July 06, 2017

The Cliché That "The Constitution Is Not A Suicide Pact" | FindLaw

The Cliché That "The Constitution Is Not A Suicide Pact" | FindLaw



I dont agree with all of Fletcher's conclusions, but it is an interesting article





THE CLICHÉ THAT "THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT":
Why It Is Actually Pro-, not Anti-, Civil Liberties

By GEORGE P. FLETCHER

Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2003
We live in a time when citizens - and indeed, even constitutional lawyers - are ready to compromise constitutional guarantees for the sake of increased security, whether real or imagined. Those who argue that we must be flexible in times of danger often mouth the slogan, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." By that, they mean that civil liberties only go so far, and at extremes, security must take precedence.
This supposed kernel of wisdom has become part of the post-9-11 orthodoxy. But a closer look at the slogan's use in judicial opinions, over time, shows that it hardly supports the anti-civil-liberties positions for which it is now so often cited.
Indeed, over the course of history, the rhetoric of "suicide pacts" has far more frequently been invoked in the course of arguments for protecting constitutional rights - not arguments for sacrificing them to security concerns.
The Genesis and History of the "Suicide Pact" Slogan
Justice Robert Jackson was the first to use the phrase "suicide pact" - in his dissent in the 1949 case of Terminiello v. Chicago. His initial usage was also, to my knowledge, the first and only anti-civil liberties judicial usage of the maxim.
In Terminiello, the Supreme Court upheld the free speech rights of a right-wing hatemonger. In Jackson's dissent, he suggested that the inflammatory speech was likely to produce a violent reaction from the mob outside. Jackson had just been a prosecutor in Nuremberg. And he was fearful that the kind of fascistic acts he had just prosecuted might become commonplace in the United States. He worried about an American version of the Weimar complex: If we do not crack down on Hitlerian types, he thought, our fate may be like that of Germany in 1933.
In the 1960's Justice Arthur Goldberg revived the "suicide pact" maxim in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez and Aptheker v. Secretary of State, but for a very different purpose. Goldberg protected the rights of Communists to travel, and of wartime military deserters against loss of their citizenship, at the same time that he gave verbal deference to the tough-minded view that we would never commit national suicide. The result was pro-civil liberties, and the idea was that the initial Constitutional design was wise, and should be followed.
Even since then, the standard usage of the phrase has been to guard the judge's flank against critics anxious about the stability of American democracy - not to kowtow to such critics by sacrificing liberty for security. The phrase is used to explain that Constitutional rights can be upheld without having security catastrophically suffer.
Recent Judicial Uses of the "Suicide Pact" Slogan Are Also Pro-Civil Liberties
This pattern of decrying-suicide-pacts-while-protecting-liberty was recently confirmed again. Late last year, federal district judge Harold Baer used the slogan when he declared unconstitutional a New York prohibition against wearing masks in public places, in the case of Church of the American Knights of the KKK v. Kerik.
The statute at issue was aimed at suppressing demonstrations by the Ku Klux Klan. (Indeed, it was a successor organization to the Klan that objected to the restriction.) Judge Baer held that the statute violated the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.
He bowed in ritual obeisance to the "suicide-pact" slogan. But he also added this graceful conclusion: "[T]he rational and measured exercise of jurisprudence must be zealously sustained even in time of war, including the war on terrorism."
Compromises for the sake of security might resonate favorably with pundits in the media, but they will not get the same hearing in Judge Baer's courtroom. And his decision shows just how far the suicide pact slogan has come - and how neatly its use has been inverted - since Terminiello. One can imagine Justice Jackson dissenting to Baer's decision too, had he had the opportunity.
Consider, also, the 1999 opinion in Edmond v. Goldsmith by Richard Posner - the prolific author who doubles as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago. There, Judge Posner declared an Indiana "routine roadblock" provision unconstitutional. As he explained, it violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The case was simple: The precedents forbade routine searches aimed at producing evidence of criminal activity, and the "routine roadblock" statute plainly fit the bill. However efficient or reasonable it might be for the Indiana police to conduct their routine roadblock searches, past decisions held that this tactic, under the Constitution, was off limits.
Posner was quick to add that in a real emergency, public safety might require the opposite decision: "The Constitution is not a suicide pact," he emphasized. But he also added, "no such urgency has been shown here." Like Judge Baer, Posner subscribes to the judicial inversion of the phrase - using it as a sop to those with security fears, rather than as a reason to curtail liberty.
Pundits, Unlike Judges, Tend to Use the "Suicide Pact" Slogan to Defeat Civil Liberties
If judges have inverted the "suicide pact" slogan, however, pundit have hewn more closely to Jackson's original meaning. For them, the situation seems always to be so urgent that a compromise with liberty is required.
Rather than being assured that the Constitution was not designed as, and thus will not become, a suicide pact, they are constantly worried that without an immediate crackdown, it will soon morph into just such a pact. Academics invoke "suicide pacts" in the law reviews when they want to demonstrate that they are tough-minded about hypothetical conflicts between liberty and security; editorialists do the same.
Even Posner-as-pundit falls victim to this thinking, though Posner-as-Judge does not. In a forthcoming book, for example, Posner defends Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Indeed, he even hints that it might have been acceptable for Lincoln to suspend the election of 1864, if the military circumstances had required it, simply because "by November 1864 the North was close to victory."
As pundit, Posner advocates "pragmatic" decisionmaking - the balancing of security against liberty - without recognizing that either value has priority. And yet when Posner is sitting as a judge, his strong commitment to the Constitution takes over - despite his desire to appear to be a hard-headed, pragmatic "balancer."
Consider, also, the views of Alan Dershowitz who as the ubiquitous pundit would allow torture to, for instance, find the location of a large and lethal "ticking bomb" (as long as a "torture warrant" were issued first).
Of course, the problem in real life is how one would ever know that the bomb is really ticking, or that torture would produce reliable information to save the endangered persons. Ironically, Dershowitz's "torture warrant" idea may be wiser than he realizes: If judges' past behavior is a proper guide, they would probably conclude, with Judge Posner, that hypothetically, when "the urgency" is established, they might issue a warrant but "no such urgency has been shown here."
Judges Caving to National Security Fears Have Not Relied on the "Suicide Pact" Slogan
To be sure, judges have made some very bad decisions in the name of national security. The most notorious of all, of course, was the Korematsu decision, in which the Supreme Court upheld the criminal conviction of a Japanese-American who refused to obey a military order to evacuate a designated region on the West Coast.
And just last month in the Jose Padilla case, federal district judge Michael Mukasey rendered an anti-civil liberties decision in the war on terrorism. Mukasey upheld the principle of using administrative detention to confine persons - such as Padilla - whom the Executive has designated, with "some evidence," as "enemy combatants" collaborating with terrorist organizations. Until this decision, we had all thought that the executive could not confine citizens simply on grounds of suspected danger.
History has been unkind to the Supreme Court's decision in Korematsu. Few, if any, would be persuaded today that safeguarding the equal rights of Japanese-Americans would have brought us close to national suicide. Similarly, a huge outcry would occur if the government were to create detention camps for Iraqi-Americans now, based on the same reasoning.
We can only hope for a similarly contemptuous historical verdict (or an immediate reversal on appeal) on Judge Mukasey's decision in the Padilla case.It would be a wonderful irony if the decision reversing Mukasey's order, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, cited the "suicide pact" metaphor - and if it did, as I have explained, the pro-civil liberties usage would follow the modern norm.
Fortunately, since Jackson's dissent, our judges have been more committed to constitutional principles than the rhetoric of suicide pacts would indicate - and indeed, have turned that rhetoric upon its head. We can only hope that judges will continue to speak of "suicide pacts" as a sign that they desire to uphold civil liberties in the particular case, not destroy them.

George P. Fletcher is Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at the Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism
THE CLICHÉ THAT "THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT": Why It Is Actually Pro-, not Anti-, Civil Liberties By GEORGE P. FLETCHER Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2003 We live in a time when citizens - and indeed, even constitutional lawyers - are ready to compromise constitutional guarantees for the sake of increased security, whether real or imagined. Those who argue that we must be flexible in times of danger often mouth the slogan, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." By that, they mean that civil liberties only go so far, and at extremes, security must take precedence. This supposed kernel of wisdom has become part of the post-9-11 orthodoxy. But a closer look at the slogan's use in judicial opinions, over time, shows that it hardly supports the anti-civil-liberties positions for which it is now so often cited. Indeed, over the course of history, the rhetoric of "suicide pacts" has far more frequently been invoked in the course of arguments for protecting constitutional rights - not arguments for sacrificing them to security concerns. The Genesis and History of the "Suicide Pact" Slogan Justice Robert Jackson was the first to use the phrase "suicide pact" - in his dissent in the 1949 case of Terminiello v. Chicago. His initial usage was also, to my knowledge, the first and only anti-civil liberties judicial usage of the maxim. In Terminiello, the Supreme Court upheld the free speech rights of a right-wing hatemonger. In Jackson's dissent, he suggested that the inflammatory speech was likely to produce a violent reaction from the mob outside. Jackson had just been a prosecutor in Nuremberg. And he was fearful that the kind of fascistic acts he had just prosecuted might become commonplace in the United States. He worried about an American version of the Weimar complex: If we do not crack down on Hitlerian types, he thought, our fate may be like that of Germany in 1933. In the 1960's Justice Arthur Goldberg revived the "suicide pact" maxim in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez and Aptheker v. Secretary of State, but for a very different purpose. Goldberg protected the rights of Communists to travel, and of wartime military deserters against loss of their citizenship, at the same time that he gave verbal deference to the tough-minded view that we would never commit national suicide. The result was pro-civil liberties, and the idea was that the initial Constitutional design was wise, and should be followed. Even since then, the standard usage of the phrase has been to guard the judge's flank against critics anxious about the stability of American democracy - not to kowtow to such critics by sacrificing liberty for security. The phrase is used to explain that Constitutional rights can be upheld without having security catastrophically suffer. Recent Judicial Uses of the "Suicide Pact" Slogan Are Also Pro-Civil Liberties This pattern of decrying-suicide-pacts-while-protecting-liberty was recently confirmed again. Late last year, federal district judge Harold Baer used the slogan when he declared unconstitutional a New York prohibition against wearing masks in public places, in the case of Church of the American Knights of the KKK v. Kerik. The statute at issue was aimed at suppressing demonstrations by the Ku Klux Klan. (Indeed, it was a successor organization to the Klan that objected to the restriction.) Judge Baer held that the statute violated the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. He bowed in ritual obeisance to the "suicide-pact" slogan. But he also added this graceful conclusion: "[T]he rational and measured exercise of jurisprudence must be zealously sustained even in time of war, including the war on terrorism." Compromises for the sake of security might resonate favorably with pundits in the media, but they will not get the same hearing in Judge Baer's courtroom. And his decision shows just how far the suicide pact slogan has come - and how neatly its use has been inverted - since Terminiello. One can imagine Justice Jackson dissenting to Baer's decision too, had he had the opportunity. Consider, also, the 1999 opinion in Edmond v. Goldsmith by Richard Posner - the prolific author who doubles as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago. There, Judge Posner declared an Indiana "routine roadblock" provision unconstitutional. As he explained, it violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. The case was simple: The precedents forbade routine searches aimed at producing evidence of criminal activity, and the "routine roadblock" statute plainly fit the bill. However efficient or reasonable it might be for the Indiana police to conduct their routine roadblock searches, past decisions held that this tactic, under the Constitution, was off limits. Posner was quick to add that in a real emergency, public safety might require the opposite decision: "The Constitution is not a suicide pact," he emphasized. But he also added, "no such urgency has been shown here." Like Judge Baer, Posner subscribes to the judicial inversion of the phrase - using it as a sop to those with security fears, rather than as a reason to curtail liberty. Pundits, Unlike Judges, Tend to Use the "Suicide Pact" Slogan to Defeat Civil Liberties If judges have inverted the "suicide pact" slogan, however, pundit have hewn more closely to Jackson's original meaning. For them, the situation seems always to be so urgent that a compromise with liberty is required. Rather than being assured that the Constitution was not designed as, and thus will not become, a suicide pact, they are constantly worried that without an immediate crackdown, it will soon morph into just such a pact. Academics invoke "suicide pacts" in the law reviews when they want to demonstrate that they are tough-minded about hypothetical conflicts between liberty and security; editorialists do the same. Even Posner-as-pundit falls victim to this thinking, though Posner-as-Judge does not. In a forthcoming book, for example, Posner defends Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Indeed, he even hints that it might have been acceptable for Lincoln to suspend the election of 1864, if the military circumstances had required it, simply because "by November 1864 the North was close to victory." As pundit, Posner advocates "pragmatic" decisionmaking - the balancing of security against liberty - without recognizing that either value has priority. And yet when Posner is sitting as a judge, his strong commitment to the Constitution takes over - despite his desire to appear to be a hard-headed, pragmatic "balancer." Consider, also, the views of Alan Dershowitz who as the ubiquitous pundit would allow torture to, for instance, find the location of a large and lethal "ticking bomb" (as long as a "torture warrant" were issued first). Of course, the problem in real life is how one would ever know that the bomb is really ticking, or that torture would produce reliable information to save the endangered persons. Ironically, Dershowitz's "torture warrant" idea may be wiser than he realizes: If judges' past behavior is a proper guide, they would probably conclude, with Judge Posner, that hypothetically, when "the urgency" is established, they might issue a warrant but "no such urgency has been shown here." Judges Caving to National Security Fears Have Not Relied on the "Suicide Pact" Slogan To be sure, judges have made some very bad decisions in the name of national security. The most notorious of all, of course, was the Korematsu decision, in which the Supreme Court upheld the criminal conviction of a Japanese-American who refused to obey a military order to evacuate a designated region on the West Coast. And just last month in the Jose Padilla case, federal district judge Michael Mukasey rendered an anti-civil liberties decision in the war on terrorism. Mukasey upheld the principle of using administrative detention to confine persons - such as Padilla - whom the Executive has designated, with "some evidence," as "enemy combatants" collaborating with terrorist organizations. Until this decision, we had all thought that the executive could not confine citizens simply on grounds of suspected danger. History has been unkind to the Supreme Court's decision in Korematsu. Few, if any, would be persuaded today that safeguarding the equal rights of Japanese-Americans would have brought us close to national suicide. Similarly, a huge outcry would occur if the government were to create detention camps for Iraqi-Americans now, based on the same reasoning. We can only hope for a similarly contemptuous historical verdict (or an immediate reversal on appeal) on Judge Mukasey's decision in the Padilla case.It would be a wonderful irony if the decision reversing Mukasey's order, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, cited the "suicide pact" metaphor - and if it did, as I have explained, the pro-civil liberties usage would follow the modern norm. Fortunately, since Jackson's dissent, our judges have been more committed to constitutional principles than the rhetoric of suicide pacts would indicate - and indeed, have turned that rhetoric upon its head. We can only hope that judges will continue to speak of "suicide pacts" as a sign that they desire to uphold civil liberties in the particular case, not destroy them. George P. Fletcher is Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at the Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism.

William Faulkner on What Sherwood Anderson Taught Him About Writing, the Artist’s Task, and Being an American – Brain Pickings

William Faulkner on What Sherwood Anderson Taught Him About Writing, the Artist’s Task, and Being an American – Brain Pickings

Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel? Yes. – Tablet Magazine

Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel? Yes. – Tablet Magazine



As an indigenous activist—I am a Métis from the Paddle Prairie Metis settlement in Alberta, Canada—there is one question I am most often asked by the public, one that can instantly divide a community due to its intense and arduous subject matter.
Yet, regardless of the scenario, each time I hear the words, “Are Jews the indigenous people of Israel?” I’m inclined to answer not only with my heart but with the brutal, honest truth, backed by indisputable, thousands-year-old historical and archaeological fact: yes.
While evidence in favor of this view is overwhelming, activists who oppose Israel’s right to exist and deny the Jewish people’s connection to the land—perhaps before learning where indigenous status stems from and what it means—still have an issue with this claim, supporting a narrative built on falsehoods that today is basically acknowledged as fact.
It is my belief that strengthening Jewish identity is the optimum way to fight against the perpetuation of false narratives and lies. This can be achieved only through an indigenous decolonization of Jewish identity, which would urge Jews to see themselves through a Jewish lens and manifest the indigenous aspects of Jewish identity in a meaningful way.
Now, to understand indigeneity, one must also understand indigenous people, how we see ourselves, and how we see the world. At its simplest, indigenous status stems from the genesis of a culture, language, and traditions in conjunction with its connections to an ancestral land, most commonly derived from ties to pre-colonial peoples. Once a people have such a cultural, linguistic, and spiritual genesis as well as a coalescence as a people, they are generally acknowledged as an indigenous people.
An anthropologist named José Martínez Cobo, who served as the UN’s special rapporteur on discrimination against indigenous populations, developed a simple checklist in order to make indigenous status easier to understand. Even though that checklist has since been adjusted—I would argue, to fit the UN’s anti-Israel agenda—it remains the standard for most anthropologists in the field today:
Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present nondominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system.
This historical continuity may consist of the continuation, for an extended period reaching into the present of one or more of the following factors:
a) Occupation of ancestral lands, or at least of part of them;
b) Common ancestry with the original occupants of these lands;
c) Culture in general, or in specific manifestations (such as religion, living under a tribal system, membership of an indigenous community, dress, means of livelihood, lifestyle, etc.);
d) Language (whether used as the only language, as mother-tongue, as the habitual means of communication at home or in the family, or as the main, preferred, habitual, general or normal language);
e) Residence on certain parts of the country, or in certain regions of the world;
f) Other relevant factors.
As a guideline, the Martínez Cobo study is fairly clear and gives us a way to avoid falling prey to false claims. However, there is one section—which, as far as I can tell, wasn’t in Cobo’s earliest definition—that has been referred to as problematic by many indigenous activists. This section refers to “nondominant sectors of society,” which is directly related to the issue of Jews as an indigenous people. It implies that by being “nondominant,” you have yet to realize self-determination. Ergo, if a group has achieved self-determination (i.e., the Jewish people or the Fijians), they will no longer meet the checklist as indigenous.
Seeing how the goal of all indigenous peoples is to achieve self-determination on their ancestral lands, it’s basically the most egregious example of a Catch-22.
You might be wondering why this seemingly throwaway line about “prevailing societies and non-dominant sectors” was included when it’s so clearly counterintuitive to our goals as indigenous peoples. It is my belief that it was inserted to deny indigenous status to one specific people, in fact, the only people who have actually achieved full self-determination on their ancestral lands: the Jewish people.
Why else would the United Nations include a caveat that basically denies indigenous peoples’ identity if we actually win in our struggle?
***
Archaeology, genealogy, and history all support the Jewish claim to indigeneity. A debate on this issue only even exists because we’ve been fed a false narrative that Palestinian Arabs also hold a claim to the land of Israel. Not to say that two peoples can’t be indigenous to one land. The Palestinians do indeed have the legitimate “rights of longstanding presence” in Israel, but this does not trump the indigenous status of Jewish people, 90 percent of whom can directly trace their genetics to the Levant. The cultural genesis, spirituality, language, and ancestral ties of Palestinian Arabs, however, trace back to the Hejaz (a region in present-day Saudi Arabia). In the Quran, the Hejaz is where Muhammad was born and where he established a community of followers.
To say that Palestinian Arabs were the first inhabitants of the land of Israel is problematic for actual indigenous people like the Jewish people, the Amazigh, the Copts, the Assyrians, the Samaritans, and others who were forcefully conquered, subsumed, and converted. It would literally be akin to white Europeans in North America making that same claim. Conquering peoples can still become indigenous through cultural genesis and coalescence. They cannot, however, become indigenous simply through conquering indigenous people.
Indigenous status is specific to certain areas, just as in North America, where certain tribes are indigenous to specific regions. The same rules should be applied in the Middle East. Just as the Cree would not claim Mohawk territories, Arabs should not try to claim Jewish, Amazigh, Kurdish, or Assyrian territories. Each of those peoples have clearly defined territories that date to pre-colonial times.
The primary argument promoting the false narrative that Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel is that they are actually the descendants of European colonizers. This can be easily rebuked. Recent studies support the notion that some 80 percent of Jewish males, and 50 percent of Jewish females, can trace their ancestry to the Middle East. Early population genetics studies also confirm that “most Jewish Diaspora groups originated in the Middle East.”
Another study shows that even the first European Ashkenazi Jews were at least half Middle Eastern.
The next argument against Jews being an indigenous people derives from the fact that Abraham was from Ur. And, while he is considered the father of the Jewish people, they did not become a people in Ur but in the Levant—specifically, in modern-day Judea and Samaria.
According to Jewish tradition and spirituality, the Torah was given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, but they had their cultural Genesis in the land of Israel. Of the 613 mitzvot, the vast majority can only be completed in the land of Israel. The Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people are all buried in the land of Israel. The holiest sites in Judaism are located—you guessed it—in the land of Israel. Abraham was indeed from Ur, but the people who stemmed from him are, without a doubt, from Israel.
This is closely related to the issue of Jerusalem, which both Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews claim as their own. One need only look to the Tanakh, where Jerusalem is mentioned an astounding 699 times, and then to the Quran, where Jerusalem is not mentioned even once, to resolve this dispute.
Then there is the Canaanite argument, a relatively newer piece of Palestinian propaganda that argues—because the Torah claims that the Canaanites were driven out by the Israelites—that Jews are therefore not indigenous to Israel. Archaeologists suggest, however, that the Canaanites were in fact not destroyed at all, but subsumed by the ascendant Hebrew people.
It appears that once Palestinian Arabs realized their claim to being descendants of the Philistines was false—as the Philistines, derived from the Hebrew word peleshet, have no connection ethnically, linguistically, or historically to the people of Arabia—they decided that they were descended from Canaanites instead.
In a 2012 speech, a spokesperson for Mahmoud Abbas said, “The nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history B.C.E. This is the truth, which must be understood, and we have to note it, in order to say: ‘Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.’ ”
This comment from the Abbas camp is complete rubbish, just one on a laundry list of Palestinian misnomers. First, the Canaanites have been extinct for 3,000 years and little is known today about their direct descendants. Second, pre-Islamic Arabs—of whom Palestinians are direct descendants—first appeared only in the 9th century BCE, not in 7000 BCE. Third, in 1946, before the establishment of Modern Israel, Palestinian-Arab leaders themselves only claimed a connection to the land of Israel dating back no further than seventh century CE—when Muhammad’s followers conquered North Africa and the surrounding region. You may also want to ask: What spiritual, cultural, or traditional constructs of the Canaanite people have Palestinian Arabs maintained? The answer is none.
But this should not be surprising. Even the most novice researcher looking into falsehoods perpetrated by Palestinian leaders would quickly find other blatant lies aimed at delegitimizing the history of the Jewish people, like the time Yasser Arafat told Bill Clinton there was never a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, or the time Ekrima Sabri, former Jerusalem mufti and chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, said, “After 25 years of digging, archaeologists are unanimous that not a single stone has been found related to Jerusalem’s alleged Jewish history.”
These are the proponents of the false narrative attempting to rebuke the indigenous status of the Jewish people in the land of Israel.
I got involved in this struggle because I was seeing nonindigenous people make arguments that are detrimental to actual indigenous people, arguments that attempt to rewrite our history. The idea that “Palestinian Arab” conquerors could become indigenous through conquering the Jewish people, even though the term “Palestinian” was only used in reference to Jews before 1948, is anathema. While Arabs claim to be related to the descendants of Israel through blood, it’s just another way to say that they acted like all conquerors, raping and pillaging and then settling and subsuming the locals. Native North Americans especially understand that simply conquering indigenous people does not grant one indigenous status.
Building a monument over our sacred places does not make them yours (Mount Rushmore, anyone?) Not any more than UNESCO declaring the Temple Mount to be a Muslim sacred site because they built a mosque over the church that was built over the ruins of the Jewish Temple. It’s a basic tradition in the Western ethos to respect those who came before you; it’s even built into most of our laws to respect prior claim, and that’s what indigenous rights are really all about. Respecting the rights of those who came before you.
***
Read more from Tablet magazine about the legal definitions of Jewish indigenous rights here.





May 26, 2017

Its Arabs that are Occupying Jewish Land in Israel

Why we should celebrate 50 years since the Six-Day War



There are three basic facts about the 1967 Six Day War. Knowing these politically incorrect, inconvenient truths will banish any ambivalence a reasonable person might have, and will encourage the celebration the 50th anniversary of this great Israeli victory.
First, the threats to annihilate Israel were loud and numerous. Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdul Nasser had united the military commands of his army with those of Syria and Jordan. He and those around him were repeatedly threatening to throw the Jews into the sea, to destroy the Jewish state. This was 22 years after the liberated concentration camps showed that Adolf Hitler’s rantings should have been taken seriously; because they were ignored, six million Jews died.
This was 19 years after an additional 6,000 Jews died because Palestinian Arabs rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which would have created a peaceful transition in the Middle East. An Israeli leader who ignored those threats would have been guilty not just of stupidity, but of criminal negligence.
Second, beyond the bellicose calls to annihilate their neighbour, the Egyptians gave Israel a casus belli when Nasser banished the UN army serving as a buffer between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai, and a second justification for war when Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran, the international waterways going to Eilat.
International law defines blocking a neighbour’s waterways as an act of war. Thus, Israel’s pre-emptive strike on the Egyptian and Syrian air forces in June 1967 was justified legally, morally and existentially. The 1967 war was an ein breira (no choice) war of self-defence.
Third, the most controversial piece of territory Israel secured from that conflict – the West Bank, including Jerusalem – was already in legal limbo. To call that territory “occupied” is wrong legally, historically and, again, existentially. Legally, the Jordanian army, rejecting the 1947 Partition Plan, invaded Israel, a state the United Nations had authorized.
In that 1948 war, Jordan seized the West Bank – what Jews call Judea and Samaria – and part of Jerusalem. The United Nations never recognized Jordan’s occupation of the territory. Thus, when Israel, in self-defence, won that territory in 1967, it wasn’t occupying Jordanian territory, it wasn’t occupying Palestinian territory – something no one would have said back then – it was seizing legally ambiguous territory.
Historically, Israel has longstanding claims to that territory, the biblical heartland of the ancient Jewish state. More recently, the British Mandate and the San Remo Conference allowed Jews to settle in that area west of the Jordan River, i.e. the West Bank.
Finally, existentially, the writer Yossi Klein Halevi acknowledges the demographic realities – there are over a million Palestinians living in that territory – and notes their legal limbo due to security and diplomatic complications. He therefore says that while he acknowledges the Palestinians in that area are an occupied people, controlled without full democratic rights, he (and I) cannot say this land – the Jewish people’s inheritance – is occupied by the Jewish People. We returned to our land, observing the legal and historical rules of warfare, in self-defence.
These three facts explain the Jewish euphoria from left to right in 1967, as well as why we should celebrate the victory, which saved Israel, from left to right. Let’s argue the next day.
These three facts – and genuine celebrations – do not mean demographic realities might not compel a compromise. Israel can consider relinquishing some territory, but never Jewish rights to that territory. A politician can compromise on borders but cannot rewrite history or legacy.
Shame on us for not knowing our history. Those who don’t know their history cannot grow. But those imprisoned by that history haven’t grown. Let’s learn the facts, then discern the best way to make new realities that bring us closer to the peace we all deserve. 

Netanyahu’s challenge with Trump – CarolineGlick.com

Netanyahu’s challenge with Trump – CarolineGlick.com

'Netanyahu should have told the truth' - Israel National News

'Netanyahu should have told the truth' - Israel National News

Just a Few of the Arab Murders of Jews before the Modern State of Israel

Battle of Tel Hai March 1, 1920 Arabs 13 8 Jews killed;[1] 5 Arabs killed.
Nebi Musa riots April 4–7, 1920 Arabs 9 5 Jews, 4 Arabs killed; 216 Jews, 18 Arabs, 7 Britons wounded[1][2][3]
Jaffa riots May 1–7, 1921 Arabs 95 48 Arabs, 47 Jews killed; 140 Jews, 73 Arabs wounded.
NA November 2, 1921 Arabs 5 5 Jews killed in Jerusalem in stabbing attack. Multiple wounded, including women and children.[4]
Palestine Riots August 23–29, 1929 Arabs 249 133 Jews, 116 Arabs killed; 339 Jews, 232 Arabs wounded[1][2][3][5][6]
Hebron massacre August 24, 1929 Arabs 67 67 Jews killed; 58 Jews wounded (included in "Palestine riots" above)
Safed massacre August 29, 1929 Arabs 20 18–20 Jews killed; 80 Jews wounded (included in "Palestine riots" above)[6]
1933 Palestine riots October 28, 1933 Arabs 20 
1936 Anabta shooting April 15, 1936 Arabs 2 2 Jews killed, 1 shot but survived in road block with Jewish drivers selected out and shot [7][8][9]
The Bloody Day in Jaffa (Hebrew: יום הדמים ביפו) April 19–20, 1936 Arabs 21 9 Jews killed, 40 Jews wounded (11 critically) in Arab attack in Jaffa. Police killed two attackers. Further 7 Jews and 3 Arabs killed the next day[10][11][12]
Labor Strike Revolt April 20 – October 12, 1936 Arabs, Jews, British authorities 314 197 Arabs killed and 823 wounded, 80 Jews killed and 300 wounded, 37 military and police killed and 95 wounded.[13]
NA August 13, 1937 Arabs 4 4 members of a Jewish family, 3 children, shot dead by Arabs who broke into their home in Safed[14]
NA November 9, 1937 Arabs 5 5 Jewish Keren Kayemet workers killed near Har Haruach by an Arab ambush. Ma'ale HaHamisha was named in their honor.[15]
N/A 28 March 1938 Arabs 6 6 Jewish passengers killed by Arabs while traveling from Haifa to Safed.[18]
N/A September 14, 1938 Arabs 3 3 Jews killed in a bomb attack and ambush on a private vehicle near Nir David then: Tel Amal)[25] Several attackers killed by Britons.
1938 Tiberias pogrom October 2, 1938 Arabs 19 19 Jews were killed.[26]
1947 Jerusalem riots December 2, 1947 Arabs 14 8 Jews Reported Killed[40][41]
al-Tira December 12, 1947 Jews 13 13 Arabs killed, 10 wounded[42][43]
Haifa Oil Refinery massacre December 30, 1947 Arabs beat 39 Jews to death and injured 49.

May 03, 2017

An Open Letter to Nick Estes: Honor the Indigenous Rights Movement and Support Israel | Israellycool

An Open Letter to Nick Estes: Honor the Indigenous Rights Movement and Support Israel | Israellycool





Dear Nick Estes,
In an open letter published in Indian Country Today, you urged Professor S. James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People, to “honour” the goals of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and cancel his trip to Israel on the grounds that it is a “settler colonial” state.
I understand that Mr. Anaya did not heed your calls, and I believe that I can shed some light as to why.
Since you are a doctoral candidate in American Studies, I was surprised to find your letter filled to the brim with inaccurate details and lies. Rather than argue in support of any tangible principles, you present falsehoods as facts, repeat the same misleading and ambiguous talking points you’ve made in previous articles, and hide behind the appeal to authority argumentation that comes from being a descendant of the Lakota tribe. May I remind you, Mr. Estes, that while the Lakota do have experience in regards to colonization, that does not grant them expertise on Middle Eastern history.
I will also remind you that BDS is actually antithetical to the goals of indigenous peoples everywhere, as it seeks to take away the self-determination that Jewish people have reclaimed on their ancestral lands. As it stands, the Jewish people are the only indigenous people to have accomplished this.
In a bid to illustrate your real agenda (which appears to be synonymous with that of the BDS movement: to delegitimize and eliminate the State of Israel), I will simply go through your letter point by point and refute it.
Point 1: BDS
The only part of your first argument that has any validity is that the BDS movement began in 2005. The other points you attempt to get across are built on the false claim that Jews are not indigenous to the State of Israel, and are therefore “occupying colonists.”
I wonder, if you are indeed a human rights “activist,” why you are so invested in the rights of Palestinian refugees who left Israel following 1948, but have nothing to say of the nearly one million Jewish refugees who were forced from their homes from across Arab lands and Iran? What about the rights of these refugees? Why are Jews so undeserving of your support and others who claim to seek justice for marginalized communities? Is it because Israel, then a new state that could barely stand by herself, absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees following her creation, while most Arab states (meanwhile) continue to refuse entry to Palestinian refugees? Surely, if this is the case, I can see why you hold such a grudge against Israel… Not.
You claim that Israel must “ends its occupation of Arab-Palestinian” lands but this statement in itself is paradoxical. You see, Jews can trace their presence in Israel for almost three thousand years, far before the first Arabs left the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century to conquer surrounding lands. If you claim that Palestinians are also Arab, you’ve made my point for me: that the Palestinians of today are descendents of Arabs from Arabia, while the Jews of today are descendents of the Levant.
If we were to follow the logic associated with BDS, then the U.S. government did indeed have the right to carve the faces of its presidents into the Paha Sapa, just as Arabs had the right to build a mosque atop the Temple Mount – a Jewish historical and biblical site – in Jerusalem. Let me ask you, Mr. Estes, who are the colonizers and who are the indigenous peoples here?
Point 2: Colonialism
In your letter, you write that the UN was “founded partly to end colonialism,” and that Israel “practices a form of settler colonialism, very much aligned with what the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia practice against indigenous peoples.” The UN, however, was founded to provide a governmental body for the world, and one could argue that, with it being controlled by colonial governments, it actually perpetuates colonialism. And it has.
For example, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially granted titles to indigenous sacred sites to those who colonized them – sites like the Temple Mount and Western Wall. Since you are a doctoral candidate in historical studies, I will ask you, Mr. Estes, how the Arabs (who conquered the Levant in the 7th century) can be indigenous to it, particularly when Jewish people had already resided there for thousands of years? If the goal of “settler colonialism” is indeed to “seize native lands (often by force) and replace them with a settler population,” then wasn’t the Arabs’ conquest of the Levant and its surrounding area a form of settler colonialism? And then, wasn’t the return of the Jews in the 1800s a return of an indigenous people from exile?
As someone who supposedly struggles against settler colonialism, it would be incumbent upon you to not only study all forms of it, but to side with the actual indigenous people rather than those who colonized it and forced their language, religion and customs on indigenous peoples across the Middle East, including Israel. As you say, Mr. Estes, colonialism is indeed a crime. But it was committed against the Jews, not by them.
Point 3: The United Nations
Though you refer to the UN as some sort of unbiased arbiter, it’s important to note that it has actually been categorically biased against Israel from its inception. In fact, you admit yourself that the UN labelled Zionism as “racist” early on, something no other liberation movement has ever been defined as. Zionism, in its simplest definition, is the belief that Jews should have the right to self-determination on their ancestral lands. When the UN makes defamatory statements against Israel on behest of its many Arab member states but refuses to condemn any other actual abuser of human rights, it’s safe to say that it has an agenda. Why else would it put Saudi Arabia and Iran (a nation that executed roughly 437 innocent civilians in 2016) on its human rights councils? How is it that, during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the UN denounced Rwanda only once, but managed to condemn Israel a startling 13 times?
Point 4: Apartheid
In a recent speech that has since been etched into the memories of some three million viewers, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer asked Arab member states of the UN, after launching yet another anti-Israel resolution, “Where are your Jews? How many Jews live in your countries?” How, Mr Neuer asked, does Israel face accusations of “apartheid” when in the entire Middle East, not only has the Jewish population been essentially eradicated, but there are countries that explicitly have separate sets of laws for different peoples?
Muslim-majority countries currently count for 99 per cent of the landmass of the entire Middle East. The world’s only Jewish state (and the only state in the Middle East where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live harmoniously) counts for one. So where, again, is the apartheid?
Point 5: Academia
While there are indeed Palestinian scholars, it seems that those who are involved in the Israel-Palestinian conflict forsake their academia in lieu of promoting a political agenda. In the Palestinian Territories (and in UNRWA-affiliated schools), students are taught revisionist history where there is no trace of the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem or Israel. Palestinian “teachers” ignore archaeology, genealogy and even history in order to promote the facade that Palestinians are indigenous to the land.
Mr. Estes, I am calling on you as an actual indigenous rights activist to stop supporting the inversion of history and stop advocating for academic and cultural boycotts of the world’s only Jewish – and first indigenous – state. It is paramount to the indigenous rights movement that we identify BDS as what it is: cold, calculated, antisemitism.

April 25, 2017

OU Kosher Advisory Arnold's Bread - Kosher

OU Kosher Advisory Arnold's Bread - Kosher: The Following OU Kosher Advisories and Alerts were released by the Orthodox Union's Kosher Division on the date indicated.

March 20, 2017

Democrats Turn Against Israel - WSJ

Democrats Turn Against Israel - WSJ



Democrats Turn Against Israel

In 1972 ours was the first party to back moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Rep. Keith Ellison on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1.
Rep. Keith Ellison on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Rep. Keith Ellison’s selection as deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee is the latest ratification of our party’s turn away from Israel. Mr. Ellison, who complained in 2010 that “United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of seven million people,” narrowly lost a bid for DNC chairman, then was chosen by acclamation as deputy.
The Democrats used to be the pro-Israel party. President Truman recognized the Jewish state within minutes of its independence in 1948. In 1972 the convention that nominated George McGovern ratified the first major-party platform to support moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The Republicans didn’t follow until 1996.
A lot has changed for the Democrats in 45 years. President Obama created an atmosphere of outright hostility between the U.S. and Israel. He made a nuclear deal with Iran and refused to veto the United Nations Security Council resolution in December that condemned settlements in the disputed West Bank.
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Hillary Clinton might have been an improvement, but her commitment to Israel has long been questioned. As secretary of state, she referred to Israeli settlements as “illegitimate.” In 2015 she had to reassure donors to her presidential campaign that she still supported Israel. Even during Bill Clinton’s administration, pro-Israel Democrats worried that Mrs. Clinton would influence her husband in the wrong direction.
Then there’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, who as a presidential candidate in April 2016 accused Israel of being “indiscriminate” in “attacks against civilian areas” when defending itself against rockets fired by terrorists from Gaza. Mr. Sanders received 43% of Democratic primary votes.
How did this happen? There was once an inexorable link between support for Israel and for the civil-rights movement. Both were responses to invidious discrimination—anti-Semitism and racism. Starting in the mid-1960s, however, an anti-Israel minority emerged in the form of the New Left. These groups—such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers—saw Israelis as oppressors and Palestinians as engaged in a “just struggle for liberation” as Panthers founder Huey P. Newton put it.
In the 1970s elements of the left became steadily more hostile to Israel. A turning point came in 1975, when the U.N. passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism. That provided an intellectual and political opening for those who wanted to drive a wedge between supporters of Israel and of civil rights.
An organization called Basic—Black Americans to Support Israel Committee—was formed to condemn the resolution. “We seek to defend democracy in the Mideast, and therefore we support Israel,” the civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin declared. Unfortunately, that was the last time the organized Jewish and black communities worked together.
In 1979 President Carter fired U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, the first African-American to hold that position, for violating U.S. policy by meeting with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Young’s dismissal led several black leaders to break with their Jewish allies on Israel.
In 1984 Jesse Jackson, who’d publicly embraced PLO head Yasser Arafat five years earlier, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. A Washington Post story about his difficult relationship with Jews quoted him as using the slur “Hymie” and calling New York City “Hymietown.” Mr. Jackson won 3.3 million votes in the primaries. He ran again in 1988 and more than doubled the total, to 6.9 million—another sign of the party’s slow shift.
There are still pro-Israel Democrats, but they are beleaguered and equivocal. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, now the minority leader, described himself in 2010 as the Senate’s protector of Israel: “My name . . . comes from a Hebrew word. It comes from the word shomer, which mean guardian.” But how effectively has he played that role?
In 2015 Mr. Schumer was one of four Senate Democrats to vote against Mr. Obama’s Iran deal. But killing it would have taken 13 Democrats, and Politico reported Mr. Schumer phoned Democratic colleagues to “assure them he would not be whipping opposition to the deal.” Mr. Schumer—whose Brooklyn apartment building has been protested by leftist opponents of President Trump—was also an early backer of Mr. Ellison for the party chairmanship.
One reason Democrats have continued the move away from Israel is that Jewish voters haven’t exacted a price for it. Exit polls in 2016 found they supported Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, 71% to 23%, in line with their historic levels of Democratic support.
There’s still an opportunity here for the GOP. Especially if Mr. Trump delivers on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the Jewish vote could start trending Republican. Unless Democrats reaffirm their support for Israel, many lifelong party members—ourselves included—may decide that the time has come to find new political affiliations.
Mr. Stein, who held elective office in New York between 1969 and 1994, is now a business consultant. Mr. Schoen served as a political adviser and pollster for President Clinton, 1994-2000.