Israel and the US Collaborate on Emergency Response

When the United States was attacked by radical Islamic jihadists on 9/11/2001, the country was faced with the reality that it was unprepared for how the handle massive attacks on its shores. It turned to an ally who had developed systems to keep its citizens safe from harm.

Israel has long suffered from jihadist terrorists killing civilians.

Airplane Hijackings

In July 1968, Palestinian Arabs hijacked an El Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv. It was the last time an Israeli airline was hijacked as the government began to institute several security measures to protect the flights.

Palestinian terrorists would continue to target airplanes including a massive operation in September 1970 in an attacked called the “Dawson’s Field Hijackings” in which members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked four planes heading to New York and one to London.

Other hijackings by Palestinian Arab terrorists included:

Airplane hijackings continued around the world with as many as dozens every year until Muslim terrorists hijacked four planes on September 11, 2001 in a coordinated attack which killed nearly 3,000 people. It was already the eighth airplane hijacking in the new decade, not two years old. The scale of the attack, casualties and damage made countries and airlines take many new precautions, adopting policies that Israel had been using for decades such as pre-flight interviews and screening luggage and passengers. The 2010’s decade had nine airplane hijackings, down from sixty in the 1970’s.

Response to Mass Casualty Attacks

The sheer scale of the attacks on civilians in the streets and office buildings of U.S. were beyond standard emergency protocols. America had waged wars abroad, but the scale of the terrorism against ordinary people going to work overwhelmed the local emergency response teams.

America turned to Israel for assistance, which had long been forced to respond to Palestinian Arab terrorists killing civilians in the streets.

In early September 2003, two years after the attacks on the United States, New York City hosted a major symposium on the medical response to mass casualty attacks. One of the speakers was Rabbi Dr. David Applebaum who flew to New York City from Jerusalem, Israel to address the audience. Dr. Applebaum was the head of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine and was often the first responder at the scene of terrorist attacks. He was well recognized for developing innovative methods for handling emergency situations and tracking patients, introducing time- and life-saving techniques.

Dr. Applebaum flew back to Jerusalem a few days before the end of the symposium for his daughter, Nava’s wedding. The night before the wedding, on September 9, he took his 20-year old daughter out for a late dinner and a father-daughter talk. A Palestinian Arab walked into Cafe Hillel where they sat and blew up the restaurant, killing Dr. Applebaum, his daughter and five other diners ranging in age from 22 to 52. The Palestinian political party and terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility.

Rabbi Dr. David Applebaum and daughter Nava

Israel and the United States have been the victims of terrorism for decades and continue to come under attack. They will continue to fight the scourge of hatred together.


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BBC Welcomes Release of British Muslim Accused of Beheading Daniel Pearl

On April 2, 2020, a Pakistani court overturned the murder conviction of Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national with a history of extremism for the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

Daniel Pearl, before his execution in 2002

According to the Wall Street Journal for whom Pearl worked, “the Karachi court, which heard Mr. Sheikh’s appeal last month, overturned convictions for murder and terrorism, the 40-page ruling said Thursday. The third conviction, kidnapping for ransom, was downgraded to simple kidnapping, and Mr. Sheikh’s sentence was reduced to seven years.” In response to the ruling, Dow Jones which owns the Journal stated “we continue to seek justice for the murder of Daniel Pearl.” Reporters Without Borders, an international watchdog group for journalists, called the decision “incoherent” and a “shocking denial of justice.”

Beyond the news services, a senior official at the U.S. State Department said “The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl’s murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere. Those responsible for Daniel’s heinous kidnapping and murder must face the full measure of justice.

The reaction from the British news service the BBC was seemingly the complete opposite.

The media service wrote that Sheikh’s “arrest and conviction in 2002 came in quick succession, at a time when Pakistan was under severe pressure from the United States to eliminate terror networks operating on its soil,” making the entire arrest of Sheikh seem like a sham witch hunt.

Rather than quote Dow Jones or Reporters Without Borders, the BBC wrote that “a group of US journalists, including former colleagues of Pearl, said in 2011 that they believed Sheikh had not carried out the beheading,” adding fuel to the reader that the conviction of Sheikh was never credible as even reporters and friends of Pearl believed Sheikh to be innocent.

BBC would not mention the reaction from the U.S. State Department, nor the reaction from Pearl’s father who had called it a “mockery of justice.

In providing background to the case, BBC ran a header “Longstanding questions over Sheikh’s conviction.” The article continued that “The main argument of the defence lawyers was that the prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond doubt. They may have a point. There have been questions over whether the four [Sheikh and three accomplices] had any direct role in Daniel Pearl’s murder, though there was some evidence to show Sheikh’s involvement in his kidnapping.” Complete editorializing in the middle of a news article does not seem an issue for the BBC editors.

The icing on BBC’s celebratory cake was the concluding paragraph:

“But the Pakistani judiciary has sat on his appeal for nearly two decades, and some observers believe the present ruling has come at a time when the mood in the US and the rest of the world has changed and nobody seems to be worried about the terrorists of the past.

Congratulations BBC. Your patriot who conspired with colleagues to kidnap and behead a 38-year old journalist and then cut up his body into pieces will soon be set free. He left behind a pregnant wife and the lingering final words “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am a Jew.” But for the BBC, the true victim in the story is a British Muslim who unjustly lost 18 years of his life due to American-Zionist pressure.


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There’s Nothing Worse Than Terrorism in France

On August 21, 2019, the United Nations marked an International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. The global body is making an effort to include the stories of the victims as part of its mission of healing. As part of the commemoration, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said:

“I ask that we all reflect on the lives that have been changed forever as a result of terrorism. Let us commit to showing victims that they are not alone, and that the international community stands in solidarity with them, wherever they may be. In their call for healing and justice, they speak for all of us.”

Included in the remembrance was a photo exhibit of people who were deeply impacted by the scourge of terrorism. Not surprisingly, the UN did not include a single picture of any Israelis, as it continues to refuse to stand in solidarity with Israel and will not endorse Israelis call for justice against the killers.

That’s not new.

What was surprising was the limited focus on both massive and recent acts of terror. There was just one picture of a victim from the attack on the US on 9/11/01 and none of the victims of the bombings in Sri Lanka or shootings in New Zealand.

But the 2016 truck attack in Nice, France received three pictures with accompanying stories. It was the only terrorist attack to be featured multiple times.

Why France? Why minimize the US and ignore Israel? There were 86 people killed in the July 2016 attack in Nice, France, a horrific total. But there were 2,977 victims killed on September 11, 2001 in the United States and there have been 1,357 victims of terror in Israel from the start of the Second Intifada until today.

It is pure speculation why the bombings in other European cities like Madrid and London each got a single picture while Nice received three. Is it because Nice is not a capital city but a vacation spot? That it doesn’t represent a power structure the way New York City, Washington, DC or European capitals do?

If that is the reason, it seemingly undermines the definition of terrorism. Were the victims in the Twin Towers who were just going to work less innocent than the people watching fireworks in France?

The UN stated that the rationale for the exhibit was to hear the voices of the victims and incorporate their stories into the narrative. The stories are meant to show “resilience,” “purpose,” “hope” and “peace” as shown in the photo series.

The United States rebuilt Ground Zero. Israelis continue to live and work and transformed a third world environment into a First World country. They showed resilience and moved forward with purpose.

But those stories were minimized relative to the horror in France.

The entire world came out to stand alongside the people of France when terrorists killed journalists at the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Scores of world leaders walked the streets of Paris in a way they never did in London, Madrid, Mali or Nigeria.

Terrorism in France seemingly captures the hearts and minds of people around the world. Is it because of the country’s devout secular nature? That people view the country as non-aggressive?

Please share your thoughts.


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Blasphemy OR Terrorism

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I See Dead People

When I watch the marchers in Charlottesville, VA chant “Jews will not replace us,” I see the marches of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s.

When I hear the president of the United States say “you didn’t build that“, I see the words of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf debasing Jews that they are manipulators who profit off the work of others.

When I watch the United Nations pass resolutions with America’s approval, that Jews living in the eastern part of their homeland is illegal, I think of the ghettos limiting where Jews were allowed to live.

When I hear of countries in Europe pushing to ban kosher meat and circumcision, I think of the Greek-Syrian laws in the Jewish holy land 2200 years ago, pressuring to destroy the spirit and religious practices of the Jewish people.

When the world cannot utter a word about Palestinian laws calling for the death penalty for any Arab selling land to a Jew and about the leadership which calls for a Jew-free state, I think of the pogroms throughout the centuries in Russia and Europe, and the concealed mass Jewish graves which fill the forest floors.

When I watch universities in the United States passing resolutions targeting a boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) of the only Jewish State, I think of the Nazis boycotting Jewish stores.

An den Fenstern j¸discher Gesch‰fte werden von Nationalsozialisten Plakate mit der Aufforderung “Deutsche, wehrt euch, kauft nicht bei Juden” angebracht.

When I watch European and United Nations leaders encouraging Hamas and trying to merge it into a Palestinian unity government, I think of British leader Neville Chamberlain meeting with Hitler in 1938.

When I hear members of the U.S. Congress say that Jews are buying off politicians because they support Israel more than they care about America, I think about leading industrialist Henry Ford republishing the forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion to foment widespread Jew-hatred.

When I see European countries labeling products made in Israel and Israeli territories, I see Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow Jewish stars on their clothing.

When I see the United Nations stand by as terrorists use their schools to store and launch rockets into Israel, I think of the U.N. pulling its troops out of the Sinai in 1967 as Israelis dug mass graves in the center of Jerusalem as they prepared to be attacked.

When I read about Jewish groups actively lobbying to dismantle U.S. support for Israel, I think of the zealots of 2,000 years ago who helped destroy the Second Jewish Temple.

When I hear the Democratic candidates for president embrace vile anti-Semites like Linda Sarsour and Louis Farrakhan, I think about the Ku Klux Klan’s David Duke’s run for the presidency.

When I see “intellectuals” addressing the United Nations that Jews are trying to take over the entire “Muslim” Middle East, I am reminded of Christian blood libels.

When I read the leading liberal paper of the United States demonize Israel as racist and deserving of Arab ire, I think about Joseph Goebells and his Nazi propaganda machine.

When I hear the leader of the United Nations say that Palestinian reaction to the occupation is “natural,” I see the five faces of the Fogel family, slaughtered in their sleep.

When I hear the president of the United States call for a member of congress to go back where she came from and then watch as a crowd chants “send her back” to her country which is in shambles, I think of leading White House reporter Helen Thomas telling Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” to return to the countries which had slaughtered them.

When the United States turns away refugees and asylum seekers, and the press will not discuss the British White Paper which cost over 100,000 European Jews their lives, I note the press’s preference that only certain havens are considered acceptable, and the Jewish homeland isn’t  an appropriate one for Jews.

When I watch 58 members of the United States Congress walk out on the address of the Israeli Prime Minister who was alarmed at the advancement of a deal which would enable a country which had called for its destruction to have a legal pathway to nuclear weapons, I see something frighteningly new: I see the active arming of terrorists with weapons of mass destruction by the Israel’s closest ally.

When I hear the echoes of hatred as loud and as clear as the original voices, I see dead people.


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The United Nations Must Take Its Own Medicine Re the Palestinian Authority

On July 10, 2019, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a speech regarding the horrible situation of terrorism in Africa which outlined a multi-step approach to tackling the growing problem.

Should he truly believe that those are the best methods for combating terrorism globally, he must begin to implement them in the region where the U.N. has tens of thousands of employees working for decades in an area where terrorism reigns under its blind eyes: among the Palestinian Arabs in the Arab-Israel Conflict.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres talks about fighting terrorism in Africa, July 2019
(photo: UNEP, Duncan Moore)

Below are Guterres’s main points on combating terrorism, and the situation in Gaza, West Bank and other areas where the United Nations cares for Palestinian Arabs:

  1. Working Together and Information Sharing. Guterres said that the global community should be “working together to share counter-terrorism information.” He noted that terrorism in Africa, such as the Kenya-Ethiopian border, could be best fought by sharing “information, expertise and good practices.”The U.N. agency for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” UNRWA has nearly 32,000 employees in Gaza, the “West Bank,” Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (a figure which grows even faster than the number of registered persons). Yet the UN limits its activities to education and healthcare, and does not provide any information to Israel about terrorists from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah or other known terrorist groups in the effort “to detect, identify and disrupt violent extremism and to bring terrorist to justice.” Regrettably, over the past several decades, the U.N. has never acted to stop terrorism – even with basic information sharing which Guterres called for in Africa. The UN has actually done the opposite, leaving its schools open to store weapons and as launching sites for missiles against Israel.
  2. Halting the Narrative of Grievance and Promoting Good Governance and Good Jobs. Guterres outlined some of the underlying causes which allow terrorism to thrive, saying that it is important to stop the  “narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, and promised empowerment” as well as changing the dynamics “wherever human rights are being violated, good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushed.”Yet the U.N. has actively promoted the narrative of “grievance and injustice” in telling the Palestinians that they have a right to move to a house where a grandparent once lived, regardless as to whether they had actually owned any property and for how long. As such, the U.N. has fueled the Gaza riots for the past years with the promise that through the United Nations, the Arabs will get to move into Israel.Regarding “good governance,” the U.N. operates in Gaza in concert with Hamas, just as it operates in Syria with mass murder Bashar al-Assad and coordinates in Lebanon with operatives of Hezbollah. Rather than make any attempt at fostering human rights and good governance, UNRWA turns a blind eye as it hands out jobs and benefits to the stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs).Further, rather than heed Guterres’ comments regarding terrorism in Africa of “strengthening State institutions and civil society, building durable peace and promoting sustainable development to tackle the poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity that feed despair,” the U.N. has been active in promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel movement, pulling good jobs out of the West Bank. It has similarly made light of the Trump administrations efforts to invest billions of dollars into the Palestinian economy, thereby helping fuel poverty and lack of opportunities.
  3. Engaging Women in the Fight Against Terrorism. Guterres sees a particular role for women to play in fighting hatred and violence, saying “We must fully engage women, who play multiple roles in relation to violent extremism and its prevention — as victims, as those recruited and radicalized, but most importantly as influencers and leaders in prevention and agents of peace.”But the U.N. has stood by while women are championed as murderers, not as “agents of peace.” All one has to do is look at schools and squares named after female terrorists. The U.N. stands by while official Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts mothers who say they are proud of their terrorist children. It is not as though the U.N. offers no opinions; it complains bitterly when the U.S. and Israel try to stop the pay-to-slay program which encourages terrorism.And as a simple matter of decency which must start on the local level, how has the U.N. said or done nothing while Gaza leads the world in honor killings of women on a per capita basis? Instead the U.N. produces long papers describing the plight of Palestinian women are solely because of Israel.The U.N. hasn’t enlisted Palestinian women to combat terror; it has promoted them to be part of the terror. It is well past time for this to change.
  4. Stop the Online Provocations and Hate Speech and Promote Jobs. It many ways, this point is similar to halting the narrative of grievance Guterres mentioned above. He said “youth unemployment not only limits personal fulfilment and drains away hope, it also undermines social cohesion and could threaten security.” Further, “With the rise of misinformation on social media and the Internet, young people also need education and empowerment to denounce manipulative narratives, xenophobia and hate speech, which can all lead to online radicalization.”As described above, the U.N. has effectively worked in concert with the BDS movement to kill good jobs for Palestinians in the West Bank fueling unemployment. It also makes little or no effort to stop or condemn the incitement on Palestinian TV and Facebook pages. In fact, it does the opposite, as many UNRWA officials use Facebook to post calls for terrorism against “Zionist dogs”.In regards to the swelling ranks of young people, the United Nations has actively been involved with “creating” the youth, by not advancing the U.N.’s own stated goals of birth control, even though UNRWA touches 99.4% of all Arab women. The U.N. gives Palestinians first world medical treatment while they have children at the rate of third world countries, which has inflated the Palestinian Arab refugee population by 1 million people – under the care of the United Nations.
  5. The Victims of Terrorism as Advocates for Peace. Guterres continued that the UN must “support the victims and survivors of terrorism, including victims of sexual violence and children exploited by terrorist groups,” who must be central to the fight against terror.So the United Nations builds a portal on the victims of terrorism. It writes about victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria, places of horrible terrorist attacks (each almost 100% Muslim, except for Nigeria which is about 50/50 Christian/Muslim). Israel doesn’t get a mention.
  6. Stopping the Flow of Money to Terrorists. Guterres said “mitigating the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, empowering and engaging youth, countering terrorist financing and improving aviation security” are critical in the efforts to combat terrorism.An interesting read on the subject of halting the flow of money to terrorist is “Harpoon” by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. Israel actively is involved in the fight to stop the flow of funds to terrorists, but it is done despite the United Nations. The circus of the UN has countries including Kuwait and Indonesia (both almost completely Muslim) condemning Israel for withholding monies which the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists’ families.

If the UN Secretary-General really believes in his formula for stopping terrorism, and desires peace in the Middle East, he should begin using his 32,000-person force on the ground servicing Palestinian “refugees” and the global forum to follow his principles including: sharing information on Palestinian terrorist groups with Israel; stopping the narrative that descendants of people who once live in Israel have any ‘right of return’; not facilitating or participating in any manner with the BDS movement; refusing to provide any services in Gaza as long as Hamas is in power and there are schools named after terrorists; having Israeli victims of terror address the United Nations; and backing Israel in suspending payments to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continues its pay-to-slay activities.

Guterres laid out his plan to stem terrorism around the world. As the Palestinians are his adopted wards, he can actively stop the terrorism in Israel. If he only showed the will to follow his own advice.


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The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

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The UN Never Demands Justice for Palestinian Killers

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace, Nickolay Mladenov, is forever busily tweeting and making statements about the violence in the Arab-Israel Conflict. Curiously, while he often condemns all acts of violence, he uses very different language when the attackers are either Israelis or Palestinians. When an Israeli commits the attack, Mladenov demands that the perpetrator be brought to justice, however, when a Palestinian commits the attack, all Mladenov can muster is a generic condemnation of terror.

Consider Mladenov’s Tweet on February 10, 2019 about the horrific intentional butchering of a teenage Israeli woman:

I’m appalled by the horrific murder of 19-year old , by a Palestinian perpetrator in . My deepest condolences to Ori’s family. There is no justification for violence and terror. Such brutal acts must be condemned by all.

While Mladenov condemned the violence and noted that a Palestinian was the perpetrator, he did not call for the Arab killer to be brought to justice. That is in sharp contrast to how Mladenov reacted towards violence from Israelis.

Here is Mladenov’s Tweet from January 26:

Today’s violence in is shocking & unacceptable! must put an end to settler violence & bring those responsible to justice. My thoughts & prayers go out to the family of the man killed & those injured. All must condemn violence, stand up to terror.

Not only did Mladenov not demand that the Palestinian killer be brought to justice, he didn’t demand that the Palestinian Authority stop the violence.

When it came to Arab-on-Arab violence, as on January 3, 2019 when Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah’s motorcade came under attack, Mladenov again called for justice:

The attack on PM convoy on Christmas is a very worrying incident. It is absolutely unacceptable & the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Stones can kill— it was at the same spot where  lost her life in October. Such violence must stop

Whether the violence is initiated by Israelis or Palestinians, the only party for whom the UN seeks justice are Palestinian Arabs.

Some other examples:

I acknowledge efforts by to prevent settler-related violence. Further measures are needed to ensure that it fulfills its obligation to protect civilians and hold accountable those responsible for attacks.

The best Mladenov can muster when Jews are attacked is saying that there is no justification for the attack, a generic comment which is far from demanding that the Arab killers be punished.

I condemn the recent drive-by shooting near Ofra where 7 were injured and a pregnant woman whose baby was delivered prematurely and has tragically passed away. There is no justification for terror and I call on all to condemn it.

I condemn this Friday’s attack in the in which a woman was killed and her husband injured by stones allegedly thrown by assailants. Those responsible must be swiftly brought to justice. I urge all to stand up to violence and terror.

I extend my condolences to the family of , an Israeli-American civilian, who was stabbed in the yesterday. Everyone must stand up violence and condemn .

Shocked by the murder of an man yesterday by a teen in the . My thoughts and prayers go out to the bereved family. Such horrible acts serve only those who stand in the way of . Terror must be condemned by all.

There was only one time when Mladenov demanded that a Palestinian murderer be brought to justice, but even then he didn’t mention the killer’s background or ethnicity:

There is no justification for and those who condone it, praise it or glorify it. This is not the path to ! The perpetrators of yesterday’s attack must be brought to justice.

When the United Nations continually demands that Jewish terrorists be “brought to justice,” but does not similarly call upon Palestinian Arab terrorists to be punished for butchering Israelis, it reiterates its unceasing bias against Israel. Without a basic notion of justice for Israelis, the resolutions the UN passes against Israel are meaningless Palestinian propaganda posters without a shred of moral significance.

For many years, the UN has stood as a crude tool of despots and dictators, pretending to have an iota of credibility. But time and again the shroud of respectability falls revealing the UN’s pathetic utility as a blunt instrument in the Muslim and Arab war against the Jewish State.


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Between Terrorism and Sexual Harassment is a lot of Money

Former CEO of CBS Les Moonves was due to receive $120 million as part of his severance package upon leaving the firm, however, the CBS board of directors has decided not to pay him after lawyers for the firm concluded that he was in breach of his employment contract for sexually harassing a number of women.

While that was going on, the government of Qatar transferred $15 million, as the second installment of a total $90 million, to roughly 27,000 employees of Hamas who run the Gaza Strip. It did this with the approval of Israel.


Qatari official Mohammed al-Emadi (left) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in 2015.
(photo: Ashraf Amra/APA/Landov)

For its part, the Palestinian Authority, run by Hamas’s rival Fatah, also pays terrorists that kill and injure Jews. In 2018, the “Martyr’s Fund” paid roughly $330 million to about 35,000 families.

It’s an interesting lesson about the standards related to payouts in the West compared to those paid out in the Arab Middle East.

In the United States, $120 million was denied because the person was accused of harassing women. However, in the Palestinian territories, terrorists were awarded $420 million for terrorizing Jews.

Even anti-Semites and feminists would likely acknowledge that murder is worse than harassing women. But the issue here is not the action in the absolute, but one of legality and situation: Les Moonves did something abhorrent in the eyes of Americans and illegal in the view of attorneys, while the Palestinian terrorists did something natural in the eyes of the United Nations and welcome in the view of Muslim and Arab countries.

Not only was Moonves not supposed to attack women as part of his job, it arguably undermined the compensation scheme in his contract. That is in sharp contrast to Hamas which is expected to kill Israeli Jews as made abundantly clear in its charter and in the speeches and songs of its leadership “Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.”

The message is clear: the key to pocketing tens of millions of dollars is to focus on doing what people want and expect of you. For much of the Muslim Arab world, that’s killing Jews.


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May God Avenge His Blood

There is an expression which is frequently used after the murder of innocent Jewish civilians: “Hamakom Yikom Damo,” or HYD for short. The rough translation is “May God Avenge His Blood.” People who skew to the right politically use the expression to express the desire for justice and revenge against the murderer. Those who tend towards the left may use the expression to convey the notion that justice is a matter for God to mete out, not for man.

The expression deserves further analysis, particularly as it relates to Ari Fuld, who was murdered by an Arab terrorist on September 16, 2018.

Bible Source for God’s Vengeance

The source for the HYD expression can be found in the Torah reading which was read last Saturday in synagogues around the world in Parashat Haazinu:

(הַרְנִ֤ינוּ גוֹיִם֙ עַמּ֔וֹ כִּ֥י דַם־עֲבָדָ֖יו יִקּ֑וֹם וְנָקָם֙ יָשִׁ֣יב לְצָרָ֔יו וְכִפֶּ֥ר אַדְמָת֖וֹ עַמּֽוֹ׃ (פ

O nations, acclaim His people! For He’ll avenge the blood of His servants, Wreak vengeance on His foes, And cleanse the land of His people.” (Deuteronomy 32:43)

This line comes towards the end of one of only two poems that occur in the Bible. The sentence conveys that God will take vengeance on the enemies of the Jewish people. As translated here, this quote could be used to support the intentions of both liberals and conservatives.

However, the line must be read in the context of the entire poem, which gives important nuance to this expression of revenge.

The poem in chapter 32 begins with a description of God’s generosity towards the Children of Israel in giving them the holy land. However, it warns that the Jews will forget and forsake Him when they “grow fat” in the land. God will then punish the Jews for their sin, but He will ultimately relent – not because of the righteousness of the Jews – but because He doesn’t want the enemies of Israel to believe that they had vanquished God. He will bring His vengeance upon Israel’s enemies, because those foes had also rejected God and hurt His people.

Atonement for the Land-People

By the end of the poem when God’s vengeance is mentioned, the Jewish people will already have been pummeled. “God’s servants” will have already been devastated for rejecting His words, sacrificing to Him with “alien things” and worshiping strange Gods (32:16-18). The remaining sliver of His people will be saved and will serve as a testament to His word and promise.

With such backdrop, it is worth reviewing the final words of 32:43 which are translated above as “And cleanse the land of His people.” The Hebrew is more complicated and nuanced, and a more literal translation is “and His land His People will be atoned.

“His land-people” is a very strange grammatical concoction, as there is no “and” connecting His land “and” His people. It can be best understood by looking at language used earlier in the poem (32:8-9):

בְּהַנְחֵ֤ל עֶלְיוֹן֙ גּוֹיִ֔ם בְּהַפְרִיד֖וֹ בְּנֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם יַצֵּב֙ גְּבֻלֹ֣ת עַמִּ֔ים לְמִסְפַּ֖ר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

“When the Most High gave nations their homes And set the divisions of man, He fixed the boundaries of peoples In relation to Israel’s numbers.”

כִּ֛י חֵ֥לֶק יְהֹוָ֖ה עַמּ֑וֹ יַעֲקֹ֖ב חֶ֥בֶל נַחֲלָתֽוֹ׃

“For the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His own allotment.”

The text of 32:8-9 ties the notion of His nation (ammo in Hebrew) with the land of Israel itself. His nation, His people and His land are a single integrated entity. The “admato ammo” – “his land, his people” of 32:43 is that amalgam of the Jews living in their land of inheritance.

The verb preceding “admato ammo” is “v’kiper” which is similar to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The complete clause means that God’s vengeance upon the enemies of the Jews will atone for past actions and cleanse the slate to rightly set His people in His land once more.

Neither the right- or left-leaning orientation of the expression “May God Avenge His Blood” captures the full essence of the quote which is meant to establish the enduring peace of Jews in Israel.

Ari Fuld

The Jewish people are now a fraction of their proper number, having been decimated in the Inquisition, pogroms, a Holocaust, wars and terrorism over the past thousand years. Their paltry headcount was scattered among dozens of countries around the world, only recently being gathered again into His land, the land of Israel. It was a mere ten years ago, in 2008, when the number of Jews in Israel surpassed all other countries for the first time in 1900 years. The “admato ammo,” God’s land-people are finally established again.

One of the Jews to return to the Jewish homeland was Ari Fuld, moving to Israel from the United States several decades ago. He not only fought in the Israel Defense Forces, he loudly and proudly defended and supported the IDF at every opportunity. He taught classes on Judaism in school and was a fierce religious Zionist. Ari was the essence of “admato ammo” – part-and-parcel of God’s land-people.

The expression “Hamakom Yikom Damo” for Ari Fuld is not a simple prayer for God to bring justice to Ari’s murderer, but a request that God fulfill Ari’s dream of an enduring peace for admato ammo, His land-people. The Children and Land of Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ari Fuld. Warrior for Peace

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CNN Will Not Report Islamic Terrorism

The morning of May 29, 2018 in Belgium was shattered by violence. Three people were killed in the city of Liege, including two police officers.

And that’s all that CNN would tell its readers.

Police and ambulance are seen at the site where a gunman shot dead three people, two of them policemen, before being killed by elite officers, in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on May 29, 2018. – The shooting occurred around 10:30am (0830 GMT) on a major artery in the city close to a high school. “We don’t know anything yet,” the spokeswoman for the Liege prosecutors office, told AFP when asked about the shooter’s motives. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

It would not say that the attacker was a male, was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar,” that he had recently been released from jail, or that the attack was being investigated as terrorism. It did not report that the murdered police officers were women.

Was this select telling of #AlternativeFacts or simply terrible reporting?

The Guardian wrote about basic facts in the story, even if it could not report on it from its own sources.

“La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying the gunman shouted Allahu Akbar – “God is greatest” in Arabic – and had taken a woman hostage at some point in the attack.

The national anti-terrorist crisis centre, which interior minister Jan Jambon said was monitoring the situation, said terrorism could not be excluded as a motive though it was also looking into other possible reasons. “It is one of the questions on the table, but for the moment all scenarios are open,” a spokesman for the crisis centre said.”

SkyNews reported on the man’s name in addition to his history of crimes. Perhaps they do not mind giving the killer “fame” for his actions.

The Jerusalem Post went into much detail, including the stabbing murder of the two policewomen. It also detailed the history of Islamic radicalism in Belgium, assuming that the latest act was indeed Islamic terrorism:

“A Brussels-based Islamic State cell was involved in attacks on Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and on Brussels in 2016 in which 32 died. The Brussels IS cell had links to militants in Verviers, another industrial town close to Liege, where in early 2015 police raided a safe house and killed two men who had returned from fighting with radical Islamists in Syria.

European authorities are deeply concerned about the risks of petty criminals, including those not from Muslim backgrounds, being inspired to Islamist violence while incarcerated.”

Reuters also made all of the above facts clear, including putting ‘Terrorist” in the headline of its report.

Yet CNN remained mum on all of these details.

Does CNN have fewer reporters in Belgium than media outlets in the UK or Israel? Was the best journalism it could muster was “Liege is Belgium’s third-largest city, after Brussels and Antwerp, according to the national tourist office. For centuries, it has been an important cultural and industrial center for the country.” Well, thanks so much for the thorough news analysis. Your fifth grade teachers would be very impressed.

People are getting more of their news from mobile devices than ever before, and relying on friends to source more of the worthwhile news sources, according to Pew Research. But news outlets still account for the origination of the stories.

If current trends continue, CNN will disappear faster than the facts it publishes.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Ties that Bind (and Those Unmentioned)

Covering Racism

CNN’s Embrace of Hamas

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

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Hamas Thanks Israel Bashers Who Post and Blog

On January 21, 2018, a Hamas journalist wrote that it was time to take advantage of the sympathy that has been building for the “resistance” against the existence of Israel from online pro-Palestinian “activists,” by beginning to attack Israel in new ways and locations, including abroad.

‘Imad Al-‘Afana (photo: alresalah.ps)
As reported by MEMRI, Imad Al-‘Afana, a journalist and former secretary general of Hamas’s faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), wrote that attacks from the West Bank and the Gaza border against Israel had become ineffective, and it was time to launch a new wave of attacks:

“The resistance must take advantage of the public climate that is supportive of it and of the Palestinian rights… [to head] in new directions, in addition to the non-violent demonstrations and the [soliciting of] sympathy in the virtual realm [i.e., on the Internet], and this in order to convey powerful messages that will halt the efforts of various elements in the region to [promote] normalization and recognition of Israel. We must deliver painful blows to the enemy’s vulnerable underbelly, that is, target its interests, its investments, its diaspora and its representations around the world.

Here was a member of Hamas appreciating the efforts of groups and individuals that advanced the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, as well as others who called on their governments to halt the normalization and recognition of Israel around the world. The terrorist argued that the softening of support for Israel would make it easier to attack Israel’s “vulnerable underbelly,… its investments, its diaspora and its representations around the world.

  • Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink, you will be held responsible for terrorism against Israelis in the United States.
  • The UK Labour Party and Oxfam, you will bear partial responsibility for terrorism in the United Kingdom against Israelis.
  • Norge Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway) and Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS-Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden), you will be held liable for terrorism against Israelis in Scandinavia

Hamas has long been labeled a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and many other countries. Its 1988 Charter is one of the most anti-Semitic political documents ever drafted, on par with Nazi Germany.

And a spokesperson for this anti-Semitic terrorist group has publicly thanked the online anti-Zionist propagandists for preparing their countries for the next wave of terrorism targeting Israelis and Jews.

The Noble Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel noted the importance of words for both good and evil, warning and encouraging people of the world to be careful and deliberate with their voices and opinions. Terrorists have now noted and reminded us of the same.


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