There Is No Backing For A Palestinian “Right Of Return”

Palestinian Arabs and their supporters claim that they have a “right of return” to towns in Israel based on two principles. One is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (established December 10, 1948) and the other United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (issued the following day, December 11, 1948). These are grossly misapplied, and if anyone wants to see a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, this issue is a complete roadblock.

UDHR, Article 13

Article 13 of the UDHR makes two statements that Palestinian propagandists assert give Palestinians the right to move into Israel:

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Regarding the first point, the freedom of movement is “within the borders”, meaning that any Israeli Jew or Arab should be free to live anywhere inside of their home country of Israel. This clause has nothing to do with Palestinian Arabs or wards of UNRWA who live outside of Israel. It simply means that Israeli Arabs should be free to move into Israeli towns – where grandparents may have lived or entirely new locations – as long as there are no security matters which render such movement impossible.

As it relates to the second point of leaving and returning to a country, there are two issues with Palestinians using this clause to move to Israel: the people and the land.

Israel is a new country, founded on May 14, 1948. There are only an estimated 20-30,000 elderly Arabs who lived in Israel on that date who now reside outside of the country’s recognized borders. The other 14 million Palestinian Arabs were born elsewhere and have no such claim to “return” to Israel, including the 6.4 million registered persons with UNRWA.

The second related matter has to do with the borders of Israel. If one were to take the non-factual view that the land of pre-1948 Palestine is a single country (it was a region / territory), then the millions of Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank today still live in that same country, so there is no argument under the second clause. Only the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs) in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan could argue to move into Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. The right of return in UDHR relates to returning to a country, not a particular town or region.

UNGA Resolution 194, Article 11

As opposed to the general UDHR meant for all people, UNGA Resolution 194 was specifically adopted for Palestinians. Article 11 calls out the matter of returning to “homes,” not a country as specified in UDHR:

Resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

At the most fundamental level, General Assembly resolutions are simply suggestions and not binding in law. Israel is not beholden to GA resolutions.

Critically, Palestinians have shown in deeds and words since the founding of Israel that they are not willing to “live at peace with their neighbors.” Add to the fact that only 20-30,000 people at this time are actually “refugees” makes this resolution relatively meaningless in application.

Two State Solution

Those people who back the notion of a “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Arab Conflict, with one state for Jews and one state for Arabs, should be appalled at the idea of a Palestinian “right of return” to the Jewish State. The Jewish State currently has 25% of its citizenry being non-Jews. It would destroy the basic principle of the “two state solution” for millions of Arabs to enter Israel. It is even more outrageous, when the United Nations demands that NO JEWS be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State. There’s no two-state solution if 50% of the Jewish State is comprised of non-Jews and 0% of the Arab State has Jews.

One State Solution

For advocates who argue for a single Jewish-Arab country and that Palestine was always a singular country, there are a couple of considerations.

One, Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza already live in such country, so are not and have never been “refugees” but just internally displaced people, taking billions of dollars from the world’s largess over the past decades. Resolution 194 Article 11 is specifically for refugees which excludes Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank. Only UDHR 13.1 would argue for freedom of movement within the single country, if security matters permit.

Secondly, there is only return to a country under UDHR 13.2, not to villages where grandparents once lived. Allowing refugees from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to move to the West Bank or Gaza satisfies this clause as much as moving inside the borders of Israel.

Palestinian Sentiment

Importantly, Palestinians have no interest in either of these solutions. According to the PCPSR December 2022 poll, only 32% of Palestinians support a two-state solution and 26% support a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Arabs. That compares to 55% who favor terrorism against Israelis, to destroy the Jewish State and replace it with a single Arab state. It’s outrageous for Palestinians to demand the right to move to homes under UNGA Resolution 194, and skip the basic premise of coexistence that the resolution demands.

The poll also showed that the right of return issue was the second most important issue for Palestinian Arabs, behind establishing a state. The fact that UNGA Resolution 194 requires coexistence while Palestinians support new armed gangs can only be viewed as an attempt to better infiltrate and take over the Jewish State, as part of establishing a new Palestinian State.

Sentiment of Israeli Arabs

When polled in June 2018, Israeli Arabs were the most likely to cap Palestinian refugees coming to Israel (the proposed question used a figure of 100,000 people) with the balance going to a new state of Palestine and getting compensation for lost property. A whopping 84.1% of Israeli Arabs supported such limited “right of return”, compared to 21.3% of Israeli Jews and 47.5% of Palestinian Arabs. When offered a different formulation in which a capped number of Palestinians would get permanent resident status but not citizenship in Israel, and Jews in the West Bank would similarly get such status in a new Palestinian State, Israeli Arab support (63.8%) dwarfed that of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs with 36.1% and 31.7%, respectively.

Beyond the differences in granting a Palestinian “right of return” among Israeli Arabs, Jews and Palestinian, the same poll showed a big difference in support for a two state solution. Not surprisingly, no Israeli Arabs favored the idea of “apartheid” or expulsions of the other, while 14.9% of Israeli Jews voted in favor of minimal rights for Israeli Arabs, and 17.2% of Palestinians favored expelling all the Jews from the region.

SAPs in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan

The Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) only poll people in Gaza and the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have control and self-determination, having been given land to administer by Israel. The SAPs who might have some actual claims under UDHR and UNGA Resolution 194 are those in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan as described above but were not polled.

Almost all of the SAPs in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship so cannot be considered “refugees.” Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank after the 1948-9 War against Israel, and granted all Arabs living there citizenship– as long as they were not Jewish – in 1954. Palestinian-Chileans have the same non-claim to move to Israel as these Palestinian-Jordanians.

The Palestinians who might be considered “refugees” with rights to move to the holy land are those elderly Palestinians who left Israel in May 1948 and now reside in Lebanon and Syria, countries which have denied them citizenship for almost their entire lives. Of the 1.2 million SAPs in those two countries (18.8% of the total people getting services from UNRWA), around 2% are over 75 years old and would qualify to move to Israel under UDHR Article 13.2, and under UNGA Resolution 194, Article 11, if they are willing to live with Israelis in peace. While it is well understood that Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza have no desire to live peacefully with Israelis, it is possible that those in UNRWA camps in Lebanon and Syria might.

If one advocates for a two-state solution, one must simultaneously be against a Palestinian “right of return” for any Arab other than the elderly living in UNRWA camps in Lebanon and Syria. All other Palestinians wishing to return to the region would need to move to Gaza or the West Bank under the approval of the Palestinian Authority. This has long been the logical bipartisan approach of both Democrats and Republicans.

In summary, there are very few people who qualify for a Palestinian “right of return” and there is very little support for, or belief that it can be implemented peacefully amongst the people in the region.

Related articles:

Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Fourth ‘No’ of the Khartoum Resolution: No Return of Palestinian Refugees

The United Nations Bias Between Jews and Palestinians Regarding Property Rights

The “Great Myth of Return”

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

No One Mentions Actual Palestinians’ Sentiments

UN Lies About Palestinians Favoring Two States

UNRWA in the eastern portion of Jerusalem (photo: First One Through)

Obama’s Ego Came For The Jewish State and Global Jewry

On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334. The resolution was disgraceful in several familiar respects in condemning Israel unfairly. To name just a few:

  • It falsely labeled a place called “East Jerusalem” which had only existed for a mere eighteen years from 1949 to 1967
  • It called East Jerusalem a “Palestinian territory”, when it never was anything of the sort, before, during or after 1949-1967
  • It proposed a “two-state solution based on the 1967 lines” when Israel and the Palestinian Authority had already signed agreements to negotiate lines without any preconceived final boundaries
  • Demanded that Jews be prevented from living in “East Jerusalem” and other “occupied Palestinian territory”, a blatantly anti-Semitic demand
  • Called for countries to treat Israel and Israeli territory differently, even though countries around the world – including the United States – do not distinguish in labeling their own products

The U.N. General Assembly (GA) had frequently made such horrible comments. What was new and alarming in this instance was that the resolution PASSED THE SECURITY COUNCIL, which may become legally binding.

As noted by the UN, “resolutions adopted by the GA on agenda items are considered to be recommendations and are not legally binding on the Member States. The only resolutions that have the potential to be legally binding are those that are adopted by the Security Council.” Further, “in contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions…. As Article 25 of the UN Charter states, “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.””

This alarming anti-Israel action managed to pass because the United States opted to abstain in the Resolution 2334 vote. Until that time, the U.S. had always voted against such anti-Israel measures at the Security Council because of possible ramifications.

This time, President Obama took this action in the final days of his administration because of lobbying from Jewish pro-Palestinian groups like J Street, and as payback for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepting an invitation from the Republican House Speaker to speak to a joint session of Congress about the existential threat of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, without coordinating with the president’s office.

At that time, a senior Obama official said that Netanyahu “spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015

Anti-Jewish attacks in the United States jumped 22.9% shortly thereafter in 2017, the largest spike since the FBI tracked hate crime data.

The ever-increasing number of boycotts and lawsuits against Israel, and the dramatic spike in harassment on college campuses and other locations of global Jewry, is related to Obama’s bruised ego and lobbying of alt-left groups like J Street.

Related articles:

On Accepting Invitations

Netanyahu’s Positions Are Not Leaving

Netanyahu’s View of Obama: Trust and Consequences

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

The Three Camps of Ethnic Cleansing in the BDS Movement

Israel And Jews Everywhere Must Be Protected As An Ethnic, Religious And Linguistic Minority

Biden Enables Anti-Semitism On College Campuses

Year End Appeal For Subscribers

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Hamas Militant or Football Player? Offensive or Defensive?

During Chanukah and the week when the bible portion dealing with Joseph is read in synagogues around the world, Jews often make the trip to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem / Nablus in Judea and Samaria / West Bank. Accompanied by a military escort, the cars often come under fire from local Palestinian Arabs, as was the case last week.

Ahmed Atef Daraghmeh, a 23-year old Palestinian man from a nearby city, was armed and involved in the shooting attack on the Jewish convoy, and was shot and killed by Israeli troops. The news media covered the story very differently.

  • The Jordan Times headline was “Israeli forces kill Palestinian militant in West Bank clashes,” making it clear that the Palestinian was an armed militant. The article added “Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Daraghmeh was a member of its military wing who “was killed by occupation bullets during clashes at dawn on Thursday”.
  • Al Monitor picked up the exact same headline and story as above, as produced by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
  • The Times of Israel similarly led with “Hamas ‘fighter’ killed during armed clash with IDF in Nablus.” The Israeli site was more clear labeling the Palestinian a terrorist in the article.

Other Arab and Muslim sites reoriented the story.

  • Turkish site TRT World‘s headline was “Palestinian football player killed by Israeli army in West Bank,” made it sound like Israeli forces went into a soccer stadium and wantonly attacked someone kicking a ball. The sub-header “23-year-old Ahmad Atef Daraghmeh was killed, and five other Palestinians injured during an Israeli army raid in Nablus,” made the Israeli visit an incursion rather than a visit to a Jewish holy site.
  • Free Press Kashmir picked up the footballer focus with “Palestinian footballer shot dead by Israeli forces in West Bank”
  • Daily Sabah wrote “Israeli army kills another Palestinian man in occupied West Bank,” skipping the militant’s profession and making it sound like Israelis were on a daily warpath.
  • Arab News extended the story with “Palestine’s FA asks FIFA to probe reported Israeli killing of footballer,” connecting the story to the just concluded World Cup.
  • Al Jazeera headline was “Palestinian footballer killed by Israel in West Bank: Medics”
  • Middle East Eye: “West Bank: Palestinian footballer killed by Israeli forces in overnight raid”
  • Middle East Monitor: “Israel kills Palestinian footballer in Nablus” and led with “Just days after the FIFA World Cup during which the issue of Palestine featured prominently, Israeli occupation forces have today shot dead a Palestinian footballer.”
  • Tasnim News headline was “Young Palestinian Soccer Player Killed by Israeli Forces during West Bank Raid”
  • The anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss wrote “Soccer player and resistance fighter Ahmad Daraghmeh killed in Nablus,” covering his profession and alluding to his military activities.

Most of the Muslim and Arab world led with Daraghmeh’s profession which had nothing to do with the incident, as did a commentator from BBC, as reported by the Jewish Chronicle:

“The dead Palestinian footballer lamented by soccer pundit Gary Lineker was actually a Hamas terrorist killed after firing on Israeli soldiers. The former England striker and BBC presenter sparked fury after he described the death as “awful” without giving the context…. Mr Lineker had voiced his outrage over the shooting in response to a tweet that read: “This #Palestinian soccer player Ahmed Daraghmeh was waiting for a great future in representing his country’s team, #Palestine. The bullets of the occupation stopped his football dream & took his life treacherously. A little while ago in #Nablus. #FreePalestine #Ukraine #sportgala”.”

Lineker has a history of retweeting Palestinian propaganda and anti-Semitic vitriol. He has 1.1 million followers who read such posts. Add that total to the readership of the Arab sites, and millions of people were fed false news that Israel was targeting Palestinian athletes for assassination.

Hamas militants are also doctors, merchants, teachers and athletes. It doesn’t absolve them of their heinous terrorism – let alone make Israel the aggressor – but highlights how mainstream the political-terrorist group is in Palestinian society.

Related articles:

Review of Media Headlines on Palestinian Arab Terror Spree

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel

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

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

The Media’s Divergent Coverage of Abbas’ “50 Holocausts”

Radical Muslim Groups Celebrate Bombings And Murder of Jewish Teenager In Jerusalem

NY Times Repeatedly Tells Its Readers That An Israeli Supported A Mass Murderer, But Never That Many Palestinians Embrace Many Terrorists

The Media Cares Much More About Journalists Than Children

Is The Beheading Of A Gay Palestinian Man News Or Opinion?

Pros And Cons Of Muslims Considering Jewish Holy Sites As Sacred Also

The Menorahs of Defiance

On December 19, 2022, The New York Times published an article about a menorah that was lit in the window of a Jewish home across from a Nazi flag in Germany, in defiance of the edicts to ban Jews from participating in society. The descendants of that German family brought the menorah back to Germany to rekindle it once again.

It’s an interesting story on many levels. To consider the defiance and fear that the Jewish family must have felt in 1931 as Nazis gathered power in Germany, to openly declare their Judaism in the face of growing anti-Semitism. And then, eighty years later, to return to Germany after the genocide of European Jewry with that same menorah.

Chanukah candles lit in the ashes of millions of slaughtered Jews.

Yehuda Mansbach, the grandson of the Jewish couple who lit that menorah in the iconic 1931 photograph, wept openly after lighting the two candles to mark the holiday of Chanukah in Germany in 2022.

It was the only story that the New York paper would write about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, other than some recipes for latke cocktails and how to make a DIY menorah. The actual holiday story of Jews expelling the Hellenist pagan rituals from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and throughout the Jewish holy land 2,200 years ago must have been considered too political for the anti-Zionist paper.

During the holiday, the paper preferred to write stories about Arabs who had “ancestors” in “modern day Israel” whose towns were destroyed at Israel’s creation. These “Palestinian citizens of Israel” (commonly called Israeli Arabs) have been trying to get back to the homes where their grandparents lived but have been blocked from doing so by the Israeli military and courts because the town sits in a buffer zone along Lebanon which is in a state of war with the Jewish State.

These are stories that neatly contour to the Times’ jaundiced narrative: Jews are native to Europe but were pushed out by Nazis, and Arabs are native to Palestine but were pushed out by Jews.

The actual Chanukah story disrupts the anti-Zionist propaganda, that Jews have thousands of years of history in Israel and not just throughout the land, but on the Jewish Temple Mount itself. That is where the original menorah of the Jews was lit, not in defiance of any edict but as a basic part of Jewish religious ritual.

Today, while Arabs may be blocked from returning to living in villages alongside the border of a hostile country by Israel’s military, Jews are considered to be in violation of United Nations edicts for going to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. While Israeli Arabs freely drive around Israel as recognized citizens of the Jewish State, countries around the world demand that Jews be forbidden from living and praying in their holiest city.

Jews have been lighting menorahs for 2,200 years, even in the face of blatant anti-Semitism from neighbors, governments and media propaganda. And Jews will continue to light their menorahs in their windows as proud Jews, and visit the reestablished Jewish State, as they use the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda as the rags that they are.

A single menorah of defiance lit before a Nazi flag in Germany, dozens of menorahs held aloft in Montana in 1993 amidst a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and thousands of menorahs lit in Jewish homes in Jerusalem and around the world today in the face of blatantly anti-Semitic articles and resolutions. Jews are indigenous to Israel and will always insist on the basic human right to practice their faith everywhere, especially in their holiest city.

Related articles:

The UN Talks About Jews Building In Jerusalem On Chanukah

Chanukah And The Puppets Of Power

For Chanukah, Arab League Shines Light On Why It Should Be Condemned

Chanukah and Fighting on Sabbath

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

This Day In Palestinians Resorting To Violence History: December 23 (Rabbi Teaching Torah To Spanish Speakers)

On December 23, 2015, two frustrated Palestinians aged 21, Anan Abu Habseh and Issa Yassin Asaf from the Qalandiyah refugee camp, came to Jerusalem. Inspired by Palestinian polls which showed 67% support stabbing Israeli Jews (even higher in refugee camps), they left their cellphones and ID cards at home after posting on social media that they were looking to become martyrs. The pair went looking for Jews who walked the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem with impunity, as if their “filthy feet” (to quote Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) had any right to walk on purely Islamic holy land.

Rabbi Reuven (Eduardo) Birmacher, age 45, had just finished teaching bible classes to Spanish speaking students at Yeshiva Aish Hatorah in the Old City. He had moved to Israel from Argentina and loved teaching Judaism to young men in Jerusalem. His fluency in Spanish made him an excellent teacher to students who came to Israel from Spanish speaking countries, such as Argentina, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

As Rabbi Birmacher was heading home to his wife and seven children out of the Jaffa Gate, the two Palestinian Arabs set upon and repeatedly stabbed him. He died a short time later.

Rabbi Reuven Birmacher, age 45, a teacher from Aish Hatorah Yeshiva, stabbed by two Palestinian Arabs because he was a Jew in Jerusalem.

Israeli border police shot and killed the two Palestinians who had to resort to violence because Jews had the audacity of teaching Judaism in Jerusalem.

The father of Anan Abu Habseh celebrated the actions of his son. As posted on Fatah’s website, Muhammed Abu Habseh said “with our skulls we pave the path to victory, until the liberation of Palestine. Our compass will not deviate from Jerusalem nor from Palestine.”

The United States House of Representatives had just recently met on October 22, 2015 to discuss the incitement to hatred and violence of Palestinian leadership. It said of PA President Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry:

this culture of hate is being cultivated by Palestinian leaders. After being exposed day in and day out to these types of messages for most of their young lives, many of these young people will react and once the 
Palestinian President declares, in his words, ``We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem'' there are consequences to that.
    And it doesn't help when those in the media--or the Secretary of State for that matter--give this incitement a pass.

The terrorist-apologists are telling you that Arabs resort to violence. If only there were no Jews in the holy land, they wouldn’t have to kill them.

Related articles:

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Tourists)

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Kitchen Staff)

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

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

NY Times Repeatedly Tells Its Readers That An Israeli Supported A Mass Murderer, But Never That Many Palestinians Embrace Many Terrorists

The New York Times has spent considerable ink this year telling its readers that Israeli leadership loves a murderer of Arabs, yet it never prints anything about Palestinians who do it daily.

The anti-Zionist and very anti-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paper has written repeatedly about a new member of the Israeli government Itamar Ben-Gvir. It portrays him as a racist extremist who praised a killer of Palestinians, over and over, again and again.

  • October 24, 2022: “Until recently, he hung a portrait in his home of Baruch Goldstein, who shot dead 29 Palestinians in a West Bank mosque in 1994…. The portrait of Mr. Goldstein, who killed the Palestinians in 1994, no longer hangs in Mr. Ben-Gvir’s home.”
  • November 2, 2022: “Itamar Ben-Gvir, Jewish Power’s leader, seeks to grant legal immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians and deport rival lawmakers he accuses of terrorism. Until recently, he hung a portrait in his home of Baruch Goldstein, who shot dead 29 Palestinians in a West Bank mosque in 1994.”
  • November 4, 2022: “The mosque massacre in 1994, whose perpetrator, Baruch Goldstein, was once feted by Mr. Ben-Gvir in his home, occurred a few hundred yards away. “I’m afraid that fanatic settlers will feel more empowered” by Mr. Ben-Gvir’s rise, said Mr. Amro. “I’m afraid that more Baruch Goldstein massacres will happen.”
  • November 13, 2022: “Mr. Ben-Gvir, a resident of Hebron with a history of provocations and racism, who until recently hung a portrait in his home of Baruch Goldstein, an American-born Israeli doctor who massacred 29 Muslim worshipers praying at the city’s holy site in 1994.”
  • November 17, 2022 podcast: “Patrick Kingsley (NY Times reporter): Why have you got a picture of Baruch Goldstein, this extremist, on your wall? And when your son asks who he is, what do you say? And he defends it. Archived Recording (Itamar Ben-Gvir) Patrick Kingsley: He says, I tell my son, he’s a righteous man, he’s a hero. Sabrina Tavernise (another NYTimes journalist): Wow. A picture of a mass murderer hanging on his wall. Patrick Kingsley: Exactly.”
  • November 20, 2022: “Mr. Ben-Gvir has also been a source of alarm. He has expressed admiration for Meir Kahane, a politician who called for expelling Israel’s Arab citizens and banning sex between Jews and non-Jews, as well as for Baruch Goldstein, a West Bank settler who killed 29 Palestinians and wounded 125 more when he attacked a mosque in 1994.”

The examples continue. Over and again, the paper mentioned that Ben-Gvir once hung a picture of Baruch Goldstein, a man who shot 29 Muslim worshipers in the Cave of the Jewish Matriarchs and Patriarchs in Hebron, nearly 30 years ago.

It’s repetitive and lazy journalism, but that’s not really the point. The issue is that the Times never points out that the lionization of many Palestinian mass murderers of Israeli Jews is a daily occurrence in Palestinian society. It happens in schools, public squares and the government-controlled media. Constantly.

Dalal Mughrabi was a woman who killed 37 people including 12 children. Her name appears in public squares and elementary schools. She is a featured celebrity in Palestinian society. School children call her the “bride of Jaffa” to this day.

Abd Al-Baset Odeh was a Hamas operative who killed 30 Jews enjoying a Passover seder in a hotel in Netanya in 2002. In 2003, the Palestinian Authority sponsored a soccer tournament named the “Tulkarm Shahids Memorial soccer championship tournament of the Shahid Abd Al-Baset Odeh” describing the mass murderer as a “martyr.” According to Palestinian Media Watch’s translation of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, official PA daily, the event was under the auspices of the Department of Education, and the mass murderer’s brother handed out trophies to the winning team.

In 2020, the Student Union Council at Palestine Polytechnic University gifted the school with a gate named after Salah Khalaf, the leader of the Black September terror organization who planned the Munich Olympics massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered in 1972. According to the Israeli watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, there are four Palestinian schools named after Salah Khalaf.

In March 2022, Palestinians planted a garden in a boys’ school naming various trees after several mass murderers.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, there are 31 schools named after terrorists, aside from the various other mentions of killers in places like gardens.

This is never mentioned in the mainstream media.

Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, wrote that the recently deceased Nasser Abu Hmeid, a murderer of seven Israelis, was in an Israeli prison because of his “activism in the resistance of the Israeli occupation of their homeland.” The media site then called him a “martyr” and “resistance fighter,” as did Palestinian leadership including PA President Mahmoud Abbas, cleansing his crimes and vaulting him to hero status.

In October 2022, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh went to Jenin to pay his respects to the mass murderers of Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv in April. He stood next to Fathi Khazem, the father of the terrorist Raad Khazem, and said “This struggle is an ongoing process, from generation to generation, victims to victims. Jenin has created national unity on the ground.” Mahmoud Abbas had told the father “We are all mourning. That is our destiny and we can’t escape it. We must make sacrifices for the homeland.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh seen during a visit to a mourning tent alongside Fathi Khazem, October 16, 2022. (Screenshot/Twitter: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

These comments are in addition to the terrorism incentive scheme orchestrated by Abbas. The weak president scores points with the Palestinian street with his pay-to-slay program which rewards the families of terrorists with salaries for life.

Such is the essence of Palestinian leadership and society: a culture of anti-Semitism and terrorism. All deliberately hidden from western eyes.

On the Israeli side, there is an extremist politician who once hung a picture of a solitary Israeli terrorist, and The New York Times mentions it almost daily. On the Palestinian side, there are dozens of mass murderers who are celebrated everywhere in Palestinian society, and the Times refuses to mention it a single time.

That is neither hypocrisy nor double standards. It is corporate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; vile propaganda to incite hatred and actions against Jews and the Jewish State.

Related articles:

Palestinians Want Their Young Girls To Become Terrorists

Empowering Women… To Murder

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

You Cannot Be Progressive And Pro-Palestinian

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

NY Times Is Not Willfully Ignorant But Willfully Misleading About The Arab-Israeli Conflict

NY Times Considers Notion That Terrorism Against Israel is a Matter of Free Speech

NY Times Will Not Write About Arab Pogroms

The UN Talks About Jews Building In Jerusalem On Chanukah

The United Nations Security Council met on December 19, 2022 during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah which marks Jews rededicating their temple in Jerusalem 2,200 years ago. The council heard from Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process (aka Coordinator For Palestinian Demands) about the situation in the region during the period September 21 to December 7.

The comments and replies from various countries hit upon Jews in Jerusalem several times.

Wennesland called the Old City of Jerusalem and its surroundings as “occupied East Jerusalem,” and bemoaned the fact that the “number [of new housing units for Jews] more than tripled from some 900 units in 2021 to some 3,100 units in 2021 with tenders doubling from 200 to 400.”

Other countries chimed in.

  • The spokesperson from France said “The priority today is to halt the Israeli settlement building policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.”
  • The agent from Russia offered that “the expropriation of Palestinian property, the demolition of houses and the systematic violation of the status quo of Jerusalem’s holy sites continue.”
  • UAE, Israel’s new theoretical ally in the region, said “Any unilateral measures affecting the legal status of Jerusalem and the holy sites are a violation of international law which threatens to exacerbate tensions,” and added “the need to respect Jordan’s custodianship of Jerusalem’s holy sites,” making it sound like Jordan had authority over all Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites, when in fact it only has a “special role” regarding Islamic sites.
  • The representative of Ghana urged “Israel’s Government to not continue with plans to expand or create settlements, particularly in and around East Jerusalem.”

The basic idea that Jews should be banned from living somewhere, let alone in their holiest city of Jerusalem, is anti-Semitic at its core. That many countries would publicly call for such action at the United Nations during the Jewish holiday celebrating Jewish rights in Jerusalem adds a noxious element of antagonism towards global Jewry.

Jewish Chanukiah at the Kotel in Jerusalem (photo: First One Through)

Jews will never abandon Jerusalem. The perpetual calls at the United Nations for them to do so is pure inflammatory rhetoric, and makes any resolution from the organization about the conflict fall on hostile ears.

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Today, Only Orthodox Jews Yearn For Prayers On The Temple Mount

Chanukah is a celebration of Jews purging the pagan practices of their holy Second Temple in Jerusalem, and expunging the Hellenists from the holy land. It is a worthwhile time to consider how Jews today think about the Jewish Temple Mount and the future of Jewish prayers on the site.

Reform Judaism

Reform Jews are the largest denomination of American Jews, accounting for roughly 33% of American Jews (right ahead of 29% of Jews of no religion) according to a 2021 Pew poll. Their authoritative rabbinic body, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) issued a resolution in 2015 about the Reform movement’s view of the Temple Mount. While it said that Jews considered it “holy”, it noted that it only was so because of historic significance. It added some important points:

  • There is “not to any hope for rebuilding the Temple, reestablishing sacrificial rites, or restoring any future Jewish worship where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock now stand”
  • Supports the status quo on the Temple Mount which restricts prayer to Islamic, not Jewish, prayer.”
  • Stands in opposition to those Jews who attempt to alter the status quo by praying on the Temple Mount, which is contrary both to traditional Jewish law and practice as well as peaceful co-existence.”
  • “Affirms the freedom of religion and the right of persons to pray where they choose, while at the same time, asserts that the interests of peace and safety are, in this unique and extraordinary circumstance, best served when some rights are suspended and legitimate religious passions restrained in deference to the rights and sensibilities of others.”
  • “Encourages efforts of the [Reform Movement’s] Israel Religious Action Center, in cooperation with the Religious Action Center, to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount while combating terror and incitement to violence.”

The Reform Movement repeatedly makes clear that it opposes Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount now and forever. It believes that Temple Mount is simply a relic of the past, and any Jew who seeks to pray at Judaism’s holy site is essentially inciting violence.

The Reform movement’s leaders echo this theme. Rabbi Rick Jacobs lied to his base during Chanukah 2016 that the Maccabees of 2,200-years ago fought for religious tolerance when they did did the opposite. The Maccabees fought for a Jewish Temple, period. Further, it is perplexing (revolting) that the movement advocates for religious tolerance seemingly for all religions except for Jews at their holiest location.

Conservative Movement

The Conservative Movement is the fastest shrinking denomination of American Jewry. For every Jew who joins, three leave according to Pew, with the vast majority migrating to Reform or Jews with no denomination.

The movement has said remarkably little about the Temple Mount.

Way back in 2001, the Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution which said almost nothing about its position about the sacred site, other than confirming its holiness to Jews, and respectfully asking Islamists to stop proclaiming otherwise. It has issued no other official comments about the holy compound.

Its silence can be found in other places as well.

In 2016, the Conservative movement published a new prayer book, a siddur, meant to be more egalitarian which included a wide variety of contemporary commentators. The siddur sits somewhere between Reform and Orthodox denominations’ liturgy, but much closer to Reform as it relates to the Temple Mount.

While Orthodox Jews recite a short prayer after the central Amidah service three times a day (four times on Sabbath and holidays), as well as earlier in the morning service, asking for the Temple to be rebuilt, the Conservative Movement omitted it:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּ֒פָנֶֽיךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ שֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽינוּ וְתֵן חֶלְקֵֽנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶֽךָ: וְשָׁם נַעֲבָדְךָ בְּיִרְאָה כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמוֹנִיּוֹת: וְעָרְ֒בָה לַיהוָֹה מִנְחַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלָֽםִ כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמוֹנִיּוֹת:

May it be Your will, Adonoy, our God, and the God of our Fathers that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days, and grant us our share in Your Torah. And there we will serve You reverently as in the days of old, and in earlier years. And let Adonoy be pleased with the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem as in the days of old and in earlier years.

Perhaps the Conservative movement agrees with Reform Jews that there is no need for a Third Jewish Temple and that Jews should be banned from the site. Or maybe it is just staying out of the fray.

View of the Jewish Temple Mount from the top of the rebuilt Hurva Synagogue in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter (Photo: First One Through)

Orthodox Jews

While most non-Orthodox American Jews do not focus on the Temple Mount even as they might pray facing it, the small Orthodox community actively prays about rebuilding the Third Temple, as seen above. Many have gone to the site in recent years, during the few hours in which visitation for non-Muslims is currently permissible.

In December 2013, the Chief Rabbis of Israel reimposed a ban on Jews ascending the Temple Mount, as Orthodox Jews began to do so with greater frequency. The rationale had nothing to do with angering Islamists, as it did with potentially walking on the most holy of spots, which is not permitted for Jews other than a High Priest, according to Jewish law.

Despite the ban, the number of Jews visiting the Temple Mount has jumped in recent years as Orthodox Jews have rationalized that the location of the holy of holies is understood. In 2012, the total number of Jewish visitors was about 7,700. In October 2022 during the Jewish month of Tishrei, the figure was almost 8,000 according to Beyadeynu, an activist group encouraging Jewish visitation. The group estimates that the total this year doubled to about 50,000 from last year and it hopes to double again – to 100,000 Jews – in the coming year.

That figure remains a small fraction of the millions of Muslims who frequent the site at all hours.

In Israel, the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi community makes up 13% of the population and it is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country. There is roughly another 10% of Jews who are dati, or Modern Orthodox religious. Taken together, the 20%-plus Orthodox Israeli Jews is quite a bit larger than the 8% of Orthodox American Jews. Israel – and Jerusalem in particular – is much more Orthodox than world Jewry, as the devout Jews are drawn to the holy city much more than other Jews.

The increasingly secular nature of the majority of America’s Jews has fed a narrative that the Temple Mount is not central to Jewish prayer or aspirations. As Israel’s new government includes several Orthodox parties in the ruling coalition, the likely promotion of a greater Jewish presence at Judaism’s holiest spot will be cast as foreign and extreme around the world, when it is, and has always been, a basic component of Orthodox Judaism.

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Brooklyn Chanukah Donut Crawl 2022

The annual Chanukah tradition of tasting sufganiyut (filled donuts) at local bakeries returned us to Brooklyn this year. We decided to focus on Flatbush and Williamsburg, and skipped the usual run in Boro Park. Below are the bakeries we went to in order, in case anyone would like to replicate the tour.

Ostrovitsky’s, 1124 Avenue J

Our first stop was Ostrovitsky’s which scored well in prior visits. Unfortunately, the selection this year was beautiful but not good. The flavors looked great – Hazelnut, Napolean, Lotus, Oreo, Chocolate Mousse and Rosemary – but the dough tasted like it was a few days old. The filling flavor was still good but the amount of filling was very different depending on which donut we sampled (yes, we taste everything).

Pomegranate Supermarket, 1507 Coney Island Ave

We made an exception for the strictly bakery locations for Pomegranate, because of the store’s great reputation. There were basic flavors to try – jelly, chocolate, custard and caramel – and the jelly was really great. Dough was light and tasty and just the right amount of jelly and flavor. The $4.00 each for non-fancy seemed steep, but they were good.

Sesame, 1540 Coney Island Ave.

Sesame was packed as usual with a line to get in the store (and Chanukah didn’t even start until that evening!) The bakery always has a great assortment of flavors and they are usually terrific. This year, we found the dough and filling excellent once again, however a bit sweeter than past years. We are biased towards flavor over sugar, and this year, there was a complete lack of subtlety. Pistachio is always a favorite but now it comes complete with a sugar rush. We tried hazelnut and peanut this year too, and picked up a couple dozen for people in our neighborhood who crave them.

Taste of Israel, 1322 Avenue M

We heard good things about TOI but were then told that they only took pre-orders. We may stop by again next Sunday.

Schreiber’s Homestyle Bakery, 3008 Avenue M

Schreiber’s simply has the best lace cookies so we go every year. While not a complicated dessert, they have a great crispiness in a single layer and a generous dipping of excellent chocolate. Make sure to pick some up along with the sufganiyut.

The majority in the store are pareve. They have pre-boxed assortments and we picked up a few to bring to a dinner party (see below). The dairy ones which we ate on the spot had amazing dough – very light and tasty. Please go to the back to pick these up. The strawberry had the perfect amount of filling and also a really nice light flavor. The cheese was a little too light on flavor.

We took a short break to watch the World Cup finals and got to see the end of the second period of extra time and the shootout with Argentina beating France. I’m not sure how many families watched the end of the amazing 2022 game in a hair salon in the middle of a Chanukah donut crawl, but to those who did – wasn’t it great?

Oneg Bakery, 188 Lee Avenue

We drove to Williamsburg which is a hike I do not recommend. If you are going to the neighborhood anyway, that’s fine but not together with Flatbush which can be 45 minutes away.

Oneg is rightfully famous for its heavy babka, among the best in the world. They are huge at $45 for a half and $90 for a whole. We actually get the large and cut it into three, as they freeze well.

The store is very small and old school. The donuts aren’t fancy but the classic jelly was excellent, maybe only slightly behind Pomegranate’s in terms of flavor and consistency of filling.

Black and White Bakery, 520 Park Ave

B&W was a real disappointment. We had a good experience there in the past, and the chocolate horn was indeed very good. However, the donuts are too expensive ($6.50), almost all dairy, and lacking a variety of taste. Every donut seemed to have the same cheese filling, just with a different topping. While the toppings were attractive, they lacked in flavor. On the plus side, you can daven mincha at the Yeshivat Viznitz around the corner with over 100 Satmar students.

Below is the ranking for this year’s donut crawl. If you visit, please tell them about the review on the blog First One Through. As Chanukah covers two weekends this year, we are likely to make a second run next weekend, possibly visiting Boro Park and Crown Heights bakeries.

Related articles:

Jerusalem Donut Crawl 2021

Brooklyn Chanukah Donut Crawl 2020

Chanukah Donuts: Brooklyn 2019

Brooklyn’s Holiday Donuts

The Last of the Mo’Kichels