.” But it is precisely Jewish, both according to Jews and according to the Arab countries in the region that expelled close to 1 million Jews that were living in their countries in the decades following the establishment of Israel. If Israel has nothing to do with Jews, why did the Arabs expel all of their Jews at the foundation of Israel?

Abbas’s stupidity would continue. He claimed that Palestinian Arabs have been living in the holy land for the past 6000 years – for thousands of years even before the birth of Abraham. That’s pretty impressive for a group that didn’t arrive in the land of Israel until about 1400 years ago, even by the admission of Arabs themselves.

Yes, it is the Arabs that colonized the area, not the Jews.

The Jewish people came to the land of Canaan roughly 3700 years ago. They established their kingdoms and capitals there and have always maintained a presence in the land until this day.

At the founding of Islam in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century, the early Muslims looked to spread their religion throughout the world. They embarked from the Arabian peninsula and invaded and colonized many lands, including the Jewish holy land. This colonization project was so successful, that people do not even pause to think that the term “Arab” is rooted in the Arabian peninsula.

The Palestinians fully acknowledge that they are but a part of the colonial Arab project, as stated in their own 2003 Palestinian Basic Law:

Palestine is part of the Arab homeland. The state of Palestine abides by the Charter of the League of Arab States. The Palestinian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations. Arab unity is a goal. The Palestinian people work on behalf of its realization.”

The Arab world views “Palestine” as simply one of the over 50 countries that comprise its Arab “homeland.” A homeland that was created thousands of years AFTER the Jews had been living in their Jewish holy land.

Abbas has denied Jewish history and presence in their native land. He has denied core elements of Judaism, including the location of the Jewish temples on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He has claimed that Zionists conspired to kill Jews in the Holocaust.

During Martin Luther King Day, it is a marvel to watch such “conscientious stupidity,” spew out of the mouth of someone that is venerated by the United Nations. But as MLK said many decades ago, the embrace of such venomous words are “dangerous,” and cannot simply be laughed away. This is not a debate between narratives, but the vile diatribe of a madman that must be condemned by every decent world leader.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Native American, An African American and a Hispanic American walk into Israel…

Israel: Security in a Small Country

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

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

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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The Highbrow Anti-Semite

It is sometimes comfortable to delude oneself into thinking that all antisemites are simply stupid, ignorant oafs. The kind of primitive idiots that take glory in terrorist acts of blowing up pizza stores, stabbing teenagers and shooting Jews on the highway.

Regrettably, antisemitism comes in all varieties. Many are indeed uneducated fools, but some are highly educated lawyers who speak on the global stage.

Consider the lawyer, Hiba Husseini. Her bio is most impressive. She holds a JD from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in political science from the George Washington University, a master’s degree in finance from the University of Sorbonne, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee. She sits on various boards and currently chairs the Legal Committee to Final Status Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

With such a pedigree and role, her opinions are sought out. They have clout and influence a wide range of people.

And that is part of the problem.

A review of Husseini’s work on a plenary session at the United Nations in 2016 where she was part of a conference to discuss new approaches to dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reveals a disturbing stench of Jew-hatred. In her commentary, Husseini made the following observation:

“Ms. HUSSEINI, noting that Israel had presented conflict-related issues as political ones to be dealt with at a bilateral level, said international law should become the basis of negotiations.  The Zionist idea to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates was well known, but Israel realized that the two-State solution would not take it in that direction.”

Remarkable. This was not the vile antisemitic hatred of Hamas which quoted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its 1988 charter. This was not lifted from the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial which he wrote many years ago.

This was a current comment from a US-educated lawyer at the United Nations, proclaiming that the Jewish State seeks to assume control of the broad Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. With such a mindset – and declaration at a global body – how could anyone possibly trust the Israelis to arrive at peace in the narrow strip of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, if their aspirations are to dominate every country in the region?


Hiba Husseini speaking at United Nations, 2016

Is there a modicum of truth to Husseini’s accusations? None, or more accurately, the opposite is true. International law in 1920 and 1922 specifically stated that the entirety of the Mandate of Palestine, which today consists of Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, could not exclude any person on the basis of his religion. But that is precisely what Jordan did in 1949 when it evicted all Jews from the West Bank and subsequently excluded any Jews from gaining citizenship in 1954. It is also exactly what the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations seek in the West Bank and Gaza – lands they argue should be Jew-free.

Israelis do not seek “to dominate the area from the Nile to the Euphrates,” but to be able to LIVE throughout the region as well as have sovereignty in a viable amount of the land between the Mediterranean and Jordan River. The Arab narrative is not just an inversion of Israel’s desires, but it washes the crimes of ethnic cleansing and antisemitism from Arab hands.

People have come to expect the antisemitism from Palestinian Arabs, as the 2015 Anti-Defamation League poll confirmed that almost every single Palestinians is an anti-Semite. But people must continue to monitor the evil spittle that comes from the mouths of educated anti-Semites, that infuse their lies into mainstream society.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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

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

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

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

A satire.

On the three year anniversary of the shooting at the satirical French publication Charlie Hebdo, the magazine’s publishers announced that it was no longer going to sell its papers to Islamic terrorists.

The January 2015 attack by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed a dozen people as the group was infuriated by the magazine’s depiction of their prophet Mohammed in cartoons. In killing the people at the magazine, the Islamic terrorists sought to shut down the offensive paper.

But three years on, Charlie Hebdo is still functioning and printing its satirical assaults on politicians and religions. The Islamic jihadists are no more amused today than they were three years ago.

Al Qaeda operatives continue to be among the most ardent followers of the magazine, with some estimates having the various jihadist groups buying as much as 18% of the total circulation. The AQAP Facebook page posts several harangues about the devilish nature of the paper and its publishers after every issue. AQAP, the Taliban and 18 other jihadist groups have sought a new fatwa against all people associated with the magazine and have urged the world to boycott the publication.

Charlie Hebdo blacklisted the 20 groups in response.

The head of marketing and advertising (who has withheld his name for fear of retribution) at Charlie Hebdo said that they thought they were helping the jihadists in breaking a terrible addictive habit. “On the one hand, they hate us and on the other, they are obsessed with us. We thought we were doing them a favor,” in preventing them from buying more magazines. “They keep on coming back so they can get more incensed. Their anger produces more invective producing bad outcomes for everyone. It’s bad enough that their terrorists; now they’re also angry.

The magazine has worked out a deal with its distributors that prospective purchasers must present ID cards when they attempt to buy the magazine. Anyone with an AQAP gun association or AAA (Al-Qaeda Automotive Attackers) card will be turned down and instead offered a coupon for a 30-minute massage. “Our thought was to help the jihadists get some quiet time and stop them from killing others,” said Guy Klever, the Minister of Strategic Affairs. “Charlie Hebdo will actively prevent such groups from spreading their slander against our satire. They must chill immediately!

Top dog terrorist Hay’man al-Za’worry was outraged at being denied the right to purchase the magazine. “This is a war on freedom of speech and commerce,” he announced. “This is a new low, even for such a despicable organization. It will not slow us down in our efforts to vilify and shut down this paper. We will continue to buy as many as possible until we put them out of business.”

Rebeka Folkcommerce, executive director of the Jewish Voice for Propaganda, chimed in about the blacklisting, “As someone who buys and publishes a lot of propaganda, this policy will be a real hardship,” for anyone that needs to buy the paper to enable them to destroy it.

Upon learning about the loss of thousands of magazine orders due to the blacklisting, Israel placed a standing order to purchase the same number so that Charlie Hebdo would not feel the pinch. “Something about this blacklist feels eerily familiar,” noted Israeli Prime Minister Bubba Netanyahu.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

The Turkish Chickpea: Recep “Hummus” Erdogan

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The Personalisation of War

There was a time that wars were fought between countries. Whether military or economic, a country or a group of countries would battle other countries. In extreme cases, the wars would ensnare much of the world.

But in modern times, battles have moved to a personal level.

Non-State Actors

Non-state actors like Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Liberation Organization have been waging political terrorism for a long time. However in modern times (since 2011), terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram moved the goalposts considerably, by using social media as an active part of their war efforts. The groups used Facebook and Twitter to share videos of brutal murders to both instill fear in their enemies and to enlist new troops. Such efforts were so successful, that politicians made combating these groups online one of their priorities in defeating the terrorists.

While social media became a new fertile area for the recruitment of civilians, the war efforts were still overseen and directed by the leadership of the terrorist groups. The leaders either deployed the new recruits in active fields of battle such as Iraq and Syria, or instructed them to conduct terrorist attacks in western countries that were supporting the battle against the jihadist groups.

That formula began to evolve in 2014.

Armies of One

For most of mankind’s history, an individual was a local being without a voice. In dictatorships, people’s opinions were irrelevant. A person’s existence was to pay taxes and serve in the army to further the goals of the leader. Even in democracies in which an individual’s opinion mattered in shaping a government’s makeup and therefore its policies, the individual’s impact would be relegated to the voting booth. If people wanted to achieve a more direct impact on government foreign policy, the choices were being part of a massive protest or joining the army or government. However, in each of those cases, the ultimate arbiter of foreign policy remained at the government level.

Social media has started to change that dynamic. Not only could non-state actors reach civilians around the world as described above, civilians could share their opinions and express their anger and actually impact foreign policy in a number of ways.

Defamation: In the third Hamas war from Gaza against Israel in 2014, Palestinian Arabs took to Facebook and Twitter to describe their personal situation. As described in the new book “War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century,”  a teenage girl from Gaza posted live about her fear and suffering in the war, reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world, punishing Israel’s image on a global level. According to the author of the book, “Israel lost the global information war because it did not ‘bleed’ enough, and as long as it maintains its military advantage, it never will.

Violence: By the 2014 war’s end, the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank felt that they had also not ‘bled’ enough, and began a car ramming and stabbing intifada against Israelis, both civilians and soldiers. The attacks were inspired – but not orchestrated – by Arab leadership from the West Bank Fatah party as well as the Gaza-based Hamas party.


Cartoon from Fatah website directing people to use cars to run over Jews
November 6, 2014


Palestinian girl discussing stabbing Jews
November 12, 2015

The deadly “lone wolf” attacks in the United States from 2015 to 2017 were similarly inspired by ISIS, but were not planned by the terrorist group’s leadership.

Economic: The personal war is not just being waged with violence and libel. It is economic as well.

In the past countries-war model, countries would use economic pressure against one another, such as after Egypt lost the Yom Kippur War to Israel in 1973, it engaged in an economic war against all of the countries that supported Israel including the US via an oil embargo. In today’s individual-war model, people engage in a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The BDS movement targets the government of Israel, professors at Israeli universities, Israeli companies and even individuals looking to perform in Israel. The latest victim was the pop singer Lorde, who cancelled her Israel concert in December 2017 after being barraged by threats from individuals.

This is a new phenomenon. Individuals are now attackers and individuals are now victims. The ties that bind both attacker and victim are no longer based on nationality and borders, but by identity. Jihadists fight anti-jihadists around the world, and anti-Zionists fight Zionists everywhere. The global economy and pervasiveness of social media have enabled the protagonists to organize.

In such a new format, is Israel worse off or better? The one Jewish State is outnumbered 57-to-1 by the number of Muslim countries, but by 100-to-1 in terms of Muslim-to-Jewish population (twice as small). In general, Israel is just a single country out of 193 countries at the United Nations, but is dwarfed by 900-to-1 in terms of the global population (five times as small).

In a new personalized-war model, the small country looks even smaller.

But the personalization of war also leads invariably to a personalization of defense, and therein lies an amazing opportunity.

There is only one Jewish State and only a limited number of Jews, so Israel will always be outnumbered on the world stage. But there are millions of pro-Zionists in the world. These people must be educated and prepared to counter the scourge of demonization that is being touted on social media. They should be marketed to as consumers of Israeli products to repel the efforts of BDS minions. And they should be called upon to defend Israel when individuals, groups and countries shout “from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” in efforts to destroy the one Jewish State.

Sign up to FirstOneThrough and other pro-Israel sites and share the articles and videos broadly on social media. The personalization of war has made everyone an active participant in the fight.

 


Related First.One.Through articles:

Car Ramming from Islamic Terrorism Explodes as it Approaches its Second Anniversary

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Current Intifada against Everyone

The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

“Won’t you be my Neighbor?”

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

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The Non-Orthodox Jewish Denominations Fight Israel

The tensions between the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations and Israel seemingly became tense over the Israeli government’s decision to postpone plans for an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, the Western Wall. In truth, the relationship between the Reconstructionist, Jewish Renewal and Reform branches of Judaism (the 3R’s) and the Jewish State have been terrible for a long time.

There are a number of Jewish organizations that actively seek to harm Israel in public fora. As detailed in “Unity – not Uniformity – in the Pro-Israel Tent,” the largest and most noxious of the left-wing organizations are: the Jewish Voice for Peace that advocates for a global boycott of Israel; J Street that advocates for sanctions against Israel at the United Nations; and the New Israel Fund, that supports organizations that go on global tours bad-mouthing Israel and groups that seek to destroy the Jewish character of Israel.

What that article did not convey and will be discussed and explored here, was that these anti-Zionist groups are uniquely backed by non-Orthodox rabbis.

Jewish Voice for Peace

Arguably the most proudly vocal anti-Zionist group is the Jewish Voice for Peace, JVP. The rabbis of JVP have supported the Gaza flotilla; written books demonizing Israel as a modern day blood libel; and arguably promoted the murder of Israelis.


JVP post supporting convicted terrorist Rasmeah Odeh

JVP’s rabbinic leadership almost exclusively comes from the Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal branches of Judaism. At their core, they seek a Judaism that has nothing to do with Zionism. Many are proudly anti-Zionist.

Rabbi Joseph Berman (Non-Denominational)
Rabbi Linda Holtzman (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Buzz Bogage, Denver, CO
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Evanston, IL (Reconstructionist)
Student Rabbi Leora Abelson
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Lev Baesh (Reform)
Rabbi David Basior (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Haim Beliak (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Joseph Berman (Unaffiliated)
Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Meryl Crean (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Michael Davis (also backed by the Students for Justice in Palestine which has supported terrorist groups)
Rabbi Art Donsky (Non-denominational)
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Sarah Bracha Gershuny (Egalitarian)
Rabbi Shai Gluskin (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Borukh Goldberg
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Julie Greenberg
Rabbi Edward Klein
Rabbi Alan LaPayover (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Eyal Levinson (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom (Conservative)
Rabbi David Mivasair (Progressive)
Rabbi Dev Noily (Progressive)
Rabbi Alexis Pearce (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Michael Ramberg (Progressive)
Rabbi Ken Rosenstein (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Shifrah Tobacman (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Brian Walt
Rabbi Lew Weiss (Reform)
Rabbi Alissa Wise (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Joey Wolf (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Rain Zohav (Jewish Renewal)

The Anti-Defamation has essentially labeled JVP a hate group stating:

“JVP has consistently co-sponsored demonstrations to oppose Israeli military policy that have been marked by signs comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and slogans that voice support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. JVP has not condemned or sought to distance itself from these messages.”

The rabbis of these communities put politics front-and-center of their religion. And their politics are anti-Zionism.

J Street

J Street officially states that it is not in favor of the BDS movement, but has supported many speakers who do call for the boycott of Israel. More, J Street actively lobbied the Obama Administration to allow the censure of Israel at the United Nations and enabling the resolution labeling Israeli territory east of the Green Line to be deemed illegal.

The rabbinic core of J Street is slightly more “traditional” than the rabbis from JVP, counting many Reform rabbis. The list of hundreds of rabbis is too long to review here, but a sample highlights the trend:

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Brooklyn, NY (Reform)
Rabbi Lauren Henderson, Chicago, IL (Conservative)
Rabbi Alexander Kress, Abington, PA (Reform)
Rabbi Marisa Elana James, New York, NY (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, New York, NY (Conservative)
Rabbi Amanda Schwartz, New York, NY (Conservative)
Rabbi Scott Aaron, Pittsburgh, PA (Reform)
Rabbi Alison Abrams, Deerfield, IL (Reform)
Rabbi Ruth Adar, Oakland, CA (Reform)
Rabbi David Adelson, New York, NY (Reform)
Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, Wayland, MA (Independent)
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Philadelphia, PA (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Thomas Alpert, Needham, MA (Reform)
Rabbi Steven Altarescu, Bronx, NY (Reform)
Rabbi Camille Shira Angel, San Francisco, CA (Reform)
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel, Louisville, KY (Reform)
Susan J Averbach, San Francisco, CA (Humanistic Judaism)
Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, Evergreen, CO (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Melanie Aron, Los Gatos, CA (Reform)
Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman, Jerusalem, Israel (Reform)
Rabbi Aura Ahuvia, Woodstock, NY (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Larry Bach, Durham, NC (Reform)
Rabbi Lev Baesh, Lexington, MA (Reform)
Rabbi Chava Bahle, Suttons Bay, MI (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Justus Baird, Princeton, NJ (Reform)
Rabbi Rachel Evelyne Barenblat, Williamstown, MA (Jewish Renewal)
Rabbi Benjamin H. Barnett, Corvallis, OR (Pluralistic)
Rabbi Bernard Barsky, Dayton, OH
Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, Encino, CA (Reform)
Rabbi Geoffrey Basik, Baltimore, MD (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer, San Francisco, CA (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Renee H. Bauer, Madison, WI
Rabbi David Baylinson, Atlanta, GA (Reform)
Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein, Hockessin, DE
Rabbi Martin Beifeld, Richmond, VA (Reform)
Rabbi Anne Belford, Houston, TX (Reform)
Rabbi Marc J. Belgrad, Buffalo Grove, IL (Reform)
Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer, Savannah, GA (Reform)
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appel, Highland Park, IL (post-denominational)
Rabbi Karen Bender, Tarzana, CA (Reform)
Rabbi Olivier BenHaim, Seattle, WA (Reform)
Rabbi Allen Bennett, San Francisco, CA (Reform)
Rabbi James Bennett, St. Louis, MO (Reform)
Rabbi Philip J. Bentley, Hendersonville, NC (Reform)

The Reform movement isn’t explicitly anti-Israel the way that much of the Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal movements are currently. However, the current head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs is particularly political and claims that the official stance of Reform Judaism is anti-settlements. How he declared that his personal anti-Jews living in Judea and Samaria politics should frame the entire movement is something that members of Reform Judaism need to address.

New Israel Fund

The New Israel Fund gives money to groups like Adalah that have a stated purpose of ending any Jewishness in Israel. It lures people to donate money stating that it is about equality in Israel – and by that it means ending the Jewish Law of Return; the Hatikvah; Jewish star on the national flag, et cetera.

The international council of NIF features a number of non-Orthodox rabbis:

Rabbi Rachel Mikva (Reform)
Rabbi Bernard Mehlman (Reform)
Rabbi Anson Laytner (Reform)
Rabbi Daniel Weiner (Reform)
Rabbi David Levin (Reform)
Rabbi Morris Allen (Conservative)
Rabbi Norman Cohen (Reform)
Rabbi Alexander Davis (Conservative)
Rabbi Shosh Dworsky (Conservative)
Rabbi David Freedman
Rabbi Yosi Gordon (Conservative)
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz (Reform)
Rabbi Cathy Nemiroff (Reform)
Rabbi Debra Rappaport (Reform)
Rabbi Alan Shavit-Lonstein (Conservative)
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker (Reform)
Rabbi Sharon Stiefel (Reconstructionist)
Rabbi Aaron Weininger (Conservative)
Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman (Reform)
Rabbi Sharon Brous (Conservative)
Rabbi Rachel B. Cowan (Reform)
Rabbi Jerome K. Davidson (Reform)
Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen (Reform)
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon (non-denominational)
Rabbi Aaron Panken (Reform)
Rabbi Gordon Tucker, White Plains (Conservative)

Relative to JVP and J Street, the New Israel Fund has many more Conservative rabbis joining its leadership ranks. But still, none of these anti-Zionist organizations that have thousands of rabbis in leadership positions have a single Orthodox rabbi.

Why?

Beyond Liberal Politics

There is no question that some of these forms of Judaism revolve around liberal politics more than religion. Many of the synagogues state clearly on their websites that they are focused on tikkun olam (repairing the world), and they do this not through Torah-inspired commandments like helping the widow and orphan, but in new imagined ways like raising the minimum wage and saving the planet.

But there are many liberal rabbis in the Orthodox community too, and they support the Jewish State. They are proud to point out that Israel is one of the most liberal countries in the world, and certainly within the xenophobic, antisemitic and misogynistic Middle East. When liberal Orthodox rabbis find a need to criticize the Israeli government, they do it directly with the government in a constructive manner, not through antagonistic actions on the global stage.

Therefore, the issue cannot be simply attributed to the politics of many rabbis in the non-Orthodox world. There must be something systemic in the religious philosophy of those denominations that make them embrace Israel-bashing.

Who Is a Jew

The key Jewish prayer Shemoneh Esrei recited several times every day begins with the blessing of “our God and the God of our fathers.” It encapsulates the notion that Judaism is both a religion of being, passed down physically from our ancestors, as well as one of choice – “our God” – in which each person takes ownership of his faith.

In regards to being a Jew, Orthodox Judaism (and Conservative Judaism, at this point in time) have held the line on using traditional halacha in critical life events that define “who is a Jew.” Two of those are birth and marriage.

Both the Orthodox and Conservative movements believe that the child of a Jewish mother is a Jew, regardless of the religion of the father. The other denominations believe in patrilineal descent, that religion can be passed down via the father’s religion. This is a fundamental breakdown between the religious denominations regarding “who is a Jew.”

Similarly, Orthodox and Conservative rabbis do not perform interfaith weddings. The rabbis in the other movements are very proud to perform such ceremonies and openly advertise their services.

These two life events are obviously interconnected. An interfaith couple will have a non-Jewish parent, and about half of the time, produce a non-Jewish child according to the traditions of matrilineal descent practiced by Orthodox and Conservative Judaism. Sanctioning interfaith marriages has produced a chasm between the Reform/Reconstructionist/Jewish Renewal (3R) movements with other Jewish denominations, AND with Israel itself.

Israel created a Law of Return in 1950 that allowed any Jew to move to Israel. In 1970, the law was amended to clarify that a Jew “means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.” While the 1970 amendment made provisions for the non-Jewish spouse and children of a Jew to move to Israel, the Law of Return used a definition of matrilineal descent that only Conservative and Orthodox used, upsetting other denominations that support patrlineal descent. However, the law’s clause on conversion did accept non-Orthodox conversions performed outside of Israel, as decided by the Israeli Supreme Court in March 2016.

Universalism versus Particularism

Being a Jew is simply part one. The actions and demands of the religion, the mitzvot, are part two, and the breakdown between Orthodox Judaism and the branches that seek to harm Israel are profound.

Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah has 613 commandments for a Jew to live by. Some are clear-cut, like “Do not kill,” while others are subject to broader interpretation like “keep the Sabbath holy,” as there may be many different methods of keeping the Sabbath holy. Conservative Judaism basically follows the concept of the 613 mitzvot, but interprets them differently (for example, Orthodox Jews will not use electricity on Sabbath to “keep it holy,” while Conservative Jews will often use electricity.)

In contrast, the 3R branches of Judaism have revamped the mitzvot in a way that fits a “new age” rewriting of the laws. They have made the commandments about human-centered spirituality that spreads out to God and all mankind, rather than commandments that are passed down from God to man.

The Jewish Renewal site makes its mantra clear, stating it’s “a transdenominational approach to revitalizing Judaism.” Its reach is to everyone: “Renewal is an attitude, not a denomination,” with “an emphasis on accessible spiritual experience.” In other words, this is a movement without demands, such as only eating kosher foods. It is more akin to a yoga retreat. Not only is there no need to be Jewish, a person needn’t perform ancient rote rituals. Just engage in new age meditation.

Reconstructionist Judaism is more traditional than Jewish Renewal, but far from “traditional.” Its emphasis is on “Jewish Identity,” as its website states: “what primarily gives Jews our identity is not belief but rather the feeling of belonging to the Jewish civilization itself. We observe Jewish holidays, rituals and customs, not because a divine being commanded us to, but because it is our primary method of reinforcing Jewish identity.” In other words, God’s commandments are not really commandments (or God doesn’t exist) for Reconstructionist Jews. The basis for observing any tradition is simply a matter of keeping the “Jewish identity” around, not because of any higher authority.

These days, the Reform movement has put the world front and center. It’s mission is to build “communities that transform the way people connect to Jewish life, building a more whole, just, and compassionate world.” It does this through tikkum olam, “repairing the world.” The movement’s leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, speaks of Reform Judaism as operating in concert with the global community: “the heart of a tikkun olam that embraces always both the universal and the particular.

These three branches of Judaism approach religious practice very differently than Orthodox Judaism. Their Judaism is centered on global mankind’s yearning to connect – to the planet and the people around the world – to achieve a personal fulfillment of serenity. Jewish rituals are props to achieve that state of zen. Similarly, non-Jews bring their own props to their encounters with God and mankind. Universalism and particularism (of props) coexist in a human-centered meditative state of bliss.

This 3R approach towards religion is an inversion of Orthodox Judaism that is premised on a top-down philosophy. The Bible and Ten Commandments began with God, not man. The 613 commandments given to Jews were just that – commandments – not guides to validate one’s own sense of social justice. These commandments were uniquely given to Jews, as Orthodoxy believes that non-Jews were given only seven commandments which relate to universal morality.

The orientation of particularism of Orthodox rabbis extends broadly: to Jewish people (they do not perform interfaith weddings); the Bible (with unique commandments only for Jews); and to the holy land itself, which they believe was given to the Jewish people. According to a Pew poll in 2013, 84% of Orthodox Jews believe that God gave Israel to the Jews. That compares to only 54%, 35% and 24% of Conservative, Reform, and non-denominational Jews, respectively. By way of comparison, 55% of Christians believe that God gave Israel to the Jews. How remarkable is that? Christians are more Zionistic than non-Orthodox Jews.

This dichotomy between Orthodox and non-Orthodox denominations is at the core of different approaches to the Jewish State and the holy land. For Orthodox Jews, the Jewish State is particular, just like the bible and Jewish people. In contrast, the non-Orthodox denominations focus on universalism, and shun particularism as a form of tribalism and nationalism, with more than a whiff of racism.

It is therefore not a surprise that Jewish denominations that shun particularism in favor of universalism also denounce Zionism.

But why would universalists attack Israel on the global stage?

The fundamental approaches to Judaism, Jews and the holy land do not just lead to a difference of opinions; it destroys the baseline of communication, making discussion virtually impossible. In mathematical terms, the universalists are speaking in base 10 and the particularists are speaking in base 7. They can both understand each other in simple matters, like single digit numbers or that Abraham is the father of monotheism. But on complicated matters like a democratic Jewish State living in peace and security in the heart of the Arab Muslim Middle East, the interaction falls apart like discussing the number 242 (equal to 242 in base 10, but just 170 when converting base 7 to base 10). They are just not talking about the same thing. So rather than talk to each other, they talk to people with a similar language. The 3R rabbis take their version of tikkun olam to the global stage, like the United Nations.

Whereas Orthodox liberal Jews can call out for rights for Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs without vilifying Israel, non-Orthodox rabbis seemingly cannot. Orthodoxy can approach equality within the rubric that the holy land as special and unique for Jews, while the non-Orthodox only see tribalism and primitive thinking. The 3R rabbis burnish their bona fides by burning ties that could reek of particularism as they engage with the global community.

The Current Dynamic

The universalism / “anti-tribalism” movement within the 3R denominations often attacks both Orthodox Jews and the Jewish state. It has sometimes provoked a backlash.

In September 2015, the Reconstructionist movement announced a new policy to allow rabbis to marry non-Jews as a reaction to the movement’s conclusion that “many younger progressive Jews, including many rabbis and rabbinical students, now perceive restrictions placed on those who are intermarried as reinforcing a tribalism that feels personally alienating and morally troubling in the 21st century.” With such declaration, several Reconstructionist rabbis became fed up.

In April 2016, twenty Reconstructionist rabbis left the denomination to form Beit Kaplan, as they felt that the Reconstructionist movement had lost its way. They said that “the decision to form the association was sparked, in part, by the recent RRC policy shift that muddled the definition of what it means for a rabbi to have a Jewish family. Other contributing factors include a desire to return the focus of liberal Judaism to Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan’s vision of Jewish peoplehood and a desire to affirm connections to the Jewish people globally, including in Israel.”

Several Reconstructionist rabbis became infuriated with the official positions of Reconstructionist’s universalism. Their new assembly felt compelled to clarify that not only did it think that sanctioning rabbis intermarrying was a destructive force on the Jewish family, it said that it “unequivocally reject[s] any movement to delegitimize Israel in the community of nations,” because the Reconstructionist movement had become a haven for demonizing the Jewish State.

In short, Beit Kaplan felt that the Reconstructionist movement had lost the basic concept of the definition of being a Jew and the special nature of the Jewish State.

The 3R rabbis’ Israel-bashing had started to gain momentum during the 2014 Gaza War, when many non-Orthodox rabbis actively vilified the Jewish State. The lunatic rabbinic fringe even held fasts for the people of Gaza, but not for anyone in Israel.

Consider Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, the leader of an enormous gay Reconstructionist congregation, member of J Street and listed in Newsweek’s list of 50 Influential Rabbis. Her radical left-wing politics were mostly blessed by her members, but her tirades against Israel became too much for many to bear. In 2014, one of the board members of her congregation resigned, publicly stating the “recent [2014 Gaza War] events have demonstrated that CBST [the gay synagogue] is far more committed to a progressive political agenda than to the Jewish people….  I don’t want to raise my kids in a synagogue that’s praying for people firing rockets.

The attitude was pervasive. Leading rabbis of JVP and J Street – all non-Orthodox – called for a divorce between Judaism and the Jewish State, and between the holy land and Jews.

Consider Rabbi Brian Walt, a member of JVP and coordinator of the Jewish Fast for Gaza, who gave a talk entitled “Affirming a Judaism and Jewish identity without Zionism,” in which he declared: “political Zionism violates everything I believe about Judaism.” Or Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, on the board of J Street and signatory to the fast for Gaza who penned a letter for Code Pink to support the BDS movement, stating she “saw the destruction that is wrought by too many Israeli settlers,” making her change “my mind about the purchase of products made in the Jewish West Bank.

Non-Orthodox rabbis comfortably argued that there are too many Jews in the holy land because they segmented the religion, the people, the land and their identity. As they believe that religion is defined solely by identity, there is no need for a particular land, and no narrow definition of the Jewish people, as identity is self-selected.


Non-Orthodox rabbis wrap themselves in a tallit as a mere Jewish prop in a universalistic and humanistic approach towards meditation, while they shudder at the particularism of the God of Orthodox Judaism and the Jewish State.

Supporting Israel is not a battle of political orientation between liberal and conservative Jews. It is a philosophical break in the Jewish community with a fault line regarding the uniqueness of Jews and the Jewish State. The non-Orthodox denominations’ religious philosophy will only let it embrace an Israel that is: about people, not God; about rights not rituals; more secular than religious; more democratic than Jewish; and more universal than particular.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

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

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

A Seder in Jerusalem with Liberal Friends

There are Standards for Unity

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

The Anger from the Zionist Center

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Impossible Liberal Standard

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The War Preferred

Summary: When a country prefers to use military force over financial pressure, what does that tell you about the party’s temperament and goals?

USA’s Financial Pressure First

Over the past decades, the United States of America has made efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of rogue states like the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea. The USA viewed those state sponsors of terrorism as too dangerous to be the guardians of weapons of mass destruction. But in each case, the USA used economic means of combating Iran and North Korea as a preferred course to launching into a military war.

These were not unique situations.

The US has engaged in economic warfare several times. In situations like Cuba, the US never opted to attack the country militarily. However, in other situations like Libya, the US imposed economic warfare initially in February 2011, before deciding to use its military force some weeks later.

For the United States, the preferred course of engagement was to use economic means of achieving it’s aims, whether it was for a country to reverse course on a nuclear program, or to stop a war. The USA wanted to save lives – both of its own soldiers as well as in the country it attacked – so it delayed the use of force as long as possible.

Arabs’ Attack First

The Arabs in the Middle East have used the exact opposite approach.

When Israel announced its new state in 1948, five Arab countries invaded with an enormous military. Death was not only a means to an end but a goal: the destruction of the Jewish State.

In 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Arab armies attacked Israel again. The Israeli army eventually repelled the invading forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq, after incurring significant loss of life. In response to their loss, the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on those countries that assisted Israel militarily during the battle. As summarized by the US State Department:

“During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. Arab OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel including the Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production.”

The Arab countries were not concerned about the loss of life and rushed into battle to both destroy Israel having lost wars and land to Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967. The Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said the following as it launched its attack on Israel on October 6, 1973:

“We have always felt the sympathy of the world but we would prefer the respect of the world to sympathy without respect.”

By 1973, the Arab goals’ had expanded to not only destroying Israel, but establishing a modicum of honor. As he conceded the war to the Israelis, Sadat said:

“We have been fighting Israel for the fifteenth day running. Israel fought us on its own in the first four days and its real position was exposed on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts; it [Israel] lost by its own admission, 800 tanks and more than 200 aircraft on both fronts. For the last 10 days, however, I have been fighting the United States on the Egyptian front, armed as she is with the most sophisticated weapons in her possession. I simply cannot fight the United States or bear the historical responsibility for having our armed forces destroyed once again.”

In launching the war, Egypt made clear that its honor was at stake, and in calling for a ceasefire, it opted to claim victory over Israel, but capitulation to the US. As the Arab state could not beat the United States militarily, it pivoted to an economic war, the Oil Embargo.

Palestinians’ Also Attack First

Like the other Arab countries, the Palestinian Arabs have opted to fight militarily as a first effort. However, lacking a standing army, the Palestinian Arabs have used terrorism against Israeli civilians and army alike.

After the formation of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 as a result of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians attacked Israelis throughout the 1990s. When the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to deliver a peace in September 2000, the PA launched a Second Intifada which claimed the lives of thousands of additional civilians. The end of the Intifada was brought about with the help of Israel’s establishing a security barrier which stemmed the flow of Palestinian terrorists into Israel, which propelled the Palestinians into a new war. The launch of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) effort in 2005 was designed to economically strangle Israel.

A Palestinian demonstrator raises a knife, during clashes with Israeli police, in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The Palestinian Arabs – like the Arabs of the neighboring states – opted to use military force to try to destroy Israel. Only upon the failure of such efforts, did they switch to economic warfare.

  • Goals: The US took action to prevent the tremendous loss of life (rogue states with nuclear weapons), while the Arab goal was to kill and destroy.
  • Tactics. The US pursued economic pressure first to prevent the loss of life, whereas the Arab states immediately went to war.

The consistency of the goals and tactics of the United States and Arab world is a fabric of their world view: the US has a goal of preserving peace, so uses military force as a last resort. The Arab states have a goal of destroying Israel, so attack it first and only resort to a BDS campaign once they conclude that they cannot win militarily.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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Is Israel Reforming the Muslim Middle East? Impossible According to The NY Times

The New York Times has been advancing the notion that liberal values are popping up in the Middle East. Despite the actual murder and mayhem brought by the “Arab Spring,” the Times published articles about the advancement of women’s rights in Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as the acceptance of the gay and lesbian communities in Lebanon.

These recent phenomena may be true, but it is interesting that Israel is never mentioned in the articles – the one country that has equality for women and the LGBT community.

LGBT Rights

Consider the December 31, 2017 article “Coming Out in Lebanon, and Helping it to be More Tolerant.” The article detailed that most of the countries in the Middle East have laws punishing homosexual activity, naming several Arab countries before highlighting the unique position of Lebanon:

Throughout the Middle East, gay, lesbian and transgender people face formidable obstacles to living a life of openness and acceptance in conservative societies.

Although Jordan decriminalized same-sex behavior in 1951, the gay community remains marginalized. Qatar, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen all outlaw same-sex relations. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can be punished by flogging or death.

In Egypt, at least 76 people have been arrested in a crackdown since September, when a fan waved a rainbow flag during a concert by Masrou’ Leila, a Lebanese band with an openly gay singer.

If there is one exception, it has been Lebanon. While the law can still penalize homosexual acts, the society has slowly grown more tolerant as activists have worked for more rights and visibility.”

This is preposterous. The “one exception” of tolerance “throughout the Middle East” is Israel, not Lebanon.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) produced detailed reports about the countries of the world that  protect or criminalize LGBT relationships. In every year, Israel stands out as an island of acceptance for the LGBT community for thousands of miles.

From Morocco to Taiwan and from South Africa to Russia, there is a single country that has laws protecting the LGBT community. And it is not Lebanon, but Israel.


The New York Times December 31, 2017 article on page 10 claiming that Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East with gay rights.

Women’s Rights

On December 29, 2017, the New York Times published an article on its cover page called “Unlikely Iranian-Saudi Race: Easing Restrictions on Women.” The article advanced the notion that Iran and Saudi Arabia are both slowly easing restrictions on women in their countries in a competitive environment of liberalization. Saudi Arabia changed laws allowing women to drive, so Iran eased the law regarding women wearing a hijab.

The article quoted “Suad Abu-Dayyeh, a Palestinian who is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) consultant for Equality Now, a global women’s advocacy group.” The article noted that “she was cautious about concluding that the changes in Iran were related to the Saudi relaxation,” but she did state that “any advancement in any country will really affect the situation in the neighboring countries.

And still, the New York Times did not mention Israel which leads the MENA region in women’s rights.

If the Times really believed in the concept that it opted to cite, that the activity in one country could influence the actions in neighboring countries, why not mention the country that leads the entire region in human rights, especially for women and the LGBT communities? Is it too remarkable to assume that the countries in the region are trying to catch up with Israel, whether in technology, the economy or human rights? Saudi Arabia announced its Vision 2030 plans just a few months ago, as noted by the NY Times on October 25, 2017, that the country needed to move beyond oil into technology. Are all of these events regarding the economy and human rights simply coincidences with no relationship to the marvel of Israel next door?

In the closing days of 2017, the Times sought to educate its readership that the Muslim and Arab countries are in the process of liberal reformation – on their own. The paper did so while deliberately excluding the factual presence of Israel in the Middle East and its possible positive influence of reforming the Muslim nations in the region.

The New York Times has moved beyond the “pinkwashing” of Israel into new levels of #AlternativeFacts.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Gay Rights in the Middle East

The Color Coded Lexicon of Israel’s Bigotry: It’s not Just PinkWashing

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Honor Killings in Gaza

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Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

During the Palestinian hijacking heydays of the 1970’s, the United Nations passed an infamous resolution equating Zionism as a form of racism. While particularly odious during the years until its repeal in 1991, the underlying anti-Zionism has remained a plague at the global forum. Part of the disease lies in timeless antisemitism, while part is a fault of the flawed approach to settling the “Question of Palestine” that the UN endorsed and has continued to exacerbate.

On November 22, 1974 the UN General Assembly passed A/RES/3236 (XXIX). That resolution became the baseline of the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” that expanded and evolved until the present day. The text is distorted at its core, with declarations without equivalents nor precedent. The rights enumerated are gross exaggerations that cannot – and should not – ever be met.

While the resolution had a kernel of truth, it was overwhelmed with fatal flaws:

“no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved and recognizing that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security,”

If the Middle East has taught the world anything since the resolution was passed in 1974, it is that the Arab and Muslim nations do not need the “question of Palestine” to endanger the global community. Whether it was a war between Iran and Iraq or Iraq and Kuwait, civil wars in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen or Libya, or the terrorism in Niger, Chad, Egypt and Ethiopia, the Arab violence is seeded from and breeds its own hatreds.

“the Palestinian people is entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”

This is probably the only true statement in the resolution of which anyone concerned with peace in the Middle East would like to see achieved. The Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) should have citizenship somewhere. When this resolution was drafted, they had Jordanian citizenship, which was given to them in 1954 but repealed by Jordan in 1988. The Israelis also offered the Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem citizenship, but only a few thousand Arabs have taken it. A broader solution should be found.

“Expressing its grave concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights, in particular its right to self-determination,”

As noted above, the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank had Jordanian citizenship and Israel offered Jerusalem Arabs citizenship, but it must be noted that the Arabs in Gaza were not afforded Egyptian citizenship. Was this resolution language only related to Gazans? Did it also cover the Arabs in the West Bank, since Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy in 1970?

“1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference;”

What does the phrase “without external interference” mean? That they will not be a puppet state like Lebanon is to Syria? That they won’t become a terrorist group like Hezbollah with the backing of Iran? That Palestinian Arabs are entitled to have a full-standing army that could attack Israel? When Turkey and Qatar backed Hamas in Gaza, was that considered “external interference?”

“(b) The right to national independence and sovereignty;”

This is a key fatal flaw of the 1974 resolution, which has regrettably been elaborated upon over the decades: There is no such inalienable right to independence and sovereignty. For anyone.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established in 1948 enumerated dozens of rights that every human on the planet must have. Article 15 of the UDHR stated that “everyone has a right to a nationality.” That is it. A nationality, not a new specialized new one. Are the Kurds getting a unique UN resolution for their “independence and sovereignty?” Is Tibet? What about Western Sahara? The SAPs should have a nationality, but they have absolutely no inalienable right to national independence and sovereignty.

“2. Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;”

There is no basis in the rights of mankind to afford the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of people who left homes many decades ago to return to such homes. Especially homes that no longer exist.

Article 13 of the UDHR stated that “everyone has a right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” A COUNTRY. Not a town. Not a house. Only to the country of which they were a citizen. The grandparents of today’s SAPs were not Israeli citizens when they left, and the SAPs today most certainly are not Israelis.

If this is a real issue, are the 1 million Jews that were displaced from Muslim Arab countries getting the right to return to their homes and to recover all of their property? Not only did the Jews leave homes and property, but they actually left A COUNTRY. I have yet to see any UN General Assembly resolution drafted asking for such “inalienable right” for the Jews from Arab lands. Maybe Yemen is working on a draft resolution now.

“3. Emphasizes that full respect for and the realization of these inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine;

The question of Palestine revolves around giving the SAPs citizenship – either in a new country of Palestine or Israel or Jordan or somewhere. Returning to homes and property is neither a right nor part of “the solution.”

“6. Appeals to all States and international organizations to extend their support to the Palestinian people in its struggle to restore its rights, in accordance with the Charter;”

This UN resolution called for the countries of the world to “support the Palestinian people in its struggle.” Such a statement is not just a flawed call for rights that do not exist as detailed above, but a call to take sides in the conflict. It declared that “all States” should work against Israel. How could the UN possibly imagine that Israel would ever take any UNGA resolution seriously, after declaring openly that it is a biased party in the dispute?


Palestinian flag at the United Nations in New York


The Israelis and Palestinian Authority were last able to reach mutual agreements when they signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995. Those agreements NEVER mentioned a “two state solution” anywhere. They also do not mention any rights to “homes and property,” just the generic issue of “refugees.” And the accords do not ask the world to advocate on behalf of fake “inalienable rights.”

On December 17, 1991, the UNGA finally rescinded the Zionsim is racism resolution after intensive lobbying and threats by the United States under President George Bush. At that time, US Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said that rescinding the resolution improved the “reputation for fairness and impartiality” of the UN. It arguably helped create the environment for the Oslo Accords.

It is similarly time to rescind UNGA Resolution 3236 and to put the parties on a course for an enduring peace that is actually achievable, with a fair and responsible United Nations as a facilitator as oppose to a perpetual hindrance.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

Losing Rights

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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

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Religious Countries Respond to Israel’s Jerusalem

The media has focused on US President Trump’s threats to withhold funds from countries that condemned the US for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the announcement that it will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital city, as an impetus for some countries to fund in a particular manner. Perhaps it is worth at least discussing – on Christmas Day – the vote on the basis of religion.

There were nine countries that voted against the United Nations General Assembly resolution of condemnation (in other words, supportive of the United States and Israel). They were Christian and Jewish countries:

  • Guatemala: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
  • Honduras: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
  • Israel: Jewish 75.5%, Muslim 16.8%, Christian 2.1%, Druze 1.7%, other 3.9%
  • Marshall Islands: Protestant 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormon 2.1%, other Christian 3.6%, other 1%, none 1.5%
  • Micronesia: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%, other 3%
    Nauru: Nauru Congregational 35.4%, Roman Catholic 33.2%, Nauru Independent Church 10.4%, other 14.1%, none 4.5%, unspecified 2.4%
  • Palau: Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Modekngei 8.8% (indigenous to Palau), Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Jehovah’s Witness 0.9%, Latter-Day Saints 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4%
  • Togo: Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%
  • United States: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4%

There were also thirty-five countries that abstained from the UN vote.

  • Antigua and Barbuda: Anglican 25.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.3%, Pentecostal 10.6%, Moravian 10.5%, Roman Catholic 10.4%, Methodist 7.9%, Baptist 4.9%, Church of God 4.5%, other Christian 5.4%, other 2%, none or unspecified 5.8%
  • Argentina: Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
  • Australia: Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%, other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist 1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3% (2001 Census)
  • Bahamas:
  • Benin: Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5%
  • Bhutan: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%
  • Cameroon: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
  • Canada: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16%
  • Colombia: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
  • Croatia: Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, Muslim 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, others and unknown 6.2%
  • Czech Republic: Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%, unaffiliated 59%
  • Dominican Republic: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
  • Equatorial Guinea: nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices
  • Fiji: Christian 64.5% (Methodist 34.6%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%
  • Haiti: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%
  • Hungary: Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, other Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1%, unaffiliated 14.5%
  • Jamaica: Protestant 62.5% (Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%, Other Church of God 8.3%, Baptist 7.2%, New Testament Church of God 6.3%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.3%, Anglican 3.6%, other Christian 7.7%), Roman Catholic 2.6%, other or unspecified 14.2%, none 20.9%
  • Kiribati: Roman Catholic 55%, Protestant 36%, Mormon 3.1%, Bahai 2.2%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.9%, other 1.8%
  • Latvia: Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7%
  • Lesotho: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
  • Malawi: Christian 79.9%, Muslim 12.8%, other 3%, none 4.3%
  • Mexico: Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1%
  • Panama: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
  • Paraguay: Roman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1%
  • Philippines: Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesiani Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1%
  • Poland: Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3%
  • Romania: Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%
  • Rwanda: Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7%
  • Solomon Islands: Church of Melanesia 32.8%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%
  • South Sudan: Christianity 60.5%, traditional African religions 32.9%, Muslim 6.2%
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, Muslim 5.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other Christian 5.8%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9%
  • Tuvalu: Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha’i 1%, other 0.6%
  • Uganda: Roman Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 42% (Anglican 35.9%, Pentecostal 4.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.5%), Muslim 12.1%, other 3.1%, none 0.9%
  • Vanuatu: Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)

The countries that abstained from the vote were all majority Christian countries. A handful of countries had populations with more than 5% Muslims, including Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Malawi, Philippines, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda. Only Bosnia and Herzegovina had a Muslim population of over 25%.

Meanwhile, there were 128 countries that voted against the United States and Israel (for the UNGA resolution). Almost all of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) voted against the US, with the exceptions of Benin, Cameroon and Togo. Four of the five countries with OIC Observer status also voted against the US.

Why did Muslim countries vote against the United States and Israel, while Christian countries were much more likely to vote for Jerusalem? Some possibilities:

  • Muslim antisemitism: The Arab and Muslim world is much more antisemitic  (74%) than the Christian world according to various polls by the Anti Defamation League. It found that almost every Palestinian Arab was an anti-Semite, and that antisemitism was much less prevalent in the Americas (19%) and among Christians in western Europe (Muslims were 3-5 times more anti-Semitic). Voting against the Jewish state is basically de rigueur in Islamic societies.
  • Jewish and Christian history in Jerusalem: Muslim nations have been lobbying the United Nations for the past several years that Jews are recent colonialist with no history in the holy land and that the Jewish Temples never existed in Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs have further inflamed Christian ire by claiming that Jesus was not a Jew but a Palestinian Arab. This is a direct affront to billions of Christians that believe in both the Old and New Testaments.
  • Israel’s Freedom of religion. Christians appreciate the freedom of religion afforded by Israel. They note that the Israeli government helped the Mormons build their church in Jerusalem, allow the Baha’i church to thrive in Haifa, and welcome pilgrims from around the world. They note that the surrounding Arab and Muslim countries have no such freedoms and tolerance. Where Muslim fanatics behead non-believers, and Arab and Muslim governments have laws against converting from Islam, Israel is an island of religious pluralism and freedom.
  • Christians in Jerusalem under Arabs and Jews: Christians note that when the Arabs ruled Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967, the Christian population dropped in half, but has seen a modest growth since Israel reunified the city in 1967. That is quite a comparison to Bethlehem, where the Christian population which stood at roughly 40% in December 1995 when Israel handed control to the Palestinian Authority, is now almost completely gone.
  • Access and Maintenance of Holy Sites: Christian pilgrims wander the streets of Jerusalem, Nazareth and the entirety of Israel every day of the year, and witness Jews and Muslims similarly accessing their holy places. But they remember clearly how Palestinian Arabs ransacked the Jewish holy site of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (Shechem) in October 2000 and attempted to convert it into a mosque, and how the Arabs forbade Jews from visiting the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when they held control from 1949 to 1967.

The situation in Israel is not unique. Christians have witnessed the horror that has befallen minorities like the Yazidis who have been hunted by Islamic jihadists. They see the turmoil and terror in the Islamic countries of Syria and Yemen. And they note the Christian persecution in the world is almost exclusively in Muslim majority countries.


ADL’s map of antisemitism

The Christians appreciate Israel’s control of Jerusalem. Whether it is because of their faith, understanding of history, appreciation of tolerance, desire for the freedom of religious practice, or the availability to live and access holy sites, Christians see holy sites and cities flourish under Israeli sovereignty and control. Unfortunately, the opposite is found in Arab and Muslim countries.

The Muslim nations seek complete authority and control. The notion of Jewish or Christians rights in their holy city of Jerusalem is irrelevant, and undermines the supremacy of Islam.


Various Pilgrims in the Old City of Jerusalem
(photos: First.One.Through)

As the world becomes less reliant on oil from the Arab world, one can expect more Christian countries to actively support Israel’s Jerusalem on the world stage.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Christian Persecution in the Middle East, not in Israel

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

Every Picture Tells a Story: No Christians Targeted

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The Arguments over Jerusalem

First.One.through videos:

BDS Movement and Christian Persecution (Hovhaness)

I hate Israel – Christian Persecution

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