Happy Nakba Day!

What Nakba Day really is.


9/11 and The Myth of the Moderate Muslims


Fifteen years ago this morning the world changed forever. Bankers and lawyers, office workers, cleaning people, and firemen, kissed their families and loved ones goodbye not knowing that it was going to be for the last time, headed to work or to the airport, and within the next hours were brutally murdered amidst flames and screams and twisted molten metal.

What began in earnest after this day is what was dubbed by the then president, George W. Bush, ‘The War on Terror’.

NewsFlash.. We are not fighting a war on terror, any more than we are fighting a war on airplanes. Terror is just one of the tools.

We are fighting a global war against the Islamic Holy War being waged on the West.

The reason for the use of the intentionally misleading phrase ‘War on Terror’, is the fact that the one thing that the Western liberal mind fears more that planes crashing into buildings, is being called a racist.

Of course you can not say all Muslims are ‘radicalized’, but the big question is how many are?

Apparently, a good place to start with that question is how do Muslims really feel about the attacks of 9/11?

Think about that question for a moment.

What should the answer be? It should be that they hate Islamic terror as much as any other civilized people in the world. All good people reject the unprovoked targeting and killing of innocents.

And after all, we are led to believe that except for the small minority of ‘radicalized Muslims’, the vast, vast majority of Muslims are just like us. They want what we what, they dream of a good future for their children, they want their businesses to prosper, they want the newest iPhone, they celebrate the gifts of American democracy, and work for the ideal of women’s equality.

The vast majority of Muslims reject the ideology of the radicals as much as we in the West do. Afterall they are just like us.

Here is the problem.  As much as we would like this to be true.  It is clearly not.

It the 2008 book, ‘Who Speaks for Islam?’, written by John L. Esposito, founding director of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, try to make this case using Muslim attitudes toward 9/11, and extensive and exhaustive polling by Gallup, arguably the world’s most trusted polling company, to show that Globally we have nothing to fear from Muslims.

The book’s stated goal was to “democratize the debate” about a potential clash between Western and Muslim civilizations by shedding light on the “actual views of everyday Muslims”. Esposito and Mogahed were especially interested in the “silenced majority” whose views they argue are lost in the discussion about terrorism, extremism, and Islamofascism.

The book is taken from a monumental, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities. The polling sample, Esposito and Mogahed claim, represents “more than 90 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims.”

So who in the book’s opinion are the ‘radicalized’ Muslims? The book lists a single criteria from the comprehensive Gallup study.

Muslims ‘radicals’ are those who told pollsters that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were “completely” justified.

Based on this question and this question alone, of the world’s Muslims what percentage were ‘politically radicalized’?

Only.. 7%

All other Muslims in Esposito and Mogahed study were labeled as ‘moderates’.

Get it? Not so scary right? Nine out of ten Muslims, worldwide are moderates and therefore pose no threat to the West.

Putting forth any narrative that would claim 9/11 is anything other than the act of a fringe group of religious extremists that are equally demonized by Muslims is feeding into the Islamophobic, colonial, racist Western disdain for people who are not white.

Here are the problems.  The number 7% should be shocking and horrifying. That means 91 million Muslims around the world feel that the attacks on 9/11 were ‘completely justified’.

But it gets worse.  Much worse. See the question that was asked by Gallup was rated on a scale of 1 to 5. One being ‘not at all justified, 5 being ‘completely justified’. True 7% of Muslims believe that the 9/11 hijackers were completely justified in murdering infidels in their work places and on their airplanes, but another 6.5% not mention in Esposito and Mogahed’s book feel that the attacks on 9/11 were ‘largely justified’, and yet another 23.1% of respondents, 300 million Muslims, support the statement that the attacks of 9/11 were ‘somewhat justified’.

So we are left with multiple definitions of who is a Muslim radical, and who is a Muslim moderate?

The answer that the political left wants you to embrace is that a Muslim that hates America, favors the implementation of Sharia law, supports suicide bombing but doesn’t ‘completely’ justify the attacks of 9/11 is a ‘moderate’.

The West has been fighting this war for fifteen years.  One glance over at the European continent should confirm that we are not winning.

Winning starts with clearly defining who it is we are fighting. If we can not do that, then more and more 9/11 are sure to follow.

Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Lives Matter

The question should be a simple one. It should have nothing to do with feelings and everything to do with the data. The question that the entire Black Lives Matter movement centers around is this. Are racist police officers the greatest threat facing young black males in the United States today?

The answer is no, of course not, not even close. That is of course if you go by the facts and the data, and have a thick enough skin to handle being called a racist by the #factsAreRacist contingent.

According the Washington Post database that analyzes police shootings, In 2015, 990 people were killed by the police in the United States. Of that total number, 26% of them, or 258, were black. The vast majority of them were armed and posing a direct lethal threat to the police or someone else.

Many are quick to claim a racial disparity in the fact that blacks represent 26% of all police shootings last year in America, while only constitute 13% of the total population. This seems on its surface disproportionate.

Here is the fact that Black Lives Matter and the Left is trying to obfuscate. Where indeed blacks are 13% of the US population, the crime rate among blacks is much higher than any other racial minority.

According to FBI statistics from 2009 blacks were accused of 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, 45% of all assaults in America’s 75 largest counties.

Blacks also constitute 40% of police shooters over the past decade.

The actual greatest risk of violent death to young black men in America does not come from the police, but overwhelmingly from other black males.

There are a staggering, approximately 6000 blacks murdered every year by other blacks. Blacks between the ages of 14 and 17 commit murder at a rate ten times that of whites and hispanics in the same age group. The entire black male population commits homicides at a rate eight times greater than that of whites and hispanics combined.

The claim of an ‘epidemic’ of racist cops shooting blacks cannot be justified with the numbers.

So why does Black Lives Matter make this claim? Because if you remove the canard of racist cops being the greatest threat to black lives, you are left with black criminality and violence being the greatest threat to black lives.

The insidious result of the Black Lives Matter movement is that it actually places black lives in more danger by demonizing the police, the only public institution that actually can demonstrate a belief that black lives matter.

In 1990 the New York City police under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani instituted revolutionary police tactics to prevent crime, rather than respond to crime. Pro-active policing.

The results were astounding. In 1990 there were 2,245 homicides in New York City. In 2014 there were 333. That is an 85% drop.

Similar pro-active policing of high crime areas does indeed result in more confrontations with police, but has slashed crime rates across the United State. Violent crime dropped 40% across America between 1990 and 2014. This means that businesses that would have avoided certain areas have opened up in previously high crime areas. Elderly people and children feel safer walking the streets.

The Ferguson Effect

After the legally justified shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, Black Lives Matter launched a campaign against police. Police officers now routinely find themselves surrounded by people with cell phone cameras hurling insults, abuse, bottles, and as we have seen this past week, the anti-cop sentiment created by Black Lives Matter is turning increasingly violent.

The result is police in high crime areas are understandably engaging less in pro-active crime prevention and as a result the US is witnessing its largest violent crime increase in twenty years. In 2015 murders in America’s largest 50 cities rose 17%.

It has been the predominantly black populated cities however that have seen the largest spike in violence. Milwaukee had a 72% increase in murders last year, Cleveland 90%, Nashville 83%, Minneapolis 61%, and Baltimore had it’s highest per capita homicide year in its history.

Most telling perhaps is in Chicago where pedestrian stops by police decreased 90% after Ferguson, shootings were up 80% as of March of this last year.

Murders of police doubled in the first three months of 2016, that isn’t taking into account the five officers murdered this past week at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas.

The real victims though of Black Lives Matter are the black people themselves living in these Urban areas that are going to face the brunt of the violence that a decrease in policing in America’s highest crime areas are sure to bring about.

Mottle Wolfe is host of The Mottle Wolfe Show available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel here.

No, The Palestinian People Do Not Deserve a State

It has become the mantra now ‘the Palestinian People deserve a state.’

This has been repeatedly and self righteously proclaimed over and over again as if the right to a state was a self-evident human right.

The right to life, the right to liberty, freedom of speech and expression, these are actual human rights, none of which anyone in there right mind would expect to be present in a State of Palestine in 2016.

Put aside for a moment that the proposed land for the State of Palestine is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, put aside the Palestinian demand that this state be Jew free, put aside for a moment that there has never been Palestinian sovereignty, and Palestinian national identity is less than fifty years old.

The main reason that a Palestinian State should seem a detestable notion to all people everywhere actually concerned with human rights, is that the national character of the Palestinian people today, possesses levels of savagery and inhumanity that exist nowhere on the good side of the 21st century moral arc of humanity.

This is universal among the Palestinians as a national identity and seen in every aspect of national life from the the entire spectrum of Palestinian opinion, action, and rhetoric from Palestinian leaders, public institutions straight down to polls of the Palestinian street.

The following story illustrates this beyond any shadow of a doubt.

On Saturday evening, October 3rd, 2015, 19 year old Muhannad Halabi set out from his home near Ramallah toward Jerusalem, with a solitary goal. To kill Jews.  He succeeded.

Twenty two year old hasid, Aharon Banita and his young wife were pushing their baby carriage through the Old City after spending the end of Shabbat at the Western Wall. Halabi approached them, took out a knife, stabbed Aharon Banita to death, slashed his wife, and then went to work on the baby in the carriage.

Forty one year old, Old City resident, father of seven, Nehemia Lavi ran to help after hearing the screams.  Halabi stabbed him to death as well.

It was at this point that security arrived and shot Halabi, bringing an end to his savage rampage.

Halabi was a monster.  This is undisputable for anyone with a working moral compass. Unfortunately all societies have monsters. What few societies do have, is mass support for what can be considered nothing short of pure evil.

146607156445933532a_b-300x204-1This past week a photo emerged on Facebook of Halabi’s mother, Suhair, standing on the spot that her son was put down by Israeli security forces that evening last October, flashing a double handed ‘V’ for victory sign.  The victory?  Murdering Jews.

It would be one thing if it stopped there with a mother deranged by the monstrous acts of her son, her moral vision blinded by the loss of his life in the process.

Muhannad Halabi was a student at Al Quds University. Al Quds is one of the largest Palestinian Universities with over 13,000 undergraduate students and 2000 graduate students. It has over one thousand faculty members.

Halabi was honored at the graduation ceremony this year with an honorary diploma. Several faculty members spoke about what a dedicated student he was, and at least one referred to him as ‘heroic’.

There were no demonstrations against the honoring of this savage monster, no ceremonial walkouts or faculty boycotts. Simply put, murdering Jews in cold blood enjoys 100% public support at Al Quds University.

Halabi-monumentIn addition to  his diploma from this mainstream Palestinian University, Halabi has been awarded a posthumous law degree from the Palestinian Bar Association and the road leading into his home town has been named for him complete with a stone monument, adorned with his image and title of ‘martyr’ has been officially erected by Mahmoud Abbas’s’ Palestinian Authority.

Is there anything else you need to know?  Is this one story in and of itself not illustrative of why the creation of a Palestinian State would bring the world nothing but death and suffering. Indeed in the history of the world has there ever been a people less deserving of being awarded a state?


Mottle Wolfe is host of The Mottle Wolfe Show available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel here.

Nakba Reflections

So just in case you missed it, yesterday was that favorite Hallmark holiday, The Nakba. In case you don’ know, in case you missed this walking through the greeting card aisle in CVS, let me give you a primer on The Nakba.

Sixty Eight years ago yesterday the collective Arab armies of the Middle East (there were no such thing as Palestinians back then) launched an all out military assault to destroy the fledgling Jewish State of Israel.

Here is how the Arab war goals were described by Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam, the then Secretary General of the Arab League. He declared in 1947 that, were a war to take place with the proposed establishment of a Jewish state, it would lead to “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.

The Arabs, and I say Arabs because there was no such thing as Palestinians at the time, had a clear genocidal intent.

They lost.

Now they call it The Nakba or the catastrophe. Today there are some Israeli Arabs that celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day . They realize that their life in Israel as Arabs is better than anywhere else in the reeking armpit that is the Muslim Arab world.

But then there are some ingrates that that demand Israel acknowledge the pain of the Arab people losing their genocidal war against the Jews.

In 1990 there were about 100,000 Jews living across the ‘Green Line’ today there are over 700,000. We have built entire cities like Har Homa between Bethlehem and Jerusalem and Maale Adumim between Ramallah and Jerusalem that make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state an impossibility. Removing 7000 Jews from Gaza almost tore this country apart, there is no way that Israel has the political will to uproot 700,000 people from Judea and Samaria. And besides while we are even talking about this     nonsense that number is growing everyday. We arebuilding like crazy, and more and more Jews are moving into here.

Forget about the logistics of forcefully evicting 700 thousand to 1 million people which has never happened in human history without war and violent upheaval, the BDS movement is a failure, and the rest of the world doesn’t care about the Palestinians enough to invest any skin in the game. Yes, it is a foregone conclusion that there will never be a State of Palestine.

Palestinians can choose to see this as a ‘catastrophe’, or you they can move on with creating a future for their children in the Jewish State of Israel, or the countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, or Syria where they have been living for 68 years. One thing is for sure, this Israeli has zero sympathy for the fact that they lost their genocidal war of destruction.

The author is the host of The Mottle Wolfe Show, Israel’s only daily English Language News Talk
Program. This article was originally aired on his show. You can listen here or subscribe on iTunes
or Stitcher Radio.

What the Palestinian People Need to Hear Right Now

You will not win. You will not get a state, you will not get equal rights, you will not get freedom of movement you will not be able to lift yourselfs out of the despair and squalor that so many of you live in. If the only two choices you leave us is to oppress you or let you kill our citizens, you WILL be oppressed. If you try to stab us, you will not walk away, if you fire rockets at us from the rooftops of your hospitals and schools, we will turn them into rubble. It you use your villages as bases of operation to launch terror attacks against our people, there will not be less checkpoints but more.

ISIS and radical Islam will not ‘liberate’ you. We are the only nation on earth that clearly identifies the threat of fundamentalist Islam and are willing to deal with it head on. They stand no chance against us.

You will not find more economic opportunity, you will not have more jobs, if you continue your murderous Jihadi rampaging rather we will seek and find a labor force that is not violent and not hostile to our existence.

To the Palestinians that have jobs in Israel, we know that the vast majority of you just want to do you job, collect a paycheck and go home. You should know that all it takes is one. One Palestinian terrorist in an office building, or behind the wheel of a bus or in a settlement to attack us, and we will fire every other Palestinian that works there.

There are good people in the world that are looking for opportunity, and Israel is a place with in which they can find it.

People from Thailand and the Philippines are looking for opportunities to better their fortune. We will happily give it to them, if you reject it. They will move here to Israel, the only free state in the Middle East. We don’t care what their religion is. We care that they will work an honest day for an honest shekel. Their children will be rewarded with an education, health care and every opportunity that my children have.

They will take their place in Innovation Nation and they will prosper while you rot in your hatred and vitriol.

You have squandered all good will. We will put you down. We will leave you in your pit of misery and suffering until you decide to raise a generation that will not attempt to annihilate us. If it takes you 100 years so be it. It is better than one more dead Israeli at the hands of your Jihadi violence.

The people in the world that most ralley to your cause of ‘justice’, your ‘friends’ in the BDS movement don’t really care about you, they hate us, and we are done caring about them.

The Israelis that want to expel the Jews from Judea and Samaria in order to create a Palestinian State, also do not care about you. They hate you, and simply want you to go away behind a wall.

They are close to admitting that that isn’t going to work.

How does all of this sound?

By the way there is another option. It is harder, and may even seem impossible, but it is not and it is the only chance you have for a future for your children. You can abandon you campaigns of destruction and violence and embrace the concept of peace with your neighbors. You can choose to accept the fact that the Jewish people are also indigenous to this land and we are not going anywhere. You can acknowledge the fact that you live in the Jewish State, and embrace the privileges that go along with that.

You can choose to have a future.

The author is the host of The Mottle Wolfe Show, Israel’s only English Language Daily News Talk Program. Click here to learn how you can stream or download for free.

Does it Really Matter Who Wrote the Bible? 

reletteringFor many people the answer is a resounding yes.  After all, if the bible wasn’t given as we have been taught, with God dictating every word, letter by letter to Moses at Mount Sinai.  Why bother with keeping it?  There is absolutely no obligation to keep Shabbat, or to keep kosher, sleep in a succah, or eat matzah on Passover.

I hear this opinion over and over.

The problem I find with this conclusion is that it is assuming the ONLY reason to keep the traditional Jewish Sabbath or kosher as well as other halacha, is because God commanded it. 

For those of you who have been following my radio show and podcast, you will know that these are questions I have been wrestling with very publicly for a while now. 

A few years ago I took a course in Biblical academic scholarship and archeology.  I spent 45 hours in the classroom with Professor Yigal Levin, one of the top archeologists at Bar Illan University.  I also spent several days with him in the field, traveling to the most important archeological sites in the Land of Israel.  He guided me through, Megiddo, Lachish, Tel Gezer, Tel Beit Shemesh, and the Jezreel Valley.

I went into the experience as a skeptic, believing that the traditional understanding of the origins of the Jewish People were what I was taught in Yeshiva, and as a child, and that academics and biblical scholars where somehow biased and anti-religion.

I ‘knew’ like my father before me, that we are the people descended from twelve tribes, from twelve brothers, the grandsons of one man, Abraham, the descendant of Noah the descendant of Adam.  These brothers and their families went down to Egypt in the late Bronze age, and were enslaved.  After the One God, creator of the Universe could stand their outcry from their bondage no longer, he remembered his promise to Abraham and with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, he took them from the midst of Egypt with miracles and wonders, split the sea for them and brought them to Mount Sinai where he gave them the Law.  The eternal and unchanging written and oral concretization of Divine will. 

These People now numbering in the millions wandered for 40 years in the desert, until the One God deemed it time for them to receive their true physical inheritance, the Land of Canaan. 

The People crossed the river Jordan and in a lightning conquest uprooted the idolatrous  Canaanites from the land and eventually established a United Kingdom, a confederation of the twelve tribes of Israel.

After spending these hours with Professor Yigal Levin in the classroom and walking the land with him, after reading the books he recommended, and after hundreds of hours of research, I have no doubt that the story presented in the text of the Bible is not historically accurate. There was no mass exodus from Egypt, there was no lightning conquest of the Land of Canaan, The Bible as we have it today is a later composition written and redacted sometime between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE in Jerusalem and Babylon. 

I am utterly convinced of this, and I believe that any critical thinker presented with the overwhelming evidence that the academic world has compiled, would be convinced as well.

So why be Jewish?

Simple.  I remain Jewishly committed because I love being Jewish. 

If you asked a dancer why she did all of those exercises, and ate that restrictive diet, and dedicated so much of her time to her practice, and she answered, my all powerful father demands it of me, and he gave me life, and can take that life at any given time, well…  You know that this is an abused person. 

But if she looks at you like you are nuts for even asking her the question, and she looks you in the eye and confidently answers, ‘I am a dancer because I love to dance’.  ‘I feel most alive, when I am dancing’, that is an answer.

A large part of my day, my life is taken up with the discipline of Jewish life.  It is an incredible blend of living mythology, history, spirituality, woven into a tapestry by culture and ritual.  It creates the context of my life, and the life of my family. It is our holidays and our wisdom.  It is how we celebrate life, and mourn death. It is the strongest human force I have ever seen that has the ability to connect one simultaneously to their present moment, while reliving their past and glimpsing the collective future of our people. 

I am Jewish, because what else what else would offer me such meaning and depth in life? 

We live in a time when we are truly free.  I am free to step out of it at any moment.  I choose not to, not because of fear, but because of love.

Check out this conversation from The Mottle Wolfe Show with Biblical scholar Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber.

Unreasonable Belief

Dart arrows missing isolated target. Business concept

Someone sent me an excerpt from a book he wrote that attempted to prove why the Traditional understanding of the origin of the Torah it true using reason and logic. I think that my response expresses pretty clearly why I lean more these days toward the academic understanding of the historicity of Torah.

Thank you for sending me the excerpt from your book. I read through some of it, skimmed through most of it, basically looking for something new. I didn’t find anything. There is no chiddush, nothing I haven’t seen before many times. I think also the difference between what you are doing and what the academic world does, is that you start with a conclusion that you are already 100% convinced of, and are 110% emotionally invested in, and then try to piece together evidence that supports that conclusion while ignoring evidence that is at odds with the conclusion that you already made.

That is not science, it is not intellectually honest.

I have been on both sides of this fence. I went into my study of academic scholarship believing that they had an agenda. That they were emotionally invested in the Torah narrative NOT being true. What I found was the opposite. Most of the people I met in the academic world were humble truth seekers employing reason and science to reach rational conclusions. They did not begin with a conclusion, but rather began by weighing the evidence. ALL of the evidence. And THEN drew rational, scientific conclusions based on that evidence.

Where I am at personally is that 1) The scientific, academic world, (that really speak with one voice on this) present a FAR more reasonable and rational explanation for the Origins of the Torah and the Jewish people than the religious world does.

And 2), this is a big one… Just because the ‘historical narrative’ of the Torah is NOT true, it does not make the Torah NOT true.

We are the most ancient people in the world, with a real history, and body of wisdom and knowledge that has constantly evolved in order to keep us on the forefront of morality, ethics, science, empathy, and Humanity’s quest to touch the Divine, (whatever that means).

I think that is pretty cool.

Gay Marriage; Get Over It

Business man pointing to transparent board with text: Same-Sex Marriage

Business man pointing to transparent board with text: Same-Sex Marriage

I, like many here in Israel, have lots of friends who, for a variety of reasons (mostly religious) are having a difficult time dealing with the fact that the Supreme Court of the US has legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.

I addressed the issue this week on my radio show.

Here is my advice.

Get over it. Get over it for a couple of reasons.

One: It is a done deal. Western society or, as I like to call it from here in the Middle East, civilized society, has accepted homosexuality as a ‘normal’ sexual orientation.

It is not that I don’t have questions about that. Questioning something you do not have personal experience with is perfectly acceptable. Was I born straight? I think so. I never consciously chose my sexual orientation.

Two: It is none of your business. If you are a dude, and don’t think dudes should be allowed to marry other dudes, don’t marry a dude. PERIOD.

No one is forcing anyone into gay marriage. These people are born with or grow up with this same sex attraction.

This is so much bigger than the mechanics of sex, meaning what part is inserted where. If that is all your sexuality is to you, you have issues.

I had ‘crushes’ on girls all the time as a kid. My earliest remembrance of a crush is from kindergarten. They weren’t sexual, but they were always for girls. As I grew older, it continued, and you know what? I married a girl. I am happy about that. It has helped me to actualize myself as a human being more than anything else in my life.

Which leads me to…

Three: Having a family teaches you to put others first, to prioritize someone else’s needs over your own.

Don’t you think the world would be a better place if more people learned how to do that? I don’t know the dynamics of gay relationships and how they translate into a marriage environment, but I bet anything it has the potential to provide many moments of self growth. Shouldn’t everyone have that opportunity?

Four: For those of you offering up the ‘biblical’ argument, ‘Hey man, the Bible says Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!’

It does indeed say in Leviticus 20:13, ‘If a man lieth with man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.’

It also says that we should stone to death a woman who isn’t a virgin on her wedding night. It says that we should stone adulterers, Sabbath desecrators, blasphemers, and witches.

We as Jews have evolved passed this. If a YouTube video went up tomorrow of a group of super-frum Jews stoning a witch, there is no Jew in the world that would support it.

There was a time though I am sure that the ancient Israelites stoned women accused of being witches. Let me just say, unequivocally, that that was wrong.

‘But there used to be real witches!!!’ No, there weren’t. We were just more primitive then, and believed stuff like that. You know, in the BRONZE AGE!!!

If your answer is well, ‘we no longer have a Sanhedrin, but if we diiiiid…’ or, ‘when we have one again, somehow it would be okay to stone Sabbath desecrators,’ you have some evolving to do.

Five: This is a civil law. This is not here to kill God or religion. This does not change the Jewish concept of Erusin and Kiddushin in anyway. It is not the Erusin/Kiddushin Equality Act.

It is simply saying that if you are a gay man or a gay woman and you want to have some sort of deeper commitment to a partner, you want to build something meaningful in your life with another person that you feel affection and love for. Gai gezunterhait! No offense.

You may share inheritance, you may share insurance, you may visit each other in the hospital. You may list your partner as your next of kin. You want to deny people of that? What the hell’s the matter with you?

Six: Maybe most importantly, we have bigger problems than this. Uh, climate change?!! When Manhattan is underwater, you are not gonna care about the sexual orientation of the person paddling the life raft.

Hey how about this one? ISIS! Check out any of those beheading videos lately?

And by the way, as I am dishing out some criticism to my religious fundamentalist friends, here is a little bit for you, my LGBT brothers and sisters. First of all mazal tov, mazal tov. It is about time. I am truly happy for you. You guys earned this.

I want you to remember this though, when you are criticizing Israel for standing up for ourselves against those trying to annihilate us.

I am not saying that all of you are anti-Israel, but an absurdly disproportionate number of you are. You know who I am talking to. So while you are celebrating your SCOTUS victory to get a marriage license and hire a florist and have a cake with two men or two women on top of it, fundamentalist Muslims are tossing gays off of buildings and hanging them from cranes to please God.

We in Israel are your friends; they HAAAAATE you. Hang out all you want in Tel Aviv, you will feel welcome and at home. If you want to go ‘gay it up‘ in Gaza though, that is just not going to work out. They WILL kill you. They will kill you because you are gay. Do you know how anti-Gay an Islamic state of Palestine would be? Do you really want that?

You should go ahead and celebrate this victory, you earned it, but right after you are done, you should be writing love letters to Israel for being the ONLY place in the entire Middle East were you can actually be gay. Lets stop caring about who we are attracted to, and focus our light, love, and help to those trying to make the world a better place.


LISTEN to the show excerpt here.

Jews Living in Judea is a Civil Right

I had an interesting paradigm shift this week. I was asked a question that I had been asked many times before. “How can you justify living in a “West Bank settlement”, when it is in clear violation of International Law?”

My answer has always been the same. Simple. It is not against International Law.

And you know what? Maybe technically it is not illegal. What usually ensues after this is a litany of UN General Assembly resolutions, followed by the same old partisan interpretations, International Court of Justice opinions, and claims of international consensus.

All of us that love Israel and argue on her behalf have been there, ad nauseum. My experience has been that no one ever walks away from one of these debates converted.

Until it happened to me.

I am not saying that I believe that the presence of my family in the Hills of Judea is illegal, but… I did have a shift in possibly empathy, to where I can see “other’s” point.

I am not an International Law scholar, but I do have YouTube. I watched international law scholars argue both sides. There are thoughtful points on both sides.

The “hasbara” argument has always claimed the following;

The settlements are not illegal because they where conquered in 1967 from Jordan that was illegally (according to international law) occupying them at the time. Since there was no sovereign state to return that land to, the Geneva convention does not apply, and Israel was under no legal obligation to remove itself from the West Bank.

Also clearly stated in the famous UN General Assembly resolution 242, Israel is only required to relinquish “territories conquered”, as opposed to “ALL the territories conquered”.

All of this may be true, but… Like it or not, fair or not, just or not, bias or not… The majority of international law scholars agree with the anti-Israel folks. Settlement are illegal. Every single country in the world views my family as “illegal” occupiers.

Alan Dershowitz and APAIC can argue the minutia of international law all day, but the consensus is still the consensus. According to world opinion, Jewish Settlement in the West Bank is illegal.

As I was coming to this unpleasant realization I was also reflecting on the holiday being celebrated in the United States of America. Martin Luther King Day.

I took the opportunity to learn a little about the civil rights movement with my kids.



On December 1st, 1955 in Montgomery Alabama an African American woman named Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat to a white man on a bus, even though it was the law.

The fall out from this incident led a young preacher named Martin Luther King to launch a bus boycott in Montgomery that lasted for a year, and that many credit as the start of the American Civil rights movement.

In the following years Martin Luther King would go on to lead that movement against unjust laws, even though it led to his arrest over 30 times.

Rosa Parks was not a legal scholar. She did not refuse to give up her seat because she interpreted a state law differently than the State of Alabama had intended it, and then determined it unjust. She refused to give up her seat because doing so would have violated her basic human and civil rights. She was a woman of dignity and character, and refused to be diminished in the light of a biased, and unjust legal system.

I am a seasoned public speaker. I am sure I could do really well in a debate about the legality of the Settlements. I know the arguments, the UN resolutions, the history, and can wrestle with semantics as well as anyone. I also acknowledge that someone else could argue the other side equally as well.  But you know what? It doesn’t interest me.

Ultimately the reason I live in these hills, and support the Jewish right to live here as well, has nothing to do with the validity of a legal system that much of the world views as biased, corrupt, and unjust, it has to do with basic human rights, civil rights and dignity.


I am a Jew and I live in Judea. I reject the premise that I live in a “West Bank Settlement”, but rather a Judean village.

The finer points of international law may be debatable, malleable, and easily able to be used to further an agenda, the Jewish people’s historical connection to this land though, is beyond reproach.

We are not Jews because our religion is Judaism, we are Jews because our people come from Judea.

This fact by the way does not diminish any other people’s basic human and civil rights.

My Judean village is surrounded by Arab villages. Every day I watch their civil rights blatantly violated. As a Jew I am waved through check points that they are detained at. They do not have the same or equal access to water, electricity, medical care or education. The rights of the Palestinians in Judea and Sameria must be addressed, and this is paramount to any peaceful solution.

The solutions that are on the table right now, are based on the false presumption that in order to grant equal rights to the Palestinians, my people’s rights must be violated.

The end result of the enforcement of that international law would be the removal of the Jewish population from Judea and Samaria.

We are being told that the only way to bring about a peaceful solution to the current conflict is to adhere to “international law” that runs counter to my civil and human rights.

I reject the either/or paradigm that claims the only way to bestow basic human rights upon the native Palestinian population is to violate the rights of the native Judean population by delegitimizing their connection to their land and uprooting them from their homes.

I would be willing to bet that there were black people and white people on that bus in 1955 that had found it easier to just accept the legal consensus on segregation than it was to think out of the box for another option that accommodated everyone’s basic civil rights. The reason Rosa Parks, and Doctor King are remembered today is because of their recognition of a greater moral authority.

Martin Luther King would be amazed at the progress the world has made between his assassination in 1968 and 2014. Today, it would be hard to find someone who would claim that Rosa Parks’ violation of Alabama State law was anything other than a just expression of her civil rights. This Judean feels the same way. We owe it to ourselves, to our ancestors, to Doctor King and the world to do the same.

Originally printed in Times of Israel