Thursday, 18 July 2019

Israel is the next target for “The Squad.” How rapidly has America fallen.


The new radical force in American politics has come to be represented by what is called “The Squad”, four new and radical Democratic congresswomen who have used their sex and their ethnicity as a battering ram to force themselves and their radical policies at the center of their party. Anyone who stands in their way is condemned as a racist, even members of their own party including former Vice President, Joe Biden, and House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi said, in a conversation with New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, after the four women voted against a Democratic bill for border funding, “These people have they public whatever. There are four of them, and that’s how many votes they got.”
Dowd referred to Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ayanna Pressley as “the Squad.”  Pelosi flippantly under-estimated them.
Fox News host, Laura Ingraham, identified them as “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse” as early as last November.
They spread hate and division, even anti-Semitism and disdain for America but, in Pressley’s words, they think they are “creating a more equitable world.” This is the corruption of thought of these new policy makers who think they are doing justice as they express hateful, racist and divisive remarks.
Where did these people come from, and are there more?
They are the product of the fraud factory that is the American campus, a breeding ground where radical professors and lecturers are pumping out indoctrinated activists off a conveyor belt of ideas to become the next generation opinion, influence and policy makers.
The academic battleground of ideas has been lost to the pragmatic, truly liberal and certainly the conservative educators. Academia has become dogma.
Faculties for formative ideas have been hijacked by the thought-control manipulators producing the AOCs, Omars, Tlaibs and Pressleys. There are many more following them out of the incubator of incitement and into positions of power.
They have found easy paths to power, whether it be in the social and print media or in politics. Both compliment and collaborate together in the one cause.
Politically, they have found the Democratic Party to be easy prey, particularly after an embarrassing defeat in the 2016 Presidential elections. The disillusioned party, bereft of direction or cause, was wide open to radical forces.
The freshmen come trained, nurtured and strategized by crafty spin-masters and operators with nasty ideas to, in Obama’s words, “radically change America.”
AOC’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, looks like an Indian Harry Potter, but he is the American version of Seamus Milne, the not-so shadowy Strategy and Communication Director who pulls the strings of Britain’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and who formulates his policies and campaigns. It is not by coincidence that both left-wing parties have a growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel problem.
What motivates Chakarabarti can be found on the T-shirt he used to wear as he operated AOC’s successful run for Congress. It depicted the face of Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian who once dreamed of grabbing power in India. It was during the Second World War and Bose went to Nazi Germany to gain their support. Bose’s ideological statements included, “Freedom is not given, it must be taken,” and “No real change in history can be achieved in discussion.” On other words, power must be taken.
Bose died before he could execute his power grab, but this is the political philosophy and motivation of the key strategist of the new Democrats, a disciple of Bose.
One would think that this is the complete antithesis of American values, but It is the next stage of Obama’s stated aim to “fundamentally change America.”
Supporting Chakarabarti is Cenk Uygar, a Turkish-American, the creator of The Young Turks which, among other things, broadcasts a radical “progressive” agenda and active plan for America. Not “The Young Americans.” It’s The Young Turks for Uygar.
Uygar is also the founder of the Justice Democrats which calls itself a political action committee to progress their radical policies.  Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have said they are “extensions” of this movement.
Behind these dynamic operators is money.  Uygar has an estimate five million dollars, but George Soros is one of the prime financiers of the radical agenda within the Democratic Party. According to Media Research Center, Soros’s The Media Consortium reaches nearly three hundred million people a month. Soros funds nearly every major left-wing media source in the United States. It is the propaganda arm of the political action strategists.
This new movement is not confined to the Democratic Party.
Just as Corbyn receives active support from pro-Palestinian, Hate-Israel, groups in the UK that includes the Islamic Human Rights Council, so in America the support includes the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) who are actively emboldening their new political recruits. Leaders of CAIR can be seen marching through the halls of power in Congress. Ilhan Omar was the main attraction at fund-raising events for Islamic Relief, an organization with deep ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Israel, and for CAIR, a group that was named as a co-conspirator in a major Hamas terror-funding incident. Can you imagine a sign that reads 'Building Jewish Power for 2020'?
Rashida Tlaib has personal friends that include Ramea Odeh, a convicted terrorist murderer of two Israeli students, Mohammad Ali who stabbed three Israelis, and other rabidly anti-Semitic Israel haters.
Tlaib wraps herself around a Palestinian flag when elected to Congress and then accuses American Jews of having "dual loyalty."
This Red-Green alliance between hard left politics and political Islam, the merging of radical ideas, the organizational power and money, the marshalling of grassroots activism including getting voters to the polling booths, is where the radical left meets political Islamists as they march together to gain power. Theologically, the Islamists will never become members of secular political parties in Britain and America, but they will place their candidates into positions of political power, vote for them and ensure they do their bidding once elected.
This new political force has rapidly gained ground in the United States where the Democratic establishment has been caught off guard and unable to present a coherent opposition to this powerful and organized momentum. Pelosi made the fatal mistake of appeasing them, only to discover when she objected to their policies she was accused by them of being a racist. Now she is unable to wrest power back from them.
Joan Ryan, who resigned as a Labour Member of Parliament over her party’s rampant anti-Semitism, delivered a stark warning to the AIPAC Conference last May on how quickly things can change. She told America, “I would never have believed just three years ago that the party which backed a Jewish homeland would sink so low so fast.”
This is now happening in America to a Democratic Party, a party that was unable to affirmatively condemn the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric of Omar and Tlaib and is now paying the price for their negligence.
What is next for “The Squad”?
They intend to lead a delegation to Israel. Actually, they intend to lead it to “Palestine.” They are not coming to advance peace or cooperation. They will be doing it to advance hate and confrontation. 
This will become a diplomatic embarrassment for the United States, both for the current Administration and for a Democratic Party that will be severely challenged trying to prevent such a visit. If American politicians fail to stop this visit, the Israeli government will be left with the diplomatic headache of whether to allow or prevent a visitation of hostile US Congressional representatives and their guests coming to advance their Palestinian agenda.
It will be an official Gaza Flotilla without the boats. And what if they are accompanied by Linda Sarsour?
The visit will be made all the more embarrassing when it is led by Ilhan Omar who sits on the US Foreign Affairs Committee and Rashida Tlaib who draped herself not in an American flag but in a Palestinian flag when elected to Congress.
How rapidly America has fallen.

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



Sunday, 14 July 2019

BDS destroys Palestinian lives and hopes. An example.


A few years back, a massive BDS campaign was mounted to close down the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim in Judea not far from Maale Adumim, an area sometimes called part of the West Bank.
Despite the factory that makes carbonated drinks employing seven hundred Palestinian Arabs who worked alongside, and sometimes over, their Jewish co-workers, this island of cooperation and progress was seen as an abomination by the anti-peace BDS Movement and the anti-normalization leaders of the Palestinian Authority.
And so they conducted a loud and expensive propaganda and incitement campaign against SodaStream.
SodaStream’s CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, had ambitions to enlarge his factory to employ even more Palestinians. His Palestinian workers received salaries in advance of normal Palestinian wages. They also enjoyed Israeli social welfare benefits, and several earned promotions as supervisors, a promotion that came with wage improvements.
To BDS and the corrupt PA, this was a sin, a crime that had to be prevented.
Birnbaum saw that it would not be possible to advance his ambitious business plan in Mishor Adumim, so he moved his factory to the Negev and began to employ Jews from Beer Sheba and the local Bedouin.
SodaStream grew. Their products increased in popularity, and the carbonated drink-maker was acquired by PepsiCo for a figure of $3.2 billion.
As part of this windfall, Birnbaum gave handsome bonuses to his workers.
The losers in this story are the Palestinian workers who went from being proud and well-paid participants in the SodaStream success to dire unemployment thanks to the exerted efforts of BDS activists aided and abetted by the Palestinian Authority.
They must have watched in envy and sadness as SodaStream spent ninety million shekels to expand its Negev factory and took on more employees.
In July, Ramon Luis Laguarta, the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, visited Israel and reported that SodaStream was recording faster growth than expected since its acquisition by Pepsi.
To add acid into the wounds inflicted on the unemployed Palestinian workers by BDS, SodaStream employees will share approximately $23.5 million in cash and equity awards as a result of the improved performance. This is in addition to the $12.5 million for employees not participating in SodaStream’s equity plans.
Palestinian workers were denied this financial windfall by the BDS Movement who considered the transfer of SodaStream as a success.
BDS creates nothing. It does nothing to advance peace.
BDS destroys Palestinian lives and hopes.

Barry Shaw in the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  Author of ‘BDS for IDIOTS.’  

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Saturday, 13 July 2019

Who pays for the Palestinian propaganda & incitement campaigns that lead to their "Pay to Slay" reward system?

The Palestinian Authority are not only not stopping their 'Pay to Slay' policy of financially rewarding their terrorist killers, they are beginning to double their salaries!

Hamas terrorist, Husam al-Qawasmi, currently serving three life sentences for masterminding the abduction and killing of 3 Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, will have his salary doubled to 4,000 shekels a month paid by the PA out of monies donated to them by governments, institution and supporting European and Christian charities.
As Maurice Hirsch, head of legal strategies at Palestinian Media Watch, who personally dealt with the prosecution against Qawasmi following his arrest, said, "For the PA it doesn't matter if you belong to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Fatah, whether you murdered children, women or the elderly. What is important is that you were involved in terrorism against Israelis."
As part of the Palestinian Authority's 'Pay to Slay' policy, it doesn't matter if you are live or dead. You still get paid according to the number of Jews killed. In the case of dead terrorists, his money goes to his family. It's the Palestinian perversion of life insurance. It's called "death insurance." A Palestinian commitment to pay your family if you are killed and go the join your 72 virgins in terrorist heaven.
According to a 2014 Daily Telegraph report, the PA used $90M of British aid to pay convicted terrorists in 2013. The figure must be considerably higher since.
According to a JCPA report, the annual figure of the PA "Pay to Slay' reward budget for 2016 was $300M.
One must consider that, behind this payment system, is a heavily financed education, propaganda and incitement campaign that brainwashes Palestinian Arabs to go out and slaughter Jews. Who pays for that?
No one has studied how this is financed and from where that money derives.
As US Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, so rightly said.
"Again and again, the PA ignores the graciously (some would say 'stupidly') donate assistance for the Palestinians by INCREASING its finding of its DESPICABLE 'Pay to Slay' program by over 11% in the first months of 2019. Why do the donor countries tolerate this?"
A good question. The answer is they do it either malevolently, a wink and a nod to the Palestinian killing of Israeli Jews, or they are so knotted to their misconception that the Palestinian Authority is really a moderate peace partner, the only one that can deliver peace.
Either or, they are totally wrong on both counts.

Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Free Zion! Our new defiant slogan.



I was reading an article in the Jerusalem Post about the nearly discovered Pilgrimage Road. This is the pathway that Jewish pilgrims took to the ancient Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
They stumbled across this site by accident.
A rusty water pipe had burst in Silwan, a place where, after 1948, Arabs had moved into the homes of Yemenite Jews forced to flee by marauding Arab rioters and the invading Jordanian army as the nascent state of Israel perilously held on to territory by its fingertips when aggressive Arab armies launched a war of annihilation against the new Jewish state.
In the 1880s, the Jews of Yemen had begun to make their perilous way on foot to Jerusalem, a messianic journey drawn by the magnet of the Jewish Temple. Their pilgrimage trek took them half a year. They arrived destitute but elated to make their new homes in Silwan within touching distance of all that was sacred to their soul by the Old City walls.
By 1910, they had sufficient money to purchase a scratch of ground on the Mount of Olives to bury their dead. They lived in relative peace alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors until the deadly Arab pogrom initiated by the infamous Jew-hating Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Over a three-year period between 1936-1939, hundreds of Jews were killed and many more injured throughout pre-state Palestine.
Living under threat, the Yemenite community in Silwan were evacuated for their safety by the Jewish National Committee and, by 1945, no Jews remained in Silwan.
When the Jordanian Army conquered Jerusalem, they forced the Jews out of the Old City, including the Silwan Jews, and destroyed synagogues and yeshivas. The Jordanians dug up the Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives and used them as paving stones in Jerusalem.
Arab families began to occupy Jewish homes, including those in Silwan. Properties and farming land were stolen from absentee Jews by the Arabs without registering ownership.
The area remained under Jordanian occupation until 1967 when Israel succeeded in liberating the territory when yet another war of Arab aggression was forced on the Jewish state by Arab armies.
Today, it remains a contentious area as Jewish organizations fight to re-establish Jewish ownership and a Jewish presence in Silwan. Part of that effort includes the extensive archeological projects that constantly uncovers startling evidence of a three millennia Jewish sovereignty including the City of David, the residence of King David, the water channels that provided water to the Old City and to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and the pools that were the cleansing stations for Jewish pilgrims before their ascent to the holy shrine.
The most recent discovery is the Pilgrimage Road, the walkway that took the masses from the mikveh known as the Pool of Siloam in Silwan up to the Jewish Temple. It was along this road that ancient Jewish scholars strode to fulfill their religious obligations at the Temple. Jesus must have walked along this road.
The site was opened with great fanfare on June 30, 2019. It further enhances Israel’s justified sovereignty over Jerusalem. The archaeologically-proven site is further evidence of the Jewish presence two thousand years ago, before the start of Islam.
Documentary narration of a history has been verified by artefacts found at the site, including catapult projectiles used against the Jewish rebels as the Romans were killing Jews and destroying Judaism’s most holy site.
A significant discovery was made at the site in November 2016. Coins minted during this period was uncovered. These coins were minted by Jews about to do battle against the mighty Roman invaders.
The coins feature a menorah and bore the inscription, "Two Years to the Great  Revolt," a message that the struggle for Zion was not over. This was the clarion call of  the Jewish rebels to defy and oppose the foreign rule of Rome. More such coins have been found recently in the archeological excavations at this site with the slogan “For the Redemption of Zion" emblazoned on them.
The coins have come to be called the “Free Zion” coins. 
This is the spirit in which the Pilgrimage Road and everything connected to the contemporary Jewish struggle to re-constitute not only the Jewish narrative but our Jewish sovereignty on this land and in our capital is based.
It is also the cry for our battle against our haters and delegitimizers, the contemporary versions of the Romans.
Compared to the evident presence of Jews dating back three millennia to today, evidence that we were the ones that created, not conquered or destroyed ancient artefacts as the Jordanians and the Palestinian Arabs have done in Jerusalem, but cherished and preserved them, no matter what dynasty they are.
The Palestinians, despite their bluster, have no history of sovereignty, no ancient deeds of ownership. Their “history” is a myth, a fiction dredged up by dark malevolent minds to block the light of inspection onto genuine Jewish legitimacy and heritage.
Today, there is a call to “Free Palestine.” They advance the argument that this Palestine must be “from the river to the sea.”  Yet they cannot find one ancient coin, one artefact, one proven fact to show that a sovereign Palestine ever existed, anywhere.
Against their history bluster there is only one crystal clear answer. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, going back in history as far as you can go, there was only one other legitimate sovereignty in the land of Israel, and that was Judea. Judea, where the word Jews derives.
Today, Israel is the third Jewish state to exist in this geographical area. There has never been a non-Jewish sovereign state in the Land of Israel. All other rulers and occupiers were foreigners, including the Arabs. In fact, the Jewish people established their nationhood in the Land of Israel two thousand years before the rise of Islam. The last sovereign power to rule the Land of Israel before the current State of Israel was established in 1948 was the Davidic dynasty, hence the added importance of the recent discoveries in the City of David.
So today we must raise the cry that is found on that tiny coin that speaks to us from two thousand years ago.
Free Zion!
I propose that a banner is raised.  A banner carrying the image of that defiant Jewish coin and the words “Free Zion!”
This banner, badge, flag, emblem, icon, should we displayed by every Zionist, every pro-Israel activist be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim, secular supporters of truth, of Jewish self-determination, and the right of Israel to exist in peace in our historic and legitimate land.

Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies,
He is a write, speaker and author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,’ ‘BDS for IDIOTS,’ and ‘1917, From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Richard Dreyfuss doesn’t like to be called a hypocrite - but he is.


Actor Richard Dreyfuss told the Hollywood Reporter that he’s become less Jewish, though he admits to feeling good as a “cultural Jew.” And he doesn't like to be called a hypocrite, despite all the personal scandals surrounding him
If that makes him happy in the Hollywood bubble good luck to him, but what upsets me is when he slaps Israelis living in the Jewish state, while being willing to celebrate a Jewish history “of being oppressed.”
In answer to a question on the rise of anti-Semitism around the world and the parallel rise of anti-Zionism, Dreyfuss answered, Anti-Semitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews. Jews are given quite an extremely detailed lesson in how to be Jewish, and that's a good thing. It's not to be taken lightly. We'll sound very much like our own worst enemies in trying to protect Zionism and protect our own reputations. We really do need to explore what it means to be Jewish and not let it go away.”
He went on to say, “I’m very proud of being Jewish and I'm very proud of being a cultural Jew. But most Jews are willing to celebrate their own history of being oppressed, and then they'll get up and oppress other people. so, I don't want Jews to do that.”
I guess the oppression of being a Jew in Hollywood must be unbearable, but Dreyfuss obviously has the courage to suck it up and take it. It’s the Jews of Israel he can’t stand. He considers us the Jews who oppress others, of not behaving like Jews.
 He clearly understands little of the complexity of the Middle East and the precarious position of Israeli Jews living as we do in our compressed bubble of three hundred and sixty degrees of violent Jew-hatred expressing itself in gruesome murders on a regular basis for a hundred years. He hasn’t reasoned that perhaps it is them that are oppressing us.
Yes, we are in a conflict, but it is not of our making. God knows, we have tried, repeatedly, to make peace. The conflict in ongoing because the conflict has been the making of those who hate Jews. They do not want to make peace with us. They only want peace without us. Their words, not mine.
Those who will not walk in our shoes, like the Jew Dreyfuss, but who publicly complain about us and not those that come to kill us become the influential useful idiots in the service of our enemy.
Dreyfuss, in his secular philosophical Hollywood mood, talks of Jews as” a great moral template,” justifying his pride in being a detached Jew. Yes, we are, but he is not willing to grant the courageous Israeli Jew, ready to defend his fellow Jew with his life, the same moral template.
Instead, he moralizes that “Antisemitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews.”
In Dreyfuss’s less Jewish world, it’s OK for Jews to live in Beverly Hills but not in Judea and Samaria, Hebron, or Jerusalem. What sort of “great moral template” is this? This is a reasonable argument for Dreyfuss? A Jew-free Palestine? Surrendering to Islamic anti-semitism?
In this neck of the woods, Mr. Dreyfuss, Jews not behaving like Jews are those that do not go meekly to our death, but stand up against those determined to kill us out of an intense desire to remove us from the face of the earth. 
We are not the defenseless Jews of the Diaspora, the inquisitions, the pogroms, the Shoah. We are no longer Jews behaving like the type of Jew Dreyfuss refers to.  There was no “great moral template” in that history. Only tragedy, sadness and shame.
Richard Dreyfuss told the Hollywood Reporter that he is related to Alfred Dreyfuss. Was there a great moral template in Dreyfuss’s namesake in France, put on military trial and convicted for treason in 1894 to cover the blame of other French officers because he was, as a Jew, a convenient scapegoat?
I think not.
We Israeli Jews are the first Jews in two thousand years who say “Never Again!” and mean it while holding out our hand in peace, a hand that has been lethally rejected since 1948. 
Richard Dreyfuss said, “Most Jews are willing to celebrate their own history of being oppressed...” 
We Israeli Jews do not take pride in a Jewish history of being oppressed, even as we find ourselves under daily threat from across our southern, northern and eastern borders on a daily basis. 
We take pride in building a nation and a people with the courage and ability to stand firm against all enemies. Again, for the first time in two thousand years of our history.
If the actor interprets that as us “oppressing others” then we have a disagreement.  The Israeli perspective is our willingness to let others govern their own lives until such time as they elect leaders willing to accept our Jewish right to exist in this dangerous neighborhood.
Here in Israel, we know what “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” looks like, and it’s no Hollywood movie.
Richard Dreyfuss is busy promoting his new movie, “Astronaut.” Here in Israel, our heads are not in space but grounded in the ugly reality of a dangerous Middle East.
In the Hollywood Reporter article, Dreyfuss rebutted the accusation against him of being a hypocrite after an incident with a woman, his assistant, who accused him of exposing himself in front of her,  while claiming not to notice, on a separate occasion that his son was being groped by Kevin Spacey in his presence in his hotel room.
Apparently, that’s the latest Hollywood gossip. These Hollywood types are so into themselves they don't notice the abuse they inflict on others, or even the abuse that is being inflicted on people near and dear to them.
How can they have any possible space to notice the reality of the Middle East and the perilous lives and abuses inflicted on Israeli Jews.
Dreyfuss said “I was accused of being a hypocrite by someone who I had known and worked with and had respect for. And I don’t buy what she said as valid at all.”
No doubt, the less Jewish Dreyfuss with a great Jewish template will equally reject my claim that he is a hypocrite when it comes to taking cheap shots against Israeli Jews living under very real existential threats.
Until he comes to Israel and engages in close encounters of the first kind with Jews trying to stay alive with aliens who hate us, he will remain, for me, a hypocrite living in a Hollywood bubble.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The anti-Israel, Palestine-supporting, LGBT community should reconsider their position.

According to a survey conducted by the Arab Barometer research network during LGBT Pride month in June 2019 for BBC Arabic News revealed shocking facts about the depth of homophobia in the Arab world.
Their wide survey included the Middle East and North Africa.
The BBC reported that "acceptance of homosexuality varies but is low or extremely low across the region."
Algeria scored the highest but at a low 21% tolerance to same-sex relations. They were followed by Morocco with 21%.
But the greatest degree of intolerance of all the groupings to gay and lesbian relationships was found among the Palestinians whose rights have been championed by many in the Western LGBT community.
The survey found that only 5% of Palestinians tolerated same-sex relations
making them the most intolerant group across the region against the gay community.
Jordan scored almost as badly with only a 7% degree of tolerance.
The most surprising statistic was the low 6% found in Lebanon, a country that is considered as being more socially liberal. Apparently this is not so and the low mark could be an indicator of the rising Islamic influence of Hezbollah in Lebanese society.
Lack of access meant that the survey did not include Iran where at least 6,000 gays and lesbians have been executed since the Islamic Revolution. 
At a press conference with the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass in June, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has the gall to say publicly that his country executes gays because of "moral principles."
But so do the Palestinians.
In this survey only Palestinians living in the West Bank were included in the research. Had the survey included the Gaza Strip the figure of 5% would have been even lower.
Hamas enforces a deadly form of homophobia in the Strip. Gays are gruesomely executed in Gaza. 34 year-old, Mahmoud Ishtiwi, was shot three times in the chest on charges of engaging in gay sex. The fact that he was a Hamas commander who hated Jews and Israel didn't save him. Others have been thrown off rooftops.
One thing is common knowledge in Palestinian society. If you are gay in Gaza you either stay in the closet or escape to Tel Aviv.
Richard Grenell, the gay US Ambassador to Germany, is leading the campaign to end the criminalization and persecution of LGBT members in Middle Eastern societies.
The Western LGBT community could take a courageous step by reassessing their position regarding the Palestinian attitude against them and become much more affirmatively active in highlighting the predicament of gays in Palestinian society by promoting the tolerance and freedom afforded their members within Israeli society as an example to the rest of the region.

Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Palestinians missing their final opportunity.


As a first step in the new initiative to facilitate the divorce between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, the U.S. Administration and Bahrain announced that they would host an economic workshop entitled “Peace to Prosperity” in the Bahraini capital of Manama on June 25 and 26, 2019.
This is to bring together governments, global institutions, business leaders, to share idea, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for economic investments and initiatives to make a peace agreement possible.
“Peace to Prosperity” more accurately described as prosperity for peace, plans to construct an ambitious framework for a prosperous future for Palestinian Arabs. If implemented, it will have the potential to open up a whole new future to them.
Sadly, expectedly, the Palestinian Authority have pre-empted this initiative by rejecting the notion of any peace with Israel. After decades of complaints, they have, yet again, showed their unwillingness to compromise on their political and theocratic dogmas that have held back peace and a better future for their people.
As the cliché goes, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Mismanagement, poverty, waste, rampant corruption, and a pursuit of anti-Semitic violence and terror by the dual Palestinian governing kleptocracies have left their people destitute.
Channeling money into building terror infrastructures and rewarding murderers with their “Pay to Slay” policy takes preference over normalization and peace with Israel.
This is a serious violation of international law, as well as United Nations declarations calling for states and regimes to refrain from financing terror activities.
Given the dire economic situations in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas one would assume that logic would dictate a more receptive approach to a permanent global solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But this is not the case, on the Palestinian side.
The Palestinian leadership decided to boycott the Bahrain summit. Instead, they lapsed back into their usual rejectionist narrative and insults against those who are gathering in an attempt to help them to a brighter future.
Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, said, “We do not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf. Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation…”
What did he think this economic conference was setting out to do? Hand him the whole of Israel on a plate?
In another show of utter negativity, Palestinian official, Nabil Sha’ath, said, “The Manama meeting is one phase in a larger effort to undermine Palestinian rights and normalize Israeli violations, while promoting Israel-Arab normalization.”
It is normalization with Israel that has always been at the heart of Palestinian rejectionism for a century, See my video “100 Years of Palestinian History.” It is what is keeping them as a thorn in the Middle East that is frustrating not only to Israel but to their once friendly Arab neighbors.
This attitude belatedly raises serious concerns about the ability and capability of the Palestinian leadership to deliver any hope for peace, and to raise the prospects of their people to a better future.
All past agreements demand of the Palestinians to commit to a peaceful resolution to the conflict allowing all outstanding issues to be resolved through negotiations. This is something that the split Palestinian political divide have stubbornly refused to do for decades. Neither the PLO-Fatah led PA not Hamas-Islamic Jihad are speaking to each other, and both sides of that divide hate the notion of living in peace alongside the Jewish State.
This truth can clearly be seen in the September 1993 letter in which Yasser Arafat agreed that “upon signed the Declaration of Principles, the PLO encourages and calls upon the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to take part in steps leading to the normalization of life, rejecting violence and terrorism, contributing to peace and stability and participating actively in shaping reconstruction, economic development and cooperation.”
Arafat signed that the Palestinians would recognize Israel’s “legitimate and political rights, and is committed to strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historical reconciliation through the agreed political process.”
Instead of progressing peace with Israel, Arafat called the Oslo Accord document, signed on the White House lawn in front of an international gathering, his Treaty of Hudaibiya, referring to the truce deceptively signed by Mohammad with the Banu Quraish Jewish tribe of Mecca in a moment of weakness as he prepared to return and exterminate them.
The Oslo Accord has been torn up daily by the murderous actions, the deceptive diplomacy and the self-proclaimed refusals to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state from both Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas.  
There was a clear obligation on the part of the Palestinian leadership, both in Ramallah and in Gaza, to commit to the peace process for the sake of the development and prosperity of their own people as much as for the security of Israelis. At the end of the day, it will be the Palestinian Arabs that would benefit and gain economically more than Israelis who, despite the ongoing conflict, have built a remarkable advanced nation in such a short time and against all odds.
By boycotting the Bahrain Peace to Prosperity Conference the Palestinian leadership have once again hit out against Israel, the United States, and insulted their Arab neighbors.
Worse of all, they have, again, badly let down their own people.
As Ambassador Alan Baker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs wrote, “It is a sad reflection on a misguided and irresponsible leadership that prefers conflict, incitement, and hostility, rather than the hope for peace and economic improvement for the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinians still see themselves as the spearhead of the Arab war against the Jews. You can see this in their founding charters and hear it on a daily basis in their public incitement against “the Jews and their filthy feet” and the holy imperative not to spare “one drop of blood” in cleansing Palestine of the Jews, a Palestine “from the river to the sea.” This, from the Palestinian Authority, our designated “peace partner” with their “Kill a Jew” reward system, and from their mortal enemy, Hamas.
While appreciating the Trump initiative, no peace is remotely possible with such an implacable enemy.
This was summed up neatly by Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s Middle East envoy, who tweeted, “The PA is calling for demonstrations against the Bahrain workshop. Tells you everything you need to know about their priorities and intentions. Their leadership is happy with the status quo and would rather Palestinians suffer than at least explore a different path to a better future.”
Actually, Mr. Greenblatt, the history of the Palestinian Arabs tells you all you need to know about them. 
Jewish Palestinians gladly compromised in 1947 and accepted the UN resolution that granted them a Jewish state in truncated territory. Building a national home for the benefit of its people was always a priority for Israel. Not so the Palestinian Arabs. Not then and not now.
In the same year, India and Pakistan dropped territorial claims in favor of peace and independence. No so the Palestinian Arabs. It was all or nothing for them. No compromise.
In 2000, Israel was prepared to accept full Palestinian statehood on 92% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip. This offer was rejected.
A year later, at Taba, Israel increased the offer to 97% of the West Bank as part of a comprehensive peace proposal. This too was rejected by the Palestinians.
Israelis gasped in shock when they learned  in 2008 that Prime Minister Olmert had offered Mahmoud Abbas almost all the territory up to the 1967 armistice lines, but they were shocked further when the Palestinian leader rejected even this. 
A year later, when Israel agreed to a ten-month freeze on settlement building in Judea & Samaria as a pre-condition to restart negotiations, Israelis were no longer surprised when Mahmoud Abbas refused to come to the table to talk. 
Is it any wonder that Israelis were no longer surprised when the Palestinians insulted the recent attempts to kick-start a peace process that includes a record-breaking economic package to turn a rejectionist and split regime into a functioning and prosperous modern state, 
Israel’s foremost diplomat, Abba Eban, once famously said, back in 1973, that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 
By turning off both the United States and their willing Arab neighbors, this is likely to be the last opportunity for the Palestinian Authority to deliver a better future for their people.
By rejecting Bahrain, they are leading themselves, their people, and the region into a darker, more uncertain, place.
The world will slowly realise that it is the current hybrid Palestinian leadership, both Fatah-PLO in Ramallah and Hamas-Islamic Jihad in Gaza that are the exclusive obstacle to peace, and that no peace is possible with this status quo.
Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies and the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Zionism is Jewish intersectionality and progressivism

Zionism is Jewish intersectionality, the diversity of the incoming, the answer to three millennium of Jewish victimhood.
It is where left and right, black, white and brown, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, religious and secular, intersect, come together in defense of our self preservation, to celebrate our Judaism in whatever form it takes, to struggle to create a better world for ourselves and for others, while protecting those within our community not of the tribe.
As such, Zionism is the most progressive movement in a repressive and violent region.
Zionism knows from experience we do not live in a perfect world. It is a world that still seeks to victimize us. Never again means never again.
But Zionism is a welcoming host to those who extend their hand in peace and friendship.
Zionism always gives back more than it receives. This is the true expression of Tikun Olam, Repair the World. To give to others more than you expect to receive from them. And to do unto others more than you would have them do unto you.
Zionism is a Jewish justice achieved by sacrifice only in the last century after wandering in a cruel and unwelcoming world for far too long.
Our tiny nation has progressed more than any other regime in a desperate Middle East. We have become a shining light to the region, and to the world, in such a short space of time.
To earn ourselves a small barren corner, to nurture it, to develop it and defend it with courage and determination.
That is our fate. That is our future.
Barry Shaw, International Public Diplomacy Director, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Israel does NOT get more US military aid than other countries. Far from it.

Among the many fallacies told about Israel is the one claiming that Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid than any other country.
The United States has contracted to provide Israel with $38 billion in military aid over a ten-year period in a new Memorandum of Understanding. That averages $3.8 billion annually. This is perceived as making Israel the largest recipient of US military aid in the world.
What is wrong with this perception is that it is solely based on the supply of American military equipment to their allies. But this is just the tip of the US military aid budget. The largest part of US military expenditure abroad is hidden below the surface.
According to the research undertaken by Anthropology Professor David Vine of the American University, when factors such as the stationing of US troops abroad is included in the cost of US military aid the emerging picture is radically different.
Vine aggressively opposes US military involvement in foreign lands. It’s part of his personal DNA. But, by using his figures, we get an insight into where the bulk of the US military aid goes when “boots on the ground” are factored into the US military cost nation by nation.
Using Vine’s statistics, based on 2017 figures of 150,500 American troops stationed in seventy countries, boots on the ground cost US taxpayers between $85-$100 billion annually. This figure does not include military goods and equipment to allied nations.
Vance averaged the annual cost of each thousand soldiers to represent $665 million of aid to the country in which they are stationed.
Taking this equation into consideration, one can extrapolate the benefit to individual countries protected by the presence of US troops and the cost per country to the US military budget.
So which are the countries enjoying US military aid based on costs to the US tax-payer? For that we need Professor Vine’s statistics.
Professor Vine reported his findings in 2017 when Israel was receiving an annual $3.1 billion as US military aid for military equipment and supporting services. US fighting troops on the ground in Israel was, and is, non-existent.
Surprisingly perhaps, according to the professor, Japan is the largest recipient of US military aid. With just under 49,000 American military personnel stationed in Japan, the aid cost to America equates to over $27 billion. In other words, Japan’s US military aid package was nine times greater than Israel at the end of 2017!
There were almost 38,000 American troops stationed in Germany at the end of 2017. This cost the US $21 billion, seven times greater than Israel.
South Korea had over 27,5000 US troops on its soil at the end of 2017. It is certain that figure is greater in 2019 due to tensions between the United States and North Korea but, based on 2017 figures, South Korea received over $15 billion in US aid, almost five times more than Israel.
As a final comparison, compare Israel’s $3.1 billion to that of Italy. The cost of stationing US troops on Italian soil came to $6 billion, almost twice as much aid as Israel received.
Another factor must be tossed into the pot. The cost of stationing US troops in foreign lands does not include the additional and considerable cost of numerous sea and air patrols undertaken as part of the US mission to defend their allies. Neither does it include joint ground, air and naval exercises conducted with the armies of host countries.
No US plane flies to protect Israeli airspace. No US navy ship patrols Israel’s coast. No US military personnel are put in danger protecting Israeli citizens.
The fact that Israel receives nine times less aid than Japan is a direct reflection in the relative power that Israel possesses in the Middle East and its vast potential to independently protect US vital security interests in the region compared to the massive force required to ensure US, Japanese and South Korean interests against China and North Korea.
7,000 US servicemen are deployed to Saudi Arabia and the UAE countries, including Bahrain and Kuwait. The cost equates to $4.6 billion. This does not include the enormous cost in maintain major air and naval bases. The US 5th fleet is based in Bahrain.  On May 29, 2019, the United States directed an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East to be based in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
One final point must be made. In the past, the military aid package of US weapons, equipment and services was conditional on Israel spending 74% on US manufactured military goods. This condition did not apply to any other nation.  
In October 2018, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed giving Israel $38 billion in military financing to be spent over ten years, averaging $3.8 billion annually. But a condition was imposed that Israel must spend the total amount purchasing US manufactured military equipment and armaments. In other words, it became a total subsidy to the American military industry, ensuring the employment of thousands of American workers in their defense industries.
An additional benefit to the United States is that Israel, an advanced nation in innovation, hi-tech, cyber and human resources in warfare and conflict zones, contributes valuable research and development for American-made, innovations products gained from Israeli soldiers and airmen fighting in real time conflicts and battle field conditions, thereby improving American manufactured military equipment.
The United States military industry, and therefore their own military, benefit greatly from the improved designs to the central control panel in the cockpit of their F35 stealth bombers, the upgraded technology in the helmets of pilots and navigators in their fighter jets and helicopters, in the improved defensive capabilities of their armored personnel carriers, resulting from the battle requirements of the IDF.
This vital military cooperation between Israel and the United States cannot be estimated in the cold figures and the statistics of US military aid to an ally.
Needless to say, the United States gets a lot more bangs for its bucks from Israel than from any of its other allies, or even from all of them combined.  
Barry Shaw is the International Public Affairs Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.






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Saturday, 1 June 2019

Why should we Israeli tax-payers cover the maintenance of Palestinian terrorists in our jails while they get rich?

As of April 2019, there were 5152 Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails. In other words, killers or Palestinians captured attempting to murder Israelis.
There were a further 555 Palestinian criminal offenders (non terrorists).
Reports say that the Palestinian Authority pay an annual $350 Million to their killers or families of dead terrorists. The PA 'Pay to Slay' policy reward Palestinian killers by the number of Israelis they have murdered.
But, while these terrorist killers linger in Israeli jails, it is the Israeli tax payer that has to cover the cost of their incarceration including their food, entertainment including TV, lectures, libraries, movies, clothing, educational courses, as well as the cost of maintaining the jails and salaries of their jailers. Why?
Why do we Israelis have to forgo a part of our own social needs in order to cover the cost of keeping Palestinian killers?
Why should we Israeli tax-payers cover the cost of maintaining Palestinian terrorists in our jails while they get rich?
The Israeli government must deduct the cost of maintaining Palestinian killers from monthly payments made to the PA?
Israel's elderly, infirm, and children need that money more than Palestinian terrorists.
The Israeli government have stopped payments to the PA to the amount they pay to their terrorists as a reward for their murders, but it is not the PA that is paying for the heavy costs of maintaining their terrorist killers in Israeli jails, it is the Israeli tax-payer.
If it was right that we tax-payers stopped funding their 'Pay to Slay' policy, it is equally right that we insist the terrorist masters pay for their incarceration.
This has to stop! The Israeli government must go further by imposing the cost of maintaining Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails by deducting this cost from the money they hand over to the Palestinian Authority each month.
That would leave us more money to improve the lives of the vulnerable members of our own society and put the cost of caring for Palestinian terrorists onto those that incited and sent them on their deadly attacks.

Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.'

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Who exactly do the Trump Peace team think represents the Palestinians?

Who exactly do the Trump Peace team think represents the Palestinians?

I have a question.
The Trump Administration is about to unfurl a new peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.
It will be done in stages beginning with an economic workshop in Bahrain attended by most of the major Arab states, Israel, and the United States.
My question is, who represents the Palestinians?
This is the BIG question that was never asked in the past by the international diplomatic community in their failed efforts at peacemaking. It is not being asked of the Trump team as they set about introducing a new deal to solve an unsolvable problem.
It is unsolvable because the body they think represents the Palestinians does not represent them.
The BIG mistake of the past couple of decades was to assume that the Palestinian Authority represents the Palestinian people.
Wrong!
Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the majority of the Palestinians, even though he says he does.
The last time the Palestinians called for national elections Hamas won the majority vote.
That's why, in 2007, a Palestinian civil war erupted in the Gaza Strip when Fatah came to impose  Palestinian Authority rule and the victorious Hamas struck back at the PA attempt to usurp power in Gaza.
So I ask again, this time to the Trump team and all those naive diplomats supporting their efforts. Who you do think represents the Palestinians?
This is a vitally important question, don't you agree? After all, you want to be negotiating with the partner who can deliver the peace you are seeking.
In this case it won't be Mahmoud Abbas.
It won't be Mahmoud Abbas because if anybody noticed, at the end of 2018, Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Why did he do it?
Because, according to the Palestinian Constitution, if the President of the PA, currently Mahmoud Abbas, was unable to continue in his role due to ill health, removal, or death, the Speaker of the PLC  is duty bound to replace him with the leader of the largest political faction - which is Hamas.
In other words, Hamas is one cough away from usurping power by default over the Palestinian Authority.
So may I ask one final time. Who do the peacemakers assume speaks on behalf of the Palestinians?
If they guess Mahmoud Abbas, they would be wrong.
This is the reason Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to participate in the Trump peace plan. He knows he represents nobody but his immediate coterie of family and friends in his kleptocracy.
That's why, according to Human Rights Watch, hundreds of people are being interred in detention camps in Jericho for challenging his corrupt rule with at least twenty eight cases of torture at the hands of their Palestinian jailers.
The reason the Trump plan is going nowhere is because there is no Palestinian leader willing or able to deliver the goods.
It may be the best solution for the Palestinians but that is not an issue, not for the unelected Palestinian Authority, and certainly not for Hamas, the Palestinian popular choice, who are adamant that they will never make peace with Israel because all of "Palestine," from the river to the sea, belongs to them.
Surely, based on these factors, the Trump team should be negotiating with Hamas.
Good luck with that. It will have even less success than trying to negotiate with Mahmoud Abbas who is incapable of delivering the goods, even if he wanted.
 
Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.