Nikki Haley Channels Robert Aumann at the UN Security Council

On February 20, 2018, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed the UN Security Council about the situation in the Middle East. Her remarks showed negotiating skills that were woefully absent during the eight years of ineptitude under the Obama administration. It was as stark as if Haley had been advised by masters of negotiation rather than community organizers. And I am not referring to President Donald Trump, author of “Art of the Deal” compared to Barack Obama. I write of Robert Aumann.


2005 Nobel Prize winner in economics, Robert J. Aumann

Aumann on the Middle East Conflict

Noted Israeli Robert J. Aumann won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2005 for his lifetime of remarkable work in “game theory,” also known as interactive decision theory. Aumann studied how people make decisions under different scenarios, such as encounters between strangers compared to negotiations between parties that will deal with each other many times in the future. According to Aumann, in a situation in which parties will only encounter each other a single time, there is pressure to make a deal and maximize gains. If the two parties know that they will be encountering each other for a long time, then the dynamics of the negotiations are completely different.

On December 8, 2005, as Aumann was accepting his Nobel prize, he said the following about war and peace (32:40):

“You must not be too eager for immediate results. The present, the now, must not be too important for you. If you want peace now, you may well never get peace. But if you have time, if you can wait, that changes the whole picture. Then, you may get peace now. If you don’t want it, you may get it. It is one of those paradoxical upside-down insights of game theory, and indeed, in much of science…. Wanting peace now may prevent peace now. Wanting peace now may prevent you from ever getting it, not now and not in the future. But if you can wait, maybe you can get it now.”

Aumann added that the dynamic in negotiations needed to be coupled with the concept of punishment; that the actions of the two participating players would be met with responses not just from the counter-party, but outside forces (like the rule of law). However, if the intensity of the punishment was too great, the parties could conceivably view a long-term situation as a one-shot deal. Balanced pressure is the key for parties to avoid taking absolute positions and make compromises.

Aumann’s comments were both general in nature and directly related to the Middle East conflict. He made that perfectly clear in an article he wrote for aish.com about The Blackmailer Paradox, which is worth reading in full. Here is an excerpt:

“The political relationship between Israel and Arab countries is also conducted according to the principles of this paradox. The Arabs present rigid and unreasonable opening positions at every negotiation. They convey confidence and assurance in their demands, and make certain to make absolutely clear to Israel that they will never give up on any of these requirements.

Absent an alternative, Israel is forced to yield to blackmail due to the perception that it will leave the negotiating room with nothing if it is inflexible. The most prominent example of this is the negotiations with the Syrians that have been conducted already for a number of years under various auspices. The Syrians made certain to clarify in advance that they will never yield even an inch of the Golan Heights.

The Israeli side, which so desperately seek a peace agreement with Syria, accept Syria’s position, and today, in the public discourse in Israel, it is clear that the starting point for future negotiations with Syria must include a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, despite the critical strategic importance of the Golan Heights to ensure clear boundaries that protect Israel.”

Aumann goes on to argue that for peace to be achieved, Israel must make three basic changes to its position: 1) a willingness to renounce agreements; 2) a consideration of repeated games; and 3) faith in its positions. Conviction coupled with seriousness and the understanding that the parties will continue to deal with each other is the pathway to an enduring solution.

Obama on the Middle East Conflict

The United Nations has a long history of abusing the State of Israel. President Obama joined that global abuse as the US took many steps to distance itself from the Jewish State as well. But Obama took no such actions against the Palestinian Authority.

Free of any external pressure, the Palestinian Authority took the messages of Aumann to heart and held fast to the three tenants above. They were given a wide berth and global absolution for their crimes against humanity and their failures to advance the peace process. Without even subtle external pressure, the intransigence set in and the PA scuttled any peace talks.

Meanwhile, Israel collapsed under Obama on all three points. It was compelled to publicly state its support for a two state solution which may-or-may-not be the best outcome for an enduring peace. It was repeatedly pushed for “good will gestures” that showed that Israel would take immediate action and would not walk away from the table. And far-left wing organizations such as J Street and the New Israel Fund actively undermined the faith and conviction that Jews have a basic human right to live in homes that they legally purchase.

The peace process was left in shambles.

The Trump Administration on the Middle East Conflict

The Trump administration has taken a decidedly different tack on the Middle East conflict. It has removed the heavy hand pressuring Israel and has begun to apply some pressure on the Palestinian Authority, including withholding some direct and indirect funds.

At the UN Security Council, Haley also sought to set the stage for a lasting peace, by reminding the parties that this is not a one-shot deal, and that America is willing to wait for the parties to be serious about peace negotiations.

“I sit here today offering the outstretched hand of the United States to the Palestinian people in the cause of peace. We are fully prepared to look to a future of prosperity and co-existence. We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today.

But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.

The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people.

Or, there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it…

Putting forward old talking points and entrenched and undeveloped concepts achieves nothing. That approach has been tried many times, and has always failed. After so many decades, we welcome new thinking.

As I mentioned in this meeting last month, the United States stands ready to work with the Palestinian leadership.

Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”


Nikki Haley with Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt at the United Nations
February 20, 2018

Haley understood that the pathway to an enduring peace lies with balanced pressure coupled with the ability to take a patient long-term approach, just as Robert Aumann’s lifetime of research demonstrated.

Hopefully, the new tactics will yield success.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Failing Negotiation 101: The United States

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

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Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

On September 20, 2016, US President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. His passing comment on Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict underscored why peace did not advance, and his relationship with Israel worsened over his term.

obama-un2016
US President Barack Obama addressing the United Nations
September 20, 2016

Obama’s UN remarks covered a lot of activities during his eight years in office, including the Iranian nuclear deal; opening relations with Cuba; and tackling climate change. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict very briefly, but the remark was telling:

“…surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.  We all have to do better as leaders in tamping down, rather than encouraging, a notion of identity that leads us to diminish others.”

“Palestinian land.”  What exactly is Palestinian land, according to the parties themselves? According to the United States? According to Obama?

Oslo Agreements

Since 1993, successive US governments have stood behind the Oslo Accords signed by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, and its successor document, Oslo II signed in 1995.  That document was the last agreement signed by the two parties to settle the “Question of Palestine.”

Oslo II clearly spelled out what was “Palestinian land” to be fully governed by the Palestinian Authority in regards to military and civil administration.  That area is known as “Area A” in EGL (east of the Green Line) and the Gaza Strip.  Israel handed over all of that land to the Palestinians over a decade ago.

“Area B” in EGL/west bank of the Jordan River, is a mixed territory, in which the Palestinian Authority has responsibilities for civil matters, and military matters are coordinated jointly.  That land is neither “Palestinian Authority” nor “Israeli” exclusively.

“Area C” makes up the majority of EGL, and is “Israeli Territory,” in which Israel administers all matters, including civil and security responsibilities.

egl
Map showing Areas A, B and C, east of the Green Line

The Israelis and Palestinians negotiated and agreed to the contours of these three blocks.  The parties also worked on a plan for additional land to be transferred from “Israeli Territory” to “Palestinian Authority Territory” over the years 1995 to 2000.  However, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) rejected those negotiations at the last moment, and launched the Second Intifada in September 2000, as the interim Oslo II Accord was due to become permanent.  As such, no additional transfer from Israeli Territory to Palestinian Authority Territory has occurred.

As every US administration has pushed for the two parties to negotiate a two-state agreement on the basis of the Oslo Accords, there is NO BASIS for Obama to refer to Area C as “Palestinian Land.”  That land will continue to be Israeli land until such time as they agree to transfer parts of it to the PA.

As there is no Israeli “occupation” or “settlement” activity in the Israeli territory of Area C, Obama’s mischaracterization of Israeli actions in that land that they legally administer explains his comments and treatment of Israel since he took office in 2009.

Mandate of Palestine

It is also worth noting that international law, established in the 1920 San Remo agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, specifically gave Jews the legal rights to live and settle throughout Judea and Samaria (the entity known as EGL/West Bank did not even exist when five Arab armies illegally attacked Israel (1948-9) and Jordan annexed the region in 1950.)

The Palestine Mandate stated:

secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion” (Article 1) Jews were to have full civil rights throughout Palestine, such as buying and building homes.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.” (Article 5) which Britain did anyway when it separated the east bank of the Jordan River to the Hashemite Kingdom, but which wasn’t a foreign power.

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” (Article 6) specifically stating that Jews were to settle throughout Palestine, including lands that Obama believes Jews “occupy”.

The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.” (Article 7) in which Jews do not only move and settle the land, but become citizens of the country if they live ANYWHERE in the land, including Judea and Samaria.

No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” (Article 15) clearly states that no person should be barred from living anywhere in the land just because they are Jewish – as if human rights law wasn’t enough.

International law – and human rights law – clearly allow Jews to live throughout EGL/the West Bank. The Oslo Accords signed between the parties specifically state that Israel controls all of Area C until such time as the parties negotiate the transfer of more lands.

The notion that Jews living in houses that they have every legal and moral right to live in, is somehow connected to Obama’s belief of a “permanent occupation of Palestinian land” is false, misleading and arguably anti-Semitic on every level.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The Illogic of Land Swaps

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

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

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

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The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

There is a commonly held thought that if society understood the root cause of a problem, it would be able to arrive at solutions. Such reasoning implies that diagnosis is an essential part of solving the problem.

One of the major problems confronting the world in the 21st century is terrorism. Innocent civilians are being murdered and maimed in such diverse places as: Bangladesh; Turkey; France; United States; Nigeria; Israel; India; England and Libya. Stopping such violence is a global priority.

In attempting to stop the scourge, the United Nations and the United States made a common diagnosis and prescription for stopping terrorism: poverty leads to despair and violence, so solving global poverty would eradicate terrorism.

The problem with the diagnosis is that it has no basis in fact.

The United Nations on Poverty and Terrorism

The UN developed a global counter terrorism strategy which called on all of its member states to take a series of steps to eradicate terrorism. It stated:

Affirming Member States’ determination to continue to do all they can to resolve conflict, end foreign occupation, confront oppression, eradicate poverty, promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development, global prosperity, good governance, human rights for all and rule of law, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs or cultures” would promote stability and end terrorism.

The UN repeated its call for economic opportunity for all as a cure for stopping the mass murder of innocents in its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:

“To reiterate our determination to ensure the timely and full realization of the development goals and objectives agreed at the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the Millennium Development Goals. We reaffirm our commitment to eradicate poverty and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all.”

While no one would suggest that poverty is positive, it also true that pollution and disease are problems plaguing our global society. Yet the UN had enough sense to not include those issues in a document meant to specifically address terrorism (yet- is global warming coming?).

The Obama Administration was in sync with this line of thinking.

The United States on Poverty and Terrorism

In February 2015, after terrorists beheaded Christians on a beach in Libya, the US State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf said that the root cause of extremism was poverty:

“the root causes that lead people to join these [terrorist] groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs…we can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance, we can help them build their economy so they can have job opportunities for these people….If we can help countries work at the root causes of this- what makes a 17-year old kid pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business, maybe we can try to chip away at this problem.”

President Obama made similar remarks about Countering Violent Extremism at a summit at the same time where he said:

“we must address the grievances that terrorists exploit, including economic grievances.  As I said yesterday, poverty alone does not cause a person to become a terrorist, any more than poverty alone causes someone to become a criminal.  There are millions, billions of people who are poor and are law-abiding and peaceful and tolerant, and are trying to advance their lives and the opportunities for their families. 

But when people — especially young people — feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities, where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families, and no escape from injustice and the humiliations of corruption — that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.  And we have seen that across the Middle East and we’ve seen it across North Africa.  So if we’re serious about countering violent extremism, we have to get serious about confronting these economic grievances.”

obama-1
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department in Washington
February 19, 2015. (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

The United Nations and the Obama administration were lock-step in finding the root cause of terrorism.  Insanity had company.

No Connection Between Poverty and Terrorism

The UN and the Obama Administration have repeated this poverty propaganda without any evidence, or more specifically, despite the evidence.

Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 was from a wealthly family, as were many of the hijackers on the planes.

The terrorism that struck Bangladesh in July 2016 was perpetrated by wealthy men that attended elite universities.

This is often the norm.

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study in September 2002 that found no connection between poverty and terrorism.  Among its findings was that racism and nationalism was behind the widespread support for killing Israeli Jewish civilians among Palestinian Arabs of all income levels.

A report by the Brookings Institute in 2010 authored by Corinne Graff noted that:

“since 9/11, terrorism experts have invoked empirical evidence that poverty does not correlate with a higher incidence of terrorist attacks and participation. The consensus appears to be that poverty does not motivate individuals to participate in terrorism, and that development assistance, therefore, has no place in a longer-term counter-terrorism strategy.”

The New York Times also came around to reporting this conclusion on March 27, 2016, in an article called “Who Will Become a Terrorist? Research Yields Few Clues.” The article discussed how there is little correlation between an a person’s education and poverty level with the probability he will engage in acts of terrorism. For example, the shooters in San Bernardino, CA in December 2015 were a middle class couple.

Yet the global body of the United Nations, and the most powerful democracy on the planet, the United States, are working on combatting terrorism with a flawed world view.

Ramifications

There are many ramifications of chasing a myth.  The implications are enormous when the subject is combatting global terrorism.

President Obama was correct when he called out the “warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL” that use “their propaganda to Muslim communities, particularly Muslim youth” to advance a program to kill innocents. He is also correct that “Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back” against these dangerous notions.

All citizens of the world have a similar responsibility to push back against the Obama administration and the United Nations that is pivoting the focus of counter-terrorism to economic development. The tactic to fight against twisted ideologies cannot be to give those communities more jobs and money.  Such thinking led the Obama administration to give the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, an estimated $150 billion and a legal pathway to obtain ballistic missiles, while keeping its nuclear infrastructure in place. The Obama administration logic that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be so happy to have the money and be embraced by the global community, that it will abandon sponsoring terrorism and its twisted ideology, has (yet) to play out.

Meanwhile, the world does little to combat the narrative and ideology itself.

In Gaza, the United Nations has allowed the Hamas government to ban the teaching of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools, and the teaching of global human rights.  Instead, UN Secretary General just talks about providing economic opportunity to Gaza.  When the UNSG said that he stands with Gaza, while never pushing to reform the thinking of the Palestinian Arabs, what message does he think he is conveying?

There was a thin line that separated the “Hope” that characterized the election of Obama in 2008, and the “wishful thinking” without basis in fact, that Obama’s detractors feared.  The trauma of global terrorism that has spread on his watch is anchored in a worldview that often denies uncomfortable truths and replaces it with a propaganda of his own.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

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The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016.  He gave an outline of a speech in four parts: economic opportunity; technology; a safe America; and politics, as he projected a future world ten-plus years out.

obama 2016 SOTU
Obama State of the Union Address
January 12, 2016 (photo:  M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO)

Safe America: Regarding a safe America, Obama continued to limit his global enemies to two parties: al Qaeda and ISIL/ Islamic State. Other countries that shout “Death to America! Death to Israel” like Iran were not labeled enemies that threaten the USA.  Obama mentioned Iran just a single time, when he extolled the “principled diplomacy” that “avoided another war.”  That may have been true in 2015.  But the future in ten-plus years that he facilitated, is a nuclear weapons-armed Iran.

A fanatical, anti-Semitic, America-bashing country with weapons of mass destruction is not a recipe to “keep America safe.”  Unless, of course, Obama has banked on Iran limiting its attack only against Israel, as he doubts that Iran would consider attacking the “most powerful nation on Earth.

Politics of religions: When Obama delved into politics, he not-so-subtly put Donald Trump in his crosshairs as he said “When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.  That’s not telling it like it is.  It’s just wrong.  It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.  It makes it harder to achieve our goals.  And it betrays who we are as a country.

Obama berated Trump for his comments about Muslims in the past. This time, he extended his comments passed the politics of Trump, to anti-Muslim actions in the United States generally.  While he repeated prior statements that anti-Muslim actions betray the values of the United States, he added the dimension that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  The two additions are noteworthy.

As detailed in “Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism” an average American Jew is over TWICE as likely to be attacked as either a Muslim or black American.  Yet anti-Semitism is never flagged by Obama.  That is actually too kind.  Anti-Semitic attacks are often whitewashed by the Obama administration, such as his denial that Jews were targeted in Paris in January 2015.

Obama’s SOTU remarks add some color to his blindness.  He is concerned that Islamophobia “diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”  Not so anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has a long history in the world.  Over the past eighteen months it has reared it’s ugly head again in Europe. It is pervasive in the Middle East.  As such, flagging anti-Semitism may diminish America’s standing in the world.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and only 16 million Jews, a 100:1 ratio.  Islamophobia upsets at least 1.6 billion people and few seem to notice or care about the more prevalent anti-Semitism.  So Obama omitted discussing anti-Semitism and only highlighted the less common attacks on Muslims.

 

In his seventh year as president of the United States, Obama finally made his views on anti-Semitism a little more clear: Jews and Israel are small sacrifices to ensure a safer America.


Related First.One.Through articles:

“Jews as a Class”

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

Bibi’s Paris Speech in Context

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Joe Biden Stabs a Finger at Israel

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Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

On January 12, 2016, The New York Times ran a cover story entitled “Balancing Terror and Reality in the State of the Union Address.” The article conveyed that President Obama will address the threat of terrorism against U.S. interests, even though such threats are actuality relatively minor.  As Americans are nervous due to all of the terrorism they see in the world, Obama will discuss an issue he would rather minimize.  As such, the guests that will accompany the First Lady to the speech include several people from the military, veterans and a police officer.

The long list of defense personnel guests masks the message of compassion in a veneer of strength.  As the White House press release said,the [invited] guests personify President Obama’s time in office and most importantly, they represent who we are as Americans: inclusive and compassionate, innovative and courageous.”  Most of the military guests will be props for Obama to discuss: the fight against homelessness; women’s rights; Islam is a religion of peace; and monitoring the police force.

Obama’s message is that while there is a fight against terrorism, it is a secondary concern.  The seven years of his administration were not primarily about keeping the country safe, but moving forward on a progressive agenda.

For example, another guest at the SOTU address was the lead plaintiff for the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, Jim Obergefell.  He described his fight for equality as “liv[ing] up to the promises to love, honor and protect each other.”  The case was decided by the Supreme Court, not the executive branch, but it symbolized a step forward in “inclusiveness and compassion.”

The year 2015 also had lowlights on these exact points of inclusion, compassion and protection.

Protecting Children from Terrorism

On 9/11/2001, 2,753 people in New York City were murdered in acts of terrorism.  Over the next fourteen years, the city had numerous failed terrorist attempts (such as the Times Square bomber) which also included “softer” targets.  The city therefore placed more security around public schools to protect children.

The largest Jewish population in America is in New York City and the surrounding counties.  That religious community suffers from the most persecution, where 57% of all anti-religious crimes were against Jews. As Jewish schools and synagogues were also targeted by terrorists, New York City advanced a bill to provide security to religious private schools.

Leading activists and politicians in the LGBT community were appalled.

LGBT Hate for the Bible and
Children that Learn the Bible

Rosie Mendez, a Manhattan Democrat, lobbied aggressively against providing security guards for Jewish children at private schools. She said: “As a member of the LGBT community, I know that a lot of these schools discriminate against us and if the city is going to provide any kind of funding, the schools should not be discriminatory.”

New York Councilmember Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights said together with Mendez that “often their [Jewish] leaders embrace homophobia, transphobia, and other horrific ideologies, and subject our young people to them on a daily basis in the classroom. It is our duty to protect LGBTQ students in every school. We must not bankroll hate with tax dollars.”

Press Conference held by Irish Queers re: St. Patricks Day Parade. Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers, Council Members Danny Dromm and Rosie Mendes, Allen Roskoff of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and a representative of Manhattan Borough Pres. Gail Brewer. MATTHEW McMORROW of the Empire State Pride Agenda.

Council Members Danny Dromm and Rosie Mendez (photo: Donna Aceto)

In other words, because the Bible says that male homosexual acts are a sin, and the religious schools teach the Bible, these politicians do not want children in religious schools to be afforded the same police protection that children in public schools receive.  Whether the topic of homosexual sex ever comes up in school is irrelevant (the Bible is thousands of pages long and the prohibition against gay sex is a single sentence- do the schools really “subject our young people to [anti-gay rhetoric] on a daily basis?”).  The Bible also prohibits eating pig.  Should everyone who eats bacon argue that police should not protect any children in a school that teaches the Bible, since they are offended by the Bible’s contents?

What does protecting children from potential terrorism have to do with a school’s curriculum? Would these councilmembers be comfortable if these young children were murdered?

The statements are thinly veiled masks for anti-Semitism.

Dromm and Mendez weren’t alone in attempting to block police protection for religious schools because of their distaste for the Bible.

Allen Roskoff, president of the LGBT Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, was strongly opposed to funding police for religious private schools, saying “religious institutions pushing this bill have a long history and present-day reality of discriminating against the gay community. Why should they be able to discriminate on our dime?”

Gay civil libertarian Bill Dobbs said, “religious freedom does not mean socking overburdened taxpayers for special treatment worth hundreds of millions. Religious freedom means don’t disturb religion, it doesn’t mean you throw your wallet their way.”

Note that the bill was not “special treatment” for the religious schools, but one that was drafted to give private school students the same police protection that are given to public school students.

LGBT Hate of “Jewish Money”

Rosie Mendez continued to spew anti-Semitic hatred.  She accused New York City Mayor Bill Di Blasio of caving to the security request because “he’s trying to acquiesce to the lobbyists, to the religious community that has been looking for money for their private schools.”  She invoked an old anti-Semitic canard that Jews don’t even care about children’s safety- they’re only out for the money.


While Obama reluctantly addresses terrorism during his State of the Union address, he must remember that protecting the people of the United States is the primary responsibility of the government.  Not only is freedom of speech and religion protected in the First Amendment, but the physical protection of every individual underscores the entire reason for having governmental institutions.

When Obama joins the LGBT community to celebrate achieving equal rights, they must all remember that inclusion, compassion and protection extends to every single citizen – even Jewish children that learn the Bible.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

Jews in the Midst

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The Obama Administration Lays Foundation of Blame at Israel for a Potential War with Iran

President Obama has not only begun to lobby aggressively to win support for the P5+1 deal on the Iranian nuclear program, he has begun to lay the foundation of blame for a potential war squarely on Israel.

epa04873202 US President Barack Obama delivers a speech on the nuclear deal with Iran, at American University's School of International Service, in Washington DC, USA, 05 August 2015. Obama urged Americans to accept a controversial nuclear deal with Iran in spite of criticism from Republican lawmakers. The speech evoked late US President John F. Kennedy's 1963 USSR speech at American University during the height of the Cold War.  EPA/PETE MAROVICH / POOL ORG XMIT: MHR02

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech on the nuclear deal with Iran, at American University’s School of International Service, in Washington DC, USA, 05 August 2015. (photo: EPA/PETE MAROVICH / POOL ORG XMIT: MHR02)

Diplomacy or War?

  • US President Barack Obama: “Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon… How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?August 5, 2015

What does the world want?

  • US President Barack Obama: this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support.” August 5, 2015

If war happened, who is to blame?

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry: “I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed, and we would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their program to the test over these next years.” July 24, 2015

Is there anyone in the United States – including the Obama administration – that believes this is a great deal? Does anyone deny that Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain largely intact with this signing? Honest people can arrive at different conclusions about whether to endorse or reject this agreement. So why state that a negative outcome of the vote would be the fault of Israel, “money” and “lobbyists“?

Obama has framed his opponents in a familiar anti-Semitic canard that Jews are responsible for wars around the world.  Here is a section of Article 22 from the anti-Semitic terrorist group Hamas in its foundation Hamas Charter:

“The enemies have been scheming for a long time, and they have consolidated their schemes, in order to achieve what they have achieved. They took advantage of key elements in unfolding events, and accumulated a huge and influential material wealth which they put to the service of implementing their dream. This wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions in various parts of the globe in order to fulfill their interests and pick the fruits. They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary. There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it

Obama and Kerry have dismissed anyone who disagrees with the agreement they helped craft.  They have announced that members of Congress must fall into one of two camps: agree with Obama OR be a pawn in the Israeli scheme of lobbyists.

Now, if the US goes to war, any casualties and ramifications would be the fault of Israel and its lobbyists. Not Iran. Not the poorly negotiated deal. But Israel.

There is a long history of anti-Semites blaming Israel for wars in the world. It is shocking to see the administration of the Unites States – which purports to be a strong ally of Israel – use a blood libel to lay blame for another Middle East war on Israel.


Related FirstOneThrough article:

Israel and Wars

Has the “Left-Wing” Joined the UN in Protecting Iran and the Palestinians from a “Right-Wing” Israel?

The New Blood Libel

Ramifications of Ignoring American Antisemitism

Summary: Despite furious discussions of attacks on blacks in America and of growing anti-Semitism in Europe, an American Jew is over two times more likely to experience a hate crime than an African American or an American Muslim.

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Torching of Jewish-owned cars in Brooklyn, NY

The last eighteen months witnessed a terrible spike in hate. In Europe, anti-Semitism filled the streets with riots and shootings in the heart of European capitals. In America, several blacks were killed by police officers which prompted protests and federal investigations into possible police bias. American Muslims protested a growing trend of “Islamophobia” as they feared being targeted due to jihadist terrorism around the world.

Yet the situation for American Jews is rarely discussed, and when it is, it is viewed as generally satisfactory, especially when compared to the rest of the world.

The statistics may surprise you.

Hate Crimes in America

The FBI compiles a list of hate crimes every year. It tracks the nature of the crime, and breaks the attacks into categories by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability and gender identity. The data is compiled from information gathered from over 15,000 law enforcement agencies around the country.

In 2013, 49.3% of hate crimes were racially motivated, while 20.2% and 16.9% were based on sexual-orientation and religion, respectively. Within the racially motivated crimes, 66.5% were targeted against blacks. For sexual orientation hate crimes, 60.9% were against gays, and for religion-based hate crimes, 60.3% were against Jews.

In total, hate crimes seemed to heavily weigh against blacks, and indeed, crimes against blacks made up one-third of all hate crimes in 2013. However, the black population is significantly larger than other minority groups.

When taking into account that Jews make up only 1.8% of the population of the United States, while gays are roughly 3% and blacks are 13.2% of the population, respectively, the relative frequency of attacks against Jews is much more significant.

There was roughly one anti-Semitic hate crime in the US each year for every 7700 Jews. That compared to an attack against gays for every 10,700 gays and an attack against blacks for every 17,600 African Americans. For Muslims, the rate was one attack per 17,000 Muslims. That means that an average Jew can expect to experience a hate crime at over twice the rate of blacks or Muslims. Jews are the most disproportionately attacked minority in the United States by a significant margin.

Fortunately, hate crimes do not often involve murder.  In 2013, 0.1% of the crimes involved murder and 0.3% were for reported rapes.  Assault (aggravated and simple), intimidation and attacks on property were the typical forms of hate crimes.

Impact on Obama’s World View

Is it possible that the relatively small number of murders that occur in US hate crimes impacts President Obama’s world view?  As Brett Stephens of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Can there be a rational, negotiable, relatively reasonable bigot? Barack Obama thinks so.

In May 2015, President Obama had an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg where they discussed ISIS, Iran and Israel.  Obama clearly stated “that the supreme leader [of Iran] is anti-Semitic ” but he also stated firmly that the Iranian leader would not risk his country’s security in pursuit of such hatred. “At the margins, where the costs are low, they [Iran] may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest.  But the costs here are not low, and what we’ve been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That’s what the sanctions represent. That’s what the military option I’ve made clear I preserve represents.

Has Obama’s view of anti-Semitism been colored by the experience in the United States? Does he simply acknowledge that anti-Semitism exists, but that the “costs are low” to both the victim and the abuser?  Brett Stephens wrote convincingly that the Iranian leader’s actions are driven by a fanatical zeal which has shown it does not mind incurring very high costs.  Stephens concluded: “Maybe Mr. Obama doesn’t understand the compelling power of ideology.

I would add to that sentiment, that Obama has shown by his (in)actions in the Ukraine that the United States will not stand by obligations to support an ally, and therefore the costs to Iran will be very low. Despite commitments and treaties as outlined in the Budapest Memorandums, the US, United Kingdom and others let Russia invade and annex sections of the Ukraine without any intervention. Does Obama think that the Iranian leader doesn’t read the news?

 

In the United States, anti-Semitism remains in full force. It has remained largely “low cost” (to paraphrase Obama) to both victims and perpetrators thus far.  Under President Obama’s foreign policy, it would appear that Iranian anti-Semitism will only become a “high cost” for Israel.


Related First One Through article:

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

The “Unclean” Jew in the Crosshairs

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

Summary: Obama has asked Netanyahu to trust him on an issue (Iranian nuclear power) that is an existential threat to his country, even though Obama hasn’t earned that trust on more basic issues. Obama then compounds Netanyahu’s fear by stating Obama will act completely alone in controlling the outcome. Netanyahu’s nightmare is not just becoming “1938 Czechoslovakia”, but “2014 Ukraine”.

 obama netanyahu2
Netanyahu and Obama

TRUST

Trust is the bedrock of a functional relationship. It enables one party to rely on the other. A trust that includes both intention and capability permits a sharing of responsibility and workload.

The relationship between US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu started off badly and further deteriorated over the years. Personalities aside, the lack of a shared vision about the path to peace and security in the violent Middle East damaged relations.  However, it was a series of bad decisions which destroyed the trust between the two leaders.

Negotiation with Palestinians. Obama’s actions early in his presidency, hurt his credibility with Netanyahu. Obama insisted on an Israeli settlement freeze as a pre-condition to negotiations with the Palestinians- a pre-condition that was never introduced before, even by the Palestinians. Despite Netanyahu’s serious reservations, he instituted a ten-month freeze on building new homes in the west bank of the Jordan River. In exchange, Obama could not get acting-Palestinian President Abbas to even show up to talk for the first nine months, and when he did, all Abbas offered was extending the freeze even longer.

When US Secretary of State John Kerry tried another round of negotiations with Abbas in the fall of 2013, the US again asked Israel to give up something to start talks while it made no demand of the Palestinians. Israel released dozens of terrorists that were convicted of murder from its prisons. In exchange, Kerry could not even get Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, let alone any compromises for a Palestinian state. The negotiations failed again.

In both situations the US pressured Israel to give up something just to initiate negotiations and asked nothing of the Palestinians. In the end, the Palestinians continued to give exactly the same: nothing.

Giving it away upfront. The Obama administration has used the tactic of giving away bargaining points upfront in the hope of gaining something in the negotiations down the road. In Cuba, Obama has pulled back sanctions, in the hope that the country reforms. In Iran, the US eased sanctions to get Iran to consider allowing monitors to watch it build nuclear power.

Netanyahu does not believe in such negotiating tactics and it has not worked out well for Israel.

Giving up on Allies. The disagreement on negotiating style is only part of Netanyahu’s issue.  Israel and the Middle East watched the Obama administration turn its back on its allies. Egyptian President Mubarak was once a close ally of the United States. One day, the Obama administration decided it would no longer stand by its ally and called for Mubarak’s ouster. He was rushed off to jail.

The US’s Middle Eastern allies were dumb-founded by Obama’s action. A senior Arab government official stated “[The Saudis] are at odds with the U.S. position, publicly pushing Mubarak out. And frankly so are we—this isn’t how you handle issues in region.”

Failure to Understand Regional Dynamics. Obama’s turn on Egypt’s Mubarak was followed by an embrace of the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood. Obama’s infatuation with the “Turkish model” of democratic Islam made him welcome the new Egyptian ruler Mohammed Morsi. Morsi reopened Egypt’s ties with Hamas (the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza) , much to the chagrin of Israel’s Netanyahu. Those actions also undermined the more moderate (on a relative basis) acting PA President Abbas.

Obama back-tracked from his support of democracy in Egypt by not objecting to the replacement of Morsi via a takeover by Abdul Fattah el-Sisi. El-Sisi clamped down on Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood which won praise in Israel. From Israel’s perspective, a mistake was rectified to some degree, but the damage done by Obama of not standing by an ally and not appreciating the regional dynamics was etched in memory.

Obama not standing by Treaties or Comments. In addition to not standing by allied leaders, Obama has not stood by his own word or by US treaties with governments. For example, Obama’s declared “red line” on Syria’s use of chemical weapons came and went without ramifications for Syrian President Assad. While Obama claimed credit for negotiating a solution to get rid of Syria’s known chemical weapons, there was no personal penalty for Assad. Assad continues to remain in power and murder his countrymen.

Saudi Arabia was incredulous and stated“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white…When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it.”

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Obama asserting a “red line” on Syrian chemical weapons

The Ukrainian situation is even more telling. In 1994, Ukraine signed onto the Budapest Memorandum which was to guarantee its territorial integrity in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons. While it adhered to its upfront part of the bargain by giving up its weapons, the Obama administration refused to enforce its end of the agreement by coming to the aid of Ukraine when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014. Russian leader Putin correctly assessed the temperament of Obama that he would fail to honor his obligation, just as he failed to take action in Syria. Putin has continued to move past Crimea to other parts of Ukraine while the US not only fails to come to the defense of Ukraine, but drags its feet in sending weapons to defend itself.

The situation is not lost on Netanyahu (while it is on the knee-jerk liberal New York Times which stated in its lead editorial on March 12, 2015 that “Republicans are perfectly willing to diminish America’s standing as a global power capable of crafting international commitments and adhering to them.”  As detailed above, Obama has made very clear that HE has diminished America’s commitments, not the Republicans).

Obfuscation. The last loose thread in the unraveling fabric of trust is the lack of transparency.

While Obama touted his goal of transparency when he ran for office, his administration has been one of the least transparent. Witness Obamacare, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said “We have to pass the bill to that you can find out what is in it.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran her own email server outside of the State Department and deleted emails at her own whim. Now, Obama refuses to provide details of the Iranian negotiations with Israel.

The trust between Obama and Netanyahu is broken.

ACTING ALONE

Compounding the Israeli frustration with the lack of trust in the Obama administration’s dealing with Iran, is the unilateral course that Obama has taken. Obama has effectively barred Israel from attacking Iran and is attempting to seal negotiations without legislative approval.

Blocking an Israeli attack. As soon as Obama began to negotiate with Iran, it became impossible for Israel to attack Iran. How could Israel attack the facilities while the US was pursuing a diplomatic initiative? The start of Obama’s talks signaled the end of Israel’s ability to destroy their nuclear program.

Skipping Congress. Obama repeatedly stated that he does not believe that he needs congressional approval to sign a deal with Iran. As such, he has asserted that he has complete authority to negotiate and finalize a deal.  The Republicans, which now have majority control of both the House and Senate, strongly disagree and have taken steps to make their position known to both the Obama administration and Iran itself.

COMPETENCIES and CONSEQUENCES

Israel’s Netanyahu is left in a precarious situation.  As his country is under threat of annihilation by Iran, its close ally has put itself in the lead seat in negotiations.  However, Netanyahu is looking at the current US president as:

  • Lacking an understanding of regional dynamics;
  • Incapable of negotiating;
  • Refusing to be transparent about the negotiations;
  • Unwilling to stand by statements and treaties in support of allies;
  • Determined to act alone without the legislative branch of government

The Trust in Competencies and Fear of Consequences leaves Israel in a vulnerable and lonely spot.  While Israel fears it will be sacrificed at the alter of larger players like Czechoslovakia in 1938, it sees how the lead negotiator will not enforce any security agreements that may be struck, as in the embattled Ukraine today.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Arab states agree with Netanyahu in speech to Congress: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/missing-netanyahus-speech-those-not-listening-and-those-not-speaking/

Conservative focus on safety: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/the-gap-between-fairness-and-ramifications-wmds-in-iraq-and-iran/

Obama’s Iranian red line: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/obamas-iranian-red-line/

The need for a global public reaction to Iran’s nuclear aspiration: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/hidden-reactor-silent-reaction/

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

Summary: The media highlighted the Democrats that snubbed the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress. They failed to mention the coalition of countries that Bibi represented. Will the world’s safety rest with those that party-with-their-party or those that bomb-the-bomb?

US President Obama made a deliberate attempt to marginalize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his address to Congress in March 2015. Obama aired a number of complaints about the nature of the invitation and later said that Netanyahu didn’t offer any new ideas in dealing with Iran. His efforts to turn public attention away from the incredibly important topic to a sideshow of partisanship was sad on many levels.

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Obama and Biden skipped Netanyahu’s Address to Congress,
March 2015

There were many people who were not at Congress on March 3rd: Democrats that didn’t listen, and Arab States that echoed Netanyahu’s message.

Those not Listening: Democrats Partying with their Party

The Obama administration managed to convince 58 members of Congress to skip Netanyahu’s speech. All were his fellow Democrats. They were:

SENATE – 8 members

  • Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
  • Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  • Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

HOUSE – 50 members

  • Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
  • Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)
  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)
  • Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.)
  • Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (Mo.)
  • Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.)
  • Rep. John Conyers (Mich.)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.)
  • Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.)
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
  • Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)
  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.)
  • Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)
  • Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.)
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)
  • Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)
  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)
  • Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)
  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.)
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)
  • Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
  • Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.)
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.)
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
  • Rep. Donald Payne (N.J.)
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)
  • Rep. David Price (N.C.)
  • Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)
  • Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.)
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)

 Holmes
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D, DC)

It is wrong to say that these Democratic Congressmen are anti-Semites for skipping Netanyahu’s speech. They are just small-minded, petty, partisan politicians.

Those who were seen not Speaking: Arab States agree with Netanyahu

While Israel is in the crosshairs of the Iranian regime which has singled out the country for annihilation, several Arab countries are also very against Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.  They supported Netanyahu’s position and address.

el sisi
Egyptian President Fatah El-Sisi calling to reform Islam,
January 2015

The difference between the absent deaf audience (Democrats) and the silent approving chorus (Arab states) is a contrast between politics and policy. The difference between Obama and Netanyahu regarding Iran is between hope and action.

Those Talking and Hoping: Obama and Kerry

Obama has essentially articulated that US intelligence is flawed, so the best solution for managing the Iranian nuclear program would be to rely on the Iranians’ openness. His negotiation tack will conclude with faith that the Iranians:

  • will disclose the entirety of their nuclear program;
  • will provide full access to all of the facilities; and
  • will not covertly move towards nuclear weapons.

It can best be called a policy of “hope”.

Kerry Iran
US Secretary of State John Kerry negotiating with Iran,
March 2015

Those Acting: Israel Bombing the Bomb

If Israel is convinced that the Iranians are good on their word, than they have reason to be concerned as Iran has threatened to destroy Israel.

Israel has long taken the approach that hope is not a policy.  It sits in too volatile a region to believe in the good faith of its neighbors that have declared war on the country. Peace is something that is fought for and defended.

Decisive action has led to extended windows of peace for Israel. In 1981, Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor that was due to go live.  In 2007, Israel bombed the Syrian nuclear reactor that was being constructed with the help of North Korea. In 1967, Israel acted preemptively to thwart the attacks of Egypt and Syria which enabled a very quick victory.  When Israel decided to remain passive, such as the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the country was almost overrun.

Netanyahu has pleaded for very tough sanctions against Iran. It has used malware and cyber-attacks against Iran. Israel has reportedly assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists (to the chagrin of the United States). It has advocated for putting all options on the table, including military force as it used against the facilities in Syria and Iraq.


The way forward with Iran has two very different paths:

  • Obama has advocated a policy of hope and has enlisted a quorum of party loyalists who will not listen to alternatives.
  • Israel has deployed policies of actions and has an eclectic group of Arab neighbors that support its position.

Will the future safety of the world belong to those that party-with-their-party or those willing to bomb-the-bomb?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Fairness versus Safety: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/the-gap-between-fairness-and-ramifications-wmds-in-iraq-and-iran/

Obama’s Iranian Red Line: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/obamas-iranian-red-line/

The Churlish Turkish Leadership

Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has continued to slide further and further into the extreme right towards militant Islam. It has (coincidentally?) also pushed the country closer to US President Obama and further from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

erdogan hitler

Turkish leader Erdogan on magazine cover

In terms, of the continued suppression of freedom and liberty in Turkey:

The Turkish leader has also led his country into repeated confrontations with Israel due to his adamant support for the terrorist group Hamas, a group sworn to the destruction of Israel:

erodgan netanyahu

The strong rightward shift has not changed the relationship between Erdogan and Obama.

obama erdogan

  • Obama considered Erdogan in his top five friends among international heads of state (January 2012)
  • Obama used his relationship to coerce an apology from Netanyahu to Erdogan for the assailants killed on the flotilla (March 2013)
  • US continued to contort itself to make Turkey happy as the US tried to help Kurdish fighters against ISIS, while Turkey did almost nothing in the fight, as it despised the Kurds (October 2014)

As described above, the Netanyahu apology to Erdogan did nothing to repair relations between Israel and Turkey and nothing slowed Erdogan’s crackdown on freedom in Turkey.  The Obama administration twisted itself every-which-way to excuse terrible Turkish policies (whether its treatment of the Kurds, failure to support war on ISIS, suppression of freedoms at home…) while it picks on Israel for matters of protocol.

To listen to liberal media and democrats these days, you would think that it was Israel that was acting “churlish” for matters of protocol as opposed to specific attacks on Israel.

Here is the satirical music video by First.One.Through about the sad state of the world, where victims must apologize to the aggressors (music by Joe Cocker):


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times support of Erdogan over Netanyahu: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/new-york-times-talking-turkey/