Monday, 21 January 2019

The Bush-Sharon Letters, and why peace is not possible with the Palestinians.

In 2002, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon wrote a letter to US president George W. Bush, informing him of his intentions to make a bold new initiative for peace by removing thousands of Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and completely withdrawing all Israeli forces, and he received a response from Bush.

In this letter, Sharon wrote, “The Palestinian Authority under its current leadership has taken no action to meet its responsibilities under the road map. Terror has not ceased, reform of the Palestinian security services has not been undertaken, and real institutional reforms have not taken place. The State of Israel continues to pay the heavy cost of constant terror.

 “Israel must preserve its capability to protect itself and deter its enemies, and we thus retain our right to defend ourselves against terrorism and to take actions against terrorist organizations. Having reached the conclusion that – for the time being – there exists no Palestinian partner with whom to advance peacefully toward a settlement, and since the current impasse is unhelpful to the achievement of our shared goals, I have decided to initiate a process of gradual disengagement with the hope of reducing friction between Israelis and Palestinians. 

“The Disengagement Plan is designed to improve security for Israel and stabilize our political and economic situation. It will enable us to deploy our forces more effectively until such time that conditions in the Palestinian Authority allow for the full implementation of the Road map to resume.”

The response from President Bush contained the following: “We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military installations and settlements in the West Bank. These steps described in the plan will mark real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002 vision, and make a real contribution towards peace. 

“We also understand that, in this context, Israel believes it is important to bring new opportunities to the Negev and the Galilee. We are hopeful that steps pursuant to this plan, consistent with my vision, will remind all states and parties of their own obligations under the road map. The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents.

 I therefore want to reassure you on several points. 

“First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the road map. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the road map, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel.

“The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

“Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. 

“The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats. 

“Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means.

“The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue.
“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state. 

“It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.”

What is striking, 17 years later, are the consequences of Sharon’s initiative in Gaza. He based his initiative on the Palestinians total lack of movement toward peace and on the continuation of their terror campaign against Israel. Is anything different today? No.

Israel withdrew, totally. It physically ejected over 8,000 Jews from their homes and their livelihood on the land. It removed every last Israeli soldier and dismantled the army bases in the Gaza Strip. It left behind fine homes and flourishing agricultural facilities, infrastructure and productive fields and orchards.

And what did Israel get in return from the Palestinians? A desire for ongoing normalization for the mutual benefit of both people, but mainly to the benefit of Arab Gazans? From Israel, yes. From the Palestinians? Absolutely the opposite.

Bush and Sharon envisioned a Palestinian will to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and to prevent the areas from which Israel had withdrawn from posing a threat. Has any of this come about as a result of the Sharon withdrawal from Gaza? Absolutely not. On the contrary, the Gaza Strip has turned into one huge base from which Palestinian terror organizations constantly bombard Israeli towns and villages. They not only destroyed the rich agricultural development projects that Israel gifted them.

They replaced them with terror training and operation bases.

Instead of educating their young to productive lives, Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza indoctrinate impressionable young minds into religious Jew-hatred and a theology of martyrdom.

So, has the world absorbed these facts as they plan to solve the Palestinian problem going forward? They haven’t. They ignore the facts of the ground as they plan future Israeli concessions, this time in Judea & Samaria, known to international diplomats as the West Bank.

Just like Sykes-Picot, they pour over maps as they carve up the territory. Somehow they have to wedge as much territory as possible for a Palestinian state and persuade, or force, Israel into more withdrawals of citizens and soldiers.

This time the concessions will bring a Palestinian control just a few miles from outlying kibbutzim and villages in central Israel. It will bring them onto the high ground overlooking Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion Airport, Netanya, and just 70 meters from Highway 6, the main North-South artery in central Israel.

And who will govern this new Palestine? Do they think that Mahmoud Abbas will live forever, or be more honest in facing up to his peace commitments to the Jewish State than was Arafat – who signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in the presence of president Bill Clinton and the entire world, and then returned to Ramallah to launch a horror campaign of suicide bombers, bus and cafĂ© bombings known as the Intifada?

Inevitably, the Palestinian psyche will not change. Not against Israel, and not among themselves. 

Anyone who thinks that a full and permanent peace will be achieved by the creation of a Palestinian state is delusional. 

By the ballot, or by the bullet, Hamas will usurp control of what was once known as the West Bank, what was once Israeli territory, and no international diplomacy will stop them. They didn’t in Gaza. They won’t in their new Palestine. And a Hamas-led Palestine will continue their eternal holy war against the Jews. This time, to eradicate what is left of the rump state of Israel. 

This time, they will fire their rockets at us from the high ground. From the Arab village of Rantis down onto Israel’s international airport stretched out below their feet. Or fire missiles at Tel Aviv within eye-shot distance. Tel Aviv skyscrapers fill their horizon. Or lob missiles over the security barrier from their sovereign territory by Tulkarm onto Israeli vehicles on Highway 6. They can’t miss.

This then is the Sharon legacy of withdrawal for the sake of peace.

It didn’t work then. It won’t work now. 

Barry Shaw is the senior associate for public diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of several books, including Fighting Hamas, BDS and Antisemitism: Fighting Violence, Bigotry and Hate.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Where you find Islamic terror you find Jew hatred - even in Africa.

A Somali Islamic terror group, Al Shabab, exhibited the anti-Semitism that lies behind Islamic terror by cursing “the Zionist Jews” who “desecrate the sanctity of one of Islam’s holiest sites with their filth and vile policies of ethnic cleansing without considering the suffering of the millions of Muslims languishing under the throes of the Zionist occupation for decades.”
Notice no mention of Israel, only “Zionists” and “Jews.”
So what did this brainwashed, ignorant, Islamic terror group do to take out their anger against the Zionists and Jews?  They attacked a hotel complex in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya in Africa, on January 15, and killed fourteen people, including an American survivor of the 9/11 Islamic terror attack in New York.
All five terrorists were eventually killed by the Kenyan security forces. 
What is the connection in targeting innocent Kenyans and tourists and Israel?
There is none, except in the deranged minds of Islamic killers.

The announcement from the Al Shabab group ended with a warning for “Zionist Jews, the killers of the prophets and the brothers of apes and pigs” that their fate “is similar to that of your ancestors of Bani Quraydha (a Jewish tribe in Arabia in the 7th century who were slaughtered by Mohammad) at the hands of the Prophet Mohammad and his noble companions.”
Their threat, the one that killed innocent Kenyans and tourists in Nairobi, is taken from the Koran and the Islamic Hadith.
Nothing can do more to epitomize the primitive and brutal nature of those who take Islam at its ‘purest’ form and turns them into mass murderers.
As with most other Muslim terror groups from ISIS to Lebanese Hezbollah to Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Lurking in the dark corners of all of them is the evil of anti-Semitism.
This must always be kept in mind when we hear people justifying Palestinian terror against Israelis by excusing it as an understandable reaction to oppression and occupation.
The pronouncements made by all of them expose the reality that their hatred of Israel is a front for their Jew hatred.
 It is this brand of anti-Semitism that is shared by the killers and by their apologists.

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

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Barry Shaw's books.

Shalom!  This is Barry Shaw and you can get my exciting books from Steimatzky stores in Israel or from Amazon in paperback or Kindle.
Here are the links;

1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.
An exciting documentary about events a century ago that paved the way to the rebirth of the Land of Israel.
Learn more about the extraordinary Christian Zionists and Palestinian Jews who fought diplomatically and militarily to defeat the Ottoman Empire in Palestine and open the way for the reconstitution of the National Home of the Jewish People.

Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.
Who says it's not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel?
Read 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism' and discover the Jew hatred that lies beneath everything connected to pro-Palestinian activism,

A seriously funny humiliation of anti-Israel activists.
Barry Shaw tears to shreds all the nonsensical arguments and emotional imagery that BDS fools try to impose on Israel.
This book is a textbook and guide to show pro-Israel advocates how to expose the lies of so-called Palestinian sympathizers. 
BDS for IDIOTS reveals that BDS activists don't really care about Palestinians at all. They simply exploit a Palestinian cause as a cover for their individual and collective Jew hatred. Barry Shaw proves this point by highlighting the fraud of their own words and arguments. 
A must read for students and Israeli supporters.

A Tale of Love and Destiny.
Barry Shaw's debut novel based on the life and times of Sarah Aaronsohn, a Jewish heroine, set against the backdrop of war in pre-state Palestine..
A passionate love affair. Exile in Constantinople in a loveless marriage. A witness to the Armenian genocide. War. Espionage. Courage, torture, and a heart-wrenching climax.
A Tale of Love and Destiny has been described as the most moving and dramatic novel of pre-state Israel since the book 'Exodus.'

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

UNWRA is a racist obscenity.

Through UNWRA, the Palestinians have received 25 times more aid per capita than did the whole of Europe to rebuild their shattered countries after World War 2.
And yet, many decades later, Palestinians still use the victimhood card of poverty and statelessness, even though massive funding flows through the hands of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. 
UNWRA is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a single group of people. They do not solve the refugee problem. They inflate it.
Palestinians do not absorb their refugees. Instead, with cooperation from UNWRA, they increase their refugee numbers with each generation.
Compare this to Israel that absorbed more refugees from Arab and Muslim countries than the number of Arabs fleeing the Arab-inflicted wars against the Jewish State.
On top of this, Israel absorbed millions of immigrants from around the world, all absorbed as citizens.
Israel rejected the humility and shame of maintaining people in refugee-status and worked hard to absorb and assimilate millions of incomers, many of whom came as legitimate refugees.
As for the Palestinians, 90% of their so-called refugees were never displaced, therefore should not carry the status of refugees.
Another obscenity is that 40% of the 'refugee' recipients are not refugees at all, having been given citizenship in Jordan. Syria, and Lebanon. Yet their numbers still appear in the UNWRA and Palestinian Authority ledgers. A fraud and a political obscenity. 

International funding to UNWRA in 2016 was in excess of $1.2 BILLION to an agency that deals exclusively with the Palestinians, and ignores the 50 million genuine refugees elsewhere in the world.
Saudi Arabia was the only Muslim country in the top ten international donor countries. All the rest were United States, EU, Japan, and European nations.
Apart from the Saudis, the Islamic world nowhere to be seen, despite their pro-Palestinian rhetoric.
UNWRA is an anti-Semitic obscenity because it perpetuates the Palestinian conflict against Israel, the Jewish State, and has no intention of reforming itself to operate as other refugee agencies do, to reduce their number of refugees, and to address the fraud of Palestinian refugee status.
One perfect example of this fraud comes in this question.
How is it possible for Palestinians born and living under the security and civil administration of the Palestinian Authority, or their opposite number, Palestinian Hamas in Gaza, continue to call themselves refugees?
Refugees from where? They are living under a Palestinian authority, for heavens sake!
The answer is that the Palestinian leadership, both Fatah and Hamas, are in deep collaboration with UNWRA to perpetuate the fraud of Palestinian refugeehood as a political pawn against Israel, the Jewish State.
And that is a racial obscenity of international proportions.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
He speaks and writes from a unique Israeli perspective on global and strategic issues. He is the author of five books including 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism' which reveals the Jew hatred behind every aspect of pro-Palestinian activism.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mending broken hearts has become a global mission for Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart.

Save a Child’s Heart developed out of two polar experiences, an inspired idea and a sudden tragedy. Such are the diverse parents of much that develops in Israel where hope and death breathe the same air.
In this case, the hope was Israeli born. Death occurred elsewhere, to the Israeli who created the hope.
The hope was to save the lives of babies and young children who, through no fault of their own, were destined for an all too short life, and it grew out of Amram Cohen’s experience as a doctor serving in the US army in Korea in 1988. His job, his vocation, was the give hope to local children with heart disease by the application of advanced surgery, something that was far too expensive for kids living in poverty and in surroundings far too remote from accessible medical facilities and advanced surgery.
Amram’s experience brought him in contact with a network of doctors working in developing countries who, without the major assistance of a nation such as the United States, would be fighting a losing battle in trying to save young lives to heart disease and dysfunction.
Dr. Amram Cohen moved to Israel in 1992 determined to utilize the Jewish State’s advanced medical facilities to try to save children’s lives, children that were suffering from heart malfunctions in locations distant from Israel, including those that had no official contact with the Jewish State.
To the people that loved him, his family and the medical teams that worked around him, Dr. Amram Cohen was affectionately known as “Ami.”
After bringing three Ethiopian children to Israel for treatment in 1996, Ami opened his rolodex of medical professionals and personal contacts to create a volunteer organization to help desperately sick children to whom the chance of life was either not available or unaffordable.
Through a new foundation, he began operating Save a Child’s Heart.  He and other surgeons began treating children with congenital heart conditions mainly at Israel’s Wolfson’s Medical Center in Holon on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
Children were medivacked into the Jewish State from Nigeria, Tanzania, Congo, Moldova, Russia, Ghana, Vietnam, Ecuador, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. From the Gaza Strip more than 150 children came into Israel for medical treatment.  
On occasions, Ami and his medical team flew to China and Ethiopia to operate on sixty children too sick to travel.
Hundreds of children were gifted new healthier lives by Dr. Cohen and those who donated and helped the growing global organization of Save a Child’s Heart.
Then tragedy struck. Ami was climbing Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro with his daughter, Tali, when he was struck down by altitude sickness. He died on August 16, 2001. He was 47 years old.

Save a Child’s Heart could have died with him, but his dedicated team, and many who shared his dream and supported the foundation, determined to keep Ami’s project alive.
Since his untimely death, Save a Child’s Heart has continued and grown. As well as rescuing children with life-threatening heart conditions, it teaches medical personnel in developing nations the much needed surgical techniques required to treat sick children.
Mainstream media channels began reporting on how a small Israeli charity was attempting to heal children with serious cardiac conditions in unlikely countries.
On December 11, 2007, ABC reported, “Israeli charity saving Iraqi children one heart at a time.”  CNN reported on May 20, 2013, “Taking heart amid Syria’s carnage” after a 4-year-old Syrian girl, who would have died without treatment, was saved by the Israeli Save a Child’s Heart surgeons and medical team in the intensive care unit of Wolfson Medical Center.Syria was the 45th nation whose children have been given the chance of a new lease on life by the Israeli charity. Israeli medical teams regularly save the lives of small Palestinian children, including those from the Gaza Strip. 
Mending broken hearts has become a global mission for Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart.
In recognition of their remarkable work, for the first time ever an Israeli NGO received the prestigious United Nations Population Award. It was presented to three of Save a Child’s Heart’s leading physicians, Doctors Lior Sasson, Akiva Tamir, and Sion Houri, by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in New York.
Some of the projects scheduled for early 2019 include an SACH medical mission to Tanzania. The team will be performing lifesaving catheterization surgery with their German partners from the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin in Dar es Salaam. 
Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, visited the SACH team at Wolfson Hospital on January 14, 2019, and embraced the children receiving treatment there at the time of his visit. President Rivlin was accompanied by several ambassadors on his visit.

“We often quote the saying ‘he who saves a single life is as if he has saved the whole world’. Behind each heart is not just a child, but a family, friends and community – a whole world,” President Rivlin said. He thanked all those involved with Save a Child’s Heart.

“You know no borders, no race, no religion and no gender. You give your hearts to children in need. It is no surprise that "Save a Child's Heart" has been recognized by the UN. Dr. Ami Cohen, the founder of Save a Child's Heart, died tragically. But you, the wonderful staff and volunteers of this project, keep his mission alive.”
On February 13, a medical mission will go to Zanzibar to screen and diagnose children together with their local partners at the Mnasi Mmoja hospital in Zanzibar.
Save a Child's Heart succeeds through the kind and generous donors, large and small. It is through them that so many children's lives have been spared and improved by willing Israeli medical teams.
    As part of their important find-raising efforts a gala concert will be held in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv on February 6th and 7th featuring the acclaimed American pianist, Emily Bear, who will perform with the 100-piece World Doctors Orchestra for the first time in Israel. Popular Israeli singers, Shiri Maimon, Ester Rada and Avraham Tal, will also appear.
Other fund-raising events are taking place in the United States. On February 9, the popular Israeli mentalist, Lior Suchard, will entertain an audience at Los Angeles at an evening gala in the Royce Hall of UCLA. On May 6, the Washington DC chapter of SACH will be holding a dinner gala at Bnei Israel Synagogue in Rockville, Maryland. This event will honor the founders of Save a Child’s Heart.
Jeffrey Hoffman, Co-President of SACH-US, told me, “Save a Child’s Heart is an amazing organization. This year we are celebrating the milestone of 5,000 children’s lives saved since the organization was founded by Dr. Ami Cohen in 1996. The dedication and commitment of the Israeli surgeons, medical team, staff, and volunteers from many countries is a testament to the Tikun Olam philosophy that to save one life is to save the world.”

Jeffrey Hoffman is right. What is too little known is that Israel is a shining light of Tikun Olam, the Jewish philosophy of Repair the World, in so many ways, and none shines brighter than the wonderful work being done by Save a Child’s Heart.

Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

An Anti-Israel Activist Enters Congress.

Elected as the US House Representative for the state of Michigan, Palestinian Rashida Tlaib has entered the US Congress in order to promote a Palestinian and Islamic agenda and, on her first day in office, she showed her antisemitic temperament in a tweet when she accused American supporters of Israel, namely Jews, as not being quite American. 

In other words, as she plots her pro-Palestinian politics she accuses others as being disloyal Americans as she enters Congress draped in the Palestinian flag.

Expect a lot more anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, attacks from this representative, and from others who have joined her in the House on the far left of the Democratic Party.
The anti-Israel boycott campaign from within the US Congress has begun.
This is part of the new politics of the Democratic Party.

As Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, wrote back on November 30, 2018, Palestinian anti-Semitism is becoming mainstreamed and normalized.

Here is her offensive tweet;
“@RashidaTlaib · Jan 7, 2019.  They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”

In response to her “dual loyalty” tweet, the American Jewish Committee posted a picture of newly elected Tlaib embracing a woman draped in a Palestinian flag with the message, “Tell us more about dual loyalty @Rashida Tiaib”

Abraham Foxman, former national director of the Anti-Deformation League, posted, “Rep.Rashida Tlaib ‘They forgot what country they represent.’ Where is the bi-partisan outrage to this classic anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty?”

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, “This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line. BDS isn’t about freedom & equality. It’s about destroying Israel.”

But Rashida Tlaib is not a one-off, rude remark, House Representative. Tlaib has an agenda that she intends to execute.
Tlaib has said, “I personally support the BDS movement. Economic boycotts are the way to bring attention to issues like racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.”

Tlaib may find herself in infringement of anti-BDS legislation that has been passed by twenty-eight States, including her own of Michigan, that can punish, under state law, anyone engaged in boycott activities against Israel.

Rashida Tlaib said she will organize a Congressional delegation to “Palestine.” She says she wants to give an alternative to AIPAC’s “one-sided, lavish trips to Israel.”

During their visit to her “Israeli-occupied West Bank,” her Congress guests must visit with Issam Akel while they are in Ramallah.
53-year-old Palestinian Akel was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor by the Palestinian Authority for selling his property in Jerusalem to a Jew. How’s that for an international human rights violation, Congresswoman Tlaib?

Like Tlieb, Issam Akel is a Palestinian who holds American citizenship. All the more reason for United States Congress people to visit him and to demand his release not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Authority who put him behind bars for racist, anti-Semitic, reasons.

But Tlaib won’t even mention Akel. He won’t be included in her itinerary. But members of her delegation should insist that he is on the top of their list of priorities, no matter how embarrassing this will be for Rashida Tlaib.

Tlaib may explain to her guests that the punishment of Akel is not perceived as an international human rights violation by her or Palestinians because it is official policy that a future Palestine will be Judenrein, free of Jews.

United State Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who happens to be Jewish, has demanded that the Palestinian Authority immediately release Akel. Why doesn’t Palestinian Congresswoman Tlaib object to this Palestinian anti-Semitic punishment?

While they are here, her visitors should also inspect the PA detention center in Jericho where other Palestinian prisoners are languishing, and where torture is regularly inflicted on political prisoners for opposing the corrupt kleptocracy of Mahmoud Abbas’s unelected Palestinian Authority.

Recently, reporter Tim Sebastian embarrassed PA senior official, Saeb Erekat, in a TV interview about detention centers in his hometown of Jericho in which Palestinian prisoners are being tortured.

Human Rights Watch issued the result of a two-year investigation into 86 cases in which Palestinian authorities routinely arrest peaceful protesters and torture those in their custody.

HRW claim that Palestinian arrests for non-violent speech acts constitute serious violations of international human rights law, an issue which Rashida Tlaib claims to champion but doesn’t, because these contraventions of legal obligations are being perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Human Rights Watch wrote that “the torture as practiced by both the PA and Hamas may amount to a crime against humanity, given its systematic practice over many years.”

It is certain that Rashida Tlaib will studiously avoid any mention of these international human rights crimes because the culprit is the Palestinian leadership, and this goes against her false narrative.

I mentioned the unelected, undemocratic, Palestinian leadership. The last time the Palestinians held national elections was in 2005. The intention was that national elections be held every four years. Well, it’s been a long four years between 2005 and 2019. So much for the democratic process that Tlaib can proudly show her fellow congressmen and women.
The problem was that Hamas won the election by taking 74 of the 132 seats. Fatah only got 45.

The Palestinians intended to hold elections in 2009, but they got cancelled because they were killing each other in the Gaza Strip.
Then they decided to hold them in 2014, but they got delayed indefinitely when the Palestinian court found “serious irregularities” concerning the removal of Fatah candidates in Gaza by Hamas. Then the court decided to implement the Palestinian Authority cabinet’s decision to hold elections in all local councils, except in the Gaza Strip. Basically the reason was that Fatah was frightened of being slaughtered in the polls.

A Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, blasted the ruling as a “politicization of the court system.”

So national elections were delayed again until the end of 2017, but they got delayed because of a deepening conflict between Fatah and Hamas.

Then, at the end of December 2018, Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would hold national elections “within six months,” but that announcement was treated with a yawn by the international community.

A senior Hamas official, Mohammed Nazzal, said about any future national election, “If elections are free and fair, Mahmoud Abbas will suffer a stunning defeat.”

Hence the yawn. The world knows that any democratic process under Palestinian rule will result in a Hamas victory, an outcome devoutly to be avoided. So better no democracy than a bad democracy.

It needs emphasizing that Israel had nothing to do with this fourteen-year breakdown in Palestinian democracy. It had everything to do with two decades of deadly internecine violence between the two sides of the Palestinian political and Islamic divide, a chasm that time and enmity has been unable to solve, a divide that will surely turn any future Palestine into a second Hamastan.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said she wanted to provide her visitors with “a real, fair lens into this issue”? 
So bring them, Rashida Tlaib, and don’t forget to bring your distinguished guests to Israel’s Knesset in Jerusalem where you and they will see true democracy in action.

Israel, a place where Jews are not threatened with a death sentence or life imprisonment for selling property to Arabs, contrary to the Palestinian policy.

Israel, a democracy that is not Arab-rein, free of Arabs, but a nation in which Israeli Arabs have their political representatives sitting in the Knesset alongside their Jewish colleagues.

But I guess this is part of her “real, fair lens into this issue” that Rashida Tlaib will try to hide.

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,” An investigation into the Jew hatred in every aspect of the Palestinian cause.