Obama’s Select Religious Compassion

US President Obama spoke about the United States’ plan to admit refugees from Syria, while he was in Turkey for the G20 Summit. He spoke with emotion in his voice as he dismissed the suggestion that America would not admit Muslim refugees due to security concerns, after the terrorist attacks committed in Paris by the Islamic State killed 129 people just days before.

Obama saidwhen I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

Obama G20
President Obama speaking at G20 Summit in Turkey
(photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivals/QP)

It is interesting that Obama suddenly feels that religion should not be a test for allowing people to live in certain places.

Just last year, Obama’s White House Spokesman made the following comment about Jews moving into apartments they recently purchased in the eastern part of Jerusalem: “The US condemns the recent occupation of residential buildings in the neighborhood of Silwan by people whose agenda provokes tensions.”

Those “people whose agenda provokes tensions” were ordinary Jews moving into apartments they purchased.

The White House condemned Jews from moving into their legal residences because Palestinian Arabs were angry about having Jewish neighbors. Does Arab anti-Semitism dictate American policy or “compassion”? Why did the anger of Palestinian Arabs get an endorsement, while the concerns of Americans about their own safety get condemnation from Obama?

Obama is correct that America was founded on the principle of religious tolerance. That is who “we” are.

That Obama would uniquely advocate for the banning of Jews from living in their own homes, says who he is.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

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Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

A Sad and Sick Satire

Ahmed and Mohammed were very excited to open the newspaper one cold day in late 2014. The brothers knew that the paper was packed with colorful circulars for Christmas 2014. While they were devout Muslims, they appreciated toys as much as the next kid, and this year’s circular promised to be one of the best ever.

The boys ripped open the paper and let the various pages fall into the middle of the room. They grabbed handfuls of inserts that colored the hard floor. Each claimed a stack to himself and started to review the pictures and text.

The brothers learned quickly that each insert was sponsored by a different organization. The younger Mohammed yelled out “this one is from Hamas!” It had a giant picture of Khaled Mashaal pointing his finger in the air with a quote: “Who says you can no longer afford it?” Mohammed began to read off the promotions for the Hamas circular:

  • A model train set modeled after the Jerusalem light rail line, complete with switches to blow up the stations and rail cars
  • A kit called “Terror Tunnel for Tots,” complete with 160 small shovels named for each of the children who died digging in Gaza
  • Dera” T-shirts with targets on them, (dera means “shield” in Arabic)
  • A hand grip exerciser which claimed to strengthen hands and empower stone throwing
  • An assortment of emojis including ones with a green bandana, a keffiyeh, and black ski mask
  • An adaption of the Majesco Entertainment game “Zumba” called “Boomba” which gets suicide bombers into shape
  • An advertisement for summer camp where children as young as three can learn to shoot guns and sport suicide vests
  • The back page included a note that any order comes with a copy of the Hamas Charter, animated with pictures of Jews as apes and pigs killing prophets

The older brother Ahmed got the circular promotion from Fatah. The large picture at the top of the front page was of acting PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the United Nations with the teaser “Free Palestine”. The circular included:

  • Two large pictures of a shirtless Abbas with the quote “Let us stand before them with chests bared”. The ad offered a waxing service and showed Abbas with a hairy chest and the other smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • A new release of “Martyr Cards”, updated with the newest inductees including Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi (killed a three-month old with his car), and Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi (shooter of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick)
  • A “Hanging Kit” including ropes of different sizes, “ideal for hanging land brokers who sell land to Jews”
  • A GoPro Car hood ornament, perfect for videoing running over Israelis
  • A map of the Jerusalem light rail with markings to show which ones have roadblocks
  • The back page had a picture of a scene with baby Jesus in a kheffiyeh with a sign that read “Bethlehem, Palestine”. Underneath the picture was a coupon for five “Apartheid Wall Paint” spray cans for graffiti, with any order of $200

The Islamic Jihad circular was relatively small:

  • A collection of small model cars with spikes on the front grill, some painted “Jew red” according to the outer box.
  • A couple of bumper stickers which read “We Don’t Break for Jews” and ”Islamic Jihad – Supplying Suicide Bombers for your Community”
  • Boxes of “Killing Candies” to be handed out to the community upon the murder of any American or Israeli

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine used the full page for a single ad on each side:

  • A knife collection in various sizes, ideal for Papa Terrorist, Mama Terrorist and Baby Terrorist. Buying two or more sets entitles the purchaser to the newly branded “Jerusalem Cleaver” like the one used to butcher four rabbis in November 2014
  • A vintage model airplane with various toy terrorists that can be placed inside to fly the plane to a destination of your choice

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine printed their circular in the format of a poster, only printing on one side:

  • The top of the page had pictures of ancient pottery. The website and phone number sat above a description for making “Ancient Pottery for Profit” for sale to tourists
  • The bottom of the page was full of skeleton keys, to represent homes of Palestinian Arabs lost in the 1948 “Nakba.” All items were labeled as being made locally in Syria.

The United States included a circular for the first time, likely as part of Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world. The advertisement included a big picture of Obama with a quote “A New Beginning” near his face. At the bottom of the page was a large picture of former US President Jimmy Carter holding up his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”. The Obama administration was offering a discount code and the ability to buy the book on the whitehouse.gov website.

The most exciting offers were high-end electronic gear from a joint marketing effort between New York University – the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and Brookstone. The offerings were beyond the boys expectations:

  • A rock pulling cart, complete with LED lights for night time stonings
  • A hand massager for relaxing the hands after a full day of rock throwing
  • A hand sized electric lighter, ideal for igniting Molotov cocktails on the go
  • Earplugs connected to mosque loudspeakers, in case 120 decibels wasn’t enough to wake you up for morning prayers

The boys thought that they were done going through all of the advertisements when the older Ahmed found a small ad printed on thick cardboard stock. This insert was sponsored by the Qatari government. They offered $1,000 for anyone who died killing a Jew.

“That stinks,” said Ahmed. “Saudi Arabia and Iraq used to give us a heck of a lot more!”

“Well,” answered Mohammed, “they gave that money after the fact, when they knew how much it would cost them. At this point, Qatar isn’t sure how many people will sign up.”

Ahmed laughed and patted his younger brother on the shoulder. “You make an excellent point!”  Mohammed beamed.

“So what do you think of this year’s offerings?” Ahmed continued.

“I like the model train set which you can blow up,” he replied. “But I think it’s too expensive for Abi (father).”

“Oh, no, he can afford it,” answered Ahmed. “He just won’t go to such an expense without actually killing any Jews.”

Mohammed let out a huge laugh as he thought, this is going to be the best season ever.

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Sources:

Khaled Meshaal affordability: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12684-meshaal-blames-netanyahu-for-current-escalation

The dead children of Hamas terror tunnels: http://tabletmag.com/scroll/180400/hamas-killed-160-palestinian-children-to-build-terror-tunnels

Abbas bare: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12915

Abbas “martyr inductees: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/23/abbas-fatah-praises-slayer-of-israeli-infant-as-holy-martyr-as-new-attack-footage-emerges-video/

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-says-glick-shooter-will-go-to-heaven-as-martyr/

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=709&fld_id=709&doc_id=9297

Fatah on hanging people on poles: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/16/video-plo-official-wants-horrific-punishments-for-palestinians-who-sell-land-to-jews/

Fatah run over Jews: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12979

Palestinian Jesus: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564989

Islamic Jihad candies: http://www.israelnewsagency.com/bostonmarathonterrorattackpalestiniansdancingcandygazaobamahamasislamicjihadhezbollahiran48041513.html

Reducing noise levels of call to prayer: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/178063#.VHi9I5stCUk

Hamas Themes song for kids “Teach Your Children Well (CSNY)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2fcaSPB6M

The Battle for Jerusalem

The Battle for Jerusalem was been waged for many years.

In October 2014, the acting Palestinian Authority President Abbas took umbrage at Jews moving into homes they purchased in Silwan- an area that was originally settled by Jews.  Abbas called for hard labor and life imprisonment (or death) for any Arab that sold land to a Jew. There was no reaction from the world to Abbas’s racist edict.

The October comments from Abbas continued with a call to prohibit any Jew from praying on the Temple Mount. He then insisted that no Jews should be allowed to live anywhere east of the 1949 Armistice lines, including in heavily populated Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

The stated rationale for the comments to try to mask the anti-Semitism was that such moves “threaten a two state solution”. That is absurd.

A two state solution can exist very easily- it just would not have a new Palestine with everything that Abbas would like.  Specifically, Jerusalem.

The Israelis have already split the “Holy Basin” proposed in the 1947 UN Partition Plan by giving the Palestinians Bethlehem.  The other half of the basin, Jerusalem, would remain Israeli.  Keeping Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel in no way threatens the viability of a new Palestinian State.

Here is the music video (The Who) that reviews the tired and flawed arguments Palestinian supporters used in fighting the development of E1, east of Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIXimxfeuS8


Sources:

Laws of Silwan: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/real-and-imagined-laws-of-living-in-silwan/

Abbas call for “hard labor” if sell land to Jews: http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-adds-hard-labor-to-punishment-for-Palestinians-who-sell-land-to-hostile-countries-379350

Abbas, the racist, calling Israel racist: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/abbas-knows-racism/

Abbas call for banning Jews on Temple Mount: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4581262,00.html

Abbas against Jews in eastern Jerusalem: http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-calls-for-emergency-un-security-council-meeting-on-jerusalem/

Short Palestinian control of Jerusalem: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/east-jerusalem-the-0-5-molehill/

Obama complicit in agreeing to Abbas racism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/obama-supports-anti-semitic-palestinian-agenda-of-jew-free-state/

“Extremist” or “Courageous”

Popularity versus Position, Pervasiveness and Power

The word “extremist” appears like a loaded word. That partially stems from the fact that it conveys two different meanings. The first is that it describes a person who has an extreme position. The second is that it portrays a person at the edges of society.

A person who holds a position at the far fringe of society is pretty straightforward. If someone believes that the moon is purple and 99.9% of the rest of society does not, that person could be called an extremist. The label could be viewed as appropriate simply because the opinion is not popularly held.

The pervasiveness of a position, as opposed to its popularity, is a more subjective criterion. Someone believing that the moon is purple is one thing. However, painting their entire house purple, dying their hair purple and changing their name to Professor Purple Plum, would be viewed as “eccentric” and “obsessive” at a minimum, and possibly even “extreme”.

The “extremist” label sticks best when the person’s actions impact other people. For example, an individual may believe that life starts at conception, but if that is simply a personally held viewpoint, most people would not describe that person as an extremist. However, if a person used that position to justify destroying abortion clinics and harming the people inside, the violent actions would lead people to use the “extremist” label.

Violent extremists are typically painted in two camps: “right-wing” extremists use power to protect religion and capitalism; “left-wing” extremists use violence to flatten social hierarchies, and are often viewed as anti-religion and anti-capitalism.

Religion: Popularity and Power

Popularity is a matter of simple statistics. As an example, if one looks at the distribution of world religions, one can see a few widely held beliefs and some unpopular belief systems:

  • Christians: 31.5%
  • Muslims: 23.2%
  • Unaffiliated: 16.3%
  • Hindus 15.0%
  • Buddhists 7.1%
  • Folk Religionists 5.9%
  • Jews 0.2%

By the measure of popularity, all Jews could be viewed as “extremists” because they have a belief system that is not held by 99% of the world. However, as Jews do not enforce their belief system on others, the “extremist” label would largely be considered inappropriate. Conversely, Islam is a very popular religion, but the various Muslim groups that seek to enforce sharia law and forced conversion of people are often called “extremists”, especially if people that refuse to succumb to their religious edicts are killed. Popularity is not considered the gauge; it is violent actions and/or actions that harm others that define extremists.

 Arab “Residents” and Israeli “Settlers”

Using such distinction between popularity and power, review how mainstream media uses the extreme label in regard to Israel.

On October 23, 2014, the New York Times reported on the story of an Arab that rammed his car into a crowd of Jews killing two people including an infant. Ignoring the Times’ generally terrible coverage overall, the nature of inverted reality and anti-Israel bias was typified in a particular paragraph in the story, where the non-aggressive party was labeled an extremist:

Mr. Shaloudy was a resident of Silwan, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood
in territory that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and later annexed,
a step that has not been recognized internationally. An influx of right-wing Jewish settlers who have acquired property in the area in recent years have made
the neighborhood a flash point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Mr. Shaloudy, the Arab man who killed two people, is described as a “resident of Silwan, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood”. This description made him sound like a peaceful neighbor living among his people. He is tied to the majority and therefore, by implication, not an extremist if one were to use the popularity measure.

The paragraph continued that the neighborhood is in “territory that Israel captured…that has not been recognized internationally… right wing settlers…acquired property in the area.” The New York Times painted the Jews as “right wing” extremists. On what basis? That they moved into a “predominantly Palestinian neighborhood”? That they moved into houses that “has not been recognized internationally” to be part of Israel? That just made those Jews a minority in the neighborhood, and Israel’s claim on the territory a minority-held position. However, the actions taken by this group were peaceful: they purchased apartments; and moved into them legally. They harmed no one. As such, they took no actions that warrant being called “right wing”.

However, the Arab “residents” that the Times described, sought to kill Arabs that sell homes to any Jews, in accordance with Palestinian law. This particular Arab “resident” murdered innocent Israelis.  Yet, for some reason, these Palestinians that have laws calling for murdering Jews, who do ultimately commit murder, are not labeled extremists. This is both a perversion and inversion of reality where violent actions are considered the appropriate norm and unpopular positions are considered extreme.

A few paragraphs down, the Times called Israelis extremists again:

“Many of the recent clashes have centered on visits to the compound
by hard-right Israelis who have been increasingly demanding the right to pray there.
The mosque is on the Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the location
of ancient Jewish temples and the holiest site in Judaism.”

The juxtaposition of the sentences was unfair- the Jews had no interest of praying in the mosque, but were seeking to pray nearby on the holiest spot for Judaism. Were these “hard-right Israelis” seeking to hurt anyone? Were they seeking to destroy a mosque or convert anyone? Not at all. So how can their action be considered extreme?


It is true that Jews are a minority in the world. It is true that Israel is surrounded by dozens of Arab and Muslims states that either refuse to recognize Israel or call for its outright destruction. But simply being unpopular doesn’t make Jews or Israel “extreme”.

Jews seeking to buy and live in apartments like anyone else is neither illegal nor extreme. Jews seeking to pray at their holy sites is not extreme. It is exactly the opposite: those people that seek to murder Jews for doing basic activities should be labeled “extremists”. Pinning terminology that make the Jews look like unpopular invaders and therefore extreme, ignores history, decency and honesty.

Shame on the New York Times.  If these were blacks in the 1960s moving into predominantly white neighborhoods in the US, the Times would more likely call these people “courageous”.

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Sources:

World religions: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/04/04/global-religious-diversity/

NY Times “right wing settlers” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/world/middleeast/2-israeli-soldiers-wounded-near-egypt.html?_r=0

First One Through articles on Silwan:

False facts on Jews in Silwan

Obama supporting Jew-free state

UN echoing Palestinian narrative

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

The New York Times deliberately misrepresented opinion as law to disparage Israel, and omitted actual Palestinian laws to hide Arab racism. As such, the paper fully embraced anti-Semitism and the principle of segregation if it prohibits Jews from living in predominantly Arab neighborhoods.

In an article on October 16, 2014 called “A House-by-House Struggle for Control of a Jerusalem Neighborhood”, the NYT’s Isabel Kershner had an opening paragraph that could have been taken from Mein Kampf in describing secretive, cheating and stealing Jews:

“In the dark of night, under the protection of Israeli security forces, Jewish settlers took possession of some 25 housing units in six locations around the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem Many of the properties had been rented out, but they were strangely empty when the settlers arrived… Through a multimillion-dollar series of complex and shadowy transactions spanning several years,
Elad engineered the largest private settlement initiative in decades.”

[By way of comparison, here is a quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “they (Jews) try to cheat the whole world with their tricks; they are lazy, but with their pretended ‘silent’ work they create the appearance of an enormous and equally laborious activity; in short, they are cheats, characters of political profiteering, who hate the honest work of others. Just as such a folkish moth always appeals to the darkness of the silence, one can bet a thousand to one that under its cover he does not produce, but only steals steals from the fruits of the labor of others”] 

The article goes on to describe and suggest that it is illegal for Jews to buy homes in the eastern part of Jerusalem. That suggestion is both untrue and racist. Here are the facts:

  • Silwan was established by Yemenite Jews in 1881. It was one of the first developments outside the city walls of Jerusalem, while the area was part of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Jews have been an established majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s.
  • The Ottomans did not impose any limits on where Jews could live.
  • When Britain took over Palestine as part of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate in 1922, the mandate specifically stated (Article 15) that no one should be barred from living in the area because of their religion.
  • The Palestinians rioted in 1936-9, killing hundreds of Jews, and effectively lobbied the British to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. But even under those new anti-Jewish rules, there was no prohibition of Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem and Bethlehem were designated to be an international “Holy Basin” according to the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, and was to be neither part of Israel or Palestine. Both Arab and Jew were free to live anywhere in the Basin.
  • Silwan, and much of the eastern half of Jerusalem was forcibly cleansed of Jews when the Palestinians and Jordanians initiated a war against the Jewish State in 1948, and the Jordanians illegally annexed the eastern half of the city. The Jordanians and Palestinians barred any Jews from even visiting the eastern half of the city.
  • The Jordanians granted Palestinian Arabs citizenship and denied giving any citizenship to Jews in the lands they forcibly conquered (including eastern Jerusalem), making it illegal for Jews to own land there.
  • The Jordanians and Palestinians launched another attack on Israel in 1967, only to lose the eastern half of Jerusalem in that war.

These facts were completely ignored. The only information discussed about the settling of Silwan described: “territory that Israel conquered from Jordan in the 1967 war and then annexed, in a move that was never internationally recognized. Most of the world considers the area illegally occupied by Israel

The suggestion that Israel’s annexation (as a result of a defensive war) is considered illegal by “most of the world” and therefore means that Jews are forbidden to live there is completely misleading and untrue.

  • The Israeli territory of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is administered by Israel. Israel approves housing for both Arabs and Jews there, and in the eastern part of Jerusalem which they annexed.
  • International law against the forcible transfer of a population has nothing to do with individual rights of buying and living in a property of their own choosing.

The NYT article successfully: 1) described Jews the way Hitler did; 2) gave no background of the long and legal history of the Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem; 3) implied illegal activity of Jews buying and moving into their homes when such action is legal.

What the Times article deliberately failed to describe was the actual illegal activity – according to the Palestinian Authority – for any Arab to sell land to a Jew.

Palestinian law bans the selling of land to a Jew, punishable by death. Not only was that law not mentioned in this or any NYT article, Kershner deliberately hid this racist Palestinian law in the article with a false narrative: “At a stormy meeting of about 100 [Palestinian] residents and activists in a children’s playground soon afterward, participants denounced the [real estate] brokers and called for them to be publicly named and cast out of their clans. The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction in Jerusalem, but there is a history of vigilante justice: In the 1990s, some local land dealers accused of selling property to Jews were kidnapped and killed.

First, note how the article called Jews “settlers” and Arabs are called “residents”. Both parties are residents and neighbors in the same block. Is the New York Times so against coexistence that each party needs a distinct label?

Second, the article correctly points out that the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction in the area, but it describes the actions of “residents and activists” of “vigilante justice” making the actions appear random, unauthorized and opposed by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. The fact is that property sales are considered a capital offense and Palestinian courts have handed out death sentences for the sale of land to Jews.


The New York Times’ illusion of Jews taking property by force in the dark of the night is outrageous. The secretive nature of the purchase was to protect the Arabs that sold the property from being killed by fellow Arabs according to Palestinian law.

The purchase of apartments by individual Jews in their holiest and capital city in a neighborhood founded by Jews is completely legal. The fact that they had to act discretely in their purchases because of racist Palestinian laws is a travesty that should anger the world – about Palestinians, not the Israelis.

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Sources:

NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/world/middleeast/a-house-by-house-struggle-for-control-of-a-jerusalem-neighborhood.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

Yeminite Jews in Silwan: http://www.meforum.org/3281/silwan

1922 League of Nations Mandate: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

1939 White Paper: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/brwh1939.asp

Jordan’s nationality law (article 3) excluding Jews: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4ea13.html

FirstOneThrough on the 800,000 Arabs moving to Palestine during the British Mandate: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/whos-new-everybody/

Abbas on Jew-free Palestine: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/07/30/abbas-arabs-in-israel-no-jews-in-palestine-peace-process/

Short history of Palestinians+Jordanians controlling Jerusalem: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/east-jerusalem-the-0-5-molehill/

PA Land Law: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-affirms-death-penalty-for-land-sales-to-Israelis

Jordan attacking Israel 1967 according to King Hussein: http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/his_periods3.html

Palestinian courts handing death sentence for land sale to Jews: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2009/04/2009429105147715724.html

Mein Kampf: https://archive.org/stream/meinkampf035176mbp/meinkampf035176mbp_djvu.txt

The anthem of Israel is Jerusalem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wulmUGVG3jA

Obama endorsing Jew-free state: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/obama-supports-anti-semitic-palestinian-agenda-of-jew-free-state/