Conditional U.S. Support in The Middle East

In late 2019, some Democratic candidates for president stated that they would condition American support for Israel with Israel’s behavior regarding Palestinian Arabs. Former Vice President Joe Biden considered the suggestion made by Senator Bernie Sanders (as well as Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg) to be “bizarre.”

Biden seemed to further cement his position of not compromising on military aid to Israel in a recorded message to an AIPAC conference on March 1, 2020 when he reiterated that “I will never boycott [Israel]…. Israel must be able to defend itself. It’s not just critical for Israel’s security, I believe it is critical for America’s security.

As Biden tries to court the Sanders supporters who are highly critical of Israel, it remains to be seen how far Biden will tilt towards the anti-Israel stance of Team Sanders who demand a boycott of Jewish homes and businesses east of the Green Line and funneling Israeli military aid towards rebuilding Gaza.

To appreciate the “bizarre” Sanders conditional approach to Israel, consider America’s approach to the Middle East overall.

American Blood

The United States has thousands of troops deployed throughout the Persian Gulf.

Country U.S. Troops Operations
Bahrain 5,000 Headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT)
Qatar 10,000 Home to the Al Udeid Air Base, which includes the forward headquarters of U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT)
Saudi Arabia 2,500 Prince Sultan Air Base
Kuwait 14,500 U.S. uses Camp Arifjan, Camp Buehring, Ali Al Salem Air Field and the naval base Camp Patriot
Iraq 6,000 Remaining troops after Operation Inherent Resolve to fight ISIS
Oman 600 Relatively small footprint
UAE 5,500 Al Dhafra Air Base hosts several U.S. fighter, attack and reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

There are over 225,000 U.S. troops stationed abroad but the United States has no permanent base in Israel and no troops are stationed there. Based on the shared principles of democracy and trust, the United States relies on Israel as a partner in the region and supplies it military aid to defend itself.

The figures of American dead and wounded reflect these facts. The data below is from October 2001 to April 18, 2020 from the U.S. Department of Defense:

Military Operation  Killed   Wounded 
Iraqi Freedom             4,431             31,994
New Dawn (Afghanistan)                  74                  298
Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)             2,353             20,149
Inherent Resolve (ISIS)                  96                  224
Freedom’s Sentinel (Afghanistan)                  92                  570
            7,046             53,235

No Americans have died protecting Israel.

In June 1996, a truck bombing killed 19 Americans at the Khobar Towers barracks near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.Credit…U.S. Navy, via Associated Press

Treasure

The United States spent roughly $2 trillion to fight wars in Iraq and has spent over $2.5 trillion fighting in Afghanistan. It has spent tens of billions of dollars maintaining its various bases throughout the Persian Gulf and supporting and protecting the Arab and Muslim Persian Gulf countries.

In Egypt, the United States has provided over $40 billion in military aid and $30 billion in economic assistance since 1980. The United States also provides over $1 billion of aid to Jordan every year, in addition to billions of dollars of loan guarantees.

In total, the United States has spent roughly $5 trillion since 2001 on countries in the Middle East, excluding Israel. Almost all of that money has been expenses to stabilize failing regimes and protect U.S. interests. There has been almost no investment in technology development to advance the U.S. military.

However, when it comes to Israel, the United States has benefited from an INVESTMENT in a close ally. As described by the U.S. State Department,

“Israel has long been, and remains, America’s most reliable partner in the Middle East. Israel and the United States are bound closely by historic and cultural ties as well as by mutual interests.”

The U.S. gives Israel over $3 billion per year in military assistance, much of which is spent procuring American products. Israel shares the technological advancements that it develops to enhance America’s military capabilities. In total, the U.S. has given Israel roughly 1/80th of the funds it has spent on the rest of the Middle East, while receiving over 80 times the benefits in technological advancement.

Conditionality

The United States has spent $5 trillion this century on Middle Eastern countries that do not share American values, yet the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been mum.

Saudi Arabia, a major trading partner, executes minors – in public. It kills people for basic human rights like converting religion. It executes men for engaging in homosexual sex (it only beats woman who are lesbians). Women are forbidden to drive and cannot leave the house without a male escort or approval.

No one seems to care.

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also have a death penalty for apostasy, converting from Islam. Kuwait, Oman and the UAE have capital punishment for people dealing in drugs. The Palestinian Authority has capital punishment for Arabs who sell land to Jews.

Yet there have been no calls from Sanders or other Democratic Socialists to condition aid to these countries which KILL people for basic human rights. There are over 70 countries – mostly Arab and Muslim – which consider homosexuality a crime, and there is not a peep about placing any conditions on trade and assistance.

The singling out of Israel for allowing a basic human right of a family living in a home and protecting itself from missiles is both hypocritical and antisemitic. Threatening to withhold or divert military aid to Israel which directly benefits American security interests while saying nothing to spending 80 times as much on Arab and Muslim countries is insane. And putting thousands of American lives in danger for backwards regimes while denying Israel the ability to protect Israeli and American interests with ITS OWN SOLDIERS is outright un-American.

Team Sanders and the Democratic Socialists of America including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib should not be allowed on any foreign policy committee or have any hand in crafting the Democratic Platform. They are dangers to America on multiple levels.


Related First One Through articles:

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Bernie Sanders is Less Sophisticated Than Forrest Gump

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

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To Serve Jews, United Nations Style

In 1962, the television show The Twilight Zone aired a show called “To Serve Man.” The show featured aliens arriving at the United Nations in New York City who presented themselves as saviors who would bring forth a new era of peace and prosperity for mankind, ending starvation and wars on Earth. Their proposal was greeted warmly, and their manifesto, “To Serve Man,” was understood as a friendly call to service mankind. Only as humans alighted the alien spacecraft to embark on a mission of bi-planet relations, was it revealed that their manifesto was actually a cookbook and humans were on the alien menu.

The friendly face of the United Nations itself is such an alien creature, whose stated mission to service is limited to its authoritarian masses, while it places Jews and the Jewish State in its cross-hairs for devouring.

The United Nations in New York City

The UN was formed at the end of World War II as an outgrowth of the League of Nations. Its new mission was more aggressive than its predecessor, and sought to ensure human rights and promote coexistence as a reaction to the terrible global war and genocide of Jews. But the years after 1945 witnessed the emergence of dictatorships, monarchies and authoritarian regimes around the world which joined the UN, changing its mission to a distorted notion of human rights and decency.

The sole Jewish State became the most targeted country by the United Nations. The various UN agencies advanced specific standing items which called out Israel. So it was a regular day at the UN when the General Assembly passed a resolution in 1975 that equated the national aspiration of Jews as uniquely detestable, with the Zionism is Racism resolution. It was more of the same when the UN Security Counsel declared in 2016 that no Israeli Jews should be allowed to live east of the 1949 Armistice Lines.

The hunger for Jews continued in February 2020, as the antisemitic UN added to its menu, featuring not only Jews but also companies that service Jews.

A February 12, 2020 report to the UN Office of Human Rights listed 112 companies which are “involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” A total of 94 companies are Israeli and the balance are headquartered in six other countries including the United States. American companies listed include Expedia, Trip Advisor and Airbnb.

So imagine the following scenario: an Israeli Jew and and Israeli Arab who both live in the Israeli city of Jaffa decide to move to the Old City of Jerusalem. The United Nations brands the Israeli Jew as an illegal settler, but not the Israeli Arab. When each of them decides to rent a room in their apartment on Airbnb, the action of the Jew is considered a grave human rights issue, but not when the Arab uses the Airbnb service.

This backward Taliban mentality has become a core of the UN, as anti-Zionism fervor has characterized the reestablishment of the Jewish State as an appalling injustice which must be righted by serving it up whole to its rightful Arab owners.


In 1945, Jews welcomed the creation of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In theory and in hope, the new world order was designed to protect everyone including Jews who would be guaranteed the right to own property (Article 17) and pray at Judaism’s holy sites (Article 18). At inception, the UN seemed to be an organization meant to service all of mankind, but like an episode of the Twilight Zone, the UN blueprint became a recipe book to devour Jews, the Jewish State and any person or organization who services Jews.


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The Anti-Israel Community in a Jewish House of Worship

On November 26, 2019, a progressive Reform Temple in Westchester County, New York brought together a collection of people from the far-left and anti-Israel community to talk about the situation in “Israel/Palestine.” The discussion was civil and disappointing.

The Israel Action Committee of the Temple Israel of New Rochelle put together the event with “Friends of Mossawa,” an organization based in Tarrytown, NY which claims to fight for equality in Israel, and the United Nations, an organization which claims to be a unifying agency for people all over the world. As the evening demonstrated, what unites these parties is their strong distaste for Israel.

The speakers included Laura Wharton, a left-wing, anti-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu member of Jerusalem’s City Council; Rana Abu Farha, a host on the Palestinian run Ma’an 24 news show; and Hanan Al Sanah, a representative of an NGO in the Negev which advocates for Bedouin women. It was moderated by Paul Warhit, President of the Westchester Jewish Council.

Hanan Al Sanah, Rana Abu Farha, Laura Wharton and Paul Warhit at TINR
November 26, 2019
From the outset, the tone of the two hour evening discussion was clearly not going to follow the script as laid out in the invitationThe Lived Reality in Israel and the Palestinian Territory: Current Political Developments and the Prospects for a Peaceful Settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” The members of the TINR clergy and Israel Action Committee who welcomed the fifty-person audience repeatedly referred to “Israel/Palestine,” and not the “Palestinian Territory,” upgrading the PA-ruled lands to an actual country. They also noted that one of the evenings invited speakers, Ali Ghaith, an “activist and freelance journalist” was not able to attend as he had recently written a negative piece about Netanyahu and was therefore not able to get a travel visa from Israel. Various people in the audience booed Israel’s actions.

The Left-Wing Israeli Politician

Wharton began the discussion stating that she has “complete solidarity with the Palestinian people” and would state later that she is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. Her comments during the evening really only proved the latter.

Even though she serves as a member of the Jerusalem’s City Council, she was woefully ignorant of the city’s composition stating that only about 2,000 Jews live in “East Jerusalem,” even though the actual number is over 200,000 in the eastern part of the city.

Wharton was particularly worried about mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. She said that it was “worrisome that more Israelis are moving into Palestinian neighborhoods,” especially right-wing Israelis. She said that Jerusalem will ultimately need to be divided as part of a peace agreement and the Jewish presence among the Palestinians made that separation harder. She voiced her belief that the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall should remain in Israeli hands, but the balance of East Jerusalem should be part of Palestine, with Christian holy places under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Wharton believed that the problems in Jerusalem paled relative to the West Bank. She commented that the settlements are illegal by international law and many are also illegal under Israeli law. She believed that all of the settlements complicated matters significantly by placing Jewish towns alongside Arab towns. Neither she nor the moderator chose to mention how Jews and Arabs get along just fine in Haifa, the headquarters of Mossawa.

Wharton ended her remarks by stating that she supported the B.D.S. movement of Israeli goods made in the West Bank but urged people in the audience to not boycott Israel in its entirety, as it silenced the voices of the dovish Israelis like herself and gave ammunition to the right-wing.

The Anti-Israel Palestinian Newscaster

Rana made Laura’s pro-B.D.S. comments look tame.

She decried the “occupation” throughout her remarks, stating that the over 130 Israeli settlements consisting of 1 million Jews pushed 2.5 million Palestinians to live in “ghettos.” (The actual number of Jews in the West Bank is half that number). She said that Netanyahu went to war in Gaza the other week because he feared he was losing the election so thought it would help to kill Arab civilians to excite the Israeli public. She added that the entire notion that Israel is democratic is a joke, and that it just holds election as a marketing ploy to the western world that it shares democratic ideals when it is really just a racist colonial occupier. The moderator chose not to push back aggressively on these libels.

The Palestinian newscaster went on that she thought that every single settler must leave the West Bank and that all 6 million Palestinian refugees (there are actually 5.5 million registered with UNRWA) should be allowed to move to Israel. When asked by Warhit how Israel could possibly allow 6 million Arabs into the country to overwhelm the Jews, she simply stated that “it’s their land so it’s their choice.” The members of the UN and Friends of Mossawa who sat in the audience grunted their approval. Warhit could only summon that he appreciated her position about getting rid of the settlements but could not imagine Israel allowing 6 million Arabs into the country. The TINR organizer of the event admonished Warhit to not share his opinion and just get the panel talking.

The Bedouin Arab

Compared to the other people on stage, Hanan was actually quite good, even while her English was the weakest. She said that she considered herself an Israeli but was frustrated by the country’s lack of investment in the Bedouin community and Israel’s refusal to allow them to live in their traditional lifestyle. At the same time, she acknowledged that she was also frustrated by her own Bedouin traditional lifestyle that kept women illiterate and as second-class citizens. She was advocating for change in the Bedouin culture to empower women, but for more of the traditional status quo from the Israelis to not force them to move into conventional cities.

End Points

The Q&A at the end of the panel discussion was mostly a repeat of prior comments. When asked about the Palestinian and left-wing Israeli poll in the summer of 2018 that showed that almost all Israeli Arabs were in favor of capping the number of refugees coming to Israel and in favor of Israel’s Nation State Law, the denials began to flow.

The questioner was first directed by the panelists to call Israeli Arabs as “Palestinian Citizens of Israel” and told that the poll figures must be wrong. Both Laura and Rana mentioned the huge protests in the streets after the Knesset passed the law which undermined the poll’s statistics. Wharton considered the poll’s point of Israeli Arabs wanting to cap refugees as perhaps stemming from Palestinian Arab viewpoint of Israeli Arabs as collaborators with Israel while they suffered in refugee camps. Rana effectively ignored the question and repeated that all of the Palestinians have a natural right to return to their homes (or more accurately, grandparents’ homes).

At program’s end, when Rana was asked how many Jews she thought could live in a Palestinian State, she repeated that every settlement had to be removed. Pushed further if she would accept a situation in which every Israeli soldier left the land, and every Jewish civilian in the West Bank opted to become a Palestinian citizen, she reiterated her stance that no settlers could remain. When challenged as to why she would take such an antisemitic stance to forbid any Jew from living in a Palestinian State, the organizer of the event from TINR jumped in and said “don’t put words in her mouth” and then tried to escort her out of the room.


Temple Israel of New Rochelle is proud of its progressive bona fides. Its rabbi serves on the board of J Street (a left-wing Israel advocacy group), Planned Parenthood, and Rabbis for Human Rights. It was therefore not surprising to see such a progressive organization give a warm welcome to people advocating for a boycott of Jews in the West Bank, expulsion of all the Jews living there, and changing Israel into a bi-national state. Such is the state of progressive views about Israel today.


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Omar and Tlaib’s Antisemitic B.D.S.

Two members of congress, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were denied entry into Israel in August 2019 because of their work advocating for an economic war against Israel, called B.D.S. for boycott, divest and sanction. The two contend that their motives are noble in that they just seek to exercise their freedom of expression and speech to pressure Israel to improve the rights of Palestinian Arabs. In response to being rejected by Israel, they are now seeking to cut U.S. economic aid to Israel. It seems that haters of Israel can always find an excuse for B.D.S., including hurt pride.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar hold press conference on the ban preventing them from traveling to Israel, Aug. 18, 2019, in St Paul, Minn.

These two congresspeople have been openly hostile to Israel for many years. The question being discussed is whether these two women and the B.D.S. movement are really about real or perceived actions of Israel OR pure antisemitism.

The Sole Jewish State.
There is only one Jewish state, a situation very dissimilar to the dozens of Christian and Muslim countries. Boycotting Israel is therefore an attack on every Jewish state. One could perhaps not be so cynical about the two Muslim women’s motives if they were targeting only one out of ten Jewish states, similar to President Trump’s temporary travel ban on 10% of the Muslim-majority countries because of their poor security controls. But these same women gave no allowance to Trump and said he was singling denying entry to Muslims in a “hateful” assault. So, one can draw a conclusion that these women are driven by their own “hateful” ideology, persecuting 100% of the Jewish countries, not just 10 percent of them.

Relying on Prior Comments
Omar had no compunction calling out Trump’s travel ban because of the prior comments he had made about Muslims and Islam. Yet she cannot understand people viewing her attacks on Israel through the prism of her repeated negative comments about Jews. She says that “Islamophobia and antisemitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin,” but the reality is people see her and Trump as two similar bigoted talking heads.

Outrageous Claims
The B.D.S. movement which Tlaib proudly supports, makes wildly false and inflammatory claims about Israel. It openly uses terms like “apartheid,” “settler colonialism” and “ethnic cleansing” in vile libels which not only have no basis in fact, but are incendiary comments designed to rile up people to actively attack the Jewish state.

  • Israel Welcomes non-Jews While the Muslim Countries Practice Antisemitism
    The “ethnic cleansing” attack on Israel is an inversion of facts. At Israel’s founding it welcomed 160,000 non-Jews as citizens, while at the same time, Jordan expelled every Jew from the land it seized from Israel and specifically denied any Jew citizenship. Fellow Arab and Muslim countries followed suit and evicted one million Jews between the 1930’s and 1960’s. Today, there are 100 times the number of Arabs living inside Israel as there are Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries. Arabs in Israel are thriving. where their numbers are growing faster than the organic population of any neighboring Arab country.
  • Israeli Arabs like the Jewish State
    When Israel passed its Nation-State Law, many supporters of the B.D.S. movement claimed that it showed Israel to be a racist country. However, they ignored the polls which showed that Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly support the law, even more than Israeli Jews!
  • Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than Europe
    Israel permits people to wear hijabs and burqas, to build churches, mosques and minarets, to have halal food, perform circumcisions and use Sharia courts. Those are freedoms you cannot find in France, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Latvia or Turkey, to name a few countries.
  • Israel is the most liberal country in MENA
    The simple fact is that Israel is an open liberal democracy, with rights and protections for all people. There are Arabs in the Israeli parliament, the Supreme Court and the army. Muslims are allowed to pray at Judaism’s holiest site and can become the prime minister in the country. Those liberties are in sharp contrast to its Arab Muslim neighbors.
  • Israel is the Reestablishment of Jewish Sovereignty
    The B.D.S. claim of “colonialism” is not just a lie but antisemitic. It deliberately erases the 3,300 years of Jewish history in the land and ignores Judaism’s focus of prayer and pilgrimage to Jerusalem for millenia. It is a part of a new type of repulsive “replacement theology” in which Arabs have transformed themselves into the indigenous people in the holy land and Jews are recent invaders.

B.D.S.’s Goal is the Destruction of Israel
The founder of the B.D.S. movement, Omar Barghouti, states very clearly that his movement seeks to end the Jewish State in any configuration or size, “most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” Even long-time critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein said that the supporters of B.D.S. “don’t want Israel [to exist].”

B.D.S. Tactics are Attacks, not Protests
The tactics deployed by the B.D.S. movement are through economic and cultural warfare. Omar and Tlaib saying that they are just expressing their opinions is a far cry from reality. The movement wants universities, companies and countries to stop investing in Israel, from conducting any commerce, collaboration or trade, and to sanction it often and repeatedly. A small country like Israel would be crippled without its export/import industry.

Democratic Socialists Embrace B.D.S.
Tlaib and Omar have common cause with the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialists which have also embraced B.D.S. In doing so, they are mainstreaming the falsehoods and vilification of Israel and advancing an economic war against the Jewish State.

Pressuring Only the Jewish State in the Dispute
The two members of Congress and the B.D.S. movement claim they are seeking a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Arab conflict, but are only attacking one party, not attempting to bring them together.

  • Nominally about a Dispute or a Civil War
    The Arabs have been fighting with the Jews over the control of the land for 100 years in a long-simmering civil war. It has still not ended as neither side has claimed victory nor defeat, leaving millions of Arabs stateless. Progressive empathy is naturally drawn to the weaker party, without consideration of who is actually right or whether the fault of the terrible situation lies at the leadership of the weaker party. The alt-left and Muslim extremists either ignore or celebrate the acting-president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas calling for millions of fighters to descend on Jerusalem (1:03) and the Hamas Charter which calls for the killing of Jews and refusing to ever negotiate a peace with Israel.
  • Palestinians Have No Ability to Negotiate
    The leader of the PA’s four-year term in office ran out over a decade ago. He has no mandate to negotiate, and polls show that the Palestinians want him to resign. He also does not control Gaza, and has not been able to govern a Palestinian parliament which has 58% of the members belonging to Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization. Abbas has never shown a compromise in his negotiations with Israel and has never been able to control Hamas. Therefore, there is no logic for Israel to negotiate with a straw man who cannot deliver, and it is unfair to punish Israel for failing to reach an agreement with such counter-party.

Omar and Tlaib Refuse Visit to Israel and Schedule Visit to “Palestine”
Over forty Democratic members of Congress went to Israel in the beginning of August and met with Israelis and Palestinian Arabs in a well organized trip. But Omar and Tlaib boycotted the trip and instead decided to go on a trip to the State of “Palestine,” even though the United States does not recognize such a country. Their agenda was organized by Miftah, a group which has excused the killing of Israeli civilians.


The B.D.S. movement is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State and the nullification of Jewish history and Jewish rights, which is why the Israeli government banned entry for people affiliated with the movement. It is manifestation of Palestineism which believes the dignity of Palestinians is predicated on erasing the dignity of Jews. Omar and Tlaib are its current ugly face, but it’s in the hearts and minds of other Democratic Socialists.


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Time to Define Banning Jews From Living Somewhere as Antisemitic

The German government voted in May 2019 to officially label the boycott, divestment and sanctions (B.D.S.) of Israel movement as antisemitic.

The resolution entitled “Resisting the BDS movement decisively –fighting antisemitism,” calls on the German government to “cease providing premises and facilities under the administration of the Bundestag to organizations that use anti-Semitic terms or question Israel’s right to exist.” This marks the first time a major European parliament has defined the BDS movement as antisemitic.

It is highly appropriate for the European country which led the charge to annihilate the Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s to lead the way for curtailing the mainstreaming of Jew-hatred today. The noxious B.D.S. antisemitism is being championed by the far-left, Islamic radicals and the alt-right, so Germany’s voice in protesting the activity as it recalls its own actions during the Holocaust is a clarion call for the the world to eradicate pernicious evil at its roots.

Nazis labeling Jewish stores for boycott in 1933. An den Fenstern j¸discher Geschte werden von Nationalsozialisten Plakate mit der Aufforderung “Deutsche, wehrt euch, kauft nicht bei Juden” angebracht.

It is similarly time for the United Nations to call out the Jew-hatred in its ranks and acknowledge and label that the banning of Jews from living anywhere is antisemitic.

The UN devolved into its current antisemitic state over the decades from the 1950’s to 1970’s, as many Muslim countries hostile to the Jewish State were admitted as members, and the former Nazi Kurt Waldheim served as the leader of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981. Over Waldheim’s watch, the organization passed many anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resolutions. They included:

  • UN Resolution 3236 (1974) declaring that Palestinians have – uniquely among all people in the world – an inalienable right to sovereignty and to return to a house where an ancestor lived (even if they were just renters and lived there for a short time).
  • UN Resolution 3379 (1975) declaring “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.

The United States helped repeal UN Res. 3379 in 1991, but the absurdity of UN Res. 3236 lives on, perpetuating a simmering battle between Arabs and Jews.

The absurd resolution is matched by explicitly antisemitic resolutions, such as UN Security Council 2334 (2016). By liberally switching between the concept of “settlements” and “settlers” as well as “Israel” and “Jews,” the UN pushed forward the notion that Jews should be forbidden to live in huge swathes of their homeland, including their holiest city of Jerusalem. An Israeli Arab moving to the West Bank is considered a non-issue, while a Jew buying an apartment in the Old City of Jerusalem is considered “a flagrant violation under international law.” It’s outrageous, it’s antisemitic, and it’s considered perfectly acceptable by the UN today.

In a similar vein, the UN has refused to comment of the Palestinian Authority law which calls for the death sentence for any Arab selling land to Jews in eastern Jerusalem and all lands east of the Green Line (EGL), as the UN would rather state that the PA is a credible partner for peace. Imagine the uproar at the UN if Israel had a law which forbade Arabs from living in the country.

Perhaps, just as Germany took the lead in labeling the B.D.S. movement as antisemitic, Russia should take a leadership role in noting that the banning of Jews from owning property and living in certain areas is antisemitic, to acknowledge its role in limiting Jews to just the Pale of Settlement. Maybe the United Kingdom will admit that evicting all Jews from the city of Hebron in 1929, and from all of England in 1290 was wrong. Better still, the UK should state clearly that it fiercely objects and opposes the currently outstanding terms of the Treaty of Utecht which bans Jews from living in Gibraltar, and together with Spain which drafted the language, officially remove it.

How can we expect the world to recognize the antisemitism of BDS, when it hasn’t clearly condemned the laws which ban Jews from living in certain locations?


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

In countries that embrace both capitalism and democracy, there is an appreciation of the ability to buy any legal product from any vendor within the country and from an allied country. That freedom is under assault by radical Islamists and far-left progressives.

Full Personal Freedom to Buy/
Limits on Selling Preferences

The ability to purchase legal goods from a company in good standing from an ally is natural. It is up to the individual – say an American citizen – to choose to buy an item to his liking – perhaps Droste Chocolate from the Netherlands or an Audi automobile from Germany. People are not compelled to purchase the item either because of a preference regarding the item (maybe they don’t like the taste of Droste Chocolate) or because they have an issue with the government (not buying anything German because of the Holocaust.) The legal structure of the society enables each person to make a buying decision on their own.

However, such rights are not so absolute when it comes to SELLING something. As examples, a person cannot decide to only sell their home to a white person any more than a store owner can prevent a gay person from buying a soda. Anti-discrimination laws specifically disallow such actions. A business or individual can decide not to sell something, but once a decision is made to sell a product, everyone must have equal access to acquire the item.

BDS

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel portrays itself as a human rights effort to pressure Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. It is not. It is an anti-Semitic movement designed to eradicate Zionism launched by Radical Islamists that has begun to co-opt far left-wing Progressives (RIAPs, Radical Islamists and Progressives).

The RIAPs often compare Israel to the apartheid regime in South Africa in their quest for BDS, which has many flaws:

  1. There are two parties in this conflict. As opposed to the apartheid regime in South Africa which limited freedoms for its own citizens, the Israel-Arab conflict is between distinct parties.
  2. The United Nations and dozens of Arab and Muslim countries back the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority has tremendous support from many countries around the world, including the United Nations itself. The blacks in South Africa were an isolated minority trying to fight for rights against its own government.
  3. Israel has attempted to forge a peace agreement. For several decades, the Israeli government has tried to reach a peace agreement with the Arabs in the region. The dynamic here is not one of desire to reach a settlement, but a gap between the positions of the Israelis and PA.
  4. The Israeli government has a good track record. The Israelis gave up land for peace with Egypt and were able to reach a peace agreement with Jordan. Israel gave control of Gaza and sections of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. For their part, the PA has not even been able to reach any settlements with rival parties.

Which party really needs pressure / help in getting to a peace deal?


Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS)
in Washington, D.C., August 2, 2014.
(photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

More to the point being addressed here, BDS prevents ordinary people from buying the Israeli products they desire.

As noted above, any individual can make a personal choice to avoid buying products made in Israel or the Israeli territories in Judea and Samaria. But establishing a boycott infringes on the rights of other people who very much want to purchase the products and services from the leading liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

If progressives really cared about human rights, shouldn’t they have lambasted the Obama Administration for not only handing $150 billion to Iran, a country that hangs gays by cranes in the middle of Tehran and executes minors? Shouldn’t the progressives have been further incensed with Obama for promising to import Iranian rugs, caviar and pistachios (see page 67 of the JCPOA).

How can progressives approve of the importation of goods from a country that executes gays and minors, but seek to boycott a country which has only reached a peaceful settlement with some of its Arab neighbors?

It is because the RIAPs believe that Israel is a completely illegal Zionist Project. Iran and other regressive Islamic societies like Saudi Arabia may be vile, but they are viewed by the extremist groups as legitimate. Meanwhile, they contend that Israel is illegal at its core and should cease to exist.

Consider the platform in Black Lives Matter “Invest – Divest” which declared America’s support for Israel, its “Global War on Terror,” and AFRICOM as simply tools of colonialism under the mask of combating terror. Under the BLM worldview, Israel is an extension of the racist American colonial project, putting Jews in homes where they do not belong, stealing from people of color.

These extremists do not simply have their own disturbing anti-Semitic worldview in which Jews are uniquely denied their history, heritage and basic human rights, but want to force every person to comply with their anti-Semitic agenda. They seek to rob every American of their choice of doing business with Israel.

BDS is the toxic combination of stealing individual freedom and forcing people to participate in antisemitism. Organizations that participate in BDS should be fined in the same manner as those that have policies that discriminate against any group.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

BDS and Christian Persecution

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

When Power Talks the Truth

Denying Entry and Citizenship

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

The Personalisation of War

Iran’s New Favorite Jewish Scholars

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Denying Entry and Citizenship

In 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return which enabled all Jews from around the world to move to Israel and quickly obtain citizenship. In that declaration, the law gave the state room to exclude certain kinds of individuals, specifically any Jew who:

“(1) is engaged in an activity directed against the Jewish people; or

(2) is likely to endanger public health or the security of the State.”

The threshold for deciding on granting citizenship was left to the Minister of Immigration. Presumably there were many people who were denied citizenship over the decades since the law was enacted.

The government of Israel does not limit its scrutiny of Jews who arrive in Israel to make aliyah to become citizens, but also deciding who should be granted entry to the country at all.

In January 2018, the Knesset decided to bar entry to members of 20 organizations that threaten the state through calls for BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) of the Jewish State. Those organizations included:

From Europe

  • AFPS (France-Palestine Solidarity Association)
  • BDS France
  • BDS Italy
  • ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
  • FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
  • IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • Norge Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
  • Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS-Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden)
  • PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • War on Want
  • BDS Kampagne

From the United States

  • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
  • AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
  • Code Pink
  • JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
  • NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
  • USCPR (U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights)

Other groups

  • BDS Chile
  • BDS South Africa
  • BDS National Committee

In July 2018, a prominent voice for Code Pink and BDS activist, Ariel Gold, was denied entry into Israel. After being denied entry, she said that she would entertain making aliyah to the country she was lobbying against. She was perhaps not aware of the caveat in the Law of Return that would prohibit her being granted citizenship.

Ariel Gold of Code Pink at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
The Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan saidThe policy I have set is clear: anyone who acts consistently to boycott us will not enter the country. The rules have changed and the State of Israel will not hold back anymore against those who try to harm us.

Another BDS promoter from Netherlands was similarly denied entry in July 2018.

In August 2018, a leftist activist was detained at the Sinai border with Israel. She belonged to a group called Gisha which advocates for Gazans, but was not on the BDS list. She was eventually allowed entry after a few hours of questioning.

The trend of denying people entry to a country because of the perception that they will foment hatred or violence is occurring in several democracies.

The United Kingdom has barred several right-wing journalists. Since 2009, the UK has prohibited the conservative talk show host Michael Savage from entering the country. In March 2018, the UK denied entry to Canadian right-wing journalist Lauren Southern, and some other YouTubers from Austria. Both Savage and Southern were denied entry because of their comments about Islam. The UK stated “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.” The UK phrase of “public good” seems to have a much lower threshold than Israel’s “harm.”

Under the Obama administration, the United States prevented journalists from entering the country with little information as to the reason. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol denied Canadian journalist Ed Ou entry in 2016. The CBP said that it examined Ou’s files and phones because “keeping America safe and enforcing our nation’s laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the U.S.” Under the Trump administration, several journalists have been denied visas to enter the country, including Afrah Nasser from Yemen, as her country was on a travel ban.

Many countries – including the U.S.A., the United Kingdom and Israel – deny both citizenship and visitation rights to people who are deemed to be not conducive to the public good / promoters of harm. Activists and journalists from both the right-wing and left-wing have been caught in these nets for decades. But one can be sure that American and British Jews have only called out Israel for such activity, while remaining silent on activities executed by their own governments.


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Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

Journalists in the Middle East

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Hamas Thanks Israel Bashers Who Post and Blog

On January 21, 2018, a Hamas journalist wrote that it was time to take advantage of the sympathy that has been building for the “resistance” against the existence of Israel from online pro-Palestinian “activists,” by beginning to attack Israel in new ways and locations, including abroad.

‘Imad Al-‘Afana (photo: alresalah.ps)
As reported by MEMRI, Imad Al-‘Afana, a journalist and former secretary general of Hamas’s faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), wrote that attacks from the West Bank and the Gaza border against Israel had become ineffective, and it was time to launch a new wave of attacks:

“The resistance must take advantage of the public climate that is supportive of it and of the Palestinian rights… [to head] in new directions, in addition to the non-violent demonstrations and the [soliciting of] sympathy in the virtual realm [i.e., on the Internet], and this in order to convey powerful messages that will halt the efforts of various elements in the region to [promote] normalization and recognition of Israel. We must deliver painful blows to the enemy’s vulnerable underbelly, that is, target its interests, its investments, its diaspora and its representations around the world.

Here was a member of Hamas appreciating the efforts of groups and individuals that advanced the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, as well as others who called on their governments to halt the normalization and recognition of Israel around the world. The terrorist argued that the softening of support for Israel would make it easier to attack Israel’s “vulnerable underbelly,… its investments, its diaspora and its representations around the world.

  • Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink, you will be held responsible for terrorism against Israelis in the United States.
  • The UK Labour Party and Oxfam, you will bear partial responsibility for terrorism in the United Kingdom against Israelis.
  • Norge Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway) and Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS-Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden), you will be held liable for terrorism against Israelis in Scandinavia

Hamas has long been labeled a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and many other countries. Its 1988 Charter is one of the most anti-Semitic political documents ever drafted, on par with Nazi Germany.

And a spokesperson for this anti-Semitic terrorist group has publicly thanked the online anti-Zionist propagandists for preparing their countries for the next wave of terrorism targeting Israelis and Jews.

The Noble Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel noted the importance of words for both good and evil, warning and encouraging people of the world to be careful and deliberate with their voices and opinions. Terrorists have now noted and reminded us of the same.


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

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

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

Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

The War Preferred

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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

A satire.

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

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

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

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

Charlie Hebdo blacklisted the 20 groups in response.

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

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

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

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

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


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The Personalisation of War

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

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

Non-State Actors

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

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

That formula began to evolve in 2014.

Armies of One

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

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

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

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


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


Palestinian girl discussing stabbing Jews
November 12, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Current Intifada against Everyone

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