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

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What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) of Israel movement seeks to use global pressure on Israel force it to change its policies towards Palestinian Arabs. The pressure includes economic and cultural boycotts of Israel and denying any normalization of relations with the Jewish State.

The backers of BDS fall into three general camps. Those that seek to:

  1. Dismantle the Jewish State
  2. Remove all Jews from the West Bank
  3. Remove all Jews from historic Palestine

The first group wants to change the character of Israel by cleansing its ethnicity, while both the second and third groups promote ethnic cleansing the land of Jews themselves.

Dismantling the Jewish State

Many of the founders of the BDS movement despise the nature of the “Jewish State.” They find a system of Jewish preferences (such as automatic citizenship for Jews around the world) and Jewish symbols in the flag and national anthem as the antithesis of democracy and a burden for Israeli Arabs. Their goal is rid Israel of its “Jewishness.”

Some of the prominent supporters of BDS seek to accomplish this goal by forming a single state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. They seek the “right of return” of millions of Arabs to the region and the removal of all Jewish symbols and privileges in the state. Their goal is to turn Jews into a minority in the country, and to dismantle the Zionist Project.

As stated by Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement:

  • “I am completely and categorically against binationalism because it assumes that there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land.”
  • “A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically….Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
  • “(The one state solution means) a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”

There are Jewish anti-Zionist groups that also support this vision including the New Israel Fund. Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish professor and loud Israel-basher has called out his fellow BDS supporters for masking their desire to end the Jewish State, as opposed to their publicly-stated goals of ending the “occupation” of the West Bank.

“I mean we have to be honest, and I loathe the disingenuousness. They don’t want Israel. They think they are being very clever; they call it their three tier. We want the end of the occupation, the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is what, what is the result? You know and I know what the result is. There’s no Israel!”

Some pro-Zionists like Caroline Glick also support a one state solution (without Gaza). They do not believe the predictions of Jews becoming a minority in a state without Gaza and without permitting millions of descendants of Palestinian Arabs to move to Israel. The roughly 1.8 million Arabs living in Israel today plus the 2.5 million Arabs in the West Bank would be 2 million people fewer than the 6.5 million Jews living in the region. Israel would remain a democratic and Jewish State.

Removing Jews from the West Bank

A significant portion of the western world considers the goal of removing all Jews from the “West Bank,” a noble goal. They have advanced a notion at the United Nations Security Council (with the approval of the US Obama administration) that “Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity, Constitute Flagrant Violation of International Law.” With such passage, they have opened legal venues for countries to advance boycotts of products made in the settlements.

The measure unfortunately ignores several important matters:

  • Jews have a legal basis for living east of the Green Line in international law. The 1920 San Remo Agreement and 1922 Mandate of Palestine clearly laid out the rights of Jews to live throughout Palestine. There was no such thing as a “West Bank” which was an artifice of the 1948-9 Israel war of independence. The arbitrary line (which Israel and the Arab states all agreed was NOT a border) has no bearing on where Jews can and cannot live.
  • There is no basis in law for “occupying” disputed territory. While the UN General Assembly voted to partition Palestine in 1947, the vote did not create the two states. Further, the Arabs rejected the partition, as they sought the entirety of the land. The land east of the Green Line (EGL) remains disputed and subject to various agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including Oslo II (1995). International law uses the term “occupation” only in relation to a foreign force taking over another country, not disputed land. Lastly, international law forbids seizing additional territory in an offensive action, not as a matter of defense as was the case of Israel defending itself from Jordanian attack in 1967.

Jews have historically lived in the currently disputed lands for thousands of years. The ethnic cleansing of Jews from the region by Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs in 1948-9, and the Arabs subsequent refusal to grant any Jew in the region citizenship or visitation rights to their holy land, does not make such actions either legal or worthy of repetition.

Yet this is the publicly “accepted” face of the BDS movement, backed by the acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas adds fuel to the fire by stating that Israel is a “colonial occupier” that advances an “apartheid regime” in an effort to “ethnically cleanse” the area of Palestinians. All are inflammatory terms to paint Israel as an evil and malicious invader which should be expelled.

Removing Jews from Historic Palestine

For many Arabs and anti-Zionists, the term “colonial occupier” means the entirety of pre-Mandate Palestine, not just the West Bank and Gaza. They view the 1920 and 1922 international laws as fundamentally invalid, as they were made by foreign powers without input from the local Palestinians. As such, Abbas has demanded an apology from the British government for issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which served as a basis for the international laws allowing Jews to reestablish a homeland in Palestine.

The popular Palestinian party Hamas, which was elected to 58% of the Palestinian parliament, is defined as a terrorist group by much of the world. Its charter calls for the complete destruction of Israel, as the success of Zionism undermines the supremacy of Islam.

The more “moderate” (only on a relative basis) Palestinian party Fatah also called for a complete destruction of the Jewish state in its constitution until August 2007, when it modified some of its official positions. It did this, as it prepared to launch the global BDS movement in November 2007 to appear as a more reasonable fight against the Jewish state.

Ethnic Cleansing

Ethnic cleansing is not a distinct crime under international law, and there is no precise definition. The United Nations took steps to define “ethnic cleansing” in the aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In its interim report it used a definition:

 “… rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.

The final report was more stringent, and limited the term to the use of violence to achieve its goals:

a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.

The BDS actions of the past decade are the latest manifestation of anti-Zionists attempting to destroy the Jewish State after decades of failing to do so militarily, in actions that would clearly have fallen under “ethnic cleansing.”

Today’s BDS movement is attempting to use “force and intimidation” to ethnically cleanse all-or-part of the holy land of Jews, and to cleanse Israel of its Jewish ethnicity.

Related First.One.Through articles:

“Ethnic Cleansing” in Israel and the Israeli Territories

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

Regime Reactions to Israel’s “Apartheid” and “Genocide”

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

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Muslim Anti-Semitism Anchored in Belief that Jews are Responsible for All Wars

There is no shortage of anti-Semitism in the world.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) conducted polls in 2014 (somewhat updated in 2015) which showed that many people felt that Jews had too much control of the media and financial markets.  Some respondents believed that Jews were too pompous or were engaged in activities that made people hate them.

The Islamic countries were the most anti-Semitic by a far margin. The rankings:

  • West Bank & Gaza: 93% of the areas are anti-Semites
  • Iraq: 92%
  • Yemen: 88%
  • Libya: 87%
  • Algeria: 87%
  • Tunisia: 86%
  • Kuwait: 82%
  • Bahrain 81%
  • Jordan: 81%
  • Qatar: 80%
  • Morocco: 80%
  • UAE: 80%….

you get the idea.

These percentages dwarfed the non-Muslim countries like Japan 23%, Italy 20%, and Brazil 16%.

A further analysis revealed a split in the nature of the anti-Semitic feelings.  Even countries which showed an inclination for Jew-hatred, appreciated that Jews were not responsible for the wars in the world.  That was an opinion uniquely held by Muslims.

Consider Turkey and Greece.  The two neighboring countries have a long and strained relationship with each other, mostly over land and religious matters (Turkey is Muslim and Greece is Christian).  Interestingly, the countries have nearly identical negative feelings towards Jews, with Turkey and Greece having 70% and 67% anti-Semitic attitudes, respectively.  However, the underlying reasons behind the hatred in the two countries were quite different.

In 2015, 76% of Turks felt that Jews had too much power in the financial markets, while 85% of Greeks held that opinion (note that Greece had been going through dire financial problems). Roughly 63% of Turks felt that Jews had too much control over the global media, while 58% of Greeks felt the same. And 55% of Turks felt that Jews discussed the Holocaust too much, while 70% of Greeks felt the same.

Similar attitudes overall, and a trend that would suggest that Greeks were even more anti-Semitic than the Turks.

However, when the question was posed “Are Jews responsible for most of the world’s wars?” 53% of the people in Turkey responded yes, while only 33% of the people in Greece agreed. A wide margin of difference.

Outside of the Muslim world, very few countries believed that Jews were responsible for world wars, even among the anti-Semites.

  • In Poland, with 37% anti-Semites, only 14% believed Jews had anything to do with wars
  • In Ukraine (32% anti-Semitic), only 14% believed Jews were tied to wars
  • Spain, 29% anti-Semitic and 11% believed a Jewish connection to wars
  • Latvia, 28% anti-Semitic; 12% tied Jews to wars
  • Argentina, 24% anti-Semitic and 14% tied Jews to wars

The ADL started to segment the respondents of some European countries with a significant Muslim population. The Muslims were significantly more anti-Semitic than fellow citizens.

  • In France, only 4% and 6% of atheists and Christians, respectively, believed that Jews were responsible for wars. The percentage was 24% for Muslims in France
  • In the United Kingdom, 6% of both atheists and Christians believed that Jews were responsible for wars, but 34% of the Muslims in the UK held that view – over five times as many.
  • In Malaysia, 23% of Buddhists think that Jews are responsible for wars, but 78% of Muslims believe – over three times as many.

As the non-Muslim world sees the Muslim world at war with itself in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, it has concluded that Jews have nothing to do with the anarchy, death and destruction.  But the Islamic world turns to an old familiar scapegoat and blames the Jews.

Consider the most anti-Semitic regions of the world again. The Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Yemen and Libya top the list. There are fewer Jews in Iraq, Yemen and Libya COMBINED than there are in a New York City subway car. Yet those countries – at war – are the most anti-Semitic.

They believe that the cause of their misfortune is not their own inept governments or co-religionists. It is the Jews.


Syrian security officers gather in front of destroyed buildings where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo city, on October 3, 2012.
(AP Photo/SANA)

The terrorist Islamic group Hamas makes its thoughts clear in its charter, Article 22:

“For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

The world watches in horror the brutality of ISIS torturing and slaughtering anyone outside of their narrow Islamic view. The world is appalled at the destruction of Aleppo and the murder of civilians in Syria. And the world understands full well, that this is battle where the Jews have no part.

Except the Muslim world.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

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

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The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

It is not particularly surprising that Jimmy Carter, former US president and author of “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” chose to commemorate the UN’s official Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (November 29), to launch another attack on Israel. Carter did this through lies and half-truths in a New York Times Op-Ed (printed below).

Here are some lying lowlights:

Lie: Israel cannot take control of any of the “West Bank” which it seized during a war. Carter wrote that Israel and Egypt concluded a peace deal because it was based on UN resolution 242 which included the clause “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” The peace agreement with Egypt has nothing to do with the Palestinian Arabs.

  • The “West Bank” was taken during a DEFENSIVE war. While it is a matter of debate whether Israel’s 1967 preemptive attack on Egypt which was ready to attack Israel was offensive or defensive, there is no debate that the Jordanians (and Palestinian Arabs who had taken Jordanian citizenship) attacked Israel first. The laws about the inadmissibility of taking land have to do with a “belligerent party,” not the defensive party.
  • The international community recognizes Israel’s taking land in a defensive war. After the Arab armies attacked Israel in 1948-9, Israel seized much more land than was granted to it under UN Resolution 181, known as the 1947 Partition Plan. The dynamic of taking more of the “West Bank” in yet another defensive war follows the same principle.
  • The Sinai peninsula was never part of the Palestine Mandate.  Israel returned land to Egypt that it took in the 1967 war, land that was never part of the Palestine Mandate which sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland. However, the “West Bank” is part-and-parcel of the Palestine Mandate, just as the land west of the 1949 Green Line was part of the Jewish homeland.

Lie: The Palestinians seek “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security.” Carter continued to recite language from UN resolution 242, but failed to connect Palestinians to the clause.

  • The Palestinian Arabs have voted for war, not peace. The Palestinian Arabs voted Hamas, a recognized terrorist group that seeks the destruction of Israel, to 58% of the parliament in 2006. Palestinian polls show Palestinian Arabs favoring the group in every poll. This is a group that has the most anti-Semitic charter in the world, which specifically calls for killing Jews and destroying all of Israel. The Hamas leadership continues to incite violence against Israelis.

Lie: Carter implied that “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” meant withdrawal from the West Bank. It does not.

  • A withdrawal from “territories” but not “all of the territories.”  The language in the UN resolution was approved with specific amendments in the final text. It specifically did not call for Israel to remove troops from all of the new lands, as the 1949 Armistice Agreements with Egypt and with Jordan specifically stated that the Armistice Lines / the Green Line was NOT to be considered a new border.

Lie: Carter stated that Jewish homes in the West Bank were “constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory.” Carter has adopted the anti-Israel United Nations language in describing “settlements” as illegal. He might as well also state that “Zionism is racism,” as stated in UN Resolution 3379 which was passed in 1975 under his watch.

  • Jews living throughout the West Bank is LEGAL. International law in 1920 (San Remo Agreement) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine) specifically stated that Jewish immigration was to be encouraged throughout Palestine and that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief” (Mandate Article 15). You cannot bar Jews from living in the West Bank as a matter of moral and legal principle.

Lie: Carter wrote that Obama declared that the border between Israel and Palestine “should be based on the 1967 lines.”   This is a half-truth that is a complete lie.

  • Obama stated that borders should be negotiated between the two parties and include land swaps to account for current realities. Carter deliberately misled his liberal fans and Israel-bashers by only using half of Obama’s suggested course to peace. Obama stated that the borders would NOT look like the 1967 borders, but Carter piecemealed Obama’s quote into a distortion, a lie.  It should be further noted that Obama’s language was much softer than the assurances that President George W. Bush gave Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 that “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.”

Lie: Carter implied that the Israelis’ “commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation,” and said nothing about Palestinian Arabs lack of desire for peace.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated repeatedly he seeks to commence negotiations immediately to resolve the conflict. It is Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas that refuses to engage with Israel. It is Mahmoud Abbas that incites terror against Israelis and seeks to deny Jewish rights and history in Jerusalem. Only Israeli leadership has declared the goal of two states for two peoples, while Abbas has called for an Arab state of Palestine devoid of Jews, and Israel, which should be a bi-national state.

Lie: Carter calls all of the West Bank “Palestinian Land,” which are “occupied.”

  • The West Bank includes “Palestinian Authority territory” which is administered by the PA, and Israeli territory, administered by Israel – according to the Oslo Accords, agreed to by both parties. The Oslo I and Oslo II Accords signed in 1993 and 1995 by the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority handed over certain lands to the PA. Those areas, known as Area A, are where the vast majority of Arabs in the West Bank live. They are not under Israeli military control. Area C, which is under Israeli military control, is where the vast majority of Israelis live in the West Bank, and include a minimal number of Arabs.

Lie: Carter claims that the world condemns Israel since Arabs east of the Green Line cannot vote, while Israeli Jews living in EGL can. That is wild distortion of reality.

  • Arabs in Jerusalem can become citizens and vote in Israeli elections. Israel reunited the city of Jerusalem in 1967, and expanded the borders of the city in 1980. Israel gave ALL people living in the city the option to become Israeli citizens, just as the other million-plus non-Jews in Israel enjoy Israeli citizenship. Thousands of Arabs from Jerusalem have become citizens of Israel.
  • People in territories around the world don’t vote. Puerto Ricans, Guam and other US territories, are not eligible to vote in US elections. Does the world condemn the US for this structure? No. Citizens are entitled to vote – regardless of where they live. An American living in Germany for 20 years still gets to vote in US elections, while a Puerto Rican will not. Similar for Israeli citizens that opt to live in EGL/ the West Bank.

Lie: Carter calls the Palestinian Authority a “moderate Palestinian leadership.”

After laying out a package of outright lies and half-truths, Carter calls on President Obama to act quickly and: 1) recognize a Palestinian State; and 2) passing a UN Security Council Resolution that all Israeli “settlements” are illegal.  He added “Recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.

It is beyond “radical.” It is wrong and dangerous.

To this day, Carter remains the only US president to call Israelis living in EGL/West Bank “illegal.” Obama, Bush and others used terms like “illegitimate” (Obama) or “unhelpful” (Bush) or even an “obstacle to peace,” but no other president claimed that settlements in disputed territory are “illegal.” Such a declaration is radical, and the left-wing extremist was the only president to use such terminology.

Further, recognizing a Palestinian State completely ends the Oslo Accords and a negotiated solution. It doesn’t “restart” talks, but puts both parties on the course for unilateral actions, such as annexation of additional lands. It will most likely lead to war.

Carter (like the anti-Israel UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon) has urged Hamas and Fatah to reconcile. They seek to insert a genocidal Nazi party into the Palestinian government as a pathway to peace. These are the same people that recommend these two radical actions.

While Carter and Ban are correct in recognizing that it is unsustainable to have a Palestinian state with distinct governments controlling different parts of the country, that just underscores why there cannot be recognition of a Palestinian state today. It doesn’t mean rewarding a dysfunctional and anti-Semitic government with recognition.

Jimmy Carter New York Times Op-Ed November 29, 2016

Seeing Jimmy Carter write again is a reminder of the far left fringe’s inability to see or grasp the truth of the Middle East.  Carter’s adoration of Hamas, underlines his insanity. He imagines and hopes for a world that doesn’t exist, and makes suggestions that are dangerous for civil society.

Here is Carter’s Op-Ed of lies in full. The boldface is meant as reference for the notes above.

ATLANTA — We do not yet know the policy of the next administration toward Israel and Palestine, but we do know the policy of this administration. It has been President Obama’s aim to support a negotiated end to the conflict based on two states, living side by side in peace.

That prospect is now in grave doubt. I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership.

Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel. And those two foundational concepts have been the basis for the policy of the United States government and the international community ever since.

This was why, in 2009, at the beginning of his first administration, Mr. Obama reaffirmed the crucial elements of the Camp David agreement and Resolution 242 by calling for a complete freeze on the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory. Later, in 2011, the president made clear that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” and added, “negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”

Today, however, 38 years after Camp David, the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation. Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands. Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories, but are not citizens of Israel. Most live largely under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel’s national elections.

Meanwhile, about 600,000 Israeli settlers in Palestine enjoy the benefits of Israeli citizenship and laws. This process is hastening a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel.

The Carter Center has continued to support a two-state solution by hosting discussions this month with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, searching for an avenue toward peace. Based on the positive feedback from those talks, I am certain that United States recognition of a Palestinian state would make it easier for other countries that have not recognized Palestine to do so, and would clear the way for a Security Council resolution on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Security Council should pass a resolution laying out the parameters for resolving the conflict. It should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications. Security guarantees for both Israel and Palestine are imperative, and the resolution must acknowledge the right of both the states of Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security. Further measures should include the demilitarization of the Palestinian state, and a possible peacekeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations.

A strong Security Council resolution would underscore that the Geneva Conventions and other human rights protections apply to all parties at all times. It would also support any agreement reached by the parties regarding Palestinian refugees.

The combined weight of United States recognition, United Nations membership and a Security Council resolution solidly grounded in international law would lay the foundation for future diplomacy. These steps would bolster moderate Palestinian leadership, while sending a clear assurance to the Israeli public of the worldwide recognition of Israel and its security.

This is the best — now, perhaps, the only — means of countering the one-state reality that Israel is imposing on itself and the Palestinian people. Recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.

The primary foreign policy goal of my life has been to help bring peace to Israel and its neighbors. That September in 1978, I was proud to say to a joint session of Congress, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” As Mr. Begin and Mr. Sadat sat in the balcony above us, the members of Congress stood and applauded the two heroic peacemakers.

I fear for the spirit of Camp David. We must not squander this chance.

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The Impossible Liberal Standard

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The Current Intifada against Everyone

The shootings, stabbings and car attacks in Israel in the fall of 2015 have led several media pundits and politicians to wonder whether the beginning of the Third Intifada has begun. This Palestinian intifada is against their own leaders as much as it is against Israel, and to miss that point is to miss the core issues and solutions before the parties.

Har Nof
Murder in Synagogue in Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem
November 2014 (photo: Israel Government Press Office)

First Intifada against Israel (1987-1993)

The First Intifada, which began in 1987, was launched by Palestinian Arabs who were angry about the lack of movement towards a creating a Palestinian state. The multi-year attacks killed thousands of people, and not just in Palestinians-versus-Israelis attacks. An estimated 1,000 Arabs who were suspected of collaborating with Israel were also killed by fellow Palestinian Arabs.

The First Intifada continued until the Oslo Accords of 1993 which started a timetable for a negotiated agreement between the parties. It was the first time that the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) formally recognized each other. Counter to popular belief, the agreement did NOT call for the creation of a Palestinian state, but was crafted to transition Palestinians to self-rule (for example, a solution like American Indian reservations would have met the stipulations in the Oslo Accords) to commence within five years.

Transition (1993-2000).  Between 1993 and 2000, the leadership of Israel and Palestinian Arabs attempted to arrive at a peace treaty and settle all key issues including matters of boundaries, security and the status of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. During this time there were still hundreds of attacks against Israelis with almost 100 Israelis killed. While the world may have considered the First Intifada to have concluded with Oslo, for Israelis, the murder and mayhem never stopped.

Second Intifada (September 2000-September 2014)
“No Compromise Intifada”

The Second Intifada broke out in September 2000 when it became clear that the Palestinians were not going to get everything that they demanded: a new country based on land that was controlled by Egypt and Jordan which was taken by Israel in 1967; the eastern half of Jerusalem as their capital; and a right of return to Israel for all Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants.

Intifada 2A: Arafat’s War (2000-2005). Angry at the terms that he negotiated with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak with the assistance of US President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) launched a multi-year war against Israelis. Bombs blew up buses and pizza parlors. Arabs shot at cars and schools. Thousands of Israelis – most of them civilians – were murdered by Palestinians, and thousands of Palestinian Arabs were killed in efforts to put down the intifada.

Transition (November 2004-2008). The first wave of the Second Intifada ended when several notable things occurred:

  • Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) died in November 2004.
  • Israel largely completed a security barrier to stop Palestinian Arab attackers from entering Israel from the west bank of the Jordan River.
  • Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip (2005).
  • Palestinian Arabs held presidential elections, voting for Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas in 2005.
  • In 2006, Palestinians held Parliamentary elections and voted for Hamas, a more radical party that called for Israel’s destruction that is considered a terrorist organization by many countries including the US and Israel.
  • In 2007, Fatah and Hamas fought bitter battles against each other and Hamas evicted Fatah from Gaza and seized authority there.
  • With the Hamas takeover over Gaza, Israel put in place a naval blockade (and later a land blockade) to stop weapons from flowing to Hamas.

Intifada 2B: The Divided Intifada (2008-2014). By 2007, the Palestinian Arabs were deeply divided with Hamas controlling Gaza, and Fatah ruling in the West Bank. Each party had different stated goals and approaches to their conflict with Israel.

Hamas’s Violent War of Destruction: Hamas did not want a two-state solution and sought the complete destruction of Israel through armed conflict. Fighting from a defined region in Gaza and using missiles (as opposed to street attacks) the Hamas fight appeared more akin to a war. Indeed, the press referred to the 2008, 2012 and 2014 battles as distinct wars between Gaza/ Hamas (not Palestinians generally) and Israel. Israel referred to its defensive operations as Operation Cast Lead; Operation Pillar of Defense, and Operation Protective Edge, respectively. These three “wars” were a continuation of Hamas’s fight to destroy Israel, described clearly in its 1988 Hamas Charter.

Abbas’s Political War of Demands: In the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas and the world courted each other. Abbas kept the Palestinian Arab masses out of Hamas’s massive attacks against Israelis and thereby portrayed himself as a moderate. In turn, many countries assured Abbas that he would achieve all of his demands that fell short in the 2000 peace talks, through diplomatic means. US President Obama made Abbas comfortable that Israel’s biggest ally (the US) would pressure Israel into conceding to all Palestinian demands: Obama pushed for a settlement freeze in 2009; in 2011 he said that borders would “be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,”; he stripped all Israel-leaning positions from the 2012 Democratic platform, including that there would not be a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel; he even said that Jews moving into existing homes they legally purchased in the eastern part of Jerusalem was a “provocation” in 2014.

The world similarly gave Abbas encouragement. They admitted Palestine to UNESCO in 2011, and many countries began to recognize Palestine as a country, even though it had yet to negotiate borders and security with Israel. Abbas’s moves in the political sphere to secure all of his demands were seemingly gaining traction.

Palestinians Intifada against Everyone
(October 2014- )

The “Third Intifada” began at the end of Operation Protective Edge with a few events. It resembled prior intifadas because the attacks were between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews in the streets, but the nature of the intifada was quite different than the ones in the past. Whereas the first intifada was Palestinians-versus-Israel and the second intifada was Palestinian leadership-versus-Israel, the third intifada is Palestinians-against-everyone.

The start of the Intifada against Everyone: Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas kept the West Bank Arabs out of the Gaza/ Hamas War of Destruction based on the promise that the Palestinians would be able to achieve their goals that they failed to achieve in 2000 through diplomacy. However, the Palestinians had only won empty victories of recognition at UNESCO and were no further along in achieving a state. In the fall of 2014, several matters came to boil:

  • Anger at the destruction in Gaza. Over 2000 Palestinians were killed in the summer of 2014 and the attacks against Israel yielded nothing.
  • Anger at not being part of the Fight. The West Bank mainly stayed out of the fight, even though many people supported Hamas’s war against Israel.
  • Anger at Jewish advocacy on the Temple Mount. In October 2014, Rabbi Yehuda Glick continued to advocate for the right of Jews to pray at their holiest location. Radical Islamists shot Glick several times, though he survived the attack. The assailants were killed and Abbas praised them as “martyrs.”
  • Anger at being banned from the Temple Mount. In response to the attempted assassination of Glick, Israel closed the Temple Mount to all visitors. This further enraged Arabs both at being banned from their third holiest site, and the stark realization that Israel had control of the Temple Mount.
  • Anger at not moving forward on Statehood. For all of Abbas’s promises that the world would force Israel to accede to all Palestinian demands, the year 2014 which was hailed as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” was going to end with nothing. Abbas could not even get Netanyahu to release all of the prisoners that they had expected to be released.
  • Anger at Palestinian leadership. Both Fatah and Hamas failed to deliver positive results for Palestinians. They were viewed as corrupt by the vast majority of Palestinians, and the two parties could not even reconcile to coordinate a cohesive single ruling authority. Both Palestinian leaderships were failures by every measure, but no new elections were on the horizon even though the Palestinian Arabs hadn’t voted since 2006.
  • Anger at Arab States. Egypt changed leadership to General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013, but it was in 2014 that Egypt began to shut down the border between Gaza and Egypt, crippling the Gaza economy (and arms flow). Foreign supporters like Qatar which pledged money to rebuild Gaza were unable to do so because of legal hurdles.
  • Anger at the United States. While US President Obama and Secretary of State were effective in pushing Israel, the limits became apparent when they could not get Israel to release the fourth batch of prisoners in 2014. How could the US then force Israel to move forward with all of its greater demands?
  • Anger at themselves. The world took to the streets during the summer of 2014, largely condemning Israel for the war from Gaza. Yet the EGL Arabs (Arabs living east of the Green Line) were relatively quiet. They watched global protests while they didn’t protest. They witnessed fellow Palestinian Arabs fighting and dying in Gaza while they didn’t fight.
  • Anger at the world. For all of the waiting and promises from the US and the world to pressure Israel to deliver Palestinian demands, it became clear that such a path would not yield everything the Palestinians sought. Palestinians realized that the world would not impose their demands on Israel.

The Start of Attacks: While Hamas was behind the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in Judea in June 2014, the “lone wolf” EGL Palestinians began to attack Israeli civilians in the streets and synagogues in October.

  • Car attacks rammed people in Jerusalem (October 2014)
  • Mahmoud Abbas called for Palestinians to defend Al Aqsa (October)
  • An attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick (October)
  • Car attacks and stabbings in Gush Etzion (November)
  • Arabs hacked Jewish worshippers to death in a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof (November)
  • Various other attacks and calls for a “car intifada

The Anger-at-Everyone Intifada was underway.

Yet to understand the spike in the current wave of attacks in the fall of 2015, requires an appreciation that the end of the Palestinian Authority is at hand.

The 2015 Collapse of the Palestinian Authority and Oslo.  As described above, Abbas has remained unpopular since 2006.  He remains a puppet in the eleventh year of a four-year term.  He is old – 80 as of March.  And the old, ineffective, unpopular Abbas is only part of the story.  The Palestinian Authority is collapsing.

1.Impending PA Bankruptcy.  The PA was never particularly well-funded.  The PA suffered from several serious flaws even before the current crisis: large scale corruption and theft by PA leadership, and a reliance on Israel to collect and submit taxes on the PA’s behalf. In 2015, new problems emerged:

  • In February 2015, the PA lost a court case in the United States filed by Shurat HaDin on behalf of Americans killed in the Second Intifada.  The court awarded the victims of terrorism $655.5 million.  The verdict would likely have spelled the end of the PA so US Secretary of State John Kerry came to the PA rescue in August and had the PA post only a $10 million bond while the case is appealed.  The case will be heard March 2016, and the PA will likely lose and declare bankruptcy.
  • In June 2014, in the wake of a possible reconciliation government between Fatah and Hamas, the US Congress threatened to withhold funding of the PA since Hamas is a designated terrorist organization.  Obama voted to overrule Congress. The 2014 Gaza War started soon thereafter so the Palestinian reconciliation government has been slow to take form. But the impact of the US cutting funding lingers of the PA.

2. Hamas Funding. While the PA sits on the brink of bankruptcy and Hamas sits without funds or infrastructure, a game-changing event happened in July 2015.  The world powers agreed to allow Iran to run a curtailed nuclear program in exchange for releasing up to $150 billion.  There were no constraints to how Iran could use the money and it has made no secret of its desire to erase Israel from the map.  Iran has had a long-term relationship with Hizbullah in Lebanon, and the release of these funds could provide a huge windfall for Hamas, particularly if the world softens the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

3. Goodbye Obama. Good night Ban Ki-Moon.  The best chance Abbas had for imposing the 2000 Palestinian demands on Israel were through the United Nations and the United States.  Both US President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon were strong advocates for the Palestinian cause.  Each one consistently berated Israel and tried to force it to accept Palestinian terms.  However, while their rhetoric was powerful, the heavy-handed approach to Israel did not yield the Palestinians promise.  Ban Ki-Moon’s term at the UN expires December 2016 and Barack Obama’s term expires January 2017.  It is hard to imagine that a new US president or SG of the UN will be as anti-Israel as the parties Abbas had working for him.

So Abbas took the podium at the United Nations in September 2015 and essentially announced that the Oslo Accords were dead.  He knew that he was done and the Palestinians were done with him.  He could not imagine that a PA facing bankruptcy while Hamas gained Iranian funds would keep his straw-man position propped up any longer. He left open the possibility that the lame ducks Obama and Ki-Moon might save him, but he knew his game was basically over.

The Rise of Intifada-against-Everyone. The Palestinians celebrate the end of the PA.  In addition to its corruption, they viewed the Authority as a tool of the Israeli government to suppress violence.  The EGL Arabs sat out the Divided Intifada because of the PA, and there was no honor in that. With the closing of the PA, it could pick up its part of the Divided Intifada, and perhaps do it with money and weapons from Iran.

In time, it may even have a nuclear-powered sponsor to enforce its demands.

For now, the Palestinians arm themselves with encouragement on social media like Facebook and Twitter.  They share videos of how to stab and attack Israelis and selections from videos of Israelis attacking Arabs. They come to the streets armed with knives, rocks and Molotov cocktails all around Israel and Judea and Samaria, looking for Jews to attack.

While the anger is at everyone, for now the attacks are limited to Jews.  As the Palestinian Authority truly collapses and the Iran deal either collapses or is implemented, the attacks will likely expand to other groups in other locations.

The Solution

The Temple Mount / Al Aqsa. World focus is now on security at the Temple Mount.  Indeed the rights of Jews on the Mount was seen by many as the excuse for starting the second intifada so parties are eager to calm the situation there. A narrow focus on Jewish rights and access is a small part of the bigger picture.

Ending Incitement. World leaders have urged parties to refrain from incitement, even while they barely berate Mahmoud Abbas’s calls for jihad.  While such calls for calm are appropriate, they also confuse the source of the anger. Palestinians have doubled their use of daily social media over the past 18 months according to polls. They do not wait for Abbas or Ma’an to tell them what is news or how to kill.

Compromise. The core issue can only be addressed when the global community states very clearly that the Palestinians must compromise.  They will not get everything they hope for nor will they even get everything within each core issue that they seek.

Obama thought that the old ways of supporting Israeli positions did not yield peace so he threw out that method and ran his presidency on being a bully to Israel.  But an Israel that feels threatened and insecure – despite Obama’s security cooperation – will not be in a position to conclude a deal with Palestinian Arabs.

The even bigger obstacle than the Obama administration has been the United Nations which has taken to every Palestinian position and encouraged them to believe that there is no need to compromise on their aspirations. That is a fatal flaw.

The UN must state clearly that the path to two states does not rely on negotiations but on compromise. A new Palestinian state will not come to being on “1967 borders.” All of East Jerusalem will not be the capital of such state. A total of 5 million refugees and their descendants will not move to Israel. The UN must stop encouraging these fantasies.

The first and easiest step to move towards a final resolution between the parties is to unravel the refugee mess that the United Nations promotes. The UN should make clear:

  • While the UN will continue to provide services to 5 million refugees and their descendants in the near-term, the only people that could be entitled to go to Israel under a “right of return” as defined in UN Resolution 194 are actual refugees. It will be up to Israel to allow any additional people enter the country.
  • Any refugee re-entering Israel must abide by the language of Resolution 194 which states that that they are willing to “live at peace“, and follow Israel’s guidelines for affirming such which may include acknowledging that Israel is a Jewish State.

If the UN and US really care about avoiding a third intifada and resolving the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict, it must move past the smaller issues of focusing on incitement to the bigger picture of publicly stating that Arabs must compromise on their stated demands to resolve the conflict.  To date, Obama and Ki-Moon have encouraged the same unrealistic Palestinian expectations, and with it, the anger of the Palestinians for not delivering on an unrealistic goal.

The second intifada was against Israel for not meeting Palestinians demands, and the third intifada against everyone is about the world’s failure to enforce those demands. It is time for an honest conversation – publicly – about those very demands, to avoid more bloodshed and to end the conflict.

Related First.One.Through articles:

A “Viable” Palestinian State

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

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UN’s Confusion on the Legality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

In June 2015, the United Nations issued a report highly critical of Israel’s handling of its war against Palestinian attacks. Throughout the report, the committee suggested that the Israeli blockade of Gaza was a major cause for suffering of Palestinians, rather than a result of Palestinian actions, and helped precipitate the war.

Member of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict Doudou Diene (L) gestures next to Chairperson of the Commission Mary McGowan Davis during a press conference to present their report on June 22, 2015 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Both Israel and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes during last year's Gaza war, a widely anticipated United Nations report said on June 22, decrying "unprecedented" devastation and human suffering.   AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

Member of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict Doudou Diene (L) gestures next to Chairperson of the Commission Mary McGowan Davis during a press conference to present their report on June 22, 2015 at the United Nations Office in Geneva.  AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

2015 UN Assertion that
Blockade was Cause for Conflict

In the section of the report that reviewed the background to the 2014 conflict, the report stated that “In the preceding months, there were few, if any, political prospects for reaching a solution to the conflict that would achieve peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis and realize the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The blockade of Gaza by Israel, fully implemented since 2007 and described by the Secretary-General as “a continuing collective penalty against the population in Gaza” (A/HRC/28/45, para. 70), was strangling the economy in Gaza and imposed severe restrictions on the rights of the Palestinians.” By way of correction and education to the reader, the naval blockade of Gaza only began in January 2009 (not 2007). The land blockade of Gaza began in 2007 after Hamas routed Fatah from Gaza and took complete control of the region.

It is important and significant to point out that this 2015 report suggested that there were “few POLITICAL PROSPECTS for reaching a solution” and that the “blockade of Gaza.. was strangling the economy” and “imposed severe restrictions” on Palestinians. This directly implied that the Palestinians were seeking a political solution and rightfully frustrated with a blockade that was imposed on them (presumably for no reason).  Therefore, since a political solution was not available, they were forced to pursue a military response.

That is outrageous on many levels.

  1. Hamas has stated clearly in its charter and in addresses by its leaders that it seeks the complete destruction of Israel and that it will never enter peace negotiations. (A fact that was never mentioned in the UN report)
  2. Hamas clearly stated that it would not pursue any “peaceful solutions and international conferences” as seen in its charter, below.
  3. Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007 is never mentioned in the UN report.

Hamas Charter Article 13: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement…. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

The UN report inverted reality and ignored that the blockade of Gaza was in response to Hamas’s taking over of Gaza and firing thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians.

 2015 UN Report
Call to Remove the Blockade

The UN report concluded with several suggestions which clearly placed the blame for the conflict on Israel’s actions: “The commission calls upon the Government of Israel… to address structural issues that fuel the conflict and have a negative impact on a wide range of human rights, including the right to self-determination; in particular, to lift, immediately and unconditionally, the blockade on Gaza.

This conclusion and suggestion are in stark contrast to the September 2011 UN “Palmer Commission Report” which clearly spoke of the legal nature of Israel’s blockade of Gaza and spoke to the harm and evil intent of Hamas which necessitated the blockade.


2011 UN Report
on LEGAL NATURE of Blockade of Gaza

To start, the Palmer Report correctly identified the different blockades of Gaza and the reason for them: “the tightening of border controls between Gaza and Israel came about after the take-over of Hamas in Gaza in June 2007.  On the other hand, the naval blockade was imposed more than a year later, in January 2009.”

The report continued that “the naval blockade as a distinct legal measure was imposed primarily to enable a legally sound basis for Israel to exert control over ships attempting to reach Gaza with weapons and related goods.  This was in reaction to certain incidents when vessels had reached Gaza via sea.”

The report then continued in greater detail on the “structural issues that fuel the conflict” with specific history (as opposed to simply echoing the Palestinian narrative as it did in the 2015 report): “Israel has faced and continues to face a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza.  Rockets, missiles and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israel since 2001.  More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed.  Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians live in the range of these attacks.  As their effectiveness has increased some rockets are now capable of reaching Tel Aviv. Since 2001 such attacks have caused more than 25 deaths and hundreds of injuries.  The enormity of the psychological toll on the affected population cannot be underestimated.  In addition, there have been substantial material losses.  The purpose of these acts of violence, which have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, has been to do damage to the population of Israel.  It seems obvious enough that stopping these violent acts was a necessary step for Israel to take in order to protect its people and to defend itself.

In regard for using a naval blockade to prevent the assault from Gaza on Israel, the report stated “The Israeli report to the Panel makes it clear that the naval blockade as a measure of the use of force was adopted for the purpose of defending its territory and population, and the Panel accepts that was the case.  It was designed as one way to prevent weapons reaching Gaza by sea and to prevent such attacks to be launched from the sea.  Indeed there have been various incidents in which ships carrying weapons were intercepted by the Israeli authorities on their way to Gaza.”

In sharp contrast to the 2015 report which cited the UN Secretary General’s comment that the blockade was a “collective penalty against the population in Gaza“, the 2011 Palmer Report concluded that “Although a blockade by definition imposes a restriction on all maritime traffic, given the relatively small size of the blockade zone and the practical difficulties associated with other methods of monitoring vessels (such as by search and visit), the Panel is not persuaded that the naval blockade was a disproportionate measure for Israel to have taken in response to the threat it faced.

The report concluded with clarity: “Israel was entitled to take reasonable steps to prevent the influx of weapons into Gaza.  With that objective, Israel established a series of restrictions on vessels entering the waters of Gaza.  These measures culminated in the declaration of the naval blockade on 3 January 2009… There is nothing before the Panel that would suggest that Israel did not maintain an effective and impartial blockade….  it is evident that Israel had a military objective.  The stated primary objective of the naval blockade was for security.  It was to prevent weapons, ammunition, military supplies and people from entering Gaza and to stop Hamas operatives sailing away from Gaza with vessels filled with explosives… It is also noteworthy that the earliest maritime interception operations to prevent weapons smuggling to Gaza predated the 2007 take-over of Hamas in Gaza.  The actual naval blockade was imposed more than one year after that event. These factors alone indicate it was not imposed to punish its citizens for the election of Hamas….  As this report has already indicated, we are satisfied that the naval blockade was based on the need to preserve Israel’s security.  Stopping the importation of rockets and other weapons to Gaza by sea helps alleviate Israel’s situation as it finds itself the target of countless attacks, which at the time of writing have once again become more extensive and intensive…  We have reached the view that the naval blockade was proportionate in the circumstances… The Panel therefore concludes that Israel’s naval blockade was legal… Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza.  The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.

Quite a different narrative and conclusion than the UN wrote up in 2015.

Related FirstOneThrough article:

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Gaza Blockade versus Cuban Blockade

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Summary: In their eagerness to give Palestinian Arabs self-determination, Europeans have begun to symbolically recognize Palestine as a country.  However, the Europeans have failed to recognize that Palestinian actions are against the law and vision for peace.

During the months of October and November 2014, a number of European countries took symbolic steps to recognize Palestine as a distinct independent country. What do they really recognize and how does it fit with their world vision and laws?

 Holocaust Denial

Holocaust denial and its trivialization is part of the Palestinian culture, starting with its acting president, Mahmoud Abbas.

  • Abbas spent several years writing his doctorate research on Holocaust denial; that phd paper is taught at the Palestinian Authority.
  • In April 2014, Abbas continued his pattern of belittling the Holocaust by stating that the Palestinians can appreciate the Holocaust because they suffer from similar “ethnic discrimination and racism” from Israel.
  • In September 2014 Abbas said Israel was engaged in a “war of genocide” against the Palestinians,
  • The major political party for the Palestinians, Hamas, which runs Gaza, prohibits the teaching of Holocaust studies in its schools, even though it is a standard part of the UNRWA school program.

This denial of the Holocaust is considered illegal in many European countries including: Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Hungary; Israel; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Spain; and Switzerland.

abbas holocaust book
Mahmoud Abbas’ Holocaust Denial book, available on Palestinian Authority website


The Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic group on the planet.

  • A poll published by the Anti Defamation League in April 2014 found that almost every single Palestinian Arab- 93% – harbor anti-Semitic views.
  • The Hamas charter is the most anti-Semitic and racist charter on earth. It reads like a combination of Hitler’s Mein Kamf, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and a Jihadist Manifesto. It openly calls for the killing of all Jews and the destruction of the Jewish State.
  • The Palestinians support Hamas with this charter, electing them to 58% of the parliament in 2006 and backing the party in every poll since that time.
  • Palestinian leadership and clergy often call Jews names (like “sons of pigs and apes”) on state run television.
  • Palestinian law prohibits Jews from stepping onto college campuses in the West Bank.
  • Palestinian law and Abbas have made it a crime to sell land to Jews.
  • Abbas has stated he will not permit a single Israeli to live in a new state of Palestine.

The United Nations ran its first ever discussion about the growing problem of anti-Semitism in January 2015. Several countries have laws specifically banning anti-Semitism (beyond general laws against hate speech) including: Austria; France; Mexico; Romania; Spain; Sweden and Switzerland.

Pal nazi2
Palestinians Hoist Nazi Swastika


Attacking Israeli civilians has been a fundamental charge of the Palestinians.

Many countries label Hamas a terrorist organization including: the US; Canada; Australia; Israel; Japan; the United Kingdom; Egypt and Jordan. The European Union also categorized Hamas as a terrorist organization until December 2014, when it decided to reconsider the designation. The United Nations has also created task forces to deal with terrorism that are intended to cut off all support.

Square named after Murderer

To summarize the state of the Palestinians in 2015: it is run by a Holocaust denier who has suspended elections while he instigates violence; the ruling party in parliament is more openly anti-Semitic and genocidal than the Nazis when they were elected in 1933, and has called for the complete destruction of a member state of the United Nations; and the populace is the most anti-Semitic in the world.

It is one thing to wish for a group of people to have self-determination. But does such a hateful, violent jihadist group which seeks the destruction of a member state of the United Nations deserve recognition?

If Europe and the world truly care about Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and terrorism as current laws declare, they must confront the reality of the current state of Palestinian Arabs and demand fundamental changes before it can be given any recognition on the world stage.


Abbas Holocaust denial paper: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/143752#.VMuN-ps5BTw

Holocaust denial criminal offense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial

Abbas calling a “genocide” by Israel: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/09/abbas-israel-waging-war-genocide-gaza-201492616952287680.html

Palestinian law banning the sale of land to Jews:


Left-wing article on left-wing journalist barred from Bir Zeit University: http://jfjfp.com/?p=65375

Birzeit University bans Jews: http://www.timesofisrael.com/haaretz-writer-booted-from-palestinian-school-because-shes-israeli/

Calling Jews “sons of pigs and apes” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHhG1IyfqXg#t=13

Hamas charter: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

Palestinian poll September 2014: http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/496

  • If presidential elections, Hamas would win and Abbas would place third in a three-person race
  • 81% Hamas’s “way of resisting occupation”

Palestinian terrorists attack Jews all over world: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/israel-news/timeline-attacks-synagogues

United Nations task force on terrorism: http://www.un.org/en/terrorism/

ADL anti-Semitism report: http://global100.adl.org/public/ADL-Global-100-Executive-Summary.pdf

Laws against anti-Semitism: http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/Legislation%20Against%20Antisemitism%20and%20Denial%20of%20the%20Holocaust

UN discussion on anti-Semitism: http://hosted2.ap.org/ORBEN/*/Article_2015-01-22-UN–United%20Nations-Combatting%20Anti-Semitism/id-358f417966bc4fb5abfc89d95535fc39#.VMhQASyVnEY

EU reverses on Hamas terrorist label: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/world/europe/hamas-palestinian-statehood-vote-european-parliament.html?_r=0

Related First One Through articles:

Europe punishing Israel instead of Palestinians to advance peace process: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/european-narrative-over-facts/

Failure of Europe in the peace process: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/failing-negotiation-102-europe/

Abbas knows Racism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/abbas-knows-racism/

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-palestinians-arent-resorting-to-violence-they-are-murdering-and-waging-war/

Abbas shift on the Holocaust: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/frightening-new-york-times-42714-article-on-mahmoud-abbas-shifts-on-holocaust/

Hamas is more extreme than the Nazis: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/extreme-and-mainstream-germany-1933-west-bank-gaza-2014/

Music video on Hamas (music by CSNY):


Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

A Sad and Sick Satire

Ahmed and Mohammed were very excited to open the newspaper one cold day in late 2014. The brothers knew that the paper was packed with colorful circulars for Christmas 2014. While they were devout Muslims, they appreciated toys as much as the next kid, and this year’s circular promised to be one of the best ever.

The boys ripped open the paper and let the various pages fall into the middle of the room. They grabbed handfuls of inserts that colored the hard floor. Each claimed a stack to himself and started to review the pictures and text.

The brothers learned quickly that each insert was sponsored by a different organization. The younger Mohammed yelled out “this one is from Hamas!” It had a giant picture of Khaled Mashaal pointing his finger in the air with a quote: “Who says you can no longer afford it?” Mohammed began to read off the promotions for the Hamas circular:

  • A model train set modeled after the Jerusalem light rail line, complete with switches to blow up the stations and rail cars
  • A kit called “Terror Tunnel for Tots,” complete with 160 small shovels named for each of the children who died digging in Gaza
  • Dera” T-shirts with targets on them, (dera means “shield” in Arabic)
  • A hand grip exerciser which claimed to strengthen hands and empower stone throwing
  • An assortment of emojis including ones with a green bandana, a keffiyeh, and black ski mask
  • An adaption of the Majesco Entertainment game “Zumba” called “Boomba” which gets suicide bombers into shape
  • An advertisement for summer camp where children as young as three can learn to shoot guns and sport suicide vests
  • The back page included a note that any order comes with a copy of the Hamas Charter, animated with pictures of Jews as apes and pigs killing prophets

The older brother Ahmed got the circular promotion from Fatah. The large picture at the top of the front page was of acting PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the United Nations with the teaser “Free Palestine”. The circular included:

  • Two large pictures of a shirtless Abbas with the quote “Let us stand before them with chests bared”. The ad offered a waxing service and showed Abbas with a hairy chest and the other smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • A new release of “Martyr Cards”, updated with the newest inductees including Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi (killed a three-month old with his car), and Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi (shooter of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick)
  • A “Hanging Kit” including ropes of different sizes, “ideal for hanging land brokers who sell land to Jews”
  • A GoPro Car hood ornament, perfect for videoing running over Israelis
  • A map of the Jerusalem light rail with markings to show which ones have roadblocks
  • The back page had a picture of a scene with baby Jesus in a kheffiyeh with a sign that read “Bethlehem, Palestine”. Underneath the picture was a coupon for five “Apartheid Wall Paint” spray cans for graffiti, with any order of $200

The Islamic Jihad circular was relatively small:

  • A collection of small model cars with spikes on the front grill, some painted “Jew red” according to the outer box.
  • A couple of bumper stickers which read “We Don’t Break for Jews” and ”Islamic Jihad – Supplying Suicide Bombers for your Community”
  • Boxes of “Killing Candies” to be handed out to the community upon the murder of any American or Israeli

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine used the full page for a single ad on each side:

  • A knife collection in various sizes, ideal for Papa Terrorist, Mama Terrorist and Baby Terrorist. Buying two or more sets entitles the purchaser to the newly branded “Jerusalem Cleaver” like the one used to butcher four rabbis in November 2014
  • A vintage model airplane with various toy terrorists that can be placed inside to fly the plane to a destination of your choice

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine printed their circular in the format of a poster, only printing on one side:

  • The top of the page had pictures of ancient pottery. The website and phone number sat above a description for making “Ancient Pottery for Profit” for sale to tourists
  • The bottom of the page was full of skeleton keys, to represent homes of Palestinian Arabs lost in the 1948 “Nakba.” All items were labeled as being made locally in Syria.

The United States included a circular for the first time, likely as part of Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world. The advertisement included a big picture of Obama with a quote “A New Beginning” near his face. At the bottom of the page was a large picture of former US President Jimmy Carter holding up his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”. The Obama administration was offering a discount code and the ability to buy the book on the whitehouse.gov website.

The most exciting offers were high-end electronic gear from a joint marketing effort between New York University – the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and Brookstone. The offerings were beyond the boys expectations:

  • A rock pulling cart, complete with LED lights for night time stonings
  • A hand massager for relaxing the hands after a full day of rock throwing
  • A hand sized electric lighter, ideal for igniting Molotov cocktails on the go
  • Earplugs connected to mosque loudspeakers, in case 120 decibels wasn’t enough to wake you up for morning prayers

The boys thought that they were done going through all of the advertisements when the older Ahmed found a small ad printed on thick cardboard stock. This insert was sponsored by the Qatari government. They offered $1,000 for anyone who died killing a Jew.

“That stinks,” said Ahmed. “Saudi Arabia and Iraq used to give us a heck of a lot more!”

“Well,” answered Mohammed, “they gave that money after the fact, when they knew how much it would cost them. At this point, Qatar isn’t sure how many people will sign up.”

Ahmed laughed and patted his younger brother on the shoulder. “You make an excellent point!”  Mohammed beamed.

“So what do you think of this year’s offerings?” Ahmed continued.

“I like the model train set which you can blow up,” he replied. “But I think it’s too expensive for Abi (father).”

“Oh, no, he can afford it,” answered Ahmed. “He just won’t go to such an expense without actually killing any Jews.”

Mohammed let out a huge laugh as he thought, this is going to be the best season ever.



Khaled Meshaal affordability: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12684-meshaal-blames-netanyahu-for-current-escalation

The dead children of Hamas terror tunnels: http://tabletmag.com/scroll/180400/hamas-killed-160-palestinian-children-to-build-terror-tunnels

Abbas bare: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12915

Abbas “martyr inductees: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/23/abbas-fatah-praises-slayer-of-israeli-infant-as-holy-martyr-as-new-attack-footage-emerges-video/



Fatah on hanging people on poles: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/16/video-plo-official-wants-horrific-punishments-for-palestinians-who-sell-land-to-jews/

Fatah run over Jews: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12979

Palestinian Jesus: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564989

Islamic Jihad candies: http://www.israelnewsagency.com/bostonmarathonterrorattackpalestiniansdancingcandygazaobamahamasislamicjihadhezbollahiran48041513.html

Reducing noise levels of call to prayer: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/178063#.VHi9I5stCUk

Hamas Themes song for kids “Teach Your Children Well (CSNY)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2fcaSPB6M

Collective Guilt / Collective Punishment

The town of Sayreville, New Jersey is in mourning.

The superintendent of the town shut the high school’s football program for the rest of the year due to reports of sexual assaults made by upper classmen of the football team against the junior classmen. According to initial reports, the incidents have been commonplace for many years.

The town outcry has not been limited to the assaults on the teenagers. People in the town have been vocal and angry about the cancellation of the year’s games and the number of people they feel are unfairly impacted. One resident said: “I don’t think the whole team should be punished. I feel like only two or more students are involved, and they are the ones that should be kicked off.

The investigation into the hazing is in early stages, but it is fair to conclude that many people that did not participate in the crime will be impacted by the cancellation of the team’s football season. Impacted parties will range from team players, coaches and cheerleaders to business people that rely on the games to generate traffic into their stores.

Debates over collective guilt and collective punishment are not new. In many instances, the guilty parties do not squarely overlap with those impacted by the punishment. Oftentimes –as made clear by the Sayreville superintendent- the punishment serves to protect the assaulted parties in an absolute fashion while penalizing the broader collective in a relatively minor fashion.

Should the investigation yield certain results, people would certainly reconsider the broader community culpability in the crime. Imagine if the following facts were uncovered:

  • The form of hazing was written as part of the team manual
  • The team acquired lots of equipment that was specifically used for hazing rituals
  • The team had a statue of one of the seniors who successfully led the most hazings
  • The name of the stadium where the team played was of an acknowledged child molester
  • The coach was seen in various YouTube videos extolling the virtues of hazing to get the desired results from his players
  • The town democratically elected the coach knowing of his support for hazing

This sounds too crazy to remotely resemble reality. If it were true, people would conclude that the entire team, coaching staff, school and town were all equally culpable for the terrible deeds done to the teenagers. The state and country would demand more than just cancelling the season, but a dismantling of the entire institution. The town would be blacklisted by every organization in the country and effectively shut down, as the collective guilt would be seen as wide and deep.

The insane list above does not relate to Sayreville, NJ; but they are the actions taken by Palestinians and their elected leadership.

  • The Hamas Charter calls on all Arabs to kill Jews everywhere
  • The Palestinian Authority routinely praises murderers of innocent Jewish civilians and names squares and tournaments after the killers
  • Hamas used the cement it requested as “aid”, not for building schools or homes, but for digging tunnels into Israel to attack, abduct and kill Israeli civilians and soldiers
  • The tunnel network from Gaza started in homes of many Palestinians
  • Hamas launched thousands of rockets targeting Israeli cities
  • The head of Hamas called for deliberate bombings of Israeli cities to the cries of support from thousands of Palestinians
  • Hamas was democratically elected by Palestinians in January 2006, winning 58% of the parliament
  • Polls in August 2014 have Hamas winning 61% of the vote

What was the “punishment” that Israel enforced against the rabid anti-Semites that sought to kill its citizens and wipe out the country? Israel enforced a blockade of Gaza in 2007 after Hamas took control of the area. Yet it continued to allow electricity, food and supplies into Gaza despite the repeated Hamas statements that it sought to destroy Israel. The goal of the blockade was not a punishment, but a means to stop the flow of arms into Gaza which would be used to attack Israel.

What was the world reaction to a relatively light blockade of Gaza compared to the deliberate killing of Jews and destruction of Israel? A rebuke at the nature of the collective punishment on all of the people in Gaza.

Consider the Sayreville, NJ case again. Imagine the football team, school and community participated in all of those theoretical actions. How broad and severe would the punishment be? Each of those actions are not theoretical, but the reality of Palestinians in their approach towards Jews and Israel.

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it should enforce the dismantling of Hamas in its entirety.


Sayreville football scandal: http://usatodayhss.com/2014/seven-sayreville-n-j-football-players-facing-charges-in-hazing-scandal

Sayreville town people comment: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/middlesex-county/2014/10/07/sayreville-rocked-football-bullying-allegations/16879455/

The Palestinian democracy for Hamas: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/its-the-democracy-stupid/

Hamas election 2006: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600372.html

Hamas August 2014 poll: http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Hamas-Haniyeh-would-trounce-Abbas-if-elections-held-today-Palestinian-poll-says-374296

Hamas Charter: “In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad.” http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397

Fatah dedicating square to Dalal Mughrabi, murderer of 37 people on a bus: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1802

Washington Post article on Hamas building terror tunnels: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/21/how-hamas-uses-its-tunnels-to-kill-and-capture-israeli-soldiers/

Palestinian leadership on Jews and Israel: http://www.adl.org/anti-semitism/muslim-arab-world/c/hamas-in-their-own-words.html

Palestinians rejoicing in the bombing of Israeli cities: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4455.htm

The outrageous inversion of reality by Rashid Khalidi in the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/collective-punishment-gaza

Yasser Arafat quote: “We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!”  http://www.siotw.org/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=406#.VDxtJ_8tCUk