Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

When US President Donald Trump announced that the United States was recognizing the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, many people argued that the move was much more than it was: the anti-Israel camp stated that it gave Israel something for nothing, while the pro-Israel camp celebrated the end of Jerusalem as a negotiating point in the Arab-Israel conflict.

Both points of view were incorrect.


US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
December 6, 2017

The US decision was a simple matter of realizing the reality that Jerusalem has held all of the key government functions of the State of Israel since its founding. The Trump administration clarified that its decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem did nothing to preordain the borders or status of Jerusalem in a mutually-agreed upon peace between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.

But maybe it is time to take some actions that take a critical issue off of the table, namely the “Right of Return” of Palestinian “refugees.”

On December 11, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 194 which included a clause which Palestinian Arabs hold as a sacred truth in Article 11:

“Resolves that the 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 in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

“Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;”

As of this time, there are fewer than 30,000 refugees related to UNGA resolution 194 that remain alive, nearly 70 years after the resolution’s passing. UNRWA, the UN agency tasked with providing services to the 1948 refugees (and later on, their descendants) was established one year later, on December 8, 1949. That UN agency ultimately created a completely unique distorted definition of a “refugee” to allow UNRWA to survive past its mandate and grow to accommodate the descendants of refugees.

But the bizarre abuse of the English language for UNRWA did nothing to alter the actual meaning of UN Resolution 194.

As a matter of moving the peace process forward, Israel should coordinate with the United Nations to assess which of the 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees seek to return to cities in Israel and live in peace with their Israeli neighbors, and which ones would prefer to receive compensation. As Israel does so, it need not ask anything of the Palestinian Authority in return.

Concluding one of the key agenda items of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the UN can hasten the dismantling of UNRWA and fold its functions into the global refugee agency, the UNHRC. The schools and hospitals of UNRWA would be transferred initially to UNHRC and then to the Palestinian Authority.  The refugee “camps” run by UNRWA would be dissolved into regular local neighborhoods.

The Trump administration has begun to take actions against the Palestinian Authority, including withholding funds to UNRWA. Israeli actions on the “right of return” can begin the process of ending the funding – and the UN agency – completely.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It Creates Palestinians

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

Losing Rights

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

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Israel & the United States Repel the Force of the World

“It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense
January 9, 1776

On January 9, 1776, exactly 242 years ago, the great American Patriot Thomas Paine published the first edition of his pamphlet “Common Sense.” In it he advanced the arguments why the colonies needed to break free from England, and argued for a new political system based on democracy and equality, quite dissimilar to England’s monarchy and class-based hierarchy. While he acknowledged that the colonies were outnumbered and outgunned, he declared that the unity of the American colonies in spirit and purpose would withstand the battles to come.

Those sentiments are being borne out again, this time, between the United States of America and Israel.

On December 6, 2017, US President Trump acknowledged the reality that Jerusalem is the capital city of the State of Israel. It was a move that was welcomed by the government of Israel, but not by much of the world.

Shortly thereafter, the United Nations Security Council voted to denounce USA’s decision in a vote of 14-to-1, with only the US voting against the measure. That single vote by a permanent member of the UNSG was enough to block the resolution.

The Arab states moved to have a similar vote at the UN General Assembly. The lopsided vote came in at 128 countries voting to condemn the American recognition, 9 votes supporting the USA and 35 countries abstaining. The overwhelming vote was non-binding and the US continued to take measures that were completely within its rights and jurisdiction .

Not seven weeks after the US declaration of the Jerusalem Acknowledgment, US Vice President came to Israel, to visit its capital city of Jerusalem and address its parliament, the Knesset. He loudly and clearly proclaimed the unity between the US and Israel:

US Vice President Mike Pence addressing the Knesset
(photo: January 22, 2018)

“Thanks to the [US] President’s leadership, the alliance between our two countries has never been stronger, and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. And I am here to convey a simple message from the heart of the American people: America stands with Israel.

We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.

We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.”

Pence made clear that the US stands with Israel in both the positive and negative; in the passive and the aggressive.

The US stands with Israel in the mundane. In a democratic way of life. In commerce and trade. In acknowledging truth and fact.

And the US also stands with Israel against the forces of hatred, racism and antisemitism. Against evil ideologies and terror. Against distortions and fake history.

Pence reiterated those comments, as he absorbed the history of the Jews and the history of America:

In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America. It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope….

“And your story inspired my forebears to create what our 16th President called a “new birth of freedom.” And down through the generations, the American people became fierce advocates of the Jewish people’s aspiration to return to the land of your forefathers to claim your own new birth of freedom in your beloved homeland.”

Pence addressed the lies spewed from the mouth of the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority and the UNESCO that the Jews have nothing to do with the land of Israel:
“The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that “even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,” from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed….“The Jewish people’s unbreakable bond to this sacred city [of Jerusalem] reaches back more than 3,000 years. It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God.

“It was here, in Jerusalem, that King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. And since its rebirth, the modern State of Israel has called this city the seat of its government.

“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. And, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year.”

Pence further spoke of a revolution in the Arab world, where some countries are breaking with past hatreds and establishing ties with Israel:
“Over the past two days, I’ve traveled to Egypt and Jordan, two nations with whom Israel has long enjoyed the fruits of peace. I spoke with America’s great friends, President Al Sisi of Egypt, and King Abdullah of Jordan, about the courage of their predecessors who forged an end to conflict with Israel in their time.And those two leaders prove every day that trust and confidence can be a reality among the great nations who call these ancient lands home.

In my time with those leaders, and with your Prime Minister, we discussed the remarkable transformation that is taking place across the Middle East today, and the need to forge a new era of cooperation in our day and age.

The winds of change can already be witnessed across the Middle East. Longstanding enemies are becoming partners. Old foes are finding new ground for cooperation. And the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael are coming together in common cause as never before.

Last year, in Saudi Arabia, President Trump addressed an unprecedented gathering of leaders from more than 50 nations at the Arab Islamic American Summit. He challenged the people of this region to work ever closer together, to recognize shared opportunities and to confront shared challenges. And the President urged all who call the Middle East their home to, in his words, “meet history’s great test — [and] conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism together.”

And Pence spoke about the common threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism and the evil of the Islamic republic of Iran:
“Radical Islamic terrorism knows no borders — targeting America, Israel, nations across the Middle East, and the wider world. It respects no creed — stealing the lives of Jews, Christians, and especially Muslims. And radical Islamic terrorism understands no reality other than brute force.Together with our allies, we will continue to bring the full force of our might to drive radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth.”
Just over 242 years since Paine’s call for unity to launch a new nation, the US administration declared its affinity for Israel, in maintaining and advancing the Jewish State, just 70 years after it was reestablished:
“How unlikely was Israel’s birth; how more unlikely has been her survival. And how confounding, and against the odds, has been her thriving. You have turned the desert into a garden, scarcity into plenty, sickness into health, and you turned hope into a future.Israel is like a tree that has grown deep roots in the soil of your forefathers, yet as it grows, it reaches ever closer to the heavens. And today and every day, the Jewish State of Israel, and all the Jewish people, bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as your own.

It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again. And it was faith that rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again.

The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends.”

The US is proud of Israel and Israel is proud of the US. That unity is a strength for both countries and will hopefully continue to “repel the force of the world” for many years to come.


Related First.One.Through articles:

In Defense of Foundation Principles

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

Comparing Nikki Haley’s and Samantha Power’s Speeches after UN Votes on Israel

Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

Both Israel and Jerusalem are Beyond Recognition for Muslim Nations

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

First.One.Through videos:

US and Israel are there for each other (music by Michael Jackson)

God is a Zionist (music by Joan Osborne)

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Israel’s Colonial Neighbors from Arabia

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

(1929-1968)

While the weekend celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. was going on in the United States of America in 2018, acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas continued to make a fool of himself in Ramallah.

In addition to layering on multiple insults of the US President Donald Trump, its Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and its Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Abbas went on a tirade of fake history. He claimed that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews.” But it is precisely Jewish, both according to Jews and according to the Arab countries in the region that expelled close to 1 million Jews that were living in their countries in the decades following the establishment of Israel. If Israel has nothing to do with Jews, why did the Arabs expel all of their Jews at the foundation of Israel?

Abbas’s stupidity would continue. He claimed that Palestinian Arabs have been living in the holy land for the past 6000 years – for thousands of years even before the birth of Abraham. That’s pretty impressive for a group that didn’t arrive in the land of Israel until about 1400 years ago, even by the admission of Arabs themselves.

Yes, it is the Arabs that colonized the area, not the Jews.

The Jewish people came to the land of Canaan roughly 3700 years ago. They established their kingdoms and capitals there and have always maintained a presence in the land until this day.

At the founding of Islam in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century, the early Muslims looked to spread their religion throughout the world. They embarked from the Arabian peninsula and invaded and colonized many lands, including the Jewish holy land. This colonization project was so successful, that people do not even pause to think that the term “Arab” is rooted in the Arabian peninsula.

The Palestinians fully acknowledge that they are but a part of the colonial Arab project, as stated in their own 2003 Palestinian Basic Law:

Palestine is part of the Arab homeland. The state of Palestine abides by the Charter of the League of Arab States. The Palestinian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations. Arab unity is a goal. The Palestinian people work on behalf of its realization.”

The Arab world views “Palestine” as simply one of the over 50 countries that comprise its Arab “homeland.” A homeland that was created thousands of years AFTER the Jews had been living in their Jewish holy land.

Abbas has denied Jewish history and presence in their native land. He has denied core elements of Judaism, including the location of the Jewish temples on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He has claimed that Zionists conspired to kill Jews in the Holocaust.

During Martin Luther King Day, it is a marvel to watch such “conscientious stupidity,” spew out of the mouth of someone that is venerated by the United Nations. But as MLK said many decades ago, the embrace of such venomous words are “dangerous,” and cannot simply be laughed away. This is not a debate between narratives, but the vile diatribe of a madman that must be condemned by every decent world leader.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Native American, An African American and a Hispanic American walk into Israel…

Israel: Security in a Small Country

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

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

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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The War Preferred

Summary: When a country prefers to use military force over financial pressure, what does that tell you about the party’s temperament and goals?

USA’s Financial Pressure First

Over the past decades, the United States of America has made efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of rogue states like the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea. The USA viewed those state sponsors of terrorism as too dangerous to be the guardians of weapons of mass destruction. But in each case, the USA used economic means of combating Iran and North Korea as a preferred course to launching into a military war.

These were not unique situations.

The US has engaged in economic warfare several times. In situations like Cuba, the US never opted to attack the country militarily. However, in other situations like Libya, the US imposed economic warfare initially in February 2011, before deciding to use its military force some weeks later.

For the United States, the preferred course of engagement was to use economic means of achieving it’s aims, whether it was for a country to reverse course on a nuclear program, or to stop a war. The USA wanted to save lives – both of its own soldiers as well as in the country it attacked – so it delayed the use of force as long as possible.

Arabs’ Attack First

The Arabs in the Middle East have used the exact opposite approach.

When Israel announced its new state in 1948, five Arab countries invaded with an enormous military. Death was not only a means to an end but a goal: the destruction of the Jewish State.

In 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Arab armies attacked Israel again. The Israeli army eventually repelled the invading forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq, after incurring significant loss of life. In response to their loss, the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on those countries that assisted Israel militarily during the battle. As summarized by the US State Department:

“During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. Arab OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel including the Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production.”

The Arab countries were not concerned about the loss of life and rushed into battle to both destroy Israel having lost wars and land to Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967. The Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said the following as it launched its attack on Israel on October 6, 1973:

“We have always felt the sympathy of the world but we would prefer the respect of the world to sympathy without respect.”

By 1973, the Arab goals’ had expanded to not only destroying Israel, but establishing a modicum of honor. As he conceded the war to the Israelis, Sadat said:

“We have been fighting Israel for the fifteenth day running. Israel fought us on its own in the first four days and its real position was exposed on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts; it [Israel] lost by its own admission, 800 tanks and more than 200 aircraft on both fronts. For the last 10 days, however, I have been fighting the United States on the Egyptian front, armed as she is with the most sophisticated weapons in her possession. I simply cannot fight the United States or bear the historical responsibility for having our armed forces destroyed once again.”

In launching the war, Egypt made clear that its honor was at stake, and in calling for a ceasefire, it opted to claim victory over Israel, but capitulation to the US. As the Arab state could not beat the United States militarily, it pivoted to an economic war, the Oil Embargo.

Palestinians’ Also Attack First

Like the other Arab countries, the Palestinian Arabs have opted to fight militarily as a first effort. However, lacking a standing army, the Palestinian Arabs have used terrorism against Israeli civilians and army alike.

After the formation of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 as a result of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians attacked Israelis throughout the 1990s. When the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to deliver a peace in September 2000, the PA launched a Second Intifada which claimed the lives of thousands of additional civilians. The end of the Intifada was brought about with the help of Israel’s establishing a security barrier which stemmed the flow of Palestinian terrorists into Israel, which propelled the Palestinians into a new war. The launch of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) effort in 2005 was designed to economically strangle Israel.

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

The Palestinian Arabs – like the Arabs of the neighboring states – opted to use military force to try to destroy Israel. Only upon the failure of such efforts, did they switch to economic warfare.

  • Goals: The US took action to prevent the tremendous loss of life (rogue states with nuclear weapons), while the Arab goal was to kill and destroy.
  • Tactics. The US pursued economic pressure first to prevent the loss of life, whereas the Arab states immediately went to war.

The consistency of the goals and tactics of the United States and Arab world is a fabric of their world view: the US has a goal of preserving peace, so uses military force as a last resort. The Arab states have a goal of destroying Israel, so attack it first and only resort to a BDS campaign once they conclude that they cannot win militarily.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

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

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

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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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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The United Nations Can Hear the Songs of Gazans, but Cannot See Their Rockets

In the ongoing farce that is the United Nations regarding its treatment of Israel, the UN News Center published a report about the use of force that the Israeli army was using against the people of Gaza. In providing background to the story, the UN wrote:

“Since President Donald Trump’s 6 December statement concerning the status of Jerusalem, protests have been held throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in occupied Gaza. The response by the Israeli security forces has resulted in five people being killed, hundreds injured and large-scale arrests of Palestinians, noted OHCHR.

The biggest flashpoint has been in Gaza, where three people have been killed as protesters burned tires, threw stones, sang songs and waved flags along the fence. Israeli security forces have responded with firearms, including live-ammunition, to disperse the protesters.”

This is propaganda at its finest. The Israeli forces “responded with firearms” against people who “sang songs and waved flags.” Why was this put in here? Did it mention that some of the people were drinking water? Maybe someone was talking on their cellphone when the Israelis used “live ammunition to disperse the protesters.” We all know how much the Israelis hate it when people talk on their mobile phones.

The language was meant to underscore that the Gazans are peaceful people that are under siege. The story was crafted to show that the Israelis are monsters.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

Did the story mention the rockets that Palestinian militants launched into Israeli civilian territory a few days before? No.

Did it mention the rockets that were launched just the day before that landed in front of someone’s house? No.

Did the United Nations mention any of the 18 rockets that the Gazans fired into Israel since President Trump’s speech on December 6? Nope.

For the UN, the Palestinian Arabs are engaged in peaceful protests and the Israelis are the aggressive power using unnecessary force. The more passive the Palestinian Arabs and violent the Israelis can be portrayed, the greater the David-versus-Goliath narrative to rally people to the Palestinian cause.

The United Nations are not united in honesty, truth or fairness. Just in wild distortions to be ignored.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

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

UN Media Centre Ignores Murdered Israelis

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

The United Nations Applauds Abbas’ Narrative

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The UN Declares that Palestinian Arabs Should Not Show “Restraint”

Reviewing the Rhetoric of Palestinian Arabs and Israelis

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The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

On December 6, 2017, on the eve of President Donald Trump recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times decided to give its readers a primer on #FakeHistory.

The article entitled “The Current Conflict in Jerusalem Is Distinctly Modern,” gave a 100-year history that not only omitted important facts, it told a story that was an inversion of truth. Specifically:

  • The NYT led readers to believe that Jerusalem was an Arab city and that Jews recently began to immigrate there, when IN FACT, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s
  • The NYT led readers to conclude that Jerusalem has never been important to Jews, and that it is just a recent phenomenon of right-wing Zionists, when IN FACT, Jerusalem has been central to Judaism for 3000 years for all Jews
  • The NYT will talk about the “corpus separatum” of the 1947 partition plan, but only refer to Jerusalem, when IN FACT, the Holy Basin referred to Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem, and Israel gave control of Bethlehem to the Palestinians 20 years ago

Below are some details highlighting the liberal rag’s distortions.

The Myth of Colonial Fingerprints

The lead-in to the article began to orient the reader about distinct 20th century aspects to the current conflict surrounding Jerusalem. It stated:

“the current one is a distinctly 20th century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism and antisemitism.”

How was the story of Jerusalem remotely one of colonialism? Several international powers broke up the Ottoman Empire after its collapse; was Syria a French colonial enterprise? Read more in “Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies.

The article would go on to describe the nationalism of “religious settlers,” but never touch upon the deep antisemitism pervasive in Palestinian culture and actions.

Jewish Majority in Jerusalem for 150 Years

The article repeated long-standing #FakeNews by anti-Zionists that Jews were new-comers to Jerusalem, invading an Arab city:

“The three decades of British rule that followed Allenby’s march on Jerusalem saw an influx of Jewish settlers drawn by the Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland, while the local Arab population adjusted to the reality of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the city since 1517…. For Arabs, he said: ‘There was something of the shock at not being in the Ottoman Empire. There was a reordering of their society. The local Palestinian aristocracy, the big families of Jerusalem, emerged as leaders of the Palestinian national movement, which was suddenly being confronted by Jewish migration. Opposition to that migration fueled several deadly riots by Palestinians…‘”

This is an outrageous lie. The Times would have readers believe that there was an Arab majority in Jerusalem for 400 years. These “local Arabs” watched helplessly as the British allowed these foreigners to take over their city.

There were various demographic studies taken of Jerusalem for the past few centuries. They all agree that Jews have been a majority in the city since at least 1870, with the percentage growing well before the British took over in 1922.

Jerusalem population statistics from the JewishVirtualLibrary, which compiled statistics from a variety of places:

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1844
7,120
5,000
3,390
15,510
1876
12,000
7,560
5,470
25,030
1896
28,112
8,560
8,748
45,420
1922
33,971
13,411
4,699
52,081
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,451
1948
100,000
40,000
25,000
165,000
1967
195,700
54,963
12,646
263,309
1987
340,000
121,000
14,000
475,000

From IsraelPalestinian.procon.org which also compiled data from various British censuses.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1910
45,000
12,000
12,900
69,900
1922
34,000
13,500
14,600
62,500
1931
51,000
19,900
19,300
90,500
1946
99,300
33,700
31,400
164,400
1967
196,800
58,100
12,900
267,800
1972
261,100
74,400
11,800
347,300
1983
346,700
112,100
13,900
472,700
1995
486,600
171,700
13,900
672,2000

Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948 by Ruth Kark, Michal Oren-Nordheim detailed the growth of Jews in Jerusalem after the Crimean War.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1866
8,000
4,000
4,000
16,000
1887
28,000
7,560
7,070
42,630
1913
48,400
10,050
16,750
90,500
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,503
1945
97,000
30,630
29,350
157,080

Regardless of the source of information, Jews were clearly the dominant religious group in Jerusalem for as much as 30 years before the first Zionist Congress, and 50 years before the Balfour Declaration. To state that the Jews were interlopers into an Arab city is patently false and a complete inversion of history and fact.

This is part of an ongoing false narrative that the New York Times gives its readers even regarding current events. For a despicable example, read “The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel,” in which every Israeli – even those whose parents and grandparents were born in Israel – was described as a foreigner, while every Arab was described as a local.

The 1947 Partition Plan Included Bethlehem

The Times continued to go over history, touching upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

“After the war, in 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan that provided for two states – one Jewish, one Arab – with Jerusalem governed by a ‘special international regime’ owing to its unique status. The Arabs rejected the partition plan,… Jerusalem was divided: The western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital under an Israeli law passed in 1950), while the eastern half, including the Old City, was occupied by Jordan.”

The Times will forever refuse to correctly state that the Holy Basin in the partition plan was much larger than just Jerusalem, and included Greater Bethlehem.


The “corpus separatum” of the 1947 UN Partition Plan

Israel handed control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority in December 1995 as part of launching the Oslo Accords with some tangible results. That concession of handing over half of the corpus separatum is never mentioned by the Times.

The Crimes of Jordan

The fact that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank, the eastern half of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were not sanctioned by the international community is NEVER mentioned, while the world’s opinion about Israel’s taking of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem is ALWAYS mentioned.

The fact that Jordan evicted all of the Jews from the eastern half of Jerusalem and the West Bank is NEVER mentioned.

The fact that Jordan gave citizenship to all Arabs in the newly acquired territories but specifically excluded Jews is NEVER mentioned.

Because for the Times, the problem is the Jews.

The Lie that Israel Doesn’t Care about Jerusalem

Throughout the article, the Times sought to portray Israeli Jews as ambivalent about Jerusalem as a capital city:

  • It was the for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital… It was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temple.”
  • “Paradoxically, Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City,.. first because Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora, and second because the holy sites to Christianity and Islam were seen as complications that would not enable the creation of a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
  • Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they [early Zionists] were trying to move away from,”
  • “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and European powers,”
  • “Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south,”

Get the message? Israel really was never focused on Jerusalem until the 1967 war, according the Times.

But how does that warped narrative fit into the following facts:

  • Jews moved to Jerusalem both before and after the British Mandate took effect in remarkable numbers, as detailed above
  • The Israeli national anthem, written in 1877, was focused completely on Jerusalem.
  • Israel made Jerusalem its capital shortly after the war of independence concluded, in 1950. It placed all of its governmental buildings there.

All of these facts about the early Zionists also doesn’t include the facts that Jews have always faced Jerusalem when they pray, regardless of where they are in the world. They pray for the return to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of the city to its former glory, several times a day.

How does the Times spew the absurd notion that Jerusalem is a novel idea to Israeli Jews?

Jerusalem is Important to All Jews, Not Jewish Extremists

The Times narrative continued that this once irrelevant city all of the sudden jumped into the minds of religious extremists after the Six Day War in 1967.

  • The turning points in 1967 were two: the great victory, including the fast shift from fears of defeat before the war to euphoria and the feeling that everything was possible, and the emotional impact of occupying the Old City…. Images of Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall… became seared into Israel’s national consciousness.”
  • “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously…. This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism,”
  • “The victory of the right-leaning party Likud in 1977… helped solidify this new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. Religious settlers became more prominent in political life in Israel,”
  • “As part of this shift, Jerusalem’s symbolic importance intensified,”

It is unquestionably true that many religious Jews flocked to Jerusalem. They have been doing so for thousands of years because it is the most holy city in Judaism. They are not “right-leaning” or “religious settlers.” They are people who came to live in their holiest city.

As further evidence of the long-standing importance of Jerusalem to the entire country – even the “secular European socialists” that the article highlighted – was Israel’s adoption of a particular menorah as its national emblem in 1949: the one that was pictured in the Arch of Titus in Rome. That menorah symbolized the ransacking and destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 2000 years earlier. The deliberate selection of that menorah as the symbol of the Jewish State of Israel was to show that the Jews had returned from the diaspora, to its sacred land and holiest city, Jerusalem.

Today, the entire Jewish people continue to be engaged about Jerusalem. The current controversy surrounding creating a pluralistic place for prayer at the Western Wall is because of the strong interest of Reform and Conservative Jews for Jerusalem. The notion that the city is only important to “cultlike… religious settlers” is absurd.

Jews Belong in Eastern Jerusalem

The Times continued its horrific background by concluding that Jews have no rights to be in the eastern part of the city:

  • “Palestinians say that Jewish settlers have encroached on East Jerusalem,”
  • “‘The entire international community has been in accord that Israeli annexation and settlement of East Jerusalem since 1967 is illegal, and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,'”

As the Times never explained to readers that all of the Jews were evicted by the Jordanians in 1949, it made their appearance in the eastern half of the city seem strange and foreign. It is not. Jews returned to parts of their holiest city where they lived for centuries.

The Times also did not give background to the international laws of 1920 (San Remo) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine), which both clearly and explicitly stated that Jews could live throughout Palestine – including the Old City of Jerusalem – and that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the land due to religious beliefs.

No matter. The paper chose to quote anti-Zionists. It is surprising that it did not state that Zionism is a form of Racism.

Oh, and for those keeping score that Israel limits Arabs in Jerusalem, look at the statistics above again. Under the British from 1922 to 1948, the number of Jews and Arabs BOTH went up by three times. From 1967 to 1995, the number of Arabs in Jerusalem under Israeli rule tripled again, while the number of Jews only went up by 2.5 times. How does the Times keep giving people the impression that Jews overran the Arabs during British rule (when both groups grew by the same percentage) and that Israel has been forcing out the Arabs from Jerusalem (even though the growth of Arab residents surpasses Jews!)


As the world waited for the United States to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times fed its readers anti-Zionist red meat. It crafted an article that Jews never much cared for the Arab city of Jerusalem until 50 years ago, and that the only Jews who really care about it now are religious fanatics. The masters of #FakeNews are trying their best to instigate a jihad.


Related First.One.Through articles:

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Anger from the Zionist Center

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Arabs in Jerusalem

Music video: The Anthem of Israel is Jerusalem

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The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

On August 30, 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, accused US President Donald Trump of incitement to violence for his comments about the media.

“To call these news organizations fake does tremendous damage. I believe it could amount to incitement. At an enormous rally, referring to journalists as very, very bad people — you don’t have to stretch the imagination to see then what could happen to journalists.”

Al-Hussein should similarly look at his own organization, the UN, for incitement to kill Israelis.


Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief
(photo:
Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

A rallying cry to Muslim Jihadists to attack Israeli Jews is that al-Aqsa and Jerusalem are “in danger.”  The three Arabs that killed Israeli policemen on the Temple Mount in July 2017 were incited by the fear that “al Aqsa was in danger.” The Mufti of Jerusalem declared that al Aqsa was “in danger” due to Jewish visitation, bringing the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade arm of Fatah to declare a “green light” on terrorism sparking a wave of stabbing and car ramming attacks in 2015.

And UNESCO has joined the terrorist propaganda parade. At the behest of Jordan, UNESCO stated that it “decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

There is no greater rallying cry to jihadist violence in the world, and the global body gave its blessing. Kill the Jews.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Elie Wiesel on Words

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

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

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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The UN Declares that Palestinian Arabs Should Not Show “Restraint”

The United Nations has long showed that it has a disproportionate concern about the Holy Land. In July 2017, the new Secretary General opted to give its blessing to Palestinian violence in that simmering dispute.

After two Israeli Arabs shot and killed two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount prompting Israel to install security cameras and metal detectors at the site, Palestinian Arabs rioted and killed several Israelis including Jewish civilians sitting in their homes. After a few days, Israel removed the metal detectors to try to calm the calls for violence from Palestinian Authority leaders and Arab leaders from around the region. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appreciated the Israeli action, but revealed his bias as he continued:

“I am particularly concerned about the potential risk of escalating violence; urge all political, religious and community leaders to refrain from provocative action and rhetoric; and call on Israel to demonstrate restraint.”

In Guterres’ call to minimize violence he asked that:

  • ALL PARTIES: refrain from provocative action and rhetoric
  • ISRAEL: demonstrate restraint

Why not simply ask all parties to show restraint as he did regarding provocative action and rhetoric? Why specifically highlight that only Israel should show restraint? Is it part-and-parcel of the UN’s determination that every country in the world should fight terrorism except for Israel? That Palestinian Arabs are naturally “resorting to violence?”

The UN has declared that Palestinians cannot and should not be restrained in their reaction to Israel’s actions and existence. It is a tacit call for war.


Arabs shoot Israeli police officers on Temple Mount, July 2017


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

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

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

US Hypocrisy – “Reasonableness and Restraint”

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In Defense of Foundation Principles

There are times when a Democracy recalls its seminal moments and rises to its defense. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley did just that in elegant fashion. Will other leaders do so as well?

Human Rights as Foundation of the USA

In 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain. The US’s foundation principle laid out the argument that God gave people basic human rights and the primary role of government was to protect them. If the government could not do so, it no longer served its basic function and thereby lost its legitimacy and reason to exist.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

On June 6, 2017, almost 241 years later, Nikki Haley brought up America’s founding principle to the United Nations Human Rights Council in an effort to prod the global agency to live up to that mission that is dear to Americans.

My country has a unique beginning, founded on human rights, holding self-evident the truth that all men are created equal with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course America did not invent these rights – God did. Simply by our birth, human beings are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. These rights belong to all of us. They are not the gift of any government. They cannot legitimately be taken away by any government.

The American idea is that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Government should secure our rights, not violate them.”


US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressing the 
UN Human Rights Council June 6, 2017

Haley went on to admonish the global agency for neglecting its basic purpose of defending human rights by simply politicizing human rights:

“The Human Rights Council has been given a great responsibility. It has been charged with using the moral power of universal human rights to be the world’s advocate for the most vulnerable among us. Judged by this basic standard, the Human Rights Council has failed.

In case after case, it has been a forum for politics, hypocrisy, and evasion – not the forum for conscience that its founders envisioned. It has become a place for political manipulation, rather than the promotion of universal values. Those who cannot defend themselves turn to this Council for hope but are too often disappointed by inaction.

Once again, the world’s foremost human rights body has tarnished the cause of human rights. The United Nations must now act to reclaim the legitimacy of universal human dignity….This is a cause that is bigger than any one organization. If the Human Rights Council is going to be an organization we entrust to protect and promote human rights, it must change. If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the Council….In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves. If they continue to put politics ahead of human rights, they will continue to damage the cause that they supposedly serve.

Not everyone in the United States believes in God, but almost everyone still believes that people have a basic right to liberty and a pursuit of happiness. Some liberals – like former president Barack Obama – may mock fellow citizens that “cling to God and guns,” but they will still promote expanding the protection of liberties aggressively. On the other end of the political spectrum, conservative Americans may believe that ever-expanding government regulations impede personal liberties. All of these groups debate the tactics of defending human rights, but each believes in the foundation principle of the country of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the ultimate goal.

Holy Land as Foundation of Israel

Judaism is a unique religion in that it has a tie to a specific piece of land.

Laid out clearly and repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, God first promises the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendant in Genesis, and then to the Children of Israel on their return from Egypt in the other four books of the Bible. The later prophets add a third chapter of the promise of the land: that Jews will return home to the land of Israel from their period of exile.

International law did not focus on God’s gift of the land of Israel for the Jewish people, but it recognized Jewish history and the rights of Jews to their homeland in 1920 and 1922.  It would take until 1948 for the Jewish State to be reborn, in just a portion of their homeland. Similar to the 1920 San Remo agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, Israel laid out its foundation principle in 1948 as based on history, not religion, in the Israeli declaration of independence:

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, defiant returnees, and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country’s inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.”

These days, the United Nations has sought to undermine Israel’s foundation principle that it clearly understood a hundred years ago.

Several times in recent history, UNESCO has passed resolutions denying Jewish history in its holiest city of Jerusalem. In December 2016, UN Security Council denied that Jews have any legal rights to live east of the invisible 1949 Armistice Lines, including in Jerusalem.

It is not too dissimilar to Haley’s complaints about the pathetic actions at the United Nations. However, a stark difference is that all Americans know and defend America’s foundation principle, but many members of the Israeli government and population do not defend Israel’s foundation principle.

Consider that the Arab Joint List is the third largest political party in Israel’s 20th Knesset. One its members, Hanin Zoabi, has stated: “we threaten the Jewishness of the state. It’s true, but it’s not my problem, this is the problem of the racist definition of the state (of Israel) as a Jewish state… I do not represent the State of Israel nor do I speak for the State of Israel, but rather in the name of a struggle that performs the exact opposite of the role of the Israeli Knesset, according to its vision.

Other members of the Arab Joint List advocate against Israel, such as Ahmed Tibi who claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, despite its stated goal of destroying Israel and killing hundreds of Israelis.

Another Arab MK in the Joint List, Masud Ganaim, has denied basic Jewish history, that the Jewish Temples existed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, statinghistorically, religiously, it is a Muslim site, period. The State of Israel knows that Jews and Israel have no legitimacy to the site, except for their legitimacy as an occupier — a legitimacy (won) by force.

Many left-wing radical Jews welcome this negation of Israel’s foundation principle and Jewish history.

In November 2015, a group of left-wing radicals invited Zoabi to speak in Amsterdam in an event to commemorate Kristallnacht when Nazis killed Jews. They applauded her as she compared Israel’s policies to those of Nazis.

The liberal Israeli paper Haaretz hosted a conference in which it removed the Israeli flag because it offended some Arab speakers. One of the paper’s columnists said that Jews making aliyah, moving to Israel, is a crime as Jews have no rights to the land.

Left-wing extremists then continue to advance the cause of BDS – boycotting Israel – to the cheers of other members of the Joint List like Ayman Odeh. The circle of #FakeNews and hatred reinforces itself.


Nikki Haley is fully aware of the foundation principles of the United States and is not shy about taking her passion to the global stage. She knows that she has the support of Americans of all political leanings.

However, the situation in Israel is peculiarly dysfunctional. There are many Jews and members of the Israeli government that have politicized their emotions. In their desire to assist beleaguered Palestinian Arabs, they have attacked the fundamental underpinnings of Israel, that by right of history, Jews have an inalienable right to live as independent sovereign people throughout their homeland.

When Jews and many members of the Israeli government undermine the foundation principle of the Jewish State, how can it expect fair treatment on the global stage?

The poisonous venom of denying Jewish history and rights must end, as it corrodes the foundation of the state. It must be given no air. Starting at the Israeli government itself.

Anytime any member of Knesset denies basic facts of Jewish history, the government should label the comments as #FakeNews and begin to deny such MK speaking privileges in the Knesset. The Israeli government should also permanently install the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s exhibit “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” in the Knesset lobby (that same exhibit which the Arab League successfully got UNESCO to cancel).

It is right and commendable that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes the floor of the United Nations to proudly review Jewish history in the Jewish homeland. It is time for him to do more in Israel itself.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

It is Time to Insert “Jewish” into the Names of the Holy Sites

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

The Countries that Acknowledge the Jewish Temple May Surprise You

Squeezing Zionism

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

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