Beheadings are Not Terrorism for Al Jazeera

The beautiful city of Nice, France was the scene of horrible violence on October 29, 2020 as three people were stabbed to death in a church. The attacker was said to have shouted “Allahu Akbhar” as he stabbed church-goers and hacked the head off of a woman.

The media took very different approaches to reporting the incident:

CNN: “Multiple casualties in Nice ‘terrorist attack,’ local mayor says

New York Times: “Deadly Knife Attack in France Appears to Be Terrorism, Officials Say”

BBC News: “Nice attack: Mayor says deadly stabbing points to terrorism”

CNBC: “Three dead and several wounded after a terror attack in Nice, France”

But Qatari-owned Al Jazeera, would not use the word ‘terrorism’ in its headline. In the article, it would not report that the mayor of Nice said that the assailant “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) when he was being treated at the scene.”

French forensics officers arrive at the site of a knife attack in Nice. Photograph: Valéry Hache/AFP/Getty

The attack comes less than two weeks after a French teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded after showing his class caricatures of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in a discussion on free speech. After that event, Al Jazeera pulished a piece titled “After teacher’s killing, French Muslims fear rising Islamophobia,” an interesting inversion of victims. The article stated “Muslims fear Paty’s tragic death is already being weaponised to advance a government policy they worry conflates Islam with ‘terrorism’.

Al Jazeera is doing its part in fighting ‘Islamophobia’ by making sure that beheadings are not called ‘terrorism’ and the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ is not used in its reporting.

Related First One Through articles:

Bad Education: Al Jazeera

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Al Jazeera’s Lies Call for Jihad Against the Jewish State

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Hispanics for Trump

There is a notion being put forth that the only people who back President Donald Trump are old White uneducated men. While many uneducated White men do support Trump much like uneducated Black women voted for Barack Obama, the path to Trump winning the 2020 presidential race will actually tip with the Hispanic community.

“Black Lives Matter” Doesn’t Resonate with Many Hispanics

While liberals and the Black community have aggressively pushed the notion of intersectionality and the cause of BLM, it has left many in the Hispanic community feeling less than excited.

For those who generally believe that minorities suffer under “white supremacy,” as Progressives call it, Hispanics are turned off by the BLM moniker. Why not state that “Minority Lives Matter” or “People of Color’s Lives Matter”? Why elevate the Black community over their own?

Defund the PoliceDoesn’t Resonate

More specifically, the Hispanic community’s orientation towards police in America is not the same as for White liberals and Black people. Hispanics relate to law enforcement much more like Independents and Libertarians, appreciating the important role that law enforcement has in creating safe streets in America. They have heard enough war stories from Latin America to recognize truly crooked cops. Further, the number of Latinos in the U.S. armed services and police forces jumped significantly over the past twenty years, more than any other group.

As such, the BLM Manifesto which calls for “defunding the police” is appalling to many Hispanics. That founders of the movement (Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi) support the Biden/Harris ticket has pushed many Hispanics away.

October 12, 2020 Time magazine cover featuring leaders of the BLM movement which advocates positions at odds with the beliefs of many Hispanics

Disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirementDoesn’t Resonate

The BLM manifesto did not only go against the police but many “requirements” foisted upon society, including having households headed by a father and mother. While Hispanics do have more single parent households (41%) than White people (24%), it still pales relative to Blacks (65%). Similarly, the percentage of fathers with children outside of marriage for Hispanics (59%) is in between Whites (37%) and Blacks (76%). Blacks and Hispanics are far from a uniform.

The religious orientation surrounding families is also a factor. Whites and Hispanics have almost the same feelings regarding a belief in God whereas Blacks are much more likely to believe. Whites and Hispanics similarly attend church at similar rates, while Black people go more frequently.

Hispanics are more Jewish and Zionist

While several elements of the Black Lives Matter both advocated for anti-Israel policies and leaders associated with vile anti-Semites, the Hispanic community is very different. Many researchers believe that as much as 25% of Hispanics have deep Jewish roots going back to when Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal with many settling in South America as part of the European discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Israel has long been a favorite destination for Evangelical Christians but is increasingly seeing more Hispanics travel to the holy land. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has made the Hispanic community an important part of its marketing plan and they are seeing a greater number of positive messages pulling them to the Jewish State.

Trump Masculinity and Liberal ‘Machismo’

While liberals and conservatives have both condemned Trump’s vile and vulgar comments, liberals have leaned in on Trump’s ‘toxic masculinity‘ and connected it – in a derogatory racist manner – to White and Hispanic men but not to Black men. Outfits like HuffPo call out Trump’s ‘Machismo‘ tying him to Hispanics and avoid using terms like ‘swagger’ and connecting him to Black males. Yet Black people are less tolerant of gays and transgenders than either Whites or Hispanics according to FBI statistics on hate crimes, but don’t let a narrative get in the way. The media prefers to lump Hispanics and Blacks into a Democratic grab bag of voters with just a handful of Hispanic men who like Trump’s ‘macho man‘ bravado outside the liberal reach.


Democrats have made the case against Trump based on two principles: his toxic masculinity and his failure to contain the coronavirus.

But Hispanics look at the coronavirus very differently than Blacks. African-Americans are much more likely to have a local lens than Hispanic Americans who look at Central and South America. To the extent that Blacks look at Africa, they see a continent thus spar spared from the pandemic. In stark contrast, Hispanics see the USA being hit at roughly the same rate as homelands, making the case against Trump much weaker.

CountryDeaths per 1M
Deaths from COVID-19 according to Worldometer as of October 30, 2020 show the US and Latin America being worst hit. The African continent has virtually no cases

Arizona, Texas and Florida

There are a number of key states in the electoral college that are considered “swing states.” These will likely go to Trump due to the Hispanic vote:

StateElectoral College VotesPercent Hispanic
North Carolina159.4%
78 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win will be delivered by the Hispanic community in three key states. Should Pennsylvania go to Trump again, Georgia and North Carolina are the pathways to a Trump re-election (129 votes in those six states).

The Hispanic vote is far from a monolith. The Cubans in Florida for example are much more conservative than Dominicans in New York. The media doesn’t only fold them together with the Blacks inappropriately but treats them as a single voting block as well.

While the Black community is a lock for liberals, the Hispanic community if far more diverse and conservative. Should Trump win re-election, a contributing factor will be the far-left turn of the Democratic Party with its embrace of the Black Lives Matter ‘Defund the Police’ agenda pushing Hispanic voters to the right.

Related First One Through articles:

When Only Republicans Trust the Police

The Real Offensive Question of the US Census: Dominican or Cuban?

Farrakhan’s Democrats

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

BLM Does Not Celebrate Father’s Day

The Explosion of Immigrants in the United States

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

Red, White and Blue: The Marrieds, the Majority and the Minorities of the USA

CNN Changes Its Black Transgender Story to Target Police

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Will Palestinians Ever be Taught About the Holocaust?

The United Nations plans on having a webinar on October 29, 2020 called “Educating against Racism” as part of its series related to societies dealing with painful histories. The goal is to “develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.” The Holocaust of Europe’s Jews is set to feature prominently alongside other atrocities.

One hopes that Palestinian Arabs will be directed to the site as their leaders have flatly refused to teach about the Holocaust in any manner.

In August 2009 the United Nations said that its would begin to discuss the Holocaust with the hundreds of thousands of children which it educates via UNRWA. The reaction from Palestinian leadership was fast and furious: absolutely not.

Hamas leaders in Gaza said that the Holocaust was “a lie invented by the Zionists.” The group penned a letter to UNRWA stating that they “refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.

UNRWA back-tracked but tried again to advance a review of the Holocaust in 2011. The reaction was the same.

Hamas Education Minister Mohammed Asqoul saidplaying with the education of our children in the Gaza Strip is a red line.” Zakaria al-Agha, a member of the PLO’s executive committee said that “teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian students in U.N. schools is unacceptable.” A school teacher at one of the locations added “the agency [UNRWA] will open the gates of hell with this step.

Holocaust education for Palestinians was stymied again.

In 2017, UN Watch covered how UNRWA teachers actively DENY THE HOLOCAUST in public and on social media, including Abed Naser Hassen. It is terrifying to consider what these teachers are teaching in private classrooms, as the next generation of Palestinians is taught to trivialize the slaughter of Jews and glorify Arab “martyrs” who kill Jews.

Even after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced a normalization of relations with Israel in September 2020, Qatar continues to teach its students that there were valid reasons for the Nazis to hate Jews and that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust has been grossly exaggerated. It is no coincidence that Qatar is Hamas’s biggest sponsor.

The October 2020 UN program is the second part in the series, the first one having been aired in July with a five person panel. The moderator was scheduled to be Maher Nasser, who served as Chief of the New York liaison office for UNRWA. It is perhaps no surprise that he failed to ultimately moderate the discussion, as he likely came under intense pressure from fellow Palestinians to not discuss the Holocaust.

Palestinians in school in Hebron (photo: Najeh Hashlamoun/Flash 90)

That first webinar ran for one and one-half hours discussing how museums and memorials impact memory and their role in forming a just society today. While it touched upon recent decisions to remove statues of slave traders in Britain and the United States, it did not reflect on the dozens of Palestinian memorials to Arabs who slaughtered Jews.

As the UN prepares to educate people about racism this week, it must finally insist that its own schools educate Palestinian children about the Holocaust and the role Arabs played in the 1930’s and 1940’s which enabled the murder of tens of thousands of Jews. With such action, perhaps the next generation of Palestinians will not elect a leader who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial (like Mahmoud Abbas) and establish an enduring peace with their Jewish neighbors.

Related First One Through articles:

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The New York Times Fails to Flag Muslim Anti-Semitism

The Ultimate Chutzpah: A New Form of Holocaust Denial

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

Failing to Mention the British White Paper of 1939 when Discussing Refugees

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Saeb Erekat’s Terrorist Lobby

Saeb Erekat is the Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and has long held the title of “Negotiator” with Israel in attempting to create a new state of Palestine. He is also a champion of the anti-Zionist Terrorist Lobby.

After pressure from the United States’ Trump Administration, the European Union finally began to investigate the funneling of money to Palestinian groups that directly and indirectly are involved with terrorist attacks against Jewish Israelis. The document which referred to “financial support to third parties, in the lists of EU restrictive measures” was designed to curb the flow of money from members of the EU to some of the Palestinian NGOs (non-Governmental Organizations) which are involved in illegal activities. This includes EU-designated terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Saeb Erekat would have none of it.

Erekat declared that “Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations,” despite such designation by the EU, the United States and many other countries. Hamas’s foundational Charter openly calls for the killing of Jews and destruction of Israel. It has killed hundreds of Israelis in terrorist attacks since its founding.

In December 2019, 130 Palestinian NGOs refused to sign onto the EU restrictions and launched a “Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Conditional Funding.” On September 30, 2020, Palestinian leaders met with Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah met to discuss how to remove Palestinian NGOs from the restrictive list to keep the euros flowing.

Remarkably, Erekat’s role in the Terrorism Lobby to get funds and support for groups that kill Jews did not stop the Jewish State from admitting him to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for complications from the coronavirus. It should serve as a further reminder to the EU to monitor those who support life and those with genocidal aspirations.

Saeb Erekat, part of the anti-Zionist Terrorist Lobby, speaking at the left-wing J Street Conference

Related First One Through articles:

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

There’s Nothing Worse Than Terrorism in France

The UN Never Demands Justice for Palestinian Killers

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

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

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Vote Purple

American society has fractured. Badly.

The middle has been collapsing for some time. Senators like Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-NV) could no longer exist in today’s political climate. The moderates in both the Republican and Democratic parties have been expunged in their respective primary seasons.

Fringe parties like Democratic Socialist and the Working Families Parties have successfully inserted themselves into America’s main parties. Far left extremists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are no longer on the outside looking in, but have seats in Congress, are members of important committees and been endorsed by the heads of the Democratic National Committee and the Speaker of the House.

In New York State, Democrats forcibly retired politicians that considered bi-partisanship a noble idea. The majority Democratic Party is now looking to seal the fate of the state by actively looking to expel the last of the moderates and achieve a super-majority to advance extremist ideas. The terms “DINO” and “RINO,” Democrats In Name Only and Republicans In Name Only have become slurs.

The dynamics extend beyond state politics and congress. The Democratic Party has selected, Kamala Harris, the most liberal and least bipartisan member of the Senate to be Vice President. They have made clear their intentions to establish long-term changes to America in packing the Supreme Court and adding Washington, D.C. as a new state.

For their part, the Republicans can’t stand the incumbent president of their own party, with dozens upon dozens shunning Trump. It’s an unheard of dynamic in the history of American elections: Republican hate Republicans and Democrats hate Republicans. It sounds like an easy vote this election.

Not so.

The cleft in society will not be bridged with endorsing a party that has swung far from the center. It will also not be cured with a vote for an Independent or Libertarian, which might feel like good, but does as much as throwing a pebble into the trench.

In this contentious election, the best path forward to heal the country is to vote purple – not all blue (Democratic) or pure red (Republican) up and down the ballot, but to vote for a mix of both parties. If you live in a deep blue state, vote straight red, and if you’re in a deep red state, vote blue in every race. Americans must force the parties to find common ground, as a sweep for Democrats or Republicans in 2020 is a vote for extremist ideologies and policies.

The protests in the streets of America have ranged from Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 lockdowns, abortion, immigration policies and more

Related First One Through articles:

A Country Divided

Vote Harvesting

The Mason-Dixon Plaid

The U.S. is Stealing Real Choices from the Voters

Let’s Make America VOTE Again

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Naked Democracy 2

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The Media’s COVID Bias

The pandemic of our time has killed over a million people worldwide. One would imagine that such a global scourge might bring people together, or at least allow the media to rise above partisan politics.

But that is wishful thinking. There are other pandemics today including the polarization of politics and the death of unbiased media.

Consider the graphic shown on The Wall Street Journal’s cover page on October 15, 2020. It showed that despite the summer flattening of the positive cases of COVID-19 in Europe, the continent has spiked alarmingly and now surpasses the U.S. in terms of cases per million people.

Cover page of the WSJ with graphic showing steep increase in COVID cases in Europe, now surpassing the United States

This graphic, together with the article on page A9 exposed a narrative quite different than the Democratic Party is actively imparting to voters just a few weeks before elections – that the Trump Administration has been a grotesque failure at handling the pandemic, particularly relative to the rest of the world.

So The New York Times came to put the anti-Trump narrative back on track the following day.

New York Times cover page of October 16, 2020 with three large US maps and a chart dominating the entirety of the page

The entire middle of the front page from the very top to the very bottom was covered with graphics in red. The title of the charts read “U.S. Virus Cases Climb Towards Third Peak.” This was the message that the Times wanted readers to focus on, that things are getting real bad once again in the United States. The cases in Europe went unmentioned.

Reuters covered both stories over the past several days, in particular highlighting the troubling trend in Europe in several articles. One of the articles included this remarkable comment, that “Europe is reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined.” As of this writing, the NY Times has ignored the devastating trend in Europe.

The pandemic is destroying lives all around the world while the liberal and conservative media outlets post alternative facts to make us love or hate politicians. It’s a sad state of affairs and one likely to just make us all sicker.

Related First One Through articles:

The CoronavirUS is Not Us Versus Them

Where the Virus is Killing the Most: Countries with Socialist Leaders

The U.N. Doesn’t Care About Middle-Aged White Male Victims of Covid-19

Genes Versus Leadership in the Pandemic

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Governor Cuomo Comes After the Powerful Black Lobby

Sad satire.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has become exasperated with the number of Black people dying from COVID-19. The numbers dwarf other groups in terms of infection rates and deaths and he decided it was time to do something about it.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo said that “the micro-cluster we’re focusing on is the Black communities.” He added that the government has tried to enforce laws to protect all New Yorkers but “enforcement from the local governments is very uneven especially when it’s politically sensitive. And that’s what we’re running to with lot of these Black folks, who are also very politically powerful, don’t kid yourself.

Fed up with the non-compliance of these Black New Yorkers, the governor said he’s going to take away their welfare checks. “[N]othing else I have done has motivated them — not my rapier wit, not my sense of humor, not my guilt, not my blame, not my admonition, and not my pleas. Maybe money works.

Cuomo added that he will not only apply the money ploy on individuals but on Black schools which are already performing worse than White schools. “If they violate the health order, they [their schools] will not receive funding.

Some people in the Black community have complained that they are being targeted once again, much like the Stop-and-Frisk program which has now been derided as racist. Governor Cuomo strongly disagreed sayingWe focus our compliance enforcement efforts on geographic clusters that are generating hospitalizations. We can map where the cases come from, so somebody goes into a hospital and their address is 110 Adams Street in Brooklyn, and then we put a dot on 110 Adam street in Brooklyn … if that is in a cluster, we put a circle around that and we say we’re focusing on Adams Street. That may turn out to be a bar; it may turn out to be a restaurant; may turn out to be a summer camp; it may turn out to be a church; It may turn out to be a synagogue.” It’s the exact same thing the police does in deploying officers around the city in focusing on areas with high crime rates; it’s simply a coincidence that those areas have a high concentration of Black people.

Trying to appear nuanced, Cuomo added “the Black community, the African-American community, we’re not talking about a monolith here, right? Many groups have been cooperative and have been helpful, and I want to acknowledge that also.

Members of the Black community are suing the city and state for what they see as blatantly racist policies. Yet not all Blacks agree, with some sharing that they support police coming out in large numbers to high crime areas and enforcing stop-and-risk as well as using the threat of stripping welfare checks and defunding schools to get violent and non-compliant Blacks on the straight-and-narrow. A leading Black lesbian pastor who is also married to the head of the 1.7 million member teacher’s union said it “is not an anti-Black act on the part of our city and country in the attempt to save lives.

**Note- all quotes above are actual quotes but relate to Jews, not Blacks**

To continue this inversion, imagine this actual text being used for Jews as to why so many are dying from COVID-19:

“The reasons are complex: Jews in Brooklyn are more likely to be poor, work in industries that expose them to the virus, live in crowded spaces, and have chronic health conditions.

And then there’s the anti-Semitism and violence that Orthodox Jews experience on a daily basis, which puts their health at risk.”

Related First One Through articles:

Bernie Sanders’ New Book: Nazi Germany Had Clean Streets

Ilhan Omar and AOC Try To Reclaim The Word ‘Holocaust’

Mayor De Blasio is Blind to Black Anti-Semitism

The March of Silent Feet

Farrakhan’s Democrats

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Facebook’s Censorship is a Problem

When Facebook announced that it was banning Holocaust denial on October 12, many people celebrated. The dismissive language and attitudes related to millions of slaughtered Jews during World War II is viewed by many as not only offensive but the foundation for new hate crimes today. As such, the removal of such content and the platform’s limitation on sharing such articles was welcome news for many well-meaning people.

But censorship is a cruel hack that silences opinions and stories that stray from today’s new strictly-enforced orthodoxies.

This blog has been writing stories consistently for six years covering anti-Semitism, Zionism and American politics. The opinions have taken sharp aim at the liberal press’s criticisms of Israel during that time and was never shy in highlighting the deep anti-Semitism found in the foundational documents of Palestinian society, including the Hamas charter.

The articles have principally been shared on Facebook. Consequently, the platform’s decisions on which articles should be censored due to content – or author – directly impacts the blog’s viewership.

And since the end of September, the readership has suddenly plummeted.

Historically, popular First One Through articles were read by thousands and typical articles were read by several hundred. It was rare to ever have an article be consumed by fewer than 80 people. But over the past three weeks, not a single article has surpassed that total.

The September 25 article on “NY Times Tries Hard to Paint Obama/Biden as Pacifists and Trump as Mercenary” had only 101 views, a very poor showing. Remarkably, that is the highest total since that date. A true story relayed in “Vote Harvesting” got only 76 views even though it is a critical story being discussed today. The numbers have only gotten worse.

Friends found the story on vote harvesting impossible to believe and asked that I take it down since it was fanning distrust in the upcoming elections. It is a sentiment shared by the censors at Facebook. It has seemingly marked the FirstOneThrough blog as dangerous for society and is curtailing its viewership.

The notion that the good guys always win or that truth will always prevail are myths. Emboldening powerful platforms to censor stories it deems unworthy or incompatible with its worldview is toxic to a healthy democratic society.

First they came for my articles but I did not speak up because they did not censor mine…

Related First One Through articles:

Opinions on Facebook

The Press Are Not Guardians of the Galaxy

The Noose and the Nipple

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

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Bad Education @ TheFamousPeople

The amount of hatred and anti-Semitism in the world is often attributed to ignorance when it should be placed on bad education. Numerous articles, websites and textbooks write blatant lies which become absorbed as facts by readers.

Consider the website the It lists information on people throughout history from particular countries. The list and background information is astounding and appalling.

The site states that “Palestine is a recognized state in the Middle East that occupies the West Bank and Gaza Strip of the Palestinian region.” In fact, Palestine is not a recognized state by the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom (actually almost the entirety of the English-speaking world) and many other countries. Such theoretical state obviously has no defined territory and certainly isn’t a sub-component of “the Palestinian region” which one can only presume the authors mean includes Israel.

The famous Palestinian people on the site starts with Yasser Arafat before listing Herod the Great, King of Judea as the second. Yes, that mad Jewish king who build the Jewish Temple Mount which exists to this day who lived well over 100 years before the Romans renamed the region to “Palestina.” Even Absalom, King David’s son who lived 1,000 years before King Herod is somehow listed as a Palestinian.

Who, praytell, does this bizzarro site list as famous Israelis one might wonder.

Fortunately, King Solomon hits their list of famous Israelis. But so does Judas Iscariot, “Betrayer of Jesus,” coming in as the eighth most famous Israeli. To underscore the point of the sneaky and back-stabbing Israeli, Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy hanged by Syria, is listed right after Judas.

Neither King David nor Jesus make the list of famous Israelis at all.

Famous Israelis according to website lists Judas Iscariot

Anti-Semitism is found everywhere in the media and online without directly stating a hatred for Jews and/or the Jewish State. It is important to recognize it and call it out when one sees it. Here’s the link to their contact section. Feel free to link to this article.

Related First One Through articles:

Bad Education: Al Jazeera

Antisemitism Includes the Denial of Jewish History

The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

For The NY Times, Antisemitism Exists Because the Alt-Right is Racist and Israel is Racist

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

The Cultural Appropriation of the Jewish ‘Promised Land’

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On History and Civilization from the Bible to Columbus

The Jewish new year, Rosh Ha’shana, is celebrated as the anniversary of the birth of Adam, the first human. It also marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance which culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment for every Jew each year.

Around the world, Jews read a section of the Bible during the two days of Rosh Ha’ashana. On the first day, Genesis 21:1-34 is read telling the story of Abraham sending his son Ishmael out from his home, and on the second day, Genesis 22:1-24 is read, describing the near sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac.

The Torah readings seem like strange choices to mark the beginning of mankind. Why isn’t the story of creating Adam and Eve read on the first day and the story of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden on the second day to highlight the ramifications of sin to capture the essence of judgment? Those would be the obvious selections to mark history by recounting history.

The Bible readings direct us to not narrowly focus on history but on civilization.

While Adam and Eve were the parents of all humanity, they were deeply flawed. Their first two sons fought, with one killing the other. Their surviving sons and daughters committed incest as they populated the world. In reading the story of Genesis, one cannot find a single exchange between humanity’s original parents and any of their offspring. Adam and Eve were seemingly terrible role models for future generations.

The Torah portions of Rosh Ha’shana take on the issue of parenting. Abraham is directed by God to separate his fighting sons. At tremendous personal pain, Abraham sends off the older Ishmael with the promise that he will become a patriarch of a great nation. While Isaac remains with Abraham, God soon commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac until He stays the execution at the last minute. In sharp contrast to the non-parenting exhibited by the world’s first parents, the father of the Arab and Jewish nations was actively – and painfully – involved with setting each of his sons on a path towards fathering nations.

The theme of how to live with family members is capped at the Yom Kippur mincha service. The very last Torah reading as the Day of Judgment comes to a close comes from Leviticus 18 which deals with forbidden sexual relationships, the majority of which surround family members. Like the readings on Rosh Ha’shana, Jews do not recount the obvious choice – in this case, the Ten Commandments – on their most solemn day; they review how to act in a constructive civilized manner with family in sharp contrast to mankind’s founders.

Jews mark the birth of Adam every year but refrain both from naming it “Adam’s Day” and recounting the family he created, and opt instead to map a course for a healthy thriving society.

This can serve as a template for how many Americans think about Columbus Day. Some people now consider the celebration of a man who was a poor leader as a terrible message for society. Others object to the European takeover of the Americas and choose to call the day “Indigenous People’s Day.”

That is self-righteous inanity.

Columbus’s landing in America was a momentous event for the world in which 99% of humanity was introduced to nearly one-third of the planet’s land mass. It forever changed the course of history.  

The anniversary must be marked but, like Adam, not necessarily by idolizing the man. It should certainly not call out the “indigenous people” who did not alter the course of civilization. It is the land that must be considered at such time, not the people. Perhaps the correct name is “America Day” and should celebrate the incredible natural resources and beauty of the two continents.

Important events should be marked by their history and consecrated by the related timeless message, whether in regards to man or land.

Related First One Through articles:

Abraham’s Hospitality: Lessons for Jews and Arabs

The Loss of Reality from the Distant Lights

Kohelet, An Ode to Abel

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