Israel Has Much Higher Claims to The West Bank Than Golan Heights

On March 21, 2019, US President Donald Trump said that it was time to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The nature of the timing was viewed by cynics as a nod to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win the election happening in a couple of weeks. For people who understand the nature of the strategic security need for the Golan, the timing had much more to do with the ending of the eight-year civil war in Syria and the rapidly expanding deployment of Iranian forces into Syria. An Iranian-Syrian axis in the Golan Heights would certainly lead to a war with Israel which would kill tens of thousands of people, conservatively.

While there was certainly some benefit politically to Netanyahu for the gesture, the rationale for Israel’s control of the plateau is definitely about security. But the arguments applied to the Golan are relatively weak compared to all of the reasons Israel should have sovereignty over the “West Bank.”

History

Jews lived in the Golan Heights for thousands of years. The ancient Kingdom of Israel occupied most of southern Lebanon and Syria and dozens of synagogues over 1000 years old can be found in the area. But most Jews did not live in that area, certainly compared to the West Bank, over the past 100 years.

Religion

There are no particularly important religious sites for Jews in the Golan. However, almost all of the sacred sites for Jews are located in the “West Bank,” which the Jordanians seized in 1949 including Jerusalem, the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus/Shechem.

Legal

When the global powers opted to divide the Ottoman Empire after World War I, they set some arbitrary lines. The French took the mandates of Lebanon and Syria and the British took Palestine. While the Syrians wanted control of all of Palestine, the global powers allotted Syria the Golan Heights, and Syria controlled the area until Israel attacked it in a preemptive defensive war in 1967.

The situation could not be more different regarding the “West Bank.” That area has always been a core part of the Jewish holy land for thousands of years. It was set as an integral part of the Jewish Homeland in international law in 1920 and 1922, specifically stating that no person should be denied the right to live there based on their religion.

The Jordanian army seized the land of Palestine and annexed it in 1949, contrary to all international laws, and evicted all of the Jewish inhabitants. The Jordanians then attacked Israel again in 1967 and lost the land for which they never had any rights.

Security

The security situation in the Golan is extraordinary, due both to the height and reach of the area which can cover all of northern Israel, as well as the military operation of an Iranian-Syrian pact.

But the security situation from the West Bank is also severe. The spine of the western West Bank is very high and overlooks all of Israel’s major population centers and airport. The miles of borders dwarf the size of borders in the Golan and Gaza.


The contrast between the Golan Heights and the West Bank is striking:

  • Original rights: Syria was allotted the Golan Heights roughly 100 years ago, while the West Bank was allotted to the Jewish homeland at the same time.
  • Rights of holder: Israel took the Golan from Syria which had rights to the land, while Israel took the West Bank from Jordan which had NO RIGHTS to the land.
  • Method of acquisition: Israel took the Golan in a preemptive attack, and took the West Bank in a DEFENSIVE ATTACK.
  • History/connection: While Israel has a connection to the Golan Heights, it pales compared to the eternal connection to the “West Bank” and Jerusalem.

It was President Barack Obama who saw the Israeli-Arab Conflict as one based purely on security. If he were president today and saw Iran embedding itself into Syria, he might have sought to help secure Israel’s rights and defenses in the Golan, just as Trump announced.

But Trump sees the Jewish State from more than just a security or political standpoint. As he appreciates the long history, deep religious connection and legal rights of Israel to the West Bank, one must foresee Trump embracing Israel’s annexation of that region as well.


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I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

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

Maybe Truman Should Not Have Recognized Israel

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

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Is Ilhan Omar’s Mentor the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has gotten herself into repeated hot water for attacks on Israel and its supporters, as many people have viewed her comments as anti-Semitic. She is emblematic of a new group of alt-left politicians who squarely focus on Israel and any of its perceived misdeeds.

It is a curious phenomenon, not only because Israel is the most liberal country in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region by far, but that people like Omar pay no attention to their native countries as they attack Israel.

Consider an important point for progressives – the death penalty. Only Israel and Oman had zero executions and zero people sentenced to death in 2017 among the MENA countries. In Omar’s native Somalia, 24 people were executed by the government, almost double the total of 14 in 2016.

Israel is one of only five countries in MENA in which being gay is legal. In several countries, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, being gay is a capital offense, with most gays hung from cranes in the center of the city. In Ilhan’s native Somalia, being gay is punishable with jail time.

The dynamic is much the same regarding women’s rights. Israel is one of only five MENA countries that score in the top half of the world’s rankings for inclusion, justice and safety for women. Ilhan’s native Somalia is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for women. It is estimated that 95% of females in Somalia have forced genital mutilation. It is ranked as the worst country for maternal health.

The problems for Somalia continue. It is ranked as number 180 out of 180 by Transparency International Corruption Index, the worst country in the world. Israel ranked as number 34 out of 180, in the top quintile.

Somalia is considered the worst countries to be a journalist according to the Global Impunity Index of 2017 – worse than even Syria and Iraq.

Regardless of the issue – gay rights, women’s rights, environmental matters, animal rights, freedom of speech, press and religion – Israel performs better than its neighbors. It is in a completely different league than Somalia which is one of the worst counties in the world by every measure.

So why would an immigrant from Somalia to the United States focus so much of her attention on a small country thousands of miles from the United States? Why would a new member of Congress not be concerned with her failed native land? Is it in her constituents’ interests for her to be admonished by fellow Democrats for an obsessive focus on Israel?

As detailed in “Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference,” many Arab and Muslim countries – and their supporters – believe that Israel is an inherently racist enterprise, built on the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinian Arabs and the theft of Muslim holy lands. They believe that the supporters of such evil regime – the United States being the most powerful – are either evil and racist themselves (like Donald Trump), or are being manipulated by Zionist forces.  All of Ilhan Omar’s comments to date seemingly support this viewpoint: the Jewish State is racist and that pro-Zionists are racists and/or are manipulated by racist puppet-masters. Sounds pretty anti-Semitic, no?

Should Omar want to wash the stain of obsessive anti-Zionism which is very much tied to anti-Semitism, there is a simple action she could take: clearly declare that Israel has a right to exist in peace and security. Without such statement, no one will consider anything else she has to say. Other helpful actions would include:

  • Acknowledging the Jewish people’s long history in the holy land going back thousands of years, including being the majority of Jerusalem since the 1860’s
  • Acknowledging that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination
  • Acknowledging that Israel is a liberal democracy
  • Acknowledging Israel’s remarkable contributions to the world in the areas of technology and medicine
  • Acknowledging that all people in the United States have a right to advocate for the causes they hold dear, including the pro-Israel community
  • Considering Israel within the scope of its neighbors, and not pretending it resides in a peaceful neighborhood like Sweden
  • Considering the Israel-Palestinian Conflict within the scope of other territorial disputes, including: Cyprus-Turkey; Morocco-Western Sahara; China-Tibet; and India-Pakistan over Kashmir

No one will ever claim that anyone or any country is perfect; that’s the beauty and shame of being human. In being flawed, there is always room for improvement. Constructive criticism from a friend is an important part of growing. People who love America want America to be better, and people who love Israel want Israel to be better.

However, what is most unwelcome is for someone with no connection and no relationship to the country and who hasn’t shared a positive word, to chastise it on a global stage and urge for punitive actions. How much hatred must such a person harbor to go out of their way and ignore much worse and more immediate issues, to assault a people who have been subject to more hatred and attacks than any people on earth?

Omar tweeted in August 2017 “Syria’s Assad has become an icon of the far right in America,” suggesting that some Americans were interested in murdering hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens. She cannot be surprised if some of her fellow Americans who proudly support the Jewish State compare her and her alt-left comrades to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who seeks a new Muslim Caliphate and the destruction of Israel. This is the echo of Omar’s own words.


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Reuters Can’t Spare Ink on Iranian Anti-Semitism

There are very few news services that remain unbiased in the Arab-Israel Conflict. Progressive media like The New York Times report over and again that Israel is a far right-wing racist country while the Arab countries are moderates. Meanwhile, Fox News will forever take Israel’s side in the conflict. It often seems that the only party to report on the news while providing context in a neutral fashion is Reuters.

That had been the hope anyway.

On February 16, 2019, Reuters posted an article called “Iran Rejects Anti-Semitism Allegation by Pence.”  In the first two paragraphs, Reuters relayed the charge by the US Vice President against Iran, without including a single word of an actual quote. Over the next three paragraphs, the media outlet relayed the response by Iran that the Pence accusation was ridiculous and quoted two Iranian officials, using 71 of their own words.


US Vice President visits Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland

Reuters had quoted a few words from Pence a few days earlier when he made the comments about Iran after to visiting the Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp in Poland. In that article, Reuters sought to give some context to the state of Jews in Iran:

“Iran’s ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000-20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but it is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel.”

It would repeat the exact sentence in the February 19 article.

How is a drop in the Jewish population by 82% over the past 40 years not underscored with horror? Why did Reuters add the word “but,” to make it sound that the Islamic Republic of Iran isn’t ruthless and horrible in its treatment of the minority Jewish population? First, the only reason why Iran has more Jews than other Arab countries in the region including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Iraq was that those countries wiped out their ancient Jewish populations between 1948 and 1978, while the pre-1979 Islamic Revolution Iran (headed by the American ally, the Shah) retained most its Jews. But once Iran declared war on the West in 1979, it has been rapidly ridding its Jews. Second, to put the 82% decline of the Jewish population in perspective, the Arab population in Israel over the past 40 years has grown by 166%, from 706,000 to 1.88 million. If the Israeli Arab population had gone the way of Iranian Jews for the past 40 years, the current Arab population in Israel would be just 127,000, less than 7% of the current total. Where is the false outcry of ethnic cleansing and where is it actually happening, and why is Reuters failing to point it out?

The February 19 article went on to quote an Iranian leader that “the Holocaust was a disaster,” seemingly refuting Pence’s charge. However Reuters would write nothing about the annual Holocaust cartoon contest  that Iran holds each year. It made no mention of the Supreme Islamic Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened. A curious omission, considering the basis of Pence’s comment stemmed from his visit to a Nazi Death Camp.

The February 19 article would continue with another paragraph meant to provide context for the reader, this one about the nature of Iran’s threats against Israel:

“A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander in January threatened Israel, which Iran does not recognize, with destruction if it attacks Iran, state media reported.”

Note that Reuters wrote that Iran said it would destroy Israel as a matter of self defense, seemingly a reasonable stance. Reuters neglected to write about Khamenei’s comment that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that must be fought and removed to realize the “complete liberation of Palestine.” Those vile Iranian comments from its Supreme Leader have absolutely nothing to do with Iran responding to an Israeli attack; they were simply threats of destruction.

Biased reporting against Israel is a hallmark of outfits like The New York Times and CNN. It is distressing to see more balanced media like Reuters whitewashing the genocidal calls and actions from Iran. #AlternativeFacts


Related First.One.Through articles:

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In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

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NY Times Disgraceful Journeys

As media companies have come under financial strain due to the availability of plentiful free and immediate news sources online and the collapse of the print advertising industry, the companies have sought new methods of generating revenue.

As part of such endeavor, The New York Times got into the travel business.

The Times markets its “Journeys” as a way to not only see the world, but to gain an understanding of the “history & context” of the countries with “featured experts.” Not surprisingly, the paper’s infamous pro-Arab and anti-Israel orientation fills the Times’ brochures.

Consider the Times description of its trip to Iran (below). The main headline of “How Much Do You Understand?” seems to beg the reader into an opportunity to learn. The text for Iran is as follow:

“Iran: Tales from Persia

Persia. Iran. For 2,500 years, this powerful country has entranced, mystified and beguiled the world. Discover the ancient secrets and modern complexities of this influential land on a 13-day itinerary, visiting some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites and the family home of the religious leader who engineered Iran’s transition to an Islamic republic. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Iran.”

The featured expert is “Gary Wintz, a writer and lecturer, has traveled to Iran regularly since the 1980s and is an expert on the cultural and political landscape there. He joins all our departures.

The trip sounds very exciting. So much intrigue and history.

There is no mention that this country is one of the most repressive in the world. This is a government that hangs gays by cranes in the street – literally. It has fomented civil wars in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. It has publicly called for the destruction of Israel. It leads the entire Middle East in executions  (more than every country in the region COMBINED). It executes minors.

No worries. The NYTimes will tell you that its mysterious and beguiling.

At least this year’s “featured expert” has been to Iran. In 2016, the featured expert was the notorious Op-Ed Israel-basher, Roger Cohen. He probably told the tour participants how terrible it was that Israel opposed Iran getting nuclear weapons.

There is only one other country in the world that executes minors: Saudi Arabia. The Times will gladly take you there too.

Saudi Arabia and the Emirates: The Past and Future of Oil

Oil transformed the Arabian Peninsula, bringing wealth into a region steeped in tradition and heightening tensions with oil-dependent Western nations. On this 10-day journey accompanied by New York Times journalists, learn more about Saudi Arabia, on the cusp of change. Explore the conservatism that still grips Saudi Arabia (women, you may need to bring a head scarf), then see the modern architectural gem that is Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia, where Islam was born, remains a deeply conservative country where women are only now being allowed to drive and alcohol is not served. It’s also one of the most important allies of the United States, even though they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Journey to Jidda, Al-Ula, Riyadh and Dammam to better understand the relationship between these two nations. Hear perspectives from oil industry and government officials and learn how Saudi Arabia keeps its grip on its past even as it tries to embrace its future. Then travel to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and see how it has used its oil wealth to create a city of culture.”

The Times pointed out that the country is “deeply conservative” but ignored that it is rated one of the “worst of the worst” repressive countries by Freedom House. It is the only country in the world that has public beheadings. Seriously, even today.

No worries. You’ll get to see a “modern architectural gem” with the Times.

In regards to Egypt, the Times could not be bothered to mention anything “conservative” about the country.

Egypt is the land of “powerful dynasties” and “New York Times experts will help you piece together the life and times of a powerful ancient civilization and share their vision for the country’s future.”

How wonderful! Not an iota of anything controversial. Did the Times mention that Egypt is one of the worst countries to be a Christian according to Open Doors? That the Arab Spring swept out one long-time strongman, and a military coup took out his replacement? Terrorism targeting tourists? Why would it? This is the Times.

Morocco? It’s gorgeous! “A land of of legend and intrigue… delve deep into this colorful nation.” Illegal annexation of Western Sahara? Never heard of it.

For some of the worst murderous regimes in the world, involved with human rights abuses in their own countries as well as active participation in killing many tens and hundreds of thousands of people, the most the NY Times could muster about the Islamic countries was that Saudi Arabia is “deeply conservative” and “don’t always see eye-to-eye” with the United States. Remarkable.

But it gets worse.

You can perhaps try to forgive the Times that is trying to sell a vacation package to make a few more dollars. Why highlight the bad (actually evil) when marketing a trip for several thousands of dollars?

The NY Times also offers a trip of Israel. Surely the Times would highlight the miracle that is the rising star of the Middle East.

The paper which claims to be “a leader in its evenhanded coverage of Israel,” seems to think that the only democracy in the Middle East, the technological and environmental leader, the most liberal country for thousands of miles in any direction, needs some “balance” in its “Journeys” packages. Not Iran nor Saudi Arabia nor Egypt nor other Middle eastern lands. Only Israel.

This is from the Times Journey’s website on the Israel trip:

In 2018, Israel will observe its 70th anniversary as a nation. But its history goes back more than 5,000 years, and even now, its future promises many difficulties. On this nine-day itinerary, travel with experts from The New York Times, a leader in its evenhanded coverage of Israel, Palestinians and the Middle East. Enjoy extraordinary opportunities to hear from opinion makers, scholars, grassroots activists and media experts.

Travel behind the media lens to explore the broad spectrum of the Israeli-Palestinian experience on a journey through millennia of history, politics and religion. Explore one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, and seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the next chapter of history. Learn about the evolution of Israeli and Palestinian identities by understanding the region’s past struggles while considering its current political reality and contemplating its future. With unparalleled access and New York Times guidance, this unforgettable trip will present this volatile region in a new light.”

How is it that a trip of Israel, a country with so many incredible things to cover in both ancient history, religion, economy, arts and technology, could get wrapped into a discussion about Palestinians (three times!)? Why is Israel uniquely described as having “difficulties” and “struggles” in a “volatile region”? More people have died in the wars that Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting over the past three years than the entire 70-year history of Israel.

Saudi Arabia is noted as the place “where Islam was born.” Is it too much for the Times to point out that Israel is the Jewish homeland?

In Iran, people are invited to visit “some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites.” Are there not enough ruins in Israel to highlight?

The Times puts on a unique lens for Israel. Consider the itinerary on the first full day of the trip, called “Jerusalem: Understanding the Borders and Territories.” The schedule includes: “This morning, attend a talk by Avi Issacharoff, an Israeli journalist who specializes in Palestinian affairs. Learn about his work, including the geopolitical TV thriller “Fauda” (Arabic for “Chaos.”) Then, drive north to the Qalandiya checkpoint to enter the West Bank for a guided tour led by Rami Nazzal, a Palestinian and New York Times contributor. Visit a Palestinian refugee camp, the city of Al-Bireh and homes near the Psagot Israeli settlement. After lunch at a local Palestinian restaurant, meet with a senior Palestinian official to discuss the history and current state of Israeli-Palestinian affairs. End the day with a driving tour through Ramallah, which serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.” On the New York Times’ trip to Israel, visitors adopt the Palestinian narrative from the outset.

A visit to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset in Jerusalem? To it’s Supreme Court? No way! The trip to Israel and a tour starting in Jerusalem visits “the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority.” Heaven-forbid actually spending a trip to Israel in Israel’s capital city.

The New York Times is not remotely fair to Israel even while it tries to make a few bucks on its travel packages. Do you think there’s an iota of even-handedness in its news stories?


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Is Israel Reforming the Muslim Middle East? Impossible According to The NY Times

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First.One.Through video:

Saudi Arabia’s Repressive Regime (music by The Cars)

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Is Israel Reforming the Muslim Middle East? Impossible According to The NY Times

The New York Times has been advancing the notion that liberal values are popping up in the Middle East. Despite the actual murder and mayhem brought by the “Arab Spring,” the Times published articles about the advancement of women’s rights in Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as the acceptance of the gay and lesbian communities in Lebanon.

These recent phenomena may be true, but it is interesting that Israel is never mentioned in the articles – the one country that has equality for women and the LGBT community.

LGBT Rights

Consider the December 31, 2017 article “Coming Out in Lebanon, and Helping it to be More Tolerant.” The article detailed that most of the countries in the Middle East have laws punishing homosexual activity, naming several Arab countries before highlighting the unique position of Lebanon:

Throughout the Middle East, gay, lesbian and transgender people face formidable obstacles to living a life of openness and acceptance in conservative societies.

Although Jordan decriminalized same-sex behavior in 1951, the gay community remains marginalized. Qatar, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen all outlaw same-sex relations. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can be punished by flogging or death.

In Egypt, at least 76 people have been arrested in a crackdown since September, when a fan waved a rainbow flag during a concert by Masrou’ Leila, a Lebanese band with an openly gay singer.

If there is one exception, it has been Lebanon. While the law can still penalize homosexual acts, the society has slowly grown more tolerant as activists have worked for more rights and visibility.”

This is preposterous. The “one exception” of tolerance “throughout the Middle East” is Israel, not Lebanon.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) produced detailed reports about the countries of the world that  protect or criminalize LGBT relationships. In every year, Israel stands out as an island of acceptance for the LGBT community for thousands of miles.

From Morocco to Taiwan and from South Africa to Russia, there is a single country that has laws protecting the LGBT community. And it is not Lebanon, but Israel.


The New York Times December 31, 2017 article on page 10 claiming that Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East with gay rights.

Women’s Rights

On December 29, 2017, the New York Times published an article on its cover page called “Unlikely Iranian-Saudi Race: Easing Restrictions on Women.” The article advanced the notion that Iran and Saudi Arabia are both slowly easing restrictions on women in their countries in a competitive environment of liberalization. Saudi Arabia changed laws allowing women to drive, so Iran eased the law regarding women wearing a hijab.

The article quoted “Suad Abu-Dayyeh, a Palestinian who is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) consultant for Equality Now, a global women’s advocacy group.” The article noted that “she was cautious about concluding that the changes in Iran were related to the Saudi relaxation,” but she did state that “any advancement in any country will really affect the situation in the neighboring countries.

And still, the New York Times did not mention Israel which leads the MENA region in women’s rights.

If the Times really believed in the concept that it opted to cite, that the activity in one country could influence the actions in neighboring countries, why not mention the country that leads the entire region in human rights, especially for women and the LGBT communities? Is it too remarkable to assume that the countries in the region are trying to catch up with Israel, whether in technology, the economy or human rights? Saudi Arabia announced its Vision 2030 plans just a few months ago, as noted by the NY Times on October 25, 2017, that the country needed to move beyond oil into technology. Are all of these events regarding the economy and human rights simply coincidences with no relationship to the marvel of Israel next door?

In the closing days of 2017, the Times sought to educate its readership that the Muslim and Arab countries are in the process of liberal reformation – on their own. The paper did so while deliberately excluding the factual presence of Israel in the Middle East and its possible positive influence of reforming the Muslim nations in the region.

The New York Times has moved beyond the “pinkwashing” of Israel into new levels of #AlternativeFacts.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Gay Rights in the Middle East

The Color Coded Lexicon of Israel’s Bigotry: It’s not Just PinkWashing

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Honor Killings in Gaza

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Losing Rights

There are some rights that are considered immutable, granted to human beings everywhere, while other rights are granted by a country’s laws or local society. But individuals and countries can lose those rights if they are deemed threats to society.

Individual Rights in the United States

Consider the right to vote in the United States.

While it was given to adult white men at the birth of the country, it took the passage of the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1870 for black men to get the right to vote. Women got the right to vote in 1919 when the 19th Amendment passed. To this day, citizens under 18 years old are still denied the right to vote.

The right to vote in elections is NOT immutable, as it is conditioned on a level of decent behavior. Many states rescind the right to vote for people who are convicted of a felony. Some states suspend the right while the person is in prison; other states ban the right to vote permanently.

The right to own a gun in the USA is also subject to limitations.

While the 2nd Amendment gave citizens the right “to keep and bear arms,federal law also rescinds such right for people in certain categories, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and people with certain kinds of mental health issues. The government has opted to remove certain rights of the individual because of their threat to the well-being of society.

That principle relates to countries as well.

Iranian Quest for Nuclear Power

There are nine countries with nuclear weapons and 31 with nuclear power. Despite its prevalence, the world was alarmed when Iran wanted to pursue its own nuclear ambitions. Why did so many countries enforce severe sanctions on Iran, when it was just pursuing a nuclear program similar to many other countries?

As many people stated when the Iranian deal was being formulated and Israeli MK Michael Oren wrote on October 2, 2017 “The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Worth Saving,” the problem lies with Iran itself. The country is a leading state sponsor of global terrorism. It is a dangerous destabilizing force, backing corrupt regimes and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. Many countries correctly concluded that Iran is a bad actor that must be restricted from having weapons of mass destruction. It follows the logic of keeping guns out of the hands of felons by a factor of 7 billion.

The current Islamic Republic of Iran is unfit to handle nuclear weapons or even possess nuclear power. It must be satisfied with a conventional arsenal to protect itself and conventional sources of electricity until it can demonstate that it can be trusted with greater power.

Palestinian Arabs’ Quest for an Independent State

In 1975, the United Nations passed General Assembly Resolution 3376 which created the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP). Since 1977, the UN has celebrated on every November 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which echoed the CEIRPP call for “the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.

But the Palestinian Arabs have themselves undermined these “inalienable rights” based on their actions to date.

No “right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.” UN Resolution 194 specifically stated that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.” However, the millions of Palestinians who want “to return to their homes” are not refugees, but descendants of internally displaced people. Further, the various wars, intifadas and stabbing and car ramming attacks prove that the Palestinian Arabs have no intention of living in peace with Jews in the region.

No “right to national independence and sovereignty.” While people can appreciate the desire of people to self-determination and being citizens of a country, that does not equate to people having a distinct country of their own. Many Arabs are now citizens of Israel, accounting for 20% of the country. Millions of Arabs have Jordanian citizenship, many having moved to Jordan from the West Bank. Millions of Arabs east of the Green Line (EGL)/ Judea and Samaria/ West Bank had Jordanian citizenship from 1954 to 1988, from when the Jordanians granted all non-Jews in the region citizenship until the Jordanian government rescinded it and any claim to EGL. The Arabs in Gaza were under Egyptian rule from 1948 to 1967.

The Palestinian Arabs have shown themselves unfit to have a country of their own based on a long list of actions.

  • Electing a Holocaust denier as President
  • Electing a terrorist group (Hamas) to the majority (58%) of parliament
  • Established laws calling for capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew
  • Calling for a new country to be Jew-free
  • Denying the 3700 year history of Jews in the holy land
  • Almost a completely anti-Semitic populace (93% according to an ADL poll)
  • Using language such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” against the Jewish people who just suffered that fate at the hands of Germany and Arab countries around the Middle East
  • Wars and intifadas, and the incitement to murder Jews from 1920 until today

l
logo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
showing the entire Arab world invading Israel

[the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is part of the “moderate” Fatah party and features a logo with guns over the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. New rules by WordPress prevent it being inserted here.]

Like Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power and a convicted felon’s desire to purchase a gun, granting Palestinian Arabs a sovereign country would be a dangerous and alarming action. That countries would even consider pursuing such course while the Palestinian Authority works to bring Hamas into a unity government, would be akin to handing an automatic weapon to a serial domestic abuser who bought the apartment next door to his ex-wife.

The Palestinian Arabs can achieve their “inalienable right” to become citizens of either Israel, Jordan or Egypt. They are still a very long way of earning the right to sovereignty.

 


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Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

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

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Grading Evil and Evil Doers

On December 14, 2015, US President Obama told Americans that “the United States and our Armed Forces continue to lead the global coalition in our mission to destroy the terrorist group ISIL (the Islamic State).”  He laid out the ongoing efforts to “destroy” the group in its various facets, including “their fighting positions, bunkers and staging areas; their heavy weapons, bomb-making factories, compounds and training camps.

He used the word “destroy” five times in the speech.

That address stood in sharp contrast to his detailed comments on fighting “violent extremism.”

On February 18, 2015, Obama penned a piece in the Los Angeles Times called “Our Fight Against Violent Extremism.” He mentioned terrorism and terrorist threats from a range of countries, including: Yemen; Libya; Syria; Iraq; US; Canada; Australia; France; Denmark; Pakistan; Somalia and Nigeria.  His plan to deal with the global threat involved several initiatives: “We know that military force alone cannot solve this problem. Nor can we simply take out terrorists who kill innocent civilians. We also have to confront the violent extremists — the propagandists, recruiters and enablers — who may not directly engage in terrorist acts themselves, but who radicalize, recruit and incite others to do so…. Our focus will be on empowering local communities.”

Obama’s plan to fight global violent extremism was broad.  Below is a review of Obama’s approach for confronting evil and evil-doers.

Evil to Destroy

President Obama referred to an “evil ideology” when he commented on the murder of American photojournalist Luke Somers.  For Obama, the evil of AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) was a “disregard for life” that threated to “harm our [American] citizens.”

Regarding ISIL/ the Islamic State, the evil was described in a similar manner.  In November 2015, after attacks in France and Turkey, Obama said ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”  He echoed comments he made with French President Hollande just a few days before when he saidthis barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us.  It cannot be tolerated.  It must be destroyed.”

Evil had certain traits: barbarity and murder.  According to Obama, the root of the evil ideology was to “promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims.

Particular evil that needed to be destroyed, was evil that threated America, and in some cases, its allies.  Other evil could be addressed using other methods.

Consider Obama’s comments over his presidency about his desire to destroy evil.  It is limited to two terrorist groups who attacked Americans: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State.

  • December 1, 2009: “America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security.
  • March 28, 2010: “Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission [in Afghanistan].”
  • October 29, 2010: “we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government to disrupt plotting by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to destroy this al Qaeda affiliate.
  • September 10, 2014: “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
  • February 11, 2015: “America’s armed forces are working with some 60 nations to degrade and destroy ISIL, a terrorist group that has committed countless barbaric atrocities and poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”
  • July 6, 2015: “ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple… Our main objective is to degrade and destroy this group through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

Obama with military leaders
Obama discussing anti-Islamic State plan, surrounded by military leaders including
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff on July 6, 2015 (photo: DoD/ Glenn Fawcett)

ISIL/ Islamic State and al Qaeda remain the only groups targeted for destruction by Obama.

Condemned Evil

There are other groups – and countries –  that are barbaric murderous entities which are not in Obama’s crosshairs.  They receive Obama’s condemnation and disapproval, but not concerted military attention.

Boko Haram is a barbaric, murderous terrorist group operating in Nigeria.  Like the Islamic State, it seeks to install an Islamic country in the place of the Nigerian secular government through a murderous campaign.

Obama has condemned the group’s actions, but remained measured in his call for action:

  • May 7, 2014 (an offer to help find abducted teenaged girls): “Boko Haram, this terrorist organization that’s been operating in Nigeria, has been killing people and innocent civilians for a very long time. We’ve always identified them as one of the worst local or regional terrorist organizations there is out there…So what we’ve done is we have offered — and it’s been accepted — help from our military and law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them. In the short term, our goal obviously is to help the international community and the Nigerian government as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies. But we’re also going to have to deal with the broader problem of organizations like this that can cause such havoc in people’s day-to-day lives.” Obama did not offer to help destroy Boko Haram.
  • March 23, 2015: “Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped…. by casting your ballot you can help secure your nation’s progress.”  Obama gave no support to destroy the group; he just suggested that Nigerians vote peacefully in elections and the Boko Haram threat would disappear.
  • July 10, 2015: “[The president of Nigeria is] very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that’s taken place there, and the atrocities that they’ve carried out, and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside of his country.” Obama noted the President of Nigeria’s concern, but did not mention his own.

While the evil of Boko Haram and other groups operating in Africa was the same, the Obama Administration would not target the groups for destruction as Americans were not targeted.  Obama would only condemn the evil and offer American support:

  • In Chad: “support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram
  • In Lebanon: “fully support the Lebanese authorities as they conduct their investigation… reaffirms its commitment to Lebanon’s security, and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Lebanon in confronting terrorism

The same evil ideology is held by other groups such as al-Shabaab in Somalia which has killed hundreds.  In Ethiopia, after a brutal attack in the country’s capital, Obama saidWe don’t need to send our own marines in to do the fighting: The Ethiopians are tough fighters and the Kenyans and Ugandans have been serious about what they’re doing.”  The comment suggested that Obama’s modus operandi is that America will only engage militarily to destroy evil, if the local government is ill-equipped to do so.

Tolerated Evil

The evil ideology of barbarism and murder is not confined to a few terrorist groups that “promote a twisted interpretation of religion.”  Several countries also engage in barbarity of its own citizens.  Consider Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.  These countries commit barbarity including:

  • killing gays by hanging them from cranes in the streets and throwing them off buildings;
  • stoning people to death for adultery;
  • beheading people in the middle of the streets;
  • executing minors;
  • capital punishment for activities that do not hurt anyone such as apostasy (converting from Islam)

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, crossing an Obama “red line.”  However, in the end, it did not matter.  Obama would not attack the Syrian government, and opted to negotiate with them to remove chemical weapons.

Regarding Iran, Obama stated that while they may be anti-Semitic, the country’s leaders were not so consumed by evil that they would do something that would harm their own interests.  Obama would not attack the country, but chose to negotiate to slow the pace of its nuclear program, even as the Iranian leaders chanted “Death to America.”

And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which publicly beheads “witches” and apostates, remains an American ally.  It receives billions of dollars of military hardware from the US.

ObamaAbdullah
Obama and the Saudi King

In short, evil perpetuated by countries is tolerated by the Obama administration.  The one country where Obama decided to launch an attack to remove its leader was Libya, a much less evil regime than in Syria, Iran or Saudi Arabia.  It just happened to be easier to remove Muammar Gaddafi, than the leaders of other countries.

Ignored Evil

The last category of Obama’s treatment of evil is “Ignored Evil”.  It is basically the same as “Tolerated Evil” except it is used for a group rather than for a country.

Palestinian Arabs have many groups that are labelled terrorist organizations by the US State Department including: Abu Nidal; Hamas; Palestine Liberation Front; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine; PFLP- General Command; and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, among others.  These groups have stated their intention to destroy Israel, a US ally; to target Jews for murder; and install an Islamic state in Israel. The groups also torture fellow Arabs if there is suspicion of collaboration with Israel, and drag their bodies through the streets.

Obama has not called for these groups to be destroyed.  He does not tolerate their evil, as he doesn’t negotiate with them.  He simply ignores their barbarity, as he pushes Israel to tolerate and negotiate with them.

While Obama may state that he has “no sympathy for Hamas, he pushed Israel to release terrorists in exchange for… nothing.  When Hamas and Fatah announced a unity government in June 2014, the Obama administration said “we intend to work with this government.

There are Palestinian groups that are not labelled by the US as terrorists, that also incite violence against Israelis.  Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas called for jihad several times against Israel without rebuke from the Obama administration.

Conclusion

Obama has refused to label the evil that touches much of the world as “violent Islamic terrorism”.  By doing so, he compartmentalized the evil ideology: between those that threaten America and those that don’t; between established governments and terrorist groups seeking to replace countries.

As described above, each category received a particular treatment by the USA.  Only in Israel, did Obama opt to break his formula by ignoring the radical Palestinian jihadists, as acknowledging their evil, would likely undermine any chance for a two-state solution with Israel.

While some liberals think the nature of the evil ideology is different in particular places, most people understand the contours of jihadist terrorism and remain angered by Obama’s refusal to call out the religious barbarity in various corners of the world by its proper name.  Israel supporters are particularly enraged by Obama’s unique treatment of Palestinian Arab jihadist violence.

Liberals remain convinced that not all evil is the same, and that the barbarity has nothing to do with Islam.  Conservatives believe that all violent jihadist violence is very much the same, and should be dealt with in a singular fashion.

However, for Obama, remaining obtuse about the nature of the evil ideology enables flexibility in engaging particular evil-doers, while avoiding a broader conflict with the Muslim world.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Pick Your Jihad; Choose Your Infidel

The Banners of Jihad

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

My Terrorism

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Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Historians have begun to debate the “Obama Doctrine” and its impact on global stability. The Doctrine itself is not so novel or controversial.  It is the “Obama Rationale,” his underlying worldview, and how he applies the doctrine’s principles, that are causing the destabilization of global security.

Obama Doctrine
President Obama defining his “Obama Doctrine” with Thomas Freidman
April 2015 (photo: New York Times)

The Obama Doctrine
We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities”

In April 2015, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas Freidman penned a piece called “Iran and the Obama Doctrine.” In a long interview with US President Barack Obama, Freidman came to conclusions about Obama’s approach to foreign affairs. In short:

  • Engagement over Sanctions, Isolation and War. Obama stated a problem ignored is not a problem solved.  However, dialogue opened a possibility to change people’s hearts and minds. Diplomacy should always be the first option, both with allies and foes.
  • A Single Foreign Policy. The Executive Branch of the United States government must be the sole representative of US foreign policy. Senators and congresspeople should not engage with world leaders with messages that contradict those decided by the president.

Liberals and Conservatives may agree or disagree with this formula for engaging the world. Presumably, many would agree with these approaches in general.

Then why the terrible polls for Obama’s foreign policy?

Failed Implementation

There is a significant percentage of Americans who strongly disagree with Obama’s handling of foreign policy. Those reasons may have less to do with the Obama Doctrine itself, but how it is applied.

  • Negotiations with Foes. Engaging with friend or foe should yield results to one’s liking. Many Americans criticized the Obama team in that it did not extract enough concessions from negotiations.
    • Cuba was opened up with nothing to show for it.
    • Syria was given a pass for using chemical weapons even though Obama threatened the country with military force.
    • Iran was left with an enormous nuclear infrastructure, even though sanctions had pushed the country to the brink.
    • Russia actively established itself on the world stage including annexing part of Ukraine, as it knew that Obama would not take military action.
    • Engagement is okay, if it achieved the desired outcome, but Obama showed a pattern of coming away with only modest achievements at great costs. He resorted to touting the engagement itself as the victory, rather than tangible goals.
  • Engagement with Allies. Foreign policy is equally about managing relationships with allies. Yet Obama has shown an inability to keep allies close, work for American interests and make reforms, as necessary.
    • Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was a longtime ally of the United States, and Obama made a point of visiting Cairo in his first international trip. Yet Obama quickly turned on this one-time ally and blessed his overthrow.
    • Israel has rarely had such a cold treatment form any US administration. The lack of trust has not produced an environment conducive to peace negotiations.
    • Saudi Arabia is an oppressive regime that is nevertheless a US ally. The kingdom has never been so unsure of America’s leadership, nor has it beheaded as many of its own citizens.
    • Turkey’s leader Erdogan has been described by Obama as being one of his closest allies.  Yet Turkey has dragged its feet in allowing the US to use its territory to fight ISIS and prefers using its Turkish troops to bomb Kurds than ISIS.
    • Despite an established agreement with Ukraine, Obama let the country fall to Russia.
  • Terrorism. More than almost any issue since 9/11/2001, has the world been focused on terrorism. Obama has been unsure how to utilize his “Doctrine” when the counter-party is not an official government, but a terrorist organization.
    • Islamic State/ ISIS has been targeted for destruction by Obama in words, but he has engaged in militarily confronting the group only sporadically. Meanwhile, the group continues to expand its attacks in Lebanon, Egypt (against a Russian airliner) and France.
    • Boko Haram; Al-Shabaab, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups do not get any engagement from Obama at all. Obama considers them local problems for local governments to handle and does not consider the global aspirations of the affiliates groups.  Never mind that these group like Ansar al-Sharia in Libya have attacked and killed Americans, including Ambassador Stevens.

The Obama Doctrine by itself is not that controversial to many Americans, however, it’s implementation is roundly criticized.  Further, the underlying Obama worldview which governs his approach to engagement is considered a disaster.

The Obama Rationale

President Obama has spent seven years outlining his thoughts as to why people use terrorism. The rationale leads directly to his proposed solutions, so appreciating those views is key to understanding his tactics.

In February 2015, not long after the terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015, several world leaders met to discuss ways of combatting terror. President Obama addressed the American people and outlined his thoughts about the root causes of terrorism and his associated game plan:

  • Frustration with Injustice and Corruption. Obama stated that “anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives.
  • No Outlet other than Through Violence. He added that the frustration was exacerbated by “[g]overnments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change
  • Misguided Belief that West is at War with Islam. Obama stated that some clerics and groups have a “twisted interpretation of religion” and that “al Qaeda and ISIL peddling the lie that the United States is at war with Islam

The Obama rationale for terrorism is that there is a very small number of people who have twisted religion and then prey upon people’s “legitimate grievances” (his words).  His approach to addressing this terrorist threat is an extension of his Obama Doctrine.

The Obama Solution to Terrorism

  • Broadcast the Voices of Muslim Moderates. “The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam”  Americans should show “support of their family, friends, teachers and faith leaders.”
  • Export Democracy.  While Obama has shown a reluctance to nation-build, he nevertheless thinks that advancing democracy would help stop terrorism: “Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies.
  • Community Development.  Showing his roots as a community organizer, Obama advocates for local job creation, whereby “economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.” That’s why spokespeople like Marie Hart from the State Department continue to push the notion that a jobs program is the key to stop terrorism.
  • Repeat that the US is NOT at war with Islam. Obama consistently repeats over and again that America is not at war with Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace.  Such efforts, he believes, keep the terrorism from spreading to America’s shores and allies.

These approaches to terrorism are very much like the Obama Doctrine: engage and assist people in reaching democratic aspirations.  The small number of terrorists with hateful ideology would be eliminated (using “all capabilities”), while the masses should be “engaged”.  As Obama said:

Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence
is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds.”

However, this approach has not slowed the advance of terrorism which continues to kill in France; Egypt; Israel; Lebanon; Nigeria; Kenya and elsewhere.

Critics of Obama say the battle is not “FOR the hearts and minds” but “OF the hearts and minds” of a broad number of Muslims.  They point out the murderous governments throughout the Muslim world, and the gross intolerance of their societies, that are not just offended by what people say or do, but who they are.

Many of these critics believe that the terrible state of global security is solely because of Obama’s worldview.  They argue that there is no administration failure to execute; the team is executing the Obama Doctrine according to the Obama Rationale: Give the various regimes money, jobs, trading, asylum and the like.  Remove American troops from the MENA region, engage economically, and peace will prevail (or if it doesn’t, it will be a local problem).

Obama’s critics dismiss this approach and believe the “clash of civilizations” goes beyond a handful of terrorists.  The world is too flat and integrated to believe such a naïve approach will keep America and its allies safe.


As Americans consider their next president, it will be important to not just consider whether they agree with the Obama Doctrine, but with the Obama worldview. If terrorism continues to occur over the election season, the Obama Rationale will take center stage in the debates.

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Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

“Double standards” is defined as a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another.” Double Standards are typically viewed as unjust, and some countries (like the government of Israel) complain when they are held to more rigorous standards of behavior than its neighbors by political bodies like the United Nations. Curiously, in 2015, some US Democratic candidates for president have introduced a new concept of “Half Standards,” in which they actively and happily pursue policies for other countries which are much less rigorous than they expect for Americans.

Democrats on Gun Control for Americans

After the killing of two journalists on air in August 2015, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders stated that he would introduce “constructive gun control legislation which most significantly gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.” Similarly, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented that she is in favor of “reform that keeps weapons out of the hands that should not have them.

Such calls for gun control is not without controversy, as most Americans view the right to bear arms as a fundamental right laid out in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights that “shall not be infringed.” How can the government decide that there are parties that “should not have them [guns]?” Will the government take steps to block certain individuals from this right the way that it blocks felons from voting?

Who “should not have them“? Clinton called out “domestic abusers, the violently unstable” as targets who would lose the right to bear arms. Will the US courts create a system of defining such individuals?

What exactly will these “bad” people be prevented from owning?  In their call for new gun legislation, how far will the ownership limitations go? Will a domestic abuser be restricted from purchasing a new gun or will they also need to forfeit guns they currently own? What about ammunition? If a person has factories that make guns and ammo, would they be forced to sell it? If they ran a mine that sourced all of the raw materials to make guns or ammunition, would they be forced to shut it down? In short, would a “violently unstable” person be allowed to own and run an entire gun manufacturing infrastructure and warehouse even if they promised to give up having a gun in their home?

Contrast these Democrats’ positions about barring certain Americans from owning guns, with their positions on Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Democrats Supporting the Iranian JCPOA

Clinton gave a strong defense of the nuclear agreement with Iran on September 9, 2015, even while she noted the many short-comings of the JCPOA.

Hillary Brookings
Hillary Clinton at the Brookings Institute discussing her support of the JCPOA
September 9, 2015

Iran is a “violently unstable” player: The US State Department has long considered the Islamic Republic of Iran to be a supporter of terrorism, one of only three countries with such designation. The Iranian government has been hostile to America since 1979 and continues to call for the “Death of America”.

…and will remain a “violently unstable” player: Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made clear in several interviews, that “this deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime should be an integral part of a timetable of sanctions relief to the Iranians, the Obama administration made clear that such notion would not be part of any Plan Of Action.

Iran “should not have them (WMDs)”: US President Barack Obama repeatedly stated that the Iranian regime should never be armed with weapons of mass destruction. He has tried to convince Americans that the JCPOA will keep Iran from actually being in possession of such nuclear weapons, and Clinton and Sanders agree that the JCPOA would accomplish such task.

…but will maintain the entire food chain of processing WMDs: While Iran would technically not have a nuclear bomb IF it adheres to everything in the JCPOA, it will continue to have everything required to manufacture and deliver such weapons:

  • Uranium mines left untouched
  • It maintains a stockpile of uranium
  • Thousands of centrifuges (6,104 by the White House count) for enrichment left intact
  • Heavy-water nuclear plant Arak is “redesigned” but not dismantled
  • Enrichment facilities of Natanz and Fordow will both remain operational
  • Obtain new short- and long-range ballistic missiles (available in 5 to 8 years)

iran_nuclear_624
Iranian Nuclear Infrastructure
(from BBC website)

Would Clinton and Sanders enable “violently unstable” Americans that have a constitutional right to bear arms, keep an entire weapons making assembly line? Why do they promote a “half standard” for a “violently unstable” country to maintain a vast nuclear weapons infrastructure?


Related First One Through articles:

Some Ugly Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Is the Iran Deal a Domestic Matter (NY Times) or an International Matter (Wall Street Journal)

The New Endorsed Parameters of Peaceful Nuclear Power

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Snack-Pack Inspections

A Satire

Scene: A conference room with dozens of politicians, including the senior members of the P5+1 team and Iran, negotiating terms to the comprehensive nuclear agreement. The hour is late and people are agitated and sleepy. Each country team is mostly talking amongst themselves.

P5+1
(photo: Getty Images)

Sensing the moment is right to bring up a new deal point, US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to catch everyone’s attention.

US Secretary John Kerry (in a loud clear voice): “We have gone through the various points of this agreement and concluded that we cannot approve it without additional security precautions. As such, we insist on automatic ‘snapback sanctions’ if there is a material breach of the terms of the agreement.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “What are ‘snack-pack sanctions’?”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “’’Snack-pack inspections’. It is another excuse for the Americans to snoop around.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “I won’t agree to it. That is outrageous. Why must you Americans continue to compromise on our dignity?!”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “Mohammad, please. It is not that big a condition. Use the American request to push forward some of your own ideas.”

Zarif: “Why are Iranian snacks anyone’s concern? You have pushed too far!”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “The Americans are big snackers, they cannot help themselves! Eating all of that fast food and potato chips!”

Aide to Kerry blurts out: “Potato chips are just cold French fries!”

Fabius: “Your ‘French Fries’ are not from France, you idiot!”

Westerwelle (laughing while patting his stomach): “The Americans don’t just snack- they snack BIG. They turn warehouses into giant snack stores.  That’s why they have snacks in packs. Can you imagine!”

Kerry: “People! I said ‘snapback sanctions’ not ‘snack-pack inspections’. We need some teeth in this agreement.”

Fabius: “You Americans are real gluttons, sinking you teeth into everything. Why do you have to always focus on consuming so much garbage?”

Zarif: “I cannot agree!”

Lavrov (in a loud, condescending voice): “Hey, Mr. Ketchup, let’s say we agree with snack-pack inspections. But you would have to agree to import some of our snacks too. For example, some Beluga caviar. It would be a nice improvement for your abused tongues.”

Zarif: “We get to export our caviar to the Americans again? This would be excellent!”

Lavrov (in a hushed voice to Zarif): “You and I will discuss later where the caviar will actually come from.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague: “Does that satisfy your appetite, John?”

Yi: “Be careful Mohammad. Your country is about to be flooded with McDonalds!”

Zarif: “I’ll tell you, I will take up to 20 McDonalds, but America must agree to take our pistachios as well.”

Lavrov (out loud, but absent-mindedly): “But Russia doesn’t export pistachios.”

Hague: “Well, maybe Iran could also start to import our ‘Smarties’ now.”

Kerry: “People! This is not about exporting chocolate to Iran!”

Lavrov: “Hey Mr. Heinz! Did you marry a Hershey too? Keep quiet and we’ll handle the details of your new request.”

The conference room breaks down into lots of side conversations. After a minute, Kerry pushes away from the table disgusted, and leaves the room with some aides.


Scene: Outside the conference room, Secretary Kerry walks the halls with two assistants with a phone clutched in his hand.

Kerry (agitated): “Yes, Mr. President…. Yes, I brought it up…. How did it go?.. Well, let me sum it up this way. The other members of the P5+1 team are now renaming the streets in front of the American embassies in their cities ‘Hershey Highway’.”


Related First One Through article:

The Joys of Iranian Pistachios and Caviar