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.


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.
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. 

Friday, 24 May 2019

In Iceland, hate prevails from their Nazi SS past to their Eurovision BDS Nasties.

The nasty appearance of the Icelandic group, Hatari, singing “Hate will prevail” in the Eurovision 2019 Song Contest in Tel Aviv is nothing new for Iceland.
The group’s ingratitude to Israel, whose soldiers had protected them when Israel was bombarded by over seven hundred Palestinian rockets as they were rehearsing for the show, was greeted by global boos and condemnation as they unfurled their ‘Palestine’ banners at the televised Final, a gesture that angered the European Broadcasting Union who may sanction Iceland for their political provocation.
Their gesture fell flat and became a stain of shame on Iceland.
But political provocation and the propagation of hate is nothing new to the cold Arctic island of Iceland. Iceland has shown a consistent disdain for Jews and for Israel going back to the 16th century and the “Passion Psalms” of Icelandic clergyman, Hallgrimur Petursson. They are full of expressions of malice toward the Jews as in;
“The righteous Law of Moses
The Jews here misapplied,
Which their deceit exposes,
Their hatred and their pride.”
Hatred and the pride dwelt entirely among the Icelanders who generally met no Jews until a few Jewish refugees, fleeing the Holocaust, arrived on their shores and found a very chilly reception.
Although a few arrived in the 19th century as traders and merchants they were greeted by the anti-Semitic first president of the University of Iceland, Bjorn Olsen, who wrote about one trading firm, “Jewishness radiates from all of their activities. The firm wears various disguises, but Jews are always recognizable by their voice.”
It tuned out that the Jews he scathingly smeared from his academic ivy tower were, in fact, Christian Danish merchants.
In 1933, a Nazi Party was formed in Iceland. It became the National Socialist Party with connections to the German Nazi Party. As with the 19th century university president and with Adolph Hitler, they invented tales of Jews and Jewish conspiracies everywhere. 
Jews were expelled or fled Iceland, usually for refuge in Scandinavian countries.
A celebrated Icelandic writer, Halldor Kiljan Laxness, wrote demeaning and as ungratefully as the Hatari group in Tel Aviv, about “the Jewish girl with the hooked nose” who obtained for him tickets for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Other cultural Icelandic anti-Semites included Gunnar Gunnarson who met Hitler at his chancellery in Berlin on March 20, 1040. He was photographed coming out of that meeting accompanied by Heinrich Lohse, who was to become the ReichsKommisar and the butcher of the Jewish ghettos of Latvia. 
It is shocking that today; Icelandic cultural advocates are persistently petitioning the Nobel Academy of Sweden to posthumously award Gunnarson their award for literature.
Bjorn Sveinn Bjornsson, the eldest son of the first President of Iceland, was one of several hundreds of Icelanders that joined the infamous Waffen SS. Some served as SS Totenkopf concentration camp guards and were directly engaged in the genocide of six million Jews. Bjorn Bjornsson reached the rank of SS Untersturmfuhrer, or second lieutenant before heading the Nazi propaganda machine based in Denmark. He personally acted like the Icelandic Lord Haw Haw, William Joyce, a member of the British Union of Fascists and a British traitor who broadcast Nazi propaganda from Germany. Joyce was captured after the war and executed for his war crimes. Bjornsson avoided such justice due to the intervention of his mother and the protection of the Icelandic government.
In May 1945, Danish partisans took control of Denmark and arrested the remaining SS troops in the country. Bjornsson was taken captive, but the Icelandic authorities stepped in. His mother, the first lady of Iceland, intervened. During the winter of 1946, Bjornsson was suddenly released without a trial for his war crimes, and he was smuggled back to Iceland on an anonymous fishing boat.
As with Joyce, Bjornsson personally broadcast Nazi lies in which he portrayed the Nazis not as the evil aggressor but as the savior of his people and the world.
One recording exists. It was recorded in 1942 from the Caucasus in which he spoke about the evils of the Soviet Union and the saving graces of Nazi Germany.
There was a short diplomatic thaw when the Icelandic representative to the UN General assembly, Thor Thors, who had a personal sympathy for the creation of a Jewish State, voted for the Partition Vote of 1947. Transjordan and Israel, as well as Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon were established as a result of the various Mandates and this vote.
There is little evidence that the writer, Halldor Laxness, moved away from his personal anti-Semitism but he did move away from National Socialism by adopting the Socialism of the Soviet Union from which he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1952.
Laxness referred to Bjornsson as “one of the worst Icelandic men who ever existed. A man who allowed…all sorts of vile acts against the Danish people, while wearing the uniform worn by members of a specific murder club.”
In the book, ‘Islenskir Nasistar,’ the brothers, Illugi and Hrafn Jokulsson, document the many Icelanders who joined the fight on the side of Nazi Germany. In their book they recount Bjornsson producing a radio program of cultural segments. One of these segments promoted music entitled ‘The Murder Symphony’ which was described as expressing “evil and sadism” beyond anything played during those Nazi years.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism,’ an examination of Jew-hatred at the heart of every aspect of Palestinian support. He is also the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Hill of Evil Counsel

One of Israel's leading archeologists, probably the most knowledgeable person on the subject of Jewish heritage in the Holy Land through tons of evidence dug out of the ancient earth of Israel by this world leader in archeology, Gabriel Barkay, recently pointed out that although the international diplomatic community led by United Nations organizations would carve parts of Jerusalem away from Israel sovereignty it is important to know history.
Jebl Mukaber is a neighborhood of Jerusalem which they demand must become a part, even the capital of, a future Palestine.
They do not tell you that Jel Mukaber has a tradition of being the place, mentioned in the Book of Genesis, where Abraham journeyed with his son, Isaac, from the biblical Beersheba, "looked and saw the place from afar."
It was the place, as written in the Holy Bible, where Abraham bound Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Hardly an Islamic tradition.
To emphasise the Jewish heritage, on the slopes of Jebl Mukaber is the opening of a tunnel, 400 meters long, which was part of an aqueduct built some 2,2000 years ago, during the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, which channeled water from Solomon's Pools to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, water that was needed for the daily service in the Jewish Temple.
Jebl Mukaber is part of what is referred to as the Holy Basin. Chronologically this holy site existed before Jesus. It existed before Mohammad was born or dreamed of a distant holy place.
Atop the ridge of Jebl Mukaber is a compound known as Government House. This served as the Middle East HQ for the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. During the Mandate period it served as the seat of the British High Commissioner.
Barkay tells us that, according to Christian tradition, this ridge was the location of the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest were the decision to crucify Jesus was made.
In Christianity this site is known as the Hill of Evil Counsel.
Given the erroneous decisions made by the United Nations General Assembly, UNESCO, UNHRC and their stiff-necked resolutions to carve this traditional part of Judeo-Christian heritage away from Israel, this location is justly named.

Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of '1917.From Palestine to the Land of Israel."

Friday, 17 May 2019

Don't eat Mars bars, BDS. Eat your heart out instead.

About a decade ago I wrote an article that went viral on the social media. It was called 'If You're Going to Boycott Israel - Do it Properly!' It was designed to expose the hypocrisy of the BDS idiots who order others to do what they don't do themselves.
We had a prime example of that last week when Palestinian leader, Jibril Rajoub, demanded that Atletico Madrid boycott Israel in a forthcoming football game because Israel must be isolated. Yet Rajoub quietly checked into Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for an urgent medical treatment. Hypocrisy, par excellence!
That's why I wrote the best-selling book 'BDS FOR IDIOTS,' available on Amazon as a fun read and manual for pro-Israel activists. I call it "a seriously funny humiliation of BDS idiots."
In that vein, I invite BDS fanatics to throw away their Mars bars, because Mars has now partnered with Israeli academic institutions, including the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute for Science in Rehovot, and the Technion in Haifa in support of Israeli start-ups and the development of new Israeli companies.
Mars see the clear benefits to their company and its millions of happy customers of collaborating with Israeli innovation. They have also partnered with JVP, but that's not the ridiculous Jewish Voices for Palestine. Mars have joined with Jerusalem Venture Partners to take their company into the next generation of brand leaders, and they are doing it in partnership with Israel.
So, don't eat Mars bars, BDS. Eat your heart out instead!