The Media Splits on Showing “Islamic Terrorism” and its Presence in Israel

On March 22, 2017 a terrorist attack in the heart of London left several people dead. The description of the attack from two leading media companies took very different approaches.

Islamic Terrorism

The Wall Street Journal made to bones about the terrorist and his motives. In the opening lines of the lead article “London Rampage Leaves 4 Dead,” the paper wrote “A suspected Islamist Terrorist mowed down scores of pedestrians…” The article continued to underscore the ongoing battle with Islamic terror at various points:

  • ‘the most serious act of terror in the U.K. since 2005, when coordinated bombings by Islamist extremists on buses and subway trains claimed 52 lives.”
  • Mark Rowley, the U.K.’s top counter-terror police official said… it was an act of ‘Islamist-related’ terrorism”
  • “a man fatally shot a soldier at Canada’s National War Memorial before getting inside the country’s Parliament building and being shot by security forces, in a Islamist-influenced terror attack”

 


Front page of Wall Street Journal March 23, 2017

The New York Times took a very different approach.

The New York Times ran an article “Deadly Attack Near U.K. Parliament; Car Plows Victims on Westminster Bridge,” which ran over 1700 words. At no time did the article mention the words Muslim or Islamic.

The Times referred to a “knife-wielding assailant” carrying out the attack and that the “assailant” had been killed. The only reference that the terrorist was even a male came from third party sources such as Prime Minister Theresa May confirming “that the attack had been carried out by a lone male assailant.” Witnesses gave corroboration that the attacker was a “middle-aged man holding a knife.”

I’m glad that the Times was avoiding male-bashing. Or maybe it was because the New York Times did not want to assume that the terrorist did not identify as a woman?

Israel

The Times did quote someone that noted that these kinds of terrorist attacks have occurred in other countries – including Israel.

Political violence is relatively rare in Britain, where gun ownership is stringently restricted…. Jeremy Shapiro, a former State Department official now at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that the London attack was consistent with the recent pattern of attacks in which a vehicle was used to kill people, citing assaults in France, Germany and Israel.”

That was an improvement relative to the Wall Street Journal that recalled vehicular attacks in France and Belgium, as well as Islamic terrorism in Canada. But not such terrorism in Israel.

Pretty extraordinary, since the car-ramming attacks in Israel were so prevalent in recent years.


For some time, The New York Times has avoided labeling terrorism as having anything to do with Islam. It has now seemingly made a further pivot to label terrorism as politically (not religiously) motivated, which may let it acknowledge the incessant terrorism waged against Israel by Palestinian Arabs. (The liberal editors of the Times will seemingly forever ignore the Hamas Charter which declares “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious,” and “In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.“)

Should the pro-Israel community claim a small victory? Maybe.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

The Media Finds Religion in Matters of Security. Sometimes.

New York Times’ Lost Pictures and Morality for the Year 2015

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If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

There have been many protests launched against President Trump’s Executive Order slowing the number of refugees coming to the United States from particular war-torn countries. People have debated about whether the EO was specifically targeting Muslims as each of the seven countries on the list were Muslim-majority countries. Democratic politicians have called out Trump as being “backward and nasty.”

Here are statistics about refugees coming to America from war-torn countries since 2002 – covering the George W Bush and Barack Obama presidencies. Periods which had NO protests about refugees.

First a review of the countries not impacted by Trump’s EO.

Afghanistan

The United States has been battling in Afghanistan since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. Thousands of people have been killed and many more injured and displaced as the USA fought to eliminate al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

From 2002 through 2016, the US allowed 14,072 refugees into the USA. The annual average under Bush was 966 people per year, slightly higher than the 913 average under Obama.

There were no protests that not enough people fleeing the war were let into America.

Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon

Boko Haram launched numerous attacks in the Lake Chad Basin for several years. The United States has responded with… allowing almost no refugees into the US.

From 2002 through 2016, the USA permitted a total of 557 refugees from the three countries confronting terrorism combined. President Bush allowed an annual average of 49 refugees, about twice the annual average of 27 under Obama. The large difference was mostly due to the discrepancy in how each administration treated Nigeria, with Obama only allowing an average of 3 people per year, compared to 34 by the Bush administration.

Ethiopia and Kenya

While the majority of the attacks by the terrorist group al-Shabaab occurred in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya have also suffered attacks.

Between 2002 and 2016, the USA admitted 14,890 refugees from the two countries, almost all of them from Ethiopia. The Bush administration welcomed an annual average of 1,292 per year, 77% more than the 731 annual average under Obama.

Saudi Arabia

People have questioned why Saudi Arabia – home to 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists – was not on Trump’s refugee order. In truth, the US barely admits any refugees from the country – a total of 7 people since 2002.

 

In summary, for seven countries that have been involved in terrorism, the US barely admitted any refugees over the past 15 years. The Obama administration let in many fewer refugees than the Bush administration, even though the terrorism was much more prevalent in the countries over the past eight years than during the Bush years.

And no Americans protested.

So let’s consider the countries in Trump’s Executive Order.

Libya

Obama overthrew the Libyan government and then watched as jihadists took over the country; a real moment to celebrate. Not surprisingly, there were no refugees from Libya under Bush (since there was no war or mayhem). However, Obama barely allowed any refugees from the country he actively dismantled – a grand total of 12 people over his eight-year presidency.

Yemen

Yemen has been in on-and-off again civil war for decades. In recent years, the situation deteriorated as the government fell while Iran and Saudi Arabia engaged in a proxy war to control one of the poorest countries in the world. The US sided with its ally Saudi Arabia in the war, and involved with killing many civilians.

Even while thousands died, the Obama administration only admitted 123 Yemeni refugees over his entire tenure. Bush admitted just 25.

Sudan

Sudan has suffered from both ongoing civil war and terrorism for a long time and the USA has been more forth-coming granting refugees asylum – a total of 21,180 people since 2002. President Bush welcomed an annual average of 1,678, about 42% more than the 1,179 granted by Obama.

Iran

Iran has had a repressive government since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. It remains one of the leading countries that executes gays and one of the only countries that executes minors.

The US has consistently granted asylum to over one thousand refugees from Iran every year. Since 2002, 45,791 refugees have come to America, with an annual average of roughly 3000 per year under both Bush and Obama.

Somalia

Somalia has been a mess for 30 years, undergoing a variety of civil wars. The unrest was so bad that in 2006, that Ethiopia sent troops in 2006 to help repel the advance of the Islamic Courts Union, which soon splintered into the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Mayhem continues to this day.

The US allowed entry to 100,930 refugees from Somalia from 2002 to 2016; a great number of whom have settled in Minnesota. Both Presidents Bush and Obama allowed roughly 6700 Somalis to enter each year.

Iraq

The United States entered Iraq shortly after the attacks of 9/11 and overthrew the government. While the long war under Bush finally helped settle the country, the rapid withdrawal under Obama and the decision to not leave any US troops behind led to chaos and the emergence of ISIS.

Over 140,000 refugees have come to the US from Iraq since 2002. The majority have come under the watch of Obama, with over 15,000 coming annually, compared to an average of 2800 under Bush.

Syria

Syria has been in a civil war since March 2011, in a war that has killed roughly half a million people.

Before the war began, there were few people fleeing the country, and President Bush admitted about 14 people per year. From 2009 through 2013, the number of refugees welcomed to America barely changed, but gradually increased towards the end of Obama’s presidency, with 249, 2192 and 15,479 coming in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

refugees

Aside from the spike of Syrian refugees in 2016, Obama did less for refugees – over a much more tumultuous period – than Bush.

Observation

The number of refugees admitted under Bush and Obama were roughly the same, even though the situation for people in the Middle East was much worse since the “Arab Spring” began in early 2011. Further, the terrorist threats from groups like ISIS, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and others grew dramatically during the Obama years. In a time of greater instability and violence, Obama barely acted in providing sanctuary.

But there were no protests in the streets of America to let in more refugees.

Even as millions of refugees fleeing the war-torn countries overwhelmed Europe, Obama did not increase the numbers entering the US until the final two years of his second term- and only for Syria.

Why the lack of protests in the streets of the USA?

Presumably it was because American liberals loved Obama and trusted his liberal instincts. They assumed that he was doing whatever he could – even though it was clear that Europe was doing much, much more than the US in protecting refugees.

Conversely, liberal protesters assume the very worst of President Trump. They have listened to his campaign promises about banning Muslims and concluded that his executive order was really a step to ban all Muslims from entering the US. They have channeled their hatred today in regards to refugees. Yesterday it was for abortion rights. Tomorrow it may be about bank reform.

In other words, the protestors hate Trump much more than they care about refugees. Their protests are masked as concern for the weak and disenfranchised, as it lends a smug self-righteousness to conceal their ugly anger.

It is emotional, not fact-based.

refugees
Protestors at JFK Airport January 28, 2017
(photo: Reuters: Stephen Yang)

So why review the facts above? Why combat or discuss #AlternativeFacts or #FakeNews? Americans stopped paying attention to facts long ago and have relied on screaming and sharing their emotions.

It is our new reality, the lack of reality. As conveyed in “Eyes Wide Shut,

“In a world where facts are extraneous, we are only left with a clash of emotions.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

Trump’s Take on Obama’s “Evil Ideology”

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

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Trump’s Take on Obama’s “Evil Ideology”

Donald Trump and Barack Obama took very different approaches to dealing with terrorism.

While president, Barack Obama referred to the “evil ideology” in extremists that engaged in barbarous acts of violence, without referring to it as “radical Islamic terrorism.” His handling of the “evil ideology” essentially broke down into four categories, as detailed in “Grading Evil and Evil Doers.”

  • Evil to Destroy: those terrorist groups that threaten America like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State
  • Evil to Condemn: terrorist groups that target other countries, but not the USA, like al-Shabaab and Boko Haram
  • Evil to Tolerate: These are countries that slaughter their own citizens including minors, like Syria, Iran and America’s ally Saudi Arabia
  • Evil to Ignore: This is from governments and aspiring countries like the Palestinian Authority that routinely incites violence against an American ally, Israel.

Obama used direct military action against the first category, when he felt that American lives were at stake, while only lending support against the second. When it came to countries that harbored evil ideologies, Obama opted to remain inactive and relatively silent.

In short, the “evil ideology” itself was not the barometer of whether Obama took action; it was the nature of the threat to American lives, and whether he could act narrowly against relatively small groups of people rather than entire countries.

Trump’s Approach to Radical Jihadist Terrorism

In his first week in office, Donald Trump is seemingly approaching his obligation to protect Americans in a manner quite different than Obama.

  • Name: For one, Trump clearly labeled the “evil ideology” as “radical Islamic terrorism.” While Obama felt that attributing the extremist actions specifically to Islam was unfair, Trump thought that avoiding the connection between the terrorists’ motives and Islamic teachings masked the problem.
  • Breadth: While Obama sought to target a narrow audience for military attacks, and giving a pass to others with “evil ideologies,” Trump seems more willing to go broader and use more tools to address the issues. He has advocated for using torture to get information from terrorists (he said he would be willing to reconsider it if his defense advisors warn against it). Trump has instituted restrictions on immigrations from several countries that have been unable to deal with terrorists, to minimize the probability of terrorists coming to the United States.

Trump has only been in office for ten days, so it is difficult to ascertain how he will use the military in fighting groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda that Obama targeted, and others where Obama acted indirectly like Boko Haram and al-Shabaab. He has already authorized an attack in Yemen in an operation that reportedly killed 14 militants. Will he use troops rather than relying mainly on drones as Obama did in countries like Yemen and Somalia?

trump-refugee-ban
Donald Trump signing ban on some refugees January 2017
(photo: Reuters: Carlos Barria)

Beyond combatting terrorism, how will Trump interact with countries that promote radical Islamic terrorism like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Obama traded with them and gave them billions of dollars. Will Trump treat them as potential business partners too and ignore their support of terrorism?


The United Nations called on the world to not label violent extremism as “Islamic” as they argued that doing so would be unfair to the religion. The UN preferred to only use the term “extremists” in regards to Jews, as part of its ongoing attack on Israel.

Obama lied to the world that the birthplace of extremism was in poverty, rather than a twisted view of the world. His #AlternativeFacts were parroted by the members of his administration, even though every study on the subject showed the statement to be bogus.

So now that Trump has opted to call out the root of terrorism as not being from lack of economic opportunity, but having distinct Islamic origins, will the US push to take actions against Islamic countries rather than a limited number of terrorist groups? Is Trump calling out a clash of civilizations? If so, how will such a clash play out?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

Civil Death and Terrorism

Strange difference of opinion on Boko Haram and Hamas in New York Times

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Martin Luther King and Zionism

Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of the black minority in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. His passionate words inspired many people to move for equal rights for all Americans.

As the last MLK Day of the first Black US President is celebrated, and in the aftermath of this administration’s abandonment of Israel, it is worth reviewing MLK’s comments specifically about Israel, and those which underscore his philosophy about Israel.

Martin Luther King on Israel (Direct Quotes)

Here is a selection of MLK quotes specifically about the Jewish State:

The whole world must see that Israel must exist, Israel has a right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

“Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.”

“When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism,”

Below is a selection of 20 other famous quotes of MLK, applied to Israel.

Reestablishing the Jewish Homeland

I have a dream.”

The famous line was taken from a speech given by MLK on August 28, 1963. That speech was a declaration that the promise of freedom that was given to blacks by President Abraham Lincoln 100 years earlier in 1863 was still not realized. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds,”” he continued.

In 2017, 100 years after the Balfour Declaration in 1917 recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine, President Obama said that the Jewish State could only be reestablished on a sliver of their homeland, and Jews living outside those bounds was illegal. Many Zionists have repeated the words of MLK to Obama today, that the tacit endorsement of United Nations Resolution 2334 was wrong; a bounced check marked “insufficient funds.”

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Theodore Herzl advanced modern Zionism when he wrote the book “The Jewish State” in 1896. He believed that “If you will it, it is no dream;” that Jews could actively participate in moving to Israel and reestablish Jewish sovereignty in the land. Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s, and had moved to Palestine in greater numbers than any other religion throughout the 1800s. But Herzl instilled the belief that sovereignty – Jewish self-determination in their homeland – was a possibility in modern times.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

While international law established the right of a Jewish homeland in Palestine in the San Remo Agreement of 1920 and the Palestine Mandate in 1922, the nations of the world did not recognize the independent Jewish State until 1948-9. Some people have argued that Israel was created BECAUSE of the Holocaust, that bleak “starless midnight of racism and war.” The truth is that the world recognized the right of Jews to reestablish their homeland decades earlier, before the Nazis even rose to power.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”

The endorsements of a Jewish homeland in 1920 and 1922 was met with riots and pogroms in Israel. Arab riots in the 1920s killed dozens of Jews. The mini-Arab war against the Jews in 1936-9 killed thousands, and made the British administrators institute a ceiling on Jewish immigration to Palestine – on the eve of the Holocaust – an action that allowed thousands of Jews to die in Europe. Wars and terrorism from Arab forces have continued to kill Jews in Israel. But the Jewish State never gives up hope of living in peace.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

The Israeli people are a diverse people. Mizrachi Jews account for the majority, who came from Arab lands including Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt between 1948 and the 1960s. Many Jews left Argentina after the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in 1984, and Israel absorbed thousands of Jews from Ethiopia and Russia during the 1990s. While people think of the Ashkenazim of Europe being the dominant presence in the country, they are actually a minority.

Efforts at Peace and Coexistence

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

When Israel declared its independence in May 1948, it gave citizenship to everyone living in the land, Jews and non-Jews alike. This was in sharp contrast to the Jordanian Arabs who expelled all Jews from lands that they seized in the 1948-9 war in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Jordanians gave all of the Arabs in the region Jordanian citizenship and explicitly EXCLUDED JEWS from obtaining citizenship. At this time, the other Arab and Muslim countries began to force 1 million Jews to flee their homes.

In 1967, after the Arab countries tried to destroy Israel again, Israel asked for peace, but the Arab world declared in Khartoum “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.

Israeli statesman Shimon Peres made an observation similar to MLK about the persistent Arab terrorism in Israel when he said in June 2014 you cannot put fire and water in the same glass. Hamas is clearly not a partner for peace…. Finding a way forward is hard but we must not lose hope.” Israel continues to extend a hand of peace and coexistence to its Arab neighbors and hopes that one day, the dream of peace will be reciprocated.

“It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”

Israel took significant steps towards peace with its neighbors, sacrificing territory that it took when Arab countries sought to destroy Israel.  In 1982, Israel removed all Jews from the Sinai peninsula and handed the land to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty. In 1996, as part of the Oslo Agreements, Israel gave control of many cities in Judea and Samaria/ the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, in the hopes of establishing peace. The Israelis discussed giving back almost all of the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace, as detailed in Dennis Ross’s book, The Missing Peace. And in 2005, Israel withdrew all Israeli soldiers and civilians from Gaza in the hopes of achieving peace.

We have yet to see many Arabs sacrifice for peace willfully, such as admitting the rights of Jews to live throughout the region, facilitating their access to their holiest site on the Jewish Temple Mount and recognizing the Jewish State itself.

Love and Kindness

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Israel has been at the forefront of helping out countries of the world faced with natural disasters. Whether in Haiti or Turkey, Japan or Indonesia, Israel helps countries that do not even recognize it.  Consider that Israel even helped people injured in the civil war in Syria next door, even though the two countries are technically at war.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Israeli officials often call out the barbarity that exists around the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The murderous regimes that extinguish freedoms make Israel a lonely island of democracy and liberal attitudes. But for its efforts of calling out evil, Israel just gets more world condemnation, as it is mocked for progressive attitudes with terms like “pinkwashing.” No matter. Israel will continue to lead by example and call out its neighbors.

Israel and Greatness

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Jews may only a fraction of the global body, but they account for an enormous percentage of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry, Medicine and Physics. Similarly, the Jewish State has more Nobel Prize winners than the African continent and entire Arabian peninsula combined.

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be… The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

Israel has been named the “Start Up Nation” because of the remarkable number of entrepreneurs that have created successful start up companies.  Despite its small size, lack of natural resources and unfriendly neighbors, the country has managed to create break-through hardware and software companies with products that are incorporated into almost every successful technology today.

Israel and Arab Neighbors

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

At the moment of Israel’s declaration of statehood, it opened its arms to Arabs both in its midst and those at its borders. In the very text of the declaration on May 14, 1948 it stated: “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.” It is an effort that Israel still continues to advance today.

“The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.”

While Israel attempts to achieve a peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, it will always have the security of its land and people as a primary concern. When rockets flew from Gaza, Israel responded by launching an operation to stop the attacks. When suicide bombers infiltrated the country from Arab towns in Judea and Samaria, the country built a security barrier.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

Israel has attempted to advance peace with Palestinian Arabs on the basis of peaceful coexistence. It gave full rights of citizenship to Arabs living in Israel in 1948, and has allowed Arabs living in the eastern part of Jerusalem which Israel reunited in 1967, the right to apply for citizenship. In contrast, the Arabs have made no attempt to advance peace, but have only focused on a complete separation from Israel. Some Palestinian Arabs that are viewed as “moderates” seek a state just in Gaza and the West Bank. Other Arabs seek to destroy Israel completely.

Peace will only come to the region when peace is a means and an ends, not just a potential byproduct of maneuvers and declarations.

Israel and the United Nations

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

The United Nations has made a name for itself in its rampant anti-Semitism. Efforts have ranged from Having a former Nazi, Kurt Waldheim, run the UN for years, to resolutions declaring that “Zionism is racism.”

In 2015 and 2016, the UN advanced and approved resolutions that removed any connection of Judaism from Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple Mount. The efforts are part of a long-standing Arab complaint that Israel is trying to “Judaize” its holiest city, despite Jews’ 3000-year history in the city.

MLK said it best, that nothing is more dangerous than conscientious stupidity.

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

Several European countries have tried to advance a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. However, in doing so, they have compounded the problem and made chances for peace more remote.

Removing Hamas from a list of terrorist entities enables terrorism and parties that oppose any peace with Israel. Labeling products from Judea and Samaria with distinct labels pushes away opportunities for coexistence. Condemning Jews living across from Armistice Lines that were specifically never designated as borders is illogical and harms negotiations. Advancing peace forums without the presence of Israelis makes the possibility of direct negotiations more remote.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the General Assembly at the United Nations in October 2015 to rebuke the countries of the world for their “utter silence, deafening silence” in condemning Iran for its pledge to destroy Israel. President Obama called US Ambassador Samantha Power out of the room so she missed Netanyahu’s speech. Silence compounded: the refusal to speak and the refusal to hear.

Israel and the United States Under Obama

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

As noted above, Barack Obama pulled his people out of the UN General Assembly so they would not hear the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech. It was not the only time he would snub Israel.

Obama made a point of reaching out to the Arab and Muslim world as soon as he began his presidency. He made his first public trip to Turkey where he pitched “common ground.” He traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he made his “new beginnings” appeal. He would stop by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. And skip Israel.

When Obama did make it to Israel four years later, he declined an invitation to speak to the Israeli Knesset, and instead opted to use that time to speak to college students, snubbing the only democracy in the Middle East.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

By early 2015, the contours of the Iran nuclear deal were taking shape, very much to the dislike of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other American allies. As the Iranian government made clear its interest in destroying Israel, Netanyahu sought to take aggressive steps to improve upon the deal. He accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, but Obama had 58 Democratic loyalists in Congress boycott the speech.

Beyond snubbing Israel in Jerusalem and Washington DC, and standing by idly when the United Nations Security Council lambasted Israel, the Obama administration never had the courage to state that it supported Israel as it confronted dozens of terrorist attacks. Those sentiments were reserved for other countries. And for Palestinian Arabs.


The twentieth quote summarizes the life of Martin Luther King: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” It is a mantra he lived as a civil rights leader fighting for a minority group to achieve common rights and freedoms.

It is a cause that the Jewish people and the Jewish State understand full well.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Native American, An African American and a Hispanic American walk into Israel…

“Jews as a Class”

The Selfishness, Morality and Effectiveness of Defending Others

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Black Lives Matter Joins the anti-Israel “Progressives” Fighting Zionism

Seeing Security through a Screen

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MLK

 

 

The Wall Street Journal Shows Unity with Israel

The conservative newspaper The Wall Street Journal has a long history of supporting Israel. The articles and editorials typically take an Israeli narrative, as reviewed in the related stories section below.

The contrast in the daily coverage to the New York Times is striking, even in the pictures each paper opts to print.

This week, a Palestinian Arab terrorist used a truck to ram down several Israeli soldiers who were standing along a beautiful promenade in Jerusalem. The Wall Street Journal showed empathy with Israel in giving the story a full page large picture at the very top of the front page. The picture showed a circle of Israeli soldiers mourning.

img_3945
Front page of the Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2017

This compared to a small black-and-white picture at the bottom of page A4 that the New York Times opted to use to cover the story.

img_3947
New York Times page A4 on 1/9/17,
with a small picture of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem

The caption of the WSJ read: “SHOW OF UNITY: Israeli soldiers gathered near the site of a truck-ramming attack Sunday. Four soldiers died and some 17 were injured.” The conservative paper has repeatedly shown its unity with America’s ally, in sharp contrast to the liberal NY Times.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Every Picture Tells a Story: Versions of Reality

Framing the Israeli-Palestinian Arab Conflict: WSJ and NY Times

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: No Christians Targeted

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

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The Obama Administration Continues to Abandon Israel in Fighting Terror

Once again, the Obama administration has refused to stand with Israel as it confronts terror.

On January 8, 2017, a terrorist rammed a group of soldiers who had just exited a bus in Jerusalem. At least four were killed. The US State Department made the following statement in response:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem.‎ There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. We‎ condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured.”

Stating their is “no justification” for violence but NOT stating that America stands by Israel and the people of Israel in combatting terror IS JUSTIFYING TERROR. The Obama administration just let a UN resolution claiming that the 1949 Armistice Lines are actual borders is a reward for terror. Propping up the acting President of the Palestinian Authority whose term expired eight years is rewarding terror.

jerusalem-truck-attack
Israeli security forces after car ramming attack in Jerusalem
(photo: AP:AHMAD GHARABLI)

Consider the State Department’s response to the car ramming attack in Nice, France:

“Today’s horrendous attack in Nice is an attack against innocent people on a day that celebrates Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

On behalf of all Americans, and especially the great many with close ties to France, I offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who were killed and our hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed.

Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. Any U.S. citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform them of their well being.”

This US administration has done this to Israel time and again.

Consider the attacks in the fall of 2015, as detailed in “Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department.” The US stood by the governments of Chad, Lebanon and France in terrorist attacks. But not Israel.

In reviewing the global terrorism in the summer of 2015, as detailed in “The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism,” the US supported the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Cameroon in combatting terrorism. But not Israel.

The terrorism of January 8 , 2017 fell out on the Jewish fast day of the 10th of Tevet. It is a holiday where the Babylonian leader Nebuchadnezzar began to lay siege to Jerusalem.  The city would not fall for another 30 months, but Jews have commemorated the beginning of the siege for 2500 years. History has shown that calamities often do not come out of the blue, but start with incremental steps. Each one is a tragedy.

Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration let a UN resolution pass which stated that it was illegal for Jews to live in the entirety of the Old City of Jerusalem. Obama once again continued to make clear that it will not stand with Israel while Jews are murdered in the city.

A question for Jews to ponder is whether the commemoration of the US abandoning Israel should be marked on December 23 when the UN Resolution 2334 passed, or January 20, 2008, when Obama was elected to office.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

US Hypocrisy – “Reasonableness and Restraint”

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

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

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The Selfishness, Morality and Effectiveness of Defending Others

There is a well known quote from a Protestant minister named Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) who argued for the defense of others:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The argument is by all accounts a practical one, not a moral one. The quote suggests that people should stand up against prejudice because hatred is a slippery slope. The selfish reasoning has different aspects: fight for others before the evil comes for you; and fight for others, and hopefully they will fight for you as well due to the same logic.

Do world leaders actually use such self-motivating arguments in practice?  Are the arguments effective in curbing hate and attacks driven by hatred?

Rallying for the Victims

Consider the situation of Jews in France over the past few years.

The Anti Defamation League did a study of anti-Semitism in 2014 which it updated in 2015.  The study found that while most countries in the world witnessed very small changes in the level of hatred against Jews, France saw a dramatic drop.

  • Christians: In 2014, 40% of French Christians held anti-Semitic views. That number dropped to 17% in 2015.
  • Business: In 2014, 51% of France believed that Jews had too much control of the financial markets. One year later, only 33% held such views – mostly Muslims (63%)
  • Global Affairs: In 2014, 46% of France believed that Jews had too much control over world affairs, a number that dropped to 22% in 2015 (again, predominantly French Muslims, 54% compared to Christians at 21%)
  • Pompous: In 2014, 33% of France thought that Jews thought themselves superior to others, dropping almost in half to 17% in 2015 (Muslims were more than twice as likely as Christians to hold this view)
  • Media: In 2014, 44% of France thought that Jews had too much control of the media, which dropped to only 21% in 2015 (Muslims were almost 3 times more likely to hold that view).
  • World Wars: In 2014, 18% of the French considered the Jews behind major world wars. In 2015, that number was one-third, 6% (with Muslims FOUR times as likely as Christians to hold such view).

What happened between the two polls in France to cause such a dramatic shift in the perception of Jews? ADL commented that various terrorist attacks and violence against Jews over 2014 brought a sense of solidarity for the Jews in France, as well as in Germany and Belgium where other attacks occurred:

“The poll found a marked increase in concern about violence against Jews in all three countries.  The results indicate that heightened awareness of violence against Jews fosters a sense of solidarity with the Jewish community and that strong condemnation by political and civic leaders makes expressing anti-Semitism less acceptable.”

Such statement from the ADL would seem to confirm that speaking up in defense of a persecuted group improves their situation, and indeed that may have been a contributor to the dramatic improvement of the French perception of Jews.

Rallying for the Perpetrator

In June 2015, the Pew Research Center did a survey of the French in their attitudes towards Muslims in the aftermath of deadly attacks committed by Islamic terrorists.  In a surprising finding, the French viewed the group that perpetrated the violence MORE favorably than before, going from a 72% favorability rating to 76%.  The improvement in opinions went across all political ideologies, including the far right which saw a movement of 60% to 63%, including a strong favorability rating doubling from 8% to 16%.

This dynamic happened in the United States after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks as well. Overall, Americans’ positive impressions of Muslims jumped from 45% to 59%, with the far right jumping the most, from 35% favorable feelings to 64%.

Pew reached a similar conclusion as the ADL, and attributed the increased positive feelings towards Muslims stemming from the call for unity among leaders such as President George W Bush who said: “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.  And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that.

The famous Niemoller quote considered people’s selfish motivations to defend others, while world leaders appealed to people to turn away from hatred in pursuit of unity. Whether in France or the USA, those calls seemed effective in changing attitudes, but did they lower the number of attacks?

Effectiveness

In the United States, the number of attacks inspired by radical Islam has accelerated since the middle of 2015, with roughly 30 incidents over the past year (compared to 62 in the prior 14 years). Have the number of attacks increased because of the calls by President-elect Donald Trump to perform “extreme vetting” of Muslims interested in coming to the United States from countries at war with the US? Possibly. It is certainly an extreme jump in jihadist attacks.

However France has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of Islamic attacks, which began to spike in December 2014.  There have been roughly 20 attacks over the past two years, which roughly equals the prior 25-years’ of attacks. Various pundits speculate a number of causes including the French colonialist past and the marginalization of Muslim immigrants in French society. But those excuses must be dismissed, as those dynamics have been at play for dozens of years.

Others point out to the rise in the number of Muslim immigrants from the war-torn Middle East.  These immigrants arrived into France, Belgium and other countries, bringing their anger with them. The stories they tell of the destruction of their homes fuels the anger of the resident Muslims that were already in the country.  Rather than be grateful for their safety, they attack the liberal society which replaced their Muslim world. While the attacks by Muslims has led to the growth of far-right nationalist parties that argue to stem the flow of Muslim refugees, the far-right has overall been more positive towards the Islamic community.

obama-red-line


It would appear that calls for calm and unity by government leaders is effective in reducing hatred, but does little to curtail terrorism.  To reduce terrorism, the most effective course may be to end the wars in the Middle East, including Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Peace at home is achieved with peace abroad.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

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Time for Obama to Address Palestinian Arabs Directly

The Palestinian Arabs conduct polls of themselves every few months. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research  publish the polls for all to see.

It would appear that the United Nations and the Obama Administration refuse to read and internalize the clear print.

Consider the poll completed in September 2016.  The findings concluded:

“current level of support for an armed intifada remains high and a majority opposes the Russian invitation for a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu in Moscow. Moreover, the public remains highly pessimistic about the French Initiative’s chances of success. Finally, Hamas’ candidate for the presidency, Ismail Haniyeh remains more popular than Abbas.”

The Palestinian Arabs continue to “support an armed intifada,” meaning killing Israelis rather than speaking and negotiating with them.  The Arabs further support the terrorist group Hamas rather than the “more moderate” Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas.

But the US and the United Nations don’t acknowledge these persistent inconvenient facts.

On November 29, 2016, the US State Department had its daily press briefing were Spokesperson John Kirby stated:

” in order to get there [two state solution], you have to see tangible leadership on both sides to ratchet down the rhetoric and to reduce the violence and to show a willingness to sit down and have discussions about a two-state solution. That hasn’t been the case….
we need to see the leadership on both sides take the kinds of actions to realize a two-state solution; to commit to a willingness to sit down and have those kinds of discussions and to effect those kinds of negotiations. And his point was exactly and succinctly right: You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. You have to – ultimately – and we’ve said this time and time again – you have to see leadership exuded and demonstrated there in the region. They have to be willing to get to this two-state solution or it’s not going to be sustainable. And I think if you go back and look at the transcript of his remarks, you’ll see that he expounded on that thought in exactly – almost exactly those words.

The US State Department seemed to recognize the failure of Palestinian leadership – but not the Palestinian people. It chose to equivocate in condemning Israeli settlements by also blaming the impasse of advancing peace talks on Palestinian leadership.  However, the State Department never is critical of the Palestinian Arabs who continue to favor violence and terrorism instead of coexistence and peace.

On that same November day, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also blamed the leadership of the two parties. “Israeli and Palestinian leaders still voice their support for the two-State solution. However, without urgent steps to revive a political perspective, they risk entrenching a one-state reality.” According to the UN, the failures of leadership have in turn caused anger from the populations:

“All this has led to growing anger and frustration among Palestinians and profound disillusionment among Israelis. It has strengthened radicals and weakened moderates on both sides.”

The inversion of cause-and-effect never enters the mindset of Ban Ki-Moon, that Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas cannot take steps towards peace, because his own people demand more forceful actions.  The UN will state that Palestinian Arab civilians are simply “resorting to violence” and are “desperate” for a state, even though the entire fabric of the PA, Fatah and Hamas is about the destruction of the Jewish State.

A New Path

US President Obama declined to address the Israeli parliament when he visited Israel in March 2013, and instead addressed Israeli citizens.   In his opening remarks he said “what I’ve most looked forward to is the ability to speak directly to you, the Israeli people — especially so many young people who are here today — (applause) — to talk about the history that brought us here today, and the future that you will make in the years to come.”

Perhaps the final gesture to advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, is for Obama to address the Palestinian Arabs directly to accept their Jewish neighbors and build a future together, rather than reward the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority as former US President Jimmy Carter suggested on that same November 29 day of willful blindness.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

It’s the Democracy, Stupid

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

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

Pro-Israel Democrats have loudly proclaimed that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a strong supporter of Israel. They have even stated that her pro-Israel positions are really not that dissimilar to the Republican President George W. Bush.

Really?

“Settlements” and Berating Israel

A new batch of emails from Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State reveals some of her positions related to Israel and her approach to dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Consider the email exchange between Hillary Clinton and Sandy Berger on September 19 & 22, 2009.

“ironically, his [Netanyahu’s] intransigence over 67 borders may offer us [the Clinton’s State Department] that possibility – to turn his position against him… Sending [Middle East Peace Envoy George] Mitchell back to try to get the parties to agree on a common basis to relaunch negotiations. This includes: an end to the occupation that began in 1967. –– This 67 formulation was used in the Road Map, by Bush, Sharon and Olmert. Assuming Bibi will accept no formulation that includes 67 borders, it suggests that Bibi is the obstacle to progress and backtracking on his part on an issue that previous Israeli governments have accepted.”

The Clinton/Berger plot was clearly to undermine Netanyahu to punish him for disagreeing to set the borders that existed in 1967 as the permanent borders. They viewed those borders as concessions that had been previously agreed to.

sandy-berger-and-hillary-clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, 2009

But look at what President George W. Bush and the US Congress actually stated five years earlier on June 23, 2004.

“Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities;”

This House of Representatives motion, H. Con.Res 460, was passed in a landslide roll call vote 407-9.

Note that Bush clearly stated the opposite of what Clinton and Berger contended: prior agreements and assurances that the borders would NOT be along the Green Line which existed until 1967.

Further, the April letter from Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underscored that the pathway to peace and a two-state future was the cessation of all Palestinian incitement to, and acts of violence.

The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking [Israeli withdrawal from Gaza] represents. I [President George W Bush] therefore want to reassure you on several points.

First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means. The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue. The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state. It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel. “

Bush focused on the cessation of Palestinian Arab terrorism and incitement, as he underscored that Israel would NOT return to the 1967 borders.

What happened between the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter and the 2009 Clinton/Berger email?

  • In 2005, Israel withdrew every Israeli civilian and soldier from Gaza
  • In 2006, Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction swept legislative elections, gaining 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority
  • In 2007, Hamas routed the competing political party Fatah, and seized total control of Gaza
  • In 2008/9, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the incessant missile fire into Israel from Gaza
  • And in September 2009, as Clinton and Berger exchanged emails, the United Nations was preparing to release the Goldstone Report, a 452-page report where the world body would demonize Israel for committing war crimes in Operation Cast Lead

It was in that environment, where Israel was feeling the condemnation of the world, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to add fuel to the fire by berating Benjamin Netanyahu as an “obstacle to progress.” Not a single criticism of Palestinian Arab terror, which WAS the focus of the assurances between the US and Israel.

At best, pro-Israel Clinton supporters may claim that she was simply following the direction of President Barack Obama to rewrite facts and history in the hope that no one would notice.

Democrats can claim that there was no malice in rewriting the long-standing Democratic platform in 2012, removing the historic clause that had been the party’s approach for years, “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”  The entire language that was lifted verbatim from the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter was deleted in its entirety. It was as if it never existed.

Democrats comfortably pretend that Israel moved to the right, rather than the party’s positions that moved counter to facts and history, because they BELIEVE their cause to be just. They believe that the settlements are the primary obstacle to peace because they get terrible advice from left-wing groups like J Street that claim to be pro-Israel and pro-peace. (J Street just released a foolish video making fun of Donald Trump’s ties to the settlements, in time for the elections.)

The reality, is that the Democratic party under Obama’s leadership moved sharply away from Israel and the truth.  And Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State followed that caustic approach to attack Israel while it was vulnerable on the world stage.


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J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

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

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

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The Presidential Candidates on Islamic Terrorism: The Bumblebee, the Crocodile and the Pitbull

The race for the president of the United States in 2016 has regrettably not been about issues, but character. Both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump have been tarred-and-feathered by their opponents mostly because of actions or statements that they have made, rather than on positions and policies they plan to introduce should they be elected.

Still, in the statements that the individuals have made, there is a sense of how each views the world around them, and in particular, the attitudes towards radical Islamic terror.

Consider these analogies:

The Bumblebee

At first glance, bumblebees look scary. A person seeing the bee’s colors or hearing the buzz of its wings, may either look to run or to kill the insects. However, many knowledgeable people will tell you that the bumblebees will not bother you if you leave them alone.

That attitude is found in the radical left, like Jill Stein of the Green Party, and to some extent, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Stein believes that all people are inherently good, so people will only attack if provoked. Johnson is less of a purest on intent, but more of an isolationist, so wants America to retrench from around the world to just focus on home. According to these candidates, radical Islamic terrorism will spare America, if America does not act aggressively in the Middle East.

The Crocodile

A crocodile is often described as the meanest creature on the planet. At the very moment a crocodile is hatched, it will bite the first thing that it sees.

Trump believes that Islam has potentially very dangerous ideas that are incompatible with democracy and American values. As such, he has stated that he would curtail immigration from all Islamic countries that are engaged in wars or spawn terrorism. Trump believes that the jump from moderate Islam to radical Islam is too small and difficult to track, and since radical Islam is a real and persistent threat, draconian actions are required to protect American interests.

The Pitbull

Pitbulls have a mixed reputation. Many dog owners see the dogs as beautiful, elegant and strong. Others see the breed as a menace that can turn quickly and kill or maim people.

Clinton views Muslims in a similar light. She believes that Islam is not inherently bad or inclined towards violence. However, she does not deny that a strain of radical Islam is present in the world and killing men, women and children. As such, her views suggest a combination of empowering the American Muslim community and monitoring their activities.

beecrocpitbull

The radical left argues that the world is full of bees. These dreamers believe that foreigners who look threatening really aren’t, they’re simply misunderstood. Some of these liberals have gone into the hives in an effort to befriend these misunderstood communities, sometimes as volunteers to rally for the “peaceful” cause. Some were killed – like Vittori Arrigoni – while they basked in their naivete.

For their part, the radical right will have you believe that entire classes of people are inherently evil. Such “devils” would ideally be avoided, but should they pose a threat to America or its allies, the right would advocate for the evil to be exterminated. Should those suspicious people seek entry into the United States, the right-wing would argue for “extreme vetting” before permitting their immigration.

Those in the middle think in a more nuanced fashion. They understand that there are good and bad people everywhere. The center argues that there is no reason to curtail immigration for Muslims, any more than placing a nationwide ban on pitbulls.

The reality is that the various approaches are right and wrong, depending on the issues.  The world has bumblebees AND crocodiles AND pitbulls. There is no single approach to dealing with a large, complicated world.

The left’s desire to say that all people are alright and that everyone is created equal fails to see the world for what it really is. The right’s desire to see piranhas and crocodiles in every body of water will foster fear and force unnecessary retrenching of resources. And the people who embrace caution but equivocate, are only balancing the extremes.

Today, America lacks honest and clear leadership, that is both kind and courteous, while also being politically incorrect, as appropriate.

Society would be better served in not seeing everything as black-or-white, but not being deceived that everything is grey. As important, our leaders should have clarity of what is white, grey and black.  How can people trust leaders to develop solutions, when those leaders are blind to reality?

For example, the radical left-wing of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have more contempt for bankers than they have for ISIS. Hard-working honest bankers are labeled crocodiles, while ISIS is labeled a pitbull. Such politicians cannot be trusted to lead.

The radical right-wing looks at immigrants from Latin America seeking economic opportunity in the USA, the same way that it looks at people returning from fighting for ISIS. What is the basis for lumping these people together?

Today, America’s leaders have fed their constituents fat lies.  The left-wing dreamers would prefer to takedown capitalism over terrorism.  The right-wing would take out all Muslims rather than just the extremists. If politicians cannot properly identify our obvious enemies, how can we elect them as leaders?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Crises at the Borders

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Absolute and Relative Ideological Terrorism in the United States

“Jews as a Class”

A Logical Approach to Immigration from Personal History

The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

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