New York Times’ Muslim Anti-Semitism Washing

The New York Times decided to print the obituary of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a fiery leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, an advocate for violence and vocal anti-Semite. The paper opted to use a balanced approach in covering his life saying some thought of him as “a moderate” while others considered him “an extremist.”

The Times did not offer any commentary about his anti-Semitism nor calls for a global jihad against the Jews.

New York Times obituary on fiery anti-Semite never discussed his Jew hatred.

In regards to this violent bigot’s views about Jews, all the Times would offer was “During the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in 2001, he declared that suicide bombings by Palestinians against Israelis were permissible.

Were permissible? He actively encouraged a global jihad against the Jews, he didn’t simply say killing Jews was allowed during their Arab pogroms.

Here are his statements that the Times ignored:

Los Angeles Times, May 2001

[Suicide bombings] are heroic martyrdom operations, and the heroes who carry them out … are driven by an overwhelming desire to cast terror and fear into the hearts of the oppressors.

AFP, June 2001

These martyr operations led by the Palestinian fighters against Israel spring from resistance and all Muslims who kill to defend their land, honor and religion are martyrs.”

Al Jazeera, January 2009:

  • Allah lies in wait for [Jews], and He will not forsake [Islam]. He will not allow [Jews] to continue to spread corruption in the land. We wait for the revenge of Allah to descend upon them, and, Allah willing, it will be by our own hands…This is my message to the treacherous Jews, who have never adhered to what is right.
  • Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them.
  • Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they [the Jews] exaggerated this issue – he [Hitler] managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them.

The Atlantic, February 2011

  • The conquerors [of Palestine, the Jews] are those with the greatest enmity toward the believers [Muslims], and they are supported by the strongest state on earth – the USA, and by the world Jewish community.
  • The least the Muslim can do is to boycott the enemies’ goods.”
  • Receiving enemies in our own countries and visiting them in the occupied lands would remove such a psychological barrier that keeps us away from them, and would bridge the gap that keeps the desire for Jihad against them kindled in the hearts of the Ummah.”
  • We believe that the battle between us and the Jews is coming … Such a battle is not driven by nationalistic causes; it is rather driven by religious incentives. This battle … is between Muslims and Jews… This battle will occur between the collective body of Muslims and the collective body of Jews.
  • It [is] obligatory upon every Muslim wherever he is to defend Jerusalem, and al-Aqsa Mosque. This is an obligation upon all Muslims to participate in defending Jerusalem with their souls, money, and all that they possess, otherwise a punishment from Allah shall descend on the whole nation.

The New York Times recast a man who praised Hitler’s annihilation of European Jewry and sought a violent religious war of 1.8 billion Muslims against a paltry 15 million Jews, as simply a supporter of the second Palestinian “intifada.” It is a vile recasting of sickening Muslim jihadi anti-Semitism as supporting violent Palestinian national aspirations.

Shame on the Times anti-Semitism washing. #NoAntisemitismWashing

Related articles:

New York Times Mum on Muslim Anti-Semitism

Criticizing Muslim Antisemitism is Not Islamophobia

80 Years After Wannsee Conference, Arab/Muslim Anti-Semitism Dominates

BBC Welcomes Release of British Muslim Accused of Beheading Daniel Pearl

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

On December 5, 2017, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Taylor Force Act. Congress finally reached a point where it decided to use some financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop the incitement to terror. Specifically, it sought to end the PA’s financial payments to the families of Palestinian Arab terrorists who were imprisoned or killed.

The “Manna-for-Murderers” has a sad history in the Arab world, particularly as it relates to funding the murder of Israeli Jews.


Early in the Second Intifada which began in September 2000 at the urging of PA head Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him), Iraq began sending $10,000 to families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers. In March 2002, Iraq upped the amount to $25,000 per family. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was appalled at the actions of Saddam Hussein and said:

“Here is an individual who is the head of a country, Iraq, who has proudly, publicly made a decision to go out and actively promote and finance human sacrifice for families that will have their youngsters kill innocent men, women and children…. I am simply trying to let the people of Iraq understand what their leadership is doing, to let the people of the Middle East and the rest of the world … know what is in fact being done to arm young people and send them out to blow up restaurants and shopping malls and pizza parlors.”

Iraq was not alone in financing terrorism of Palestinian Arabs killing and maiming Israeli families.

Saudi Arabia

The Congressional Research Service completed a report for Congress in December 2004 about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It noted that the KSA provided $2.6 billion in aid to Palestinians in 2002. The Saudis had two official charities to help out the Palestinians in the Second Intifada: the Saudi Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen, and the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Al Quds Intifada. According to Saudi reports, the first organization gave Palestinians $8.8 million between October 2000 and April 2003, while the second gave roughly $140 million in various projects and another $194 million in various services between October 2000 and December 2003.

The report added:

“Since 2000, both Committees have issued public solicitations encouraging Saudi citizens to make donations to support the welfare of the Palestinian people. In one often cited instance, the Al Quds Intifada Committee organized a telethon sponsored by King Fahd in April 2002 that raised over $110 million for families of Palestinians killed or injured in the uprising.

That’s hundreds of millions going to families of murderers with the backing of Saudi Arabia and coordination of the Palestinian Authority. As the report noted:

“These individuals include suicide bombers and gunmen who were killed during actual and attempted attacks inside Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The following is a sample of five names of beneficiaries featured on the Committee
website which match those of individuals associated with attacks:

  • Said Hassan Hussein Hotari – identified as suicide bomber in June
    1, 2001, attack on Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv. Hamas
    claimed responsibility.
  • Izzedin Shahil Ahmed Masri – identified as suicide bomber in
    August 9, 2001 attack on Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem.
    Hamas claimed responsibility.”

The list continued, and noted that the committees stated that the terrorists were killed in “martyrdom operations,” quite a revolting terminology. Evidence of the payments were found in raids on Palestinian offices during Operation Defensive Shield which contained lists of terrorist families that received monies from KSA.

Saudi Arabia also funded Hamas, a heinous terrorist group that rules Gaza. However, by 2004, the funding dried up, as described by ‘former Treasury Department General Counsel David Aufhauser who quoted “informed intelligence sources” as saying that “for whatever reason, the money going to Hamas from Saudi Arabia has substantially dried up.” Aufhauser indicated that Saudi financial support “has been supplemented by money from Iran and Syria flowing through even more dangerous rejectionist groups in the West Bank.’


Shortly after the Obama administration sent billions of dollars to Iran as part of the JCPOA nuclear agreement, Iran announced its intention to fund Palestinian “martyrs.” As reported by JTA: “Mohammad Fateh Ali, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, said Wednesday his country is allocating $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” and will give $30,000 to each family “whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons.”

No surprise for a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Palestinian Authority

The PA was established after the Oslo Accords in 1993 under Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him). It has existed in its current state since 2007, after Mahmoud Abbas won the four-year term for presidency in 2005 and never left, and the terrorist group Hamas won 58% of parliament in 2006 and took over control of Gaza in 2007.

Over these ten years, Hamas waged three wars from Gaza (2008, 2012 and 2014) and the Palestinian Authority oversaw a “stabbing intifada” in the “West Bank” in which Palestinian Arabs used everyday items like cars and knives to kill innocent Israeli Jews. The PA needed to support such terrorism as the Palestinians preferred the armed “resistance” of Hamas over the “moderate” negotiating approach of Abbas’s Fatah.

Hamas waged wars. Fatah supported terrorism.

The support included direct financial aid to terrorist families, and naming schools and municipal buildings after the murderers. The incitement included calls for the masses to use all means possible to defend the al Aqsa Mosque (when it was never at risk) and having laws that demand a death sentence for any Arab that sells land to a Jew.

MEMRI footage from the Facebook post titled
“This Is The Call Of Brother President Abu Mazen [‘Abbas]…”

The United States labelled the popular Palestinian terrorist group Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997 along with several other Palestinian Arab groups, and does not engage with it. Meanwhile, it has propped up the failed acting-President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas as the lesser-evil, even while he incites and supports terrorism.

The Taylor Force Act will likely soon become law and hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid to the PA may be suspended if the pay-to-slay program remains in place.

But as described above, there is wide support in the Arab world to slaughter Jews.

The Obama administration gave Iran $100 billion upfront and has enabled it to get $100 billion PER YEAR from oil and other commerce. Those monies are going to fund terrorists in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestinian territories. The Trump administration is taking actions to stop the flow of funds to terrorists.

Congressman Eliot Engel, one of the sponsors of the Taylor Force Act, was clear in his condemnation of the “martyr payments,” even as he made exceptions for monies to still flow to the PA for other purposes. The exemptions have come under attack as monies are fungible, especially when there are so many parties willing to fund the terrorists and support their families.

Hopefully the United States’ Taylor Force Act will save lives in the Middle East. It will require an entirely new level of Arab orientation to end the sick antisemitism that festers in the Middle East.

Related First.One.Through articles:

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

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

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

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Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The “Stabbing Intifada” in which Palestinian Arabs attack Israeli civilians has effectively ended the issue of the Palestinian “Right of Return.”

A Palestinian demonstrator raises a knife, during clashes with Israeli police, in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Recent days have seen a string of attacks by young Palestinians with no known links to armed groups who have targeted Israeli soldiers and civilians at random, complicating Israeli efforts to contain the violence, which has been linked to tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A Palestinian raises a knife during clashes with Israeli police, in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinian Arabs have been arguing for a return to Israel for several decades. They claim that 5 million Palestinian Arabs are have a legal right to move to Israel as declared by the United Nations. The claim has always been flawed:

Refugees: As detailed in “Palestinian Refugees or SAPs,” the definition of a refugee is someone who leaves a country, not a land. Under the most generous definition of “refugee,” there are only 30,000 Arab refugees alive who left Israel after the country was created in 1948-9. The 5 million descendants of various refugees who left Israel before the country was created are provided services by the United Nations, but are not refugees entitled to a “right of return.”

Live in Peace: The basis of the Palestinian Arab claim for the right of return under international law stems from UN General Assembly Resolution 194 which stated “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

The phrase “live at peace” is the core of being able to move to Israel. No one will be entitled to any compensation or consideration without the clear intent of living in peace with Israelis in the Jewish State.

According to an Anti Defamaition League poll in May 2014, almost every Palestinian (93%) was considered an anti-Semite. Not a good place to start for moving to the Jewish State and living in peace.

In December 2015, Palestinians conducted their own poll of Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank about the “stabbing intifada” against Jews. It concluded that “two-thirds support an armed intifada and the current wave of stabbings.

Based on the estimate of 30,000 Arab refugees alive today, the poll would imply that only one-third, or 10,000 would potentially be interested in living in peace with Israelis (if not killing someone would be used as the barometer of “living at peace”).


The number of Arab refugees from Israel is now declining rapidly as they enter old age.  It appears that the stabbing intifada will not only delay any chance for peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, it will also guarantee that one of the points for negotiation will no longer be relevant.

Related First.One.Through articles:

An Inconvenient Truth: Palestinian Polls

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

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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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The New York Times Refuses to Label Hamas a Terrorist Group

Readers rightfully assume that newspapers go through the effort of educating its readers. As such, the papers should include descriptions and backgrounds of the main actors in any news story.

“Good” actors and “bad” actors are often labelled as such.  For example, readers would imagine that the media would specifically call out a terrorist organization, and almost all of the time, they do. The exception is the terrorist group Hamas.

Consider this comparison:


A group that is often-mentioned in the New York Times lately that is labelled a terrorist group is the P.K.K. The Kurdish group has been fighting for years against Turkey to gain independence and has used violence to achieve its goal. Some people consider the Kurdish aspirations for independence similar to the Palestinians, but there are many differences, such as the fact that the Kurds are actually a distinct people compared to Arabs and Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Turkey where they live, as opposed to Palestinians who are an indistinguishable part of the broader Arab world. The P.K.K. fights alone for the Kurdish people, while the whole Arab world fights for the Palestinian Arabs. Put those facts aside and look at recent reports from the New York Times.

The NY Times is consistent in labelling the P.K.K. a terrorist group.  It may state that the label is attributed to Turkey and other groups such as NATO, the United States or just “widely considered.”  But it usually avoids just stating that Turkey alone considers the group to be a terrorist organization:

  • October 12, 2015: “Turkey and its NATO allies consider the P.K.K a terrorist organization.”
  • September 9, 2015: “The Kurdish group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been attacking Turkish security officials almost daily since the breakdown of the fragile peace process.”
  • August 12, 2015: “a Kurdish separatist group known as the P.K.K., which is widely listed as a terrorist group
  • August 6, 2015: “Mr. Erdogan has said he is acting in Turkey’s national security interests in targeting terrorists of all stripes, both the Islamic State and the P.K.K”
  • July 29, 2015: “Under alliance rules, they are bound to protect Turkey from threats, and they have long listed the Kurdish militant group that fought a long insurgency in Turkey, the P.K.K., as a terrorist organization
  • July 26, 2015 (an exception to prove the rule): “targeting camps of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party for the first time in four years… ended an unstable two-year cease-fire between the Turkish government and the Kurdish militants, also known by the initials of their Kurdish name, P.K.K.”

Readers of the New York Times are educated by the paper over-and-again that many countries outside of Turkey consider the P.K.K. a terrorist group.  Understanding that designation gives readers specific context with which to consider the story.  A government fighting a terrorist group is logical and appropriate; a defensive action of “the good guys” against the “bad guys”.

Now consider the labeling of Hamas in the New York Times.


Hamas has been labeled a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the United States government since 1997. This is not subject to interpretation but is established fact.  It was awarded this designation on the same day as other notable terrorist groups including: Abu Nidal; Hizbullah; Palestine Liberation Front; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; PFLP-General Command; and the P.K.K.  It is also consider a terrorist group by the European Union, Canada and other countries.

However, the New York Times does not call Hamas a terrorist group.  Instead it prefers to call it a “militant group.”  The Times does not call attacks by Hamas “deliberate attacks” but uses terms like “resorting to violence.”  The Times does not say that Hamas is the favorite established political party of the Palestinians, winning 58% of the Parliament, but uses terms like “dominates Gaza” to make it appear as an outside force against its own people.

All of these observations are plain facts for any reader of the Times to see (some examples are listed below, but do your own search of Hamas and the Times and see it for yourself).  These descriptions by the Times are used to transform readers’ mindsets:

  • from thinking of Hamas as a terrorist organization, to a freedom fighting group.
  • from a group that seeks to destroy all of Israel, to one that simply wants freedom of movement.
  • from a group that actively seeks to kill innocents, to one that is left with no choice.
  • from a popular Palestinian political party, to a small outside force.

From a terrorist group that violently seeks to overthrow a democratic government which must therefore be combatted aggressively with force, to a group that justly uses an armed struggle to achieve modest ends which should be placated.

  • July 17, 2015: “Saudi support for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, the two dominant but feuding Palestinian factions
  • June 30, 2015: “the ruling Islamist group, Hamas
  • June 8, 2015 “Hamas, the militant group that dominates Gaza”
  • June 3, 2015: “Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, has worked to enforce the cease-fire with Israel,” makes Hamas part of the peaceful solution (enforcing a cease-fire), not the core of the problem.
  • May 26, 2015: “The militant group Hamas used last summer’s war” separates Hamas from launching the war to a group that just used the war.
  • September 4, 2014: “…orchestrated by Hamas, which Israel regards as a terrorist group committed to its destruction” makes the characterization specific ONLY TO ISRAEL and not the US and many other countries.

New York Times October 30, 2015 referred to Hebron as the
“‘Fortress of Hamas,’ because of its role as the Islamist group’s
unofficial West Bank headquarters.”

In short, the liberal paper goes through efforts to transform the broadly popular terrorist group that seeks the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews, to a fringe militant religious group that controls a part of the Palestinian population and occasionally resorts to violence against Israel. In such a narrative, who does the Times label as the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy”?  In such a scenario, is the current wave of violence just an “intifada” or “uprising” or part of a broader war to destroy the Jewish State?

Related First.One.Through articles

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Differentiating Hamas

The New York Times wants the military to defeat terrorists (but not Hamas)

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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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.

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

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: Only Palestinians are Victims

The “Every Pictures tells a Story” series reviews newspapers through a lens focused only on their pictures and captions. The brutal attacks that occurred in Israel during the week October 7-14 provide a good snapshot for how the New York Times viewed the conflict – the only victims in the Middle East are Palestinians.

To set the background for the two weeks of violence: on October 1, 2015, Palestinians shot an Israeli couple who were driving on a road with four of their children. After shooting up the car, the Palestinians approached it once it came to a stop and executed the parents. The Times did not post any pictures of the Henkins, the murdered Israelis along the story. If one were to only focus on the pictures and captions, their murders would never have occurred.

In the following days, the number of Palestinian Arab attacks against Jews continued to grow in frequency. Yet remarkably, the Times pictures showed one story: Palestinians as victims.

October 7 Page A4. “At top, the mother of Abdulrahaman Obeidallah, 13, who was killed by Israeli forces, at his funeral on Tuesday near Bethlehem. Above, a Sunday funeral in Jerusalem for Aharon Benita-Bennett, an Israeli killed by a Palestinian.” This was the Times only attempt at providing a “balanced” picture of deaths on both sides. However, there was no attempt to convey that the Palestinian was not shot intentionally, while the Palestinians deliberately were murdering Israelis.

Only NY Times photo showing Israelis attacked during week October 7-14, 2015
included picture above of Palestinian killed

October 8 Page A6. “A Palestinian man in a flooded tunnel that was used to smuggle goods between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Egypt has been flooding the tunnels to deter smuggling.” The large color picture and caption leads one to feel sorry for the Palestinian. Of course, what was not mentioned was that the “goods” that were being smuggled into the tunnels included weapons to target Israelis and Egyptians.  The article continued on page A14 with two black and white pictures.  The large picture’s caption “Juma Abu Shaer and his wife Masouma Abu Shaer, at home in Rafah. They fear they may have to leave because of flooding.” Names are given of people living in fear. You will not see that for Israelis over the week of terror attacks. The last small photo has a caption “The border between Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, and Egypt on the right. Egypt has flooded part of the nine-mile border area twice.” Such picture and caption confirms that the Times knows that many readers only glance over the articles and rely on the pictures and captions only.

The article about “Unrest Spreads in Israel Despite Tighter Security” which reviewed more Palestinian’s attacking Israelis had no pictures.  No Israelis were injured in unprovoked attacks for the news-in-pictures.

Three sad Palestinian Arabs

October 9 Page A14. “An Israeli man looked over the body of a Palestinian assailant who was shot dead after carrying out a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier and three civilians in Tel Aviv on Thursday.” Another article with larger picture “Palestinian protestors took cover during clashes with Israeli security forces on Thursday in Beit El, West Bank. Disputes over Jerusalem have added to tensions.” The pictures again show dead Palestinians and those under fire. There were no pictures of Israeli civilians who the Palestinian stabbed in unprovoked attacks. The “protestors” are not shown throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks.

Dead Palestinian and one under attack

October 10 Page A4. Small color picture of soldiers over small boys “With security increased, Israeli border police told Palestinians on Friday they could not enter the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem’s Old City.” The caption fed a Palestinian narrative that the unrest is from Israeli soldiers keeping innocent Palestinians from praying at their holy site. The image of soldiers with weapons directing small boys add to the drama of the story. There were no pictures of Arabs harassing Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount nor firing firecrackers at the soldiers.

Sad Palestinians Turned away by Israeli soldiers

Page A8: 2 color pictures. Very large crowd of Palestinians carrying wounded “Palestinians carried a wounded man on Friday in Gaza. It was the first time in the latest outbreak that significant unrest spread to the territory” smaller picture of man throwing stones “A Palestinian protestor hurled some stones at Israeli soldiers on Friday amid clashes on the Israeli border.” Again, Palestinians are shown injured, not Israelis.

Page A8 another article with medium color picture of Israelis taking wounded away “Israeli emergency personnel loaded a Palestinian into an ambulance on Friday after violent confrontations in the West Bank.” In the third article of the day, the Times once again chose to only show injured Palestinians in attacks that they provoked. None of the injured Israelis is pictured.

Dead Palestinian

October 12 Page A6. Black and white of father over dead child “The bodies of Noor Hassan, 30m and Rahaf Hassan, 2, at their funeral. They were killed by an Israeli retaliatory strike in Gaza.” While the caption at least mentioned that the Israeli did a “retaliatory strike” conveying that Palestinians initiated the fight (compared to earlier language of a generic “confrontation”) the pictures are again only of Palestinians hurt in the conflict.

Two dead Palestinian Arabs

October 13 page A4. Two black and white photographs. The large photo caption reads “The body of a Palestinian in the Pisgat Zeev section of Eat Jerusalem. Security forces shot him on Monday after he carried out a stabbing attack.” The body of a partially dressed man lay on the ground surrounded by police.  The smaller photo showed women crying with a caption “Relatives on Monday mourned a Palestinian teenager killed during clashes with Israeli forces. A cycle of violence has defied Israel’s latest crackdown.

Dead Palestinian and Grieving Palestinians

October 14 COVER PAGE: On a particularly violent day with Palestinian Arabs hacking people with meat cleavers and killing three, the Times covered an alternative news in its pictures. The front page large color photo of Palestinians running from Israeli tear gas with a caption “Palestinian demonstrators scattered Tuesday after Israeli forces fired tear gas during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Cover page picture of Palestinians fleeing from Israeli forces

Page A8: The cover page story continued on page A8 with another large color picture of Israeli forces before Palestinians running from tear gas. The caption: “A member of the Israeli security forces stood guard as Palestinian stone throwers fled from tear gas during clashes on Tuesday in Bethlehem. The current violent uprising has a very different character than the second Palestinian intifada.”

Palestinians fleeing tear gas

Page A8: Another story about the attacks medics pulling someone out of a bus. The caption: “Israeli emergency responders removing the body of a Palestinian from  bus where an attack took place in Jerusalem in Tuesday.” No Israeli victims covered from an unprovoked attack by a crazy Arab- note that no blame assigned for the “attack” in the caption.

Dead Palestinian removed from a generic “attack”

In a week that saw dozens of unprovoked attacks on Israelis, it cannot be an oversight that the New York Times repeatedly chose to show only injured Palestinians. The Times deliberately decided to feed the narrative of Palestinian victimhood. The Israelis were seemingly untouched.

There are some researchers that argue that the media and social media are fanning the flames of the unrest in the Middle East by fanning “misinformation.” If so, the Times’ irresponsible journalism might be viewed as a war crime.

Related First One Through articles:

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

Every Picture Tells a Story- Whitewashing the World (except Israel)

Every Picture Tells a Story, the Bibi Monster

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?

The New York Times’ Buried Pictures

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Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

The cries coming from the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority and his rival political party, the terrorist group Hamas, to “defend al-Aqsa” stem from their claim that they are concerned that Jews are coming to destroy and/or defile the al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. To generate such fear, one would imagine that Jews are coming to the Temple Mount (on which al Aqsa sits on the southeastern most tip) illegally, and are bringing with them weapons and shouting threats against the mosque.

All of those assumptions would be completely false.

temple mt visit

To placate the outrageous claims from the PA, Hamas and the king of Jordan, on October 7, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a ban on Israeli members of Knesset from visiting the Temple Mount.

Here is a review of the completely legal, internationally approved and natural rights associated with Jews visiting the Temple Mount and today’s sad reality that none of it seems to matter.

Visiting Hours

Facts: The Temple Mount has regular visiting hours for people of all faiths. As mentioned by the popular tourist guidebook, Frommers:

There is no charge to enter the Temple Mount compound. You must not, however, wear shorts or immodest dress in the compound. (If your outfit is too revealing, guards may be willing to provide you with long cotton wraps, or they may ask you to return another time with more modest clothing.) Visitors are allowed on the Temple Mount
by permission of the Islamic religious authorities, and are asked
to obey instructions given by the guards.

There is an admission fee of NIS 38 ($9.50/£4.75) to go inside the two mosques and the Islamic Museum. If the buildings are again open to foreign visitors, I highly recommend that you invest in the combined admission ticket, which may be purchased from a stone kiosk between Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. If visiting hours
are lengthened, you may usually remain on the Temple Mount, but cannot enter
the Dome of the Rock or the Al Aqsa Mosque during the midday prayers.”

The World Travel Guide site lists the specific visiting hours and ways of accessing the Mount:

Only one of the 10 gates to the complex, Al-Mughradi Gate, allows entry for non-worshippers. This is located to the right of the Western Wall and is accessed from
the Western Wall Plaza.

Opening Times: Closed during all prayer times (variable); otherwise Sun-Thurs 0730-1130 and 1330-1430 (summer); Sun-Thurs 0730-1030 and 1330-1430 (winter); Sun-Thurs 0730-1030 (during Ramadan); closed to non-Muslims Fri and Muslim holidays. During periods of tension, the site may be closed.

Admission Fees: No (for Temple Mount; charge for Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque and Islamic Museum combined ticket).

Disabled Access: No

Unesco: Yes“

Reality today: Despite the publicized openness of the site, visiting this holy site and famous tourist location can be anything but pleasant. Hamas pays for Murabitun, Islamic extremists who shout and taunt Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount. Arabs have also hurled rocks at non-Muslim visitors.

Due to the various attacks, Israeli police escorts typically accompany non-Muslim visitors. The military has also occasionally restricted access to the Temple Mount for Muslims under 50 years old due to security concerns.

International Treaty

Facts: In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a Peace Treaty. In that treaty was language that specifically gave special recognition of Jordan’s historic role at the Temple Mount site, while also cementing Israel’s responsibility for security.

The 1994 treaty discussed the Temple Mount, because Jordan had secured custodian rights to the site.  Jordan attacked Israel and illegally seized the entire Old City of Jerusalem (and Judea and Samaria) in 1948 and thereupon occupied the Old City. The Jordanians then expelled all of the Jews from the city and granted Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians in the city. When Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967, it lost the Old City, but Israel allowed the Islamic Waqf controlled by Jordan to continue to administer the Temple Mount.

The Jordan-Israel treaty clearly gave rights to all people to visit holy sites in Jerusalem.  Article 9.1: Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.

And Article 9.3: “The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.”

Reality today: The kingdom of Jordan signed a treaty with Israel that assured the “freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance,” and to “promote interfaith relations… with the aim of working towards religious understanding.”  The words in that agreement seem empty today as the Jordanian king claims the Temple Mount only has an “Arab character,” as he threatens to destroy the relationship with Israel because Jews are visiting the Temple Mount.

Israeli Law

Facts: When Israel reunified the city of Jerusalem in 1967, the Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol handed administrative control of the Temple Mount back to Jordan, the country that had just attacked his country for the second time in 20 years. He then enshrined “The Protection of Holy Places” law that all people would have access to the holy sites in Jerusalem.

” 1. The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.

  1. Whosoever desecrates or otherwise violates a Holy Place shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of seven years.

  2. Whosoever does anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.”

The 1967 Israeli Law was complemented by the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Treaty which not only promised Israeli support for universal access to the holy sites, but Jordan’s support as well.

Reality today: However, the current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is trampling on Jewish rights of access and “feelings with regard to those places” as he bans their visitation rights even though they bring no weapons and threaten no one.

United Nations on Access

Facts: The United Nations often claims that it is concerned with providing access to people of all faiths to their holy sites and that it would prefer to see a “universal” approach to sites that are holy to many religions.  For example, UNESCO on March 19, 2010 published a piece about Palestinian rights to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, among the holiest sites in Judaism.  UNESCO wrote:

  • that Israel was “endangering Palestinian cultural heritage and denying Palestinians their cultural patrimony, as well as denying development and access to heritage sites and historic places of worship.”
  • Israel has publicly begun to use these sacred and universal sites to provoke unnecessary religious conflict by promoting control and access on the exclusive basis of one faith while denying the rights and views of other faiths.”

By these statement, it would appear that the UN is very concerned:

  • that people of all faiths be allowed access its holy places;
  • that such holy places not be under the exclusive control of a single faith; and
  • that people should not be cut-off from their “cultural patrimony.”

A person would naturally assume from these UN comments about Hebron and Bethlehem, that the UN must strongly endorse Jewish rights of access to their holiest site in the world, and it must strongly condemn any group or country that sought to deny Jews those rights.

Reality today: But this is the United Nations that specializes in inversion when it comes to Israel. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon described the basic Jewish desire and action of accessing its Temple Mount as a “provocation.”

Access is Not a Provocation

As detailed above, people of all faiths visiting the Temple Mount is legal by Israeli law, enshrined in an international treaty with Jordan, and follows a blueprint for co-existence as stated by the United Nations. Indeed, visiting hours exist for everyone.

For Jews, visiting their holiest spot in the world is a natural desire. They seek to do so in peace and quiet.  They do not seek to instigate a fight with anyone on the Mount.  Even Rabbi Yehuda Glick who was shot by Palestinian Arabs for advocating for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, did not seek to harm al Aqsa Mosque in any way.

No Temple = No Rights

If Jewish access to their holy sites is guaranteed and no one urged harming the site in any way, on what basis have Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians sought to deny Jews those basic rights of access?

The Palestinian Arabs have put forth a narrative that the Jewish Temple never existed on the Temple Mount. Their rationale is that if the Temple never existed there, Jews can claim no special visitation rights.

Consider that in addition to Mahmoud Abbas never mentioning Judaism in any of his speeches at the United Nations, there have been these quotes:

  • Mahmoud Abbas: “The leaders of Israel are making a grave mistake by thinking that history can move backward and that they could impose facts on the ground by dividing the Aksa Mosque in time and space, as they did with the Ibrahimi Mosque [Cave of the Patriarchs] in Hebron.
  • The Islamic Waqf on the discovery of ancient Jewish artifacts near the Temple Mount: “an attempt to support Israeli claims about Jewish rights in the holy city and to impose Israeli sovereignty on the occupied holy compound through the use of fake evidence….An immediate Arab and Muslim campaign is needed to stop the Israeli attempts to Judaise the holy city of Jerusalem,”
  • Israeli Arab MK Masoud Ganaim said the Temple never existed. “The site has always been holy to Islam, never to any other religion.”
  • Hamas’ Khaled Mashaal on the opening of the Hurva synagogue in the Old City: “It is part of a project to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque” and replace it with Israel’s so-called “Solomon’s Temple.” It is a “falsification of history and Jerusalem’s religious and historic monuments.

Never mind that even Atheists have rights of access.

Never mind that denying a core belief of Judaism spits in the face of a treaty that sought to promote interfaith relationships.

The argument itself is nonsensical by the Arabs’ own beliefs.  The Christian story of Jesus is specifically placed at Jerusalem’s Jewish Temple. How can Abbas or Jordanian king Abdullah claim special rights over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, if they deny the story of Jesus in Jerusalem?

The Insanity of Today

Regardless, logic and rights fall flat in the face of Islamic fundamentalism: The UN condemns Israel for managing security, for which it has responsibility. It attacks Israel for the “provocation” of enabling Jews to have access to its holy sites. And the United States urges Israel to maintain the status quo, even though Netanyahu has stated over-and-again that he has and will.

So to appeal to the crazies, Netanyahu is banning members of the Knesset from access to Judaism’s holiest site.

It would appear that the left-wing radicals and racists are slowly winning the battle against human decency.

Related FirstOne Through articles:

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

Extremist” or “Courageous”

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The Narrative that Prevents Peace in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Everyone has a perspective.

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor, was credited with saying “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Our opinions and perspectives are shaped by many things including our backgrounds and biases. When two people look at the same incident at the same time, it is quite possible that they take away very different stories. When two people do not see things first-hand, but hear histories second and third-hand, the narratives of each could appear to describe two different events and worlds.

Yet, those strange worlds can coexist and the parties with alternative truths can get along. The reason is not solely because some events in question are not in direct conflict, but because those events do not define each party.

Many histories remain in the past and do not touch the present. Other narratives reach out from history and impact decisions and views of people in the present. The deepest – and potentially most dangerous – narratives are those that are embedded in a person’s psyche, which can distort history, make people act against their own interests and mar the future.

Arab-Israeli “Neutral” Narratives

There are many narratives that contradict each other in the Middle East. Some are conflicting perspectives and some have alternative facts. Here is just a small sample of events from pivotal moments in 1948, 1967 and 2000 from an Arab perspective, followed by an Israeli view:

  • The creation of Israel in 1948 was a “Nakba” (catastrophe) // the founding of the state was a celebration
  • During the “Nakba”, 711,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled by Israeli forces from their homes // Palestinian Arabs were encouraged to leave where they lived by their leaders, as the armies of five neighboring Arab states invaded Israel
  • Five Arab armies came into Palestine to defend the Palestinians from Israeli attacks // five Arab armies invaded Israel in an effort to destroy the nascent state
  • In 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, Syria and Jordan // Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria after the parties made clear their intentions to attack and destroy Israel; Jordan then attacked Israel and Israel responded in self-defense
  • The West Bank has always been Palestinian land and cannot be settled by Israelis // Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) were always home to Jews and mandated under international law to be a homeland for Jews in 1922; only under the Jordanian expulsion were Jews barred from the land. International laws related to taking land in a defensive war is not the same as taking land in an offensive war
  • In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went to the Al Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to claim control over Islam’s third holiest site, which brought about the Second Intifada // Sharon visited the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site during regular visiting hours; the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada because he was unhappy with the “near-final” peace agreement with Israel

Consider the opposing narratives. Some can reside comfortably in history books, while others actively influence each party’s actions today.

abbas reuters
Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
(photo: Reuters)

PAST: Some of these points may be found in either an Arab or Israeli history book. Palestinian textbooks may write about forced expulsions from Palestine during the “Nakba”, while Israeli textbooks may write about Palestinian Arabs being encouraged to leave their homes by their leadership while the armies from five supportive Arab countries attacked Israel in an effort to destroy the country and drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. The arguments are not subtle differences of opinions, and each side holds onto their account of history with examples of stories of a family here, a village there, or quotes from Israeli and Palestinian leadership at that time to underscore their version of history.

Arguably, this is something for historians to debate and a thoughtful person would probably conclude that there are elements of truth to both sides. Whether it is 80/20% or 20/80% for the parties is beyond the point of this discussion. The thrust is that their narratives are stories of the past. While Arabs and Israelis will invariably bring up their point of view in a debate, it need not dictate the debates nor compromise the conversations of the future of the region. A “starting point” of the here-and-now can be established to find a solution for the future.

A second example is the conflict between Egypt and Israel. Each side’s view of who was the belligerent party in 1967 did not impede a path forward to a different future leading to a peace treaty.

PAST AND PRESENT: Some splits in narratives run throughout time. The past can consume the present and the versions of history touch daily dialogue.

Many Arabs argue that a state of Palestine has always existed, but has been occupied by various parties including Israelis, Jordanians, Egyptians and British. They carry placards to “Free Palestine” from current Israeli occupation. For their part, Israelis note that Palestine never existed as an independent country. It was never ruled by a local Palestinian Arab government. The parties are in negotiations to potentially “Create Palestine,” while dismissing the Arab narrative as factually incorrect. The competing narratives are in conflict, but needn’t prevent the parties from moving towards a future that is in alignment.

PRESENT: A last example of a “neutral” clash of each side’s take on history is current history. Israelis and Palestinian Arabs argue forcefully about who started the Gaza war in 2014 and which party is responsible for many civilian deaths. Politicians and people will argue their points forcefully and recommend actions to punish the other side and improve their own position. Ultimately, the war and responses will become part of the past. The parties could opt to move forward with plans for a future OR they could use the war as an excuse to undermine a future peace.

 Bibi -Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Arab-Israeli “Toxic” Narratives

The term “Toxic Narrative” is meant to describe the inability of the two sides to ever establish a true peace; it is not intended to suggest that a narrative is inherently evil.

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE: The best example of competing viewpoints of the past that stretch into the future, is the Balfour Declaration (1917) and its incorporation into the San Remo conference (1920) and then the international law established by the League of Nations in the British Mandate of Palestine (1922). The two sides’ competing opinions impact the ability of the parties to establish peace for the future.

International Law: The Palestinian Arabs argue that the League of Nations had no right to declare a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. They contend such international decision was made without the approval of the local Arab population in Palestine, and as such, the law itself should be null and void. They further argue that the imposition of such mandate was an effort to colonialize Palestine. The Palestinian Arabs took many steps to halt the implementation of that mandate for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…and facilitate Jewish immigration…and close settlement by Jews on the land.” The most significant actions were the riots of 1936-9 which enabled the Arabs to get the British to issue the 1939 “White Paper” which would limit the Jewish population in Palestine to one-third of the country, leaving an Arab majority population and facilitate Arab rule.

The Israeli perspective is that the League of Nations (precursor to the United Nations) made a law specifically recognizing the Jewish right to a national homeland in Palestine. They do not believe that such international law was illegal in 1922, and when the United Nations voted in 1947 to only grant a small portion of the Mandated land as a Jewish State, the Jews were disappointed but voted in favor of the proposal anyway.  The Arabs rejected the 1947 proposal, just as they rejected the 1922 Mandate.

Historical Connection: As part of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, the international community recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.” The history of the Jews in the land goes back 3700 years and the Jews were the only people to ever be self-governing in the land. They were also the only people to make Jerusalem its capital, which they did for the third time in 1950.

The history of the Jews has also been challenged by the Palestinian Arabs who continually deny Jewish history in the region and insist that Israelis are attempting to “Judaize” the country, and that Jewish presence in the region is a recent phenomenon. (They have even advanced that Jesus was a Palestinian, not a Jew, even though Arabs did not come to the holy land en masse until the Muslim invasions hundreds of years later).

In short, the two conflicting narratives relate to the RIGHTS of Jews to REestablish a Jewish majority in the land and be self-governing again.

The Palestinian contention is that the entire Zionist enterprise was illegal from the start: The call for Israel’s creation in 1922 was illegal; the declaration of the state in 1948 was illegal; and the assumption of additional land in 1967 was illegal. They view the entire region as “Arab land” and Jewish presence and rule is illegitimate and directly undermines the Arab rights in the land.

The Roadblock to Peace

The Future:  Some argue that despite such widely held opinion by Palestinian Arabs, acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has stated that he would recognize a state of Israel as part of a peace agreement. As such, the debate of narratives and facts is not truly “toxic” as the Arabs are willing to look past their past.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that is not so.

Netanyahu claims that a de facto recognition of Israel as a country that exists today will not prevent a war tomorrow.  A de facto peace treaty that does not recognize Israel’s RIGHT to exist is a flimsy veneer.  Over time the veneer will come off, and the underlying Palestinian Arab contention that Jews have no rights to live and rule on Arab land will lead to further war and bloodshed.  Without a break from the storyline that Jews have no history, no legal authority, nor basic rights to live and pray and be self-governing in Israel, there will never be peace.  No amount of land-for-peace swap could resolve an illegal Jewish claim until the entire state of Israel is under Arab rule.

The Palestinians have not been able to accept such a break with their narrative of the rights of Jews in Palestine.  They could not accept such vision of Jewish rights in 1922 and have been unable to accept it today, as Abbas has repeatedly stated he will never recognize Israel as a “Jewish State”.

As such, the seemingly innocuous request for Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State has potentially become a roadblock to final settlement talks. A statement that would have no practical impact (compared to tangible matters such as borders or “right of return”), has touched a key nerve in the Palestinian psyche.  They would rather forgo a brighter future than negate their narrative as the sole rightful owners of the land.

People typically speak of the Arab-Israeli conflict and refer to events at important time periods like 1948, 1967 and 2000.  While those events helped shape the present, they need not dictate the future.  Each side can maintain many narratives without destroying the prospects for peace.

The toxic narrative that prevents peace revolves around the rights of Jews to their historic homeland established in international law in 1922.  It is that narrative that must be addressed for the parties to arrive at a long-term peaceful future together.  It has been almost a century, and well past time for Arabs to recognize the legal and legitimate rights of Jews to live in the holy land and to be self-governing.

Related First One Through articles:

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria


Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

On January 1, 2015, the New York Times editorial page led with a piece titled “The Palestinians Desperation Move.” The opinion piece advanced the case that acting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must be frustrated in his mission to create a new Palestinian State.

…Creating a State?

Desperate people take what they can. They view their options as limited and prospects as weak. They seize any opportunities to advance their main goal, whatever that might be.

Witness early Zionists agreeing to any size and configuration of a Jewish state, despite their dream for a larger state based on the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922. They voted “yes” to a United Nations partition in 1947. They voted “yes” to greater Jerusalem and greater Bethlehem being international cities.

The Arabs, on the other hand, consistently voted “no” at every juncture.

These are not activities of a people that is “desperate” for a state. These are not actions of leaders who are willing to make compromises to establish a country and move their people forward.


… Maximizing a Jew-free State and/or Destroying the current Jewish State

Palestinian actions have consistently had three main areas of focus:

  1. Creating a new state free of any Jews
  2. Maximize the size of the new Palestinian state: either the entirety of Israel+West Bank+Gaza or using the 1949 Armistice Lines
  3. If there remains a state of Israel, it should be small and not Jewish


A Jew-free Palestinian state: Palestinians have sought to recreate the conditions of the Arab-controlled regions that expelled and barred the Jews from 1949 to 1967. The Palestinian leadership has continually called for preventing any “settlements”, meaning barring any Jewish people from living anywhere in Gaza, the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan from 1949-1967. Various Palestinian efforts towards peace talks have demanded a pre-condition of Jewish settlement freezes before any peace talks could begin.  They have lobbied the United Nations to condemn any and all settlements as illegal (even though Jews always lived in the lands before the illegal Jordanian takeover in 1949).

Palestinian law has repeatedly cemented the position of a Jew-free state. In 1973, it passed legislation that made the sale of any land or home to an Israeli to be a capital offense. The Palestinian Authority announced in 1997 that it would seek the death penalty for anyone selling land to a Jew or Israeli.

Abbas has repeatedly voiced his vision of a Jew-free Palestine, stating that he would not allow the presence of a single Israeli- civilian or soldier – in a new Palestine.

Abbas and other members of the Palestinian Authority have also called on the world to engage in a BDS- Boycott, Divestment and Sanction – of any Israeli company that has a presence in the territories they hope will become a Palestinian state. Their aggressive efforts in advancing BDS further underscores their desire to not only prevent any Jews living in a future state, but even establishing businesses there as well.

Even the Universities on the West Bank have laws that prohibit Jews from stepping foot onto campuses.

In short, Palestinian law and leadership calls for banning Jews from visiting, working, buying land or living in the territories it wants for a future state.

Those are the official positions of the “moderate” acting-president of the Palestinian Authority and the existing Palestinian laws. However, the majority of the Palestinian people are in favor of Hamas and would elect someone from Hamas as president according to every poll over the past few years. The Palestinian public elected Hamas to 58% of the Palestinian parliament in their last election in January 2006. Hamas’s charter and its leaders call for the outright killing of Jews and have specifically identified the Jewish nature of Israel as the root cause of the conflict: In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised…”


Maximize the size of the Palestinian state. It is not surprising that the Palestinians want to maximize the size of a future state; Israel wants to maximize what it can achieve in negotiations too. However, as detailed here, the working parameters for the Palestinians are to achieve “maximums” and certainly not reflective of a group that is “desperate” and willing to compromise.

Hamas calls for a single Arab Palestine to cover Gaza, the West Bank and all of Israel. They have never backed down or waivered from their 1988 charter in any statement from any leader since that time.

Abbas’ Fatah party has stated that it will “compromise” for a Palestine that follows the “1967 borders.” It states this, despite the fact the 1967 “borders” were not borders but Armistice Lines established in 1949 with Egypt and Jordan. Both of those armistice agreements specifically stated that those lines were not intended to be borders. After repeated invasions and wars by the Palestinians and its Arab allies, Israel has made clear that it will not accept those 1949 Armistice lines as final borders.

“Moderate” Palestinians argue that United Nations Resolution 242 stated that Israel should remove its armed forces from territory acquired during the 1967 war. While the Israelis point out that the language specifically does not state that it must leave “all” of the territory, Abbas is demanding such complete withdrawal; a “maximum” position within the two-state framework.


No recognition of the Jewish State. For much of Israel’s existence, the Arab world refused to recognize Israel in any matter at all and viewed Israel’s entire existence as illegitimate. The Arab world underscored the point with the famous three “no’s” in 1967 including refusing to recognize the basic existence of Israel.

In 1975, Yasser Arafat and the PLO effectively lobbied the United Nations to label the national aspirations of Jews to be a form of racial discrimination. Specifically, Resolution 3379 adopted by the General Assembly referred to the “the racist regime in occupied Palestine” and determined “that zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Such efforts have nothing to do with establishing a new country and everything to do with delegitimizing the rights and claims of Jews to their own state.

Today, Palestinian leadership continues on the same path of delegitimizing Israel.  Palestinian leadership makes a point of denying Jewish history in the Holy land. Whether addressing the United Nations General Assembly or speaking to reporters, acting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas denies any connection between Jews and their history in the land. In 2014, Abbas stated that “they [Israel] imagine that by brute force they can invent a history, establish claims and erase solid religious and historical facts.

Abbas has made very clear that he will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel:

  • I’ll never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” (2014);
  • We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state.” (2013);
  • “I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a “Jewish state.” (2011)

Underscoring these points is the insistence of a “Right of return” for descendants of pseudo-refugees to the state of Israel. He believes that the 4.6 million SAPs (Stateless Arabs from Palestine) should be entitled to move into Israel as opposed to a new Palestinian state. The entire point of partitioning the land for two peoples and creating a new Palestinian state is to create a home for these Arabs. What is the point of sending the grandchildren of Arabs who left homes in 1948 to a country they despise (Israel) when they are just creating the country they dreamed of (Palestine)?

For almost a century, the Palestinians have tried various paths to achieve their goals: broad regional wars;  local wars; intifadas; riots; peace talks and lobbying the United Nations.  But what are they hoping to achieve?

If the primary goal of the Palestinian people was a state, would they care if a small number of Jews lived there? Would they so strongly object to recognizing Israel as a Jewish State? Would they insist on an all-or-nothing strategy of getting everything in negotiations?

Are Palestinians truly desperate for a state or are they desperate to deny any rights and legitimacy of Jews to live in the land?



1936 riots:

1947 Partition plan:

1948-9 Israel war of Independence:

1967 Six Day War:

Khartoum declaration:

Arafat ends 2000 Clinton-Barack initiative:

Hamas wins 2006 elections:

No response to Olmert plan:

Netanyahu 10-month settlement freeze to re-start talks:

No Abbas engagement for nine months:

Maximum of Olmert is short of Minimum for Abbas:

Various quotes of Arab intents for Israel:

Palestinian law banning the sale of land to Jews:

Left-wing article on left-wing journalist barred from Bir Zeit University:

UN resolution 242:

UN Zionism is Racism:


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Laws of Living in Silwan:

Abbas knows Racism:

Palestinians are not “resorting” to violence:

The Green Line:

Palestinian “refugees” or “SAPs”:

Palestinian Xenophobia music video (Mr. Rogers):