politics
Issue 106
May 23, 2021
_____ _ _ _ _ | __ \ | | | | (_) (_) | |__) |__ _ | | ___ ___ | |_ _ _ __ _ __ _ _ __ ___ | ___// _` || | / _ \/ __|| __|| || '_ \ | | / _` || '_ \ / __| | | | (_| || || __/\__ \| |_ | || | | || || (_| || | | |\__ \ |_| \__,_||_| \___||___/ \__||_||_| |_||_| \__,_||_| |_||___/ _____ _ _ _ _____ _ _ / ____|| | | | | | |_ _| | | | | | (___ | |__ ___ _ _ | | __| | | | _ __ __| | ___ ___ __| | \___ \ | '_ \ / _ \ | | | || | / _` | | | | '_ \ / _` | / _ \ / _ \ / _` | ____) || | | || (_) || |_| || || (_| | _| |_ | | | || (_| || __/| __/| (_| | |_____/ |_| |_| \___/ \__,_||_| \__,_| |_____||_| |_| \__,_| \___| \___| \__,_| ____ ______ ______ _ _ | _ \ | ____| | ____| | | | | | |_) | ___ | |__ _ __ ___ ___ ______ | |__ _ __ ___ _ __ ___ | |__| | __ _ _ __ ___ __ _ ___ | _ < / _ \ | __|| '__|/ _ \ / _ \ |______| | __|| '__|/ _ \ | '_ ` _ \ | __ | / _` || '_ ` _ \ / _` |/ __| | |_) || __/ | | | | | __/| __/ | | | | | (_) || | | | | | | | | || (_| || | | | | || (_| |\__ \ |____/ \___| |_| |_| \___| \___| |_| |_| \___/ |_| |_| |_| |_| |_| \__,_||_| |_| |_| \__,_||___/

The history of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is fiendishly complex; it goes far beyond the scope of this post. Indeed, becoming an authority on this matter would require hundreds, if not thousands of hours of due diligence. It is a topic so intricate and granular that it could easily be the subject of a Ph.D. dissertation. To that end, anybody so foolish in attempting to explain this multifaceted situation, generations in the making, via a few pro/anti-Israel or pro/anti-Palestinian tweets or Instagram posts is at best blissfully ignorant and at worst, a complete fraud.

The objective of this post is to call out abject anti-Semites, dispel some biased falsehoods about Jews and Israel that have spread across social media like wildfire, and explain the façade behind Hamas. We will also critique some self-proclaimed civil rights advocates for their gross hypocrisy, self-serving lies, and willful neglect as it pertains to this issue.

The Catalyst Behind The Latest Violence

Per the norm when it encapsulates Israeli / Palestinian conflict(s), the mainstream press in America and throughout the world has yet again craftily repurposed this “new” news item to make Israel look like the culpable aggressor. (So much for Jews controlling the media).

Unbeknownst to most, the issue surrounding the latest escalations is not new news at all; it is an ongoing landlord/tenant dispute involving just a few properties in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, ~40 years in the making. During which time Israeli Courts have taken every possible step to avoid evicting Palestinian residents. Indeed, most people devoid of basic knowledge, full of expert opinion, and quick to opine online have no interest in understanding and appreciating the facts surrounding the property dispute in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem.

Tensions were simmering early last week as the Israeli Supreme Court was due to adjudicate on the longstanding dispute. Simultaneously, police had put up barriers at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, where Palestinians congregate during Ramadan. (They were subsequently removed after requests by Islamic religious leaders). Israeli police entered the Al Aqsa mosque in response to stones and other items being thrown from the complex, TikTok videos of Jews being slapped in the face, and attacks on Jewish students.

Hamas, a terrorist organization whose own governing charter (you can find it online) in 1988 called for Israel’s destruction and whose leader, Fathi Hammad, recently urged militants to “cut off the heads of Jews,” issued an ultimatum to vacate the premises or face repercussions.

The Violence

Shortly thereafter, from hospitals, schools, and other civilian locations within Gaza and without warning Hamas indiscriminately fired hundreds of rockets at Israel, including Tel Aviv and other large urban areas. Many of these projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense shield. Some penetrated Israeli defense systems, maiming and killing private citizens and destroying property. A few missiles fell short of their intended targets(s), landed in Gaza, and killed Palestinians.

Israel was under bombardment. As any other sovereign nation would do if under attack, Israel defended itself. Like few other sovereign nations would do, Israel exercised tremendous restraint. Before launching a counteroffensive, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) warned over loudspeakers, via SMS text messages, leaflets, phone calls and other methods that they would be targeting specific locations in Gaza known to house Hamas militants and military gear. In short, the IDF said to private Palestinian citizens, “evacuate, an attack is imminent.” Then, Israel hit back.

Proportion

Hamas launched a rocket attack from Gaza into Israel targeting civilian areas. Again, let us be very clear, Hamas fired first. Israel responded and only after warning their adversaries that they would do so. And a ship of fools including the comedian Trevor Noah, lambast Israel for responding “out of proportion.” Perhaps there is no irony that Mr. Noah is a comedian; his reasoning is as flawed as it is laughable.

Ok, Mr. Noah, let us talk about proportion. Is an appropriate response by Hamas to police refusing to vacate a mosque until they deduced who was hurling rocks from the venue to launch a military offensive firing hundreds of rockets on Israel? How “proportionate” is that?

Israel always shows restraint when responding to Hamas’s terror attacks. The stark reality is that the IDF could vaporize Gaza in a nanosecond. But they do not. Unfortunately, through the lens of the anti-Semitic eyes of the international world order, Jews are never allowed to defend themselves. Indeed, when Jews commit any kind of violence – even when responding to violence in self-defense, not purporting violence - it is labeled as “oppression.” When Hamas launches rockets into Israel or Jews are blown up on buses, it is labeled as “resistance.” Below is a sampling of responses across social media:

“I would have killed all the Jews of the world…but I kept some to show the world why I killed them.”
-Veena Malik, a verified Twitter user quoting Adolf Hitler

“From the River to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
– New York Democratic Socialists of America

“As a black woman in America, I am no stranger to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence…We have been criminalized for the very way we show up in the world … Palestinians are being told the same thing as black folks in America: there is no acceptable form of resistance.” - Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid…Many will tell you Israel has a right to defend itself, to safety and security, but are silent on whether Palestinians have those rights too.” - Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

“What they are doing to the Palestinian people is what they continue to do to our black brothers and sisters here ... So I want you to know this, as you all are marching for freedom of Palestine, please know that you must be marching for everybody’s freedom. It is all interconnected.” - Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

“Americans are scared to stand up to the incarceration of children in Palestine.”
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces are forcing families from their homes during Ramadan and inflicting violence. It is inhumane and the US must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians.” - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

Gross Hypocrisy, Abject Racism, & Self-Serving Lies

Racism, self-serving lies, and sheer laziness in learning about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict have created a gaping asymmetry between grasp of facts and strength of opinion on this topic. Indeed, if we attempted to respond to every anti-Semitic tweet and dispel others filled with dangerous misinformation, we would be writing in perpetuity. Below is our retort to a select few.

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI): Ms. Tlaib, your nauseating attempt to intertwine the history of mistreatment of blacks in America to the “freedom of Palestine” while insinuating that Jews are the culprit of the Palestinians despair is nothing more than self-serving mendacious political prostitution. From the beginning of the civil rights movement to the present, a disproportionate number of Jews worked with our black and brown brothers to ensure they would be treated as equals under The Constitution. And this work continues today.

Ayanna Pressley (D-MA): Ms. Pressley Regarding police brutality, we believe you; you have our unrelenting support. As we have stated numerous times in TQC blog posts, police bias and brutality against blacks unequivocally exist in America. That said, police brutality and state-sanctioned violence are two mutually exclusive things. Furthermore, the only state-sanctioned violence in Israel comes from Hamas (read their charter, they proudly admit it) not Israel. Regarding resistance, Ms. Pressley, everybody has the right to peacefully protest in America and Israel (but not Gaza); to suggest otherwise is disingenuous and absurd.

Ilhan Omar (D-MN): Ms. Omar, was that tweet serious? The Iron Dome is a missile defense system. It has zero offensive capabilities. Did you ever stop to consider why Israel built the Iron Dome in the first place?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY): You are incorrect. Nobody was evicted in Jerusalem. This case has been ongoing for decades. It was to be adjudicated by the Israeli Supreme Court. That decision has been stayed. Learn the facts before tweeting fiction.

To the Democratic Socialists of America: “From river to the sea” means wiping the Jewish State of Israel off the map. That tweet is anti-Semitic, plain, and simple.

Twitter

Twitter is a private company. They have the right to ban anybody from their platform that violates company policy. This includes tweets inciting violence, willfully spreading misinformation, and containing hate speech. A few months ago, Donald Trump was banned from their platform for inciting violence. At TQC, we agreed with Twitter’s (and Facebook’s) decision to bar the former president from its platform. We still do. However, we find it extremely hypocritical and troublesome that Twitter is not enforcing its policy consistently. How can Twitter justify banning Donald Trump for inciting violence but allow thousands of users to tweet, “Death to the Jews,” “Death to Israel,” or “From the river to the sea?” How can Twitter justify banning some bigoted right-wing extremist who advocates violence against black people – which of course they should – but not ban the leader of a terrorist organization urging his followers to “cut off the heads of Jews”? Or a verified Twitter user who tweets a quote by Adolf Hitler? Or a freelance “journalist” named Adeel Raj who’s contributed over 50 articles to CNN who tweeted, “The only reason I’m supporting Germany in the (soccer) finals is – Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews?” (CNN belatedly cut ties with Raj). When it comes to hate speech and or inciting violence against Jewish people, Twitter has decided to enforce its policy feebly, if at all.

Free Palestine

In addition to the plethora of anti-Israel & anti-Jewish hate speech Twitter has allowed to proliferate on its platform, other leading hashtags across social media include #FreePalestine, #SavePalestine, and #Genocide, to name but a few. These come courtesy of a hodgepodge of self-anointed civil rights activists, leftist extremists, and a handful of celebrities. Perversely, the tweets make sense. What is backward is the target of their condemnation.

Let us break down their flawed logic by highlighting a few examples that are a microcosm of the hypocrisy and misguidedness of what is happening.

Gigi and Bella Hadid, two Victoria Secret supermodels (we respect their success) who are of half Palestinian descent have been voracious defenders of ordinary Palestinians (which we have no issue with), but noticeably silent on Hamas, and extremely critical of Israel. “FreePalestine” and “We stand with Palestine” they tweet from the comfort of their privileged life in America. Our retort to the Hadid sisters is as follows: if Victoria Secret decided to move your lingerie modeling shoots from America to the Gaza strip, at a minimum you would be the subject of public shaming. Most likely, the result would be materially worse. Gigi Hadid, you had a baby out of wedlock, which is perfectly acceptable in most swathes of Western society. Had you bore that child in Gaza instead of America (or Israel for that matter), most likely you would have faced an insidious backlash if not imprisonment or death.

Paris Hilton, a celebrity best known for an amateur porn film and her last name, tweeted #SavePalestine. Ms. Hilton, had you filmed your erotic film in Gaza instead of America or Israel, it would likely be the last movie you ever made.

Gigi & Bella Hadid, Paris Hilton, AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley you are all outspoken women’s rights activists. That said, how in good conscience can you tweet support for the Palestinian people (which is reasonable), slander Israel and by direct association Jews, but stay mum on Hamas when many women are devoid of equal rights in Gaza?

To the LGBTQ “activists” who have launched tirades against Israel and Jews but spared Hamas: Point blank, forget where you would rather be openly gay or trans…where could you be openly gay or trans?

AOC, regarding your tweet that “Americans are scared to stand up to the incarceration of children in Palestine.” You are right. Many Americans, including you Ms. Cortez, have abdicated their responsibility to the innocent children of Palestine. By not condemning Hamas, a terrorist organization that sacrifices their own innocent citizens, including children, for political gain and money, many Americans are culpable, including you.

Black Lives Matter

This week, BLM released this statement via Twitter: “Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians. We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation (always have. And always will be). #FreePalestine.”

In a previous blog post, we wrote, “the organization Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been instrumental in bringing much needed attention to systemic racism, a non-colorblind criminal justice system, police bias - and brutality against black people, to a broad swath of Americans and global citizens. BLM is proving to be an effective change agent. We commend BLM for their continued hard work and dedication to improving the lives of black and brown Americans.” We stand by that statement.

However, when it comes to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, BLM’s position is wrong. We have no gripes about anybody supporting the rights of peaceful Palestinians. However, if you want to advocate for ordinary Palestinians, one correct way is to vociferously condemn Hamas. Do not blame Israel and or insinuate that Israel and Jews are the reason for Palestinian’s suffering.

Hamas

At TQC, we agree, Palestinians are suffering. But their anguish is primarily because of Hamas – a globally designated terrorist organization - and their political leaders, not Israel and Jews. This is one of the most important but overlooked facts of this terrible situation. For this, we do not put the blame on the shoulders of ordinary Palestinians. The responsibility is their political leaders, Hamas, who sacrifice the lives and dignity of their own people for power and money. And we blame a “woke” crowd of human rights activists and politicians that are conveniently sleeping on these facts:

Hamas strategically hides missiles and launches offensives from schools, hospitals, and civilian buildings within Gaza. Why do they do this? Because when Israel is forced to defend itself, even though they exercise restraint and publicly announce they are going to respond – Hamas can say “you see, Israel is barbaric, they bombed a school and a hospital, etc. They are committing genocide.” Hamas (strategically) forces Israel into a heads Israel loses tails somebody else wins situation: If Israel responds to eliminate Hamas’ artillery, they are accused of bombing a school or hospital. If they do not respond to eliminate the aggressor, they have abandoned their responsibility to keep their own citizens safe. Stop, pause, and ask yourself, what nation(s) would engage in warfare from civilian locals? The answer is rogue states. Nations that do not value human life.

The leaders of Hamas steal money that has been bequeathed to their people and enrich themselves. (Some senior Hamas officials reside in sheltered luxury in Qatar). Funds from both Israel and the international community intended to build housing, roads, bridges, power plants and other critical infrastructure in Gaza are diverted and used to purchase military gear.

For context, Hamas launched ~4,000 rockets at Israel during this latest offensive. Each sophisticated rocket costs ~$45,000. That equates to $180 million dollars that were intended for infrastructure upgrades in Gaza for the betterment of the Palestinian people but used to procure military gear instead.

Hamas then (tactically) blames Israel for Palestinian’s decrepit standard of living. “Look, no schools, no electricity, no clean tap water!” and demand that Israel must pay for keeping them down. Easier to blame a Jew rather than themselves.

Year after year, that $180 million dollars and billions more is stolen from the Palestinian people and stashed in corrupt Palestinian leaders’ slush funds. If those funds were allocated as intended, towards basic services and improving the education of Palestinian children, there is no reason that Gaza could not be a launching ground for rocket scientists, as opposed to being a launching ground for rockets.

Like most Israelis, most Palestinians want peace too. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken argued that the best path for Israel and Gaza is two states. In the past, Israel and other world leaders have often offered/proposed land in exchange for peace. Every time, those offers were rejected. That should come as no surprise. Hamas’ corrupt leaders depend on Palestinians’ hopelessness and sense of despair to remain in office. (There have not been elections in Gaza in ~20 years). Peace and productivity will not keep them there.

Checkmate

As our readers know, our mandate is to present the facts and present both sides of a debate. This then begs the question, what legitimate beef do Palestinians have with Israel, and why?

Not to be confused with Israeli Arabs that consist of ~20% of Israel’s population, enjoy full rights, and are represented in Israel’s parliament, it is true that Palestinians are not allowed to travel or work freely within Israel without going through checkpoints and security protocol and /or have the appropriate paperwork. There is also a physical barrier that separates Gaza (and the West Bank) from Israel.

Without knowing the facts, one’s immediate reaction would be outrage. Why does Israel confine Palestinians to Gaza? Why do innocent Palestinians need paperwork to cross into Israel? Why was a physical barrier constructed in the first place? The answer – again – is that Hamas has (intentionally) forced Israel into a heads Israel loses, tails somebody else wins situation.

Because a barrier exists and security checks are required, Israel is accused of heavy-handedness and discrimination. If Israel removes the barrier and no longer requires checkpoints, the risk of suicide bombings and other acts of terror by Hamas sponsored militants against Israeli citizens increases to an unacceptable level. People are very quick to comment on how horrible the barrier wall is, without considering why the wall had to be constructed in the first place. The answer is a massive number of suicide bombing incursions. Again, we do not blame ordinary Palestinians for their anger. However, their gripes come courtesy of Hamas, not Israel and not Jews.

A timely and poignant example: earlier this week, Israel opened a border crossing to Gaza to distribute humanitarian aid. Immediately thereafter, Hamas bombed trucks ferrying the aid and fired rockets at the Israeli’s distributing food, fuel, and medicine to Palestinian residents. This is a microcosm of how Hamas operates.

Egypt – a predominantly Muslim nation - also employs similar tactics as Israel, hemming in Gaza on its northern border. The reason is because Hamas smuggles weapons through illegal tunnels dug in part by children, recruited to join the “resistance.”

Worth reiterating because it is imperative but consistently overlooked: Hamas does not want peace. Hamas depends on instability and violence to remain in power. Their leaders sacrifice the lives and dignity of their own people in exchange for control and money. Then, Hamas blames Israel and Jews for ordinary Palestinian’s strife, directing attention away from their own disingenuous motives. The “woke” crowd of human rights activists are conveniently sleeping on these facts and refusing to condemn Hamas for these crimes against humanity. This is a key point that must be driven home.

We Reject

Since fighting began, there have been incidents of Jews and Israeli Arabs committing barbaric acts of violence against each other on the streets of Israel. We reject any form of vigilante justice. Anybody partaking in this behavior should be ashamed of themselves. Their actions are counterproductive and dilutive to any potential peace initiative.

“Woke” But Conveniently Sleeping

Now that Jews are the subject of anti-Semitism, where are all the activists that proudly stood with Black Lives Matter and denounced racism in America? (This blog did). Where are all the activists that rightfully stood with our Asian friends to demand we “stop Asian hate”? Where are all the women’s rights advocates and LBGTQ supporters? …Crickets.

Some individuals who’ve rightfully advocated for LBGTQ rights, black lives, women’s rights, to stop Asian hate, and any other just cause, have remained conspicuously silent when Jews are unfairly portrayed and subjected to blatant anti-Semitism across social media. Jews were beaten up in NYC, Los Angeles, and Montreal. Demonstrators called for an Intifada (uprising) outside a synagogue in Illinois. Rocks have been thrown at Jews in Germany. In London, people with megaphones shouted that Jewish daughters should be raped. Others waived Swastika flags chanting “death to the Jews.” But those purported activists (some of which are Jews themselves) who refuse to call out and condemn Hamas for what it is -- a terrorist organization who treats women like property (women’s rights groups?), would put a gay or trans person to death (LBGTQ rights groups?), vows to annihilate Jews (human rights activists?), and poisons innocent Palestinians minds and sacrifices their bodies -- should all be ashamed of themselves.

If you ever wondered how the Holocaust could have ever happened…you are getting an answer in real-time.