Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Shocking Exposure of Failure, Deep Corruption, Torture, Human Rights Abuses by the Palestinian Authority.

A        Tim Sebastian (Conflict Zone) interviews Saeb Erekat (Palestinian Authority).
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, and redundant since the PA refuses to negotiate with Israel, or even talk 
with the US Administration, talked to Tim Sebastian of Conflict Zone about Palestinian “democracy,” a strange concept since they haven’t had national elections since 2006. They also have a deep and unbridgeable political chasm between the PLO-Fatah Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Hamas-Islamic Jihad control of the Gaza Strip as a result of a coup d’etat in 2007. 67% are dissatisfied with the performance of the Palestinian Authority .62% want Mahmoud Abbas to resign. The latest polling show that 80& believe there is widespread corruption in the PA, nepotism, bribery, abuse of public funds, lack of transparency.
The Palestinian watchdog, Aman, issued a blistering report that the Palestinian Legislative Council has been dysfunctional for the past eleven years which has led to the loss of the most important official instrument of control and accountability.”
“The Palestinian Legislative Council has been dysfunctional for the past 11 years which led to…the loss of the most important official instrument of control and accountability.”
Erekat: “Do we have corruption? Yes.”
Sebastian” “In 2017, Shawqi Al-Issa, Miister of Agriculture said “It was not permitted to carry out any action to reduce corruption. Well qualified officials were removed, while those suspected of corruption had their positions strengthened.”
Erekat: I know Shawqi Al-Issa. He is in the opposition and he is entitled to say whatever he wants.”
Sebastian: “What about the case of Palestinian Airlines? Aman said that the Palestinian Treasury continued to pay salaries to hundreds of employees of Palestinian Airlines. There is, of course, no Palestinian Airlines.
Erekat; “Our four planes were destroyed by the Israelis, and we have people working there…”
Sebastian:  “Hundreds of salaries.”
Erekat: “Not hundreds…”
Sebastian: “It’s a big fraud, Mr Erekat. Human Rights Watch has just released a credible report of shocking human rights abuses by your security services. They say there are 147 cases as you know well. Shocking abuse in violation of international human rights law, including torture, that contravene the international legal obligations that you took when you signed up to the Human Rights Treaty over the last five years. Torture extensively documented may amount to a crime against humanity. (HRW. October 23, 2018). You have torture on a daily basis and you call yourself a democracy?”
Erekat: “We are acting on this.”
Sebastian: “I got the same answer from you for the last 10, 15, 20 years. “
Erekat: “You know me, Tim.”
Sebastian: “Yes, I do, and you make the same excuses for these abuses year after year.”
Erekat: “I live in Jericho because I refuse to rent an apartment at the expense of the Palestinians.”
Sebastian: “You live in Jericho and in Jericho some of the harshest treatments reported by detainees take place in Jericho. At the Joint Security Committee Detention Center. This is Human Rights Watch reporting. Officers force prisoners into painful stress positions locked in solidarity confinement. A young man from the Balata refugee camp said he was twice subjected to electric shock treatment and once had a cord tied around his genitals. So much for signing the convention against torture.”
Erekat: “We are members of the Convention Against Torture…”
Sebastian: “…and you violate it on a regular basis.”
Erekat: “The 147 cases over three years are being investigated. People who committes these atrocities will be held accountable.”
Sebastian: “How many of these people have been held accountable? How many? You can’t tell me. 3? 5? 7?”
Erekat: “Wait a minute. Security officials were fired. They were demoted.”
Sebastian: “How many?”
Erekat: “I can’t give you a number, but many.”
Sebastian: “You are also cracking down on freedom of speech as well.”
Erekat: “How?”
Sebastian: “January of last year, your security forces detained Faris Jabua, a student from Hebron about his participation at a book event organized by the Islamic group at his university. He’d already been arrested 5 times on charges that turned out to be false. You go after these people again and again and again. He was taken on one occasion to the Jericho Detention Center where officers alternated between kicking and hitting him with a stick…”
Erekat smiled.
Sebastian: “You’re smiling.”
Erekat: “No, because I live in Jericho and people wake me up at 2 am and 3 am and 4 am in the morning to tell me their sons and their daughters are taken here and there and I go with them…”
Sebastian: “So you know what is going on.”
Erekat: “Of course! And I go and tell them to stop it in the name of the President. We admit it. We don’t hide it.”
Sebastian: “Aren’t you ashamed of all this?”
Erekat: “In some cases I am ashamed. Yes. Sometimes I can because I am a man of authority.  I cannot differentiate between freedom of expression and incitement. Sometimes we have people who attack others because of their religion and so on and I’m ashamed of it.”
Sebastian: “Is this what a future Palestinian state would look like? Human rights abuses. Torture. Crackdown on free speech. Internet control.”
Erekat: “The future Palestinian state will be the future of democracy …human rights…transparency and the rule of law…This is my promise.”
Sebastian: “That’s very different from what you have now.”

Erekat: “No,  With 6 million people living in the West Bank and in Gaza we have 147 cases and we hope that will be reduced…”

Sebastian: “That’s all we have time for. Saeb Erekat. Thank you very much.”

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

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Bible is my GPS

I'm a modern man, but my contemporary truth and direction are anchored and proven in the Bible, a book that disproves all the Palestinian and BDS lies.
Watch the video.   Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Real Message of Chanukah.

The contemporary message of Chanukah is this.  We, who are active in countering false claims against Israel, are accustomed to hear blatant lies about our country being an "apartheid state occupying someone else's land," but think about this.                                                                        
If Chanukah represents anything it is the message of how we Jews fought off Greece, an ancient European colonial power, because we were (are) the indigenous people in our own land.   

Remember that whenever you hear that we are "occupying Palestinian land."      
If you want to see real apartheid, how about the insistence of the Palestinian leadership that no Jew can be a Palestinian in a State of Palestine.    
That is genuine racist apartheid. 
Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Anti-Semitism Hiding in Plain Sight

There has been so much anti-Semitism trying to hide behind anti-Israel speech that we have come up with a new headline to cover these stories whenever they arise, as they will with nauseous regularity.
The title will be ANTI-SEMITISM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT because that is exactly what is happening today.
The shame of spouting direct Jew hatred has morphed into dressing anti-semitism in the garb of anti-Israel or anti-Zionism venom.
Advocating for a world without Jews is no longer fashionable, but a world without the Jewish State is trendy, particularly if it is dressed up as portraying the Palestinians, who are rabid Jew-haters, as victims. Add the slogan, "Free Palestine - from the River to the Sea" which advocates a world without the Jewish State, and you are well on your way to becoming the future fascists.
Today, it's the collective Jew they are after as they pose in their morally superior narrative of human rights.
So, from now on, my reports highlighting this racist crime will be headed by 'ANTI-SEMITISM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.
Feel free to share my reports starting with these three examples of Anti-Semitism hiding in plain sight one;

Linda Sarsour, ally of the rabid anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan, calls for jihad in America. supports Sharia law, calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel, is held up as the darling of the feminist movement in America, and grotesquely supported publically by Jewish co-director of Code Pink, Ariel Gold, who said of Sarcour, "We have no greater ally in the Jewish community than Linda Sarsour."
If Sarsour is the greatest ally of American Jews, then American Jews are in deep trouble.
Sarsour is playing American Jews for fools, and there is no greater fool than Ariel Gold.

The World against the Jews.
The United Nations General Assembly is set to reject any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its holy places.
No doubt European nations will take the cowardly and immoral step and abstain.

CNN Commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, shows his college miseducation by calling for the annihilation of Israel based on an "ethical and moral outline," whatever that means.
He did it at a meeting of the United Nations and his remarks were met with wild applause.
CNN fired him, but the damage has been done. Yet another under-educated "scholar, activist, and citizen" has opened his mouth to call for the end of the Jewish State.
And in his moral superiority Lamont, no doubt, can see no wrong in his inflammatory words.

Just three examples plucked from this week's news cycle. I'm sure there'll be more next week.

Barry Shaw. Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
Author of the book 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.'

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Israel finds old Arab enemies more reliable allies than the Dutch Government.

Why is the Dutch government practicing being so contrary against Israel in recent years?

At the end of November, the Dutch Foreign Minister urged Dutch Jews to protest Israel’s “occupation.”

What? You mean protest Israel maintaining its presence in Judea & Samaria, particularly in what is called Area C and which they are legitimately allowed to control under the Oslo Accords? Recently, I arranged for Dutch pro-Israel activists to go visit one illegal village called Khan al-Ahmar. It’s illegal because the Palestinian Authority with the connivance of the EU and individual European governments led by the Dutch are illegally building homes and schools and illegally transferring Bedouin families from other areas under the PA in order to create false facts on the ground?

Regavim, the Israeli NGO, show people what European countries and organizations are doing in the territories that are in serious breach of their Oslo commitments.

This contrarian behavior has a lot to do with their Minister for Foreign Trade and Regional Development.
Sigrid Kaag once served in UNWRA, the United Nations organization that has done more to condemn Palestinian Arabs to refugee status for seventy years, and in growing numbers, than any other organization on earth, and she is proud of it.  

In October, 2017, when acting as Dutch Deputy Foreign Minister, she called Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a “racist.”

What would you expect from a biased woman married to a Palestinian diplomat?

Kaag claimed in an interview that her father-in-law was stabbed by a Jew wearing a keffiya, and Arab head dress, a claim that was proven to be palpably untrue and smells strongly of being an anti-Semitic falsehood.

This is the way they practice peace diplomacy in Holland.

The Netherlands can play no impartial role with characters such as Sigrid Kaag playing a leading role in Dutch diplomatic life.

While her anti-Israel stance was on full display, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on November 26 and resolved to encourage Arab nations to establish economic relations with Israel, according to Arab sources close to the Jerusalem Post.

It seems that Israel can rely on past Arab enemies to be more even handed toward the Jewish State than the diplomatic hierarchy in the Netherlands.

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.’

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Israel-Europe Pipeline. The Geo-Political and Strategic Umbilical Cord.

After rapid negotiations, Israel has agreed with European nations to supply Europe with its future natural gas needs. The project will turn Israel into a significant fuel-exporting nation.
Construction will begin on the longest and deepest underwater fuel pipeline in the world. 1,305 miles in length and lying 1.86 miles under the Mediterranean Sea. The $7 Billion project will take five years to complete.
Natural gas will flow from Israel’s natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean via Cyprus to Greece and Italy. This multi-national pipeline will supply Europe with 125 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2030.
After careful strategic deliberations, Israel decided on the Cyprus-Greece-Italy connection to Europe than through the Turkish route. One factor in the decision was the political behavior of Tayip Erdogan, the Turkish President, toward the Jewish State.
The decision has been received poorly by the Turks who were quick to sign an alternative agreement with Russia for the construction of a rival TurkStream pipeline for the delivery of Russian natural gas to Turkey.
The Israeli decision may be the reason for recent provocative statements made by the Kremlin against Israel, but Israel has chosen the direct European route for important strategic, as well as economic, reasons.
As former Greek Deputy Minister, Demitri Dollis said during the negotiations, ‘The EU will prefer the Israeli pipeline over the TurkStream project because EU countries are involved (in the Israeli project).  Also, since Europe already relies heavily on Russian gas, the project is of top geo-political importance to Israel, Greece, and Europe and, for this reason, is backed by the United States.

Going forward, Greece will hold strategic talks in Washington with the Trump Administration on December 13 before heading to Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli Government.
As Dollis said when the new pipeline had been agreed, “Energy and security will work to the benefit not only of Israel but for the people of Europe. It will lead to the stability of governments, stability of energy prices, stability in the energy markets.”
When the fuel starts flowing it will certainly improve the relationship between the EU and Israel.

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

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Israel, and Indigenous Peoples Everywhere.

Recently, I was honored with a phone call from the leader of a native American tribal nation who was, perhaps as surprising to many as it was to me, on a visit to Israel.

He told me of his passionate support for Israel. He rightly saw the Jews as the indigenous people in the Land of Israel, something that appealed to his own tribal history.

He shocked me by what he told me next. 
The Palestinians and the BDS Movement are conducting a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign to reach the hearts and minds of this ignored American community. 
Their campaign is based on strategic disinformation. They try to tell Native Americans that both have suffered by having their land stolen from them by white colonial supremacists and are suffering centuries of oppression and occupation. 
This may have truth in the history of native Americans and Canadians, but it is a lie when applied to Israel. 

My hometown of Netanya hosted the World Lacrosse Championships in 2018. Competitors from around the world had first experience of Israel. They loved their visit and returned home inspired. Competitors from diverse countries such as Hong Kong, Poland, Uganda, Luxembourg, China, Turkey, Peru, South Korea, joined the major nations of the world in this important sporting event.
Also participating were players representing the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team based in Canada. It was touch and go before they received their permits to come to Israel at the last minute. They were waiting at Toronto Pearson Airport as bureaucratic efforts were being made to allow them to travel to Israel on their native Haudenosaunee passports, rather than on Canadian passports. Their plane was delayed for three hours. They had also come under enormous pressure from the BDS Movement to boycott the event, but their passion for their sport and their desire to participate in the World Championships was a no-brainer for them. The bureaucratic impasse was solved thanks to the intervention of Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian Justice Minister, who pulled strings at top level both in Canada and in Israel. In the end they arrived and were met by VIPs including former Knesset Member, Dov Lipman, to welcome them to Israel.

In trying to dissuade the Iroquois not to come to Israel the BDS used the fraudulent Palestinian message that the famous Wingate Institute, which houses Israel’s sporting excellent projects and facilities and was one of the many venues for the lacrosse event, was once an Arab village named Khirbat al-Zababida which they claimed was “ethnically-cleansed” of its “Palestinian” inhabitants in 1948. The BDS with this, as with everything else they push, was wrong.  They were referring to the nearby villages of Yakum and Gaash which, between 1944 and 1945 was predominantly Jewish owned, the Arab landlords having sold their barren land to the Palestinian Jews. The same Arab landlords ordered the Arab peasants to vacate the land to the new owners who intended to develop the land for largescale agricultural purposes which they did, employing many Arabs in its development.
These are Israeli facts, not fraudulent BDS narrative.

People should heed our story. A story of an ancient people returning to join our fellow Jews who never deserted the land for three thousand years when it was the Land of Israel. Today, it has become the only truly diverse nation in the Middle East where all are free to practice their faith, their cultures and traditions, and to be represented in our democracy and the Knesset, our national congress.

Native Americans and Canadians must get to hear our message, as should indigenous peoples everywhere. They have been ignored not only by the Israeli government but also by Jewish and Christian Zionist organizations as if they don’t exist and don’t have a voice.
Yet, these are precisely the type of communities that could and should spread the truth about our history, both ancient and contemporary, for our story resonates with them. Both they and the Jews, those indigenous to ancient lands, and those who are returning to take pride in the re-establishment of our national home, share a love of the land based on original ownership and possession. 
Our message is a positive message of reclamation personified in the glorious success and example of Israel.

One simple truth comes out of this. Native Americans, native Canadians, indeed native people everywhere have one thing in common with the Jews of Israel. We are all stem from original indigenous people in our own lands. This is the simple truth that no BDS Palestinian propagandist can take away from us.
In an age of diversity and minority voices, instead of being BDS-trained enemies of Israel, native Americans and Canadians and others can become the most resonant ambassadors for Israel.
Anti-Israel haters, BDS among them, are teaching a false doctrine. 

There can be no salvation or prophecy built on lies.
Let’s do something affirmative and positive instead. That’s why I have begun a new initiative.

The Global Coalition of Indigenous Peoples United with Israel comes down to a simple truth. That the genuine indigenous people in the ancient Land of Israel were the Jewish people.

We are gathering together peoples of differing cultures and ethnicities and when we achieve a global brotherhood and sisterhood on all continents we will hold the 1st International Convention of Indigenous Peoples in Jerusalem.

The outreach of indigenous people with the Jewish people will result in a unity in which the helping hand of the Jewish nation will reach into communities in need as Israel reaches into distant communities today with its innovation and assistance.

Love begets love as indigenous people everywhere recognize the Jewish people as the original people in the ancient Land of Israel.

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 BDS for IDIOTS.’ Both available on Amazon.