Friday, 18 August 2017

“There was violence on both sides.”

“There was violence on both sides.”

Researching the recent clashes at Charlottesville in which counter-protesters traveled to the Virginia town to take on the neo-Nazis, I discovered some disturbing facts which reveal a sordid past and the threatening emergence of a troubling phenomenon in the United States, that of the protection of hate speech.

In order to make my point, allow me to make one remarkable admittance. In 1962, in Great Britain, a man named Oswald Mosley came to Manchester to lead a crowd of followers in a revival rally. He wasn’t a neo-Nazi. Mosley was a real Nazi. He was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 30's and was an ardent admirer of Adolph Hitler. Had Germany defeated British in World War Two, Mosley would almost certainly have been appointed by Hitler as the Reich-Fuehrer governing Britain. For this reason, he was interned during the war. Some say he should have been hanged for treason.

Prior to the war, a huge riot took place in the East End of London when Mosley’s Fascists, who were riding a wave of anti-Semitism, were stopped in their tracks by London Jews and anti-fascists in a violent confrontation which became known as “The Battle of Cable Street.”

Mosley tried to revive his Nazi agenda after the war. He tried to hold revival rallies in London, the Midlands, and Manchester. He never reached the stage in Manchester. Angry Jews, me among them, joined other anti-Fascists, many of whom had fought to defeat fascism in Europe less than two decades earlier, to prevent this Hitler-wannabee from speaking. The huge crowd chanted, ”Down with Mosley,” and down he went, three times before the police dragged him away without him opening his mouth.

That was confronting real fascism, not the motley crew that assembled in Charlottesville with their stupidly offensive anti-Jewish banners. And I feel for those who find the KKK deeply offensive and for whom the KKK symbols are hurtful. I feel the same, if not more, about the swastika. But the Charlottesville hoodlums were a nasty shadow of the real Nazis or the once-powerful KKK who marched through the streets of New York in the 20's to attend the Democratic National Convention where many were delegates.

Once can appreciate the depth of feelings of a generation who had suffered the Holocaust and confronted fascism taking a violent approach to the notion that “free speech must be protected, even hate speech.”

If any organization marched through the streets of Jerusalem chanting “Death to the Jews” expect a violent confrontation, and don’t condemn the violent protesters with the slogan of “the right to free speech, even hate speech.”  I would protest as much against anyone chanting “Death to Arabs.” Such incitement must be criminalized.

Free speech must have its limits, and if the law does not appreciate this then the law is an ass.

So, don’t be surprised if violence occurs against the cries of “Khyber! Khyber! Al Yahud!” or “Jews to the gas!” on the streets of Miami, New York, and other American and British cities. Such free speech must not be protected.  This is threatening incitement to behead and murder Jews. It must either be stopped by law, or stopped by protest.

And, when this happens, don’t allow any politician to say, “There was violence on both sides.”

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.’

Monday, 14 August 2017

North Korea and Iran. The Nuclear Results of Strategic Patience.

While American politics in melt down mode over the Democrats almost yearlong obsession in trying to find a scintilla of evidence with which they can hang Trump on charges of colluding with the Russians, both North Korea and Iran have been busy getting on with developing their nuclear missile programs.
Having been distracted, America now faces a nuclear crisis, not with Russia but with North Korea, and potentially with Iran further down the road. 

North Korean President Kim Jong-un has blatantly carried out a series of missile tests that show their capability of launching a nuclear missile strike that will put the west coast of the United States within range.

When President Trump warned North Korea of the “fire and fury, never seen before” should they test America’s patience, some Democrats and Obama hang-overs, such as Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy National Security Secretary under President Obama, accused Trump on MSNBC of “extreme and false statements about all manner of things. It’s more concerning,” he said, “when they are about nuclear weapons.”

So who gets it? Ben Rhodes, or President Trump?  Rhodes introduced a security policy of “strategic patience.” Rhodes, it should be remembered, was an ardent promoter of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran which rewarded the Islamic Republic to the tune of $150 Billion while allowing them to continue their intercontinental ballistic missile development program.

Compare Rhodes criticism to Trump’s statement to Donald Trump’s comments about making nuclear deals with regimes like North Korea on an NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ TV interview in October 1999. That was a decade and a half before Donald Trump entered politics. Here is what he said about the Administration’s refusal, or inability, to adequately close down North Korea’s nuclear program, “Do you want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place, each one of them pointing at New York and Washington, is that when you want to do it, or do you want to do it now?”

In that interview, Trump talking about the US negotiators, and using his familiar verbal style, added that the North Korean leaders “are laughing at us. They think we’re a bunch of dummies.”
Who can say, faced with today’s crisis, that Trump was wrong?

The most recent North Korean testing has seen them use their missile launch capability for carrying miniaturized nuclear weapons which they announced would be placed on their warships to aim at Guam. This is not new technology or intelligence. Revelations show that the US Military Intelligence reported this technology to the Obama Administration back on April 2013, but, operating on Ben Rhodes’s “strategic patience” paradigm, President Obama decided to deny the contents of this intelligence assessment, and do nothing about it. In other words, they covered up the intelligence as being politically inconvenient. Strategic patience bathed in denial has resulted in North Korea arriving at this dangerous moment for the United States and the Trump Administration.

It is worth reminding ourselves that Wendy Sherman was one of the architects of both the North Korean and the Iranian nuclear deals. The North Korean deal was used as the US template for the negotiations with Tehran over their advanced nuclear program. Both were based on the fallacy of a strategic patience policy of “let’s go easy on them and see what happens in ten years’ time.”

How did the US Intelligence and the Obama Administration allow this dramatic national security failure to occur? This should be required study for leading Strategic and National Security think tanks.

The strategic patience policy is a frightening failure. It is nothing more than politically kicking the can down the road to be picked up by a future Administration when it is about to explode in a mushroom cloud.

America is in crisis mode right now. They are scrambling to come up with a solution to the North Korean nuclear threat, but there appears to be no good solution in sight, particularly when you are dealing with unpredictable rogue regimes. Conflict seems inevitable.

This is the consequence of kicking that can down the road.  Tomorrow, they will wake up to the same crisis when Iran takes the wraps off their project and are ready for a nuclear breakout.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Palestinian flags flying over American Jewish day camps. Insanity!

When a Jewish day camp in America flies the Palestinian flag as Palestinians are killing Israelis you know that PC in the US has gone off the cliff.
This is what happened at Camp Solomon Schechter.

They claim to be "unabashed pro-Israel." They should call themselves "embarrassing terror supporters."
When criticized, they said they did it to “help develop empathy” and a “teachable moment.”

Some campers and staff were upset by the raising of the Palestinian flag.
Solomon Schechter administration indicated in their email that they raised the flag as a sign of “friendship and acceptance” for a group of visiting Palestinian Muslims and Christians.
What the administration do not say is that Israel has a Christian and Muslim population that were once "Palestinian Arabs" but moved to become Israeli citizens because of the intolerance and hate within Palestinian society.
As reported in the Geller Report on July 30, "David Jacoby, a lifetime Seattleite and longtime member of the Jewish community, expressed disappointment at the actions of the camp. 'Solomon Shechter flying the Palestinian flag is a feel-good bromide that creates the illusion of problem-solving' said Jacoby. 'It’s well-intentioned, but it misses the point. Two decades of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians have failed primarily because of the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.'"
As Jacoby’s wife, Beth, says, “the time to raise the Palestinian flag over our summer camps is when they stop burning the Israeli flag at theirs.”
I would add "and stop inciting terror and, in Hamas summer camps, stop teaching Palestinian kids to kill Jews."

Fly their flag, if you must, when Palestinians stop slaughtering innocent Israelis in the name of religion or indoctrinated Jew-hatred..
Fly it after their corrupt leaders decide to finally acknowledge the right and existence of the Jewish State of Israel.
Fly it after a permanent peace treaty is signed between Israel and Palestine.

Something tells me we will not see that flag flying in our lifetime - not because we Israeli Jews lack empathy, but because the Palestinian political and religious leadership remains hateful anti-Israel, anti-Jewish inciters.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of the 2017 best-seller '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel' available on Amazon and from Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Preferring Ottoman Turkey to Erdogan's Turkey - a Jewish perspective.

Turkey's leader, Recep Erdogan, was reported as saying Jews should appreciate the Ottoman Empire.
It was the Ottoman Sultans that gave shelter and protection to the Jews fleeing European Catholic persecution, particularly those fleeing the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. 
The Ottoman rule in Palestine was one of benign neglect but it allowed the influx of Russian and Romanian Jews escaping the pogroms of Russia and Romania to build new lives for themselves by developing and nourishing the barren landscape. 
The Ottomans lost control to the harsh revolution of the Young Turks that usurped power and promptly brought death and destruction to the region and Europe.
They allied with the Germans in the Great War. They were guilty of the Armenian genocide and began to impose the same methods against Palestinian Jews. They plundered the Jewish agricultural settlements, deported tens of thousands of Palestinian Jews, confiscated the weapons that left the remaining Jews defenseless, and were about to conduct a slaughter when prevented from doing do, surprisingly by the Germans under whose command their Turkish soldiers were fighting against the Allies. General Erich von Falkenhayn and Colonel Kress von Kessenstein interceded and stopped the ruthless Turkish leader, Djemal Pasha, from slaughtering the Palestinian Jews. By that time, Jews had been hanged and murdered by the Turks in Jaffa.
We witness Erdogan's authoritarian rule. His imprisonment of journalists, academics, opposition supporters, the mass round-up of tens of thousands of Turks last year. The Kurds he is killing today are Turkey's 2017 Armenians.  He hates Israel and supports the internationally recognized terror organisation, Hamas. Turkish Jewry live in fear of this threatening presence. 
Erdogan is today's Djemal Pasha. Yes, Mr. Erdogan. We Jews would much prefer a Turkey ruled by the Ottomans to the one ruled by you. 
Barry Shaw is the author of 2017 best-seller, '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel,' which tells of the courageous Palestinian Jews and Christian Zionists who helped drive the Turks out of Palestine and paved the way to the land of Israel.  Available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon and from Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Israel caught in a trap of its own making.

Ever seen how a jackal kills its prey? Usually, it doesn’t kill it with one blow or bite? It surrounds it, it challenges it, it probes for points of weakness. It then gets its claws around the neck of its prey and won’t let go. Whenever the animal struggles it makes itself weaker.
This is what we have been seeing from Israel. We are caught, like an animal, unable to shake off the obsessive hunger of those who have their claws into us and want to kill us.

Like the wounded animal, we didn’t assess the threat, nor appreciate the real danger. In nature, the targeted animal often appears to be so powerful that it could easily resist the deadly jackals. They thought their strong and non-offensive posture would appease the hungry killers into not attacking.

Like the wounded beast, Israel finds itself caught in a trap of its own making. Like that animal, Israel is caught in the jaws of those that want to destroy us.

How did we get to the point that a strong Jewish State is strategically so meek that we have too readily surrendered Judaism’s most holy site to a comparatively weak adversary? It’s down to a failed policy of playing nice.

The thrilling historic announcement, exactly fifty years ago, that “The Temple Mount is in our hands” was true – for a few days. Playing nice began half a century ago when General Moshe Dayan countermanded Motta Gur by saying about the Temple Mount “What is this? The Vatican?” and handed the administration to the Muslim Council.  The battle then was not against Palestinians. Israel was fighting a defensive war against invading Arab armies bent on our destruction.

The baying Palestinian protesters recently shouted that the Temple Mount is for “Muslims and Palestinians only.” Jews and Christians. Throw away your bibles. The Israeli Government has failed you. Through a fear of being disliked, we have adopted an assimilated Jew psychosis, of trying to appear nice or appeasing the goyim and the Muslims, yet we still fail to win friends or influence people. It is we that are being influenced to surrender all too often and too easily.

After the wimpish Israeli government capitulated to threats and removed the security cameras and metal detectors, the Palestinian flag has been affixed to the dome of the Dome of the Rock mosque and holy Muslim worshipers are raining rocks down onto to the head of Jews (known in Islamic circles as “apes and pigs”) praying at the Kotel below. 

If the Israeli government think that this will bring more than a temporary calm, they are right. The tailwind is with the Jew haters and they will ride that deadly wind throughout Israel until the leaders of the Jewish State demonstrate firmness and determination to resist further erosion of our heritage and purpose for being here.

We can feel the claws of our enemy embedded in our flesh. Like wounded animals we are either frozen into inaction or, worse still, make decisions that tighten their deadly lock on our carcass.

We may pretend that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Jewish State but there are parts of Jerusalem where the municipality fear to tread, places where obsessive Jew hatred and a desire to see the end of Israel is growing. People are not aware that in this part of our “undivided capital” football cubs play under the auspices of the Palestinian Football Association and their champion team supervises soccer tournaments honoring killers of Israelis without any response from our government against this incitement to terrorism being practiced in Jerusalem. The government has behaved in the most supine manner against this close and immediate threat. They won’t stamp this out because they don’t want to upset anyone.

We have lost not only our courage but our moral compass.

We are in a battle for survival that can only be won by victory over those trying to destroy us bite by bite.

Recently, NGOs came together to form the Israel Victory Caucus. It brings the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus into the Knesset. We hope this will instill backbone into the spine of our government.

The Israeli Government must open up to a serious dose of strategic reality therapy. We are on the path to our own destruction. It is time to go on the offensive with courage and commitment. No other remedy can result in permanent peace.

Germany and Japan surrendered only after being brought to their knees. They have since become leading advocates for peace and mutual recognition. Using this analogy, only when the Palestinians have been brought to the point that they admit defeat, give up on their obsessive Jewish hatred, their feverish martyrdom complex, and an overarching ambition to destroy us, can any form of peace take hold.

They are the ones, not us, who need to make painful concessions.

As Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum wrote in January, “True peacemaking means finding ways to coerce Palestinian to undergo a change of heart, give up rejectionism, accept Jews, Zionism, and Israel. Defeat compels them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and empty the rhetoric of revolution.”

To achieve that, Israel has to extract itself from the psychological and strategic trap it has set for itself – before it is too late.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  He is the author of “Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,” and the 2917 best-seller “1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.”

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Metal detectors – Part of a Generational Conflict.

Disturbances at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and other places broke out over the issue of metal detectors.
“Disturbance” is hardly the right word to describe what has been going on. It is at its heart, a generational battle, a millennial conflict between Islam against Judaism that has continued since the day when Mohammad perpetrated the mass beheadings of 800 Banu Qurayza Jews in 627AD who refused to convert to Islam and were defeated in battle. If you think I am exaggerating, read on...

The recent upheaval was sparked by the terror attack on the holy Temple Mont which led to the introduction of metal detectors to prevent malevolent people from importing deadly weapons onto the holy site. Three Arabs under the influence of the Northern Islamic Movement pretended to be worshipers at the Temple Mont mosques, collected their weapons, and opened fire on Israeli security personnel, killing two Druze officers.

The imposition of metal detectors may be inconvenient but they are hardly a reason for mass riots and individual acts of butchery. These harmful acts were prefaced by deliberate inflammatory incitement from prominent Islamic Wakfs and imams and influential Palestinian and Turkish leaders who promoted false anti-Semitic flames about a supposed change in the status quo of the Temple Mount.

We saw the generational battle played out in our time with the murder of the Druze policemen. The terrorists thought they were killing Jews in a cause they considered legitimate. They were wrong on both counts and their murderous actions lit a spark between Druze and Arabs in Israel. Then came the bloody murder of a Jewish family preparing to greet the holy Sabbath by a 19-year-old Palestinian with a butcher’s knife who broke into their home and slaughtered them.  A Hamas sympathizer, he was inspired by messages of Jew-hating propaganda.

Metal detectors are used without protest outside major mosques in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India. They are standard fare for Jews going to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall and at large synagogues. No violent protests occur against these security measures. They are, however, unacceptable for Jew-hating Arabs when used to protect Muslim worshipers wishing to pray in the two mosques built on the ruins of the Jewish Temple, a place that has become accepted as belonging exclusively to Islam. How’s that for a change in the status quo of this ancient holy site?  The UNESCO vote asserted that this shrine, built by Jewish hands, holy to Jews and Christians, is solely Muslim heritage. Unbelievably, several Christian nations supported this lie and, with their vote, approved this falsehood.

Those driving the narrative of a Palestinian state demand that this must be achieved without the need for them to acknowledge the existence of the Jewish State. Again, the basic principle of establishing a Palestinian state without this essential condition, which is touted as irrelevant, is an integral stage of the generational battle initiated by Arab and non-Arab Muslims.

If the protests surrounding metal detectors had not been so deadly it would have been derisive. Anyone with plain common sense can understand that people using violence and murder perpetrated for the removal of metal detectors are using them as a pretext to continue the smuggling of weapons into their mosques for storage and transfer into the hands of terrorists in a holy cause.

By the same token, anyone with common sense can interpret the imposition of a Palestinian state being prepared to accept the rights of a Jewish State to live in peace in the region is a harbinger of an eventual Middle East without Israel.

Should this happen, it will precipitate the end of the Judaeo-Christian world as we know it. Like it or not Israel, the Jewish State, is the last bastion for the free and enlightened world in a generational struggle.

The removal of metal detectors at the Temple Mount is a metaphor for the dismantling of our collective self-defense and an expression of our vulnerability to violent and noisy threats.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’

Thursday, 20 July 2017


An investigation following the terrorist shooting on July 14 on the Temple Mount Complex in the Old City of Jerusalem revealed that an accomplice brought weapons into the compound in the early hours of the morning in readiness for the attack.
In this attack two Druze police officers were shot dead by the attackers before the three terrorists were neutralized by security forces on the Temple Mount.

The sensitivity, indeed the volatility, of this location is significant. For too long emotional language has been used by Palestinian politicians and Islamic religious leaders to stoke the flames of violence in the name of this holy place.

While Israel safeguards the flow of Muslim worshipers to the third most holy shrine in Islam and reduces any Jewish presence on Judaism’s most holy site, too many people choose deliberately to make inflammatory statements. Mahmoud Abbas, reneged on his responsibility to induce an atmosphere conducive to peace talks when he spoke about “Jew’s filthy feet desecrating and defiling our Al-Aqsa Mosque.” When leaders like the President of the Palestinian Authority incite with words such as “We will bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Allah” we can expect no less than deadly terror attacks emanating from the area of the Temple Mount.
What Jewish filthy feet was he referring to? Those of Jews who go up to the Temple Mount with deep respect for being closer to the presence of God? Or the police who constantly have to respond to young Arabs who store rocks and Molotov cocktail bombs in the mosques and then demonstrate in violence against the Jews praying below at the Western Wall.

Now we have evidence that handguns and Carl Gustav rifles are being stored on the Temple Mount by Muslim Arabs looking for trouble.

Israel did the right thing by introducing metal detectors at the entrance of the holy site. One would have thought that caring religious leaders, worshipers, and politicians would have applauded this move that ensures the safety of everyone who goes up to devote their soul to their god. But no. The uproar and incitement ratcheted up another notch. The Palestinian Authority called for a day of rage. Violent protests broke out in Kalandiya, Shuafat and Bethlehem by Palestinian Muslim rioters. Rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at security officers by the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem. Absurdly, Muslim worshipers refused to enter the Temple Mount as a protest against the metal detectors placed there to protect their safety.

Compare that to what Israelis and visitors to Israel have to experience. Metal detectors are a common sight at entrances to official buildings, transport stations, shopping malls. As every traveler knows, metal detectors have become a compulsory component at all airports. They are placed there as a result of the terrorism such as those practiced daily by Palestinians whipped up by the indoctrination and incitement of their political and religious leaders.

We are all burdened by these necessary checks. They keep us safe. But, it seems, there are those, from within whose society the murdering terrorists come, who are prepared to commit further acts of violence in protection of their rights to carry murderous firearms into their mosques and holy places.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.’