Israelis faced a murderous wave of terrorist attacks in March 2022. Attacks in Beersheva, Hadera and Bnei Brak killed eleven people, causing The Jerusalem Post to write that “what is happening on Israel’s streets are not isolated incidents. This is a terror wave across Israel.“
While the world took notice and loudly condemned the Arab assaults, the United Nations only issued a muffled statement in its ongoing role as protector of Palestinian Arabs. A prepared statement on March 29, 2022 from the head office read:
“The Secretary-General condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, which claimed the lives of at least 11 Israeli citizens. Such acts of violence can never be justified and must be condemned by all.
“The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to families of the victims and wishes a prompt recovery to those injured.
“In the spirit of the upcoming religious holy days, the Secretary-General calls for an immediate end to violence, which only serves to undermine the prospects for peace.”
This statement stands in sharp contrast to other recent statements from the UNSG in which he demanded that the perpetrators of the violence be brought to justice and that he stands with the people of the attacked nation.
UNSG on attack in Uganda November 16, 2021: “The United Nations expresses its hope that all persons involved in the commission of these attacks will be swiftly brought to justice.”
UNSG on attack in Afghanistan on November 3, 2020: “The Secretary-General reiterates that those responsible must be held accountable. The United Nations stands by the people and Government of Afghanistan in support of their long-held aspirations for peace.”
UNSG on attack in Nigeria on June 15, 2020: “He reiterates the need to protect civilians and humanitarian personnel, assets and facilities at all times, in accordance with international humanitarian law. The Secretary-General further reaffirms the United Nations continued solidarity with the Government and people of Nigeria in their efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism.“
The UN Security Council similarly demanded actions against all facets of terrorism: “The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.“
Israelis are seemingly the only people who can be victims of terrorism without the existence of terrorists.
The United Nations is not an honest forum or broker for peace for the Jewish State, as it proves over and again. Israel should disregard the statements and edicts from the body until major reforms are established at the anti-Zionist body.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has long been viewed as a hate group on college campuses which “isn’t to promote education about Palestinians, but make the campus environment hostile for Israel supporters,” as summed up by Aviva Slomich, international campus director for CAMERA.
On March 14, 2022, Tufts University’s SJP chapter posted an opinion piece in the student run paper, Tufts Observer, called “Justice Through BDS.” The article promoted the familiar anti-Zionist propaganda, mislabeling Israel as a creature of “European settler colonialism” that runs an “apartheid regime.” It referred to Israel with a lowercase “i” to insult the Jewish State, and advocated for violence in its statement “SJP supports the full range of Palestinian resistance against settler-colonialism.“
The call for violence should get the group kicked off campus, but that is unlikely to happen unless and until Tufts’ alumni and student body demand action from the university (president Anthony P. Monaco’s office number is 617-627-3300).
In the same article promoting violence against Israel, SJP noted the good work that J Street has been doing in the Jewish community:
"While SJP recognizes that many Jewish people begin their anti-zionist political journey through J Street U, and appreciates that J Street U’s Tufts chapter agrees that antisemitism and anti-Zionism are not synonymous, it is crucial for students to refuse half-measures that condemn occupation while normalizing colonization."
SJP specifically called out its appreciation for the lobbying and anti-Israel propaganda disseminated by J Street, but the hate group still could not embrace its colleagues, as the left-wing Jewish group still has a stated platform that Israel should exist in some form. SJP has therefore called for J Street to be included in its broad boycott.
SJP and J Street U have stood as allies on different college campuses, such as in February 2019, when both groups blasted the University of Vermont’s Jewish Hillel for accepting money from the pro-Israel group Maccabee Task Force. The SJP-J Street allyship has built bridges – to encourage more Jews to despise Israel, but not for Israel haters to embrace coexistence with the Jewish State.
When a virulently anti-Israel hate group like SJP praises J Street, a group that claims to be pro-Israel, it may finally dawn on the pro-Zionist community that the Jewish left-wing group is a dangerous gateway organization to destroy the Jewish State from within.
The war against the Jewish State began militarily at Israel’s inception, as the armies of five Arab nations invaded Israel in 1948 in a war to annihilate it. In June 1967, the Arab world attempted the same but failed spectacularly.
Since that time, the armed conflict by Muslim countries has continued with more modest ambitions, as the goal of destroying Israel is considered too remote a possibility, unless and until Iran obtains nuclear weapons. The violent attacks against Israel have mostly been about pestering and killing Jews to obtain concessions. The 1973 Yom Kippur war ushered in a willingness for Israel to hand the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, and Palestinian Arabs believe that the Second Intifada War made Israel abandon the Gaza Strip. The various Hamas wars from Gaza since 2008 and the political-terrorist group’s kidnapping of Israelis, secured the release of thousands of fellow terrorists and other modest gains.
The failure to destroy Israel did not make the Muslim countries accept its existence. In fact, it has done its utmost to deny its existence.
Immediately after the 1967 Six Day War, the Arab League passed the Khartoum Resolution declaring a policy of ‘Three No’s’: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” For the Arabs, the Jewish State had a name but was to be ignored until the Arabs could prevail at destroying the foreign presence.
In the 1970’s, the Arab League enlisted allies to their cause. Leveraging their control of the oil markets, and with a former Nazi sitting as head of the United Nations, the Muslim and Arab countries got the world to pass UNGA Resolution 3379 in November 1975 that declared that “Zionism is a form of racism.” This was an attempt to deny Israel’s legitimacy broadly.
Meanwhile, faced with the impossibility of destroying Israel, the Arabs and Muslims went after Jewish “soft targets,” like plane and boat hijackings (Dawson’s Field in 1970, Rome and Vienna airport shootings in 1985, and Achille Lauro in 1985), as well as blowing up Jewish community centers (Argentina 1994) and synagogues (Turkey 1986). If people inside Israel were too difficult to kill, the Muslim world came for the Jews around the world.
While the ‘Zionism is racism’ resolution was ultimately thrown out in 1991 due to the efforts of the United States, it simmered as the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995 anticipated a peace deal in September 2000. Instead of finally accepting peace, the Palestinians launched the Second Intifada War which only subsided with the erection of Israel’s security barrier in 2004-5. That led to two new movements which are unfortunately thriving today: the demonization of the Jewish State and the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), both economic wars.
Demonization of Jews and Zionists
The 2001 Durban Conference against racism served as the global launch party to amplify and expand upon the prior “Zionism is racism” propaganda.
As the world no longer relied on oil as it had in the 1970’s, the Muslim Arab world hoped to convince the western world to join their war against the Jewish State based on democratic values, a sly and peculiar approach for autocratic regimes. The global conference advanced a new lexicon to vilify Israel with terms like “apartheid,” “settler-colonialism,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “crimes against humanity” to name a few. It similarly painted Palestinians as noble victims, misusing words like “desperate,” “resistance,” and “dignity.”
This approach is more insidious than used during the 1970’s and 1980’s which relied on far-flung violence. The violent attacks against Jews around the world by Arab Muslims made it difficult to portray the Palestinian Arabs as “desperate.” Instead, since 2001, the demonization tactic has penetrated the west through the education systems, the media and the democratic system itself.
The Arab world funneled billions of dollars and tens of thousands of students to universities including New York University, MIT, Columbia and Tufts. The donations funded Middle East Studies departments and Divinity schools with anti-Israel narratives. Due to this activity, college campuses have become hotbeds of anti-Semitism, often denying Jews the right to participate in public spaces as perceived Zionists and racists.
These young voices have been indoctrinated with a new anti-Zionist vocabulary and worldview over the past twenty years. They are now running the western liberal media, working at “human rights” organizations and voting for far-left anti-Zionist politicians endorsed by the Democrat Socialists of America.
The 2001 Durban campaign, now 20-plus years running, has been very successful in not only demonizing Israel, but demonizing Zionists. Under this current version of “Zionism is racism,” Jews in Israel and around the world are no longer only being attacked by Arab Muslims but by their fellow citizens. While the legitimacy of Israel is still being denied, the focus has expanded to Israel’s supporters.
The current Muslim and Arab war against the Jewish State is being fought everywhere, as Zionists of any religion or ethnicity are falsely branded “racists” who should be canceled. The intent is to pressure people and governments everywhere to sever ties with the Jewish State, making it vulnerable and weak by every measure.
The war against Israel has mutated since the country was founded but the goal remains the same: the end of the Jewish State. What has alarmingly changed now is that YOU are being asked to participate in that anti-Semitic endeavor by your neighbors, schools, media and elected officials.
An anti-Zionist teacher was fired from the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NewYork, and is now suing the institution. Religious organizations should support the Reform Temple in this lawsuit.
Jessie Sander wrote an article in May 2021 in which she “call[ed] for American Jewish institutions to revisit their educational philosophy and curriculum about Palestine and its history,” and that American Jews must stop their “racist practices and beliefs” and support of Israel (which she spelled each time with a lower case “i”) in its “settler-colonial violence” and “genocide in Palestine.” She added that “israel actively trains the actors of our military state to enact violence against our Black and Brown siblings,” portraying Israel as committing racist violence both in Israel and the United States.
A few weeks later she was hired as a Hebrew teacher at the Westchester Reform Temple before the school was aware of her writings. Once the administration found out about it, she was questioned and then dismissed. She is now suing the school for reinstatement plus compensatory damages.
The New York Times covered the story in its typical anti-Israel jaundiced fashion. It noted that Sander is like many younger American Jews, who are not emotionally attached to Israel, as it cited a poll which found that 25 percent of Jews believed Israel to be an “apartheid state” and 22 percent said it was “committing genocide against the Palestinians.”
Those aren’t “beliefs” any more than Holocaust denial is a belief. They are simply wrong. When 25 percent of a class gets a question wrong on an exam, we don’t reorient the narrative to accommodate the incorrect.
Schools must be able to evaluate the teachers they hire and whether they pose a threat to the students and mission of the institution. This teacher was not simply stating that she was concerned about Palestinian self-determination but sought to change the “educational philosophy and curriculum” with her false impressions about the state of Palestinian “genocide.” Together with her deliberate refusal to capitalize the state of Israel, the institution was rightly concerned about what she was going to teach in her classes.
While liberal anti-Zionists like Peter Beinart may run to defend this teacher, it is important for other religious denominations – especially the Orthodox – to rally to the side of the Reform Temple.
Jewish institutions have long hired a variety of people from different backgrounds. Yeshiva University, the flagship Jewish university in the United States, hires many non-Jewish faculty. Jewish Day Schools hire people with a range of political views from conservative to progressive.
But they do not hire someone who seeks to instill a false narrative into the cirriculum.
Yeshiva University, the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America and other Orthodox organizations do not always have an opportunity to bond with the Reform movement. These mission-driven groups – as well as non-Jewish ones – should rally to support the Westchester Reform Temple in the suit by an anti-Israel extremist, in an important defense of their religious rights.
January 15, 2022 saw another reminder of the threats Jews face in the United States. A man walked into a synagogue during Sabbath services in Texas and held four people hostage. Eventually the congregants escaped unharmed.
The Jewish community is by far the most likely minority group to suffer a hate crime in the US every year, and over the past few years, the attacks have included murder. In October 2018, Jews were shot in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. In April 2019, Jews were killed in a synagogue in Poway CA. In December 2019 Jews were killed in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ.
These kinds of attacks are more common outside the United States where terrorists attack Jews in their schools, shuls, community centers and restaurants in France, Belgium, Turkey, Argentina, India and of course, in Israel. Knowing of the threat, countries deploy extra protection to guard against the anti-Semitic attacks. But there have been some who do not support providing Jews with protection in the United States for their own reasons.
Liberals Believe That Jews Hate Gays
A number of politicians have stated their opposition to providing Jewish schools with extra police protection and had the following to say when a bill came up before the New York City Council:
Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) “They charge tuition, they should pay for their own security. I was against having churches in schools. There should be separation of church and state. As a member of the LGBT community, I know that a lot of these schools discriminate against us and if the city is going to provide any kind of funding, the schools should not be discriminatory.“
Daniel Dromm (D- Queens) “Public schools have to come first. We are supposed to have separation of church and state. Where does this city funding for private schools end?” He added later “I know the same lobbyists for these private and parochial schools and yeshivas will be back again to rob the public-school budget of additional funding at some point in the future.“
State Senator Brad Hoylman “As a public official, we have to stay focused on taxpayer dollars funding public schools. There are shortages of security officers in the public schools.“
NY Civil Liberties Union “is strongly opposed to the use of government funding and services to support religion, including religious schools. This is an inappropriate use of city resources, and skirts dangerously close to government sponsorship of religion, forbidden by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.“
Allen Roskoff, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club “Religious institutions pushing this bill have a long history and present-day reality of discriminating against the gay community. Why should they be able to discriminate on our dime? Where is the concern for the safety of LGBT students and staff in these anti-gay religious schools? These Council members say they care about anti-gay bullying. How is a child being told by religious leaders that he or she is immoral for being gay not bullying?“
Bill Dobbs, Civil Libertarian “Religious freedom does not mean socking overburdened taxpayers for special treatment worth hundreds of millions. Religious freedom means don’t disturb religion, it doesn’t mean you throw your wallet their way.“
Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters “I see no evidence that there is a threat to these students. Surely they can afford to pay for their own security.“
Harvey Robins, a former director of operations for the city, said “For what the Council wants to spend on this, they could open libraries seven days a week.“
Teamsters Local 237 said “Every New Yorker should be outraged at this proposal. This is a giveaway of taxpayers’ money.“
United United Federation of Teachers President, Michael Mulgrew said this was “Crossing the line between public and private is something our forefathers were smart enough not to do.“
Ernest Logan, President of the American Federation of School Administrators said “I want to know who in their right mind thought this was a good idea to take city money and put it into the private industry when you haven’t taken care of the money that you’re required to for the public.“
Progressive Smear That The Jewish State Targets Palestinians
In the fall of 2021, several members of Congress voted to oppose helping to replenish Israel’s defensive Iron Dome missiles which it used to shoot down incoming rockets from the terrorist enclave of Gaza run by Hamas.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted “we continue to pay lip service to human rights, peace and a two state solution. Yet we also continue to provide Israel with funding without addressing the underlying issue of the occupation.“
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) said “We shouldn’t be sending an additional $1B to an apartheid state’s military. Especially not when we are failing to adequately invest in the health care, housing, education, and other social services our communities need.“
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said “Israeli military’s operations that resulted in heavy Palestinian civilian casualties must be scrutinized.“
Rep. Rashida Tlaib said “I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes.“
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) voted present according to the New York Times because of “influential lobbyists and rabbis.“
Alt-Left View That “Black Lives Matter,” But Anti-Semitism Should Only Be Condemned Alongside Islamophobia
While denying Jews and the Jewish State monies for defending themselves from anti-Semitic attacks, many of these same politicians won’t clearly call out anti-Semitism when Jews are attacked, and instead issue broad sweeping comments, as they did in May 2021 when Jews were attacked throughout America during the barrage of missiles from Gaza against Israel.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Idiot-VT) “We’ve recently seen disturbing antisemitic attacks and a troubling rise in Islamophobia.“
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Antisemitism has no place in our country or world. Neither does Islamophobia.“
Rep. Cori Bush “The work of dismantling antisemitism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism, and every other form of hate is OUR work.“
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) “We’ve seen an increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate, in NYC and nationwide — hateful words, hate crimes, and other forms of violence.“
The broad brushstrokes of condemning all forms of hatred when Jews were being singled out was an echo of the orchestration of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusing to censure Ilhan Omar for repeated anti-Semitic remarks and instead put forward a resolution which condemned ALL forms of hatred including “Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry.” Omar and fellow female Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were thrilled by the wording and said “It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history.” Rather than being scolded and embarrassed, Omar emerged as a proud victor.
The shocking matter of these statements is that they all come from one party – Democrats – home to the majority of Jewish votes for over 100 years. At least for now. The Orthodox movement has already shifted to 75% voting Republican according to Pew Research, and with the current alt-left movement away from basic protections from Jew hatred, more Jews may leave the Democratic party.
The office of the United Nations Secretary General has a template for how it responds to acts of terrorism. The thrust of the official statements has four parts, modified for the particular event or based on the attitude of the crime:
Condemnation. The act may be called an “attack” or “terrorism” which the head of the UN either “condemns” or “strongly condemns”
Condolences. Connecting with the impacted victims, the UNSC would offer “deep condolences” or “sympathies”
Demand for Justice. The statement would call for the perpetrators of the crime to be captured and punished
Solidarity. Lastly, the leader of the global body would express solidarity with the people of the nation. If it was a community of faith that was attacked, the language might change slightly or be omitted
This format has been used consistently with few exceptions. Well, it actually doesn’t apply to the Jewish State or even for Jews.
Here are some quotes from the United Nations Secretary General after attacks against civilians around the world:
Nigeria January 10, 2022: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the appalling attacks perpetrated over the weekend in Nigeria’s Zamfara State in which scores of civilians were killed. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The Secretary-General urges the Nigerian authorities to spare no effort in bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice. The Secretary-General reaffirms the solidarity and support of the United Nations to the Government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.“
Somalia November 26, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns yesterday’s deadly terrorist attack on a United Nations-affiliated convoy in front of the Mucassar School in Mogadishu, resulting in many casualties. The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a swift recovery to those injured. He calls on the Somali authorities to bring those responsible to justice. The Secretary-General expresses the full solidarity and support of the United Nations with the Government and the people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.“
Uganda November 16, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Uganda on 16 November. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these despicable acts of violence and wishes a full recovery to those injured. The United Nations expresses its hope that all persons involved in the commission of these attacks will be swiftly brought to justice.”
Tunisia, Kuwait and France June 26, 2015: “The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France today. Those responsible for these appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice. The Secretary-General affirms that, far from weakening the international community’s resolve to fight the scourge of terrorism, these heinous attacks will only strengthen the commitment of the United Nations to help defeat those bent on murder, destruction and the annihilation of human development and culture. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of those killed and injured in today’s attacks and expresses his solidarity with the peoples and Governments of Tunisia, Kuwait and France.“
In cases where the attack happened against a house of worship, the format is generally the same with slight tweaks:
Mosque in Afghanistan October 15, 2021: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the despicable attack today on the Imam Baragah mosque in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. The Secretary General expresses his deep condolences to the bereaved families and wishes those injured a quick recovery. The perpetrators of this latest crime against civilians in Afghanistan exercising their right to freely practice their religion must be brought to justice.”
Mosques in New Zealand March 15, 2019: “The Secretary-General is shocked and appalled at the terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. He extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of New Zealand. The Secretary General recalls the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship. He calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community. The Secretary-General reiterates the urgency of working better together globally to counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism in all its forms.“
Church in Philippines January 27, 2019: “The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack on 27 January at the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu in the Philippines. He expresses his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded. The Secretary-General calls for the perpetrators of these crimes to be swiftly brought to justice. He reiterates the support of the United Nations to the Government and people of the Philippines in their efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism, and to carry forward the peace process in Bangsamoro region.“
Church in Pakistan December 18, 2017: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack on a Methodist church in Quetta, Pakistan. He extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes speedy recovery to those injured. He calls for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.“
The Secretary General treated each attack roughly the same.
But the sentiment changed for attacks against Israel and Jews.
Jerusalem January 9, 2017: “The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack by a Palestinian assailant which took place in Jerusalem yesterday. He conveys his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a swift recovery to those who were injured. Violence and terror will not bring a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — quite the opposite. All those responsible for such acts must be brought to justice, condemned and disavowed. Their acts should not be allowed to deter from the need for a renewed commitment to dialogue.“
The call by UNSG Antonio Guterres for the Arab terrorists to be brought justice was an outlier.
Tel Aviv June 8, 2016: “The Secretary-General condemns tonight’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in which at least four Israelis were killed by Palestinian assailants and another four injured. He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Israel. The Secretary-General reiterates that there is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts. The Secretary-General is shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it. He calls upon the Palestinian leadership to live up to their responsibility to stand firmly against violence and the incitement that fuels it.”
How can anyone be shocked that Hamas celebrates attacks when its entire mission is about killing Jews and destroying Israel?
Synagogue if Pittsburgh October 27, 2018: “The Secretary-General is deeply shocked at and strongly condemns the shooting today at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh in the United States. He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims. The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism. Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century. The Secretary-General calls for a united front — bringing together authorities at all levels, civil society, religious and community leaders and the public at large — to roll back the forces of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and xenophobia gaining strength in many parts of the world.“
Where is the call to bring the perpetrator to justice? Why wasn’t there an expression of solidarity with Jews specifically – not lumping them in with other groups?
Synagogue in Jerusalem November 18, 2014: “The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem which claimed four lives and injured several persons. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. Beyond today’s reprehensible incident, clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces continue on a near daily basis in many parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Secretary-General condemns all acts of violence against civilians. Attacks against religious sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank point to an additional dangerous dimension to the conflict which reverberates far beyond the region. The Secretary-General calls for political leadership and courage on both sides to take actions to address the very tense situation in Jerusalem. All sides must avoid using provocative rhetoric which only encourages extremist elements. In this regard, the Secretary-General welcomes President Abbas’ condemnation of today’s attack. The steadily worsening situation on the ground only reinforces the imperative for leaders on both sides to make the difficult decisions that will promote stability and ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians.“
This is outrageous. Four rabbis were slaughtered with meat cleavers while they prayed in a synagogue and the UN Secretary General used the opportunity to berate Israel. Not only did he not call for the Arab terrorists to be brought to justice, the UNSG PRAISED the leader of the Palestinian Authority who was then going to reward the terrorist families with funds for life.
Anti-Semitism is the oldest and most popular form of hatred, and the Jewish State of Israel suffers more terrorist attacks than any other country. Yet, the United Nations is seemingly incapable of unambiguously condemning the vile hatred and attacks. If the head of the United Nations cannot stand in solidarity with Jews and demand that anti-Semitic terrorists be brought to justice, it is time for Israel to consider leaving the global body and manage its affairs only on a bilateral basis with countries of conscience.
Palestinian Arabs have a long history of instilling their hatred of Jews and Israelis into their children.
Palestinian Arabs are by far the most anti-Semitic adults, with an astounding 93% – almost every single adult – hating Jews. For years, they have been passing on their hatred by naming schools, public squares and tournaments after terrorists who kill Jews. The textbooks used in classrooms are replete with horrific depictions of Jews and Israelis. The political-terrorist group Hamas which runs the terrorist enclave of Gaza runs summer camps teaching children how to kill Israelis.
The lifeblood of Palestinian Jew-hatred has a companion, and that is the love of killing Jews.
Consider the Christmas cartoon published by a virulently anti-Zionist Socialist extremist site called Mondoweiss. They showed Santa wearing a kaffiyeh, running amidst burning tires and pelting Israeli soldiers with coal.
This is the message of joy for children – violence. Happiness isn’t peaceful coexistence but routing Jews.
College campuses have become extremely hostile places for Jews. The spike in anti-Semitic actions and anti-Israel vitriol spewed by both teachers and students are forcing many Jewish students and their parents to seek a course that is both safe and rewarding.
Those concerns and desire to find a blueprint forward brought fifty people to a Westchester synagogue to hear from two notable speakers.
On December 13, 2021, Tikvah’s Jewish Parents Forum presented a panel on “Raising Courageous Jews: A Guide Through the Cultural Minefield” at the Young Israel of Scarsdale. The group dedicated to “Preserving Jewish, Zionist, and American Values for the Rising Generation,” featured Jonathan Silver, Editor of Mosaic, and Liel Leibovitz, a Senior Writer for Tablet.
After Silver’s opening remarks, Leibovitz took the podium and essentially offered the audience his “Get Out” advice which he summarized in four points:
Jewish institutions won’t save you; the forces of culture are too great
Know who your friends are; it is now the moment to choose sides
‘Do’ Jewish. Membership cards are meaningless; one needs deep engagement in Jewish life
Stop going to the expensive universities which despise your values
The approach made many in the audience uneasy. Several were the products of Columbia University (like Leibovitz) and other well-regarded institutions and hoped that they would hear methods for giving their children courage to stand for their Jewish values and the Jewish State. Instead, Leibovitz asked for the parents to have the courage to buck their instincts and send their kids elsewhere – or nowhere.
Silver seemed a bit uncomfortable with the suggestion as well, but for a different reason. Tikvah is dedicated to “bringing Jewish thinking and leaders into conversation with Western political, moral, and economic thought,” not to flee from the conversation.
So let me offer some of my own thoughts here which will be expounded upon in future articles in the FirstOneThrough blog and elsewhere where the articles are openly shared.
I start with a quote from a hero of Roger Hertog, the president of Tikvah, Winston Churchill:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Success and failure come-and-go, rise-and-fall like a spinning wheel, but courage is the engine that keeps propelling people forward through the various ups-and-downs. If we want to raise courageous Jews who will not break with Jewish values and the Jewish State, we need to give them life skills that will allow them to flourish in the good times, sustain them in the difficult times and a desire to stay on the path.
Asking a child to be a proud Jew and supportive of the Jewish State begins with instilling those values from a young age. Starting the conversation in the senior year of high school or once they’ve entered university is oftentimes too late.
Children are sponges and learn behavior from watching. When they are brought up appreciating Israel and Judaism and see that their family actively engages in the great aspects of the religion and peoplehood and stands up to fight and defend Jews, Judaism and Israel, their instincts are already trained.
Belong to a synagogue and attend classes
Donate to Jewish causes
Write to government officials and the media when anti-Semitic and anti-Israel articles are posted
Talk about Israel and Judaism at the dinner table
Attend seminars both on education and political matters
Vote in elections
Bring your children to protests
Be involved in Jewish activities at your children’s school
Education and Conviction
It is much easier to have courage when one has conviction about the cause.
Sending children to Jewish schools and camps is a critical way to make them appreciate their history, culture, religion and the remarkable nature of the Jewish State. Being in Israel with peers is a wonderful way to connect with Jewish history, such as made available from Birthright Israel.
College campuses tend to be much more liberal than society at large. Liberals’ focus on empathy drives them to support those perceived as weaker and more vulnerable. Pro-Palestinian supporters have leaned into this theme to draw progressives to their cause. Young adults need to understand that Israel is the most liberal country for over 1,000 miles in any direction, as it lays the foundation for deeper engagement.
Our educational system needs a different approach for discussing Zionism, doing so via teaching critical thinking, critical listening and engaging narratives. That is a longer discussion for another article.
Recognize Audience / Be a Critical Listener
Today’s mainstream media is growing ever more hostile about Israel. The media has normalized an anti-Zionist lexicon that is also increasingly anti-Jewish. Understanding language and the forum is critical for knowing how and when to show courage.
There was a time when society at large resembled a bell curve. Most people sat in the middle on particular issues and there were fewer people on the extremes of right and left. Social media and the death of news in favor of editorials have now magnified those margins. In the beginning, it just appeared that the fringe was large as they were loud. Unfortunately, society continues to move towards a barbell shape with people and politicians in the middle lurching to more openly radical positions.
On campuses in particular, students are being asked to take sides on issues which they may or may not have any vested interest or real concern. Leaders, followers and participants now show up at rallies in calls for “allyship,” the comfort of belonging, or simply classic peer pressure. While they may look like a menacing horde, they are still individuals.
Courage requires intelligence. It does not mean taking on every situation in the same way, responding to every action or to every person in the same manner. It is important to help our young adults listen critically to their classmates and distinguish between those groups and individuals that should be engaged in conversation and those that should be confronted aggressively, both directly and indirectly.
The anti-Semites and anti-Zionists have playbooks which are being shared in universities around the world. They include: “die-ins” and “apartheid weeks”; boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolutions; keeping Jews and Jewish organizations out of school clubs and student government; taking over Middle East Studies departments with anti-Zionist lecturers; anti-Israel and anti-Semitic speakers on campus; etc. These are the manifestations that make campuses feel unwelcoming to Jews which showcase the animus towards the “Chosen People” and God’s “Promised Land.”
It can be very overwhelming to young adults who are simply looking for a quality education and a nice time on campus to deal with such organized hate. Fortunately, there are groups who can help students understand that they are not alone in confronting the mob. It is easier to be courageous with company.
College groups like Students Supporting Israel are springing up on various campuses. StandWithUs gives students materials and information to stand up to misinformation and malicious activities. Fuel for Truth focuses on pro-Israel education for young adults. Club Z is helping train teens to be articulate proactive Zionist leaders. Hillel provides students a Jewish experience on campus. The Louis Brandies Center helps students understand their legal rights when confronting abuse. Students should visit these institutions on a regular basis and not be reactive to negative events on campus.
Each organization uses a variety of approaches in combatting the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel venom. An example may be handing out notices in front of the “apartheid wall” exhibit, about Neta Sorek, an Israeli teacher and feminist who was a strong supporter of making peace with Palestinian Arabs. She was slaughtered while walking in a monastery garden by two Palestinian men who slipped through that “apartheid wall.”
Of course, there’s always the excellent choice of attending Yeshiva University, a proudly Jewish and Zionist university, among the top ranked universities, where the demand to be courageous for Jewish values and the Jewish State is commonplace.
It is a sad state of affairs that one has to talk about the courage required to be Jewish and a proud Zionist on college campuses today. We must prepare our children appropriately, and support those organizations which stand with them in these critical and volatile years.
One of Israel’s leading critics in congress is Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) who uses the battering ram of “defending Palestinian children” to portray Israel as an offensive abuser of human rights. The foundation of her view of Israel is her belief that Israel has stolen land belonging to Arabs.
While McCollum didn’t utter a word about Hamas’s barrage of missiles against Israeli civilians in the summer of 2014, nor the killing of three Israeli teenagers which sparked the war, nor the Hamas Charter which blames Jews for all the world’s ills thus marking them for death, she did begin to find her voice regarding her view of the region a year later. In 2015, she berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing the Iranian nuclear plan, and in 2016, she admonished Israelis living in Area C of the West Bank. She then applauded the Obama Administration’s decision to allow UN Security Council Resolution 2334 to pass, making those Israeli homes illegal. On January 9, 2017 she offered the following:
“[telling hard truths] is particularly true when it comes to the issue of illegal Israeli settlement expansion. This policy is one of the most serious obstacles to achieving a two-state solution, the only viable avenue to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It has long been the bipartisan policy of U.S. administrations to oppose settlement expansion on land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war precisely because these settlements diminish the prospects of reaching a two-state solution and are not essential to Israel’s security.“
The quote above is full of factual inaccuracies, inane predictions and false beliefs. They each deserve to be unpacked as McCollum is likely not alone in these feelings.
“land belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war”
This statement is full of problems:
No sovereign Palestine. The land was not “Palestinian” as there was no “Palestine” before the 1967 war. The area commonly called the “West Bank” was annexed by Jordan in 1950. All of those “Palestinians” received Jordanian citizenship in 1954, as long as they weren’t Jewish (clause 3 spelled that anti-Semitic dynamic clearly). It is only because of the Oslo Accord signed by the newly created Palestinian Authority and Israel that there is some self-rule by Palestinians today. Roughly 86% of West Bank Arabs live in Areas A and B under Palestinian control and 100% of the Arabs in Gaza live under Palestinian control. There are about 14% of West Bank Arabs living in Area C under Israeli control – all post the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s.
The dividing line was never a border. When the Jordanians and Israelis reached a ceasefire at the end of the 1948-9 war, the frontier for the “land belonging to Palestinians” was defined by the 1949 Armistice Lines. The ceasefire agreement specifically stated that the line is “without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines,” meaning that they were never considered to be a border. Therefore, not only was the land up to the 1949 Armistice Line not under Palestinian sovereignty, the border was never defined. A final resolution could be just half of the area thought of as the West Bank, or the border configuration put forward under President Trump.
Individual ownership then and now. As described above, the land was not under the sovereignty of Palestine in 1967 but there were individual Arabs who owned land. Arabs owned and continue to own property in Israel too. Arabs under Palestinian rule today, and the 14% of Arabs who live in Area C also owned and continue to own homes. That hasn’t changed, but Jews who had owned land in the “West Bank” and eastern Jerusalem before 1967 had it seized by the Jordanians, so Jewish property now appears as something novel. Jews and Arabs each own property on an individual basis in both Israel and the West Bank, and property rights have remained intact, as long as people are able to show valid documents.
International law prohibits banning people based on religion. When the League of Nations gave the British the Mandate for Palestine which was a single territorial unit but now considered to be Gaza, Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, Article 15 specifically stated that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” The idea that UNSC Resolution 2334 can call an Israeli Jew living in Area C as “illegal” but can call an Israeli Arab living in Jerusalem as legal is a violation of human rights, international law and blatantly anti-Semitic.
International law encouraged Jewish immigration throughout Palestine. Article 6 in the same Palestine Mandate called for Britain to “facilitate Jewish immigration… and… close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” International law considered the land not privately owned by Arabs to be designated for Jewish purposes.
When McCollum discusses “land belonging to Palestinians” she might be talking about individual Arab property which was and remains the same before and after Jordan attacked Israel in June 1967. But by adding the clause “before the 1967 war,” McCollum is seemingly implying that there was Palestinian sovereignty over discrete land with defined borders. There is absolutely no truth for any such characterization.
Rep. Betty McCollum’s entire basis for approaching the Arab-Israel Conflict is incorrect, illogical and based on a Palestinian narrative that rejects coexistence with Jews.
Israeli “settlement expansion” was legal as described above, UNTIL the passage of UNSC Resolution 2334 in December 2016. McCollum used twisted logic to defend enabling the passage of a law labeling Israeli homes as illegal by saying that they were illegal. But they weren’t illegal before the resolution! One can use similar logic by passing a law that makes owning a gun illegal and then defending the law by saying of course it’s illegal because it’s illegal! The fact is it was legal before the new law’s passage.
“most serious obstacles”
McCollum stated that Jewish families living in a section of the West Bank is one of the “most serious obstacles” to peace. More than Arab terrorism and incitement to murder. More than rampant Palestinian anti-Semitism. More than the Arab belief that Jews have no rights or connection or history living in the land.
To believe such nonsense, one must have adopted the Palestinian narrative whole OR simply want to grant the Palestinians their wish to have a country devoid of any Jews.
I will agree that Jews living in Judea and Samaria are an obstacle to a particular formulation of a two state solution – one preferred by Palestinians and others who want to limit where Jews can live. But that formulation is inherently anti-Semitic and a pathway to ensure that there will never be an enduring peace.
“not essential to Israel’s security”
A congresswoman from the United States told a country which is 444 times smaller than it, which has three times as many neighbors – several of which have refused to acknowledge its existence and have been in a constant state of war – that it has a good handle on what is and is not essential for the small country’s security.
No country in the world puts its capital city nor its largest city on a border, let alone with a neighbor which has constantly fought against its fundamental existence. If McCollum was truly concerned about Israel’s security, she would endorse Israel’s annexation of the area known as E1 east of Jerusalem all of the way to Maale Adumim, rather than state that Israel should divide its capital and largest city in two.
Rep. McCollum’s basis for approaching the Arab-Israel conflict is incorrect and illogical. It is perhaps not surprising that she tries to advance “soft” resolutions about protecting Palestinian children, hoping to avoid discussing her dangerous and false anti-Israel narrative.
Last month, nine members of congress voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome defensive shield which had been severely depleted after the Palestinian political-terrorist group HAMAS fired thousands of rockets at Israeli cities and towns in May 2021. Fortunately, those congresspeople were in the minority, as the majority still supports Israel.
It should not come as a surprise that J Street, the pro-Palestinian group that markets itself as Pro-Israel, backed many of those anti-Israel politicians via their funding and endorsement arm, JStreetPAC:
Backed by jstreet
Cori Bush (D-MO)
Andre Carson (D-IN)
Chuy Garcia (D-IL)
Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Marie Newman (D-IL)
Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)
Nine members of the U.S. congress voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome after the latest missile barrage from HAMAS, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.
Half of the members of congress (4 of 8, excluding the sole Republican as J Street is a far-left group that only backs Democrats) who voted against Israel’s defensive protection against Palestinian missiles were backed by J Street.
Another J Street-backed congressman, Mark Pocan (D-WI) who voted in favor of funding Iron Dome, joined Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in introducing legislation to block the sale of $735 million of weapons to Israel in May while Israel was under attack.
Pocan had been vocal about backing the Gazans hell-bent on killing Israelis a year earlier.
Pocan penned a letter together with another anti-Israel J Street-backed congresswoman Debbie Dingel (D-MI) to the Secretary of State in February 2020 seeking funds for Hamas-led Gaza which had repeatedly waged wars against Israel. That letter was sent shortly after a Palestinian poll which showed 75.1% of Gazans were in favor of armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside of Israel (question 67). The Pocan/Dingel letter was co-signed by a long list of J Street-sponsored politicians including: Don Beyer(D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), André Carson (D-IN), Judy Chu (D-CA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Peter A. Defazio (D-OR), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Chuy” García, Raúl Grijalva, Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-CA), Hank Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Gwen S. Moore (D-WI), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ), David E. Price (D-NC),Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Peter Welch (D-VT). Twenty-five of the 31 cosigners (81%) were endorsed by J Street.
J Street backs politicians that vote against Israel, as it is consistent with J Street’s priorities:
J Street is spending over $10 million a year to promote its anti-Israel agenda on college campuses and the halls of congress and many millions of dollars more to get anti-Israel politicians elected. Its insidious lobbying is directly emboldening the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic communities.