Remembering the Terrible First Obama-Netanyahu Meeting

On May 18, 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington, D.C. to meet the new president of the United States, Barack Obama. It was the beginning of a terrible friendship.

FILE - In this May 18, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. For six years, Obama and Netanyahu have been on a collision course over how to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a high-stakes endeavor both men see as a centerpiece of their legacies. The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

May 18, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Netanyahu was extremely distressed about the state of the Iranian nuclear weapons program and urged Obama to set a hard, near-term timetable to reach a conclusive deal with the Iranians, or use military force to dismantle the dangerous program. Obama rejected both the idea of a timetable and the threat of military force.

Quite to the contrary, Obama used the public forum with Netanyahu by his side, to PRAISE IRAN, even though the US State Department defined it as a state sponsor of terrorism and the country’s leadership had threatened to destroy Israel. In his remarks before Netanyahu, Obama said:

“I [Obama] indicated to him [Netanyahu] the view of our administration, that Iran is a country of extraordinary history and extraordinary potential, that we want them to be a full-fledged member of the international community and be in a position to provide opportunities and prosperity for their people, but that the way to achieve those goals is not through the pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”

It would take SIX YEARS for Obama to conclude a deal with the Iranians that left their entire nuclear weapons infrastructure in place and permitted the country a legal path to nuclear weapons in a decade. Netanyahu considered the negotiation a collosal failure and argued against it. Obama walked out on him.

Along the way Obama did threaten to use force against another state sponsor of terrorism – Syria – but ultimately decided to retreat from his August 2012 “red line.” A couple of hundred thousand dead Syrians later, Obama announced the legalization of Iran’s nuclear program while millions of Syrian refugees swarmed the western world.

And now Netanyahu is meeting a new US president.

Netanyahu is meeting with Donald Trump to discuss a range of issues. Like Netanyahu, Trump thought that Obama’s handling of Iran and Syria were complete failures. So it is unlikely that Trump will treat Netanyahu like a cuckold the way that Obama did in publicly lauding Iran in his face.

Will this meeting set the tone and restart the US-Israel relationship? Time will tell.


Related First.One.Through articles:

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

Some Global Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

Obama’s Iranian Red Line

Seeing Security through a Screen

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Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

Pro-Israel Democrats have loudly proclaimed that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a strong supporter of Israel. They have even stated that her pro-Israel positions are really not that dissimilar to the Republican President George W. Bush.

Really?

“Settlements” and Berating Israel

A new batch of emails from Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State reveals some of her positions related to Israel and her approach to dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Consider the email exchange between Hillary Clinton and Sandy Berger on September 19 & 22, 2009.

“ironically, his [Netanyahu’s] intransigence over 67 borders may offer us [the Clinton’s State Department] that possibility – to turn his position against him… Sending [Middle East Peace Envoy George] Mitchell back to try to get the parties to agree on a common basis to relaunch negotiations. This includes: an end to the occupation that began in 1967. –– This 67 formulation was used in the Road Map, by Bush, Sharon and Olmert. Assuming Bibi will accept no formulation that includes 67 borders, it suggests that Bibi is the obstacle to progress and backtracking on his part on an issue that previous Israeli governments have accepted.”

The Clinton/Berger plot was clearly to undermine Netanyahu to punish him for disagreeing to set the borders that existed in 1967 as the permanent borders. They viewed those borders as concessions that had been previously agreed to.

sandy-berger-and-hillary-clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, 2009

But look at what President George W. Bush and the US Congress actually stated five years earlier on June 23, 2004.

“Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities;”

This House of Representatives motion, H. Con.Res 460, was passed in a landslide roll call vote 407-9.

Note that Bush clearly stated the opposite of what Clinton and Berger contended: prior agreements and assurances that the borders would NOT be along the Green Line which existed until 1967.

Further, the April letter from Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underscored that the pathway to peace and a two-state future was the cessation of all Palestinian incitement to, and acts of violence.

The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking [Israeli withdrawal from Gaza] represents. I [President George W Bush] therefore want to reassure you on several points.

First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means. The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue. The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state. It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel. “

Bush focused on the cessation of Palestinian Arab terrorism and incitement, as he underscored that Israel would NOT return to the 1967 borders.

What happened between the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter and the 2009 Clinton/Berger email?

  • In 2005, Israel withdrew every Israeli civilian and soldier from Gaza
  • In 2006, Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction swept legislative elections, gaining 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority
  • In 2007, Hamas routed the competing political party Fatah, and seized total control of Gaza
  • In 2008/9, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the incessant missile fire into Israel from Gaza
  • And in September 2009, as Clinton and Berger exchanged emails, the United Nations was preparing to release the Goldstone Report, a 452-page report where the world body would demonize Israel for committing war crimes in Operation Cast Lead

It was in that environment, where Israel was feeling the condemnation of the world, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to add fuel to the fire by berating Benjamin Netanyahu as an “obstacle to progress.” Not a single criticism of Palestinian Arab terror, which WAS the focus of the assurances between the US and Israel.

At best, pro-Israel Clinton supporters may claim that she was simply following the direction of President Barack Obama to rewrite facts and history in the hope that no one would notice.

Democrats can claim that there was no malice in rewriting the long-standing Democratic platform in 2012, removing the historic clause that had been the party’s approach for years, “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”  The entire language that was lifted verbatim from the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter was deleted in its entirety. It was as if it never existed.

Democrats comfortably pretend that Israel moved to the right, rather than the party’s positions that moved counter to facts and history, because they BELIEVE their cause to be just. They believe that the settlements are the primary obstacle to peace because they get terrible advice from left-wing groups like J Street that claim to be pro-Israel and pro-peace. (J Street just released a foolish video making fun of Donald Trump’s ties to the settlements, in time for the elections.)

The reality, is that the Democratic party under Obama’s leadership moved sharply away from Israel and the truth.  And Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State followed that caustic approach to attack Israel while it was vulnerable on the world stage.


Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

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Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Propaganda has been an important tool in war efforts for centuries. Today, there is a growing consensus to forcefully confront the people and machinery used to promote terror, as much as the effort to eradicate the terrorists themselves.

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany exterminated millions of civilians that it considered undesirable before and during World War II. Historians have long considered the reasons that so many Germans and other Europeans turned on their fellow citizens, and attributed some of the rationale to an effective Nazi propaganda machine.

While Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party that led the effort to kill Jews, Gypsies and others, it was his propaganda specialist, Joseph Goebbels, who spearheaded the effort to coopt all Germans and other Europeans to despise and turn in those targeted by the Nazis.  Goebbels’ efforts to rally Germans against Jews included actions to make Germans appear as victims after WWI, and to portray Jews as sub-humans that undermined the purity of Aryans. His depictions of Jews in advertisements and film helped deceive the public and sway opinion against the Jews.

goebbels

Goebbels never stood trial for his actions, as he committed suicide at the end of the war.

ISIS

Today, the Islamic State / ISIS is considered the most lethal terrorist organization that kills thousands in the Middle East.  It has made and released many videos showing its barbarity which it uses to recruit soldiers from around the world.

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton voiced her concern about the terrorist threat from ISIS in several debates, including its online propaganda:

“We also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit, where they radicalize. And I don’t think we’re doing as much as we can. We need to work with Silicon Valley. We need to work with our experts in our government. We have got to disrupt, we have got to take them on in the arena of ideas that, unfortunately, pollute and capture the minds of vulnerable people. So we need to wage this war against ISIS from the air, on the ground, and online, in cyberspace.”
September 7, 2016

Those Clinton comments seemed like an online fight: a battle fought on the internet against an online threat.

However, in her comments during the September 26, 2016 debate, Clinton seemed to increase her threat against those involved in making the evil propaganda:

“And I would also do everything possible to take out their leadership. I was involved in a number of efforts to take out Al Qaida leadership when I was secretary of state, including, of course, taking out bin Laden. And I think we need to go after Baghdadi, as well, make that one of our organizing principles. Because we’ve got to defeat ISIS, and we’ve got to do everything we can to disrupt their propaganda efforts online.”

Those comments seemed to convey Clinton’s desire to physically attack those members of ISIS that produce the propaganda. She coupled the assassination of terrorists with the online battle. That was a major ratcheting up of the fight against terrorist propaganda by a politician.

For their part, civilians have taken to the courts to block the spread of terrorist propaganda online.  January 2016 saw a suit against Twitter, and in June 2016, Facebook and Google were also sued for airing ISIS videos.  These online forums had nothing to do with producing or posting the videos, but were attacked for not taking down the propaganda, thereby allowing the evil messages to spread globally.

isis-online

The incitement to violence and terrorism is also found in many places beyond social media and Iraq.

Palestinian Arabs

In between the first two presidential debates, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly. In his remarks, he noted the disgraceful incitement to terrorism and anti-semitism prevalent in Palestinian Arab society:

“Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act”. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote.

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour.

This is child abuse.

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?”

slit

The Palestinian Authority and much of the society is rife with terrorist propaganda.

Did the world listen to Netanyahu’s speech, fact-check his statements and call out the Palestinian Arab vile anti-Semitism and propaganda?

No. It parroted the Palestinian Arab argument about settlements, “The Quartet emphasized its strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion … (is) steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution.” Nothing about Arab propaganda being an obstacle to peace.


Hateful propaganda leads directly to violence and terrorism.  Depending where that propaganda is posted, that message can spread like wildfire globally.

In parts of the world, there are leaders that are willing to step up and fight against the poisonous contagion.  Regretfully, not at the United Nations, where its leader, Ban Ki Moon, actively promotes that the terrorist group Hamas should become part of the governing Palestinian Authority.

Perhaps it is time for people to sue the United Nations – just as people are suing  Facebook and Twitter – in giving a platform and pass to Palestinian Arab anti-Semitic propaganda.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

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

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What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has never been a huge fan of Israel.  He has used his ten years as USGC to condemn Israel and excuse the Palestinian Authority repeatedly.  In June of 2016 he opted to stand in the Gaza Strip near the area where jihadist militants fired into Israeli civilian areas and declare that “I stand with the people of Gaza to say that the United Nations will always be with you.”

As he enters the homestretch of his terrible tenure, Ban Ki Moon found a particular remark by a world leader to be beyond comprehension.

It was not the leader of Iran who declared his intension of wiping Israel off of the map.

It was not the leader of Russia who invaded Crimea.

It was not the leader of North Korea testing nuclear weapons.

It was not the leader of Syria that has fought a civil war claiming nearly half a million lives.

Ban Ki Moon did not ignore those actions or comments.  He did condemn them.  But he also seemed to think they had a certain logic.  They were bad, but understandable.

However, there is a world leader who declared something that was beyond his comprehension.  Something “outrageous.”

Not surprisingly, Ban Ki Moon focused on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who impolitely pointed out a plain fact: that acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has insisted on a new state of Palestine in the Jewish biblical homeland to be devoid of Jews.

“I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing. This is unacceptable and outrageous.”     Ban Ki Moon, September 15, 2016

There is no denying that Abbas has stated his intentions clearly.  It is also true that Ban Ki Moon supports the anti-Semitic request.  But to be called out on it by the Israeli leader – using the same language that Abbas uses for Israel – was too much for the USGC to accept.

The UN only sanctions the term “ethnic cleansing” in the Israeli-Arab Conflict, if Arabs use it for Israel.

ban-ki-moon-9-16
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
September 2016

But can you blame the UN?  For centuries the world was comfortable dictating where Jews could live, whether in ghettoes, the Pale of Settlement, or forcible expulsions.  Not of the Arabs.  Not of Sikhs.  Not Blacks.  Only Jews.

And for the head of the United Nations to have to listen to the Jewish leader attack his adopted wards, was beyond his ability to cope.

Ban Ki Moon already declared that he stands with Gaza. He has voiced his excitement to see the terrorist group Hamas participate in Palestinian elections. (He also stated that he was shocked to learn that Hamas wanted to kill to Jews, even though its written clearly in its charter and its leaders declare the intentions daily in the media).

And all of that fits in the United Nation’s worldview.

The UN expects Israel to behave badly and condemns it more than Iran, China and Russia combined.  But Netanyahu’s comments drove the UNSG beyond disgust to outrage.

What is “outrageous” for the UN, is for the Jewish State to declare that it is through being the only people on the planet that are banned from living in certain lands, let alone their historic homeland that international law specifically gave them. Outrageous that Jews are not be satisfied to live in a fraction of their homeland without rights to their holiest place.  Outrageous for Jews to have the temerity to talk truth to power.

Where is your outrage?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

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

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

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

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

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

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“Ethnic Cleansing” in Israel and the Israeli Territories

The term “ethnic cleansing” has been used often in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The reactions to the comment are in inverse relation to the truth.

Palestinians Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2012, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stood at the United Nations and claimed that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian Arabs.  At first, he spoke about “ethnic cleansing” when Israel declared independence:

“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Abbas neglected to say that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes while their fellow Arabs launched an attack on the nascent Jewish State to destroy it completely.  The Arabs failed in their genocidal quest.  Yet for its part, Israel granted all of the Arabs living in its territory full citizenship.  A complete inversion of his claim that Israel “intended to extinguish their [Arab] being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence.”

Abbas continued to claim that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” to this day:

“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”

Abbas conveniently neglected to mention the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel throughout 2012. He also neglected to mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005, allowing the Palestinian Arabs to rule themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.

No matter.  The people at the United Nations gave Abbas a standing ovation.

abbas-at-un
Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
addressing the United Nations in 2012

United Nations Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2014, the “Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories” (yes, that’s an actual title) whose job it is to report on Israelis, declared that Israel was committing “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.

“The continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with forcible eviction of long residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described, in its cumulative impact, as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The facts are the exact opposite: the Arabs in Jerusalem are growing faster than the non-Arab population.

As detailed in “Arabs in Jerusalem,” the Arab population in Jerusalem now stands at 36% of the city, up from 26% when the city was reunited in 1967.  From 1967 to 2011, the Arab population in the city grew by 5.7 times, while the Jewish population in the Israeli capital only grew by 3.4 times over the same period.

No matter the facts. “The Special Rappoteur “called on the Council to undertake efforts to have the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), assess allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism,” “apartheid” and ‘ethnic cleansing.'”

No comments from United States or anyone else about the absurd and caustic statements, nor on the lunatic who made them (who incidentally, is a big 9/11 conspiracy theorist).

Israeli Prime Minister Claims
of Palestinian “Ethnic Cleansing”

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank.  Netanyahu made his statement because Abbas has stated he cannot accept a single Israeli living in a new state of Palestine.

Netanyahu did not even bring up a variety of other Palestinian Authority laws, as detailed in “Abbas Knows Racism,” such as:

  • Palestinian Authority law that condemns any Arab that sells land to a Jew to death.
  • Palestinian universities bar entry to Jews

The origins of Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews dates back decades, to when the Jordanians illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950 and expelled all of the Jews from the area.  Jordan then passed a citizenship law in 1954 that specifically EXCLUDED Jews from being granted citizenship in their own homeland.

“Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954″ (Article 3)

So what was the world reaction when Netanyahu finally stated some clear and obvious facts?  Condemnation.

The spokesperson for the US State Department responded to the Netanyahu video: “We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

When Abbas heard that Netanyahu used the “ethnic cleansing” charge, Abbas doubled-down by saying again that Israel uses “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.

No comment from the State Department about Abbas’s use of the term.

The current United States administration and United Nations have no time or interest for Israelis stating simple truths. It would appear, that if you want the world to agree and applaud, you would best be served by denying facts like the Palestinian Arabs.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

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

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

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Thomas Friedman Thinks Palestinians are Crazy in the Margins, While Israel is Crazy in the Mainstream

He should learn some math.

 

Thomas Friedman is an acclaimed columnist for the New York Times. He won three Pulitzer Prizes for his writing on the Hama, Syria massacre in 1982, the First Palestinian Intifada against Israel, and for his writings about terrorism after 9/11.

One would think he had a pretty good command of the facts about the players in the Middle East. However, a review of Friedman’s op-ed pieces since the Gaza War against Israel in 2014 would reveal disturbing lies.

Thomas Friedman
Author and journalist Thomas Friedman

On May 25, 2016, Friedman wrote an article called “Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel-Palestine.” The article denounced the addition of Yisrael Beytenu into the ruling coalition government headed by Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Friedman wrote that Israel had become “controlled by Jewish extremists.”

Lie 1, “controlled by Jewish extremists. Israel is a thriving democracy with liberal values in the heart of the volatile, illiberal Middle East ruled by monarchs, military strongmen and dictators.  In the 2015 Israeli election, the Likud Party won the most seats in the Israeli parliament (30) and formed a coalition government. That coalition had a slim majority with only 61 of the 120 total seats, making it vulnerable to any single party’s whims to take down the government. To relieve such pressure and instability, Netanyahu sought to add to the coalition, first negotiating with the opposition party, Zionist Union (24 seats), before settling on the nationalist party, Yisrael Beytenu (6 seats).

Yisrael Beytenu, the most right-wing of the parties in the coalition, does not “control” the government. It was added to an existing ruling coalition to provide a broader base of stability.

Lie 2, “controlled by Jewish extremists. The term “Jewish extremists” is used often by Friedman (as it is at the United Nations). The latter uses the term freely, even as it denounces using the term “extremism” for any other religion.

As detailed in “Palestinian Authority Perfects Hypocrisy,” the political party Yisrael Beytenu, is indeed a nationalistic party, but it is a far cry from Hamas (which Friedman labeled as a group with “an apocalyptic jihadist agenda” in his August 6, 2014 op-ed). It is also much less radical that the Palestinian Authority which Freidman called “moderate” in the same piece. That “moderate” Palestinian Authority calls for all Jews to be banned from the West Bank. It prohibits Jews from stepping foot on college campuses. It calls for the death penalty for any Arab that sells land to Jews.

That’s moderate according to Friedman?

Maybe the PA is moderate relative to Hamas, but Yisrael Beytenu is certainly more moderate than the PA.

Lie 3, “Netanyahu’s steady elimination of any possibility that Israel will separate itself from the Palestinians in the West Bank.” Friedman never mentions that it was Netanyahu that pulled Israel out of half of the Holy Basin of Jerusalem-Bethlehem in 1996 during his first premiership. Friedman also never mentions the various peace talks Netanyahu has engaged in and his freeze on settlements.

Friedman prefers to state that Israel wants to forever “occupy” Palestinian Arabs, as he wrote in February 10, 2016 “Israel [is] determined to permanently occupy all of the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.” Why deliberately not mention Israel’s unilateral move out of Gaza in 2005? Because in exchange for that action, Israel was rewarded with over 10,000 rockets from Gaza in to Israel?

Why not mention the Separation Barrier, built by Israel during the Second “Intifada.” If Israel was intent on keeping all of Judea and Samaria, why did it build a separation wall?

Lie 4, Israel as a country is nationalistic and racist, while the Palestinians are moderate and seeking peace.  Friedman does not state this outright, but his various articles repeatedly describe a rightward shift in Israel and refers to any Palestinian Arab that is not Hamas, as a moderate.

At the end of Hamas’s 2014 War from Gaza, Friedman wroteEither Arab and Israeli moderates collaborate and fight together, or the zealots really are going to take over this neighborhood.”  Where are these moderates on each side?

Israelis voted in 2015, and gave its most right-wing party 5% of the seats in parliament.  It gave the extreme anti-nationalist Arab Joint List 13 seats, or over 11% of the parliament. That’s twice as many people that wanted to see the country lose its Jewish character, rather than strengthen it.  It also meant that 84% of the country did NOT vote on extreme nationalistic lines.  Compare that to the millions in the United States voting in 2016 for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Americans have voted on the polar extremes much more than Israel, even while Israel faces existential threats from Iran, and has ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas at its borders.

On the Palestinians side, the Arabs last voted in 2006, and gave the virulent anti-Semitic jihadist terrorist group Hamas 58% of the seats in parliament. The Palestinians have not been able to hold any elections since that time.

Yet Thomas Friedman continues to write that it is Israel that is controlled by extremists, while the Palestinians are governed by a moderate government.

The leader of that moderate government, acting-President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, is simply inept, not extreme, as Friedman wrote The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, sacked the only effective Palestinian prime minister ever, Salam Fayyad, who was dedicated to fighting corruption and proving that Palestinians deserved a state by focusing on building institutions, not U.N. resolutions.”

For Friedman, Abbas doesn’t do anything extreme. He is a moderate, but simply a poor administrator.

As to the Palestinian people, a poll published by the Anti Defamation League in April 2014 found that almost every single Palestinian Arab- 93% – harbor anti-Semitic views.  Friedman never wrote about that poll’s findings.


When people are led to believe that the Palestinians are moderate and are led by a moderate leader, and the only Arab extremists are a few lunatics on the fringe (Hamas), it becomes easy to blame Israel for the stalemate in peace negotiations.

So Friedman leaves his readers with the following summations in his editorials:

“Israel is a really powerful country. It’s not a disarmed Costa Rica. No one expects it to give up everything. But fewer and fewer can understand why it puts so much energy into explaining why it can’t do anything, why the Palestinians are irredeemably awful and why nothing Israel could do would affect their behavior. I truly worry that Israel is slowly committing suicide, with all the best arguments.”

October 28, 2015

This is not your grandfather’s Israel anymore”

February 10, 2016

“For those of us who care about Israel’s future, this is a dark hour.”

May 25, 2016

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize continues to paint Israel as the extremists “slowly committing suicide.” Perhaps those that care about the country should react strongly and force it to take corrective actions (sound like a J Street call out to US President Obama to side against Israel at the United Nations Security Council?)  This is the clarion call for liberals: we condemn Israel because we care, not because we hate it.

There is certainly no call to moderate the “moderate” Palestinians, as pretending they are moderate is core to the belief system of pinning the responsibilities on Israel.  It also allows the progressives to align themselves with these moderate, peace-seeking people.

Such is the liberal war against Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

Abbas Knows Racism

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

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

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

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Palestinian Authority Perfects Hypocrisy

On May 19, 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was considering adding a right-wing party, Yisrael Beytenu, to his coalition. The Palestinian Authority’s reaction to this rumor was quick.

The Israeli government sent a message to the world that Israel prefers extremism, dedication to the occupation and settlements over peace.”

In a region which has perfected finger-pointing, the Palestinian Arabs have once again shown their mastery of hypocrisy.

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Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo: Reuters)

On June 2, 2014, the Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the terrorist group Hamas into a unity government. That move abruptly ended the many months of peace negotiations going on between Israelis and the PA which was shepherded by US Secretary of State John Kerry.  Within two weeks of forming the unity government, Hamas loyalists kidnapped and murdered three teenage Israelis and launched a war against Israel that killed thousands.

That’s a message of preferring “extremism” to peace.

Care to do a simple comparison of Yisrael Beytenu and Hamas?

Position Yisrael Beytenu Hamas
Land Extending full governmental control east of the Green Line (EGL), above current military control Complete destruction of all of Israel
Death penalty For terrorists convicted of killing Israelis For all Jews
Compromise Yes. “in the debate over unity of the land or the unity of the people, the unity of the people must take precedence, because over the unity of the people there can be no compromise and a deep fracture will not be overcome None. “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Minority Rights in country All minorities welcome, as long as loyal to the government Only “under the wing of Islam” can non-Moslems live in the land.
Legal System Full separation of powers, such as in the United States Shariah, Islamic Law
Racism No negative stereotypes Jews referred to as Nazis (Art. 20) and schemers and plotters (Art. 22)

Sources: Yisrael Beytenu positions; Hamas Charter

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by many countries,

  • but the Palestinian Arabs decided to vote them into a majority of Parliament anyway;
  • but the acting Prime Minister of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, decided to create a coalition government with them anyway;
  • and the Palestinians actively killed the peace process that US Secretary Kerry had worked on for months anyway;
  • and they launched a war that killed thousands anyway.

So should anyone be surprised by the audacity and hypocrisy of the PA condemning Netanyahu for bringing Yisrael Beytenu into his coalition?  Which party has aligned itself with racists and murderers, and shown a complete unwillingness to compromise and make peace time-and-again, Netanyahu or Abbas?

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Palestinian Unity Government June 2, 2014
(photo: AP/Majdi Mohammed)


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

Abbas Knows Racism

The Undemocratic Nature of Fire and Water in the Middle East

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

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Netanyahu’s Doctoral Thesis on the Nakba

A Satire

In honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a declaration that the “Nakba was a terrible tragedy for the Palestinian Arabs.” The New York Times, BBC and various media outlets proclaimed in their headlines that Netanyahu had turned a corner from some of his prior comments belittling the “Nakba,” the term that Arabs use to describe their “disaster” when Arabs left their homes and were unable to return after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9.

Netanyahu continued about the Nakba that “Israelis understand the pain of being expelled from their homes. Jews were ethnically cleansed from their holiest city, Jerusalem, by Jordanian Arabs. Jews were evicted from their second holiest city, Hebron, after Arabs massacred them in 1929. And the Jewish people were evicted from their ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria, and barred from re-entry, by the Jordanians in 1949. Is there a people on the planet that understands the pain of losing their homes more than the Jewish people Jews have been targeted for death and eviction by Arabs for a century.

When Netanyahu was asked to comment not only about evictions, but about being banned from returning to their properties, Netanyahu reviewed how Palestinian Arabs effectively convinced the British to block Jewish immigration to Palestine at the beginning of the Holocaust in 1939, causing hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children in Europe to perish. “We Jews understand being excluded very well.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Holocaust survivors ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 26, 2016 (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

The comments acknowledging the Nakba were a sharp reversal from Netanyahu’s doctoral study in which he detailed many questions surrounding both the numbers and source of the Nakba. His study concluded that the Arabs in Palestine conspired with the major global parties to funnel billions of dollars in perpetuity to Palestinian Arabs via the United Nations.

Netanyahu’s thesis reviewed the many secret meetings between Arab leaders and the French, British, Americans and Russians that would set the Arabs as the aggrieved party by the UN.   The Arab plan pushed the UN to endorse the partition plan of 1947, which the Palestinians would then publicly reject. The UN would then create a unique stand-alone agency, UNRWA, designed to exist forever, as a means of transferring billions of dollars to Palestinian Arabs.

As part of the Arab plan, the United Nations inflated the number of Arab refugees from the 1948 war to 711,000 from the actual 100,000 figure. By inflating the number of refugees, the UN was able to funnel even greater sums of money to Palestinians.

The Arab plan had the further benefit of giving the entire Arab world a scapegoat for their corrupt regimes.

As it turned out, the joint Arab- global powers’ plan worked almost perfectly, aside from a few unexpected results.  The UN did not realize that the Arab leadership would ultimately double-cross the UN and steal most of the funds promised to the Palestinian people; and the corrupt financial structure ultimately made Palestinian Arab leadership completely incapable of governing.

The NY Times and BBC did not review the contents of Netanyahu’s doctoral thesis in their articles. However, the Times did have a lead editorial noting Netanyahu as “a man of empathy, and a true moderate who is Abbas’s best chance for a peace partner.

Abbas did not provide any statement.


Related First.One.Through article:

The NY Times on Abbas’s Change of heart about the Holocaust: Frightening New York Times 4/27/14 article on “Mahmoud Abbas Shifts on Holocaust”

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Other Satires:

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

Palestinian Job Fair for Peace

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Framing the Israeli-Palestinian Arab Conflict: WSJ and NY Times

The portrayals of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict in the two main New York newspapers could not be more different.  Snapshots of the two papers on October 17, 2015 and the editorials from the prior days frame the conflicting attitudes.

In Pictures

On October 17, 2015, each paper posted a picture of an attack that occurred in Hebron. The Wall Street Journal captured the Palestinian who posed as a journalist stabbing an Israeli soldier.  The New York Times showed a picture of two Israeli soldiers standing over the dead Palestinian.

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Wall Street Journal front page picture of Israeli soldier attacked by Palestinian
October 17, 2015

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New York Times front page picture of armed Israeli soldiers standing over dead Palestinian October 17, 2015

The Wall Street Journal covered this story – and many of the stories over October 2015 when Palestinians attacked Israelis – as Palestinians as the aggressors and Israelis as defending themselves.  However, The New York Times almost uniformly showed all Palestinians as victims and Israelis as the armed aggressors.

In Editorials

New York Times: On October 15, the Times ran an editorial entitled “The Cycle of Violence in Israel.” The title and the opinion piece described a country that is in a never-ending cycle of “attacks and reprisals“, blaming neither party as being aggressor or instigating the violence.  The attacks were referred to as Palestinian “uprisings,” and the Times pointed the finger at a few parties:

  • “Yasir Arafat, could speak for all Palestinians” back in 1993 so there was a better prospect for peace according to the Times behind a unifying leader.  It neglected to state that the same Arafat walked away from a serious peace offer and then launched the Second Intifada in 2000, killing thousands.
  • The Times correctly stated that “Mahmoud Abbas is bitter and unpopular” which makes it difficult for him to lead and deliver peace negotiations. The paper failed to point out that Abbas has constantly incited violence against Israelis and never put forth any public comments on his willingness to compromise on his demands to create peace.
  • “Netanyahu has demonstrated little interest in a two-state solution” according to the Times, even though he is the only person that specifically has demonstrated a desire for peace: handing over half of the “Holy Basin”, Bethlehem, in 1996; a ten month settlement freeze in 2010; releasing dozens of terrorists; and repeatedly stating his willingness to engage in direct peace talks anytime, anywhere.

The New York Times described the only solution to ending the cycle of violence as “creating an independent Palestinian state alongside an Israel whose right to exist is fully acknowledged by all Palestinians.”  Note that the Times language specifically does not mention any Israeli demands of “security” and recognition as a “Jewish State.”  According to the Times, the only thing creating violence is the lack of a Palestinian state.

Wall Street Journal: On October 16, 2015, the WSJ had an editorial calledThe Knives of Jerusalem.The Journal’s attitude about the violence and approach could not be more different than the New York Times:

  • The WSJ called the Palestinian Arab attacks “terrorism” five times, a term never used by the Times (nor by the Obama Administration for that matter)
  • “[A] deep-seated culture of hate” among Palestinian Arab society was at the core of the attacks
  • Blame is specifically placed on Palestinian leaders including Abbas spreading “rumors” and “lies” about Israel to incite the Arabs.

The WSJ noted that Israel will need “to ride out another storm of terror.”  Peace will ultimately come when Palestinians realize that the Jews are not going to leave: “The sooner they [Israelis] impress on Palestinians that they will never bow to knives or bend to terror, the sooner the stabbings will end.”


The Times placed the principal blame for the attacks on Israeli “occupation” and therefore the solution is a peace agreement / a separation accord. Their pictures and articles repeatedly use images of Palestinians as victims and Israelis as militant occupiers.

The WSJ placed the blame on Palestinian Arabs who have denied the right of Jews to live in the holy land as self-governing people since the League of Nations gave Jews that legal right in 1922.  Peace will only come when Palestinian Arabs give up the fight and accept that the Jews are never going to leave. Their articles are more likely to show Israel as at the frontlines in the battle against Islamic radicals, similar to much of the western world.

The pictures and articles of the two papers have been consistent in their coverage of the conflict, and the weekend of October 17, 2015 brought the contrast into clear focus.


Related First One Through articles

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Every Picture Tells a Story: Versions of Reality

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Every Picture Tells a Story: Versions of Reality

The New York Times published an article on October 16, 2015 entitled “Conflicting Accounts of Jerusalem Strife Surround Wounded Boy“.  The article described a 13-year old Palestinian boy who stabbed a 13-year old Israeli boy who was riding a bicycle.  The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas claimed that the innocent Palestinian was executed by Israelis, while in fact he was recuperating at an Israeli hospital.

Normal logic would suggest that the pictures that accompany the article have something to do with the story.  Indeed, the Times did post a small black-and-white photograph of the 13-year old Palestinian recuperating in a hospital bed.  However, the Times decided to post a much larger photograph on top of that picture – of Israelis with machine guns standing over Palestinian Arab women.

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Times leading with a picture of armed Israelis standing over Arab women in a story about a 13-year old Palestinian terrorist being described as “executed” by Mahmoud Abbas

Why didn’t the Times also post a picture of the wounded Israeli boy? Why didn’t it have a picture of Abbas declaring the boy “executed”?  Or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointing out the lies and incitement of Abbas? Because for this “progressive” newspaper, the real story about Arabs attacking innocent Israelis is about Israelis fighting Palestinians, not the other way around.

The Times wrote a piece about “conflicting versions of reality” between Israelis and Palestinians. The reality of the Times constant portrayal of Israelis “occupying” Palestinian victims is another disturbing story in the “conflicting” (read “false”) narratives that fan the flames in the region.


Related First One Through articles:

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

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