Obstruction Of Free Exercise Of Religious Beliefs

The court trial of the man who killed eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA began on May 30, 2023. The murderer, Robert Bowers, faces a total of 63 federal crimes which include:

  • 11 counts of obstruction of free religious exercise resulting in death;
  • 11 counts of hate crimes resulting in death;
  • Two counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury;
  • Two counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill;
  • Eight counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon, and resulting in bodily injury to public safety officers;
  • Four counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury to public safety officers;
  • 25 counts of discharging a firearm during those crimes

The case is not being built solely on the fact that Bowers killed eleven innocent people and threatened to kill others, but with the added emphasis on the “obstruction of free religious exercise” and of “hate crimes.”

The United States has a law which lays out the protection afforded to people and property associated with religious worship. 18 U.S. Code 247 is called “Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs,” and lays out the principle of religious protection. Section (a)(2) refers to circumstances in which a person “intentionally obstructs, by force or threat of force, including by threat of force against religious real property, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempts to do so.”

This US law has commonalities in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Articles 2 and 18 of the UDHR entitle everyone “to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Despite embracing the basic human rights to the free exercise of religious belief, the United States continues to support the “status quo” demanded by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf to prohibit Jews from praying at Judaism’s holiest site on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

While Israel enabled over one million Muslims onto the Jewish Temple Mount during Ramadan, not a single Jew is afforded this basic human right. To add insult to injury, rather than denounce the heinous antisemitic law, the United Nations and United States decry the Jewish protestors as “extremists” inverting the right and the wronged.

Related articles:

Biden Doesn’t Believe In His Own Religious Freedom Declaration

The Inalienable Right of Jews to Pray on The Temple Mount

Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem


Tolerance at the Temple Mount

Palestinian Hate Speech

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a message on March 30, 2023 related to the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. He offered words for the whole world.

How easily hate speech — a key indicator of the risk of genocide — turns to hate crime.  How complacency in the face of atrocity is complicity.  And how no place, and no time is immune to danger — including our own.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Unfortunately, the global body – as well as many countries and people – turn a blind eye to the rampant hate speech in Palestinian society.

On May 15, 2023, the United Nations gave a platform to the acting President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The man who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial gave a master class in antisemitism.

Abbas claimed that Jews have no history in the Jewish historical homeland. He said that Jews never even had a single temple in Jerusalem.

Abbas said that Jews were implanted into the land of Israel by the British and Americans who wanted to export the Jews which they despised. He argued that doing so made the Jews indebted to their western benefactors to serve as a colonial outpost.

Abbas called the Jews a bunch of liars – on par with Nazi Germany’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels, who was instrumental in the genocide of European Jewry.

Abbas’s performance was a reminder of his past antisemitic tirades when he praised the Arab assassins of Jewish civilians, calling them “martyrs” for the Palestinian cause, who will always get pay-to-slay money, even “if we had only a penny left.

Horrifically, the United Nations was not “complacent in the face of these atrocities” but an active participant.

The UN continues to give the Palestinian leader the floor to air his antisemitic vitriol. It continues to push money into the terrorist enclave of Gaza, headed by Hamas, with the most antisemitic governing charter ever written. The global forum echoes Palestinians’ demands for apartheid, denying Jews the basic right to pray at their holiest location on the Jewish Temple Mount, and to live in the center of their holy land.

Palestinian hate speech was once again given a platform at the United Nations, inflaming danger to Jews everywhere, and “the risk of genocide.”

Seemingly by design.

Related articles:

Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism

United Nations’ Particularism About Racism But Universalism On Anti-Semitism Reveals Its Jew Hatred

The United Nations Ignores Radical Muslim Violent Extremism and Terrorism

Apartheid In Palestinian Authority, Not Israel

Amid The Terror, The United Nations Elevates Hamas

To Serve Jews, United Nations Style

The U.N. Openly Declares Opposition To Jews in Jerusalem

While Palestinians Fire 400 Rockets, the United Nations Meets to Give Them Money

Abbas’ European Audience for His Rantings

The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

Abbas Knows Racism

A Review of Tourists To Israel

These pages have reviewed that Christians love visiting Israel (a majority 56% of tourists in 2018!) and that Muslims barely come despite the supposed significance of the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Here we will dive a bit deeper into the countries that make up tourists to Israel.

In 2019, before the pandemic impacted travel, 4.55 million tourists visited Israel. The United States numbered almost 1 million, and every continent was represented in the top 20 originating places, with the exception of Africa. Despite the proximity and Israel being lumped into the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region by many, the Jewish State has few personal ties with Africa.

It is perhaps not surprising that France was the second highest source of tourists destined for Israel, as it is home to the second largest Jewish population (estimated around 450,000) after the USA. Many people from France have moved to Israel, with an estimated total of 3,500 in 2021, behind the USA at 4,400, and the Former Soviet Union at 10,500.

Italy, which does not have a large Jewish population (under 30,000) had 190,000 tourists visiting Israel, as they came to visit the Christian holy sites.

When normalizing for the population size of each country, the large countries like India and China fall out of the top ranking. In fact, only European countries made the list of top 20 countries when reviewed on a normalized basis.

Interestingly, the top six countries with a high percentage of people visiting Israel do NOT have many Jews. Among the top 20, only seven countries (listed in yellow above) have more than 25,000 Jews.

It is perhaps not a surprise to see non-Islamic Cyprus as the dominant tourist country, as it is very close to Israel and Israelis visit the country all of the time – including to get married. Lithuania, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania and Austria round out the tourists who come to Israel frequently, countries which USED to have a significant number of Jews before World War II.

Lithuania’s Jewish population was estimated at 263,000 people in 1939. Today’s estimates is 2,250. Latvia had about 95,000 Jews at the eve of World War II. Today’s population is about 8,000. Romania’s Jewish population is down to about 3,000 people. Austria had about 190,000 Jews in 1938 with Vienna alone having 22 synagogues. Today there are about 10,000 Jews.

The popularity of people visiting Israel has not translated into those governments’ supporting Israel at the United Nations. As seen below, Hungary was the only country to support Israel more than EIGHT PERCENT of the time from 2015 to present according to UN Watch.

CountryFor IsraelAgainstAbstain
Voting records of countries on Israeli resolutions at United Nations (2015-present), source: UN Watch

Many Muslim majority countries do not recognize Israel and several are technically in a state of war with the Jewish State. Only eight Muslim countries list their tourists to Israel. Of them, only Jordan, which abuts Israel and claimed half of its land as its own until 1988, had over 100 visitors per 100,000 people – 172.2, on par with Hong Kong – and half the rate of Germany.

Muslim CountryTotal visitorsVisitors per 100,000
Muslim countries visiting Israel, 2019

Every Muslim country voted against Israel at the UN 100% of the time.

The populations which come to visit the Jewish State today include its only non-Muslim neighbor and those who live among Jewish ghosts who had lived throughout eastern Europe in the ghettoes of the Pale of Settlement. Today’s ghetto has its own flag with a Jewish Star, and it remains to be seen if it can withstand the pandemic of antisemitism which still permeates the world.


Petition Cyprus to stop singling out Israel at the United Nations

Related articles:

25,000 Jews Remaining

An Open Letter To Israel’s Diaspora Minister

How Many Jews?

Watching Jewish Ghosts

The Building’s Auschwitz Tattoo

Missing Items In IHRA Antisemitism Definition Related To Israel

Many countries and municipalities have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and U.S. President Joe Biden is considering doing so as well. However, he is getting pushback from some anti-Zionist corners, as people feel that the several examples cited in the IHRA definition stymies legitimate criticism against Israel.

In fact, the opposite is true. There are clear examples of antisemitism which are presently excluded in the IHRA definition which would encompass the land of Israel.

Denial of Jewish History

It is outrageous to deny any people their history, and the IHRA definition narrowly covers this topic as it relates to the genocide of European Jews in the Holocaust. However, it omits doing this in a more general manner, such as denying the 4,000 years of history of Jews in the holy land, that the Jewish Temples stood in Jerusalem and that Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s.

These are plain historic truths. Yet antisemites – like Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – deny these facts repeatedly and publicly.

Would anyone ever consider denying the history of Black slavery? To do so would clearly mark such person as a racist.

So it is with denying Jewish history, especially in the land of Israel.

Denying the Right of Jews To Live Somewhere

Redlining where people can live has an ugly history and is known as being part of structural racism. For centuries, many countries barred where Jews could live and confined them to ghettoes.

The world promotes this today, passing laws that Jews are forbidden to live in certain parts of the land of Israel which they consider purely “Arab land.” In 2016, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which labeled Israeli “settlements” east of the 1949 Armistice Lines as “illegal.” While an Israeli Arab is free to move to eastern Jerusalem, an Israeli Jew is considered a “settler” who should be barred from owning land in the center of the Jewish holy land.

It’s a repulsive antisemitic statement. No one would ever consider legitimizing a law that Kurds should be banned from owning land in Istanbul, or Algerian Muslims in Marseilles. Yet somehow, the long antisemitic history of banning Jews from living in certain locations thrives today, in the land of Israel of all places.

Denying the Right of Jews To Pray At Their Holiest Site

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Articles 2 and 18 clearly allows all people the “freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Such right covers Jews at their holiest site on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Yet the United Nations and several nations bow to the antisemitic demands of Muslim nations that Jews should be banned from this basic human right. It is a flagrant offense, and doing so specifically and only for Jews reeks of Jew hatred.

The Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem from the roof of the Hurva Synagogue (photo: First One Through)

People are concerned that the IHRA definition of antisemitism has too many references to the Jewish STATE of Israel when in fact it has too few mentions of the Jewish LAND of Israel. Specifically, denying Jewish history in the land, denying Jews the right to live in the land and denying Jews the right to pray at their holiest sites are blatant and obvious examples of antisemitism which should be covered.

Structural Jew-hatred exists at the highest levels of governments and should be addressed directly as antisemitism gains momentum on the extremes of left and right.


The IHRA antisemitism definition is missing denying Jewish history in Israel, denying Jews the right to live in Israel, and denying Jews the right to pray on the Temple Mount

EMAIL REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN “Stop allowing antisemitism to grow. Push President Biden to support the IHRA definition of antisemitism which further includes: denying Jewish history in the land of Israel, denying Jews the right to live throughout the land, and denying Jews the right to pray at their holiest site of the Temple Mount, each a blatant and obvious example of antisemitism.”


Related articles:

The Anti-Semitism In Anti-Zionism

Bigots In Power, Checked And Unchecked

Biden Enables Anti-Semitism On College Campuses

Antisemitism Includes the Denial of Jewish History

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

NY Times Sees Neither Antisemitism Nor Dead Jews in Reporting on Murder of Two Jewish Cousins Outside A Synagogue During Religious Pilgrimage

Two Jewish cousins, Aviel and Biyamin Hadad, as well as three guards were gunned down near the Djerba Synagogue in Tunisia. The cousins were part of a large Jewish contingent which came to the synagogue as part of Lag B’Omer festivities.

Binyamin Haddad, left, and his cousin, Aviel Haddad, who were killed in a shooting in Djerba, Tunisia on May 9, 2023. (Courtesy of the family)

The Jewish community in Tunisia is a shadow of its former self, as the Islamification of the country at its independence in 1956 made the Jews unwelcome, as they were relegated to second class “dhimmi” status. For example, from that time, all Jewish businesses were forced to take on a Muslim partner.

In 1957, the old Tunis Jewish cemetery was expropriated, and in 1960, the great Tunis synagogue was destroyed. Jews began to flee the country in 1961 as they were throughout the Muslim Arab countries. Tunisia only allowed Jews to take one dinar with them, as the country confiscated the rest of their possessions, in a massive theft as part of its ethnic cleansing.

These are plain facts. All rewritten in The New York Times telling of the horrific shootings.

According to the Times, the killer “shot indiscriminately near the synagogue”, “killing two visitors and two guards.” It then added color that there was “no motive for the shooting, in which a 42-year old French national, whom the authorities described as a French-Tunisian, and a 30-year Tunisian were killed.”

No mention that the two visitors were Jews and no mention of anti-Semitism.

Instead, the synagogue is referred to as a tourist site, which came under attack much like other tourist sites had been attacked in Tunisia. The synagogue was simply a “tourist attraction” which had also been attacked in April 2002, “killing 21 Western tourists.” The Times worried that “Tuesday’s shooting could harm the country’s crucial tourism industry,” a real problem, as the country is “in a political and economic crisis.”

In regards to the routing of the country’s Jews, the paper said that the “community shrank as Djerban Jews migrated to Israel or France,” and “in general, the Jews and Muslims of Djerba have coexisted peacefully.”

A complete disregard of the Islamic nationalism which routed the Jewish community.

As for that attack in 2002 which the Times said “militants detonated a truck bomb at the synagogue,” it is worth telling some uncomfortable truths about that event, as detailed by Aaron Zelin in his work “Fifteen Years after the Djerba Synagogue bombing.” To summarize:

  • The mastermind of the April 2002 attack was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), one of the masterminds of the attacks of 9/11 and responsible for the beheading of Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl.
  • The attack was conducted by a Tunisian, Nizar Nawar in conjunction with al Qaeda. While trained in Afghanistan, he received logistical support in Spain and France.
  • A statement of responsibility was released after the attacks by Jaysh al-Islami Li-Tahrir al-Muqadisat (JITM, or the Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites, a front name for al-Qa`ida) via fax to the Arabic newspapers Al-Hayat and Al-Quds al-Arabi, “that Nawar carried the attack out in the name of Palestine against the Jews” 
  • Zelin noted a connection between the training and choice of targets of jihadi attacks. “Global jihadis have retained a focus on Jewish-related entities. Nawar chose to attack a Jewish synagogue in Tunisia, while more recently, Mehdi Nemmouche attacked the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. Part of this trend is due to the continuing resonance of the Palestinian plight within the broader Muslim world, which jihadi groups co-opt to gain legitimacy, support, and new recruits.”
  • “In the aftermath of the Djerba synagogue bombing, the Tunisian government was initially dismissive of any ties to terrorism, suggesting the attack was only an accident. A sense of denial about the threat contributed to a fundamental lack of understanding within Tunisia’s political establishment of jihadism.”
  • “Tunisians have long been involved in international terrorism plots, attacks, and foreign fighting. This trend is likely to continue, especially as so many Tunisians have gone to train in Libya, Iraq, and Syria over the past six years. The Nizar Nawars of today are finding a melting pot of contacts and networks they can tap into, just as Nawar himself did more than 15 years ago.”

The 2002 attack was clearly an antisemitic attack by pro-Palestinian global jihadists, not a generic al Qaeda attack against tourists the way the Times portrayed. As in 2002, the Tunisian government denies the charge of antisemitism, saying “Tunisia will always remain a land of tolerance and coexistence,” and that the purpose of the attack was to “sow the seeds of discord, damage the tourist season and damage the state.”

The Global Intifada has begun, and the media will not even say that Jews died or antisemitism exists, and the Arab world is narrowly focused on the impact to their pocketbooks.

Related articles:

The Global Intifada

The Banners of Jihad

New York Times’ Muslim Anti-Semitism Washing

NY Times Does Not See Antisemitism In Texas Shooting

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

The United Nations Ignores Radical Muslim Violent Extremism and Terrorism

Terrifying Trifecta Of Anti-Zionism

Excerpt of Hamas Charter to Share with Your Elected Officials

NY Times Does Not See Antisemitism In Texas Shooting

A horrible massacre took place in a mall near Dallas, Texas. Eight people were killed and many more injured by a 33-year old man named Mauricio Garcia. The police and the media are actively speculating about the motive for the rampage.

Many media outlets noted that Garcia had a swastika over his heart and that his social media contained posts and images espousing “white supremacist and neo-Nazi views.” But the similarity in coverage ended there.

CNN said that Garcia had posts which “espoused antisemitism.” NBC News led with a headline that the “Texas mall shooter ranted against Jews, women and racial minorities.” The ADL also led its headline that “Shooter in Allen, Texas, Embraced Antisemitism, Misogyny and White Supremacy.” The BBC quoted from the ADL, and Forbes referenced NBCNews, both covering “antisemitism, misogyny and white supremacy.”

This isn’t really surprising coming from a person praising Hitler and sporting a swastika.

What is alarming is that The New York Times excluded mentioning antisemitism as a possible motive. It only wrote that his online profile was “rife with hate-filled rants against women and Black people.”

New York Times excluding antisemitism as a motive behind massacre

The Times knows about Jew hatred, having covered the rise in antisemitic attacks in the United States in an article on March 23, 2023. That article selectively flagged white supremacist attackers, even though a great many anti-Jewish attacks were committed by Blacks and Muslims. Perhaps the paper was taking the lead from the Southern Poverty Law Center which does not want to highlight crimes by Blacks or Muslims as it fears doing so will lead to over-policing.

While the Times has long ignored rampant antisemitism by Palestinian Arabs and Black people, the paper has seemingly taken the next step in its downward spiral to hell, and now also ignores antisemitism from neo Nazis.

Related articles:

New York Times’ Muslim Anti-Semitism Washing

The New York Times Is Morphing Into The Notorious Dearborn Independent

Why Does the New York Times Delete Stories of Attacks on Jews?

New York Times’ Small Anti-Semitism

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

New York Times coverage of Anti-Semitism Report

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

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

Progressives Publicly Anti-Condemning Anti-Semitism

In a highly partisan world, there should be moments when people of opposing sides bond and find common purpose. “Fight Cancer” or “Don’t Drown Cats” are examples of easy themes for all to embrace, especially if there are no specific requirements that accompany the chant, such as spending billions of dollars to effectuate the cause.

New York City attempted to pass such banal resolution, declaring April 29 as “End Jew Hatred Day.” The text of the resolution summarized the terrifying statistics of Jews being singled out for attacks. There was no mention of Israel or the Palestinian conflict. Nothing highlighted that most of the anti-Semitic attacks in NYC were coming from Blacks and Muslims. There was no request for money or any action.

The resolution was toothless, a simple vote to support the Jewish community.

Yet it failed to pass unanimously.

Of the 51 members on the New York City Council, two opposed the measure and four abstained. All six who rejected supporting Jews, are members of the Progressive Caucus and the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Five of the six are women and belong to the Women’s Caucus.

The two members who voted against the measure are:

The four members who abstained are:

Shahana Hanif explained her vote against Jews saying that “They [Jews] have not stood up for Muslims, they have not stood up for trans New Yorkers or anybody.”

Councilmember Shahana Hanif (D-Brooklyn) on April 28, 2022.
(Photo John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

Charles Barron said that there is “inconsistency of members of the Jewish community, particularly its leadership, in speaking out against hatred, like hatred of the Palestinian people, like the State of Israel murdering Palestinian women and children and stealing the land.”

Hanif and Barron – politicians elected to protect their constituents – essentially said that Jews do not deserve protection and have collectively earned the hatred and wrath of society.

The End Jew Hatred resolution was submitted by:

Inna Vernikov
Kalman Yeger Julie Menin, James F. Gennaro, Kristin Richardson JordanEric DinowitzRobert F. HoldenLinda LeeFarah N. LouisDavid M. CarrJoann Ariola Joseph C. BorelliAri KaganVickie Paladino
Sponsors of the resolution to combat Jew Hatred in New York City

While all six of the councilmembers who rejected the resolution denouncing anti-Semitism were members of the Progressive Caucus, only one of the resolution’s fourteen sponsors (Kristin Richardson Jordan) was a progressive.

Progressive minority groups are not only excluding Jews – the most persecuted group in the country – from DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), they are turning a blind eye and enabling antisemitism to fester.

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Mum on Black, Brown and Leftist Anti-Semitism

Slavery, Colonization AND THE INQUISITION

On April 25, 2023, Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that his country needed to apologize for its role in the slave trade from the 15th to the 19th century. It is estimated that 6 million Africans were kidnapped and sold as slaves, transported by Portuguese ships. Portugal has said little about its role in enslaving Black people until now.

Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Rebelo de Sousa made his comments after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addressed the Portuguese parliament. Brazil – along with Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, East Timor and Goa (India) – were Portuguese colonies. The president said the colonization of Brazil also had positive factors, such as the spread of Portuguese language and culture, but “on the bad side, the exploitation of Indigenous people…slavery, the sacrifice of the interests of Brazil and Brazilians.”

Two years prior, in March 2021, Europe’s top human rights group said that Portugal needed to do more to confront its colonial past and role in the transatlantic slave trade in order to help fight racism and discrimination in the country today. The Council of Europe said that “further efforts are necessary for Portugal to come to terms with past human rights violations to tackle racist biases against people of African descent inherited from a colonial past and historical slave trade.”

At that same time, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres, a native of Portugal, marked the “International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade” saying that “while the transatlantic slave trade ended over two centuries ago, the ideas that propelled it remain alive today. In Europe, the United States and elsewhere, White supremacists are organizing and recruiting across borders. We must counter all lies of racial supremacy. By tackling inequities and inequalities, by building inclusive communities and economies, and by educating about history, we truly honour the memory of the victims of slavery.”

Global organizations have correctly pointed out the evils of slavery and colonization, crimes against Blacks and indigenous people in the Americas which went on for centuries. The abuse of both groups has only become a focus in recent times.

But not for the crimes against Jews. There has been no discussion of the Inquisition which decimated the Jewish population in Portugal, Spain and their colonies, as well as much of Europe. No discussion about the ingrained hatred that continues to make Jews the most persecuted minority in the world.

The Inquisition

Textbooks and encyclopedias have the Inquisition running from 1478 to 1834 but the church’s persecution of “heretics” ran much longer, going back to the 12th century. In 1391 in Seville, Spain, a preacher by the name of Don Fernando Martinez lectured his congregants that Jews were evil and were infiltrating Spanish society. While the riots that broke out that March were put down, the mob gathered strength and plundered the Jewish Quarter of the city in June. Roughly 4,000 people were killed. The synagogues in the city were either destroyed or converted to churches and the Jewish community was decimated.

The Spanish forced their Jews to either leave the country or die in 1492. Many fled to Portugal, Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands or took ships to the New World. In 1497, Portugal followed suit in persecuting the Jews but also gave Jews the choice of converting. Those converts became known as New Christians or conversos. Not believing that the conversos really believed in their new religion, and looking for an alibi for a drought, the Christians of Lisbon, Portugal butchered over 2,000 conversos on April 19, 1506.

The Spanish and Portuguese took the Inquisition to the New World shortly thereafter, including to Brazil in 1536 and to what is now Mexico in 1571. Not satisfied with driving the Jews out of the Iberian Peninsula, they persecuted the New Christians in Central and South America. One example was the whipping and burning at the stake of the de Carvajal family – a mother with four of her children – in the middle of Mexico City on December 8, 1596.

António José da Silva (1705-1739), was a famous Brazilian-born playwright, nicknamed “the Jew.” As a young child, he was forced with his family to flee to Portugal because of the Inquisition. It did not provide him sanctuary. As an adult, he was accused of being a Jew and was garroted and burned at the stake in front of his wife.

By some estimates, as much as 10-20% of people living in Portugal today are actually descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity. The percentage is estimated to be much higher in Brazil and around Latin America as Jews fled from persecution but were still reluctant to publicize their Judaism.

There are only about 1,000 public Jews left in Portugal today.


The Portuguese president called out the terrible history of his country in its participation of the slave trade and colonization. The Portuguese head of the United Nations echoed the sentiment and drew a line from that history to the persecution of Blacks and indigenous people today. But no one even mumbles about the horrors inflicted on their own resident Jews during that same period as part of the Inquisition, and the antisemitism still prevalent today.

Quite the opposite. Even as he denounced Portugal’s history, President Rebelo de Sousa said that the “colonization of Brazil also had positive factors, such as the spread of Portuguese language and culture,” meaning a purely Christian society devoid of Jews.

The Jews remain outside the perimeter of Victims of Preference around the world then and today.

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Related First.One.Through video:

1001 Years of Expulsions (music from Schindler’s List)

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Jewish Anti-Zionists’ Confession, Absolution And Fratricide

For thousands of years, people have sought to improve themselves. As human beings, we often make mistakes and thereafter attempt to rectify the wrong. Beyond avoiding the error, organized religion offers a path to redemption which includes confession.

In Religion and Secular Society

In Judaism, the pathway from sin is called tshuva. Rambam/ Maimonides (1138-1204) lays out the pathway to Repentance in several steps he described in the Mishneh Torah, the first of which is confession. The sin – whether with man or God – is first confessed to God: “I implore You, God, I sinned, I transgressed, I committed iniquity before You by doing the following. Behold, I regret and am embarrassed for my deeds. I promise never to repeat this act again.” The confession is critical to obtaining absolution, as Rambam further writes that even “those obligated to be executed or lashed by the court do not attain atonement through their death or lashing unless they repent and confess. Similarly, someone who injures a colleague or damages his property, does not attain atonement, even though he pays him what he owes until he confesses and makes a commitment never to do such a thing again.”

Christianity uses members of the church as a pathway to confession, rather than directly to God. Many Catholic churches have confessional booths, in which a priests sits on one side of the booth and listens to people confess their sins through a darkened partition to enable the person to open up more freely through the shroud of anonymity.

Catholic confessional booth

Secular society has its own views on sin and demands of confession.

When famous people do something perceived as bad, their public relations people send out composed apologies. Sometimes the star also appears on talk shows to help clear their name. The absolution comes from society that allows them to keep their job and income. If the evil act was perceived as too great to clear with an apology road tour or the apology was insufficient, the person becomes “canceled”, either permanently (like Matt Lauer and Anthony Weiner) or temporarily (like Louis C.K. and Whoopi Goldberg).

The average person can also get “canceled” via exclusion from his desired community. The confession may be viewed as insufficient to be afforded absolution. Perhaps God will accept the plea but people have a lower tolerance for perceived wrongdoings.

Secular Society’s Religion and Inquisition

There are parts of society that are attempting to create new socially accepted norms, crafting their Bible in real time. They have launched an inquisition to out and oust the new sinners.

While transgenderism has existed, it has recently become “mainstreamed”, in which schools which never had any such students suddenly have twenty. Laws are being drafted for and against these students using locker rooms and competing in sports based on their gender rather than their biology. People (and states) who take positions opposed to the new doctrines become ostracized.

Another tenet with drying ink is the gaslighting campaign against the Jewish State of Israel. It started at the 2001 Durban Conference, pushing the “Zionism is racism” credo into the mainstream, after it was ousted from the United Nations in 1991. The effort gathered significant momentum in 2014-5 after the Gaza War and killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, when intersectionality bound Muslim anti-Zionism with the Black Lives Matter movement. Israel was falsely labeled as a “police state” of “colonial imperialists” committing “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” against “indigenous Arabs.” American Jews were no longer correctly viewed as the most persecuted people but were tarnished as an even more sinister part of the problem of “White supremacy” which included “Jewish supremacy.”

Woke Jews were at risk of losing membership in their community of leftists. Rather than fight the tide of falsehoods and slander, they publicly confessed that they hated Israel and agreed with the ridiculous portrayal of an illegal and racist state. Some were granted absolution and welcomed to pray once again at secular altars, while others were deemed to not go far enough, by not embracing the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement or the calls to “globalize the intifada” to cancel, harass and attack Jewish Zionists everywhere.

Fratricide in Religion and Secular Society

While the first sin in the Bible was Eve and Adam eating from the Tree of Knowledge, the first sin committed with the knowledge of good and evil was Cain’s killing of his brother Abel. When God approached Cain to find out what happened, Cain failed to confess his crime to God and was marked forever as a sinner.

Today, Jewish anti-Zionists are loudly vilifying their brothers and sisters in Israel as the worst sort of people, to be punished and left unprotected from the wolves that seek to destroy the “Zionist entity”. Their confession is not to God but left-wing extremists. In sharp contrast to Cain, their cries are not ignoring the murder of their brother but that they are different from their brothers, as proven by working to have the sinners annihilated.

New York City, home to the greatest number of Jews outside of Israel, has a rapidly growing antisemitic and anti-Zionist group gaining political power. The Democratic Socialists of New York City now stands at over 85,000 people, which demands that politicians not visit Israel, and supports Palestinian “resistance” (violence) against Israel’s “ethnic cleansing, and apartheid.” Left-wing extremist Jews vocally support this group and its candidates.


Christianity believes that Jesus died for the sins of mankind and the church is the gateway for absolution. Catholics enter church to privately and anonymously confess their sins to be granted that forgiveness.

Meanwhile, secular Jews find the Bride of Absolution in far left extremist groups. The anti-Zionist Jews take to public platforms to denounce their brethren as heathens, crucifying them in the fervent wish that their deaths will afford the enlightened the grace to live amongst the woke.

While Judaism tasks people with confessing their own sins, today’s anti-Zionist Jews declare the sins of their brothers. It is fratricide, the original sin of knowledge gone astray.

Related articles:

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Students For Justice in Palestine Says J Street Is The Gateway For Jewish Anti-Zionists

Peter Beinart is an Apologist for Anti-Semites

Anti-Semites Don’t Ride In Cattle Cars

Linda Sarsour as Pontius Pilate

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Jews Join Anti-Zionists in Rewriting History

The Year 2023: Entry To The Holy Land

There are millions of religious Christians who look at the founding of the State of Israel as a matter of divine will. One of the points of evidence they use is that the year of the founding of the state was 1948 in the Gregorian Calendar, commonly referred to as the Common Era. It was in that year in the Jewish Calendar – 1948 – that Abraham was born according to the Old Testament. Remarkably, after two thousand years of persecution and wandering, that the Jews would reestablish their homeland in that common year is considered too much of a coincidence. It is a sign from G-d.

It is therefore important to note this moment in time, 2023CE. As Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary milestone, it was in that year of the Jewish calendar, that Abraham entered the land of Canaan and G-d promised him and his descendants blessings and the land.

Genesis 12:1-4:

“יהוה said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And curse the one who curses you; And all the families of the earth; Shall bless themselves by you. Abram went forth as יהוה had commanded him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.”

Seventy-five years since the rebirth of the Jewish State, the country thrives while it continues to have challenges. It has remained stable and economically sound despite the mayhem in the surrounding countries. It has defeated its foes in battles repeatedly, and has forged peace treaties with several former enemies. It has managed to ingather millions of Jewish exiles from around the world, as it rekindled Hebrew into a common spoken language. It granted citizenship to non-Jews living in the land, in a unique forum of coexistence in the Middle East.

Abram was 48 years old at the time of the Great Dispersion from the Tower of Babel. He witnessed firsthand the ill effects of unanimity, and was part of G-d’s global directive towards particularism – in both language and place. At 75 years old, he was told to relocate, to a place already inhabited by others, to become the source of blessing for the entire world.

In 2023 of the Jewish calendar, the father of monotheism was not directed to conquer or convert the slightly more “indigenous” people (by 27 years) in the holy land, even as the land was soon to be promised to him, his son Isaac and the generations after him. Abram was to be an inspiration and a talisman for everyone. In that generation which broke the embraced orthodoxy of universalism, he embodied G-d’s will of particularism.

Today, in 2023 of the Common Era we live in a very tense world. People are divided, in part, because of technology that has enabled microtargeting of people with customized news and advertisements, couple with social media algorithms which keep people hyper-engaged. While fifty years ago everyone was basically fed the same media and news, now billions of people can consume and transmit whatever they want. While more satisfied with being fed unique content whenever they want, the hyper-particularism has left many isolated, angry and distrustful.

In considering the year 2023 both in the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian one, it is time to reset our thoughts on universalism and tribalism.

We don’t all need to think, dress or worship the same way. We must break with the notion of unanimity of position, and embrace a society of tolerance. That mean stop canceling, firing and unfriending people if they don’t share your opinions on critical race theory and transgenderism, or dislike the people you follow on Instagram. Allow space for unique attitudes, as long as they are not harmful.

The Bible tells us that Abraham left his “native land” to a land where he would become a focus of not just the local inhabitants but “all the families of the earth.” In today’s world of billions of isolated people, Jews and the Jewish State continue to demand global attention. It is an opportunity for a universalistic approach towards the particular: for the world to bless the Jews and receive G-d’s blessing in return.

A pretty simple formula for a better and happier world.

The Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Related articles:

The Place and People for the Bible

The Jews of Jerusalem In Situ

The Journeys of Abraham and Ownership of the Holy Land

Abraham’s Hospitality: Lessons for Jews and Arabs

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Judaism’s Particularism Protects Al Aqsa

Related music videos:

God is a Zionist (music by Joan Osborne)

Aliyah to Israel (music by The Maccabeats)

The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

Ethiopian Jews Come Home (music by Phillip Phillips)