Monday, 29 April 2019

America is blessed to have Trump as its President.


America is blessed to have Trump as its President.
May I, as a non-American living outside your borders, offer you my personal and candid view on the American condition?
I have watched the United States go from one president to another for decades. I have watched how prosperity and confidence ebb and flow with each administration. Several have had major internal and global events chart their course yet made America great, while others have not faced times of shattering events and yet led America into social upheaval and international crisis.
My perspective was one of an Israeli as Obama’s reign was followed by Donald J. Trump. Having lived for many years as a self-employed person having to survive on my own wits and talents, I gained a sixth sense of sorts in seeing opportunities.  Far from being a millionaire, I look for the right moment to invest my limited funds, funds that need to keep me and my wife for our remaining days.  I viewed the emergence of Trump, watched as he galvanized the American voter to defeat a candidate that every pundit said was a shoe-in to become the first female president of the United States, and saw it as a rare opportunity as he promised to reform the way that business and industry was led in America.
I admit that I viewed America as a land of gimmicks, frequently shallow in its narcissism. It’s a place that loves to dabble with firsts. The first man on the moon, the first black president, and attempting to vote into office the first female president. All gimmick. No substance. 
So, like many people abroad, I was intrigued, though not surprised, by the Trump victory. It broke that mold and spoke to me about the common sense of middle America able to see through the vacuousness of the narcissistic American political scene and took a chance on an outsider. These voters were people coping the reality and hardship from a president who had promised to fundamentally change America. It ended up fundamentally changing their chances of prosperity. They rejected his eight years in office. Handing the baton to an entitled woman would have meant another eight years of the same failed policies. In Hillary Clinton they also saw the corruption and arrogance of the establishment. In Trump they saw someone who didn’t need the money, could get by very well without the job, but who wanted to shake up the way things were done in Washington.
I watched and listened to Trump and decided to take a chance on America. If he meant to make America great again by opening factories, bringing back jobs, and pegging back a globalism that was impoverishing America, this was a place with potential for my limited amount of money. Trump was offering what no other world leader was offering. To create an economic revival.
I began to invest a goodly portion my life savings in America by investing in great American innovation companies.  I watched as my investments began to grow under a president who took decisive steps to bring jobs back to America, who opened factories lost by a previous administration whose failed policies abandoned the American worker.
Let’s be honest, President Obama knew nothing about economy, and neither did his administration. They didn’t know much about healthcare either and the fiscal damage caused by Obamacare was inflicted on the American middle class.
Obama’s social experiment with healthcare was a failure. He lied to the people by telling them they could have his scheme yet keep their doctors and their own health plans. He knew this was untrue but told them anyway, or he didn’t know what he was saying was untrue until Americans were paying so much more for their healthcare they could no longer afford his failed system. Either way, it was fiscal irresponsibility with no consequences for a president reaching the end of his term. Except, of course, for the consequence of the voters who turned their backs on his successor.
Neither did the election of a black president do anything positive for black communities in America that sank into deeper poverty, unemployment and social unrest. Major riots broke out in America, including in Ferguson and Baltimore where massive lawlessness and property damage occurred.
Out of the blocks, President Trump began to turn the economy around. Jobs soared at a record rate. Among those to benefit were blacks. By the end of 2018, only two years into his presidency, the black unemployment rate was the lowest in American history. Also benefiting from the Trump economic measures were Hispanics and women in the workforce. 
As an Israeli, I moved some of my profits into Israeli companies that became the target of takeovers by US companies looking for the best start-ups and found them in my country.
I love watching American corporations grow their businesses and keep their workers firmly established in new jobs by exporting their products and opening new chains in other countries. This is true globalization. They are also able to expand their workforce at home which is good for the American worker.
Compare this to administrations verging on socialism that think growing Big government is social responsibility. It is not, and never will be. This is the direction of fiscal irresponsibility that will inevitably ruin a country.
President Trump has been the greatest president for my country since Truman. So many before him promised to recognize Jerusalem as our eternal and undivided capital and to move the US Embassy there. While other president’s promises to Israel were proven to be empty of substance, Trump stepped up to the plate and kept his word.
American anti-Semitism has shockingly emerged from the shadows in 2019. It has taken various forms, from the awful utterances of a newly elected Muslim congresswoman to deadly synagogue attacks by neo-Nazis. But President Trump cannot be accused of being an anti-Semite.
There is an ancient Jewish prophecy etched in the Bible. “I will curse those that curse you, and I will bless those that bless you.”
This holy declaration acts like a spiritual umbrella over us as Israelis remain confident that our enemies will never destroy us, no matter how deadly their threats.  
We see the miraculous power of this biblical expression coming true in America today. A president who kept his word about Jerusalem is at the helm of a great nation whose economic vitality has found a new life.
May God bless America and protect this great president. I for one have been blessed that my confidence in Trump and the American economy has kept me financially protected under his leadership.
I may not be a biblical prophet but I predict that President Trump will sweep to victory in 2020 with an even larger majority than he did in 2016.
From my mouth to God’s ear!
Barry Shaw.
International Public Diplomacy Director,
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Jew-hatred in Ireland disguised as sympathy for Palestinians.


There’s an old joke about a Jew who goes to live in Ireland. When he tells someone he is Jewish, the man asks him, “Aye, but are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?” 
Tuvia Tenenbom is a film-maker and best-selling author. He writes a series of books about the global pathology against Jews. 
His initial book, ‘Catch the Jew,’ highlighted the anti-semitism behind the often faux support for the Palestinian cause.  This echoes the research I did for my own book, ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism’ about the need to kick back and expose the Jew-hatred that is latent in all aspects of Palestinian support.
Tenenbom and I are kindred spirits.
In preparation for a documentary and new book, Tenenbom visited Ireland and Northern Ireland. To his horror, he found a depth in disdain for Jews, by people who have rarely met a Jew, to be deeper than even Germany.
Tenenbom introduces himself as a German, which he is, rather than as a Jew, which he also is. It protects him from venom and allows the people he speaks with to be more relaxed and natural in their reactions to his questions.
While it may be understandable why the Irish equate the Palestinian cause with their own experiences with the British, the depth of Jew hatred ascends all political issues, which raises the question what came first, sympathy for Palestinian Arabs or hatred of Jews?
Do the Irish really care for Arabs or Muslims, or is it used sparingly and exclusively to promote the Palestinian cause? Is this demonstrated in any other global arena? Or is a rabid Jew hatred at the heart of it, the spark that tilts them to anyone who is terrorizing and killing Israelis, a metaphor for the Jews?
In walking the streets of Derry, Tenenbom was struck by wall murals and displays of Palestinian flags.
He went in search of answers into the nearby Bogside Inn to speak to some of the drinkers. He went as a journalist for German television. In front of the camera he asked,
“Why do you support the Palestinians?”
“Because of the f-------g Jews.”
“Pardon?”
“Because of the Jews. They are the curse of the earth. The only thing that Hitler did wrong, he didn’t kill enough f-----g Jews!”
Tenenbom told Algemeiner, “I don’t think I have met with people who have so much hatred for Jews as I met in Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that includes Derry. The sad part,” he added, “is that I actually like the people here, but most of the people hate me here. I parade around as a German to save me all their hate. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Which begs me to again ask the question, is this support for the Palestinians derived from a comparative history with the British, or is it a religious thing? Is it a lingering Catholic history of anti-Semitism? Or is it a combination of both that inspires them to fly Palestinian flags in the street while ignoring the Kurds, and anyone else with even greater rights to independence?
Tenenbom admits the honesty of their hatred.
Most people deflect their hate into anti-Israel or IDF accusations disguised as sympathy for Palestinians. The readers’ letters columns of most Irish newspapers regularly feature such diatribes. Singularly lacking are any complaints by people who profess to champion Palestinian human rights against the Palestinian Authority who imprison and torture their own people, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, or the report from the World Bank that the PA has bankrupted their economy to the tune of a billion dollars by their fiscal irresponsibility of funding their terrorists rather than develop the needs of their people. Palestinian Hamas in Gaza do the same.
The Irish of Derry are straight about it. They hate the Jews more than they care for the Palestinians. You can hear it in their language and in their lack of awareness of the complexities of the Middle East.
Tuvia Tenenbom’s film and his book on Irish attitudes to Israel and to Jews should make for enlightening viewing and reading.

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’ and ‘BDS for Idiots.’


Sunday, 14 April 2019

Christians and Jews lost in a Palestinian wilderness.


I believe that one’s underlying beliefs, who you really are when you discard adopted “progressive” ideas, defines who you really are. They define your character, for good or bad.
Adopt someone else’s ideas and if they do not reform the negative attitudes of your fundamental core belief for the better, then you are lost. In need of enlightenment.
A lot of people who are protesting for radical causes have lost touch with the reality of who they really are.
They have suppressed their true identity beneath a facade of trendy brainwashing. The original source of their positive identity has become buried under contemporary circumstance. Their destiny in life has been diverted into political, philosophical, and theocratic cul-de-sacs or into a dark forest of false and troublesome ideas that are beyond the pale of who they really are. These people need to recharge their original GPS system and retrace their steps back to a brighter and more honest place.
So who are those who are lost. Examples include the misguided Christian pastors who have abandoned the teachings of their leaders such as Charles and John Wesley who preached and sang about the return of Jews to Zion as part of their faith and core values.
Too many of them have adopted the imposition of the Kairos Document, once used successfully to denounce the apartheid regime in South Africa, and now as a religious declaration against Israel in an attempt to paint the Jewish state as an evil apartheid regime. Sufficient proof is available to dismember this false premise. And yet, we see the Kairos Document performed annually in Bethlehem at events such as the “Christ at the Checkpoint” charade.
Here is where this form of Christianity departs from Christianity at its source.
This is where we see the anti-Semitic act of replacement theology enforced by biased pastors, firm in their belief that God abandoned the Jews as the Chosen People for Christianity.
We Jews, and good Christians, do not believe in a God who changes His mind. For, if this was so, I respectfully suggest to the RT Kairos proponents that we can see, through todays unfolding events, that their god has now abandoned Christianity for Islam. Look around the Middle East and Africa. Look at the slaughter of Christians and the destruction of their churches and holy places by Muslims and jihadi Islamists. Look at Europe, once a bedrock of Christianity in countries that contain the cross in their national flags, now replaced first by secularism and now by an appeasement to rapidly rising Islamic demands.
We Jews, and good Christians, do not believe in a God who changes His mind. It is time for the lost pastors to find their biblical GPS and make their way back into the light of truth and reality.
They are promoting the cause of people who care nothing for Christians and a lot worse for Jews. They support Palestinians in Bethlehem even as the same Palestinians have driven out Christians. Once, under Jewish sovereignty, Bethlehem was a middle class town with an 80% Christian population. Today, their numbers are below 15% and falling.
Is the rapid reduction of Christians in the holy town of Bethlehem the handiwork of a Christian god, or the handiwork of a malevolent Palestinian ideology? It is certainly not, despite the false narrative of Kairos, the work of Israelis. The Christian population in Israel increases as it decreases in Palestinian held territory.
Palestinian break into Jewish homes in Israel not to steal, but to murder Jews. They did it in Jerusalem in 1920, They did it in Hebron in 1929. They are doing it in 2018 and 2019. They kill Jews. Women. Children. No matter. Just as long as they are Jews. Yet Kairos Christians support a cause that murders Jews and drives out Christians. They are lost. They need to find their way back to their origins.
Another example of lost souls is the JStreet youth, Jewish youth who have trended their Judaism into a secular religion of Tikun Olam.  They see themselves on a mission to repair the world starting by becoming the poster children for the anti-Israel movement. No matter that the Jewish state practices Tikun Olam globally every day.
I am honored to be a supporter of Save a Child’s Heart in which Israeli surgeons and medical teams save children’s lives from around the world with advanced heart surgery both in Israel and abroad.
I am proud that Israel is often the first nation to arrive in global disaster zones with their search and rescue and medical units to find and save lives in some of the most remote areas of the world.
I personally know pioneers who, for decades, have gone into remote areas of Africa and Asia to help local communities improve their lives through modern systems of agricultural, healthcare, and security. They make lives better and safer to people who couldn’t find Israel on the map.
That is genuine Tikun Olam, not the political posing of young Jews who have adopted a cause that targets Israel. There is no Tikun Olam in being the useful idiots of a cause that wishes to see the end of the Jewish state.
They are both lost, these replacement Christians and misguided Jews who hold a public Kaddish, a mourner’s prayer, for dead Hamas terrorists in London’s Parliament Square.
Misguided by operating on false narratives based on half-truths, totally ignoring the complexities of the violent Middle East and the reality of past and present events.
As someone wrote more than 2500 years ago, “If one speaks or acts with a corrupt mind, suffering follows.”
True Christian and Jewish support for Israel in a troubled world does not derive from a corrupt mind or the adoption of a false narrative, but from truth and reality. That is where salvation can be found.
Barry Shaw is the Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism’ and ‘BDS for IDIOTS’ available at Amazon or from Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Israeli Election Shock Prediction.



Israel is a country with eight million prime ministers. Everyone has an opinion. Just walk past any coffee shop and you’ll see a gaggle of people raising their voices. Everyone knows better than anyone else how to solve the country's problems. The ones that shout the loudest think they know best. They are right about everything and the politicians are idiots.
In Israel, it seems, everyone with an opinion has a political party. The result is that in 2019 we have the nightmare of 40 parties competing in this year’s national elections. Forty!
We have a democracy on steroids – but that is not good for democracy.
It’s all about opinions and egos. Orly Levy Abekasis is, or was, a competent parliamentarian. She is the daughter of a former Foreign Minister so she knows her way around the block. And yet she wasn’t prepared to subordinate herself or her small party to a larger one. The likely outcome is she is unlikely to cross the threshold of 3.25% of the total vote to gain a seat in the next Knesset.
Another is Avigdor Liberman, the former defense minister who led his Israel Beitainu party to dizzying Heights and then into oblivion. His party is also on the threshold of dropping out of the Knesset at the time of writing this piece just a day before the election.
As at this morning, the trend seems to show that the Blue & White Party has regained a lead over the Likud of 4 seats – 30 to 26. B&W seem to be taking votes from Zionist Union on the left and Likud on the right.  But the Likud and an assortment of right wing parties retain a small majority.
So we could end up with Blue and White gaining most seats yet unable to form a majority government.
To make things even more complicated, should Blue & White widen their gap on Likud by a couple more seats they could deprive the Likud of forming a right wing majority, yet be unable to form a majority government themselves.
Don’t forget that B&W have said they want to be center-left and they wouldn’t bring in hard left Meretz or the Arab parties not for any racist reason but because the Arab parties have proven themselves in the last Knesset to be anti-Israel rather than a loyal Israeli party representing the best interests of their constituents. This is one of the reasons why so many Arabs have said they will probably not vote this time, or will vote for one of the non-Arab parties.
So what do we have left. We have B&W as the biggest party unable to form a center-left government, and we have the Likud unable to form a center right government.
That leaves us with one other choice. That B&W form a majority government in a coalition with the Likud.
This would seem to be an ideal marriage. The two main parties at the center of Israeli politics having a large majority with the addition of a couple of reasonable pragmatic parties. But that won’t happen because Ganz and Lapid, two of the four leaders of B&W have said they would never enter into a Likud coalition with Benjamin Netanyahu facing possible indictments.
But even if they did, we are back to the matter of egos. It is difficult to see Bibi, knowing his dominant personality, agreeing to play a subordinate role for himself and his party to the controlling influence of Blue & White. We will have a stand off.
So the result of the 2019 Israeli elections could be no result. No workable government!
This may be a shocking prediction but it is one that is based on latest trends and the promises made by the politicians to the voters.
We could be heading into a caretaker government tasked to organize a further round of elections six months later.
To complicate things further for Israel, we could have the Trump Administration dump their much awaited peace proposals onto Israel making the next round the peace elections.
What would prevent my shocking prediction of no-outcome in these April elections from coming true?
One would be a majority government led by either Blue and White or the Likud with a bunch of other parties, but the polls just two days ahead of election time do not show this possibility.
The other would be if Blue & White and Likud do form a coalition, but that means that both sets of leaders would have spent the 2019 election campaign lying to the Israeli voters.
So what’s new in politics?

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,’ ‘BDS for IDIOTS,’ and ‘1917 From Palestine to the Land of Israel’ available on Amazon and at Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.
His articles can be read on www.theviewfromisrael.com