In The Margins

Bret Stephens had an award-winning career writing columns on the top of the Op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. His conservative take on politics was thoughtful and balanced, as he appreciated nuance in the topics that he covered. He is continuing that insightful analysis over at The New York Times.

In an article printed on June 15, 2017 entitled “The Indigenous American Berserk Strikes Again,” Stephens wrote about the shooting of a Republican politician at the hands of a liberal wacko. He cautioned both liberals and conservatives to not draw any particular conclusions from the actions of a sole operator from the margins of society. A “one-off” does not mean that all liberals will be out to attack conservatives, any more than the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 meant that conservatives were out to physically harm liberals. (Liberals made such an argument at that time).

It is a lesson that his new colleague at the NY Times, Thomas Friedman, needs to learn.

As described in “Thomas Friedman thinks Palestinians are Crazy in the Margins, While Israel is Crazy in the Mainstream,” Friedman has a long history of exaggerating marginal Israeli “radicals” and minimizing the mainstream Palestinian “radicals.”

  • Friedman described Israel as having a “right-wing” government, simply because it included a nationalistic party that had just 5% of the seats in the parliament. He neglected to mention that Israelis voted much more for the anti-Zionist Arab Joint List to 14% of the population
  • He described acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as a “moderate,” while labeling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an extremist, even though it is Abbas that: argues for a country free of Jews; has capital punishment for Arabs that sells land to Jews; has laws that excuse men for the honor killing of their wives; incites violence against Israeli Jews; etc.
  • The vast majority of Israelis favor a peaceful settlement with the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs), while 93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semites, more than any other region in the world. The SAPs voted the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority government.

Stephens argued convincingly that actions of a lone radical should not tarnish the majority: “the fact that events are frightening, bloody and tragic doesn’t necessarily make them especially meaningful…. In 2011 the left wanted to blame millions of Americans for the acts of one crazed man. The indictment served nobody.

Bret Stephens speaking at an event in Westchester, NY July 2015

Meanwhile Friedman – and many liberals – seemingly use an inverted approach, whereby the actions of the PA leadership and majority of SAPs should be ignored, while the opinions of a minority of Israeli Jews should be scrutinized.

Why do liberals exaggerate the fringe while conservatives concentrate on the majority?

Self-Reliance versus Helping Out

Historically, liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree on a particular policy, say abortion. The action was debated about whether it should be legal or banned. Tax policy and welfare were topics to be debated. Climate change. Gun policy. Healthcare.

But the conversation has changed. Today political pundits talk about people. Defining the conservatives/liberals themselves is the focus, not policies.

According to Pew Research. conservatives primarily value responsibility, faith and hard work. In contrast, liberals are more drawn to empathy and helping others. This split in focus helps explain the different approaches to people in the margins of society.

In a conservative mindset, someone’s position in society is a result of actions for which they are responsible. In a traditional bell curve in which the vast majority sit in the middle, everyone – including those in the margins – got there as a result of their own actions. The successful people were the beneficiaries of hard work and risk, while the failures at the other end of the spectrum got there because of poor decisions and/or the lack of determination.

Conservatives study the habits of the successful as they attempt to emulate their path.Those at the top are their focus. When they look at the downtrodden, they are as case studies of actions to avoid.

Meanwhile liberals do not necessarily focus on what actions got a person into their predicament as much as how to get them out. The value of helping others puts liberals into an active mode of assistance. The successful outliers do not need help; they are not part of the liberal orientation. The liberals only attach themselves to the downtrodden – a select segment of those on the margins.

Conservatives and liberals are drawn to opposing ends of the spectrum because of their underlying value system. But conservatives use a common approach to all segments of society and learn from each; liberals end up only relating to a small segment of society. Right-leaning people extract data from both the majority and minority to validate their opinions, while left-leaning people can best apply their values of empathy to a select minority.

Liberal “Progessivism” versus Conservative “Traditionalism”

Not everything that divides conservatives and liberals can be divided between the attractions to the successful and the downtrodden. Sometimes it is the approach to religion and tradition.

Liberals are much less religious than conservatives. Pew polls found that only 36% of liberals found religion as important in their lives, while that figure was almost double – 70% for conservative Americans.

Free from traditional religious constraints, liberals have embraced homosexuality (which has been traditionally viewed as a sin) more than conservatives. Are most people homosexuals? No, they are a minority.

Liberals have also been drawn to the current trend of “self-identity.”

How many truly transgender people are there? It’s infinitesimal. But liberals have taken up this minority as consistent with their credo for empathy and helping others. They have pushed society’s traditional view of gender and advanced that the public must accommodate this new self-identity in matters such as public bathrooms. Conservatives have been appalled at both the new non-binary view of gender, and the demand that the public must adopt to their worldview.

The more religious and traditional conservatives have mostly remained with the majority in these matters of gender and sexual preference, while liberals have loudly campaigned for the minority.

The Parties in the Margin

While the two main political parties have hemmed to the margins, the parties themselves have become marginalized.

Democrats are much more liberal than ever in history, as the liberal wing grew to 44% of the party in 2016 from just 30% in 2000 according to Gallup. Not surprisingly, this liberal Democratic party has rushed to embrace far-left extremists like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As they have done so, Gallup polls show that the percentage of Americans that identify as Democrats has declined to 30%.

Republicans similarly have become more conservative, and their share of Americans stands at only 26%, even less than Democrats.

The beneficiaries are Independents who now account for 43% of Americans, more than Democrats or Republicans. These independents may share some values of liberals and conservatives, but have a negative feeling about the main policy issues and leadership of the two parties.


Those at the margins are part of our society, but they do not define our society.

As Democrats become more liberal and place an exaggerated focus on the margins, they will continue to marginalize their own political party. It will also continue to benefit Independents and thoughtful writers like Bret Stephens that do not get caught up in trendy thinking that obfuscates truths.


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“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

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Is the Left-Wing Coming Back to Zionism?

The years from 2010 to 2016 were an abysmal abandonment of the left-wing in the United States from supporting the Jewish State. Their criticisms of Israel in public and private were not only demonizing of Israel, but of Jews generally.

Consider how left-wing politicians argued that Jewish schools should be denied police protection, arguing that Jewish schools had anti-gay curricula.  Consider how the Democratic party ripped up their pro-Israel platform in 2012 and then had their party head lead a walkout on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The far-left darling, Senator Bernie Sanders was the most anti-Israel presidential candidate in the running who drafted Israel-basher Cornel West to be part of the new Democratic mainstream.

Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx
1/29/16
Dr. Cornel West and Bernie Sanders are seen at a Bernie Sanders Rally in Davenport, Iowa.

Fortunately, there are signs that the tide may be turning.

On April 28, 2017, all 100 US Senators sent a letter to the new UN Secretary General to stop the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. The letter was co-authored by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and signed by every Democratic senator.

One week before the US senators wrote their letter to the UNSG, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case related to using public funds for safety mats in playgrounds of religious schools. Even liberal judges like Elana Kagan and Stephen Breyer could not understand how the public could withhold safety and security from religious schools.

These are refreshing changes in liberal positions from just last year.

Whether the changes are stemming from the Democrats’ loss of the presidency or the nadir of the Obama administration permitting UNSC Resolution 2334 to pass, one can only hope that the Democratic party continues to move away from the left-wing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic fringe.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

For Liberals, It’s Israelis, Palestinians, and Indifference

The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

The Impossible Liberal Standard

Pride. Jewish and Gay

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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For Liberals, It’s Israelis, Palestinians, and Indifference

There is a common refrain that it is not easy to be a Liberal Zionist these days.

There was a time when Democrats and Liberals had a strong preference for Israelis over Palestinians in the ongoing 100-year conflict. In 2002, Democrats sympathized more with Israelis than Palestinians by a margin of 45% to 21% while Liberals had a margin of 41% to 19%.  Today, that gap has disappeared altogether.

In the latest 2017 Pew Research poll, Democrats split evenly in their preferences between Israelis (33%), Palestinians (31%) and neither (35%). The Democratic leanings are in sharp contrast to Republicans who still favor Israel by 74% to 11%. It is a remarkable phenomenon considering that Israel is the most liberal country in the entire region for a thousand miles in any direction.

pew-2017

This dynamic has become a struggle for Liberal Zionists who easily relate to their fellow Liberals on most matters, but not with 2/3rds of them when it comes to Israel.

Elliot Cosgrove, the liberal rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City felt that he had to pen a piece about the situation. In the January 11, 2017 edition of The Jewish Week he wroteFor socially progressive Jews, it is an awkward time to be a Zionist — to be both liberal and a Zionist at one and the same time.” Why is this the case, what has been done and what can be done?

The Causes

There are arguably many reasons why liberals have moved away from supporting Israel. Here are two.

Inequalities and the Size of the Conflict: A goal of many liberals is to bridge inequalities in society. The gaps may be between the haves and have-nots; between the rich and the poor; or between the powerful and the weak. Their desire is to flatten the field to cause the gaps to shrink or be virtually eliminated.

When the left-wing looks at Israel, they see a fiscally-strong, military power occupying a poor Arab demilitarized population. The inequalities between the groups are enormous and the goal to “flatten” the dynamics strikes them as fair and appropriate. As such, they conclude that Israel must sacrifice so the Palestinian Arabs can have more.

However, when many Zionists look at Israel, they see a dependable, democratic ally in the middle of unstable dictatorships. They admire a single, small Jewish State surrounded by dozens of hostile Arab and Muslim countries.

Both views are true, and two liberal Zionists can arrive at different conclusions: either looking at the situation very narrowly as an Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, or more broadly as a conflict between Israel and the Arab World. A liberal approach based on the second perspective would argue for Israel ceding no land as it is the more vulnerable entity in the region, while the former approach adopted by many liberals today, pushes for Israel to hand over all disputed land to be a new state of Palestine.

Multi-Culturalism and Relevancy: Liberals advance a cause of universalism over particularism. They see the underpinnings of a strong society as one that advances a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic existence over one that is more insular and monolithic.  Consequently, many liberals see the idea of a Jewish State as backwards thinking, as the essence of tribalism.  They therefore consider any association with such an entity as an embarrassment that would insult their liberal principles. These liberal Zionists support groups like the New Israel Fund and Adalah that seek to replace the Jewish State with a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.

Other liberal Zionists see the thriving multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society that Israel has become, even a a Jewish State. The Jewish Mizrachi community is the largest in Israel, and includes people from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Thousands of Israeli Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and Iraq have little in common with other Israeli Jews from Russia, Argentina and Poland. More so, roughly 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, leading Israel to be the most ethnically diverse population in the MENA region.

What Has Been Done

To accommodate the wide range of opinions, liberal Zionists have stretched the definition of a “Zionist.” In liberal circles, a self-described Zionist can be pro-BDS, as they fight for Palestinian Arab equality. A Liberal Zionist can donate to organizations that seek to undermine the Jewish character of Israel, as an expression of loving the modern thriving democracy. In contorting the bounds of Zionism, they have enabled themselves to sit comfortably with other two-thirds of “progressives” with whom they respect.

For traditional Zionists, this situation is an absurdity.

Imagine someone at a pro-choice rally with a large placard that argues for banning abortions after a fetus has a heartbeat at eight weeks, claiming that they are pro-choice because they are in favor of permitting the procedure in the first weeks of pregnancy. Many fellow pro-choicers might ask that person to move to the other side of the picket line to join the pro-life camp. They might negate the person’s self-declared status as “pro-choice” as they consider their actual position stands against the passionate tenets of the majority.

What Can Be Done

No individual needs to subscribe to an entire platform of a group. For example, a Democrat might agree with the party line on global warming, but disagree on tax policy. A Republican could agree with the party position on foreign affairs, but disagree on social issues. In dealing with conflict, some people stay within their registered parties while they disagree on many issues, while others leave the party to become Independents.

Single issue matters are more cut-and-dry. Someone may be in favor of gun control or against it. However, even within those binary choices, there is a range of opinion. For example, being against gun control doesn’t mean being in favor of getting rid of background checks or gun licenses. A single issue is still dynamic within itself.

Liberal Zionists are subset of two groups: Liberals and Zionists. Liberals cover a broad range of issues similar to Democrats and Republicans. As reviewed in many polls, Liberals are not sympathetic to Israel.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t Liberal Zionists that break with the majority.

Israel is a single issue matter for Americans and more easily broken into binary choices. However, there is still nuance in the pro-Zionist camp, especially within the Liberal Zionist community.

Rabbi Cosgrove noted that it is hard to be both a Liberal and a Zionist today. That is a sentiment that is rooted in someone that defines themselves as a Liberal first and a Zionist second.

Zionists have no issues with Liberals, and Israelis are, by-and-large, liberal. Most Israelis and Zionists just believe in the essential nature of the country as a Jewish State and the critical need for security.

For Liberals, being a Zionist is a bit harder to swallow. It typically means running against the majority opinion of the group with which one has chosen to identify. To reconcile that struggle, liberals either counter the ambivalence or anti-Israel sentiment of the group, or redefine Zionism in a manner that accommodates either liberal or Zionistic preferences. Many have chosen the ladder, and twisted the definition of “Zionist” into something that is unrecognizable to the majority of Zionists.

There is another way.

An easy way to be a Liberal Zionist is to use a wide lens when looking at Israel from a security standpoint within the broader Arab world, and narrowly when examining Israeli society from a social vantage point. Such an approach would be consistent with the majority of Liberal regarding daily life and with the majority of Zionists regarding daily existence.


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The Reform Movement’s Rick Jacobs Has no Understanding of Tolerance

The various religious denominations in Judaism have coexisted peacefully in the United States for over one hundred years. Each denomination has very different viewpoints on the Torah and on acceptable practices and customs in matters of religious life. The choices each make are distinct, and they do not seek to control or influence how the other denominations choose to interpret or handle their religious lives. As such, the tolerance that each exhibits for the other is just a consequence, not a goal. The groups are not fighting over the same remote control. They lead parallel lives.

It is with this in mind that I note the various themes and calls for “tolerance” over the past months from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union of Reform Judaism.

Consider Rabbi Jacobs Chaunkah message.

Jacobs opens his message with a note from Dr. Shaye Cohen who claimed that the battle of the Hasmoneans “marks the first time in recorded history that a war was begun in defense of religious liberty and individual freedom of belief.” An interesting point from a Harvard professor with a PhD in Ancient History.

However, the comment was quickly misinterpreted by Jacobs. In the following paragraph he wrote that “The Maccabees fought the first battle for religious tolerance in history. (emphasis added).” That is a complete distortion of Cohen’s comment and of history.

judas_maccabeus_before_the_army_of_nicanor
Judah the Maccabee in battle

The story of Chanukah related to the Syrian Greeks trying to Hellenize the Jews over 2100 years ago. The Greeks did not seek to introduce another alternative form of religious practice into the Holy Land. They sought to replace Judaism by defiling the Jews’ religious places.  The fight was an ALL-OR-NONE proposition.

The reaction by the Hasmoneans was similar in nature. The fought back for “religious liberty” and to rid the land of pagan practices. They countered the defilement of the Temple with purifying the Temple. They responded to the introduction of pagan practices with its expulsion.  The last thing that Chanukah celebrated was “religious tolerance.” It was a battle between all-or-nones.

Reform’s View of Tolerance in Israel Today

Judea and Samaria

Rabbi Jacobs misunderstanding of tolerance stretches from his interpretation of history in the Holy Land from over 2000 years ago until today.

In November 2015, Jacobs addressed his reform movement’s biennial in a keynote address. In this important speech about the direction of Reform Judaism he said (at 24:30) “Our Reform Movement, we have long opposed Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank (applause). The occupation threatens the very Zionism we hold dear.” He declared that his religious movement opposed Jews living in parts of the Holy Land. Seemingly not very tolerant.

He continued: “- the living expression of a Jewish and democratic state. It causes pain and hardship to the Palestinians and alienates Israel from friends and allies around the world. Only two states for two peoples, both states viable and secure, living side-by-side in peace, will bring this tragic conflict to its long-awaited end (loud applause).” Jacobs argued for a tolerance achieved by separation. A divide into two distinct states. However, he really meant a specific state of Arabs which should have no Jews, and a second state of Israel with both Jews and Arabs (the “progressive” two state solution is 1.5 states for Arabs and 0.5 states for Jews).

It was a curious twist on tolerance, for a “progressive” to condemn a Jewish “settler” that sought to live in peace alongside Arabs.

The Kotel

Rabbi Jacobs comments in November 2015 seemed to come into conflict with his actions a few months later.

In July 2016, Rabbi Jacobs marched into the occupied territories and demanded rights for Reform Jews.

rick-jacobs-kotel
Union for Reform Judaism president Rabbi Rick Jacobs, center, participating in a prayer service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, July 4, 2016. (photo: Courtesy of the URJ)

Rabbi Jacobs came to the Old City of Jerusalem to pray and advocate for new privileges for non-Orthodox Jews. He did not seem to care or notice that much of the world considers the Old City of Jerusalem to be occupied Palestinian territory. That same territory which he thinks should be under Palestinian Authority, a political agency which advocates against Jews living anywhere in the area and seeks to stop the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

His mind-bending views on “tolerance” continued as he led and advocated for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel.

The Kotel is the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple Mount. It has was the area set aside by Suleiman I 450 years ago for Jews to pray, after he kicked them off of the Temple Mount itself. Since 1967, the area has functioned as an Orthodox synagogue, and only Orthodox prayer practices are allowed there.

Jacobs seeks to change that and demands the legality of non-Orthodox practices at the Western Wall.  He is not satisfied with non-Orthodox prayers happening at the Southern Wall (which is actually bigger and prettier), away from the Orthodox services. We wants the Orthodox to tolerate his practices at the Kotel.

This is quite a different approach than Jacobs applies in other situations.  Jacobs normally advocates for peace via separation; tolerance via parallel paths.  Yet when it comes to the Kotel, (in an area he thinks shouldn’t even be part of Israel), he has demanded to impose his practices in the space of others.

Real Tolerance in Israel Today

The story of Chanukah was a fight for “religious liberty.” The all-or-none approach of the Greeks was countered with an all-or-none purge by the Jews. Neither side sought “religious tolerance.”

Remarkably, Modern Israel has taken a different approach.

  • While the Arabs of the Middle East sought to stop Jewish immigration – even at the dawn of the Holocaust – Israel opted to grant 160,000 non-Jews Israeli citizenship when it declared a state in 1948.
  • Even though the Arabs expelled all of the Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem in 1949, after Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967, it handed religious control of the Jewish Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf.
  • Even though the Arabs continue to advocate for a Jew-free state, Israel has allowed all Arabs in Jerusalem to apply for Israeli citizenship since it annexed the eastern part of the city.

In a world where the all-or-none approach is typically met with an all-or-none response, Israel has shown remarkable tolerance and acceptance of “the other.”

Rabbi Jacobs chose to distort the meaning of Chanukah and turned it into a call for advocacy on behalf Muslims in Burma in a global fight for religious tolerance. It is a nice message, but one not found in Chanukah, and disconnected from his attitudes towards Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.

Let’s celebrate the holiday of Chanukah and the miracle of Modern Israel. It is a story that liberals can enjoy without distorting history and the English language.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Rick Jacobs’ Particular Reform Judaism

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

The Impossible Liberal Standard

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Squeezing Zionism

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

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The Trump Pinata Preserving the False Obama Messiah

Summary: Democrats have been pounding on Trump and his loss in the popular vote to defend the legacy of their anointed liberal messiah. Stating that Clinton Hillary lost just because of “racists and misogynists” as the New York Times declares, is to ignore the facts of the failed Obama policies.

trump-effigy
Democrats burning an effigy of Donald Trump on Easter

Barack Obama was hailed as the deliverer when he was elected president in 2008. Indeed, in the election of 2008, the Democrats swept all branches of government, including adding 8 seats in the Senate, 21 seats in the House of Representatives, plus a governorship. When Obama was sworn into office in January 2009, Democrats held 57% of the Senate, 59% of the House and 58% of the state governors. Quite a victory and mandate.

The Democrats chose to use their mandate to advance a liberal agenda.  Their primary focus was healthcare which had been increasing in costs at rates that far surpassed inflation. Rather than implement solutions that would cut to the core of the cost structure like major tort reform, they advanced a program for Americans to subsidize the millions of uninsured, creating a new, complicated entitlement program.

The American people balked at the Democrats’ actions.

In the 2010 election, the Democrats were trounced, losing 6 seats in the Senate, 63 seats in the House and 6 governorships. Did the population that had just elected Obama two years earlier suddenly become racist and xenophobic?

In the 2012 election, Obama won the presidency again, and brought along some Democratic victories in the Senate (+2) and House (+8), while it lost another state governor to the Republicans. But the net losses for the Democrats over Obama’s first term were still huge: -2 Senate seats; -56 House seats; and -10 governors, from 29 down to 19. All of these losses were realized before the rise of Donald Trump.

The 2014 election witnessed another thrashing of the Democrats. The Democrats lost 9 Senate seats, 13 House seats, and another 3 governorships.  And Donald Trump had still not declared that he was running for office.

By the time Barack Obama steps down from office in January 2009, he will have stood watch as his party was eviscerated over his eight years. The Democrats would have lost the majority of the Senate (from 57% to 48%), the majority in the House (from 59% to 45%) and state governors (from 58% to 30%).  The vast majority of all of the losses happened during Obama’s first term, post passing of Obamacare.

How has the Democratic party reacted? What did the liberal press claim was the reason for Democrats losing the White House?

Racism. Xenophobia. Misogyny. Anti-Semitism.

The Democrats could not reevaluate the party’s stances and actions. It could not fathom that the American people did not care for the failures in US foreign policy, doubling down on entitlements rather than entitlement reform, or a sloppy economy. The Democrats chose to look through a lens of hatred as it considered an America that turned on its messiah and his second coming, in Hillary.

What are the facts?

Men preferred Obama in 2008 by a small margin, but turned against him by a spread of 7 points in 2012. By 2016, men preferred Republican Donald Trump by an incremental 5 points (a total 12% spread). The liberals ignored the facts and trends. They declared that men are misogynists because they didn’t vote for Hillary. The reality that men turned away from Democratic policies – by an even wider margin – four years earlier is seemingly irrelevant to people who view things from a singular biased vantage point.

Hillary preached to her liberal base as she proudly called Republicans enemies.  She did not bat an eyelash as she labeled half of America “deplorables.” Only white racists and misogynists could possibly turn from Obama and Hillary in this world view. To fathom that America would reject this woman, or reverse course in undermining the legacy of the first black president, was too much for the liberal psyche.

So the liberals continue to paint their political opponents as the “alt-Right,” as they double-down on a more “progressive” approach against a stupid and racist populace. They have chosen to nominate a far left black Muslim to head the Democratic Party.

The Democratic approach seems to be: if you challenge us because of poor policies, we can accuse you of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, or any slur that seems appropriate.

keith-ellison-end-the-occupation-podium
Rep. Keith Ellison was a listed speaker at a pro-BDS, anti-Israel conference

And who is better to represent that liberal view of a biased America, than the new President-elect, who has made comments that offend Muslims, women and illegal immigrants?

Democrats will pound on the Trump piñata and burn the American flag as they try to protect the legacy of their liberal messiah. The divisive America will not abate until people focus on core issues, instead of name-calling.


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The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

It is not particularly surprising that Jimmy Carter, former US president and author of “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid,” chose to commemorate the UN’s official Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (November 29), to launch another attack on Israel. Carter did this through lies and half-truths in a New York Times Op-Ed (printed below).

Here are some lying lowlights:

Lie: Israel cannot take control of any of the “West Bank” which it seized during a war. Carter wrote that Israel and Egypt concluded a peace deal because it was based on UN resolution 242 which included the clause “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” The peace agreement with Egypt has nothing to do with the Palestinian Arabs.

  • The “West Bank” was taken during a DEFENSIVE war. While it is a matter of debate whether Israel’s 1967 preemptive attack on Egypt which was ready to attack Israel was offensive or defensive, there is no debate that the Jordanians (and Palestinian Arabs who had taken Jordanian citizenship) attacked Israel first. The laws about the inadmissibility of taking land have to do with a “belligerent party,” not the defensive party.
  • The international community recognizes Israel’s taking land in a defensive war. After the Arab armies attacked Israel in 1948-9, Israel seized much more land than was granted to it under UN Resolution 181, known as the 1947 Partition Plan. The dynamic of taking more of the “West Bank” in yet another defensive war follows the same principle.
  • The Sinai peninsula was never part of the Palestine Mandate.  Israel returned land to Egypt that it took in the 1967 war, land that was never part of the Palestine Mandate which sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland. However, the “West Bank” is part-and-parcel of the Palestine Mandate, just as the land west of the 1949 Green Line was part of the Jewish homeland.

Lie: The Palestinians seek “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security.” Carter continued to recite language from UN resolution 242, but failed to connect Palestinians to the clause.

  • The Palestinian Arabs have voted for war, not peace. The Palestinian Arabs voted Hamas, a recognized terrorist group that seeks the destruction of Israel, to 58% of the parliament in 2006. Palestinian polls show Palestinian Arabs favoring the group in every poll. This is a group that has the most anti-Semitic charter in the world, which specifically calls for killing Jews and destroying all of Israel. The Hamas leadership continues to incite violence against Israelis.

Lie: Carter implied that “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” meant withdrawal from the West Bank. It does not.

  • A withdrawal from “territories” but not “all of the territories.”  The language in the UN resolution was approved with specific amendments in the final text. It specifically did not call for Israel to remove troops from all of the new lands, as the 1949 Armistice Agreements with Egypt and with Jordan specifically stated that the Armistice Lines / the Green Line was NOT to be considered a new border.

Lie: Carter stated that Jewish homes in the West Bank were “constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory.” Carter has adopted the anti-Israel United Nations language in describing “settlements” as illegal. He might as well also state that “Zionism is racism,” as stated in UN Resolution 3379 which was passed in 1975 under his watch.

  • Jews living throughout the West Bank is LEGAL. International law in 1920 (San Remo Agreement) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine) specifically stated that Jewish immigration was to be encouraged throughout Palestine and that “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief” (Mandate Article 15). You cannot bar Jews from living in the West Bank as a matter of moral and legal principle.

Lie: Carter wrote that Obama declared that the border between Israel and Palestine “should be based on the 1967 lines.”   This is a half-truth that is a complete lie.

  • Obama stated that borders should be negotiated between the two parties and include land swaps to account for current realities. Carter deliberately misled his liberal fans and Israel-bashers by only using half of Obama’s suggested course to peace. Obama stated that the borders would NOT look like the 1967 borders, but Carter piecemealed Obama’s quote into a distortion, a lie.  It should be further noted that Obama’s language was much softer than the assurances that President George W. Bush gave Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004 that “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

Lie: Carter implied that the Israelis’ “commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation,” and said nothing about Palestinian Arabs lack of desire for peace.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated repeatedly he seeks to commence negotiations immediately to resolve the conflict. It is Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas that refuses to engage with Israel. It is Mahmoud Abbas that incites terror against Israelis and seeks to deny Jewish rights and history in Jerusalem. Only Israeli leadership has declared the goal of two states for two peoples, while Abbas has called for an Arab state of Palestine devoid of Jews, and Israel, which should be a bi-national state.

Lie: Carter calls all of the West Bank “Palestinian Land,” which are “occupied.”

  • The West Bank includes “Palestinian Authority territory” which is administered by the PA, and Israeli territory, administered by Israel – according to the Oslo Accords, agreed to by both parties. The Oslo I and Oslo II Accords signed in 1993 and 1995 by the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority handed over certain lands to the PA. Those areas, known as Area A, are where the vast majority of Arabs in the West Bank live. They are not under Israeli military control. Area C, which is under Israeli military control, is where the vast majority of Israelis live in the West Bank, and include a minimal number of Arabs.

Lie: Carter claims that the world condemns Israel since Arabs east of the Green Line cannot vote, while Israeli Jews living in EGL can. That is wild distortion of reality.

  • Arabs in Jerusalem can become citizens and vote in Israeli elections. Israel reunited the city of Jerusalem in 1967, and expanded the borders of the city in 1980. Israel gave ALL people living in the city the option to become Israeli citizens, just as the other million-plus non-Jews in Israel enjoy Israeli citizenship. Thousands of Arabs from Jerusalem have become citizens of Israel.
  • People in territories around the world don’t vote. Puerto Ricans, Guam and other US territories, are not eligible to vote in US elections. Does the world condemn the US for this structure? No. Citizens are entitled to vote – regardless of where they live. An American living in Germany for 20 years still gets to vote in US elections, while a Puerto Rican will not. Similar for Israeli citizens that opt to live in EGL/ the West Bank.

Lie: Carter calls the Palestinian Authority a “moderate Palestinian leadership.”

After laying out a package of outright lies and half-truths, Carter calls on President Obama to act quickly and: 1) recognize a Palestinian State; and 2) passing a UN Security Council Resolution that all Israeli “settlements” are illegal.  He added “Recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.

It is beyond “radical.” It is wrong and dangerous.

To this day, Carter remains the only US president to call Israelis living in EGL/West Bank “illegal.” Obama, Bush and others used terms like “illegitimate” (Obama) or “unhelpful” (Bush) or even an “obstacle to peace,” but no other president claimed that settlements in disputed territory are “illegal.” Such a declaration is radical, and the left-wing extremist was the only president to use such terminology.

Further, recognizing a Palestinian State completely ends the Oslo Accords and a negotiated solution. It doesn’t “restart” talks, but puts both parties on the course for unilateral actions, such as annexation of additional lands. It will most likely lead to war.

Carter (like the anti-Israel UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon) has urged Hamas and Fatah to reconcile. They seek to insert a genocidal Nazi party into the Palestinian government as a pathway to peace. These are the same people that recommend these two radical actions.

While Carter and Ban are correct in recognizing that it is unsustainable to have a Palestinian state with distinct governments controlling different parts of the country, that just underscores why there cannot be recognition of a Palestinian state today. It doesn’t mean rewarding a dysfunctional and anti-Semitic government with recognition.

 20161130_070230
Jimmy Carter New York Times Op-Ed November 29, 2016

Seeing Jimmy Carter write again is a reminder of the far left fringe’s inability to see or grasp the truth of the Middle East.  Carter’s adoration of Hamas, underlines his insanity. He imagines and hopes for a world that doesn’t exist, and makes suggestions that are dangerous for civil society.


Here is Carter’s Op-Ed of lies in full. The boldface is meant as reference for the notes above.

ATLANTA — We do not yet know the policy of the next administration toward Israel and Palestine, but we do know the policy of this administration. It has been President Obama’s aim to support a negotiated end to the conflict based on two states, living side by side in peace.

That prospect is now in grave doubt. I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership.

Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel. And those two foundational concepts have been the basis for the policy of the United States government and the international community ever since.

This was why, in 2009, at the beginning of his first administration, Mr. Obama reaffirmed the crucial elements of the Camp David agreement and Resolution 242 by calling for a complete freeze on the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory. Later, in 2011, the president made clear that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” and added, “negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”

Today, however, 38 years after Camp David, the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation. Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands. Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories, but are not citizens of Israel. Most live largely under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel’s national elections.

Meanwhile, about 600,000 Israeli settlers in Palestine enjoy the benefits of Israeli citizenship and laws. This process is hastening a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel.

The Carter Center has continued to support a two-state solution by hosting discussions this month with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, searching for an avenue toward peace. Based on the positive feedback from those talks, I am certain that United States recognition of a Palestinian state would make it easier for other countries that have not recognized Palestine to do so, and would clear the way for a Security Council resolution on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Security Council should pass a resolution laying out the parameters for resolving the conflict. It should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications. Security guarantees for both Israel and Palestine are imperative, and the resolution must acknowledge the right of both the states of Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security. Further measures should include the demilitarization of the Palestinian state, and a possible peacekeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations.

A strong Security Council resolution would underscore that the Geneva Conventions and other human rights protections apply to all parties at all times. It would also support any agreement reached by the parties regarding Palestinian refugees.

The combined weight of United States recognition, United Nations membership and a Security Council resolution solidly grounded in international law would lay the foundation for future diplomacy. These steps would bolster moderate Palestinian leadership, while sending a clear assurance to the Israeli public of the worldwide recognition of Israel and its security.

This is the best — now, perhaps, the only — means of countering the one-state reality that Israel is imposing on itself and the Palestinian people. Recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.

The primary foreign policy goal of my life has been to help bring peace to Israel and its neighbors. That September in 1978, I was proud to say to a joint session of Congress, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” As Mr. Begin and Mr. Sadat sat in the balcony above us, the members of Congress stood and applauded the two heroic peacemakers.

I fear for the spirit of Camp David. We must not squander this chance.


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The Liberals in Canada are Following Obama in Turning on Israel

It was just a year ago, in October 2015, that liberals swept to power in Canada.  It was a continuation of a spate of wins in North America, which included a mayoral race in New York City in 2013, and, of course, eight years of US President Barack Obama winning in 2008 and 2012.

The rush in liberal wins produced a retreat from several conservatives values.  Will the liberal Canadian Prime Minister similarly back away from Israel the way Obama did in the US?

Possibly.

The treatment of Israel by President Obama was atrocious from the very beginning.  It started with his complete disregard of the April 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which assured Israel that it would not return to the 1949 Armistice Lines / the “1967 border.” The treatment of Israel devolved from there, including Obama’s leading a Democratic boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of congress in 2015.

In sharp contrast to Obama, the new Canadian Prime Minister showed early support of Israel, backing the conservative party’s measure in February 2016 to ban the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Movement against Israel in schools. Trudeau commented The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses.

A month later, in March 2016, Trudeau said Israel is a friend, Israel is an ally, Israel is a country that has values and an approach on many, many issues that are very much aligned with Canadians values. But, at the same time… we won’t hesitate from talking about unhelpful steps like the continued illegal settlements. We will point that out.”  He continued his general support of Israel saying that “the demonization, the de-legitimization or the double standard that’s often applied to Israel [at the United Nations]is not helping reach the two-state solution of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state alongside a peaceful, democratic Israel.

The early comments from the liberal leader seemed promising, almost in tune with his conservative predecessor, Stephen Harper, a strong ally and supporter of Israel.

But Trudeau’s pivot to the darker forces – and in particular those parties that seek to actively harm Israel – would soon surface.

trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama
(Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

First, in January 2016, Trudeau stated that Canada sought to restart relations with Iran, a country which promised to wipe Israel from the map. By June 2016, it became public that official dialogue with the official state-sponsor of terrorism had begun.

Second, on November 16, 2016, the Canadian liberal government announced that it was resuming funding of UNRWA, the UN relief agency that supports the descendants of displaced Palestinian Arabs. The previous conservative Canadian government had cut off funding to UNRWA in 2010, after it became known that the organization was closely tied to the terrorist group Hamas. Needless to say, the United Nations was very pleased with the C$25 million donation to assist “5.3 million Palestine refugees.” (Note that there are really only an estimated 30,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.)

As detailed in “UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews,” UNRWA undermines the possibility of peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs at its core. It fosters a festering Israeli-Arab war, while the organization robs funding from actual refugees from around the world in need of real relief.

bibeau
International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says
the Liberals are refunding UNRWA
(Photo: Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Lastly, Trudeau has followed Obama’s lead in never condemning “radical Islamic terrorism,” but only a generic form of terrorism. This was true regarding his comments about terrorism in Orlando, Nice, Paris, Brussels, and those targeting Canadian citizens in the Philippines.


The Canadian Liberals’ resumption of funding UNRWA, and its move to reestablish ties with Iran are disturbing moves against Israel and a reversal of the policies instituted by the previous conservative government. Time will tell whether Canadian liberals follow the US in The Democrats’ Slide on Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

Pride. Jewish and Gay

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

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