Jews In Jerusalem Still Fighting For ‘Social Justice’

Social justice is a concept that has been advanced by left-wing Americans into mainstream conversation. The idea covers a number of principles:

  • Access
  • Human rights
  • Participation
  • Equity
  • Diversity

The Jews in Jerusalem are slowly advancing in their movement on each of these principles, however, systemic anti-Semitism at the United Nations and for many Arab Muslim nations, has slowed progress.

Access

Despite the facts that only Jews consider Jerusalem as its holiest location and uniquely made the city its capital, Arab Muslim nations ethnically-cleansed the Old City of Jerusalem of its Jews in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli war. Transjordan illegally annexed the eastern part of the city including the Old City and the west bank of the Jordan River, and subsequently denied any Jew the ability to visit their holiest sites.

Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967 but lost the ‘West Bank’ and eastern Jerusalem to Israel. While Israel once again allowed Jews to live and visit their holiest city, the Jordanian Waqf was given permission by Israel to administer the Jewish Temple Mount, and limits the time and number of Jews who can visit.

Human Rights

Not long after Jordan annexed lands west of the Jordan River in a move not recognized by almost every country in the world, it passed a citizenship law specifically excluding Jews in article 3. Now under Israeli rule, the Jews of Jerusalem – as well as Arabs – are afforded citizenship in a reversal to Jordan’s anti-Semitic law.

Jordan still enforces its ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a flagrant violation of the basic human rights of Jews. Remarkably, the world stays mum on the subject, fearing radical Islamic violence.

Participation

The Jews in Jerusalem are marginalized by the United Nations and much of the world. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which stated that “Israelis” could not move to eastern Jerusalem. The anti-Zionists call Jews who live and visit ‘settlers’, even if they are not Israeli, and do not use the label for Israeli Arabs who do the same, clearly demonstrating the anti-Jewish nature of the smear.

The UN has set up distinct agencies, committees and inquiries uniquely for the Jewish State and does not afford Israel an opportunity to participate on the same basis as others in a forum stacked against it.

As noted above, the administration of the Temple Mount which holds the al Aqsa mosque is administered solely by Arab Muslims of the Jordanian waqf. Such formulation does not allow Jews to participate in the administration of their holiest site, and has led to their being completely marginalized.

Equity / Restorative Justice

There has been some measure of restorative justice for Jews, in facilitating the migration of Jews back to their ancestral homeland over the past hundred years. Germany has paid the state compensation for its actions in the Holocaust. The United States has invested in the fledgling state and facilitated its ascendency out of a third world emerging state to a thriving liberal democracy. The most persecuted people who faced a genocide have established a safe haven.

But evil still lurks. The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated its desire to destroy Israel. It has several terrorist proxies abutting the Jewish State including Hamas and Hezbollah which have thousands of missiles directed at it. The world is debating how to handle the leading state sponsor of terrorism’s quest for nuclear weapons, even though the answer is obvious to any toddler.

In relation to Jerusalem, the world has done the opposite of restorative justice. It did – and still does not – facilitate and recognize Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel had to reunite the city on its own in a defensive battle. It rebuilds the synagogues (like the Hurva) that Jordan destroyed in the face of global condemnation.

The Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, shortly after its re-opening in March 2010 (photo: First One Through)

Diversity

Israel’s neighbors like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Iraq and others, are each over 90% Muslim. In contrast, Israel is only 73.9% Jewish and has over 26% of the population from a variety of religions including Muslims, Christians, Druze, Baha’i, Samaritans and others.

Israel’s diversity is seen in its schools and hospitals. The signs in the country are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Its parliament and Supreme Court have people of different religions, ethnic backgrounds, genders and orientation. All of those dynamics are lacking in the other countries of the Middle East.

Many of those same countries that lack diversity attack Israel economically, politically and militarily. They deny the history of the Jews, their rights and any acceptance of the Jewish State. They have stood against ‘normalizing’ the Jewish State in any manner in an aggressive campaign of ‘three denials.‘ These efforts are most pronounced regarding Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, which they seek to revert back to the Arab-only, Jew-free situation they enforced in the eastern half from 1949 to 1967.


Regarding the principles of access, human rights, participation, equity and diversity, Israel stands as a beacon in the Middle East. However, the country still faces many obstacles, mostly from the biased United Nations and at the Jewish Temple Mount. Hopefully those committed to social justice will engage in the hard work to end the systemic anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamic privilege, religious persecution and isolation of the indigenous Jewish people in their ancient homeland and in their holy capital city of Jerusalem.

Related articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

The Jews of Jerusalem In Situ

Zionism is Justice

Arabs in Jerusalem

Considering Israel’s Model for Arabs Applied to Jews in a Palestinian State

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

New York Times Recycles Story To Slam Israel While The Country Mourns Its Dead

The New York Times never lets an opportunity pass to slam Israel, even when there’s no news.

As the country celebrated its three days of Holocaust Remembrance, Memorial Day for those killed protecting the country and victims of Arab terrorism, and Independence Day, the anti-Zionist paper opted to skip writing about those events and dusted off an article written three years prior.

The May 3, 2022 article called “Holy City or Theme Park? Israel Plans Zip Line for Ancient Jerusalem,” by Isabel Kershner was essentially the same article written by the paper’s architectural critic Michael Kimmelman on September 14, 2019 called “A Challenge to the Essence of Old Jerusalem, Coming by Cable Car.” Kimmelman’s article contended that Israel was trying to pretend that the city was only important to Jews and wanted tourists to imagine that the city had no Christians or Muslims in creating a cable car to facilitate the movement of visitors. He wrote that the plan “has provoked howls of protest from horrified Israeli preservationists, environmentalists, planners, architects and others who picture a global heritage site turned into a Jewish-themed Epcot.

I wonder if Kimmelman will sue Kershner for plagiarism.

Kershner opted to lead her piece that Israel is building a ride for Jews in the same location as Judas betrayed Jesus, seemingly in an attempt to roil the Christian world that the Jews are thumbing their noses at Christians. She essentially said that not only do Jews not truly believe in the sanctity of the Temple Mount and holy city (much like Jesus had said two thousand years ago), but they’re smug in their attempted takeover of the holy basin. The meaning is clear: Christians should not let the Jews assert any more claims on the city under the guise that it’s Judaism’s holist location.

NY Times article stating that Israel is planning tourist rides in the same spot as Judas betrayed Jesus

On the bright side, at least that insidious comment was new in Kershner’s article.

Kershner’s article was replete with comments and pictures of a so-called “Palestinian East Jerusalem,” as part of a concerted disinformation campaign by the liberal rag.

  • “East Jerusalem” exists no more than “East Berlin.” It existed for a blip in time from 1949 to 1967 because of the Arab invasion to destroy the Jewish State at its founding right after the Holocaust.
  • The United States does not recognize any country called “Palestine” so how can there be a city in such fantasy land?
  • The Palestinian Authority signed the Oslo Accord in 1995 that specifically recognized Israel as the authority in all of Jerusalem.

The full page article quoted a number of “anti-settlement” groups including Emek Shaveh, Ir Amim an Peace Now. According to NGO Monitor, these groups are mostly funded by foreign governments including the European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, as well as Ireland and Oxfam. In a twist of logic only progressive radicals may understand, Keshner referred to Ir Amim as “an anti-settlement advocacy group that works for an equitable solution for Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem.” How can a group be simultaneously opposed to Jews living in parts of Jerusalem and also for equity?

Full page article slamming Israel’s activities in Jerusalem, published on Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism

This non-news article quoting biased foreign-backed NGOs was somehow viewed as appropriate on Israel’s Memorial Day.

The Times didn’t discuss Neta Sorek, a peace activist slaughtered while she went for a stroll in the garden of a monastery. It avoided writing about Rina Shnerb, a 17-year old girl killed while on a nature hike, a killing celebrated by over 80% of Gaza’s Arabs. It opted to not spill ink on the Fogel family, butchered in their sleep.

The former newspaper could not find a Holocaust survivor who watched five Arab armies invade the nascent Jewish State in an attempt at a second Holocaust, in an independence war that claimed almost 1% of the population. The Times could not spend the effort to interview Israelis who feared for their lives in 1967 as the surrounding Arab armies positioned themselves to wipe out the Jews again, or during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

It avoided telling readers about Palestinian Arab leadership glorifying terrorists, how they teach their young girls that the murderer of 30 Jews eating a Passover seder was a hero, how the Palestinian Authority denies the existence of the Jewish Temples, how the PA incites violence because Jews visit their holiest location of the Temple Mount, and how the PA continues to reward terrorism.

Instead, Kershner dusted off a colleague’s work and wrote an article that Jews don’t really believe in the holiness of Jerusalem; are actively insulting Christians and Muslims; and are taking over Palestinian land.

As Israelis spent a day remembering and mourning those killed solely for being Jews in the Jewish homeland, the New York Times informed its readers that the living Israelis are worthy of global scorn and condemnation.

While there may be problems of disinformation on social media, the mainstream media invites it, as they deliberately post biased editorials instead of news.

Related articles:

The New York Times All Out Assault on Jewish Jerusalem

The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel

The Remarkable Tel Jerusalem

The Jews of Jerusalem In Situ

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

Time for Jordan To Live Up To Its Peace Treaty With Israel And Support Jewish Prayer On The Temple Mount

In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty that saw Israel relinquish roughly 380 square kilometers to Jordan and set a framework for the two countries to live peacefully together side-by-side.

The treaty had a section that dealt with religious tolerance. Article 9.2 is often misquoted by Jordanian King Abdullah that he is a “custodian” of Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, when it merely states that “Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem.” Abdullah never talks about clause 9.3:

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

Jordanian – Israeli peace treaty, article 9.3

Despite the treaty to promote religious tolerance, peace and freedom of worship, Jordan praised Palestinian Arab rioters on the Jewish Temple Mount in April 2022. Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh saidI salute every Palestinian, and all the employees of the Jordanian Islamic Waqf, who proudly stand like minarets, hurling their stones in a volley of clay at the Zionist sympathizers defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli occupation government.

This is appalling on its own – a senior government official promoting violence against civilians – and flies in the face of the tenet of the peace treaty signed between the parties. Article 4.3B states that each country will “refrain from organizing, instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, subversion or violence against the other Party,” which is exactly what the Jordanian Foreign Minister did.

It gets worse.

It was reported that Jordan is now asking the United States to pressure Israel to give complete control of the Jewish Temple Mount Compound to the Jordanian Waqf, and to forcibly ban Jewish prayer at Judaism’s holiest site.

Jordan seemingly doesn’t believe there is any price to pay for instigating violence against Israeli Jews, and should actually be rewarded with a greater role in the land Jordan illegally seized in 1949 and then formally withdrew from in 1988.

Israel might want to keep its part of the peace treaty with Jordan in acknowledging the “special role” Jordan plays narrowly at the al-Aqsa Mosque, much the way a guardian takes care of a ward with “special needs.” Make them feel important. But everyone understands that the guardian is in control and will make all substantive decisions.

Israel could always offer actual custodianship of the revered mosque to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in exchange for another peace treaty.

An obscured view of the Jewish Temple Mount from the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. al-Aqsa Mosque is the dark-domed building at right (photo: First One Through)

Related articles:

Time for King Abdullah of Jordan to Denounce the Mourabitoun

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Eight Attestations On Jerusalem

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah celebrates Jews rededicating their holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. The physical manifestations of today’s celebrations include additional prayers as well as the lighting a menorah in a slightly different form than the one that existed at the Temple, as that one had seven branches while the ones lit today have eight. The eight branches commemorate the eight days that the small jug of oil found at the Temple was able to keep the menorah lit until new batches of purified oil were made and brought to Jerusalem.

Lighting menorah on the seventh night of Chanukah at the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, December 2021 (photo: FirstOneThrough)

Modern commemorations do not focus on the many battles fought by the Jewish fighters over the Greeks. That is a mistake. It is time to use the holiday to fight the current global slander about Jewish Jerusalem. Just as the historic Jewish Maccabees fought dozens of warriors riding elephants in the fields of the land of Israel, we must confront and defeat the elephants in the room: the lies of Muslim appeasement that have been allowed to fester in discussions about the Jewish State’s capital city.

Eight Attestations On Jerusalem

  1. Jews have an Inalienable Right to pray on Temple Mount
  2. Banning Jews from living and praying in their holiest city is blatant anti-Semitism, as is denying Jewish history
  3. There is no “Judaizing” Jerusalem, as Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem since the 1860’s, and have devoted themselves to the city since 1000BCE
  4. The security of Israel demands that its capital sit well within its borders
  5. Divided capitals are a function of war, not peace. The place known as “East Jerusalem” only existed for a few years, 1949-1967
  6. No part of Jerusalem was ever contemplated to be part of Palestine. Not only is “East Jerusalem” not an actual city, but there is no basis to call it “Occupied Palestinian Territory”
  7. Jerusalem Arabs have been and are offered Israeli citizenship
  8. There is no ethnic cleansing of Arabs. The Arab population in Jerusalem has grown faster than Jews since Israel reunited city

These plain facts are challenged repeatedly on the world stage to such an extent, that some of these statements appear extreme, further underscoring the importance of repeating them clearly. Everyone should write their local papers and elected officials about these facts, share the statements on social media and counter the lies loudly whenever seen.

Jews have an Inalienable Right to Pray on Temple Mount

There are a handful of basic rights that all human beings have, such as control of their persons and ability to follow a religion of their choice. It extends beyond borders and sovereignty and relates to individuals and communities as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whether one likes or recognizes a particular government, the right to practice and worship belongs to that person as an individual and member of a faith-based group.

So while some may think the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a terrible regime, no one would deny that Muslims should have a right to pray in their holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the KSA. A person need not be a Catholic or think that the Vatican is a legitimate government to affirm the right of Catholics to come to the St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican City.

So it is for Jews on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Regardless of one’s opinion of the State of Israel, Jews from around the world have an inalienable right to pray at their holiest location.

Banning Jews from living and praying in their holiest city is blatant anti-Semitism, as is denying Jewish history

The United Nations has sided with the dozens of Muslim countries at the United Nations in support of banning Jews from living and praying in their holiest city. They have declared that Jews praying at the Temple Mount is a “provocation,” inverting cause-and-effect in a logic that would declare Blacks moving into a neighborhood a provocation to White Supremacists.

To defend the illogic as not anti-Semitism, Muslim Arabs have challenged the basic history of Jews that the Temple did not exist, and if it did, it was not in Jerusalem. They even go so far as to declare that Jesus was not a Jew but a Palestinian Muslim. These are not just outrageous fabrications but additional forms of vile anti-Semitism.

There is no “Judaizing” Jerusalem, as Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem since the 1860’s, and have devoted themselves to the city since 1000BCE

Jews have focused their religion on Jerusalem since King David moved the capital city from Hebron to Jerusalem around 1000BCE. His son Solomon built the First Jewish Temple there, and it has been the center of Jewish prayer since that time. Regardless of where Jews lived or what foreign power controlled the Jewish holy land, Jews directed prayers and prayed about Jerusalem.

It is therefore no wonder that Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem since the 1860’s. Jews moved to, lived and prayed in the city before the introduction of modern Zionism. There are over 70,000 Jews buried in eastern Jerusalem, many from hundreds of years ago. Today’s State of Israel protects (or should protect) the rights of Jews in Jerusalem, but that political entity is separate from the deep Jewish roots and connection to the holy city.

The security of Israel demands that its capital sit well within its borders

Israel is a very small and skinny country with many neighbors. Several of those neighbors do not recognize the country’s right to exist and are at an official state of war with the Jewish State.

Israel’s capital city sits roughly in the center of the country, including the Israeli territory of Area C. Theoretically, not including Area C would place Jerusalem abutting another state. No country puts its capital city at risk in such fashion, even if it were at peace with its neighbors. There is no statement – however well intentioned – that can both support the security of Israel AND suggest the capital of Jerusalem be adjacent to another country.

Divided capitals are functions of war, not peace. The place known as “East Jerusalem” only existed for a few years, 1949-1967

Capital cities like Berlin and Beirut were divided during periods of hostilities. Once peace was established, the cities were reunited.

“East Jerusalem” similarly existed during a period of war between Muslim Arab states and Israel. Its existence was merely the result of the Armistice Lines established in 1949 between Israel and Jordan, which specifically stated that the lines were not to be construed as actual borders. The city was reunified in 1967 after Jordan attacked Israel again, just as it had in 1948. The brief, unhappy nineteen years of division came to an end decades ago.

No part of Jerusalem was ever contemplated to be part of Palestine. Not only is “East Jerusalem” not an actual city, but there is no basis to call it “Occupied Palestinian Territory”

Despite historic facts, the United Nations refers to “East Jerusalem” as an actual place and describes it as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” This is fiction twice over. Not only does East Jerusalem not exist, it was never contemplated to be part of a Palestinian State, even by the United Nations.

The UN 1947 Partition Plan placed Greater Jerusalem and Greater Bethlehem in a Corpus Separatum which would have been internationally administered. It was to be neither part of a Jewish State nor an Arab one. There is therefore no bearing on reality to call the eastern part of Jerusalem as “OPT.”

Jerusalem Arabs have been and are offered Israeli citizenship

Israel has continued to offer all Arabs in the eastern portion of Jerusalem Israeli citizenship since it officially annexed the area. Thousands of Arabs have taken that citizenship and thousands more have applied. These Israeli Arabs have the same rights as other Israeli citizens.

Not that you would ever learn such facts from listening to Palestinian Arabs, the United Nations or their propaganda outlets in the media.

There is no ethnic cleansing of Arabs. The Arab population in Jerusalem has grown faster than Jews since Israel reunited city

The Arab population in Jerusalem has ballooned, especially relative to the Jewish population. From 1990 to 2019, the Arab population grew 3.4 times while the Jewish population grew only 1.9 times. Over that same period, housing for Arabs in the city grew by 188% while it only grew by 64% for Jews. When Israel reunified the city in 1967, Arabs made up 26% of the city’s population while they constitute 36% today.

Smears that Jews are “ethnically cleansing” Arabs are not only patently false, but attempt to whitewash the history of Muslim Arabs ethnically-cleansing Jews from Judea and Samaria in 1949, and from various countries like Morocco, Syria and Egypt in the decades after the founding of Israel.

Menorah at the Kotel, November 2021 (photo: FirstOneThrough)

The world is being barraged by outright lies about Jerusalem, including on the rights of Jews and the actions of Israel. We must all do our part to spread the light of truth in the face of anti-Semitism that grows increasingly darker and more bold.

Related articles:

Jerusalem, Israel. One and Only

The Jewish Israeli Rosa Parks

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Denied No More

The New York Times All Out Assault on Jewish Jerusalem

Evicting 70,000 Dead Settlers From Jerusalem

Will the UN Demand a Halt to Arabs Moving to Jerusalem?

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Jerusalem Donut Crawl 2021

This year’s Chanukah donut / sufganiyot (filled donuts) crawl took us around Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem and surrounding suburbs. The selections were plentiful and the quality varied significantly.

There are a number of observations to share before reviewing each location. First, many places emphasize toppings and appearances which often do not correlate to taste. Second, out of the way and unpopular places were amazing. Lastly, some places that had great reviews had long lines and sometimes ran out of any donuts (and thus were not reviewed).

Roladin (Mamilla Mall)

Roladin is a big chain with locations all over Israel. They have a large selection of fancy sufganiyot on Chanukah. However, the quality and taste varied depending on the selection, and generally, the taste did not live up to the hype or presentation.

The sufganiyot looked really great and the chocolate truffle seen above had great flavor. Unfortunately, most of the others like pistachio had little taste other than sugar. The cookies and cream, while tasty, relied too heavily on the Oreo cookie on top.

Kadosh (Ben Yehuda Street Area)

The food at Kadosh is amazing so don’t just stop in for the donuts and stay for breakfast or lunch. The problem is that there is a long line to get in – even just for donut pickup – as they have a great reputation. The donuts basically met the high expectations: excellent dough, nice flavor while not being too sweet. They were differentiated in presentation from many places, as it placed a dollop of filling on one side and had a sugar coating.

Gourmandises by Yoel (Ben Yehuda Street Area)

Go through the Friends of Zion Museum to locate a nice cafe in the back run by a French couple with amazing desserts. Gourmandises makes wonderful light sufganiyot which were tops in regards to flavor and texture of the dough. The icing and filings were light and tasty and avoided the heavy sugar found in many others. Try the pistachio and roses. Or the lemon. Or just about any of them – I had six! Remarkably, there were no lines at all.

Boutique Central (Ben Yehuda Street Area)

The small cafe was recommended to us but the sufganiyot were more of a pastry with no filling. The dough was tasty but disappointed overall.

Boutique Central donut had no filling

Uri’s Pizza (Me’a She’arim)

One can easily miss this place on a side street, and, as it’s not a classic bakery, one would imagine an easy skip for a donut crawl. Not so. While the donut was simple and not beautiful, the dough was light and the filling was just right.

Brooklyn Bake Shop (Me’a She’arim)

Brooklyn sells out fast and we did not get to sample their donuts but heard they were amazing.

Brooklyn Bake Shop with sign in green that they were sold out of donuts

Brizal (Me’a Shearim)

Brizal is near Brooklyn and there’s a reason they had donuts while Brooklyn did not. They looked nice but are inedible. Sweet and artificial. We threw the two we purchased out after the first bite.

English Cake (Mahane Yehuda)

English Cake supplies the sufganiyot found in many of the small stores located around the city. Like Roladin, they look pretty but rely too heavily on sugar as a substitute for taste.

Sweet Nation (Mahane Yehuda)

Like English Cake, Sweet Nation has a beautiful presentation as a cover for a sugar fix. Most of the flavor comes from the fancy toppings. Very festive, but not for a foodie.

Beautiful sufganiyot at Sweet Nation relied heavily on the toppings

Delicases de Paris (Emek Refa’im)

After the great experiences of the French bakeries of Gourmandises and Kadosh, hopes ran high for the two French bakeries on Emek Refaim. Both were disappointments. Delicases sufganiyot had heavy dough that resembled a challah roll – dense and completely off.

Moulin Dore (Emek Refaim)

Moulin Dore was probably the biggest disappointment. The heavy dough was coupled with a spoiled filling. Simply horrible and tossed in the garbage.

Ne’eman (Emek Refaim)

The third stop on Emek Refaim was not a French bakery but a tried and true location. Unfortunately, Ne’eman’s donut simply had little flavor, even while the top and icing were quite good.

Pat BeMelach (Efrat)

Outside of Jerusalem is a great cafe with tasty food and great sufganiyot. The icing, filling flavor and dough texture were all great in every flavor we sampled – and there were many!

Summary

Here’s a table summarizing our review of the sufganiyot of Jerusalem for Chanukah 2021.

BakeryDough textureDough flavorfilling amountfilling flavortopping flavorpresentationoverall
Gourmandises by Yoel101010778.59
Pat BeMelach8798.5778.5
Kadosh888.587.588
Uri’s Pizza996 7NA57.5
Roladin4475.57.58.56.5
English Cake65757.58.56.5
Sweet Nation5584786.5
Ne’eman542687.55
Boutique Central970NA66.57
Delicases de Paris1284564
Moulin Dore1280462
Brazil2000031
Results of the Jerusalem 2021 Donut Crawl

Israeli sufganiyot are quite different than those found in Brooklyn, NY and varied widely in terms of quality. Top scores go to Gourmandises, Pat BeMelach (in Efrat) and Kadosh. We understand that Brooklyn is very worthwhile as well, although it was sold out of donuts when we arrived. Roladin donuts are fine and are easily found throughout the country. We hope you enjoyed the holiday!

Related articles:

Brooklyn Chanukah Donut Crawl 2020

Chanukah Donuts: Brooklyn 2019

Brooklyn’s Holiday Donuts

The Inalienable Right of Jews to Pray on The Temple Mount

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) laid out 30 principles which all people are afforded around the world. The United Nations often quotes it, except when it relates to Jews.

UDHR Article 2 states that all people all entitled to rights and freedoms, regardless of “race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” That clearly covers Jews – even those from Israel or from disputed territories.

UDHR Article 18 covers faith, including its practices: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Many Muslim countries trample on the ability to change religion, banning apostasy in their constitutions, a flagrant violation of the UDHR which is never discussed at the United Nations due to Muslim Privilege.

The ability for Jews to pray as is their historic custom and right is not ignored at the UN, but countered in a ban outrageously embraced and enshrined.

The Jewish Temple Mount

The holiest location for Jews is the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been the center of Jewish focus and prayer for over 3,000 years, after King David moved the Jewish people’s capital there from Hebron, and his son, King Solomon, built the First Temple. For most of the first thousand years, Jews had a temple at different times on the site, offering animal sacrifices in accordance with the direction of the Hebrew bible. After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70CE, Jews still climbed the mount to offer silent prayer, and did so for 1,500 years.

The Ottomans came to the Jewish holy land in 1517, and Suleiman I (1494-1566) rebuilt much of Jerusalem including the iconic city walls. As part of his vast Jerusalem projects, he kicked the Jews off of the Temple Mount and afforded them a small sliver of the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount – the Western Wall or Kotel – for prayer. Jews have effectively been banned from praying on their holiest site since that time.

The Ottoman Empire ended in 1916 but the world did not consider addressing the catastrophic dangers of deeply-rooted anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia until after World War II and the Holocaust of European Jewry.

The Enabling Hands Blocking Jewish Prayer Rights

In December 1948, the world sought to put an end to wars and hatreds and drew up the UDHR in the hope that people could be respectful to others who are different. The mention of religion in the articles was a direct result of the atrocities which befell Jews at the hands of non-Jews, as described in the preamble, regarding the “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.

Yet as the global body drafted these rights, the Jewish State was fighting for its very survival against several invading Arab armies. The invading Jordanian army ethnically-cleansed all Jews from the eastern part of the holy land, including the Old City of Jerusalem, just a few years after the Holocaust. The Jordanians went on to ban Jews from even visiting or praying in the city, including at the Kotel and Temple Mount.

The vile Muslim anti-Semitism was addressed when Jordan attacked Israel again in June 1967 and lost its illegally seized lands, enabling Jews to move into their holy city once again. However, to facilitate a ceasefire with the various Muslim countries which had tried to destroy the Jewish State, Israel allowed the Jordanian Waqf to continue to administer the Temple Mount and maintain its ban on Jewish prayer.

To this day, the United Nations demands a change in the status quo of Israel controlling the eastern part of Jerusalem including the Old City, while simultaneously demanding maintaining the anti-Semitic policy of banning Jews from praying at their holiest site. It’s practical madness, in trying to appease the dozens of Muslim UN member nations while trampling on the basic human rights of Jews.

This Chanukah, at a time when Jews around the world place their menorahs in their windows to show the world that they celebrate Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, let’s demand that the government of the State of Israel assert with clarity that the dignity of Jews matters. Jews have an inalienable right to pray at their holiest location, the Jewish Temple Mount.

Menorah at the Kotel, beneath the holiest site for Jews where the original seven-branched menorah stood on the Temple Mount.

Related articles:

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

Oh Abdullah, Jordan is Not So Special

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

“Settlers” Now Means Jews Stepping Over The Green Line

The Anti-Zionist Lexicon continues to evolve in sinister ways.

The term “settlers” once only referred to Israelis who moved to remote new “settlement” locations. The term then was modified to only apply to Israeli Jews, not Israeli Arabs who moved into new settlements. Later it was adjusted by anti-Zionists to target any Jew (Israeli or not) who moved into EXISTING homes and towns east of the Green Line (EGL), so an Israeli Arab and Israeli Jew could be living next to each other in an apartment building in Jerusalem, in which the Arab is called a “resident” while the Jew is called a “settler.”

Nuts. And it gets worse.

Yesterday, on the solemn Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av which marks the destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem as well as other Jewish tragedies, many Jews from around Israel went to visit the Jewish Temple Mount during normal Sunday visiting hours. The Palestinian Authority, Al Jazeera and a number of anti-Zionist publications decried the visit of the “settlers.” The sub-headline from Al Jazeera read:

Palestinians accuse Israeli forces of launching tear gas, rubber bullets at Palestinians as Israeli settlers enter Al-Aqsa compound.

These were regular Israeli Jews – not people who lived in remote locations in the “West Bank” – who came to visit Judaism’s holiest location on a Jewish holiday during regular visiting hours. But the language chosen was alarmist, as the Palestinian Authority is demanding a return to the anti-Semitic situation imposed during the nineteen years of Jordanian control of Jerusalem, in which Jews were not only barred from living in the city but could not visit or pray there as well.

The mobilization of redefinitions is gathering steam in the anti-Zionist press. Al Jazeera posted much the same on May 23rd in article titled “Backed by Israeli police, Jewish settlers enter Al-Aqsa compound,” talking about Israeli police beating Muslims to “make way for Israeli Jewish settlers to storm the compound,” in an effort to inflame a global holy war against the Jews.

This is the evolving regressive approach of jihadist extremists and their enablers. They are working to change language to change the narrative that any and all Jews entering the Jewish Temple Mount are unwanted and illegal invaders of purely Islamic holy site. Yesterday, the Israeli Islamist party Ra’am said so specifically, that the Temple Mount is “solely the property of Muslims, and no one else has any right to it.

Members of the Israeli security forces stand guard, as a group of Orthodox Jews visit the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the annual Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av) fasting and memorial day, commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples, on July 18, 2021. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Islamist extremists are attempting to label any Jew who visits Judaism’s holiest location as an illegal invader in an attempt to draw support for a global jihad against the most persecuted people in the world. They should be loudly rebuked for doing so.


Related First One Through articles:

Anti-Semitism Spikes Because Israel-Palestine is a Religious Battle

Jerusalem’s Old City Is a Religious War for Muslim Arabs

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

Time for King Abdullah of Jordan to Denounce the Mourabitoun

The British and Arab Press Assail “Settlers” While the Israeli Media calls out “Right-Wing”

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Jerusalem, Israel. One and Only

Judaism is the only religion which is tied to a specific land, the land of Israel.

Judaism created the very notion of “promised land,” not as an aspirational dream as commonly used today, but as an actual piece of land passed as an inheritance for generations.

Only Jews consider the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem as their holiest location.

Jews are the only people who pray facing Jerusalem, regardless of where they are.

Only Jews are commanded to visit Jerusalem three times per year.

The Old City of Jerusalem including the Jewish Temple Mount during Passover

Jerusalem is the most mentioned city in the Hebrew bible.

Jerusalem has been the focal point of Judaism for over 3,000 years.

Israel is the only country whose national anthem is all about its capital city.

Jews have been the largest group of residents in Jerusalem continuously since the 1860’s. There is no other capital where Jews are the majority.

Israel is the only Jewish State.

Israel is also the only country:

  • which is not recognized by dozens of countries at the United Nations
  • whose capital city is not recognized by the majority of the members of the UN
  • which is singled out as a routine part of the UN’s Human Rights Council
  • where Jewish and non-Jewish residents in the eastern part of the capital are attributed different names of “settler” and “resident” in the non-Jewish world

Jerusalem and Israel are unique and special to Jews. The passion of its lovers and haters regarding the exceptional Jewish connection to both says more about their overall attitudes towards Jews than the locations themselves.


Related First One Through articles:

The UN on the Status of Jerusalem

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

The Remarkable Tel Jerusalem

The Jews of Jerusalem In Situ

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem

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

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Here in United Jerusalem’s Jubilee Year

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Arguments over Jerusalem

First One Through music video:

The anthem of Israel is Jerusalem

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

Bitter Waters and The Jerusalem Flag Parade

When the Children of Israel were walking through the desert on their way to the Jewish holy land, they complained to Moses that they lacked good food and drink (Numbers 20:1-13). God commanded Moses to take his staff and to go with his brother Aaron to gather the people and speak to a rock to produce water. Moses grabbed his staff and instead of speaking to the rock, he hit it with his staff which shot forth water. Despite producing the desired result of delivering water, Moses and Aaron were punished with not being able to enter the Jewish promised land. The site became known as Mei Merivah, Bitter Waters.

On its face, the difference in Moses’ action seems minor, hitting versus speaking to the rock. The end result was that water came out and the Jews were happy. It begs the question why God punished Moses and Aaron so severely.

When God commanded Moses to take the staff when he stood before the Jewish people, it was to show that he was acting as an agent of God. The staff was a symbol of Moses acting on God’s behalf. However, Moses used the staff as a tool with which to strike the rock. The Jews witnessed Moses producing the water with his strike of the implement upon the rock, rather than internalizing that God had produced the water. Yes, the Jews got what they wanted but they attributed the benefit solely from the hands of Moses and Aaron rather than acknowledging the actual source of the blessing.

Mistaking a symbol as a tool goes on in Israel today as well.

Jerusalem Day is a wonderful celebration which commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem which had been divided when the Jordanian army invaded and illegally annexed half of the city. For 19 years (1949-1967), the Arabs forbade Jews from living, visiting or praying in the Old City and at the Jewish Temple Mount and Western Wall. The anti-Semitic edicts changed in June 1967 after Jordan attacked Israel again but this time lost, a true cause for celebration by human rights activists everywhere.

During the Jerusalem Day festivities, some Israeli nationalists have a Flag Parade where they march through the streets of Jerusalem, including the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, waiving Israeli flags as they demonstrate that the area is under Israeli sovereignty. The group often taunts the Palestinian and Israeli Arabs as they sing the Israeli national anthem and practice their Arab curse words.

Like their ancestors of 3,300 years ago, the Children of Israel got what they want but sometimes miss the important message: the Israeli flag and national anthem are symbols of Jewish sovereignty once again in their holy land. To use them as tools to provoke Arabs undermines the blessing.

The reunification of Judaism’s holiest city should be marked on holidays and every day with Jews walking, praying, learning and living in every corner of Jerusalem. Proudly wearing Jewish symbols and speaking holy words will enable all of the Children of Israel – including Moses and Aaron – to be present in Judaism’s eternal capital.

Israeli flag at the Kotel (photo: First One Through)

Related First One Through articles:

The Dark Side of Jerusalem Day: Magnifying the Kotel and Minimizing the Temple Mount

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

I Understand Why the Caged Jew Sighs

Not Remembering, Forgetting and Never Knowing

Related First One Through music videos:

The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

Aliyah to Israel (music by The Maccabeats)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough

The UN on the Status of Jerusalem

UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke to the General Assembly on May 20, 2021 as the latest battle between HAMAS and Israel was coming to a close. He spoke of the status of Jerusalem several times:

  • “I am also deeply concerned by the continuation of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where several Palestinian families are under the threat of eviction.”
  • “I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.  All settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law.”
  • Jerusalem is a holy city for three world religions.  I underscore that the status quo at the holy sites must be upheld and respected.”
  • “We must work towards a resumption of negotiations that will address the status of Jerusalem and other final status issues, end the occupation and allow for the realization of a two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, United Nations resolutions, international law and mutual agreements, with Jerusalem as capital of both Israel and Palestine.”

Note how the UNSG switched between “East Jerusalem” and “Jerusalem.” He referred to it as an actual place when connected to the “occupied West Bank” but conceded that it is a single city otherwise.

When it came to East Jerusalem, he stated that Arabs have rights to live there while Jews have none. Any house where a Jew lives was transformed into a “settlement” even a building which he owns and where his ancestors lived.

As it relates to the “status quo at the holy sites” which currently includes a ban on Jewish prayer at their holiest location of the Jewish Temple Mount, Guterres wants that ban to remain in place. He also appears to want the Arab squatters in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood which refuse to pay rent to the Jewish owners, to be able to remain. However, he seemingly wants to see all the Jews living in “East Jerusalem” to be expelled from the city, as they are doing so illegally “under international law.”

Sheik Jarrah neighborhood as mapped out by Pro-Palestinian group Peace Now. Homes where Jews live are considered “settlements” while other homes get no special markings.

Guterres also called for resumption of negotiations between the parties but simultaneously called for the outcomes favored by the Palestinians: that the negotiating position starts from “the 1967 lines” and that Jerusalem will be the “capital of both Israel and Palestine,” positions not favored by Israel.

The various positions show inconsistency in application, unless viewed as seeking outcomes favored by Arabs.

If the United Nations favors the “status quo” on matters like the ban of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and protecting the residence of Palestinian squatters, it implicitly recognizes all Jews already living in East Jerusalem and should no longer call them “settlers.” If the UN seeks coexistence between Jews and Arabs, it should support full equal rights for Jews on the Temple Mount, and for Arabs and Jews to live together freely as they choose throughout Jerusalem. Lastly, if the UN wants the two parties to negotiate a peace, it should allow the parties to do so without prejudging an outcome on particular issues.

But the UN doesn’t truly support the status quo, coexistence or a peace negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians. The UN only backs the Palestinians, its adopted wards, which makes it impossible for the organization to play a constructive role between the parties. It also underscores the importance for the United States to remain squarely behind Israel.


Related First One Through articles:

Jerusalem’s Old City Is a Religious War for Muslim Arabs

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Jerusalem Population Facts

Abbas’s Harmful East Jerusalem Fantasy

The Green Line Through Jerusalem

The Remarkable Tel Jerusalem

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

Join Facebook group: Israel Analysis and FirstOneThrough