Thursday, 20 April 2017

Shtetls and Ghettos to the Jewish State. Nothing has changed.

Nothing has changed in attitudes against the Jews in the last century.

From the programs of a hundred years ago to the strain inflicted on Israel today there is an eerie similarity.
Jews confined to their Russian shtetls suffered the murders and horrors of Jew haters. 

Polish Jews were herded into ghettoes, ghettoes where their presence was harshly tolerated as a temporary measure by their Nazi masters.

History shows us that these shtetls and ghettoes were gradually reduced in size and denuded of their Jewish population by the ethnic cleansing of their haters.  There, Jewish exclusivity did nothing to make them feel safe. On the contrary, a sense of vulnerability and foreboding hovered in the streets and in the homes of the enclosed and entrapped population.

In a real sense, we see this being played out in the Middle East today. Muslim countries expelled their Jews, and Israel was the beneficiary. The Jewish State did not feel like a ghetto then. It welcomed its brethren with open arms. It was a positive development.  But the Arab nations that banished their Jews did not see it that way. They detested the growing Jewish presence in their region and took violent steps to do away with it. In this, they were in kinship with the Russian and German anti-Semites.

On a promise of a reduced homeland, the Jews were deprived of the vast majority of the land for the benefit of the complaining Arabs. This territory became known as Transjordan.

Then, after Arab armies failed to destroy the nascent Jewish State, Israel was persuaded to relinquish further land for peace in the name of a non-existent harmonious and peace-loving Palestinian nationhood.

Having lost five wars to eliminate the Jewish presence in the Middle East, the Arabs encouraged and promoted a Palestinian anti-Israel narrative and action campaign. The aim was shudderingly familiar – to pressure the world to force Jews to relinquish territory and property.

Despite an incessant terror campaign that left thousands of Israelis dead and more injured, the Arabs, now called Palestinians, were projected as the victims.  

In the delusional spirit of goodwill, Israel signed accords with a determined enemy, withdrew from developed land in Gaza with beautiful homes, rich agricultural infrastructure, and the beginnings of a tourist industry, traumatically removing its population, only to discover they had been tricked and trapped by international forums determined to reduce the Jewish ghetto in the Middle East further into areas of indefensible lines.

Israeli objections are met with diplomatic threats, boycotts, and the threat of violence.

As with the shtetl and the ghetto, nobody can assure the Jews of Israel that any withdrawal into vulnerable and over-crowded areas will put an end to the persistent threat of a Final Solution to the Jewish Problem in the Middle East. To any Israeli Jew with grave concerns comes a glib dismissal that Jews now have a strong army, so cope with the repercussions.

The international collusion with the Arabs is little different to the collusion of British officials exactly one hundred years ago in Jerusalem, Cairo and Whitehall who, instead of carrying out both British policy and the terms of the League of Nations Mandate to establish the Jewish national homeland, deserted their responsibilities by turning their backs on the Jews they were instructed to assist and, instead, duplicitously encouraged the Arabs to protest the Jewish presence.   What is going on with the false charges of “illegal occupation” and “illegal settlements” if not this?

Today, the effort is to reduce and diminish the Land of Israel further in favor of advancing a Greater Palestine that has failed to contribute any scientific, agricultural or social advancement within its society. Instead, they continue to nurture the age-old anti-Jewish attitude and the perpetuation of anti-Jewish hatred and violence.  A Greater Palestine is divided within itself and united only in their determination to inflict further ethnic cleansing on the Jews of Israel.

From the shtetl to the ghetto to the Jewish State, little has changed in attitudes against the Jews in the last century.

Barry Shaw is the author of the best-selling book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’   He is also the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Monday, 3 April 2017

JVP. The Epitome of Jewish Self-Hate.

The horror felt in Israel over a group calling themselves Jewish Voice for Peace hosting a convicted Palestinian terrorist guilty of murdering Jews is palpable.

No words can adequately express the shock in the Jewish state to learn that an American Jewish group went out of their way to invite an unrepentant killer of Jews as their special guest.

An estimated thousand people gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on March 31, 2017, to witness a smiling JVP director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, introduce Rasmea Odeh to the adoring crowd.

Odeh is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a notorious Palestinian terror group that has killed hundreds of Israelis in decades of fatal terror incidents. The ideology of this terrorist organization is to kill as many Jews as it takes until the Jewish homeland no longer exists.

In 1969, Odeh planted bombs in Jerusalem in a deliberate attempt to kill Jewish civilians. In an explosion at a crowded supermarket, two students were killed and nine others injured. Rasmea Odeh was sentenced to life imprisonment for her role in these attacks but was released by Israel in an exchange for the release of one Israeli soldier held by her PFLP terrorists in Lebanon.

Odeh entered the United States from Jordan but lied about her murderous terrorist past on her immigration forms as she applied to become an American citizen.  To cover up for her lie she accused Jennifer Williams, her Detroit immigration officer, of lying by misinforming her of the meaning of the immigration questions relating to a person’s criminal background.

Odeh was sentenced to imprisonment for a year and a half and then to be deported by a Detroit court for hiding her terrorist past. The incursion of terrorists into America is currently a hot topic in America. Odeh is one example of a convicted terrorist slipping through the cracks. She was freed on bail pending an appeal but on March 23 she accepted a plea bargain in which she will serve no jail time, be stripped of the American citizenship, and be deported.

Odeh has spent her life lying about herself and Israel to the extent that she claims she was tortured while in prison without substantiating her claims which were rebutted by her co-conspirators, one of whom named her as the perpetrator of the deadly supermarket bombing.

This then is the person that a Jewish organization honored. A terrorist killer of Jews and a serial liar, as their special guest in Chicago.

JVP is an avid pro-BDS group. BDS, like Odeh and the PFLP, shamelessly campaigns for a world without the Jewish State.
The fact that this Jewish organization has made common cause with Jew-killers and Israel haters is deeply disturbing.

What inordinate and fevered minds do members of this Jewish group have by lauding killers of their co-religionists? Even the dreadful kappos of the Holocaust did not honor the Jew killers of that sad time.
What hysteria demons possess their Jewish souls to the degree that they saluted this Jew-killing “heroine” with a standing ovation?

What obscene sense of justice was displayed by Jews who traveled distances to hear the odious Odeh, yet omitted any thought or homage to Leon Kaner of Netanya and Edward Joffe of Tel Aviv, the two Jewish students that were blown up by Odeh’s bomb.  May their names be blessed, and the name of Odeh and all those who fawn over her be cursed.

I am sorry but further words fail me. My mind is confronted by the depravity of thought perpetrated by this offensive Jewish group and its supporters.

They honored a person whose whole raison d’etre is to achieve the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem in Palestine.

For shame!

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  He was also the co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organisation and the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Anti-Semitism of the American Left.

Remember the hysteria at the start of March over a wave of bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers and the desecration of graves in Jewish cemeteries?
A plague of swastikas scrawling on Jewish buildings has been going on in America since November 2016. The blame was always dumped on Trump.

The wild rhetoric put the blame on white supremacists, neo-Nazis, alt-right racists, anyone coming to the surface in the wake of Trump’s rise to power. This level of Jew-hatred could not be put at the feet of liberal progressives who are wedded to diversity, love, and peace.

Weeks later the perpetrators of many of the anti-Semitic acts are known to us so it is enlightening to learn who they are and why they did it.

Juan Thompson is an African-American journalist charged with cyber-stalking and a half dozen bomb threats against Jewish targets.
In Arizona, the case of a vandalized menorah twisted into the shape of a swastika was put down to an African-American teenager and some of his gang members.

A 65-year-old Hispanic man from Brooklyn, Pasquale Vargas, was charged with drawing swastikas in Penn Street Station.

The FBI, together with Israeli police, tracked down the perpetrator of almost all of the JCC bomb threats. He was a US-Israeli teenager, a computer nerd who, according to his lawyer, is suffering from behavioral problems due to a brain tumor.

So there you have it. The result of police and intelligence work has reduced the culprits down to a teenage Jew, a black journalist, black teenagers and a Hispanic. How is that for diversity?  Their profiles of these characters point to diverse types more likely to vote Democrat rather than Republican.

Although no one has yet been arrested for the Jewish graveyard vandalism if the pattern is repeated we are likely to see that the anti-Semitism which is the rationale behind these hate crimes belongs to the left of the Republican Party.  The media, strongly in the Democratic camp, has gone silent. Their investigative reporters have put down their pens refusing to expose where the guilt lies for these acts of Jew-hatred. They were quick to hurl accusations at President Trump. They simply couldn’t keep their powder dry until the evidence was in.  It follows their failed accusations that Trump colluded with the Russians during the presidential campaign to which there is no evidence.

The truth is that people on the Democratic side of the American political divide are guiltier of acts of Jew-hatred and there is a problem with the anti-Jewish attitude of African-Americans and Hispanics.

The statistics of hate crimes in America clearly show that the main class of victim are Jews, far more, for instance, than Muslims.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes have risen year on year according to Anti-Defamation League statistics. So this phenomenon is nothing new. The main leap in anti-Jewish offenses occurred during the Obama Administration and nobody, except ADL, spoke up about it. 
Because Nazi-symbols are scrawled on synagogues and Jewish community center walls, gravestones, train stations and carriages do not mean the daubers are neo-Nazi rednecks. In the month of March, they have proven to be Hispanics and black Americans.
Rather than point accusing fingers at the incoming president the American Jewish community together with local and national leaders of the Democratic Party should do some serious soul searching and investigation to root out the Jew-hatred that is festering on their side of politics.

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

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

BDS Violence in Holland.

When I visited Holland in 2015 to speak to Jewish and Christian audiences and to have private meetings with pro-Israel leaders I was told how Dutch Jews were increasingly fearful about speaking out or showing their support for Israel. Their main fears derived from the threatening atmosphere being stoked up by anti-Israel protesters and BDS activists.

I was introduced to Rabbi Benjamin Jacobs, the head of the Dutch Jewish community, who has been the victim of five attacks as Jews have been targeted in proportion to the rise of BDS and other anti-Israel activism in Holland.

So it was surprising to find my talk to the Jewish audience in the Liberal Jewish Center in Amsterdam attended by what I was told were three of the leading members of the Dutch BDS. Here they were sitting in the Anne Frank Hall in the presence of the people who told me they are fearful of them.

I purposefully engaged one of them in a public dialogue. One openly admitted that the BDS cause was to achieve a One-State solution and not the achievement of a two-state peace deal. In other words, he was loyal to Omar Barghouti, the BDS founder, who has always advocated the end of the Jewish state of Israel.  This character wearing his brown shirt emblazoned with ‘BOYCOTT ISRAEL’ stickers on a background of a Palestinian flag certainly subscribes to a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”

In the end I wiped the floor with him in an exchange in which I deconstructed all the emotional tropes he could hurl at Israel.  I showed him, but more importantly the audience, how the insults he threw at Israel applies in spades to the Arab regimes that surround Israel and to the Palestinian themselves.

Apartheid state? Look at Jordan that has kept tens of thousands of fellow Arabs and Muslims in refugee camps, stateless, for seventy years.
Ethnic cleansing? Look at the Syrian slaughter of Palestinians and the mass deportation of Palestinians from Kuwait.
Gaza blockade?  How about Egypt’s total blockade of Gaza compared to the thousand truck that flow into the Gaza Strip from Israel daily.
Human rights? This ‘pro-Palestinian’  BDS advocate never protests the horrendous human rights abuses perpetrated against their own people by both Fatah and Hamas.

BDS hypocrisy is staggering. Their arguments may be emotionally eloquent to the uninformed but they are intellectually dumb to those who know the facts.  Why then are Jews in Holland afraid to challenge these idiots?

BDS activists show their stupidity regularly. Take, for example, the case of the BDS idiot who, after a morning spent in Dam Square trying to persuade people to boycott Israel, walked into a falafel café to satisfy his hunger. This fool wasn’t aware that he was giving his money to an Israeli-owned fast food chain!  Talk about dumb and dumber.

What is disturbing in Holland, and in Amsterdam is particular, is that the BDS are allowed to pitch their lies every week in Dam Square but pro-Israel activists are allowed to hold counter-events in the same square but they are unprotected. 

Two brave and insistent girls, Brenda Aartsen and Sabine Sterk, who started a group called 'Time To Stand Up For Israel' recruit fellow lovers of Israel to join them in a quiet presence at the same time BDS occupies Amsterdam's main square.
They draw attention by draped themselves in large Israeli flags. They engage in pleasant conversations with tourists and visitors and display a large floor poster displaying the name of their group. 

Their constant presence has driven the BDS mob to frenzy and violence.

On Sunday March 12, 2017, one hot head showed the true face of BDS. He told a girl wrapped in an Israeli flag; “You  fucking Jew Zionist! Go to your own country and demonstrate there.” The Israel supporting girl was Dutch and Christian.  When the abuser saw a man taking pictures he ran and attacked him. Others came to the cameraman’s assistance and the BDS hooligan attacked one man severely causing him head wounds while also spraying people with blue paint. 

The police were not present in the square at the time of the incident. Sabine tracked the assailant while calling the police emergency number. When the attacker saw her following him he turned on her and was about to attack her but two men protected her. He spat in her face before the police arrived and arrested him. The helpers acted as witnesses.

In an earlier incident the girls received death threats from Haya el-Fatahi, a radicalized Muslim woman.  A week later this woman returned to Dam Square and was filmed smashing Sabine's camera from her hand as she filmed the assault from this Moroccan-born agitator. Her trial will take place on May 10th.

During the March riots in Rotterdam, Dutch Muslims supporting Turkey's Erdogan's insults against the government, called the Dutch government "cancer Jews."  This has been heard by BDS supporters in Dam Square Amsterdam.

The rise of the Green Party in the Dutch parliamentary elections is also worrying. They have traditionally been anti-Israel and the Green success will embolden radical anti-Israel forces within the party in the days ahead.

It appears Jewish and pro-Israel communities in Holland do have genuine cause for concern.  The complaints I hear is that they feel unprotected by the police and the authorities and are told to stand down and not to challenge the anti-Israel mob that have been allowed the free reign of Dutch democratic privileges. Court leniency make Brenda and Sabine fearful that abuse and violent behaviour by BDS hooligans will go unpunished. 

However, the stubborn resistance of two Christian girls must be applauded. They are prepared to go into the square to offer an Israeli perspective in the face of lies and threats.

These two girls show the rest of us that it really is time to stand up for Israel.

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

He is the author of the best-selling book “BDS for IDIOTS.”

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A troubling appointment for Israel.

Caroline Glick exposed in a Jerusalem Post article who exactly is Anne Patterson, the women appointed by US Defence Minister, 'Mad Dog' Mattis, as his second in command - and it's troubling for Israel!

According to Glick, she served under Obama and is a harsh critic of Israel and an apologist for the Palestinian support for terrorism.

In 2014 in testimony before Congress she defended the PA's practise of paying salaries to their terrorists by saying "they needed to provide for the families."

Last year when a Palestinian terrorist with US citizenship, Mahmoud Shalan, was shot by soldiers as he tried to kill them Patterson demanded an explanation from Israel for his death.

She failed to demand that the PA provide an explanation why Shalan, who lived in Palestinian-controlled territory, was engaged in terrorism against Israel.

Patterson, in her role for Obama, supported the overthrow of President Mubarak in Egypt and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood who replaced him.

She urged Christians who were being persecuted by the Muslim Brotherhood not to oppose or demonstrate against them. 

She then supported cutting off of American aid to President Sisi who replaced the MB. As such she became a symbol of the Obama abandonment of Egypt. 

Patterson's appointment is being blocked by the White House but it is deeply troubling that a Defence Minister who once infamously said that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel would select such a controversially anti-Israel candidate as his right hand woman.

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

The Inevitable Outcome of the Establishment of Palestine.

At the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies we pride ourselves at going where others dare not tread.
One such example is the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Collective thought stops at a two-state road block. Strategic thinking dare not go beyond this point. No alternative route to peace can be contemplated. It is, for too many, the only route allowed. All other maps are discarded with little or no examination. The only end goal is a Palestinian state and they try to convince us that this is the only ultimate aim that should be considered.

At IISS we raise the uncomfortable question that is rarely, if ever, heard. What Palestine are they creating?

Basically, they don’t care to think about the inevitable and horrible entity they tirelessly try to concoct.

Allow me to predict the reality of a Palestine that will emerge from their efforts. And my prediction is firmly based on facts on the ground that any thinking diplomat should be able to see for themselves.

Firstly, when they talk about the negotiating arm of Palestine they only refer to the Authority led by the undemocratic, corrupt and elderly leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas claims he represents the Palestinian people.

In their parliamentary elections of 1996, parties not affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organisation were banned from registering their candidates and Hamas refused to participate. When the inevitable results were announced Hamas usurped power in the Gaza Strip in a bloody civil war which left Arabs dead on both sides of the political divide.

What is swept under the carpet is the fact that in the 2006 parliamentary elections Hamas won an overwhelming victory taking 74 of the 132 seats. The Palestinian Authority have been fearful of holding parliamentary elections ever since.

Hamas continues to enhance its grip on power in the Gaza Strip by eliminating much of the opposition by fair means or foul.  Its repressive fist leave Gazans hostage to the whims of an ideological-based terror regime that devotes its full attention and most of its finances to developing an increasingly sophisticated terrorist infrastructure. Despite an internationally legitimate blockage on Gaza both by Israel and by Egypt, Hamas has stockpiled thousands of missiles aimed at Israel.

The anti-Semitic Hamas founding charter openly calls for the murder of Jews.  And they have made steady headway in the territories controlled by its Fatah-led rival, the Palestinian Authority

If not for the tireless efforts of Israel’s counter-terror intelligence and security forces Hamas would be the power of influence in key West Bank cities governed by the Palestinian Authority including Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarm and even in east Jerusalem.

In April 2015, Hamas students scored a convincing victory in the student council election winning 26 seats as opposed to Fatah’s 19. For those unfamiliar with the geography Bir Zeit is located just ten kilometres north of Ramallah, the central headquarters of Fatah and the seat of the Palestinian Authority administration. Bir Zeit has been considered as the most liberal of all Palestinian universities and is, therefore, a good indicator of the mood of the Palestinian street in the West Bank.

How about the future political face of Palestine?  In Gaza, Hamas just elected their replacement to Ismael Haniyeh. If you thought that the old face of Hamas was bad, the new face is even worse.  Haniyeh was a disciple of the Muslim Brotherhood. His replacement, Yahya Sinwar, is an arch-terrorist linked to the extremist Islamic Salafist movement. 

Sinwar was released from a twenty-year prison sentence on gross terrorism charges as part of a prisoner exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped from Israel and dragged into Gaza by a Hamas terror cell and kept in captivity for five years. Sinwar is not only responsible for the deaths of many Israelis. He is also reported to have murdered Palestinians with his own hands on alleged charges of “spying” or “collaboration” though it is more likely that they opposed his ruthless Hamas oppression.

The Hamas monster is such a distasteful reality that they need to airbrush it out of their incessant campaign. Better, they think, to ignore it. Raising the likely outcome of Hamas usurping power by the ballot or by the bullet in the West Bank in a new Palestine is too awful a thought. Better to leave it to the Israelis to deal with after the Jewish state has been forced to withdraw to impossibly vulnerable lines.

As for the Palestinian Authority, a Post-Abbas future looks equally grim.

I am involved in a campaign to have Jibril Rajoub removed from his position as the Palestinian delegate at FIFA, the governing body of soccer. We have irrefutable evidence of Rajoub using football, and other sports, to propagate and glorify Palestinian terrorism including naming sports events after Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians, including women and children.
Yet, shockingly, this man is one of the leading candidates to replace Mahmoud Abbas.

The other leading candidate is Marwan Barghouti currently serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli jail for his murderous terror outrages against Israeli civilians.  In a 2015 Palestinian poll he was the only Fatah candidate pegged to defeat Hamas in any Palestinian election.

One would have thought the record of these candidates would disqualify them from serving as president of any country but, in a society brainwashed and indoctrinated in hatred and violence and the inadmissibility of a Jewish state, this is the result.

The inevitability of yet another civil war seems certain. These rival forces are divided by a deep political chasm. They may be united in their hatred of the Jewish state which in both their lexicons must be obliterated, by stages if necessary, but when push comes to shove they hate and distrust each other as they vie for overall power.

This is the Palestine a naïve and cynical world is determined to impose on Israel.

The two-state solution demands an Israeli withdrawal from territories and a vague Palestinian promise to desist from violence.

The inadvisability of establishing such a regime is not predicated on issues of settlements or borders. It is entirely based on the inevitable spectre of a violent politically nonviable Palestine with a long term agenda to continue its struggle to destroy whatever remains of Israel.

Therefore it is essential for the Israeli government and all self-respecting academic and strategic think tanks to ask the diplomatic community and the impactful global institutions what they are doing to reform the Palestinian leadership into united and peace-loving pragmatists.

So far we have seen little progress in any such reformation. Nor are we likely to see any positive change going forward.

If no assurance can be given then Israel cannot be expected to make dangerous concessions based on nothing more than the empty echo of peace.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  He is the author of the new book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’