The Veil of Hatred

The expression “the best defense is a good offense” is most often applied in the military and sporting competitions. It is now being used regarding anti-Semitism with greater frequency.

The World Conference Against Racism met from August 31 to September 7, 2001 in Durban, South Africa with a stated noble goal: to rid the world of racism and intolerance while promoting human rights. However, the forum was hijacked by several Muslim and Arab countries who pushed for particular attention on one country, Israel, even as the conference was conceived to address a global phenomenon without delving into any specific country.

Several western countries did their utmost to strip the Israel agenda item from the conference to no avail and were left with the choice of not attending an important event. The United States’ compromise was to send a mid-level representative rather than Secretary of State Colin Powell. Ultimately, the conference became so toxic with anti-Israel sentiment that many withdrew. Powell ultimately described the situation as  “a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism’” at the United Nations.

The Durban Conference became the playbook for many Muslim and Arab countries as well as far-left progressives to attack Israel under the veil of fighting racism. Each held conferences and promoted peace centers to establish co-existence bona fides while simultaneously trampling human rights in their own countries and promoting a fictitious anti-Israel narrative.

Recent conferences and center openings include:

  • Opening the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia) International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna on November 26, 2012
  • Forum on the Role of Religious Leaders in Preventing Incitement that could Lead to Atrocity Crimes, held in Fez, Morocco, on April 23 and 24, 2015
  • the International Institute for Tolerance and the Muslim Council of Elders in the United Arab Emirates, in 2017
  • Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, held in Qatar February 20-21, 2018
  • the World Tolerance Summit, in Abu Dhabi on November 13-14, 2019

The notion of interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence sounds wonderful, but the hypocrisy of the situation doesn’t seem to enter the minds of the willing participants.

The KAICIID website states that “Our vision is a world where there is respect, understanding, and cooperation among people, justice, peace and reconciliation, and an end to the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence, and conflict.” Yet this statement comes from an organization founded and named for the leader of Saudi Arabia which denies women basic rights and kills people for converting from Islam.

Apostasy is subject to capital punishment in many of the countries which hosted recent interfaith conferences, and include: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In 2013, the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars in Morocco issued a fatwa that Muslims who leave Islam should be sentenced to death.

Additionally, Qatar funds mosques around the world which host imams calling for people to kill Jews.

Yet these countries host conferences and centers promoting coexistence among faiths.

People would never attend a conference on the freedom of the press in Turkey as they comprehend the irrationality of discussing such topic in the country that jails the most journalists every year. They would similarly not attend a forum on Holocaust studies in Iran when its leaders actively deny the Holocaust.

But they show up for interfaith dialogue in countries that deny basic human rights.

When the Jewish Voice for Peace hosted a discussion in December 2020 to discuss anti-Semitism with panelists who want to destroy Israel, it employed that familiar twist of attempting to excuse the accused.

anti-Israel group hosted event about anti-Semitism to absolve people accused of anti-Semitism

Genuine reform to combat bigotry and anti-Semitism is most welcome and should be encouraged but many of today’s conferences are only granting absolution to haters and sanctifying them as champions of a just cause. Beware of the Durban Conference coming to a forum near you.


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Bitter Burnt Ends: Talking to a Farrakhan Fan

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

The Insidious Jihad in America

Omar and Tlaib’s Antisemitic B.D.S.

Jewish Voice for Peace Ignores Dead Jews

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

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Jewish Voice for Peace Ignores Dead Jews

Jewish Voice for Peace is an infamous anti-Zionist organization among Israel supporters. The fact that it labels itself as “Jewish” only makes the dynamic worse. As “Catch the Jew!” author Tuvia Tenenbom wrote, such self-haters are more noxious than Arab terrorists who at least have a selfish motivation for wanting to see dead Jews. In writing about lar-left Jewish groups like Rabbis for Human Rights, Tenenbom noted, “if logic is any guide, Israel will not survive.  Besieged by hate from without and from within, no land can survive for very long.

Consider the weekend of May 4-5, 2019 when the terrorists of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched over 600 rockets into civilian areas of Israel. Four Israelis were killed in the attacks: Moshe Agadi, Ziad Alhamada, Moshe Feder and Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman. When JVP wrote about the attacks, it did not lead with the four dead Israelis. Instead, it started its press release with the Palestinians who were killed:

“In the last 24 hours, Israeli airstrikes have killed eleven Palestinians, including a 14-month-old baby and her pregnant aunt. Seven of the eleven were identified as Saba Abu Arar, Falastin Abu Arar, Balal Muhammad al-Bana, Abdullah Abu al-Atta, Mahmoud Subhi Issa, Fawzi Abed Wadi, and Khaled Muhammad Abu Qleiq.”

JVP did not mention that Israel’s attacks were retaliatory for the Palestinian rocket barrage. Conversely, its press release took the time to mention seven of the dead Palestinian by name.

When JVP next turned its attention to Israelis, it wrote the following:

Three people have been killed in Israel from rockets launched by Hamas — including Bedouin citizen of Israel, Zaed al-Hammamda, 50, and two more Israelis killed in a separate rocket strike later Sunday, at a factory.

In ordering the story with dead Palestinians first and adding the clause “later Sunday” regarding the murdered Jews, JVP inverted cause-and-effect and made the Palestinians appear to be responding to an Israeli attack. Further, JVP would only mention the Israeli Bedouin by name but not the murdered Israeli Jews.

Member of Jewish Voice for Peace

JVP’s invective about Israel is so commonplace that it is not news-worthy, but its dismissiveness about murdered Jews should make even anti-Zionists pause.


Related First One Through articles:

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Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Palestineism is Toxic Racism

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Denying Entry and Citizenship

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

Unity – not Unanimity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

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JVP and J Street Attack Foreign Affairs Committee

Some winners and losers in the 2020 election have already been determined.

Rep. Elliot Engel (NY-16) was defeated in the Democratic primary by a far left progressive Jamaal Bowman during the summer. As such, Engel’s chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was lost in that primary as well, and three Democrats are now vying for that role.

The two most pro-Palestinian voices looking to head this important committee as it relates to foreign affairs are Joaquín Castro (D-TX) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY). Both Castro and Meeks boycotted Israeli Prime Minister’s address to a joint session of Congress in 2015 and both voted for the Obama administration’s JCPOA which gave the leading state sponsor of terrorism a legal pathway to nuclear weapons and access to roughly $150 billion.

The third contender, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) voted against the JCPOA and did not boycott Netanyahu, but has begun to make comments to appeal to the anti-Zionist leanings of a vocal and growing segment of the Democratic Party. That has excited far left groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and J Street.

J Street said that it “welcomes statements from all three candidates to become the next Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.” It highlighted a quote from Castro in-line with J Street’s thinking:

Israeli settlements violate international law and their expansion is a serious impediment to peace. The Trump administration’s decision to fund investments there breaks decades of bipartisan consensus, undermining America’s ability to be a fair arbiter for a two-state solution.”

The anti-Zionist website Mondoweiss came after Sherman stating “Sherman also called out progressive groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and IfNotNow for supporting Castro’s candidacy, claiming that anti-occupation organizations were building a movement to block him from acquiring the chair.” The site noted that JVP prefers Castro among the three contenders.

J Street, an influential anti-“settlement” organization, lobbied hard for the Obama administration to support the Iranian nuclear deal as well as allowing the passage of UN Resolution 2334, which made it an international crime for Israelis to live east of the invisible 1949 Armistice Lines. The Democratic Party has only lurched further left and anti-Israel since that passage in 2016.

Should Joe Biden win the presidency and Joaquín Castro become chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the next two years promise to be the most anti-Israel in American history, much to the joy and lobbying of far left groups like IfNotNow, JVP and J Street.

Joaquin Castro (D-TX) running to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee, doxed his local constituents after the 2016 election

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J Street is Only Considered “Pro-Israel” in Progressive Circles

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J Street is a Partisan Left-Wing Group, NOT an Alternative to AIPAC

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The Debate About Two States is Between Arabs Themselves and Jews Themselves

The common refrain surrounding the Arab-Israeli Conflict is that the Israelis and Arabs need to find a compromise solution that will work for both parties. People on the left believe that Israel, as the entity which is much stronger than the Palestinian Authority, must make the majority of that compromise. For those on the right, Israel is the smaller party that has always been under attack by the surrounding Arab and Muslim world, and therefore will demand that Arabs must make significant concessions.

This viewpoint is valid in concept, but lacks any nuance to capture the situation as it exists today. In reality, it is the Palestinian Arabs themselves and the Israelis themselves who are torn on the path towards an enduring peace. Until each party can arrive at a consensus internally, the only bridge with consensus regarding a two state solution is found between the Palestinian Authority leadership and far left progressive Jews; a failed partnership, as the PA is despised by the Arab masses and fellow Jews in Israel and the diaspora consider the progressives a dangerous fringe group, as discussed below.

The Arabs

The Palestinian Arabs have three distinct viewpoints regarding the conflict, and a fourth approach among Israelis Arabs who share some commonality with Jews.

  1. Hamas. Hamas has no interest in a two-state solution as they believe that Israel has no right to exist. While it may make some short-term accommodations related to a cease-fire or an interim acceptance for a two-state solution, the concept of an enduring peace between two countries is abhorrent to Hamas and all of its supporters.
  2. The Palestinian Authority. The PA is a corrupt and inept kleptocracy which seeks a two-state solution to empower and enrich themselves. It has stated it will make the great “compromise” of not demanding the entirety of Israel as part of its state and “very reasonably” demand that its country be stripped of any Jews while refusing to accept Israel as a Jewish State. From such perch, the PA flies around the world with honor, pomp and circumstance while fattening their bellies as foreign nations pour money into the wallets of its leadership.
  3. The Palestinians. The Palestinian Arabs have no interest in a two-state solution according to their own polls, even if they get everything which the PA demands. They are fed up with everybody – the PA, Hamas, the Israelis and the Arab world which has forgotten about them. They view any and every deal with deep distrust.

This is not very promising. The only Palestinians who want the two-state solution today is a leadership which has no legitimacy as it is ten years past its stated term limit, and the majority of Palestinians want the acting leadership to resign.

A softer position in the Arab world which is closer to the Jewish positions on two states is held by Israeli Arabs.

Israeli Arabs. The Israeli Arabs are eager for a two state solution which looks very different than what the PA has proposed. They want NO RETURN of any Palestinian refugees into Israel. They want Israel to be recognized as the nation state of the Jewish people. They demand institutions that are transparent and devoid of any fraud – all desires which the PA will not accept.


Arabs in the Old City of Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

The wide range of opinions regarding a two state-solution is not limited to Arabs, as Jews also have their own spectrum of ideas.

The Jews

  1. The Far Right. Israel has a number of political parties including Yisrael Beiteinu, United Right (each with 5 seats in the new Knesset), Zehut and the New Right (which got zero seats in the 2019 election) who support annexing Judea and Samaria/ the area east of the Green Line (EGL) commonly called the “West Bank.” The extent of Palestinian “sovereignty” would be limited to Gaza which will be denied any standing army, and essential be an entity with autonomy but will likely need to be a territory of either Egypt, Jordan or Qatar. Israel would likely never permit it to be aligned with Turkey.
  2. The Right. Is represented by the majority Likud party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is in favor of annexing blocs of the West Bank such as the Gush Etzion area and Maale Adumim, but would give the Palestinian Authority large sections of the West Bank where the majority of Palestinian Arabs live including Areas A and B and parts of Area C. There would be no admittance of any Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs). Good news is that the Israelis just held elections so there is clarity that this is the majority consensus view.
  3. The Left.The left is represented by the Blue and White party which came in second in the Israel elections. They would allow as many as 100,000 SAPs into Israel as part of a peace deal and give virtually the entirety of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem to the PA. A bit further to the left in Israel are the Labor and Meretz parties in Israel (6 and 4 seats, respectively) and in the diaspora in groups like J Street and the Israel Policy Forum who oppose the notion of Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish people.
  4. The Far Left. Believes that Israel should cease to exist as a Jewish State. They advocate for folding all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza into a bi-national state with no special rights or privileges for Jews. Essentially the Hamas platform, without the murder of Jews, but with all of the demonization. There is virtually no one in Israel with such views, but is in vocal extremist diaspora organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, the New Israel Fund and Code Pink.

Lining up the groups against each other reveals interesting bedfellows between Arabs and Jews:

  • Hamas <> JVP/ Code Pink
  • the PA <> Labor/ J Street
  • Israeli Arabs <> Likud/ Republican Jewish Coalition
  • some Israeli Arabs <> Yisrael Beiteinu/ the New Right
  • The Palestinians <> everyone who has given up hope for any solution

Hamas, JVP, Code Pink, Students for Justice in Palestine and similar groups have tried to gain legitimacy in the public sphere. Former US President Jimmy Carter blessed Hamas despite its vile antisemitic charter and the United Nations has sought to fold it into the Palestinian Authority. Groups like SJP are getting awards on college campuses like New York University. These are hate groups and should be condemned and boycotted by everyone who wants to see an enduring peace in the Middle East. They will never be accepted by any Israeli administration forging a peace settlement, and will only make Israelis move further rightward.

J Street and progressives around the world have been reaching out to the PA as the best chance for peace. However, the PA is despised and disrespected by Palestinians. Until there are legitimate Palestinian elections, reaching out to the PA is a fool’s errand. Most Jews and conservatives see through the chimera and think J Street’s moves to weaken Israel and go against the Israeli government by advancing condemnations at the United Nations and promoting a deeply flawed Iranian nuclear deal are dangerous and divisive. The liberal media mostly follows this narrative and will promote the PA as “moderate” which is counter-factual and J Street as “mainstream” which is liberal wishful thinking. However, if they can tack towards the center instead of continuing to lurch leftward, perhaps they can be part of forging an enduring solution instead of today’s alt-left miasma.

For their part, Israeli Arabs and Likud consider the past decade a tremendous success. While the neighboring region had wars killing nearly a million people in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries; with millions of war refugees scattered around the world; military coups taking over Egypt and almost Turkey; and heads of state chopped off in Libya, Israel was relatively calm. When the financial markets took the western world into an abyss, Israel emerged unscathed and its economy boomed. Riding the status quo has worked, and selectively extending that secret sauce with more global partnerships and annexing blocs of the West Bank are logical next steps.

However, the masses are unhappy. The lack of self-determination for the SAPs is not in anyone’s interest and everyone should want to see a resolution to their status. But with no consensus between the Arabs themselves and Israelis themselves, there is little hope for an enduring peace anytime soon.

It may therefore be time for some Israeli Arabs to assume a leadership role in the negotiations to help both the Arabs and Jews each reach a centrist consensus among themselves, and then ultimately with each other.


Israeli Arab women entering the Western Wall Plaza
(Photo: FirstOneThrough)


Related First.One.Through articles:

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Unity – not Unanimity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

The story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible is just a few sentences in length, but it has long captured the imaginations of all sorts of people. Artists have pictured its physical heights, while biblical scholars and theologians have sought to decipher the story’s meaning.

A new book by Rabbi Shai Held, “The Heart of the Torah,” took an interesting approach to the story. Held questioned the essence of the “sin” of the architects and builders of the Tower of Babel. If the punishment for their actions was that the people of Babel were scattered around the Earth, each speaking a different language, it would imply that the crux of the offence was the group’s cohesiveness. Too much unity was a seemingly bad thing, at odds with today’s view of unity as a worthy goal.

Held responded to his own observation by advancing the notion that the problem of the people building the Tower was not their unity, but their uniformity. It was not a problem that everyone was working to accomplish something together, but that the societal structure created a monolithic mass in which people were indistinguishable from each other. Such a state is unnatural, and could only be accomplished with an authoritarian ruler. It was that totalitarian regime that was the core of the sin and what needed to be broken, not the cohesiveness of a multitude of people. Hence the “punishment” to create more unique individuals with their own language and direction who could not be controlled by a single ruler.

Unity of Purpose

A good example of a group of different people uniting in a common purpose can be found in sports.

A professional basketball team typically includes players with a variety of different skills: one player may be a good outside shooter; another a solid rebounder; a third good at dribbling and passing; etc. The players likely do not have a uniform set of skills, but have a unity of purpose of winning a game.

As part of the effort to win, the players support each other. They pass each other the ball. They set screens and picks to provide an open shot. They encourage and cheer their teammates on, whether they are playing well, or need encouragement to perform better.

That is unity, and the mark of a successful team dynamic.

Conversely, a bad teammate is one that throws the ball to opposing team. That never shows up for practice. That tells the referee that one of their teammates committed a foul. Allowing such a player onto the court hurts the entire team.

A good teammate tells a fellow teammate when he is in the paint for too long; a bad teammate tells the referee that his teammate should be called with a 3-second violation. A strong team witnesses teammates pulling each other up; a weak team has teammates shouting each other down.

In short, a team with unity uses active and passive means to help the team win. A flawed team has teammates yelling at each other and calling for outside forces to punish their own team.

With such orientation, it is useful to explore unity and uniformity in the pro-Zionist tent.

The Pro-Israel Tent

The pro-Israel camp has been attempting to figure out how wide to extend its community tent. There are many opinions surrounding Israel, whether about land, politics or religion. There is certainly no fear of uniformity. But what about unity? When do the myriad opinions become intolerable for a joint effort?

As in the sports example above, the pro-Israel tent should allow people with different voices, but not those that seek to use external pressure to harm the Jewish State. Outside forces might be financial, such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, and using the United Nations or United States to pass anti-Israel resolutions and laws.

There are a number of groups that claim to be pro-Israel that precisely take these actions:

  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is an advocate for BDS of Israel and lobbies governments, churches and schools to support BDS. It seeks to use financial pressure to force Israel to capitulate to a variety of demands ranging from giving up Judea and Samaria, to removing the limited blockade of Gaza. It has also proudly hosted events for convicted terrorists. The group’s leader, Rebecca Vilkomerson has stated clearly “our charge is to change U.S. policy [about Israel].”
  • J Street pushed the Obama Administration to declare the Jewish towns in Judea & Samaria (the “settlements”) as illegal and to allow a United Nations resolution to pass in December 2016. That action has set in motion a massive action campaign against businesses in Judea & Samaria.
  • New Israel Fund (NIF) supports a variety of groups that seek to end Israel as a Jewish State. NIF supports Adalah which seeks to replace the Jewish State with a bi-national state in which Jews would be a minority. NIF funds groups and movies that tour the world that demonize Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces.

All of these groups are bad actors. They go to international fora to condemn Israel and suggest punitive actions against the Jewish State. They do not seek to advance Israel by engaging with the country directly with concerns, but through external force.


Rabbi Held described the dangers of uniformity in his review of the Tower of Babel. “If everyone says the same words and thinks the same thoughts, then a society emerges in which there is no room for individual tastes, thoughts and aspirations, or for individual projects and creativity.” Uniformity is a problem, but not unity. Unity without uniformity combines the talents of each individual in a common purpose and enhances the participants as well as the end-result. However, a lack of uniformity together with a lack of unity is simply chaos. There is nothing that binds the people or mission together other than a flimsy veneer that will ultimately dissolve.

The Jewish State and pro-Israel groups will never have uniformity of opinions, but it should have unity of purpose. Those groups that want to be part of the Pro-Israel and Pro-Zionist movement should adhere to the basic principle of not going to external fora to harm Israelis or the government of Israel. While these groups may self-identify as pro-Israel, they cannot be welcomed into the pro-Israel community.


Related First.One.Through articles:

There are Standards for Unity

A Disservice to Jewish Community

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

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Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

Something has become all the “rage” in the world. Without the rage.

Dick Pics

There was once a time when society knew what was offensive.

There was a time when people would see something and immediately call it out as obscene. The reaction would be clear and unequivocal: Stop it! I don’t want to see that! Ever!

The perpetrators of the offensive behavior would be ridiculed. They would be shunned from any public event and run out of political office.


Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) with wife Huma Abedin

The perp would be forever viewed differently. A creep.

There was a time that communities would ask the police to arrest a person for lewd and ugly behavior. No one would rise to the offender’s defense about free speech or expression.

A community wouldn’t ponder the motivation of such an action. It would be simply bewildered that any normal person could possibly think that viewers would find the spectacle attractive.

Students for Justice in Palestine

There is a group that has taken hold in many college campuses called “Students for Justice in Palestine.” It is a group that glorifies the killing of Jews in Israel.

In May 2016, Northwestern University invited convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh to speak at an event that SJP billed as “Israeli Apartheid Week.” Odeh, who was convicted in Israel of killing two Israeli college students with a bomb, spoke to 50 students in Illinois about the “Israeli colonial project” and the suffering of Palestinian Arabs.

No one disrupted the talk. It was covered by free speech.

In February 2015, the SJP chapter in DePaul University held “a fundraiser to celebrate the resilience of Rasmea Odeh.” The students in the university did not simply want to hear the perspective of a convicted terrorist: they wanted to actively support her.

The anti-Zionist group, Jewish Voice for Peace, gave Odeh a standing ovation in April 2017, as she bid farewell to the United States because she was being deported for having entered the country without disclosing her terrorist conviction.

And the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January 2017 invited Odeh to address the crowd. To thousands.

That is the “progressive” fringe world today.

The Left-Wing Participation in Terrorism

When someone sends another person a “dick pic,” they are engaging in crude behavior. The goal is to either provoke and offend, or to engage a basic human lust. It is not romance or love. It is a blunt instrument with a binary outcome: 95% of the time it is disgust and 5% amusement or desire.

When an organization invites a convicted terrorist that murdered innocent students to address its members, there is something sickening and perverse that becomes normalized. The most animalistic of activities – cold-blooded murder of innocent youth – is celebrated. It is endorsed. It is rationalized to the audience as proper behavior.

While society will be disgusted (or in rare circumstances amused) by lewd pictures that are easily erased, it celebrates – or at least tolerates – the killing of innocents. This is the same society that has no issue showing videos of beheadings on social media, but bans pictures of a woman’s breast. We extol butchery and shun nudity.

Let’s be clear: The person who sends a “dick pic” has a very ugly and narrow view of the recipient. They are selfish and interested in only one thing, and it is not the recipient’s personality. It is the aspiration for a complementary raw emotion that the recipient might bring to the encounter.

Similarly, when the radical anti-Zionists like SJP and JVP address you, they are not seeking a rational discussion about disputed land. They want your active endorsement of the murder of Jews and the Jewish State. That is your “complement” to their actions.

Decent people of the world, it is time to delete these disgusting groups faster than a dick pic from a stranger.


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Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

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The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

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Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Pride. Jewish and Gay

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