When Hate Returns

Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembering the Holocaust, is often a time for people to think about antisemitism generally, and not just the massacre of Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their abettors.

Many books have been written about the history of antisemitism, one of the best being “A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism” by Phyllis Goldstein. She tracks the nature of antisemitism at different points in history and in different lands. In her diagnosis, the root causes are often unique to that particular time and place.

I would like to consider when hate returns to a particular country under a different guise, such as historic antisemitism manifesting itself as anti-Zionism today. There are many examples, but this review will focus on the United Kingdom 1290/1929 and 1713/1939.

Banning Jews from England 1290
Banning Jews from Hebron 1929

1290 England: The origin of the “blood libel,” that Jews sought and and killed Christian children, began in England in the twelfth century. It its original incarnation, the accusation was that Jews killed the Christian, much as they had killed Jesus. Over time, the claims continued that the Jews used the child’s blood on Passover to make matzah and for the four cups of wine at the seder. Whether the people’s attacks on England’s Jews led to the edict of expulsion in 1290 is a source of debate, but the fact that King Edward I forced all Jews to leave the country and quickly seized their belongings and cancelled all debts that they were owed may indicate a financial motivation as well.

1922 Jordan & 1929 Hebron: The British assumed the mandate of Palestine in 1922 and quickly separated the land east of the Jordan River for the Hashemite Kingdom to win local friends, as they tried to do in other Arab lands including Iraq. They promptly ignored key components of the Palestine Mandate which clearly spelled out that no individual could be excluded from the land because of his religion, by allowing the Arabs to ban all Jews from the region. Just a few years later, in response to Arab riots in which they slaughtered several dozen Jews in the ancient Jewish city of Hebron, the British “evacuated” the remaining Jews from the city and moved them to Jerusalem, presumably to protect the Jews from future attacks. Jordan would remain Jew-free to this day, while Hebron would only be Jew-free until 1967, after the Jordanian Arabs attacked Israel and lost the west bank of the Jordan River to Israel, including Hebron.

The British leadership followed the antisemitism of the British people to expel the Jews of England in the 13th century, and would follow the antisemitism of the Arab people to expel the Jews from various parts of the Middle East during the 20th century.

Tolerating Antisemitism in Gibraltar in 1713
Tolerating Antisemitism in Palestine in 1939

1713 Gibraltar: Beginning in 1290, England would not allow any Jews to live openly in its lands for over 360 years. It was only in 1656 under Oliver Cromwell that Jews were allowed to return (presumably under the guise of trying to convert them to Christianity). But despite this new indication of tolerance of coexistence, the British would also tolerate antisemitism.

After a series of battles between England and Spain, the English won the rock of Gibraltar from the Spanish. In the Treaty of Utrecht, as the Spanish handed the island to the British, it demanded that England continue to ban the presence of Jews and Moors (Muslims), as the Spanish were still heavily influenced by the Inquisition run by the Catholic Church. The British agreed, even though they did not enforce it aggressively. (The ban is technically still part of the law governing Gibraltar, even though 2% of the island is Jewish).

1939 Palestine: The Arabs in Palestine were in the midst of multi-year riots that had begun in 1936 to stop the flow of Jews into Palestine because of international law that the British facilitate the immigration of Jews. In 1939, as the Holocaust descended on the Jews of Europe, the British agreed with the Arabs that no more than 75,000 Jews would be admitted into Palestine over the next five years in an edict known as the White Paper. The document would seal the fate of over 100,000 European Jews who became trapped in Europe.

History echoed itself. While the British had finally begun to accept Jews in England in 1656, less than 60 years later they accepted the Spanish demands that non-Christians be barred from lands that they were taking over. Over 250 years later, the British would take on the Mandate of Palestine in 1922, and then be part of an agreement that they would block Jews to satisfy the demands of the local Arab population.


Arabs riot in Palestine 1936

Britain’s leadership had historically followed the urging of its antisemitic populace (in 1290) and the Catholic Church (in 1713) to ban Jews, and did the same in the 20th century in Palestine at the urging of the Arabs in the Middle East.

From the Middle Ages through the Inquisition, Europe believed itself to be a Christian continent and expelled the Jews and repulsed the Muslim invasion. In the 20th century, many European nations have adopted a similar narrative that the Middle East is a purely Arab land and should be left to the Muslims. The European Christians and Middle East Arabs have ignored the desires and right of Jews to their own place in their homeland.

The British are currently debating whether their political parties – the liberal Labour Party in particular – are antisemitic or merely anti-Zionist. The correct question is whether they are outwardly antisemitic or simply tolerate antisemitism.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

No Disappearing in the Land of the Blind

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

The EU’s Choice of Labels: “Made in West Bank” and “Anti-Semite”

My Terrorism

Save the Children

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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 US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States officially recognized the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Noting that “Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries…. we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.

It is indeed a plain reality.

And it is also a reality that pains many Arab and Muslim nations. Therefore, some people and nations that have sympathy for those angry parties have continued to deny reality. They have tried to isolate Israel. To deny the Jewish State the air of normalcy.


President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
December 6, 2017

This is not new.

But true leaders through the decades since Israel’s founding distanced themselves from the angry Arab and Muslim mob, and placed reality and decency first.

  • Country (1948): In 1948, US President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel, even while Arab nations went to war to destroy the nascent country. To this day, many of those angry Arab and Muslim nations still refuse to acknowledge the existence of Israel.
  • Borders (1949): In 1949, at the end of Israel’s War of Independence, the US and many nations recognized Israel’s expanded borders beyond those outlined in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, even when the Arab countries refused to recognize them.
  • Citizenship (1954): In 1954, the world recognized the importance of citizenship by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in dealing with the millions of refugees from Europe after World War II and the Middle East. Many of those refugees were Jews that survived the Holocaust and others expelled from nearly a dozen Arab countries. Meanwhile, in that same year, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, that had expelled all of the Jews from eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, specifically excluded Jews from getting citizenship.
  • Peace (1948, 1967): The world recognized the importance of settling disputes in a peaceful manner through negotiations, as enshrined in UN Charter (1945) Article 2, but Syria, Egypt and Jordan went to war against Israel again in 1967. After the Arabs lost, the entire Arab world implemented the Khartoum resolution: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.
  • Freedom of Movement (1968 to today): Civilized nations recognize that people should be allowed to travel by airplane freely. Unfortunately, Palestinians upset with Israel, began hijacking planes in 1968 and through the 1970s, including the infamous 1976 Entebbe hijacking. Angry Arab countries continue to deny the basic rights of movement to Israelis, such as the November 2017 ruling that Kuwait Airlines refuses to transport Israelis.
  • Athletes (1972 to today): The world recognizes and appreciates the camaraderie and competition of international sports. However, angry Palestinian Arabs murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Arab countries today continue to refuse to compete against Israelis, show the Israeli flags or play the Israeli national anthem at competitions.
  • Self-Determination (1975 – 1991): US Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized that Zionism is a natural movement for self-determination like all nations display. However, the Arab and Muslim nations put forward UN Resolution 3379 equating Zionism as a form of racism. It would not be repealed until 1991. Arab leaders continue to call Zionism a form of colonialism.
  • Rights to Holy Places (1949-1967; 1980 / 2000): Israel recognized the importance of freedom of access to the holy places of Jerusalem and enshrined such commitment into law, the exact opposite of how Arabs governed the Temple Mount under Jordanians from 1949-1967 when they denied Jews any access to the Old City of Jerusalem. When Ariel Sharon visited Judaism’s holiest site in 2000, the Palestinian Authority launched a multi-year “Intifada” killing thousands.
  • Terrorism (1997, 2006): The US labeled Hamas and several other Palestinian groups as foreign terrorist organizations, in recognizing their incitement and acts of terror against Israeli civilians. Meanwhile, Palestinians happily support these terrorist organizations, and elected Hamas to 58% of the parliament in 2006.
  • Land Purchases (2010): The US instituted the Fair Housing Act of 1968 which recognized the importance of allowing all people to buy homes without any discrimination. In 2010, the Palestinian Authority affirmed the death penalty for any Arab that sells land to a Jew, quite an inversion of international law of 1922 that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
  • Defense (2008, 2012, 2014): The United States recognized that Israel had a right to defend itself against the incoming rockets from Hamas in Gaza. However, the Muslim and Arab world was appalled at Israel’s actions and wanted Hamas to defeat Israel. Allies of the Arabs wanted Israel to be investigated for war crimes.
  • History (2009, 2015-): The United States and some western countries recognize the 3000-year history of Jews in Jerusalem. However, Arab and Muslim nations put forward resolutions at the United Nations which denied the history of Jews in Jerusalem and condemned Israel for “Judaizing” Judaism’s holiest city.
  • Capital (2017): US President Donald Trump recognized that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, while Arab countries refused to entertain the idea and threatened “days of rage.”

What’s next? Will Arab and Muslim states push forward the notion that today’s Jews have nothing to do with the children of Israel in the Bible? Will they say that Jews are not human beings but “sons of apes and pigs?” Will they advance a notion that the Jewish Temple never existed or that it was not located in Jerusalem? Will they contend that the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem is not the Jewish matriarch but a famous Muslim?  That the Holocaust never happened? Maybe they will come up with conspiracy theories that the Israelis planned the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and that the Mossad uses sharks to attack tourists in Sinai.

Should the world recognize reality or Palestinian lies which make Arabs more comfortable? Should world opinion be framed by the Arab view of history, attitudes of decency, and perception of reality?

Many Arab countries like Syria, Lebanon and UAE refuse to recognize Israel to this day. Muslim countries like Indonesia also refuse to recognize Israel. Iran won’t even mention Israel by name.

Should the US refuse to recognize the reality of Israel because of the insane attitudes of Arab and Muslim countries?

Should the US refuse to recognize the reality of Jewish history in Israel because it offends Arab and Muslim sensibilities?

Should Israelis just shrug off the insult of not having its flag and national anthem played during sporting events in Arab countries, because they know the reality of their victory?

Or is it time to stop the insanity of ignoring reality because of the noxious antisemitism pervasive in the Arab and Muslim societies?

President Truman will be forever remembered by Zionists for his willingness to recognize the new country of Israel within minutes of its declaring independence, even as Arab nations attacked Israel with weapons. Ambassador Moynihan’s passionate speech at the United Nations decrying the “Racism is Zionism” resolution while Arab nations pounced on Israel on the international stage, remains a highlight in the dark history of the United Nations.

This week, President Trump joined those leaders and took a stand in the shadow of UN Resolution 2334 denying Israel’s rights in Jerusalem. Reality cannot be held hostage to hatred.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

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The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

On December 6, 2017, on the eve of President Donald Trump recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times decided to give its readers a primer on #FakeHistory.

The article entitled “The Current Conflict in Jerusalem Is Distinctly Modern,” gave a 100-year history that not only omitted important facts, it told a story that was an inversion of truth. Specifically:

  • The NYT led readers to believe that Jerusalem was an Arab city and that Jews recently began to immigrate there, when IN FACT, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s
  • The NYT led readers to conclude that Jerusalem has never been important to Jews, and that it is just a recent phenomenon of right-wing Zionists, when IN FACT, Jerusalem has been central to Judaism for 3000 years for all Jews
  • The NYT will talk about the “corpus separatum” of the 1947 partition plan, but only refer to Jerusalem, when IN FACT, the Holy Basin referred to Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem, and Israel gave control of Bethlehem to the Palestinians 20 years ago

Below are some details highlighting the liberal rag’s distortions.

The Myth of Colonial Fingerprints

The lead-in to the article began to orient the reader about distinct 20th century aspects to the current conflict surrounding Jerusalem. It stated:

“the current one is a distinctly 20th century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism and antisemitism.”

How was the story of Jerusalem remotely one of colonialism? Several international powers broke up the Ottoman Empire after its collapse; was Syria a French colonial enterprise? Read more in “Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies.

The article would go on to describe the nationalism of “religious settlers,” but never touch upon the deep antisemitism pervasive in Palestinian culture and actions.

Jewish Majority in Jerusalem for 150 Years

The article repeated long-standing #FakeNews by anti-Zionists that Jews were new-comers to Jerusalem, invading an Arab city:

“The three decades of British rule that followed Allenby’s march on Jerusalem saw an influx of Jewish settlers drawn by the Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland, while the local Arab population adjusted to the reality of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the city since 1517…. For Arabs, he said: ‘There was something of the shock at not being in the Ottoman Empire. There was a reordering of their society. The local Palestinian aristocracy, the big families of Jerusalem, emerged as leaders of the Palestinian national movement, which was suddenly being confronted by Jewish migration. Opposition to that migration fueled several deadly riots by Palestinians…‘”

This is an outrageous lie. The Times would have readers believe that there was an Arab majority in Jerusalem for 400 years. These “local Arabs” watched helplessly as the British allowed these foreigners to take over their city.

There were various demographic studies taken of Jerusalem for the past few centuries. They all agree that Jews have been a majority in the city since at least 1870, with the percentage growing well before the British took over in 1922.

Jerusalem population statistics from the JewishVirtualLibrary, which compiled statistics from a variety of places:

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1844
7,120
5,000
3,390
15,510
1876
12,000
7,560
5,470
25,030
1896
28,112
8,560
8,748
45,420
1922
33,971
13,411
4,699
52,081
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,451
1948
100,000
40,000
25,000
165,000
1967
195,700
54,963
12,646
263,309
1987
340,000
121,000
14,000
475,000

From IsraelPalestinian.procon.org which also compiled data from various British censuses.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1910
45,000
12,000
12,900
69,900
1922
34,000
13,500
14,600
62,500
1931
51,000
19,900
19,300
90,500
1946
99,300
33,700
31,400
164,400
1967
196,800
58,100
12,900
267,800
1972
261,100
74,400
11,800
347,300
1983
346,700
112,100
13,900
472,700
1995
486,600
171,700
13,900
672,2000

Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948 by Ruth Kark, Michal Oren-Nordheim detailed the growth of Jews in Jerusalem after the Crimean War.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1866
8,000
4,000
4,000
16,000
1887
28,000
7,560
7,070
42,630
1913
48,400
10,050
16,750
90,500
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,503
1945
97,000
30,630
29,350
157,080

Regardless of the source of information, Jews were clearly the dominant religious group in Jerusalem for as much as 30 years before the first Zionist Congress, and 50 years before the Balfour Declaration. To state that the Jews were interlopers into an Arab city is patently false and a complete inversion of history and fact.

This is part of an ongoing false narrative that the New York Times gives its readers even regarding current events. For a despicable example, read “The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel,” in which every Israeli – even those whose parents and grandparents were born in Israel – was described as a foreigner, while every Arab was described as a local.

The 1947 Partition Plan Included Bethlehem

The Times continued to go over history, touching upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

“After the war, in 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan that provided for two states – one Jewish, one Arab – with Jerusalem governed by a ‘special international regime’ owing to its unique status. The Arabs rejected the partition plan,… Jerusalem was divided: The western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital under an Israeli law passed in 1950), while the eastern half, including the Old City, was occupied by Jordan.”

The Times will forever refuse to correctly state that the Holy Basin in the partition plan was much larger than just Jerusalem, and included Greater Bethlehem.


The “corpus separatum” of the 1947 UN Partition Plan

Israel handed control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority in December 1995 as part of launching the Oslo Accords with some tangible results. That concession of handing over half of the corpus separatum is never mentioned by the Times.

The Crimes of Jordan

The fact that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank, the eastern half of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were not sanctioned by the international community is NEVER mentioned, while the world’s opinion about Israel’s taking of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem is ALWAYS mentioned.

The fact that Jordan evicted all of the Jews from the eastern half of Jerusalem and the West Bank is NEVER mentioned.

The fact that Jordan gave citizenship to all Arabs in the newly acquired territories but specifically excluded Jews is NEVER mentioned.

Because for the Times, the problem is the Jews.

The Lie that Israel Doesn’t Care about Jerusalem

Throughout the article, the Times sought to portray Israeli Jews as ambivalent about Jerusalem as a capital city:

  • It was the for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital… It was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temple.”
  • “Paradoxically, Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City,.. first because Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora, and second because the holy sites to Christianity and Islam were seen as complications that would not enable the creation of a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
  • Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they [early Zionists] were trying to move away from,”
  • “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and European powers,”
  • “Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south,”

Get the message? Israel really was never focused on Jerusalem until the 1967 war, according the Times.

But how does that warped narrative fit into the following facts:

  • Jews moved to Jerusalem both before and after the British Mandate took effect in remarkable numbers, as detailed above
  • The Israeli national anthem, written in 1877, was focused completely on Jerusalem.
  • Israel made Jerusalem its capital shortly after the war of independence concluded, in 1950. It placed all of its governmental buildings there.

All of these facts about the early Zionists also doesn’t include the facts that Jews have always faced Jerusalem when they pray, regardless of where they are in the world. They pray for the return to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of the city to its former glory, several times a day.

How does the Times spew the absurd notion that Jerusalem is a novel idea to Israeli Jews?

Jerusalem is Important to All Jews, Not Jewish Extremists

The Times narrative continued that this once irrelevant city all of the sudden jumped into the minds of religious extremists after the Six Day War in 1967.

  • The turning points in 1967 were two: the great victory, including the fast shift from fears of defeat before the war to euphoria and the feeling that everything was possible, and the emotional impact of occupying the Old City…. Images of Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall… became seared into Israel’s national consciousness.”
  • “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously…. This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism,”
  • “The victory of the right-leaning party Likud in 1977… helped solidify this new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. Religious settlers became more prominent in political life in Israel,”
  • “As part of this shift, Jerusalem’s symbolic importance intensified,”

It is unquestionably true that many religious Jews flocked to Jerusalem. They have been doing so for thousands of years because it is the most holy city in Judaism. They are not “right-leaning” or “religious settlers.” They are people who came to live in their holiest city.

As further evidence of the long-standing importance of Jerusalem to the entire country – even the “secular European socialists” that the article highlighted – was Israel’s adoption of a particular menorah as its national emblem in 1949: the one that was pictured in the Arch of Titus in Rome. That menorah symbolized the ransacking and destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 2000 years earlier. The deliberate selection of that menorah as the symbol of the Jewish State of Israel was to show that the Jews had returned from the diaspora, to its sacred land and holiest city, Jerusalem.

Today, the entire Jewish people continue to be engaged about Jerusalem. The current controversy surrounding creating a pluralistic place for prayer at the Western Wall is because of the strong interest of Reform and Conservative Jews for Jerusalem. The notion that the city is only important to “cultlike… religious settlers” is absurd.

Jews Belong in Eastern Jerusalem

The Times continued its horrific background by concluding that Jews have no rights to be in the eastern part of the city:

  • “Palestinians say that Jewish settlers have encroached on East Jerusalem,”
  • “‘The entire international community has been in accord that Israeli annexation and settlement of East Jerusalem since 1967 is illegal, and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,'”

As the Times never explained to readers that all of the Jews were evicted by the Jordanians in 1949, it made their appearance in the eastern half of the city seem strange and foreign. It is not. Jews returned to parts of their holiest city where they lived for centuries.

The Times also did not give background to the international laws of 1920 (San Remo) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine), which both clearly and explicitly stated that Jews could live throughout Palestine – including the Old City of Jerusalem – and that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the land due to religious beliefs.

No matter. The paper chose to quote anti-Zionists. It is surprising that it did not state that Zionism is a form of Racism.

Oh, and for those keeping score that Israel limits Arabs in Jerusalem, look at the statistics above again. Under the British from 1922 to 1948, the number of Jews and Arabs BOTH went up by three times. From 1967 to 1995, the number of Arabs in Jerusalem under Israeli rule tripled again, while the number of Jews only went up by 2.5 times. How does the Times keep giving people the impression that Jews overran the Arabs during British rule (when both groups grew by the same percentage) and that Israel has been forcing out the Arabs from Jerusalem (even though the growth of Arab residents surpasses Jews!)


As the world waited for the United States to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times fed its readers anti-Zionist red meat. It crafted an article that Jews never much cared for the Arab city of Jerusalem until 50 years ago, and that the only Jews who really care about it now are religious fanatics. The masters of #FakeNews are trying their best to instigate a jihad.


Related First.One.Through articles:

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Anger from the Zionist Center

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Arabs in Jerusalem

Music video: The Anthem of Israel is Jerusalem

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A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi took the stage to address “United Nations’ Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People.” Yes, that’s the organization’s actual title, that only a group like the UN could contrive.

Khalidi fed the group the lying propaganda they sought. Below is the speech, with fact-checking inserted after each paragraph.

 
Rashid Khalidi on Russian TV

“It is a great honor to be asked to speak here on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. I am grateful to Ambassador Fodé Seck, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and to the staff of the UN Secretariat for making this event possible. It is particularly fitting to be speaking today at the United Nations, which has played such a large role in the Palestine tragedy. Today I will be addressing the impact on the Palestinian people of the Balfour Declaration, and of the League of Nations mandate based upon it. I can only hope that if we can all become more aware of this historical background, the United Nations may be able to address the harm caused by this Declaration, and all that followed, more fairly and effectively than it has done over the past 70 years.”

Palestine tragedy.” Perfect propaganda. Not a statement of fact, but one of complete biased narrative which stands counter to the facts. A land that had failed for hundreds of years would in the following years become a global leader. From a failed economy to a thriving one. From a malaria invested desert region to an environmental leader. From a land with virtually no minority rights to the most diverse and liberal in the entire Middle East. Oh, and the number of Arabs in Israel and Israeli territories surpassed the growth of any neighboring countries.

past 70 years.” Meaning since the creation of Israel in 1948, not the Balfour Declaration (1917) itself nor the Palestine Mandate (1922), which both established legal rights for Jews throughout the land. Khalidi’s beef was about creating the State of Israel.

“The momentous statement made on behalf of the British cabinet on November 2, 1917 by Arthur James Balfour, His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, is usually regarded in light of British imperial interests, or in terms of its ostensible subject, a “national home for the Jewish people.” We know a great deal about Britain’s commitment to Zionism. We know less about what the support of the British Empire via this declaration meant for the aims of the Zionist movement – which for nearly half a century proudly described itself as a colonial endeavor, and which at the same time was a national movement in the making.  The ultimate objective of political Zionism, as laid out by its founder, Theodor Herzl, in his 1896 booklet Der Judenstaadt, was as far-reaching as it was crystal clear: a Jewish state in Palestine, meaning Jewish sovereignty and control of immigration into the country. And whatever Britain may have intended, complete and exclusive control over the entirety of Palestine was what the Zionist movement consistently fought for during the ensuing half century, and eventually obtained. It did so largely as a result of over two decades of unstinting British support secured via this Declaration, and the League of Nations mandate that was based upon it.”

complete and exclusive control.” The leading terminology of “complete and exclusive control,” is specifically intended to make political Zionism appear as a racist ideology. It was nothing of the sort. It was an attempt to reestablish Jews in their homeland as a self-governing entity. It did not mean that non-Jews would be evicted from the land nor be denied citizenship. Indeed, at the founding of the country in May 1948, approximately 160,000 non-Jews were given immediate Israeli citizenship. Unlike neighboring Lebanon and Syria, there is no religious litmus test on who can be prime minister or serve in governmental positions in Israel; Arabs and Muslims are not excluded.

“Much of this is well known. However, the Balfour Declaration has another aspect of paramount importance that is often ignored. This was the perspective of the people of Palestine, whose future the Balfour Declaration ultimately decided. For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads, particularly in view of the colonialist ambiance of the early twentieth century. As I will show, the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people as a National Home. It launched what has become a century-long assault on the Palestinian people aimed at implanting and fostering this national home at their expense.”

For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads,Let’s be clear who were the “people of Palestine:” they were Jews and Arabs. The Jews did not view this as a “gun to their heads.” It was a chance to achieve more rights and support for the Jewish immigration to their holy land which had been going on for decades. For the Arabs living in Palestine, there was absolutely no threat to their lives counter to Rashidi’s absurd claim. The declaration actually stated just the opposite of ensuring the rights of non-Jews.

the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people “ Khalidi declared that only Arabs are indigenous to the land. Such a statement deliberately cast that Jews as foreigners and interlopers with no connection to the land. It is a complete falsification of Jewish history, as Jew have lived continuously in the land for 3700 years, and for over one thousand years as the majority, before being expelled by hostile forces. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s!

a century-long assault on the Palestinian people Khalidi’s warped view of history is that the world has waged a war on Arabs for a century. It completely ignores the active warfare launched by the Arabs from the region against the Jewish people. The “assault” from one side is that the British (and the world) recognized the legitimate rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland; on the other is an Arab world that launched a century-long war to murder and expel the Jewish people. Who really made a “declaration of war” and “assaulted” whom?

“From its inception, Zionism was both a nascent national movement and a colonial enterprise in search of a metropolitan sponsor. After having failed to find that sponsor elsewhere, Chaim Weizmann succeeded with the wartime British cabinet.  The Zionist movement thereafter had the support of the greatest power of the age, which was about to become one of the victors in World War I.  Whereas Zionism had begun to be viewed with concern in Palestine since the late 19th century, the Balfour Declaration meant that the country was now threatened by a far greater danger. Indeed, at the very moment that the declaration was issued, British troops were advancing northwards through Palestine, capturing Jerusalem five weeks later.”

colonial enterpriseis a favorite phrase used by anti-Zionists. It follows from the basic line of reasoning of denying the Jews their 3700 year-old history in their homeland. Once Jews have been divorced from their historical connection to the land, their insertion into the region would be as a foreign transplant. As the Jews did not control any country, Khalidi coined the term “metropolitan sponsor” suggesting that since the Jews were scattered all over the world, they were pushing governments to endorse this Zionist initiative. They finally succeeded with the UK as their sponsors.

the country was now threatenedis a theme used over and again by Khalidi, that the indigenous people of the “country” were threatened by both the British and the Zionistic cause laid out in the Balfour Declaration. But Palestine was not a country, but a province of the Turkish Empire. The Empire was already long engaged in World War I when the Balfour Declaration was issued.

“The text of the Declaration confirmed the nature of this danger. It consisted of a single paragraph of 67 words:

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

“The overwhelming Arab majority in Palestine (which then constituted around 94% of the population) went unmentioned by Balfour, except in a backhanded way: as the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” They were not described as a people – notably, the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration. Furthermore, they were offered only “civil and religious rights,” and no political or national rights whatsoever. By way of contrast, Balfour ascribed national rights to “the Jewish people,” who in 1917 were represented in Palestine by a tiny 6 percent of the total population. Regarded in this way, Britain’s backing for Herzl’s aims of Jewish statehood, sovereignty, and control over immigration into the country had portentous implications. It meant British support for bringing into Palestine and implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.

the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration.As described above, the term “Palestinians” in 1917 meant both Jews and Arabs that both lived in the region. Palestinian Arabs chose to declare themselves as the sole people entitled to the name “Palestinian” decades later, after the Jewish State was established in 1948 and the Palestinian Liberation Organization was created in 1964 claiming that only Arabs could be Palestinians.

implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.This phrase sums up the grievances of Arabs: Jews are “foreign” and the Arabs are “indigenous” who have “rights” which are threatened from these invaders coming to take Arab land. However, this is preposterous. Jews are indigenous to the holy land. Arabs invaded the entirety of the Middle East and North Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Arabs that lived throughout the region in what is now known as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt traveled constantly from location to location. Many of the Arabs who lived in Palestine at the time of the Declaration were tenants in homes that were owned by Egyptians. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs from around the region moved to Palestine in the decades after the Balfour Declaration. Who is really indigenous and who really owns the land? An Iraqi that moved to Palestine in the 1930s and rented a house owned by an Egyptian is somehow a “Palestinian” and more indigenous than a Jew that moved to the Jewish homeland in the same year? That’s the ridiculous claim of Khalidi.

“The Balfour Declaration thus meant that the Palestinians faced the prospect of being outnumbered by unlimited immigration, and of losing control of Palestine to the Zionist drive for sole sovereignty over a country that was then almost completely Arab in population and culture. It took just over three decades, and the mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine from their homes in 1948, for these things to happen, but happen they did.”

losing control of Palestine is a complete lie that the Palestinian Arabs “controlled” Palestine. The Arabs had no control of Palestine. The region was a part of the Turkish Empire – Muslim, but not Arab. The local Arab population did not rule a country nor control its destiny.

mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine” in Khalidi’s narrative, the local Arabs then living in Palestine were passively minding their business, tending to their orchards when “the Zionist drive” forced them from their lands. The reality is that the Arabs began to attack Jews in Palestine beginning in the early 1920s (including the massacres of 1929) and the first multi-year riots (now called “intifadas”) in the late 1930s. When the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948, armies from five neighboring Arab countries invaded Israel to wipe the Jews into the sea. Palestinian Arabs left the fighting scene while they waited for their Arab brethren to destroy Israel. While some Arabs were forced by Israel to leave the land, most left on their own as they prayed for “their land” (to quote Khalidi) to be liberated and the Jews to be slaughtered.

“Even before World War I, there had been trepidation among the Arabs of Palestine about the rapid progress of the Zionist movement. This became a widespread sentiment as the movement grew in strength and as immigration to Palestine increased: between 1909 and 1914, the leading Haifa and Jaffa newspapers, al-Karmil and Filastin, published over two hundred articles warning against the dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians. Among the peasantry in areas of intensive colonization, Zionist inroads were felt in concrete terms, as land purchase led to the removal of Arab peasants working the land. Their concerns were shared by Arab city dwellers, who observed with mounting concern the constant arrival of new European Jewish immigrants.

dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians.” How dangerous were these Jews? Did they have blood libels against Muslims the way the Arabs had against Jews? No. Did they force Arabs from their homes? No, they purchased the Arab houses (and had the audacity to move in to them afterwards!) Did they initiate riots and kill Arabs? No. So what was the danger from the Jews who were moving to Palestine? Their physical presence. Their being. Something that rankles anti-Semites (93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semitic according to ADL) to their core.

new European Jewish immigrants.” Jews were the only people to move to Palestine during the last century of Ottoman rule. The annual growth rate of Muslims in Palestine was 1.1%, essentially the rate of births minus deaths. Meanwhile Jews moved to Palestine at an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 1800 to 1914. In other words, Jews always moved to Palestine, even before the Balfour Declaration, while Muslims did not. The Arabs only began to descend on Palestine from around the region after the Declaration in numbers that matched the immigration of Jews.

“News of the Balfour Declaration reached Palestine only with much delay after November 2, 1917. All local newspapers had been shuttered since the beginning of the war. Then, after British troops occupied Jerusalem in December 1917, the strict military occupation regime banned news of the declaration from being spread, and did not allow papers to reopen for two year. There were other reasons for the delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration. They relate to the extraordinary wartime conditions that prevailed in Palestine and that caused intense suffering. The country was the scene of a more than a year of grinding battles between British and Ottoman forces which continued until mid-1918.”

delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration,” continues the layering of Khalidi’s #AlternativeHistory. Stating that there was delayed Palestinian reaction suggested that the Palestinians were a people and an entity. They were not. They were part of the Turkish Empire which was melting at the end of World War I. The entire region was collapsing and its fate was uncertain.

“By the war’s end, the Palestinians were already prostrate and exhausted by severe wartime shortages, penury, dislocation and famine, the requisitioning of draft animals, a plague of locusts, and draconian conscription that sent most working-age men to the front. Of all the major combatant powers, the Ottoman Empire suffered the heaviest wartime death toll, with over three million war dead, or 15% of the total population, most of them civilians. Greater Syria, including Palestine, suffered half a million deaths due to famine alone between 1915 and 1918.  Civilian deaths were compounded by horrific war casualties: 750,000 Ottoman soldiers out of the 2.8 million mobilized died during the war. The impact of all these factors on Palestine was intense. It is estimated that after growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.

growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.” War is terrible, no doubt. The Jews in Palestine that accounted for over 8% of the population suffered right alongside their Arab neighbors. And the annual growth in the population of Palestine in the prewar years was mostly because of Jewish immigration.

“It was against this grim background of mass suffering and the advance of the British army that Palestinians eventually learned about the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. The shock of hearing about it was exacerbated by a British occupation that marked the end of 400 years of Ottoman sovereignty, a regime which had prevailed for a full twenty generations. There was nevertheless a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I. In a world where nationalism had been gaining ground for many decades, a world war driven largely by unrestrained nationalist sentiment provided a major boost to the national idea in Palestine and other parts of the world. The enhanced salience of nationalism was compounded by the espousal in 1917 by Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin of the principle of national self-determination. The endorsement of the national principle by two ostensibly anti-colonial powers had an enormous impact on peoples the world over. As a result of the hopes aroused, and later disappointed, by Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Paris peace conference, India, Egypt, Korea and many other countries witnessed massive anti-colonial upheavals.

a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I… unrestrained nationalist sentiment”  Khalidi pivots his view of history from stating that Palestine was a country, to the Palestinians suddenly finding an “unrestrained nationalist sentiment,” like much of the world. Which was it? Were the Palestinian Arabs sovereign and autonomous in their own country of Palestine the way Khalidi began the speech, or were they part of a 400 year Ottoman Empire as Khalidi stated here? Were the people fighting in defense of their country, or were they suddenly self-aware, and now considered themselves a unique people? Khalidi wants you to believe both, as convenient to different parts of the story.

massive anti-colonial upheavals. As in the entirety of Khalidi’s view of history, the local Arabs were the only rightful owners of the land. Jews who moved to the area and purchased homes? Colonialists. After the British took over the Palestine Mandate in 1924, did they export thousands of British Jews to act as their colonial imprint on the territory? Nope. The Jewish immigration to Palestine from 1917 to 1948 came principally from other countries. Further, the British government treated the Jews in Palestine terribly.

“As a result of the war, the Palestinians were suffering from what might be described as collective post-traumatic stress syndrome. They now had to face entirely new realities as they entered a post-war world suffused by nationalist fervor. The Ottoman Empire was gone, replaced by the hegemony of Britain and France, which in 1915-16 had secretly carried out a self-interested colonial partition of the region — the Sykes-Picot accords — that was publicly revealed in 1917. Against this could be set the possibilities of Arab independence and self-determination, promised secretly by Great Britain to Sharif Husayn of Mecca in 1916, and the subject of repeated public British pledges thereafter. While these promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine was concerned. So while other Middle Eastern countries eventually achieved a measure of independence, no such option was on offer for the Palestinians.”

 promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine. Khalidi sets the tone in a difficult dance in the speech by acknowledging that the Palestine Mandate was both not unique and unique at the same time. The French and British set up new regions in the collapsed Turkish Empire which would ultimately become countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. Khalidi was nominally fine with those colonial projects since the Arab populations in those manufactured countries got independence. But the Arabs in Palestine did not. But he misleads the audience as to the reasons, as described below.

“In Palestine, Great Britain operated with a different set of rules than in other League of Nations mandates. Unlike all the other class A mandates established in the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, all of which were treated according to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations as provisionally “independent nations,” Palestine was denied such treatment. Instead it faced a set of rules rigidly dictated by the terms of the Balfour Declaration. And the Declaration had been tailored to suit the desiderata of Zionism, a European colonizing project and a national movement which had now acquired as its patron a formidable empire whose armies were just then in the process of conquering Palestine. British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years, by which time the Zionist enterprise had become firmly entrenched.”

European colonizing project… British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years,” To listen to Khalidi, one would think that the British and French set up mandates throughout the Middle East and then left quickly, giving independence to the local population. However in Palestine, the British army was entrenched so it could set up its “European colonizing project.” It is an absurd falsification of history.

The length of mandates were decades for many regions. Lebanon became independent in 1943. Syria in 1946. Israel in 1948.

Second, the Balfour Declaration had nothing to do with the borders of the Jewish homeland. That was laid out in the San Remo Conference in 1920 which was authored by several global powers including France, Italy and Japan. This was not a British exercise, nor just a European one. It was approved by international law.

Additionally, the San Remo Conference and then the Palestine Mandate gave the British the right – which they exercised – to break the Palestine Mandate in two to establish an Arab state (Article 25). The British did just that, and created the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in two-thirds of the land of the Palestine Mandate. The Arab country that Khalidi claimed was never created, WAS CREATED at the outset and exists today in the country known as Jordan.

As soon as they were able to do so in the wake of World War I, the Palestinians began to challenge vigorously both the form of governance imposed by the British, based on the Balfour Declaration, and the introduction of the Zionist movement as a privileged interlocutor of the British. They did so initially in the shadow of a strict British military occupation regime that lasted until 1920, followed by rule by a series of British High Commissioners. The first of them was Sir Herbert Samuel, a committed Zionist and former cabinet minister, who laid the governmental foundations for much followed.”

As soon as they were able to do so” is a rewrite of history to vilify Britain in particular for stating that it was in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Palestinian Arab riots began in the 1920s due to the San Remo Conference which gave international legitimacy to the Zionist dream and detailed the historic rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine.

challenge vigorously.The Arab riots of 1920 and 1921 and the massacre of Jewish civilians in 1929 cannot be called “challenge vigorously” by anyone other than someone suffering from deep pathology.

“In understanding the unsuccessful efforts of the Palestinians to oppose this regime, two crucial factors are of paramount importance. The first is that unlike most other peoples who fell under the sway of colonial rule, the Palestinians had to contend not only with the colonial power in the metropole but also with the terms of the Balfour Declaration. Thus they had to deal with a colonial settler movement which, while beholden to Britain, was independent of it and had a powerful national impulse and an international base, most importantly in the United States. The second is that Britain did not rule Palestine outright: it did so as a mandatory power of the League of Nations. In rejecting Palestinian protests about the Balfour Declaration, British officials could point to the international legitimacy for its terms provided by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which, at the instigation of the British themselves, had incorporated verbatim the text of the Balfour Declaration, and in 7 of its 28 articles, substantially amplified and expanded on its commitments. Thus the British government could hide behind the terms of their League of Nations mandate in denying the Palestinians treatment as an “independent nation” in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant.”

colonial, colonial, colonial” Did Khalidi mention colonial? While repeating that the British were a colonial power and tying the Jews to this colonialist enterprise, Khalidi gives a whiff of honesty when he mentioned the “international legitimacy” of the Mandate and the rights of Jews to live, buy land and obtain citizenship in Palestine. But he did this as an aside, suggesting that the goal of a British outpost was a disgraceful subterranean plot in cahoots with Zionists, masked in international law. At this point, Khalidi’s hatred for Jewish presence has taken on an air of an anti-Semitic caricature with Jews now gaining more patronage from other global powers like the United States, while the real motivation and truth was concealed.

“The Palestinians were therefore in a triple bind, which may have been unique in the history of resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism. They faced the might of the British Empire in the era between the two world wars when not one single colonial possession, with the partial exception of Ireland, succeeded in freeing itself from the clutches of the European imperial powers. They faced as well an international colonizing movement with a national mission, and with its own independent sources of finance and support, besides those generously offered by Britain. And finally they were confronted with the international legitimacy accorded to British rule by the League of Nations, which had sanctified the Balfour Declaration and its colonial import for the Palestinians by endowing it with the legal imprimatur of the preeminent international body of the day. The Balfour Declaration thus became more than a statement by the British cabinet: it was an internationally sanctioned legal document. In explaining the failure of the Palestinians to retain control of their ancestral homeland, alongside understanding the shortcomings of their leaders and the hindrances resulting from fissures within their society, it is vital to keep in mind this triple bind they were in.”

resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism… international colonizing movement… own independent sources of finance and supportThe sum of Khalidi’s arguments of the Palestinians “triple bind” was a combination of lies. Rather than state that the international community had come to realize that the Jews deserved to reestablish their homeland – the EXACT OPPOSITE OF A COLONIZING MOVEMENT – in Palestine, Khalidi advanced that the Jewish money (“independent sources of finance and support”) were able to advance their “colonizing movement” under the umbrella of “international legitimacy” to advance Britain’s “colonial” aspirations. The simplicity and beauty of Jews returning to their homeland was too much for Khalidi, so he invented a multi-headed scheme to vanquish the “indigenous” Palestinian Arabs.

The French and British administered several mandates during these years, ultimately giving each autonomy and statehood. Why would they single out the Arabs living in Palestine for such abuse? If the “European imperial powers” truly wanted to subjugate the Arabs of the Middle East, why did every other region become a state with the exception of the Arabs west of the Jordan River?

For Khalidi, the answer is that the scheming Jews took something that they had no right to – Arab land. In the decades following Israel’s independence in 1948, the Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians and other Arab states evicted one million Jews from their homes. Where in power, the Arabs could rid themselves of their Jewish neighbors. But the thorny issue of a Jewish State is a bone still lodged in the throat of the Arabs. And rather than accept the legitimacy of the Jewish State, Khalidi and other anti-Zionists have spun a tale of Palestinian victimhood.

“Before November 2, 1917, the Zionist movement was both a national movement in embryo, and a colonial enterprise without a fixed metropole, like an orphan searching for a foster parent. When it found one in Great Britain, as symbolized by the Balfour Declaration, the colonization and transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish state could begin in earnest. This process was backed soon afterwards by the international legitimacy provided by the League of Nations. It was backed as well by an indispensable “iron wall” of British bayonets, in the words of that most forthright of Zionist leaders, Ze’ev Jabotinsky.”

transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish stateKhalidi makes clear that he believes that Arab Palestine was a proper and appropriate state, and its transformation into a Jewish State happened with shameful “international legitimacy” and the force of British arms. He is correct that Zionism was recognized in international law as described above, but the British did not attack Palestinian Arabs to make this happen. The British came to the defense of Jews being massacred by Palestinian Arabs during their mandate, but they were no friends of the Zionists.

“Seen from the perspective of the Palestinian people, the careful, calibrated prose of the Declaration amounted to a proclamation of war on them. For the next few decades, this war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery. The issuance of the Balfour Declaration thus marked the beginning of a century-long colonial conflict in Palestine, supported by an array of outside powers. In much different forms, this conflict continues until this day.”

war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery.” Wow and wow. Once Khalidi established that the natural state of Palestine was an Arab Palestine in which the Arabs were the sole indigenous people, he added that a war was declared to alter that ideal state. He offers an extensive list of aggressions used by the Zionists to execute their war. However, the unvarnished truths were too difficult for Khalidi to admit: that Palestine has been the homeland for the Jewish people for thousands of years; that the Jews had always lived in Palestine, and had always moved to Palestine, despite the difficulties imposed by various ruling authorities; and that the British and the international community had finally recognized that it was time to ease those restrictions as the Ottoman Empire collapsed. Could the international community predict that local Arabs would object to Jews returning to their homeland in a small sliver of the entire Middle East dominated by millions of Arabs? The war was WAGED BY ARABS, not the other way around, made clear the Arab rejection of any Jewish rights or claims to the land.

“I realize that I have imposed on your patience by summarizing some of the history around the Balfour Declaration. Some say that we should forget history in dealing with the Palestine conflict. Those who say this, however, have an absolutely miserable track record of failure in attempting to resolve the core issue at stake: the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. In fact, this historical background is essential to understanding why this conflict has lasted for so long, and to its just resolution. It also helps us to understand that it did not begin in 1967 or 1948, as some shortsighted observers would have it. Finally, it points out the avenue towards a real lasting, sustainable peace, and towards real reconciliation and compromise between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them. And genuine compromise must be based on justice and absolutely equal treatment, and absolutely equal rights, for all, not on the imposition of the will of the stronger on the weaker. That is not compromise.”

Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them.There are multiple problems with Khalidi’s world view. If he believes that peace will only be achieved by the world adopting his false version of history, there is no chance of ever realizing peace. It augers a future where Israel will have to finally wage a war against the Arabs that reject the very legitimacy of its existence, rather than just fighting defensive wars against Arab foes that seek to destroy it.

“This historical background points to another fact. This is that peace between Palestine and Israel is far too important to be left to the self-interested ministrations of the great powers alone. Again and again, the history of the League Nations and the United Nations shows us that these great powers were responsible for imposing formulas in Palestine that suited their interests of the moment. In every single case these formulas exacerbated and magnified this conflict. In so doing, these great powers have ignored international law, and essential elements of the covenants and charters they themselves helped to shape, such as the principle of self-determination that animates both the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Charter of the United Nations.”

great powers have ignored international lawInternational law gave Jews the right to reestablish their homeland in their homeland. International law permitted two-thirds of the Palestine Mandate to be separated into a country where Palestinian Arabs would have self-determination. The great powers supported the Zionist project in international law. Yet the great powers failed in upholding the principles of human rights and self-determination when it allowed two-thirds of Palestine to become a country which expelled and banned Jews. This pathetic travesty is  being further advanced at the United Nations which similarly is advocating for such policy for the West Bank of the Jordan River (all contrary to Article 15 of the Palestine Mandate).

“As the son of an international civil servant who served the United Nations for his entire career, I have been a close witness for decades to the failure of this body to live up to its principles where Palestine is concerned, largely because of the machinations of the great powers.  I am not naïve, however, and as a historian I know all too well that power has its prerogatives. But the United Nations was not set up to make the world a more comfortable place for the powerful, but rather to bring about peace with justice, and the rule of international law. Over the hundred years since the Balfour Declaration was issued, the 70 years since the passing of the Partition resolution, and the fifty years since the adoption of UNSC 242, neither peace with justice nor the rule of law has prevailed where Palestine is concerned. It is high time for the United Nations and the entire world community to act in this spirit.”

the failure of this body.” For 100 years the Arabs have fought against the formation and existence of a Jewish State, not the global community. Seventy years ago the Arabs rejected the Partition plan; not the global community. Fifty years ago the Palestinians and Jordanians attacked Israel and thereby lost the “West Bank” which it had illegally annexed; the global body did not initiate the war. Just after that 1967 war, it was the Arab countries that refused to negotiate peace with Israel, not the global community.

And it is the Palestinian Arabs today that continue with anti-Semitic and anti- Zionist vitriol that prevents peace. In line with UN Resolution 242, Israel gave territories (Sinai) for peace with Egypt. Israel gave territories (Gaza) in exchange for war with Palestinian Arabs.

The problem is neither Israel nor the international community. The problem is Palestinian Arabs.

“Specifically, after a century, it is high time that the establishment of a national home promised by Balfour and the League of Nations to the Jewish people in 1917 and afterwards be matched by the establishment of a national home for the Palestinian people. After 70 years, it is high time that the national self-determination promised to the Israeli people by the UN in 1947, and that they have enjoyed since 1948, be enjoyed by the Palestinian people. And after 50 years, it is high time for the injunction in UNSC 242 forbidding “the acquisition of territory by war” to be vigorously enforced where the territories occupied in 1967 are concerned.”

promises, promises.” If Khalidi wants an Arab parallel to the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Plan, he is presumably now in favor of those articles which he had just spent ten minutes lambasting. And if he understood anything about UN Resolution 242, he would understand that land is forbidden to be taken in an offensive war, not a defensive war. The Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs attacked Israel first and lost the land in June 1967. The same way that Israel was allowed to take more land in the 1948-9 war, than had been suggested in the 1947 Partition Plan.

“Finally, it is high time for the United Nations and the entire international community to take vigorous action to break the century-old logjam created and perpetuated by the great powers. This man-made logjam has prevented the principles of self-determination from being applied fairly and equally to both parties to this conflict, the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples. They both deserve the peace and stability that an equitable resolution of the conflict between them on the basis of international law and in a spirit of justice and equality would bring.”

The Palestinian Arabs have shown no interest in the “spirit of justice and equality” for 100 years. The have refused to allow Jews to pray at their holiest location on the Jewish Temple Mount. They have stated that they will not allow a single Israeli to live in Palestine. They have stated that they will never recognize the Jewish State of Israel. They maintain laws that make it a capital offense for an Arab to sell land to a Jew.

The “logjam” to peace in the region is the failure of Palestinian Arabs to recognize the historic and human rights of Jews to be self-governing in their homeland. The myth of passive victimhood and the tainting of the Balfour Declaration and history, is yet another arrow in the Palestinian propaganda machine to defame and undermine the existence and viability of the solitary Jewish State surrounded by over 50 Arab and Muslim countries.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Squeezing Zionism

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

They were not even supposed to be there.

Long marked for exclusion, their physical presence was repulsive to the locals. “Modern” society being slightly more “progressive” in the ancient Middle East as well as being more visible to a global audience because of the Internet, made it slightly more difficult to bar them. The vile creatures could stand there, but the rightful hosts would deny them space, honor or acknowledgement. These interlopers may be human, but their essence remained a problem.

They would sing no song, carry no flag, and represent no people.

In 2017.

In the United Arab Emirates Judo competition.

On the Jewish Temple Mount in the Jerusalem.

Judo Grand Slam

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Judo Grand Slam in October 2017. The competition was nominally supposed to represent the best fighters in the judo martial arts from countries from around the world. Not simply from around the world, but from COUNTRIES from around the world.

The official website from the tournament listed 47 countries that participated in the event. Alphabetically, after Hungary at number 21 was “IFJ,” which stood for the International Judo Federation. Not normally considered a country, it was a name assigned to a country loathed by the host country. That despised country is Israel.

Israel is not a recognized country by the UAE. Not only does the country not have diplomatic relations with Israel, Israeli citizens are denied entry into the UAE.

That posed a problem for the UAE which was hosting the Judo tournament. Would the tournament be considered a farce if it excluded many of the best competitors? Israeli athletes had become champions in many global judo competitions and they qualified to compete at the IFJ event. How could the host country of the event deny entry to those people?

However strong their desire, the UAE could not bar the physical entry of the Israeli athletes. But that would be as far it would go.

  • The Israeli flag, national anthem and the name “Israel” would be banned from the entire program.
  • The Israeli athletes would be the only ones to not have a flag on their uniform.
  • The Israeli athletes would not have their national flag raised nor anthem played when they won medals.
  • And the name “Israel” would not even be listed anywhere among the 47 countries competing in the global event.

The “human rights” groups that monitor the Middle East would be silent. Human Rights Watch? Nothing T’ruah? Zero. OHCHR? Couldn’t be bothered. The Carter Center? You kidding me? Jimmy Carter?

Those “rights” organizations have no breath to support human decency if it means defending Israel or Israelis. For “progressive” groups, Israel is solely the object of scorn and condemnation.

The Jewish Temple Mount

For 3000 continuous years, there has been a single place which Jews have revered as their holiest location: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jews had two temples there, and after the Second Temple was destroyed, Jews continued to pray in the direction of their holy temples. Until this very day.

At Israel’s founding in 1948, the surrounding Arab countries invaded in the hopes of completely destroying the new Jewish state. At war’s end, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan took over the western side of the Jordan River through the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. The Jordanians promptly evicted every Jew from their illegally seized land.

The Jordanians annexed the region in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by virtually the entire world. In 1954, the Jordanians gave citizenship to every person that lived or had lived in these acquired lands, but deliberately excluded Jews to make sure that the Jews could not re-enter their land, including Jerusalem.

Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967 after the Jordanians attacked Israel again. It reopened the Old City for Jews to live, visit and worship.

Well, not exactly.

The Israelis gave administrative control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf shortly after the 1967 war ended. The Waqf has denied Jews the right to pray at their holiest site. Jews cannot carry Jewish prayer books nor Israeli flags.

The Jews can be there physically as human beings, but nothing more.

Kotel Plaza, the closest an Israeli flag can come to the Jewish Temple Mount

And human rights organizations reacted: they were appalled that Jews were even visiting the Temple Mount.

Ir Amim, a radical left-wing organization had the following to say about Jews visiting the Temple Mount in October 2017:

Over the Sukkot holiday, the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound continued to rise: according to Temple activists, some 2,000 visitors ascended the Mount during the holiday. From Rosh Hashanah until the end of Sukkot, the number of Jewish visitors totaled about 3,000. These numbers, according to the estimates of the Temple Movements, represent an increase of 30%-40% in the number of visitors relative to last year.

More worrying than the increase in and of itself, however, is the evident change in policy by the police: Greater coordination and friendly relations have been witnessed between the police and Temple Movement activists. Larger and sometimes multiple groups of activists have been allowed to enter the compound, and restrictions on non-Muslim prayer on the Mount appear to have been relaxed. The police permitted a mass religious ceremony to be held, for the first time, near the Western Wall plaza, rather than within the Jewish Quarter as in previous years. Activists were also permitted to put up a sukkah, bearing the emblems of the Temple Movements, on the ramp leading to the Holy Esplanade.

These troubling changes in policy and relations between the police and the activists are undermining the spirit of the status quo on the Mount, if not eroding the status quo in practice.”

Ir Amim called it out: a small handful of Jews can be at Judaism’s most revered location, but they cannot be treated like everyone else.

Whether in Judo competitions or in Jerusalem, a small handful of Jews are reluctantly permitted to stand alongside every other human being on the planet. Still, they must be bleached of their Judaism and cleansed of their affiliations with the Jewish State. The racists, the anti-Semites and progressives know a good status quo when they see one.


Related First.One.Through Articles:

Israeli Olympians get their #IsraeliLivesMatter Moment

Dancing with the Asteroids

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

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For the Sins of 5777 of…

… not standing up against libel attacks (such as when left-wing radicals called Ben Shapiro a white supremacist)

… allowing anti-Israel activists to speak in my synagogue (such as members from Jewish Voice for Peace and New Israel Fund)

… being a political coward (for not condemning fellow Democrats that called Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino a “clever Nazi”)

… being a political opportunist tacking to the far left-wing extremists of the Democratic party and throwing Jews under the bus (supporting Linda Sarsour’s tirades against Israel and not backing anti-BDS legislation or the Taylor Force bill)

… subscribing to the New York Times

… saying that Obama is pro-Israel (even after he let UN Security Council Resolution 2334 pass)

… saying with a straight face that the Iranian Nuclear Deal was a “Great Deal”

… labeling those with whom I disagree a “deplorable,” a “racist” and a “misogynist”

… donating to the United Nations

collaborating with international bodies to harm the Jewish State

… being a hypocrite while donating to the most expensive US presidential in history where Clinton outspent Trump by over two times, and then complain that race was all about money

ignoring Israeli victims of Arab terror

ignoring the Jewish people’s historic connection, religious ties, human rights and security needs throughout the holy land

… suggesting that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and calling for its inclusion in the Palestinian Authority leadership

… promoting the notion that America has much more to fear from Republicans than jihadists

… never commenting when Islamic countries say that Israel is committing “ethnic cleansing,” but going ballistic when Israeli Prime Minister used the term for the Palestinian Authority after it demanded a Jew-free state

… not demonstrating for the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount

… not protesting that the US should withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority until it negates its law which makes it a capital offense to sell land to a Jew

…demanding that Israel live with the security and religious compromises that I decide, to satisfy my personal sense of social justice while living thousands of miles away

… purchasing the New Israel Fund Haggadah

… condemning Jews for building homes in Area C of the West Bank, which the Palestinian Authority agreed is Israeli territory

… belittling the intelligence and integrity of Ivanka Trump, just because she’s pretty

… talking big about feminism, but doing nothing for the women in southeast Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) where 25% of the women of the world live in barbaric conditions

… only talking about refugees when Trump became president, even though Obama did little to nothing to help them during seven years of his presidency

… calling PA acting-President Mahmoud Abbas a “moderate”

… saying that poverty causes terrorism, even when there is no study that supports such claim

… continuing to call Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) “refugees”

… not celebrating a rabbi giving the blessing at the US president’s inauguration – the first time a rabbi has done so in decades

… for supporting J Street, the organization that lobbied the Obama administration aggressively to abandon Israel at the United Nations

… living in my liberal echo chamber

… liking Jimmy Carter

… going to a Roger Waters concert

… watching Al Jazeera

… condemning Israel for installing security devices after a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount

… defending left-wing extremists that are anti-Semites

… not writing to my alma mater after anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activities occurred on campus

… for comparing a Muslim refugee from Syria to a Holocaust survivor

… for not advocating for any help in Syria throughout Obama’s presidency when 500,000 people were killed

… never understanding how much people hated Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, even while I repeated ad nauseam how much I despised Donald Trump

… the inconsistent logic of telling Trump supporters to be wary because he was supported by the KKK and the KGB, even while I supported the Iranian nuclear deal which was supported by Russia and Iran

… ending friendships with people that voted for Trump

For all these things, please pardon us.

 

UN Secretary General Guterres is Losing the Confidence of Decent People

The last UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was an Israel hater. As detailed in many articles in FirstOneThrough, he sided with the Palestinian cause and castigated Israel at every turn. In particular:

And now the new UNSG Antonio Guterres is taking that same course.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

On August 30, 2017, Guterres visited Gaza. His remarks were a disappointment:

  • He said “I am very proud of the work that the UN staff,” even though it was recently exposed that Hamas builds terror tunnels at UNRWA schools and Hamas stored weapons and fired missiles at attack Israel in UNRWA schools;
  • Guterres made “an appeal for unity. Yesterday, I was in Ramallah. Today, I am in Gaza. They are both parts of the same Palestine. So, I appeal for the unity, in line with the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The division only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.” What about Israelis? When will Guterres loudly condemn Hamas and say that it cannot exist in any political fashion until it explicitly recognizes Israel’s right to exist and renounces any and all forms of violence?
  • The best that Guterres could muster was “It is important to avoid the buildup of the militantism that can undermine the confidence between the two people.” Does the leader of the United Nations think that the Hamas military is merely a matter of “confidence?” Israelis are being murdered by Hamas. Hamas is engaged in war to destroy the Jewish State. Guterres saying that Hamas’s militantism is simply a problem of confidence is willful ignorance of the essence of the organization which is an anti-Semitic terror group that seeks to destroy Israel.

Similarly, Guterres has refused to stand by Israel when it faced terror at the hands of Palestinian Arabs. Consider that on September 12, 2017, Guterres said the following about an attack on policemen in Egypt:

“The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack yesterday on a police convoy near el-Arish in northern Sinai in Egypt. He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Egypt.  He also wishes a swift recovery to the injured. 

The Secretary-General hopes those responsible for this act will be quickly brought to justice.”

But when an Israeli policewoman was stabbed to death in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017, the UN Secretary General issued no statement.

When three Israeli policemen were killed by Israeli Arabs in July 2014, Guterres neither condemned the attack nor offered condolences to Israelis. He told the Israelis to show “restraint” in their response.

A few days later, when a Palestinian Arab stabbed to death members of an Israeli family in their home, Guterres wouldn’t even call the attack “terrorism,” even though he did so when terrorists killed members of the Egyptian army. Gutteres would not demand that the Palestinian terrorist “be quickly brought to justice,” as he did for the attack in Sinai.

There was hope that Antonio Guterres would be different from Ban Ki Moon and treat Israel differently. When he took over in January 2017, he condemned Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and called for the terrorists to be brought to justice.

Alas, the United Nations is pit of vileness and anti-Israel bias that swallows all.

The latest statements of Guterres are “undermining the confidence” that decent people have for his leadership and the United Nations overall.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Goodbye Moon

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

On August 30, 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, accused US President Donald Trump of incitement to violence for his comments about the media.

“To call these news organizations fake does tremendous damage. I believe it could amount to incitement. At an enormous rally, referring to journalists as very, very bad people — you don’t have to stretch the imagination to see then what could happen to journalists.”

Al-Hussein should similarly look at his own organization, the UN, for incitement to kill Israelis.


Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief
(photo:
Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

A rallying cry to Muslim Jihadists to attack Israeli Jews is that al-Aqsa and Jerusalem are “in danger.”  The three Arabs that killed Israeli policemen on the Temple Mount in July 2017 were incited by the fear that “al Aqsa was in danger.” The Mufti of Jerusalem declared that al Aqsa was “in danger” due to Jewish visitation, bringing the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade arm of Fatah to declare a “green light” on terrorism sparking a wave of stabbing and car ramming attacks in 2015.

And UNESCO has joined the terrorist propaganda parade. At the behest of Jordan, UNESCO stated that it “decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

There is no greater rallying cry to jihadist violence in the world, and the global body gave its blessing. Kill the Jews.


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Elie Wiesel on Words

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

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The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

Something has become all the “rage” in the world. Without the rage.

Dick Pics

There was once a time when society knew what was offensive.

There was a time when people would see something and immediately call it out as obscene. The reaction would be clear and unequivocal: Stop it! I don’t want to see that! Ever!

The perpetrators of the offensive behavior would be ridiculed. They would be shunned from any public event and run out of political office.


Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) with wife Huma Abedin

The perp would be forever viewed differently. A creep.

There was a time that communities would ask the police to arrest a person for lewd and ugly behavior. No one would rise to the offender’s defense about free speech or expression.

A community wouldn’t ponder the motivation of such an action. It would be simply bewildered that any normal person could possibly think that viewers would find the spectacle attractive.

Students for Justice in Palestine

There is a group that has taken hold in many college campuses called “Students for Justice in Palestine.” It is a group that glorifies the killing of Jews in Israel.

In May 2016, Northwestern University invited convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh to speak at an event that SJP billed as “Israeli Apartheid Week.” Odeh, who was convicted in Israel of killing two Israeli college students with a bomb, spoke to 50 students in Illinois about the “Israeli colonial project” and the suffering of Palestinian Arabs.

No one disrupted the talk. It was covered by free speech.

In February 2015, the SJP chapter in DePaul University held “a fundraiser to celebrate the resilience of Rasmea Odeh.” The students in the university did not simply want to hear the perspective of a convicted terrorist: they wanted to actively support her.

The anti-Zionist group, Jewish Voice for Peace, gave Odeh a standing ovation in April 2017, as she bid farewell to the United States because she was being deported for having entered the country without disclosing her terrorist conviction.

And the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January 2017 invited Odeh to address the crowd. To thousands.

That is the “progressive” fringe world today.

The Left-Wing Participation in Terrorism

When someone sends another person a “dick pic,” they are engaging in crude behavior. The goal is to either provoke and offend, or to engage a basic human lust. It is not romance or love. It is a blunt instrument with a binary outcome: 95% of the time it is disgust and 5% amusement or desire.

When an organization invites a convicted terrorist that murdered innocent students to address its members, there is something sickening and perverse that becomes normalized. The most animalistic of activities – cold-blooded murder of innocent youth – is celebrated. It is endorsed. It is rationalized to the audience as proper behavior.

While society will be disgusted (or in rare circumstances amused) by lewd pictures that are easily erased, it celebrates – or at least tolerates – the killing of innocents. This is the same society that has no issue showing videos of beheadings on social media, but bans pictures of a woman’s breast. We extol butchery and shun nudity.

Let’s be clear: The person who sends a “dick pic” has a very ugly and narrow view of the recipient. They are selfish and interested in only one thing, and it is not the recipient’s personality. It is the aspiration for a complementary raw emotion that the recipient might bring to the encounter.

Similarly, when the radical anti-Zionists like SJP and JVP address you, they are not seeking a rational discussion about disputed land. They want your active endorsement of the murder of Jews and the Jewish State. That is your “complement” to their actions.

Decent people of the world, it is time to delete these disgusting groups faster than a dick pic from a stranger.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Martin Luther King and Zionism

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

A Disservice to Jewish Community

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

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Pride. Jewish and Gay

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