- Jeremy Corbyn
- Margot Wallström
- Ali Khamenei
- Hassan Nasrallah
- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
- Mahmoud Abbas
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
- Ismail Haniyeh
- Linda Sarsour
- Miko Peled
- Louis Farrakhan
- David Duke
- Sigmar Gabriel
- Roger Waters
- Jackie Walker
- Richard Spencer
- Carl Bildt
- Ken Loach
I receive ludicrous and inflammatory lies about Israel all the time. The tiny nation of Israel is under the magnifying glass more than any other country. If all the stuff was happening in Israel that they claim, there would be video and images coming out every day, and not all the fabricated garbage that you see.
Let break down one of these lies. I received this tweet recently.
The claim is that Israel for 13 years has murdered a child, on average, every 3 days. I’m not that great at math, but if you do a simple calculation, that would mean that at minimum, in it’s worst year, Israel “murdered” 121 children.
365 days in a year divided by every 3 days = 121.667 children in a year.
That would be in Israel’s very worst year mind you. All other years would be less bad than that one.
I immediately called him out on this. I wanted proof. So he sent me the following tweet as proof.
So I read the article. It’s from a British publication called the Independent, which has a history of anti-Israel bias and publishing uncorroborated claims. You can read more about this biased, bordering on anti-Semitic publication in my article, Deciphering Anti-Israel Propaganda. The first thing you will notice about this article is that it is based on a report from an NGO called “Defence for Children International” (DCI), which is a biased Palestinian NGO. You can read more about it in NGO Watch. In their report they claim that 2016 was the very worst year for Israel killing Palestinian children and the total killed in 2016 was 32. Of course, if it was a 17 year old who stabbed several Israelis to death and was killed in the process of stopping that terrorists attack, that “child” is included in the 32. For example, in January 2016 alone, a 15 year old boy was shot and killed after stabbing an Israeli soldier. Also in the same month, a 13 year old girl was shot and killed trying to kill another Israeli soldier. This is just the first month of 2016. Those two children who tried to murder Israelis and were killed in the attempted murder are considered child victims by biased NGOs and are included in the total of 32. It’s as if they feel the soldiers should allow themselves to be killed and should not exercise any self defense. These fake numbers go out into the world and are picked up by anyone looking for even the least credible of sources to defame Israel.
But wait a second, even though I’ve already shown how those numbers are biased and fabricated, let’s take DCI’s numbers at face value. It states that 32 children were killed by Israel in 2016 and that was the very worst year in a decade. Something doesn’t add up. Doing my very simple math:
365 days in a year divided by 32 children = a child every 11.4 days in the worst year.
Wait a second, didn’t he just say that a child is killed every 3 days on average for the last 13 years? That would be 122 children at minimum in the very worst year. But now he is showing me “proof” that in the very worst year it’s 32 children or every 11.4 days. So which one is it? Is it his fabricated number of every 3 days or the biased NGOs calculation of every 11.4 days (in the worst year). Incidentally, his “calculation” makes Israel look FOUR TIMES worse than even the biased NGO report he sent as proof.
It doesn’t matter to them. The truth doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. Statistics don’t matter. They will find any source, not matter how fake, biased, uncorroborated, or taken out of context to advanced their lies. Because, at the end, all they have are lies. There isn’t a shred of truth to their claims.
If you continue to read further down in the article he sent, it states “According to DCI, 28 Palestinian civilians under 18 were killed in 2015, 13 in 2014, and four in 2013.” So even from that fake number of 32, which represents the very worst year possible, the number provided by the biased Palestinian NGO drops dramatically. That did not stop him from tripling down on his now disproved claim.
Hold it. First he said 13 year, now it’s 12 year. And guess what? The math is getting even worse.
1500 children divided by 12 years = 125 per year. 365 days a year divided by 125 = every 2.92 days.
My guess is next time I check my twitter feed it’s going to be 10,000 children in the last 15 years, and then 100,000 children in the last 50 years, and eventually 1 million children in the last 500 years. See when you have a political agenda based on vilifying and hating a group of people, facts don’t matter. All that matters is getting your propaganda out and enough like minded haters will believe it no matter what. And you know what, eventually, you will also convince a few gullible people to join you in your lies.
The Hamas experiment in Gaza is nearly 10 years old. What have the people of Gaza gotten out of it? As the leadership of Hamas continues to fill their coffers (it’s estimated there are over 1,500 millionaires living in the strip), the people have been neglected. This summer’s electricity crisis is the latest example of how Hamas hurts Palestinians. Hamas is refusing to pay their electric bill. The Palestinian Authority, under an agreement from the Oslo Accords, pays Israel for the electricity that it pumps into Gaza. They have informed Israel that they do not plan on paying the bill and have asked Israel to cut the electricity to Gaza. This is an apparent attempt to reclaim rule in the strip. Continue reading “Hamas Hurts Palestinians”
By studying Karl Marx, we can learn some important lessons about antisemitism.
I am often attacked on Twitter with claims that communism is a Jewish construct or was invented by the Jews. The proof that they offer is that Karl Marx was a Jew. Karl Marx, as most people know is one of the co-authors of the Communist Manifesto, which is considered by many to be the birth of Communism. That document had a second author, Fredrich Engels – a German Lutheran, who most people conspicuously omit when talking about the birth of communism. The term communism was not even coined by Marx or Engels, nor were it’s concepts. The term communism can be traced back to French writer Victor d’Hupay and his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe. It was published 38 years before the birth of Karl Marx. But no one says that communism is a French construct or was invented by the French, only the Jews. Continue reading “Marx and Racial Antisemitism”
Before the problems of the West Bank are resolved, the issue of Gaza must first be addressed.
Gaza represents everything that Israel fears the West Bank can become if they were to withdraw – an enemy state with no prospects of peace and a predetermined time frame for war that you can schedule on iCloud. After all, that is exactly what’s happened in Gaza.
After Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, leaving the Palestinian Authority to govern the strip, and within two years, the militant political party Hamas won regional elections, a blood civil war ensued, and a military Junta deposed the ruling “moderate” Palestinian party replacing it with a government with no interest in compromise and an unwavering goal of fighting Israel until death or victory. Since that time, you can almost set your calendar based on a calculation when there will be a war between Israel and the de facto enemy state to it’s southwest. Take the amount of time it takes Hamas’ to deplete it’s military arsenal (rockets, IEDs, rocket launchers, tunnels and underground bunkers) and then add the amount of time it takes for them to replenish that arsenal. The one variable is the amount of pressure the international community places on Israel to allow into the strip materials that can be used in order to replenish it’s weaponry. Gaza does not need to win the wars they start. They know they cannot win a conventional war with Israel. They function more like a startup in an established industry. They only need to disrupt Israel long enough to create both domestic and international pressure. This is far more effective for them than military victory and a strategy that has worked all too well for them in the last ten years. Domestically, the Israel public grows frustrated that the government does not do enough to stop Hamas’ rocket fire and provocations. Internationally, pressure mounts as Hamas, efficient at using human shields and launching attacks from populated hospitals and schools, has been successful at controlling the media narrative.
There is no reason to believe that the quagmire in Gaza that started in 2005 and continues through the present, will not be duplicated in the West Bank if Israel withdraws unilaterally. In fact, Israel knows that it is exactly what will happen. And Israel has a good point, whether the majority of the world wants to accept it or not. Israel is between a rock and a hard place. If Israel withdraws unilaterally, the unpopular Palestinian Authority will almost surely be replaced with Hamas, or some other militant group, which will ensure an unending cycle of conflict like in Gaza, but on a much larger scale and with even more international pressure. If Israel maintains the status quo in the West Bank, which seems like the only viable option at the moment, Israel will continue to have to play defense on the international stage, slowly eroding is standing. It’s a case of do you let the pot boil over quickly or slowly. Either way, it’s going to boil over.
The only way to prevent a duplication of Gaza in the West bank is to first resolve the issue of Gaza and have that be the model for what peace will look like long term. Gaza remains the infection in the body that must be resolved before a surgery can take place.
How do you resolve the situation in Gaza? The first step is to stop thinking of Gaza and the West Bank as a single unit.
The idea that the West Bank – an area historically known as Judea and Samaria – and Gaza are the same entity is a modern construct, created in the 20th century by the European victors that divided up the spoils of the middle east after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.
In ancient times, the West Bank was part of the Kingdom of Israel and Judea, while Gaza was the stronghold of the Philistines, a sea faring people with no connection to the modern day Palestinian Arabs except for similarities in name.
During Ottoman occupation, a period lasting over 500 years and just prior to the British Mandate, Gaza had it’s own Sanjak (administrative region) with it’s administrative office in Gaza City and was separate from the Sanjak of Nablus in the West Bank and the Sanjak of Akka in the north.1 They were all part of the greater Damascus (Syria) Eyalet, but that also included the areas of Syria, Lebanon, and modern day Jordan.
After the Arabs rejected the UN partition in 1947 and after Israel’s victory in the war of independence, when the 1949 Armistice Lines were drawn, control of Gaza went to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan. The Arabs in the West Bank became Jordanian citizens until 1967, when that was revoke.
Only after Israel captured Gaza and the West Bank after the 1967 war did the Arabs begin to lump the two into a single political entity, aside from both being part of a pan-Arab region. It has no basis in history or logic. By lumping the two together, it makes it exponentially more difficult to resolve the conflict. Israel is expected to negotiate with one entity to resolve the issue of two separated areas controlled by two different groups with completely different agendas. Once thing is for certain. Before resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, the conflict with Gaza must first be resolved, and that does not include direct negotiations with the Palestinians in Ramallah only, but a collective effort of Israel, the Arab League, and the international community at large to redefine what Gaza is and what it will be after a peace agreement.
First of all, as it has historically been, Gaza should be considered separate from the West Bank. To combine the two makes peace that much more difficult because you now add the logistics of connecting the two regions artificially, a security concern for Israel that could become tinder for future conflicts between the two. By separating the two, Israel can maintain border control and integrity within it’s own territory and a more realistic solution can be pursued to allow travel between the two territories.
Second, Gaza must become demilitarized, as a precursor to a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank. Israel, only 9 miles wide at it’s narrowest, which corresponds to the nexus of the majority of it’s population, will never be able to accept a Palestinian state that is militarized. More importantly, there is no reason for them to believe that even if a demilitarized Palestinian state is accepted and created, that it will remain so. That is where Gaza becomes a model that can eventually be extended to the larger West Bank region. Gaza is manageable enough that if it does militarize, as it currently is, Israel will be in a position to rectify the problem without a much larger war. Once Gaza shows that it can function as an independent, demilitarized region with interest in cooperation, rather than war, with Israel, it will give the Israelis more confidence in allowing a larger seaport, an airport, and eventually to resolve the issue with the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Third, Gaza must be under the administration or protectorate of a larger, established country that can be held accountable if Gaza break any of it’s obligations. The natural option is Egypt, which once controlled Gaza. But other options exists, including having a demilitarized Gaza be administered by the Arab League with responsibility resting in the hands of the Arab League member states. If having Gaza as an administrative region or a protectorate sounds far fetched, it’s not. Think of Hong Kong, Macau, or even US territories like Puerto Rico and Guam, whose are run independently but are protected by larger countries. There is no reason why Gaza can not become another Hong Kong or Singapore. To ensure that the Arabs maintain their end of the bargain, Israel should be allowed to enter into regional treaties to help ensure it’s protection, such as NATO.
If Gaza is treated as a separate, demilitarized entity it can then be used as a model to show what peace with the Arabs in the West Bank might look like. If Israel can resolve the issues with Gaza, on a regionally level, vis-a-vis with involvement of the Arab nations at large, and if a new normal can be established for a period long enough to convince Israel that peace is possible (say 10 years), then there is no reason that the model can’t be applied to the West Bank and a lasting peace established.
But, it all begins with separating Gaza from the West Bank politically and mentally, and beginning to treat them as two completely separate regions.
1 In 1872, near the end of Ottoman rule, the Turks created the Mutasarrifate of Kudus (Jerusalem), which encompassed Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nazareth, Jaffa, Beersheba, and Gaza, but not the majority of the West Bank to the North. Gaza still remained it’s own separate administrative district within the Mutasarrifate.
Is the UK Independent Newspaper peddling fake news?
The UK newspaper the Independent, known to be one of the leading anti-Israel newspapers in Britain, recently publish an article by Bethan McKernan with the following headline:
“Israeli soldiers drag shoeless Palestinian eight-year-old from house to house in shocking video from Hebron
Israel Defence Force troops force boy looking for lost toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement”
Before I say anything about the video, I want you to watch it in full without stopping. This is the the full video on Youtube, which is about a minute and a half longer than then one on the Independent.
Did you watch it? Maybe the Independent is onto something. Pretty shocking, right? Or is it?
Let’s break down the video in relation to the headline and see if it is really as he says, of if it’s just cleverly constructed propaganda. I believe that when you finish reading this article, you may agree that the video is not what is being is promoting.
Let’s start with the headline itself. When there is a terror attack in Israel, the headline in newspapers like the Independent is always some variation of this:
“Palestinian killed by the IDF after allegedly stabbing two, reports IDF radi0”
Notice the difference? When it’s a terrorist attack in Israel, even if people are severely injured or killed, the headline always included that the attack is “alleged” and gives who reported it – the IDF – to show that the stated account of incident may be one sided. Also, the Palestinian is almost always portrayed as a victim, and not a terrorist.
Now let’s look again at the above video’s headline:
“Israel Defence Force troops force boy looking for lost toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement”
Do you see what they did there? It is stated as 100% fact that the boy was just out looking for a “lost toy” but it was only “believed” that children were outside throwing stones and incendiary devices. Also, notice that the way it is reported, it sounds like the child was in no way involved with the criminal activity. That would lead you to believe that there was consensus on the accounts leading up to the video. Otherwise, the headline would have looked something like this, right?
“Israel Defence Force troops force boy allegedly looking for toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement reports his mother”
“Eight year old boy allegedly throwing stones and Molotov cocktails taken by Israel Defence Force troops to find other children believed to be participating…”
But that’s not how it’s reported. Its reported that the looking for a lost toy was 100% true and he did nothing wrong and there may have been kids throwing incendiary devices, but that’s in dispute. So let’s look at the source of the report – Two local Palestinians and one Palestinian volunteer of B’Tselem. What is B’Tselem? A far left Israeli NGO with the goal of the destruction of Israel (as we know it) to be replaced by a bi-national state. If you want to know the lies that they tell for political points, read this excellent article by moderate Israeli politician Yair Lapid.
So I decided to visit the B’Tselem website, about as far from impartial as you can get, and low-and-behold, their headline was almost identical to the headline from the Independent.
“Soldiers drag 8-year-old from house to house in Hebron for over an hour, in search of stone-throwers in Hebron”
In the B-Tselem article it’s clear the entire account came from a Palestinian B’Tselem volunteer, May D’ana, and a B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bri. So what we have is an “unbiased” news source, the Independent, publishing almost verbatim the accounts of a biased NGO with a political agenda.
The fact that a supposed “unbiased” and “independent” UK newspaper reports the words of a biased, anti-Israel NGO as fact without any independent corroboration is journalistic misconduct.
Surely Israel had nothing to say about the incident, did they? Well in fact, the IDF reported that the child was participating in the criminal activity. Bethan McKernan did actually report that, but all the way at the end of the article when all the damage had been done. An IDF spokesperson reported:
“Forces who were called to the scene caught a suspect. Due to the fact the suspect was a minor, he was taken to his parent’s home. It was noted in the initial review that the forces did not ask the minor to direct them to any other suspects.”
So this becomes a he said she said situation, where one source is taken as gospel and the other is basically completely disregarded as a lie. Does that sound like journalism or propaganda? The only way you would believe B’Tselem’s account without question and disregard the IDF’s account is if you are one of those that think the Palestinians do nothing wrong and the IDF is this evil organization that grabs children off the streets for no reason and drags them through…
Wait a second, did they say drag? What does drag mean exactly? A quick search of “drag” on Google returns the following definition:
“pull (someone or something) along forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty.”
Watch the video again. Did you see “dragging”? Did you see “forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty”? I certainly didn’t. I saw a soldier holding his hand. I saw a soldier leading him with a hand on the back, but I definitely did not see any dragging – let alone any “forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty”. The headline by the Independent could have more accurately been written “Israeli soldiers lead Palestinian eight-year-old..” but what’s the fun of that? Can’t really condemn Israel with an accurate headline. In the supposed one hour that the child was “dragged” from house to house according to B’Tselem, all they could provide is a two minute video of soldiers leading the boy by the hand on the street. No dragging, no force, no rough. He is not arrested, tortured, or killed as people accuse the IDF of doing all the time.
In the beginning of the video, they are talking to the boy. He is not in any kind of restraining device like handcuffs. They are not shouting at him, man handling him, or trying to coerce him in any way. They are just calmly asking him questions. At one point, they even call over a Palestinian man to speak with him. Again, not forcefully or violently. They are just talking. Far from the picture of the evil IDF you get in biased accounts, like the Independent.
The headline also states as fact that he was being “dragged” from house to house. But I do not see anywhere in the video that he went “house to house”. Should they have stated something as fact that can not be independently corroborated? And how did they gain entry to all of these houses that the boy was “dragged” to? Did they knocked down the doors of all these houses? At what point do you say something isn’t adding up and maybe the Independent should have reported verifiable facts, instead of taking the word of an organization with a known bias. Unless the Independent isn’t interested in the truth.
Now let’s look at the end of the video. A group of Palestinian women go up to the soldiers, grab the child’s arm and pull him towards them. That may be the only time in the entire video that the child is actually “dragged”. Did you notice something about that part of the video? The women are the ones shouting, they confront the soldiers. Did the soldiers respond with violence? Did the soldiers hit any of the women, shoot at the women, or even shout at them? No! They actually let the women pull the child away without incident. When one of the soldiers tires to go back to get the child, after all the child was allegedly part of a group throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails – according to the IDF, the soldier is pulled away by fellow soldiers and they let the women take the child away.
Where is the violence and the evil that the headline promised. In the end it’s a video of a child being lead by the hand and eventually pulled away by a group of women, without incident. Watch it again from start to end. Does the video actually support the narrative that Independent and B’Tselem are advancing?
The video is propaganda. Nothing happens to the child. He is not harmed, not one hair was touch on his head. He was not “dragged”. The women were not beaten. But B’Tselem got their political points and the Independent got their Israel condemning headline. The damage is done. The headline frames the video and makes you think it is something it is not. Even the image B’Tselem used on YouTube is nothing more than cleverly selected propaganda, making it look like something it isn’t – a soldiers pointing a weapon at the boys head.
There are far worse things happening to children in the Middle East. In Syria they are being slaughtered to the tune of approximately 100,000 dead children. In Yemen they are being slaughtered in their homes, on the streets, and even at funerals.
I do feel for the child, even if he was throwing a very dangerous Molotov cocktail, he looks scared. He looks like a kid caught doing something that he shouldn’t have been doing. People should be more upset at his parents for letting him go out and partake in criminal activity. I know that it is scary for a child to be near soldiers. I experienced that when I was in Israel and one stopped me, holding a machine gun, to tell me I am not allowed to ride on the handlebars of bicycle. So if you are appalled by the fact that the boy had to be near soldiers and all those heavy armaments, then you should be even more appalled by these images (but if you bought the headline of the Independent, I bet you aren’t).
At the end, the entire article by the Independent & video by B’Tselem turned out to be nothing more than Fake News. But the damage was already done and this fake news, like most previous to it, will be used for years to vilify Israel. I was please to see at the end that no harm came to the child. For all the things they accuse Israel of doing, which nations do daily without consequence, if this is all they have, then Israel should be fine.
On February 26, 2017, Mahershala Ali, an African-American actor best known for his portrayal of lobbyist Remy Danton on Netflix’s seminal political drama House of Cards, became the first Muslim to win an academy award for acting. Not only is Ali a brilliant actor, but in the current politically charged climate, the win had a certain feel good component to it. Mahershala Ali converted to Islam in 1999 and is a very proud Muslim. At the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, during his acceptance speech, he emotionally proclaimed, “I’m a Muslim.”
The congratulations for Ali started pouring into social media, including for representing the Muslim community so admirably. The adulation came from all around the globe, especially from Muslim majority countries, such as Pakistan, including by Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s top diplomat at the UN. But then something dramatic happened, worthy of an Oscar in and of itself. Just as soon as the thousands of positive tweets started pouring in, many of them start getting deleted by their creators, including by Ms. Lodhi herself. Not only that, but negative tweets started replacing the positive ones.
Why the reversal? Because even though Mahershala Ali considers himself a Muslim, many Muslims do not consider him one. When Ali converted to Islam in 1999, he eventually chose to join a denomination of Islam called Ahmadiyya or the Ahmadi Muslim community. The Ahmadiyya are pacifists that read the Koran and follow the rules of Islam. But even though they consider themselves Muslim, mainstream Islam considers them heretics. In Pakistan, the nation of UN diplomat Maleeha Lodhi, who deleted her congratulatory tweet, the Ahmadis are severely persecuted. If they quote the Koran in public or even say Salaam Aleykum, they can be arrested and charged with violation of the blasphemy laws.
The Ahmadiyya are persecuted in nearly every country in the Middle East, including in the Palestinian Territories. In 2010, Mohammed Sharif Ouda, head of the Ahmadi community in Israel, said the Palestinian Authority is “encouraging the cold-blooded murder of Ahmadis” by failing to take concrete action to protect the community. The Ahmadi Muslims are even attacked in western countries by fellow Muslims who consider them infidels.
All through out the Middle East and the Muslim world the Ahmadiyya are prevented from practicing their religion freely, are persecuted, and in danger for their lives. All places but one: ISRAEL. The right to freedom of religious worship in Israel extends to ALL FAITHS, including those that are persecuted in the rest of the Middle East, like the Ahmadiyya and the Baha’i. In fact, their is a neighborhood in Haifa, Israel that is predominately Ahmadi Muslim, Kababir , where they live without fear, amongst Jews, unlike in the Palestinian Territories, where the teaching of the Ahmadi Muslim faith is considered apostasy, and practicing it can lead to beatings and confiscation of property by Sharia courts. Sharia courts often annul their marriages and members of the community are detained for passing our literature.
In no other Middle Eastern country are the Ahmadi Muslims free and safe, except for Israel. In fact, the regional headquarters and arguably their most important mosque, the Mahmood Mosque, are located in Haifa, Israel. Why? Because in no other country could that mosque stand, but Israel. Consider that for a second. For a Muslim community to feel free and safe, they must go TO Israel.
View of the Mahmood Mosque in Haifa, Israel
The story of Mahershala Ali and the Ahmadiyya Muslims dispels many lies about Israel. The fact is, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Baha’i, or any other faith, you can live in Israel with equal rights and your ability to practice your faith openly, freely, and proudly is guaranteed – this can not be said about any other nation. So, even though I am happy for Mr. Ali and feel that his talent merits his accolades, and it is great that he acknowledges his Muslim faith, it would be nice if he also acknowledged Israel, the one country in the region that protects the life and liberty of his fellow Ahmadiyya brothers and sisters.