Does Biden Support A Palestinian Army And Jewish Prayer On The Temple Mount

Palestinian Arabs have seemingly been successful at getting the Biden Administration to demand “equality” between the Israelis and Palestinians. It is unclear what that means.

In May 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden saidI believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy.” A few days later, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken tweeted something similar “I underscored America’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, and we discussed the importance of promoting peace, security, and dignity for all.” For those who make a living parsing words of politicians who rehearse their sound bites, there was a bit to review.

Biden’s comments were focused on the people (Palestinians and Israelis) while Blinken focused on security for a country (Israel) and then rights for everyone (Palestinians and Israelis). Biden sought “equal measures” regarding “freedom, prosperity and democracy” while Blinken highlighted “peace, security and dignity for all” after giving preference to Israeli security. Biden’s “safely and securely” and “freedom and democracy” were likely meant to be used interchangeably with Blinken’s “peace, security”, but it is doubtful that Biden’s focus on “prosperity” was meant to equate to Blinken’s “dignity.”

Months later, Blinken leaned into “dignity” when he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in February 2022 when he saidIsraelis and Palestinians alike deserve to live with equal measures of security, freedom, prosperity and crucially, dignity.” He introduced Biden’s focus on prosperity but sought to underscore his belief that dignity is crucial for both people.

In March 2022, when Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr came to the region, hereiterated the Biden Administration’s philosophy that Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity.” Amr continued the administration’s emphasis on prosperity as a key goal but declined to mention “dignity.”

The various statements beg the question of what equal measures regarding freedom, security, prosperity and dignity, and whether each are just as important.

Freedom. One interpretation might mean the Palestinians should have freedom of movement for people and goods in and out of the terrorist enclave of Gaza. Is the U.S. pushing to end the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt immediately, or only in context of a resolution to the conflict? Would such stand exist if the terrorist group of Hamas continues to rule the area?

Freedom could mean the right of self-determination. While one might belief based on the media that Palestinian Arabs have none, in reality, all Gazans have self-determination and the vast majority of Arabs in the West Bank (those living in Areas A and B) similarly have self-determination.

Security. Does the Biden Administration want the Palestinians to have an army like Israel? Since the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s began a pathway towards Palestinian self-determination, Israelis held firm that any future Palestinian state could not have a standing army in the narrow strip of land abutting Israel. Is the Biden campaign pressuring Israel to change that position?

Prosperity. The United States gives Israel billions of dollars each year and has had a difficult time sending monies to the Palestinian Authority directly (it funnels monies to them indirectly via the United Nations) because the PA refuses to stop rewarding terrorism with “martyr payments” to terrorist families. Is Biden signaling that he will push congress to get rid of the laws which prohibit the promotion of Palestinian Arab terrorism and start sending the PA the same amount of money as the government invests in Israel?

Dignity. Israeli Jews lack the basic human rights to pray at their holiest location of the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Will the Biden Administration push to overturn the current status quo in exchange for Palestinians having a military?

The action plans may be underway.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted on March 16, 2022 about his excitement that more monies were flowing to Palestinians: “Pleased to see lots for Palestinians in the budget just signed by @POTUS Biden: $144 million increase (now $219 million) for Economic Support Funds, $40 million for security forces training in the WBank, and $50 million for 2nd year of the Nita Lowey MEPPA Fund,” a strange comment for the ambassador TO ISRAEL to comment on aid elsewhere.

Blinken is in Israel now and will talk about the Russia-Ukraine war, the refugees crisis and its impact on the region, Iran’s nuclear program and its threat towards the world, the emerging peace between Israel and various Arab countries stemming from the Abraham Accords, and the Palestinian Arab- Israel conflict. The administration’s pivot towards the Palestinians can be seen at 11:50 in the video, when Blinken said that he will meet with “Palestinians in East Jerusalem who are a critical part of the city’s vibrant and diverse civil society and underscore our work with Palestinian non-governmental government organizations.” Is Blinken saying that East Jerusalem is Palestinian and that “equality” further extends to splitting Israel’s capital?

The United States is pushing the notion of equality between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as an end-goal of negotiations. Will advocating for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and a Palestinian army kill the peace process before it begins?

Related articles:

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Israel: Security in a Small Country

The United States Should NOT be a Neutral Mediator in the Arab-Israel Conflict

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Palestinian Arabs Do Not Want Negotiations or a Two State Solution

While the United States and the United Nations talk about engaging with the Palestinian Arabs to bring about a negotiated two state solution with Israel, the Palestinians want none of it.

Over half of Palestinians Arabs in both the West Bank and Gaza are opposed to a two state solution. The trend line according to Palestinian polls has only gotten worse over time.

Opposition to the “Two State Solution” hit an all-time high of 62.8% in the West Bank according to Palestinian polls in September 2021

In both the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian Arabs preference is for an “armed struggle,” surpassing those interested in a peace agreement.

West Bankers prefer violence to a peace agreement according to Palestinian polls in September 2021
Gazans prefer violence to a peace agreement by over a 2-to-1 margin, according to Palestinian polls in September 2021

In Gaza, the Palestinians prefer the status quo – which we have been told over-and-again is absolutely horrible – at almost the same rate as peace!

The United Nations’ adopted wards have no interest in negotiating with Israel or a two state solution, but politicians like to perform on the global stage, imagine that they are uniquely gifted to break the century-old logjam and win Noble prizes.

Ego and fantasy paid for on your taxpayers’ dime.


Settlements For Peace

The Biden Administration publicly admonished Israel for approving the construction of more Jewish homes in Area C of the West Bank. State Department spokesperson Ned Price saidWe [the Biden Administration] strongly oppose the expansion of settlements… damages the prospects for a two state solution.” The homes are to be built in Revava, Kedumim, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha, Karnei Shomron, Gush Etzion and the Hebron Hills, towns strongly supported by Christian communities in the United States and around the world.

While broadly supported by religious Christians and Jews, the Biden Administration and the European Union attacked the plans for 1,300 Jewish homes, even as they ignored Israel’s approval of over 1,000 homes for Palestinian Arabs in the Israeli territory of Area C, where roughly 14% of West Bank Arabs live.

The rebuke stands in contrast to the reality that Israel has managed to exist with a minority population of 25% non-Jews. A future Palestinian state could similarly exist with several hundred thousand Jews, and the economy of such a state would benefit from Jewish residents bringing stability and trade with Israel.

The true obstacle for an enduring peace – and a two state solution – is the Arab belief that Jews have no rights to live anywhere in the land. Such mindset has guided the Palestinian Authority to have a law calling for either a death sentence or life of hard labor for any Arab selling land to a Jew. It brings the PA to prioritize payments to terrorists who kill Jews over-and-above any other public service. It drives the political-terrorist group HAMAS which runs Gaza, to spend its finite resources on building and firing missiles into Israel rather than building a productive society and economy.

Guided by such anti-Semitic worldview, Palestinians believe that terrorism drove Israel out of Gaza and Areas A and B in the West Bank and will ultimately drive the Jews from Area C and Israel completely. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called all of Israel a “painful settlement” and is ready to be rid of it entirely.

This must stop.

The pathway to an enduring peace is not to forcibly evict half a million Jews from Area C, but to shatter the false idol of a Jew-free state. It is time for the world to tell the Palestinians that Jews will not leave the West Bank nor eastern Jerusalem. The same way that there are Israeli Arabs, there will be Palestinian Jews.

For too long people have embraced the timeless anti-Semitic tradition that Jews should be banned from living somewhere. Denying the human rights of Jews will never bring peace.

It is time to recognize that the road to a peaceful two state solution will be built with the efforts of those Jews living, working and building the West Bank.


Related First One Through articles:

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

Considering Carter’s 1978 Letter Claiming Settlements Are Illegal

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

“Which Most of the World Considers Illegal…”

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

The Legal Israeli Settlements

The Jordan Valley in 1930 and 2020

The Best Palestinian Response to the Trump Initiative is Welcoming Jews to Palestine

American Leaders Always Planned on Israel Absorbing Much of the West Bank

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The UN Has No Interest in Mid-East Peace, Just a Palestinian State

The United Nations, as an institution, was designed to be an impartial party which would bring peace and order to a chaotic world.

If only.

The opening lines of the UN Charter note the “equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,” and Article 2 specifically called out the “principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Equality seemed a cornerstone of the principles of the organization.

But the United Nations has continued to prefer a particular non-member OVER AND ABOVE an existing member. Specifically, the Palestinian Authority over the State of Israel.

The head of the United Nations, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, appointed a Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, by all accounts a good idea to keep the volatile region from spinning out of control and to serve as an impartial envoy to bring the PA and Israel together to forge an enduring peace.

But Guterres did not pick someone to act as a neutral party. He appointed Tor Wennesland, who has a history of working and supporting the Palestinians and other Muslim Arabs in the region. He served as:

  • Norway’s chairman of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Palestine
  • Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2011
  • Norwegian Ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012 to 2015

Even worse and more telling, Guterres also asked Wennesland to act as his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. This person was not selected to bring the warring parties together but to act on behalf of only one party – the PA – a non-member of the United Nations.

The appointment should have been roundly rejected by Israel as an affront to the peace process and by the entire membership body of the United Nations, as the leader of the organization promoted the agenda of a non-member state over those of a member.

The systemic anti-Israel bias in the United Nations is found in every corner, from the dozens of member states that refuse to recognize the Jewish State, to the Secretary General himself, who by now has become deeply stained in that toxic sea of anti-Semitism.


Related First One Through articles:

The United States Should NOT be a Neutral Mediator in the Arab-Israel Conflict

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

UN Secretary General Guterres is Losing the Confidence of Decent People

The UN Blesses Turkey’s Anti-Semitism and Terrorism

The UN on the Status of Jerusalem

The UN Cannot See Palestinian ‘Lies and Loathing’

New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

There’s Nothing Worse Than Terrorism in France

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Encourage the 7% and 44% of Palestinians

There are many flowery quotes about peace that are aspirational but difficult to achieve if your counterparty cannot recognize anything decent or moral about you. In the face of ongoing terrorism, an approach of “make peace with those who will make peace, and fight those who want to fight you” is appropriate while inelegant.

There are segments of Palestinians society that neither hate nor want to kill Jews and they should be actively engaged and promoted.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted a global poll about anti-Semitism and found that the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza were by far the most Jew-hating. Approximately 93% of those polled were found to harbor anti-Semitic prejudice.

The Palestinians polled themselves in June 2021 and asked the same question they ask every three months “Are you in favor of armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside of Israel?” Again, the majority of Palestinians, 52% either strongly support or support the idea; 44% opposed attacks.

These two polls are good examples about why the conflict continues: the majority of Palestinian Arabs despise and want to kill Jews.

But an optimist can look at the 7% of Palestinian Arabs who do not harbor anti-Semitic attitudes and the 44% who oppose attacking Jewish civilians and see a hopeful opening. Perhaps this segment of Palestinian society can rise above the systemic Jew-hatred and be partners for peace.

Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist who opposes BDS and actively engages with Jews to find common areas of trust.

While the Palestinian glass is far from half full, those wishing to see peace in the holy land should consider ways of promoting the sliver of Palestinians who recognize and support the dignity and basic human rights of Jews.


Related First One Through articles:

No One Mentions Actual Palestinians’ Sentiments

Will Palestinians Ever be Taught About the Holocaust?

The NY Times Will Not Write About the Preferred Violence of Palestinians

What the Palestinians Were Thinking While Israelis Were Voting

Thomas Friedman Thinks Palestinians are Crazy in the Margins, While Israel is Crazy in the Mainstream

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

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

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Abbas Failed To Capitalize on Trump’s Gift

Not long after Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, he made overtures to the Palestinians in the hopes of brokering a peace deal. He invited the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to the White House on May 3, 2017. They discussed tackling terrorism and building economic prosperity for Palestinian Arabs and the promise of working together to build a better future for the region.

Shortly thereafter, on May 23rd, President Trump visited Abbas in Bethlehem and reiterated the need to confront terrorism, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded…. The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever.  This wicked ideology must be obliterated — and I mean completely obliterated — and innocent life must be protected.”

Just a week later, Trump handed a peculiar gift to Abbas: on June 1 he removed the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

ANO was part of the October 1997 initial class of FTO’s along with HAMAS and Hizbullah. ANO carried out roughly 90 hijackings, assassinations and kidnappings of diplomats, and attacks on synagogues during the period 1974-1992 killing about 300 people to earn the FTO designation. The group targeted people viewed as moderates – including Palestinians – who contemplated the ongoing existence of the Jewish State. When Abu Nidal died in 2002, the group went inactive.

Which begs the question of why Trump took a 15-year defunct group off of the FTO list, right after meeting with Abbas.

Terrorist Sabri al-Banna, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Nidal

Abbas was (and remains) a very unpopular leader among Palestinian Arabs who have wanted him to resign according to each poll taken over the last many years, with 64% holding such opinion at the time of the Abbas-Trump meeting. Abbas polled to come in third in a theoretical three-candidate presidential race at that time!

So Trump threw Abbas a bone to boost his standing among Palestinians, to demonstrate that he could deliver results with the new U.S. President. It was arguably a meaningless gesture as the group was inactive, but it was symbolic in clearing the name of one of the most radical and notorious Palestinian terrorist groups.

In exchange for the Trump pardon of the ANO, Abbas advanced the idea of stopping the pay-to-slay program in which the PA paid the families of terrorists in Israeli jails. The proposal landed with a thud among the Palestinians, with a nearly unanimous 91% of Palestinians standing opposed to messing with the martyr-moolah.

Things then soured at the United Nations.

Abbas met with Trump on September 20, 2017 and voiced optimism regarding the efforts Trump’s team had made with over 20 meetings with Palestinian officials in the first months in office, but he then launched his habitual screed before the United Nations General Assembly with comments about Israeli Jews living in “East Jerusalem” which will “stir religious animosity and may lead to a violent religious conflict,… playing with fire … drag[ing] us into a religious war. This is dangerous, extremely dangerous for you and us,” in a not so subtle threat of a global jihad against Jews.

Abbas further threatened Jews and insulted Trump by declaring at the end of his speech “I salute our glorious martyrs and our courageous prisoners in Israeli jails,” to appease his Arab base. This embrace of terrorism and public challenge of Trump’s demand to stop rewarding terrorism was too much. Less than three months later, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State.

Abbas squandered Trump’s gift of removing an evil jihadist group from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations to gain Palestinian support. Instead, he elected to boost his own jihadi bona fides and stood before the world glorifying Palestinian terrorists who killed Israelis and threatening a global jihad if Jews continued to live in their holiest city of Jerusalem. Trump’s reaction was swift in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Abbas’s political self-immolation continues to burn to this day.


Related First One Through articles:

The US Recognizes Israel’s Reality

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

When Power Talks the Truth

Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

Trump Reverses the Carter and Obama Anti-Israel UN Resolutions

The Nerve of ‘Judaizing’ Neighborhoods

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

Considering Carter’s 1978 Letter Claiming Settlements Are Illegal

The Palestinian-American You Never Heard Of: Issam Akel

The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

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Proposed Lame-Duck Actions for Israel

In the waning days of the Obama-Biden administration, President Obama decided to stick a finger in the eyes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all Israelis, breaking with decades of U.S. policy allowing UNSC Resolution 2334 to pass, declaring that Israeli Jews living east of the 1949 Armistice Lines was illegal. The action set the stage for various BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movements of Israel around the world.

Now, as the Trump administration heads into its final days, it is also considering some parting actions, following up on its pro-Israel initiatives according to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Below are some recommendations.

At the United Nations

The hostility towards Israel at the United Nations has not abated. While the United States will not be able to get any pro-Israel items through the UN Security Council, it could set markers for future U.S. administrations.

  • Ending Phrase “occupied East Jerusalem” and “Haram al Sharif”. The UN regularly passes resolutions which are incorrect and insulting to the Jewish State. As all of Greater Jerusalem and Greater Bethlehem were separated in the 1947 UN Partition Plan (which did not pass) and the Jordanian annexation of eastern Jerusalem was illegal, there is no basis for calling the eastern part of the city as “occupied Palestinian territory.” Additionally, only calling Judaism’s most holy location, the Temple Mount, by its Islamic name is insulting. The US should declare that it will automatically oppose any resolution with such flawed verbiage, regardless of the contents of the resolution.
  • Dignity for Jews at the Temple Mount. UN resolutions routinely call for dignity of Palestinians but only security for Jews. They also calls for changing the status quo of Jerusalem but not for the holy sites. This outrage and hypocrisy is disgusting. A call for Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount at specific times just as the Muslims and Jews share the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron should be clearly articulated.
  • Biased Supporter of Israel. The Palestinians complain the United States is not a neutral mediator in trying to resolve the conflict. It should not be. Not only is Israel a strong American ally but the Palestinians have not abandoned the incitement and reward for terrorism. Further, until the UN stops singling out Israel in its resolutions, the U.S. should make abundantly clear that it will stand with Israel in the global forum and not pressure Israel into any concessions with the Palestinian Authority.

Refugees

The situation of Palestinian “refugees” going on for generations and not having self-determination must end. It is bad for the Palestinians and is bad for the peace process which cannot move forward as it undermines the very basis of two states for two people.

  • Prepare the Compensation Mechanism. UNGA Resolution 194 which passed in 1948, sought to bring refugees who fled the war back to their homes or compensate them for their losses, provided they were willing to live in peace with Israel. Many wars, intifadas, electing a Holocaust denier to the presidency and a terrorist group to the majority of parliament long sealed the fate of how this would play out. It is time to begin tabulating the compensation for ALL Palestinians who fled from the war (not just those under the UNRWA mandate). Similarly, compensation for the Jews who fled from Arab lands should also be calculated.
  • Demand Self-Determination Now. Every person as a human right to self-determination. The Palestinians who live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (even though almost all of them were born in those countries) should be granted citizenship and full rights in each respective country immediately. The people who live in Gaza, Areas A and B under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority should be able to vote in Palestinian elections, and all people – Jew and Arab – who live in Area C should be allowed to vote in Israel, if and until other dynamics change that administrative equation.
  • Dissolve UNRWA. The unique agency for Palestinians is bloated in terms of funding and personnel compared to the global UNHCR and foments hatred for the Jewish State. It’s duties should be folded into UNHCR immediately and ultimately the need for the group disappears with the actions taken above.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem has been home for the three monotheistic religions for over a thousand years, and only under the Modern State of Israel have all religions been able to live and pray in their holy city.

  • More Jewish homes. While the city has blossomed, it has done so very unevenly. The Arab population continues to grow dramatically (counter to the false claims that Israel is ‘ethnically cleansing’ the city), with the Arab population growing 38% between 2000 and 2010 and then 29% between 2010 and 2018. Meanwhile the Jewish population in the city only grew by 12% and 13% in those time periods, respectively. All of the growth for Jews was from births as there was actually a net migration out of the city of thousands of people (6,000 in 2018 alone) because of limited housing and costs. The US should support the building of additional homes in and around Jerusalem.
Muslim population of 196,900; 272,000; 349,600 and 439,600; 491,800; 555,800 for Jews

Security

Israel has the terrorists group Hezbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza at its borders. Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism which supports both groups, has threatened to wipe Israel off of the map. The Obama administration gave over $100 billion to Iran and a legal pathway to nuclear weapons threating the survival of Israel.

  • Bunker Busters. The United States is one of the few countries that has the weaponry to blast underground facilities. These armaments should be sold to Israel to enable it to deal with the nuclear facilities in Iran and the missiles in Lebanon.
  • Palestinian Terrorists. The US should make clear that no terrorist group will be allowed in a Palestinian government. Should any group not give up all weapons to the Palestinian Authority and commit to recognize Israel in becoming part of a Palestinian government, the US should cease all aid in all forms to the Palestinians, and label the PA itself a terrorist group.
  • Terrorism in Territories. The State Department under the Obama administration gave scant attention to terrorism that was not committed in Israel proper. Such approach fueled additional terror. It is bad enough when the UN and BBC blame the victims, but the US should make clear that any and all terrorism committed anywhere is appalling and commit to fighting terrorism aggressively, something the Obama administration only did for other countries.

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is found throughout the world both in official laws and in civilian actions. The United States should encourage other countries to join Israel in routing this global scourge.

  • Jews Should Never Be Banned. The world has a long history of placing Jews in ghettoes and determining where they can and cannot live. It’s a disgrace. Israel is not the world’s Pale of Settlement and Jews should be allowed to live and work anywhere. Anti-settlements is anti-Semitism in its core and should be called out as such. The U.S. should call on all governments to condemn the notion of “Judaizing” a neighborhood, regardless of where it is located.
  • Anti-Kosher/Halal and Anti-Circumcision Bills. Many governments are advancing laws targeting Jews and Muslims, making it impossible to live peacefully as neighbors. The U.S. should be a beacon of openness by calling out anti-circumcision and anti-ritual slaughter laws which are thinly-veiled methods of getting rid of Jews and Muslims.

Overall, the Trump administration should recommit to the 2004 President Bush letter to Ariel Sharon which gave Israel assurances to take risks for peace. The formula led Israel to give up Gaza which rapidly became a hotbed for radical Islam and terrorism. There is no chance Israel will take any future actions to make additional concessions to the PA which not only give it moral support but guarantees for its dignity and security.

The politeness of politics catering to anti-Semites has hindered the promotion of Jewish rights for too long. The Trump administration can still take actions to right these historical wrongs.


Related First One Through articles:

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Squeezing Zionism

Anti-“Settlements” is Anti-Semitism

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NY Times Tries Hard to Paint Obama/Biden as Pacifists and Trump as Mercenary

It must be especially galling to the left-wing media that an outlandish person like Donald Trump could forge peace deals in the Middle East while its patron saints in the Obama administration could not.

Consider the deliberate twisting of facts in The New York Times on September 24, 2020 about U.S. arm sales to Saudi Arabia. In a “News Analysis” section called “A Fraying Rationale for U.S. Aid to the Saudis in Yemen,” the Times wrote that

“Mr. Trump decided in early 2017 to restart arms sales to the Gulf Arab nations that President Barack Obama had halted in late 2016.”

The sheer audacity of this line in the Times is outrageous.

Obama’s term ENDED in “late 2016.” From 2009 to 2015, the Obama administration sold more weapons to foreign countries than any administration in U.S. history – particularly to Saudi Arabia. Obama’s penchant for arms sales was so egregious that even liberal media firms like Vice were appalled, writing an article as Obama left office in January 2017, “Obama’s Administration Sold More Weapons Than Any Other Since World War II.” The sub-header to the article was “Many were sold to the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.” The article noted that “Under Obama the overall sales, pending delivery of equipment and specialised training for troops, to Saudi Arabia alone has ballooned to $115 billion.” At the time of the article, the war Saudis were participating in in Yemen was well under way with “over 10,000 killed2.2 million displaced and nearly half a million children on the brink of famine from the ensuing crisis.

While the Times was factually accurate that in Obama’s final month of his presidency he halted the sale of precision-guided munitions, it was only of that particular weaponry and only after eight years of selling the Saudis over $100 billion in arms!

New York Times article written to paint Obama and Biden as pacifists and Trump as a mercenary on September 24, 2020, coupling a picture of destruction in Yemen with one of Trump with the Saudis sitting comfortably in the White House striking deals.

The Times article stated that “current and former administration officials, as well as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, say American involvement [in selling Saudi’s weapons] must end.” That’s quite a bit of “malarkey” as Biden would say, having been second in command in an administration that sold $115 billion in arms to the Saudis.

The Times added that “the State Department, starting in the Obama administration, sent a senior level official, Larry Lewis, on frequent trips to Saudi Arabia to advise on civilian harm,” making the Democrats appear worried about the death to civilians, but “the next year Trump administration officials pushed him [Lewis] out of the agency,” making Team Trump appear callous.

The attack on Trump continued to cast him as a simple arms merchant and uncaring of the damage done by the weapons: “Mr. Trump has offered a more transactional rationale [for selling arms to the Saudis]: that the United States should continue to sell weapons for the money. “They have nothing but money. Nothing but cash, and they pay us now.“”

The foreign policy failures of the Obama administration in the Middle East were plentiful, ranging from giving Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, a legal pathway to nuclear weapons; selling more weapons to Arab countries that any administration in history as a counter-balance the blessing of a nuclear-emboldened Iran; watching the arms sales be used to pound Yemen, the poorest country in the world, into sand; watching the plane-loads of cash sent to Iran get funneled into terrorist groups; failing miserably in negotiating between Israel and the Palestinians leading to Gaza wars in 2012 and 2014 and the stabbing intifada of 2015, to name but a few.

While U.S. voters don’t rank foreign affairs high on their priority list, The Times doesn’t want to take a chance.

During this particularly contentious election, The Times is actively recasting Obama and Biden as pacifists and Trump as a cold mercenary when in fact it was the Obama administration which enabled death and destruction in the Middle East and Trump who forged peace agreements in the region.


Related First One Through articles:

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

Some Global Supporters of the P5+1 Iran Deal

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

The Arab Spring Blooms in the UAE

The United States Should NOT be a Neutral Mediator in the Arab-Israel Conflict

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Schrodinger’s Cat and Oslo’s Egg

Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger developed a thought experiment in 1935 in which he tried to explain a situation of a cat existing in a dual state – both dead and alive – as a way of explaining quantum mechanics. In the experiment, a cat in a sealed box may or may not have been exposed to a poison and killed. Only when the box is lifted, is the cat revealed to be one of the two states. The example demonstrates the divide between reality inside the box which is only known to the cat and the two possible outcomes considered by the blind observer.

The situation of the Israeli-Arab Conflict can be viewed in such a manner, particularly regarding the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995.

Since the League of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations) supported the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland one hundred years ago, the Arab world fought to destroy it. From riots to wars to terrorist attacks, the surrounding Arab countries and Arab residents in Palestine took upon themselves a jihad to annihilate the Jewish State.

The Oslo Accords seemed to reverse that course. On its face, the Palestinians appeared willing to lay down their arms and accept the existence of Israel subject to a variety of terms. Israel signed the agreement and handed the newly created Palestinian Authority several cities to govern. Over the next five years, despite numerous terrorist attacks, the Israelis continued to try to forge a deal together with the assistance of the United States.

Details of the negotiations were kept under wraps, much like Schrodinger’s cat. The world was hopeful that the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs would be able to conclude a lasting peace agreement. To the outside observers, there was the open reality of Arabs killing Jews and a Hamas charter which completely rejected Israel’s existence but the active involvement of the Clinton administration made people hopeful that peace would emerge at the end of the five year interim agreement in September 2000.

However, Yasser Arafat was unhappy to not get every item he desired in the negotiations and launched the deadly Second Intifada, killing and maiming thousands of civilians. President Bill Clinton told Arafat that he missed the best peace deal the Palestinians would ever see and bemoaned “I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.

Arafat smashed the covered Israeli dove egg before it was hatched.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, U.S. President Bill Clinton and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat at Camp David, July 2000

The Arab League tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again and save the Palestinians from the scorn of the world. It put forth the Arab Peace Initiative (API) in 2002 which basically repeated the Palestinians demands, with the promise of the full recognition of Israel by the Arab and Muslim world. While Israel rejected those specific parameters, it began to take steps to give the Palestinians additional land once it secured assurances from the U.S. George W Bush administration in 2004 that it would not have to adhere to exact terms of the API.

U.S. President Barack Obama pivoted and put significant pressure on Israel towards the API once he took office in 2009. Under Secretary of State John Kerry, Israelis and the Palestinian Authority (PA) worked under secrecy through the Spring 2014 to try to arrive at a final settlement. The world waited to see if the Second Intifada and Gaza Wars of 2008 and 2012 were going to be shadows of the past, and the imagined Obama magic would render Humpty Dumpty viable again.

But it was not to be. The PA signed a unity government with the terrorist group Hamas and Israel refused to hand over the last batch of prisoners as part of “good faith” measures as Kerry had inserted murderers on the list. Within weeks, the situation rapidly devolved into an intense war in Gaza. This time, the Obama administration blamed the failure on Israel, and ultimately allowed a United Nations resolution to pass in the waning days of its administration labeling the West Bank as “Palestinian territory” which Israel illegally occupies.

Humpty Dumpty has now observed to be shattered and dead for the second time. The only change in 2014 from 2000 was the charge of the U.S. administration as to the cause for the failure, which fanned the flames of antisemitism throughout Europe during the 2014 war with Hamas.

The Trump administration recognized the results of the various failed peace initiatives and laid out a new road map to coexistence which more closely resembled the desires of America’s ally, Israel, rather than the API which parroted Palestinian demands. The Palestinians have refused to engage with the administration and no secret talks are enabling the imagination to ponder whether the possibility of peace is alive or dead.

Today, there is no Oslo egg in Schrodinger’s box waiting to be hatched, but a single reality for everyone to recognize.


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While Lying About Israel, Democrats Demand Nothing of Palestinians

Thirty Democratic politicians under the Obama and Clinton administrations sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee on May 4, 2020. The letter began by completely misleading its audience which led directly into slandering Israel and absolving Arabs of any responsibility.

The letter stated

“Past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally, in addition to embracing a two-state outcome. Those platforms have, however, also been nearly silent on the rights of Palestinians, on Israeli actions that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution, and on the need for security for both peoples.”

The phrase “embracing a “two-state solution” completely misleads a reader to believing that the Democratic party platform as recently as 2008 (pre-Obama) supported the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative (1967 “borders”; Arab capital in “East Jerusalem,” repatriation of “refugees”). IT DID NOT. It envisioned a completely different kind of two-state outcome.

  • Borders: The 2008 DNC platform stated ““All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.” Today, Democrats talk about the “1967 borders” as the natural orientation of the two-states, but that was not their historic vision because those “armistice lines of 1949” were never designed by the parties at that time or after to become borders.
  • Jerusalem: The DNC was clear in 2008 that  “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.” But the Democrats today are pushing for Israel to hand over half of its capital including the holiest sites for Judaism.

“Israeli actions” of living beyond the armistice lines including in eastern Jerusalem was something Democrats always supported until the Obama administration changed the party platform. These Obama employees who crafted the letter claim that Jews living freely somehow “undermines rights” of Palestinians. It does nothing of the sort.

The 2008 platform continued that the United States should isolate Hamas (Jimmy Carter still loves the terrorist group) and added that all “refugees” would be settled in a new Palestinian state, not in Israel. Under Obama, the statements were removed.

In 2012 and 2016, the Democratic platform became increasing less supportive and increasingly harsh in its treatment of Israel and has demanded less and less of the Palestinians.

Consider a simple desire from 2008: “a democratic, viable Palestinian state dedicated to living in peace and security side by side with the Jewish State of Israel.” The new letter makes no requirement of Palestinians living in peace. Instead, it just holds up Palestinian rights:

“The 2020 platform should expressly state a commitment to a resolution of the conflict that ensures both Israel’s security and future as a Jewish and democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens, as well as Palestinian rights, including self-determination, security and freedom. It should include clear opposition to ongoing occupation, settlement expansion and any form of unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank as well as clear opposition to violence, terrorism and incitement from all sides.”

Note that these Democrats seek an Israel that is “democratic with equal rights for all its citizens,” but says nothing about a new state of Palestine and demands nothing.

  • No demand to abolish the Palestinian law which calls for the death sentence for any Arab selling land to a Jew
  • No call for Palestine to be a democracy and move away from sharia law
  • No call for allowing Jews to live throughout the land
  • No call for allowing Jews to pray at their holy sites
  • No call for striking the Palestinian law which allows for men to get a light sentence for honor killings of women in their families

Past party platforms never used the word “occupation” as Democrats once understood that international law for the past 100 years encouraged Jews to live throughout historic Palestine, understood that the 1949 Armistice lines were arbitrary and not meant to be a border, and that Israel retook the “West Bank” in a defensive battle. It was only under the watch of these same thirty Democrats who blessed the Arab demand for a Jew-free state and therefore enabled UN Security Resolution 2334 (2016) declaring Jews living peacefully in their ancient holy land as illegal. THEY MADE a basic human right illegal, and now chastise Israel for ignoring their antisemitic actions. #ResistUN

Not only are Democrats standing tall by the horrific Obama decision at the UN, but are pushing forward with attacking Israel and asking nothing of the Palestinians: a sharia-inspired Jew-free state for Palestinians and a state with full equality and no preferences for Jews in Israel which should absorb millions of additional Arabs. It’s a two state solution based on 1.5 states for Arabs and 0.5 of a state for Israel.

Ben Rhodes, Former Deputy National Security Adviser in Obama administration

The letter penned by Obama’s politicians which argued for “a commitment to security, democracy, and human rights,” failed to seek democracy for Palestinians and human rights for Israeli Jews. It demonstrates that Israel is not becoming a wedge issue for American politicians but a symbol of Democrats abandoning the western world. Israel is just the first casualty of the their headlong embrace of non-Democratic antisemitic norms found in countries around the globe.


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The Joy of Lecturing Jews

Trump Reverses the Carter and Obama Anti-Israel UN Resolutions

The Obama Administration Continues to Abandon Israel in Fighting Terror

J Street: Home for Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Peace Americans

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

Obama supports Anti-Semitic Palestinian Agenda of Jew-Free State

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The “1967 Borders” (music by The Kinks)