The UN Does Not Want Palestinian Terrorists to be Held Accountable

The former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon had a terrible history regarding his treatment of Israel. He vilified the country and absolved Palestinian Arab terrorists repeatedly. Unfortunately the new UNSG Antonio Guterres is following in those footsteps.

On July 21, 2017, a Palestinian Arab terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the town of Halamish and murdered three people having a Sabbath dinner. The murder was celebrated by the leader of Hamas, the main party of the Palestinian Authority parliament.

Guterres issued a statement about the horrific murders shortly afterwards:

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns this evening’s stabbing attack by a Palestinian perpetrator, which resulted in the death of three members of an Israeli family in the Halamish settlement in the occupied West Bank.

He conveys his condolences to the bereaved and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.

The Secretary-General again calls on all to refrain from any actions or words that could further escalate an already volatile situation.”

While it was nice to hear that the leader of the United Nations “strongly condemns” murder, the words ring hollow when compared to recent statements by the same man regarding the killing of civilians elsewhere.

  • On July 24 Guterres issued a statement regarding the killing of civilians in Afghanistan stating “the deliberate targeting of civilians constitutes a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and may constitute a war crime.” An important sentiment not issued for Israeli civilians.
  • His July 24 statement regarding attacks in Pakistan said he “strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, today and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes full recovery to those injured. He supports the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to fight terrorism and violent extremism with full respect for international human rights norms and obligations.” He was clear in his support of the government and that the terrorists should be brought to justice.
  • In July 25 on a statement about attacks against civilians in Nigeria, he issued a statement “These terrorist acts are targeting people who had already fled their homes as a result of Boko Haram violence. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of Nigeria for the loss of life. He wishes a quick recovery to those injured and calls for those responsible for this heinous act to be swiftly brought to justice. He reiterates the United Nations support to the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism in full observance of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.” Other important statement not issued regarding Israel.

The difference in treatment of Israeli victims to other countries is outrageous.

  • Why was the Palestinian attacker only called a “perpetrator” and not a “terrorist” by the UNSG as he did regarding Pakistan and Nigeria?
  • Why did the deliberate targeting of civilians in Afghanistan get a call about “war crimes,” while the Palestinian murderer and support by Palestinian elected leaders was greeted with silence?
  • Why did the UNSG call for terrorists in Nigeria and Pakistan to be “brought to justice,” but he made no comment regarding justice for Israel?
  • Why did the UNSG say that he supported the governments of Nigeria and Pakistan in their fight against “terrorism and violent extremism,” but asked Israel to refrain from action which “could further escalate an already volatile situation?”

The United Nations adopted the Palestinian Arabs as it wards long ago. The UN is loathe to rebuke those it feels its duty to protect, even when they are terrorists.

The new UN Secretary General has seemingly become part of the evil machinery that cannot see the Israeli-Arab conflict from a position of clarity and fairness. It bodes badly for prospects for peace.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres


Related First.One.Through articles:

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Henkins

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

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

UN Concern is only for Violence in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” not Israel

The United Nations “Provocation”

UN Press Corps Expunges Israel

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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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Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

All countries around the world are confronting terrorism.

The United Nations condemns this violence everywhere, and it can find solidarity with every country in the world as they fight the heinous acts –except for Israel.

Ban Ki Moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

When terrorism claimed the lives of people in the airport in Turkey on June 28, 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

When suicide bombings hit Lebanon on June 27, the Secretary General said the “United Nations stands firmly by Lebanon as it confronts the threat of terrorism and other security challenges.”

When bombings killed people in Jordan on June 21, a spokesperson for the UNSG said Ban Ki Moon “reiterates his solidarity with the Government and people of Jordan.

When terrorism claimed the lives of Americans in a nightclub, on June 12 Ban Ki Moon expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of the United States.”

After terrorists struck Belgium in March 2016, the Secretary General notedhis solidarity with the people and Government of Belgium.

After Boko Haram killed dozens in Chad in December 2015, the spokesperson for the UNSG said that Ban Ki Moon “reaffirms his solidarity with the people of Chad and reiterates the United Nations’ support for the Government in its fight against terrorism.”

After terrorists attacked Nigeria on November 15, 2015, the UNSG stated clearly that he “reiterates the UN’s support to the Nigerian government in its fight against terrorism.”

When terrorist attacked France on November 13, 2015, Ban Ki Moon saidHe stands with the Government and people of France.”

But not in Israel

But when terrorists killed Israelis on June 8, the Secretary General could not offer his solidarity. Instead, he stated how surprising it was that Palestinian Arabs could commit such an act. The Secretary-General is shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it.”

The fact that these attacks had been going on for over a year seemingly never registered for Ban Ki Moon. He must have opted to never read the Hamas Charter which calls for killing Jews. The Fatah Constitution, which repeatedly calls for obliterating the “Zionist invasion” still manages to surprise him.

But even an ignoramus should be able to muster the decency to stand together with a country under attack.  Regrettably, not an anti-Semitic ignoramus.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

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

On December 27, 2015, the New York Times shared its thoughts for a “Year in Pictures.” The Sunday Review was dominated by the waves of refugees and migrants from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) as well as pictures of terrorism that touched much of the world. For the Times, this excluded Israel.

The Times led its discussion with an opening paragraph: “This was the year of the great unravelling, with international orders and borders challenged or broken, with thousands of deaths, vast flows of migrants and terrorist attacks on some of the most cherished symbols of civilization, both Western and Muslim.

It continued with some reviews of terrorism: “Palmyra and Paris (twice), Aleppo, Homs, Kobani and even San Bernadino, Calif…. The outrages of Boko Haram and the Shabab in Africa. The abuse of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. The war in Ukraine and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. New tensions in the skies over the Baltics and a Russian plane shot down by a NATO country for the first time in decades.

The ruins still in Gaza, a year after a brutal and inconclusive war, and Israel hunkering down in a region losing its compass. Even the energetic secretary of State, John Kerry, has given up on serious negotiations for Mideast peace.”

In a year where Palestinian Arabs repeatedly attacked Israel civilians killing dozens, the Times decided to highlight the Gaza war of a year ago and dismissed the shift of the Arabs’ battlefront to Judea and Samaria from Gaza. It was not an oversight, as relayed in the Times’ actual pictures.

The chronology of pictures of the year included a number of pictures related to terrorist attacks:

  • A large picture of politicians holding hands in Paris after the January attacks (no attribution given to the killers);
  • A large picture in Kenya after students slaughtered in April (attribution to “Shabab militants”)
  • A small picture in South Carolina in July where “A Confederate flag was removed from the state house after the massacre of black churchgoers in Charelston.
  • A large picture from Gaza in August with a caption “Concrete salvagers in a building destroyed by the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.”
  • A large picture of a victim from the Paris attacks in November (no attribution of who were the terrorists)
  • A medium sized picture of mourners in Paris honoring the victims of the November murders (no attribution)
  • A large picture of mourners in Lebanon from terrorist bombings in November (no attribution)
  • A small picture of people in California after a December attack with a caption “A candlelight vigil commemorated the victims of a mass shooting by a radicalized Muslim couple.

DSC_0041
New York Times’ large picture of ruined building in Gaza

What message could a person extract from the New York Times review of the significant events of the year? Much of the same message that the Times imparted throughout the year:

  • Terrorist attacks in the United States were not as significant as attacks elsewhere in the world
  • The Islamic State/ISIS was not labelled as responsible for any of the terrorist attacks in the world
  • The dozens of Israelis killed in the fall of 2015 were not mentioned in text nor portrayed in pictures, as the Times did not view Israelis as terrorist victims
  • Gazans were portrayed as victims, a year after their elected terrorist leaders launched their latest battle to destroy Israel and kill Israeli civilians.

The New York Times became more deliberate in separating radical Islam from global terrorism, just as President Obama did and while Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump drew attention to the issue. The only mention of Islam in the picture captions was in the very final picture of the year.

The Times has always been deliberate about Israel. Israelis who were shot, stabbed and run over were not victims of terrorism. Israelis did not suffer. Israelis did not mourn.

However, Palestinian Arabs who have continued to fight for the destruction of Israel were featured among pictures of the sufferers and mourners.

If the trends continue, the New York Times’ 2016 Year in Pictures” will likely feature the western world as the radical terrorists.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

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

Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Every Picture Tells a Story: Versions of Reality

The New York Times Picture of the Year, 2014

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My Terrorism

The streets in Paris were full of support for the victims of terror in January 2015. An estimated 1.6 million came out along with leaders of over 40 countries to memorialize the 17 victims, with signs that included “I am Charlie”, “I am the police” and “I am Jewish” to show solidarity with the murdered people.

jesuisjuif

The unity march was highly unusual compared to the reaction to terrorism that has plagued Europe for the past decade. There were no million person-marches or signs of support when:

The past victims included people killed for their use of free speech. They also included law enforcement officers and Jews. More people were killed at some of the attacks than were killed in the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks. So why was there the unique outpouring of support in Europe in 2015? Why didn’t anyone wear a pin “JeSuisMiriam” for the 8-year old girl that was shot in the head in France in 2012?

Looking at the recent protests in many European cities could lead one to conclude that the momentum of anti-immigrant groups and political parties have gained strength and popularity. The rise may stem from the number of terrorist attacks in Europe as well as the number of Islamic immigrants which has ballooned to 20 million in Europe due to the “Arab Spring” producing asylum seekers from throughout the Middle East/ North Africa region.

But why would world leaders show up now?

There was perhaps another factor at play which has to do with a more fundamental human characteristic: selfishness.

My Terrorism

People and nations react when they feel that their interests are being attacked. While they may sympathize with murdered victims everywhere, they take action when they feel that the terrorism strikes a selfish or personal nerve.

Witness the killings and abduction in Nigeria by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. While there were murderous groups all over the world, including nearby in Sudan, there were barely any popular protests. However, when the US first lady Michelle Obama witnessed the abduction of over 200 black girls, she saw victims that looked like her own daughters and launched a “BringBack Our Girls” campaign which went viral. I do not doubt her sincerity or concern for other victims of terror including the 1400 girls who were raped by Muslim men for over 13 years in England. But it took a terrorist action that struck “close to home” against victims that resembled her own family for her to take action.

When three teenage boys were abducted in Israel a month after the Boko Haram abductions, Jews around the world and Israelis started their own hashtag campaign of #BringBackOurBoys and #EyalGiladNaftali. Israelis were obviously concerned about the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram too – indeed Israel was one of only four countries that actually sent support to find the missing girls. But world Jewry acted much more actively when it was three teenaged Jewish boys that were abducted.

In Iraq, the Islamic State/ ISIS was busy wiping out entire cities, killing thousands of Christians, Yazidis and fellow Muslims. However, it took a video of the beheading of American journalists to get America to take action against the Jihadist group. Stated differently, while Americans may have been appalled at knowing that thousands of innocents were being slaughtered in Iraq, the atrocities were viewed as distant. It took the attack on a single man to bring the conflict close-to-home, and therefore worthy of a response.


And so it was with the various attacks in Europe. While the French were likely sad about the killings of Jews over the past decade, they viewed it as a Jewish problem. The majority of French could consider those attacks as targeted against a small community that was not their problem or a threat to themselves. Jews make up 0.2% of the world’s population and 0.8% of France’s population. The French may have felt pity for 8-year old Jewish girl Miriam, but they were not Miriam; no “JeSuisMiriam” placards.

Similarly, the Europeans were likely incensed over the decade-long attacks on policemen and servicemen too. But most Europeans were not in the military. They were angry, but they were not the military. Their military was fighting wars far away.

The large scale attacks in London and Madrid were similar to the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Each nation was harmed as an entity, not just the immediate victims.

Yet the French did not march in Spain; the Germans did not march in England; and the Dutch did not march in the USA.

Lastly, free speech had been attacked before. The murder of Theo van Gogh, bombings in Stockholm (which didn’t murder anyone) and protests against the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in 2005 all stemmed from Muslims protesting the press’s postings of images of their prophet Mohammed. But the limited scale of those attacks compared to the Charlie Hebdo strike awakened a different sensibility in millions of Parisians and leaders of the western world that prize freedom of the press and speech. (Other countries that do not have freedom of speech and press attended the march as well, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to place a fig leaf over their extremist Muslim ideology, lack of freedoms and desire to ingratiate themselves with the western world). The attack on free speech spoke to the people and leaders, as a personal attack on their way of life.

When terrorism became personal, people and countries responded with actions. When terrorism seemed remote and someone else’s problem, there was inaction.

Thanks for the Inclusion

So nations, people, papers and celebrities wore the “JeSuisCharlie” to stand by the victims, and to protest the assault on their own basic freedoms. Some people extended a courtesy to the other victims of the attacks, even though they did not represent a personal attack, wearing “JeSuisPolice” and “JeSuisJuif” alongside their primary banner.

The Jews of France were happy to be included in the memorial of the anti-Semitic attack and appreciated the condemnation of the French government against the attack on their community. But the Jews of France also recall the lack of outrage at the various murders in the recent past of Jews being killed for being Jews.

In France and most of the world, Jews do not get starring roles in the rage on behalf of victims. However, the world will consider Jewish loss once they have expressed outrage for an attack on themselves. Like the five people in the background who stand behind the principal star who receives a trophy at an awards show, Jews were happy to be recognized, even if no one really saw them.

The recognition is a step forward and better than the long history of being ignored.  But everyone knows that such acknowledgement is similar to non-Jews wishing Jews “Happy Chanuka” because it comes at the same time as Christmas. Chanuka is a minor holiday compared to Shavuot and Sukkot which are unknown to non-Jews. When was the last time any non-Jew wished someone a “Happy Purim”? It doesn’t happen because it is not connected to something that they care about personally, like Christmas.

Today’s war on terrorism will continue to be waged when nations see their interests being threatened.  The outpouring of emotion will also be rooted in selfish preservation.

While it may have been called a “unity march”, the Jews of Europe have already been educated about their place in society.


Sources:

Paris march: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30765824

Madrid bombings: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/world/europe/spain-train-bombings-fast-facts/

London bombing: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/world/europe/july-7-2005-london-bombings-fast-facts/

Stockholm bombing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Stockholm_bombings

Copenhagen plot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2010_Copenhagen_terror_plot

Brussels shooting: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/01/suspect-arrest-brussels-jewish-museum-shooting

Toulouse shooting: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9154350/Toulouse-shooting-little-girl-cornered-in-school-and-shot-in-head.html

Torture of French Jew: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/international/europe/05france.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Killing of Theo van Gogh: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/11/gogh-n10.html

Muslims in Europe: http://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-immigration-and-islam-europes-crisis-of-faith-1421450060

Lee Rigby: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26357007

Michelle Obama protest: http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/05/08/michelle-obama-kidnapped-nigerian-schoolgirls-bring-back-our-girls/

Eyal Gilad Naftali: http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.de/2014/06/eyal-gilad-and-naftaliin-our-hearts.html

Je Suis Juif: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/13/world/french-jews/


Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Je Suis Redux

Obama’s limit on abducted teenagers

Israel assists Nigerian search

Free speech review music video

Targeted terrorism for blasphemy

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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